Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Loving Life Seeing Good Days and great relationships

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on September 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Loving Life and Seeing Good Days

1st Peter 3

Focus on 1st Peter 3:14-17

(1Pe 3:14 AMP)  But even in case you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, [you are] blessed (happy, to be envied). Do not dread or be afraid of their threats, nor be disturbed [by their opposition].

(1Pe 3:15 AMP)  But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. [Isa. 8:12, 13.]

(1Pe 3:16 AMP)  [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].

(1Pe 3:17 AMP)  For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong.

The scriptures reveal a Christ in torment in the garden prior to His amazing, phenomenal, submissive, wonderful, terrible, ordeal called Calvary. Hs is praying so deeply that blood literally came through his pores like drops of sweat. Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) is a very rare condition in which a human being sweats blood. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, such as, facing his or her own death.[1] Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44).

(Luk 22:44 ESV)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Christ suffered several terrible losses in this transaction between: Christ the Son and the desolation from the Father, the burden of guilt and sin placed on Him undeservedly, the punishment He was about to endure on our behalf’s.

1. Christ the Son and desolation from the Father:

(Joh 17:1-9 ESV)  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

(Joh 17:22-26 ESV)  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

2. the burden of guilt and sin placed on Him undeservedly :

(Joh 1:29 ESV)  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

(Act 8:32-33 ESV)  Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”

(Heb 9:25-27 ESV)  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

Judas acknowledges he has condemned the innocent (Mat 27:4 ESV)  saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.”

3.   the punishment He was about to endure on our behalf’s.

(Mat 27:25-26 ESV)  And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”

Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

(Psa 22:1118 ESV)  Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet–  I can count all my bones– they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

We have an example to follow in every relationship no matter what the relationship: government, ruler, employer, employee, believer, parents, and spouse. The ideal is all can live together and be of one mind. Most people especially in the modern age do what is right in their own eyes. Jesus gave us the pattern of how to do what is right in His Father’s eyes. Remember within the Trinity they had perfect relationship, and love is expressed in the unity, diversity, and community of the Trinity. Without a Triune God there can be no love, only will and power. We are given an example of that love when Jesus cries out in Matthew “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” this was the first time in eternity past this has happened. The pain from the Cross was from the broken fellowship of the Father from the Son because of our sin debt.

Deserted! God could separate from His own essence rather;

And Adam’s sins have swept between the righteous Son and Father:
Yea, once, Immanuel’s orphaned cry His universe hath shaken—
It went up single, echoless, “My God, I am forsaken!”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The loud cry demonstrates that He died in strength, not in weakness. The fact that He yielded up His spirit distinguished His death from all others. We die because we have to; He died because He chose to. Had He not said, “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (Joh_10:17-18)?

No matter how difficult, impossible, your situation seems, no matter how bad the relationship has gotten (outside of violence or obvious physical danger). Submit and do what is right even if you know you will suffer for it. God will provide what you need to endure. Keep constantly, continually, consistently, entrusting yourself and your situation to Him, remembering that at times it will look like there is no justice in what is going on, no truth in what is being said, or no life left in the situation. Remember that God is a righteous judge, has the final word, and is able to bring life out of death, for His praise and glory and honor.

Jesus is the answer, what are the questions?

In Apologetics on September 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

If we are repenting what are we repenting from?
If this is an awakening what are we waking up to?
If there is counterfeit Christianity what does real Christianity look like?
If there is eternal life for the believer why do we live like this is the only life we have?
If speaking the truth becomes illegal what will we say?
Is being a Christian about what God does for you or through you?
How can Heaven get into us?
If we have the truth why aren’t we telling others about it?
If we have the Peace that passes understanding then why are we so worried?
If we believe that we have repented why do we treat forgiveness like we deserve it?
If Grace cost Christ everything why do we cheapen it?
If Jesus loves me so much why don’t I love Him more?
If we are afraid of the wrath to come and the final judgment why don’t we care about it?
If we are supposed to have life more abundantly then why are we missing so much of it?
Justification by faith what is the question?

Acting like Saints

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on September 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

1st Peter 2:22-2:25

Peter introduces two new important concepts: submission and doing what is right. We also learn new descriptions of Jesus, a living stone, the cornerstone, a suffering Savior, the Shepherd, and Guardian of our souls.  This relationship of the activities of Jesus relates to each other, but how do they relate to us in our situations, in our circumstances, and our daily lives?

How do we react when we are treated harshly?

How do we respond when we accused falsely?

How do we respond when we receive harsh treatment from those we love even if we are doing the right thing?

What about abuse in the sense of being unfairly used and denied just credit for doing something at work? At home? At Church?

Focusing on verse 19 of chapter two reveals a gem of the faith.

(AMP)  For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.

(ASV)  For this is acceptable, if for conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully.

(BBE)  For it is a sign of grace if a man, desiring to do right in the eyes of God, undergoes pain as punishment for something which he has not done.

(CEV)  God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him.

(DRB)  For this is thankworthy: if, for conscience towards God, a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully.

(EMTV)  For this is admirable, if because of conscience toward God someone endures pain, suffering unjustly.

(ESV)  For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

(KJVA)  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

(LITV)  For this is a grace, if because of conscience toward God anyone bears grief, suffering unjustly.

(MKJV)  For this is a grace, if for conscience toward God anyone endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

Peter is trying to illustrate the unmerited, undeserved, or unexpected favor that God has bestowed on those who have repented and believed in the personal God who is there and His son Jesus the Christ.  Peter goes to use the illustration of a slave who is not just ignored by his master but who is suffering under an unreasonable master. Residents in the USA and other parts of the free world have a hard time with this example because it doesn’t resonate to a free society. We are about abolishing slavery in corporeal sense and putting ourselves in a type of servitude to our careers, society, friends, peer groups etc.

Why should the slave respond this way?

His submission gives him a clear conscience toward God, and it finds favor with God. What the slave has received, the slave can give. What the slave gives, the slave receives.

Seeing what God has done for us through Jesus the Christ we should be in a better position and better prepared to respond in a Christ like manner to those difficult tyrants that malign and mistreat us. The biggest battle in my walk is this very area. My basic rebellious nature coupled with a sharp wit and before I slow the thought down I have caused injury to those around me. Fortunately I have better information to help me make better decisions so I won’t be ruled by my emotions.

If we are chosen by the personal God who is there, forgiven by the blood that Jesus the Christ shed, if we have repented and believed in Jesus the Christ, we have the application of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have access to the Holy Spirit through prayer and we have a gospel that renews our minds we have the tools to cope with the very real Grace/Peace thieves in our lives.  We can act like saints-that is who we are.

If there is no Trinity then “There is no imputation”

In Apologetics on September 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

In Isaiah 53 the person of Jesus the Christ is prophesied coming in a physical body. As a person distinct in form yet common as man. The prophet describes the barbarous manner to which the Son was to be treated. God is described as exercising His wrath on His Son. The Son is called the Mediator, for all his sufferings, it is intimated that he should succeed and prosper, have a numerous issue, should justify many, and have a portion and spoil divided with the great and mighty, Isaiah 53:10. The language is clear there are persona’s, who are acting upon and with each other. The plural language of the Bible is not misleading but clearly points to the persons of God yet it is just as evident there is one God. From the beginning of Holy Scripture the use of plural language has caused confusion for the doubters and confirmation for the faithful. The dual nature of Christ combined with the three-oneness of God has set Christianity apart completely from every other religion man has devised. Justin Martyr in his early apologetic commented on Plato’s stealing from the Hebrew Scripture in his Greek philosophy and stories. The concept of the Trinity has been widely taught, from the beginning of the church. History records the reaction of the early church fathers combating erroneous doctrine, for example Gnostics, and Arians were dealt with for over 200 years. The early church or sub apostolic disciples had been well trained in the truth of the Gospel. Their ability to deal with error is recorded in the writings of the ante Nicene fathers. If the Trinity or the three-oneness of God were false how has the church added millions if not billions and God has not opposed it? In Scripture God opposes and destroys false teachers, religions, and idols, why has the doctrine been at the very soul of every revival since Pentecost? Given that Satan mimics and blaspheme the truth of miracles, sponsoring false scriptures, and other behaviors showing us the fact of these truths to be more relevant. How could the unholy Trinity not mirror the true Trinity since Satan has been in God’s unique presence and would understand the basic truth of God’s existence and try to distort them?

One of the most important teachings of the New Testament revolves around imputation, justification, sanctification and glorification. Salvation is initiated by the Father, accomplished by the Son and applied by the Spirit.

(2 Corinthians 5:18 HCSB)  Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

This splendid statement of the scriptural doctrine of reconciliation is found in A New and Concise Bible Dictionary:

By the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross, God annulled in grace the distance which sin had brought in between Himself and man, in order that all things might, through Christ, be presented agreeably to himself. Believers are already reconciled, through Christ’s death, to be presented holy, unblamable, and unreprovable (a new creation). God was in Christ, when Christ was on earth, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses; but now that the love of God has been fully revealed in the cross, the testimony has gone out world-wide, beseeching men to be reconciled to God. The end is that God may have His pleasure in man.

(2 Corinthians 5:19 HCSB) that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

To wit – (Greek, Ὡς ὄτι  Hōs oti), namely This verse is designed further to state the nature of the plan of reconciliation, and of the message with which they were entrusted. It contains an abstract or an epitome of the whole plan; and is one of those emphatic passages in which Paul compresses into a single sentence the substance of the whole plan of redemption.

That God was in Christ – That God was by Christ (ἐν Χριστῷ  en Christō), by means of Christ; by the agency, or mediatorship of Christ. Or it may mean that God was united to Christ, and manifested himself by him. So Doddridge interprets it. Christ was the mediator by means of whom God designed to accomplish the great work of reconciliation.

Reconciling the world unto himself – The world here evidently means the human race generally, without distinction of nation, age, or rank. The whole world was alienated from him, and he sought to have it reconciled. This is one incidental proof that God designed that the plan of salvation should be adapted to all people; see the note on 2Co_5:14. It may be observed further, that God sought that the world should be reconciled. Man did not seek it. He had no plan for it, he did not desire it. He had no way to effect it. It was the offended party, not the offending, that sought to be reconciled; and this shows the strength of his love. It was love for enemies and alienated beings, and love evinced to them by a most earnest desire to become their friend, and to be at agreement with them; compare note on Rom_5:8. Tyndale renders this very accurately: “For God was in Christ, and made agreement between the world and himself, and imputed not their sins unto them.”

Not imputing their trespasses – Not reckoning their transgressions to them; that is, forgiving them, pardoning them. On the meaning of the word impute, see the note, Rom_4:3. The idea here is, that God did not charge on them with inexorable severity and stern justice their offences, but graciously provided a plan of pardon, and offered to remit their sins on the conditions of the gospel. The plan of reconciliation demonstrated that he was not disposed to impute their sins to them, as he might have done, and to punish them with unmitigated severity for their crimes, but was more disposed to pardon and forgive. And it may be here asked, if God was not disposed to charge with unrelenting severity their own sins to their account, but was rather disposed to pardon them, can we believe that he is disposed to charge on them the sin of another? If he does not charge on them with inexorable and unmitigated severity their own transgressions, will he charge on them with unrelenting severity – or at all – the sin of Adam? see the note on Rom_5:19. The sentiment here is, that God is not disposed or inclined to charge the transgressions of people upon them; he has no pleasure in doing it; and therefore he has provided a plan by which they may be pardoned. At the same time it is true that unless their sins are pardoned, justice will charge or impute their sins to them, and will exact punishment to the uttermost.

And hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation – Margin,” put in us.” Tyndale renders this: “and hath committed unto us the preaching of the atonement.” The meaning is, that the office of making known the nature of this plan, and the conditions on which God was willing to be reconciled to man, had been committed to the ministers of the gospel.(I could not be as elegant or intelligent as to state any better)[1]

(2 Corinthians 5:20 HCSB)  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

The responsibility of being an Ambassador is our primary duty on this earth while we are alive! There is a great message in need of surrendered servants who deliver the message of the King.

The message of the church today is one of reconciliation: God in Christ on the cross has reconciled the world to himself and is willing to save all who will trust His Son. Ours is not a message of social reform (although the Gospel reforms lives, Tit_2:11-15); ours is a message of spiritual regeneration. We represent Christ as we invite the lost to receive Him. What a privilege — what a responsibility!

(2 Corinthians 5:21 HCSB)  He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This verse gives us the doctrinal foundation for our reconciliation. How has God made reconciliation possible? How can He receive guilty sinners who come to Him in repentance and faith? The answer is that the Lord Jesus has effectively dealt with the whole problem of our sins, so now we can be reconciled to God.

In other words, God made Christ to be sin for us—Christ who knew no sinthat we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We must beware of any idea that on the cross of Calvary the Lord Jesus Christ actually became sinful in Himself. Such an idea is false. Our sins were placed on Him, but they were not in Him. What happened is that God made Him to be a sin-offering on our behalf. Trusting in Him, we are reckoned righteous by God. The claims of the law have been fully satisfied by our Substitute. What a blessed truth it is that the One who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we who knew no righteousness might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God has stated that he cannot sin nor can he be charged with sin. Christ as the 2nd person of the Godhead became sin and the Father spent His wrath on the Son. The language is clear, the action is plain, imputation required a person who could “be sin for us” yet separate from the Father who is punishing sin. The language is pregnant with plurality and yet single in its intent. The Father is acting on the Son, the Son is accomplishing the will of the Father, and the Spirit strengthens the Son to bear the weight of the punishment. Without the Trinity how is the imputation accomplished? Who is God spending his wrath on? Who is receiving His wrath and being made Son?

No mortal tongue will ever be able to thank God sufficiently for such boundless grace.

The whole of this important doctrine was short, simple, and plain. Let us consider it in all its connections:

1.            You believe there is a God.

2.            You know he has made you.

3.            He requires you to love and serve him.

4.            To show you how to do this he has given a revelation of himself, which is contained in his law, etc.

5.            You have broken this law, and incurred the penalty, which is death.

6.            Far from being able to undo your offenses, or make reparation to the offended majesty of God, your hearts, through the deceitfulness and influence of sin, are blinded, hardened, and filled with enmity, against your Father and your Judge.

7.            To redeem you out of this most wretched and accursed state, God; in his endless love, has given his Son for you; who has assumed your nature, and died in your stead.

8.            In consequence of this he has commanded repentance towards God, and remission of sins, to be published in his name in all the earth.

9.            All who repent, and believe in Christ as having died for them as a sin-offering, (2Co_5:21), shall receive remission of sins.

10.         And if they abide in him they shall have an eternal inheritance among them that are sanctified.

[1] Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible  (1798-1870)

%d bloggers like this: