Have you ever been listening to a teacher talking about God in the Bible, perhaps about the attributes of Jesus or some other point of “Theology” and experienced disagreement?
What do we do about it?
Be a “Berean.” Go home, search the scripture “to see if these things are true.” We owe a debt of discussion when we find believers have wandered away from the truth or are teaching pictures of God that confuse. But confrontationalism is never right.
So occasionally we need defend Christ, even to those in the Church whom we respect. Mistaken impressions about His nature and role in our lives stunt many believers in their faith.
Recently at Bible Study in the County Jail we read Lu: 12:49-59. A senior member whom I dearly love insisted that Christ is the adversary (v58-59) handing men over to God for Judgement.
Luke 12:58New International Version (NIV)
As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.
I wasn’t quite exactly sure how or why I felt such an urge to defend Jesus — but the Spirit in me rebelled at the thought of Him as an adversary. Jesus is not an enemy of man. A range of scriptures come to mind…
“That while we were yet sinners …”
“We have an advocate…”
“He is ever making intercession …”
“Judas, friend — you betray me with a kiss?”
Are we convinced that Jesus is not our adversary? Mathew Henry’s Commentary outlines the words of Jesus thus:
- That we come into our lives separated from God by sin, and we know that in our fallen nature we are in enmity with Him. Before salvation, our relationship with God the Father in Heaven is adversarial.
- During the passage of life we must be reconciled to God (through Christ of course.)
- If we are not reconciled God will hand us over to Jesus for judgement at the end of the age.
Jesus, knowing we aren’t reconciled would then hand us over to His jailers and they would conduct us into the prison of Hell and eternal separation from God. We pay the full, un-payable price.
- Jesus of course, full of grace is the merciful judge, and He is reliable in forgiveness of our debts. Surrendering ourselves to Christ “on the way” reconciles us to God as Jesus covers our sin.
- Jesus paid the price owed God the Father for the restoration of Peace in our relationship with Him. He paid the price we have no hope of paying ourselves.
And we note that, even at the end of the age — Jesus is not our adversary. He, appointed judge over all, will simply administer God’s perfect Justice.
In this manner, our theology, and this exposition is consistent across scripture. Remember also that “Steel sharpens steel.”