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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Marriage Defined

We are all aware the Supreme Court will soon decide upon homosexual marriage; it's quite likely the Supreme Court will strike down the DOMA- the outcry is that it's 'unconstitional because it discriminates against people based on sexual orientation'. This is all a smokescreen used by the homosexual agenda to further push acceptance and tolerance of a sin the Bible calls 'an abomination'.

What is the definition of marriage and who is the one who has already defined marriage? That is the question that needs to be brought forth, unfortunately, it will not happen. No one will stand up in the courts and proclaim what God has already stated in His word concerning the definition of marriage.
 Here is what the word of God says...
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." - Genesis 2:24
This is repeated by the Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 19, verses 4-6, " And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?  "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."  
John Gill's commentary on the latter part of the text is worth sharing -- "break the bond of union, dissolve the relation, and separate them from each other, for every trivial thing, upon any slight occasion, or for anything; but what is hereafter mentioned. The sense is, that the bond of marriage being made by God himself, is so sacred and inviolable, as that it ought not to be dissolved by any man; not by the husband himself, or any other for him; nor by any state or government, by any prince or potentate, by any legislator whatever; no, not by Moses himself, who is, at least, included, if not chiefly designed here, though not named, to avoid offence: and God and man being opposed in this passage, shows, that marriage is an institution and appointment of God, and therefore not to be changed and altered by man at his pleasure; this not merely a civil, but a sacred affair, in which God is concerned." Amen!!!

Marriage has already been defined by the One with whom it originates...Jehovah God. Perversion lashes out against it and perversion is winning because sin is no longer called sin. Orientation is what it's called, and marriage should not be withheld from two people who love one another simply based on orientation- according to the homosexual agenda. Let's look at two points of the homosexual and orientation. 

Orientation, defined as 'positioning: the positioning of something, or the position or direction in which something lies' - it's a positional stance someone takes, the direction someone goes in - based on what? Choice. Have you ever been forced to go somewhere you did not want to go? Have you ever chosen a path in life that you were forced to choose? Why is it society acts like homosexuals are 'victims' when in fact, they choose to be with same sex partners?!? I have addressed the topic of orientation in detail here.

Love, homosexuals profess to love their same sex partner. What does the Bible say? The clearest picture of what this perversion is based on and fueled by is found in Romans 1:26-27, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." Men burned in their desire toward one another, is that the definition of love? Hardly. Burned, in the original Greek - ekkaiō- means 'to set on fire' to inflame'.  Their desire, in the original Greek - orexis - is defined as 'craving, longing, lust'. There is flaming, burning, driving craving, lusting for same sex sex. This is not the definition of love. I have gone into detail on this topic as well. 

What is the purpose of marriage, according to God?  "And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed." - Malachi 2:15
Read what Matthew Henry writes concerning this text...

" Let us see the reasons given why man and wife should continue together, to their lives' end, in holy love and peace, and neither quarrel with each other nor separate from each other. [1.] Because God has joined them together (Mal_2:15): Did not he make one, one Eve for one Adam, that Adam might never take another to her to vex her (Lev_18:18), nor put her away to make room for another? It is great wickedness to complain of the law of marriage as a confinement, when Adam in innocency, in honour, in Eden, in the garden of pleasure, was confined to one. Yet God had the residue of the Spirit; he could have made another Eve, as amiable as that he did make, but, designing Adam a help meet for him, he made him one wife; had he made him more, he would not have had a meet help. And wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that he might seek a godly seed - a seed of God (so the word is), a seed that should bear the image of God, be employed in the service of God, and be devoted to his glory and honour, - that every man having his own wife, and but one, according to the law, (1Co_7:2), they might live in chaste and holy love, under the directions and restraints of the divine law, and not, as brute beasts, under the dominion of lust, and thus might propagate the nature of man in such a way as might make it most likely to participate of a divine nature, - that the children, being born in holy matrimony, which is an ordinance of God, and by which the inclinations of nature are kept under the regulations of God's command, might thus be made a seed to serve him, and be bred, as they are born, under his direction and dominion. Note, The raising up of a godly seed, which shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation, is one great end of the institution of marriage; but that is a good reason why the marriage-bed should be kept undefiled and the marriage bond inviolable. Husbands and wives must therefore live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed, else were they unclean, but now they are holy, as children of the covenant, the marriage-covenant, which was a type of the covenant of grace, and the conjugal union, when thus preserved entire, of the mystical union between Christ and his church, in which he seeks and secures to himself a godly seed; see Eph_5:25, Eph_5:32. [2.] Because he is much displeased with those who go about to put asunder what he has joined together (Mal_2:16): The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. He hath indeed permitted it to the Jews, for the hardness of their hearts, or, rather, limited and clogged it (Mat_19:8); but he hated it, especially as those practised it who put away their wives for every cause, Mat_19:3. Let those wives that elope from their husbands and put themselves away, those husbands that are cruel to their wives and turn them away, or take their affections off from their wives and place them upon others, yea, and those husbands and wives that live asunder by consent, for want of love to each other, let such as these know that the God of Israel hates such practices, however vain men may make a jest of them."

Having children is just one of the many blessings of a God-instituted marriage, one that homosexuals cannot partake of naturally. This should be an indication to them what they are doing isn't natural, nor is it acceptable to God. 

God is the originator of the divine institution of marriage, which is likened to the church and its Husband...Christ. To defile this institution in such a profane manner is great wickedness, and will bring even greater judgment upon the land. Every nation, especially America, should heed the warning found in Jude...

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." 

The question is NOT 'are homosexuals being discriminated against?'; the absurdity is, 'who are you, oh man, to re-define what God has already defined?!?!'

Not what my hands have done

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

He loved them unto the end...

