Fatherhood and Sonship: The Best Fellowship & the Enemy (part 1)

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“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” -Jesus Christ  (John 10:10)

What would you say if I told you that you are welcomed into the best fellowship that exist?!  Deep down we all want to be: known, understood, loved, and to know another without shame, fear, or pretentions. To have such a rich relationship that is free, innocent, intimate, joy-filled, and full of life is what we all want.  That’s why we all hope to fall in love.  It’s also why many chase after it and quickly become discontent only to so seek a new relationship where maybe this time he/she will be the “one.” The wise preacher says it like this, “…He has put eternity in man’s heart…”

The single most important relationship you or I can ever have is with the Father. The Father made the world through the Word by the Spirit in order that we may know, love, and obey Him.

This what Jesus means when He speaks of His coming that His sheep may have life and have it abundantly. The life Jesus is offering is a relationship to a Father.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him (the Father) and have seen him (the Father).” -John 14:1-7 (italics and parenthesis added for emphasis)

In other words, Salvation is all about restoring the relationship between a Father and His wayward children (NOTE: this is done through the marriage of His Son to His Bride whereby we are brought into fellowship with the Father.  Thus Scripture provides the framework for both foundational relationships for the family and society).  Jesus later on says in John 17: 1-5:

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you (the Father), since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God (The Father), and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (Italics and underline added for emphasis)

Eternal life = Knowing our Father and knowing the relationship between the Father and His Son.

The way in which the Father restores what was stolen, killed, and destroyed is by sending His Son and demonstrating to the World what this universe is about.  A glorious beautiful eternally rich relationship between a Father and His Son. The Father loves and glorifies  His Son and the Son loves and submits to the will of the Father.  And we are told this relationship is the best fellowship and this fellowship was why were created.  That we would be partakers in this rich fellowship.  Jesus goes on to say:

 “I have manifested your name (the Father) to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves... I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” -John 17:6-13, 20-26 (Italics added for emphasis)

This is why Jesus came.  Indeed, this shouldn’t shock us at all!  For the last prophet of Old told us this was the very reason the Messenger was coming.  Malachi 4:5-6 says,

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Italics and underline added for emphasis)

God the Father regards the earthly relationship between a Father and his children as fundamentally important because it is a window into the most rich relationship. The Father’s loves for The Son and the Son’s love for The Father.  And Malachi says, this is why God sent Jesus to the earth.

This is what the Apostle Paul is getting at when he writes in Ephesians 2:18-22:

For through him (the Son) we both have access in one (Holy) Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (italics, underline, and parenthesis added for emphasis)

We see here the whole Trinity of fellowship working to restore us back to their fellowship.  For through the Son by the Holy Spirit we are brought back to the Father.  Consider Paul’s prayer in the next chapter in light of all this:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him (the Father) who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him (the Father) be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:14-21 (italics added for emphasis)

Fathers exist because The Father has eternally existed.  And children exist because The Child has eternally existed. You and I are here for a relationship to a Father.  Many have been hurt by their earthly Fathers and this is a terrible tragedy in light of what Scripture teaches about Fatherhood and Sonship.  Thankfully there is good news! The Eternal Father sent His Eternal Son by the power of The Holy Spirit to restore what has been “stolen, killed, and destroyed.”  In my next post we will look more into how “the thief” works. But for now, rest in the perfect fellowship we have with the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit! Find healing there through the cross of the Son by the Spirit in our fellowship with the Eternal Father.

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

 

How the Belief in Unknowable Truth Results in Centralized Power

How Believing in Unknowable Truth Leads to Socialism

4 Men Proclaiming the 1 Hope

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INTRODUCTION

Because we are discussing the results not only of an individual belief in unknowable truth; but also when a society holds to this shared belief and the effects it has socially, we must look at both briefly.  I hope to provide a brief explanation of why some believe in unknowable truth.  Next, I seek to flesh out the practical out play of this belief on a corporate level because of the inherit presuppositions of that worldview.  The result being, I believe, centralized power.  I will seek to demonstrate how such a presupposition is ironically not only self-refuting in corporate practice of its fundamental presupposition but also intrinsically hypocritical in its goal.

UNKOWABLE TRUTH FOR THE INDIVIDUAL

When an individual buys into the philosophy and religion of Secularism of the Existentialism/ Postmodern [1] stream truth gets relegated to the individual.  Truth may or may not exist but knowing whether we…

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The Myth of Secularism: Hidden Agendas, Equality, & Cowards

When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,

but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.

-Proverbs 28:12

INTRODUCTION

Which of these two statements do you think describes our nation best?

  • A nation lead by the righteous
  • A nation ruled by the wicked

Well before we answer the question I think we need to ask an even more foundational question.  What is righteousness?  It seems today that opinions concerning morality of good and evil are as diverse as there are persons.  And this has led to a profound problem for our nation.  How do we decide upon laws that don’t favor one political point of view above others or create a bias towards a particular religion over other religions?

This kind of thinking has greatly crippled our nation as a whole.  Justice is intrinsically tied to truth.  However, our nation has not been a nation bent on knowing the truth and living in light of that, but rather a nation focused on equality.  This is akin to getting the cart before the horse.  And when the equality-cart gets in front of the truth-horse, we render both useless.  We cannot discuss equality until we know truly what equality is.

  • Is equality everyone having the exact same amount of power, resources, and influence upon a culture?
  • Is equality everyone having the same results regardless of method?
  • Is equality everyone playing by the same rules?
  • Is equality everyone having the exact same environment, upbringing, and opportunity?

What does equality look like?  If we begin with equality as the starting point it will be impossible to make progress because we are not all beginning from the same reference point.  We must begin with truth and move from that knowledge to make an informed decision on what equality looks likes based upon the truth.  The reason we must begin with truth and then move on to justice and equality is because good equality is dependent upon truth.  There is such a thing as bad equality.  If the murderer is given equal consequences as one who has not murdered then that would be a bad form of equality.

“Evil men do not understand justice,

but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.”

–Proverbs 28:5

HIDDEN AGENDAS

The Bible affirms this order, that equality must follow truth and not the other way around.  But some will argue, you can’t begin with truth because none of us agree upon the truth.  Well this is true, but this is also true concerning equality.  Everyone cannot agree upon what equality looks like either but that has not stopped many from making this the starting point. What I am calling us to is some intellectual honesty.

Logically beginning with equality is not possible.  Knowledge and more specifically belief must by necessity precede ones pursuit of equality for one has some form of belief about what kind of equality is right.  So when someone tells us they are after equality apart from beliefs they are smuggling in their beliefs implicitly with their view of equality.  And when they don’t acknowledge those beliefs at the door, they are guilty of hiding their agenda.

Our nation is filled with hidden agendas.  That is, fundamental beliefs that are not acknowledged at the beginning.  And sadly, these hidden agendas are what is currently driving this nation.  Public schools are not acknowledging the beliefs that inform the teaching.  News stations are not acknowledging their fundamental viewpoints that inform what, when, how, and where they cover their stories. Many politicians pretending they don’t have an agenda, goal, or beliefs that undergird all their choices in ruling.

The worst part is the Christian agenda has been the only agenda I am aware of that has been universally treated as if its agenda is hidden.  Yet, Christianity is actually honest and forthright with its beliefs and agenda.  Those both inside and outside Christianity know what her beliefs and agenda is.  Which would you prefer, an honest agenda or a hidden agenda?  Everyone has an agenda, but the agenda that does not acknowledge it beliefs at the door are the ones who are truly disingenuous and untrustworthy.  And that is exactly what those who pretend equality is their starting point and claim that they don’t favor one viewpoint above another are disingenuous and untrustworthy.  Of course they have an agenda.  Everyone does, and that is true by necessity as already proven.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS?

My belief is, true righteousness and equality is what is defined by Scripture.  I am a Christian and believe the Scriptures are truth from God’s own mouth and are therefore authoritative over all His creation.  I know many Christians are hypocritical at this point.  They say they believe the statement above, yet also say that is wrong to impose this thinking on others who believe otherwise.  They would rather have our nation that they say is under God’s authority not be ruled by His laws because they believe we are a secular nation.

