Bite-Size Seminary (October 17)

“It is important to draw a distinction between attempting to observe the principles embodied in the law and legalism.  Scripture does not give us any basis for disregarding God’s revealed commands….We are not at liberty to reject such commands; to do so would be an abuse of Christian freedom.  Therefore, we must seek to guide our lives by these precepts.  Such behavior is not legalism.”  (Millard Erickson, Christian Theology)

“Christ does not simply give us eternal life and then abandon us to our human self-efforts.  Rather, the work begun in us is continued to completion”.  (Ibid.)

“While Hebrews 6 indicates that genuine believers can fall away, John 10 teaches that they will not.  There is a logical possibility of apostasy, but it will not come to pass in the case of believers.  Although they could abandon their faith and consequently come to the fate described in Hebrews 6, the grace of God prevents them from apostatizing.  God does this, not by making it impossible for believers to fall away, but by making it certain that they will not.  Our emphasis on can and will is not inconsequential.  It preserves the freedom of the individual.  Believers are capable of repudiating their faith, but will freely choose not to.”  (Ibid.)

“Humanity’s original dwelling was in the paradisiacal setting of the garden of Eden; his final dwelling will also be in a perfect setting–the new Jerusalem.  Part of the glorification of the human will be the provision of a perfect environment in which to dwell.  It will be perfect, for the glory of God will be present.”  (Ibid.)

“There is a rich series of images depicting the nature and function of the Word of God.  It is a hammer capable of breaking the hard heart (Jer. 23:29), a mirror reflecting one’s true condition (James 1:23-25), a seed that springs up into life (Luke 8:11; 1 Peter 1:23), rain and snow to nourish the seed (Isa. 55:10-11).  It is food: milk for babies (1 Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12-13), strong meat for the mature (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12-14), and honey for all (Ps. 19:10).  The word of God is gold and silver (Ps. 119:72), a lamp (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19), a sword discerning the heart (Heb. 4:12), a fire impelling the believer to speak (Jer. 20:9).”  (Ibid.)

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