Monday, November 26, 2007

did God really say?

There is at least one time in Scripture when it says that God left so and so to test what was in that person's heart. I think there are times in our lives when it just seems that God's way is not the right way for us, or that God didn't really mean what he said. This has been one of the biggest and hardest lessons in my own life- especially as a younger Christian- though sometimes true now, to really believe and live like God's word found in Scripture, is true- and that God means what he says. I don't mean here in little areas that we might misunderstand, but in big areas where there is no misunderstanding.

"Did God really say...? echoes the serpent's voice to Eve in the Garden. We know that Eve listened to the serpent's voice, and so oftentimes like ourselves, was deceived, sinned, then paid the price- and it was a big one with consequences for us all- even as our sins never affect only ourselves. Notice that the serpent was twisting God's word here, so we must beware of that as well. It may be as in "Yes, this is important, but really you can have what you want and in the end have heaven too. After all, you know God wouldn't deny you of what is really good, and of what you need and must have!"

One of the biggest deceptions that I think is common today is that we'll be better off if we sin because God's grace will be there, we'll be forgiven, and we'll have gotten what we want. This is playing with fire since, though I believe in God's ongoing sustaining redemptive grace, in which he does call us to repentance, to sin is to venture down a path of deception with an accompanying hardness of heart; in other words the danger of being confirmed in our own way.

We're called in Jesus to watch out for ourselves and for each other (book of Hebrews, etc.). And let's concentrate on living as if, through faith- whether we feel like that's the case or not- that God's word and every word of it is true. And that we choose to remain in the Jesus way in it. And let's pray and help others to be there with us. After all we do need each other in our dependence on God.

What have you found out about this, with reference to "Did God really say?" Or anything else related.


odysseus said...

This is such a big issue for me, right now. I am taking the Education for Ministry courses through my church in preparing for the diaconate and over and over again, I am challenged by what they state in those courses. It seems that 'did God really say?' is one of their favorite things. I find it difficult for several reason but mostly because it goes against almost everything that I have learned over the past 20 some-odd years. But what I find most helpful is that during those times of confrontation, I am driven back to the Bible; back to my other commentaries and study tools. There are times that I have to recant because it turns out that God really did say such and such. However, more times than not, I have found this is not the case. I may not like the confrontation initially, but I am thankful for it in the long run because it causes me to find out what God really said. And to me, that's whats important.

Peace be with you.

+ OD

Kim said...

Ted, I am struggling somewhat with what I am learning about the "emerging church" and what (I think are) the extreme edge of it believes and doesn't believe.

I think (some parts of) the emerging church would say that the inerrancy of Scripture is a relatively new concept, that the authoring of Scripture by God is problematic and that the humanity of Jesus is much more important than His deity.

Given all that, I think they might respond that it doesn't really matter if God did or didn't say this or that.

I'm wondering what your take is...
Peace, Kim

Anonymous said...

the verse of the day at bible gateway today is Hebrews 12:28. as i read your blog, i returned to the site and looked closer at chapter 12 of Hebrews.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Interesting. It's interesting how Christians disagree on what is essential or important. As well as various interpretations.

It would be interesting to see what you're getting at, as to examples.

I know in seminary I was taken back here and there, but it was good for me, stretching, and really better in viewing such matters, I think.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I think most in the "emerging church" or in the "emerging conversation" are evangelicals in their background who are committed both to Scripture and to Christian orthodoxy. I think most all the leadership, when one hears them out, is sound in the faith- though there have been exceptions, but they are exceptions. I do think you'll find young voices in these fellowships questioning everything. They are finding a safe place to question, but the fellowships they're a part of are for the most part clearly committed to Christian orthodoxy.

There are those who seem to want to water down propositional truth, though actually propostional truth should be seen in the context of story and of God's people living out that story, right up to the present day, in Jesus.

As for things you mention, inerrancy is a strange word if you compare our concept of it to people of Bible times. I beleive and most every emergent believes Scripture is the word of God and Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is human and God; I don't think hardly any emergent Christians would question that.

Ted M. Gossard said...

A great passage from a great book. I've always, or at least for quite awhile- liked Hebrews. And that chapter is magnificient.

preacherman said...

vI think we are to live the faithful life that God has called us to live. We throw off everything everything that hinders would be the sin that we struggle with in this life which would go back to the garden and all the curses. We need to break free of the curses in the name of Jesus. Live free. Understand that Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin and dead. Those curses we set them free in the name of the Holy Spirit.
We give our problems, sins to God. We leave it there. We leave it to Him in Vs. 2. Heb 12:2. Leave at the foot of the cross. We think we have to fix things on our own; but we don't. God wants us to leave it with him. Throw off everything & the sin that so easily entangles. Then the key for us ask Christians is to focus on Jesus.

We need to understand the Church is going to change. It changed over time and will change over time. Some change is good. Some change is bad. If we are changing just to change that is bad. If we are changing to be missional that I believe is a good thing. I think the Church needs to be more mission minded. So let us focus on Jesus and do His will. Let us be disciples and follow Him.

Let us be strive to be one and let us strive to be more mission minded.

L.L. Barkat said...

One reason we sometimes get caught, I suppose, is because we don't really know what God did say, is saying. From there, it's not so hard to be taken in a questionable direction.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Great words for us; good counsel. Thanks!

Ted M. Gossard said...

A msot excellent point.

Yes, we just don't know, because we're not in the word of God or in an interactive relationship with God and with the people of God in Jesus. We need all of that if we're to really know and understand for life what God really did say.

Thanks for bringing that up. And I look forward to your book coming, I think, in March. I hope to be among its very first readers- and I hope there's alot of them.