Secular- denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

Which is it?  Is our nation upheld, sustained, and under God’s authority or is it not under God’s authority?  We cannot affirm both statements.  We can affirm that a nation has believed a lie, that is, that they are secular.  But we cannot believe Christianity to provide the true view of reality and then also believe in such a thing as a secular nation truly existing.  That distinction is important. The sooner my Christian brethren acknowledge that everyone lives in the same reality, some just happen to be more deluded than others, the better.

Again, some may argue, “no, I believe that all nations are truly under God, but not all nations are made up of people who believe this truth.  Therefore, we cannot pursue making God’s laws be the laws that govern the nation, because that is to make laws against the people’s will.” And to this I reply, “whose will do you believe is sovereign, God’s or man’s?”  The truth is, laws will inevitably be made against the will of one, some, or many.  That is the nature of laws.  The question becomes, “who do we believe is sovereign?”  Is might and power, majority rule, representatives, or God?

The Bible says, that civil leaders are “God’s servant” (Romans 13:4).  Civil leaders are not servants primarily of the people, the strongest army, etc.  Civil leaders are placed there by God to act on His behalf.  Therefore, the Christian worldview does not allow us to believe in secular laws or nations.  The Christian worldview doesn’t allow us to believe in anything truly existing secularly.  Because everything was created by God and for Him (Colossians 1:15-18).

SO WHICH STATEMENT BEST DEFINES OUR NATION?

 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,

but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.

-Proverbs 28:12

Having now established what righteousness is, we can now go back to the first question up above. Is our nation led by the righteous or ruled by the wicked?  One of the ways we can answer that is to look at the description of both types of nations and see which one better describes our nation. Is our nation manifestly filled with glory or great rejoicing?  Or is our nation filled with people hiding themselves, thoughts, beliefs, and actions?  I think it is rather clear that our nation fits the latter definition.  A quick glance at social media such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram is remarkably lacking the voices of many Christians who swear their allegiance to Jesus and yet won’t speak for Him.

I believe this is precisely because they have bought the lie that there is such a thing as a secular environment.  And when the wicked leaders draw up all the lines of jurisdiction they continue to expand the kingdom of man (secularism) and seek to invade the Kingdom of God (everything).  It started in entertainment, media, and schools and has quickly moved to everywhere including religious institutions.  All the while many Christians believing the lie of the Beast in Revelation that they get their right to buy, sell, trade, and live from the state and not from their Creator.  There is no sector or square inch of society that is not completely and entirely under the lordship of Jesus Christ.  He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).  And as His ambassadors, it is our responsibility to speak of this lordship and call people to repentance and belief in Him (Matthew 28:18-20).

Sadly, there are also many Christians who believe in the lordship of Jesus Christ and make an orthodox profession in the denial of secularism.  Yet, their problem is another entirely.  They are afraid.  And that’s why they hide.  They are in a word, “cowards.’’ More afraid of man who can kill the body than they are the one who both destroy the body and soul.  And for that reason, they are also fools.  This does not bode well for such “Christians.”  Revelation 21:8 says,

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Jesus’ half-brother and Apostle James warns of a faith that doesn’t save and a kind of faith that does.  The kind of faith that doesn’t save is the kind that is cowardly and doesn’t actually persevere in obedience to God.  This kind of faith is of the flesh.  Yet the faith that saves is a faith wrought supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and perseveres in obedience to the end.

My friend, I encourage you to live out what you believe and so prove that you are a child of God and not the Devil.  Jesus Christ’s reign over all things is to put all things under His feet and in conformity to the Father.  And when He returns He will take with Him all those who have persevered in their faith towards Him to a New Heavens and New Earth.

“And He (God) said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  To the thirsty I will give from the spring of water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

-Revelation 21:6-7

The True Marks of a Mature Christian

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INTRODUCTION

A number of years ago I had a grown woman literal do what the woman above in the photo is doing.  I was directing traffic and I had to enforce the law.  This was her response.  The caption really nails it doesn’t it?

