The Sin Zombie

Analogies, Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
Last time, I emphatically stated that Jesus would not have commanded us to "take the log out of our own eye" if it were impossible to do so.  God would not implore us, over and over in the New Testament, to "put on the new self and lay aside the old self with its evil practices and deeds of darkness" if it were impossible to do so.  So why is there so much preaching that suggests believers, rather than experiencing victory over sin, are actually still living under sin's power; that believers are still desperately wicked in our heart of hearts?  Could it be that we agree with this teaching because it actually describes our experience with sin's rule in our lives? How do we explain the tension between God's…
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Get the Log Out!

Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
I think the most well-known verse in the Bible, particularly among those who have never read the Bible, is Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge, lest you be judged yourself."  The command not to judge others is universally approved (except when judging others as intolerant for calling out evil as evil; then it's allowed).  Remember when we were kids?  One of our favorites phrases was, "You're not the boss of me!" as we tried to announce our independence.  As adults, "You're not the judge of me!" has become ours and society's mantra.  But is "you're not the judge of me" really what Jesus is saying here? Let's continue the passage.  "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to…
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We Are What We Love

Church Life, Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
As I was working on our last series regarding what motivates us to righteous living, I came across an interview with Professor Jamie Smith in the latest issue of Christianity Today magazine.  Since I am a curious person and like to think, the title of the interview, "You Can't Think Your Way to God" caught my eye.  Read along as Dr. Smith himself articulates his thesis in the interview: "Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by what they think, know, or believe.  Starting with the idea that we are what we love, I tried to come up with a model of the human person that appreciates the centrality of love.  That propelled me to see that we are ritual, liturgical creatures whose…
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Happy Father’s Day

Holidays, Thoughts
Just a quick shout out to all you dads out there getting the job done as fathers to your children.  Don't let all this current confusion about sexuality and gender roles in marriage and family take away from the fact that YOU ARE VERY NEEDED.  It is common sense:  KIDS NEED A FATHER.  One of the most common expressions for "orphan" in the Bible is "fatherless".  Is that because the Bible is patriarchal, out dated, or out of touch with what makes a modern family?  Not at all.  It is because KIDS NEED A FATHER. I have the utmost empathy and respect for single moms who have found themselves in situations where they have to be both parents.  But this current idea of actually trying to start families on purpose…
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Doing the Right Thing – Motivated by Our New Identity

Analogies, Motivation, Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
We come now to our last installment of how believers are motivated to righteous living; because this is who we are.  In our new identity as holy and beloved saints, righteous living is what is expected of us.  It is what should come natural to us.  It fits who we really are. In Romans chapter 6, the apostle Paul answers the question, "If greater sin brings greater grace, should we continue in sin?" with an emphatic "No".  And Paul's "No" is based on our new identity in Christ.  The apostle takes the rest of chapter 6 to explain.  When you became a believer, you appropriated the fact - and it is a fact - that your old sin nature died with Christ on the cross.  Your sin nature is dead. …
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Doing the Right Thing – Motivated to Communicate the Good News

Motivation, Thoughts
Another motivator to live righteously is our desire to communicate the gospel message.  As we have all heard many times, our actions can be just as powerful as our words in sharing the truth of the gospel.  So we want our actions to reflect the proper message; to reflect what God has done in Christ to rescue us. Our verbal presentation of the gospel is soaked in the supernatural, as it should be.  From the miracles of Jesus to His resurrection from the dead to His identity as the Son of God, we emphasize the supernatural over and over.  But in our living-the-Christian-life communication of the gospel, we somehow like to leave the supernatural out.  We advertise the Christian life as a path of working hard to stay on the straight…
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