Christianity 201

August 22, 2021

Christian Mentors, Pastors, Teachers Who Shaped You

NIV.Hebrews.13.7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

In a world that tends to put greater emphasis on those who have fallen, these words from the concluding paragraphs of the epistle to the Hebrews remind us of all the good, faithful, noble people who have helped us along in our Christian journey.

The Enduring Word Bible Commentary:

…We are told to recognize and follow godly leadership in the body of Christ, leadership shown to be legitimate by faithfulness to the word of God and by godly conduct. Paul advised Timothy along the same lines: Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16

Such leaders should be recognized and followed. Just as much as a church needs godly leaders, it also needs godly followers. Leaders don’t need to be perfect, but they should be able to show with their life that the power of Jesus is real as it impacts and transforms the individual life. That demonstrates a faith that can actually be followed.

Barnes Bible Commentary

(The Barnes Commentary spends considerable time on the phrase Consider the outcome of their way of life.)

The word rendered here “the end” – ἔκβασις ekbasis – occurs only here and in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where it is rendered “a way of escape.” It properly means, “a going out, an egress,” and is hence spoken of as a going out from life, or of an exit from the world – “death.” This is probably the meaning here…

it means that they were attentively to contemplate the end or the issue of the conduct of those holy teachers – the close or going out of all that they did; to wit, in a peaceful death. Their faith sustained them. They were enabled to persevere in a Christian course, and did not faint or fail. There is allusion, doubtless, to those who had been their religious instructors, and who had died in the faith of the gospel, either by persecution or by an ordinary death, and the apostle points to them as examples of that to which he would exhort those whom he addressed – of perseverance in the faith until death.

Thus explained, this verse does not refer to the duty of Christians toward living teachers, but toward those who are dead. Their duty toward living teachers is enforced in Hebrews 13:17. The sentiment here is, that the proper remembrance of those now deceased who were once our spiritual instructors and guides, should be allowed to have an important influence in inducing us to lead a holy life.

We should remember them with affection and gratitude; we should recall the truths which they taught, and the exhortations which they addressed to us; we should cherish with kind affection the memory of all that they did for our welfare, and we should not forget the effect of the truths which they taught in sustaining their own souls when they died.

Let’s bring this up-to-date with a contemporary writer. Juli Camarin has been featured here on five previous occasions. You can read more at jcblog.net.

Remember Your Leaders and Imitate Their Faith

Growing up, there was a lady in our church who took the time to disciple me. She invited several of the youth age girls into her home on a weekly basis where she spent time with us in the Word and in prayer. It was a special time as her love for Jesus was unmistakable. The impact that this dear lady made on me has affected my entire life because I learned how, from an early age to spend time with the Lord.

Since then, the Lord has sent a few others to come beside and mentor me in the Word. Showing, teaching and explaining His truths until they’ve taken hold. These precious people have spoken truth into my life in a way that cannot be measured. As such, this pattern has propagated as I, in turn have also discipled young friends, teaching them from the Word and showing them who the Lord is as they start to grow in their faith.

The people who teach the Word of God to us are very dear so we should honor them and imitate their faith. We should consider their lives, how they live and do our best to emulate them.

Paul also gave similar instruction about this, “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” (Philippians 3:17 ). The Word of God is life-changing so it makes sense that those who spend a lot of time in it will think and act differently. We are to live according to that pattern.

Amazingly, the Lord will always send people to us to encourage and build us up in our faith as we grow in the grace and knowledge of God. We are never left to our own; He will surround us by a fellowship of believers. We can use their example of faith and obedience to pattern our lives after. The result will be unity just as Paul encouraged the Philippians, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel”( Philippians 1: 27 ). 

Not only will we imitate the faith of those who went before us, our lives will be worthy of the gospel that saved and redeemed us!


Consideration of this passage today was inspired by a lengthy (55 minutes) sermon by Steven Furtick at Elevation Worship on August 15th which started with Hebrews 13:7.

November 29, 2017

Credited With a Status We Didn’t Earn

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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This is our fifth visit with Juli Camarin at JCBlog.net. Click the title below to read at source or click this link and navigate your way back through the whole series (so far) on Romans. I loved the phrase in what follows: “Credited with a status of always having obeyed everything He said.”

Credited as Righteousness—Romans 4:4-5

“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5)

Anyone who works at job knows that the paycheck that comes at the end of the week isn’t a gift. It is the exchange given from the blood, sweat, and tears that come from being employed. We give our time, effort, skill, and passion to our employers, and in return they give us money.

This is a good system in the workforce, but a bad deal when it comes to an arrangement with God. As Paul notes later on in the letter, the only wage we’d earn on our own merit is death (Rom. 6:23).

However, the contrast to working and earning something from God is to trust in His grace. The beautiful result is that we, too, (Like Abraham in this example) will be credited with righteousness.

That’s right, credited with Jesus’ perfect and sinless record.

Here’s the good news—We don’t have to be good or have it all figured out! Trying to only excludes us. As Paul points out, God justifies the wicked and in reality, we all fall into that category.

It’s an either-or scenario. We can work at trying to be good, do the right things to earn something from God (death), or we come to Him just as we are (wicked) and be credited with a status of always having obeyed everything He said (justified).

It takes a lot of faith to trust God’s good intent toward us without offering anything in return. But the payoff is huge—We are credited with righteousness.

Where are you trying to earn God’s favor? Where could you take a step back and simply thank Him for it?


In an article based on the verse immediately prior — “What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3) — Juli noted:

When God started making promises to Abraham, he was a wanderer without a home, and without an heir. Then God visited him and started making outlandish declarations.

And what’s amazing is that these promises had absolutely no requirements on Abraham’s part. He was simply to sit back and enjoy these blessings…

…Today, where can you trust God? Is there a promise in scripture that God has made that you need to act on?


Our bonus music today is Abraham by Phil Keaggy from his second album, released in 1976.

 

September 28, 2016

So is it Law or is it Faith?

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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Today we are paying a return visit to Juli Camarin at JCBlog. One of the hardest things for us is returning to a writer we’ve used before, only to find ourselves catching them in the middle of a series. Romans is a great foundational book, and if you want to dig in more, I hope you’ll click the link below and then navigate the site to read more. Because today’s is shorter, you can also check out the study on the previous verse.

Faith Upholds the Law—Romans 3:29-31

“Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law” (Romans 3:29-31)

I remember the first time I really started studying the Book of Romans. I was learning so much and understanding the grace of Jesus in a way I had never imagined. But then I read this verse and it left me dumbfounded. Paul’s closing question, “Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith?” I was ready to answer, “Yes”… but Paul answered, “Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

What?

Immediately after Paul makes the amazing declaration that faith alone justifies us before God, he wraps up the third chapter emphatically by declaring that faith in no way makes the law ineffective or useless—not the answer we expected in light of what he just said.

Does the Apostle contract himself?

After a careful examination, absolutely not!

So how does faith uphold the Law? In light of this, we must revisit the purpose of the Law. The Law has many purposes, and so here’s the short list:

  • To show what sin is (Rom. 3:20; 7:7, 13)
  • To arouse sin in us (Rom. 7:8, 9; Gal. 3:19)
  • To condemn (Rom. 7:10; Gal. 3:10, 23)
  • To crucify the sinful nature (Gal. 2:20)
  • To bring us to Christ (Gal. 2:19, 3:24)
One of the main points Paul is making is that we are justified by faith, and one of the main purposes of the Law was that it “was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). So everything Paul is saying is actually upholding and supporting the Law and its purpose.

Both the Jews and Gentiles access God through faith: the Jews through the faith of their father, Abraham, and the Gentiles through their newly acquired faith. But in both instances, the same trusting faith is about firmly relying on Jesus Christ alone. By doing this, faith confirms, establishes, and upholds the Law’s original intent.

 

May 30, 2016

How Does This Advance the Kingdom?

Even Christians can get caught up spending time on internet rabbit trails that distract us from our spiritual purpose.

Even Christians can get caught up spending time on internet rabbit trails that distract us from the purpose for which God made us.

Starting out the day on social media most of you probably check into the minutiae of your friends’ lives. You wouldn’t have done this a decade ago, the option simply did not exist, and yet here you are, ten years later, finding it necessary to know how the sunset looked last night from the cabin where Jason is staying, and what Sandra had for breakfast. What were you using this time for previously? What has been sacrificed in order to pursue this level of awareness about your acquaintances and relatives?

As I’m preparing the news and opinion updates for Wednesday’s link list at Thinking Out Loud, I am suddenly arrested by the question, “How does this advance the Kingdom of God?” Truth be told, a lot of our energies and efforts go into things which are not necessary to the building of the God’s Kingdom.

As I thought about various verses that could anchor these thoughts, I came across the following devotion by Juli Camarin. (Click the title below to read at source.) One sentence in the 1st paragraph really stood out for me: “… it makes sense that everything we do should originate and proceed from faith, otherwise we are acting of our own accord.”

Everything that Does Not Come from Faith is Sin—Romans 14:22-23

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:22-23)

Faith pleases God. In fact without faith it is impossible to please God ( Hebrews 11:6 ). So it makes since that everything we do should originate and proceed from faith, otherwise we are acting of our own accord. Faith is relying on and believing in God’s provision instead of ourselves. Hebrews says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” ( Hebrews 11:1 ). The King James Bible says that faith is a substance and the Amplified says that is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope” ( Hebrews 11:1 Amp ).  So in the kingdom of God, faith is very important.

Paul says in today’s passage that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” ( Romans 14:22-23 ). This seems like a radical statement, but knowing how important faith is to the believer helps put into perspective everything he has been saying in this entire chapter. We are to exercise our personal convictions as if in God’s presence keeping ourselves striving to know and obey his truth and will. When we operate in this way, we are operating in faith and God is pleased with faith. This gives us the freedom to live without reservation in His presence and he accepts this. In fact the Bible tells us that we are blessed by this liberty ( Romans 14:22 ).

In the same way, the man who has misgivings or an uneasy conscience about the things he does, whether it is eating or drinking or something else, this man is not acting out of faith and so stands in condemnation before God. This is because he is not true to his convictions and brings judgment on himself. If our conscience condemns us then we will not have boldness before God. The awareness of sin will keep us from having the confidence we need to approach God in faith. This is why it is better not to do those things which go against our convictions, even if we see others doing it. Whatever does not originate and proceed from faith or is done without a conviction of its approval by God, is sin for us. It is better for us to keep a clear conscience before God so that we may boldly approach His throne and find grace.

As believers we are to live by faith. This is a process and comes by knowing God and His promises. If we do not know what he has said, then we cannot operate out of faith in accordance to those things. Today I encourage you to renew your mind to the truth that faith pleases God and whatever you do, should be done by operating in faith. I pray that you will hold true to your convictions and walk in the liberty to which you have been called in Christ Jesus. Do not let others hinder you. Let God reveal to your heart those things which are acceptable and good and live in this way. Live your life rooted and established in faith and you will be blessed in everything you do. May God continue to sanctify you through this word as you proceed and operate in it today, amen!

While Juli’s article takes the passage in several different directions — including sin and personal convictions — it also raises another question that takes me back to where we began today: Does this proceed from faith?

So two questions to leave you with:

  • Am I currently using a lot of time and energy on things which do not advance God’s purposes and plans and the building of His Kingdom?
  • Do my aims and activities proceed from faith

Go Deeper: Juli is blogging her way through Romans. Have you ever considered journaling or blogging your way through a book like Romans, one of the Gospels, Hebrews, or an First Testament book? WordPress and BlogSpot blogs like this one are free. You don’t have to do it daily (as I did) or keep it up for six years (as we have here), but you can simply, as you are able, write down your thoughts as you work through a few verses, a paragraph or chapter-by-chapter. Consider yourself challenged! You might even find yourself doing some research.

September 8, 2015

Old Testament Provides Examples of What Not To Do

Today we pay a return visit to Juli Camarin at JCBlog. The article is long, but there is good insight here. Click the title below to read at source and look around the rest of the website.

A Textbook Example of What Not To Do

Do you ever stumble across an odd statement while reading your Bible and think, Are you kidding me?

This happened to me this morning. I was reading the account in Numbers where Moses struck the rock and water came out. This account is actually the second time in Israelite history this event has occurred—and check this out—it happened at the exact same place as before: Meribah, which means “quarreling.”

The first account of getting water from the rock was shortly after the Israelites were delivered from Egypt. But the second account that gave me pause happened a generation later. Same place, same situation, but this time this generation had grown up in the desert and grumbled and complained to Moses about not having water.

This is what they said:

“If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” (Numbers 20:3b-5).

Sounds like a classic rant, doesn’t it?

“We’re going to die of thirst!”
“It would have been a lot better to die when our parents died!”
“Moses, admit it…you’re trying to kill us!”

The Israelites had fallen into a textbook example of a loose tongue backed by charged emotions…I know I’ve been there…(just ask my husband).

Here are the laments that stopped me cold: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” (Numbers 20:5).

That is an odd statement coming from a people who grew up in the wilderness eating quail and manna. Of course, there are no grains, figs, grapevines, or pomegranates because they are wandering in the desert!

Come to think of it, when had they ever had figs, grapes, or pomegranates? And why were they complaining to Moses about there not being any at Meribah? It’s the wilderness after all! Makes me scratch my puzzled head:

  • Do you know where there are figs, grapes and pomegranates? Egypt.
  • Do you know who came from Egypt? Their parents.
  • Do you know why that entire generation died in the desert? Because they were faithless.

