Monthly Archives: March 2013

The best Friday – 2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

That verse really makes no sense. None. I do not mean that I cannot understand the words or that it is not a grammatically well-formed sentence.  The sentence reads just fine. It is the concept that it describes that is truly beyond my full comprehension.

The God of this universe.

The God who created me.

The God who never once sinned.

The God who knew my every sinful thought and deed long before I took my first breath.

The God who I have sinned against deliberately and repeatedly.

The God who owes me nothing; not even my pitiful, sin-filled existence.

The God who has every right to destroy me at any time.

The God whose wrath I deserve forever.

Yes, that God!

Yes, it is that God who voluntarily went to the cross and died for me!

Yes, it is that God who became sin on my behalf!

Yes, it is that God one who poured out His holy wrath on his sinless Son!

Yes, it is that God that granted me repentance and faith that I might be saved!

Yes, it is that God who sees me as righteous!

Yes, it is that God who has promised me eternal life with Him.

All the evil, wicked parts of this transaction – mine.

All the holy, righteous parts of this transaction – His.


Comments Off on The best Friday – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Filed under Jesus, Salvation

God’s unilateral actions

Just as God’s unilateral action and initiative was the unique and indispensable key to preserving humanity in the days of Noah, to God selecting a nation for himself, to appointing Jesus to die for sinners, and to Christ resurrecting from the dead … so it is the key to applying salvation to the lives of sinful individuals (Casey Lute, But God, L. 784).

Comments Off on God’s unilateral actions

Filed under Salvation

Commanded to love! – Deuteronomy 10:12

Can you command someone to love you? It seems like such an odd concept given our modern definition of love. When we think of our love for someone, it is typically focused inward on our own personal feelings. If we do not have the proper feelings for that person, we cannot love them.

But, God commands us to love him. Many Scripture passages record this command, including:

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

It is easy to wrap our brains around being commanded to obey the commandments and serve God. But commanded to love? We naturally bristle at the idea, but it is clearly Biblical. God requires us to love him.

Ironically, if you do not love God now, you will probably dislike him even more at the thought that he commands you to love him. It is not God’s recommendation or request. It is the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe who commands you to love him. You are to love the real God that is revealed in the Bible. You are not to love a false god you have fashioned in your mind – a god akin to the wimpy, forlorn school-boy hiding in the shadows of the high school dance desperately hoping someone, anyone would choose him.

If you do not love the one true God, then fall on your knees before him and beg that he grant to you that love before it is too late.  For “behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Comments Off on Commanded to love! – Deuteronomy 10:12

Filed under Christian Life, God

Jesus, the apostle – Hebrews 3:1

Until preparing a recent study on apostles, I had never realized that Jesus was also called an apostle:

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1).

In hindsight, it was not surprising since the term ‘apostle’ means messenger. And, Jesus was most certainly a messenger. Jesus began his ministry with a message:

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

He announced the completion of our redemption on the cross with the simple message:

“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30).

And, when he returned to the Father he left his disciples with an important message:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

The apostle Jesus was the first to bring the message of repentance and salvation to the broken world that needed it. More than just preaching this message, he was the message:

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,  and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

What a glorious message delivered by the apostle Jesus directly to us!

Comments Off on Jesus, the apostle – Hebrews 3:1

Filed under Jesus

The anti-diversity law and gospel

As biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and as its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction. Rather than adapting Christian faith to satisfy the felt needs of consumers, we must proclaim the law as the only measure of true righteousness and the gospel as the only announcement of saving truth. Biblical truth is indispensable to the church’s understanding, nurture and discipline (James White, Sola Scriptura, L.564).

The emphases in the above text from Dr. White’s book, Sola Scriptura, are mine. I found it an excellent reminder that it is the Bible that shows us the character of the righteous God. As Jesus clearly stated:

No one is good except God alone (Luke 18:19).

It is the Bible only that provides to us today this clear revelation of the perfect goodness of God. While the ruler in Luke 18 could see the goodness of God the Son standing in front of him, we can only clearly see God’s goodness through the pages of Scripture. It is the Bible that shows us how far we all fall short of that righteousness.

 None is righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10).

