Jesus Was An Interactive Teacher, But What About The Church?

JesusTaughtInteractively1

I recently, in October, visited my sister in Tallahassee, Florida for my niece’s wedding…and a beautiful bride she did make, for certain! It was truly a blessing, doubly so, I might add. I attended my sister’s church, the 1200 Tharpe Street Church, the Sunday after the wedding. It was a beautiful sermon and gracious heavenly worship music.I was blessed and so surprise.

My sister leaned over to me and said something to the affect that “this is a far cry from the old Roman Catholic masses.” As though I might feel uncomfortable in the service. But I know we had spoken on several occasions that I had not been a Roman Catholic for decades, now.Later that day I spoke to her about that little act of kindness she showed me by handing me her first bible for study. While I had visited her she handed me my first Bible. As a kid growing up in New Jersey diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, we did not read the Bible, as mentioned before. The Priest said he would read the Bible and teach us what it said, because (in essence or in fact) we were too stupid to understand the Bible. And with that Bible, I told her, a journey began in my heart and soul to seek God. While I still have problems, as do most of us due to our carnal natures, we have found God in our own ways.

While I found it odd that a Priest would say such a thing. But, sadly from my perspective, it was one way the Catholic Church attempted to maintain power over the people within the congregation(s). Although, this was in direct conflict with God’s Word.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. ~Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV

The word of God has been revealed to man, and is therefore no longer a secret. However, there are those who teach the word who seek to keep themselves in power, to a certain degree. Gutenberg placed the Bible in print for man to see. Tyndale was the one who gave the Word of God an English voice. For decades, if not millennia, the Word of God was in the Latin tongue. This, at some point in time was considered God’s Language. But how could such be? After all, looking at the Jews being God’s chosen people would make Hebrew, rightfully, God’s Language…don’t you think? The Bible was seen, in the eyes of many, to be a powerful tool over the people…and it was used very much so as a weapon against the people.

Well, let’s get back on track. What struck me was the teaching of Anthony Battle (Lead Evangelist), which also inspired this blog post. The sermon was a series entitled “Follow Me” on the teaching of Psalm 2:1-8. It was as though I were in a Bible Study, yet it was more deeply involved than that. It was truly different, from my perspective. It brought to my mind the teaching written about Jesus in the Gospels. I have been to many churches in my life. Some were powerful, some were truly motivated, others were very inspiring, but none compared to the interactive experience at the 1200 Tharpe Street Church.

What of your church?

While I do love my church, due to it’s set-up it cannot be completely interactive. As our well isnt that special dana carvey GIF by Saturday Night Liveset-up is a primary church with 4-5 satellite locations. However, as a single, sole church you can be more interactive. And please, do not misunderstand me…I am not touting that the pasture is greener on the other side of the United States. Churches are different. Both of our churches are non-denominational (Calvary Christian Church & 1200 Tharpe Street Church.) Each church has both problems that they must contend with, they have benefits that pique the interest of others, and each possesses a closeness that creates a family.

Jesus spoke out publicly and personally for all to learn and gain a renewed closeness to God. This, I believe, is one of the purposes of the church on earth. Often times we become so enamored by the building that we fail to realize that the church is the people. Many churches throughout the world begin in someone’s living room. Jesus taught the twelve and sent them out among the people to teach them.

After a few months of training the twelve Apostles became fishers of men, Jesus gave His students a “mid-term exam.” John Mark records: “And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. … So they went out and preached that people should repent [change their minds]. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” (6:7, 12, 13; cf. Luke 9:1-6).

Interestingly, in the parallel passage in Matthew’s gospel the make up of the “two-by-two” teams are given: Peter and Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew; James and Lebbaeus / Thaddaeus; and finally Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot (10:2-4; cf. Luke 6:13-16).

Later, Jesus sends another group of seventy individuals out, most likely to Perea, in order to prepare that area for the next stage in His ministry. As with the Twelve, He sent these disciples out two-by-two as well (Luke 10:1).

Jesus set forth the Biblical pattern, two-by-two, for future missionary endeavors by the example of the Twelve and the Seventy. The Holy Spirit, in the Book of Acts, confirmed this pattern by example as well (Acts 13:2).

