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Response to Chris about Morals and Ethics

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan on February 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Chris at 12:41pm February 20

This is quite a complex topic to address and ethics/morals are something that I think many before us have tried to explain or clearly define without a definitive answer (yes I’m including those put forth in most religions and many philosophers; they to me are all pieces of what is correct/moral).

Chris this is my feeble attempt to respond to the paragraph above. I usually have to take one issue at a time that’s what happens after 50 and I am 51 (: so I qualify.

Your statement concerning pieces of the truth and the inability to clearly define ethics might be addressed this way. I have several sources that I have studied but I’ll confine myself to one extra biblical source for the sake of brevity. Josh McDowell has written a number of books on the subject of Christianity. The one I using for reference is Evidence for Christianity.

First Christianity is “A Factual Faith”-It appeals to facts of history that are clearly recognizable and accessible to everyone. As a matter of record Clark Pinnock[1] defines these types of facts: “The facts backing the Christian claim are not a special kind of religious fact. They are cognitive, informational facts, upon which all historical, legal, and ordinary decisions are based.”

Second “blind faith” that we have accused of is mislabeled. To ask someone to accept our view on blind faith is tantamount to intellectual suicide. My heart cannot rejoice or have a peace about what my mind rejects. Christ commanded us to:

 

(Mat 22:37) And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Paul Little[2] is quoted “Faith in Christianity is based on evidence. It is a reasonable faith. Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it.

A lot times we in the Christian community are accused of a leap of faith or leaping into the darkness. I believe this rooted in Kierkegaard. My faith is not leaping into darkness but rather stepping into the light of understanding and wisdom. I reference the scripture:

(Col 2:8)  Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

(Col 2:13-14)  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.

 

(Luk 11:35-36)  Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

 

(Joh 1:4-5)  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

 

(Joh 3:18-21)  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

 

Third “Just be sincere” seems to be the mantra of the day. I have several problems with that because we can be sincerely wrong. The Christian faith is an objective faith; therefore, it must have an object. The Christian concept of saving faith is a faith that establishes one’s relationship with Jesus Christ (the object) and is diametrically opposed to the average “philosophical” use of the term. i.e.”It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe it enough.” The main thing is the main thing so to speak. The Christian faith is faith in Christ. Its value or worth is not in the one believing but the One believed, not in the one trusting but in the One trusted.  I stated that you cannot separate the Moral Law form the Moral law giver, because morality apart from God is futility. Let the Bible speak to this for a minute:

 

(2Pe 1:16)  For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

 

(1Co 1:27)  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

 

(1Co 15:17-19)  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

 

(1Co 15:32-34)  What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

 

Just to wrap up a little, I know that without God’s impact in my life through his Son Jesus I would be distressed, disillusioned, and depressed based on several experiences on my short journey in this life. If being moral for moralities sake is the chief end of life give me hedonism. Why should I do good for goodness sake when I can satisfy my own desires if all life has to offer is birth, life, death.  That’s like the hopelessness of evolution you are what time plus chance plus slime equal. No hope! God tells us we are the apple of his eye , he dances and sings over us and our chief aim in this life is relationship with him now and forever. I like that much better than time + chance+ slime offers us for this existence.

 

Dan

[1] Clark H. Pinnock (b. 1937), professor Emeritus of Christian Interpretation, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, is an evangelical theologian and primary proponent of the Openness of God movement.

 

[2] BS, Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania

 1958 Wheaton College Graduate School, MA in Biblical Literature

 1975 New York University, PhD candidate

1964-1975 Assistant Professor of Evangelism at the School of World Missions at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)  1973-1974 Loaned to the Billy Graham Archives


Conversation Ben , Chris, Stacy, Dan

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on February 26, 2009 at 5:17 am

 Dan Neal at 9:59pm February 18
Thanks Ben the last paragraph from p 253 no human acts are good or bad in some twisted logic is how Hitler and his gang of thugs justified their final solution…Evil prevails when good men do nothing

SR  at 8:31am February 19
Toughest yet most intriguing and life changing class I ever took was called Theodicy – dealing with the problem of evil in context of the existence of a good omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. Try defining good and evil. It’s harder than you might think.

Ben  at 11:07am February 19
It is some twisted logic. I would be interested in dissecting what went wrong with Hitler’s thinking someday. In my own quick assessment of his logic, Lamont seems to separate actions into a consecutive time frame, such that the action precedes the consequence. And since the two are distinguishable, he separates one identity (the action) and defines it as a variable that is dependent on the following identities (the consequences), which are dependent variables of the action, for you can not have the consequences without the action. So where is the independent variable in this case? It should have been the action but Lamont is saying it is not the action. For example, I perform the action of eating an apple. One consequence is that my body gains energy, which is good. But another consequence is that I die because little did I know the apple was poisoned.

Ben  at 11:08am February 19
Therefore on Lamont’s terms, the action must be bad because the sum of consequences was bad, so I will be going to hell for eating an apple. The problem is that the sin of the world destroyed the person, i.e., the sin was the bad action of the world poisoning the apple. And I let the world destroy me. I wasn’t smart enough to overcome in Lamont’s terms.

Ben  at 11:08am February 19
Jesus on the other hand frequently took actions totally outside the sphere of time into the domain of the heart. For example, is there a time frame for love? Love will eternally be love, regardless of time. God is love. God loves me. And He called me into this relationship of love. Hence, I have a self-love in my heart that is independent of consequences. So, I eat the apple because I have self-love in an effort to be “good” to my body. Although my body still dies because it is poisoned, I will not be going to hell for eating an apple. For, “Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 6:24 (Holman). Although the consequences of my actions resulted in my body dying, I was not morally wrong because of the love in my heart for myself and ultimately for Jesus Christ.

Ben  at 11:16am February 19
Stacy – I was just looking at my book on theodicy this morning. What a coincidence! This area is something that concerned me from a very young age. I remember when I was about 12 or 13 saying to a friend: “How could a loving God do something like this?” I was talking angrily about how terrible it was that my mother couldn’t walk because of her multiple sclerosis. And thus began my search that I told you about last year.

Chris  at 12:41pm February 20
This is quite a complex topic to address and ethics/morals are something that I think many many before us have tried to explain or clearly define without a definitive answer (yes I’m including those put forth in most religions and many philosophers; they to me are all pieces of what is correct/moral).

I do agree with Lamont’s statement that actions in themselves are not inherently right or wrong. So what do we mean right or wrong, since these are value assessments in themselves? Everyone needs to come up with a working definition of what in the world we mean by this. How do we define what is right/moral? Through some appeal of a standard (religion, philosophical system, personal standard, etc) or through it’s consequences? Like Lamont, it is my opinion that the consequences are the ultimately means of assessing what is right or wrong. I do understand that this leads to a relativistic system of morals or a situational type ethical framework, but to me, that is simply reality.

Chris at 1:10pm February 20
What is deemed correct in one situation, would be morally wrong in another. So we must look at who and what it affects along with the overall changes in happiness, suffering, or pain. Here lies my working definition of what is right/moral. It is anything that decreases the amount of pain and suffering in the world or anything that increases happiness or quality of life. This definition for me works in most cases as broad principle, but I’m sure there are many cases in which it is not so black and white. Pertaining to sin within the context of Christianity, I would say that many of the things that deemed immoral are simply not moral issues based on my previous definition. For example God defined eating unclean foods as a sin in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:3-20. Is eating ‘unclean’ food really a damnable offense? The Bible makes this particular issue a moral one claiming to be a sin (or an offensive against God or his will).

Chris at 2:16pm February 20
But in reality this was just a matter of practical advice given the food preparation processes of that time period. Not a moral issue and I can find more examples if someone would like me too to reinforce my argument. Okay, back to my original argument about situational ethics. Sorry for getting sidetracked about my previous point, but I wanted to make a brief point about many things that proclaimed to moral issues when they in fact are not (based on my definition). Ben, you are right about Lamont separating the action from the consequences and here’s an example why:
Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was robbing Y. This is obviously morally wrong and most people would label this as murder.
Person X kills person Y: X killed Y because X was defending himself/herself from Y.
Sorry for the crudeness of the example; in both of these situations the act of killing has occurred. But in each situation the act of killing could be labeled differently.

Chris at 2:24pm February 20
In the first one, it is obviously wrong/immoral that killing occurred and we would label it as such. In the second one, most people would label this as permissible and morally/ethically justified (meaning not wrong, especially if Y was threatening X’s life. You must decouple the act itself from the consequences and determine whether a particular action was a moral/right one based on the situation. Simply saying killing is wrong is oversimplifying everything and does not take into account the reality of the situation.
Another example is the poor man that steals bread for his family. In this situation, the family is destitute and obviously needs to eat (let assume it’s been 5-6 days since their last meal). Is is morally wrong for this man to steal when there is no other means to provide food? Again, we must look into the consequences of this instead of the action. One loaf of stolen bread or the possibility of one of the family members dying from starvation?

Chris at 3:04pm February 20
As for your apple example… it is not a moral/right or wrong issue in terms of your perspective (maybe the person that poisoned it though!). The outcome of your death based on the action of eating the apple had no basis in your direct choice, so it is not a moral issue for you… simply a matter of misfortune. I’m assuming that this example is alluding to Adam’s eating from the Tree of Knowledge/Life. We can tackle the issue of Original Sin in another post if you want. But I will say this… God created the universe and everything in it, so he also created the Tree of Knowledge/Life. That kind of implicates him in indirectly creating the ‘poisoned’ apple. That might place him in an ethically dubious position by allowing such a thing to occur in the first place (like the poisoner in your example).

Now how do you evaluate the consequences of an action as right or wrong? Utilitarian approach, rights perspective, justice approach, common good perspective, virtues based, and so on?

Ben at 3:17pm February 20
Thank you for adding to the conversation Chris! It might be a couple of days until I can respond. I will be attending talks on philosophy and religion here at the university tonight and all day tomorrow.

Ben at 9:06am February 23
I will respond with more in a few days, but here is a bit for reflection. A moral life is inextricably interwoven with the depth of love in your soul. One’s deliverance from the danger of wrongdoing begins within that love, which was given to us by the creator of love as follows:

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

We have witnessed this love in the gentle and gaunt man who was brutally beaten and left to wither and die nailed onto the planks of a cross. When we witness the consequences of the hurt and pain felt by this man, we see that it was not the result of murder.

Ben at 9:06am February 23
The cause is delineated to the wrongdoing of everyone because the pain experienced by this man was when the creator of love turned His back on this man and looked away in His love for you and me:

“At about three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'” Matthew 27:46 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

And that is the love of the creator named in Hebrew: Yahweh.Ben Clayton at 9:07am February 23
So, what did this man on the cross say about unclean food?
“And He said to them, ‘Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a man from the outside can defile him? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated.’ (As a result, He made all foods clean.) Then He said, ‘What comes out of a person—that defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.'” Mark 7:18-23 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ben  at 9:07am February 23
What did He say about murder?
“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” Matthew 5:21-22 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ben at 9:08am February 23
And what would He say to the person who stole the loaf of bread?
“He also said to them: ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

Ben at 9:09am February 23
“‘So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ben at 3:36pm February 23
Looking back on what I said this morning, I need to add that one’s love for God is inextricably interwoven with trust, belief, or faith, as you can tell from John 3:16. You can not have that love without trusting in Him.

Ben  at 4:05pm February 23
Let me ask a more complicated but common scenario about murder. Say that a woman is raped and is deciding to murder the unborn child because she can not afford the child, is a crack addict, and does not want to go through the hassle of having a baby. In addition, the use of crack during her pregnancy could have potentially caused the baby to be deformed in some way. She decides that the consequences of keeping the baby will be too hard to deal with and will cause too much pain. So she has the baby murdered. Did she really have the ability to measure all the consequences? What if this baby was destined to be some great military leader that would save the lives of millions? Or maybe, 30 years later this person would be your best friend and would save your life somehow. Who else besides God knows these consequences?Ben Clayton at 4:16pm February 23
Even in the case for the man stealing the loaf of bread. How does he know whether the store keeper will shoot him for stealing?

Ben at 4:42pm February 23
In my situation of the apple, I was not implying the fruit eaten in the Garden of Eden. Apples are my usual lunch. Note it was the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, not simply knowledge. Notice how God gave Adam the choice of whether to trust Him or not:

“And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.'” Genesis 2:16-17 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Also note how it was the devil that persuaded Eve by saying that she would be like God in determining what is good and evil. It was the devil’s persuasion that implanted this desire to know what is good and evil.

Ben  at 4:43pm February 23
“‘No! You will not die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate; she also gave [some] to her husband, [who was] with her, and he ate [it].” Genesis 3:4-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Dan Neal at 7:24am February 24
Hey Ben I noticed your friend posted a comment and I might weigh in you cannot seperate morality from God anymore than we can seperate the taste of an apple from an apple. Most want to be moral netural because a when we accept a moral law we must have a moral law giver. Second we tend to put ouselves as abitor of God’s intention instead of being his created beings. Who can know the mind of God where were we when he hung the moon and stars. God’s ways are not our ways and our ways are not his ways. Finally a fool hath said in his heart there is no God! To disect God from the position of some sort of intlectual distance is to miss his offer of initmate friendship. Man whee did that come from? Have a great day.

