Joining obedience and faith

Some modern Bibles render part of Romans 1:5 as “believe and obey” thus making faith and obedience two separate entities. This would seem to reflect more of the editors’ theological outlook than Paul’s mindset. Yet, we should not be surprised. How many people separate faith from obedient actions?

Paul joined faith and obedience into one unified idea. Yet, do we expect this?

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Romans 4 and Galatians 3: defining faith or defending faith?

An employer suddenly emphasizes proper procedure or a spouse describes what needs to be accomplished. Does it make a difference whether someone understands these statements as belittling criticism or helpful instruction? Of course it does!

While correctly interpreting social interactions can be extremely significant in navigating relationships, our perspectives regarding how a biblical author intended his words to function can dramatically shape what we teach for better or for worse.  For example, what was Paul’s purpose in Romans 4 and Galatians 3 regarding Abram’s faith? Did Paul define what constitutes faith or did this apostle defend the principle of faith? Or both? Continue reading “Romans 4 and Galatians 3: defining faith or defending faith?”

Faith By The Book

by Barry Newton Dictionaries typically reflect a particular culture’s usage of words. In contradistinction to modern nuances and meanings, what if a dictionary were to roll back time to reveal Biblical usages? What light might such a manual of words cast on this essential biblical term? Faith: Trust. Confidence expressed in reliance. Nature of faith Each situation determines the appropriate response of faith. Where unconditional promises have been offered, possessing faith merely requires believing (Gen. 15:5,6). In other contexts, such as where a command is given, to have faith necessitates expressing belief through the suitable behavior (Heb. 11:7,8; 2 Chron. 20:16,21; Rom. … Continue reading Faith By The Book

The Watershed for the Same Message

We have grown up with the analogy that if someone plants a grape seed, it will produce a grapevine not a watermelon vine. Accordingly, we have argued that if we will just preach the original message, it will produce only one crop – the community of Christ as it was intended to be. While there is validity to this, the epistle of James can add a level of sophistication to our thinking for it teaches that two fundamentally different groups of people can result from listening to the same message. That’s right, as incredible as it may seem, when the … Continue reading The Watershed for the Same Message