Posts Tagged With: Truth

The Mysterious Member of the Trinity (Part 2)

flickr-holy-spirit-stained-glassYou could call the Holy Spirit Jesus’ going away present, first to His disciples, and then, of course, to each of us. As you will hear in this PODCAST, we’re talking about The Third Member of Trinity, the Mysterious Member of the Trinity.

Here in John 14-17 — the so-called Upper Room Discourse, even though as we noted last week, Jesus taught the amazing truths of John 15-17 after He and the disciples-minus-Judas had hastily departed the Upper Room, steps ahead of the Judas-led-posse seeking Jesus’ arrest — we have the first extended theological discussion of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, actually in the entire Bible.

Up until now the biblical writers have been largely silent regarding the multifaceted ministry of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit is mentioned throughout the Old Testament. But the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is not developed in the Old Testament. This, as you are about to hear, for very good reason, one that harkens all the way back to the very first podcast in this series.

So here we have, in the Upper Room Discourse, one of the very few places in Scripture where the biblical writers (in this case, John) devote much ink and parchment to a discussion of the Mysterious Member of the Trinity.

One of three principle themes that Jesus develops in this, His  farewell address to His men, literally minutes before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Underscoring this entire Upper Room Discourse is a vitally

important principle to which Jesus alluded in High Priestly Prayer that we will study in detail in John 17. A declarative sentence of very few words that speaks volumes as to how Jesus wants His committed followers then and now to engage the world in which we live.

John 17:15: “Father, I do not ask you to take my followers out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.”

HOW UTTERLY IRONIC!!! (I’ll tell just how ironic in this podcast. Enjoy!)

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Parable of the Despised Samaritan

Online GreetingIt’s universally called “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.”

Universally, that is, except where Jesus is concerned.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, if Luke 10:33 in the NLT is any indication, Jesus would have most likely entitled this, “The Parable of the Despised Samaritan.”

A title which goes to the heart of this story, really. Something that I need for you to feel as you listen, and to feel it deeply. For if not, this parable completely loses its punch.

Forget about shifting a paradigm. With this one parable, Jesus completely obliterated the paradigm, and created a whole new paradigm on the spot.

You are in for both a treat and a challenge.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Forcing the Devil to Flee

resistIt is, without a doubt, one of the most precious truths in all of the Bible. From the lips of Jesus Himself to the seventy upon their return from their first mission’s trip, in this PODCAST you will hear Him say,

“I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”

Fact: Satan is a fallen foe.

Fact: The devil has been defeated.

As we have discussed for the past two weeks, Fact: Satan is not losing the war; he has already lost it.

There is a day coming, sooner rather than later, when in the words of John,

“The devil who deceived them (will be) thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20).

There is a day coming, sooner rather than later, when at the mere mention of Jesus’ name,

“every knee will bow (including the devil and every one of his demonic minions)… and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2).

The day has already come when, in the words of James,

“the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror,” (James 2).

So yes, Satan IS a fallen foe. The devil IS — right now, in real time — a thoroughly defeated foe.

Consequently, there is a verse. Or more accurately, a part of a verse. A half of a verse. One that is buried in the very back of the Bible. In the Apostle John’s first letter, chapter 4. Fourteen words (in the NASB) to be exact.

One sentence we will now highlight and underscore and amplify. A precious truth that perfectly frames any discussion of spiritual warfare and our vulnerability to what Paul described as

“all the schemes, strategies, and deceits of the devil.”

A fundamental fact of our faith that you will now hear, and cherish, in this PODCAST.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Swimming in a Sea of Tranquility

lake_tranquility-1920x1200In this PODCAST, we will discover together an amazing privilege that is ours, especially given tormented world in which we live.

We have been given a unique gift of God’s blessing that Jesus Himself empowers us to bestow on His behalf to others.

Just so you know, this is the kind of person I long to be.

This blessing and privilege defines a pretty amazing purpose statement for our lives.

This is HUGE!

There are so many troubled people in this tortured world of ours. In case you hadn’t noticed, this world has become a #Very.Scary.Place. There seems to be a fog of uncertainty that leaves many of us reeling from feelings of unease in our world today — on a global level, as well as on a personal one. It seems to so many as if the world spinning out of control, as if their world is spinning out of control. To the point where God’s peace is the polar-opposite of what people experience in their self-medicated souls.

Something that is as unsettlingly true in our day as it was in Jesus’ day. Believe me: Life was tough then too.

So in this passage, a very gentle Jesus, who sees people then and now as harassed, helpless, confused, fearful, insecure, fragile… Precious people whom Jesus describes as vulnerable sheep without a loving, caring shepherd.

To people just like them, He then and He now offers the blessing of His peace: the calm contentment that in a world spinning increasingly out of control, Jesus is and ever shall be very much in control.

The most amazing aspect of this is the fact that — as you are about to hear — Jesus gave us, gave YOU, the ability to confer His peace on those so desperately in need of, and craving, His peace.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

May God bless YOU with His peace as you listen.

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One Defining Moment

SH smallIn this week’s PODCAST, I am going to take a great big risk and tell you a personal story. A story that I have on rare occasions shared with individuals. But this will be the first time I’ve ever told this story in a public setting.

I tell this story for a number of reasons. 

First, of course, because it goes right to the heart of this podcast’s passage. It illustrates precisely the issue to which Jesus was referring here in Matthew 5:33-37, a subject of monumental importance as far as Jesus’ teaching was concerned.

Second, because it gives to you a bit of personal context, a piece of the portrait of my life within which my teaching takes place.

Third, because if the old adage is true — Like pastor, like people — or as the OT puts it, “Like people, like priest” (Hosea 4:9), then this explains why there has evolved a pandemic of phoniness in our churches.

Fourth, because this became a defining moment in my life and ministry. It cemented for me an approach to ministry, an approach to life, for which, over the years, I have paid a hefty personal price. And for which I continue to pay a hefty price.

Fifth, because this was one of the most disillusioning experiences of my life, and sent me reeling in terms of my faith. I would not be overstating the case to suggest that it prompted a crisis of faith, not to mention cemented for me what was becoming my perception of the Christian life and church life as a “game people play.”

Sixth: This story perfectly frames Jesus’ concerns as He addressed them here in His Sermon on the Mount.

We have much to learn together in this PODCAST.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING, and PLEASE share the link to this message with others.

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A Matter of Interpretation

This is going to be fun, and oh-so-instructive.

This is the kind of a lesson I LOVE to teach.

Did you realize that in Matthew 5:18, Jesus made one of the single most dramatic, declarative statements He would ever make?

In one sweeping sentence that we explained at length last week, Jesus affirmed the Bible — every book, chapter, verse, word, letter — as absolute truth.

bible-light-raysThrough the process of Revelation, whereby God revealed Truth to His writers, and the process of Inspiration, whereby God guided His writers to write down that Truth w/o error, we now hold in our hands a precious book that 2 Timothy 3:16 (CEV) rightly calls “God’s Word.”

Revelation. Inspiration. In this PODCAST, we consider together a matter of Interpretation. How to understand the Bible… properly.

#WhatDoesItMean??? 

Because the sad fact is this: By stringing a few unrelated verses together, people can literally make the Bible say anything they want it to say. Anything! And they do.

We.Do.Not. We have far too much respect for the Bible to play fast and loose with its divinely inspired text.

Please note that depending upon your web browser, it might take up to 60 seconds for the podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING!

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Our Firm Foundation

foundationThe scene could not have been more chaotic. Crowds clamoring for Jesus’ blood. The blood-thirsty mobs hurling their false accusations at Jesus as they tried to convince the Romans that this man needed to die. The Roman soldiers salivating at the prospect of torturing yet another helpless victim.

And through it all, once the mayhem ended, once the maelstrom calmed down, the echoes of one question continued to reverberate against the city’s walls and over her cobblestone streets. You can read this singularly significant question in John’s account of Jesus’ execution.

Pilate, the Roman governor who held Jesus’ fate in his blood-stained hands, looked Jesus right in the eye and inquired of Him a three-word question that, in a haunting sort of way, continues to resound in our day.

Jesus had just said to Pilate, “What I say is true.” Pilate then sneered and cynically asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

In this PODCAST, we will discover the answer together.

And that answer IS the FIRM foundation of our faith!

Please note that depending upon your web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for the podcast to begin to play.

May God richly bless you as you listen.

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