Test the spirits!

We have been talking about testing the spirits for a couple of weeks from 1 John 4:1-6. This is the responsiblity of all Christians to be aware of the prevailing ideas that are generated by the world system of lies that are contrary to the Gospel (desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes and pride in possessions {1John 2:15-17}). These ideas are constantly being communicated. Ideas are dangerous things. The reason that ideas are dangerous is because ideas adopted produce beliefs and beliefs produce actions.

If I adopt the idea that man is only a biological entity with no soul and therefore not an image bearer of God, then there may be no standard for how to treat man. Man lives, he dies and that is it. Therefore, if life is not working right, just end it because the pain can be over and there are no more consequences. Life is a crap shoot and if the dice don’t land my way I can just check out.

This idea and multitudes of others float around in very understandable, available and very disguised ways in just about every venue for communicating information there is from marketing ads to entertainment.

John’s instruction: test the spirits to see whether they are from God for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Watch this video embedded. The video I want you to see is the final scene of Men in Black and ask yourself what the message is. What is the message? What is the idea? Where did this message come from? What is the source of such a message? Have you ever noticed this scene if you saw the movie as a troublesome scene? What does the bible have to say about that? What is Father’s message? How do these messages conflict? What should I do? How do I help rescue people who have been taken captive by this idea?

By the way, I love these movies. Fun to watch. I just try not to turn my brain soul off while watching.

Test the spirits!

Worldview

Everyone has a worldview. We all interpret everything with a set of presuppositions in place whether we realize it or not. Brad Poston and myself teach a class that is designed to expose our presuppositions and help replace them with the ability to think critically about the messages we hear and discern them through the lens of the Gospel.

Here is a link to a flyer with the course topics. http://www.unitychristianschool.org/spiritual-life/worldview101-0812.pdf

The cost is $50.

If you would like to enroll just send me an email at molly@unitychristianschool.org

 

The Wrath of God was satisfied…it matters

An old issue has once again reared its ugly head in my tribe of churches. The substitutionary atonement of Jesus is central to Christianity. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was an early target for the liberal theological movement coming out of Germany. Much of my early college years were spent learning how Jesus was not put on the cross by the Father to pay for my sin. Rather, Jesus served as an example of love to show mankind how to love each other. So that if we do the same we are “Christian”.

An attempt by some to remove a line from a song we all know has caused this issue to be revisited. Did Jesus die in my place for my sin, or did Jesus just serve as an example of self-sacrifice?

How you answer that question tells if you have believed the bible’s version of the gospel or man’s version of the gospel.

Although you may not be from my tribe of churches this issue is central for you. The attack against the nature of the gospel is central in the Evil One’s desire to pervert the message that will counteract the rebellion.

Take 15 minutes and read this article with some history and perspective on the substitutionary work of the cross. It will be devotional and informative and resolute building if you will read and commit yourself to knowing Jesus and making Jesus known.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/08/12/the-wrath-of-god-was-satisfied-substitutionary-atonement-and-the-conservative-resurgence-in-the-southern-baptist-convention/

Jesus

Jesus is more than enough to keep us busy. “Jesus” may sound elementary or even “Sunday schoolish”, however, the very name has power. Jesus is the epicenter of the Gospel work of the Triune God of the bible. Jesus is how we know the Father. The Spirit is who reveals Jesus to us so we can know him and then know the Father. Without Jesus we have nothing.

Jesus is vital. Much of our culture is turning away from naturalism, although institutions are still built on naturalism along with their values. Our culture’s turn away from naturalism is a turn toward spiritual things. Much of the interest in spiritual things has led to a resurgence of “god” talk and “spirits” and “meditation” and worlds religions being in harmony, etc.

You see this epitomized in the bumper sticker “Coexist” that is written using the symbols of the 5 major world’s religions.

Don’t be fooled. Spiritual talk is not the same as Jesus talk. “God” talk is not the same as Jesus talk.

In John 14 we have recorded a conversation over the passover meal in which Jesus reinterprets the passover meal and institutes the Lord’s Supper in which Philip says, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us. Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not known me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘show us the Father’?”

Philip wanted to see God, the Father, and Jesus tells him that he (Jesus) is how Philip sees the Father. In other words, if one wants to know God they have to talk about Jesus. If one wants to get to God they have to go through Jesus (John 14:6). II would argue that this is why the New Testament is scrutinized so heavily regarding its accuracy. If the New Testament can be questioned then people don’t have to obey its contents. But if the New Testament stands up and is proven reliable (and it has been and does), then Jesus is the standard for all spiritual language and the worlds religions and spiritual systems can’t coexist because they must repent and turn to Jesus.

As you we head into a new week don’t neglect to feed your soul with Jesus and more Jesus. As you read the Old Testament, look for Jesus. As you watch television, interpret the content through who Jesus is. As you do ministry, do it the way Jesus did in full-blown mercy with the edge of holy. As you discipline yourself to follow Jesus, do it the way Jesus did.

We can never get enough of Jesus. Call his name often. Lean on his word moment by moment. Call out to him as you breath. Trust him as you move.

“…Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in  heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11