Bold for Jesus

Several times I have heard that Christians need to live their faith with more boldness. In general I would agree with this statement. However, we need to consider what “boldly” means.

Usually the idea is phrased like this:

“Christians need to live separate from the world, show their faith in word and deed. Do it boldly and with confidence, don’t apologize for it. The ungodly heathen world doesn’t apologize for their behavior, why should we?”

Here’s my issue with that statement: if the world is ungodly and we’re not supposed to be like them, why should we be like them in their unapologetically loud lifestyles?

Do Christians really have to be Terrell Owens for Jesus? What about work with your own hands and study to be quiet? Boldness does not mean brash, loud, arrogant and stupid.

Bold Christianity is having the boldness to be humble and meek in a world of braggarts. Consistently walking with Christ regardless of what the world happens to be doing.

I like “bold Christians,” but the term needs to be defined properly.

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

The Old Testament is great reading. I love all the stories of events and cool stuff that happens.

Ever notice how the entire Old Testament is written in the “narrative voice?” There’s an all-seeing narrator explaining all things occurring in various spots. Stuff that no bystander could possible be all aware of.

2 Kings 6 gives a great example and explanation as to much of the OT style. The King of Syria is attacking Israel. No matter where he plans to attack, Israel is there and waiting.

He gets frustrated and wonders why this happens. Answer, “Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.”

That is cool!

That’s how the Bible is written in the narrative voice, because God is the narrator and this is His book and His story. He knows all the parts and hidden things. Another subtle, yet convincing, proof of inspiration.

Charles Simeon and John Wesley

Here is a quote of a conversation between Charles Simeon and John Wesley, led by Simeon:

Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?

Yes, I do indeed.

And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?

Yes, solely through Christ.

But, Sir, supposing you were at first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?

No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last.

Allowing, then, that you were first turned by the grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?

No.

What then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in its mother’s arms?

Yes, altogether.

And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?

Yes, I have no hope but in Him.

Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things where in we agree.

Well said!

The Three R’s of Christianity

People know the three R’s of education:

1) Reading
2) Writing
3) Arithmetic

When I was four I figured out that two of the three R’s of education didn’t begin with an R and have ever since been turned off by school and it’s devilish indoctrination.

We also now know the three R’s of environmentalism:

1) Reduce
2) Reuse
3) Recycle

These at least start with an R, which is good.

Recently I just read that Christianity had three R’s, which I never knew. They are:

1) Rod the Rather
2) Resus Rist
3) Roly Ririt

I’m kidding, I’m kidding. The three R’s of Christianity are:

1) Ruin
2) Redemption
3) Regeneration

Ruin refers to the fall of human nature brought on by the sin of our father Adam. Redemption refers to the atoning work of the blood. And Regeneration has to do with the new life believers are raised to. I never heard this before but I like it.

The Authority of Scripture

A quote from Martin Lloyd Jones:

The authority of the Scriptures is not a matter to be defended, so much as to be asserted. I address this remark particularly to Conservative Evangelicals. I am reminded of what the great Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said in this connection: “There is no need for you to defend a lion when he is being attacked. All you need to do is to open the gate and let him out.” We need to remind ourselves frequently that it is the preaching and exposition of the Bible that really establish its truth and authority.

HT: Andrew Naselli

Profitable Scripture

Paul tells us that all scripture is given by inspiration and can profit us. Every once in a while you come across a passage that makes you wonder exactly how. Here’s one I read today. 1 Kings 15:23 is written to sum up the life of King Asa who was a decent fellow.

“The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.”

Now, exactly how do diseased feet fit into this? Where is this from? And how, pray tell, is this of profit to me. Here’s my attempt:

Asa was a good king, he won some battles and built some cities. He followed the Lord and lead his kingdom well. However, lest you think all was well, he did have diseased feet.

It’s sort of God’s way of saying, “Look, you can do some fine stuff down here but you still have problems. You still need me.”

Indeed. My grandfather used to say, “we all have feet of clay.” Asa’s clay feet just happened to be diseased.

Considering Concupiscence

“Concupiscence” is one of those great King James Words. It rolls off the tongue, once you learn how to pronounce it anyway. It shows up three times in the New Testament.

Based on the context, even if you know nothing about this word, you can tell  that it is not a good thing!

It basically has to do with desire, lust and passion for something, in a bad way. It’s unhealthy desire.

There are plenty of things to have a healthy desire for: the salvation of others, spiritual gifts, to leave this earth, spiritual fruit, to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, to be a pastor, the Word of God, and possessing our eternal home.

That’s plenty to desire. Unfortunately, our flesh isn’t incredibly interested in these things. It has its own desires and these are evil and lead to concupiscence and this we are not called to!