By His Wounds, We Are Healed

Happy Easter everyone (or Resurrection Sunday if you prefer). I had hoped to publish this yesterday, but it wasn’t quite ready yet. Yesterday we went to our respective churches and celebrated that Jesus is no longer dead and in the grave, but rose again to life (possibly after an annual ritual of candy for breakfast …).

Praise God! That resurrection is our hope and without it we would be hopeless as Paul indicated in 1 Corinthians 15:12-22:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)

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The Word: Prophecy and Fulfillment of Messiah’s Virgin Birth

Yesterday, my pastor preached on the necessity and miraculousness of Jesus’s virgin birth. Cribbing from my sermon notes I just wanted to share some relevant Bible passages with you.

Isaiah 7:13-15 “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.”

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The Word: Galatians 1:3-12

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Jesus Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Continue reading

Hillsong Music: Popular Yes, but Is it Biblical?

Hillsong is an enormous church network and through its music, the church reaches far outside of that network. Many churches use Hillsong songs on Sunday mornings. But I wonder how many of them ever stopped to examine the songs for doctrine.

That’s precisely what Chris Rosebrough, Steve Kozar and Amy Spreeman did on a recent episode of Fighting for the Faith. Given the popularity of the music I highly recommend listening to it.

The Word: Hebrews 10:1-18

Given yesterday’s Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement post, this passage seemed a good choice today:

Hebrews 10:1-18 ESV:

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,

but a body have you prepared for me;

 in burnt offerings and sin offerings

you have taken no pleasure.

 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,

as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws on their hearts,

and write them on their minds,”

then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Acts 15 and Salvation by Grace Alone

It was so good to be back at my own little church today to sing, to pray and to study with my church family. It is always so sweet to return after time away from them.

My pastor was continuing our study through the book of Acts and today we were going through Acts 15:6-12 (saving the rest of this section for next week). It’s a historical passage but with pertinent information about the issue of salvation. This post stemmed from the message my pastor preached this morning. Continue reading

Daniel Emery Price: “The Good News When You Can’t Hold Fast”

ChristHoldFastScreengrab

Here’s a great message from the Christ Hold Fast conference by Daniel Emery Price, called “The good news when you can’t hold fast.”

One thing he said which I particularly liked:

“Christianity isn’t about improving your morals. It’s about God loving and saving immoral people who wanted nothing to do with him. It’s not about the little engine that could, getting some grace in the engine and then climbing the impossible mountain. It’s about trainwrecks that have derailed like five minutes in.”

One of the Most Essential Messages I’ve Ever Heard

Estimating conservatively, I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts and sermons in my life. Many have edified me, convicted me or taught me. But the sermon/lecture in the latter half of this episode of Fighting for the Faith is one of the best and most important I’ve ever listened to. I hope many of you decide to listen to it. Continue reading