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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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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!

 

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Saved, Trinity on November 7, 2013 at 7:37 am

Jesus had a couple of hard sayings in the Gospels, the disciples were facing the loss of their shepherd. One of the most striking statements that Jesus said it is recorded in all of the Gospels is that he will not drink again until the new kingdom of God is at hand. He tells the disciples as the living father has sent me I live. When we participate in the Lord’s supper the final touches the infinite in a solemn act of worship. The taking of the bread and drinking of the why signify our participation in the crucifixion of Jesus. A divine idea or a manifestation or even a mode cannot offer its flesh and blood as a propitiation for sin because it lacks personhood.

Mat 26:29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus defines himself with the personal pronoun I, and proclaims this you will not drink of the fruit of the vine until we are in his Father’s kingdom. This statement is repeated in all of the Gospels in almost the exact same words. Jesus has since of himself and a sense of his Father in that they were both distinct yet coexisted together.

Until the day I drink it new with you, in my Father’s kingdom: Mark says, “in the kingdom of God”, Mar_14:25; and Luke, “until the kingdom of God come”, Luk_22:18; and both the Syriac and Persic versions read it here, “in the kingdom of God”; by which is meant, something distinct from the kingdom of the Son, or of the Messiah, which was already come; and appeared more manifestly after the resurrection of Christ, upon his ascension to heaven, and the effusion of the holy Spirit, and the success of the Gospel, both among Jews and Gentiles; and which will be more glorious in the latter day: and when all the elect of God are gathered in, and have been presented to Christ by himself, he will then deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all; and then the kingdom of the Father will take place here mentioned, and which is no other than the ultimate glory; so called, because it is of the Father’s preparing and giving, and in which he will reign and dwell, and the saints with him, to all eternity; which must not be understood to the exclusion of Christ, for it is called his kingdom also, Luk_22:30, in this state, Christ will drink new wine, not literally, but spiritually understood; and which designs the joys and glories of heaven, the best wine which is reserved to the last: which is sometimes signified by a feast, of which wine is a principal part; by sitting down as at a table, in the kingdom of heaven, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Mat_8:11, and expressed by “wine”, because of its refreshing and exhilarating nature, in God’s presence is “fulness of joy”; and by “new wine”, because these joys are the most excellent, because they are always new, and never change; they are “pleasures for evermore”: to “drink” hereof, denotes the full enjoyment of them, which Christ, as man and mediator, and his people with him, shall be possessed of; and is different from the superficial “taste of the powers of the world to come”, Heb_6:5, which hypocrites have, and those real prelibations of glory which saints have in this life; there being a difference between drinking and tasting, Mat_27:34, and this will be social; Christ and his true disciples shall be together; and drink this new wine together; or enjoy the same glory and felicity in the highest measure and degree, they are capable of; and which society therein will yield a mutual pleasure to each other, as the words here suggest. The Jews often express the joys of the world to come, by such like figurative phrases: they make mention of, יין דעלמא דאתי, “the wine of the world to come” (g); and of שכר רוחני, “a spiritual drink”, in the last days, which is called the world to come (h): and so they explain (i) after this manner, Isa_64:4. “Neither hath the eye seen, O God”, &c., זה יין, “this is the wine”, which is kept in the grapes from the six days of the creation; of which they often speak in their writings (k).

(f) Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c. 8. sect. 10. Piske Toseph. Pesach. art. 328. (g) Zohar in Lev. fol. 17. 2. (h) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 3. 4. En Israel, fol. 30. 1. (i) T. Bab. Berncot, fol. 34. 2, & Sanhed. fol. 99. 1. (k) Targum in Cant. viii. 2. Zohar in Gen. fol. 81. 4. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 30. 3.
John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible

Mat 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Mat 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Luk 22:15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
Luk 22:16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Luk 22:17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.
Luk 22:18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Mar 14:25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Mar 14:26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mar 14:27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Mar 14:28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Joh 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Joh 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

How would this statement making sense when Jesus says the living Father sent him and he lives because of the Father. The only way we use creatures can feed is if the sacrifice is killed. It Jesus is anything less than a person the only logical conclusion let is that we also kill the Father. Even worse if Jesus is in Aion, eternal idea, manifestation, then what died on the cross rather than who!

John 6:57
As the living Father hath sent me,…. Into the world, to be the Saviour of it; not by local motion, but by assumption of human nature; and not against his will, or as having superiority over him; but by joint consent and agreement: the first person in the Godhead is here styled, “the living Father”; not because he is the Father of spirits, of angels, and the souls of men; and the Father of all men by creation, and of saints by adoption; and the Father, or author of all mercies, spiritual and temporal; but because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this character is peculiar to him: he is indeed the living God, and has life in himself, and is the fountain of life to others; but not in distinction from, and to the exclusion of the Son, or Spirit; but then none but he is the living Father, who ever did, and ever will, live as the Father of Christ:

and I live by the Father; which is to be understood of Christ, not as God, but as Mediator, and as man. As Mediator he was set up by his Father, as the head of life to the elect; and was intrusted by him with a fulness of life for them; and was sent to open the way of life unto them, and bestow it on them. As man, he had his human life from God, and was preserved and upheld in it by him; and he laid it down at his command, and at his death committed his soul or spirit to him; and which was restored unto him, and is continued with him. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, “for the Father”, or “because of him”; and may design either that near union and conjunction of Christ with him, by virtue of which they live the same life; or else his living to the glory and honour of his Father, as he did, and does:

so he that eateth me; in a spiritual sense, by faith. The phrase of eating the Messiah was a familiar one, and well known to the Jews; though these Capernaites cavilled at it, and called it an hard saying.

“Says Rab, the Israelites shall “eat” the years of the Messiah: (the gloss on it is, the fulness which the Israelites shall have in those days:) says R. Joseph, it is certainly so; but who shall “eat him?” shall Chellek and Billek (two judges in Sodom) אכלי לה, “eat him?” contrary to the words of R. Hillell, who says, Israel shall have no Messiah, for אכלוהו, “they ate him” in the days of Hezekiah (y);”

that is, they enjoyed him then; for he thought that Hezekiah was the Messiah; but that was the doctor’s mistake. The Messiah now was, and to be enjoyed and eaten by faith in a spiritual sense, and everyone that does so,

even he shall live by me: such have their life from Christ; he is their food, on which they lived; and by him they are continued, upheld, and preserved in their spiritual life, and are by him brought to the life of glory: or they live “for”, or “because of” him, as the above versions render it; they derive their life from him, and because he lives, they live also; and they live to his glory, and will do so to all eternity.

(y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. & 99. 1.
John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible

John 6:56-57

One who partakes of Christ enjoys a mutual abiding relationship with Christ. He remains (menei) in Christ, and Christ remains in him. Menō; is one of the most important theological terms in John’s Gospel (cf. comments on Joh_1:38). The Father “remains” in the Son (Joh_14:10), the Spirit “remains” on Jesus (Joh_1:32), and believers “remain” in Jesus and He in them (Joh_6:56; Joh_15:4). The implications of this “remaining” are many. A believer enjoys intimacy with and security in Jesus. Just as He has His life from the Father, so believers have life because of Jesus.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary.

