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Showing posts from 2013

The Miracle and Meaning of the Incarnation

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:91

The passage in which this verse is found is not concerned with what might be called “Christology” - that is, the doctrine concerning the person and work of Christ – but it is deeply concerned with some very practical issues, namely, the temporal needs that existed in Jerusalem and the corresponding obligation of the Corinthian Christians to help meet that need, just as their Macedonian brethren had already done. The need that Paul is wanting to meet is great, and so the effort called for to meet that need is also great. And therefore, the giving that needs to be done is going to require some sacrifice on the part of those who do give if the need is to be met. It is for this reason, perhaps, that Paul commends the Macedonian example:
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given amon…

Thanksgiving to God the most fitting expression of one whose life is centered on God

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks.” Eph. 5:3-4.

Over against filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting, Paul puts giving thanks. It doesn’t at first seem like thanksgiving is the opposite of what it is set against. Shouldn’t Paul have said, “Instead of the filthy mouths, you should speak that which is holy, pure, and clean”? But he doesn’t do that. He puts thanksgiving as the antidote and opposite of unholy speech. 

To see why Paul would have done this, I think it is necessary to understand exactly what Paul meant by the terms he uses in verse 4. “Filthiness” refers to moral filth in general. Paul seems to be applying it here in this verse to filthy speech. In verse 12, Paul says that there are some things of which it is shameful to speak. Filthiness belongs to that category. Believers do not make fun of wickedn…