Tuesday, June 29, 2010

man and the moon

The moon... a ball of dirt that reflects the light of the sun into this world. I have heard the analogy that the Church's purpose is much the same - as men, we are only dirt that God has exalted to reflect the light of the Son (and His Gospel) into this dark world.

However, I was thinking recently about this analogy, and the thought came to mind that the moon does not always shine fully; we see only a half moon at times, a fingernail sliver at times, and there are those times that the moon is completely eclipsed.

Well if you're at all familiar with why we see the moon differ in these ways; it is because the earth is between the sun, and the shadow of the earth covers the moon, resulting in only a portion of the moon reflecting the sun (with an eclipse, the shadow of the earth will cover the entire moon).

And so it is with us as Christians. The more we allow the world between us and God, the less we reflect the light of the Son and His Gospel.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Should anyone agree with me (about anything)?

Over the last several days I have been thinking about the value something has depending on where it comes from - especially in regard to preaching (or things of the sort).

I was reading recently about the need for a statement of faith (and I am not against such a need) and the idea was presented that although ultimately the Bible should in essence be our statement of faith; many people may say they believe the Bible and yet disagree on various doctrines (that could be very important).

Along with this, I was listening to one of my favorite preachers and as I was listening he said that for the same reason (two can believe the Bible and disagree on what it says), that we should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history (and I am also not against looking to these preachers).

But what I was thinking about is whether it is better to hold the Bible as the only authority, look to it to find a truth on a particular subject, and be wrong in your understanding; or to believe something because a great preacher (modern or historical) said so, and that teaching be right?

The closest thing that came to mind on the subject in the Bible is when Paul went to the Bereans. Paul wrote most of the books in the New Testament - and if we can imagine him coming to our church, every word he said would probably be recorded on our note paper. We would probably reference his sermon often and say "Paul said..." and so on. But, the Bereans did not respond this way - their response is as follows:

Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

So although the famous Paul was preaching; the authority was (and is) still Scripture.

I think that I would rather someone (who believes the authority of Scripture) disagree with me on a subject (assuming they have looked to the Bible for its stand on that subject) than for them to believe anything because they agree with me. If the subject is an essential doctrine - we should be able to open Scripture (as the authority) to show them their error.

We should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history, but "with all readiness of mind, searching the scriptures whether those things are so". But that's just my thought, I am sure there are those who say differently.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who's your Father?

It is a common false belief that the Father (God) is the father of all. It is true that He is the Creator of all, but does that mean he is everyone's father? Let's look to Scripture.

John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do...

Jesus spoke to these people in the New Testament and declared their father was the devil. And also we read

Romans 9:8
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Looking at these, we can see that one cannot say the Father is their father - something must occur for the change in parent.

Romans 8:15
...but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Just as we can understand the process here when a child is born to people but becomes the child of others through adoption - so it is with God. There must be an adoption to claim that God is our Father. You must repent and place your faith in Christ alone. For those who have, how do you know God is your Father?

Hebrews 12:5-8
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

This is a warning to all of us that claim to have God as our Father - are you chastened? It is not my words here, but the Word of God, that if you are not, you are not His.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

God's reflection

How holy is God? What we say when we answer this, may not be what we actually believe. Our life is what reflects our true belief. If we live as if our sin is minimal, it is because we believe God is not absolutely - completely - uncompromisingly - HOLY; that His holiness is equally minimal. Not only that, but if God is Holy and lives in us; than should not His holiness be poured out in the way we live our life - is it possible for any other outcome if He truly does live in us?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

if A=B & A=C & A=D; then B=C & C=D

Confused by the title? You may ask why would I title this post with what looks to be a mathematical equation? Well, actually this isn't so much a mathematical equation as much as it is a simple truth. Yes many of us were taught this truth in math class - but it is no less a truth that can be applied anywhere whether the variables are numbers or not.

With that in mind, let's look to Scripture. We read in the beginning part of John 1:1 that "In the beginning was the Word..."

So the first variable (relating to my title) is who is the Word (what is A)? - The Word is Jesus (B). In Revelation, John saw a vision of Christ returning, and the "title by which He is called is the Word of God" (Rev 19:13,16). And so the Word (A) = Jesus (B)

So we move to the next variable; the ending part of John 1:1 says "...and the Word was God." The Amplified Bible expounds further to read "...and the Word was God Himself". So C= God Himself. Which is to say Jesus (B) = God Himself (C).

Moving further, we read in John 1:14 "and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...". So then next variable, D, is not a noun (person, place, thing) but rather a verb (action) and D = becoming flesh and having dwelt among men.

