The Just Shall Live by Faith – or by His Faithfulness?

I often get told that theology is not really important and I should rather focus on application. Sure, I can’t expect everyone to be a theologian, but I’ like you all to recognise that the way you interpret the bible DOES have an effect on your walk as a Christian.

I often heard from Christians that “the bible says this and that”. But in reality they simply read their ideas into the scriptures. Noone should make such a claim. Various churches teach it various ways. But if you get it wrong, will it not affect your conduct, your walk with God? You might do something that is actually forbidden.

You see, faulty theology leads to a false sense of security. Digging into the text HAS applications to everyday living. If, for example, it turned out that “faith” was a doing word rather than head knowledge, many Christians would find themselves in trouble. Sure, Martin Luther read in Romans that “the just shall live by faith”, but he didn’t check where the idea originates from in the Hebrew bible (OT) and whether it was correctly translated.

Son of God or Adamic Christology – Phil 2:6-11

I thought I need to write out something to explain the problems with the Kenosis theory.

I suppose you are aware that theologians often speak about the Kenosis (Gk for “emptying”) of the preincarnate Christ in the Philippian passage.

Phil 2:
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

However, if you search, you find many opinions in regards to what Christ emptied himself from. Was it his deity, will or something else? There is a lot of debate going on between the theologians of various Christian denominations, just google for “kenosis” to see it for yourselves.

The Gospel and Jesus Christ

In the previous post we have seen that the gospel (that is “good news”) is identified, for example, by Mark:

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

The message, that “the Kingdom of God is near”, therefore, is THE GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS – and everything else is commentary.

Of course, you will find people that claim that there is more than one gospel, such as

1. the gospel of the Kingdom
2. the gospel of Christ

Their claim, however, cannot stand because you can clearly see from the verses quoted in the initial post that the gospel of the Kingdom IS the gospel of God, which was preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, the disciples and the apostles and also Paul, and it is also called the gospel of Christ. There is no other gospel. It is about God bringing about the Kingdom preceded by His judgment upon the world, from which judgment sinners had to be saved from, hence the urgency of the message.

Doing Good or Not Doing Bad – what is good?

Christians don’t do bad things. At least they shouldn’t. If they do they should repent and make retribution. Repentance without retribution is not genuine. It is self-deception. If one robs his neighbour he cannot repent unless he restores what was stolen. Retribution is a must. He cannot keep the stolen goods.

Thoughts on Romans 8:1-4 – there is no condemnation

Let me spare a few thoughts on the above passage. These little essays are not intended to indoctrinate, but to challenge to critical thinking. Whether I am right or not is not important.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh…