The work of the Spirt in the life of the believer is to encourage, strengthen, and empower one to carry out the purpose and mission for which one has been called, both collectively (as part of the Church) and individually (the specific plan that God has for individuals). For Paul, the key to that purpose began with God love being poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit works in our lives as a conduit of God’s love to us as well as being the One who emboldens, empowers, and encourages us to shower the world around us cooling mist of Christlike love.Read More
“Jesus Christ—Messiah—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
[Line 2 from “Morning Prayer”]
Christ has the same meaning as messiah so when we say “Jesus Christ” we are also saying “Jesus, the Messiah” or “Jesus Messiah.” Messiah is a Hebrew word meaning “anointed one” and applied to anyone who was specially designated for a particular task or role, such as a king or priest.
So, in the Old Testament way of thinking messiah was an adjective — describing certain people and the task they were given — but in the New Testament Messiah comes to be used as a proper noun — “the Messiah” or “the Christ.” — describing the person, the work, and the purpose of Jesus, the anointed one. In Jesus, the long-held hopes of the Old Testament people of God are realized.
In the book of Psalms alone we see this played out time and time again.
Let the light of your face shine on us (Ps 4:6)
Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death (Ps 13:3)
As for God, his way is perfect; the LORD’s work is flawless; (Ps 18:30)
For I have kept the ways of the LORD (Ps 18:21)
You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Ps 18:28)
Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me (Ps 25:4-5)
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me (Ps 43:3)
Never take your word of truth from my mouth (Ps 119:43)
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Ps 145:18)
Much like the adjective messiah became a proper noun in Jesus, these three “lowercase” nouns describing three things that come from God — way, truth, life — become “uppercase” proper nouns in Jesus.
Nonetheless, I think that in calling God “Father,” Jesus is attempting to teach us something about God. Rather than being an impersonal, capricious, disinterested Deity, God is personal, loving, and involved in the daily affairs of God’s creation. God is a Father, not in the biological sense (another objection by our Muslim friends based on a misunderstanding of Christian teaching) but rather in God’s authority, responsibility, and loving care of all that God has created. We can address God as Father, knowing that God is paying attention, has our best interests in mind, and is always working for the good of those who love GRead More
“Let your kingdom rule in my body, my relationships, and my world. Let love and mercy be the starting point of everything I do. Let justice and truth be always on my mind and on my lips. Let your grace, your peace, and your blessing flow through me daily. “Read More
“So, are you ready to go home?
Someone alway asks this question, or else “Which place feels more like home to you?” In either case I am never quite sure how to answer. Is the person asking just trying to make small talk or do they really want me to take a deep dive, exploring with them all of the intricate and interconnected lines of thought that surround such a question? Beyond that, I’m not even sure I have an answer to the question myself!Read More