Episode 177

Disciple Up # 177
Greater Than – Hebrews Pt. 1 – Prologue
By Louie Marsh, 9-16-2020

Intro.

Prologue

Hebrews 1: 1-4

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)

VERSE ONE:

1  Long ago,  – God has been communicating with mankind for a long, long time, nothing new about it.

 at many times He didn’t do it all at once but scattered the prophets and others throughout Israel’s history.

 and in many ways,

 This refers to the difference of the various revelations in contents and form. Not the different ways in which God imparted his revelations to the prophets, but the different ways in which he spoke by the prophets to the fathers: in one way through Moses, in another through Elijah, in others through Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. At the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, the character of the revelation was elementary. Later it was of a character to appeal to a more matured spiritual sense, a deeper understanding and a higher conception of the law. The revelation differed according to the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the covenant-people.   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)

A very striking phrase. The adjective occurs only here, and means variegated. It is applied to pictures, flowers, garments. Ποίκιλον is used in the Septuagint of Joseph’s coat, Genesis 37:3. Through the Church God’s wisdom in its infinite variety is to be displayed—the many-tinted wisdom of God—in different modes of power, different characters, methods of training, providences, forms of organization,   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

“In many ways.” Adverb from old adjective polutropos, in Philo, only here in N.T. The two adverbs together are “a sonorous hendiadys for ‘variously'” (Moffatt) as Chrysostom (diaphorōs). God spoke by dream, by direct voice, by signs, in different ways to different men (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc.). –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

VERSE TWO:

 2  but in these last days

Yes, we are living in the Last days and have been for over 2000 years.

16  But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18 (ESV)

he has spoken to us by his Son,

Hath spoken (elalēsen). First aorist indicative of laleō, the same verb as above, “did speak” in a final and full revelation – Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Note the absence of the article. Attention is directed, not to Christ’s divine personality, but to his filial relation. While the former revelation was given through a definite class, the prophets, the new revelation is given through one who is a son as distinguished from a prophet. He belongs to another category. The revelation was a son-revelation. See 2:10-18. Christ’s high priesthood is the central fact of the epistle, and his sonship is bound up with his priesthood… – Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

whom he appointed the heir of all things,

Hath appointed (ethēken). First aorist (kappa aorist) active of tithēmi, a timeless aorist.

Heir of all things (klēronomon pantōn). See Mark 12:6 for ho klēronomos in Christ’s parable, perhaps an allusion here to this parable (Moffatt). The idea of sonship easily passes into that of heirship (Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:17). See the claim of Christ in Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18 even before the Ascension. –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27 (ESV)

through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

VERSE THREE:

 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,

The word apaugasma, late substantive from apaugazō, to emit brightness (augē, augazō in 2 Cor. 4:4), here only in the N.T., but in Wisd. 7:26 and in Philo. It can mean either reflected brightness, refulgence (Calvin, Thayer) or effulgence (ray from an original light body) as the Greek fathers hold. Both senses are true of Christ in his relation to God as Jesus shows in plain language in John 12:45; John 14:9. “The writer is using metaphors which had already been applied to Wisdom and the Logos” (Moffatt). The meaning “effulgence” suits the context better, though it gives the idea of eternal generation of the Son (John 1:1), the term Father applied to God necessarily involving Son. See this same metaphor in 2 Cor. 4:6. – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Charaktēr is an old word from charassō, to cut, to scratch, to mark. It first was the agent (note ending = tēr) or tool that did the marking, then the mark or impress made, the exact reproduction, a meaning clearly expressed by charagma (Acts 17:29; Rev. 13:16-17). Menander had already used (Moffatt) charaktēr in the sense of our “character.” The word occurs in the inscriptions for “person” as well as for “exact reproduction” of a person. The word hupostasis for the being or essence of God “is a philosophical rather than a religious term” (Moffatt). – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

 and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. “The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world” (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. § 11), who describes the divine word as “the steersman and pilot of the all.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

Comp. Psalm 110:1, 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ’s ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary – Word Studies in the New Testament.

20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)

VERSE FOUR:

4  having become as much superior to angels

The informal and abrupt introduction of this topic goes to show that the writer was addressing Jewish Christians, who were familiar with the prominent part ascribed to angels in the O.T. economy, especially in the giving of the law. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

The comparative only in Hebrews. In the sense of more excellent, only in later writers. Its earlier sense is different. The idea of difference is that which radically distinguishes it from κρείττων better. Here it presents the comparative of a comparative conception. The Son’s name differs from that of the angels, and is more different for good. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

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Episode 164

Disciple Up # 164
Colossians: The Supremacy of Christ
Pt. 7(8): Put on the Garments of Grace, Col. 3:12-17
By Louie Marsh, 6-17-2020

Intro: Today we continue our look at Paul’s Putting off and on metaphor and focus on the positive side of it.  We’ve already seen we must put off the old man, now our focus must change.

Where you can find past episodes on Colossians:  134, 135, 137, 142, 146, 152, 160, 164. Please note my numbering of my Colossians are off by one – this should be Part 8!

Signs in Longmont for guys running for County Coroner – we don’t want to become our own spiritual coroner.

  1. I) THE CLOTHING OF CHRIST (vs. 12-14)

12  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

  1. A) Chosen People Choose Compassion (vs. 12)

1, “God’s chosen ones” = used of Israel in OT, now it’s us – dearly loved by God!

2, Because this is true we – as a Body – must put on these things.

a, Compassion leads to kindness, humility leads to gentleness & patience.

b, Compassion = “bowels of compassion”  literally “inwards parts” used of seat of emotions.  That’s heart to us, but bowels to eastern people

3, We know that we CAN be and act this way, because the Lord tells us here being this way is A CHOICE!

  1. B) Applying These in the Church (vs. 13)

1, There may have been hard feelings in Colossian church over fight with false teachers, may have felt bitter about growing churches in neighboring towns.

a, How do we handle these problems in the church?

2, Paul says to first of all bear with one another.

a, Literally that means “to put up with”

3, We must also forgive each other, even if the other isn’t worthy of it!

a, forgive = “give freely or graciously as a favor” give being Charis in Greek – GRACE!

b, Literal translation could read “forgive yourselves.”  When we fail to forgive other believers we fail to forgive ourselves because WE ARE ONE IN CHRIST!

c, It’s written in the present tense – showing a continual, tireless effort must be made.  Matt. 18: 21-35

21  Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23  “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24  When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25  And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26  So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28  But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29  So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30  He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31  When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32  Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33  And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34  And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35 (ESV)

4, We must forgive this way, because this is the way God forgave us.  The finished work of Christ is the basis for our treatment of each other.

  1. C) Love – Superglue! (vs. 14)

1, Clothing metaphor is back.  We are to wear love “above all” which may mean “on top of all.”

a, Love, Agape, is more than just another virtue, it’s what holds them together and makes them come alive.  Without love they are nothing (I Cor. 13)

2, “Binds them all together in perfect unity.”  What does this mean?

a, Perfect as we’ve discussed before means complete, mature, something that has completed it’s purpose.  Love is what brings us together and makes us into a mature Body of believers.

3, This word was used in early Christian lit. to distinguish the baptized believer from someone still being taught.

4, The Gnostics – a heresy – used it to denote the man who has passed from mere faith to knowledge.

a, Preachers who harp on “I know that I know that I know!” are dangerously close to the gnostic heresy!

  1. II) PEACE IN THE BODY (vs. 15-17)

15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV)

  1. A) Peace that Rules (vs 15)

1, This applies to both individuals and churches

2, Peace = referred to umpires who presided over and presented prizes at games, normally used in the sense of judge, decide, control or rule.

3, The Peace of Christ should rule and decide what is and isn’t right behavior in our lives and our churches.  I should obey when it tells me something I’m about to say or do isn’t right.

  1. B) Be Thankful (vs. 15)

1, “Within the Pauline letters the word-group regularly denotes gratitude that finds outwards expression in thanksgiving; there is an emphasis in Paul on the public aspect of thanksgiving.”

2, Why aren’t we more thankful?

a, Could it be because Christ isn’t as real part of our everyday lives as I’d like Him to be?

  1. C) Peaceful Ministry (vs. 16)

1, The Word of Christ

a, more than the Bible – although that’s part of it

b, it’s the gospel message which centers on Christ, it’s everything about Him, it’s His special presence with us!

2, Dwell in us

a, dwell is to become a permanent part of your thoughts and feelings

b, it also means Christ is to be allowed to dwell in each church Body.

3, Richly

a, We must let the full effects of Christ’s Grace overflow us.

b, We must let Christ truly be Head of this church.

4, We are to teach and admonish one another – music is a way of ministry as surely as teaching and preaching.

1, We are to do this wisely – ie. under the influence of the indwelling Word of Christ and the at the direction of the Peace of Christ.

III) DO ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS (vs. 17)

17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

  1. A) Whatever

1, This command isn’t limited to church or “spiritual” things.

a, it deals with both speech and actions

b, it deals with our entire life!

c, FOR THE CHRISTIAN THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM IT!!!

  1. B) The Name of the Lord Jesus

1, This refers to His authority.

a, A Christian shouldn’t steal because you can’t do that with Christ’s o.k.

b, To act in the Name of someone means to act on their behalf – with their permission!

c, So this brings us back to verse 14, acting in the Name of Jesus is acting in Agape – God’s Love.

2, It also refers to Salvation

a, Acts 4: 8-13.

8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9  if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:8-13 (ESV)

b, “The whole content of salvation revealed in Jesus is comprised in his name.”

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Episode 163

Disciple Up #163
Staying Sane in An Insane World – Thinking Biblically
By Louie Marsh, 6-10-2020

 How to stay sane?

 First Think Biblically

God calls disciples to think Biblically not culturally and not to simply follow my feelings or to go by my instincts. No, God calls all disciples to think clearly, critically (I mean analytically not to be critical of others).

18  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)

We need to think like God thinks, to see the world as he does and then follow that truth.

People sometimes say, “The god I believe in …”  Perhaps the god you believe in isn’t the real, true and living God. And the only way to know for sure what he thinks is to consult, understand and depend upon the Bible.

C.S.Lewis: “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones!”

Jesus shows us his authority in many places including the Sermon on the Mount when he repeatedly says, “You have heard it said but I say…”

To think like Jesus, to think Biblically means that you’ll really be different. Not different in a way that is considered cool, but different in a fundamental way that won’t be appreciated by many if not most people.

To really think Biblically I must to this:  21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

Test everything – especially things that make me feel good while sending me off in a slightly different direction in life.

This kind of testing, comparing everything to Scripture – needs to become a deeply ingrained habit that the disciple does automatically!

1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV)

An Example of Thinking Biblically

 34  But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38  This is the great and first commandment. 39  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40 (ESV)

1st Question: Who is my neighbor?

29  But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 (ESV)

Is this a command to love yourself?

2nd Question:  What is the command here?

A: To love my neighbor. This isn’t two commands – it’s ONE. The command is to love my neighbor.

The second part of this is an explanation of HOW we are to love our neighbor. People have always known there are different kinds of love. Love my dog, spouse, baseball, various unhealthy sweets etc.

“As yourself” explains that this command is for us to love our neighbor the way we normally LOVE OURSELVES. This selflove is assumed – NOT commanded. This type of self-love, or self-preservation as we’d probably call it, is noted throughout Scripture.

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, Ephesians 5: 28-29 (ESV)

Conclusion: This command is NOT a command to have high self-esteem. To make it say that is to twist the plain meaning of the text to fit into our modern therapeutic, psychologized world view. A view which did not exist prior to the last century and NEVER existed or was taught in the Bible.

Second Connect thinking to peace

4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)

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Episode 146

146 Disciple Up

The Supremacy Of The Son, Col. 1: 15-23

By Louie Marsh, 2-12-2020

 

Intro. To help us understand vs. 15-20 underline the words ALL & EVERYTHING and then underline what they are connected to and you’ll find the following –

1) Firstborn of ALL creation (15)

2) He created ALL things (16)

3) He is before ALL things (17)

4) ALL things hold together in Him  17

5) He is supreme in ALL things (18)

6) ALL of the fulness is in Him (19)

7) He has reconciled ALL things to Him (20).

 

This passage is a hymn to the Son & shows us just how great He is.  Compare this to man-made gods like you find in the Iliad.  They are big men – Christ is the eternal God!

 

  1. I) WHO HE IS (vs. 15)

 

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15 (ESV)

 

  1. A) The Image of God

1, What does God look like?  John 14:8-9

 

8  Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:8-9 (ESV)

 

2, Christ will make us into this Image  Eph. 4:23-24

 

23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24 (ESV)

 

  1. B) Firstborn over all creation

1, What this does NOT mean!

a, that God first made Jesus & then Jesus made everything else

b, this is J.W. doctrine which they stole from Arianism.

 

2, What it DOES mean.

a, Firstborn (15) NOT first created

 

16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)

 

b, Vs. 16 says He created ALL things therefore He can’t be a created being Himself.

c, Vs. 17 He is BEFORE ALL things, therefore He can’t be a thing.

1, A thing = a created object, living or otherwise.

 

3, Firstborn over all creation!

a, How can Paul write that since we KNOW Jesus wasn’t the first person ever raised from the dead?

b, because the term “firstborn” doesn’t always mean “first one born”

c, The term usually means “preeminent” and is used that way in ancient lit. This is because the firstborn son had right of succession (unless crippled then next son was called “firstborn”).

51  Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” 52  The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:51-52 (ESV)

 

9  With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Jeremiah 31:9 (ESV)

 

4, This passage is telling us that Jesus of Nazareth is the uncreated, eternal, self-sustaining God!

 

  1. II) WHAT HIS UNIVERSAL STANDING IS (vs. 16-20)
  2. Relating to Creation (vs. 16-17)

 

16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)

 

1, He created the EVERYTHING

a, the physical universe, the spiritual universe (angels, seraphim)

b, They were made for Him – He is their Lord by right of creation!

2, He sustains all things (17)

a, “hold together” is in the present tense

b, without His continuous sustaining activity everything would disintegrate.

 

  1. B) Relating to Redemption (vs. 18-20)

 

18  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:18-20 (ESV)

 

1, He is Lord of the church.

a, it’s head – director – as our head directs our body

b, it’s beginning – the source of the body’s life

c, it’s pathfinder – the 1st one to be raised to an incorruptible state, He shows us the way to our eternal state in heaven.

2, He contains the Fulness (19)

a, the word “God” or “Father” in vs. 19 isn’t in the Gk. text, it’s placed there by translators to help us understand what Paul is saying.

b, Lit. Trans. = “in Him all the fulness was pleased to dwell”

c, What?  OT help.  24  Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:24 (ESV) OT teaches that God fills the universe, the word “pleased” is used of God’s pleasure.

d, SO Christ was the place or the one in Whom God, in all His fulness was pleased to dwell.  And ALL His attributes are perfectly displayed in Him.  This is permanent –

 

9  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Colossians 2:9 (ESV)

3, He has reconciled ALL things to Himself (vs. 20)

a, How? By dying a bloody violent death on the Cross

b, Who was reconciled?  US – if we accept the free gift that He bought with His life.

c, Not just people – ALL things!

19  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Romans 8:19-22 (ESV)

d, Romans 8:19-22, teaches that Christ has drawn all of creation back to God.  When He returns all creation will be restored.

e, So now all things are obligated twice over.  Once by right of Creation and twice by Redemption.

 

III) WHAT ALL THIS MEANS TO US  (vs. 21-23)

 

20  If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21  “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22  (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23  These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23 (ESV)

 

Avoid the appearance that lacks reality.

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Episode 141

Disciple Up # 141
Is the Bible Reliable?
By Louie Marsh

Show Intro – Read E-mail from John Explain this was part of my Basic Bible Questions and this chapter was taken largely from Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell found here: shorturl.at/eoQ68

I have asked this question about the truth of the Bible first for good reason. Everything in Christianity hangs on how this question is answered.

If you say, “Yes, the Bible is true,” then you approach the Scriptures as the very Word of God, accept everything it says as truth revealed by God, and have a standard for truth and morality that transcends time and cultural shifts and quirks. If the Bible is true, then the Christian faith is true also, Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world, and everyone should believe and follow Him.

On the other hand, if you say, “No, the Bible isn’t true, it’s simply a collection of writings of men who lived a long time ago,” then you have no eternal standard and are left on your own to decide what’s true and what isn’t. So our faith and the identity of Jesus are left hanging.

The so-called middle ground, that the Bible contains both truth and error, doesn’t really leave you in any better position. Because the end result is that you are the one who decides what’s true and what isn’t. So again we have no standard, and in essence are left to be our own little “gods,” deciding between right and wrong.

The historic Christian position is to accept the Bible as God’s Word, inspired and true in the normal sense of that word. And yes, that is the position I hold.

As will be seen below God has provided us with an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the truth and validity of the Bible. We will only be able to cover a small part of this evidence, but even that should go a long way to answering this question is the Bible Reliable?

What Does the Bible Say About Itself?

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.  2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NLT)

 The Bible makes the astounding claim that it is God message to mankind! The real author of the Bible is God Himself – working through men that He picked! Not only that but Paul makes it clear that it’s not only inspired by God, but practical as well. The Bible tells us that it is God’s Word and is to be used and followed in every area of our lives!

 Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place—until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God. 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NLT)

 The reason we are told to obey the Bible is that it is God authority for living. Peter says it came about when God moved people to speak or write things down, not when they felt like it themselves. The Bible is like a light directly from God that shows us what to do and how to do it, and what not to do as well.

People sometimes think that this status as God’s Word was something given to the Bible by people who lived long after it was written. But that’s just not true! Look at what Paul and Peter said about their writings:

 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 1 Cor. 14:37

 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:15-16

You can see from the emphasis I placed in the verses that Paul knew God was inspiring him, and that Peter agreed, placing Paul’s writings in the same class as the writings of Moses or David!

It’s clear from these few Scriptures that we’ve studied (and there are more we don’t have time for now) that the Bible claims for itself a unique status – God’s Message to Mankind!

But is there any evidence to back this up? Are we being asked to believe the Bible is true just because it says so? Or is there credible evidence to support this amazing claim?

How do we know the Bible is true?

1) Through it’s Uniqueness.

  • The Bible is unique in its continuity. It was written over 1500 year span (that’s more than 40 generations), by over 40 different authors. These men came from every walk of life, including Kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, scholars, etc.
  • The Bible is Unique in its Languages. The Bible was written on three different continents (Asia, Africa, Europe) in three different languages.
  • Hebrew, was the language of the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 18:26-28 its called “the language of Judah.”
  • Aramaic, was the “common language” of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great (6th century BC).
  • Greek, the language of the New Testament, it was the international language of the Roman Empire during the time of Christ.
  • The Bible is Unique in its translations. As far is known today, the Bible was the first book to be translated into another language. The Greek translation of the Old Testament was made in c. 250 B.C. The Bible has been translated, retranslated and paraphrased more than any other book in existence. By 1977 the number of translations stood at 1603.
  • The Bible is Unique in its survival. It has survived through time better than any other book in history. The Bible is one of the oldest books in the world, yet more copies of the Bible exist than any book its age.
  • It’s also Unique in its survival through Persecution. The Bible has withstood more attempts to destroy it than any other book every written. Here’s just a few examples…

In 303 A.D. Diocletian issued an edict to destroy Christians and the Bible. Twenty-five years later Constantine commissioned Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the Bible at the expense of the Roman Empire.

Voltaire, noted Frenchman, said before his death in 1778 that in 100 years Christianity would be extinct. Fifty years after he died the Geneva Bible Society was using his printing press to publish Bibles!

  • The Bible is Unique in its survival of Criticism.  For more than 1800 years critics have been attempting to destroy the trustworthiness of the Bible. They have made about as much headway as a man armed with a tack hammer facing the Pyramids of Egypt would (John W. Lea, paraphrased). Bernard Ramm says, “A thousand times over the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and the committal read, but somehow the corpse never stays put!”
  • The Bible is Unique in its Teachings. No other book in history presents truth like the Bible does. Below are just three of the many unique ways the Bible teaches truth.
  • Prophecy: The Bible contains by far the largest and most detailed predictions ever assembled. They include prophecies about the Messiah, Israel and her neighbors, etc. Not one prophecy in the Bible has ever been proven wrong – and that’s unique too!
  • History: Distinguished archaeologist Professor Albright wrote in his book, The Biblical Period, “The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks…The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document…(it) shows such remarkable ‘modern’ understanding of the ethnic and linguistic situation in the modern world, in spite of all its complexity, that scholars never fail to be impressed…”
  • Personalities: The Bible deals very frankly with the faults of its main characters. Many ask why the Bible reveals the flaws of its hero’s. Well, the Bible has the habit of telling it like it is, it is indeed the Word of Truth.

