Romans 6:1-7 (NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
The Apostle Paul captures the life, death, and the majesty of Christ poetically with just seven verses in Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV). Continue reading
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way (Isaiah 53:6). This is the spiritual state of the world. We are all prone to wander. What causes us to wander away from God and how does God seek to reclaim his own?
Walter Brueggemann makes a case for God’s people to recapture the prophetic imagination of God’s prophets. He calls us to recapture it because we are encapsulated by our surrounding, dominant, and pervasive culture. Starting with Moses he demonstrates to the reader how God’s people are to be a part of an alternative community. Moses was not simply interested in social justice but he was preaching a message that ushered in God’s re-creation. The Israelites had been enslaved so long that they did not know an alternative to their way of life as slaves.
One of the most important discoveries for me was the theological concept of imputed righteousness. When I was a preaching intern, I was instructed to write an essay on the topic. This teaching has tripped up many a Restorationist. I have had discussions with church members and ministers about the unearned nature of salvation and the way in which we are made righteous. After describing imputed righteousness, it is usually followed up with a “but.” The conversation then transitions to our need for obedience and if a person can lose their salvation.
“For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” – Acts 9:3
Saul, better known as Paul, persecuted Christians. He was zealous for it and he was really good at it. He was following a lead which took him toward Damascus. But his plans were interrupted. Read Acts 9:1-19
Jesus stopped him in a flash, with a blinding flash of light from heaven. Saul, a man who thought he saw the will of God clearly, was now blind.
In his state of blindness Saul prayed and fasted for three days. What Saul experienced, there was no denying it – there was no denying that Jesus was the Risen Lord.
Read Exodus 1-5
I love the humanity of the scriptures. In what appears to be good luck, or rather for the believer, divine intervention, Moses is given a great childhood and upbringing in Pharaoh’s household while being cared for by his own mother. Incredible. Moses grows up with a sense of justice for his relatives, the Hebrew people, and tries to take matters into his own hand by stepping in to rescue a slave by killing the Egyptian who is beating him. He seems so brave, or impulsive and reckless. I see him already filled with rage at the treatment of his own people. It’s been building up and comes to a boiling point that day.