GRACE AND PEACE

peace“The Maker of Heaven and Earth”

God is the Creator of the universe and he demonstrates two specific things: His Grace and Peace.

The book of Genesis is one of the most important books in the Bible because it introduces us to God as the Creator and well, like any book, many people go for the beginning chapters.

They read, “In the beginning God.”

Here they learn about God right out of the starting gate. Here God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are seen at work planning, speaking and active. God cares and is involved because he made everything. That says it all.

He is “the God of all grace.” (1 Pet 5:10). He is “the God of Peace” (1 Thess. 5:23). Grace and Peace kick off in the Bible and we should see that and talk about that to others. Believe in this God of grace and peace. When there was nothing and no one and what is now our planet was unformed and unfilled, the all-powerful Yahweh made all things. God brings his light and life. He monopolizes all goodness grace and peace.

God was not only involved but he was copious and meticulous in his actions. Creation seems so mysterious, people read about earth’s birthday more as a play by-play of the Creator’s actions all the time overlooking God’s creativity (Prov. 8). We see more of his muscle than his genius. His motive for creating all things was Jesus. “For through him God created everything and without him nothing was made that has been made (Col 1:16; John 1:3). He extends the gift of his Son by his grace. Grace is God’s detailed initiative to act in generosity and love. We are still discovering the wonders of creation that show us how caring and doting our Heavenly Father really is. We see he brings life where there is no life and when he does it is a spectrum of light.  He fills all emptiness with his gifts and His presence.  When he acts in grace, he is eager to show his goodness. His grace causes everything to multiply, it has endless variety and it is done with eagerness. When God made a paradise for men and women in which to live, He did so out of His lavish kindness, His grace. In fact, the book of Genesis gives the most used illustrations for grace by the prophets and apostles. Grace is all about God: His initiative, intervention and involvement. It shows the wisdom and understanding of his grace and how he enjoyed to plan ahead to save us, to shower down the wealth of His forgiveness and grace upon us bring us into his own family through Jesus.

With the close of the six days of the spectacular show of his power, he stopped creating. He made a day of rest. “His works have been finished since the creation of the world.” (Heb. 4:3). It was not just for ritual observance, for cessation of work does not mean one is at rest. A vacation can be more stressful than restful. Holy activity springs from being at rest in one’s relationship with God.  Rest is seen right away as God takes one day and makes it holy. He sanctified it. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.'” (Ex 31:17NLT).  God has given us a new creation and that is the rule we walk by, not being propped up by religious do’s and don’ts. Paul says, “God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.” (Gal 6:16). Rest and refreshment are the inheritance of the child of God because of Jesus (Heb. 4). How does he do this? As the God of peace he sanctified us (1 Thess. 5:23) so we need not struggle for what we already are and have been given. The God of peace puts an end to confusion (1 Cor. 14:33) and through his peace he produces everything in us that is pleasing to him (Heb. 13:20-21). There are so many preachers teaching how people can attain rest, by doing this or that. However, the Bible says it is simply accomplished by believing what Jesus has said.

Let me finish up with a quote by Martin Luther, “Grace remits sin, and peace quiets the conscience. Sin and conscience torment us, but Christ has overcome these fiends now and forever. Only Christians possess this victorious knowledge given from above. These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity. Grace involves the remission of sins, peace, and a happy conscience. Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. The Law reveals guilt, fills the conscience with terror, and drives men to despair. Much less is sin taken away by man-invented endeavors. The fact is, the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God. In actual living, however, it is not so easy to persuade oneself that by grace alone, in opposition to every other means, we obtain the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God.”

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ALL POWERFUL

Alpha and Omega“Almighty”

When we come such words we can only worship God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  John says, “Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: “Praise the LORD! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” (Rev. 19:6).

God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost is ultimate uniqueness and there is none like Him.  He is the A to Z, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending  of totality. He is the Trinity three in One.  One God, not three. He has control of everything natural and supernatural. He is absolutely invincible. He cannot be cannot be stopped or reversed.

