Why we memorize scripture?

We do it for the learning, furthering of our knowledge & understanding of the Bible and the words passed on to us by God through others who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 6:7 NASB

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.~Proverbs 22:6 NASB

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~ Matthew 18:1-5 NASB

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~ Mark 10:13-16 NASB

But there are other reasons for memorizing the scriptures before us. By memorizing them they become a part of us, something we will think on and use to guide us in our daily lives; spiritually, morally & ethically. And of course for those ever present “ahh-hah” moments in our lives. You know where those things you had memorized years ago, or memories from days long gone by and we wake up with an epiphany of ideological wonder, where we see the reason for such and such to have happened, but we could not see it at that moment.

Here are ten biblical reasons to memorize Scripture:

  1. Jesus memorized Scripture. (He quoted twenty-four books of the Old Testament almost 180 times in the New Testament.)
  2. We are called to memorize Scripture. (Colossians 3:16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  3. Memorizing Scripture renews our mind and transforms our life. (Romans 12:2)
  4. Memorizing Scripture helps against temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 119:11)
  5. Memorizing Scripture helps us live in obedience. (Psalm 119:9)
  6. Memorizing Scripture will bring God’s blessing to our lives.(Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1)
  7. Memorizing Scripture allows us to more readily encourage believers. (Romans 15:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:18)
  8. Memorizing Scripture allows us to share with unbelievers better. (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12; Jeremiah 23:29, 1 Peter 3:15)
  9. Memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God and his will. (John 8:31-32, 14:21, Romans 12:2)
  10. Memorizing Scripture makes us wise. (Luke 2:52)

    ~Ten Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! (Why Memorize Scripture? by John Piper, 09/05/2006)

I, myself, still have a lot of transforming to do and many, many changes to go through…and I still won’t become perfect before I draw my final breath. Unfortunately, that is just not in our nature as human beings nor is it the end accomplishment of the nature of man. Once we fell from God’s perfect world…we fell hard. We can only rely on God’s grace & loving nature to save us and make us better. There are things we can do to act and be better than we presently are, and hopefully better than our nature conforms us to be, but we can never do anything that will save us from the pit of hell…excepting but one thing!

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved~Romans 10:5-13 NASB

Of course, we each have our own reasons for memorizing scripture and the end result of such and action.

If you have ever tried to memorize a speech or a part for a play, then you know that it is hard work to learn something so that you can repeat it word for word. Further, if you do not review it regularly, a couple of weeks after you have memorized it, you have forgotten it. Memorizing passages from the Bible is no different. It is hard work, and could take a huge portion of your time. However, if we look into the Bible to see what it teaches, then we will see that this hard work is not only worth the effort, but it is essential and it is expected of us. ~Why Memorize Scripture? by Stephen Simpson

John Calvin, in his Commentary on II Timothy 3:16 says:

“Whoever then would profit by the Holy Scriptures, let him first decide this within himself, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine which has been given according to the desire or will of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit”

We have purpose in reading the Bible, studying the Bible, reading about the different characters within the Bible and about their lives (how they lived and died), and memorization of scripture. We each do it in a different way and we each use a different version of the Bible, from which we read, study, and memorize. Personally, the version that is more comfortable to you is the best one to use. There are those who are KJV Only-ites, there are those who are stuck on the NIV, NASB, NKJV, Living, etc. There are as many as 50 different translations of the original Bible. Some at one end of the spectrum are best word for word translations and on the other end of the spectrum are idea for idea translations. Each one suited to specific people. Some people are better off with the word for word translations and others think differently and are thus better suited for the idea for idea translations. The best version of the bible is the one you are willing to use, provided it is not the “Book of Yesus”!

