Archive for the ‘grace, Jesus Christ, God, Bible’ Category

Why did Jesus speak in parables?

December 8, 2018

Parable of the Sower - Matthew 13 - Seed, Soil, wayside, stony ...HT graphic:  gbcdecatur.org

That’s a question that Ligonier.org – The teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul answers in a video presentation. There is also a transcript to read.

Excerpt:
He actually answers that question Himself, or gives one answer to it, when He tells the parable of the sower and the soils and His disciples don’t get it. They come to Him and say, “What was that all about?” and He explains it to them.

He says, “I’m giving these explanations to you because you’re my disciples. But one of the reasons I tell these parables is because when I tell the parables it actually makes clear whether people really grasp the meaning of the kingdom or not.” (See Matthew 13:11-17, Mark 4:10-12, or Luke 8:9-10.)

I don’t know if it’s said so often these days, but there was a time when people constantly said to ministers, “You should tell more stories like Jesus so that we can understand.” But Jesus didn’t tell these parables so much so that people would understand. They were really test cases of whether they understood the gospel that He preached in other words. When you think about it, that’s the case.

The Parable of the Sower is the gateway to all of the parables of Jesus.

Parable of the Sower | BibleOpia BlogThis explains why people can be at different levels of belief in their lifetimes.  It explains why people can “fall away” from faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bible is an honest book, telling us the truth about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, while also informing us about the sins, errors and failings of mankind.

Personally, I have gone through several “crises of faith” in my 64 years on this earth.  A person who once loved (the agape kind in Christ, no less!) my husband and I made a sudden and devastating decision to abandon us.  Why?  Over a simple argument that could have easily been resolved.  In addition, he also rejected any family members, friends, acquaintances that he perceived as “siding” with us.  This occurred over a year ago, but when it first happened I cried day and night for three months.  I thought, how could this person do such a drastic, painful and heartless thing? Where is the forgiveness?  Where is the reconciliation?   I asked and prayed, “God?  Where are you in this?”  Now, I realize that it is a situation that needs to be resolved in the life of this person.  We are just the “collateral damage,” so to speak.  If this person is supposed to be a true Christian, then why this rejection, even after apologizing and asking for forgiveness?

Apparently, a person can reject those that he used to love unconditionally; and be totally indifferent about it.

Last Christmas, the pastor mentioned to pray for those who are in estrangement situations.  Much weeping and sniffling could be heard from the congregation.  I never knew how prevalent the act of disowning family members was until I did some research on it.  Rejection hurts – terribly!  But with faith and love in Jesus Christ, we can overcome.  Why?  Because He has “overcome the world” through His death and resurrection to life!  In eternity, there will be no tears, pain, hate, indifference, warfare, sin, or rejection.  Why?  Because the imperfect world we live in now will be gone, and a new life of love, peace, joy and worship of God will replace all of those negative and painful things that we endure while on this earth!  That is why the lovely list (love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, goodness) in “the fruit of the Spirit” also contains the term longsuffering.

As Jesus told us in Scripture, there will be those who will reject Him – and the Gospel.  Then, why would we ever expect to never be rejected by people who have obviously been negatively convinced against us?  I really don’t know how this person can live with himself.  It’s very sad.  However, people make bad choices all the time and then need to live with possible regret and future consequences.

Moving on with this post.

One of the more popular posts here at this blog is entitled, The Importance of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares.

Within that post, we also read about the Parable of the Sower:

Jesus told us that there will be those who will reject the Gospel in the Parable of the Sower

Mat 13:18

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

Mat 13:19

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

Mat 13:20

“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

Mat 13:21

“yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Mat 13:22

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Mat 13:23

“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

As Christian evangelists, we are to “plant the seed” through spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does the rest! The verses in Matthew reveal the many ways that a person who hears the Gospel either “goes by the wayside,” or, “receives it with joy but only endures for while and then stumbles because of persecution,” or,  “allows the word to be choked out because of the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches.” All of these can cause a person to become unfruitful.

