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Friday, October 18, 2013

Hard Question – My Answer

Yesterday you read that the same question came up in Romans twice in two different conversations within the hour.  The question is how do we reconcile what Paul says in Romans 1:17 and 4:3 with what James says in James 2:21 – 24.  You may have heard this question before.  If you haven’t you probably will if you stay connected with a Bible study.
So how does one go about answering tough questions?  Thoughts at DTTB.
When asked questions like this I will not typically answer them with what normal people would call an answer – I guess that would suggests some innate level of abnormality…  Typically I will suggest that those with whom I am talking look at several other passages that may shed light on the issue at hand.  There are at least two reasons for this.  First, it really doesn’t matter what I think the answer might be.  The issue is what does the Bible, and by extension, God think about the issue.

Second, while I may have studied the issue, and can articulate a coherent answer, my words, regardless of how coherent they may be, are not as powerful as the Word of God.  It is much more effective for people to read what the Bible says about an issue for themselves.

Third (at least two reasons, right?), walking folks through this process models how one would find the answer for oneself through a simple topical Bible study.

To answer this one I suggested that we look at several passages of Scripture:
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14 – 21
  • 1 John 1:1 – 2:11 and 2:18 – 24
  • 1 Peter 1:13 – 21
  • Matthew 7:15 – 27
So take a look at those passages and see what they say.  I would ask the individual to summarize what they have read.  You do that and I will give you my summary tomorrow.

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