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 

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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

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Desperation Leads To Deliverance

Notes Deperation pt4

In Mark 5 we learn of several people: the man from the tombs who is possessed, Jairus and his dying daughter, and the woman with the bleeding disorder. Jesus, throughout His life made a great many “Bold Statements” to the people He taught, instructed, healed, befriended, etc. While the title of this post is not a bold statement which Jesus made…it is, however, a bold statement made due to plain observation of His many encounters with those who were desperate.

Each of these people had desperate problems, desperate needs, and (most had) faith in Jesus to heal.

Everyone had the notion in their heads, at one point in time, who is this Jesus? Who is He that He can heal? Only God can heal, only the healers and men of God can heal…who is this Jesus?

Gods handJesus, the Son of God, who has authority over sicknesses, ailments, death, hunger, the disposition & health of one’s soul, etc. YEAH, that Jesus. It is hard to believe that when one makes their way through the biblical accounts of Jesus, His travels, His trials & turmoil, His teachings & sermons, His healing of the sick and disenfranchised…hard to believe that anyone could ask such a thing. Considering the fact that even after His crucifixion & death, in the area of Jerusalem that His teachings were continued by His Apostles and followers. Jesus1If that which was taught about or by Him was wrong why was there no outcry against it? If He were not crucified to death, buried, and rose again…why then did not those who said, “this did not happen!” Why did they not produce His body? There were many assertions and theories on this, but then they go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, it should be in the back of one’s mind when listening or reading of the great things accomplished by Jesus and His followers.

Getting back on track…

First, we encounter the possessed man from the tombs. He who was possessed by Legion. Jesus commanded Legion, Come out of the man, unclean spirit! (verse 8) And, of course, Legion asked to be cast into the herd of pigs. And Jesus allowed it; then the pigs were sent running off the cliff. Now, you or I…today, would see this as a travesty that so much bacon would be wasted. But, as it was brought to my attention, that this was a great economic problem for the owners of the pigs. Why? You might ask…because the pigs were used in many of the pagan rituals and therefore, Jesus just deprived them of great money making possibilities.

And of course, the man who was possessed desperately desired to go and follow Jesus in verses 18-20. Why? because he had firsthand knowledge and experience of such power and healing that Jesus could perform [my interpretation and understanding]. The gratefulness and the gratitude that he had toward Jesus…could have been second to none! But each of us has a voice to be heard by certain people, apparently the recently healed man of possession needed to have his voice heard by his people…God’s will be done!

Second, we come in contact with one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus whose daughter was dying. Now this is something. a ruler of the synagogue sought out Jesus to heal? But when it comes to one who is near and dear to us, we will not concern ourselves with such a matter, despite what our fellow synagogue leaders think of such a man as Jesus. But family is family…to many, family is everything. Jairus even showed such courage and faith by saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.(verse 23)

While on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter we come in contact with the third person of faith and desperation, the woman with the flow of blood issue.She who used up all her money to be healed. She could neither work nor be around people because she was labeled, “unclean.” So, by the mere touching of the hem of His clothes, she truly had faith that she would be healed…now that is faith, a truly strong faith! But such would not go unnoticed with Jesus.

As with the woman, do we not (in our youth) fail to ask for permission and find it more useful to wait (if caught) to seek forgiveness? But she knew that she was wrong in what she did, as she was “fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” And once again, God was glorified! And Jesus responded, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

So, now back to the second person he ran into…Jairus. His faith was what was to heal his daughter. Those who came from the synagogue ruler’s house said, Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” This raises a question, or two, but those go beyond the scope of this post. One that comes to mind is: If this synagogue ruler was such a man of faith, why didn’t his whole household know of Jesus? Perhaps, I would speculate, that he didn’t want to be unfaithful to his brethren of the synagogue and Jesus was the last person he thought of in this time of trouble. As many of use might do. 

