Friday, December 14, 2012

Not I, but the Lord

 The letter of 1 Corinthians chapter 7 is about marriage.  It is pretty straight forward, and full of advice on marriage, virgins, believers with unbelievers, and divorce.   There are some statements though in this chapter that have puzzled me, and that I have been asked about by people before so I thought I would study it and share my finding's here.  

1 Corinthians 7:10   To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband

1 Corinthians 7:12   To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.

I have done posts in the past on marriage and divorce, so I will not go into those topics, rather, I would like to concentrate on the words in parenthesis: (not I, but the Lord) and (I, not the Lord).  I am a fundamentalist and take the Bible as complete, inerrant, and the only source of absolute truth.  I believe 100 percent and whole heartily that it is the Word of God to us.  So, with that being said, how are we to understand what Paul means here in one verse saying the Lord commands, not Paul, and two verses later that Paul commands, not the Lord. 

I have had questions posed to me about these verses before and you know nonbelievers love to use these verses for the argument that the bible is an old man-written book with merely the opinions of men only, not God.  Well, these verses do imply that on the surface, but if we look into the whole of scripture we will find out that it's actually quite simple.  In verse 10, Paul's says not I but the Lord, we can simply go back to the teachings of our Lord Jesus and see that He did teach on this topic. Matthew 5:31-32  “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

So we see that what Paul is talking about as far as marriage in verse 10 of 1 Corinthians chapter 7, Jesus has already taught us about during His earthly ministry.  This whole chapter deals with marriage and this spot in the chapter is a topic Christ has taught about.  However, when we look at verse 12 we see that Paul states "I not the Lord" and to that we simply look at the all the scripture again.  And what you will find is that in all the gospels we do not have Jesus teaching specifically on the topic of unbelievers and believers who are living together married.  This is talking about if a person becomes a believer and their spouse is not, well it is up the believer to stay and live in harmony with spouse, only is the spouse allowed to leave if they can't stand living with the Christian convert they are married to.  What was happening in Corinth is there were Christians who felt they should leave their unbelieving spouses, and Paul addresses this issue along with many others in the book of 1 Corinthians.  This was a young church struggling with carnality, and with the separating of their new faith in the Lord from their old idolatrous and pagan ways.

Do you remember who called Paul to be an apostle?  In Acts 9 you see that Jesus Christ himself calls Paul to be an apostle on the Damascus road experience.  So, unlike many liberals and progressives who distort and mock the scriptures, one can only come to the conclusion that Paul is writing not from his own feelings or opinions, rather is writing that which God appointed him to write.  Therefore it is all inspired from God and the very commands of God.  I do love how God will pen His words through men, yet allow their personalities and character to be in it.  That is what makes the scriptures so true and reliable.  An editor or someone trying to make this up would never allow many of the things in the Bible to be there. 

If we as Christians cannot trust the scriptures, what is there we can trust?  Paul said it best in 2 Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.         (ESV)

We can trust God's Word, it's the only thing on this planet that contains absolute truth.  When we come to verses that stump or trouble us, study it and investigate it. The answers are there to those who seek with a true and pure heart for God.  I pray that we all draw closer to God reading His Word daily and obeying His commands always. 


Sunday, May 8, 2011


Here's a loaded question. What is love? What is your definition of love? That is a question that has gotten quite a few strange looks and answers when I have asked it. Christians will say, well God is love. We know God is love, but that is a definition that defines an attribute of God rather than a definition of the word. I have been looking into scripture and listening to sermons on love, and I have come across an interesting little fact, the Bible never defines the word love. Amazing isn't it? The Bible never defines love, rather it describes it.

We all know or have heard the love chapter found in 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen. Movies have this in them, weddings, and many people quote parts of it all the time.

1 Corinthians 13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I made verses four to seven bold in this chapter because that is the biblical description of love. Now, as we read these verses we see that love is described by adjectives here, as in all our English translations (the translation I used here is the NASB). An interesting fact though, is if you study the Greek version of this, the language they penned it in biblical times, you will see that all these words were used in verb form. What is a verb? Well it's a word that shows an action. This is the description of love, these things in action.

Something we always miss in the definition of love is we say it's a feeling, or abstract, or an attitude. Well according to this I would have to disagree. Love is not an attitude, for attitudes are not reliable. Love is also not a feeling, though that's how our society defines it this day. Lets be honest, how reliable are our feelings? One day we feel one thing and the next it's different and so it goes. If we rely on feelings we are in essence relying on our own wisdom (man's wisdom is foolishness to God).

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends

I could give many more examples of God's love, for His love is always in action. Read the scriptures and make note of every time God shows His love in an action, your page will fill up with verses rather quickly.

Many people these days are all about God's love, and that's good in a sense, however it is more times than not turned into a mushy crazed feeling that totally misses the true aspect of what His love is. Another thing (and this drives me crazy) is that so many progressives, liberals, and emergents are overemphasizing God's love, to the point of turning God into something He is not. A type of love that goes contrary to what scripture teaches, to the extent of turning God into a universalist, or a pacifist "sissy". Don't fall for these foolish teachings, for they are heresy and contradict God's word over and over. God is love, and thankfully so. Lets just be discerning and know the true essence of that love. May god's peace and blessings be with you.

This is a portion of a sermon by John MacArthur, (the best modern day preacher since Spurgeon) who inspires me to write these blogs and who fills my head with much of the information I use, and it is a story that shows the true demonstration of love (in action):

Abraham Lincoln made a lot of friends, made some enemies. One man who became a... rather outspoken enemy was named Stanton, some of you historians remember him. Stanton just despised Lincoln. In fact, in print he called him "a low, cunning clown." And on one occasion he nicknamed him "The original Gorilla." And he said that: "It was ridiculous for people to go to Africa wandering around trying to find a gorilla when they could find one easily in Springfield, Illinois." Very bitter toward Lincoln and Lincoln never ever replied to him, never said a word to him.

It came time to choose war minister for the United States government and Lincoln chose Stanton. Somebody said, "Why?" He said, "Because he's the best man."

The years wore on an the biographer said this, "The night when the assassin's bullet tore at Lincoln's life, in the little room to which the President's body was taken there stood that same Stanton, looking down into the silent face of Lincoln in all its ruggedness and speaking through his tears these words, quote: 'There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen,' end quote."

He never accepted Lincoln's politics but he couldn't resist his patience. He couldn't resist the non-retaliating spirit of the man.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Perserverance of the Saints

Perseverance of the saints is also the doctrine referred to as once saved always saved, also called eternal security.

So is this doctrine right? Is it biblical? If you are into modern day evangelical Christianity, you are on one of two sides. Either you believe we can gain salvation and lose it at a later date due to rebellion, disobedience, or whatnot (Arianism). This one sounds logical, and is what many in a great majority of modern Christianity believe today. The doctrine of perseverance of the saints (eternal security which is how I will refer to it from now on) states the belief that a believer (a true believer) on the day of their new life in Christ will persevere until the end because of God's sanctifying work in them. In other words, they cannot lose their salvation because God will not allow them to fall away to that extent because of the work He started in them.

I want to be up front before I get started in this that I used to be an Armenian in the sense that I thought a person could indeed lose their salvation. However, upon studying the scriptures and leaving all preconceived notions behind and taking the Bible for what it says, I have found that scripture teaches undeniably that God's children can not and will not ever lose the gift of salvation God has granted them. There are far too many verses that support eternal security, and only a handful of verses (taken out of context) that support one can lose their salvation.

The first argument people use to argue against eternal security is the misconception that it teaches a Christian can live a lazy rebellious life that gives a person a license to sin. However this is not at all what it teaches, rather I am aware that Jesus said in John 14:15 "If you love Me you will keep my commandments" When a person is truly saved, they are born again by the Holy Spirit and by nature desire to keep our Lord's commandments and to walk in a manner worthy of the calling from God we have received. (Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1)

Where a lot of people misunderstand this doctrine, is they fall into the modern "easy believeism" where they think that if a person merely recites a prayer, walks down an aisle, or signs a card they are justified and saved. These things are good, but the true point of salvation and the genuine faith that saves is when God's Spirit comes upon you through His calling us, causing a death to our old lives and rebirth into new life unto Him. Many people have walked an aisle or said a prayer, yet in truth they were wrapped up in a moment and truth be told, their voices confessed Him yet their hearts were far from Him. (Matthew 15:8) They are also the rocky soil in the parable of the sower that heard the truth, got excited but when trials and life came they had no root.(Matthew 13) So these people look like they believed and lost there salvation later on. My question is, were they ever even saved? That is the to the heart question of this doctrine, do people lose their salvation or did they never have it to begin with? I am gonna use a phrase from another blog I read that made me laugh: but with all the progressive liberal theology crap out there, God is not their Sovereign Almighty God the Bible makes Him out to be, rather He is their bearded girlfriend the way they make Him out to be. It's actually ridiculous.

God will not give a person a gift of salvation and at a later date take it back because of something you did or didn't do. That is preaching a gospel of works, which as we know the Bible does not teach.(Ephesians 2:8-9) People have told me, well you can give back the gift, God doesn't take it away. Ok. Let me ask you, is God up in Heaven, oblivious to who His children are? Last time I checked He was omnipotent, omnipresence, and sovereign, therefore you can't trick Him, you can't surprise Him by saying, I know you gave me this salvation gift thingy, but I'm good, I don't want it. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? It's because it is. Picture this, you are a father with a four year old. You are walking across a busy four lane highway at rush hour, your child is holding your hand, as well as you holding his. If your child lets go of your hand, will he be able to run out into harms way without you? Not if you have a good grip, as any loving father would, on his hand. Just because the child let go doesn't mean that you will. You will keep your child in the right path and direction, and that is exactly what God does for those who are His.

John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."I and the Father are one."

Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED. "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

This blog has got too long, so leave me a comment for more passages on eternal security if you want to delve into it deeper. This is an important doctrine, and please, I beg of you, don't think it is one that says it gives the believer a license to sin as so many opponents to the doctrine teach. People that do indeed use it as a doctrine to sin, well Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. Just because a cow dresses up like a chicken, it's still a cow. Just because a person claims to be a Christian, if there has not been a transformed life from old to new, a born again experience if you will, then their fruits will not be that of the righteousness of God. Be careful of this, for there are many teachers out there that are not even saved, for they are the ones talked about throughout the entire New Testament, the false teachers/apostates. Remember this, those who He calls He justifies(salvation), He then sanctifies(sets aside as holy), then glorifies(our glorified state in heaven). That is a promise I thank God He gave us, because lets be honest, if it were up us to keep our salvation, no one would ever be saved. Praise God for His power and promises.
May Gods peace and blessings be with you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lordship Salvation

Lordship salvation is the belief that a person has to accept the "whole package of Jesus Christ" Not just an easy believism and that's all. It's the belief that Jesus is not just a Savior that came into the world, but that He is also Lord. There's much more to it in a sense, but this is the overview of it.

Knowledge of the Facts—Faith must be based on the content of the Word of God.

Assent to this Knowledge—A person must agree that the facts of Scripture are true.

Repentance—There must be a turning from sin and turning towards God.

Submission to Christ—There must be a subjection to the person and will of Christ with a desire and willingness to obey.

There has been some controversy over the topic of lordship salvation for a while now and my question is: Why? Really, why is there so much controversy over this topic? There are arguments to both sides of this debate which sound biblical, but which one is correct? Well I can think of many scripture verses that support lordship salvation, but to make this blog not to drawn out lets look at this fact.

In the book of Acts alone, which is the starting point of the early church, the apostles preached Christ as Lord. So much so that Jesus is called Savior two times in the book of Acts, and He is called Lord ninety two times. If you were to do the math in the entire New Testament you would find that Jesus is called Savior less then ten times and is called Lord more then seven hundred times. Can we ignore such facts?

The gospel message calls us to confess that Jesus is Lord to be saved. Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Jesus is Lord, and if a person reads the New Testament and does not see that, they are blind. I don't say that to be rude or offensive, but rather to be truthful. Jesus Christ's Lordship is painted everywhere on the canvas of the New Testament. We are to put our faith in Him and confess that He is Lord, who He said He was over and over and over again.

Why confess His Lordship? Because confessing is owning up to what is true. Yes He is Savior too, but lets not forget that He would have to be Lord to be able to take the role as Savior. For men, and that goes for all men, are defiled and impure in the eyes of Our Heavenly Father. (Romans 3: 10 and 23) So man couldn't have died to save humanity from their sins and wickedness, unless He was the One True Son of God in human flesh.

I am not sure why people feel lordship salvation is wrong and unbiblical. The facts are there, in the scriptures. To preach Jesus as Savior alone takes away so much from the gospel message and allows people to think they may live carnal lives and still be a child of the One True God. This is something that should not and can not be done. I urge you to look into this topic more, for there is so much to it and this blog alone did not do it the justice it deserves. It's an important matter, so read your scriptures and get some good commentaries from Bible preaching men of God (none of that liberal progressive emergent garbage) and dig in. May God's peace and blessings be with you.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Women are preserved through child bearing?

1 Timothy 2:15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

I have read this verse many times before and never honestly knew how to take it or what it meant. Upon hearing a good sermon on the matter I have finally heard it explained in context to what the epistle of Timothy is about. Now, get your tomatoes out cause you're gonna want to throw them at me in this next statement. Women, according to the structure of the church and of the family play certain roles, and one of those roles is not as a pastor/teacher/elder of the church over men. I am not saying women can't teach, our church has women's groups for women taught by women and I think that is great. However, you will not find a class in our church that has women teaching men spiritually nor ever behind the pulpit. You may call me a sexist or what not, but remember I am merely a messenger so to speak, the fact that women are not to be heads over men does not originate with me, but throughout the pastoral epistles.(1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus) So to see the role of men and women I recommend reading and studying them, for I and you don't have enough time in this short blog to emphasize and show that thoroughly right now (though that may make a blog of mine in the future).

I mainly wanna look at the first verse I wrote (1 Timothy 2:15). What does it mean that women will be preserved through child bearing? There are many opinions out there, but the one that best fits the context of the chapter is, who has the most influence over a child their first several, or even majority of the years of their lives? The mom. She is the one who has the intimate bond through breastfeeding, and she is the one (especially stay at home moms) that God called to be faithful, raising her children to know and love God from an early age. Now I am not saying this is her sole responsibility, dad helps, but while dad is at work during the day mom has a lot of time with the child to rear them to be faithful and knowledgeable of Christ.

People, definitely women of course and the whole feminist movement, get mad at and feel oppressed by people that hold this view. Lets remember, it is clear in the Bible that women have a certain role as do men, so we are merely submitting to that role and the Headship/ Lordship of Jesus Christ. I think it is a great honor women are the ones with the role they have, and couldn't imagine the blessing of being able to carry a child in the womb, breastfeed that child, and train that child to know the Lord. I thank God always that I have a wife who is a perfect example of how a women is to be before God, that she submits in this way for the sake of God, me and our kids. I love the role I have of leading the house, of helping our children know the Lord, and submitting to Christ in all things. If you think that is sexist, remember us men have a responsibility to Christ, to love our wives as Christ loved the church. How much did Christ love the church? He laid down His life for her.

Childbearing will not save a woman, for that would be works salvation (which goes completely against the scriptures) and some women are unable to have children. For the Christian woman, childbearing can preserve her in that she has a duty to Christ to raise up a generation that know and serve Him. Be well and may Gods peace and blessings be with you always.

Ephesians 5:24-25 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Footnote: This topic goes deep with many scriptural references to prove this point. I like blogging and want to do it more often, but haven't because so much researching goes into my longer blogs. So I try to pick passages or ideas lately that I can point out in not so long blogs. I will have longer blogs here and there, but I merely share my thoughts on what I am reading and being taught. If you ever doubt or think I am wrong, be like a Berean in Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick Blog on John

Whenever I read the Gospel of John I am amazed at how great it is. John, after reading his gospel seems like a sincere and kind old man, someone full of Gods love. Maybe a fellow who was soft spoken and a pacifist of sorts. Well the truth is, most of this is true, and some of it is not. John was the "beloved" disciple, in the inner circle of Jesus with Peter and James. He saw things the others didn't (such as the transfiguration and raising of synagogue officials daughter etc...). He was full of the Spirit of God in love and truth. It is this that made his old characteristic of being bold that made him not the pacifist and fragile old man we picture.

Lets look at some scripture that shows this. Mark 3:16-17 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, "Sons of Thunder")

Sons of thunder? That don't sound like a name given to someone who is "behind the scenes" nor quiet.

Remember in Luke 9:52-55 where: When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem;and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him.But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of;

Wow, these Samaritans would not receive Jesus, so James and John were ready to call down fire from heaven to consume them. That's bold, even Jesus rebuked them here. John is much more bold and "to the point" in his small epistles he wrote. (1 John, 2 John, 3 John)

1 John 2:4
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in

That's a straight to the point statement. If we say we Love God, yet don't keep His commands we are liars, meaning we don't truly love God. This is directly from Jesus to in:

John 14:15
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

I wanted to throw in John 2:19 because it is another bold verse and I am working on another blog looking at the doctrine of perseverance of the saints which this verse fits well into.

Truth is I could go on and on, but it's getting late and I am getting tired. I encourage anyone to study the disciple John, and the others as well to see what kind of men they were and the amazing things God did through them. You won't be disappointed in a study like that. Like John Macarthur says it, they were common men with a uncommon calling.

The disciple John was an amazing man, bold for the truth and the gospel. We would do well to model a life in such a worthy manner for the glory of God. There are way to many teachers and people out there screaming tolerance, but I would urge as I saw on a bumper sticker: Truth not tolerance. Do it in a Christlike way, in love, respect, but don't be afraid to be bold. The disciples weren't and neither was Jesus. May Gods peace and blessings be with you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bigger families

So we are expecting our forth baby this August and we are extremely excited about it. This one we decided not to find out what we are having, unlike the other three. I am amazed at peoples responses though when I tell them we are about to have our forth child. There are alot of people who seem to think this is not a good thing, and that can be very discouraging at times, this baby was indeed planned and we have always wanted to have a bigger family. I could go on and on about how I work hard to provide for my family, but I will spare you and just say that we live happily and take no help from the government, nor do we get help from our parents financially nor even with babysitting and the like. We provide for our kids Gods way, by trusting Him in all things and raising our children to know, love, and serve him.

It's sad, that I get negative feedback that we are having another child, and that we hear such negative remarks about others to, like the Duggars. We all know God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and yes, they had to, they were the only humans in existence. We all know this verse, so I would like to draw our attention to another scripture:
Mark 6:1-3
Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him.When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him.

See that? Jesus had four brothers and it says his sisters (plural) were there in His hometown where He was teaching on this occasion. So I think it's safe to say He had at least two sisters and possibly more though we have no biblical support for it. Therefore the fact that the word sisters is plural, cannot be ignored, and that makes Jesus from a family of nine (at least) if you include Joseph, Mary and Himself. That's a good sized family. I dare ask, if our Heavenly Father thought big families were bad in any way, would He have had His son be a part of one? Just something to ponder. May peace and blessings fill you completely through His love and Grace.
Psalm 127: 3-5 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;