C. Raymond Buck with the Lord

C. Raymond Buck with the Lord

Dr Jeff Straub: C. Raymond Buck was a man mightily used of God. Those who knew him will not soon forget the legacy of godliness and commitment that he left. Indeed it was a blessing to have heard him, known him, and served with him! We rejoice with Dr. Buck now having completed his journey and graduated to glory. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”


Confronting indifference

A recently released study (Pew Forum: The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey) reported that:

  1. One in four adults ages 18 to 29 claim no affiliation with a religious institution.
  2. 12 % of the overall population describe their religion as “nothing in particular”.

We are faced with a large percentage of the population that are spiritually apathetic. Religion is either unattractive or distractive to these.

The answer to these apathetic ones, is to lovingly confront them with the claims of Christ. Who did Christ claim to be? He claimed to be the Messiah. He allowed men and women to worship Him. He forgave men their sins. Additionally the “I am” sayings of Christ are convicting.

Seven “I am” metaphorical statements of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John

  1. “I am the bread of life.” John 6:35, 41, 48-51
  2. “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12, 9:5
  3. “I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7, 9
  4. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11, 14
  5. “I am the resurrection, and the life.” John 11:25
  6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
  7. “I am the true vine.” John 15:1, 5

Additionally there is an 8th, “I am” saying that is not apparent in the English Bible. In John 6:20 Jesus states: “It is I; do not be afraid”. In the Greek His saying is “ο δε λεγει αυτοις εγω ειμι μη φοβεισθε” … literally “I am, be not afraid”.

C. S. Lewis’s Trilemma argues either Jesus was telling the truth or not.

Often summarized either as “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord”, or as “Mad, Bad, or God”, it proceeds from the assumption that Jesus claimed, either implicitly or explicitly, to be God. Therefore one of the following must be true:

Liar: Jesus was not God, and he knew it, but he said so anyway.
Lunatic: Jesus was not God, but he mistakenly believed that he was.
Lord: Jesus is God.

Lewis’s stated this trilemma in Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Religion is not the answer to the indifferent, Christ is!

Ed Gamble
Florida Times Union
Feb 28, 2008

Savoring the doctrine of justification

Chuck Bumgardner: Savoring the doctrine of justification

Comment: a worthwhile read from Chuck Bumgardner’s blog.

How dead were we?

Ephesians 2:1, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins”.

A wealthy physician was the patron of my Boy Scout troop. His home was a gothic style stone manse on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River (Delhi, Ohio). He permitted our troop to maintain a camp on his property. His daughter, Connie, was a classmate of mine.

My first time viewing a corpse was when he died suddenly and our Boy Scout troop attended the viewing at their home.

My impressions were this:

  1. I was very sad for Connie
  2. It was clear to me that this man, who formerly was so involved with our troop activities, was inanimate: totally unable to hear, see, move, or think!
  3. A corpse cannot arise from his coffin.

The Scriptures state that before conversion we were dead. The Apostle Paul used the word νεκρός (think English prefix: “necro-” as in “necropolis”) to speak of that deadness. This is the same word used in by the Apostle John to speak of Lazarus’ condition (John 12:1, 9, &17: “Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead” (9))

To briefly answer my question, “how dead were we?”: without Christ one is spiritually dead to God. God spoke to Adam and said: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17). Adam lived “nine hundred and thirty years” (Genesis 5:5), but he died spiritually on the day he disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit.

Adam, mankind’s head, represented us in the Garden of Eden. His sin has effected every one of his descendants (Romans 5:12-17):

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

How dead were we? These verses speak of that deadness:

  1. Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me”.
  2. John 5:21: “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will”
  3. John 3:19: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”
  4. Romans 3:10-12: “As it is written: “ There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.””.
  5. 1 Corinthians 2:14: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  6. 2 Corinthians 1:9: “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead”.
  7. Ephesians 2:12: “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world”.

One of our own in Al Asad

One of our own, USMC Corporal Justin Nyquist, has just been deployed to Iraq.

Justin is the son of Mark and Cheryl Nyquist, and the grandson of Dick and Frosty Nyquist.

I would like to suggest that:

  1. We remember Justin in prayer
  2. As the Lord leads, that some would send him a letter or a card

Perhaps as a group project, we could assemble and mail a package to him. Let’s briefly discuss this on Wednesday. His address follows:

See Liz Charpie for Justin’s address

Information on: Al Asad

Members of one another (Ephesians 4:25)

The community of the redeemed is a community that understands we belong to the body of Christ and we are related to one another. The phrase “one another” speaks of the interrelationships of Christians in the church (and specifically in one’s local church). All people seek community; but genuine, loving community is only found “in Christ”. This same Christ, our Lord and Savior, empowers us to live in a loving way that honors Him and ministers to others.

Please take a few minutes and reflect upon these “one another” commands. Some are negative (eg Galatians 5:15, 26). Notice how “love” is a repeating theme. This week choose to obey these commands!

  1. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
  2. Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love”
  3. Romans 12:10, “in honor giving preference to one another;”
  4. Romans 12:16, “Be of the same mind toward one another.”
  5. Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore”
  6. Romans 15:7, “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us”
  7. Romans 15:14, “able also to admonish one another”
  8. Romans 16:16, “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (also 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:14)
  9. 1 Corinthians 11:33, “Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another”
  10. 1 Corinthians 12:25, “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another”
  11. Galatians 5:13, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
  12. Galatians 5:15, “[don’t] bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
  13. Galatians 5:26, “[don’t] become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another”
  14. Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
  15. Ephesians 4:2, “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (also Colossians 3:13)
  16. Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted”
  17. Ephesians 4:32, “… forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (also Colossians 3:13)
  18. Ephesians 5:19, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”
  19. Ephesians 5:21, “submitting to one another in the fear of God”
  20. Colossians 3:13, “Do not lie to one another”
  21. Colossians 3:16, “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”
  22. 1 Thessalonians 3:12, “abound in love to one another and to all”
  23. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”
  24. Hebrews 3:13, “exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (also Hebrews 10:25)
  25. Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works”
  26. James 4:11, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.”
  27. James 5:9, “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.”
  28. James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
  29. 1 Peter 1:22, “love one another fervently with a pure heart”
  30. 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous”
  31. 1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.””
  32. 1 Peter 4:9, “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling”
  33. 1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
  34. 1 Peter 5:5, “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility”
  35. 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another”
  36. 1 John 3:11, “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another”
  37. 1 John 3:23, “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment”
  38. 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
  39. 1 John 4:11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (continues in 4:12)
  40. 2 John 1:5, “I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.”

God made us alive!

Our text for Wednesday night will be Ephesians 2:1-10. I don’t expect that we can cover the entire section, but here is an overview:

The central phrase is: “God … made us alive … and raised us up …  and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

In these verses Paul expresses the past, present and future of the Christian:

  1. What one was (1-3): “were dead … once walked … once conducted ourselves”
  2. What one is (4-6, 8-9):
    • “alive together … raised up together, and made us sit together” (4-6)
    • “saved through faith” (8)
  3. What one will be (7, 10)
    • In the heavenly future: “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace” (7)
    • In our earthly future: “that we should walk in [good works]” (10)

In preparation for our study Wednesday night, please read Ephesians 2:1-10. Consider using Biblegateway.com to read in multiple translations.

Paul provides 6 aspects of salvation:

  1. From sin (2:1, “who were dead in trespasses and sins”)
  2. By love (2:4, “because of His great love with which He loved us”)
  3. Into life (2:5, “made us alive together with Christ”)
  4. For a purpose (2:7, “that in the ages to come …”)
  5. Through faith (2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith”)
  6. Unto good works (2:9, “created in Christ Jesus for good works”)

Kathee and I look forward to studying and praying with you this Wednesday. Until then “pray for one another” (James 5:16).