Tuesday, June 29, 2010
However, I was thinking recently about this analogy, and the thought came to mind that the moon does not always shine fully; we see only a half moon at times, a fingernail sliver at times, and there are those times that the moon is completely eclipsed.
Well if you're at all familiar with why we see the moon differ in these ways; it is because the earth is between the sun, and the shadow of the earth covers the moon, resulting in only a portion of the moon reflecting the sun (with an eclipse, the shadow of the earth will cover the entire moon).
And so it is with us as Christians. The more we allow the world between us and God, the less we reflect the light of the Son and His Gospel.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I was reading recently about the need for a statement of faith (and I am not against such a need) and the idea was presented that although ultimately the Bible should in essence be our statement of faith; many people may say they believe the Bible and yet disagree on various doctrines (that could be very important).
Along with this, I was listening to one of my favorite preachers and as I was listening he said that for the same reason (two can believe the Bible and disagree on what it says), that we should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history (and I am also not against looking to these preachers).
But what I was thinking about is whether it is better to hold the Bible as the only authority, look to it to find a truth on a particular subject, and be wrong in your understanding; or to believe something because a great preacher (modern or historical) said so, and that teaching be right?
The closest thing that came to mind on the subject in the Bible is when Paul went to the Bereans. Paul wrote most of the books in the New Testament - and if we can imagine him coming to our church, every word he said would probably be recorded on our note paper. We would probably reference his sermon often and say "Paul said..." and so on. But, the Bereans did not respond this way - their response is as follows:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
So although the famous Paul was preaching; the authority was (and is) still Scripture.
I think that I would rather someone (who believes the authority of Scripture) disagree with me on a subject (assuming they have looked to the Bible for its stand on that subject) than for them to believe anything because they agree with me. If the subject is an essential doctrine - we should be able to open Scripture (as the authority) to show them their error.
We should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history, but "with all readiness of mind, searching the scriptures whether those things are so". But that's just my thought, I am sure there are those who say differently.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do...
Jesus spoke to these people in the New Testament and declared their father was the devil. And also we readRomans 9:8
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Looking at these, we can see that one cannot say the Father is their father - something must occur for the change in parent.
...but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Just as we can understand the process here when a child is born to people but becomes the child of others through adoption - so it is with God. There must be an adoption to claim that God is our Father. You must repent and place your faith in Christ alone. For those who have, how do you know God is your Father?Hebrews 12:5-8
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
This is a warning to all of us that claim to have God as our Father - are you chastened? It is not my words here, but the Word of God, that if you are not, you are not His.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
With that in mind, let's look to Scripture. We read in the beginning part of John 1:1 that "In the beginning was the Word..."
So the first variable (relating to my title) is who is the Word (what is A)? - The Word is Jesus (B). In Revelation, John saw a vision of Christ returning, and the "title by which He is called is the Word of God" (Rev 19:13,16). And so the Word (A) = Jesus (B)
So we move to the next variable; the ending part of John 1:1 says "...and the Word was God." The Amplified Bible expounds further to read "...and the Word was God Himself". So C= God Himself. Which is to say Jesus (B) = God Himself (C).
Moving further, we read in John 1:14 "and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...". So then next variable, D, is not a noun (person, place, thing) but rather a verb (action) and D = becoming flesh and having dwelt among men.
When reading this passage in John, it is common to understand and see that the Word is Jesus, that Jesus (from eternity, entered time and) put on flesh, and dwelt among men. We can also establish the Deity of Christ from this text.
But why would I write (what may very well be an awkward post) to state the Deity of Christ (when it could be so much simpler)? - It is because I would like to meditate on the Scripture in this way:
God Himself became flesh and dwelt among men. (C=D)
How amazing is this; that the King of the universe & Creator of all (John 1:3) - God Himself, became as one of us, and then died for us. To me, this is incredibly humbling. I am the one who deserves death. My sin leaves me hopeless in front of a God that cannot overlook it; and yet He chose to be the sacrifice that pays the penalty which belongs to me. God offers you the same; if you will repent and place your faith in Jesus, He will grant you the gift of eternal life.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
But, when does our study Bible's extra biblical information become what we study? And are we neglecting actual Bible study and instead just reading; reading the Bible, then reading the notes? Bible study is essential to Christian growth, study Bibles can help - but they do not replace.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
But for us who do know Him, there is the question, how well? When we are introduced to someone we can say we know them, but the deepness of that relationship is dependent on how much time we spend with them, and getting to know them better.
With Jesus, how do we get to know Him better? By studying and reading His Word! So there is a necessity in being in the Word daily. We can say we know Jesus if we are Christians (that is if we have repented and put our faith in Him), but to know Him well - we must look on Him and listen to Him through Scripture.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I absolutely would say that we should not be offensive, but the message cannot change! And the message of the Gospel is offensive. It is offensive because it is personal, it speaks to the individual. And it is offensive because the message is that we are wicked. Can we make this less offensive? Only if the message changes, and if it changes it is not the Gospel.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Monday, June 7, 2010
1 Corinthians 16:15
I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
I thought of this verse because over the last several months I have had the privilege of teaching the Way of the Master basic and intermediate courses at my church and one of the participants, Melanie Betts, shared this testimony yesterday at church with the congregation (I don't know how to upload the audio so here is the link to the Church's sermon archive - click "June 2010", then "a brother behind the scenes", then "Melanie Betts Testimony").
If only we all sought to be addicted to the ministry of the saints. Thank you Melanie.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
We read of those who have died for Jesus, but how many of us live for Him? To do so, to die daily to self and live for and in Christ, is not a calling of great service - it is merely our reasonable service. There is much pretending that as Christians our life is still ours to do as we choose, but the reality is that if we live as we should - we don't live, we die and we allow Christ to live through us.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...
It is understood that Jesus was speaking about those who were crucifying Him 2000 years ago. That Jesus was looking on the created who were killing their Creator, the very Son of God. But what strikes me, and humbles me, is that I (and you) are just as much to blame as they were. Jesus died for our sin, because of our wickedness, it is our lawlessness that nailed Jesus to the cross. And just as much as He was speaking to the people in front of Him, I believe He was also looking across time - looking at us, and in His death (the way in which He made it possible) He said "forgive them, for they know not what they do".