Archive for the Christianity Category

Predestination

Posted in Christianity, Journal on March 18, 2013 by Ken

Ephesians 1:5 “In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”

In this verse, there seems less of how we are predestined and more of how God always had a plan for adoption. God knows who is in the book of life, but did God determine who would be saved and who would not?

If God determined us before we were born, then we cannot change that. We can’t lose it and others will never gain it. Does that mean the ones we love are already saved or condemned? Does it matter what we do then?

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Holy and Blameless

Posted in Christianity, Journal on March 17, 2013 by Ken

Ephesians 1:4 says “For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”

I was watching Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church sermon series Who do You think You Are: I am Blessed when something struck me from Ephesians.

We as Christians struggle to be like Jesus and we know as sinners we will never be just like Jesus. Jesus died on the cross in our place so we won’t have to be perfect to enter heaven. Forgiven.

Paul notes that we are holy and blameless in God’s sight. Inst that because Jesus died for us and that his substitutionary death makes us holy and blameless even though we can never reach that on our own?

I wrote the above after pausing the video and then after starting up again Pastor Mark says about the same thing. 🙂

These words come from Pastor Mark’s transcript:

“Ultimately, the world may not understand you as a Christian. Your unbelieving family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, they may not praise you, they may criticize you. They may not see you as living a life that is holy and good, but ultimately, we live for an audience of one. We need to take counsel from godly people, but at the end of the day, we should be holy and blameless before him. It is ultimately what the Lord Jesus says regarding our life at the end that utterly matters, and everything else is insignificant and pales in comparison.

But, Jesus is holy, he is without sin. God becomes a man, lives without any sin. And we are unholy, and Jesus goes to the cross and he dies in our place for our sin, and he trades places with us so that he has condemnation, we have salvation. He takes upon himself all of our unholiness and he places upon us all of his holiness. Here’s what this means: you don’t need to be perfect, Christ is your perfection. You don’t need to live a perfect life, Christ already has in your place.

And you are now, in Christ, if you are a Christian, positionally holy. God sees you in the place of Christ, and out of your positional holiness, you can live practical holiness. Because you are holy, you can live holy. Because Christ has made you holy, you can live holy like Christ. And I’m not saying that we’re perfect and we’ll never sin, and I’m not saying that this is something that we will ultimately perfect in this life, but it’s something we can make progress in in this life. Christ is your holiness and he makes you holy.”

My Father’s House

Posted in Christianity, Journal on March 11, 2013 by Ken

In Luke 2:49 Jesus at age 12 tells his earthly parents “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”

When I read this I thought of what Jesus said in My Father’s house are many rooms. I go to prepare a place for you.

In ths day Jesus walked the earth, the temple was not an inn or place to sleep, but a place to worship God. And there were areas that God said we were not to enter – the holy of holies.

Jesus came to help us get closer to God. One way is to let is stay in our Father’s house.

Demon or Disease?

Posted in Christianity, Journal on March 6, 2013 by Ken

God exists.
Angels exists since God says they exist.
Demons exist since God says they exist.

But in today’s “enlightened” culture, the idea of demons seems ludicrous. Angels are OK to believe about, but not demons.

The bible notes some conditions and diseases as demon possession. In Mark 9:14-29, the story is about how the disciples could not heal or cleanse a boy that has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. “Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.”

Making a Google query, it would seem the symptoms are for a Grand Mal seizure aka “classic” seizure or tonic-clonic seizure. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Grand mal seizure is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain. In some cases, this type of seizure is triggered by other health problems, such as extremely low blood sugar or a stroke. However, most of the time grand mal seizure is caused by epilepsy.”

So whoever is epileptic is possessed by a demon? No. But a demon or spirit could trigger the symptoms and cause a seizure. I know we consider the ancient world to be backwards and their belief that anything not understood was either a god or demon. So some folks look at the bible as their ancient ignorance and we so much more informed!

But a demon or spirit could trigger the seizure just as much as a conditon or disease. It is know the difference. Jesus said the unclean spirit “can come by nothing by prayer and fasting”. So a doctor couldn’t diagnose or cure, only prayer.

Do we deny knowing Jesus?

Posted in Christianity, Journal on March 5, 2013 by Ken

Jesus told Peter that he would deny knowing Him. Peter was adamant that that would not happen and he would even die for Him.

At Jesus arrest, it is said they all deserted Him and ran away.

Are we any better than Peter? When questioned about our faith do we water things down? Do we say we are Christians or followers if Jesus?

Is easier to say the former rather than the latter since saying you are a Christian is vary broad.

It is not just in terminology. Do we back off when there is an apparent opening to confess our faith? Are we fearful of offending? Are we fearful of scorn?

There are many in the world who face actual death for being a Christian. We in the US only face scorn or ridicule.

Jesus said he would never forsake us or leave us. Why do we not do the same for Him?

Enter a king, exit a condemned man

Posted in Christianity, Journal on February 17, 2013 by Ken

Mark 11:1-11 talks about Jesus’ triumphal entry in to Jerusalem. People shouting praises and laying their robes or palm branches along the path where Jesus was coming as he rode a donkey.

I read this while my mind was thinking on how He exited Jerusalem carrying his cross to Calvary.

They hailed Him as a king! And He is the king. But they wanted an earthly king to overthrow the Roman government. They didn’t see that He was king over something far greater. Maybe that is why it was so easy for them to yell crucify him days later.

I don’t think the same people were in both crowds. Different people with different mindsets.

Jesus was born to die so I am glad He went to the cross. Though I cringe at it and wish the ending was Jesus coming down from the cross, I am glad He didn’t because without the cross I unsaved.

Thank you Jesus.

First shall be last

Posted in Christianity, Journal on February 11, 2013 by Ken

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

We strive not for our glory, but for God’s. Our egos want for us to be first, to think we are the greatest. But Jesus says we truly win by being last, by being a servant.

Jesus showed us countless times about service as He served us.