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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Can you say this?
Can you say this? I don't mean can you say I do some of that, or I try and do all of that. I am saying does this describe who you are right now?

I am patient and kind
I never envy or exalt myself (I am not puffed up)
I never act unseemly or seek anything for myself
I cannot be provoked or do evil
I rejoice over truth and not unrighteousness
I bear all, believe all, hope all, endure all for the sake of others.


Does it amaze you that as Jesus underwent "the passion" He was beaten, spit upon, flogged, and even had His beard plucked from His face (c.f. Isaiah 50:6) - yet all the while His love for those who were doing these things to him didn't fail, or even diminish, such that His parting words included a genuine desire that God would forgive them for the wicked things they were doing to Him?

Or does it amaze you that at Antioch this same character was found in the saints there so that they began to call them little Christ's (Christians).

Or does it amaze you that scripture holds this standard out as obtainable and even appropriate - dare I say it - even normal?

If we say that this isn't our present experience, and has never been our experience we are left to conclude either:
1] There is something wrong with our Christian experience, or
2] No one ever really experiences this sort of love - it is just an ideal.

Not surprisingly, something within us hints that it is #1, yet we reason to ourselves that it is #2.

We say, "No one can be like that" - but scripture shows that Jesus was like that.

We say - "Yeah, well that was Jesus, and I am not Jesus - He was like that because He was God and since I am not God, I cannot be like that"

But that is inconsistent with our orthodoxy. Do we not say that Jesus was a man? Does scripture not teach that everything Jesus did, He did in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in His own divinity? We make a fundamental error when we write off the Christ's behavior as being a side effect of His divinity, rather than something that the Holy Spirit enabled his mortal flesh to do.

Did you catch that? I hope it wasn't muddied. If Jesus was a man (we say 100% man) then he couldn't do anything supernatural could he? "Wait!" you say, "He was God too!" - but that is painting Christ as a 50/50 hybrid - half man/half God - and it doesn't line up with scripture. Scripture paints Jesus as entirely human (though uncorrupted), and as having emptied Himself of all divine prerogative. He lived in utter reliance upon the Holy Spirit - the first Christian.

It was His utter reliance upon the Holy Spirit that shed God's love abroad in Christ's heart so that Christ was able to love as God loved. It was the Holy Spirit whom Christ received in fullness in the Jordan - it was through the Holy Spirit that Christ offered Himself to God - and brothers, sisters: It is only through the Holy Spirit that you can offer yourself to God.

Obey the voice of God (that is, humble yourself), and God will minister to you.
posted by Daniel @ 8:59 AM  
8 Comments:
  • At 11:33 AM, March 15, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Now come on man, what are you trying to do to us? Are you attempting to make us feel convicted?

    Very good post Daniel, it is especially hard for us to fathom the humanity of Christ, and yet it was His weakness in the flesh yet empowered by the Holy Spirit that overcame all temptation. Therefore we too have the same possibility, nay, I say responsibility to live likewise.

    Amen, but ouch it does hurt.

     
  • At 11:35 AM, March 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How then do we explain Jesus' ability to see Nathanael under the tree? Are you saying that if I am led by the Spirit 100% that I He'll enable me to do that sort of thing?

    Also, why does it have to be #1 *OR* #2. If #2 was correct, wouldn't #1 necessarily be true? (That is, there would be no valid 'Christian experience')

     
  • At 1:18 PM, March 15, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Anonymous -

    Knowing that Christ is God, our first impulse is naturally going to be that Jesus' ability to see Nathaniel under the tree was something peculiar to His own divinity. Many people accept that without giving it much thought - Jesus is God ergo, Jesus was omnipresent, therefore, Jesus saw Nathan under the tree.

    However, we must admit, when Elisha "saw" Gehazi chase after Naaman we don't immediately conclude that Elisha did it in his own divine power do we? No, we presume that God showed Him these things. We say - Elisha was a prophet, and leave it at that.

    Moses, you will recall (Deut 18:15) refers to the coming messiah as a prophet...

    He must not overlook Christ's own testimony about Who it was that was doing the miraculous in Him. What was Christ's answer when they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of the enemy? He told them that they were blaspheming (not Jesus, but) the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been drawing upon his own glory to do miracles, they would have been blaspheming Christ - but they were blaspheming the power behind His miracles - saying it was the power of the enemy when it fact it was by the Holy Spirit. (c.f. Matthew 12:28)

    Even Christ's death on the cross was done through the eternal Spirit as we read in Heb. 9:14, ("how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?")

    Recall in Luke 4:14 that Christ returned from the wilderness (Where the Spirit drove Him btw) "in the power of the Spirit" This is echoed by Paul in Romans 15:18-20 where Paul tells us plainly that Christ did mighty signs and wonders "by the power of the Spirit of God" - I mean, if we ignore the humiliation of Christ, suggesting that Christ did not in fact set aside His own divinity and humble Himself but came as a super powered God-man, well, I think you see the trouble with that.

    Seriously, it might be a new thought to you Anonymous - but it is the nevertheless the orthodox teaching of the church (as well as the plainly truth in scripture) - that Jesus Christ did not come in the strenth and power of His own divinity, but in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit - the first (we read) amongst many brethren.

    If we deny that Christ came in the power of the Holy Spirit - or if we belittle the whole thing by suggesting that Christ came half in His own strength, and sort of here and there was assisted by the Holy Spirit - we are really confusing the truth, and the only reason we would do that is to "keep the bar low enough" that we can live up to it without ever requiring the Spirit of God.

    The doctrine of Christ's humanity is profoundly important if we are to be "little Christ's" because it kicks out the crutch that says, "I can't do it" and replaces it with the real deal - which is "I won't do it" No one repents until they are guilty - and no one can truly fathom their guilt if they think that deep down they aren't really responsible for their failure.

    I hope that makes sense.

     
  • At 3:03 PM, March 15, 2006, Blogger mark_5 said…

    thanks Daniel. something just clicked in my head. :)

     
  • At 3:23 PM, March 15, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Mark_5 - I love it when that happens!

     
  • At 9:32 PM, March 17, 2006, Blogger Todd said…

    Daniel,
    I'm not convinced Jesus was not working from a slightly more limited, but adequate form of His divinity, suited to His having to become man and fulfill the purpose He was sent here to fulfill. Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit, gave them(the apostles)power to forgive. Knew the history of the woman at the well. Healed and forgave at the same time. Seems like He was aware of He and the Father being One, not just because the Spirit taught Him, but because at any time, He had a direct line to the Father. I think He was working from a part of His divinity from the time of His baptism by God on. At the least, He had many more Spiritual powers than anyone else is told they can expect to have with the help of the Spirit. Even the apostles had a different manifestation of the Spirit. The things they said to us were God breathed. Nothing that we can say is God breathed. As we all know, God weilded the Spirit in all different kinds of ways in men to accomplish His plan in the O.T. While we have the Spirit, even though God can wield it in anyone of us as He wills, many of the ways God worked in the prophets, and Jesus, is not mentioned as being available to us such as it was to them.

    But I like the spirit and the encouragement behind your post. I like the post, just wanted to express my different view on Jesus' divinity here on earth. It's not the definitive 'divinity' arguement by any means, but shows I think, some reason to believe that He was working from power of the Father as well as from the Spirit. Whereas, for now, all we have is the power of the father through the Spirit until we reach the father through Christ. You just got me thinking so I had to comment on that. Nice post. I apologize for not yet finishing my other comment. Too much food for thought in this post of yours. Thanks.

    Brother in Christ, Todd

     
  • At 8:55 AM, March 18, 2006, Blogger Todd said…

    Daniel,

    Matthew 26:53
    "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will not at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?"

    For all practical purposes, I've got to look upon this as Jesus having a measure of divinity while He was here on Earth.

     
  • At 6:27 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I don't see it that way.

    Being God Jesus could have "taken up" his divinity at any time. No one is denying Christ was God. What is denied is that Christ used the privileges of that divinity while on earth.

    Christ didn't know when the end would come.

    *cough* checkmate *cough*

     
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