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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Word For The Week

Grace and peace to you
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself
for our sins
to rescue us
from the present evil age,
according to the will
of our God and Father,
to whom be glory
for ever and ever.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:3-10
Last week it was suggested that I "rewrite [my] sermons in language that speaks to people of all stripes, not only those on the Father, Son and Holy Ghost train." The most telling thing about this suggestion is its context - I reread that which I wrote last week and discovered that I made a major mistake: not once did I mention the name of Jesus. In fact, what I wrote last week could have easily been written by a rabbi or an imam. I failed as a Christian, for the gospel of Christ is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of men's souls, that Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. We have no other message; we have no other gospel that we preach.

The gospel of Christ is not "Be excellent to each other."

The gospel of Christ is not "Vote Republican."

The gospel of Christ is not "Peace at all costs."

The gospel of Christ is not "End abortion and homosexuality."

The gospel of Jesus Christ is that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Jesus Christ the iniquity of us all. He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

That is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if I should ever preach any other gospel - trying to seek the approval of men or trying to please women - then let me be eternally condemned. I would rather be banished by men than to functionally deny my Christ. Shut up about the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Never.

The most disturbing thing in this is that nobody seems to see the irony of someone authoritatively asserting that one cannot make authoritative assertions.

Think about that for a second.

I can not assert the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit but you can assert that all faiths are essentially the same thing? I am not a Unitarian Universalist and I will never preach a Unitarian Universalist message - I am a Christian, and come what may I will be identified with Jesus Christ, my source of authority, the only true authority. Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Jesus commands all Christians to "make disciples of all nations" - not to comfort people in their sins. We who are called by the name of Christ are to be a hospital for the sin-sick soul, healing them of that which ails them, but too many people are about the business of making people comfortable in their sin-sickness until that which ails them ultimately kills them. That's not a hospital, that's a hospice.

Some may prefer to seek the approval of men, but I listen to the Word of God. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are One." I am a bond-servant of Christ and I will never be snatched from the hand of the Good Shepherd.


May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to accept the gospel of Christ,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM

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