I Timothy 1: 11
…in accord with the evangel of the glory of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.
(from the Concordant Literal New Testament)
DEAR JAMES GANG,
“ and certain men came from James” (Galatians 2:12)
You’ll be happy to know that sinners cannot save themselves.
As you might imagine, sinners sin.
It’s all they can do. Thus the name.
Well, imagine my surprise to stumble on Paul’s teaching that “God is the savior of all mankind” (I TIM 4:10).
Why this makes perfect sense. You see, sinners sin. And now we learn that God saves.
It’s the perfect set up and story and happy ending, as I see it.
One of your guys (a Johnathan Swift) wrote a sermon many years ago called “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God.”
Angry God indeed. We all know that “angry” people are just spoiled brats who don’t get their way.
To suggest that God gets bent out of shape when He doesn’t get his way is like saying the universe was made and run by a 5 year-old.
Paul, (the gentiles’ apostle) told Timothy that we have a HAPPY GOD. (I TIM 1:11)
If God is a “happy” God… it means one thing. If God is an “angry” God, it means another.
Either emotion (happy/angry) — when you think about it — is really a figure of speech.
Assigning human emotions to the deity is figurative language. In a literal sense, God is God and cannot be either happy or angry. But with our little brains, we try to figure out the big guy so we use colorful language.
It seems to me, one of the biggest problems in understanding God and His purpose, is that we think creation is done, complete, all set up — and now we need to get on with the next step (salvation?).
But NO. I’m suggesting that creation indeed has begun, but is by no means complete. We’re still in the middle of the “creative” process.
Want proof: Well, next week, next month… some children are going to be born. Maybe even an island will be formed. Creation is still going on. Yes, it’s begun, but it’s by no means complete.
And, I’d like to suggest that SALVATION is merely part of the creative process. The two (salvation/creation) are really part of the same effort in God’s eonian purpose. (EPH 3:11)
Remember when you guys came to check in on Peter, when he visited us in Antioch? (See Galatians one and two)
Remember how he turned into a jellyfish because he was worried about what James would say concerning him hanging out with us gentiles?
Well, you guys got him all upset because you don’t see the biggest of pictures. You’ve got all these rules and laws to obey, in order to please this “angry” God. You really should sit down with Paul’s teaching and see that in the big picture, God is the savior of all… the justifier of all… the reconciler of all… the life-giver of all… the abolisher of death itself.
(I TIM 4:10, ROM 5:18-19, COL 1:20, I COR 15:22, I COR 15:26)
Your boy John wrote this “Book of Revelation” thing— But it’s nothing compared to Paul’s revelation of I COR 15:20-28.
John never saw the end of rule, the end of authority, the end of power… and certainly never saw the end of death.
But Paul (the gentiles’ apostle) did. So there.
If you’re brave enough, you need to come hang out and learn from Paul. But I wouldn’t advise you telling James, or his tattletales. Just keep it quiet. You don’t even need to publicly break bread with us. Just read any of Paul’s 13 letters… you’ll see… it’s dynamic stuff.
If you get caught reading Paul… don’t be surprised if they kick you out of church. James and his tattle-tales are just that way.
As Paul says “for freedom Christ has set us free” — wow, huh? (Galatians 5:1)
Check in later, when no one is looking over your shoulder.
The gentile brethren.