Friday, November 30, 2007

Instantaneous Deliverance?

My friend Randy had a video clip on his blog where a man claimed that he was instantaneously set free from same-sex attraction (SSA). I thought you would appreciate it if I posted my response here, too:

God is sovereign. He can work the miracle of deliverance from homosexuality instantaneously if He wants to. I think that is exceptionally rare and certainly not my experience. I would still recommend to anyone who claims that miraculous experience to take the same path as anyone else fighting SSA. We all need to pray, know and apply scripture, and share in Christian fellowship with accountability.

If I personally knew that guy I would actively, regularly encourage him to continue to move forward in his walk with God. I would expect him to succeed, not fail. We should never have the attitude of sitting back waiting for the guy to fail so we can say, "see, I told you so!"

Emotional experience is definitely important in sanctification. I cannot persuade a drug addict to stop by mere logic. It takes a repeated display of sacrificial love and a vivid portrayal of the beauty and desirability of the alternative - God Himself! People need to both know and feel the beauty of the True God before they can drop their idols.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mark Driscoll on Humility

This is a clip of our pastor Mark Driscoll publicly apologizing for his pride. He said that humility has been his most serious omission in ministry and he regrets the way his bad example has led many others in our church into sinful pride. I so respect that courage, honesty, and genuine-looking repentance.

Something to be truly happy about!

"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."
- 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (ESV)

"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
- 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (ESV)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Beauty and Mystery

Last Sunday our pastor taught on the following scripture:

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
-Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)

It always amazes me when I think of the depth of love Jesus expressed in humbling Himself and serving that way! Charles Wesley wrote the following verses about this soon after he became a Christian. I often sing this to God in my private times of worship. It so movingly expresses the beauty and and mystery of what Jesus did. It just exceeds our ability to comprehend!

He left His Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite His grace!),
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

'Tis mystery all: th'Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

- Charles Wesley, 1738

Here is a link to the music for these verses.