With Jesus takes us on a tour through Jesus’ life to show us how we can find our place in the story of Christ. Christianity is not a only a faith founded on facts, but also a deeply personal experience of God’s transforming grace in Christ. While our hope is rooted in history—the events of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension—the Scriptures also teach that every believer is included in these events. From the manger to the cross, from the empty tomb to his glorious throne, Jesus acted for us. And the mystery and wonder of the gospel is that we are crucified, buried, raised, and seated with him. The story of Jesus rewrites our stories.
On the Cross, Jesus Tore the Curtain: Reconciliation Jesus took our place, facing the darkness of God’s judgment and wrath against our sins. Then, “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Mark 15:37–38) The Jerusalem temple had two veils—one that separated the rest of the temple from the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s presence dwelled, and another that separated the Court of Israel from the Court of Women and the Court of the Gentiles. There are good theological reasons for thinking either veil was the one torn. The curtain at the Holy of Holies makes sense given its symbolism (cf. Heb. 6:19; […]
Abiding in the Vine One of the most vivid and powerful illustrations for the believer’s union with Christ in all of Scripture is that of the vine and branches. Branches bear fruit only when they abide in the vine. So it is for believers: the only way we can glorify the Father with fruitful lives is by abiding in Jesus. This teaching is found in John 15, where Jesus continues to prepare his disciples for his imminent death and departure by instructing them about their calling and mission as his disciples, emphasizing their absolute dependence on him. As Jesus says in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he […]
“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1) The good news in the story of Jesus’ temptation is that Jesus obeyed God and defeated temptation at every point where Israel, and Adam, and you and I have failed! Jesus was tempted as our brother, captain, and king. Adam, our first representative, was tempted in paradise and failed. Jesus, the second Adam and our final representative, was tempted in the desert and conquered. He reversed every aspect of the fall. What Jesus won in this initial victory was soon to be completed in his decisive victory on the cross and […]
Do you know people that irritate you? Do you have some friends or family members that you find annoying? No, these are not trick questions, just honest ones. The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible to help you deal with irritating, annoying people. And, as always, God’s answers are not our answers. The church in Philippi was having some people problems. So Paul wrote a letter to address their concerns. There is much for us to consider in Philippians about relationships. But I just want to focus on one point today. God wants you to consider the irritating, annoying people in your life as being more significant, more important than you are. Now, obeying God’s command to do this will not, […]
Biblical discipline has to do with love and delight, not primarily accountability and control. Biblical discipline is not about fairness, it is about mercy. Biblical discipline is not about treating children as their sins deserve. Would you really ask God to treat you as your sins deserve? If you don’t want God to treat you with fairness, then don’t make fairness the standard of your parenting. How much of the wonder and mercy of biblical discipline do you communicate to your children? Stay with me here! I am not advocating laissez-faire parenting or child-centered discipline. The truth is you only have hope because God does not treat you as your sins deserve. This is the gospel message of the cross. […]
Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more smoothly, you are doing good to get good. The rich young man in Matthew 19 had outwardly kept the commandments because he saw the value of being good. Most likely, […]
Indulging sensual desires has become an entitlement for young people. The message is loud and persistent: You can have it. You can have it now. You deserve it. Advertising that targets our nation’s youth is built on these three components of youthful desires or lusts. A cultural shift has occurred. It is one that is based on gratifying youthful desire. Having sex outside of marriage is the new social normal. Virginity is an indication of a dysfunctional personality. The notion of drinking responsibly doesn’t mean restraint, it means finding a designated driver. Products from hamburgers to whatever are sold with one message – you deserve this. Against this rising tide, a plea that says “don’t do that!” comes across as […]
Earlier today, Knowing the Truth Radio with Pastor Kevin Boling interviewed Paul Tautges about his new book, Pray About Everything. You can listen to the interview at Sermon Audio, or by using the audio player below: [hr] Pray About Everything is available for pre-order here at 30% off, but this sale won’t last much longer — the book will be arriving in our warehouse soon!