A Matter of Integrity

Ken Curtis preaches on the matter of integrity:

“What I’m talking about today is how our ability to focus and attend to things can so often become divided and scattered in ways that leave us feeling fragmented as we try to give our attention to too many things – often all at the same time. It’s in that sense that I’m using the word ‘integrity.’ Not so much as a synonym for being authentically honest or truthful, although that’s included and we could certainly use a lot more of that in our world right now. But rather in its larger sense where integrity describes a way of being that is whole and undivided.”

WATCH: A Matter of Integrity

Ken Curtis is Associate Pastor at Calimesa SDA church and blogs at KensFootnotes.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7994

let us face it. Adventism was built upon a Justification of a great disappointment. Christ did not return on Oct 22, 1844. thus a theology was built upon a using Jacob’s ladder to reach Christ on man’s own merits. In the they have a theology in common with Mormonism. One gains heaven solely on the merits of Christ. It is His blood not ours that paves the way. Heaven is gained by the last generation as by The first, by the way of the Cross.

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“Love your neighbour as yourself…” This was not Christ’s last word on the issue. He gave us a new commandment just before He went to the cross. It was needed because to love your neighbour as yourself is old covenant law. Paul explains this in Galatians 5.

Christ’s new commandment is new covenant “law”. “Love each other. Just as I have loved you.” It’s not now how I love myself. Its how Christ loved us. John further clarifies God’s commandments under the new covenant. “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us,” which is to love just as He loved us.

Ephesian 5:1 and 2: “Therefore be imitators of Gd, as beloved children; walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

The blood-shedding, the death, the burial, the resurrection of our Lord defines love, God’s love. We are blessed beyond measure to walk in this love. It’s no longer how we love ourselves but it’s all about how He loved us and gave Himself for us.

It’s about Jesus.

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Ray Smith, You do not fully understand what the bible teaches , neither the power of God . For what sin did Jesus die for under the new covenant ? None . The sin for which Jesus died for was committed under the old covenant ? Got you thinking now. Noah was saved by grace. Enoch was saved by grace . Everyone who has ever been saved was saved by grace .So what’s new ? The blood of animals substituted for the blood of Christ for 4000 years . It was sure and secure because God had given His word that Jesus would die for the sinner. If salvation could be secured under the blood of animals , how much more under the blood of the Son of God ! That is the new covenant . But mark my word, salvation after the cross was no more secure than salvation before the cross. The word of God ,secures our salvation .Does God have integrity ? How can we measure it ? We can look to the cross . As a Father, God felt the pain of His son . And much like us ,may have found a way of escape for His son . But He stepped aside as a Father , and became the Judge of His son. And by allowing the same penalty to fall on Christ as it would any other sinner , allows us and the universe to see God as a righteous Judge with Integrity .

Boy, Tom. I can imagine certain people in the first century saying a similar thing:

Edit:

Hi Robert,

Unless I’m reading your comment wrong, I think you have misunderstood my intention. I was comparing Tom’s remark with that of those religious Jews in the first century who would have said similar things to the early believers (as do many non-believers today): “The Messiah didn’t fulfil what all thought was to be his mission and therefore, rather than admitting that and walking away, you created, and reinterpreted this great disappointment to justify your embarrassing blunder.”

In other words what Tom wrote would be like telling someone that they need to stop driving their car because it’s red, and red cars cause many accidents. And yet he says this while owing a red car himself…

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Tony,

I’m guessing you probably mean the 2nd century, as the hope probably remained pretty strong till the end of the first.

But you got me thinking. Yes, by some 70 or 80 years after the ascension, people would have had many doubts about the promises they’d been given.

We’re now in the 21st century. At what point do we start to re-frame those promises, perhaps interpreting them as symbols or metaphors? How, in the 21st century, can we still be as confident as were the believers in the 1st century?

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Rodney, you’re right about one thing. I’ve got a long way to go to understand fully what the Bible teaches and to comprehend the magnitude of the power of God. But, I’m learning.

I’m pretty sure of one thing. I was born almost 2,000 years after the old covenant became obsolete and disappeared. I’m not interested in trying to revive a dead covenant by living by law engraved on stones which is old covenant. The Apostles according to Paul were servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. What is written on our hearts under the new covenant is nothing short of Christ Himself and His righteousness.

Under the new covenant, Jesus gave us a new commandment because divine love was revealed by Jesus in His death and resurrection in a way that could never be revealed by sacrificing animals. I agree, we are all saved by grace. Christ’s work on the cross was a finished work and it secured salvation for all who put their faith in God and His promise of a better sacrifice for those who lived prior to Calvary.

But how blessed we are who live under the new covenant. We know and experience the reality of Christ’s finished work. Christ forgave us all of our sins nearly 2,000 years before we ever committed one of them. He doesn’t hold any of our sins against us. It’s all new covenant good news and that’s what makes it so important to learn to love the way Christ loved us in securing our salvation. Even more, the Holy Spirit pours this love into our hearts when Christ takes up permanent residence there. He in us. We in Him. It’s grace that teaches us how to live and that means Christ living in us. Sounds good to me.

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