God Speaks In Creation

How do you get to know someone?  You talk with them, don’t you?

The truth is, God has spoken to all people in nature by the things that are made.  Creation tells us God exists and he is powerful.  He is not only clearly perceived in the things that are made but also the knowledge of his law is written on our hearts. If you don’t believe that God has communicated to us you will never believe in the true God of all creation.

God has revealed himself in nature.  The mighty works of his hands have been clearly perceived by people since the foundation of the world in the things that are made. This natural revelation of God does not save a person but does leave people without excuse in knowing the true and living God.

The Aroma of true Worship

Some love the aroma of fresh brewed coffee in the morning and most despise the stench of a teenagers unwashed socks. Regarding worship, the Bible speaks about the fragrances God loves and hates.

Remember, it is your sacred duty and privilege to worship God. He has told us what he loves and hates in worship. God loves the aroma of prayers from his people, the faithful proclamation of Scripture, and ordinances instituted by Christ such as baptism and the Lord Supper.

God hates the stench of false worship because it offers manmade ideas of worship. As fallen creatures we are prone to allow false teachings to creep into our worship.  We must guard against it using all of Scripture to understand true worship.  We must draw all attention to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Remember, worship service is for God.  You cannot bring a worthy sacrifice to get your best life now.  You are there to worship God with a broken and contrite heart.

Every Lord’s Day prepare your heart according to Scripture to adore God individually and corporately.  Enter worship with thanksgiving and praise for God. 

Church Attendence

Hebrews 10:25

“Let us not [forsake] the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but [exhort] one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Recently I read an account of Benjamin Franklin publishing a cartoon called “Join or Die”.  Franklin was arguing that the colonies needed to form into one body to resist the powerful threat of their enemies.

Since the fall of Adam Christians have been under attack by Satan.  We can only survive the attacks as a group under the united leadership of God. Without God’s care believers would be hopeless. God calls his body of believers to assemble together to benefit from His leadership and the support of our Christian family. Without regular church attendance we cut ourselves off from God, His mercy, and the means of grace.  We also lose out on relationships with other Christians and the opportunity to edify each other through exhortation and grow in our faith.

You see salvation in Christ is to become part of His body. His body is the entire church under His headship. Being in Him is to be part of a family. The family image points to unity in God. In our unity we join with each other to worship the God who saved us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Make Church attendance a priority in your life.  That is where you will grow closer to your Savior and God. Regular worship is a duty but it is also a gift of God because you get to meet with fellow sinners who desire the grace of God and worship with them. Go worship the God who loved the unlovable!  

Justified by Faith.

Have you ever done something wrong and wanted to hit the reset button of life?

Christians often think of justification as receiving a spiritual blank slate. A state of blamelessness as if they had never committed any sin.  When God justifies Christians, He declares us righteous in Christ. We are immediately in full possession of Christ’s righteousness never to be “re-justified” again for future sin. Our future sins are covered by Christ’s righteousness as much as our past and present sins. If we are in Christ, there is no longer any condemnation. Not now or ever.

Truth comes from God

I met a man who didn’t believe in absolute truth.  I asked how he knew that statement was true.  He couldn’t answer!

For many, truth is one’s own interpretation of reality.  But that’s really an untenable position.  You could never act with real confidence because everyone’s interpretation would be true for them.

God’s truth is dependable because it expresses actual reality the way He created it.  It is not simply man’s interpretation of it.  God gives everything meaning and purpose for His glory and is an expression of who He is.   God is Truth and is expressly revealed IN Christ Jesus. 

Therefore, you can serve God with confidence knowing your actions aren’t in vain and is truth you can depend on!

Justified by Faith

Have you ever done something wrong and wanted to hit the reset button of life?

Christians often think of justification as receiving a spiritual blank slate. A state of blamelessness as if they had never committed any sin.  When God justifies Christians, He declares us righteous in Christ. We are immediately in full possession of Christ’s righteousness never to be “re-justified” again for future sin. Our future sins are covered by Christ’s righteousness as much as our past and present sins. If we are in Christ, there is no longer any condemnation. Not now or ever.

