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Andries Tatane Good Friday Jesus' death

No ordinary death

Andries Tatane’s death and the death of Jesus of Nazareth bear some remarkable similarities and differences.

Both men were 33 years old, guilty of no crime, yet treated with contempt, beaten, and killed by the authorities of the day. Both men’s death was terrible and tragic. Both men’s death also achieved results for their people.

Jesus’ death, however, was voluntary. Andries’ death was involuntary. Andries Tatane did not wake up planning and knowing he would die. On the other hand, from the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus said that he must die and give his life as a ransom for many.

Jesus death was also vicarious. Jesus unambiguously said that he must die for others. He said that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Jesus suffered, was abandoned, and died to take upon himself the full wrath of God for the sin of God’s people. Jesus died not for his own sin, but that of others.

Jesus death was also infinitely valuable. Andries Tatane’s death may have some short term service delivery benefits for his community. Jesus’ death however has infinite benefits for people of every generation, every nation, every culture and every age. Through trust in Jesus as Lord and God your eternal salvation is secured, you are adopted in God’s very own family, and your sins are completely, utterly forgiven.

The violence of Andries Tatane’s death has rightly angered the people of South Africa. Let us remember another violent death. And be angered at our sin. And then be driven to the cross, where God’s anger was poured out on Jesus so that we may experience his love.

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Adultery

How not to commit adultery

Every week there seems to be another report of a pastor falling into sexual sin and disqualifying himself from the ministry.  Adultery is more and more the norm and even celebrated by some.  The book of Proverbs gives us some really practical advice on how to keep our marriage beds (and future marriage beds) pure.

1. Remember that God is all-seeing and all-knowing

Whatever you were doing a hour ago, God saw and heard and knew. Proverbs 5:21 says, in the context of temptation to adultery, “For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths”. God is like Norton’s Internet Protector on steroids and that’s a good thing! Its good to know that God know all we say and do and think.  God sees where we go on the internet and what pics we download on our phone. God listens to our phone calls. God reads our SMSes and Facebook statuses.

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Calvinism

Perseverance of the saints

Can a Christian loose their salvation? The Bible says no.

The last point of Calvinism is: The perseverance of the saints. Perhaps a better summary would be: God’s preservation of the saints or God’s persevering with the saints. (BTW “Saints” is the word the New Testament uses for regular Christians.)

The Westminster Confession of Faith has a great definition of this doctrine. It says, “They whom God has accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”