Did Paul change the gospel?

Many in the religious world, including “Christendom”, label the apostle Paul as a fraud guilty of changing the teachings of Jesus into something that better suited his own beliefs. Hence the phrase, “Pauline theology.”

But is such the case? Not according to the church of the first century.

Fact is, concerning his conversion, Paul acknowledged the amazement of the early church when he said, “And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.” (Galatians 1:22-24 NKJV)

Paul didn’t change the faith taught by Jesus, the faith taught by Jesus changed Paul!

For those who say defending someone by using a quote from that same individual is untrustworthy, all you have to do is read the book of Acts. Or is the entire book of Acts unreliable too?

Labeling someone as fraud because you do not what like what they teach (as is the case with Paul) is no different than what the Jewish leaders did to Jesus when they refused to hear what he said about his relationship with the Father (John 5:16-47).

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:10-12 NKJV)

#apostle-paul, #liberalism, #theology

Why I am a Christian

I’m a Christian for no less than two reasons, and these are two reasons that every Christian should be able to give:

  • I believe I am who Jesus says I am – someone who is lost without him and in need of his healing (Luke 19:10, Mark 2:17).
  • I believe Jesus is who he said he was – the bread of life, the light of the world, the door to salvation, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth and the life, and the true vine for the people of God (John 6:35, 8:12, 10:9, 10:11, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1).

The list may sound like a simple version of theology to some, but I’m just fine with that.

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.” (John 4:28-30)

Related Article:

#jesus-christ, #reason-for-being-a-christian, #theology

Cornelius was no Calvinist and You Shouldn’t be Either!

I was told the other day by an adherent to Calvinistic theology that (and I quote):

“The free human will can do a lot of things; but it cannot will anything pleasing to God; because the natural human mind cannot submit to God’s law.”

The first thing/question that popped into my head after thinking about what they said was, “A free will that’s only free enough to do things that do not please God? Doesn’t sound very “free” to me.” After all, if a person has no free will concerning their will toward God they have no will at all!

But then I started thinking about what the scriptures say (outside of the plainly contradicted verse of Romans 2:14) concerning people before they became a Christian and whether or not their will had any will to do the will of God and one person in particular came to mind, and that was Cornelius. Cornelius is a case that simply reveals how wrong Calvinistic theology is when it comes to their complicated and contradictory teaching on the free will (or the lack thereof) of men and women, for the scriptures (with emphasis added) say concerning Cornelius that:

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius! “And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” (Acts 10:1-7)

Cornelius was a good man, but like all sinners who are not in Christ he was not saved. But despite the fact that he was not saved, i.e. he needed to be quickened due to being dead in sins (Ephesians 2:1-5), Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God, and they were pleasing even to the extent that the Bible says that his works reached Heaven itself! That’s right; Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God before hearing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius was doing what Calvinism says can’t be done – he willed, and he did things that God took note of in a positive way. Sure, Cornelius still had to come to the Father through the Son because his good works could never justify his sinful deeds, but the point still remains, and that point is that God Himself took note of this man’s free will that willed to do the will of God.

Furthermore, take note of what the angel of God said to Cornelius. It was the angel who told Cornelius that Peter would tell him what he must do. What had to be done had to be done by Cornelius and it had to be done of his own free will, for if his will was anything other than free it would not have been Cornelius who was doing it, nor would there have been anything for him to do. There was nothing that he could do to make God owe his salvation to him, but something had to be done by Cornelius’ will, which willed to please God, in response to the gospel of Christ for this was and still is the will of God concerning the lost (John 3:16).

This is why I say that Cornelius was no Calvinist and you shouldn’t be either!

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

#calvinism, #conversion-of-cornelius, #free-will, #individual-responsibility, #pleasing-god, #theology

The Absurdity of the Calvinistic Invitation to come to Christ

I just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1” in which he tried to ridicule “evangelicals” who believe that Jesus died and paid the price for sin for every single person by saying that they use the Gospel to try to “coerce” people into coming to Jesus; and once again, which is on par for Calvinists, his lesson became full of circular logic, inconsistent reasoning’s and error filled conclusions that were reached because the starting point was wrong to begin with.

On multiple occasions he referenced how a belief in universal atonement automatically requires a belief in universal salvation – which are two different things! And then he proceeded to “explain” how any atonement other than a “limited one” is actually an atonement that fails, thus requiring Jesus, due to his own logic (he actually talks about what makes sense to him which I didn’t think matters to Calvinists due to the whole irresistible aspect and perverted sovereignty of God), to only shed his sin atoning blood for people who were always going to be saved to begin with and not for people who believe of their own free will through the preaching of God’s grace and judgment of sin in the gospel.

But the kicker for me is how Mr. MacArthur ended the sermon. After all the berating of “evangelicals” who supposedly coerce others with emotion, and after all the talk about how a person has no free will in the matter, this is how he ended his sermon* on “Actual Atonement” (aka Limited Atonement):

All who will ever believe, will believe because the Father will draw them, and he will grant them repentance, and faith, and regeneration. Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save. The atonement is an actual atonement, not simply a barrier removed. And it is in behalf of all who would ever believe, and since the sinner is unwilling and unable to believe apart from divine intervention and regeneration it comes then down to the power of God based upon the decree of God.

People say, “Well how do you know whether Christ died for you?” The answer is, “Whosoever will may come, and if you come and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then the death of Christ was for you.” Don’t hold back, come to Christ.” (John MacArthur – minute 18:00 – 19:15 of the audio from “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1“)

Here are my big issues with such a conclusion based upon the content of what had already been said in the sermon:

  • Why in the world would someone invite someone to believe when that individual has no choice in the matter?
  • Why would you say that a sinner is unwilling to believe when they are unable to believe? One overrides the other making a “person’s will” in the matter non-influential, non-negotiable, non-consequential and non-existent.
  • Why would someone mention anything about “whosoever will” or even use the word “if” if a person’s salvation is supposedly unconditional?
  • Why would someone’s response to the invitation matter if a person’s response to the invitation doesn’t determine whether or not they’re actually saved – because you never know, Jesus may not have died for them, right?
  • Why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t hold back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Heaven? Or why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t keep from holding back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Hell?
  • Why would a person try to “coerce” an individual by using emotion and saying don’t hold back and come to Christ if in reality the response to the invitation has nothing to do with a person’s will at the end of the day?

An invitation given by a “true Calvinist” is nothing but an absurdity that does the very thing that they ridicule others for – encouraging people to make a decision about the death of Jesus upon the cross when he shed atoning blood for the entire world; but what they fail to understand is that whether or not a person accepts that free gift has nothing to do with overriding God’s sovereignty. That’s why it’s called free will by the will of God.

The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is nothing but a doctrine invented by men that, in a twist of irony, does nothing good spiritually speaking, thus leaving it useful only as a rotten support beam to build the rest of the error filled elements of the house called Calvinism.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37 – BBE – emphasis mine)

* the given quote from the sermon was written down by author of this post as he listened to the recording and not copied from a supplied document or manuscript; therefore it may contain some grammatical errors, but the sermon snippet itself has been given word for word

#calvinism, #christianity, #death-of-christ, #false-doctrine, #limited-atonement, #religion, #theology

The Goodness of God and Eternal Punishment By Wayne Jackson

The late Bertrand Russell, a renowned British agnostic, wrote a small publication titled, Why I Am Not A Christian. One of the reasons he cited for his unbelief was that Jesus Christ taught that there is an eternal hell for the wicked.

Russell could not harmonize Christ’s doctrine about hell with the biblical position of a just and benevolent God; hence, he rejected the teaching of Jesus and inclined toward the belief that there is no God. Russell, who lived a life of reckless abandon, echoed the sentiments of Cain: “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” On that basis, he became a determined opponent of true religion.

The problem of reconciling eternal retribution with the goodness of God also has had a significant impact on the religious world. Many religions, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the World Wide Church of God (Armstrongism), have rejected the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the wicked. Even the churches of Christ have had their advocates of this erroneous viewpoint (see Fudge, Smith).

Ad Hominem Arguments

An ad hominem argument (meaning, “to the man”) is the type of reasoning that focuses on an opponent’s inconsistency. Let us, at the outset of this discussion, utilize this form of argument in response to the “no hell” theory.

First, a major premise of the “no eternal punishment” dogma is the notion that such is at variance with true justice. The argument might be framed like this. The Bible speaks of a just and good God; it also teaches the doctrine of eternal hell. These two positions are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the Scriptures are inconsistent and cannot be true.

We insist, however, that those who thus argue are under obligation to defend their use of the terms “just” and “good.” By whose standard are these character traits to be measured? Critics of the Bible must not be allowed to become “theological dictionaries unto themselves.” Their reasoning is based solely upon their own ideas of how goodness and justice should be expressed.

If it is true that the Scriptures teach that God has appointed eternal punishment for impenitently evil people, and if it likewise is correct that the Bible affirms the justice and goodness of Jehovah, then it must follow that eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the nature of God. It is at odds only with some men’s perception of goodness and justice.

Second, no one (skeptic or otherwise) is ready to concede that evildoers are unworthy of any type of punishment. It is recognized that no society could survive in such an atmosphere. Should the rapist, the robber, and the murderer be told: “Admittedly, you have done wrong, but we (society) will not punish you for your crimes. This would be unjust”? Is there anyone who argues that there should be no consequences resulting from criminal conduct? Surely not! It is conceded, therefore, that punishment is not inconsistent with true justice.

Third, let us take our reasoning a step further. Is it the case that genuine justice can be served even when an evil man’s punishment is extended beyond the time involved in the commission of his crime? Do we, for example, in our criminal justice system, ask the murderer, “Sir, how long did it take you to kill your wife?”—then assign his incarceration accordingly? Would justice be maintained by such an approach?

Here, then, is the point. True justice, combined with genuine goodness, allows the possibility that a wrongdoer may be required to suffer a penalty that is considerably longer than the duration of his evil. The real issue, therefore, is not punishment per se, or even protracted punishment; rather, it is eternal punishment. The skeptic (or religious materialist) simply wants to tell God how long the penalty is to be! Remember, however, in a system of true justice, the offender is not allowed to set his own sentence.

Eternal Punishment and a Just God

Since no one has ever returned from the dead to discuss his or her personal experiences, this issue is not one that can be settled by human speculation; rather, it must be decided by divine revelation. When the relevant biblical data is assembled, it will be seen, even from man’s jaundiced viewpoint, that the fact of eternal punishment is not inconsistent with the character of a righteous God. Our case will be set forth in a series of interrelated propositions. Continue reading

#ad-hominem, #christian-courier, #eternal-punishment, #god, #goodness-of-god, #hell, #jesus, #nature-of-the-body, #nature-of-the-soul, #punishment, #redemption, #religion, #salvation, #sin, #the-cross, #the-resurrection, #theology, #wayne-jackson

The Fallacy of Rejecting “Paul’s Words”

For various reasons of self-interest and faulty theology there are those in the religious world who believe and teach that the “word’s of Paul” should be rejected.

If one were to reject the “words of Paul” then they by default have to reject basically every other letter that makes up the New Testament.

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Peter’s words either since he endorsed what Paul taught and considered him to be a brother in Christ (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Don’t like “Paul’s word’s” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Mark’s words either since history/tradition teaches that Mark wrote through the guidance of Peter who, again, endorsed the “words of Paul” and due to the fact that Mark was very familiar with Paul and considered him a brother in Christ who taught the truth (2 Timothy 4:11).

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Luke’s words either since Luke greatly supported Paul and due to the fact that they labored together on missionary trips teaching the same thing to others who were coming to Jesus through their preaching (Colossians 4:4, 2 Timothy 4:11, Acts 21:1-19…notice how many times “we” and “us” are used).

So I guess that leaves a person with the words of John and James and Jude…except for the fact that both John and James endorsed Paul’s preaching (Acts 15:6-29) and Jude is just too judgmental!

So you still want to reject the “words of Paul” huh? I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a whole lot like, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Failing to listen to “Paul’s words” is a failure to listen to the word of God.

If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)

#apostle-paul, #christianity, #false-doctrine, #false-teachers, #new-testament, #new-testament-canon, #rejecting-pauls-words, #religion, #theology, #unbelief

We Need to Study the Bible Because it’s the Source of Our Faith

Faith is believing in and following through on God’s word (Hebrews 11:1, James 2:14-20), and “faith comes from hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17). No place, no other book, no latter-day prophet, no spiritual experience and no path devised by man brings a person to the saving faith in God that’s necessary like the Holy Spirit does through the written word revealed through the gospel to the world (Romans 10:5-15). The Bible tells us what to preach, what to grow in, what to abstain from, what we’re to be busy doing, where we’re going, why we’re going there and how we’re going to get there! Faith needs starting and faith needs building and God’s word through the Bible is the one-stop place for them both. A person doesn’t know what to believe until we’re given something to believe – spiritual speaking, this is where the Bible comes in.

The Bible reveals the standard of God’s righteousness through the gospel of Jesus and then provides the faith necessary to receive the grace of God that comes through that faith (Romans 5:1-2, Ephesians 2:8). Living by faith is more than a saying – it’s an actual way of life that’s learned through the study of God’s word: “For in [the gospel – 1:16] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) Hearing the word of God begins a person’s journey of faith, it will tell us where to turn and it will bring us to end of the road where our faith in Jesus will become a sight that sees Him (2 Corinthians 5:7, 1 John 3:2). Faith looks forward and faith must be fed (Galatians 2:20, Matthew 4:4) so when it comes to a faith-filled soul the “manna” from above will not send us away hungry when we come ready to eat (Matthew 5:6, 1 Timothy 4:6).

Studying the word of God will bring us to the foot of the cross and on into the throne room of Heaven. It contains the power filled wisdom of God that opens the eyes of sinful hearts to see the sinless Son of God who died so we may have mercy this day and on the last day (1 Corinthians 2:4-14). Nothing else in the world outside of the scriptures of God teaches us about the gospel that makes men and women free and keeps us free through faith in Jesus. Paul told Timothy this much when he said, “…from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15). Wisdom in the writings of men will only get a person so much – wisdom in the word of God can give us the gift of salvation through the gospel!

Why should the Bible be studied? Because the Bible tells us what’s worth believing and what’s not worth our time, it tells us what we’re worth and what price was paid for us, it tells of God’s saving grace and of the One who died to make that grace available through faith, it tells us the standard of God and how we can reach it through Jesus, it will hold on to us through hope and keep the eyes of faith enlightened till we see our home in Heaven. These are just a few reasons why we need to study the faith giving and faith feeding word of God contained in the Bible.

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

 

#bible-study, #christian-living, #faith, #faithfulness, #god, #living-by-faith, #righteousness, #salvation, #source-of-faith, #theology, #we-need-to-study-the-bible-because

The Challenge of Disproving the Mythological “Straw Man” Argument

“Expert” debaters on the WordPress forum, especially when it comes to defending atheistic evolution, love to throw around the “straw man” accusation at Theists.

More often than not, especially when an accusation of the mythological “straw man” gets thrown around, people feel misrepresented because they are misrepresenting themselves. They fail to nail down their position to anything except for the ole’ “I don’t believe and I don’t have to prove why I don’t believe” line. Then they bemoan any other attempt to get the conversation beyond the point of “I can’t disprove the existence of God any more than I can disprove a unicorn, a one-eyed purple people eater or a flying spaghetti monster.”

