November 29 | Links
Today, I am publishing a series of links to articles from around the web and also testing this post type for potential future blog content.
The root meaning of the Greek word katallagē, translated “reconciliation,” is a change (or exchange) taking place. Paul’s gospel is the story of a series of exchanges.
But Jesus said to both go through the gate and to walk down the path (Matt 7:13–14). To preach one and not the other, to live one but not the other, is to bifurcate the preaching of Jesus. We dare not separate what God has joined (with apologies to our wedding vows). How else can we understand that mercy comes only to those who show mercy (Matt 5:7)? Only the meek will inherit the earth (Matt 5:5)?
Unless you have a singular, overarching passion that will pull you forward in ministry, it may be best not to pursue it. That passion must be for the gospel and the Great Commission.
Spurgeon proves prophetic on this point, saying:
“Brethren, if the Lord gives you no zeal for souls, keep to the lapstone or the trowel, but avoid the pulpit.” He further insists, “We must feel that woe is unto us if we preach not the gospel; the word of God must be unto us as a fire in our bones, other-wise, if we undertake the ministry, we shall be unhappy in it, shall be unable to bear the self-denials incident to it, and shall be of little service to those among whom we minister.”
The Reformers never took justification out of union with Christ. Martin Luther said through faith in Christ, we receive the righteousness of Christ, or rather, we receive Christ himself. By receiving Christ himself, we receive his righteousness and his Spirit, who transforms us—meaning that if you’re united with Christ, and therefore have the righteousness of Christ, it is impossible for you not to be transformed.
Although we readily grasp the right of access to God that Jesus grants us as our Great High Priest and Mediator (He 4.14-16), we can subliminally regard him as being outside of ourselves. We can regard him as a spectator to our praying as opposed to the One who has bound himself up with our struggles in prayer to a depth we will never fully fathom.
I have found the links above valuable to read and consider, but listing does not necessarily imply endorsement.