2) Through Archaeology

 The science of Archaeology has greatly assisted Christians in showing the world that the Bible is what it claims to be – the Word of God and absolutely true. This only makes sense since if the Bible does give us an accurate account of God’s dealing with mankind you would expect it to be backed up by historical evidence.

Nelson Glueck, well known Jewish archaeologist wrote, “It may be well stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” He also wrote about “the almost incredible accurate historical memory of the Bible, and particularly so when it is fortified by archaeological fact.”

Let’s first examine the Old Testament to see how well it’s stood the test of science and time.

At one time critics rejected the Old Testament because it spoke about a mighty tribe called “Hittites.” Since no other reference to Hittites was then extant, the Bible must be wrong. Only it wasn’t. Since the late 1800’s the fact of a huge and powerful Hittite empire in the ancient east (Turkey was its center) has been proven and is now accepted by everyone.

Here’s a short course on what the Bible says about the Hittites:

  • Descended from Canaan’s son, Heth. Genesis 10:15
  • Called
  • Sons of Heth. Genesis 23:3, 20
  • Children of Heth. Genesis 23:5
  • One of the seven nations of Canaan. Deut. 7:1
  • Dwelt in Hebron. Genesis 23:2-3, 19
  • Governed by kings. 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6
  • Land of, promised to Israel. Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8
  • Israel commanded to destroy. Deut. 7:1-2, 24
  • Part of their land given to Caleb. Joshua 14:13
  • Not entirely destroyed by Israel. Judges 3:5
  • Made tributary in the reign of Solomon. 1 Kings 9:20-21

Not bad for an imaginary tribe is it?

For years Genesis 14 was considered to be historically unreliable. Yet the archives of Elba, discovered in 1964 contained thousands of clay tablets. One of those tablets lists the five cities mentioned in Genesis 14, and does so in the exact order found in the Bible!

Okay, okay – you might be saying, but what about the New Testament, how reliable is it?

Of all the New Testament writers Luke has often been singled out for a great deal of criticism. This is due to the fact that he wrote the book of Acts which is the only history book in the New Testament.

At one time most scholars agreed that he had completely missed the boat on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Critics argued that there had been no census that Quirinius was not the Governor of Syria at that time and that everyone could not have been made to return to their ancestral home.

Once again archaeology comes to our rescue again! Discoveries were made that show the Romans had a regular enrollment of taxpayers and also held a census every 14 years. This practice was begun by Augustus and the first one took place in either 22-23 B.C. or 9-8 B.C. The latter one is the one referred to by Luke.

We also now know that Quirinius was indeed Governor of Syria around 7 B.C. We know this because he name was found on an inscription in Antioch dated to that time period.

A papyrus found in Egypt gives directions on how to conduct the census. It reads, ‘Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing from any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”

Luke gives to Publius the chief man in Malta the title, “The First Man of the Island in Acts 28:7. Inscriptions have been unearthed which give him the title of “First Man.”

Luke used the Greek word Politarchs to denote the civil authorities in Thessalonica (Acts 17:6). Since this title wasn’t found in classical literature Luke was thought to have been wrong. However, some 19 inscriptions have been found that make use of the title. Interestingly enough five of these are in reference to Thessalonica.

The Apostle Paul, writing from Corinth in Romans 16:23 makes mention of the city treasurer Erastus. A pavement was unearthed during the excavations of Corinth in 1929 which read ERASTUS PRO:AED:S:P:STRAVIT (“Erastus, curator of the public buildings, laid this pavement at his own expense”).

https://www.foxnews.com/science/biblical-town-emmaus-may-have-been-found

So what conclusion can we draw from the evidence so far seen? Obviously it speaks loudly that the Bible is a true, historically accurate and trustworthy document. Surely it is worth of our respect, attention and obedience.

Evidence from the Prophets

If you think that Archeology has produced an impressive amount of evidence to support the Bible as God’s Word, wait till you take a look the fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament. Below is a list of prophecies we know from archeology and history have been fulfilled, with a estimation of the odds against it coming true.

 

#

Scripture Reference

Subject

Odds Against Fulfillment

1 Ez. 26:3-21 Tyre 1 in 7.5 X 107
2 Hosea 13:16, Micah 1:6 Samaria 1 in 4 X 104
3 Amos 1:8; Jer. 47:5; Zeph. 2:4-7 Gaza & Ashkelon 1 in 1.2 X 104
4 Ez. 25:3-4; Jer. 48:47, 49:6 Moab & Ammon 1 in 103
5 Isa 34:6-15; Jer 49:17-18; Ez 25:13-14, 35:5-7 Petra & Edom 1 in 104
6 Isa 13:19-22, 14:23; Jer. 51:26,43 Babylon 1 in 5 X 109
7 Jer. 31:38-40 Jerusalem Enlarged 1 in 8 X 1010
8 Lev 26:31-33; Ez 36:33-35 Palestine 1 in 2 X 105
9 Josh 6:2-5 Jericho 1 in 2 X 105
10 Ez 44:1-3 The Golden Gate 1 in 103
11 Jer 26:18 Zion Plowed 1 in 103

The probability of these 11 prophecies coming true is 1 in 5.76 X 1059. Let’s try to visualize that number. First of all we’ll round it off to 5 X 1059. Then let’s suppose that we had that many silver dollars. How big a pile would that make?

The volume of the sun is 1,000,000 times larger than that of the earth, yet out of 5 X 1059 silver dollars would could make 10 silver balls the size of the sun!

 It has been estimated that the whole universe contains about two trillion galaxies and that each galaxy contains about 100 billion stars. From our 5 X 1059 silver dollars we could make all of the stars in these galaxies 2 X 105 times!

Now suppose that we marked one dollar and stirred it into the whole pile before making them into balls the size of the sun. Then suppose that we blind fold someone and told him to go over to each of the balls and pick up the dollar which he thinks is the right one.

What chance would he have of picking the marked silver dollar?

Assuming he could travel 60 mph day and night it would take him 5 years to go once around each star, or 500 billion years for each galaxy! So let’s suppose that this guy is really fast and is able to look over all the dollars contained in the 100 billion stars of a galaxy in one second!

It would still take him 3 X 10 years (that’s 3 billion years!) to cover them all!

It is absurd to think that he would pick the marked coin! It is just as absurd to think that these prophecies were fulfilled by chance! Only an all-powerful and all knowing God could have written a book that is so amazingly accurate.

This is powerful evidence that the Bible is true and is a good reason for you to put your faith in the Bible as God’s Word! [This section was taken from the book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, page 318, Written by Josh McDowell.]

Evidence From Ancient Literature

 Many people are bothered by the age of the Bible. They wonder how we can know that the Bible we have today is the same as what was originally written? After all how would we know if it had been changed several hundred years ago?

The answer to these questions are found in manuscript comparison.

The number of copies left of any ancient piece of literature is the main way to tell how accurate it is. Even more important than that is the period of time between when it was written and the date of our earliest copy is. The more copies and the shorter the gap between the original copy and the manuscripts we have means the more accurate the manuscript.

Below is a chart comparing the Old and New Testaments to some of the best known ancient literature.

 

Author

Date Written Earliest Copy Time Span # of Copies
Homer (Iliad) 900 BC 400BC 500 yrs. 643
Caesar 100-44BC 900 AD 1000 yrs   10
Plato 427-347 BC 900 AD 1200 yrs     7
Tacitus 100 AD 1100 AD 1000 yrs   20
Pliny the Younger 63-113 AD 850 AD 750 yrs     7
Thucydides 460-400 BC 900 AD 1300 yrs     8
Suetonius 75-160 AD 950 AD 800 yrs     8
Herodotus 480-425 BC 900AD 1300 yrs     8
Cataullus 54 BC 1550 AD 1600 yrs     3
Euripides 480-406 BC 1100 AD 1500 yrs     9
Demosthenes 383-322 BC 1100 AD 1300 yrs 200 (all from 1 copy)
Aristotle 384-322 BC 1100 AD 1400 yrs 49 (of any 1 work)
Aristophanes 450-385 BC 900 AD 1200 yrs  10
 
New Testament 40-11 AD 125 AD 25 yrs More than 24,000
Old Testament 1500-350 BC 200 BC ??? Over 800

As you can see we have more copies of the Bible than we do of any other piece of ancient literature. So why is it that only the Bible is attacked as untrustworthy? When was the last time you heard someone say that Caesar or Aristotle didn’t really write the books that have their names? If we are going to be fair we must judge all ancient literature by the same standards. By that standard the Bible stands head and shoulders above the rest as true and trustworthy!

Evidence From the Early Church

 If the Bible is indeed true and trustworthy then we would expect to find that it was widely read, used and quoted by the early Christians. Indeed it was!

If every single copy of the New Testament was completely destroyed, we could reconstruct the entire New Testament except for 11 verses!  How? Through the writings of the early church leaders, known as the Church Fathers.

 

The New Testament & the Early Church Fathers

Writer Gospels Acts Paul’s Letters General Letters Rev. Total
Justin Martyr 268 10 43 6 3 330
Irenaeus 1038 194 499 23 65 1819
Clement of Alex. 1017 44 1127 207 11 2406
Origen 9231 349 7778 399 165 17922
Tertullian 3822 502 2609 120 205 7258
Hippolytus 734 42 387 27 188 1378
Eusebius 3258 211 1592 88 27 5176
             
Totals 19368 1352 14035 870 664 36289

This chart leaves little doubt two things:

  • The New Testament was recognized quickly to be the Word of God.
  • The Bible we have is the same one that the early Christians had.

Conclusion

 After reading over this brief look at some of the evidence available the question we started with seems easy to answer now. Is the Bible reliable?

Yes! The evidence is amble and overwhelming – you can trust the Bible as God’s Word!

Yeah But…

 YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO ARGUE ANYONE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

https://Alpha.org

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Episode 124

Disciple Up #124
Let’s Talk About Hell
By Louie Marsh, 9-4-2019

This episode is devoted to a subject we hear precious little about today. This topic is about where, according to the Bible, Satan and those unfortunate enough to have followed him will spend eternity – Hell!

There is probably as much debate, ignorance and unbelief about Hell has there is about any topic found in the Scriptures. Most modern people’s attitudes towards hell might well be summed up in a story told by the late Dr. Walter Martin. After a service in which he had preached on hell he was confronted by an angry man.

“So,” the man almost shouted, “you believe in a God Who enjoys roasting people on a cosmic spit for all eternity?”

Of course Dr. Martin denied that he had ever said any such thing or that the Scriptures taught it. And all true Christians will agree with that answer. This article is devoted to presenting a clear view of the Basic Biblical Teaching on hell.

The Purpose of Hell

To answer the basic questions that most people have about hell, it’s important to see that hell was created with a purpose in mind.

This purpose is told to us by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 25:41 where He says, “Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'”

Hell then was created by God, and affirmed by Jesus. The same Jesus Who gave us the Sermon on the Mount also gave us His teaching about the Judgment of God. Hell is an essential part of that judgment. Originally it was created for Satan and his angels (we usually refer to these fallen angels as demons).

Hell then is a place reserved for those who, like Lucifer, choose to rebel against God. By making that choice they are, whether they know it or not, choosing to follow Satan and will end up where he ends up –Hell!

The Perseverance of Hell

Having seen that the Bible teaches that there is indeed a hell, the next question is, how long does it last. The answer is found in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10. “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out of the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power…”

Hell is eternal. If it isn’t, as many people today try and teach, then heaven isn’t eternal either! The word everlasting is used of both heaven and hell, you can’t be consistent and say one is eternal while the other isn’t.

Notice how Paul stresses that hell is a place where you are shut out of God’s presence and from experiencing the majesty of His power. This seems to be the ultimate punishment. God is finally revealed and available – and you are shut away from Him. What could be worse?

Our Response to Hell

Many an argument has been had about whether the fire in hell is real fire or not. I believe these arguments miss the point

The main point that Jesus stressed when He spoke of hell was not it’s location, nature or length of the punishment, etc. His main point was something much more simple and practical, as seen in Matthew 5:29-30. “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell…”

His point is obvious – we should do everything anything possible to avoid going to hell!

This point was stressed over and over in the teachings of Jesus. It comes as a big surprise to many to learn who the greatest preacher and teacher on hell was in the New Testament. It was Jesus. That’s right – loving, kind, gentle Jesus taught more about hell than anyone else did in the entire New Testament. In fact the Greek word for hell, Gehenna, is found only once outside of the Gospels!

Why did Christ of all people teach so much on hell? Because as God in human flesh He was only one Who had seen it! Jesus better than anyone knew the horrors of hell, and so used some very strong language to warn us away from it.

Properly understood then, hell becomes the motivation of heaven in giving us salvation by grace. For without it we would all be destined to spend eternity apart from God there.

The Sound of Silence

Today we almost never teach, talk or hear about hell. Most Christians will go far out of their way to avoid mentioning hell to their non-Christian friends. Hell rarely finds it’s way into modern presentations of the Gospel either.

Why? Because the Post-Christian culture we live in has rejected all absolutes.

As a result of this rejection of absolutes we find the doctrine of hell extremely offensive. What could to more offensive to an anything goes culture than hell – which is about as absolute as you can get!

The church too suffers from this. We, along with our culture, ask how a loving God could allow souls to be punished     eternally. Many Christians today cannot accept the doctrine of hell and either ignore it or deny it. In the end it all comes out about the same. We don’t really believe the Biblical doctrine of hell, and we don’t take it seriously. As a result we end up on opposite ends of the spectrum from our Lord Jesus, Who both believed in and took hell extremely seriously!

The Terrible Truth

The terrible truth is that when we approach the doctrine of hell we find ourselves on what seem to be the horns of a dilemma. How can a loving God allow a horror like hell to exist? Even worse – how could He send His creations there with no possibility of parole?

This is the question addressed by The New Bible Dictionary on page 519.

