For the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to teach the academy teachers on various topics through Systematic Theology.
Just last week, we went over the doctrine of Pneumatology; the study of the Holy Spirit. Few even said that the Holy Spirit is the forgotten third person of the Trinity at times.
Understanding the doctrine of pneumatology is crucial as it is often perhaps one of the most misunderstood doctrines of all the systematics across all denominational lines.
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ”( John 3:3, 7)
Some theologians will call this the “Divine Monergism.”
We believe as the Evangelical faith that salvation is the saving of man from the power and effect of sin. When men come to Christ we are truly saved as Jesus is called to save people.
Therefore, there is a distinct relationship between regeneration and baptism as Christ has called us by His glorious grace.
“He saved us, not because of works are done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5)
John Frame said it well once, “The new birth brings life out of the spiritual death. Without this new birth, we cannot even see the kingdom of God, because our spiritual eyes are dead.”
Men were all once;
1). Blind by the flesh (2 Cor. 4:4).
2). Bound to Destruction (2 Tim. 2:26).
3). Alienated from commonwealth (Eph. 4:17-18).
4). Enemies of God (Rom. 5:6-11).
5). Condemned in Sin (John 3:18).
6). Dead in Trespasses (Eph. 2:1).
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17)
It is possible to be filled with the Spirit on Sunday and not to be filled on Monday.
You may be marveled thinking, “What? Why? How come? I thought the Spirit will never leave us.”
Here are three reasons why;
1). Walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16)
2). Grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30)
3). Quench the Spirit (Stifle: 1 Thess. 5:19).
How are some ways we can grieve the Spirit and not be filled in our churches?
My newest book is titled Ordinary Radicals and released just two weeks ago.
I have lived with the content of the book for over the past decade or so, wrestling with the idea and lifestyle of discipleship. By forming this book, I am excited this is finally made available for churches and ministry leaders.
Discipleship has often been made so complex that Christians feel as if they are not adequate enough to pass on to the next generation.
Here are three things I want you to know my news book.
Yes, I want this book to get in the hands of many, but more than that, I wrote in hopes that it will radically transform our lives and affection for King Jesus.
This journey ultimately led me to begin to look at the Gospel. The biblical principles inserted in the scriptures for making disciples is basically being faithful to the gospel.
Therefore, this book is not a how-to guide to figure out a new program. Nor is this another philosophy or methodology book. The book is all about the gospel and that is the essence of Christian discipleship.
This task is simple enough for the “ordinary” church member to follow and understand yet Christ commission is challenging enough for even the seasoned theologian to come away troubled in their soul.
As leaders of the home, we are totally and entirely dependent on grace to enable us to respond to this radical call.
Why this book and why now Jonathan?
It wasn’t a moment, it was a couple of years beginning in the year 2016, God placed this stirring upon my heart.
I remember one day finding myself feeling irritated from my own lack of making disciples in my home and in my church. I was frustrated that we call programs and preaching discipleship as an end, instead of a part. It made no sense to me.
I begin to ask these fundamental questions; What is a Christian? What does discipleship mean? How does one live this out if they are not a pastor?
In an era where there is much confusing not only of in societal structure, there is a confusion and apathy about discipleship. This motivated me to write this book.
After I released the book, there are often are two types of friend who approach me.
The first one are those who ask me to send/give a free copy of the book. (which, authors usually gets 25 free copies).
The later friends are the good ones who actually go online (amazon or B&N) and buys the book, read it, and shares with others.
Please don’t be the first kind of friend, but be the later kind of friend. Here is how.
“Aren’t you doing this to just build your own platform of popularity?” someone recently approached me and asked me this question. “Pastors are supposed to be humble; not a greedy one, who is seeking selfish gain.”
I’m actually not taking even a dime for this book. All the royalties (100%) profits will go directly into helping a mission work as a church to West Africa working with a Muslim village who need to hear Jesus came to saved and die for their sins.
So, my prayer is that as much as I want this book to get in the hands of many, my greater hope and prayer is that this book to transform lives and serve the church well.
Therefore, I wrote this book for you and for me. If you’re with me wanting to make the most out of this life you have been entrusted, join with me in this movement; the Ordinary Radical movement for King Jesus.
I am convinced of this; as King Jesus stirs our soul and mind in a deeper level of discipleship leads to the inevitable result of a greater Gospel advancement.
In recognition and celebration of the Reformation Day, here are some great quotes I’ve collected the past several months.
A single event on this single day have changed the world. This is an incredibly important day for Christians to remember!
Here are few excellent Reformed Calvinistic (few Puritans) Christian quotes.
2. “He may look on death with joy, who can look on forgiveness with faith.” —Thomas Watson
5. “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent” — John Calvin
8. “To have sound assurance we must understand that our salvation rests upon the merit of Christ alone…” — R.C. Sproul
12. “As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst.” — William Jenkyn
15. “God takes away the world, that the heart may cleave more to Him in sincerity.” — Thomas Watson
18. “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives a plough to know more of the scriptures than you do.” ― William Tyndale