MSG: God’s Will: The Way of Wisdom – Ephesians 5:15-17

This is the fifth message on God’s Will.

Do you remember the story of Ruth? Naomi was married to Elimelech, who left Israel because of a famine and they moved to Moab with their two sons Mahlon and Chilion, who married Orpah and Ruth. Well, all the men died in that foreign land and Naomi heard there was bread again in Israel, so she told her two daughters-in-law that she was going to return to Israel. Orpah and Ruth wanted to go with Naomi, but Naomi gave a logical, humanistic response, “Why come with me? I can’t provide you husbands. Stay here with your families.” Orpah chose to do the logical thing and kissed Naomi good-bye. Most people would. It made sense, because her other relatives were all in Moab. Continue reading

Insights: Work in Colossians 1:29

I’m preparing a message from Genesis 2 and 3 for our advent season and the passage begins with Genesis 2:15, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” God put Adam to work in a perfect environment before the Fall. That indicates the biblical importance of work and the blessing that comes through it. God put Adam to work, so Adam would learn to depend on the Lord. Continue reading

Question: Is a Faith a Work?

Recently, I was in a conversation with a person who held to a strict Calvinistic position. That is, he believed in the five point TULIP principles. During the conversation, we discussed Ephesians 2:8 and how the word “that” cannot refer to faith because of the Greek grammatical construction, but it must refer to “salvation,” which is elliptical (which means it is implied by the verb “saved”). As the discussion continued, I stated that faith was a non-meritorious decision.  There is no merit before God. Then he commented that a decision or faith is an action and salvation is not obtained by a work or an action. Continue reading