Passing on Passivity

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Hebrews 2:1–4 (ESV)

One conversation I always bristle at, and have had often, goes a little something like this: “I still love Jesus and I know I am saved, but since it is all about grace I don’t NEED to study Scripture or talk to other Christians about my faith, I don’t NEED to come to church on Sundays…”

As you can imagine this conversation is usually with someone that has stopped attending the gathering of the saints, or refuses to participate in small groups, or is confounded by their lack of growth and hope when they have no “Scriptural diet.” And I get it, I feel the same pull toward passivity all the time.

But this is not what we are meant for when we respond to the glorious good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for us. We are meant to press into it not be passive about it.

Calling it mining the depths of the gospel or whatever you prefer, just dive into it and keep going. As the author of Hebrews offers, “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

That’s the danger, drifting. Assuming and eventually losing the hope you have in the justification granted by Jesus, and certainly no experience of the sanctification promised. We even lose a sense of truth as we wander distracted by the lights and voices of our world.

If you find yourself tempted in this way, take up and read, see Christ in Scripture and in the community of believers around you. Find people that will stay on the journey with you. Pay attention to the gospel because you are prone to forget it. Do everything you can to prevent drifting away. Pass on the passivity.

Shalom

Christmas infiltrates the mess of human brokenness and hurt in order to unravel it, to bring healing and wholeness. This is the peace Christ brings, this is the peace Christ is.

As those that believe in Jesus, this is what we give our lives to, bringing the peace of Christ to every broken place. To every hurt. That there would be healing and wholeness.

How will you bring Shalom?

Another great “peace” of creative work from the Bible Project.

GospelThread

Recently I had a new friend ask me if any of my recent sermons we “gospel-centered.” I internally chuckled and verbally responded that I think at least one of them is. Of course I hope all of my sermons highlight and show how the gospel is revealed in all of Scripture because frankly it “ain’t preachin’ if it ain’t Jesus.” I probably come up short regularly but to proclaim the biblical gospel is the goal each and every time I am in the pulpit. It also happens to be my goal in writing as well.

To that end I am excited to be part of a new online commentary that will help all of us discover the thread of the gospel in the whole of the Bible. GospelThread is an endeavor that desires to put helpful, concise, Jesus exalting commentary right where you spend most of your days anyway, the internet. Today they introduced me as a contributor and I hope you might follow along and see the thread for yourself in Scripture. You can read about it here.

Subscribe to the blog, follow the social links (facebook, twitter, insta, youtube) and drink deeply of Christ and his grace in all of the Bible. You can also support the ministry to help get it fully off the ground, or maybe into the cloud, this coming spring.

For your viewing pleasure, check out the guys behind GospelThread.

 

 

Jesus and the Bible

Todd Miles is a pretty smart guy and someone we can trust, mostly because he used to go to Bethel (my church!) at least that is what someone said in a meeting where I mentioned his name. I think having a PhD and being a theology professor also helps his credibility.

So when Todd says something, we can at least agree his words are worth a hearing. I commend this article to you in that case.

Discussing the Bible and the message of the Bible, Todd concludes that the “Bible is all about Jesus.” Wait, all of it? Yep.

“To their surprise, their new traveling companion called them “foolish” (24:25).  The word sounds harsh, but Jesus was not calling them moronic.  They were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had written.” They did not understand the redemptive purposes of God.  Jesus told them that all the events of recent days had been necessary.  The Christ had to suffer “these things.”  Notice verse 27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”

“Beginning with Moses.  All the Prophets.  All the Scriptures.  The Bible is all about Jesus.

“Jesus proved that His death and resurrection were necessary and He did so by working through what we know as the Old Testament.  When the three arrived in Emmaus, the two disciples persuaded their guest to stay with them.  When they sat down to eat, Jesus said the blessing and broke the bread.  It was at that moment that the eyes of the disciples “were opened” and they recognized Jesus.”

Todd goes on to interact with how the Bible is all about Jesus. Check it out here.