What It Means When the Bible Repeats Something

“The oral culture of Scripture, however, interpreted repetition in a different way. Important days in history were reenacted yearly. When you wanted to dramatize the importance of what you were saying, you repeated it. Only those things that were critical deserved repeating. The more it was repeated, the more important it was. So don’t think of Scripture’s repetition in terms of ‘Take your vitamins.’ Think of it in terms of ‘I love you.’ If spouses say it once a year, you wonder if they really mean it. But if they say it every day and back it up with their actions, their partners are blessed by their love.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

What Does It Mean to ‘Die’ to Things That Are Good?

“Can we say that we die to our children? Yes, in a sense, but it isn’t exactly our children. We die to our notions that God doesn’t care about them. We die to the fear that no one is in control. We die to our belief that God is not always good. We die to the grasping that says, ‘My children are mine and mine alone.'” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

How Death Changes Our View of Possessions

“We are stewards of our possessions. Contrary to the hopes of all the Pharaohs who stuffed their graves with enough gold to get them through eternity, we can’t take our stuff with us. Death has changed our relationship with everything in earthly life. We continue to appreciate health and prosperity when we have them, but they aren’t the cherished possessions they once were.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

Union with Christ Illustrated

“You have to understand something about the Hebrew culture. A Hebrew was always part of a larger group, and life was one for all and all for one. What happened to the patriarch of the clan happened to you. You were united with him. If he suffered shame, so did you. If he won a victory, it was on your behalf. It would be as if you yourself had won. In a similar but even more profound way, Christ is our new Patriarch or King. Our previous head was Adam (Rom. 5: 12— 21). His death was our own. All the good things we could possibly do were not enough to loose us from his legacy of condemnation. Only a new head, who demonstrated a new obedience and who died but could not be held down by death, could give us a death that leads to life. What Jesus experienced, we too experience. If he is honored, we are honored. If he dies, we die. Therefore, the apostle Paul can say that we died. We died to our old master. We died to the reign of sin. We died to the way of life of the old kingdom. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2: 20).” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

God Doesn’t Play Games, We Do

“Please don’t think that God is playing games with you. ‘I see sin in your life; now you are going to have to guess what it is.’ If games are being played, we are the players. We are the ones who avoid the light. Seeing sin does not demand unusual intelligence or insight, it just takes a willing heart.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

Why Confession to Others is Sometimes Wise

“Confession to another person is not a way to artificially unload guilt. The one who hears your confession is not a priest who will grant absolution. The reason you confess something private is to test your own heart. It is also a way to close the door to one of Satan’s condemnatory devices. Satan delights in keeping all things in the dark, where they can accumulate more condemnation, but we can do battle by keeping our lives in the light.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

Fear & Pain Receptors

“Jesus turned and said to them, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!” Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’”(Luke 23: 28— 30)
Jesus is saying that when he is finally revealed as the Judge of all (John 5: 27), those who rejected him will prefer the mountains to fall on them than to be naked, ashamed, and condemned before him. In other words, if you reject the King or are a mere dabbler in the kingdom, then your present fear and anxiety are a blessing. They serve the same function as pain receptors, in that they tell you when you are in physical danger. People without pain receptors gradually lose body parts because they don’t realize that they have their hand on the stove or are walking with a piece of glass in their foot. Such people know it is folly to numb those receptors when they are functioning well.” -Ed Welch, Running Scared

Cultural Observation: The Denial of Death

“Funeral homes advertise ‘life celebrations.’ Sentimentalists say that death is a natural part of life. Modernists suggest that there is no life after physical death, so get over your romantic attachment to immortality. In this they follow the old Epicurean view of death that says, ‘Death is nothing to us.’ others are fatigued with the pain and meaninglessness of life and either welcome death, at least in theory, or seem numb in the face of it. Camus represents this group when he writes in The Stranger, ‘Today mother is dead. Or maybe yesterday; it doesn’t matter.'” -Ed Welch, Running Scared