Friday, March 11, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 5 (Part Sixteen)

Is Jesus Blessed or Cursed?
            Galatians 3:13 (NWT) says: “Christ purchased us, releasing us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hung upon a stake.” Revelation 5:12 (NWT), however, says: “The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and glory and blessing.” These, the skeptic concludes, cannot both be true.
            However, such a sentiment is not found in scripture. Rather, this statement is: “For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NWT) The curse was not ever meant to last forever. And, in fact, it was due to the fact that Jesus offered himself as our curse that he was able to be worthy of the blessing that followed, a point brought out in Revelation 5:12.

Is Jesus or Men the Foundation of God’s House?
            1 Corinthians 3:11 (NWT) states: “For no one can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” However, instead of presenting Jesus as the one foundation (or so the skeptic says), Ephesians 2:19,20 (NWT) says: “So you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens of the holy ones and are members of the household of God, and you have been built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”
            The skeptic is unaware that Paul, writing to the Corinthians, is discussing teachings – all teaching begins on the foundation of Christ; he is not describing what God’s house is built upon. But, in Ephesians 2:19,20, Paul discusses the heavenly citizenship of Christians, that they are built upon the work done by the apostles and prophets. We note that Paul says that Christ is the “foundation cornerstone” in whom “the building, being harmoniously joined together, is growing into a holy temple.” (Galatians 2:20,21 NWT) So, that these passages, while not referring to the same subject, far from contradicting each other actually stress the primacy of Christ.

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