So often when people hear about the Gospel they accuse Christianity of being an easy believes. The perception is sometimes given that you just believe the gospel and then living life is a life that is lived for self rather than out of gratitude. However, there is another perception that we have to show we are worthy to receive the grace of God. How do we take the commands in Scripture seriously without making the Gospel a burden?
The goal of the Christian life is to make it to the end of the age without turning from the Lord. How can we do this, and what assurance do we have that our Sabbath rest is worthwhile?
We can learn a lot from tradition and from many who have gone before us. We can learn because they are people who have had struggles, setbacks, and experienced success like we have. We can learn how to cope in each of these situations from the generations before us. However, Job does not seem that persuaded by the generations who have gone before him. In fact, Job pretty much rebukes the counselors for listening to wisdom that is traditional for them. What is Job’s problem? Why does Job seem to doubt the credibility of wisdom and those who have gone before him?
The story of Job opens with a man who is righteous, fears God, and turns from evil. This is a man who lives out the wisdom of the gospel as he even sacrifices a burn offering in case one of his children cursed God in their heart. This is a man who is worthy of blessing and a man who deserve blessing from the hand of God. So, what sort of wisdom is being communicated to us when Job receives the exact opposite of what he deserves? What is the driving force of Job’s suffering? Does Job really love God because of who God is or does Job love God because of what God can do for Job?
Jacob is an elderly man on his death bed. His favored son Joseph makes it easy for Jacob to bless his grand children by arranging them in their proper place. Joseph knows that the older is to receive the greater blessing and the younger is to receive the inferior blessing. Jacob, a supplanter schemer, places his right hand on the younger and his left on the older. Why does this offend Joseph? What does this communicate about Jacob’s heart condition?
We can be very frustrated at times because it seems like the Lord is not hearing our prayers. We might be asking for something that we desire, but the Lord might not be giving us what we want. Why would the Lord withhold good things from his children? How can we find contentment in times of want? How can we have an attitude before the Lord that is pleasing and honorable to Him?
James desires us to see and believe that God is the giver of all good things. This might sound strange considering that James just talked about the suffering that we will endure in this life. Why is it so important to see that God is good? Do we vainly hope that God is good or is there another issue and problem that we need to own which prevents us from seeing God’s goodness?
Paul tells us that Godliness is a mystery in 1 Timothy 3:16. Saying that Godliness is a mysteryis a pretty profound statement because Paul is encouraging Timothy to stand against agitators in Ephesus. How can such a statement encourage Timothy? How can such a statement help Timothy refute the false teaching that is entering the church? So, what happens if we lose sight of Christ being our life blood and nourishing us in our redemption? What happens if we fail to see that Godliness is a mystery?
The apostle Paul has exhorted the church to use the law of God in a lawful manner. How do we know if we are using the law of God lawfully? How do we grow in our Christian life if Paul himself states that Godliness is a mystery? If it is a mystery how do we know if we are growing?
There are many things in this life that can upset us and even overwhelm us. Peter affirms the reality of the hardship in the Christian life as he tells us that we have our own struggles, the world, and Satan is out to destroy us. These things make it pretty difficult for us to maintain a positive outlook in our perseverance. So, how do we know that we will arrive at the goal of heaven? Where do we turn in our darkest moments? Where is our hope in this Christian life?