Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On The Box: Roberto: One of the Evangelist's Unsung Heroes

On The Box: Roberto: One of the Evangelist's Unsung Heroes: By Tony Miano The above photo was taken on July 19, 2008. The occasion was the annual City of Glendale, CA, Car Show. I had drawn a prett...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Meaning of Life.

In the two church services I attended yesterday both pastors overlapped and preached about “relationships” well sort of. They were two different churches two different denominations. The one more “renewed” the other very conservative. (The second one is the one I attend and the first is where a distant friend of mine just began pastoring, it was his first sermon there)

Both preachers I consider as friends and both spoke the truth.

In this day and age everyone has turned their back on the people around them.
Yes, we say we love them, “Hey we talk to them’ but, do you know them? Do you love them?

My question and I believe the question they both would ask is if we are just
“Smile and wave Christians."

Do we really practice love or do we just give it lip service.

The first sermon out of Ephesians 4:11 and onwards went about how we as a church should be a community. Only if we are truly a community of believers will we love one another and that love will be seen by all.

The second sermon came out of Genesis 1. The title really grabbed my attention “The meaning of life.”

The whole point of the sermon was that the meaning of life is Relationship.

First and foremost it is relationship with God and then with God’s people. That is why we are here on this green spec floating in space. We are here to know God and have a relationship with him.

Our priorities are totally bent. With the busy schedules we are taken away from friend, family and God. Everything is competing for our attention, so being the silly people we are, we abandon the very reason we exists. We shaved away the time we spend on relationships and sell Christ and our families and Christian fellowship to the TV, hobbies, work and selfish preoccupation with self.

I think back fondly too times when I was all consumed by the helping and getting to know others, evangelising, counselling and just being with others. When you invest in others, in true relationship (doing without expecting or wanting anything back), that is when you are the happiest, when you forget about yourself and just place your time and priorities on the altar.

We are only able to give all if we know the one who gave it all, Christ. He gave it all so that we can be able to stand in a relationship with Him. Only if we drink at His fountain of friendship and love, will our broken container fill up with living water.

We will never be able to fill the broken containers around us, we will have to direct/carry them to the fountain and there help them be filled and by so doing we will be filled to the brim, overflowing.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quick update.

Wow it has been long since I last blogged anything.

It has been hectic.

Finally I’m registered for my MA in New Testament studies, really looking forward to what I will learn. I will specialize in the Gospel of Mark.

 So yes expect to see a lot more posts about the Gospel of Mark.

I’m planning to study the historicity of Mark and “Mark based on eyewitness accounts.’

 So if you have any suggestions please let me know.

I have also been watching a lot of the Way of the Master’s stuff. I dream of the day when I will have the opportunity again to do some street evangelism.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who believes in fairytales?

Atheists believe that Christians believe in fairy tales.

So who is the one believing in fairytales?

Atheists mostly ascribe to the Big bang theory. So some explosions happened billions of years ago, they believe?

So what exploded, what went bang if there was nothing? How do you get to billions of years, so time always existed?

There had to be something that exploded? Where did that something come from? You do know that science has established there was a starting point.

So how did it start and where did stuff that set of this origin come from?

So we are to believe “Chance+Nothing+Time= Everything”

For there to be Chance there has to be more than one option, so in what way was there options?

So what caused Chance to take a specific option?

So how did nothing change into something?

So how did Time come to be, seeing that basically we calculate our time by the earth’s movement? There were no planets to move before the bang.

So Chance cannot be without something.

So something cannot be without Chance.

So Time cannot be without something.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

His way or the Highway.

Recently I have found that many "Christians" are dropping out of the race. One thing I have found common among most of them is the notion that "someday God will intervene" or "something spectacular will happen."
They will think of things like:

The ministry will open up, some sin will be dealt its final blow or maybe they will experience complete joy and peace. Most fall by the way side because they had some expectation that was never fulfilled.

It makes me think of the phrase “What dreams may come?” I still have no idea what is really meant by it but, it’s a sentence which can make you meditate for hours.

Every single person ever created dreams of “that someday…”

When that day never arrives or seem that it will never arrive we go into a tailspin of doubt, bitterness and anger. All these emotions becomes overwhelming and saturates our very being, until it spills over into our actions and it just can’t be contained anymore. This is when harsh things are done and said.

The root of the problem is our expectations which are influenced by our misunderstanding of what Christ has promised and how we live in a relationship with Him.

We might be convinced that God has given us some promise.To us personally or to Christians in general and we cling to it for dear life, only find that it’s the Titanic and we sink into despair.

Our hope is lost our anchors rope gets cut because we have built our faith on sand and not on Christ.
We create our own dream-world where our besetting sin is defeated once and for all, where the monster of depression is given the death blow, or the day the phones rings and you land your dream job.

Christ has won the final victory on the cross against sin, by breaking the separation that it created between man and God. He gave death its final blow when He rose from the dead.

He has poured our glasses full until overflowing.

Turning against God and tossing His word aside because we have not received what we perceived to be promised is childish and rooted in pride.

God has promised and He will deliver but, only that which he promised.

That besetting sin we struggle with is like the AA guy says, is never completely killed until you are. If you are an alcoholic you will be one until you die.

If you are inclined to lie, you will fight telling a lies for the rest of your life. If you yearn for more, greed will always stalk you. If you lust has bitten you the poison will always be in your system.

While we are in this world we will always be surrounded by temptations and temptations will always be in our hearts. We are called to run the race to persevere till the very end. Christ never said it would be easy, he never said we will have complete freedom here on earth. Sin will always eyeball us and unfortunately we will fall into its trap and often set the trap ourselves.

We are called to arms we are instructed to put it on and never take it off.

Christ has given sin it death blow and it will die within us on the day of the Lord, when He returns, in the mean time we must fight unbelief, we must admit that this how it is.

We must fight daily for our faith and Christ daily gives it to us.

Our faith must not be built on our perceived ideas of how things should be but, rather on what the Bible say they are.

Importing things in our framework of faith that is not Clearly taught in scripture is folly of the highest order.

Let us say you struggle with depression and it keeps on coming back and meds does help but, it totally messes with your emotions and it does not add to your quality of life. Somehow in a prayer meeting you get convinced that Christ promises to take that depression away but, after years you still suffer from depression. Do you still hold to that conviction or do you consider that maybe you “heard” wrong? Do you allow this belief that Christ said He will cure you overshadow your whole relationship with Him?

Let us say you struggle with lustful thoughts and pray urgently to Christ and ask that he will take it away from you, you look at scripture and see that it teaches that if you pray according to His will and in His name He will answer your prayer but, after years lust still rears its ugly little head in your life. Do you start doubting Gods promises and question your faith?

We come to the topic of unanswered prayer mingled with “does God still speak to us?”

Or is our problem more basic than that?

We must go and search for our answer not in “Airy Fairy land” but, in the “Where the tyre meets the tar land.”

Our problem started and a more basic level, we came to the Bible with an “Extra-Biblical Theology”

We had been influenced with the humanist world where everything is man centred. While God is the focus and everything revolves around Him.

We have without noticing it been influenced with worlds view of how our lives on earth should work and what the purpose of life on earth is. We have come to see the physical world as the most important thing there is while the Glory given to God is the most important thing.

Some will say our spiritual lives are the most important, which in a sure way is true but, if not explained we also fall into heresy.

Our spiritual life and our physical life are to revolve around God. How we are spiritually in our relation to God is reveal in our physical life.

So if we build our relationship with Christ on the wrong doctrine we short-circuited the relationship and everything else falls out of whack.

Then if we pull the circle even smaller, on what do we base our doctrine. This is then the most important step.

If we build our doctrine on the wrong base we will ultimately expect the wrong things from God.

A false expectation from God leads to disappointment which leads to bitterness which leads to dark side.

Christians, who lose their faith, never had real faith because they clung to wrong doctrine or recognised the right doctrine but, rejected it because it did not square with what they wanted to believe.

The basis for our faith should not be our perception of what life should be like. Our faith must not be built on our own ideas on how God should be like. If we do this we end up with a man made God which is man centred instead of God centred.

God should not be understood by what we see in the nature and then try to use that as our basis on how God is. This will be total folly. Nature even if it was perfect is not God and we are also fallible so our perception is also messed up.

So we have to find a different source to find out what God is like and how we must stand in relation with Him.

This is where the Bible comes in. In this modern age the Bible has come under severe attack. Ever since it has existed someone has tried to show the Bible as false and lacking all credibility.

Mostly this attack on the Bible has come from sceptics who don’t want to believe. Some if not most attack it because they rebel against an authority over them.
So do we abandon our create expectations?
No we don't, our expectations actually underestimates God's ability. We must come in line with what He has truly revealed and stand firm on the true Biblical promises and test our preconceived ideas to what God has already revealed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thoughts about Inerrancy.

I have been doing some more digging and believe that my first impression of Craig Evans was a bit off. Here is a some questions which he answers and makes me rethink my first opinion I had of him, which I discussed in this post.

Undoubtedly if you ever explored this blog you will come to see I have a very high view of scripture.

Our view of scripture determines all that we believe. If we view scripture as mere words of man we may just as well declare our local glossy magazine our book of faith.
The way we understand what the Bible is, determines how serious we take it.

There are very different views on scripture. We can see it as inerrant in its original transcripts or we can say it is a human book pure and simple.
Both these views have pitfalls. The question is “Is there a middle ground?”
I do not think so, either it is the word of God or it is not. Others would say that there is a middle ground and if you take ever side you are going too far.
You can also say that if you follow the doctrine of inerrancy to it’s a logical conclusion you will arrive at an unscientific place or at full blown liberalism.
These past few days I’m being delving into what Dr Craig Evans has to say. He has a very unique take on the whole thing which warrants more investigation.
If I understand him correctly he will not defend the Bible as historical inerrant but, what the Bible sets out to do it accomplishes.The Bible brings us the good news of Christ and how we might be saved.
He would not agree with the Chicago statement of inerrancy then. Would he?

I’m still checking it out but it does seem on face value that he takes the Bible seriously and that he believes that Jesus physically died and rose again. I will then place him under the wider evangelical umbrella but, not under the traditional group.
He makes a very good case that we must take all the differences in the synoptic gospels seriously. He seems to be a very competent and thoughtful scholar. What I do think is that he gives up to much ground. I see many points where he could have defended the reliability of the Bible.
What I do appreciate of him is that he does a very in depth study of everything he is just a wealth of information. Not a grain of laziness in the man.
Although I think that my view of scripture is pretty much the same as Norman Geisler, I think his answers and explanations of some difficult passages are a bit shallow and he doesn’t really answer many of the concerns.

I admit I have limited resources on both these men and pray that I will be able to acquire more in the future. In all I’m not satisfied with either ones handling of the issue.

Craig Evans gives to much ground to the sceptic and it seems that Norman Geisler isn’t really listening to them. I wonder what Kaiser will say. I have read his book on the reliability of the Old Testament documents and his approach was very balanced. He takes the critics very serious but, he makes a strong stand. Don’t take me wrong when Evans decides on this hill he will die on, he makes a stand. 
My quest is to sift all these thoughts running around in my head and find out which way is the best.
Giving up ground on the issue on inerrancy is not to be taken lightly. My question is it even necessary. In the past it has been proven on many occasions that the Bible is reliable.

Many times the historicity of the gospel is taken in question because of many differences between the synoptic gospels. The problem is that these differences do not impact basic doctrine.

Many times the sceptic is are simplistic about the perceived discrepancy. They take it at face value while on other occasions they fire both barrels of the shotgun if we dare take the Bible at face value.
The sceptics always seem to fire off all the alleged discrepancies in the gospels and then claim “superior number of arguments wins” while each individual argument and accusation must be handled on its own.

This is one of the problems with debates. For some or other reason the liberal will list his long lists of complains and the “evangelical” just gives an answer that is weak and vague, they sometimes try to explain a principle to answer similar arguments but, never answer the point made by the liberal. Maybe it is the way debates are done but, why not for once just answer the man’s question straight down the middle? If I look at Norman Geisler’s stuff I think he will actually do it, the problem is sometimes even I can spot the holes in his argument.
I’m probably being a bit to forward, I regular keyboard warrior. My question is why not take the dog by the scruff of the neck and manhandle the opinion, say it like it is, answer the critic, go at him toe to toe. Or do we have no real answer or witty comebacks?

I think the problem is not as simple as just saying we are inarticulate or not assertive enough when it comes to debate ting these issues.
Most debates between evangelicals and liberals always have the evangelical starting off on the back foot, defending an already weaken position.

For starters they almost never bring in the ancient tradition, on who wrote the gospels. It is a great big debate yes but, why have we resigned from that fight. Many scholars have written against the historical teachings on who wrote the gospels. They doubt the accuracy of these traditions. The question is must they not proof their case to us, are they not attacking a very old tradition handed down through generations? Are these persons who wrote about this tradition not closer to the original authors in time and culture?

The case is made that these guys seen as the writers traditionally could not have written such great literature and that just 3% of the people living in Israel at that time could read what to say of being able to write such well edited gospels.
Let us look at the traditional writers then.

The Gospel of Matthew was said to be a tax collector appointed by the Romans , would the Romans appoint a illiterate man as tax collector?.
The Gospel of Mark was written by some companion of Peter. Mark according to tradition wrote the Gospel according to what Peter told him. Peter was one of the leaders of the church a man of great influence. The church was very large over five thousand and there was added to their number daily, is it not possible that out of this large crowd Peter could find such a writer as Mark.

The Gospel Of Luke, according to tradition he was a companion of Paul and that he also was  a kind of doctor, is it also such a far fetch dream that he could have been well educated just as Paul? Is it so far fetch that a doctor could read and write?    
Then we get to sequence of the gospels. The modern view is that Mark was written first after that Luke and Matthew. So how do they devise such a sequence? Well they look at all synoptic gospels and seen that a lot of material over lapses. Sometimes exactly. So they come to the conclusion that they must have copied from each other or used a common source. They even gave the source a name “Q”.

The question is then this, why could they not all been written independent from each other? Why could they not just have been writing the same story from three prospective and why could the overlapping parts not be because they are telling the same story.
Bart Ehrman makes a very strong case, he says that even if you take a lot of eyewitnesses and let them write what exactly happened that you wouldn’t get two accounts that is remotely same to the extent that the gospels are similar.

This is a very strong argument, the problem is this cannot be the only argument, I believe he would add a few. The problem is what about inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was He not the one who inspired the writers to write accurate accounts?
The other question is why accept the viability of the “Q” source which has no proof accept the similarities between the gospels and reject the historical account of the possible existence of the Hebrew gospel?

Has the liberal scholar not infringed on the evangelical scholars so much that we have fallen to the winds of chance, while we believe in the God who created that wind.

We have abandoned to many outposts, it is time to take stock and decide which ones are to be retaken.
In a real sense I agree with Craig Evans, the Christian faith is grounded on the factual death and resurrection of Christ and not on the Bible. The problem is that the Bible is the source that ultimately proofs it and explains it.

Over simplification is very dangerous. The minimal facts approach is great for short debate and discussions but, not enough for deep, sustained Christian life.

Speaking in Tongues.

I have been asked to explain the phenomenon known as speaking in tongues. This is sometimes a very emotional charged subject. Christians many times find their relationship with Christ and their Christian life in general as “plain” and uneventful and the seek something more intense.

This search for a deeper spiritual life is commendable and the yearning to be “closer” to God is good but, sometimes our motive sends us into the wrong directions. We are called to grow as Christians. Our Christian growth comes through communion with God through prayer and Bible study and is cemented in by our actions.

The chase after something more than gospel reveals that we misunderstand what the gospel is. What Christ has done is sufficient nothing can be added to what He has done.
Now, let us look at the phenomenon of speaking in tongues.
Firstly let me kick off by sharing part of my journey.

I also frequented charismatic churches and groups and was attracted by what I perceived as a deeper faith. One night I answered the alter call and experience what they call “baptism with the Holy Spirit” and started praying in tongues. I loved it but, something wasn’t right for me, and only practiced it a few times.
When we investigate anything we must go to the Bible as our source.

So what does the word “tongue” mean in scripture?
When the Bible speaks about “tongues” it plainly means language, a language that is spoken and understood by people.
Genesis 10:20

These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.”

   The best place to start looking in this study is in the book of Acts. When we study the Bible the best way to find out what the Bible teaches about a specific thing is to look at different passages and then let them help interpret each other.

Acts 2:3-6

“And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.

And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.”

If no one would have told you about speaking in tongues would you think that these were languages spoken of in Acts 2 is strange languages or would you understood that they are already existing languages? Jerusalem was filled with foreigners. These foreigners spoke different languages and God through the Holy Spirit gave the Christians in the upper room the ability to talk languages they never heard or learned before.

This gift was given to the Christians as a sign that the Holy Spirit which Jesus promised has arrived. It further indicated that the Gospel is for everyone not just for the Jew but for every “tongue” meaning every nation.

Many things have been said about the fire that descended on the Christians when they received the Holy Spirit. Let me remind you of what John the Baptist said about the coming of the Holy Spirit and Fire.

Luke 3:16

  John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Remember why John the Baptized people. He baptized them with water as a visible sign of people being cleansed and leaving their old life behind. The Baptizing with Holy Spirit is basically the same thing being cleansed and washed.

In the following passages it is evident that when the Bible speaks of “tongues” it is speaking of a known language and not some Angelic language. It is also not used to talk about some revelation form God.

John 5:2; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 9:11; Ezra 4:7

The gift of tongues was a declaration that the Gospel will be going out to all nations. Never is there spoken of tongue as a tongue that is not understood by someone. These “tongues” was not just strange sounds like it is claimed to be today. No, it was actual languages spoken by actual people groups. The wonder was that Christians was speaking languages they never learned. These Christians was not just saying “hi” in some strange language, they were preaching the gospel.

Act 2:9-12.

  Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,

 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."

 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"    

The non-Jews also received the gift of speaking in tongues to confirm that the Gospel was also for the gentiles. The gift was not just a tool to evangelism but, a sign to confirm that all nations were welcome at the Lord table.

The sad thing is it is clear to many that the gift of speaking in tongues practiced today is not the same as what we find in the book of Acts. They recognize that many of the “speaking in tongues” is well nonsense. It’s just a whole lot of letters blustered out and none can translate it. So they claim that the there’s actually two gifts of speaking in tongues the one in Acts and the one in Corinthians.

They will explain that the one spoken about in Acts is a genuine man spoken language and the kind we find in Corinthians was something different and an interpreter was needed.

1 Corinthians 14:27-28.

Clearly in this passages it is instructed that there should be an interpreter, it is also clear that the Gospel and the evangelization of the listeners was the focus.

The reason for the speaking in tongues was so that people of all nations could hear the Gospel. It was not the bringing of a word of wisdom or some prophecy, the aim was evangelism of all nations.

Acts 10:45-47.
And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.

 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,

 "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

Now let us look at the tuff question. We have now established that the gift of speaking in tongues was an existing language.
The gift of speaking in tongues was a “sign” gift”.

Let me explain while it had a purpose namely communicating the gospel to strangers it was also a sign that things were changing.

Think of the miracles that happened in Egypt, they did not continue, they strengthen the Israelites in their faith. When they had to through the Sea before they went into the Promised Land it was a sign to them that God was still with them the same way He was with their fathers when they left Egypt.
When Jesus was on earth He preformed many signs and wonders to confirm His deity and that which He was teaching. When the apostles went out they also preformed signs and wonders confirming this new work that was done. These things were meant as evidence that they were preaching the same truth as Christ.

The sign gifts were never meant to be permanent.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Check your time.

In this crazy beautiful world we live in everything is changing. We as Christians have a constant, an anchor, God.

Today everything is seen as relative. Every person believe that what they think is right is right. The freedom of speech is a good thing. The freedom of thought is a very good thing.

Asking questions is the only way we develop as man. The problem comes in when we believe that more than one answer is the right answer.

We say that there is many ways to skin a cat. The thing is we ask questions like “What is a skinned cat?” We build a case that questions the meaning of the very words. We would question if there is really something like a cat. We will question and ask what it means when we say “skin the cat”. We ask ourselves so many questions even questioning the answers of the answers.

In the end we would say it is all relative, who says the cat, if it is a cat? Is not skinned already?

Today as every other age Christians should know what they believe and why they believe it. If we are to stand, if we are to grow in faith, if we are to answer the question posed to us, we cannot just pitch at church on Sunday and listen to the sermon and hope it is enough to face the tuff questions.

Our time is filled up with so many things, work, hobbies, school, family, friends, Facebook, blogs, net-browsing, movies, TV shows and all other kind of activities, we never dust the Bible cover off.

Our knees is bruised not because of praying but, because we bumped when we texted our friend as we are leaving his house.

The sense of community is fast being eroded by our technology. While we have the best communication networks today, nobody really knows anybody else.

In this vast disconnected world we find ourselves alone in a crowd.

We have access to the word of God but, we don’t know what we believe and how to explain why we believe it. We have access to a multitude of friends but, do we have any?

We say we are richer, but are we really?

The most precious thing we have is time, and we received it freely. The problem with time we never can get it back. How do we invest our time? Do we make wise choices when we decide how to spend it?

Is the time spending watching great movie worth more than a boring hour with the kids? Is a quick text to someone you hardly know worth more than eye contact with the person you speaking too.

Our frantic search for that illusive “Meaning of life”, our unquenched thirst for that deep satisfying relationship leads us to this over stretched life.

We compound as much things into the shortest, thinking maybe that will for fill my life maybe that will fill this void.

Christians also fall into this trap, chasing riches, cheap thrill that best life now. While quality goes out the window.

We have fallen victim to the “Fast Food” life.

Everything now, very fast and tasty (sort of) no matter what the results are.

That is not the Christian life. The pay-off is not now. This is time of investments, some fruits will follow now but, most will only be visible later.

Quality time is a “myth” there is no substitute for quantity.

If you don’t put in the time you won’t get a dime.

If you start off and start doing just a little each day you will over time accomplish a something big and it will last.

I wanted to learn a few things, my wife bought me a series of books and I have read about 12000 pages in that series. Some will say wow. Others will say so what I read that in a few months.

You see I never read much, I think I only read two or three of my prescribed books I had in high school.

How did I get through those books? By reading 20 pages a day.

Doing a little each day goes a long way and normal then it will be of better quality than the little quickly rushed things.

The most important thing in life is your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Set yourself a goal, set a schedule stick by it, cut time off all the other little thing you do, beg borrow steal but, make time.



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Martin Holdt's funeral.

I will not be able to attend but here is the time and directions to Martin Holdt's funeral.


This is word ignored by many and unknown by some.

This state of affairs is most probably the saddest thing on earth. In this day and age all still feel bad about their sin and their mangled sense of love.

True repentance is what saves you. Don’t get me wrong, we are saved on the grounded of what Christ has done. You are also saved by your faith in Him. (The faith by the way also is a free unmerited gift from God)

The question is which kind of faith saves you? A repentive faith is what saves you. Your faith is a faith of action; you do something on the ground of your faith. Do not for one moment think that you are saved by works. A true faith which saves you sprouts work, the work of repentance.

True repentive faith is you turning from one love to the love for Christ. Obedience to Christ is repentive faith. You obeyed your own lusts and chased after them, now that you are saved by repentive faith you chase Christ, He becomes your all.

Many people will and have accused this as just another form of works righteousness. It is not, I do not have the time to go into it here but. Think about this.

If you feel guilty about something and ask the person you wronged forgiveness but, continue doing it, are you really sorry you did it or not?

Repentance only comes when we are confronted. God calls us out through His scripture. The only way we are ever going to repent is, if we are called out and confronted by our sin in the light of what God thinks of it.

In today’s church the preaching of the law has been replaced by sermons about feeling good about ourselves and how we can have a best life now.

Actually if you think about it, the best way to have your best life now is to have a life of continual repentance, of continually turning away from your sinful desires towards Christ, which is called sanctification.

You see we mustn’t just repent the day we come to Christ, but true repentance is doing it daily, making the choice for Christ, moment after moment.

Only when we live the sanctifying life will it be great, only when we search the scriptures and through it we see our camouflaged sin and turn from it will we become what we already are in Christ.

Repentance is not just our birth but our growth.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Good and a Bad start to the year.

Let me start with the bad news. Here in sunny South Africa we have lost a great father in the faith Dr Martin Holt.

About Martin Holdt

Martin Holdt was born in South Africa and has travelled to many parts of the world to speak at various conferences. In his forty-one years in the ministry, he has planted four churches and been pastor of four others. He has also been a regular speaker on a national Christian radio station for over twenty-five years. He is married to Elsabe and has five children and seven grandchildren.

He died on the 31st of December; we attend Constantia Park Baptist church the last church he served on a full time basis before “retiring”.

You see he didn’t really retire he got involved in church planting and was still rector at the Seminary where I studied.

He impacted more lives than anyone will ever know.

We were late Sunday morning and missed the first 20 minutes of the service so we didn’t hear the news. (We attended another church service the night before with a friend and got home very late with our kids, I just love double headers)

We went back on the 3rd to go and look for my sons shoes and found them, thanks to the friendly cleaning lady.

I wanted to get a book for my friend from the book shop, Augustine’s Book room and the lady their told me about the news.

Now for the good news, my friend, yes the same one invited me out for breakfast, see he is going through a tuff time and wanted to chat. So I got all prepared, flipped through a few books, looked up a few relevant passages, prayed and trusted in God for the right words.

In the car it dawns on me that he has a totally different need, Oeps. A much deeper question with no short answer so I decided to buy him a book.

Later in the conversation he turns the tables on me and offers to pay for further studies. Jaw drops and God gets praised.