Every line of the Bible is a manifestation of the mind of God, and is there to give us a glimpse of who He really is. Every word is “profitable” and infused with divine beauty. But sometimes the beauty transcends from the heavenly down to even the mere literary level. And, I contend, there’s not a more beautiful book ever penned than that of the Epistle to the Romans…
As one of the most commonly misunderstood doctrines, sanctification, in its truest form, is the process of learning and re-learning the gospel continually in your heart and mind. The art of becoming like Christ is remembering, and repeating that remembrance for a lifetime. With that in mind, I’d like to hasten to another question that is often asked and even more so misunderstood. That is, “What is sin?”
At its core, sanctification is the “pursuit of God” — it’s choosing and reflecting and remembering all that we’ve been given in the gospel of Christ to help us combat the temptations of the world; it’s “seeking those things which are above.”
Of the many things that derail Christ-followers in their pursuit of God, perhaps the most devastating and defeating is to incessantly read the Scriptures as if they’re all about you. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating — The Bible is not about you!
To be honest, we don’t understand human suffering. Across the globe we see innocent women and children starving and dying and enduring terrible diseases and illnesses, without hope. We see horrific and gruesome genocide carried out by tyrannical leaders who thirst for power and seem bent on chaos.
How many of you remember hearing the story of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in Sunday School? Anyone? No? What if I asked if you’ve ever heard of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Yes? Good.
What’s our motivation to live for Jesus? Why do we do it? Why do we do what we do? Why make the sacrifice? Why make the effort? Why go to a building every weekend and do this thing called “church” with people that are, most of the time, just putting up religious fronts anyways?
An excerpt from an interview between Gene Edward Veith and Bono, lead singer of the alternative rock band U2, in which Bono gives a candid and explicit confession of grace.
What’s interesting to note throughout church history, is that Jesus was never accused of being a legalist. Likewise, many of the stalwarts of our faith were never faced with the accusation of preaching “too much law” (the apostle Paul, Martin Luther, etc.). In fact, just the opposite is true. They were accused of preaching lawlessness, or “too much grace.”
There’s something deep within us that we all wrestle with. A struggle that resides at the very core of our being. It manifests itself in numerous ways and we all deal with it through a variety of methods. This, of course, is our struggle with identity.