Who is Jesus?

The most basic expression of the identity of Jesus is simply the statement “Jesus is Lord!”.  In Romans 10:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:3 Paul presented that statement as the essence of the Gospel.  Jesus is the Son of God, as Peter correctly stated in Matthew 16:16.

The identity of Jesus has often been misunderstood.  Claims about Jesus include thinking that he had only one nature, that he was two distinct persons, or that he was fully human but not fully divine.

However, orthodox Christianity has always maintained that Jesus was one person with two distinct natures – the nature of his humanity and the nature of his divinity.  It was necessary for Jesus to be human so that he could die; it was necessary that Jesus be God so that he could be the perfect once-for-all sacrifice for sins.

Who’s in the prayer closet?

This guest post was written by Caleb Otto.  It is his response to the post “Who’s in the library?”  

Throughout history there has been monumental effort expended to enlarge different kingdoms, whether it be a political, territorial, or religious reign.

This world is literally dying for lack of men and women who are investing their all to advance the Kingdom of God.  If we as Christians endeavor to counter the darkness of the world solely with worldly weapons, we will lose.  They have someone bigger fighting for them: Satan.  We have God fighting for us, and His power far exceeds the devil’s power.

What we must do is apply ourselves to laying hold of God’s power.  Yes, we must utilize our minds in the battle, but real victories are won only when we pray.

Paul, one of the most influential men in Christian history, said: “Where is the wise…where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20, ESV)

This is not an argument for ignorance.  Rather, it is a plea for us to remember the futility of trying to advance the Kingdom of God by mere intellect and human reasoning.  Samuel Chadwick said that Satan “Laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”

Who’s in the library?

In one of my college classes a visiting speaker mentioned that Karl Marx was in a library when he developed the ideas that became the basis of communism and socialism.  Marx’s ideas have led to deadly consequences.

He went on to ask the question, “Who is in the library now?”

Who is reading, studying, thinking, wrestling, doing the hard work necessary to create a culture-shaping movement?

I want to be part of a generation of Christians willing to “be in the library.”  I want to love God with my whole being, including my mind.  I want to think about how the Gospel speaks to our culture.  I want to be prepared to offer a defense of my faith.  I want to think about how the church should impact or even create culture.

What would be the results if this generation of Christians was as committed to King Jesus as Marx and his followers were to communism?

A Covenant with My Eyes

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
(Job 31:1, ESV)

I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman.
(Job 31:1, GNB)

In the 18th-century John Gill, in his Exposition on the Scriptures, wrote about this verse:  “(Job made a covenant)…. Not to look upon a woman, and wantonly gaze at her beauty, lest his heart should be drawn thereby to lust after her; for the eyes are inlets to many sins …. both in bad men and good men …. Job …. entered into a solemn engagement  …. made a resolution in the strength of divine grace, not to employ his eyes in looking on objects that might ensnare his heart, and lead him to …. sin; he made use of all ways and means, and took every precaution to guard against it …. to …. turn his eyes from beholding what might be alluring and enticing to him …. he made a covenant with his eyes, to prevent any impure thoughts, desires, and inclinations in him; for the eye affects the heart, and stirs up lust in it …. the thought of sin is sin (as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:27-30 and 15:19) and (Job) had the same notion of lust in the heart being fornication and adultery as he (Jesus) had …. good men are not without temptation to sin …. and therefore should carefully shun all appearances of evil …. and take every necessary precaution to guard against it.

Job’s commitment to moral purity is an example worthy of being followed (by both men and women). However, in the twenty-first century, the Internet offers us unprecedented access to material that can arouse lust.  I firmly believe in the roles of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God,  and prayer in resisting temptation, but I also agree with Gill that we should take every precaution to guard against sin.  An important precaution that I use in my own life to guard against Internet temptations is Covenant Eyes, an Internet accountability and filtering service.  I encourage you to check out this program.  If you are interested in signing up you can receive a free 30-day trial at  https://covenanteyes.com/signup/?promocode=DY7.  You can learn more at the Covenant Eyes homepage or my Internet Safety page.

Where to Turn?

(This article was written by Frank Reed and was originally posted here)

We make a life to deal with the life we have inherited. We forge our life. We have two options:
1. One way is to forge our own way.
2. The other way is to accept and live God’s way.

Today many youth do not accept family, do not accept church, do not accept society. So, they make a life to deal with the pain of their inheritance. Their experiences have shown them that society, as they know it, has not been useful, has not been authentic, has not been God or Godly. Where to turn?

Are they too harsh in their judgment of their inheritance? Quite likely. On the other hand, they have make sense of life somehow. Where to turn?

It is easy to split into all good or all bad. Life has good and life has bad. Honesty and balance are key. The Scripture is the source. That is where to turn. That is the answer for life.

In the Scripture we find Spirit and Life. That is what Jesus said. That is what He is still saying. That is where Jesus wants you to turn. Whether you are young or whether you are old. That is where to turn.

You can drown life in good things. You can drown life in bad things. Either way, you drown. Only Jesus has the water of life. He offered that to the ‘woman-at-the-well.’ He offered that to Nicodemus. He offered that to the whole nation of Israel. He is offering that to you.

That is where to turn.
Today.

In the Image of the Father

When my father and I attended the same church convention, it was impossible to hide the fact that we are father and son.  People repeatedly commented on the obvious physical similarities between us.  Those who had known only one of us before the convention were able to quickly note that we are related.  In fact, for most of my life I have heard people I just met make comments such as, “I know who your father is.”

I wonder if people can just as easily observe my connection with my Heavenly Father.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, ESV)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Ephesians 5:1, ESV)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:14–16, ESV)