Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jesus redemptive focus; Prioritizing the messages of scripture

We have looked at the redemptive focus of scripture that Jesus and his apostles taught throughout the pages of the New Testament. It is apparent in John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27; 44-48 and, it is also apparent in the redefining of the term word of God that took place in the New Testament scriptures. This phenomena should be used to justify the idea that there must be a prioritizing of the scripture messages. In the past, we have said that there are essentially three types of messages. Passages that point to humanities need for redemption… God’s redemptive decrees… and reasonable service instructions and, we have shown through Paul’s writings that, the flow must be need (humanities sinfulness) à rest (the Sabbath Rest Hebrews 4:9-11 or, resting in the redemptive decrees) à reasonable service instructions (instructions answer the question how then shall we live.)
Again, let’s look at the redemptive decrees. How can we define them? They are promises of redemption that, if they are altered by other passages of scripture in any way, they lose their actual plain and common sense meaning. For example: John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (18) "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
What does it mean to believe in him? It is best summed up in the amplified bibles definition of believe. Here is John 3:16 in he amplified bible; For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” This is a classic example of a redemptive decree and to alter it in any way would destroy God’s faithfulness. Redemption is predicated upon these decrees and not the reasonable service instructions. Therefore, the redemptive decrees must have priority. They are the ground for saving faith…saving belief… that is, trusting in, clinging to and relying on Jesus and his redemptive acts. They are also the catalyst for the transformation. They create the transformation from peace with God and love for God.
The redemptive decrees are the source of peace with God. God made peace with humanity via Jesus Christ and his cross. Eph 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, and… Col 1:20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. It is the peace and rest with God and his redemptive decrees that is the source for love for God and, love for God is the source of spiritual transformation.

1 comment:

  1. John 3:16 is my favorite scripture in the entire Bible. I really love the Amplified version of that scripture. It breaks it down so well. I believe (and this is my belief) that John 3:16 is the glue that holds the rest of the word together.

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