Pastor's Blog

The Great Exchange

Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. And Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. I Samuel 18:1-4

This is one of the great events of Scripture! That day, Jonathan, King Saul’s son, cut a covenant agreement with David exemplified by the custom of exchanging robes and armor, and the significance of this for you and me as Christians living the age of Christ’s grace is astonishing!

When David received Jonathan’s robe that day, he was symbolically putting on Jonathan as Jonathan in return, was symbolically putting on David. (The covenant was unilateral in effect). As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us their soul’s (in Hebrew meaning “the whole person”) were “knitted” or linked together, permanently! And the motive behind it all was God’s amazing love! And to think that God loves us so!

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Christ was born fully God and fully man! The day He died on the cross, He had taken the nails in human flesh so that the power of the devil would be made useless. At the cross we exchange our robe of unrighteousness for His robe of righteousness, permanently! Hallelujah!
Pastor Louie

New Clothes!

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:12-14

My brother and I were blessed to have our grandparents purchase new school clothes for us each year as we were growing up, and I remember this act of love and generosity with deep gratitude in my heart to this very day. But I am thinking of one time in particular, when my grandfather Mabrey took me downtown Albertville, Alabama, to Dendy’s Men’s Clothing store to purchase a brand new suit for me when I was about sixteen years old. This was so exciting because Dendy’s was the nicest place in town to purchase men’s clothing! My ensemble consisted of a new coat, pants, shirt, tie, accompanied by a pair of new shiny black shoes. Boy O’ boy was I proud of my new clothes when I walked out of the store that day.

Paul encouraged the Colossian Christians to walk confidently and tenderly in the new suit of clothes they had put on when they became Christians. Paul says in Second Corinthians 5:21 that at the cross, we exchanged our robe of unrighteousness for Christ’s robe of righteousness. Carefully read the above passage slowly, several times. What if we were to exhibit this clothing as the Body of Christ in the community and the world in which we live today? What a difference it would make! My grandfather lived these verses!

Praise God for our new clothes!
Pastor Louie

Serenity Island

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. Jesus’ words spoken in John 14:27

Nancy and I recently returned from one of the most wonderful vacations we have ever had; our first cruise ever, taken aboard Disney’s cruise ship named, “The Disney Dream.” What was also extra special about this trip was our son Christopher and daughter Christy, along with her husband Kyle, being able to take this adventure with us. We left out of Port Canaveral on a Friday afternoon and arrived at our first port of call at Nassau in the Bahamas on Saturday morning. Sunday morning found us at Disney’s own island, “Castaway Cay” where we enjoyed a day of rest and relaxation amidst Christopher and Kyle’s snorkeling for an hour or so before our return to Port Canaveral on Monday morning.
At “Castaway Cay we really enjoyed one section of the island called “Serenity Beach,” which was open to those eighteen years of age or older. It was so quiet and peaceful. The water was cool and clear as we sat in our beach chairs near water’s edge, enjoying the beautiful sky and tropical scenes. Later our family walked out to a sandbar located nearby where we saw a perfect starfish.

The wonderful truth is that although days like this come and go as we return to the realities of day to day living, Jesus said that He is the constant answer to our heart’s peace when we are troubled and afraid-when the sky is black and the waters are turbulent and we wished we were on that tropical island without a worry in the world. Isn’t it wonderful however, that in those times Jesus has promised to give us His peace for: mind, body, soul, and spirit! Pastor Louie

It’s All Greek to Me; And That’s a Good Thing!

That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4:22-24

When I attended Asbury Seminary in the mid 80’s I was required to take classes on the Greek New Testament. I will never forget the day I spoke with my teacher after class expressing my concern as to how I would be able to handle Greek when I struggled with English syntax from time to time. He smiled and said, “Louie, don’t worry, keep coming to class for I assure you that as you learn the Greek, your English will improve.” And you know what? He was right!

Paul uses two different original Greek verbs in the passage above translated “lay aside” and “put on.” The wonderful and amazing thing is that God is a mighty God right down to the details! And although they are different words, these two verbs are both of the aorist tense of the Greek verb and in the middle voice of the verb. Now don’t worry if that’s Greek to you, for the meaning can be transformational to you daily Christian walk!

The aorist tense of the verb as used here denotes an action that has occurred in the past, but continues on, without limit. The middle voice means the subject (the Ephesians Christians) initiate the action as they participate intimately in the results of the action. Wow! Paul tells us by experience, that when one becomes a Christian, his or her filthy robe of sin is exchanged for Christ’s robe of righteousness at the cross and by His blood we are cleansed forever! Then, in the day to day, we don’t have to walk “in the former manner” in which we lived before we were saved, but as Paul says in effect, we are to “lay aside, lay aside, lay aside…” the old self and “put on, put on, put on…” the new self.

Invite God to help you live New Testament Greek style each day! And He will.
Praise God for Jesus (the Subject) who became flesh and dwelt among us!
Pastor Louie