Wonderful Words of Life: Revelation

By faith we believe that Christianity is a revealed religion. We believe that God has revealed God’s Self in nature, in a series of mighty acts that reached its apex in the incarnation, ministry, death for us, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. We wait only Christ’s return in glory, or our being called home to him, which are but “two sides of the same coin.”

Revelation in Nature: We Can All See It.

The Bible teaches that God reveals himself in nature for all to see. Early man saw God’s revelation of himself in the natural phenomena: the storm, wind, lightning, thunder, and power of the rain and flood. This attitude is preserved in Psalm 97, etc.

Psa. 97:1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2 Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him,and burns up his adversaries roroundabout 4 His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.

The Psalmist equates the “mud” of the mountains as wax. Though this attitude toward natural phenomena endures in other cultures, in the Biblical religion, this understanding of God was eventually displaced. God is behind the storm, but not, strictly speaking, in it. In 1st Kings 19, we read about the experience of Elijah the prophet:
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Wonderful Words of Life: Justified, Justification

I once heard an old Methodist preacher say that nothing could be simpler than a definition of what it means to be justified.  He said, “When I am justified, it is ‘ just-as-if-I’ed never sinned.’” Adding to that, justification is simply the state of a person who has been justified, and it is God alone who justifies those who belong to him.

In the Bible, God accomplishes the justification of those who belong to him in several different ways:

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Wonderful Words of Life: Holy, Holiness, Self-Respect

Leviticus 11:45For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

1st Peter 1:16 It is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Today, our Wonderful Word of Life is Holy, Holiness, Self-Respect. I hope to demonstrate that there is a beauty in Holiness.

We say God is Love!” God says, “I am Holy!” Both are true, but Holy comes first. God’s Holiness is nothing less than God’s Self-Respect. God says, “I am who I am.” God says, “I am God, and there is no other.” The first commandment declares, “You shall have no other God’s before me.” God’s love is rooted in God’s Holiness. We know this because the God of the covenant promises reward for doing right and punishment for doing wrong. Both are necessary. “Those whom God loves God chastens.” (Rev. 3:19)

God’s Holiness is God’s Self-Respect. Our Holiness is our self-respect. We respect ourselves because we are made in the image of God. We respect ourselves, body, mind, and spirit.

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Additional Thoughts on Faith and Doubt

I am sometimes shaken by the words and actions of some of my Christian brothers and sisters.

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Thoughts on August 13th

  • Following the revival of August 13, 1727, often called “the Moravian Pentecost,” the Renewed Church was a leader in the Protestant Missions Movement. When William Cary challenged British Baptist to world mission, he produced a copy of a periodical about Moravian missions and said, “See what these Moravians have done! Why can’t we do likewise?” ****
  • The Renewed Church was a leader in the ecumenical movement before there was an Ecumenical Movement. One of Count Zinzendorf’s biographers, A.J. Lewis, called him, “The Ecumenical Pioneer.” After the experience of August 13, 1727, Zinzendorf called upon members of the Renewed Church to focus on shared loyalty to Christ while accepting theological differences. Zinzendorf not only accepted diversity of thought among Moravians, he regarded theological differences among the denominations as part of God’s providence, insisting it served the variety of peoples’ inclinations and needs.
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