WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Mystery – 10/29/2017


There is a mystery of God that people cannot comprehend, in fact, the robot on Lost in Space would say, “It does not compute.”  And because much of God doesn’t make sense to us, we men are prone to boil the sum of God down to a bunch of moral laws and regulations.  So long as we follow the 10 Commandments, go to church each week, give our weekly offering of cash, and jump through all the ritualistic hoops that our doctrines demand, we will go to heaven when we die.

Matthew 7:21-23

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

In doing this, we Christians can often appear to the rest of the world as a stuffy people who don’t have any fun, who want non-Christians to become stuffy and religious like us, and when people do respond to our evangelical efforts we bring them into our churches and teach them a bunch of doctrines, often making them more contemptible to God then ourselves.

Matthew 23:15

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

But where’s the Mystery?

Paul said that there was a Mystery of God, but I have never had a class on it in any fellowship I have attended.  I think this is because I have always been given manuals that explain every detail of God (backed up by many bible passages) and thus not leaving any room for any true mystery.  But God is bigger than the majority of doctrines, creeds, confessions, and commentaries that men can create, and if God has done anything miraculous then we humans should be left in utter awe of the vastness of His doing so. 

1 Corinthians 1:23-25

23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

And so as I write about the incomprehensibility of God, I do understand the irony of what I am about to do, I want to take a stab of writing about the Mystery of God.  To do this, I take Paul’s words from the letter to the Colossian church.

Colossians 1:27

…to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ In You…

   Are you saved?

      When were you saved?

        Are you born again? 

          Have you ever received Jesus?

The questions go on and are often meaningless to people who do not live by faith.  I suspect that what most people hear in these questions is simply “Do you want to give up your partying, your smoking, your drinking, your sexual escapades, and your fun to come to my church and give them your money?”  Maybe not, but that’s what I used to hear.

But then I realized my own mortality and cried out to the creator of our world to show me the truth.  And I didn’t care what the truth was, I just wanted to know what it was.  And within a few weeks I was presented with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:20

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

This was a mystery to me.  A man who was dead actually raised back to life?  Seriously?  Who claims this kind of stuff?  How does a religion even get started with such a ludicrous claim?  In my experience of the world, 1 out of every 1 person who dies stays dead.  But the claim was so preposterous that I had to investigate it.  And over time God revealed to my mind the reality of this human mystery of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

But now, there is a greater mystery that I still have not gotten my head around, and that is the Mystery that the Apostle Paul wrote above in Colossians 1:27: which is Christ in You!

The idea that Christ dwells in me causes me much internal struggle.  I’ve been wrestling with the reality that Jesus literally bonded with my soul and is one with me.  It’s one thing for me to read about the Virgin Mary being overshadowed by the Spirit of God melding with her physical body in order to produce the God/Man Jesus.  I can study it and roll it over in my mind but do I really get it?  Do I really get that just as God melded with the Virgin so also the Holy Spirit melds with me to create a new creation in this world?  The thought is boggling to me and shrouds me in wonder and awe at the very idea…

When I talk with people about the faith, I have gotten some flack from my fellow Christians because I don’t claim to know it all, and I don’t try to make people accept any certain denominational point of view.  I simply invite them to explore the greatness of a mystery that leaves my jaw hanging and seek truth no matter where that truth should lead them.  I am confident that people who seriously seek God will have their eyes and ears opened so that they too will see a terribly awesome Jesus who died for them, and invites them to be in fellowship with Himself and the Father.

A Final Thought…

I don’t particularly like the questions that ask a person if they have been saved, or when were they saved, because it muddles the Gospel in my estimation.  The Gospel message is not a question at all; it’s a statement of fact. 


The very moment that Jesus died on the cross your sins were paid for.  Every vile thing that is hiding in your closet has been forgiven.  Not because you are anything special but because Jesus is.  And that is the gist of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  A person may not believe it, may not accept it, may not like it, but the reality is that it has been done by Jesus and we men have been once-and-for-all been redeemed from our world of sin and death.

Ephesian 2:1-9

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

And while this is indeed Good News, there is still the reality of the wrath of God to come.  And the wrath is not as much about sin as it is with not accepting the Son whom God sacrificed on the Cross in order to redeem us.  For in Jude 1:5 is a little focused on verse about the Israelites who were all redeemed from their slavery in Egypt, but some would not believe or accept that God did this for them.

Jude 1:5

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

And so I invite you today, if you have never explored the Mysteries of God in Christ, determine to do so for God has shed the blood of His son so that you might have abundant life.

Interested?  Leave a comment and we can talk.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Whom do You Worship? – 10/22/2017


C.S. Lewis--The Problem of Pain (1940)

“…God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper for creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces.  If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God—though it may be the closest approximation that our thought and fantasy can attain.” 

When I read the quote from C.S. Lewis above I am shocked a little.  I am shocked because I know the statement is true.  I am also shocked by it because if I am going to be transparent, I must admit that it has been a long time since I fell on my face in worship of the One who died for me.

I used to fall on my face in humble adoration, but that was long ago when my faith was still simple and fresh.  Today, I think I struggle because my faith has become less fresh and more academic in nature; I over-think the simplicity of grace that was given me on the Cross.

Lewis’s statement makes me reassess myself and forces me to verify what exactly I worship: Jesus Christ who is alive or the oft popular Happy-slappy Jesus so prevalent in today’s culture?  I had to admit that whomever I worshiped didn’t force me to fall on my face before his supremacy.

Maybe I am the only one who is shocked a little when I read Lewis’s quote, if I am, please forgive me for wasting your time.

Matthew 2:11

After coming into the house they [the Wise Men] saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.

John 18:6

When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.

Acts 9:3b-4a

"Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him [Saul].  He fell to the ground…"

Revelation 1:17

1When I [John] saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Who Are You? – 10/15/2017


Often, when I look at my children, I am overwhelmingly amazed at the reality that they are the products of me and my wife; literally everything from each of our individual histories make our children a unique individual in their own right.

From very early in Christian history, theologians and philosophers have been trying to look at Jesus and pick out which part is from the humanity of Mary and which is the deity of God. The effort is called Christology and there are a variety of reasons for doing this, but I believe that it is ultimately a futile effort which distorts the uniqueness of our Redeemer.

When scientists separate hydrogen molecules from water, they are left with oxygen, and what they began with is no longer water. I realize that to take out from my children what is there mother, leaves, well, it would leave just me.  In the same way, I believe, the effort to separate the humanity of Jesus from the deity of Christ would leave something other than the individual Jesus Christ who walked this world who is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

Luke 1:30-35

30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

Colossians 1:15-18

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
I often feel that my life is a big adventure, something akin to Indiana Jones’ adventures; my purpose is to discover God in all the nooks and crannies of this life and to always be exploring who He is.  In the person of Jesus Christ I have discovered a mother load and I suspect that it will take all of eternity to explore all that He has to show us.

Ephesians 3:8-10

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Who are You?

I ask this question because it makes personal my Christian life that I can often subjugate to a corporate and democratic mindset of managing.  As I remember that my Christian life is supposed to be a great adventure of discovering God, then I realize that I am less inclined to be distracted by the business of the faith.

When was the last time you went on a grand adventure that promised not to reveal the labyrinth of the halls of discovery until you were in the thick of it?  It definitely takes courage to go this way but if you want, you can come with me.  

Think it over. I’ll be here when you want to come with.