Christ the King in His Suffering

Ströhl-Rangkronen-Fig._07What does it mean for you that Jesus Christ is King?

While many of us could give a good answer, perhaps not many of us would include the profound and powerful testimony of Scripture to Christ as King in his humiliation. This is the period described in the Apostles’ Creed: he “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into hell.” Thinking through this time of earthly humiliation for Jesus, we might wonder whether his Kingship was evident at all.

In the Old Testament’s prophetic descriptions of the coming Messiah, we see that a number of these refer to his Kingship immediately alongside his suffering: Continue reading

Communing With God

What is communion with God? In the first epistle of John we are told that Christians fellowship with “the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3) The Christians of John’s day were marginalized, despised, and persecuted. Why would anyone want to become a Christian? Yet, for all the apparent disadvantages, it was not only desirable, but honorable and glorious. “Truly,” John says, “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

Due to our sin, no man, woman, or child, in their natural born condition has fellowship with God. God is light. We are darkness. What communion does light have with darkness? God is life. We are dead. God is love. We are enmity. So what friendship can there be between God and man? Continue reading

What Motivates You?

Fulgentius of Ruspe

Some wise words of scriptural wisdom from Fulgentius of Ruspe (c.467-527):

“In all good works, be careful lest you be stirred by desire for human praise. You ought to be praised in your good works, but insofar as you do them, you ought not to expect human praises. The human tongue may praise you, but desire praise from God alone. And thus it may come about that while you do not seek human praise, God may be praised in your deeds. Recall how much the Lord forbids us to do our righteous works to garner human praise, saying, ‘Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.’ Continue reading

Keeping Faith Steadfast

IMG_6341“One of the most significant growth points in the believer’s life is the dawning realisation that Christian doctrine matters for Christian living. How we live as God’s children will be shaped by the impact of God’s truth upon our minds and hearts. This is so basic; and yet it can hardly be denied that many Christians languish in the shadows of God’s love when they should be basking in the noon-day sunshine of his love, and all because they fail to make the connection between believing the truth and enjoying the truth.

This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the lack of assurance that blights the lives of many Christians. Continue reading

When Divorce is Good and Holy

775px-Yury_Pen-Divorce Why is infidelity so rampant and pornography so prolific in the evangelical church?

Is it in part because we fail to see lawful divorce as good and holy?

Here is a not unheard-of scenario in the life of the church: a wife discovers the devastating, sickening reality that her spouse is an adulterer. The husband is either engaged in a physical affair with someone else, or virtual, pornographic affairs with multiple others. The betrayed spouse calls her elder or pastor. The leadership of the church steps in to provide shepherding, counsel, and discipline. Continue reading

Finding Comfort

Otley CemeteryWhere do you find hope and comfort in life, and where will you as you face death? One Christian testimony answers:

My only comfort is “that I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready from now on to live for Him.” Continue reading

Why the Incarnation?

morning star“He himself likewise shared in the same [flesh and blood]…” (Hebrews 2:14)

But why? Why would he, the eternal Son of God, the heir of all things, the Creator of all, the brightness of God’s glory, do this? Why would he take on our nature for all eternity? Why was he “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”? Jesus did not do this simply for the sake of a shared experience; he was not a divine cultural tourist. His incarnation was and is an active, willing, pursuit of a multifaceted goal. Hebrews 2 gives at least nine reasons why the Son of God has identified with His people by His incarnation: Continue reading