When reading this passage in John, it is common to understand and see that the Word is Jesus, that Jesus (from eternity, entered time and) put on flesh, and dwelt among men. We can also establish the Deity of Christ from this text.

But why would I write (what may very well be an awkward post) to state the Deity of Christ (when it could be so much simpler)? - It is because I would like to meditate on the Scripture in this way:

God Himself became flesh and dwelt among men. (C=D)

How amazing is this; that the King of the universe & Creator of all (John 1:3) - God Himself, became as one of us, and then died for us. To me, this is incredibly humbling. I am the one who deserves death. My sin leaves me hopeless in front of a God that cannot overlook it; and yet He chose to be the sacrifice that pays the penalty which belongs to me. God offers you the same; if you will repent and place your faith in Jesus, He will grant you the gift of eternal life.

does He know you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Study Bible & Bible Study

I love study Bibles. They can add a whole new depth to our Bible reading because of the countless information they contain. There are study Bibles from our favorite preachers, and from good publishers. There are study Bibles that focus on specific aspects; like history, evangelism, apologetics, the Christian walk, etc. There are more broad study Bibles, more in depth, and on and on it goes. And as I said to start, I love them.

But, when does our study Bible's extra biblical information become what we study? And are we neglecting actual Bible study and instead just reading; reading the Bible, then reading the notes? Bible study is essential to Christian growth, study Bibles can help - but they do not replace.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How well do you know Him?

One of the ways in which surrendering to Christ is termed is coming to know Him. It is the same to say I know the Lord, as it is to say I am born again, or to say I am saved. Equally, when asking someone if they are a Christian, one can ask do you know the Lord?

But for us who do know Him, there is the question, how well? When we are introduced to someone we can say we know them, but the deepness of that relationship is dependent on how much time we spend with them, and getting to know them better.

With Jesus, how do we get to know Him better? By studying and reading His Word! So there is a necessity in being in the Word daily. We can say we know Jesus if we are Christians (that is if we have repented and put our faith in Him), but to know Him well - we must look on Him and listen to Him through Scripture.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seeker Friendly

Nobody wants to offend someone else, or at least I would say that our desire is not to offend people, but when we speak the message of God - and the consequence is that people are offended - do we, or should we, change or tweak the message to be "seeker friendly"? That is to say, is it good to make the message more agreeable with most, for the sake of not being offensive?

I absolutely would say that we should not be offensive, but the message cannot change! And the message of the Gospel is offensive. It is offensive because it is personal, it speaks to the individual. And it is offensive because the message is that we are wicked. Can we make this less offensive? Only if the message changes, and if it changes it is not the Gospel.

Galatians 1:9-10
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Monday, June 7, 2010


What do we think of when we hear or think of the word "addicted"? Most of us probably think of something negative - and for the most part, we are right. Addictions to many awful and sinful substances rule and destroy lives; however, Scripture uses the word only once:

1 Corinthians 16:15
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

I thought of this verse because over the last several months I have had the privilege of teaching the Way of the Master basic and intermediate courses at my church and one of the participants, Melanie Betts, shared this testimony yesterday at church with the congregation (I don't know how to upload the audio so here is the link to the Church's sermon archive - click "June 2010", then "a brother behind the scenes", then "Melanie Betts Testimony").

If only we all sought to be addicted to the ministry of the saints. Thank you Melanie.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Living Sacrifice

In the Old Testament we read of many sacrifices offered to God on altars - in which an animal was slain. But we read in Romans that we are to be "living sacrifices". But what is the difference between being a living sacrifice and a dead one? For us, it is the ability to leave the altar. We are not laid on an the altar unable to do anything about it - we choose to be on the altar (and we can choose not to be).

We read of those who have died for Jesus, but how many of us live for Him? To do so, to die daily to self and live for and in Christ, is not a calling of great service - it is merely our reasonable service. There is much pretending that as Christians our life is still ours to do as we choose, but the reality is that if we live as we should - we don't live, we die and we allow Christ to live through us.

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Will of the Father

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

John 6:40
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do

In the Bible as we look at the account of Jesus' crucifixion, we read:

Luke 23:34
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...

It is understood that Jesus was speaking about those who were crucifying Him 2000 years ago. That Jesus was looking on the created who were killing their Creator, the very Son of God. But what strikes me, and humbles me, is that I (and you) are just as much to blame as they were. Jesus died for our sin, because of our wickedness, it is our lawlessness that nailed Jesus to the cross. And just as much as He was speaking to the people in front of Him, I believe He was also looking across time - looking at us, and in His death (the way in which He made it possible) He said "forgive them, for they know not what they do".

Evangelism Resources

Evangelism Resources