WE HAVE LOST OUR WAY

looking-at-map“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.” (Jer. 50:6)

Jeremiah in his prophecy begins once again to lambaste the spiritual leaders of his day for misleading and abandoning God’s people. These men are supposed to be men who knew the truth and knew the right way yet still misled the people of God. They have the people of God so twisted up in knots that they don’t even know how to get back to the sheepfold or where a true fellowship is. A true place of fellowship is that group of people that has Christ as their center who believes in the power of God and its application to every need and they teach the scriptures incessantly. But like them we have lost our way.

People today really rely on navigation. GPS in the car we drive (Global Positioning System) is very popular whether installed by the manufacturer or after market devices. Being a glorified car jockey for a while I saw that this is a nice selling point. It’s a great invention and is a tool. Now practically all cars have navigation. I don’t think it will be that far in the future that our cars will practically drive themselves.  People don’t see the need for a paper map anymore.

I don’t want to betray my age complaining about “the way things used to be” but a whole generation is being raised up that wouldn’t know North from South or East from West. It used to be that you had the map out when you were traveling long distance and figure out those routes before you even began to travel.  Not so now. You just enter your address and there you go. But having a actual sense of direction I think is gone. We just don’t want to have to think about how to get to where were going. We would rather someone else do that for us or in this case some “thing.”  I’m wondering what would happen to a person who has no sense of direction if they got lost in another state or God forbid in another country. Maybe a person can figure out that the sun rises in the east and sets in the West but I wonder-what would they do they got really lost and were unable to rely on the technology of today? It would be pathetic.

A growing number of Christians have no sense of direction. I don’t care on how much they insist that they are led by the Spirit. They would much rather have someone do the thinking about directions when it comes to any of the challenges that they face in life. They would rather go to church and hear a person give them instructions on what to do about their marriage, finances, parenting, employment and spiritual life rather than read the Bible for themselves. They will insist once again that it needs to be practical and relevant, when truth is always practical and it is always relevant. Now, there is much to be said about good teachers of the word of God.  How much in this day in our do we need people who stick to chapter and verse of the scripture. Without it we have lost our way.

People are lost in the sense of being disoriented. How can I say that? Have you ever listened to an average Sunday with men and women preaching.  it always seems that they have “the message. ”  It’s gotten worse and worse.  Not that there are not great preachers. It just seems that they are all saying something different. But I cannot blame them. I think the people who listen to them are far more culpable. We criticize people for going to church is that has priests but it seems that we ourselves instead of relying upon our great high priest Jesus we have people in between us and him. We have a third-party relationship. When God himself has blessed us with his word. No one denies the gift of solid teaching both ancient and contemporary. But those who lead have a solemn responsibility to lead us to Christ.

The Bible is the word of God, the Bible is God’s voice to us God speaks to us and tells us what to do. The Scripture seems to indicate that when a person lives right, when they guard their hearts and they take captive their thoughts by pondering, studying and seeking to apply the holy Scriptures- that in of itself provides direction and guidance. I do not think this is an oversimplification.

But we are not immersed in the word of God. We have sinned in this matter. It’s a great sin. I see whole groups fighting to keep the public display of the 10 Commandments and yet the Christian of today seems to have a poor relationship with the Scriptures. We want so much to know God’s will but we don’t want to make the effort in reading his word. We have every excuse possible. We excuse ourselves from studying the word then complain about our losing our way. I think we deserve to be lost. It’s our nature to  drift, our propensity to get off track. We have lost our way.

People say, “I try to be good.”  But what’s the test of that goodness? Doing good and doing the right thing is always tainted by our own selfishness pride and evil desires. That is why we need the word of God. It tells us that the only way that we can deal with that base nature is first through trusting in Christ. Complete and total trust reliance and dependency upon Jesus. Without that we have nothing. Without that we are lost.

