Archive for the 'Bible Study' Category

What’s in a Name .. Biblical Names for Jesus

What’s in a name? A name tells us who your father’s family is and was and your first name gives us some indication of who you are or what qualities of character you possess.   Titles you possess, such as J.D., M.D., PhD tell us what your work is and based on the title, how much you know about the profession you have chosen.  Your name is a crown that you wear all the days of your life.  (Sometime I’ll postulate on the serious work of naming our children.  Something to be taken very seriously.)

Jesus of Nazareth has accounted to him many many names and titles.  Each of them are accurate and purposeful in telling us something about him and his nature.  It’s REALLY amazing that one person can have SO many facets to his personage.   Each and every one of his names or titles helps us to understand role that Jesus plays in God’s salvation plan.   Jesus is mentioned in the Bible 1231 times and is the central figure of both the Old and New Testaments.   In my mind, it is impossible to know Jesus without knowing his names and titles.  Read these and see if you don’t agree .. WHAT AN AWESOME GOD!

(This is just a partial listing of the many Scriptural names and titles of the Lord. There are many others not listed here.)

Advocate (1 John 2:1)
Almighty (Rev. 1:8; Mt. 28:18)
Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
Amen (Rev. 3:14)
Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1)
Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
Author of Life (Acts 3:15)
Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13)
Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
Bread of God (John 6:33)
Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48)
Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7)
Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)
Christ (1 John 2:22)
Creator (John 1:3)
Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20)
Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
First and Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13)
Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
Firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15)
Gate (John 10:9)
God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1;1 John 5:20; etc.)
Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)
Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)
Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23)
Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)
High Priest (Heb. 2:17)
Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
Holy One (Acts 3:14)
Hope (1 Tim. 1:1)
Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27)
Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
I Am (John 8:58)
Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
Immanuel (Mt. 1:23)
Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
King of Israel (John 1:49)
King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11)
King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16)
King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)
Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
Light of the World (John 8:12)
Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
Living One (Rev. 1:18)
Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
Lord (2 Pet. 2:20)
Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
Master (Lk. 5:5; 8:24; 9:33)
Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9)
Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
Prophet (Acts 3:22)
Rabbi (Mt. 26:25)
Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1)
Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16)
Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)
Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
Source of Eternal Salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:9)
The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11)
True Bread (John 6:32)
True Light (John 1:9)
True Vine (John 15:1)
Truth (John 1:14; 14:6)
Way (John 14:6)
Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Word (John 1:1)
Word of God (Rev. 19:13)

If you spend the time to check each of these verses, you certainly will come away a changed person.   Feeling doubtful about your faith ?  Read each of these verses and your exercise will grant you peace beyond your imagination.   Your doubtful mind will turn like the wind.   Fear can not stand in the place where Jesus is lifted up.   You will know the truth and it will set you free.

Praise God.

May 25 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

How come the Trinity is so complicated ?

The subject of the Trinity is complex for one reason.    The idea that one God exists in three separate persons is a mind bender.  How can it be ??   How can the singular God exist and at the same time, three distinct persons exist that each have the right to be called God ??   For many non-believers, this is non-senseless double talk.

So, maybe with a little understanding, we can make this complicated idea not quite so complex.

To begin with, we need to look at God’s nature  ..  that is to say His characteristics, His attributes, His qualities.

Christianity claims that the God of all things is unique in that He alone has the following divine characteristics:

  1. SUPREMACY The God of Judaism and Christianity is the Supreme Being.  He is not merely a different type of being or a superior being but the Supreme Being.
  2. UNIQUENESS God is unique.  The Bible describes Him in Greek as monogenesis, i.e., “one of a kind”, “having a unique nature.”
  3. ETERNALNESS He always has existed and always will exist.  He had no beginning and will never cease to exist.  (Also see IMMORTAL below.)
  4. OMNISCIENCE He knows all things.
  5. OMNIPOTENCE He is all powerful.
  6. OMNIPRESENCE He is everywhere at the same time.
  7. SELF-EXISTENT God is the only thing that had no beginning, that was not created by something else.
  8. HOLINESS Holy means pure, undefiled.
  9. THEISTIC The God of the Bible is theistic. He does not distance Himself from that which He creates. He gets actively involved in the activities of the things He created.  In fact, the God of the Bible ‘micromanages’ things.
  10. TRANSCENDENT God transcends that which He created, i.e., He “goes beyond” that which He created, He is not limited to, He is not bound by that which He created.

Christianity claims that, in addition, this unique God shares the following characteristics with certain of his creation:

  1. ALIVE The one God is a living being.
  2. PERSONAL God is a living person with thoughts, reactions, etc., not an impersonal thing.
  3. SPIRIT A spirit is a living being that is incorporeal, i.e., it does not possess a physical body.   Note that Jesus took on a physical human body.  It is not an inherent part of His nature. By comparison, our bodies are part of our human nature but we put on clothes.
  4. INTELLIGENT His knowledge exceeds all other knowledge.  He is pure knowledge and intelligence.  Nothing that can be known  is absent from his intelligence.
  5. SENTIENCE A sentient being has intelligence, and also is aware of its own existence, and aware that there is a ‘big picture’.  For instance, cats, dogs, and horses have intelligence but probably are not sentient.
  6. IMMORTAL God is a being that will live forever.
  7. SEPARATE God is separate from that which He created.  The universe itself is not God. (The opposite is pantheism.  Some “nature” religions believe that the universe itself is god.

Look at all of the characteristics of God and see that they can be applied INDIVIDUALLY to each member of the Godhead.  Do you see that each quality and characteristic is held by each ?  Each has a will, can speak, can love, etc., and these are demonstrations of personhood.  They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance.  They are coeternal, coequal, and copowerful.

Yet, there is ONLY one GOD !

Maybe here, we’ll say a word or two about what the Trinity is NOT .. God is not one person, the Father, with Jesus as a creation and the Holy Spirit as a force (Jehovah’s Witnesses). Neither is He one person who took three consecutive forms, i.e., the Father, became the Son, who became the Holy Spirit.  Nor is God the divine nature of the Son (where Jesus had a human nature perceived as the Son and a divine nature perceived as the Father (Oneness theology).  Nor is the Trinity an office held by three separate Gods (Mormonism).

Think of it this way.  You are one person, yet you may be a father or mother, a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister.  You could say that each of the offices are held by distinct persons yet YOU are only one being.   The definition of person is important here.  It’s biblical definition is not what we think of in the modern western world.  To the ancients, personhood “was in some sense individual, but always in community as well.  Each person is understood as having the one identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures.  The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit have ONE identical essence or nature, but are uniquely individual as well.

This idea of a composite unity is not a foreign concept to the Bible; after all, man and wife are said to be one flesh.  The idea of a composite unity of persons is spoken of by God in Genesis (Gen. 2:24)

The doctrine of the Trinity is essential to the evangelical Christian belief.   It is the doctrine that there is only one God, not three, and that the one God exists in three persons: Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. An good analogy would be time.  Time is past, present, and future.  But, there are not three times, only one.

May 18 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

If Jesus is God surely the Bible would say so ?

If you have ever gotten the chance to sit down with a Jehovah’s Witness and discuss the Bible, you will quickly find that they deny the deity of Jesus. He was a prophet they will tell you and a good man, but NOT Almighty God. Perhaps they will even agree that he is a “Son of God”, but so are all of us.

Jehovah’s Witness are specifically trained to NOT discuss this subject with you and if you do get them to look at the Bible, and discuss it, they will want to use their “Green” bible which of course modifies key scriptures to their liking and in entire disagreement with every other translation that exists.

I always find it interesting to note that they believe that Jesus was a good man and a prophet but yet they don’t see that if that’s all he was, then he lied to us, that he was a fraud and not the messiah that he claimed to be.   There is NO way he could have been both.

None the less, I often share the following with them .. I print it off and give it to them when they call at my door .. They usually refuse to take it and want instead to give me one of their “WatchTower” publications which I gracefully accept.

