Getting to the Core

An introduction to Jesus is not an introduction to Judaism. If that sticks in our throat we cannot be expected to always pick a winner. Not even a radically transformed Mosaic economy does any justice to Abraham’s historic faith and justification without law and works.

Our centre stage is the cross

We have no law, prophets and writings. All we have is gospel whose beginning and end is Christ. The law, through the thousands of years it was Israel’s pride, produced no children of God, but the gospel, on the first day in the life of the church, made 3000 persons heirs of the kingdom, complete with a downpayment.

Let’s get the main objection to the Cross out of the way. James (see 1:25 and 2:8), an avowed Pharisee and disciple of Moses calls the decalogue royal and liberating, turns out to be the only witness in the New Testament who lends lip service to Christ as Saviour, and is out on a limb as surely as Esau was hated (not chosen). He is silent on the saving grace of God to which John, Peter, and Paul have consistently pointed us.

James would be the kind of person one would eexpect in modern times to insist that one learns everything about the law before one can become a disciple of Jesus. That is a pathway that the church soundly rejected.

If someone is saying that he wants to introduce you to Christ why would that person try to teach you everything about the Christ (and God in the Bible!) when in fact you are safer when you are in Jesus’ care and have the Holy Spirit as Helper who alone is able to guide us into all truth?

Maybe the rationale is that there is nothing to learn after one meets Jesus. That falls through the cracks. Could it be that one is complete and mature upon meeting Christ and there is no growth possible neither in grace nor knowledge? Of course not! These two scenarios are classic brainwashing techniques.

Beware of the Pharisee. His convert-making has one result: more kids for hell-fire. Hear Yeshua in Matthew 23:15 making it clear what pretenders do to their disciples.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Spiritual skulduggery

Thursday October 25 2018

I am sure you have heard the scriptures read in public – in church- and wondered what happened, due to the reader’s many stumbles? Or perhaps you’ve heard an assembly reading at the same time from 5 or six different English translations. When Paul encouraged to Timothy to give attention to reading he was not talking about private reading or study. In those days the public reading of the Scriptures was essential so that the entire body of witness could be heard by all. This was no different from Jewish practice. The learned read and the unlearned listened (and committed to memory).

Listening, reading and writing are intended to elicit thinking not mere haste to say “Been there, done that!”. Any hurry to click “got it” ends in disasters, such as answering questions that do not exist or something like making majors of minors

No founding apostle made his mark apart from accurately handling the message (orally delivered by Yeshua and later committed to writing).

Consequently there is no New Testament hymn to ignorance or death. God wanted us literate and hospitable. Attentive listeners become expert reciters, and in due course reciters become readers and exegetes themselves. So let us read our Bibles in pursuit of Christ because once we have drunk the living water our search changes. We will have changed.

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Getting the Message

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