Showing posts from July, 2005

A Prerequisite for Revelation (John 14:22-24)

A young man sat in my office not too long ago. He was deeply troubled by questions and doubts about his relationship with God. He longed for God to be "real" in his life, but he feared yielding his life unreservedly to God for His total control.

I suggested two options to the young man: (1) Spend time reading Francis Schaeffer's The God Who is There and/or Escape from Reason. These works profoundly influenced my thinking as a late teenager, and I think they still contain a valuable message to those searching for God. My only warning was that he remember that God will not be found by the intellect alone. Without faith it is impossible to please God (or find Him). (2) The second option I suggested was that he simply yield himself totally to God and pursue relationship with Him, despite unanswered questions and unresolved doubts.

We prayed together and he left intending, I think, to pursue option 1. ...

This morning I sat on a porch swing and read John 14:22-24, which says…

Of Him all the prophets bear witness (Acts 10:43)

Acts 10:43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. (NASB)

I haven't been able to get away from the radical implications of this verse for the last 6-7 years. I keep coming back to it again and again. Our reading of the OT is very non-Petrine; at least mine has been.

Contextually, "Him" and "His name" refer to Jesus. So we can reword the verse this way, "Of Jesus, all the prophets bear witness that through Jesus' name everyone who believes on Jesus receives forgiveness of sins."

Does that sound as strange to you as it does me? Here are the questions that come to my mind:

1. All the prophets? Really?
2. The prophets talk about believing on Jesus? Where? I've never seen His name mentioned in any of the prophets.

So I went looking ... and what I found was that the prophets repeatedly call upon people to believe in the name of Yahweh (i.e., the LORD). See, for example, Isa. 50:…

An Independence Day Prayer from Daniel 9

Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keep Your covenant and lovingkindness for those who love You and keep Your commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.

Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants, who spoke in Your name to our presidents, our congressmen, our judges and all the people of the land. Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day -- to the men of America, the inhabitants of Washington, D.C. and all the United States, those who are nearby and those who are far away -- because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our presidents, our congressmen, our judges, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against You; nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in Your teachings which You set befo…