DiM | “When I’m With You” by Citizen Way

CCM Radio Edition.

disapproveMay 24, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “When I’m With You” by Citizen Way which currently sits at #19 on the20theCountdownMagazine.

Sidenote: Can we please just stop cop-opting secular love songs? Can we please stop “dating God”?  The world woos their lovers by proclaiming how great a person they become “when they’re with that other person”. The unspoken flip side of the coin is “I’m lost without you” sort of thing. Which, of course, is an exaggerated emotional sentiment intended to woo. It is not our job to woo God. We cannot, by our words or deeds, curry favor with God. We’ll get into that more in our discussion, but for now I’m just generally quite frustrated with the “Jesus is my boyfriend/girlfriend” trope in CCM. *sigh*

Okay, so let’s talk about today’s song. There are a couple of nuggets in the song that bear some truth, and at least it names Jesus (which makes it a bit more direct that much of what is playing on CCM radio), but there is some confused theology in the song. I think the core of the song is the confused theology, not the nuggets of truth. The song doesn’t stand on its own, and since it falls in the “dating God” vein, it falls in the “Disapprove” category for us.



Lyrics (via KLove)

These are the things that I need to pray
Because I can’t find peace any other way
I’m a mess underneath and I’m just too scared to show it

Everything’s not fine
And I’m not okay
But it’s nice to know
I can come this way

When I’m with You
I feel the real me finally breaking through
It’s all because of You, Jesus
Anytime, anywhere, any heartache
I’m never too much for You to take
There’s only love
There’s only grace
When I’m with You

Nobody knows me like You do
No need for walls, You see right through
Every hurt, every scar, every secret… You just love me

I’m breathing in
I’m innocent
It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You

So I’m here just as I am
Bruised or broken
I don’t have to pretend

Publishing: Calhoun Tunes / Fair Trade Music Publishing (ASCAP) (admin. by Music Services, Inc.); Mr. Blue Sky / Fair Trade Tunes (SESAC) (admin. by Music Services, Inc.); and 2 Hour Songs / Centric Songs (admin. by Centricity Music Publishing). All rights reserved.
Writer(s): Ben Calhoun; Josh Calhoun; Seth Mosely


This song is completely bent in on itself. The target audience is the singer. The secondary audience is anyone who wants to be like the singer. Jesus gets a by-name honorable mention. I know that’s a hard introduction to this discussion, but I’ll explain what I mean here. We’re starting with what is wrong with this song, and only then will I point out the truth nuggets I mentioned earlier.

The intro to the song tells us that these are the things the singer needs to pray… why? because he wants to feel better. This isn’t about bringing glory to God or proclaiming the cross, this is about making me feel better, making me feel at peace. What’s worse? This “prayer” we’re about to be shown is the only way the artist finds peace. I have a big problem with that… because he’s finding peace in the prayer he’s about to pray… not in what Christ has done on the cross for us, or what Christ has proclaimed to us in His Word.

When we hit the chorus, the opening line is When I’m with You, which jumps straight to… I’m not sure what, really. Let me explain, when we talk about being with someone having an impact, by default we are suggesting that the opposite happens whenever we are NOT with that person. So what are we contrasting here, theologically? Unbeliever versus Believer? Unregenerate versus Regenerate? Natural Child of darkness versus Adopted Child of Light? Or is this more reflective of the emotional yo-yo that is part and parcel of seeker-mergent evangelicalism where you have to do something to “feel the Presence of God” in your life again after having grown cold or worn-out (or burned out from all of your zeal-driven works). So, pausing those questions for a moment, let’s see what is happening when the singer is with Jesus… I feel the real me finally breaking through. Okay, now I’m confused. Is this the “real me” that is a mess underneath or the me that is at peace because I have been forgiven? How does one “be with Jesus” without repentance? Yeah, this is seeker sensitive theology, the notion that church is a place where unbelievers born in sin are encouraged to come to church to get a taste of the Presence of God so that they might at last open up their sinful hearts to God so that He can then forgive them of their sin and make them new creatures. That’s not the role of the church, and that is not how the Bible describes regenerating faith. You don’t convince a dead man to consider what it might be like to be made alive in Christ. You preach God’s Word and God the Holy Spirit breaths life to dead bones.

Let’s get review some scripture passages, for their greater contexts I strongly urge you to read Romans and Ephesians in full.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Romans 3:9-31 (ESV) | No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 10:5-17 (ESV) | The Message of Salvation to All

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

The heart that believes the Word of Christ and the mouth that Confesses the Word of Christ has already been made alive with Christ by the Grace of God, who has granted saving faith to the hearer of the Word of Christ. And having been brought to life in Christ, we have this Promise from Him that He will never leave us.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is where we find Peace, in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, in the Promises made to us from our Resurrected and Returning Savior, Jesus Christ our LORD. Placing your faith in your prayer is missing the point, and focusing on your own works. Our faith is not in our prayers, it is in the One to whom we pray. The prayer of faith isn’t measured by zeal or feeling, but by the Truth of God’s Word… the Person and Work of Christ Jesus.

As for the truth nuggets in the song, the idea that we are a total mess, that we’re not okay, is mostly true. The Truth is that we are much worse than these words convey. That wouldn’t be a ding on this song on its own, it is a short song after all. The problem here is that while the artist is right that we aren’t expected to clean ourselves up prior to coming to God (I can come this way) there is no mention of repentance nor forgiveness, even. It’s as though it just not an issue. Going back to the the real me finally breaking through we don’t have mention of being made a new creation, or of dealing at all with our sin or our sinful natures. That’s why these are mere nuggets of truth. Later in the chorus, the singer declares that with Jesus there’s only Love and Grace. Well, that’s not the whole story. There’s also Justice, Wrath, and Forgiveness by the Blood of Jesus shed on the Cross. It’s all there, together, in unity. It is dangerous to try to present the Gospel apart from the Law (and yes, equally so to present Law without Gospel).

I find the bridge particularly grating. It’s designed to serve as an anthem for all of those in the audience who want to be like the singer… it’s completely focused on the self

I’m breathing in
I’m innocent
It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You

It’s all about “I” in this portion. We aren’t innocent in our own right, we’ve been declared righteous according to Christ’s substitutionary atonement for our sin. Christ died for our sin, so that in Him we might be declared righteous in God’s sight. If the song gave Jesus more than a mere honorable mention, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this phrasing… but given the whole of the lyric I have a problem with this phrasing. Without repentance and the atonement, the song paints grace and love as a mere wiping away of the sin and the law just because we’re so cute and cuddly to God. That presents a false gospel.


Best construction on this song is the idea that we don’t have to be perfect for God to love us. While that’s true, it’s not all of the truth. You see, it’s not simply that we don’t have to be perfect, it’s that we cannot be perfect, or even good. We are dead in sins and trespasses… horribly unrighteous, not even seeking after God. At its worst, this song seems to suggest that the point of the Gospel is that it’s okay to be horribly broken and sinful, since God loves you anyway, and as long as you admit that you are a mess, God declares you innocent… just like that. No need to confess sins, acknowledge the cross, be baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection… see where I’m going? In ignoring the Law, we get a diluted gospel. When you have a diluted gospel, you wind up with a navel-gazing spirituality in constant search of a feeling of peace and right-standing with God… a spirituality of the emotions. God hasn’t promised to be found in your emotions, He is found in His Word, both Law and Gospel rightly preached.

In closing, I’d like to share the confession we pray each Sunday morning at church.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.  (from Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting One)

What is truly comforting, is knowing that this prayer is in keeping with the Scriptures and that we serve a God who is Faithful and Just to forgives our sin and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, for His Glory and His Praise.

Romans 16:24-27 (ESV) | Doxology

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

In Christ Jesus,

DiM | “Move (Keep Walkin’)” by TobyMac

disapproveCCM Radio Edition.

April 4, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Move (Keep Walkin’)” by TobyMac which currently sits at #16 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

TobyMac puts out another motivational song devoid of scriptural foundation or prescription. In today’s song, I’m not even sure he’s clear on what the problem is. We’ll work through the lyric together, but this song ends up being the musical equivalent to “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” There’s no Gospel here, no Law, just empty cheer-leading and an allusion to a false promise. We’ll do our best to clean up the narrative, but frankly this is a rather indulgent and empty motivation song.

Move (Keep Walkin’) Lyric Video


Lyrics (via SongLyrics.com)

Verse 1
Another heartbreak day
Feels like you’re miles away
Don’t even need no shade
When your sun don’t shine, shine
Too many passin’ dreams
Roll by like limousines
It’s hard to keep believin’
When they pass you by and by

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet

Verse 2
Echoin’ inside your head
Are the words that your sweet momma said,
“shoot for the moon, my dear”
So you took aim out of this atmosphere
Between high stakes and pump fakes
You’re feelin’ like you can’t buy a break
I can hold your hand, but I can’t turn your eyes to freedom

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet

Hold on, hold on
Lord ain’t finished yet
Hold on, hold on
He’ll get you through this
Hold on, hold on
These are the promises
I never will forget
I never will forget [x2]

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet


So the over arching theme of this song is simple: Don’t let your current circumstances bring you down, just keep doing the Christian thing and eventually you’ll have victory.

So what’s wrong with that? Well, the song doesn’t get any more helpful than that, and there are lines that suggest that victory will be born out in our circumstances and that we’ll have our prayers answered because God’s not yet finished with us so we need to move, keep walkin’.

Verse 1. Here, TobyMac presents the dilemma for the first time. What’s the dilemma? Well, we have a heartbreak day when someone feels isolated and alone… but not like in a scorching desert; rather, it’s like being in the dead of winter under a prolonged night… no sunshine. Not clear on the pronouns if it’s a scenario where the person feels that way because their own light isn’t shining (depressed) or if its because of a trial the God has brought (or allowed to be brought) upon the individual. Vague pronoun use is part of TobyMac’s colloquial style. So the unclear sun that doesn’t shine could be an internal mood thing or an external circumstance thing. It’s the next portion of the first verse that has me rather frustrated.

Too many passin’ dreams
Roll by like limousines
It’s hard to keep believin’
When they pass you by and by

So, not only do we have the individual heartbroken over dreams, they’re dreams that roll by like limousines?  So they are big dreams? Is this where our Christian focus should be properly fixed? On the wealthy? on the Celebrity? on the spectacle? Hard to keep believing in what, exactly? Your dream-destiny thingy, or on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again on the third day so that by His blood we may be forgiven of our sin and gain eternal life? We’re going to camp out on these lines now, because once we get this cleared up the rest of the song is tripe…. and not the tasty kind in Phở Bò.

Firstly, I think we need to visit the 10 Commandments, specifically the last couple of commands:

Exodus 20:1-17 (ESV) | The Ten Commandments
20 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Now, often times when we think about the sin of coveting our neighbor’s things, in our minds we connect it to stealing as in, “by allowing ourselves to covet we invite the temptation to steal”. While that is true, that isn’t the only way in which coveting is wrong. Coveting is a sin unto itself, it is the sin of discontentment with the provision of God in our lives. Our coveting of our neighbors things creates enmity between us and our neighbor… and in extreme cases between us and God for not having given us what he gave them. This is a sinful condition that needs repentance and forgiveness that can only be found in Christ Jesus. We weren’t all promised limousines. Contrary to what you’ll find in the local “Christian” bookstore or shared on various evangelical memes, we weren’t even promised dream-destinies or to have our dreams fulfilled. We weren’t even all promised to dream dreams of our purpose or directions for our lifelong pursuits. The song is describing someone who is feeling lonely, heartbroken, in the dark… and possibly coveting those who get to ride in limousines. Whether we take that as a metaphor or literal doesn’t make any difference in this problem… it’s covetous. The individual in question is heartbroken because his/her life isn’t going like his/her neighbor’s.

Pre-Chorus. Once again, not clear about the pronouns here. I have no clue who the “I” is supposed to be, the singer or God? No clue. Are these declarative statements or are they slightly patronizing dismissals of the hurting individual’s “woe is me” rhetoric? Still unclear. So this “I” knows the person’s heartbroken again, and knows their prayers aren’t answered yet? That’s odd. Unless the prayer is to be in heaven, or for Christ to return, or that the heartbroken feeling be taken away, we don’t know anything about these prayers and whether or not they are answered in the affirmative “yet”, or if the answer has already come in the form of “no”. Empty motivation. I’m sure some who seek to defend TobyMac and this song are probably thinking up of some scriptures that “promise” that God always answers His children with a “yes”, but before we go there, let’s see what James wrote about unanswered prayers in light of this song’s setup of potential coveting going on.

James 4:1-10 (ESV) | Warning Against Worldliness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Well, that doesn’t play into the narrative of this song, does it? What does it mean to humble yourself before God? Repent and be forgiven in Jesus’ Name. It’s not something you can “do”, it is something only He can do and has done For you.

Chorus. Modern evangelicalism is absolutely flooded in works-righteousness. Sure, they give lip service to the Grace of God, but everything they teach, preach, and insist upon is works. They push sanctifying works onto professing Christians to rid themselves of sin or to somehow untie God’s hands so that He can finally grant you that blessing He’s been wanting so badly to give you, His best friend, if only you would let Him. False narrative for a false gospel, from a false god. The Triune God of the Bible doesn’t need you, lowly mortal man, to do anything for Him to then bless or keep you. That’s a lie of the devil. The Truth is far more beautiful.

Ephesians 1:3-14 (ESV) | Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

What did we do for this? Nothing. He did all of it for us.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

So, you think this “only applies to salvation”, but once saved we need to do our part working in harmony with the Holy Spirit to sanctify ourselves? The Apostle Paul had a different answer to in his letter to the Galatians

Galatians 3:1-9 (ESV) | By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Yeah, Paul is clearly talking about continuing in the faith and living the Christian life after having been saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ (having begun in the Spirit). Splitting justification and sanctification into two categories where Christ’s finished work on the cross justifies us by Grace in one hand, but we need to do our part in working toward sanctification in a separate category is bad theology (are you now being perfected by the flesh?). They are indeed separate terms that communicate different things, but both are works of the Holy Spirit, neither is a work of the flesh.

Verse 2. Wow, didn’t even attempt to bring this to any sort of Biblical narrative. He’s exegeting the proverbial dear old mamma pep-talk of “shoot for the moon”? Really? That isn’t Christianity speaking, that is secular humanism!

Bridge. These are the promises… huh? What promises? From whom? What is TobyMac talking about here? He hasn’t shared any of God’s promises in this song. No Law, No Gospel, No Christ. Just empty encouragements hold on, keep walkin’, soldiering on, and shooting for the moon and hopefully you heart won’t be broken anymore and then you might be the one in the limousine (figuratively or literally, who knows?).


The song is worthless. Maybe TobyMac is struggling with his own career, maybe he is having a crisis of faith and setting it to music hoping to give himself some sort of spark of revival… who knows, but the theology in this song is thin, pale, and vacuous. Please pray for TobyMac and those who clamor to see him. They need the rest that can only be found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

In Christ Jesus,

Church History | Protestant Lent

churchhistoryYesterday was Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the start of the penitential season of Lent where the Church prepares for Resurrection Sunday in a manner similar to its observance of Advent in preparation for Christmas Day. I was not planning on writing about Lent, but after seeing several posts in social media warning Protestants against celebrating or observing Lent, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the matter.

Is it a Roman Catholic thing?

The research I’ve done traces it back to quadragesima paschae (Latin for “40 days before Easter”) spoken of by the bishops at the Council of Nicea in 325. Most of what came out of the Council of Nicea was confirming doctrine, not creating it. I’m sure we could finder older references to this “40 days before Easter”, but since we don’t consider the Nicene Creed to be only a Roman Catholic thing, I think this historical research should suffice for now. Now, as the core doctrines in Roman Catholicism and Protestantism differ; so, too, do the manner in which the churches observe Lent, even if from the outside they look similar.

Commandment to Observe Lent?

There is none. We are not commanded in Scripture to observe Lent. Failure to observe Lent is not  a sin in and of itself. Being the sinners we are, we can find ways of sinning in everything we do or abstain from, but for the interest of this question, it isn’t a sin to NOT observe lent.

Is it Wrong to Observe Lent?

No, provided it is done in Faith. Please don’t go to a Roman Catholic church to observe Lent. I’d also encourage you not to invent your own version of Lent without first researching Lutheran or Reformed traditions (which ever confessions you hold to) for observing Lent.

Romans 14:4-12 (ESV)

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Pretty straightforward, in fact. Yes, this is a man-made tradition much like celebrating Christmas and Advent. There seem to be just as many pitfalls for abusing Lent as there are with Advent and Christmas. However, there has been a lot of meaningful work put into the Church’s intention for observing Lent and it has served the church well for nearly 2000 years. If you’re looking for reasons NOT to observe Lent, there are plenty of bloggers posting such lists and really they are basically anti-false-piety or anti-Pharisaical guidelines. But here, I’d like to make a couple of counter-points to the naysayers:

  • Lent isn’t a thing unto itself, it’s preparation for Resurrection Sunday. If you’re choosing this season to try to lose weight, or join the Daniel Plan 2.0, or hoping this fast will plant a seed of dominion over a stronghold in your life, or sever a soul tie… you’ve been deceived. Lent isn’t a commandment or a promise from God, it is a season the Church designated for preparing ourselves for the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This isn’t the only way the Church remembers Christ, it is just one way that it does each year. The Believer who rightly understands the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ observes Lent in as a way of preparing for Easter Sunday.
  • The 40 days are a teaching tool, not a Law. This is a great time to teach Christ from as the Passover Lamb, when the LORD delivered the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, through the Red Sea (baptism) and into the wilderness for 40 years before entering the promised land… which dovetails into how Christ, after the baptism of John the Baptist, was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days and resisting the devil. Whether or not you observe Lent by fasting yourselves, this is a season where we can focus on the significance of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ for more than just a few hours on Resurrection Sunday or at an Easter service. This is vital Bible study for growing in the knowledge of Christ. What is really awesome in all of this, is that none of it has to be done on our own, or by our might, indeed none of it can be, but by the Grace of God and His Holy Spirit in us.
  • The focus is repentance, not merit. One doesn’t observe Lent to merit favor, indulgences, forgiveness, honor, recognition, or praise. Being sinners, we err in every good work we attempt when we are tempted by our flesh to seek after these things. The focus is repentance. When we abstain or fast during Lent, we aren’t “giving God” anything, we are humbling ourselves in repentance. When we serve our neighbor in giving of alms or service, we aren’t meriting favor or giving God anything, we are humbling ourselves and loving our neighbor as Christ loved us. As Christians, we understand that this is a year-round commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, but as sinners we know that there are times we need to really focus on our shortcomings in humility and repent for our sin. This tradition provides a time of the year, every year, when the Body of Christ focuses on the gravity of our sin, the Passion of Christ, and our need for repentance and forgiveness in the Name of Jesus.


I keep reading comments in social media of the effect, “we should be penitent year-round, not just during Lent”. That’s an ad hominem argument, a logical fallacy accusing the observer of false penitence. Many of the protestant churches that observe Lent also practice Confession and Absolution year-round… meaning they in-fact are penitent year-round. A solid pastor preaches Law and Gospel every time the saints are gathered in Jesus’ Name for the building up of the Body of Christ. Lent won’t correct bad theology. Indeed, there are many with bad theology pushing Lent. But for those with a solid, Biblical foundation of Faith, there is much good that can come from observing Lent in preparation for celebration of the Passion and Resurrection of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. My primary concern in writing this, is that we not be divisive regarding this Church tradition. As always, if you have any further questions feel free to ask in the comment section or contact us directly… but do please also engage your Pastor(s) on these matters. They have been charged with watching over you, and will have to give an Account to the Great Shepherd.

Romans 14:13-23 (ESV) | Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up building. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Romans 15:1-7 (ESV) | The Example of Christ

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

In Christ Jesus,

Gospel Wednesday | Mark 1

Welcome to our first Gospel Wednesday of 2016.

We’ll be starting the year off by working through the Gospel according to Mark. With only 16 Chapters, the Gospel according to Mark is the shortest of the Gospels and we’ll probably work through it in roughly as many weeks. As we work through the text, please remember that I’m merely a lay person with no formal seminary training. I’m open to Biblical discussion and even disagreement on interpretation, particularly in the application of the text. I will avoid making arguments based on extra biblical materials and ask that you do the same. If what we discuss here conflicts with your church’s doctrine in any way, I encourage you to take the discussion to your pastors and elders, that is the purpose of their office and calling.

Summary of the Gospel According to Mark

Before we begin in the first chapter of the Gospel According to Mark, I recommend reading through the summary of the book put together by the folks at BibleStudyTools.com. I’d like to quote some of the sections from their page here:


Although there is no direct internal evidence of authorship, it was the unanimous testimony of the early church that this Gospel was written by John Mark (“John, also called Mark,” Ac 12:12,25; 15:37). The most important evidence comes from Papias (c. a.d. 140), who quotes an even earlier source as saying: (1) Mark was a close associate of Peter, from whom he received the tradition of the things said and done by the Lord; (2) this tradition did not come to Mark as a finished, sequential account of the life of our Lord, but as the preaching of Peter — preaching directed to the needs of the early Christian communities; (3) Mark accurately preserved this material. The conclusion drawn from this tradition is that the Gospel of Mark largely consists of the preaching of Peter arranged and shaped by Mark (see note on Ac 10:37).

Occasion and Purpose

Since Mark’s Gospel is traditionally associated with Rome, it may have been occasioned by the persecutions of the Roman church in the period c. a.d. 64-67. The famous fire of Rome in 64 — probably set by Nero himself but blamed on Christians — resulted in widespread persecution. Even martyrdom was not unknown among Roman believers. Mark may be writing to prepare his readers for such suffering by placing before them the life of our Lord. There are many references, both explicit and veiled, to suffering and discipleship throughout his Gospel (see 1:12-13; 3:22,30; 8:34-38; 10:30,33-34,45; 13:8-13).

Special Characteristics

Mark’s Gospel is a simple, succinct, unadorned, yet vivid account of Jesus’ ministry, emphasizing more what Jesus did than what he said. Mark moves quickly from one episode in Jesus’ life and ministry to another, often using the adverb “immediately” (see note on1:12). The book as a whole is characterized as “The beginning of the gospel” (1:1). The life, death and resurrection of Christ comprise the “beginning,” of which the apostolic preaching in Acts is the continuation.

(Read More)

Mark 1 (ESV)

The Gospel According to Mark does not recount the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew and Luke cover His birth and John summarizes the significance of the incarnation of the Christ, the Son of God in human flesh. Mark’s account begins by introducing us to John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah.

Mark 1:1-8 (ESV) | John the Baptist Prepares the Way

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The baptism of John was the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It is important to recognize that this was indeed a real baptism for what it was… repentance for the forgiveness of sins. But this baptism is lesser than the Baptism we know in Christ, for even John said that the Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit. We see this play out later in Acts.

