December 5, 2020
THE CURRENCY OF THE KINGDOM IS ASKING “In Him,” namely, “in Christ,” we have confidence before the Father. For this reason Hebrews teaches us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). And the apostle Paul writes that in
December 1, 2020
CHRIST IS BOTH THE MEDIATOR AND MEANS OF SALVATION The word “propitiation” points back to Israel’s sacrificial system, whereby a lamb without spot or blemish was offered as an atonement for sins. Yet those lambs, offered every year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, were only like checks written on a future deposit. Jesus
November 30, 2020
BELIEVING THE EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY CONCERNING JESUS The apostle John opened his first letter as he did his gospel, and as Moses did the Torah, with the phrase: “the beginning.” Also, similar to his gospel, John referred to Christ as the “Word” (Greek: “λόγος, logos“). In John’s gospel, he spoke of the Word’s divine preexistence and
December 3, 2019
TRUE LOVE COMMUNICATES THROUGH WORD AND DEED When we receive Christ, we receive the love of Christ. This is the love that moved Christ to die in our place, so that we might have eternal life. Real love takes action. The evidence that we have received Christ is that the love that goes beyond mere
December 2, 2019
HOW TO PREPARE FOR CHRIST’S RETURN Determine to finish well. How? “Remain in fellowship with Christ.” Stay close. If you wander, come back. If you stray, return. If you sin, repent. Keep short accounts. “Remain.” Which is to abide, to stay, to live and walk in constant “fellowship” with Jesus. This is not working or
December 4, 2018
THREE PROOFS OF SALVATION GIVEN BY JOHN
The apostle John gave several “proofs” of new birth for the believer’s assurance. The first proof he gave is that we love each other. For love comes from God. If we don’t love, we don’t know God. The second proof is that God has given us His Holy Spirit “as proof that we live in him and he in us” (1 Jn. 4:13). And the third proof, is that “we declare that Jesus is the Son of God.”
John’s purpose for writing his first epistle was clearly given: “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:13). He wanted us to “know,” to be sure that we are saved.
Do you have this assurance of salvation today?
December 3, 2018
NEW PRACTICES NOT YET PERFECTION
John here describes the fruit of being born again, namely, that those with God’s life in them, no longer make a practice of sin. Sin is no longer their habit. This is not the precondition of salvation. For salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Yet, the fruit of having received this salvation is that the child of God is putting off the old nature with its sinful desires and putting on the new nature, which loves God and neighbor.
There is a positional truth and an experiential truth in view here. First, the believer is already counted righteous before God positionally in Christ. But experientially, that same believer is still working out their salvation in this world, putting off the old man and putting on the new. So, perfection, complete sinlessness, will not be the believer’s experience until the glorified body is received. On that day, position and experience will be the same.
Until that day, let us work out what God is working in us (Phil. 2:12-13), knowing that Christ is our Advocate before the Father and depending on Him to complete that which He began in us.
December 5, 2017
“In Him,” namely, “in Christ,” we have confidence before the Father. For this reason Hebrews teaches us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). And the apostle Paul writes that in Christ “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:12).
In Christ, we are God’s children. Everything that is Christ’s, is now ours. The currency of the kingdom is asking. As James taught, “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). And as Jesus taught, let us, “Ask, seek, knock” (Matt. 7:7-8). So, ask!
Yet, let us pray according to God’s will, for this is how Christ Himself prayed, saying, “Not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).
December 4, 2017
If we have any claim to love, it originates with God, who first loved us. This love is most fully demonstrated in the sending of His Son as the “propitiation for our sins,” dying on the cross for us. For in the cross we see the intersection of God’s love demonstrated and God’s justice satisfied. Our sin called for death, but God’s love answered the call, sending Jesus to die in our place. That God sent Jesus shows His love. That He offered Jesus as the “propitiation for our sins” shows His righteousness. As the apostle Paul wrote of Christ, “whom God set forth as a propitiation… to demonstrate His righteousness” (Rom. 3:25).
Propitiation is about covering and satisfaction. Christ’s sacrifice both covers our sin and satisfies the proper demands of a righteous God for judgment on sin. God’s righteousness required that He judge sin. God’s love moved Him to send His Son to pay the price for our sin.
December 3, 2017
A good reminder especially during the Christmas season. Don’t sit on your “worldly goods” while your brother is in need. If you have the love of God in you, then you will not “shut up your heart” and look away. You will give. Because love, God’s kind of “agape” love, always gives.