The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Was the message of God’s grace just for the “real” Christians, those who were there in the first century, those who were walking around with Jesus? In John 17:20-23 we read that Jesus prays not only for those who are with him then, but also for those who will believe in future generations. He extends the message of grace, forgiveness, and provision to every generation. How will this be shown? What will be the signs? Christians will be one. They will be one like God the Father and God the Son are one. They will have one will, one affection, one attitude.
We see divisions in the Church all the time. It’s very sad. How has this happened? As Christians have departed from the apostolic teaching, that included in Scripture, we have often failed to work out a unified position. We are often afraid to engage ideas. After all, we think, “That’s just my opinion.” Well, is it right? Is it biblical? Has it stood the test of time and doctrinal review?
The facts of God’s law, sin, grace, forgiveness, and the life of the Christian are really quite plain. They are not a matter of personal opinion. When we allow people to waffle on what is plainly articulated in Scripture we insult God. We fail to be one. Rather ironically, in our attempt to avoid disunity by allowing a wide variety of doctrinal stands, we end up creating more disunity.
I would challenge every reader, every Christian, to look seriously at the Scripture. How have the doctrines you are considering been understood by those before you? Why are there different positions? Which one stacks up to the Bible the best? It is, after all, a matter of truth. And that truth is for all generations.
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