Category: Church

Why Jesus? Couldn’t there be another way?

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“Atonement” is a theological word that gets mentioned. In short, atonement refers to the work that Christ has done for those who have faith in Him to earn their salvation.

I think people sometimes approach the gospel with skepticism. Jesus died for the sins of all who believe in him.

I know I used to ask was “why do we need this? Why do we have to believe in Jesus? Is sin such a big deal? Why is he the only way?” Continue reading “Why Jesus? Couldn’t there be another way?”

Hypocrites in church isn’t the issue. Faithless pseudo-Christians are the issue.

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A lot of people don’t want to be in a church because?

Because the church is full of?

Hypocrites.

Churches are filled with hypocrites. Continue reading “Hypocrites in church isn’t the issue. Faithless pseudo-Christians are the issue.”

Jesus and the Last Supper: more than just a meal

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As part of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday is recognized this evening. It was the night in which Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples. The time in which Jesus died corresponded with the Jewish holiday of Passover. And the Last Supper was the first night of Passover. An annual dinner for Passover is held, called a Seder, which is the Hebrew word for “order.” In 3,500 years, rabbinical tradition and teaching helped to form the ceremony of the Seder.

Some of these pieces were traced back to the original Passover. Others came in Jewish history from rabbinical traditions. Continue reading “Jesus and the Last Supper: more than just a meal”

Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!

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Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons – Ben Stassen

Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It’s a festive scene. Passover week, one of the most significant holidays in the Jewish calendar. Jesus has been preaching throughout the region of Galilee. He has built up quite the following: teaching on the kingdom of heaven and performing miracles.

And here he enters the holy city, the crowds shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). Palm branches had become a Jewish symbol of victory and the crowds bring these branches out as they chant. The processional they created was somewhat makeshift, but it had kingly overtones. They’re treating him like someone who was returning to Jerusalem after having conquered an enemy. Ironically, he was coming into Jerusalem to conquer sin. Continue reading “Sunday to Friday: Save us! To Crucify!”

Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel

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(originally posted March 7, 2016)

In the gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was before the ruling Jewish council, he made a reference to his divine status. To the ruling council, this was taken as blasphemy. Within Rome, they didn’t have the authority to execute Jesus for his action, so they took him to Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of Judea

Pilate questions Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Matthew 27:11-14). Continue reading “Murders, mobs, dictators and the gospel”

A Sinner’s Guide to Repentance

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Repentance is sincere remorse or regret for an action. Theologically, repentance is associated with the idea of turning away from sin and turning to God.

James 4:7-10 gives what’s almost like a “how to” guide for repentance. It’s not exhaustive, but he says five things that are important to repentance.

1. Repentance involve submission to God

Repentance isn’t just about moralism. It’s about an actual desire for God.

It’s not “well I’ll just drink less” or “get control my temper better.” It’s not just “don’t do that,” but it’s a turning to God. It’s recognizing that God is greater than your sin, that he is better. That his ways are better. That turning from sin is turning to a better way. Continue reading “A Sinner’s Guide to Repentance”

Wisdom is as wisdom does 

There are two ways to go. The way of the wise and the way of the fool. This is based off of the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament. Which often talks about these two roads.   

In James 3:13, he asks a rhetorical question, “Who is wise in understanding among you?”

Who’s wise?

James has much to say about wisdom. 

There’s a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is knowing facts. Wisdom is living out a life that is applying what God has revealed.  

Knowledge is knowing that you have brownie mix in the pantry. Wisdom is making brownies.     Continue reading “Wisdom is as wisdom does “