“The fact is on the one hand, God is omnipotent and God is love, and, on the other, eternal retribution is plainly taught in Scripture, raises problems for our minds that in all probability we cannot fully solve. It is easy in such cases to produce a logical answer at the expense of one side of biblical truth, and this has often been done…we must admit that the counsels of God are past the understanding of our finite minds. The reality and eternity of suffering in Gehenna is an element of biblical truth that an honest exegesis cannot evade.”

To which I say -Amen! To deny the doctrine of hell is to deny the teachings of Jesus. He Who was incarnate love taught more on hell than anyone else in the entire Bible.

It is from Him that we must develop our attitude towards hell as a terrible, horrible place to be avoided at all costs!

The Challenge

Spread the Word is the first challenge the doctrine of hell presents us with. Jude wrote of this in Jude 1:20-23, which says in part; “…snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear…”

Hell does have a place in evangelism. Sometimes it’s necessary to present the fear of God, not just His mercy and Grace to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ.

Personal Humility is also something that a understanding of hell challenges us with. It

strips us of our false pride and draws us closer to God through His Grace – and not our works!

Becoming a Caring Community is another challenge the Bible presents us with as this point. Hear these words from the late, great, Mark Heard,

“But we believe so well, don’t we tell ourselves? Don’t we take exclusive pride that we abide so far from hell? We might laugh together, but don’t we cry alone? For the ashes and dust we’ve swept beneath the holy throne.”

Let us then with love and compassion present the full truth to the world and stand fast in humility on the Word of God.

Hell in The New Testament

Below are all the verses where the word Gehenna (hell) is used in the New Testament.

MT 5:22;    MT 5:29 -30; MT 10:28;   MT 18:9; MT 23:15,33 MK 9:43, 45; MK 9:47 LK 12:5, JAS 3:6

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Episode 118

Disciple Up # 118
Can a Disciple Use Cannabis or is that One Toke Over the Line?
By Louie Marsh, 7-24-2019

Introduction:

Why I’m talking about this, why it’s important beyond just the use of cannabis or any other drug. This whole discussion strikes to the heart of the Christian faith and of what is authoritative, Scripture or experience and culture.

Links:

News Article – https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/porn-pot-christian-cannabis-marijuana-pastor

https://christiancannabis.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6KJc5E1hEP5-cV3f3bTAJg

https://www.xxxchurch.com/

https://fultonsheen.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary

Introduction to Craig Gross.

 He’s not the first one to advocate on the behalf of pot or cannabis being something Christians should use. He is the latest and he’s got a track record of doing some good work in his former ministry XXXchurch.

Read from article.

The sound clips you are about to hear are taken from one of the videos he has on his Youtube page, links in the show notes. They are edited but I’ve tried hard not to take things out of context. Hopefully I won’t be sued for sharing these, if there’s a problem I will take this down and replace it with an episode without his sound bites.

Introduction clip

 His explanation and defense of using cannabis;

You don’t need that your not a doctor clip

 I’ve done a lot of work – clip

If you want to have a conversation you can’t define people out of it just because they haven’t used cannabis. I’m in the conversation and haven’t and won’t. So there’s that.

The Spiritual side of things

Not replacing God with cannabis clip

 I’ve never been closer to God since I starting smoking cannabis clip

 Read from article about spiritual experience.

How Do We Approach This? From a Biblical Perspective

The Bible does not mention cannabis but has a lot to say about this topic.

The Bible and Getting drunk or high

Getting drunk or high is essentially the same thing. It is allowing a substance you put into your body to take partial or full control or you, alter your senses and perceptions and to do and say things that you would not do otherwise. Thus you are not in control of yourself, you and under the control of a substance.

1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

20  Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21  for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags. Proverbs 23:20-21 (ESV)

29  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30  Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 31  Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. 32  In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. 33  Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. Proverbs 23:29-33 (ESV)

18  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)

Becoming intoxicated is a sin because it removes you from controlling yourself and from the Spirit’s control as well, and puts you at the mercy of something else. Thus Paul’s contrast between being drunk and being filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit.

 Using anything as a substitute for the Spirit is bad and should never be done by a Disciple of Jesus.

But God created it!

“Plants were created on the third day, and humans were created on the sixth,” he said in part. “The provision was created before the need. God created the earth (and the plants) FOR us, BEFORE us.”

As Fulton Sheen said about strychnine, “I don’t have to take strychnine to know it will kill me.” By the way according to Wikipedia, the most common source is from the seeds of the Strychnos nux-vomica tree. Not every plant is edible yet every plant is from God.

Using Cannabis to Connect Closer to God is Sorcery.

20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, Galatians 5:20 (ESV)

Greek word for sorcery – pharmakeia. Refers to the wide spread practice of shamans and priests using local substances to put them into an altered state of consciousness in order to contact the Spirit World. Native American tribes here in the Southwest often used Peyote (from a small spineless cactus) to do this. This is done all over the world.

Timothy Leary – Promoted LSD as a way to alter your mind, discover the truth, or God or whatever.

When they speak of cannabis bringing them into close contact with God they are in fact demeaning the faith and reducing Christianity to the level of many other religions. One of the distinctives of the Christian faith has always been it’s complete and utter rejection of using any mind altering substances. This doesn’t change just because you like or enjoy it or found it helpful.

Wrapping Things Up

 5  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)

 You can’t be sober minded if you’re not sober. The word there means self-controlled. You can’t be self controlled if you are allowing another substance to control you. Either way you translate it, it effectively bans the use of cannabis or all other mind altering substances.

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Episode 115

115 Disciple Up Show Notes
The Essential Art of Application
By Louie Marsh, 7-3-2019

An Email Poured In!

 Wayne wrote: “I have been listening for just over a month and find it a great places to grow spiritually! I am sharing this with all my family and friends! May God continue to bless and grow!”

“I am a Gideon and we conduct a weekly bible study at the county jail, I am always looking for a message of hope, a message of purpose, etc.to incorporate so I googled ‘disciple’ and found the ‘up ‘ I was looking for!”

https://www.gideons.org/

NOTES:

On any given Sunday, approximately 53 million Americans hear preachers preach over one billion words of sermons.  When it has been all said and done, a lot more will have been said than done

22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 (ESV)

11  The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. Ecclesiastes 12:11 (ESV)

11  The wise man’s words are like goads that spur to action. They nail down important truths. Students are wise who master what their teachers tell them. Ecclesiastes 12:11 (TLB)

WHY is application so important?

  • This is how to do what the Bible teaches us to do.

Your Pastor/teacher/small group leader should be doing this. But whether they are or not it’s still MY responsibility to do this for myself! And it’s yours as well. This is the only way to obey James command.

  • Application mirrors how Jesus Taught

Look at how Jesus taught. About 90% of the Sermon on the Mount is pure application. There is some teaching, “You have heard that it was said…but I say…” Otherwise it’s almost all application.

  • Personal Application mirrors how Paul taught.

Let’s look at a few New Testament books and see how much of them are teaching and how much are application.

