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The Gospel as Our Foundation

The Foundation of Our Faith is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote to his young son in the Lord - Timothy and reminded him of this too:

2 Timothy 2:19
 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

"God's firm foundation stands...."  Musing on Spurgeon's words, I rewrote this:
The foundation upon which our faith rests is this, that "in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them."(2 cor. 5:19).   The great fact on which genuine faith relies is that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,"(John 1:14) and that "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God"; (1 Peter 3:18)  "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree"; (1 Peter 2:24) "Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with…
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The Acts - Our's and God's

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is from Paul's letter to the Philippians.  I've heard the book of Philippians described as "Paul's happy book".  He loves this fellowship of believers - that is obvious.  The 2nd chapter is especially a beautiful admonition to unity and fellowship in Christ together. 

Philippians 2:1-4
1  If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

A church like this is a church that is focused on Christ above all other things.  What is it that Christ Jesus demonstrated in his own life that makes this so appealing?…

Jesus Ascended, Glorious in Exaltation

I recently was reading a devotional from Charles Spurgeon.  It was entitled, Christ's Glory With Spurgeon's words as the backdrop, I reworked some of the language to make it my own...It is Spurgeon who brillantly paved the way with his words that I used.   This last Sunday I finished the Gospel's story of Jesus with his Resurrection and Ascension.  The week before we looked at the Cross.  As I said yesterday there is so much that I could have said about Jesus and didn't.  Trying to do an overview of the story of the Bible - a panoramic view - is filled with difficulties...and for the most part I struggle to say it effectively.   Still in my reading Spurgeon said is so well...and with my editing, I repeat it here for you:
1 Timothy 3:16
 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

We have just seen the Lord Jesus in…

What Jesus Began To Do, and What He Continued To Do

A lot of people know that Luke's Gospel is only Volume 1 of Luke's writings.  He also wrote the book of Acts...which has been called "The Acts of the Apostles", but would be better entitled, "The Acts of the Holy Spirit".

As we dive into the next part of the Bible's story we remember that Luke ends his Gospel account with a short reminder that "more is yet to come".  Luke 24 contains the Resurrection account, the meeting of Jesus with the 2 on the road to Emmaus, and then an appearance/visit with the Disciples - all that first Easter Sunday.  Then Luke sums it up:

Luke 24:46-53
46  Then Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things.49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until…

Jesus: Who? What? How? Why?

The title sounds like an assignment for a journalism class.  It is in actuality a short series of questions that give us the ability to sort through the story of Jesus in the Gospel.  AS we work our way through the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - the perspective of Jesus is like a Kaleidoscope.  It depends upon how you turn the eye piece.  Keep your eye on Jesus and look at his works.  One moment he is declaring - repentance, forgiveness, compassion, warning, rebuke, love.  He is again  teaching, healing,  confronting...but most of all asking questions.

For example, Who do you say that the Son of Man is? 

Matthew 16:16 
16  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

There you see...  Son of Man (look at Daniel 7 to understand this), the Christ (Messiah, the Promised one of God) and the Son of the Living God.  
What?  If we had to sum up Jesus' ministry we need only to go back to his own declaration as he began his public ministry:
Luke 4:17-19
17  …

God Will finish His Work

Charles Hadden Spurgeon was a preacher and teacher of God's Word for decades in the 19th century.  His Pulpit was the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London and without microphone or other sources of technology he preached to 10,000 people with a voice that made clear his authority arose from the Word of God.  While a great preacher, he was first of all a Pastor.  He loved God and his people.

He wrote this masterpiece entitled -  "God will Finish His Work"

Hebrews 12:22-24 
22  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
23  and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
24  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 

Remember that there are two kinds of perfection that the Christian needs—the perfection of …

A Straight line to prepare the Way of the Lord

This week we turn the page in the series I'm teaching about the story of the Bible - the Big Picture story - that I've entitled "From Garden to Glory".  Volume 1 of that story  is the Old Testament story - which prepares the way for the Lord Jesus to come.  The entire Old Testament story is one of the great need for Redemption, and the impossibility of any human, or system of religion, or attempts to change the world for the better to do what only God can do.
There is the 1st lesson for us in terms of Faith and Salvation - it is completely and only a work of God.  From beginning to end we recognize that God is the central person for any good thing that can occur in relation to us in the world and in eternity.

God is the Creator - He begins it all...and the Prophets kept reminding us that the significance of that cannot be underestimated.  The Prophet Isaiah speaking some 700 years before Jesus stated it clearly:
Isaiah 42:5
This is what God the LORD says--he who crea…