Monday, December 24, 2007
I guess this then raises the larger question of how are we seen? As Christians, as men, as women, as fathers, as mothers, as Americans, as human. How are you see, and who sees you that way? Who sees only what you want them to see? Do we create a false image of ourselves for others? Isn't this one of the problems in our churches today, People put on the face of christian two hours a week, and yet keep the title all week; to be seen and judged by non-believers all week.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Joel FREAKING Olsteen telling you how to Live Well
John Piper Telling you how to Best Live for Christ
Or Tell you about How Christ Lived
And We Wonder Why People in
IT IS BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE JOEL OLSTEEN
CHRISTIAN OR NOT
HOW TO LIVE BY PSUDO-BIBLICAL CONCEPTS
I would wager that few if any Non-Christians would bye John Piper's Writings
Yet, Many Would Buy Joel's Book
So What You Ask?
We Live In A "christian" culture where heresy abounds and sound doctrine fades.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
where I have told complete strangers to not say it
I hate Blaspheme, there is almost
then taking the name of the God who gave you
LIFE, BREATH, EYES TO SEE, YOUR FAMILY
AND EVERYTHING ELSE
and using it to express just how disgusted with something you are.
You have never used your mother's name
in that manor
yet you use
in that way.
that might just change how you view the concept of how often and how easily we blaspheme God
This is puritan theology those of you who are afraid, just read on and I pray you will be changed.
Taking the Name of God in Vain
By. Dr. C. Matthew McMahon
The third commandment is often the most memorable because we often hear people using the name of God in vain. We are reminded of the third commandment especially if we work in a secular environment, or we have relatives who show forth their rebellious nature without qualms in the language they use. But in looking closely at the third commandment we will find more than we bargained for. We as Christians break the third commandment more often than any pagan who may be screaming "God D_____t" or "Jesus Christ!"
What does the third commandment say? "Thou shalt not use the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who uses His name in vain." What does this commandment principally teach? The third commandment forbids all profaning and abusing of anything whereby God makes Himself known. (Malachi 1:6-8; Lev. 20:3; 19:12; Matthew 5:34-37; Isa. 52:5.) It is not simply a matter of cursing or using the name God or Jesus vainly in that way. It is true that God's name is not to be used in that manner. We are not to say "God bless you" frivolously when someone sneezes, or say "Oh my God" when we are excited or ecstatic. Truly, we use His name in vain when we say those kinds of things. But the use of God's name is hardly restricted just to language. The commandment shows us how to worship God aright, as God designs the first four commandments in this way. The third commandment is rightly divided into two parts. The first part is the explicit command that we should not take His name in vain. That is obvious. The second part of the command is not so obvious. It is the practical implications of the right use of His name, namely, that we should honor and revere His name every time we use it.
What is this commandment primarily directed against? The commandment is primarily directed against the heart and the tongue. The heart is where a man's actions come forth from. If our heart is irreverent towards God, then we will use His name in vain, or in an ignoble fashion. Remember, the heart controls the tongue. This commandment is a bridle for our tongues. It is the bit where God turns us onto His right path. The commandment is setting up a right attitude for the heart, and then consequently a right use for the tongue. So be warned, we are forbidden to use God's name in any other way but in the right way.
What does it mean to use God's name in vain? Simply, this means to misuse God's name in any fashion. It is not just directed against cursing, though that is one way in which His name is dishonored by people and is used in vain. What are some ways people take God's name in vain? There are many, but let us look at just a few.
The first way is when we profess God's name but do not live answerably to it. It means we live hypocritically. Thomas Watson said, "pretended holiness is merely double wickedness." Whenever we do not live up to the call of the Christian life, we take God's name in vain. We are mirrors that should reflect the perfection of God. If the mirror claims to be Christ's and reflects tendencies of hell, then we use the name of Christ in vain, and people see that.
Secondly, when we use God's name in idle discourse we are vainly using His name; like telling a joke with God or Jesus in it. God is to be revered by us, not spoken of in a light and jesting manner. When we speak lightly of God we use His name in vain because God is not to be taken lightly by anyone.
Thirdly, when we worship with our lips and not our hearts we take His name in vain. We say we follow Him, and then worship Him in the secret place of our heart as the hypocrite. How many Sunday mornings have you come to church, worshipped, and then left the same as you entered? In doing this you take His name lightly, and use it in vain. God is a God of promises. When you are not changed by the hearing of the Word, or the worship given with the saints, you mock God and all His promises to the church. You take His name in vain.
