Each person enters into Christ, by baptism, individually. People can even be immersed at the same time, as happened with three thousand souls at the beginning of the church in Acts 2, but the decision is personal. No one can decide for anyone else.
While we enter into Christ individually, we live in Christ as a community, as a family. Life in Christ does not exist outside of a vigorous participation with his people. Continue reading “Entering into Christ, living in Christ”
Life means movement. The dead are still. The living are in motion. The apostle Paul presented the one true God to the Athenians, saying of him: “For in him we live and move about and exist” Acts 17.28 NET.
Spiritual life, or eternal life, as it is often called, also means movement. To start this life, there must be motion — an entering into the place where this life begins.
Eternal life is unlike physical life in at least one respect: a person chooses to possess it. God initiates it, provides it, creates it, calls us to it, but we must move toward it. We must go where it can be had. Continue reading “Get in the zone”
One of the words we often hear as Christmas approaches is “joy.” We sing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” We wish each other “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” when we greet them – even people we don’t know. Yet many people aren’t living lives of merriment, happiness, and joy.
What exactly is “joy”? The dictionary defines it as: “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness” (Oxford Dictionary of English). The Greek word we find used in the writings of the apostles is “charas” and refers to gladness and often the people that are the cause of one being glad. Continue reading “A life of joy”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1-4 ESV). Continue reading “New Jerusalem”
God uses everything to accomplish his will. He planted seeds in the Old Testament so the New Covenant would be easier to understand.
As Christians, we pursue the threads in Scripture to gain a deeper understanding of God’s plan and the doctrines that pertain to us.
In Genesis 6, we find rampant sin upon the earth. The minds and hearts of men were consumed with evil (Genesis 6:5). Accordingly, God decided to wipe out all life except what he put into the ark (Genesis 7:1-12). Continue reading “The ark, the church, the judgment”
Some walls need to be torn down. Some walls need to be built up. “While some attitudes and philosophies might be driven by either the desire to be inclusive or by a fear-promoting exclusion, the gospel is free from both.” Continue reading Inclusion, exclusion, and the gospel
Since we have no hope of salvation without being in Christ, we need to understand what it means to be in this most desirable place.
Before time began, God created a plan of salvation for all men (Ephesians 1:3-4). He knew that free will would lead us all to sin (Romans 3:23), and that we would require a Savior to die for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-22).
Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world (Revelation 7:9-17; 1 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, he went to the cross to shed his blood for the remission of our sins (Romans 5:6-11). Continue reading “In Christ (2)”
The concept of being in Christ is one of the most powerful in all of Scripture. It will answer many questions about salvation, sanctification and unity. We will have a greater, more complete understanding of God’s plan of salvation if we understand what it means to be in Christ.
Jesus is God, Creator and possesses all authority (John 1:1-5,14; Matthew 28:18). His Word will judge us in the last day (John 12:48). Jesus is the reason for our salvation (John 3:16).
Humanity was awash in hopelessness prior to Christ going to the Cross. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NKJV). Continue reading “In Christ (1)”