Scripture speaks of the power of Christ. The power of the cross, the authority of Jesus, the power of the gospel etc. all speaks to the power of Christ. While you may consider the power of Christ the manifestation of miracles, supernatural knowledge or signs, the reality is that the apostles make the claim that the power of Christ most glorious is the transformed heart of the believer toward truth and love for the brethren. Teaching through John’s writings gives us a constant reminder of this fact. That there are many who “live” in a manner they feel is worthy of Jesus Christ in their own eyes, but when they refuse fellowship with others, they, in turn, are displaying “unregenerate” powerlessness. 

Paul speaks to the Corinthian church about the power of Christ. He says that he will know if Christ is in them if they heed the authority of his writing and instruction. Mainly, that they forsake themselves and “COMPLETE” all the restoration between them. This means that they will be intimate, together, free, and in fellowship. 

2 Corinthians 13:11–14 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Several hours, if not days can be expended on this holistic reality. But for now, let’s say this. One of the primary expressions of regeneration is that we are sealed by the same Spirit. God the Holy Spirit in us brings our unity and because of this, there is NOTHING that can separate us from the Lord and from each other. When factions come between the church and cause people to scatter, it is always wicked. Sometimes it is due to ignorance but most of the time these things happen because of an active and living flesh. IF we have the same Spirit within us there is nothing that would cause divorce amongst the brethren.

In the end, this teaching is extrapolated continually throughout the New Testament through the instruction and commandments for every Christian to be subject to the Word, the Elders of the church, the Assembly (that is the church, only when it gathers) and exercising the gifts God has given them for the benefit of the assembly. We can feel justified in doing “home” studies and “online” sermons, but in reality, that type of existence as a believer is a continual rebellion against the teaching of God. So, in the sense of the text, true regeneration produces a complete unity that nothing will stop and to say otherwise is to refuse to love the brethren, thus, according to John, the Love of God is not in us. 

We may see that all the works of the law, all the dressing of worldly “righteousness” and all the prayers, pleadings, purity and the like are not the measure of the Power of Christ in us. But it is the evidence of TRUTH by the LOVE we have for each other. Love well beloved by the grace that is YOURS in Jesus Christ!  Amen.  While this is not exhaustive, it is truth. Are you listening?

caged childrenAre you Born Again?  The gravity surrounding this question is unmeasurable and should be taken very seriously.  In many conversations I find people usually come to this question at some time in their life as Christians.  Whether it is because of doubt or a concern over sin or even a concern over someone else who seems to be slipping from the faith.  While many have given some true wisdom on this subject from God’s word, today I want to focus on “ONE” element of true salvation that will be certain in the hearts and lives of all the children of God.

Jesus says that there is a law that summarizes the fullness of His entire nature, His essence, and His worth when He says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)  To know and desire such a law in one’s heart is proof that he is born again.  On the other hand, disdain toward these laws is proof that one has the spirit of the devil, not the Spirit of the Lord.  This is proven in many places throughout scripture (John 13:34; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 John 4:7-21; 1 John 4:11; 1 Cor 13:13; James 2:14-17; Matthew 5:43-48; 1 Peter 4:8-9) and talks about serving, giving, suffering, dying, and giving up rights for the sake of others.

Scripture teaches that if one confesses a love for God but has no love for his brothers and his enemies, then that one is a liar and has nothing but a fear of judgment.  Now, so often we can argue what love looks like and say, “well, I do love folks, but…” when in reality we love the “but” more than the people.  This is proven because we would rather hate our neighbor so we can secure our right to have our microwaved popcorn.  Maybe that is too harsh?  Maybe it is just too true for some folks.  When so-called Christians are blinded by self-preservation and are unwilling to lose everything they have for the sake of their enemies, then they are either living in rebellion or darkness.  One could argue these are two in the same.

So, the utmost outward test of true salvation is that one has a heart for others; particularly those who are in need, unable to fend for themselves, hungry, running for their lives, being killed and given up for power and greed.  When Christians see people anywhere (btw, there are more people in other parts of the world than there will ever be in the US) they have heart for them and their internal desire is to die for them that they might know the great unsurpassing love of God who stepped out of Heaven to die for the sins of His people.

How can we tell if we love people?  Well, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Do we love them in our passions?  Are we able to see a burden and draw toward others, no matter their circumstances, and a desire to give of ourselves fully for the sake of others?
  2. Do we love them in our prayers?  If we love others we are prayerful for them.  We plead with our Father to help them and even ask God to put us “outside” the camp in order to do what is necessary.
  3. Do we love them in our purse?  What I mean is that it takes nothing for an abundance to be given away, but what about when all we have is what we absolutely need?  Remember the rich young ruler and remember the widow’s mite.  Love is love when it’s sacrifice.  It’s all God’s anyway.
  4. Do we love them in our purpose?  Are we caring more about “us” than “them”?  Do we see God moving opportunities for ministry, Gospel-sized ministry and think it to be a burden that would “IMPOSE” on our lives?  If so, then we are not loving.
  5. Do we love them in our presence?  Do we care enough to “be there?”  Do we care enough to not just say and pray but to also ‘stay?’
  6. Do we love them in our politics?  We do know that ALL the children of God are in ALL the world right?  Then why would we ever close our doors to anyone seeking to be with us, especially those running from harm?
  7. Do we love them in our pride?  Do we love people who are or could be our siblings in Christ and take “pride” and honor toward them as our own body?  No one hates his own body, but nurtures it and protects it, just as Christ does for His bride.

What do we do now?  We pray for God to heal us of our pride, reveal our sinful and selfish hearts and praise Him for saving us from ourselves, our dreams, our ego, our idols and our hatred.  God loves us and we do love others.  Church, one day this nation will die and the only nation that will remain is a nation of priests from every tongue and tribe.  We need to think to that end.  So often people who claim Christ want to stand up against laws that hurt the unborn but when they “are” born, they need to be viable or they are worthless.  Well, I am thankful that my God, who knew I was worthless, saw fit in His mercy to save me, an immigrant in the faith, an enemy of the King, a traitor to the crown who was helpless and blind and dead.

To all my brothers and sisters in South Africa, Russia, India, China, Mexico, Canada, America, Brazil, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, and elsewhere, know that the God of Heaven doesn’t shut you out of His kingdom, for He is righteous and His people do not shut you out either.  I am glad that those for whom we pray in foreign lands are willing to be felons for the sake of the gospel.  I wish in place where it was legal to be faithful, people would.  But hey, that’s how God works in the first place; when we are left to ourselves, we perish.

Praise Him for His glorious grace!

Pastor James Tippins


Just to give a small background-in March of 07 I was heavy, out of shape and depressed, seriously.  For two years I ate like a champion, worked out and became an athlete.  Of all my loves “before”, pie, cake and anything laden with sugar baked fruit had a dreadful future: eaten.  Until about a month or so ago, I had not even eaten any pie in almost two years but when I had, it was minimal and scarce.   So on Thanksgiving day this year I decided to indulge in some good old apple pie.  The first bite was phenomenal, just more than I could stand.  Bite after bite did not feed my desire but rather grew my desire.  In the end, I had eaten all but one piece of the pie; life was good.

That may seem strange that I would dialog about a pie eating binge, however, I have discovered that my desire for pie is a great metaphor for spiritual desire.  For the average person, eating a pie would seem odd.  As for the “average” Christian, staying in the bible seems to be odd.  Why is it so far removed from our lives as believers that we don’t even desire to eat what is truly food.  I mean, when we crave food, we eat it and we drive to get it and we’ll pay good money for it to taste good and fill our stomachs.  How absurd that we fill our flesh but do not desire to fill our souls.

When someone is given the ability to see God for who He really is through His word, that person is given a taste of fascinating glory and magnificent righteousness that is breath taking.  It’s like me and that pie, I had to eat it, there was no other choice because as long as the pie sat on the counter I would be distracted, thinking, looking, tasting and wondering if someone else was going to get to it first.  When we are given life out of death in Christ alone, we should desire Him that way.  The good news?  Jesus is enough for all the church to feast and he is never going to be exhausted.

So, the end of my rant is here.  Do you desire the word of God?  Do you desire His magnificence, His all encompassing worth and His righteousness?  Does the very thought of getting into the scriptures get your heart beating and your mind craving more time to worship and adore Him?  If not, then it may mean one of two things:  first, it might mean that you are blind spiritually and you do not see the value of God and His glory.  Second, it could mean that you are just so cold in your relationship with Him that you have forgotten Him like the church of Ephesus in Rev 2 and that you need to see a glimpse of His glory once more so that you will remember from the heights from which you have fallen.

Jesus is the most precious and valuable person in the universe and those who know Him and hear his voice get overly amazed at the thought of Him speaking.  He speaks through the pages of scripture where He has preserved His manifestation to us until the time He returns.  Get into the word and get away from the world.  There are some who claim Christ who no more want to read the word or sit and hear someone preach that have a tooth pulled yet that same person will break his neck and take off work to fish, hunt, play games, or get away for the weekend.

Desire and cravings are either for the world or for the Christ – there is no middle ground.