~”He Began to Send Them Out Two by Two…” by Gordon Franz MA

Of course, back in the day and time of Jesus, it was probably easier and more practical to have church groups in your home, due to the smallness of the cities and towns. However, the basic message I get from the Gospels and the Epistles is teaching people, interactively, and sending them out into the world to teach others. Even if the world you send them out into is the city in which you live. As the group grows in knowledge, send them out to teach others, then start up another group. There is no reason that you couldn’t stay in touch with your brothers and sisters. The teachings of Paul clearly indicate that he stayed in touch with those he taught and visited with them.

I hope I dd not blather on too much. And get too messy and all over the place. I also wanted to express what a blessing it was to receive a great teaching at such a wonderful church in a distant city!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

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Having Too Many Choices?

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I have once read, or heard, it said, “If you have too many choices, then you have no choice, at all.” I believe it was a Christian author reiterating something that a psychologist had spoken. In fact, I came across an article about the top ten quotes on this very subject. It is very odd how that works out. As mentioned in the article, “having more options does not necessarily help us make better choices.” As odd as that sounds, it is very true.

Think about it for a moment. How often have you gotten on the television with the channel changer in one hand just flipping the channels. Only, to your dismay, finding nothing to your liking on the television…despite the fact that you had just cycled through500 to 750 channels, twice. I was such a television aficionado, or televisionaholic, that I could actually cycle through the channels at such speed and accuracy that two-three hours would pass me by and I did not watch anything of knowledge or substance.

TVaholicThe ability to watch the news 24/7 is absolutely ludicrous! Think about it…regardless of what happens, outside of some travesty, you can watch the same things being spoken by the same, or different, faces for those 24 hour periods. And it does not help when you add politics to the mix, because then you will be adding an additional dynamic to the mix. Which, by the way, only increases the tension in your heart and mind, regardless if it were a conservative or liberal twist.

My wife and I use to have the news on all day long and tensions ran hot and heavy. TVaholic1Within the last two, or three, years we have changed to listening to the radio. Still political/news punditry, but not quite as bad as watching the news all day long. Quite honestly, I liked the good old days when you had the news on in the morning in time for the morning rush hour and in the evening at or after dinner time. I am to the point of wanting to get rid of cable, all together, and just use a digital antenna and go back to the good old days of 13 channels.

The same choice that prevents us from choosing something to watch can also afflict us with respect to religious practice. Those of you who came from an atheistic, or theistic-lite, backgrounds sought out the One True God based upon truths that were made evident to you. However, there were too many religious choices. And then when you finally got to Christianity you found there were upwards of 34, 000 variations of Christian beliefs. Sooner or later, you whittled it down to the top 35 denominations within the Christian faith system.

WhichDenominationAmI

And, of course, YOU may not truly find out which denomination you are until you try out the church itself…YES, you do have to go and see if it is a fit for you and for them!

BUT, of course, YOU are a trooper. So, YOU do your research on the denomination and you go to the church to visit. You visit several churches and research their beliefs, the denomination, etc. Remember this, you will also need to research the bible and all that it promotes. As a good Christian you will also be mentally comparing what your Pastor preaches against what the bible states and what Jesus taught. Many of the denominations will fall off of the personal list you have made.

My siblings and I were brought up Roman Catholic. Had I a Priest of the likes of Robert Barron (Bishop)  or a mentor of the likes of Scott M. Sullivan, I would probably still be or would have returned to the Catholic faith. I grew up in West Caldwell, New Jersey under the Archdiocese of Newark (Notre Dame Church.) We were taught, at that time in the 1970s, that we were not to read the bible, but the Priest would read the bible for us and teach us what it said. Being a teen, with a great amount of angst, surely did not go over very well for me. God gave us a mind to think, and logically reason…not to be spoon fed and indoctrinated. At that time in my life, spoon feeding was not on my mind. But, believe it or not, my oldest sibling had paved the way for me to escape the snare of religiosity. Although it took about another 8 years to find my way to God – amidst numerous hiccoughs along the way. Eventually, regardless of who you are or what you are facing, you will have to reconcile  what you do with your core values and beliefs. Whether it be habits you desire to rid yourself of, honing in on the religion of choice or of truth, or a career path to follow. You must reconcile with your core values & beliefs.

>>>>Sorry, I got a little off track…again…my bad!<<<<<

Watching television or picking the religious faith that God desires you to be associated with…it is truly tough to wade your way through all of the “addictiveness” of it all. But with much prayer and research and continued faith in God and listening to the Holy Spirit guiding you…you will find your way!

