Friday, December 17, 2010

Navigating amidst the storms...


Yes, this verse is ever so true but few really want to meet the Lord under these circumstances! Most (of us) prefer harboursor rather ...even nice white and smooth - sandy beaches! Right?

But the Scriptures are more than clear that this is not the how the Lord would have us find his comfort. The God of all comfort is not found in the 'comfortable' places! Of course, few believe they could be "called upon to suffer" like in times past ... but the fact is we are all called to suffer for Christ! There are good reasons for this, of course! The Lord gives us some guidelines: First we read Romans 8:14-25 together with ... 1 Peter 4:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3-8 and James 5:10-11 { You will want to read these verses in the Amplified Bible for a real blessing!]

If Indeed ? [1 Peter 4:1]
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."

Comparing your ‘Sufferings’. [2 Cor. 1:5]
Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Suffering - as anxious longing! [1 Peter 2:19]
Romans 8: 19 "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now."

Suffering as waiting. [James 5:10-11]
Romans *:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. {Consider: 1 Thess 1:5]

Suffering with Hope. [1 Peter 3:14]
Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Navigating the Seas of Life require some basics ...

Looking for some additional "Navigational Skills?"

Historically we are able to better “Navigate our interesting ‘life-Seas’” when we learn the lessons of history. Our “navigation” improves, for example, when we can compare the different influences of the “Great Reformation.” Luther’s own ‘salvation’ testimony includes his having faced the text, “The just shall live by faith,” as a direct attack and a clear “undoing” of his Roman Catholic teaching and belief system.

Having a balanced historical understanding of the contributions along with the limitations of the more famous “Magisterial” Reformers will keep our perspectives and opinions (and tendencies toward certain biases) under the control of reality. Then, too, ahaving a balanced historical understanding of the commitment and focus of the “Anabaptist” - (the ‘brethren’) Reformers - has a real value in our perspective of Christian teaching and true Truth.

The “more famous” Reformers like Luther, Zwingli and Calvin certainly focused our understanding on the essentials of salvation - important issues that are quite necessary for true ‘peace’ with God. The Anabaptist Reformers, on the other hand, accepted these essentials and went further by adding essential teaching for discipleship that produces a growing sense of consecration and a personal progressive “walk” in sanctification (separation from the world and to Christ). All of this Truth is... essential to Christian’s service and joy!

For the Church Planter, the issue of the means and ways that bring us before God as “the just” is most important! This Biblical truth regarding “Justification by Faith” (Romans 1-5) is a central doctrinal focus and an important feature of the preaching and teaching required in any sound Biblical ministry of ‘Church Planting.’

The "just" Romans 1:17... must come to the Lord for eternal life and for a blessed walk with God ... on the sole basis of their Faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior! Paul wanted the Romans to understand that "faith alone" is impossible for those who continue to trust in their church, their works or the symbols of sacraments rather than confessing their sinful state and genuine need to be saved by the work of Christ: His Death, Burial and Resurrection ... (Romans 10:9-12) Recognising the truth that "... the righteous man must life by faith..." (nasv) is outlined by Paul, as follows:
2. On Trial Before God. (The Verdict). Romans 1:18 - 3:20
3. Righteousness Imputed: God’s Offer of Grace. Romans 3:21-31
4. Justification: Old Testament and New Testament Truth. Romans 4:1-25
5. A Theology of Justification. Romans 5:1-21
6. The Importance of Sanctification & the Law - I. Romans 6:1-23
7. The Importance of Sanctification & the Law - II. Romans 7:1-25