Yahweh, God is invincible, in every sense and aspect such as strength, speed and intellect.  He is beyond cause and effect, logic and reason, and can make anything happen without limits and imagination.

El Shaddai, rules all things. He handles any situation. He has all-incredible skill and wisdom.  He creates anything and everything from nothing. He is self existent and self sufficient.

The one God the Bible declares, exists outside of everything and yet is concerned with even the smallest thing.  He knows no bounds. He is immutable and immune to change.  He is everywhere, at once, at all times. He knows everything and anything and has full comprehension of the the smallest quark to the immense universe and eternity.

He manipulates and creates concepts, shapes and destroy all forces.  He can create or erase life all at once. He is beyond life and death.  He is immortal. He brings everything back to its original state. He renews all things.  He controls the extent of existence itself.  He is  totally unstoppable. It is amazing how there is a certain sense in the Apostles Creed of not only defense of the faith but holy defiance in these words against those who would attempt to make the Christian God less than He is or compare him to false gods of pagan religions. 

Arthur Pink says, It is very beautiful to link together the following passages: “He walketh upon the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8), which expresses God’s uncontrollable power. “He walketh in the circuit of Heaven” (Job 22:14), which tells of the immensity of His presence. “He walketh upon the wings of the wind” (Ps. 104:3), which signifies the amazing swiftness of His operations. This last expression is very remarkable. It is not that “He flieth,” or “runneth,” but that He “walketh” and that, on the very “wings of the wind”—on the most impetuous of the elements, tossed into utmost rage, and sweeping along with almost inconceivable rapidity, yet they are under His feet, beneath His perfect control!”

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.

GOD, THE ULTIMATE MALE

God2“God the Father”

GOD is the ultimate male the Bible uses the terms  “he” or “him” to refer to God. God is NOT seen in terms of female at any time and there is no generic Deity as well.  This idea was not the invention of man, nor a preferred translation, it is a revelation of God.

I read that the word Father is from the Greek root Pater (where we get the word patriarchal) which means one who supports, nourishes and protects. In God’s created order, the father is the head of the household and demonstrates a likeness to that of God the Father over his creation and love for his family. When it comes to salvation everyone is equal male and female but this structure has not changed and the patriarchal template cannot be distorted by liberal theology. It is a great infidelity and heresy to call God “mother” or “goddess.”

God the first person of the Trinity was always the Father. In the accounts of Jesus Christ in the gospels God is seen as the Eternal Father, first person of the Trinity.  James Orr says,

“To reach the heart of the truth of the Divine Fatherhood it is necessary to begin, not with man, but with the Godhead itself, in whose eternal depths is found the spring of that Fatherly love that reveals itself in time. It is first of all in relation to the eternal Son-before all time-that the meaning of Fatherhood in God is made clear (John 1:18).”

He is Father to the world like an inventor only in a way where he made all things out of nothing. But think of this: it was through the eternal Son of God, that God secured our souls salvation and changed our status from illegal aliens to dearly loved family.  

We should ask, “Did God have to have us as children to be called “Father”? Is it because he is the Creator and cares for all his creation?”

The answer is a definite, “No.”

It is because He has always had a Son, Jesus, the eternal Son of God. This is the beauty of the Trinity. He is the Eternal, Heavenly Father. Christ offers us through his blood, the status and relationship he enjoyed with God before the universe began.

I must say that although is through Christ as a mediator we have been brought into relationship with God, the Father has always loved us with the love he has for his Son in his sovereignty and good pleasure (Eph. 1:4).  Jesus says now, “The Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.” (John 16:27).

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.

WE HAVE THE REAL GOD-YOU DO NOT!

Trinity-560x560“I believe in God”

CHRISTIANITY has a specific unique faith.

In light of what I have previously posted now I need to be more poignant. I also want to be careful because many people in their attempts to talk about God make it sound anywhere from a fifth grade science fair project to the forensics you see on one of the CSI shows or Bones.  Theology is not supposed to dissect Deity into little pieces but reveal the majesty and splendor of the one true God.

We should not want to over-simplify biblical definitions of God for the curious spectators of this age. I do not want to talk about eggs and various forms of water to illustrate God. God is mysterious and he is above us in every aspect, his thoughts and ways can never be measured or understood. People say Christianity is simple, or it its all about love, or all about helping the poor, or this aspect or that-they are sadly ignorant. Christianity is all about God, specifically his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian faith or belief system is monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief that there is only God. The apostle Paul says that all other gods are anywhere from lifeless idols to demons (1 Cor 10:18-22) and we have no agreement, concord or unity with false religion. Among the three major religions that proclaim they believe in one God we are the closest to Judaism and Judaism and Christianity are furthest from Islam. All people must confess that Jesus is Lord and God or they cannot go to heaven.

Our faith distinguishes itself. Jesus Christ is God’s Son and we worship God as the Trinity. The Trinity is one God in three persons. There are many books dealing with this subject. That is called apologetics or the defense of the faith.  We must be clear that The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Spirit. We can study the Trinity at another time. There are many anti-Trinitarian cults and sects out there-it is sad, but at one time being part of one of those groups, I have realized my errors. I stand with my fathers and heroes of the faith and now I shall not be ashamed.

Finally, let me say we owe a great debt to those who were heretics. I know I do. A heretic is a person who is against biblical teaching. Sometimes when we are challenged about what we believe it motivates us to study and make what we believe clear. Most of the teachings or doctrines we believe about God were developed in creeds due to the fact there were those who perverted or rejected biblical definitions of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and salvation. People did not like that the Church used words outside of the Bible to defend scripture. I know that is a silly concept and all pastors and preachers would be out of a job for sure. The use of Trinitarian terms has been vociferously attacked for many years.

BB Warfield said it like this, “The doctrine of the Trinity lies in Scripture in solution; when it is crystallized from its solvent it does not cease to be Scriptural, but only comes into clearer view…the doctrine of the Trinity is given to us in Scripture, not in formulated definition, but in fragmentary allusions… we are not passing from Scripture, but entering more thoroughly into the meaning of Scripture.”

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.

I BELIEVE

NiceneWordle“I BELIEVE” is more like a stated opinion than an admission of what a person considers to be truth these days.

Pluralism teaches that there can be more than two kinds of ultimate realities. Christianity takes an exclusive position on  truth not such a silly outlook on life.

There is only one God and one truth.

We live in a day where it seems everyone is entitled to their opinion but where no one knows what is right from wrong.

On the other hand we have entire groups who base their fellowship on what that group believes-but they are usually side issues-they are marginal not cardinal.  Groups for years have taken sections of the Bible where they attempt to make a distinctive of one doctrine: prophecy, worship styles, dress codes, baptism in water or the baptism in the Spirit and even diet. I do not mean to be uncharitable, but in most of those instances they make other Christians either sub-Christian or refuse to call them Christians at all.

That is why I espouse to the apostles creed. It helps me avoidsconfusion and produces a unity based on scripture rather than just warm, cuddly feelings.

“The oldest usage of the term “Rule of Faith” (regula fidei), now commonly given to the Scriptures, has reference to this creed.” (James Orr).

I base my fellowship with other Christians on the Apostles Creed. The Apostles Creed teaches what Christians everywhere no matter their denomination should believe or accept as true. These are truths at the heart of the Christian faith. This way I do not compromise the scriptures and do not fellowship at the lowest common denominator. Dodd comments,

“The Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of things which are most surely believed among us, and its several parts or articles are founded upon the contents of Scripture, which is our one rule of faith. It does not begin with the words I think or I know, but with the statement “I believe.”  “Belief” is used in various senses, but here it means the assent of the mind and heart to the doctrines expressed in the Creed. When we repeat the form we declare that we accept and adopt all the statements which it covers.”

What do you believe?

You say, I believe in God.”

I believe in “The Bible.

Or you say, ” In Jesus.”

But which God are you referring to? What is the Bible and what does it teach and what does it say about Jesus?

The Apostles Creed has the basic summary for all Christians to accept as truth.

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. If you use this article tell people about us and where you found it. Don’t plagiarize.