It’s not just what we say we believe with our lips at church – as we sing songs and confess creeds – it’s the practicals of how we live each day.
It’s not just the big defining moments in life – ‘who will I marry, where will I live, where will I work?’ – it’s also the little decisions each day… ‘how will I spend my time and money, will I read the Bible and pray today, will I come to church today, and how will I treat others today?’
Each decision shows in whom your trust is placed. Trust, or faith (same thing), encompasses all of life.
Isaiah’s challenge to the people of Judah in 8th Century BC was: ‘Who will you trust?’
He encourages his hearers to ‘stand firm in your faith in the LORD, or you will not stand at all’ (Isaiah 7:9). He calls them to join the faithful remnant, whom will survive by trusting God.
Let’s pray for one another to stand firm in our faith in the LORD; and that our lips and lives encourage others to ‘Come join the remnant!’
In Christ, Tory.
We’ve been hearing about assurance the last few weeks at church (esp. Romans 5:1–11), and so I thought I’d share some online articles I’ve found helpfully clear:
Freedom, certainty, and assurance (Mark Thompson): http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/1992/11/freedom-certainty-and-assurance/
The assurance of faith (Peter Jensen): http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=170
What is the greatest of all Protestant ‘heresies’? (Sinclair Ferguson) http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-greatest-all-protestant-heresies/
The most important question for humanity is: ‘How can we be made right with God?’
The Apostle Paul has carefully, and convincingly, shown we are all wrong with God (Romans 1:18–3:18): there is no one right with God, not even one.
Today’s passage brings a sigh of relief (Romans 3:21–26). But now… God gives the free gift of righteousness through his Son Jesus. It is by grace we are saved.
Three images describe this good news:
- Justification: God the judge of the law court justifies declaring us ‘not guilty;’
- Redemption: God has set us free (redeemed) from sin by paying the price of His blood on the Cross; and
- Sacrifice of atonement: God has provided the ‘sacrifice of atonement’ in Jesus to take the wrath we deserve.
All we have to do is have faith alone in Jesus as the way we are made right with God.
In Christ, Tory Cayzer.
So important to the Christian faith is the resurrection, that the Apostle Paul said: ‘And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.’
Here’s four quick proofs the tomb was empty:
- Belief in the empty tomb predates the Gospels and Paul’s writings, historians say it circulated in oral accounts just 2-3 years after Jesus died on the Cross.
- Jesus’ body was buried in Jerusalem, where Christianity began, and so could have been checked.
- Jesus’ empty tomb was found by women. So?!? Women were not considered reliable witnesses in 1st Century Palestine. If you conspired the empty tomb, surely you would invent better witnesses… unless, embarrassingly, that’s exactly what happened!
- The Jews claimed that the Disciples stole the body of Jesus. This story began quite early (Matthew 28:11–15) to explain the empty tomb. The claim is only needed if the tomb was known to be empty.
Of course, an empty tomb does not prove the resurrection of Jesus. We each have to draw our own conclusions. But it seems the best explanation for the empty tomb, and the rapid growth of Christians meeting to celebrate the risen Lord Jesus every Sunday since then, is Jesus did rise from the dead.
The historical records concerning Jesus are astounding, check them out! He is risen, we have good reason for faith, sin can be forgiven.
In Christ, Tory Cayzer.