Archive for the ‘Love is Sacrifice’ Category

Behold, I Make All Things New

May 20, 2016

While watching the Revelation Song music video,  I was reminded of the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ where Mary, the mother of Jesus, came to him as He had fallen underneath the weight of the cross on the way to Calvary.  He looked at Mary and said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

That is a statement from the book of Revelation.

Rev 21:5

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,[fn] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

When I think about the evil, sin, and death that all human beings (including me!) have put forth and are guilty of on this earth, it deeply grieves me. God’s Word tells us why:

Rom 8:22

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

When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he said:

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Those who refuse to repent:

Rev 21:8

“But the cowardly, unbelieving,[fn] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Without Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, His resurrection to life, and subsequent ascension into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father; all of us would deserve that punishment!

Because of the sin we all bear upon our own souls, we either die with such sin or we repent!

Jesus Christ took the sins of the whole world upon Himself in the greatest act of mercy ever known, in order that we would not have to pay the penalty of sin ourselves in eternity! No greater love is there than for a Man to give his life for his fellow man! That is what Jesus accomplished when he obeyed perfectly the will of the Father in order to achieve redemption for those who would believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and follow him!

Recall what the prophet Jeremiah wrote:

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

None of us are exempt from that reality!  However, the very next verse tells us what the LORD searches for in each person who has ever lived!

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

This verse gives us the hope of the coming Messiah:

Jer 17:7

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.

Revelation informs us of Who Jesus is!

Rev 22:13

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”[fn]

Rev 22:14

Blessed are those who do His commandments,[fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

 

Who Am I?  by Casting Crowns reiterates this truth:

 

We are still given warnings in the book of Revelation:

Rev 22:15

But[fn] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

John identifies Who is speaking to him:

Rev 22:16

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

And those whose names are in the Book of Life are given eternal life with God!

Rev 22:17

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Back to Jeremiah:

Jer 17:13

O LORD, the hope of Israel,
All who forsake You shall be ashamed.

“Those who depart from Me
Shall be written in the earth,
Because they have forsaken the LORD,
The fountain of living waters.”

Jer 17:14

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

The cries of hope, healing, and salvation in Jeremiah are realized in Revelation:

Rev 22:20

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Rev 22:21

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.[fn] Amen.

Commenter suggests: I should “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

May 1, 2016

A commenter here at this blog took issue with what was written in this post and then proceeded to suggest that I “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

Since this person has been commenting at several sites I have had over the course of ten years, I asked him:

But then…if I did as you requested…what would you do with yourself when you no longer have me here to give you the opportunity to rail against the True God of the Bible?

Luk 10:16
“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

When Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor?”

See Luke 10:29-37

Back to my comment:

I was awoken last night at 11:30 p.m. because one of our dogs was agitated and barking. He most likely heard a coyote howling in a nearby yard. I turned on the outside lights, waited a bit, looked around the yard with my flashlight and then let the dogs out to do their business. Sometimes it’s difficult to go back to sleep after that, so while I made myself a cup of tea, I checked my email and saw his comment.

[Note: Visitors can scroll down and read the entire comment HERE.]

This is what I thought about saying to him while I was drinking my tea last night:

Wow…for someone who holds equal hatred towards the True God of the Bible (and rejects His Son, Jesus Christ for salvation) as well as the false god of Islam, how could you know what true, genuine, agape love is and what is required of us in return?

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Jeremiahs 17:10 – I, the LORD search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

About the love issue.  The Bible tells us:

Jhn 15:13
 
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 

Continuing with what I wrote in answer to that comment:

 

Rejection of this greater love puts you and all who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in the same boat.

As for the likes of Zuckerberg? I would never trust a person like him who labels his so-called “followers” on FB as “dumb f***s” and plays “god” over them by manipulating them in various ways via the site; as well as his blatantly evil use of employees to be told to spy on FB users and misuse his “authority” in order to control their free speech as well as dismissing their privacy concerns.

The pride of life is the oldest sin in the world. It is especially egregious when it’s used against God and used as a weapon against His redeemed.

I would suggest that you also read Jeremiah 17:11-13.

Jeremiah 17:14 has some advice for both you and him.

This morning, I watched the final sermon in an awesome series about “The Seven Churches of the Revelation” by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled, A Look Into Heaven.

I am often amazed that the Lord provides for me the right answers to situations that I encounter.  I am humbled when He graciously leads me to His Word to counter statements that non-believers might say or write against me.

In this instance where you would accuse me of “going off the rails” and tell me “to apologize and shut this blog down,” I’d have to say that the look into heaven that I heard this morning gave me an even better perspective (and answer) than the one that I just shared above. God has a great way of doing that for His own!

Now, I’m sure that you would not take the time to watch the entire segment. But I place a link to it here for anyone who reads this thread and would like to view and hear the sermon. Dear readers! If you do take the time – you will be truly blessed today!!!

I came away from hearing and listening to that particular sermon and the following verses came to my mind.  They certainly compliment the Scriptures that have already been shared and add far more wisdom than my initial response.   I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for enabling the Holy Spirit to lead my mind to them!

