Categories
Life

Nothing New

It is wonderfully comforting to me that there is nothing new to learn or teach in Scripture.  You could read the Bible a thousand times and there will not be one word, phrase, or segment that you find that wasn’t there the first time you read it.  And everything you read has it’s own meaning, and no new meaning can be attributed to it.  It has always meant what it means and that’s how it will always be.

When teachers or pastors or whomever come out with a new interpretation or teaching, be skeptical.  If you notice, what I write on this blog is nothing new.  Everything I say is just a reiteration of ancient biblical truths that are precious and good, that have already been taught by men and women before me.   That’s what I want to be, however: a reminder of old truths so that God might open up the eyes of people’s hearts.

The reason we don’t understand Scripture is that we are blind.  And there are levels of blindness.  The non-believer is completely blind.  And for the believer, even we fail to understand some things in the Bible.  C.S. Lewis said, “There is always more to see than what you see.”

Jonathan Edwards reminds us of this fact that there is no new interpretation to any Scripture, and that in order for us to understand, our blinders need to be removed:

Spiritually to understand the Scripture is rightly to understand what is in the Scripture, and what was in it before it was understood: it is to understand rightly what used to be contained in the meaning of it, and not the making of a new meaning.  When the mind is enlightened spiritually and rightly to understand the Scripture, it is enabled to see that in the Scripture which was before not seen by reason of blindness…Spiritually to understand the Scripture is to have the eyes of the mind opened, to behold the wonderful spiritual excellency of the glorious things contained the true meaning of it, and that always were contained in it (Religious Affections, p. 109).

Categories
Theology

Everyone Wants to Be Happy

St. Augustine:

If I were to ask you why you have believed in Christ, why you have become Christians, every man will truly answer, ‘For the sake of happiness.’

Blaise Pascal:

All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.

C.S. Lewis:

It is a Christian duty for everyone to be as happy as he can…Joy is the serious business of Heaven.

John Piper:

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

God:

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Ps. 42:11)

Does anyone do anything so they will be sad or joyless?  I would hope that everyone does anything in order that they would have joy.  I hope, even for non-Christians, that people would do things not to be depressed and sad, but to find complete joy and happiness.  Why do people look for religion, relationships, sex, drugs, food, fitness, etc?  To be happy.  On the other hand, I hope people who seek happiness will in the end find that it is empty, purposeless, and sinful if it is not grounded in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus will satisfy us.  He will make us happy.  He will give the most complete joy.  Pursue it.  Desire it.  Make it your goal in life to make Jesus your treasure.