Samuel Lindsay • June 01, 2023
Eventually the ruse will be revealed, and everybody will see our current cultural trend for what it is: a rotting corpse. There is no Life in it, or at the least it seems the life is slipping away. Only a Spirit powered resurrection will change the course of nature.
There are some who can see the problems, they know something is awry but they can't put their finger on it. Some know there are problems and so they offer up trivialities and trollop as an antidote to chaos. Others know this is a sinking ship and so they try to jump overboard and sequester themselves away from the problems.
What are Christians to do? We find ourselves in the world, but knowing we are not of the world. It is selfish to withdraw, but we cannot join in the self-harm parade to paganism.
We find ourselves as pilgrims in a foreign land. Like Abraham, we know the land is promised to us, but it is not yet cleansed of all unrighteousness. We cannot settle here yet. We must remain apart, even while we live in the land. We're a consecrated people who belong to YHWH, living with sure and steadfast hope on promises yet to be fulfilled on the basis of promises already delivered.
"according to [God's] promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (Pe 3:13).
Here's some advice for how to handle the waiting in a hostile environment: Be on guard. But how will you identify threats? "gird up the loins of your mind" (1 Pe 1:13 KJV). Prepare yourself with truth so that you may stand on solid ground and not be tossed to and fro by every ideology that comes over the horizon.
"The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life." (Pr 16:17).
"Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way." (Ps 119:104).
But lets get a little specific, lets point out a potential crack in the defences so you can sure them up:
Presently language is being used, or rather misused, to manipulate people. Famously in George Orwell's 1984 the ironically named Ministry of Truth messed with language, because they argued that if you can control language, you can affect how people think. If someone in apparent authority can say "2+2 = 5" and others say, "Yes! Of course, thankyou for keeping us informed," then that's a fairly good indication there's some hijinks in the system.
Around us, words are having their meaning manipulated at an astounding speed. If I could point out some obvious examples, consider:
"Love" which used to mean something like "a sacrificial devotion for another's benefit," but is being bent to mean "Unquestioning support of all my choices".
"Gender affirming care" should mean: "if you're struggling with your biological gender (a.k.a. sex), we will encourage you to embrace your wonderful God-given identity," but instead it means "in place of helping you, we will encourage your confusion, pump you full of unnatural hormones and mutilate your body for a profit."
"follow the science" should mean "investigate to understand how God's world works", instead means "abase yourself before my preferred interpretation of the observations."
There are plenty other words and turns-of-phrase that are getting the same treatment, but I bring these up as a example of a larger trend. Each of these examples uses terminology that appears good at face value, but they have been loaded up with meaning that leads a certain direction.
But it doesn't stop there. Not only is there twisting of existing words, there is both: the misapplication of words to confuse and mislead; and a continual invention of new terminology to positively speak about ungodly things.
Language naturally changes over time, yet what we are observing is not an organic evolution, but rather a concerted effort to paint evil as good.
"Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!" (Is 5:20).
For us, it is good to be aware of this trend, and to reject it out of hand. We are not going to join them in this charade. We will not be cornered into calling evil good, or lying to make someone feel better.
Despite how you may feel, "Thou shalt not offend anyone" is not a biblical mandate. Yes, speak the truth in love, do not be unnecessarily cruel, be gentle and respectful, but do not be afraid to offend. God's truth is offensive to those trapped in darkness, but they need to hear it because it is their only hope.
Yes, even refusing to abide by the latest inventions of language manglers can be a step toward a revelation of God's truth. It is though we say "Because I love and respect you, I will tell you the truth. Truth that is good for you to hear. You can trust me to be a faithful witness in the midst of this circus."
You may think that you're helping by going along with the trends, perhaps thinking that you may create space for a spiritual encounter in their world. But, don't drink the cool-aid! A little sip, a little taste of that sweet agenda may leave you feeling like you can let go of your scruples and rest on the tide of "progress," but be warned, the current is dragging you into a rip.
A little obeisance on this language front is like bowing to Dagon in order to win over the Philistines. Why should they turn away from a false god that you're honouring? You've just affirmed my worldview and now you're trying to tell me to give it up?
Ultimately we are in a battle over souls, not language. Yet language is the tool we use to communicate the lifegiving truth of Jesus Christ. If we give our language away, we give away one of our greatest assets for defeating illicit ideologies.
As pilgrims on the way we would do well to resist the temptation to be conformed to this world, but instead we ought to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, that by testing we may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Ro 12:2).
Samuel Lindsay • May 25, 2023
There are varying interpretations around baptism, including who should be baptised. I approach this from the perspective of believers baptism, however I respect and love those who think differently. Whichever way you go on this topic, I hope you can benefit from the following article.
Baptism is an important topic for the Church today, one that enjoys good visibility in Scripture. Despite the many and varied references and descriptions in the Bible it is still a contentious topic between many Christians. For the sake of this article I will examine biblical notions of Baptism in a very brief sense, making many assumptions for which there is inadequate space to elaborate. What shall be noted is that Baptism is a sacramental replacement for circumcision, that Jesus both partook and commands Baptism, that Baptism is a loyalty pledge and lastly some implications for today in conclusion.
Like Circumcision only different
As with all New Testament concepts, Baptism finds its roots in the Old. Where the Church of the OT, that is Israel, were given two sacraments; Passover and Circumcision, the NT Church has been given the Lord’s Super and Baptism. As one replaces the other, certain aspects carry on while others fall away. In the case of Circumcision we see that this is something requested by God to mark out those who belonged to himself in a real and tangible way. This wasn’t just for the newborn, but even the foreigner who wanted to join Israel. This act did not sanctify anyone, but it represented the consecration of a person to YHWH. We well know that men who were circumcised fell in the wilderness; while it marked them out as Israelites, it did not circumcise their hearts.
Interestingly circumcision was only for a single gender. Even though it was granted to the nation as a sign and seal, there were still some who could not take part. Not because they were in anyway less valued, but because of the message God was trying to communicate through the sacrament.
When Christ came to fulfil the Old and herald in the New, the sacrament of Baptism comes into effect with similar restrictions. In the new sacrament, there are still some who cannot partake. No longer is the restriction on gender, but it becomes dependant on the declaration of allegiance to YHWH. No longer is it assumed that your ethnicity will characterise your religious convictions, but rather as citizens of a spiritual kingdom the sign and seal of their belonging must be spiritually demonstrated. Some, such as infants, cannot partake in this, not because they are in anyway less valued, but because of the message God is trying to communicate through the sacrament.
Baptism follows a heart circumcision. Circumcision was an outward sign of what should have been a lifelong reality for the Israelite. Now that this practise has faded to shadow, the greater heart circumcision takes it’s place. This however is still illustrated by outward actions in the ordinance of Baptism as sign and seal of belonging.
Good enough for Jesus, good enough for me.
As alluded to, Jesus Christ is the instituter of the new sacrament. He comes to fulfil the Law, making it not to disappear, but rather showing it as a shadow of the greater things in Christ.
John the Baptising was the prelude to Jesus. He was sent to prepare the way, and one of those ways was introducing the people to a Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins. As the last and greatest prophet, John introduced the intertestamental audience to this public act of repentance and confession of sin. Following on with that post-exilic theme of national repentance, John applies it to the individual with the ceremonial washing which would be certified by Jesus as appropriate and necessary, both by example and command.
For Jesus, this ceremonial washing was so important that he undertook a Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins even though he had no sins to forgive. This public act identifies Jesus with the people he came to save but also illustrates his loyalty to YHWH. The Father responds to this act of allegiance and obedience by declaring his blessing for his Son via a vision of the Spirit. This act is something so important in the ministry of Christ that it warrants a theophany. If this caused such a reaction when Christ partook, and if it is something that the believer is called to do, the significance of the ceremonial washing would be hard to understate.
Jesus declared the absolute need for followers to be baptised in the Great Commission: “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” As Jesus had partaken in a Trinitarian baptism, he calls his followers to do the same. The disciples of course follow his commands, and Acts is littered with examples of this taking place.
Public loyalty pledge
Dr Michael S. Heiser helpfully notes that “Baptism was—and still is—spiritual warfare.” He sees the ceremonial washing as a loyalty pledge that casts off other gods and masters in an “appeal to God.” Baptism is a declaration of the individual’s reliance and dependence of God to both cleanse and save. In the same way that Noah and his family went through the waters by faith, they gave up their own lives and trusted in God, and were then metaphorically resurrected to new life in the aftermath. So too the Israelites, in their inability entered the Red sea by faith in God, definitively pledging themselves to YHWH’s care and protection. Their active pledge of walking the sea bottom with dry feet is illustrative of the spiritual pledge of the Christian whose active pledge is illustrative of being “buried therefore with [Christ] by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Baptism joins the Christian to Christ. Baptism does not affect the work of Christ in forgiveness, but is so closely related to the work of God in the believer that baptism is said to save them. The outward symbols of the cleansing, immersion and raising represent the inward purifying of Christ and dying to self, and being “raised with [Christ] through faith in the powerful working of God.” Baptism illustrates to the believer and to the world the inward work of God in regeneration.
There is no reason to diminish or discontinue the practice of Baptism in the life of the Church today. Some, such as the Salvation Army, would contend that the spiritual significance of baptism can be experienced without the need for the actual act, yet there is no word from God on this frivolous notion. To be fair there are some who appear to have escaped the need for baptism, such as the thief on the cross, yet it is undeniable that the commission for the disciples and by extension the Church, features the active act of baptism for believers as a rule. Beyond this, the assumption of the NT writers is that believers know and experience baptism, hence the writers can use it for illustrative purposes in their epistles.
Baptism today stands as the signifying mark of the Christian as joined to Jesus, sealed with him. As people publicly disavow their sin and are symbolically ceremonially washed, they pledge themselves to the God who can forgive sin and purify hearts.
 A better rendering in English of the Greek is ‘baptising’ rather than ‘baptiser’ or ‘baptist.’
 Mt 28:19.
 Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible (First Edition.; Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 339.
 1 Pe 3:21.
 Ro 6:4.
 Ga 3:27
 Col 2:12.
Samuel Lindsay • May 25, 2023
Murder is not something that we have to face on a day to day basis. Murder is going on in our community with babies dismembered and poisoned in the womb (abortion), as well as people who murder themselves (suicide) or employ others to do it (euthanasia). Still, it is hidden away and sanitized such that we can carry on our lives without much thought for it.
Thank God that regular old garden-variety murder has become something of a scarcity in our towns; it is rare for a person in the prime of life to be unlawfully killed by another. Yet, for our church on this Sunday morning past, it became a stark reality. Meters away from church, a few hours earlier a man lost his life at the hands of another man .