"Having loved His own that were in the world, He loved them unto the end." Those last words have been thought to refer to the end of life, but it surely were superfluous to tell us that the strong waters of death could not quench the love of the Son of Man. When once He loves, He loves always. It is needless to tell us that the Divine heart which has enshrined a soul will not forsake it; that the name of the beloved is never erased from the palms of the hands, that the covenant is not forgotten though eternity elapse. Of course Christ loves to the end, even though that end reaches to endlessness. We do not need to be assured that the Immortal Lover, who has once taken us up to union with Himself, can never loose His hold. Therefore it is better to adopt the alternative suggested by the margin of the Revised Version, "He loved them to the uttermost." There was nothing to be desired. Nothing was needed to fill out the ideal of perfect love. Not a stitch was required for the needle-work of wrought gold; not a touch demanded for the perfectly achieved picture; not a throb additional to the strong pulse of affection with which He regarded His own. It is very wonderful that He should have loved such men like this. As we pass them under review at this time of their life, they seem a collection of nobodies, with the exception perhaps of John and Peter. But they were His own, there was a special relationship between Him and them. They had belonged to the Father, and He had given them to the Son as His special perquisite and belonging. "Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me." May we dare, in this meaning, to apply to Christ that sense of proprietorship, which makes a bit of moorland waste, a few yards of garden-ground, dear to the freeholder?   "Breathes there the man with soul so dead,   Who never to himself hath said,   This is my own . . .?" It was because these men were Christ's own, that the full passion of His heart set in toward them, and He loved them to the utmost bound; that is, the tides filled the capacity of the ocean-bed of possibility.

It was bathed in the sense of His Divine origin and mission.—The curtain was waxing very thin. It was a moment of vision. There had swept across His soul a realization of the full meaning of His approaching triumph. He looked back, and was hardly conscious of the manger where the horned oxen fed, the lowly birth, the obscure years, in the sublime conception that He had come forth from God. He looked forward, and was hardly conscious of the cross, the nail, the thorn-crown, and the spear, because of the sublime consciousness that He was stepping back, to go to Him with whom He realized His identity. He looked on through the coming weeks, and knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. What the devil had offered as the price of obeisance to himself, that the Father was about to give Him, nay, had already given Him, as the price of His self-emptying. And if for a moment He stooped, as we shall see He did, to the form of a servant, it was not because of any failure to recognize His high dignity and mission, but with the sense of Godhead quick on His soul. The love which went out toward this little group of men had Deity in it. It was the love of the Throne, of the glory He had with the Father before the worlds were, of that which now fills the bosom of His ascended and glorified nature. He was aware of the task to which He was abandoning these men.—He knew that as He was the High Priest over the house of God, they were its priests. He knew that cleansing was necessary before they could receive the anointing of the Holy Ghost. He knew that the great work of carrying forward His Gospel was to be delegated to their hands. He knew that they were to carry the sacred vessels of the Gospel, which must not be blurred or fouled by contact with human pride or uncleanness. He knew that the very mysteries of Gethsemane and Calvary would be inexplicable, and that none might stand on that holy hill, save those that had clean hands and a pure heart; and because of all this, He turned to them, by symbol and metaphor, to impress upon their heart and memory the necessity of participating in the cleansing of which the Laver is the type. The highest love is ever quickest to detect the failures and inconsistencies of the beloved. Just because of its intensity, it can be content with nothing less than the best, because the best means the blessedest; and it longs that the object of its thought should be most blessed forever. It is a mistake to think that green-eyed jealousy is quickest to detect the spots on the sun, the freckles on the face, and the marring discords in the music of the life; love is quicker, more microscopic, more exacting that the ideal should be achieved. Envy is content to indicate the fault, and leave it; but love detects, and waits and holds its peace until the fitting opportunity arrives, and then sets itself to remove, with its own tenderest ministry, the defect which had spoiled the completeness and beauty of its object. Perhaps there had never been a moment in the human consciousness of our Lord, when, side by side with this intense love for His own, there had been so vivid a sense of oneness with His Father, of His unity with the source of Infinite Purity and Blessedness. We might have supposed that this would have alienated Him from His poor friends, but in this our thoughts are not as His. Just because of His awful holiness, He was quick to perceive the unholiness of His friends, and could not endure it, and essayed to rid them of it. Just because of His Divine goodness He could detect the possibilities of goodness in them, and be patient enough to give it culturing care. The most perfect musician may be most tortured by incompetence; but he will be most likely to detect true merit, and give time to its training. "The powerfullest magnet will pick out, in the powdered dust of the ironstone, fine particles of metal that a second or third-rate magnet would fail to draw to itself." Do not dread the awful holiness of Jesus; it is your hope. He will never be content till He has made you like Himself; and side by side with His holiness, never fail to remember His gentle, tender love.

Meyer, F. B. (Frederick Brotherton) (2011-03-23). Love to the Uttermost Expositions of John XIII.-XXI. (Kindle Locations 66-77).  . Kindle Edition.

When I survey the wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did eer such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads oer His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Father, forgive them"...

A. W. Pink

MAN HAD DONE HIS WORST. The one by whom the world was made had come into it, but the world knew him not. The Lord of glory had tabernacled among men, but he was not wanted. The eyes which sin had blinded saw in him no beauty that he should be desired. At his birth there was no room in the inn, which foreshadowed the treatment he was to receive at the hands of men. Shortly after his birth Herod sought to slay him, and this intimated the hostility his person evoked and forecast the cross as the climax of man’s enmity. Again and again, his enemies attempted his destruction. And now their vile desires are granted them. The Son of God had yielded himself up into their hands. A mock trial had been gone through, and though his judges found no fault in him, nevertheless, they had yielded to the insistent clamoring of those who hated him as they cried again and again "Crucify him".
The fell deed had been done. No ordinary death would suffice his implacable foes. A death of intense suffering and shame was decided upon. A cross had been secured: the Saviour had been nailed to it. And there he hangs - silent. But presently his pallid lips are seen to move – is he crying for pity? No. What then? Is he pronouncing malediction upon his crucifiers? No. He is praying, praying for his enemies - "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
This first of the seven cross-sayings of our Lord presents him in the attitude of prayer. How significant! How instructive! His public ministry had opened with prayer (Luke 3:21), and here we see it closing in prayer. Surely he has left us an example! No longer might those hands minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross; no longer may those feet carry him on errands of mercy, for they are fastened to the cruel tree; no longer may he engage in instructing the apostles, for they have forsaken him and fled. How then does he occupy himself? In the ministry of prayer! What a lesson for us.

Continue reading here...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What are homosexual relationships based on?

This is a re-post from 2011...

I have repeatedly heard from homosexuals insisting their relationships are based on love; I find just the opposite in God's word...
We will start with Matthew 15:19-20 to understand where this sexual sin is birthed, "for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man." These words are spoken by the Lord Jesus Himself as to what defiles, we focus on the origin...the heart. In the original language heart means 'thoughts, feelings, the mind; the seat of everything: of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad or good way, the soul/mind as the seat of sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions'. This is evidence sin is birthed in the thought life. We now focus on fornication, which translates 'adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, illicit sexual intercourse'. In Christ's own words, homosexuality and lesbianism are an inward defiling act which means 'unclean, pollute, to make profane, render unhallowed'. If homosexuality and lesbianism are defiling, how can it be called love?
The clearest picture on what homosexuality is based on is found in Romans 1:26-27, 'for this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions: for their women exchanged natural (produced by nature, inborn) relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed (to set on fire, to be kindled) with passion (lust-excitement of the mind, a longing after, desire, craving for) for another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error'. Here we see what happens when sinners suppress the truth of God's word, He lets men go headlong into sin, turning them over to what they desire most by not restraining their unbridled passions: the result is moral decay. What comes natural has now been shunned for what is contrary to nature, what was instilled at birth has now been exchanged for a forbidden lust. So if at birth, we were instilled with what comes natural, how is it the homosexual claims they were born that way? The only answer is they choose to follow their own lustful desires, which is what God's word proclaims.
Here lies the key to what homosexuals base their relationships on...lust. Their relationships are fueled by a burning desire that consumes and drives them. This is the reason for turbulence in these types of relationships, they are like wild animals who stalk their prey, launch their attack and conquer. Lust is never satisfied, it must be fed over and over and over; it does not care who or what must be conquered to satisfy. It does not feel love for its prey, it only thinks of 'self' and consumes the homosexual to repeatedly feed his/her craving. Love, on the other hand, is giving and is made manifest in doing for others, especially husbands towards wives and wives towards husbands. The intimacy of love between a husband and wife is one of giving, not taking; to please another and not self: it is filled with a trusting heart as well as tenderness and faithfulness. Love is God's gift between a man and a woman, lust is a result of rejecting true love with a desire to only please 'self'. Homosexuals cannot know love because their relationships are contrary to the word of God. They may believe in their own hearts that they are in a 'loving and committed relationship', however, the heart is 'deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?' {Jeremiah 17:9}The human mind is full of trickery and incurably sick; it cannot be trusted if  left to its own human reasoning. The only source of truth is the word of God, and it must be studied diligently. Also, we should never add to or take from His word in order to justify sin.

Homosexuals are in desperate need of truth, we should not embrace any sin ever; rather we must proclaim Christ crucified, being raised from the dead and profess Him as the only hope sinners have. Grace and mercy are the key to salvation - not repeated prayers, accepting Jesus into your heart, or making decisions.  Never give a method for sinners to be saved by, proclaim Christ and His cross. Sinners need to hear of their sins and of what Jesus Christ has done to reconcile sinners back to a holy God.

The Danger of a sinful mind

No sin is more destructive to the conscience than the sin that takes place in the arena of the mind. After all, who but God and the sinner ever knows about them? “Who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11).
Many people who will not do evil deeds are nevertheless boldly evil in their thoughts. A man who abstains from fornication for fear of getting caught might convince himself it is all right to indulge in salacious fantasies because he thinks no one else will ever discover such a private sin. The sins he deliberately entertains in his mind may be a thousand times more evil than anything he would ever think of doing before others. Scripture says his guilt is the same as if he acted out his fantasies (Matthew 5:27-28).
To indulge in sins of thought, therefore, is to molest the conscience directly. Sins of the mind assault the conscience like no other sins, because the conscience is their only deterrent. Those whose thoughts are impure cannot have pure consciences; the guilt is inherent in the evil thought. When the thoughts are defiled, the conscience immediately is, too. That is why nothing is more characteristic of unbelief than an impure mind combined with a defiled conscience: “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15, emphasis added).
In fact, nothing damages the conscience more than the habit of indulging in evil thoughts. Unfortunately, once begun, the practice becomes all too easy. This is a sin that does not have to wait for an opportunity; the mind can sin anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances. So the habit is quickly and easily established.
By engaging the inner faculties—mind, emotions, desire, memory, and imagination—thought sins work directly on the soul to bias it toward evil. Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. Evil thoughts thus lay the groundwork for all other sins.
John MacArthur

Friday, March 22, 2013

The mentality of the 'church' concerning sin

I read a blog post written by a lesbian who scolded the church for their view on homosexuality and treatment of it; and overlooking its own sins, like pride. The written piece didn't clarify if this woman had repented of her sin, she did state she'd invited Jesus into her heart. This immediately raised a red flag in my mind.  Granted, she made some valid points, but she wasn't very clear in many areas. Overall, I thought her letter was confusing and really didn't make a solid biblical stance for the point she was attempting to make. It would seem her goal was to lay a guilt trip on the church, which, judging by the comments, she {and Justin Taylor, who posted this to TCG} succeeded in doing.  That is NOT how God calls His church to deal with sin! 
The fact that she still labels herself as a lesbian is really disturbing; in doing this, she goes against 1 Corinthians 6:11. 
As I read through the comments, and even left a few of my own, I saw so many who supported this lesbian, and the common thread in those comments was 'love'. I am not bashing showing love to sinners, I am asking one thing, where is the discipline the church is called to enforce on sinners who claim to be in Christ and yet, willfully live in rebellion to His commands?!?

I have seen another blog post referring to this, in that post the Christian woman states ' In my view, the author of the letter is clearly a sister in Christ, even though she is still in the gay lifestyle. '  What in the world is going on in the chuch?! In her view???? okay, so her view overrides God's word?  "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:3 

'Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 
nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.   Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.' 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. " -Matthew 18: 15-17

Here is the clincher for me concerning those who are in willful sin,  "But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 
 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. " 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

What I found disturbing as well were the multitude of comments on the Gospel Coalition post that condoned the 'struggle' with sin, in this case, homosexuality. I agree we all wrestle against our flesh daily, I also agree if Christ sets you free, you are free indeed. I reflected on what God has done for me, how His supernatural and mighty power has lifted me out of sin's mire. Sin does not control me any longer, I do not entertain homosexual thoughts. That's why I have a problem with those who claim to struggle with this sin, it originates in our own hearts. If one is struggling, then it stands to reason, that struggle is a result of them entertaining that sin in their minds. I do not think there should be an ongoing struggle with sexual sin of any kind, and the Apostle Paul agrees with me,   "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body." 1 Corinthians 6:18  What we feed our minds will either cause us to struggle with sexual sin - entertaining it in our thoughts, or run the other direction from it.
In Matthew 5:28, the Lord says this, "but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."  Here is a shocking revelation, our thought life is tainted by sin just like every other part of us. Our thought life is where sin is birthed, so when someone claims to struggle with sexual temptation, it's because they are purposely feasting upon it in their minds. If you make a practice of doing this, you will struggle. We are called to pursue holiness, to renew our minds and be transformed {Romans 12:2}.

One comment in particular came from a woman who said her son handed her a letter stating he was homosexual {she used worldly terminology, I prefer to use a stronger word}. After reading it, she looked him in the eye and responded with 'well duh!'. This comes from a 'Christian' woman. What a flippant, nonchalant response; her son is under God's wrath and she responds 'well duh!'

She claims her son knows 'homosexual behavior' is a sin and hopes to remain celibate and forgo temptation. So, it would appear she believes you can be a homosexual, not act on it, and go to heaven. Her son's greatest need is to be born again; instead, he's going to try and 'suppress' his 'behavior', go through ritual to stave off what I know will drag him away in due time, and believe he will overcome. How horrific, and yet, how typical of the 'Christian' to view sin in such a way.

I would start by stating homosexuality is not a behavior, it is a lust that is forbidden and comes from within that young man's heart; it is sin. Calling it a behavior issue takes the edge off, possibly for both mom and son. Sin is a bondage, it enslaves.
This woman went on to say she suspected this because of his mannerism, actions, etc. as he was growing up. I disagree; homosexuality is not a result of what this woman seems to be implying, 'being born that way'. My proof text is James 1:13-14.
 She continued on telling him his sexuality is not the most important thing, it does not define him; she also informed him he can be a Christian, despite his temptation to sin. She stated that everyone has their battlefield, and that by making prayer, scripture reading, and forming Christian relationships as part of his daily walk, he could make a positive difference in this battle. There is SO much wrong with what this woman believes and what she told her son. Sadly, she represents a large number of professing Christians who claim to be 'in Christ' and yet are ignorant of biblical truth concerning sin, salvation, repentance, regeneration, sanctification, and what believing on the Lord really means. It is only a matter of time, and this homosexual will fall victim to his own forbidden desires; sin will drag him off and then what will mom say?

Bible illiteracy is so rampant  among so many, they rely on human reasoning when dealing with sin and comfort themselves with their own foolishness. They have a low view of God, with no understanding of Him being holy. Sin isn't that big of a deal, it can be handled if you don't pursue it, that is human reasoning and it will destroy all who hold to such a faulty view.  They fail to comprehend that God detests sin, they feast upon cheap grace. Every sin committed is a striking blow against our Creator; yet we resolve to deal with sin by embracing it?! Compromise does seem to be the common theme of the day. Is it any wonder the 'church' has no power, no effect on the world? How can it - it's just like the world! You can't speak out against sin if sin is embraced and not dealt with within the church. 

The cliche of 'struggling' with sin has got to be understood in light of what Scripture teaches. To 'struggle' does not give one a license to continue on in it. Again, I stress, if someone claims to struggle with sin, it's because they are entertaining sin in their minds; they are dwelling upon what God detests and as a result, they say they 'struggle' with it. I guess so! Where is the teaching on sin in the pulpit? Where is the teaching on God's hatred of it? There is no fear of God, for if there were, we would not be having posts like the one I am speaking out against in the Christian 'blogosphere world'. 

"God doesn't want impurity in His church. We need to recognize it. We need to see it. When we see it, we need to deal with it.  Every believer in the church has the responsibility, if he knows of impurity, of dealing with that impurity. It's all of our responsibility.
As an individual Christian, we have to be sensitive to the purity of our own life, first of all. Secondly, we have to be sensitive to the lives of the people around us, to be sure, for their know, if I go to my brother in sin and tell him in love that he's sinning, I've done him a favor, haven't I? Because if he turns from his sin, I've gained a brother back, and not only that, he's gained the blessing of God...
Somebody said to me yesterday, "When do you start to do that?" I said, "Well, lemme give an analogy of my child. My little kids were little, I didn't want 'em to run in the street. When did I tell 'em not to run in the street? The first time I saw 'em looking that way. I didn't wait till they were in it. Most of 'em never even got to the street before I was on 'em," and I think in discipline and admonishment, we have to be ready to do that just as soon as we see the first attitude that's going that direction. We're called to discipline. We're called to maintain the purity of the church."- John MacArthur

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Be Killing Sin

This is well worth reading, from Mike Ratliff---------

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
The 21st Century version of pop-Christianity is not doctrinally sound. That should not surprise us since those most of influence in it elevate human philosophy up to the highest esteem while looking at Orthodox Christianity and its solid biblical doctrines as passé or old-fashioned or something to be phased out to make room for what is culturally relevant. One of the components of this “pop-Christianity” consists of using cool buzzwords like “missional.” Within that paradigm, there are other cool buzzwords like “incarnational” and “Spiritual Formation.” I have yet to see a denominational or church group go down the path of a “missional” focus that does not also emphasize the necessity of being “incarnational” and that that must be preceded by a church-wide emphasis on Spiritual Formation. “Incarnational” is a buzzword that refers to a church becoming culturally relevant. It calls for its members to alter how everything is done in the church in order for those outside of it to not feel threatened so they will come in and become part of it. They attempt to make the church look just like the culture they are attempting to be part of. They are trying to fit the church in. A crucial step in doing this is Spiritual Formation in which the members go through spiritual disciplines in order to enhance their ‘spiritual maturity.’ This is focused on things like transcendental meditation, yoga, et cetera.

