Mercy is when you are given something other than, better than what you deserve. What do you and I deserve? Anything that we receive in this life better than hell is more than we deserve. We have offended a holy God, and yet in His mercy He has not given us what we deserve, but…
If sinners, depraved and blind, shall ever see the glory of the gospel, glory that radiates from a humble, curs-ed cross, the Spirit of God must unveil our hearts so that we may truly see.
Paul talked about the blindness and heart-heartedness of his fellow Jews, but what he says of them is true of all the sons and daughters of Adam. We all enter this world with the same congenital heart defect. And there is nothing that we can do to change it. Another must do it for us.
The Law of Moses explained the rules by which the people of Israel would be governed. It included instructions and consequences for violations. The problem was that the Law had nothing in it that would enable a person to become a law-keeper. It was designed only to manage law-breakers.
Whatever you understand your purpose to be, that will determine the methods you choose to achieve it and the standards you employ to evaluate it. And if your understanding of your purpose is wrong, then likely your methods and metrics for evaluation will be wrong as well.
The gospel turns things inside out. Paul learned that victory comes in defeat, glory in humiliation, and joy in suffering. And so it is with us . . . . Martin Luther put it this way: “God creates out of nothing. Therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.”
We are ever in danger. There is an evil one who, like a roaring lion, prowls about, seeking to devour us. He’s wily. He can even appear to be angel of light. He seeks to destroy the church through moral laxity or callous insensitivity. Failing to deal with sin will bring us to ruin. Failing…
Where in the World is the Church in All of This?
God is seeking the right kind of worshipers everywhere—through us.
The church leader’s authority is not ultimate. Nor is it intrinsic. It is relative and derivative. His authority is relative to the authority of this book. It is derived from the clarity of this book. In other words, the church’s leaders are never allowed to say, “Because I say so.” They can only say, “Because…