Sin is no mere mistake. It’s a willful act of disobedience against the holy, righteous God. In this Q&A video from our 2016 National Conference, R.C. Sproul and Michael Reeves warn of the seriousness of sin. Get answers to your biblical and theological questions online as they arise at Ask.Ligonier.org.
He Did it Just for You
by Max Lucado
When God entered time and became a man, he who was boundless became bound. Imprisoned in flesh. Restricted by weary-prone muscles and eyelids. For more than three decades, his once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm, his speed checked to the pace of human feet.
I wonder, was he ever tempted to reclaim his boundlessness? In the middle of a long trip, did he ever consider transporting himself to the next city? When the rain chilled his bones, was he tempted to change the weather? When the heat parched his lips, did he give thought to popping over to the Caribbean for some refreshment?
If ever he entertained such thoughts, he never gave in to them. Not once. Stop and think about this. Not once did Christ use his supernatural powers for personal comfort. With one word he could’ve transformed the hard earth into a soft bed, but he didn’t. With a wave of his hand, he could’ve boomeranged the spit of his accusers back into their faces, but he didn’t. With an arch of his brow, he could’ve paralyzed the hand of the soldier as he braided the crown of thorns. But he didn’t.
Want to know the coolest thing about the coming?
Not that he, in an instant, went from needing nothing to needing air, food, a tub of hot water and salts for his tired feet, and, more than anything, needing somebody—anybody—who was more concerned about where he would spend eternity than where he would spend Friday’s paycheck.
Not that he kept his cool while the dozen best friends he ever had felt the heat and got out of the kitchen. Or that he gave no command to the angels who begged, “Just give the nod, Lord. One word and these demons will be deviled eggs.”
Not that he refused to defend himself when blamed for every sin since Adam. Or that he stood silent as a million guilty verdicts echoed in the tribunal of heaven and the giver of light was left in the chill of a sinner’s night.
Not even that after three days in a dark hole he stepped into the Easter sunrise with a smile and a swagger and a question for lowly Lucifer—“Is that your best punch?”
That was cool, incredibly cool.
But want to know the coolest thing about the One who gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns?
He did it for you. Just for you.
From His Name is Jesus
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009) Max Lucado
The Christian life is not a playground; it’s a battleground. In fact, the Bible frequently uses the images of war and conflict to depict the Christian life.
The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3 NLT). He also wrote, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT).
Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus Christ will face severe opposition from the Enemy. But the good news is that we have a choice in the spiritual battle. We can win this war. And here’s more good news: we’ll win in the end.
Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against the church (see Matthew 16:18). To understand what that means, we have to look at the way they conducted warfare in ancient times.
Armies in that day used the common military tactic of breaking down the gate of the enemy’s fortress with a battering ram. (You’ve probably seen it in movies.) They sometimes lit the battering ram on fire to burn down a wooden gate. Then the soldiers rushed in and defeated the occupants of the fortress.
Jesus was saying the gates would not prevail against the battering ram. So, as we move forward as Christians, we gain ground—we don’t simply hold ground. And hopefully we don’t lose ground, either.
God has told us how to win this spiritual battle. Our objective is to reach as many people as we can with the gospel. And as we advance into enemy territory with the gospel message, ultimately, we will win the battle.
So, if you feel a little overwhelmed in the spiritual battle right now, understand that God is with you. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you’re under His protection. He’s watching out for you.