One time Jesus told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them.  He told them they knew where he was going. Thomas disagreed. He did not think that he knew where Jesus was going.  I have heard people praise Thomas for his question. People tell me there’s no such that is a stupid question. I don’t mean to be crass but I think Thomas Estes stupid question. But you have to give them credit for not being a hypocrite.

Why in the world would Jesus think they knew where he was going? Why because in some way shape or form he must have told them. Jesus has taught them that he would be betrayed he would be crucified and he would be raised from the dead. Jesus believed they knew. Why? He made it clear.  Jesus insisted, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.”  now I know we take that Scripture and we plaster it in the faces of people who are of other religions who believe that there are other ways and other truths and another life. We insist on the definite article “the” way and “the” truth and “the” life.  But the bottom line is is he are only way our only truth and our only life.

The son of God would not have us lost. He is searching for people relentlessly as it were. His Father he said is seeking for worshipers. The Holy Spirit leads us in the direction that we need to go. God is not lost. We are the ones that get lost. Why? Because our focus is not on Christ. Our focus is not the word of God and I don’t mean some legalistic study of the word of God. I don’t refer to some method of man in how to study the word of God. I refer to the Scriptures as imbibing it like water consuming it like food. Just as Jesus said his words are spirit and life and that they are his flesh and blood. They must become our flesh and blood as we meditate upon the Scriptures. for without Christ being the sum total of all that we are, we will lose our way.

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Christ’s Manifest Presence

IMG_2494The Bible teaches that Lord is enthroned and inhabits the praises of his people (Ps. 22:3).

This praise here is he Hebrew word  tĕhillah-an exuberant, spontaneous singing. The people here are the church, his saints who have been given grace to respond to the love of the Lord with all their hearts.

Only a real Christian who has the Lord on the throne of their heart will be aflame with the joy and rest of the Holy Spirit. Only that person desires to engage their Lord with exuberant joyful singing! Worship is never boring to them-that is why they sing with joy! 

First, biblical praise simply means worshiping God for who he is-his nature and character as revealed in the scriptures. That is why I love the old hymns, that focus on the loveliness of Jesus and the glory of our heavenly Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

When you hear the saint singing they do not ask him for anything they just sing loud and strong about him-that He is love; He is holy; He is faithful and He is powerful. Praise acknowledges the Lord Jesus who says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8). The saint counts on the fact that with him, I have no need!

Second, we worship God for his actions: for what he has done what he is doing and what he will do (Hab. 3:2).  Psalm 111 says that, “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” We are thankful to God for his salvation and the forgiveness of sins; the sweet infilling of  the Holy Spirit and answered prayer. We thank God for his protection, provision and power over sin.  We thank God for giving us the strength to work, providing our needs, for physical health and well being. Thank God that he allows us to serve him by helping others, giving and encouraging others. There is something about thanking God in and above everything that brings joy!

Third, this sort of praise boldly responds to the involvement, even the invasive power of God that comes on the scene of our lives. When he is enthroned it is called “the throne of grace” where we can find mercy and help in the time of need (Heb 4:16). Praise him in the time of need!  Jesus is alive and real and ready to be there for us. He never changes, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8). He will come to you in power.  In this type of praise there is more than acknowledging that God is everywhere. This is talking specifically about the unique worship of the saints.  Jesus said that it is his manifest presence (John 14:21-23).  What is the manifest presence? 

AW Tozer puts it this way:  

“The Presence (of God) and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work it is to show us the Father and the Son. If we co-operate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face…our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us. The revelation of God to any man is not God coming from a distance upon a time to pay a brief and momentous visit to the man’s soul. Thus to think of it is to misunderstand it all. The approach of God to the soul or of the soul to God is not to be thought of in spatial terms at all. There is no idea of physical distance involved in the concept. It is not a matter of miles but of experience.”

Ah there is no distance between us and God! He is ever seeking to show himself to us and rid us of that the misconception of distance!  Oh let us praise him with our whole hearts. May he be  joyfully enthroned in our lives and I believe that we will experience him more and more and that the light of Christ will be seen in our lives.  This praise declares that Jesus is here to save, deliver, heal and set free.  We will know him not only as dear, but near.

TODAY COULD BE THE DAY!

jesu with us“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev. 3:10)

PROPHETIC VIEWS are not a salvation issue for me. While, rapture “haters gonna hate” it is one of those things (at least for me) that we can agree to disagree on as Christians.  In my opinion, very few seem to believe in and preach on the RAPTURE of the saints before the Great Tribulation these days, I will continue to do so charitably. There are those who avoid speaking about the rapture due to the all the false prophecies that have been made especially in the last few years.  But it makes no biblical sense to change doctrine because people have misunderstood it or preached it incorrectly.

In my humble understanding, there are three Advents or “arrivals” of Christ.  The first Advent was his incarnation (God coming as man) when he came to bring us salvation from sin (Matt 1:23; 1 Tim 3:16).  The second Advent will be the Rapture of the church “in the air” which will be his salvation from the seven year Great Tribulation (1 Thess. 4:13-18).  The third Advent will be his coming to earth to rule and reign for 1000 years ( Rev. 19:11-14; Zech. 14:1-4).

The Rapture is when the saints who died and those who are alive “will be suddenly caught up together…in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:17).  Christ’s coming in the Rapture for christian people is imminent meaning that he could return at any time.  Many passages suggest this (1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13; Revelation 22:20).

“The basic idea of the Rapture is drawn from the Latin term for “caught up”—rapturo. It means that the church of Jesus Christ, those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior, will literally be transported from earth to heaven in an instant. There will be no death for those who are raptured. They will be taken—caught up—in the air to be with Jesus! Paul believed that Jesus’ return was imminent, and that brought great comfort to him in his daily struggles. It is not difficult to understand Paul’s longing for this to occur when faced with the trials we are confronted with daily. However, no one knows when this will happen. We do know that we are given His Word as the assurance that it will happen.” (C. Stanley)

The sense of Christ’s coming seems to not hold the same excitement as it once did for some and the idea that, “Today could be the day.”  no longer seem to be as the Bible says, “the Blessed Hope.” As a young believer, I was excited about the rapture. I was excited that one day I would be able to see the Jesus that saved me from from the miry clay of sin. The Jesus that I loved was coming for me.  I was excited about being in heaven with all the men and women that I was reading about in the Scripture. I was excited to be with those that I knew as believers that had died and went home before me. Many times after prayer or being in church I had a real sense of the presence of Christ knowing he could take me home to heaven  at any moment.  It also gave me the sense that every day I could expect great things from God.  Now at this point in my Christian faith, truly understanding justification by faith alone and the grace of God I can truly do what Paul says and comfort and encourage-not TERRIFY others with these words! Those wonderful words of grace which speak about the coming of Jesus for his people.

Some Christians forget, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Phil 1:21-23).  To be with Jesus is FAR BETTER! But today it is like the old preacher said, “Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.”  Jesus tells us, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24).  I am excited that Jesus who is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) and Christ who is our life (Col 3:4) will appear for us and bring us home at any moment! Some Christian people wonder if they will make it because they struggle with sin. I did not say trying to get away with sin, but  they fight sinful issues. Paul prayed,  “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:23). Paul also taught that Christ will, “Present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Col 1:22). Child of God get ready, the Lord loves you and wants you with him, he has reserved a wonderful place for you already (John 14:1-3). 

I think because people have lost this hope of the RAPTURE it seem they are giving in to a fear of death or at least the unknown. The Bible says that Jesus came so through his, “death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb 2:15).  In fact, through the new birth (John 3:3-5) the Christian has already been spiritually resurrected. Their bodies will be transformed, into a spiritual body that will be imperishable and and raised in power (Phil 3:21; 1 Cor 15:34, 42, 44). Whoopeee!  Those bodies will have no pain, and never die. Each body will have a label marked by the eternal designer God as it were, which says, “made in heaven.”  (2 Cor. 5:1). That is awesome.  This means they already have eternal life. That is exciting!  Today, yes today could be the day.

THE 1 JOHN 1:9 CONTROVERSY 3: UNDERSTANDING FORGIVENESS

6105349915_17ab703908_zThere are days you can feel you are just learning things you thought you understood but I think humility should always be the product of good theology. Don’t you?

So once again lets go into 1 John 1:9. Now it is clear that from this passage that God meets the Christian at the point of their failure each and every time. he is never seeking to punish them for sins that he allowed Christ to be punished for-that would be what we call double jeopardy

While our sins are already forgiven the UNDERSTANDING of that sin being forgiven must be illuminated to us TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

God in Christ always initiates HIS love acceptance and forgiveness and comes to us when we sin. forgiveness has been secured before our sin but it is secured by our faith and confession in the time of need (Heb. 4:16) or the time we need forgiveness. God will never refuse to forgive us or hold a grudge against us. It has always been his way (1 John 4:10). He makes sure that we know that there is no need for fig leaves borrowed from the “wallowing in guilt tree” when we have the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Our sins are already forgiven by the application of the sense of forgiveness and deliverance from its guilt are applied each and every time we confess. 

The Christian has no problem immediately confessing his sin to God -confession means to know, account and yield to the truth that they are not only forgiven of all sins but they are dead to sin and that sin has been conquered at the foot of the cross (Rom. 6). That is why the Christian does not practice sin. They are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to put off the old man and put on the new man. 

A genuine believer hates sin and sees it as destructive to their life and others. Knowing the price Jesus paid for sin, Calvary love (agapao) is constantly before their eyes through the Holy Spirit who has poured the love of God (all the work of Jesus on Calvary) into their hearts (Rom 5:8). It is that love that gives them joy not to focus on sin but accept by faith the forgiveness already procured at Calvary for them.

While our sins are already forgiven, as we confess our sins we understand God’s forgiveness and God helps us to put sin out of our lives and overcome them.

This is my humble understanding of the subject so far.

©2014 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney

THE 1 JOHN 1:9 CONTROVERSY 1: DEALING WITH GNOSTICS

teachingI am taking a stab at what has become the 1 John 1:9 controversy, so be patient with me, I am still learning.

The warp and woof of cults and false doctrine is to make a square peg fit into a round hole so scripture must be interpreted by scripture not by what we want it to mean. OK? 

John was writing this to two groups: the Gnostics and Catholics (code for true Christians not Roman papists).  Many of the creeds were written due to Gnostic heresies. We are not talking about Agnostics but Gnostics. An Agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. The Gnostics believed in an elite knowledge that brought an individual a cosmic “awakening” not salvation from sin by Christ. But then again they are not sure how to define themselves! To understand Gnosticism, they say, “one needs something very much like a musical ear. Such a Gnostic “musical ear” is not come by easily. ” 

Christians commit sin or sins. Big surprise. The Bible says so.  But we confess our sin. We agree with God who have fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Gnostics don’t homologeo or say the same thing that God says about the existence of sin in humans and in the world. Gnostics reject the law entirely or as they say,  For man, the universe is a vast prison. He is enslaved both by the physical laws of nature and by such moral laws as the Mosaic code.

The Bible says you are a liar if you don’t see that sin is real. In fact, the Bible says you call God a liar if you don’t think so. The Gnostics were such liars. They do not believe man is spiritually dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) but they are in a state of stupefaction and need an some sort of “awakening” from this “stupid” semi-conscious or unconscious state-to knowledge of the universe and transcendence. Gnostics see no need for salvation or regeneration like the Bible teaches (John 3:3-8). They have no need for anything like faith or good works. They say, What effects the awakening is not obedience, faith, or good works, but knowledge.

But what does the Bible says about sin? It is breaking the law of God. “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:4-6NIV).

Many who have rediscovered the gospel of grace face the false accusation of being antinomian or lawless. But those who study scripture realize that Christians do not mix the law and gospel for salvation. They understand like Luther, “The Law is for the proud and the Gospel for the brokenhearted.” 

The law cannot save, no good works can satisfy God’s law which demands perfection. In fact the law crushes, “the sinner’s hopes of escaping God’s wrath through personal effort or even cooperation… first comes the law to proclaim judgment and death, then the gospel to proclaim justification and life.” (Bavnick).

©2014 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney

BUSTED

800px-La_conversion_de_Saint_Paul_GNot that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Phil. 3:12).

I found this to be a fascinating verse.

The King James says that God “apprehended” Paul.

That word at first blush seems very strong to us, a word used in police work.

Was Paul was arrested, collared and even “busted” by God?

Well, having seen the actions of Saul of Tarsus now called Paul, this does not seem so far-fetched. Once, he thought he believed right and lived right-better than anyone he knew. But later, he described himself as the foremost of sinners on God’s most wanted list and an insolent opponent of the gospel of Christ (see 1 Tim 1:12-17).

Christ took hold of him right on the street as it were, not even in “church.”  He was not a religious clone like so many today. He was saved by grace not human method’s. A light from heaven flashed and it incapacitated and blinded him (Acts 9). Jesus stopped him in his tracks wondering why Saul continued to persecuted HIM.

Paul was attempting to stop the gospel of Jesus and Jesus stopped him.

Thank God the religious right, or “progressive” left had no say in this! Paul at worst was not executed, nor thrown into prison or at best given community service.  In fact, Paul would be God’s favored instrument, “to turn people from darkness to light and from Satan’s control to God’s.” (Acts 26:16). 

Paul says that Christ took possession of him that day and made him his own. The word used for “take hold of” or “apprehend”  is katalambanō and Thayer describes it as “Christ by his holy power and influence laying hold of the human mind and will, in order to prompt and govern it.”

That is an awesome description of salvation. 

Salvation was the intervention of God and his kingdom in the human heart. Christ had to put the brakes on Saul’s deception that would have destroyed him. He dried up his religious momentum with one phrase, “I am Jesus!” 

He was blinded to his deeds for God and confronted with Christ, by Christ. All his deeds all his religious beauty became pale, his pious strength drained from him, and his theological vigor disappeared and his ecclesiastical energy was gone (see Dan 10:8). He found nothing mattered to the one true God except the person and work of his beloved son, Jesus. 

Some would be resistant (no pun intended) to this God being so enterprising in his saving grace. But the biblical understanding surely shows that God is eager to save us from our sins and give us eternal life. Salvation is found only in Christ.

The words “I am Jesus” are the words that bring light to the darkest of hearts and thank God today we are busted by his grace.

JESUS, THE TENDER SAVIOR

handMen and women I hope this helps you today.

Take the time to read this not just “like it.” It is medicine for a sick soul.

“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”

Isaiah’s prophecy shows how tender Jesus is to those who are weak and fragile.

He gives the picture of a reed and a wick used in oil lamps describing his people. In the Middle East Reeds are actually quite strong.

This analogy would normally show people who are spiritually healthy and useful.

Flax is actually made into thread for linen cloth, nets and twine.

This is should be picture of strength and right living since the saints garments are identified as such linen.

The issue is that the reed and wick are seen as problematic, weak and frail.

The reed is crushed and the wick smoldering and about to go out. It is a picture of a person who is unstable and unusable.

This is where Jesus comes in!!!

Christ is never harsh with us but gentle and tender when we fail. He heals us when we are broken and restores us so we burn with full flame.

Sometimes as Christians we are ashamed at how weak and problematic we are.

We have been hurt and we feel unloved and unattractive.

Then we are far more smoke than fire because we pray so little and neglect His word. Our testimony is depressing.

Jesus helps us when others just are not comfortable identifying or helping us. He does not, “brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant.” He, in his own wonderful way, mends and restores broken people.

He lifts up and helps those who are exploited, overlooked and abused. He makes them useful and strong again.

The word falter is the same word as smoking in smoking flax.

He will not lose heart or be discouraged is the same word as bruised.

He was once bruised and broken for us. His flame of life was put out on Calvary for us but NOW the Risen Jesus is unbroken and full of fire! He is a perfect Savior.

He is invincible in his redemption and omnipotent in his salvation.

He will not give up on you but will restore you to health.

That is good news for some today. (SG)

DEFINED AND CHISELED CREATIONISM

day-one-creation-of-man-by-lester“The Creator of heaven and earth”

This short article may give some offense, but I stopped attempting to ‘relate’ to unbelievers and started just giving them the Word.  I recommend you do the same. Why?  I like what Matt Slick says,   “No matter how convincing the evidence or good the logic, an unbeliever cannot come to the faith because his fallen nature will distort how he perceives the truth.  The only thing that can ultimately change him is regeneration.

People cannot believe the truth because they are dead spiritually. The Creator must give them new life before they can. That explains a lot.

God is our awesome Creator (Isa 40:28).  The Bible insists in calling the world and the universe “creation” (Mk. 10:6; Rom. 1:20; Heb. 4:13). The things in the world were “created” (Ps. 148:5; Rom. 8:39).  The Bible admonishes us to “remember our Creator” (Eccl. 12:1).  We need our memories refreshed  as we read the Bible and it shows God power to heal, restore, give life by referencing Creation.  Isaiah says, “God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth…” (Isa. 42:6).  And again, “For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the LORD,” he says, “and there is no other. (Isa. 45:18).

The young earth/Creationism doctrine is the result of the plain reading of the Bible. There is no room for any other interpretation and you cannot use the Bible to prove any form of evolution. There are so many idiotic moderates even in the church and they water down the gospel with the spittle of human philosophy. Evolution, plain and simple,  is a great anti-Christ heresy, yet it stirred up lazy theologians and believing scientists to go back to scripture. Most apologetics come about that way.

So let me begin with this. For starters, you can only call yourself a Creationist if you believe:

  • In the existence of the Trinity-the God of the Christian Bible. 
  • The Earth is only thousands not millions of years old.
  • God Created the Heavens and Earth in a literal six 24 hour days by his spoken word.
  • Adam and Eve were a literal couple, male and female and that is God’s model for spirituality and sexuality.

By the way, it seems that the things that get attacked most are the existence and nature of God, the age of the earth, the days of creation and the heterosexual model of marriage.

The World was created by God speaking it into existence. He exists and he creates. “For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.” (Psalm 33:9NLT). The entire universe owes its existence to God, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Heb. 11:3). We have already discussed the Bible’s and the creedal view of who God is and the great reward of believing in him and seeking him out in prayer (Heb. 11:6).

 The Bible was created in six literal days. (Ex 20:11; 31:17). “If you think about it, an infinite Creator God could have created everything in no time. Why, then, did He take as long as six days? The answer is given in Exodus 20:11 Here we find that God tells us that He deliberately took six days and rested for one as a pattern for man—this is where the seven-day week comes from. The seven-day week has no basis for existing except from Scripture. If one believes that the days of creation are long periods of time, then the week becomes meaningless.”

God created Adam and Eve and “God made them male and female from the beginning of creation.” (Gen 1:27; 5:2; Mt. 19:4; Mk. 10:6). Marriage and sex was a gift from God to be shared among a man and woman in lifelong relationship of marriage. The account of Adam and Eve is not an allegory. It is not a fairytale. That was the way God made them. It is a defiance and rebellion against God to believe anything other because he made them in his image (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 1:21-25). It is idolatry of the worst kind for someone who claims to be a Christian to promote any other lifestyle.  If you claim to be homosexual, you cannot use the Christian Bible to endorse your lifestyle. So stop doing it. Use some other book if you like. All that is being promoted today, let’s be honest, is all about politics and people who have perverted genuine sexuality and spirituality who want to build their own tower of Babel and be the pathetic gods of their own lives.

But that is yet another Bible account which explains much of what is happening today.

(c) 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries

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.”

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!”

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