"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Scripture Favorites

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Scripture Favorites

What's your favorite scripture passage, and why?

I'll start with a couple of passages from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Philippians 2:5-12, because the idea of working out ones own salvation resonates with me, as does the idea of kenosis:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

Another favorite is Colossians 1.15-20, which speaks to me about the connectedness between Christ, us, and the cosmos:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.



  1. The Gospel according to Matthew

    25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:...

    ...25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    Wonderful, marvellous promise!

    H. Finn

  2. John 1:1

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' " 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, [but] grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared [Him.]"

    Psalms 103:1 "Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, [bless] His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good [things,] [So that] your youth is renewed like the eagle's. 6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive [with us,] Nor will He keep [His anger] forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, [So] great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, [So] far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities [his] children, [So] the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we [are] dust. 15 [As for] man, his days [are] like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. 19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the LORD, all [you] His hosts, [You] ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!"

  3. 23rd Psalm.

    Book of Ecclesiastes.

  4. How to choose? Recently I rediscovered Proverbs 3 , a fitting reminder to former LLLers.

    13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
    the man who gains understanding,

    14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.

    15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.

    16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.

    17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.

    18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
    those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

  5. Check out "The Favorite Texts of Jesus". I would love to know what you think of this article.

  6. I like all of the verses everyone has mentioned so far. Especially John 1. I get this feelimg every time I read it; I guess it's like I'm falling in love with God again every time I read it.

    But I'd have to say my very favorite verse (right now anyway) is; "And he said unto me, 'My strength is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." II Corinthians 12:9

    It is my favorite because over and over in my life lately I have seen His power in my weaknesses. During times of utmost frustration when I feel like I am making a mess of things His power shines through. Sometimes a certain weakness of mine feels very obvious to me but all that the people around me see is the opposite and I know it's Him they see because I had prayed that He would help me. I don't always feel it or know it at the time but afterwards, hearing about it from other people's perspectives it becomes very obvious just how much He used my weaknesses, and the people around me may not have had any idea how hard it was for me; they just saw what He was doing through me. It is so amazing!

  7. I have many favoristes, some common, some not so common, but "Be still and know that I am God", from Psalm 46 says a lot to me.

    Of course thinking about this got me going down another bunny trail and I was reminded of Revelation 8:1. "When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour." I read a story many years ago about a tour group that was being shown a very old church in Finland. One of the pieces of art in the church was a very old painting obviously depicting heaven and hell. A lady tourist got quite incensed when studying the painting because it appears that the only woman in heaven is Mary and the only man in hell was assumed to be Judas Iscariot. When the woman exclaimed about this to the tour guide, without missing a beat he explained there was a perfectly logical reason and that was the aforementioned verse, because he proposed that no woman could hold her tongue for a half hour...


  8. Ha ha.
    Did you know the OALC teaches that Laestadius opened the seventh seal?

  9. No, I did not know that. Wow. I wonder how and to whom that divine revelation was made.

    Or would that involve mixing faxts into a good story...

  10. facts, darn it, facts. That "x" is just too close to the "c".

  11. Martin Luther had this to say about Revelations:

    "About this book of the Revelation of John, I leave everyone free to hold his own opinions. I would not have anyone bound to my opinion or judgment. I say what I feel. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic. First and foremost, the apostles do not deal with visions, but prophesy in clear and plain words, as do Peter and Paul, and Christ in the gospel. For it befits the apostolic office to speak clearly of Christ and his deeds, without images and visions. Moreover there is no prophet in the Old Testament, to say nothing of the New, who deals so exclusively with visions and images. For myself, I think it approximates the Fourth Book of Esdras; 8 I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it.
    Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly -- indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important -- and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep.
    Many of the fathers also rejected this book a long time ago; 9 although St. Jerome, to be sure, refers to it in exalted terms and says that it is above all praise and that there are as many mysteries in it as words. Still, Jerome cannot prove this at all, and his praise at numerous places is too generous.
    Finally, let everyone think of it as his own spirit leads him. My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it. But to teach Christ, this is the thing which an apostle is bound above all else to do; as Christ says in Acts 1, "You shall be my witnesses." Therefore I stick to the books which present Christ to me clearly and purely."

  12. Wasn't Laestadius supposed to be the seventh angel, not the one who opened the seventh seal? I know Laestadians sometimes go pretty far in their interpretations of the Bible, but in this case it's hard to imagine even Laestadians would try to deny that the one who opened the seals was Christ and make it Laestadius instead. :)


    I was able to visit the island of Patmos a few weeks ago, including the cave in which John received the revelation and in which he lived and dictated the book. It was a great experience to visit such a place in which God's presence has been so strong, and I believe it still is...


    In the Orthodox church, the book of revelation is considered canonical and it is revered, but maybe not as highly as the other books in the NT. For example there are no readings from the book of revelation in Orthodox services.