Fresh Light on Hebrews 4:12: The Word of God is Sharper . . .

The following is an excerpt from the Study Guide to my upcoming book, Jesus Now.

It’s an excerpt from the Bonus Chapter that only appears in the Study Guide.

You can get the book at a 50% discount and the companion Study Guide FREE if you order the book on May 5 to May 8th from a certain Christian online bookstore (NOT Amazon) that I’ll make known on May 5th, right here. So be sure you subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss the opportunity.

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Bonus Chapter: What You Didn’t Know About Hebrews 4:12

When I was a young believer, I committed to memory Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Admittedly, I had no clue what “the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow” meant.[Continue Reading...]

The Forgotten Conscience

Save the Date. My new book, JESUS NOW releases May 5th. Wait to get it on that day from a special online bookstore (to be announced here) and get the Discussion Guide FREE. Plus, that store will beat the price of every other online or on-the-ground bookstore, including Amazon.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Jesus Now.

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I want to explore the human conscience and its role in our walk with God in a bit more depth here than I did in chapter 1.

Think of the conscience as a window by which the light of heaven shines through to our spirits. Through the conscience, the Holy Spirit corrects, reprimands, and makes us feel uneasy when we take a step that contradicts our new nature in Christ.

A believer’s conscience reproves sin and approves righteousness. In order to walk in the Spirit, we must learn how to be sensitive to the voice of our consciences. For the Christian, the conscience is an inward monitor that alerts us to our spiritual condition.

The conscience bears witness to God’s will (Rom. 2:15; 2 Cor. 4:2), and it testifies to the truth (Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12; 5:11). Paul and Peter exhorted believers to follow their consciences (Rom. 13:5; 1 Cor. 10:25–29; 1 Pet. 2:19). The New Testament describes five different states of the human conscience:[Continue Reading...]

Resurrection Sunday

Save the Date. My new book, JESUS NOW releases May 5th. Wait to get it on that day from a special online bookstore (to be announced here) and get the Discussion Guide FREE. Plus, that store will beat the price of every other online or on-the-ground bookstore, including Amazon.

Here is a Resurrection song I sang and recorded many years ago: Broken Body, Precious Blood

Here is my favorite Resurrection song of all time, hands down, walkin’ out: My Favorite Resurrection Song

Here is a more recent one that I like a lot.

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Whatever you’re going through right now, He’s conquered the grave, He’s alive, and He’s on the throne . . . and ever lives to make intercession for you as your Great High Priest!

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Exposing a Misguided Teaching

The following are excerpts from my upcoming book, Jesus Now: Unveiling the Present-Day Ministry of Christ. They come from the chapter on the High Priestly ministry of Christ.

Don’t buy the book until May 5th. You’ll get the book at a 50% discount and you’ll receive the Study Guide free if you order the book from a certain online bookstore (not Amazon). Check back on the blog May 5th. Save the date.

Most errors circulating in the Christian world today can be found in the New Testament era. In particular, the two main enemies of the gospel—legalism and libertinism (license to sin)—were both present in the early church.

Galatians was written to legalists—hence the strong emphasis on liberty, freedom, and grace. James was written to libertines, those who presumed on the grace of God and turned it into a license to sin. Thus the book of James is strong on obedience, faith that expresses itself in works, repentance (for the believer), and false faith (or presumption).[Continue Reading...]

Giving No Thought to Christ

“There have been some who were so preoccupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.”

~ C.S. Lewis

I wish I knew about this quote when I wrote Jesus Manifesto with Len Sweet. It sums up our entire argument.

Alas, better late than never.

By the way, there are only 7 more days left to register for my online discipleship course, Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ. Registration closes March 15th and will not reopen until the end of the year. Click here to check it out.[Continue Reading...]

The Message Most Needed, But the One Few Want to Hear

As I shared on Monday, I’ve finally gotten around to answering your blog survey questions from last year. On Monday, I answered questions about the rapture and the second coming of Christ.

Another question from the survey was, “Can you give some advice on equipping church planters?”

Another was, “When you discern that God has called you to ministry, what advice do you have with respect to that calling?”

Still another question was, “I read your book Finding Organic Church about apostolic ministry and I believe that I may be called to that ministry. What would you say is the most important quality in someone who has that calling?”

To my mind, all three questions have the same answer.

So I thought the best way to address them was to publish (for the first time) a transcript of a message I delivered to a group of hungry Christians that were attempting to live in community over a decade ago.[Continue Reading...]

Someone Didn’t Get the Memo: Being a Christian in a Social Media Saturated World

In the 90th episode of my podcast, Adrian Warnock and I discuss what Christians need to know about the online world — including social media.

There are moral and spiritual dimensions to reading and posting online. Consequently, God’s people need to be attuned to His ways as it applies to social media, blogging, email, etc.

Adrian and I recorded this podcast with him in England and I in the USA. Amazing!

Oh, Adrian asks you all a question at the end of the podcast. We’d appreciate it if you answered it in the comments below.[Continue Reading...]

The Keeping Power of God

I used to envy people who could wax eloquent about the day, the year, and the time of their conversion to Jesus Christ. I could never do that.

My mind can still replay some of the testimonies I’ve heard: “I got borned-again on July 10, 1965 at 5:37 p.m. in my Chevy convertible. I do believe that I heard the angels quake with glee at that very moment.”

Similar words could never fall out of my mouth.

If I had to guess, I was approximately ten years old when it happened. Or some age close to that. (I couldn’t tell you the year if there were a gun to my head!) I take comfort in the fact that I don’t have the vaguest recollection of my physical birth. Yet I’m quite sure that I was born.

(To contemporize Descartes, “I think therefore I be.”) In the same way, I can’t quite remember the specifics of my spiritual birth. But I know it happened.[Continue Reading...]