We may inquire further to discover what Jesus meant when he stated (in Matthew 13:23) “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it.”

David Guzik has a good commentary about that verse:

d. Good ground: As seed falling on good ground brings a good crop of grain (Matthew 13:8), so some respond rightly to the word and bear much fruit.

i. This soil represents those who receive the word, and it bears fruit in their soil – in differing proportions (some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty), though each has a generous harvest.

e. Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: We benefit from seeing bits of ourselves in all four soils.
– Like the wayside, sometimes we allow the word no room at all in our lives. – Like the stony places, we sometimes have flashes of enthusiasm in receiving the word that quickly burn out. – Like the soil among thorns, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are constantly threatening to choke out God’s word and our fruitfulness. – Like the good ground, the word bears fruit in our lives.

i. We notice that the difference in each category was with the soil itself. The same seed was cast by the same sower. You could not blame the differences in results on the sower or on the seed, but only on the soil. “O my dear hearers, you undergo a test today! Peradventure you will be judging the preacher, but a greater than the preacher will be judging you, for the Word itself shall judge you.” (Spurgeon)

 

Guzik goes on to reveal another aspect of this parable, and it has to do with “good soil” and ultimately asking ourselves, “what kind of soil am I?”

ii. The parable was also an encouragement to the disciples. Even though it might seem that few respond, God is in control and the harvest will certainly come. This was especially meaningful in light of the rising opposition to Jesus. “Not all will respond, but there will be some who do, and the harvest will be rich.” (France)

iii. “Who knoweth, O teacher, when thou labourest even among the infants, what the result of thy teaching may be? Good corn may grow in very small fields.” (Spurgeon)

iv. Even more than describing the mixed progress of the gospel message, the parable of the sower compels the listener to ask, “What kind of soil am I?”

The Ligonier essay continues:

Think about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). We all know what the answer is to the question “Which man went down justified?” but that’s only because we don’t really grasp the parable. Nobody listening to Jesus thought it would be the tax collector who went away from the temple justified.

I sometimes say to people, “Just think about these two men. You’re an evangelical Christian. Which of these two are you more like? Don’t you say to God, ‘I thank you that I’m not like other men’; ‘I thank you that you’ve helped me to discipline my life’; ‘I thank you that you’ve helped me to give away money rather than hoard money’? When you begin to think of those things, actually you sound more like the Pharisee.” And that’s very, very uncomfortable: to discover that, even though you trust in Christ, there’s a Pharisee deep down inside you.

Jesus tells these parables to probe inside us to see whether we really understand the gospel and whether the gospel is really beginning to transform our lives.

They’re not just stories. They’re weapons in spiritual warfare.

Hat tip: Ligonier.org

GTY Blog Post – The Injustice of Social Justice — by John MacArthur — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

September 8, 2018

The besetting sin of pragmatic, style-conscious evangelicals has always been that they shamelessly borrow fads and talking points from the unbelieving world. Today’s evangelicals evidently don’t believe the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God (1 Corinthians 3:19). Virtually any theory, ideology, or amusement that captures the fancy of secular pop culture will be […]

via GTY Blog Post – The Injustice of Social Justice — by John MacArthur — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

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Note from Christine:

In my previous post, the subject of “Social Justice is not the mission of the church” shared a “Dallas Statement on Social Justice” which is currently being debated amongst Christian bloggers and whether or not a church leader should sign such an agreement.

The link above has proven to be one of the best posts (if not THE best post!) on the topic!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Today, critical race theory, feminism, intersectional theory, LGBT advocacy, progressive immigration policies, animal rights, and other left-wing political causes are all actively vying for evangelical acceptance under the rubric of “social justice.”

Not every evangelical leader currently talking about social justice supports the full spectrum of radical causes, of course. Most (for the moment, at least) do not. But they are using the same rhetoric and rationale of victimhood and oppression that is relentlessly employed by secularists who are aggressively advocating for all kinds of deviant lifestyles and ideologies. Anyone who claims victim status can easily and effectually harness the emotional appeal of a plea for “social justice” both to gain support and to silence opposition.