Hell part 3

I’m not sure if people deny hell because they are trying to protect God from the appearance of being unjust or not. They say, why would a loving God punish finite sin with infinite torture? Words matter. Torment for eternity due to sinning against the Holy God is not torture. The Bible says people who are sent to Hell will be tormented. They are in an unquenchable fire, the tongue sticks to the mouth, the worm does not die, etc… but the Bible never says torture is occurring. Hell is not a place of penance as if you go there to make up for your crimes. It is a place of punishment for every sin you have ever committed. There is a difference in torment and torture. You can be constantly tormented over your past actions without being actively tortured by anyone. Some think the duration of the punishment of Hell does not fit the crime of a sin. That is an extremely low view of God’s holiness and it ignores the totality of all sins a person has committed in a lifetime of past, present, and future sins. 1 sin a day for 365 days times a 80 year life span is a ton of sinning. The crime of sinning against God is far worse than you can imagine. I pray that you submit to the idea that punishment for sin is not determined by the criminal but by the authority who is responsible for the standard of the law. The Law Giver in this case is the Almighty and HOLY God. One small sin deserves the death penalty as proven by Adam and Eve. God is eternal and His nature determines punishment. That means all rewards and all punishments are eternal. These are a consequence of being a child of God or a child of Satan.

Hell part 2

Sheol is the realm of the dead. In ancient Hebrew thought, She’ol was believed to be below the earth. Clearly, the soul can be placed in Sheol just like the body.
If you prefer to focus on Gods mercy and disregard the equality of His justice. That is dishonoring God. The God of the Bible is a perfect balance and 100% of each of His characteristics such as mercy and justice. Mercy without justice eviscerates the wonderfulness of mercy. Mercy has got to have justice to have any true meaning. God provides loving relational mercy tempered by true justice and will never allow injustice to go without due punishment. An incorrect view of Hell means you also have a low view of Gods holiness.

Hell is real.

Psalm 86:13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Hell was not invented by the church to scare ignorant people into Christianity. Hell is real and the Bible does describe it. I’m not going to add that description here today but just want to make a short comment.

Sheol is not simply the grave were a physical body lays. It is also a place for a soul. Hell is real and it is a place where the worm does not die. It is a forever place and those who go there deserve it because of whom they have offended (The Holy Living God).

God Provides

God provides everything He requires from us.  When Moses died, Joshua was used by God to fulfill His promise to the people of Israel (Dt. 18:15).  God fulfills every promise He makes and like Israel many of us quickly forget what He has already done.  Somehow during trails we begin to distrust His involvement in our lives.  God required Joshua to lead the people of Israel and enabled him with certain gifts.  The gifts helped to confirm to the people of Israel that God was still with them.  It is by God’s Sovereign Authority (Ps. 135:6) that Joshua was able to overcome all the difficulties facing him and the people of Israel.  Joshua consistently put the people in remembrance of God’s Will in order to foster obedience and assure them of victory. 

Joshua was a warrior who was blessed by God with a desire to serve Him, this is the way I see myself.  Had God not decided to bless me with a new nature I would have no desire to serve Him.  Had God not provided me with gifts I would have no ability to serve Him or lead others by example.  Examples like having absolute confidence in God to do His perfect Will in every situation. I read a textbook once called Courageous Faith and I was reminded of the strength Joshua had.  Joshua had absolute trust in God. This confidence led to Joshua telling Israel to choose who they will serve, gods or God.

Like Joshua I have great confidence in God and have a great passion for Him.  Yet, I have to say I am not a good enough example to others.  I sin daily if not in deed, in word, or thought!  I will never be satisfied because thankfully God convicts me! I do not manage finances like I should, I need to pray more, I need to mortify my flesh more, and I need to evangelize my community more.  Spiritually, I am absolutely winning but not by my own strength.  Christ finished that work at the cross.  Victory did not come because of a change I was smart enough to make. God caused me to change my desire for Him (John 6:44).  If I used a scoreboard analogy, the leading score belongs to God and me zero.   He wins every time He chooses to save somebody (Matt. 11:27: Eph. 1:4; Duet. 7:6-7)!  I have total assurance of victory through Christ Alone!