What are Your Stones of Testimony and Advance?

Thursday, March 20, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Joshua 4:20, And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; 23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” 

God brought His people over the Jordan River on dry land. By His power, He caused the waters to stop flowing at the point where Israel crossed over. It was a great miracle and blessing of advance for the lives of the people and their nation! 

So great was the moment that it needed to be remembered for all generations. While the river was dry, they took twelve stones from the river bed and set them up as a memorial to the day they crossed over the Jordan River. This was intended to remind the children, and future generations of the mighty hand of God. It was also intended as a witness to the all people that God’s power is a present reality. These stones were unlike any other because they came from an unseen place, the bottom of a river.

What “stones” of testimony and advance can we show and tell? What undeniable acts of God can you share? We need to educate our children and all people about the power and goodness of God! Through photos, media, good works, memorials and testimony, we need to share the goodness, love, and power of the Father God and the Lord Jesus Christ with clarity and boldness!


Lent and the Sufficient Work of Christ by Josh Dermer

Thursday, March 06, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Note from Bryan Hudson: Here is a good article about Lent. [Retrieved from http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2686288/posts]

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been inclined to focus on the practice of Lent. I’ve seen my Roman Catholic friends do this for years, but I never gave it much thought. Yet Lutherans, Anglicans, and other denominations inheriting the Reformation tradition also observe this part of the liturgical calendar. Most people who practice Lent sacrifice something from their daily life (usually a food item) from Ash Wednesday until Maundy Thursday.

Its purported purpose is to imitate the suffering and temptation of Christ during His forty-day fast in the desert. In centuries past, the methods of penance were much more serious compared to the types of self-denial we commonly see today. Giving up sweets (for example) during the Lenten season may indeed trivialize the sufferings of Christ, but that’s not my main reason for opposing the practice.

Of the many theological errors before us, one of the most common is the confusion between historia salutis (redemption accomplished) and ordo salutis (redemption applied). The former represents those once-for-all, unrepeatable events in redemptive history. Roman Catholicism, for example, makes the serious mistake of confusing historia salutis and ordo salutis with respect to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (i.e., their practice of the Mass in which Christ is “re-sacrificed”). Charismatic movements do the same thing with Pentecost.

Similarly, the practice of Lent takes the historia salutis event of Christ in the desert and turns it into something which can be counterfeited on an individual level. In doing so, it fits perfectly with a works-righteousness mentality. Inherent within Lent is the idea that its practice brings one “closer to God,” making a man-centered mockery of God’s grace.

Another unbiblical aspect of Lent is the very public manner in which it is practiced. Jesus condemned hypocrites for their outward displays of piety (Matt. 6:1-18), revealing the self-righteous nature of such gestures. Lent is very legalistic as well and Paul warns us against binding the conscience in areas which God has left free (Rom. 14:1-12). True sanctification involves the recognition that our consciences are liberated by Christ’s teachings (Mark 7:17-18) while also understanding that the corrupt, sinful heart is what separates us from God (vv. 20-23).

Looking at this unbiblical practice of self-imposed legalism, one can easily see why the Puritans decided to scrap the liturgical calendar entirely. The human heart loves this type of legalism and it greatly obscures the Gospel. There is something seriously wrong when people begin to see the Christian life in these terms. Having a meatless Friday isn’t going to bring us closer to God.

Indeed, the Christian life involves a daily introspection coram Deo that is much deeper than giving up chocolate or television for forty days. It’s understandable that Roman Catholics would keep this practice given their view of justification, but it pains me to see fellow Protestants engaging in Lent because it completely goes against the grain of Reformation theology.

Sacrificing a favorite food or pastime is not a means of sanctification. We must allow the simplicity of the Gospel to break through the traditions of man, even the seemingly innocuous ones. There are much bigger issues out there than Lent to be sure, but it’s a man-centered legalism which has no place among the people of God. The work of Christ is sufficient.


No More "Comfortable Captivity"

Monday, March 03, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

“…The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

These words were born from the experience of Nehemiah leading people out of "comfortable captivity" in Babylon into the word and purposes of God in their own land.

Regardless of how blessed you become in this world, do not forget that true joy comes from doing God's will. The Hebrew word for “strength" means "protection" and "safe harbor."

Having more is sometimes a lure to becoming complacent and captive to comfort. Nehemiah was the King's cupbearer. He was an important man in Babylon. But this was only a form of "comfortable captivity" which he refused to dwell in. Doing God’s will, even when it is uncomfortable, brings strength and safety.

Joy and strength come from making a difference in the lives of other people.
Go out and start building or rebuilding a wall today!


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