Fourthly, when we pray to Him but do not believe Him we use His name in vain. How many prayers have you prayed in doubt? God promises to make good on all those prayers prayed in His will. Do you doubt His will? Do you doubt His promises? Do you doubt when you pray? If you do, you use His name in vain. This is not positive confession or the power of positive thinking. Rather, when you pray and doubt, God says you are like a double-minded man unstable in all his ways. You are like one who forgets his face after looking in a mirror just a second before. What God is saying is that when you pray and doubt, you are forgetting the God you are praying to, and thus, you take His name in vain.
Fifthly, when we, in any way, profane or abuse His Word, we are using God's name in vain. Every theological error, misquoted Scripture, every jot and tittle not remembered in the right way is using God's name in vain. God's name is tightly bound to His Word. When we have bad theology we use His name in vain. When we misquote the Bible when a friend asks us to cite a verse or two, we use His name in vain. Imagine how many times we are theologically incorrect! Imagine how many times we have misquoted His perfect and precious Word! Imagine how many times, in this way alone, we have used His name in vain!
Sixthly, when we swear by God's name falsely, we use it in vain. Whenever we make a promise and do not keep it, we are lying as a Christian and making a mockery of God's name. When we make an oath to God and do not keep it we use His name in vain. When we make an oath to covenant with the body of believers, and then leave the church over some non-essential doctrine or ill-feeling, we are taking the Lord's name in vain. Jesus even warned us in Matthew 5:33ff not to make false oaths in God's name. The Pharisees tried to swear by other names-heaven, the earth, the city of Jerusalem, or by their own heads- so they would not directly swear by God's name. They thought that by substituting one of these other "important" phrases that it would allow them to make oaths, and have a way of escape just in case they did not keep the oath because they did not formally swear by God's name. Jesus sets them straight; heaven is God's throne, the earth is God's footstool, the city of Jerusalem is the city of the great King, and your own head is God's. So there is no substitution. It all belongs to God and subsequently should not be used in a false oath. Making a promise and not keeping it can bring dire consequences when dealing with God. He commands that we do everything that comes out of our mouths when we make an oath. So when we make an oath to each other or to God and do not live up to it, we are using God's name in vain because we are Christians who are to be honest always.
Seventhly, when we set God's name next to any wicked action we use His name in vain. An example of this would be when we baptize a wicked person, or baptize someone in the wrong way. The wicked and heathen have no right to be baptized, only the saved are to be. And Matthew 28:19ff tells us we are to baptize people in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." We use their names in vain when we baptize those who ought not to be sealed with their name.
Eighthly, when we use our tongues in a way that dishonors God’s name we use His name in vain. This is when we curse and swear. It is when we say "O my God" or any such time when the Lord's name is used in an irreverent way. Even when we are in prayer or praise to God and we continually repeat the name "Jesus" or "Father" irreverently through vain repetition, we use God's name in vain. It is a sacred name and should be held in high esteem no matter when we invoke it. For invoking the name of God is a weighty matter and should not be taken lightly.
Ninthly, when we make rash vows we use God's name in vain; like Jephthah's vow in Judges 11:31. Jephthah rashly vowed to the Lord that if he came back victorious from the battle, he would sacrifice the first thing which came running out of his house; pig, cow, horse, whatever. When he returned from the battle victorious, his daughter ran out of the house to greet him, and he had to sacrifice her to keep his vow and so he did. Such a terrible evil twice over! Let us not make rash vows to God.
Tenthly, when we speak evil of God in a circumstance He is bringing us through we use His name in vain. How often do you grumble and complain against God? Do you find His ways hard? Is the path that He is leading you down weary to your feet? Do you want to hop over the fence into the plush meadow to comfort your aching bones? Do you gripe at the perfect, concise, eternal, unchangeable plan of God? If you do or if you have, then you have used God's name in vain. God has the perfect plan laid out for you. When adverse circumstances come by you should praise Him as Job did, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21b) Do not grumble or gripe like Job's wife who said "Curse God and die," but be humble before Him knowing that everything He does for you is for your good. When we grumble against God in hard circumstances we give a bad witness and consequently use His name in vain.
Lastly, when we falsify a promise as if we were to do a thing if God does something for us, then we use His name in vain. When we barter with God to get something we act irreverently before Him and use His name in a way that does not glorify him. We say, "Oh God, if you would just take this or that away then I will never do such and such again." But this is using His name in vain. We are not to barter with Him but accept His will as it stands.
This is a very short list of ways which we may use His name in vain. We are to be lights in the world bringing forth His name in purity and truth. We must not grumble, but be content. We must not vow rashly, but let our "yes be yes and our no be no." We must reverently invoke God's name in worship and prayer with an attitude of fear and trembling for it is a privilege to even have His name marked upon us. We are to take heed in our beliefs, so that we do not misrepresent Him and His name in our theology. There is much involved in keeping the third commandment and in keeping His name holy. For God says "I will not hold him guiltless who takes My name in vain." How guilty are we?
Think about how many times in the past week you broke the third commandment? Christians do not go a day without breaking it in some fashion. This causes us to mourn our sinful condition. All our sin is not yet mortified. This causes us sorrow and rushes us to the the cross since we sin this way against our Lord and Christ. But we thank God for Christ. Thanks be to Christ who lived a perfect life! Thanks be to Christ who fulfilled the Law perfectly for His people and imputed to His people His righteous deeds which they did not deserve. Without His sacrifice we would be doomed to hell for just the sin of breaking the third commandment over and over.
Ponder upon the holiness and purity of Christ. He kept ALL the commandments perfectly. Every time He worshipped, He did it with His heart. Every promise He made He kept. Every time He invoked God's name He used it with reverence and dignity. Never once did he break the third commandment. So let our eyes be open to see what the third commandment requires of us, and pray that the Lord would aid us to keep His name holy every day, and never use it in vain again.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Another thing that is not always apparent but I think is a clear mark of Christians is that God dwells in them. This is often difficult to measure, as we must look for the fruit of the spirit in someone's life. However, when doing this one must also distinguish Godly fruit from righteous ( in human terms) actions. This is the difference between a Christian serving the needy and a Buddhist serving the needy. They are equal in human terms but far different in heavenly terms.
Christians also have a far different perspective, then non-Christians. Most Christians ( true Christians, not cultural or pretend christians) perspective is that all there actions are purposed for the glory of God. That is there end and all that they do is working towards that end. Non-Christians have a far different end, self. Their end is self-serving. They are enemies of God and lovers of self.
Here is another one for you, and a will warn you that there is theological content in this paragraph, so if you can't handle that... (ok, I was trying to be funny and witty here, but i think i sounded like more of a jerk.) Christians are unique because in there life they are not trying to be "good people" [ whatever that is as no one is good as we are guilty of breaking the commandments of God] but they are trying to follow the Four Commands of Christ. Quick can you name them? Well, i will supply them for you, because i am just that nice.
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37
- You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
- This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. - John 15:12
- "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
I think that something else that Christians can do that other people can't do is logically defend there belief system and holy text. Honestly, I would challenge someone, anyone to find a factual error that can not be attributed you scribal error ( there are about 50 known scribal errors in our modern bible, which for an ancient document is amazing). This is far from true for a group like Muslims and the Qur' an. This is even true for such recent books like the Mormon scriptures, (aka book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Abraham) which have far more errors and outright changes in them compared to there originals which are less then two hundred years old, in comparison to the Law of Moses which is about 3,000 years old.
Anyways, I have been writing this entry for quite a while, three weeks or so, quite contemplatively and wish to continue as it strikes me, but want to at least put this out there for consideration.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Where did the bible come from?
When looking at the basics of Christianity, I think that something we must be able to articulate is how we got the bible. All or most of us hold the bible to be scripture, the inspired word of God, but what do we really know about how this collection of books came to us. How do we know that this book is really the Word of God? So today we will address the issue of where the bible came from.
What were the writing tools that were used for transmission of both the Old and New Testament? The first form and most common substance that the Old Testament was written on, was papyrus. The oldest bible document that found on papyrus is dated to about 2,400 BC. Other substances that were used are parchment (dried and shaved animal skin) and vellum (which is dried calf skin) the oldest writings that were found on vellum were dated to about 1,500 BC. All three of these were written on by pen and ink. These pens and the type of ink changed with the area that they were written in. Ostraca is an unglazed pottery that is then written on with a metal stylus. Stone was also used and it was written on with a chisel. Clay tablets and wax tablets were also used and were written on with metal stylus.
How were ancient books and scrolls put together? Rolls/scrolls were glued sheets of papyrus that were wound around a stick. Normally the writings were on one side of the scroll. An opisthograph (Rev. 5:1) is a two sided scroll. These were very uncommon as they were more difficult to read from. The average scroll length was 20 to 35 ft. This is not the only form storing information. Codex form books were used for several reasons. They were easier to transport. One could have more information in a smaller area, a large scroll was difficult to handle, but because books were in leaf form they were far easier to have more information. The leafs were double sided and were made out papyrus.
In what ways did the Greek and Hebrew writers write? There were two types of writing, uncial and minusale. Uncial was deliberate and carefully executed letters, much like capital letters in English. Minusale were small letters written in ‘running hand’ and were used primarily for codex books. When looking at the spaces and vowels in the Greek and Hebrew, the term to remember is scriptio continua, which is continuous writing, no spaces were included. In Hebrew vowels were also excluded. This was not a problem for people of the day because reading was normally done aloud, even when alone. Vowels were added to the Hebrew sometime between the 5th and 10th century AD.
Where did the chapters and verses come from? There have been several different divisions of the Old and New Testament. The first divisions in the Old Testament were made prior to the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. The Pentateuch was divided into 154 groups called sedarim, that provided a three year reading and study cycle. Between 586 and 536 B.C. the Pentateuch was divided into 54 sections called parashiyyoth, which were later divided into 669 subsections. The prophetic books of scripture were divided into sections and subsections around 165 B.C. Standardized verse markings were made in about 900 A.D. these were done by putting spaces between words. The New Testament was divided into sections before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., perhaps as early as 250 A.D. The earliest divisions were found in the manuscript named codex Vaticanus, these chapter divisions were far smaller than modern chapters, as the Gospel of Matthew was divided into 170 sections. Modern divisions were made by Stephen Langton, in 1551 and he divided the bible into 1227 chapters. These divisions were in the Greek New Testament; our modern markings are the same as the 1555 version of the Latin Vulgate.
Where did the cannon come from? The early church father Origen used,” Cannon to denote what we call the ‘rule of faith’ the standard by which we are to measure and evaluate.” When looking at scripture the word cannon applies to a list of books that are officially accepted by the Church. This is why Protestants and Catholic churches have different cannons, we accept different books. There are correct and incorrect ways to look at the cannon and the churches relationship to it.
The Church is determiner of the Cannon
The Church is discoverer of the Cannon
The Church is mother of the Cannon
The Church is child of the Cannon
The Church is magistrate of the Cannon
The Church is minister of the Cannon
The Church is regulator of the Cannon
The Church is recognizer of the Cannon
The Church is judge of the Cannon
The Church is witness of the Cannon
The Church is master of the Cannon
The Church is servant of the Cannon
There are five tests to see if a book belongs in the cannon. First, was the book written by a prophet? In other words, was the author a person who had the ability to speak for God? Second, was the writer confirmed by the Acts of God? Examples of this come from Exodus 4:1-9, 1 Kings 18, Acts 2:22. Third, did the message tell the truth about God? Keeping in mind 2 Corinthians 1:17-18 and Hebrews 6:18. Forth, did the book come with the power of God? The Word of God is transforming and anything that claims to be the word of God must therefore also be transforming. Consider Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:17 and 1 Peter 1:23. Lastly, was the book accepted by the people of God? Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Paul knew that the acceptance of the message was as important as the message itself.
What early Christians recognized the cannon of the New Testament? (Why only deal with the New Testament? Simple, in the New Testament, Christ defines the Old Testament, so if you accept one, you must accept both; References to follow.) Athanasius of Alexandria, author of the creed with his namesake, gave the earliest recorded list of the New Testament books, which is exactly the same as our modern New Testament; this was done in 367 A.D. Shortly after this was done both Jerome and Augustine did the same and included the same books. Polycarp (115 A.D.) the disciple of John, Clement of Alexandria ( about 200 A.D.) and the disciple of Polycarp, Irenaeus ( 180 A.D.) all accepted the 27 books of the New Testament. For references look in “Against Heresies, III, ii, 8” and Athanasius Letter 39. The New Testament has been divided in the following way, by both the ancient church fathers and modern scholars. Although there is some debate about who authored the book of Hebrews.
The Pauline Epistles
The General Epistles
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 &2 Thessalonians,
1&2 Timothy, Hebrews, Titus, Philemon
James, 1&2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude.
Christ himself was a witness to the accuracy of the Old Testament. Consider Luke 24:44, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you-that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Also Consider Luke 11:49-51, “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” This was a reference to the Old Testament Cannon, when looking at Gen 4:8 and 2 Chronicles 24:21 in light of the construction of the Old Testament in Christ’s time.
The Law (Torah)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
The Prophets (Nebhim)
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings ( Former Prophets)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Twelve ( Later Prophets)
The Writings (Kethubhim)
Psalms, Proverbs, Job ( Poetic Books)
Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Ecclesiastes ( Five Rolls)
Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles ( Historical Books)
These are only the beginnings of understanding how we got the bible and how we can know that it is indeed the word of God. When looking over this information I hope that you have learned something new about where the bible came from, and about its accuracy. I have heard it said that when looking at all the scripture quoted by the early church fathers that all but five verses of the New Testament could be compiled. The Early Church loved scripture, because they knew it was the word of God. I hope that when examining this brief look at the bible, it would inspire you to learn more. The information for this lesson came from the book The New Evidence that demands a verdict, by Josh McDowell.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Who is he in deep distress, fasting in the wilderness?
Who is he on yonder tree dies in grief and agony?
Who is he that from his throne rules through all the world alone?
"Tis the Lord!" O wondrous story! "Tis the Lord!" The King of glory!
At his feet we humbly fall, crown him, crown him Lord of all!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Now please don't get me wrong, I praise God that I have a way to support my family
But, the cost is catching up with me.
I feel myself becoming embittered towards my job,
I dislike my job, because of how it of how it effects my 'social' life
And honestly this brings me to an area that is really convicting to me.
I have been richly blessed with the ability to research and study and write/teach, and I feel that I waste so much time that could be spent do those things. C. H. Spurgeon was known to work 18 hours a day, and when asked how he did it his rely was, " there are two of us working."
Well there are two of use working (I hope), yet I sleep far to much ( nine Hours or more) and can not focus on writing in the mornings before work. I WASTE so much TIME.
Friday, November 23, 2007
For those who are keeping score, I think Paul Washer is either the best or second best preacher in the United States today, the other being John Piper. Thanks be to God for men like this who can so deeply affect us.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I rely am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on to another what was told to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here is a statement from his blog. "A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose." Now in and of it self this statement may be true, however, it fails in it's concept of hermeneutics. We can not say that the New Testament is the only authority on God. So What does the Old Testament say? Well lets look at What God said through the Prophet Isaiah.
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any."
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'
So how many times did you count God saying He is the Only God?? ( the answer is 11) So as a Mormon, how do you address this in light of your Polytheistic ( Well, truly Henotheistic) beliefs? The Bible is Monotheistic, but Mormonism Believes in many God's. The only answer is that you don't believe the Bible.
hmmm.... Do Christian's Reject the bible as truth? I think not.
As you will become aware, I love football. My favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. That will become more clear as time goes on as well. To the point, Monday nights game was awesome! It was in Denver. In the Packer's second possession Brett Farve throws a beautiful 80+ year touchdown on the first play. I felt like a little kid again! It was so amazing. I literally could not believe what it was that I was seeing. There is nothing quite like watching a long touchdown. The energy and emotion, a feeling of WOW! So the game progressed, and like all good games it was full of tension, 13-10, in the fourth quarter with less then a minute left, Denver is driving down the field, and with five seconds left kicks the tying field goal, 13-13 there would be a sudden death overtime on Monday night. The coin toss, again full of tension, who would get the ball. Packers win the toss! Yes, I screamed, quickly hushed by my wife. Brett Frave receives the snap. He rears back and throws a bomb to #85, Greg Jennings catches the ball in stride and out runs Dre Bly into the end zone. I jumped up and threw my hands into the air in the touchdown sign and yelled touchdown. Courtney was confused, then she saw the instant replay and she too yelled that was amazing. ( The only other time I have seen her excited about a football game was last years Boise State Bowl Game where they won in overtime). Packer's Win! It was so awesome. One has to enjoy Monday night football.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Same deal as the essay on Salvation.
The Trinity and The Hypostatic Union (Brief intro on heresy)
The doctrine of the trinity is perhaps one of the most basic and misunderstood doctrines in the Christian church today. I believe it to be this way, because it is so complex. One reason for this is that the word trinity never appears in scripture. However, despite the lack of the term being used I am confident that after seeing what scripture says about God Almighty that no other view can be taken. The second topic that we will be covering today is the Hypostatic Union. This is a critical doctrine of Christ Jesus our Lord that we must understand, not for salvation, but to understand Christ’s roll right now. We will begin with the Trinity; can anyone define what it is? Can you show any Scripture that shows this?
The Trinity is best defined as the doctrine of God that states that He is one, yet has three distinct members, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is neither the Son nor the Spirit, and the Son is not the Father or the Spirit, and the Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. They are not three Gods as that would be polytheism (meaning many Gods) and they are not three beings.
Let’s briefly examine how many Gods exist in the bible. The verses we will examine are Isaiah 43:10, 44:6.8, 45:5,14,18,21-22, 46:9, 47:8. John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6-8 Deuteronomy 32:9. There is clearly one God. We must accept this, scripture is clear. However scripture discusses three persons as God. John 1:1-2,14 (Jesus); Philippians 1:2 (Father) Acts 5:3-4 (Holy Spirit). There are examples like this where God is shown to be more than one person, and we cannot forget that He is one God.
From Rev. Matt Slick, Brief intro to heresy. - The word "heresy" comes from the Greek hairesis which means "choosing," or "faction." At first, the term heresy did not carry the negative meaning it does now. But, as the early church grew in its scope and influence throughout the Mediterranean area, various teachers proposed controversial ideas about Christ, God, salvation, and other biblical themes. It became necessary for the church to determine what was and was not true according to the Bible. For example, Arius of Alexandar (320 AD) taught that Jesus was a creation. Was this true? Was this important? Other errors arose. […] Out of necessity, the church was forced to deal with these heresies by proclaiming orthodoxy. And in so doing, condemnation upon these heresies and the heretics became a reality.
There are several heresies related to the trinity. We well briefly look over a couple of them. The first and most common heresy that exists in the church today is called Modalism. A modalist would state that God is one person, who has displayed himself in three ways in different times throughout history. When discussing God with a modalist I have used one passage over and over again. I will read the section to you and ask that you pick out why you think this shows Modalism as a heresy. (Matthew 3:13 ff and Acts 7:55.) - Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Mat 3:13-17) Today the main groups of people who subscribe to this view point are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches. The foremost preacher who holds to this view is T.D. Jakes, who is Oneness Pentecostal.
The next major heresy I want to address briefly is Tritheism. According to this heresy that was started in the 11th century by Roscelin (a Catholic Monk), there are three beings in the Godhead which comprise three Gods. The logic behind Roscelin’s thinking was that if there was only one God, both the Father and the Holy Spirit would have become incarnate with Christ. What verses would you quote to someone who held this belief? (see above proof for the Trinity). The modern group that holds to a heresy like this one is Mormonism. A Mormon would state that there are many Gods in the universe, but that they only worship one (the Father), but that Christ and the Holy Spirit are also God’s. We will be spending a fair amount of time on Mormonism as it is the most wide spread of all the Christian Cults.
One major question that exists is why is Jesus, so often, called the ‘son’ of God. There are several possible answers but I believe the best one lies in the concepts of incarnation and authority, as best understood by our next topic the hypostatic union.
I would like to start off by saying that this is perhaps one of my favorite doctrines of Christianity. It is wonderful and confusing all at the same time. If you ask perhaps ten people if they could tell you what the hypostatic union was, I am confident that only one if any could. However, this is a doctrine that helps us understand the nature of the incarnation, Christ becoming human, and how, by extension, He is seated on his throne right now. The doctrine of the hypostatic union states that Christ Jesus was born to Mary fully man and fully God; He as two natures, human and divine. It is not that he is half man and half God but that He is fully both. The how is a divine mystery, but the proof that it is true is in the text. So let’s dive into the Word of God.
Is Jesus Christ God? What are some things that we only do for God? (Worship, Pray) God is all-knowing, and gives us eternal life. We see that these are the characteristics of Christ. In Matthew 2:2-11 and 14:33, that Christ is worshiped. In the book of Acts 7:59 we see Steven praying to Christ. According to John 21:17, Christ knows all things; and in John 10:28 we see that he gives eternal life. If that is not enough we can see in Colossians 2:9, that in Him all deity dwells and John 1:1-2,14 says that He is God. I believe that we can say with absolute confidence that Jesus Christ is God. The question then remains was he human? Paul said he was, Romans 5:6-17, we see he Died, which God cannot, and he is repeatedly called a man. He had a physical body both before and after the resurrection, Luke 24:39. Now for the real puzzler, he grew in wisdom according to Luke 2:52.
Adults: Where is Jesus Christ right now? Is he alive physically? There is one main reason the Jesus Christ must be a man right now, in Heaven. And that reason is to hold the Priesthood. Right now Christ is still incarnate in the hypostatic union (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9). Also it is imperative that we hold that Christ is the High Priest right now, as if He did not, we would have no one to intercede for us. Hebrews 6:19-7:28.
Like the Trinity, there are heresies about the nature of Christ. Briefly I would like to look over them. First I would like to look at Apollinarianism. This heresy basically taught that the Logos (Greek for Word) of God came down and after birth replaced the soul of the Man Jesus. So it was deity indwelling a man. The major issue with this heresy is that it puts the nature of the atonement in peril. This is a common theme in all heresies involving the humanity or divinity of Christ. If Christ was not fully God then he was not pure and holy and therefore could not have be a suitable sacrifice. However, if Christ was not a man, he could not have died for men. We see the absolute need for both forms.
The second heresy which is perhaps more common today is that of Arianism. Arius taught that Jesus was the first created being and that it was by him that the world was created. He held that because of the glory of being the first creation of God and the authority given to him by God, Christ deserved to be worshipped, and treated as God. For Arius, at the incarnation, Christ took both the physical and spiritual aspects of Jesus. This heresy is again often refuted the same way that Apollinarianism was, but with the added kick of recognizing that worshipping anything created is idolatry. This heresy denies the full nature of the incarnation, and the eternal coequality of the Father, Son and Spirit, and thus attacks both the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union. Today two major groups that hold to forms of this heresy are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In the fifth century AD there was a church counsel held to discuss the trinity, and to combat the errors that had crept into the body of believers. This creed was written by Athanasius, the fourth century bishop of Alexandria. (Catholic in this context simply means universal or believer, and does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church)
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.
For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Here is a bible study that I have written on the topic of salvation. It was written as a study for Parents and Children. The Italics are meant for the adults only. The goal of this is family discipleship. The Parents get more information, so that throughout the week they can teach there children the missing information.
Old Testament vs. New Testament Salvation: Is it the same?
This is critical topic for us to understand not only the method God has used to save men, but also to understand how we are saved. When studying this topic I found that the Christian Church as divided, on one point, mainly the Old Testament. The debate is whether or not works of the law saved a person in the pre-Christ era. There are some clear points to be understood, and that is where we will begin, where we all agree, salvation in modern times.
For the past two thousand years people have been attacking the simplest way for man to be saved, by God. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Christ Jesus; we are covered by his blood and are then given His righteousness, because we are wholly unrighteous in the sight of God. That is a strong statement that needs to be proved biblically, like everything that will be done in this class, we will use the bible for what it is, the Word of God meant for teaching, rebuking, and instruction in righteousness.
What does the Word of God say about salvation? Paul has a lot to say on the topic, let’s begin in the book of Ephesians. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9). This is as clear of a statement as you can get. We are indeed saved by grace by faith. This however raises some questions, who do we have to have faith in? What kind of faith must we have? The first question is answered by the Apostle Paul in the letter to the church in Rome. (Rom 10:10-17) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. We can clearly see who the object of our faith is, the Lord Christ Jesus, but what kind of faith do must we have? Jesus says in Luke 14:26-33 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. This is a faith that is willing to totally abandon everything else, for Christ. Do you have a faith like that? Are you modeling this kind of faith to your children, that even when the cost is high you choose Christ.
We can see faith clearly, what it requires of us, that is, our everything. But what does that faith do? I think by the grace of God that our faith has results. God acts based on the faith we have to save us. Acts 10:43 says - To Him (Christ) all the prophets testify that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name. It is by the name of Christ that our sins are forgiven, but how? Hebrews 9:22 says that […] without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness. But who’s blood? In the Old Testament it was the blood of animals, however Hebrews 10:4 states, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. This is why Christ Had to come to pay for sin, only a man can atone for mankind’s sins. We see that Christ came to pay for sin all over both the Old and New Testaments. Indeed, just as people are appointed to die once and after that to be judged, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. And he will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly wait for him, Hebrews 9:27-28. For you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you have been ransomed from the worthless way of life handed down to you by your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or defect, 1Peter 1:18-19. It was the blood of God that was shed for you, for your retched sins and for mine. His blood was shed on the hill, for the forgiveness of our sins. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6.
So then what is the debate about the Old Testament? Some say that it was a works based salvation, and some say it was by faith. What do you think? When originally writing this, I had planned on presenting both sides; however one side has such overwhelming support in scripture that I cannot in good conscience even mention the other view, other than to point out its flaws. I will start with the greatest patriarch in the Old Testament, Abraham. In this passage, God is giving Abram the promise to make him a great nation. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:4-6. Now we see that there are two types of righteousness spoken about in the Bible, God’s and mans. We see that our righteousness is worthless before God (Isaiah 64:6), and that Heavenly righteousness is equated with being pure before God. Paul says this to the church at Philippi; Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11. What righteousness are you relying on for your salvation? What righteousness are you teaching your children to rely on? God credited Abraham’s belief as righteousness. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, Romans 4:2-5. We can clearly see the teaching in scripture that it is by faith in God we are saved.
Can anyone think of any other example of someone who did a lot of good works, yet was condemned? There are two in the gospels that make it clear that works are not the way to get saved. Look at what Christ spoke to the religious leaders of the day. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Matthew 23:25-33. They followed the law and then some. But in their hearts was wickedness. They made themselves righteous before men, but the wickedness was still alive in their hearts. They kept the law to the very letter, but Christ the Lord condemned them to Hell? How could this be if we are saved by our works of the Law of Moses? For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20. But how can this be, they worked far more than we ever have or can. Their life, job, was being the legal dealings of the Law. They had the entire Old Testament memorized. They led many followers? How can your righteous works exceed this?
Let’s quickly look at one more example of a person who kept the law, yet was unsaved. Listen to the story of the rich young ruler. Just then a man came up to Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good deed should I do to have eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to get into that life, you must keep the commandments." The young man said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'you must love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to him, "I have kept all of these. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." But when the young man heard this statement he went away sad, because he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God." (Mat 19:16-24) This man kept all the commands, but was unsaved. Why is that, if righteousness come through the Law? The simple answer is that it doesn’t. The man asked the wrong question, he believed he was good enough to earn salvation. What does the Prophet Isaiah say about our righteousness? But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6). Let me make it completely clear to you that if you are trying to come to God with anything except for the shed blood of Christ Jesus you will parish and be in hell for all time.
The issue still remains that there was a major difference between how people were saved in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. This is that one could not be born again in the Old Testament, like we can be in the New Testament era. What does this mean for those who died under the old covenant? Christ tells us what happened to them and Peter tells us how they got to heaven. I will be open and say that there are some good theologians who reject what I am about to teach, so please examine it for yourself.
When we look at Luke 16:19ff, we see that there were two places that someone who died under the old covenant could go, Hell and Abraham’s bosom. Often times people mistake this passage as a parable, however, the use of a name disqualifies It from being such. Why were these people here? I think the answer lies in the book of Hebrews, it says in chapter 10 verse 4 that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. They had no atonement for their sin. They had to wait for the Messiah, in which their faith was in, to come and pay for their transgressions. Peter then tells us what happened, For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:18-22. Paul expounds on the goings on of this time, Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. Ephesians 4:8-10. To make this a little more clear, I will briefly explain the Jewish idea of the afterlife. They believed that there were three places one could go after you died , Hell, Sheol, Heaven. Sheol and Hell were under the earth, heaven was above the sky and stars. They believed that most people went to Sheol, a holding place where they could pay for their sins before they entered heaven. So Paul is equating this false belief to the proper belief of Abraham’s bosom.
We can now clearly see that God’s method for saving people has been the same, yesterday, today and forever, it is by the blood of Christ. There are honestly only two religions in the world, do you have any idea what they are? Cain and Able (Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. (Gen 4:1-5)). Cain was a farmer who brought his best to God, it was the best he had, and God rejected it. Able was a shepherd, who brought a pure lamb, and slit it’s throat, and came to God by blood. We today have the same choices. We can come to God by doing our best, or we can come by the blood. Only one will be accepted, but the choice is yours.