All Christians – Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Calvinist, Arminian - agree that God elects, God calls, God foreknows, God predestines. They also agree we have to confirm it. It’s not the words that cause controversy. It’s how to understand their usage and their implications.
Peter said for Christians to equip their faith in this way: be lavish, be generous, overwhelm your faith with the following gifts that will enable your faith to flourish.
“Simon Peter, a servant (duolos) and emissary of Jesus the Anointed One, to those who have received the same precious faith we share through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus the Anointed.”
While Christianity is more than thinking rightly about God and His world - we have to live out the implications in and for our lives - it is certainly not less. Our statement of faith is meant to show the true and stable biblical foundation on which we build this church, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.
Deuteronomy 27:17 says, “Cursed is he who moves his neighbor's boundary stone.' And let all the people say, 'Amen!'“ Now, I have to admit that these boundary stone verses have been real headscratchers for me, and finding out what was behind them is what got me started on this in the first place. Why was this so important to God back then, and why is it important to us today?
Hebrews 10: 23-25- “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
So the question today is this, “Can I live my life with no regard for the glory and recognition of others, but with complete focus on faithfulness and obedience to Christ?”
The Bible contains a single, unified story. If we see the original Genesis creation and Revelation’s new creation as the ends of a bridge, and if we see the major movements of creation, fall, redemption and restoration as pillars along the way, we can use the themes we’ve discussed today to lay in the pieces that build the superstructure. Once that is in place, we should be able to take any individual story or teaching and locate it along the narrative arc and have a decent idea how that piece serves the whole.
The only reason the bible needed putting together is because we took it apart.The bible came to us as a whole, but rather than learning to see the narrative woven throughout, we disassembled it and tried to solve a puzzle of our own making. And worse, we sometimes treat the pieces as Legos – as if there are no wrong ways to put it back together.
“Let’s then go to Him outside the camp and resolve to bear the insult and abuse that He endured. For as long as we are here, we do not live in any permanent city, but are looking for the city that is to come.”