It may strike you as odd or strange to find that the notion of “faith” isn’t directly defined anywhere in Scripture. Yes, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quickly defines faith in the chapter 1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). But even there the definition is a functional one, not a philosophical one.
I firmly believe that one of the greatest travesties a Christ-follower can commit is losing his sense of awe and wonder at the grace of God. Most, if not all, true believers in Christ will affirm that they’re saved by grace through faith, and that this salvation is wholly outside of them (Eph. 2:7-9). But our hearts are naturally wicked and prone to wander…
For the redeemed person, our entire life rests upon our “looking unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:2): from everything, in everything, and for everything. That “look” unto the Savior, Redeemer, and Deliverer must come to define every facet of our lives. Everything that we are and everything that we hope to be is found in Him.
There are so many misconceptions about the Bible, but there’s one truth about it that’s inescapable, and must be realized and readily admitted before any serious study of it can ensue: that is, the Bible isn’t about you! Yes, the Bible is for you, but it’s not about you. The Bible is all about Jesus.
Romans 8 is one passage of Scripture that seems inescapable for me, of late. Perhaps it’s the wonder and beauty of the apostle’s words that build and build, forming a wonderful crescendo that culminates in verses 35-39. But really, Romans 8 should be inescapable for all of us, seeing as it encompasses the whole of the Christian life.
The gospel of grace really is a paradox, a mystery so beyond our finite comprehension, that not even the great Sherlock Holmes can deduce its logic. The gospel of Jesus’s vicarious substitution is supra-rational.
One of the most intriguing pieces of classical music remains Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D minor,” not only for it’s exquisite musical composition, typical of that of Mozart, but also for the legend and myth surrounding the piece. Mozart’s “Requiem” is, perhaps, his most infamous work, primarily because the original composition was left unfinished.
I didn’t always enjoying reading. In fact, I’m the type of person that gets super-annoyed when others declare, “Oh ‘such-and-such movie’ was good, but it was nothing like the book!” Personally, I rather enjoy the visual experience of the medium of film over that of reading a book. However, in the last few months (years), reading and studying has become my favorite pastime.
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?”