Archive for April, 2022


“We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).

Most people see only symptoms and seek practical solutions; expedient to the given circumstance. Many of life’s conflicts, however, are the result of a spiritual condition that transcends the present situation. The apostles proclaimed Christ because they understood that when his Lordship is truly embraced and practiced it overcomes and staves off many of the issues that bring conflict to life and sets one on the path to completeness. Our problems may not be as much marital or financial as they are a Lordship issue.

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“who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4).

The phrase “with power” modifies the title “Son of God,” not the verb “declared.” It’s a significant grammatical emphasis acknowledging that Jesus was always the Son of God; not that this became so after the resurrection. In his incarnate form, the Son of God was subject to weakness and death, as revealed in his crucifixion. The resurrection became a demonstration and confirmation of the reality of his sonship. No matter what uncertainties you might be facing, you can be certain of who He is.

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“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).

From the political propaganda of the Empire, to generic glad tidings, the term “gospel” (euangelion) was an offering of “good news” not unfamiliar to the Roman ear. The distinguishing quality of Paul’s gospel, however, is that it was initiated by God, sent by God, and holds forth God’s eternal salvation through Christ Jesus. It is the gospel“promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scripture” (v.2), and faithfully fulfills the covenant promises of God to Israel (v.3-4). Thus, Paul had no “wiggle room” and zero willingness to compromise this gospel; that it might better accommodate the theological opinions of his critics or the personal preferences of those interested in a consumer religion only. Nor should we!

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“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).

To believe you have been set apart by God isn’t some narcissistic ego trip, but it is to live with a sense of purpose. It is a perspective on life that sees God working, providentially, in every circumstance; that all things have a formative impact upon the life and ministry we are to make evident in in the present tense of today. Instead of a head-in-clouds existence, mindlessly speculating about one’s part in the universe, being set apart for the gospel of God brings clarity and focus to life.

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“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle,…” (Romans 1:1).

While a parent, friend, bible study leader, or any other persons of influence might have played a significant role in you becoming a follower of Christ, even so, it is the call of the Holy Spirit that initiates, perpetuates, and consummates God’s work of salvation. The call of God that brought you to faith is no less than the call described by the apostle Paul; a calling that informs, leads, and directs, in every waking moment, every facet of our daily lives. Don’t put on hold the One who is constantly calling.

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“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus,…” (Romans 1:1).

Between a culture that prized individual honor and glory, and where one in five persons in Rome was a slave, Paul’s self-identification as a bond-servant, or slave (doulos) is intended to represent himself and his ministry in terms of the title ascribed to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jonah, David, and the prophets—“servant of the Lord.” Being familiar with slavery, those receiving Paul’s letter would recognize that such persons live under the complete authority of a master and are without exclusive rights. In cultures holding forth individual rights as the greatest good, those who set such aspirations aside, and choose, instead, to be in bondage to Christ, will stand apart as a distinctive people with a distinctive mission.

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“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know that they are doing evil” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

Coming to the house of God for any other reason than to encounter him in worship—through his word, through song, and through prayer—is to entertain things that do not matter; it is to offer the sacrifice of fools. Whether choosing a church or going to church it should never be done impulsively or in haste. It must be done in a way that is guarded, calculated, intentional; we must know that what we are about to enter into has eternal consequences.

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“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way” (Romans 14:13).

A basic maxim learned by every healthcare student—Do No Harm—is nonetheless true in spiritual care. While it is one thing for us to stumble in our own walk, it is even more irresponsible to cause someone else to stumble. The influence of our faith is best evidenced in facilitating others for spiritual victory and the realization of their God-given possibilities.

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“But he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; see, here is the place where they laid Him’” (Mark 16:7).

In times of either personal or global crises, the question often arises, “Why doesn’t God do something?” The assumption being that if God is not immediately rectifying our present  circumstance, he is then doing nothing. The resurrection answers that God is acting in the human dilemma, and the entirety of the created order, in transformational ways that far exceed anything we could ever imagine in regard to redemption and renewal. Until the return of the resurrected Christ, there is an unanswered question of far greater importance—What are you doing?

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“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).

The salvation that God has accomplished in Christ Jesus seems to be understood, by most, in terms far too limiting in scope—just missing hell and making it to heaven. The great empowering truth of the resurrection, however, is that life here and now is to bear the testimony of having been transformed from death to life; that eternal life is to be a present tense reality, being lived out and made evident by all who claim to be followers of Christ.

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