In this lab, Pastor John shows us that being blameless for the day of Christ doesn’t mean we lived perfectly. It means that we lived a life hating our sin, seeking holiness, and trusting in Christ.
Principle for Bible Reading
Wrestling with a Difficult Text
The apostle Peter said that Paul’s letters were “hard to understand” at times (2 Peter 3:16). Many of us give our hearty Amen. But instead of running from hard passages, God blesses us with understanding as we, like Jacob, wrestle with God in his word.
So, when difficult texts have you in a headlock, what can you do? Here are a few options:
- Identify what is clear from the passage. Start with what you can figure out from the passage as a whole, and then return to the unclear parts.
- Find the main point. Often the confusing parts do not contain the main point of the passage. Identifying the main point can give us clues for discovering the meaning of the difficult passage.
- Look for clues within the book and surrounding context. Search the book for key words and phrases found in the tough passage.
- Cross-reference. Utilizing cross-references, especially when a New Testament verse cites the Old, helps us to have a fuller understanding of what the authors were trying to communicate.
- Ask specific questions of the text. Addressing a challenging text as a whole can seem insurmountable. But breaking a passage down by asking specific questions about it can unravel the meaning, question by question and answer by answer.
- Use a trusted commentary. Be careful with commentaries. This caution includes trusting bad commentaries and relying too much on good ones. But commentaries can be used well, and great biblical scholars give helpful insights.
- Do you feel blameless before God? Should you?
- What does it mean to be blameless on the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9–11)? Do we achieve this purity or do we receive it?
- How would you live differently this week if you believed that you were blameless before God?