Showing posts from November, 2016

Lectionary Reflection—20 November 2016

Colossians 1.11 (NLT; adapted): We also pray that you’ll be strengthened with all his glorious power so you’ll have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He’s enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he’s rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He’s the beginning, supreme over all who rise from t…

A Question…(Part 4)

I was recently asked about my view of seeing all people as God’s children. As my response became quite long, I opted to create a mini-series about it. This is Part 4. Part 1 can be found here.
God’s Promise of Rescue There are several passages in the Bible that speak of God’s promise to save “all” and restore creation. Here are but a few:
1 Tim. 2.3-6: God our savior…wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. There’s one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a payment to set all people free. (The Greek word translated here as “wants” is θέλω (thelō) and it means to exercise the will.)
1 John 2.2: He’s God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world (cf. John 1.29).
1 Tim. 4.10: We work and struggle for this: “Our hope is set on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially those who believe.”
John 12.47: “I didn’t come to judge the world but to save it.” (Jesus is …

A Question…(Part 3)

I was recently asked about my view of seeing all people as God’s children. As my response became quite long, I opted to create a mini-series about it. This is Part 3. Part 1 can be found here.
Limitation The “limitation” of belief in Christ in the New Testament, then, is tied directly to God’s coming wrath against Israel. Think of the “shadow” of the passover in Exodus—when the angel of death (or God) swept through Egypt, killing all the firstborn, he would “passover” the home that had blood on the door frame (Exodus 12). Likewise, when God’s “rod of anger” (the Romans) was used against Israel, it “passed over” those who believed in Christ. Eusebius stated that not a single follower of Jesus was killed in the war (Eusebius, Book III, 5.4).
Or think about the “shadow” of the wilderness wanderings of the Exodus. Those who moaned and complained died in the wilderness while those who remained faithful entered the promised land (Exodus 17; cf., Heb. 4). Likewise, Paul saw the time between the…

A Question…(Part 2)

I was recently asked about my view of seeing all people as God’s children. As my response became quite long, I opted to create a mini-series about it. This is Part 2. Part 1 can be found here.
Eschatology A third element to all of this, of course, is eschatology. As you know, soteriology (the study of salvation) is tied to eschatology (the study of last things) and it plays a heavy role in my understanding of the New Testament. This is a three stage process: proclamation; inauguration; establishment. Think about it like a presidential campaign: The candidate makes promises about her presidency (proclamation); she wins the election and becomes the president-elect (inauguration, though this isn’t the best word for this example; but this is the time when there are two administrations—the current one of the existing president and the soon coming one of the new president); and then, after some time, she actually becomes president (establishment). God’s Kingdom worked the same way. Starting w…

A Question…(Part 1)

A dear friend recently asked me,
What’s the scriptural basis for calling all people “God’s people”?
This is a major sticking point for many, based on the scriptures in the New Testament that seem to indicate that only believers in Christ are children of God.
It’s a great question for which I don’t have a direct answer. I’ll have to see if I can find any “proof texts” that says such (LOL)! Seriously, though, there are several different biblical themes that contribute to my belief in this so this might be a little dense and complicated (In my head, it’s a lot simpler)! To try and help with this, I’ll do a small series of posts that addresses this question.
Well, of course, there aren’t any verses that come right out and say, “all people are now God’s people because of the work of Christ.” If there were, the conversation would be over. But I see it throughout the New Testament (and even suggested in the Old Testament; e.g., Psa. 86.9) in the same way some people see Jesus “on every page of …