Seeking to grow…

jesus_90days.jpgThe wife and I have been talking about what we can do to spur growth in our spiritual lives.  We are challenging each other to do the Beth Moore Jesus study.  We listen to one or two sermons from  Marc Driscoll at Mars Hill Seattle.  I really like him but struggled with his sermon on predestination. 

Back to the Bible with Woodrow Kroll has a neat program. They call it the Power of 4.  The idea is to engage in scripture teaching at least 4 times a week but more if you can.  They email you the scripture and some questions for thought.  I thought that to help creat some accountability, I’m going to blog/journal my Power of 4.

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008

Read: John 12:37-501. What do you learn from the authorities who believed in Jesus but remained silent?

I learn from the authorities that I must desire, be desparate for, the praise of God rather than the praise of men. It is a question of perspective. Do I see the BIG PICTURE? Or am I short-sighted worrying about the present? Let me explain, the praise of God will come both in blessings, which I often won’t attribute to His praising of me, and at the Great White Throne, which I do not know when that will be. The praises of men are immediate, feel good, and are addictive. I think Napoleon was quoted as saying, “a man will march a hundred miles for a little piece of ribbon.” How silly we are!

But question arise in my mind. Is the belief of the authorities saving belief? And then how does this fit into Matthew 10:32-33 where Christ says that to deny Him is to be denied before the Father or James 4:4 that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Did these men really believe? Will I meet them in Heaven? What was their role in the trial and sentencing of Jesus? We know Nicodemus and Joseph (of Arimethea) eventually put feet to their faith after Christ’s crucifixion. I don’t know the answer. I don’t want to be legalistic and say no, they denied Jesus by cowering away from pharisee leadership. But I don’t want to be loose with grace saying that they believed and they are in becuase I know the Word says we not only must believe but confess as well.

The real lesson lies in my first paragraph. Or as Jesus summed it up best, “Do not fiear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.”

2. What do you learn about Jesus’ purpose? What’s the penalty for rejecting Him?

Jesus’ purpose was to show God and speak the Father’s will to mankind. He was not here to judge, rather he was here to save. Sadly, the penalty for rejecting Jesus is to face God and explain why they rejected Him. It isn’t a question if they were good or bad, did they accept or reject Jesus. That is the only sin that will send a person to hell.

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