The Top Ten Most Read Posts of February

It’s the end of another month, so it’s time to review the top ten most read posts on Preacher of Truth for February, 2014.  If you’re new to the blog, give these a read.  If you’ve read them before, hope you read ’em again and share them with others.  As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read and support this blog!  You are greatly appreciated!

Jon

  1. Do Not Think That I Have Come To Abolish The Law Or The Prophets
  2. When The Spirit of Truth Comes…
  3. Discouragement: Satan’s Greatest Weapon
  4. All of Us Who Have Been Baptized Into Christ Jesus
  5. That They May All Be One
  6. Let Us Run With Endurance The Race That Is Set Before Us
  7. You Shall Love The Lord Your God
  8. A Circumcision Made Without Hands
  9. But Have Not Love
  10. If Anyone Would Come After Me, Let Him Deny Himself And Take Up His Cross Daily And Follow Me

“…The Radiance of the Glory of God…”

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 – Scripture of the Day (February 28, 2014)

I’m reminded of when Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us,” to which Jesus replied, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:8-9).  No wonder the Hebrew writer called Jesus “the radiance of the glory of God!”  When we behold Jesus, we see the glory of God (John 1:14)!  Even more thought provoking, when we let others see Jesus in us, they see an extension of the glory of God in us because we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).  This is why God wants us to grow in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Pet. 1:5-7).

Earlier in that same conversation, Jesus had said to Thomas, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7).  This is why the Hebrew writer referred to Jesus as “the exact imprint” of the nature of God.  Paul said this about Jesus:  “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9).

Paul also said earlier in his letter to the Colossians, “…and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).  In like manner the Hebrew writer proclaimed that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”  With such power and might as Jesus has, how foolish are we to deny him!

Thank God we have nothing to fear if we obey him, because he purified us from our sins through his sacrifice on the cross, something the Hebrew writer would allude to both here and later in his epistle (Heb. 2:17; 9:26, 28).  After doing so, he “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” when he ascended into heaven.  There he sits right now, our Lord and Savior and Mediator, reigning over his kingdom the church and all angels, authorities, and powers (Eph. 1:20-23; 1 Pet. 3:22).  There he will continue to reign until all enemies are under his feet (1 Cor. 15:25-26).

Have you submitted to him?

Repent therefore, and turn again…

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…

Acts 3:19-20a – Scripture of the Day (February 27, 2014)

What does it mean to repent?  The word is translated from the Greek word metanoeo, which literally means “to change one’s mind.”  To illustrate, if you and I get in a car to head to McDonald’s, and on the way we see Taco Bell and decide we’d rather have a taco than a Big Mac, and so we pull into Taco Bell instead of going to McDonald’s.  Guess what we’ve just done?  We’ve repented of McDonald’s…that is, we changed our minds about McDonald’s.  Not only that, but our actions also changed as a direct, unavoidable result of changing our minds.  We decided to go to Taco Bell instead of McDonald’s, and our actions followed suit.

God wants us to repent of sins.  He wants us to change our minds about our sin.  He wants us to stop glorying in our sin and letting it reign in our lives (Rom. 6:17-18).  He wants us to start having the same sorrow over our sins that he has, which in turn will lead to our repentance, and thus to our salvation (2 Cor. 7:9-10).  That’s why we are told to repent before being baptized in order that our sins will be forgiven (Acts 2:38).  In baptism we die to our old selves, are buried with Christ, and rise to a new life (Rom. 6:3-5).  How can any of that happen without repentance first?

Repentance is so much more than simply acknowledging that we’ve sinned, although that certainly is part of it (1 John 1:7-9).  The Bible speaks of “bearing fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8; Acts 26:20).  We show that we’ve truly changed our minds about our sin through our actions, and the Bible talks about what actions show a mind changed from the carnal to the spiritual.  Actions which manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) rather than the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) show whether repentance has truly taken place, and it is our actions which show the true condition of our heart (Mark 7:20-22).

Repentance…without it none of us will be forgiven.