All posts by paxjol

The Good Deeds of Salvation

Peace Connections

Ephesians2-10“We are created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds which God prepared for us in advance.”

There is a hermeneutic principle which says that scripture interprets scripture.  These passages beautifully demonstrate this principle and reveal the message found within each.  The basic message of Chronicles, Ephesians, and John is that salvation is a gift that can not be merited; none-the-less we are called to good deeds.  This simple message is illustrated by the story of Israel as recorded in Chronicles.

The prophets had often warned Israel against practicing the abominations of other nations.  Immediately we think in terms of apparent moral evil but in fact these were religious practices tied to temple worship.  Good deeds we might say.  But for Yahweh’s covenant people, they were abominations because they instilled within the people the false concept that God was unwilling to bless his people.  They promoted the…

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Temple Topple

Peace Connections


“Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace.”

Jesus arrived at the temple to spend time in reflection and worship in preparation for the Passover.  After several weeks of intense ministry, he sought to quiet his spirit and refresh his soul.  His disciples and other of the faithful gathered around him.  Together they offered up praises to God.  But the harmonizing sound of their prayer was drowned out by the discordant din of a marketplace.  Jesus sighed deeply and tried to focus.  He lifted his spirit before the Father.  But again he was distracted by the complaining customers for sacrificial animals.  Shouting, they accused the sellers that the lambs and oxen they had purchased were sick and bruised, not without spot or blemish as the Law commanded.  Jesus groaned and shifted his weight restlessly from knee to knee.

Closing his eyes and pulling his shawl over his head in an…

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