Posted by: celticanglican | December 9, 2007

It Was For Us, and Our Own Good

Second Sunday of Advent 2007

Romans 15:4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. NIV

An interesting (to put it mildly!) discussion with a family member once went something like this. He was struggling with why the Church even feels the need to retain the Hebrew Scriptures (aka Old Testament) when we are under the new law of grace.   I finally explained how the main purpose of the Hebrew Scriptures was to be a record of God’s dealings with His people and also prophesied the coming of Jesus.  The New Testament  is better understood when we know  what happened before Jesus came.  Though it would’ve been interesting, I didn’t want to muddy the waters by bringing Marcion-the-heretic into it. Not all “teaching moments” should be taken advantage of.

I think this passage from Paul to the Romans clearly tells why the Scriptures were given to us. Our spiritual ancestors gave us the hope of a coming Messiah. It’s ironic that the prophetic books in the Bible not only emphasize endurance, but also contain some of the most encouraging promises in Scripture. (Isaiah comes to mind).

God’s promises to those under the covenant of grace help bind us together in the one body that we make up. Despite our doctrinal and denominational differences, we’re one Church with many parts. Our common faith in one Lord of all binds us to one another and to God. The promises of God are for us: Jew, Gentile; male, female; rich, poor; First World or Third World. All of us.

How can we, as the Body of Christ, best glorify God with one heart and one mouth?

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