Continue reading here...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Proclaiming truth to homosexuals

I have encountered many homosexuals through this and other blogs concerning their sin and what the Bible actually says about homosexuality. The one thing I always find is that they are on the defensive from the start. They are out to prove they have a right to live the way they live and they twist the word of God to prove it. They also lash out at Christians who confront their sin. With that said, I suggest we approach them cautiously, not being in the ‘attack’ mode, as they are. The key to speaking to any sinner is to pray for humility. Let’s not forget how God pulled us out of the sewer of sin; we are cleansed by the blood of Christ. Nothing we have received came to us by human merit. Too many Christians have the mindset that homosexual sin is by far worse than anything they could ever think of doing.  All sin is damning to the soul; it isn’t for us to have the self-righteous attitude when confronting someone in bondage to such a dark sin. Granted, this sin is very difficult to grasp and understand by many, but it is birthed out of the same place all sin is…the human heart; the desire for what is forbidden. Whether it’s this sin, or lusting after another person’s husband/wife, lying, stealing, cheating, hating, selfishness, gossiping, etc. - the wages of sin is death. However, let's not forget God states men with men is an 'abomination'. Sexual sin is a deeper, darker sin that entangles; do not overlook the seriousness of this sin. This should prompt us to have a sense of urgency as we address the sinning homosexual.
By the same token,when we start to categorize sin, we set ourselves up as being in a position that is above those who practice the ‘more evil’ sins. I am not saying there aren’t worse sins than others; I am saying it is not our place to act as though our sins are ‘better’ than that of the homosexual. This is not the unpardonable sin! There seems to be a huge swing, from one end to the other, concerning the sin of homosexuality. It should be spoken out against just as the Bible speaks out against it.

When speaking with a homosexual, you must equip yourself with biblical knowledge concerning what God says about this sin; that it is an abomination and that it is birthed from within.  Homosexuals will use many angles to justify their sin, which I touched on in this post. We must be aware of all the angles and how to respond biblically to them. The greatest need they have is for us to be kind to them, and to remember they are lost and headed for hell. There are many who call themselves 'gay Christians', who see no need to repent because they believe their abomination is acceptable. They present arguments against the Bible, arguments like stating 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 does not pertain to homosexuality because 'arsenokoites' is not in the classical Greek - that prompted me to put up this post

Sin has been re-defined by the world, homosexual sin is referred to as an orientation; I posted about this here. In that post I also explain how the Lord Jesus spoke out against sexual sin, including homosexuality, stating it defiles. I mention that because homosexuals claim the Lord Jesus never spoke out against their sin.
The homosexual most be shown their sin, and who it is against. They must be shown the command to repent, to forsake their sin, they must be told of the sacrifice of the Son of God for sin and reconciliation; His death, burial, and resurrection.
We also must remember this, we are not called to be successful. Chances are, they will gnash their teeth and lash out; that does not matter. We must be faithful to God and present His truth, leaving the results to Him.

I recently spoke via the internet with a homosexual man who started out attacking me and speaking horribly about God. As we continued on, he grew less defensive. He told me he'd tried to change, and I responded with John 8:34. I shared what Christ has done, what His atoning work on the cross accomplished, and the grace of God that saves sinners. He asked me if I would ever consider marrying a man, and I said I would, if he were a born again believer. He ended the conversation with well-wishes and I told him I hoped he didn't mind if I prayed for him. There was no immediate crying out for mercy on his part, but then again, I am not called to coerce sinners for an immediate response. 

How do we witness to homosexuals? With the love of Christ, with compassion and genuine concern over their eternal fate, not overlooking or failing to mention eternal wrath. Most of all, with biblical truth. DO NOT FAIL TO MENTION THE COMMAND TO REPENT!!!! Christ died to free sinners from sin's bondage, to cleanse them from sin. Do not forget to state 'ye must be born again', which is humanly impossible. Do mention the prayer of the publican, 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

'If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.   And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.   Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.' - 1st Corinthians 13

Morals go out the window

The continued push and demand for the acceptance of homosexual marriage has led to 'widening' the door on marriage. The one thing that caught my attention from the story I am recommending is how they ease the public into accepting homosexual marriage; they start by introducing registered partnerships. From Twisted Crown of Thorns, we get this story out of Holland...

If we define morality…no, if man re-defines morality then the boundaries become elastic and nebulous . Speaking of which the recent agenda in many countries to redefine marriage seems have gone off on a tangent…

continue reading here...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What homosexuals won't tell you

I have come up against several homosexuals who speak favorably of their way of life, insisting their relationships are normal. When I confront them on this and speak of what I know firsthand, they retaliate with name calling, false accusations, and other empty claims. I spent roughly 14 years living this lie and have no reason to try and make this sin appear 'normal' to society; here is the truth of what goes on 'behind closed doors'...

The first thing I witnessed in the homosexual community is rampant promiscuity. They claim to be in a loving, committed relationship and yet, they are sleeping with numerous partners. There is an abundance of jealousy within these sinful unions, which leads to violence. I now wonder how is it you can be so jealous and suspicious if you really love someone? I know the answer to that - these relationships are not  based on love, they stem from a forbidden lust which drives the homosexual to continually pursue the need to fulfill that desire. Lust is a self-centered sexual drive that cares nothing for the one whom they seek to fulfill that desire with. So why bother with civil unions or homosexual marriage? I honestly believe they know this perversion is wrong, and they seek to justify it by attempting to be like heterosexual couples, looking for acceptance and normalcy by living as a 'couple'. This also is a way to ease the guilt they have in knowing it's wrong.

One study of homosexual men found 41.3% had open sexual agreements with some restrictions, 10% had a no restrictions sexual agreement on sex with outside partners. 21% admitted breaking their agreement  in the preceding 12 months. You will find more facts and some startling numbers concerning homosexual promiscuity by going here. This study also points out what I already knew and witnessed, homosexuality thrives on youth and appearance; being attractive and young is prominent among the homosexual community.  This is very superficial and is not a foundation for a solid, life-long relationship.
Another risk factor is the spread of sexually transmitted disease, like HIV. There are tons of studies concerning this topic, I will point you to this one.

Another huge problem within the homosexual community is addiction. Drunkenness and drugs are out of control within the homosexual community. I just read a story today on a study being done concerning lesbians and their being 'prone' to drunkenness, which you can read for yourself here. This too was something I have seen firsthand, drinking is a huge problem among lesbians. This way of life is very destructive, and yet, the homosexual agenda is to push for acceptance and the right to marry and raise children. This is not a stable environment to raise children in at all; the fighting, the drunkenness, the promiscuity all make for an unhealthy upbringing for a child.

As I share with you the very dark side of this abomination to a Holy God, I would also ask that we all keep in mind homosexuals are sinners, like everyone else, who desperately need to hear of their sin and of the Savior. There is hope for them, just as there is hope for all who are in bondage to sin. I have seen more of a militant style attack on homosexuals than that of showing the love of Christ and His cross. They will defend their sin, just as I used to. They may be somewhat 'stand-offish', but they are lost souls who desperately need our prayers and our Christ. Too many see the sin of homosexuality as being worse than their own sins; this leads to a self-righteous attitude. We must have compassion on all sinners, it isn't for us to mete out judgment against them and their sin of choice.
This is a very destructive way of life, with many dying much younger than those are not homosexuals {see this story}. This is what the bondage of sin does to sinners, it takes them down deeper and deeper until it destroys and kills. I have had homosexuals tell me they've tried to change and can't, so they continue on in their sins, going down deeper into this dark and deadly bondage. This is why they need to hear about Jesus Christ and what He has done, He frees sinners from the bondage of sin. He cleanses sinners from their sins, and He imputes His righteousness to them. Being free from certain death is the greatest news any sinner could hear. They need to hear of God's grace, they must be told of His mercy. May we all pray for hearts that are compassionate towards those who are dead in sin and headed for hell.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Men with men

I recently encountered a defender of homosexuality who went to great lengths to twist the word of God, using as one example temple prostitution; he claimed this was sinful because it included the 'rape of little boys -  he insisted that is an instance of homosexuality being wrong.  He also insisted the Apostle Paul didn't speak out against men with men in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and that arsenokoites does not really mean men having sex with men; claiming this word is not part of classical Greek.  The Bible, as well as this study refutes this false claim. Here is a brief snippet from this study

"It is significant that of all the terms available in the Greek language, Paul chose a compound from the Septuagint that in the broadest sense described men lying with men as they would lie with women. This is a broad denotation that could include pederasty but need not be limited to it.Therefore even though the Septuagint nowhere specifically uses arsenokoites, this term seems to have been first coined by the Apostle Paul from the terms in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as a broad description of mutual, adult, same-sex relationships. In the New Testament arsenokoites is used only twice and both instances are in vice-lists by Paul, namely, 
1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10.26. There is no question that Paul was condemning behavior in these vice-lists, but whether arsenokoites is referring to the abuse of pederasty or the broader category of “men lying with men” is not determined by these lists alone.
However, since these usages predate all other usages, it is reasonable to consider Paul as the  one who first coined the term and thus as the one who determined its meaningAs already suggested, the most logical place for Paul to derive these terms, in view of his style elsewhere,27 is from the Septuagint in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 where the Law addressed homosexuality in its broadest sense.   
The writings in the Koine period of Greek history are most often cited as support for the Hellenistic understanding that  arsenokoites refers to pederasty. Scroggs notes that when Philo (13 B.C.-ca. A.D. 45), Paul’s contemporary, discussed Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 , he was referring to pederasty and not homosexuality in general. In his discussion of Leviticus
Philo had pederasty in view; however, it is also true that he did not use the term Paul coined. His vocabulary is rich with other terminology common to pederasty. Philo is well known for his tendency to Hellenize the Scriptures in order to relate them to his contemporary culture.
In view of this tendency it is inappropriate to assume that his Hellenized approach was also the pattern of the Apostle Paul. Yes, Philo related Leviticus 18 to pederasty, but this is because he was making application to various aspects of life as he knew it, and not because he was explaining the passage in its historical setting.
The writings of Josephus (ca. A.D. 37-100) also argue against the assumption that the later Greek writers saw pederasty in all their references to homosexuality. While it is true that Josephus alluded to pederasty in his understanding of Genesis 19,  it is also significant to note that when Josephus mentioned the laws in Leviticus against homosexuality, he retained the general terms found in the Septuagint. Though the Loeb Classical Library translates the Greek with “sodomy,” Josephus was careful to use the words “male with male.” This not only argues for the fact that not all Hellenistic Jews understood Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as a reference to pederasty, but also that this broader category is similar to Paul’s usage in Romans 1:26–27 when he too argued according to nature  and of “men with men”.

If Paul were only referring to arsenokoites as being a reference to temple prostitution, then what he writes doesn't apply to us today; for he says in verse 11, 'and such WERE some of you'. That would mean all he listed in verses nine and ten no longer apply, drunkards, adulterers, coveters, revilers, swindlers, fornicators are all no longer an 'issue' right? We no longer have temple prostitution because there is no temple; if that were what Paul was referring to. Those who insist Paul was referencing to temple prostitution must then also concede that all other 'vices' listed in these two verses are null and void as well. These sins are no longer damning to the soul, according to the logic of some. However, since we find verses throughout the bible that condemn  all these vices as sinful, we know that poor eisegesis of the word arsenokoites leads to faulty theology. 

This is nothing new, homosexuals and those who defend this abomination twist Scripture and pull verses out of context to try and claim the Bible does not speak out against this abomination. Many go so far as to claim homosexuality was not prominent in early biblical times, that just this practice of temple prostitution was defiling. They claim that Genesis 19 wasn't about homosexuality and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not because of homosexual sin. However, Jude leaves no doubt as to why these cities were destroyed by God, ' 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.' The going after of 'strange flesh' is in reference to men having sex with men; strange meaning 'different, other' that which is contrary to nature; flesh defined as 'the body of a man,  the sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature”,the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin, the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God' {Thayer's Greek Definitions}. Concerning this strange flesh, here is commentary from Theologian John Gill, " 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."

From the beginning, God ordained how it should be, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.' Genesis 2:24

By Divine design, God set forth and determined a man and a woman constitute the 'natural way'. We know this to be so from what we find in Romans 1:26-27, 'For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.' Focus on the word 'natural'; this is from the Greek word 'phusikos' and is defined as 'inborn'. At birth, God instilled in every man and woman the 'natural way', the way He ordained back in Genesis 2:24. The word 'function' comes from the Greek word chrēsis, meaning 'sexual intercourse (as an occupation of the body) {Strong's}. Homosexuals exchange what is the 'natural' function of sexual intimacy for that which is 'unnatural'. 'Un', meaning 'against, contrary to'; and we already know what natural means. Homosexuals go against what was divinely instilled in them at birth and exchange, or change from being with the opposite sex to being with the same sex. This is a result of them rejecting truth, suppressing it, denying it, twisting it. This is the downward progression of sin, as Romans 1 teaches. It starts with a nation denying God, followed by being idolatrous, then being sexually immoral, which ends with rampant sexual perversion. What is the end result of this downward sinful progression? It ends with God unleashing judgment, just as He did on Sodom and Gomorrah; which is exactly what Jude warns of.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

We shall be like Him

A picture of what every Christian life should be!

J.R. Miller)

A writer tells of going with a group of visitors, down into a coal mine. On the side of the passageway grew a flower which was perfectly white. The visitors were astonished, that there, where the coal dust was continually flying--this little flower would be so pure and white. A miner, who was with them, took a handful of black coal dust and threw it upon the plant, but not a particle adhered. Every atom of the black dust rolled off. The visitors themselves repeated the experiment, but the coal dust would not cling. There was a wonderful enamel on the folds of the white flower to which no speck could adhere. Living there amid clouds of black dust--nothing could stain its snowy white!

This is a picture of what every Christian life should be. We live in an evil world. We go among the ungodly continually in our daily walk and work. Unholy influences breathe all around us; but it is our mission to be pure amid all this vileness--undefiled, unspotted from the world.

If God can make a little flower, so that no black dust can stain its whiteness--can He not by His grace so transform your heart and life, that no sin can cling to you? If God can keep a little flower stainless, as white as snow, amid clouds of black coal dust--can He not keep hearts of His people in like purity, in this world of sin? 

"So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe!" Philippians 2:15 

"Religion that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this . . . to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world!" James 1:27 

from Grace Gems

Friday, March 15, 2013

Journey of Grace

This is a wonderful testimony to the grace of God in a sinner's life; from reporter Marvin Olasky at World Magazine...

Rosaria Butterfield was a tenured professor at Syracuse University, until God used her desire to write a book on the religious right, and the friendship of a biblically orthodox pastor, to draw her to Christ. She became a voracious Bible reader, gradually saw that her new beliefs required her to upend her former life, and has now described what happened in The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. I interviewed her on Jan. 11 in front of students at Patrick Henry College. By Feb. 20 about 30,000 people had viewed the interview on YouTube. Here are edited excerpts. 
Let’s start with the very first sentence in this terrific book: “When I was 28 years old, I boldly declared myself lesbian.” Did you feel heroic in doing so?
 I felt I was simply telling the truth. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Abiding in Christ

by Mike Ratliff

The following was originally posted July 11, 2009. I am presenting this here again as I believe that many believers are convinced that even though they are justified by grace alone through faith alone, as Sacred Scripture clearly teaches, they have become convinced that they must obey certain commands of our Lord Jesus Christ in order to be accounted worthy of that salvation. This notion is unbiblical. For instance, as I show in the post below, the command to abide in Christ is indeed an imperative, a command, but the ability to obey it is only available to those whose hearts have been regenerated by God. The regenerate are justified by God and have nothing to earn and could never deserve their salvation, however, as we grow more mature in Christ we take on more and more of his character as the Holy Spirit transforms us all by the grace of God (Romans 12:2). We obey our Lord because we are in him not to earn our salvation. – Mike Ratliff

read on here...

I know your thoughts

"I know your thoughts!" Job 21:27 

Do we pay sufficient attention to our thoughts? 

Every thought has a character--it is either good or bad. 

Every thought produces an effect--it either sanctifies or depraves. 

Sin begins in thought; 
holiness begins in thought; 
misery begins in thought; 
happiness begins in thought.

Thought decides the state of man--hence the Bible says, "As he thinks in his heart--so is he."

We cannot tell what a man is by his words, nor always by his acts--but if we could get at his thoughts, we could. God attends to our thoughts, and he wishes us to do so. He asks, "How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?" He testifies, "I know the thoughts that come into your mind--every one of them!" Not only so--but Jesus has declared, "I am He who searches the thoughts and the heart!"

Reader, God knows the thoughts that come into your mind!

(James Smith, "God Knows Our Thoughts" 1859)

From Grace Gems

Monday, March 11, 2013

The seven sayings of the Savior on the cross

(1) That our Lord "laid down his life", that he was not powerless in the hands of his enemies comes out clearly in John 18 where we have the record of his arrest. A band of officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, headed by Judas, sought him in Gethsemane. Coming forward to meet them, the Lord Jesus asks, "Whom seek ye?" The reply was, "Jesus of Nazareth" and then our Lord uttered the ineffable title of deity, that by which Jehovah had revealed himself of old to Moses at the burning bush - "I am". The effect was startling. These officers were awestruck. They were in the presence of incarnate deity, and were overpowered by a brief consciousness of divine majesty. How plain it is then that had he so pleased our blessed Saviour could have walked quietly away, leaving those who had come to arrest him prostrate on the ground! Instead, he delivers himself up into their hands and is led (not driven) as a lamb to the slaughter.

 (2) Let us now turn to Matthew 27:46 - the most solemn verse in all the Bible - "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama, sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The words which we would ask the reader to observe carefully are here placed in italics. Why is it that the Holy Spirit tells us that the Saviour uttered that terrible cry "with aloud voice"? Most certainly there is a reason for it. This becomes even more apparent when we note that he has repeated them four verses lower down in the same chapter - "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit" (Matthew 27:50). What then do these words indicate? Do they not corroborate what has been said in the above paragraphs? Do they not tell us that the Saviour was not exhausted by what he had passed through? Do they not intimate that his strength had not failed him? That he was still master of himself, that instead of being conquered by death, he was but yielding himself to it? Do they not show us that God had "laid help upon one that was mighty" (Ps. 89:19)!

 (3) We call attention next to his fourth utterance on the Cross - "I thirst". This word, in the light of its setting, furnishes a wonderful evidence of our Lord’s complete self-possession. The whole verse reads as follows: "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst" (John 19:28). Of old, it had been predicted that they should give the Saviour to drink, vinegar mingled with gall. And in order that this prophecy might be fulfilled, he cried, "I thirst". How this evidences the fact that he was in full possession of his mental faculties, that his mind was unclouded, that his terrible sufferings had neither deranged nor disturbed it. As he hung on the cross, at the close of the six hours, his mind reviewed the entire scope of the prophetic word, and checked off one by one those predictions which had reference to his passion. Excepting the prophecies which were to be fulfilled after his death, but one remained un-fulfilled, namely, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Ps. 69:21), and this was not overlooked by the blessed sufferer. "Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture (not "scriptures", the reference being to Psalm 69:2 1) might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst." Again, we say, what proof is here furnished that he laid down his life of himself!

 (4) The next verification the Holy Spirit has supplied of our Lord’s words in John 10:18 is found in John 19:30, "When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the spirit." What are we intended to learn from these words? What is here signified by this act of the Saviour? Surely the answer is not far to seek. The implication is clear. Previous to this our Lord’s head had been held erect. It was no impotent sufferer that hung there in a swoon. Had that been the case his head had lolled helplessly on his chest, and it would have been impossible for him to "bow" it. And mark attentively the verb used here: it is not his head "fell", but he, consciously, calmly, reverently, bowed his head. How sublime was his carriage even on the tree! What superb composure did he evidence. Was it not his majestic bearing on the cross that, among other things, caused the centurion to cry, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew 27:54)!

 (5) Look now at his last act of all: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the spirit" (Luke 23:46). None else ever did this or died thus. How accurately these words agree with his own statement, so often quoted by us, "I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but flay it down of myself (John 10:17, 18). The uniqueness of our Lord’s action may be seen by comparing his words on the cross with those of dying Stephen. As the first Christian martyr came to the brink of the river, he cried, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). But in contrast with this Christ said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Stephen’s spirit was being taken from him. Not so with the Saviour. None could take from him his life. He "gave up" his spirit.

 (6) The action of the soldiers in regard to the legs of those on the three crosses gives further evidence of the uniqueness of Christ’s death. We read, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs" (John 19:31-33). The Lord Jesus and the two thieves had been crucified together. They had been on their respective crosses the same length of time. And now at the close of the day the two thieves were still alive, for as it is well known death by crucifixion though exceedingly painful was usually a slow death. No vital member of the body was directly affected and often the sufferer lingered on for two or three days before being completely overcome by exhaustion. It was not natural, therefore, that Christ should be dead after but six hours on the cross. The Jews recognized this, and requested Pilate that the legs of all three be broken and death be thus hastened. In the fact, then, that the Saviour was "dead already" when the soldiers came to him, though the two thieves yet lived, we have additional proof that he had voluntarily "laid down his life of himself", that it was not "taken from him".

 (7) For the final demonstration of the super-natural character of Christ’s death, we turn to note the wonderful phenomena that accompanied it. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent: and the graves were opened" (Matthew 27:51,52). That was no ordinary death that had been witnessed on the summit of Golgotha’s rugged heights, and it was followed by no ordinary attendants. First, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom, to show that a hand from heaven had torn asunder that curtain which shut out the temple-worshipper from the earthly throne of God - thus signifying that the way into the holiest was now made plain and that access to God himself had been opened up through the broken body of his Son. Next, the earth did quake. Not, I believe, that there was an earthquake, nor even a "great earthquake", but the earth itself, the entire earth was shaken to its very foundation, and rocked on its axis, as though to show it was horrified at the most awful deed that had ever been perpetrated on its surface. "And the rocks rent" - the very strength of nature gave way before the greater power of that death. Finally, we are told, "the graves were opened", showing that the power of Satan, which is death, was there shivered and shattered - all the outward attestations of the value of that atoning death.

 Putting these together: the manifest yielding up of himself into the hands of those who arrested him; the crying with a "loud voice", denoting his retained vigor; the fact that he was in full and unimpaired possession of his mentality, evidenced by the "knowing that all things were now accomplished"; the "bowing" of the erect head; the deliberate "committing" of his spirit into the hands of the Father; the fact that he was "dead already" when the soldiers came to break his legs; all furnished proof that his life was not "taken from him", but that he laid it down of himself and this, together with the tearing of the temple veil, the quaking of the earth, the rending of the rocks, and the opening of the graves, all bore unmistakable witness to the supernatural character of his death; in view of which we may well say with the wondering centurion, "Truly this was the Son of God".

 The death of Christ, then, was unique, miraculous, supernatural. In the chapters which follow we shall hearken to the words which fell from his lips while he hung upon the cross - words which make known to us some of the attendant circumstances of the great tragedy; words which reveal the excellencies of the one who suffered there; words in which is wrapped up the gospel of our salvation; and words which inform us of the purpose, the meaning, the sufferings, and the sufficiency of the death divine.

from A. W. Pink's 'The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross'