Tag Archives: Sin

Don’t Harden Your Heart

When taken by grief and facing many disappointments the danger is that our heart becomes hardened and that we do not want to see the source any more of living water.

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Today we listen to Baptist preacher Shawn Thomas who knows that there can be “great” sorrow, and “unceasing” grief also for a Christian.

He remarks

Perhaps, contrary to all we’ve heard and been taught all these years, the measure of a godly person is not how “happy” they are all the time, but how unceasingly sorrowful, as they bear in their souls the burdens of the lost and hurting individuals around them. Those who do so are in good company: they are like Paul, and most importantly, they are like Jesus Christ Himself. Those who do not feel deeply the spiritual burdens of others cannot claim to be like Him who was characterized as “a man of sorrows.” {Are Good Christians Always “Happy”?}

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We may suffer emotions and shed tears more than once in our life. Every day we face the world we also must face that we do have to tackle the problems of the day, enduring at the sight of them.

Often, being wronged we ourselves fall in the trap of doing wrong to others. Or we leave ourselves be carried away by all the problems, agony and heartache, that our own heart becomes hard like a stone. Very great sadness and emotional suffering can tear us down or become a cancer in our life.

Facing this life we also do have to face the difficulties of it. We must know we have been given a library of books to guide us through that life in a way that we shall be able to bare those pains and difficulties. We often forget that when certain things happen we perhaps also where the origin of or causing the problem to ourself. Sometimes we are put back in place, corrected as if you were. sometimes it are others who remind us of what we are doing wrong.

The tendency of our proud human nature is to reject criticism and stick to our stubborn path. But we do so to our own harm.

There is time to “stick to your guns” and do what you know God is leading you to do. But we should also have an openness to listen to someone who sees that we are making a bad mistake and need to correct it. Blessedly, David had the wisdom and humility to listen to Joab, and then act — and he saved his kingdom as a result. May God give each of us the humility and grace to listen to loving criticism, and respond in a way which will benefit ourselves and others. {Responding To Correction}

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To remember

  • Those who have hardened their hearts will believe and do just about anything except turn to the Lord.
  • they believe Any likely (or unlikely!) alternative => they’ll take any other course of action, to keep from humbling themselves + having to repent of the sin that they are clinging to instead.
  • need to beware of any hardness of heart creeping into our own life

In light of these warnings:

  • — Don’t let
    a sin remain unrepented in your life
    a bitterness against someone remain unforgiven
    pride refuse to be humbled
    an area of disobedience stand

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Preceding articles

Our existence..

Facing our existence every day

Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!”

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Reminding myself!!

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

Ruth having reason to grief

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

Some Thoughts On Bitterness From Various Authors

Dealing with Disappointment

A Glory followed by Despair

Depression Is and When

Crying is good for inner self!!

I said God it hurts

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Additional reading

  1. Failing Man to make free choice
  2. A time for everything
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  4. If there is bitterness in the heart
  5. No time for immorality
  6. What Jesus did: First things first
  7. Be humble like Christ
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 2
  9. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

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Further reading

  1. non-failure is not equal to success.
  2. The Personal Priority of the Word
  3. The Revealing Nature of Mourning
  4. To the proud and worldly
  5. #4. What we reap
  6. Too Much Grace?
  7. Confident Humility
  8. Pride…
  9. They are Hard but Necessary

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shawnethomas

“Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.” (Matthew 28:11 NASB)

You have to ask yourself: just how depraved were these chief priests? The guard reported to them “all that had happened” — i.e., that the angel had appeared, etc. — didn’t they fear that this might really be a work of God? If Jesus could do this, was there any way that they could stop Him? And yet they schemed together (:12) and spread a lie about His body being stolen (:13-15) instead of repenting and believing in the Lord themselves.

There is an important lesson here:

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!”

When waking up every day we may be lucky to wake up, to face the day again. In the day we may perhaps encounter lots of things which surprises us and sometimes we call out ‘good grief’

The young Garrick Sinclair “Ricky” Beckett, a U.S. Army veteran honourably discharged as a professional saxophonist in the Army Bands, currently attending Concordia University-Ann Arbor in the Pre-Seminary programme with a major in Christian Thought and a minor in Theological Languages looks at a popular cartoon figure.

He writes

As he hears some bad news, Charlie Brown exclaims, “Good grief!” We often think of this as an oxymoron. Grief can’t possibly be good! {Good grief}

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the word grief we think of sorrow and distress, even of great mourning and affliction. When having bodily pain or when our mind is being hurt we can be grief stricken. Deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death or by trouble or annoyance grief comes over us. Grievance overmans us when there is a cause of such suffering or a deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement. We can come to grief but than it means we fail in something we’re doing, and may be hurt.

Mary Bringle also noticed

Even the cleverest boy could come to grief alone, in the night. {Collins dictionary on Come to grief}

In Dutch ‘grief’ is ‘verdriet’ and is connected to ‘lijden (suffering), ‘bedroefd zijn’ (grow sad, being sad, be sorry, sorrow) maar ook tot ‘afkeer’ (aversion, distaste, disgust, revulsion,repulsion, repugnance, loathing, abhorrence, abomination, scunner). When ‘come to griefwe founder, break down, collapse, fall through, flop (informal), be defeated, fall short, fizzle out (informal), come unstuck, run aground, bite the dust, and even feel that we go up in smoke, come to naught, not make the grade (informal)go down like a lead balloon (informal). In any case it looks like it turns out badly, us falling flat on our face, meeting with disaster. Stuck with grief we may be found lacking or wanting, facing a spiritual miscarry or misfire.

Some people sayGood grief‘ when they are surprised or shocked. When we face something that’s actually worth grieving over, we’re often overwhelmed.

From a ‘sukkelstraatje’ (being in trouble/in dire stratis) we can become ailing (sickly) with a ‘sukkelpartij’ (sucker party) receiving ‘zielspijn’ (agony, heartache, profound sorrow) or ‘zieleleed’ (sadness). That ‘zielesmart’ or ‘zielsverdriet’ (anguish, heartache,profound sorrow, misery, unhappiness),  ‘Weedom’ (woe), ‘hartenpijn’ ‘hartenleed’ (heartache, heartfelt grief, heartfelt sorrow, heartbreak), agony consumes us with grief.

We do know we have to cope with it, we have to conquer it or go over such grief.

It’s rather ironic that our culture views grief as a bad thing while it encourages grief over a lot of things. It is encouraged that we grieve over minimum wage, to grieve over what the White Man did to black people centuries ago during slavery, to grieve over what the government did to the indigenous peoples of America… {Good grief}

The savoury on our daily bread is not always pleasant. we may try to begin every day with gratitude, because all we have, has been given to us. This body, heart and mind, friendships, opportunities, challenges, family,… it is all given to us. But honestly we are not always pleased with the confrontation with it.

We may value family where we practice love and sharing.  We may value work where we share our passions and gifts. And most of all we would like to have a good health and value it.

img_4537As we align with gratitude, values, dharma,  and who we are as limitless conscious existence, every action we take becomes a contribution to the whole. {Why Are We Here?}

Getting up we notice we face the day and can fill it with words and deeds.

this world we touch but in words

words insulated in plated metal

this world we hold but in teeth

teeth estranged from heart’s palate {This World, A Seat}

Sometimes it looks like every day again we do have to start all over again, going back to these “manifold temptations,” which tour around our face. Every day there are so many things we do have to face, so many experiences we have to go through.

It can be anything in this life that tends to trouble us or haunt us that can bring grief over us.

something that hurts you at the most sensitive and delicate core of your soul, heart, and mind — things that tend to make you miserable.  How do we get past these things? {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – Introduction}

Facing each day we have to open our eyes and look at all things, seeing them in perspective, trying to understand what is really going on and what sort of place it deserves.

The danger is to just endure our troubles with groans and whines and complaints and not do anything to discover the remedy to the situation.  We come into the danger of thinking, “Why is God doing this to me?” {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – Introduction}

With “Ricky” Beckett we urge you not to think “why” these things happen to us, but rather to think what.

 Instead of thinking, “Why me,” think instead, “What can I learn from this?  What does God want to teach me?”  And then how:  “How will this make me grow closer to God?”  In short, other than the sinful condition of the world we live in, that is why we suffer — to learn something from God and to grow closer to Him, and then the “why” may reveal itself to you as God works out His progressive revelation in your life.  That’s the short answer, but now let’s discuss the longer answer. {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – Introduction}

Each day again, and again, we should be prepared to learn and to continue our road, up to a better world for us.

We are living in this world and walking on our paths under the eye of our Heavenly Father.

Say to yourself,

“There is a definite plan and purpose for my life.  God has examined me and has adopted me into His family.”

Why does He do this for us?  So that He may bring us into perfection (which is not acquired during this earthly life).  That is His objective — that you may “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29), as Jesus Christ will say, “Here I am with the children God gave Me” (Hebrews 2:13).  If we do not believe and recognise this fundamental concept of ourselves as Christians, then we are bound to go astray and misunderstand these troubles that happen to us as God’s children. {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – Introduction}

These days lots of people take some time to think about the death and remember the dead.

When death and disaster occur, we are so grief stricken that we don’t know what to do. While all this is going on, we avoid grieving over our sin, which the thing we should grieve the most. It is good to grieve over this because our sin alienates us from God. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). We should grieve greatly over this because the end of our sin is death. But fear not! The Romans verse continues, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Godly grief is good grief, for it leads us to repentance. Godly grief, or good grief, causes us to recognise our need for forgiveness—our need for Christ. By repentance we exercise faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and we are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).

Let us always remember that God may permit all these things we have to face, to happen to us and to the people around us, not for the purpose of making us suffer and watching us squirm, as some would like to believe, but rather in order to chastise us, which He enacts due to our complacency and for our failure.

In 2 Peter 1:5-7, the apostle writes that Christians are to discipline themselves and to supplement attributes to their faith, not merely to be content with minimal faith but for it to be forever increasing.  There are Christians who do not take heed of this exhortation and instead are indefatigable with their complacency and indolence.  As I understand New Testament doctrine, if we do that we should not be surprised if we start to experience troubles — that God perhaps begins to chastise us by shaking us off our shiftless butts. {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – Chastisement}

We ourselves are also not free from bringing grief to others. We must recognise that we too can do things wrongly. We too can bring pain to others and give them heartache or grief. Many Christians are convinced that as re-born people they cannot sin. But they are mistaken.

First John 3:9-10 says,

“Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.  This is how God’s children — and the Devil’s children — are made evident.”

 Now, it is easy to misinterpret this passage.  It is not saying that God’s children are incapable of sinning.  After all, even though we’re God’s children, we still sin.

St. John is saying that the one “born of God” — that is, baptised in the Holy Spirit — does not make it his life’s trade to sin.
The child of God does not make it his life’s priority to live in sin, as the children of the Devil do (e.g. the homosexual lifestyle, a murderous lifestyle such as ISIS or serial killers, etc.).

God’s children are not free from acts of sin, but the child of God does not commit to be a servant of sin, but rather a servant of God and His holiness.  Christians are not impeccable; they are simultaneously saint and sinner (simul iustus et peccator).  Sin lives within us, but the Christian is justified by faith (Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:24).  John is not speaking of sinless perfection but of a life imputed with Christ’s righteousness.

We can and shall have moments of weakness and shall sin. Afterwards we should repent, which is doing a work of faith. Only when we do such works of faith shall we be able to enter the Kingdom of God. When not willing to see what we have done wrong and not wanting to repent over the wrongdoing we shall not be allowed to enter through the small gate. The teshuvah or repentance is a necessary ingredient to come to God.

Knowing that God may have a particularly great task set for us we should wonder what we can do in the world God has prepared for us. Facing that world, where we are so many times tested, we should not mind having ourselves tested, when we are standing straight in our shoes, going for the One True God.

jonah-beach-whale-168772-printSo, one may have to pass through a certain trial because of some great task ahead that God has planned for them.  Think of any biblical character that had to endure such a trial.  The first person that comes to mind for me is Jonah.  He was running from God’s calling to preach to Nineveh, and as we know he was swallowed by a great fish; and upon repentance and accepting his calling, God saved his life by having the great fish spit him out onto the land to fulfill his calling.  Maybe a drastic example, but perhaps not as drastic as you might think.  Consider any whales of doubt you might have in your life and what God is doing to bring you through those doubts, or what you ought to let Him do. {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – God to Prepare Us}

Facing each day lying in front of us we best remember that we are given the opportunity to be here and that God knows what’s best for us and what we need to experience in order to get us where He wants us to be. Therefore let us give ourselves in His Hands and be thankfull that He was willing to accept the ransom offer from His son.

As our Heavenly Father, God may see the need for trials and prescribe the necessary tools that are destined to make us grow in Him for our own good. {Facing Trials: Why Do We Suffer? – God to Prepare Us}

With the knowledge that worldly grief produces only death because the world has no hope for a relief from their grief, we do have a better prospect in the hope given to mankind.

Worldly grief abandons the person who grieves. Godly grief is guilt over sin, which this guilt leads to repentance as the sinner recognises the necessity for forgiveness in Christ, which leads to salvation because the repentance we perform is exercised by this faith gifted to us, and it is through this gift of faith that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). {Good grief}

Perhaps we leave it to others to say ‘good grief’ when they see our endurance and come to see we want to present to the world a good example of a loving person, whatever happens to him.

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Preceding

Our existence..

Facing our existence every day

Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!

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Additional reading

  1. A world in denial
  2. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  3. Dealing with worries in our lives
  4. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  7. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  8. Suffering
  9. Offer in our suffering
  10. Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
  11. Suffering continues
  12. Suffering leading to joy
  13. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  14. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  15. Profitable disasters
  16. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  17. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  18. Every athlete exercises self control
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  23. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  24. Written to recognise the Promissed One

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Further reading

  1. Day By Day
  2. Grief
  3. Throw-back Thursday: Grief is a fickle foe
  4. Book Mark: Notes on Friends’ Grief
  5. Grief From Across The World 
  6. The Well of Grief
  7. The unspoken grievance
  8. The Five Stages of Grief
  9. Sad
  10. Memories…and Grief
  11. Deviant Deflections – Unrequited Love
  12. When part of you is missing
  13. No one tells you about the guilt..
  14. Monday Morning Grievance: The New Copier
  15. After Suicide
  16. How To Go On
  17. God I miss you. 
  18. Letter to you, my little one…
  19. That feeling 
  20. Heart Holes
  21. Waiting For The Dutchman
  22. Old Unfinished Post: The 5 Stages of Relationship Grief
  23. Grief embraces love
  24. 1 a.m. on the Borderline
  25. Inside the glacier of my mind
  26. Beautiful Reminders
  27. Beyond the grey clouds
  28. The Mercy of the Morning
  29. Here’s to better naked tomorrows
  30. It Is God’s Gospel
  31. (11/04/2016) Works of the Spirit?
  32. Forgiveness and Eternal Life Through Jesus Christ
  33. Does Working with Others Lead to Better Results than Acting as an Individual? L 41
  34. Leading by example
  35. Jesus Models Friendship
  36. Saints
  37. Mercy in giving
  38. 1 Timothy 4:12 (31.10.16)
  39. The stories we tell
  40. Eulogia
  41. “Conformity To The Will Of God”
  42. Advice… L38
  43. If You Really Love Me
  44. Life Changing Moments While Young
  45. Good Advice for Us in Today’s World
  46. Love as a god

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

The works we have to do according to James

 

“2  You must consider it the purest joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, 3 for you surely know that what is genuine in your faith produces the patient mind that endures; 4 but you must let your endurance come to its perfect product, so that you may be fully developed and perfectly equipped, without any defects.
5 But if any one of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask God who generously gives to everyone and never reproaches one with its lack, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith, without a doubt, for the man who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is whirled and swayed by the wind. 7 Such a man, indeed, 8 a person with two minds, unreliable in every step he takes, (1:7A) must not expect to get anything from the Lord.

9 Let the poor brother of lowly station rejoice in his exalted station as a Christian, 10 and the rich brother rejoice in his being on a level with the poor, because the rich will fade away like the flower of the grass.” (James 1:2-10 Williams)

“12 Blessed is the person who endures trial, for when he stands the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.

13  No one must say, when he is tempted to do evil, “I have a temptation from God to do evil,” for God cannot be tempted to do evil, and He never tempts anyone to do so. 14 But anyone is tempted to do evil when he is allured by his own evil desire and enticed by a bait. 15 Then evil desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is completed, it brings forth death.” (James 1:12-15 Williams)

“19  You must understand this, my dearly loved brothers. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to get angry; 20 for a man’s anger does not produce the uprightness that God requires.
21 So strip yourselves of everything impure and all the evils prevailing around you, and in humble spirit welcome the message which when rooted in your hearts is able to save your souls.

22 Keep on obeying this message; do not merely listen to it, and so deceive yourselves. 23 Because if anyone merely listens to the message without obeying it, he is like a man who looks in a mirror at his own face, 24 for he looks and then goes off and at once forgets how he looked. 25 But the man who looks at the flawless law that makes men free, and keeps on looking, proving himself to be, not a forgetful hearer but an actual doer of what it requires, will be blessed in what he does.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives himself, his religious worship is worthless. 27 A religious worship that is pure and stainless in the sight of God the Father is this: To look after orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep one’s own self unstained by the world.” (James 1:19-27 Williams)

“1  My brothers, stop trying to maintain your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious presence of God on earth, along with acts of partiality to certain ones. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, dressed in fine clothes, comes to your meeting, and at the same time a poor man clad in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the man who wears the fine clothes, and say to him, “Sit here in this fine place,” and say to the poor man, “Stand up, or sit there on the floor at my feet,” 4 do you not make improper distinctions among yourselves and prove to be critics with evil motives?” (James 2:1-4 Williams)

“8  But if you really observe the law of the King in accordance with the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as you do yourself,” you are doing right; 9 but if you show partiality, you are committing sin, because you are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
10 For whoever obeys the whole law, except to slip in a single instance, is guilty of breaking it all.

11 For He who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but you do commit murder, you are just the same as a lawbreaker.

12 You must continue talking and acting like people who are to be judged by the law that treats them as free. 13 For merciless judgment will be the portion of the merciless man; yet mercy will triumph over judgment.

14  My brothers, what good is there in a man’s saying that he has faith, if he has no good deeds to prove it? Such faith cannot save him, can it?

15 If some brother or sister is thinly clad and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to him, “Blessings on you, keep warm, eat until you have a plenty,” without giving him the things that are needed for the body, what good does it do?

17 So faith by itself, if it has no deeds to back it up, is dead. 18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have good deeds. Show me your faith without any good deeds, but I will show you mine by my good deeds.”

19 Do you believe in one God? Very well; the demons, too, believe that, and shudder. 20 But, O senseless man, are you willing to learn that faith without good deeds is worthless?

21 Was not our forefather Abraham shown to be upright by his good deeds, namely, by offering Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 You see that faith co-operated with his good deeds, and by his good deeds faith was made complete; 23 and so the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham put his faith in God, and it was credited to him for uprightness, and he was called God’s friend.”

24 You see that a man is shown to be upright by his good deeds, and not merely by his faith.

25 Was not even Rahab the prostitute shown to be upright by her good deeds, namely, by entertaining the scouts and sending them off by a different road? 26 Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without good deeds is dead.” (James 2:8-26 Williams)

“13  Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him show by his noble living that his good deeds are done in humility, which wisdom prompts. 14 But if you cherish bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop being proud of it and stop being false to the standard of truth. 15 This is not the kind of wisdom that comes down from above; no, it is earthly, human, demoniacal. 16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there will be confusion and all sorts of evil practices. 17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of compassion and good deeds, free from doubts and insincerity. 18 The harvest of uprightness is grown from the seed of peace by those who are peacemakers.” (James 3:13-18 Williams)

“1  What causes wars and quarrels among you? Is it not your different desires which are ever at war within your bodies?
You desire things and cannot have them, and so you commit murder. 2 You covet things, but cannot acquire them, and so you quarrel and fight. You do not have them, because you do not ask for them. 3 You ask and fail to get them, because you ask with evil, selfish motives, to spend them on your pleasures.

4 You faithless wives! Do you not know that the friendship of the world means enmity with God? So whoever wants to be a friend to the world puts himself down as an enemy to God. 5 Or, do you think that the Scripture means nothing when it says, “He jealously yearns for the Spirit that He causes to dwell in your hearts”? 6 But He gives a greater spiritual blessing. He says, “God opposes haughty people but blesses humble people.”

7 So then, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will fly from you.

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Get your hands clean, you sinners. Get your hearts purified, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable, mourn, and weep aloud. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you high.

11  Stop talking against one another, brothers. Whoever is in the habit of talking against a brother or of criticizing his brother is criticizing and condemning the law. But if you are in the habit of criticizing the law, you are not a practicer but a critic of the law.
12 There is but one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who has the power to save and to destroy; then who are you that you presume to judge your brother?” (James 4:1-12 Williams)

“7 So be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer keeps on waiting and waiting for the precious crop from his land; how he keeps up his patience over it until he gets the early and the late rains.
8 You must be patient, too; you must put iron into your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is close it hand. 9 Stop muttering against one another, brothers, so as to keep from being judged yourselves.
Look! The Judge is standing at the very door. 10 As an example of ill-treatment and patience, brothers, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:7-10 Williams)

“12  Above all, my brothers, stop swearing, either by heaven or by the earth, or by anything else. Let your “Yes” mean Yes, and your “No,” No, so as to keep from falling under condemnation.

13 Is any one of you suffering ill-treatment? He should keep on praying. Is anyone in a happy mood? He should keep on singing praise to God.

14 Is anyone sick among you? He should call in the elders of the church, and they should pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer that is offered in faith will save the sick man; the Lord will raise him to health, and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

16 So practice confessing your sins to one another, and praying for one another, that you may be cured. An upright man’s prayer, when it keeps at work, is very powerful.” (James 5:12-16 Williams)

“19 My brothers, if any one of you has wandered away from the truth, and someone brings him back, 20 you may be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from his evil ways will save the man’s soul from death, and cover up a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 Williams)

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Part of Dutch version / Gedeelte van de Nederlandstalige versie: De aanduiding door Paulus en Jacobus van de werken die wij horen te doen

Preceding articles

  1. Leading people astray!
  2. Restitution
  3. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  4. Luther’s misunderstanding
  5. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  6. Our life depending on faith
  7. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  8. Is Justification a process?
  9. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  10. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  11. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  12. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  13. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  14. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  15. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  16. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  17. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  18. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
  19. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

 

“1  My brothers, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. 2 For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your synagogue, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; 3 and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, “Sit here in a good place”; but you tell the poor man, “Stand there,” or “Sit by my footstool”; 4 haven’t you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4 NHEB)

“But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts?” (James 2:6 NHEB)

“But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.” (James 2:9 NHEB)

“For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13 NHEB)

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?” (James 2:14 NHEB)

“17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. 18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, foolish man, that faith apart from works is useless?

21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In like manner was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:17-26 NHEB)

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The Works (Faith No More album)

The Works (Faith No More album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Christadelphian Agora comments:

“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did” (James 2:22).
“An old Scotsman operated a little rowboat for transporting passengers. One day a passenger noticed that the good old man had carved on one oar the word ‘Faith’, and on the other oar the word ‘Works’. Curiosity led him to ask the meaning of this. The old man, being a well-balanced believer in Christ, and glad of the opportunity for testimony, said, ‘I will show you.’ So saying, he dropped one oar and plied the other called Works, and they just went around in circles. Then he dropped that oar and began to use the oar called Faith, and the little boat just went around in circles again — this time the other way around, but still in a circle. After this demonstration the old man picked up Faith and Works and wielding both oars together, sped swiftly over the water, explaining to his inquiring passenger, ‘You see, that is the way it is in the believer’s life. Works without faith are useless, and faith without works is dead also, getting you nowhere. But faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing’ ” (Maritta Terrell).

Peter Cresswell comments:

v.9 As a community (speaking generally) we are condemned by our inability to work out this maxim in our practical lives. There are those who genuinely are prepared to preach to anyone and accept anyone, but I think if we are honest, most of us are not happy with this teaching. A moment’s reflection on it today then will do no harm. Would we, for example, like Jesus in John 8:3-11, accept the repentance of the prostitute (which is seems this woman was) so readily? Lev.19:15

Peter Forbes  comments:

2:1-4 It is said that we form an impression about someone within a few minutes of seeing them. We have not had enough time to assess their character and yet we make decisions which may colour our view for the rest of our lives. It is really clear why God does not judge by outward appearance – 1Sam 16:7 – we should emulate His approach.

2:4 So we see that partiality which starts by looking on the outward appearance – see 2:2– is in reality judging the way others think.

2:4  Partiality is a consequence of being ‘double minded’ as mentioned in James 1:8

2:5 In speaking of ‘the poor of this world’ James echoes Paul’s comment about men of faith – Heb 11:37 . One cannot but wonder how we would have reacted to some of the men and women of faith if we had seen them in the street.

2:6 Continuing thoughts on our contribution for June 8th James asks his readers to think on the realities of their experience. The very ones that they would revere were the ones who were their persecutors!

2:6     ‘despised’ <818> is translated ‘shamefully’ Luke 20:11 and ‘dishonour’  John 8:49 showing that James is reproving the brethren for denigrating the ‘poor’.

2:9 That we should show ‘no respect of persons’ draws on the Law of Moses and is seen extensively in Scripture. Here are some occasions. Leviticus 19:15 Deuteronomy 1:17 16:19 2 Samuel 14:14 2 Chronicles 19:7 Proverbs 24:23 28:21 Romans 2:11 Ephesians 6:9 Colossians 3:25 1 Peter 1:17 No matter how one dresses up the prejudice against the poor and favour toward the well dressed it is a violation of the Divine law. Actually it manifests pride. We like to identify with the rich in this world rather than the poor.

2:11   James here clearly shows that there are no degrees of sin. Sin is sin. Agreed the consequences of some sins is greater than others insofar as our actions impact upon other men. However any sin violates God’s principles.

2:13 These words of James draw upon the teaching of Jesus in Matt 7:2

2:14-17  I suppose one could summarise what James is teaching here by saying “talk is cheap”.  It is ever so easy to talk about how we love and serve God. It is far harder to simply get on with doing that.

2:21-23  We notice that Abraham was “justified” in Gen 15:6. However it was many years later when he was willing to offer Isaac – Gen 22:9 – which demonstrated his faith. So, even though God saw Abraham’s faith no man could have seen the evidence of Abraham’s faith. But God knew in advance that Abraham had faith.

2:23    There are two earlier occasions when Abraham is called God’s friend – (#2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8)

2:23 How would you like to be called ‘the friend of God’? Such is the description of faithful Abraham – he believed that God would keep His word and so acted upon that knowledge. So we know the way to friendship with God.

2:23 There were quite a number of years between the statement in Gen 15:6 that Abraham believed God and his offering of Isaac. Faith is not a ‘flash in the pan’ activity.

2:25 The inclusion of Rahab as one who was justified by faith is a powerful testimony to the truth that observance of the law of Moses is not a pre requisite for pleasing God. A powerful lesson for Jews.

Michael Parry comments:

James exhorts against favouritism in our assembly.  Brothers and sisters should be treated equally in love and respect.  Do we naturally gravitate towards some and find it difficult to deal with others?  Of course we do.  But let us remember the example of Jesus.  Although He was drawn affectionately to John (John 19:26; 21:20), He still treated His betrayer Judas with love (Matt 5:44).

A point about verse 19:  there exist no such supernatural entities as devils (or demons).  What are being alluded to here are people possessed with demons (mental disorders).
There were demoniac people who recognized God and the Lord Jesus  (Mark 5:1-13, 16:9, Luke 4:40,41, 8:2).

Having scriptural knowledge, understanding, and faith means nothing unless it is translated into Godly action.

V.8 James is the only one to use the phrase royal law.  Loving one’s neighbour is the second part of the greatest law (Matt 22:37-39).  The first part concerns the love for God who is King over all – hence James’s royal reference.

V.12 James also talks of the law of liberty. No longer is anyone judged under the Law of Moses.  But, the moral commandments under the Law are carried forward and form part of the Commandments of Jesus.  It is expected that believers follow these commandments willingly.  Believers will be judged on their adherence to these laws.

John Wilson comments:

V.18 James introduces a third person into his explanation of faith and how it works by love. The third person is able to give a practical demonstration of his faith. James’ humility would not permit him to set himself forth as an ideal representative of a living faith. “I will show thee my faith by my works”  A practical demonstration of a motivating force that is greater than the individual himself, by which “he overcame the world”  (1John 5:4).

2:25 With the example of Rahab; along with that of Abraham (V.21,23), we would suggest is used by James to show the universality of the principle of faith that he was writing of. Abraham was the Father of all the Jews; Rahab was a Gentile who was converted. She was weak and sinful, but triumphed by faith. Not unlike what Paul wrote Gal 3:28.

2:26 Faith without works is like a corpse; there is a body, the substance of which is undeniable, but it is a dead body, and unless the breath of life enters into that body, it remains inactive and ineffective. Unless faith issues forth in a practical demonstration of a way of life which is pleasing God, it is a corpse without life, and incapable of imparting it.

Roger Turner comments:

v 5 First Principles>Kingdom of God>Gospel concerns God’s Kingdom
The Gospel preached by Jesus and the Apostles concerns the Kingdom of God.
2. Invitation for men to participate
Matt 25:34, Luke 12:32, 1Thess 2:12, James 2:5, 2Tim 4:1,8, 2Pet 1:10,11, Rev 2:26,27
For more about the Gospel concerning God’s Kingdom go to Matt 4:23 

Valerie Mello comments:

James 2:17

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

The apostle Paul defines faith as, “… the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). Faith may be further defined as having a confident belief, value, or trustworthiness of a person, which does not necessarily rest on logical proof or material evidence.

This kind of faith requires development, and if we are not prepared to spend time in developing it, we shall not obtain the kind of faith that pleases God. The more we consider God’s actions in the past, and see His prophecies vindicated in the present, the more we come to learn to value Him, trust Him, and put our faith in Him concerning events not yet fulfilled, but promised by God.

This is a true story about a captain commanding a passenger ship who was sailing from Liverpool, England to New York. His family was on board with him. One night when everyone was sound asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all scared, and the captain’s frightened eight-year old daughter asked, “What’s the matter?” Her mother explained that a sudden storm struck the ship. “Is father on deck?”  “Yes, father is on deck,” answered the mother. On hearing this, the little girl snuggled back into bed, and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her father was at the helm! Our Heavenly Father is always at the helm! It is this kind of faith the Father is looking for in His children, and despite outward appearances, without this kind of faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6).

Wes Booker comments:

James 2:12,13.

What are some practical lessons and exhortations that we should try and practice in our lives in connection with what James is stating here – especially the last part of v. 13 – “Mercy triumphs over judgment”?

In thinking about a practical application of what James is exhorting us here, it’s important to keep in mind that within the pages of the Bible there are a number of very positive references to the idea of judgment. Though we might tend to immediately think of Christ’s words – “Judge not that you be not judged” (Mat. 7:1), there are a number of times where the flip side of the concept is there in such words as “judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24) and Paul’s words concerning the ongoing fornication in the Corinthian ecclesia – “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you” ((1 Cor. 5:12,13).

In the example that James uses following up his statement about mercy triumphing over judgment (v. 13) – in James 2:14-17 he gives the example of a brother or sister without clothes and daily food and what should be done by the ecclesia in that situation. What he doesn’t state is the reason for them to be in such a destitute situation. Was it due to things beyond their control? Or did they do certain things that brought this dire condition on themselves? Were they able-bodied and in a position to seek employment and get themselves out of this situation without having to come to the ecclesia for help? Whatever their situation was, James states categorically that the attitude that wishes them well without providing for their physical needs is an example of faith without works being dead. So the #1 priority of the ecclesia is to provide help when they have it within their power to do so. And, of course, the same should be true for individual believers in Christ.

The person or ecclesia who has it within its power to help and chooses to not do so really needs to have a really good Scriptural reason for not helping. And if there’s ever a question as to the rightness of a course of action, then the weight should fall on the side of mercy. And so with the seesaw effect, mercy comes up as judgment goes down. I remember reading years ago in one of bro. Islip Collyer’s books – I can’t remember which one it was – what he had to say on this subject. And it was so powerful that it really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here –

When a tough-to-decide situation comes up ecclesially where both sides – the severe and the lenient (merciful) – both have positive things that can be said for deciding in that particular way, I, for one, will always choose the side of mercy for this one simple reason. I know that on that great day of judgment, I will need all the mercy my Lord can muster on my behalf. So how can I go the other way? If I’m going to err, it is going to be on the side of mercy.

Robert Prins comments:

Illogical Really

When James spoke about people showing faith through the things that they did, he gave two examples. One of them was Abraham as he was about to sacrifice Isaac, and the other was Rahab, as she hid the spies and sent them off in a different direction.

Neither of these actions were really common-sense logical. After all, if you had been promised that your son was to be your heir, and the door to a multitude of descendants, it would seem stupid to kill him! And in the case of Rahab, when approached by people who were planning to flatten her city, it doesn’t seem right to hide and protect them.

But, both Abraham and Rahab had their eyes on something bigger and better when they acted in faith. Abraham was so sure God’s promises would be fulfilled, that he obeyed anyway. And Rahab was so sure of God’s strength, and that God was good to those who were good to Israel, that she put her own life in peril from the authorities in Jericho to put her trust in God.

What faith opportunities do we have in our lives? What about the opportunities to let God take vengeance rather than ourselves? What about forgiving others and trusting God for the rest? Or giving money or possessions away when asked? Or speaking out about our faith in God at an appropriate time?

Faith is seen in what we do. Let’s make sure God sees it in our lives.

Rob de Jongh comments

The bird resting on the patio

From v14 to v26 James explains how faith without works is dead. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, so perhaps an analogy may help.

Last summer we were on holiday in a cottage that had large glazed patio doors leading to a patio outside where the children watched birds hopping around. One day we came back from a trip out and our little boy said,

“Mummy. Why isn’t that bird moving?”.

We suspected the bird had flown into the glass and either stunned or killed itself, but we didn’t tell the child.

“Maybe it’s resting”,

we said, while earnestly hoping that the bird was going to get up at any moment and fly away.

Here was a small child who knew nothing about death, yet he recognised from the inaction of the bird that something was wrong. Later in the day when the children were elsewhere we took the bird and buried it beneath some overgrown bushes in the garden. As grown ups we knew that if it didn’t move for a half hour, it was probably dead. It was still a bird — recognisable even by a child, but what good was that? So it is with us. Any or all of us may be called a believer, confessing that God is one (v19), but if there is no action based on faith, it’s likely that faith isn’t alive in us:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26

But what can we do if we suspect this is so with us? The first step is to pray to God, confessing our lack of faith and asking for help. If we want to be alive, seek for it, and ask, we will have our faith revived, as promised in Luke 11:9-13.

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Preceding articles:

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

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

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Additional reading

  1. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  2. The sin of partiality
  3. The Greatest of These is Love
  4. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  5. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  6. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice

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Further related articles

  1. (01/07/2016) Salvation Only Through Christ?
  2. Partiality In The Church
  3. Christian Prejudice: Finding Answers to a Shameful Problem
  4. Human Rights Are Not “Common Sense” – They Are Christianity
  5. Is Jesus Partial? Colossians 3 verse 11
  6. “What is Christianity about?” by Michael and Susanne
  7. Today’s life is full of fakeness..
  8. The James Series: Surprisingly Equal
  9. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, cycle B
  10. Micah 2: Soap in studying the Bible
  11. Favoritism Forbidden
  12. Are We Partial?
  13. Friendship and partiality
  14. My Journey to Racial Reconciliation
  15. Can Faith Save You? Sermon by Keith, 6.14.15, Pentecost 3
  16. How To Beat The Competition?
  17. Facing Our Prejudices
  18. James: Favoritism
  19. The Book of James Chapter 2:1-9,12-13 (NKJV)
  20. 2:9 – But if you show partiality, you commit sin
  21. 2:13. For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.
  22. “Sunday Best”
  23. Partiality and The Law
  24. No Partiality
  25. What does the Bible say about partiality By…
  26. Mercy the missing piece
  27. Living Life Partially Impartial
  28. unjust justice
  29. How can you say God is not partial?
  30. Herrenhuter readings for Sunday, the 8th February 2015
  31. February 2 – Walking the Line
  32. Show No Favouritism. Show Mercy.
  33. Reflective Paragraphs Week 11 – James
  34. Losing Integrity Over Identity
  35. The imported and the favoured workers
  36. Playing Favourites in the Church. A Reflection on James 2:1-17
  37. Healing wilful deafness
  38. Daily Digest: Playing Favourites
  39. Disease favouritism
  40. Diminished
  41. Not Of This World
  42. How Important is Belief?
  43. Substance and Evidence
  44. Religious Literacy
  45. Bible-In-A-Year Day 33: Leviticus 16-18
  46. Death-Defying Faith.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

 

 

“1  Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Because first of all, they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 For what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 May it never be! Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written, “That you might be justified in your words, and might prevail when you come into judgment.” 5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do. 6 May it never be! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God through my lie abounded to his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 Why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, that good may come?” Those who say so are justly condemned. 9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written, “There is no one righteous; no, not one. 11 There is no one who understands. There is no one who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, there is not even one.” 13 Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit.” “The poison of vipers is under their lips”; 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17 The way of peace, they have not known.” 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19  Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, because in God’s forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time, so that he would be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is not he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:1-31 NHEB)

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File:Abraham.jpg

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac – Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656)

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

Our life depending on faith

Looking at the Bible reading for January 28

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

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

People trained in God’s ways

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

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

God not abandoning people

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

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

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

Jesus at one moment also cried to his heavenly Father saying

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

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

Not cancelling out Jehovah his faithfulness

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

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

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

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

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

Sayings we are saved and have to do no works

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

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

or to say

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

That’s pure slander. (Romans 3:7-8)

Same start for every one

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

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

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

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

Afraid for those coming in

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

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

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

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

Man incapable to govern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Working at a relationship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our eternal future “depends on faith”.

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

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Please do find also to read:

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

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Further reading

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

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

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

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

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

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

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

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

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

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

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saying that he did not confirm that

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Abortion — Not a Trouble-Free Solution

A tantamount to murder

Bill had grown up to believe that abortion was a serious sin, tantamount to murder. But his firm, decades-long stand softened in 1975 when this issue became personal. His girlfriend, Victoria, became pregnant, and Bill could not face the commitment of marriage and parenthood.

“I quickly opted for the convenient solution,”

admitted Bill,

“and told Victoria that she had to have an abortion.”

Pregnancy in the 26th week.

Pregnancy in the 26th week. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Bill called a convenient solution to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is not uncommon. A 2007 global study reported that in 2003 there were an estimated 42 million induced abortions worldwide. Women who have abortions come from every race and nationality, from a variety of religious backgrounds, and from every level of income, education, and age between puberty and menopause. If you were facing an unwanted pregnancy, how would you react? Why do so many choose abortion?

‘All I Could See Was One Option’

“I had just gone through a scary pregnancy and a hard birth, and there was a mountain of monetary and family stress,”

explained a 35-year-old woman.

“Then six weeks after the birth, I was pregnant again. We decided for abortion. In my heart I felt it was wrong, but all I could see was this one option.”

Women seek abortions for a variety of reasons, ranging from financial problems to a failed, perhaps abusive, relationship that results in their not wanting any further ties with the man. Or the pregnancy may simply not fit into the plans of the woman or the couple.

At times, abortion is chosen to protect a reputation. Such was true of the case reported on by Dr. Susan Wicklund in her book This Common Secret—My Journey as an Abortion Doctor. A patient of hers who was seeking an abortion confessed:

“My parents are very religious. . . . If I have a baby out of wedlock, it would be a mark on them. It would say to all their friends that their daughter has sinned.”

Dr. Wicklund then asked:

“Okay, so you’ve sinned in their eyes, but how do they feel about abortion?”

The girl confided:

“Oh, abortion. That’s totally unforgivable. But it’s the lesser evil because it would be a secret. If I have an abortion, [my parents’] friends in church will never know.”

Regardless of the situation, usually the decision to terminate a pregnancy deliberately is not an easy one. It is often intensely painful. But is abortion a trouble-free solution?

Consider the Consequences

A 2004 research study of 331 Russian and 217 American women who had an induced abortion revealed that about half of both groups felt bad after the abortion. Nearly 50 percent of the Russians and almost 80 percent of the Americans felt “guilt” over the procedure. More than 60 percent of the American women were ‘unable to forgive themselves.’ Since guilt is such a pervasive problem — even among those who do not consider themselves religious — why do so many young women still have abortions?

They often come under intense pressure to have an abortion. Parents, a mate, or well-meaning friends may encourage abortion as a lesser of two evils. This can lead to a hasty, ill-informed decision.

“However, after the stressfulness of the decision and the procedure have ended,”

explained Dr. Priscilla Coleman, an expert on the mental-health risks of abortion,

“women’s cognitive abilities return to normal, often ushering in feelings of pronounced guilt, sadness, and regret.”

This regret often centers on the question: Did the abortion terminate a life that already existed?
A report by the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion concluded that many pregnant women considering an abortion

“were misled into thinking that nothing but ‘tissue’ was being removed, and relate that they would not have had an abortion if they were told the truth.”

After an evaluation of the “stunning and heart-wrenching testimony” of 1,940 women who had abortions, the study concluded:

“Many of these women are angered by grief at the loss of a child they were told never existed.”

It also stated that

“the psychological harm of knowing she killed her child is often devastating.”

But what is the truth? Does an abortion merely remove some tissue from a pregnant woman’s body? Is an unborn child actually a living person while in the womb?

GIVING BIRTH VERSUS HAVING AN ABORTION

A 2006 study reviewed the life history of scores of women who became pregnant as teenagers. Half of them gave birth, and the other half had abortions. The study concluded that

“childbirth was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving psychological counselling services, less frequent sleep problems, and a lower probability of smoking marijuana when compared to abortion.” — Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Another report provided

“the results of the four largest record based studies in the world.”

What did these studies reveal?

“Women with a known history of abortion experience higher rates of mental health problems of various forms when compared to women without a known abortion history.” — Report of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion—2005.

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About this subject:

Should I Have An Abortion

My Choice (by Jezabel Jonson)

The Real ‘Choice’

“They Told Me What I Wanted To Hear” – Real Abortion Stories

The Things We Carry, by Penny

Not an easy decision to make

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

Stop Burning Rape Survivors at the Stake

How to heal after childhood sexual abuse

“Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga

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Additional reading:

  1. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  2. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  3. God does not change
  4. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  5. About lions and babies
  6. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  7. Always a choice

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Further reading:

  1. Things people say…. and don’t
  2. The Sexual Revolution hurts everyone, especially children
  3. On consent & choice; objectification & violence
  4. When Does Life Begin?
  5. New study: unborn babies are viable at 22 weeks
  6. Frozen Embryos, Parenthood, and Personal Property
  7. Abortion objectifies both women and children
  8. If the baby is part of the woman’s body…
  9. Mum whose unborn baby was cut out from womb shares ordeal …
  10. A Letter To My “Almost” Baby
  11. To My Children, That May Never Be,
  12. Diary Of An Unborn Child – Anon
  13. Letter to My Unborn Child – 7
  14. It’s your choice (Part 3)
  15. Why You Should Take Iodine In Pregnancy
  16. What is abortion?
  17. ABORTION: THE HARD AND SOFT OF IT
  18. Relentless War on Unborn Babies
  19. Abortion on Demand and Without Apology
  20. The Real Story of an Abortion
  21. Since Abortion Was Legalized in the U.S., Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Has Quadrupled
  22. A generation lost
  23. The Risk Factors Associated with Abortions
  24. Feminism, Patriarchy and Misogyny
  25. Celebrities, Activists Read Misognynist Anti-Abortion Tweets from Trolls
  26. Scott Klusendorf defends the pro-life view on the Unbelievable radio show
  27. Planned Parenthood executive admits abortion victim is a baby in fourth video
  28. Governor Scott Walker signs ban on pain-capable abortions
  29. Clinton-appointed judge rules that pro-life license plates are “patently offensive”
  30. Apologetics, Diatoms and the Flood, patriarchy, and more!
  31. Barbara Kay: Tough questions on the health risks of abortion remain
  32. The Damning Middle Path of Abortion Stances
  33. Nauru refugee and rape victim sent home after not making ‘quick’ decision about abortion
  34. Planned Parenthood attacks are the pettiest of politics
  35. Looking the Other Way!
  36. Churches That Don’t Speak Against Abortion Are Like 19th Century Congregations That Stayed Silent on Slavery
  37. Clueless
  38. Kansas court speeds handling of lawsuit over abortion law
  39. Proposed Bill Would Restrict Abortion Clinic Doctors
  40. The Story behind The Keyhole- Part 1
  41. Grandma Palin Couldn’t be Prouder of Her Pro-Death Stance
  42. Choosing a cursed life
  43. Connecticut court case takes up issue of when fetuses become people
  44. How Should Christians Respond to Abortion?
  45. Another Consequence of a Liberal Victory
  46. “Empty the Uterus”
  47. Bodies that matter. Bodies that don’t.

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

What Does The Bible Say About….Fornication?

In this article is looked at man having his desires expressed in physical actions. It looks at what man does with his body.

The article also warns us that our lives as Christians should be a living witness to others and that we cannot break the laws of God without hindering others from coming to Christ.

We must live our lives in purity before a sinful and wicked world. We should not be living according to their standards but according to God’s standard in the Bible. No couple should live together outside the bonds of marriage.

It reminds us that

As Christians, the goal of any relationship should be to cause the people in our lives to love and know the Lord better.

Today we may find lots of people just living together to have sexual pleasure, living to please their own lust and selfish desires.

This type of life style is destructive and especially so for children whose parents are living a bad example before them. No wonder our children are confused about right and wrong when parents degrade the sanctity of marriage by living together out of wedlock. How can living together cause children to love and honor God when their parents break the laws of God before them because they are lustful?

The dictionary meaning of the word “fornication” means any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery.

In the Bible the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit sexual intercourse.

The Bible also lists whore-mongers as fornicators.

What constitutes unlawful sex? Whose laws do we live by? Worldly standards or laws many times do not always line up with the Word of God. The founding fathers of various nations established many laws that were originally based on Christian standards and the laws of the Bible. However, through time they have drifted far from these standards and at the present our moral standards are shocking. Immorality is a world-wide epidemic. Societies throughout history and around the globe have embraced sexual standards that are called sins in the Bible.

The Bible must be our standard of what is right and wrong. We must change our standards if we do not want the wrath of God to fall on us.

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Preceding articles:

Part of a great team but also of gender discrimination

Reactions against those of the other sex

Leaven

Purposeful Inspiration

Retrieved from: Christ Unlimited Ministries

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

The dictionary meaning of the word “fornication” means any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery. In the Bible the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit…

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Filed under Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Leaven 

Patience in life is something difficult to master. Mastering what we see might look easier but often we let our eyes wandering to far away in our fantasy world. today too many want to make their fantasies felt and to be tried out in reality. Without screpules they use a person of the other sex or even of the same sex as a sex-object, an instrument to satisfy their own lusts.
A Christian is different against those who we may see around everyday boasting of their sexual adventurous, by not being of this world, choosing to live a pure life of pure love, where sex is only part of but not the main meal.

Everywhere around us we can see sexual misconduct and on the television screen such sexual conduct and having more than one partner, no matter what sex, is presented as something quite normal.

We should make the right choice and go for a proper relationship respecting the other. Once chosen for a sincere inner connection we should not look any more to find other intimate relations. Today we do find too many who like to flirt with the idea of searching for again an other partner.

Once the line is crossed, sin seems to almost have a power of its own, which drives us. If you have started investing in a relationship with someone who is not your spouse, or begun looking at things that you shouldn’t, or become physical with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé; it is time to Stop!

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Preceding articles:

Part of a great team but also of gender discrimination

Reactions against those of the other sex

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Jim Gallagher

1 Corinthians 5:1

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!”

God designed sexual intimacy as part of the marriage relationship. It is the most intimate of all acts and plays an important role in the love relationship between man and wife. In the book of Hebrews we are told, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled.” (Hebrews 13:4)

However, like so much of what God designed, men have distorted sex into sin. Today, a person that waits until marriage to be sexually active is ridiculed, women are treated as something to be conquered, and men revel in their vast number of sexual partners. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and with the advances in technology, is available at the touch of a button.

While we should…

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