Archive for June, 2010

Jesus Christ is God

If you have followed this Blog very long, you know that I love to talk about Jesus being God.  He WAS and IS GOD and it excites me to no ends when I realize that God who created the Universe and me became a man, just like me, and died so I would not have to.

C.S. Lewis is noted as one of the most prolific christian writers of the last 150 years.  In his book “Mere Christianity” he said this:

” I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ”

Jesus Christ is Lord because He IS God.

While on the earth Jesus did exactly what was apparently the impossible thing He said He would do. He taught on numerous occasions that He would be killed, buried for three days, and would rise from the dead. Obviously, if Jesus did not rise from the dead what He said was a lie and He was justly crucified for blasphemy.

However, since He was raised from the dead what He declared was not blasphemy because He truly was God. He was claiming that He was Yahweh, the LORD God, Jehovah, and the great I AM.

To the people who heard Jesus make these claims it was the grandest form of heresy worthy of death.  It was outrageous and impossible.  But it was true!

Do you believe in Jesus ?  Jehovah’s Witnesses do.  Mormon’s do, but DO YOU BELIEVE HE WAS GOD ?  That will make all the difference.

June 09 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | No Comments »

How free is our free will ?

The subject of the sovereignty of God and whether God is in control of our lives and how this effects are free will choices is extremely controversial in the Evangelical community.  Is God in control or not ?  Is he sovereign or not ?  Did God direct my thoughts, steps and ultimately my choice to accept Jesus as my savior ?  Can I take any credit for any of it ? 

I will tell you up front, that I do not have this settled in my mind 100%   It’s as complex as any theological subject you can find.  

God is the master of life and death.  He alone created us for his own pleasure and he alone has the right to determine our future.  Now, that is a fact undisputed in the Bible.   Did you know that NO WHERE in the Bible does it say that man has “free will”.    Instead it says that we are created in the spitting image of God.  Seeing how God knows everything, and seeing how God cannot lie, and seeing how God can not be wrong, then he must not have “free will” either.  If he does, then he he would be in paradox.  Unsolvable and imperfect.  That can not be true either so God must not have free will as we think of it.  That is to say the choice between two or more outcomes.  God’s mind has all ready been made up about all of it !  It’s finished.  If God every had free will then he’s made his choices and you and I are stuck with it.  Praise God for that !

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  27 So God created man in his own image,  in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:26-27)

The entire problem I think is our definition of “free will”.  Being human,  and in our depraved state, we think that we are the center of the universe and that we have a choice to do or not do.  To be or not to be.  This is a selfish illusion.   The entire idea came from the Greeks and had no basis in the Jewish theological tradition.  God was Sovereign and that was that.   Take a look at Psalms 139 sometime and you’ll see this clearly.   God is the potter and we are the clay (Romans 9:20-23).   He get’s to decide if we make it.   He and he alone determines our fitness for any particular purpose.  And here’s the GOOD NEWS !  He has done so in Jesus Christ !   Now let’s look at it this way.  Before salvation on the cross, You and I were DEAD!   So, the one choice we might have had is all ready made (In Adam).  We did not make it, God  did as a result of our sins.  Now Jesus comes along and offers us the chance to be UN-DEAD.  I don’t know about you, but I only see ONE choice there since alternative isn’t a choice at all.  We are  DEAD remember.   I can stay DEAD, the choice I didn’t make or I can with the help of the Holy Spirit, being quickened in my spirit unto salvation, accept the salvation he provided through his irresistible Grace.   

So if all this is true and I have NO free will in reality, then how can God hold me accountable?  If you think about it, my sins have all ready been judged in Adam.  I was judged guilty and put out of the presence of God  (That’s spiritual death).  I was separated from God with NO WAY out.  We humans must remember that we are dealing with an infinite God.  We want to think that we start with a clean slate.  We don’t.  We want to put God in a position that we have NO right to put him in.  We are all guilty and condemned.  God by Grace saved us from eternal damnation and separation through Jesus.   It’s a pure gift, not of anything I did or could have done.

I’ve told you that this is very complex subject.  It’s also a very controversial one.   If you have more interest in this you could look at the following sites.

Open Theism Information Site .. http://www.opentheism.info/

The Dangers of Open Theism .. http://www.midwestapologetics.org/articles/theology/opentheism.htm

June 06 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

What is your passion ?

In a daily devotional at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I  found this prayer.

Heavenly Father, God of Heaven’s Armies, King of kings and Lord of lords, give me one pure and holy passion, give me one magnificent obsession, give me one glorious ambition for my life…to know and follow hard after You.  Change my heart to desire You above all else in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It really got me to thinking about our willingness to follow God HARD !  Not casually, lamely or when it suits our lifestyle or schedule.

This kind of  passion is understood by most of us men, and by most women too.  When we first meet and marry our wives, there is PASSION !  We often can not eat, sleep or work.  She is on our minds 24/7.   It’s not surprising that the Bible portrays our relationship with our wife as being like Christ’s relationship with the Church.  I believe the converse must be true.  The same passion it takes to live with a spouse .. and believe me it takes  never ending and complete passion .. is what Jesus God desires from us.

“25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy”  (Ephesians 5:25-26)

The prayer above is  about seeking the GIVER rather than the gift.   How often do we want the things of God but not God himself.  That would take a personal relationship.  That would require us to give OURSELVES, completely, utterly, passionately.     I know  .. because the Bible tells me so ..  that God would love that too.  After all, he gave up his life so he could have a relationship with me.

I am praying this prayer  in my life.  I hope that you do too.  I know it’ll change us forever.

June 04 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | No Comments »

Oh how much we have lost!

Living in Elkhart Indiana has been very interesting the last couple of years.  President Obama has been her twice and on the national news, we were declared to be the “white hot center” of the economic melt down.    This county and it’s workers have lost a LOT.   And it’s far from over.  Elkhart County is still has one of the largest unemployment rates in the country (14.1%)  and there are many jobs, companies and incomes that will simply never come back.

In one of my companies, we lost 35% of our revenue in a period of 3 months back in 2008 when this all started.  It was horrifying.   You can imagine  that the joy and excitement  in my life was suddenly clouded with anxiety.  Overwhelmed, I was becoming a prisoner of worry — something unhealthy for me and also those around me.  Come on Gayle !  God did NOT give you the spirit of fear !

Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken way; blessed be the name of the LORD!”

-Job 1:21 (KJV)

In times like these Job’s declaration in the verse above comes to mind. Job had lost all his treasured possessions, and his family was wiped out. I could only guess at the emotional turmoil he must have felt. Yet even after he had endured so much suffering, Job was able still to praise God.

I realized that I too came into this world without anything and will leave without anything. Unlike Job, I had lost a few customers and some revenue.  My family is well and healthy, and I have enjoyed many blessings from God, all of which I need to give thanks for. This thought gave me the joy, peace of mind, and comfort that I needed. Considering the suffering of God’s servant Job and Job’s response had put my minor suffering into perspective.

Praise God for his kindness and favor toward us.  We do not deserve it, can not attain to it, it is a gift of pure Grace.

Job 10:12 “Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.”

Psalm 139:1-6

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in—behind and before;  you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

Amen.

June 01 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 3 Comments »