Ben at 9:53am February 24
Thank you Dan! You are right. When God is removed from our lives, we replace Him with a substitute. This substitution is complex and multiply faceted, since God normally occupies our life on many different levels

.Christopher at 2:35pm February 24
Okay, I’ve not taken the time to respond to your posts Ben, but I will soon. Again, this is why I like that we can still debate and analyze this stuff despite the fact that we are on opposite sides of the fence. Your depth of analysis and well stated responses really are quite appreciated! There are not many who I can discuss these topics with that actually provide a decent answer… I get disappointed that so many people who claim the faith but yet have a childlike understanding of something that impacts their lives everyday and so such a great degree. I just wanted to say that, but let’s not get off topic on this.

Christopher  at 2:49pm February 24
And one more quick question about the last posts by Dan and yourself (I’ll fully respond later). If morality only comes from God, then how do you explain the large percentage of people who are not believers in God/Jesus or some other religion not related to the Judeo-Christian family of religions who act in moral ways? I’m an currently not a believer in God (Christian sense), but I still act in ethical/moral ways. I’d also say that I’m more ethical than most and many people think that I am Christian (Ben can attest to this). I’ve had some interesting reactions when they find out I’m not. But back to the point, how do you explain ethical/moral behavior when someone is disassociated from God? What about much of the recent studies in sociobiology that are showing that people might have evolved a rudimentary ethical system through just be communal creatures? We’ve seen evidence of other species acting in moral ways (at least we’d call it moral if humans were doing the same thing).

Christopher at 2:58pm February 24
Looking at this from another view, how do we deem what is in the Bible actually moral? I feel that many situations in the Bible and the morals that put forth are simply horrible. Take the story of Abraham and Issac. God asking Abraham to place his son Issac on the alter to prove his love to him is simply insanity and flat out child abuse. Things change drastically if you look at the story from Issac’s point of view. What does this say about God? What lasting impact did this event have on Issac? Imagine what would happen if you did this to you child? If you did that today, you would be jailed and child services would have you child within minutes! The story of Job is another example.

Christopher  at 3:04pm February 24
I believe that most people are inherently moral due to our biology and most normal people’s drive to be a good person (neurological disorders, psychological disorders, or a very bad environment growing up will alter this ‘natural state’). I think people attribute religion to morality when it is simply a placebo effect. I think that they would act in almost the same way if their respect religion was not in place. Religion sometimes does provide a positive environment to reinforce certain aspects of morality, but it is not the major source of it.

Christopher at 3:05pm February 24
Oh Dan, thank you for contributing to this conversation! Ben spoke very highly of you and I look forward to your responses.

Ben at 3:55pm February 24
These are great questions Chris! Take your time in collecting your thoughts. I will have to gather my thoughts as well. As quick response to your second post at 2:49pm in order to add to your current reflection: no person is free from sin and is capable of doing good works worthy of being accepted into Heaven. Even Christians have sin, but we have been justified to God through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul answers your questions directly:

Ben at 3:56pm February 24
“yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we ourselves are also found to be sinners, is Christ then a promoter of sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild those things that I tore down, I show myself to be a lawbreaker. For through the law I have died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” Galatians 2:16-21 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Dan Neal at 11:02pm February 24
Chris and Ben great conversation I hope I am not intruding and Chris I would like to intro myself I am a friend of Ben’s through church and would extend an invitation to visit us any time. Ben maybe we can continue to discuss with Chris and your approval.

Ben  at 1:33pm February 25
Dan – My approval? What do you mean? You are free to join the conversation anytime you like!

Ben at 1:39pm February 25
Chris – I forgot to say yesterday that you are welcome! Thank you for the compliments about my responses. I try the best that I can, but my knowledge of course is not perfect. Hopefully, Dan will correct me if I’m wrong on some matter. He has read the Bible 7 times, cover to cover!

Ben at 2:08pm February 25
In regards to your question, “how do we deem what is in the Bible actually moral?” This question brings up an interesting point. Every action recorded in the Bible is not moral. For example, King David commits adultery with Bathsheba (in 2 Samuel 11:2-4). This point is important because it shows that the Bible is filled with “real” people who commit sins. It is God’s will for us not to sin and He would never lead us to sin. We know what sin is, because God tells us in His word.

Ben at 2:38pm February 25
Abraham and Isaac is one of the most profound events in the Old Testament (read Genesis 22). It would be difficult to write all that can be said about that chapter in this note, but I will hit some key points. First, it demonstrated and tested through action the fear (reverence) Abraham had in his heart for God. At that time, it was well known that human sacrifice was morally wrong. Indeed, the Philistines were considered heathens because they sacrificed people to Molech. Abraham had no idea why God was asking him to sacrifice his son, who by the way was believed by scholars to be in his 30’s based on Sarah’s age (his mom). Nevertheless, Abraham was on the verge of sacrificing his son when an angel stopped him just in time to prevent the act from happening.

Ben at 2:53pm February 25
There is no record of the son having emotional trauma because he was tied down and almost sacrificed, i.e., no expressions of adverse feelings such as anger or hatred. Isaac actually appears to trust the father through the whole incident. He actually asks Abraham: “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7 (Holman). And Abraham replies: “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” Genesis 22:7 (Holman). What is profound about this statement is that it was a prophesy of the Lamb of God (Jesus) to come about 1900 years later, because at that time God provided a Ram for Abraham to sacrifice and not a lamb.

Ben  at 3:00pm February 25
Indeed, we find the whole incident foreshadowed what was to come when Jesus died for our sins on the cross. Do you noticed the similarities in the following passage when compared to John 3:16?

“‘Take your son,’ He said, ‘your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'” Genesis 22:2 (Holman)

So, how does that reframe what occurred on the cross for you?

Dan Neal at 10:55pm February 25
Hey guys sorry for the delay but I have been traveling and just returnee tonight late. I hope to weigh in on some of this tomorrow.Chris thanks so much and Ben just wanted to make sure I was’t intruding

A question from Today’s Study Picture

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on February 23, 2009 at 5:26 am

A question from today’s study A Picture of Grace

Thanks Jeff

Now to the lesson about the part that Stacy spoke about do you think when Jesus was on the cross and said the why have you forsaken me? Do you believe it is possible that Jesus thought God had left him and his word talks about never abandoning his children? I know some historians believe that when Jesus was on the cross he actually went into hell so that we do not have to go there he paid our price so that we don’t have to experience it which is what I believe but do you think he actually thought God had gone away from him and he was so stunned by it he called out to him wanting an answer.

First the reference she used:

(Mat 27:46)  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 

(Psa 22:1)  To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

 

(Mar 15:34)  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 

What’s Jesus doing on the Cross? He’s suffering

1st century executions were not like modern ones. They did not seek a quick, painless death or the preservation of any measure of dignity. On the contrary, they sought an agonizing torture that completely humiliated the victim. Through the eons of time and eternity Jesus had only known perfect unity with the Father now as he hung on the cross he experienced total separation from that perfect unity. Forsaken by the Father, how can we as human and finite understand the inseparable eternal God who turned his wrath and hatred for sin on his “only begotten Son”? The Bible explains death not as loss of life but as separation from God.

See the total scriptural reference Mat: 27:45-50

You see God set a price for redemption based on his judgment of our sin. His total wrath, hatred for sin and demand for a perfect sacrifice as represented in the Old Testament was met by the person of Jesus Christ on the Cross. God not only turned his back on Jesus he spent the fury of his wrath as well. When Jesus said” it is finished “ he meant for all time and eternity. You see God turned his back on Jesus so he wouldn’t have to on us!

Jesus calling out to God is seen by many to be rhetorical in nature not curious or surprised by the events of Calvary. Jesus knew what was before him in the garden so the cross was for the payment of sin and the benefit of mankind.  

I added John Gills Exposition of the Bible for your consideration.

that is to say, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? He calls him his God, not as he was God, but as he was man; who, as such, was chosen by him to the grace of union to the Son of God; was made and formed by him; was anointed by him with the oil of gladness; was supported and upheld by him in the day of salvation; was raised by him from the dead, and highly exalted by him at his own right hand; and Christ, as man, prayed to him as his God, believed in him, loved him, and obeyed him as such: and though now he hid his face from him, yet he expressed strong faith and confidence of his interest in him. When he is said to be “forsaken” of God; the meaning is not, that the hypostatical union was dissolved, which was not even by death itself; the fullness of the Godhead still dwelt bodily in him: nor was he separated from the love of God; he had the same interest in his Father’s heart and favour, both as his Son, and as mediator, as ever: nor was the principle and habit of joy and comfort lost in his soul, as man, but he was now without a sense of the gracious presence of God, and was filled, as the surety of his people, with a sense of divine wrath, which their iniquities he now bore, deserved, and which was necessary for him to endure, in order to make full satisfaction for them; for one part of the punishment of sin is loss of the divine presence. Wherefore he made not this expostulation out of ignorance: he knew the reason of it, and that it was not out of personal disrespect to him, or for any sin of his own; or because he was not a righteous, but a wicked man, as the Jew (m) blasphemously objects to him from hence; but because he stood in the legal place, and stead of sinners: nor was it out of impatience, that he so expressed himself; for he was entirely resigned to the will of God, and content to drink the whole of the bitter cup: nor out of despair; for he at the same time strongly claims and asserts his interest in God, and repeats it; but to show, that he bore all the grief’s of his people, and this among the rest, divine desertion; and to set forth the bitterness of his sorrows, that not only the sun in the firmament hid its face from him, and he was forsaken by his friends and disciples, but even left by his God; and also to express the strength of his faith at such a time. The whole of it evinces the truth of Christ’s human nature, that he was in all things made like unto his brethren; that he had an human soul, and endured sorrows and sufferings in it, of which this of desertion was not the least: the heinousness of sin may be learnt from hence, which not only drove the angels out of heaven, and Adam out of the garden, and separates, with respect to communion, between God and his children; but even caused him to hide his face from his own Son, whilst he was bearing, and suffering for, the sins of his people. The condescending grace of Christ is here to be seen, that he, who was the word, that was with God from everlasting, and his only begotten Son that lay in his bosom, that he should descend from heaven by the assumption of human nature, and be for a while forsaken by God, to bring us near unto him: nor should it be wondered at, that this is sometimes the case of the saints, who should, in imitation of Christ, trust in the Lord at such seasons, and stay themselves on their God, and which may be some support unto them, they may be assured of the sympathy of Christ, who having been in this same condition, cannot but have a fellow feeling with them. The Jews themselves own (n), that these words were said by Jesus when he was in their hands. They indeed apply the passage to Esther; and say (o), that “she stood in the innermost court of the king’s house; and when she came to the house of the images, the Shekinah departed from her, and she said, “Eli, Eli, lama Azabthani?” my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Though others apply the “Psalm” to David, and others to the people of Israel in captivity (p): but certain it is, that it belongs to the Messiah; and many things in it were fulfilled with respect to Jesus, most clearly show him to be the Messiah, and the person pointed at: the first words of it were spoken by him, as the Jews themselves allow, and the very expressions which his enemies used concerning him while suffering, together with their gestures, are there recorded; and the parting his garments, and casting lots on his vesture, done by the Roman soldiers, are there prophesied of; and indeed there are so many things in it which agree with him, and cannot with any other, that leave it without all doubt that he is the subject of it (q),

 

(i) T. Hieros. Pesachim, fol. 31. 3, 4. (k) lb. (l) Misn. Pesachim, c. 5. sect. 1. (m) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 162. (n) Toldos Jesu, p. 17. (o) Bab. Megilia, fol. 15. 2. & Gloss. in T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 29. 1. (p) Vid. Jarchi & Kimchi in Psal. xxii. 1. (q) See my Book of the Prophecies of the Old Test. &c. p. 158.

 

 

 

 

From Stacy and the Downpour series

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on February 23, 2009 at 4:50 am

Let me pose another propisition to this discussion…Evil entered reality when Satan chose to separate himself from God. (Remember he was an angel of light first before his fall). In the form of a serpent, he successfully deceived Adam and Eve into questioning what God’s said and his rules concerning their life in the Garden of Eden. All things were not kosher prior to the Garden. Thoughts?““““““““`

Dan’s response

Stacy just a small clarification Eve was deceived but Adam choose to sin as the Serpent was talking to them Adam was present the whole time. He knew the rules God had laid down and could have corrected the situation at any moment. There are some who think Eve was some new to the garden and what God had trained Adam in that he failed in teaching Eve what God had instructed. The scriptures speak to this in Genesis. her deception plus Adam’s pride gave way for Satan to take from him what God had given him chiefly to rule over the creation.

Gen 3:3

 

but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

Gen 3:4

 

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Gen 3:6

 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Gen 3:7

 

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

I have done a small amount of research and I’ll quote from a couple of sources:

The Christian Religion in its Doctrinal Expressions by EY Mullins page 280 paragraph 7:

We have no clear understanding as to the cause of the fall of angels. It is usually held to be pride. This is inferred from Paul’s words to Timothy, in which he is speaking of the qualities of a bishop:”not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil”

1Ti 3:6

 

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Ibid page 283 item (1) We have little light upon the question of a fall among created intelligence prior to the fall of man. There are allusions in Scripture which seem to point to such a fall. Satan, the prince of evil spirits, is represented as a malign influence ruling the world and holding man in his power. His agency in the fall on man is clearly implied in various biblical teachings.

In conclusion for the moment I would make this observation, which at it’s best is not any more warranted than anyone else’s. God cannot and will not tolerate sin in any form anywhere he is. The state of heaven could be said to exist in realm of God;s presence. When the fall in heaven took place which predates mankind as far as I can tell. God dealt with sin quickly and decisively by casting out Lucifer and he then became known as Satan. I believe the sate of Heaven at any given time is always perfect due to God’s presence and his eternal perfection. More to come great comment and thoughts keep them coming.

Recognizing the Holy Spirit in our lives

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on February 21, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Recognizing the Holy Spirit in our lives

(Rom 8:14)  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

 

(Rom 8:15)  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

 

(Rom 8:16)  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 

(Rom 8:17)  and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

 

Five basics of recognizing the Holy Spirit in our lives sort of a check list on unction (bible word meaning real or pretended earnestness or fervor, especially with regard to spiritual matters) of how I know that I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

1. Is God leading me?  First Romans 8:14 declares that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” By his Spirit God sovereignty directs and works in our lives, leading us by his Spirit. We live with a miraculous God who supernaturally intervenes in our lives. Examples of crossing paths with people unexpectedly who are seeking answers for their troubles lives. Having words put in our months that we typically not express ourselves with. Making a decision that has long term consequences and they often reflect God at work through us.

2. Is God giving me confidence? Romans 8:15 tells we did receive an attitude of slavery that leads us to fear.  What is confidence?  Webster defines it as a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances <had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed> <met the risk with brash confidence> b: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader> People who don’t know the Lord and unfortunately some who claim too often find they slaves to fear. For example in our current financial crisis the fear of losing everything they have saved, fear of the future, fear that seems to dominate their lives and direst their actions. But when the Spirit of God comes to dwell with you he displaces that fear and fills you confidence in his ability and your faithfulness.

3. Am I growing in Intimacy with God?  Romans 8:15 goes in describing our adoption as sons and as children of an all knowing, ever present, all powerful God we are his. We have been adopted and this has special meaning in culture of Jesus’ day in that we can never be disowned. According to Jewish law a son born to a family could be disowned by not an adopted son. This allows for an intimacy with God unknown in any other religion ever. This has to beg the question am I being as good a friend to God as he has been to me? I know your answer must be like mine unfortunately no sadly no and gratefully he is still my friend. To be filled with his Spirit he gives us a desire to pursue a growing intimacy and hunger for him. The more I know him the more I want to know him. I truly want to want what he wants me to want.   

4. Do I feel secure in Christ? People especially when thing happen in our lives that we consider painful tend to ask if they have experienced salvation and are they really a child of God? Romans 8:16 it is a ministry of God to confirm to you the reality of your relationship in God’s family. We may have un-confessed sin in our lives that causes us to ignore the Spirit but that doesn’t mean God moved it means you did. When I was a child and I misbehaved in my home I often tried to hide my bad behavior by staying away from my parents and hiding out in my room. Eventually the truth came out the issue was dealt with and the relationship was restored. In that moment of misbehavior my parents didn’t love me any less actually they exercised greater love by correcting me. The Spirit of God is the same way when we come to grips with our sin and confess it to the Lord in prayer we have that renewed since of relationship and security.

5. Do I draw my identity from Christ?  Romans 8:17 says we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. I am a blood bought child of the everlasting God who loves me here and now and in eternity. I don’t have to earn the Holy Spirit’s filling; I just have to be willing and ask. God wants to fill us with his presence every day all day long, over and over again that’s real identity in the family of God.

 

We can hurt our Heavenly Father in several ways but a couple of major issues arise when we grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. In those times in my life I truly experience the terrible wind as the Holy Spirit is translated from the Greek. Let’s take a look quickly at both.

First Grieving the Holy Spirit when we do things he doesn’t want us to do anymore. Grieving the Holy Spirit literally means “to cause pain or sorrow “many things fall into this category but Ephesians targets one primary way we grieve the Holy Spirit.

(Eph 4:29-30)  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

What do I need to live without in my life in order to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit?

 

Second quenching the Holy Spirit means we don’t do what the Holy Spirit wants us to do. Quench means to snuff out, douse, cool down, and trim back. To quench his Spirit is to snuff out his intended result. The other problem with this behavior we tend to get hard of hearing and eventually we can doubt our relationship with him at all. I have been told all my life God never shouts we just let the noise of life drown out his conversation. Paul in Thessalonians speaks this as well.

 

(1Th 5:19)  Do not quench the Spirit.

 

Are spending more time trying to ignore God than to listen to him?

 

Are we letting the noise of life drown out the whisper of direction from God?

 

Remember when we can’t hear or feel God’s presence maybe we moved I know he didn’t. We need to deal with these areas in our lives constantly and aggressively or we will be in a barren wasteland of desperate loneliness.

 

If you recognize the need to be filled again and again with the Holy Spirit these 3 simple steps will get you started.

 

 

1.      Repent of All Know Sin

Keep in mind we cannot fool God, living a carnal life because we won’t let go of something is keeping you from experiencing the fullness of his friendship.

 

(Psa 139:23)  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

 

(Psa 139:24)  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

 

2.      Ask God to Fill You

Once the issue of sin had been dealt with and all know sin has been repented of. We now have a clear conscience and a soft heart and a willingness to listen. Ask God to come and fill you, control you and be prepared to experience him personally. There is no requirement for this to take place in church; you can experience him anywhere anytime.

 

(Mat 7:11)  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

 

3.      Believe That he is Filling You

Refuse to doubt, don’t accept unbelief, and don’t pay attention to the deceiver (Satan). Believe that God’s spirit has filled you, is filling you and will fill you again and again.

 

(Joh 14:13)  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 

(Mat 9:29)  Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”

 

A prayer from downpour: Holy spirit of God, thank You for filling my life with you. You are in control of all that I am-my thoughts, my actions, my words, and my feelings. Thank yo Spirit of God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit in Control part 1 understanding

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved on February 21, 2009 at 5:50 am

The Spirit in Control

Part 1

 

(Gal 2:20)  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

(Joh 14:16-17)  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

 

The Christian life is surrender to the Spirit of Christ living His life in you. We must never accept the heresy that the Holy Spirit is just a force or an influence. The Arians of the first century taught a different doctrine as described here in brief.

Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (ca. AD 250–336), a Christian priest, who was first ruled a heretic at the First Council of Nicea, later exonerated and then pronounced a heretic again after his death.[citation needed]

Arius lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt. The most controversial of his teachings dealt with the relationship between God the Father and the person of Jesus, saying that Jesus was not of one substance with the Father and that there had been a time before he existed. This teaching of Arius conflicted with other Christological positions held by Church theologians (and subsequently maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and most Protestant Churches).

The term “Arianism” is also used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the 4th century, which regarded the Son of God, the Logos, as a created being (as in Arianism proper and Anomoeanism) or as neither uncreated nor created in the sense other beings are created (as in “Semi-Arianism”).

The Arian Heresy can be a difficult thing to understand if you haven’t been raised reciting the Nicene Creed, or in a Christian-based religion. Among other things it demonstrates the long battles, discourse or wrangling that has surrounded the attempt to discern the nature of Christ. The debate, and expression of the Arian Heresy came to a head during the Council of Nicea in the 4th century.

Founders of the early Christian church, with the aid of Constantine, who was at the time not a practicing Christian, thought it essential that the nature of God, and the belief in God be clarified. Most important was identifying and defining the Holy Trinity. While many believed that Jesus was son of God and shared his essence, a concept called homoousion, some felt that giving Jesus equal standing with God was not monotheistic.

Principal among these demurrers were Arius and Eusubius. Arius, whose followers were called Arians, felt that God created Christ, not of his own matter. This meant, in his opinion, that Christ was not God and was not divine. Worshipping Christ would be tantamount to worshipping another God, and this specifically went against God’s teaching that he alone should be worshipped.

In thinking through the idea of the Holy Spirit and what we are describing we have to look at what some say that he is not a person. As evidence of a soul, you need to have a mind, emotions, and a will. Does the Holy Spirit have these? Yes let’s look at some scripture and confirm what we think we know.

Intellect-(1Co 2:11)  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

 

Emotions-(Eph 4:30)  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (As a note only blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable Luke 12:10)

 

Source of truth-(1Jn 5:6)  This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

 

Convector of sin (Joh 16:8)  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:

 

Provider of comfort- (Joh 14:16)  And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever,

 

Boldness to witness- (Act 4:31)  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

 

Grace to Stand- (Act 9:31)  So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

 

Courage to follow- (Eph 3:16)  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

 

Hope to endure- (Col 1:11)  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

 

Illumines God’s word- (Joh 14:26)  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

 

Prays for God’s people- (Rom 8:26-27)  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

 

Advances God’s agenda- (Joh 16:13)  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

 

A Gift from the Father- (Luk 11:13)  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

 

 

 

We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit it was not a suggestion but a command if you read the word. And we are to be being filled as active tense in the Greek. So we are to continually be being filled like a pitcher of cold tea, we pour out relief on those around us and get refilled. If we don’t it has the ability to go sour like tea left in a pitcher and not used. Forgive the simplistic analogy but I think the picture is easy to understand.

 

Filled with the Spirit- (Eph 5:17-18) Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess, but be filled with the Spirit,

 

Believers in the scripture are shown being filled over and over as we see in:

 

(Act 2:4)  And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

(Act 4:8)  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and elders of Israel,

 

(Act 13:9)  Then Saul (who is also Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him

 

Take note the verse in Acts2:4 is translated G1100 γλῶσσα glōssa gloce’-sah

Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): – tongue.

We also see in Corinthians that the gift of languages is for unbelievers and the gift of prophecy is for believers.

 

(1Co 14:10)  There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning,

 

(1Co 14:11)  but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

 

(1Co 14:12)  So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

 

(1Co 14:13)  Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.

 

(1Co 14:14)  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.

 

(1Co 14:15)  What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

 

(1Co 14:16)  Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?

 

(1Co 14:17)  For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.

 

(1Co 14:18)  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

 

(1Co 14:19)  Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

 

(1Co 14:20)  Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

 

(1Co 14:21)  In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”

 

(1Co 14:22)  Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.

 

(1Co 14:23)  If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?

 

(1Co 14:24)  But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all,

 

(1Co 14:25)  the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

 

The word is very clear and straight forward about languages and tongues, emotional ecstatic utterances are not languages and the lost can’t come to the Lord. Paul always had the message of the cross and the lost souls bond for hell in his focus. If I build myself up in any gift and the lost perish what good is the gift? Remember the words of the Savior He came to seek the lost, heal the (spiritually dead and sick) and give them his greatest gift eternal life. Nothing is more important or has the focus of the Lord like witnessing to those who are lost.

More to come on how to know you’re filled with the Holy Spirit the: Old Testment

 

H6944 קדשׁ   qôdesh ko’-desh From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: – consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.

 

H7307  רוּח rûach roo’-akh From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): – air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

 

The New Testament:

G40 ἅγιος  hagios  hag’-ee-os  From ἅγος hagos (an awful thing) compare G53, [H2282]; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): – (most) holy (one, thing), saint.

 

G4151 πνεῦμα pneuma pnyoo’-mah From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

 

The terrible wind

Conversation form last Sunday’s lesson

In Apologetics, Prayer, Satan, Sin on February 19, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Dan-Thanks Ben the last paragraph from p 253 no human acts are good or bad in some twisted logic is how Hitler and his gang of thugs justified their final solution…Evil prevails when good men do nothing
Stacy-Toughest yet most intriguing and life changing class I ever took was called Theodicy – dealing with the problem of evil in context of the existence of a good omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. Try defining good and evil. It’s harder than you might think.
Ben-It is some twisted logic. I would be interested in dissecting what went wrong with Hitler’s thinking someday. In my own quick assessment of his logic, Lamont seems to separate actions into a consecutive time frame, such that the action precedes the consequence. And since the two are distinguishable, he separates one identity (the action) and defines it as a variable that is dependent on the following identities (the consequences), which are dependent variables of the action, for you can not have the consequences without the action. So where is the independent variable in this case? It should have been the action but Lamont is saying it is not the action. For example, I perform the action of eating an apple. One consequence is that my body gains energy, which is good. But another consequence is that I die because little did I know the apple was poisoned. Therefore on Lamont’s terms, the action must be bad because the sum of consequences was bad, so I will be going to hell for eating an apple. The problem is that the sin of the world destroyed the person, i.e., the sin was the bad action of the world poisoning the apple. And I let the world destroy me. I wasn’t smart enough to overcome in Lamont’s terms. Jesus on the other hand frequently took actions totally outside the sphere of time into the domain of the heart. For example, is there a time frame for love? Love will eternally be love, regardless of time. God is love. God loves me. And He called me into this relationship of love. Hence, I have a self-love in my heart that is independent of consequences. So, I eat the apple because I have self-love in an effort to be “good” to my body. Although my body still dies because it is poisoned, I will not be going to hell for eating an apple. For, “Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 6:24 (Holman). Although the consequences of my actions resulted in my body dying, I was not morally wrong because of the love in my heart for myself and ultimately for Jesus Christ.
Stacy – I was just looking at my book on theodicy this morning. What a coincidence! This area is something that concerned me from a very young age. I remember when I was about 12 or 13 saying to a friend: “How could a loving God do something like this?” I was talking angrily about how terrible it was that my mother couldn’t walk because of her multiple sclerosis. And thus began my search that I told you about last year.
Dan-Ben one of the considerations about evil was mentioned a couple of weeks ago in class. Evil could be the absence of God, somewhat like darkness is the absence of light. Evil began when man rebelled in the garden and God had to withdraw his eternal Holy presence from man or we would have been destroyed by his sheer majesty and perfection. In his infinite Grace he not only provided salvation but withdrew himself to preserve us. I think a good illustration of this is from the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. –

We choose rebellion through our first father Adam and confirmed that choice when we exhibited our first inclination towards sin. I would almost turn the concept around “ How could a loving God allow us in his creation knowing our propensity towards evil and rebellion towards him”
I like your idea to discuss Hitler and the terrible twisted logic you could include Stalin, Mao, and several others as well. I think we have such a hard time with evil because just about the time you thought you had seen the worst of man we out do ourselves in the area of despicable behavior and sink to a new low…

Humanism from Ben’s contribution in class last Sunday

In Apologetics, Prayer, Satan, Sin on February 19, 2009 at 4:01 am

For those of you in my bible study, I thought you might want to analyze the passages I read last Sunday in Dan and Mike’s class from The Philosophy of Humanism (below). Dan, you are welcome to copy this note in your blog. They highlight a major worldview regarding human conduct. We noted how most ethical systems of the world do not have a concept of repentance, including the humanistic view below. Without repentance, a person is bound to get stuck in a rut, or downward spiral, however you’d like to look at it. I wonder if Lamont ever analyzed or objectively looked at the consequences of basing an ethical system on consequences rather than on God’s word. Hmmmm? Anyone is free to comment on that one. =)

Per Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology): “Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” I truly feel sorrowful when I read Matthew 27 :46

“At about three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'”

It was at this moment that God the Father turned His back on His most beloved Son because He had taken on everyone’s sins.
—————————————————————

from The Philosophy of Humanism by Corliss Lamont
http://www.corliss-lamont.org/philos8x.htm

pg 249
Much of the emphasis in supernaturalist ethics has been
negative, calling on people continually to deny many of their
most wholesome impulses in order to keep their souls pure
and undefiled for that life after death which is so very much
more important than life before death. In this ethics the prospect
of supernatural rewards and punishments in the future
overshadows present conduct; the values decreed by supernatural
authority override those of the natural and temporal
order in which we actually live.

By contrast, the emphasis of Humanist and naturalistic
ethics is positive.* It is an ethics in which conscience does
not merely play the role of a vetoing censor, but is creative
in the sense of bringing to the fore new and higher values.
This system of morality recommends the greater and more
frequent enjoyment of earthly goods on the part of all people
everywhere; it repudiates ascetic other-worldliness in favor
of buoyant this-worldliness; it is against all defeatist systems
which either postpone happiness to an after-existence or recommend
acquiescence to social injustice in this existence.

pg 253
For Humanism no human acts are good or bad in or of
themselves. Whether an act is good or bad is to be judged by
its consequences for the individual and society. Knowledge
of the good, then, must be worked out, like knowledge of
anything else, through the examination and evaluation of the
concrete consequences of an idea or hypothesis. Humanist
ethics draws its guiding principles from human experience
and tests them in human experience. Since, as I pointed out
in the last chapter, knowledge of anything is in the first instance
never immediate, there can be no immediate knowledge
of the right. However, once we have established or accepted
a regulative principle of morality, we are able to use it
immediately thereafter.

From lesson today Stacy’s part (thanks)

In Apologetics, Prayer, Satan, Sin on February 16, 2009 at 4:58 am

Response of samaritan women at the well with Jesus

*(1) first response automatic and of astoundishment/surprise (vs 9)

He caught her off gaurd. Definitely got her attention.

* (2a)second response – practical question, but showed lack of spiritual insight. They are speaking on two different levels – hers being primarily physical and practical and his being spiritual. He peaked her interest. She came to the well for physical nourishment, but was met with the opportunity for spiritual birth. She asked how. He offered a solution to her physical and spiritual needs, although she was not fully aware of it at the time. (vs 11)

*(2b) She questioned his authority and position. She was aware of the heritage of her community and the well and questioned his authority or ability to draw from the well with no tools and also to turn the well water into living water which the Jews often used as a term for spring water (John Wesley commentary). (vs 12)

*(3) Again, her interest was peaked. She was looking for someway to make life easier and to bring fulfillment. He had her full attention now. He switches the topic of conversation to her sin. (vs 15)

*(4) She is now confronted with the specifics of her lifestyle – having 5 previous husbands and currently being in a relationship with one who is not her husband. She admits the truth of what he has stated but then switches the topic to a point of public dispute so as possibly to avoid dealing with her sins. (vs 19-20)

*(5) She admits her belief in the prophecy of the coming Messiah, but seemingly does not realize it is Him to whom she has been speaking with. Again showing spiritual blindness until Christ revealed himself to her.

So many times we come to God with a physical problem and during prayer God reveals to us the spiritual root of the problem. This is exactly what I see going on during the conversation of the Samaritan women and Jesus. He asked her for a drink, but it was really her who needed to ask him for a drink. (Life is so ironic at times.)

A Picture of Grace-

In Apologetics, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Satan, Saved on February 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

A Picture of Grace

Lesson

 

 

4you

 

 

 

 

What is Jesus doing on the Cross?

The cross, Jesus crucifixion and resurrection have changed history like no other single event. Incidentally some basic facts regarding the cross, not until the second century was the cross welcomed as the central symbol of Christianity. The emperor Constantine saw it in a vision and banned it as an instrument of execution. In the early church it was a hideous symbol of death especially to anyone who had witnessed an actual execution. The crucifixion of living persons was not practiced among the Hebrews; capital punishment among them consisted in being stoned to death, e.g. the protomartyr Stephen (Acts, vii, 57, 58). But when Palestine became Roman territory the cross was introduced as a form of punishment, more particularly for those who could not prove their Roman citizenship; later on it was reserved for thieves and malefactors (Josephus, Antiq., XX, vi, 2; Bell. Jud., II, xii, 6; XIV, 9; V, xi, 1).

 

Today we depict the cross as common and a kind of talisman for good luck or protection. Ironic isn’t it that a symbol of the most heinous form of death is now thought of as good luck. We seem to have lost our reverence for the severe cost it represents to the followers of the way. Probably as the author James MacDonald stated ‘This is profanity in the truest sense!’

 

The scriptures have more to say on this:

Mat 27:15  During Passover the governor always freed a prisoner chosen by the people.

Mat 27:16  At that time a well-known terrorist named Jesus Barabbas was in jail.

Mat 27:17  So when the crowd came together, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to set free? Do you want Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

Mat 27:18  Pilate knew that the leaders had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.

Mat 27:19  While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man. I have had nightmares because of him.”

Mat 27:20  But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed.

Mat 27:21  Pilate asked the crowd again, “Which of these two men do you want me to set free?” “Barabbas!” they replied.

Mat 27:22  Pilate asked them, “What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?” They all yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”

Mat 27:23  Pilate answered, “But what crime has he done?” “Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder.

Mat 27:24  Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of them and said, “I won’t have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!”

Mat 27:25  Everyone answered, “We and our own families will take the blame for his death!”

 

What does this passage reveal about Jesus and the cross?

 

What is Jesus doing on the Cross? He is substituting. When the bible talks about the two thieves it has a more literal translation that is significant to today “revolutionaries or terrorists”. Jesus Barabbas was a most notorious criminal and quite possibly the leader of their group of revolutionaries, not unlike Osama bin Laden is as notorious today for Al-Qaeda.

 

Luk 23:19  Now Barabbas was in jail because he had started a riot in the city and had murdered someone.

 

The focus is not Barabbas, the crowd or the mock trial for the purpose of this lesson and its application to our faith. It’s the substituting of Jesus the Christ for Barabbas that is our attention right now, Jesus dies first for Barabbas, then for every other member of the human race who has ever lived and is going to live till he returns. In the same way that Barabbas was guilty and had the proper judgment placed on him Jesus took his place an innocent man taking on the punishment of the guilty man and setting him free. This is even more important if we consider that our sin deserves the same punishment because we were already sentenced in the garden. I deserve that death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

 

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

2Co 5:21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

Rom 5:8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

What’s Jesus doing on the cross? -Scandal and Suffering

 

The cross is an outrageous offense. The Cross makes scandalous claims that cause intense reactions. First the Romans, then the Jewish leaders, now even the criminal take their shot at the Savior on the cross. What a scandal! Why the irrational hatred of Jesus Christ? Why the illogical animosity toward our Lord?

How is Jesus treated irrationally within our community and the nation today?

Have you personally experienced scandalizing hatred because of your faith in Jesus?

What’s Jesus doing on the cross? He’s fighting for the souls on men.

 

Mat 27:28  And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Mat 27:29  and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Mat 27:30  And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.

Mat 27:31  And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

Mat 27:39  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads

Mat 27:40  and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

Mat 27:41  So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,

Mat 27:42  “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

Mat 27:43  He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”

 

 

What’s Jesus doing on the Cross? He’s suffering

 

1st century executions were not like modern ones. They did not seek a quick, painless death or the preservation of any measure of dignity. On the contrary, they sought an agonizing torture that completely humiliated the victim. Through the eons of time and eternity Jesus had only known perfect unity with the Father now as he hung on the cross he experienced total separation from that perfect unity. Forsaken by the Father, how can we as human and finite understand the inseparable eternal God who turned his wrath and hatred for sin on his “only begotten Son”? The Bible explains death not as loss of life but as separation from God.

 

Mar 15:33  And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Mar 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Mar 15:35  And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”

Mar 15:36  And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”

Mar 15:37  And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.

Mar 15:38  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Mar 15:39  And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

 

 

What did Jesus do on the Cross?  He is satisfying

 

How many times has someone asked Why if God is God doesn’t he do something about all the evil in the world? He did!!  Consider the very moment Jesus gave up his life the curtain (veil) in the temple was torn from top to bottom the Holy of Holies was now available to every believer. The judgment (price) that God placed on sin in the Garden with Adam was now paid in full. All of God’s wrath, anger and hatred of sin for all of human history was poured out and spent on Jesus at the Cross. When Jesus declared “it is finished” God declared “paid in full”!

 

Mat 27:50  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Mat 27:51  And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Mat 27:52  The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,

Mat 27:53  and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Mat 27:54  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

 

Finally four pictures of Grace:

 

  1. Grace that redeems- The penalty is gone

 

God choose to set his love on us, apart from Christ we belong to the kingdom of darkness.

 

Col 1:13  For He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son;

Col 1:14  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins.

Col 1:15  who is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of all creation.

 

  1. Grace that releases-The power id gone

 

There’s a grace that releases you and me from the power of sin here and now. Do we want more of that?

 

Rom 6:10  For in that He died, He died to sin once; but in that He lives, He lives to God.

Rom 6:11  Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Rom 6:13  Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace.

 

  1. Grace that reconciles-The prejudice is gone

 

Prejudice has always existed, Romans and everyone else, Jews and Gentiles, the religious lost and the true believers. Too often we look for ways to separate and give distinction to certain others instead of extending God’s grace and being right with others.

 

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus you who were once afar off are made near by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For He is our peace, He making us both one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us,

Eph 2:15  having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them;

Eph 2:16  and so that He might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself.

 

  1. Grace the removes- My past is gone

 

Maybe our issues revolve around how we see ourselves and not necessarily how we see others. Grace outrageously claims that all past sins are wiped away because of the cross. Your sin is no longer your problem if accept God’s free gift of Grace, the requirement surrender you to him make him Lord of all or he is probably not Lord at all! Remember the whole world of the true church is made of up of people just like you. We are all dirty sinners saved by a loving and forgiving God.

 

A perfect picture of this is in Luke 15:11-31 The Prodigal Son story is for all of us.

 

Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Col 2:14  blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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