Tag Archives: Ransom offer

A look at the Poet’s corner’s grief basket

(Sculpture) "Grief.", by Centennial ...

(Sculpture) “Grief.”, by Centennial Photographic Co. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have taken the liberty to look at the Poet’s Corner which was started to help poets showcase their own poems. It is a place of musings and word-play we can recommend.

Over there you may find

In times of grief by Harry, submitted by Jim Mowatt where we are reminded that in time of grief when we loose someone

Words are all we have to ease our pain
These are dark days and we
Are in a place we don’t want to be
Wishing we could be somewhere else instead
In a field of green
In a valley by a stream

Not many see that there is a Provider Who created a huge valley full of living water. though when we loose some one loved he or she shall stay in our heart and his or her name and memories will be deeply engraved in our heart.

You’ve got to be strong
You want to be with
You want to hold on
To your loved one
In a field of green.

Peter Notehelfer talking about ‘Grief’ tells us PattyMara Gourley fineartamerica.com

Grief is standing
outside the locked gates of Eden
in the face of an angel with a flaming sword
who prevents us from entering again
the innocence of a love
that once was

More than once taken by grief we always have to continue and try to be stronger than that what is smothering our heart. Dave Kavanagh, who looks at he story of Ireland’s only indigenous people and a tragedy that took ten lives but made no difference to the contempt with which they are held, therefore calls us to Move on

Light burns dark eyes.
wrapped between breast and blanket.
A heartbeat echoes every step travelled.
Walking, stretch and yaw of creaking harness.

Tears, screams, disbelief. Grief.
Angels taken from the world.
Empty words. Rhetoric, leaders speak.
Sympathy stretches to the next blocked gate.
The next protest, the next broken stare.
Are we human now?

Standing in this world we might hear the wind breeze. Morgan hearing it and saying to us

whisper

Photograph found at HDQwide.com. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer.

The Whispers of the Breeze
Speaks Silence to my Heart,
In Shades of Indigo Brilliance
And Bright Luminous Mists of Tranquil Blue,

Speaking of Sweet Mystery,
Uttering Paradoxes, Timeless and True.
Unfettered upon this Whisper of Air,
Unchained from Grief, from Doubt, from Despair,
Into the Realms of Pearlescent Dreams,
Glittering Incomprehensibility Streams. {The Whisper of the Breeze}

In order that you and I would never pay what we deserved to pay, so many centuries ago there was that man who was willing not to fulfil his own will but to do the Will of his heavenly Father, and to offer himself as a Lamb. Thanks to God willing to accept this ransom offer we now can over-win all that pain, suffering and even death.

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Preceding

Ruth having reason to grief

Our existence..

Facing our existence every day

Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!”

Reminding myself!!

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Poetry - Poems, Religious affairs

Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

Rob Heijermans, who says is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and believes that God has spoken

— in fact, the universe itself is a product of the voice of the Lord. The phrase, “And God said…,” appears nine times in the first chapter of Genesis alone. {Is Anyone Listening?}

He also knows he has ever deceived himself and looks at James, Jesus’ younger half-brother, who knows all about self-deception.

Though the writer wrongly thinks James deceived himself for many years,

“denying that Jesus was God in the flesh.” {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Having grown up with Jesus in an Essene family he probably got to know Jesus as well as God very well. He also knew what Jesus had told others and to whom Jesus prayed, like they at their family, at home, prayed to the only One true God, the God of Israel. Jesus did not pray to himself, but to the God of Abraham, about Whom he taught people to pray to as well.

The apostle James warns us in Verse 22  of the first chapter that if we are hearers of the word–the Bible–and not doers, we deceive or ensnare ourselves.

James 1:22 EWB-CB  But become ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Much too often Christians do forget Jesus’ parables and the warning of James. We may not delusively content our selves with being of the audience, but have to put what we hear in practice.

The writer of the blog UpStream writes

James says it’s like looking into the mirror on the morning of an important interview, seeing some serious bed-head, lots of stubble and a smudge of last night’s hot fudge sundae, and just walking away without taking action. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Too many Christians make it themselves very easy, thinking because they are saved they do not have to do anything any more.

Rob Heijermans is aware that

sitting under the teaching of the Scriptures and not doing what they say is an act of self-deceit. Studying the Scriptures for ourselves, gaining an understanding of their meaning, but not obeying God’s Word, produces knowledge that makes us arrogant but yields no fruit in our lives. It is self-deceit. Even more serious is purporting to be a teacher and either teaching what is false or not doing what is true. James will deal with this more later in his letter. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

We should come to get to know what is written in the Bible and may not twist around the words of it. As such when is written “the son of God” we may not say “god the son“. We should clearly take the Words of God into account and take them serious.

In this world many have made their own gods. A lot also made Jesus in to their god, like Rob Heijermans has done. He also preaches about hell as a sort of place of eternal torture, whilst forgetting that the Divine Creator is a God of Love, who is an eternal Spirit Who can not be seen by man, but is with man, telling them no lies and saying they shall have paid for their sins with their death.

But this God of gods tells also about His sent one, the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Jesus on this earth tried to make his heavenly Father known and showed the way to the Kingdom of God. His brother knew also very well the importance of Jesus’ teaching about that Kingdom. He had to loose his brother at the wooden stake and see his mother cry, being full of grieve. But he had also come into the hope Jesus preached and wanted to share it with others, like his brother had asked it.

That preaching James had taken up is also an act we should do. It is one of the works Jesus asked his followers to do.

Twice, the writer of Hebrews mentions “dead works.” (Heb 6.1, 9.14) Now, James writes of “dead faith.” In the subsequent verses of Chapter 2, he mentions that even the demons believe in God–and tremble before Him!–so simply believing facts about God is not saving faith. James then cites two Old Testament characters whose faith was demonstrated by their works: Abraham, the Iraqi father of the Jewish nation was not content simply to tell God he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. He unsheathed his dagger and was about to plunge it into Isaac’s belly when God stopped him and provided a substitutionary ram. Rahab the whore did not stop at believing that God was conquering His enemies through the Israelites–she protected their spies, knowing the awesome power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

Lots of Christians have forgotten Who that God of the Israelites is and why we should take Him as our Only One True God, like Jesus also took Him as His Only One Most High Almighty God. But not only did they take the ransom offer of Jesus as the final act for them, misleading themselves that they would not have to do anything more because they are saved by the Blood of Christ.

Strangely enough the blog writer seems to know that

On some occasion, James probably heard his Brother say that God is glorified when we prove we are His disciples by producing fruit. (John 15.8) {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

In many parables Jesus had told how we have to get a good relationship with the heavenly Father. How He is willing to take us up as His children, but also how we can loose the entrance to the Kingdom of God. James came to understand those teachings of his brother and knew how important it was when people came into the faith how they had to change themselves and had to work on themselves continuously.

We may not assume that it are only our works that can get us some where.

the second half of James 2 demonstrates: just as it is vain to think that my works–religious duty, outward devotion, social activism, neighbourly consideration–could possibly get me to heaven, so also is it vain to suppose I am truly a child of God while my life manifests nothing of my faith. As Jesus said, a fruit tree with no fruit is cut down and burned. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

When having come into the faith we have to water our own tree. (By reading and studying the Bible.) Then we do have to let the food of the earth and food of heaven feed ourselves, so that we can bear good fruits. For getting good fruits we need good pruning. We need to do a lot of work. Without the work there shall be no good fruits and when we are not willing to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God we shall be too late like some young girls who did not prepare themselves or thought they had enough time. Please do not postpone. Take care that you are ready for when the day comes.

When procrastinating you will be surprised when the day comes you shall have nothing done what had to be done and will miss the boat.

Some things may be hard or difficult, like changing sides, or putting away human doctrinal teachings, like the trinity a.o.. but God wants from His son an his followers truthful worshippers of God who are faithful to Him, the Adonai Jehovah, and to His commandments. When we do not follow God’s commandments it will be like ignoring God’s Wishes and not wanting a good relationship with Him. Keeping to those commandments shall demand works we shall have to do with pleasure because we do believe in Christ, the son of God, and in his heavenly Father we also want to love.

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Preceding articles:

Leading people astray!

Restitution

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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?

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Please find also to read

  1. God of gods
  2. God is one
  3. Sayings around God
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Jesus Messiah
  6. Jesus and His God
  7. the Trinity – the Truth
  8. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  9. Bearing fruit
  10. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  11. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  12. Christ’s ethical teaching
  13. Being Justified by faith
  14. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  15. Faith and works
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  18. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Be holy
  21. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  22. Love for each other attracting others

 

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Further related articles

  1. Count on your desire to procrastinate
  2. Sermon Redux – Part 4 of Doing Our Best for God’s Church – “Rejoicing in the Brutal Truth” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
  3. Boast in God’s Grace for You- Joseph Prince
  4. The Parable of the Two Sons
  5. Rewarded for Doing Good?
  6. Rewarded for their Labor? (1 Corinthians 3:8)
  7. Judged for What We Have Done
  8. Rewarded for What We’ve Done?
  9. 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  10. Chapter 2:23 – And he was called a friend of God.
  11. Four Panel Philosophy
  12. James 2:20-22 — Dynamic Faith
  13. Show Me Your Works

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13 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, 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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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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The faithful God

In the world to day many have drifted far away from the truth. Lots of people do not want to see the relation of what happened in the garden of Eden at the beginning of times and what was promised there.

Several people may believe in the promise made over there but still think that one Messiah still has to come. Others do not want to believe the Creator was able to make perfect human being who could follow His commandments and therefore He would have to have come down to the earth to fake his death and to fake that He was taken out of the dead.

Scriptures tells us that man nor death can do God anything. That truth is overlooked by many man. They seem to forget that God is a loving God Who keeps His promises and Who says things how they are, not wanting disorder, but order like He created order out of chaos. that was part of His creation and is still part of His Plan.

Our hopes should be in that Plan of God which shall come to be fulfilled. The adversary of God is always around trying to confuse people and to bring them on the wrong path, making them worshipping some else than God the Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

It is Jesus who invites us to come and sit at his table. Jesus and God are knocking at our doors. Jesus is the Way to God and the Way to the Kingdom of God.
With the birth of Jesus the kingdom came near and people had to come to see the messenger of God, who was promised already long ago. Many did not want to see in this miracle-worker the man of God, the prophet who would trample the figurative snake, making an end to its killing snakebite. With Jesus’ death became nailed at the wooden stake, but people still had to come to accept his offer, like his heavenly Father accepted the ransom offer.

Jesus asked us to become one like he is one with the Father. That is not such an easy task, because Jesus managed to do the Will of God and did put his will totally aside to please the Only One God. Naturally in case Jesus is God he always would have done his own will, but here we have a man of flesh and blood who was wiling to put himself totally aside for helping others, for having the best relationship with the Creator.

We too should go for that best relationship with the Divine Creator Deity. He is the One Who calls and has given us His only begotten son so we may be cleared of our sins. Like Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father and taught us to pray we too should pray to god and only worship Him.

The best way to come to see who is Jesus and who is his heavenly Father and what God has prepared for us, we best read regularly the Bible and study it carefully. By letting the Word of God come into our mind and in our heart, the Spirit of God, God His Force can work in us.

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Preceding articles:

What is the truth asked also Pontius Pilate

Truth, doubt or blindness

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Find additionally:

  1. Wishing to do the will of God
  2. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  3. Jesus and his God
  4. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus

 

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  • Citizens Of Another World (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    True Christians are pilgrims and strangers in a strange land. Not only is our citizenship in heaven, but positionally we are now seated in Christ Jesus in the heavenlies.
  • Why Faith? (conquerorshots.com)
    The Greek word for faith is pistis. The meaning is the conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

    1. relating to God

      1. the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

    2. relating to Christ

      1. a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God

  • Psalm – Song Book of Praise (africanaprincess.wordpress.com)
    God is our creator, father, healer, mother, friend, provided, helper, judge,etc… He gave his only son Jesus to die for our sins. God sees us through Jesus and not our sinful nature.  Without the sacrifice we would be lost in sin. But God! But God!
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth ! (tonysonblogger.wordpress.com)
    It’s as if the Creator had no sense of fair play and justice – unbelievable!  If it is true, then, were certain souls sent down to earth from the Heavens to suffer poverty, pain and misery on attaining the human form for a predestined period of time?
  • “I go to prepare a place for you.” (christianity201.wordpress.com)
    Some will imagine Jesus as a Master renovator, but that is not really what is happening here. As one Bible scholar points out, Jesus “goes” and His journey begins at the cross. It is there that the preparations begin. It is there that we find, not the Master Renovator, but the Master Redeemer. There is wood and there are nails, but this project is like nothing Mike Holmes has ever tackled. This is not about Jesus making the afterlife fit for us, but about Jesus making us fit for eternal life with God. It is about Jesus dying on the cross so that we could live with God in His home. It is about Jesus rising from the dead, so that one day we will rise to discover that

    the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; (Revelation 21:3 NRSV)

