Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Monday, May 28, 2012

The video youtube banned

This young woman has more moral sense than most adults, her video was banned from youtube because it did not meet their 'community guidelines'...go figure.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jesus Christ is God


Heb 1:3 - 'And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.'





Christ is God, He is the radiance of His glory.  Radiance is defined by Thayer as 'reflected brightness/splendor' - 1a) of Christ in that he perfectly reflects the majesty of God. `
John Gill gives an illustration of this in his commentary concerning this verse, 'the allusion is to the sun, and its beam or ray: so some render it "the ray of his glory"; and may lead us to observe, that the Father and the Son are of the same nature, as the sun and its ray; and that the one is not before the other, and yet distinct from each other, and cannot be divided or separated one from another'.
Jesus Christ is the radiance of God's glory-'His magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace; the kingly majesty which belongs to Him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity, splendour, brightness'{from Thayer's Definitions}.

Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God's nature, to which Matthew Henry adds 'This is a high and lofty description of the glorious Redeemer, this is an account of his personal excellency. He is, in person, the Son of God, the only-begotten Son of God, and as such he must have the same nature.'
Christ is the 'express image', He is a carbon copy of the Father -" He who has seen Me has seen the Father".John 14:9 , - of His nature, His person, substance.  This word, 'representation' or 'express image' is described nicely by Albert Barnes, 'The word used here - χαρακτὴρ  charaktēr - likewise occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is that from which our word “character” is derived. It properly means a “engraving-tool;” and then something “engraved” or “stamped” - “a character” - as a letter, mark, sign. The image stamped on coins, seals, wax, expresses the idea: and the sense here is, that if God be represented under the idea of a substance, or being, then Christ is the exact resemblance of that - as an image is of the stamp or die. The resemblance between a stamp and the figure which is impressed is exact; and so is the resemblance between the Redeemer and God.“Who is the image of the invisible God.'
Looking again at Christ being the representation of God's nature, once more  we turn to commentary from Albert Barnes, 'Tyndale renders it, more accurately, “substance.” The word in the original - ὑπόστασις  hupostasis - whence our word “hypostasis,” means, literally, a “foundation,” or “substructure.” Then it means a well-founded trust, firm expectation, confidence, firmness, boldness; and then “reality, substance, essential nature.” In the New Testament, it is rendered “confident,” or “confidence” 2Co_9:4; 2Co_11:17; Heb_3:14; “substance” Heb_11:1; and “person” in the passage before us. It is not used elsewhere. Here it properly refers to the essential nature of God - what distinguishes him from all other beings, and which, if I may so say, “constitutes him God;” and the idea is, that the Redeemer is the exact resemblance of “that.”
God the Son upholds all things by the word of His power; for any who doubt and mock the power of a mighty God, this phrase from Hebrews 1:3 should cause men to tremble in fear and be in awe of that very power.
 Barnes commentary says 'That is, by his powerful word, or command. The phrase “word of his power” is a Hebraism, and means his efficient command. There could not be a more distinct ascription of divinity to the Son of God than this. He upholds or sustains all things - that is, the universe. It is not merely the earth; not only its rocks, mountains, seas, animals and human beings, but it is the universe - all distant worlds. How can he do this who is not God? He does it by his word - his command. What a conception! That one simple command should do all this! So the world was made when God “spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast;” Psa_33:9. So the Lord Jesus commanded the waves and the winds, and they were still Mat_8:26-27; so he spoke to diseases and they departed, and to the dead land they arose; compare Gen_1:3. I do know how people can “explain away” this ascription of infinite power to the Redeemer. There can be no higher idea of omnipotence than to say that he upholds all things by his word; and assuredly he who can “hold up” this vast universe so that it does not sink into anarchy or into nothing, must be God. The same power Jesus claimed for himself. ' There isn't much I can add to that.

Christ made purification of sins, or as Thayer's defines it, 'a cleansing from the guilt of sins wrought by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ'. Nothing or no one could remove the penalty of sin and satisfy God's wrath against sin except the shed blood of God the Son. There is no other way to be cleansed or purified from sin {keeping in mind that nothing defiled will enter God's holy kingdom} which is a stumbling block to works-based religions.  Only a the shed blood of the Holy Son of God would be accepted as purifying for the sin-stained souls of men. If you do not believe that Christ is God the Son, then how can you understand what His shed blood means?

