Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Holy is the third Person in the Holy Trinity, (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,) yet we hear Him spoke of far less than the first two Persons. At times, He is left out all together. The apostle Paul was shocked in Acts 19:2 when he was told by some Ephesian believers that they had never even heard of the Holy Spirit. We find today that there are many believers in that same boat. The Holy Ghost may have been preached to these modern day believers, but often His person and ministry are so understated, that a believer may discount Him entirely. Therefore, for the next 5 or six posts, I will be focusing on the Holy Spirit.
The Personality of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a Person, just like the Father and the Son. He has all the same elements that the Father and the Son have as well. He has a mind (Romans 8:27) and He intercedes to the father on our behalf. He actively searches out the human mind. (1 Corinthians 2:10) He has a will. (1 Corinthians 12:11) He has the power to forbid, (Acts 16:6-7) as well as the power to permit, (Acts 16:10.)
The bible records the Holy Spirit speaking to Phillip, (Acts 8:29,) Peter, (Acts 10:19,) some elders in Antioch, (Acts 13:2) and to seven churches in Asia Minor, (Revelation 2-3.)
The Holy Spirit loves, (Romans 15:30,) and grieves, (Ephesians 4:30.) It is important to note that the grieving attribute of the Spirit is actually an extension of His love. One can really only be grieved by those he loves.
Finally, the Holy Spirit prays, (Romans 8:26.) When I have times of trials in my life, I am always comforted by calling a Christian friend of mine and asking them to pray for me. There are even certain people who remind me that they have been praying for me almost every time I see them. How much more comforting is it to know that the Holy Spirit Himself is offering up a prayer on my behalf. In fact, even when I cannot think of the words to say, He says the words for me.
So we see that the Holy Spirit is in fact, a Person. The bible, over and over again, assigns personality traits to Him that we also see in ourselves. He is relatable, just like the Father and the Son.
Posted by Timm at 11:33 AM
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Fall of Man
Mankind was the pinnacle of God’s creation. He was made in the image and likeness of God. This is evident in the fact that he resembles the trinity. (He is made up of body, soul and spirit.) He is the only creature who possessed self-consciousness and he resembled the form that Jesus would later manifest himself in.
It is estimated that the most brilliant genius uses only one percent of his total potential brain ability. This means that Adam was probably at least one thousand times superior to today’s smartest and brightest intellectuals. Adam may have even possessed E.S.P. We find him apparently communicating with the animals and he seemed to be completely in tune with himself and his surroundings. He was completely unique, meaning that no other creature created by God was like him or at his level. He was declared the king of creation and charged with subduing the earth, naming the animals and caring for the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1:28-31; 2:8-15, 19, 20)
Adam was commanded by God to abstain from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, lest he die, (Genesis 2:17) but he was encouraged to partake of the tree of Life and all the other trees in the garden. (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16) He was given a helpmate and the first wedding in history was performed, presided over by God Himself. (Genesis 2:22-24)
This brings us to introduction of Satan. He is subtle and cunning and he demonstrates this in chapter 3. He comes to Eve in the form of a serpent. Important to note here is that Eve did not seem to find it strange at all that the serpent was talking to her, indicating that Man and animal may have been able to communicate before the fall. The serpent was not simply the snake that we think of it today. It had legs and was perhaps the most beautiful and wisest of all the animals. Some have even suggested that the serpent may have had wings and stood upright before the fall.
First he convinces Eve to doubt God’s word when he asks Eve, “yea, hath God said…” Eve then tries to match wits with him, (which is a foolish mistake for any Christian.) Through his cunning and wit, the serpent tricks Eve into adding to God’s word. God did not tell Adam and Eve they could not touch the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, only that they could not eat of it. (Note that these are two tactics that Satan loves to use even today. He convinces us to doubt God’s Word and has convinced many that it is OK to add to or take away from God’s Word.)
Finally, the serpent flat out denies God’s Word by saying, “ye shall not surely die.” God never has and never will tell a lie.
Eve gives in to the three lusts of the flesh that the apostle John speaks of;
1. The lust of the flesh. – “The woman saw that the fruit was good for food.”
2. The lust of the eyes. – “And that it was pleasant to the eyes.”
3. The pride of Life. – “And a tree… to make one wise.”
Satan had managed to trick Adam and Eve through his subtlety and cunning. He had told the truth, but only a half truth. Eating of the fruit really did open there eyes and they did know of good and evil, but not as God did. God knows Evil because he is so good. Man is now the opposite; he recognizes good because he is so evil. We have the knowledge, but we have buyers remorse. The price was simply too high.
Although Eve had actually eaten the fruit first, Adam is declared to be the original sinner because he is the head of the human race and responsible for it’s actions.
Adam first tries to hide his nakedness. It’s unclear if he simply did not realize he was naked before this, or if there was some sort of drastic change in his physical and spiritual condition. Either way, his protection is now gone and he tries to remedy the situation by sewing together fig leaves.
Realizing his fig leaves are not going to cut it, Adam tries to hide himself from God. This is the tragedy of Sin. Not only does it cause us to be separated from God, but it also causes us to go one step further and actually avoid God completely.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Disclaimer: After further studies, I have added thoughts and points to my overview of Genesis 1:1 - Genesis 2:3. For the benefit of those who have already read the original, I have highlighted the changes in red.
The Bible opens with a doctrinal truth in it’s first four words: “In the beginning, God” This teaches us right from the start that God is God. He was there before the beginning of time and will be there at after the end of time. These four words, combined with the rest of the first verse refute atheism, for creation is the work of God. It refutes evolution, for the universe was created and did not evolve. It refutes materialism, for the universe did not always exist. It refutes polytheism, for there is only one God and it refutes pantheism, for God is apart and independent of His creation.
From there it goes on to teach us that God is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth, establishing that God is also very powerful. This is made obvious by the shear vastness of the universe that He has created. My favorite demonstration of the vastness of our universe is the paper stack model. It says that if the thickness of a single piece of paper represents the distance from the earth to the sun, (approximately ninety-three million miles,) then to reach the next closest star, you would need a seventy-one foot high stack of paper. To cover the diameter of our milky way galaxy, you would need a 310 mile high stack. To reach the edge of the known universe, you would need a stack of paper thirty-one million miles high.
The following is the Biblical model for the order by which God created the earth:
Day 1 – God created Light. The Spirit moved upon the earth, creating the energy that now acts to keep everything in working order. The three types of energy that God set in motion here are gravitational, electro-magnetic and nuclear.
Day 2 – God separated the water into two forms; regular land based water and atmospheric water, (water vapors in the sky around us.)
Day 3 – God created Plant life. This is the first life form that God actually created to inhabit the earth. This day refutes the false doctrine of Theistic evolution, that tries to combine creationism and evolution.
Day 4 – God creates the sun, the moon and the stars and gives them three purposes; To act as signs of the wonder of God, to give us seasons, (giving us a calendar to plan our work) and to give us a light source.
Day 5 – God creates Fish and Birds.
Day 6 – God creates land creatures and man. God saves his greatest creation for last. He makes man in His own image and after His likeness. Man is the greatest of God’s creations for multiple reasons; He is aware of his existence, capable of praising God, able to subdue the earth and fill it and he is tasked with naming all the animals and given dominion over them.
Day 7 – God rests. This is the only place the Bible tells us that God rests. It is not because He is tired, but rather to foreshadow and to demonstrate God’s desire for man to rest on the Sabbath and to keep the seventh day of the week set aside, only for Him.
It’s worth mentioning that the most likely explanation for the length of the days are literal twenty-four hour days. This is backed the fact that the Hebrew word for day here, “yom,” almost always means a literal twenty four hour day when used with a numerical adjective or with the phrase, “evening and morning.” (Both are true of this passage.) Combine that with the fact that the Bible later confirms it in Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17.
We already know that verse 1 refuted many anti-Christian worldviews. One view left to refute is that which states that the world is millions, (or even billions) of years old. The Bible suggests that the earth is no more than 12,000 years old. There is plenty of scientific evidence to support this, but perhaps the simplest indication is found in the earth’s population statistics. If man appeared over one million years ago, the present world population would be thousands of times greater than it actually is. In fact, our entire galaxy could not provide the needed space for so many. The present world population is around 4.3 billion. Assuming the average life span to be seventy years and the average generation length to be thirty-five years, then starting with one family, the present world population would result in about thirty doublings. These doublings would carry us back in history from today to around 3500 b.c. This date is suggested by several creationist scientists to mark the time of the Flood. Thus, the creation model dovetails beautifully with known world population statistics. But what of the evolutionary model? Morris writes: "Now, if the first man appeared one million years ago, and these very conservative growth rates applied during that period, the world population would be at present 10 (27000 zeros following) people. However, no more than 10 (with 100 zeros) people could be crammed into the known universe!" (Scientific Creationism, p. 154)
Monday, June 8, 2009
The Condemnation of all Things
The people of the earth, by this point, had grown increasingly wicked. They had grown to think only evil at all times. They were consorting with demons and demonic activity. Many even believe that the “sons of God,” spoken of in Genesis 6:2,4 were fallen angels who took human wives and had children with them. All said and done, the world had been overrun by every type of sin, corruption and violence. Because the world had now ceased to reflect God’s glory, he decided to change his previous course of action toward humanity and determined to destroy it by a mighty universal flood.
Noah was one of only a few men who the Bible says, “walked with God,” (Genesis 6:9) and he had found grace in the eyes of the Lord. God instructed Noah to build a floating barge with the measurements of 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits (approximately 450 feet by 75 feet by 45 feet.)
God told Noah to cover the inside and the outside of the ark with pitch. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word translated “pitch” is “kaphar,” the same word that is most commonly translated to “atonement.” (Covering with blood) Just as the oily pitch protected Noah and his family from the flood judgment, so the blood of Jesus Christ protects the believer from the sin judgment.
God brought a male and a female of every type of animal to Noah to be placed on the ark. (This included seven pairs of clean animals, such as the ox and the lamb.) Then He told Noah, his three sons, Shem, Ham and Jepheth, his wife and his son’s wives to get on the ark. They did so and as Genesis 7:17 tells us, it was God who shut the door to the ark, sealing the salvation of Noah and his family personally. The Flood lasts for 371 days and the ark finally rests upon the mountains of Ararat. God now tells Noah and his family to “be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.” (Gen 8:17; Gen 9:1)
God now establishes a rainbow covenant with Noah. The elements of this covenant are:
1. God would never again destroy the earth of men through a flood. (Genesis 8:21-22; Genesis 9:9-17)
2. God would require the life of a man who murders another man. (Genesis 9:6)
3. The order and seasons of nature are confirmed. (Genesis 8:22)
4. The fear of animals for man is prophesied. (Genesis 9:2)
5. The flesh of animals for man’s diet is permitted. (Genesis 9:3)
The Bible goes on to tell a story of a time when Noah becomes from his own vineyard and exposes himself within his tent. His son, Ham and Grandson, Canaan view his nakedness and Canaan especially, incurs the wrath of his grandfather for the part he played in this.
Noah predicts the future physical and spiritual life styles of his sons and their descendants and goes on to die at the age of 950. As evident by the fact that no spiritual accomplishments are recorded during his last 350 years, it seems Noah may have experienced, as Paul describes it, being set on a shelf by God. (1 Corinthians 9:19-27)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Abortionist George Tiller was shot to death around 10:00 am Sunday, May 31, while in his Wichita, Kansas church, Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was serving as an usher. Tiller was a lightning rod for both sides of the abortion issue as a symbol of death on one side and a symbol of civil liberties on the other. Pro-Life organizations had long decried Tiller's activities at the Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas.
I wasn't going to comment on this, but I suppose I've changed my mind. I've notice a disturbing trend of Christian reveling in the fact that this man was murdered. I am happy that thousands of abortions will not take place that otherwise might have, but my glee stops right there.
First of all, Romans 12:19-21 teaches us that revenge does not belong to us. It belongs to God. The proper Christian response is not to murder murder enemy, it is to love your enemy, (Matthew 5:42-44.) Not only is this a biblical doctrine, but it's just plain common sense.
I've heard Christians making the argument that OT passages such as Numbers 35 speak about taking blood for blood. That is a valid point, however, slightly mis-applied. The commandments that God gave in the OT regarding taking a man's life for slaying another man's life were civil laws, given to the state of Israel. In other words, it is the governments responsibility to administer this justice. There is a difference between a justifiable killing and premeditated murder. The government does the former, Tiller's assailant did the latter.
All that being said, there is an even more important issue at play here. That is the pride of those who are glorying in this man's murder. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 1:15 that he is "the chief" of sinners. In other words, he considers himself to be the worst of sinners. In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he tells us that he is "least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle" and in Ephesians 3:8 he says that he is "the very least of all the saints."
What we can learn from the Apostle Paul is that we are no better than Tiller was. He murdered babies, but we murder people all the time in our hearts. We scoff at God when we disobey Him. We lust, steal, blaspheme, lie, covet, etc. We are nothing more than a filthy sinner who God has placed his Grace upon and saved. I am the chief of sinners. I am not worthy to be called a saint and I should have died in George Tillers place.
James 4:10 says to "humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord." I suggest we follow James' advise and start to realize that we are sinners, just like George Tiller was. The fate of our souls should be the same as what I suspect the final fate of Mr. Tiller's soul is; eternal torment in the lake of fire. It is only by the Grace of God that we are saved, lest any man should boast.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Adam and Eve carried on from their banishment from the Garden and bare two children; Cain first, then Abel. Abel kept watch over the sheep and Cain farmed the land. As such, each brought from their own work when giving offerings to God. Not only was Cain’s offering bloodless, but it was already cursed by God. Therefore, God rejected Cain’s offering and accepted Abels lamb sacrifice, (a wonderful foreshadowing to the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus Christ.)
Cain becomes very angry and manifests this anger by murdering his brother. Abel becomes the first martyr in the Bible. As a result, Cain is driven from the blessings of God.
Cain and his descendants went on to form a quasi-successful civilization. Cain built the first city and named it after his son, Enoch. His great, great, great grandson, Lamech becomes the first recorded polygamist, the first recorded songwriter and the second recorded murderer. Lamech’s son, Jabal becomes the inventor of the tent and the nomadic lifestyle. He devised a system to domesticate and commercially produce animals apart from sheep. Lamech’s other son, Jubal becomes the inventor of stringed and wind instruments. Lamech's third son, Tubal-Cain becomes the inventor of metallurgy, both in iron and bronze.
The next major event in the Bible is the flood. All together, there are nine generations between Adam and Noah. The most notable is Enoch.
Enoch is one of only two men who walked with God before the flood. Apparently God told Enoch quite a bit. He named his first son Methuselah, which, in Hebrew, means, “When he is dead it shall be sent.” Apparently God told Enoch that he would not pass judgment on the world until Methuselah had died. Methuselah lived for 969 years, giving mankind plenty of time to repent.
Enoch also spoke out passionately on the coming judgment. In Jude 1:14-15, we read, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” The writer of Hebrews tells us that Enoch was a man of great faith and Genesis 5:24 tells us that Enoch did not die, but rather was taken to heaven by God, (a foreshadowing of the fate of millions of Christians at the second coming of Christ.)
Once Methuselah had died, the stage was set for the next major event in the Bible. The worldwide flood and the condemnation of all things.
Posted by Timm at 8:01 AM
Friday, May 29, 2009
God's Fivefold Judgment and His Fourfold Grace
Now, for the first time, God demonstrates His holiness and His grace.
His Holiness is demonstrated in his fivefold judgment upon sin:
1. Upon the man –
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” -Genesis 3:17
2. Upon the woman –
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” –Genesis 3:16
3. Upon all nature –
“Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field” –Genesis 3:18
4. Upon the serpent –
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” –Genesis 3:14
5. Upon the devil –
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” –Genesis 3:15
God show’s his Grace is four ways:
1. In calling out to Adam.
Just as it will be for the rest of time, God calls Adam while Adam runs from God. Adam is too ashamed to be in the presence of God, but God, in His grace, takes the first step in reconciliation.
2. In promising them a savior.
God tells them and Satan about the savior to come when he says, “it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
3. In clothing them.
God presumably kills an innocent animal to make clothes for Adam and Eve. Thus demonstrating for the first time the biblical principal of an innocent life being shed for the covering of our sins.
4. In removing them from the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:22 tells us that the reason that God expelled Adam from the Garden of Eden was to prevent him from eating of the tree of life and gaining eternal life. This was an act of Mercy, done for the good of mankind. Adam was now tainted with rebellion against God. To live forever in sin would be devastating for mankind as a whole.
God puts Cherubim and a flaming sword in place to guard the garden and more specifically, the Tree of Life. At this point, the Tree of Life disappears from the pages of the Bible until Revelations.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The creation story is necessarily the very first story told in the Bible, (Genesis 1 and 2,) and is a cornerstone of God’s revealed word because I believe that without this truth, (among others,) the entire Christian faith would collapse upon itself.
When God gave Moses the ten commandments, He bluntly told Moses, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11 (Emphasis added) If the creation did not take place in six literal days, then not only would the Mosaic Covenant be irrational and fall apart, but God would be a liar, thus making any other claim in the Bible fallible. Furthermore, Jesus Himself declared that He was "Lord of the Sabbath", since He was the Son of God. Declaring Himself to be "Lord of the Sabbath" would have been irrational if the creation days are merely figurative and do not reflect accurately the amount of time God spent to create the universe.
To prove this truth, we can first look to the original Hebrew that Genesis 1 and 2 were written in. The word the King James uses is day. This is translated from the original Hebrew word, “yom.” Most Hebrew Language Scholars agree that every time the word yom is used in association with a number, or with the phrase "evening and morning", anywhere in the Old Testament, it always means an ordinary day. In Genesis chapter 1, for each of the six days of creation, the Hebrew word yom is used with a number and the phrase, "evening and morning".
There is no doubt that the writer is being emphatic that these are ordinary days. All Hebrew translation aside, some simple critical thinking reveals this truth to us as well. Knowing that God is omni-potent, (Revelation 19:6,) we can only assume that He could have taken as much or as little time as he wanted to create the earth and the heavens. That being said, the only logical reason God would use the word, “day,” is because he meant a literal day.
If the obvious Hebrew translation is not enough to drive the point home, God, in His providence, re-affirms this truth through His Word. In Exodus 20:11, (previously mentioned,) God explains again that “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is”
Moses also re-affirms his belief in six literal days when, in Exodus 31:17, he exclaims, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”
Finally, 1st Corinthians 14:33 teaches us that “God is not the author of confusion.” He laid the bible out so that it would be easy for us to understand. He’s done so in this case in multiple ways. Not only did He clearly and bluntly state, “the evening and the morning were the first day, (yom,)…. The evening and the morning were the second day, “ etc. but He also went on to affirm this truth on multiple occasions and in multiple ways throughout the rest of the Bible. With all the biblical and logical evidence racked up for it, it seems once again, the simplest answer is the correct answer; God created the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them in a definitive and literal six days.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
My wife and I were discussing this last night:
Is it a good idea to use passage of bad interpretations of the bible, (like the Message Bible,) that don't distort the original meaning in a something like a bible study setting?
In our marriage bible study, last night, the leader used a few verses from the Message Bible, presumably because he liked the wording better. I didn't say anything to him, because I don't feel it was the time or the place, but I take the position that to even use non-distorted passage from that bible is validating it and not a good idea.
What say you?
Posted by Timm at 5:47 AM
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I was directed by a friend of mine to a website that compared what is written in the King James Bible to what is Written in "The Message." I've only listed here a few of the ones that stand out the most to me.
KJV: After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
The Message: The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
KJV: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
The Message: Don't you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I'm talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you've been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
KJV: Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
The Message: There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
KJV: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
The Message: Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
1 Peter 3:1
KJV: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives
The Message: The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
1 Peter 3:7
KJV: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
The Message: The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God's grace, you're equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don't run aground.
Monday, May 11, 2009
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” -–Ephesians 2:4-9
He loved us – “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us”
Obviously, the passage just before this makes it exceedingly clear that we are not worthy of God’s love. Before God’s grace, we were depraved, disobedient, dead and doomed. Verse four carries on with two of the most powerful words in the Bible; “But God.” The love of God, as it relates to sinners, is specifically called grace and mercy. These two attributes of God are what make it possible for sinners to be saved.
Many people and religions believe that they can earn their way into heaven, but the Bible makes it clear that we simply are not worthy to come anywhere near God’s dwelling place without the imputed righteousness and perfecting work of Jesus Christ. Thankfully, by God’s mercy, we do not receive the punishment we truly deserve, (Psalm 103:10.)
He quickened us – “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
Paul emphasizes again, the fact that we were dead in our sins. This is only to demonstrate the great power of God to quicken us, (or make us alive,) with Christ. We’ve already learned that it is God’s mercy that spares us the punishment we deserve. Now we learn that it is God’s grace that that gives us the salvation we do not deserve.
He exalted us – “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
As if being forgiven of our sins were not enough, God goes on from there. He continues to pour out his grace on us buy seating us together in heavenly places with Jesus Christ. God has now demonstrated His love for us by pouring out even more blessings we do not deserve. Amazingly enough, Paul also states this fact in the past tense, further demonstrating God’s sovereignty and ability to maintain a salvation and a standing that we could never hope to maintain on our own.
He keeps us – “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Our salvation is God’s gift to us. That is to say that we did not purchase it or earn it in any way. We have no right to boast or to be prideful of the fact that we are saved. In fact, it should be just the opposite. We should be incredibly humbled by the fact that God chose to save a wretched sinner like us.
This is a wonderful design by God to ensure that ultimately, His purpose shines through. That is that the glory goes to God and no one else. If God has an eternal purpose for us to fulfill, He will keep us for all eternity. Since we have not been saved by our good works, we can not be lost by our bad works. It is simply the gift of God.
It is my prayer that as you read this, if you are not born again, the Spirit might be working on your conscience. I pray that you might be led to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. If you are born again, I pray that this serves as a humble reminder that your salvation is not of your own works, but rather the "gift of God;" lest any man should boast.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” – Ephesians 2:1-4
When my grandfather died, my then 3 year old daughter went with my wife and I to the visitation. She kept going over to the open casket and talking to grandpa. She was telling him he needed to wake up now. However, Grandpa did not hear her. The dead can not hear, feel or interact with the living. It was the same way when we were lost. We were unable to understand spiritual things and worse yet, we were unable to please God in any way.
Warren Wiersbe said, “The unbeliever is not sick; he is dead! He does not need resuscitation; he needs resurrection. All lost sinners are dead and the only difference between one and another is the state of decay. The lost Derelict on skid row may be more decayed outwardly than the unsaved society leader, but both are dead in sin and one corpse can not be more dead than another. This means that our world is one vast graveyard, filled with people who are dead while they live. (1 Timothy 5:6)”
The lost souls Disobedience is both the cause and the result of his spiritual deadness. Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate of the fruit, (Genesis 2:17). This was the fall of man; our spiritual death; and because of it, our flesh now screams at us to disobey God and do things as we see fit.
Between the world, Satan and our own sinful flesh, mankind is simply not equipped to live an obedient life on his own. The world screams at us to conform to it, (Romans 12:2) Satan encourages us to be “children of disobedience,” (Ephesians 2:2,) and our sinful flesh has been handed down throughout the generations almost since the beginning of time, (Psalm 51:5.)
Jesus taught us that the lost can and will do good to each other, (Luke 6:33,) and to their children, (Luke 11:13,) but they can not do anything to please God. The standard laid before us simply too high for us to rise to the occasion. When we consider that God judges our though life and that hatred equates to murder and lust to adultery, we realize that we all fall WAY short of the glory of God. Some of the nicest people I know are not believers. They do great things for their friends, families and communities, but I fear if they were to die today, they would be facing an eternity in Hell.
The man who does not believe in Jesus is already condemned, (John 3:18,) his judgment is already passed. Fortunately, God is loving and he is holding off on the sentence. God is not willing that any man should parish, but that all should come to repentance and faith in Jesus. Sadly, he will not withhold that judgment forever, (2 Peter 3:9-10.) Man can not save himself, but God, through his mercy and grace could save a disobedient, depraved, dead and doomed soul like mine. Surely he can do the same for you!
Posted by Timm at 7:20 AM
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The following two videos are very graphic, but a must see for Pro-choice and Pro-life alike. Please believe me when I tell you they are graphic in nature and you should not watch them if you can't handle that.
Part 2: (extremely graphic)
Please visit Abort73.com for more information.
Thank you Jimmie Kersh for the link.
Posted by Timm at 12:13 PM
Friday, April 17, 2009
If you are unsure of your salvation, please read this note. If it all seems familiar to you, that is a good thing. You decide where you stand when your done reading.
Most people when asked would say that they are a good person. "I've made some mistakes, but when all is said and done, I'm a pretty good person." That statement has come out of my mouth many times. It had until a few years ago, when I realized that I was not, in fact, a good person.
What do I mean by that?
Let's take a little test to find out how good of a person we actually are.
1. Have you ever told a lie?
Timm's answer: yes, many times
Most people would immediately answer yes. If you said no, I commend you, but doubt you.
2. Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vein.
Timm's answer: yes, many times
This is called blasphemy. It is when we take the name of our creator. The one who gives us life and use it in the place of a filthy word. It is a very serious offense in the eyes of our Lord.
3. Have you ever murdered someone?
Timm's answer: yes. many times
That probably doesn't sound very Timm-like to most of you. The fact is that God can see our thought life. He knows every single thought that passes through our minds. It says in the Bible that if you look upon a man with hate, you have committed murder in your heart. I'm guilty of that.
4. Have you ever committed adultery?
Timm's Answer: yes, many times
Again, we know that God sees our thought life. Jesus said that if you look upon a woman to lust after her, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart. Ladies, vice versa.
I have just admitted to everyone reading this post that I am a lying, blaspheming, murderous adulterer. This is only four of the Ten commandments given by God. How do you suppose I would do on the other six? You guessed it, I would fail. The fact is, I am a sinner at heart. It's a curse handed down from generation to generation. From Adam and Eve, all the way down the line to you and me.
