Meeting Your Greatest Need

Every person on earth has the same basic needs: food, water, safety, clothing, lodging, and a purpose for living. Enter any culture and you’ll find men and women, boys and girls trying to find enough of each basic need to survive. But none of these is their greatest need.

The greatest need of every human being is to have a personal relationship with God! God created human beings for the purpose of having a close, loving relationship with Him. Adam and Eve, the first human beings, had that kind of relationship with God at the beginning of their lives, but it ended suddenly when they disobeyed God (Genesis 2 & 3). Their sin placed a barrier between God and humanity. Human beings would die in their sins and be separated from God forever, unless God did something to reverse the effect of sin. God had a plan to do just that and revealed it through His Word.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 41)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, “the righteousness of God is revealed” in the Gospel of Christ. That is the “judicial verdict, approval,” of Almighty God. Since God is Supreme, Sovereign and Perfect in this universe and beyond, His judicial verdict (approval) carries an absolute weight. There is nothing comparable to His approval.

We move now to the words “from faith to faith.” What impact does it have on our understanding of how “the righteousness of God is revealed”?

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 40)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, the Gospel of Christ is the “power of God to salvation” for all the families of the world: Jew and Greek (Gentile). The Holy Spirit called out Paul and Barnabas from their local church ministry in Antioch, Syria to take the “gospel of Christ” to Jews and Gentiles and establish new local churches in many nations of the world (Acts 13:1-4).

We move now to the next part of Paul’s powerful statement about the “power” of the Gospel of Christ.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 39)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, Romans 1:16-17 is thematic:

  • I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ
  • It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes
  • For the Jew first and also for the Greek
  • For in it (the Gospel of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith
  • The just shall live by faith

We saw that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, “for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” God began with Abram –

Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

God made a solemn promise to Abram: He would make of Abram a great nation, He would bless Abram and make his name great. God also said that Abram would be a blessing. God said He would bless those who blessed Abram and curse those who cursed him. God also promised that in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed.

We come now in our study of Romans to the full realization of that holy promise made thousands of years ago.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 38)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

We recently finished a special study about God’s Eternal Plan for Overcoming the World – a plan that Father, Son and Holy Spirit designed together before time began, before God created “the world.” If you haven’t read it yet, you may find it helpful before moving to the next part of our study.

You may also find it helpful to look back at our introduction to Acts 1:16-17 to remember some of the important aspects of Paul’s letter to the Romans and the honor-shame culture in which they lived.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 37)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.”

We are currently looking at God’s Eternal Plan for Overcoming the World – a plan Father, Son and Holy Spirit designed together before time began, before God created “the world.”

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 36)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.”

In our last study we looked at God’s Plan for Reconciliation. Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and joined with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in determining and designing an eternal plan “before time began.” We see God’s Plan revealed through God’s Word.

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Christian Unity … Think About It (Part 8)

What do you think about these two statements – 

“So was Jesus’s death necessary for our redemption? From God’s end of it did Jesus have to die? Absolutely not. In no sense is God’s forgiveness conditioned upon Jesus’s death. God forgives sin because God is a forgiving God. Nor does our personal transformation into God’s likeness demand Jesus’s death either. Persons of other religious faiths are able to relate to God and pursue other paths of transformation apart from attaching any saving significance to the death of their mediators.”

“Today I readily acknowledge that 1 Timothy was written several decades after Paul by someone within the Pauline tradition who clearly did not accept Paul’s original egalitarian theological and social vision.”

Both of these came from recent posts on the Emerging Voices Blog and are examples of the kind of teaching expressed through the Emerging Church/Progressive Christianity. Do either of these statements sound like “orthodox” Christianity?

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Christian Unity … Think About It (Part 7)

We are looking into a unity movement in and around the Christian community known as Emergent Church. Tony Jones, one of the founders of the movement, defined terms within the movement like this:

  • emergent Christianity – The new forms of Christian faith arising from the old; the Christianity believed and practiced by the emergents.
  • the emergent church – The specifically new forms of church life rising from the modern, American church of the twentieth century.
  • the emergents – The adherents of emergent Christianity.
  • Emergent – Specifically referring to the relational network which formed first in 1997; also known as Emergent Village.

We looked at the influence of Tony Jones, Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt through their books and speaking.  Other major influences have been websites, blogs and social media.

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Christian Unity … Think About It (Part 6)

In our last article about Christian Unity, we looked at one of the founders of the Emergent/Emerging Church – Tony Jones. In fact, the E/EC movement had its beginnings at his family’s cabin in the north woods of Minnesota at the turn of the 21st century. Jones is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and the theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis.

Prior to Tony Jones we learned about Brian McLaren, a man Time Magazine named as one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America in 2005.

We move now to a third founder and leader of the E/EC movement – Doug Pagitt.

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