The Jesus Code: “The Dangers of Pluralism & Inclusivism” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 30 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16.13).

When the disciples were asked this question, they responded, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

In other words, there was a variety of opinions. Some thought He was John the Baptist reincarnated. Some thought He was Elijah, and others, Jeremiah. Some thought He was just another Prophet.

It is the same today. Some people think Jesus was just a good teacher. Muslims think He was a prophet. Mormons believe He was a created being. Some believe He was truly the Son of God and others deny His existence all together.

The author:

So even today one of the greatest challenges believers face is how people answer the question Jesus asked in Matthew 16:13. What men say tends to carry more weight than what God says. Most often the opinions of anyone and everyone are more highly respected than the convictions of believers in Jesus Christ. The proof of this is all around us. Pick up a newspaper and you will find an “Opinion Section.” I’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to read a “Conviction Section.” But we live in a world that is much more attuned to what men say about anything and everything than to what God says about how to live life. Television talk shows lead the ratings in today’s media-crazed, celebrity-obsessed world, further evidence that we care more about what so-called celebrities and experts think than about what our Creator, our Almighty, our Sovereign God says.

This focus on what people think about Jesus rather than what God says results in two things:

  • Pluralistic Compromise
  • Political Correctness

A pluralist believes that all roads lead to heaven.

Hawkins:

In an effort to reach those listening to men, some mainline Christian groups have taken their theological remote controls and pushed the mute button when it comes to such topics as the wrath of God, His judgment, the sole authority of Scripture, and the exclusivity of the gospel message. Ironically— and parenthetically— one seldom ever finds these same individuals challenging other religions about their exclusive claims. Have you ever heard a liberal pluralist speaking up against Islam’s claims of exclusivity?

 

In order to be politically correct you must be inclusive.

Hawkins:

Inclusivism argues that since Jesus died on the cross for all people, everyone is included in atonement for sin accomplished by His crucifixion and resurrection. Again, whether your personal faith is in Christ alone is irrelevant.

Pluarism is contrary to the Gospel. The Bible teaches that Jesus is “The Way,” the only way to God (Jn. 14.6), and inclusivism removes the need to share the Gospel with a lost world.

Hawkins:

If we in fact believe that everyone is going to heaven, then we in the church no longer need to work on evangelism and missions. The church then loses its sense of urgency and passion to reach a lost world with the saving news of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

Who do men say that He is? An important question to consider, but next week’s question goes even deeper, “Who do you say that I am?”

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16.15).

Last week’s question: “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6.27). Read it here.

 

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to  get the book or HERE for Kindle.

 

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NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

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Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.

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This post contains affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “God Cares for Sparrows” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 29 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6.27).

Last week’s question came from chapter 5 of the Sermon on the Mount. This week’s question is from the next chapter. Remember, in this His first public sermon, Jesus was basically saying, this is how life is in My kingdom … or should be.

This week’s question is at the heart of one of the two most common passages about worry. The other is Philippians 4.6-8. Here in Matthew 6, the Master Teacher used contrast and comparison to help us see the foolishness of worrying. He began with sparrows.

birds

Sparrows are dear to my heart. These are “mine,” well, the ones God allows to hang around my yard. I put seed out for them most mornings and watch them flock to the feeder while I read my Bible. I get a fair amount of doves, some finches, and a few woodpeckers with their brightly colored crests (although they only want to drink from the hummingbird feeders), but more than anything else, there are sparrows. They were just as plentiful in the first century.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matt. 6.26).

Sometimes I’m running late in the morning or I’m out of town and I don’t feed “my” sparrows, but I don’t worry, my Father has it under control.

birds

Back to Jesus’ question in verse 27, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”

We, generally, think of a cubit in terms of size, but Hawkins explains that it can also mean “duration of life.”

He goes on:

Worrying will not increase your physical size, elevate your standing in the community, improve your reputation, or— as Jesus taught here— add any length to your life. Our times are in God’s hands. The psalmist reminded us that our days on earth were already numbered before we lived a single one of them or drew a single breath (Psalm 139: 16). So what will worry do for you? Absolutely nothing. Worrying is futile.

 

birds

Next in the Sermon, Jesus turns our attention to lilies. My lilies are not in bloom, but this is my favorite corner in the yard.

Jesus asks us to consider the lilies. The author:

Specifically he calls us to “consider . . . how they grow” (v. 28). Growth remains something of a mystery: How does a tiny seed ultimately become a beautiful flower? How does a speck of protoplasm, undetected by the human eye, become a human being with all the intricacies of a circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system, and the like? In winter a flower bulb lies hidden in the earth, covered over by a frozen mound of ice and snow, as if it were dead. Yet, when spring arrives, that bulb bursts into life, sprouting stalk, leaves, and blossoms. Jesus wanted us to remember that the same God of glory who watches over those lilies watches over you and me. How do those lilies grow? God does it!

As soon as a flower is cut, it begins to die, but we are immortal, made in the image of God. If he takes care of the lilies “which today [are], and tomorrow [are] thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (v. 30).

That leads to the next reason not to worry.

“O you of little faith!” This is probably the most important one.  Worry shows a lack of trust in God, His care, and His sovereign purposes in our lives. Hawkins reminds us:

The key to being free of worry is making God our top priority. Jesus put it this way: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [provision for our needs] shall be added to you” (Matthew 6: 33).

What joy to know, God clothes the lilies, He cares for the sparrows … and my God cares for me!

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16.13).

Last week’s question: “If salt loses its flavor, how shall [the earth] be seasoned?” (Matthew 5.13). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.

Share your posts on character, family, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, devotions, and more – any God-honoring post.


Don’t forget to visit some other bloggers while you’re here and I would love for you to link back here.

 

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sign up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays 
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking The Modest Mom Me, Coffee & Jesus Reflect His Love & Glory Embracing His Will
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is GoodTime Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays Kelly Balarie Grammie Time Intentional Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart While I’m Waiting Messy Marriage A Tiny Mix of
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully Creative K Kids Looking Up Linkup
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing CountersMissional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “How salty are you?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 27 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “If salt loses its flavor, how shall [the earth] be seasoned?” (Matthew 5.13).

Matthew 5, 6, & 7, the Sermon on the Mount, so called because it was delivered on a mountainside. This was Jesus’ first public sermon. Here was the King of kings giving His inaugural address, if you will. He was basically saying, this is how life is in My kingdom.

One of the points He chose to make in that sermon was this, ““You are the salt of the earth …” (v. 13a). In a world and a culture that is increasingly wicked and moving farther and farther from the way life is in His kingdom, we are still the salt of the earth!

In the rest of that verse, Jesus points out the danger of losing our saltiness, “… but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

It is good for nothing!

Oftentimes we bemoan the fact that the world as it once was seems to be falling apart. There are few moral standards and, in fact, increasingly evil is called good and good called evil.

We must ask ourselves, “How have we failed to be salt?” and “How will be be salt in the future?”

What does salt do?

  • Salt is a preservative.

Hawkins:

We are living in a decaying culture, and when something decays, it falls apart. Many of our social structures that used to be sound and secure are rotting away. Marriages and morals are continuing to decay at a high rate. And Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” The only thing standing in the way of an entire cultural collapse are those believers who are truly preserving the earth by being “salt” in their daily lives before others. Salt preserves.

 

  • Salt flavors.

If you have ever eaten an egg or a baked potato without salt you know, adding a little salt improves the flavor immensely.

The author says:

So often, as believers, we think we cannot have much influence by our meager actions, but it just takes a little salt to make a huge difference at school, in the neighborhood, at the office, or wherever we might be. Salt not only preserves, it also flavors.

 

  • Salt stings.

saltHawkins:

When Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, He meant that our very lives should bring conviction to— should sting— the people around us. While it is important that our presence serves to both preserve and flavor a culture, there should also be an aspect of our presence that stings when it comes into contact with worldly actions and attitudes. Too many believers seem to think they are to be like honey and soothe our sin-sick world instead of being like salt that stings in order to convict. When our Lord called us salt, He meant for us to not only preserve and flavor our culture, He meant to use our example to convict others of their need for Jesus as they see Him alive in us.

 

  • Salt creates a thirst.

As in everything, Jesus is the supreme example. Even though He called sin what it is and challenged those around Him to count the cost of following Him, He drew others to Him. He created a thirst for what only He can give.

The author ends with these thoughts:

Little does our world system realize that the presence of God’s people is preventing the final collapse of our civilization and ultimate judgment. We are the only ones who can truly flavor the lives of those around us, sometimes even sting them a bit, and make them thirsty for the Living Water that enables us to never thirst again!

 

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6.27).

Last week’s question: “Will a man rob God?” (Malachi 3.8). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.

Share your posts on character, family, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, devotions, and more – any God-honoring post.


Don’t forget to visit some other bloggers while you’re here and I would love for you to link back here.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

 

Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up here to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking The Modest Mom Me, Coffee & Jesus Reflect His Love & Glory
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays Kelly Balarie Grammie Time Intentional Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart While I’m Waiting Messy Marriage
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully Creative K Kids
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Ask Latisha
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “Have you ever been robbed?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 27 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.

 

This week’s question: “Will a man rob God?” (Malachi 3.8).

The author asks:

Have you ever been robbed? I have. And let me assure you that you feel personally violated when someone unannounced and uninvited invades your private space— when he breaks your doors and windows, ransacks your drawers, and steals money and other valuables, often including irreplaceable items of great sentimental value. Only someone who has been the victim of such an intrusion knows the deep anguish it can bring.

Yet God says, “You have robbed me!” (Mal. 3.8).

We rob Him when we fail to give through our tithes and offerings.

Hawkins:

Furthermore, when we rob God of His “tithes and offerings,” that act triggers a chain of robberies— and we are complicit in each of those as well. When we rob God of His tithes, we rob His church of its ability to minister in His name. We also rob the world of the gospel by limiting many worthy and effective missionary enterprises. But on an even more personal level, we rob ourselves of great blessings, for “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35).

The author goes on:

Some Christians today believe that the tithe (giving one tenth of our income to God) is an Old Testament command with no bearing or application on us in this dispensation of grace. The reality is that the tithe existed among God’s people long before the Law was ever given. In Genesis Abram gave tithes to Melchizedek, the priest (14: 20). Jacob vowed to give a tenth “of all that You give me” to the Lord (28: 22). Later, when the Law was given, tithing was incorporated.

In the New Testament Jesus confirmed the importance of the tithe:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone (Matt. 23.23).

These you ought to have done.

But Hawkins adds:

God never emphasizes our giving; He always focuses on our receiving, even here in His instruction about the tithe. God said, “Bring all the tithes” (v. 10). Why? To support the church or missionary work? No, that’s not what God says. At issue is God’s desire to open for us “the windows of heaven” and pour out His blessings on us. So God presents us with a proposition: “Bring all the tithes . . . and try [prove] Me now in this” (v. 10). Do you see how amazing this is? God is saying to you and me, “Put Me on trial! Test Me! Try Me in this.”

Let’s make giving to God a priority, more even than our concern for worldly expenses, more than our concerns about retirement and pensions, more than our concerns to stay up to date with Uncle Sam. Let’s put Him to the test and watch Him open the windows of heaven on our behalf!

A note:

I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Next week’s question: “If salt loses its flavor, how shall [the earth] be seasoned?” (Matthew 5.13).

Last week’s question: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?” (Habakkuk 1.2). Read it here.

 

 

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup

Mondays @ Soul Survival is a place to share your insights about God and His Word. Feel free to link up multiple posts as long as they bring glory to God.

If you are new to the linkup let me know in the comments so I can say hello and follow you back.

Share your posts on character, family, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, devotions, and more – any God-honoring post.

Don’t forget to visit some other bloggers while you’re here and I would love for you to link back here.


Don’t forget to sign up to receive the blogs everyday by clicking the links below:

Sing up for the “Bible in a Year” daily posts.
Sign up for special “Christian Living” posts on various subjects. Also sign up to receive notices of the LINKUP and our study through The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins.

 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings Darling Downs Diaries The Art of Homemaking The Modest Mom Me, Coffee & Jesus Reflect His Love & Glory
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood Testimony Tuesday Tell it to Me Tuesdays Kelly Balarie
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart While I’m Waiting Messy Marriage
Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Serving Joyfully Creative K Kids
Fridays Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Snippets of Inspiration
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Ask Latisha
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!