The book of Romans says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That means that you and I don't deserve to be in the presence of God. The book of Revelations says that all liars and adulterers have there place in the lake of fire (Hell.) I just admitted to you that I am both a liar and an adulterer. The fact is, If I died and stood before God today, I would deserve hell.
Someone right now is saying, "But Timm, God is a just and loving God. I've done enough Good to make up for these bad things in my life." To you I ask this question: If someone were to rape and murder your mother or sister, you would want to see justice served. What if that man stood before a just and loving judge and say, "Judge, I know I raped and killed that woman, but I've done so many other great things in my life. I know that you are a just and loving judge, so I think that you should let me off the hook." That judge would say "You're right. I am a just and loving judge. That is exactly why I must see to it that this crime is paid for."
In the same way, our crimes against God must be paid for. If we stand before God with the argument that he is a just and loving God, and that he should let us off the hook, surely we will perish. Just as the murderer in the story had to be punished.
Lets look at another story. A man was on his way to work. Little did he know that on this particular day, there was a blind children's convention in town. There were ten clear warning signs that the speed limit was to be 15 miles per hour when driving past the convention, punishable by a 25 thousand dollar fine. The man drove through at his normal speed of 55 miles per hour. He hadn't even realized that he had broken the law, but a police officer clocked him clearly going 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. When that man got to work, the officer followed him inside. He told the man the whole story about the convention, the speed limit and the 25 thousand dollar fine. The man couldn't believe his ears. He would never be able to come up with 25 thousand dollars. "Not to worry," said the officer. "Just before I came in here to tell you about it, a complete stranger stopped me and handed me this 25 thousand dollar check with your name on it. Would you like to use it to pay your fine?" The man could not believe it. A complete stranger had just saved him from the demise that he new he deserved.
The same is true for you. Someone has handed you the payment for your sins. The bible says that "the wages of sin is death." Jesus died on the cross as a sin free sacrifice. He owed no payment, but chose to pay for your sins with his blood. He has handed us that check. Now it is up to us to accept it.
If the idea of being condemned to hell is worrisome to you, then I plead with you to get right with God...tonight. Go to a quite place and get on your face before God. Repent of your sins. Tell God that you hate the sin in your life and that you want it out. Believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior. The guiltless sacrifice for your inequities. Turn your life over to him.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I pray that we all will take it to heart.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I've been playing a game over at updown.com with the stock market. It's basically practice, but I'll never play the market. I'll stick with Mutual funds, thank you. regardless, if you'd like to check it out, click this link:
Let me know if you join, I'll add you as a friend and watch you loose fake money too. =)
Posted by Timm at 3:16 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. --Ephesians 1:15-23
Now that we have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, Paul exhorts to us that we should get to know God. Warren Wriesbe writes, "The believer must grow in his knowledge of God. To know God personally is salvation. To know his increasingly is sanctification. To know his perfectly is glorification. Since we are made in the image of God, the better we know God, the better we know ourselves and each other.It is not enough to know God only as savior. We must get to know Him as Father, Friend, Guide, and the better we know him, the more satisfying our spiritual lives will be."
Know God's Calling
The word, Church, literally means, "called out." Which is really what we are. The Bible makes it clear that each and every person who has been saved through faith, was first called by God. (Galatians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 2:9 and 1 Peter 5:10.) We can take peace in this calling, because Jesus tells us that those who his father has called and delivered can not be snatched from his hand. The fact that God has called us out tells us that there is hope in a future with Christ. Knowing God's call and knowing that we will one day see Christ and be like him should motivate us to live like Christ today.
Know God's Riches
I find it interesting that the riches that this passage talks about are not monetary riches, or a vast knowledge or even "the riches stored up in heaven." This passage talks about God's riches being you and I. God knows that those who he has called and saved are capable of doing great things in his name. God views you and I as valued possessions and just as a man's riches bring glory to his name, you and I will bring glory to the name of God.
Know God's Power
What good is it to have wealth if you are too weak to use it? Paul tells us that our God knows nothing of this dilemma. He is a powerful God. His great power was proven to us in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. God did more than merely raising Him from the dead. Christ also ascended to heaven and sat down in the place of authority at the right hand of God. He is more than just our Savior. He is also sovereign over everything. (Acts 2:25-36) There has never been anyone or anything greater than Him and there never will be.
Today my challenge to you is to take Wiersbe's commentary to heart. Get to know your God. Don't stop at His calling, His riches and His power. Go beyond that and journey down the path of sanctification until one day his promise is fulfilled and you know him completely.
