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The Messiah's Authoritative Expectations, 1

We live in a culture that promotes self-esteem. We hand out trophies to everyone so that no one will feel bad about themselves. We protect each other’s fragile egos by avoiding confrontation. But Scripture takes a different approach. God knows that the last thing we need is to feel better about ourselves. In fact, Scripture seems to go out of its way to point out just how bad we are. Take Romans 3:9-20 for example, the Old Testament law, or Jesus’s sermon on the mount. These are just a few of the passages that want us to come away feeling bad about ourselves, not to drive us to depression, but to drive us to life. You see the worse we feel about ourselves as we realistically face our sin and its damaging effects, the more we will see that we need Jesus and His righteousness to have any hope of standing before God some day. So, throw pop-psychology’s self-esteem, recognize your sinfulness, and turn to the God who helps the poor in Spirit by giving them the kingdom of heaven. - Pastor Rory Martin Read More

The Messiah's Ministry Initiation

When we put our faith in Christ, we are saying that we want to follow Christ, allowing Him to become the guide and authority of our lives. But we often fail to recognize why it matters. We easily fall into the trap of following Jesus for what we can gain from it. We gain everlasting life, relationships in the church, in some cases, even our livelihood, and these things are good. But they miss the greatest benefit of following Christ which is Christ Himself. You see when we follow Christ, we gain Christ, and when we gain Christ, we need nothing more. All of those other things are fringe benefits that we turn into the benefit. May God help us to glory in our relationship with Christ as ultimate, rather than exalt Jesus’s good gifts above Him. If not, we may come to find that we weren’t real followers of Christ at all, just members of the crowd looking for a freebie. Read More

The Messiah's Difficult Test

It’s difficult and frustrating to be a human much of the time. We fight and fight against sin and often with very little to show for it. This is the way it has been since the fall. Ever since Adam and Eve disbelieved God, doubted His Word, and pursued making themselves to be gods, all of humanity has struggled in the battle against sin. But one human was able to defeat it. When Jesus was tempted with temptations in many ways similar to what Adam and Eve faced, He was victorious. Jesus’s victory over temptation from Satan proved that He was the very best human and the only One as righteous as God. He proved His worthiness as a spotless sacrifice to appease God’s wrath and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Praise be to Jesus for His endurance through temptation and His righteous life that won our salvation. Read More