Tag Archives: perseverance

Pure and Blameless

blameless

2nd Sunday of Advent: Phil. 1:3-11

Paul’s letter to the Philippians has a similar tone to his letter to the Thessalonians. Particularly in his desire to see them pure and blameless in the day of Christ. Our 21st century ears hear a literal call to be perfect in this call to action, and yet that doesn’t sit well next to other scripture—even Paul’s other letters. I zero in on this phrase because misunderstanding this it can cause us to do the opposite of what will help us grow in our faith.

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For the Joy

joy

Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and the people of Israel, Rahab, Gideon,  Samson, David, Samuel and the prophets…

“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 11:39 – 12:1-2, NIV

This list of notable Bible characters comes at the end of a chapter in Hebrews describing how these people lived and died for their faith.  The writer then says we are surrounded by this “cloud of witnesses” and because of that we should also follow God faithfully. Continue reading

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