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Friday, May 10, 2019

God's Power and Divinity Are Evident

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

In John's Gospel the animosity of the world against Jesus Christ and his disciples is evident. In John 16:33 we read: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

The world is bent against its Creator and the Creator's plan to bring salvation through the Blood of Jesus. The world rejects the offer of boundless love that John describes: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to the end that all who believe in him might not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Paul insists that there is no rational excuse for turning away from God, for that which is known about God is evident in the order of creation; for God made it evident. "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-21).

In the beginning, when man was in the condition of innocence, God manifested His presence in a more immediate way. Genesis 3:8 says that the Creator communed daily with Adam and Eve in the garden, walking there in the cool of the day.

After the fall, there was estrangement. Encounters with God became hot ones. Abraham was visited “in the heat of the day” by he Three-Person God (Gen. 18:1). Sodom was destroyed in brimstone and fire.

Abraham was among the righteous to whom God revealed his plan. John 5:56 says, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." These were the words of Jesus, a descendant of Abraham.

One of Abraham's ancestors was Enoch the Righteous. He "walked with God" (Genesis 5:24) and did not die. This is the pattern for all the righteous who are hidden in Christ Jesus.

God's universal witness is expressed in John 1:9 where we are told that the pre-incarnate Christ came into the world as “the true Light" which "enlightens every man." God has not withheld his revelation from humans. His divine power and eternal nature have been made known and continue to be manifested.

Further, humanity is innately religious. Paul found a clear illustration of this in Athens where he encountered “an altar with this inscription: "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” (Acts 17:23)

The evidence of over 100,000 years of human burial in red ocher is evidence of an impulse to immortality. The practice of red ocher burial speaks of hope for life beyond death, and the blood symbolism testifies to a propitiatory impulse among archaic and ancient populations, an impulse that is preserved most intact in Christianity.

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes of the moral consciousness of humans. He sees this (as did Paul) as evidence that God has created us with a conscience. Even those who live corrupt and perverted lives demand justice, though justice is defined according to their standards.

So a reasonable case can be made that God has reached out to the world offering hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, and boundless love. Pray for the world!

Related reading: Love PrioritiesThree Essentials of the Christian Faith

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Meditation on Good Friday

"But the righteousness wherein we must be found, if we be justified, is not our own; therefore we cannot be justified by any inherent quality. Christ hath merited righteousness for as many as are found in him." -- Richard Hooker, Anglican Divine (1554-1600)

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Glory of Cleansing

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

In the Bible cleansing rituals involve deliverance from defilement and shame. They represent a forgiven state. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

In the Scripture, sin is not confined to unbelief and transgression. It also involves failure to complete tasks that the Lord has committed to us. This is the meaning of the parable of the talents. Talents are personal investment to achieve an increase of what God has given. Indeed, one definition of sin is coming short of completion: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...” (Romans 3:23).
In the course of serving God, and in the business of forgiveness, sin is more that just disobedience and moral iniquity, sin defiles and gives the appearance of guilt and disgrace so that the sinner has a corruption that is seen like leprosy. A clear picture is the consequence of Miriam’s sin against Moses’ authoritative leadership in Numbers 12. As a part of her punishment she had to remain outside Israel’s camping while she awaited her cleansing.

So especially when one’s sin is obvious and defiles the person’s testimony, a part of reconciling forgiveness is to be cleansed, that is, to regain a testimony of no longer being identified with the defiling sin. Cleansing from sin involves the washing of water by the application of God’s Word: “cleansed the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26).

The ministry of the Word is a central function of any ministry (John 8:31-36). For “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).

The believer who has defiled his testimony and wants cleansing must diligently examine himself and pray to be restored as David prayed: "Create in me a clean heartO God, And renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; Take not Thy holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51:10)

God is faithful to restore the value of the repentant sinner's testimony in the body of believers: “. . you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, . a repentance without regret, .” (2 Corinthians 7:9, 10).

This redemption or cleansing from shame and defilement comes of Jesus applying His blood. His blood is precious to the Father and is acknowledged from the Throne of Grace.

At His Judgement Seat (1 Cor 3:8-15) each believer's works will be judged. The glory of cleansing will be the Lord’s lack of rebuke on the Day of Judgement and these words from Jesus: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).

Related reading: "Washed from Head to Toe" (a poem); Forgiveness Precedes Regeneration; Praying Hebrews 2:14-17

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Commissioned Involves Giving Account

Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

The Great Commission is the command of the resurrected Jesus to his disciples [the Church] to spread the Good News of salvation to all nations. It is not an option or a suggestion.

For the Christian, the Great Commission is an obligation. It is a responsibility for which we are held accountable until the Lord's return.

From His authority as the Almighty, Jesus Christ commands that we make disciples of all nations.  How can we claim to be obedient if we do not use our talents, resources and church programs to make disciples?

How can we say we are making disciples if our converts do not think of themselves as disciples?

Have we succeeded in the Great Commission if those we disciple do not recognize what it means to live as disciples?

Remember that to be “commissioned” involves giving an account. It is a work which the Lord promised to prosper and He is with us always, even to the end of the age.

Related reading: Discipling With AuthorityThe Great Commission and Things Unwritten; The Great Commission: Amplified Translation

Thursday, December 6, 2018

INDEX of Topics

Current as of  10 May 2019

Why Sincere Muslims Should Learn About Jesus
Looking for the True God?
A Latent Stumbling Block
Contending for the Faith (Latent Stumbling Block, Part II)
A Historic Battle (Latent Stumbling Block, Part III)
Satanic Strategies (Latent Stumbling Block, Part IV)
Defining Orthodoxy (Latent Stumbling Block, Part V)
The Spiritual Battle (Latent Stumbling Block, Part VI)
Principles Determining Interpretation (Latent Stumbling Block, Part VII)
The Creation of the Universe (Latent Stumbling block, Part VIII)
My Response to a Muslim Scholar
Another Response to Islam
Further Thoughts on Creation Issues
The Glory of Belonging
The Science-Faith Question
President Lincoln's Faith
A.W. Tozer on Pursuing God

Human Intelligence and Divine Judgement
Divine Authority as a Gift
A Special Meeting in Galilee

On Holy Baptism and Discipleship
Psalm 23: Identification through Baptism
Progressively Exchanging Life

Bible Blurb (Thoughts about the Bible, brief biblical insights)
Probability and Reliability
Specific Details of Jesus' Last Week
Mini Bible
The Bible is a Library

Bible Study
A Clarifying Search of the Scriptures
The Living Word Transforms Lives
The Gospel for Seekers
Two Powerful Words: "I Believe"
Melchizedek: A Type of Christ
The Incarnation of the Son of God
Conforming the Mind to Scripture
The New Testament: What Authority Without the Inspiration Doctrine?
Christ's Triumphal Resurrection: Victory over Death
The Second Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: Redemption!
The Third Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: A New People
The Fourth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: An Entirely New Self-concept
The Fifth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: God's Power for Living
The Sixth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: A New Glorified Body
The Seventh Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Eighth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Breath of God: Why Study Greek?
The Veracity of the Holy Bible
Meditation of Luke 22: Glory
Meditation on His Glory, Part II

Animal Pranks on the Ark
Adam's Bad Dream
Genesis is Spelled With a G
On the Lighter Side
Noah's Dog
Call it a day!

Reflections on the Church #1
Reflections on the Church #2
Reflections on the Church #3

Nature's Witness for God
God's Glory and Power Seen in Nature
Further Thoughts on Creationism
Creation of the Universe: Examining the Biblical Evidence

Commissioned Involves Giving Account
Thomas à Kempis on Discipleship
Discipleship Before Church Growth
Are You in the Fold?
Merton, Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard on Discipleship
Pastors Need to Disciple and Honor Vocations
The Importance of Teaching for Discipleship
The Importance of Follow-up in Making Disciples
What is the Context of Biblical Discipleship?
All Need to Repent
Forgiveness: Against Easy Believeism
Repentance Unto Life
All Need to Repent
Billy Graham on Discipleship
C.S. Lewis on Discipleship
Oswald Chambers on Discipleship
John Stott on Discipleship
Evelyn Underhill on Discipleship
Charles H. Spurgeon on Discipleship
Dwight L. Moody on Discipleship
Survey of the Fundamentals of Discipleship
Making Disciples: What Christian Students Need to Know
How to Build a Disciple-Making Church
Building a Disciple-Making Church
Discipleship and Church Mission Statements
C.S. Lewis Was a Thoroughly Converted Person
Larry Osborne: Thoughts on Discipleship
Who am I in Christ?
Living the Gospel, Part I
Living the Gospel, Part II
Forgiveness and Restoration (Part I)
Forgiveness Must Bring Forth Fruit (Part II)
Forgiveness is Not Enough! (Part III)
The Costs and Benefits of Christian Discipleship
Discipleship is Not Refurbished Religious Education
Discipleship Comes By Listening
Taking Your Spiritual Temperature
Are First Commandments Neglected?

Distinctive Discipleship blog
Launching a Blog about Discipleship
One Year Anniversary! Thanks for reading, folks.

Christ is Risen!
Resurrection Day Approaches

The Dangers of Emotional Compulsion
The Christian and Emotions

Discipling With Authority
The Great Commission is Our Mission
The Great Commission and Things Unwritten
The Great Commission - Part III
The Great Commission - Part IV
Partnering with the Lord
Bringing Christ to our Neighbors
You Shall Be Fishers of Men

Our Common Confession
Before a Different Gospel
Overcoming By Faith
How Faith Overcomes - Part I
How Faith Overcomes - Part II
How Faith Overcomes - Part III
How Faith Overcomes - Part IV
How Faith Overcomes - Part V
How Faith Overcomes - Part VI
Faith Overcomes Antichrists - Part VII
How Faith Overcomes - Part VIII
How Faith Overcomes - Part IX
Obedience of Faith, Part I
Obedience of Faith, Part II
Obedience of Faith , Part III

God's Love
God's Power and Divinity Are Evident
Love Priorities

Jesus Christ
The Many Triumphs of Christ's Resurrection
The First Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Second Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Third Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Fourth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Fifth Triumph
The Sixth Triumph
The Seventh Triumph
The Eight Triumph
Before the Throne of God

Praying Hebrews 1:1
Praying Hebrews: He shall be to me a Son
Praying Hebrews: He shall be heir of all things
Praying Hebrews 2:9-11
Praying Hebrews 2:14-17
Praying Hebrews 3: The Builder and the Building
Praying Hebrews 3: Jesus Our Great High Priest
Praying Hebrews 3:6-19
Praying Hebrews 4:1-3
Praying Hebrews: The Disciple's Perfect Priest
Praying Hebrews: The Design of Discipleship
Praying Hebrews 6: God is Faithful

Let All the Angels Adore Him!
Christmas: Merry Christmas to Adam's Race (a poem)
Merry Christmas to All US Residents
A Blessed Nativity Feast
Divine Opportunities in the New Year
New Year's Day: A.W. Tozer
Salt the New Year!
Prayer for the New Year
Presidents' Day: President Abraham Lincoln's Faith
St. Patrick's Day: Remember an Obedient Servant of the Lord
Fourth of July: Prayer for the Nation

Lundwall, Edward F., Jr.
About Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
Why I Volunteered
Celebration and a Prayer Request
In Memory of Marionette Lundwall

Part I: Christian Marriage
Part II: Married Love
Part III: The Many Facets Of Christian Married Love
Part IV: Living in Harmony
Part V: Loving for a Lifetime
Part VI: Married Life: Continued Harmony

Military Service
Military Service in Vietnam: Why Volunteer?
Walking With Christ Through Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
When the Mortars Fell
Mercy in the Midst
On Mercy and the Number 13
Letter to a Christian Service Person in Desert Storm

The Lt's Godly Prayer
George Washington's Prayer
Prayers Not Answered? Why?
Unanswered Prayer, Part I
Unanswered Prayer, Part II
Unanswered Prayer, Part III
Unanswered Prayer, Part IV

Praying the Psalms
Introduction to Praying the Psalms
Praying Psalm 1: The Way of the Righteous
Praying Psalm 2: Kiss the Son
Praying Psalm 3: God is My Shield
Praying Psalm 4: Let Me be Approved of Thee, O God
Praying Psalm 5: Renew a Right Spirit Within Me
Praying Psalm 6: When Weeping Leads to Victory
Praying Psalm 7: The Basis of Boldness
Praying Psalm 8: Worship in Admiration and Humility
Praying Psalm 9: Hope for the Oppressed
Praying Psalm 10: Deliverance from the Wicked
Praying Psalm 11: The Foundation of Life
Praying Psalm 12: Lamenting the Lack of Godliness
Praying Psalm 13: Faith's Triumph
Praying Psalm 14: Remembering We Are Sinners
Praying Psalm 15: Fellowship With God
Praying Psalm 16: God-Pleasing Godliness
Praying Psalm 17: Progression Sanctification
Praying Psalm 18: God's Power to Deliver
Praying Psalm 19: Witness for Worship
Praying Psalm 20: Personal and National Revival
Praying Psalm 21: Worship and Thanksgiving
Praying Psalm 22: The Hope of Christ - The Prophetic Vision
Praying Psalm 23: Daily Living with the Good Shepherd
Praying Psalm 24: Inspired by Creation, we worship the Creator
Praying Psalm 25: Lifting Up One's Soul
Praying Psalm 26: God's Affirmation of the Accused
Praying Psalm 27: Waiting on the Lord
Praying Psalm 28: Desperately Seeking in Prayer
Praying Psalm 29: God's Power and Glory Seen in Nature
Praying Psalm 30: A Disciple's Heart Desire
Praying Psalm 31: Humbly Waiting on the Lord
Praying Psalm 32: The Beatitude of the Redeemed
Praying Psalm 33: A National Prayer for Revival
Praying Psalm 34: God Redeems
Praying Psalm 35: Friends and Foes
Praying Psalm 36: Finding Holiness in God's Presence
Praying Psalm 37: Trusting the Lord
Praying Psalm 38: The Suffering Sinner
Praying Psalm 39: The Discouraged Disciple
Praying Psalm 40: The Sustained Servant
Praying Psalm 41: The Sick Servant
Praying Psalm 42: The Dry Disciple
Praying Psalm 43: The Questioning Disciple
Praying Psalm 44: A Dependent Disciple
Praying Psalm 45: A Disciple in Love
Praying Psalm 46: The Disciple's Refuge
Praying Psalm 47: The King's Disciple
Psalm 48: The Disciple's Stronghold

The Breath of God: Why study Greek?
The Disciple's Cross: Progressively exchanging life
Book 1: Growth of the Faithful (Acceptance of Foundational Precepts)
Book 2: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Contentment)
Book 3: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Development)
Book 4: Grown of the Faithful (Principles of Endurance)
Book 5: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Expression)
Book 6: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Ministry)

Repentance is Necessary

Spiritual Warfare
Some Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare
Spiritual Warfare
The Spiritual Battle

A Dancing Disciple
Bug Inspired Faith
I Like an Old Wash Rag
The Story of Three Trees
Jesus and the Fire Witch
Digging Dirt by Faith
Faith Facing Death
A Lost Dad is Found
Loving God With My Mind

Sunday, November 25, 2018

This Thanksgiving

“…be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:19b-21

Dear Lord, I thank You:

For rest and comfort of each night,

For morning sun at dawn’s first light;

For water at my tap to drink;

For family love and friendship’s link;

For food upon the table spread;

The fragrances of fresh-baked bread;

For clothes, for shelter overhead,

For every kind word fitly said;

For seasons’ changing, one on one,

For sorrow’s grief, laughter and fun;

The sum of every day’s felt needs,

For work; and harmony that feeds

Our purposes for living life;

For bearing well both joy and strife;

For life abundant, salvation free,

A gift from Christ who died for me;

For all the fabric of my days

I lift my voice in thanks and praise. Amen.

(Poem first written November 9, 2013 by Ethelene Dyer Jones)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Are You His Disciple Indeed?

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

The word “Christian” is used only 3 times in the NT, but "disciple" is used 372 times. What are the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ? Surely, one mark is to believe on HIM.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, . . . then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31).
Jesus said that true believers will watch for His return:
“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luke 12:40). 
In 1 John 2:28, the Apostle exhorts all: “. . .when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”
“. . . in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Tim 3:1) “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:” (2 Tim 3:5).

Many forms of religion and many denominations are lukewarm in following the things that produce salvation and godliness. Those who have a mere form of religion "walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart." (Ephesians 4:17, 18).

Those who love Jesus, who know and practice His Word, are born of God, the Eternal One. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4).

A true disciple aligns only with the true proclamation of the Faith. Ask "How many of their converts fall away after making professions of faith?" Consider this: when asked about their faith, how many will say: “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ?”

Many pastors are unaware that there are 6 levels of being a disciple in the New Testament. The disciple is one who has matured from acceptance of the Faith to a reproductive life; from becoming a disciple to making disciples. Unless the pastors focus on this progress their people will not know where to start the walk of a disciple.

Another mark is to believe is HIS word.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31).

Many who claim to be a disciple lack the necessary discipline and the commitment. The commitment involves adoption of the disciple’s self concept, practicing the New Testament methodology for making disciples, and a life style of consecration to Jesus Christ and His kingdom.

Other marks of the true disciple include:

Belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, as He presents Himself. This conviction must grow to be strong enough to become free from sin’s domination! (John 8:31–36).

Remaining faithful even when other disciples stop following Christ. (John 6:66–69). 

Adopting a disciple’s self concept. This involves confessing oneself to be a disciple of Christ (John 9:27, 28; Matt 10:32, 42; Acts 9:26). When a person receives a God given self concept, he will be as consistent as long as he keeps asking: "What must I do to be as God wants me?"
Eagerness to learn and practice what his disciple-making mentor teaches (Matt 13:11, 12, 23; 28:19, 20).

Dedication to reproduce the Lord’s message, and commitment to be an agent of Christ in character and in daily life.

Maintains an abiding relationship with the Lord Jesus by faith (John 15:1–16) and the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13, 14).

Takes up the disciple’s cross to exchange his natural life for the soul life Jesus gives. (Luke 9:23–25).

Looks to function in a Local Church that functions as a fellowship of disciples (Acts 11:26; 13:1–3).

Most of you will say to yourselves: “These characteristics are biblical and good, but what are the precepts and steps in applying them?” This is what discipling courses should teach. Sacrifice the time to learn from a mature disciple of Jesus Christ. A Bible-practicing church will explain how to become a mature disciple, as the Lord Jesus commanded:
“Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 

Related reading: The Grammar of Salvation; The Disciple's Self-Concept: On Holy Baptism and Discipleship