I don’t do this to be disagreeable, but I do pray that perhaps they will read this astounding list of similarities between Jehovah and Jesus Christ.  I cannot understand how anyone could read the scripture in this comparison and still deny that Jesus Christ IS GOD !

By the way, I got this chart from a wonderful website maintained by Rich Deem  .. http://www.godandscience.org. Rich is a scientist and his site contains answers to questions for people who need a more scientific approach to their understanding.  Someone like me.

.

Characteristic God or Jehovah (YHVH) Jesus Christ
Who is omnipotent (all powerful)? 1 Chronicles 29:11 (YHVH) Philippians 3:20-21
Who is omniscient (all knowing)? 1 John 3:20 Colossians 2:2-3
Who is omnipresent (present everywhere)? Proverbs 15:3 (YHVH) 2 Corinthians 2:14
Who is Lord of Sabbath? Genesis 2:3 Matthew 12:8
Who is the great “I am?” Exodus 3:14 (YHVH) John 8:58
Who is the only creator? Isaiah 44:24 (YHVH) John 1:3
Who is the only savior? Isaiah 43:11, 45:21 (YHVH) Acts 4:12
Who will judge mankind? Isaiah 3:13, 14 (YHVH) 2 Corinthians 5:10
Who will judge between the sheep and goats? Ezekiel 34:17 (YHVH) Matthew 25:31-33
Who sent the prophets? Jeremiah 7:25 (YHVH) Matthew 23:34
Who resurrected Jesus? Acts 4:10 (YHVH) John 10:17-18
Who is “coming in glory?” Isaiah 40:5 (YHVH) Matthew 24:30
Who is our Father? Isaiah 63:16 (YHVH) Isaiah 9:6
Who is the “first and last?” Isaiah 44:6 (YHVH) Revelation 1:17
Who is Rock of salvation? 2 Samuel 22:32 (YHVH) 1 Corinthians 10:4
Who is Stone of stumbling? Isaiah 8:13-15 (YHVH) 1 Peter 2:8
“One crying in the wilderness” came to prepare a way for whom? Isaiah 40:3 (YHVH) Matthew 3:3
Who is eternal? Genesis 21:33 (YHVH) Micah 5:2
Who is the fountain of living waters? Jeremiah 17:13 (YHVH) John 4:10-14
Who resurrects the dead? Acts 26:8 John 6:40
Who gives rewards to man? Isaiah 40:10 (YHVH) Matthew 16:27
Who has all authority and power? 1 Chronicles 29:11 (YHVH) Matthew 28:18
Who gives power and authority to man? Psalm 68:35 Luke 9:1
Who forgives sin? 2 Chronicles 7:14 (YHVH) Matthew 9:6
Who sent the Holy Spirit? John 14:16 John 16:7
Who has the greatest name? Nehemiah 9:5 (YHVH) Philippians 2:9
Whom are we to worship? Exodus 34:14 (YHVH) Revelation 5:12-13
Who is the good Shepherd? Genesis 48:15 John 10:14
Who searches for the lost sheep of Israel? Ezekiel 34:11 (YHVH) Matthew 15:24
Who is “Lord of Lords?” Deuteronomy 10:17 (YHVH) Revelation 17:14
To whom shall every knee bow? Isaiah 45:22-23 (YHVH) Philippians 2:10
Who is the righteous branch of David? Jeremiah 23:5-6 (YHVH) Jeremiah 33:15
Who alone is Holy? 1 Samuel 2:2 (YHVH) Acts 3:14
Whose blood cleanses us? Acts 20:28 1 John 1:7
The world was created for whom? Proverbs 16:4 (YHVH) Colossians 1:16
Who is above all? Nehemiah 9:6 (YHVH) Romans 9:5
Who is forever the same? Psalms 102:24-27 Hebrews 1:8-12
Who is our light? Psalm 27:1 (YHVH) John 8:12
Who is the way or path? Psalms 16:11 (YHVH) John 14:6
Who is in charge of the angels? Psalms 103:20 (YHVH) 2 Thessalonians 1:7
Who gives us rest? Exodus 33:14 (YHVH) Matthew 11:28
Who gives eternal life? Proverbs 19:23 (YHVH) John 3:36
We are the bride of whom? Isaiah 54:5 (YHVH) 2 Corinthians 11:2
Who tests the heart and mind? Jeremiah 17:10 (YHVH) Revelation 2:23

