Friday, April 3, 2009

Paul's word, the Word of God.

1 Thes. 2:13-20 (ESV)
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. [14] For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, [15] who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind
[16] by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last!
[17] But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, [18] because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. [19] For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? [20] For you are our glory and joy.

I am always amazed at people who want to play with Paul and his word. “Oh that was only Paul.” That isn’t the way the Thessalonians took his word. They received the word of God, not as if it were the words of men, but as the word of God. You really can’t pick and choose with Paul. Either what he writes as an apostle is the word of God or it isn’t. What he has to say about women in the pastoral office, about homosexual activity etc. It stands as the word of God, even as the gospel does. We as Christians are not going to be popular for these things. But to those who would claim Christ, and yet persecute the faithful they ought to read this a little closer. Go ahead, persecute, laugh, ridicule. Ridicule us for our moral principles, and shun us for believing in the forgiveness of sins. Number yourself with the Jews against whom Paul speaks here. And as you read that don’t write Paul off as anti-Semitic. Realize he was a Jew who would have died for his fellow countrymen should it have done them any good.

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