"Where then is thy glorying? It is excluded. By what law? Of deeds doing? Nay, but by the law of faith. For we deem a man to be justified by faith, without works of the law." - Romans 3:27-28 (Wycliffe NT)


"Anytime the Christian makes sense in a Bible study or sermon, you can almost bet your life you're not hearing Christianity."
Pastor Tom Baker



The entire purpose of the Law is to show us how utterly devoid of good we are. It is a mirror we look in and see our real selves. If we look into the mirror and try to mask our bad with some good of our own, we will still see who is underneath. Just like an aging woman might be able to cover up some blemishes, she still sees the older woman in that morning mirror. When we look to God's Law to measure our behavior, we should see that we cannot live up to His ideal. So often, people try and follow the letter of the law but only end up frustrated. We have to understand that God intends His Law to be a crushing blow to our self-righteousness. He wants us to throw in our towels and proclaim that His right and holy Law is perfect and we are not. If we can get to this place we will realize our need for perfection. We will smell our depravity in being perfect. We will look to another to be perfection for us. You see, what God demands He also freely gives. That is a beautiful truth. He demands perfection yet knows we aren't. So He lovingly provides us a way, the Way. If we are caught up in our good works and self-righteousness we will never see His intent. We are bad - He makes us good. We are imperfect - He makes us perfect. We are self-righteous - He makes us righteous.
How does He do that? Not through any effort of our own. He does it through His Son Jesus. He sent Him to be that perfection for us. Jesus followed the Law perfectly. Therefore, if our trust, our faithing - or act of faith, is in Jesus then He gives us His robe of righteousness and covers us in perfection so that when God looks at us He sees His Son, not you and me. This gift is free. It is given by Him and sustained by Him. We receive it. We trust it. We faithe in it. We don't work for it, try harder or pray to get better at it. We rest in this gift. If someone pays your fine to get out of jail and you are set free, do you continue to try and get out of jail? Do you keep asking for more money to get out? No! You are FREE! Go! Live freely in the gift of God - being forgiven for every short coming and being raised from death, just as He was raised. This is His promise to us who trust Him. His Life is now in us and it motivates us and animates us and moves us to His will and away from our own. He truly has provided us a way out of our depravity. He demands and He fulfills. No other can do this. I am thankful that He doesn't leave it up to me to decide to do His will. He does it for me. He has always done it for us! He has done it. It is finished.



I'm going to continue this teaching on law. There's a lot to say about it and I want you to stay with me because hope is coming!! But in order to get to the great hope that is ever available we MUST understand the depths to which our corruptness descends. Until you understand your total depravity, you'll never fully 'get' the Gospel. It's important to spend a few posts on this to get down and dirty about who we really are.
One characteristic of the law is its divisiveness. Most importantly it divides us from God. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, divided themselves from God when they decided to break His law and decide for themselves. They were in perfect fellowship with Him until their desire to be God laid hold. In the same way now, instead of resting in Him for our daily lives, we try and work for God to fulfill His demands and fall short thereby being divided from Him.
A second way the law is divisive is relationally. In truth, law is holy but only if it's kept perfectly. If we think we keep the law perfectly (and we can't) or the best we can (and we can't) we will always hold up that standard to those around us, our loved ones. This will hurt relationships because you are asking them to do something neither of you can fulfill. Trying to follow the law will make you religious and religiousness masks itself as righteousness. You will only end up with a holier than thou attitude by thinking like the Pharisee in Luke 18 who actually thanked God that he was better than "REAL" sinners! You will feel superior to the other. This attitude mustn't be present in a loving relationship.
The end result of living your life by your works will do two things: it will give you a false sense of being a "good" person and it will also bring you insecurity. This will be a vicious cycle. On one hand you will feel a sense of security with God by thinking you are doing all the things you think will please Him. But on the other hand, you will have a shadow of insecurity following you telling you you aren't pleasing God and that you could be doing better. It will constantly coax you into doubting your salvation. And like a shadow, it will always be following you even if you don't notice it.
Stay tuned! Our final look into the law will tell us what the law is really supposed to do so that we can move into that promised hope. Thanks for reading.



I want to distinguish between two kinds of law: the Law and law. The first kind, capital 'L' Law, would refer to the ceremonial Laws of the Old Testament, including but not limited to the big 10. The other is lowercase 'l' law and that would refer to any sort of thing that we come up with as a list of rules to follow or espouse. We have been surrounded by laws our entire lives. We have to live by them or face the consequences. Break one and you're in trouble. This happened in school, at home with our moms and dads and it happens in our civil lives. Punishment is always the end result of breaking the law. Could you imagine removing these laws from our lives and holding no one accountable to them anymore? Would that not create utmost chaos? Imagine taking away the speed limit on our national freeways. Think of drugs being legal. Try and wonder what it would be like if committing a violent crime was no longer against the law. We could most certainly agree for the most part that this would not be a great idea. The law's purpose is to order our lives. But as we move into spiritual matters, we cannot bring with us this notion of law keeping. This is not entirely easy to do. It is hard to retrain our minds to think differently in these matters. But I hope this post can help.
God's purpose in introducing law into our lives is precisely the opposite of why we keep it. We keep law so that we are not punished. Or we keep the law to please ourselves or others and in doing so show how good we are. However, God's intent with the law is to show us how completely and utterly BAD we all are and that all will be punished for not keeping it. Even the least of it. How ironic, then, that we try and keep the law for life when in reality the law brings death. Law is lifeless. It is the written code of what we can never achieve. It is God's standards that we will never, ever live up to.
Even further devastation from this comes when you realize that the law increases our bad deeds. It can't even encourage good ones! How can this be? My good friend J.D. Boreing (check out his post in the Blog Archive for May) illustrates this best. Imagine you walked your dog every day following the same path. Every day you pass by a tall wooden fence. You notice there is a fence there but not much more than that. You may notice a broken board one day or you might see that it may need some repairs. You may even notice that there are knotholes in the boards. But other than that it's just a fence you pass on your daily walk. Then, one day you pass this same fence you've barely given any thought to and you see that one of the knotholes has a bright red circle around it and a sign that says "Do NOT look through this knothole!" This changes everything. No longer is it just a fence you pass on your walk. It is now intriguing you to wonder what is on the other side that someone would put up that sign. You now burn with desire to do the exact opposite of the law of that sign. You want to look. And just the simple desire of wanting to look is enough sin to get you death. But you do better than that. You tie up your dog and smash your face up against the fence and peer through to satisfy your craving for knowledge!!
Don't think for a second that following the written code of the Bible will get you anything! Romans 7:5 tells us that our sinfulness is AROUSED by the law! What an incredible paradox this is. The very thing we try to follow to be good only brings out our true badness! And in Romans 7:6 we see another incredible paradox. The only way to live is to DIE to the written code. For the law is truly binding and there is no life to be found there. May the law increasingly make its way out of our lives! For life's sake.


Have You Fooled Yourself?

How do you rate yourself as a person? Are you a good person? Are you a bad person? A little of both? I bet most will say that they are a good person. Most of us have been fooled in to believing that about ourselves. And why not? We watch ourselves help little old ladies cross the street. We say "hello" to strangers. We give a nice tip at the restaurant. We give of our time and resources to help the poor. We may even give generously to charities. Why wouldn't we see ourselves as good people if we were doing all that? But in fact, there lies the problem. Doing any one or all of those things doesn't make us good. We have certainly fooled ourselves if we think so. To truly understand that we are not good, we only need to look in the Bible. Jesus Himself said no one is good except God alone. What you will find in the Bible is twofold. Law and Gospel. The law is there to kill us. It shows us how bad we really are. We have to start there. Declare yourself bad. If you can understand your badness you will understand your need for goodness. This is where the second part, the Gospel, comes in. The Gospel tells us that Christ is good on our behalf. Moreover, he gives us His nature, His righteousness despite our badness. As we place our trust in Him we can move forward knowing that we are good but only because of Him. However, we must hold the tension in place that we are really both good and bad. We still have that bad nature and it rears its ugly head. We live as Saint and sinner daily. Yet we should be comforted in knowing that when good is coming from us it is really coming from Christ. The bad that we do just continues to push us towards Him and His forgiveness. Don't be fooled! We are bad. But don't also be fooled to think that you are anything less than what Christ declares you: righteous!!