Thankfully, the Bible also shows us the only way of salvation:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).

Our society wants to promote a so-called “diversity” that makes a mockery of the word. We, as Christians, must reject any diversity as it relates to Scripture, God, and salvation. There is only one God, only one written revelation, and only one way to be saved.

Now, if only someone would come up with a clever list of items that would make it easy to remember that we are saved by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone as revealed in the Scripture alone.

Comments Off on The anti-diversity law and gospel

Filed under Scripture

Child sacrifice, homosexuality, and bestiality – Leviticus 18:21-23

Today’s post is not going to be politically correct. You have been warned.

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).

Do “Christians” who reject the teaching from Leviticus 18:22 that homosexuality is an abomination also reject the verse that immediately precedes it, Leviticus 18:21?

You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD (Leviticus 18:21).

Are people who sacrifice their children to false gods just born that way? Did God make them to be idolators and murderers? Does God just want these idol worshiping murders to be happy?

Do “Christians” who reject the clear Biblical teachings about homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22 also reject the verse that immediately follows?

And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion (Leviticus 18:23).

Are people who desire to have sex with animals just born that way? Did God make them to be that way and just want them to be happy?

What about the other passages in Leviticus 18 that tell us that incest is sinful (18:6-18) and adultery is wrong (18:20)? God’s teaching on these sexual practices is all contained within a single context. If you choose to reject one, on what Biblical basis do you accept the others?

Comments Off on Child sacrifice, homosexuality, and bestiality – Leviticus 18:21-23

Filed under Sin

My ever increasing glory – Proverbs 20:29

The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair (Proverbs 20:29).

I am becoming more glorious every day!

Comments Off on My ever increasing glory – Proverbs 20:29

Filed under Christian Life

The repentance of a king – 2 Chronicles 34:19

2 Chronicles 34:19 states,

And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes.

Oh, how I hope and pray that the leaders of our nation (and all nations) will, like King Josiah, discover the Bible and recognize the great sins of our nation. Then, perhaps, God will, in his great mercy, spare us from his coming judgment.

We can see in the examples of the Old Testament how the nation of Israel was profoundly effected (for both good and evil) by the faith of its leaders. Godly sorrow, repentance and saving faith from our leaders would provide a similar example and could lead to amazing revival. While our current trajectory often seems hopeless, with God all things are possible. We can never lose our hope when it is placed in him.

Comments Off on The repentance of a king – 2 Chronicles 34:19

Filed under Sin

The trinitarian gifts – 1 Cor 12:4-6

If you are like me, when you think about the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament, you typically associate them with the Holy Spirit. In one of the longest sections in Scripture discussing spiritual gifts, Paul associates them with all three persons of our trinitarian God:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God
who empowers them all in everyone.  (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

The varieties of gifts, service, and activities are all referring to the one concept of spiritual gifts. When Paul uses the term Lord by itself (as in verse 5 here), he typically is referring to Jesus. And, when he uses the term God by itself (as in verse 6), he is typically referring to the Father. So, in these three verses we see that the triune nature of God just naturally flows from Paul’s thinking. Skeptics like to argue that the trinitarian nature of God was developed over a long period of time within the church. However, we see in this very early letter from Paul to the church at Corinth, the concept of the trinity was simply taken as a matter of fact. Paul does not have to go to great lengths to explain it to the Corinthians, but rather just uses this well-known fact in his writing.

As an aside, this is yet another example of the countless ways I am constantly amazed at the depth of the Bible. No amount of study by our limited human minds can ever plumb its depths. There will always be new insights to discover (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course).

Comments Off on The trinitarian gifts – 1 Cor 12:4-6

Filed under Christian Life

The will of the Lord to crush him – Isaiah 53:10

I am always amazed when I read Isaiah chapter 53. It is such an amazing prophecy of Jesus and his suffering for my sin. While reading through it again recently, I was struck by the beginning of verse 10

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him” (Isaiah 53:10).

As a father of 5 children, I cannot for a moment begin to imagine taking the life of any of my children for the sake of others. How great and wonderful is the love of the God of my salvation!

Comments Off on The will of the Lord to crush him – Isaiah 53:10

Filed under Salvation