Posts by Nick Batzig

 

Many of us see the New Year as an opportunity to do better. We long for a fresh start. Often, this results in wishful or sentimental “New Year’s resolutions.” At the core of our being, we do not need New Year’sresolutions—we need a “New Year’s Theology;” we need a theology of new creation. We need to know that we have been made new creatures if we are to live in newness of life for Christ. More than anything else in this year ahead, we continually need to hear the voice of the One who cried out, “Behold, I make all things new.” May God grant us the grace to live as those who have been made new creatures and have had our calendars redeemed by the One who lived and died and rose again for us.

 

As we navigate through the pages of Scripture, we must be ever careful in our efforts to come to an understanding about the “less clear” portions of Scripture. We must gives ourselves to a prayerful consideration of the context. We must study the details of the Old Testament examples picked up in New Testament exposition. We must labor to understand the way that words are used. We must always try to find a resolution based on the more clear passages of Scripture.

 

God the Father does not love me because of Jesus. He has loved His elect from before the foundation of the world; therefore, He chose them in Christ. He demonstrated that love by sending His Son to die for them when they were ungodly, without strength, sinful and enemies (Romans 5:6-11).

 

Everyone is seeking satisfaction in created things or experiences--whether it is a person, a job, money, status, music, family, etc. We are all seeking satisfaction. The reality is that God has created us to find satisfaction in Himself alone--the fountain of living water. In order to cure us of our idolatrous pleasure seeking, God became Man and thirsted under the wrath of God that we deserve so that we might come to Him by faith and drink of the living waters than never run dry. Jesus is an infinite fountain of soul-satisfying grace. We must learn to come to Him--and to that fountain of living water--again and again. It is only as we do so that we will find an "object still more alluring" than that with which we are now seeking to satify ourselves.

 

Not long after I was converted, many would tell me how my life was a beautiful picture of what Jesus had spoken about in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31). It wasn't until years later that I came to understand that the parable of the prodigal son wasn't merely the parable of the prodigal son it was also the parable of the prodigal sons. Both sons in the story were spiritually far from the Father. One of them repented and came home to God. The other was inwardly rebellious--thinking that he deserved the blessings of the Father. He was in the home, but his heart was in the far country of self-righteousness. Still, more years passed before I came to understand that the parable is, in its truest and fullest sense, more profoundly rich in it's purpose--it is, in fact, the parable of the three sons.