Pro 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psa 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Pro 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Hat tips to all links.

Trump and the Message of the Cross

January 19, 2016

Found the following blog article yesterday and it’s a really good read! Thought that visitors here might like to read it too.

Donald Trump and the Message of the Cross.

Excerpt:

The cross is everything.  The cross is what unites us.  That is where our spiritual journey begins.  The cross is the whole story.  To not begin repentant, convicted, aware of sin, in need of redemption, is to not even be aware of why one might need a Savior in the first place.  Faith without a Savior is not faith at all.  It is more like just free falling through the universe.

The NY Daily News reported that Trump “made up a verse” from the Bible. Read the article and judge for yourself. It sounded like a paraphrase but I thought it was funny how the reporters there jumped on him about it.

Also, the news commentators are claiming that Trump “misquoted Scripture” during his speech at Liberty University. He said “Two Corinthians” instead of Second Corinthians.” That’s not misquoting Scripture! It is merely saying the reference incorrectly! I have read elsewhere that they do say “Two Corinthians” in England.

The video doesn’t work at that link so readers can see it HERE.

I don’t particularly care for Trump as the next president, but I find that the media going apoplectic over his popularity is funny!   Plus, the establishment RINOS hate him, and he is getting Dem voters away from Hillary.

Trump is obviously a novice when it comes to Bible knowledge. Anyone can easily find a verse to fit ones’ audience.   But the fact that Trump stated that, “I’m Not Sure I Have Ever Asked God For Forgiveness” is troublesome.  Saying such a thing proves that he is so lost. Telling people that he “tries to be good” is sad because he probably thinks he can work his way to Heaven. When someone is so arrogant that they think they don’t need to ask for forgiveness then they are lost.

Even though I would take most anyone over Hitlery, from what I have seen, heard,  and read about Trump, if he wins we might, unfortunately, get stuck with another 0bama-in-disguise in 2016.

Concluding this post with Paul’s words seems appropriate:

1Co 1:17

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

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.

1Co 1:19

For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” [fn]

1Co 1:20

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

1Co 1:22

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

1Co 1:23

but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks [fn] foolishness,

1Co 1:24

but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1Co 1:25

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:26

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

1Co 1:27

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

1Co 1:28

and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

1Co 1:29

that no flesh should glory in His presence.

1Co 1:30

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

1Co 1:31

that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” [fn]

Hat tip: Insanity Bytes 2

Hat tips to all links.

Man has lived in darkness and needed a way out!

November 28, 2015

I was thinking about the differences between the colors known as black and white. Often, the question arises about whether or not they are actual “colors.”
Color Matters gives us the answer:

The answer to the question – “Are black and white colors?” – is one of the most debated issues about color. Ask a scientist and you’ll get a reply based on physics: “Black is not a color, white is a color.” Ask an artist or a child with crayons and you’ll get another: “Black is a color, white is not a color.” (Maybe!)

There are four sections on that page that present the best answers.

In line with the purposes here, I would like to share one of them.

1. Black is the absence of color (and is therefore not a color)

Explanation:
When there is no light, everything is black. Test this out by going into a photographic dark room. There are no photons of light. In other words, there are no photons of colors.

2. White is the blending of all colors and is a color.

Explanation:
Light appears colorless or white. Sunlight is white light that is composed of all the colors of the spectrum.  A rainbow is proof. You can’t see the colors of sunlight except when atmospheric conditions bend the light rays and create a rainbow. You can also use a prism to demonstrate this.

Fact: The sum of all the colors of light add up to white. This is additive color theory.

The Bible discusses darkness (black) and light (white). We can start with Genesis:

Gen 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:2

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was [fn] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Gen 1:4

And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

We see that the “light” was good (according to God) and that God divided the light from the darkness. At this point, man had not sinned, so “darkness” was not yet associated with sin, evil and death.

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve,

Note what is written in the book of Jeremiah:

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

I recall a non-Christian’s reaction to that verse when it was spoken of within a sermon while he was a visitor at our church.  Apparently, he rejects the fact that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked.

After the sermon, I looked up the verse after it and he seemed pleased by this particular verse.

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

I can only imagine that he thought this was a fair deal from God.  However, when Jesus came along He stated that something as simple as a lie causes us to be “of your father the devil.”

No wonder non-Christians often hate and reject Jesus!  Who wants to be told this?  No one!  But it’s the truth, nonetheless.

Jhn 8:44

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

We see from Psalm 92:15 that the LORD does not have any unrighteousness in Him.  He is upright.  He is my rock.

Psa 92:15

To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

During this time, the world was still waiting for the Savior, the promised Messiah in Scripture.

The Bible says that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary.  He was later proclaimed by the Father to be God’s Son as he started his 3 year earthly ministry.   We read about this account in Matthew 3.

Mat 3:17

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

(More accounts of God the Father’s proclamation regarding Jesus being His Son at end of post.)

Jesus was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (also called the Trinity) in the beginning.  At my former Talk Wisdom blog, I have shared how the Three Persons in One God is evident all around us within Creation in a post entitled, The Trinity All Around You.

We see the purpose of Jesus Christ being born sinless so that He had the power to take away our sins.

1Jo 3:5

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

We see that His death on the cross, the battle against darkness and evil in the grave, and His resurrection to life was for the purpose of saving us from the grip of the devil through the salvation  of our souls.

 

1Jo 2:2

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The darkness that we have known is passing away because the true light of salvation through Jesus Christ is already shining.

1Jo 2:8

Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Those who hate others (and we see such hatred leading to death almost nightly on the news) are in darkness!

1Jo 2:9

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

1 John 2:10 describes how to stay in the light and avoid stumbling.

1Jo 2:10

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

So much of the killings, immorality, evil, sin, and death are perpetuated by those who hate and walk in darkness.  Why?  Because their eyes have been blinded by the darkness.

1Jo 2:11

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

As Christians, we are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Plant seeds in the hearts of others.  God does the saving!

I pray that the following link will help you:

How To Know God Personally

Hat tips to all links.

*******

Endnotes:

The Father proclaiming Jesus as His Son:

Mat 3:17

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Mat 17:5

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Mar 8:38
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mar 9:7
And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Luk 9:35
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son.fn Hear Him!”
Luk 15:24
‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Act 13:33

“God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
fn

The most thought provoking blog comment ever

September 9, 2015

That is a terrific comment! Beautifully biblical, uplifting, and Christ centered!

Running The Race

image

A reader and fellow blogger, Dave left a comment here yesterday that deserves its own post.

“As you grow the Isaiah 53:5 Project, I hope you remember that one honest connection with another might be all you’re called to. Drop Christ and you help no one. Keep Christ in your heart and you are ready to help whomever is sent your way.”

I don’t think it needs any additional commentary, it’s awesome food for thought on its own.

View original post

There is a Cost to be Paid For Our Sins

August 3, 2015

Through years of experience, I have found that a person is usually not brought towards faith in Jesus Christ through intellectual arguments. When someone is focused on “winning the debate” rather than realizing that their sin separates them from our Holy and Righteous God (which exposes the fact that they are in desperate need of the Savior, Jesus Christ), then the only thing that generally happens during such “debates” is a stalemate.

I agree with what Bill Keller wrote:

The anger of the lost keeps many people from sharing their faith. Never forget, they are angry at God, NOT you. Your job is simply to tell them the truth, and share with them the hope and love of Christ. What they choose to do with that truth is then between them and God.

It helps to remember this: someone who is lost and simply trying to justify their rejection of Christ will always have more questions than you will ever have answers.

Keep in mind that you will rarely, if ever, win a debate with someone who is lost – especially when they exhibit no desire to accept what you are saying. Your time is best spent praying for these people rather than debating them.

However, you will meet many people who are searching for reconciliation with God; and therefore, will be honestly open to looking into having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

It is for the sake of people who are genuinely searching that I continue to answer the questions of skeptics. Reading through such arguments may help another person (who happens to come here and read them) end up taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ seriously.

The original skeptic,  who originally poses such questions is may or may not ever become a believer. But that’s O.K. !  My job, our job as followers of Christ is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ!  The Bible (NKJV) instructs us to be evangelists:

1Pe 3:15   But sanctify the Lord God[fn4] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

1Pe 3:16   having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

1Pe 3:17   For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1Pe 3:18   For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[fn5] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

3:15 NU-Text reads Christ as Lord.
3:18 NU-Text and M-Text read you.
3:20 NU-Text and M-Text read when the longsuffering of God waited patiently.

I have found that oftentimes, the non-believer has objections against Christ’s crucifixion on the cross to pay for our sins. Even some liberal theologians try to claim that this concept of substitutionary atonement is somehow “outmoded.”  That is REALLY a sad state of affairs!  It leads to confusion, non-repentance,  and ultimately the rejection of the Cross of Christ for the needed redemption for our sins.  What’s worse, is that the reconciliation between Holy God and sinful man is not possible without Someone paying the penalty for our sins.  Jesus Christ is the only genuine Savior in history who accomplished this for us!

For anyone interested, below is a link to a video and post where a caller stated that he questions why Jesus Christ would die on the cross for his sins.

Answering Muslims: Muslim Caller Hears the Gospel and Becomes a Christian.

Lee Strobel is a former atheist turned Christian. In his book, “The Case for the Real Jesus,” he shares an example of a supposedly “Christian” Episcopal bishop who created and stated a negative analogy in order to disparage the truth and our need for Jesus’ death on the cross at Calvary.

“Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong said, ‘A human father who would nail his son to a cross for any purpose would be arrested for child abuse.'”

Over the years of actively “giving an answer to those (who are perishing) for the hope that is in you (me);” I have found that many detractors like to use the “cosmic child abuse” argument against Christians.

Paul Copan’s great explanation for the necessity of substitutionary atonement through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on the cross at Calvary in order for sinners (which includes all of us) to be reconciled back unto God totally obliterates Spong’s argumentative comment!

Paul Copan wrote:

“We have to be careful about this notion being outmoded,” came Copan’s reply. “C.S. Lewis rightly warns us against chronological snobbery — saying, ‘Oh, they used to do things that way, but we know better now because we’re more enlightened.’ Sometimes there is a mind-set that if no one believes something anymore, surely it has got to be false. G.K. Chesterton said if you take that view, you may as well say that on certain days of the week something is true and on others it’s not. The question should be: Is there anything to this notion of substitutionary atonement?”

“Well, is there?” I asked. “Why can’t God just say he forgives the sins of the world?”

Copan’s answer came swiftly. “Why can’t judges just forgive criminals? Why can’t they let rapists and thieves back on the street and just say, ‘It’s okay, I forgive you’? For God to do something like this would be an insult to his holiness. It would look like he was simply endorsing rebellion against himself and his character. He is a righteous judge, and therefore he must find us guilty of sin because the truth of the matter is that we are guilty. We have fallen short of how God wants us to live. We violate even our own moral standards, so certainly we violate God’s higher standard. To pretend otherwise would be a lie — and God is not a liar.

“Also, if God simply forgives, then he hasn’t taken human responsibility with much seriousness at all. To simply let people go does not hold them accountable to the standards that people know they’ve transgressed. And he would be denying the gravity of sin, which we take far too lightly but which God takes very, very seriously.”

That last remark made me think of a comment in a book I had been reading on the plane to Florida for the interview. As James R. Edwards, a professor of biblical languages and literature as well as a Presbyterian minister, said in Is Jesus the Only Savior?:

The doctrine of atonement obviously hangs on the doctrine of sin. A physician who removes a leg because of a splinter is a monster. A physician who removes a leg because of cancer or gangrene, on the other hand, is a hero who saves his or her patients life. It all depends on the nature and seriousness of the problem. Spong and others see sin as a splinter; the New Testament sees it as a cancer that is fatal if left untreated. And that accounts for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on a cross of cruelty and shame. The cross is indeed an outrage — an outrage of grace. If this is the kind of world in which we live–and I believe it is–then the death of God’s Son for the sins of the world is the only way the world can be reunited with its Maker and Redeemer.

Nevertheless, I continued to press the issue about why God simply couldn’t magnanimously forgive people without having to sacrifice his Son. “What about the story in Matthew 18 about the king who forgave an enormous debt that was owed to him by his servant?” I asked Copan. “He seemed capable of forgiveness without sacrificing anyone on a cross.”

Copan’s eyebrows went up. “Ah, but notice what happens in that parable: the king doesn’t just forgive; he also absorbs the debt,” He said. “The king basically says he’s going to bear the burden of the loss even though the servant owes the money. Similarly, Jesus pays the cost of our sin on the cross. It’s sort of like a child who breaks a neighbor’s window. He may be too young to pay the price himself, so his parents pay it for him. Or when a small corporation is bought out by a larger one, the new corporation has to assume its debts.

There’s a cost to sin: Romans 6:23 says it’s death, or eternal separation from God. That’s the penalty we owe. That’s the cost we incur when our sins separate us from God. But Jesus willingly paid the price in our place, as our substitute–and offers forgiveness as a free gift. There’s nothing illegitimate about that kind of representation. If we aren’t able to handle our situation, what’s wrong with someone who’s willing to assume our indebtedness?

“From one perspective, Jesus’ death was the very low point of God’s career–he is crucified as if he were a criminal, exposed naked to the world, cursed on this tree, and tortured though he was innocent. But despite this ultimate degradation, John talks about the Son of God being ‘lifted up,’ which is a double entendre. Yes, Jesus was physically lifted up on the cross, but this is also the point of God’s exaltation. The crucifixion turns out to be a high point of God’s career. The point is, Jesus was willing to go this low for our salvation–to be humiliated, to be degraded, to be insulted, that through this selfless act he was able to rescue us, bring an end to the powers of darkness, and bring about the restoration of a fallen world into a new creation.

“God isn’t guilty of cosmic child abuse. It’s not as though the Father consigns the Son to this humiliating death on the cross; it’s something Jesus does voluntarily. Jesus says in John 10 that he lays down his life of his own accord. It’s important to see the Trinity being involved in this whole process. As 2 Corinthians 5 says, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself. God the Father and God the Spirit suffer along with the Son as he hangs on the cross. The Father isn’t pitted against his Son; this is something the Son willingly takes upon himself in order to pay the debt that humankind could not pay on its own.”

“Some people say this seems utterly drastic,” I observed.

“Well, yeah, if this were to happen to you or me, we would be terribly embittered and completely overwhelmed. But Christ bears the punishment perfectly. As British theologian John Stott said, ‘For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man.'”

“The atonement, then, is not illogical or unfair,” I suggested.

“That’s right,” Copan agreed. “Remember, the Scriptures have a number of different pictures or metaphors for what was accomplished on the cross. But the substitutionary aspect of the atonement is deeply significant in that Christ our representative accomplishes for us what we can’t do for ourselves.”

“So what should our response be? Gratitude–the Christian faith is a religion of gratitude. Why would we be reluctant to humble ourselves and receive the free gift of forgiveness that Christ purchased through his death–and also receive the gift-giver himself as the leader of our life?”

Source: “The Case for the Real Jesus,” by Lee Strobel, published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2007 pp. 254-256.

*******

Three awesome verses uttered by Jesus Christ himself in John 10  explains why Jesus is God, loves the Father, loves us sinners, and the fact that by His own power, He arose from the dead!

Jhn 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jhn 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

Jhn 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

The rest of the verses in 1 Peter 3 explains exactly why Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection to life was necessary to save us!

1Pe 3:18

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us [fn] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

1Pe 3:19

by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1Pe 3:20

who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited [fn] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

1Pe 3:21

There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1Pe 3:22

who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Hat tips to all links.

 

Headlines Cause Us to Eagerly Await Christ’s Return for His Own

July 29, 2015

My blogging friend Black3Actual has two posts up that every person who happens to come to this blog should read today!

Oil For Your Lamp: UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: God’s Love Will NOT Save You From Hell!

Within the post, Rob Bell is described as an “ex-pastor” who now falls more in line with those teaching heresy because this ex-pastor does not adhere to the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. As our author at the link excellently points out, Bell is more of an “itching ears” type of preacher. [See 2 Timothy 4:3-4]

Myths like Bell’s views do not save ANYONE. In fact, he is guilty of turning people to the wayside where they will miss the true totality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus end up lost for all eternity. It REALLY MATTERS who you listen to in this day and age of deception!

Next, Black3Actual wrote a post entitled News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Excerpt:

I have written about the importance of the black flags of Islam and how the Obama/Iran deal is setting the stage for Christ’s return.  I am fully aware that those who do not believe the Bible do not believe what I have been trying to explain, but I cannot help them.  They have chosen to remain willfully ignorant.  For those who wish to see and understand, the signs are coming more often and more clearly every day.  Just this week the news has started to affirm and support everything I have been trying to explain.  This story is just one such example:

Islamic State recruitment document seeks to provoke ‘end of the world’

Whether you believe in Bible or Islamic prophecy or not, ISIS does and it is working to bring about the fulfillment of their prophecies.  Ignoring them is no different from the Allies ignoring the clear declarations by Hitler of what he intended to do.

Read the rest: News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Oil For Your Lamp is a blog that I highly recommend as a daily read! Add the link to your favorites so that visitors to your own blogs will find this Holy Spirit led writer’s posts!

The Gospel of Christ can be revealed and understood by a child!

Mat 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mat 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mat 18:3

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

However, once a person trusts in Christ and is saved, the next step is the study of Scripture (including knowing about end times prophecy) for it is a life-long endeavor!  We have “never arrived” while here on this earth regarding the Wisdom, Knowledge, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and the All Encompassing Love of God!  However, the Bible tells us that one day we will know!

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

There are certain individuals who will not heed the warnings that Christians are sharing. However, we know that there will be (and are, right now!) a remnant who are born-again in Christ.  We also can celebrate the fact that there are Christians who are well-informed regarding Bible prophecy. We are heeding what Jesus told us regarding “the signs of the times” and sharing this information with the lost.

My hope is that there will be many more who are quickened by the Holy Spirit of God, knocking on the door of their hearts,  to come to repentance at the cross of Christ. Only His shed blood can… not just “cover” sins temporarily as was the purpose of the shed blood of unblemished animals in the Old Testament… but permanently take away our sins!  Belief in Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life;  for only He provides the mercy and grace in order to be reconciled back unto God.

Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for sins, and His resurrection back unto life proves His claim that He is the Son of God, the Messiah who was long awaited throughout biblical history. Jesus Christ brings us back unto God for the “it is finished” forgiveness that we all so desperately need!

As we eagerly await Christ’s return for His own (the Rapture), we need to preach the true Gospel, watch for the signs of the times, work for His kingdom, and evangelize those who do not know Him. All that we can do is share the Gospel, as Jesus instructed us to do just before His ascension into heaven.

It is God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, who ultimately does the saving!  He will be with us ALWAYS – even unto the end of the world!

Hat tip:
Oil For Your Lamp

Please see:

How To Know God Personally.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi

July 7, 2015

Years ago, I ran across a post that contained a statement attributed to Gandhi at another blog:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch!

At first glance it is a most sobering condemnation against those of the Christian faith. Granted, Christians make mistakes while trying to witness to others. Jesus chose his followers, imperfect human beings that we are, to be his representatives here on earth. We are to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

We have a whole range of evangelists. A preacher like Billy Graham who has been an awesome representative for Christ and we have other preachers who may be hurting our cause. But God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The reason Billy Graham is loved by millions and rarely, if ever, condemned for his preaching is because he focuses on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christs’ followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?  Tim Challies has a great answer to that question.

Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?

There are certain facts that tie and bind all true Christians.

1.  The first one is the fact that we have been born again in Christ. In order to be born again in Christ, we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus into our lives to guide us into all truth. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus taught and refers us to the Scriptures.

2.  The second fact is that we teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie. You could name any Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, (can include many others too) branch of Christianity here and it is the one thing that they all agree upon.

Why is that?

Because at Pentecost, Jesus sent the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit. He guides Christians into all truth. The side issues and traditions that may divide the denominations fall away.

It all comes down to this: the Gospel message is the uniter of all true Christians.

We must “beware the ‘cross-less’ Gospel.”* [See explanation at end of post.]

Those “churches” who do not teach the need for repentance for sin are guilty of heresy. Yes. There are some sects/cults that are “severed branches,” if you will. We are told in the book of Jude to avoid them because they lead people into heresy and apostasy. This is why you must be diligent and read the Scriptures so you can “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” If you are attending a church that teaches “the cross-less Gospel,” run! Find another church immediately!

I have met many born-again, Bible believing Christians via message boards and blogs. Genuine Christians whom I have never met personally, are in full agreement with the main message of the Scriptures. You see, there is a difference between those who would use exegesis, hermeneutics and Sola Scripture (which are tools to extract the original meaning of the writers in the Bible) vs. those who use “eisegesis,” (which means determining their own interpretations) of what Scripture is saying.

We see “eisegesis” being utilized very vividly in the homosexual behavior affirming churches. The only people who have been caught up in the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin, for that matter) and will make it into heaven with God are the repentant ones.

Even repentant murderers who confess and are born again after their crimes and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior avoid hell and will live for eternity in heaven with God.

In eyes of men, that may not seem “fair.” But the thoughts of God are infinitely higher and are certainly not limited to the thoughts of man.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God affords grace and mercy to those who look upon Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death as the only substitutionary propitiation which is acceptable to God the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.

People who know Jesus and become children of God will avoid the penalty of death (the second death…an eternity away from God in hell).

The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.

Eternity is a long, long….time!

Dear reader, what is your decision?

I pray that you change your heart towards God!  If you are currently of the mindset that leads you to “hate Christians,” I plead with you not to let Satan use your obvious dislike and hatred for many Christian believers as an excuse to reject Jesus. Knowingly or unknowingly, Satan is influencing you to focus on the behavior of other Christians and not on Whom you should be focusing on…Jesus Christ. Jesus was the only Perfect Man who ever lived. You won’t find perfection in anyone else…including Christian believers.

Once born again, a Christian does not have his/her free will taken away. We still live in a fallen world and have that fallen nature. The huge difference is, he/she has the added influence of the Holy Spirit indwelling within the soul to guide us into all truth. Our love for Jesus compels us to live righteously for Him because He alone is Holy. If you would focus on what is being shared about Christ, and not judge the person who is sharing it, then you will not let a Christian’s imperfect nature affect you so negatively.

My daughter once gave me a license plate frame for my car which poignantly reads: “Christians are not perfect;  just forgiven by a God who is.

*******

*Beware the Cross-less Gospel

by Roger Chilvers

I watched a television program that featured interviews with a number of people at a well-known evangelical church. One person after the another gave testimony about how their lives had been changed: “I came to this church and was thrilled about what I saw. God changed my life.” Someone else said, “I was a drug addict, and God dealt with that.” Every testimony mentioned God, but in that whole program Jesus was mentioned only once. What Christ did on the cross was not mentioned at all.

In preaching today, generally speaking, the cross hardly features – sometimes Jesus doesn’t even feature. We have a duty to make the cross of Christ central in our evangelism. The Bible says that the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Jews thought, “How could anyone preach about the Messiah DYING ON A CROSS? Don’t the Scriptures say that anyone who dies on a cross is cursed by God?” As for Gentiles – who didn’t have or care about the Old Testament Scriptures – the whole idea was complete foolishness. The verse uses the Greek word moros, from which we get “moron.” You have to be a moron to preach and believe in a dying Savior. Can you see the temptation to put the cross off to the side?

Sometimes you hear people say, quite rightly, “Jesus will give you a purpose for living.” Without a doubt he does, but that is not why He came. Others say that He came as a good example to follow. He is the greatest example to follow, but again, that is not at the heart of why He came, “Jesus came to give us joy in a world of unhappiness and misery,” some say. But that was not why He came either. And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.

John tells us why Jesus came: “He appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5, NIV). We need reminding of this. Otherwise, in our evangelism we may say, “Have some peace, have some joy, have some happiness, have a purpose for living, have an example to follow.” Although Jesus does give these things, they are not the central point. We may find these things apart from Jesus, but apart from Him we will never find forgiveness of sins.

We can understand the centrality of the cross from three different perspectives: What does it mean to God? to us? to Satan?

THE CROSS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible says, “We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). Propitiation is the means by which God’s anger is assuaged; His anger is dealt with, and God is made favorable toward us.

Some have said it is barbaric to think that God’s anger needs to be assuaged by blood. They say, “How can a sacrifice that makes an angry God favorable be given by the God who is angry in the first place? And what about God’s love?”

But it is precisely because God loves us that He had to deal with our sin – and it is on the basis of this that we are accepted. Jesus could die a thousand deaths and yet not achieve salvation for us unless God were satisfied with the sacrifice. Yet the question remains: How can God be both the One who provides the sacrifice that makes Him propitious and be the One who receives the sacrifice?

The simple answer is that God’s holiness demands propitiation.

God is blisteringly angry about our every single sin. You can see the awfulness of sin only by seeing what it did to His one and only lovely Son. If God looked at a sin and said, “Well, I’m not too bothered about that one,” there would be injustice in His character. God retains His honor by giving His Son.

God unfolded a plan that both showed His unbelievably strong anger at sin and His infinitely strong love for us. He sent His Son and punished Him on our behalf. “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14, NIV). No other message beside the cross is able to deal with the root problem of man’s sin in relation to the justice and holiness of God.

 

THE CROSS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE

The heart of the Gospel is that through Jesus – and His work as our Substitute – God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. The punishment for our sin was dealt with by a substitute: Namely, Jesus. The Bible says, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NIV). The Greek word translated “for” means “on behalf of.” The word is used repeatedly concerning Jesus: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In our evangelism it is so important that we grasp this because it tells us that when Jesus died on the cross He died on behalf of someone. There is no greater news than the glorious news that Jesus took our place on the cross. We are sinners by nature, but “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What a breathtaking verse!

THE CROSS FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible calls Satan “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, “You cannot possibly expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you’ve done – your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? ” And to God, Satan says, in effect, “If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished.”

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, “My lord, yes, he is not perfect – he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character.” In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn’t work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, “Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid – by Me.”

The Father looks to the sacrifice of the Son to see that the punishment was paid in full. Atonement made, acceptance guaranteed – and we are free. This is what is meant by Jesus being our Substitute.

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.” **

Jesus provided for our greatest need – the forgiveness of sin. Apart from Him it could never happen. That is why the cross must be at the heart of our evangelism.

** From “Before the Throne of God Above,” by Charitie Lee Bancroft

Hat tips to all links.

Christians in Need of Encouragement?

June 30, 2015

What true, Bible based, Jesus loving, born again Christian wasn’t disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling that changed the natural definition of marriage this past Friday?

I have spoken with several people.

Some were absolutely devastated!

Many where completely in shock!

Others, knowing what Bible prophecy tells us will happen the closer we get to the end times, were not really surprised.

Most of us were deeply saddened.

It is OK to grieve…for a time. After all, we grieve every Good Friday for what Jesus Christ had to (chose to!) do in order to save us all from our sins.

I must admit that one worship song called “Forever” that is so eloquently sung by Kari Jobe  puts this whole debacle into proper perspective.  Wait till you hear what the gentleman (who comes up to the microphone as Kari pauses in singing the song) has to say!  So AWESOME it gave me goose bumps!!!

Beautiful song!  Beautiful voice! Beautiful worship!

I have posted it here, but often YouTube doesn’t allow playback on certain blogs.

Therefore, I have also provided the link.

Click here:

Kari Jobe: Forever – Live

 

Lyrics:

“Forever”

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him

One final breath he gave
As heaven looked away
The son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting?
Our resurrected King
Has rendered you defeated

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The Lamb has overcome

Forever he is glorified
Forever he is lifted high
Forever he is risen
He is alive, He is alive!

You have overcome
You have overcome
You have overcome
You have overcome

 

In addition, I wanted to share some resource links that I have come across through blogs I visit.

 

There are plenty of resources out there to help Christians cope with the devastatingly immoral decision that was pushed upon America through the 5-4 SCOTUS decision that made homosexual “marriage” suddenly legal in all 50 states. I have started compiling a list (below), and will most likely add to it as I come across other excellent blog posts. Any reader who has links to share about this topic, please post them in the comment section.
Resources:

Video: Pastor Jobey McGinty of Life Mission Church: Does Jesus Satisfy You?: Gospel of Matthew: the King and His Kingdom, Ch. 14.13-33

Published on Jun 30, 2015

The Gospel of Matthew was written so that we would know our King, see what His Kingdom is about, and what we believers, the citizens of this Kingdom, are to be and to do as ambassadors of the King. We will be looking at the life, teachings, miracles, life, and death of Jesus Christ.

In this sermon, Jesus miraculously feeds 5,000 hungry followers, and then walks on water when His disciples are in peril on the sea. But what was His purpose in doing these things? To simply show His power? No, here in these stories, He aims to not just show that He can provide, but He shows that He Himself is the Provision.

Additionally, there are some opening remarks regarding the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

Joseph Franks: How Ought Christians to Respond to the Societal Ethical Shift?

Romans122Life: What Jesus Might Say To the LGBT Community.

The Master’s Table: Remember What We Are Called To

The Poached Egg: Top Christian Resources on the Marriage Debate (Books, Articles, Videos, Podcasts on Gay Marriage/Same-Sex Marriage)

Steak and a Bible: Don’t Miss List: SCOTUS Marriage Edition

Thanks and hat tips to all links.

Natural Man is Blinded to Spiritual Things

June 28, 2015

 

I found an enlightening article that goes into more detail regarding what Jesus meant, (as well as what the terms commonly meant to first century Jews) when He told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that he must be “born again” in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Christine

*******

 

“Born Again”

Though some people regard the phrase, “born again,” as modern lingo denoting enthusiastic Christians, Jesus Himself used the expression to describe those who have experienced genuine salvation. However, the idiom didn’t originate at His encounter with Nicodemus in John 3.

To the first century Jew, “born again” was a commonly understood term for certain rites of passage in a man’s life. Six different events were so labeled in Rabbinic Judaism. The first was the bar mitzvah (literally, “son of the commandment”), a confirmation ritual whereby 13-year-old boys entered manhood and shared the moral and religious responsibilities of the adult community. A man was said to be “born again” a second time when he married, and the expression was also used if he was ordained as a rabbi. Becoming the head of a rabbinic academy—a position open only to rabbis who were married—was a fourth time the term applied. The final two usages of “born again” were a Gentile’s conversion to Judaism and a man being crowned king.

In light of this, the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-21 becomes more understandable. Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council known as the Sanhedrin, is identified as a “ruler of the Jews” and “the teacher of Israel” (vv. 1,10). As such, he was obviously considered “born again” in the first four ways listed, namely, he was bar mitzvahed, married, ordained, and a rabbi in leadership.

So when Jesus said to him, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3), Nicodemus was naturally confused—he had already been “born again” in all of the four ways available to him. Notice his response: “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” (v. 4) He was thinking that the only way to go through any of those rites of passage would be to start physical life over as a baby.

The Lord met Nicodemus where he was and then broadened his understanding to include the spiritual: “…Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (vv. 5-6). Though his comprehension was incomplete that night, Nicodemus later showed evidence he understood another way to be born again. (John 7:50; 19:39)

This article is based on the manuscript Nicodemus—A Rabbi’s Quest by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. For more information, visit http://www.ariel.org/.

With that in mind, let’s look at reasons why people who do not understand Christian faith often ridicule, denigrate, and even hate Jesus Christ, hate the Word of God – the Bible,  as well as hate those of us who wholeheartedly believe in God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ, and God’s written Word – the Bible.

First of all, it is a fact that natural man is blinded to spiritual things.  How do I know this?  Because I have been there.

Non-believers, skeptics, agnostics and atheists often attempt to use logical reasoning to explain away humanity’s need for redemption. In their prideful hearts and minds, Jesus Christ dying on the cross for man’s sins is a ridiculous notion.

In my discussions with several people who reject Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and subsequent resurrection to life, I have often found similarity in the reasons they hold for such rejection. When I share, explain and exhort the Gospel message they not only out rightly reject that message, they also cannot comprehend God’s truths as revealed in the Bible.

Why?

The Bible calls such incomprehension as beingspiritually discerned.”

1 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

In Pastor Chuck Smith’s commentary, he simply states:

v. 14 The natural man is blinded to spiritual things.

In Pastor Chuck Smith’s sermon notes, he goes into great detail about what is the natural man? He also shares many Scripture links which describe why natural man is indeed “blinded” to spiritual things.

In this post, I’d like to particularly focus on the following sermon notes:

B. What does Paul have to say about the natural man?

1 “He receives not the things of the Spirit of God. They are foolishness unto him.”

a. You try to talk to him about spiritual things and you may as well be talking to a Barbie Doll.

b. There is absolutely no comprehension.

c. Sometimes they will listen patiently if they are cultured, and others will just get angry and scream at you.

Been there; experienced that!

Pastor Smith goes on to explain:

a. They are spiritually discerned.

b. So he lacks the faculties by which they are known and understood, (i.e. the spiritual nature).

c. You might say with equal logic, the blind man cannot appreciate the beauty of a sunset.

d. The deaf man cannot know the glories of the symphony.

e. They lack the faculties by which these things are known.

Many of the people who reject the Gospel of Christ are intelligent; often extremely intelligent.

So what is the problem?

Why can’t they grasp what born-again believers in Christ are sharing?

Perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact that logical reasoning is not an absolute law that governs the universe, nor is it a set of rules that govern behavior.

One must decide whether logic is the right “tool” for the job. There are other ways to communicate, discuss and debate.

Jesus tells us in John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Just two verses down in John 3:5, Jesus says it again – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

And then again in John 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Must be extremely important because Jesus mentions it three times within 5 sentences (verses)!!

What must happen before being born again? One must have faith in who Jesus is!!

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

Faith is daring the soul to believe what the eyes cannot see.

Logical irreverence dictates, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” whereas faithful devotion enables one to “believe it, then I’ll see it.”

Intellectual pride, rationalizations and excuses all keep people from God. The Gospel seems foolish to those who forsake faith and rely on their own understanding.

What happens to those who are not born again in the Spirit through Jesus Christ?

Romans 8:9 – But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

We don’t belong to Christ until we are born again of the Spirit!! All the church going, tithing, chorus singing, good deed doing, works of the flesh etc. will not make you one of His!

When Jesus ask us, “Who do you say that I am?” what is your response??

Matthew 16:16 – And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:69 – And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus emphasizes the importance of faith:

“Because you have seen me, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)


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Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting - 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

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.