Convinced

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39


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Plunge Into the River of Life

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
–Romans 6:4

I have seen boys bathing in a river in the morning. One of them has just dipped his toes in the water, and he cries out, as he shivers, “Oh, it’s so cold!” Another has gone in up to his ankles, and he also declares that it is fearfully chilly. But see! another runs to the bank, and takes a header. He rises all in a glow. All his blood is circulating, and he cries “Delicious! What a beautiful morning! I am all in a glow. The water is splendid!” That is the boy for enjoying a bath! You Christian people who are paddling about in the shallows of religion, and just dipping your toes into it—you stand shivering in the cold air of the world which you are afraid to leave. Oh, that you would plunge into the river of life! How it would brace you! What tone it would give you! In for it, young man! In for it! Be a Christian, out and out. Serve the Lord with your whole being. Give yourself wholly to him who bought you with his blood. Plunge into the sacred flood by grace, and you will exclaim—

Oh, this is life! Oh, this is joy,
My God, to find thee so!
Thy face to see, thy voice to hear,
And all thy love to know.”

From Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, “Our Resurrection and Newness of Life”, preached Easter morning, March 29, 1891.

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Unbelievers Say the Darndest Things

Here’s a conversation I just had with a relative who doesn’t “walk around with a cross under my feet”.

Her: Hey! What you know about that guy–what’s his name? TJ? (speaking of a popular preacher whose name escaped her). Something’s not right about him.

Me: Well, I know a lot of people follow him, but a few things worry me about him. I think he gets some things seriously wrong about the Bible. He considers himself a preacher, but describes himself as a leader, thinker, business man, and then a pastor. If you are a pastor and preacher of God’s Word, that should come first before anything else.

Her: I call him one of those fake preachers. What do you think about Teresa? (speaking of a mutual friend who recently became a Christian and started a church).

Me: I can’t do too much with her either. I don’t think what she’s doing is biblical.

Her: I feel like she’s doing too much. You can’t just jump up and start preaching. You living on a faith that you haven’t even learned yet. You don’t just learn Jesus over night. It takes years–years of practice.

Me: That’s right. Some people jump in there too soon. There was a popular rap artist who did the same thing, and it proved to be too much too soon. You need time to grow as a Christian.

Her: I was at church one Sunday, and the preacher said, “I don’t know much, but I do know the name Jesus.” They thought I was sleep, but I don’t be sleep all the time. You got to be careful throwing words around. That word Jesus is a powerful word. You might know the Bible back to front, but that don’t mean you know Jesus! You can know his name, but do you take his name seriously?

Me: That’s right!

Her: And you know another strong word? Faith is a strong, strong word. People take that word faith for granted.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.”
Romans 1:19


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Learning to Hate the Sin and Love the Sinner

How can we learn to “hate the sin and love the sinner”? We must remember that we are sinners, and we are loved.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his
brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his
brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him
to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother
is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness;
he does not know where he is going, because the
darkness has blinded him.”
1 John 2:9-11