Thursday, 9/9/21 – Priorities: Is it really that simple?

Priorities: Is it really that simple?

John’s gospel records Christ stating an amazing thing. He says, “And I, if I am lifted up…will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32). In the Greek here the phrase “lifted up” is the Word ὑψόω [hupsoō]. It means “to lift up on high, to exalt, to raise to dignity and honour.” This is what Christ asks the believer to do. The Word “draw” in the Greek has two forms, ἑλκύω or ἕλκω [helkuō or helkō]. It means “to draw, to draw by inward power, lead, or impel.” This is what Christ promises He will do.

When we meet with a person who is lost Jesus tells us that the cross is primary. The cross is the principal matter – the “crux” of all things — the priority of all evangelism . “If that person can get to God in any other way,” concludes Chalmers, “then the Cross of Christ is unnecessary.”

Sympathy, social aid, even love is not enough. The cross: Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf. The cross: Each believer’s unashamed identification with Christ, His Lordship in one’s life and the demonstrated fruits of the Spirit. The cross: the challenge to likewise die to self and self-efforts, to turn from evils and live for God. This is all the cross, the principal thing which “lifts up” Christ.

This is all we can do, and a this is what we must do.

Paul affirmed,

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Rom. 1:16).

If a believer is ashamed – embarassed to be identified with the cross of Christ and the gospel that goes with it — it suggests he values the praise of men more than the praise of God.

“What the world needs is not ‘a little bit of love,’ but major surgery,” says Chambers. The cross is that surgery.

Of the written Word of God we read,

For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).

And Christ is that Word made flesh. As we exalt Him, He will do the necessary surgery.

By you words, life and purity “lift up” Christ on high, “exalt” Him in your worship, “raise His Name to dignity and honour” in your speech and conversation.

Do this and Christ will do all that remains. He will “draw by inward power,” by conviction of the Holy Spirit, He will “lead” by the truth of His Word, and “impel” by the need of the soul.

Yes! It is really that simple.

Press on…

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of life in Christ? Or, would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.

Thursday, 6/18/20 – Discipleship – Freedom

Freedom Indeed!

sad isolated young woman looking away through fence with hope

There is no worse bondage than guilt, no greater freedom than forgiveness.

In saying He came to set men free Christ did not merely announce “He whom the Son sets free, will be free.” He said, “He whom the Son sets free, will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

20200617_174326Imagine it, if it is not already yours: PeacePeace with God! Such a gripping thought! So much so that Billy Graham’s 1953 Bestseller by that title sold 2 million copies and is still selling today.

People are troubled. They do not have Peace with God and either seek it desperately or try to bury the angst with anything at hand: alcohol, sex, drugs, materialism,

depth of field photo of two pilsner glasses

fame, wealth or wild living. Some try to be their own saviour, perhaps by self punishment in hope of gaining a sort of divine atonement by asceticism, self-mutilation, starvation, cutting, or self-flagellation. Or perhaps by an abundance of good-deeds or contributions of money to the church.

None of these bring Peace with God.

adult alone black and white blur

Tormented, some choose what they believe to be the final exit, suicide, thinking it will bring nonexistence which they deem preferable to their pain. But neither will death bring the sought for relief for the pain is not resident in this world, but in the soul of the individual which shall live forever. Guilt can be taken with you; it’s only remedy is Christ.

Because guilt is such a constraining bondage we assume our deliverance must exact a very costly price. And we are correct. It us a price none of us can pay. It requires a holy sacrifice. The pure for the impure. The Innocent for the guilty. None Such is to be found on this earth. But all praise to Christ such a One exists in heaven. It is, always has been, and ever will be Christ.

backlit cemetery christianity clouds

Christ alone brings to us the possibility of freedom. Not only freedom from guilt, but freedom to choose rightly by the new nature He places within us. Freedom to be transformed into His likeness. Freedom to choose the right and shun evil.

He whom the Son sets free, will be free and more.
He whom the Son sets free, will be free indeed.

Press on…

photo of child reading holy bible

Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.