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Tag Archives: Christus Victor

The Defining Character Trait of God

“The price you paid for us has fully been accepted,

Because of your shed blood we cannot be rejected.”

This is the the beginning lyrics to a bridge in a worship song. Who is the one who has paid for us? Jesus – The Son of God. Who is The One Who would reject us if not for Jesus? God The Father. Sadly many hold to, and some adamantly defend, the view of this Father God who needs to be pacified by some sin-payment before He will be willing to forgive the sinners. (Which one has to ask if that’s really forgiveness at all since payment was still exacted… but another topic for another day, perhaps.) The idea propagated in the song (Penal Substitutionary Atonement) is founded upon the idea that God’s defining Character trait is holiness, and that since God is holy, He cannot just forgive sin. The belief is that God’s primary attribute is holiness. Yes, God is love, mercy, just, BUT above all HE IS HOLY! It is this holiness that demands He not merely forgive sin, but exact payment for sin. A verse of Scripture used to support the idea of God’s dominant holiness attribute is Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” The thought is that nowhere else in Scripture is it said God is thrice anything. Never does it say, “God is love, love, love.” or, “God is mercy, mercy, mercy”; therefore holiness wins out in the attribute battle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in God, Jesus Christ

 

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Love… As Christ Loved…

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” ~ Ephesians 5:25

A verse often cited at Marriage conferences and retreats. A passage often given to counsel husbands who are tired of the marriage they are in. A verse used at weddings as part of the vows or as a commission from the minister to the groom. A verse, due to it’s familiarity, that is often not really thought of too deeply. Hopefully this is not one of those times. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Gospel is not simply “Here’s how to be saved”

I remember, years ago,  being involved in a conversation including my dad and a few of my cousins. The conversation had turned to salvation and Dad asked one of my cousins if he had ever been saved. My cousin replied that he had, and recounted a time when he was nearly electrocuted but survived. He reckoned that since he had been saved from death at that moment that’s what Dad was talking about! (For the record, this cousin now knows what my Dad was talking about and does profess faith in The Messiah). Many people have no real idea of what one means by “been saved”. And to add to the confusion, many people in the American church today who profess to be saved, have an incorrect understanding of what it is they actually profess to have “been” because they don’t really grasp the gospel.

Gospel is a word that means, “Good News”. We church people often times forget that, as we do with a lot of “churchy” words and phrases. When Peter, Paul, John, James, Jesus was proclaiming the good news it was more than merely, “Here’s how you get saved!” Somehow, though, we have reduced it down to just that. Evangelism has become much like the task of being an insurance salesman.saleswoman as we try to convince people to get their fire insurance before it’s too late. If they don’t open a policy before death then there’s nothing they can do to protect themselves from external damage.

If You Died TodayThis faulty view of the gospel has taken it’s toll in how we live afterwards. While this “fire insurance” works well with certain worldviews – like the escapist worldview that says it’s all going to hell anyway and we just need to get as many people out of this Titanic as possible and into the lifeboat of Jesus – but it doesn’t jive with the whole of Scripture nor does it deal with sin, evil, and death as God tells us He dealt with it through Jesus. See, sin doesn’t win. God isn’t just going to destroy this creation since it’s been infected and take all those who believed in Jesus up to their mansion in the clouds way, way up high. (in comes the children’s chorus, “Somewhere in outer space, God has prepared a place for those who trust Him and obey!”) No! God is going to reclaim His creation. He is renewing it in and through Jesus. This is what was so glorious about the resurrection. The body that was mutilated by evil was resurrected. It was renewed. Not a different body, but the same body. Sure it was different in some aspects, things were changed about it, but it was the same body that hung on the cross that got up out of the grave! This is the Good News! That although this creation is mutilated with sin and evil, God is putting all things right, and He’s doing it through Jesus!

Why is this important? Because this affects the way we live. We see God’s creation as something that is good and our lives here and now as a means to further His kingdom. We actually become a part of what we have termed “The LORD’s Prayer”:

“Our Father Who art in heaven hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” ~ Jesus

If you think it’s only going to get worse then there’s nothing we can do about it but bunker down and pray for Jesus to come back before it gets too bad. But if you see the good news as God, through Jesus, setting things to the way they should be then you will be a part of that work. You will be a part of a city on a hill! You will effectively be the salt of the earth! You will be the one performing good works of love that others see and glorify The Father because of! You will be a part of the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against!

The gospel is not simply about how you can get to heaven. The gospel is much bigger than you.

“The Gospel is not simply, ‘Here’s how to be saved’; it’s the good news that, through Jesus the Messiah, the creator God is putting the whole world right.” ~ N.T. Wright

 
 

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A Tale of Two Sons

There was a king with two sons. Twins they were, nearly identical.. well, hair and eye color was different, but on the inside (the part that matters most) they were identical. Mannerisms, humor, etc. there was no mistaking who their father was.

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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Devotion, Evangelism, God, Jesus Christ

 

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