Saturday, July 26, 2014

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

A Fishing Boat on the Sea of Galilee

One of the popular ways that many scholars reject Christianity is to say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  Instead, they say, the early church “made” him into a god.  Jesus, they say, was a popular rabbi—nothing more.  One version of this theory, which is popular in Israel, is that it was the apostle Paul who turned Jesus into a god.  These scholars claim that in the first three gospels, Jesus never says that he is God.  Only later were these claims “added,” as in the gospel of John, which was written later than the others. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Presence of a Holy God

The fire of God falls on the altar in the Tabernacle

How can we cultivate something pure in a corrupt world—if we ourselves are not pure?  How can we cultivate something holy if we ourselves are not holy?  Because that’s what God is asking us to do:  to bring the presence of a holy God into our lives and into our corporate life together, into our church. 

But this is a scary thing.  Why?  Because we are unworthy.  As the centurion said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof...” (Matt. 8:8).  That’s true.  We are not worthy.  But that’s what God wants to do.  He wants to come into our lives and live with us here—every day, every hour. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Healing the Sick

Pool of Bethesda

If there is one thing that characterizes the ministry of Jesus more than any other, it’s his healing ministry.  This is what gave his ministry an international reputation. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Is the Holy Spirit Holy?

Banias Waterfall in Israel

I know this sounds like a trick question.  But I just want to point out that we often think of “Holy Spirit” as a name for God’s Spirit, without thinking of what the name means.  What do you think of when you hear the name “Holy Spirit”?  Do you think of God’s power, of his might?  Do you think of lightning from heaven?  Of great miracles?  Or do you think of holiness?