Click on the title above to link to an outside website and read Martin Luther's preface to his commentary on the book of Galatians. It is the best summary of the Gospel I've seen so far. Please take the time to read and re-read. It will be of such help and comfort.


On Death

I don't need to worry about dying. I'm already dead. I'm a walking dead man. I don't need to comfort myself that when I die I will finally be with Jesus. I'm with Him now! We fool ourselves into thinking we are really only alive here on earth. The only reason we are alive, truly alive, is because of Christ. He conquered death! So we can amen when we say "O death. where is your sting?" and "O grave, where is your victory?"



The goose bumps you feel during a "worship" song or that feeling you get down deep may not be the Holy Spirit. (I get goose bumps when I listen to rock music and I've been told that it is the devil's music!) I've also had those feelings down deep that tell me that I should do this or that. How can I tell if the Spirit is "moving" me or if it is really my own desires? Here's the answer: The Holy Spirit speaks Truth to us. He is the one moving us to Truth as we read God's Word. He is not a feeling or a 'hunch.' He is not the provider of emotion or special tricks (tongues, healing, predictions, etc..) He guides us into all Truth! The Holy Spirit will only lead us to Truth. We can only confirm the Truth that is in the Bible. The Holy Spirit will not lead us to anything but Christ. He is not a crystal ball we consult to tell our future or give us advice to help or improve our lives. We obliterate the true work of the Spirit when we selfishly use Him to confirm our feelings and motives. It is also an egregious offense to use the special tricks mentioned above to "prove" you have the Spirit or maybe sadder still, to prove to yourself that you have Him. If you trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you have the Spirit. You have been given it all! Don't look for it in the daily events of life, just know that you have it. You don't need to pray for it. You have it. It is in you. Moving your every step and thought into the life of Christ. Let me leave you with this thought: Don't be fooled by charlatans claiming a new work of the Holy Spirit. Don't get caught up by a new outpouring of the Spirit. There is no "fresh move" of the Holy Spirit. God is not doing a "nu thang!" He's doing what He's always done. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. Live and rest in that! Amen.


A Quick Plea

Don't use Old Testament stories as morality lessons for you or your children. Use Aesop's Fables or something else instead. Use the bible for its intended purpose, teaching the Gospel. All of the Old Testament stories are a foreshadowing of the Gospel, NOT a guide book for how we should act. Read to your kids the Old Testament and show them God's means of provision. Read to them with your Gospel glasses on so they can see Jesus in those wonderful events that show us to Christ! If we reduce the stories in the bible to morality lessons, then we equal them to any sort of fairy tales, undermining the message of God's redemption of man and cheapening the value of the preserved Scripture. Our kids need to know that the bible is set apart from their favorite story book. It contains something far different and far more meaningful than any other book in history. Don't let them confuse the law and the Gospel by using the bible to show them how to behave. They will appreciate it later!


What Is Frustrating You?

Maybe you feel bogged down in your sins. Maybe you don't feel close to God. Maybe you're discouraged by hypocrites. Maybe you feel like a hypocrite. There are probably a lot of things that come at you every day like poison darts that discourage and frustrate you. The bad news is, it's all true. You are sinful. You are hypocritical. Your thoughts betray you and those around you. You do things you don't want to do no matter how hard you try not to. You are impatient and rude. You lie, cheat and steal. You murder. You are constantly engaged in activity that is in complete opposition to Jesus Christ. It's no wonder frustration takes hold.
But, here is the good news. You have the eternal God, creator of the universe living in you. The very same Jesus that on your behalf lived a perfectly sinless life. The same Jesus who took away your sin, obliterating it from existence and giving you His righteousness. He has brought you into fellowship with God by satisfying your debt to God. He has taken you, a poor miserable sinner and made you co-heir and saint with Him. That is wonderful news!
It would behoove you to continually live in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Realizing that He has already dealt with your sin. He didn't leave any leftovers. You are washed white as snow. He WILL NOT hold your sin against you! Sin is no longer an issue. You are now closer to God than the people who walked with Him physically! Only when He died and rose again could He come to live in them. They may have walked next to Him but He LIVES in you! You ARE close to God!
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. That means He is at rest. You need to be at rest also. Believe His promises that He will never leave you or forsake you! Be confident that your sin is washed away. Trust that you are alive in Him. Abide in Him. Know that any good that comes from you is coming from Him. He produces the good in you. Believe that He has given you everything you need for life and godliness.
Take a quiet moment, stop talking, stop thinking, turn off the noises that surround you and simply listen to His Spirit. It is always there guiding you and speaking to you. Get out of the way. Be still and let Him work. Rest.


