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Posts tagged "Justin Holcomb"

Hopelessly Devoted: Second Corinthians Chapter Five Verses Seventeen through Twenty One

Today’s page from the Devotional comes to us from Justin Holcomb. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, ESV)

Paul here talks about the reconciled becoming reconcilers. God reconciles Paul to Himself through Christ and, second, He gives Paul the ministry of reconciliation. Paul is the only New Testament writer to use the noun “reconciliation” and verb “to reconcile.” Reconcile means “to bring back to friendship after estrangement, to harmonize.” The picture is to re-establish an original peace that once existed. In Paul’s writings, God is always the reconciler. The initiative is God’s, who changes a relationship of enmity to one of friendship, and this is accomplished through Christ, through his death on the cross.

The recipient, he then says, is the world. This means that reconciliation is comprehensive and all-encompassing. God’s reconciliation is done in forgiveness—by not “counting against us” the amount of a debt we owe. Like late charges on a credit card for which we are legally responsible, God doesn’t post the debts to our account that should rightfully be ours. This is because Christ so closely identified with the plight of humanity that their sin became his.

This is our great hope—that Christ’s death took the consequences of our sins, that his perfect life is attributed to our account, that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more, that where we are weak, God is strong. This is what it means to be an ambassador of Christ, simply and honestly communicating our weakness, helping others with the pressure they feel to display to the world their infinite and paltry successes. If it’s already covered, and the account is settled, why are we wasting so much time and energy displaying our self-righteousness? Why not boast in weakness?

Hopelessly Devoted: Exodus Chapter Fourteen Verses Twenty One and Twenty Two

This morning’s devotion comes from the one and only Justin Holcomb.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. (Exodus 14:21-22, NIV)

This passage is about God showing up in the middle of insecurity and confusion. The Exodus and subsequent journey to the Promised Land are the great moments of deliverance in Jewish history. bible-archeology-red-sea-crossingAs it is written in the Psalms, “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in him” (66:5-6). For thousands of years now, Jews remember and celebrate that God took them from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. At the last minute, on their way out of Egypt and to the Promised Land, God divided the Red Sea—had God not provided, they would have died.

To Christians, the Exodus foreshadows the ultimate story of deliverance. It points to the cross—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as “the work of God on our behalf.” The Exodus and the ministry of Jesus both tell us that God provides for those in need, and that God causes life and flourishing where death and destruction try to reign. The Exodus and the cross tell us that God’s operative principle is rescue. God comes near to us—down here in the thick of it—to rescue us.

There is no work we can do in exchange for this rescue: it is undeserved and unearned. As the psalmist highlights the mighty works of God on our behalf, so we see this fulfilled in Christ. Jesus, who came to “fulfill the law,” did the work we couldn’t do, on our behalf. We could never be good enough. We could never fulfill the righteousness required by the Law. God, in the person of Jesus, did the work we couldn’t do for ourselves, and so God attributes Jesus’ work as our work. God exchanges our sin for Jesus’ righteousness. The work of God on our behalf is the best news possible to those in need of rescue.

Is It My Fault? Shedding Light in the Darkness of Domestic Violence

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb have done it again. As with their earlier work on sexual assault, Rid of My Disgrace, their most recent book Is It My Fault?: Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence, goes where most Christian authors can’t or won’t go. Justin and Lindsey have the unique pastoral ability–and the theology […]

Another Week Ends: Silent Treatment, 1st-World Problems, Rectify & Rev, Robinson’s Lila, Phillips’ Freud, Heresy Help, Tragic Soccer, and Soviet Propaganda

1. Under the auspices of “How and Why to Ban the Silent Treatment from Your Relationship”, The Wall Street Journal issued a perceptive and even quite touching treatise on how the dynamic of demand and withdrawal comes to poison so many loving relationships. The article starts out with the same old line about judgment and […]

Another Week Ends: One Way Love, Lutheran Sounding Anglicans, Hard Working Protestants, Prosperity Soporifics, Game of Thrones, Scientism, Camus Texts, and The Blerch

1. Very much still reeling from this morning’s news about our hero Robert Farrar Capon, may he rest in peace. In tribute, Justin Holcomb compiled a wonderful list of quotes over on his superb new site. Of course, if anyone should be counted among Father Capon’s spiritual progeny, it is our dear friend Tullian Tchividjian, […]

Basements Floods and Gratuitous Grace

It’s been too long since we posted an entry from our maiden voyage publication, Judgment and Love, the price of which just went down considerably. This one comes from Justin Holcomb and was used to very powerful effect by Steve Brown in his talk at the Liberate conference earlier this year, also included below. Unconditional […]

Rid of My Disgrace: A Personal Testimony

As part of sexual assault awareness month, we are proud to re-present Lauren’s brave, personal reflections on Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s book Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. To read her review of the book itself, click here. Due to the sensitive and highly personal nature of this post, […]

Rid of My Disgrace: A Review

“There is an epidemic of sexual assault, and victims need the kind of hope and help that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can provide.” So begins the forward to the book, Rid of My Disgrace, by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb. And this book does in fact provide that needed hope and help for victims […]

The Grace of God and the Hermorrhage of the Soul: An Interview with Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Part 2

We are pleased to present the second and final part of Andrea Zimmerman’s interview with Justin and Lindsey Holcomb about their new book Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. To read part one of the interview, go here, and for those who missed Andrea’s into the first time, we’ve […]

The Grace of God and the Hemorrhage of the Soul: An Interview with Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Pt 1

Some time ago we posted an extraordinarily powerful review of Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s new book Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. We were also fortunate enough to finagle an interview with Justin and Lindsey in which they spoke candidly with Andrea Zimmerman about what distinguishes this project. Take […]

Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault

We have the privilege of presenting an excerpt from Lindsey and Justin Holcomb’s brand-new book Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. I’ve read the whole thing and can honestly say that it is an indispensable resource, a work of deep compassion and pastoral sensitivity, bringing grace to bear on […]

Watch Your Language, The Children Are Listening: The Sun Stops Shining in The Jesus Storybook Bible

This post isn’t about what you think it might be … 😉 The other day my husband shared with me the following excerpt from a post from a blog we like to read, “Free-Range Kids” authored by Lenore Skenazy, Dear Free-Range Kids: My kids have a children’s bible which says “and Jesus went away.” Kind […]