Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are You Free?

What is freedom?

Oxford defines freedom as:
1. The power or right to act, speak or think freely.
2. The state of being free.
3. The state of not being affected by something undesirable.
4. A special privilege or right of access.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Revelation Chapter Five, Part 2 of 2

5:6-7 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
John now saw Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, arise from the right hand of the Almighty (Hebrews 1:3) and stand up from his role of intercessor and mediator, to take the scroll from the Father’s hand. The horn is an Old Testament symbol for strength. John was relating not that Jesus had seven horns on his head, but that Christ our Lord possesses omnipotence. The seven eyes indicate perfect sight or omniscience: that He knows all things.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Revelation Chapter Five, Part 1 of 2

5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
This book or scroll (NKJV) appears to be a scroll of judgments to be poured out on the unrepentant earth. It is in the hand of God the Father and He waits for one who is qualified to mete out these judgments. Seven is the biblical number of perfection or completion; so only one who is perfect may open, or even read, the scroll in the hand of the Father.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Date Setting

A fellow employee brought to my attention today that someone was traveling from city to city proclaiming that the Resurrection would occur this coming Saturday, May 21st, 2011. The end of the world was coming, and he had the numbers from the Bible to prove it. He came into Canal Park in Duluth yesterday to preach his message of coming destruction, and now (as I hear it) is in Cloquet doing likewise.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 5 of 5

3:18-19 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The Lord has reached a point in His sermon to Nicodemus in which He reveals the reason why men would reject Him and the salvation He offers. As Jesus Himself put it: “this is the condemnation.” What might that be? That light (God’s truth, Jesus Christ come in the flesh; John 1:9) has come into the world. But men loved religious invention rather than God’s truth; men loved Satan’s lie over Christ because Satan’s lie promised self-improvement. God’s truth brings first and foremost conviction and condemnation. We are in darkness because we have received and hold as truth that man is a good creature with character flaws; instead of a sinful creature that dimly reflects the image in which he was originally cast. God needs to bring a man to his knees before He can elevate him to any useful position in the kingdom. Christ came presenting the gospel of salvation, but men were more interested in perfecting their own views on God to be interested in what God said about Himself. God’s light reveals sore truth in every life that it shines upon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 4 of 5

3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

For God so loved the world. There is the unfortunate penchant in Scripture to sometimes read into God’s word what we want it to say. Everyone who ever approached Scripture to understand it more clearly is guilty of this; some are far guiltier than others. I think that is in part why Paul wrote that the mature should strive to be of the same mind; both among themselves and with Christ. Anyone who lacked this maturity and thought otherwise would receive clarity from the Lord, Philippians 3:15.

Monday, May 9, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 3 of 5

3:9-10 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Nicodemus asked an honest question that might have been simply the first thing that happened to escape his lips. Remember that this man was a Rabbi (teacher), Pharisee and elder. He was an Old Testament scholar of sorts. But Jesus was showing that behind the Old Testament physical realities there was a spiritual truth lurking that the message was intended to convey. The juxtaposition of physical birth (born of water) and spiritual birth (born of wind), coupled with the unseen activity of said wind left him speechless and fumbling for words. Perhaps Nicodemus was prepared to talk about Sabbath keeping or dietary laws or washings. Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter and began to extrapolate with a series of comparisons that left the Rabbi filled with questions.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 2 of 5

3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
My original understanding of verse five was that “water and the Spirit” meant hearing the gospel followed by regeneration as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within a believer through faith. This is in fact how a man is saved. See Romans 10:9-10; 17; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5. But there is another possibility that this verse suggests that I have been duly considering of late. Nicodemus was clearly stuck in a physical mentality. Jesus said he had to be born again and the Rabbi thinks of coming out of the womb a second time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God Made Me This Way!

This is a famous statement nowadays, and it can be used one of two ways.

#1: God made me in the condition that I am. I am naturally a (fill in the blank); this is the way God chose to make me, you make me ashamed of who I am; you should accept me as such.

#2: I am already a child of God. We are all part of a universal brotherhood of man, and we function under the universal fatherhood of God. I do not need Christianity, because Christianity suggests that I am not already one of God's children, which I am.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 1 of 5

Sitting under some convicting preaching about the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the teacher (a gentleman named Bill) touched on a few verses in John chapter 3 that set me to serious thinking. This series of posts is the result of meditating on John 3, and I pray that the results are mutually beneficial. I expounded verses 1-21, which contains the whole of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This section is an amazing passage in which the gospel is clearly, plainly, and vividly given to Nicodemus. Let us see what else there is to see, God willing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Bond of Peace, Part 2 of 2

There are other doctrines, to be sure, of greater or less importance. Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the eternal nature of the human soul, the reality of Hell, the reality of the Devil, personal holiness, etc. are all doctrines that a Christian searching God’s word by the light of the Holy Spirit will eventually come to on his own…or not, as some cases go. We are commanded to reach a state of spiritual maturity, and to walk by the same mind; and for anyone who does not possess this understanding, God will reveal even this to you, if you are willing.
All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.