Basic Apologetics: the Resurrection

 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.

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Is Christ Worth the Cost?

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?

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1 Samuel 1: God and Prayer

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”

Basic Apologetics: God Exists

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”

Saved to Display Christ

Christian, you were saved to display the excellency of Christ to a self-glorifying world.

We Live to Display

There is not a person in the world who does not display the worth of something.  We have this innate desire to make much of something greater than ourselves and that outside of ourselves.  “Did you see who made the playoffs?” “So, this weekend I went to…”  There must be something of value that we find our value in, that we desire to show as valuable, and something that we so desperately want to invite others in to enjoy it with us.

C.S. Lewis shows us this truth,

The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars…[then they] spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?”

Yet, the things we enjoy aren’t really that outstanding.  Get the new iPhone 8?  You’re going to be outdated with the 10.  Love your job?  It’ll get harder, and besides, your friend’s job is much more interesting.  This is an endless pursuit of self-glory, and nothing holds its luster.  By pointing to ourselves as supremely valuable, we let so many down.  When we tell others that this thing is deserving of the most praise, we lead them astray by overselling and under-delivering.  How sad, selfish, and sinful we are.  We have completely missed true value, ‘our desires are not too strong, but too weak.’

And why do we seek to display what we delight in?  Because we want to find what is most excellent and point others to glory in it with us.  What are we designed to display?  And how do we know?

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Weinstein, David, and the Gospel

Though he did not commit any sins, he was sent away with a death warrant for ours; Jesus bore our punishment for us.

Private Sins, Public Shame

The producer of Gangs of New York, Harvey Weinstein, is making newspaper and media headlines.  But sadly, not for another movie, but for multiple allegations and women coming forward to reveal that they have been sexually assaulted, groped, and raped by the director.  According to these women, they have been asked, forced, and paid to make sexual advances or to be alone with him in hotel rooms; they have been tricked into one-on-one meetings in offices or in buildings.  And in all of these horrendous and wicked acts of sexual sin, Weinstein remained in power over their word and fame as actresses.  These secret sins in the hidden areas of offices, closed doors, and hotel rooms have not been exposed for what they are: disturbing acts carried out by a human being with a heart of stone, full of sexual immorality, lust, falsehood, pride, and in the place of power to abuse and shame the opposite sex in the process.

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Christian, Don’t Follow Your Heart

You followed your heart, he followed the Father’s will.

The Original Instruction

In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1), and all things were created through him and for him (John 1:3; Col. 1:16).  The Triune God existed before creation, God spoke and all things were created through and carried out by Jesus Christ.  The Spirit gave life where the spoken and carried out command of God was given (Gen. 1:2; John 6:63).  So, in Genesis 2 God gives gives the command to work and keep the garden, and that they may eat of any tree in the garden but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they are not to eat or they will surely die (Gen. 2:15-17).

Then, in Genesis 3 before sin and evil exist, human beings did not follow the instruction of God but the understanding of their heart.  Eve tells the serpent, “God said, ‘You shall not eat of of the fruit of the tree [of the knowledge of good and evil]…neither shall you touch it.'” (Gen. 3:3). Eve somehow knew the commands of God, yet she didn’t follow his instruction but her own, and the rest is history as Adam fails to keep the garden and allows his wife to be mislead.  The original instruction of God was poorly heard and followed.

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