Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can Grace Be Overemphasized?

Is it possible to overemphasize grace in the preaching and life of the church?  Shouldn't there be a balance between grace and obedience, God's love and His Holiness?  I've had people ask me that after a few weeks of visiting at Christ Covenant.  Typically, there is an honest and heartfelt concern on their part for Christian maturity, an obedient lifestyle and the holiness of God.  While I share those concerns - they are all important biblical themes - I can say it emphatically: I do not think that it is possible to overemphasize grace in the life of the church.  Here's why:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Isaiah Scroll of Qumran: The Message Is Reliable

We've been working through the passages in Isaiah referred to as the Servant Songs, and this Sunday I made mention of the amazing story of the Great Isaiah Scroll found in 1947 in the caves of Qumran in the desert south of Jerusalem - part of the collection known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

It is amazing to me that with this one serendipitous discovery we can see how faithfully the words of Isaiah had been kept across more than one thousand years.  As I have said, the authority of the Bible lies not in the text itself, but in the God who speaks to us through these words.  What this thousand year leap in text history allows us though is the assurance that the words through which God speaks to us, have been faithfully preserved for us.  The means by which He communicates His message have been carefully kept across the span of time.  This is important not simply to impress us with the text, but to give us confidence in the message.  And a good thing indeed, for that message is one of radical grace and discipleship.  It is only right that a message to surrender our lives should show itself to come to us by way of a trustworthy means.
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