BibleSpectrumChart1

Look on the scale and see what there is available to you. Once you get hooked, you will probably have several versions for study and reading purposes!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

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God is with you wherever you go

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:7-9 NKJV

crossing the Jordan joshua

While we are no longer under the law, but grace, Jesus gave us the guidance that summed up all the law and the prophets:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

But should we not know the word of God? Yes, for the short answer! It is easy to glean from the bibles we have. And so many believe we cannot truly know that the bible is what it was, because we have copies. But we can know. With all of these copies existing today, we truly can know. First off, most of what was stated was first leaned via the oral tradition, which meant it was memorized (to a certain degree) but provided you maintained the intent of the speaker. In oral cultures like this people often memorized LARGE amounts of material. Passing on information orally was the NORM in ancient Palestine. This means that people living in such an environment developed memory skills that sound amazing to our modern ears. Next we can ascertain the understanding and the original from what was printed ,also gleaning from the text that were anomalous mistakes from other comparative copies. The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest known copy of the Greek Bible, written approximately 1600 years ago. You can use this, too, in order to understand what was written, even though it was written about the 4th century. There are several other concerns that are brought up in debates, or arguments, over the validity of the bible. Topics such as:

  • We don’t know who wrote the bible.
  • Bible not written by eyewitnesses
  • Bible was written late.
  • etc., etc., etc.

There is very strong evidence that the case for traditional authorship was valid and true. The external evidence throughout history accepts and promotes that each of the Gospels were written by those who have entitled them. [I.e., Matthew wrote Matthew, Mark wrote Mark, Luke wrote Luke, and John wrote John.] Papias (60-~130 AD) and Irenaeus (120-202 AD) support it. The internal evidence is rather indicative of it’s truthfulness:

  • The criterion of Embarrassment suggests traditional
    authorship for 3 of the 4 Gospels

    • Matthew wasn’t an apostle but was a tax collector –
      regarded as suspect – thus probably not invented Many of the specific events concerning the life of Jesus can be historically verified such as the Last Supper, the death by crucifixion, and the discovery of the empty tomb.
    • Mark wasn’t an apostle, why make him an author?
    • Luke wasn’t an apostle, why make up that name?
    • So we have three relatively “unspectacular writers”
      Why would someone make up names like this? Why
      not make up a more authoritative name? Peter? Paul?
      James? Thomas?
  • Furthermore, details in Gospel of John suggest the:
    • Author was a Jew with detailed knowledge of Hebrew
      feasts customs and scriptures
    • Author was a Palestinian with his knowledge of local
      geography
    • Author was an Eyewitness – given the repeated compelling
      references to people, places, etc.
    • Author was an Apostle – given his acquaintance with
      the activities of the Twelve.
    • All of this sounds a lot like John!
  • All of this amounts to a very strong case for traditional authorship!
    So whoever says “we don’t even know who wrote the Gospels” would have to shoulder a tremendous burden of proof to go against all of this evidence.

~Scott M. Sullivan, PH.D., How to Defend the Bible, pages 8-9

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the evidence remains strong that the Gospels were written by the authors to whom they are traditionally ascribed – apostles or close associates of the apostles.” — Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, p. 41.

objections-gospels

The objection of the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses is false, but is irrelevant even if it were true. Why is it false? Strong evidence suggests that Matthew and John were actual eyewitnesses and is supported by evidence of traditional authorship. The Gospels by Luke and Mark are not eyewitnesses and they do not claim to be, their purpose was to present the truth.

Now, why this objection wouldn’t matter even if it were true? How many of our history books were written by eyewitnesses? Relatively few, at best. Why? Because you do not need to be a witness to present factual truth and history. Also, Mark and Luke had access to eyewitnesses. Mark was a follower of Peter and because of his closeness to him he also had access to other Apostles which were also eyewitnesses. Luke, on the other hand, was close to Paul and followed him. Now, many will claim Paul was not an eyewitness. Yes, this is true, to a degree. However, Paul had a special relationship with Jesus and was truly touched in a different way. But those who disbelieve in Paul cannot overcome the sudden transformation of Paul from Christian killer and executor to martyr for the cause of Christ. Also, Paul had access to the original Apostles.

The objection that the Gospels were written late is a bit of a fallacy. “Late” gospels-greekis a relative term. When someone says “late” ask them what they mean. What the average person on the street usually means by “late” is a few centuries. This is flat out not true about the Gospels. There are strong arguments for a relatively early composition of the Gospels (showing that all of the NT was written before 70 A.D.!) but we don’t need to even go into those since the commonly accepted “later” dates do not pose a problem
for historical accuracy. According to the most commonly accepted later dates the Gospels were written about 35-65 years after the death of Jesus.

Consider this: Most of what was written about Alexander the Great was written 4 centuries after his death. That is a long time between his life and his death. But most people believe that he existed, that he lived and that he was a great leader. The biographies about Jesus (the Gospels) were written within 35-65 years after His death. But there is evidence that would push that even earlier (approximately in 40s AD) than the conservatively accepted dates of their writing.

This was but a topical overview touching on only a few objections. There are a great number of resources out there, especially within the topic of apologetics from which you can learn much.

Think about this for a moment more, if you can get beyond the objections that prevent you from reading the bible; then you can start reading the bible and start believing what it says and the promises espoused within it! That is a big jump, or leap in faith, for anyone. But grasp that concept and begin your journey of reading and believing. Your life will change, though you may be riddled with doubts during your journey…do not fear! God is big enough and powerful enough to help you overcome those doubts. There is always someone near to you who can guide and help you understand what causes you confusion.

I hope and pray this was helpful and interesting to you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

…made them male and female…

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “ Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They said to Him, “ Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” ~Matthew 19:3-9 NASB

Man and woman were created to enable man to have companionship, to male-femalefurther society, and to complement one another. There are only two sexes in God’s eyes. A man or a woman can go into a doctor, have surgery and be transformed into the opposing sex. However, that is a facade. Just because you had a sex change operation you are still a man or woman in God’s eyes. Also, though you put on a great show that you are now of the opposing sex, your genetic make-up still shows mle-female-transyou to be the man or woman you were born as. Sorry, Genetics do not lie. No matter what you do to your body, no matter what you think of yourself, nor how YOU personally identify yourself (or identify with) you cannot change who and what you are! Yet man continues the fight and plight to be and become like God. Beware of those who try to push God out of our lives! For there are many who desire to do so.

We each have an obligation to God, our Creator, to:

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. ~Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6 NASB

The only way our children can know God is initially through us as parents. We children-and-Bibleare the first impression of God that our children will actually obtain, the snapshot that they receive from us by how we treat others, our spouses and the children, as well. Sadly, we as a nation have allowed ourselves to become so busy in paying the bills and making more money just so we can do more things, that we have forsaken God and His ways. In so doing this we have allowed others with a more liberal ungodly thought of how things should be to actually teach our children and fill them with foolhardiness and ignorance. It is truly a sad debacle this country has fallen into, also sadly that we do it so willingly.

Marriage is for man and woman. In order to create and flourish as a society, man needed both companionship and one with which would complement and create. And that was woman, because she came from man.

The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.~Genesis 2:22-25 NASB

The original marriage of man to woman was the vow or statement by Adam to Eve. If two homosexuals (both men or women) should marry, there is no way for them to produce a child. If a transsexual man has the surgery to change to a woman and then marries a man, they cannot produce offspring [and vice versa]. And, yes, there are some husbands and wives who do marry and cannot produce offspring, but they were a complement to one another. They were man and woman, there are just some of these things that do happen.

I am certain there are those in the LGBTQP community who will not like this message, not that I think that they are listening to me. But the facts are the facts. They are only able to have children through other means of procreation because they cannot make it happen. God made us who we are for a reason, for a purpose…some of which is to carry on the society. Being fruitful and multiplying, as it were. The purpose of the LGBTQP community is simply, in my opinion, to push the normalizing agenda that homosexuality, transgenderism, and pedophilia mind is good, healthy and normal. While those who have not fallen into such an agenda and hype or the masses, know this to be immoral from God’s standpoint. Think about this for a moment…the normalizing of immoral acts, or sinfulness, is quite simply a humanistic, or atheistic, act against God which has been repeated often throughout the history of man.

Face it, if God exists and He did create us, and we are in His image…this means we were not created to dishonor or discredit God. We were made to glorify and spread His goodness and love and His word! We were called and charged to do so by Jesus, Himself. While under the auspices and authority of the New Testament, women are to subject themselves to the authority of their husbands; this does not, however, grant an authoritarian regime of men over their wives. To do so falls under the sin of pride and in essence violates God’s will for our lives as man and woman.

This natural union of man and woman is indispensable for the
common good. We couldn’t have a good society without it. The
reason why is because in order to have a flourishing human society,
you have to have new people and proper formation. And marriage
is where this all happens in the best way. This act of human sexuality
is very important. It’s not some private act that the public shouldn’t worry
about. What people do in their bedrooms has a huge effect on the common
good.

So reason looking at nature shows us that marriage is a natural union between a man and a woman for the purposes of: 1. Procreation and
the education of children, 2. The mutual comfort of the spouses, 3. And a licit
outlet for the sexual desire. All of these purposes of marriage are good, but they are not equally good. Procreation is the principal end of marriage. The
reason why is because the continuation of the species is fundamental for human happiness.

In any civilized society, freedom is always limited by justice. No one should be given the freedom to do what harms the common good of man [as a whole], society, or the nation. Discrimination is only wrong when it is unjust. We rightly discriminate all the time. We don’t allow 12 years to buy guns and beer (discrimination based on age). We don’t allow drunks to drive (discrimination based on behavior). In order to have an unjust discrimination, someone would have to be deprived of what is rightly their due. But since same sex relations do not benefit society like traditional marriage does it does not deserve the  same recognition. Same sex & transsex couples are free to do whatever they  want in their private lives. This much is tolerated. But no civilized society should tolerate unjust laws and it is unjust to give same sex marriage the same legal status as traditional marriage.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

REFERENCES:

How To Defend Traditional Marriage Quick Reference Guide ~Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D.

How To Defend Traditional Marriage: The Beginner’s Guide to
What Marriage Is, Why It’s Important And How to Intelligently Articulate
These Points with Charity and Precision ~Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D.

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Chapter 22) by Wayne Grudem

Man…Is of few days and full of trouble

Man

Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.

~Job 14:1

We each were born and from that moment forth we began to die. Our demise was and is inevitable. It will come at different times for each and every one of us, but our death is certain and sure. On that same note we were born with sin on our hands, our very nature is that of sinfulness if not kept in check or if not guided. Without the outward guidance, we each would find ourselves in a relativistic immoral vacuum. Without a moral law giver, how could it be anything but immoral? Consider this: 1.  Everything that Hitler and his cronies accomplished was according to German law; 2. Everything Joseph Stalin accomplished was according to Russian law; and 3. Everything Mao Tse Tung had done was accomplished according to Chinese law. [The list could go on and on.] The fact is this, without an outside moral force (something personal and outside our plain of reality) to create our moral code for us, would simply create a relativistic vacuum where we would see that all things are permissible if our moral law giver does not exist…hence, God.

In either case, our lives would be full of trouble because of and wholly due to our sinful nature. We naturally want to press that red button we are not suppose to touch…it is in our nature. No cookies before dinner, or you will lose your appetite! And you get caught, or not, with your hand in the cookie jar. Again, the list could go on and on…

These are sins in God’s sight, Why you may ask? Because our parents are our elders  and our trainers and we are to “Honor your father and your mother…” (Deuteronomy 5:16 NASB) Our parents, together, are our first sight of the God who created us and we are to be trained up in order to learn our place in this world. We need to learn who God is and how He fits in our lives. And must learn the purpose for which we were created, how we can glorify the God who wove us in the womb of our mother, AND how we can attain salvation.

Once you turn your life over to God, in Jesus’ care and by counsel of the Holy Spirit…you are on the road to both inward and outward change. In time, time may vary in comparison to others, you will outwardly act in a manner which will glorify God, and God will use you and I. God has a tendency to use those who are weakest in their tribes to do great & wondrous things.

Thinking parallel, the same YOU who chooses not to turn his, or her, life over to God has other avenues of living. To live without God is to live without a moral lawgiver. To live without a moral lawgiver you live without recognition of sin & wrongdoing in your life…and hence, as mentioned earlier, without God then all things are permissible.

Consider this: If there are religions and there is the possibility that any one of TUITthem may be true, then we have a duty, for our own soul’s sake, to research them and determine for ourselves. If God exists, we have a duty…perhaps even an obligation to seek Him out and then to glorify Him and praise Him. Most people are of the mind that they will get to it later…much later. And sometimes that time never comes because we never got a round tuit! Guess what? Sometimes you will never receive a round tuit to get things done, YOU just have to do them on your own accord…me…I am pretty bad about such things. I would like to think I am working on it, but I fail at every turn. But we each must grab ourselves by our bootstraps and get up and GO DO IT!

Most of our lives are filled with turmoil, trials, tribulation and troubles…this is mainly because we try to do things without God. Even in the little things and small decisions…we need God. But we fail, miserably, at recognizing that even in those little things in our lives…God wants to be in on such things.

God is concerned for even the birds of the air, and you are a step above them as He knows your name and He knows your needs before you do.

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. ~John 16:23 NASB

There are times you will ask and things do not seem to be happening. Sometimes the answer is no, it could be because you ask with wrong motives, or it is not God’s will for such a thing to happen. We consistently revert back to that angst filled teen that complains and whines because we did not get what we wanted..but get this, it may not be something you needed. God grants what you need. Don’t get me wrong, there are times He will grant you things that you want, but as a good Father in heaven…it is what you need that you will get. Sometimes we need to learn patience, or that we just won’t get all that we ask for. But God is always there, He will never leave you nor forsake you!

No matter how hard you try to be good or righteous in act or deed…you, along with me, will always fail in some way shape or form. As it is in our carnal nature to sin. We were reminded by the Apostle Paul:

“as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 NASB

Which was intimated to us centuries ago by by King David:

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” ~Psalm 14:1 NASB

We each have a problem, that is, we are human and very carnal creatures. We want what is easy, we do not want to work hard for anything, and if at all possible…we would love it to just be given to us. But this is not the way life works. While there is an uprising of those who are entitlement crazed, for you to have something is not necessarily a right…even if it is espoused by a political or religious leader.

We are in desperate need of a return to ethical and moral living, a reminder that God who supplies us with every breath we take and the moral laws that we should be living by. We need to go back to the old ways; while they may be harder, but more often than not it is better for our character.

Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.” ~Psalm 37:34 NASB

“He strikes them like the wicked In a public place, Because they turned aside from following Him, And had no regard for any of His ways; So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted—” ~Job 34:26-28 NASB

Things don’t always have to be troublesome, just turn to Him and pray for His guidance!

There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.” ~Deuteronomy 4:28-30 NASB

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Once Saved, Always Saved ~REVISITED

eternman

Some of you are probably wondering, will he ever just move on? What is up with this topic? This, quite honestly, is a hot topic for many, not just myself. And as like so many, I want everyone to have as much knowledge and understanding at their fingertips in order to make a truly wise, understandable, knowledgeable, and prayerful decision as to what they truly believe about the subject matter at hand! In the past (August & September of 2015) I wrote a two part blog posting on this very subject (Once Saved, Always Saved? & Once Saved, Always Saved? ~Part 2). The blog postings were cursory and were unassumingly ambiguous, in that, I still was not certain at that time about the subject. However, I desired to get as much of the information out to you so that you could decide for yourselves, despite the fact that I was not 100% sure in either case. Many have the belief that once saved & always saved is a fallacy and a license to sin, because if one cannot lose their salvation then they can do anything without regard to consequences. Remember Father Zosima’s quote, from Dostoevsky’sBrothers Karamazov“, “If there is no God then all things are permissible.”

This is not what the bible teaches. And if you can lose your salvation then you aren’t truly saved, hmmmmmmm…also, this is not taught within the biblical text. So, this, I hope, is the last of this question and my input on this subject, as I am (as you can see) grasping information from numerous sources. But no promises on this being the last word on this topic of discussion. Also, it is not like I do not have other topics to discuss, as I have in my drafts anywhere up to 40-50+ topics. But as with anything else, your mind is constantly thinking on what NEEDS to be heard and understood by those who follow your blog(s). I hope I keep everyone busy and tantalized by the topics that are posted.

My greatest problem, that which holds me back from this teaching, is the fact that I believe that somehow we (mankind) can subvert our salvation through our God given right to choose (good or bad, right or wrong, righteous or evil, etc.) I understand that the grace of God is how we receive our salvation which is a gift from God. I also understand that many rely on this scripture:

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ~John 6:37-38 NASB

My problem with this is that God, Jesus, says, “…the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out…” which leads me to believe that though Jesus will not cast a person out, but if he can chose to be saved by calling on God, can he not also choose to walk away from such a glorious gift, as well? Consider the story of George Wilson, the man who refused a presidential pardon. This is my dilemma, which I hope to solve by the end of this particular blog posting. Therefore, my friends, this will probably be my longest post, or several blog posts, only time and research will tell. Sorry!

So, what is the Doctrine of Free Will? According to Matt Slick of CARM.org he has defined as such:

Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion.  There are debates as to what extent this free will is to be understood as it relates to people.  There are two main views:  compatibilism and libertarianism…The compatibilist view is the position that a person’s freedom is restricted by his nature as is described in Scripture and that his free will is consistent with God’s foreordination…Libertarian free will says that the person’s will is not restricted by his sinful nature and that he is still able to choose or accept God freely…[see more of this refer to What is free will? ]

Free will and the Christian religion

The problem of free will assumed quite a new character with the advent of the Christian religion. The doctrine that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law, made the reality of moral liberty an issue of transcendent importance. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the colour of his eyes. All alike are inexorably predetermined for him. Again, the difficulty of the question was augmented still further by the Christian dogma of the fall of man and his redemption by grace. St. Paul, especially in his Epistle to the Romans, is the great source of the Catholic theology of grace. ~Catholic Encyclopedia

This might be a good segue to ask what was the point of the law? What was the purpose of the law? Remember what the Apostle Paul told us, in Romans 7:

…I would not have come to know sin except through the Law… ~Romans 7:7 NASB

So, the law was a means of accomplishing your salvation, that linked with the blood sacrifice of animals could land you into heaven. Of course, you would have to adhere to all of the 613 laws on the books and properly and morally give your blood sacrifices throughout your life. And Jesus taught us that He was “…the way the truth and the light…” by which we could “…come to the Father” and it was only through He that we could do so. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry He, during the Lord’s supper, stated (according to the Apostle Matthew):

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” ~Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV

We are reminded of the “My blood of the new covenant”, which was a foretelling of His own trial and tribulation that the Christ had to endure in order to become the final sacrifice…for us all…once and for all! Yes…do you you get it now? He died for you and me, for all of us and for all those not yet born. Now, with the “New Covenant” through the blood of Jesus we are no longer held accountable to the law. Now we are to live as Jesus lived; Jesus being our premier example of how to live.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NKJV

When Jesus said, “It is finished!” He meant that His task was completed for all mankind; i.e., He was that final sacrifice. Upon that moment Jesus gave up His Spirit and His blood was spilled on our behalf, as our final sacrifice. We were freed from the law…although, keep in mind the law is what we use to determine if we are sinning in any particular area of our lives. Of course, this is a no braniner since,  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (for better context refer to Romans 3:21-26 NASB.) This is why we are saved by grace through faith [in the blood of Jesus…the lamb which was slaughtered on our behalf.] Further consider what the Apostle Paul had written:

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB 

CrucifixionJesus suffered for each and every one of us and He was held accountable for each and every one of our sins. Those nails, the crown of thorns, the cross upon which He bore our sins…it is in our place that he was condemned, it was for our sins He died.This was prophesied by Isaiah, one of the major prophets:

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. ~Isaiah 53:3 NASB

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. ~Isaiah 53:7 NASB

We all think, at some points in time, that we are good people. But what exactly Maniacsdo we use as a basis for our arrogant statement? Why? Because we didn’t kill anyone? Because we aren’t Hitler? Stalin? Mao Tse Tung? Pol Pot? THAT is a bit relativistic, don’t you think? The list could literally go one for quite some time, but for brevity I will leave it there. But, yes, Jesus died for each of them. Yet, they did not accept Jesus…they rejected Him and therefore, Jesus also rejected them. Remember what Jesus taught?

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10:32-39 NASB 

license-to-sin

Now, from a moral standpoint we are not given a license to sin. Because as children of God we are to strive to be better than what we once were. Unfortunately, I know people who take this literally as a license to sin. And if they do sin, there is no admission of such a thing, because it wasn’t them but the evil one who sinned within them…hmmmmmmmm.

So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.~Romans 7:17-20 NASB

This is but one, there may be others because the Apostle Paul generally refers to other things he has written about. However, people take this out of context for their benefit in order to sin and continue to keep on sinning. We are meant to understand that we do wrong because of the sinful nature within us. That being said, we are to use Jesus as our Godly example of how we are to live out our lives. But because that is way too hard to do…we should just let our bodies do what they will do, because our souls are saved. That is ungodly thinking and antithetical to the teachings of the bible. Look at the Apostle Paul who killed Christians his brothers & sisters. You can see in his writings that he is tormented due to the memory of what he once was and what he did, but he knew and held on to the hope that Jesus forgave him and he made great strides to do God’s work and fulfill the purpose for which he was created. Let’s look at King David who was a warrior, an adulterer, he lusted, and he killed in order to hide the truth, but God was there and saw it all. Consider, for a moment, that if we were to live as though we have a license to sin then why didn’t the Apostle Paul continue to torment and torture Christians? If what happens while in our flesh truly didn’t matter, then Paul had a license to continue to do what he was doing. And the same could be said of King David. But they each knew they were wrong due to the sin that was within them and they struggled to be better. If God could save David and Saul (Paul), then that gives us great hope…because God wants to save each and every one of us. He desires all of mankind to be saved and to enter into the heavenly realm.

I love the Matt Slick explained his point of view on this, in his article THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

…Let’s say that we are on a 20 foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” Usually, the eyes brighten at this point. I then keep going…

Well, I think I truly kept my word, this is the longest post I have written…<<whew!>>

Here after the teaching of the Beatitudes while still speaking to the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised and forewarned us:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5:17-20 NASB

All in all, I believe the final belief that can be derived from this post is that we are saved eternally from the aspect that Jesus was that final sacrificial lamb to die for all of our sins. Those who have not yet been born and those who have died. We are told that we will answer for our sins, but unless we lived a life antithetical to God’s word without ever seeking God’s forgiveness, we are saved. Though we sin, we will still answer for them but we are heaven-bound.

Do not forget about the thief on the cross…REMEMBER HIM?

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:39-43 NASB

You can be on your deathbed, and if you are truly seeking God’s forgiveness, He will give it. You might consider reading the minor prophet’s Book of Jonah. If God was willing to forgive the Ninevites, how much happier do you think God would be that YOU seek His salvation and forgiveness?

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB

So now is the time for you to seek God out, pray to Jesus. Find a bible believing church in your area and start associating with the like minded. Search out a bible that you can read and that is good for your soul. I read the NIV, NASB, NKJV, and the KJV. Most of my references are NASB & NKJV. To help you look here:

BibleSpectrumChart1

Also, one of my other blogs I posted What is the Best Bible to Read? Which has numerous references and articles for you to glean through in order to make your decision.

May the Love of God Shine upon each and everyone of you in your life’s journey toward salvation! I pray for each and every one of you that you find your way, if lost; those of you who are already saved…I pray for you to see and understand God’s will and purpose for you in your lives.

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

REFERENCES:

The Bible (BibleGateway NKJV & NASB)

The Assurance of Salvation by Matt Slick (CARM.org)

1 John 5:16-17, The sin leading to death

What is once saved always saved? by Matt Slick

What is the Eternal Security of the Believer? by Matt Slick

What is the difference between eternal security, once saved always saved, and perseverance of the saints? by Matt Slick

If eternal security is true, why did the Holy Spirit depart from Saul? by Luke Wayne

Can the Christian believer lose his salvation? by Matt Slick

What is free will? by Matt Slick

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem