First the cross, then the crown
The Christian faith is one of paradoxes, isn’t it? God has designed a set of opposite principles that at first seem to contradict and nullify each other. He says he is a God who condemns sin and forgives sin. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. He is a King who made himself a slave. We are saved by grace (inclusive—given freely to all) throughfaith (exclusive—only some believe).
Here’s another: we are simultaneously mortal and immortal. Our bodies grow older and frailer each day, and yet we will spend eternity in these very bodies. Death is simultaneously an enemy that stalks us every day but also the blessed gateway through which we inherit the kingdom prepared for us ever since the world was begun.
The aged apostle John, by now in his 90s, shared his confidence with the Christians of the church in Smyrna: “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). It is our honor and destiny to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. First the hardships, then the joy. First the war, then the peace. First the cross, then the crown.
You will receive a personal heavenly welcome from the royal Monarch who still has nail marks in his hands.
Scripture is clear that the Holy Spirit is coequal with God the Father and God the Son. But all too often, Christians fail to give him an equal place in their lives.
We want to help you make the Holy Spirit a daily part of your life—so you can experience more of his awesome, life-giving power—by sending you Pastor Mike Novotny’s book, The Neglected Spirit: Understanding and Adoring the Holy Spirit.
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