After discussing Paul’s shipwreck and snakebite here are some snatches of comments that Chris says:

I’ve never been in a natural shipwrecked, but I have felt like my world has crashed down around me many times. And while I’ve gathered sticks to recapture the fire I’ve lost, i’ve been bitten – not on my hand, but in my heart. I’ve seen many spiritual vipers in my tenure as a Christian. You probably have, too. In fact, we could probably show each other our twin– find scars that we carry as evidence of our survival after snakebites. I would rather face a natural rattlesnake at the Garden of the gods than the ones that have pierced my soul.

Snakebites are common to humanity. Jesus said “offenses come” ~ Matthew 18:7.

Snake bites can be fatal – and must be healed immediately.

Sometimes we get bitten on the heel – when removing and making progress in the Lord. Sometimes, like Paul, we get bitten on the hand. The hand in scripture is a picture of our authority, strength and power.

Snakebites hurt.

Just because we’ve been genuinely hurt doesn’t mean we have the right to hold on to a offense or bitterness – it’s poison in our veins, and as long as it flows to our bloodstream, it will prevent us from being healed.

Servants get bit a lot.

The heart of a service, with its accompanying grace and humility, acts as an antidote to the Venom of vipers.

Vipers are revealed when things get hot.

Sometimes we can simply recognize that we’ve been bitten and cast the offense into the fire, at other times we need help to get free.

Snakebites are not necessarily indicators that we’ve done something wrong.

God has promised us victory over snakebites.

~ Chris Jackson, Loving God When You Don’t Love The Church

Adoption’s Relationship to Salvation

from Truthbomb Apologetics

Those of us who place our trust in Christ alone to stand righteous before God the Father have been adopted into the family of God. God’s redemption plan is adoption. Yet adoption is also the means by which our redemption is secured. Russell Moore writes:
Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father, but he is his real father. In his adoption of Jesus, Joseph is rightly identified by the Spirit speaking through the Scriptures as Jesus’ father (Luke 2:41, 48)…

if Joseph is not “really” the father of Jesus, you and I are going to hell.

Jesus’ identity as the Christ, after all, is tied to his identity as the ancestor of David, the legitimate heir to David’s throne. Jesus saves us as David’s son, the offspring of Abraham, the Christ.  That human identity came to Jesus through adoption.1

Stand firm in Christ,

1. Moore, Russell D. Adopted for Life:  The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches. Page 67.

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

from YouthApologeticsNetwork

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (04/10 – 04/24)

The Muslim Root of the Armenian Genocide

When Making a Case for Christianity is Futile

Love the church

from Out of the Ordinary

Paul opens his letter to the Philippians with the greeting “to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons.” (Phil. 1:1) From this salutation we can make a couple of observations. First, Paul writes to a group of believers, saints, who are in a physical location, at Philippi. In other words, he writes to a church. Not only does Paul write to this group of localized believers, but he specifically mentions overseers and deacons, both offices of church leadership.

So I think we can conclude that Paul is writing to a church that is local and is organized, important distinctions in our current age of disillusionment with both.

We can read on in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, and most any other New Testament epistle, and read of the importance of the church both in the life of the believer as well as in God’s plan for the world. Church, local and organized, is crucial.

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