Why was Jesus baptized? Out of all the issues presented in the Gospels this one can be troublesome on the surface if we interpret Jesus baptism like our own. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Never was He in sin, have sin, or commit sin. In fact, being God makes Him holy, pure, undefiled, and righteous. Yet He is fully man, just like you and me. He ate, slept, got tired, stressed, had a full range of emotions, was tempted, and yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).
So why does a blameless man, fully God, need to “confess His sins before the body and associate with His own death, burial, and resurrection; and then be immersed in water?” Answer, He doesn’t.… Continue reading
Planting and waiting. That, I am learning, is the essence of biblical ministry. It is perhaps the most important lesson I have been learning over the last few years, at least as it concerns my life as a pastor.
Of all the things that I long to see happen in, around, and as a result of my ministry, I have no power whatsoever to make happen. I cannot save a single soul. I cannot make a single Christian more like Christ. I cannot cause a single saint to endure to the end of his life in faithfulness to Christ.
Beyond these things, I cannot heal a single marriage. … Continue reading
A couple of months ago I invested in a new preaching Bible, and no it’s not the “Preacher’s Bible” from Steadfast Bibles. Don’t get me wrong, I think the “Preachers Bible” (here after PB) is a fine product, it’s just not for me, because it is not what I prefer, especially for preaching. What sets the PB apart is it’s wide margins and non-porous pages that resist bleed through from a fountain pen. And those are great features if you mark up your Bible and make notes in it with a fountain pen. I don’t. I prefer the text of my preaching Bible to be clean.… Continue reading
Most of us have friends in seeker sensitive churches who we think love Christ, but we long for him or her to be equipped and grow in sanctification. Most of us invite them to church hoping one day they’ll join us. Often the situation unfolds like this:
- Friend agrees to attend.
- Friend attends and is bored or put off by the service.
- Afterwords he or she is nice about it, but won’t attend again.
- Sometimes we learn the service was too different than their experience and struggled to engage during the entire service, especially the expository sermon.
- We say, “If the Spirit is alive, he or she will come back.”
It’s this scenario that leads me to now say, “Please do not just bring your friend to an expository service.” As disciple makers, we must be more attentive and active in our invitations.… Continue reading
From time to time, we all need to reassess various areas of our lives. It is good to take a step back, take a breath, and re-assess a situation. We all need to do this in our own personal lives with Christ (2 Cor 13:5; Ps 19:14). And we all need to do this with our church life. We need to be very careful that the church we are actively involved in is still a faithful church; a church that Jesus sees as faithful. We need not to stay in a church simply because we grew up there nor because it is comfortable nor because we don’t want to mess with the hassle of finding a another church nor because “we have invested so much!” The church is a precious, vital part of your spiritual maturity in Christ.… Continue reading