Thursday, July 31, 2008


"Repent and believe in the gospel." This word believe is not merely an agknowledgment but a placing ones trust or confidence in something. It is the same for the word "faith". The idea is placing your trust and confidence in the finished work of Jesus on the cross which is the gospel. Jesus knew that his audience was placing their trust in other things to get them into heaven and to bring them hope and fulfillment. He also knew that He was the only way, truth and life. He knew that if any of these people were left in the state they were in of trusting in their own righteousness, they would remain also under God's wrath. Since God's heart is that none would perish, Jesus' heart was the same. This supernatural love drove Him to say things to people like "Repent and believe in the gospel". He did not tell people that God is at the top of a mountain and which ever side of the mountain you go up doesn't matter because they all lead to the same place. He told them to zero in on the Him. He told them to place their confidence and trust in His righteousness.

These three things are the key to true salvation. Repentance and belief in the gospel. If you leave one out, salvation won't happen. Jesus didn't say to repent only because what good would it do to turn from falsehood unless you knew what truth to turn towards. Jesus didn't leave out repentance from sin because sin is the very thing that seperates us from God. Neither did Jesus just explain the gospel to people without commanding to repent and believe lest anyone think that simply agknowledging His work on the cross would save them. For sceptics, Jesus' words are your clear warning and offer of a way out. For us christians, this is our model for sharing our faith.

Listen to Jesus! He knows what He's talking about.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's."

Peter was a follower of Christ and it seems here that he was called "Satan" by Jesus. Man, how much would that suck to hear these words from the most important man who would ever live.
I think of how I can relate to Peter. Always looking at things from my own perspective and not from God's. When I act on these earthly minded thoughts without taking the thought captive, I am not carrying out God's will but Satan's.

I am observing also, and I admit probably hoping, that Jesus was talking to Satan and not Peter. If this is true, it would be encouraging to me that Jesus is able to make a distinction between me and my foolish actions. Thus loving me the same but rebuking and correcting what I do.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Jesus says "Repent and believe in the gospel". We already talked a tiny bit about what the gospel is. Now let's take a peak at what repentance is.

Repentance. To turn. To change your mind. To do a 180. To stop what you are doing and do the opposite.

Jesus did not just say this to the people of His time. He's saying it to anyone who has not repented and believed yet. This includes billions of people since His time and it includes you and me.

So what does Jesus want us to stop doing? What does He want us to turn from? I think everyone knows the answer to that question. It is sin. Let's take a look at what sin is for a moment.

1. Transgression of the Law (the commandments)
2. Anything that does not put value on the glory of God.
3. Disobeying God in any way.
4. Anything contrary to God's will.

How do we know God's will? By reading His word. If we don't read His word, we won't be able to discern His will and we won't be as sensitive to the sin in our life or when we are disobeying Him.

So in essence Jesus is saying "Stop disobeying God! Stop living a life that is contrary to His character and will. Stop living a life that puts no value on the glory of God. Stop breaking His commandments. Stop making excuses for your sin. Stop rationalizing your disobedience toward God and hate that sin like God does. Hate your hatred for others which God sees as murder. Hate your coveting. Hate your lusting after the things God has not given you. Hate your lusting after anyone who is not your spouse which God sees as adultery. Hate the way you let other things consume your life and thoughts other than God which He calls idolatry. Hate the way you never listen to Him but you always say you know Him which God calls hypocrisy. Hate your pride. Hate it so much that you turn from it and towards God who is waiting for you to give your life fully to Him. Run the opposite direction. Run towards righteousness."

So do think that I'm perfect now that I've repented? No God has just started a process in me of hating the things that He hates and loving the things that He loves.

So since Jesus said "Repent and believe.." then what does it mean to believe? These are the two requirements of salvation so it would be good to understand the best we can. I will explore this act of belief next time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Gospel

Gospel means good news. So whats the good news? In another way you can call it the cure. The only way a person is going to appreciate the cure or the good news is if they understand that they have a disease or if they think that they actually want to hear good news. Sin is the disease. The Gospel is the cure. God's wrath abides on you but Jesus came to give you a way out. Not only that but He gives us a way in. A way in to the Father.
When Jesus was saying "repent and believe in the gospel" He was basically saying "Turn from you sin and believe in the Messiah and what He is going to do".
Jesus is what makes the gospel good. It is in the telling of His story that brings glory to God.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

There ya go. There it is. Jesus' first and main message. This is what He cared most about. That people would repent and believe in the gospel. So what does it mean to repent? What does it mean to believe? And what exactly is the gospel? I want to explore these things in my future blogs.