Showing posts from November, 2014

“O How the Grace of God Amazes Me”

O how the grace of God Amazes me! It loosed me from my bonds And set me free! What made it happen so? His own will, this much I know, Set me, as now I show, At liberty. My God has chosen me, Though one of nought, To sit beside my King In heaven’s court. Hear what my Lord has done O, the love that made him run To meet his erring son! This has God wrought. Not for my righteousness, For I have none, But for his mercy’s sake, Jesus, God’s Son, Suffered on Calvary’s tree— Crucified with thieves was he— Great was his grace to me, His wayward one.

Rethinking Pharisee and Paul II

One reason why I chose to talk about Pharisee and Paul in the same light is because Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees and Hebrew of Hebrews. This background ought to have some significance in thinking about some of the epistles which he wrote (or at least in parts of the passages which he wrote). So, we will want to examine deeper into Paul's Jewish background (and not so much into other aspects of his upbringing)

Before we go into that, we need to ask ourselves, what do we know about Paul based on the available evidence which we have (mainly from the Scripture)? From Galatians 1:13-16, 2 Corinthians 11:22 and Philippians 3:5-6, we learn that Paul was brought up to be a Jew of Jews from his birth. He was of solid Israelite stock, tracing his lineage through the tribe of Benjamin which produce the first Israelite king, after whom Paul was named. His parents piously inscribed him within the covenant through circumcision when he was eight days old, the appointed time for this rite. Th…

Rethinking Pharisee and Paul

Pharisee - this has become one of the dirty words in our church terminology. We will ascribe the term 'Pharisee' to anyone in church who appears to be 'legalistic' and 'failed' to show grace and supposedly 'understanding' to the word of God. For many, a 'Pharisee' in church imposes a lot of 'laws' to his members and in his life which appear to replace Christ as the basis for salvation. In short, there are seldom people in church who have displayed a more complete understanding of who a Pharisee is and even less are willing to view them in a positive (or objective) light.

To be fair, most of our information about Pharisee is obtained from the harsh languages used against them in the book of Matthew. Before I continue, one has to bear in mind that the four gospels were written by the respective authors with a purpose in mind and they are not written to give 21st century Christians a comprehensive history and account of Jesus' life and …