Currently up to my neck in Pharisees, Sadducees, and the good old Essenes…
That’s the reward you get for choosing to do a module on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Don’t get me wrong, it is actually interesting to compare, for example, what Josephus, Philo, and the New Testament say about these three groups, and then try to establish what evidence there is for the group at Qumran to have been of Sadducaic/Pharisaic/Essene origin. In fact, this gentle stroll into the life and times of the Qumran guys and girls is strangely relaxing.
Sure, getting buried in this sect’s teaching and interpretation of various OT passages has the potential to undermine the NT’s view on how the OT should be interpreted, but at the same time it makes a change from the normal teaching that can go so directly against what the Bible teaches (still on my guard though!).
A general faith in the truth of God’s written Word is the primary foundation of the Christian soldier’s character. He is what he is, does what he does, thinks as he thinks, acts as he acts, hopes as he hopes, behaves as he behaves, for one simple reason – he believes certain propositions revealed and laid down in Holy Scripturee. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb 11.5)
Let us settle it in our minds that the Christian fight is a good fight – really good, truly good, emphatically good. We see only part of it yet. We see the struggles, but not the end; we see the campaign, but not the reward; we see the cross, but not the crown. We see a few humble, broken-spirited, penitent, praying people, enduring hardships and despised by the world; but we see not the hand of God over them, the face of God smiling on them, the kingdom of glory prepared for them. These things are yet to be revealed. Let us not judge by appearances. There are more good things about the Christian warfare than we see.
Let us remember that if we would fight successfully we must put on the whole armour of God, and never lay it aside till we die. Not a single piece of the armour can be dispensed with. The girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of hope – each and all are needful. Not a single day can we dispense with any part of this armour. “In heaven we shall appear, not in armour, but in robes of glory. But here our arms are to be worn night and day. We must walk, work, sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.” (Gurnall’s Christian Armour.)
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Tim 2.4)
Hello, my name is Robin. Welcome to That Happy Certainty, where I write and collate on Christianity, culture, and church-planting. I’m based in Barrow in South Cumbria, England, where my family & I are part of Grace Church Barrow.