The first we knew of it was the closed streets around our meeting place, and the abundance of flashing lights attached to police and ambulance vehicles. As we gathered to worship the God of Life, who made us in His image, they were cleaning up the scene where a man, made in God's image, had lost his life.
Being a small town, it wasn't long before someone discovered who the dead man was, and their connection to his family. Then, over the next couple days the suspect was identified and it became apparent that people from our church had connections to his family too.
This event has is like a cloud over our community, making us question our safety and security. Evil has been obviously manifested in public, and we are justifiably horrified.
So what does it mean for us? How do we as Ambassadors for Christ in this evil age respond to such events?
We go to the Word! There we will find the principles we need to be light bearers, truth speakers and messengers of hope in the midst of the darkness.
Christ Is King
This is the first thing we need to remember. Even when horrible things happen Jesus still reigns. He is overcoming all evil, yet the effects of Christ's victory has net yet reached the corner of every human heart. Not even Christians are fully free from evil desires, and so we should not be surprised when we see wickedness manifested. But the fact that such awful things happen, does not undermine Jesus authority or determination to bring in his reign of perfect righteousness and peace.
"[Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' " (1 Co 15:25–27).
This is an automatic response, but an important one nonetheless. We turn the the Lord and cry out to him!
What do we pray?
We mourn evil, and thank God that he is overcoming it in Christ.
We pray for justice to prevail. God gave us civil authorities for this. Pray that everyone from police to judges and lawyers will aid justice.
We pray for no more bloodshed. Ask that God would take away such evil from our town.
We pray for the family of the deceased man. They have lost a husband, father, mate. They are mourning and we empathise with them in their permanent loss and sorrow.
Pray for the suspected murderer. That he would receive a fair trial.
Pray for the family of the suspect. That they would not be shunned or treated unfairly.
Pray for all. That they would all find true life and true justice in and through Jesus Christ.
"...pray without ceasing..." (1 Th 5:17).
"And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily." (Lk 18:7–8).
It is tempting to make this news be the discussion topic of every interaction. It is thoroughly appropriate to discuss and consider the events happening in our community. However, it may be tempting to entertain accusations and theories that are not based in fact.
We ought not be carried away by theories and third-hand stories that tingle the ears. We have a wonderful curiosity that wants to know what happened and why, but idle talk and trafficking in hearsay is no way to use that God-given gift.
"A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends." (Pr 16:28).
"For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarrelling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder." (2 Co 12:20).
What is Murder?
Murder is the unlawful killing of an image bearer by an image bearer(s). Unlawful killing means that is against God's moral law, after all, plenty of civil governments permit killing that is evil in God's sight. Lawful killing would include the death penalty for certain proven crimes, or killing as a result of waging a just war.
Loss of life caused by self defence is not "lawful" per se, but if the killer is not at fault, it's not considered murder. Under the Old Covenant, God had allowances for accidental killing, and those who were guilty of accidental killing could live in exile for a time before returning home. Those who were proved to have deliberately set out to take another's life should lose their own life as payment.
"Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image." (Ge 9:6).
"You shall not murder." (Ex 20:13).
"But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules." (Nu 35:22–24).
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
A big principle of godly justice is that you should never be convicted of a crime unless it is proven. The idea that you can be convicted on the balance of probabilities is disgusting, as is a conviction based on mob outrage. Under God's justice, it is better for a guilty person to get away with it, than an innocent person be punished. If a crime cannot be proved, the person should not be punished for it. If the guilty party gets away with it, God will deal with them soon enough.
The primary way a crime is proven is though the evidence of multiple witnesses. In the modern era we can have witnesses through video and audio recording as well as eye-witnesses. All witnesses can lie (even audio and video can be faked), but this is the closest thing we have to be able to prove what really happened because all the witnesses have to match.
Justice should be impartial, giving each person a fair hearing, and not treating them differently based on their status or history. Lady Justice is blindfolded. The accused may look the part of a murderer, and have a shady history, however they may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time and mistakenly identified. Unlikely, I know, but it has happened before! Proof must be shown.
In Australia justice is slow and expensive (two things that God says not to do with justice!), yet the system is still robust enough, and biblical enough, that we can expect the truth to come out in the wash. As a trial is carried out, the truth will probably become evident, so till then we should hold off making judgement calls about guilt or intention unless we saw it with our own eyes.
That means, to give the arrested man a fair go, we should hold off calling him a murderer until guilt is proven. Words like "suspected" and "accused" are appropriate. It may seem like a long shot, but it may be that as evidence is revealed, the case may not be as open and shut as it now seems. I know that if I were wrongfully accused of something, that I would want people to hold off on making judgements till the truth can come out.
"The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him." (Pr 18:17).
"A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established." (Dt 19:15).
There is Hope
Lets say that the facts bear out the apparent truth, that one man unlawfully and wilfully took another man's life on the streets of our town. What then?
Restitution is not really possible in this situation, because there is no way to restore the life or pay back the value of another's life. However the convicted criminal should receive just punishment. God requires a reckoning: the death penalty. Even if our civil authorities will not carry out such a sentence, this is what murder deserves in God's eyes. Our society is apparently more "evolved" than God and will probably lock him up in a jail for several years as punishment.
Like all sin, murder is worthy of eternal damnation. And, this is particularly heinous because it is an attack on the image of God in humanity. Not only should he loose his life on this earth, he is not worthy of eternal life.
Yet there is hope. God has redeemed murderers like David & Paul. Murderer and manslayer alike can look to God in Christ. God can take away sin, even murder. No sin is so big Christ cannot atone for it. Although unworthy, sinners may receive redemption.
Jesus took our sin on himself, even the most heinous sins, and died in our place. He was murdered, and received the punishment that is due to us.
The man who died, and the man who killed, both alike have only to come to Christ to receive eternal life. Neither are worthy. Yet in Jesus there is grace for both victim and perpetrator.
This does not take away the present consequences of the sin committed against another, or the hurt received at another's hands, but this does secure a blessed joy right now, and a place in the world to come where there is no more hurt, no more murder, no more loss and no more sorrow.
I do not know the spiritual state of the man who died, yet at the very least he has had many years under God's common grace and general revelation. He now must meet his Maker either to plead his case on his own merit, or the merit of Christ.
The one who took life, if he be a murderer, has unlawfully taken away something that was not his to take. He has sinned against the LORD God, and he must throw himself on God's mercy in Jesus while there is still time. He will never be able to undo this act, or make restitution - but in Christ he can find a righteousness that he does not deserve, and a saviour who can atone for the eternal consequences of his evil actions.
Murder is a great sin, but Jesus Christ is a greater Saviour.
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Co 6:9–11).
Samuel Lindsay • May 25, 2023
Let me tell you now: asking God to grow His church is a danger to your comfort.
We grow accustomed to the way things are. We build our friendships with people we like. We get into the groove; the way things are around here. We see familiar faces and appreciate familiar forms.
But, Gospel growth threatens all of that.
That means you're left with a choice, you can either have a) Jesus' church grow, or b) a church suit your comfort.
Yes I know, I normally warm you up before I get blunt like that, but there's no beating around the bush with this!
We can't serve ourselves and serve Jesus.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying church, and in fact it should be that way! It is a refuge from the world with your brothers and sisters under Christ. Joy should abound!
Yet what I'm speaking to here, is the way we can start to prefer the atmosphere and people in our local church to such an extent that we are, intentionally or otherwise, cold toward those who would threaten this peace and familiarity.
Many times I have heard stories about people who visited a church looking for Christian fellowship, only to be ignored or held at arms length. It has even been my own experience on occasion. Would you be pleased to find out that was the way people talk about your local body?
We may protest with comments about how good the community/teaching/programmes/morning tea/etc. are, but if the seeker is brushed off at first attempt, it is no wonder they will not stick around to find the value beneath the exterior.
Each person who comes through our door is putting up an emotional investment deposit. Kinda like a down payment on a home. They front up a smaller amount in the hopes they will get the whole package. But, there is a risk that their emotional deposit will be lost and they will walk away empty handed.
It is only the seasoned Christian who is quite comfortable to turn up to an unknown church with relatively little concern. For most people it is a big deal, especially if you're not sure if you actually believe in Jesus or if you've never been to church before. These people are putting themselves in a vulnerable position where they are unsure of what to expect, what to do, how to act, etc. Will they be ignored or welcomed? Received or rejected? Humiliated or encouraged?
Each person who visits your church is potentially a lost soul looking for Jesus. Or they may be the person who is planning to kill themselves next week and this is their last ditch effort to try something to salvage what's left of their life. Or they may be sheep who have no flock. Or they may have been abused by their last church and afraid to be trapped again.
But, it shouldn't matter who they are, or what their story is, if they walk through those doors they should feel loved. Even if they are our enemy. We love like Christ loves.
"you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [Jesus] has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him." (Col 1:21–22).
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 Jn 4:10-11).
"the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' " (Ga 5:14).
If we're praying for God to save our town, to save our neighbours and to save our enemies, then we should expect them to come through those doors sooner or later. Are we ready to receive them? If the church is a hospital for dying sinners, throw the doors wide open so that all the sinners may come in for the cure!
That means we should expect the homeless and the homeowner, the old and young, gay and straight, dressed well or barely dressed, the anorexic and the obese, the alcoholic and the dealer, the arrogant and the ashamed, the thief and the goodie-goodie-two-shoes. All types and shapes and sizes are part of our town, and we want each and every one of them to meet Jesus.
Yes, there may be many things about their life that need to change if they are to become obedient to Jesus. But we don't clean up to come to Jesus, we come to Jesus and he cleans us up, heart first.
Yes, Jesus is not contained to our weekly gatherings, but we sure would expect to find him there! That's why people may come looking.
Things being done decently and in good order may mean some awkward conversations need to be had, yet I hope we can have a bunch of those awkward moments with a spirit of forgiveness and longsuffering, because it means that the gospel is being heard and the Holy Spirit is at work.
It may make church gatherings a little hard for you, as you deal with people who are very different from you, and in very early parts of their discipleship. They haven't got the years of spiritual maturity that you have.
If I could put it this way, seeking growth in God's church is a sacrificial endeavour. You get to put aside your comfort to welcome others to Jesus Christ. This was hard for the New Testament church, and it will be hard for us, but our comfort is such a small thing to sacrifice for the sake of building in Christ's church!
We may lose time chatting to our mates while we make a visitor feel welcome. We stand to loose the cosy feel of small churches, such as the ability to know every person at church. We'll have to explain to our kids why so-and-so looks the way they do. Yet, for the joy of seeing salvation come to local lives, it is surely worth it!
Welcome the stranger. Embrace the discomfort. Show them Christ.
"Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbour." (1 Co 10:24).
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Heb 13:1–2).
"Show hospitality to one another without grumbling." 1 Pe 4:8–9.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" (Mt 25:34–40).
