Posted by Pastor Pat on November 6, 2010
How can I be right with God? What does it mean to be right with God? How would you like to never have to worry about God being mad, angry, or upset with you? How would you like to find rest in the midst of life’s struggles? How would you like to finally measure up to God’s righteous expectations for you? Apart from sounding incredible, it also sounds impossible. But you and I can be right before God.
The book of Romans has already created a dilemma within man by revealing his position of complete spiritual bankruptcy before God (Romans 1:18-3:20). Chapter three verse ten is emphatic, “there is none righteous no not one.” In light of his condition man is barred from God’s presence, guilty of sin and a recipient of God’s full and undiluted wrath. In our next post we will consider the doctrine of justification by faith.
Posted by Pastor Pat on April 6, 2009
Read Mark 3:1-6
How do we live so as to produce life and not death? Christ brings liberty to the captive, sight to the blind, healing to the sick, and power to the impotent (Luke 4). How do we become ambassadors of such truth without “selling out”? How do we maintain the purity of the gospel without forsaking the purpose of the gospel?
First, it is the truth that sets people free (John 8:32). Paul celebrates this idea in the letter to the Galatians. The power of the cross frees people in captivity. Regardless as to the means, when the content of the cross is shared, people go free. The cross cannot help but do what it was designed to do. It brings hope, heals, and restores wholeness to the despairing, the diseased, and the dysfunctional. Second, from Mark 2:23-3:6 one can see how it is possible for the “shadow” of rules, rituals, and regulations to rob people of their relationship with God. Yet how do we guard ourselves and the ministry entrusted to us from becoming consumed by those things that kill rather than bring life. Is it possible to know if the shadow has become the end rather than the means to the end? Consider the following two thoughts.
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Pastor Pat on April 3, 2009
The essence of the Christian life is the relationship His people have with Him. There is nothing else comparable to or capable of replacing this. No amount of form, asceticism, indulgence, discipline, method, structure, program, or religion can replace the centerpiece of the Christian faith which is a relationship between God and His people.
This relationship is secured by God in the offering up of His Son for the sins of His people. The relationship begins in God and is sustained by God. Unfortunately, all we seem to do is clutter the relationship with nonessentials. Everything created and all biblical revelation points us to Him. Somehow in the journey we deviate and find detours that lead us from God by stopping us short of enjoying Him, and we end up existing in the shadow-lands of God’s person and work.
I cannot speak for everyone, so I will not attempt to. What I will do is speak what I know and experience. I have a propensity to replace the best with the good and the good will always be the enemy of the best. Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, singing, reading, and fellowship (to name just a few) are all good things, but none of them were ever meant to be ends in themselves. Such things, if noted incorrectly, will becomes ends, and in so doing, take us away from God and will not draw us to God. Is it not simply amazing how something that is good can become the enemy of the best? When any of our disciplines become duties, then its time to take a break and evaluate why we do what we do. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »