God’s Scheduling

Israel took a long time to take over the Promised Land. Joshua did a lot, but there was plenty left to conquer after he died. One would think with the Lord of Hosts (“Lord of Armies” for those who read the NIV) with you, taking over the Promised Land would go smoother and quicker.

But God knew what He was doing. Exodus 23 tells us why it took so long for Israel to conquer, “lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you.”

God did it because of the animals! If Israel wiped out all the cities there wouldn’t be enough Israelites to live in those cities and possess the houses. By the time Israel got big enough raccoons would live in the roof, spiders would take over the basement and porcupines would do in the furniture.

So, God took His time, letting Israel gradually grow to fill the Land they gradually possessed. God’s promise was that they would eat crops they didn’t plant, drink from wells they didn’t dig and live in houses they didn’t build.

Can’t do that all at once! God knows what He’s doing. Important lessons abound: be patient, trust God, don’t whine, don’t give kids more than they can handle, and other lessons. I love little treasures like these verses.


* Article about “bliks,” which represents the concept of people looking at the same thing yet coming to opposite conclusions. He relates it to the free-will/election debate.

* I know this makes me a horrible person, but things like this make me feel ill. I would not sing a song about this kid, I’d smack him. “Hey, I don’t know where the line to Jesus is kid, quit following me.”

* Seth Godin was wrong about marketing books and publishing? No way.

* Should we have church on Christmas Sunday? It’s even amazing this is an issue. Most churches will; most people will not be there. Which makes me wonder, hey, where’s the line for Jesus?

Time for God to go to Work

“It is time for thee, LORD, to work:
for they have made void thy law.”

I love cool verses! This is a cool one. The Psalmist is calling on God to act because people are acting as if God hasn’t said anything, they are disregarding God and everything He said.

When people disregard God’s Word there is no hope for them other than God breaking in upon them, most likely through judgment.

To be deaf to God’s Word, to harden your heart, stiffen your neck, and set your face like flint to ignore God is to set yourself up for trouble.

God desires all men to repent, so if you ignore His Word you won’t be brought there. Perhaps God will pick on you some to get your attention.

If you resist His work on you, you may leave Him no recourse than to end you. He’s done it before and He’ll do it again. It’s better to take time to hear His Word now and respond by faith.

The Joy of the Law

Psalm 119’s length has brought it fame. Its repetition has brought it neglect.

We know it’s about the Word, but we seem to miss the sheer joy the psalmist has in the Word. To us the Law seems like drudgery, something awful foisted upon us, something that merely points out how horrible we are.

Yet the Psalmist seems to have a very positive reaction to the Law, as if he likes it and stuff. Observe:

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

“Grant me thy law graciously.

“I delight in thy law.

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

“thy law is my delight.

“O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

“thy law do I love.”

What’s up with that? Many things! Imagine living in a world with very little revelation from God. The only eternal, abiding truth you have is the Pentateuch. Imagine the solidity these words bring to life!

The Law reveals righteousness and truth, what great stuff to know.

Today we rejoice in Christ and this is not a problem, the revelation of the righteousness of God in Christ overshadows the Law, and this is good. But Christ established the Law, He’s not a contradiction to it. If we rejoice in Christ we rejoice in the Law, He is the author after all.

The Work of Pastors and the Work of Parishioners

“The apostles complained rightly when they said it was not meet they should leave the word of God and serve tables; their vocation was to preach the word. But the person whose vocation it is to prepare the meals beautifully might with equal justice protest: It is not meet for us to leave the service of our tables to preach the word.”
–Dorothy Sayers

I wonder how this idea smacks your brain. Many will like it, others will be outraged that she seems to say table-servers don’t have to study the word.

According to Ephesians 4, God has gifted men to edify the Body of Christ. Not everyone has these gifts. Pastors should dedicate themselves to the Word of God just as much as a mechanic dedicates himself to making your car run or the dentist dedicates himself to taking all your money to put over-priced metal devices in your kid’s mouths.

You don’t want to go to a dentist who until last week was a police officer. You want a dentist who is passionate about sticking his hands in people’s mouths and messing with teeth.

I imagine the same is true in selecting a pastor. You want a guy who is dedicated to God’s Word. Those who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. In context it means guys who teach the Gospel should get paid to do so.

The benefit of this is that they can dedicate their minds to the Word. Unfortunately, pastors rarely actually do this. They are too busy doing weddings, separating the fingernails of the singy women from each other’s throats, and doing self-help seminars.

The reason there is a backlash against pastors getting paid these days is because people aren’t getting their money’s worth. Pastors aren’t dong what they’re paid for.

Furthermore, pastors who know they aren’t doing their job then belittle everyone else, condemning them for being too busy to attend their programs they spent all day organizing.

Thus, parishioners resent their pastor’s work and pastor’s resent their parishioner’s work. Perhaps Dorothy has the solution for us?

Pure in Heart and Work

“Blessed are the pure in heart.”

Matthew 5:8 contains this great phrase, concluding with the comforting fact that the pure in heart will see God. Reason enough to want to be pure in heart, one would think.

So, what is this “pure in heart” deal?

The word pure means “free from admixture.” Nothing is mixed in that shouldn’t be mixed in. In other words, your heart has a singleness about it.

Singleness such as is mentioned in Acts 2:46 or Ephesians 6:5 or perhaps Colossians 3:22.

Each of these contexts has to do with work or money. Acts 2 deals with all the believers sharing their possessions. Both the Ephesians’ and Colossians’ passages have to do with working for your master.

These all seem to fit nicely with another Sermon on the Mount phrase, “no man can serve two masters.” Service to God demands singleness of heart. To be otherwise minded is not to serve God.

“You cannot do good work if you take your mind off the work to see how the community is taking it– any more than you can make a good drive from the tee if you take your eye off the ball,” says Dorothy Sayers.

Which fits nicely also with, “Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto man.”

I know in our age of stressing grace out the nose this doesn’t fly, but–your seeing of God depends on this or else Jesus, the sinless son of God, is a liar.

What Does God Want Me to do With My Life?

In a brief span of time I heard two pastors give advice to people wondering what God wanted them to do with their lives. I’ll sum up their conclusions:

Conclusion One: You must sit still, think, pray, journal, be alone with God and He will reveal to you what you must do.

Conclusion Two: Don’t sit still, you get out and do, see what you like, read the Word, do what God has said in there and God will reveal what you must do.

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with either one, I was merely amused by the exact opposite conclusion these men gave. Which one should I listen to?

Should I base it off the life of the speaker? Speaker one is more famous, I never even heard of the second guy. Guess I should be still then.

Should I base it off Scripture? Well, second guy seemed better with actual Scriptural proof for his idea. Jesus did not journal, contrary to speaker one’s statement that he did (really, he said that Jesus got alone with God to journal. I laughed.)

So, what does God want you to do in life? I have no idea and neither do you. Should you try to find out? Sure. How do you go about finding it out? I don’t know.

Scripture shows that men are not all the same nor dealt with the same. Sometimes God shows up in a burning bush, sometimes an angel shows up, sometimes guys just get it, sometimes guys never know, sometimes a guy’s life completely falls apart, and the vast majority of guys are never mentioned in Scripture.

Being obsessed with what God wants you to do for a job, marriage, college, etc., is not anything you ever see anyone in the Bible worrying about.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

Neither of the speakers mentioned this yet it’s the whole point. There’s no money in this, there’s no inherent fame, there’s no goal setting, self-esteem boosting, dream fulfilling blather. Just this, so I suggest you do this.

Dorothy Sayers on Christ and Christian Virtue

“Setting aside the scandal caused by His Messianic claims and His reputation as a political firebrand, only two accusations of personal depravity seem to have been brought against Jesus of Nazareth.

“First, that He was a Sabbath-breaker. Secondly, that He was “a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” — or (to draw aside the veil of Elizabethan English that makes it sound so much more respectable) that He ate too heartily, drank too freely, and kept very disreputable company, including grafters of the lowest type and ladies who were no better than they should be.

“For nineteen and a half centuries, the Christian Churches have laboured, not without success, to remove this unfortunate impression made by their Lord and Master.

“They have hustled the Magdalens from the Communion-table, founded Total Abstinence Societies in the name of Him who made the water wine, and added improvements of their own, such as various bans and anathemas upon dancing and theatre-going.

“They have transferred the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and, feeling that the original commandment “Thou shalt not work” was rather half-hearted, have added to it the new commandment, “Thou shalt not play.”

–Dorothy Sayers

Missing the Point of Rebirth

“The Christian not owning the Holy Spirit as the fulfilling of the Gospel, is in the same fallen state as the Jew not owning Christ as the fulfillment of the Law.”
–William law

The Law was given to Moses as part of the covenant God made with Israel to possess the Promised Land. Israel instead took it as a means of working their own righteousness.

As they went about to produce their own righteousness, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. Jesus Christ is the revelation of the righteousness of God apart from the Law and the Prophets.

Jesus Christ became a stumbling stone and a rock of offense. Instead of being driven to faith in Messiah, the Law produced self-righteousness.

The same problem exists for us–the OT was written for our learning, eh.

We still come to Scripture’s commands and attempt to figure out how we can meet these challenges. Some attempt it by eliminating commands and insisting that grace means disobedience is cool.

Others attempt to achieve the commands as the Jews did and delve into man-made tradition and legalism, which keeps people a long way from Christ.

Both miss the point and the point is this–without Me you can do nothing. Without the Holy Spirit the Bible makes no sense and is impossible to obey. To view Christianity as some religion your flesh can follow is to completely miss the point.

“You MUST be born again.” This means something and the something it means is huge.

Martin Luther and Hate Speech

“Always preach in such a way
that if the people do not come to hate their sin,
they will instead hate you.”

This quote is attributed to Martin Luther giving advice to Philip Melanchthon.

How does it strike you? I imagine many would think it’s a bit harsh. Certainly Joel Osteen wouldn’t buy it. Speaking of which, I saw Osteen on tv accidentally yesterday affirming that faith in God is just as much faith in yourself that you can overcome.

Yeesh. Has the guy ever read the Book? And by “the Book” I don’t mean Osteen’s book but God’s Book.

Anyway, should a pastor be preaching to bring about hate? Isn’t the whole point love?

The whole point is love, part of which means pointing out sin and danger. Humble people respond to warnings; proud people hate the messenger.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible to preach God’s Word without being hated, His Words seem to have that effect. It took me a while to figure that one out and it still surprises me from time to time. But “marvel not when the world hates you.”

Today we marvel that we should preach such words that create hate. Oh, how far we’ve come.

Calling Jesus ‘Lord’ and the Spirit

“no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,
but by the Holy Ghost.”

I have heard people use this verse to claim they are saved because they think Jesus Christ is Lord, so there, I don’t have to say or believe anything else, I got that down.

I find this ridiculous and a classic case of proof-texting.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord. . . I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Here is a whole group of people who call Jesus Christ ‘Lord’ whom Jesus Christ confesses are not saved. Calling Jesus Lord is not evidence of the Spirit’s presence because people can say anything.

1 Corinthians 12, the no man can call Him Lord but by the Spirit passage, is all about spiritual gifts, the result of having the Spirit. There are differences of administration but the same Lord.

Saying that Jesus is Lord then must mean more than the ability your mouth has to say words. It must refer to being submissive to Christ as Lord, knowing that the Lord hands out gifts and their uses.

Someone who mouths that Jesus is Lord and yet exercises no gift nor submission to the Giver of gifts, may end up being in the group that claimed Jesus as Lord but only did things in human power, not spiritual giftedness.

Christians and Perfection

There’s a GE commercial out about their jet engines with this line in it:

“People who say ‘There’s no such thing as perfect’—they don’t make jet engines.”

Point being that jet engines better be perfect or else people will die.

Whenever Christians talk about perfection there are two predominate camps:

1) Christians can’t be perfect, what are you, some kind of legalist? Why bother, we’re under grace.

2) Of course Christians can be perfect, look at me! I haven’t sinned for 13 years!

Both camps equally annoy me.

Camp One annoys me because they see no power in the Gospel, they don’t even see a need for Gospel-power. That is irritating because it undermines the work of Christ, the power of the indwelling Spirit and makes a joke of salvation.

Camp Two annoys me because people who are perfect wouldn’t brag about it. If a person achieved perfection I doubt they’d have any shred of pride in them to even be aware of the fact that they were perfect. I could be wrong, I don’t know, I’m not perfect.

This camp also seems to ignore sins of omission–the good we could have done that we didn’t. It also seems to ignore “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” Perfect people have done that always for 24-hour days?

My thinking on the subject is that I believe the Gospel, Christ and the Spirit have the power to make a man perfect. If I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t have much of a God.

At the same time, I believe our flesh has its own power, not as powerful as God’s, but for those bound in sin since birth, it’s a battle.

We are told to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Perfection is the ideal. If we are indeed looking unto Jesus, then we are indeed looking unto perfection. To be formed into the perfect man Christ Jesus is the whole point.

The reason we avoid pressing on to perfection is because we don’t view faith as being that vital. If we were building jet engines that carry hundreds of people in the air, yeah, we’d see the point. But perfect in faith, why bother, what’s at stake?

This is a serious condemnation of Christians. Press on in the Spirit, we aint there yet.


* Short video on Franny Crosby, who wrote many hymns, some of which are familiar to frequent church-goers. Quite the life.

* Customized Tebow jerseys are making a stir. It is easy to confuse the Savior of mankind with a 3-1 quarterback.

* Speaking of football, can’t skip this story. Woot.

* Awesome article about Bible reading. “One week I read Ephesians 93 TIMES THROUGH and on Sunday preached without notes under the strongest anointing I ever felt in a single service in my life.” DL Moody

Crucify What Now?

When Jesus Christ was on earth preaching His happy message of love and pacifism, everyone just loved Him. He even had His own kid’s show, Mr Christ’s Neighborhood.

Surely I jest, I do, but this is the typical understanding of who Jesus was, mostly for those who have never read a Gospel.

Jesus annoyed people constantly. So people killed Him.

I don’t generally like theological authors of the female variety. It’s fine if you do, but generally I don’t. But apparently I do enjoy a sarcastic theological author of the female flavor and I’ve found a fine one, Dorothy Sayers. Here’s a quote from her about Jesus.

“He was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either. But he had `a daily beauty in his life that made us ugly,’ and officialdom felt that the established order of things would be more secure without him. So they did away with God in the name of peace and quietness.”

Well said, Dorothy, well said.

So, here’s the deal. God doesn’t like us. He is angry at the wicked every day. He points out our faults, shows us how far we fall short and tells us we’re deserving of judgment.

So, we have a choice, we can respond as the Jews and Romans of Christ’s day did and crucify Him. Just get rid of Him, ignore Him, fight Him, flee from Him, CRUCIFY HIM!

Or we can humbly approach Him and be crucified with Him. Flee our flesh, ignore our whiny selfishness, fight against sin and lust, CRUCIFY FLESH!

Oh, the power of newness of life in Christ. Don’t flee from Him, run to Him and die with Him.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”


Stuff I looked at today:

* Good interview with Roger Olson, author of Against Calvinism. He agrees with me why I’m against Calvinism. Smart man.

* Short video showing how hummingbirds deflect rain drops. When they shake off rain drops their head moves up to 30 times the acceleration of gravity. Humans black out at five times the acceleration of gravity!

* Article on megachurch statistics and the coming megachurch bubble burst.

* Post about eleven things heralded as The Eighth Wonder of the World. Clearly Andre the Giant is the winner, no contest.

* Helpful chart showing you where your waiter currently is.

* Not even sure why I watched this, but I’ve seen dumber things come out of schools

NEWS FLASH!!! Christians Aren’t Supposed to Sin!

Sin is fun. Sin is natural. Therefore, no one really wants to stop sinning.

God does not like sin, but we do. Logic tells us that we should not sin, but it’s still natural and fun, so maybe, instead of changing us, it would be easier to change God!

Fantastical idea! Let’s invent a God who doesn’t mind us sinning! Then, let’s invent this God’s doctrine to fit around our desire to do our fun natural sin. Oh man, now you’re talking!

Hyper-Calvinism was invented to chalk everything up to God’s ordaining, I can’t help it, I’m not good, depraved you know, must sin, God made me.

Hyper-Grace was invented to chalk everything up to “aw, who cares!” If God is grace then He shouldn’t care what I do. Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters to Thee. Remember God?

We deceive ourselves into thinking that sin is no big deal. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are declared righteous even though we basically just do unrighteousness.

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”

“As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked.”

You can play games with it all you want, but the simple facts are the simple facts. Corrupt trees don’t bring forth good fruit and good trees don’t bring forth corrupt fruit.

Might be time to deal with the Real God not the God of your sinful mind.

Occupy Wall Street and Thinkabilitation

I’m probably stepping in it to address Occupy Wall Street, but it made me think about thinking, thought I’d share.

Occupy Wall Street put out a Declaration of Occupation declaring their grievances. Allow me to point out three:

–“They [corporations] have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.”

–“They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right”

–“They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.”

Issue One is that they don’t want government to bail out corporations
Issue Two is that they do want government to bail out students
Issue Three is that they don’t want corporations to be bailed out because this is failed economic policy.

My Issue–if bailing out corporation is bad economic policy how does bailing out individuals suddenly become good economic policy? It’s the same policy! Does having it work out better for you suddenly make it successful?

To me this is an example of stupidity. Just because you want something to work doesn’t mean it will work, ask my son.

This reminds me of the Christian thinking that says:

Issue One is that God must show me grace.
Issue Two is that God must let me continue to enjoy sin.
Issue Three is that God must be happy with this whole deal.

My Issue–God does not like sin, that’s why He offers grace! Those who turn grace into lasciviousness deny the Lord Jesus Christ. God is not happy with people who want to take grace and sin, it doesn’t work that way.

No matter how much you want to embrace two opposites and hope it works out for you, it won’t, it can’t. You can’t serve two masters. Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and then teaches us to walk soberly, righteously and godly right now.

To hold grace and sin is actually to merely embrace sin. You may be happy thinking you can hold both, but God is not, and God happens to be the Judge.

Two Sauls and God’s Grace

The Bible talks about two guys named Saul who were both from the tribe of Benjamin. Perhaps the Bible has two Sauls from the tribe of Benjamin to help us compare their lives. If they had that in common, what else was in common?

Not much actually. Here’s a brief sketch of both lives:

1 Samuel 9:21—Saul from the tribe of Benjamin
1 Samuel 10:6-9—Saul got the spirit, became another man, given a new heart
1 Samuel 13—Saul offers a sacrifice in place of slow-moving Samuel
1 Samuel 13:13,14—Saul is told that he’s done.
1 Samuel 14—makes a dumb vow that ends up putting his son in jeopardy
1 Samuel 15—does not kill everything of the Amalekites.
1 Samuel 15:20,21—maintains innocence
1 Samuel 15:22-29—a better man will replace you as king
1 Samuel 16:13,14—Spirit leaves Saul goes to David, much foolishness ensues

Romans 11:1—Saul from the tribe of Benjamin
Acts 9:3-8—Saul chosen out of nowhere to serve God
Acts 9:17,18—Saul receives the Holy Spirit
Acts 9:22—immediately begins prophesying
Acts 17:2-7—Saul keeps going, changing the world
1 Timothy 1:12-16—Paul is an example of what salvation is in Christ
1 Corinthians 15:10—God’s grace causes Paul to labor

Both were shown favor by God out of nowhere, yet they had completely opposite results. King Saul never really did anything right, he was kind of dumb and eventually God repented of having made him king.

Apostle Saul labored with the grace more abundantly than any other apostle. What made the difference? Was there a problem with God’s grace with King Saul?

There is no problem with God’s grace, but there is a problem with King Saul. He took God’s grace in vain, whereas Apostle Saul was exercised by it and the world was never the same after.

“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also
that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”

Don’t take the grace of God in vain. Work with it.

Love Is A Big Deal With God

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. Ever think about this?

Note that the greatest commandment is not “believe the Lord your God.” Faith is not at issue in this commandment, love is.

However, in order to follow a commandment of God faith is necessary. As Paul says in Galatians, “faith works by love.”

But note that phrasing as well–love does not work by faith. As Vincent’s Word Studies puts it–“faith is wrought by love.” In the context, faith is not in circumcision, an outward fleshly act, but by an internal circumcision of the heart–love.

And, as Paul says eight verses later–all the law is fulfilled in one word, love. Love fulfills the Law. Do we fulfill the law by faith? It depends: is your faith wrought by love or self-effort? “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.”

Without love, faith is not possible.

More Platitudinous Banalities of Facebook Christianity

Here’s the latest Christian thinking as expressed on Facebook:

“If being fair is one of God’s characteristics then all of us will go to hell. That’s fair. I don’t want fair…I want grace. :-)”

Therefore, based on these words, one of God’s characteristics is unfairness. Chapter and verse please.

Certainly we all deserve hell and not going to hell is a showing of grace. But this demonstration of grace is not unfair, otherwise the one who shows grace is unfair.

Rather than allow banal believers to define grace, allow the Apostle Paul to define it:

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

God is entirely just (“fair” for those who read the NIV) in justifying the ungodly. Grace does not mean unfairness.

God, through sending His Son to die and rise again, provided a means to escape God’s wrath and it is by placing faith in Him that a person is delivered from wrath.

If grace is foisted upon people for no reason, then yes, God is unfair and grace means unfairness, then God does indeed respect persons.

But grace is given to those with humble faith, otherwise God is not just, fair, righteous, or good. And if He’s not good, there’s no reason to be brought to repentance or to have any confidence whatsoever to place faith in Him.

The 2nd Largest Misconception of the OT

There is a notion that grace was invented with Jesus. “The Law came by Moses but grace and truth by Jesus Christ” is flopped out as a proof-text.

This is a ridiculous proof-text based on this point: When exactly did Christ begin?! John 1:17 is our proof-text, which follows John 1:1–in the beginning was the word, etc.

If you want proof texts, here’s some beauties. Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he knew God was gracious! From what exactly did Jonah base this opinion of God on?

More than likely, Jonah had Moses’ books, the Psalms, maybe a few others, yet he knew God was gracious to the extent that God would save heathen scum Nineveh!

Proof text this: Cain kills his brother and God graciously saves Cain’s life.

Proof text this: God told Adam and Eve if they ate from the tree they would die, and I know the typical Christian line is that He meant spiritual death, but He didn’t and they didn’t die. Not getting the punishment you deserve is called “grace.”

Grace is alive and well throughout the entire Bible. There is only one way man is saved: by grace through faith. That’s it. Same for Cain and same for you and me. God is gracious, and as one fine theologian once said: God, He don’t never change.

The Largest Misconception of the Old Testament

One of the largest misconceptions of the Old Testament is that OT people were saved by keeping the law.

At no point does the Law say a person is saved by keeping the Law. Keeping the Law was a good thing, it was the covenant rules for Israel. If they kept the Law things would go well with them in the Land.

Deuteronomy makes it clear that staying in the Land is the entire point of keeping the Law. Chapter 28 is the classic one, it begins thusly:

“if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth.”

The chapter then continues to give a list of curses and blessings the Land will endure based on the Law-keeping of the people.

At no point does the Law ever claim that obedience to it saves a person.

Now, a person who is saved is the only one who could keep the Law, and the only one who would have a true desire to do so. But salvation is a prerequisite for true Law-obedience.

Attempting to keep the Law apart from faith, or as a replacement for faith, is why Jesus had such a problem with Pharisees and Paul had such a problem with Judaizers.

The Law never says keeping it saves a man and the New Testament constantly fights against this point, yet many continue to believe that keeping the Law is how OT people were saved.

Thanks Guys

I would like to take some time and thank the faithful readers of the Anti-Itch Meditation for your time and attention.

I often get the feeling that I talk too much. A danger of talking too much is that I say dumb things. I often think some of my past posts are dumb, yet you faithfully let them go and move on.

I also firmly believe many of my posts are brilliant and I also thank you for moving on from those too!

Many of my posts are theoretical, thinking out loud, and receiving your feedback helps me think and examine my thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to share and not taking all my points too seriously!

People are busy and it is always humbling to have captured a few moments of a person’s time. I try to make it worth your while and provoke thoughts that might help you grow in Christ.

Thanks for your faithfulness, some of you for years. Very cool. Thanks.

Remembering Judgment

Consider all the physical things God gives people to remind them of Him, here’s a partial list:

Sacrifices—blood must be shed for sin—Hebrews 10:1-4
Rainbow—He judged once by water—Genesis 9:13-16
Passover—first born Egyptians died—Exodus 13:13-16
Brass covering of the altar—brass from censers used by guys who rebelled with Dathan and Abiram—Numbers 16:39-40
Baptism—reenacting death and resurrection—Romans 6:3,4
Lord’s Supper –remember the Lord’s death until He comes—1 Corinthians 11:23-26

All these physical reminders have to do with judgment–God wants us to remember judgment. Why?

Because Judgment is God’s strange work, not His regular way of operating, especially considering how often He could judge. Since He doesn’t judge often, we assume He doesn’t mind sin and is pretty much just like us because we don’t mind our sin either.

But this isn’t so. God hates sin with a passion we’ll never even come close to touching. God is angry every day. His judgment is coming and He wants our forgetful minds to remember that point.

Remembering judgment inspires us to live holy lives, to not get tangled up in this world but to look for the world to come, inspires us to take sin seriously and warn sinners, and drives us humbly to the one who can remove the judgment we deserve.

We forget, but forgetting is no excuse.

The Platitudinous Banalities of Facebook Christianity

“The law says, ‘Do.’ The Gospel says, ‘Done.’ “

This quote burst before my vision on Facebook the other day, proving everything that is wrong with Facebook Christianity.

The Law says “do” for what? For salvation? Because I don’t think so. The Law also said “done,” because everyone has been saved through the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the World.

There is no way to the Father but through Christ, even under the Law. The Law said “do” to stay alive, to keep the people in the Land, but it didn’t say “do” to be saved.

At the same time, the Gospel has plenty of “do” in it too, that whole “love your neighbor” because “love is the fulfilling of the Law” thing.

The problem rests in the sharp dichotomy weve been brainwashed with–Law people had to do everything to be saved; Gospel people don’t have to do anything to be saved.

The Law and the Gospel preach the same message–call on the Lord and you will be saved. Both teach salvation by the blood and resurrection of Christ. Both lead to doing what God says a believer should do.

Oversimplifying truth leads to as much heresy as complicating the truth. Avoid both, but especially avoid oversimplifying because hardly anyone reads overly complicated stuff.

Sluts, Brides and Church

“Slut” and “Whore” are two words that describe a woman who gives herself to any man who pays attention to her.

“Bride” is a woman who dedicates her life to one man and desires to satisfy him and him alone, all other men can jump in a lake.

With these terms defined, what do we term the seeker sensitive church? Is church marketing nothing more than makeup on the face of a whore?

The Church, being the Bride of Christ as opposed to the Whore of Man, is dedicated to satisfying one man–Jesus Christ and could care less if all other men in the world went and jumped in a lake.

If The Church is appealing to any man’s fleshly desires it is then not the Bride of Christ but rather a whore.

This thought pattern has impacted lots of what I have done and not done in my twelve years as pastor. I would rather be on the side of caution and under-market church than market it and tempt the whorish impulses that men will draw out.

Teaching Kids About Sin

The greatest lack in the religion of children is generally a sufficient sense of sin.
–Robert Murray M’Cheyene

Many assume that kids have a good sense of sin because kids get in trouble so much, but when asked to name sins of the day, most kids have trouble coming up with anything.

Getting in trouble is not always equated with sin in a child’s mind. The older a kid gets, the more he feels getting in trouble is the fault of the parent, the teacher, or another kid who made them get in trouble.

Rarely do kids admit they were wrong when they get in trouble. Rather you hear, “I didn’t” or “I wasn’t.” Getting in trouble does not mean one little thing to their brains.

Too often we jump into grace and mercy before laying any groundwork establishing why they would need grace and mercy. You can ask a kid, “You know you’re a sinner, right?”

Their answers rarely involve guilt, remorse, certainly never tears. Some will actually say, “no.” Others who say “yes” will give vague notions of sins, general categories, but will struggle to come up with specifics.

Yet we pump em full of grace and mercy, which is nothing more than a Christian effort at building self-esteem. Remember, being saved means we must die, not feel good about being alive in us.

If a kid does not see their sin they will never see the beauty of grace. Making a child sensitive to sin, seeing that sin is against God and Him only (not against dad or mom), he’ll fail to see any need for salvation.

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