Hey Christian! Are you tired of floundering in your faith, running out of steam, and wavering in and out of defeat?! We have something special for you today! Starting with Christ and using His church we have developed a simple daily three step plan out of Ephesians 4! :
- Step 1: Throw your old sinful life off like a dirty shirt!
- Step 2: Refresh your brain with God’s Word and prayer! (See also Romans 12:1-2)
- Step 3: Put on the new refreshed you by living out what God has taught you!
Sometimes we over complicate things thinking that we have to have some new plan or some new craze from the Christian book store in order to really grow in our faith. The thing is that the early church didn’t have any of that. Yes, there are many wonderful Christian devotions, books, and strategies that can encourage us in our walk, but sometimes we forget the simple words of Christ: “Follow me”. The secret to growing in Christ is bond up in that cross. We daily crucify our old self, embrace Christ, and live out the new life we have in Him (Matthew 16:24).
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:17-24 ESV
I think God gave us children to help us understand Him more. Few things fill my heart with joy like when I see my little ones loving on each other and being sweet to each other. Few things make me as mad as when they hurt each other. I know that when we love one another it makes God smile. He is our heavenly Father and He loves when His kids dwell together in unity.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
Psalms 133:1-3 ESV
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is single most critical part of the Christian faith and also the single most important argument for it. I may not have an answer for every single question regarding philosophy, various religions, ethics, creation, and evolution (and neither does the other side). I don’t have to know it all because this much is true: If Jesus Christ really literally rose from the dead then the Bible is true. If the Bible is truly the Word of God then that kind of settles the issue of whether God exists and who He is, regardless of any other unanswered questions.
So to help with this goal I have provided links to a short argument for the resurrection and a long argument for the resurrection.
The Short Argument for the Resurrection
Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead
This is a slightly longer comic strip that illustrates the logical argument for the resurrection provided by Adam4d.com. It’s good if you are sharing with somebody who may not be interested enough to spend an hour watching a video presentation on the scholarly evidence of the resurrection.
The Long Argument for the Resurrection
Gary Habermas: The Resurrection Evidence that Changed Current Scholarship
This is an hour long presentation by New Testament scholar Gary Habermas laying out the scholarly arguments for the resurrection. This textual argument for the Resurrection has a significant impact on New Testament scholarship and really proves that the Resurrection is not a myth that evolved over time but something that all of the original disciples believed they literally saw. My favorite point is that Paul was born within a few years of Jesus’ birth. This means when he writes 1 Corinthians 15 he is writing in a time period where the witnesses really are still alive and is calling on people to call his bluff and talk to the witnesses. It’s not some text decades removed from the event! This is great evidence.
Updated Lecture by Habermas 2018
A lecture by Gary Habermas at my Alma Mater: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as part of Defend the Faith 2018. Start this at 32 minutes and it lasts over 1.5 hours with detailed slides in the last 20 minutes or so.
Habermas’ Papers and Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals
For my atheist friends who demand the paperwork on this Resurrection research here is a good starting point.
Here is the archive of useful articles related to Dr. Habermas’ work. Here is one main article in a peer reviewed Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.
I found something interesting reading Psalm 7 today. The Psalmist being persecuted by a group of wicked men is counting on God’s judgement to deliver him. You know, I have seen this often through out the Psalms but it has taken a while to realize this concept in the Psalms: God judges the wicked in order to save the righteous. It’s strange to me how in today’s culture we celebrate the superhero when he defeats the villian, yet often when God judges the wicked He gets criticized as unloving. Perhaps we need a paradigm shift, a realization that sin isn’t just a personal failing but wickedness. Because when we water down sin, God looks like He is overreacting but in reality we are under reacting to sin. Like toddlers we may be ignorant of the real danger that sin poses to each one of us and that God is the hero delivering us from sin and from the wicked.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord , the Most High.
Now before any witch hunts begin for wicked people let’s make a few things clear. God gives them the option to repent and be spared (Psalms 7:12). God does not rejoice when the wicked die and wishes that they would repent (Ezekiel 33:11). So we should not delight on the death of the wicked but seek their repentance so they can be saved. It’s not our job to take revenge on the wicked, it’s God’s. Don’t play God, obey God and love your enemies (Romans 12:19-21, Matthew 5:38-48). Preach the Gospel to them!
The final point is that we should be grateful for a God who not only has mercy on us for our sin but we should also be grateful for a God who will deal with and judge the wickedness of sin. God judged Pharoah and set the people free from his wicked rule. One day God will judge the wickedness in creation freeing us from a fallen world.