Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reading Scripture in larger context

Something is definitely lost when we read Scripture in short bites or proof texts rather than seeing the entire thought patterns that lay out over an entire chapter or a few chapters.

I know many proof texts that are rightly quoted from the pulpit, but are never seen in their greater context meaning.  When you read those in the paragraph where they were born, they burst with meaning.

There are several such salvation theology verses in Romans.  I challenge you to read chapters 1-3 altogether sometime.  You will see popularly quoted verses, but what you will see more is an amazing picture of salvation by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law or grace:

Chap. 1 - The wickedness of the wicked before God

Chap. 2 - The wickedness of the self-righteous law keepers before God

Chap. 3 - The wickedness of everyman before God; righteousness apart from the law; justification by faith

What an exciting and faith-building read these three chapters are!  What joy they bring to the heart of someone clinging to faith in Jesus Christ alone.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Drawing a New Image of God

I am meditating on Romans 1 this morning and thinking back through the "timing" of this chapter.  It seems to be both a history of mankind's plunge into idolatry as well as the present direction of "everyman".

God has glory.  God makes every man able to see that incorruptible, holy glory.  Man (the majority) re-draw God into a image of something they can understand - something that makes them comfortable.  An idol.

These idols of course are not always physical like a statue.  They are creations of the "god" that we want.  Rather than His scriptural image, we make Him what best suites our thoughts, personalities, lifestyles.

The penalty for such counterfeiting of God is v.26:  God gives us over to uncleanness.

Knowing this danger, I would think that each one of us needs to be careful of our image of God and reexamine whether we are relating to Him as He truly is, or how we have drawn Him.