Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Trinity and The Great Commission...

What is the Great Commission? 

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  ~ Matthew 28:18-20.

What is the Trinity? = Father/Son/Holy Spirit!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son". ~ John 3:16-18.

"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful or the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them". ~  John 3:31-36.

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24.

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him" ~. John 5:19-23.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Train up a Child in the Way He/She Should Go!

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it ~ Proverbs 22:6.

What does that mean? First, let us remind ourselves that this advice is found in the Bible not in a new age philosophy book. So, what does it mean? Does it mean that if our child feels like they are something other than how God made them that we should let them continue in that way? Does it mean if they think or feel being like being a bully or cruel to animals or disobedient to parents as their way to go that they should be encouraged? No, it does not.

So, Neither should we let them think that being a girl when they are a boy is their way; its not God's. But, some argue that the proverb does mean that. If it did, then why point it out, right? It would not have to be said/instructed at all would not matter if a child is reprobate or disobedient if its 'their way'. Arguing that their way is the right way for them because they are that kind of child is unwise; and so, why make a proverb of it if a child's way in God's eyes is their way and not His?

Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Savior!~ Matthew Henry...

A child trained in the way of the Lord will be stronger in character, able to discern God's truth (that which is good from evil) as clearly instructed in His Word the Bible which is for man on earth who waits in joyful hope of His Kingdom Come; and thus make him/her a comforter to those in need of His Word. 

As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Savior! Therefore, train up our child/children in His ways for that is our Great Commission - make disciples, baptize in the name of the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, and teach them ways of the Lord! ~ Matthew 28:19.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Reflections during Lent...

The woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8) is all our story. How? Because, we are all caught in the act of sinning against God for He is the Holy One (Psalm 99:3) and we are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Why else would He send His Son... for righteous people, no. Jesus did not die for righteous people for there are none, no not one (Romans 3). He died for sinners (1 Peter 3).

Yes, He died for our sin but Jesus did not come to tell us that now we can live safely in our sin, no. Neither did He come to condemn but to restore and to challenge us to go and sin no more (John 8:11)... we are called to repent and be born again, to be born out of sin and death and into eternal life. The only way to the Father is by Him (John 14:6)!

Yes, we all need Christ, we all need to reflect on our sin and to accept His forgiveness and go and sin no more! And, like Paul, we will struggle and each time we feel as if we are being pulled back in we must fight it crying out and asking the Holy Spirit who is God, Jesus Christ to give us strength! Why? Because, we we are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

"and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure" ~ Philippians 2:11-13.

Fear and trembling, that sounds like we should be afraid. Didn't I just say that Jesus came not to condemn? Exactly, but we must not take His Mercy and Grace lightly (as if now we are 'good to go' and continue in sin), and we must never forget the sovereignty of our Lord God Jesus Christ lest we risk our salvation. 

ROMANS 1: 18-32 ~ God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. 

They are gossips,  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reflections During Lent...

Reflect this Lent ~ Most of mankind does not consider the things of another world at all, because they are asleep; or they do not consider them aright, because they sleep and dream. Our moderation as to all earthly things should be known to all men.

Shall Christians, who have the light of the blessed gospel shining in their faces, be careless about their souls, and unmindful of another world? We need the spiritual Armour, or the three Christian graces, faith, love, and hope. Faith; if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober. 

True and fervent love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober. If we have hope of salvation, let us take heed of any thing that would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground on which to build unshaken hope, when we consider, that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to ransom our souls. We should join in prayer and praise one with another. 

We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live for ever ~ Matthew Henry's commentary to 1 Thessalonians 5:9. 

Does that mean you have to start doing things to change this world? No. In fact, most people spend too much time trying to fix the world as if that is their great commission as a Christian. It is not. Our great commission is to spread the Good News of the Gospel which is Jesus Christ who is God, our Lord and Savior. 

We should join in prayer to praise God and praise Him for one another. We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society ~ M.H. 

In many of the Gospel scriptures, Jesus said, "Follow Me"... Why? Because, in Him is our salvation. This world is passing away ~ 1 COR 2:6, 1 COR 7:31 and 1 John 2:17

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom ~ Matthew 4:23. Thus, our great commission is to spread the Good News! So what should we start doing? "Do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings" ~ 1 COR 9:23. For this world is passing away ~ 1 COR 7:31.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What is Lent about and what is it for?

Lent is a time to spend preparing for Easter for Resurrection from death! Thus, it is a time of spiritual renewal... a time for cracking open that heart of stone for a heart of flesh.  "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" ~ Ezekiel 36:26..

