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Category Archives: Jesus Christ

Is a tattooed Jesus the gospel?

This morning I found this article among the many in my daily Feedly posts. After reading it I decided to post it jesus_tattoos_ll_131009_16x9_608here and see if anyone else would consider this to be the gospel message as you know it. Please take the time to read the short article, watch the embedded video in the article, and give me some feedback.

Update: Click on the image of the billboard to the right to be directed to the website and the accompanying video.

I will add my opinion later as I am looking for some honest, thoughtful, unbiased opinions.

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in gospel, Jesus Christ, tattooed Jesus, tattoos

 

Infinite and an Infant

I found this eloquent quote from Charles H. Spurgeon related to the birth of Christ. 

Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s despised son.

 
 

Preaching the Word – Entry One

Last Wednesday I began a course offered in our local church for preaching. I am taking this course to be equipped forteaching_preaching_church_teachers preaching and teaching prisoners, which is a ministry I am involved with. Through this course I will be studying expository preaching, which is preaching and teaching God’s word using a verse by verse format. I know there is more to it than that, and I will learn what it is. I plan to use this blog to post entries surrounding my equipping process. Lord willing I will be providing weekly posts. This course is being offered as part of the ongoing Institute for Biblical Studies (IBS) with my local church.

I have been part of a prison ministry for our local church, Omaha Bible Church, for two years now. The Lord has been directing me to me to not only look for family care opportunities with prisoner families but to go inside and participate in the monthly worship services our ministry does. As part of our ministry, we have a few men meeting regularly with prisoners who desire to be mentored and taught about Jesus Christ through God’s word. This is becoming a part of the ministry I desire to be a part of. God has been shaping my heart or desire for this after my first few visits for worship services inside the prison. I pray that God will use this course to strengthen me in proclaiming Jesus Christ through scriptures. As Paul wrote to Timothy:

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)

I also pray that through this equipping, God will be sanctifying me for His service. I am already learning through my reading assignments what a weighty responsibility preachers and teachers have in teaching God’s word. Our first book is “Preaching: How To Preach Biblically” by John MacArthur and Master’s Seminary Faculty. I have a high respect for pastor John MacArthur and his knowledge for biblical preaching. I also have a high respect for our senior pastor Patrick Abendroth who is teaching us in the preaching class. Please pray for us all.

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Give Me Five – Unconditional Election

The next point in my brief postings of the Five Points of Calvinism is called “unconditional election.” The doctrine of hand-five-pointsunconditional election is thoroughly based in scripture. It is a doctrine that in affect claims that before the earth was formed God chose who would come to salvation through His son Jesus Christ. There are many texts in scripture that affirm this doctrine of unconditional election. One of my favorites for God’s sovereignty and election is the whole context of Romans chapter 9. Charles H. Spurgeon states of Romans 9 in his sermon on Unconditional Election, September 2nd, 1855:

So long as that is written there, not the most violent contortions of the passage will ever be able to exterminate the doctrine of election from the Scriptures.

This was a doctrine fully accepted within the protestant church until to the late 19th century and the teachings of Charles Finney. I used to believe and teach this as well. But a few years ago I came to understand, through scripture and the gentle dialog of a dear brother in Christ, that the most illogical theology is one that would teach that God is sovereign in everything else except salvation. They would claim that everything else is under God’s sovereignty except when it comes to something as eternal as the soul of man and his salvation. It isn’t even debated that God chose His people, the Israelites, as stated in the whole of the bible. Why is there an exception for the salvation of men from their sins?

One of the best explanations of God’s unconditional election is provided by Dr. James White in the video below. In the video Dr. White mentions some song lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman. Those lyrics can be found here.

 

Short selling the righteousness of Christ

While studying through Romans chapter 3 in our Sunday morning sermon yesterday, Pastor Pat reminds us what justification is and is not. I think many of us who have been a teacher or learner through any evangelical church has heard the phrase definition offered for the justification believers receive at salvation. The phrase I am referring to is justification = just as if I had never sinned. But when we provide this definition we are in fact selling short, and I mean way short, the righteousness of Christ in our justification. You see, when we are saved by God’s grace, we are declared righteous by God. The only way a righteous and just God can declare the sinner righteous is by imputing the righteousness of Christ on the sinner. In other words, the sinless and righteous life Christ lived for us on this earth was imputed, or attached to the sinner when by God’s grace he believes. That, my friend, is the only justification that satisfies a righteous God. So when we say that justification means that it’s as if we hadn’t sinned, that only gives us a clean slate and short sells the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But when we look at the correct meaning for righteous justification we again are focused on Christ and his righteousness and what he accomplished on the cross. Amen?

Soli Deo Gloria!

Divine Righteousness and the Cross (Romans 3:21-31)

 

Spurgeon in Wordle

Above is a Wordle I created with the text from Charles H. Spurgeon’s sermon “Secret Sins” Please click on the image to view the larger more detailed version. The word cloud or wordle is designed to make the words larger the more frequent they are used in the text. You will notice an anomaly with one word as it relates to the modern church and it’s use of the word today. That is the use of the word sin. In this word cloud it is one of the largest words in the abstract image. In the contemporary church you would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of churches in a metropolitan area that use the word sin on a regular basis. That needs to change. Believers of Jesus Christ are called to make disciples of Christ by using His gospel. If we don’t use the word sin then how do we fully explain the reason for salvation?

ht: Really Robin for finding the Wordle tool.

 
 

Ray Boltz has come out of the closet.

I remember listening to Ray Boltz when my wife and I first discovered Christian music many years ago. He sang some pretty moving songs like “Watch the Lamb” and “I Pledge Allegiance To the Lamb”. Thinking back I don’t recall how theologically sound the lyrics were, but he still had quite an impact on the Christian music world. Now he has “come out” as the homosexual society puts it, and says he is happy again. Oh how the heart can deceive us into believing what makes us happy is right. There is an informative and interesting article about Ray Boltz at The Washington Blade that sheds some light on this story.

How should we think about this? There is a simple illustration I can think of. I am unhappy about having to obey the traffic laws, especially when I am in a hurry to go somewhere. It would make me very happy if I could ignore those laws in those times that are not convenient to me. But the traffic laws have a reason, and that reason is to keep us all safe while we are driving. God has given us laws as well. Whether we like them or not they do exist. Unlike state laws, these laws from God are not negotiable or subject to legislative changes. I believe that some of His laws exist to keep us safe as well. Regardless of the reason they exist, God, the Creator, demands that we obey them. These laws have been revealed to us in his scriptures. As believers in Christ we can choose to obey them or not. But please don’t fool yourself into believing there will not be consequences or an accounting for the foolish decision to ignore them.

As for Ray Boltz, we should be praying for him and his family. We should also be praying for those who will stand up and not be passive while this kind of behavior continues to filter into the local churches. We should also pray that we would make this stand in love and for the ultimate repentance and restoration of those like Ray Boltz. This brings up a thought for consideration. Can you be a Christian and also be gay? Please consider reading 1 Corintians 6. In verses 9 and 10 of that chapter you will find:

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

The apostle Paul goes on to write to the Corinthians in verse 11:

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The scriptures make it clear that believers of Christ have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Christ. We should no longer practice those former things. That is great news. Only by trusting in the Christ, will you have the power to fight against those former sinful things. Amen?

ht: Christian Theology Blog