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The Messiah's Authoritative Healing

We live in a world where Jesus is increasingly seen as a good moral teacher, but nothing more. In fact, even as Christians, we can be guilty of functionally denying that Christ was anything more than a good moral teacher. This happens, in particular, when we dismiss His teachings as merely a good idea instead of authoritative revelation. Matthew 8:1-17 notes a few people who saw who Jesus really was, the God-Man, and who let that reality change their lives. A leper worshipped, a centurion submitted, and a woman served Him. These are the lives that reveal true faith in their worship of Jesus as God, much more than those who give mere verbal assent to Him but fail to become genuine disciples. One day, we may be surprised at who is seated at the marriage supper of the Lamb and who is absent, because we accept cultural Christianity without demanding real faith. May God in His mercy and grace give us eyes to see Jesus for who He really is and faith to trust Him, so that we might not be among those who are absent from His kingdom. - Pastor Rory Martin Read More

Who's Next

God’s plan is to use us to reach another generation for Christ. That starts with teaching our children the gospel and pointing them to Jesus. For many of us, that responsibility begins in our own homes as we seek to make disciples of our own children. The church, as a whole, shares a responsibility to reach the children of members, especially, but reaching the next generation doesn’t stop with children. Universities across the United States have become mission fields in their own right, with foreigners pouring in to gain knowledge and learn about our culture. By making disciples of these college students, we can see the gospel taken into countries that are closed to the gospel and foreign missionaries, and these converts may become the seed of churches around the world. But we also need trained pastors for these churches. And that is where intentional discipleship after conversion can point prospective vocational ministers toward that work that God’s Word calls good. From cradle to college, the need to reach the next generation is a huge responsibility. May God grant us the wisdom to praise God’s works and declare His mighty acts to the next generation, as He commissioned us before He ascended. Read More

The Messiah's Authoritative Expectations, 3

Admonishment is difficult to accept. Our initial reaction can often result in a defensive response, or even an offensive rebuttal. Comparing our sin with others, or pointing to a seemingly worse offense, indicates an attitude of denial and a lack of humility. The Sermon on the Mount continues to expose the idols of our hearts, especially when it comes to self-contrived righteousness. Jesus points out in Matthew 7:1-5 how backwards our thinking is when we judge the lives of others yet fail to recognize our very own lifestyle of sin. This blatant inconsistency is not so obvious when we make a habit of elevating our good works as a way of ignoring our faults. Jesus describes such persons as “workers of lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23). Even our own righteousness will ultimately condemn us. Read More