Ministering to the Back-Sliding

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We’ve all known someone with a solid Christian history but currently seems to be waning, apathetic, or getting lazy. You know, the person whose history was so grand you would happily read the biography. She was knowledgable, loving, gracious, obedient, endured trials, and encouraged others. But something has happened. A life once marked as mature seems to be waning. We wrestle with concerning thoughts, doubt, and “Is he really saved?” It’s like maturity has stopped and the Lord isn’t there anymore.  We wonder, “Will he persevere?” If you’re like me, you wonder, “How do I minister to this person?”

The good news for us, there is a biblical blue print for us in Hebrews.… Continue reading

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What’s in Your Crèche This Christmas?

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lamb-in-crècheA crèche is a manger scene, a nativity, which many people display at Christmas. What’s in your crèche’s manger this Christmas? Does your nativity scene remind you and those who visit your home that God sent a Savior to redeem us from our sins? Jesus did enter this world as a baby—just like the infant depicted in most manger scenes. However, the crèche does not display our Savior’s astounding résumé. Before the Spirit of God conceived His humanity within Mary’s womb, Jesus qualified uniquely to be our Lord and our Redeemer. As the Son of God He had already acted as the Logos (the Word) and the Light of the world.… Continue reading

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Royal Priests—Similarity, Not Identity

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horned_altar_crownHow is the Church’s priesthood like that exercised by Melchizedek or by believing Israelites? Melchizedek’s functional role joined together kingship and priesthood—his was the first royal priesthood (Genesis 14:18). An echo of Melchizedek’s priesthood occurs when God appoints Israel as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Of course, Jesus Christ’s own priesthood consists of the same royal priesthood (Zechariah 6:12–13; Hebrews 5:6, 10). As we shall see, the Christian believer’s priesthood also belongs to the same classification according to 1 Peter 2:1–12.

A Holy People

The apostle Peter quotes directly from the Old Testament to point to the similarities between the people of God in Israel and the people of God in the Church.… Continue reading

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Humility from our Fathers

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UnknownRecently a friend opened me up to Michael Haykin’s Rediscovering the Church Fathers. Church history and I are not the closest of friends — a relationship requiring my investment. This book is a gem. I just finished it this morning and plan on reading it a second time. It took me some time to finish all 156 pages because Haykin inspired me to read the primary texts. I read Letter to Diognetus and have planned Basil of Caesarea, On the Holy Spirit. What a tremendous read Diognetus was and I look forward to Basil. Most of my thoughts on the book are still scattered in 800 different directions requiring more thought and questions, but I was immediately struck by Basil.… Continue reading

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How to Suffer Well

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Suffering will come. This is a promise. “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29). Just like God made us believe in Him, He also equally promised we would suffer for Him. Why do we have to suffer? The answer to this question is simple, “because God deemed it so.” Ask Job. God tests people. Suffering and trials reveal the real person. Suffering allows believers to better know the hope we have in us (Rom 5:1-5). Psalm 11 describes a situation where the wicked seek to destroy the righteous.… Continue reading

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