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Author: Wesley (page 13 of 93)

Saved by Jesus, therefore doctrine doesn’t matter?

“We are saved by Jesus, not by doctrine.” I’ve heard this statement on numerous occasions.  Or “we are not saved by doctrinal precision, but rather by the death of Jesus.”  It is a powerful argument really.  You pit doctrine against Jesus and Jesus wins every time.  And the way the argument normally goes is that since we are saved by Jesus and not by doctrine, then doctrine doesn’t matter.

Why people accept it?

This argument works for a few reasons. First, it is true in as far as it goes.  Salvation is because of Jesus.  No amount of doctrinal precision and understanding can provide salvation apart from Him.  Our salvation and our boasting is in Christ alone.  Second, it fits the thinking of our world.  Truth has taken a hit in our present world.  People are uneasy about truth and especially if a certain truth is exclusive.  Therefore the argument is well placed in the ears of many who hear it.  Third, there are a lot of Christians who do in fact seem to put their trust in doctrinal precision over Jesus, and have no place in their system for grace.  Fourth, it provides a false dichotomy that many people do not pick up on.  Is it really Jesus or doctrine?  If that is really the case then put me on the side of Jesus every single time.  However, as I will argue for the remainder of this post that is a too simplistic argument.

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Thanksgiving for the Year Past

I believe in taking time for reflection.  For me reflection allows for a better assessment of oneself.  I also think it is an important practice for Christians to engage. Reflection provides an opportunity to find areas to express thanks to God, areas where growth needs to occur, and areas where progress has been made.  Since our goal as Christians is to “abound more and more in walking worthy of the Lord,” then we should practice reflection as an important element of achieving the goal.

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Response to the New Roman Catholic Church AD

The Roman Catholic Church has released a new ad.  You might have seen it recently.  The AD is well-made.  The videography is nice.  Inspirational music plays in the background. And the virtues of the Roman Catholic Church are extolled.  At the end, the commercial directs the viewer to a website with the admonition to come home.

The AD primarily is targeting Catholics who are not regular attenders of a local parish. However, when one goes to the website given in the AD it is clear that the aim is broader than that.  The website also has a section for those who are not Catholic.  The site is full of information answering the questions someone might have concerning the Roman Catholic Church.

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1 Peter 3:8-12: Instructions to All of Us

Peter has completed  giving instruction to wives and husbands.  Now, he will turn his attention to the entire church and provide general admonitions on how they should live.

All of this falls under the category of conduct, a key concern for Peter in this book.  Peter’s purpose is not only to reassure his readers of their place in God’s grace, but also to ensure they stand firm in it.  The fiery trials they are facing have caused them to doubt their status before God.  Peter is writing this book to reaffirm their status and teach them how to stand firm in it during times of fiery trail. In this section in emphasizes what the people need to both have and do.

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Raise Expectations: Don’t just keep them in Church

I remember the conversation vividly.  Sitting alone with parents as they reflect on something I had taught.  It wasn’t necessarily a hugely controversial subject, but rather one that had “rubbed” their child the wrong way.  They knew what I had taught was correct.  They agreed with the teaching.  They also knew that the kid (a late teenager actually) was old enough to handle this type of subject.  However, they worried that teaching such might turn off their kid to “church.”

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