Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christ. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2023

More Where That Comes From

Being transformed into the image of the Son of God does not depend on me.

Thank the Lord for that.

There are things about Christian service that can be learned. Skill sets can be developed. Techniques can be applied. Practice sometimes makes perfect. I could, for instance, wholly apart from the Spirit of God, acquire a greater understanding of Hebrew and Greek through diligent study and as a consequence become a more accurate Bible teacher.

Whether much of eternal value would come from that apart from the Spirit of God is a separate question, but it can certainly be done.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Line of the Forever King

“To you in David’s town this day
 Is born of David’s line
 A Savior, who is Christ the Lord
 And this shall be the sign …”

— from While Shepherds
    Watched Their Flocks

The Messiah of Israel had to be from the tribe of Judah. Not just that, he had also to be of the specific line of David, Israel’s greatest king, and the “man after [God’s] own heart”.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Holiness and Vision

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

What is the writer to the Hebrews saying in the latter part of this verse?

A casual reading might leave us with the impression that it’s something to do with salvation. We might paraphrase that sort of interpretation this way: “Without being holy, nobody will be able to enter the presence of God and enjoy heaven.”

That’s perfectly true, but I don’t think it’s the writer’s intended meaning.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sympathy and Separation

Jesus of Nazareth was — and remains — unique in his nature.

He was the Word become flesh, and yet dwelling among us. Who is the Word? One with the Father, the creator of worlds, yet becoming man.

What does it mean when we say that the Savior was “separate from sin”?

Sunday, December 04, 2022

When Is It Wrong to Pray? (2)

In a previous post, we were considering the danger of using prayer as a sort of blanket to hide under when we ought to be doing something else, and I suggested that there are times when it is inappropriate for us to pray.

We will come back to that idea shortly, but let’s begin with this statement:

All men are either in Adam or in Christ.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Anonymous Asks (225)

“If perfection is impossible in this life, why did Jesus tell people to go and sin no more?”

Jesus actually did this twice, and both accounts were preserved for us by John, one in chapter 5 of his gospel, and the other in chapter 8. In my Bible, the latter narrative comes with a disclaimer to the effect that the earliest manuscripts of John’s gospel do not include it, which, frankly, doesn’t bother me a whole lot. I have always loved the story of the woman “taken” in adultery. It portrays the Lord in a way that seems to me wholly consistent with his revealed character. I believe John wrote it and that it is God-breathed just like the rest of his gospel.

Still, opinions vary about that passage. If you discount it, then you only have to answer this question once.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Mining the Minors: Micah (13)

Why our English Bibles start Micah 5 where they do is one of those little mysteries to which I will likely never find an answer, but in Hebrew, chapter 5 begins with verse 2. That makes more sense, because the prophet has manifestly changed subjects, moving from a future siege of Jerusalem to God’s answer to a nation’s prayers. It’s a better spot for a chapter break.

In chapter 4, Micah spoke of a king-less Israel longing for the restoration of its monarchy. In chapter 5, he gives us more information about this coming king.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Who Wants to Live Forever?

“Who wants to live forever?” sang Freddie Mercury of Queen, somewhat prophetically, in 1986. He died of AIDS five years later, a shell of himself at the end. Freddie didn’t write the song (guitarist Brian May did), but its answer to “Who wants to live forever?” is a rhetorical “Not me.” It ends with the line “Forever is our today.” If anything, the song is a plea to live life to the fullest in the here-and-now, rather than an expression of yearning for infinite time on earth.

Brian May is no idiot. We live in a fallen world. “What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away from us?” he writes. “Who wants to live forever when love must die?” Better to expend whatever one has left in a good cause, no?

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Harmonizing the Five Thousand

Yesterday we looked at the only miracle found in all four gospels: the feeding of the 5,000. We noted that the synoptic gospel accounts have many common elements, though each writer has tailored his version of the story to fit his overall purposes in writing about the life of the Lord Jesus.

