500 years ago, a man named Martin Luther dug up the truth of the gospel in the Scriptures, and with it, changed the world. His purpose was not to initiate a mass rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church, but he did. Nor did he desire to distribute his 95 theses to the common people, but it happened. Luther was not thinking so grandiose as leading a revolt, but there was no stopping it. The God of the Scriptures cares about his gospel too much, and the representatives of the time were butchering the truth of the Scriptures and promoting their own agenda, so God stepped in and did it through a small man named Martin Luther. Now, I’m a big fan of summaries, so how would we summarize what happened through this movement called the Reformation? Continue reading “Happy Reformation Day!”
What is Christianity? In our day and age, if a random group of people on the street were asked what they believe Christianity is, to be honest, I am afraid of the answers I would hear. There are many people who think Christianity is a set of rules to follow and that all the rules stink. Or that being a Christian means going to church on Sundays, but they don’t want to go to church so they say they will never become a Christian. Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in N.Y. city has said before that most of the people who reject Christianity actually reject a false view of Christianity. He goes on to say that if you’re going to reject something, wouldn’t you want to reject something for what it actually is? Now, there’s a host of reasons as to why false views of Christianity exist, but one way to help in this dilemma is to play a part somehow in promoting the true view of Christianity, but what really is the true view? Continue reading “The Heart of Christianity”
If I were to tell you that I was about to travel back in time before anything existed and go pay a visit to God, would you come with me? Seems like a silly question, who wouldn’t? And when we got there, what do you think God would be thinking about? Just imagine for a second that at one point there was nothing… except God. No planets, no stars, no earth, just God. Now, what if I told you Ephesians 1:4-6 is a passage that allows us to see into what God was pondering. The Apostle Paul invites us to a state of wonder to imagine this and see what was in God’s heart and mind before he created anything. And what do we find there in the very heart and mind of God according to the Apostle Paul before anything existed? The love of God, but not in the way we would have thought. Continue reading “The Love of God”
The book of Ephesians is perhaps the most lofty book in the Bible. In a grand sweep, it tells us that the purpose of everything is somehow found in Christ from eternity to eternity (1:10). The purpose of all things throughout all of time explained in one book (Ephesians) and in one word (Christ). Lofty to say the least. After a read of the first chapter it almost seems impossible to comprehend. Peter O’Brien in his commentary on it wrote that Samuel T. Coleridge called it, “the divinest composition of man.” So, I want to move through it in a number of posts and just highlight some things that have really gripped me, and I pray anyone who reads it is helped and comes to understand this book of the Bible just a little more. The first thing that strikes me is that one of God’s promises is that through Christ he has given his children “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Continue reading “Spiritual Blessings”
Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed helps to explain the confusing reality of the Kingdom of God, which is a massive theme in the gospels as Jesus often proclaims, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” But what is this Kingdom and where is it? Continue reading “The Kingdom of God”
If I am completely honest, I feel like life is filled with so much. In our day with iPhones, internet, T.V., movies, games, hobbies etc. it can be so easy to get lost in the abyss of the 21st century. What I have realized in my life is that I have subconsciously tried to get out of those good things what I believe they were never meant to offer me: total satisfaction. Why do I do that? Do you do this? I have loved too much and lived for things that have left me empty in regard to experiencing true meaning in life. This leads to a deeper question: What can satisfy my soul? Because clearly if I am experiencing a sort of emptiness that needs to be quenched, I’m looking for satisfaction, like a man in a desert who needs water for his thirst to be quenched. But I am asking the question of what can quench life itself? I see in me that I am looking for something that can quench the deepest desires I have. And if I may ask you, what do you believe can lead you to say to yourself: That is it, that is what I was looking for, that is what I was meant to love and live for in my life. What’s the answer? Continue reading “Water for the Thirsty”
I learned recently about some of the parallels of how God freely created all things ex nihilo (from nothing or out of nothing), and how that parallels with salvation in Christ. I never thought these two paralleled until now.
Salvation on the ground level could be described as the announcement of the gospel through which the Holy Spirit births faith in one or more individuals in Christ Jesus. In the words of the Apostle Paul, salvation brings about a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), or as Jesus said, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3).