Love flows from saving faith. Yet the sole basis of our salvation and assurance lies outside of us. In real history, Christ died in our place and by the Spirit imputes his righteousness to us. So God sees us as he sees Christ. Christ is the sole basis of our salvation and assurance.
We may feel doubt. But doubt cannot be real in Reformed theology because Christ in real history attained our justification for us and for our salvation. We receive him in faith. Christ totally becomes ours. No subjective doubt can gainsay the reality that we are just in Christ. [Read more…] about Here’s How to Have Full Assurance of Your Faith
What will threaten the health of the church in 2019? While many threats may exist, one particularly comes to mind: a lack of love. Lovelessness deforms truth. It embraces evangelical jargon to puff up its ego. Yet this embrace represents an artifice of truth and not the real thing. To speak truly, we must speak the truth in love. That’s the realist truth. Truth devoid of love is a styrofoam staircase. It looks like the real thing but falls to pieces when anyone steps on it.
Today’s tribalistic culture deforms truth by making it a weapon of warfare. Political discourse thrives on discrediting the other side. It uses truth rather than honouring it. Winning is all that matters. Love-lacking speakers defile any truth in their words. For their true words become a “ringing gong or a clanging cymbal.” But truth without love is a halfway house that requires rehabilitation. This is because the realist truth analogically participates in God who is true, holy, just, and love.
When we hear God called Father, we think of biological fathers. If we had a good father, we may perceive God as someone good like dad was. But if we had a bad father, then calling God Father may sour our understanding of God. And while fathers on earth are analogies of the Father in heaven, we should affirm that human fathers do not define God as Father. Actually, fathers receive their name from God who was already the Father before he created the world.
We believe that our hearts will stop beating, our brains will stop sending signals to our muscles, and our breathing will cease. Everything that we know about our bodies and minds will end. Then we believe that we will enter into a new mode of existence where we abide with God in a spiritual realm. Finally, we believe that God will knit us back together in the resurrection where we will live with God in a new heaven and new earth.
That is strange. No two ways about it. [Read more…] about Christianity Must Be Strange
False teachers by definition teach false doctrine. Usually, we imagine that this means that false teachers deny certain concepts like the Trinity, the Incarnation, or the Second Coming. Yet second Peter challenges the idea that false doctrine only means denying true ideas. In Peter’s second letter, false teachers primarily are called such because of how they live. For Peter, false doctrine can mean denying true concepts or denying our Master by our behaviour. [Read more…] about False Teachers Out Themselves by Their Way of Life