Joh 6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Joh 6:59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
Joh 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

This is a hard saying and who can listen? It’s clear that Jesus is focused on the cross getting ready to face the great humiliation and glorious resurrection. Jesus is instructing us through the ages to remember is sacrifice for the glory of the Father and the benefit of the elect. And in the clearest of understanding we see that Jesus has his life in and of the Father but distinct in his existence. Scripture clearly teaches us here that the Father decrees the Son accomplishes in the Spirit applies. From the Father through the Son by the Spirit we have salvation by our triune God, one in essence three in person!

The Son and His existence from all eternity

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Saved, Trinity on December 26, 2011 at 10:04 pm

the exact imprint of his nature

kai charaktēr tēs hypostaseōs autou

kai charaktēr

1 Long ago, at many times and ain many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but bin these last days che has spoken to us by dhis Son, whom he appointed ethe heir of all things, fthrough whom also he created gthe world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and hthe exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. iAfter making purification for sins, jhe sat down kat the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name lhe has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

m“You are my Son,

today I have begotten you”?

Or again,

n“I will be to him a father,

and he shall be to me a son”?

6 And again, when he brings othe firstborn into the world, he says,

p“Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7 Of the angels he says, q“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” [1]

Louw Nida 89.92 89.92 καίa: a marker of coordinate relations—‘and.’ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Σίμων καὶ Ἰούδας ‘James and Joseph and Simon and Judas’ Mt 13:55; χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ‘grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ’ Ro 1:7; κεκένωται ἡ πίστις καὶ κατήργηται ἡ ἐπαγγελία ‘faith means nothing and the promise is ineffectual’ Ro 4:14.

Strong’s Greek #2532 2532. καί kai; a prim. conjunc.; and, even, also:—accompanied(1), actually(2), after(2), again(1), again*(1), along(4), also(535), although(1), although*(1), besides*(1), both(37), both*(1), certainly(1), continue(1), either(2), else(1), even(132), forty-six*(1), if(1), including(1), indeed(20), indeed*(2), just(3), likewise(1), more*(2), moving about freely*(1), nor(4), now(2), only(2), only*(1), or(11), same(1), so(30), than(2), than*(4), then(105), though(1), though*(6), together(1), too(34), until(1), very(3), well(13), when(7), whether(1), while(1), whose*(1), without*(4), yet(9).

58.62 χαρακτήρ, ῆρος m: a representation as an exact reproduction of a particular form or structure—‘exact representation.’ ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ ‘who is the reflection of his glory and the exact representation of his being’ He 1:3.[2]

Strong’s Greek #5481 † χαρακτήρ* A. In the Greek World. χαρακτήρ is orig. a nomen agentis: “one who χαράσσει.” The verb, derived from the noun χάραξ, means “to cut to a point,” “to sharpen,” Hes. Op., 387, 573, and then later it takes on the technical sense “to inscribe” on wood, stone, or brass. Anth. Graec., 7, 710, 8; in part. it is a tt. in minting coins, Aristot. Pol., I, 9, p. 1257a, 35–41; Fr., 485, p. 1557a, 36; Fr., 551, p. 1569a, 30.1 Since, at the time minting began, nomina agentis in Ionic and Attic were usually formed with -της, and the ancient suffix -τηρ was used only in relation to tools and vessels,2 one may assume that χαρακτήρ first denoted an object, “die,”3 IG2, II/III, 2 No. 1408, 11 f., cf. 1409, 5 (both c. 385 b.c.),4 then “impression,” “image,” “impress,” Plat. Polit., 289b; Aristot. Pol., I, 9, p. 1257a, 41. More gen. χαρακτήρ can then denote “coinage type,” ἦν δʼ ὁ ἀρχαῖος χαρακτὴρ δίδραχμον, Aristot. Atheniensium Res publica, 10, 2,5 and finally the “coin” …

The First Testament revelation was progressive. All could not be revealed at once, and because all could not be understood at once. Thus the revelation was given in many parts. In addition to this, it was given in different modes. It was given in the form of law, prophecy, history, psalm, sign, type, parable. Expositor’s1 says that the people of Israel “were like men listening to a clock striking the hour, always getting nearer the truth but obliged to wait till the whole is heard.”

The words “in times past” are the translation of palai (παλαι). The Greek has two words meaning “old,” archaios (ἀρχαιος), meaning “old in point of time,” and palaios (παλαιος), meaning “old in point of use, worn out, ready to be displaced by something new.” The close association of our word palai (παλαι) to palaios (παλαιος) suggests that the writer had in mind by its use, the fact that while the First Testament revelation was not to be cast aside, yet it was time for a new one to be given, one that would be God’s final word, one that would complete and round out the first one.

The translation so far reads “In many parts and in different ways of old.” Now comes the word “God.” It is preceded by the definite article which has several functions here. First of all, it serves notice on the reader, that the God of whom the writer speaks, is the same God whom the Hebrew addressees of the epistle profess to worship. Thus does the writer seek to place himself on common ground with his readers in the very beginning of a treatise which is highly argumentative in character. It is the debater’s technique which concedes all it safely can to an opponent. The other function of the article here is to indicate the particular Person of the Godhead spoken of, God the Father.

The next word “spake,” is a participle in the Greek text, and is associated with the word “spoken” of verse two, which is a finite verb. That is, “God, having spoken, spoke.” Thus, we have the two revelations, that of the First Testament and that of the New, joined together.[3]

Moving from the foundation set in the first part of the passage we have established that the revelation is progressive from beginning to end in time and content.

Outline

Place

Finder

IDENTITY

PRIESTHOOD

SACRIFICE

FAITH

BACK

to Outline

Chapter summary. Hebrews begins with a grand affirmation. God, who has spoken to man through intermediaries, has now spoken to us by His Son, a Son who is God Himself in all His splendor and power (1:1–4).

The author underlines the fact that the Son is superior to angels. Jewish tradition held that angels gave the Old Covenant (the Pentateuch, the Law) to Moses. This One through whom God has now spoken is superior for He, not angels, is spoken to by God as “My Son” (v. 5). He is superior, for angels are commanded to worship the Son (v. 6). He is superior because angels are servants, while the Son sits on the throne (vv. 7–9).

The Son is superior not only as Creator of the universe, but as One who in endless life sits at God’s right hand (vv. 10–13). Angels are ministering spirits; not masters of the universe, but servants of God’s saints (v. 14).

Key verse. 1:3: God, exactly.

Personal application. We cannot honor Jesus too highly.

Key concepts.

Last days » 2 Timothy 3. Revelation » Psalms 18-21, 1 Corinthians 2. Prophets » Deuteronomy 18. Angels » Daniel 10. Father » Deuteronomy 31-32, Luke 12. Kingdom » Psalms 140-145, Matthew 4. Creation » Isaiah 40.

INSIGHT

Many times and various ways (1:1). Old Testament revelations came in dreams and visions, through prophets, and in direct messages from the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 18-19). The revelation that comes through Christ continues this tradition, but is a final, ultimate revelation because its agent is God the Son.

The Son’s nature (1:3). The Gk. makes the meaning of key phrases clear. The “radiance” of God’s glory is apaugasma, which is a brightness shining from within, and a brightness caused by an external source. Jesus shines with His own and with the Father’s brightness—and the two lights are one.

The phrase “the exact representation of His [God’s] being” is the charackter. In the 1st century this indicated the imprint of a die, such as the impression on coins. Jesus “bears the stamp” of the divine nature itself.

Jesus’ superior name (1:4). The “name” in biblical times summed up all a person was. Though eternally superior to angels as God, Jesus also “became” in accomplishing our salvation. The name “Saviour” was added to His laurels.

