Category Archives: Gospel

Believing the Truth, Key to Growth in Godliness

Luther was right: the root behind all other manifestations of sin is compulsive unbelief—our voluntary darkness concerning God, ourselves, his relationship to the fall world and his redemptive purpose. For this reason the entrance and growth of new spiritual life involves the shattering of our sphere of darkness by repentant faith in redemptive truth. If the Fall occurred through the embracing of lies, the recovery process of salvation must center on faith truth, reversing this condition. Therefore Jesus says to those are trapped in unconscious slavery to sin, “If you continue In my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will in the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:31-8:32). The deliverance which brings us into spiritual life in communion with God is summed up in John’s description of redeemed behavior as withdrawing from darkness and walking in the light of truth and holiness.

 

 

Quoted from Lovelace, R. F. (1979).  Dynamics of spiritual life: An evangelical theology of renewal . Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, pp. 91-92.


Growing in Christ

[A] failure to recognize and trust that the sin issue between you and God is over will effectively stop your spiritual growth in Christ. It’s really not complicated. The process of spiritual maturity is simply our learning to turn more and more areas of our lives over to Christ through faith. The past is over; the future isn’t here yet. Therefore, living by faith can only be done in the present.
 
Quoted from George, B. (1989). Classic Christianity. Eugene, Or: Harvest House, p. 58.

Jesus, The True Adam

By designating Jesus as the firstborn Paul indicates that he is the fulfillment of the commission originally given to Adam. This view is strengthened when we see that the words eikon and prototokos are parallel in Colossians 1:15. Israel was appointed to reclaim what Adam had lost, and the Davidic king played a representative role in this reclamation project. What Paul suggests here is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of what both Israel and David were called to be. In other words, Jesus Christ is the true israel and the true Davidic king precisely because he is God’s sovereign ruler over the world. He fulfills the task of ruling over the world in God’s name as Lord and Christ. His lordship over the world is scarcely surprising since he is the agent of creation (Col 1:16) and also the one who  continually sustains the created order (Col 1:17). The one who rules over the created world is also the one through whom the creation came into being.
 
Quoted from Schreiner, T. R. (2001).  Paul, Apostle of God’s glory in Christ: A Pauline theology . Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, p. 176.

The Gospel and Thankfulness

Christ’s giving us spiritual life is a far greater miracle, and its benefits are infinitely greater than healing from leprosy. Yet how often do we give thanks for our salvation? Have you stopped today to give thanks to God for delivering you from the domain of darkness and transferring you to the kingdom of His Son? And if you have given thanks, was it in a mere nominal way, much like some people give thanks at a meal, or was it an expression of heartfelt gratitude for what God has done for you in Christ?
 
The truth is, our whole lives should be lives of continual thanksgiving. Paul told his audience at Athens that “[God] himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). That means that every breath we draw is a gift from God. Everything we are and everything we have is a gift from Him. If you have intellectual or professional or technical skills, those skills are a gift from God. It’s true you probably studied diligently in college and perhaps endured long hours of professional training, but where did the intellectual ability and innate talent that you have come from? They came from God, who created you with a built-in aptitude and then in His gracious providence directed you in the path of developing those skills.
 
Quoted from Bridges, J. (2007).  Respectable sins: Confronting the sins we tolerate . Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress , p. 80.

Knowing I am Growing in Grace

Often the strongest evidence of my growth in grace is my growth in the knowledge of my need for grace.
 
Quoted from Greear, J. D. (2013).  Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved . Nashville: B & H Pub. Group, p. 103.

How the Trinity Embues Hope to a Society

If trinitarian theology is an answer to the question, “Given the gospel story, who must God be for this to be possible?” I wish to broaden the question beyond the narrative of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to ask, “Given the biblical vision of history and eschatology, who must God be for this to be possible?” The answer is the same in both cases: the immanent Trinity is manifested in and is the ontological ground and condition for the possibility not only of the death and resurrection of the Son, but of a world-history that moves from Eden to New Jerusalem. Paganism’s tragic view of history is allied with a tragic metaphysics and theology, while Christianity has a comic view of history because it has a fundamentally comic theology proper (doctrine of God).

 

Quoted from Leithart, P. J. (2006). Deep comedy: Trinity, tragedy, and hope in western literature . Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, pp. xii-xiii.


Jesus: The True Exodus

  • Just as Israel left Egypt and came to the Red Sea (Exod. 14), Matthew immediately follows the account of Jesus’ return from Egypt (the only reference he makes to the boyhood of Jesus) with his coming to the Jordan for baptism (Matt. 2:23; 3:1).
  • Just as Israel emerged from the Red Sea to go into the wilderness (Exod. 15:22), so Jesus went from the waters of baptism into the wilderness (Matt. 4:1).
  • Israel experienced in turn absence of water and food (Exod. 15:23; 16:3), as did Jesus during his first temptation (Matt. 4:1—4).
  • Israel came to the place where they put the Lord to the test (Exod. 17:2), something that Jesus refused to do in his second temptation (Mart. 4:7).
  • Israel arrived at Mount Sinai (Exod. 19) where, promptly, they turned from the Lord to worship an idol (Exod. 32:1—6), whereas, by contrast, looking on all the kingdoms of the world from a ‘very high mountain’ Jesus insisted that only the Lord is to be worshipped (Matt. 4:8—1O).

In other words, Exodus is the story of the son of God who stands in need of salvation, failing at every point of life and even of privilege; Matthew tells of the Son of God who brings salvation (Mart. 1:21), perfect and righteous at every point and in every circumstance and test.

 

Quoted from Motyer, J. A. (2005). The message of Exodus: The days of our pilgrimage. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press , pp. 22-23.