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Tag Archives: Law

Strange Things and Paradoxes

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Luke tells us that the response to Jesus’ healing of the man stricken with palsy in connection with his saying that the man’s sins were forgiven was paradoxical. The scribes and Pharisees claimed that they “saw strange things today!” (Luke 5:26) The Greek word for strange things is paradoxos (G3861), from which we get our word paradox. The question is then, ‘what was the paradox that Jesus laid before the Pharisees and the doctors of the Law that they found so difficult to embrace? The healing, itself, astonished everyone—both the people and the leaders. Nevertheless, the power or authority behind the healing is what left the leaders of the people speechless and without a comfortable explanation. In fact, Mark tells us that these leaders had never seen their beliefs carried out in this fashion (Mark 2:12). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2019 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Authentic Boast

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“Before concluding his letter Paul returns once more to the antithesis of cross and circumcision, setting them forth this time as representing respectively the true and the false ground of boasting, and thus carrying a stage further his polemic against the Judaizers and their way of legal observance (Galatians 5:2-12).”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Fulfill the Law of Christ

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Christ tells us that we have responsibilities toward one another (1John 3:16). We are not on our own; Christ is with us (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). Neither are we alone with respect to one another, for we are called to come to one another’s aid (Luke 22:31-32). No man lives to himself (Romans 14:7); he has responsibilities to others, others have responsibilities toward him. In the world we are made to feel success and failure are personal matters, and each of us bears that responsibility individually or alone. This is not so in Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Walking in the Spirit

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“Walking is a metaphor used from time to time in Scripture to denote spiritual progress. People in the first century could not travel as fast as we do, with our cars, planes, trains and the like, but even so, for them as for us, walking was the slowest way of going places. But even though walking was slow and unspectacular, walking meant progress. If anyone kept walking, she or he would certainly cover the ground and eventually reach the destination. So, for the apostle walking was an apt metaphor. If any believer was walking, that believer was going somewhere.”[1] In this case, walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) meant walking in the life of Christ, the will of God. We are going somewhere in our relationship with him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Living Without License

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In Galatians 5:13 Paul addresses the Galatians as brethren, showing he doesn’t consider that they have lost their salvation, as some assume through a misapplication of Galatians 4:19. If asked if I thought the freedom we are offered in Christ was absolute or liberty in measure, I would have to say that such freedom must be absolute. Otherwise, we are not free at all. We would continue to be subject to the authority of something (or someone) else. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Galatians

 

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The Battle for the Good News

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The question at this point is: why is circumcision (or anything we do) unable to make us right with God (Galatians 5:6; cf. 3:10, 21)? Just as the wages we earn have nothing to do with being a gift we receive, so circumcision or anything we do can have nothing to do with making us right before God, because righteousness is imputed (i.e. it is a gift), and what we do looks for a wage (reward for services rendered). It is Christ who makes us righteous (through grace, a gift), and we can only trust it is so, just as we trust that any gift we receive is entirely a gift—no strings attached. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Freedom and Authority

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I may have freedom of religion while living under the authority of the American Constitution, but, if I choose to live under the authority of Iran, the American Constitution cannot profit me there, if I’m concerned about such freedom. Similarly, Christ cannot profit me, as far as freedom is concerned, if I choose to live under the Mosaic Law and trust in it for my salvation or my moral walk (Galatians 5:2). The Law doesn’t have power to give life, but it does have power to take it. Neither does the Law have power to make anyone righteous. It was never intended to have such power. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Galatians

 

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