Archive for the ‘Good Friday’ Category

The Message of the Cross

April 14, 2017

Last evening, my husband and I decided to watch a movie by Martin Scorsese entitled, “Silence.”  It is very long (almost 3 hours) so we didn’t finish watching it.  Perhaps we will finish it tonight.

My first impression was that although this was a movie about Catholic Christian missionaries in 17th century Japan (where Christianity was outlawed and Christians hunted, rounded up, tortured, and then killed in several awful ways), there was something about it that lacked much redeeming value and in fact, proved to be deeply disturbing.  My husband and I hoped that the last portion of the movie would provide more redeeming value, but my sneak preview of the end of the movie proved to be a disappointment.

The following movie review (spoiler alert!) over at The Christian Post asks the question Why Are Christians Praising Scorsese’s ‘Silence’?

Excerpt:

Certainly the notion that Christ would condone apostasy to end someone else’s suffering is deeply problematic.

Jesus left very clear instructions about renouncing Him, saying: “(W)hoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 10:33)

As believers, we know this verse, so the moral Catch-22 in Silence creates a great deal of inner emotional turmoil. We cannot accept the decision Rodrigues made, yet how can we not? This is what makes Silence so potentially treacherous.

Catholic author and editor of Aletia, Daniel McInerny, suggests that Silence raises “the sinister possibility that Christian faith and love are internally conflicted, making a lack of integrity, at least in extreme circumstances, inevitable.”

I agree with McInerny. The movie actually reminded me of a quiz my son was given by a public school teacher, which presented numerous no-win moral dilemmas and then required him to choose. The only purpose I could imagine for the quiz was to undermine a Judeo-Christian ethic, especially since it was given as part of a unit on the Salem Witch Trials.

Silence has this same disastrous potential. It raises a serious theological dilemma, but offers no solution — at least not a biblically viable one.

Read entire review HERE.

I can’t be sure, of course, what went on in the mind of writer of the book that Scorsese adapted into this film. However, my own knowledge of the differences between Roman Catholicism vs. Biblical Christianity give me a hint. Catholicism’s traditions include the concept of “Purgatory,” which is not a biblical belief.  Perhaps this answers the question of the Post writer who asked:

Silence also suggests that one can maintain his faith in complete private, and still be saved. Again, I say suggest because the film doesn’t settle issues; it merely raises them. But what is the viewer supposed to conclude about Rodrigues [Note:  one of the Jesuit priests who denounced his faith later in the movie] clutching a cross at the end?

As we solemnly remember Good Friday, we are reminded that Jesus laid down his life for his friends willingly.  He could have called legions of angels to “rescue” Him from the cross.  If He did that, He would have re-entered heaven alone.   Instead He stayed there to rescue all who would believe in Him from the penalty of their sins.  His sacrificial death was accomplished to defeat eternal death and hell for all human beings who would place their trust in Jesus Christ.

In a comment thread on one of my previous posts, I made the claim that Jesus Christ has fulfilled over 300 Bible prophecies.  There are several yet to be fulfilled at His second coming.  I found a site that lists 353 prophecies fulfilled by Christ!

According to the Scriptures: 353 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Even with all of this evidence, hardened hearts will still refuse to believe in Jesus!  Amazing…isn’t it?

Why is that?

 1Co 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Even with proof of fulfilled prophecies by Christ, there are those who will continue to refuse the message of the cross.  So, what exactly is missing in those who refuse being saved by the power of God?

No wonder the Holy Spirit guided Paul to write in Hebrews 11:6 the answer to that question.

Heb 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Deep Sorrow Turns to Exuberant Joy – He Is Risen!

April 4, 2015

Mar 16:1

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

Mar 16:2

Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Mar 16:3

And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”

Mar 16:4

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.

Mar 16:5

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

Mar 16:6

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

Mar 16:7

“But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

The exuberant joy part of the story!

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Previously written on this post:

Last evening, I attended the Good Friday service at Life Mission Church.  This is a newer, growing church that our son found through a Christian friend who is also in his growth group.  After the two services that I have attended so far,  I can see why attendees are so highly blessed!

Pastor Jobey interspersed Old Testament prophecy passages from the book of Isaiah, Psalms, and Zechariah and shared how they were fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament.

He described the events (and showed clips of the Passion of the Christ on the screen) leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Such prophecies were written approximately 450 years before the birth of Jesus!

In addition, the live worship band was terrific!  The songs were a great mix of deeply devotional lyrics combined with an almost “rock band” style of music.  I can see why younger people like the services.  However, the attendees were a mix of all generations.

I must admit, this was the best Good Friday service that I have ever experienced!  Congregants were encouraged to come forward near the end of the service and partake of not only the communion elements, but to take a bit of bitter herbs and dip them into the salt water – representing our sins that Jesus suffered and died for which are cleansed by His atonement on the cross that was accepted by God the Father for the remission of sin.  We then took a piece of bread, representing Jesus’ body which was given up for us, and dipped it into the wine which represents the blood He shed for the remission of sins.  Lastly, we had the opportunity to dip our finger into a dish of myrrh as anointing oil.

Biblical Archaeology.org describes the significance of what (and why) the Magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the child Jesus.

Excerpt:

Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars and theologians have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil.

[…] In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming—an interpretation made popular in the well-known Christmas carol “We Three Kings.”

The myrrh had a sweet fragrance that lasted many hours on my hand.

Finally, the deep sorrow we feel for the pain, suffering, and ultimate death that Jesus endured for us on the cross, turns to exuberant joy because although It’s Friday, Sunday is coming!

If video does not play here, go to:

You Tube: It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming

Hat tip: Biblical Archaeology.org and all links and graphics.

Good Friday: Life Conquers Death

April 3, 2015

April 03, 2015 – Friday

Life Conquers Death

By FRC Senior Fellow Bob MorrisonThere is a tomb. Mary Magdalene approaches it. The others feared to go there. It is a place of death and it could mean death to be known as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, had ordered a heavy stone to be placed at the entrance to the tomb. Let the dead bury the dead.But the stone that sealed the tomb has been removed. She looks inside and is stunned to find the tomb is empty. Then she runs to tell Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved what she has seen. Or has not seen.

She runs. If she were filled with fear, would she run? By running, she will surely attract attention to herself. People will see. Someone may report her.

She is unafraid. She has news to share. Important news.

Mary thus becomes the first person in the world to be a witness to the fact that death has not overcome Jesus. He has overcome death.

In Mary Magdalene, we have a witness to the Risen Lord. No small part of the dignity that Christians have from that moment accorded to women comes from her breathless testimony. Jesus does not appear first to the disciples. He appears instead to faithful Mary.

Just three days earlier, on that fateful, fatal Friday, Jesus was stripped of his robes. The mob mocked him and spat upon him. They placed a crown of thorns on his head. Some king, this Jesus! Is this your King of the Jews?

Hauled before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, Jesus fears not. Pilate is afraid. The mob that is screaming for Jesus’ blood may turn against Pilate. The leaders of the mob threaten Pilate. “Remember Caesar,” they tell him.

Pilate understands their threat; if he does not give them what they want, and if things get out of hand in Roman Palestine, it is he, Pilate, who will be blamed. He may be the one who pays with his life. He has reason to fear.

He orders Jesus to be scourged.  So severe was flogging in those times that many a victim died under the lash.

But not this Jesus. He survived to stagger His way to the place of the skull, called Golgotha. Today the road is known as the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Suffering.

There is a great outcry today for an easeful death. Lawmakers and advocates are promising to help us go gentle into that good night. They will give us death with dignity.

There could have been nothing of dignity in death on a cross. It was meant to be torture and humiliation. It was made terrible to instill fear.

That is why the Roman roads were lined with crosses, and with dying men nailed on those crosses. Oderint dum metuant was the Romans’ byword: Let them hate, so long as they fear.

Jesus was not afraid of them. He stood unflinching before Pontius Pilate. When Pilate reminds Jesus he holds the power of life and death, Jesus answers with the dignity of a King. “You would have no power over me unless it were given to you from above.” Even at the moment of His great peril, Jesus acknowledges first His Father in Heaven.

Warily, Pilate yields to the mob and orders the innocent One to be crucified. He writes on a placard that will be displayed on Jesus’ cross:

Jesus of Nazareth
King of the Jews

Not satisfied with Jesus’ blood, the leaders of the crowd demand that Pilate change what he has written. “NO! Write this man said he was King of the Jews.”

Wearily, Pilate waves them away. “What I have written, I have written.”

We have had in our own day much experience of governors fearing. Too often, they listen to the howling mobs. Too often, they remember Caesar and forget God.

At home we are supposed to fear losing jobs, advancement, retirement, investments. Abroad, we are taught to fear our airplane being hijacked and flown into a building, or maybe even a mountain.

Fear dominates the headlines; it must not dominate our heads. We are supposed to fear losing those, too. Those twenty-one Coptic Christians lost their heads but they did not lose their souls.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul,” Jesus said: “Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Powers and principalities may menace us. But the eternal message of Easter is of life prevailing over death. His perfect love casts out fear. He who conquered death promised us an abundant life. Let’s live it.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Hat Tip: Family Research Council

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How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…

How the Passover/Seder Reveals Jesus Christ

April 3, 2015

While the Christian Holy Week and Passover usually fall near each other, it is not often that Good Friday and the first night of the eight-day Jewish festival are celebrated on the same day. The rare convergence of the observances is a reminder of the historical links between the two religious holidays.

Jesus’ Last Supper is traditionally thought to have been a Passover Seder, highlighting the historical links between the Jewish holiday and the Christian Good Friday observance.

I found the following essay online this morning.  Once again, we see evidence of the eternal connection of Judeo-Christian beliefs that are outlined in the Bible.

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How the Passover / Seder Reveals Jesus Christ

The festival of the Passover has been celebrated by Jews for thousands of years. It is the retelling of the great story of how God redeemed the Jewish nation from enslavement in Egypt.1 The celebration itself was given to the Jews while they were still in Egypt.2 The original celebration centered around the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the Lord passed over the houses of the Jews during the last plague poured out on the Egyptians – the killing of every firstborn.3 To a large degree, the Passover lamb has been eliminated from the Passover festival (with the only remnant being the roasted lamb shank bone).4 The New Testament says that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb.5 The Passover lamb was to be a “male without defect,”6 which is the same description given to Jesus.7 In addition, when the lamb was roasted and eaten, none of its bones were to be broken.8 This fact was also prophesized for the Messiah, whose bones were not to be broken.9 It was customary during crucifixion to break the leg bones of the person after a few hours in order to hasten their death. The only way a person could breathe when hanging on a cross was to push up with his legs, which was very exhausting. By breaking the legs, death followed soon by asphyxiation. However, in the case of Jesus, they broke the legs of the other two men, but did not break His, since He was already dead.10

Much of the symbolism of Jesus’ last Passover week is lost to us because we are unaware of the customs of the time. For example, Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem five days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel. Five days before the lamb was to be sacrificed, it was chosen. Therefore, Jesus entered Jerusalem on lamb selection day as the lamb of God.11 The people did not understand the significance of this, since they greeted Him with palm branches12 and hailed Him as King,13 shouting “Hosanna,”14 which means “save us.” However, they were not looking for a spiritual Savior, but a political savior. Palm branches were a symbol of freedom and defiance, since Simon Maccabeus had entered Jerusalem with that symbolism.15 Jesus’ reaction was to weep,16 since He realized that they did not understand the Messiah’s purpose in coming.

Good Friday was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest would blow the shophar (ram’s horn) at 3:00 p.m. – the moment the lamb was sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins on behalf of the people of Israel. On Good Friday at 3:00,17 when Jesus was being crucified, He said, “It is finished”18 – at the moment that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and the shophar was blown from the Temple. The sacrifice of the lamb of God was fulfilled at the hour that the symbolic animal sacrifice usually took place. At the same time, the veil of the Temple (a three-inch thick, several story high cloth that demarked the Holy of Holies19) tore from top to bottom20 – representing a removal of the separation between God and man. Fifty days later, on the anniversary of the giving of the law (Pentecost), God left the earthly temple to inhabit those who call on the name of Jesus through His Holy Spirit.21

The festival of unleavened bread began Friday evening (at sunset). As part of the festival, the Jews would take some of the grain – the “first fruits” of their harvest – to the Temple to offer as a sacrifice. In so doing, they were offering God all they had and trusting Him to provide the rest of the harvest. It was at this point that Jesus was buried – planted in the ground – as He said right before His death.22 Paul refers to Jesus as the first fruits of those raised from the dead in 1 Corinthians.23 As such, Jesus represents the fulfillment of God’s promise to provide the rest of the harvest – resurrection of those who follow the Messiah.

 

Christian symbolism in the Passover occurs early in the Seder (the Passover dinner). Three matzahs are put together (representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The middle matzah is broken,24 wrapped in a white cloth, and hidden, representing the death and burial of Jesus.25 The matzah itself is designed to represent Jesus, since it is striped and pierced, which was prophesized by Isaiah, 26 David,27 and Zechariah.28 Following the Seder meal, the “buried” matzah is “resurrected,” which was foretold in the prophecies of David.29

It was during a Passover seder30 that Jesus proclaimed that the meal represented Himself and that He was instituting the New Covenant, which was foretold by Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.31 The celebration of this covenant has become the ordinance of communion in the Christian Church. At the end of the meal, Jesus took the unleavened bread, broke it, and said that it represented His body.32 Then He took the cup of wine, which would have been the third cup of the Seder – the cup of redemption. He said that it was the new covenant in His blood “poured out for you.”33 It is through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are declared clean before God, allowing those of us who choose to accept the pardon, to commune with Him – both now and forevermore through the eternal life He offers.

 

References

  1. The entire story can be read in the book of Exodus
  2. See Exodus chapter 12.
  3. Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:21-23)
  4. The Passover lamb was still sacrificed in the first century, as indicated in the New testament – Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. (Luke 22:7)
  5. Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)
    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
    When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)
    For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
    I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)
    “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death. (Revelation 12:11)
  6. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. (Exodus 12:5)
  7. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
  8. “It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. (Exodus 12:46)
  9. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. (Psalms 34:20)
  10. The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs;… For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” (John 19:32, 33, 36)
  11. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
  12. On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.” (John 12:12-13)
    And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road. (Matthew 21:8)
  13. saying, “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38)
    And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
  14. And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
    And those who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10)
  15. Simon Maccabeus entered the Akra at Jerusalem after its capture, �with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel� (1 Maccabees 13:51) (see also 2 Maccabees 10:7).
  16. And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, (Luke 19:41)
  17. And about the ninth hour [3:00 p.m.] Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”… And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (Matthew 27:46, 50) (see also Mark 15:34-37, Luke 23:44-46)
  18. When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)
  19. And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, (Hebrews 9:3)
  20. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, (Matthew 27:51)
    And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:38)
    the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. (Luke 23:45)
  21. Acts chapter 2.
  22. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:23-24)
  23. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)
  24. And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24)
  25. And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. (John 19:40)
  26. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
  27. For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalms 22:16)
  28. “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:10)
  29. For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay. (Psalms 16:10)
    O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. (Psalms 30:3)
    But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; for He will receive me. Selah. (Psalms 49:15)
    I shall not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD. (Psalms 118:17)
  30. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; (Luke 22:15)
  31. “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
    “And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
    “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, (Isaiah 42:6)
  32. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
  33. In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22:20)

 

Hat tip: Son Server.com

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How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


Stand Tall For Christ

1 Corinthians 16:13

Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

WINTERY KNIGHT

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Truth2Freedom's Blog

Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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