And this same Jesus, offered up himself so that we, like the disciple Thomas, might behold him and say, “My Lord and my God!”
The Squishy, Babysitter Jesus
How many times in school were you told to treat others the way you want to be treated? We even called it the Golden Rule! This is by far one of the most popular sayings of Jesus in the popular culture, even in the realm of relative truth and morality (which is self defeating). Everyone loves the Jesus that is king, polite, loves others, and doesn’t really challenge anybody’s belief’s or opinions but only loves people and seeks to be generous. But, this is not all of Jesus — this is only a glimpse, a rip-off version of Jesus that he did come to be presented as, merely. The type of Jesus in the culture is one of a squishy kind. He does not challenge, he does not condemn, and he only is loving. But, in the gospels we see that this is not the full picture of the Son of God, there is so much more to be examined, offended and convicted by, and to see as more than just a type of babysitter who can do no wrong and is here to aid us in living properly. Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: Jesus is God”
We exist as God’s people, as sojourners on the earth.
A sermon preached on 1 Peter 2:11-17
Listen on podcast here.
Declared and Becoming
Most of our lives are learning how to become and live, with what we already are in our identity. Take these simple examples:
- At the age of 18, a boy is now legally identified as a man. And then for the next few decades, this now identified, man, is learning how to live, act, and talk like a man.
- When you say, ‘I do’ to your spouse, you are legally declared married. And for the next few decades, you also, are learning how to live like a married couple, act within a covenant, and understand what is the life of a married person.
Continue reading “Living as Sojourners”
The greatest display of God’s sovereignty, his freedom in the universe, is his power and love to save sinners.
Will the Lord Accomplish?
One thing matters most in the universe and it is this: will God’s will (desire, plans, purposes, etc.) be carried out and accomplished exactly as he determines, or is history a big game of catch-up and tying up loose ends as they are unraveled by all aspects of creation? This is huge (cue Trump voice). Do we, as Christians, have any kind of confidence in the world, in our daily lives from a small scale to the large scale, that God is and will accomplish everything he pleases, or is God extremely intelligent to bring things back in align to his purposes that don’t unfold the way he intended?
Will the Lord accomplish all the he pleases, all the intentions and thoughts (using these words for our understanding) of his heart, or does it just happen and he comes to aid like an ambulance to a horror scene?
First, a definition: the sovereignty of God is this — He is sovereign over the whole world, and everything that happens in it. He is never helpless, never frustrated, never at a loss; he is never backed into a corner where his only recourse is to do something he hates to do. He does whatever he pleases. In a simple word: God has absolute freedom. Continue reading “1 Samuel 2: Sovereignty of God”
If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then we must either come to him for life, or run from his judgement — but we mustn’t tarry.
If He Did, But If He Didn’t
All of the Christian doctrine, understanding, and the truth of the gospel is upheld by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Scriptures testify to this themselves; in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes this, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…if Christ has not been raised , your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (v.14, 17) The Christian faith and the preaching of the gospel are worthless if Jesus is dead.
But, if he is alive, then all who hope “…in Christ shall all be made alive…[then] the last enemy to be destroyed is death…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v. 22, 26, 57) Our only hope is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If the resurrection of Jesus is true, then we must either come to him for life, or run from his judgement — but we mustn’t tarry.
Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: the Resurrection”
When dying is gain, our fear of death, man, and disease is gone — and Christ is magnified in our death.
Is It Worth It?
The new iPhone X is now available for pre-order and will be coming out in the beginning of November. The cost to order is 999$. The price for one phone is a thousand dollars; and the pre-ordering for this device are off the charts. In less than an hour of the launch for the iPhone, the wait time for households after the release date is as short as two weeks and as long as five weeks — apparently, the massive chunk of change and the wait have not stopped us from getting this new tech.
This is how we all operate. We make our decisions on this: is it worth it? You can say pleasure-driven, what brings satisfaction, joy-junkies, or whatever clever wording you can think of. The bottom line we have in mind, whether thought out or implied, is this: is it worth it? Ultimately, this is the question we must keep in mind in regards to Christ, the gospel, and eternity. Is Jesus worth it? Is denying myself and killing my sin worth it? Is entrusting myself to the reproach I will bear, the desires and things I must forsake, and following the hard sayings of Jesus, really worth it?
Continue reading “Is Christ Worth the Cost?”
God carries out his desires and plans by his people’s prayers.
God’s Kindness to His People
Reading through the Old Testament, we often see that the people of Israel continued to sin, rebel, and reject God’s designs and his revealed will for how they are to operate. He saves them from captivity (Exodus), takes them to the promised Land (Joshua), and after their leaders (Moses and Joshua) die, they reject everything when the new generation begins to grow. And the theme of the book of Judges is 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” So, what should God do to unjust, evil, rebellious, and idolatrous people of Israel? Be the God who just swept away the Egyptians by his hand and overtake them for their just deserving of death. But instead, God raises up another — Samuel. A prophet whom God would bring up to declare the goodness of God, the judgement of God, and the mercy of God to the people who have rebelled against him and deserve nothing but the sword of his wrath. Continue reading “1 Samuel 1: God and Prayer”
The problem isn’t evidence — the problem is preference.
Perceived, But Exchanged
The Scriptures presuppose that God exists. From the first verse, “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). God exists, and he created all that exists from farthest star to the electrons and to time itself, God is the source of all things. However, in Romans 1, the apostle Paul writes this,
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:19-23 Continue reading “Basic Apologetics: God Exists”