I wonder if those guys who chopped the Bible up into chapters and verses had any clue of the potential negative aspect of that project?

cut-and-paste1Obviously their efforts make it easier for us to find stuff (Bible quizzing would be rather difficult with chapter/verse structure, for instance).

But it also eases the opportunity to yank things out of context (Phil 4.13 and Matt 6.33 for examples)

But methinks the most dangerous and destructive example is found in what we designate Ephesians 2.8-10.

As a reminder…here is 2.8,9:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Wondrous truth! Glorious verses!

And they are all about God, His working, His “part” if you will.

Then comes verse 10:

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Oops! Now it’s about me…my responsibility to cooperate and activate what God has given me.

It’s that offensive, to many, word:  w o r k s

People who have been converted out of “works-based-salvation” churchs (Catholicism, various “protestant” churches) appear paranoid about linking works to salvation in any way.

But…grace works.

And that’s still not us, because “it is God who is at work within you both to desire to do and to do His good pleasure.”

Or, to put it another way (since are are to “examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith”):

“No fruit, no shoot, no root.”

 

>Could be most important 3 minutes and 28 seconds of your life:

>http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1433501295&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrYes, I realize some people have “issues” with Mark Driscoll (is it not amazing how much more we expect of other people than we expect of ourselves?)…but this 3 minutes plus video is a crisp, clean, complete presentation of the gospel…refresh yourself with it, examine yourself by it, and share it with others:

>Christian Faith ‘Born in Violence’

>“The cross is practical, it is God moving in love to meet violent men and women, facing violence and suffering for us.  Your faith was born in violence.  The Christian is not scared when the whole world is shaking.  Your faith was born on Calvary.  It can stand anything.  It is an all-weather faith.

Don’t imagine you can only be a Christian when everything is smooth.  Christians shine better when everything is just the opposite.  Your faith was born in blood and sweat in the loneliness of Calvary.  You can stand any test.”

Bishop Festo Kivengere, 
When God Moves in Revival, An outstanding African speaks to American Christians

>Who Killed the Son of God?

>Good Friday 2011 is a vague memory..but we dare not forget the Cross…and if God is sovereign (and He is), you can not argue this insight (though it’s trendy to try to water this truth down with human “christianized” psychology):


“The most important question of the twenty-first century is: Why did Jesus Christ suffer so much? But we will never see this importance if we fail to go behind the human cause. The ultimate answer tohttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=158134788X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr the question, Who crucified Jesus? is: God did. It is a staggering thought. Jesus was his Son. And the suffering was unsurpassed. But the whole message of the Bible leads to this conclusion.”
— John Piper

>The -ations of the Cross

>Good stuff to contemplate this Easter morning from JARED WILSON

No, not the stations. The -ations.

Mediation — There is a gulf between us and God, held in tension by his justified wrath owed to us for our sin. At the cross, the sinless Christ does the work of mediation both necessary and ordinarily impossible.

Condemnation — The mediator must accept the place of the guilty in order to exchange his innocence. Therefore he goes to the cross willingly, because it is the foreordained place of condemnation where we all belong. He becomes the substitute condemned and takes on the condemnation.

Propitiation — A blood debt is owed, legally speaking, because without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. But we cannot make this payment because we have no currency with which to do so. We are morally bankrupt, every last one of us. So at the cross, Christ makes this payment with the riches of himself, supplying his life to take the debt upon himself and thereby satisfying the law’s demands. God’s wrath is thereby appeased.

Imputation — By propitiating the debt of sin, he takes it off of the condemned onto himself as he becomes the condemned on the cross, but in doing that, he conveys his innocence to those actually guilty. He who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. His righteousness is imputed to us; this means that we are counted righteous despite our sin.

Expiation — But Jesus doesn’t stop there. With his life given sacrificially on the cross, he doesn’t just take on our debt, he eradicates it completely. He takes it upon himself like the scapegoat to carry our sins into the void. Another way to say this is that Jesus’ work on the cross doesn’t just reckon us righteous, it actually makes us righteous.

Sanctification
— An ongoing work of the Spirit, to be sure, but thanks to Christ’s expiating work on the cross, we are also declared sanctified on the cross, which is to say, cleansed by his blood. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

Justification — Nearly all of Christ’s crosswork put together merits what we receive through faith: right standing before God. Because of the cross, we for whom there was no justification are now justified.

Reconciliation
— And since we are justified before God, we are reconciled to him. The gulf is bridged, the wrath appeased, the debt canceled and cast into the void, the soul cleansed. Christ’s wide-open arms at the cross reveal to us the means of the Father embracing his once-lost children. Through the cross, Christ reconciles us to God. (Colossians 1:20)

Nations
— Who is Christ’s crosswork for, exactly? (1 John 2:2)

>Heart of the Gospel

>The Cross of Christ is the heart of the Gospel. It takes the entire Bible to explain it. All our teaching must relate to that like all the spokes and rim and tires of a wheel relate to the axis. Jesus is the center, the pivot. Everything else will fit into place around Jesus. Indeed the entire word of God revolves around Him. If Christ is not the hub the wheel will wobble and break.

Reinhard Bonnke