“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life'” (John 14:5-6, NIV).
Recently, I was standing in the Sunday morning contemporary church service singing the lyrics of a worship song. It seemed as though we chanted the words of the chorus a few too many times and I began to wonder if these lyrics were even biblical.
Did Jesus come to hold my hand and help me through all my problems? Did he come to make me feel better about myself?
(As happens from time to time on certain subjects on this blog, my teaching starts shifting into preaching and that may be what occurs with this post.)
Some of the worship songs we sing in our dimly-lit contemporary church services seem to romanticize the love of God beyond what is biblical. Please don’t think I’m against contemporary Christian music as I listen to it frequently and have my own digital tunes collection. I’m just questioning the theology presented in some of the choruses we mindlessly sing in church.
“Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord.” (Exodus 28:30, NLT).
One of the primary priestly functions was to determine God’s will for His people. The priest’s chestpiece provided a container for the Urim and Thummim.The Hebrew words descibing the chestpiece literally meant “chestpiece for decision.”
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” (1 John 5:17, HCSB)
The book of I John is a book of contrasts. John begins his letter by contrasting darkness and light. He declares that “God is Light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (vs. 1:5).
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” (John 15:26, NLT).
At the Last Supper Jesus explained to His disciples that He was going away–He was going to be arrested and executed–and so He would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to be with His disciples.
“For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:6, HCSB).
The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians in this verse that regardless of their opinion about him, the truth of the gospel will prevail.
Paul said that as an apostle he had exercised no power over those who received the truth of the gospel. And any apostolic power he had exercised was to defend the truth of the gospel by instructing, reproving, or censuring those that opposed, denied, or contradicted it.
Some of the Thessalonians had succumbed to a teaching that Christ had already come and so the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians refutes this false teaching.
Paul seemed somewhat surprised by the Thessalonians’ lack of discernment over doctrines he had already taught them (vs. 5).
“They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet. So they finally replied that they didn’t know. And Jesus responded, Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things” (Luke 20:5-8, NLT).
One day near the end of His earthly ministry while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the religious leaders challenged His authority. Jesus responded to the challenge by asking them by what authority did John the Baptist teach and baptize.