I was reading Galatians 3 with my family last night, and gained some new understanding on a crucial question for the Christian life. The Galatians had been justified by believing the Gospel, by grace through faith according to the power of Holy Spirit regeneration, not by feeble - or even mighty - attempts to obey the law. Why then, Paul asks, were they trying to proceed through obedience to the law instead of by that same Holy Spirit power?
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
According to Paul David Tripp, current
culture rests upon seven premises: (1) human beings are autonomous (not
under authority); (2) pleasure is an ultimate end; (3) effort must be
undertaken to meet "my needs”; (4) love of self is the greatest need;
(5) “bigger pleasure is better”; (6) “a constant pursuit of instant
gratification” is essential to my pleasure; and (7) physical is more important than spiritual.
All of these premises are contrary to the Biblical worldview, in which: (1) humans are not autonomous, but rather theonomous (our authority, whether we submit to Him or not, is God); (2) pleasure is good, but never as an end in itself - personal holiness and the glory of God are the ultimate ends; but they go together for the Christian, and there is pleasure in seeking them (for the joy of the Lord is our strength); (3) our focus should not be on meeting "my needs," because we know that God provides for our needs; instead our focus should be on the things of God and His revealed will; (4) love of God is the greatest need, and the love of others flows from that; there's nothing wrong with love of self, but we must allow that to overflow to others (love your neighbor as yourself); (5) bigger pleasure is still only temporal at best and sinfully achieved at worst; therefore, holiness and obedience are better than temporal pleasures, because they form a personal character that is prepared to embrace eternal pleasure that starts here and continues forever in the next life; (6) instant gratification may enhance temporal pleasure, but patience is an underestimated virtue (the best things come to those who wait); I can be joyful regardless of circumstances, because God is good; (7) the natural man cannot understand spiritual things, so "physical" certainly seems more important than "spiritual," but once we have the Holy Spirit, we learn to realize the infinite value of perfect and permanent "spiritual" realities, compared with the imperfect, temporal, and constantly fading "physical" experiences.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
There's an important spiritual lesson in moving, and it's a lesson that needs repeating regularly, say every 4-7 years. We are sojourners in this life; it's not good to get too comfortable. Suffering loss is not bad; it sanctifies and helps us long for the glorious appearing of the one surety we have in Jesus. I'd say we were meant to move. There may be a time for everything, including waiting and resting, but settling in a world that's not our home isn't good.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
A lifetime couldn't exhaust the fullness of the right answer to this question, but it was worth pondering for my family last night. The statement that Jesus is the greatest gift has become somewhat cliche, so I penned 12 reasons why Jesus is the greatest gift and we discussed. Here they are, and I hope you can agree and perhaps add to or at least discuss this list with your family as you celebrate his birthday.