Archives For Bible

Christ is Risen Indeed

April 2, 2015

When we speak of Christ’s work on the cross, most of our emphasis is on his sacrifice which became the basis for our forgiveness.

But we have a dual problem. Genesis 3 instituted sin and death as consequences for Adam and Eve “breaking the planet.”

The prediction of the Messiah coming to break the curse must include the reversal of BOTH sin and death.

Jesus living the perfect life (Hebrews 4:15) took care of the sin issue.

But death?

No other sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament overcame the power of death. We never saw an animal come back to life after it was offered for sin.

By rising from the dead, Christ fully broke the curse of sin AND death.

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The resurrection is key to our salvation and our hope in a future resurrection of eternal life with Christ.

One of the biggest challenges in cross cultural work is knowing what you can and cannot do. This happens both culturally and in religious settings.

The “gray areas” in Scripture are numerous. The do not’s are obvious, but there are many times when we are not sure if it is good or not to walk in a certain freedom we feel we have.

Paul gives three principles to follow which will help us know when freedom is not something we want to hold onto.

1. Give up your freedom if it stumbles another (1 Cor. 8:9) Even if something is not wrong, Paul says it becomes wrong if we cause others to stumble.

There are many times when we could do something, but should give it up for the sake of another. Issues of alcohol, music, dress, and many cultural things come to mind.

Hyper-Grace

February 4, 2015

We’ve all heard stories of people doing foolish things in the name of grace.

This has led to a debate in the church which has been labeled Hyper-Grace. A student asked me some time ago if I believed in this teaching. My response was, “I have no idea but I should learn what it is.”

To educate myself, I picked up two books. The first was¬†Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message by Dr. Michael Brown. Dr. Brown shares stories of people hearing more swear words and “F-bombs” in this grace movement than anywhere else. When they were confronted, the foul-mouthed Christians declared it legalism, ignoring any input.

In his book he shares a number of concerns with the modern grace message, including several topics we’ve discussed here at NoSuperHeroes.

I’ve had a lot of history with reading the Bible. I teach it, I study it, and I do desire others to love it more. In my years I’ve tried many a Bible reading plan.

You know, the ones with the beautiful little boxes you can check off after reading! Those boxes that make you feel like you have done your duty to God and country, yet don’t help you remember what you read 10 minutes after closing your beautiful, leather-bound study Bible!

I used to read the passages in the reading plan and check them off. Somehow, checking them off made me feel good. But, if I missed a day, I felt horrible.

It was almost as if I was trying to manipulate God, paying my dues so He would bless me.

I had to stop doing these plans years ago due to my battle with legalism and performance.

Caution Versus Fear

January 14, 2015

We all know leaders must take risks. Somewhere, it must be included in the definition of a leader.

Leaders take people places they did not think they could go. Together we are able to accomplish more than we would on our own.

Recently, I heard pastor and author, Mark Batterson, express this sentiment by saying, “In leadership, you are only as good as your last risk.”

Some leaders are natural risk takers. While still agreeing with this quote, I am not a personality which loves the unknown. I know I am not alone as a leader who is somewhat risk-adverse. There are many leaders who naturally lean to caution over risk. In many leadership circles, this could be perceived as a bad character trait.

The Bible describes a healthy caution in many ways.

Words like discretion, prudence, and temperance promote this. Admonitions to “Give heed”, “Pay Attention”, and “Stay Alert” promote godly caution.