God

Real Life..

Patient looks and me and says, “Frank, how was your weekend? I hope it was good”

I replied, “yes it was, went out to eat with family, went to church too”

patient looks me dead in the eyes and says “Enjoy those moments, cherish them, because when your my age, the memories are all you got, it doesn’t matter how much money you make in life, because you can never make enough, you make 40, you want 50, you make 50 you want 60. Don’t fall for that mind set, it’s all an illusion that our minds play on us, this greed for money. Love the moments with your family, those are what you will remember. I know the Lord will be calling me soon and I don’t wanna be here when he does, so I’m going home to my wife, I wanna enjoy my family. We will see each other again.”

This conversation is tattooed on my heart………………..

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.

 

 

ž

Noah “The Athiest Depiction of God”

Russell Crowe as Noah
Whenever you get anything biblical on screen it tends to draw out people from all aspects of the philosophical gradient. I myself am already skeptical of what if anything could possibly be accurate about a blockbuster creation of an event in history as versed in the Bible. So as I approach these type of films I do so with a diligent caution and with critical thinking intact. The hope of most films is to insert an underlying, covert message to the lowered guards of the viewers mind through outlandish cinematic graphics and music that tunes you into the right state of emotion. “Noah” did not fail to prove my caution just. I would say it is mind boggling to me how any one who is a Christian can praise such a film, in fact it is a very awkward and uncomfortable film to sit through if you are one with any type of biblical literacy. So it floors me as I have read Christians who are applauding the film.

What makes this film so offensive is that it steals an account in the Bible, inserts it with all types of ism’s and then packages it as a “creative” retelling of a bible “epic”. The creators of the film perform this act of mental deception so covertly and subtly that if one is not keen on these ideological positions, they can be easily mislead. Regardless of the subtle statements the film makes that undermine and in my opinion attack God’s character, there is still an overt sense one gets, that “something isn’t right about this” feeling you get when you watch “Noah”.

As I sat watching this movie I was wishing I had brought a pen and pad to jot down a few of these subtle nuances that can easily be taken for just creative story telling, in hope to share my thoughts with others. So I did the second best thing and used my cell phones pad. As I examined as best as I could scene after scene I was able to notice a few things that I will state. These things are from a one time view of them film, I am sure after repeated study of the film, one can make a comprehensive conclusion about the true aim of the creators of this movie.

Frank’s Notes From “Noah”

The fallen angels (demons) are praised as victims who are being punished for an attempt to help humanity who they loved, and God is just punishing them for trying to help. This brings to mind the stories of gnostic religions who put the Devil as a friend of mankind and God as the bad guy who won’t leave humanity alone. (In the real Bible these fallen angels are attempting to destroy mankind and are part of Satan’s army aiming to ruin the plan of salvation and God’s grace to humanity.)

In the film there is no use of the word “GOD”, just an ambiguous term “The Creator” which could be anything or force, whether nature, chance, energy, or whatever anyone attributes the origin of existence to. (This is consistent with the fact that most of the people involved in the films creation do not believe in God.)

Talking to God in the film is only a subjective experience that is put into motion by dreams or being under the influence of a mind altering substance. Noah is the only one who talks to God, not his children or wife, we as the audience do not get any empirical data through the whole entire film that God even is there. In the Genesis passages God speaks empirically to humans using words, and not in subjective feelings or trance like states. (Once again this shows to the audience that communicating with God during those days was no more that “liver quiver” as my pastor would say, just pure mysticism and not an objective reality. Even though in those days God spoke to men as stated in Genesis)

There is a form of environmentalism in the movie that places the emphasis on the animals salvation and man needing to be killed off for the sake of the animals, rather than for the salvation of humanity itself. Noah’s character would be the first environmentalist in history then, placing animal life above humans, and claiming this was God’s plan. The character of Noah was clueless to the fact that God’s plan was to save him because he was the only believer with his family in those days. (In the bible God laid out his plan to Noah and there was never any misunderstanding of what he was to do)

In the film, Noah killed people in order to keep them from entering the ark, it was for him and his family alone. And God just hated everybody else and wanted to use Noah because “he would get the job done” by saving the animals and then dying off to leave earth free from humanity. (When the Bible states that God gave humanity 120 years of warning to turn to him and away from their wickedness, and not one person accepted God’s grace but all continued as evil as ever.)

This one was the most subtle and disturbing part of the film. There is a scene in which Noah gives the Genesis Ch. 1 account of creation and as your hear Russell Crow’s voice stating the Genesis account, you are shown an evolutionary view of creation. Starting with a “BIG BANG” that parallels the phrase from the Bible “let there be light”, and then the consequent evolution from cells to fish to amphibians to mammals and the last thing you see before you see a human is a MONKEY, and magically the scene changes and then you see Adam and Eve walking in the garden as the evolved creatures of this “creation” process. (This was a very disturbing visual for me, not because of the message itself but for these people to use “Noah” as a vessel to push their ideology on the sheeple of society, but what do you expect..)

I could go on and on,  and I did not include the just overt biblical inaccuracies this movie had because those were just obvious. Like in the film only one of Noah’s sons had a wife, and not all three. I chose just a few major ideological views the movie portrayed in order to just shed some light on those who might not understand the implications that these convey.

God is shown as some impersonal force out of touch with his creation and he has no true control over our lives except to destroy. As a purposeless being who just doesn’t like bad people, and the basis of good and bad in the movie are based on external attributes like integrity and loyalty. Rather than the biblical definition, which is that all of us are filthy to a perfect God, and in his grace he provides a way for us to be clean and GOOD in his eyes which is not by our own actions, but on the work of what Jesus did when he took our faults upon himself so we through him claim the goodness of God. This was the same in the day of Noah, God purposed a way for all men to be saved but not one accepted it except Noah and his family and God used this one believing family as the means to keep the hope of humanity alive. God is the one who created the plan to save humanity from itself, but this fact is lost in this film. Ultimately the movie will serve a purpose because it will challenge you to find the truth of Noah’s flood and bring up questions about this event. I cannot say whether one should watch or not watch this film, I am indifferent on that point, but as a Christian I must say if you do have your critical thinking cap tightly fitted.