Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Lord of the Harvest

Now that we are at the end of summer, by God’s grace, we look forward to another season – autumn. Harvest time is just ahead! I love this time of year. The upcoming autumn harvest reminded me of a memorable encounter I captured during Ambassadors’ Academy 16, back in June 2010.

We were at Santa Monica Ca, 3rd Street Promenade. In the video you’ll see Steve Sanchez from deliver the Law and the Gospel to a group of teenagers. As you watch this video keep in mind that I edited out approximately eight minutes of the footage. Steve had to do a considerable amount of wrangling, reasoning, repeating and recapping, in order to help these teens understand their eternal destiny without Christ. It was a rather difficult encounter. I hope you’ll be encouraged by watching this faithful laborer of Christ push through in spite of how difficult the encounter was. If you’ve been at it for any length of time, that is, being a witness for Christ, you’ll know that it can be hard work at times.

Christian Soldier – Don’t Quit! Faithfully proclaim the Law and Gospel. Tell sinners about the Person of Christ. Call them to repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Plead with them! Be motivated by the infinitely perfect labor of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who secured for us our eternal salvation – “to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” Romans 4:24-25

There is another thing that came to mind as I watched the video and thought about the many texts in the Bible where God likens us to laborers, workers, slaves, etc (see Luke 10:2-12; 1 Cor 3:6-9; Matt 20:1-16 and look at Paul’s labor in Acts 18:4-11). I must free acknowledge and confess the truth that being an Ambassador for Christ laborious – joyous for sure but laborious nevertheless.

With that being said, I must also confess my weakness and total dependence of GOD to be my strength in laboring for His glory. He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Preaching to the Choir

As evangelists we often times think in terms of heralding the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to lost souls, with the goal of loving GOD and loving lost people. AMEN! But I’ve seen it happen too that our preaching also has it’s affects on the people of GOD.

It was Independence Day 2010 when I met Anthony. He is a very nice young man who, as I began to take him through the good person test, revealed that he was a professing Christian. I was thankful that Anthony sensed that he had stepped into a position that wasn’t only about him but also about those who were listening. He graciously allowed me to bounce the “good person” questions off of him without argument.

I had a short conversation with Anthony after the crowd dispersed and he expressed that he was very encouraged by the preaching, specifically the way the gospel was presented. I had just met Anthony so I can’t tell you if he is a Christian or not, but he professed to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I give him the benefit of the doubt.

As you know, Christians do stop and listen to our preaching. I also understand that all too often professing Christians are some of the most difficult people to deal with when preaching. Nevertheless, by the power of the Holy Spirit, our preaching also reaches out to the Christian and/or church attendees that are being saved.

“Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”” Matthew 9:35-38
Let’s expect GOD to answer our prayers for more laborers. I used to think in terms of GOD answering my prayer for laborer(s) that He might send some to labor with me(selfish). But I’m not the “Lord of the harvest,” GOD is. He raises them up. It is not my harvest it is, “his harvest.” Let Him send them where He desires.

One of the affects of our,“preaching to the choir” is that GOD may use it as a means to raise up laborers to send out into the harvest. I believe Anthony lives in the Central Valley. I pray that this encounter was the means GOD used to stir this young man up to obedience to preach the Gospel in his home town.

There are other times when we preach that church attendees are listening. This is the case with the last two videos. You’ll hear the father of this family make a profession of faith in the third video. Again, I don’t know him other than from what I know of him from our short encounter. I give this gentleman the benefit of the doubt when he says he’s a Christian.

In the video you’ll hear the father name the church they attend. I can only pray that this church preaches the law, gospel, repentance and faith. But as you know, many evangelical “churches” these days fail in bringing the full council of GOD, but instead entertain lost people to keep them coming back.

Again, from time to time our preaching is for professing Christians that GOD is saving in spite of the bad churches they attend. In the video, you’ll also hear the rest of this dear family profess that they are not sure if their saved.

With all that being said dear Christian, I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but, don’t quit. Just because a person makes a profession of faith, trust in our Sovereign Lord of the Harvest that He has, by His providence, designed this encounter – every encounter. Rest assured, in and through it all He’s working.

GOD doesn’t need you (He need’s nothing from anyone) but you might be the means He uses to save some, draw some, harden some, send some – HE IS THE LORD OF THE HARVEST.

So preach the law, gospel, repentance, faith and exalt the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Preach to an Audience of One. Preach to the lost. Preach to the professing Christian. But also never underestimate what GOD may be doing when you “Preach to the Choir.”


Friday, July 9, 2010

Open Air Flip Chart

Lately I’ve been using a flipchart and easel when I go to Pismo Beach Pier to evangelize. I’ve used it a bit in the past but lately, it’s been very effective in getting people interested to stop and engage in conversation. Ultimately I know that it is the Holy Spirit who draws these people in. Our Sovereign LORD has all these details worked out.

When I’ve used the flipchart in the past, I’ve used it for open air preaching. And over the 3rd and 4th of July, that is exactly what I did. However, just recently I've noticed that my voice hasn’t been holding out as long as what it has in the past. I’ve been really bummed out about it and would appreciate your prayers. After preaching for thirty minutes or so I need to give my voice a break.

While I’m giving my pipes a rest, I’ve found myself standing in front of this flip chart just passing out tracts. As I said above, GOD has provided many encounters with people during these rest periods in my preaching.

It’s happened a couple of times now where I’ve had groups of 10-20 people stand there and listen to the Law and Gospel preached (a mini-open air) after going through the “Intelligence Test” and Three Triangles test.

Typically what’s been happening is two or three people stop and want take the “Intelligence Test” – then before I know it, there are 4-8 people standing there listening and engaging in answering the questions. One small group after another stops and hears the Law and Gospel! I’ve really been blown away by how GOD has used this. As soon as one group leaves (after hearing the law and gospel) another couple stops and again, before I know it, I’m preaching to another group of people (and this goes on all afternoon).

Below are a few videos from my preaching on the box from July 3rd, 2010 in Pismo Beach. In the days to come, Lord willing, I’ll edit and upload some of the video footage of what I’m talking about above from my efforts on the 4th of July.

