Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On the Importance of the Incarnation

In just a few weeks I will return to S. Asia for my first trip since moving back to the US. The purpose of this trip is to give a foundation of biblical counseling and to leave the two groups of pastors that we are working with the basic skills to do counseling from a biblical perspective. I am very excited about this trip and the pastor that I am traveling with is a beast of a counselor, definitely take time to check out his resources.

One of the sessions that I am leading is on the importance of the incarnation in the ministry of Jesus. For this session I will heavily rely on Hebrews 4:15-16: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Aside from the Bible one of my main resources in preparing is the book How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. Of the above passage from Hebrews Lane and Tripp bring out six things:

1.     God is not surprised by my struggle. He already sees the whole problem. It is precisely why he sent Christ to earth.
2.     The Bible is for people just like you and me. When the writer says that Christ was tempted “in every way, just as we are.” He is reminding me that the Bible speaks to ordinary people with all the familiar struggles of faith and character.
3.     Christ enters into my struggle. He has been there. He faced the full range of temptations that I do.
4.     Christ will help. I can be confident that I am not alone in my struggles. Jesus gives grace and mercy appropriately to my need just when I need it.
5.     Christ pleads my case to the Father. In all my struggles I have an advocate. He pleads to the Father on my behalf until I have been fully delivered from every temptation.

6.     I can come to God with confidence. I do not need to clean myself up or minimize my struggles. I can come as I am and receive what I need. In my times of struggle, I do not have to run from the Lord, I can run to him to receive what he alone can give.

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