Showing posts with the label Discipleship


Our natural tendency is to avoid conflict. Understandably, we prefer our daily lives to be characterized by peace, acceptance, and prosperity, a life devoid of difficulties and afflictions. Moreover, the New Testament does promise believers peace now and everlasting life later. Nevertheless, it also exhorts the Assembly of God to expect afflictions and even persecution in this life on account of its light and testimony in a sin-darkened world.

The Day of Visitation

In his first letter, Peter addresses congregations under pressure to conform to the expectations and values of the surrounding society. Their situation is not unique. They are members of a worldwide suffering community. A key theme of the Letter is the necessity for believers to persevere in tribulations and remain steadfast in holy living until the “ Day of Visitation ” when Jesus will be “ revealed ” from Heaven.

The Suffering Servant

Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the role of the ‘ Suffering Servant ’ described in the  Book of Isaiah . Unlike Adam, he did not attempt to grasp the “ likeness of God .” Instead, he humbled himself and submitted to a shameful death on the Roman cross. For this reason, God highly exalted him and made him “ Lord ” over all things. His exaltation did not precede his death – His enthronement followed it, and he died utterly alone.

The Neronian Problem

The Bible claims that God gives political power to whomever He pleases, “ even to the basest of men .” He “ removes kings and installs kings ” to accomplish His purposes, including rulers of whom many church leaders and members may disapprove. Disciples of Jesus who assume that certain politicians should hold governmental power presume on God’s patience and prerogative, and this is especially problematic in Western-style democratic societies.