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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Don’t Miss List: Resurrection Sunday

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you wake up today and are reminded, yet again, that Jesus is alive! He is our continuing and eternal hope of salvation, thanks to his resurrection from the dead. Hallelujah!

Mark 16: 1-8 

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

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Don’t Miss List: Paula White Twists Scripture, Spiritual Growth, Embryo Adoption and a Book Review

Christian Post Reports Paula White’s Easter Sermon Offered ‘Resurrection’ for $$$$

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.13.00 PMI was not shocked, but I was absolutely infuriated to hear that this Easter Pastrix Paula White “offered her followers an Easter Sunday deliverance from a spiritual death sentence for a $1,144 ‘resurrection seed’ she says was set by God,” based a twisted rendering of the resurrection of Lazarus.

THIS is not Christianity! This is not true. Nowhere in the Bible does God say anyone can buy things from Him whether that is health, wealth, wisdom or more importantly than any of that — new life in Jesus Christ.

Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus and be saved. God will raise you to new life in Christ. You cannot buy that gift of God’s grace paid by the blood of Jesus.

Sadly, this is an utterly shameful, but all-too-common tactic of making big promises to people if they pour money into your church coffers. And sadly, plenty of people naively give and when nothing comes of it they think it was their weak faith at fault. I was just talking with someone about this yesterday and they pointed out the other problem: people who aren’t Christians see it and think that nonsense is Christianity and it repels them. For both of those reasons this sort of thing simultaneously infuriates and saddens me.

If you’re in a church that does this, run, do not walk to the nearest exit. And dig deep into the Scriptures for yourself so that you are not led astray by such people again.

Ultimately, God will hold people like White accountable. But true Christians need to do expose this for what it is. Thankfully, Fighting for the Faith often does.

UMC and Episcopals Grow Closer, Advocate Interfaith Cooperation Bordering on ‘Syncretism’

Both of these denominations have been compromising on Scripture for years, so it’s no surprise to see the United Methodist Church and Episcopal Church treading ever closer to universalism or full syncretism. Story by Joseph Rossell of IRD.

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What the Resurrection Means for Your Life Today

Today is the day Christians mark as Resurrection Sunday, in the belief that Jesus was raised from the dead after his crucifixion, death and burial.

We affirm, as the Scriptures tells us, that God raised Jesus from the dead as he had said would happen. (Matthew 28:6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.)

But what does that mean really and how does it relate to you today? Continue reading

The Word for Maundy Thursday: Jesus in the Garden

Matthew 26:36-36 (NASB) Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.  Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Go Deeper

Matthew’s gospel is not the only one to recount the events of that evening, of the last supper or Jesus with the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane praying before his betrayal and arrest.

Bible.org examines three passages side by side and examines them in detail. If you want to go deeper today into the events of that night, I recommend this helpful article.

Facts and Historical Support for the Resurrection of Jesus

11095935205_3afc3fbb74_zChristianity rests on claims of historical events: specifically that Jesus was God and man, that he really lived on this earth, was put to death by crucifixion and rose from the grave as “he said he would.” (Matthew 28:6)

It is not an understatement to say that if those things did not happen, there is no Christianity. There is no good news of the gospel. There is no hope in Jesus Christ, because we remain dead in our sins and separated from God.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15: “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact 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 worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” Continue reading

Blog Anniversary Giveaway 2: The Case for the Resurrection

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 7.55.14 PMSince it is Holy Week, I thought this week’s blog anniversary giveaway ought to be resurrection focused.

So, here’s what I settled on. Gary Habermas’s message about the theological necessity and the historical truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one message from my time at Liberty University I still remember fondly.

It’s true that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity is “vain.” Yet, there are so many trying to tear down this truth. I want to you to be equipped friends.

So, if you want to win this book and be prepared to answer those skeptics comment here at the website, on my Facebook page, or Tweet me (@steakandabible). This drawing will close midnight on Resurrection Sunday (Easter).