godhead Meditations

God’s Rights Set Aside

We don’t think twice about squishing the mosquito that dares bite our brow. God had every right to punish us rebels. He could’ve wiped us out at the garden. He could have wiped us out throughout any point in history. In fact, he could also have simply left us alone, ignoring us and leaving us in our frightful plight.

Yet, here is what Scripture tells us:

  • But God demonstrates his love for us (Rom 5:8)
  • But God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13)
  • But God, rich in mercy and love gave us life (Eph 2:1-5)
  • But God gifted his Son (Rom 6:23)
  • But God chose the foolish things of the world (1 Cor 1:27)

God, who had the right to condemn, didn’t use that right. Instead, he extended salvation and hope at just the right time in history. Instead, he sent His Son, born under the law and born to a woman, to bring peace and good will to mankind. Rejoice! God set aside his rights so that we might be made right with him.

godhead Meditations

God Has Rights

The news is buzzing about rights. Religious right. Speech rights. Expanded marriage rights. Human rights. Pre-born rights. All of us have an innate understanding of what it means to have our rights ignored, squandered, or taken away.

Did you know God has rights? Here are only a few:

  • The right to give eternal life (John 17:2)
  • The right to judge (John 5:27)
  • The right to everything created (Deut. 10:14)
  • The right, as head of the church, to gift how he wills (1 Cor 11:3; 12:28)

God gives us the freedom to act but we should consider at least four things:

  • Am I honoring the Lord?
  • Am I properly representing the Lord?
  • Am I giving the Lord his due glory?
  • Am I respecting God’s rights? (Said another way: am I taking any of God’s rights away from him?)

Notice that I didn’t include “am I sinning?”. It’s easy to look for “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” but it’s much harder to stop and consider if what we’re doing (1) honors him, (2) represents him properly, (3) glorifies him, (4) respects his rights to judge, rule, gift, and own.

Here’s an easy example with money. God owns all money and shares it with us granting the freedom to use it. When have you last used it to honor, represent, and glorify Him? Now, when have you stopped and said “wait, this isn’t mine, this is God’s!” and given it back to Him? 

That’s just with money. What about our lips? Our hands? Our day-to-day? How are you respecting the Lord’s rights today?


Are There Good Reasons to Divide A Local Church?

Aren’t there legitimate secondary or tertiary reasons to divide from a local church? That is essentially the first question I get asked whenever I talk about church divisions or that the Bible never calls Christians to divide. The only time it calls for division is when you’re dividing from the false teachers because the good news message of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the grave is on the line. That said, Google tells me we have around 200 Christian denominations in the United States and 45,000 worldwide—surely, they can’t all be wrong?


The Great Resignation of the Local Church: A Review of the Pandemic and The Enduring Culture of Change

This is a sort of rambling look-back at the last two years and an encouragement for Christians to pause and reconsider outside of their circumstances and by looking at the broader picture. This look-back begins early in 2020, when society underwent a change akin to a pressure cooker.

For those who don’t know, a pressure cooker is a sealed pot that uses pressurized steam forcing food to cook faster. It’s great because the elements in the pot are all forced to cook together to create something that is a unique blend of the different flavors. Thing is, too much pressure and the pot can cause catastrophic damage. It’s so much pressure that you have to slowly release the steam so that you can manually open the pot.

That happened to all of us in 2020.


Missing the Gospel with “The Gospel”

I’ve said it before: there are multiple ways of being seduced by false teaching. With our inward bend, and enticed by the enjoyments of sin, the holiest of us can easily be lured away. It’s not just a problem for people listening to preachers. The fiercest pulpit pounder can find himself aiming to scratch the ears of an adoring audience. Thing is, I’ve long noticed a trend that I’m not sure if it’s false teaching, but it does lay a trap for the listeners that makes it possible for false teaching to come in.

Ironically, it’s in the most surprising place: preaching about the Gospel. Make sure to re-read what I just wrote.