Rabbi - Jesus Was One of a Kind

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 27, 2013 0 comments

For about a four-year stretch between the time I graduated college and the time I moved to another state to begin my seminary studies, I worked other jobs while simultaneously trying to land a job as a police officer. My dad had done it for 27 years, I was very interested in the field, and I had received my undergrad degree in criminology. I applied for several jobs and went through the tryout process for three, but there was only one position that I really wanted and for which I felt I was qualified. I passed the written civil service exam with flying colors. Next came the interview/oral exam with police chiefs and captains, and I was told I exceeded in this part as well. Finally, the dozen or so individuals that were still in the running were given a physical fitness test. While I passed this portion of the process and was better than most, I certainly wasn’t the BEST. There was a young man who was in much better shape than me and had already paid his own way through the police academy. On that day, it became obvious to me that despite my best efforts and hard work in preparation, I was going to come up just a little bit short because there was someone else who was better. My performance was good, but was not quite enough.

In Jewish culture during Biblical times, the process of becoming a disciple of a particular rabbi was a lot like that of trying out for an occupation, a sports team, or a reality show. As Katie mentioned in Monday’s post, most of the young Jewish men had no further schooling beyond what we would consider junior high school. All of the Jewish boys memorized certain parts of the Old Testament. It was equivalent to our children memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem in school. However, those desiring to be students of a rabbi had to “do more”. They may have been asked to memorize entire books of the Old Testament. If they could do it, they “moved on to the next round”. If they could not, they were sent back to their father’s trade. The next step in the process would have been something even harder, such as memorizing and explaining the meanings of each and every time a particular Hebrew word was used in a given book from one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament. A prospective student could be incredible in his/her ability to retain and understand the information, and still be refused if it did not meet the standard of excellence and commitment that was required by the rabbi.

While there were many things about Jesus and his group of disciples that made him just like other rabbis, there was one major difference (and I’m talking about beyond the obvious truth that he was God). As Katie pointed out, those wanting to study the Scriptures further would find a rabbi to try to emulate. Rabbis didn’t do the seeking. They didn’t necessarily look for disciples. Those wanting to follow them had to seek and find them first. The accounts of the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth are clear that he was the one who did the seeking.

In Matthew 4:18-22, we read that Jesus first came to two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, as he was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. They were fishermen by trade and were doing their jobs. Jesus invites them to follow him and “become fishers of men”, at which point they leave everything behind and go with him. This seems a little crazy to most of us. But think about it from the perspective of Peter and Andrew. Their immediate enthusiasm indicates this is something they desperately wanted to do, while the fact that they are back to their father’s trade indicates they probably tried to follow other rabbis and were not accepted. We see the same thing happen a few verses later with James and John, who were in the boat with their father. While other rabbis had likely decided these four young men “just couldn’t cut it”, Jesus CAME TO THEM, rather than wait for them to come to him. We see Jesus do the same thing with Matthew, a miserable tax collector who ripped people off (Matthew 9:9-13). Finally, we see Jesus seek his disciples yet again AFTER his death and resurrection (John 21), when they had gone back to fishing, obviously feeling like they had failed their rabbi. Even then, he issues the same challenge to Peter that he has always issued to all the disciples – “Follow me”.

I pray that this post has challenged you to see Jesus for what he really is – one of a kind. Maybe you have no current faith that you confess, and you are wondering what is really different about Jesus from all of the other “religious symbols”. Maybe you have tried to follow Jesus, but his other “disciples” in the so-called Church have told you that you simply aren’t good enough. Or maybe, you’ve been a faithful follower of Jesus who has had some recent major failures and you are wondering if he is still inviting you to follow him. We need only to remember that we really can’t screw this up. No matter what you have done or even are doing, the fact that you are still alive means you still have a chance to make Jesus your Lord, and follow him as the one true Rabbi.

For further study go read and meditate on the following scripture:
Romans 10:9-13

Seek the Lord Jesus with all of your heart.

The Age of the Earth and Salvation?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 0 comments

I have to admit that this particular post is written out of a sense of guilt. Back when I started writing these blog posts on creationism, certain individuals in a very polite and gracious spirit asked if I believed that only young earth creationists were able to be saved. Unfortunately, by the time they posited the question, I was already well underway with doing research for writing my next blog posts and overlooked their posts. By the time I noticed that anybody had replied to those particular blog posts, it was already too late for the interested parties to want to back-track to previous blog posts to find the answer to their question and even if I would have replied they would not have noticed. Therefore, I start this post off with an apology to those who I did not respond to in a timely manner.

Now, moving onward, my simple answer to that question is that I believe that you could be a young earth creationist, old earth creationist, intelligent design advocate, or whatever other theistic model a person might adopt and still be saved as long as you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Don’t take this the wrong way, but Romans 14:1 states, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.” The age of the earth, in a sense, is a disputable matter. If a person were to read through the entire Bible from beginning to end, he or she might not realize that the age of the earth can be deduced from a simple reading.

Some people might make the claim that arguing for YEC, OEC, or intelligent design is useless and destructive for the advancement of the Gospel. Scriptures that might support such a stance would be 1 Timothy 1:4 or Titus 3:9, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” YEC is specifically established through the use of the genealogies of the Old Testament. Should we avoid discussion and debate over such issues? Scripture also provides enough information that one could make an argument that these passages should not be applied to the age of the earth controversy.

To start off, let’s answer the question of what the significance of the genealogies are in this context. Genealogies were written to validate one’s bloodline. For instance, Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah (Mt. 1:3) and Paul descended from the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. 3:5). In Paul’s case, he explained his genealogy as a badge of pride among some Jews because his ancestor Benjamin was one of Jacob’s (also known as Israel) two favorite children. The ancient Jews would dispute their bloodlines, endlessly tracing them for the sake of authenticating their pure-blooded descent through a specific patriarch. This is not in relation to the age of the earth.

The next important point to understand is that YEC is a disputable matter, but it isn’t. Just because a person would not read the Bible through the first time and understand that the earth is young, the ancient readers would have understood from the Scriptures that they were not very far removed from the first created man and woman. This would have been very clear from a straightforward understanding of Scripture. 1 Timothy 1:3 states “command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer.” In this sense, a doctrine regarding an old earth could be considered false.

The idea that the world is billions of years old did not come about through godly men and women, but through secular humanists. This is not to say that the idea of an old earth must be incorrect for that sake, but those who created the old earth model did so as an action against the Word of God. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” If the old earth model was devised to oppose the words of Scripture and an alternative model exists that fully embraces the Scriptures, why should a person adopt the model that has a foundation in secular humanism?

So that I am not misunderstood, yes, those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and also embrace OEC and ID are genuine born again Christians who will inherit eternal life. Nonetheless, they embrace a philosophy that was created by humans and directly opposes the Word of God from its most straightforward reading. Although such a contradiction might not affect your faith, it may affect the faith of others as they continue to understand the contradictions between the Bible and the teachings of secular science. If you expect your friends to stand firm in their faith after accepting the old earth model, you must be in prayer for them every day because they already accepted secular science as their authority over the Bible through the old earth model.

Bill Seng is the author of the soon to be released book: “The World That Then Was”

You can also get Worldview Warriors President, Jason DeZurik’s new book as well as he also addresses some of the points brought up in this blog entry in: “How Being Consistent Changed Everything.”



Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 24, 2013 0 comments

One of my coworkers recently shared with me a funny quip from his two-year-old son. The son said to his dad, “Daddy, Mommy is a person, but you’re an engineer!” While it is usually true that engineers are a special type of people (I am one so I can say that), it struck my coworker and me as quite hilarious that his young son even made that observation!

We are often identified by our titles in life. I am an engineer, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a seminary graduate, a teacher, a blog writer, a preacher, etc. One of the titles that was often used to describe Jesus is this week’s word - rabbi.

One verse where this title is used is John 3:2 which says, “[Nicodemus] came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’” Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council, so he had already made it pretty far up the ladder of Jewish society. But yet, he called Jesus “Rabbi.” Nicodemus wanted to follow Jesus, and we see in this verse and later in this passage that he was seeking Jesus and recognized that He was from God.

Literally, the word rabbi is Hebrew for “my teacher.” When a person following Jesus called him Rabbi, they were identifying him as their teacher. But in that culture, a rabbi was so much more than how we see teachers today. Many men back then dropped out of school at the modern equivalent of 8th grade, but those who wanted to go to be scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures would find a rabbi. When they found a rabbi to follow and learn from, they didn’t just meet with them for a few hours each day or week like we think of schooling today. No; they followed their rabbi around everywhere! They tried to imitate the rabbi exactly in all that he did, from the places he went to the foods he ate, even to all of his mannerisms and knowledge. They did everything humanly possible to be exactly like their rabbi.

The question I challenge you with today is this: is Jesus your rabbi in this sense? Do you recognize, like Nicodemus, that Jesus comes from God? Do you not only want to learn from Him, but do you follow Jesus so closely and so intimately that you want every little thing about you to be like Him?

Keep seeking to look to Jesus as your Rabbi. Learn everything you can from Him, and strive to imitate His every action, based on the example He gives us in the Bible.

Rainbow - Have You Tasted It?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 20, 2013 0 comments

Most of you probably learned a very important word when you were just a few years old that affected your interaction with other children and even adults. That word was “mine”. If you had something and another child or adult tried to take it, you probably clutched it tightly and said, “No, this one’s mine and you need to get your own”. This attitude likely continued for a few years until someone taught you the importance of sharing. You learned that even when something truly does belong to you, it is sometimes necessary to share it with others. However, even then, you always knew that nobody has the right to forcefully take what is yours without your permission.

In Monday’s blog post, Katie briefly mentioned how society has lost the true meaning of the rainbow as God’s promise to all mankind. I’ll take it one more step and say that some in society have actually STOLEN the symbol of the rainbow to use it for their agendas. It’s kind of like when people use God’s holy Word to justify slavery, murder, divorce, racism, and sexism. They are taking something that does not belong to them and using it for their purposes. I believe that is exactly what the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community has done with their “rainbow flag”. This symbol has become a sign of social inclusion for them. It all sounds great in theory and most of us would agree that it’s important to make people feel included. We would even rightly say that Christ loves them, so we must also show them love. However, those good feelings and intentions do not change one important and indisputable fact that is found in Scripture – that the rainbow belongs to God and God alone!

As Katie quoted the verses from Genesis 9 in that post, you could see that God says, “I have set MY rainbow in the clouds” (v. 13 [caps mine]). He goes on to promise to Noah that he will never again flood the whole earth and destroy all life with water, and that HIS rainbow will be the sign of this promise. That doesn’t mean God is giving his rainbow to us. It means he is choosing to share it with us. He chooses to let us see his sign so that we can have hope, but that does not mean we have the right to take it and use it how we want. We must only see it as a sign of God’s mercy, as he has promised not to give us what we deserve and what he has already shown he has the power to do. All we have to think about to understand that he has kept that promise is the reality that God sent the original flood when sin was just getting started in mankind. Many thousands of years later, we have only fallen deeper and deeper into our own wickedness and he has still not destroyed us with water again!

There is one pop culture use of the rainbow symbol that I find to be Biblically accurate, albeit inadvertently. I doubt that the people who came up with the advertising slogan for Skittles were thinking about God when they did. Yet, they invite us to “taste the rainbow”. It’s probably one of the more popular slogans for candy that are out there and it has had great sticking power as it’s been around for years. It certainly makes me want to grab a handful right now and taste the goodness of the flavors. But I got to thinking about how the Lord invites us to experience his promises in this way as well. In Psalm 34:8, David encourages us: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him”. If you think about what that means, it’s the amazing and understanding grace of God on display. He is not conditionally loving us and demanding that we “swallow” it all right away. Through his servant David, he invites those who are seeking him and still unsure if they can trust him fully to just get a little “taste”. God knows that a little taste will allow us to experience just a tiny bit of his goodness and blessing and will make us long for more.

So, have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? Have you tasted the rainbow? The second part of that verse written by David explains that we can be blessed by choosing to take refuge in God rather than something else that is only temporary in this world. When hope seems to be fading because your trials are overwhelming you, begin by “tasting” God’s promises until you get to the point where they are all that you want to consume. The rainbow is the sign of just one of God’s many promises, all of which are “yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). If you have not experienced this goodness, I invite you, and more importantly God invites you, to “taste and see” for yourself. Once you’ve tasted the goodness of the rainbow, nothing but God and his promises will ever satisfy you.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 17, 2013 0 comments

What do you think of when you see a rainbow? For many centuries, the rainbow has been a significant symbol in society. In recent years, however, that symbolism has changed.

The first meaning behind the rainbow happened many, many centuries ago. You can read about it in Genesis 9, but start in Genesis 6 if you want the whole back story. Essentially, the world became wicked except for one man (Noah) and his family. God destroyed the entire earth with a worldwide flood. Afterwards, Noah and his family were given the symbol of God’s promise to never destroy the earth with a flood, ever again. Genesis 9:11-13 says:

“[God said], ‘I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’
And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.’”

The passage goes on to tell us that whenever a rainbow is seen, for many generations to come, the people will remember God’s promise to Noah. Do you think about that when you see a rainbow?

Or do you think about the pop culture images of the rainbow that we have today? The double rainbow Internet meme was popular a few years ago, and that got people interested in rainbows again. Even before that, the rainbow started being used as a symbol for homosexual pride and the movement for rights of homosexuals.

Not to go into that issue, but how did we as a society lose the amazing symbolism of the rainbow as God’s promise to all of mankind? While there may be flooding in some areas - including the city of Findlay, where I write this from - God has promised to never again destroy the whole earth with a flood. Never! When God says never, He means it. To this day, God has kept that promise. After centuries upon centuries of keeping that promise and being reminded of it every time there is a rainbow, certainly we can count on God to keep all of His promises.

Rebuke - Temporary Pain for a Greater Purpose

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2 comments

Just last week, I was having a conversation with a brother in Christ who is a little bit younger in his faith. He was talking about how he feels like he gets punished by God for doing things wrong a lot more when he is trying to follow Jesus than when he is simply doing whatever the flesh wants. He was looking at other people in his life who he says are atheists and concluded that they aren’t suffering the consequences for sin like he is. I very much appreciated his honesty and willingness to ask this difficult question because it’s one that probably all of us have asked at some point. However, it’s critical that all Christians learn to understand why we can’t compare our lives or God’s dealings with us to those of non-believers.

Several days after I had this conversation with my friend, I was blessed to watch the movie “The Life of Pi”. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out this wonderful film about suffering, God’s plan for it, and the miracles that he gives us to help us persevere in the midst of trials. Without giving away the story, I’ll just say that the main character has to wrestle with the same question that my friend did over and over again throughout the movie. He experiences emotional and physical suffering that is unparalleled to what most of us have to endure. As he matures throughout his ordeal, he begins to see how God uses the suffering to correct him and bring him to a point where he conquers his fears and depends on the ultimate Provider.

From a human standpoint, suffering is one of the biggest roadblocks to people believing in God and continuing in their faith. We probably all know someone who has turned away from God or holds bitterness toward him because of suffering that person didn’t think was fair. The writer of Hebrews penned a great passage of Scripture on this very topic in Hebrews 12:1-13. I want to focus on verses 5 and 6, where the author quotes and teaches on the Book of Proverbs. “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son’” (originally Proverbs 3:11-12). Do you see what the writer did there? He doesn’t try to tell us what we want to hear – that there will be no discipline or rebuke – but instead tells us there WILL be suffering and we are to be “encouraged” by it. He must be crazy! Then again, maybe he isn’t.

Do you want to be considered a child of God? Think about what that would mean. It means that you look to him as your Provider and Sustainer in the same way you view your earthly parents as a child, but it also means you receive discipline, and sometimes painful consequences, when you do wrong so you can be brought back to the right path. Now, I realize that some of you may have received excessive and even abusive correction from your parents in your life. But I want to make it very clear that our parents are sinners just like us, while our Father in heaven knows and created the perfect balance between gentle love and painful discipline. When one of his children is doing something that could cause his child or others great and lasting harm, God steps in and rebukes his child to try to prevent further damage. Those who do not profess faith in Jesus have chosen not to be children of God, because their sin is still separating them from him. That separation can only be fixed by accepting that Jesus’ blood on the cross took care of our penalty, allowing us to be called God’s children. Therefore, those who do not accept it cannot receive the “encouraging” and “loving” rebuke like a child.

Friends, we all know that being rebuked is not fun. It’s painful. The author of Hebrews says as much. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (12:11). Webster’s dictionary even shows that the word “rebuke” is partially derived from an Old French term meaning “to chop wood”. Chopping wood is painful, especially if you’re the wood! I have personally been rebuked by God and by some of my closest friends several times in my life when my lifestyle choices were not God-honoring even while I was leading others. I had planted my own “tree” and did not want it to get cut down. But the truth I have learned is that, unless the structures of selfishness, pride, and disobedience do not get painfully chopped down, me and others will suffer even more than the pain of getting cut down. As a child of God, I’m thankful for those times in my life when I was rebuked, even though they hurt then, because of the righteousness and peace they have brought. May we all continue to grow and learn to humbly submit to the Lord’s painful work in our lives as we see the greater purpose.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 10, 2013 16 comments

Raise your hand if you love to be criticized and told you’re wrong! Anybody? Nope, I didn’t raise mine either.

The word for this week is rebuke, which generally means to express sharp criticism of someone because of something they did or said. We as humans may enjoy rebuking others, but we don’t tend to like being the one who is rebuked. But being rebuked does have its benefits; we see in Proverbs 27:5 that, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” Similarly, Paul gives instruction to the young Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

But why are these verses true? Why is it good to be rebuked openly, and for us to rebuke others? If we are doing something that is contrary to God’s Word, we need to be told about it. If we don’t know we are doing wrong, we can’t try and fix that aspect of our lives. Sometimes the best way to be told is to be rebuked. Rebuking is often a sharp comment, so it may have a more dramatic effect in our lives than maybe a softer comment that we wouldn’t notice as much.

Don’t feel bad if you need to be rebuked by someone; even the apostle Peter needed to be rebuked pretty harshly by Jesus! We read about it in Matthew 16:21-23:

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’
Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’”

Peter starts out by rebuking Jesus, basically getting mad that Jesus would have to suffer and die. But Jesus turns it back on Peter, essentially calling him selfish and not concerned with God’s plan. Peter needed to be rebuked because He was being contrary to all of the prophecies in the Old Testament that had to be fulfilled, including Jesus’ suffering and death.

We, too, need to be rebuked if we are doing something that is contrary to God’s Word. If you are a Christ follower, this is why having a community of believers around you is essential - we need to have people in our lives that we trust to help keep us in line with God’s Word, and that are willing to rebuke us in love when needed. I encourage you to seek out such a community if you do not have one.

Reconcile - It's the Whole Point

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 6, 2013 0 comments

One of the things I hated most about school growing up was any time that I had to do a lot of reading. As an adult, I rather enjoy it. But as a child and then a teenager, I felt reading just took too much time when I would have rather been hanging out with my friends or doing something outside. Most of my friends felt the same way, so we used to joke and say our favorite author was a guy by the name of “Cliff Notes”. We really liked him as a writer because he could make the same point to us as other authors in far less words!

The Bible is a book with many writers, chapters, and verses. It has many different translations, interpretations, and topics. Maybe some of you have had a hard time getting started with reading it because you have looked at it and thought, “Where would I begin?” You may have wished there were some kind of shortened version, or maybe just asked someone to tell you what you need to know rather than have to read it yourself. Well, the nice thing about the Bible is that the entire book really does point to one main truth – reconciliation.

It’s been said that the first three chapters in the Bible in the Book of Genesis are about the creation of everything, including man, and the subsequent fall of man, but that the rest of the entire Bible is about God reconciling man back to himself. That reality should be all the reason you need to ignore the lies of the enemy who constantly tries to make you believe that God could never love you because of the things you have done to hurt him and others. It is important to include our sin as part of the story so that we know exactly why we need reconciliation. But aside from simply noting it, God has never been concerned with beating you down for anything you’ve done wrong. His Word is designed to show you that all you have to do is be willing and he will reconcile you back to himself. Not only was God wanting to reconcile you, he was willing to pay your ultimate consequences himself in order to do so.

One of my favorite New Testament passages and one you have seen me quote before if you are a regular reader of the blog is Colossians 1:21-23. The Apostle Paul essentially sums up the entire focus of the Bible in these three verses. “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (NIV). That’s it in a nutshell, friends. I mean, what else do we really need to know?

The unique thing about the Bible is that even though it all points to one simple point, you can always dig deeper if you want. Let’s look at the three main points in those verses that speak to our situation as sinful human beings. First, there was a time when we were alienated from God. Do you know that you were, and some of you may still be, “alienated from God”? That’s a hard truth to accept because many of us want to believe that we can just be good people, be kind to others, and obey the law and God will accept us. But the reality of reconciliation is that it can only happen where there is a need for it. The idea of reconciling two people back together implies that there has been some sort of separation. We must accept that our sins, regardless of how well we think we’re doing compared to others, have separated us from God.

Secondly, we are the objects of the reconciliation, not the subjects of it. What I mean by that is that God is the one who does the reconciling. There is nothing you or I could’ve done to reconcile ourselves back to God. We weren’t just enemies; we were hopeless and helpless. God is holy and cannot excuse sin, but he loves us too much to sit idly by while we completely destroy ourselves. Therefore, the ONLY possible way for us to be reconciled to him was if he took care of it for us. He did this “by Christ’s physical body through death”. Thankfully, God never tells us what to do to reconcile ourselves. He just says “be reconciled”, knowing it has already been done and we simply need to walk in that reconciliation.

In the well known passage in Matthew 5:23-24 that deals with conflict between fellow believers, Jesus says the same thing. He says that if you are offering your gift at the altar (worshipping) and realize that there is a problem between you and another believer, you are to “leave your gift there in front of the altar and first go and BE RECONCILED to your brother” (v. 24 [caps mine]). He doesn’t say “go and reconcile yourself”. The point is that God has already done the work and if we are Christian brothers and sisters, we know it! Notice that Jesus also does not say that we need to go and figure out who was right and who was wrong. He essentially just tells them to walk in what they already know through faith in God!

The third and final point in those verses to the Colossians that Paul makes is that we must “continue in our faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel”. God has already reconciled you. It is in the past. But it is also a present thing and, ultimately, a future thing regarding eternal reconciliation. The only way you can change your state of reconciliation with God is if you decide that it’s not enough, not worth it, or not true. The enemy will tempt you into believing these things because he desperately wants you to miss the whole point of God’s Word. I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and knowledge that no matter what you’ve done, you are no longer alienated because God himself is the true reconciler and no enemy or temptation can change it!


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 3, 2013 0 comments

The word reconcile is a word we probably don’t use much in our everyday conversation, at least I know I don’t. It’s one of those “big words” that just doesn’t seem to come up much. I tried to think about how I would define it, and I was having trouble coming up with my own description of this word. So, I turned to Google, which says that the verb “reconcile” has two meanings:
Restore friendly relations between people.
Cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible

So, to be reconciled with another person means to be in right relationship with them. There is no division in a reconciled relationship. But how does that relate to the Christian faith? We read about the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

That’s a pretty complex passage, and there’s a lot we could discuss in it. But since our word this week is reconcile, let’s focus on that. We see that not only are we (referring to those who believe in Christ as their savior) reconciled to God, but that He is reconciling the world to Himself as well - both of these through Christ. Christ is the only way that you and I can become in right relationship with God again, since we have all sinned and broken God’s law. Our sin and disobedience have broken our relationship with God, and there is no way we can make that right on our own; we need Christ and His death on the cross to do that for us.

Jesus Christ never committed any sin. But, He took on every sin that each one of us has committed or will commit so that we have the opportunity to be reconciled and restored to right relationship with God. Paul, the author of this passage, is imploring us to take Christ up on this offer; He went through so much to give us this opportunity that the least we can do is seize it!

It is most important for us to be reconciled into right relationship with God so that we can receive the gifts of His love and eternal life, as well as so He can give us the strength and courage to reconcile our earthly relationships with one another.

I encourage you today to examine your life. First of all, do you need any reconciliation in your relationship with God? Once you pursue that, do you need to reconcile any relationships with other people? Use the passage above as a starting point to begin your own ministry of reconciliation today.