Well, I can’t disprove that a giant spruce tree didn’t light the fuse to set off the multicolored atomic bomb that created the mother of all black holes which then led to the stretching of alien DNA thus resulting in life on Earth 43.298347 years later, and neither can you! But then again, that’s not my proposition. My proposition is that life was created by the Supernatural Being who can be seen through nature and whose will can be understood through the Bible.

in modern philosophy the straw man lives

(Photo credit: Templestream)

So let’s the put the proverbial shoe on the other foot for a moment.

There are those who contend for and hold to the proposition that says life is nothing but a chemical process and that we’re nothing but “higher thinking” animals with no soul and no ultimate responsibility, but to that I say, “PROVE IT.” Prove to me that life can come from non-life. Until that can be proven, any atheistic evolutionist debater and “believer” is sidestepping the exact thing that they require from Theists – the burden of proof through scientific testing.

But then answer of, “I don’t have the answer(s) because we’re still learning” will be given as if that’s a proper permission slip to keep from being “pigeon-holed” into anything.

So let me get this straight – the only thing that you will say is that you don’t believe in God, but you can’t disprove that He exists, yet you’re still sure that He’s not out there. Talk about circular reasoning!

Let’s try it like this: You (as an atheistic evolutionist) believe in a-biogenesis, but can’t prove that it exists, yet you’re still sure that it’s out there.

A belief in one is chosen over the other with the later lacking as much supposed scientific proof as the former yet still receiving the scientific benefit of the doubt! And to say such a thing is a “straw man” argument??? How does that misrepresent the argument?

The mythological “straw man’s” life didn’t even come from “nothing” but rather something to which people hold on to when they believe in something that can’t be nailed down. So before the next “straw man” accusation gets propped up out in the debate garden, please remember to be equal and rational with the “prove it” challenge.

Now if I could only disprove that the “straw man” even exists…wait a second, I can’t disprove something that I don’t believe in! Right?

#atheism, #debates, #evolution, #existence-of-god, #straw-man, #theology

A Thought About Prayer for the Fellows, Fellas and Guests

Here’s a thought about prayer that I thought some of you might be interested in commenting on. It comes from an outline I put together for a VBS class on Bible study and prayer.

“The single goal of prayer isn’t to gain God’s favor or God’s attention – it’s to gain the involvement of God’s will in our life and our life in the will of God.”

There’s much more to it than what may appear on the surface.

I’m not saying that prayer shouldn’t be used to ask for necessities or to cry out to God through emotional despair or even thanksgiving. I’m saying this in light of the beginning words of Jesus’ model prayer (your will be done on earth…Matthew 6:10) and Jesus’ comments on the Father already being aware of our needs (Matthew 6:8).

We have the attention of God (think John 3:16 for a moment), but the question is, “Does God have our attention when it comes to His will?”

To have our life involved in the will of God and to have the will of God involved in our life should be the primary goal of prayer, should it not? What do you think?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 – NKJV)

You make your request but you do not get it, because your request has been wrongly made, desiring the thing only so that you may make use of it for your pleasure.” (James 4:3 – BBE)

#bible-questions, #prayer, #prayer-principles, #questions-about-prayer, #spiritual-questions, #the-will-of-god, #theology

Does the church produce the Bible…Or does the Bible produce the church?

Here’s an article from the church in Wise, VA that I put in the bulletin at Keltonburg several years ago. I thought some of you might find it useful, specifically during this time of “conclave”:

Does the church produce the Bible…Or does the Bible produce the church?

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions regarding the Bible is that it is a product of the church. Many reject the Bible as our sole source of religious authority and instruction and belittle us for believing in the “Bible alone theory”. Thus, there is a great need to discuss the relationship between the Bible and the church. As always, we will appeal to the scriptures as our only source of authority and not our own wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-7).

For one to understand that the Bible is our only standard for all religious faith and practice, one must understand the church is the result of the Bible and depends on it for everything it preaches and practices. In other words, the Bible produces the church, not the other way around. We are told by some that since the “church is the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), the church itself establishes what truth is. On the contrary, truth emanates only from God (Psalm 86:11; John 1:17; 17:17). Or as Paul put it in Ephesians 3:10, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” The church, just like individuals, must appeal to the Bible as the only source of authority for it alone contains the manifold wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; Ephesians 3:3-5). Just as Moses was admonished to “make all things according to the pattern” (Hebrews 8:5); we must use the Bible alone to ensure we are following God’s revealed pattern for His church. Thus, we must speak where the Bible speaks, remain silent where the Bible is silent, do Bible things in Bible ways, and call Bible things by Bible names (1 Peter 4:11).

We read in Acts 16:5 that the “churches were established in the faith.” We would like to emphasize very kindly, yet very firmly, that the one true church is established in the faith; it does not establish the faith. The faith which is spoken of in Acts 16:5 is simply the revealed truth of the gospel which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) by the end of the first century. As beings created with rights of freedom and choice, why would anyone bind themselves to decrees, councils and conventions of men? “God forbid; yea let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). – Ryan Thomas 

#authority-of-the-scriptures, #bible, #bible-names, #catholic-doctrine, #christianity, #church, #manifold-wisdom, #religion, #theology, #truth, #wisdom-of-god

Three thoughts about God

Several items from diverse sources. First, Romans 11:22 keeps tumbling in my heart:

“Consider, then, the kindness and severity of God: his severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness toward you—if you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off” (NET).

When we don’t hold to both, we tend to bounce from one to the other. People who have been taught his severity often go to the extreme to speak only of his kindness. The whole grace-and-law discussion needs to drop back to the kindness and severity of the character of God.

Second, a little paragraph posted to my blog yesterday, on recent experience between the two of us:

When God acts, he often has to ask, “Why did you doubt, O you of little faith?” Why, indeed. Has he not promised to use his power for his people? Has he yet failed to come through?

Third, a clip from the 14th-Century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the words of Gawain to the servant guide, about the green knight:

However wild
He may be,
God can see,
God can save.

#character-of-god, #nature-of-god, #theology

Daily Nudge: God in 1 Cor — and news

What’s the best thing, in your opinion, that Paul says about God in 1 Cor.? Obviously, with my short deadline for teaching 1 Cor. and Hebrews in a few days, this is all I’m thinking about. Even my editorial yesterday came from this letter.

My desk is scattered with Bible versions, language resources, dictionaries and commentaries. Not enough room for them all.

With my nose in the books, news of the saints has escaped me. Whatcha got?

#1-corinthians, #nudge, #theology

God is at the center

The most important lesson I’ve learned thus far is that God is at the center. His sovereignty, his holiness, his power, his love, his justice, his presence are the pegs upon which we must hang the entire Christian system, the whole universe of life and stars and thought and existence.

So it is that Paul ends the great list of the seven ones: “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:6 NET).

If a doctrine, topic or subject does not have a necessary connection to the triune God, it has no place in the Christian’s teaching.

“Worship God” (Rev 22:9). Worship is a recital of God’s character and actions among man. Praise pours out the names of God, the purpose of God, the salvation of God, the answers of prayer to God.

In his first letter, John pares it down to “God is light” and “God is love.” What simplicity, what unity, what felicity of truth!

Life in Christ is lived under the protection of God, for the glory of God, devoted to the mission of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, in union with the Son of God.

We have too little studied the nature and character of God. He is far above us, far beyond us, but his revelation is sufficient for us to at least grasp at his immensity and know him intimately.

“To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim 1:7 ESV).

#god, #theology, #worship