December 08, 2021
The great miracle of Christianity is that there is a fundamental change that occurs when we come to faith in Christ. There are two changes that happen to a believer that are both judicial (dealing with the problem of the guilt of our sin) and practical (dealing with the problem of our power over sin in our daily life.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified … (God) then says, “And their sin and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 14, 17)
We were guilty and condemned before God because of our sin. Our judgment was to be separated from God in this life and the life to come. There was nothing we could do to rectify this by our own works. The work of the cross solves this problem. Because of Christ's sacrifice which paid for our sins completely, we are eternally forgiven before God.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them. After those days,” says the Lord, “I will put my laws upon their heart and on their mind I will write them.” (Hebrews 10:16)
On our own, we can never live up to God's standard. God transforms us by sending His Spirit to indwell us. As we learn to depend more and more on Him, He produces righteousness and holy living in us. He produces spiritual fruit and service through us. The power for this is His Spirit now abiding in us.
We are internally fulfilling the law because it is now "upon our heart" and written on our minds. There is an inward compulsion to holiness and an inward ability to overcome sin (as we cooperate with the Spirit) that we never had before. We are changed from the inside out.
The first change makes a believer fit for heaven; the second, fit for earth.
Father, we are overwhelmed by what you have done for us. For Christ’s work that cleanses us eternally and completely. For the Spirit’s work that empowers us eternally and completely. Thank You Triune God for Your complete work on our behalf!
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023