Showing posts from 2019


( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from 'Godpleaser' by Petra. ) Much has been said in recent years about ‘social justice’. But what is justice?   Who gets to define it? May I suggest that the Only Source of true justice - and the One without whom we would have no concept of it – has something to say to us on the matter. Justice Defined In the Bible the words ‘justice’ and ‘righteousness’ are used hundreds of times.   The words are often used interchangeably, as the concepts of justice and righteousness are indelibly intertwined: ·       It is a legal judgment of what is defined as right; a righteous standard.   It is defined by God as a standard by which a person is acceptable to Him.   It is a consistent standard applied to all people without discrimination. The testimony of the Scriptures is that man in his fallen state is prone to distort justice, even in the smallest thoughts, words, and actions. Consider how th


( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from 'Godpleaser' by Petra. ) ‘that they may be perfected in unity’ was Jesus’ prayer in John 17:23. What a wonderful desire, if not an elusive reality. King David would state it emphatically this way: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity !"   (Psalm 133:1) Why is unity such a good and pleasant reality? Like the life of King David (you can read about his life in 1 Samuel 9 through 2 Samuel 24), our lives are often marked by more conflict and discord than unity and harmony.   The pain of conflict makes the joy of unity that much more precious to us. But where does unity come from?   I have observed the deep irony that unity with each other does not come from focusing on each other.   That is counter-intuitive, but as we will see today, certain. Unity can only come from something in common that unifies.   More specifically fro

According to the Spirit

( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from 'So Many Books' by Michael Card ) "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."    (Romans 8:3-4) In the last In His Grip we dove into the phrase ‘according to the flesh’.   Today we set our sights upward in a more positive direction to its opposite, ‘according to the Spirit’.   First and foremost, Romans 8:4 above tells us that God’s righteous requirement of us cannot actually be fulfilled by us, but must be fulfilled in us by the Holy Spirit.   This is the only possible way. How, and why?   New Life Let’s start at the beginning, that is, the beginning of new life.   In John chapter 3, Jesus, in one of Hi

According to the Flesh

( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from ‘Beyond Belief’ by Petra ) "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."    (Romans 8:5-8) This past week I took a deeper dive into a passage I memorized last year, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.   I was struck by the phrase ‘according to the flesh’ in v.3, which reads (emphasis mine): "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh ,"    --> This has the following sense:  ‘For though we walk about (live our lives) in the frailty and imperfection of our temporary bodies, we d

Philippians: Joy Through Fellowship in Suffering

( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from ‘Disciple’, by Petra , converted from vintage vinyl!) "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now."    (Philippians 1:3-5, NASB) "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,"    (Philippians 1:21-25, NASB) "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the s

Conclusion: God’s Image Reflected in His People

( Click here for an audio version .  The intro and conclusion are from 'Godpleaser' by Petra. ) This concludes a series on Biblical Eldership.   So far we have covered: ·       Biblical Eldership: An Introduction ·       God’s Purposes in the Gospel ·       God’s Design for His Church ·       God’s Purpose for His People Today we conclude by reflecting on the heart of God and an exhortation to personal reflection of your own heart, life, and church. "Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.’ (Jeremiah 3:15)   There is a very Trinitarian aspect of leadership that I trust you have seen in our study so far.   From the very heart of God: ·       The Father from eternity past has designed Redemption through the Gospel ·       The Son has redeemed and shepherds His people ·       The Spirit has birthed and empowers His people Again, this is a m