Thursday, June 14, 2012
In Paul's introduction of his letter to the Romans he states that the readers (Gentiles and Jews alike), are "...called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints..." (v. 6-7). Called here is the greek word "klētos". Defined as follows...
1) called, invited (to a banquet)
a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ
This word is repeated 10 times in the Greek concordance of the New Testament (Matt 22:14, Rom 1:1, 1:6, and 1:7, Rom 8:28, 1 Cor 1:1, 1:2, and 1:24, Jude 1:1, and Rev 17:14). Each time its use indicates God's invitation/calling to his servants (that's us). It is a call to the faith which produces obedience to Christ. As Paul states in Romans 1:4-5, "...Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we [the apostles] have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles [applicable to us] for His name's sake..."
My point is this. We do not have an active part in seeking out the gift of God and eternal salvation. To say that we have "found" Christ is analogous to nothing more than a game of hide and seek with a 6-month-old baby. We have but to remove the scales from our eyes and hearts to find the gift of eternal salvation. If God were to be hidden, because of his infinitude, he would never be found. Certainly no one could be better at a game of hide and seek than the Creator himself. But because of his infinite grace and mercy, He sought us out! He sent His son to pay the ultimate price for us to have continual communion with him. Praise God that he reveals himself to us! Finding Christ is simple (we make it hard). Following Christ demands your life, but is infinitely and eternally rewarding.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Ponder infinitude, infinitely
Command thoughts of omnipotence
Be wholly holy
...and when all else fails, surrender to the invisible, perfect, unadulterated, overwhelming existence of the one true God.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Marriage is awesome! It's crazy to start to see some of my friends getting married now too. I'm getting an idea of how they felt when Whit and I tied the knot.
It's hard occasionally to be so far away from my closest friends that I consider brothers, but I'm excited for what God is doing in their lives!
Hopefully I can start to use this blog to challenge me to think deeper about different issues of faith and to continue to grow in wisdom from above. That's the real reason for this post ;)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel." -Philippians 1:27
In a sermon I recently heard based off this verse, Francis Chan provides the visual of an old balance scale which holds the weight of the gospel on one side, and my life on the other. Admittedly, this is quite a daunting way to measure my life. This passage has begun to impact me in a few specific areas of my life. Do my actions, my mind and my speech function in a way that upholds the eternal weight of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Do my actions show love in a way that could equate the love we're commanded to portray in the gospel. Do I take Jesus seriously when he says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 22:37-40). Honestly, I know that I don't always uphold the gospel in my love to others. Though I can love the people that love me, I often struggle to love those that don't love me in return. That reeks of my selfish carnal nature. Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6:32). Sometimes I fall so short...
Then I realize that one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle of holiness in my life is my mind. It is so clearly evident to me that my mind dictates the way I react to everything! This is why we are told in Colossians 3:2-3, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God". This means that Christ intercedes for me constantly to ultimately bring me into communion with the triune God. Ergo, I should react to things the way Jesus would because my mind is set on things above instead of on earthly things (me). Perverted jokes are no longer funny. Movies that mock the sacred institution of marriage or the bondage of sin break your heart. Furthermore, I find complete joy in my relationships on earth because I begin to see people through the eyes of Christ. What an awesome opportunity to be able to catch a glimpse of Christ's vision! Only in this way can I exemplify the fruits of the spirit, which are "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23).
Lately the Lord has given me a greater sensitivity to my words and to the words of those around me. One of the most powerful instructions on speech comes from James, chapter 3. "...The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself" (v6). Unless of course we are thinking about things above and are allowing ourselves, in turn, to be sourced by the holy spirit. In this case, we will be speaking about eternal matters. "Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives" (Gal. 5:25). I can only hope that as I grow in Christ, my speech about him becomes more and more natural in my conversations.
I am definitely a work in progress but I praise God that he is so gracious in revealing his truth in my life!