  • I Have Sinned (4110fearnot.wordpress.com)
    Everyone sins; everyone falls short (Romans 3:23). That’s the bad news. But the good news is that Christ Jesus has built a bridge over the gap that was created by sin. God is holy and He can’t stand sin—sin is anything against God. So as we sin, we are moving ourselves away from God. The blood of Christ was poured out for each one of us to have a way to be righteous (right with God). Only if we believe in Him are we saved from the sin punishment. Even so, we must continue to repent for our sins and recognize our constant need for Jesus Christ.
  • The Essene Gospel of Peace: The Early Teachings of Christ – part 2 of 3 (vaticproject.blogspot.com)
    The Essenes left Jerusalem  to rid themselves of the pagan influences of the Greeks and the Romans, after founding a community of like minded essene worshippers, at the Dead Sea.   These teaching were apparently an extension of the 2 greatest commandments about love and the rest of the 10 commandments.  Some of the sayings in here we have heard or read many times before and were the foundation for our legal system.
  • Empowering Thought for Today: Strategies Satan use against your Prayer Life! (crosbyp12003.wordpress.com)
    rayer is more than words and time.  Prayer is action!  Prayer involves faith and faith without works is dead( scripture).Prayer is the most attacked by the kingdom of darkness. Prayer tears downs strongholds and invisible kingdoms. If a believer has no prayer life it’s like saying they have no oxygen and connection to their lifeline.
  • Look – the Messiah! (betsybeadhead.com)
    People will say ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ Don’t listen to them or go where they show you. False messiahs and false prophets will gain prominence and will mislead a lot of people by performing great signs and wonders. Even the elect are at risk of being led astray by them.”
  • Treasure in a Suitcase (blueskiesandlollipops.wordpress.com)
    The life Jesus lived was of one brings Heaven’s reality to earth, of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. When there was lack, He brought provision. Where there was affliction, He brought freedom. When there was sickness, He brought healing. Where there was death, He brought life. Bill Johnson wrote this “What is free to operate in Heaven – Joy, peace, wisdom, health, wholeness, and all the other good promises we read about in the Bible – Should be free to operate here on this planet.”

The Father's Heart

“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Deuteronomy 7:9NKJV

The Lord is faithful to His word and to every promise.  This is why it is so important for us to be in the word every day reading it and meditating upon it.  God’s word is filled with promises and testimonies of individuals who trusted in the Lord with all their heart and that He was faithful every time.  His word is the food and sustenance of our spiritual lives.  We must feed on it daily.

The enemy will often times come to us and lie to us and tell us that the things the Lord has promised us and created us for will never come to pass.  They are simply lies and every lie of…

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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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Filed under Lifestyle, 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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Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Universe exist already a long long time, and it shall continue to exist for a much longer time. Human beings in that universe have a lot of limitations. We are chained by our confinements. We do not like to have restrictions imposed on us and lots of people do think they can do a lot or even do think they can play for god.

We as perishable persons may look around us and either see the beauty of creation or miss it all. What is important that we should come to see the Hand behind everything. All being created in the likeness of the Divine Creator have not their eyes open to see their origin or to understand the ways of life.

For coming to insight it is important that people help each other. We have developed education centres and got printing and other media aids to provide educational material.

English: Rabbis Lesson with kids

Rabbis Lesson with kids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some two thousand years ago there was a simple man of flesh and blood in the Jewish community who warned the people around him that they better took account of what the previous rabbis told. The world had got prophets, men send by God, who gave warnings, but not many wanted to listen. With that prophet 2000 years ago it was not much different. He was considered a ‘stand in the way’ and therefore killed. Though making his mouth shut down, did not end his teachings. His disciples continued to go around wherever and whenever they could. They followed a big lesson they had learned from their master rabbi: going out into the world to preach the Good News of the Coming Kingdom of God.

Today Jeshua, as this rabbi was called (today better known as Jesus) is till alive in many hearts. Several people came to see what his death really means for the world. The eternal God, Who cannot die, told the world that there in the river Jordan was standing “His only beloved son“, given to the world to bring salvation. By the Grace of God, Jeshua his offering of his body is accepted as a ransom for us all.

But the story may not end there. The master teacher who had only a very short public life of three very active years, has asked his followers to continue in his footsteps. And there seems to lie a big problem. Not many do want to go out and preach in the name of Jesus.

Today it does not seem to be very much different than in the times of Jeshua. There are loads of discussions about the position of the Torah on issues that are out of date with our modern sensitivities. There are people who also come to see that there might be rituals which are supposedly similar to pagan festivals of the time. The reason for this is that often it were people who liked so much certain attitudes that they took over certain attitudes and feasts. But we always should consider if they would be something God would like to see.

It becomes more and more important to get to know what the Divine Creator really wants from us and what His Plans are. the task Jesus has given to his disciples has become more vital. It should be an essential part of the life of a follower of Christ (a Christian). Being Christian should mean that you are prepared to follow Christ his teachings and are willing to live according his rules (The Law of Christ)

Coming together, exhorting each other and preaching the gospel should be the core-business of a Christian.

Some may be convinced that a religion has to give to the people what they want to find, not having to change too much their life. Lots of people want that they get something familiar to hold onto? Perhaps they could call it “God modelled” “His new religion” after existing practices.

There is an established principal in Jewish thought (and a logical one as well) that “The Torah speaks in the language of man.” Among other things, this means that the Torah speaks in the context of the time in which it was given and in a way that is appropriate for the people of the time. Many of the commentators write that God had to gradually wean a pagan slave population off of it’s pagan ritual and belief system. It would not be effective for God to create brand new rituals that have no meaning for the worshipers. To give a silly example, if God were to create a brand new religion now, he would not create one where worship of God is done by standing on one’s head 5 times a day.{Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?}

People have to come to understand it is not God Who has to adapt to them but that they have to come closer to God knowing Him and following up what God wants us to do.

To get to know what God really wants from us, we best look into what He has given the world to get to know Him better. God has given His Word for all mankind to find Who He is, what He wants and what we can do to come to Him and to become Children of God.

People write history or similar for a reason; what someone did may not be as important for their memory as what someone later needed to do with it. Jeshua his followers had their own worldly job, but they knew how urgently needed was their preaching, telling others about the works of their master teacher. Whether or not all these who tried to bring the gospel to others were really talented orators we probably can’t tell. In a certain way it does not really matters. What matters is that they got the message across.

Also today, you may perhaps not be so eloquent, or not so good in many languages, but you should know you too can have a story to tell. Everybody can help to contribute getting the news of the coming Kingdom spreading all over the world.

Many may think it is sufficient when they preach in their own church. For them it is sufficient (they think) to give exhortations to their own church or ecclesia members. Many may find the opportunity to stand in front of congregations and crowds many times. How many time do they think about the responsibility they bear? Though may shall have the hope some of the people in the congregation will hear their voice and carry the thought with them to ponder.

But we do not have to preach for those who already believe. We do need preachers for those who do not yet know the truth. Those who do not know the importance of Christ yet, should come to know it. We need announcers of the Good News, not a bellman for the own flock or to bring just recreational or bad news, like the journal offers it every day over and over again.

It is true others may not understand the energy it takes to get up in front of others to proclaim God’s word and lots of people would call it a silly activity. But it is not what the worlds find interesting to do what we should do. The love of the world is not for the Holy Word. People are not interested in God, His Plans or His world. Though they should know it really matters to know Him.

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God - Bible time at Shunem

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God – Bible time at Shunem

Those who love God should not be afraid to come out for it. They should also trust Him, what He can do with them is they are willing to go to others to tell about Him and His son. They shall be surprised to come to feel the Hand of God in what they do, when they try to do it honestly. They can be surprised to feel how God can guide them and how God is willing to give His Power and presence in a mighty way. Often we shall be amazed at the insight He gives, the words He brings, the abilities we recognize, not because of our skills, but because of God’s power and presence within us.

Today time seems to be spares for everybody. Pastors and everybody else are busy.

They hardly have time to prepare their sermons every week while at the same time visiting, counseling, planning, fixing, etc. Ask most pastors what good theology books they’ve read recently and you’ll be greeted by blank stares. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

How many can, or better said, are willing to take time to come to study the Bible and to share their findings with others? How many are willing to come to a God-centered search and preaching?

In certain churches the priest may have the idea that:

Pastors who do not study theology tend to preach atheological sermons. They may be able to atomistically expound a text, but they will have difficulty connecting the text to the grand redemptive truths that give the texts weighty significance. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

but they forget that the essence is all in the Word of God and can be found when really looking in that word, not having to have had theological studies in universities. God Himself has provided everything in His Word to be found by every man, educated and non-educated. Man does not need a theological study to come to understand God His Word. They also do not a university tittle to go out preaching the gospel. Jesus nor his followers, except Luke and Paul, got high degrees or were known scholars. common people in the first century of Christianity took care that the word spread and that it could reach lots of people, from child, slave, uneducated up to educated people. Many came to know the truth by simple people who took their time to spread the news.

Van Til saw a definite connection between the study of systematic theology and the ability to preach the whole counsel of God. If a pastor is not well-versed in theology, he may shy away from Scriptures that his flock needs for growth in grace. Or worse, he may shy away from Scriptures his flock needs for spiritual and doctrinal protection.{The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

He also writes:

Many people believe that the basis and source of defending the faith is different than that of knowing the faith. That is, they believe that we do systematic theology by appealing to the Scriptures, and we defend our faith by appealing to reason or philosophy (since unbelievers don’t accept the Bible as the Word of God). {The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith}

Without being in the faith a person can not come over convincingly. The faith has to be in the veins and the spirit. When the person is wiling to give him or herself to the Words of God, those Words can feed him or her. It is in the Word of God that The Truth can be found and not in the words of human beings. Jesus wanted us to share that truth which we can find.

The distinctive of the presuppositional (or transcendental) approach to apologetics developed most extensively by Cornelius Van Til is its demand that Scripture be the starting point for all human knowledge, and that it be maintained as such in a believer’s defense of the faith against attacks by unbelievers.The best apologetic defense will invariably be made by him who knows the system of truth of Scripture best. The fight between Christianity and non-Christianity is, in modern times, no piece-meal affair. It is the life-and-death struggle between two mutually opposed life-and-world views

Both seem to forget the Power of God, the Holy Spirit, Who is the One Who has to guide the speaker or preacher.  It is not as they say that

He who has not been trained in systematic theology will often be at a loss as to how to meet these attacks.

It probably shall not be easy, that’s sure, but that we can see by theologians as well when they are brought down their pied de stall.

Van Till and

He may be quite proficient in warding off the attack as far as details are concerned, but he will forever have to be afraid of new attacks as long as he has never removed the foundation from the enemy’s position.

Those who go around telling about the prophets, Christ and the One who send all these men, should not consider the others as the enemy. Even when they may go in the position of attack, the one willing to preach for God shall be able to trust Him and would not have to worry man.

All those who come along and hear the words of the one who wants to preach in the name of God can either stop to listen or continue their way. Nobody should remain. Nobody is expected to take everything for what and how it is said. The preacher when he does not find the ground fertile, finds no one to listen can and shall continue his or her way to go further trying to reach people who are willing to listen and who are willing to investigate and to take the Word of God to compare with what is said.

Van Til starts stepping on toes:

The church will have to return to its erstwhile emphasis upon its teaching function if it is to fulfill its God-given task of bringing the gospel to all men. Its present recourse to jerky evangelism as almost the only method of propaganda is itself an admission of paupery…Revivalists ought to make themselves unnecessary as quickly as possible.

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

We only can hope Van Til was pleading for a return to a comprehensive instruction in sound doctrine, (what he and other  theologians may understand by that?) that would provide the foundation for both a deep and strong faith, and a solid foundation for a robust defence of the faith against attacks.

We are convinced that regular Bible reading (perhaps according to a strategic plan) is the right foundation for successful Bible study. And the principles of accurate interpretation will take that Bible study to the next level of spiritual blessing and benefit. Each person willing to get to know God and His works shall find the answers to his and others questions by reading God’s Word. True biblical sermons or exhortations don’t drive the biblical text, they are driven by the biblical text. Scripture speaks for itself.

But preaching is not all about giving sermons or exhortations it is also by showing your heart to others and letting others feel how vibrant the Word of God makes you. Feeling humbled by the privilege to study Scripture and teaching it to others we should love seeing God working out and confirming His calling on others, having us nearby them to give them our hand to go together on the path of God.

We should not be afraid to go out in the world to tell others what we do believe about the Creator and His son.

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Find also to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  5. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  7. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  8. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  9. How should we preach?
  10. Our way of life
  11. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  12. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  13. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  14. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  15. Belonging to or being judged by
  16. Holland Week of billing
  17. Trying to get the youth inspired
  18. When discouraged facing opposition
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  21. The Involvement of true discipleship
  22. Testify of the things heard
  23. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  25. A Voice to be heard
  26. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  27. Blogging for Jesus…
  28. Our openness to being approachable
  29. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  30. Words to push and pull
  31. Good or bad preacher
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. How should we preach?
  34. Breathing and growing with no heir
  35. Breathing to teach
  36. Bringing Good News into the world
  37. Reasons to come together
  38. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  39. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

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Find additional literature:

  1. Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?
  2. Messages will be spoken! (Micah 3:8)
  3. The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith
  4. The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors
  5. Common Interpretive Pitfalls
  6. Seminar CXLIX: the importance of being eloquent in the Italian Church
  7. Van Til the Evangelist
  8. Van Til the Street Preacher
  9. Jehovah’s Message
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  12. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  13. On Preaching “To the Men”
  14. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  15. How to Spread the Gospel
  16. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  17. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  18. Preaching is a two-way street
  19. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  20. What do you need…?
  21. Preach It, Sister!
  22. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings

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  • Who Is a Jew? (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Jews argue about everything, including who is a Jew. Disagreements usually develop along sectarian lines. Reform Jews are willing to accept into the tribe someone with a Jewish father and a gentile mother, but Orthodox Jews are not. Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis won’t even accept a child as Jewish when born to a devout Jewish mother from a donated gentile egg.All branches of Judaism allow for converts, but Orthodox Jews don’t recognize conversion of gentiles to Judaism unless that conversion is approved by a three-judge religious court comprised of three Orthodox men (usually rabbis), ritual immersion in a mikvah, and a commitment to perform all the Torah’s commandments according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law.
  • Generosity, Stewardship, and Living in God’s Economy (wawalker.com)
    So despite our smallness, our apparent insignificance, human beings are set apart and given a unique role. God gives us dominion over the earth and we’re to be stewards of it. It’s been entrusted to us. We’re to be a stewards, meaning we’re to be managers or overseers — caretakers — which means our responsibility is to do exactly what the owner wants us to do with the things that are not ours but Owner’s. The things that are God’s. So as it turns out, in spite of some obvious limitations, we nonetheless possess a certain degree of great power and freedom — and — responsibility, as stewards. Because Human beings have the capacity to do things that no other creatures can’t do.
  • Beware the Error of Replacement Theology! (pilgrimpassing.com)
    These are challenging and confusing times. With all the numerous and varied “winds of doctrine” that are blowing around us these days, many Christians find it difficult to discern the difference between truth and error. Here at CJF Ministries, one error we frequently encounter is Replacement Theology. Actually, it’s nothing new: in fact, it’s been around for centuries. Some of its roots are traceable to the writings of some of the Early Church fathers. And even today, oddly enough, this pernicious error is taught as a fact in many Bible colleges and seminaries worldwide. So let me ask you – how much do you know about Replacement Theology? If you were called upon to refute it, could you?
  • Interview with Yoel Glick – Part 2 (kavvanah.wordpress.com)
    Rabbi Yoel Glick just released a book  Living the Life of Jewish Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience. The book is billed as  a “comprehensive guide to meditation as a way of life draws on the knowledge of the East to vitalize and illuminate traditional Jewish practices in a whole new way.”

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Knowledge & Wisdom, Religious affairs

Love and forgive this friday

Everyday again we should remember that some 2000 years ago a man was willing to do that what his Father in heaven wanted to be done, and offered himself as a lamb to wash the world of the gravity of sin by his blood.

Still every day we may have to face many struggles, pain, sorrow and many minor and big problems. Often we may see things around us which can annoy us, sometimes people may work on our nerves, but then we see that Light of the Lamb of God that showed us the way to treat others and to step over our boundaries of limitations.

Though living in this world we have decided not to be part ‘of this world’. From our inner soul the light of Christ Jesus, who died for us, is able to transpose us and to bring us to greater waters where we can swim forwards to to ‘isle of rescue’.

In the land prepared by Christ we are to be the example for others, so that they could see how we can be united in peace and show each-other brotherly love. We do have to show those around us that we are not the ones to judge. But we are the ones who are willing to forgive and to reach out our hand of loving-kindness and helpfulness, so that we with many can go together on the way to the opened gate of the Kingdom of God.

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Find additional reading:

  1. Poetry of Peace
  2. Your struggles develop your strengths
  3. Pain and Suffering is inevitable but Misery is optional
  4. From pain to purpose
  5. Compassion and Discipline
  6. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  7. A Great Gift commemorated
  8. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  9. Servant of his Father
  10. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  11. The day Jesus died
  12. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  13. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  14. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  15. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  16. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  17. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  18. Ransom for all
  19. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  20. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  21. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  22. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  23. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  24. God’s Comfort
  25. Promise of a Comforter
  26. Give your tears to God
  27. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  28. Change
  29. Growth in character
  30. Breathing to teach
  31. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  32. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  33. A New Jerusalem
  34. Judge not according to appearance
  35. Belonging to or being judged by
  36. Vengeance
  37. Forgiveness
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  39. Doest thou well to be Angry?
  40. Forgiveness always possible
  41. A man who cannot forgive others
  42. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass
  43. Love is like playing the piano
  44. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  45. The Greatest of These is Love
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  • Forgive? You’re Kidding Me, Right? (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    The concept of forgiveness can be a hard thing to digest.  If someone wronged us, granting forgiveness can feel almost as if we’ve been hit twice.  The first time when we were so generously issued the wrong-doing; the second when we struggled to set-aside our ill-feelings and extended the gift of forgiveness.  After all, he/she may have deserved anything but a gift.
  • A new identity (poetryjoy.com)
    God already sees us as perfected, beautiful and whole in Christ. The hard part is seeing, accepting and believing it for ourselves.
  • Un-forgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most. (lisconnect.wordpress.com)
    Free yourself, ask God for a forgiving heart.
  • How to Overcome a Bitter Spirit (familyencouragement.wordpress.com)
    There are devastating consequences in the personal life and relationships of a bitter person.   The Bible speaks about the development of bitterness in Ephesians 4:31 and the following verse deals with it’s consequences and solution.
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    God tells us we are to be “forgiving one another”.    This is the key to dealing with being resentful over past hurts.   Our bitterness and disappointment in people can only be resolved through forgiveness.   Period.   A bitter person refuses to forgive the offender.
  • Forgiveness (po11ycheck.wordpress.com) Reposted from Courageous Christian FatherForgiveness it can be easier said then done. Do you easily forgive others when they do wrong to you? Have you ever had anyone not forgive you and you wished they did? What does it mean to forgive?
    +
    Christ casted our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. Our sins were cast as far as the East is from the West. Our sins to be remembered no more. So where is the sea of forgetfulness? Well, it is a place that I wouldn’t want to know where it is. Because all is forgotten there. How far exactly is the East from the West? Well just think the Earth is round so, you can keep going and going. Just the same, God’s forgiveness keeps going and is everlasting. If God can forgive our sins, shouldn’t we? See Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13
  • Bible Verses to Comfort – It Hurts Me to Forgive – Forgiveness (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
    When we have been wronged by someone, a barrier is formed in our hearts. We put up a wall to the offense that hinders us from forgetting, letting go, and moving on.
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    Jesus said we should forgive unconditionally. In contrast, humans put conditions on forgiveness.
  • The first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest, the first to forget is the happiest. (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
    Actually, forgiveness is not only about others, but also about our own spiritual growth. Love and forgiveness cannot be separated. If we choose to live out the love of God as the purpose of our life, then forgiving is an option that cannot be avoided.
  • Forgive Us Our Sins…… (coarpk.wordpress.com)
    Some sins are more easily forgiven than others.  We can forgive a lie, depending on how big it is.  We can forgive a false word, as long as it’s not said against us.  We can forgive a little anger, as long as we weren’t embarrassed by it.  But what happens when the sin that we’re called to forgive is more significant.  What if someone steals from us?  Breaks into our house?  Hits our car?  What happens if someone takes the life of someone we love?  How do we forgive them?
  • Does the Bible say that you should forgive someone who does not repent? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    “It is a common human assumption that the violator of the rights of others must ask for forgiveness before the wronged party can be expected to accept the apology and grant forgiveness…But Jesus here asks the person wronged to forgive the one responsible for the wrongdoing when when there is no confession of guilt… There is a voice from the cross that echoes across history to all saying ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Neither Pilate nor the high priest nor the centurion offered any apology to Jesus, yet he prayed for divine forgiveness…(p.125)”
    +
    I think it is a helpful tool for people to insist on seeing some sort of repentance and restitution from someone who wrongs you before you trust them again. If they are not even sorry for what they’ve done, and they refuse to explain why what they did is wrong, then they can’t be forgiven, and you can’t trust them again.
    +
    When I raise that with the unconditional forgiveness crowd, they want to insist that there is a difference, that the word “forgive” means different things. I’m not convinced.
  • pure and light (madelineranda.wordpress.com)
    I let the enemy convince me my sins are trivial and he lulls me into complacency. he whispers that I’m fine and dandy, that we all live in darkness together and that is a-okay. But this morning as light flooded through my window, over a warm cup of coffee, my lonely and impure heart was brought a beautiful reminder speaking to both lies.
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sheetal sharma

Crown-of-Thorns-in-Color

Sunlight slits open the dark clouds,
Crushing down my sins and bondage alike.
With Him we too were crucified that day –
Not as mere slaves or rebels but as Sons.

Forgiveness like a Balm to to my bruises,
My heart and soul now rejuvenated –
Speak – “Let the inner voice choose –
Forgiveness over vengeance !”

Harsh neighbors unite,
Arch rivals dialogue,
Nations come together –
As citizens of Humankind.

Judge Not ,nor be judged.
Condemn Not,nor be condemned,
But forgive and be Forgiven,
For Love is the only Balm for my pains.

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Filed under Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs