I am actually weary of opinions, my own included! Do you ever get that way? Course it’s my own fault as I travel around the internet reading here and reading there, reading an enormous amount of words which boil down to a few concrete thoughts, some good and some not so good, some are edifying and some are confusing. I am confident that the Lord uses all those words for a purpose, strengthens me in the Truth and teaches me through the good thoughts and the not so good as well.
There is a place I can read though that never tires me, is refreshing always and that is where my hero comes in. Many people talk about their heroes, in this context, their heroes of the faith. For some it is Calvin, for some it is Augustine or Luther and these are godly men that the Lord raised for specific purposes and He used them each mightily. My hero was born of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew and regarding the law was a Pharisee, blameless in the righteousness of the law. He persecuted the people of God, desiring to kill them and thought himself zealous in that endeavor. But the Lord, by divine predestination, had a different purpose for him and had kept him in providence since being separated from his mother’s womb, until the day that He called him by His Grace, the great Apostle Paul.
Paul’s passion stirs my very soul, his passion, not for the traditions of man but for the Gospel! He counted everything he had lost, especially his own righteousness, as dung, dung mind you! (Phi 3:8) And why, because he wanted to be found in Christ and you can’t be found in Christ with your own righteousness, it has to be the righteousness which is of God, by faith. I am one of those Christians that believe that Paul was taught by Jesus Christ for 3 years in the desert in Arabia, was given revelation for the Gentiles and was given the full Gospel to teach to the Gentiles (Gal 1:12) I am a gentile, I can read the Apostle Paul (as I can read all scripture) and be assured that I am not being led astray, not being taught anything erroneous but instead I am being taught exactly what He was taught by Christ. He tells us that he was not seeking to please men by his teaching instead he was the servant of Christ, teaching what He had been taught.
I can read, in simplicity, that I am justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24) and that if anyone perverts that Gospel and preaches another, I shouldn’t embrace it in any form, for as the Apostle says ‘let that man be accursed’ (Gal 1:7-8). Oh yes, strong words, nevertheless words of scripture. I can read that man is not justified by the works of the law, no flesh is justified by the works of the law (Gal 2:16) and I can be assured in my mind that I shouldn’t frustrate the grace of God for Paul tells us that if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Gal 2:21). I can believe that with all my heart and I needen’t worry or wonder or question if I believe the Truth as there it is in the very words of scripture. In 2 Ti 1:13, Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast to the 'sound' doctrine which Paul had taught him, we must hold fast to that same truth in faith and in love which is in Christ Jesus.
My approach to scripture is far too simple for many, I am aware of that. However I am thankful, so thankful that the Lord has kept me in this simple, yet profound Gospel and I pray that He would be pleased to keep my right here, for I cannot keep myself. I think of 2Cor 11:3 and how subtle the serpent is and how he wants our minds to be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. I pray it not be Oh Lord!
What is my goal...... ‘that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection’ and so I press on in this very simplicity. May we press on together in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and remain faithful to it, we who are kept by the power of God.