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How God Judges a Nation

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Saved, Sin, Trinity on August 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm

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What happens when nation sins against God as a people? When you see God act in time and realize he is a personal God we need to understand His acting on a people as a nation. What causes God to act? Then in His acting does he warn us to repent? Lastly once the rebellion continues and his demands for repentance are ignored how does He act in his sovereign justice towards that people or nation?

 

God’s Provision and plan

 

God at the beginning of creation had a plan and a purpose for man. God and God alone is a pure being. He is, was, and will always be, He describes himself as “I AM” we are dependent and contingent because our being is derived from Him. We are creatures by his design we owe our very existence to Him.

 

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Gen 1:29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Augusitnes

Something has been not only lost, but wholly lost. It has been lost totally and in its entirety. It is not a partial loss or diminution of power or ability. It is a radical and complete loss. Yet this does not mean that the will’s ability to choose has been lost completely. What has been lost is the ability to will “any good accompanying salvation.” We have already discussed the sinner’s ability to perform works of civil virtue. These deeds conform outwardly to the law of God, but they are not motivated by a love for God. The moral ability lost in original sin is therefore not the ability to be outwardly “moral,” but the ability to incline oneself to the things of God. In this spiritual dimension we are morally dead. The confession declares that the natural man is “altogether averse from that good, and [he is] dead in sin.” This summarizes the biblical description of fallen man. Paul describes the condition as follows: And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).-.-.-. Ephesians 2:1-5 In this passage Paul speaks of the Spirit’s work in “quickening” us or regenerating us from our fallen condition. He uses the image of being “made alive.” This is set in stark contrast to our former condition of being “dead” in trespasses and sins. The sinner is not biologically dead. Indeed the natural man is very much alive. Corpses do not sin. The death in view here is clearly spiritual death.[1]

 

Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

 

Starting with God’s law we have a standard we are required to meet not only as an individual but as a society. We are top teach these to our children and bind them on our hearts. That is to say we are to regard and remember them every day. To live and trust in the Lord and his commands. We are commanded to teach our children the truth of the law you speak of it when we rise, eat, and before we go to bed. Because God it lacks for himself a people who are obedient, we become a society that God can direct to honor himself. The subject we’re dealing with is how God judges and nation as a whole within his divine providence.

 

Deu 11:13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deu 11:18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Deu 11:19  You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

(Job 12:23-25 ESV)

 

We see the next generation after Joshua has died and it didn’t take long for man’s sinful nature

to reveal itself. When man is left to his own natural will (probably described as the anarchy of

the free will) he will only always ever choose evil. Over and over we see in Scripture people

living out their natural will which always ends in enmity towards God and his commands.

 

Jdg 2:11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.

 

Jdg 3:7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Psa 7:11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

 

In judges we are told the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. From the time frame the last Judge Samuel was instrumental in God appointing a King over Israel. The people rejected God as their King and wanted like to be like the other nations with a visible ruler. God has told them the downfall of such an arrangement and how eventually that would lead to their destruction and slavery.

 

1Sa 12:13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.

1Sa 12:14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.

1Sa 12:15  But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.

1Sa 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.”

 

  1. Evil rulers

When a nation turns its heart and mind from the truth God judges that nation in several ways the first of which in my opinion is with evil rulers. As he appoints kings and rulers through His divine providence his first act against a nation is the appointing of an evil ruler. If the Word is to be believed we see that God operates from His divine will and decrees. The first step in judgment is an evil ruler as the scriptures below illustrate. From Pharaoh to the Pharisees to Caesar God has a ruler in place to act according to his divine prerogatives. It naturally flows from an evil ruler we will receive evil rules.

 

He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.

(Job 12:18 ESV)

 

He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

(Job 12:23-25)

 

 

The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”

(Isaiah 56:11-13 ESV)

 

 

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

(Daniel 2:21-22 ESV)

 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

(Romans 13:1 ESV)

 

 

Exo 4:21 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

Exo 7:2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.

Exo 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt,

Exo 7:4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.

Jdg 3:5 So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Jdg 3:6 And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.

Jdg 3:7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Jdg 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

Jdg 3:12  And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Jdg 3:13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms.

Jdg 3:14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Jdg 4:1 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud died.

Jdg 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.

Jdg 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Jdg 6:2  And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

1Ki 13:33  After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places.

Mat 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.

Mat 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

Mat 14:6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod,

Mat 14:7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

Mat 14:8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”

Mat 14:9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given.

Mat 14:10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison,

Mat 14:11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

Mat 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,

Mat 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

Mar 12:39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

Mar 12:40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Luk 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

Luk 20:47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

 

  1. Evil Laws

As a result of evil rulers the law that flows from a wicked mind will do its best to destroy the boundaries that God established for his people and their nation.  The further we move from obedience to God the more we need to remake laws and rules to keep that distance. This pattern of behavior repeats itself throughout history in sacred Scripture and in historical accounts, punishing the people who are obedient to God.

 

Exo 5:4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”

Exo 5:5 And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”

Exo 5:6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen,

Exo 5:7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Exo 5:8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’

Exo 5:9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

Exo 5:10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.

Exo 5:11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.'”

 

1Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.”

1Ki 12:13  And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him,

1Ki 12:14  he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

1Ki 12:15  So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

1Ki 12:16  And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents.

Est 3:8  Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them.

Est 3:9  If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.”

Dan 3:3  Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Dan 3:4  And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

Dan 3:5  that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

Dan 3:6  And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”

Dan 6:12  Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.”

Dan 6:13  Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

 

1Ti 1:6  Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,

1Ti 1:7  desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

1Ti 1:8  Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,

 

  1. Removal of discernment

One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment

Deu 28:20  “The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

 

Jdg 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty. He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders.

(Job 12:19-20 ESV)

 

Pro 1:2  To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,

Pro 1:3  to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

Pro 1:4  to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—

Ecc 8:2  I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.

Ecc 8:3  Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases.

Ecc 8:4  For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”

Ecc 8:5  Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.

Ecc 8:6  For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.

Ecc 8:7  For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?

Ecc 8:8  No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will

wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

1Ki 3:9  Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

1Ki 3:10  It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

1Ki 3:11  And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,

1Ki 9:6  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,

1Ki 9:7  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

1Ki 9:8  And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’

1Ki 9:9  Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.'”

1Ki 11:4  For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1Ki 11:5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

1Ki 11:6  So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.

1Ki 11:11  Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jer 7:26  Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

Jer 7:27  “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

Jer 7:28  And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Eze 12:2  “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

Luk 12:56  You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Luk 12:57  “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

Joh 8:43  Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

Rom 3:10  as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;

Rom 3:11  no one understands; no one seeks for God.

Rom 3:12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

1Co 2:14  The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2Co 12:7  So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

Heb 5:11  About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,

 

 

  1. Removal of Common Grace (restraining of evil)

 

Gen 20:6  Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.

Deu 9:4  “Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you.

Deu 9:5  Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Deu 31:18  And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

Deu 28:28  The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind,

Deu 28:29  and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.

 

2Ki 19:27  “But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.

2Ki 19:28  Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.

Psa 32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psa 32:9  Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Psa 32:10  Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.

Psa 76:10  Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.

Psa 103:10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

 

Psa 145:8  The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psa 145:9  The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

1Sa 25:32  And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!

1Sa 25:33  Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!

1Sa 25:34  For as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.”

Isa 44:17  And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

Isa 44:18  They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

Isa 44:19  No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

Isa 44:20  He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

 

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

Psa 81:10  I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psa 81:11  “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.

Psa 81:12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

Jer 7:26  Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

Jer 7:27  “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

Jer 7:28  And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

 

Jer 46:28  Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

Eze 20:44  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”

 

Nah 1:3  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Dan 9:18  O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.

 

Mat 5:45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 24:10  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Joh 7:43  So there was a division among the people over him.

Joh 7:44  Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

Joh 7:45  The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”

Joh 19:11  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Rom 1:17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Rom 1:19  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Rom 4:16  That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

Rom 4:17  as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Rom 9:15  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Rom 9:16  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

 

Tit 3:4  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,

Tit 3:5  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

 

  1. Destruction

Gen 6:5  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 6:6  And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Gen 6:7  So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

 

 

Exo 4:22  Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son,

Exo 4:23  and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.'”

Num 32:13  And the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone.

Deu 1:35  ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers,

Deu 30:15  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

Deu 30:16  If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

Deu 30:17  But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,

Deu 30:18  I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.

 

Jos 11:18  Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

Jos 11:19  There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle.

Jos 11:20  For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses.

Jos 11:21  And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities.

Jos 11:22  There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.

1Ki 9:6  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,

1Ki 9:7  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

1Ki 9:8  And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’

1Ki 11:9  And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice

1Ki 11:10  and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded.

1Ki 11:11  Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.

Jer 5:3  O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.

Eze 14:7  For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself.

Eze 14:8  And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

 

Mat 24:1  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.

Mat 24:2  But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Mat 24:3  As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.

Mat 24:5  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.

Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

at 24:15  “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Mat 24:16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Mat 24:17  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,

Mat 24:18  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.

Mat 24:19  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!

Mat 24:20  Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.

