Showing posts from 2013

Caught Between Two Laws

So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)

I have wrestled with this verse for many years, and in the past few days I have found myself face to face with it again, still seeking to make better sense out of it. This is not just an intellectual sparring exercise to see how smart I can get, but rather a desperate attempt to make more sense out of my own relationship or lack thereof with God. For it seems that the more my mind is learning the real truth about what God is like, the more ugly my own condition and situation appears.

Now, I am fully aware of the quotations and verses that are supposed to explain this condition to reassure me that indeed this is naturally the case for anyone coming close to God. I am not trying to discount that truth, yet on the other hand my own life seems to not be tracking in line with other verses and quotations that strongly indicate that a life seriously being …

Sacrificing the Natural

Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. Gal. 4:22. Paul is not dealing with sin in this chapter of Galatians, but with the relation of the natural to the spiritual. The natural must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice, otherwise a tremendous divorce will be produced in the actual life. Why should God ordain the natural to be sacrificed? God did not. It is not God’s order, but His permissive will. God’s order was that the natural should be transformed into the spiritual by obedience; it is sin that made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed. Abraham had to offer up Ishmael before he offered up Isaac. Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we have sacrificed the natural. The only way in which we can offer a spiritual sacrifice to God is by presenting our bodies a living sacrifice. Sanctification means more than deliverance from sin, it means the deliberate commitment of myself whom God has saved, to God, and I do n…

What is a Hero?

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (Colossians 2:13-15)

Mighty warrior. What sorts of ideas come to mind whenever we hear this term?

What comes to our mind will be a strong indicator of, or will at least provide some important clues as to what our real opinions are about what kind of God is in charge, or at least who we want to be in charge.

A warrior is normally considered a person who not only has gone through extensive training and discipline to learn all sorts of military and maybe martial arts skills, but is usually a person who also is heavily equipped with weapons …

Revisiting the Temple Cleansing

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business." His disciples remembered that it was written, "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME." (John 2:13-17)

This cleansing occurred at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. But carefully note what He said during this event in contrast to the next similar cleansing of the temple just before He died.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.…

Kicking But

John could really kick butts. But after hanging around Jesus for a few years he learned to kick buts.
Do I need to explain? Probably so.

We are told that John and his brother had a real reputation when they first hooked up with Jesus. They had been nick-named 'Sons of Thunder' and most people assume (safely I would expect) that it was because they were known for getting angry at others rather easily. Given today's culture of giving honor to people who can get angry and effectively get their way by physically tearing into others (at least in the movies), if John and James had been around today I strongly suspect that they might have become movie stars. In some people's vernacular they would have been known as really being able to 'kick butts' around using excessive force to settle a score or get their own way.

But something unusual happened on the way home after work one day when a most unusual man showed up on their job site where they were laying out thing…