Romans – 50% application

Ephesians – 50% application

Galatians – is maybe 80% application

James – also probably 80% application

1st Peter around 60% application

In most of Paul’s letters he first lays out the problems and what the Scriptures say about them and then deals with how and what the readers should do. He tends to be around 50/50 on this, not a bad goal for teachers and preachers to shoot for IMHO.

  • Personal Application strikes at the root of a deadly spiritual disease – PRIDE.

1  Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2  If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3  But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (ESV)

    • Knowledge loves to compare – I know more than you and you and you!
    • Love never compares. It just seeks to serve, help and enjoy the object of your love.
  • Personal Application Helps me overcome sin and change my life
    • All behavior is based on belief.
    • Behind every sin is a lie or false teaching that I believe.

 3  At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. Titus 3:3 (NIV)

 Real, lasting change always starts in the mind.

2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)

  • How Life Change Happens.

1, My beliefs must change before anything else can,

32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (ESV)

2, My mind changes when I repent. Metanoia = change of mind, turn around, about face.

3, I don’t change minds, but God Word can and will!

4  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)

4, Changing the way I act is the RESULT of repentance.

8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

20  First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20 (NIV)

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Episode 114

Disciple Up # 114
Let’s Talk About the Trinity
By Louie Marsh, 6-26-2019

 The notes for this episode were taken from an old series that I wrote quite a few years ago called Basic Bible Questions. Also, don’t forget to check out http://www.waltermartin.com/ for great Bible teaching!

Introduction

 One of the most frequently misunderstood subjects in the Bible and the Christian faith is the Trinity. If you have questions about the Trinity – welcome to the club! Almost everyone does! Questions like: How is it possible for three to be one? What do we mean when we say they are one? What is the doctrine of the Trinity anyway?

This chapter will attempt to give basic answers to these and other questions about the Trinity. Please don’t think of this as the last word, or the most authoritative word, on the topic. Rather think of this as a basic explanation of this important biblical truth.

Only One God

The best starting place for an understanding of the Trinity is the bedrock of all the Bible’s teachings about God. If you don’t understand and believe this – then you do not and cannot understand what the Bible teaches about God. This is absolutely essential to understand and believe.

There is only one God! Not three or four or five or hundreds or more, only one! While many cults and other religions deny this, it remains the cornerstone of biblical truth about God. All Jewish and Christian faith is based on the unshakable conviction that this is true.

The core of the Old Testament faith is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”  Rabbi’s call this the Shema. It declares the unique biblical view that there is only one God.

God Himself says the same thing, “Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”  Isaiah 44:8

God also had this to say about the issue: “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed– I, and not some foreign god among you.

You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Isaiah 43:10-12

If God doesn’t know of any other gods, and if He in fact declares that they don’t exist, never have and never will, that ought to settle the matter shouldn’t it? [See the End Notes of this chapter for more Scriptural support of this position.]

Three Called God

The Jewish faith lived by their belief in only one God (a belief called Monotheism) for two thousand years. But in the New Testament we learn something new about this One God. We find that there are three Persons (or Personalities) who are called God.

  • The Father: Jesus taught us to pray this way: “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9. Paul also wrote this; I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father…Eph. 1:17.It is obvious then that the Father is God!
  • The Son: Jesus Christ was called God and called Himself God many times in the New Testament.  In the John’s Gospel He not only claimed this, but he enemies clearly understood Him to be making that claim.  I and the Father are one.”  Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”  “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10:30-33The Apostle Paul teaches us that Christ is completely God, and not some half-god, half-man myth like Hercules for example. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, Col. 2:9 [See this chapters End Notes for more references like these.]

    It is equally obvious that the Son is God!

  • The Holy Spirit: Besides the fact that the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of God and therefore must be God too, there are other Scriptures that show us His divine nature. One that is often overlooked was written by Paul, Now the Lord is the Spirit… 2 Cor. 3:17.We see this very clearly in Acts where in a confrontation with a man who refuses to quit lying Peter makes it clear that lying to the Spirit is lying to God.  Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit… What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:3-4

    Clearly the Holy Spirit is God too!

References Throughout the New Testament

Throughout the New Testament references to the three members of the Trinity abound. For example look at the baptismal formula Jesus gave us: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19.

Or look at what the Apostle Peter said: who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood… 1 Peter 1:2.

Then there is Paul’s blessing (or wish prayer as some call it) on the Corinthians:  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor. 13:14.

From these references (and many others can be found) it’s obvious that the writers of the New Testament believed in the Trinity even if they never used the word Trinity.

A Little Logic

Now it’s time for a little logic. Follow this chain of thought through and see if it doesn’t make sense to you.

  • The Bible says there only one God;
  • Yet the New Testament calls three Persons God.

Therefore one or the other of the following two conclusions must be true:

  • The writers of the New Testament were complete idiots who didn’t realize they were contradicting themselves, or
  • Somehow, in someway not completely understood by us, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit together make up the One God of the Bible!

That is what Christians have always believed that the Bible teaches – that is the position Christians everywhere have held.

Defining Terms

I took debate in college and one of the things they constantly stressed to us was the importance of defining your terms. If you can’t define it, you can’t believe it or defend it! Below is a good working definition of the Trinity, this is the classical formula that has been used and believed for centuries.

“Within the nature of the one eternal God, there are three eternal Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Three Being One, Not One Being Three

Having defined the Trinity, it’s important to look a bit deeper at what it means. The Trinity isn’t one God acting like three different persons, or becoming them one after the other, or at different points in time.

This view, known by various names but perhaps best known today as the “Oneness” doctrine (held by the United Pentecostal Church among others) is not what the Bible teaches. It is also not what the Church has taught through out the ages or what Christians have believed.

To illustrate why this interpretation can’t be right let’s look at a couple of situations from the life of Christ and imagine how different they would be if the Oneness doctrine was correct.

 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Here at one place and at the same time we have the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending on Him like a dove, and the Father speaking from heaven. Now either God is a ventriloquist or a magician or else the three members of the Trinity co-exist simultaneously together.

If the Oneness doctrine is correct then in the above example God deliberately deceived us by pretending to be three persons when He’s really only one! The same is true of the Transfiguration, look at what God said about Jesus.

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Matthew 17:5

If the Oneness view is correct then God the Father either lied here – or He made a mistake. He should have said, “This is my beloved me, with me I am well pleased, listen to me!”

Kind of confusing isn’t it? Of course! When Jesus prayed to the Father was He talking to Himself?  No! That’s why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important because it helps us make sense of some of the things Jesus said and did! He wasn’t talking to Himself; He was talking to His Father. So in the New Testament when we see Jesus talking to the Father or the Father talking to Him what we are seeing is one Person in the Trinity talking to another, as they have done from all eternity.

How Does It Work?

No one other than the members of the Trinity themselves could possibly understand or fully explain the way they co-exist together. However through out the history of the church many different illustrations have been used to help us grasp a little of what the Triune God is like.

You’ve probably seen pictures of an over lapping circles to explain how the three Persons of the Trinity can be one yet separate as well.  Or you may have heard the Trinity compared to an egg or a three-leaf clover (that was St. Patrick’s favorite!). Below are my two personal favorite illustrations.

An Illustration From Nature

Picture a beautiful lake surrounded by towering snow capped peaks on a cold mountain morning. It’s covered with a layer of ice and a dense fog is floating over it.

If you could reach into the ice and take a molecule from it, reach into the water below the ice and take a molecule from it, and also take one from the fog what would you have?  You’d have three identical H20 molecules. The substance of the liquid (water), the solid (ice) and the gas (fog) look different, and act different, but has the same molecular makeup – H20.

So it is with members of the Trinity. Their substance is the same, yet they are three distinct Persons. The three are one!

An illustration From Science

Chemists tell us of something they call “The Triple Point of Water.” When you put water into a vacuum tube, pump out all the air and put in under an exact pressure and extremely low temperature, something remarkable happens. Inside the tube the water at the top bursts into steam, the water at the bottom freezes solid, and the water in the middle stays liquid.

All three states exist simultaneously. The Triple Point of Water is the best example of the Trinity I’ve ever heard of (thanks to the late Dr. Walter Martin for teaching it!). The three are unique, yet one, and co-exist simultaneously.

H20 is the simplest of all the molecules, yet God has created it so that it reflects His complex nature. If water can do that – why can’t God? The argument against the Trinity that it’s impossible or irrational is simply not true, as I hope I’ve demonstrated here for you.

The Trinity isn’t completely beyond our grasp. We can understand a little bit of what it is and how it works. God created His universe to mirror His nature, so that we could grasp a little of His glory.

It’s not too hard to believe.

End Notes

Below are some Scripture references that will help you as you study the doctrine of the Trinity, the nature of God and the identity of Jesus.

Only One God: Duet. 4:35,39; 6:4; 32:39; Neh. 9:6; Psalm 83:18; Isa. 37:16; 43:10-15; 44:6-8; 45:5-12,21-25.

Mark 12:29,32; John 5:44; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15; James 4:12; Jude 1:25.

Jesus is God: John 1:1-3; 5:16-18; 14:6-9; 20:27-28; Phil. 2:5-11; Col, 1:15-20; 2:8-10.  There’s more but this should get you started!

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Episode 99

Disciple Up #99
Wounded by the Church, Pt. 3
By Louie Marsh, 3-13-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

Focus on ASSESSING my wounds,

3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4 (ESV)

 You are blessed if you are spiritually poor or mourning, but only if you KNOW that! Without a real, honest, frank self assessment you are in real trouble!

 3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

The real hope here is that when we see it, admit it and turn to God for help, HE WILL HEAL US AND HELP US TO GROW THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE NOT JUST GO THROUGH IT.

Closing Promise:

26  He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, “It will be inhabited.” He says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt.” He says about their ruins, “I will restore them.” Isaiah 44:26 (GW)

Restoration: Rise From the Ruins

Step Two: Fight to Forgive

By Louie Marsh; 4-28-2013, Parker AZ

 FORGIVENESS IS…

 1) What GOD HAS DONE for me in Jesus.

 22  That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24  but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:22-25 (ESV)

Forgiveness (what God has done for us in Christ) is a gift given to us by God. In Christ our sins for forgiven immediately when we repent and cry out to God, because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection. We are declared forgiven and right with God in an instant.

This has to be the starting point for any discussion of forgiveness for the disciple of Jesus, because our forgiveness is motivated by and modeled after Jesus’ forgiving of us.

9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

This forgiveness from God continues to be active in our lives to continue to cleanse us from our sins as we ask Him too.

So God’s forgiveness to me is in two parts or sections, or has two sides to it. One is immediate when I’m declared righteous and a forgiven status with God is credited to me through Christ’s account.

Secondly the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from the guilt of our sins. We know this continues because John wrote that verse in the present tense, which means continual action. The blood of Jesus continually washes us clean when we turn to Him – Hallelujah!

2) DIVORCING MYSELF from the pain.

Original Word: ἀφίημι, aphiēmi

(1) send off or away, let go (MK 4.36); (2) as a legal divorce (1C 7.11); (3) abandon, leave behind (MT 26.56); (4) of duty and obligation reject, set aside, neglect (MK 7.8); (5) of toleration let go, leave in peace, allow (MK 11.6); (6) of sins or debts forgive, pardon, cancel (LU 7.47)

47  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47 (ESV)

11  (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11 (ESV)

Its things like this that just make me love the Bible! Who would have ever thought that you could translate a word forgive in one place and divorce in another!

So the first thing that forgiving consists of is letting go. To send off and away from us the pain, hurt, anger, remorse, guilt, etc that is associated with the issue in question. Or to put it another way, and this is how I often think of it, DIVORCE YOURSELF FROM THE PAIN.

3) DISMISSING the hurt and pain.

Original Word: ἄφεσις, aphesis

Usage Notes: denotes “a dismissal, release” (akin to A, No. 1); it is used of the remission of sins, and translated “forgiveness —Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77 (ESV)

Another powerful image, one that supports the first one as well. It doesn’t’ mean dismissing in the sense of belittling it, saying “Oh it’s not that bad.” No it means I am to Let it go, turn it loose, and keep turning it loose until it’s gone! I’ll come back to this image later..

4) RELEASING God’s grace into broken circumstances.

Original Word: χαρίζομαι, charizomaiUsage Notes: “to bestow a favor unconditionally,” is used of the act of “forgiveness,” whether Divine, Eph. 4:32; Col. 2:13; Col. 3:13; or human, Luke 7:42, 43 (debt); 2 Cor. 2:7, 10; 2 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:32 (1st mention). Paul uses this word frequently, but No. 1 only, in Rom. 4:7, in this sense of the word.—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

You may have noticed this word contains the word Charis – or Grace! Now there’s some good news. Grace is unearned, unmerited favor from God. That’s what we pass on to others each time we forgive.

 God wants his grace to active in every situation and every human heart, but it won’t be and can’t fully be there until I begin to forgive. Then I release it or inject it into myself and the situation.

32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Note again our forgiving is modeled and motivated by Christ’s forgiveness of us.

FORGIVENESS IS NOT…

 1) Forgiveness is not…

Approving or diminishing sin

  • Enabling sin
  • Denying a wrongdoing
  • Waiting for an apology
  • Forgetting
  • A onetime event
  • Trusting – built slowly, lost quickly
  • Reconciliation – it takes two – “do your best to be at peace with all men…”

  FIGHT TO FORGIVE…

So forgiving means I let go of my anger, resent, and all ill feelings towards those that hurt me.

5  Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6  For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7  so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8  So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. 9  For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10  Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11  so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (ESV)

The Two Hand Method:

One Hand –– LORD FILL ME WITH THE SPIRIT

  • The Other Hand – LET THE PAIN GO TO GOD

 6  Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:29 (ESV)

21  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)

Learning to forgive takes time – a lot of time – and is always accompanied by pain. Its part of following Jesus, and like much else in the authentic spiritual life is often painful.

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