'Theological Issues' Tagged Posts

'Theological Issues' Tagged Posts

What Did Jesus Mean by “The Broad Way?”

In the Sermon on the Mount, the broad way that leads to destruction is the external religious way. The narrow way is the way Jesus taught. This is seen particularly in the “antitheses” section in Mt. 5. For instance, the broad way is fulfilling the command, “You shall not murder,” but the narrow way is found in Jesus’ statement: “but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is guilty…” Or again, “You shall not commit adultery” is…

Is Healing in the Atonement?

It is a valid question to ask, “Is physical healing in the atonement?” The answer is, without equivocation, “Yes.” But maybe not as is commonly perceived. All good things come to the believer through Christ’s death for us. “By his stripes you are healed” in every way possible! It is judicially right that mercy is yours forever due to his death in your place. When merciful actions come to unbelievers, however, (which happens over and over again — God “sends…

Good Works Are Not Your Problem

Rather than writing off good works, the Apostle Paul considered good works and faith to be the closest of friends. The Christian life is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). In fact, Christ “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Good works are a major reason Christ died for you. Don’t think little of them. Rather, it is Mosaic Law-works (such…

Law Confusion

It is an often repeated mistake for Bible readers to assume that “the works of the Law” means any good work or act of obedience to God. However, Paul appears to mean by this term in his first century context “the externalities of the Mosaic Law”. If someone said, “You have to be circumcised to be saved, and obey Old Covenant separation laws, feast days and dietary restrictions” he would be talking about what hopeful Gentile converts in the first…

Incorporation into Christ: The Mystery in Ephesians

I was a teenager when I experienced my first revelation as a reader of Paul’s letters. It was as if Ananias had once again stepped off the street called Straight and opened my eyes. What I saw was very simple and (I have since found out) already discovered by many before me: Paul wrote very often about Jew-born and Gentile-born believers and how they become a unified church through the gospel. “So that’s why he talks so much about things…

Why Is God Angry With Us?

I have at times felt uncomfortable with the idea that God is angry at humankind. I mean that the harshness of it sometimes feels unfair. The feeling comes when I read things like the conquest of Canaan or the graphic predictions of judgments that God would bring on Israel. But most of all, eternal torment is almost impossible for me to think about without real terror and revulsion. Could anything someone does in these moments on earth deserve that? My…

How and When Will All Israel Be Saved?

And so all Israel will be saved.  Romans 11:26 This phrase has often stymied students of the New Testament, and has been a verse with many interpretations. I offer mine. To adamantly conclude that I have the right one, or even one that has not been proposed by others is presumptuous. What I’m offering is merely from my Bible reading and not from diligently studying other authors on the subject, so I could likely be repeating what another has said.…

The Law is Not My Tutor

“But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the Law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal 3:23-25) The Mosaic Law is not my tutor to bring me to faith in Christ, for two reasons: 1. I am Gentile by…

What Was Reformed in the Reformation

If one wants to know what the Protestant Reformation was all about without reading huge volumes of historical literature, it is perhaps most clarifying to look at the theological results. One should specifically note the rediscovery of five critical biblical doctrines that had been obscured from public view by the medieval version of what we now know as the Roman Catholic Church. And just so you know, Rome still either openly opposes or seriously distorts these doctrines. Using the Latin…

Speaking Biblically About the Death of Christ

Among conservative Bible-believing Christians there is often passionate resistance to the doctrines of unconditional election and the limited atonement. One reason for this, I believe, is a commendable zeal for evangelism coupled with a common misconception about the essential content of the gospel message. I think it would be fair to say that most Christians believe that preaching the gospel means saying two things to the unconverted: (1) “God loves you and wants to save you,” and (2) “Christ died…

James in the Light of Job and Abraham: An Informal Attempt to Discover A Unifying Concept

Editor’s Note: The words below this introduction came from Benjamin Elliff in two private email conversations about the book of James. They follow a fairly lame attempt on my part to put the book together on James 2:12. Neither one of us knows for sure if the idea expressed below is exactly what James had in mind when he wrote his letter, but the attempt opens the door for more discussion. The style of Benjamin’s writing is just what it…

Reading Scripture Rightly

When reading a section of Scripture, we will find that a passage almost always comes across weighted on one side of an issue or another. I mean this: a passage is written intended to drive a certain point home, aimed at a particular audience, for a specific reason by an author who knew what was needed. He drives his nail to the heart. That passage should stare at us, disturb us and call us to action and faith. We should…