HALLELUJAH! CHRIST AROSE

0376329b-926b-4d8b-8e77-d365743c00bfThis is the best part of the best news in the whole world! The best part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not that He was born, not that He suffered, not that He died nor that He was buried – it’s certainly not the fact that He descended into the realm of the dead (Hades). All of these facts have their place and significance. But none of them and all of them together come close to giving us what we get in knowing the fact and the facts of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the hinge upon which the door of the Christian faith swings. Thus, taking away the resurrection, would be taking away the whole lot. In that case, we would all have to burn our Bibles, close our churches and begin living for now because without the resurrection there would not be an eternity to look forward to. Everything would quickly come crumbling down. So, we need to praise God the Father for raising Jesus from the dead.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus is what gives us hope and strength to go on believing in Him. Otherwise, we are totally lost! This is why Paul writes using such strong language and with much passion concerning this in 1 Corinthians 15. Study that chapter some time. It will do your soul much good. Listen to what he says: And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15: 14-19). This shows us how important the resurrection

Source:  Matandika, Rev. Fletcher (2014-12-19). Born to Die: Exploring the Real Meaning of Jesus’ Birth (Kindle Locations 1008-1016). Tolle Lege Publications. Kindle Edition.

The Difference Between Faith and Hope – Luther

49-29588_Tin_Plaques_Faith_HopeIs there any difference between faith and hope?  At first glance, this question looks like a no-brainer.  But when you stop and think about it, you begin scratching your head and you go “Hmm, yes and no?”  Well, let’s let Martin Luther help us out here.  Here is what he had to say in response to this question in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians:

The question occurs to us, What difference is there between faith and hope? We find it difficult to see any difference. Faith and hope are so closely linked that they cannot be separated. Still there is a difference between them.

First, hope and faith differ in regard to their sources. Faith originates in the understanding, while hope rises in the will.

Secondly, they differ in regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. Faith teaches, describes, directs. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous.

Thirdly, they differ in regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God.

Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation. (Hebrews 11.) Hope comes later and is born of tribulation. (Romans 5.)

Fifthly, they differ in regard to their effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fights against tribulations, the Cross, despondency, despair, and waits for better things to come in the midst of evil.

Without hope, faith cannot endure. On the other hand, hope without faith is blind rashness and arrogance because it lacks knowledge. Before anything else a Christian must have the insight of faith, so that the intellect may know its directions in the day of trouble and the heart may hope for better things. By faith we begin, by hope we continue.

Would you like to interact with Martin Luther?  Please post your comments below.  Blessings in Christ!

The Sabbath and Man’s Chief End

Remember the Sabbath 2The Sabbath principle has at its very heart (in terms of its application), man’s chief end, in other words, the purpose for which man was made. The Westminster Shorter Catechism Question #1 states: “What is the chief end of man?” The answer goes as follows: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Even this is rooted in the very nature and character of God who takes great delight in glorifying and enjoying Himself. So the Sabbath serves to remind all men (Christians and non-Christians) of the very purpose for which God created them, “to glorify and enjoy” Him. When we observe the Sabbath, we do it primarily for this reason.

Special Application to the Christians
But while the Sabbath principle applies to all people, it has a very special application to Christians because of the redemption that they have received through the Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, believers are certainly obligated to observe the Sabbath not only because that is more consistent with God’s nature and character, but also because it is consistent with their new nature and character in Christ as His redeemed ones. Christians are to be in the forefront of honoring the LORD God with their time.   Continue reading “The Sabbath and Man’s Chief End”

10 Results of the Resurrection

Desiring God posted this article below entitled, “10 Results of the Resurrection” which I think is excellent and very helpful as we think of and celebrate the resurrection of Christ (the bedrock of our Christian faith).  Christ, the Lord is risen today, Hallelujah!

Here is the post from Desiring God:

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Get a free download of this new poster (PDF) from John Piper’s article on ten results of the resurrection:

  1. A savior who can never die again. “For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again.” Romans 6:9
  2. Repentance. “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel.” Acts 5:31
  3. New birth. “By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
  4. Forgiveness of sin. “If Christ has not been raised, your hope is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17
  5. The Holy Spirit. “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear.” Acts 2:32–33
  6. No condemnation for the elect. “Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God.” Romans 8:34
  7. The Lord’s personal fellowship and protection. “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:20
  8. Proof of coming judgment. “God has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
  9. Salvation from the future wrath of God. “We wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10Romans 5:10
  10. Our own resurrection from the dead. “We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.” 2 Corinthians 4:14Romans 6:48:111 Corinthians 6:1415:20

Is There Any Difference Between Faith and Hope?

Now, that’s a good question!  At first glance, this question looks like a no-brainer.  But when you stop and think about it, you begin scratching your head and you go “Hmm, yes and no?”  Well, let’s let Martin Luther help us out here.  Here is what he had to say in response to this question in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians:

The question occurs to us, What difference is there between faith and hope? We find it difficult to see any difference. Faith and hope are so closely linked that they cannot be separated. Still there is a difference between them.

First, hope and faith differ in regard to their sources. Faith originates in the understanding, while hope rises in the will.

Secondly, they differ in regard to their functions. Faith says what is to be done. Faith teaches, describes, directs. Hope exhorts the mind to be strong and courageous.

Thirdly, they differ in regard to their objectives. Faith concentrates on the truth. Hope looks to the goodness of God.

Fourthly, they differ in sequence. Faith is the beginning of life before tribulation. (Hebrews 11.) Hope comes later and is born of tribulation. (Romans 5.)

Fifthly, they differ in regard to their effects. Faith is a judge. It judges errors. Hope is a soldier. It fights against tribulations, the Cross, despondency, despair, and waits for better things to come in the midst of evil.

Without hope faith cannot endure. On the other hand, hope without faith is blind rashness and arrogance because it lacks knowledge. Before anything else a Christian must have the insight of faith, so that the intellect may know its directions in the day of trouble and the heart may hope for better things. By faith we begin, by hope we continue.

Would you like to interact with Martin Luther?  Please post your comments below.  Blessings in Christ!