Archive for October, 2013

Our Lord’s Epiphany in 2 Tim 1:9-10

I was meditating recently on this text:

2Ti 1:9 [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

The word “appearing” is the Greek word “epiphany” ἐπιφανεια. It is the basis for the feast of Epiphany celebrated in January in liturgical churches to commemorate the appearance of God in our Lord’s incarnation. But is this really what epiphany means?

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Beyond Obedience

For many believers, the “gold standard” of godliness is obedience to God’s word. As a boy in a traditional church, I remember praying the act of contrition, which focuses entirely on God’s commands: “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done” (overlooking the positive commands), “and we have done those things which we ought not to have done” (overlooking the prohibitions). Either way, it was a question of doing.

Obedience is important. Our Savior said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). One objective of the Spirit’s work in our lives under the new covenant is to cause us to walk in God’s statutes, keep my judgments, and do them (Ezek 36:27). But doing is not the end of the story. Our Savior told his disciples,

Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Yesterday, in meditating on Mary’s response to the angel in Luke 1, I caught a glimpse of what lies beyond obedience.
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