We too are called to be Ministers of a New Covenant ~ We/You yourselves are a letter, inscribed on our hearts, known and read by everyone. It is clear that we/you are a letter from Christ, the result of the Ministry of the Gospel, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tables of the human hearts. Such confidence before God is ours through Christ. 2 COR 3:2-4.

During this Lenten Season, don't just decide to give up candy, or ice cream or a glass of wine, or shopping or being silly or being too serious or a worry wart. This is a time for reflection. Spend time with Jesus talking with Him about your past and present sin and repentance = renewal! 

By renewing your mind/heart, you will see a new way forward, a new future without distractions or looking for someone to blame or making excuses for not doing the right thing; and thus, allowing in Christ to be without the burden of guilt and free indeed ~ John 8:36, Praise the Lord! So, reflect and repent, not because God wants you to feel bad; but, He knows that if you don't look at your sin and let it go, you will never be able to move forward out of sin and death forever!

God wants the best for you so turn to Him; don't turn away...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Understanding Sin and Death and what Jesus Did for us...

When we read the Old Testament in comparison to the New Testament; we sometimes just don't get it. That's because, we really don't understand just how 'fallen' we are. God is Pure and Holy and we have fallen far from Him but not so far that He can't save us from the condition of this fallen world- sin and death. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ as a means 'the way' out.

The Old Testament was a way for God to communicate with man before He sent His Son. It was His way of revealing to us His ultimate battle plan (His Son - Jesus Christ) for redemption. To better imagine His battle plan, we first have to know that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and in that realization accept that God's timing is not our timing.

In the Old Testament, we read about generations of numerous wars and conflicts and many strange procedures for being clean whenever there was an unclean event/experience or circumstances which involved the shedding of blood - life.

That is why, when we read in the Old Testament about God's strict instructions, we should not be surprised. There were many things including places/people, that were embedded in sin and death. And, thus only God's battle plan and His strict disciplines with regard to all that and including who/what was clean and unclean, could deliver us into eternal life.

For instance, reading Joshua 8, we can even be shocked that the Lord commanded Joshua to kill all the people of Ai, or in Leviticus, where we read about all those disciplines or necessary practices for someone to become clean from being unclean; such 'cleansings' were reminders of the graveness of sin and death, a reminder of being outside the Presence of God and outside His Will for us...the greatest tragedy of all as devised by Satan.

The Ten Commandments given to Moses by God and all instructions for avoiding sin and death including those instructions for living a Christian life found in the New Testament, are meant to steer you/us away from sin and death, from becoming embedded in it. You see, those things named 'as sin' bring death. Its not about man's attempts to understand 'right from wrong'. Its about avoiding all sin (s) which leads to death; which causes us to be outside of the Presence of God.

God never intended for man to die or to live outside of Him in sin and death. He did not intend for us to die. His sole intention for us was always to live with Him and to live forever! We fell into sin and death. But, thanks be to God that He loved us so much that He sent His Son so that we may escape this looping cycle of sin and death in order that we live forever; by His stripes we are healed.

The Gospel, the New Testament, is God revealing His final battle plan. God enters in, God in the flesh is Jesus Christ, who was always meant to be our way out... God's final plan for us to overcome sin and death forever. Jesus (God) entered into this world and He went after sin and death on our behalf!

We no longer need the disciplines of the Old Testament; we have been redeemed through the  birth of Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection. That is what Jesus did for us. And, what we do for Him is to avoid sin and death by renewing our mind - repenting and giving thanks and praise!

Alive with Christ
Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus... Ephesians 2: 4-6.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Cornerstone of all Truth ~ There is One God - Jesus Christ!

God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit = Jesus Christ - It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'" Romans 14:11.

The mystery of godliness deals with - The Godhead. 

The Godhead is in Jesus! A child was born and His name is Emmanuel "God with us" ~ Isaiah 7:14; And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace ~ Isaiah 9:6. He is the Alpha and Omega who was/ is and is to come again ~ Rev. 1:8. 

He came in the flesh (John 1:14, 2 John 1:7, Romans 9:5) to be our Salvation and salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved ~ Acts 4:12.

Can the Godhead be understood - Yes, Jesus revealed its truth in parables. We read in Romans 1:19-20 "For what may be known about God is plain to them, because has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse.…"

The Cornerstone of all truth is that The Lord our God is one God - we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, God who became flesh. It was through Him that all things were made everything and through whom we have been given life ~ 1 COR 8:6. 

The Lord is God and there is no other! In Deut. 6:4. The Lord is God - so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other ~ Deut. 4:35. O Israel!" says the LORD. "You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God--there never has been, and there never will be ~ Isaiah 43:10. "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other ~ Isaiah 45:22.

"You shall have no other gods before me" ~ Exodus 20:3 

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand ~ Deut. 32:29.

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me ~ Isaiah 43:10.