Fear of Judgement or Fear of Standard?

Grace is a beautiful thing.  We do injustice to the Scriptures when we pass over Romans 3:21-6 whimsically;

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 fallen 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. (ESV)

But do we take this grace for granted?  Erring on the side of grace is a good side to err on, but what repercussions does this have on our culture as the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus, the ambassadors of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation?    Continue reading

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The Power of Prayer?

[Originally published to taylorwsong.wordpress.com on 01.09.12]

Over the past week, I have spent much time reflecting on prayer.  This has been prompted by a number of interesting prayer “experiences” that have challenged me to critically evaluate both my beliefs on prayer and how I pray on a daily basis.

No doubt you have at one point or another heard the phrase “the power of prayer.”  Perhaps it was the preacher at the pulpit of your local congregation who used it; or maybe that one guy in your small group who always seems to know the right Christian cliché for every situation.  Whoever it was, the phrase is generally used in the context of an argument to this effect: If we pray more, we will get what we want/need more.  Now, disregarding the task of evaluating whether or not this theory is true, I want to address what such a mentality toward prayer does. Continue reading