Posts by Joe Holland


In matters of controversy we appeal to a higher authority. That higher authority provides judgment or certainty that is incontrovertible.


The Bible isn’t for the mystic or the is for the spiritually mature. In fact, you won’t find spiritual maturity without it. To know God and self--to know how one is to be saved and how the saved are to live--are topics that cannot be parsed any other way than opening the pages of the Bible in fellowship with a local church and doing the hard work of study.


There is so much that doesn’t rise to the level of any adjective (much less any superlatives). I’ve never met someone who said, “Brushing my teeth this morning was fantastic!” But everyday life is always punctuated by declarations of the ultimate. Brushing our teeth may be boring but a candle lit date with a spouse is amazing. The sunset is stunning. And sometimes, a new frisbee game can be considered “ultimate.” Humans can’t help placing great and ultimate value on people, objects, and events that pass through their lives.


The focused worship of Jesus, our second Adam, is the antidote to creeping legalism. As we are more captivated by Him, we are less the captive by our own self-righteousness. With every again of self-righteousness we have the great joy of returning again to Christ. 



Because crisis is common to the human condition so is the cry for deliverance. A hand on a hot stove recoils just as a human facing danger cries out for help. It is primordial and ubiquitous. There is nothing uniquely "Christian" about the desire for deliverence and safety. It is a human request.

But there is a distinctive Christian cry for salvation that strikes us as odd the first time we are exposed to it. You pick up on this oddity when you read Psalm 6, where David says,

Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise (Psalm 6:4-5)?

The Psalmist lays bare the ground of his desire for salvation. We would expect it to be something like "save me for...self-preservation," "...self-pity," "...self-need," or any other “self” prefixed reasons. But instead he declared, “Save me God for Your sake.”