Posted by: Terry | May 18, 2013

What did Jesus say?

Recently I heard a speaker say that “Jesus never told us to agree with him” but that he just wanted us to act like him by loving others. The longer I think on this the more uncomfortable it makes me. It moved me to ask, “What did Jesus say?”. 2 John says that, “Anyone who does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God.” So knowing what he taught must be important, agreeing with what he taught would be implicit.

The speaker encouraged us to read Acts in support of his message that imitating Jesus’ love for others was what mattered the most. Yet as I read Acts a far different message comes through. Peter’s first message was clearly different, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” This is the theme of every message in the book of Acts, dissimilar to what the speaker suggested.

Now I am faced with a second question, “When did we stop preaching that Jesus is the Messiah as the first priority?” It appears that the order of priority in the Bible is

  1. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel… “ (2 Timothy 2.8)
  2. “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Peter 1.15)
  3. “As I (Jesus) have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13.34)

The reverse order has a nice sound, yet it would be possible to make an effort to love and miss the first two.

So I am on a quest, first to catalogue the message of the early church, then the message of the prophets since they are the texts that the early preachers preached from, and then the actual teachings of Christ. More posts to follow I would think.

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Responses

  1. This is good. Sending it on the my bible study. They have been missing “Tea With God” Mom

  2. Regarding all those who have lived, and those who are alive today, who had/have no knowledge of Christianity. What does this mean for them?
    Terry, your posts keep me thinking, reading, seeking, always.

  3. Deb, that question of course is one that many have pondered. Three thoughts come to mind.
    The first one is what perspective are we going to look at the question from,a human point of view or attempt to see it from God’s. The question is not so much have they had a knowledge of Christianity, but have they acknowledged God as creator and Lord? Have they worshipped the creator or the creation. Then sense the conclusion is that no one has done that, then all are guilty.

    If God is fair and just he will judge rightly. We may feel that all should be given a second chance, but it is just as logical to conclude that there is no compelling reason why any at all should be given any mercy. The fact that God worked in history to offer mercy to any is humbling for sure.

    And lastly no one is ever judged on wether or not they embraced Christianity, they are judged on wether or not they worshipped God as creator and Lord. In fact we are told that the standard God uses to judge is not the Bible or the Ten Commandments, etc. it is a persons own standard that they judge other people with; do we even live up to our own standards? The obvious conclusion is that I criticize and condem people for the same things I do myself; God would then be just in saying you are guilty of your own standards let alone his.

    If God simply ignored the wrong in the world what kind of god would that be? No accountability for wrong, evil, etc. So fairness says there must be justice. This is the wonder of the idea of justification, God is able to pronounce those who are guilty as not guilty, not because he ignores what they have done, but because of what Christ did. It is trusting in the substitutionary work of Christ that brings that justification, not embracing a doctrine or system of thinking.


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