The Christless Christian

The Five Solae are the foundation of reformed belief.  Sola scriptura, sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, soli Deo gloria…these 5 latin phrases point to the fundamental elements of our faith.

Sola scriptura, or “only scripture”, means that the Bible is our sole source for doctrine.  It sees scripture as the only inerrant and authoritative word of God.  It places church tradition, religion, and pragmatics in the human realm and subject to the authority of God’s revelatory word.

Sola fide, or “only faith”, means that it is by faith alone in Jesus Christ that we are justified before God and redeemed from our sins.  There is no act of human hands or determination of the will that enables us to make restitution to God...

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Which Came First…Chicken Vs. Egg

It’s only a few days until Easter.  For Christians, no other day is quite as important…at least that’s what we often think.  But is that really the case?

It’s true that the events of that very first Easter are an essential part of God’s plan to redeem his creation, but often we look too narrowly upon the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  We wrongly place a premium on the parts, at the expense of the whole.  Let me try to make my point by examining, albeit briefly, the life of Jesus.

John 1:14 says, “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.”

But who is “the Word” and why does this matter?  To answer that, we need to look in the context of the verse.  John’s gospel begins, “In the begi...

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I’m Back Baby!!!

Wow…it sure has been a long time since I sat down to write one of these.  Not that anyone reads them anyways (well, except my wife and my mother)!  But I pray that my motivation for writing comes from a heart that desires to glorify God and not myself.  I want to point people to him through my writing.  I enjoy writing, and I pray that one day God may use this silly little blog to reveal himself to someone…even just one person.  That would make it all worth it.

Anyways, a lot has happened in my life since my last post in June of last year.  I pitched an idea to my pastor about writing a devotional insert in the weekly bulletin to help people go deeper in their Bible study...

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Going Deeper With John’s Epistles

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— 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— 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. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4 ESV)

A central theme in all of John’s writings is the divinity of Jesus (John 20:30-31)...

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Going Deeper With Acts (Part 3)

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30 ESV)

This warning was delivered by Paul to the Ephesian elders prior to his departure for Jerusalem, but his cautionary advice is still extremely relevant to 21st century Christians.

While there is plenty of false teaching coming from secular sources, the errors in their messages are typically easily identifiable as contrary to the teaching of scripture…at least for those with a cursory knowledge...

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Going Deeper With Acts (Part 2)

In Acts 4, we find the account of Peter and John before the religious leaders in Jerusalem after the miraculous healing of a crippled man.  The narrative is compelling, but what most resonated with me was Luke’s elucidative comment in verse 13.  He writes:

Now when [the religious leaders] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished.  And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Did you catch that?  What he’s saying is that these blue collar fishermen from Galilee; a couple of regular “Joes;” just laid the smackdown on the most well-educated and powerful men around.  That’s like Uncle Si (from Duck Dynasty) speaking to Congress.  It’s not likely to happen.

You see, something amazing happens to people whe...

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Going Deeper With Acts (Part 1)

“He cannot have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.” – Cyprian (Treatise on the Unity of the Church)

There are many lessons to be learned from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts for short).  Its pages document the ministry of the group of men that Jesus hand-picked to build his church…and they were faithful to accomplish the work set before them.  But for all that we can learn from the early church fathers, it is the early church members who teach the most important lesson of all.

In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, and Peter, filled with the Spirit, preaches a sermon that sees 3000 people saved.  That is, to say the least, amazing. But the most compelling part of the story is what follows.  Let’s pick it up in verse 42:

And they devo...

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Going Deeper With Psalm 139

When examining Psalm 139, there are numerous directions one could go. Simply put, the foundational message of the writing is to exalt the omniscience and omnipresence of God. Within in these two truths, however, are interwoven, a number of magnificent implications for man.

First, we must understand that God is never absent from us. Yes, that means that in some “Big Brother” sense, he sees our hidden actions, and knows our deepest darkest secrets. But more importantly, it means that in times of need, loneliness, despair, fearfulness, trial, and temptation, he is present. He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t take the day off. He isn’t an absentee landlord who neglects his creation and holds us at a distance. He is a relational being, a father, who loves us and enters into our suffering.

If you r...

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Going Deeper With Psalm 110

Most people could read Psalm 110 and recognize immediately that the subject matter revolves around royalty or a king.  Those who have a little more Bible knowledge will know that many of the Psalms were written by King David.  So, the logical conclusion one might come to when reading this passage of scripture is that David is speaking of himself.

The problem with that interpretation is that the language of the passage doesn’t make sense in that context.  For example, in verse 1, David writes:

The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Now, you may or may not know that anytime you see “LORD” (in all capitals) in your Bible, it is the translation of the Hebrew name for God, “Yahweh” (written in Hebrew a YHWH)...

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Going Deeper With Psalm 84

Psalm 84 is a celebration of God’s earthly dwelling place, the temple.  To the ancient Jews, the temple in Jerusalem was central to their worship of God.  It was the place where the Spirit of God dwelt, it was home to the altar where blood sacrifices were offered as penance for sin, and it was the center of religious teaching.  There was no place on Earth of greater importance to God’s covenantal people.

The language of Psalm 84 vividly captures the heart of God’s people:

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. (v. 1-2)

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! (v. 4)

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere...

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