Showing posts from May, 2013

Something about the Spirit I'm ashamed I never knew.

It happened again. It’s amazing what you’ll learn when you read the Bible. Something has just occurred to me that, in part, has changed my life.
I’ve been told all my life by religious teachers and preachers and fellow Christians that one of the chief functions of the Holy Spirit is conviction. I've taught this for years. The narrative goes something like this:
“Once you repent of your sins and decide to commit yourself to the teachings of Jesus, placing your whole trust and love in Him, then the Holy Spirit will come in you. It will ‘fill’ you up. It will convict you when you do something wrong. So, be sure to listen to Him or keep attuned to that inner compunction or feeling of guilt you have. You’ll know it—the Spirit will let you know when it happens. And throughout your entire Christian life, you’ll need to keep begging the Spirit to ‘fill you’ again. Over and over again, you’ll have to ask the Spirit to ‘fill you up.’ And watch out: it’s possible to get numb or rebellious or …

When Rocky is too rocky

I have my devotions each day by translating certain Scriptures. It forces me to be slow and deliberate, and it is always fruitful to spend such careful time examining key terms. I was doing my devotional this morning and was struck again at the conversation between Jesus and Peter at Caeserea Philippi, way in the north of Palestine (Matt 16:13ff). This is the pivotal conversation in the ministry of Jesus where Jesus investigates how the public understands him. It's also the time Jesus requires His own disciples to answer that most important question: "Who do you think I am?" (He literally asks of the disciples in v. 13, "What are the men saying the Son of Man to be?")
"Some say John the Baptizer." People could think that Jesus was literally John the Baptizer since some people believed that John returned from the dead after Herod had him killed (see Matt 14:1-2). Of course, no one who really knew Jesus would think that Jesus was John. But, you know how …