Tag Archives: Faith in God

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

Sea of Fear

Sea of Fear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we grow up, looking at others somehow we are also caught by fear. Many times in our life we come into situations where we do not feel at ease, to say the least. More than once in a lifetime we shall become confronted with moments that fear comes over us. Be it a difficult moment in a travelling situation, an accident whilst working, or hearing something bad about our health.

We should not want to be unaware of our affliction and should know that not only we are facing difficulties or burdens. We also should know that they also can go beyond our strength, so that we can also become despaired of life.

In such circumstances let us think about the apostles who also had the sentence of death within themselves so that they would not trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Those apostles when they were with their master teacher also were caught by the fear. Though they should have known that this rabbi was a special sent one from God. But now he was sleeping and they were in such a big storm that their hearts were beating rapidly with fear.

Matthew 8:24-26 (RNKJV)
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, My master, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39  (RNKJV)
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Luke 8:24  (RNKJV)
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

They did come up to Jesus and asked him for help, in the knowledge that he really could help them, because God was with him. When in those heavy waters, were they not of little faith, like on other occasions?

Matthew 16:8  (RNKJV)
Which when Yahushua perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

Mark 4:40  (RNKJV)
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

We should have faith in Christ Jesus and believe what he has told, that his heavenly Father is always with those who love Him. When we believe in God and believe in the sent one from God, we should have less reasons to fear than those who do not believe in the Most High. Because God is with those who believe in Him.

Isaiah 41:10-14  (RNKJV)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy Elohim: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I יהוה thy Elohim will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith יהוה, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Though it is normal to have fear and to be aware that we should be attentive and fearful.

A doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis or when we loose a job, we might have lots of worries and wonder what to happen next. More than once, in our life, we shall become confronted with unpleasant situations and feel like we are tested. Trials force us off of the proverbial fence. We do have to take a stand, make decisions, which can alter so much. Every time we shall have to make the right choices or the right decisions. and those decisions shall be heard and seen by others, who will make their conclusions. Our “I” shall be seen clear by others, and we shall have to feel if we are it our self or if we just go with the majority because that seems us the best choice not to be different. but than we betray not only ourselves, but also our Creator. When we do not doubt God’s promise, we should not have to be afraid to carry out.

Romans 4:20  (RNKJV)
He staggered not at the promise of יהוה through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to יהוה;

When we are not afraid to undergo these earthly sufferings by not feeling any shame to be a believer of God, than this fear shall become so small it will not hurt us, but shall make us to react in the right godly way. For we know in whom we have put our faith, and we are convinced that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until ‘that day’ we know shall come.

2 Timothy 1:12  (RNKJV)
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Having enough faith in God and His sent one the fear shall soon be outside us.

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Preceding articles

In your own heart or outside of it

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

The Greatest Fear

Phantom Of Dreams

Home-stayers and their to do list

On the Edge of Believing

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

After darkness a moment of life renewal

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

You’ve got wings…

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

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Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. When discouraged facing opposition
  3. Fear knocked at the door
  4. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  5. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  6. Facing disaster fatigue
  7. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  8. Some one or something to fear #5 Not afraid
  9. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  10. Breathing and growing with no heir
  11. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  12. Looking at three “I am” s
  13. Fear and protection
  14. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  15. Look for your Refuge by God
  16. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  17. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  18. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  19. Standing within proximity of the glory of God
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  22. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  23. Control and change
  24. Wondering
  25. Fearing the right person
  26. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  27. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  28. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  29. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  30. Dealing with worries in our lives
  31. No fear in love
  32. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  33. A new year with hopes and challenges
  34. Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel
  35. To believe in the liberation of slavery and to repent
  36. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  37. To know God by wonders
  38. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation

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Further reading:

  1. My Reality
  2. Wall of Emotion
  3. this may – Step in
  4. Fear
  5. Fear II
  6. The Fears I can’t Shake
  7. On Summed Fears
  8. despite the anger and fear in my heart
  9. a list of things that you should fear
  10. Nightmares
  11. Flammable
  12. Depression
  13. Do not run
  14. A Woman In Waiting
  15. Why Pick A Title When I Won’t Be Able To Commit To It
  16. “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard”
  17. Fearstorm
  18. Come To The Edge
  19. Fear of going back to sleep
  20. Moments of Uncertainty
  21. Fear of the Caw
  22. Under oath
  23. Why are you afraid?
  24. Motivation
  25. Facing fears
  26. Fearing fear itself and the simple solution
  27. This Is How You Can Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
  28. The Fear of Making Mistakes: There is not Such a Thing as Failure
  29. How I Face My Fear Of Failure
  30. Do We Really Want Rest?
  31. You have to take action!
  32. Your Critics Don’t Count
  33. Don’t avoid life
  34. Stepping out on Faith
  35. Faith Walk
  36. What is the one gift God gives to all of us?
  37. Proverbs: Seek the LORD
  38. We’ll Understand It Better By and By

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6 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

You Are Not A Victim

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Van Buren, a preacher born in Nova Scotia, Canada who lived in so many places since then considers himself to be called by God at the age of 19 but knows that calling was knit into him before his birth.

Being a father of 11 children and husband to a most wonderful lady, he is the pastor of a Holy Spirit directed church in LaSalle, Quebec where  he is having the time of his life. On his Pastor’s Blog he writes that it frustrates him when Christians play the part of victim.

He writes:

Victimized Christians do not know who they are in Jesus and it is a shame that they are wasting the precious days they have been given in this world.

Probably he thinks of the many gifts we are given: first of all life itself and secondly many gifts when we grow up and try to make something of our life.

Having lots of messages circulating on the media, with lots of horrible pictures of terrorist acts lost of people are getting so afraid that our Western World would become Islamised and that we Christians should have to convert to Islam or being killed. Strange is that not more people question how it comes that so many left Christianity or Christendom and became Muslim and do not wonder how it comes that so many Christian churches are getting more and more empty.

Clearly we should question Christians how they live their faith. Is not many their faith as dead? What are they doing to bring others into the faith?

How are they helping those who have doubts and wonder if those Muslims are not right?

Let us have a look on what Paul Van Buren writes:

Paul first reminds Timothy that he has been raised and trained in a life of faith. It was demonstrated to him in his mother and grandmother. Paul encourages Timothy by stating that he is confident that this same faith resides in Timothy. Then:

Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. (v. 6)

I like this. Because of this faith Timothy I am reminding you to operate in it. Live by the Spirit. Do what you have been equipped to do. The Spirit provides the equipping but we are responsible to operate in it. Then Paul writes what we all must grasp:

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. (v. 7)

This is not personality. Personality type does not play in your calling and equipping. Look at many of the servant’s of the past who tried to get out of their calling with excuses, like Moses and Jonah. It has everything to do with the spirit he has given to us and it is one of boldness. He has equipped us with his power, his love and the power to be self-controlled. This is good stuff that we simply have to act on, in faith that it is so.

Too many Christians seem not to feel that power which they have received, or what has happened more likely when getting older and more trapped by this materialistic world they have lost he fire of their faith and the flames are only burning very weakly or not at all.
Several people are also born in a Christian family and lots of them were even baptised before they could properly think or understand what God and faith really meant. This also makes that many of those name Christians never ever did feel that Spirit in them. They only got the name or the label ‘Christian’ on them and want to consider themselves Christians because they want to belong to the general group of the West.

Now the West comes under threat again from Muslims going to the west, like they had already done before and had conquered Spain, now Europeans are having fear those Muslims will conquer the whole of Europe. But when they would have a strong faith, why should they than be so full of fear?

For sure it is because most of those Europeans do not have any faith in God or do have no idea at all what their faith-groups stands for or if that faith-group follows really the Holy Books or not. The same for the many Muslims here, lots of them born in that faith-group and not knowing enough their own holy books, they do not react strong enough against those who defile their holy books and the teachings of Muhammad. They should have reacted much more against those criminals who defile the Name of God in name of the Muslims, blackening their ummah and making it more difficult to have a peaceful life here in the West.

Today we are living again in a similar time when Noah was alive. Everywhere around us we can see how people live against nature and against God’s Wishes. In a certain way it would be no wonder if God would shaken the world once more to awaken them. But it is not God Who brings terror and horror over people. It are the people themselves who bring cruelty over themselves.

We better should think again of those times, what happened after the water came down and Noah got promises from God. We also should remember how people at the time of Moses very fast had forgotten how God ahd liberated them and how fast they went worshipping other gods again.

Pastor Paul writes:

When Moses was about to die he addressed the nation and told them to possess the land because Yahweh had told them to possess it. He encouraged them:

Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

Two things right there are the source of our boldness. First, our God is always with us, going before us, always preparing the way. He abides in us. Psalm 139 states we can never escape him, even more now that he lives in us. This is for our encouragement.

The second thing the pastor wants to highlight is that we may count on God:

He won’t let you down. That is a big one all on it’s own and can only be understood in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.

Though in his text we have the impression he , like so many Christians got two Biblical characters mixed up. He namely continues than with looking at Jesus, who is the sent one from God, and not God Himself.

As Christians, being followers of Christ, we should believe the words of this Nazarene teacher and see how his heavenly Father protected him and gave him special gifts. In the knowledge that this man also did not tell lies, because he did not sin, we may assume that also his promises will come true.

Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of this age. He said his desire was for us to be one with him in the same way that he is one with Father. The Way, the Truth and the Life is in you. The one who declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, is intimate with you. The one who stated that he is the Resurrection walks with you every day.

With that knowledge we should have our minds at rest. It should be a comforting thought that at the end times those who love God shall find peace after the big battle or the Big Tribulation, which nobody can escape. Yes the big trouble shall come over us all. But Jesus has told about the signs and it is up to us to recognise them and to prepare ourselves for that time of the Last Days.

It is not that we ourselves shall have to go into the battle and have to be conquerors.

Paul wrote that we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We are not timid, because our God has given us the authority to forgive. Thank about that for a moment. The power does not rest in the hands of the offender but in the hands of the offended. Without your forgiveness, the offender will have to give account for their actions. With your forgiveness that offence is wiped away. By offering forgiveness you are also set free from the cage of victim. That is power and that is what has been given to you with the responsibility to love your enemies.

We cannot and must not live with a victim mentality. Jesus has made us greater, more powerful than people can grasp. Now walk in the boldness you have been given and dare to love where others have failed.

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Preceding: Fear for rebel groups and men

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9 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witness well Net knows that we are not human beings who like to come in the open easily. It says

we have a tendency to remain hidden and not share the gospel. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Some of us want to be so much like God and cast judgement on a person’s receptivity toward the message of salvation that they forget the love message.

Placing a gag over our mouth that keeps us from proclaiming His name rather than allow His Words to overflow from our hearts can be a result of pre-judging the condition of a person’s soil. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Talking about a saving relationship with ChristDave Malnes from the website Witness well tells us that we should trust his promises that our righteousness is secure because of his faithfulness – not our own; his obedience and not our own; his trustworthiness and not our own. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

He writes that

Evangelism

Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

Jesus-army-bus

Jesus-army-bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though we do find still  too many Christians counting too much on worldly arrangements and governments. Also a lot of Christians do not know their Bible. Some of them know perhaps several phrases from the New Testament, but do not see the whole picture.

The same about one of the tasks Jesus has given and as such has to be one of the many works of faith we do have to do. We do have to become one in Christ, like Christ is one with his heavenly Father. In case we would think like trinitarians, that would mean they have to become like God and some of them consider themselves to be like Christ, to be God.

The Elohim, who has sent His only begotten son to this world, commissions believers in Christ to sow the seeds of the gospel and to become humble like Jesus humbled himself. By embracing this role, Christians find joy and peace in encouraging and equipping others with the faith in Christ and in Only One true God (the heavenly Father of Jesus).

When we call ourselves Christian we should show others that we are willing to become like Christ and like him have faithfully responded God’s call to sow the seeds of the gospel and trusting God His promise that the harvest may be plentiful.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full enjoyment and trust we should bear the Good News in our mind and be of full courage to share the message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing being presented to us by the acts of the apostles. Their work must have been an amazing experience, but is not finished yet. We do have to continue the work of the apostles and those first Christians.

Followers of Christ should be giving themselves totally to Jesus, willing to become in Christ Jesus, a part of a bigger picture as partakers of the Body of Christ, being those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. {An appropriate benediction}

We should be so tankful for Jesus proving to us that man is able to put his own will aside for doing God’s Will, and giving himself for atonement, paying the ransom prize for the sins we did.

For this liberation we can have joy which comes from trusting God’s promises that we will receive liberation from the curse of the Fall and that Jesus restored the relationship between God and man and has received authority to be the mediator between God and man and the judge at the end times, where it is him who shall decide who shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20). {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

Dave Malnes believes these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:

Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.

Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.

Peace   Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.

Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.

Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.

Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.

Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.

Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.

Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.

Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.

Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word. {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

We have to set our mind on Christ Jesus and nurture our and others their need for a goal, a focus, instructions, and a hero. When we are afraid to tell others about our faith we do need to conquer our fear with our faith. We also should remember that “Everything God has made is an assignment”. In the knowledge that our future is the seed for the one we chose to honour we should be pleased, showing our joy in the Messiah. Our gratitude should be a seed for more. and we should not be afraid to sow seed wrapped with expectation and faith in the harvest.

When having become a Christian we have come into a covenant with Jesus that gives purpose and then we should follow his rules and given tasks, sowing our seed for a desired harvest.

Oxbow sunset #2

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Preceding

Witnessing because we love

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

An uncovering book to explore

Preaching by example

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Additional reading

  1. A question to be posed
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  4. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  7. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  13. Atonement and the race been bought
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  18. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  19. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  22. The manager and Word of God
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  26. Be an Encourager
  27. Foundation for a good relationship with God
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  30. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  31. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  32. Bearing fruit
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  35. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  36. Picking Stones
  37. The Big Conversation
  38. John 4 according to the Scriptures

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Further reading

  1. Simple John
  2. Seeds that you plant
  3. With the Patience of a Saint
  4. 7 Laws to Create Uncommon Success
  5. The Good Gardener
  6. Others before myself
  7. Leviticus 2:8-16: The First-Fruits Offering
  8. A Spiritual Harvest
  9. Sharpen Your Blade!
  10. The Secret to Successful Gardening
  11. Your Mind is the Garden
  12. No Soup For You!
  13. Who is Going to Tell Them?
  14. Dying Field
  15. IF: I listen, can I hear You?

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Filed under Uncategorized

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Peter Forbes comments:

4:2      In questioning Abraham’s righteousness Paul develops the point that he made in Rom 2:13 showing that the law does not bring righteousness.

4:3Abraham believed God …‘ the quotation is from Gen. 15:6. Righteousness is imputed by God on the basis of faith, not works of the law. Gen. 15 predates the giving of the law. This is the thrust of the argument in verses 4:4,5 and circumcision – the implications of this are developed in Rom.4:9-13.

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, March 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4:6-8 The appeal to Psalm 32:1-2 which is a Psalm that David wrote after Nathan had spoken of God’s forgiveness for David’s adultery [2 Sam.12:13] continues the theme of forgiveness from ch. 3:4 We should take great comfort from the fact that God was willing to forgive the repentant David.

4:7  Notice the subtle but important difference between the language of  Psa 32:1 – and Paul’s words here. Whilst the Psalm has ‘he’ whereas Paul here says ‘they’. Paul generalises from the Psalm. The Psalm has specific relevance to David’s situation. Paul says that specific application of forgiveness actually extends to all who follow David’s example of repentance.

4:11 Whilst Israel seemed to see circumcision as the ultimate test of Jewishness Paul clearly says here that it is a sign of what has already been seen in Abraham – that is his faith in God which was counted for righteousness.

4:18against hope believed in hope‘ tells us that Abraham had to have faith in the promise of the seed as it was humanly speaking impossible.

4:23 The implication from ‘now it was not written for his sake alone …‘ is that Abraham had a written copy of the promise.

Cliff York comments

Romans 4 To meet the views of the Jews, the apostle first refers to the example of Abraham, in whom the Jews gloried as their most renowned forefather. However exalted in various respects, he had nothing to boast in the presence of God, for he too was saved by grace, through faith, even as others. Without noticing the years which passed before his call, and the failures at times in his obedience, and even in his faith, it was expressly stated in the Scripture that “he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness,” Genesis 15:6. From this example it is observed, that if any man could work the full measure required by the law, the reward must then be reckoned as a debt, which evidently was not the case even of Abraham, seeing faith was reckoned to him for righteousness.

It is clear from the Scripture, that Abraham was justified several years before his circumcision. This then is Paul’s point to those who prided themselves on their pedigree and/or on the very private mark they received in their flesh whilst they were too young to effectively protest otherwise. It is, therefore, plain that this circumcision was not necessary in order to that justification which is by faith.

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It is truly fascinating to reflect on the great wisdom of the Father as one reads the 3 portions of Scripture each day, and often there runs a “Golden Thread” through them all. For example, one of the Golden Threads evident today, is the concept, that we can only be Justified by the Grace of God. Paul deals in great detail with the subject, of course, in Romans, Joseph in his life revealed how great a force faith in God is the life of each of His saints – Genesis 47:12, and the Psalmist captured the same beautifully in the closing verse of Psalm 50Whoso offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God.”

John Wilson comments

Prayer of David, psalm 51

Prayer of David, psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rom 4:7  As we read from Psa 32 the other day, and as we read from Psa 51 tomorrow, we can clearly see, and appreciate that the confession of sin is not seeking forgiveness, it acknowledges the righteousness of our Heavenly Father. We must also be aware of the fact, that our failings can not be forgiven unless we are prepared to acknowledge them.

Rom 4:17  “I have made thee a father of many nations.” Paul is quoting from Gen 17:5  Sarah was still barren at this time, but we see that this is written in the past tense. This was foreordained. There is a difference between pre-existence and being foreordained. The seed of Abraham, both Isaac and Christ were foreordained.

4:21 All promises that have been made by God, he is able to perform, certainly different from promises made by man. God never forgets a promise, while man frequently forgets, God’s promises are priceless, while promises of man are often times useless, God’s promises are always right, while mans are often wrong.

Michael Parry comments

Paul; the writer to the Hebrews; James; and Peter all talk about Abraham. He was the patriarch of the physical Jewish nation and also father of the faithful (4:16).
He was given the promises before the Law (Gen 17:5-8) – even before his circumcision (Gen 17:24).  The particular seed of his promise was Christ who fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17, Gal 3:16).  However, God still has a covenant with the Jewish nation and the land of Israel even though they have not (yet) accepted Christ.  It is a mistake to believe, as some groups do, that any prophetical reference or future application concerning the Land and people of Israel is purely spiritual and not physical.

Rob de Jongh comments

For many of us the intricate arguments of scripture are too much to grasp. That’s why we’re given Abraham as an example. All we need to do is read about his life, emulate what we see, and we will obtain the same promises as him. Rom 4:3, 11-12, 16, 20-25.

 

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

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Additional reading

  1. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  2. Testimonies to observe, inspired by God
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  7. A secret to be reveiled
  8. Gone astray, away from God
  9. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  10. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  11. Two states of existence before God
  12. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  13. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  14. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  15. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  16. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  17. Atonement and the race been bought
  18. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  19. Fixing our attentionSelf inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  20. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  21. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  22. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  23. Hope by faith and free gift
  24. God’s love – Equal and unconditional for all believers
  25. True richesBeing Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  26. If you have integrity
  27. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  28. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  29. Our openness to being approachable
  30. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  31. Is your mind thirsty?
  32. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran

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Further readings

  1. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:1-12
  2. Daily Devotional – Romans 4:12-25
  3. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  4. Faith-full Father Abraham
  5. Paul’s Scriptural Argument
  6. Paul’s Argument of Maturity
  7. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  8. Background to Romans 9-11: key teaching from Romans 1:16-4:25
  9. Structure of Romans 1:16-4:25
  10. May 23 2 Chronicles 6,7; Psalms 135; Romans 4
  11. Devotional # 90. Galatians 3:15-29
  12. A Promise
  13. God is righteous and just (God is good 4)
  14. “It’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it.” ~Apostle Paul
  15. The relevance of  God’s Word today
  16. Righteousness of Faith
  17. Could Abraham have remained childless?
  18. Would Your Faith Save You?
  19. It’s not about you
  20. The Best Way to “Stand Up” For Jesus: Revisiting Romans
  21. What works was Paul talking about in Romans?
  22. Nullify the Torah?
  23. Apart From The Law Of Righteousness
  24. Under The Law
  25. Scriptures on Righteousness- Joseph Prince
  26. Righteous and Right-ness
  27. Greater Love Hath No Man
  28. Jesus Christ has done enough
  29. Verse of the day – Righteousness of the Law
  30. Grace words for today Devotional
  31. It is in difficult times that we choose to continue to do what is right while everything else seems wrong that we grow
  32. Getting wisdom
  33. Moral Image
  34. Incredible Peace
  35. It Is God’s Presence in Us
  36. Strength In Your Hair Or Your Faith?
  37. Daily Inspiration, January 28th
  38. You Have on Different Clothing Now
  39. Christ: A Place In God
  40. The Privilege
  41. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide to Christian Salvation
  42. Experiencing Revival Part 3: Obedience
  43. Righteousness Pt 10
  44. Kingdom Come
  45. You Christian, shouldn’t carry guilt, or seek ongoing forgiveness to stay “right” with God.
  46. Exodus 4-6 Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son
  47. The Myths and Facts of Circumcision
  48. The Question of Circumcision II
  49. God confronted even Moses for not keeping the covenant
  50. What is so important about this Commandment?
  51. Experience the change in status from “Children of the flesh,” and of the world : to “Children by promise,” and in the World -Guy#2:03
  52. Surrender: Circumcision of the Heart
  53. Is your heart circumcised today?
  54. Only Jesus Christ – no if’s, no but’s (1)
  55. Yes’s and No’s
  56. entering in…as chosen ones

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23 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Our life depending on faith

Looking at the Bible reading for January 28

When we look at our bible readings of the day, we do find Genesis 46-47, Psalm 50 and Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 3-4.

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Apostle Paul when he was called Saul had been full of zeal for keeping the law and saw the followers of Christ as appearing to have no respect for keeping the law so he persecuted them – until he was dramatically converted. After his conversion and the maturity gained by the experiences that followed, he wrote his remarkable letter to the Romans, a letter primarily to the Gentiles.

The apostle asks a valid question, which should bring us to wonder what the good might be us of difference between a non believer and a believer doing good works.

People trained in God’s ways

Throughout history we have seen that there have been many people who were so called trained in God’s ways and even got titles of universities, declaring them to be theologians. Lots of people look up at them and think they are the person who best know how everything is about God, gods, religion, man, life and death. Lots of people got frustrated with what they got to know from those scholars  who often said we just had to belief this or that, because it is incomprehensible for a human being to understand. As such lots of human doctrines were introduced in Christendom.

People also got annoyed with certain behaviour of those so called religious men. Some had relationships not only with different wives, but there have also been clerics who had intercourse with children.
On the other hand the world sees lots of unbelievers who are doing very good works and are always ready to help others, plus giving very good examples how we make the best of our life in a good relationship with others.

God not abandoning people

It is true that lots of non-religious people are also good people, but the apostle Paul tells us as it turns out, it makes a lot of difference who is a follower of Christ and a believer in the Only One True God.

In history there have been many people who tried to bring the Word of God to others and make it alive for the future. We had the Jewish scribes who were being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, what we call the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. In the course of doing that, when some of those Jews abandoned their post, we can see that God didn’t abandon them.

Throughout the Book of books we can see how God always stayed with His People, even when they did bad things or had moments that they forgot Him. Even the most important of these men of God had one moment of doubt, that he questioned God why He (Jehovah God) had abandoned him (Jesus).

Jesus at one moment also cried to his heavenly Father saying

 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (Matthew 27:46)

being a call unto God questioning Him why he had forsaken or had deserted the son of man Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who was willing to do God’s Will instead of his own will. (In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will and could never have left himself.)

Not cancelling out Jehovah his faithfulness

Do you think Jesus and other men of God their faithlessness cancels out Jehovah the Almighty God His faithfulness?

We are told that God keeps his Word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same

“God forbid! Yea, let God be true, though every man a liar. As it is written: “That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.”” (Romans 3:4 KJ21)

We are given God’s Word which stand fast and true and is not given to confuse us or to.  We are given commandments in that book of books and are questioned if we make the law of none effect through faith.

The unbelievers can do good and bad like we too can do a lot of bad. But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s right-doing, “shouldn’t we be commended for helping out?” remarks Paul. When having come into the faith we should be willing to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (a work to be done) and should do our uttermost best to comply not only with his teachings but also with the ordnance of God.

Sayings we are saved and have to do no works

The people who do want us to believe we can do whatever we want because salvation is on us by the blood of Christ, must know that it is not by our bad deeds that God would come out better.  It’s simply perverse to say,

“If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favour.”

or to say

“The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!”

That’s pure slander. (Romans 3:7-8)

Same start for every one

It is not because we are Jews, Christians or Muslims that we would be we more excellent than the others and are getting a better break than the others. (Romans 3:9) Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it that there’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

It may sound harsh, but there is “No one’s living right”.

“9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise! For we have before proved that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 there is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They have all gone from the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”” (Romans 3:9-12 KJ21)

Therefore every day we do have to be careful not to have our throats to be gaping graves,our tongues slick as mud slides. (Romans 3:13) With no tongues to deceit we should try to get others to know Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and the son of God. In him we did receive salvation, but in him we do have to grow (a work) so that we can run a good race, not for the honour of sinner-of-the-year, or for the one who made the most money on the back of others.

Afraid for those coming in

In our land littered with heartbreak and ruin, many of us do not want to know living with others. They are so afraid of the refugees coming into our nation. Are they afraid of them being able to get others to believe what they believe and to come to the same religion as theirs. Should they than not wonder how it comes that those immigrants not come to be surprised by the faith we are having and that they would become interested in the faith that lives in Europe? We think the greatest problem is that there is not so much faith in God living around in our regions. Most people never give God the time of day. This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?

For sure it is not our involvement with God’s revelation that will  put us right with God. There are also many unbelievers who write about our God and about religion. There are also people who are against God who try to bring others in doubt by throwing lots of discussions at them.

Should we not more question why there would be a danger of Muslims converting people from here unto the Islamic faith? In case there would be enough people standing strong in their faith we should not worry.

Did Jesus also not give the task to his followers to go out and preach? When Christians would do what Jesus Christ ordered them to do we should have enough preachers witnessing about the works of god and about the real faith we should follow.

Man incapable to govern

Throughout history man has proven to be incapable to come to good governments, or to be able to rule this universe. By the Word of God we are forced to face our complicity in our sins. By all our stupidities we do have to come to see we can only have a good government under the jurisdiction of Christ Jesus.

Because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God His sight (Romans3:20) we should know that for by the Law comes the knowledge of sin and are we given the ways to handle sin. Now we also do not have any excuse because in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about in our Scriptures, has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this.

“20 Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:20-23 KJ21)

“30  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.” (Romans 9:30-31 KJ21)

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God sent us His only begotten son and accepted this man’s ransom offering to pay for our sins. did it for us. The action of God, out of sheer generosity, was taken for the recognizance of the humbleness of  the Nazarene Jew who was willing to put his own will aside for complying totally to God’s Will.

A Freebox in Berlin, Germany 2005, serving as a distribution centre for free donated materials, and where the gratis is really for free.

With Jeshua (Jesus Christ) the world has received a pure gift. With God it is not, like we can see so many times today, that there are offers to people where they say it is gratis, but then they still have to pay so much money. By God Gratis does really means for free. We do not have to pay anything for the Gift of Grace. Salvation is given to everybody in the world. But it is given at one point and then we have to continue from there onwards. And that is what a lot of people seem to forget.

The mess we are in & Setting the world in the clear

God by the action taken, or by the work done by His son, got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where God always wanted us to be. In His plan fits a righteous people. Jehovah, the God of gods, did it by means of Jesus Christ. It was God who sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear.

God decided on this course of action in full view of the public — to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. For many that does not seem to be clear, but it’s now — this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.

Working at a relationship

When we come to know that Jesus is the Way to God, we do have to respond (an action to be taken or a work to be done). Our response to what God does for us should create our willingness to do the right works to come to a very good relationship with Him. to come to such a good relationship our lives have to get in step with God.

Jehovah God is the God of outsider non-Jews as well as insider Jews and this God of Abraham should be the Allah, Adonai, Elohim or God of Israel and God of all Jews, Christians, Muslims but also of all those who wander in this world without knowing yet what the purpose and the goal of their life is.

The apostle Paul warns the world to know that there is only one God Who has set right all who welcome His action and enter into it, both those who follow the apostle’s religious system and those who have never heard of his and our religion.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 KJ21)

“in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” (Ephesians 3:12 KJ21)

“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16 KJ21)

“And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know. Yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16 KJ21)

“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3:22 KJ21)

“23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24 KJ21)

“30 seeing it is one God who shall justify the Circumcision by faith, and Uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:30 KJ21)

Having stressed “the faithfulness of God” (verse 3) and having told that God reacts to what he sees – seeing “faith” and also faithlessness – we should be fully aware that it is important how we act. Our behaviour is an important factor to our faith-life.

Several people are cross with God and left faith because they did not see any difference between them and the unbelievers. Many do say it is not right God also “inflicts” trouble, pain and sorrow to those who believe in Him.
We must not say,
“God is unrighteous to inflict wrath” (verse 5) on the disobedience he sees in his creation.
What God looks to see, Paul says as he higlights the example of Abraham in the fourth chapter, is – faith, genuine belief and trust in God for “faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness” (verse 9) and it will be “counted” to us also.

“Cometh this blessedness then upon the Circumcision only, or upon the Uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” (Romans 4:9 KJ21)

English: Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Da...

Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Damascus, Syria Français : Statue de Saint-Paul à Bab Kissan, Damas, Syrie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul stresses this was “the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe … so that righteousness would be counted to them as well” (verse 11).

We read in Genesis earlier this month all the things Abraham did – through faith. Paul is stressing that

“For the promise that he should be the heir of the world came not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13 KJ21)

Acting faithfully toward God in our lives is what matters most of all and Abraham is the key example for us to follow. In the past the Jews had a contract or covenant with God. With Christ there was made a new covenant. In the knowledge that a contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect, we have been offered a much better contract. Yes, we as human beings do need some contract or written rules. As  such those who follow Christ, believing in him, can live with the promise that God made to our forefathers. God’s promise, though, can not be broken. This is why the fulfilment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father — that’s reading the story backwards. He is our faith father. Therefore Paul realized that “the law brings wrath” and

“15 because the law worketh wrath; for where there is no law, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be given by grace to the end that the promise might be made sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:15-16 KJ21)

It depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace.

We should recall God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4,5 and his life of faith beginning from when he left Ur. We must each reflect on our own acts of faith, for it is not just something we talk about! What things have we done, and are doing – that show our faith?

Our eternal future “depends on faith”.

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Preceding article: January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  2. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  3. Elul Observances
  4. God’s wrath and sanctification
  5. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  8. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  11. Being of good courage running the race
  12. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  13. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  14. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  15. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  16. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  17. Good and bad things in this world
  18. Salvation and Righteousness
  19. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  20. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  21. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  22. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  23. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  24. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  25. Faith and works
  26. Not making yourselves abominable
  27. The attraction of doing something
  28. Re–forming ourselves
  29. Humbleness
  30. Wired to Connect?
  31. Bearing fruit
  32. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  33. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  34. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  35. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  36. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  37. 2014 Religion
  38. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  39. Crisis man needed in this world
  40. From pain to purpose
  41. Unconditional love
  42. Relying on the Love of God
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  44. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  45. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  46. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  47. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. Faith (Heartfixxer)
  2. Embracing the Path
  3. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core (the Inscribed heart)
  4. See Other with God’s Eyes
  5. Faith is the Key
  6. Wear Your Faith on Your Sleeve
  7. We Need to Water Our Faith
  8. A Date With God
  9. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  10. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  11. We are justified by faith and works, in a manner of speaking.
  12. Luther’s misunderstanding
  13. Faith-Rooted Practice – Rev. Dr. King and Prophetic Evangelicalism
  14. Declaring what is not as though it is
  15. What is Right?
  16. Thankful Thursday: God’s Faithfulness
  17. Great Faithfulness
  18. Grace Makes All The Difference

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

+

Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Israeli leaders delight in Europe’s cruelty toward refugees

Many people in the capitalist countries are afraid the asylum seekers will be able to conquer their countries and impose their religion onto them.

English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in ...

The Ethnic composition of Muslims in the United States, according to the United States Department of State based on the publication of Being Muslim in America as of March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case they would strongly believe in One True God they should not have to fear the Muslims, because they also believe in the same One God of Abraham.
Though many Christians and Muslims have gone far away from the teachings of the Holy Writings and have given preference to human philosophical writings and human traditions.

Hungarian right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban saying, what many so called Christians also think, that Muslim refugees must be kept out of Europe “to keep Europe Christian,” does not understand that when those Christians would be really following the teachings of Jesus Christ, they should have nothing to fear. Then they also would be able to show the Muslims that they share the love of Christ and worship the same One God of Abraham. But the majority of so called Christians do not believe at all or do not do much with their faith. The majority also has gone far away from the real faith and worships, when they do that, a triune god instead of keeping to that One True God, Jehovah, the divine Creator of heaven and earth.

It is true that the that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture, but when we can let them feel welcome and show them they do not have to fear our culture and our believes and let them know that in our regions we allow freedom of thought and freedom of religion and that those who come to live here shall have to give those rights of freedom to all people as well, than there should be no problem.
Those who do not want to have others the freedom of thought should know they are not obliged to stay here and can go to other places.

Problem only can arise when the states give in too much and would allow restriction to certain people, like wearing limiting clothing in public, or having imposing of certain religious traditions on others, like allowing sounds coming out of loudspeakers to call everybody to prayer, than others could come to be annoyed or bothered with those Muslims, the same as they can be angry with the bells in the morning of churches, making them awake when they want to sleep.

protest1.jpg

Protesters from far right organisations hold a banner which reads, “Stop the Islamization of Europe” during their protest against refugees in Krakow (Image: Reuters)

Europe and European culture have Christian roots and nothing should be against it to protect those. but our Judeo-Christian values should be grounded in our faith and be presented by the real Judeo-Christian attitude the God of Abraham would like us to show.

The xenophobic and anti-Muslim views that appear to lie at the heart of current Hungarian government policy and the negative reactions all over Europe clearly show how many so called Christians are missing the lesson of the Samaritan, Jesus told.

The people who call themselves Christian should know they do not have to fear man or other religions, but God. when they really would stand firm in their shoes of faith, they should not have to worry at all about a Muslim invasion, because then they would be able to convince Muslims of their faith. Problem with many Christians is that they went the wrong way, believe in a triune god in stead of the Only One True God and like several sorts of Muslims are carried away by human teachings and traditions instead of keeping themselves to the Biblical teachings.

Perhaps this is a good time for many Christians to consider which way they want to go in this world and how they want to treat other people, in the light of that what God wants from His people.

Let us show our good heart and help those in need, but let them also feel that we do want to help them without them having to rule over us. They should be welcome but have to know they cannot impose their laws over our world. It are they who should adapt to our culture and not we to theirs. When every body makes this clear and when they really got to know this from the beginning there should be no problem. Then they do know what to expect and then they still have the choice to stay or to leave. Nobody of the asylum seekers is obliged to come and live here.

protest3.jpg

Right-wing demonstrators gather on a square in the old town of in Warsaw (Image: AFP)

*

To take note of:

worst refugee crisis since the Second World War

some Israeli officials are quietly reveling in the chaos

Dore Gold, director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, expressed optimism > refugee influx will shift Europe to the right, making it more sympathetic to Israel’s “security” justification for its ongoing colonization of Palestine.

European perspective beginning to sound a little bit more like Israel’s perspective on security issues, compared to what it was in the past

Images of refugees corralled in trains, tracked with numbers on their forearms, locked away and fed like zoo animals in overcrowded camps and blocked with razor wire fences from entering Hungary = recall memories of Europe’s darkest chapter

right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban provoked most widespread revulsion

Orban’s ruling party, Fidesz, smitten with Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party

Orban declared “Likud is our natural ideological partner.”

deaths = direct consequence of European border policies designed to make migration as unsafe as possible

Orban launched a Hungarian Birthright program for North Americans of Hungarian descent => sends young Jews on free trips to Israel in hopes they will immigrate

Fidesz deepened ties with far right + openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party

in Israel, fans of the Maccabi Tel Aviv football team unfurled a giant banner that read, “Refugees not welcome!

Netanyahu announced construction of a wall along the Jordanian border to block a potential influx of Syrian refugees => Israel will be entirely walled off.

Of the five states that border Syria, Israel = only one that has not taken in any Syrian refugees for reasons identical to Hungary’s.

Israel barred Palestinian refugees from returning and labeled those who tried to come back as “infiltrators.”

millions of Palestinians continue to languish in squalid refugee camps scattered across the Middle East nearly 70 years later + longest running refugee crisis in modern history

**

leaders in Poland appealing to widespread anti-Muslim sentiment among the populace

people have suggested reopening Auschwitz and sending the refugees there

right-wing protesters clutching the national flag assembled on the streets in the capital of Warsaw + chanted slogans including “Today refugees, tomorrow terrorists!“ and ”Poland, free of Islam!“

Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity freedom movement in the 1980s, pledged to host refugees at his home

Gniewino, a county near the Baltic Sea coast =first place in the nation to offer to offer jobs to three Syrian families, with parishioners in the western city of Poznan showing support by collecting over 24,000 zlotys (£4,186) to help accommodate refugees.

protest10.jpg

Signs reading ‘Refugees welcome’ and ‘No one is illegal’ in Warsaw (Image AFP)

All the Jews should take the words of the leader of the opposition Zionist Union, Isaac Herzog, at heart

“You’ve forgotten what it means to be Jews. Refugees. Persecuted. The prime minister of the Jewish people does not close his heart and the gate when people are fleeing for their lives from persecution, with their babies in their hands.”

And the European citizens should remember the 1st and 2nd World Wars and that what Jesus Christ thought.

+

Preceding articles:

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Refugees At The Border- A Blessing Or Burden?

Poster: Please Help The Refugees

The World Wide Refugee and Migrant Crisis and a possible solution for it

Social media and asylum seekers

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Additional reading:

  1. Concerning gospelfaith
  2. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  3. Do you believe in One God
  4. Epitome of the one faith
  5. Faith moving mountains
  6. Full authority belongs to God
  7. God is one
  8. God’s design in the creation of the world
  9. God’s promises
  10. God’s measure not our measure
  11. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  12. God of gods
  13. God’s hope and our hope
  14. God’s salvation
  15. Hope for the future
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Is God hiding His face when He is seemingly silent
  18. Israel in God’s purpose
  19. Life with God
  20. Looking for blessed hope
  21. Meaning of life
  22. Miracles in our time of suffering
  23. Moving mountains
  24. Not sure there exist a God
  25. Nurturing a close relationship with God
  26. Only one God
  27. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  28. Our way of life
  29. Plain necessary food of the gospel
  30. Reasons that Jesus was and is not God
  31. Sayings around God
  32. Second exodus
  33. Sects, why so many
  34. Suffering
  35. Suffering through the apparent silence of God
  36. Suffering continues
  37. Suffering leading to joy
  38. Surprised by joy
  39. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  40. Words from God about suffering
  41. Working of the hope
  42. Seems no future in suffering
  43. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  44. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1
  45. Meeting to focus on humanitarian issues for Syria
  46. Men of faith
  47. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  48. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  49. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  50. Faith related boycotts
  51. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  52. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  53. Americans wrongly informed about situation in Europe
  54. Fitting the bill in the North and in the East
  55. The Protester named Person of the Year 2011 by Time Magazine
  56. Cool Person of the year 2011
  57. 2014 Social contacts
  58. Rampaging, demolishing sacred sites and cultural heritage
  59. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  60. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  61. Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium
  62. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  63. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  64. State of Europe 2015 – Addressing Europe’s crises
  65. Schengen area and Freedom for Europeans being put to the test as never before
  66. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  67. Why Russia backs Assad: a view from Russia’s anti-imperialist left
  68. Propaganda war and ISIS
  69. African misery and women inequality
  70. Because of doing too much social work put to silence

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Further reading:

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Dispatches from the Underclass

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

As most of the world looks on in horror at Europe’s atrocious response to refugees escaping war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa, some Israeli officials are quietly reveling in the chaos.

Dore Gold, director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, expressed optimism that the refugee influx will shift Europe to the right, making it more sympathetic to Israel’s “security” justification for its ongoing colonization of Palestine.

“Israel always faced the problem in the past that its national security perspective was completely out of sync with how Europeans were viewing the emergence of the European community and the borderless world that was emerging,” the American-born hardliner told The Jerusalem Post.

“In the European models that existed 25 or 30 years ago, it is kind of difficult to hear an Israeli argument. But now things may be beginning to change a little,”…

View original post 1,756 more words

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

At last the sun has shown her face and people can really get a feeling of Summertime.

Summertime also includes the time to have pleasures to do whatever one chooses, and finding the pleasure one enjoys from his or her actions.
It is a time when lots who have have faith in themselves take time to be on their own at the swimming pool or some relaxing place. Under Christians we also can find those who have been told by well-meaning but errant advisers, “God helps those who help themselves.”
They spend their lives dependent upon their own abilities, or wisdom, or knowledge expecting that God will stand by as a faithful servant to bless all of their endeavours whether it be His will or not. Others may look at others, thinking they can be the way to success. They prefer to put their faith in others. We may wonder why they do not trust themselves not more. Did they get blinded by the fact that certain individuals possesses great knowledge, or apparent wisdom, power, or even anointing? In our society we can find many who look up at others, like they are gods and lift them up more highly than they ought and bestow their faith in a human being.{1}

Too many people put all their faith in the world, instead in the Creator of the world. Summertime is often a time to reflect. It is the time to take a rest and to forget all the worries of daily stress and work.

In the Summertime (Thirsty Merc song)

In the Summertime (Thirsty Merc song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People can put their daily worries about work and getting some income aside. It is time for relaxation and meditation. Not bad to take time to reflect on different matters. It is also some time to consider what is worthwhile in life and which direction to take further.

Summertime is also an ideal time where people have time to do some reading and to take time to go and see things. Many go abroad and look far a way from home for better pastures.

Like Caroline Kepnes there may be people thinking

“There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.”

In this present time lots of people totally lost connection with the Maker of the universe. But why not making use of the free time now to go and read His own Words, which are recorded for mankind so that they can progress and learn the way to go. In the book of books is the way shown to come closer to the Maker of everything and to find eternal happiness.

When taking time to read the Bible you will be surprised how it can open your eyes and give a clear picture of this present world and how you can have a better life than this world is trying to present you.

There is also the calling sound

And the “invitation into the future” goes out right now. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20) {2}

Jesus saves net writes:

Let us not question God our creator, but let us embrace His salvation plan given to us through His Son Jesus, many say, you have a mind of your own and you should decide for yourself. {3}

Lots of people have decided to go for the world’s temptations and to enjoy whatever they can get today. They are not so much interested in the future and prefer to live the day like it comes. They do not see the folly of man which is greater than man’s wisdom.

Now we can find time to meditate on the way the world is evolving and the way we want to go in this world. We should consider taking time to investigate the matters of life and the way we want to go. Do we want to cling to the materialistic world or rather cling to Him Who gives life and surrender to His will than rely on our limited perception of life. {3}

Summertime is an ideal time to reflect if we in our lives, our works or even our conversation, could shine and bring blissful rays over unto others. It is a good period to question ourselves and to check if we managed to bring honour to God throughout the previous year. It is time to reflect if we have not failed to do the Will of God. {4}

When we do what God desires, we will naturally Glorify Our Lord and Our Friend, which will bring honor to The Father. {4}

To be able to do what God desires from us, we should get to know what He really wants. We should take time to find that out. Now in Summer, when we do not have to go to work, we can use the free time to take some moments to read in the Bible. The extra free time should not only give us opportunity to see other places, travelling to widen our horizon, but also to educate ourselves.

Going other places, meeting different people, we should make use of the free time to enlarge our knowledge about others and about God. It is also time to show others the right attitude of a Christian and to let them feel and see that we are Children of God.

Let everything we do brings honor to His Name. {4}

Looking at all the marvellous things we can encounter on our voyage or on our Summer-holiday we can see the Hand of God in all of this. then we also should take some time to thank Him for all this, we can enjoy.

In the place of difficulty, one is thrown off balance and then people find they need help and often than they call unto God, but when at pleasure time and when everything seems to go smoothly, many forget The High One. Also now when at ease it is a good time to take time for our Creator and to turn to God in humility and need.
The walk of faith is not a journey of those who have it all together. (One might suggest that too often, we have acted otherwise.) {5}
One act of faith is doing works of faith, because without works faith is death. To keep the faith alive we also have to nourish it. Now you can sit back and relax, please to take time to pick up the Bible and to read in it daily. Even if it was only for reading one chapter a day and to meditate on it, you shall find it shall give you spiritual food, which shall make you wiser and stronger.

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Notes + elements discussed in other writings:

{1} The Faith Life (Part 4: Faith’s Direction and Location)

{2} An Invitation into the Future

{3} God is in control

{4} Reflective Moment “Glory To Our King’

{5} Column: Giving words to our prayers

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Preceding:

Summermonths and consumerism

Psst! Spread The Good Word!

++
Additional readings:

  1. Relapse plan
  2. Making time for prayer in Summerholiday
  3. Holiday tolerance
  4. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  5. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  6. Wisdom lies deep
  7. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  8. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  9. A question to be posed
  10. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  11. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  12. Growth in character
  13. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  14. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  15. Appointed to be read
  16. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  17. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  18. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  19. We should use the Bible every day
  20. Feed Your Faith Daily
  21. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  22. Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it
  23. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  24. The manager and Word of God
  25. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  26. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  27. Get up in the morning and pray for the Lord’s blessings
  28. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  29. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  30. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  31. Be an Encourager
  32. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood

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Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Truth, doubt or blindness

English: The Jordan River and "Kfar-Hanas...

The Jordan River and “Kfar-Hanasi” bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a certain time in history, nearly two thousand years ago there was a man preaching in the dessert. The disciples of John reported of an other preacher leaving Capernaum going into a city called Nain with several of his disciples and a great crowd went with him. In that place were also disciples of that preacher in the desert, clothed in camel hair.
Those pupils may have been astonished by the great multitude this story teller could fetch. they also witnessed how this preacher drew near to the gate of the city when there was carried out one that was dead, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  they witnessed how that preacher had compassion on her, and said unto her not to weep. Unbelievable it was to see how he came nigh and touched the bier and the bearers stood still. Having said that the young man had to ‘Arise’ they also witnessed with others in the city that this young man got up and began to speak. And he gave him back to his mother.  Seeing this they were not the only ones taken by fear. Many glorified God and said that a great prophet was arisen among them.

This report of the incredible event went forth concerning that preacher in the whole of Judea, and all the region round about. And the disciples of John the Baptist told him of all these things.  John having become curious about this miracle worker called unto him two of his disciples to sent to that man to ask him if he was the one the world was looking and waiting for.

English: This mural, painted on the interior o...

This mural, painted on the interior of the John the Baptist Church at the Jordan River, depicts Jesus’ baptism by the hand of John. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the men were come unto him and said that John the Baptist had sent them unto him to ask if he was “he that cometh”, or if they had to look for another. that day they could see how in one hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. The preacher and miracle-worker from Nazareth knew his member of family and told his disciples the things which they had seen and heard; the blind receiving their sight, the lame walking again, the lepers being cleansed, and the deaf hearing again but also the dead raised up, whilst everybody could hear him preach in the name of the Only One God. Rich or poor, all had good tidings preached to them. Though we know that many doubted and still many doubt today. Then as know there are still many who find enough occasion of stumbling in him.

When the messengers of John were departed, this miracle-worker with the name Jeshua (Jesus) began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, a man clothed in soft raiment. He asked the people around him what they went out to see. A prophet?

We are told that the preaching man in the dessert and baptising people in the river Jordan was much more than a prophet.  He is the one of whom it is written,

    Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way before thee

The people had a son of man spoken about in the old scrolls and now got to see an other son of man prophesied in the ancient Holy Writings. but who was willing to see what he did, hear what he said, and believe what he said? Then and now there are still many people who do not want to believe the words which were written down about that man who was lower than angels but made higher later on. Lots of people do forget that God is, was and always has been the Most High, and that it is Him Who gives and takes life. The Nazarene man who did those miracles never claimed to do them himself, but still today there are lots of people who want to believe that it was he himself who did it all and that he is the Most High God. They are the people Jesus is also talking about, the ones who do not want to believe the Words of God Himself Who ascribed His people, who said Who were His and who Jesus was. Though many could hear it when this son of man was standing in the river Jordan.

Luk 3:15-22 MKJV  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts concerning John, lest perhaps he was the Christ,  (16)  John answered all, saying, I indeed baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I comes, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,  (17)  whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His storehouse. But He will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.  (18)  And then indeed exhorting many things, he proclaimed the gospel to the people.  (19)  But Herod the tetrarch (being reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done)  (20)  added still this above all, that he even shut John up in prison.  (21)  And it happened in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and praying, and the heaven was opened.  (22)  And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. And a voice came from Heaven, which said, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You.

After his baptism and his retreat of meditation in the dessert this son of man about Whom God had declared to be His beloved son, Jeshua (Jesus) like his cousin started preaching but went also into the villages and towns. this was when he was beginning to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) son of Joseph, son of of Heli.

Luk 7:11-35 MKJV  And it happened on the next day, He went into a city called Nain. And many of His disciples and a great crowd went with Him.  (12)  And drawing near the gate of the city, even behold, one having died was being carried out, an only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable crowd of the city was with her.  (13)  And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, Do not weep.  (14)  And He came and touched the bier. And the ones who bore him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say to you, Arise!  (15)  And the one who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.  (16)  And fear came on all. And they glorified God, saying, A great prophet has risen up among us; and, God has visited His people.  (17)  And this report of Him went out in all Judea, and in all the neighborhood.  (18)  And his disciples reported all these things to John.  (19)  And John, calling near a certain two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, Are You He that should come, or do we look for another?  (20)  And coming to Him, the men said, John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, Are You He who should come, or do we look for another?  (21)  And in the same hour He cured many of infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits. And He gave sight to many who were blind.  (22)  And answering, Jesus said to them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard; that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the gospel is proclaimed to the poor.  (23)  And blessed is he who shall not be offended in Me.  (24)  And when the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the people concerning John. What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?  (25)  But what did you go out to see? A man clothed with soft clothing? Behold, those in splendid clothing and being in luxury are in kings’ palaces.  (26)  But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and much more than a prophet.  (27)  This is he of whom it is written, “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who shall prepare Your way before You.”  (28)  For I say to you, Among those who are born of woman there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.  (29)  And all the people and the tax-collectors who heard Him justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.  (30)  But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized by him.  (31)  And the Lord said, To what then shall I compare the men of this generation? And to what are they like?  (32)  They are like children sitting in a market and calling to one another, and saying, We have played the flute to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you did not weep.  (33)  For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, He has a demon.  (34)  The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, Behold a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!  (35)  But wisdom has been justified by all her children.

You may wonder if John was uncertain about Jesus’ identity. It is not clear that he knew the preacher to be spoken of to be Jeshua his cousin. If they would have told him his name he would have known more, but at that time the stories where still vague and very confusing, because people told about incredible things, like people standing up from the dead. Also for John the Baptist such stories should have sounded incredible and unbelievable.

It’s comforting to see that even a spiritual giant like John the Baptist can face uncertainty. John was uncertain about Jesus’ identity. Um, say what?!? Remember – John was the one who baptized Jesus! But put yourself in John’s sandals – after baptizing Jesus, John probably expected Jesus to come in power, drive out the Romans, and take charge as the true king of Israel. It was the expectation of all of the Jews that the Messiah would be this kind of savior. The crowds, the disciples, and even John didn’t expect this Messiah – one who came to save people eternally, not just politically. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

No wonder many dared to ask themselves if this son of man could perhaps be the one talked about in the prophesies they all so knew very well. Or should they keep looking?

In previous articles we have already spoken about the doubt and how much doubt can be accepted or tolerated and could be seen as something natural in our human constitution. Every time someone in the Bible expresses doubt, the doubt moves to faith after God responds.

The same is true here with John the Baptist. He is not condemned for questioning and expressing concerns about the Messiah. In fact, Jesus commends John!{When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…} John expressed concern and doubt and Jesus says there is none greater. Not bad, getting a compliment from the Messiah! But John came with a different purpose and function than Jesus. John came to prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus affirms that he Is the Messiah. But people just won’t be pleased. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

Also today we do find people who do not want to accept that Jesus could really be a man doing God His Will. They think it to be impossible for any man to do God His Will. This is not only doubting man himself but also doubting God. Because it would indicate that God could not create a man able to follow His Wishes and keeping to His commandments He gave them. (That would also make this God in a very cruel God, putting Laws unto His creatures knowing that they can not keep to them and than terrorising them with the punishment of pain, continues suffering and death.)

When you look around you you might find lots of people who do not want to accept Jesus is really the son of man and the son of God, as the Bible tells us. Lots do not even want to accept he lived because they follow those who say Jesus is God and for them God does not exist so Jesus cannot have existed. Both are blinded by a wrong idea. The Christians who do not accept the manhood of Jesus, denying the Words of God Himself about His son, and ignoring the many remarks of Jesus about his position and relationship with his heavenly Father. And the atheists confusing with them two different characters, one a man of flesh and blood, being a historical figure and a biblical figure, whilst the other though also a biblical figure, not being a man of flesh and blood but being an eternal Spirit and Creator of heavens and earth.

For lots of people it does take a lot of time before they come to see things and it even takes much longer before they come to see the truth.

of the Mark Twain quip:Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

He writes:

Eventually kids come to recognize the wisdom of their parents. And time will show that Jesus is who and what he claims to be. Time will show that Jesus IS the Messiah. And with him comes the kingdom of God – here and now, breaking through to earth.

He also thinks about the song called “Give Me Faith” which says:

I need you to open my eyes And see that you’re shaping my life All I am, I surrender Give me faith

We only can ask God that He will open the eyes of many and shall show them who the one is about Whom He said that he is His beloved son. In the coming weeks we shall be reminded of the acts this young man did, giving his life, not for himself, not to please himself, not for doing his own will, but for doing the Will of God and out of love for all people. In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will and would have known that man nor death can do nothing to him. But not being God he had to trust his heavenly Father and had to believe all the promises of his ancestors. He also had to fully believe in the One who he thought to be the God of Abraham to be the Creator of heaven and earth, willing to accept his ransom offer.

No wonder Jesus sweated blood and water, because he too had moments of doubt and worried about what could happen to him. If he was God he would not have had to worry, because God knows everything, but he as man was in a total different position. He had not to lack faith. And that is important for us as well. We may also not lack faith like Jesus trusted his heavenly Father we too should trust our heavenly Father.

This week, examine the ways and areas of your life where you might lack faith (or have weak faith). – Pray that God would expand and increase your faith! {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…}

Many who heard about the master teacher and his miracles doubted in those stories being true. Many came to look at him just out of curiosity. Lots of people found him very entertaining and were willing to follow him in the mountains to hear his stories and to see what he would do next. Having not television this was the reality show in pure real life time, with magic beyond human understanding. Bread and fishes multiplying like nothing. People standing up after years having paralysed or being so ill they could not do much. Many could see it but still did not believe it. Today we cannot see it but are we willing to believe it?

John came to prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus affirms that he Is the Messiah. But people just won’t be pleased. {When a Baptist Doubts Jesus…} “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”

The son of man of whom is said he is also the son of God, is given to humankind.  Lots is written about him. The most important things are able to be found in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. What is written in there about this rabbi people should believe. Those words we should accept like they are written down for previous, our and next generations, to come to see. Let us see and hear and finally come to believe.

At the time of Jesus non-Jews also came to believe in him. Even a centurion, one of the Roman soldiers came to see Jesus.

This is not someone who is naturally part of “God’s people.” Clearly he is friendly towards the Jews. He knows Jewish elders and helped build the local synagogue. Yet he has a level of faith that puts God-believers to shame. Not only does he ask Jesus to heal a servant, he demonstrates an understanding of Jesus’ authority that everyone else around Jesus seems to miss. {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles} It’s one thing for a local healer to put hands on someone and to say some words and to bring about a healing. Here the soldier is asking Jesus to demonstrate the impossible – a distance miracle. There is no touch involved (a common element in ancient healing rituals). But as the centurion understands military authority, he believes Jesus has the same spiritual authority. {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles} In all of Jesus’ healing stories, the response of the crowd is to marvel and amaze at Jesus. Here, Jesus marvels at the centurion! This truly is incredible faith, and because of the faith Jesus delivers and the servant is healed. If Jesus can heal from a distance like this, what limit is there to his ability? {Jesus Didn’t Really Do Miracles}

We understand the way of thinking of many atheists and unbelievers. It all sounds incredible. But that means not that it would not be  credible. It would not be a miracle if it would normally could happen just like that.

Are we willing to believe the Bible? Are we willing to accept that God provided the world with some one who could speak in God His Name and honour Him perfectly? Are we willing to put our doubts away and see like Pontius Pilate an innocent man brought to the slaughter, being the king of the Jews but also the perfect ransom offer, God accepting him to become the king of many, also non-Jews?

Are we willing to belong perhaps to the those underdogs who Jesus calls lucky? Though the majority of the world does not want to believe in God nor in the one sent by God, do you want to believe in that sent one from God who came to tell the world about the Good News of the  Kingdom of God? Though he may change your ideas of who and what is important in the kingdom of God and may turn the table on the people who live their best life now, are you prepared to follow his teachings and not those of certain theologians or men who claim to be man of God, but are not notated as that in the Bible?

Are you willing to open your own eyes or to blindly follow the sayings and doctrines of man?

We should go for that preacher who told that the Spirit of Jehovah God was on him, because God has anointed him to bring good news to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of God’s favour, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn.

Let us believe in that man sent from God who ave his body for the whole world, and restored the relationship between God and man. He now is the mediator between God and man, our intercessor in whom we should put all our hope.

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Preceding article: What is the truth asked also Pontius Pilate

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Read relevant articles:

  1. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. Jesus Messiah
  7. Jesus and his God
  8. Wishing to do the will of God
  9. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  10. On the Nature of Christ
  11. Servant of his Father
  12. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  13. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized
  14. On the Nature of Christ
  15. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  16. A voice cries out: context
  17. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  18. Servant for the truth of God
  19. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  20. Doubting and going astray
  21. Looking at three “I am” s
  22. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  23. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.

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  • Baptized with Fire (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com)
    The baptism of the Spirit produced countless miracles as well as mutual love among the early Jesus-followers, so that they shared everything and had everything in common, nobody being richer than another. This is because the Holy Spirit gives both miraculous gifts for ministry and compassionate fruits for character.
  • Baptised (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    In His baptism Jesus sealed His complete identity with those whom He came to save – all of humankind. He consecrated Himself to complete and total obedience to God the Father who had sent Him.
  • Day 1 – Jesus Is Here Devotional Guide (pastorericdykstra.com)
    Before this moment I don’t see Jesus doing miracles, but after baptism and the descending of the Holy Spirit, He does tons of miraculous things. When the Spirit of God fell on Jesus, He went from carpenter to miracle worker.
  • ‘Finding Jesus’: John the Baptist Q&A (gantdaily.com)
    Actually there is external attestation for the life and importance of John the Baptist. This is important because it’s fairly rare to find this kind of evidence for ancient figures outside the writings of their followers. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions John the Baptist in his book, “The Jewish Antiquities.” Josephus describes John as a “good man” who possessed “virtue” and had “great influence” over the people. According to Josephus, Herod put John the Baptist to death because he was afraid that he might raise a rebellion. This gives us another — arguably more historical — perspective on why John was executed and provides further evidence about just how important John was in his own day.
  • Feb. 13. John’s Second Testimony (fellowshiproom.org)
    Jesus continued to teach for a few months in the land of Judea, which included the Jerusalem area. John the Baptist was also teaching in this area, but Jesus and His disciples were teaching and baptizing more people than he. John explained that this was the way it should be. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
  • In praise of John the Baptist (betsybeadhead.com)
    John’s disciples brought him reports about everything that Jesus was doing when John was in prison. John sent two of them to Jesus to ask him “Are you the one we have been waiting for, or should we keep looking?”
  • Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord (fatpastor.me)
    After a prologue, Godspell begins with John the Baptist blowing the shofar and calling the people to baptism. In our production, the children are the first ones up. Then they bring the adults with them to the stage. We sing joyfully, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” until Jesus comes to be baptized as well. It is the start of the musical. More importantly, it is the start of our journey.
  • Apostolic Pastor Teaches Followers How to Be Holy, Be Baptized in Jesus Name and More! (sanctifiedchurchrevolution.blogspot.com)
    Dr. Rader Johnson is one of the fewest preachers within the Apostolic church that is sticking with the original doctrine.  He talks about how many within the denomination have fallen away from what is the truth.   Many pastors and first ladies are more worldly then ever and mingling with those who are not Apostolic.
  • Correctly Understanding Jesus’ Condemnation of the Pharisees (juicyecumenism.com)
    Jesus’ reading from the Book of Isaiah to the Nazareth synagogue set out a gospel of deliverance of those oppressed in various ways from their suffering (Lk 4:14-20). Perhaps most provocatively, He said that religious rules and regulations could be set aside to meet human need (Matt. 12:1-14). Throughout the gospels, Jesus is seen in a ministry of addressing human need and condemning those who were considered religious exemplars, and were thought of as superior to ordinary people, and certainly to exemplary sinners.

    Yet Jesus message was not fundamentally different from the faith of the Old Testament, for which holiness, obedience, and sacrifice for sin were central. Both at the beginning of John the Baptist’s proclamation of good news from God (Matt. 3:2), and Jesus proclamation of good news (Matt. 4:17) there is an admonition to “repent.” Jesus’ pronouncement of salvation to people on their showing of faith at times announced forgiveness, at times healing, and Jesus specifically said that one pronouncement amounted to the same thing as the other (Matt. 9:5-7, Mk. 2:9-12). In saying that He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13), He is telling us that the sinners were in fact sinners, not (or not merely) victims in need of deliverance.

  • Food for Thought-Thoughts On The 1st Sunday of Lent Mark 1:9-15 (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    When John gets arrested the nature of how we talk about God’s message changes. It’s not just an existential struggle between good and evil. That’s still present and bound up with how we live every day. Once people start going to jail for what they believe, Christianity can no longer be an intellectual exercise or a good theory to be debated at parties. It has to be a way of life.

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