Mat 24:21  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

Mat 24:22  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Rev 2:20  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

Rev 2:21  I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

Rev 2:22  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,

Rev 2:23  and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

 

 

A proper response

 

Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

 

Job 42:6  therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

Psa 7:12  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow;

Eze 18:30  “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.

 

Joe 2:11  The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it?

Joe 2:12  “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

Joe 2:13  and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

Mat 3:2  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mar 1:15  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Mar 6:12  So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.

Luk 13:3  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Luk 16:29  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

Luk 16:30  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

Luk 16:31  He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.

Act 2:37  Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Act 2:38  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Act 2:40  And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Act 2:41  So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Act 3:19  Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

Act 3:20  that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

Act 3:21  whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Act 17:30  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Act 17:31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Rev 2:16  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

 

[1] Sproul, R. C. (2005-06-01). What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Kindle Locations 1756-1762). Baker Book Group – A. Kindle Edition.

 

 

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Response to Advanced Onset Calvinsim

In Apologetics on August 6, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Recently read this article:
Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.
Don’t panic.
DN-No need for panic the cure is what you are dealing with not the symptom.
It gets better.
DN-Correct though careful study and prayer start with the 5 Solas
To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.
• A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.
DN- that is the cage stage of the cure find a brother who is reformed, he will help you through the excitement of finally finding the truth.
• A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.
DN- This would be over reaction that turns into Hyper-Calvinism slows ruins the cure too much of a good thing.
• A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.
DN- And add RC Sproul, James White, Alistair Begg, John MacAuther and the like.
• A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.
DN- The symptoms you describe are usually in response to “Who So Ever” “My Free Will” “Robots” just to be clear your parents are still Godly just wrong in tradition. In respect we illustrate the truth in Scripture and it confronts tradition.
• A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.
DN- Arrogance is a sign that everyone needs more Holy Spirit and Scripture. It’s not just those of the reformed view but Armenians as well.
• Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.
DN- This is actually evidence of a need to prove you’re a hipster and it’s not limited to Calvinists mostly 30 somethings that feel they need to prove something.
• Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.
DN- This is more symptom not cure I’ve been to many SBC, Non-Denominational gatherings that should have had a casket not an altar.
• Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.
DN- I am a natural cynic Reformed or not, but not standing on the Trinity is denying the very nature and essence of Christianity the others not limited to reformed gatherings. This one should be big and defended, without it you get the modern church, “forget the doctrines that divide us we just want the words of Jesus” “Love Wins” that sort of ilk.
• Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.
DN- This illustrates the arrogance in everyone including those synergists who hold their smugness as bag of freewill honor claiming that God needed their corporation in achieving His purpose.
• An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.
DN- Much like Steve Gaines at Bellevue for Semi-plagians, Armenians.
• The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.
DN- Actually Romans 8 and 9, and still waiting for a full exigent from any Arminian that doesn’t wonder all over Scripture running references and spouting philosophical rhetoric.
• Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.
DN- Love Sproul, Piper, White, MacArthur, etc. no need for lines in the sand and far from frustrated.
• Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.
DN- Sounds more like the crew at Biola and the William Lane Craig crowd.
• Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.
DN- I believe Jacob Arminius had the same beard just saying. The collar kept it shorter a newer fashion statement.
If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.
DN- Please by all means seek out someone who read the books from the John 3:16 conference, and quotes a book about Calvinism versus actually studying the view. First question you must ask, “Have you actually read The Institutes of the Christian Religion?” Second question “Can you define the 5 Solas?” last question “If not can you direct me to someone who actually has so I can talk to them?”
But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.
DN- If by normal you mean returning to the emotional turmoil of seeing people, quote a “sinners prayer” at the altar, baptized and receiving their get of hell free card, I hope not for the sake of the Gospel.
Until then…sorry.

Response to Advanced Onset Calvinism

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Trinity on April 16, 2016 at 6:42 am

Recently Read this article

Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.

Don’t panic.

DN-No need for panic the cure is what you are dealing with not the symptom.

It gets better.

DN-Correct though careful study and prayer start with the 5 Solas

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.

  • A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.

DN- that is the cage stage of the cure find a brother who is reformed, he will help you through the excitement of finally finding the truth.

  • A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.

DN- This would be over reaction that turns into Hyper-Calvinism slows ruins the cure too much of a good thing.

  • A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.

DN- And add RC Sproul, James White, Alistair Begg, John MacAuther and the like.

  • A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.

DN- The symptoms you describe are usually in response to “Who So Ever” “My Free Will” “Robots” just to be clear your parents are still Godly just wrong in tradition. In respect we illustrate the truth in Scripture and it confronts tradition.

  • A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.

DN- Arrogance is a sign that everyone needs more Holy Spirit and Scripture. It’s not just those of the reformed view but Armenians as well.

  • Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.

DN- This is actually evidence of a need to prove you’re a hipster and it’s not limited to Calvinists mostly 30 somethings that feel they need to prove something.

  • Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.

DN- This is more symptom not cure I’ve been to many SBC, Non-Denominational gatherings that should have had a casket not an altar.

  • Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.

DN- I am a natural cynic Reformed or not, but not standing on the Trinity is denying the very nature and essence of Christianity the others not limited to reformed gatherings. This one should be big and defended, without it you get the modern church, “forget the doctrines that divide us we just want the words of Jesus” “Love Wins” that sort of ilk.

  • Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.

DN- This illustrates the arrogance in everyone including those synergists who hold their smugness as bag of freewill honor claiming that God needed their corporation in achieving His purpose.

  • An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.

DN- Much like Steve Gaines at Bellevue for Semi-plagians, Armenians.

  • The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.

DN- Actually Romans 8 and 9, and still waiting for a full exigent from any Arminian that doesn’t wonder all over Scripture running references and spouting philosophical rhetoric.

  • Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.

DN- Love Sproul, Piper, White, MacArthur, etc. no need for lines in the sand and far from frustrated.

  • Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.

DN- Sounds more like the crew at Biola and the William Lane Craig crowd.

  • Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.

DN- I believe Jacob Arminius had the same beard just saying. The collar kept it shorter a newer fashion statement.

If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.

DN- Please by all means seek out someone who read the books from the John 3:16 conference, and quotes a book about Calvinism versus actually studying the view. First question you must ask, “Have you actually read The Institutes of the Christian Religion?” Second question “Can you define the 5 Solas?” last question “If not can you direct me to someone who actually has so I can talk to them?”

But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.

DN- If by normal you mean returning to the emotional turmoil of seeing people, quote a “sinners prayer” at the altar, baptized and receiving their get of hell free card, I hope not for the sake of the Gospel.

Until then…sorry.

 

Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.

Don’t panic.

DN-No need for panic the cure is what you are dealing with not the symptom.

It gets better.

DN-Correct though careful study and prayer start with the 5 Solas

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.

  • A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.

DN- that is the cage stage of the cure find a brother who is reformed, he will help you through the excitement of finally finding the truth.

  • A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.

DN- This would be over reaction that turns into Hyper-Calvinism slows ruins the cure too much of a good thing.

  • A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.

DN- And add RC Sproul, James White, Alistair Begg, John MacAuther and the like.

  • A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.

DN- The symptoms you describe are usually in response to “Who So Ever” “My Free Will” “Robots” just to be clear your parents are still Godly just wrong in tradition. In respect we illustrate the truth in Scripture and it confronts tradition.

  • A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.

DN- Arrogance is a sign that everyone needs more Holy Spirit and Scripture. It’s not just those of the reformed view but Armenians as well.

  • Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.

DN- This is actually evidence of a need to prove you’re a hipster and it’s not limited to Calvinists mostly 30 somethings that feel they need to prove something.

  • Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.

DN- This is more symptom not cure I’ve been to many SBC, Non-Denominational gatherings that should have had a casket not an altar.

  • Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.

DN- I am a natural cynic Reformed or not, but not standing on the Trinity is denying the very nature and essence of Christianity the others not limited to reformed gatherings. This one should be big and defended, without it you get the modern church, “forget the doctrines that divide us we just want the words of Jesus” “Love Wins” that sort of ilk.

  • Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.

DN- This illustrates the arrogance in everyone including those synergists who hold their smugness as bag of freewill honor claiming that God needed their corporation in achieving His purpose.

  • An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.

DN- Much like Steve Gaines at Bellevue for Semi-plagians, Armenians.

  • The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.

DN- Actually Romans 8 and 9, and still waiting for a full exigent from any Arminian that doesn’t wonder all over Scripture running references and spouting philosophical rhetoric.

  • Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.

DN- Love Sproul, Piper, White, MacArthur, etc. no need for lines in the sand and far from frustrated.

  • Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.

DN- Sounds more like the crew at Biola and the William Lane Craig crowd.

  • Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.

DN- I believe Jacob Arminius had the same beard just saying. The collar kept it shorter a newer fashion statement.

If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.

DN- Please by all means seek out someone who read the books from the John 3:16 conference, and quotes a book about Calvinism versus actually studying the view. First question you must ask, “Have you actually read The Institutes of the Christian Religion?” Second question “Can you define the 5 Solas?” last question “If not can you direct me to someone who actually has so I can talk to them?”

But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.

DN- If by normal you mean returning to the emotional turmoil of seeing people, quote a “sinners prayer” at the altar, baptized and receiving their get of hell free card, I hope not for the sake of the Gospel.

Until then…sorry.

 

 

Major Evolutionary Blunders: Survival of the Fittest, Eugenics, and Abortion

In Apologetics on January 4, 2016 at 5:38 am

Source: Major Evolutionary Blunders: Survival of the Fittest, Eugenics, and Abortion

Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning

In Apologetics on December 12, 2014 at 6:38 am

JUSTIN MARTYR AND IRENAEUS In reaction to Marcion, other Christian teachers formulated a more orthodox way of approaching the sacred writings. Justin Martyr (c. AD 100–165), an early defender of Christianity, argued that the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament is only a matter of degree. The Old Testament anticipated and foretold events, and was superseded by the New Testament writings because they represented the fulfillment of earlier anticipations. Thus, Justin Martyr, particularly in his Dialogue, stressed a messianic continuity and utilized a literal-historical approach to interpretation. However, it was Irenaeus (c. AD 130–200) who gathered the threads of interpretation more systematically. Though his approach to the Old Testament was more literal than that of his predecessors, he also saw a typological meaning in the text. In Irenaeus’s view the Scriptures are like “treasure hidden in a field” (Matt. 13:44) in that the literal was also the typological: the Bible is full of prefigurements, especially of the Messiah. Irenaeus also championed ideas that are still generally accepted by modern interpreters: (1) exegesis should pay careful attention to context; (2) unclear or obscure texts should be interpreted by clearer ones; and (3) a nonliteral reading of some passages may be warranted. Irenaeus held that the true meaning of the Scriptures is the interpretation of the apostles as presented in the New Testament and is embodied in the Rule of Faith (that is, the established and widely accepted understanding of the main doctrines of Scripture) as preserved through the teachings of the church.

THEODORE, JEROME, AND AUGUSTINE Later teachers such as Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. AD 350–428), Jerome (c. 342–420), and Augustine (354–430) criticized the allegorical method of the Alexandrians as being arbitrary and nonrational. These teachers argued that the Scriptures are to be interpreted in both a literal and a christocentric sense. They insisted that their method was not the same as the allegorical approach, because it was rooted in the text of Scripture itself. They refused to disconnect the literal, historical meaning of the text from its spiritual meaning. Jerome, though initially a proponent of allegorization, later embraced the literal-historical approach to Scripture without abandoning the deeper spiritual meaning of the text that had been championed by Theodore and others. Jerome insisted that scriptural texts should be read in a historical context, something the allegorical approach had de-emphasized. The greatest theologian of the early church was Augustine. He championed a literal, historical approach to reading the Bible, insisting that a proper understanding must begin with the mind of the writer, which required knowing the biblical languages and paying attention to context. The fourfold approach to Scripture that he put forth (see below) was widely used, and abused, in the Medieval era.

THE REFORMERS The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century reacted against the misuse of the Bible in Late Medieval theology. They insisted that authority rested not in the leaders or fathers of the church but in a proper understanding of the text derived from correct methods of literary interpretation. Reformers starting with John Wycliffe (c. 1330–1384) insisted on a grammatical-historical approach to the Bible. The German reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) broke with the nonliteral, allegorical approach that was dominant in his training and returned to the patristic emphasis on the centrality of Christ in the Scriptures. He was adamant that the Bible be approached not through fanciful allegories or merely to support established dogma but through ordinary language and literal, historical, and grammatical exegesis. A proper understanding of the Bible should be the product of such interpretation of the scriptural texts and should lead to healthy theology and a robust Christian life. The most prolific expositor of Scripture, as well as the first major systematizer of Protestant theology, was John Calvin (1509–1564). Calvin stressed Scripture over theology and saw theology as the fruit resulting from the proper interpretation of Scripture. He was a skilled linguist who approached the Bible from the viewpoint of its historical veracity, literal interpretation, and contextual analysis. He often interpreted prophetic texts in a typological manner (as looking forward to Christ), yet he strenuously opposed arbitrary allegorization, which he believed undermined the certainty and clarity of Scripture. Some assign to Calvin the designation “the founder of modern grammatical-historical exegesis,” which is confirmed by the continued popularity of his commentaries and the way in which modern interpreters still interact with him as a sober, accurate exegete.

