Happy Reformation Sunday

In 1507 Martin Luther was ordained to the priesthood.  In 1508 he became professor of moral philosophy at the University of Wittenberg and in 1511 he became a Doctor of Theology and professor of biblical exegesis.

Luther had a dread of God; a dread that went unabated.  Luther fasted for days and confessed sins for hours.  Was Luther crazy?  He was a genius and well versed in God’s law and knew no man kept it.  Martin was haunted by one question: How can an unjust man survive in the presence of a just God?

Between the years of 1512 to 1519, Luther wrestled with God over this question.  He turned to the Bible in Romans 1:17“But the righteous man shall live by faith.”  Luther discerned two truths: First, it is possible to be righteous before God.  Second, the way to a righteous standing before a holy God was faith alone.

But faith in what?

Romans 1:4-5 was his discovery.  “Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.”  (Rom 1:4-6 NAU)

Why Christ?

Here Luther studied Psalms 22:1.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Why should Christ despair?  Answer: Christ took to himself the iniquity of us all.

Martin Luther gained a new view of God.  Roland Bainton in his classic work Luther made this observation.  “The All terrible is the all merciful too.  Wrath and love fuse upon the cross.  The hideousness of sin can’t be denied or forgotten; but God, who desires not that the sinner should die but should live.”

How does the sinner gain benefit of Christ’s death?  Faith alone in Christ alone.  By faith in Christ’s merits of Christ’s death and the righteousness of Christ imputed!

Martin Luther wrote, “I greatly longed to understand Paul’s epistle to the Romans.  I took it to mean God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust.  I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, no confidence in my merit I did not love this just and angry God but rather hated, murmured against Him.  Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘The just shall live by faith.’  Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith.  Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.  The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the ‘justice of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressible sweet in greater love.

Faith alone in Christ alone liberated Martin Luther and the world has never been the same.

Happy Reformation Sunday

Resurrected Christ. Resurrected Believers

The resurrection of Jesus Christ–the greatest event in human history–substantiated the claims and ministry of Jesus Christ.  He predicted His resurrection and it came to pass (John 20).

But for Christians the resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than a historical event.  The fact that Jesus rose from the dead after three days in the tomb means that we, too will one day be resurrected.  I Corinthians 15:20 says, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.  For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”  It is written in Revelation 20:4-5, “And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years…this is the first resurrection.”

One day Christians will be raised from the dead.  Their bodies will be in the likeness of Jesus’ resurrected body. These bodies will be immortal.  In these bodies Christians shall dwell in God’s presence forever.  Imagine that glorious resurrection day when faith shall be sight and our weak infirm bodies made perfect.  Think of life without sickness and death.  No more grief, disappointments or teary good-byes.

Joni Eareckson Tada, because of a swimming accident that left her a quadriplegic, has been bound to a wheel chair for 47 years.  In Moody Magazine Joni recalled watching some old home movies of when she was 15.  She was walking a horse, bending down to pick up something in the dirt and with her hands, held the reigns of the horse.

Later on, Ken, her husband, asked how she felt watching herself walk.  Joni thought for a moment and answered, “You know, there was a time I would have sighed, ‘Aw, that’s the way it used to be.  I wish I could go back to that.’  But now, 47 years later and almost as many years of sinking my heart and head into the Word of God, I can say, ‘Wow, this is the way it soon will be.  Heaven is coming, and I can look forward to having a body that works.  And I’ll do so much more than walk!’”

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a down payment that one-day their bodies shall be resurrected from the dead and never more to die.

Resurrected Christ. Resurrected Believers

Lighting Up Your Day

I’m big into Christian joy.  Joy is the birthright of every person who has repented and surrendered to Jesus Christ.  Joy is not an afterthought in the Christian life but a divine gift.  Walk with me through God’s Word.

“You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”  Psalms 16:11

“The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:  they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”  Isaiah 35:10

“At the time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”  Luke 10:21

“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24

“The fruit of the Holy Spirit is…joy.”  Galatians 5:22

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”  Philippians 4:4

Any questions?

Claim your birthright!

Lighting Up Your Day

A Prayer of Christ-Centered Joy: A Puritan Prayer

O Christ, All Your ways of mercy tend to and end in my delight.

You did weep, sorrow, suffer that I might rejoice.

For my joy You have sent the Comforter,

multiplied Your promises,

shown me my future happiness,

given me a living fountain.


You are preparing joy for me and me for joy;

I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy;

give me more than I can hold, desire, or think of.

Measure out to me my times and degrees of joy,

At my work, business, duties.


If I weep at night, give me joy in the morning.

Let me rest in the thought of Your love,

pardon for sin, my title to heaven,

my future unspotted state.


I am an unworthy recipient of Your grace.

I often disesteem Your blood and slight Your love,

but can in repentance draw water

from the wells of Your joyous forgiveness.


Let my heart leap towards the eternal Sabbath,

where the work of redemption, sanctification,

preservation, glorification is finished and perfected forever,

where You will rejoice over me with joy.


There is no joy like the joy of heaven,

for in that state are no sad divisions, unchristian quarrels,

contentions, evil designs, weariness, hunger, cold,

sadness, sin, suffering, persecutions, toils of duty.


O healthful place where none are sick!

O happy land where all are kings!

O holy assembly where all are priests!

How free a state where none are servants except to You!

Bring me speedily to the land of joy.

A Prayer of Christ-Centered Joy: A Puritan Prayer

Mid-Term Elections 2014. Please Vote!

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

A Destroying Virus in a Nation

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

A Nation’s Downward Spiral of Greed

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

As citizens and Christians in the United States, we are commanded to be salt and light.  We have an obligation and responsibility to vote in this year’s midterm elections on November 4.  Make a difference.  Please vote.

Mid-Term Elections 2014. Please Vote!

The Silversmith

The story is told that some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon  a remarkable expression in the third verse:  “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  (Malachi 3:3)

One lady proposed to visit a silversmith, and report to them on what he said about the subject.  She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver.

After he had fully described it to her, she asked, “But Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?”

“Oh, yes madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.”

The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”.  God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best  manner for us.

Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.

Before she left, the lady asked one final question, “When do you  know the process is complete?”

“Why, that is quite simple,” replied the silversmith. “When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished.”

Philippians 1:6 teaches, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

The Silversmith