For example, Matthew emphasizes the relationship between the Lord and John the Baptist, only just executed by Herod: “When Jesus heard this [that John had been executed], he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place.” Mark and Luke emphasize the Lord’s care for his disciples, who had just had their first taste of successful solo ministry: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while,” he invites them.

We often make choices with multiple purposes in view. The Lord Jesus was no exception.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Inbox: Random Mutterings About Infinite Value

Recently received:

If I said I had a million dollars and I asked you how much I needed to add to that to reach infinity, you’d shortly tell me something like “You can’t get there from here.”

If I said I was completely broke and had zero in the bank — and then asked how much I needed to add to that to reach infinity, you’d answer in precisely the same way.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Worship of Angels

I went to an old-time hymn sing last week.

It’s not that I prefer the old hymns. I’m just as much a fan of new choruses as the next guy … provided they’re theologically sound, of course. And singable: there’s no point in trying to sing something that’s lame musically. But if it’s all coming together, I don’t much care how new or old the tune is. If the words are good, and the tune is great for congregational singing, I say let’s go.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Do You Love the Lord?

Well, do you? It’s a hugely important question. It merits serious thought.

Love for God is fundamental. Jesus taught that the first and greatest commandment in the Law of Moses was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. So then, God claims the right to rule my thoughts, to control how I define and express my self, and to direct my understanding. Allowing him to exercise his rightful domain unimpeded is the first and greatest expression of love toward God.

This truth was fundamental to a right understanding of the Law, and it is fundamental to Christianity. All true goodness follows from it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Flyover Country: 2 John

What we think of Christ is the most important thing about us.

Our relationship with God depends on thinking rightly about his Son, who came into the world at the Father’s behest to save sinners. Heaven’s gate is forever closed to those who do not come to love the Lord Jesus. Moreover, true Christian fellowship is impossible for us to maintain with anyone who does not think accurate, biblical thoughts about the Savior of the world, just as the apostles and writers of the New Testament taught.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Goodness or Godhood

The following post is an edited version of a flyer created in 2016 for the author’s neighbors. He went to be with his Lord and Savior January 20, 2020, which is “far better”.

“Good” is a word often carelessly used in conversation.

Three examples: “People who work for the government earn a good wage”, or “The weather should be good tomorrow”, or you ask a friend, “How are you?” and he replies, “I’m good.”

That last one is too much for anyone to say of themselves. We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God”. At best we are not absolutely good, though we may have done some relatively good things that we hope our neighbors appreciate.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Representative Men

The Bible consists of 66 books. Thousands of years lie between the first human author and the last, but the way its history, its prophecies, its songs and its teachings blend into a cohesive story implies the oversight of one person. He must have existed throughout the years of its production! The Bible claims for itself that it is “God-breathed” or inspired.

What is its story all about? Serious students of its pages have made various suggestions as to its overall purpose and plan depending on which of its themes interested them. Every valid idea put forward is like a thread woven into the overall fabric of scripture. It becomes possible to trace these themes throughout its pages like the colored strands in a tapestry. The topics of the glory of God, the sinful condition of mankind, the need for a sufficient sacrifice, etc., all contribute to the total impression left on the mind of the thoughtful reader.

And each strand of truth that begins in the first book has its counterpart, contrast and climax in the last.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Levitical Interlude #2: Day of Atonement

There are individual sins and there are corporate sins. A woman who has an abortion commits the former; a nation that enshrines her right to do so in its law commits the latter. I leave it to you to weigh which is the greater offense.

From Sinai onward, upon becoming conscious of having personally violated God’s laws, individual Israelites could bring their offerings to the tabernacle or temple all year round to have their transgressions covered over. But Israel’s corporate transgressions also needed a way of being covered over, being arguably more offensive to God than sins any lone Israelite might commit, and therefore more likely to be the source of an outbreak of divine wrath against the entire nation.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Anonymous Asks (181)

“ ‘Son of man’ is a title that belongs to Christ. Why is it also used for Ezekiel?”

