Remember Hebrews 4 from our Sabbath study? We looked at Heaven as the supreme Sabbath, or to put it in the author of Hebrews’ terms, God’s goal of rest for his people. I suggested that the rest that the author discusses has not fully arrived, but as I read the passage today, I’m prepared to reverse that conclusion, or at least to amend it: there’s a sense in which we can, and should, enter God’s Sabbath rest for all creation right here and now. See, there is more to this passage than we originally surmised. On Chocolate Book, we are not content to remain in our former ignorance; we learn as we go.
As I promised yesterday, we’re returning to the final chapter of 1 Timothy to get some perspective on Paul’s views on slavery. The question’s on the table: is Paul condoning slavery? Is he justified in encouraging slaves to submit to their masters “so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against?” (1). I’m going to answer this question indirectly, by arguing Biblically that slavery is wrong and it’s wrong to condone it, and then by asking a follow-up question: what if Paul is wrong when it comes to slavery? But to introduce my points, I want to make a few prefatory comments on Biblical inerrancy.
How do you tell you’re in the end times? As Paul tells us, in the last days men will come telling you you can’t eat this, you can’t eat that, and you can’t get married.
Here, at the end of the chapter, is another of Paul’s well-known metaphors, in which the Christian life is represented as a race or athletic contest. It requires discipline and long-term commitment, both training and grit, more than just a quick sinner’s prayer to use as a get-out-of-hell-free card. And I could easily skip right to Paul’s running metaphor and offer a few inspiring words of encouragement–the sort of thing you’ve heard before. But when I look at the metaphor in the context of the whole chapter, I’m faced with a question: why is Paul saying this stuff to the Corinthian church in the first place?
Hoo boy. Add another can to the ever-growing opened-can-o-worms pile that Paul’s accumulating, because today we’ve got that super-controversial topic of food sacrificed to idols! Boy, all you 21st-century American Christians who have been sacrificing meat to Zeus and Molech, has Paul got some words for you!
Here’s another psalm about God’s work in Israel’s history throughout their journey to the Promised Land. And also about God’s work in the lives of repentant fools and merchant sailors, and how he controls the water cycle.
Today’s Chocolate: Green & Black’s Organic Mint Dark Chocolate Today’s Passages: Luke 13:10-17. Luke 14:1-6 When the Sabbath gets mentioned in the gospels, it’s often because something or other happened on the Sabbath: for example, in Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, or Matthew 28:1/Mark 16:1. During the Olivet Discourse, Jesus notes, “But pray that your flight will not be in the […]