Theology: Addressing John 1:14 Without the Trinity?
Rev. Jason Gallion
This semester at Indiana Bible College, I have the privilege of teaching a course on the Prison Epistles. In this course, we discuss the conditions that Paul experienced as he wrote these four tremendous books: Galatians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians. We look at this man, who, in the best of these circumstances, was subject to house arrest. Some theologians believe it was between four to six years that Paul was bound to a prisoner’s lifestyle.
But when we read these letters, we realize that Paul was neither lamenting nor depressed despite these conditions. He isn’t even self-soothing regarding the treachery he no doubt endured while penning these epistles. Rather, he is encouraging and uplifting to the churches that he loves.
I can’t help but read these letters and think of the pastors across our movement who walk to the pulpit week after week, albeit having to disconnect from what personal issues may be going on from their lives to deliver God’s Word for the people. Though the circumstances of life may seem grim at the intimate level of these pastors’ lives, they have remembrance that there is hope, life, and faithfulness in God.
I believe that pastors are heeding the voice of God despite the darkness, depression, anxiety, and fear that has gripped our nation in this age. Pastors are reminding the church afresh that it’s not so much about “where” we are living, but what we believe in that will see us through. This strongly encourages me personally, as much as it is surely encouraging the church.
I glean much from Paul’s writings in these epistles, but one thing that stands out is that his primary focus was always the preaching of the Cross. This is something that must be grasped in our current hour. Preaching cannot be replaced by professionalism, proficiency, or programs. The “main thing” must always be the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will bring us true unity of the faith.
Many of us understand that ministry is a lonely road. But this loneliness can effectively produce a solid foundation for a minister of the gospel. Those seasons of life in which we feel isolated help us to understand what our hope really is. They help us to understand Who we rely upon, Who sticks closer to us than a brother, and what our fulfillment in life is rooted in.
Paul’s years in prison were spent with little companionship and hardly any outside encouragement. No one was beside him daily saying, “You can do this!” And yet, even though he had moments when nobody was around him physically, Paul never had a moment when he was alone. In the prison, it was him and God. As many of us can attest to in our own lives, that was all he really needed.