Ezekiel not only had the title before the Lord Jesus, he had it used to describe him many more times than the Lord Jesus, 93 in total. More importantly, it was God himself who chose to address him that way, though Daniel is also called a “son of man”. But Ezekiel and Daniel are not the only places you find the phrase in the Old Testament; you also find it in Job, Numbers, the Psalms, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

What can we learn from the fact that both Ezekiel and Daniel had the title earlier, and Ezekiel more frequently? Not much, probably, except maybe not to measure spiritual importance by such metrics.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Tearing Down Strongholds

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

[Editor’s note: When we were young we used to play road hockey. Now we do this. I missed out on this particular email discussion, but I thought the rest of you might enjoy it as much as I did when I woke up to find it in my inbox. And yes, I got called out for not participating, but these days I will take sleep whenever I can get it.]

Bernie: Okay, bear with me ...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

14 Inches to the Northwest

I actually wrote this one back in November 2017, but Millennium Tower is back in the news again, so here goes ...

Apparently building your house on something quasi-rock-like won’t cut it.

San Francisco’s Millennium Tower has sunk 17 inches and tilted 14 inches to the northwest since 2006. If that sounds like nothing, bear in mind that this is a 58-storey state-of-the-art concrete monster that drew millions in investment dollars from people like former NFL quarterback Joe Montana.

The problem? Not built down to bedrock.

Does that take you back 2000 years or what?

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Christ and the Police State

The Rutherford Institute is a nonpartisan organization whose self-appointed mission is to hold the U.S. government accountable to abide by the rule of law, sound the alarm over institutional abuses of power, and educate Americans about reclaiming their constitutionally-guaranteed but steadily-eroding freedoms. Its founder John Whitehead is deeply concerned that America is becoming a police state, and he offers plenty of evidence to back up his claims.

All very important stuff in its own place, I’m sure, but what does it have to do with Christians? Well, Whitehead has written a Christmas post entitled “The Christmas Baby Born in a Police State: Then and Now”, in which he asks the question “What if Jesus had been born 2,000 years later?”

Okay, now I’m interested.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A Man With No Handles

“The ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”

What was the Lord talking about here? It is true that he always did what the Father commanded, but I suspect in this time and place he was talking specifically about what might motivate him to go to the cross. He prefaced his declaration by noting that the “ruler of this world” was making his move.

Nevertheless, for all his apparent power, Satan had no claim on him.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Seven Sabbaths

Quick question: How many Sabbaths was the Lord Jesus accused of breaking?

Well, we can’t say for certain, as there is no guarantee the writers of the Gospels were attempting to document every occasion on which the Jewish leadership became offended with him for allegedly doing it.

What we do know is that the first four books of the New Testament make reference to seven occasions when the Lord explained the reasons for his behavior.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Kissing the Son

“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.”

That’s a very strong statement. Catholics would say, “Let him be anathema”, which simply means “devoted to destruction”. Paul leaves us no fence to straddle: it’s love or destruction. Choose one or the other.

That word translated from Greek to English as “love” refers to affection or approval. It’s also a word that means “to kiss”. In the ancient East, when you saw someone you knew and liked on the street, you would greet them with a kiss. It was a way of publicly identifying yourself with that person; of saying to everyone around, “This is my guy, right here.”

Or you could just turn your head away and walk on by. But what an insult that would be.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Present Perfect

Everybody likes gifts, they say. Still, some are better than others.

A funny story: My in-laws were on their way to a wedding. Along the roadside, a hack artist was selling a number of truly horrible original oil paintings. (Doubtless this poor soul labored under the delusion he was some sort of Michelangelo.) Anyway, my relatives pulled over for a look. These ‘masterpieces’ were supposed to be landscapes, but they all looked like they’d been painted with a really fat brush using earth tones, pale blues and dark blacks. (If you imagine an explosion in a factory that produces toothpaste, peanut butter and licorice, you’ve roughly got the aesthetic here.)

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Thought Life of Christ

There’s tremendous potential in you as a believer. God has great purposes for you as a believer.

We know these great purposes. He wants us to be conformed to the image of his Son. That’s going to include not only our external activities, but surely it’s also going to include the transformation of our thought lives.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Hatred of King Jesus

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

These “companions” were not bad guys.

