Tag Archives: Christ

Sabbatum Excerpt: John Stott on the Call to Follow Christ


“At its simplest Christ’s call was “Follow me.” He asked men and women for their personal allegiance. He invited them to learn from him, to obey his words and to identify themselves with his cause.

Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to give up all lesser loyalties. In the days of his ministry on earth, this often meant a literal abandonment of home and work. Simon and Andrew “left their nets and followed him.” James and John “left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” Matthew, who heard Christ’s call while he was “sitting at his tax booth… got up, left everything and followed him.”

In principle, the call of the Lord Jesus is unchanged today. He still says, “Follow me,” and adds, “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple.” In practice, however, this does not mean for most Christians that they will need to move out of their home and leave their job. What it does imply though is the need for an inner surrender of these things, and a refusal to allow either family or ambition to occupy the first place in our lives.”


John R. W. Stott, “Counting the Cost.” Basic Christianity. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. 133-34. Print.

 

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Biblical Nuggets: Mars’ Hill in Athens


Mars' Hill in AthensAt Mars’ Hill, also known as the Areopagus, Paul used an inscription to an “unknown god” as a starting point for proclaiming the good news of Christ to the Greek. He confronted widespread idol worship by declaring the true identity of the Creator. Using Greek worship and poetry, Paul articulated God’s demand for repentance and His provision of salvation through Jesus: “Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said… ‘What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you'” (Acts 17:22, 23).[1]

Source:

[1] Hubbard, Shiloh, Elliot Ritzema, Corbin Watkins, and Lazarus Wentz with Logos Bible Software and KarBel Media. Faithlife Study Bible Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012.

 

Grace for both, Found and Lost!


Ujjwal Rai
Ujjwal Rai

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Once I was lost for 3 hours in Kathmandu which is the capital city of Nepal. It isn’t even as crazily busiest as most other capital cities around the world. Since this incident, I rather shut my mouth from blurting before people that I was once lost when they talk about their first visit in the city. I reckon that to be pretty embarrassing to admit. Subsequently it can also raise a question at my basic knowledge of the city thus may jeopardize my whole identity as a knowledgeable or well-informed person. For this reason, I always discover different ways to get by in order to hide the story of being lost. I may feel what I am supposedly feeling inside but people may continually respect and accept me. This is my very propensity, and I am pretty convinced that I am not alone doing this!

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When a person says, “I have never been lost,” it must either mean that (s)he must have already been under Him and expected to constantly grow in the grace or totally deceived by his own lies and desperately in need of His grace.

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The Bible plainly affirms that the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Yes, Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but as a matter of fact, “I have never been lost. Why then should I need him?”, says my deceitful heart. And maybe so does yours. The real problem is not to comprehend Jesus’ coming, but rather admitting that I am the lost. When a person says, “I have never been lost,” it must either mean that (s)he must have already been under Him and expected to constantly grow in the grace or totally deceived by his own lies and desperately in need of His grace. Honestly, being in the state of deception is not equated with being in the state of found.

Well, It is not bad at all to feel found because God has created us with the feeling of found, not with the lost. The feeling of found, however, can be experienced in its intended way and at fullness only in Him. Sin has separated us from God in such a way that we will never take the initiation to search Him to be found. Moreover, Paul says in Romans 10:3 that people have established their own ways to make them feel found without God. But their hearts know that he has, by any means or performance, not been found but the false sense of being found is merely an ostentation. His pretension of being found is an idle endeavor to convince self that he was never lost in the first place to be found later. Sadly, this erroneous thought reflected my own thinking too.

Conversely, the Son of Man – the title Luke borrowed from Daniel 7:13-14 for Jesus in his Gospel- helps us to understand who Christ indeed is. Despite his grandeur majesty, he chose to stoop down to us in order to help us see that we are not what we claim to be but a guilt-ridden creatures who have utterly fallen through. He also invited us to trust in him, because he is only our hope who alone can fix our broken fellowship with God. His agonizing outburst with excruciating pain: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), was on our behalf so that we may be eternally found in Him!

All of us need the Son of Man whether we claim to be lost or found. Here is question for you and me: Do I want to knowingly believe in my false claim in order to feel found or do I want to believe in Christ so that I might be found in Him not only for this life but also for the life yet to come? If you are already found by his grace, are you seeking to grow even more in his grace or again discovering Christian ways of feeling found?

The author is a M.Div student in Calvin Theological Seminary. You may follow him in his Facebook page

Early Footsteps of the Man of Galilee: Place Where Christ Prayed, Garden of Gethsemane


The Garden of Gethsemane

Just outside of the garden and near the wall is pointed out a place where, it is asserted, Christ prayed. A lamp is kept continually burning there. If indeed, tradition is right in locating this important act of the Christ, the place is, next to Calvary, of all holy places, the most sacred. Here there was a heart that gathered into itself with sympathizing tenderness the woe and anguish of a race. Over against the story of the Garden of Eden, where the first man fell, we may place in our thought the story of the Garden of Gethsemane, where the second Adam triumphed. What the race lost in Paradise through transgression the race regained in Gethsemane by obedience. That the exact location of Eden and of Gethsemane can never be authoritatively declared does not lessen the hold of both upon the human imagination.

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Vincent, John, James Lee and R. E. M. Bain. Earthly Footsteps of The Man of Galilee and the Journeys of His Apostles. New York, NY;St. Louis, MO: N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1894.

Earthly Footsteps of The Man of Galilee: Rock upon Which Jesus Leaned


Rock upon which Jesus LeanedJust outside the Garden of Gethsemane and near the place where Christ is supposed to have uttered the last prayer is a large natural rock. Upon this bowlder, at the bottom of the Mount of Olives, Christ leaned for support and rest. There is no stronger support for this than tradition, but this is sufficient to draw pilgrims to it by the thousand.

We were here during the Greek Easter, and crowds of people were passing and repassing. We stood for a long time and watched them pass this rock. They were mainly members of the Greek Church from Russia, but coming near this stone they would bend over and kiss it with the deepest manifestation of affection. Often tears would fall on the rock along with the kisses of devotion. It was not a scene to witness without tears. It was an object lesson that appealed to the very depths of sentiment. It helped one to see what a hold Christ had upon the hearts of weary, burdened passengers from time to eternity.

The writer and the artist were here on the 28th of April, 1894. When the suggestion was made that a view of the rock would be interesting, the artist replied that it might be interesting from the sacred reverence with which the people regarded it, but as a picture he considered that it would not be attractive at all. So you see that it is only a small barren rock. It is not more than ten feet long and four feet high. Seen out of relation and association with the life and agony of Jesus Christ, it is without interest. Simply because Christ is thought to have seen it and leaned upon it when the weight and guilt of the world’s sin was breaking His heart, it is embalmed forever in the affections of the Christian world. All its significance comes from the fact that the loving and fainting Christ stood by it. What is true of this rock is true of this sacred land – it maintains its hold upon the human imagination because of its relation to Christ.

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Vincent, John, James Lee and R. E. M. Bain. Earthly Footsteps of The Man of Galilee and the Journeys of His Apostles. New York, NY;St. Louis, MO: N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1894.