christian

The beautiful words of Francis Schaeffer “The God Who Is There”…

the God who is there

“Yet, on the other hand, we must stand against all the romantic concepts of perfection in this life. The bible does not promise us perfection in this life, except in the area of justification. It does not promise us in this life perfection morally, physically, psychologically or sociologically. There are to be moral victories and growth, but that is different from perfection. John could say “we”. Paul could indicate his own lack of perfection. There can be physical healing, but that does not mean that the one healed is then a perfect physical specimen. The day Lazarus was raised from the dead he may have had a headache, and certainly one day he died again. People can be wonderfully helped psychologically, but that does not mean that they will then be totally integrated personalities. The Christian position is understanding that on this side of the resurrection the call is to perfection, and yet at the same time not to smash and destroy what we cannot bring again to life–just simply because it is less than the perfections that we romantically build in our thinking.”

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Ideological Implications…

 

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The optimistic view that man on his own is “good” and can advance independent from God held by secular humanist was a bubble quickly burst after 2 world wars and millions of dead people, leading to pessimism and skepticism that ruled for decades in western civilization. The current postmodern subjective frame of mind most people are impaired with are the fruits of failed attempts by humanist to establish an absolute truth and standard apart from a creator. It seems as though humanity continuously attempts to erect structures without foundations (speaking ideologically), and wonder why they always collapse.

America was foundationally constructed under certain assumed absolute standards. And it is because of these standards most of western civilization and especially America has prospered to the extent it has, in comparison to its eastern counterparts who hold a more nihilistic view of life. But when you remove this foundation, as history has showed repeatedly, you will collapse. No matter how optimistic one is for the future, without an absolute standard of law and truth, you either have anarchy or totalitarianism.

As I look at the way things are currently with the uber acceleration to which moral standards are free falling from our culture, or a how law after law is redefined to accommodate the emotions of the time, rather than the intent to which it was first written, I am not surprised at the direction to which we are heading. We are harvesting the fruits to which we have sown. I hope we all can wake up and think, to quote an old rap song..”there is war going on outside, no man is safe from”… we need to fight before it is too late, and the first call to action is to THINK!

Faith Alone Vs. Faith+Works..

Are We Saved by Faith Alone or (Faith + Works) According to James?

Context Verses: James 1: 2-4 James 1: 22-27

Hermeneutics

This term denotes the systematic study of the translation of written language and its interpretation. In order to truly understand the intentions of the author it is important for one to go back to the original language. Whenever scripture doesn’t coincide in or SEEMS to contradict is most likely an error of translation or a misunderstanding of context.

Key terms in James 2:14

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

  • Use- ὄφελος [ophelos]: Advantage, help
  • Faith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust
  • Works- ἔργα [erga]: action, deed, labor
  • Save- σῶσαι [sōsai]: to save, heal, preserve ,rescue lFaith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust

Faith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust

Three ways faith can be used in scripture..

  1. Justifying faith as in the one that gives eternal life (context of the epistle rules this out, it is clear these are believers already James 1:2)
  2. Faith rest drill is the active application of the doctrine of scripture to a present situation (doing the word)
  3. Passive use of faith as  in what is believed or doctrine. The totality of knowledge of scripture.

The type of faith James speaks of is that which has to do with a doctrinal belief. A belief in a standard of living which then should guide our way of life, and is no advantage to us if we don’t apply it. What is the point of reading the bible if we are not going to do what it says. Our understanding of the bible becomes meaningless.

Save- σῶσαι [sōsai]: to save, heal, preserve ,rescue

3 meanings of “save”

  1. Phase 1 salvation (saved from eternal penalty of sin)
  2. Phase 2 sanctification (saved from the power of sin) though the sin nature is still active we are given the option by the holy spirit to live in a way that matures us as believers
  3. Phase 3 glorification (saved from the present of sin) absent from the body, face to face with God, will not be resurrected until the rapture

Save- σῶσαι

3 phases

Mark 3:4; Luke 9:56

James 2:21-24

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Justified- δικαιόω: To declare righteous, to validate, to justify, to vindicate

There are 2 types of justification the one that saves (God) and the one that validates faith (Man) before man, and also sanctifies. Romans 4:1-3/ Genesis 15:1-6

If Abraham was justified by works, that was good before men, but not before God. God’s justification is based on faith alone in Christ alone.

Abraham’s Work

Abraham receives the word in his 70’s or 80’s, Isaac isn’t born until Abraham is 100 and the almost sacrifice didn’t happen until Isaac was in his 20’s. Almost 40 years had passed since God’s promise to Abraham before the actual work in Genesis 22:1 referenced in the book of James occurs. So this work cannot be what saved Abraham in regards to eternal salvation because in Genesis 15:6 it states he already was a believer.

Keep in mind what the purpose of James is, how to persevere through times of testing! God gave Abraham a test in order to see whether he would apply what he knew about God and his character. So this epistle is does not contradict the scriptures as some would say but it shows that our works show the amount of faith (doctrine) we have acquired. Someone who states they have a doctrinal belief (faith) that is not applied (works) in their life, that persons belief (faith) is useless to them because they are not utilizing it. James has nothing to do with eternal security.

Conclusion

 

We are Justified by faith alone [Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Rom 11:6] in Christ alone and the instance one believes in the person and work of Christ they are imputed the perfect righteousness of God. This is phase 1 saved. The justification James is speaking of is the sanctification, which is to be validated by our actions in times of testing and adversity , we are to be able to use our belief and understanding (faith) of our doctrine as a means to make the right decisions. This is what saves us from the consequences of sin and carnality.

As we grow in our life as believers we will be tested repeatedly by God, through this test we are given the opportunities to move up a level in our maturity. We can either apply the word and pass[2 Peter 1:5-8], or choose with our flesh and fail and suffer [James 1:12-15]. Let us persevere, put off the old self, grow as  believers, apply your faith(doctrine) and push towards maturity. We have been set aside by God to receive the reward that no money can buy, let us live in a way that shows we are grateful, it is the least we can do.

Trust in the Lo…

Trust in the Lord..

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths, they that wait up on the lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall  walk and not faint, fear thou not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God, and I will strengthen you, and  I will help you, and  I will hold you up with the right hand of my righteousness; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made unto God, and the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall defend your hearts and minds in Christ, Jesus. I will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me, because you trust in me. For the grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever. Amen.

Stress Buster..

žHow do you handle stress..??

žStress Vs. Adversity

  • žAdversity is the external circumstances that are presented in everyday life.
  • Everybody faces adversity whether saved or unsaved (Matthew 7:24-27)
  • Adversity will come in various forms whether you like it or not (not optional)

žStress Vs. Adversity

  • žStress is the internal reaction to adversity
  • Once an adverse situation occurs the individual will internalize the situation
  • After the initial reaction it is the option of that person to allow that adversity to cause stress
  • Therefor stress is optional ž

žCoping ž

coping

  • Without the knowledge and application of bible doctrine, the unbeliever or immature believer is in a constant state of stress, anxiety, depression and regression
  • žIn order to deal with these internal issue they will turn to external temporary means of coping such as drugs, sex, materialism, music, relationships, etc..
  • žThrough all this the issue that caused the initial problem still lingers and is waiting from them whenever the stimulus is gone ž

Biblical Stress Buster’s

ž žConfession ž1 John 1:9

  • “Confess means to say the same thing about sin that God does” (C. Ryrie) acknowledgement of your wrong doing
  • At the instance we confess our sins God cleanses us from all unrighteousness
  • At this point we are cleansed and able to be in fellowship with God, which allows for growth and doctrine application

 žFilled by the Spirit žEphesians 5:18

  • All believers are sealed with the holy spirit at salvation but not all are filled, to be filled is a repetitive action which is based whether we are cleansed
  • Through the filling of the spirit a Christian is able to apply doctrine to daily problems that occur
  • Also the spirit is that which brings to mind the promises God has made to us, when we apply these promises to a situation, we are then walking not by sight but by faith
  • Do you know any promises God has made to believers???

žFaith Rest Drill ž1 Peter 1:3-4 (Sanctification)

After learning to walk by the Spirit the believer can then have the capacity to understand the faithfulness of God (Romans 8:11-15)

At this stage the believer is growing in the “TRUE” understanding of God, that he is faithful in his word

By putting faith, and being rest assured on the word, the believer can live life with a relaxed mental attitude

žGrace and Doctrine Orientation/Application ž2 Peter 3:18

  • We cannot grow to maturity without the knowledge of what and who God is
  • In order to handle life stresses we must grow and apply doctrine, in order to apply doctrine which is needed to grow, you need to know doctrine
  • In order to know doctrine you need to study doctrine
  • Without this we will be no different than the unbeliever and get caught away with every adverse situation žStress Buster

Confess your sin → Learn Doctrine→ Walk by means of the Spirit → Apply Doctrine→ Grow by grace and faith → Trust God

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žConclusion

  • žIn order to truly live a life as a Christian we must learn to actually believe what the word of God says
  • žThis is essential for the growth of a believer that can be used for the furtherance of the kingdom
  • žSpiritual laziness will leave a believer in a state of insecurity regarding their relationship with the Lord ž
  • žGod has given each of us the ability to live in the perfect peace that comes with our salvation žIt is up to the volition of the individual to accept and apply this ž
  • The problem is not sin, sin was paid for on the cross, the problem is growth, without growth sin will remain an issue ž
  • {Matthew 10:29-31} žIf God’s eyes are on the sparrows and he watches over them, why would he not watch over his children.

 

 

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The Big Bang ta…

The Big Bang taken to a Sociological conclusion..

“The universe beneath you, above you, in front of you, and behind you is an Infinite Impersonal “It”. You and your “personal” nature differ only in degree from It’s electrons and protons. In the Chain of Being, your thinking, talking, emotions, loving, and artistic expressions are merely surface appearances on a reality that is basically impersonal. You and other humans are really only person-like bubbles floating for the moment on an impersonal ocean of chance. Ultimately, you and other humans are ALONE.”

Charles Clough

Biblical Love..

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Impersonal Love (Biblical Love)

—Impersonal love is a love based on the characteristics of the one giving the love and not that of the one receiving the love.

In the statement “I love you” The subject “I” would be emphasized in this love relationship.

Impersonal love has no basis on merits of the receiver and ultimately is not influenced by the actions of the receiver.

—This is the foundation of all love, and is what is taught in scripture. Thus the term “impersonal” denotes a love based on no personal circumstances of the object being loved.

(John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

—(John 13:34-35 )A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

—(1 John 4:7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.

 

Personal Love

—Personal love is a love that emphasizes the object being loved, In the statement, “I LOVE YOU” it would emphasize the “YOU”

—This means the love for the object is based on some intimacy, relationship or act on part of the person being loved

This type of love is thus conditional, and does not present to us the type of love we as believers are to share for others

Personal love is a love that goes beyond just character, but is based on also close ties and relation ship. Which is circumstantial.

—When properly applied this type of love is built upon the foundation of impersonal love, and this strengthens the love that one can share from another.

—In the scripture when God is the subject and believers are the object the term (phileo) which denotes a personal friendship is used to describe the love relationship.

 

 Conclusion

 —The most powerful fruit of the spirit of God is love, because on the act of love is where God established his kingdom. For him to come down to Earth as a man to die for the evilness and sins of man is the ultimate portrayal of impersonal Love.

As true ambassadors of Christ we must show through our lives and actions the truth of a Godly biblical love, not love like the world calls it but the love which God has put into our hearts.

Our love shouldn’t be emotionally charged, but be a biblical impersonal love as the foundation. Through God’s word we are reminded that his actions for mankind were done because he loved us, not in our perfect state, but in our sinful, arrogant, rebellious state, and at the perfect time revealed himself to us, allowing us to have eternal life.

We must press on to attaining all the spiritual gifts but most of all we MUST attain LOVE.

Worth..

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Worth and value are not based on intrinsic qualities, but based on the means one will go to posses that item, if you were stranded on an island diamonds and gold would be worthless compared to food and fresh water, so as I contemplate this thought I stand in awe that God wanted me so bad that he would go to the point of death to free and adopt me, so my worth is not based on anything material but on the price my God and creator placed on my life and yours on the cross…