Posts tagged ‘Grace’

Free Will Explained Well

wpid-2012-04-28-14.03.54.jpg.jpeg

“God does not choose us because we believe, but that we may believe.”

~Augustine~

“Until God saves us ,we are all like Lazarus. We are dead and unable to even call out to Christ.”

“Christ calls us out of our tomb of death into life.”

Advertisements

Pascal on Mankind and God

image

“Man would desire to be great and sees that he is little; would desire to be happy and sees that he is miserable; would desire to be perfect and sees that he is full of imperfections; would desire to be the object of the love and esteem of men, and sees that his faults merit only aversion and contempt. The embarrassment wherein he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for he conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.” ~Blaise Pascal~ (Pensees)

Share God’s Gift With Others – His Grace

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

Grace is its own reason for doing good to those deserving the opposite.

We did not and cannot earn favor with Holy God.

God’s very nature, which is love and righteousness, satisfied our sin natured disconnect with Him by personally bridging the gap between us.

The only reason for this given in the Bible is ,”God so loved the world.” (John 3:16)

The sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross 2,000 years ago for the sin debt of all mankind was purely motivated by a God whose nature is love.

God’s righteousness stood in stark contrast and condemnation to the imperfection of mankind.

The love of God satisfied what was lacking for each of us to know God by the gracious gift of Christ’s imputed righteous nature in all who believe in Christ as Savior.

This year, in a world that is growing increasingly dark, let God’s Gift of love through Christ shine in you and through you in the same way God’s love came to us,.. even though we were undeserving and in desperate need, He came to save us.

 “Freely you have received, freely give.” ~Jesus Christ~ (Matthew 10:8)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

God Bless, and Happy New Year

Christ Centered Teaching and God Came Down

What Tone in Christian Discussion is Biblical ?

What Kind of Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion?

Christians are to be gentle ,kind, lovingly compassionate, meek and humble, like Christ. That much is obvious, though not always common.

But what about some of the examples of situations where Christ was angry, or when the Apostle Paul burned with indignation?

I think it depends on the situation. Christians are suffering from a stifling and un-Biblical monotonic response to the issues we face today.

 

We believe one tone should apply to everything, yet Indignation is also Biblical.

Keep in mind that silence was only used by Christ during the trial for crucifixion, when He willfully gave up His life for you and I. He said nothing in His own defense.

There are many shades of Christian communication, and all are Christ like. For instance,… are you trying to encourage? For the most part ,be gentle.

Are you exhorting and spurring others on? Be hopeful and thankful.

Or are you defending the most precious life-giving Gospel,the Blood of Jesus, and Grace of God from the self-righteousness of moralistic legalists who always demand our own works be tacked on to Christ’s work? (Legalism)

Now that’s a different story. Take the Apostle Paul for instance.

II Corinthians 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? (NKJV)

Christians today need to find their voices! Rightly dividing the word of God means 2 Corinthians 11:29 is in the mix.

Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone to use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.

Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

A lot of essential Biblical examples stand out in regard to what tone is right and when we should use them.

Too many issues demand our voices!

A great example is this video that went viral  and caused an uproar with some of the so-called,”pillars” in  modern Christendom.

In the video,Jefferson Bethke Kicks the proverbial Snot Out of Legalism!

But he has a much more subtle tone than Jesus does in Luke 11:44 !

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”

Or Jesus in Matthew 23:13

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

In fact, Bethke is well below the tone Jesus used to beat down the self-righteous Pharisees of His day!

And Bethke is also doing the Church a service just like the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians!

Only Bethke is milder than Paul too! Like in Gal.1:6

“If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

In fact,Paul was far more direct as he beat down the legalists, and he even,”withstood Peter to his face.” This is the big ,long earful that Peter heard from Paul in front of Barnabas and many others. Galatians 2:11- 21

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 1Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Paul got in Peter’s face in front of everybody, to defend the blood of Jesus as the ONLY means to be saved!

So don’t let them make you back pedal Jefferson Bethke. Take heart!

You aren’t bashing the Church. On the contrary!

If a person loves Jesus and His Bride the Church, then he will defend the ONLY means to establish the Church.

The pure, true Gospel established by the washing and regeneration of the pure, perfect blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is the ONLY way the Church can ever exist.

Your statement  is right in line with guys who have made all the difference when it counted, like Paul, and Luther, and countless others.

Jesus vs. Religion? Jesus will always win!

Speak up! Be bold!

That is our part to this world. Give them Jesus!

Come to Jesus and Obtain the Fullness of Love and of Grace

image

“The best way to come to Christ is to come meaning to get everything, and to obtain all the plenitude of grace, which he has laid up in store, and promised freely to give. Some poor souls who come to Jesus Christ seem as if they wanted a little relief from fear, a hope that they may just get saved, and a fair chance of going to heaven when they die. Pray do not come in that way, my dear friend. Come intending to obtain the fullness of love, the uttermost of grace.” C.H.Spurgeon

Ephesians 1:13,14 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Excerpt- “The fruit of the Spirit featured in Galatians 5 are not behaviors; they are attitudes of a heart transformed by the Holy Spirit. Fruit is not a work.”

Let’s start with an excerpt from Tullian T’s blog. Then I will add some comments.

_____________________________________

I am saddened when the very pack of people that God has unconditionally saved and continues to sustain by his free grace are the very ones who push back most violently against it. Some professing Christians sound like ungrateful children who can’t stop biting the very hand that feeds them. It amazes me that you will hear great concern from inside the church about “too much grace” but rarely will you ever hear great concern from inside the church about “too many rules.” Why? Because we are by nature glory-hoarding, self-centered control freaks. That’s why.

 It’s high time for the church to honor God by embracing sola gratia anew–the “high-octane grace that takes our conscience by the scruff of the neck and breathes new life into us with a pardon so scandalous that…

View original post 612 more words

Who Authored Hebrews?- Why I Think it Was Barnabas

 

Image 1

 

The question of ,”who authored the Bible book of Hebrews”, has been a subject of debate for almost two thousand years.

If you are a student of the Word of God and doctrine this is an important issue for one primary reason.

The author of Hebrews gives an ALMOST contradictory set of statements regarding Salvation by Christ alone. One is one of the most assuring and the other is very disconcerting. It is known  as a paradox. They only APPEAR to cancel each other. There is another truth that the simple explanation of makes sense of both.

So it really matters that we know and understand all we can about this author.

Tertullian, the third century Christian theologian, believed that Barnabas wrote the book of Hebrews.

I was glad to hear that because I had already come to the same conclusion before reading about Tertullian.

Here’s my reasoning.

First clue.

1. Most researchers agree that the book of Hebrews reads similar to the books that we are sure Paul wrote.

But a closer look by literary experts seems to conclude that it is somewhat like Paul’s style but not enough that it really could be him, given certain differences that stand out.

I think that Paul is the one who has a similar style of the author of Hebrews.

Take a look at the early days of Paul to see what I mean.

Barnabas and Paul had a traveling ministry to the Gentiles for a while.

Both spoke to the crowds regularly, and would have influence each other’s speaking and therefore writing styles.

If I’m right,the correct way to state the similarities is to say that Paul and Barnabas influenced each other and have similar styles of delivering a message.

Second clue.

2. Theological non- negotiable differences between Paul and Barnabas ,namely that of Grace and its rightful emphasis.

Paul never would have put things as ambiguous as the author of Hebrews in regards to salvation and the  fullness of the meaning of grace.  Nor did he endure it well when he and Barnabas where missionaries.

Here is an example of where Paul stood in regards to his grasp of God’s Grace through Christ as compared to Barnabas’ grasp of God’s Grace through Christ.

 “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.” Galatians 2:12-13

It is also revealing to know that Galatians was written by Paul to Christians who wandered off the path in regards to the purity of salvation by faith in Christ alone and sanctification by Christ alone more than any other books of the New Testament.

That is true of Galatians in both clarity and content.

Paul’s appreciation for God’s grace ,and his understanding of it, served to save the purity of  the message of Grace Alone for salvation, earned by Christ Alone.

The good deeds a Christian does are then the result of Christ’s working in the heart and desires of the true believer.

And…

The scripture records that Paul and Barnabas split over a dispute regarding Barnabas’ nephew ,John Mark , who abandoned them while the two of them spread the Gospel to the gentiles.

I propose that John Mark was not enough reason for the parting of these two, and that this incident was only the straw that broke the proverbial camels back.”

I think Paul would have stayed with Barnabas if he thought the Gospel was going out in its fullness to the gentiles. He cared more about Christ and the Gospel than he cared about his own life.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:2  

And that was Paul’s last letter before execution.

Paul’s grasp of God’s grace was completely resting on Christ’s finished work on the cross.

On the cross, Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all people who ever did and ever would live.

Only Jesus was the only perfect human to ever live, so only Jesus was worthy to pay for our sins with His life.

He died for us.

On the cross, Jesus said, “it is finished”.

And if we believe, we can choose to respond as Paul did,

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

%d bloggers like this: