A theology of total depravity

The biggest myth in our world today is the belief that mankind has some type of redeeming quality in and of themselves. Perpetuated by the belief that original sin only wounded mankind, instead of completely making him depraved, we carry on with the belief that somehow salvation can be obtained by our own innate goodness, works, or some combination of the two.

The reality is that because of sin, we are completely and utterly lost. The Bible describes it in this manner:

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Genesis 6:5

“The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” Genesis 8:21

“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34

The fact of the matter is that there is no way you can earn your way into heaven. There is no good behavior pass. There is no clause in the Bible that says, “Oh, Read more…

Don’t Give Up!

As I contemplated the concepts of discipleship, I came across verses such as:

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

And I concluded that being a disciple is not an easy task… in fact, true discipleship will be a life long struggle to follow Jesus over our own desires, wants, and comforts.

This year started off badly for my family and me. I’m sure that the start of 2013 will go down in our history as one of the most hurtful, challenging, trying months we have ever encountered. Family issues, church issues, and health issues have all taken their toll on what should have been a year of great breakthrough and growth.

However, in all honesty, I think that it’s these moments that really test your faith and tell you exactly who you are. In the midst of storms and tribulations, do we become better or bitter? Do we trust more in Christ or use any excuse to back away from the calling over our lives? Are we willing to take up that cross and follow Christ, even if it means pain and sacrifice?

I’m no hero in the faith. I’m just some guy who decided that in spite of all that has happened, I’ll trust God more. I choose to believe that if God allows us to go through bad times, it’s for a greater purpose—or as Romans 8:28 aptly says:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

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What does being a disciple mean?

The dictionary provides a simple definition for a disciple, being a “follower, adherent, believer, student, or supporter.” In addition, a disciple is one who believes and follows the teachings of another, and desires to learn more of his master’s will.

An important aspect to discipleship is faith. The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Therefore, we need to believe have faith in order to follow him as a disciple. It’s a simple concept in theory but a difficult one to practice.

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The Truth of Christianity and What it Means to be Saved.

The following verses have just captured my attention lately. For the past months, I’ve been contemplating deeply on the truth of Christianity and what it means to be saved. There are so many good people in church. They are the many people who sacrifice to take care of their families and abstain from a lot of the vices of this world. Yet, Jesus plainly states in Matthew 7:21-23:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It gets to me every time. We can be so religious and pious that we completely miss the mark. Our salvation is not dependent on what we do but rather who we know. The only way to God is through knowing Jesus (John 14:6).

This is what hurts so much as I preach to the many good people I run across on a daily basis. They give to the Red Cross. They attend service Sunday mornings. They don’t curse, drink, or smoke. They treat their wives and families with the utmost care and love. Yet, all of these things by themselves are meaningless without a relationship with Jesus. Being good doesn’t equate to being a Christian!

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Personal Reflections

I’ve been taking a break from blogging these last few weeks. It seems that after nearly a year of doing this, I’ve hit the proverbial May/June swoon (a phrase I prefer over “writer’s block”). It’s not that I don’t have anything to share… I have so much I want to express in writing that it’s been hard to focus on one thing.

So let me share what’s been on my heart…

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