Tag Archives: God’s Grace

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.

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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

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong

 

 

“11  I returned, and I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to the wise, nor also riches to men of understanding, neither yet favor to men of knowledge: but time and chance cometh to them all. 12 For neither doth man know his time, but as the fishes which are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare: so are the children of men snared in the evil time when it falleth upon them suddenly.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 GenevaBible)

“24  Know ye not, that they which run in a race, run all, yet one receiveth the price? so run that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that proveth masteries, abstaineth from all things: and they do it to obtain a corruptible crown: but we for an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 GenevaBible)

“For as the body without ye spirit is dead, even so the faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26 GenevaBible)

“For God so loved the world, that he hath given his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 GenevaBible)

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto your praise, and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:7 GenevaBible)

“6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your care on him: for he careth for you. 8  Be sober, and watch: for your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren which are in the world. 10  And the God of all grace, which hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a little, make you perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:6-10 GenevaBible)

“When thou shalt go forth to war against thine enemies, and shalt see horses and chariots, and people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 20:1 GenevaBible)

“And that all this assembly may know, that the Lord saveth not with sword nor with spear (for the battle is the Lords) and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47 GenevaBible)

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: stand still, move not, and behold the salvation of the Lord towards you: O Judah, and Jerusalem, fear ye not, neither be afraid: tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17 GenevaBible)

“If not, go thou on, do it, make thyself strong to the battle, but God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.” (2 Chronicles 25:8 GenevaBible)

“He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle, that was against me: for many were with me.” (Psalms 55:18 GenevaBible)

“O Lord God the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered mine head in the day of battle.” (Psalms 140:7 GenevaBible)

“The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but salvation is of the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:31 GenevaBible)

“And in that day will I make a covenant for them, with the wild beasts, and with the fowls of the heaven, and with that which creepeth upon the earth: and I will break the bow, and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to sleep safely.” (Hosea 2:18 GenevaBible)

“(Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and men see his filthiness)” (Revelation 16:15 GenevaBible)

“And shall go out to deceive the people, which are in the four quarters of the earth: even Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is, as the sand of the sea.” (Revelation 20:8 GenevaBible)

“I do not abrogate the grace of God: for if righteousness be by the Law, then Christ died without a cause.” (Galatians 2:21 GenevaBible)

“For the Scripture foreseeing, that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the Gentiles be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8 GenevaBible)

“And that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11 GenevaBible)

“For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty: only use not your liberty as an occasion unto the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13 GenevaBible)

“21 But now is the righteousness, of God made manifest without the Law, having witness of the Law and of the Prophets, 22 To wit, the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all that believe.” (Romans 3:21-22 GenevaBible)

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

“1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue still in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. 2 How shall we, that are dead to sin, live yet therein? 3 Know ye not, that all we which have been baptized into Jesus Christ, have been baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:1-3 GenevaBible)

“For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved:” (Romans 10:9 GenevaBible)

“For he that doubteth, is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin.” (Romans 14:23 GenevaBible)

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God, must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 GenevaBible)

“For it is God which worketh in you, both the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 GenevaBible)

“I am that vine: ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me can ye do nothing.” (John 15:5 GenevaBible)

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 Preceding article: Salvation and Righteousness

File:08913-Perspective Run.jpg

Running – Photo by Nevit Dilmen

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  2. “Unnoticed”
  3. We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
  4. Atonement and the race been bought
  5. Running the battle
  6. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  7. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  8. Wishing to do the will of God
  9. Every athlete exercises self control

