Posts for November 2010
3 Posts found

John 9.1-7 – God’s purposes
Posted: 21 November 2010 in John

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

The meaning of verse 3 above is clear enough. The man was born blind so that God could by glorified through his healing. And yet at least one commentary in my possession makes the bald assertion that it does not at all mean that. It is easy to understand why it disturbs that somebody’s disability could, according to this verse, be the result of God’s foreordination. But it is nevertheless a besetting sin of modern man to imagine that he can sit in judgment upon God, and try to insist that God must think as he thinks.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55.8-9)

A theme running throughout the Bible is that God’s purpose in Creation is that it should glorify him, and that he governs it with that end in view. The blind man is therefore not consulted as to whether or not he wishes to be healed. Instead he is simply healed, thereby fulfilling his vocation to glorify God.

No comments

Matthew 16.24-28 – Servants of Christ
Posted: 15 November 2010 in Matthew

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

The Bible is full of hard truths, and here is another one. If we would be Christ’s servants, we must lose our lives, in the sense of handing them wholly over to him, so that he can do with them as he wishes. We will have to go wherever he leads, and the service of God will not be something we do whenever we have a spare five minutes. Truly being Christ’s servants will mean we are no more free to pursue our own desires or ambitions than were medieval slaves.

How many of us today are prepared to have our lives as wholly owned by God as was Paul’s after his conversion?

No comments

Proverbs 21.30
Posted: 2 November 2010 in Proverbs, Scripture

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD

The thing which struck me about that verse is how freely it is ignored today. You might expect that atheists would sit as light to it as they do any other part of the Bible, but all over the web you can find professing Christians doing the same thing. If there is some part of God’s self revelation they don’t like, at best they might ignore it, and at worst they will feel free to lecture God about his misdemeanours, and how this is no fitting way for a well behaved deity to conduct himself.

A typical example involves telling God that he can’t consign anybody to eternal punishment, because they don’t think he should. As laudable as the sentiment behind that may be, the Bible says what it says, and if somebody is really serious about embracing it as the word of God, they must accept what it says – whether they like it or not.

The more sophisticated amongst them might try to give the Greek word κόλασις a creative reinterpretation, but any lexicon, which is not being made to say what they want it to say, will soon reveal “punishment” to be an accurate translation.

No comments