“Firstborn” (1:6). The use of this term does not suggest an origin for Jesus subsequent to that of the Father. Rather prototokos is frequently used as a technical theological term, applied only to Jesus. It affirms His supreme rank and His unique relationship with the Father and His unique position within the family of God (cf. also Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15, 18; Rev. 1:5).

“Flames of fire” (1:7). This verse quotes Ps. 104:4. It is taken by some to refer to forms God’s angelic servants may take (cf. 2 Kings 6:17). It is more likely that this phrase, in a passage intended to exalt Christ, contrasts the fiery glory of angels with the awesome radiance of Christ’s true deity. Fire is impressive. But not when compared to the awesome power of the sun.

“Sit at My right hand” (1:13). The right hand is the traditional place of power and authority in the biblical world. Christ not only laid the foundations of the earth, and possesses endless life and existence, He also exercises all the power and authority of Deity.

Angels: ministering spirits (1:14). The Gk. word angelos means “messenger.” It is used 175 times in the N.T. The N.T. teaches that Satan leads a host of evil angels (Matt. 25:41; Jude 6), whom many believe are the demons of the Gospels, dedicated to harm human beings and resist God’s purposes. God’s angels, on the other hand, are committed by Him to serve and support us, who are the “heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14; cf. Matt. 18:10; Acts 12).

While angels have a supportive ministry, and no doubt protect and in other ways help believers, this passage reminds us that Jesus, not angels, is to be the focus of our faith. Paul sternly scolds those who exalt angels rather than Christ (Col. 2).[4]

The definite article appearing before “prophets,” sets these individuals off by themselves as a class. The fact that the article is absent before the word “Son,” emphasizes character, nature. It speaks of the Son-relationship of the Messiah to God the Father. It speaks of the distinction that exists between the prophets as God’s creatures used as instruments in His hands and the Son who by nature is Deity. The Son belongs to a different category. God spoke through One who is in character a son.

The revelation God gave in His Son, consisted not merely in what was said, as in the case of the prophets, but in what the Son was, not merely in what He (the Son) said. In other words, it was not primarily, nor finally, a revelation given through words, but through a Personality. It was a revelation made by One who in all that He is and all that He does and says, reveals the Father. He is the Logos, the total concept of Deity, Deity told out, the Word of God, not in the sense of a spoken or a written word, but in the sense of a Person who in Himself expresses all that God the Father is. He said on one occasion, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). And so John could write, “In the beginning was the Logos (Λογος) (the Word), and the Word (Logos (Λογος)) was in fellowship with God (the Father), and the Logos (Λογος) was as to His nature Deity” (John 1:1). This is the Person in whom God gave His final revelation to the human race.

But now, after the exegesis of this wonderful portion of God’s Word, we must pay attention to the argument of the writer. He wrote the book to prove just one proposition to be true; “The New Testament is superior to and takes the place of the First Testament.” His first major argument (1:1–8:6) shows that the Founder of the New Testament is superior to the founders of the First Testament, which makes the former Testament superior to the latter. The first class of individuals he selects among the founders of the First Testament are the prophets. He has now shown that the Founder of the New Testament is superior to the prophets in that the latter were merely created beings used as instruments by God, whereas the former is the Son, God the Son, thus very God of very God. But not only is the Son superior in His Being, but the mode of revealing God’s Word to the human race was superior in His case. When the prophets spoke, it was merely as mouthpieces. When the Son spoke, it was God Himself who spoke. Thus, by two counts already, has the writer shown that the One who gave the truth of the New Testament to man is superior to those who gave the truth of the First Testament.[5]

When God saves a sinner, He breaks the power of the indwelling sinful nature at the moment that sinner places his faith in the Lord Jesus (Romans 6). When that believer dies, he loses the sinful nature, and in his glorified body has only the divine nature. God also removes the guilt and penalty of sin and gives the believer a righteous standing. The Son of God made all this possible when He died on the Cross. His blood delivers the believer from the power of sin in this present life, and from the presence of sin in the future life. His blood removes the guilt and penalty of sin and cleanses the believer from its defilement. That is what is included in the act of our Lord making purification for sins.

The participle is in the aorist tense, which indicates that His act of making purification for sins was a single definite act, and a once-for-all act. The writer had just been speaking of the fact that the Son was the creator, sustainer, and motivater of all things from their beginning all down the ages of time. It was and is His responsibility to see to it that they in the plan of God are brought to a final ultimate and proper conclusion. Sin interposed itself in the smooth-working perfect universe. In carrying on all things to the desired end, the Son had to confront and deal with sin which had thrown the world into disorder and out of God’s order.

When His work on the Cross was finished, the Son “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The seated posture indicates that His work was finished, in contrast to the Levitical priests who never sat down so far as their tabernacle work was concerned, and for the reason that their work was never finished, and this because the blood of bulls and goats could not pay for sin. The verb “sat down” denotes a solemn, formal act. It speaks of the assumption of a position of dignity and authority. The reference is to the Son’s glorification and ascension. In His exalted state He is still bearing on all things toward their destined consummation, and is still dealing with sin as the Great High Priest, saving believing sinners in His precious blood and cleansing saints from the defilement of sin that at times enters their lives.

With this, the inspired writer closes his argument to the effect that the Son of God is superior to the Old Testament prophets. He has enumerated seven superiorities. First, the Son is superior to the Old Testament prophets in that, whereas they were the mouthpieces of God, He was God Himself speaking on earth. Second, the Son inherits all things, the prophets being part of that inheritance. Third, the Son created all things and is the One who operates and manages the universe and all its creatures all down the successive ages of time. Fourth, the Son is the effulgence, the out-raying of the glory of God, not merely in the sense that He is the outshining of that glory, but that He Himself is a divine center of the out-raying of God’s glory, co-eternal and co-existent with the Father, of the same substance as the Father and, while the Son by eternal generation from the Father, yet also very God of very God, possessing in Himself life and light. For instance, the sunshine resting upon the earth is of the same essence as the light still in the sun, and is the outshining of the light in the sun. But the Lord Jesus is more than that illustration includes. He is not merely the outshining of God’s glory, but the outshining of that glory which in itself becomes a center from which the glory of God out-rays itself. Fifth, the Son is the exact impression of the Person and the character of Deity, thus its exact expression. Sixth, the Son carries the weight of the universe, maintains its coherence, and carries on its development. Seventh, He has by the shedding of His own blood on the Cross, put away sin.

Is He better than the prophets? Yes, infinitely so. Not one of these superiorities could be ascribed to the Old Testament prophets, or for that matter, to any ancient or modern so-called prophet of any religious system. In view of the Son’s superiorities over God’s prophets, what audacity it is for Modernism to place Socrates alongside of the Son of God. What sacrilege to say that He was only a human being. The Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of the Epistle to the Hebrews (2:9). Again, what a low-estimate first century Israel had of its Messiah, as shown by the fact that the writer needed to demonstrate that He was superior to its prophets.[6]

tēs hypostaseōs autou

92.24 ,, τό (pl. οἱ, αἱ, τά): a reference to an entity, event, or state, clearly identified by the linguistic or non-linguistic context of the utterance—‘the, he, she, it.’5 τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν ‘for we are also his offspring’ Ac 17:28; τὸ γὰρ ἅγιον πνεῦμα διδάξει ὑμᾶς ‘for the Holy Spirit will teach you’ Lk 12:12; παντὸς ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας ‘everyone who hears the message about the kingdom’ Mt 13:19.[7]

Strong’s Greek #3588 3588. ho, hē, τό to; the def. art.; the:—about(2), all(5), case*(3), cause*(1), circumstances*(3), companions*(8), condition*(1), experiences(2), far(1), followers*(1), former*(1), meat(1), one(6), one who(1), one*(1), others(4), others*(1), outsiders*(3), people(1), sight(1), some(7), some*(5), suitable(1), these(4), things(1), this(31), those(406), those who(17), together*(8), under*(1), welfare(1), what(47), what had happened(1), what*(1), which(14), who(52), whoever(8), whom(4). ho; see 3739.

92.11 αὐτόςb, ή, ό: a reference to a definite person or persons spoken or written about (with an added feature of emphasis in the nominative forms)—‘he, him, she, her, it, they, them.’ αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν ‘for he will save his people from their sins’ Mt 1:21; καὶ οὗτος μὴν ἕκτος ἐστὶν αὐτῇ τῇ καλουμένῃ στείρᾳ ‘and this was the sixth month for her who was called barren’ Lk 1:36; αὐτῶν τὴν συνείδησιν ‘their conscience’ 1 Cor 8:12; καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου λέγει αὐτῇ ‘and taking the child by the hand, he said to her’ Mk 5:41.[8]

Strong’s Greek #846 846. αὐτός autos; an intensive pron., a prim. word; (1) self (emphatic) (2) he, she, it (used for the third pers. pron.) (3) the same:—accompanied*(2), agree*(1), anyone(1), both*(1), city(2), even(1), here*(1), herself(5), himself(83), itself(7), just(1), lies(1), like(1), like-minded(1), money(1), myself(10), number(1), one(1), one’s(2), other(1), ourselves(8), own(2), part(1), people(1), person(1), personally(1), righteousness(1), same(59), same things(4), same way(1), selves(1), sight(1), temple(1), theirs(3), themselves(23), there*(2), these(1), these things(2), this(1), those(2), together*(8), very(17), very one(1), very thing(4), well(1), who(3), whose(2), whose*(1), women(1), yourself(3), yourselves(14), yourselves*(3).

58.1 ὑπόστασιςa, εως f: the essential or basic nature of an entity—‘substance, nature, essence, real being.’ ὃς ὢν … χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ ‘who is … the exact representation of his real being’ or ‘… nature’ He 1:3. In some languages there is no ready lexical equivalent of ‘real being’ or ‘nature.’ Therefore, one may express this concept in He 1:3 as ‘who is … just like what he really is.’[9]

Strong’s Greek #3588 3588. ho, hē, τό to; the def. art.; the:—about(2), all(5), case*(3), cause*(1), circumstances*(3), companions*(8), condition*(1), experiences(2), far(1), followers*(1), former*(1), meat(1), one(6), one who(1), one*(1), others(4), others*(1), outsiders*(3), people(1), sight(1), some(7), some*(5), suitable(1), these(4), things(1), this(31), those(406), those who(17), together*(8), under*(1), welfare(1), what(47), what had happened(1), what*(1), which(14), who(52), whoever(8), whom(4). ho; see 3739.

Once again the phrase “the exact imprint of his nature” broken down in detail to help explain how the being of God is never divided but the persons of God are presented in scripture, detail and actions.

Verse 3. the brightness] The substitution of “effulgence” for “brightness” in the Revised Version is not, as it has been contemptuously called, “a piece of finery,” but is a rendering at once more accurate and more suggestive. It means “efflux of light”—“Light of (i.e. from) Light” (“effulgentia” not “repercussus”) Grotius. It implies not only resemblance—which is all that is involved in the vague and misleading word “brightness,” which might apply to a mere reflexion:—but also “origin” and “independent existence.” The glory of Christ is the glory of the Father just as the sun is only revealed by the rays which stream forth from it. So the “Wisdom of Solomon” (7:26)—which offers many resemblances to the Epistle to the Hebrews, and which some have even conjectured to be by the same author—speaks of wisdom as “the effulgence of the everlasting light.” The word is also found in Philo where it is applied to man. This passage, like many others in the Epistle, is quoted by St Clement of Rome (ad Cor. 36).

of his glory] God was believed in the Old Dispensation to reveal Himself by a cloud of glory called “the Shechinah,” and the Alexandrian Jews, in their anxious avoidance of all anthropomorphism and anthropopathy—i.e. of all expressions which attribute the human form and human passions to God—often substituted “the Glory” for the name of God. Similarly in 2 Pet. 1:17 the Voice from God the Father is a Voice “from the magnificent glory.” Comp. Acts 7:55; Lk. 2:9. St John says “God is Light,” and the indestructible purity and impalpable essence of Light make it the best of all created things to furnish an analogy for the supersensuous light and spiritual splendour of the Being of God. Hence St John also says of the Word “we beheld His glory” (1:14); and our Lord said to Philip “he who hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (14:9). Comp. Lk. 9:29.

the express image] Rather, “the stamp” (charactēr). The R. V. renders this word by “very image” (after Tyndale), and in the margin by “impress.” I prefer the word “stamp” because the Greek “charactēr” like the English word “stamp,” may, according to its derivation, be used either for the impress or for the stamping-tool itself. This Epistle has so many resemblances to Philo that the word may have been suggested by a passage (Opp. i. 332) in which Philo compares man to a coin which has been stamped by the Logos with the being and type of God; and in that passage the word seems to bear this unusual sense of a “stamping-tool,” for it impresses a man with the mark of God. Similarly St Paul in the Epistle to the Colossians (1:15)—which most resembles this Epistle in its Christology—called Christ “the image (eikōn) of the invisible God;” and Philo says, “But the word is the image (eikōn) of God, by Whom the whole world was created,” De Monarch, (Opp. ii. 225).

of his person] Rather, “of His substance” or “essence.” The word hypostasis, substantia (literally that which “stands under”) is, in philosophical accuracy, the imaginary substratum which remains when a thing is regarded apart from all its accidents. The word “person” of our A. V. is rather the equivalent to prosōpon. Hypostasis only came to be used in this sense some centuries later. Perhaps “Being” or “Essence,” though it corresponds more strictly to the Greek ousia, is the nearest representative which we can find to hypostasis, now that “substance,” once the most abstract and philosophical of words, has come (in ordinary language) to mean what is solid and concrete. It is only too possible that the word “substance” conveys to many minds the very opposite conception to that which was intended and which alone corresponds to the truth. Athanasius says, “Hypostasis is essence” (οὐσία); and the Nicene Council seems to draw no real distinction between the two words. In fact the Western Church admitted that, in the Eastern sense, we might speak of three hypostaseis of the Trinity; and in the Western sense, of one hypostasis, because in this sense the word meant Essence. For the use of the word in the LXX. see Ps. 38:6, 88:48. It is curiously applied in Wisd. 16:21. In the technical language of theology these two clauses represent the Son as co-eternal and co-substantial with the Father.

upholding all things] He is not only the Creative Word, but the Sustaining Providence. He is, as Philo says, “the chain-band of all things,” but He is also their guiding force. “In Him all things subsist” (Col. 1:17). Philo calls the Logos “the pilot and steersman of everything.”

by the word of his power] Rather, “by the utterance (rhemati) of His power.” It is better to keep “word” for Logos, and “utterance” for rhema. We find “strength” (κράτος) and “force” (ἰσχύς) attributed to Christ in Eph. 6:10, as “power” (δύναμις) here.

