To read my post on New Covenant giving, click here: http://www.simmondsfam.com/blog/faith/2014/08/31/how-much-money-should-christians-give/
People are not born spiritually blind; it’s a choice.
While the Bible and our own experience confirm that people are born with a bias toward sin, we are not born spiritually blind. In fact, the faith of children and youth is often superior to that of adults (Luke 18:17). In Romans 1 we are told that God has made himself known to all people and that his power and divine nature have been visible since the beginning of time so that people are without excuse. Spiritual blindness is not congenital! Instead, sin causes the eyes of the heart to grow dark, and over time, a lifestyle of continual, unrepentant sin leads to spiritual blindness (Rom 1:21, Eph 4:18). So repent now and walk in the light as God is in the light.
The third Commandment says, “Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.” (Ex 20:7)
In his book The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life, Colin Smith describes the common misuse of God’s name among Christians:
One of the most common metaphors in the New Testament portrays people as fruit trees. We are told that the trees that produce good fruit will be saved but the trees that do not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Initial justification happens when we place our faith in Christ and all sins we’ve committed are forgiven (with the promise of forgiveness for future sins). We become one with Christ in covenant, and as a result, God regards us as righteous (in the right) and no longer deserving of condemnation.
Here’s a great blog post from an amazing woman:
If you’ve heard the phrase New Perspective on Paul (NPP) and you’ve heard the names Sanders, Dunn, Wright, Garlington, etc., here is a great introductory resource:
In his book Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, John Calvin wrote, “[I]t is easy to conclude how foolish and frail is the support of divine justice by the suggestion that evils come to be not by His will, but merely by His permission. Of course, so far as they are evils…I admit they are not pleasing to God. But it is quite a frivolous refuge to say that God otiosely permits them, when Scripture shows Him not only willing but the author of them.”
In the Bible, the adjectives tsaddiyq (צַּדִּיק ) in the OT and dikaios (δικαιοι) in the NT, which are usually translated “righteous,” were used to describe those who “remained on the correct path.” From Genesis to Revelation the word “righteous” is used to describe both God and humans. In 1 John 3:7, we read that “the one who does what is right is righteous.
Here’s an excerpt from a great article by Stephen Ingram that addresses the heresy of “Keeping Christ In Christmas”:
At the core of the problem is that any time people of faith chant slogans or mandate parade themes like “keeping Christ in Christmas” or “Put Christ back in Christmas” we prove ourselves people of little faith. When these are our battle cries we reduce the presence and power of God to only be where a government or law allows God. When we do this we deny that God was there before us, is there with us now and will be there long after we are gone. When we try to force God on others we reincarnate some of the worst epochs of our religious history, and default on its core founding principles of Love, Grace and Hospitality.
To read the article in its entirety, click here: http://www.organicstudentministry.com/?p=61156
To download two really good commentaries on Galatians, click on the links below:
Don Garlington’s Shorter Commentary on Galatians: http://www.thepaulpage.com/Shorter_Galatians.pdf
Bill Dumbrell’s Galatians: A New Covenant Commentary: http://www.newcreationlibrary.net/books/pdf/406_Galatians_WD.pdf
Here’s an excerpt from a great article by Sam Storms that highlights some of the problems with Premillennialism:
My departure from premillennialism and embrace of amillennialism was gradual and came as a result of two discoveries as I studied Scripture. First, I devoted myself to a thorough examination of what the New Testament said would occur at the time of Christ’s second coming (or parousia). What I found was a consistent witness concerning what would either end or begin as a result of our Lord’s return to the earth. Sin in the lives of God’s people, corruption of the natural creation, and the experience of physical death would terminate upon the appearance of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the inauguration of the New Heavens and New Earth would ensue. But why is this a problem for premillennialism? Good question.
Scriptural Challenges for Premillenialists…
To read the article in its entirety, click here: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-i-changed-my-mind-about-the-millennium
- Do you believe God cannot be in the presence of sinful people?
- Do you believe God can never really be pleased with you because you still sin?
- Do you believe the only reason God loves you is that when he looks at you, he sees his Son rather than the sinful wretch that you are?
- Do you believe the only reason he has a relationship with you is that when he looks at you, he sees his Son rather than the sinful wretch that you are?
- Do you believe the only reason he hasn’t consigned you to hell is that when he looks at you he sees his Son rather than the sinful wretch that you are?
Hyper-grace says all of your sins—past, present, and future—were forgiven at the cross so there is no reason for believers to ever ask for forgiveness since God now sees you as perfect. It also says if you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you do wrong, ignore it because it must be from Satan.
The Bible clearly says that we are saved by faith with works since faith without works is dead; however, faith is the means by which we are saved. Works done in obedience to Christ demonstrate that faith is genuine and show God’s love to the world. This demonstration is not to inform God; God knows all things, including our hearts, so if a person is unable to do good works as a result of a disability or some other reason, he need not fret about losing his salvation since he is united with Christ (“in Christ”).
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.
Are you a Christian? A follower of Jesus? A follower of the Way? Yes?
Are you radical? Yes?
THEN WHY AREN’T YOU A MISSIONARY?
When young earth creationists and old earth creationists debate the creation account in Genesis, one hot topic is always the meaning of the Hebrew word “yom“; does it means 24 hours or does it mean an unspecified period of time?
Since we know from examples in the New Testament that a person enters into the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ through faith and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit even before their baptism, is there a good reason to tell people to be baptized?
We need to pray to God, not in order to make known to Him our needs or desires but that we ourselves may be reminded of the necessity of having recourse to God’s help in these matters.
[O]ur motive in praying is, not that we may change the Divine disposition, but that, by our prayers, we may obtain what God has appointed.
God bestows many things on us out of His liberality, even without our asking for them: but that He wishes to bestow certain things on us at our asking, is for the sake of our good, namely, that we may acquire confidence in having recourse to God, and that we may recognize in Him the Author of our goods.
Sanctification involves a transformation of values. As we read the Bible, we become more aware of God’s love for us and this knowledge rearranges our value system.
Values such as acceptance, popularity, health, etc. often cannot be satisfactorily achieved and this leads to disappointment, frustration and low self-esteem; however, when our greatest value is knowing and pleasing God, our other values become less important.
As these secondary values become less important, we will experience greater contentment and happiness. As a result, we will find that we can love ourselves and others to a greater degree.
To answer this question, let’s first define love:
love (agapao) v. – a preferring; a deliberate choosing of one over the other(s).
How is love measured?