However, when it comes to spiritual matters, maturity is far more crucial to have isn’t it?  So can I ask you, are you a mature Christian?  How do you perceive yourself in your progress in the Christian walk?  When you are examining the life of others to discern whether they are a mature Christian that you could look up to, how do you decide whether they are someone who ought to disciple you?  Is maturity likened to one’s forwardness about their faith?  Is it determined by how willing they are to serve in a church?  Is it discerned by their level of zeal or fervor for responsibility?

Conversely, are you a baby Christian?  What are the means given to discern whether you are or not?  Is a baby Christian merely determined by how long someone has been a genuine believer?  Or whether they are easily intimidated by others concerning their faith?  It is determined by age?

I have heard all of these as ways that we can determine the maturity of a believer.  So what I want to do in this post is take a step back from all of our experiences and preconceived notions and see what God’s word has to say about what a mature and baby believer looks like.

DISCLAIMER

Before we dive into this topic, I want to make an important disclaimer.  Being a baby Christian is not an insult.  Whatever we discern concerning this topic, we should not be offended if the result is we realize we may be, Biblically speaking, a babe in the faith.    However, both the Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews do use the term as a loving rebuke in certain cases.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (ESV):  But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

This isn’t always the circumstance.  But if you have been a believer for a long time yet have not progressed in the faith then that should be a rebuke that you have not been growing as you ought.  The Apostle Paul attributes this to sin in the Corinthians case.  In short, if you have been a Christian for some time and yet have not progressed the reason for that is sin.  That being said, it will do us no good if we seek to suppress this reality in hopes of sparing ourselves the humiliation that we have not progressed in the faith.  In the end, we will truly know we have not been growing as instructed and that will be a rebuke.  Furthering the problem by suppressing it only acts as an indictment on our pride and danger of not truly believing (Hebrews 3:12-14).

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE MATURE

When we examine every text of Scripture from the New Testament concerning a mature Christian there is a consistent pattern for what attribute distinguishes them; and in a word its “knowledge.”

Allow me to unpack this.  Because the one word is not a sufficient explanation.  “Knowledge of what?” you may ask.  That is crucial point.  When the Bible defines a mature Christian it is speaking of ones knowledge of God through the Scripture.  Here’s a summary of what the New Testament says:

“Yet among the mature we impart wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 2:6a)

“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking.  Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:19-21)

“Until we all attain the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:13-14)

“Let those who are mature think this way…” (Philippians 3:15a)

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ,” (Colossians 1:28)

“…that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12c)

“for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

A tertiary glance at these text tells us clearly that maturity is directly linked with one’s knowledge and wisdom in accordance to the Word of God.  In other words, a mature Christian will have a good handle on biblical doctrine, systematic theology, church history and the past errors that he or she may discern good from evil.  The mature Christian is highly trained and proficient in discerning good teaching from false teaching.  And the Bible (Ephesians 4 text above) makes it clear that this is the goal of every believer not just the super spiritual ones.

So in short, if you are one who is not interested in doctrine, having a firm grasp of the Scriptures in their entirety and the teaching that comes from them and seemed to be more concerned with emotional experiences primarily, then you are by biblical definition a baby Christian.  Christian maturity is not depicted in the Bible by one: wearing Jesus shirts, listening to Christian radio, talking about Jesus a lot, being vocal about your faith, watching Christian films, going to Christian concerts, etc.  None of those things are evil.  Nor do I believe we should discourage any of those practices by any means.  But we must not confuse what distinguishes a mature and maturing Christian from one who is merely entrenched in the Christian culture.  Because the two are not the same thing.  And we have no Biblical teaching that this is the basis for maturity in the faith.

Sadly, we live in a day where we automatically assume a Christian musical artist is a mature Christian, that public speakers for Christ are mature, that older people who are Christian are mature, that those who write Christian books are mature Christians, or that those who are in full-time ministry are mature Christians.  But again, the Bible does not give these as attributes of a mature Christian.  Would that all public figures within Christian culture were leaders because they were mature, but sadly, our Christian culture has not made this a prerequisite for being a Christian leader.  Today, we have made two qualifications for discerning the mature:  skill level and eagerness for leadership.  But the Bible has another definition of maturity entirely. 

ONE VERY IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION

The Bible does not equate Christian maturity with one’s retention of information from the Bible.  Today, common vernacular uses information and knowledge interchangeably.  However, the Bible would distinguish between the two.

“You believe that God is one; you do well.  Even the demons believe- and shudder!” (James 2:19)

James is distinguishing between merely being informed of good doctrine, “God is one,” and it having no change in one’s life and behavior, “demons,” from one who genuinely believes good doctrine and obeys (i.e. Abraham as seen in James 2:21).  In other words, true Biblical knowledge is believing good doctrine resulting in good works!  True knowledge of the Word is twofold, knowing what it teaches and experiencing its blessing because of one’s obedience to the Word.  And it is this kind of knowledge that defines the maturity of a believer.

CONCLUSION

I would encourage you; in light of these scriptures, to examining your life to discern whether you have been pursuing and maturing in the faith or whether you have been stagnant in your walk.  Good doctrine is intrinsically linked to one’s level of maturity according to the the Apostle’s teaching.  We would do well to heed their authoritative teaching as they have received this instruction from our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.  Let us saints, pursue maturity by pursuing to know the Word of God and all that it has to teach us, that we may trust and obey all that it has for us!

Blessings,

Pastor Stephen

10 Reasons to Street Preach

In light of our sermon series on Jonah and many conversations with the elders and other churches. CVCC will be bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ literally to the streets. Here’s trusting Jesus will call His sheep and His sheep will hear His voice.

4 Men Proclaiming the 1 Hope

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  1. You access people who will likely never go into a church. Whether you are a hip church or not, or have a good reputation in the community or not, there are likely many people, in the community your church is located in, that will never set foot into your church. This is a very real solution to rather insisting on having them come to you on your turf for you to go to them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news (gospel).” (Romans 10:15; as quoted in Is. 52:7)
  2. Provides for the church, gospel, and Jesus Christ to have a real public presence. It seems today you can pretty much find everything on the streets today minus the Gospel. You can sadly find: drugs, sex, violence, etc. but you would be hard-pressed to find any gospel witness there. This…

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Jonah: God’s Sovereign, Unfailing Love (PART 4)

Pastor Stephen’s last post on Jonah! Let’s remember how our LORD and Savior lived out the message, “My life for yours.”

4 Men Proclaiming the 1 Hope

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It Is NOT Death to Die

INTRODUCTION

“It’s all relative” Is the motto of my generation.  And I tend to agree with this idea.  Everything finds its meaning by something outside itself.  I measure by comparison.  So in this sense, everything is relative, everything except God that is.  Like all good lies there’s half a truth in the claim. But you see, God is eternally existent.  He depends upon nothing to exist.  The old theologians called it the “aseity” of God. Creation, however, is not self-sufficient and so creation is dependent upon another.  That is what relative means.

Relative- considered in relation or in proportion to something else

Therefore, everything (that is created) is relative.  So the pertinent question at hand is, “relative to what?”  We tend to compare created things with other created things.  But that is an awful lot like trying to draw straight lines with a crooked…

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Jonah: God’s Sovereign, Unfailing Love (Part 3)

more thoughts from Pastor Stephen on Jonah.

4 Men Proclaiming the 1 Hope

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Salvation in the Strangest of Places

Have you ever not articulated the gospel because you determined the person wouldn’t receive it?  My guess is that everyone could say yes to that.  Just this past week, I was talking with someone and I had gotten so caught up in all the damage sin had inflicted in this person’s life, and so discouraged, that I lost sight of the gospel.  I am ashamed to confess that I was more aware of sin than I was of grace.  In fact, I had, in the moment, completely lost sight of the hope of salvation.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” –Romans 1:16

If we do not guard the gospel in our hearts that will inevitably happen.  We will lose sight…

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