Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just a Thought...

Here is just a thought...

Is this "truth war" really not about "truth" but about a small view of the Kingdom versus the Kingdom as taught by Jesus? Meaning that a view that it is all about me getting to heaven instead of God reconciling all things to Himself through Jesus Christ... One seems a bit selfish to me... the other one seems rather humble in my position and want to be more like Jesus.

Is it also more about a low Christology versus a high Christology?

IOW, are some worshipping the Bible and equating it with the live and risen Jesus? Not seeing that the Bible's authority is based on the Resurrection of Jesus and that God has made Him the final authority?

Is it about doctrine being more important than the very teachings of Jesus? (Some claim they are the same, which is as they should be... but in practice I see that those who say this are far from practicing it.)

That maybe some forget that no one is right(eous) just as no one is good except God. That we are all fallen short the glory of God... in that why fight so hard for one's own righteousness that we do not even have?

Again, I don't see "truth" as where the war is... but rather the Kingdom and a small view versus a large view.

Just a thought,
Here are some reviews of the book "the Truth War"
Imonk Straight Forward.
Phil Wyman's interesting perspective

Scripture Meditation John 3:1-6

1 John 3: 1 - 6.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."

John is speaking the same as Paul in Galatians 3:26 and 27 speaks of being baptized into Christ... simply put this means we are immersed, or placed into Jesus. In fact it states that we are clothed in Christ...

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

With that in mind we will become like Jesus... which is not as one would expect as it becoming more and more like God... in fact Jesus lived as a fully alive human... and that is what we will someday become... a fully alive human...

Now, saying that we we have no idea what that that is to be. So we have this hope... in that thing we are to become.

This hope is of the Resurrection... of our being dressed in the imperishable. Until then we are clothed in Christ... or we are placed into the Body of Christ and made pure. There was no sin in Jesus and even still there is none... so we dwell in this covering of Jesus we also are purified and no longer "sin". If we did still sin we are not in Him... nor will we continue to "sin" which is to act like those who do not know Jesus.

Anyone who sins breaks the law... in that we reap the wages of that sin which is death. Yet, Jesus came to take our sin away... not just hide them or put them into remission to pop up again like some cancer... but to take our sins away and find new Life in Him. If we are placed in to Christ and dwell in Him, and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever... then we too no longer dwell in sin and death, but in the very Life of Jesus Christ Himself!

Great Quotes: Tozer on Doctrine and Experience

I have heard people say that Only doctrine is important. Would they leave no room for Christian experience? Consider the preaching and the example of the famed Jonathan Edwards, used so mightily by God in the Great Awakening throughout New England in the 18th century. But you say, Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist!

I know and that is my point. Edwards was acknowledged by society to have been one of the greatest intellects of his time. Yet he believed in genuine Christian experience so positively that he wrote a well-accepted blood, Religious Affections, in defense of Christian emotion. Charged by some that his revivals had too much emotion, Edwards stood forth and proclaimed that when men and women meet God, accepting His terms, they experience an awareness that lifts their hearts to rapture. What higher privilege is granted to mankind on earth than to be admitted into the circle of the friends of God! ~ Tozer

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

John MacArthur's "poopslide", err I mean one-sided "Truth War"

Andrew Jones gives a great response to John MacArthur's new book criticizing the emerging church.
My only question is about this "poopslide"... Does John mean that Jesus has a skid mark? Or that we are a skid mark?
Either way it is pretty gross...
Personally I think that this book is so poorly researched that it might be best in the toilet... just in case... if you know what I mean... ; )
Oh btw, if one wants to see how much John MacArthur has grown over the years here is Vineyard Churches position paper on his book "Charismatic Chaos" called A Response to Charismatic Chaos by Rich Nathan A response to the book written by John F. MacArthur, Jr. Available in Adobe PDF
Oh, and P.S. If you are too busy or if you just want to not enjoy Andrews great post... here is article that Andrew points to in his post... which in itself is good reading as to the "research" that was put into John MacArthur's war on Truth... err I mean "Truth War"... is this "demeaning"...not as demeaning as JM is with his lack of respect for people like John Armstrong and others whom he has no issue with slandering. It seems funny to me that some think that having a sense of humor over the attack and slander of others is demeaning... it makes wonder if they know what that word even means...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgivness

Romans 3:21 – 26 a closer look at forgiveness

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[h] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (NKJV)


I know I am doing the series on Romans, yet the other day someone was asking a bit on my position that we are all forgiven but that does not mean we are all saved. This view is traditionally known as universal atonement. This is not the same “Universalist reconciliation: though I see that all creation has been reconciled is what the scripture teaches. (Romans 5:10) Yet, I do not see that because all have been forgiven or reconciled that all will be eventually saved… I think that that is a logical leap that comes from not understanding the difference between the Cross and the Resurrection and what they accomplished.

I have written a bit about this in my post called; ~ emerging thought in Montana ~: Universalism: Why I do not agree

All mankind was forgiven at the Cross… all the past sins and in that moment all sins from that day on would also be forgiven. If this is not true then no one’s sins are forgiven unless Jesus goes back to the Cross for each and every one of us. Hebrews states this in chapter 9: 11-15:

“11. When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
12. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
“The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

This is the end of the Old Covenant which entered us into the New Covenant which was promised in Isaiah 28: 15 – 18:

“You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place."
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.”

Isaiah 42:6-9 is a fascinating passage that runs parallel with Romans 3 it states:

"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."

And what are the new things God declares? Well that is what the bulk of Isaiah is about!!! Yet we rest on this verse in Jeremiah 31:31-34 to show the how He will do this.

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, " declares the LORD.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

The writer of Hebrews also alludes to this passage.

Hebrews 8:10 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."

This is the New Covenant. We are no longer under the Old and subject to death if we turn to Jesus. Forgiveness is given at the Cross… it was given once for all… here is a quick study on the verses that use this phrase.

• Romans 6:10
The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

• Hebrews 5:9
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

• Hebrews 7:27
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

• Hebrews 9:12
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

• Hebrews 9:26
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

• Hebrews 10:1
[ Christ's Sacrifice Once for All ] The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

• Hebrews 10:2
If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

• Hebrews 10:10
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

• 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

Jesus died once for all mankind… He did not die over and over for everyone as they come to Him for forgiveness which is what some teach without realizing that they do…

The question I ask is this… If Jesus died once, then all sins are forgiven, past the ones present and the future ones to come… how many of your sins were future in relationship to the Cross?
The answer is obvious. All of them would be future to the Cross. The Cross is a fix place in time that lasts eternity. So, the logical conclusion is that all sins are forgiven. Yet, we then still have the problem of salvation. Yet, that comes with the Resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 5:8-11:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

When we accept that we are forgiven at the Cross and then go to the Living Jesus of the Resurrection we find in that reconciliation… we are then reconciled. The door of heaven has been thrown wide open, in that moment we are saved through His Life.
People miss this in its very simplicity, yet without we have a partial Gospel. We only have a dead Jesus on a Cross… who dies for us every day over and over so that we can be forgiven… and that is not what God intended. He gave His Son “once for all” at the Cross so that we could no longer have to fulfill the covenant with death Adam signed. The Covenant of Death no longer binds us, unless we stay committed to it even though it no longer holds us. This is like a wife who clings to her dead husband and carries him around and insists she is still bound to her marriage… it is sick and it only glorifies Death. God glorified Himself in His Son, so that we could have Life. The old is gone, the new has come… and I say Glory!


Friday, May 25, 2007

Tozer: The Sanctification of the Secular Chapter 13

Recently A.W. Tozer has been being used by some as one that would approve of a hate/judgementalism/shame based faith. I would beg to say this is far from the truth. These same people condemn and write against Christian mystics yet then quote Tozer proudly as one of themselves. This just goes to show the depravity of the "religionists" in their hatred to the Grace, Mercy, and Freedom that is in Jesus Christ. They argue over "words" like "meditate", "contemplation" and such as if these words are evil in and of themselves... they twist "mysticism" to be an unholy thing as if seeking after God was also evil. Here is a great chapter that should show that Tozer was actually writing against these people who proudly post his comments and twist what he taught to mean something quite contrary to what he did teach.


The Sanctification of the Secular (Chapter 13)

THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES that all things are pure to the pure, and I think we may assume that to the evil man all things are evil. The thing itself is not good or bad; goodness or badness belongs to human personality.

Everything depends upon the state of our interior lives and our heart's relation to God. The man that walks with God will see and know that for him there is no strict line separating the sacred from the secular. He will acknowledge that there lies around him a world of created things that are innocent in themselves; and he will know, too, that there are a thousand human acts that are neither good nor bad except as they may be done by good or bad men. The busy world around us is filled with work, travel, marrying, rearing our young, burying our dead, buying, selling, sleeping, eating and mixing in common social intercourse with our fellowmen.

These activities and all else that goes to fill up our days are usually separated in our minds from prayer, church attendance and such specific religious acts as are performed by ministers most of the week and by laymen briefly once or twice weekly.

Because the vast majority of men engage in the complicated business of living while trusting wholly in themselves, without reference to God or redemption, we Christians have come to call these common activities "secular" and to attribute to them at least a degree of evil, an evil which is not inherent in them and which they do not necessarily possess.

The Apostle Paul teaches that every simple act of our lives may be sacramental. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." And again, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Some of the great saints, who were great because they took such admonitions seriously and sought to practice them, managed to achieve the sanctification of the secular, or perhaps I should say the abolition of the secular. Their attitude toward life's common things raised those above the common and imparted to them an aura of divinity. These pure souls broke down the high walls that separated the various areas of their lives from each other and saw all as one; and that one they offered to God as a holy oblation acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Nicholas Herman (Brother Lawrence) made his most common act one of devotion: "The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer," he said, "and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament."

Francis of Assisi accepted the whole creation as his house of worship and called upon everything great and small to join him in adoration of the Godhead. Mother earth, the burning sun, the silver moon, the stars of evening, wind, water, flowers, fruits-all were invited to praise with him their God and King. Hardly a spot was left that could be called secular. The whole world glowed like Moses' bush with the light of God, and before it the saint kneeled and removed his shoes.

Thomas Traherne, the seventeenth century Christian writer, declared that the children of the King can never enjoy the world aright till every morning they wake up in heaven, see themselves in the Father's palace, and look upon the skies, the earth and the air as celestial joys, having such a reverent esteem for all as if they were among the angels.

All this is not to ignore the fall of man nor to deny the presence of sin in the world. No believing man can deny the Fall, as no observing man can deny the reality of sin; and as far as I know no responsible thinker has ever held that sin could ever be made other than sinful, whether by prayer or faith or spiritual ministrations. Neither the inspired writers of Holy Scripture nor those illuminated souls who have based their teachings upon those Scriptures have tried to make sin other than exceedingly sinful. It is possible to recognize the sacredness of all things even while admitting that for the time the mystery of sin worketh in the children of disobedience and the whole creation groaneth and travaileth, waiting for the manifestation of the children of God.

Traherne saw the apparent contradiction and explained it: "To contemn the world and to enjoy the world are things contrary to each other. How can we contemn the world, which we are born to enjoy? Truly there are two worlds. One was made by God, and the other by men. That made by God was great and beautiful. Before the Fall it was Adam's joy and the temple of his glory. That made by men is a Babel of confusions: invented riches, pomps and vanities, brought in by sin. Give all (saith Thomas a Kempis) for all. Leave the one that you may enjoy the other."

Such souls as these achieved the sanctification of the secular. The church today is suffering from the secularization of the sacred. By accepting the world's values, thinking its thoughts and adopting its ways we have dimmed the glory that shines overhead. We have not been able to bring earth to the judgment of heaven so we have brought heaven to the judgment of the earth. Pity us, Lord, for we know not what we do!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Check out Missional Apologetics

Great new site... Missional Apologetics

Here is a bit from the site:

A Missional Apologetic Manifesto

  1. Missional Apologetics applies the insights of missiology, recognizing that all Jesus-followers are called to be missionaries wherever they are.
  2. Missional Apologetics emphasizes the importance of cultural studies and cross-cultural principles.
  3. Missional Apologetics understands the importance of contextualization.
  4. Missional Apologetics flows out of relationships.
  5. Missional Apologetics employs reason, experience, and emotion, understanding the limitations of all.
  6. Missional Apologetics incorporates one’s ears as well as mouth.
  7. Missional Apologetics relies on the gospel lived, as well as taught.
  8. Missional Apologetics requires serious reflection flowing from a mature biblical and theological foundation.
  9. Missional Apologetics is engaged in by people who are lifelong learners.
  10. Missional Apologetics is patient, recognizing that most people process new or difficult ideas over time.
  11. Missional Apologetics recognizes that sometimes the best apologetic is an apology.
  12. Missional Apologetics isn’t afraid of mystery and wonder. Rather, this compliments our understanding of a God who is immanent, yet transcendent.
  13. Missional Apologetics values honesty over pretending to know it all.
  14. Missional Apologetics seeks to create an environment where it’s safe to challenge, confront, and critique the Christian faith.
  15. Missional Apologetics is centered on the Gospel, which is for everyone who believes. Therefore, Missional Apologetics does not discriminate.
  16. Missional Apologetics is most effective in an environment where practitioners are allowed to fail, risk, dream, and imagine.
  17. Missional Apologetics is comfortable with doubt.
  18. Missional Apologetics is sociologically informed.
  19. Missional Apologetics encourages dialogue, not merely monologue.
  20. Missional Apologetics takes questions seriously.
  21. Missional Apologetics is used as a tool for mission.
  22. Missional Apologetics stands on the shoulders of its historical precursors, yet presses forward to contextually and relevantly apply apologetics in today’s world.
  23. Missional Apologetics is humble, recognizing the role of the Holy Spirit.
  24. Missional Apologetics understands it’s limitations, and that there is One Savior, Jesus Christ.
  25. Missional Apologetics is ethical, and therefore uses the mind and hands to address social injustices, evil, and suffering in the world.
  26. Missional Apologetics is dynamic, not static, as will likely be demonstrated by the additions, deletions, and revisions to this manifesto as time and relevance demands.



Walking through Romans pt 10: Romans 7

Walking through Romans pt 10: Romans 7

Romans 7
7:1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person as long as he lives? 7:2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. 7:3 So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. 7:4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 7:6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.
7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 7:9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive 7:10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death! 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. 7:12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
7:13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual – but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin. 7:15 For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate. 7:16 But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. 7:17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me. 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. 7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! 7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
7:21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 7:23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


In Romans chapter six, Paul ends with the thought, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Here Paul picks up the point that if one is under the Law, then the Law is Lord over them until they die. In that manner Jesus cannot be the Lord of one if they are under the Law… you cannot serve two masters as Jesus stated in the Gospels.

So, as with a woman bound by the law of marriage commits adultery if she divorced her husband and he still lives. (I am not going to go into the ramifications of this as far as the topic of divorce… as each person must walk in the Grace God gives them.) Yet, if the husband dies, so the law is nullified and she is free to marry another. I do not think Paul is making the case that it is a sin to divorce. I think that even under the law of Moses, God knew the hardness of man’s heart and allowed it, though He hates divorce… to me this shows the love and compassion of God rather than the strictness of the Law… yet still if one is under the Law, the law is Lord… and if the law is lord, it is without mercy, grace, or love… it is just to be followed and obeyed.

We are dead to the Law if we are in Christ. What a wonderful thing that is. We are dead to the law and to sin. If we are under the law we find that we only face our death… and in that “the wages of sin is death”. Many miss that it is not that our sins being forgiven is the part that we enter into Christ… without His death of course there is not forgiveness, yet without His resurrected Life we do not have Life.

The Law only points out our sin as if under a magnifying glass… we can see our sin even clearer under the Law… and it should lead us to the place of recognizing that we are in need of salvation from death… not our sins. In that as we have died to “what controlled us”… that Lord called the law… and we now have newness of Life in Christ Jesus. Before we came to the end of our own works… which only bore fruit unto death, now we bear the Fruit of God.

Is the Law sin? Paul states this as some seemed to ask that if sin leads to death and the Law leads us to death is the Law also sin? And Paul states very clearly “NO!” and then states again that the Law exposed our sin. And that was its job. The job is to show that we are utterly sinful. The Law was given to show that we are sinful… Paul states that covertness was in his heart. Before the Law he did not see this was there… in his mind he was alive… yet when he came under the law… he realized he was dead. Sin came to life in his heart and death also entered his heart… “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.” It holds the standard that is required for holiness, righteousness and goodness… and we fall flat into our grave.

The Law itself is good… it reveals our own sinful heart as it teaches us how perfect we must be to please God… and we should recognize that we cannot please God by our own works. We are as one sold to sin as a slave. The last few versus propel us into Chapter 8… yet before we get there I hope we can just meditate on the point were Paul has brought us… we are wretched people…We cannot get good "right" as all our good turns to evil no matter how hard we try… Sin in us is a hard master and we without Jesus are but slaves to him… The law leads us to the conclusion that we need salvation… to come to the end of ourselves and cry out… WHO WILL SAVE ME!!!!???

But, there is good news! "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" For it is by Jesus we are saved and by His Holiness we are made holy. As we live now we are saved by a good and clean conscience before God, yet our body will still die. Yet we hold to hope to come in the Resurrection of our bodies.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Great Quotes: Martin Luther on Free Will

Free Will
by Martin Luther

I, for my part, do yield, that God hath given to mankinde a Free-will, but here is the question; Whether the same Freedom bee in our power and strength, or no?. . . for it is onely God that worketh in us, and wee must suffer and subject our selvs to his pleasure. Even as a Potter out of his claie maketh a pot or vessel either for use of honor, or otherwise of dishonor. Just so is it with our Free-will, onely to suffer, and not to work, passive, non active, which standeth not in our strength; for wee are not able to do any thing that is good in divine causes.

I oftentimes have been directly resolved, and withall serious contemplation I entended to live uprightly and to lead a true godlie life all (other cogitations, lets and hindrances whatsoever set aside) but it was far from beeing put in execution; even as it was with Peter, when hee sware hee would laie down his life for Christ.

I will not lie nor dissemble before my God, but will freely confess, I am not able to effect that good which I do intend, but must exspect the happie hour when God shall bee pleased to meet mee with his Grace.

from an old translation of Luther's Table Talks done in 1652.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Book Review: God Touches, by Dan Gilliam

Book Review: God Touches (finding faith in the cracks and spaces of my life) By Dan Gilliam
I have been getting to know Dan Gilliam over the last couple of years. I was privileged to be one of those who had a chance to read the book as he wrote it... and even more to be able to read the finished product.
Dan Gilliam is a poet, songwriter, painter, speaker, and now author. He has been in the ministry for many years... and has had many struggles. Dan is open and genuine as he talks of his trials and misadventures and struggles in his life such as having to step down from ministering over an addiction to alcohol... all to find God in the cracks and spaces of his life. It is an encouraging read as he finds his Life is in Christ Jesus.
Each chapter is set up with an opening quote that gives a bit of heads up as to what the chapter will be about. With that, each chapter is set up so it can be used as a devotional, or for contemplation. I see within these pages and Dan's struggles a person who was found by God and now seeks to bask in His Glory. There are some very practical things taught and some things that may stretch a few out of their comfort zone. To me that is a good thing as if one is not stretched, then one is not growing. Some of the more interesting thoughts are in his reflections on Rich Mullins. Yet, through all the chapters, there is a positive message of hope to all, that Jesus is there even when we do not see Him at work... He is what holds this crack vessel together. I recommend the book for just reading, or even doing small groups around especially if one is involved in a 12 step program. The chapters on the Big Quite are the biggest challnge to me as I tend to live loud and large.

Great new site! Christians Confess

I came across a great new site called Christians confess... and boy I think we need to! I did...



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Great Article by Jon Trott on "Authority"

""Authority": who has it, who doesn't, and how can we tell the difference? In the blogosphere, and perhaps even moreso within the "Christian" blogosphere, that issue can become quite compelling.When I began thinking about blogging on the word "authority," I immediately pulled up the Webster's Dictonary definition. Why? Because Webster's to me is a quick and usually trustworthy source for understanding a word's historic roots and present meaning. That is, for me Webster's is normally authoritative regarding word definitions. But by so saying, I am not truly sure I stand on solid ground. Is Webster's the or even an authority on the meaning of "authority" (or any other word)?" (read more here)

A good Laugh!

I have not been to a certain website that has banned me from viewing his site for about a week... I did notice a "counter" and a message to me from this person...

The last time i was there it counted 26... I knew I had not been there that many times...

Yet, today I went to see this counter again... mind you I have not been there for almost a week.

I read this message to me.

"There have been 217 page visits since May 9th . . . by those who "do not care nor desire to ever go to this site" and those who "don't have time for this persons issues" :-)"

Funny thing to me is that I realized this guy banned my ISP! It is one of the largest in Montana, Wyoming and about 3 other states... so without realizing this, he has banned many people going to his site or at least many loyal readers are getting this obsessed man's message to me... this means that by blocking me, he has block other people at least 210 times... and i still do not have time for that person's personal issues! LOL!

I thought that I might just keep this a secret as I don't care how many other people are blocked from his site... in fact this post may come down soon.

Now, this is the same guy who was upset that he could not comment to me on my blog, in fact has gone around asking why I do not accept comments...

Simple. Mean people suck... even if they have the banner of Christ (supposedly) over their heads. I just got tired of their comments so stopped accepting them as I have my email on this blog at least 3 places... if one really wanted to actually be mature and discuss things as he claims... yet, no email has yet come from him, only childish games...

It only proves that this person is as I suspected very immature.


Monday, May 14, 2007

the difference between “postmodernist” deconstructionism and the Emerging Church deconstructionism…

I think some are missing the difference between “postmodernist” deconstructionism and the ec deconstructionism…

In a way that you might understand it, it is the difference for us as when Luther deconstructed ” For it is by grace you have been saved, through penance” which was the Latin translation and what was taught by the Roman Catholic Church…

Luther deconstructed the verse and found in the Greek it was
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith”

Thus we had the reformation.

We are not deconstructing to make it whatever we want to believe… that is a great misunderstanding of how the tool of deconstruction is actually being used.

We are looking at our faith and trying to return to it’s essence and true Spirit… we see that like the misunderstanding of the Latin that Luther pointed out there are other areas like that we have accepted into our faith that has corrupted it from the truth of scripture and the ministry of Jesus.

One person pointed out that the 1st reformation gave us the Bible…
and this being a sort of reformation is not giving us back Jesus or the High Christology we have lost through the influence of modernism…

Again, not all modernism is evil if the tools are used properly… that reasoning can be carried into how we use the tools of postmodernism as we REACH OUT to the culture around us.

What we see you doing is akin to the RCC did to Luther… try to defend the traditions and disregard we need to continually seek to be a loyal to the truth of Scripture as we can.


True Unity is In Christ and of Love

True Unity is In Christ and of Love

"I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:23

I am amazed at others sometimes… (Not really) when they push “doctrines” as a point of unity. Jesus was clear that it is not in doctrine we are brought to complete unity in but it is in Him and Him alone.

False teachers write much about the importance of “doctrine” yet miss that the Pharisees had “perfect doctrine and missed the very Messiah that had come to save them. They continued to try to do things in their own strength and not rest in the finished works of Jesus.

Doctrine has its importance and I know no one that argues that we need no doctrine. Yet, the very foundation of the Christian Life is Jesus Christ Himself… and that because God first Loved us, then we now can Love God… (1 John 4:19)

Love is the first precious stone we build on the foundation of Jesus. It is love that obedience then can flow… and love that the true doctrines of Christ… and HIS doctrines of Grace (not to be confused with some that use the same words “doctrines of grace” who preach a form of Grace yet denies the fullness of Grace).

If we put trust in doctrines and our own belief, we then are not trusting in Jesus Christ.

Now, what do I do with verses that teach “doctrine” is important?

1 Timothy 1: 9 -11 states:

“We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

Sound doctrine is as I already stated, is founded first and only on Jesus Christ and God’s love for us. In that having been loved we respond in love and in that love walk in Christ Jesus. This is “sound doctrine”.

1 Timothy 4 gives a warning that some will teach false doctrines. Here are some of the things they will do:

1. abandon the faith
2. follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
3. forbid people to marry
4. order them to abstain from certain foods

If you notice their emphasis is on works… and that is because they first abandoned the faith.
We are saved by Grace through Faith… in that we are also sustained by that same Grace through faith. From start to finish, it is Jesus who works salvation in and through us. Men will leave the Faith and go back to religious works. They will follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons, they will forbid some to marry, which I see can be that these false teachers place “rules” and “doctrines” that forbid people to do certain things… in that they negate the freedom that come in Christ to serve Him freely. The same with abstaining from certain foods.

Paul tells Timothy to watch his doctrine closely as he is to be weary of abandoning the Faith and going back to his own works.

Paul continues in Timothy chapter 6:3-5 to speak more about those who teach against “sound doctrine”

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”

So here are more signs of those who teach false doctrine:

1. They do not agree with “sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2. They are conceited and understand nothing
3. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about “words”.
4. they love to cause envy
5. They love to cause strife
6. they love malicious talk
7. they hold evil suspicions
8. they love constant friction between men of corrupt mind
9. they have robbed the truth
10. they think that Godliness is a means to financial gain

Though some of these points are pretty self explanatory, I thin that the last few are very interesting. These people love to cause strife and to keep it going… they hate peace… they love to stoke the fires of controversy to keep their own empires going. I am not meaning to be harsh as I have fallen into this enough myself and can see it… though it does creep up and get me sometimes.
These men also have robbed the truth. They preach “Grace” yet do not practice it… in that they have abandoned truth faith that come from Grace. They walk proudly in their doctrines and not in humility in Christ.

I heard a comment the other day that was rather funny… and sadly true. “We all will get to heaven with bad doctrine, but no one gets to heaven without Jesus Christ.” I think that as something to consider as we look at our own “pet” doctrines and then hole others up to our own personal standards.

Titus 2:1 states:

“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”

In that we must seek out that pure doctrine that flows from God by His Love and then fills us with the Power of The Holy Spirit to love others. As we love God and Love one another… even our enemies as God did with us… we then are walking in sound doctrine based on Faith and not of works or vain imaginations.


Dealing with Discontentment: My personal journey

My journey is not about discontentment in The Body, rather what part do I play in the True Body versus those who are playing churchianity?

Now that may sound a bit harsh, as many are sincere in the belief... and I applaud anyone who can stay within a "man made structure" and work for the Lord within... I had done that a while myself.

Yet, I find that true contentment is only found in the Person of Jesus Christ. As He lives His Life in and through me, I may not like the situation, yet must rejoice that whatever the Master sees fit for me to do, He is doing and I am privileged to be used by Him.

So many people focus on their own lives and have never truly found His. They stop at the Cross and received forgiveness but never press in deeper to receive His Life...

Romans 5:10 states: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

We are saved by the Life of Christ... in that we must then be dead... and I see that many are still living their own life and have not realized that they must come to the realization they must give up... simply come to the end of themselves. As a good friend of mine states, "If you come the the end of your rope, grease that sucker and let go. There you will find God."

So, I agree their are many that are discontent, and many that even may come here still searching for something to fill the void in their heart... and all I can say is that we need to not only follow Jesus to the Cross, but to His death, burial and Resurrection and in that find a New Life... as New Creations... and rest in that Truth.

We will always dis agree in our fellowship... we will always not see things exactly, and that is as it should be... I am sure my ears and my toes experience much different things as they are part of my own Body... so I think the same with Christ Jesus' Body...

So, if this site fosters discontentment, rejoice! If God brings one here who is discontent then they may be here to find His Life... and in that find their being Him and realize what part of the Body they may be...


Great Quotes: Tozer on Christian Mystics

"Some of the great saints, who were great because they took such admonitions seriously and sought to practice them, managed to achieve the sanctification of the secular, or perhaps I should say the abolition of the secular. Their attitude toward life’s common things raised those above the common and imparted to them an aura of divinity. These pure souls broke down the high walls that separated the various areas of their lives from each other and saw all as one; and that one they offered to God as a holy oblation acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Nicholas Herman (Brother Lawrence) made his most common act one of devotion: “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer,” he said, “and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Francis of Assisi accepted the whole creation as his house of worship and called upon everything great and small to join him in adoration of the Godhead. Mother earth, the burning sun, the silver moon, the stars of evening, wind, water, flowers, fruits-all were invited to praise with him their God and King. Hardly a spot was left that could be called secular. The whole world glowed like Moses’ bush with the light of God, and before it the saint kneeled and removed his shoes.

Thomas Traherne, the seventeenth century Christian writer, declared that the children of the King can never enjoy the world aright till every morning they wake up in heaven, see themselves in the Father’s palace, and look upon the skies, the earth and the air as celestial joys, having such a reverent esteem for all as if they were among the angels."

~ The Sanctification of the Secular by Tozer

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Walking Through Romans PT 9: Romans 6

Walking Through Romans PT 9: Romans 6

Romans 6

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 6:2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 6:3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life.

6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. 6:6 We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 6:7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)

6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 6:9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 6:13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. 6:14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!
6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 6:19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.
6:21 So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 6:22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 6:23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I am always amazed when people say they agree with Grace, yet then undersell Grace as they fear that it will lead to someone having a “license to sin”. Some slanderously attacked Paul saying that he was teaching one could just keep on sinning. Paul of course makes light of this in chapter 3 verse 8. Of course this was just that, slander… and even today I find that there are those who say about me that I am also against "doctrine", or do not teach "holy living".. which if one understands Grace, and has realized their identity “in Christ” they will find they desire less and less the “sinful desires” of the flesh, and desire more and more to become “transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18)

Here Paul states very clearly again, that are we to keep sinning in order that this grace abounds? Of course not… more…if one reads it in the Greek I am told that Paul is stating this very empathically… it would be more like saying, “HELL NO!” (Hope that does not shock one too much.)

Paul then points out that we are dead to sin… and if that is true… how can one dead to sin, still live in it?

We have been baptized into Christ… now water baptism represents this spiritual truth. Just as we are placed in the water, then put under, they rise out again… which is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and that we to are now dead, buried and resurrected in Christ Jesus… With this imagery… we are “placed/immersed” into Jesus’ death, buried with Jesus and now resurrected as a New Creation.

Paul goes on to show that since we have come to the end of ourselves… or our very death of trying to please God by our own works, in that we died… Since we can then identify with Christ in His death, we also can now identify with Him by His resurrection.

If we die, we are free from sin… think about that. A dead man is not subject to the sinful desires of the flesh… nor is a dead man out to do works to prove his own worthiness to God! He is dead. At that point it simply is too late to do anything to change that simple fact… dead is dead… now comes the Judgment! (Hebrews 9:27)

So all a dead person can do is hope for to be resurrected… and judged and in that there is only the Hope of Jesus for our eternal Life.

So the logical flow is that since we died, so we also live in Christ. Notice this is not living our own life… but something has happened. We have exchanged our “free will” as far as it was free to choose good and bad, yet one was not able to sustain that choice without falling. This free will is not subject to Christ in our surrender to His works. Our “free will” has died! We are a New Creation, behold the old is gone! (2 Cor 5:17)

So as we died in Christ, so now we Live in Christ through His resurrection. Jesus died once for all… some try to teach the false notion that “all” means “some”, yet in all my studies I have not seen “all” mean anything but “all” even in the Greek! I find in the Greek this word to mean “upon one occasion”… as far as the word is one word to our “once for all”… The argument is pretty silly to me if one argues that it is not once for all but once for some… for we see that it is in the one occasion that Christ died on the Cross… He did not die more than that, nor did He die less… to say He died for only some misses that very point… Hebrews also talks of this “once for all” that Jesus offered Himself for “people” once and for all. These people are not as some teach some “special” people… if one looks closely at the type of people the writer of Hebrews talks of they are “people in general” as opposed to “of ones own populace”. What I am getting at is that some teach that Jesus died only for the “elect” and not for everyone. Yet, scripture itself teaches contrary to that notion very clearly. So, one has to twist the passages of Scripture to fit their doctrinal bent in order to have scripture prove their doctrine. I see clearly taught in scripture without resorting to Greek that Jesus died “once for all mankind”. In that all men are equal as they sin for they will die, and now in Christ all men are equal as it is by Grace through faith that man now finds eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Now, as one come to understand more and more or the truth of this and one’s identity in Christ, they will find that being dead, sin as no more hold on us, nor is it employed by the body as it was. Since now death is not the enemy, but has become the Christians greatest friend, we seek to live out the truth “to live is Christ, to die is gain!” (Philippians 1: 21)

We were at one time slaved to sin… so say a man was truly “free” though he had free will, misses that man was also a slave to sin. For we served sin no matter how hard we tried, and always fell short the Glory of God. Freedom was there, yet our own chains kept us bound to our own death. No matter how close we came to our own perfection, death still always won.

Now, though as one is in Christ, sin has been conquered at the Cross. Death has no power over us as Jesus holds the keys to Death and Hades. Yet, even now for all our free will we are given the choice that we must lay it down and no longer pursue our own way, but come to that end of ourselves and in that Jesus breaks the chains of bondage and truly frees us… to be slaves to righteousness!

This though is where the real freedom comes. That we can not grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. As we grow I see will one day be clothed in perfection as Jesus is now. Till then we must trust (I am sure we will always even then need to trust) but even more as we do not see and must walk in faith.

As we walking in the Righteousness of Christ we are sanctified… this is not some “process” in the sense we get more and more “holy” as God has declared the believer as holy already. It does mean that we learn and grow as Jesus did. We learn to walk not in our own strength but in the Power of God… (I am not talking about that Benny Hinn type of “power”) This power is that of Love which has flipped the entire creation on its head.

Paul’s greatest question/statement in this passage that should strike any believer,

“So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death.”

For all the pleasures we have encountered… all the riches we have collected, all the power this world has to offer… man still dies. Great or small, weak or strong… we all die… “For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Walking through Romans pt 8: Romans 5

Walking through Romans pt 8: Romans 5

Romans 5

5:1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 5:4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 5:11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

5:12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned – 5:13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. 5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. 5:15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 5:16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. 5:17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
5:18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous. 5:20 Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 5:21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Chapter 5 of Romans has to be one of my most favorite chapters in the entire Bible… From it I found a way to walk in Christ. I have written much on this chapter so I may not go into some of my own favorite parts as deeply here as I might wish to. If you desire to read more on this here are a few more links on this passage.

Link 1
Link 2
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

One of the outward signs of a believers walking in Faith is peace. As we read before it is Faith and faith alone… and that itself a gift from God that we must walk in... This Faith is by Grace as we humbly come to the end of our own works. We found that all men are sinners and equal in the sight of God… in that we all need to be Justified by Christ… and now having had that happen at the Cross we are a peace that enables us in joy.

Yet, there is something so many miss… and that is we also rejoice in suffering.

Rejoice in suffering?

Yep… we can now see past this worlds agony that our suffering is of nothing. Now, in Christ Jesus suffering makes sense and in fact to a true believe is welcomed as a sign God has deemed us worthy of such… worthy that He desires us to grow…

“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope.” From this Faith from Grace Hope is given… and to walk in that Hope we must endure suffering to build our character. What a privilege from God to walk in this Hope by the Faith he gives.

Many spend time condemning the “sinners” yet they have not learned or have forgotten that Jesus died at the appointed time for the ungodly… and that was you and me… it is all people. To think that somehow one can come to Christ then condemn other sinners who have yet to come to the end of themselves and fall at the feet of Jesus seems to miss the many parables that taught of one who has been forgiven, then goes out to forgive. One forgiven of a great debt should humbly forgive others of such minor debts in comparison.

We have been reconciled by Jesus at the Cross… it is His works alone that matter to God. In that we can rejoice at this reconciliation that by ourselves could not have ever happened.

Through one man, Adam all have become sinners. Some teach sin is literally passed through the loins of Adam, really as I read and re-read Romans I cannot see this… in fact I see that Adam the first man, sinned… and death entered to all creation not just man. So, to say that sin is passed on from generation to generation by the linage of the “man” does not tell us why all creation is cursed by death also.

In the writings of Irenaeus, he speaks that man can choose good and evil… and by choosing good God is pleased, yet the issue is not that man is totally depraved, but that man being a moral agent cannot sustain his morality… He at sometime will slip from morality to immorality… in that God not being in the equation man will strive by his works to discipline himself to build character only God Himself can build in a man.

Adam was not “perfect”… if he had been he would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. For perfection is to be absolute… not partial… and Adam we do see has eaten and we being mankind does die.

I see if Adam had not eaten and continued to walk with God in the Garden and learn and grow, he may as Jesus was been made perfect (Hebrews 5). Yet, Adam being imperfect chose to eat of the fruit leaving all creation in a very sad state.

Jesus was that second Adam… though He Himself was born of the Spirit. Jesus was able to overcome the tragic doings of the first Adam and in that reconciled all creation to Himself…

“For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification.”

Jesus was this Gift… this Gift of Grace that God gives. We depend on Jesus and we find that we now do not strive in our own obedience but rest totally in Christ Jesus’ obedience. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.”

We are made righteous by the obedience of the “one man” who is Jesus Christ.

Paul writes that the Law was given so that transgressions would increase… that to heap more coals on mankind so that we can see our error and in desperation turn to God… in that as sin gives way to death from transgression, even more so Grace should reign now through Jesus Christ.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

While some bicker some face major persecution.

While some bicker about their doctrines other Christians face major persecution... so pray for the Christians in Iraq.


the error of the synergist....

Every once in a while I am called a synergist which amazes me as I am very much not one at all... I view man is saved by Grace through Faith and if anyone actually took a second to read what I write they would see that I believe salvation from beginning to end is of God and God alone.

So, to be called a synergist is rather an ignorant statement to say about me.

I once read a book by Chuck Smith who described the working of God like both He and a person are about to lift a table... In his example, Chuck states that God lifts His side and we must lift ours also... in effect he was saying that God is helping us... yet in the example it could be viewed that we are helping God. I read this and thought that so wrong... it is never that we are helping God lift the table, rather God is lifting the table and we appear to be doing so as He does it through us... This is tricky to catch but it is a big difference if one gets it. God does His works in and through us... they do not originate from us nor are they of us at all. If they were then they would not be God's works, but ours.

Now, in a broader sense there is synergism within Christianity as we are part of the Body of Christ. We in this sense make up this Body as parts to the whole... So to say that all synergism is wrong is a bit too broad of a brush. Yet again, as far as salvic workings, God saves us by Grace through Faith....

Now, to say that some are created "elect" and some "non elect" cuts across the grain of the teachings of Romans 8 -10. (The Calvinist will bristle and howl over that statement yet I have yet to find one that that gives a true biblical interpretation of these chapters without distortion of the passages to "fit" their system of theology.)

There is a misunderstanding of "obedience" which I have written on pretty extensively and will soon in the up coming "Walking Through Romans" series. You can hit the link on Romans to see that series. Yet, this is not about our obedience but walking about Christ's. (Romans 5:19) The part we play is of simple surrender as one who has no where else to go... as the Peter stated in John 6:68 "Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Only in Christ's finished works can we find rest. That is why Jesus is called the Sabbath... for in Him we find our rest from works.

Interestingly falling from Grace as commonly used to day is most often used wrongly. The only verse that uses that phrase in the NT is Galatians 5:4 "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." In that many come to Christ and then go to works to sustain and maintain their salvation. When one does this they have fallen form Grace to works... and that is what Paul wrote about in Galatians:

3: 1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

Man cannot add one thing to his salvation and works cannot help us gain statue in the Kingdom of God. Man must depend totally on Christ Jesus alone... If one thinks that his own works are of any value, then they deceive themselves.

So, what part does man play in his salvation... to rest in the Grace of God and walking Faith and not by sight... I am amazed that some walk by sight as they push doctrine over Christ Himself... in that they are not walking in Faith, but by their own understanding... that is depending not on God, but man's reasoning and rational thinking for salvation. True doctrine is the outflow of our relationship with Jesus... in that He teaches us and guides us... and even in the Darkness we must press on in Faith believing in what we cannot see in Hope of what we will one day be. True doctrine flows from Christ, and in Him we gain the understanding of this doctrine by revelation. Insight that is given by the Power of the Holy Spirit to renew our minds to right thinking... to reverse this and seek God through doctrine takes the Holy Spirit out of play and them Christianity only becomes a religion of rules and commands... and not of loving submission to God through Christ for salvation.

We must base our walk on this Hope... this Blessed Hope that we do not see, and in that walk in faith and not by feelings... the error of the synergist is that they are very "feelings" based, yet the error of the religionist is to ignore feelings all together.... in that we must seek out a reconciliation of the two... to walking balance of our feelings as expressions of faith or admissions of lack of it in hopes to be built up int the Faith... and the other the Faith to trust blindly, God at His Word and not seek out more proof as to God's Love for us.


The “Religionist” revealed!!!!!

The “Religionist” revealed!!!!!

In the past few weeks I have been a bit inspired to write on the “Religionist” and even share what others like Tozer and Spurgeon (even though I am not a Calvinist) had to say about such people… yet it seems that there is one out there ranting that all these posts are solely about him… which if one reads them closely never once mentions his name… (Though, I did notice that he inserted his own name in the quote when I was one time let through to see his blog by a proxy server). This person I will still leave unnamed in the Name of Peace, has done everything to discredit me and still is misplacing the truth as to our recent encounter. In that I deleted an entire blog and still received only scorn from this person… I do see that he has identified himself as the "Relgionist" I write about, which seems a rather tragic irony.

So, who is the “Religionist”? He is a conglomerate of many… the person mentioned above is maybe 1% of the persons I wrote about. In fact he may credit as to the praying that I did so ask God as to what to write about… and in that my inspiration was from God.

The person above seemed perplex on another blog as to why I decided to close comments. Which I did for at least three reasons:

1. I desired to not read his comments as they were spiteful and very condescending.
2. The people that come from his blog left even more nasty and mean spirited comments as to my eternal destiny
3. I counseled with other godly men who told me to close them as I have a message to write and teaching to teach… and that these type of people seem to pull me into futile, infantile and vain arguments that really do nothing for the cause of Christ.

This person claims that he has tried to contact me to resolve this ongoing dispute (which seems really one-sided at this point) yet has overlooked my email is on my blog in about 3 different places... I have done all I can and will do. He has made not attempt to contact me to reconcile and in that I am glad.

I cannot change the message that God has laid on my heart. As I stated that this person may be "part" of the many, many persons that are the "Religionist" but believe it or not so is John Wesley, my best friend from high school, who deemed me as not saved over my view on eternal security and also the many IFB pastors I used to debate on my discussion group who even condemned me to hell for "looking and studying" at any view other than the pre trib rapture view! LOL!

Also, I am out of that tradition and have come out to the progressive sanctification teachings (John Wesley) which I deem a false teaching and what ruined Wesley in his once powerful preaching.

I think that there is nothing I can to work toward reconciliation... and if this links to me, so he links to me... It seems if he took a little bit of time to actually "talk" to me this would not have gotten as far as it did... and yes I do take responsibility for what I have done also which is the reason I decided to delete the blog in the first place as I desired peace and not "war' with these people... and still do and will live at peace as best I can.

On a personal note I too was that religionist... so it is a bit about my own heart before I found grace. I too, like this person is now with me, hated the person who pointed out I was one. I vowed to attack that destroy that ministry, until I actually read and studied their view and found God's grace... I was changed. I pray for that to happen to anyone and think to a degree with this obsession it may be happening even now. In fact this person seems so obssess with me that even when I delete a post he linked to he went and linked to Google Cache to prove how "right" he was... Get that? A deleted post!!!! I have since reposted that post, yet it shows how far this man will go to discredit me.

So as far as sending him an email... even if I could as my ISP is still banned... I think that he would just mock it and twist it as an attack as he has with the last few I sent so do not see any reason (if I could) to continue any dialog with him.

I hope this all makes sense as really I don't have time for this persons issues at this point other than praying for him.

On a slightly different note on Calvinism...

Some state I am misrepresenting Calvinism... that I speak of some who teach this and that and it is not true... I am only stating what Calvinists themselves have stated to me what they believe and what I have read and studied. If there is something untrue that I speak of about Calvinism then is should be addressed to the Calvinist the misinformed me as to his beliefs... In that I can only speak from what I have read, studied, and heard from Calvinist themselves... if they are wrong then it seems that they are wrong in the representation of themselves.


It is important for those of all faiths to recognize these Four Religious Truths

It is important for those of all faiths to recognize these Four Religious Truths:

1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people
2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian World.
4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Freedom to Choose Life

Walking through Romans pt 7: Romans 4

Walking through Romans pt 7: Romans 4
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”[c]

9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
“We are children of Abraham!” stated the Pharisees, yet Jesus stated’ “For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones”.

So what makes one a child of Abraham? Faith in God.

Works do not make us righteous or “right with God”. Paul’s sense of humor shows as he states”…if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”

We are to believe on Him who justifies the ungodly. In that a man who has finally come to the his end of either running away from God, or depending on his own works and believes in God is then accredited as righteous by his faith. It is said that in order to solve a problem one must fist recognize he has a problem. In that moment humility happens. Running away form God or working to prove oneself to God seem as it should as act of futility.

Humility is the firs contact of Grace which then faith can come.

The outward works of righteousness as in the case of Abraham come afterward in the sign of circumcision; the outward workings for us today should be the same. Our “works” are not “ours” but the outward sign of god in us working out of us to His Glory. As with circumcision a part of us must die so the signs of the Glory of god work through us and that is pride.

We have no righteousness except what is imputed to us by Christ Jesus. What a wonderful thing to know God is not keeping a list of wrong against the believer. (1 Cor 13)

The promise to Abraham was not through the Law and as that was over 400 years yet to come. If it was to be so, then God’s promise would be voided and He would be a liar. The promise to Abraham was well before the law and very one –side. So actually, “very” is a gross understatement. The covenant was all on God’s part and Abraham was fast asleep when God passed through the sacrifice! Abraham brought nothing and added nothing so Grace would enact Abrahams’ faith.

This Grace that brings faith gives us hope. Even when everything seems to be contrary to hope God gives grace to more faith and more hope! So even the promise to have a child or an heir, then to leap to be a father of many nations, Grace, Faith, and hope build even sight unseen. For Abraham only saw his sons born, yet the nations he never saw.

Now, It was not Abrahams faith that made the promises come true, rather it was all the faithfulness of God to His own promises. We to are to not strive, but rest in these promises that Jesus was delivered for our sins and raised for our justification.

Notice this is the fullness of the good News, that Jesus was delivered for our sins and raised fu us to be made right with god. We must accept the whole message of Christ’s death and resurrection in order to be able to receive the fullness of God’s promises.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Open Letter to Ken Silva

This is an open letter from a former contributor of Slice of Laodicia.

I will make no comments.


Walking Through Romans PT 6: Romans 3

Walking Through Romans PT 6: Romans 3

Romans 3

3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”
3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? (I am speaking in human terms.) 3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. (Their condemnation is deserved!)

3:9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one,
3:11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
3:12 All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
3:13 “Their throats are open graves,
they deceive with their tongues,
the poison of asps is under their lips.”
3:14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
3:16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
3:17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 3:25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 3:26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.


What a privilege that the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. To them the promises, the workings of God and the very Seed would come through. It was the assertion of some… no the accusation that if the Jew being the caretaker of God’s written word did not come to faith, then God is a liar… That God had failed and His is not worthy. This is of course a lie from the pit of Hell as it actually proves God is Just and faithful. It shows that ever man is a lair and God alone is true…

“Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”

It shows that man even given the truth will still not see it or respond. One needs to have God reveal Himself to you in order to be seen.

Some had began to teach that if God is glorified by our sin as He is shown to be more merciful and to give more Grace that we should go and sin even more… Some even claimed that this was Paul’s own teachings. Paul of course never taught this nor as we see in this passage saw that, yes God is glorified by His mercy and Grace, yet that is not so that we will keep on sinning…

Paul again refers to what he has already shown that man is not righteous. That man is sinful and needs salvation. Fallen man will always try to justify himself before God. He will come up with all sorts of reasons God is not Just in His verdict. Even from the grave man will shout out that God is a liar and that man is not.

If one is under the Law there is no excuse… so to try to make excuses God only needs to point to the Law and let one know where they fell short. In fact that is the reason for the Law… to show our sin even more magnify it even greater.

In that we stand needing salvation from ourselves. We need to turn to God in faith for this salvation. In that we have been justified freely at the Cross… we need to accept this forgiveness that has been given. Some state that forgiveness comes now… which it does, but forgiveness was given to all at the Cross. All our sins were in the future and in that all sins have been forgiven. That is the reason to not turn in faith to receive God’s salvation is such a horrific thing as one is denying their own forgiveness already granted and then deny the Holy Spirit that will give then New Life…

God gave His Son in our place to fulfill His Justice and to be the Justifier. In that we stand justified, and can walk in its fullness if we receive the Resurrected Life of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Again, if one is a Jew or Gentile we cannot boast in anything we do… we cannot justify ourselves but must only rest on the Justification of God. For once we have been justified; we can now live by faith…


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Walking through Romans PT 5: Romans 2: 11 - 29

Walking through Romans PT 5: Romans 2: 11 - 29

2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, 2:16 on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.
2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relationship to God 2:18 and know his will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, 2:19 and if you are convinced that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth – 2:21 therefore you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:22 You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! 2:24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
2:25 For circumcision has its value if you practice the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised man who keeps the law judge you who, despite the written code and circumcision, transgress the law? 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 2:29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.

God does not play favoritism:

God does not play favorites. He does choose us by Grace through faith. Yet, to think it is that we are “good” misses the point of the Law. While one who is not under the Law or “apart from the Law” who sins will still be under judgment, one under the Law will will also be judged. To one reading they might ask, “What good is the Law?” If it does not help to be under the Law, then how does it help one?... The answer is that whether one has heard the Law or not does not mean anything… it is he who does the Law that will benefit from it… yet… there is still an issue.
The Jewish believer in Christ in Rome saw that they had an advantage as they had the Law and regarded the Gentile believers as lesser as they did not. Because of this they felt the Gentile must come under the Law as they were to receive the benefits… and in that they must first convert to Judaism then come to Jesus.

The issue was though, that the Jewish believer had the Law and could not do it… and the Gentile by the Holy Spirit was keeping the Law as it was now written on their hearts.

In Ezekiel 36:26 God promised “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh.” In that the Gentiles received this promise in Christ Jesus. “They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them, on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.”

This was a bit confounding to the Jewish believer as they had Christ yet still held to the Law that was written on stone… Paul admonishes them that since they are the trusted ones of this Law, why do they not keep it… or rather understand it?

The Jewish Laws held that it was wrong to divorce yet a divorce was rather easy in those days. The Law also taught that no one should steal, yet since the Gentiles were not “chosen” and were the “others”, a lesser than human… it was deemed not a sin to enter their temples and plunder them. Paul was stating, stealing itself is a sin regardless of whom one is stealing from. In these things the Gentiles looked at the Jew and saw him as a hypocrite… and stated, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”.

May we not fall into categorizing others as lesser than ourselves. That be it the Religionist or the Righteous we are all in need of Jesus… equal by our sin and fallen state… and equally worthy of the wages of sin… Death.

So being a Jew outwardly has no value if one does not live out the teachings of the Law. In such the person who is not circumcised yet keeps the Law will look at the person who is circumcised and think that that person is lesser as he knows what to do yet chooses not to.

No, one is not a Jew by the physical removing of the foreskin as one is not a “Christian” by any physical works… it is only by the Holy Spirit who cuts one heart… that leaves it raw and sensitive that makes one a Jew, as well as a Christian. We are not made a believer by the “written code” as some teach… but by the Holy Spirit.