But Jesus in classic form said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” Which was assurance to His caller, the synagogue ruler, and perhaps his entire family. Then Jesus followed on with this, Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping. To which many around just laughed and ridiculed Jesus, considering such a thing just idiocy. After all, this crowd of people, many of which I speculate had seen the body of the girl and suspected or knew the girl to, in fact, be dead. But are we not called to believe despite what we have seen, or believe without seeing?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” ~John 10:37-38 NKJV 

 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 NKJV

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed… ~Romans 4:16-21 NKJV

Face it, we are all raised to be skeptical of those things we do not see. We are also taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Sadly, we live in a skeptical world and this is one of the things we must overcome as we grow older and seek out God in our own way. There are a great number of things that preclude the possibility of knowing God, as we are taught to believe in the theory of evolution and other very smart and educated people who do not count God as a potential, or possible, First Cause for our existence. While some, and yes even some Christian sects discount the classic First Cause argument. But, let us return to our original posting…

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” This had to be a grand spectacle for all to see! Immediately the girl arose and walked which, of course was not told to us until the writing of this Gospel.

These three instances spoke volumes to us all, that Desperation Leads To Deliverance. While my message is slightly different from the sermon presented by my Pastor (Scott Beckenhauer) the essence of it remains the same. We each follow a path in our lives, good and bad, but eventually we begin to ask the bigger questions which eventually lead us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

gotGod

Desperation can lead us down a very dark and bleak road in our lives, or we can see a glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel which takes us on the trail that leads to hope, faith, love and charity. God awaits all of us to arrive at the finish line, but not all will get there. We are all invited, but not all will accept His generous offer of Grace.

What about you? What is your heart seeking? Where do you desire to go?

Got God? Got Jesus? Got Holy Spirit?

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Apostasy in America

apostasy [uhpos-tuh-see]  (noun, plural apostasies)

a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
~dictionary.com

UnitedApostates ofAmerica
The Christian basis of America has been eroding in this country for a great many years, whether you’ve noticed it or not. Quite honestly, it probably began as soon as this country was formed upon it’s first actual and true legal act as a nation…the Declaration of Independence.

the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.” While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.– US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897)

With these bold assertions, by Thomas Jefferson, in this one statement alone has created a whirlwind of argument among all within this nations:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Just these six words by themselves as a statement of fact or assertion creates the confusion and debate while coupled with the fact that we acknowledged the use of and the continued belief in slavery. Which was proof enough that not all men were, in fact, created equally. Upon the writing of the Constitution of the United States (Article V), the governing body for expediencies sake kicked the can down the road until 1809 in order to obtain a 100% consensus of the states. And this was just the beginning…

Now, fast forward to the 1950s-1960s and the expansion of hedonism within the confines of America, another breakaway from our Christian roots. Flower Power, Free Love, etc. Move a little forward to the 1970s with the expansion of drugs in America and the expansion and tolerance (of course this will become a 30 or more year battle) of homosexuality. Paralleling years of 1950s-2010 which was the further expanding of governmental powers where the rights and liberties of the people are abrogated. 1970s-1990s where homosexuality is receiving expanded roles in movies and television, thereby making it more acceptable to the American public and due to the parts they played they are funnier than straight people, too! Now to the 1990s-present where LGBT community is forcing itself into our lives, while simultaneously portraying itself (ant their followers) as victims and assaulting and battering those in the church and straight communities who take an opposing view of their lifestyle choice. In essence, agree with us (the LGBT community) or we have the right to assault, accost, and batter you in free form defense for our lives. [hmmmmmm…where have we seen this attitude?]

Now, we have the LGBTQP…M-O-U-S-E community force feeding America, through prime time television shows that gay is good, pedophilia is normal, queer is okay if you are queer (but don’t let any straight person call me queer, or I will be offended all the way to the Supreme Court!)

Also, let us look at all of the women Pastors within the Christian community. Now, I have not really placed much thought toward it, per se, but have held much of the belief of what Pastor J. Vernon McGee held on this subject. He said, during one of his commentaries, “It is a shame that there aren’t men who were willing to do these jobs and perform the preaching mandated by God.” [slightly paraphrased based upon my memory of his comment.] However, Matt Slick of CARM.org brings home the truth of the matter with this: Women pastors and elders…what does the Bible say? This entire segment concerns women in pastoral and elder positions and places them in the proper perspective. Accordingly, they are not to have positions of such power…the bible is quite specific in this, along with so many other concerns. As Pastor Rober Jefress stated in the above debate, “God’s word never evolves. It never changes…” He further went on to quote the KJV of the bible, I will use the NKJV adaptation:

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. ~Psalm 119:89

I am not mitigating nor demeaning the vast numbers of great women throughout our history on this mortal coil called earth, no. There are great women, many of which performed God’s will in a great manner to aid His chosen people. Zipporah, Rahab, Ruth, Ether, Rebecca, Mary, Martha, etc. Many women have powerful teaching, but if they are out of the will of God by violating His word…are they truly in alignment with God’s will?

And let us not forget the infusion of gay aligning and gay & lesbian leaning pastors within the Christian churches of America.  Do they seriously mean to not just reinterpret, but re-write the biblical text by omitting the parts that offend them? Perhaps the women pastors are doing the same? I suppose arguments can be made in all cases in order to argue the point allowing any one of us to change what God truly meant by His word…wouldn’t you think?

Spousal abuse could also present a valid case for permitting divorce. After all, a man is charged that he is to “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself” [ref: Ephesians 5:25-33 NKJV] Abuse, whether it be physical or emotional is not love. Do people make mistakes within their marriage? Yes, they do, so not all abuses are bad enough to call for a divorce, or dissolution, of the marriage vows and bond which God has put in place.

truth-is-the-new-hate-speech-and-you-will-be-18900394

I hope this blog posting does not confuse you or turn you against me. This is what God’s word discusses. This is what we are to be learning. We are to be in alignment of the truth and we are to be the beacon of truth to the lost sheep of God! Pick up a book, change the station that will teach you something, listen to the radio, podcasts, etc. But first start your day with the Bible and the Word of God! There are far more sub-topics concerning the issue of apostasy in America, let alone in the Christian religion, but I believe you get the gist of my intent. Therefore, I will let is go for now, just because it is such a hot potato topic. Read your bible and study it, it will click.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

The Quandary of the Trinity: Truth or Heresy?

An all important understanding to the Trinitarian Doctrine is this and is summarized in the biblical teachings:

  1. God is three persons.
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.

Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are those three separate and distinct persons of God. Yet, contrary to the beliefs of many, they are still one God…Not a polytheistic belief. Each is separate and each if fully God and they are ONE GOD. The inferences run throughout the Old and New Testaments, but is through our reason and logic that we have come to the final conclusion that these statements hone our understanding of God and the Doctrine of the Trinity. Hone our understanding, not confound it!

birth-to-deathFirst of all, let us understand something first, we are finite beings, we the species of man are finite creatures that were created. We are born well after the beginning of creation itself. We are born after the arrival of the sun, the earth, the moon, or even the proverbial big bang. We are born, we live, we work, we retire or are placed into an old folks home, and eventually we do meet our demise. The reason this must be understood by us is because we are forced to learn what has happened up until the time we live. Which means we must speculate, deduce, infer, and induct with our logic and reasoning. I other words, we do not know it all…we must learn from others. We must ascertain who is telling and teaching us the truth and discern who is teaching us falsehoods and other fallacious knowledge. You may not believe any of my blog postings, but are you willing to look into my assertions and claims? Are you willing to prove or disprove any of the reasoning or logic that I use to back up my claims? If you want to be true to yourself, if you desire to be an ethical researcher, you must be willing to use logic and reason, as well as, be willing to dig deep into what is presented to you and either pick it apart or be willing to prove each point to the truth of the matter. What are YOU willing to do?

Now, lets move into this topic of the Trinity.

1. God is Three Personstrinity

The Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit…these are the three persons of God. Three separate and distinct persons; meaning that the Father is not the Son, nor is He the Holy Spirit. Nor is the Son the Father, nor is He the Holy Spirit. Each is separate from one another. And the Holy Spirit is not the Father, nor is He the Son.

To touch on this topic is quite difficult, in that, it is a mystery that may never truly be understood by any of us. After all, we are finite in nature and God is infinite in nature.

The Son showed submission to the will of the Father by being hung on a cross for the sins of mankind. That He (Jesus) would be the final sacrifice for all the sins of men. An offered gift to mankind, all he must do is accept such a gift. Jesus, our intercessor between God, the Father, and man. A priest in the order of Melchizedek. The separation of the distinct persons of God rely on the words of Jesus, such as:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. ~John 16:7 NKJV

If Jesus did not die on the cross for us, the Holy Spirit (Helper) could not come and the day of Pentecost would never have occurred. Also, Jesus as the Son of the Most High, was seen to have a limitation (of sort); however, you must keep in mind that He was human (both man and God) and God the Father was able to limit Jesus’ ability(ies).

Many question as to whether the Holy Spirit is a separate person of God or just the “power” of God the Father. Although, the scripture is quite telling in this matter, in that, the Holy Spirit is in a relationship with the Father and with the Son (Matt 28; 1Cor 12; 2Cor 13; Eph 4; 1Pet 1.) The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Helper, Counselor, & Comforter. This is how God speaks to us and guides us…through the holy Spirit of God. Just as in Exodus 31:3 where the Spirit of God filled Bezalel in many ways. God helps and aids us in workmanship, wisdom, understanding and in knowledge.

2. Each Person Is Fully God

It is further testified to the fact that not only are each of the three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) separate and distinct from one another, each person is fully and wholly God.

God the Father is clearly God. This is evident in the Book of Genesis where God created the heaven and the earth. The evidence is furthered through both the Old and New Testaments.

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit was at the beginning before there was time. Before there was substance. Before anything was created. God was and hence, I AM was present.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.~John 1:1-4 NKJV

Here, John refers to Jesus as the Word. And John, further, states that the Word was with God and was God. Now, where the bible, both Old and New Testaments, speaks of “In the beginning…” one can infer that it is in the “beginning” of our time (creation of heaven and earth), not necessarily the beginning prior to the existence of time.

Many other passages throughout the scriptures that indicate that Jesus is fully God include Hebrews 1, Psalm 102, Titus 2, 2Peter 1, Isaiah 9 and Romans 9 just to pick a few.

And the Holy Spirit is fully God. We can assume and deduce from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is fully and wholly God by virtue of what the Apostle Matthew stated in verses 28:19-20, “...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Yielding to the Holy Spirit person-hood, separate, wholly and fully.

We are also reminded by the writer of the Book of Acts (5:3-4) where Peter asked Ananias,

“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Again, person-hood status yielded to the Holy Spirit, and rightly so. The proofs and inferences are multitudinous throughout the scriptures showing person-hood for each individually and, yet, wholly and fully God in their own right. And also, one can logically and reasonably infer that they are one God, NOT a polytheistic creation. Am I saying it is unreasonable to infer that these are polytheistic entities…perhaps, as a young and naive Christian. But as you grow and learn more about the One God who created us, it would beg the question and eventually would demand your attention to seek that answer.

3. There Is One God

The scriptures are pretty clear that God is one and there is one God. The 3 separate and distinct persons of the Trinity are one in purpose, in agreement, in essence, and in nature. Simply put, God is only one being. There are not three Gods, but only ONE.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV

The New Testament reaffirms that there is only ONE GOD. After all, the New Testament teachings are based upon the teaching of the Old Testament. They are, in fact, clarified teachings of Jesus, the Son of God.

Common everyday items used to explain the Trinity:

  1. A chicken egg consists of a shell, a yolk, and an egg white, yet it is altogether one egg. The three parts create a unified whole. The shortfall of this illustration, and others like it, is that God cannot be divided into “parts.” The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one in essence, but the same cannot be said for the shell, yolk, and white of an egg.
  2. A similar illustration uses the apple: the fruit’s skin, flesh, and seeds all comprise the apple, just as the Father, Son, and Spirit all comprise God. This illustration has the same weakness as the egg illustration, namely, the parts of the apple, considered independently, are not the apple. By contrast, each Person of the Trinity, taken independently, is still God.
  3. Another illustration is said to have originated with St. Patrick. As Patrick was evangelizing the people of ancient Ireland, he explained the concept of the Trinity by using a very common plant in Ireland: the shamrock, a member of the clover family with three small, green leaves on a single stem. One legend has it that Patrick in his travels happened upon some Irish chieftains in a meadow. The tribal leaders were puzzled about the doctrine of the Trinity, and so Patrick bent down and plucked a shamrock. The three leaves, said Patrick, are still one plant, just as the three Persons of the Trinity are one God. Another legend is similar, except that it has Patrick teaching in the province of Connaught, where he spoke to the daughters of King Laoghaire, Ethne and Fedelm. The shamrock analogy is perhaps better than the egg and apple analogies, although it shares the weakness of possibly dividing God into “parts.”
  4. Another common illustration of the Trinity involves the different states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas). The illustration typically uses water as the example: water exists as a solid (ice), a liquid, and a gas (water vapor). No matter what physical state water is in, it is still water. Its chemical composition remains the same—it is H20, no matter if it’s floating unseen in the atmosphere to create humidity, or floating in chunks in your tea to help relieve the humidity. The problem with this illustration is that liquid water, when it freezes, “switches” from liquid to solid, and, when it boils, it “switches” to vapor. However, God does not “switch” states or modes. Liquid water can become solid or gas, but God the Father never becomes the Son or the Spirit. The idea that God manifests Himself differently at different times and in various contexts (like water manifests itself variously as solid, liquid, or gas) is called modalism, and it is a heresy to be avoided. [Personally, I like the shamrock explanation the best!]

shamrock

While these analogies are not perfect, they are but a few ways for we finite beings to understand the Spiritual concept of the Trinitarian Doctrine. I hope this was as helpful to you as its research was to me. The Trinity is a very difficult to understand doctrine, let alone attempting to make sense of it all. But one must be willing to do the research and let the facts and information lead you where they must. But do so prayerfully!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

References:

Systematic Theology An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, by Wayne Grudem (1994)

Christian Apologetic Research Ministry (CARM.org) by Matt Slick

GotQuestions?org

 

 

Controlling Our Tongue

taming-tongue_si

While reading the first volume of Donald Grey Barnhouse’s exposition on the Book of Romans, this segment caught my attention. Really struck a chord with me, as my ability to control my tongue is rather weak. Habits are truly hard to break, and bad ones are even worse…as they tend to slap you in the face all of the time. Sadly, we all have the problem where we revert to things we have done before. That is regardless of whether or not we have been attempting to change, or not!

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, once told us:

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. ~James 1:26 NKJV

And he told us,

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ~James 3:6 NKJV

And he also reminded us about this, as well,

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. ~James 3:8 NKJV

Is our religion and our beliefs useless? All because we cannot control the carnal nature of our tongue? No, but it does give an air of hypocrisy in the eyes of those we are trying to be a beacon of hope for…doesn’t it? In their eyes we are, in no uncertain terms, full of crap! And yes, I can see that point of view, quite easily. The problem being is this: we are faulty creatures and tend to fail God daily. It is that simple…we are not perfect. Could God just spritz us with the very Spirit to purge us of all the evil and nature that we desire to be rid of? Yes, He could. But again, where would the fun and struggles be if everything were just handed to us without any effort?

Lee-pray

We tend to use, in our common everyday language, the profane idioms and blasphemous uses of God’s name or title. We each have the abilities to overcome our carnal natures , but because our uses of the same make us feel good, better, or all important in the eyes of others, we continue to do so. Donal Grey Barnhouse, stated quite emphatically and wisely:

The Word of God says that a man who would be able to control the tongue fully would be a perfect man.

He reminded us that We were each saved by Jesus Christ and through such salvation we have been given such power to control our urges, desires, and carnal natures. A power which will grow day by day enabling us to change our desires, our verbiage, our passions. Much like the bit that is placed into the horses mouth in order to guide such a large and strong beast…we are much the same.

bit-in-mouthThough we be the same, we are also different. God places His Holy Spirit within each of us to guide and empower each of us to follow God and His Word! By this same token, This Holy Spirit is that bit that we place within the mouth of the horse…with one great difference – we each have free will, and we must be willing to subservient ourselves to God and His will! This is a conscious decision that we each must make. We cannot tame our tongues by ourselves, we like horses need help and guidance.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. ~James 3:10 NKJV

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, reminded us that both good and bad comes from our mouths. Blessings and curses. We will in once sentence tell our wives or children that we dearly love them dearly, and without skipping a beat will curse out the gut who either cut us off in traffic, or can’t seem to get up to speed while merging. Seriously? YOU angerhave the audacity to merge into highway traffic doing 65 mph or more, but you are only doing 35 mph????????

Well, you can tell what I think of such things! Pretty disgusted to say the least!

ANYWHOOOOOOOO…we do need to be more in control of our mouths, tongues, minds, and our natures in order to accomplish the greater good. ESPECIALLY with our spouses and our kids in the vehicle! You know, we tend to be more flippant with our language with those we are closer to than those we do not know. At least I have found this to be true for myself. This is where my toughest challenge lies.

Righteous-IndignationDonald Grey Barnhouse also reminded us at the end of his chapter entitled, “THE POISON OF ASPS”,

An if they are not to be, it must be by our submission to the restraining grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. May He give us grace to come for more grace.

We each have a task before us and that is to control our anger and our unnecessary outbursts. Not all anger and outbursts are ungodly, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. After all, did not Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers within the temple? Not all anger and outbursts are wrong, but we tend to misconstrue what we are suppose to do and then justify what we want to do. But, of course, that is another topic for discussion. And perhaps will require a greater ability to explain than I have at this time.

Give all of yourself over to God and be led by the Holy Spirit. Bridle your tongues, curb your thoughts, and submit yourself to God’s will! It will take time, but you will see a difference.

Godspeed on your quest, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

An Apparent Contradiction, or So They Say…

contradictions

There are, perceived contradiction within the biblical text. But are they truly contradictions, or are they misunderstood & misinterpreted theological ideologies? Let us look at one such contradiction in a comparative manner.

First, let us see what the Apostle Luke has told us:

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:42-43 NKJV

And let us look at this  scripture by the Apostle Paul:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV

Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. ~1 Corinthians 15:18

We recognize and believe that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God and, therefore, He cannot lie. We affirm this through our faith and through the reading and research we do, at least those of us who go beyond the Sunday Church and Bible Study Classes. It is part of the tenets of our faith. That being said, if these are the words of Christ, it is a promise of God’s only Son. And since most of what has been said, biblically, is based upon the oral traditions of the Jewish Nation and the Hebrew People (Israel), it stands to reason that they were held to task by those who were around them within the community. Holding their feet to the fire, so-to-say, by correcting them when they went awry in their retelling of the occurrence.

bible gutWe must also remember that the New Testament was written in Greek. There were no punctuation, excepting for the end of a sentence…a period, as I am aware. The English punctuation did not about until the bible, old and new testament(s) were transcribed into the English language. By the 1400 AD the Bible was translated to the Latin language and it was transcribed into the English language between 1400 – 1800 AD. Which was where much of the punctuation was infused into the bible as we know it, today.

According to Matt Slick’s website, CARM.org,

Paul speaks of a man who was caught up to paradise, parallels this to being caught up to heaven, and is clear that this was not necessarily just a vision by was, perhaps, a bodily experience. Paradise, then, must refer here to a heavenly abode that currently exists. Paul, writing infallibly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defined Paradise as a present, heavenly reality to which a man could ascend either in or out of the body. It is also worth pointing out that early Christians frequently used the word “paradise” to describe the conscious state of believers’ souls between bodily death and future resurrection.
~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

So, who are the “Dead in Christ”? Accordingly, the dead in Christ are those believers who dead in christhave died prior to the second coming of Christ. (Note, whether 1 Thessalonians 4 is referring to the second coming or the rapture is a matter of debate.) Believers, whether dead or alive, belong to Christ. (ref: “Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?”, gotquestions.org)

So, this leads us to further ask the question “Will we fall asleep or die and then go to heaven, or are we to wait until a later time?” It is my belief that unless directly promised by God or His Son (as in the case of the thief on the cross) we shall all fall asleep in Christ until the resurrection. At which time we shall be judged. According to the same article:

At death, the body lies in repose in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the last day, but the soul goes to be at home with the Lord. This is the doctrine of the intermediate state. Believers experience in a provisional sense the rewards that await them in heaven, while unbelievers experience a taste of their eternal torment in hell (Luke 16:19–31). ~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

Another article by Matt Slick is rather telling, as well:

But what does “dead in Christ” mean? It refers to the Christians who have died before the return of Christ. They will rise first and return with Him (2 Cor. 5:8). They are “in Christ,” that is, they are saved. The phrase “in Christ” is a designation of being saved, along with other great things like redemption, eternal life, no condemnation, etc.  Check out “In Christ Grid.”

1 Thessalonians goes on to say . . . “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words,” (1 Thess. 4:17-18).

As you can see, there are two resurrections in this context. Those who “rise first” are resurrected to their glorified bodies before those who are raptured. ~Who are the dead in Christ who rise first at the rapture? by Matt Slick

We can infer from these articles which explain these scriptures to us any number of ways. But it is easiest to follow logic and reason, which are gifts which God gave us in order to love him. Remember the “Great Commandment”?

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Following logic and reason, and my trust in the explanations of these fellow Christians, that we will die and “fall asleep” in Christ until the second coming of Jesus.

I personally would deem the thief on the cross as a special circumstance, in that, he (I would reasonably and logically speculate) was learning from Jesus while in prison. He spoke of and taught about the Kingdom of God to the thief  while in the prison as if he were of the crowds during His sermons. He, unlike his fellow thief, came to repent to our Lord and was saved through Christ, personally.

 

contradictionSo, these apparent contradictions are not contradictions at all. We must simply take these and place them within the proper context. Which is something that we do not seem to want to do in our conversations these days. There was a study done and it was shown, to be true that I may add, that we do not listen carefully enough to understand what others may say…rather, we listen to respond. An I am not casting stones at any of you, because I am very guilty of this…one of the numerous problems of my carnal nature which I need to gain control over! One of the many areas in my life I fail daily.

Most people heard something somewhere that there were, or are, contradictions in the bible. And without any searching themselves, they take what was stated as for truth. This is just one of the many problems within this society of ours. No one wants to look uncool…even for God. They just want to be accepted by those around them and cannot see themselves going against their friends. NEWSFLASH: Not everyone is your friend! God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the best friend you can ever have, all others are optional!

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Argument of Sufficiency of Scripture

Sufficiency of Scripture

See chapter 8 Systematic Theology

God has granted us sufficiency of His word throughout history. Man has enough in God’s word in order to learn and understand what God desires of us and we have enough information how to live the Christ following life we need. Furthermore, there is sufficient information for each of us to hear the word of God, understand we are sinners, to confess our sins before God, and be saved unto Christ! What is the legitimate definition of  “The Sufficiency of Scripture”?

sufficiency

What is the purpose of scripture? Well, in the second letter to the Apostle Timothy by the Apostle Paul it was stated:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Hence the purpose of scripture is to teach those who already believe and have accepted Jesus as the Son of God, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now, can it be used by those who do not believe? Yes, yet we do not even need the bible, or scripture, to prove the existence of God.

We can find everything that God has spoken on, ultimately, any given topic; either directly or indirectly or inferred. For example, in the sixth commandment “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17 NIV) Blatantly states that we are not to murder anyone. But what is murder?

There are many definitions of murder include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation. However, the nuts and bolts of murder is unlawful killing of another, whereas killing is an act by which someone dies due to an accident without forethought or malice as part of the equation.

But by way of inference we can deduce that we are not to harm another in any physical way. Jesus spoke on this, in fact, Jesus stated emphatically that we are subject to judgement if we are angry with our brother. Furthermore, we are subject to the fire of hell if we even say, “You fool!” to our brother. (ref: Matthew 5:20-22 NIV) This is but one example of inferring from scripture and all we can learn from the same.

The sufficiency of scripture also promises us that the amount of scripture given to us at each stage in our history is and was sufficient for us to learn what was being taught to us and that it is proper and sufficient for our redemption through Christ. We learned in the Mosaic teachings this basic understanding:

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

God has this tendency to reveal to some people more than the rest of us. Just look throughout history and this will be an understood fact. You may be one of those who believe that the bible, while being canonized was a severe censure of the word of God, but in reality, if you believe God is all powerful, all knowing and all present…then He has the ability to protect His message to all the world from the likes of those who believe they must control the thoughts of men. And in so doing, those same men will change the contents of the books of sacred scripture, but God will get His message through to all His children.

sinful1God gave each of us the same brain, but it is up to each of us to love God with all of our minds. And how do we do such? Great question…and here is an answer! We must take charge of our mind and subject our thoughts to godly things, subject our eyes to godly things, and subject our bodies to godly things. We must bask in God’s word by learning all we can, we must also subject our minds to understand the godly words and understanding all that is good. Reading good books, wholesome and truthful. We must subject ourselves to those who have studied God’s word before us and learn what they have had to say in order to understand. Of course, that does not mean that we must agree with their assessments but it will help us to be of one mind and heart!

There is the problem of those who are health and wealth preachers who tend to preach heretical teachings. They tend to obfuscate the true word of God through smoke and mirrors allowing you to misunderstand the true nature of God through the all deceptive pattern of wealth…that always catches a person’s attention. Because if they believe that God truly wants us to be rich and wealthy…they are hooked and are in for the long haul.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.~Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.~Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. ~Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV

Does God desire us to be rich? Yes, but He wants our wealth to be in His kingdom. We temptation-gardenwere warned by Jesus not to be so attached to wealth and riches on this earthly plane. Jesus was very clear on this. God does want us to be rich and many who do great things are rewarded in earthly riches. But we all need to remember that:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.~Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

We are equal in God’s eyes, in that, not one of us is righteous.  But getting back to the point is we are not to add to scripture, nor take anything away from it. By doing so you clearly intend to mislead those you are teaching and you will be held accountable for such teachings. The prophet Ezekiel warned us:

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.~Ezekiel 3:18-19 NIV

We are reminded throughout, that we are not commanded to believe in anything outside of the scriptures about God Himself or His redemptive works. Everything is within the confines of the 66 books of the bible. We are also taught that there is nothing sinful that is not forbidden by the scriptures. As written by the Apostle Paul, on the Believer’s Freedoms:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

We can do all things, but is it wise to do all that we desire to do? As children of God we should be desires and have a passion for those around us. Helping and aiding all those near us…our neighbors! Our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are also reminded that God does not command any of us to do anything that is not explicitly in the biblical text, or implied by the same! Because God is all good, He will not command us to do what is evil. He will not guide us to lie. Because the seed of God is truly righteous.

Do-what-God-has-told-you-4We are taught, implored to do really, that we should emphasize what the scriptures tell us and to be content with what God has told and taught us within the scriptures. We are to touch the lives of those around us with God’s word, because God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And more often than not, we are the only connection that others will have to God. Trust me, God will open those opportunities to you to touch the life of another.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD