Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quote of the Week

I really have to start notating who says this stuff. I cut and pasted this without the author's name, but it's too good not to share:

It is, of course, a uniquely Christian emphasis that all blessings are in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are not interested in a teaching or theory or rule of life which may be very good in and of itself, and may even say a lot about God the Father. If it does not include Christ, and make him central, we are not interested; it is not Christianity (page 48).

You'll notice that I thought it was important to remember that it was on page 48. It also, in hindsight, might have been helpful to remember what book I was talking about. Anyway, just another good reminder that it is Christ and him crucified that has to be at the center of all of our thinking and teaching.

Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it's all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
(1 Corinthians 1:21-25 NLT

If we take Christ and him crucified out of the center, we remove the power and the wisdom of God. It occurs to me that applies to even truth that is taught in church. Good biblical principles are great and helpful for our lives, but the real power of a Christian is in Christ crucified. Any teaching without that as the foundation will always lack the life changing power that we are seeking when we read God's Word.

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NASB)

Again, here, the preaching of Jesus crucified is connected to the power of God. In fact, Paul says that if that was all we ever heard, it would be enough! He backs that up in this passage:

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died. It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God's peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
(Galatians 6:14-16 NLT)

It is the most important principle we will ever know as a Christian, and, if we want God's peace and mercy, our whole life should be built around it. And, as Bill Oreilly says - that's the memo.

I mean, what else could we tell this guy....

Maybe if He just thought about it for a minute...


Keith said...

In a Christian culture that is leaning more and more to a FALSE Gospel that is based on our own self satisfaction (Your Best Life Now)above self denial, The TRUTH of the Cross is not being accepted or wanted in many places, including churches!

The harsh truth of why Christ had to endure the Cross is not marketable to a selfish people who are selfish and pagan.

Our Cross bearing requires a desire and willingness to be emptied form the inside out, and that requires sacrificing our selfish needs, wants, and desires.

This declaration from Jesus in Luke is a harsh TRUTH.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."

In Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."

Jesus said we must take up our cross daily and follow Christ! Not a one time act of submission, but a daily desire to be emptied of ourselves and filled with Christ!

It is not easy, I am the first to admit, but how else can we be true disciples?

I do not remember who said it, but I read in a commentary on time this " Jesus is not the messenger, HE IS THE MESSAGE"!

I believe the words "Emptied of ourselves" is the key.

We can really only be filled with one desire, ours or Christ...

Great Blog Phil!

as for the Atheist, He believes in something, just not the truth!

Kmerket said...

It's scary when you listen to someone like the makes my skin crawl and I think you can SEE his hardened heart. I agree with Keith - we are a people that don't even know what self- denial is and certainly don't want to have anything to do with it. Keep blogging, Phil...I enjoy reading your thoughts!

Charles said...

Although he did not mention what he did believe. I am willing to make A educated guess and say that he believes in Evilution. There are no facts about its existence, there are no links in between species, we have not evolved. Except to a more wicked and self righteous nation. I guess what I want to say is, IT TAKES JUST AS MUCH FAITH TO BELIEVE IN NOTHING AND EVOLUTION AS DOES A CHRISTIAN IN A LOVING GOD. I WOULD RATHER TAKE MY CHANCE ON A LOVING GOD.......

oh ya, the freedom to express our opinions against Christians and other religions was designed by our Christian forefathers, they couldnt have been that repugnent.

john m said...

Sad but not suprised, depressed but also encouraged. Benjamin stated the faith that is required to be a Christian correctly but he missed the way of redemption. He stated that we were redeemed by moral acts. That may be the flaw in his as well as many others thinking, that we as Christians believe we are saved by our moral acts. That is what makes the cross so important, like you said Pastor if it is central then a misconception such as Benjamin's could not be spread by the church. While I am not encouraged by his refusal of the gospel, he testifies 1Corinthians 1:18 to be true. "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are saved it is the power of God." p.1271 I will pray for grace for Benjamin for it is only by grace that I am not in agreement with him.

Phil said...

Good thoughts, everyone. When I sed the video of Benjamin I actually feel a lot of compassion for him. He is like most other people in their 20's that think they know everything, they give strongly worded opinions about their beliefs but most of them haven't fully thought any of those beliefs through.

I see him as a person that is going to need someone who will be willing to go the extra mile for him. He needs to experience the love of Christ. He obviously thinks that he is going to provoke anger from Christians by what he is saying. What would happen if instead he was shown love?

Maybe he could turn out like Paul who cursed the faith and then spread it more effectively than anyone else.