Friday, August 1, 2014

What's this blog all about?

If you're just getting acquainted with my blog, then this post is probably the best place to start.

Welcome! This blog is dedicated to the glory of God. He has made himself known by sharing his most prized possession with us, his one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said, "Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father" (John 14:9). So my goal with this blog is to show you God by showing you Jesus.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high  
(Hebrews 1:3)
If God really let's us see him, then our lives will be irrevocably transformed (cf. John 4:10; Romans 12:1ff).

We all are in desperate need of God, whether we realize it or not. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Your life, the fact that you lived through last night, your every breath and heartbeat, your ability to go to work, your very existence--it all depends on the One who created all things and keeps all things in existence (cf. Hebrews 1:3). It would behoove you then to get to know him and understand what he wants of you and the world. We all, whether we think we know him or don't--we all need to know him more and more. And so we all need to know Jesus, the radiance of his glory.

And think of how greatly our need for him is amplified when we consider our sin problem. The Bible says "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:21). And although it says that "the wages of sin is death," it also says that "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus is the definitive answer to our sin problem. Since he willingly died on the bloody cross we can come to God as a welcoming, holy, good Father (1 Peter 1:17-21; 3:18).

So we must turn from our sins and trust in Christ as our Lord and Savior and Treasure. That's the aim of this blog. I want to help you know God in and through Christ, as he has made himself known infallibly in the Bible that has been breathed-out by God's Spirit (cf. 2 Timothy 3:15-17).

Find a Good Church

But before Christians tried making Christ-centered blogs, God made a Christ-centered community. God's word does God's work today best in the context of a local church. In our individualistic time after the enlightenment, and after the internet, where so much cheap info is available, some people might be tempted to think they can get all the truth their souls need by being consumers of blogs and listening to sermons online. But the Bible says we can only fully appreciate all that God is for us in Christ together with the church. For example, the apostle Paul prayed,
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 
(Ephesians 3:16-19)
So don't avoid or postpone finding a gospel-proclaiming church to become a member of because you think it's sufficient just to roll out of bed on a Sunday, plop down in front of your laptop, and listen to sermons or read Christian blogs online. That's a dumb idea. If you can't get to a church, like if you're homebound, that's one thing. But if you're perfectly able to join a church, do so! Even if you are homebound, find a church that you can connect to, who will minister to you and whose ministers will come and visit you and remind you of the gospel--or even find a way to bring you into the fellowship on the weekend. 

The point is, it's not a good idea to use internet resources as an excuse for not connecting with the the community of Jesus. Proverbs 18:1 says the person who does stuff, who "isolates himself" like this, "breaks out against all sound judgment." So it would be a bad judgment call to isolate yourself from the church because you've figured out another way to get your spiritual fix (cf. Proverbs 14:12). Hebrews 10:25 warns us against "neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some," and says that instead we need to be "encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

Serving the Church

But of course I still think there's a legitimate place for reading gospel-proclaiming blogs. Hence, this one. They shouldn't take the place of the church; they should serve the church. For example, that's why I have listed a bunch of good churches and church networks on one of the pages of this blog. Check 'em out, especially if you are not yet a baptized member of a local fellowship. Get connected to the church, "the body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:27)! And let me know if you need help finding one in your area.

The content on this blog is for you to ruminate on, discuss, and apply, to strengthen the church of the Living God. And I believe it will, because I intend on saturating it with Scripture. Scripture (synonymous with the Bible, God's word) feeds our souls. As God says through Moses and Jesus,
"It is written,
'Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the
mouth of God.'" 
(Matthew 4:4; cf. Deut. 8:3)
And it feeds our souls because it showcases the Lord Jesus Christ, the bread from heaven, the treasure of God.

Another benefit of a Scripture-saturated blog is that it will help this not be just another place on the internet with someone airing out his opinions. The Bible says, "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." (Proverbs 18:2) So if there's anything I write here that seems weird to you, don't just take my word for it. Take God's. Use it as an opportunity to grab a Bible, ask God to help you understand it, and study how God has guided others to understand it in the church from history to the present.

"The unfolding of your words give light..." (Psalm 119:130)

Since this is my introductory post, one "housekeeping item" is necessary. As I mention above, I plan on quoting Scripture a lot. As my dad used to say, "When Scripture speaks, God speaks." God does his work through his word. If anything good is to come from this blog, God's got to do it. I have no power with my thoughts that I share. He alone has the ability to speak light into someone's heart, just as he spoke the entire universe into being. Unless otherwise noted, I plan on quoting God's word as it's been faithfully translated in the ESV (Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001.) or a newer update of that translation.

Now may the Lord Jesus lift up the light of his glorious countenance upon you through his word. And as the light of his face dawns upon your soul, may you prize and praise him as your greatest treasure.
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