Sunday, June 27, 2010

Christ is God in Scripture

Our detractor states: "Jesus never claimed to be God-He never actually said "I am God".

On the contrary. Jesus is co-equal with God. This is the consistent teaching of the whole bible, especially the New Testament. Though not every statement is expressed with equal explicitness, every statement bearing on the nature of Christ proves He is full Deity & humanity in one person, without contradiction. The various names and titles of Jesus are unequivocal of his full Deity.

Just a few verses will bear this out:

Micah 5:2, King James Version But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting

Vs. 2b, New American Standard Bible His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another...

Isaiah 48:11c I will not yield my glory to another.

John 17:5 [Jesus prayed] And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Psalms 45:6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

Hebrews 1:8 But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom

John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... [14] The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 5:22-23 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

Ezekiel 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.

John 10:14 I [Jesus] am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.

Hebrews 13:20 ...our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep...

Romans 9:5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Now that you know Jesus is clearly called God in many ways throughout Scripture...what will you do with that knowledge?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Series on Genesis At Pyromaniacs

Because it's such an excellent series, I need to link to John MacArthur's & Phil Johnson's stuff at Pyromaniacs. In essense, Genesis One is truth. It shows God's existence, & his Creation of the universe as supernatural acts, and Christians who compromise on the literal meaning of Genesis as a historical narrative are undermining the text as well as Christian orthodoxy on original sin and soteriology. It begins here, with follow ups at Phil's blog. READ IT!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Real Cause of Starvation

As I was reading the Proverbs, I came across one of the truest statements in the bible.

"The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice." Proverbs 13:23

Consider the problem of poverty and starvation in Africa, particularly Ethiopia. There are many natural resources that could build the infrastructure of these countries, and stabilize them. The quest for power and control of rich resources like the Nile River have created political injustice.

When resources are sent to help the poor and starving, often some or all of it is stolen by regional warlords who stockpile the goods for their troops.

The solution is right there in the very rich lands that God has ordained in places like Africa, but evil prevails, and injustice prevents the people from having enough basic goods. It's a sad reality.

We must realize that as Chrsitians we need to continue to have compassion on our neighbours. We cannot solve or rid the world of it's evil, but we can give the Gospel with compassion, and offer our worldly goods to help. This is no social gospel. It's love for our neighbour.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Hinders Our Prayers?

Unconfessed Sin
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Psalm 66:18

Rebellion Against God
Pro 28:9: "He that turneth his ears from hearing the law even his prayer shall be an abomination".

Lack of Faith
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-8

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" Matthew 6:15

Dishonoring Your Wife
"You husbands likewise, live with our wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."(1 Peter 3:7)

Impure Motives
James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."

See also D.L. Moody's book, Prevailing Prayer, What Hinders It? There is a Google(C) scan of the book
at  Sermon Depository here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bach - Matthaeus Passion - 01

A classic piece. This sure beats the "campfire" music of worship bands in most Evangelical churches. This music elevates the senses to a grandeur lacking in most worship. Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Satan's Opportunities

I posted this as a comment at another blog, but I thought it would make for a quick post given my time limits.

Satan tested Jesus in the wilderness. Satan also tests those who follow Jesus. The Bible likens the Evil One to a roaring lion who roams the earth looking for prey. And here are some opportunities to definitely avoid so as not to give the devil opportunity to work. Satan's opportune moments come:

1. when you are not in the right place where you should be.
   2 Samuel 11:1-2; Proverbs 1:8-19

2. when you're anger is unresolved.
    Epesians 4:26-27

3. when you are physically weary.
     Matthew 26:41

4. when you are locked in some secret sin.
     John 13:27

5. when you're pride is ripe.
     Proverbs 16:18

6. when you are fliritng with temptation.
     Matthew 6:13

There are many other opportunities to be sure. Let's watch and pray until the devil is put under our feet.

Monday, June 7, 2010

When The Preacher is Not That Great

This is an older post from Steve Burchette, of Christian Communicators Worldwide. He makes a few good points about how to handle the situation of a less- than- stellar preacher, or like he says it..."When Your Preacher Is NOT John Piper".  Good reading.

For First Time Preachers

I've had the opportunity to speak in my church, and to do some public preaching. It's not something that comes naturally to most of us. I recall the first time I spoke to a particular group in my my church. It was a ministry to people on the street or who had basic needs. I was asked to speak about "The Cross". I didn't exactly prepare for that topic, but I did come with a topic I called "The Hope of the Resurrection".

As I spoke about the resurrection, I mentioned that because of sin our bodies suffer from disease and death. It's a consequence of the Fall. After my sermon, I was approached by a couple of angry listeners! They accused me of saying that sick people are sinful, as if sickness were a sign of personal sin. They "heard me" wrong. I tried to reason with them, but they left as unsatisfied customers.

Later, I got a letter from the group leadership. Actually, it was a list of standards for speakers in the church. I don't have a copy of it now, but it listed some basic points of protocol for what is acceptable and not while speaking to a group from the Bible. Well, seems they got a few complaints about me.

And so it is that I learned the hard way that you need to use your words very carefully, because people can hear you a certain way, and misquote you. I recall too that a pastor once told me, young preachers like to show off all that they know.

So, don't show off, and speak carefully. Self-evident ?....yes! But always good reminders.

"He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit"  (Proverbs 17:27)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Famous Atheist Refutes His Own

Here is Atheist Isaac Asimov on the use of the word "unicorn" in the King James Version. From his Asimov's Guide to the Bible pp. 186-187 Vol. 1, 1968 :
Atheists who want accuse the Bible of teaching mythology at this point have no support from the one time President of the American Humanist Association. If an atheist or other critic of biblical inerrancy would be honest with the facts, they could see that they have no two legs to stand on polemically. Also, I'm not saying that just because Asimov wrote this, that it must be true. Only that today's critics would be well served to be honest and careful with the evidence as Asimov was, and so acknowledge the truth.

"The Hebrew word represented in the King James Version by “unicorn” is re’em, which undoubtedly refers to the wild ox (urus or aurochs) ancestral to the domesticated cattle of today. The re’em still flourished in early historical times and a few existed into modern times, although it is now extinct. It was a dangerous creature of great strength and was similar in form and temperament to the Asian buffaloes.The Revised Standard Version translates re’em as “wild ox.” The verse in Numbers is translated as “they have as it were the horns of the wild ox,” while the one in Job is translated “Is the wild ox willing to serve you?” The Anchor Bible translates the verse in Job as “Will the buffalo deign to serve you?”
The wild ox was a favorite prey of the hunt-loving Assyrian monarchs (the animal was called rumu in Assyrian, essentially the same word as re’em) and was displayed in their large bas-reliefs. Here the wild ox was invariably shown in profile and only one horn was visible. One can well imagine that the animal represented in this fashion would come to be called “one-horn” as a familiar nickname, much as we might refer to “longhorns” in speaking of a certain breed of cattle.
As the animal itself grew less common under the pressure of increasing human population and the depredations of the hunt, it might come to be forgotten that there was a second horn hidden behind the first in the sculptures and “one-horn” might come to be considered a literal description of the animal.
When the first Greek translation of the Bible was prepared about 250 B.C., the animal was already rare in the long-settled areas of the Near East and the Greeks, who had no direct experience with it, had no word for it. They used a translation of “one-horn” instead and it became monokeros. In Latin and in English it became the Latin word for “one-horn”; that is, “unicorn.”
The Biblical writers could scarcely have had the intention of implying that the wild ox literally had one horn. There is one Biblical quotation, in fact, that clearly contradicts that notion. In the Book of Deuteronomy [33:17—BT], when Moses is giving his final blessing to each tribe, he speaks of the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) as follows: “His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns....”
Here the word is placed in the plural since the thought of a “one-horn’s” single horn seems to make the phrase “horns of a unicorn” self-contradictory. Still, the original Hebrew has the word in the singular so that we must speak of the “horns of a unicorn,” which makes it clear that a unicorn has more than one horn."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Power of Reasoning From the Scriptures

I've become more convinced that speaking to people about Christ is a testimony, and not a dissertation on theology. You might know what I mean. Someone begins a conversation about Christ or something related, and before you know it, you're discussing whether the mind exists in reality, or whether science is the ultimate truth, or such other things.

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe. The Apostles preached this Gospel with power. They weren't philosophers for Christ. They weren't one of the Athenian elites. They just preached a crucified & resurrected Jesus. They were witnesses of the risen Lord Jesus. But it was simple enough....the Scriptures of the Prophets spoke of a suffering Servant who would rise again from death, and they and others saw this. It was really "according to the Scriptures", that Paul and others spoke the Gospel.

So next time some eager soul, wrings his hands, ready to shut you down with a sly argument...cut to the matter and say something like,"Yea, but you're still a sinner, in need of the forgiveness of God, which is in Jesus, because He alone died for sinners, and rose again, with the result that this Jesus is going to judge the whole world...Now it's time to repent & trust in the Name of Jesus for your salvation". And see the power of the Gospel work in confounding the "wisdom" of this world and give life to a dead soul.