Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
For those who haven't seen the latest Luther movie, I highly recommend it.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Here's a money quote:
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead separates Christianity from all mere religion--whatever its form. Christianity without the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is merely one religion among many. "And if Christ is not risen," said the Apostle Paul, "then our preaching is empty and your faith is in vain" [1 Corinthians 15:14]. Furthermore, "You are still in your sins!" [v. 17b]. Paul could not have chosen stronger language. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" [v. 19] . . .
Those who would attack the Church and reject its gospel must direct their arrows at the most crucial truth claim of the New Testament and the disciples: That Jesus Christ, having suffered death on a cross, though sinless, having borne the sins of those He came to save, having been buried in a sealed and guarded grave, was raised by the power of God on the third day.
As Paul well understood, Christianity stands or falls with the empty grave. If Christ is not raised, we are to be pitied, for our faith is in vain. Those who would preach a resurrectionless Christianity have substituted the truth of the gospel for a lie. But, asserted Paul, Christ is risen from the dead. Our faith is not in vain, but is in the risen Lord. He willingly faced death on a cross and defeated death from the grave. The Resurrection is the ultimate sign of God's vindication of His Son.
Monday, April 13, 2009
"Follow Me": The First Step of Repentance - Audio
"Follow Me": The First Step of Repentance - PDF
From Doubting Thomas to Eternal Life - Audio
From Doubting Thomas to Eternal Life - PDF
Simon of Cyrene and the Meaning of Christianity - Audio
Simon of Cyrene and the Meaning of Christianity - PDF
(Sunday Night) The Day of (Christ's) Atonement - Audio
(Sunday Night) The Day of (Christ's) Atonement - PDF
Finding Grace in Unanswered Prayer - Audio
Finding Grace in Unanswered Prayer - PDF
Divine Comfort - Audio
Divine Comfort - PDF
(Sunday Night) A Survey of Revelation - Part 2 - Audio
Greater-Than-Thou-Syndrome - Audio
The Lord's Last Supper - Audio
Living As Jesus Died - Audio
Are You Ready? - Audio
Are You Ready? - PDF
(Sunday Night) A Survey of Revelation - Part 1 - Audio
The Greatest Commandment - Audio
The Greatest Commandment - PDF
(Sunday Night) The Great Commandments Among the 10 Commandments - Audio
Questioning the Authority of Jesus - Audio
Questioning the Authority of Jesus - PDF
The Cleansing of Religion - Audio
The Cleansing of Religion - PDF
(Sunday Night) The Folly of Religion - Audio
(Sunday Night)The Folly of Religion - PDF
Our Mr. Potato Head God - Audio
Our Mr. Potato Head God - PDF
The Case For Easter
The Cost of Discipleship
Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped the Disciples For Greatness and What He Wants to Do With You
Twelve Extraordinary Women
The Theology of the Book of Revelation:"
The Second Coming: Signs of Christ's Return and the End of the Age
Jesus: The Greatest Life of All
Jesus the Messiah: A Survey of the Life of Christ
Christ, Our Righteousness
In My Place, Condemned He Stood
The Truth of the Cross
Jesus Made In America
The Incomparable Christ
Death By Love: Letters From the Cross
The Case For The Real Jesus
Hard to Believe
The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why they Believe It, and Why it Matters
How Would Jesus Vote?: A Christian Perspective on the Issues
The God Who Loves
The End: John 20:31 or 21:25?
"Do You Love Me?": John 21 and the Debate Over Love
Friday, April 10, 2009
Let us now mediate a moment on the passion of Christ. Some do so falsely in that they merely rail against Judas and the Jews. Some carry crucifixes to protect themselves from water, fire, and sword, and turn the suffering of Christ into an amulet against suffering. Some weep and that is the end of it. The truth contemplation is that in which the heart is crushed and the conscience smitten. You must be overwhelmed by the frightful wrath of God who so hated sin that he spared not his only-begotten Son. What can the sinner expect if the beloved Son was so afflicted? It must be an inexpressible and unendurable yearning that causes God's Son himself so to suffer. Ponder this and you will tremble, and the more you ponder, the deeper will you tremble.
Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts. Consider that if one thorn pierced Christ you deserve a hundred thousand . . .
If we consider the persons, we ought to suffer a thousand and again a thousand times more than Christ because he is God and we are dust and ashes, yet it is the reverse. he, who had a thousand and again a thousand times less need, has taken upon himself a thousand and again a thousand times more than we. No understanding can fathom nor tongue can express no writing can record, but only the inward feeling can grasp what is involved in the suffering of Christ.
- The Medical Evidence: Was Jesus' Death a Sham and His Resurrection a Hoax?
- The Evidence of the Missing Body: Was Jesus' Body Really Absent from His Tomb?
- The Evidence of Appearances: Was Jesus Seen Alive After His Death on the Cross?
Each chapter reads like an investigation where the author interviews an expert on the issue. In all of Strobel's "Case" books, he interviews the best of the best and it shows. Chapter 1 is an interview with Alexander Metherell M.D., PH. D. who looks at the medical evidence proving that Jesus really died and no other theory can contradict that truth. Chapter 2 is an interview with William Lane Craig PH. D., D. TH. who is an expert and writer on the resurrection. I encourage everyone to read Craig's books. Chapter 3 is an interview with Gary Habermas, PH. D., D.D who successfully closes the case on the resurrection.
Strobel seeks to provide his Christian readers comfort in knowing that our faith is not in vain. For nonChristian readers, Strobels books are evangelistic hoping that they would acknowledge the truth and come to Christ. The simple truth is, that if Jesus really died and was raised from the dead, then He is both Lord and God (John 20:28). And if He is Lord and God, there is no other choice than to repent and believe in His name. Not to amounts to spitting God in the face.
For anyone interested in exploring these issues, I strongly recommend Strobel's book. And while your at it, read his other Case books. Though they deal with difficult issues, you will come away confident that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
Thursday, April 9, 2009
. . . to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection. Thus people who had heard only fragments of St. Paul’s teaching at Athens got the impression that he was talking about two new gods, Jesus and Anastasis (i.e., Resurrection) (Acts 17:18). The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in Acts. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought: what we call the ‘gospels’, the narratives of Our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basis of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracle of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes alter as a comment on it. Nothing could be more unhistorical than to pick out selected sayings of Christ from the gospels and to regard those as the datum and the rest of the NT as a construction upon it. The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say that they have seen the Resurrection. If they had died without making anyone else believe this ‘gospel’ no gospels would ever have been written. (234-235)
The NT writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits’, the ‘pioneer of life’. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened (237).
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.
Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before...
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptist without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate...
[Costly] grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly beaus it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner... (43-45)
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The 2nd thing to be learned here is that Simon not only bears the cross, but also bears it because he is compelled to do so. For if he would have had his own will in the matter, he would have gone his way and cared very little what was becoming of Christ and His cross. But the soldiers seized him against his will and compel him to carry the cross . . . For this reason this man is called Simon or Simeon, which, in his language, means one who takes advice and obeys. For that is true obedience which, though it prefers to be exempt from this or that suffering, still yields to it willingly, following and letting itself be led, simply because it sees that God desires it so. All true Christians can be called by this name Simon. For although their flesh and blood would like to rest and be excused from pain, they still obey, heed the Word, are submissive to the will of God, and help the Lord Jesus bear His cross.
I think Luther is right, this is a vivid picture of what Christ meant in Mark 8:34. Picking up the cross includes shame, hostility, obedience, following, and in the end, death. Shocking to think, isn't it?