Unlike the followers of other religions, Christians are believers who as concerns the “old man,” the “body of sin,” are crucified with Christ. They are dead to sin in Him. They have no future as sinners, because they have no possibility of existence as such (Romans 6.2-10; 2 Cor. 5:17). Thus reduced to nullity, dead with Christ, they may also live with Christ, live to God.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
To believe the unsaved possesses a volitional will to assent to the truth of the Scriptures, is to assume one can believe without any initiative by God. But the Scriptures are clear, in that the unsaved:
- is deceitful and desperately sick (Jer. 17:9).
- is full of evil (Mark 7:21-23).
- loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
- is unrighteous, does not understand, does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12).
- is helpless and ungodly (Rom. 5:6).
- is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).
- is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3).
- cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14).
- is a slave of sin (Romans 6:16-20).
We are not “born again” as a result of something we have done, but solely on the basis of God’s sovereign will and power.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Below are some excerpts from Anders Breivik’s Manifesto entitled "2083 - A European Declaration of Independence." (1500 page web document)
"A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it," he wrote.
"If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian," he wrote.
What is a Christian? Many think they are Christians because they claim to believe in the cultural Jesus. But, believing in Jesus often means nothing, or anything you want it to mean, particularly here in the case of Anders Breivik. But it doesn't change the true meaning of what it means to be a follower of Christ. So, what does it mean to be a Christian?
First of all, to be a Christian, you must first know who Jesus Christ is. Biblically, He is God in flesh, second person of the Trinity (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9). He is the great "I AM" (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58). He is the savior who was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), who died, was buried, and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4), physically (John 2:19-21). He alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Only by the name of Jesus may a person be saved (Acts 4:12) and all who do not trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of their sins will be judged (Matt. 25:41) accordingly. Jesus is both God and man (Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:5; Phil. 2:5-8). He is our eternal intercessor (Heb. 7:25) who mediates our salvation to the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). He is the creator of all things (Col. 1:16-17; Isaiah 44:24). He is Lord! To Him be the glory!
Once you know who Jesus is, you must trust Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to forgive you. He will. Then, once you are saved, you are a Christian. It means you have found the true Savior, not a false one of the cults. It means you have been saved by God's grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8) and are now seeking to please Him in your life by following His commands (1 John 2:4). Such obedience does not save you nor contribute to your salvation. This obedience is motivated by love and thankfulness and is a response of being saved.
So, being a Christian means knowing the true Christ and following Him in truth.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Christ rises above the figures of Moses on the right, Elijah on the left, and John, Peter, and James below. Medallions surrounding the scene depict the other nine apostles and major and minor prophets of the OT. The prominence of Moses and Elijah, along with Peter, James, and John, suggests the mosaic takes its theme from Christ’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8). The mosaic is in the apse of the Church of St. Catherine, Sinai, also built by Justinian in the sixth century.
Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, P., & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper's Bible dictionary (1st ed.) (1168). San Francisco: Harper & Row.
The word philadelphia is translated “brotherly love.” Because Christians belong to the same family, and have the same Father, they should love one another. In fact, we are “taught of God to love one another.” God the Father taught us to love each other when He gave Christ to die for us on the cross. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God the Son taught us to love one another when He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another” (John 13:34). And the Holy Spirit taught us to love one another when God poured out the love of God in our hearts (Romans 5:5) when we trusted Jesus Christ.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Paul says that God "desires [or 'wills, wishes,' Gk. theleo] all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4). Peter says that the Lord "is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). In neither of these verses can God's will be understood to be his secret will, his decree concerning what will certainly occur. This is because the New Testament is clear that there will be a final judgment and not all will be saved. It is best therefore to understand these references as speaking of God's revealed will, his commands for mankind to obey and his declaration to us of what is pleasing in his sight. - Wayne Grudem
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April 27, 2010 - Kimmel Center for the Arts, Philadelphia
Before a sold-out house at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Krista Tippett, host of public radio's Speaking of Faith, discusses the evolution of faith in our time and the questions and discoveries behind her new book, "Einstein's God," and includes interactive conversation with the audience.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Holy Spirit is God! He is God at work in our lives. Everything God does is done through His Spirit. Paul therefore encourages us: "Let us keep in step with the Spirit.... Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.... Do not put out the Spirit’s fire" (Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). As a Christian, you are to be attentive to what the Holy Spirit says. When he speaks, God is speaking.
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3.15). A limited readiness is no readiness at all in our dealings with Jesus (Luke 9.57b-62).
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sura 9:5 says, "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them!"