Samuel Lindsay • April 27, 2023
No-one likes nagging. It is a sure fire way to provoke frustration and get mere malicious compliance. Yet, Jesus uses nagging as an example of the persistence and trust we need when seeking the Lord's provision.
"[Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ ” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” " (Lk 18:1–8).
This story does not tell us that we need to endlessly repeat ourselves to catch God's attention; He always hears us through Jesus Christ. But this parable does teach disciples that God is soooo much better than a crooked judge. If you can get justice from a crooked judge by persistent asking, how much faster, how much better, will it be when God comes through for His people?
We must not loose heart in our prayers. Too many of our prayers are asked half heartedly, not expecting God to answer (Ja 1:6–8). Or they are prayed to serve our own passions (Ja 3:18). We heap up empty prayers that God does very well not to answer.
But do not loose heart! Cry to Him day and night!
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning." (Ps 130:5–6).
Jesus hears you! And he will answer from heaven all that is asked in his Name (Jn 14:13-14)!
Wait on the LORD, and He will deliver you!
Knock on the gates of heaven as the persistent one who asks at all hours for his need to be met:
"And [Jesus] said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." (Lk 11:5–10).
Seek the LORD and you shall find Him. Knock on His door so that He may open up the storehouses of heavenly provision and rain down on you the abundant blessings promised for the people of God. Ask and receive!
God is the Good Father who provides for us. As a good father, he will discipline us, and train us in righteousness, but He will never neglect us. He is with us always through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.
"What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk 11:10–13).
What have you got to loose! If you don't ask, you won't receive, so ask away! (Ja 4:2)
Please join me in praying for God's will to be done on earth, for His church to be built up and for true justice to reign.
Samuel Lindsay • April 27, 2023
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Eph 3:20–21.
We are small minded.
Most of us anyway. There are still some wonderful few who are naturally very optimistic and big thinkers! Unfortunately our consumeristic view of church means that often we filter into Christian settings where we feel most comfortable, meaning all the optimistic inspiring people end up over there, and all the serious focused people end up over there. I'm generalising of course, but I'm sure you know what it's like; churches can attract people of a certain personality type.
Yes, we're getting a little off topic, so let's head toward the point with a little more pointedness.
Unless we are naturally optimistic blue-sky thinkers, we may need to work at thinking bigger.
We tend to think on the scales that we normally work in, like if you're a teacher you're thinking class size. If you're a machine operator you're thinking of millions of cubic meters of material. If you're a CEO of a multinational, you're thinking in terms of international markets.
We Christians serve a God who not only made the entirety of the universe, but sustains it on a moment by moment basis. On top of that, He is saving that world from dire straits by working in history across the scope of time.
The scale God is working on is bigger than we can fathom.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Is 55:9).
He's on a whole other level.
He doesn't tell you every play He's running. He doesn't clue us in on each plan or strategy, but He has revealed the big picture of His plan to reclaim the nations, and He has called us to take part!
God has given us some pretty specific mission objectives, and because He is running the operation, we can get stuck into it with everything we've got. God's covering our rear while we head into the thick of it powered by His Spirit.
Like many of us, I need to be reminded not to fall into a defensive mindset. I naturally find myself keeping my head down and decorating a fox-hole. It's comfortable there. It doesn't take much imagination or effort just to twiddle my thumbs and stay out of trouble. With this attitude we pull away from the mission, we don't want to make waves, we don't want to offend anybody.
We're like cricketers who won't take their bats out onto the field because some of the hits won't score runs. And in case that metaphor is not clear enough - You gotta be in it to win it! Risk it to get the biscuit! Not every swing will score runs, but to get anything on the board you need to be out there swinging!
The world is drumming into us that Christ is irrelevant, churches are shrinking, Christian ethics are "unhealthy" and "abusive" and other such nonsense. It's enemy propaganda! Look beneath the messaging and you will find a lost world crying out for a saviour.
We can see the enormity of the task. It's overwhelming! There are so many souls that need saving. There is not enough of us, we don't have the physical resources, we don't have the time...
But we do have a God who has more than enough of all those resources! And the intention to accomplish His mission!
We have a God for whom the challenges we face are insignificant.
We have a God who invites us to ask for anything in Christ's name.
We have a God who is ripening a harvest for us to bring in.
Our society is withering, in large part because it is increasingly abandoning Christ as the central part of what holds it all together. The outlook can look hopeless to us, because we see the trajectory, and think that we don't have the opportunity or power to restore the core. And that may be true today, but does it need to be true tomorrow?
Christ has sent us on a mission to disciple the nations (Mat 28:18–20), He has given us the tools to do the job (e.g. Eph 6:10–20), the resources to do it (Eph 3:14–19), and told us to call on Him to make stuff happen (Jn 14:12–14).
There is a cliché saying that goes something like "You can accomplish less in a day than you think you can, and more in a year than you think you can." It may not all change tomorrow. But remember, Rome was a pagan empire, until it wasn't. Europe was a pagan mess, until the Gospel arrived. The Church was deceived until Reformation. You were outside God's Kingdom until He brought you in. We have had Christian societies before, and God willing we will have them again!
God is in the business of rescuing people. God is in the business of changing people. And our town, state and nation are not beyond His power.
But, if I could guess, I reckon you would likely not have a very positive outlook for your town, or your community. The winds of culture are very cold right now. Perhaps you're ready to batten down the hatches and recede from all the nonsense. Like a doomsday prepper, you're ready to go underground and return to the surface once all the havoc dies down.
But is there an alternative? I'm suggesting there is. And I'm suggesting that with God's help, it may even be within our grasp.
If God can do more than we can ask or imagine, why don't we imagine some pretty big things, and ask him for that?
If God powerfully works within us for His own Glory, why don't we ask Him to do that in some particular ways?
Then, once we've asked Him for it, take up the tools He has given us, in the places He has providentially placed us, and get to work on the mission!
Time is the thing that may trouble us, the change may not happen overnight. But it may be that labouring in this field will bring in a massive harvest before you realise it. God can change everything in a instant, but ordinarily he uses ordinary means over time to accomplish His plans.
I'm thinking of some pretty big Gospel dreams right now. I'm going to ask God for them. Would you join me in asking the LORD for these things? And then abundantly more?
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." (Jn 14:12–14).
Samuel Lindsay • April 04, 2023
There are a great many things that are totally within your power to repair.
We live in a broken world, so we do our best to fix and overcome the problems that we face.
You can fix broken furniture, you can use medicine to fix body problems. You can even fix broken relationships if the other party is willing. Given enough time and resources humanity is able to solve a huge number of problems that we face!
But there are things that are beyond our power to fix. We have problems that are so great that no amount of time and effort will be able to overcome them.
The naïve do not understand this. They lack wisdom.
They are those who think that we have within us the power to create a utopian future of prosperity and happiness for all.
They are those who think that they can make an endless list of laws that will fix every single situation imaginable.
They are those who think that we have within ourselves the goodness to overcome all the evil in the world.
The world is fatally wounded. Adam ran creation through when he sinned against God and plunged us into darkness. God's good beautiful creation is marred, defaced by rebellion, sin and death.
This world which was ours to subdue chafes at the bit, and spews forth thorns to frustrate our work. The world for us to fill now consumes us, taking our lives through natural disaster or old age, turning us into dust. The world for us to rule defies our leadership.
But this cancer is not only "out there" in the world as if we stood apart from it. No, this evil has infected our hearts - to the very corners. There is no part of us that remains unaffected. We are perpetrators of evils big and small. Then we create an endless feedback loop of perpetrators and victims - where one hurts another, who responds by hurting others.
We despair at senseless acts of violence, abhorrent abuse and tragic neglect, but we cannot weed out the seeds of such evil from the depths of our own hearts. We are born in darkness, moulded by it. The darkness has been our home and we shy away from the light.
How do people respond when faced with their own brokenness? Usually they either they live in denial, and try to convince themselves they are not all that bad, or, they live in despair fed by their own hurt & shortcomings.
Some will take up a self-renovation project to attempt to repair the deficit and damage within. It could be new relationships, new hobbies that initially bring joy, it could be religious activity, or volunteering, or a diet of self help books mixed with flimsy counselling. There is some joy and help to be found in all of these things, but they cannot fix our deepest problems. They are placebos.
Look at all the suffering around us, reflect on your own sins, consider the state of the world. It all looks unfixable...
...but it is. It is fixable!
There is a way to make this world better, to sort out all the problems that are beyond our control. We need an outsider, one who can reach in with His mighty hand and sort stuff out!
God, the creator, has promised to make all things new!
He has promised to wipe away every tear!
He has promised to take away sin and defeat death!
He has promised to deliver true justice!
He has promised to heal!
And He will do it through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is God made flesh, the one who has come from the Father on a mission to save the world. This carpenter's son will fix more than furniture; he will repair creation.
The first stage of this plan is to heal humanity. In order to do this he came and lived a sinless life, and then took all our sins on himself and died in our place. So our sins are taken away, and his perfect righteousness is given to us. Then, Jesus rose from death, triumphing over the grave. He has power over death to destroy it.
Next, he sent his Holy Spirit to work in hearts and bring the light of Christ to shine in the darkness.
Soon he will return for Judgment and Final Justice, after which he will recreate creation. Then the repair will be done.
There will be nothing left to fix. Our souls will be sorted, our world will be perfect, justice will prevail always.
In our impatience we desire the final result right now, but we do not understand the intricacies of the plan. However, we do know that the delay before the Day of the Lord is a kindness to you, because it is one more chance for you to stop looking to yourself or anything in this world to fix our deepest problems, instead you must look to your Creator and Saviour to find restoration.
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." (2 Pe 3:8–10).
"'He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'" (Re 21:4–5).
"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Is 35:10).
Samuel Lindsay • March 27, 2023
A friend reminded me of the incredible overflowing wealth that is ours, simply by virtue of being Australian. Even the "poor" among us usually have access to all the needs of life.
There is a youtuber I like to watch (based out of west Gippsland), who often does arbitrary challenges that involve walking along typical roads roads or paddling through creeks. He regularly finds edible food (notice I said "edible," not "nice"!) or enough money to buy a little food. He finds objects that are still useful. Our roadsides and drains are littered with the excess that flies off the back of our utes and falls out of our pockets. And we are sufficiently wealthy that it probably goes unnoticed!
Despite what some would have you think, it is ok to be wealthy. If your wealth is not gained by ungodly means, then thank God for it! There are particular temptations that come with wealth that we must guard against, but material blessing from God is good.
Now, I do not merely mean wealth in the sense of a fat savings account, or a stash of gold & jewels buried under a tree, I mean holistic wealth; all that we have that goes beyond our basic needs. It includes money, as well as clothing, tools, consumables, property, knickknacks, technology, books, skills, time and more.
But what are we to do with it all?
Well, we certainly shouldn't just accrue more and more with no end in sight!
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt 6:19–21).
So what should we do with wealth?
The simple answer is: Glorify God. Leverage wealth to invest in His eternity. Use your earthly wealth to build wealth in heaven.
Put your wealth to work for the glory of God!
Do you have a washing machine? Wash clothes to the glory of God.
Do you have an oven? Cook food to the glory of God.
Do you have a car? Drive for the glory of God.
Do you have time? Use it for the glory of God.
Do you have money? Spend it for the glory of God.
"But!" I hear you say, "What does that look like practically?"
Well, it is impossible to work out every possible example in every situation. However God's word does lay out for us principles about how we are to use what we have. Let me share some principles in brief:
1. Be ready to give it all away, especially if you have an idolatry problem with wealth. It comes from God, so hold it loosely and be ready to use it or loose it for Him. If you start to idolise your wealth, start giving it away lest it come between you and God! See Matthew 19:16–30.
2. Giving back to God. Israel was called to make sacrifices out of the blessing that God had given them. He gave them the harvest, and from the abundance, they were to take the best portion and use it to worship God. They were also to supply the needs of the people commissioned to serve God as their day-job. The law of tithing has been fulfilled in Christ, but the principles of giving to God and supporting his commissioned workers remain. See 1 Corinthians 9:3–18 & 2 Corinthians 8:1–15.
3. Provide for the needy. God uses His wealthy people as a means to help His poor people. Whether it be through gleanings, through programmes, charitable donations, child sponsors or whatever, we are to show the generosity of Christ to others with our actions. See Matthew 25:31–46.
4. Fulfil your responsibilities. If you have a family, you have a duty to supply their needs and prepare for their future. Provide their education, build an inheritance for your kids, care for your parents in their old age, prepare for the winter (metaphorical & literal!). Pay your bills, don't try and short-change the people you contract or employ. See Mark 7:9–13, 1 Timothy 5:3–8 and all of Proverbs.... ok, start with Proverbs 13:22 & 20:4.
5. Enjoy it. God gives blessings and we should rejoice in His good gifts! It is good to celebrate and appreciate what God has given, as long as we are praising the LORD and not the stuff he has given us (or our own abilities as if they weren't from God in the first place). It is too easy in our cultural moment to give ourselves over to debauchery and luxurious selfishness, so put aside indulgent passions and deliberately enjoy God's blessings in light of who He is and what He has done. See James 1:17, Deuteronomy 6:10–13, Psalm 104.
6. Use it for Gospel Growth. If we are working in God's mission to disciple the nations and sanctify His people, then it naturally flows that we should use the resources we have from God, for the work he calls us to. Whether it be sewing, or hospitality, funding or building, the abundance we have can be put to work for this noble purpose, staring with the disciples in our own home and going out from there! See Acts 9:36–43, 1 Peter 4:10–11.
Remember too, that life expectancy is very high in Australia. God can take you at any time, but on average we will live a long time. If it is God's will, how can we use the wealth of a long life? It will look different at different ages and stages, but it is worth being purposeful.
What will we do with what God has given us? I fear far too many of us will squander what we have with nothing to show for it. But, if we have been unfaithful or unwise with our wealth, we are not condemned if you belong to Jesus. Confess your sin, and be forgiven. Christ takes away your guilt. Repent from your former path, and set out anew to transfer the wealth of earth to investment in the Kingdom of Heaven.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt 6:21).
Samuel Lindsay • March 27, 2023
A question that every thinking Christian parent faces is, "What do I do with my kids during church?"
If you have grown up in the protestant church in Australia you very likely have seen, or even experienced, a separate Sunday school for kids during the service. Either for part of the service or for the whole thing.
But, even in churches with Sunday School type kids programs, there will be some parents who do not send their kids out.
What should you do if faced with the option as a parent? Send them out? Keep them in?
In some churches, including our own church, we have the kids in for the whole service. Why? Well the cop-out answer is that we don't have the resources to run a fully-fledged kids program. But let's say for argument's sake that we did have the people, training, space and finances to make it all work, should we start a kids program during the service?
It would certainly feel easier for the beleaguered parent to have someone else look after their children on Sunday morning.
But, we have to ask an important question before we consider this any further.
What does God want His people to do?
Sunday School started as a way to provide education to uneducated kids in addition to the regular worship gathering of the church. Before the days of universal education, you could only get educated if you paid for it, or, if it was provided out of the generosity of others.
Many many Australian kids couldn't go to school. Many families were also working 6 days a week. So Churches started running Sunday School after church as a charitable endeavour to help kids with basic literacy, eventually enabling them to read the God's word for themselves! They would be taught songs and given religious instruction too.
As public literacy skyrocketed when public schools started, there was little need for Sunday literacy classes, but it was still good to have the opportunity to teach children the faith, so Sunday schools continued.
However, somewhere along the line between the establishment of public education and the present day, the religious instruction of children became an alternative to being part of the worship of God's gathered people.
Now, age appropriate teaching for kids is very important! But, should it come at the expense of families worshiping God together?
A Joyful Vision
There is so much to say on this topic, from the statistics about kids who stay Christians, to the trendy parenting choices that set kids up to fail. But I want to make the best use of your attention, and I think the best way to do that is to put forward a vision of the family in worship. It is a joyful vision!
