One of the biggest inspirations I sometimes get for blog articles come from comments I get on the blog. A year or so ago, I decided to shut down comments on the blog, because I literally was spending far more time answering comments than writing articles. If I were writing about Beanie Babies, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m writing about serious issues facing Christianity, and about the word of God, and that often requires a lot of research.
There are some articles I’ve left open, because the effort to go back through 1500 articles and turn off comments in the WordPress.com system takes a lot of time, and I just wasn’t able to find the time to do it.
So naturally, someone protested my word faith articles, and after mistaking me for a Calvinist simply because I insisted you should at least go to Seminary for 3 years before preaching the word of God, made the comment that the Word Faith preachers said a lot of good things and that they dwelt on the most important issue, the love of Christ.
All right then, let me answer that. What subject in the Bible is far more important than the love of Christ? Here’s the answer. Ready?
There isn’t any.
But is that all we need to know? I’m not online right now, and I don’t remember if that was specifically stated or just strongly implied.
I knew that Jesus loved me before I was saved. What I didn’t know is that God is angry with the wicked.
Psalm 7:11 (KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
So, as an unsaved man, I did not realize that my sins made me offensive in the sight of God.
Hardly your best life ever.
But if you repent and turn to Jesus Christ to be saved, a miracle happens. You’re saved, and that guilt and punishment is gone.
But is that all we need to know?
Because what if I knew all that but denied the Trinity?
Oh. So there’s more than we need to know.
What if I believe in Jesus Christ but deny His eternal Sonship? It’s tantamount to saying Jesus Christ is not God.
So, we need to know that, too.
What if I don’t know I need to repent to be saved? If you don’t like that statement, your argument is with God and not me. The Bible makes it clear.
Matthew 4:17 (KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
If I don’t know I need to repent to be saved, if all I do is rely upon raising my hand during a church service, then we believe in essentially salvation through exercise. Worshipping athletics won’t keep you from Hell.
There’s essential doctrines, since the Bible describes doctrines of men as being “damnable”. In other words, if you reject doctrine – a popular stance among Christians today – the Bible makes it clear that the doctrines you believe could be ones that do not save you.
Should you run out right now and buy Hodge’s “Great Doctrines of the Bible?” No, because comprehensive theologies and theological surveys are almost always written by Calvinists – and I am most certainly not a Calvinist. I’d recommend Ryrie’s book instead, but be warned on that – Ryrie obviously read Calvinist materials while preparing for his book, and he falls for the Calvinist trap of calling the Bible’s plan of Salvation “Semi-plagiarism”.
A dedicated STUDY of the Bible, and a habit of writing things down under headings goes a long way. To do this in Logos is actually not as easy as in other programs. For instance, you could start a user book in Quickverse (if you still own it) as a dictionary, and put every verse you see on “justification” under that heading.
That’s a powerful research tool. You can do that in E-Sword, Quickverse, Swordsearcher, and Wordsearch. To do it in Bible Analyzer and Logos requires making a long, long, long user book, and manually sorting out the definitions you want to list, and THEN putting them in there.
Is the love of Christ the only thing you need to know?
You tell me.
There’s a lot of people, such as Karl Barth, who said so – but that was because Barth was a theological liberal who disguised it, using platitudes he knew would distract Evangelicals and get an “Amen” every time. It worked while he was alive, and I certainly hope he changed his beliefs on the deity of Christ and the Virgin Birth, because otherwise right now, he’s urging you to accept that there are a few things you need to know and understand beyond the love of Jesus Christ.
Luke 16:27-31 (KJV) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.