Posts By Jonathan Salmen

10 Oct 2012 JonathanSalmen

The Burden-Bearing Church

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“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6.2

Have you ever had one of those days where the world seems to be falling down on you? Or a day where you just don’t feel right? Let’s face it: we all have had those days. The problems of life just get to us. Feeling this way makes life a burden, like we have something on our chest and can’t get rid of it.

Regent University - Bible pageBut then Jesus comes along, telling the Pharisees that all their mud pie and lawn chair laws are stupid. These laws don’t glorify God; they only give people more burdens to worry about. Jesus tells the people that they can have rest in Him and that His “yoke is easy, and his burden is light.”We’re not alone in feeling this way. In fact, many Jews during the time of Jesus felt exactly this way. Matthew 23:4 says, “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders.” Matthew is referring to the Pharisees here. The Pharisees with all their “extra laws” were making it a burden for the people to live. Imagine being accused of sinning for picking up your lawn chair or making a mud pie on a Sunday morning. This is essentially what was happening to these burden-laden Jews.

 As the Church, we are to continue Jesus’s burden-bearing mission with the power of his Spirit living inside us. If you see a fellow brother or sister struggling with a burden, bear it with them. Pray for them, talk with them, and walk alongside them. Jesus took the biggest burden of all, sin, but until He returns we are to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

17 Jun 2012 JonathanSalmen

Becoming God’s Artwork on Earth

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Regent University Chapel Student

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 1.10

One of the great things about attending Regent University is that it equips us to do good works as part of the church. When we hear the words “good works,” our Protestant ears have been trained to cringe at the thought of any way attributing “works” to our salvation. This is not all bad, as Paul affirms in Ephesians 1, right before verse 10, the great truth that it is grace in which we are saved and not works. However Paul has something different in mind when he says we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” The good works of course will include moral behavior, but in this passage, Paul is more concerned with the church being a light in and for the world. Good works is read in Greek as poiem, which is God’s artwork, His “poem.” The church is to shine as each individual member uses his or her gifts to light up the world. Whether it is art, dancing, preaching, singing, business, politics or something else, we are to be His poem in the world. We are to bring Jesus’s prayer of “on earth as it is in heaven” to a reality by showing that His resurrection has called all the church to live as a new creation. Regent is not just giving us head knowledge – they are training us to be God’s artwork on earth as it is in heaven.