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Showing posts from 2015

Saved or Lost 'In Christ'

If all humanity was taken up 'in Christ' when Jesus died and was resurrected, then how does the fact that most will be lost fit into that model? This is a question that many think shoots down this concept.
As I see it so far, simply acknowledging that every human is now 'in Christ' is not sufficient to deal with the problem of disharmony between God's pure, passionate divinity and our rebellion and hostility toward such an environment. Sin creates within our hearts a lethal liability that will self-destruct if exposed to the atmosphere of pure love. Sin is so hostile toward selfless love that even when that kind of love is veiled significantly, humans feel so uncomfortable around it that they feel compelled to either run away or to attack it and try to destroy the person exhibiting such love. This is why they ultimately killed Jesus and has been the cause of all persecution throughout the history of this world.
Being 'in Christ' does not in and of itself p…

Forgiveness Recovers Authority

Forgiveness is the opposite of taking offense and blaming. Blaming gives away our authority over the pain that is produced in us by offenses that have happened to us, making that authority unavailable to us so that not even God can heal that pain or resolve the problems resulting from unforgiven offenses.
When we hold someone else responsible for the pain they have caused us and refuse to take ownership of it ourselves, we hand over to them our God-given authority we need for our own healing and turn ourselves into victims incapable of healing or maturing beyond the point where we took that offense. Begging God for healing or forgiveness for ourselves then becomes useless because we no longer have the authority necessary to give Him permission to access the pain inside of us caused by that unforgiven offense.
The reason Jesus teaches us the importance of forgiving others so that God can forgive us pivots around this key issue of authority. So long as we continue to hold someone else …

Humility and Boldness

Pride is the counterfeit of boldness. It strips away the most important foundation of godly boldness, humility. Humility is the secure identity that provides the needed backup for effective boldness unafraid of the opinions or persecutions of others. Because one has a solid base of security in Christ and all value comes exclusively from God, humility becomes bold to boast about knowing God.
Thus says the LORD: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the LORD; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Pride is a false identity front desperate to convince others of its authenticity. Pride is in denial of the true emptiness of the inner soul driven by fear of discovery of the shame being hidden or repressed. Pride is an artif…

Lawyers

We are expected to depend on lawyers as our substitute to represent and save us in court. So we look for people with the most expertise and inside connections that we hope can be trusted to represent our case before hostile accusers, witnesses and a stern judge.
We know that the most important skill of a successful lawyer is not their ability to discern and expose the truth about us in order to achieve a fair outcome of judgment. Rather, we depend on our lawyers to have the most cunning to use procedural techniques to manipulate the court to to bring about a favorable outcome for us at the expense of the opposition. In short we depend on the performance skills of our lawyer to save us, placing more emphasis on skill of subtlety than on integrity or relationship.
This means that our interest in having a relationship with our lawyer lasts only as long as we need them to win our case. As soon as our case is won (or lost), we have little interest in maintaining any contact with our lawy…

Choice

There were two trees in the Garden. One was called the Tree of Life. But what about the other one?
We are told that it was labeled the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Quite a lengthy, complicated name wouldn't you think? But that is exactly what it was intended to be – complicated, confusing, even misleading.
I've been thinking more about that tree lately and something occurred to me, something in the way that serpent who hung out in that tree talked about the God who didn't want our parents to participate or have anything to do with that tree or its serpent. Do you remember the very first thing that came out of his liberated tongue?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1)
Now before we get caught in the fast track of explaining what we think was going on here or how it all went wrong, simply think abou…

Aphesis

As I was listening to the audio version of Servant God recently (very highly recommended), I came across a reference to the passage in Hebrews that had confronted me a few years ago as I was settling into my new awareness about God's goodness. I had recalled something about it saying that without blood there could be no remission of sins. Since the whole issue of blood appeasement was being seriously challenged, this statement seemed a bit troubling. As these words on the surface seemed to contradict everything else that I was learning about salvation, I decided I needed to go and face the question head on for myself because I knew full well that if I didn't resolve it to my own satisfaction that someone else would be sure to confront me with it sooner or later.
The very first thing that jumped out at me when I located the verse in Hebrews 9 was the fact that the words I remembered were not the complete text. The verse begins with the very significant caveat of the phrase …