Christianity Makes A Terrible Religion

I don't believe true Christianity deserves to be demoted to a religion. We all answer the question of what religion we belong to as Christianity, but it just isn't so. Making this distinction is so important because it is the basis for what we actually believe. If you look at Christianity as a religion then you haven't a clue of what Christianity is. If you understand Christianity then you realize that there is nothing you can do to gain acceptance from God. That is not religion. Religion is ceremony. It is tradition. It is a means to God. But Jesus taught us there is no means to God that we can accomplish. He said the only way to God is through Him. That is not religion, that is Christianity. That is so offensive to people. They don't want to believe that the means to God has been performed by Jesus Christ FOR them. Leaving NOTHING for them to do but accept that. To believe it. To trust it. People in general resist that and the result is an amalgamation of religions into Christianity. The lines get blurred and truth is out the window.

Sadly, if you look in most churches today, you will see this amalgamated Christianity. So much tradition is injected into the congregation that they have made a religion out of something that can't even be one. They believe in Jesus, mind you, but they hold on to practices that keep them involved in the process and allows them to "help" God. This makes Jesus' work incomplete and puts some of the burden back on their shoulders. It's our natural, read sinful, inclination. What we have to stop doing, as the body of Christ, is quit mixing in religion or pop-psychology into Christianity. Stop blending Oprah's pop psycho-ology into our thoughts. Stop thinking you are a good person apart from Christ. Stop thinking you have anything to offer to God. Stop believing Joel Osteen. Don't worry about what Rick Warren says your 'purpose' is. Quit looking for healing. Quit looking for prosperity. Quit the pursuit of anything that is not the fullness of the Gospel in Christ Jesus. Quit looking to fill your needs outside of Christ. Only believe in the one Truth we say we DO believe in. It is Jesus. Nothing else. No doctrine or religious practice or "Christian" book from the "Christian" bookstore or denomination or, or, or..... None of those things trump the power that the Gospel has injected into those of us who believe it. We have everything we keep searching for!! We have patience. We are prosperous. We are healed. We have a purpose. We may not have our best life now, at least by our standards, but we have the promise of our best life. We have been made ALIVE WITH CHRIST! Wake up to the truth that Jesus has accomplished these things! Trust that you have been given these things! Live in that rest and stop asking God for what He has already given you. If you can't do that, then Christianity is not for you. You would be better off doing religion. Christianity is a belief. It is a "done." Religion is a "do." I don't want to do. I want to rest in what is done.

One final thought that has been on my mind lately. This isn't going to be easy. I hear a lot of people say that they are or were a Christian. They either still believe or they don't anymore. What I like to find out is what they actually believe or believed. Only then can a real assessment be made on what they believe the Gospel is and therefore if they actually are or were a Christian. If you believe Jesus died for your sins, attend church and read your Bible, you may not be a Christian. What? Yes. I said it. Yes I'm making a judgement. The people that have said to me that they used to be a Christian have made the statement of belief above. Maybe more unbelievably, that is the same answer I get when I ask a self proclaimed Christian what he believes! But is that the Gospel? No! Here's the undeniable test to see whether or not you are a true Christian. First, come to an understanding of your absolute depravity. You are NOT a good person and you only do evil continuously. You have NOTHING to offer God. If you understand this, you are ready for number two. Second, know that in spite of your horrid state as a person, Jesus Christ completely forgave ALL your sins and offers you life in Himself. He is not looking to change you. He is actually taking your place! It is substitution. It is total replacement. If that is the cool drink of water you needed, then move on to number three. Third, rest. Rest in that Truth.

If you say you are a Christian but don't hold to what has just been said then you are not a Christian. If you claim you were a Christian but didn't believe what has just been said then you never were a Christian. If you DO believe these things about yourself and Jesus then you are or, at least, should be at rest in your life. You know that when God looks at you, He sees His Son. He doesn't see a sinful you that needs to be better, or richer, or wiser, or more spirit-filled! He sees, absolutely, the fullness of His Son IN YOU! This allows you to rest, not work! This takes away the religion that has made its way into our churches. Don't think for a minute that God is waiting for you to do something. He is not waiting for you to offer anything. He has already offered His only Son. Who then lives in and through us. Now you ARE a good person. You don't become one. You are a saint. Co-heirs to the throne. Is that not amazing? If you believe this then you will start telling everyone you know these truths! Whether they say they are a Christian or not. When you are searching for the lost, you may actually have to start at your local church.


Potential Life On Mars...and yes! I'll make it about the Gospel!

They found ice on Mars! They hope to find the compounds in the water that are the building blocks for life. I wanted to make a quick and simple statement about this. First off, if you believe that original life came from water, then finding water on another planet would be quite exciting. I would submit that the building blocks for life already existed on Mars before they found the ice. Mars is covered in dirt. God made Adam from dirt. Therefore, the presence of dirt already on Mars is all that is needed for there to be the potential for life. However, potential for life and actual life are two different things. We know that the only One who gives life is Jesus Christ. In fact, if you are living without Christ, then you are in reality dead. You are a DNA-filled, skin covered, breathing, walking dead man wether you think man evolved or was created. We are only made truly alive in Christ. Without Him, we only have the potential for life. Trust Him to make you alive and you will live forever! Amen.


Keeping The Gospel at the Forefront

There are always going to be disagreements among Christians. I for one love to debate with others over our disagreements. It is a self-serving desire that I have and it does nothing to progress the Gospel but I find myself in the trap all the time. Thankfully I stumbled across 1 Corinthians 4. Take some time to read it. (Click on the title above.) Paul is reminding us of how we are not to be puffed up against each other. A battle for words leads nowhere. The kingdom of God is not in words but power. That power is the Gospel. Our arrogance shows when we are more concerned with winning an argument rather than presenting the Gospel. We will never be satisfied "winning" an argument if it is not centered on the Truth of the Gospel. We should certainly expose error when and where needed, but as the ending of this passage says, with love and gentleness, not a rod of iron. Keeping the Gospel at the forefront of our discussions is doing exactly what the Apostles did. They knew the transforming Truth it contained and the importance of teaching that every where they went. Let us be imitators of Paul and preach the Gospel throughout our lives. It IS the winning argument!



The Christian Church has long been plagued by ever-occurring epidemics of trendy thought. Indeed, a commentator could spend a lifetime honing in on specific examples without ever looking past their own generation. The sheer magnitude of outbreaks is overwhelming, the modern Christian (read: any Christian at any time in all of the history of the Church) may feel too overwhelmed to even begin an examination of these issues, but it is a sorry warrior who never examines their enemy’s tactics, and so some examination of these trends must be made.

One of the specific thoughts, or perhaps more accurately, attitudes, that seems to be afflicting the Body at present, here at the birth of the twenty-first century, is what might be a uniquely American creation, Consumer Christianity. It can be defined as the selfish consumption of spiritual and emotional resources and stimuli with no thought what-so-ever to moderation, preservation, or personal responsibility, and it seems to permeate every facet of the American Church. Members of this community, though that term is grossly inappropriate since the sheer volume of self-consumption required to find yourself numbered among them negates even the most remote possibility of coherent, communal organization, seem to believe that the Church itself, and this is a reference to not only the institution, but the greater Body of Believers itself, exists primarily to serve their emotional/spiritual needs. Like vast swarms of self-aggrandizing locusts, they swarm and buzz and devour all of the energies of the Body, not so much for their own nourishment as to feed their own insatiable religious gluttony. Never satisfied, never at rest, they ravage any kernel of potential in their path, never replenishing any of what they have ingested.

One of the hallmarks of this hive is their propensity for church hopping. A common theme in their conversation is to inform the listener that they, rather than being satisfied with any particular fellowship, find themselves ‘called’ to many different services. Perhaps they enjoy the music at one congregation, but prefer the teaching at another. Sometimes they like to ‘get lost in worship’ at the charismatic conclave, but others, they appreciate ‘digging into the meat’ at a more expository teaching. Still other weeks they ‘appreciate the fellowship’ at the small service down the street from where they live. Each Sunday, the Consumer Christian takes a personal inventory to determine which of their competing appetites is in most urgent need of feeding before determining which community’s supplies they will diminish for their own ends. After all, the church is there to service them, is it not?

The Consumer Christian loves the sense of satisfaction and sacrifice that accompanies tithing, though they may not actually do it themselves. When asked which of the many services they regularly attend they support financially, because they inevitably believe God still requires ten-percent from His flock, one might expect to hear that they divide their gifts (if legally required religious taxes can be called gifts) between the various gatherings they frequent, but this is never actually the case. To the Consumer Christian, actually replenishing the supplies that they themselves digest, or supporting the ministries that they profit from is a completely foreign idea. No, when the Consumer Christian does give, they prefer to give just like they get, to whatever organization might best satisfy their personal emotional/spiritual cravings. A good African charity or politically charged social issue is far more likely to merit their contribution than the actual organizations that serve them. The five churches they attend don’t need their money, they assume. It feels far more compassionate (read: personally gratifying) to give to the poor. Actually supporting the groups that support them is nowhere in their thoughts. Rather, they simply feed on the efforts and loyalty and gifts and works of other, less selfish believers to ensure that the worship band they like, or the great teacher they occasionally enjoy stays afloat. Ministry, to the Consumer Christian, is far more about the personal blessing experienced than the public good done.

And these aren’t the only ways that this particular plight manifests itself. When the Consumer Christian enters a room, they can only assume their own edification is the primary purpose of the forum. The smaller the group, the more likely the Consumer Christian is to interrupt the proceeding with their own questions, observations, antidotes, or needs. If they dominate the time exercising their own tongues while others are made to sit and watch helplessly, that is of no concern to them. After all, they can’t be expected to listen rather than speak, or give careful consideration to a fully-formed thought process. The only mental stimulation satisfactory to the Consumer Christian is agreement, domination, and sound bite theology that can be repeated for their own advancement at the next group they happen to hop into.

And in the event that one of the bottomless voids that make up the Consumer Christian’s gullet is ever momentarily satiated, one can expect to never see them in that particular setting again. Why would they ever return to a field they have already decimated? The Consumer Christian may readily volunteer to help with the new building project at one of the churches they sporadically attend. They will delight in putting on the costume of the service-minded Believer, they’ve been saving that tattered pair of designer jeans for just this occasion. So too they will relish feeling their muscles burn under the strain of knocking down the old chapel, the camaraderie of the team as it works in unison to destroy the old building, the emotional prayer over the remains of the place hundreds of committed brothers and sisters called home. Oh yes, all of their many emotional/spiritual needs will be filled that day. The only problem is that the next morning, when the team arrives to start laying the foundation of the new building, the Consumer Christian isn’t there. They have already moved on to suckle on the next bit of ‘sanctification’ they can find. And so, short-handed, the actual invested believer who understands that the Gospel isn’t about them anyway, will be left to do twice the work, knowing they won’t want for the Consumer Christian’s company for long. They’ll return as soon as the band starts playing again in the new sanctuary.


CONTEXT IS KING (click on title for more!)

The only proper way to understand Biblical doctrine is to read in context. Single verses can get right to the point, but the fullness of the passage is realized when we read the verses surrounding it. In fact, reading the chapter is best. Further still, reading the entire book is the only way to grasp the true concepts. You can avoid supposed contradictions by employing this strategy. If you "verse pick" you run the risk of confusion. You may be reading later in a book that has spent time in the beginning building a doctrinal foundation that you miss by looking ahead. You will find yourself second guessing what it is saying or applying burdens to yourself that you shouldn't be carrying.
Context is just so important. Most cults and branches of denominations miss this crucial technique. Context runs beyond the chapter and book. It really is the entire Bible. You should understand the Old Testament (Law) so that you can need the New Testament (Gospel). You can also understand the O.T. better when you understand the N.T. God has not limited His way of speaking to us His Truths. Better still, the thread that runs through all of the books of the Bible is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit confirms this in our study. He is the context! You can't read Genesis without seeing Him. You can't read the prophets and not know He fulfills it. And through to Revelation, if Christ is not at the center of every doctrinal issue, you can know that you've read it wrong! Think of it as "Context is THE King!" Jesus is our theology. He fits the purpose. He fulfills it. He accomplished it all. Amen.



Feelings can lead us into all sorts of directions. Some good directions, some bad. Feelings are so fickle, though,  that sometimes it's hard to know which direction we happen to be going. It's just that we are addicted to feelings. We can't get enough! We look for our happiness within them. We are told to "trust" our feelings. "Do what you feel is right."  "If it doesn't feel good, don't do it." "How does that make you feel?" Those words careen at us everyday.  Our feelings are there for a reason but they can't be trusted at all times. So what are we to do with them?
Our only ally in any of this is truth. We can always count on the truth. Despite our feelings. We may not like what the truth says but truth trumps feelings at every turn. It is a foundational need for us as humans. Otherwise, we are all driven by selfish desires to do what we feel is right for us. Truth reminds us who we really are and that our hearts are "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV)
One Person knows our hearts and its wicked state. That same Person, Jesus Christ, took our hearts and gave us new ones. His Truths reside there. He's also given us His Word to remind us of those Truths, lest we begin to listen to that old heart of our old Adam. 
Our feelings are only worth anything when they are based in Truth. Truth only comes from God and His perfect Gospel. That's where our feet have been planted. If we trust our feelings only, we blow like a leaf in the wind. But His Truths transform us and calm us beyond what any feeling could ever do. Truth lasts from age to age. What is true is always true. Feelings come and go, blowing us in every direction. Let us hold fast to the Truth of Christ's life in us. If THAT gives you a good feeling, it should! It does me!



Everyone draws lines. All stand guilty. The line I am talking about is the line of good and evil. Where do you put yourself usually? On the "good" side of the line or the "bad" side? Where do you place others usually? On the "good" side or "bad" side? Let's face it, we will always put ourselves on the "good" side and place others on the "bad" or "evil" side. What might we say when we delineate in this way? "It's not my fault!"
We can look back to Adam and Eve to illustrate this. They went out of their way to place themselves on the "good" side and everyone else on the "bad." The woman blames the serpent. The man blames the woman. ("It's not my fault!") But if you read for yourself in Genesis 3:12, there is one important person placed on the "evil" side of the line....... God Himself! Did you catch that? Adam tells God that it was the woman who gave him the fruit but he ultimately blames God because He was the one that GAVE him the woman! That little hidden gem has eluded my thoughts in relation to the Garden story. It never dawned on me that it's not just people that we place on either side of that line. We are quick to put God there. Where? Our mouths say, "God goes on the good side, cause He is good!" But in reality we are quick to place Him on the "evil" side.
Why, though? Because it is our nature to find righteousness in ourselves and not in someone else. It's way easier to blame others and for us to wallow in our "rightness." It's the inherited problem of self-righteousness. (Thanks Mama Eve and Daddy Adam. Oops, I drew a line.) It was the Pharisees problem and it is our problem.
What then makes a Christian righteous? Is it our faithfulness? Is it our theology or doctrine? Is it our constant striving to do the right thing? Following the big 10? Not going to an R-rated movie? Stopping ourselves from sinning? I really hope not! If the answer is 'yes,' then we are delineating "us" from "them." The "good" from the "evil." Who's job is that? Who has already made that decision? And who can we trust to put US on the truly good side? Christ Jesus! Because until you understand how truly evil you are, you will never understand the Gospel to its fullness. Even as a Christian who understands the Gospel to that level, my "old Adam" is alive and well in my person! He (i.e. me) is forever leading me fully into sin. My flesh loves the stuff! It is one of the wonderful paradoxes that are present in our Salvation. Somehow, through Christ, we are sinner and saint at the same time!
Why is that little device still in effect if Jesus accomplished what He did? So that we cling to His Truths and walk confidently in His righteousness knowing that it is not OUR performance that God is looking for but that when God looks at us, despite our sin, He sees His Son and His finished work in imparting to us His righteousness. Amen!



Hello and welcome to my new blog! I hope this site can become a frequently visited resource for all who read it. I've been wanting to do this for a while and I am excited to get started. Look for links to great sites on theology and apologetics as well as funny videos or content. Also, check out the Nuggets section. You will find many gems there! I hope to involve other friends, pastors and teachers to supply content form time to time. Look out for that as well. That way you don't have to only read my posts. A little variety I'd say. Thanks in advance!