The Theology of Jesus

For many years now it has been my position that many, if not most, believers get their “theology” from Paul and their warm fuzzy comfort verses from Jesus.  However, it’s my contention that we should get our theology of faith from Jesus first.  I was reminded of this again the other day when a lady in our Bible Study class noted that she had once read that we practice our Christianity when we should be pursuing Christ. It’s a great phrase and merits some truth. Of course this lead to a litany of folks chiming in with their favorite Pauline phrases that supported that idea, being “conformed to the image of Christ” being the winner.

As I thought about those comments and how people voiced them with little hesitation, it made me wonder why we weren’t more intent on understanding and pursing Christ’s primary commandment to his disciples that they “love one another.”  Doing so would say to all who witnessed, these are indeed followers of Christ.  Isn’t that the true nature of pursing Christ?  Doesn’t love cover a multitude of sins?  Isn’t love our greatest expression of faith?.   Are not Peter and Paul fleshing out Jesus’ theology and not their own when they deposit those thoughts for us?

Yes, there may be more to our walk of faith than love. But it is unlikely anything is more important. We love because we are commanded to love by Christ. We serve one another out of love. We are obedient to the teachings of Jesus and his commandments out of love.  We worship the Father out of love. It was God’s love that initiated the ministry of his son.  Indeed the essence of Christ likeness is spawned from the fertile soil of love.  Some might think that Paul’s thoughts as expressed in 1Cor 13 are original with him, but I would suggest they began in the heart, mind, and teaching of Jesus.  Perhaps they were not expressed in the flowery words of a Paul, but they were succinct and to the point both expressed verbally by the Master and lived out in the presence of his followers. Should we ever have want for more than that?



Filed under 1 Corinthians, Bible, Discipleship, Jesus Christ, Love

8 responses to “The Theology of Jesus

  1. christianclarityreview

    Haven’t read your blog before.

    My problem with the love doctrines of pop Christianity isn’t that God said we are to love each other. It is the replacement of human emotion for the word ‘love’. That is really what everyone is saying.

    You may be the one guy in the world that isn’t.

    But what I find –every time– when someone is going on about love and Jesus is that the love they have in mind also happens to include the surrounding political definitions of ideologies within the last hundred years or so that comprise things like the definition of money in a pagan’s mind, economic policy based on those definitions, the common sense of scarcity and idealized lack of new creation that drive the environmental movement, and the mindless lockstep crowing about things that are not even true, much less something in which the love of Christ as the Incarnate Word of God has any meaning.

    I also find that be outside of their scripted vocabularies and terms and to speak to them makes them blind to being sure they can do the love they say is God. What is love if you don’t know you are doing it? Especially given that those saying we ought ideally to be doing more of it say they have free will? They have been handed false definitions of everything else and then told to ‘do love’ within those constraints.

    It is an oft repeated line that ‘we ought to love’. Okay. God loves through us. But when you try and go the route of a free willed love you are supposedly autonomously ‘doing’, within what other definitions of life does anyone understand what you are doing? If you supposedly loving autonomously, how are you loving “in Christ”? If your theory of fair play and sharing is built on an idealized lack of new creation such that it denies Christ creates as the Word of God, then in what is your love valid such that God must supposedly reward you for it?

    How can you prove you are not doing a false love completely contained within the speech God broke up at Babel?

    Instead of having answers, I –always– find that the supposed lover is stupefied to be asked to qualify his love. He/she just wants to be seen saying love themed phrases in lock step with a mob who says those things for political purposes.

    Not you?

    For the purposes of this discussion, you can substitute ” my love” for “mine idol” below…

    Isaiah 48:3-4 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen


  2. Dear Norm,
    I am asking this question out of pure ignorance, Based on what you wrote, I am getting the idea that Paul’s words are more important than what Jesus actually said, is this correct?


  3. Norm

    Timothy, I’m not certain I understand your point. Is there ever a pure motive for love, service to others, or service to God? Perhaps, but I’m not sure how it’s defined or who might demonstrate it other than Christ. How that impacts discipleship is evident in how the church primarily does love – through service and programs. That doesn’t make it right or an expression of genuine love, but it is often the best there is.

    Thanks for your thoughts


    • christianclarityreview


      Why is that the best there is? Who says its the best there is? What other doctrines are those who say that is the best there is being defended by that statement by default? It sounds as if you saying that a secular definition of charity, such as welfare, is mandated if one is going to be a Christian and your definition of discipleship is training someone else to walk lockstep in those definitions and actions.

      How is that possible?

      How is that God would borrow his definition of love –of Himself as Love– from those that hate him, even if they were fully deceived that what they did to each other was Love? Is it love to keep someone in false ideology just because they are used to being deceived that certain actions done to them are proof of having been loved and they think they are being hated to be saved by Christ? If the Church hands out what can only be love candy in false ideology and anti-Christ, is that really of Christ? If the Church goes along with ‘social’ programs that appeal to the lowest common denominator of interfaith love paradigms, that of course is not God as Love, but anti-Christ.

      You can understand then my question about what love you are talking about. Any body can say “Yeah, dude. We need to love. Definitely. Love is good. Hate is bad.”

      It’s beginning to look, Norm, like you are just another repeater of the generic love theme to make others who are caught in false ideology stay in that ideology so they will keep the same emotional intelligence they already have in order to know they ought to like you. That way, they will let you disciple them?

      If I’m wrong, show me. Show them. What love do you really have? What ideology of love does your target convert have and what he is supposed to give up to get saved? What love do you have in mind saving him into? A hamburger? A blanket? Cash money? Viagra? Free meds? That would make you a merchant, not a evangelist.

      These are basic questions between Christians. Others that are not Christians may be offended by them.

      Isaiah 48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.


      In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen


      • Norm

        Timothy, I’m really trying to understand your position. It seems you are saying true love is equal to evangelism – bringing the lost to a saving knowledge of Christ. That may be true.

        My position was simply this…”love” is what Jesus reflected when he gave his disciples a “new commandment,” that they love one another. Not that they share a belief system, although that may be part of it, but that they love one another. In doing so the world would know that they are followers/learners of Christ. That is not fleshed out in programs, although programs may be a vehicle. It is similar to what is seen in Acts where they had all things in common, devoting themselves to prayer and the teaching of the word.



      • christianclarityreview

        That’s what I thought Norm.

        “not sharing a belief system”… means sharing a interfaith belief system which is the hall mark of paganism/satanism. I just wanted you to flesh that out so others could see you are in fact not a Christian at all, despite your public hand wringing over an idealized scarcity of love among actual Christians. Your version of love then is to give the pagan what the pagan thinks they ought ideally to need no matter who told them that they needed it. A ‘here you go’ style of ‘love’ when the alcoholic says he want another drink or the dying pagan asks you to light a candle for him to his deity.

        What you are saying is the basis for handing out Viagra to homosexuals and condoms to teenagers, then saying assisted suicide and abortion is a viable solution to lust. Its just nazi game theory applied to self-serve religion and used as controlled opposition to Christianity as a look-a-like-in-print, somewhat sound-a-like.

        In other words, Norm, you have never, even once in your life actually done the love that Christ speaks of because you were afraid a pagan wouldn’t understand it. It takes God to do His love through us and He doesn’t compromise with Satan and call it love.

        I thought that when I first saw it. I just wanted you to admit it. Your title to your blog is apt –for you.

        This what God calls you false charity: note the man with evil eye is the one saying “eat! drink!” , ..kind of like Al Capone giving away soup in the Depression…or Norm giving away advice on love in the here and now.

        Proverbs 23:6,7 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.


        In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen


  4. Norm

    Joud, I’m not certain I would say Paul’s words are more important necessarily, they simply garner more attention often because of sure volume. Paul’s writings are far greater in number than the words of Jesus and the Gospels.

    I believe what is at issue is evangelical churches spend far more time teaching on the Pauline epistles than they do the Gospels. Story and narrative writings are more challenging than teaching epistles and more difficult to unwrap. At least that’s my take on it.

    Thanks for stopping by again.


  5. James Warren

    Hi Norm, Sorry its been so long. Looks like I missed a lot brother. Good topic. Mark 12:31 about sums the whole thing up eh!? I have returned to the blog trail after a couple months. Been VERY busy writing second book and I just received the MSS back from my editor. She was very encouraging. I am in process of rewrite now correcting boo-boos. LOL Again Norm sorry for being away from the blogosphere(sp). Oh well, you get the drift.


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