Adam & Eve

You may have heard people say that the Bible blames Eve for bringing evil into the world. That is patently untrue. Paul wrote in R0mans 5:12 that it was by the actions of one man (Adam) that sin and death entered the world. Did Eve play a part? Certainly, but the onus is place squarely on Adam's shoulders.

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Carbon Dating and the Bible

How old is the Earth?  This question and related subjects have been at the heart of the Bible vs. Science controversy of the last several centuries.  Taken literally, the Genesis creation account and genealogical records provided throughout the Bible indicate a relatively young world, not older than 6,000 years or so.   Modern Science, of course, mocks this idea of an adolescent Earth, offering a dramatically different perspective in the billions of years and beyond. 

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He Promised Me the BMW!!!

Beginning in the 19th Century, and increasing in popularity right after World War II, men began to interpret a few passages of scriptures to mean that God would materially bless those who trusted in Him. This idea asserts that the man who prospers in this world is the man who puts their trust in God. In defending such a position, the following verses are pointed to (not exclusively)

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Worship Means Sacrifice

Americans love convenience.  From microwaves to pizza delivery, from cell phones to high-speed Internet, from drive-through funeral viewings to drive-in churches, Americans make no bones about their love of convenience.  And convenience is certainly nice (in its place).  After all, who isn’t glad to be free from the time-consuming, back-breaking drudgery of doing things the old-fashioned way? (The good old days weren’t necessarily the good old days.  Just ask those who lived during them!)  Who doesn’t enjoy having more free time in each day?  Who doesn’t like to be able to get information when and where he wants it?  Convenience is nice. But some things just aren’t convenient.  And to make them so is to make them into something they’re not.

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Democratic Society and Temptations Against Faith

With faith comes a degree of moral certainty. This is as it should be. However, a cause for deception arises when we confuse our moral certainties with political order. The temptation is to use the gospel as a vehicle for making laws to suit ourselves. We need to be clear; moral certainty must contain the good news of salvation for all of humanity. Political order has its own set of morals because it is for the governance of a broad mix of convictions and absences of convictions. The contrast between the two moral standards is found when we compare baptism with lethal injection. 

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Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” On the surface, Acts 2:38 seems to be a straightforward, simple verse.  Peter commands repentance and baptism in Jesus’s name.  Those who obeyed in faith would receive the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit.  However, this simple interpretation contradicts what many have come to believe.  Most of the evangelical world interprets Acts 2:38 thusly:  “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins so that you can repent and be baptized.”  

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Shining Glory

The knowledge of the glory of God is today revealed in the face of Jesus, as it once was in the face of Moses, but in a vastly superior way. As Moses came down from the mount with the law and a countenance reflecting God’s glory, so did Jesus—He just happened to be coming down from a much loftier, heavenly peak with a perfected law and, since He is the express image of God’s person, His glory and God’s are one.

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United We Stand

In Matthew 12, Jesus incites the anger of his adversaries by healing a demon-possessed man in the presence of a Jewish multitude.  These impressionable Jews began to wonder if he might be the King and Savior for which they’d been waiting.  The Pharisees, a leading political sect of the Jews, were not so enchanted.  They couldn’t deny what they’d just seen with their own eyes, but nor could they concede that this man might actually be the Messiah.  Since they couldn’t believe that this wonder was accomplished by the power of God, they quickly concluded he must have done it by the power of Beelzebub – Satan himself.  In his rebuttal, Jesus made this instructive statement: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

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Unintended Fulfillment of Prophecy

As has been shown in earlier entries on this site, prophecy provides proof that 1) the prophet of old prophesied truth, and thus 2) spoke of the future in a way that no man, apart from the power of an all knowing being, could. Therefore, we can deduce that if the prophets of old were confirmed by what they spoke, there must be a Higher power providing these men with the ability to foreknow. 

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Thoughts on Job 33

On the surface the book of Job is quite simple. It deals with the testing of Job's faith. But the book become much more involved once you dissect the wranglings of Job and his friends. (If I dare call them friends.) There is a passage in Job 33 that I have been pondering, and I would like your thoughts on it meaning. In Job 33 Elihu, a young man (Job 32:6), is speaking with Job and trying illustrate the point that Job has gone too far in his self justification.

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Serving the True God

By over-generalizing God’s nature or character, we can form false impressions.  As an example I cite the oft stated summation, “The God of the Old Testament was a God of judgment and condemnation.”  Is this an accurate statement?  How would we reconcile such a statement with Hosea 11:1-4?

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The Church of Choice

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1-5: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” 

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Upon This Rock

In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” After providing various responses,  Jesus goes a little deeper, “but who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus response to this has been the focus of much confusion over the past couple thousand years, and continues to bring confusion to us. 

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A Shared Ministry: The New Testament Pattern

From a study of 1 Corinthians 14:26-40, the following truths emerge:

1.    Corinth was experiencing confusion in the Lord's Day assembly, hence Paul's instructions, and his concluding admonition:  "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40).

2.    Many members customarily played a public part in Corinth's Lord's Day assembly:  "How is it then, brethren?  Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation" (1 Corinthians 14:26).

3.    Paul had no intention of depriving them of this mutual ministry--he intended only to order it:  "For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged" (1 Corinthians 14:31).

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Priests of the Most High God

I came from a religious system where there was a sharp difference between those who handled the services of the assembly and those who came to worship. It was difficult to disengage from a such system inasmuch as I was raised to respect it. And some of those who taught me so, were respectable as well. However, through the scriptures I came to see  there is a “royal priesthood” made up of those who were called “out of darkness into His marvelous light.” I also came to understand that the distinction between clergy and laity is not a scriptural concept.

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And There is No Partiality

Is there a quality that is generally more detested than favoritism?  We cry out when we observe our branches of government perverted by bribery, “pork-barrel politics”, or racial bias.  Some political movements are formed for the sole purpose of promoting fairness, equality, social impartiality. 

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