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  • Scripture of the Day, 2/18 (sowegalive.com)
  • Resolving Conflicts Biblically (dailybibleplan.com)
    The early Christian church was facing a conflict.  Some of the early Christians believed that the Gentiles needed to adhere to Jewish law (including circumcision) before they could become Christians.  Other early believers did not think it was necessary to become Jewish before becoming a Christian, and therefore thought circumcision was not necessary.  If the conflict was not resolved, the early Christian church could have become split into two sects and therefore would have lost a lot of its momentum along the way.
  • New Minds (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    The first step towards freedom is to realise that this is a spiritual battle. As such it cannot be fought and won in our own strength of mind – which is what we so often try to do. What we need is the power of the Lord which He makes available to us.
  • To an inheritance (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • A prayer for peace (birdflu666.wordpress.com)
    The destroyers of this world want war, want to devour the vulnerable, the young, want to ruin countries, cultures. The destroyers of this world try to lie to us, try to sell war for peace,  dicatorship for freedom.
  • For Those In Christ Jesus (frbekomson.com) > Originally posted on ChristianBlessings:
    For those in Christ Jesus we have forgiveness of sin
    He is the hope that we live our life in
    He provides us grace to walk in His ways
    Studying His Word is where I want…
  • It Is Yours, Lord – Everything (fbcpolson.wordpress.com)
    Now, we might hold title as far as men were concerned, but everything we owned would belong to the Lord. If He wanted it, He could have it. If He wanted to use it, if He wanted to destroy it, if He wanted to give it away, if He wanted to give more, that was His business.
  • Rule and Reign (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    As reported in the news these days we hear Christians are persecuted at all time highs. Maybe its because perfect love from God our Father that we share with the world is seen as weakness to the world of nonbelievers.
  • “I Die Daily” (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” I Corinthians 15:31 (NASB)
  • some random thoughts on birds, blogs, foodie-initiatives, labradoodles, and faith… (derekmaul.wordpress.com)
    There is no other time that matters quite so much as now. Consider the birds at our feeder; consider the community where we live; consider the fun of sharing a creative meal together; consider the philosopher, Scout Labradoodle…

    And… Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 6:23-24

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Filed under Lifestyle, Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

A voice cries out: context

In many countries a new year heaving started in September or October, with the advent, they take time to think about the Nazarene man who was given by his heavenly Father. God can not be tempted nor die, but his son who had a beginning, more than 2000 years ago, was born, was tempted more than once, was tortured to death and was taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father, the Only One Divine God.
The gospel of Marcus let us see the importance for mankind of that figure born in Bethlehem, without his willingness to do not his will, but the will of his heavenly Father, we could not have salvation and the Grace of God coming in this way, he took care of.

We may not overlook the beginning of Mark’s Gospel where we can discover, not the manger scene, but the meaning of a gospel as proclamation, and the importance of the titles “Christ” and “Son of God.”
As the writer of the article says:

“Mark reminds us that gospel originally meant “good news.” “

Too often Christians forget to look at the older books, the Old Testament. By doing that they also miss out very important knowledge and do not come to see clear who Jesus really is and what he really did.

As a Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) did not want to bring a new religion. and his disciples did not begin with a “new book”. Though the evangelist John might have looked at it as starting a new Book. At least he wanted to start a “new Chapter”. He looked at the world of Christ as a new world or Renewed world, given by God, made possible by Christ Jesus his ransom.
John started his book as Moses did, by the Voice of God. God speaking made everything in existing. Now the world could hear God’s Voice again. In the Garden of Eden God had already spoken and given His promise that a solution for Adam’s sin would come. As such that speaking from God, in the beginning of the world was also the Word of God which came unto mankind some 2 millennia ago,

Jesus was the fulfilment of that Word from God. As such the evangelist in his gospel (John 1:1) begins with an unmodified “theos” without the article, writing:

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT)

Denoting Jesus was a special person, like Moses and Pharaoh, who are also called gods (=high placed person). Jeshua, though a simple workman’s son, was so important because he was the only human person who managed to keep the commandments of God and to do only the will of the Most High Elohim. He, as son of man and son of God, knew very well how we human beings felt but also how we should all come closer again to the Creator of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham. Jesus clearly showed the world who is God was and why we also should come to honour only this One and Only True God. He also showed the world his God was a God of Love, prepared to give the world a “New Start” a fresh “New Beginning”. With Christ Jesus the world was given a 2° Adam. This second only begotten son by God brought us a “New Message”, the one that salvation was at hand. He showed us to the Way to the Kingdom of God. We either can keep our ears and eyes closed, or hear the message and see what we can do, to become partakers of that Kingdom of God. It only demands of us making the right choices.
Advent is the time to think about those matters, matters of importance, priority and matters of eternal life.

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Please do read also:

  1. Only one God
  2. God is one
  3. God of gods
  4. Plain necessary food of the gospel
  5. God’s promises
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  8. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  9. Jesus Messiah
  10. Who was Jesus?
  11. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  12. Kingdom of God what would it be like
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  • The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:” (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    John, after seeing a throne surrounded by a green rainbow, with God’s glory shining forth as a jasper and sardine stone, now sees the presence of God manifest by lightnings, thunderings and voices.   This scene is very similar to the display of God’s greatness that was seen by the Israelites in Old Testament times…
  • The Messiah (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The Hebrew word means “anointed” a rescuer, sent from God to save His people.

    The Greek word for ‘anointed’ is ‘christos’, from which we get Christ.

    People only need saving when they are in peril, and many times in the history of the Old testament, God people were constantly under attach and oppression. between the New and Old testaments, God’s people were under occupation of foreign powers. Their cries for a Messiah to come, became more and more often.
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    Jesus was recognized by many as the Messiah. Jesus tried to play down those expectations and was reluctant to apply the term to Himself. This was because He was not the figure they wanted Him to be. Jesus had no intention of being connected with violence and insurrection. Jesus preaching was a revolutionary message, and He was setting up a New Kingdom, but it was not the way the people were expecting.

    It was through Christ Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, that His followers understood that He was the Messiah.

  • What Is The Gospel? (dailytwocents.com)
    The meaning of the word “Gospel” simply means Good News. A good news for a very bad situation and predicament.

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    It is often confused with the entire Bible. No, the Bible contains the good news, it is not the good news.

    It is sometimes mixed up with the commandments of God. No, the Gospel is Good News. It’s not a good command.

    It is often associated with the gospel records of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Nope. Not everything written by these four writers is the Gospel. They contain the Gospel, but not everything they wrote about is the Gospel.

  • Christ in You, the Hope of Glory (theeyesoffaith.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the Word of God, the Bible refers to Jesus Christ with several different comparative names or descriptive titles to help us know and understand Him better.

    The Bible tells us that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer, and the Savior.

    Jesus is the Messiah because He is the anointed and consecrated prince whom God promised through Daniel’s prophecy that He would send.

    He is the Christ because He is the anointed fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the New Testament.

    Jesus is the Redeemer because He is the kinsman who purchases back the lost possessions in the Old Testament and He is the fulfillment of the kinsman in the New Testament.

  • Reading the Old Testament with Martin Luther (cwoznicki.com)
    Why should we read the Old Testament? It seems pretty obvious to us today, but  in 16th century Germany there was a tendency to look down upon the value of the Old Testament. (No doubt Luther’s Law/Grace dichotomy had something to do with this…) Nevertheless Luther advocates for a figural sort of reading of the Old Testament, in other wrods he asks us to read the Old Testament in light of the New

friarmusings

jbaptistmafaMark 1:1-8   1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God). 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 3 A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” 4 John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 6 John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 7 And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to…

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Christians acting towards filmbusiness

Recently the mega churches have been in the news with many things going wrong in that business. They also are churches which often make use of the modern media and use a lot of audio and visual material.

The film industry has seen a renewal of interest in religious movies and therefore is releasing again some films with Biblical stories.

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Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide, as well as chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission and  Tom Snyder, Movieguide’s editor, wrote the underneath article which originally appeared on Movieguide.org.

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I Thought I Knew How Christians Should Act Toward Hollywood, Until I Read This …

 

faith-based films
in 2014, an incredible number of the major movies being released have positive, overtly biblical and often evangelical content. (Movieguide)

Twenty years ago, when Jesus’ name was used in a movie, it was usually used as a curse word. Last year, 67 percent of the movies released had at least some pro-Christian, pro-biblical content.

This year, an incredible number of the major movies being released have positive, overtly biblical and often evangelical content. As might be expected, many of these movies have attracted criticism. Sadly, some of the most spiteful, angry and mean-spirited criticism has come from Christians.

