Friday, October 22, 2010

Brethren for Biblical Authority

For who visit this blog who would also be interested in matters in the "Church of the Brethren", I invite you to visit this blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in the LIght

The prophet Isaiah wrote in Is. 5:20-21, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Who to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight."

Part of the struggle to live a life that is pleasing to Christ is to not let the world around us determine what is right for us. The culture we live in wants us to take a different view of many behaviors that are clearly outside of the life that God calls us to. Instead of dealing with the conviction we feel when committing sin, the culture would have us redefine sin, or excuse it altogether. This is nothing new. When a group of people loose their moral compass, when they rebel against the approved patterns of behavior, in an effort for them to feel better about themselves they call these rebellious patterns of behavior "alternative lifestyles".

I wonder if the emphasis on "high self esteem" has brought us to the place where we don't want to make anyone feel bad about themselves. Jesus has a different answer to the same problem--it's called forgiveness. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans, and is actually quoting from three different Old Testament passages, in 3:10-12, "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one'."

When the Bible states that sin is punishable by death, it means all sin. A person doesn't have to be a murderer, a terrorist, or a drug dealer to be sent to hell, Paul writes later in this same 3rd chapter in Romans "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." He goes on to write, though, "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ."

All of us have sinned, and were headed for eternity in hell, but through the finished work of Christ on the cross, the sacrifice He made for us there takes the guilt of our sin away from us, and puts it on himself. He died so that we can live in heaven with Him forever. We don't have to let our sins determine our future, they have become part of our past, but if we put our faith in Christ alone to save us from the punishment for our sins, our future is made bright and glorious.

For us to call sin what it really is, is just being honest. To call it something else, while it may give us a false sense of comfort now, it will mean eternal torment for eternity. If we are honest, and call it what it is, and seek the forgiveness of God as we turn away from it, we will find a huge weight lifted from our spiritual shoulders.

I'm glad that my sins have been dealt with through Christ. I hope that you too will come to trust in this rich gift of grace.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I recently preached a message on the question Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" That message is available at:

You can access other messages I have preached recently at Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren by going to