Posted by Timm at 8:51 AM
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I've heard the concern that in the NT days there was only one church, but I'm not really sure if that argument holds water. When reading through the Epistles, we find that the different churches of the NT dealt with a variety of problems, including homosexuality, affairs, backsliding and an undisclosed sin that was great enough to have an influential member of a church excommunicated. The one advantage that they had was the instruction of leaders who literally walked with Jesus Christ, yet that didn't stop the church in Ephesus from adopting a completely different set of problems than the church in Corinth. We are much like the NT church, but on a MUCH larger scale.
Now, on to why I believe that denominations are a good thing. There is an idea that is taught called, "Disputable Dispensations." These are basically beliefs that we are allowed to disagree on. They are basically doctrinal differences that are not essential to salvation.
There are certain doctrines that are necessary to salvation. Things like Salvation through faith, the resurrection of Christ and the deity of Christ. These are the doctrines that unify the church as a whole. They are things that Rob Bell, Joel Olsteen and John MacArthur all agree on.
A perfect example of a disputable dispensation is speaking in tongues. The Church of God, in general, believes in speaking in tongues. The Southern Baptist Convention, in general, does not believe in speaking in tongues. Like it or not, this is a fairly divisive doctrine. If half a church broke out into tongues in the middle of every service and the other half flat out doesn't even believe that speaking in tongues is a modern spiritual gift, that would be a problem. It would be a VERY large stumbling block.
The advantage of denominations is that you and I can find a church that teaches and worships in the style that fits us best. If you want to find a more traditional church that believes in predestination and sings traditional hymns, there is probably a Southern Baptist Church with your name on it. If you are looking for a church that sings contemporary praise songs and speaks in tongues, there is probably a Church of Christ with your name on it. Both churches are united in the sense that they include members who are saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, faith in that blood and the grace of God, yet to try and combine the two on a weekly basis would pose big problems.
Posted by Timm at 9:33 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.--Ephesians 1:7-14
He Paid the Price
The word, “redeem,” means to purchase and set free by paying a price. That is exactly what Jesus did for you and me. Before the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we were slaves to sin, (Romans 6:19.) But Jesus paid the price in blood, to purchase us. Once he purchased us, he then set us free, through his forgiveness. The word, “forgive,” means “to carry away,” and that’s exactly what Jesus came to do. (John 1:29) He has taken away our sins so that no accusation may stand against us.
He Laid the Way
For some time, it may have looked to those in this world like God had lost control. His perfect creation had fallen to sin and nothing was going quite as planned. It may have looked like the sacrificial system had been designed simply as a cover up for man’s sinful nature, (a back-up plan.) But the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ proved to us that God’s plan had really been in action from the beginning. God has now proven to anyone and everyone that he is bigger and more powerful than sin.
He Made a Promise
The final two verses of this passage lay out two very important ideas. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit and we are guaranteed our inheritance. These two verses also lay out a simple process of salvation and how a sinner becomes a saint:
First, he hears the gospel of his salvation. This is the good news that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again. When he hears the word, he believes, receiving salvation through faith, (Ephesians 2:8-9.) When he believes, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit, (which is important, because it speaks to the finality of his salvation.) The passage then goes on to explain to us that the Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance. In the KJV, it uses the word, “earnest,” rather than “deposit.” In Paul’s day, an earnest meant the down payment to guarantee the final purchase of some commodity or piece of property. (A definition that still holds true in the modern real estate market.) This seal is God’s promise, that our salvation is final. Once we are truly born again, we can not be snatched from God’s hand. Otherwise, we would get to keep his down payment and the Holy Spirit would have to accompany us to our fiery grave.
What a mighty God we serve!
Posted by Timm at 10:15 AM
Monday, February 2, 2009
The founder of the Weather Channel is ridiculing Al Gore over his calls for action on global climate change, saying in a column that global warming is a "hoax" and "bad science."
John Coleman, now a weatherman at San Diego's KUSI, wrote on his station's Web site Wednesday that Gore refuses to acknowledge the faulty research on which the idea of global warming is based.
Coleman's lengthy scolding came as the former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would put caps on heat-trapping gases and take the lead on a global climate treaty.
Coleman wrote that the Environmental Protection Agency is "on the verge" of naming CO2 (carbon dioxide) as a pollutant, and that seemingly all of Washington is on board with such CO2 silliness."
"I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it," Coleman wrote, describing the decades-old theory that increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere leads to global warming.
"Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a high jacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history," Coleman wrote.
Read it here.