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

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Posted by on September 14, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Math Atheism)

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #28 “What I DO Understand in Romans 11!” (A Study of Romans 11)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 11 each day this week.

1. There are two categories of people: Israel and the Gentiles.
2. There are some clear advantages to being born a Jew (v. 1).
3. There is a remnant chosen by grace (that we may not be aware of) (v. 5).
4. Grace versus works is a fundamental conflict (vv. 5-6).
5. There were/are two categories of the people of Israel: the elect and the hardened (v. 7).
6. Somehow God is involved in the hardening of some (vv. 8-10), as predicted in the Old Testament.
7. But Israel’s “fall” was not “beyond recovery” (v. 11).
8. Israel’s transgression = salvation has come to the Gentiles (v. 11).
9. Somehow envy is important to the Lord (v. 11).
10. Israel’s transgression means riches for the world and their loss means riches for the Gentiles (v. 12).
11. But there is hope for their “inclusion” (v. 12).
12. Paul takes pride in his ministry to the Gentiles, as the apostle to the Gentiles (v. 13).
13. Somehow arousing envy in God’s people will save some of them (v. 14).
14. Their rejection brought reconciliation to the world (v. 15).
15. Their acceptance will bring life from the dead (v. 15).
16. We get the imagery of dough, firstfruits, and branches (vv. 16ff).
17. The Gentiles are a wild olive branch that has been grafted in (vv. 17ff).
18. The branches were broken off because of unbelief (v. 20).
19. We dare not forget the kindness and sternness of God (v. 22).
20. Israel’s “hardening” awaits the full number of Gentiles coming in (v. 25).
21. In some way all Israel will be saved (v. 26).
22. God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on all (v. 32).
23. God’s plan and purposes should drive us to praise (vv. 33-36).

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2021 in Romans 11

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #27 “Spiritual Botany 101” (A Study of Romans 11)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 11 each day this week.

I will be the first to admit that I know virtually nothing when it comes to botany. I was cursed with a black thumb (except when we lived in Manitoba and everything grew like crazy!).

Here in Romans 11 Paul is discussing Israel and the Gentiles. And he resorts to a botanical metaphor. Following are a few of my observations on this passage:

1. If the root is holy, so are the branches (v. 16).
2. Some of the branches have been broken off (v. 17).
3. The Gentiles are called “a wild olive shoot” by Paul (v. 17).
4. They, this “wild olive shoot” have been grafted in among the others (v. 17).
5. This grafted in shoot now shares in the nourishing sap from the olive root (v. 17).
6. There is no reason for that grafted-in wild olive shoot to consider itself to be superior to those other branches (afterall, it did not graft itself in!) (v. 18).
7. If that wild olive shoot does think itself superior to those other branches, it should be reminded that it does not support the root. The root supports it (v. 18).
8. The wild olive branch might say, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” (v. 19).
9. Okay, but those branches were broken off because of unbelief. And the wild olive branch is challenged to “stand by faith” (v. 20).
10. That wild olive branch is also challenged to not be arrogant, but to tremble (v. 20).
11. Why should that wild olive branch tremble? Because “if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either” (v. 21).

My takeaway?
As a “wild olive shoot,” I’m grateful for God’s mercy in grafting me in to the nourishing sap of this olive tree! I want to beware of unbelief in my life and I long to “stand by faith”!

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2021 in Romans 11

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #26 “Ten Questions on Romans 10” (A Study of Romans 10)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 10 each day this week.

1. What is your heart’s desire when it comes to the salvation of others? (v. 1).

2. How do people today seek to establish their own righteousness? (v. 3).

3. What does it mean to “submit to God’s righteousness”? (v. 3).

4. What are the two kinds of righteousness, according to vv. 5-9?

5. What is this bringing Christ down concept? (v. 6).

6. What are the two steps that lead to salvation? (v. 9).

7. Define the terms “believe,” “justified,” and “saved” in v. 10.

8. What are the critical four steps concerning salvation in vv. 14-15?

9. How does the testimony of nature fit into Paul’s argument in this chapter? (v. 18).

10. How does God treat Israel in His program of redemption? (vv. 19-21).

What questions do you have as you read this chapter?

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2021 in Romans 10

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #25 “Metaphors of Belief” (A Study of Romans 10)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 10 each day this week.

What does it mean to “believe”? Here are several ways Paul explains belief in this chapter:

1. Belief is a zeal based on knowledge (v. 2).

2. Belief is submitting to God’s righteousness (v. 3).

3. There is righteousness for everyone who believes (v. 4).

4. This righteousness is by faith and involves declaring Jesus is Lord with one’s mouth and believing in one’s heart that God raised Him from the dead (vv. 6-9).

5. One believes with one’s heart and that brings justification (v. 10).

6. One professes faith with one’s mouth and that leads to salvation (v. 10).

7. Scripture teaches that those who believe in Him will never be put to shame (v. 11).

8. Belief = calling on the Lord (v. 12).

9. The guarantee? Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved (v. 13).

10. One needs to hear of the One to believe in Him (v. 14).

11. Belief = accepting the good news (v. 16).

12. Faith comes from hearing the message (v. 17).

13. Belief = seeking and asking for the Lord (v. 20).

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2021 in Romans 10

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #25 “Nine Truths about Being Saved!” (A Study of Romans 10)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 10 each day this week.

NINE TRUTHS ABOUT SALVATION:

Truth #1- Our heart’s desire and prayer to God should be for others to get saved! (v. 1).

Truth #2- Getting saved means submitting to God’s righteousness in Christ! (vv. 3-4).

Truth #3- Christ provides righteousness to everyone who believes! (v. 4).

Truth #4- God’s way is not a righteousness by the law but by faith! (vv. 5-8).

Truth #5- The guarantee of salvation is declaring Jesus is Lord with your mouth and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead! (v. 9). [Interesting verse re the “Lordship salvation” debate].

Truth #6- Both heart and mouth are integral to salvation: one believes with the heart; one professes with one’s mouth (v. 10).

Truth #7- Believing on Him and calling on Him brings salvation, whether one is a Jew or a Gentile (vv. 11-13).

Truth #8- One needs to hear the message of salvation in order to believe in it (vv. 14-15).

Truth #9- Not all who hear the message will accept the good news (vv. 16-21)

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2021 in Romans 10

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #8Free Justification! (A Study of Romans 3:22-25)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 3 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

God is righteous and we aren’t. We need His righteousness so that we will not come under His wrath.

But how do we get that righteousness? Our text makes it quite clear that His righteousness is given “to all who believe” (v. 22). Ethnicity does not matter. Both Jew and Gentile are sinners who fall woefully short of God’s glory (v. 23).

This justification is given freely to those who believe. But it has been purchased by Christ’s “sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood” (v. 25) for sinners.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2020 in Romans 3

 

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

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2020 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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