Acts 18:24-26 (ESV) | Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Acts 19:1-5 (ESV) | Paul in Ephesus
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

I point this out to demonstrate that what John was doing was proper and necessary, but it was superseded by baptism in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let’s continue in Mark.

Mark 1:9-11 (ESV) | The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Here we have the Trinity displayed in the text. Jesus fresh out of the water, the Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove and the Voice of God the Father. Modalism refuted. Jesus had nothing to repent of. No sin. No need to repent. So why the baptism? For our sake. We need repentance and the forgiveness of sin, and we are joined with Him in baptism. Not just His baptism, but into His death and resurrection, too. The beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that by faith we are joined with Christ, in His baptism, sealed by the Holy Spirit and declared righteous before God the Father because of the Righteousness of His Son, Jesus.

Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV) | The Baptism of Jesus
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

1 Peter 3:18-22 (ESV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Praise the LORD for His Grace and Forgiveness. As we continue in Mark, let us remember that the Life and Ministry of Jesus is to be taken as a whole, for He IS the Messiah, not just someone who did Messianic things or taught Messianic principles. That is not to say that we cannot look at the smaller events in light of the whole, but we dare not rip a singular event out of the greater context and build a theology around it… As John wrote in his gospel account, Jesus is the Word made flesh.

Mark 1:12-13 (ESV) | The Temptation of Jesus

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

It is so encouraging to me to know that while He committed no sin in any way, He is familiar with temptation and weakness. We serve a God who knows and understands.

Mark 1:14-15 (ESV) | Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Even in Mark’s brevity, we see clearly both Law and Gospel in Christ’s preaching. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Mark 1:16-20 (ESV) | Jesus Calls the First Disciples

16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.

Jesus calls His people to Him. The Holy Spirit that has been poured out on those who believe and are baptized now draws men unto Jesus through the preached Word. The multitudes that gathered throughout His earthly ministry was fickle… eventually calling for His crucifixion. Jesus preached to the crowds and performed many signs and wonders in fulfillment of prophecy, but He wasn’t playing to them. The Church, the Body of Christ is not called to play to the crowds.

Mark 1:21-28 (ESV) | Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit

21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit,convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

From the beginning, we see that Jesus is different in every imaginable way. Mark’s Gospel makes it intellectually dishonest to limit Jesus as a merely a “good teacher”. He has Authority… Divine Authority.

Mark 1:29-34 (ESV) | Jesus Heals Many

29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

There is good reason why Jesus didn’t permit the demons to speak. For they were not speaking to confess Jesus as the Messiah of God; rather, they sought to derail His ministry. Israel was looking for a Messiah who would establish an earthly ministry, they were waiting for the next King David who would establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus came to do much, much more and far greater… He came to heal us from our sin and eternal judgement.

Mark 1:35-39 (ESV) | Jesus Preaches in Galilee

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him,“Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out. 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

It is sad that our modern-day evangelicalism down-plays the preaching ministry. Jesus preached. He also performed signs and wonders that served as a testimony to Who He Is… we’ve been called to preach the Word.

Mark 1:40-45 (ESV) | Jesus Cleanses a Leper

40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

We serve a God who takes pity on our brokenness. He forgives our weakness and heals us by taking upon Himself our sins, our iniquities, our transgressions.

Until Next Week

Next week we’ll be working through chapter 2. This will not be an exhaustive study, we’ll only be scratching the surface of the text, but we will work through the text each week. I pray it serves you even if only by prompting you to read the text and skip my comments.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Amen, indeed.
In Christ Jesus,

Friday Sermon | “The Hope That Overcomes the World” by John MacArthur

spriteToday’s sermon comes from John MacArthur via Grace To You. The sermon was given on November 29, 2015. John MacArthur takes a look at Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit so that He would remind His Apostles of all that Jesus had taught them, and indeed to guide them (and us by means of the Written Word) into all Truth. There is some good stuff in this sermon, I pray you find it a blessing.

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text


John 16 (ESV)

16 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine;therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

I Have Overcome the World

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Grace To You Website

In Christ Jesus,