Monday, December 31, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 10


5:16-17 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
John continues to inform his readers in regards to prayer in these verses, this time in reference to praying for fellow Christians who are sinning. There are some key words to take note of in this passage, and also an absence of some key words that should be brought to light. Verse 16 begins with “if any man see his brother…” clearly inferring that this in reference to saints caught in sin. I would like to begin by citing correlating passages that help to shed light on this difficult topic.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 9


5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
John clarifies the confidence of trust that we may have in God concerning the life of a prayerful Christian. The apostle touches on the topic of prayer numerous times in this small epistle, which should give us some concept of the importance of being, like John, a prayerful Christian. It is worship to pray to our Creator, and an intimate communication from the child to our Father in Heaven. We are told a few things about prayer in these two verses. First, if we ask anything according to God’s will He hears us.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 8


5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
We come to another cardinal point that John is writing about. He begins verse 13 by addressing believers. These things (referring to the epistle as a whole thus far) I have written to those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. In other words this letter, like the rest of the Bible, is a letter for saints. Unbelievers can truly extract one thing from Scripture: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, Acts 2:40; 16:31.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 7


5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
The nature of this witness is clearly evidenced in this verse. John states matter of fact that the message he presently conveys is the testimony God gave of His Son. God has given us eternal life, but this eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ. This is the essence of the Christian life. Paul writes, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears (at the Second Coming), then you also will appear with Him in glory,” Colossians 3:3-4.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 6


5:9-10 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
The beginning of verse 9 is a lead off from the last several verses we have been examining. The idea here may be that this witness of men John refers to is either one of two things. He may simply be using a static argument that if a man we trust witnesses of some event or truth we have not personally experienced or been exposed to we are prone to believe them based on their character. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 5


5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one, cont.
We also see in Acts chapter 5, when Peter rebukes Ananias for his sin he tells him, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?…You have not lied to men but to God,” Acts 5:3-4. Later in Acts we find that it was the Holy Spirit who appointed the overseers in the Ephesian church, 20:28. Yet in Ephesians (ironically) Paul writes that it is Christ who appoints pastors (elders) and teachers, 4:11.

Monday, December 10, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 part 4


5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one, cont.
There are the theophanies of God throughout the Old Testament. We find such episodes in Genesis chapters 18 and 32, Exodus chapter 34, Judges chapter 13, Isaiah chapter 6; Ezekiel chapters 1 and 2, etc. Yet we are informed in Scripture that no man has seen God the Father, John 1:18; 6:46; 1st John 4:12. Who is this God whom we have never seen, yet has been frequently seen? It is a terrible mystery, unless the truth of the trinity, taught in both the Old and New Testament, is reality.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 3


5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
There are numerous views as to how we should understand verse 6. Some say that the water and blood means Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan and His death on the cross. Others believe the water and blood referred to the Roman spear that pierced His side, and water and blood came out, John 19:34.

Monday, December 3, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 2


5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
If I may paraphrase a little, I believe the message is that we know we love God’s children due to the fact that we love God. We don’t love them out of grudging obligation; we don’t love them half-heartedly. God commands us to love our neighbor and our fellow saints, and since we have such a love for God, obeying Him is a response of love; said love simply overflows to our fellow Christians and does not become an obligation of law but the natural reaction of our relationship with God.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 1


5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
John returns to the essence of the gospel message. It bears repeating many times over because the simplicity of the gospel is easily perverted either through ignorance or deliberation, 2nd Corinthians 11:3. The monument of Roman Catholicism is an enduring picture of grace perverted into a religion and system of works. It is a sharp contrast from the simple message John proclaims: whoever, whoever at all, believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

Monday, November 26, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 14


4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
John presents some bold language about the spiritual attitudes of believers. But his judgment is based on observation, or a lack thereof. If someone says that they love God but acts in a manner that demonstrates hatred toward their Christian brother, John names such a man a liar. We read in 1st John 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 13


4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
We learn this profound truth: our love for God stems from His loving character and what He has done to demonstrate that love toward us. It is ironic and providential that the love God has for us originates within Himself, since He is love as we have been reading. Our love for Him likewise originates from the revelation of God’s person and accomplishment; it is founded in Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 part 12


