[Update: kudos to my friend Patrick for taking the idea and running with it!]As we get close to finishing up our Doctrine 101 course, I find myself curiously ambivalent. On the hand, I deeply enjoy wrestling with these timeless theological truths. On the other hand, I can’t shake the feeling that R.C. Sproul et al are still fighting the last war. That is, some of the issues that were life-and-death millennia ago are now gnats, and while we strain them out camels are overrunning our camp.So I asked myself: what is the minimal set of essential truths central to my understanding of who God is; things so foundational to my thinking that I literally can’t imagine life without them. Or, more bluntly, what are the issues I (in my presumption) think we ought to be spending our time studying.Here’s my list. What’s yours? The catch is that you can only pick seven, so if you add one you have to drop another.
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Seven Verses Worth Dying For
- Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
- Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
- Psalm 139:1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
- Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
If I had one more, it would probably be about loving my neighbor as myself, or perhaps loving my enemies. But I can’t think of one to drop, though Psalm 139 is probably the easiest to let go…
2 thoughts on “Seven Verses Worth Dying For”
Very good point — but — might you not be fighting the last war as well? Ours is arguably the last generation to care more about what is true than what is right — in other words, your choices are more about what to believe than what to do. How about working in some of these?
[When asked] “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God witha ll your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” ::Mark 12:28-31:: (I know you already had the first half of this — but I prefer including both, and putting them into the mouth of Jesus.)
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” ::Luke 4:17-19::
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. ::Mark 1:35::
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? … Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer. ::Isaiah 58:4::
“Sell your possessions and give alms.” ::Luke 12:33:: (N.B. not said to ‘the rich young ruler’, but in a general sermon to anyone listening)
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. … Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ::Galations 5:19-23::
Great to hear from you, Bob! You make an excellent point, and I love the verses you chose. I may incorporate some, even if I have to bend the rules to include “passages” rather than just individual verses. 🙂