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Category Archives: relationships

The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Relationships)

God was pleased with His creation, Genesis 1 tells us. He saw all that He had made — all the creatures and man — and “it was good.” Then God saw something that He described as “not good” (Gen. 2:18). It was not good for man to be alone. He needed a counterpart — so God created Eve.

Man — alone??? He had GOD! He had a perfect relationship with his Creator. But Adam needed a human companion. He needed relationships with other humans. And so do we.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2020 in relationships

 

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A Spiritually Healthy Family (A Study of the Epistle to Titus) (Part 5 of 5)

I am looking forward to speaking at Camp Elim’s Family Camp May 25-27. The theme I have chosen is “A Spiritually Healthy Family” and we will be going through the three chapters of Paul’s letter to Titus.

We’ve already seen that the spiritually healthy family cares deeply about the local church (1:1-9),  that it recognizes false teaching in its many forms and opposes it (1:10-16), and that the spiritually healthy family appreciates and applies the clear instructions of God’s Word (2:1-10). In our last post we saw that this kind of family allows God’s grace to have its full power in their lives (2:11-15).

Let’s notice lastly in chapter three that —

The spiritually healthy family —

V. Cares Deeply about Relationships in the World and in the Church! (ch. 3)

A. Relationships in the World (vv. 1-2)

We are in this world and are to behave ourselves in it! We are to be subject to earthly authorities (unless they try to force us to deny the Lord). As I argue in my soon-to-be-published book Unlike Jesus, we should be friends of sinners (Mt. 11:19) without being a “friend of the world” (James 4:4).

B. Relationship with the Lord (vv. 3-8)

This is a tough section. Paul pulls no punches as he speaks about our BC (before conversion) condition (v. 3). Then we have the wonderful descriptions of God’s “kindness” in Christ (vv. 4-8).

C. Relationships with Negative People (vv. 9-11)

Some people should be avoided! The passage seems to be talking about those in the family of God who want to argue about genealogies and quarrels about the law (v. 9). Actually, we’re not to just avoid them; we are to warn them! And then have nothing to do with them.

D. Relationships with Fellow-Workers (vv. 12-15)

Don’t you love it when Paul names names? Artemas and Tychicus (see Eph. 6:21-22) and Titus and Zenas the lawyer (there will be lawyers in heaven!) and Apollos. Paul speaks of “our people” and how they must devote themselves to doing what is good. He also speaks of “everyone with me.” He also says, “Greet those who love us in the faith.”

As an introvert, I’m okay with my laptop, my dog Scrabble, and occasional conversations with my wife. But that’s not how God intended us to be! He is a relational God and wants us to value others, especially those in ministry!

 

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2019 in relationships

 

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Some Thoughts on FRIENDSHIP — From an INTROVERT! (Part 2) THE TRINITY!

I’m an introvert. Technically I’m what they call an “expressive” introvert. But an introvert nonetheless. I’ve taken the Myers/Briggs, the Briggs and Stratton, and the Disc Personality tests. And I come out as an introvert.

The Lord has a great sense of humor — and this year it seems He’s going to have me write TWO books on FRIENDSHIPS.  That’s funny.

The God of the Bible is relational.  How do I know that?  First of all, the Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of the TRINITY.  God is three persons but one God.  Christians are not polytheists (we don’t believe in three gods), nor are they modalists (sometimes God is Father, sometimes Son, sometimes the Holy Spirit).  He is both three and one.  I know this doctrine drives our rationalist Jehovah Witnesses friends nuts, but that’s the testimony of Scripture.

There have always been relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Forever.  There was never a time when they did not relate to one another in perfect love and fellowship.  But . . . here’s a wild question . . . what if this Triune God wishes to invite US into that circle of relationship?  This is not to imply that we somehow become deified.  No. But this thrice-relational God calls us into a relationship with Himself (“Himself” being an awkward way to refer to each member of the Godhead).

Why would God do such a thing?  Why would He provide His Son as the substitute for us, dying on the cross to redeem us from our sins, so that we could have fellowship with Him?  Why would He do that?  Let’s be perfectly clear — it was not from any lack in God that He was lonely or He somehow needed us to complete Himself.  It was out of sheer mercy and love.

He invites us into relationship with Himself. Into that Trinitarian circle, not as equals by any stretch of the imagination, but as sons and daughters and brothers of the Lord Jesus! He creates, not because He had to create to be love, for there was always love between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He creates to share His glory with His creation, to express His qualities through people made in His image, and to have an eternal relationship with each of us!  “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him!”, as Pastor John Piper puts it.

Biblical Christianity is primarily relational.  When it degenerates into empty ritual, meaningless religious motions, or trite traditions, the heart of God must break.

Forgive me, dear reader, but I’m going to ask you for something very specific. Would you pray for me and these two writing projects at least once a week over the next few months? If you agree to do this, you may let me know privately through my email (theoprof@bellsouth.net) or publicly in the comment section below. THANKS!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2019 in relationships

 

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Who Do You Know? (Time for a Great Cartoon)

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2018 in relationships

 

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