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Monday, August 21, 2017

What the Bible teaches us

This is an attempt to distill the Bible's teachings in to a single page. No doubt I've left out important ideas. I welcome your comments.

What does the Bible teach us?
There is a deadly sin problem, but Christ has solved that problem. God hates sin, but He loves us. We can be forgiven! (We must also forgive others.) The Holy Spirit helps us to be holy, and to live above sin. (Holiness: “… to be set apart to reflect God’s character in all of our ways – his goodness and love, his kindness and compassion, his concern for justice and the poor” – Rankin Wilbourne, Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God) God wants us to tell others that there’s a cure for the sin problem, by our life and our words. Our lives are part of God’s plan for redemption.

Individuals, including children and females, are important to God. (See, for example, the “begats,” and the genealogies in 1 Chronicles.) God is especially concerned about the poor and oppressed. God can speak to us, and do miracles, but He almost always does these things through some human agent. (Examples: Moses, Gideon, Deborah, Samuel, Esther, Peter and John.) Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit guides believers in these things. Such guidance is often through the Bible, and we should study it prayerfully.

Worship, private and public, is important. Praise and giving should be part of worship. So should Communion.

God answers prayer, but not always in the way we expect or hope for. Believers sometimes get sick, have accidents, are rejected by others, become poor, and die.

God expects to be first in our affections. Pride – putting ourselves first – leads to destruction. Examples: Saul, Uzziah/Azariah (2 Chron 26:16-21), Judas. We are to have, and show, unselfish love for others. Allegiance to a flag or country, a prominent person, or an earthly cause or group, should be secondary to our allegiance to Christ. One way of showing allegiance to Christ is baptism, which is expected of believers.

The world, as God planned it, was good, but sin has messed it up. Part of that goodness was diversity. (Psalm 104:24-5) God apparently loves diversity, in beetles and flowers, and in human personalities and characteristics. God will fix the world so it is, again, entirely good, and sin free. Those redeemed from sin will live in that world, with Christ. Eternal issues are far more important than current politics, sports, or the stock market.

Thanks for reading.

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