Grudem, Wayne; C. John Collins, and Thomas R. Schre (2012-02-29). Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning (p. 21). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

 

What is Wisdom?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Saved, Sin on December 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

What unbelievers and those that deny God think of as wisdom is actually foolishness as Scripture illustrates.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 ESV (18) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (20) Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (22) For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The mind of the unbeliever and an unbelieving world are blinded, they have a false or so-called knowledge. Once again TV is promoting a program that examines the Secrets of the Christian Faith, Bible, Jesus excreta to prove how our faith is a myth based on mythical understanding. The world cannot accept that Jesus rose form the dead much less that He was born of a virgin! God sent his Son into creation so he could live as we are and we could become what He is a Son of God through Jesus the Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

This error in thinking comes from a rebellious dark heart that wants on to rebel against the Sovereign God and his perfect wisdom and knowledge.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 ESV O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” (21) for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

An unbelieving world made up of God hating rebels deny that Christ will intervene in the cosmic process returning to judge men and determine their eternal destines

2 Peter 3:3-7 ESV knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (4) They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (5) For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, (6) and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. (7) But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

The Christian Metaphysic

In Apologetics on December 3, 2014 at 7:49 am

The Bible has a definite metaphysical theme. This would be defined as an attempt to express the entire theme of reality – of all existing things. This would how we attempt to make sense of the world as a whole by articulating and applying a set of central, regulating, organizing distinctive paradigms.

The God who is personal and there infinitely perfect and pure Spirit.

Exo 15:11 “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Mal 2:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Joh 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The doctrine of the Trinity is simply that there is one eternal being of God – indivisible, infinite. This one being of God is shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. This tri unity of God is unique in His nature, in His works, self-existent, eternal, immutable, and omnipresent.

Php 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Php 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Php 2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Php 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
Php 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Php 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Joh 17:1 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,
Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Joh 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
Joh 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Psa 86:9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

Exo 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Psa 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
Psa 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Psa 139:10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

All things that exist are because you created them out of nothing. If it has been created it is
finite if was before creation it is eternal. This includes the material world, the spirit world and
man.

Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Psa 148:2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.

Man created in the image of God (the Imago Die) is a being that has both a material and
immaterial character, surviving bodily death with a personal awareness of God and awaiting
bodily resurrection.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Eze 12:7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.

Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

2Co 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

1Co 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

God’s wisdom is unsearchable in creation and eternity. He made all things giving them their
definite characters.

Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

God determines all things by His wisdom and understanding, preserving, governing, and
predetermining the nature and course of all things this allows for his working miracles.

Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

Neh 9:6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

Psa 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Psa 72:18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

The decree by which God providentially ordains historical events is eternal, effectual,
unconditional, unchangeable, and comprehensive.

Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

Act 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

These truths are definitive, exemplary, and atypical (paradigmatic) for the believer; they are
ultimate principles of objective reality, set in contrast to the false and postmodern views of the
world.

Always be Ready Dr Greg Bohsen

Christians are not ??

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Saved on January 19, 2014 at 7:31 am

“Christians are not to destroy error by force, but should work the salvation of men by persuasion, instruction, and love” – St. Chrysostom
“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, ‘What must we do to be saved?” Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Don’t use John 3:16. Such drastic action is needed because we have a gospel hardened generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding why they need to be saved.”
“A person repents when he comes to the place where he discovers that the will of God is the government of his life and the glory of God is the reason for his life. He only has repented who has changed his mind about his reason for being.”
― Paris Reidhead
“If you have no opposition in the place you serve, you’re serving in the wrong place.” – G. Campbell Morgan
“My soul! I beg you to pray for the men of God who are preaching a Christ Who is holy and is very offensive; instead of the nice Jesus that everybody loves today. God’s children need to pray for the men of God to have broken hearts and open doors.” – Rolfe Barnard
“If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism.” – J. Vernon McGee
“Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them.” – Vance Havner
“Now, mark this: by this shall you know whether you are a child of God, or not; by the respect that you have to your Father’s Word. If you have small respect for that Word, the evidences of a bastard are upon you.” – C.H. Spurgeon
“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.” – George Whitfield
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” – Jonathan Edwards
“Let us beware of loving the world more than Christ. Entreat people to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to count the cost.” – J.C. Ryle
“Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus ‘Lord,’ but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law.” – Ray Comfort
“If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew. Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?” – Billy Graham
“Why grow we weary when asked to watch with our Lord? Up, sluggish heart, Jesus calls thee! Rise and go forth to meet the Heavenly Friend in the place where He manifests Himself.” – E.M. Bounds
“A spiritual awakening is no more than God’s people seeing God in His holiness, turning from their wicked ways, and being transformed into His likeness.” – Lewis Drummond
“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.” – Tertullian
“Satan tempts to sin under a pretence of religion. He is most to be feared when he transforms himself into an angel of light. He came to Christ with Scriptures in his mouth.” – Thomas Watson
“The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“God’s patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh
“O, God of wonder, enlarge my capacity to be amazed at what is amazing, and end my attraction to the insignificant.” – John Piper
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” – Corrie ten Boom
“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” – A.W. Tozer
“Christian living is not a method or technique. It is the principle of an exchanged life.” – Major Ian Thomas
“The one thing we are missing is pentecost. how we have forgotten this in our churches.” – Bill McLeod
“I think we, every one of us, ought to be humiliated or humbled every time we pick up the book of Acts and read the glory that attended the life of that first church.” – Art Katz
“George Mueller, nothing. The Lord Jesus, everything. In himself worse than nothing. By grace, in Christ, the son of the King.” – George Mueller
To close these excerpts from those who God entrusted with the good news of the Gospel!
Borrowing from George Mueller: Dan nothing. The Lord Jesus everything. In myself worse than nothing! By grace, in Christ, the son of the King!!
The greatest way to express God’s love to a lost soul is to show how great the sin is using the Law!
Romans 7:12-13 ESV
(12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
(13) Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
Galatians 3:24 ESV
(24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

We or Me in the Godhead?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christianity, Saved, Trinity on December 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

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John 14:23 ESV

(23)  Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

 

John 14:23 AMP

(23)  Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.

 

With this statement and after the resurrection is there any doubt regarding the members of the Godhead?

 

Jesus makes a declarative statement we are to keep his (Jesus) word and his (Jesus) Father will love that person (us) and “we” will come and make “our” home with him (us). The first question that comes to mind is who is the “we and us” in the scripture? Jesus is speaking 1st person and making definitive statements regarding his words and placing them in reverence with the Father. Second he gives a result of keeping that word with a promise of the two persons coming to indwell that creature that is obedient. Unless you hold to one of two beliefs then this scripture is fatal to a Unitarian view.  First this statement would lead to a polytheistic understanding if taken from the context of scripture and monotheism. We and “our” are plural definitions of God and his Son. In Unitarian and Oneness thinking you have a rather large hurdle to overcome and trying to explain this as an office, function, manifestation or title takes away a direct promise from Jesus himself. Jesus wasn’t confused or confusing when he promised the Father would love the person who kept his word. Then to add even more to the reward we would have an indwelling of the Father and the Son as believers who are obedient.

 

(RWP)

Joh 14:23

If a man love me (ean tis agapāi me). Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive, “if one keep on loving me.” That is key to the spiritual manifestation (emphanizō).

We will come (eleusometha). Future middle of erchomai and first person plural (the Father and I), not at the judgment, but here and now.

And make our abode with him (kai monēn par’ autōi poiēsometha). See Joh_14:2 for the word monē (dwelling, abiding place). If the Holy Spirit “abides” (menei, Joh_14:17) in you, that heart becomes a temple (naos) of the Holy Spirit (1Co_3:16.), and so a fit dwelling place for the Father and the Son, a glorious and uplifting reality.

(John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible}

Jesus answered and said unto him,…. This answer is returned, and these words are spoken, for the further confirmation and explanation of what was before said:

 

if a man love me, he will keep my words; by his “words” are meant not his doctrines, but his ordinances; the same with his commandments, Joh_14:21, which he has said, ordered, and commanded to be observed, and which are observed by such who truly love him, and that from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: and for the encouragement of such persons as before, he says,

 

and my Father will love him: which is to be understood not of the love of the Father, as in his own heart, which is not taken up in time, but was in him from all eternity; nor of the first discovery of it to his people, but of greater manifestations of it to them, and a quicker sense of it in their hearts, and also of some other effects of it, to be enjoyed by them in an higher manner; such as larger measures of grace, more communion with him here, and eternal honour and glory hereafter:

 

and we will come unto him: I who am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, I have promised to pray for: hence a proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, of a trinity of persons, of there being neither more nor fewer than three; since neither more nor less can be collected from the context; and of their distinct personality, or it could not be said with any propriety, “we” each of us “will come unto him”; not locally and visibly, but spiritually, by affording our gracious and comfortable presence, the continuance of which is promised next:

 

and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints are the dwelling places or temples of the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the constancy and perpetuity of their residence in them, not as a wayfaring man, but always, though this may not be always discerned by believers; and is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men; and a far greater one it is, than if the most mighty potentate on earth should take up his abode in a poor despicable cottage with the meanest of his subjects.

 

 

 

If we are to understand scripture as being in context then the verses describing the Godhead make sense in the orthodox Trinitarian teaching:

 

 

Romans 1:20 ESV

(20)  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

 

 

 

 

Romans 1:20 KJV

(20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

 

Romans 1:20 AMP

(20)  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], [Ps. 19: 1-4.]

 

Acts 17:29 ESV

(29)  Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

 

Acts 17:29 KJV

(29)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

 

Colossians 2:9 ESV

(9)  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

 

Colossians 2:9 KJV

(9)  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

John 14:24-31 ESV

(24)  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

(25)  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

(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.

(27)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

(28)  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

(29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

(30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

(31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

The repeated references to the distinction between Father and Son has to mean more than a plan or idea!

 

10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid

In Apologetics on December 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Mistakes

By Chuck McKnight

We know we ought to be studying the Scriptures, but sometimes we don’t know how. Here are five of 10 common Bible study mistakes to avoid:

10. Starting without prayer
The Bible is unlike any other book because it was inspired by God himself. Paul told us that “the things of the Spirit of God . . . are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and Jesus said that the Spirit guides us into the truth (John 16:13). We have access to God through prayer, so we should be looking to him for guidance as we seek to understand his Scriptures. It doesn’t matter what incredible resources and study tools we use if we do not first go to God.

9. Studying by yourself
Scripture was intended to be read and studied in community. We’ve all but lost sight of that in our modern individualistic culture. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do personal study—there is definitely a time and place for that. But if we study on our own in exclusion to studying with others, we’ll miss out on the rich insights the community of God has to offer. Additionally, we all need the checks and balances of other believers to keep us accountable. So do your personal study, but then bring what you learn to a group setting and discuss it together.

8. Bringing preconceptions to the text
It is tempting to read the Bible selectively, trying to prove an idea we already believe to be true. If we come to the Scriptures with a predetermined conclusion, we can force them to say whatever we want. That might make us feel better, but it won’t be doing us any good. Rather, we should open the Bible with humility, knowing that some of our beliefs are wrong and ought to be changed. We must let the text speak for itself without forcing our own preconceptions on it.

7. Reading from only one perspective
Similar to the above mistake, it is tempting to only use study resources we already agree with. But this severely limits our spiritual growth. I’ve found that those whose perspectives differ from my own often have the most to teach me. You’ll find contributions from such men as Timothy Keller, N. T. Wright, and everywhere in between. They all share a love for God, but their differing perspectives bring unique insights to the Scriptures.

6. Using only one translation
Different Bible versions follow different translation philosophies. The basic categories include formal equivalence (seeking word-for-word accuracy), dynamic equivalence (seeking thought-for-thought accuracy), and paraphrases (rewriting the overall message). Furthermore, the Greek and Hebrew texts have many nuances that can’t be captured by a single translation. If you don’t read Greek or Hebrew, comparing multiple translations can help you see the various nuances each passage has to offer. While Ray recommended pairing the NASB with NLT or the ESV with NIrV, my personal preference would be to pair the NET with the LEB.
5. Missing the historical setting
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible was not written to twenty-first century Americans. Each book of the Bible was written by a specific person, to a specific group of people, in a specific culture, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose. If we miss these details, we are likely to misunderstand much of what we are reading.

4. Assuming modern definitions of biblical words

Very few Greek or Hebrew words have an exact English equivalent. So we have to remember that the English words in a translation may not mean exactly the same thing as the original Greek or Hebrew. One way to get around this obstacle is to do a word study, examining every occurrence of a particular word in the Bible to see how it is used therein. However, this method is time consuming. A quicker way is to use a tool such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. This dictionary is a collection of such studies on almost every major word in the Bible. It makes it easy to understand what a given word actually means when used in the Bible.

3. Failing to understand the genre

The Bible is made up of 66 different books, and they include many different genres of literature. There are epistles and narratives, poems and parables, instances of wisdom literature and apocalyptic literature, and a host of other specific styles. Keeping them all straight can be confusing, but it’s a vital part of understanding what we read. Thankfully, there are tools to help us here as well. One great resource to add to your FSB is How to Read the Bible Book by Book. It provides an overview for each book of the Bible—including the genre—along with a number of other important details.

2. Ignoring biblical context

All too often, we read the Bible as if it were a collection of unconnected verses. A single verse taken by itself can appear to mean something totally contrary to the author’s intent. We wouldn’t skip to a sentence in the middle of Moby Dick and expect it to make sense, so why do we do this with the Bible? One good example is Jeremiah 29:11. This verse is frequently claimed as a promise for God’s specific blessing on an individual. But when we look at the context, we see that God was talking to the Israelites, whom he had sent into exile for their sins. Only after being in exile for 70 years would God bring them back to prosperity. Those are “the plans I have for you” according to Jeremiah’s full context.

1. Studying for the wrong reasons

It is easy to view Bible study as an intellectual exercise. But acquiring information about the Bible is not a proper end in itself. Paul described the purpose of Scripture: “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). If our studies do not equip us for good works, then they are unprofitable studies. As we read the Bible, our goal must be to ultimately apply it to our lives.
These mistakes are easy to make, but they can be avoided. Let’s all continue studying Scripture together, and continue living it out every day.

 

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