Unveiled Faces

As part of my Bible reading plan a couple weeks ago, I read through 2 Corinthians. In the last year, this book of the Bible has proven to provide comfort and exhortation as I have attempted to obediently follow Jesus in this disciple-making journey. I recently read the following passage:

4:1–2) Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

I want to point out a few things from this passage that I think are crucial to how Continue reading

The Current State of Things IV

The Current State of Things IV

Stepping Into While Stepping Out

So, just to refresh, in the six months leading up to mid-February 2013, I had gone through a course called Perspectives, I had seen the kingdom of Christ come in power to an El Salvadorian village via a water well, and God brought me to Brazil to work (Bible storying) with an unreached people group called the Wassua Indians. Over the Christmas break, I had the opportunity to take a group of college students to work with a church plant in Round Rock, Tx. Half of the trip was designed to be service, and the other half training. I had outsourced the majority of the responsibilities of this retreat to the guys I had been discipling to the point where all that was really expected of me was to cook. Very heavy things were on my heart. Here’s an excerpt from my journal:

I almost missed this! Continue reading

The Current State of Things 1

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Beaumont, TX about to work on some things for upcoming mission trips and different disciple-making efforts I’ve been given the privilege of being a part of. The question How did I get here? is what I want to write about.

Some History

I get surprised at times with that way that God does things. So much of the time I’ve been following Him, I’ve been learning Continue reading

Sin is a Trust Issue

So I just wish that blogging was more of a strong suit for me.  Writing has always served as an incredible therapy for a mind that tries to nitpick and destroy itself.

Recently, in our Wednesday night Bible Study, Red Zone, we’ve been studying Creation Unraveled: The Gospel According to Genesis.  This is a study produced by the Austin Stone Community Church, and published by LifeWay.  Needless to say, it’s been great to see just how changeless our God is.  Week 3 dealt with the fall of man, and it was titled “The Goodness of God vs. the Goodness of Sin.”  When I announced the title, I almost immediately began to receive texts back like “Can sin be good?”  Let’s talk about that.

The Serpent

Chapter 3 of Genesis sets up the narrative by calling Satan the most crafty or clever of all the created things.  By stating this, the text begs us to pay attention to him.  He has a strategy.  As the Austin Stone guys put it, Satan can’t really convince Adam and Eve that God doesn’t exist.  They walked with Him, they communed with Him.  His lie would not focus on God’s existence, but rather God’s goodness.

The Goodness of Sin

So what was his lie?  We’re getting there.  Satan asks the question: “Did God really say you couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?”  This is a well formed question.  This question presents somewhat of a false dichotomy.  His wording implies only two options.  It begs the thought process of “Because God wants to withhold this one thing from you, God wants to withhold everything from you.”  See the Enemy wants humanity to believe that God holds out on us.  He wants us to believe that God keeps things from us because we might enjoy it too much, and He hates when we’re “too” happy.  The Enemy convinces us that the fruit, any Sin, is free, and demands no consequence.

Sin is a Trust Issue

Not to beat a dead horse, but Satan in the garden effectively convinced Adam and Eve to distrust God’s nature.  Satan convinced them to place their desires upon this fruit and it’s effects, rather than on the consequence of death.  I am so guilty of the same thing.  So often I look at my sin, when I’m being tempted and tell myself that by placing my desires on that thing will bring me the happiness that can only be found in abundant living.  So often I fall victim to the woes of unholiness because I exchange abundant life (found by living God’s way) for that which fades and eventually kills me.

Shame Shame Shame

The tragedy of Chapter 3 continues into the introduction of shame.  Those who were once pure, spotless, and righteous before a holy God were now broken, filthy, sinners who felt the cold, lifeless shackles of treason.  In an attempt to deal with their shame they made inadequate clothing that was irritating and unprotective.  Not only would Adam and Eve’s sin need to be dealt with, but also the effects of their sin.

The Goodness of God (The Gospel)

So the story could end here.  The story could end with the first bite of the fruit, but the Gospel wouldn’t be present in that.  In the scriptures we see the Gospel every time the Justice of God is simultaneously presented with the Mercy of God.  God pours out His judgement on them by sending them out of the garden.  He sends them out of a place where they were meant to belong.  He issues curses upon the guilty parties, all unique to their role they played in the act.  God spills the blood of innocent animals to create the fix for Adam and Eve’s shame.  In this picture He points toward the day however when His blood will be spilt not only for the effects of sin, but the elimination of sin to those who place their trust in Him.

Conclusion

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

  • Know what you are in Christ: a new Creation, a child of Him, one in which He sees as clean because of the blood of His son.
  • Fight the Enemy, and fight the lie that God isn’t good.
  • Commit to His instruction, and trust that His instruction is created to benefit you as you fulfill your commission to expand the Kingdom.