4:17-18 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We come now to what I believe is the heart of John’s message regarding the believer’s eternal security in Jesus Christ. Our love is made perfect (Greek teleioo, meaning to complete, accomplish, or consummate) so that we may have boldness in the day of judgment. Herein, says John; for this reason our love is made perfect, so that we may have boldness in the day of judgment. The Greek word for “boldness” in this instance is “parrhesia” and means “all out-spokenness, frankness, bluntness, by implication: assurance.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 11


4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Two verses prior John writes that he has seen and testified that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Now he states that they have known and believed the love God has for us. This love was demonstrated at the cross when Jesus died on our behalf. John witnessed this firsthand, John 1:14; 19:26. Now he tells us that they have known and believed. Right knowledge is a beginning; but faith must take over where knowledge ends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 10


4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
Confession of the gospel is a sign that the message has been heard, considered, and believed. Paul writes, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” Romans 10:9. Our faith is in a risen, living Savior who has life in Himself, and is capable of giving it to those who believe, John 1:4; 5:26; 17:2. This declaration of faith is the heart of the New Testament. Faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ is what saves; nothing else avails.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 9


4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world, cont.

Rome draws its authority from a pretended line of unbroken succession from Peter the apostle to today’s present Pope; but that was not how the office of apostle was received, as we have seen from Peter’s own words in Acts and Paul’s testimony regarding his own reception of it, Galatians 1:11-12.

Friday, November 9, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 8


4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
We would do well to pause and consider who John is referring to when he writes the little word “we.” “We” have seen and “we” testify; who is this we John mentions? He is clearly one among this number. It is the apostles of the Lord, who were with Him during His earthly ministry and to whom He appeared after His resurrection, Acts 1:21-22; 1st Corinthians 9:5; 15:5-8.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 7


4:12-13 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
John is clearly referring to the Father at this point. Jesus said, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father,” John 6:46. The Son was incarnated and clearly visible to those who walked with Him, and through the Son we see the Father, John 14:9. It is said in the Scriptures that Jesus is the image of the invisible God, Colossians 1:15.

Monday, November 5, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 6


4:10-11 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
The prior verse tells us that God’s love was manifested on the cross when Jesus Christ died for our sins. Though verse 9 does not distinctly say this John 3:16 and our present verses fill in the blanks. The crucifixion of our Lord was the act of God giving His Son to be sin for us; in this was love.

Friday, November 2, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 5


4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God wanted us to know beyond any shadow of a doubt that He loves us. Sending Jesus Christ to this earth so that through Him we might have eternal life was His method of choice. We find God practicing what He preaches. He commands that anyone who loves Him also love his brother in Christ, 1st John 4:21. To demonstrate the nature of love God gave Christ to us while we were His enemies, Romans 5:8. Paul agrees with John by writing “God demonstrates His own love toward us,” by sending Jesus while we were sinners and rebels.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 part 4


4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
John provides several tests so that we may know the nature and spirit of the teacher coming to us in Christ’s name. Such a teacher must have a biblical acceptance of the fact that God came in the flesh (1st John 4:2); they must be willing to hear the biblical admonitions of fellow Christians (1st John 4:6); and finally, those truly born of God love their Christian brothers, demonstrated by action, verses 7 and 18.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The "Nutshell Gospel" Part 3


And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1st Corinthians 15:4. Burial was a distinct proof that Jesus was in fact dead. Christ died on the cross, was pierced by a Roman spear, and taken down from it dead, Mark 15:43-45; John 19:34. Payment had been rendered to God; this was demonstrated by the physical death of Christ. The resurrection is the flip side of the coin. It was now demonstrated quite triumphantly that God accepted Jesus’ payment for the world’s sin.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The "Nutshell Gospel" Part 2

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,” 1st Corinthians 15:1. Paul was presently reiterating the gospel that he had already proclaimed and which they already believed; “I declare to you (present tense) the gospel which I preached to you (past tense), which also you received (past tense) and in which you stand (present tense).”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The "Nutshell Gospel" Part 1


Every now and again I find it edifying and refreshing to return our focus to the heart of the Christian faith: the gospel. In this instance I would like to visit a chapter in the New Testament that provides what I like to sometimes refer to as “the nutshell gospel.” Like all of Paul’s inspired writings, this presentation of the gospel we are about to read was not arbitrarily given late in his letter to the Corinthian church; it was a reminder that was the driving point to counter false teaching that was being propagated within Corinth.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 3


4:4-6 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
John continues in this passage to contrast his spiritual children who are of God to the false teachers who do not have the Holy Spirit, as we have seen from verses one through three. He writes that these Christians have overcome them; that is, our faith in Christ triumphs over the false doctrines of men whose spirits are motivated by worldly ambitions. These are the false teachers John already mentioned earlier in his epistle, that went out from the church but were never truly part of them, 1st John 2:19. The reasoning is obvious: greater is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us through faith than the spirit of the antichrist that typifies the false teachers who spread malicious falsities regarding the purpose and person of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Considering the Moral Code


I was discussing something with a co-worker the other day when she inquired about something jokingly. She asked about a policy at our work and whether or not I would be dishonest about it for the sake of the store’s convenience when I answered her (jokingly but honestly) that I wouldn’t lie. She asked if it was against my moral code. I answered before I considered and I simply told her yes. Shortly after this, perhaps fifteen minutes at best, I realized the answer I gave her was wrong and I offered a different answer, which took her a little by surprise, I think.

Monday, September 24, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 2


4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world, cont.
What is the major determiner of whether we know a message is genuine or not? John’s focus was on Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the center and sum of the church, and the subject of Scripture.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

1st John Chapter 4 Part 1


4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
As we read in 1st John 3:24 the Spirit of God testifies that Christ abides in us. We have deduced through the Scriptures how a believer may receive the Holy Spirit, and what it means not to have Him. Those who have the Holy Spirit are God’s children through adoption; those who do not have Him are natural, unregenerate, unsaved men, 1st Corinthians 2:12-14.

Friday, September 21, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 14


3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
It is only those Christians who keep the Lord’s commandments that truly abide in Christ. Likewise, Jesus abides in such saints. Jesus said that if someone loved Him they would keep His word; this would be a visible sign to the saints and the world that the love of God abides in them, John 14:23.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 13


3:22-23 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
John stated that the heart that does not condemn us has confidence toward God, that we may approach in prayer and expect to receive those things we ask for. We read in verse 22 that whatsoever we ask we receive of God. Here I think we should touch upon the problem of unanswered prayer. First, however, I would like to commend the book The Kneeling Christian, by an unknown Christian for reading on this topic. I found it insightful and highly practical.

Monday, September 17, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 12


3:19-21 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
We come to verse 19 where John states that hereby we know we are of the truth. What is this “hereby” he refers to? Hereby can also mean “by means of this,” so we know John is referring to past statements made to his spiritual children. Verse 16 begins with a similar tone. John states “by this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”

Saturday, September 15, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 11


3:17-18 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
We press on to a passage that mirrors a difficult passage just two verses prior. John wrote that a Christian who hates his brother is a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. In verse 17 John inquires as to how the love of God abides (NKJV) in the man who possesses material wealth but refuses to surrender it to needy brethren.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 10


3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The apostle writes that a Christian may know, be assured or affirmed in the fact that we actively love the brethren. I insert the word actively simply because John will shortly explain this for himself; the apostle never considers the love he describes as passive or benign. It is virulent and active. He writes: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth,” 1st John 3:18. A visible love demonstrated by caring for the brethren with more than words can comfort a believer about the new life they have in Christ. Such love is inspired by the God who is love and flows (or should flow) naturally from the heart of His regenerated children.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 9


3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
This is perhaps one of the shortest verses in John’s epistle but one worth pausing at and reflecting over. Let’s slowly mull over what John is presently telling us and discover what the rest of Scripture has to say about the matter. First John offers some plain counsel: do not marvel. We find a descriptive usage of this term in Revelation when John beholds the woman riding the beast. When he saw this woman John “marveled with great amazement,” Revelation 17:6. John was shocked. He counsels Christians not to be shocked when the world hates us.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Christian Persecution...in America?


I received this snippet of news via email from UTT (Understand the Times) founded by Mr. Roger Oakland.  I find it almost humorous that so many tout the United States as a "Christian Nation," but a nation where the true Jesus is hardly welcomed in most places. Please read on and decide for yourself.

Monday, September 3, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 8


3:10-12 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Returning to verse 7 we find John revealing a pattern of contrasts that he is following through into our present passage. In verse 7 he states that the one who professes Christ is righteous only if he practices said righteousness. Those who live in a lifestyle of sin but profess godliness (verse 8) are actually of the Devil, the opponent of Christ that Jesus manifested to destroy the very works of.

Monday, August 27, 2012

God and His Rivals, Part 3


Allow me to begin by simply stating that I merely touched upon the nature and person of God. I could have shown how Scripture explains His holiness, mercy, justice, and so much more; but there are other and better writers to have done so already. I merely wanted to catch a fragment of our God’s character so we can contrast the living God against the backdrop of His self-appointed rivals.

Friday, August 17, 2012

God and His Rivals, Part 2


Recall our first canvassing question: who is God, where did they come from, why have they created this physical universe and people it with us, and what do they want from us? Let us attempt to answer them from the Bible and see if they evidence a genuine being that is greater than man’s attempts to parody, or if the God of the Bible falls short of reality.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Prayer Request for a Troubled Couple

I have recently returned from fellowship today and learned that a sister in Christ who does not live in the immediate area is suffering, and her name and plight were brought before the body to offer prayers to God on her behalf.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Life on Purpose


“Life had to have begun elsewhere in the universe; just look around at its vastness and you must confess that it is ignorant to think there is only life on earth.” This is, in a nutshell, the popular argument for aliens and UFOs today. The proponent argues from the scope of the universe and daunts the listener with the vast reaches of outer space to make them confess that, at least, the possibility of extra terrestrials is plausible. Is it? On the surface this is a good, if not simple argument by inferring from the size of the universe and our own existence to posit that life occurred elsewhere.

Friday, August 3, 2012

God and His Rivals, Part 1


God has, in our culture, become an idea. Once there was a time in the west when God was considered a transcendent being that dwelt outside of the universe. He had created all and was the giver of life, but was not a part of the created order. God, the First Cause, eternally existed. There were only two options to choose from, and in fact still are to explain the issue of origins: an eternal God or an eternal material universe; one or the other had to have always been. Somehow, someway, science assures us, things began. There was a time when the clock began to tick; time and matter had a beginning so says the scientific community. Did the universe bring itself into existence, or was there a presence, an intelligent, willful being with an intention and desire back of all that we see? If so, who is this presence, and how can we even know if such a First Cause exists?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jesus: Sinless or Preserved? Part 2


So then, was Jesus God? Orthodox Christianity answers with a resounding “yes” from the distant halls of antiquity. Yet it matters little how many or how few say whether something is true or not; truth is found in Scripture as the Holy Spirit reveals it and it is there that we find the person and nature of Christ as inspired language describes Him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jesus: Sinless or Preserved? Part 1


Was Jesus Christ our Lord sinless in the sense that He could not sin, or simply that while on earth He did not sin? While online debating a brief while ago I encountered a Christian woman who held the belief that Jesus, though sinless like Adam, was also as fully capable as Adam of sinning, but was preserved from sinning by the Holy Spirit who came upon Him from the womb. Says she that if Jesus was incapable of sinning then it demeaned His ministry and sacrifice, for there was no true trial for Him on this earth.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prayer Request for 'Nessa

I would just briefly like to touch base and ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for Nessa and her 15 year old daughter. Nessa works by me at the Miller Hill Mall and has just recently learned that her daughter has a growth the size of two balled up fists inside her; nothing else is known presently. It might be cancerous; it might be benign. What I do know is that God is our Creator and capable of healing the bodies that He has housed our spirits in fully. Pray for Nessa and her daughter, that they may have Christ's peace, and that her daughter may be healed of this tumor. God bless.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 7


3:8-9 (cont.) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Verse 9 is one of those “problem passages” like Hebrews 6:4-8. If you allow the verse, its context and the Bible speak for itself however I really don’t believe this is a difficult verse at all. The verse plainly states that a Christian cannot sin because God’s seed remains in him. Now we must at once rule out a Christian’s inability to sin as far as capacity is concerned. I know in myself that I am more than capable of sin, and can still be led away by my lusts and enticed, James 1:13-15. Many verses in the New Testament agree with this notion, including several verses in this very epistle. John wrote more than once already that Christians can and do still sin after they are born again, 1st John 1:8, 10; 2:1.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 6


3:8-9 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
This passage continues the line of thinking John established in the previous two verses: the contrast between habitual sinning and habitual abstinence from sin. Those who confess Christ but have no issue with continuing in a lifestyle of flagrant, habitual sin are of the devil, John writes. Jude agrees: “These (false confessors) are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage,” Jude 1:16.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Third Year in Review

Well it seems that my blog has reached its third year of life, so to speak. Where to begin with the reflections about how the last year has treated me as a husband, father, worker, and most importantly, a Christian? Our newest arrival, Gabriel Benjamin, will be one year old very shortly. It's been a quick year with three little ones running amok and getting into all manner of mischief.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 5


3:6-7 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous, cont.
Notice the point Jesus made in John chapter 15. There is a vast difference between abiding in Him and failing to do so. If you abide in Christ you will have spiritual victory; you will bear spiritual fruit as the Son brings to bear more of His likeness through you and your will, conduct and goals become more aligned with God’s. The key is abiding in Him. The Christian who fails to bear any fruit is the Christian who fails to submit to Jesus’ will for you. In His own words you can do nothing of permanent, spiritual value apart from Him. If your life is one of defeat after defeat this may be exactly why.

Friday, June 22, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 4


3:6-7 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
In this chapter we have entered dangerous waters, as it were. The verses we are presently reading and studying have been the source of heated debate between Christians for a long time. I believe the Holy Spirit would never inspire John or any other prophet or apostle to write the Bible and leave the meaning of the language entirely ambiguous and open to various “readings.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Declaration of Faith


What does it mean when someone says, “I believe in God?”

Well, there are at least two ways one may interpret this saying. One is that the person in question is making a declaration that they believe God exists; they are confident that there is a being or power ascribed as God, and that he dwells “out there” somewhere. This first declaration leaves a little something to be desired.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 3


3:4-5 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
The NKJV renders verse 4 as “whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” John defines sin with a single word: lawlessness. Very simply it means “to act contrary to the law.” This implies that mankind is aware of the law but elects to act in a manner opposed to the law’s requirements.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 6


And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day,” Genesis 1:29-31.

Here is yet another contradiction between Genesis and Evolution. Our primitive ancestors, according to the latter, were hunters and meat eaters from the beginning; they didn’t begin to cultivate crops or harvest the land for a long time after mankind’s arrival.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 5


And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good,” Genesis 1:24-25.

We have entered the sixth day, and just prior to the creation of man God creates cattle (domestic animals) creeping things (small animals that moved closer to the ground) and wild beasts (larger non-domesticated animals). Note that with the creatures in the sea, the fowl of the air, and the beasts of the earth God described them as “living,” but not so with plant life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 4


And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day,” Genesis 1:17-19.

Here we have the clearest, most plain description of day-to-night transition chapter one offers. Follow the verses: God set the sun and moon in the heavens to give light upon the earth, and to govern both the day and the night; the end result was that the sun and moon separated light from darkness. Here we have a simple description by the writer of Genesis of a 24 hour day with the sun and moon rising and setting as they do every day of our lives today.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 3


And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day,” Genesis 1:11-13.

Here we have the first “after his kind,” which would be a species or genus, perhaps. This repeats some ten times. What is it saying? God created the seed bearing plants and trees in a moment, complete as they were with total ability to reproduce their own kind, “whose seed is in itself.” Mendel’s laws testify that genetic variation has limits. New gene combinations are formed, but not entirely new genes; in other words, “lower” species do not advance to “higher” ones due to genetic boundaries. This might be exactly what the phrase “after his kind” implies.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 2

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day,” Genesis 1:4-5. There was a day-night progression before the sun or moon had been created. God divided light and darkness to teach us that God separates constantly. He separated Abraham from his homeland. He separated Noah from his former people. He separated Moses from Egypt and Israel from among the nations. He separates Christians from the unsaved by giving them a heavenly city and a divine heritage; things not of this present creation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Riddle of Theistic Evolution, Part 1

What is Theistic Evolution? The advocate of this doctrine might say that its explanation is simple. The theism implies God; the evolution implies how God brought the universe and all life into being. Is this a fringe religion challenging Christianity’s teachings about special creation? Hardly; Theistic Evolution arose within the very fold of Christianity, championed by well meaning professing Christians frightened in the 19th century by the rise of Darwinian Evolution.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 2

3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Take note that John confesses what seems to be a paradox in this passage: now (present tense) we are sons of God; but it hasn’t been revealed what we shall be (future tense). In this present life we have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, 1st John 5:1; John 3:16, 18; Acts 16:31, Galatians 3:26; etc. Eternal life is not a future attainment by being faithful until death, as some professing Christian teachers would have you believe, misquoting Revelation 2:10.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Part 3

Our final case study can be found in Acts chapter 16. The Philippian jailor had been charged with keeping Paul and Silas prisoners, and to that end he bound them in fetters in the inner prison, Acts 16:24. That night there was an earthquake that freed all of the prisoners and roused the jailor from his sleep; he found to his relief that none of the prisoners had escaped. Fearing greatly, the jailor came to Paul and Silas and asked a telling question: “What must I do to be saved?” verse 30. Here the jailor revealed his understanding about why these men were in jail. He might have heard them preach, or listened to some of their hymns praising the God of Israel. Their testimony concerning this God was validated by the earthquake releasing the prisoners in a miraculous way. Here we see God the Holy Spirit at work on this man, convicting him of sin and drawing him to Christ, John 16:7-11.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Part 2

To emphasize our point, let us examine several passages where people are evangelized by Christ’s followers. It is true that all one needs to hear is the gospel to be saved, but first one needs to understand what they are hearing before they can believe it. Clarification is in order regarding the nature of our language. We can hardly accept salvation from Jesus if we aren’t convinced we’re even in need of saving.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Part 1

What exactly is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Many quote Acts 16:31 stating “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household,” but that isn’t the gospel. In context Paul and Silas are speaking with a repentant and fearful jailor who asks what he must do to be saved; Paul replies that faith in Jesus Christ saves. Then he and Silas go on, after being brought into said jailor’s house, to speak to his family “the word of the Lord,” verse 32. What is this word of the Lord referred to? Clearly it was the message in which the jailor and his household believed, for after receiving it with joy (verse 34) all of his household were baptized (verse 33) which is the first commandment Jesus gave to new disciples, Matthew 28:19. It is this message that we are most concerned with.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1st John Chapter 3 Part 1

3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
John had just finished explaining that those who habitually practice righteousness are indeed born of God; this leads the apostle to the exclamation that begins with “behold.” This word was meant to capture the attention of the reader, so let us not just slip by it as we progress through the epistle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Prayer Request for Michael and Ashley

A co-worker of mine came to work earlier this last week with very bad news: her boyfriend had been in an accidedent during a snowstorm we had last Wednesday. His name is Michael, and while he was being driven by his friend they rolled the car. Michael suffered a broken clavicle, sternum, four broken ribs, a punctured lung, a sprained wrist, as well as other injuries, and he needed surgery.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cut & Paste, Part 5

The third topic I would like to address involves the very name of God; or more accurately, how that name is pronounced. This particular topic seemed too trivial to be pursued with all seriousness, but there seem to be sects within Christendom who want to make a divisive issue about the name of both Yahweh and Jesus, some going so far as to say that if you are not saying their names correctly you are following false gods and are deceived.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cut & Paste, Part 4

Peter likewise describes physical baptism as a symbol (antitype, NKJV) and that the act itself does not save, 1st Peter 3:21. He explains that the act of removing the filth of the flesh avails nothing; but rather the answer of a good conscience in God’s sight that consents to be baptized, as is our Lord’s first command for new believers, Matthew 28:19.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cut & Paste, Part 3

A second doctrine commonly taught by many Christian sects and accepted as the norm is strongly linked to works salvation: baptismal regeneration. I have posted numerous Scriptural arguments against this doctrine but will go on here to demonstrate how error begets error; in other words, if you begin with a wrong premise (salvation is by works and not solely grace) then you reach wrong conclusions (water baptism effects new life, even in infants.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cut & Paste, Part 2

But James writes that faith without works is dead, and that a man is justified by his works and not merely by faith. Taken from James chapter 2 and taken out of context, this does appear to be a valid argument for works salvation and is a favorite passage for Catholic apologists. But the key to understanding James chapter 2 comes with James 2:18: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” The emphasis here is on men seeing whether or not our faith is valid and producing spiritual fruit as Jesus promised it would. It is justification in the sight of men; not in the sight of God.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cut & Paste, Part 1

Where do Biblical exegetes go so wrong in dividing God’s word? This is a serious question that has haunted godly men and women through the centuries, and one that no commentator of Scripture can rightly escape, since everyone one of us is at some point guilty of error. There are innumerable doctrinal errors the writer can bring into Scripture through ignorance, bias, misinformation, poor study, lack of prayer, preconceived ideas, etc.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Thirteen

2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. A little while later in this epistle the topic of having confidence before God comes up again. “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight,” 1st John 3:20-22.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Twelve

2:25-26 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. This is one of the exceeding great and precious promises Peter mentioned, 2nd Peter 1:4. God made this promise before He created and began time, 2nd Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2. Christ is the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8. From eternity past the unchanging plan of salvation had its foundation; God determined of His own will that He would offer salvation to mankind by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross, Ephesians 1:7, 11. God’s promise of eternal life is conditional; it hinges upon the hearer’s response to the message of the gospel, Romans 1:16-17; 10:17. If one hears and believes the gospel the result is the immediate reception of the indwelling Holy Spirit and eternal life, 1st Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Eleven

2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. Before we go too deeply into this passage let us hear a couple of similar statements made by our Lord and the Apostle Peter.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Am I Going to Heaven?

Check (4) below what you think is necessary to get you to heaven.

1. Follow Jesus
2. Forsake all.
3. Put Jesus on the throne of your life.
4. Confess Jesus before men.
5. Promise to live for Jesus.
6. Give your heart or life to Jesus.
7. Ask Jesus into your heart.
8. Commit your life to Jesus Christ.
9. Get your life turned around.
10. Turn away from the world toward God.
11. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ.
12. Make Jesus Lord of your life.
13. Invite Jesus into your life.
14. Be water baptized.
15. Turn from your sins.
16. Be willing to turn from your sins.
17. Be sorry for your sins.
18. Keep the Ten Commandments.
19. Do the will of God.
20. Do your best, sincerely.

Now proceed and find out if you are going to heaven.

Friday, January 27, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Ten

2:22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Christ is the Greek version of the Hebrew word “Messiah” which means “anointed one.” Messiah also means Savior, a title given to Christ our Lord 16 times in the New Testament, while it is accorded to God 8 times. The Old Testament is clear: God alone is Savior, Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:3, 11; 45:15,21; 49:26; Hosea 13:4, etc.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Iranian Christian Given Death Sentence

Iran is continuing its relentless attempt to force persecuted Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani to recant his faith in Jesus Christ. New reports state that Iranian officials are still pressuring the pastor, who has been sentenced to death for his Christian faith, “to renounce his faith in Christ and accept the prophet Muhammad as his savior.”

Monday, January 23, 2012

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts? There is a rising interest in the supernatural, with ghosts (discarnate human spirits) being one of the leading aspects of this fascination. Movies such as “Paranormal Activity” enhance in the public eye the reality of spectral figures, once living but long since passed away, moving among us day by day and occasionally interacting with us. Mediums and seers make a living off of “contacting the dead” and many Christians likewise have experienced meetings with what they deem are ghosts. But what does Scripture say about ghosts?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Nine

2:20-21 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Christians have an unction from the Holy One. The word translated “unction” here is the Greek “chrisma” and simply means anointing. It is used only three times in the New Testament; once here as “unction” and two other times translated as “anointing.” All three times occur in John’s epistle.

Monday, January 16, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Eight

2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. The NKJV renders the verse: “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” Clothed in a little more modern English we deduce a few things. John tells us that this side of the cross is what he terms “the last hour.” In other words there is nothing keeping the Antichrist and God’s culminating plan for time and creation from coming to pass. No prophetic fulfillment awaits; no necessary long intervals of time: no, the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, and the son of perdition awaits revealing, 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8.

Monday, January 9, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Seven

2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Again we must consider carefully what John means when he uses the word “world.” We already saw that the apostle uses the word several different times, and in this case it is quite evident from the negative connotation “world” has that he is referring to the world system of which Satan is god; the demonic kingdom that challenges our Lord’s will on this earth.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Six

2:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. John first addresses his audience as little children. It may be that he is addressing babes in Christ, mature believers and those between, or it may be that John is refreshing them by reminding them that they have the faith of small children, the wisdom of older men, and the strength of young men. Either way, there is a progression of what John reminds them, and why he is writing to them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First John Chapter Two, Part Five

2:9-11 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. Here John lays down more simple tests for Christian fellowship. This test hinges on what a man says verses what a man practices. If he says he is in the light (abiding in Christ) yet manifests hatred toward a brother in Christ, he is a liar. He is in darkness; he has forsaken fellowship with Christ by choosing to hate those for whom Christ died. We know John is still referring to brethren because he uses the intimate term “brother” when addressing one man hating another; “he that hateth his brother…”
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.