There are many religions in the world. As a result, people speak about different “faiths.” Used this way, the word faith refers to a set of beliefs that people share. For example, people will say, “I am of the Hindu faith,” or “I am of the Buddhist faith.” Christians will even say, “I am of the Christian faith.” However, according to scripture faith is not a set of shared beliefs. In the biblical economy of language, faith is (and always has been) trust in God’s provision for sin. Specifically, true saving faith trusts that Jesus paid the penalty for sin on the cross at Calvary. It’s for that reason the Bible says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Faith always and only looks Continue reading
As our team crossed the finish line, we were all covered from head to foot in thick mud. There stood a preacher, a lawyer, a housewife, and a construction worker – all looking grimy and tired. The Marine Corps mud run taxed our strength and made us all look like we walked out of a pig pen. The only way to get clean was to allow someone to spray us down with a hose. In Romans 3:19-20 Paul observed that the law has only one real function, to expose our sin. As we stand before a holy God our sin is like that mud. It indiscriminately covers all people and makes Continue reading
There is an old saying, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” If something is good for one person, then it should apply equally to another as well. Today we talk about equality. The word implies impartiality and fairness. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world were things like pride creates a false sense of superiority. One of the worst forms of superiority can come when someone thinks they are better than another because Continue reading
As I drove down the highway, I noticed a red light appeared on my dashboard warning me that my engine was overheating. I only had a short way to go. I thought I could make it to my destination. I ignored the warning sign and within a minute steam was pouring out from under the hood. In just a few short minutes after the light came on, I found myself on the side of the road with a seized engine. The damage was complete. The engine was beyond repair.
As we travel the road of life, God has given us some Continue reading
As I was reaching for the remote to turn off the TV, a commercial from a famed chef caught my eye. He was holding up a cooking utensil and began telling how it changed his life. A cooking utensil changed his life? I chuckled as I turned the TV off. I wondered how many sales that would generate.
As I walked upstairs, I thought about something that changed my life. The gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ came into my life in August of 1994 and I have never been the same. Our lesson comes from Romans 1:1-17, and the apostle Paul is introducing himself to the church at Rome. What immediately stands out is that Paul had a great desire Continue reading
Do you think you have a kingdom heart? When Jesus began preaching, he said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Shortly before Jesus went to the cross, he said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Speaking to the Colossian church, the apostle Paul wrote, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). And to church at Ephesus Paul wrote, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
There are three important things to notice about those verses. First, the gospel is directly connected to Continue reading
I was reading the news this morning and saw where Kanye West and Kim Kardashian came to faith in Christ. Praise the Lord! It was not too long ago where their names were synonymous with all that is fake and superficial in the world. Now, they are children of the King and members of His kingdom. Besides their conversion, something that stood out in the article is that Kanye West is turning from his rap music to gospel music. He has not been saved a year and he has already produced an album praising Jesus. The title of the album is “Jesus is King.” When he announced the record he said, Continue reading
God created people for worship. Worship was built into our DNA. When we are saved by Christ that purpose is restored. In the heart of every saved person should be an intense desire to want to worship. As such, the church is first and foremost a worshiping community. Every church should have a vibrant worship that defines who it is. That vibrancy is a result of individual believers whose heart’s desire is to come together as a body to lift up the name of Christ. I think that a good metric of health for any church beings with its worship. Everything else the church does flows from that point. It’s the epicenter of the church’s life and it is the best indicator of church health.
However, when the worship of a church begins to fade, then soon will every other ministry Continue reading
What is education and what is its end goal? Throughout the centuries different cultures gave different answers. However, there is one culture that has been the repository of divine revelation. The Hebrew people were chosen by God and given the oracles of God that were meant to be a light to all nations (Gen. 12:1-3; Isa. 49:6). Unfortunately, the light God gave through his Word has not been embraced as God intended – even to this day God’s people struggle to teach their children in a way that results in a life-long commitment to God. The result is that people sit in darkness (Isa. 9:2). For that darkness to be dispelled a people must come to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Ultimately, the light of God came to full expression in Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Christ – the promised Messiah. However, early in their history God revealed how a people (and individuals) come to know him. God gave a command, known as the Shema, that became central to the Hebrew identity. This paper will argue that Continue reading
Christmas morning. What a glorious day. Not literally, its cloudy and overcast. But spiritually it’s a day of rejoicing. Before the first Christmas the world was without hope. Sin reigned unchecked in the lives of all people, enslaving them into perpetual sorrow and eternal ruin. Death loomed over mankind without mercy, taking whom he willed when he willed. Before Christmas the grave opened its jaws with a fervent greed, believing that every soul consumed was forever lost. Darkness and evil rode upon the clouds causing the winds of despair to prevail in the hearts of men.
But then it happened. Continue reading