Worship is an all of life activity, and Church services are part of "all of life". This is a time we especially set aside to humble ourselves before God and hear from Him and respond to Him as a gathered body of His people.
In the Torah, God expected that kids were involved in the rites of worship to such an extent that they would ask their parents about the meaning of what they did (e.g. Ex 12:24–27). Even if our kids are not mature enough to participate in every aspect, they should be close enough to see it!
The scriptures are clear that parents, and particularly fathers, have first responsibility for discipling their kids (Eph 6:4, Ps 78:4-6, Pro 22:6, 29:17, Deu 11:19, etc.), and this includes teaching them how to participate in gathered worship. Children seeing their parents praise God with joy; confess their sin with sorrow; devour the Word of God with hunger; and encourage other believers with gentleness; is one of the best ways to teach our children and show them the lived reality of our faith. Over the long term, the best way to disciple children in the gathering is to show them how to participate (example), equip them to participate (repetition & practice), and instruct them on the how & why of participation (teaching).
This also means that parents need to learn themselves the how and why of church gathering so that you can pass this onto the next generation!
The practical aspects of helping kids "behave" at church is merely a precursor to them being able to partake of the nourishing "pure spiritual milk, that by it [they] may grow up into salvation" (1 Pe 2:2).
Many families already struggle to find time to spend together as a whole family and to do family-strengthening activities. Church should be a place where that is enabled and encouraged.
Paul wrote to Galatians and Corinthians on different theological issues but in both cases there was arbitrary division among God's people that was condemned. We also have a potent example in the Gospel's of the disciples turning away children because they were not considered worthy of Jesus' time and attention. But, Jesus welcomed the children, blessing them, and indeed holding them up as an example of faith!
"Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Lk 18:15–17).
No, I'm not suggesting that if you send your kids to Sunday school you're preventing them from coming to Jesus, but I do feel that separating God's people with the patronising attitude of "you're too young for church" reminds me of the disciples in that story.
Everyone learns to do things they can't do, by trying to do them. You learn to ride a bike, by trying to ride a bike before you have learned. In order for children to learn how to do church, they need to be in church learning how to do it.
But imagine, imagine what it would look like if your family could experience the wonderful blessing of each actively participating together with the gathered body! What a vision that would be! Each encouraging one another. Spurring each other onto love and good works! Singing out your lungs together, crying out for redemption, revelling in God's salvation, sitting under God's word with reverence, and lifting up your hearts with joy to receive God's means of grace!
I'm a child of Sunday School. I benefited greatly from it. But the question that needs answering is not whether or not we benefited, but whether it should have been at the expense of time with family and the other gathered saints in church under God.
There are many challenges that can arise if we want to have our families purposefully together in church. In the future I wish to write on some practical tips that may inspire your fruitfulness in this area!
For further reading on this topic, check out:
John Piper's letter to his church on Family Integrated Worship
Jeff Durbin's thoughts on Family Integrated Worship
"Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done." (Ps 78:1–4).
Samuel Lindsay • March 16, 2023
I'm still surprised by my sin. The scriptures clearly teach our total depravity; the insipid, complete, twistedness of our being with sin without God in our life. But I still get surprised at the seemingly endless capacity I have for sin.
Why am I so quick to sin? Why do I run into it with relish at a moments notice?
I've been amongst the church as long as I can remember. I was taught the statutes of the Lord from the womb. I know right and wrong. So why do I sin like this?
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out." (Ro 7:18).
The scriptures fill my mind, the way of the Lord is open before me, paved with the blood of Christ and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Why does darkness and destruction seem so attractive? Why is the road to the destitution of hell more pleasing to me in the moment?
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Ro 7:15).
Am I really saved? If I truly belonged to Christ wouldn't my soul be so captured by His radiance that I would throw off any encumbrance on the way to salvation?
I play with hellfire. I tempt fate. I dally in the devils chambers.
For what? What will it gain me?
It gains me a guilt and shame.
How can I gather with and sing God's praises as a holy people, then bow to my passions as if God's holiness means nothing to me?
What hope is there for one as terrible as me?
Surely I'm unlovable and unredeemable.
Surely there's no way out.
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Ro 7:24).
Preach, proclaim, meditate & remember!! I will instruct myself in the only truth that is an antidote to this bad news.
The way to life is not by my own hand. I cannot reach up to heaven through my hard work, but instead heaven has come down in Christ!!
I am lost, so Christ has found me!
I am dead, so the Holy Spirit has enlivened me!
I'm an outsider, but the Father has adopted me!
If I look to myself, I will find only despair or deception, for I am no saviour. Instead I must lift up my eyes an behold the one who can save, and does save! The One who has made an end to all my sin.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." (Ro 8:1–2).
My performance has gained me nothing with God, instead, of His own grace He freely redeemed me from the grave which I deserve.
The Lord has made me holy, by justifying me, even while the law of sin is at work in the members of my body. He has made me a holy work in progress, with the grace to cover my past, present and future sin.
Should I continue in sin? By no means! Instead I must die to sin, so I may live free from it!
So now, I am a Sinner and a Saint, and while I must utterly reject the sin, I can rest assured that it will not cut me off from my Merciful Saviour, because he has dealt with it. I look to Him for grace and place my trust in him, not looking to my own failures as a marker of salvation, or lack thereof.
I need an outside rescuer to come in and create life where there was death. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who comes from the outside to give Life through Jesus Christ! He will take away all my guilt and shame!
"Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (La 3:19–24).
"...if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Ro 8:9–11).