'Christ' Tagged Posts

'Christ' Tagged Posts

Does Christmas Promise Peace on Earth?

During this time of year—Christmas season—religious services and songs commonly speak about peace on earth: Hark! The herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn King!Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! Unfortunately, however, traditionalism and sentimentalism obscure our reading of the biblical text from which this hymn is adapted. For hundreds of years, English speaking people have read in Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (KJV). But when…

The Nearness of God

Psalm 73:28: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” This verse works in two ways. On the one hand, if life is going poorly for you, you can read this verse and take comfort in the fact that the “nearness of God” is your ultimate good. Your bad circumstances are not your ultimate good. On the other hand, if life is going well for you, you…

The Great Exchanges

When I travel to Sierra Leone to equip under-resourced pastors, one thing I have learned is that you get a much better exchange rate “on the street” than you do at the banks or markets. The “street” has very little overhead, so the exchange is great! If you have been attending Grace Community Bible Church for some time, you know that we are passionate about an exchange—not a monetary exchange—but what we call the “great exchange.” Very simply, the “great…

Who Wants to Limit the Atonement?

Some Christians are often charged with limiting the atonement. The truth is that these Christians do not want to limit the atonement. No one does. The reality, however, is that unless you are a Universalist, then you limit the atonement. How? In one of two ways. You either limit the effectiveness of the atonement, or you limit the extent of the atonement. If you limit the effectiveness of the atonement, you believe that Christ atoned for the sins of every…

Standing Firm in Christ

In 1 Cor 15:58, Paul reminds the Corinthians that the blood of Christ redeemed them and because of that they can stand fast in Him. The times we live in are unlike any other. Not only are we dealing with the Coronavirus, but our world is such a different place now than it has ever been, filled with prosperity and material abundance, medical technology that is second to none and the ability to travel around the world faster and with…

Institutes and Idolatry

If I were to tally a survey of the five most influential Christian books of all time, undoubtedly, John Calvin’s, the Institutes of the Christian Religion would make it on many lists. In fact, this very day, marks the 483-year anniversary (March 22, 1536) of the first publication of the first edition of his book. Contrary to popular belief, the Institutes of the Christian Religion is not a dry, heartless book of theology. The book is warm and pious, intended…

Comfort and Christ

I inherited, for better or worse, cold blood and poor circulation. What I mean is that I often feel cold rather than warm. Consequently, I love warm weather . . . and space heaters! The other day while I was praying in my study, I literally laid right in front of my space heater, so my cold hands would warmup. Immediately, upon beginning my prayer, this thought crossed my mind: I am as pathetic as Jonah! If you remember the…

The Gospel is Not a Way of Life

The Gospel is Not a Way of Life A recent Star Tribune article sadly reported that many Minnesota “mainline” churches are losing membership and closing their doors. In so doing, “a way of life” comes to an end. The problem is that years ago these churches reduced the gospel merely to “a way of life.” The truth is that the Christian faith is a historical faith. Without the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity does not exist. Pastor…