After His work was finished and He ascended back to the Father, He 'sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high'. Once more, we go to Albert Barnes' commentary, 'We are not to suppose that God has hands, or that Jesus sits in any particular direction from God. This phrase is taken from the manner of speaking among men, and means that he was exalted to honor and power in the heavens. It was esteemed the place of the highest honor to be seated at the right hand of a prince. So, to be seated at the right hand of God, means that Jesus is exalted to the highest honor of the universe.'


 Jesus Christ is not in a wafer, He is not in a piece of toast or a tortilla shell. He is seated in power, in honour, in glory, in majesty with His Father, equal to His Father. To say otherwise is to go against the word of God and to speak lies. May we never lessen the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, instead let us ponder His power, might, majesty and glory. He isn't just any king, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all things, seated at the right hand of the Father and, as
John Gill correctly states,  ' here he will remain, till his second coming.'

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rivers of waters

Psa 119:136  'Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. '

The NAACP announced its support and backing of gay marriage today, siding with the President on this as though it were a civil rights matter.  The downward moral slide of society is picking up steam and resembles an avalanche. Where are the voices in the wilderness crying out His truth? Where are the men of God who will stand up and say 'Oh!! send me Lord, send me!!'?  How much time are we spending on our knees crying out to God for this nation? Sin is engulfing this nation, swallowing up America by leaps and bounds; even when voters reject gay marriage, somehow politicians and special interest groups push it down our throats anyway.  Are we to that point we find in Genesis 6:5, ' And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ' It would seem we are very close to being there. It is heartbreaking to watch the undoing of this nation, mainly because I know what looms just around the corner...fierce, intense wrath from God who is holy and commands us not to lie with a male as one lies with a woman. This command has fallen on deaf ears, it's as though God never gave us a law to obey.
David states 'rivers of waters run down mine eyes', he was grieved over the sins of his people. Matthew Henry says "He wept not for his troubles, though they were many, but for the dishonour done to God. Note, The sins of sinners are the sorrows of saints. We must mourn for that which we cannot mend; the eye is the inlet and outlet of a great deal of sin, and therefore it ought to be a weeping eye'.
If David were here today living in America, he would be crying buckets of tears to the point of dehydration.  How should we react to the sins of this nation? I refer to commentary by Albert Barnes, 'On account of the sins, the follies, the stupidity, and the transgressions of people. So the Saviour wept over Jerusalem Luk_19:41; and so the apostle said that he had “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in his heart, on account of his “brethren,” his “kinsmen according to the flesh.” Rom_9:2-3. Such a feeling is right. There is nothing for which we should be excited to deeper emotion in respect to our fellow-men than for the fact that they are violators of the law of God, and exposed to its fearful penalty. There is nothing which more certainly indicates true piety in the soul than such deep compassion for people as sinners, or because they are sinners. There is nothing which is more certainly connected with a work of grace in a community, or revival of true religion, than when such a feeling pervades a church. Then Christians will pray; then they will labor to save sinners; then they will feel their dependence on God; and then the Spirit of God will descend and bless the efforts put forth for the salvation of people. It may be added, nothing is more remarkable than that pious people ordinarily feel so little on account of the danger of their friends and fellow-sinners - that the occasions are so rare on which they imitate the example of the psalmist and of the Saviour in weeping over the condition of a perishing world!

We cannot remain indifferent about this, nor can we expect to see changes made by the passing of laws. We must pray, and we must speak God's truth, regardless of what people may say. Remember, they are dead in sin, they are acting out of ignorance and have hardened hearts. Only God's grace and His truth can change a heart. Homosexuality is not a civil rights matter no more than adultery or pedophilia are civil rights issues. Sexual sin is not based on something we cannot help, it is based on our own forbidden lustful desires. We choose to be immoral with men, women,  or whatever.  Sexual sin must be addressed and combated with biblical truth as well as presenting the cross of Christ and the grace of God. We have to tell it like it is and call it what it is...an abomination. This word - abomination- this is a very strong word.  The Hebrew word is tô‛êbah; Strongs defines it as something disgusting, detestable.  Brown-Driver-Briggs defines it as a disgusting thing.  We find this sin spoken out against in Leviticus 20:13 as well, ' If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.' This is from the NASB,  it is translated as a 'detestable act', but it comes from the same Hebrew word - tô‛êbah. Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary defines it as 'detestable thing, repulsive thing, tô‛êbah generally denotes persons or actions that are morally or religiously offensive to God'.  Webster's defines it as 'to hate, loathe'. God is repulsed by homosexuality and hates it passionately; it goes against the grain of His holiness which is why He commands all not to commit this abomination - we must clarify this when speaking to those caught in this bondage.   May we let our voices be heard, speaking truth boldly and in a loving way with our motive being for the saving of souls. May God have mercy on this nation, may He save sinners.

The indicative and the imperative


Friday, May 18, 2012

Spiritual Judgment

'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.' Leviticus 18:22




To lie with a male means to lie in a sexual way, lie comes from the Hebrew word  - shâkab -and means  'to lie '(of sexual relations). Commentary from John Gill states 'By carnal knowledge of them, and carnal copulation with them, and mixing bodies in like manner: this is the sin commonly called sodomy, from the inhabitants of Sodom, greatly addicted to it, for which their city was destroyed by fire: those that are guilty of this sin, are, by the apostle, called "abusers of themselves with mankind". Most are familiar with what took place in Sodom {Genesis 19} and the end result by God...total destruction.
Matthew Henry also has commentary worth reading " A law against unnatural lusts, sodomy and bestiality, sins not to be named nor thought of without the utmost abhorrence imaginable, Lev_18:22, Lev_18:23. Other sins level men with the beasts, but these sink them much lower. That ever there should have been occasion for the making of these laws, and that since they are published they should ever have been broken, is the perpetual reproach and scandal of human nature; and the giving of men up to these vile affections was frequently the punishment of their idolatries; so the apostle shows, Rom_1:24."

Homosexuality is the result of a society that has suppressed God's truth and turned to idolatry- worshipping money, self, sex, personal goals and achievements, etc.  Denying the existence and authority of the One True God and using man's wisdom and depraved thinking to rationalize spiritual matters as well as explaining  life's existence and purpose has devastating results.
 This is why we see in Romans chapter one the phrase 'God gave them over' both in verse 24,  26, and verse 28. This is what a society looks like that is under the wrath of abandonment by a Holy God who will not tolerate the breaking of His commandments 'you shall have no other gods before me'.  Society is then 'given over' by God to degrading passions.  To be given over is to turn a society over to what it wants...sin.  Matthew Henry comments -
 "Spiritual judgments are of all judgments the sorest, and to be most dreaded.  Observe,---
1. By whom they were given up. God gave them up, in a way of righteous judgment, as the just punishment of their idolatry - taking off the bridle of restraining grace - leaving them to themselves - letting them alone; for his grace is his own, he is debtor to no man, he may give or withhold his grace at pleasure. Whether this giving up be a positive act of God or only privative we leave to the schools to dispute: but this we are sure of that it is no new thing for God to give men up to their own hearts' lusts, to send them strong delusions, to let Satan loose upon them, nay, to lay stumbling-blocks before them. And yet God is not the author of sin, but herein infinitely just and holy; for, though the greatest wickedness follow upon this giving up, the fault of that is to be laid upon the sinner's wicked heart. If the patient be obstinate, and will not submit to the methods prescribed, but wilfully takes and does that which is prejudicial to him, the physician is not to be blamed if he give him up as in a desperate condition; and all the fatal symptoms that follow are not to be imputed to the physician, but to the disease itself and to the folly and wilfulness of the patient.
2. To what they were given up.
(1.) To uncleanness and vile affections, Rom_1:24, Rom_1:26, Rom_1:27. Those that would not entertain the more pure and refined notices of natural light, which tend to preserve the honour of God, justly forfeited those more gross and palpable sentiments which preserve the honour of human nature. Man being in honour, and refusing to understand the God that made him, thus becomes worse than the beasts that perish, Psa_49:20. Thus one, by the divine permission, becomes the punishment of another; but it is (as it said here) through the lusts of their own hearts - there all the fault is to be laid. Those who dishonoured God were given up to dishonour themselves. A man cannot be delivered up to a greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. Such are given over, like the Egyptians (Isa_19:4), into the hand of a cruel lord. The particular instances of their uncleanness and vile affections are their unnatural lusts, for which many of the heathen, even of those among them who passed for wise men, as Solon and Zeno, were infamous, against the plainest and most obvious dictates of natural light. The crying iniquity of Sodom and Gomorrah, for which God rained hell from heaven upon them, became not only commonly practised, but avowed, in the pagan nations. Perhaps the apostle especially refers to the abominations that were committed in the worship of their idol-gods, in which the worst of uncleannesses were prescribed for the honour of their gods; dunghill service for dunghill gods: the unclean spirits delight in such ministrations. In the church of Rome, where the pagan idolatries are revived, images worshipped, and saints only substituted in the room of demons, we hear of these same abominations going barefaced, licensed by the pope (Fox's Acts and Monuments, vol. 1, p. 808), and not only commonly perpetrated, but justified and pleaded for by some of their cardinals: the same spiritual plagues for the same spiritual wickednesses. See what wickedness there is in the nature of man. How abominable and filthy is man! Lord, what is man? says David; what a vile creature is he when left to himself! How much are we beholden to the restraining grace of God for the preserving any thing of the honour and decency of the human nature! For, were it not for this, man, who was made but little lower than the angels, would make himself a great deal lower than the devils. This is said to be that recompence of their error which was meet. The Judge of all the earth does right, and observes a meetness between the sin and the punishment of it.
(2.) To a reprobate mind in these abominations, Rom_1:28.
[1.] They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. The blindness of their understandings was caused by the wilful aversion of their wills and affections. They did not retain God in their knowledge, because they did not like it. They would neither know nor do any thing but just what pleased themselves. It is just the temper of carnal hearts; the pleasing of themselves is their highest end. There are many that have God in their knowledge, they cannot help it, the light shines so fully in their faces; but they do not retain him there. They say to the Almighty, Depart (Job_21:14), and they therefore do not retain God in their knowledge because it thwarts and contradicts their lusts; they do not like it. In their knowledge - en epignōsei. There is a difference between gnōsis and epignōsis, the knowledge and the acknowledgement of God; the pagans knew God, but did not, would not, acknowledge him.
[2.] Answerable to this wilfulness of theirs, in gainsaying the truth, God gave them over to a wilfulness in the grossest sins, here called a reprobate mind - eis adokimon noun, a mind void of all sense and judgment to discern things that differ, so that they could not distinguish their right hand from their left in spiritual things. See whither a course of sin leads, and into what a gulf it plunges the sinner at last; hither fleshly lusts have a direct tendency. Eyes full of adultery cannot cease from sin, 2Pe_2:14. This reprobate mind was a blind scared conscience, past feeling, Eph_4:19. When the judgment is once reconciled to sin, the man is in the suburbs of hell. At first Pharaoh hardened his heart, but afterwards God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Thus wilful hardness is justly punished with judicial hardness.'
- M. Henry

God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts; lusts here comes from the Greek word epithumia and is translated 'desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust'. How do we know homosexuality is forbidden? Because of the passage at the top of this post from Leviticus 18:22. Those who say this is no longer relevant only prove how depraved they truly are.  This forbidden lust is found in the 'heart', Greek 'kardia', which means 'the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence, of the will and character,  of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions'.  This is evident such forbidden lust is birthed within, it certainly is not a genetic malfunction.

Do we throw our arms up as if there is no hope? Absolutely not... we press on, standing firm in truth. We do not shrink back, we profess boldly God's truth and proclaim Christ crucified. We will be mocked, ridiculed, hated, shunned, persecuted, and more than likely...martyred. Yes, it will get 'that bad' for true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our greatest weapon of defense is the sword of the Spirit -  which is the word of God.  May we pray for boldness...


' And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. ' Eph. 6:19-20

' So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.' Hebrews 13:6

The Heated Battle concerning Homosexuality

Dr. James White addresses this issue on 'Dividing Line' after an article written by Rachel Held Evans, a professing 'Christian', writer, and blogger where she speaks from more of a worldly view than from a solid biblical view concerning homosexuality. As expected, Dr. White sticks solely to the word of God as his source of truth. Do take time to give this a listen...


"Cultural Christianity is a stench in the nostrils of a Holy God and it is an insult to the Lordship of Jesus Christ" - Dr. James White

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Social Gospel

I picked this article up after church on Sunday, Pastor Gary Gilley nails it in this piece he wrote concerning the social gospel...

 
 One of the important issues which the church has always had to address is that of its role in society. In the Old Testament, the Lord chose Abraham to be the father of a called-out race of people. Years later, the Lord would establish the nation of Israel under the Mosaic Covenant. Detailed laws and regulations were given to Israel at the time including how that nation was to be governed, how poverty was to be dealt with, how widows and orphans were to be helped and how injustices were to be corrected. All of these matters were addressed almost exclusively within the context of the nation of Israel, with relatively minor concern for the surrounding nations. The Old Covenant would continue to be in force throughout Old Testament history until finally superseded at the dawning of the church age in Acts 2 with the coming of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost. While the Jewish people and the nation of Israel still retain a primary place in the plan of God, and the Lord still has an eschatological plan for Israel, presently we live in what is commonly called the church age. The church, which functions as the chosen people of God for this age, is composed of regenerate people of all nationalities. It is not a nation in an official sense and has not been given laws by which a governmental structure could function. The church, being the people of God scattered throughout the globe, cannot possibly function as the nation of Israel did during the Old Testament times.
Still, most recognize that Christians live as citizens not only of heaven but also of earth and as a result have responsibilities pertaining to life on this planet here and now. What those responsibilities are and how they are to be worked out has been the topic of much debate for almost 2000 years. The pendulum has swung at times from total disinterest in this world to the idea that solving social problems is the primary objective of the church. With the advent of the internet and other rapid forms of communication, a plethora of voices is weighing in on this issue. Most recently the shift toward the social agenda has gained the upper hand in most evangelical circles and is rapidly being given equal status with the proclamation of the gospel message. As a matter of fact, a two-tiered gospel has arisen composed of both the Great Commission and the so-called Cultural Mandate. In this paper I want to try to make some sense of all of this and draw a conclusion which I believe is faithful to the New Testament program for the church. We will begin with a glance at history.


continue reading here...


You can read part 2 of this article here

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Leviticus no longer applies



This is the battle cry of the defender of homosexuality as they insist God's word does not condemn homosexuality. They throw out the wearing of mixed fabrics and eating shellfish and pork also found in Leviticus as though this renders the book null and void.
The dietary laws found in Leviticus were repealed by God as Christ Himself declared all foods clean in Mark 7:19.   To sum it up and make it short and to the point, these dietary laws as well as other commands concerning dress and the priesthood found in Leviticus were for the distinction and separation of the nation Israel from other pagan nations.  These laws were rendered null and void by the coming of the Messiah, but nowhere in God's word do we find God stating homosexuality is now okay. I recommend this link for a better understanding of the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws found in Leviticus.
A good question to present to one who claims Leviticus is no longer applicable and to the defender of homosexuality  is this...is  bestiality okay and, if not, where do we find in God's word where this was forbidden? The correct answer is no, it is not okay, as we find in what book of the Bible? You guessed it...Leviticus, chapter 18, verse 23, "Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. " If Leviticus is no longer applicable, as some try and state, then they must confess bestiality is now acceptable as well as pedophilia and incest. That is indeed a slippery slope for them to take, but they must take it if they insist Leviticus no longer applies.
Dr. James White states this in his book 'Same Sex Controversy' concerning the twisted view they have concerning Leviticus,
"The defender of homosexuality must produce a viable criterion for distinguishing between the moral and ceremonial laws, or else consistently reject them all. We have New Testament warrant for discontinuing the sacrificial system {Hebrews 10:1-18} and the failure to observe the symbols of separation from the Gentile no longer displeases God {Acts 10:9-20}. However, the Scriptures never alter God's revealed law regarding homosexuality, but leave us under its full requirement {Deut. 8:3; 12:32; Matthew 4:4}. Indeed, the Bible repeatedly condemns homosexuality, the New Testament itself stressing that it is contrary to God's law {1st Tim. 1:9-10}. Therefore, the prohibition against homosexuality cannot be viewed as part of the ceremonial system prefiguring Christ or as temporary in its obligation."

To render Leviticus as obsolete is to take away from God's word and cut out chunks of the Bible in order to justify what God calls an abomination. Shallow biblical knowledge is the main reason why this approach is so effective; we must study diligently the word of God and defend it with equal diligence. There is forgiveness through Christ, but repentance and forsaking this sin is necessary. Only a mind regenerated by God will understand the vileness of sin...may truth go forth and may God be merciful.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Exercising self-control

'Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. ' - 1 Corinthians 9:25

I am sorely lacking in the self-control department, and I do not say this lightly or boastfully. Self control and self discipline are hard for me to follow on a regular basis. But, as we strive for holiness, it is essential to do just that on a consistent basis if we are to be successful in overcoming sin. There is something to be gained by competing vigorously; by denying our desires and saying no to the pampering of our bodies, we do so for the 'imperishable wreath' that awaits us.

The Apostle Paul compares our  striving for holiness with that of an athlete, there is an exercise of self control required to run successfully. 'Exercise self control' is defined as 'in a figure drawn from athletes, who in preparing themselves for the games abstained from unwholesome food, wine, and sexual indulgence' {Thayer's Greek Definitions}. There is a strict way of life that is adhered to by the athlete, his mind is set on the race - how to compete, how to finish so as to win that perishable wreath. He knows certain foods and activities harm the body, so he avoids them. He desires the prize more than he desires the temptations that would lure him away and cost him to not finish this race.  It certainly isn't for the faint at heart to run this race effectively, as we see in the phrase 'competes in the games'. To compete is to to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers, to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something {Thayer's Greek Definitions}.  There is a struggle, a war waging against us as we compete to run our race, this war is within. We battle our desires and succumb all too often to them and wind up falling down, but we do not stay down.

The athlete strives for a temporal reward, all that hard work for something that doesn't last. We have a reward that is eternal, Matthew Henry sums it up quite nice when he says "Those who conquered in these games were crowned only with the withering leaves or boughs of trees, of olive, bays, or laurel. But Christians have an incorruptible crown in view, a crown of glory that never fadeth away, an inheritance incorruptible, reserved in heaven for them. And would they yet suffer themselves to be outdone by these racers or wrestlers? Can they use abstinence in diet, exert themselves in racing, expose their bodies to so much hardship in a combat, who have no more in view than the trifling huzzas of a giddy multitude, or a crown of leaves? And shall not Christians, who hope for the approbation of the sovereign Judge, and a crown of glory from his hands, stretch forward in the heavenly race, and exert themselves in beating down their fleshly inclinations, and the strong-holds of sin? "

It seems we have fallen short in this race concerning the holiness of our bodies. In his book entitled 'The Pursuit of Holiness',  Jerry Bridges says 'true holiness includes control over our physical bodies and appetites. If we are to pursue holiness we must recognize that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God with them. Modern Christians, especially those in the Western world, have generally been found wanting in the area of holiness of body. Gluttony and laziness, for example, were regarded by earlier Christians as sin. Today we may look on these as weaknesses of the will but certainly not sin. We even joke about our overeating and other indulgences instead of crying out to God in confession and repentance. Our physical bodies and natural appetites were created by God and are not sinful in themselves. Nevertheless, if left uncontrolled we will find our bodies becoming 'instruments of wickedness' rather than 'instruments of righteousness'.  There is no place for laziness and indulgence of the body in a disciplined pursuit of holiness. We don't feel like getting out of bed to have our morning time with God, or doing Bible study, or praying, or anything else we should do. That is why we have to take control of our bodies and make them our servants instead of our masters.'

Striving for holiness is not easy, but there is no excuse not to. Perseverance is a must if we are to finish this race.  I do not give up, and I pray you don't either. Yes, old habits are hard to break, especially in a time when laziness, complacency and gluttony are so very prominent in our society. But that should never be the case for the follower of the Lord Jesus; let us follow the Apostle Paul's example, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

May our Lord be gracious, may He be all that we desire.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Yada Yada Yada

I have recently been made aware of the revisionists attempts to deny the condemnation of homosexuality clearly found in God's word. It is amazing to me the lengths we sinners go to to justify our lustful desires; there's a lot of twisting going on and indeed there has to be if one is to say God does not speak out against homosexuality. This deluded lie caused me to order a wonderful book by Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries   entitled 'Same Sex Controversy'. I am not far into the book and already I am overjoyed {but not surprised} with Dr. White's adherence to the authority of God's word and his upholding of that word as he takes apart the revisionists lies concerning homosexuality.  This book is a tremendous help in the battle for the truth: if you do not have this book, I highly recommend it, especially if you have loved ones caught in the bondage of homosexuality and the lies spewed by the revisionists. We need to understand what the attack on God's word is, where it comes from, and how to 'counter-attack'.  Dr. White's book will equip you with information necessary to do just that.

One of the lies told is that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because of homosexual sin, destruction came because of 'inhospitable people'.  Concerning this, Dr. White states, "It is not denied that the inhabitants of Sodom were an inhospitable people, but it must be remembered that sin is rarely alone in the lives of those who revel in it. Sin is often a complex of attitudes and actions, joined together by a common thread of rebellion against God and His ways. Indeed, arrogance and pride are closely related to a willingness to twist even the most basic and fundamental aspect of our being, our sexuality, and to flaunt this in the face of God and our fellow creatures. So to point to other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah as if this means homosexuality was not part and parcel of the sin of the cities is to assume far too narrow a range of sin in their experience. Sodom and Gomorrah is so closely linked with God's wrath, giving, as it does, one of the earliest examples of the pouring out of His wrath in the period after the flood, that it became a byword for sinfulness that brings certain judgment."

The argument continues by stating the Hebrew word 'yada' found in Genesis 19 does not mean sexual activity - their objection states 'it is highly unlikely that 'know' {yada} in Genesis 19 means to know sexually or in a homosexual context. The word is used over nine hundred times in the Bible, and it simply does not refer to homosexual activity in any of those instances': Dr. White directs their attention to a very close parallel to Sodom found in Judges 19:22-25, 'While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him." Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, "No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly. "Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man." But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn. '
In verse 22, we find the Hebrew word 'yada' again - 'that we may have relations with him'.  From Dr. White, "But just as in Genesis 19, the rest of the story clinches the debate: the very same word is used in verse 25 - 'and they raped her', literally, 'they knew her'. Yada here is obviously sexual, hence, the use in verse 22 would be in reference to homosexual 'knowing'.

For every false claim the enemy makes, Dr. White refutes with rock solid truth from God's word using  the original language as well as keeping verses in context and pointing to historical Christianity; something unregenerates fail to do when twisting God's holy word to justify sin. Historically, homosexuality has always been understood to be an abomination, it is only within the past couple of decades or so that we find the same weapon used by Satan since the garden...'did God really say?'...


Dr. White quotes Francis Schaeffer's writings from the '70's...
"The thinkables of the eighties and nineties will certainly include things which most people today find unthinkable and immoral, even unimaginable and too extreme to suggest. Yet, since they do not have some overriding principle that takes them beyond relativistic thinking, when these become thinkable and acceptable in the eighties and nineties, most people will not even remember that they were unthinkable in the seventies. They will slide into each new thinkable without a jolt".

How true is that?!? This is exactly where we are today, with so many within the church confused about this abomination and afraid to speak out against it, or not informed enough to know how to.

The reason homosexuality is such a deadly and terrifying sin is NOT that it is worse than adultery, or any type of sex outside the covenant of marriage; it's what this sin brings as it engulfs cities and nations....judgment.   

Jude1:7  'Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.'

It is fitting to include John Gill's commentary on 'strange flesh'..'or "other flesh"; meaning not other women besides their own wives, but men; and designs that detestable and unnatural sin, which, from these people, is called sodomy to this day; and which is an exceeding great sin, contrary to the light of nature and law of God, dishonourable to human nature, and scandalous to a nation and people, and commonly prevails where idolatry and infidelity do, as among the Papists and Mahometans; and arose from idleness and fulness of bread in Sodom, and was committed in the sight of God, with great impudence: their punishment follows'...

Another article that exposes the lie stating homosexuality is not a sin can be found at Kevin DeYoung's site, 'what does the bible really say about homosexuality'.

 


We must proclaim the truth about homosexuality, even if they do not listen. There is no such thing as a 'gay Christian', there is no way you can willfully sin against God and think you will enter His kingdom. That's just what this revisionist belief is doing, telling homosexuals they are fine the way they are, that the Bible does not speak out against their abomination and that Jesus loves them {even though they deliberately sin against Him}, and they are swallowing it up hook,  line and sinker.
Judgment is rapidly approaching, we who stand fast will face situations and tribulations we have never faced or thought we would see in our lifetime. As the saying goes, 'it's about to get ugly'...



Pray, Pray, Pray.