Christian, during these warm sunny days, when people are on vacation, taking things a bit slower, take advantage of it, be deliberate, glorify GOD and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with lost people.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Young Atheist

Last Sunday I had the privilege of reading the Word of God aloud and heralding the law and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I packed my open air box, the wooden cross, and my tracts and bible and headed to Pismo Pier. I arrived and setup near the mouth of the pier at around 3:30 PM. There was a fair amount of foot traffic. But I also know that the closer it is to sunset the more people come out to enjoy it.

Direct interaction with people while preaching was minimal for the first couple of hours. I read from Psalms, Romans and from the book of Acts. I preached the law and Gospel and did my best to speak of the Person of Jesus Christ – not only what He did to save sinners but also who He is.

As I said, as sunset draws closer more people come out. This day was no different. There was a group of 10 -12 teenage boys riding around near where I was preaching. I’ve had conversations with many of them before but this day I met a young man I’d never met before. As these guys rode around, a young man named Kevin yapped at me about “ramming religion down our throats.” This twenty-seven minute audio is an excerpt of the open air.

I believe GOD used this open air, and Kevin’s loud voice and opinions to draw in a group of people who stood around waiting for the sun to set.

WARNING: There is a lot of profanity in this audio.

One other side note: there were no Christians there. It was just the pagans gathered and myself. Maybe there were Christians there listening or praying but they didn’t make themselves known to me. But something that always blows me away is when unregenerate people defend me. When things heat up between Kevin, me and one other guy, several unregenerate people standing just behind me step up and come to my defense.

There is one other unexpected twist to this story – nothing earth shattering – but it also blows me away. You’ll hear me offer Kevin some tracts at the end of the audio. He was upset and just road off on his bike. A little while later I had the opportunity to spend a few more minutes with him and give him, “The Atheist Test” tract and one other old Evolution tract that Living Waters used to sell. God gave me the opportunity to reiterate some of the truths I had shared with Kevin during the open air. Except this time, with gentleness and a pleading concern for his soul. I put my hand on Kevin’s shoulder and looked him in the eye and said, “Kevin, I care about you. Please turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ. It’s time to get right with GOD.” He calmed down and talked quietly for a few more minutes. We even shook hands before he left. I thank GOD that He gave me those few minutes with Kevin.

Fast-forward to Thursday night (last night): I attended a local Farmer’s Market in San Luis Obispo. SLOtown is approximately eighteen miles north of Pismo Pier. It was around 9:45 PM. Another Brother and I were witnessing to the numerous high school kids that gathered just outside of Jamba Juice (a great place for 1-2-1 witnessing). I was in conversation with three fourteen year old young ladies when I heard a guy say, “Hey, I know you.” I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t think the guy was talking to me. He dropped his bike and came walking up to me and held out his hand. He said, “What’s up? Are you here doing the same thing you were doing in Pismo.” It was Kevin and he held out his hand to shake my hand again. I don’t know what GOD is doing in the hearts of people but Kevin was smiling and seemed genuinely glad to see me, even wanting to go over some of the things we had talked about on Sunday. Please pray for this young man.

I must leave you with two things. First, just because things might get heated in either a witnessing encounter or during open air, hang in there, GOD works during those times too. You never really know whose being disturbed or even called to repentance by the Holy Spirit. I’m not saying Kevin is saved by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems from my limited perspective, the Holy Spirit is doing something there. So don’t shy away from the heat of a passionate discussion and plead with them to repent and believe the gospel. Plead with them, preach the law and the gospel to them and don’t quit.

Secondly, after the open air kind of died down, maybe fifteen people or so stood around for another hour discussing spiritual matters, GOD, the Bible, Jesus Christ, etc. Sad to say, but I was all these pagans had. There were no other Christians there to minister to these people who GOD had brought there to hear the gospel. I’m not exaggerating, I had a girl asking me sincere questions and at the same time a guy who was just as sincere asked me questions about the Bible and GOD. Many of the others had questions and wanted to hear more too. I wasn’t able to talk at length with all of them. At one point, I had to tell the one young lady who had a ton of questions that I couldn’t have a conversation with her and the guy I was currently talking to. This really grieved me.

Chrsitian - If you are not engaged in regular, deliberate evangelism, not only are you disobedient to our Lord’s command but you're missing out on the joy of spreading His fame – preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Earth Day with Jared and the Reverend

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Earth Day celebration that took place at Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo. It was a beautiful Spring day – the sun was out and so were the people.

My objective in attending this event was to communicate the law and the gospel to as many individuals as I could (glorifying GOD and loving people). I passed out tracts and engaged several people in gospel conversation.

After a couple of hours I ended up walking by one of the booths that I took a photo of earlier. I must admit, I was curious about what kind of literature they were offering. But still, I had no intention of engaging the people in the booth. I walked up the booth, grabbed a piece of their literature and started to step away.

Note the sign over their booth. The subheading of the sign states: “The San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association provides collegiality and spiritual support for religious leaders and builds bridges of understanding among our diverse traditions and in our pluralistic community.”

As I was stepping away from the table reading this piece of literature, from behind the booth table, a very soft-spoken gentleman asked me if he could answer any questions. I told him that I was just looking at their materials and expressed that the materials were "interesting." I then added that I too was attending the Earth Day celebration to engage people in conversations about spiritual matters. He asked me what "group" I was part of. I told him that I attend such and such a local church.

At this point, I'm not sure but it seemed that he jumped to conclusions about me rather quickly. I believe he thought I represented a church or organization and was interested in their "services".

So as not to add to the confusion, I reiterated who I was and what I was doing there that day. But I still didn’t tip my hat that I was a born again believer sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are on their way to Hell in hopes that they would turn from their sin and trust in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ so they can be forgiven and have eternal life and enjoy GOD forever.

The gentleman’s name is Jared. He's a local Para-Rabi. Jared invited me to come behind the table and sit and chat with him. I chose not to sit in the chair he offered me but instead knelt down on one knee and leaned on the table just outside their booth.

If God was giving me the opportunity to witness to this man, I thought it best to not only speak humbly but physically lower my position so as not to give him any reason to feel I was standing over him - looking down on him. Then I asked him permission to record our conversation. He said “yes.”

I teased you with a snippet of this video in a blog post earlier this week. In it you’ll remember a reverend lady chases me away from their booth. She asks me to leave several times. Eventually I do but not before a small verbal struggle with her.

As you’ll see from the video, it was Jared and I who were having the conversation. The reverend wasn’t part of it. She, in my opinion, very rudely kept interrupting us. Note that each time she attempts to stop our conversation is when Jared ever-so-slightly raises his voice. I think it made her uncomfortable because these “teachers” (Jared) were there to promote “understanding among our diverse traditions.” But with the conversation Jared and I were having, it was clear that Jared wasn’t being very understanding about his personal sin or especially Jesus being the ONLY way to GOD. This was really what was upsetting Jarrod – sound familiar?

At some point the reverend sensed that I was trying to “proselytize.” That’s when she had enough and decided to engage me face to face.

Note that Jared never once asked me to leave. Had he, I would have left in a heart-beat (as I’ve done in countless witness encounters where a person asks me to leave them alone).

The only reason I stayed as long as I did is because the discussion I was having was with Jared and NOT the reverend. Yes – she repeatedly asked me to stop/leave. And maybe I resisted longer than I should have but my motive was to speak more with Jared – not to resist her.

In the end I really don’t know what to think about this strange encounter. I’ve thought and prayed about it all week. Did I do and say the right thing? What would you have done/said if you were in my position?

I know that as I was walking away from this encounter, OT Scriptures began to pour into my mind. "Why didn't you use that passage," I thought to myself. Then tons of NT passages came to mind. "Oh Allen, why didn't you quote that verse to Jarrod?" At the same time, I trust that the Holy Spirit was working in and through it all and ultimately, "salvation is of the Lord." He alone is in control of these matters. Still I do want to improve in my evangelism endeavors. So please, if you have something you think might help me for next time, leave your comments.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth Day 2010 - Rob

I met a very nice man named Rob at Earth Day SLO. He gave me a few minutes of his time and allowed me to capture his thoughts on Earth Day in this on camera interview. Then our conversation bridged over to discussing matters of morality (right and wrong); and then on to the Law and the Gospel.

The problem with these on camera interviews is I always feel the need to keep it short – in order to respect the person and their generosity in granting me a few minutes of their time. The good thing is that our conversation didn't end once the camera was turned off. As best I could, I expounded upon the truths of the gospel more fully to Rob and pleaded with Him to turn from sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please remember to pray for Rob.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Happened to Tolerance at Earth Day SLO?

What happened at the Earth Day Celebration at Mission Plaza, SLO when I was invited behind a booth to sit and chat about spiritual matters? Watch this 28 second teaser to find out.

Why was the Reverend unhappy with me? Come back later this week to find out.

Is this what you would call building bridges of understanding among diverse traditions?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Organic Congregations

Stone the Preacher is a blog written by Steve Sanchez. In regard to evangelism, his is one of the most encouraging blogs that I follow. Over the years I've read about his experiences in evangelism. Some of the most memorable though are his encounters while preaching open air to "Organic Congregations." I'll let him describe to you what an organic congregation is in detail if you're interested. But basically it's a captive audience. People line up outside of stores, sporting events, restaurants, etc. - and there just standing there waiting. People like Steve Sanchez take advantage of this Organic Congregation and preach the gospel to them.
Splash Cafe' in Pismo Beach, CA makes a famous Clam Chowder Bread Bowl. On weekends, there may be twenty to thirty people standing in line outside (wrapped around the side of the building) waiting to get their clam chowder. About every ten minutes or so there is a fresh bunch of ears just standing there waiting. This is our organic congregation.
On Palm Sunday 2010, Brother Al Martinez and Sister Kristi Walker came and spent the afternoon with me evangelizing in Pismo Beach. Upon arriving in Pismo we decided to take advantage of the crowd gathered outside of Splash Cafe'.

To GOD alone be the glory!

One Sunday Afternoon

Two videos that capture several gospel conversations I had with different people on the corner of Oak Park Blvd. and Grand Ave. in Grover Beach - one Sunday afternoon.

A few of these encounters seem to have no conclusion - like there's missing footage. Bummer! The battery on my camera gave out. So why include the footage? I wanted to demonstrate the variety of people and conversations you can have with them. In just a few short hours many heard a Biblical message that glorifies GOD. In just a few short hours many heard the message that our gracious GOD may use as a means to sovereignty, inwardly call them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

There is nothing that hinders the sovereignty of GOD – nothing! His purposes will not be frustrated in the least, even if I’m derelict when it comes to evangelism. In fact, He doesn’t need me at all.

However, there is one thing that is hindered – our joy in Him. The Christian experiences great joy in Him when we’re obeying Him. When we are unwilling to obey we suffer the loss of the joy that comes from fulfilling the Great Commission – “GO.”

There is great joy to be had in obeying our Master. Evangelism is a labor too but primarily it’s a joy because in it you’ll experience Him. He is our joy! If you’re not experiencing the joy that Christians experience when evangelizing, I pray that you would begin to take steps to change that.

Christian, our Master gave us the Gospel. When was the last time you were obedient to His call to "preach the Gospel to every creature"? I’m not proclaiming that I’m Mr. Obedient here. I confess that I have tendencies to disobey the Lord Jesus and shy away from doing what I know I should. What I am trying to do is encourage you.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU: Prayerfully set aside just one hour out of one Sunday afternoon for intentional evangelism. Glorify GOD and love people by being an obedient servant to the one who laid His life down for you.

The emphasis of the first video is sin, righteousness, and judgment (the context of the gospel). Then in the second video you'll notice the emphasis is on the Good News and a call to repent and believe.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Before thy cross I kneel and see
the heinousness of my sin
my iniquity that caused thee to be 'made a curse',
the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by
the crown of thorns,
the pierced hands and feet,
the bruised body,
thy dying cries.

Thy blood is the blood of incarnate GOD,
its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.
Infinite must be the evil and guilt that demands such a price.
Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,
born in my birth,
alive in my life,
strong in my character,
dominating my faculties, following me as a shadow,
intermingling with my every thought,
my chain that holds me captive in the empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,
the air supply breath,
the earth bear my tread,
its fruits nourish me,
its creatures subserve my ends?

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,
thy heart hastens to my rescue,
thy love endured my curse,
thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humiliation,
bathed in thy blood,
tender of conscience,
triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

taken from The Valley of Vision

Thursday, March 18, 2010


What is propitiation? (n) prō-pi-shē-ā-shən

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cross Encounter with Alice

A couple of Sundays ago I took the cross out to the corner of Sixteenth Street and Grand Ave. in Grover Beach. As I approached the corner, I could see a person dressed up as the Statue of Liberty. This is Alice. Alice is dressed up as the Statue of Liberty because Alice works for one of those tax preparation companies that hire sign-holders to advertise for them. This is my cross encounter with Alice.

Please remember to offer up prayer for Alice in the days, weeks, and months to come. Alice is one of those people who I will never forget. I pray that you too will not soon forget Alice.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Below is an outstanding audio lecture seris on Penal Substitution from The Master's Seminary.

Christian - The Lord Jeusus is our treasure. Learn to treasure Him more through going deeper into the theology that is at the center of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. SDG!

Series Overview
Dr. Richard Mayhue

Penal Substitution in the OT
Dr. William Barrick

Penal Substitution in the NT
Professor Paul Felix

Penal Substitution in Church History
Dr. Michael Vlach

Penal Substitution in Worship
Dr. Andrew Snider

Audio Source

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cross Encounter with Nathan

In my first blog entry I said that I would be sharing some of my evangelism experiences with you. I pray that by sharing these experiences you might be encouraged and reminded that time is short. Remember our Lord Jesus will soon return! Be encouraged to love GOD and glorify Him by obeying His command to love man. How?

“Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Lord willing, this is the first of many entries entitled, “Cross Encounter.” These entries document an experience I’ve had with taking the wooden cross out on the streets and engaging individuals in 1-2-1 conversation about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This isn’t about having material to put on this blog. These are real people who matter to me. I pray that the individual(s) I’m talking to can see/hear how much I care for them. But I also hope you too will be able to sense my love for them as you listen/watch.

I love them because my Lord Jesus Christ first loved me and gave Himself to die the death I deserve. He bore my sin and absorbed the full wrath of the Father. Though He was/is perfectly holy and without sin, He stood in my place, as my Substitute, and satisfied the demands of GOD’s perfect justice for all my law breaking. ALL the work that was required to save my soul? Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” He died and three days later He arose from the dead and ascended back up into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. Ps 24:7-10
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

THIS IS GOOD NEWS! And it was this good news that I so wanted to deliver to a young man named Nathan. This is my Cross Encounter with Nathan.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Man of Sorrows

Recently I read a section of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology to my wife. I read from chapter twenty-seven – The Atonement.

The more I read the more I felt deep emotions of sorrow. Sorrow over my sinfulness and sorrow for over what my sin brought upon Jesus - sorrow over what my Lord Jesus willingly endured for me.

As I read and contemplated my Lord’s cross-bearing in my place, I was so overcome with this strong sense of sorrow that I began to weep bitter tears. It was difficult to read each sentence as I fought back the painful tears. But out of those bitter tears, in the morning, came a greater sense of gratitude, joy, and worship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All praise to Him who reigns on high! SDG!

Below is the excerpt from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (pages 570-577) that I read to my wife. Christian, slow down, take some quiet time today and think deeply about what your Lord and Savior has borne for you. I pray that you too will be overcome with deep sorrow over your sin and the sufferings of your cross-bearing Savior who died in your place. I pray that the result will be that you would have a greater sense of gratitude, joy, and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Nature of the Atonement

In this section we consider two aspects of Christ’s work: (1) Christ’s obedience for us, in which he obeyed the requirements of the law in our place and was perfectly obedient to the will of God the Father as our representative, and (2) Christ’s sufferings for us, in which he took the penalty due for our sins and as a result died for our sins.

It is important to notice that in both of these categories the primary emphasis and the primary influence of Christ’s work of redemption is not on us, but on God the Father. Jesus obeyed the Father in our place and perfectly met the demands of the law. And he suffered in our place, receiving in himself the penalty that God the Father would have visited upon us. In both cases, the atonement is viewed as objective; that is, something that has primary influence directly on God himself. Only secondarily does it have application to us, and this is only because there was a definite event in the relationship between God the Father and God the Son that secured our salvation.

1. Christ’s Obedience for Us (Sometimes Called His “Active Obedience”). If Christ had only earned forgiveness for sins for us, then we would not merit heaven. Out guilt would have been removed, but we would simply be in the position of Adam and Eve before they had done anything good or bad and before they had passed a time of probation successfully. To be established in righteousness forever and to have their fellowship with God made sure forever, Adam and Eve had to obey God perfectly over a period of time. Then God would have looked on their faithful obedience with pleasure and delight, and they would have lived with him in fellowship forever.

For this reason, Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience to God in order to earn righteousness for us. He had to obey the law for his whole life on our behalf so that the positive merits of his perfect obedience would be counted for us. Sometimes this is called Christ’s “active obedience,” while the suffering and dying for our sins is called his “passive obedience.” Paul says his goal is that he may be found in Christ, “not having a righteousness of [his] own, based on the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3:9). It is not just moral neutrality that Paul knows he needs from Christ (that is, a clean slate with sins forgiven), but a positive moral righteousness. And he know that that cannot come from himself, but must come thought faith in Christ. Similarly, Paul says that Christ has been made “our righteousness” (1 Cor. 1:30). And he quite explicitly says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

2. Christ’s Sufferings for Us (Sometimes Called His “Passive Obedience”). In addition to obeying the law perfectly for his whole life on our behalf, Christ also took on himself the sufferings necessary to pay the penalty for our sins.

a. Suffering for His Whole Life: In a broad sense the penalty Christ bore in paying for our sins was suffering in both his body and soul throughout his life. Though Christ’s sufferings culminated in his death on the cross (see below), his whole life in a fallen world involved suffering. For example, Jesus endured tremendous suffering during the temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11), when he was assaulted for forty days by the attacks of Satan. He also suffered in growing to maturity, “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). He knew suffering in the intense opposition he faced from Jewish leaders throughout much of his earthly ministry (Heb. 12:3-4). We may suppose too that he experienced suffering and grief at the death of his earthly father, and certainly he experienced grief at the death of his close friend Lazarus (John 11:35). In predicting the coming of the Messiah, Isaiah said he would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3).

b. The Pain of the Cross: The sufferings of Jesus intensified as he drew near to the cross. He told his disciples of something of the agony he was going through when he said, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Matt. 26:38). It was especially on the cross that Jesus’ sufferings for us reached their climax, for it was there that he bore the penalty for our sin and died in our place. Scripture teaches us that there were four different aspects of the pain that Jesus experienced:

(1) Physical Pain and Death

We do not need to hold that Jesus suffered more physical pain than any human being has ever suffered, for the Bible nowhere makes such a claim. But we still must not forget that death by crucifixion was one of the most horrible forms of execution ever devised by man.

Many readers of the Gospels in the ancient world would have witnessed crucifixions and thus would have had a painfully vivid mental picture upon reading the simple words “And they crucified him” (Mark 15:24). A criminal who was crucified was essentially forced to inflict upon himself a very slow death by suffocation. When the criminal’s arm’s were outstretched and fastened by nails to the cross, he had to support most of the weight of his body with his arms. The chest cavity would be pulled upward and outward, making it difficult to exhale in order to be able to draw a fresh breath. But when the victim’s longing for oxygen became unbearable, he would have to push himself up with his feet, thus giving more natural support to the weight of his body, releasing some of the weight from his arms, and enabling his chest cavity to contract more normally. By pushing himself upward in this way the criminal could fend off suffocation, but it was extremely painful because it required putting the body’s weight on the nails holding the feet, and bending the elbows and pulling upward on the nails driven through the wrists. The criminal’s back, which had been torn open repeatedly by a previous flogging, would scrape against the wooden cross with each breath. Thus Seneca (first century A.D.) spoke of a crucified man “drawing the breath of life amid long-drawn-out agony” (Epistle 101, to Lucilius, section 14).

A physician writing in the Journal for the American Medical Association in 1986 explained the pain that would have been experienced in death by crucifixion:
Adequate exhalation required lifting the body by pushing up on the feet and by flexing the elbows…. However, this maneuver would place the entire weight of the body on the tarsals and would produce searing pain. Furthermore, flexion of the elbows would cause rotation of the writs about the iron nails and cause fiery pain along the damaged median nerves…. Muscle cramps and paresthesias of the outstretched and uplifted arms would add to the discomfort. As a result, each respiratory effort would become agonizing and tiring and lead eventually to asphyxia.
In some cases, crucified men would survive for several days, nearly suffocating but not quite dying. This was why the executioners would sometimes break the legs of a criminal, so that death would come quickly, as we see in John 19:31-33.

Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
(2) The Pain of Bearing Sin

More awful than the pain of physical suffering that Jesus endured was the psychological pain of bearing the guilt for our sin. In our own experience as Christians we know something of the anguish we feel when we know we have sinned. The weight of guilt is heavy on our hearts, and there is a bitter sense of separation from all that is right in the universe, an awareness of something that in a very deep sense ought not to be. In fact, the more we grow in holiness as God’s children, the more intensely we feel this instinctive revulsion against evil.

Now Jesus was perfectly holy. He hated sin with his entire being. The thought of evil, of sin, contradicted everything in his character. Far more than we do, Jesus instinctively rebelled against evil. Yet in obedience to the Father, and out of love for us, Jesus took on himself all the sins of those who would someday be saved. Taking on himself all the evil against which his soul rebelled created deep revulsion in the center of his being. All that he hated most deeply was poured out fully upon him.

Scripture frequently says that our sins were put on Christ: “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6), and “He bore the sin of many” (Isa. 53:12). John the Baptist calls Jesus “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Paul declares that God made Christ “to be sin” (2 Cor. 5:21) and that Christ became “a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). The author of Hebrews says that Christ was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28). And Peter says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

The passage from 2 Corinthians quoted above, together with the verses from Isaiah, indicate that it was God the Father who put our sins on Christ. How could that be? In the same way in which Adam’s sins were imputed to us, so God imputed our sins to Christ; that is, he thought of them as belonging to Christ, and, since God is the ultimate judge and definer of what really is in the universe, when God thought of our sins as belonging to Christ then in fact they actually did belong to Christ. This does not mean that God thought that Christ had himself committed the sins, (that is, the liability to punishment) was thought of by God as belonging to Christ rather than to us.

Some have objected that it was not fair for God to do this, to transfer the guilt of sin from us to an innocent person, Christ. Yet we must remember that Christ voluntarily took on himself the guilt for our sins, so this objection loses much of its force. Moreover, God himself (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the ultimate standard of what is just and fair in the universe, and he decreed that the atonement would take place in this way, and that it did in fact satisfy the demands of his own righteousness and justice.

(3) Abandonment

The physical pain of crucifixion and the pain of taking on himself the absolute evil of our sins were aggravated by the fact that Jesus faced this pain alone. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, he confided something of his agony to them: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch” (Mark 26:56).

Here also there is a very faint analogy in our experience, for we cannot live long without tasting the inward ache of rejection, whether it be rejection by a close friend, by a parent or child, or by a wife or husband. Yet in all those cases there is at least a sense that we could have done something differently, that at least in small part we may be at fault. It was not so with Jesus and the disciples, for, “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). He had done nothing but love them; in return, they all abandoned him.

But far worse than desertion by even the closest of human friends was the fact that Jesus was deprived of the closeness to the Father that had been the deepest joy of his heart for all his earthy life. When Jesus cried, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46), he showed that he was finally cut off from the sweet fellowship with his heavenly Father that had been the unfailing source of his inward strength and the element of greatest joy in a life filled with sorrow. As Jesus bore our sins on the cross, he was abandoned by his heavenly Father, who is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Hab. 1:13). He faced the weight of the guilt of millions of sins alone.

(4) Bearing the Wrath of God

Yet more difficult than these three previous aspects of Jesus’ pain was the pain of bearing the wrath of God upon himself. As Jesus bore the guilt of our sins alone, God the Father, the mighty Creator, the Lord of the universe, poured out on Jesus the fury of his wrath: Jesus became the object of the intense hatred of sin and vengeance against sin which God had patiently stored up since the beginning of the world.

