Christian Life

The Seventh Commandment (3) Singleness (2)

The deep joy and satisfaction that is possible for us as human beings does not come from seeking joy and happiness directly but by seeking God and his kingdom. It is when our focus is not on ourselves, but outside of ourselves on enjoying our relationship with God and giving ourselves in his service that the result of that is the profound joy and happiness that we are designed to enjoy. This is why the Bible focuses on obedience rather than the idea of satisfying our desires with the things of this life.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Biblical Responses to Secular Beliefs (7) Expressive Individualism

Our happiness and greatest wellbeing come from living for God rather than living for ourselves. We were not designed to find our deepest happiness by focusing on ourselves. We are designed to find our deepest happiness in God. The Bible is actually very concerned with man’s happiness, but as a result of living for God rather than living for ourselves. The picture that the Bible paints of a life in the service of God is a wonderful picture of fulfillment and wellbeing and profound happiness. The Bible makes it clear that the deepest joy that we can know is joy in the Lord and in his service. Psalm 32:11 says “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Fifth Commandment (6) Honor to whom Honor is Due

We are to honor other people appropriately because we are all made in the image of God. That gives value to every human being and we are to acknowledge that value in the way that we think of one another and in the attitudes that we have towards one another and in the way that we treat one another. We are to show them respect as people who are valuable and significant because they are made in the image of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

A Wisdom Sampler

The overall insight is that words are very, very important. They can win us favor or they can consume us. So, we must be careful and thoughtful about our words. That means that we will use fewer of them and seek to have the words that we do use reflect biblical values and priorities. Our words should be used to glorify God and to be a blessing to other people.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Under-Valuing of Wisdom

The truth behind all of this is that how we live matters to God and not only the big things, but also how we deal with angry bosses or dull axes. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and one of the fruits of wisdom is that you sharpen your axe instead of hacking away with a dull axe. Sharpening your axe is pleasing to God. Acting like a fool is not even when it comes to cutting down trees.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Meaning of the Fourth Commandment (5) Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath

Jesus’ intention is wonderfully expressed in Mark’s version of this story, where Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” What a wonderful sentiment is expressed in those words! The Sabbath is a gift. It is intended to be a day of joy and rest focused on the worship of God. It was never intended to be a burden. The Pharisees had made it such, but Jesus condemned that approach and as the Lord of the Sabbath gave us his authoritative interpretation.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Strong and the Weak

Read: Romans 14

This chapter deals with a very specific way of treating one other with love within the Christian community. The different opinions that are under consideration are not equally valid. One is right, and the other is wrong. Paul uses the distinction between some who are strong and others who are weak in this chapter. The opinions of the strong in this chapter of objectively correct while the opinions of the weak are objectively incorrect. But at the same time the differences of opinion are not over things that are part of core-orthodoxy or core-morality.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Life in the Spirit, Future Glory and God’s Everlasting Love

Read: Romans 8

An unsaved person, who is ruled by his sinful nature, sets his mind on the things of the flesh. A saved person, because of the work of the Holy Spirit within him, sets his mind on the things of the Spirit. This is an important self-examination verse. Indeed, this is an important self-examination section because Paul is describing the difference between a person who is not saved – that is still in the flesh – and a person who is saved - who is being changed by the Holy Spirit.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Law and the Christian

Read: Romans 7

Our sinful nature is provoked to sin by the law because we are rebellious at heart. If we see a law, we want to trample it. But that is also the way that God brings us to see how sinful we are. Once we understand how the law provokes us to sin we come to see how profoundly sinful we are, and we realize that we are dead in sin and that we need to be made alive to God which of course is exactly what God does to us through our union with Christ when we believe.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

A Natural Question Profoundly Answered

Read: Romans 6

The good news is not only that we are forgiven and accepted as righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ. The good news is just as much that the power of sin over us is broken. A huge part of what is good about the good news is that we are set free from the power of sin in our lives when we believe in Jesus. The problem with sin is not just that it makes us liable to God’s punishment. The problem with sin is also that sin is destructive and dehumanizing and devastating. Sin takes away from our joy and our happiness and our quality of life in the deepest sense. And so, it is a huge part of the good news that believers are released from the slavery to sin and to Satan.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra