Monday, August 9, 2010

Sinners in the hands of a confused church, Part 2

So here are some of the problems we encounter with this simplified version of the gospel?

It doesn’t play out in the whole of scripture. Consider:

  • Jesus with rich young man: Matt 19; Mark 10; Luke 18
YM: What must I do to inherit eternal life?
JC: obey the law
YM: I have done that.
JC: You are only missing one thing, sell all you have and give to the poor and then come follow me.

  • Jesus with Nicodemus: John 3
N: Teacher, I know you have come from God
JC: No one will ever see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
N: How?
JC: He must be born of Water and spirit, not the flesh.
N: I don’t understand.
JC: Nic, you know God sent me, put your belief in ME.

  • Jesus and Samarian Woman: John 4
JC: can you get me some water?
SW: Excuse me, is a Jew asking me for water?
JC: If you knew what was really happening here you would ask me for water and I would give you living water. (they talk religion for a while, then…)
SW: I know the Messiah is coming, when he comes he will explain everything.
JC: I who speak to you am he!

  • Jesus and thief: Luke 23
T1: Aren’t you the messiah? Save yourself and us.
T2(to T1): Don’t you respect God? We deserve what we are getting, but this man is blameless.
T2 (to JC): Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.
JC: I will see you there later today.

  • Acts of the Apostles: Early chapters of Acts (also John 1:12-13)
Apostles: proclaiming who Jesus is
People: Believed and were baptized

  • Phillip & Ethiopian: Acts 8
P: Do you undersand what you are reading?
E: How can I unless someone explains it.
E: Who is the prophet talking about?
P: (proclaimed) Jesus.
E: there is water can I get baptized?

  • Pete & Cornelius: Acts 10
C: God told me my prayers had been answered and that I should send for you. I have gathered my friends and family to hear what you have to say.
P: (Peter tells them about Jesus, then says…) "He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this (Jesus) is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.

In all of these stories you will notice 2 things. 1) It is all about Jesus, he is the focus of each of these stories, not balancing some spiritual formula. 2) It was never the work of men. They did not come to salvation because they understood how the sin formula worked and balanced it out. Which brings us to the next problem.