Romans 3:23 tells us that God put forward Christ as a “propitiation” (NASB) a word that means “a sacrifice that bears God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath to favor.” Paul tells us that “That this was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25-26). God had not simply forgiven sin and forgotten about the punishment in generations past. He had forgiven sins and stored up his righteous anger against those sins. But at the cross the fury of all that stored-up wrath against sin was unleashed against God’s own Son.

Many theologians outside the evangelical world have strongly objected to the idea that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin. Their basic assumption is that since God is a God of love, it would be inconsistent with his character to show wrath against the human beings he has created and for whom he is a loving Father. But evangelical scholars have convincingly argued that the idea of the wrath of God is solidly rooted in both the Old and New Testaments: “the whole of the argument of the opening part of Romans is that all men, Gentiles and Jews alike, are sinners, and that they come under the wrath and the condemnation of God.”

Three other crucial passages in the New Testament refer to Jesus’ death as a “propitiation”: Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; and 4:10. The Greek terms (the verb hilaskomai, “to make propitiation” and the noun hilasmos, “a sacrifice of propitiation”) used in these passages have the sense of “a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God – and thereby makes God propitious (or favorable) toward us.” This is the consistent meaning of these words outside of the Bible where they were well understood in reference to pagan Greek religions. These verses simply mean that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin.

It is important to insist on this fact, because it is the heart of the doctrine of the atonement. It means that there is an eternal, unchangeable requirement in the holiness and justice of God that sin be paid for. Furthermore, before the atonement ever could have an effect on our subjective consciousness, it first had an effect on God and his relation to the sinners he planned to redeem. Apart from this central truth, the death of Christ really cannot be adequately understood.

Although we must be cautious in suggesting any analogies to the experience Christ went through (for his experience was and always will be without precedent or comparison), nonetheless, all our understanding of Jesus’ suffering comes in some sense by way of analogous experiences in our life – for that is how God teaches us in Scripture. Once again our human experience provides a very faint analogy that helps us understand what it means to bear the wrath of God. Perhaps as children we have faced the wrath of a human father when we have done wrong, or perhaps as adults we have known the anger of an employer because of a mistake we have made. We are inwardly shaken, disturbed by the crashing of another personality, filled with displeasure, into our very selves, and we tremble. We can hardly imagine the personal disintegration that would threaten if the outpouring of wrath came not from some finite human being but from Almighty God. If even the presence of God when he does not manifest wrath arouses fear and trembling in people (cf. Heb. 12:21, 28-29), how terrible it must be to face the presence of a wrathful God (Heb. 10:31).

With this in mind, we are now better able to understand Jesus’ cry of desolation, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46b). The question does not mean, “Why have you left me forever?” for Jesus knew that he was leaving the world, that he was going to the Father (John 14:28; 16:10, 17). Jesus knew that he would rise again (John 2:19; Luke 18:33; Mark 9:31; et al.). It was “for the joy that was set before him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:2). Jesus knew that he could still call God “my God.” This cry of desolation is not a cry of total despair. Furthermore, “Why have you forsaken me?” does not imply that Jesus wondered why he was dying. He had said, “The Son of man also cam not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus knew that he was dying for our sins.

Jesus’ cry is a quotation form Psalm 22:1, a psalm in which the psalmist asks why God is so far from helping him, why God delays in rescuing him:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest. (Ps. 22:1-2).
Yet the psalmist was eventually rescued by God, and his cry of desolation turned into a hymn of praise (vv.22-31). Jesus, who knew the words for Scripture as his own, knew well the context of Psalm 22. In quoting the psalm, he is quoting a cry of desolation that also has implicit in its context an unremitting faith in the God who will ultimately deliver him. Nevertheless, it remains a very real cry of anguish because the suffering has gone on so long and no release is in sight.

With this context for the quotation it is better to understand the question, “Why have you forsaken me?” as meaning, “Why have you forsaken me for so long?” This is the sense it has in Psalm 22. Jesus, in his human nature, knew he would have to bear our sins, to suffer and to die. But, in his human consciousness, he probably did not know how long this suffering would take. Yet to bear the guilt of millions of sins even for a moment would cause the greatest anguish of soul. To face the deep and furious wrath of an infinite God even for an instant would cause the most profound fear. But Jesus’ suffering was not over in a minute – or two – or ten. When would it end? Could there be yet more weight of sin? Yet more wrath of God? Hour after hour it went on – the dark weight of sin and the deep wrath of God poured over Jesus in wave after wave. Jesus at last cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why must suffering go on so long? Oh God, my God, will you ever bring it to an end?

Then at last Jesus knew his suffering was nearing completion. He knew he had consciously borne all the wrath of the Father against our sins, for God’s anger had abated and the awful heaviness of sin was being removed. He knew that all that remained was to yield up his spirit to his heavenly Father and die. With a shout of victory Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Then with a loud voice he once more cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). And then he voluntarily gave up the life that no one could take from him (John 10:17-18), and he died. As Isaiah had predicted, “he poured out his soul to death” and “bore the sin of many” (Isa. 53:12). God the Father saw “the fruit of the travail of his soul” and was “satisfied” (Isa. 53:11).

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine Wayne Grudem (Author)


Monday, February 22, 2010

Are You Ready?

When I made the decision to incorporate a cross into my evangelism endeavors, I wasn't sure how I was going to go about getting my hands on one. Many of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ posted their own versions (specifications) of the crosses that they made. In the end I chose to use the dimensions that Tony Miano provided in one of his blog entries.

I found several woodshops in my local area and sent out emails to these shops describing what I wanted. Below is part of what I emailed.

Please quote your best price and delivery of one wooden cross with the specifications as follows:

• 4' vertical beam
• 2.5' horizontal beam
• Each beam 6.5" wide and 1.5" thick
• All edges rounded with a 3/8” or 1/2" radius
• Pine or Poplar
• Dark Walnut Stain & finished with clear lacquer
I’m not really sure why but no body responded. Maybe I shouldn’t have described to them what I wanted to do with the cross. Or maybe none of the woodshops I requested quotes from appreciates the cross. Either way, I had no takers. I began to search the web for cross manufacturers. I found maybe a half dozen or so and emailed them my request for their best price and delivery of one cross meeting the specifications above.

Saturday morning I got up and checked my email, not really expecting to see any responses to my request for quotations. However, I received the simple response below:

Good morning, Thank you for your email. I can build the flat traditional pine cross according to your dimensions stained dark walnut and clear lacquer finish shipped to California for [$$$]
May the Lord bless you today


Just taking a guess, but the packaging alone probably weighs at least 3-4 lbs. So I’m estimating that this cross weighs 19-20 lbs.

In parallel with ordering the cross I still needed to figure out how I was going to get the, “Are You Ready?” question written across the crossbeam. I looked where I might get some single letters that would fit. I wanted the lettering to come about 1” from ether end and about ½” from the top edge and bottom edge of the face of the crossbeam. The other thing that I was sure that I wanted to do was to have the letters be relfelctive. Reflective letters will come in handy when it gets dark. I looked around on the web and found another really easy company to order from: Custom-Vinyl-Lettering.

They have a very simple custom label creator where you specify what you want the on the label, its size, its color, and what type of material (white reflective in my case). Watch this short video to see how the decal is applied.

Here is a snapshot of the specific label and its dimensions that I ordered.

Within 5-6 days after ordering it, I had my custom, “Are You Ready?” label. Actually, I received my custom label on the same day I received my cross.

After I unpackaged the cross, I carefully laid out my label and had it installed within 10-15 minutes.

Here’s a few pictures of the finished cross.

Kenny at Crossmember Crosses does high quality work. I highly recommend his work to anyone who is interested. Please at least give him a chance at quoting you a price. His website is:

If you want to get a custom vinyl label made, you can use:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Wooden Cross

Last year (2009) I read many blog entries, listened to audio, and watch videos of how my Brothers and Sisters in Christ have incorporated the use of a simple wooden cross in their evangelism endeavors. They use the crosses they carry as tool to start one on one spiritual conversations with people.

It’s nothing new. We’ve all seen people over the years carrying and holding up crosses. However, this group of brothers and sisters are doing something a bit different – at least I’ve never seen it.

Brother Tony Miano from The Lawman Chronicles started carrying a cross with, “Are You Ready?” written on the crossbeam. You can watch one of his videos here where he explains what inspired him.

GOD used Brother Tony to inspire many other believers to make their own crosses. As I said, I read about, listened to, and watched videos of these faithful servants of Christ out on the street, using their crosses to start spiritual conversations – leading to the communicating the Law and the Gospel to lost souls.

In December 09, I watch two videos that really encouraged me. So much so that I too decided that, in 2010, I would incorporate a cross into my evangelism endeavors. Below are the two videos from The Word Street Journal that blessed me and I pray that they will bless you too.

Here are a few more sites/blogs that inspired me to get a cross.

In my next post I'll put up a few pictures of my cross, its specifications and where I got it. Glory of GOD alone! SDG!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Cross - What It Is All About?

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief…
Isaiah 53:1-10a

Sunday, February 7, 2010


When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to His blood

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul
My life my all
When I survey the wondrous Cross - by Isaac Watts

When I contemplate the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ I’m overwhelmed by two things. The holy hatred of GOD toward sin and the deep love of GOD demonstrated toward sinners.

“My richest gain…my pride…all the vain things that charm me most…” Isaac Watts, like me, was all too familiar with his own sin – before and after his union with Christ. Before my conversion, “my richest gain,” manifest itself in all manner of sin. I not only failed to do the things I knew were good and right, but I rebelled against all of GOD’s commandments. I desired things that didn’t belong to me – covetousness/greed. I stole things that didn’t belong to me. I told many lies to save my skin. I did everything I could to “save” my life (so I could seek my pleasure) while all along my soul was lost, lame, blind – DEAD. I was spiritually dead toward GOD and under His wrath because I rebelled against Him. In all truth I was unable to respond rightly toward GOD or man.

I shook my puny little fist at Him, so to speak, by using His name in a disrespectful vile manner. Indeed, I was an enemy of GOD. The life that I lived before my union with Christ was one of self-seeking, self-exaltation, self-worship and my pride. Not only did I sin through acts of outward rebellion; violating His law at every turn, but the vain things that charmed me most was heart-sin against GOD. In my heart I committed adultery by looking with lust. I committed murder in my heart each time I harbored bitterness, anger, or hatred toward another person. I never thanked GOD for air, food, water, family and I didn’t give Him the honor, praise, and worship that are due to Him alone. I was guilty and deserved to be punished as a guilty criminal who had violated the law.

According to God’s character and nature: holiness, goodness, righteousness and justice – this guilty sinner deserved to be punished for the crimes I’d committed against this infinatly perfect Being and Judge of all of the universe. The punishment that the Creator of the universe has ascribed is punishment in Hell.

But, in spite of my sin, by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, GOD set me free from the power of sin and death. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life - not for His own sake but in order to merit righteousness for His people. When this perfect God-man hung on the Cross, the sins of His people were placed on Him and God the Father made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us and He punished Jesus in the place of His people. He poured out His just wrath on Jesus instead of us - as our Substitute. Jesus bore the wrath of God and died on the Cross. He was placed in a tomb and three days later He rose from the dead, proving that God the Father accepted the ransom payment that Jesus made for His people.

AMAZING LOVE! See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are!

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ I’ve been reconciled to GOD and have a new relationship with Him. I am His child and no longer a slave to sin. However, the more I know Him the more I know myself and see in myself this falleness. Positionally God has declared me righteous in His site. Relationally I am a child of God. Transformationally the Person of the Holy Spirit is at work sanctifying me in Christlikeness - desires, habits and character. I count myself dead to sin. However, when I get a glimps of the holiness of GOD, while in this body, I still say with the prophet Isaiah, “Woe is me, for I am undone!”

In the saving of sinners GOD takes pleasure and is glorified. The death of His Son was no mistake! It was the plan and purpose of the Triune Godhead from all eternity past.

This blog, “Cross Bearing Servant” is a response to the Person and work of Jesus Christ, The Cross Bearing Servant, in my life. Out of gratitude for what He’s done and doing in me, I desire to make much of Him here and everywhere. The love of Christ compels me to love Him, His people who have been saved and those who have not yet come into the fold and all people everywhere!

There is a multitude that GOD has planned to save. It is my desire and pleasure to speak the Gospel to all people everywhere – without discrimination. Along with a local church, I'm so excited to be a witness and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Why? Because I have no doubts that GOD will save those whom Christ died for and He will be glorified in and through it all. We proclaim the gospel to all people - the outward call of the gospel. But GOD will inwardly summons those individuals who Chirst died for and they will come – all the way to glory!

By way of further explaining what exactly I believe about the atonement of Jesus Christ, please read the statements below. These are glorious truths that will make your heart glad in Christ.

I didn’t write the statements below. I took them from Bethlehem Baptist Church’s website. However, I do hold firmly to these truths. I’ve edited these statements a bit in that I’ve removed the “We believe” portion at the beginning of each statement.


God, from all eternity, in order to display the full extent of His glory for the eternal and ever-increasing enjoyment of all who love Him, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow whatever comes to pass.

God upholds and governs all things – from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons – all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

God‘s election is an unconditional act of free grace which was given through His Son Christ Jesus before the world began. By this act God chose, before the foundation of the world, those who would be delivered from bondage to sin and brought to repentance and saving faith in His Son Christ Jesus.

Although God created man morally upright, he was led astray from God‘s Word and wisdom by the subtlety of Satan‘s deceit, and chose to take what was forbidden, and thus declare his independence from, distrust for, and disobedience toward his all-good and gracious Creator. Thus, our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original innocence and communion with God.

As the head of the human race, Adam‘s fall became the fall of all his posterity, in such a way that corruption, guilt, death, and condemnation belong properly to every person. All persons are thus corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to delight in God and overcome their own proud preference for the fleeting pleasures of self-rule.

God has subjected the creation to futility, and the entire human family is made justly liable to untold miseries of sickness, decay, calamity, and loss. Thus all the adversity and suffering in the world is an echo and a witness of the exceedingly great evil of moral depravity in the heart of mankind; and every new day of life is a God-given, merciful reprieve from imminent judgment, pointing to repentance.

In the fullness of time God sent forth His eternal Son as Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. When the eternal Son became flesh, He took on a fully human nature, so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one Person, without confusion or mixture. Thus the Person, Jesus Christ, was and is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ and the only Mediator between God and man.

Jesus Christ lived without sin, though He endured the common infirmities and temptations of human life. He preached and taught with truth and authority unparalleled in human history. He worked miracles, demonstrating His divine right and power over all creation: dispatching demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, stilling the storm, walking on water, multiplying loaves, and foreknowing what would befall Him and His disciples, including the betrayal of Judas and the denial, restoration, and eventual martyrdom of Peter.

His life was governed by His Father‘s providence with a view to fulfilling all Old Testament prophecies concerning the One who was to come, such as the Seed of the woman, the Prophet like Moses, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, the Son of David, and the Suffering Servant.

Jesus Christ suffered voluntarily in fulfillment of God‘s redemptive plan, that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, that He died, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead to vindicate the saving work of His life and death and to take His place as the invincible, everlasting Lord of glory. During forty days after His resurrection, He gave many compelling evidences of His bodily resurrection and then ascended bodily into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for His people on the basis of His all-sufficient sacrifice for sin, and reigning until He puts all His enemies under His feet.

By His perfect obedience to God and by His suffering and death as the immaculate Lamb of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God prior to the cross and all who would trust in Christ thereafter. Through living a perfect life and dying instead, the just for the unjust, Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us, vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification, and removed the condemnation of the law against us.

The atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons, so that to every person it may be truly said, ―God gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life. Whosoever will may come for cleansing at this fountain, and whoever does come, Jesus will not cast out.

The death of Christ did obtain more than the bona fide offer of the gospel for all; it also obtained the omnipotent New Covenant mercy of repentance and faith for God‘s elect. Christ died for all, but not for all in the same way. In His death, Christ expressed a special covenant love to His friends, His sheep, His bride. For them He obtained the infallible and effectual working of the Spirit to triumph over their resistance and bring them to saving faith.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Another Blog?

Why another blog? I’ll answer that question by asking another from the Shorter Westminster Catechism. “What is the chief end of man?” ANSWER: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

It’s true! My highest purpose (and yours) as a Christian is to be totally absorbed by the Person and work of GOD the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. No matter what I set my hand to do, it is my desire that GOD remain central and receive all the honor, praise and adoration for who He is, what He's doing, and what He has done. He alone is my greatest treasure and joy – He alone is worthy.

It is impossible that anything I could say here would add anything to GOD’s glory. All glory already belongs to Him because of Who He is. But with that being said, it is altogether possible (and it is my motive) to blog in such a way that He is pleased and that He alone is honored, receiving all the credit for any and all good fruit. I say with the Reformers' that in all things “Soli Deo Gloria!” Soli Deo Gloria - Latin meaning Glory to God alone. SDG!

By the grace of GOD, my, although imperfect (heart, mind, soul, strength) love for the glory of GOD is the taproot for my love of mankind.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:10-11, 19

Out of the love that GOD has, “poured out” in my heart by the Holy Spirit, I will attempt to blog in such a way that expresses my love for GOD’s people – my Brothers and Sisters in Christ and for lost people. Remember - concerning the command to love GOD and man, Jesus said, “there is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12).

In First Thessalonians chapter four, the Apostle Paul instructs the Church concerning GOD’s command to brotherly love. In verse nine he urges the Church to, “do this more and more.” He then provides the Church with more practical instruction and exhortation about how to live (vv.10-12). Then he turns his attention to encouraging them about the glories of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and provides them (us) with a detailed teaching about what happens to Christians who die (vv.13-17). In verse eighteen he says, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

I want to make the Apostle Paul’s aim in writing these words to the Church my own aim in this blog. In everything I blog about here, I pray it will be with an eye on loving you my Brother and Sister in Christ. I’ll do my best, by the grace of GOD, to encourage you of this simple truth - Time is short! Our Lord will soon return! Love GOD and glorify Him by obeying His command to love man. How? “Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

In the weeks, months, (years Lord willing) to come, I’ll be posting my experiences in evangelism. I pray it honors Christ Jesus our Lord and encourages you Christian. In addition to text, you’ll see/hear audio, video, and photos of my evangelism endeavors.

"Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you…" 2 Thessalonians 3:1

The title of the Blog “Cross Bearing Servant”??? I’ll explain it in my next post.