when he had by himself purged our sins] Rather, “after making purification of sins.” The “by Himself” is omitted by some of the best MSS. (א, A, B), and the “our” by many. But the notion of Christ’s independent action (Phil. 2:7) is involved in the middle voice of the verb. On the purification of our sins by Christ (in which there is perhaps a slight reference to the “Day of Atonement,” called in the LXX. “the Day of Purification,” Ex. 29:36), see 9:12, 10:12; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Pet. 1:9 (comp. Job. 7:21, LXX.).

sat down] His glorification was directly consequent on His voluntary humiliation (see 8:1, 10:12, 12:2; Ps. 109:1), and here the whole description is brought to its destined climax.

on the right hand] As the place of honour comp. 8:1; Ps. 110:1; Eph. 1:20. The controversy as to whether “the right hand of God” means “everywhere”—which was called the “Ubiquitarian controversy”—is wholly destitute of meaning, and has long fallen into deserved oblivion.

of the Majesty] In 10:12 he says “at the right hand of God.” But he was evidently fond of sonorous amplifications, which belong to the dignity of his style; and also fond of Alexandrian modes of expression. The LXX. sometimes went so far as to substitute for “God” the phrase “the place” where God stood (see Ex. 24:10, LXX.).

on high] Literally, “in high places;” like “Glory to God in the highest,” Lk. 2:14 (comp. Job 16:19); and “in heavenly places,” Eph. 1:20 (comp. Ps. 93:4, 112:5). The description of Christ in these verses differed from the current Messianic conception of the Jews in two respects. 1. He was divine and omnipotent. 2. He was to die for our sins.[10]

In conclusion of Hebrews we see the Son expressed for his person yet his total completeness in the Father. The Sun is known for its rays of light and heat yet it is distinct from its rays. Distinction in the Godhead is vital to the creation, redemption, and salvation of man. We become guilty of dividing the being of God instead of the persons of God. A category error confusing the language of God.


a [Num. 12:6, 8; Joel 2:28]

b 1 Pet. 1:20; [ch. 9:26; Acts 2:17]

c ch. 2:3

d See Matt. 14:33

e Ps. 2:8; Matt. 21:38; See Matt. 28:18

f [ch. 3:3]; See John 1:3

g ch. 11:3

h See 2 Cor. 4:4

i See ch. 9:14

j See Mark 16:19

k [Luke 22:69]

l Eph. 1:21; Phil. 2:9

m ch. 5:5; Acts 13:33; Cited from Ps. 2:7

n Cited from 2 Sam. 7:14; [Ps. 89:26, 27]

o See Rom. 8:29

p Cited from Deut. 32:43 (Gk.); [Ps. 97:7]

q Cited from Ps. 104:4

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Heb 1:1–7.

m masculine

[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 591-92.

1 The Expositor’s Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll, M.A., LLD.

[3] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), Heb 1:1.

[4] Lawrence O. Richards, The Bible Readers Companion, electronic ed. (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991), 855.

[5] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), Heb 1:2.

[6] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), Heb 1:3.

5 5 In this semantic analysis, no distinction is made between the articular and the pronominal use of ὁ, ἡ, τό. In the articular construction, ὁ, ἡ, or τό simply occurs together with a substantive, while in the pronominal usage, there is no combined substantive, since the substantive is fully understood from the context.

[7] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 815.

[8] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 813.

f feminine

[9] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 584.

[10] F. W. Farrar, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, With Notes and Introduction, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891), 56-58.

What ?? too many questions maybe you can answer too!

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on July 4, 2011 at 9:53 am

What do I have now that I haven’t had before? How was I blind for so long and now see truth in such a different light than just a few years ago? Why does the Personal God who is there bother with someone as rebellious as an indifferent as me? Just how useful can I be for the kingdom now? Does God through Christ by the Spirit really make an impact in my life every day? The questions keep coming and God in his infinite wisdom has granted answers on some and has me digging deeper on others? Francis Shaffer philosopher and author had a great quote:

To eat, to breathe to beget Is this all there is Chance configuration of atom against atom of god against god I cannot believe it. Come, Christian Triune God who lives, Here am I Shake the world again. [i]

The “Christian Triune God who lives” did answer that prayer and shook the world through Schaeffer’s ministry.

The Holy Spirit indwelling the individual Christian is not only the agent of Christ, but he is also the agent of the Father. Consequently, when I accept Christ as my Savior, my guilt is gone, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and I am in communication with the Father and the Son, as well as of the Holy Spirit—the entire Trinity. Thus now, in the present life, if I am justified, I am in a personal relationship with each of the members of the Trinity. God the Father is my Father; I am in union with the Son; and I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This is not just meant to be doctrine; it is what I have now.[ii]

This is in line with the personal God who is there and is on the high order of the Trinity. Since beginning a deeper richer study of the Trinity it has completely changed my faith making it strong and at the same time more difficult to tolerate me! The more I see the Trinity and the way God exists, the Trinity has taken over my thinking I am acutely aware of the sin in my own life. Understanding the Father desires relationship and sent his Son to pay my sin debt while the Spirit indwells me teaching me the truth of the cost I am overwhelmed.

The Old Testament teaches, and the New Testament reaffirms, that there is only one God (Deut. 6:4; James 2:19). “The Bible also teaches that this one God exists in three distinct persons.” The first line of evidence for this claim is the divine plurals used in the language of the Old Testament: “Who will go for us?” (Isa. 6:8); “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26); “Let us go down there and confuse their language” (Gen. 11:7). “In this verse, as in 1:26, the persons of the Trinity are in communication with each other.” These Old Testament plurals would not be enough to prove the triunity of the one God all alone. They are odd enough to require some explanation: Why would a consistently monotheistic revelation use words like we, us, and ours? The solid proof of this doctrine has to wait till Christ appears in human history and takes on flesh. Ours is a progressive revelation, From Adam, to Abraham, to David, to Jesus claiming to be God in flesh and the Son of the personal God who is there.

Now man has a new relationship with the creator, and the creator can now abide within us. The mystery I can’t reconcile is why the personal God who is there wants to have relationship with a dreadful, awful, terrible sinner like me. The law (10 commandments) illustrates the sinfulness of my sin! I can’t even keep one commandment for more than a day, and yet when I come to grips with the awful truth of my wretchedness and the hopelessness of my failure the Holy Spirit sent by the Father accompanied by the Son forgives me. Stated in Ephesians 2:18: “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” Christian prayer, as a subset of Christian communion with God, is an approach to God the Father, through God the Son, in the Holy Spirit. John Owen called this passage “a heavenly directory,” and Horatius Bonar teased out a theology of worship from it:

The whole Trinity has to do with our return and reception. The Father throws open His presence chamber, the Holy of Holies where He dwells; the Son provides the way for our restoration, by answering in His death all the ends that could have been served by our exclusion; and the Holy Spirit conducts us into the Father’s presence along the new and living way.

Now as new creature in Christ as applied by the Holy Spirit from the direction of the Father I am an adopted son, a brother to Christ, sealed by the Spirit. How is this supposed to affect us? Am I conforming to the image of his Son?

(Romans 8:29 HCSB)  For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

(Romans 8:14-17 HCSB)  All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ–seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

When John Bunyan defined true prayer, he built his definition around this Trinitarian structure from Ephesians 2.

(Ephesians 2:18 HCSB)  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

 Bunyan’s complete definition runs: Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God.

