We are Children of the Promise – Take Heart

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight [Keith and Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend, By Faith]

Do you know about the Promise? If you don’t, you really need to. It is at the center of the gospel and of our salvation in Christ. Let’s start here:

Exodus 19:5-6 ESV  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;  (6)  and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

You were probably taught in church that this was and is a promise for the Jews in some future day when Christ returns. But that explanation is far too small. God’s plan and purpose is bigger. MUCH bigger. Besides, we know that Israel, by sin, failed to be this kingdom of priests and this holy nation. But check this out:

Revelation 1:4-6 ESV  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,  (5)  and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  (6)  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

See it? The “you shall be” spoken to the Israelites has become “has made us…a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” Who? Us! The true church. All people from all nations who have been born again in Christ. It is a finished deal. (Christian,  you are a king and priest serving the King of kings and the Most High Priest – live like it!)

Now, what of the Promise? The Promise is the promise God made to Abraham –

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The Lord’s thoughts Really are Higher than Ours

Isaiah 55:8-13 ESV  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  (9)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  (10)  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,  (11)  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  (12)  “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I thought about this Scripture this week as I was preparing the Sunday sermon from Jeremiah. The Lord had to correct Jeremiah’s thinking about what needed to be done in the wicked nation of Judah in which he lived. Jeremiah had a fix-it plan and he could not understand why God didn’t wipe out the wicked and restore Judah to peace and godliness.

The Lord’s reply was, essentially, what He says here through Isaiah. This is an amazing passage of Scripture – I may have to use it for next Sunday’s sermon. There is incredible hope here for the Lord’s true people.

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Watch Out for this Leaven – It has Permeated the Visible Church

I received this email from a friend this morning and am very thankful to her for taking the time to write and point out a prevailing false teaching that is soooo commonly pushed in churches. This stuff will guilt and demean and it can sound so “biblical.”  The screenshots she mentions follow below and then my reply to her after that.

Dear Pastor Crippen,

Every morning we get an email devotional from the Institute for Creation Research. I am sending two screen shots of the devotional this morning. I was quite shocked to read the commentary. I thought it would be of interest to you. The passage that is mentioned has always been confusing to me but the interpretation given here makes it sound like women remain under “a sentence.”  That doesn’t make sense since I know Jesus redeemed me and freed me from the curse of the law. He paid for it all. I would love to hear your commentary on this passage.
Thank you for fulfilling your calling. I have written before but will say it again- your ministry is literally saving lives.

A concerned friend in Christ,

Here is the devotional that she sent. As she mentioned it is put out by the Institute for Creation Research.

Continue reading “Watch Out for this Leaven – It has Permeated the Visible Church”