1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Peter addresses his first epistle to the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. There is a long debate over the relationship with God’s sovereign election and mankind’s free will. A related discussion is the aspect of “foreknowledge” as helping reconcile the two. The argument goes like this: God looked into the future and saw who would believe on Jesus as savior. He then elected those persons to salvation. This is an valiant attempt to bring election and free will together, but it fails under closer scrutiny. Here’s why. Continue reading →
With the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage (marriage equality), there have been dire warnings from numerous sources heralding the negative effects of this landmark decision. Todd Starnes has outlined one in this opinion piece: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/08/11/chaplains-banned-from-preaching-that-homosexuality-is-sin.html.
Essentially, a Christian chaplain in Kentucky was told he could no longer minister to juvenile inmates because he refused to “sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is ‘sinful’”. Although the final outcome will be decided in court, this is just one example of Christians being discriminated against for not toeing the the line of political correctness. Continue reading →
Philippians 3:4-7 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
More than anyone else, the Apostle Paul could have boasted of himself. He was a “Hebrew of Hebrews” with Pharisaical training and a zeal for the law. In fact, he was “blameless” concerning the law. In addition, he was intellectually sharp and and well-respected. By his own admission, he could have had “confidence in the flesh”. But he didn’t. Continue reading →
Paul wrote this to the Roman believers and it emphasizes an important part of the Christian’s role. Every believer in Jesus Christ is called by Him. The Greek word translated “called” basically means “invited”, but within the context is better understood as “divinely appointed”. Continue reading →