"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


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.