What does it take to be a Christian?

Think about it like a normal person for just a second: how can you say He was sacrificed for sins and then say that if you sin, the sacrifice is no good?

The Cross of Christ Declares that Virtue Does Not Secure Blessing

This was why the “Lord Lord didn’t I” people in the sermon on the Mount were turned away. They equated virtue with earning the bestowal of favor. The cross of Christ severs this tie completely. It says, when you do right, you will be rejected and crucified. It says, if you want to be my disciple, you must bear the cross. The Father God will not necessarily step in and help you in the way and at the time that you think He must. We learn the secret of contentment at the point when it becomes evident that our virtue has not secured our blessing (Philippians 4:12-13).

Jesus Doesn’t Believe in You! Hallelujah!

I don’t want Him to have to believe in me! I am glad that He knows up front that I am not to be trusted, and that I am a sinner, and that even all of my righteousness is selfishly and sinfully motivated. I need a savior who does not require my faithfulness and trustworthiness. I need a savior who sees me exactly how I really am at my worst and still offers Himself as the Lamb who takes away my sin.

Oh Happy Day! Depression and Suicide and the Crushing Idealism of the Law

People are proud of their idealism. They believe that their high standards and their perfectionism are a sign of integrity and success. Actually our ideals are weapons that will ultimately turn on us and kill us. What we need is a rescue and an escape from our ideals. We need to be seen and loved and accepted and forgiven as we really are, and we need a way to love others the same way. This is exactly what the gospel offers us!

Grace and More Grace! John 1:16

He has fullness. There is a completion, an abundance, a sufficiency in His glory. In verse 14 John says that the Word made flesh is full of grace and truth. This fullness, this grace and truth, is something we have received. It isn’t distant and theoretical and ephemeral; no one has seen God, but we have received of the fullness of His grace and truth in Jesus Christ. His fullness of grace and truth is something which can be apprehended by people.

Which Came First: Grace or Law? John 1:15

John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” Testified. Once again, John’s chief role as a testifying witness is highlighted. God presents His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and we are in […]

The Logos Made Flesh, Full of Grace and Truth — John 1:14

  John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word became flesh. Since we know the story, it is easy to become numb to the shock of this verse. it is all very […]

Christ at the Center of Confidence: 1 John 4:13-21

Our faith does not depend upon our love for God, but upon the real-world demonstration through the cross of His love for us. Mere belief in this knowledge is our entrance into the world of perfect love, where God’s love outlasts, outshines, and outlives our imperfections. It is His love for us which is the […]

Alien Grace Intruders from Another Dimension!

If you live and breathe and think and exist in an environment where you believe in the power of Christ’s blood shed for sinners, you have escaped the two-dimensional prison. You really have come to believe, not simply that you alone are forgiven, but that there is a possibility of real lasting definitive forgiveness at all. You believe in substitutionary atonement.

Jesus + Anything = Nothing

Here is some counsel I gave someone who is a true and beautiful believer but who is having trouble, perhaps because of some bad teaching in their past, accepting that their faith in Christ is true: When Jesus died and said “it is finished”, it was finished. It is not dependent on some change in […]