Tag: faith

There’s no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again

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Being born again is another word for the doctrine of “regeneration.” It is a supernatural work that God does within a person who comes to faith. All Christians are born again because all Christians have experienced regeneration. There’s no such thing as an unregenerate Christian. That’s not a Christian!

Being born again is about coming to Christ, turning away from sin, and trusting in Jesus as your Lord and savior. And when we come to him, there is grace. There is forgiveness for our sins. Continue reading “There’s no such thing as a Christian who has not been born again”

Love, justice, and the heavenly way

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From the sermon Love, justice, and the heavenly way

The gospel is offensive.

God is perfect and righteous. And the only way for imperfect and unrighteous people to be with him was for Jesus to pay the price of sin. To absorb the wrath of God. And for some reason, the world is so twisted that that idea is offensive. That the Lord paid the penalty for our sin so we could be with him. But that’s not good enough. Because that takes the control away from us.

And people hate that idea. We’re fine with the love of God but we are not ok that sin needed to be atoned for. Continue reading “Love, justice, and the heavenly 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.”

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!”

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 “

Blessed are the persecuted? 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

-Matthew 5:10

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins the sermon with a section called The Beatitudes, 8 statements, most of which seem counterintuitive at first glance. But these are much deeper than pithy statements. They point us to the ethics of Jesus. 

The final beatitude is in Matthew 5:10, while verses 11 and 12 elaborate on it. 

Blessed are the persecuted.  Continue reading “Blessed are the persecuted? “