Bold Confidence

We walk with bold confidence. We may not know where we are going, but we trust that God has placed us on the right road to the right place. We trust him implicitly.

We trust him even though we may never see the outcome of what we are trusting him for. Loyalty demands it.

We trust him even when it seems as though he had abandoned us. We must keep walking even when it is nearly impossible. We are sworn to it.

When we continue walking, we are helping God accomplish the goal he has set. Helping him is more important than helping ourselves. The reward is in being with God, not against him.

Don’t Turn Back

A couple days ago I likened the Christian life to walking. We have to keep walking if we want to get where we are going.

There are reasons we might be tempted to turn back:

  • the road ahead is rocky and steep
  • we turned an ankle
  • we got a summons to return home
  • the trip no longer seems worth the effort

Well, these things happen. That us why we need one another to keep pushing us on. Today I might be weak and need your encouragement. Tomorrow you might be the weak one.

We must keep walking and we must not turn back. Our loyalty and commitment to God in Christ demands it. Our present troubles are insignificant. Keep moving.

Community

This spiritual community can take at least two forms. (1) The foundational assembly is that of a local body of believers, meeting together regularly for fellowship around the Word and worship of God. The person who asserts that God can be known, worshiped, and followed “out in nature” apart from the church knows little of Scripture, church history, or true Christian experience. Thus, we are called to gather together regularly for encouragement and accountability. We must not forsake this aspect of the Christian life.

(2) The other form that Christian fellowship can take is that of spiritual friendships, friendships that transcend the boundaries of individual local churches. Most Christian gatherings of the first century were in house churches, which existed in a network reaching throughout a given city. Therefore, we may find meaningful fellowship with like-minded believers outside our immediate church group. Bible study fellowships, accountability groups, and times over coffee or tea should be encouraged as long as they are doctrinally sound and do not detract from one’s commitment to the local church. Such groups can be wonderfully enriching and supporting for the Christ-follower. These relationships can enhance our sense of community with the broader body of Christ as we seek to live each day in light of the great Day of Christ’s return.

Therefore, as I begin to seek to apply Hebrews 10:24–25, I might ask myself: “To whom in the body of Christ am I giving encouragement this day or this week by my presence, my actions, and my words? Am I receiving encouragement by remaining faithful to my association with the body of Christ?” Such reflection, when followed with action, serves as a foundation stone for healthy Christian living.

George Guthrie, Hebrews, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 353.

Keep Walking

In Christ, I believe I have found the path to God. There is no need for me to keep looking for the path.

What does remain, however, is for me to walk on that path. I must not turn back and I must keep moving. I would love to walk the path with a likeminded group of friends, but whether or no, I will keep walking.

Blood

How do we handle blood?

Some Christians seem to view the actual blood of Jesus as a magical substance that they can plead, like an incantation.

Most of us see in the blood of Jesus a symbol of his death. He died for us, somehow.

Many in our culture would see that view as barbaric. It certainly is a stumbling block. And the reputation of blood is not enhanced by the those who very publicly insist on a extreme for of penal substitution.

What does Jesus’ blood mean to you?

Sprint

I’m not sure how what I think of the new way some of the F1 grids are set: by a qualifying sprint race the day before the Grand Prix. But I do know for sure that a sprint race is more fun to watch than another free practice session.

What is Legalism?

Some Christians judge a person’s spirituality by their associations (e.g., what church they attend, to what political party they belong, or who they hold as close friends), their practices (e.g., their devotional habits, the way they dress, the entertainment they enjoy), or their passions (e.g., whether they share our concern for certain ministries or messages). Such judgments brush dangerously close to a legalism that runs contrary to the spirit of the gospel. Legalism takes one’s own associations, practices, and passions—perhaps true applications or expressions of biblical morality—and makes them normative for everyone else in the body of Christ. Life in the Spirit, on the other hand, places an emphasis both on clear biblical commands as well as on biblical principles and seeks to live out a broad-based morality revealed in Scripture under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit.

George Guthrie, Hebrews, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 293.

What God Cannot Do

Do you have a free will, or is life determined for you without your input?

It cannot be both.

You cannot appeal to paradox and say that with God it can be both. (I hear that one all the time, which really means that people don’t want to think about and take a shortcut to end the discussion.)

Either you have free will or you don’t.

Thus, if you have free will:

  • there doesn’t have to be a divine purpose in everything that happens to you.
  • the is not a specific time appointed for you to die that you cannot override by dying early.
  • God is not to blame when you get sick.
  • you can decide to place your loyalty and trust in God, through Jesus.
  • you can change your mind about that later.
  • there is no one God-designated person you should marry, job you should have, church you should attend, or place you should live.

Please feel free to discuss.

I know some will say that God can do anything. Well, can do anything logically possible, but even those things he doesn’t always do. That is, he doesn’t do everything. So, figure that into your discussion.

Happiness

A wonderful man, a friend indeed, came and sat down next to me after church last Sunday, and cheered my heart.

In a round about way, he had seen my post lamenting that young earth creationism seems to carry the day in our church. He came to tell me that he agrees with me that only a closed mind could fail to see that there are other ways God might have created besides the one that requires rigidly literal interpretation of Genesis 1.

So, there are at least two of us at church. That encourages me.

He also recommended to me to works of Hugh Ross, who had previously been cited in something I read. I need to look into it. Ross’s entry into the discussion is from the side of hard physical science, which is my own background. I’ve read plenty of stuff from biologists, but a physicist would take a different approach, I think.