Biblically speaking, you could gather together with others in your own house to create a church.

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”~Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV

Taking to heart the above quotation of Jesus, the church is the people, not the building. As a matter of fact, the church I presently attend, Calvary Christian Church, started in the house of one of the original pastors. It is now a primary church with four satellite locations and I foresee it expanding even further…God willing!

I did get a little off track and continued to do so, but I believe I made a point…although, it may not have been the one I intended to make! LOL Keep smiling and keep praying! Godspeed to you all!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

The Big Bang & “Let There Be Light”

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We all have our opinions on the Big Bang and on God, as well as, the Bible. Since this is my blog…these are my opinions. [No arrogance, just a statement of fact.] I found the movie “GOD’S NOT DEAD” to be an interesting movie. While in some cases the movie had good arguments, although much of the demeanor of the Professor was out of sorts, in my opinion, with respect to his power and position. But the movie showed some interesting arguments and their responses. That said, let us move on.

So let’s look at theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg’s description of what the big bang would have looked like. And since he’s an atheist, we can be sure there isn’t any believer bias in his description.

“In the beginning there was an explosion, and in three minutes, 98% of the matter there is or ever will be was produced. We had a universe.” [On-screen animation of the big bang]

For 2,500 years most scientists agreed with Aristotle on the idea of a steady-state universe—that the universe has always existed with no beginning and no end. But the Bible disagreed. In the 1920s, Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaitre, a theist, who was actually also . . .He said that the entire universe, jumping into existence in a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, out of nothingness in an unimaginably intense flash of light, is how he would expect the universe to respond if God were to actually utter the command in Genesis 1:3, “Let there be light.” In other words, the origin of the universe unfolded exactly how one would expect after reading Genesis, and for 2,500 years the Bible had it right, and science had it wrong.

You see, in the real world we never see things jumping into existence out of nothingness, but atheists will make one small exception to this rule; mainly the universe and everything in it. ~God’s Not Dead Revisited, by Roger Patterson on August 5, 2014, 

While during the advent of the atheist in philosophy and science movement was running strong, back as early as the 1950’s, within the academic circles…there seems to be a resurgence of Christians within both science and philosophy.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.” ~Genesis 1:3-4 NKJV

IF God exists, as the Christian believes Him to exist (i.e., outside of time, space, and matter), then to say “that (you choose the miracle that God accomplished) is impossible!”  Is a bit ironic. Yet, as an atheist, you choose to believe that all things came from nothing while proposing that you cannot create something from nothing (the First law of Thermodynamics.) Up to the Big Bang nothing existed, is one such assumption. However, the Christian is not saying that something is coming from nothing, but that God created something by His word. If God does in-fact exist outside of time, space and matter, then does He not have command over such things? Especially if He created all things?

There are also arguments as to what illuminated the world after God created it on the First Day. Well, let’s look at the Biblical text:

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” ~1John 1:5 NKJV

If God is Light, then wouldn’t it make sense that He illuminated the world prior to the Fourth Day?

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” ~Revelation 21:23 NKJV

IF God is “Light” and the Lamb is “Light” and the Lamb is Jesus; therefore, Jesus and God are one and the same, and that initial light that was mentioned in the Bible prior to the creation of the Sun and the Moon was the Light that God and Jesus illuminated across the vastness of this planet OR it was the light that was created from the explosion due to the Big Bang. Personally I will lean toward the light being illuminated from God and Jesus; however, I would posit if not so, then the Big Bang was created by God. Also, consider this…if the world was already created, what need was there for the Big Bang explosion?

As a general scientific principle, it is undesirable to depend crucially on what is unobservable to explain what is observable, as happens frequently in Big Bang cosmology.  — Halton Christian Arp

The funny thing is, in my opinion, when you see such a thing as the Big Bang, or observe such a happening, that you are indeed observing God at work. A miracle, if you will, as it is something that defies the natural laws of physics and yet it is apparent that it has happened, sometime in our past.

We, as theists or atheists, can argue the points over and over again. The problem being that neither will budge due to the fact that each has a position. Whether that position is based upon indoctrinated information or based upon researched information is a key concern. My position is based upon researched information and studied facts. Do I argue my points well…that is up to you to decide. However, I do leave to you to decide for yourselves by challenging my words. You research and study the points made and decide for yourselves, do not rely on me or others to think for you.

