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Love the Lord with Everything You’ve Got!

Although my title gives a little insight of my ability in the fine art of grammatical usage, the meaning should stand on its own.  (I hope).  Today I received a call from a brother in Christ that I have never met looking to answer a question about Matthew 22:37.  The question revolved around the teaching of Jesus from Deuteronomy 6:5 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

This passage in Matthew parallels Luke 10:27 and Jesus is specifically talking about a part of God’s law that the Jews knew well and repeated twice each day by the faithful.  God’s word in Deuteronomy is talking specifically about the essence of the believer’s love for God.

Although one might be able to consider the different “parts” of a person and allocated spiritual meaning behind each one, the text is plainly revealing that all of a believers being, even strength or efforts, are to be encapsulated by a passionate and spontaneous affection for God.  In the context of the Gospels, Jesus is making sure that the Jews understand that their hearts toward loving God will also follow with their loving others.  You cannot say you love God and hate your brother… (1 John)

The primary question from the call was, “who is Jesus talking about here?”  In essence, and plainly, the law speaks of God the Father, for this is the only way the Jews knew God.  However, the New Testament brings some real light to how God works and acts in three persons as the trinity.  So, to be brief, when believers love God with their entire being, then they are also loving the Son and the Spirit for they are the same God.

In light of New Testament teaching of Jesus, He said He was God and as we see in John’s writing, Jesus will be the focus and object of our adoration and worship as Jesus is the only “One” that can make God known to us.  The Eternal God-Man Jesus is the image of the invisible God!

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

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Resurrection Blues | Sufficiency of Christ on Monday

Here we are, the day after the world-wide celebration of Easter, the day Christ arose from the grave victorious over sin and death, establishing atonement for the church and propitiation for God the Father who justifies us as a gift of eternal grace upon grace. So what does Monday bring? Usually the typical, “got to get back to work” or “I am glad this isn’t but once per year” attitude.

Sadly, most people who call upon the name of the Lord for Resurrection Sunday, fall into the “blues” of life on Monday. As someone who has been in this place and longed for every week to be as focused as the Easter week, I understand the position and have found that at best, it is a lack of worship and belief.

Jesus claims in John chapter 4 to be the everlasting and eternal fulfillment of EVERY desire we could possibly have in this life, even over food, sex, family and air! Now, many will see these words and just click the close and write me off as an outlandish surreal fanatic and they would be correct, the problem is not with my views on Christ and His sufficiency, the problem is when we do not agree with God on the matter, which is unbelief.

Jesus is enough.

I could have just written that statement and been done with this article, but for many of us, we don’t really feel this, we don’t really know this Jesus, we just have a Jesus who provides a bloody ticket to some fantasy heaven that will continue to allow us to have the joys of our heart that are truly far from the person of Jesus Christ.  I repeat, that Jesus is Enough.

He is the answer everything because He is everything. And He is everything we need in times of suffering, pain, joy, doubt and fear. This world has blended into the life of the Body of Christ to such an extent that we no longer hold to faith alone in Christ Alone but bleed in philosophy, personal reflection, creative thinking and psychological ideals to answer life’s tough questions. Most of the time, these answers revolve around us and our needs and our wants which in turn puts “us” on the throne of God when He is the all in all and in Him we are all.

Colossians 1:11-14 (ESV)
11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We have been qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Christ who is the bread of life!  Why then do we continue to seek peace in this life with the world and the world’s ways.  The end of this seeking is death.  Emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual death.  The believer in Jesus Christ does not keep looking to the world for answers, but they persevere by the power of God who holds them until the end.

1 Peter 1:3-11 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
In the end, those who are truly His stand firm, trust and cling to the hope while they suffer and die. Jesus said we would suffer, Jesus promised we would die, He gave us assurance that we would be hated and agonize in this world because of our faith, however, He gives us a greater hope in that we are not of this world and in Him, we live forever set apart for His glory that we will share. The gift is Jesus, the glory is Jesus, the answer is Jesus! Is He your answer? Or are you looking another direction and hoping to find comfort in the arms of another lover?
Jesus is the lover of your soul, trust in Him to be your all sufficient and satisfying King!
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Just a Reminder | Health “Care”

Just thought I would post this excerpt from Dr. Piper’s message on “Life” preached in Jan of 2009.  This health care bill is bigger than just handouts and medical coverage.  This is an issue of life and death “if” abortion language is in the bill.  Let us pray for our leaders to have the discernment to know how to do what is right in regard to the life of the unborn.

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Grace my brothers… Caner vs. White continues

As the LU, Dr. Caner saga continues to unfold, the amount of heat placed in the direction of Alpha Omega’s founder, Jim White, is amazing.  Dr. White writes a simple outline of the current issues at hand concerning Dr. Caner.  Find it here. Dr. Caner has given a very humble and precise answer to these claims.  Find it here.

Through it all, we should be praying that men of God will come to a place of integrity and that when this issue is “exposed”, that forgiveness and repentance will remain foundational as the gospel expects.  However, if this shedding of light exposes something and repentance is not the outcome, one must consider the words of John in his first epistle about brotherly love.  A true lover of his brother does not allow sin to run unchecked, especially when the ministry influence of these men are so wide.

May God be glorified in the truth of this matter and may the people of God truly be humble, forgiving and honest.  I pray that in the future, these two men, of whom I respect for different reasons, will be able to take their debate to the level of scholarship afforded in their roles.  I still would love to hear a scholarly debate over the issues of the doctrines of grace and standard evangelical theology.

Staying stupid… soli deo gloria – James Tippins

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Call to Repent SBC, A call for “all” to repent

The SBC National Convention hailed many facts and figures regarding the declination of churches, baptisms and other “measurable” fruit.  Dr. Ronny Floyd spoke as the leader of a task force that is charged with giving evaluation on the problems plaguing the convention’s churches.  While I don’t agree that repentance and vision will result in true conversion, I do agree with his words and am going to use this very statement as an opening for this Sunday as I am continuing to call out many idols every day.

“With rhetoric we bemoan our dismal baptism numbers, our declining and plateaued churches, and our economic selfishness. The casting of criticism has resulted in a caustic cynicism that just adds to our rhetoric and writings. We attempt to treat symptoms rather than the root issues of sin and carnality. The rhetoric needs to cease and the repentance personally and corporately must begin,” the Arkansas pastor said. “We need to repent of our sins and return to God.”

The Christian Post gave a good “overview” article on the issue, so mosey over there and give it a read.  While all of us want to see baptisms and salvation, we need to trust in God and get the church back on track for His glory and not on track so that we will get things moving again.

Christ is the highest treasure of the true believer.  This is result of the New Birth that comes through the Holy Spirit.  The fruit of regeneration is belief, faith and ultimately worship, not rote evangelism efforts.  Through the teaching of God’s Word, people are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!  Nuff Said… just check out the article.

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SBC, what is that anymore?

After years of seeing the actuality of false information flying around the blogosphere and the ignorant and damning attacks on brothers in Christ in reference to Dr. Jim White VS. Dr. Ergun Caner, it’s time that the “rules of engagement” be called on to be followed by their creators at www.sbctoday.com

“Comments that question the character or motivations of any individual are likely to be deleted. Commenters who persist in attacking others rather than dealing with issues risk being banned from commenting.”

“We ask that you link to evidence of claims you make. We will not allow this forum to be used to spread gossip. If you make a specific claim that cannot be validated, your comment is likely to be removed.”

Interesting, and I’ll keep this short, that questioning the character and/or motives of an individual are not allowed in the comments, however, the authors, such as Tim Rogers, are allowed to use language that aligns brothers in Christ with “Jim Jones” references and “muslim” radical ideals who attack and “dare” to question things that are not sinful to ask.

I won’t get into the details of this issue but you are free to read them yourself and see what might come of such things.  Bottom line for me, stand behind your own rules and principles and be people of character who humbly give account for their actions.  FBC persons call for direct factual evidence to stand behind issues, but then they call men like James White “unbelievers” and “liars”.

“Please note that any believer that calls into question the truth of the Drs. Caner background and degrees use the research of Muslims (those who have a reason for perverting the truth) for their documentation.”

What?  How about the personal dialog and first hand expression of actual talking, not hear-say… sirs, this has to stop and I am going to make sure this message is sent to the people who need to make it stop, the pastors of the churches who support the sickness of the SBC.

Quit standing behind the facade of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is NOT THE CHURCH, and become men of God who give a reason for their hope instead of the clout for their pride’s sake.

See how this sounds?  Doesn’t feel good in the face of truth does it?  It’s time that each man becomes a man and does what is right.  Going on 36 hours without sleep, so my brain is washed away and I will revisit this very article in the morning after some prayer and sleep.  I might have to realign and organize my words, but I can say truthfully, that this has gone too far on the part of the SBC hiding their prize fighters who really have never stepped into the ring.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Dr. Caner’s Rhetoric Strikes Again

This is a video response by Dr. White of Alpha Omega Ministries to an interview with Dr. Caner.  As a Liberty Affiliate for five years and with many students who attend there, I think that this information needs to be out in the open.  When we speak, we need to speak with the authority of Scripture, not experience, ideals and arrogance.

“I like very informal ones. Formal debates have been taken over a lot by myopic Reformed guys, uh, they try to turn it into these little, uh, show ponies, it’s like the Jerry Springer Show, basically, and there’s really not any real discussion going on, there’s rolling of eyes, its huffing and passive/aggressive garbage.” -Ergun Caner, 20:40 of The Pastor’s Perspective program, January 22, 2010.
(Then at a later point) “Any doctrine that diminishes the omnibenevolence of God, the fact that He loves the Muslim, and died for the Muslim to be saved, and has a desire for…any doctrine that diminishes that is not from God, it’s from the devil.”

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Rack Shack and Roll

Even though the book has been out and “outed” for some time I continue to find myself protecting the sheep under my stewardship and care against the writings found in “The Shack”.

I considered just doing a complete critique of the book against the essential doctrines of the faith and after starting I was into over twelve pages just in the introduction! 🙂

So, here is a link to Tim Challies pdf that is pretty concise and much better than I could do. Please go, read, click, forward and enjoy the truth.

Above all things, read the Word of God and stop looking for answers in the minds and creativity of humans.  If you have thoughts, questions or concerns, feel free to leave them and I’ll respond accordingly.

Staying Stupid,
James

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All Things for God’s Glory?

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This is the rough transcript for the sermon dated Sunday, December 20th, 2009:

The CROSS of Christ – Why Jesus Really Came?
Seeing Christmas through Christ is something that we have TRIED to do over the last two weeks. To some degree I must say that pulling topics out of scripture is dangerous and it is weak and it is a chance for man to do something deadly, create a pretext as ultimate authority.

Looking at LUKE we have seen the Worship and Glory of God in Christ as the LIVING GOD MAN who came to live with us from eternity to be the propitiation for the sins of the church.

MUCH can be said, taught and dived into over this topic which is why it is so dangerous at times, that we could leave out such glorious truths about Christ. But in the essence of our focus, our goal today is to look at Christmas from the lens of Christ once again as the REASON HE was born into this world…

LET US READ John 1:14-18 together: Please stand.

John 1:14-18 (ESV)14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”)
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

As we think on this text, we might ask ourselves, “Why does this have to be a Christmas message?” To answer: “Because the REASON CHRIST CAME TO EARTH was to be GOD in the flesh so HE could DIE ON THE CROSS”

The Cross of Christ is the essence and apex of history. Let’s look at this text in “light” of the “topic” at hand.

BACK UP A BIT:

John 1:10-11 (ESV)
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

NOW MOVE THE BOTTOM OF 18 – “NO one has ever seen God”

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Can you feel the tension here? God is NOT SEEABLE… He cannot be seen. EVEN CHRIST was not SEEN – The light of God in Christ was still not seen. So the question is now, what did Jesus come to do?

Jesus came to give light: that LIGHT is LIFE and that LIFE is ETERNAL: Listen to this in verse 4
John 1:4 (ESV)
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

NOW listen to Jesus prayer in John 17:

John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 17:1-3 (ESV)
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

SO – the trouble is this: How can you know someone you cannot see and is NOT seeable?

The answer is SCRIPTURE or the WORD – See Verse 17
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Several things that show us GOD:

1. HIS LAW: The law was given through moses – however, the law cannot give us SIGHT to see God – the law just points the way in TRUTH and is gracious… but it is NOT GOD but an pointing to the fulfillment of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God who is CHRIST! This is also the WORD of GOD – given to moses… His word proclaims His glory to us… It tells of Him.

  • Moses is shown to SHADOW Christ in several ways in John’s Gospel –
  • The serpent on the pole in chapter 3 – MOSES shows the grace of God who tells the truth that if “anyone looks, they will not die.”
  • Jesus says, “So must the Son of Man be lifted up that whoever looks and believes in Him will not die…” para
  • Jesus says in chapter 5 that “If you believe Moses you will believe me and if you don’t believe Moses, you cannot believe me.” Moses writing, God’s WORD points to CHRIST, the fulfillment of TRUTH and GRACE so that we might SEE the LIGHT that gives LIFE and KNOW GOD so that we might have ETERNAL LIFE.
  • Jesus also says that MOSES didn’t give the Jews bread in the dessert, but God did…
  • Jesus is the BREAD OF LIFE…

2. MOSES – saw God, spoke to God, saw the BACK of God when he wanted to see His glory!!
3. His EVANGELIST – Verse 15 – Continuation of John the Baptist’s testimony – John even came a brief moment in life and ministry before Jesus to PROCLAIM HIM as the LAMB of God!
4. GRACE and TRUTH came through CHRIST ALONE – This is GOD in the flesh who is GRACE which is the only way to SEE GOD and TRUTH in that the law, although true, was not the REAL – Christ IS THE REAL – the LAW pointed to CHRIST! – See that the law was a small picture of Jesus – this is the essence of how one can SEE GOD. The fulness of GOD in the flesh – JESUS!

  • THIS IS HOW we see God, Jesus is how we know God, Jesus is GOD’S IMAGE: Perfect SEEING of His glory. LOOK
  • MOSES brought the picture of God’s glory to the people, Moses mediated for the people but Moses could not SHOW the glory of God to the people ultimately because ALL Moses had was the back end view of things!

SO – who is Jesus that He can show us God? Well, look and see:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

GOD’S WORD shows us JESUS because God’s WORD IS JESUS and God became MAN.

John 1:1-3 (ESV)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

WORD was in the beginning, before time and the word was with and the word was GOD.

JESUS is the WORD the WORD is God and JESUS was man – FLESH (INCARNATION) / DWELT (TABERNACLED – LIVED, Camped)

Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

JESUS came, God came and lived with us and lives with us still and will live with the church forever! JESUS knows us, He is man, He is God and He sits to BE the mediator between God and US forever. He did not pack up and go home, He came to KNOW man forever and be intimate with mankind.

OH LET US SEE HIM!

Hebrews 2:14-18 (ESV)
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.
17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

LET US SEE JESUS AND LET US KNOW GOD

14b, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

WE have seen GOD’S GLORY – as of the only SON from the FATHER

EVIDENCE:

God is not just something to be studied, He is someone to behold!

2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV)
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

GRACE AND TRUTH

God is GRACIOUS, He gives LIFE to the DEAD and SIGHT to the BLIND – In a sense of spiritual sight and life that only He can give. And gives this through HIS SON – Jesus who is ALIVE, real, the WAY, TRUTH and LIFE

God is TRUE – to His promises, His existence, His nature, His glory – now much more than what we cannot see can be seen in the fulness of GRACE – The FULLNESS OF CHRIST! FULLNESS – “Without Measure in chapter 3 – God gives the SON ALL THINGS, Spirit, Love, Power, Dominion… Jesus lacks nothing of Who God Is as He is GOD FULLY – We can know GOD as completely as He is through CHRIST the LIVING WORD!

We cannot take ALL OF THIS IN ONE SITTING… it’s much more than I can handle.

16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

FULNESS OF GOD – The completeness of GOD we can see GRACE UPON GRACE. We can SEE HIS GRACE in Christ and we can RECEIVE His grace through Christ!

How? Through the sacrifice of His Son there is JUSTICE on Sin – He is our mediator, through His flesh and blood, He has brought man to God.

John 1:11-13 (ESV)
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Grace comes and continues to come – Grace is the essence of SEEING GOD.

Which are you? DID NOT receive Him or DID – If you did, you SEE HIM, that’s the issue here… You see Him and if you see Him you know Him and if you believe, You have been made a child! Given sight to see, believe, love, adore, cherish, treasure and KNOW the God of all the universe as Christ the MAN!

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