How does the Trinity make our prayer life more effective, and when we acknowledge how God exists does it complete us? If we don’t understand the Trinity or worse because we don’t understand try to find another mode of existence for God undermine the message of salvation? If the Trinity is salvation and salvation is the Trinity economically expressed why would we limit God’s existence to our understanding? If God is truly sovereign and has created all there is why couldn’t He be expressed in Trinity? Don’t we limit the limitless, build a box that has no room for its content; redefine in our terms the indefinable? Denying the Trinity is like gazing at the sun you can’t without severe consequences, ignoring the obvious to justify our inability to describe God. To use a saying my Dad used to use “I can’t see the forest for the trees.”


[i] Sanders, Fred (2010). The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (p. 178). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.

[ii] Sanders, Fred (2010).  (p.214)

 

 

The Dance of the low-sloping foreheads and Redefining Marriage

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on June 30, 2011 at 7:10 am

Many New Yorkers feel their city is more than just the (self-proclaimed) capital of the world. They think it actually is most of the world, the rest of the planet merely being the unavoidable orchard in which their Big Apple grows

New York Times columnist David Carr responds to Bill Maher implying Alabama and Kansas are not the “smart states.”

David Carr: “If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? [pause] Did I just say that aloud?”

CNN’s Jack Cafferty has advice for the GOP: Park your morality at the door.

On June 14, Mr. Cafferty expressed surprise that, in the previous night’s presidential debate, “social issues—like abortion, gay marriage, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’—still manage to work their way into the conversation. And that may prove to be a problem for Republicans. . . . These are not the issues that middle America is worried about. They would like to be able to find a job.”
What Cafferty doesn’t understand is that every issue is a moral issue. The current bad economy didn’t just happen. It was the direct result of immoral choices made by our leaders.
The national debt, national security, taxation, the welfare state, border security—there’s not a single issue that doesn’t have a moral component. The government has a moral obligation to live within its means, to protect its citizens, to encourage industriousness and discourage indolence, and to secure our borders against terrorists and drug cartels.
When voters consider a candidate for public office, they should not just ask, “Can this person manage the economy?” They need to know, “Does this person have the values and character to hold public office?”
A candidate who doesn’t value innocent life shouldn’t be president. In 2002, Barack Obama voted to oppose the Induced Birth Infant Liability Act, outlawing infanticide of babies who survive late-term abortions. Mr. Obama didn’t merely vote in favor of abortion, but in favor of killing babies outside the womb. A man whose moral compass is this defective cannot make moral decisions.
He promised an end to earmarks, a secure border, no lobbyists in his administration, no recess appointments, airing the healthcare debate on C-SPAN, elimination of failed programs—and he didn’t keep even one of those promises. Candidate Obama opposed “same-sex marriage,” but as president he nullified the Defense of Marriage Act. A record of broken promises does not equal moral leadership.
GAY MARRIAGE is no longer a theoretical issue. Canada has it. Massachusetts is expected to get it any day. The Goodridge decision there could set off a legal, political, and cultural battle in the courts of 50 states and in the U.S. Congress. Every politician, every judge, every citizen has to decide:
Does same-sex marriage matter?
If so, how and why?
The timing could not be worse. Marriage is in crisis, as everyone knows: High rates of divorce and illegitimacy have eroded marriage norms and created millions of fatherless children, whole neighborhoods where lifelong marriage is no longer customary, driving up poverty, crime, teen pregnancy, welfare dependency, drug abuse, and mental and physical health problems. And yet, amid the broader negative trends, recent signs point to a modest but significant recovery.
Divorce rates appear to have declined a little from historic highs; illegitimacy rates, after doubling every decade from 1960 to 1990, appear to have leveled off, albeit at a high level (33 percent of American births are to unmarried women); teen pregnancy and sexual activity are down; the proportion of homemaking mothers is up; marital fertility appears to be on the rise. Research suggests that married adults are more committed to marital permanence than they were twenty years ago. A new generation of children of divorce appears on the brink of making a commitment to lifelong marriage. In 1977, 55 percent of American teenagers thought a divorce should be harder to get; in 2001, 75 percent did.
Cafferty says that middle America doesn’t care about “same-sex marriage.” But polls shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose it—not because they hate or feel morally superior to homosexual people. They simply want to preserve God’s plan for marriage. Marriage should remain what it has been throughout recorded history—a covenantal union between a man and a woman. Here are three reasons why Americans object to redefining marriage:
1. The best environment for children is a traditional family—one mom, one dad. Children from stable two-parent homes are significantly less prone to depression, addiction, and suicide than children from non-traditional families. A moral society should encourage the family structure that best nurtures children.
2. Marriage ideally brings together two people, one male, one female, who complement each other. Mothers are generally protective and nurturing while fathers tend to challenge children to confront risks and embrace opportunities. Children need both influences. Two “mothers” can’t teach boys to become men; two “fathers” can’t teach girls to become women.
3. Children need to feel connected to their biological origins whenever possible. Yale psychiatrist Kyle Pruett found that children “hunger for an abiding paternal presence.” They struggle with questions about their biological origins and identity.
Same-sex marriage, too, interferes with the core elements of wedlock in order to advance an unrelated goal — the dignity and equality of gays and lesbians. The fact that many decent people ardently embrace that goal doesn’t change reality: The essential, public purpose of marriage is to unite male and female — to bind men and women to each other and to the children that their sexual behavior may produce. It is rooted in the conviction that every child needs a mother and a father. Gay marriage, whether enacted by lawmakers or imposed by judges, disconnects marriage from its most basic idea. Ultimately, that isn’t tenable either.
Marriage — male-female marriage — is indispensable to human welfare. That is why it has existed in virtually every known human society. And why it cannot, and will not, be permanently redefined.
The scholarly consensus on the importance of marriage has broadened and deepened; it is now the conventional wisdom among child welfare organizations. As a Child Trends research brief summed up: “Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.”
The state has no basic benefit in marriage outside the traditional definition of the nuclear family. It is the most affordable, least costly way to have an ordered, society capable of earning revenue that it can tax. A properly functioning nuclear family reduces violence, provides protection, nurturing and feeding of its young without any monetary expenditure from the state. Beyond this it requires more than 2 to reproduce (not economically feasible) and as experience is teaching us more expense to the state to provide those necessities of protection, housing and food. Outside of its own self-interest why would the state regard marriage of any type? Marriage is typically promoted and supported in the religious community and for the life of me I can’t understand why a pluralistic society bent on self-aggrandizements and gentile fulfillment cares one way or the other!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, which among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. — That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”
This declaration acknowledges that God grants individual people their human rights. People then loan power to our government. The government holds only as much power as we, the people, are willing to yield.
These “self-evident” truths seem simple, but are powerful. First, all men are created equal. We all have equal value at birth. It does not say that, regardless of whether people work, they shall end up equal. We are created equal and given equal rights by our Creator: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not a guarantee of happiness. Happiness is up to every individual, not guaranteed by the government. We are a nation of believers in God. This provides us with optimism, a belief in the future, and solace and strength in times of crisis.

The SBC and it’s leadership

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Sin on June 22, 2011 at 7:30 am

Dever, Patterson share wide-ranging dialogue
By Gregory Tomlin
Jun 21, 2011

PHOENIX (BP)–Calling themselves “men of yesterday” in the Southern Baptist Convention, 9Marks founder Mark Dever and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson told younger pastors June 13 they should heed the wisdom of previous generations that upheld biblical authority and sound doctrine.

Speaking at a “9Marks at 9” gathering following the Monday evening session of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, Dever said: “I didn’t invent these things. These are the things our grandparents said. They are good things to keep saying.” The 9Marks group examines and promotes regenerate church membership, scriptural authority and elder-led church polity.

Patterson, who disagrees with Dever on the issue of church elders and Reformed theology (also known as “Calvinism”), said he had been on the earth long enough to “learn something about the ebb and flow of the Christian faith.”

“Every generation will be faced with a very significant decision and you are going to experience great sorrow because of it,” Patterson said. He told of how he learned this lesson from the Downgrade Controversy in England and Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s role in leading the Baptist churches of England to a firm, scriptural footing.

That controversy in 1887 centered on the authority and reliability of the Bible, which at the time was under attack from German theologians who applied an evolutionary framework to biblical studies.

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” Patterson said, recalling the Conservative Resurgence among Southern Baptists during which the convention reclaimed its own heritage of biblical conservatism in the 1980s and ’90s.

DECLINE BEFORE RESURGENCE

Dever asked Patterson about the difference between legitimate vigilance and paranoia that sees theological enemies at every hand.

“Paranoia is a condition that exists when you are thinking about you and your pastorate,” Patterson said. Vigilance, he said, is when people think constantly about protecting the Kingdom and ensuring that the Christian faith is passed from generation to generation.

“A denomination is nothing more than a reflection of what is going on in the churches,” Patterson said, noting that churches must hold and teach sound doctrine.

Dever asked Patterson to diagnose how the Southern Baptist Convention had declined theologically prior to the Conservative Resurgence, indicating he believed a lack of expositional preaching caused the decline. Patterson agreed.

“There was not a lot of expositional preaching in the 1950s. In fact, W.A. Criswell experienced a fair amount of ridicule for his expositional preaching,” Patterson said. “Even though people found the Lord under topical preaching, churches became weaker and weaker in terms of knowing the content of Scripture and what the Christian faith was about.”

Patterson said this decline in doctrinal knowledge lead to “anemia” in the churches, which in turn led to a lack of discipline. Churches once published the number of instances of church discipline, he said, but after some churches abused the process of discipline, the practice fell out of favor.

“There is something to the separated, sanctified life for Christ,” Patterson said, adding that churches still need to invoke discipline when necessary. Patterson said he believes the best form of discipline is “withholding the table” from those disciplined — prohibiting them from partaking of the Lord’s Supper with the remainder of the congregation.

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Dever said he thought church discipline is a less likely course of action if church members are truly regenerate. He asked Patterson if Southern Baptists had experienced problems in the past because they had not ensured those they baptized were actually born-again believers.

That was true then, Patterson said, but there are problems in modern churches as well. He noted the early church “did not baptize carelessly,” though they sometimes did baptize quickly. “I think we have done this sometimes carelessly.”

Patterson also said many churches almost could have been considered guilty of infant baptism, baptizing children as young as age 4. Many of these children grow up and leave the church or cannot remember their conversions, he said, emphasizing that churches must be sure that those who are baptized are regenerate.

“A lackadaisical policy toward baptism is a problem,” Patterson said. Without regenerate members, churches likely will have difficulty governing themselves.

That assertion prompted Dever to ask Patterson about a June 9 blog post in which James MacDonald, pastor of a nondenominational church and a voice in the Acts 29 church planting network, said congregational church government is not biblical. McDonald, who promotes an elder-led model, claimed pastors are “crushed” as the result of democratic voting and went on to call congregational church government “satanic.”

Dever asked Patterson if congregational government is, indeed, “satanic.” Patterson replied that this critique grows “out of a doctrine that has been abused in recent years — the priesthood of the believer.” Patterson said each believer is a priest, with the Holy Spirit indwelling the “temple” of his or her body. He noted the word used for “temple” by Paul was not a reference to the entire temple complex, but to the “Holy of Holies.” Believers must see themselves as part of the body, and not the whole or, worse, as individuals. And they must also submit themselves to the leadership of a shepherding pastor.

“Congregationalism of a sort, then,” based on a proper understanding of the priesthood of the believer, “is right theologically and it is the way God moves the people in a certain direction,” Patterson said. If the pastor is doing his job of listening to the Lord correctly, this movement should be in the direction the pastor desires based on his leading from the Lord,” Patterson added.

The pastor as a shepherd should be a “decisive leader,” Patterson said, noting that he is a servant but “rules” over his flock. “A shepherd doesn’t counsel with the sheep, asking, ‘Where would you guys like to graze today?'”

This, however, does not mean a pastor should be a chief executive officer (CEO), Patterson said. “The first responsibility a congregation has is to call a pastor,” he said. “Once they call the pastor, they need to follow the pastor.”

During his years as pastor, Patterson said he preferred not to have regular business meetings, which lead to “exercises in carnality” and “regular fights.”

GREAT COMMISSION RESURGENCE

Dever asked Patterson if the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) was part of, or a continuation of, the Conservative Resurgence. Patterson said he personally was not involved in the GCR and that he was not consulted on the plans or the report that was presented to and adopted by the SBC in 2010.

“They wanted to see the Great Commission put back in the lead position of what we do in Southern Baptist life,” Patterson said. Dever asked Patterson if he was pleased with the fruit of the GCR.

“I can’t say I’m not pleased with it, but I can’t say that I am. I haven’t seen enough of it yet,” Patterson said.

Asked by a pastor in the audience about the future of the SBC as a “red-state denomination with red-state sensibilities in a blue-state world,” Patterson acknowledged that Southern Baptists had to change. He said the convention must focus on urban areas, focus on universities and assume a New Testament mentality.

“We have to move Southern Baptists from being an agrarian, suburban denomination and move toward being an urban missionary force.”

COOPERATION

Dever noted that Southern Baptists have been cooperating and should continue to cooperate on social issues and missions, but he asked Patterson to describe the positives and negatives of cooperation.

Cooperation is valuable, Patterson said, as long as it focuses on the proper subjects.

Southern Baptists need to realize the SBC doesn’t constitute the entirety of the work of God on earth, Patterson said. Other Christians are sharing the Gospel and though they may disagree on minor points, those who believe the Bible believe in preaching Christ. This should be supported, Patterson said, just as the Anabaptists thanked God for Martin Luther but thought him “inconsistent” on a number of points. Christians can unite in evangelism, such as when Southern Baptists have participated in Billy Graham crusades, he said.

“However, when it comes to church planting, I’m going to plant Baptist churches,” Patterson said. Baptist churches are the closest to New Testament churches, he said, and Baptists have always been a “people of the Book,” “hot-hearted with compassion for people,” and a people of evangelism.

Patterson said Southern Baptists must be aware, however, that “a careless sort of ecumenism is slipping in.” Baptist doctrine cannot be softened to appease or changed for the sake of unity.

“Don’t I epitomize that?” Dever asked.

“No, you don’t,” Patterson said. “You have not taken Baptist out of the title of your church, you practice only believer’s baptism and you are a believer’s church.”

Understanding he is able to better educate seminary students by exposing them to various points of view, Patterson said he has invited people of different denominations to speak at Southwestern. “We have to recognize that God is doing some great things among people who are not Baptists,” he said.

CALVINISM

Many who came to the 9Marks meeting likely expected the discussion of the Reformed influence of the movement to be a topic for discussion. In reality, little time was devoted to it and none of the questions from the audience addressed Calvinism.

“You Calvinists scare me,” Patterson said, adding that he can always “put up with” people who hold different theological opinions as long as they are evangelistic. Dever said likewise he was frightened when people claimed to be Calvinists but refused to evangelize.

Dever asked Patterson if he believed in the total depravity of man, the first point of Reformed theology. “If I can define it, I do,” Patterson replied.

Dever followed with a similar question about unconditional election. Again, Patterson answered that he did believe the teaching “if I can define it.”

“If you mean by unconditional election that God arbitrarily decided in eternity past to create some people to save and some people to condemn, no,” Patterson said, drawing a loud “amen” from one pastor in attendance. “See, at least one brother here agrees with me.”

Dever told the audience that Patterson indirectly “helped start” the 9Marks movement. While Dever was at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, he wanted to print a pamphlet at the seminary extolling the marks of true Baptist churches. Patterson, then president of the North Carolina seminary, at first refused because the pamphlet promoted the use of elders. Dever eventually convinced Patterson to write a letter commending the pamphlet but stating his disagreement with the use of elders.

Dever is senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and chairman of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees.
–30–
Gregory Tomlin is a writer based in Dallas.

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What Changed about Him

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on June 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

(John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:14) The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

First the question should give a sense of seeing not so much what changed as what didn’t change. The biggest thought that screams from scripture is “His divine nature didn’t change”! God remained God he didn’t stop being God besides being unbiblical, this would make Him a lesser God changing from divine nature to human nature. The scripture clearly states that God remained God and the Word remained God when He became flesh. Either this statement is nonsense or God has two natures? Neither! The possibility of seeing God as one being with two what’s, materializes and the best word we can find to describe this moment are persons.
A closer look at the word “became” needs to be addressed. In the incarnation (birth) became cannot mean “transformed into” or “underwent a change in which he stopped being one thing and turned into another thing”. At the incarnation the Word became flesh he took human nature as his own, he added human existence to his already existing eternal self (person).
Now to the heart of the secret that the prophets and gospel hid in plain sight: when the Word became flesh the Son was still Son the second person of the Trinity. He did not change either. Fred Sanders describes this in his book “The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity changes everything, page 152: It was the eternal Son, whose personal characteristic is to belong to the Father and receive his identity from the Father, who took on human nature and dwelled among us. His life as a human being was a new event in history, but he lived out his human life in the exact same son-ship that makes him who he is from all eternity as the second person of the Trinity. So as Jesus lived out his life on earth he behaved like the Son of God, he never changed who He was only how he existed. The only new thing here is taking up the flesh, not being the Son of God. Only the Son of God could accomplish the will of God set forth from all eternity.
(Rev 13:8) and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

The story of His Glory the Gospel that God “sent His Son” to be His Son. When Jesus was in the flesh walking on this earth he behaved like the Son of God, the same way He has always been from eternity past. Quoting Austin Farrer (1904-1968) an Anglican theologian the gospels do not portray Jesus acting and behaving like God. Instead they portray him walking around and behaving like the Son of God. “We cannot understand Jesus as simply the God-who-was-man. We have left out an essential factor, the son-ship.” When we leave out that son-ship, we may think we are affirming the deity of Christ more clearly (“he is God” is a simpler statement to teach and defend than “he is the Son of God”), but in fact we are obscuring the Trinitarian revelation. The loss is too great; we will miss so much that is right there in Scripture. “What was expressed here below was not bare deity; it was divine son-ship,” said Farrer. The gospels clearly show Jesus was the Son: he lived, taught, acted, died, and rose again as the Son of God. The temptation to move past the son-ship to affirm His deity is ever present, but the scriptures clearly do the opposite acknowledging His deity in order to dwell on His Son-Ship! The early believers who saw, touched and ate with Jesus saw “the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” They know Him as the one who was “with the Father and was made manifest” 1 John 1:1-2. We must resist the temptation the rush past Jesus as the Son in order to express the fact He was God. “God” describes what Jesus is but the “Son” describes who He is!
If we understand the son ship of Jesus Christ it becomes foundational to the deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ. The risk we take in trying to make Jesus change or become something that he was not in heaven is making him the creature and not the creator. If we allow the idea that Jesus changed from something, or became something it actually reduces his deity instead of promoting it. In Scripture, we are taught The Father sent his son and unto us a child was given. We see by his behavior on earth Jesus always acknowledge he was about His Father’s business, he surrendered to doing the Fathers will, in his language and actions he confirms his son ship.
As Farrer said, is impossible to imagine how God would act if God were a creature. When we ask ourselves this particular question it forces us into a constant unresolved paradox. In looking at the miracles Jesus performed through the context of this question was he acting as the incarnate creator or a creature? Only in the context as the son of God the second person of the Trinity could these actions make sense. When reading the gospels the writers are very intent on expressing the son ship of Jesus Christ, he lived and died as the Son. At the heart of the Trinity is the son ship of Jesus.
If we are too quick to rush past Christ’s relationship to the Father, we miss what God has revealed about himself and we are settling for less than the full counsel of God. Quoting from Fred Sanders book “The deep things of God. How the Trinity changes everything:”
What is so wonderfully clear with regard to the Son-that he is himself here with us, just as he has eternally been himself in the happy land of the Trinity-it is also true of the Holy Spirit.

10 Signs a Church is in Trouble

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity, Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 4:55 am

By Thom S. Rainer
May 9, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Prior to my present place of ministry, I spent more than 20 years consulting with churches across America. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to research churches primarily in the United States. Over time I began to notice certain patterns or signs that would indicate a congregation might be headed for trouble.

After reviewing my consultation notes and research, I found 10 warning signs for churches. If a church had four or more of these signs present, I would let the leadership know that remedial efforts were in order. If six or more signs were present, I was concerned that the congregation was in immediate trouble.

The warning signs below are not listed in any particular order. Nor are they the result of a scientifically accurate study. Though the information is both experiential and anecdotal, I found it immensely helpful in diagnosing the health of a church.

Church leaders should be concerned …

— If the pastor does not have adequate time to be in the Word or if he chooses not to do so.

— If the members are spending time arguing about how money should be spent.

— If none or only a few of the key leaders are actively sharing their faith.

— If there is no clear process of discipleship in place, just a plethora of programs and activities.

— If corporate prayer is not a major emphasis in the church.

— If church members are arguing about worship style or worship times.

— If church members expect the paid staff to do most of the ministry, instead of the staff equipping the members to do the work of ministry (“Why didn’t he visit me in the hospital?”)

— If there are ongoing disagreements about matters of the church facilities.

— If the church has more meetings than new disciples.

— If the leadership of the church does not have a coherent plan for what is taught in small groups and Sunday School classes.

There is a common pattern for most of the warning signs. Church members are more concerned about their preferences and desires. They are inwardly focused. They ask what the church can do for them, instead of asking how God can use them sacrificially and radically through the ministries of the local church.

True Christianity is a faith that always seeks to put others first. Sadly, in many of the churches across our land, members are more concerned about getting their own personal needs and preferences met.

I would love to hear from you about any of these signs in your church. I particularly would like to hear from some people how their churches address these matters positively and pro-actively.

Do some of the items on the warning list take place in your church? Are there others not on the list?

What is your story?

Thom S. Rainer is president of LifeWay Christian Resources. This column first appeared at his website, ThomRainer.com.

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