The Son of God

Two thousand years ago in the small village of Bethlehem, a baby boy was born contrary to nature.  Nine months prior to her son’s birth, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who revealed something very special.  Out of all the Israelite women from the tribe of Judah, Mary was chosen by God to bear His Son.  Mary was confused by the announcement.  She was currently betrothed to a righteous man named Joseph but was still a virgin.

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It's All in the Numbers

I’m not a mathematician. In fact, I generally have an aversion to numbers. They’re restrictive, require systematic, step-by-step (*cough* laborious *cough*) methods to manipulate, are terribly predictable, and generally unresponsive to creativity—at least, the right-brained sort (my sort) of creativity. That said, though, numbers can still grab my attention sometimes, particularly when they have an application in the field of apologetics (in this case, the defense of God's existence). 

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The Bride of Christ

Ephesians 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so letthe wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

All too often, it seems the passage above is reserved exclusively for Bible studies geared toward marriage enrichment, or for wedding ceremonies.

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Objective Evaluation

Acts 13:45 - But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. As the early Christians traveled through the Roman Empire preaching the message of Christ they spoke with people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, education and heritage. The book of Acts provides insight into how many of these people reacted to hearing the gospel.  The passage quoted above (Acts 13:45) is the reaction of many of the Jews who lived in Antioch (in Pisidia). Unfortunately, their reaction is not based on an evaluation of truth but on their emotions.

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Newborn Babes

Therefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envyings, and all evil speakings, desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it; if truly you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."   I Peter 2:1-3 I remember, since it was only 15 months ago, holding my firstborn, a daughter, for the first time and I hope never to be able to forget it. In my arms was a piece of me, sharing obvious genetic traits, probably predisposed to certain desirable and undesirable personality wiring as well. Yet, for all that, she was pure, untainted, more so than she ever would be again. I marveled as I beheld and studied her.

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Modern Confusion on Baptism

Therefore laying aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisies and envyings, and all evil speakings, desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it; if truly you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."   I Peter 2:1-3 I remember, since it was only 15 months ago, holding my firstborn, a daughter, for the first time and I hope never to be able to forget it. In my arms was a piece of me, sharing obvious genetic traits, probably predisposed to certain desirable and undesirable personality wiring as well. Yet, for all that, she was pure, untainted, more so than she ever would be again. I marveled as I beheld and studied her.

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Doubting Thomas

Until recently, I always wondered why Thomas would not believe. Here was Jesus, the Son of God. Thomas spent over three years listening to Jesus explain truths concerning His Father, His death, and His resurrection. Thomas watched as five loaves and two fish feed five thousand men plus women and children. Was he not the one in John 11 who was willing to die with Christ, proving a level of commitment to Him and to His word.

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The Wrath of God

The Wrath of God is real and powerful. The Hebrew writer tells us that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31) Many in the denominational world seek to minimize or even eliminate the Wrath of God from the nature of God. I have often seen and heard comments about "the God of the Old Testament" being much different than the God of the New Testament. But this is something that is simply not supported in scripture.  James 1:17 tells us clearly that He is without variation or shadow due to change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. In fact the wrath of God is as much a part of the nature of God as His Love, Mercy, or Grace. God would not be God without the wrath of God.

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Freud and the Bible

Sigmund Freud theorized that human beings are internally comprised of three parts:  the Id, Ego, and Superego.  He depicted the Id as humanity's primitive impulses or drives that seek expression.  The Superego is humanity's conscience and is socialized by external influences such as parents, religions, teachers, etc.  In between the two stands the conscious self, the Ego, who serves as an arbiter between the Id and Superego.   Internal conflict arises when the Id seeks expression in the conscious self, but is suppressed by the Superego.  The Superego is seen as the source of conflict since it hinders the counselee from following their Id's desires.  Therefore the counselor sides with the counselee's Id and attacks the various influences which bolster the Superego's stand against the Id's desires.

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Upon this Rock

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  It is the opinion of this writer, that Jesus was referencing all of the apostles as “this rock” and not just Peter.  This opinion is supported by other passages pointing the apostles as the foundation of the church.   In Ephesians 2:20 Paul writes the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone.”  In addition, when John sees the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 he describes the wall of the city as having, “twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (verse 14).

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Disciples of Christ 2: Called

As mentioned in my previous post, Christ called his disciples to Him. Other rabbis of that era spent years gaining a reputation and the prestige necessary for students to call on them. The Lord's model is the exact opposite. I think there are some interesting things that might shed some light as to the differences. The teachers of the Law in Christ's time were backwards in a lot of ways. Traditions that were younger than the Old Testament itself were given equal weight to those scriptures. Many of those traditions weren't even Jewish in origin, much less scriptural, as some were pinched from Babylon and Persia--especially regarding the more esoteric aspects of understanding the cosmos and such. The Greeks also influenced Jewish thought, like Philp of Alexandria.

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The Revolution - How the Church Changed the World for Women

In its 6,000 years the world has seen many revolutions, but no revolution can compare to what has been accomplished in the world by Christ and his Church.  Christianity is the greatest revolution the world has ever seen.   In Acts 17, Paul and Silas passed through Thessalonica in Macedonia preaching the gospel of Jesus.  As was often the case, the righteous accepted their teachings and the rest rejected them. When the Jews chased them out of the city they chastised them, saying in Acts 17:6: “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too…”   So how were Christians turning the world upside down?  This article considers one important example - how the Church changed the world for women.  Treatment of Women in Ancient Cultures

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Psalm 51:10-15

Occasionally I will hear people make comments referencing “the God of the old testament,” or “the God of the new testament.” Statements like these stem from the perception that God behaved differently, with different expectations in the old testament than he did in the new. Often the connotation is that the “old testament God” was an angry and vengeful God, while the “new testament God” is kind, forgiving and loving God. There are many examples to counter such ideas, one has but to look at the repeated cycles of forgiveness and redemption in the old testament or the ultimate punishment outlined in Revelation to see that God is kind, capable of righteous anger, forgiving, able and willing to exact vengeance, and loving.

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The Pursuit of Happiness

Often, as men, we spend our lives seeking after happiness. Scientific studies have been done to answer the question, “Are We Happy Yet?” There is a Springer’s Journal of Happiness Studies, a website titling itself the World Database of Happiness, and countless articles and self-help books on how to make oneself feel happier. Some seek wealth, hoping they could purchase enough things to make them happy. Solomon sought happiness through the wealth he accumulated.

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Do you despise your birthright?

The concept of a birthright is important throughout the scriptures. In the old testament birthright determined everything from the portion of your inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:15-17) to judicial and familial position. (II Chronicles 21:3) In Genesis 25:19-34 we are given the account of Jacob and Esau.  The passage that is of particular interest to us is found in verses 27 - 34.

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:27-34

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A Body You Have Prepared

The offerings of animal sacrifice were preparatory for the coming of Christ. They at once demonstrated the need of blood to atone for sin, and the insufficiency of animal sacrifice to bring about the desired change in man’s condition.

  • For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

  • For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

  • But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.  (Heb.10:1-3)

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Is There Sin?

In Jesus' trial before Pilate, the apostle John quotes the Roman governor, "What is truth?"  Though uttered nearly two thousand years ago Pilate's question resonates in contemporary Western culture.   Previous generations considered truth absolute:  "true for all people in all places for all times."[1]  Absolute truth is objective which means it stands apart from individual opinion or experience.  However, contemporary culture believes truth is relative or subjective.  The individual is empowered to define right and wrong as they see fit without any external influences such as the Bible.  A culture that embraces relative truth leaves its participants asking, "What is truth?" 

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