Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sin: The Plague That Separates Us From God (Part 1)

Before I begin this post, let's get some definitions down.

Sin:

Wait! Time out!

I thought this would be a simple endeavor, but when I got to the page for "sin" at Dictionary.com, 17 results came up! Wow!!

You can go to the page to read all of them if you'd like.

With a bit of continued reading and research from that page, I found two things quite interesting.

My first discovery, was the immense difference regarding the explanation of the word "sin" in the 1897 Easton Bible Dictionary, vs. the more modern, secular versions of dictionaries.

Here's one example of a modern version:


Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1) - Cite This Source
sin1  [sin] noun, verb, sinned, sin‧ning.
–noun
1.
transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2.
any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3.
any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It's a sin to waste time. –verb (used without object)
4.
to commit a sinful act.
5.
to offend against a principle, standard, etc. –verb (used with object)
6.
to commit or perform sinfully: He sinned his crimes without compunction.
7.
to bring, drive, etc., by sinning: He sinned his soul to perdition.
[Origin: bef. 900; (n.) ME; OE syn(n) offense, misdeed; akin to G Sünde, ON synd sin, L sōns guilty; (v.) deriv. of the n., r. ME sin(i)gen, syn(i)gen, OE syngian, itself deriv. of the n.] —Related forms
sinlike, adjective
sin‧ning‧ly, adverb
sin‧ning‧ness, noun
—Synonyms 1. trespass, violation. 2. wrong, wickedness. 4. transgress, trespass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.



Further down on the initial page, I couldn't resist clicking on "the wages of sin" link. Here's what it said:


American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms - Cite This Source
wages of sin, the

The results or consequences of evildoing, as in She ate all of the strawberries and ended up with a terrible stomachache the wages of sin, no doubt. This expression comes from the New Testament, where Paul writes to the Romans (6:23) : "The wages of sin is death."

Today it is often used more lightly, as in the example. (bold mine)

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.


I wanted to include this "wages of sin" example because it so clearly indicates just how excruciatingly far we have drifted from being concerned about the consequences of our sin.

As the "American Heritage" dictionary so boldly claims, the "wages of sin is death" is used more lightly today?

Wow!

I will be sharing several days of posts (because it might be too long to do it all in one post) that will show the eternal mistake that will be made by people who don't take "the wages of sin is death" or the reality of the coming Judgment Day of God seriously.

Next, take a look at the 1897 Easton Bible dictionary definition and its explanation of sin:


Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary - Cite This Source
sin

is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God"
(1 John 3:4;Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24).

It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is

(1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and

(2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God.

Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters,
(1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and

(2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines.

The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin (Rom.6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15).

The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it, however, in no way makes God the author of sin.

Adam's sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it,

(1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and

(2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command.

By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works.

Original sin.

"Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation."

Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1Cor. 15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall.

Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e.,

(1) a state of moral corruption, and

(2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin.

"Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in,

(1) the loss of original righteousness; and

(2) the presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin.

It is called "sin" (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the "flesh" (Gal.5:17, 24), "lust" (James 1:14, 15), the "body of sin" (Rom. 6:6), "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18, 19).

It influences and depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam (Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7).

Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1;1 John 3:14).

The doctrine of original sin is proved,

(1.) From the fact of the universal sinfulness of men. "There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23; Gal. 3:22).

(2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life; man's apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16; Gen. 6:5,6).

(3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov. 22:15).

(4.) It is proved also from the necessity, absolutely and universally, of regeneration(John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17).

(5.) From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20).

Various kinds of sin are mentioned,

(1.) "Presumptuous sins," or as literally rendered, "sins with an uplifted hand", i.e., defiant acts of sin, in contrast with "errors" or "inadvertencies" (Ps. 19:13).

(2.) "Secret", i.e., hidden sins (19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul.

(3.) "Sin against the Holy Ghost" (q.v.), or a "sin unto death" (Matt. 12:31, 32; 1 John 5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of grace.

Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which means, as does also the Hebrew name, "clayey" or "muddy," so called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by Ezekiel (Ezek. 30:15) "the strength of Egypt," thus denoting its importance as a fortified city. It has been identified with the modern Tineh, "a miry place," where its ruins are to be found. Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns remain, and some few fragments of others.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Next, we will examine the term "plague."

First, the medical meaning and physical effects:


Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary - Cite This Source

Main Entry: plague
Pronunciation: 'plAg
Function: noun
1 : an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality : PESTILENCE
2 : a virulent contagious febrile disease that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia (Y. pestis syn. Pasteurella pestis), that occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms, and that is usually transmitted from rats to humans by the bite of infected fleas (as in bubonic plague) or directly from person to person (as in pneumonic plague) called also black death

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


[On a side note: The fact that advanced medical knowledge in the Bible helped solve the Bubonic plague can be read about here. When you get to the link, scroll down a bit.]

Next, the biblical meaning as well as the physical and spiritual effects:



Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary - Cite This Source
plague
a "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Num. 11:33;14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev. 13:3, 5, 30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Ex. 9:14).

Plagues of Egypt were ten in number.

(1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Ex. 7:14-25).

(2.) The plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-15).

(3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" (Ex.8:16-19).

(4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24.

(5.) The murrain (Ex.9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming.

(6.) The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third, was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27) "the botch of Egypt," A.V.; butin R.V., "the boil of Egypt." "The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it.

(7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; 105:32, 33).

(8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex. 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, _arbeh_, points to the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came.

(9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Ex.10:21-29). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen.

(10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Ex. 11:4, 5; 12:29,30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

[Keep that last sentence and the explanation of Passover in mind as you continue to read each part of this series.

A brief but very important point is revealed in the following excerpt:

"It was primarily a commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor.5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5)." ]



Now, putting all of these definitions and explanations together, we can see all the negative consequences of sin in both our physical, as well as spiritual lives. We see how it has separated us from our Creator, the Holy and Righteous Judge of the universe.

The Bible is the source that shows us the eternal consequences of living a life with sin remaining upon our souls.

In God's Word, we find out that there will be four judgments.

The question is, which judgment will you face?

[The following is based upon a sermon by Pastor John Hagee called "Judgment Day."]




Hbr 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

All men have an appointment to die, and then comes the judgment.

Pastor Hagee mentioned the many T.V. shows, like "Judge Judy" are popular today because people who have been wronged want justice.

He also mentioned a unique thought about the love for sports that we have in this country (as well as other countries, of course). He stated that one reason sports are so popular is because of the instant judgment at the end. One team or the other comes out as either "champs" or "chumps!" Kidding aside, isn't it true that we love victory but dislike defeat? Victory and defeat are the results of a judgment. Which team was more skilled that day to win?

Sometimes, people view the God of the Bible differently according to which Testament they read. They sometimes label the God of the Old Testament as the "God of wrath," and the God of the New Testament as the "God of love." Well guess what...He is both!

Psa 37:28 - For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.


Jhn 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.



Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;


Ezr 8:22
For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God [is] upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath [is] against all them that forsake him.


Ecc 2:26
For [God] giveth to a man that [is] good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to [him that is] good before God. This also [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

Nahum 1:2-8 gives God's description of Himself:


Nah 1:1
THE burden* against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Nah 1:2
God is jealous, and the LORD avenges;
The LORD avenges and is furious.
The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;

Nah 1:3
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The LORD has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.

Nah 1:4
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,
And dries up all the rivers.
Bashan and Carmel wither,
And the flower of Lebanon wilts.

Nah 1:5
The mountains quake before Him,
The hills melt,
And the earth heaves* at His presence,
Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.

Nah 1:6
Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
And the rocks are thrown down by Him.

Nah 1:7
The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.

Nah 1:8
But with an overflowing flood
He will make an utter end of its place,
And darkness will pursue His enemies.

Paul informs us that it's not "let's make a deal," with God. God tells us "THIS IS THE DEAL!"


2Th 1:7
and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,

2Th 1:8
in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Th 1:9
These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

2Th 1:10
when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe,* because our testimony among you was believed.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 instructs us to obey. Obey and you will receive blessings!


Deu 28:1
"NOW it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth
.
Deu 28:2
"And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

Deu 28:3
"Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

Deu 28:4
"Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

Deu 28:5
"Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Deu 28:6
"Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

Deu 28:7
"The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

Deu 28:8
"The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Deu 28:9
"The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.

Deu 28:10
"Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.

Deu 28:11
"And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.

Deu 28:12
"The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

Deu 28:13
"And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.

Deu 28:14
"So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Contrast those blessings verses with the verses that show what is wrought through not obeying:


Deu 28:15
"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

Deu 28:16
"Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

Deu 28:17
"Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Deu 28:18
"Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Deu 28:19
"Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

Deu 28:20
"The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.

Deu 28:21
"The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.

Deu 28:22
"The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.

Deu 28:23
"And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.

Deu 28:24
"The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

Deu 28:25
"The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Which group are you in?

Sometimes, I hear people claim that "they are a good person." Perhaps they think for that reason, God's judgment will never fall upon them. I usually direct such people to the "Am I good enough to get into heaven" test.

AM I GOOD ENOUGH TO GET TO HEAVEN?
ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH TO GET TO HEAVEN?
TAKE THIS TEST AND SEE!!


The Good Test

Let me know if you passed...

God is all-powerful and all-knowing. Just the fact that He is Creator of the universe tells us this. He is the God of Love, because Love is in His character.

He is also a Righteous Judge. He hates sin. As the Righteous Judge, His wrath is justifiable. Many misunderstand what God's wrath is and what it represents. They make the error of thinking it means "temper out of control." The real meaning is "deep, intense anger and indignation" towards something. His wrath is against sin. He will never tolerate sin. This is why it pleased God to take out His justifiable wrath upon Jesus in order that we may be saved!

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

That verse tells us that God has a zero tolerance for sin. As the Righteous Judge, if God didn't judge sin, then He would be a liar!

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;


Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

We can see from those verses that it's not according to others opinions, but to what you have done.

Obey the Lord? = Blessings
Disobey the Lord? = It's your choice and thus you will suffer the consequences of judgment.

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

That is a difficult verse in this "politically correct" world we live in.

God's wrath is an expression of his justice. He is loyal to His Word. That is why we can trust Him absolutely!

But people today prefer "political correctness."
People today want "tolerance" for anything and everything.
People today want the "pleasure of sin."
People today want to enjoy "moral relativism."
People today want to preach only the love part of the Gospel without the uncomfortableness of acknowledging the death penalty that Christ suffered at the cross for their sin. [See Beware the crossless gospel.]

The bad news of our plague of sin on our souls must be revealed, confessed, and repented of before the Good News of the Gospel can bring salvation to our souls!

Pastor Hagee mentioned that while he was preaching in California, a man stood up and said, "you can't preach like that here!" The man was obviously a student of the "crossless gospel" and did not want to know the whole truth....only that which made him feel "good." But the truth of the gospel reveals the bad and the ugly, too.

We can't pick and choose from God's Word! You have to take it all! It's an all or nothing proposition! Jesus asks us, "who do you say that I am?" How we answer that question determines our eternal destination when this brief life on earth is over. You can't "pick and choose" various answers to that question. We have many chances while on this earth to get the answer to that all important question correct. After our physical death, there are no second chances! Either your name will be written in the Book of Life or not!

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The Book of Life is mentioned in several scriptures:

Phl 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and [with] other my fellowlabourers, whose names [are] in the book of life.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

*******
(to be continued...)

Next: It's the "knowing" factor that determines judgment.

25 comments:

ebsfwan said...

Hi Christine,

You have convinced me. I am a sinner.
I wish to sin no more.

Could you please tell me which parts of the Bible I must obey and which parts I must ignore?

Someone I know told me that "the The Bible doesn't approve of everything it records. It is an honest book and therefore, records the sinful deeds of beings, including man and the fallen angels."

jfschnell said...

Hi there Christine,
This name sounds very French. I'm living in France but I'm not French. I am a Portuguese. Nationality doesn't matter I'm a child of God. I'm not a perfect person. I found this blog through the search engine and I was just about to read what people say on their blogs about Pastor Tedd Haggard. I don't really care what people say about it. Here in France people don't care about the Word of God but there is a group of believers here and then.
What I want to say to you is that Jesus didn't came for the righteous but the sinners. I add that this terrific event with Mr. Haggard shows us that we has Christians must watch and be careful because we are still in this world and no matter our walk of life or role in whatever we do, we need his mercy everyday because we are still sinners.
Who am I to judge Mr. Haggard? I'm a sinner sometimes I do things that just God knows and through all of this time I just think that I must watch and ask God for forgiveness and help to live a life that shouts his fame.
Just thank you for the lyrics of the song "who am I". I just have one song by them which is "Praise You in this storm". I listened to "Who I am I" and it was just amazing for me. May God bless you and your family. At least some stuff of your blog really gave me a kind of wake up call. God bless you.t

Anna said...

Hi ebsfwan -

Recognizing you are a sinner is an important step. Every human being falls into this category. (Romans 3:23). The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

The Bible tells us the way to be reconciled to God. It's through Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 10:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the father but by me."

We can never gain God's favor or receive forgiveness of our sins by our own efforts (Ephesians 2:8 & 9). We are incapable of keeping the whole law. In fact the Bible says if we blow it on just one point of the law, we've broken the whole thing. That's why Jesus had to come. He was born of a virgin because he needed to be born free of the curse of sin passed down through Adam, the first man. He then fulfilled all of God's requirements (the law), took upon himself all of our sins on the cross and then rose from the dead on the third day.

So, how do we have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Romans 10:9 & 10 (NIV) says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Jesus died for everyone. However, we have a choice whether or not to received the gift of eternal life by coming into a relationship with him.

If you want to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord, pray this prayer:

Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, took my sins upon yourself on the cross and rose again the third day. Please forgive all my sins. I give you my life and ask you to change me from the inside out. Thank you for loving me. I receive you today.

After making this commitment, it's important to get connected with other believers. A relationship with Christ is one of growth and change. We take one step at a time. It is a lifetime process.

I suggest you begin reading the Gospel of John. Ask the Lord to help you understand it. Don't be afraid to ask mature believers questions.

Does receiving Jesus mean you'll never sin again? We all sin. When the Lord tugs at our heart or shows us in the Word that we have committed a sin, we need to immediately repent (change our mind about our behavior and do what God says)and ask His forgiveness. The difference between someone who doesn't know Jesus and someone who does is that a believer desires to please the Lord. Sin causes great distress. A believer no longer intentionally practices sin.

I hope this helps you to understand. If you have any other questions, please ask them.

Anna

Stephen said...

This preoccupation with sin is unhealthy.

Paul is very careful to point out that the purpose of the law is to bring us to an understanding of our sinful nature. Once we realise we are sinful and accept God's Grace we are without sin, not by anything we have done but by what He has done.

If you are still living by the law of sin, you are still living by the flesh. Give up your preoccupation with sin and follow Jesus.

Mark said...

I can say I sin.
I can say sin is wrong.
and I can still be on the path to Hell.

The holy Law of God convicts the heart. Until you realize the depravity of your sin filled conditon, the grace of God, Christ's work on the cross, is meaningless.

This preoccupation with sin is unhealthy.

Not really my friend. Guilt is unhealthy, because in Christ you have been washed clean and are sinless before God. The closer we come to Christ, the brighter the light on our sins becomes. That's a good thing, that's God working in your life.

ebsfwan asks,
Could you please tell me which parts of the Bible I must obey and which parts I must ignore?

Christine is much more patient that I. Why don't you ask God that question buddy? Christine has answered you so many times, it is begining to appear as if your not really seeking God's truths, but looking for something to make you feel better about yourself. Do you ever recall Jesus teaching us about discerening truth from error?

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan,

My statement that "the Bible is an honest book which includes telling the truth about sinful beings and therefore, doesn't approve of all that it records" doesn't mean that I'm saying that there are "parts to obey and parts to ignore."

Common sense and study, for one, helps us understand the literary device being used in the Scriptures and whether what is being shared is "for the record" or a law that God wants us to obey. The leading of the Holy Spirit helps Christian believers to discern (as Mark points out in his comment) truth from error.

*******

Jfschnell,

Welcome to Talkwisdom! Well said, my brother in Christ! I'm sure to enjoy more of your comments here.

Took a peek at your blog and you have some beautiful pictures displayed! They show both the beauty of God's creation and the beauty of your family and friends!

This was truly sad to read this:

You said, "Here in France people don't care about the Word of God but there is a group of believers here and then."

It is something that I have suspected for a long time. Many countries in Europe have abandoned the Christian faith. They need more evangelists like you there! ;-)

I'm glad that you are enjoying reading this blog. I love it when fellow believers come over and share their thoughts here!

I love listening to Christian contemporary music. In fact, I just added the song Lifesong as a ringtone on my cell phone!

Here are the lyrics:

Empty Hands held high
Such Small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

Chorus:
Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign your name
to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord, I give my life
A Living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to you

Chorus

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Let my lifesong sing to You

*******
My Dear Sister in Christ Anna,

I just pray that the excellent words you shared with Ebsfwan will compel him to seek the truth!

Amen to your Spirit-guided comment!

*******

Stephen,

I was a bit surprised at your comment. But I think that Mark answered it quite well.

Since this post will probably be presented in several parts (working on part 2 later today), perhaps you will better understand why I brought up the subject of sin and its consequences after you read the entire series of posts.

*******

Mark,

Awesome brother!!

Especially the following truth that you shared!!

"The holy Law of God convicts the heart. Until you realize the depravity of your sin filled conditon, the grace of God, Christ's work on the cross, is meaningless."

Christinewjc said...

Got tons to do this morning and early afternoon, but I'll be back later today to post Part 2 of the "sin plague" series.

Meanwhile, I found Dr. David Jeremiah's email devotional quite fitting and inspiring for evangelistic efforts!

Seize the Moment

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16


Recommended Reading
Psalm 90:10-12


The apostle Paul knew God's plan for his life. As revealed by his own words (Ephesians 3:1-13), his mission to the Gentiles was lifelong. But the complex statement of his life mission in Ephesians was written some thirty years after he met Christ. How much of that do you think he understood in the days immediately following his salvation? Probably far less, yet that didn't keep him from acting. Acts 9:19-20 tells us that, after his conversion, "Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God."

Instead of sitting back and wondering, "What is God's complete plan for my life?" Paul seized the opportunity to begin preaching in Damascus. How much did he know? How competent a preacher was he? He didn't let any of the reasons not to begin to obey Christ stand in his way. He did what he could, how he could, where he could, as best he could. His action is a perfect model for any Christian committed to living with passion: Live for the long term, but live in the short term.

If you're concerned about God's plan for your life, start with His plan for your day.


Let the world see what God can do with one person completely yielded to Him.
Woodrow Kroll

Read-Thru-the-Bible
1 Corinthians 13:1 - 15:34

GMpilot said...

Christine:AM I GOOD ENOUGH TO GET TO HEAVEN?
ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH TO GET TO HEAVEN?
TAKE THIS TEST AND SEE!!

Let me know if you passed...


You ran a similar test on this blog several months ago, hostess, and as I recall, the only one who had the nads to take it and answer you was me. I failed, of course. I doubt Jesus himself could have passed it, the way it was written.

”Imagine you are standing in front of a judge, guilty of multiple serious crimes. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt about your guilt. Your apologies and good works cannot erase your crimes; therefore you must be punished. The fine for your crime is $250,000 or imprisonment, but you don’t have two pennies to rub together. The judge is about to pass sentence when someone you don't even know steps in and pays your fine for you! The court accepts the money and declares that you are free to go. The law has been satisfied, your debt has been paid in full, and the stranger’s sacrifice was a demonstration of his love for you. That’s what God did for you 2000 years ago.”

If someone I don’t know steps up and pays my fine, I’d be very grateful, of course. But the loss of money probably does him no harm. It certainly does me a great deal of good. But would I be expected—no, demanded to shout his name all over the world, to take his every pronouncement as divine, to celebrate a certain day as the anniversary of The Day He Paid My Debt, and to do all this, and more, for the rest of my life?
Of course not: I would thank him profusely, offer to make it up to him as best I could, and go on my way.

What God supposedly did 2000 years ago was kill his son to atone for the sins of Adam and all his descendants…which is rather like you killing your daughter to compensate for what some girl did in Buenos Aires in 1735. You see what I’m getting at?
Moreover, this God demands that I shout his name all over the world, to take his every pronouncement as divine, to celebrate a certain day as the anniversary of The Day He Paid My Debt, and to do all this, and more, for the rest of my life. Most human beings would be embarrassed if their generosity was acknowledged this way.

”The Bible says that the God of the Universe became a man (Jesus Christ), and suffered and died on the cross for your sins and mine so that we could be set free. Then he rose again from the dead and defeated death! It's as simple as this—we broke the Law, and Jesus paid our fine.”

If the only Perfect Man (as I’ve heard Jesus called) had to die because we broke the Law, then there is something deeply wrong with that Law. If someone commits a crime worthy of death, it is unjust if anyone other than the guilty party should die for the offense. Imagine a judge who would say, “Well, the Law is the Law, and someone’s gotta die for it. If you volunteer to take this guy’s place, that’ll satisfy us.” That judge would be swiftly removed from the bench, and we all know it. There is no justice to be found here.

”If you've decided to reject the gift of forgiveness and you die in your sins, there is no hope for you. There is no purgatory. The wrath of God abides on you and you will spend eternity in Hell.”

Well, I already knew that. It’ll be fun to see all those people who thought they’d never join me, join me.

Let me know if any of the Christers pass the test.

Anna said...

Hi Christine -

A bit off topic - a great additional resource: The Webster's 1828 Dictionary. You might want to add it to your library.

Blessings,
Anna

ebsfwan said...

I'm still confused. In a previous post you pointed out the homosexuality was forbidden (Leviticus 20 I think it was).

I went and read the passage and God says I'm to kill him.

One of my friends is gay. Am I to kill him? It seems a bit harsh. I can't help but feel that it would be a bit irresponsible of me to do this as I suspect the authorities would persecute me for following God's commandments. My wife would probably be annoyed too as I'd like as not end up in jail. What to do?

Is Mark saying that I should stop asking these questions? I'm just trying to discern truth from error.

Christinewjc said...

GM,

I know that you have heard some of this before. But there are dozens of new readers and a few new commentors who haven't so it bears repeating now and then.

What you still don't get (after 2 LONG YEARS!) is the concept of mercy and grace afforded to us through Christ's sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection to life. Mercy is given even though the sinner is undeserved of it. Grace is bestowed upon us by God because Christ fulfilled the punishment for sin at the cross. His subsequent resurrection and promises to us in the Bible demonstrates that physical death is not the end of us. We have a soul and spirit that lives on in eternity. The final destination is dependent upon whether a person dies with their own sin upon their own soul or they have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior who is the ONLY "bridge" for sinful man to be reconcilied to Holy God.

The point is that no one passes the "Good" test! No one except Jesus Christ lived a holy, sinless life on this earth. That is why his sacrificial death at the cross covered the sins of all who believe in Him.

Could you please refrain from using that derogatory reference to Christian believers that you used in your last sentence?
Thanks.

*******

Ebsfwan,

I can give a more complete explanation later, but for now I will just say that all sin makes each of us worthy of the death penalty! We all die physically, but there is a second death which is spiritual. (See Revelation 20)

But Jesus' sacrificial death at the cross of Calvary happened to satify the death penalty that we all deserve...so that we can be forgiven and reconciled back to God. (see what I wrote to GM).

In the Old Testament, the people were looking forward to the day that the Messiah would come. Israel was to be a nation separate from the pagan nations that surrounded it. The "shall be put to death" statements were used as a deterent for God's people to not do as the pagans do. The sacrificial system of unblemished animal for the forgiveness of sins in the temple was a temporary fix and a foreshadowing of Christ's perfect, sinless and holy life wo that he would be worthy of the ultimate sacrifice for us all.

The Bible reveals special revelation in the Person of Jesus. When Jesus was approached to save the woman caught in adultery from stoning, he did not disobey the law. He pointed out that all of those men ready to stone her were also worthy of death because of their own sins! Jesus did several things in that incident. He gave permission for the men to uphold the law when he said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone at her." One by one, the men had to drop their stones because each knew, and were convicted in their hearts of their own sin. Jesus then told the woman, "go and leave your life of sin."

Notice that he didn't condemn her right there for her sin, but he also did not condone her sin either. Jesus' mission on earth was to die for her sin so that she could be forgiven by God the Father through his sacrifice.

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill it!

We are now in the era of grace and mercy. Judgment is to come. It will occur at Christ's second coming when all will be judged. My series of posts (Sin: The Plague That Separates Us From God) will go into much greater detail about this. I will post part 2 later today (unfortunately, I couldn't get through it all yesterday, but it is 1/2 completed).

I posted all of this hastily and without Bible references to back it up, but this is what Christians believers are called to do today.

When Christ's mission on earth began, it was John the Baptist who called for repentance for the remission of sins.

Mar 1:1 THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mar 1:2 As it is written in the Prophets:*


"Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You."*
Mar 1:3 "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.'"*

Mar 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Mar 1:5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

It would help to read all of Mark 1

Then, we read Jesus' first words in Mark 1:

Mar 1:14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom* of God,
Mar 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

Now, skipping over to the end of Mark, we find out what believers are to do:

Mar 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Stephen said...

Knowing Ebsfwan, I think that he was most likely trying to show that you are, in fact, "interpreting" the Bible in this case.

Biblical literalists claim that they don't "interpret" the Bible but rather that they take it on face value. I think what annoys Ebsfwan in this case is it is patently untrue.

We're willing to take some parts of the Bible literally, but when God commands us to kill people (when we know we shouldn't), we use other verses in the Bible to "interpret" those bits and explain why we don't do that anymore.

For example, your interpretation is that the stoning of disobedient children is allegorical, a shadow of the spiritual death to come. I would tend to agree.

If all of scripture is to be taken as the literal inspired word of God, then using stuff written later to refute stuff written earlier doesn't make sense since God is constant and He doesn't change His mind.

If we assume God is good and God is constant, then the admonition to kill disobedient children can't be from God, because we know God wouldn't condone that behaviour today, would he?

The only conclusion we can draw, that if the Bible contains a verse which says we should kill when we know we should not, is we got it wrong the first time. Our limited, human, fleshy perception of God was warped. We goofed.

What God really tried to explain to us was: "be obedient to your parents and you will live a long and fruitful life" we, in our confusion transcribed that into "kill disobedient children".

I can only pray that we have a better idea of the nature of God now than we did 3000 years ago.

ebsfwan said...

Hi Christine,

Good rebuttal on the death penalty. I'm glad to see you don't believe in it.

Interpret the injunction against women teaching for me please. (1 Tim 2:12) I'd prefer it if you only used the Bible as I'm uneasy with your use of extra biblical sources that appear to contradict the Bible.

This is great. :) Every time something I don't like happens in the Bible I can get you to explain to me why it doesn't apply.

Just to save time could you please also explain why God kills little children for calling someone bald? 2 Kings 2:23-24.

GMpilot said...

Thank you, Stephen; you were both more elegant and more even-tempered in what I was trying to say. After TWO LONG YEARS, she has NEVER answered my question as to why she shouldn’t be killing gays, instead of converting them.

Now, Christine: ”The point is that no one passes the "Good" test! No one except Jesus Christ lived a holy, sinless life on this earth. That is why his sacrificial death at the cross covered the sins of all who believe in Him.”

Of course
no one passes the God test! Jesus himself didn’t pass it; he died, too! (That he came back is, for the moment, irrelevant.) If the test is rigged, there’s no point in taking it—you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

Your friends at livingwaters.com gave great examples, in terms anyone can understand, what God’s “sacrifice” was. Well, so did I. For each argument they gave, I provided a counter-argument; not merely a “no-it-isn’t” claim, and the reference to the judge was particularly clear. If you can’t answer it (and you never have), then it’s because you know that your basic premise is flawed.
What did Jesus sacrifice, anyway? He knew he’d be back in three days! He knew it, and his enemies knew it. It seems the only ones who didn’t know were the disciples; they didn’t believe until they actually saw him! Jesus lost neither his life, nor his divinity—he got them both back. So, where’s the ‘sacrifice’?

Your friends on this blog don’t need to take the Good Test. They know they’re not, but won’t admit it in public. Your target audience--the “lost”—are unlikely to ever come here.

Christinewjc said...

GMpilot said,

1. " After TWO LONG YEARS, she has NEVER answered my question as to why she shouldn’t be killing gays, instead of converting them."


2. "What did Jesus sacrifice, anyway? He knew he’d be back in three days! He knew it, and his enemies knew it. It seems the only ones who didn’t know were the disciples; they didn’t believe until they actually saw him! Jesus lost neither his life, nor his divinity—he got them both back. So, where’s the ‘sacrifice’?"


Both of these questions have been answered by me, GM. The truth is that you are unwillingly to accept what is shared by me from the Bible.

This post does the job of answering your second question. I have already answered the first one in this thread. The fact of why you "just don't get it" is revealed in Scripture. Here are just a few verses:

1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Jesus speaking)

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

Lastly, you said, "Your target audience--the “lost”—are unlikely to ever come here."

Any you know this how?

You're here and you are lost, according to the Scripture definition of that term.

How could you know, and/or judge, whether or not people reading this blog are now considering faith in Jesus Christ?

Oh I see.

It's because you fancy yourself as you're own "god," now don't you...

Big mistake...huge mistake! Same one that Lucifer once made too, I might add.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan,

You said, "Good rebuttal on the death penalty. I'm glad to see you don't believe in it."


Are we reading the same words here? I didn't say that I am against the death penalty. What I said was that we all deserve the death penalty due to the fact that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

It appears to me now that you are in a similar circumstance as GMpilot...forever reading and not understanding.

You also said, "Just to save time could you please also explain why God kills little children for calling someone bald? 2 Kings 2:23-24."

It doesn't say that the children were killed.

David Guzik Commentary:

4. (23-25) Judgment upon the youths of Bethel.

Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. Then he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

a. Some youths came from the city and mocked him: The ancient Hebrew word translated youths here means young men in a very broad sense. This term applied to Joseph when he was 39 (Genesis 41:12), to Absalom as an adult (2 Samuel 14:21, 18:5), and to Solomon when he was 20 (1 Kings 3:7).

i. These youths were from Bethel, and their mocking presence shows the continuing opposition to a true prophet in Bethel, the chief center of pagan calf-worship.” (Wiseman)

b. Go up, you baldhead! This both mocked Elisha because of his apparent baldness, but also because of his connection with the prophet Elijah. The idea behind the words, “Go up” was that Elisha should go up to heaven like Elijah did. It mocked Elisha, his mentor Elijah, and the God they served.

i. “Go up; go up into heaven, whither thou pretendest that Elijah is gone. Why didst not thou accompany thy friend and master into heaven? Oh that the same Spirit would take thee up also, that thou mightest not trouble us nor our Israel, as Elijah did!” (Poole)

ii. “The lack of hair was not a result of old age; since he lived about fifty years after this incident, he was at the time a relatively young man. Elisha’s baldness must have been in striking contrast to Elijah’s hairy appearance.” (Dilday)

c. So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord: Elisha knew these young men mocked his ministry, Elijah’s ministry, and the God they both faithfully served. Yet he left any correction up with God but pronouncing a curse on them in the name of the Lord.

d. Two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths: In response to the curse of Elisha, God sent two female bears and they mauled (literally, cut up) the young men.

i. “Bears are attested in the hill ranges until mediaeval times.” (Wiseman)

ii. “Since forty-two of the boys were struck by the bears, the group may have been quite large and therefore dangerously out of control. Elisha may have needed miraculous intervention to escape.” (Dilday)

iii. “Verse 24 does not say that the victims were killed. The Hebrew word translated ‘mauled’ might indicate less serious injuries. The ultimate outcome of the miracle was to break up the gang, frighten the offenders and the entire village.” (Dilday)

©2006 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

ebsfwan said...

King James Version:

23And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

You are quite right. It does say Tore up 42 little children rather than killed.

Alright. Do you think this is a good thing? God sent bears to tear up 42 youths who called a man bald.

Once more thank you for explaining to me why the Bible doesn't mean what it says. You are very patient and kind. Without your interpretation of the words I would be lost.
____________________________________

How about the Mideonites?
Numbers 31.

17Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Forgive me for once again questioning the actions of God here. Can you interpret it for me please?
____________________________________

On the death penalty:

But you said Jesus said we should not kill her? Only those without sin should kill. By definition we all have sin. Hence we should not kill?

I am confused.

GMpilot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GMpilot said...

1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Oh, I see. The Spirit of God told you that you shouldn’t kill gays. Isn’t that the same Spirit who told you should?

1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Well, if most people listened to the fools in this world, society would be…oh wait, many do. They’ve even been known to elect them, and appoint them. Guess that ‘spiritual discernment’ isn’t very reliable.

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Jesus speaking)

Little children believe almost anything adults tell them. They also do almost anything adults tell them to do. What further evidence does one need about God’s attitude towards his children?

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The creature needs serving: the creator does not. But I don’t waste my time worshipping either one.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

In other words, “If you want to be wise, be afraid…be very afraid.” Instruction is passing knowledge, and knowledge is the first step away from fear.

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.

See above. Then tell us why, if your knowledge of holy things is so good, you don’t understand it well enough to explain it properly. After all, you’ve got the certificate; one would expect above-average explanations from you.

”You're here and you are lost, according to the Scripture definition of that term.”

I’m here because you invited me, hostess—you badgered me for most of a year to ‘enter the blogosphere’. If you don’t like what your performing monkey says, eject him!

”How could you know, and/or judge, whether or not people reading this blog are now considering faith in Jesus Christ?”

I don’t. But it’s possible my presence here will allow some to reconsider their faith.

”Oh I see.

It's because
you fancy yourself as you're own "god," now don't you...

Big mistake...huge mistake! Same one that Lucifer once made too, I might add.


Um…Lucifer didn’t pick himself for his original position…someone else did. What does that say about the judgment of that Person?
In any case, I don’t think I’m my own god. I don’t worship myself: I know myself too well for that. I have no lust to rule anyone except myself, and no power to do so anyway. That’s one reason I have no blog of my own.

But I’m happy to come back to yours, if it’ll keep you honest.

From your link:

The Bible calls SAtan "the accuser" in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, "You cannot possible expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you've done - your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? " And to God, Satan says, in effect, "If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished."

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, "My lord, yes, he is not perfect - he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character." In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn't work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, "Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid - by Me."


If the punishment has already been paid, there should be no need to hauled before the judge, because recompense has been made. But God, as our Judge, doesn’t work that way. God says someone MUST pay the price—in fact he once punished the entire world (except for eight people), according to the best-selling book about him. Moreover, according to one of the stories in that book, he’s preparing to do it again, in spite of his son’s sacrifice. So, it must be concluded that the sacrifice didn’t work, and that only our blood can quench the thirst of his vengeance.

In any case, that link only has what Roger Chivers says. What does Christine Watson say?

Anna said...

Someone here mentioned that while people claim Christians take the Bible literally, they interpret it with other bits of Scripture.

A very brief lesson on Biblical interpretation: Scripture interprets Scripture. Both the immediate context of a Scripture and the overall context of the entire Bible must be taken into account. It is not dependent on the changing opinions or whims of men/women. The Scripture is not a compilation of isolated books. It is a story of God's love for fallen humanity and how He brings about reconciliation with those who accept His offer of a new life in Christ.

The Old Testament Law was perfectly kept and fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Does this mean the Ten Commandments are no longer meaningful? Of course not. However, instead of being a set of external rules and regs that no one has the ability to successfully live out in life, when we acknowledge our sinful, hopeless condition and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, He writes His law on our hearts. (See Galations 2:20)

Hope this brings some clarity.

Anna

Lewis said...

@gmpilot: Wait, I thought god said he wouldn't have to do it (all the desotrying) again?
But then it'll happen when jesus comes around again? I'm confused.

Stephen said...

Hi Anna,

That someone was me, Stephen.

I didn't say that Christians take the Bible literally. I said that Biblical literalists take the Bible literally.

The Biblical literalist movement is a relatively recent thing. You don't have to believe in a literal Bible in order to be Christian. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Biblical literalism is a rather loud but rather small point of view, albeit growing.

There are three doctrines with respect to the varacity of the Bible: literalism, infalliability and inerrancy.

One can believe in infalliability and inerrancy without being tied down to literalism.

Most Catholics believe in infalliability, not inerrancy.

Anna said...

Hi Stephen -

I am aware that Catholics believe much of the Bible is allegorical and not to be taken literally.

The Bible itself is very clear when it is telling a story to illustrate a point, etc. Many in the Christian community believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God to be taken literally. It is far from a new point of view or an aberration of normative Christian theology.

Believing the Bible literally means what it says does not rule out careful study, going back into the original languages and culture of the times.

Anna

Stephen said...

"Believing the Bible literally means what it says does not rule out careful study, going back into the original languages and culture of the times."

I am glad we agree on that point. You will be surprised at how many Christians will refuse to listen to arguments based on the original language and culture of the text in question, rather preferring to impose their own world-view on the words of the Bible.

I would be so presumptuous as to say that inerrancy and literalism are different things. In my view, literalism says that the Bible should be read.. er.. literally, without recourse to historical or cultural information to "interpret" the "true meaning" of the scripture.

Anna said...

Stephen -

Communication is a challenge, especially when terms are left undefined. When I speak about careful study in the original languages or the culture of the times, I'm not suggesting I do this to justify or condone what the Bible clearly teaches is sin.

I compare Scripture with Scripture, check words in the original languages, check older dictionaries to see what a particular word meant when the translation was done, learn about the culture of the times so I understand examples and stories in Scripture, etc. (I'm not a Hebrew/Greek scholar, but have some dandy reference sources, such as Strong's, Vine's and the Webster's 1828 Dictionary.)

There is a vast difference between proof texting and seeking out the actual meaning of Scripture. Proof texting is looking for a Scripture to prove one's point.

What is your definition of careful study of the original languages and the culture of the times?

Anna