All meat please...

I shared awhile ago about a Bible study that I'm currently participating in. If you remember correctly, I shared about the first night and how I broke down at the very end and totally cried in front a group that was mostly strangers...oh, the joy of forced humility! Anyway, since that night, I've not felt the need to cry during our meetings but instead I've wanted to stay and soak up what we're learning. I am so thankful for this particular study and how it's challenging me to go deeper. I've needed the challenge and the accountability. Anyway, I cannot get my mind off our subject last week and I'm finding myself encountering it all over the place!

Our subject was doctrine. Specifically, the nitty, gritty basics of salvation. Ohhh it's so good!!! Working through it and disecting it is like feasting on a big, juicy steak when all you've had lately is a salad. I do not say that, by the way, as a reference to our Church, I say that in reference to my own devotional life. I've been settling lately for the appetizers and now I'm consuming the main course with the kind of fear that my waiter is going to come and take it away from me! I guess it's so refreshing to me because I've been noticing how watered down our culture (me included) has become. I read an amazing article, from a favorite Pastor or ours, J.D. Greear...see the link to his blog on your left. We attended his church for awhile when we lived in N.C., before Travis got a ministry job, and we grew so much through his deep teaching from the Word. He wrote an entry in reference to a conference he attended and spoke at, at our Seminary, on the "Emerging Church." It was such a good look at where our generation of Christian leaders, specifically Pastors, is going and why. What are some of these movements based on? Like everything in life, there are always extremes, but what scares me most are those in the subtle middle. The ones that appear relevent and cutting edge, but upon deeper examination are cutting corners in their theology...that's scary because the Lord takes that very seriously. Leading people astray is not always obvious. I keep reflecting on this passage:

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Oh, how I don't want that to be true of Travis or myself. I am just impressed/burdened with the responsibility of knowing what I believe, down to the nitty gritty so that I remain pure before the Lord with the gospel He died for. Sadly, to do that, I must get serious with the reality of who I am, apart from Christ. And that is not pretty. There is a reason we needed saving right? Because we're stinkin full of sin and we cannot do anything on our own to change that. Wouldn't you agree that lots of people don't like that part? They want to believe that we are innately good, not born sinful, and therefore capable of somehow being "good enough" to earn their way into Heaven. The problem is, sound doctrine...that is doctrine straight out of God's word...refutes all that.

Here are the beautiful details...Through atonement we receive payment for our crime; through redemption we are bought back with a randsom; through propitiation God's wrath and anger are removed from us forever; through reconciliation we are brought back to Him; through expiation our guilt is removed; through justification our status before the Lord changes; and through sanctification the Holy Spirit helps us become more like Jesus...I could go on and on, but don't you just love all these "...ation" words??? They are so precious to our faith and rich in meaning. I just keep dwelling on them or as my friend Heidi says, I'm "marinating" in them and letting the truths sink in. Can I challenge you to do the same? To examine what you believe and more importantly,why? Is it rooted in truth or myth?

I want to share with you the lyrics to a song that I am loving right fact, let me copy a friend and plug the newest cd by Shane and Shane, called Pages. I'm calling it my "miscarriage cd" because the truths in their lyrics have been so soothing to my soul. I could probably write a discourse on every song and why it ministers and relates to me, but I'll spare you. For now, read these telling words and get on i-tunes to buy it for your's a doctrinal gem!

Embracing Accusation

The father of lies coming to steal, kill, and destroy all my hopes of being good enough. I hear him saying, "cursed are the ones who can't abide." He's right. Hallelujah, he's right. The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed. That I am cursed and gone astray. I cannot gain salvation, embracing accusation.

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of God to me tonight? If the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine. I hear him saying, "cursed are the ones who can't abide." He's right. Hallelujah, he's right. The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed. That I am cursed and gone astray. I cannot gain salvation. Oh the devil is singing over me an age-old song....that I am cursed and gone astray. Singing the first verse so conveniently, he's forgotten the refrain.

Jesus Saves!

1 comment:

sheltonfamily said...

Hi.. .we are obsessed with the shane cd as well... ellie loves "burn us up" and she throws a huge fit I pick another song in the car... we are going to get her singing it on video as soon as we find the camera... So the conf. at Southeastern.... you need Travis to download all the msgs. onto his podcast especially the Q&A session. It is really good and has our favorite speaker Mark Driscoll on it.. very good, but I doubt JD will leave Summitt. He sounds pretty committed to "Baptist" Faith! I'm so glad your study is going awesome. I'm starting one here today on 1 kings. Check this site out it's a cool devotional that you get sent to your email that our church is going through. Miss you all!