by Eric Kopp
I believe that when we present things of God we should seek them in a cumulative fashion rather than a factorization approach.
In a factorization approach you break the whole up into parts. These nuggets though good if ever presented on their own miss the point and/or become something other than the whole.
The number 24 is built from the these components (2,2,2,3) The lowest factor of this is 2 and the highest of it is 3.
2 and 3 alone do not make up the whole truth of what 24 is. In fact they are parts of lots of other truths like 26 and 28. If I were to put this in spiritual terms and change the numbers to aspects of the fruit of the Spirit I think its application becomes more evident.
The fruit of the spirit is looked at like a composite meaning that it is one thing and the listings in Galatians are like perspectives or factors of it. Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance are like those above factors (2x3x5x7x11…) together they all explain the fruit of the Spirit. If I were to take just one and try to do it without the others, say for example Patience without Love it would not really be the Patience we think it is. In fact it would at most be patience and at worst be tolerance.
In fact, what we see in Corinthians when we factor out Love we end up with nothing.
The character of God is like this also. Often times we focus just on one part, with statements like God is Love, God is Good, God is the Father. Which he is, but what he calls Love is much more. God is also Righteous. God is also Jealous. He has many names and when we strip him down to just one thing everyone looses and in fact what we are presenting may not even be God.
If I go to the lowest common denominator of God being Love but only preach Love we are missing some main points of who God is. A gospel based on this with all the truth and righteousness factored out is not the true gospel. It is the same with a gospel that has factored out love and grace and just judgement.