When Paul says that we are saved by “the faith of/in Jesus Christ,” what does he mean? Paul believed this faith was a faith that tore down walls, not a faith that built walls up. Paul believed this faith removed the demarcations that had divided the community, instead of being a faith that further splintered communities. This was not any faith, this was the faith of Jesus Christ – it is the Lord’s faithfulness that offers righteousness and claims us as God’s children.
Achsah is a little known woman, who was given as a spoil of war by her father to be the wife of her uncle. Yet, even in a world where she was wanted only for her beauty, she persisted to stand up for herself that she could share in the care of God’s creation.
Our nature is to read what makes us feel good about our faith. We stop reading when we feel like we’ve got our life right with God, and skip the hard texts that teach true holiness. This is one of those texts, which calls us to more than just a ‘personal relationship with God.’
Paul makes a compelling argument that if you’re going to live by the law, you will be held accountable to all the laws. Or, you can live by Christ. Is it really that simple?
It’s one thing to know the biblical text. It’s another to be willing to follow it without question. How often do we engage in theological debate simply to avoid share love with those we choose to hate?
There is an ancient debate in the religious community that pits the law against God’s grace. Which is more important? Is the law still important given Christ’s sacrifice? John Wesley tackles these hard questions in this sermon.
The words of Christ do not allow us to write off reconciliation for long simply because the ideal isn’t possible. We have to own our messes, and seek to engage in the forgiving grace of God’s love.