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Reflecting on What Jesus Has Done

Ephesians 4:22-24: To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (ESV).

It can sometimes be difficult to figure out just how we are to put off the old self. We develop character and habits that stay with us as we go throughout our lives. Our experiences have a way of shaping the way we think, feel, and react to certain situations. These ideas that we form along the way can be very difficult to refute, much less change. It is, though, something that we must do in order to live a new life in Jesus. How do we accomplish this daunting task? The truth is, we can't! The only way we can change is to allow God to change us from the inside out by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. When we turn away from our former way of life and ask the Lord Jesus to come live on the inside …

Blood and Water Flowed

John 19:32-35: "The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe" (NIV).


As part of our decision to remember all that Jesus accomplished on our behalf, as we approach Resurrection Sunday, my family and I discussed this passage of Scripture last night. We wondered why God put this piece of information in the Bible. Was it just to fulfill Scripture? Or, could there be more to it? This passage contains some pretty gross, descriptive language. The writer could have stopped by stating "the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear". Why did he g…

When God's Love Annoys Us

Jonah 4:2: He prayed to the LORD, 'Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity'" (NIV).

My family and I were discussing the story of Jonah last night. As we discussed the story, we noticed how much hatred Jonah had towards the people of Nineveh. By nature, Jonah had every right to feel the way he did. The Ninevites had been repulsively brutal in the treatment of the Jewish people. The Ninevites were a ruthless people whom showed no mercy on and had no respect for human life. There are stories from history that describe how the soldiers of Nineveh stacked the decapitated heads of their victims' corpses in shapes of pyramids as a symbol of victory to themselves and as a message to their enemies. There are incidents where the skins of human flesh were peeled off as a t…

The Need for Human Control

Inthe era of Postmodernity, no one facet of the humanized culture has been more accepted, more revered, and yet has caused more damage than the quest for human control. The human mind desires to be in control of everything, from creation and sustenance, to degradation and death. The quest for control has driven many a man to his wits end and several to an early grave. “Perhaps nowhere is this sense of human control more evident than in reproductive technologies” (Hollinger p. 96). The influence and implications for Christian ethics that man’s need for control is having is the reduction of God as the world’s Sovereign. If one desires to have children and cannot, they hurry off to a fertility clinic. Likewise, if one is pregnant and desires not to be, they hurry off to an abortion clinic. No one trusts God’s will and His plan for their lives.
We live in this era of Postmodernity as if God has somehow lost control over the world and the people in it. A positive feature to man’s determinat…

Final Teaching on Works Righteousness and Justification

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Justification by Faith

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Grace-- a short explanation

“Grace is God’s deliverance, his transforming initiative and not our human-effort, high-ideal, hard-striving achievement. It is a gift from God that we do not deserve; it is not self-righteousness that we achieve by our own good works” (Stassen & Gushee p. 36). Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward us. It is “unmerited” because there is nothing we can do to earn it. It is free, a gift from God to man. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV). This familiar verse says a mouthful. With all that man has in his possession, the power to save himself is the one thing lacking and is much needed in this world. The only way man can be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ and this too is an act of God’s grace. Jesus tells us in John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (NIV). So what is it that man can and/or should do in order to be saved? The answer is respond in f…