This aspect can’t be left out of the gospel

I recently saw a church sign that read:

“The Gospel in Six Words: God Loves, We Fail, God Forgives.”

I believe I understand the point the sign is trying to make. The world needs to know about God’s love! After all, God’s love is the root of John 3:16. And you can’t have the gospel without that! So to that extent it’s a good sign.

But if I were to describe the gospel in six words, I believe I would have to include an aspect that appears to get left out quite often in modern theology:

“God Commands, We Fail, God Forgives.”

God forgives because we fail, but the concept of our failure is not based on God’s love – the concept of our failure is based on the giving of God’s command. It is this failure in particular that necessitates God’s forgiveness. God’s law precedes our failure and then our failure is followed by an opportunity to find forgiveness (1 John 3:4-5).

Whether we’re talking about Eden, Calvary or Heaven, access to the tree of life revolves around the existence of a command, a failure and a second chance.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” … So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. … And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-7, 15)

#basic-principles-of-the-gospel, #commandments, #whole-counsel-of-god

If you don’t want to hear it, then I don’t want to hear it from you

If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to the consequence of sins such as homosexuality and fornication, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to God’s forgiveness of sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:3-7).

If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to women and their role in public worship, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to the role of pastors and deacons (1 Corinthians 14:34-37, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).

If you don’t want to hear what the apostle Paul taught when it comes to baptism and salvation, then I don’t want to hear you talking about what he said when it comes to salvation and our confession (Romans 6:1-5, Romans 10:8-10). Continue reading

#doctrine, #liberal-inconsistency, #rejecting-pauls-words, #whole-counsel-of-god

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(#39) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:14-Advice on “Advice”

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

If by “counsel” one means advice, then more than one opinion is necessary for leadership to succeed. Government by only one opinion is destined to fail. The Israelites split their kingdom into North and South when Solomon died, and his son, Rehoboam, rejected the advice of the elders who had advised Solomon, and instead, heeded the advice by those who were his same age and inexperience (1 Kings 12:1-17). Even personally, decisions should be made with extra information involved from a proper source. Let’s not forget this is a Book of Proverbs of Solomon to whom God’s Wisdom had been given!

Other proverbs uphold this wisdom: “Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22); “Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war” (Proverbs 20:18); “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 24:6). Our plans fail “without counsel,” and no one should “wage war” without “wise counsel.” Some try to live completely free of “wise counsel,” and their lives end in wreck and ruin. Some try to rule by war “without counsel,” that is, impulsively, without considering from where the money or manpower will come, or having a strategy to win. The idea of a “multitude of counselors” simply emphasizes the need for considering all sources of knowledge possible before making the decision. A good way to lose a fight is to not observe and know your enemy!

There is a reason we need “second opinions:” when one doctor diagnoses a serious illness; or we are buying a vehicle; or choosing clothes; or making financial decisions; or choosing school classes. The reason is: they can give us information we may not know. This is the very reason we should turn to God’s Word and use every principle or recommendation of His we can apply. Under Moses’ Law, God decried the condition of His people when, as a nation, they became “void of counsel,” “without understanding,” who needed to be “wise” (Deuteronomy 32:28-29). Under Jesus Christ’s Law, the Apostle Paul said to the Elders of the Ephesian church of Christ, “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). This is always needed, not just “in church,” but throughout society, as well!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#advice, #bible-study, #counsel, #multitude-of-advisers, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #second-opinions, #whole-counsel-of-god, #wisdom, #wise-counsel