The Apostle Paul uses some strong and morbid language to describe how sinful we are. Can we really say that we are in a body of death? Can we really say that we are a wretch? What does this mean and why is the Gospel so marvelous?
God is sovereign and He is the standard of mercy. If God is merciful and sovereign then why does Christ have to suffer the way that he did? How come God did not just overlook our offense? If God is that serious about justice then how can we be assured we stand a chance to enter glory?
The Apostle Paul tells us that living according to the flesh is a bad thing. It means we are either relying on ourselves or we are pursuing sin. So, Paul goes on to say that Christ took on the flesh. If the flesh is bad then how is Christ’s taking on the flesh a good thing? Is Paul contradicting himself or is there another usage of the flesh in Paul’s letters?
We build on the notion that we are adopted as sons of the living God. You would think that if we are adopted as sons that we would be equal to Christ. How can we be called co-heirs with Christ Jesus, but still call Christ our Lord?
There are two motivations or orientations to consciously living out our faith. The first way is living as a slave which results in our being afraid of God. This is not necessarily far off the mark as the Apostle Paul does speak of us as being slaves of righteousness in Romans 6. Paul himself is a slave of Christ as he opens the book of Romans. However, the other way to live out the call of the Gospel is as a son. Why would Paul make a distinction between sonship and slavery if he identifies himself as a slave of Christ?
When we talk about the work of Christ we can talk about Christ securing us, or Christ redeeming us, or Christ paying the debt so we can be righteous. However, is the work of Christ complete enough to save us until the end? How do we know that we will partake of Christ’s work making Christ’s work our work?
One of the main consequences of the fall is that we do not want God to rule over us. We might think that God’s ruling over us is going to limit our fun, our joy, and our contentment in this life. However, what if God’s ruling over us by his providence actually secures our fun, our joy, and our contentment? How do we find contentment in the Lord as he rules over us?
The Lord rules over this creation and over this world. When we survey this creation and different challenges that we face in our day to day lives we might question the Lord’s competence. There is unrest, turmoil, and there is trouble in this world so why do we want our God to be sovereign? It would seem better if we could try out hand at ruling the world. So, why is it a good thing that God is sovereign and we are not sovereign?
Christians are very familiar with Hebrews 11 which is sometimes called the “Heroes of the faith.” There is no doubt that they suffered on account of their convictions, but what moved them? Is the point that they believed or is the point that they walked in the faith? What does it mean that they walked in the faith?
The Apostle Paul uses this strange language that Christ was made sin. How can a holy God be made sin? Is the Apostle Paul just trying to shock us for no reason? Is Paul laying out some sort of heresy? What can the Apostle possibly mean by this language?