War Cry: Life in the Spirit of Christ

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“And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
Acts 19:2

John’s disciple’s are not the only ones who need to be clued in who the Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit does in Salvation, and how the Holy Spirit wars against the flesh in our struggle for holiness. As a Pastor-Resident Theologian (and the guy who also places the water cups near the water dispenser on Sunday mornings) one of my concerns is making sure that my church family has a biblical understanding of doctrine and how that doctrine matters for all of life, because the Bible leads us to that end.

That means things like the Tri-unity of God, and the economy of the God head, and the relationship of the Father to the Son, the Son to Spirit, and the One God working together as three distinct Persons is important to life in the body of Christ as well as for Christian growth in knowledge and holiness.

So, that means for the next three Sundays that I am preaching I am going to be dealing with deep doctrinal issues as they relate to character & nature of the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit’s work in our redemption, and how the Spirit of Christ, in many ways, shouts a cry of war against our flesh. This way we can not only say that we have “…heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” instead we can say we know His presence, His power, and His pleadings in our life. I will be sharing the sermons here at Raised3rdDay.

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The Unexpected Journey: Conversations with People Who Turned From Other Beliefs to Jesus, by Thom Rainer

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This book is not an apologetic of the mind, but instead its one of the heart. These stories have two points of commonality. 1) Each story recounts how someone turned to Jesus from a different religion, philosophy, or ideology to the Christian conception of Christ; and 2) How God used the loving actions of other Christians to reach them for the Gospel.

My hope is to one day, really soon, have weekly roundtable discussion with my fellow Church members as we endeavor to see people brought from darkness into the light. You can get a hard copy at the link above or a digital copy at the link below:

http://www.lifeway.com/Product/the-unexpected-journey-P005598405

No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Part I: The Gospel and False Bravado

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Trying to describe my likes in music is like trying to describe what a bag of Jelly Belly’s taste like—the flavors are of a varied kind. That being said, I was raised on my Dad’s penchant for classic country music, like: Hank Williams Jnr, Merle Haggard, and Alabama; but you could throw in the influence of the 1960’s rock too: The Doors, The Animals, or anything by Joe Cocker (CCR for good measure too). 

Then growing up in the music of the 80’s and 90’s just bent me towards the emergence of Hip-Hop, Pop, and the blend of “Hair-Metal.” So ask me what music I like and you might hear something like, “I really like some of the stuff that Cypress Hill did back in 1990,” while I do the New Kids on the Block Dance from ‘The Right Stuff’ while humming the Macarena (at a whisper anyway, I have to protect my reputation to some degree).

 All that said, I want to approach important themes and mantras of my own generation and interpret them in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, when I examine the lyrics of the Beastie Boys’ No Sleep, I learn that our culture is greatly confused about what makes man, well, manly. Obviously with the vernacular of Hip-Hop idioms slang and denigrating words like “whore” and “hos” is something that is assigned to classifying women as cheap and easy and men as the mighty sexual conqueror. 

Within the confines of the loud beats of No Sleep we hear a group of males identify their masculinity within the context of sexual triumph and fame. For example:

Ain’t no faking, your money I’m taking
Going coast to coast, watching all the girlies shaking
While you’re at the job working nine to five
The Beastie Boys are at the Garden, cold kickin’ it live

But the scriptures teach us masculinity isn’t enveloped in fame, fortune, or sexual exploits. Instead, the scriptures teach us that masculinity is grounded in God’s creative design. God created Adam to be a shepherd of the Garden and a watchman, but in the fall the cosmos came under God’s curse where the relationship between man and woman, male and female begin to be subverted because of sin.

Because of the curse we see manifestations of God’s design, something good like subduing the Earth (cf. Gen 1:28), getting twisted in different ways—where people no longer walk as friends and equals, but as masters and slaves. Men begin to look at women as objects to be conquered; women can sometimes look at man as someone to manipulate or to be controlled.

However, in Christ’s resurrection we begin to see the universe being put back in its proper order through the process of re-creation; through the Spirit of Christ, the sin that once kept men enslaved to a mentality of sexual triumph, have now been liberated to commit themselves in covenant love to a wife they intend on shepherding. What we would call a picture of biblical masculinity and the Gospel (cf. Eph 5:21-33), not the false bravado of No Sleep.

Join me later this week as I examine part II of No Sleep…and the longing for home.

Revenge of the Blog

Yes, I realize that I have started a blog…again. Blogs. Hmm, I have started blogs before and they have started with all kinds of excitement and what not, only to die and land in the pit of despair and blogatory in only what seems like a singular day (hmm, okay a literal day). I repent. After much thinking and reading and discernment I want to blog because I like to communicate about a lot of different things that relate to my life, my family, my ministry, and especially how it relates to the Gospel. Maybe you will read it a few times, maybe you won’t (shame on you, where is your loyalty…quitter), but I hope to be of some benefit to my fiends, counterparts, peers, and church family as you get a little bit of an inside scoop as we peel back the different layers of life and relate them to the wonderful news that Jesus was on the 3rd Day Raised~1st Corinthians 15:4

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