Friday, June 19, 2009

The foolishness of the cross, part 5

"Christianity stands utterly alone and utterly opposite all other religions because it's not at all based upon what I can do. It's based upon what Christ did for me," said Gage. "There is no way that we can merit, that we can deserve eternal life."

After 2,000 years, the cross is still confusing and controversial. But to those who believe, it is eternal life.

"The idea of a world being saved by Christ crucified was indeed foolishness to those who were proud and boastful and who thought the wisdom of the world was vested in them," stated Graham. "How different it is for those of us who, in simple faith, know Christ crucified. For us, the cross is the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The foolishness of the cross, part 4

1 Corinthians 1:21; 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

"God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." Many a bad sermon has been launched from a mistranslation of this verse. The King James Version translates the verse to say "the foolishness of preaching." But it is not the act of preaching that is said to be foolish. It is the message of what is preached. It is the preached Word, the preached gospel that is foolishness. God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached--that is, the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ--to save those who believe. This is what is well pleasing to God."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The God-intended Christian life!

"The God-intended Christian life is not the life of doing the evil which I hate and failing to do the good that I want to do (Romans 7:19). The God-intended Christian life is not a life of captivity and bondage to sin (Rom. 7:23). Christ came to set us free (John 8:31-36)! It is not God’s desire that we should live in perpetual defeat and failure and frustration days without end. No, the God-intended Christian life is set forth in many passages including these: Colossians 1:10-12; 1 John 3:18,22; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 4:1-9; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 2:20; 5:22-23; etc. May we so walk and so live!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The foolishnes of the cross, part 3

"By his wounds we are healed. But we must come to Jesus Christ the way we are with our wounds open and bleeding. We must admit that we can’t fix ourselves. That life based on our own resources and trying to suck life out of other people never satisfies. We must not cover the wounds up with our band-aids of self-improvement, religion, minimizing, excusing, accusing, blame shifting or whatever your particular brand of band-aid is called. By his wounds we are healed when his wounds meet our wounds. Then he cleans your wound, binds it up and takes you to new places of life where those wounds don’t determine who you are anymore.

But the cross of Christ will remain foolishness to those who trust in themselves. Those who build their own kingdoms focused on themselves and their strength of achievements, physical beauty or personality gifts. Those who want to climb up the ladder of religion trying to impress their god. Those who just cannot accept that everything has already been done. You don’t have to do anything to be good enough or bad enough to be a part of Jesus’ kingdom. The grace of God means that there is nothing you can do to make God love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you more! God loves you just the way you are including the good, the bad and the really ugly in you!"

by abrokencup

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Foolishness of the Cross, Part 2

"The word of the cross, the very substance of the Christian gospel, is absolute madness to those who are perishing. It is irrationality. It is insanity. It makes no sense whatsoever. It is not just that this message is a little off balance; it is not simply that it is in need of a bit of polishing. It is sheer madness. And yet this message of the cross, for all its foolishness, is the very essence of our identity. This is who we are. It may be foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The foolishness of the (grace) cross of Christ...

"There is something inherently paradoxical about the cross and the message of Christianity. There is something absurd about the Gospel.

* To lose your life is to save it.

* Unless a grain of wheat dies, it can not bring life.

* They who are last will be first and they who are first will be last.

To take up the cross is to embrace the power of God. It doesn’t make sense. Never has. It is very foolish – unless you see it from the perspective of faith in Christ. For believers it is the very power that transforms lives.

Shortly after describing the foolishness of the cross in verse 18 of 1 Corinthians, Paul went on to quote the end of Isaiah 29:14.
The Lord God said: Because these people draw near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote; so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning shall be hidden."

Its interesting, God had a plan, that plan was the cross, the cross would amaze, confound, seem foolish, shocking but it would institute a new way, one which if believed in, had the power to destroy performance based living, legalism, dry religion, vain worship, faithlessness...if believed in would usher in for the believer a real relationship...

His righteousness instead of our self righteousness...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The believer is married to Christ!

"The believer is married to Christ! It’s a LOVE RELATIONSHIP not a LAW (LEGAL) RELATIONSHIP. This love relationship (joined to Christ and in union with Him) is what Christianity is all about. Christianity is not a RELIGION, it’s a relationship to a PERSON, the Son of God (John 17:3). It’s not doing something but it’s knowing Someone (John 17:3; 1 John 2:3-4). It is not a set of rules and it is not a system of morality. It is a unique and intimate relationship with the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

Many in our day have lost sight of this truth. For many the Christian life has degenerated into another legalistic religious system. It is common for people to get wrapped up in rules and regulations and requirements and duties. It is easy for one to think that the Christian life is reading the Bible and praying and witnessing and memorizing and doing certain things and not doing certain other things. We know how a Christian ought to live, we know how a Christian ought to act, we know how a Christian ought to speak, we know how a Christian ought to think, we know the kinds of things a Christian ought to do and we know the kinds of things a Christian ought not to do, AND WITHOUT REALIZING IT THE CHRISTIAN LIFE HAS LOST THE VERY THING THAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM EVERY OTHER RELIGION. We have missed the whole point.

To emphasize this, let’s see what the Bible does not say:

Philippians 1:21 -- For to me to live is reading my Bible, memorizing Scripture, praying at least 15 minutes daily and witnessing at every opportunity.

Philippians 3:8 -- I count all things but loss for the excellency of trying to guard my tongue, trying to overcome my bad habits and trying to have my daily devotions.

Philippians 3:10 --That I may do this and avoid doing that and that I may force myself to witness and avoid every appearance of evil.

Revelation 2:4 -- Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy daily Bible reading schedule and thou hast broken thy New Year’s resolutions and thou hast failed to keep the Ten Commandments.

2 Corinthians 5:9 -- Wherefore we labour (we are ambitious), that, whether present or absent, we may watch our temper, keep following our strict diet, memorize verses, get enough rest, and not watch too many bad television shows.

What do these verses really say? In the above verses the emphasis is upon KNOWING and LOVING and PLEASING a PERSON! Read carefully Colossians 1:9-12. Notice the emphasis of this great prayer: to know His will (v.9), to walk with Him (v.10), to please Him (v.10), to increase in my knowledge of Him (v.10), to be strengthened by Him (v.11), to be joyful in Him (v.11), to thank Him (v.12)!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The experience of Romans 7

"Grace means that God does something for me; law means that I do something for God. God has certain holy and righteous demands which He places upon me: that is law. Now if law means that God requires something of me for their fulfillment, then deliverance from law means that He no longer requires that from me, BUT HIMSELF PROVIDES IT. Law implies that God requires me to do something for Him; deliverance from law implies that He exempts me from doing it, and that in grace He does it Himself . . .The trouble in Romans 7 is that man in the flesh tried to do something for God. As soon as you try to please God in that way, then you place yourself under law, and the experience of Romans 7 begins to be yours."

[The Normal Christian Life, p. 105.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grace is the "system" whereby...

"Grace is the system whereby man cannot be blessed by what he does, but can only be blessed by what God has done through Jesus Christ. Rom 5:1-2, "Therefore, since we have been justified (made righteous) through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith INTO THIS GRACE IN WHICH WE NOW STAND." We do not stand under the law, we stand in grace. Rom 6:14 tells us very clearly that " are not under law, but you are under grace." Rom 7:6, "...we have been released from the law so that we can serve in the new way of the Spirit, (the law of the filling of the Holy Spirit) and not in the old way of the written code." (The written code is the Mosaic Law). Rom 11:5-6, " the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." Gal 2:16, " one will be justified (made righteous) by observing the law." Gal 3:11-12, "...the righteous will live by faith. The law is not based on faith.""

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a great mystery !

"At the day of Penticost, many were saved and placed in Christ but all did not know what had REALLY happened to them! All still had some sort of law attached to them. Paul comes on the scene, gets the revelation and starts to defend and teach what God gave/taught him. Paul calls this act of God in producing a "new creation" "a great mystery" (Col. 1:27). He says that the only hope a believer has is to be in, and to know he is in, Christ.

At least five times Paul says that this revelation, this final gospel, was not given to anyone else but him and it was not known by anyone else before him. Now Read 1 Cor 4 : 1. We have been entrusted (the KJ version says Stewards) to give this message just like Paul. He (Paul) was a steward to send this message out. We are in Christ!"


Friday, June 5, 2009

a natural objection and the strongest motivator..

"In Romans chapters 1-5 the Apostle Paul presents how man is justified before God by faith alone. He then anticipates a natural objection. He pauses in Romans 6:1-2 and says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who have died to sin continue to live in it?” To paraphrase his argument in Romans 6, he basically says, “That isn’t the way the grace of God affects the human heart.” It rather illicits the opposite response. Who is going to believe that the grace and mercy of God inspires people to sin with greater intensity? Christians may sin for a variety of reasons consistent with the weaknesses and temptations of human frailties, but being spurred on to sin by the grace of God is not one of them. Does the Bible teach that the grace of God actually causes and inspires men to reach new heights of wickedness? Those who know the Bible best know that an understanding of the grace of God is the strongest motivator to right conduct which the human heart can know."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Only Christ does...

"The teaching of high ideals and high moral standards is purely a high level of human teaching. And even though they are necessary for the preservation of any nation, they are not God's standards for a life under grace. Why? Because the unsaved individual can have very high ideals and high moral standards, but that doesn't make him acceptable to God."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


"If a person’s future as well as his past sin is forgiven by the finished work of Christ, and salvation is really a free gift by faith alone, does this cause a person to live a life of greater sinfulness? What is to stop a person from saying “What a deal - I’ll just believe in Christ and go live a life of total depravity”? That is easily recognized as the statement of an unbeliever (or a believer who doesnt know the Gospel), who does not understand the things of the Spirit because they are “foolishness to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14)."

Italics Mine

Monday, June 1, 2009

I believe in grace, but...

"Anyone who says, "I believe in grace, but I do not think it should be emphasized too much because that leads to careless living" has totally failed to understand God's work of grace on behalf of mankind. Even among believers who accept grace as the only means of salvation apart from any works or merit on the part of man have neglected the fact that the spiritual life can only be sustained, developed, and brought to completion by the operation of that same grace. Growth in the spritual life comes only by the grace of God. II Peter 3:18, "But GROW IN GRACE and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; to whom be glory both now and forever. Amen."

There is a great need for a fuller presentation of the grace of God. Not only in the concept of salvation, but in the area of Christian living. It is very important that Christians realize that the very same grace that saved them, is the grace that teaches them how live a life pleasing to God."