Category Archives: Christology

What is the Goal of the Human Life? The Answer May Surprise You

One might think the goal of the human life is to die and go to heaven. To go and get our eternal reward!

The goal of the human life is not to die and go to heaven. The goal of the human life is to be like Jesus. One cannot be like Jesus without the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was part of Jesus’ conception (Lk 1:35). The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ miracles and ministry (Lk 4:18-19 & Acts 10:38). Jesus couldn’t have had the ministry he had without the power of the Spirit. Jesus would not have existed as a human being without the Holy Spirit.

It is by the Holy Spirit that we become “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17 and, by the way in the end Christ will make all things new – Rev 21:5) and a temple of God by the Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20) it is the indwelling Spirit who empowers God’s people today. Not only that, the Spirit transforms us to be more and more like Jesus.

What does heaven have to do with this? A lot but not everything.

Instead of getting fixated on heaven we need to get fixated on here and now first. God is working to make us like Jesus through the transformative work of the Holy Spirit NOW.

It is in eternity, after we are dead and one day raised and with Christ and after God has redeemed ALL things (new heavens AND new earth really mean that), that we fully embody the life and person of Jesus in our own lives. It is then we are fully formed into his mind (Rom 12:1-2), his likeness , with his attitude (Phil 2:5), and in his image (2 Cor 3:18 – notice the end of that verse, that our transformation in Christ’s image is the work of the Holy Spirit).

Here and now we are growing into these things. Then and there we will be ALL who God made us to be, which is who Jesus showed us we can and will be through his life and the work of the Spirit.

The goal of the human life is to become like Christ. We are in process now…it is how the Spirit is forming us now…and one day that work will be complete!

It is nice to think about heaven. It is hopeful. It is a wonder to consider the redemption of creation per Romans 8 and Revelation 21:1. God is going to make all things complete and that includes us. The mistake some make is thinking that heaven is where the work BEGINS when heaven (new heavens and new earth) is where the work CONCLUDES!

So have hope. God has already started working on you and we know that what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6 is right, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”

4 Words that Connect Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 1 and Ephesians

Dueteronomy 6:4-9 is one of the most popular passages in the entire Old Testament. Those verses serve as instruction about intentionally passing on faith to the next generation before the Hebrews enter the promised land. There are four words in Deuteronomy 6 that are later echoed in Psalm 1 and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians…IContinue Reading

Jay Guin’s Article on the Future of Progressive Churches of Christ

Thought provoking article and comments on Jay Guin’s recent article the Future of Progressive Churches of Christ. I believe part of the way forward is in us being in tune with how the timeless Gospel intersects the present times. Said another way, how are the eternal truths of the Gospel actually applied and lived outContinue Reading

Missional Renewal and Congregational Change Part 1: The Gospel is Born At The Margins

While Wineskins is undergoing some maintenance, some of the recent articles are not currently accessible. I am posting this article by Fred Liggin here so people can access it until the Wineskins re-design is complete. Thanks to Fred for contributing this! In my Gospel and Cultures class while at Rochester College, Mark Love often remindedContinue Reading

Finally Read Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

I finally got around to reading Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright on the trip to Bakersfield this weekend. The book could have been called “Surprised by What the Bible Actually Says About Heaven and Resurrection and What That Has to do with the MissionContinue Reading

Easter, Bodily Resurrection and the Immortality of the Soul

One really common belief across religions is that existing comes with an inalienable right to continue to exist in perpetuity (forever). That is called the immortality of the soul. That view didn’t come from Judaism or Christianity but from the Greeks. Socrates and Plato both influenced this idea and it has had a heavy influence inContinue Reading

Frank Viola’s Kind Words Toward the Church of Christ And Restoration Movement Heritage

Frank Viola recently spoke at the NCY Ministers Conference. All of you guys from a Church of Christ/Restoration Movement background should hear his presentation, especially the introduction. I appreciate his kind words regarding the contribution churches of Christ have made to Christianity (first 10 minutes or so of the talk). I also appreciate Frank’s willingnessContinue Reading

Two Questions that Are Essential For Discipleship

Last year we created an evangelistic study of Mark called Jesus 101. The study is designed to be used with seekers so that they can discover who Jesus is by studying Mark. Mark is the perfect book for that because it is a little bit of a mystery until chapter 8. At that point inContinue Reading

A Few Things I Don’t Get About Calvinists

Be forewarned, the following post contains broad generalizations based on what could be an unrepresentative sampling of Calvinist authors. I have been reading from various Calvinist authors recently and one of the things I have noticed time and time again is that they don’t talk about “Christianity.” They talk about “Calvinism”. Where most of usContinue Reading

Why Mormonism is Not Christianity – Ben Witherington

Have a read – Why Mormonism is Not Christianity It is a really good read but if you don’t have the time the thumbnail sketch. It all boils down to trinity of “ologies”: theology, Christology, and soteriology. According to Dr. Witherington, the differences are significant enough to question whether we would consider them Christians asContinue Reading


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