The psalmist is probably speaking of other Israelite royalty, so Jesus had something significant in common with them despite their human failings: they were all kings. People like David, Solomon and Hezekiah. They served God, they honored God, and they led his people out to victory.

Not bad guys at all, some of them.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: The “Divinity” of Christ

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Our friend Michael Gungor is at it again, doubling down on his statement to the effect that “Genesis is a poem if I’ve ever seen one.”

Which would be fine, as mere opinions go, but now he’s brought Jesus Christ into it:

“Even if he was wrong, even if he did believe that Noah was a historical person, or Adam was a historical person, and ended up being wrong, I don’t understand how that even would deny the divinity of Christ. The point is it wouldn’t freak me out if he was wrong about it, in his human side.”

Tom: Let’s just catch us up here.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Finally! An Elected Official We Can Believe In

When I was a little kid, I have to admit I wasn’t much of an athlete. Having been raised with different games and sports than were popular in the country to which my family had returned, I had only opaque knowledge of the rules, and little practice at executing the conventional skills. So I was equally lousy at football, baseball, basketball, soccer and even volleyball, and only marginally competent at hockey.

It would be years before I caught up to my peers who had been raised with those games. Nevertheless, I tried. And I played, whether I was good or not.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Bible Study 09 — Context [Part 3]

Another instalment in the re-presentation of our 2013-2014 series about studying the Bible using methods deduced from the Bible itself. The series introduction can be found here.

The second Bible study tool we are discussing is context. For justification, see the first post on this subject.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Thwarted Coup d’État

“And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.’ ”

The synoptic gospels recount an incident where Jesus is informed that his family members have gathered outside his residence in Capernaum and want to see him. The Lord then turns to his disciples inside the house and asks them, “Who are my mother and brothers?”

Such a reaction may at first sound a little dismissive to us if we do not understand the circumstances. But of the three accounts, only Mark provides insight into the true motives of Mary and the Lord’s earthly siblings.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Command Performance

I’ve been thinking about the commandments.

People say that in the Old Testament, God is full of these things. Rabbis claim there are 613 of them, as a matter of fact — an odd number, to be sure. Why should God have an opinion on these particular items? Why not 614? Why not fewer?

And the nature of the commandments — everything from killing each other, to what people eat, to how they wash, to how they match their fabrics … and still the list is not exhaustive, for it leaves many aspects of life totally unmentioned and spends what we might deem far too much time on others.

Why does God care about all these particulars?

Thursday, June 24, 2021

It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over

The Lord is king forever and ever.”

The 2014 NCAA football championship final was an amazing game. The Florida State Seminoles and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, high on a record-breaking season, were pitted against the upstart Auburn Tigers, recent defeaters of last year’s national champions. Florida State was touted as the prohibitive favorite — but as they say, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

Auburn stormed out onto the field and took the Seminoles off guard. Their crafty game plan, superior aggression at the line and some stellar execution by their offense rapidly staked them to an overwhelming 21-3 lead. Meanwhile, nothing the Seminoles tried seemed to work, and Auburn’s every touch of the ball was golden.

But as they say, the game weren’t over yet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Putting It in Words

“They did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.”

Years ago I was blathering to one of my brothers about some girl who shall remain nameless, mostly because I can’t even remember who she was now; just another in a lengthy series of post-teen passing interests that remained unreciprocated, a blessing I appreciate more today than I did then.

Early in this conversation my brother told me to please shut up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

An Essential Human Right

Early in June, Nigeria became the world’s ninth country to either restrict the social media website Twitter, or ban it outright. Being neither a tweet generator nor a tweet consumer, I consider that no great loss for Nigerians. Twitter naturally disagreed, declaring an open internet an “essential human right”. The irony, of course, is that the same company has had no problem censoring the Nigerian president’s own tweets, not to mention banning US President Donald Trump entirely.

When you make the bed ...

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Faithful and True

Nobody likes being told they are wrong. It’s hard on our pride. For this reason, we may behave very badly in the process of being corrected. But if you’ve ever stumbled around in the dark, looking for answers and living with the painful consequences of your own mistakes, then you may have come to appreciate the value of a faithful and true witness; one who risks your anger and hostility to tell you the real story about yourself; one who cares enough to get involved when others would simply keep quiet, go about their business and let you continue in your misery. Faithful and true witnesses are rare and precious.

And if you have ever told the truth in front of hostile men and women who don’t want to hear it, then you know the cost of faithfulness and truth in giving testimony.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Inbox: Meditating on the Cross

Recently received from Bernie, and well worth sharing:

“ ‘Don’t cross me.’

  ‘You’re making me cross.’

  ‘I’m at a crossroad.’

All these common phrases speak to a conflict — and not a minor one at that. “Cross” is the coming together of two (often mutually contradictory) standards. What you are choosing to do is not what I want you to do — and thus I am “cross”, or you are “crossing” me. When I’m at a “crossroad”, I am faced with a choice that is one of two directions that do not go to the same place.

“Cross” is a collision, an intersection, a choosing point.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Everywhere a Sign

The apostle John has a thing about signs. You might say it’s one of the dominant themes of his gospel.

Every gospel mentions that the Lord Jesus performed signs (or miracles, depending on your translation), but John leaves the rest of them in the dust. In connection with the earthly ministry of the Lord, he references the word on sixteen separate occasions. Compare that to Matthew (three), Mark (one) or Luke (four) and you’ll see what I’m saying.

Unlike the old song, in John, signs don’t block out the scenery. They are the scenery.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Anonymous Asks (138)

“Was Jesus black?”

Great. Thanks a lot. This is almost guaranteed to get controversial …

A little history: the traditional way of classifying the various nations that make up the human race, which was based primarily on biological commonalities (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, Australoid), has recently fallen out of favor, mostly for political reasons. It is politely referred to as outdated and impolitely referred to as racist.

Nevertheless, because the old system was biology-based rather than ideology-based, it remains in use among anthropologists and in learning disciplines where observing distinctions between people groups is a meaningful exercise. If you are going to try to answer the question “Was Jesus black?” at all, it remains the only sane way of framing the issue for discussion.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Rest is Detail

The gospel is a funny thing.

At least the way we often define it is a bit odd, particularly when we include the word in the phrase “gospel meetings”. You know, those very simple, explicit “Come-to-Jesus” messages promulgated in evangelistic tent meetings and in gospel halls all over North America for the last century or more.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I mean, there isn’t, really. It just isn’t the whole gospel picture, is it?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Indirect Evidence for Inspiration

In an era when not just politicians, lawyers and Muslims but average men and women increasingly play fast and loose with truth, one may forgive a little scepticism when someone makes a claim.

All scripture is breathed out by God”, Paul once wrote to Timothy.

That is a pretty significant assertion, and it is not one that can be substantiated by direct evidence. Christians cannot produce Polaroids of Paul or David in the process of writing the words of God surrounded by a nimbus or with an angel handing them a scroll. Nor can eyewitnesses confirm the presence of any Spirit Being overshadowing, indwelling, controlling or directing the authors of scripture. They are all long gone, if such witnesses ever existed.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

My Sheep

“My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them …”

“I know them.”

It’s funny … wouldn’t you expect the Lord to have said, “My sheep listen to my voice and they know me”?

That would be parallelism. That would be equivalent. That would speak of our recognition of the Good Shepherd, just as the first part of the verse emphasizes it. We know his voice, and we know him.

But it’s not that.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Anonymous Asks (131)

“Was Jesus really a Jew?”

If you have been a mainstream evangelical Christian most of your life and are even slightly familiar with the scriptures, this may seem like a ridiculous question with an answer so obvious it is unworthy of serious attention. And yet you might be surprised to find how many people who call themselves Christians would answer it in the negative, often quite fiercely.

Sometimes a ridiculous question is not so ridiculous when you understand where it is coming from. At very least it is not ridiculous to the person asking it.

So does the “Jesus was not a Jew” argument have any merit? Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by “a Jew”.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Trinity Matters

Let’s Be Simple

Here’s a simple thought.

But it will be the least simple of my simple thoughts, by far.

The triune God is not just far superior to any of the polytheists’ gods, but also to any monolithic type of god. It is better that we serve one God in three Persons than that we claim God is a big singularity.


At first glance, you might not think so. You might think it’s easier and better to have to explain a God that’s just a big ‘One’ than to have to unravel what it means to say God is triune. You might think, for example, that Muslims and monotheist Jews and even Hindus have an easier job talking about God than Christians do.

Moreover, many Christians have a very difficult time explaining what one-in-three really means, in application to God.

Check that: every Christian does.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Anonymous Asks (126)

“Did God create a second Adam?”

This is one of those questions that presumes familiarity with a particular New Testament passage. In this case the passage is 1 Corinthians 15, the subject of which is resurrection. It is there that the apostle Paul writes, “The first man Adam became a living being” (referring to a statement made way back in Genesis 2). Then he adds this: “the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Paul then goes on to contrast this “last Adam”, who is clearly Jesus Christ, the “second man”, with the first man, Adam, in that “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”

That’s where the language of our anonymous questioner is coming from, and that’s our starting point. Paul calls Jesus at various times in the passage the “last Adam”, the “second man” and the “man from heaven”.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Less Than He Is

Nothing you can do to him can make him less than he is.

Remember that saying.

His Birth

Because he came into this world in a stable. They put him in an animal food trough. There was no place for him at a low-class inn. Yet he was — and is — the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Eternal King.

And God did not prevent it.

From the moment of his birth, God made this message clear: “He is who he is; nothing you can do to him can make him less than he is.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Out to the Curb

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past ...”

Garbage day in our city varies from block to block, so there is always something out for pickup. Quite often, along with the refuse of daily living, home owners will set outside for collection a few items that are still in good shape but are simply of no further use to them.

So out to the curb they go. Each abandoned item has its story.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

All By My Self

Back in the 1970s, the cool (or possibly groovy or far out) thing to do was to drop out of the system, tune in to drugs, and get with “the scene”. Whether it was to a flophouse in Soho or a park bench in Paris, young people went wandering.

When their bewildered parents pressed them for the logic of this sort of wild fit of lifestyle experimentation, the stock answer from the younger generation was this: “Sorry, Mom … Dad … I’ve got to find myself.”

Sunday, November 01, 2020

An Unnecessary Insertion?

In Matthew, the Father declares that he is “well pleased” with the Son three times.

“Three?” you say. “I can think of two.”

Sure: the baptism of the Lord Jesus and his transfiguration. But there is a third reference to the Father’s pleasure in the Son found in Matthew 12. It’s a familiar quote from the book of Isaiah.

“Oh, a quote. That’s kind of cheating.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How Saved Are You?

Most of us associate our salvation with a specific incident: a conversation, a sudden realization, a moment in which it became clear to us that the Lord was speaking; that God was right and we were wrong; that we were sinners and that there was something we urgently needed to do about that. So in our own way we cried out to God: some with tears, some more tentatively, still not completely sure what might be involved. How much we may have fully grasped of the role of Christ in both salvation and in the government of our lives from then on almost certainly differed from person to person.

But my point is … it was a point in time. And if you say the word “salvation”, that event is primarily what we think of.

An event is good. If you have one to look back on, I’m glad.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Anonymous Asks (114)

“Where did Jesus come from?”

Before there was ever a Jesus of Nazareth, there was the Word. This is one of the names the writers of the Bible use to describe the Pre-Incarnate Christ.

The Pre-Incarnate Word

John speaks of “the Word”, who “was with God” and who “was God”. The Word made all things that have been made, without exception, which means the Word existed not just at creation, but prior to it. Since nothing that was made was made without him, that must include Satan. Satan is not any old created being. He was the “anointed guardian cherub” who served in heaven before his fall. Thus it is evident the Word was operating in eternity well before the rest of creation was brought into existence.