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Theology

This I Believe: The Power of the Holy Spirit

The Power of Holy Spirit
I believe that this redemption is applied to believers by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ, regenerates spiritually dead sinners, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus. By the Spirit’s activity, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family. The Holy Spirit seals believers unto the day of final redemption and is the down payment for those who have received this promised inheritance. He indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

John 3:1-8; 6:63; 7:37-39; 16:4b-15; 1 Cor. 12:1-13; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-12; Rom. 8:9-17; Gal. 3:1-9; 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 3:24; 4:13

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Life

What Astronauts See When They Are in Space

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20).

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Life

The Heavy Doctrine of Atonement for the Married Man

Next year at this time, I’ll be married. Lord willing, Carly and I will be living in Orlando, Florida, starting our life together, getting ready for me to attend seminary. That’s almost unbelievable to write. With each passing day though, it sinks in a little deeper. I’ve only been engaged for five weeks (just as long as we dated!), but in that time, God has already taught me so much about Jesus’ relationship with the Church and how Carly and I (especially me) are called to imitate that.

Ephesians 5:26 says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” At a Together for the Gospel conference, pastor Ligon Duncan said, “Doctrine is for marriage. Christ’s atonement has implications for how you men are to love your wife. Christ died for the Church. Husbands are called to do the same thing.” When we look at marriage like that, it’s humbling. For some, perhaps it’s depressing, thinking that men could never live up to that. The wonderful news of the gospel, however, is that Jesus has already accomplished the perfection we could not keep. Truly, we have a King and General who has won the victory for us in every area of life, including marriage.

Over the past month, the most compelling verse for me in preparation for marriage has been 1 Peter 3:7, which says, “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing her honor as the weaker vessel, since you are an heir with her in the grace of this life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” At first glance, you might scoff at this verse. What do you mean weaker?! How chauvinistic! The reality is, this verse is the complete opposite of chauvinism. In fact, this verse places the woman as the treasure of a man’s heart. This verse says that a man is to love, cherish, honor, and please his wife. Didn’t Jesus do that for us? He humbled himself to the point of death (Phil. 2:8), simply to show how much God loved his Bride. God wants us to have this perspective. Christ lived in complete understanding of the Church, knowing that he needed to give himself up so that we might be saved.

In my relationship with Carly, I have experienced this weight of glory. I have felt the Lord press it on my heart to live with Carly “in an understanding way.” What does this mean? Well, she is different than me and most days, I don’t have a clue why she is the way she is. Why? Because she’s a woman and I’m a man! We are entirely different. God calls me to chase her and figure her out. I want to know her. Didn’t Jesus do that for us? Didn’t he pursue and chase and woo us with his perfect and matchless grace? I’m not perfect-actually, I’m quite far from it. But God calls men to chase their wives and love them. It’s impossible to do with Carly on my own, but by God’s grace I’ll succeed.

This verse in Peter also calls husbands to show honor to their wives as the weaker vessel. Uh oh! Peter didn’t write that, did he? Hold on, Peter is not degrading wives. He’s stating the obvious. Physically and emotionally (in general!) women are weaker. This is how God made women. Instead of thinking that Peter is a pig-headed jerk, we need to remember that when Peter says this, his focus is on husbands, not wives. More importantly, we need to remember that God is the author of Scripture. It’s not bad to say this about women. Instead, it really puts the responsibility on the man to show his wife honor. What woman wouldn’t want that?

A husband shows his wife honor by trying to make her life easier through joyful and willing sacrifice. It’s not chauvinism for a man to lead and actually treat his wife like a lady. A man’s not being a jerk when he wants to sacrifice everything for his bride. I want to do that. After all, didn’t Jesus do that for us?

Categories
Theology

Jesus, not Santa, is Watching You

Has the thought sufficiently gripped my mind and begun to dominate my every action, producing the quality of transparency in my life?
– Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone

During this Christmas season, we sing about Santa watching us to find out whether we are naughty or nice.  Let us remember that Jesus is always watching us.  That’s not a cause to be afraid.  It should cause us to humbly bow before him, his omniscience, and marvel at his word, which judges and discerns the intentions of our hearts (Heb. 4:15-16).