Friday, May 29, 2009

Genesis 3:9 - Genesis 3:24

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

Six Literal Days

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

Reader Feedback: The Message Bible

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?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Timm Preaches

For all those who have been asking me to post one of my sermons, here it is. You'll need to give yourself about a half an hour to view both parts. If you do watch, please leave some constructive criticism.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Message - Not God's Message?

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.

Mathew 6:9-13

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

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

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.

Romans 1:26-27

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

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

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

God's Work, Not Mine

“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

The Condition of the Lost

“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!