Movieguide was built on the premise of exposing the fruitless works of darkness and commending the good. As a result of doing this consistently for many years, we have seen a great growth of the good, the true and the beautiful, and a decrease in the darkness in the movies released. Much of that could be attributed to our detailed economic analysis of the box office, combined with the fact that we see the gospel for what it is: good news.

So we try to present our analysis and criticism in light of the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control), which dictates that we love the people who created the works we’re examining enough to try to be constructive. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are not the rule.

Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, there’s been a tremendous amount of criticism bashing Darren Aronofsky and the producers of Noah, criticism of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for Son of God, and even criticism of the producers of Heaven Is for Real.

Recently, I had a chance to talk to one of the top people at Paramount Pictures, whom I’ve known for years, who’s a co-producer of Noah. He had told me about Noah years ago when we met for lunch. He wanted Noah to be very evangelistic, which it is not, and he wanted to tell an Old Testament story in light of the New Testament revelation of God’s grace. I asked him about Darren Aronofsky, and he said Aronofsky was wrestling with forgiveness and mercy because of a crisis in his family.

The producer, one of the brightest, most conservative Christians in Hollywood, noted that the same thing had happened to him. We discussed the fact that Mel Gibson had been bashed so badly for the trumped-up charge of anti-Semitism that he went off the deep end.

There is no doubt that my friend and Aronofsky needed guidance and perhaps even faith formation, but personal, ill-conceived attacks don’t make it easier for him, as a conservative evangelical Christian, to do more movies that touch upon Christian and biblical themes.

With regard to Downey and Burnett, the situation seems even more mean-spirited. One attack article claimed The Passion of the Christ was more biblical, when, in fact, The Passion was based on visions a Catholic nun had over 100 years ago.

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other articles commended the Jesus film, which, for the record, is only 66 percent of the book of Luke and is produced by a good friend of mine who is Jewish and extremely wary of the Christian community, as well as a director who’s known for some very salacious movies. In fact, the star of the Jesus film told me years later he was an atheist. Also, Jesus of Nazareth was funded by a Muslim and directed by a bisexual who chased one of the male stars around his villa.

Thus, of all the 130 Jesus films that have come out, Burnett and Downey’s Son of God is one of the few made by people who constantly say they love Jesus. That doesn’t mean they got everything right. In fact, I sent them a theological analysis months before the movie was locked in editing.

In this regard, however, has any sermon ever gotten everything right? If so, I have yet to hear such a sermon, though I have walked out several times on sermons that have gotten most of their theology wrong.

Many of the mean-spirited articles about Noah have been written by people who admit to having never seen the movie. Others have been written by people who don’t seem to understand some of the Bible’s basic theological concepts or realize the difference between a Christian ontology (a real world with real sin and real pain that needs a real Savior, Jesus Christ) and an anti-Christian, nominalistic ontology (a nonmaterial, great-thought maya world where all is an illusion and there is no need for a savior, such as The Last Temptation of Christ).

Movieguide has been critical of Noah, but also fair. We’d love to see the theology of each movie improved and would love to see the theology of most of these articles improved.

One theologian complained to us that, unlike depicted in Heaven Is for Real, no one has gone to heaven and come back, although I pointed out to him that Paul said he did just that in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Was Paul lying? Where do we get such strange eisegetical views?

Thank God that iron does sharpen iron.

But even so, what enabled a small group of Christians to overthrow the most debauched empire in history, Rome? As Professor Alvin J. Schmidt points out in the book How Christianity Changed the World, one major reason was that people knew the Christians by their love and wanted to convert.

Did the people who criticized Mel Gibson love him? Or those who criticize any of the Christians working behind the scenes in Hollywood?

Most biblical movies and most movies dealing with heaven contain things that you won’t find in the pages of the Bible. To make a really dramatic movie that millions of people will go see requires at least some dramatic artistry. Furthermore, it’s really easy to poke holes in almost any movie, whatever the subject matter.

So, let us commend the good while gently instructing those who might have gone astray so that we may encourage everyone to focus on the Good News of Jesus Christ that enlightens us all.

– Ted Baehr & Tom Snyder

Ted Baehr is a Christian film critic whose Movieguide has grown from a modest newsletter into a mammoth Web database that attracts millions of readers each month. For thirty years, the site has reviewed most every Hollywood film released in theatres, picking up on thematic intricacies that other critics tend to overlook. For instance, Movieguide noted that the first Harry Potter movie relies heavily on “evil occult themes and a spirit of selfish rebellion among its children characters.” In the year that “Avatar” swept the awards shows, Movieguide cautioned against its “New Age pagan worldview, which contains extremely anti-capitalist content with a strong Marxist overtone. It promotes group-think and argues in favor of the destruction of the human race.” ()

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Original Movieguide article

As a Christian myself there are certain things in the Bible where creative liberties have no place. That may not allow me to be the most objective critic of some Bible-based movies but it is a belief that is inseparable from who I am. On the other hand some stories from Scripture leave themselves open to interpretation while others may stir our imaginations by omitting many of the details. Such is the case with the story of Noah. The story of Noah and his ark takes up only a small portion of Scripture so there are definitely areas where our creative imaginations (in this case Aronofsky’s) may kick in. Yet you always look for respect of the spirit of the story and at least some type of adherence to the material.

Paramount Adds Disclaimer to Noah Movie

The disclaimer admits some “artistic license” has been taken with regard to the story, but that the movie is “true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.”

The disclaimer also adds, “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

The disclaimer is being added at a suggestion coming from a panel on the movie NOAH at the recent National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in Nashville last week. The panel, led by President and CEO of the NRB, Dr. Jerry Johnson, discussed NOAH’s positive qualities and its departures from the Bible.

6 Fun Things Noah and Duck Dynasty Have in Common

The Good and Bad in Noah

Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) begins as Noah’s nemesis from a scene in the hero’s childhood and finishes as his enemy in a violent hand to hand combat scene on the ark. In between, Tubal-Cain tries to turn Noah’s son against him, launches a military attack on Noah’s ark project during construction, and finally manages to hack his way into the ark as the flood surges.

The “Watchers” assist Noah. They are Aronofsky’s fanciful development of the biblical Nephilim concept. We are told angelic creatures helped early man with technology; humans abused it for evil; God cursed the angels for this and turned them into rock giants; these fallen angels help Noah defend and build the ark; when they die in the battle against the bad guys, the mysterious beings go up to heaven. Of course, in Christian theology, fallen angels keep falling, down to the other place.

While showing images of war, violence, theft, and sexual sin, the main evil of humankind according to Noah is the abuse of the environment. Man has been guilty of a scorched earth policy brought about primitive industrialization, resulting in apocalyptic scenery reminiscent of the Mad Max trilogy.

Son Of God and the Flood of Christian, Biblical Movies in 2014

Son of God marks the first time in more than 15 years since a major Hollywood studio has put major money into a movie aimed at depicting the life of a biblical character, since 1997’s The Prince of Egypt about Moses.

20th Century Fox is releasing Son of God, a movie version of the Gospel portion of The Bible that aired on The History Channel in Spring 2013. In December, they’re scheduled to release Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses.

Sony Pictures has Heaven is for real scheduled for release in April. It’s based on the popular book telling the story of a boy who died, went to heaven, and came back to tell about it.

Warner Bros. has its own Moses movie, Gods and kings, in the works, but no release date has been set. They had hoped to get Steven Spielberg to direct, but he turned them down. And, there is talk at MGM about a remake of one of the greatest Christian epics ever made, Ben-Hur.

Empowering Epics of Faith & Values

The 22nd Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry honored the best, most family-friendly, and most inspiring movies and television programs of 2013 at its annual awards show, held last month in the Grand Ballroom of the Universal Hilton Hotel.
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Grace Unplugged and The Bible took home the two $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for the Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program of 2013. Supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Epiphany Prizes honor the best movie and television program that “greatly increase man’s love or understanding of God.”

Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Tolerating self-destructive or socially destructive behavior in our children is not a sign of love, but hate, as well as parental neglect. If a child has a propensity to beat themselves or beat other children, the parents are required by love to intervene and help the child get over such abhorrent, intolerable behavior. To do anything less is a sign of child abuse!

Our narcissistic society is on the brink of stewing in the vile juice of its own self-destructive behavior. Consequently, we seem to have forgotten what love entails.

God calls us all to love our neighbor as ourselves, both Jew and Gentile. That divine call entails helping ourselves and our neighbors get over intolerable destructive behavior, such as violence against the innocent, alcoholic stupors and perverting our children’s innocent hearts and minds by frankly intervening and correcting such behavior in a manner that brings about significant change or repentance (see Lev. 19:17,18).

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Next: Savouring pictorial entertainement

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  • Obligatory Noah Thread (scottpaeth.typepad.com)
    Having devoted valuable time and bandwidth to God Is Not Dead, it is, I suppose, behoovenly for me to say just a bit about Noah. These days, of course, I seldom get to see movies that aren’t streaming on Netflix, so I’m no more likely to get out ot see Noah than God Is Not Dead, nevertheless, in both cases I’m fascianted by the zeitgeist surrounding them.
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    Tony offers a lot of plot details in his review, but does not reveal the outcome of what is the actual spiritual core of the film — Noah’s crisis of faith in the aftermath of the flood. This is the thematic hook on which the movie rises or falls, and I suspect that the very idea that Noah may experience any kind of a crisis is at the heart of evangelical objections to the movie.

  • Bible Films ‘Noah’ and ‘Son of God’ Are Competing for Christian Audiences This Spring (thewire.com)
    The first two so-called Bible films of the year have very different backgrounds and intents. Son of God is produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who also made The History Channel’s Bible miniseries. The pair are capitalizing on the commercial success of that miniseries by releasing the mix of re-purposed and new footage from The Bible as a film. And they’re also Christians, making a Christian movie. On the other hand, Noah is not an explicitly Christian film, although it has its basis in a well-known biblical story, to which it remains rather faithful. Aronofsky, it should be noted, did not make Noah to glorify God, or to promote religious belief. He was understandably opposed to his studio’s efforts to repackage the film in the editing booth for a conservative Christian audience. 
  • Thoughts on “Noah” (pianonate.wordpress.com)
    By and large, the movie is fantasy. (And I firmly believe in the Flood account of Genesis!) But this no doubt plays like a “Lord of the Rings” or “Clash of the Titans” film. This is not an attempt to re-create the events as they actually were, a la “The Passion of the Christ”.
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    If the Bible is merely a collection of stories, as is often portrayed, than “Noah” is par for the course. But the Bible is more than that; it’s the story of God and how He redeems people.If the character of God; His holiness, justice, purity, is not explained, then the story makes no sense.If the Fall of man, and the pervasive nature of personal sin is not explained, then the story makes no sense.If God’s redemption plan is not clearly spelled out, especially in the light of the rest of Scripture, then the story makes no sense.
  • Does God Have A Prayer In Hollywood? (wreg.com)
    The National Religious Broadcasters insisted “Noah” include a disclaimer acknowledging the filmmakers took “artistic license” with the Bible story.Several Muslim countries have banned the movie, citing Islam’s injunctions against depicting prophets.Even Paramount, the studio releasing “Noah,” has agitated Aronofsky, testing at least five different versions of his film with focus groups.“I can understand some of the suspicion because it’s been 50 years since an Old Testament biblical epic has come to the big screen,” Aronofsky said recently. “And in that time a lot of films have come out of Hollywood that have rubbed people the wrong way.”

    2014 is supposed to be the year Tinsel Town reversed that trend and finally got religion.

  • Review: “Noah” (keithandthemovies.com)
    As a Christian myself there are certain things in the Bible where creative liberties have no place. That may not allow me to be the most objective critic of some Bible-based movies but it is a belief that is inseparable from who I am. On the other hand some stories from Scripture leave themselves open to interpretation while others may stir our imaginations by omitting many of the details. Such is the case with the story of Noah. The story of Noah and his ark takes up only a small portion of Scripture so there are definitely areas where our creative imaginations (in this case Aronofsky’s) may kick in. Yet you always look for respect of the spirit of the story and at least some type of adherence to the material.
  • The Christian Oscars (newyorker.com)
    Baehr has no interest in this year’s Academy front-runners: Movieguide called “American Hustle” “predominantly pagan,” and complained that “12 Years a Slave” portrays “a mean Christian who uses Scripture to justify slavery.” But that doesn’t concern him, as he has his own awards show: the twenty-second-annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala, which will be held tonight, at the Universal City Hilton, in Los Angeles. Better known in industry circles as The Christian Oscars, Baehr’s ceremony gives cash prizes to films and television programs that “increase man’s love and understanding of God.” Originally a fringe event, the gala has recently attracted the attention of the major studios, who come for Baehr’s annual report to the entertainment industry, which attempts to demonstrate a correlation between Movieguide-approved content and box-office revenue.
  • What’s at Stake in the ‘Noah’ Controversy (news.moviefone.com)
    various Christian organizations, including consulting firms that can help Hollywood market its films to Christians and ministries whose thumbs-up or thumbs-down will influence large numbers of congregants. So far, they’ve been wary of “Noah,” not just because of long-standing skepticism toward Hollywood, but because of reports since “Noah” was still just a screenplay that the film strays from scripture in ways that may rankle the faithful. Will Paramount’s disclaimer placate the Christian power brokers and the viewers they claim to speak for? And if it doesn’t, can the film succeed without them?
  • ABC’s Christian-Bashing Show Canceled (americanclarion.com)
    I like to think we humans developed the amygdala about the time we decided to climb down out of the  trees and live in holes in the ground and the sides of mountains and cliffs we later came to call caves.  I’m no anthropologists or biologist, or any other kind of “ologist,”  so I have no clue when the human amygdala became standard equipment.  So, I’m just winging it here.Still — smart people pay attention to the warnings from their amygdala.  A great number of those who didn’t — aren’t here any more. And a disproportionate number of those who still don’t today, will not be with us much longer.
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    the American people are, like that humming bow string I mentioned above, strung about as tight as they have ever been.  It won’t take much for then to utter an oath, grab their semi-automatic rifle, all the ammo they can carry,  and head for the swamps and woods and form up into organized resistance.  Many groups of citizens have already “formed-up.”  They are simply awaiting orders from headquarters.
  • Faith Films Win Box Office War (foxnews.com)
    It seems in 2011, pro-America sentiment mixed with conservative values and faith-centered themes equaled a hit.This according to an annual study conducted by the Christian-focused entertainment advocacy group Movieguide, which found that in 2011, American audiences preferred movies with strong conservative content and values over movies with liberal or left-leaning values by an almost six-to-one margin.The 760-page report claims that films with a conservative or pro-American edge, such as “Captain America,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Soul Surfer,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Battle: Los Angeles” raked in significantly more box office green than more liberal films like “Red State,” “Super 8,” “J. Edgar,” “Glee” and “Ides of March.”“People want good to overcome evil, justice to prevail over injustice and liberty to conquer tyranny. They respond to strong heroes and even strong heroines, but they are turned off by radical social engineering and big government programs,” Movieguide publisher Dr. Ted Baehr said of the report, which rates movies using several criteria such as “anti-communist content,” “strong biblical morality,” and “strong pro-capitalist content.”
  • Hollywood honors faith, family films (wnd.com)
    Since the mid-1980s Baehr’s Movieguide organization has been on a quest to completely transform the movie industry by revealing to Hollywood executives that positive-themed, faith and family-friendly films make significantly more money at the box office than their more salacious and often R-rated competitors.The quest has been hugely successful, as each successive Movieguide awards gala has enabled Baehr to present Hollywood’s power players with extensive studies proving America’s audiences would much rather watch faith than filth on the silver screen.And Hollywood, where money talks and box office receipts are king, has heard the message.
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