Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

Walking to Death: Isaac and Jesus

How beautifully and intricately the Old Testament prefigures Christ. Today I read the following words concerning Abraham and Isaac walking to the mountain where Isaac was to be slain. Some, not all, believe this to be the same mount where the Temple was later to be built and close to the very place where Jesus was later crucified. “Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the…

If We Are Faithless

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself,” meaning, “He is faithful to judge you.” (2 Tim 2: 11-13; also see Rom 3:3-8 which clarifies further). This passage is often misunderstood. He is faithful or true to His character and His word to judge unbelief. This passage does not promise comfort for unbelief. He might deny you, but He won’t deny Himself, or His character. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” This is…

The Surpassing Worth of KNOWING Christ

Most do not understand the implications and ramifications of KNOWING Christ. It has a comparative value. Notice what one like Paul will forfeit to know Christ. I’m quoting only part of the long sentence, but it conveys what I want you to see: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered…

What About Your Relatives?

For many of us, the Christmas/New Year season is a time not only to think about Jesus’ incarnation but also to enjoy our relatives and friends. Perhaps we see them only at this time of the year. Some time ago I wrote this short article to guide us about speaking the gospel to those relatives we love. Take a few moments to ponder these ideas: What About Your Relatives? In the New Testament, we find new believers confronting their own…

The Guarantee of Holiness

“Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins and art born of God,” said puritan William Gurnall, “unless thou canst prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy.” There is no such thing as an unholy Christian (at least in any ongoing sense.) Can Christians commit any sort of sin? Yes. Can Christians repeatedly commit sin? Yes. Can Christians commit the worst of sins? Yes. But it is inconceivable that a person could be a Christian without holiness…

The Old Ways

The old ways. Do we want them? Some of you are older (though I’m glad that hasn’t happened to me). And all of you are older this year than you were last. Was it better before? Do we have the right perspective about the way it used to be? There is something charming about what things were like before smartphones and social media and so much public anger…..the pace of life, the emphasis on relationships, the steadiness of it all. …

Disinterestedness

Disinterestedness. This compelling word is not about what you might expect. We have all seen (and been) the disinterested student, expressionless, gazing into some unknown blank space outside the classroom, waiting out the final eternal moments of the professor’s pedantic, sleep-inducing hum. That describes a use of the word, but not our use. What we wish to say with this word is immensely desirable; it was once employed to describe the best of conditions of the believer. The following intriguing…

The Love of Beauty

I know beauty when I see it. I am now out-of-doors in the morning on a spring day, drinking coffee with the right kind of cup, a light breeze flowing over my shoulder, the prospect of a useful day (which is the best day for me) and a sense of God’s hand planning all events. It is the convergence of likable things made even more desirable by all the days not so perfect. I have had other days, strung tight…

The Unrepenting Repenter

The believer in Christ is a lifelong repenter.  He begins with repentance and continues in repentance. (Rom. 8:12-13) David sinned giant sins but fell without a stone at the mere finger of the prophet because he was a repenter at heart (2 Sam. 12:7-13). Peter denied Christ three times but suffered three times the remorse until he repented with bitter tears (Mt. 26:75). Every Christian is called a repenter, but he must be a repenting repenter. The Bible assumes the…

Witness of the Spirit

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . .” Romans 8:16 This “witness” which leads to assurance that we are in God’s family is not a direct or immediate feeling or sense that we are God’s children—some inner confidence that may be entirely misplaced by being based on nothing but the notion itself. The believer will not say merely, “I know that I know that I know.” In fact, having confidence in…

She Better Be Careful

The person who runs from God and does not want to know him lest her motivations and deeds be revealed, had better do all she can to shield herself from any insidious notion that God has in fact displayed himself in nature and in a written revelation. She must tightly grasp evolution (or some other mechanistic theory) on the one hand, and “the-Bible-as-merely-human-words-written-by-well-meaning-people” in the other hand. If she lets loose of either, she is going down. She feels strongly…

An Amazing Promise NOT for You (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

10 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek Me and…