Sinners that only a Father Could Love…Essential Definitions pt. 2 by Caleb H.
July 28, 2008, 6:00 am
Filed under: Devotions

by Caleb Hancock

Last week, we covered the definition of Justification, why we should know and apply this term to our lives as Christian men. Today, let’s look at another term that looks absolutely unspectacular, and yet holds nuances that will edify your soul in a fresh way.

Mr. Grudem, in Systematic Theology, defines ADOPTION as such: Adoption is an act of God whereby he makes us members of his family.”

The reason that I referred to this specific term as “absolutely unspectacular” is that we see this word, adoption, all the time. We hear about friends or family members, or research for ourselves, about the process of taking in a child or person not your own, and legally making them a member of your family. While this is certainly an amazing means of grace in many lives, it should be no less meaningful to the average Christian man.

Why? What is the big deal?

It is exactly this: after God legally declares us NOT GUILTY, and FULLY RIGHTEOUS in JUSTIFICATION, where does that leave us? It certainly is a joyful and undeserved blessing. It certainly does mean that we no longer fear God’s judgment, knowing that Christ was condemned in our place and paid the penalty as our substitute for sins on the cross, but does it change God’s attitude towards us beyond acceptance?

Are we merely tolerated for eternity, trophies of God’s grace (which is a marvelous thing, to be sure), but is that where the blessings end?

No, for scripture informs us;

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

We are NOT merely objects of God’s mercy, but above and beyond that, He has taken us into his family!

Is this not amazing? God did not have to do this! That is what is so humbling about both justification and adoption, neither are merited. In fact, in ourselves, we are disqualified from both. Yet, for those who have repented and trusted in Christ, God Himself has qualified you for both redemption, and then adoption!

And there are tons of application points that are inferred with this new status as God’s sons; but one in particular that I think we need to address is this: In the church, we are to relate to all Christian men and women as family members, fellow heirs with us in Christ, regardless of skin tone, income level, age, or any other distinction.

Let this term primarily affect how you relate to God, your heavenly father, today.

Let it not be a relationship marked by distant acknowledgment and cold thanks, but one where the love of God overwhelms you until with joyous praise and grateful affection as His adopted son, you bless His name and work on your behalf!

1 John 3:1

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”


Don’t Waste Your Vote by bigplew
July 24, 2008, 10:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

“How can Christians honor God as citizens of our nation? Learn how to think Biblically, act wisely, and trust in the Lord regarding government and politics.”

Check out this message by Robin Boisvert at CLC.

Pop Quiz…Essential Definitions pt. 1 by Caleb H.
July 20, 2008, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Devotions

by Caleb Hancock

Alright, so it’s the middle of summer, and if you’re not in summer school (or you haven’t seen all of Mike’s pop-quizzes that he has posted recently), this might be a foreign concept, but according to this passage of scripture:

1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect

…we should be ready for truly important questions like the ones that your family, peers, or “enemies” may ask of you concerning Christ. So, with that in mind, let’s turn to some definitions that every Christian should know.

One is definitely JUSTIFICATION.

Wayne Grudem, in his book Systematic Theology, defines it as “an instantaneous legal act of God in which he (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight.”

If one of your friends had asked you about this directly, (I would be extremely surprised! More likely, it will be a question relating to the term) how would you have answered them? Would you have thought that it doesn’t matter? Would you have played it off as not a big deal? If so…then take this post as a message from your brother and friend: nothing could be more important than your right understanding of this term!

It is this term, justification, and that it is credited to us by faith alone (Romans 3:28), that we need to be reminding ourselves of daily. If not, we will run on the treadmill of legalism, (another useful term to know) where we try to earn God’s forgiveness and approval through our own adherence to the law. This is seen in the daily fights with condemnation (when we inevitably break the law) or pride (when we think that we are sufficiently obeying).

Do these symptoms mark your life? Do they mark the lives of people that you know? If so, you can see the value in applying the truth of the term, JUSTIFICATION, to your own life, that you might be amazed by the FREE GRACE of God shown to those in Jesus Christ and then proclaim and explain this truth to others: that if they repent of their sins and turn to Christ in faith, no matter what they have done, they may be justified in God’s sight!

Let’s not be men who merely know these terms, and are puffed up with pride in our knowledge, but may we be humble men, who have knowledge of terms, yes, but who rightly apply them to our lives and see what they reveal. Namely, that we are sinners, unable and unwilling to turn in repentance to God whom we have offended, and yet in His mercy, He chose to send his Son as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins and through repentance of our sins, and wholly leaning in faith on his son’s work on our behalf, we are justified in his sight!

summer quiz part 2… by bigplew
July 20, 2008, 6:29 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

Alright brainiacs, another quiz to keep your minds working.  This is a guys quiz if I’ve ever seen one.

Christ on Campus Initiative by bigplew
July 17, 2008, 11:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

I saw this and it really intrigued me.

“The Christ on Campus Initiative (CCI) is a ministry created for the purpose of preparing and circulating literature for college and university students, addressing an array of important intellectual and practical issues from an evangelical Christian perspective. This initiative is made possible by generous support from the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL) and the MAC foundation (Fort Collins, CO). The editorial team, led by D.A. Carson, commissions top evangelical scholars to oversee the creation and distribution of a variety of resources for university students. The goal of these resources is that they be intellectually rigorous, culturally relevant, persuasive in argument and faithful to historic, evangelical Christianity.”

There is nothing really here yet because this just kicked off.  But, i would keep your my eye on this website and see what resources they provide us.  DA Carson is brilliant and has a huge heart to evangelize college campuses.

Humor… by bigplew
July 17, 2008, 11:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

CJ Mahaney recently spoke at Covenant Life on the subject of humor.  This is a must listen to, must learn, must apply message for all manspeakers.  Guys often get this wrong….on both ends.  Either not appreciating the gift that humor can be or using humor in a proud, unbiblical way.  I think CJ gets it right.  Listen.

From Josh Harris:

“In his message Don’t Waste Your Humor C.J. shared a quote from Terry Lindvall’s book, Surprised By Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis:

Laughter is a divine gift to the human who is humble. A proud man cannot laugh because he must watch his dignity; he cannot give himself over to the rocking and rolling of his belly. But a poor and happy man laughs heartily because he gives no serious attention to his ego….Only the truly humble belong to this kingdom of divine laughter…Humor and humility should keep good company. Self deprecating humor can be a healthy reminder that we are not the center of the universe, that humility is our proper posture before our fellow humans as well as before almighty God…”I suppose,” wrote C.S. Lewis, “we should mind humiliation less if we were but humbler.”

You can hear C.J.’s message here. I also posted on my church blog a list of questions for application that Brian Chesemore did for the message.”

John Bunyan: A sample of the man we can admire by Travis Evans
July 16, 2008, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Manly men of history

Men, may we learn from this example and be deeply moved to love Jesus Christ.

From the conclusion of Bunyan’s autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:

I find to this day seven abominations in my heart:
1. Inclinings to unbelief.
2. Suddenly to forget the love and mercy that Christ manifesteth.
3. A leaning to the works of the law.
4. Wanderings and coldness in prayer.
5. To forget to watch for what I pray for.
6. Apt to murmur because I have no more, and yet ready to abuse what I have.
7. I can do none of those things which God commands me.

These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good.
1. They make me abhor myself.
2. They keep me from trusting my heart.
3. They convince me of the insufficiency of all inherent righteousness.
4. They show me the necessity of flying to Jesus.
5. They press me to pray unto God.
6. They show me the need I have to watch and be sober.
7. And provoke me to look to God, through Christ, to help me.