The Chris Creech

Some mostly coherent ramblings

Category: Living like Christ (page 1 of 3)

New Year’s Resolutions (Part 3): Pray More, Pray Better

For the past two weeks, I’ve written a couple of new year’s resolutions for Christians. First, I wrote about putting what the Bible says into practice. Then, I talked about making church a priority. Today’s subject is prayer. How can we pray differently in 2018? Let’s pray more and pray better. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions (Part 2): Prioritizing Church

Continuing in my current series of New Year’s Resolutions for Christians, I’d like to look at prioritizing church. If you missed last week’s resolution, you can check it out here! Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions (Part 1)

I hate New Year’s Resolutions. We put all this stock in the changing of a number, make a bunch of sweeping, life-altering declarations, and then we bail on them before February. But, as much as I hate the idea behind them, a new year does seem pretty special. It is, mentally, a little like a reset button. The important thing is not to forget that every moment of your life can be like a reset button. Broke your resolution? Get back at it. With that in mind, for the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at what I think would be the best resolutions for Christians (including myself) to make for 2018. Continue reading

Live Like Jesus

Some of you have been asking about my upcoming book “Live Like Jesus.” Specifically, I’ve had some questions about release date, topics, and format. I don’t have a release date yet, as I don’t want to rush final proofreading and editing, but I am hoping for January. As far as topics and format go, I really just wanted to put out a book that allowed people to use the Bible to live more like Christ. I wanted to take a hard look at 10 character traits that were displayed by Christ, how he displayed them, and how we can do the same. To really see what this book is about and why, you can take a sneak peek at the introduction below. Enjoy! Continue reading

Back to School

Over the last week, and in the coming week, I’ll see hundreds of “first-day-of-school” pictures. That’s awesome. I’ve been working with many of your kids for years, and it’s been exciting watching them grow along with you, not just emotionally, physically, and mentally, but spiritually. And that’s the most important aspect when they head back to school. You see, we don’t want them to have a “Sunday Gospel.” That’s a really convenient thing to have. That’s easy. That’s the idea that you can learn whatever you want on Sunday, and live however you want from Monday through Saturday. No. We want them to see a life-changing Gospel. The kind that pushes them to live more like Christ every day of the week. And that’s what makes back to school important. Here are three specific ways that we work with your kids every week to make sure they’re ready to live their lives for Christ seven days a week, and how you can build on that message. Continue reading

Out of Tune with God?

Last week at worship team practice, something sounded a little off during one of our songs. One of our worship team members looked around and grabbed his tuner. After checking his instrument, he knew someone was out of tune, and asked if it was me. Yup. I was just a little off, but that can make all the difference. When we are “out of tune” with God, it can be obvious to a “trained ear.” It can also be a hindrance to a group as a whole. What can we pull from this experience, and how can we tune up our spiritual life? Continue reading

Syria, Arkansas, and Death: How Should Christians Respond?

There will be no politics in this post. If you were looking for me to bash or support our sitting president or any other politicians, you’ve come to the wrong place. I will, however, be talking about God, Christ, and how to live out our faith in a broken world. If you’ve come for that, keep on reading. Continue reading

Grace and Church Attendance

Yesterday, I ran across an article on Facebook entitled “If You Don’t Go to Church, Can You Still Go to Heaven.” My initial thought was “duh, grace covered that and all sins on the cross,” but I figured I’d take a look and see what the guy had to say. Well, that was a bad idea. I read it yesterday, and I’m still upset this morning. I’m not mad at the pastor that wrote it, and I’m not mad at the many people that shared it. I’m mad at the cheapening of what Paul said in Ephesians 2:9. When we reduce Christ’s amazing sacrifice…the very idea of God becoming a man, living a perfect life, dying a horrible death on the cross, and miraculously raising again?All this for the sole purpose of recovering a relationship with humankind who, according to Romans 5:8, were still sinners. To say that we need something in addition to that grace of Christ, something that we can achieve on our own, is to cheapen, devalue, and spit all over the sacrifice of Christ. I apologize if this article sounds confrontational, angry, or mean-spirited. I don’t mean to be that way. However, I do believe that we should pick certain battles. I fight as rarely as possible (which is a big change from the me of 10 years ago), but I argue when I need to. And I believe that when a spiritual leader attacks the grace of God, that’s a fight worth having.

First, let me make a very important point. If you’re a Christian, YOU SHOULD BE IN CHURCH.  I’ll be the first person to say that being an active part of the body of Christ and the bride of Christ (the local church) is Biblical. The Bible tells us to do it. The local church has always been God’s “plan A” for reaching out to the lost people in our communities. I would even make the point that to be the strongest Christian possible, you need to be active in a local church. A healthy local church is a phenomenal opportunity for discipleship, correction, and fellowship. I’ve heard many people say in my life that they “don’t need the church to be a Christian.” Well, the whole point of my article is to point out that statement as true. However, those people either don’t grow as quickly in Christ as those in church, or they just get their “fire insurance” and move on. Neither of these are healthy. The church is an amazing institution, endorsed by God, blessed by Christ, and helped by the Holy Spirit. Many of my friends sacrificed a great deal to plant Genesis Church because we believe in the local church, and we believe in God using the local church to accomplish His mission.  That doesn’t mean that attendance is a requirement for salvation. Again, it’s impossible to put something that we can achieve ourselves on the same level as the grace that God gives, according to the Bible, “as a gift” (Ephesians 2:8). 

So, if we take the author’s points, where does it end? Is there a certain percentage of the time we must be in church? What if I’m there 89% of the time and God’s requirement is 90%? What if it’s 100%?  What other requirements can we put on salvation? Memorizing the whole Bible? Not picking anything up on a “day of rest?” There was a group of people in the Bible that thought the same thing that this author did. They were called the Pharisees, and they believed in the power of the law over the power of the blood of Christ.

Now, before I wrote this, I checked this church’s beliefs. I would be much less likely to write this if the church that this pastor serves believed in salvation through some other work. However, this is what their post under “salvation” says:

“The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation does not come as the result of something we have done but rather because of what God has done. It is a free gift that cannot be earned or deserved (Romans 6:23). We receive that “gift” by faith in the Lord JESUS CHRIST.”

Sounds like the church’s beliefs nailed the point I’m trying to make.

Finally, the author ends the article with this quote:

“Because, if you’re not going to church and you’re not an active, viable, faithful, participating, contributing, integral part of the church, you need to remember: the devil wants to keep you out of church…so he can keep you out of Heaven.”

This one perturbed me too. Again, he’s making the same point (that you can’t go to heaven without going to church), but he’s making it in a different way. To say that Satan has the power to keep me out of heaven is a ridiculous point. I’m a Christian. Are you really saying throughout this article that I may be able to lose my salvation because of a church attendance roster? And, in your final point, are you contending that Satan has the ability to pluck me from God’s saving hand? I don’t even know what to say about that…except that I do. Romans 8:39 says that NOTHING…no power in all of creation can separate us from the love of Christ. 

When the Bible Gets Uncomfortable

I’ll tell you what, the Bible is a tough book. Not just the length, or the more difficult books to get through, but the content. If you are reading the Bible and it feels too easy, you may be missing the “life change” part of it. Because when you allow the Bible to speak into your life about what needs to change, grow, conform, and reform, it gets downright uncomfortable. So what do we do when the Bible becomes uncomfortable? Continue reading

A New Year’s Resolution for Christians and Social Media

Social media is a pitfall for many Christians. It seems like social media is this nice bubble where the Bible just won’t affect people. So, I thought it might be nice if Christians, as one voice, made a formal “New Year’s Resolution” regarding social media use for 2016. So, here we go… Continue reading

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