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The Father's Love for You

“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:26-27). In recent years, I have found that “Christians” have views of the Father that are foreign to Scripture. These views are so awful that the same people ignore the Father and put all of their focus on the Son. This focus is not so that they can come to the Father but so that they can come to the Son only. These are evangelical, trinitarian Christians. However, their views of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are so different in character that it would be impossible to have these three be one deity. Here is a suggested exercise. Go through the Gospel of John and mark every reference to the Father. I think it will be surprising to you, both in how many references there are and what they say. Remember at this Christmas time that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
Recent posts

Nothing We Can Do, Nothing to Brag About

This post is taken from the booklet An Invitation, Not a Challenge , by Everett Wilson, brother of Jim Wilson. Nothing We Can Do So in verse 21 Paul stops talking about our earning and starts talking about God's giving. He takes us from a miserable Monday in February to Christmas morning, in one leap. On workdays, we earn; on holidays, we give and receive. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. In this righteousness apart from the law, God intends to set us right, not put us in the wrong. While law establishes justice in the world through rewards earned and punishment deserved, this righteousness apart from the law is a transforming gift. We are set right by God, not by anything we do or say or pray. There is nothing we can do. The alarmed response to that assertion comes faster than a speeding bullet. "Now wait a minute. There is too something we can do. We can believe. The next verse says that t

A Gift from God

This post is taken from the booklet An Invitation, Not a Challenge , by Everett Wilson, brother of Jim Wilson. A Gift from God One reason why people have such a hard time accepting salvation as a gift is that they have been trained to think of work as the way to reward. Then, when we become rich or are otherwise rewarded, we comfort ourselves that "we worked hard for it." Who wants the teacher to give the class goof-off an A, when the class grind had to work so hard to earn it? Who wants to see thieves and cheats rewarded with the spoils of their crimes? The goof-off doesn't deserve an A, so he should not get one. The thief has no right to another person's property, so should not be allowed to keep it. The trouble with these comparisons is that they have nothing to do with the gift of eternal life. Law is useful when it measures distinctions between right and wrong, good and bad. The justice system may straighten out a car theft by returning the car to its owner

An Invitation, Not a Challenge

This post is taken from the booklet An Invitation, Not a Challenge , by Everett Wilson, brother of Jim Wilson. An Invitation, Not a Challenge The gospel comes as a gift, not as a bill for payment. C. H. Spurgeon told a parable about that: A minister called on a poor woman in order to bring her a gift of money. He knocked and knocked, decided no one was home, and went on his way. Later he saw the woman at church and told her how he had called and not found her at home. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said. "When was that?" When he told her, she said, "Was that you? I was in the house but I didn't come to the door because I thought it was the man coming for the rent, and I didn't have it to give him!" Ministers, youth leaders, and Sunday School teachers all know what that is like. Week by week we come offering the gift of the gospel, the gift of eternal life, but many do not listen because they’re afraid we have come to take rather than to give. In the

Being Born Again Every Day

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7). Years ago, a friend of mine told me that he was not into evangelism because the more converts he had, the more backsliders he had. Of course, that is not a reason to hold back on evangelism, but it makes us wonder why it sometimes seems to be so. Here is a major reason. The new Christian often is not taught to live the Christian life the same as he was taught to receive Christ . He is taught a different way of living than he was taught of receiving. That is why he falls. The new Christian received Christ by grace through faith. He did not receive Christ by trying or by effort. He is not to live by trying or by effort. He is to live by grace through faith. In other words, the Christian life should be like being born again every day. Written February 1985. This post coord

Paul's Life of Prayer

There are many things in the life of the Apostle and his associates I can identify with. However, there is one aspect I wish I could identify with even more. It is their life of prayer. “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you , that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis” (Col. 4:12-13). “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to

What Keeps You Out of the Kingdom of God

Have you ever thought about who does not enter the kingdom and why? Here are a few explicit examples. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). “And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:3). “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’” (John 3:3). It is easy not to enter. The first example is things to do. The next three examples a