People, primarily atheists, complain that Christians are ignorant of the facts. Well, to a certain extent they are right in that. But not the way they think. Christians, more often than not, are ignorant and remain ignorant because they rely on the indoctrinated information of their parents. Quite honestly, Christians have an obligation, if not a mandate, to study the word and the facts of the matter in order to answer anyone who asks them to respond to the “…reason for the hope that is in them!

While I may not argue well, I do believe I can hold my own. I do study and read, rather voraciously. At any given time I have roughly over one hundred ideas for blog writing ideas. I bid you Godspeed my friends and happy reading and studying!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

10 REASONS TO ACCEPT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS AS AN HISTORICAL FACT

TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2017

By Brian Chilton

When I left the ministry due to my skepticism, one of the factors involved in my departure concerned the reliability of the New Testament documents and the resurrection of Jesus. The folks from the Jesus Seminar had me second-guessing whether I could trust what the New Testament said and if I could truly accept the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In July of 2005, my life changed. I entered the Lifeway Christian Bookstore in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and read three books that changed my life more than any other book outside the Bible. I discovered Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ, Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and McDowell’s A Ready Defense. I discovered that there are many reasons for accepting the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as a historical fact.

Through the years, the evidence has increasingly mounted for the historicity of Jesus’s resurrection. This article will provide 10 of the most fascinating arguments for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This list is not exhaustive and my dealings with each argument is extremely brief. Nevertheless, I hope this list will provide a starting point for you to consider the authenticity of Jesus’s resurrection.

  1. The First Eyewitnesses were Women. The first eyewitnesses of the resurrection were women. All the Gospels note that the first individuals to discover the tomb empty were women. Matthew notes that “After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb…The angel told the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the play where he lay” (Matthew 28:1, 5-6).[1] Women were not held in high esteem. In Greco-Roman culture, a woman’s testimony was not admissible in court. In Jewish circles, it took the testimony of two women to equate that of one man. If one were to invent a story, the last people one would place as the first witnesses would have been women, unless it were otherwise true.

  1. Minimal Facts Concerning the Resurrection. Gary Habermas has popularized the so-called minimal facts argument for the resurrection. The minimal facts are those things that are accepted by nearly all New Testament scholars. The minimal facts are “1. Jesus died by crucifixion. 2. Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them. 3. The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed. 4. The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed. 5. The tomb was empty.” [2] These facts are nearly universally accepted by New Testament scholars, including liberals.

  1. Transformation of the Early Disciples. As noted in the minimal facts, James, the brother of Jesus, was changed from a skeptic to a believer because of the resurrection. James along with his brothers did not believe in Jesus during Jesus’s early ministry (see John 7:5). However, Jesus appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:3-9) and James became a leader in the early Jerusalem church. His death is recorded by Josephus.[3] Paul is another example of one who was completely transformed by the resurrection of Jesus. Paul had been a persecutor of the church. After witnessing the risen Jesus, Paul became a proclaimer for the church.

  1. Embarrassing Details of the Resurrection. Historically speaking, embarrassing details add veracity to a historical claim. The fact that women were the first witnesses, that a member of the Sanhedrin (the same Sanhedrin that executed Jesus) had to give Jesus a proper burial, and that the disciples were fearful and fled all serve as embarrassing factors for the resurrection account.

  1. Willingness to Die for What Was Known. Many people will die for what they believe to be true. But no one will die for something they erroneously invented. The disciples knew if they were telling the truth. Yet, one finds that the disciples were willing to die for what they knew to be true. Stephen died by stoning (Acts 7:54-60), James of Zebedee died by the sword at the hands of Herod (Acts 12:2), James the brother of Jesus died,[4] and Peter and Paul died at the hands of Nero.[5]

  1. Documentary Evidence. The documentary evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is quite good. The historian seeks to find how many primary and secondary sources[6] can be gathered for an event to determine the event’s historicity. Concerning primary sources, the resurrection has Matthew’s account, John’s account, and Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 15, including the additional references by James (if one accepts that James wrote the letter attributed to him) and Jude. The following are secondary sources for the resurrection: Luke, Mark, Clement of Rome, and to a lesser degree Ignatius and Irenaeus.

  1. Circumstantial Evidence. Douglas Groothius notes that circumstantial evidence for the historicity of the resurrection is “namely, the practice of the early church in observing baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Sunday worship.”[7] Baptism is based upon the analogy of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of Christ’s sacrificial death. In addition, it is quite odd that faithful Jews would move their worship from a Friday evening into Saturday to a Sunday morning unless something major had occurred on a Sunday morning. The major Sunday morning event was Jesus’s resurrection.

  1. The Missing Motive. J. Warner Wallace has noted in his lectures and books that when a conspiracy is formed, three motivating factors are behinds such a move—power, greed, and/or lust.[8] The disciples would hold no power behind claiming the resurrection as history. They were running around while often being threatened by the Jewish and Roman authorities. As far as greed, they taught that one should not desire earthly possessions, but spiritual ones. Lust was not a factor, either. They taught celibacy before marriage and marital fidelity after marriage. In fact, N. T. Wright notes in his classic book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, that the disciples had no theological motivation behind claiming that Jesus had risen from the dead as they were anticipating a military hero and a final resurrection at the end of time. What motivating factors existed for these disciples to invent such a story? None! The only reason the disciples taught the resurrection of Jesus was because Jesus’s resurrection had occurred.

  1. Enemy Attestation of the Resurrection. Historically speaking, if one holds enemy attestation to an event, then the event is strengthened. When one considers the claims of the authorities that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus (Matthew 28:11-15), the testimony of the resurrection is strengthened. The early belief that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus is strengthened by the discovery of the Nazareth Inscription that orders capital punishment for anyone who steals a body from a tomb.[9] In addition, several refences to Jesus and his resurrection include citations from Josephus,[10] Tacitus,[11] and Suetonius[12] among others (including the Babylonian Talmud).

  1. Multiple Post-Resurrection Eyewitnesses. Finally, there is multiple eyewitness testimony pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus. Several people had seen Jesus alive for a period of 40 days. The eyewitnesses include Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), the women at the tomb accompanying Mary (Matthew 28:1-10), the Roman guards (Matthew 28:4), the Eleven disciples (John 21), the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), an indeterminate number of disciples (Matthew 28:16-20); over five-hundred disciples (1 Corinthains 15:6), to James (1 Corinthians 15:7) and to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8-9). I am certain that there were many other witnesses that are unnamed.

Conclusion:

Many other evidences could be given for the resurrection of Jesus. Thinking about the methods of history, one must understand that there is a reason why American accept the first President of the United States as George Washington and not Spongebob Squarepants. History backs up the claim that Washington was the first President. In like manner, history backs up the reality of Jesus’s resurrection. Now the question is this: what will you do with such information? Some will try to ignore the event. Some will try to dismiss it. Others will acknowledge the factual nature of the event and worship Jesus as the risen Lord. It is my prayer that you will do the latter.

Notes

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all quoted Scripture comes from the Christian Standard Bible (Nashville: Holman, 2017).

[2] Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004), 48-50, 64-69.

[3] Josephus, Antiquities XX.200.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Eusebius, Church History XXV.5.

[6] Primary sources are documents written by eyewitnesses. Secondary sources are documents written by individuals who know eyewitnesses. For instance, my grandfather was an eyewitness to the biggest naval battle in World War II history. From the information my dad gathered from him, he would be a secondary source, whereas my grandfather would have been a primary source.

[7] Douglas Groothius, Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove; Nottingham, UK: IVP Academic; Apollos, 2011), 553-554.

[8] See J. Warner Wallace, “Rapid Response: I Think the Disciples Lied About the Resurrection,” Cold-case Christianity.com (October 17, 2016), retrieved April 11, 2017, http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/rapid-response-i-think-the-disciples-lied-about-the-resurrection/.

[9] See http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/07/22/The-Nazareth-Inscription-Proof-of-the-Resurrection-of-Christ.aspx#Article.

[10] Josephus, Antiquities XX.9.1.

[11] Tacitus, Annals XV.

[12] Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars-Claudius 25 and Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars-Nero 16.

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2ppUPKK

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Another post of apologetic information to aid in your understanding. I hope & pray you find it of value to your growth!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

Murphy’s Law or Job’s Curse?

img_4527All too often we, mankind in general, have to wonder and ask the question, “Why is this happening to me? Now, of all times?” Am I a Murphy? Is Murphy’s Law affecting my life somehow and for some specific reason? Perhaps, the luck of the Irish has something against me because I wore a kilt on St. Patrick’s Day and pretended to be an Irishman? Think about that line of reasoning and logic, or lack thereof, for a moment.

Maybe you are feeling all Biblical and religious for a little bit, once in your life. img_4525Where your remembered that guy named Job who was upright in God’s eye, but somehow lost the bet of luck, or the wheel of fortune was against him, while God and Satan wagered on his character and integrity. Yeah! That’s it…God bet on me and I lost sort of thing! Now think on that one for a little bit longer. Yeah…NO! God, if He bets on any of us…He is on our side! Why? You might ask…because God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for each and every one of us. You know, the basis of the gift of our salvation!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~John 3:16 NKJV

And don’t forget what the Apostle Paul told us:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8 NKJV

Murphy’s Law is not attacking us and we are not branded by the curse that followed Job. Murphy’s Law is a comical way to laugh off the things that happen to us if we should make a bad choice, or not pay attention to what we are doing at the time. Remember, Murphy’s Law states: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Guess what? It would have gone wrong whether you were part of it , or not! If not you, it would have been someone else that it happened to.

And the curse of Job, was not a curse. Basically it came down to a bet on Job’s character and integrity, between God and Satan. [While that is an over simplification, it works for now.] A little background information is that the Book of Job is considered to be the oldest story in the Bible, approximately 2000 B.C. Meaning that the Book of Job is after the Great Flood and before the great Exodus from Egypt. Despite all that Job went through, he never blamed God overtly, there may have been some undertones there throughout his dialogue with his so-called friends. All throughout, Job believed there had to have been some kind of mistake, but he was certain that he could explain, if given the chance. In fact, while speaking with his wife he proceeded to remind her:

…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” ~Job 2:10 NKJV

BadThingsHappenGood, bad, or indifferent…sometimes bad things just happen because of any one of a number of reasons. The daily struggles and snags we get caught up in are a normal part of everyday life; they are part of the imperfect world we live in. People let us down or misunderstand us. The things we use don’t always work as we want them to and they don’t last forever. Yet these everyday problems aren’t huge barriers that completely block our way in life; they are more like obstacles we can jump over or find a way around. There are so many things that can go wrong every day. Sometimes, one has a day when everything seems to go wrong. Even the little things seem far worse than they really are and you end up having a really bad day. Some days it seems as thought it is a battle and struggle to get some of the simplest things. On other days it is like we are on fire and everything is just going our way. Almost feeling as though we are invincible. But remember this important fact about God:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28 NKJV

You must also consider the story of Joseph and his brothers where he reminded them:

Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. ~Genesis 50:19-20 NKJV

The undertones between the story of Joseph and that of Job are this: Bad things happen to good people and do not, in and of themselves, indicate that man has sinned; however, God permits bad things to happen to good people in order to draw them closer to God so they may rely on Him and His great power through faith! God wants us all to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and reside close to Him. Unfortunately, a great number will never enter Heaven. Jesus warned us

For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 22:1-14 NKJV

Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ ~Luke 13:22-32 NKJV

We are warned. Not everyone will enter the gates of Heaven. We are also warned that life will not always be easy, or as a bowl of cherries. There will be times we will want to give up, no matter the reason we may wish to give…but we must continue on the trek and fight the good fight so we may finish the race! We are also taught that Jesus is the way to heaven, He is the narrow gate.

Sometimes things just happen, regardless of what is happening. God is not against you, but is for you. Otherwise, He would not have allowed His only Son to be the sacrificial lamb.

Grace to you and peace be multiplied!

MK Murphy

 

What is the “…doctrine of Christ…”

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” ~2 John 9 NKJV

DoctrineOfChrist

The Essential Doctrines of Jesus, the Christ:

  1. The Deity of Jesus, the Christ
    1. Jesus is the proper object of faith
    2. That Jesus is both God and man (Hypostatic Union)
  2. Salvation by Grace
    1. A gift offered to us by God, an olive branch
    2. We are offered life despite our imminent death
  3. The Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ
    1. Jesus had to be crucified and resurrected
    2. Jesus was to be our sacrificial lamb
  4. The Gospel
    1. Christ is God in flesh
    2. Salvation is received by faith, by grace
    3. and the resurrection of Jesus
  5. Monotheism
    1. There is only one God
    2. Understood to be in three persons
      1. Father
      2. Son
      3. Holy Spirit

 

First, Jesus was,  and is, the center of the faith in order to gain access to God, forgiveness and access to Heaven. We must understand the Deity of Jesus, that He is wholly God and at the same time wholly man. Jesus was very forward about who He was and His belief in His own Christology.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” ~John 8:58 NASB

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ~Exodus 3:14 NASB

Jesus understood where he received His identity from and His purpose on this earth. Jesus claimed divine title by quoting Moses. He also claimed Divine authority when he publicly read the Book of Isaiah.

And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. ~Luke 4:17-21 NASB

Jesus acknowledged that He was the center of and the proper object of faith. That through Himself that all could receive forgiveness of sins and gain access to God the Father and entrance to Heaven.

Second, that Salvation is by Grace. Salvation is a gift from God offered to man through the person of Jesus, the Christ, through whom we can receive forgiveness of sins through substitutionary sacrifice.

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. ~Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. ~Galatians 5:4 NASB

IF there is a true religion then there is a religion that we must follow and believe. That said, we cannot add to God’s works with our works in order to be saved…as God has already done the job. Remember the final words of Jesus on the cross:

It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NASB

The works were finished on the cross. You and I, imperfect beings, cannot accomplish perfect works. Our salvation is based upon the perfect work of God through Jesus on the cross.

Based upon the writings of James, the brother of Jesus, we show our faith through our works, in that we will inherently act differently once we are saved and have dedicated our lives to Jesus. When we do something, as such, we will act differently. Those are the works that the world will see Jesus through. In that light we will be a beacon to the world.

Third, we must believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. It is a historical fact that Jesus lived, based upon Biblical, extra Biblical, Christian and non-Christian sources throughout history. It is also understood, and therefore factual premise, that Jesus died on the cross based upon Biblical, extra Biblical, Christian and non-Christian sources throughout history, as well as medical determinations from the historical documentation of history (refer to On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ). And based upon all of the above references, as well as, the empty tomb and the fact that the Apostles began their preaching on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in the city of Jerusalem, where the crucifixion had taken place. Where were the objections to their preaching, if Jesus really didn’t die on the cross, or for that matter did die and was not resurrected? Nothing mentioned in history, or historical documentation, provides any objections to or refutation of the Biblical narrative.

Jesus had to be crucified and resurrected and the best-known prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the death of Messiah, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 certainly stand out. Psalm 22 is especially amazing since it predicted numerous separate elements about Jesus’ crucifixion a thousand years before Jesus was crucified. Here are some examples. Messiah will have His hands and His feet “pierced” through (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25). The Messiah’s bones will not be broken (a person’s legs were usually broken after being crucified to speed up their death) (Psalm 22:17; John 19:33). Men will cast lots for Messiah’s clothing (Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35). (Where do the Hebrew Scriptures prophesy the death and resurrection of the Messiah?) Jesus had to be sacrificed for our sins was, for brevity, explained in Isaiah 53, Hebrews 10, and 1John 2:2.

The conclusion of a paper written in 2010 seems to hit the nail on the head concerning the issue.

The resurrection is the ultimate confirmation of Christ’s identity as Saviour, Messiah and Lord (Romans 1:3-4, 14:19). The empty tomb, and the fact that none of Christ’s enemies were ever able to produce a body are important pointers to the historical value of the event. The numerous post resurrection appearances noted by the Gospel writers and Paul, together with the transformation of the Apostles into in some cases martyrs and the subsequent growth of the Church also give credence to the biblical accounts.

Numerous theories (including conspiracy theories) attempt to provide rationalistic explanations for the resurrection. Many of these do not fit the facts and do not appear plausible in the light of the Gospel accounts.

~Outline the arguments made against the historical resurrection, and explain how they should be refuted, Iain A. Emberson, 2010

Fourth, The Gospels must be believed to be true in order that we can understand the purpose of Jesus and the doctrines He taught us and which were carried on by His disciples.

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! ~Galatians 1:8-9 NASB

Verses 8 and 9 here in Galatians are a self-declarative statement that you must believe the gospel. The gospel message which in its entirety is that Jesus is God in flesh, who died for sins, rose from the dead, and freely gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe. (Essential Doctrines of Christianity, Matt Slick, 2008) Also, it would not be possible to present the gospel properly without declaring that Jesus is God in flesh.

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. ~1 Corinthians 15:1-5 NASB

Within these verses are the essentials: Christ is God in flesh; Salvation is received by faith; therefore it is by grace; and the resurrection is mentioned in verse 4.  Therefore, this gospel message automatically includes the essentials.

And, finally, fifth, the Monotheistic understanding of God and the Trinitarian doctrine. There is one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8) as depicted in the Bible. Many mentioned scriptures of of God being “we” (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7) ; however, He is one entity. While the Trinity is not expressly mentioned in the Biblical text, it is inferred throughout the Old and New Testaments.

I hope this is and will be helpful to you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

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We Must Totally & Completely Rely On Christ To Save Us

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:14-18 NKJV Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

We as Christians are called to spread the Good News and to make disciples of ALL PEOPLE and NATIONS. So, how is it that people seek to paint us out to be arrogant? We are doing what we were commanded to do, yes commissioned to do! We know we are sinful, as we are steeped in sin from birth; yet that does not make us hypocrites, but keepers of the word which we were commanded to keep and spread to all people.

Consider this, I read some time ago where Jilette Penn where he stated something to the affect that he thought Christians were hypocritical when they did no speak of their faith to him because of the mandate of Christ within the bible. So, how is it that when we do speak of salvation to others that we are deemed to be hypocritical, arrogant, and trolling others to pigeon hole them in Hell?

I came across this video on Facebook…

And cannot say I totally agree with his assessment of the Christian faith! There are Christians who go at things wrongly, simple as that. But are all Christians wrong? Man truly has painted himself to be one who desires the “comforting lies” and steer away from those unpleasant truths in life. But wouldn’t it make more sense, if man truly desired those “comforting lies”, that he would be drawn more toward the hedonistic and pleasurable ways of letting go? Instead the Christian follows the ways of the “unpleasant truth” where he is confronted with his vile ways. I truly believe that Morgue has things twisted just a bit.

There are those Atheists who have had much different experiences, such as Bryan Melvin.

Some people have much greater testimonies in comparison to those Christians who have been either Christian and believers for the majority, if not all of, their lives. Converted Atheists have much greater testimonies compared to those who have strayed from Christ and then went back much later in life.

Contrary to Morgue’s belief, Christians as a whole are not trolling others to stomp them down into the ground so they can feel better about themselves. Their mandated purpose is to steer others toward salvation for the glory of God…or as he noted the invisible alien, as well as other designations throughout his presentation. He asked the question why don’t Christians explain why Jesus didn’t appear before Pontius Pilot? Well, why should they? Also, because it didn’t happen is a great response, as well. There are a great many arguments concerning what would have been great propositions for the furtherance of the Christian faith, but what is in the bible is sufficient for us to understand our faith and promote it, perfectly.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17 NKJV

Even in the book THINK AND GROW RICH, by Napoleon Hill, mentions in the chapter on AUTO-SUGGESTION that repetitiveness of mantras, concepts and commands will eventually cause your mind to bring about into reality that which you desire and command from your mind. Is our faith bolstered by similar such repetitiveness? Perhaps it is, but what is the harm in such a thing??? Is it more advantageous for man to become a hedonist, or steer himself toward a more moral line of thinking?

If one is a hedonist, an atheist, or some other person of belief which dwells upon a relativistic thought…where do your morals come from? What is the basis of your “moral” stance? Being relativistic, your morals are centered on your beliefs, a person who has similar beliefs can have a different perspective. You may believe pedophilia is morally reprehensible; while your friend thinks it is alright. How can either of you take a moral stance against the other, because of the relativism of your beliefs and therefore it is believed that “He is living according to what is true for him.” You can neither argue or dissuade the point. Although, with the belief of a Christian, the moral laws are given by a moral law-giver, God. And therefore, your laws are set before you, they are true and they are to guide you.

Morgue fails to understand that sin has consequences, and there is a time to pay the piper. Everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ! Every knee will bow! Everyone will acknowledge the Lordship of Christ!

We are unworthy to go to heaven, excepting only through the grace of God and our faith in Christ! Because “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…

We do not need to explain what and why something did not happen, we only have to present what did happen. After presenting the Gospel truth to our neighbors, friends, and family…it is up to the Holy Spirit to guide those whom God has elected to be saved. There are a great number of those professing to be Christian who will be sadly surprised upon their death and when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  This is perhaps the arrogance of man, by not checking himself at all times. Let this be a warning, not just to myself, but all others who follow Jesus and learn from the bible…we each must be willing to check our arrogance at the door and see truly what the bible teaches, as a whole, not piecemeal!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD