The Love of a Savior

Photo credit unknown.

Photo credit unknown.

One of the tenets of Christianity setting apart from other world religions, is the love of a savior. Christianity alone has at its center a God who loves his creation enough to call them children and to die in their place in order to satisfy his wrath upon sin.

Jesus himself draws the stark contrast of this revolutionary approach to life when he comments that few people would die for a good man. What isnt said there, but what is certainly hinted at is that we are not good men. We are sinners. We live in a fallen world and we are bent towards sin. Knowing this, and loving us anyway, our God sacrifices himself to pay the penalty for our sins.

This act is so revolutionary, so extraordinary, so out of the box we as a humanity can scarcely grasp the full weight of what he did or why he did it. Paul writes in Romans, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. While we were still in opposition to him. He loved us enough to move towards us. To take the first step to have a relationship with us. Which is a second tenet separating Christianity from other world religions, God desires to know us personally. He doesn’t sit on a throne far above in the heavens looking down at us, waiting for us to screw up so he can capriciously punish us. Rather, he engages in our lives with us, walking alongside us each day. In fact, his desire is to dwell within us. To live in and through us. Paul also write in one of his letters to the church at Corinth, that as Christ followers we are temples to the Holy Spirit (God’s spirit he sent to dwell within us). In this particular passage, Paul was correcting the Corinthians on their sexual immorality, however the idea that our bodies are temples of the spirit of the almighty God should have broad applications in our lives. Our lives should be lived in such a way that God is glorified by our actions.

As we prepare for today and this weekend, ask ourselves this question: Is God glorified in the way I am living, in my habits and daily routine, in my work, in my attitude and in the way I treat others? If not, now seems like the right time to reorganize our priorities.

Sanctification is War

On sunday John continued our series on Creeds that Changed the World by teaching on the topic of sanctification. His message was outstanding and you should really cruise over to our website and check  it out by going here. Rather than re-hash the entire teaching, I want to pull out a few points that stuck out in my mind.
A good place to begin is by defining sanctification. The definition we used on Sunday is two-fold:
1. The state of being set apart by God
2. The life-long process of becoming holy in the way we live
These are two points to understanding sanctification.
First, it implies the end result of being holy is a journey towards God. As 1 Corinthians 1:2 states, we are ‘Set apart in Christ Jesus’ – distinguishing that we have been brought to life in Christ from being dead in sin. We are not just ‘forgiven’, we are called to transform into something greater.
Secondly, it implies the life-long process is going to be war. This isn’t going to be a transition we can make easily. It isn’t something that will happen over night. It isn’t even something that we will realize this side of Heaven. The call to be sanctified we find in Scripture is one that we must pursue with fervent action as though it was a war. We have to approach our becoming holy like we are fighting a war, because in reality it is a war. God and Satan are fighting for our souls.
Which side are going to stand with?
Are you ready to make war against the Liar, the Deceiver, against the opponent to all that is good?
Let’s stand together and MAKE WAR!