Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Key to Change

The key to change is continually returning to the cross. A changing life is a cross-centered life. At the cross we see our source of sanctification (Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 1:22; Titus 2:14). We find hope, for we see the power of sin broken and the old nature put to death. We see ourselves united to Christ and bought by his blood. We see the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ, dying for his enemies, the righteous for the unrighteous. We see our hope, our life, our resources, our joy. At the cross we find the grace, power, and delight in God we need to overcome sin. If we don’t come to the cross again and again, we’ll feel distant from God, disconnected from his power, and indifferent to his glory — and that is a recipe for sin.” ~ Tim Chester, You Can Change

HT: Of First Importance

New England Mission Field & Legalism Awareness : )

Through the recent article "Why New England Is the New American Missional Frontier" I discovered a neat pastor, author, and blog, Jared Wilson. Pastor Jared pastors a church in Vermont and has a heart for the New England region. Being a New Englander myself, I am grateful for those who have a heart for New England. I want to see and be part of something great in New England!

Unrelatedly (but possibly loosely related), I found a post on legalism on Pastor Jared's blog The Gospel-Driven Church. I believe legalism to be incredibly oppressive and damaging to Christians and to Christianity and I think it quite a pervasive problem in churches. Therefore, I love articles on legalism (and am considering running a "Legalism Awareness" campaign--anyone interested?) and appreciate it when people speak out against and explain it.

Here's the post. It was written on my birthday!! : ) I also like the comments section of the post--some great points there too.
What Legalism Isn't (and Is)

This is not exhaustive, of course.

Legalism ISN'T equating Christianity with conformity to Christ. But it IS equating Christianity with a particular "brand" within his movement.

Legalism ISN'T any preaching of the Law or of moral exhortations (in their biblical context). But it IS preaching "do's and don't's" as if they are the essential message of Christ or of the Bible.

Legalism ISN'T any expectation of obedience. But it IS an expectation for all Christians of uniformity of conscience and culture.

Legalism ISN'T applying the demands or the spirit of the Law to one's conscience. But it IS extrapolating one's personal conscience out to require the same of another's conscience.

Legalism ISN'T just a preaching of "Don't do this or God will be angry." It IS ALSO a preaching "Do this and God will be happy."

Avoid and rebuke legalism with a dogged insistence on the all-encompassing sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wisdom From Above

man has many teachings on wisdom. but Wisdom From Above is...

open to reason
easy to be entreated
willing to yield
full of mercy and good fruit
without partiality
without hypocrisy

james 3:17


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Go and Not Do

When the adulteress was brought to Him, Jesus did not give her something to go and do. Instead, He gave her something to go and not do... to go and sin no more. He came to lift burdens, not increase them. In Matthew 11, we are not told to "come and perform" or "to come and behave", but to come and stop doing, to come and rest. On the cross He did not say, "the work has begun"; He said, “It is finished.”

Accept His grace. Let all that hinders fall away. Enter the narrow way, that few find, which leads to life. Embark upon the path of sanctification, of freedom! For this is the walk of faith.

HT: Quivering Daughters-The Daughters of Patriarchy: Biblical Law, Legalism, and Grace

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Faith & Obedience

‎"Before faith and obedience become acts of man they are gifts of God." - R.B. Kuyper


You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. Leviticus 19:15

Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9

Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?" Declares the LORD. Isaiah 22:16

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

People don't belong on pedestals

Don't put people up on pedestals because (1) they might fall and hurt themselves or (2) they might fall and crush you.