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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Repentance is Necessary



Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Jesus said that repentance is necessary! “. . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5).

Why is repentance is necessary? Because all fall short of the glory intended for those created in the divine image. We were created for righteousness and we must repent to find that path.

In Ephesians 2:2, the Apostle Paul speaks of the natural man who walks "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."

This is the path upon which we walk that leads to death. Repentance is what happens when we turn and go back to the beginning where we are directed to the path of righteousness by the Holy Spirit.

Without repentance and returning to the authority and worship of God, the individual cannot please God. Further, the unrepentant individual contributes to the moral breakdown of society by choosing darkness and deception above the light of Christ and His truth.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; . . Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:18, 21, 22).

Becoming a disciple of Christ is accepting a lifestyle of bringing every thought under subjection to His will. Believing and living according to His Word. Accepting the necessity of one's dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment (John 14:26; Gal 6:7). Being Jesus Christ’s disciple is a lifestyle of repentance and obedience of faith (Rom 16:25, 26). Forgiveness follows repentance. Regeneration follows forgiveness.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the greatest challenge a person can face and also the greatest joy!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Overcoming by Faith





“. . this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” 
1 John 5:4b

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Faith overcomes worldly influences by persuasive God-given influences. Faith gets its power from God through natural revelation (Ps. 19:1-6, Roms. 1:20), the special revelation of the Bible, and God's testimony within man of His reality.

The Greek word for faith comes from the verb to persuade. The classic scriptural illustration is the life of Abraham (Rom 4:11, 12). God persuaded Abraham through challenging circumstances to trust God's promises. Faith that overcomes is faith that trusts enough to be effective. 

Overcoming faith is a mark of the mature disciple and expresses true worship of the Triune God. It trusts without full understanding. The Bible describes faith by the examples of the obedience that faith produces. Abraham did not understand the divine plan, but he believed God and this was credited to him as "righteousness" in Romans 4:3.

Living after the time of Messiah's appearing, we have the added evidence of the Apostolic witness. As the Apostle John writes: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:1-3 NASU).


Related reading: What Abraham Discovered on Mount Moriah; William H. Willimon, On a Wild and Windy Mountain; Two Powerful Words: I Believe

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Discipleship Before Church Growth




Imagine all the time, money and resources that have gone into church growth in the last generation.

Is it naïve to wonder what the world and the church would look like today if all that effort had been invested exclusively in church health instead?

Is it possible that if the church had prioritized health, not as a means to growth, but as an end in itself, we would be in a greater position to represent Jesus to the world?

We’re often told that one of the reasons so many churches remain small is lack of faith. But I wonder… Could it be that the reverse is true? Might our obsession with bigger and bigger churches be rooted in a lack of faith?

Read it all here.