Category Archives: Dan’s Blog

Born Again?

Belief in God is so much more than a mental acceptance of His truth. Real faith results in transformation. And this is impossible to accomplish on our own. The Apostle Paul described it this way: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 1 Cor. 5:17. Our encounter with God is governed by an entirely new framework. Jesus explained that one must be “born again.” Our spiritual nature must come alive to Him.

Meeting Jesus personally can’t help but transform a person. It all begins with a first step. As we take that step toward believing Jesus for His promise of eternal life, we find Him stepping toward us as well. God will make it absolutely clear where you stand with Him. His stamp of approval is found on those who have become His children, His chosen ones. It’s God’s gift to us.

Faith Results in Action!

We all exercise faith as we go about our routine of life. And we always behave as we believe. What we have set our heart on is what we naturally pursue. Today’s perception of believing something rarely lines up with the Bible’s meaning, because superficial belief requires almost no effort. 
        When the Bible uses the word believe it means trusting in what God has promised. Faith and trust are one and the same. Believe is merely the verb form of the nouns belief, faith and trust. Scripture tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.” Belief in God, then, should always result in pursuing relationship with Him. Action is what’s needed! It offers proof that we truly believe. Without it our so-called faith amounts to nothing. 

The Nature of Biblical Belief

The Bible is jam packed with the promises of God, and they all hinge on one key promise: ”Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.” What does it mean to believe? You may say, “Of course I believe in God,” or, “Yes, I believe in Jesus.” But what is the outcome of that belief? Has it changed your life in any meaningful way? Is your life any different from those who hold no such belief at all? 
            The term believe has become seriously watered down in our culture. It doesn’t come close to what the Bible says it is. It’s not uncommon for us to believe what is offered in life, yet more often than not these beliefs are merely superficial. So, what’s the point? It’s simply this: acting on God’s promises proves that we believe, unquestionably showing that we trust, that is, have faith, in what God offers. Our pursuit of God offers that proof.

The Ultimate Price

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” This incredible prophecy found in Isaiah 53 resounds throughout all generations. And it does not stand alone; the entire chapter teems with the purpose of God—the suffering Jesus had to endure, bearing in His body that which would ultimately release us from the guilt of sin and restore us to relationship with our Father.

            Read it again, and contemplate this prophecy written 700 years before Christ’s death. Think not only about the precision with which His crucifixion fulfilled it, but also the content of the message—the magnitude of the offering He willingly endured because of His immeasurable love for us. Yes, we have gone our selfish way. Isaiah 53 is a sobering reminder for us all.

“What Must I Do to be Saved?”

As the Apostle Paul sat chained in a Macedonian dungeon singing praises to God, a massive earthquake occurred. His shackles miraculously fell off and the prison gates flew wide open. Witnessing this, the terrified jailer cried, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul’s reply was simple, yet very explicit: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…” Acts 16:25-31.

Could it really be that simple? What about all the ritual and penance one must perform to become acceptable in God’s eyes? Not necessary, Jesus says. It’s as easy as believing God’s promise. But what does believing really mean? The Bible is always the starting place when exploring the meaning of belief. Yet few bother to investigate it, much less understand it. The Bible is true! Proof of this is the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who share the same experience of life-changing transformation—just as attested to in its pages.

Have We Actually Advanced?

Because knowledge of the physical world is increasing exponentially, some think that man’s evolution has somehow sped up.  Who could have predicted that we would daily be using such technological marvels, or that millions would routinely be jetting from one end of the globe to the other? Yet 2,500 years ago the prophet Daniel, speaking of events to occur near the end of time, predicted these very things: “…many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

The fact that our knowledge is increasing doesn’t mean that human nature itself has changed in any meaningful way. Just look at the people in the Bible. There’s not a shred of difference between them and us, except for the trappings of modern culture. They experienced all the strengths and weaknesses that we recognize as being normal to our nature. And the Bible offered the same solutions for them as it does for us today.

Only One Way to God

All creation was brought into existence through Jesus Christ. Everything was created “for Him,” –all for the glory of God. This is His intent for everything we see before us. Since mankind is the zenith of God’s created order, we possess a supreme purpose. What is it exactly? Our reason for existence is to be united with God—to share eternal life with Him. This theme is repeated time and again in the Bible.

Yet as staggering as God’s promise of eternal life for all mankind is, not everyone will get to share in it. Quite the opposite really; it is reserved for God’s chosen few. Not one of us will ever experience God’s ultimate purpose without first receiving what Jesus has so generously provided. Those who claim that there are many roads to God are flatly mistaken. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus Christ claims, “no one comes to the Father but though Me.”

The World as a Stage

Skeptics often ask why our planet could be of any relevance in a universe so vast. How could this world, insignificant as it appears to be, harbor the setting for such an epic struggle between good and evil. This idea is widely accepted as the message of the Bible. But it’s just plain wrong.

The core of the Bible is not about the battle between good and evil. Even a brief look at Scripture tells us that God’s victory over evil is no contest at all. No, this seemingly irrelevant stage we call Earth isn’t about the ultimate dominance of good over evil. It’s about singling-out God’s chosen few—the welcoming of the children of God into eternal life with Him. This is the underlying theme of practically every book of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. For achieving of such an amazing purpose, no stage could be too large!

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Stake Your Life on It!

Scholars recreate historical documents from copies which exist today. Not more than a dozen copies remain for most ancient writings, often more than a thousand years older than their original. Yet we routinely depend on their accuracy. So, what about the Bible? Is it reliable? Can it really be trusted?

The New Testament was written in Greek some two thousand years ago. Think about this: biblical scholars have scads more copies to draw from than even the best works of antiquity—more than five thousand, in fact. And they are much closer in age to the original texts. If that were not enough, almost the entire New Testament can be reassembled from other documents quoting from the originals lost to history. In short, there is a virtual storehouse of information available for scholars to crosscheck. This is an uncontested fact among all scholars. The Bible trustworthy? You can bet on it!

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Prize It Above All Else

Our freedom in Christ is described in the Bible as a prize—a gift to be cherished. The Apostle Paul fought hard to make sure God’s people would not be fraudulently stripped of their prize of freedom in Christ. But free for what? Not free to continue in sin, but free to enjoy unbroken relationship with God without having to work for it. Satan himself is behind this fraud—a deception which runs rampant throughout the church today.

Don’t be fooled into believing you’re not good enough to enjoy God’s goodness—that you must always do better to earn His love. It’s simply not true. “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” Colossians 2:6 says. Which of us was worthy of Him, in and of ourselves, when He first saved us? Yet God counted us worthy. And if worthy then, let’s live in Him as worthy now.