Subtraction

Biblical Mathematics (2)

2-Image by Luiz Jorge de Miranda Neto- Luiz Jorge Artista from Pixabay

I hope you’ve had a great week of addition, adding to the good things God has already given you. Today we’ll look at simple subtraction—the act of taking something away.

Our first instinct is to possessively object to have anything taken from us. After all, didn’t we say last week that God makes us bigger, better, more? That’s true, but we need to subtract to allow space for increase. We see this when we look at what God has subtracted from our lives to replace with something greater:

  • He took my sin and made me righteous.
  • He took my guilt and granted me forgiveness.
  • He took my condemnation and set me free.
  • He took my hopelessness and gave me purpose.
  • He took my emptiness and filled me.
  • He took me out of slavery and made me His child.

Jesus, the great Subtractor, has made me less to make me more. He moved me from the negative column to the plus side. In response, I participate in His Biblical subtraction process by renouncing these:

  • Bitterness
  • Anger
  • Selfishness
  • Fear
  • Unforgiveness
  • Worry

The difference between Jesus’ subtraction and mine is that He subtracts once and for all—He removes my sin completely and forever. My subtraction, however, is an ongoing process—a daily removal of life’s inevitable sin-stains.

So while the definition of subtract is simply to take away, the process for us is not simple or final—but so worth it. Every negative we subtract makes room for something positive.

And that’s an oxymoron of Biblical mathematics—the more we subtract, the greater we become.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

See also Eph.4:22-5:15.
Image by Luiz Jorge de Miranda Neto- Luiz Jorge Artista from Pixabay

Addition—accumulation, supplementation

Biblical Mathematics (1)

Image by Andrew Martin from PixabayOf the three academic basics—reading, writing & ‘rithmetic—math is my least favorite. If I had my way, the world would be labeled with letters, not numbers. Can you imagine? “Your caramel swirl cappuccino is $M.cw.” So simple!

As much as I dislike math, I’ve become intrigued with Biblical mathematics. Today’s post is a first look at the four basic operations of math found in the Bible: addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.

Add simply means to join or unite, to bring about an increase or improvement. Addition is anything added—creating an increase.

Increase, to make greater, more, bigger.

When we give our lives to God, that’s exactly what He does for us—He makes us bigger, better, more. Using a timeless addition process, He adds to our lives that which lasts through eternity:

  • Faith & joy, complete and free
  • Grace & peace in abundance
  • Understanding & wisdom
  • Power, love & self-discipline
  • Hope & an inheritance
  • Everything we need for life and godliness
  • Belonging, a Father-child relationship with Him

We are no longer needy, but have been made complete, full, fulfilled—we lack no good thing.

“For this very reason,” says Peter, “make every effort to add…” We’ve been added to, now we enrich the life we’ve been given by adding to it:

  • Faith
  • Goodness
  • Knowledge
  • Self-control
  • Perseverance
  • Godliness
  • Brotherly kindness
  • Love

To all of us who have been added to, let’s continue the addition process.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Scripture references: John 15:12, 2 Peter 1:1-7, Job 32:8, James 1:5, 2 Timothy 2:7, Psalm 34:10; 84:11
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay