Pondering “All Things” …..

One commonly referenced verse is Philippians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  What are the “all things” that one can do when in close relationship with Christ?  I would suggest that they are the proclamations, prohibitions, promises, and principles of the Word that Jesus came to interpret for us and show us how to live out daily.  Life in Christ gives one the power and desire to do the “all things” we are called to do in the Scriptures  

In John 4 the Samaritan woman revealed her familiarity with the messianic promises when she said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain all things to us.”  When she went to tell the townspeople of Sychar about the man Jesus who was at their town’s well, her interpretation of “all things” was that he “told me all I ever did.” 

As I have encountered this phrase, “all things”, in the Scriptures, I have come to believe that it refers to those promises, principles, prohibitions, and proclamations within the Scripture itself.  Jesus explained and illuminated the Old Testament Scriptures for people, helping them understand the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law, how to understand it and apply it using familiar parables, and how he himself was the fulfillment of prophecy.   “All things” in the Scripture became clear to those with enlightened belief that came through engagement with Christ.   This use of the phrase “all things” to refer to Scripture reveals the centrality of the Word……Written or Living.

In 1Corinthians 13 we are told that love bears, believes, hopes, and endures “all things”.  Some interpret that to mean that love perseveres through any circumstances.  However, if one considers the context of “all things”  as meaning Scripture itself, then the one who demonstrates love stands steadfastly on the promises, principles, proclamations and prohibitions of the Word, trusting completely in God, not in the goodness or strength of “love” itself.   Since the Word also tells us that “God IS love,” to describe love in these ways describes God’s consistency with His own Word.  Similarly, our belief in and love for Christ enables us to bear, believe, hope, and endure “all things” that He said are and will be in the future.

John 14:26 says, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things.”   ( Just as Jesus Christ did during the human incarnation of God. )  The Holy Spirit’s task is to illuminate and guide us into understanding the Word.

John 16:30 further suggests the relationship of “all things” to the Word in reference to Jesus’ knowledge of the Scriptures:  “Now we know that you know all things and need none to question you; by this we believe that you came from God.”

It appears that from God’s perspective,”all things” are the things of value are what are really important….how we know and relate to God and one another.  Focusing on Scripture, learning its promises, principles, proclamations, and prohibitions will give us all that we need. 

When one is inclined to claim Philippians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, ”   I would hope to see it understood in the way that says, “I can resist temptations; I can be obedient to God; I can love others as myself; I can love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength; I can stand firm in my faith”,  and laying claim to all of the other promises, principles, prohibitions, and proclamations of the Word!