April 26 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | No Comments »

Was Jesus really God ? Why it doesn’t take blind faith to believe in him.

Do you believe that Jesus was God ?   Did you know that it’s not necessary to approach this belief blindly ?  Instead, it’s quite possible to take it all very logically.

Jesus made very specific claims as to his deity and those claims directly led to his crucifixion and death.

John 10:31-33 [31] Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, [32] but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” [33] “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

In the book “Know why you Believe”,  by Paul Little, we read that as we face the claims of Christ, there are only four possibilities. He was either a liar, a lunatic, a legend, or the Truth. If we say He is not the Truth, we are automatically affirming one of the other three alternatives, whether we realize it or not.

(1) One possibility is that Jesus lied when He said He was God — that He knew He was not God, but deliberately deceived His hearers to lend authority to His teaching. Few, if any, seriously hold this position. Even those who deny His deity affirm that He was a great moral teacher. They fail to realize those two statements are a contradiction. Jesus could hardly be a great moral teacher if, on the most crucial point of His teaching — His identity — He was a deliberate liar.

(2) A kinder, though no less shocking possibility, is that He was sincere but self-deceived. We have a name for a person today who thinks he is God. That name is lunatic, and it certainly would apply to Christ if He were deceived on this all-important issue. But as we look at the life of Christ, we see no evidence of the abnormality and imbalance we find in a deranged person. Rather, we find the greatest composure under pressure.

(3) The third alternative is that all of the talk about His claiming to be God is a legend — that what actually happened was that His enthusiastic followers, in the third and fourth centuries, put words into His mouth He would have been shocked to hear. Were He to return, He would immediately repudiate them.

The legend theory has been significantly refuted by many discoveries of modern archeology. These have conclusively shown that the four biographies of Christ were written within the lifetime of contemporaries of Christ. Some time ago Dr. William F. Albright, world-famous archaeologist now retired from Johns Hopkins University, said that there was no reason to believe that any of the Gospels were written later than A.D. 70. For a mere legend about Christ, in the form of the Gospel, to have gained the circulation and to have had the impact it had, without one shred of basis in fact, is incredible.

For this to have happened would be as fantastic as for someone in our own time to write a biography of the late John F. Kennedy and in it say he claimed to be God, to forgive people’s sins, and to have risen from the dead. Such a story is so wild it would never get off the ground because there are still too many people around who knew Kennedy. The legend theory does not hold water in the light of the early date of the Gospel manuscripts.

(4) The only other alternative is that Jesus spoke the truth. From one point of view, however, claims don’t mean much. Talk is cheap. Anyone can make claims. There have been others who have claimed to be God. I could claim to be God, and you could claim to be God, but the question all of us must answer is, “What credentials do we bring to substantiate our claim?” In my case it wouldn’t take you five minutes to disprove my claim. It probably wouldn’t take too much more to dispose of yours. But when it comes to Jesus of Nazareth, it’s not so simple. He had the credentials to back up His claim. He said, “Even though you do not believe Me, believe the evidence of the miracles, that you may learn and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” John 10:38

Think about it .. which of these 4 possibilities will you believe.  I hope you will agree that it would be blind foolishness not accept the 4th possibility.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ” John 14:6

April 25 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | No Comments »

What are you worried about ?

Philippians 3:12-14

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” – Glenn Turner

If you are observant, you can see that many people around you are worried about one thing or another.   When you ask “What are you worried about”, you will most likely get some kind of answer from just about everyone.  Rarely if ever will you hear “I am not worried about anything.“ .

We continually waste time and energy concerned about things that

a) Will likely never happen and

b) We have no control of anyhow.

It wears us out and we rob ourselves of any kind  of happiness, peace and joy as a result.  We somehow convince ourselves that if WE do not worry about things the world as we know it will cease to be.  How inconsistent that is with what God says.   How selfish and self centered.  Worry is really a denial that God is in control and sovereign and he alone determines the outcome of our circumstances.  Worry is the antitheist of faith.  The cannot exist in the same context.  One is light and the other is dark.  One is anti-God and the other is God-centric.  Worry is a denial that God can and will do anything in your circumstance.

People often wander aimlessly through life without a purpose and without any meaningful and worthwhile goals. Even more tragic are the millions who go through life without ever having made plans and preparation for life after death.

These people not only spend their life going in circles, but go in ever decreasing circles until their life diminishes into nothing. A terrible way to live. A tragic way to die.

But for those who discover their God-given life-purpose and plan and live accordingly as well as living in harmony with the will of God, when they come to the end of life’s journey, they have the assurance of meeting God face to face and hearing his welcoming words at the entrance of heaven. “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” A joyous way to live. A triumphant way to die!

How about you ?  You worried about something ?



April 25 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Social Security .. is it really ?

I turned 62 today.  It came like any other day, but it was not any other day.  I’m now eligible to sign up and start collecting Social Security.  Oh Boy !  I now start to get back some of the thousands of dollars that I paid into the system over the last 40 years.   But I can’t help but wonder .. is Social Security really that secure ?

As pretty much anyone and everyone who’s paid any attention to the news for the past generation knows, Social Security, as it is currently configured, is going to run out of money.  It’s simple math.  But it has always (to a great many people) seemed like a distant prospect, not something that demanded to be dealt with right now.

For decades and decades, the program has muddled along, with a few tweaks here and there, running a surplus of funds paid it by workers versus benefits paid to retirees.  And, of course, the federal government “borrowed” those surpluses from the Social Security fund and spent them on just about everything else under the sun.  Which means there has been an ever growing IOU in the “trust fund”.  Couple this with the beginning retirements of baby boomers, and many people have pointed out that it’s going to be a problem sooner rather than later.   We guess what ?  Sooner and Later have arrived, and it’s not pretty.  It’s estimated that by 2030, 100% of our entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be necessary to keep the promises that you and I were given under Social Security.

I can not help but think how this corrupt system so entirely differs from God’s Social Security.  You know, the one that Jesus bought and paid for at Calvary.  Not a system based on any contributions that I made or work that I did, but entirely on his grace !

Here are just a few of the benefits promised by God’s Social Security.

  1. Every need we have will be supplied.  The Bible says: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. That’s Phillipians 4:19. That would include food, clothing, shelter, companionship, love, and salvation thru Jesus Christ.
  2. His grace will be sufficient for us, at all times and in every case. (II Corinthians 12:9). in fact, He has made provision for our salvation by His grace through faith. Read Ephesians 2:8. It is through an obedient faith that we have access into the grace of God according to Romans 5:2.
  3. We will not be overtaken with temptation. Instead, He assures us that a way of escape will be provided. This promise is recorded in I Corinthians 10:13. Jude wrote: “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present your faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude v 24). Darius, King of the Medes, said to Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (Daniel 6:16). He did deliver Daniel from the den of lions.
  4. Regardless of our circumstances, ALL things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). It may be difficult for us to see and understand how this is accomplished at times, but God has promised it, and He will deliver.
  5. We shall have victory over death and the promise of eternal life.  He first resurrected Jesus by way of assuring our resurrection. Peter said: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3,4). Later on he adds: “but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).

Here is the really good news !  You DO NOT have to wait until you are 62 to enjoy these benefits.  Actually you can sign up today.  Just invite Jesus into your life and let him be the Lord of your life and you too can start drawing upon God’s Social Security.

April 20 2010 | Bible Study and Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

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