Does Everyone Believe in God?

I have always believed that everyone believes in God…at least to some extent.  Obviously, others disagree.  According to atheists.org, atheism is a “lack of belief in gods”. According to the website, atheism is not a belief that there is no god, but rather a lack of belief in gods.  I guess there is a difference in those two phrases but I believe that the scripture begs to differ.   In Romans chapter 1 Paul comments on God’s revelation of His existence.  Let’s read verses 20-21:  ”20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are […]

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Yes, It Really Is That Bad

Romans 1:18-31 is a mess, a sin-filled mess, where Paul describes in graphic detail the true character of man apart from being transformed by Christ.  I suggest you read the entire section of verses but I’m going to talk about them piece by piece.  Let’s look at the first two verses this morning:  “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.”  This is the beginning of Paul’s description of the depravity of men. Note that Paul says that […]

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Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

After writing that he was praying for the Romans and that he desired to serve the Romans, Paul writes this:  “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  Paul was not ashamed to tell the Romans the gospel of Christ, the truth that Jesus is God’s Son, that He died on a cross to pay the penalty for their sins […]

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Selflessness

I have shared many times that I’ve struggled with selfishness in my life.  Perhaps it originates from being an only child the first 12 years of my life or, more likely, it originates from my sinful heart. Nevertheless, I’ve struggled to see life through the prism of others instead of me.  I believe that had I not encountered Jesus Christ as a young adult, the arc of my life would have been toward myself and I don’t think it would have been pretty.  So my ears perk up when I read passages in Paul’s letters which describe his selflessness. Here is one […]

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Called Through the Power of Jesus

The book of Romans is, in my opinion, the greatest theological letter of the New Testament. This letter is probably the most preached, taught and studied of any New Testament text outside of the gospels and perhaps even to a greater extent than any one of the gospels.  I’m very excited to see what God has in store for us as we walk through this together.  Let’s begin with the first seven verses: “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our […]

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Peace…Always Peace

Today wraps up Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians.  Tomorrow we are going to kick up the theology a notch as we start Romans.  Romans is not for the faint of heart but I’m excited about spending some time in it, verse by verse. Here are the last verses of 2 Thessalonians: 16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.  17 The salutation of Paul with my own hand, which is a sign in every epistle; so I write.  18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  I too often am […]

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Can I Disagree Without Hating or Disrespecting?

This post is a little longer than normal.  A little while ago I dipped my toe into a Facebook dialogue on the idea of homosexuality.   A person posted that opposition to homosexuality was hateful and disrespectful to others in that lifestyle.  I asked the question:  “Can I teach that homosexuality is sinful without hate or disrespect?”  The answer I received was “no”.  I wasn’t surprised but I am surprised by the idea that to disagree with someone’s choices is characterized by the words “hate and disrespect”.  Now, obviously it’s possible to be hateful and disrespectful in our words and actions […]

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The Importance of Work

Yesterday’s post discussed the sacredness of work and the importance of work to our testimony. Paul continues that theme in chapter 3 with an exhortation to those who refused to work.  Here is what we read in verses 10-12:  “10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.”  We […]

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Sacred Work

This section of 2 Thessalonians gives instruction on the importance of living our lives.  Most of us have heard the phrase, “walk the walk”. That’s what’s on Paul’s mind here in these next few verses:  “7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.”  The way a follower of Jesus […]

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Sometimes You Have to Walk Away

The next paragraph in 2 Thessalonians speaks to how we should live and how to treat those who do not follow Jesus.  These next words are very sobering:  “6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. “  What do you when those you care about become “disorderly” and no longer seek to follow Jesus?  I don’t believe that a “one size fits all” approach is usually very effective.  And this command is difficult…it seems to go against the idea of […]

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