On presenting God’s word with accuracy
Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control. I Timothy 2:15
I want to thank the people who have made a response to this column and the material I have tried to cover. I must make one slight correction to “The Redeemer at Birth” articles I did a few weeks ago. When I paraphrased I Timothy 2:15, I said that “God chose to redeem His creation through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross.” This particular passage is focusing on the salvation of the woman, not all of creation. I must be careful not to insert something into this verse that it does not say. For me to do so would be changing the word of God.
Earlier this year we did a study on I Peter 4:11, where it speaks about presenting the word (message) of God accurately. We are not to add to or take away from His word; we are to glorify Him by presenting His word as He gave it. I must go back and correct those articles where I paraphrased the verse (I Timothy 2:15) and make the change. The paraphrase would sound like this, “In spite of this, salvation has come to the woman as well, if she continues in faith and perseveres unto the end. For it was through the means (process) of bearing children that God chose to send the Savior to redeem the woman through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross.
In my zeal to present the whole counsel of God’s word, I have inserted something that wasn’t there. The reason for this is that most preachers and teachers fail to focus on the fact that God sent His son to redeem all of His creation. Not one part of it (as we know it) remains unaffected by the sin that was committed by men and angels.
Colossians 1:19-20 is very clear about the extent to which the blood of Christ reconciled all things. “For it pleased the Father that in Him (the Son) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” This basically covers all of God’s creation, when it refers to the earth and all it contains and everything that is not on the earth (in the heavens). This would include things that are “visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers,” verse 16.
Romans 8:20-23 says, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
I think most of us would agree with the statement that the Redeemer came to this earth to reconcile the cosmos (the totality of all things created) back to Himself. It gets slightly annoying when I hear preachers say that Christ came to earth just for you and me. Some pastors tell individuals that God loved them so much that He sent his Son to die for them; this is only a part of the truth! The problem with statements like this is the fact that God had his own honor and glory as the primary reason for creation and all that came after that. The salvation of humanity is secondary. Colossians 1:16b says, “All things were created through Him and for Him.” Creation has never been about us, it has always been about Him. He does not exist to bless us and make us happy; we have been given life and made a part of creation to honor, praise and glorify Him.
Now someone is going to raise the objection “that Christ came into the world to save sinners,” I Timothy 1:15. We will look at this objection and many others in our next article; I hope you will join me as we grow together.
Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published two books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.