Their parents’ generation was a textbook example of what not to do. They grumbled, complained, and continually tested God. But you know what? Let’s cut them some slack because they grew up as slaves and didn’t know any better.

But their children, oh, their children should have known better! They were never slaves, as they had always been free.

They had always lived under God’s provision. He went before them in a pillar of fire. He fed them for forty years. He protected them from every single enemy that tried to wipe them off the face of the earth. And most amazingly, during their entire time in the desert, their clothing and shoes never wore out!

This generation was familiar with the miraculous ways that God provides. On top of that, they had this amazing promise from God of a permanent home in Canaan. This was their time to shine!

And yet their main complaint was about their lack of figs, grapevines, or pomegranates…echoing their parents. How disappointing!

Don’t get me wrong—there is nothing wrong with knowing where you come from and remembering the trials and situation you’ve survived to become who you are. It is part of your story and is therefore worth sharing.

But sharing becomes dangerous if we use those things as an anchor to keep us chained to our past rather than walking full of faith into the unknown with the knowledge that the future is full of God’s promises waiting to be unlocked.

Here is an important truth: God will be faithful to you regardless of whatever situation you presently find yourself. So why not trust Him to lead you through it?

This is where I truly believe the Israelites went wrong. They were longing for something in the past, and they kept looking back to what was known rather than looking forward to what was promised!

God was angry with them because they could never quite accept that He had a good plan even though it was unfamiliar to them within their life experiences up until that point. Because His plan was unknown, the Israelites clung to what they remembered and taught their children to do the same, and they all bought into it—hook, line, and sinker.

The Book of Hebrews calls this behavior disobedient unbelief! (Heb. 3:18-19).

So here they are in the exact same place as their parents when they came out of slavery and they are facing the exact same problem. But instead of remembering how God provided water from the rock for their parents’ generation, they longed for figs, grapes, and pomegranates. In other words, they yearned for Egypt, even though that meant slavery.

I call this behavior insane! I read this and thought, Are you kidding me?

They remembered their bondage in Egypt through a different lens than the reality of what actually was. Slowly throughout the years, this fantasy became preferable to wandering in the desert. But the real tragedy in all of this is that their disobedience and hardness of heart blinded them to the real freedom God desired to give them in the future.

Imagine what would have happened if the older generation had only focused on what they were looking forward to: if they spoke about the Promised Land and how it flowed with milk and honey reminded each other that God had promised that land to Abraham. They would have convinced themselves that God would be faithful in bringing them into that land.

I imagine that their children would have shown up in Meribah and announced that this was the last water stop before Jericho! (Oh, the irony, as there was no water anywhere!).

But the entire generation that wandered and died in the desert only spoke of Egypt. They spoke so well of it that their children held onto the hope of having figs, grapes, and pomegranates from a master’s table rather than having their own land, their own vineyards, and God’s best for them. Sadly, this is true because they had never been taught any better!

Friends, we need to evaluate our own lives:

  • Why are we clinging to the past?
  • Why are we focused on our solutions to our problem rather than on the faithfulness of God in the midst of our problems?
  • When was the last time we spent a moment reflecting on the promises found in scripture? And if we know them, do we really believe them?

From the example of the Israelites, we see how harmful this type of thinking is! Not only did it keep them out of the rest God planned to bring to them (Heb. 4:6) it also taught their children to do the same! And the scary thing is that we still behave like this!

  • How many of us are resting in God’s promises, actually resting, which means at peace in the midst of turmoil?
  • How many of us are confident about the future, even when the past and present are less than ideal?
  • How many of us are drowning in circumstances instead of looking to the author of solutions?

If the Israelites are the textbook example of what not to do, then let’s learn from their example and try something different.

September 30, 2014

The Challenge of Romans 9:22

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:23 pm
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Although he took off in a different direction after this, Zach Hunt began a blog post at American Jesus this way…

My last year at Yale I was able to take Systematic Theology with Miroslav Volf.

It goes without saying that there are many things I will always remember from that class, but one that especially stuck out to me was the time Prof. Volf shared his least favorite verse in the Bible.

To be honest, the cynic in me was excepting to witness the cynic in Prof. Volf. I figured he would rattle off a string of cliché/misunderstood passages like Jeremiah 29:11 or that maybe he’d go old school and rant about the prayer of Jabez.

But he didn’t.

Being the great theologian he is, he took the issue seriously.

So what was Miroslav Volf’s least favorite verse in the Bible?

Romans 9:22.

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction?

By least favorite, he didn’t mean he just doesn’t like that verse, so he dismisses it out of hand. He doesn’t like Romans 9:22 because as a confessing Christian he has to deal with it no matter how loathsome he may be to do so or how clearly it seems to stand in stark contradiction to the gospel because, well, it’s in the Bible. So, he must wrestle with it…

We went searching some commentary on this online and found this one by Juli Camarin at JCBlog.  Click the title below to read at source:

Objects of His Wrath and Objects of His Mercy—Romans 9:22-23

“What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory” (Romans 9:22-23)

Mankind has free will and God will not override our choices in life. Throughout our entire life time we are presented with the opportunity to accept the gospel message, which has the power to save us, or we can reject it. The outcome of this choice is based solely upon us. God does not choose for us, nor does he predestine some to be saved and some to be damned. Predestination rests solely upon His foreknowledge of our acceptance of His grace ( Romans 8:29, I Peter 1:2 ). He knew who would accept his message and so he also chose them based upon that foreknowledge. In the same way, He knew who would reject him and so they were prepared for destruction based upon that foreknowledge of their free will and choice.

In today’s passage Paul writes to us that God endured with exceeding patience the objects of his wrath. These are the individuals that have rejected his salvation message and the payment for their sin. These individuals are destined for destruction of their own volition because they have chosen this path for their life and have rejected Jesus. It is easy to struggle over a statement such as this and focus on the wrath of God towards them, but what about his enduring patience concerning them? They are clearly enemies of cross and yet God is patient with them. He tolerates and endures those who have rejected his salvation and forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” ( Hebrews 10:26-27 ). Once we have heard the truth and know that the only way to be reconciled to God is through faith in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, we have to make a decision whether or not we accept this payment for our sins. If we do not, there is no other sacrifice or payment option left to us, only judgment. Hebrews goes on to say, “Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ( Hebrews 10:28-31 ).

It is severe to reject Jesus and his incredible gift of salvation. God’s wrath was fully satisfied through his redemptive work on the cross. However, if we do not accept this payment for our sins, then eventually those accounts will be called overdue. Payment will have to be rendered and how do you thing that God will respond to someone who has blatantly rejected his very own Son. There will be no acceptable alternative payment and it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God when it is God’s very own precious Son that has been trampled and rejected in the process.

The amazing thing about a passage such as this, is that it shows an incredible facet of God’s nature when you fully understand it. God is not dealing unfairly with mankind, the opposite is actually true, He is showing incredible mercy and grace in tolerating their rejection of Jesus. He does this to demonstrate to believers His incredible wealth of mercy. It shows us the depth of his love and grace that has no bounds. It is important to get revelation of the this truth because this will change the way we look at life. If we can understand how patient and loving God is towards even those who reject him we will know how accepted and loved we are in Christ Jesus. God even uses his enemies to show his incredible love towards us. When we stand before Christ and see his majesty and splendor we will fully understand how offensive and awful it is to reject such a gift. We will understand the severity of it and the depths of the mercy displayed in patiently enduring His enemies.

Understanding this truth is pivotal in understanding the nature of God. He grace and mercy knows no end and his loving kindness extends to the ends of the earth. Today, it is my prayer that you recognize the awesomeness of Jesus and how he can saved you from destruction and hell. The good news for today is that he also saves us from so much more, he has come to give us eternal life which starts the moment you come to Him and accept his free gift of grace. May you understand how blessed you are in Christ Jesus, amen!

Go Deeper: Morgan Guyton has a commentary on this passage at the blog Mercy Not Sacrifice that is also a response to Greg Boyd’s teaching on it. This article was too long to run here but in the second last paragraph there’s an observation that I missed:

Regardless of how satisfactory this answer is, the two most important words in Romans 9:22-23 that almost everyone ignores are “What if.” Paul gives a very different level of force to what he is saying by framing it as two “What if” questions rather than making very direct, unequivocal statements which he does in plenty of other places. It is remarkable how many double-predestinarians have completely ignored these two critical words.

The bottom line is Paul was grieved that so many of his people are rejecting the gospel and persecuting him. He’s grappling for an answer and throwing out possible explanations. It seems like certain Christians want the Bible to be more distasteful than it is in order to give them an excuse to flex their theological muscles and show how tough they are. Paul didn’t write what he did to give us muscle-flexing opportunities. In fact, he would probably say that the reason people who do that haven’t been struck by lightning yet is because “God bears with great patience the objects of his wrath.”