That is the crux of the matter!  The support of “social justice” causes (no matter how deviant the lifestyles and ideologies) are being used to gain support for such deviancies; but most of all (IMHO) TO SILENCE THE OPPOSITION!

We currently see this happening in the political world with the anti- President Trump (derangement) syndrome being utilized by the far leftists who STILL – 2 years later – can’t get over Hillary Clinton losing the election of 2016.  Notice that despite an almost 98% of the media of mass deception promoting such extreme bias and spouting lies; a huge percentage of the American people are not buying their propaganda.

More importantly, the secular far leftists are trying to use their “social justice” mantra in order to squash biblical Christian beliefs online, in the media (both social and news), in schools, in colleges and universities etc. for the purpose of SILENCING THE OPPOSITION!  This is why I am covering this topic at great length, so that the uninformed do NOT get caught up in the “social justice” trap that is being perpetrated by the haters of God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, and his saved followers.

Excerpt:

Indeed, as social justice rhetoric has gained currency among evangelicals, just about every cause that is deemed politically correct in the secular world is steadily gaining momentum among evangelicals. It would be folly to pretend the social justice movement poses no threat whatsoever to evangelical conviction.

Evangelicals seldom explicitly define what they mean by “social justice”—possibly because if they gave an accurate definition of where that term came from and what it means in the secular academy, they might lose a lot of evangelical support. Countless critics have pointed out that the rhetoric of “social justice” is deeply rooted in Gramscian Marxism. For many decades, “social justice” has been employed as political shorthand by radical leftists as a way of calling for equal distribution of wealth, advantages, privileges, and benefits—up to and including pure Marxist socialism.

This is EXACTLY why the leaders of Bible-based churches have created and signed that declaration!  There is a needed dialogue now regarding the meaning of “social justice” and how it relates to true biblically-based Christian beliefs.

Excerpt:

Marxists, socialists, anarchists, and other radicals purposely use such arguments to foment resentment, class warfare, ethnic strife, tension between the genders, and other conflicts between various people groups, because in order to restructure society to fit their ideologies, they must first break down existing societal norms.

All of that is true, and the connection between Marxism and postmodern social justice rhetoric is surely a valid and important point. But it is even more vital that we as Christians employ the light of Scripture to scrutinize and evaluate the ideas currently being promoted in the name of social justice.

THAT’S the true goal of these radicals!  They are working to “break down existing societal norms.”

Look, I’m going to share two links to a blog that I have been reading for several months.  You will be shocked by what you read in them!  However, as Christian believers in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we are CALLED to discernment regarding such attempts at breaking down existing societal norms! These posts go way beyond what media would EVER share about these two particular topics!

Absolute Truth from the Word of God JESUS HAS EVERY ANSWER: At Last the TRUTH: A Pharmacist Tells About the Horrific Side Effects of Giving Hormones to People to Make Them Transgender.

St. Sebastian’s Angels: A Network of Gay Catholic Priests.

Excerpt from Truth 2 Freedom’s post:

No Justice but God’s Justice

The Bible has much to say about justice. In the English Standard Version of the Bible, the word is used more than 130 times. It is never preceded by an adjective, except in Ezekiel 18:8, which speaks of “true justice.” It is occasionally paired with possessive pronouns. God Himself speaks of “my justice” twice in Scripture. Twice in prayers addressed to God, we read the expression “your justice.”

The point? There are not different flavors of justice. There is only true justice, defined by God Himself and always in accord with His character.

PLEASE read the rest at Truth 2 Freedom’s Blog.

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Let Us Not Provoke One Another or Envy One Another

Christians are the last people who should ever become offended, resentful, envious, or unforgiving. Love “does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Corinthians 13:5). The mark of a Christian is turning the other cheek, loving our enemies, praying for those who mistreat us. Christ is the example whose steps we are to follow: “While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

Hatred, envy, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, hostility, divisiveness, bitterness, pride, selfishness, hard feelings, vindictiveness—and all similar attitudes of resentment—are the self-destructive works of the flesh. The beneficial fruit the Spirit produces are the exact opposite attitudes: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”  The NIV translates 1 Corinthians 13:5 this way: “[Love] keeps no record of wrongs.”

Such qualities, frankly, are in short supply in the rhetoric of those advocating for social justice.

Doing justice (i.e., biblical justice, not the secular substitute) together with loving mercy and walking humbly with God are all essential virtues. Those are the chief practical duties incumbent on every believer (Micah 6:8). Constantly complaining that we are victims of injustice while judging other people guilty of sins we cannot even see is antithetical to the Spirit of Christ.

As Christians, let’s cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, the qualities named in the Beatitudes, the virtues outlined in 2 Peter 1:5-7, and the characteristics of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13. Any notion of moral equity that omits or minimizes those righteous qualities has no right whatsoever to be called “justice.”
— Read on www.gty.org/library/blog/B180907

 

Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

September 21, 2017

Perhaps some readers here have heard of the latest “prophecy” claim being made regarding the Second Coming of Christ.  Some are  predicting it to happen on September 23, 2017.  Geoffrey Grider over at “Now The End Begins” blog explains quite well (via Scripture) why such a prediction is false and cannot possibly happen.

See: Now The End Begins: False Prophecy Alert Called ‘Great Sign’ That’s Happening on September 23rd is 100% Not True.

Excerpt:

In order for September 23rd to “usher in the Second Coming,” you would have to cram into the next five (now, two days) days the Rapture of the Church, the rise of Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast and all other events of the 3.5 years of the time of Jacob’s trouble, otherwise known as The Great Tribulation. Chances of all of that happening in the next 5 days (now, 2 days)? Absolutely zero.

I read on another website that a “Christian numerologist” joined the bandwagon making a similar “prediction.”

I can see why people are panicked due to all of the hurricanes happening in a row over the past few weeks which are causing much devastation.  We also have seen the earthquake that happened in Mexico.  However, Jesus told us that such events would only be the “birth pangs.”

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Reading the entire chapter of Romans 8 can help soothe our fears, especially the last two verses:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It really helps to read, study, and know what the Bible teaches in order to not get caught up in false assumptions, false rhetoric, false pride, or false prophecy given by those who may just be in it for attention or to sell their books.

Habbakuk 2 speaks about the proud being rebuked and informs us:

Hab 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Hab 2:4

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

David Guzik’s commentary of this portion of Scripture is really good!

Here are a few excerpts that spoke of the time of Habbukuk, but also see if you agree with me that this speaks towards our world today!

b. For the vision is yet for an appointed time: Habakkuk spoke to an age beyond his own. The Babylonian conquest would not be evident in his own day, but in the future.

2. (Hab 2:4-8) God knows how to deal with the proud.

a. Behold the proud: Habakkuk wondered why Babylon – a nation even more sinful than Judah – would be used to bring judgment to Judah. In answering the prophet, God first assures him that He sees the proud, and knows that his soul is not upright in him.

i. Pride is everywhere and takes all manner of shapes.

– Here is the rich man, proud of what he has

– There is the poor man, proud of his “honor” in having less

– Here is the talented man, proud of what he can do

– There is the man of few talents, proud of his hard work

– Here is the religious man, proud of his religion

– There is the unbeliever, proud of his unbelief

– Here is the establishment man, proud of his place in society

– There is the counter-cultural man, proud of his “outcast” status

– Here is the learned man, proud of his intelligence and learning

– Here is the simple man, proud of his simplicity

Now, think about those who are involved in identity/racial/grievance crowd politics.  Can you see that pride is one of the main culprits that is being used to divide our nation, our people, and our government?

ii. “If there is a sin that is universal, it is this. Where is it not to be found? Hunt among the highest and loftiest in the world, and you shall find it there; and then go and search amongst the poorest and the most miserable, and you shall find it there. There may be as much pride inside a beggar’s rags as in a prince’s robe; and a harlot may be as proud as a model of chastity. Pride is a strange creature; it never objects to its lodgings. It will live comfortably enough in a palace, and it will live equally at its ease in a hovel. Is there any man in whose heart pride does not lurk?” (Spurgeon)

Guzik goes even further:

iv. “Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

The list of those utilizing “pride” (above) demonstrates how and why so many of the evils of our time are being perpetrated by those who adhere to such tactics;  and how it negatively affects us all!  Not only is pride “always hateful to God,” it is also hateful to man.

Why! pride is even hateful to men. Men cannot bear a proud man; and hence it is that a proud man, who has any sense left, often sees that it is so, and he therefore tries to affect manners of modesty. He will seem to be humble, when he really is not, if he has the suspicion that all about him will dislike him if they know him to be proud. But God cannot bear pride; it is a part of his daily business to put down the proud.” (Spurgeon)

So…what is the antidote to pride which is hateful to God and man?

b. But the just shall live by his faith: In contrast to the proud, there are the just. The principle of their life is faith, instead of pride that looks to self. True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

That last sentence deserves to be repeated:

True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

i. This brief statement from the prophet Habakkuk is one of the most important, and most quoted Old Testament statements in the New Testament. Paul used it to show that the just live by faith, not by law. Being under the law isn’t the way to be found just before God, only living by faith is.

ii. If you are declared just -that is, approved – before God, you have done it by a relationship of faith. If your life is all about living under the law, then God does not find you approved.

iii. In Hebrew, the important part of the verse has only three words: “the justified man,” “by his faith,” and “will live.” Every word in Habakkuk 2:4 is important, and the Lord quotes it three times in the New Testament just to bring out the fullness of the meaning

Romans 1:17 is the commentary on the justified man – “The just shall live by faith”

Hebrews 10:38 is the commentary on faith – “The just shall live by faith

Galatians 3:11 is the commentary on the Christian life – “The just shall live by faith”

The just shall live by faith!

Whenever someone makes a dated prediction about the end of the world, it will do readers good to recall what Jesus Christ said to his disciples (and, to all of us!):

Mat 24:3

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Mat 24:4

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Mat 24:5

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Mat 24:6

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[fn] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I suggest reading Matthew 24 in its entirety! The words of Jesus Christ are faithful and true and can be trusted!

Blue Letter Bible: Matthew 24

Hat tip: Blue Letter Bible and David Guzik Study Guide on Habbukuk 2

The Mental Battlefield

June 24, 2017

I have been watching a series on Nat Geo entitled, “Genius.” It’s about Albert Einstein’s life and times. It was fascinating to see how he developed his theories; particularly the theory of relativity. Other scholars (especially his professors) seemed to enjoy continually trying to crush his intellectual endeavors.

Could be lots of reasons for this, but mostly, I think it was because he challenged the status quo in the scientific world and they didn’t want to change what they have believed for most of their lives. Even the Nobel prize people shunned Einstein’s work and theories at first, giving the award year after year to other scientists (some of whom created awful ways to kill people).

For me, however, it was more disappointing to find out that he was a philanderer, very nasty towards his first wife, and an absent father. In all of his “success,” he failed at two of the most important… being a faithful husband and good dad.

It was interesting to hear him state in a synagogue where he made a speech that it had been years since he set foot in one. When challenged about his spiritual beliefs, he did say that God must have created everything. However, it appeared to me that he “put all of his faith in his own arguments” and though he may have believed in God, he didn’t make Him Lord over his life.

Several weeks ago, I watched the movie, “The Theory of Everything.” It was sad to see such a brilliant “mind” as Stephen Hawkings’ treat his wife and family with such bitterness and disdain. What is it with these “intellectuals”?

I found it deeply sad that these “geniuses” who are ‘worshipped’ by so many in the scientific arena, appear to have failed in what matters most in life. God first, family second!

This month’s Turning Points magazine and devotional discusses the topic of “all thoughts captive.”

Most people are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

That phrase comes from 2 Timothy 3

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

Our minds are made for truth.

Biblical meditation involves filling your mind with God’s Word.

We are encouraged to study His truth and assimilate it to every part of our spirit.

We are all born with a certain level of gifts.  In the scientific world, Einstein was gifted with a brilliant mind for scientific theory discovery.  His last name is often used as a substitute for the word, “genius.”  What a great honor that is!  Yet, I can’t help but wonder whether or not he also grew in the wisdom of God’s Word?

Dr. Jeremiah:

Jesus said all the parts of one’s life–heart, soul, mind, and strength–must manifest love for God.

We must give Him all our heart and acknowledge Him as Lord in all our ways.

Acknowledging God is like acknowledging a very close friend.

People who are given a larger platform to speak and be heard (i.e. actors, actresses, politicians, media pundits [MSNBC, CNN] etc.), unfortunately, develop sharp tongues and say the most awful things about people with whom they disagree politically.  I cannot think of a time during my life where the rhetoric has been as disgusting, mean, vicious and downright dangerous!

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

The apostle Paul warned how easily our thoughts become futile, our hearts darkened, and our minds debased (Romans 1:21, 28).  Proverbs 15:26 says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD.”

Satan can quickly seize control of a mind that isn’t submissive to God.  According to Paul, the god of this age (Satan) blinds the minds of those who do not believe (2 Corinthians 4:4).   He uses skepticism, unbelief, false arguments, empty entertainment, pornographic images, addictive patterns, genetic traits, faulty logic, and erroneous religious notions to make sure people do not glorify God but become darkened in the foolishness of their hearts (Romans 1:21).

That’s why we must inventory our minds and ensure we are cultivating a Spirit-controlled thought life.  The Bible states this in strongest terms in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

What a phrase!  Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Life is made up of thoughts, words, and actions–all of which spring from the heart.

We are told in the book of Jude that resistance to Godly thought will increase the closer we get to the end times.  I have seen such hatred manifest itself in people over the course of my life, and now such darkened hearts and debased minds often ridicule those who hold to Christian faith.  Fortunately, God’s Word warns us that this will, and is happening!  Despite the fact that much of the ugliness that is being spewed on the news these days is evidence of the rejection of God’s will for our lives (see Romans 1:21), as Christians, we have the ability to renew our minds and fill our hearts with God’s truth (Romans 12:2).  Moment to moment, we can find our responses being pleasing to God.

Dr. Jeremiah:

Our brains only come alive when redeemed by the power and knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ.  The Bible says, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).  Ephesians 4:23 tells us to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.”  Our minds are made for truth.  God created our brains to need the truth of His Word just as He made our bodies to need the food and water He built into the material world around us.

Amen!

Grace

May 28, 2017

 

I have been thinking about the term “grace” a lot lately.  According to Dictionary.com, the word has several different meanings.  When I went to that site today, the “word of the day” happened to be “hedonism.”  How ironic…

Word Origin and History for grace

n.

late 12c., “God’s favor or help,” from Old French grace “pardon, divine grace, mercy; favor, thanks; elegance, virtue” (12c.), from Latin gratia “favor, esteem, regard; pleasing quality, good will, gratitude” (source of Italian grazia, Spanish gracia), from gratus “pleasing, agreeable,” from PIE root *gwere- “to favor” (cf. Sanskrit grnati “sings, praises, announces,” Lithuanian giriu “to praise, celebrate,” Avestan gar- “to praise

According to Blue Letter Bible.com, the word “grace” appears in the NKJV 143 times in 137 verses.

My concern in this post is about the grace of God. Nave’s topical Bible shares general scriptures concerning the grace of God, including some that help in the growth in the grace of God. [Note: if you click on that link and hover your cursor over the Bible verse, a box pops up to reveal the entire verse.]

It is difficult to pick a favorite, but for today’s purposes I chose these verses:

Romans 5:15-21 (KJV) 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Those verses contain the term “grace” five times, and shares the gospel message!  That passage of Scripture explains why Jesus Christ is the only way unto salvation!

We are meant to continue to grow in grace! And, how do we do that? Through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

2Pe 3:18 KJV – 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 


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