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Showing posts from February, 2015

is Jesus equal with the Father?

"When all things are subjected to him [ the Son ], then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in  subjection under him, that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:28 ESV) I had a good discussion recently with our guest speaker on the following statement.  The context was Hebrews 1:2, Philippians  2, and the emptying of Christ at his incarnation...  "Once he surrendered that place as divine Spirit beside the eternal Father, once he became human, there was no turning back.   He could never go back to what he was before. He had become human; he couldn't 'un-human' himself. He could never again be  divine Spirit. He gave up that position. No man, not even Jesus Christ, can be equal with God." Now we had a good discussion on this, and what he was saying was that Jesus laid aside his divine status and united himself  permanently with a human nature.  And so, he would forever as the God-man represent the human race before Go

the knowledge of God

" And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3 ESV) What does it mean to know God?   Here are some excerpts from Herman Bavinck, taken from "The Knowledge of God" from his Selected Shorter Works , and originally published as chapter 2 in Our Reasonable Faith ( Magnalia Dei ) in 1909. God is the highest good of man -- that is the testimony of the whole Scriptures. God gives Himself to His people in order that His people should give themselves to Him. This declaration of faith on the part of the church is not a scientific doctrine, nor a form of unity that is being repeated, but is rather a confession of a deeply felt reality, and of a conviction of reality that has come up out of experience in life.  God was for them not at all a cold concept, which they then proceeded rationally to analyze, but He was a living, personal force, a reality infinitely more real than the world around them. I

grace encircled by grace

"Special grace is encircled by common grace.  The vocation which comes to us in faith is connected and connects us with the vocation presented to us in our earthly calling.  The election revealed to us in faith through this faith communicates its power to our entire life.  The God of creation and of regeneration is one."   (Herman Bavinck, Selected Shorter Works )

the crusades were not what you think they were

At this year's national prayer breakfast in Washington, D. C., the President spoke these words... "And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." (President Obama, 2015 National Prayer Breakfast)   Full transcript of his remarks can be found here .   There is a widespread lack of knowledge about the Crusades, and misconceptions abound. "Remember the Crusades" is often thrown out as a moralistic sound bite.  What is needed is the clearer perspective of what really happened and what in fact the lessons are.  For that we must turn to the historians of the medieval age.   Thomas F. Madden , professor of medieval history and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University, is the author of The Concise History of the Crusades .  He writes,  "It is generally thought that C

all other voices had failed

They [the angels] said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."  Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher)...    (John 20:13-16 ESV) "Having given this answer to the angels, Mary turned herself backward and beheld Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. No explanation is added of the cause of this movement. It matters little. Our interest at this stage of the narrative belongs not to what Mary but to what Jesus did. On his part the encounter was surely n

on depression

Here are a few gems (reading highlights) from Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness , by Edward T. Welch:  It is easy to miss the obvious: depression is painful. It is a form of suffering. Jesus Christ our Lord once said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression. Therefore, depression, regardless of the causes, is a time to answer the deepest and most important of all questions: Whom will I trust? Whom will I worship? The cross is the only evidence that can fully persuade you that God is, at all times, good and generous. Don’t think that your case is unique. If Jesus learned obedience through suffering, we will too. Creation is to be enjoyed, but we don’t put our trust in it. The only alternative is God himself. At the cross, Christ has taken your story of misery upon himself and he has given you his story of resurrection and hope. Perseverance isn’t flashy. It doesn’t call at


Here's a couple of quotes... "A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in little things is a great thing." (Hudson Taylor) "[ God's ] measurement of our success does not lie in our spectacular activities.  It lies in our quiet steadfastness for Him. He does not expect us to fully understand His management of our lives, but He does ask us to stay true to Him today."  (Phillip Keller, Lessons from a Sheep Dog , p. 44)

a journey to see clearly

From Drew's sermon on Sunday... “The Christian life starts in conversion with a clear sight of the excellency of Christ and the beauty of God. It is a sight through a glass darkly, but it is still sight. The culmination of that event is standing before the God of love and beholding him as my Father, seeing him clearly and growing in knowledge of him for eternity. Most of us currently stand in between these two events.  As believers, our lives are lived after this initial sight of the truth and beauty of the gospel and before its climax in glory. These events bracket the Christian life and give it its texture. The Christian life is a journey to see clearly. It is a journey inaugurated with a sight of faith and a journey whose destination is the perfection of that sight.” (Kyle Strobel, Formed for the Glory of God: Learning from the Spiritual Practices of Jonathan Edwards)

how big is your gospel?

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Galatians 1:3-5 ESV) He gave himself.  He gave, not something, not just a gift, but Himself. And he gave himself not for something small, but for something great. He gave himself to deliver us (completely) from the present evil age, according to the infinitely wise and good will of God, that we might reflect the beauty of God and bring honor to his Name. Forever. This is not small, but big.    So, how big is your gospel?   Fred Sanders writes,  “A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. "A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. "A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with