5/29/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Christian Advantage? (6)


Christian Advantage? (6)

Once we humans brought Sin into our existence we began a downward moral spiral that affected and infected every facet of our life as a race and each of us as individuals. God who had sustained us morally and every other way up to the moment of our Rebellion now related to a sinful family that abused its God-given and God-sustained freedom to live in holy love with him at a personal and corporate level.

God had eternally committed himself to creation and to the human family at its head so he had no wish to obliterate the creation; but he did curse the humans and he cursed the non-human creation because of the human rebellion. The “innocent” suffered along with the guilty under a redemptive curse (see Genesis 3 in its entirety). It was a redemptive curse in that it was/is an instrument God would and purposed to use to keep the human family alive and bring it, in and through Jesus, to even greater glory that it had known initially.

God did not cease to love the human race and he did not withdraw his truth and support from it. At times he performed radical surgery on the human family but even those acts and the revelation of his righteousness in those acts were redemptive. “When God’s judgments are in the earth the nations learn righteousness,” a psalmist said. Through holy men and women, through prophets and priests, through godly parents God continued to bless humans with his truth and his provisions. He did not withdraw from humans and leave them entirely unaided in their own corrupt and corrupting ways, though he did allow them to walk away from him. Acts 14:15-17 and 17:24-29 make it clear that he continued to have dealings with the entire human family so that they could seek after and find him because he isn’t far from any of us. See those texts!

One of the divine moves to redeem and bring the human family to glory in Jesus was God’s choosing certain individuals and people through whom he would work. Having entered a humanity-wide covenant in Genesis 9 God entered a special relationship with Abraham and his descendants through Jacob. God blessed Abraham and his physical children with special manifestations of himself and his activity not only because he loved them but because he had chosen them as his instrument of blessing for the entire human family. It’s this chosen family within the human family that the OT deals with in particular but we’re not to think that God left the rest of humanity in utter and total ignorance concerning himself (Romans 1:18-32 shows how much truth he blessed it with and note the High Priest through whom God blessed Abraham in Genesis 14:18-20).

It doesn’t matter that the nations suppressed and rejected the truth and blessings that God gave them to enable them to seek and find him. That was their choosing and not God’s. It doesn’t matter that Israel as a nation consistently and perversely suppressed and rejected God’s truth and blessings—that was their doing. God’s kindness in the form of truth and provision was extended to all nations though to Israel he gave something special that under God they might bless the world!

The “extra” that Israel got was not some kind of “divine injection” into their souls or some divine “white magic” that made Israelite hearts different from all others on earth. What they got was a level of intimacy; what they got was the possibility of a clearer vision, a rich and inspiring understanding that life in God was fullness of life and what they got was a relationship with the one true God. What they got was something analogous to being raised by godly and loving parents as over against children who are raised in a vile society by perverse parents. (That analogy mustn't be overdrawn.)

Just because Israel is the center-piece of the OT we’re not to think he cared nothing for the entire human family and so he left it stumbling in the abysmal depths of sinful gloom without offering light and blessing. That isn’t Bible—that’s untrue! And just because he has entered into a special relationship with the New Testament elect in Jesus, whom he has gathered to himself through the gospel, we’re not to conclude he cares nothing for the entire world. We're not to think that because he helps NT elect, God refuses light and help and provision for the non-elect. That too is false!

Out from among the sinful human family that God continues to love and work for he chose sinful individuals and groups and peoples. Those he chose sinned like everyone else; they were not special human specimens, they were not paragons of moral virtue and they remain sinful human beings. His choosing them brought them into a peculiar relationship with him and that brought with it something that the rest of the human family didn’t have—the chosen ones had an advantage over the rest in the war against Sin.
But the advantage is not a divine injection of super-human moral strength!

Stop looking for that! Stop expecting it! If it suits God to call you by his gospel with all your flaws then let God be God and come “just as you are”. When you come you will come to Jesus, the sin-hater, the sin-destroyer, the sin-forgiver and the righteousness-loving Lord of Life and the human race. Stand up as a man or woman, boy or girl of God who has been given a privileged place of service and note that you aren’t the only one brawling with Sin. Your fellow-humans, in and out of Christ, are defying the wickedness which attacks their hearts and families and nations. They do it by the grace of God that’s extended to them in countless ways. Sin is as real in your life as it is in theirs but if you are in Jesus Christ by faith you have an advantage! Your sins are forgiven, you’ve been honored with a special place in God’s saving work and he has brought you to loving faith in the only human who has actually and in fact defeated Lord Sin.

Some of us were more deeply enmeshed in sins when we were called by grace into faith in Jesus and God purifies and strengthens us in keeping with our nature as humans and without “magic”. For some of us it’ll take longer to rise to moral glory that’s seen in its perfection in Christ. There are too many variables in each individual life for anyone to even pretend to know all that’s going on inside that life. Bless me, we don’t even know ourselves. Sometimes we’re astonished at the depth of our capacity for wickedness and perhaps on rare occasions we’re amazed at the selfless actions that flow from us.

This we know: those who’ve been called by the gospel and have come to Christ seek his likeness no matter how ulcerated and “sick” they are at present and that’s the foundation on which all else is built. If God has brought you into Christ he hasn’t been duped—he knows you altogether and if he’s happy you’ve joined him in the war then it doesn’t matter what others think of you. What’s more it doesn’t matter what you think of you, for you are no more your own Lord than others are!

If we want growth we’ll get it only in relationship with God and not by pep-talks, 10 rules for successful growth or divine “magic”. Our eyes need to be fixed on the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Hebrews 3:1) as we exercise such moral strength as we have in working with him for the saving of a world. By songs of praise, confession of wrongs, prayers of petition and intercession, by listening to and studying The Story, by conscientious and wise leaders, by paying attention to our ordinances and the shape of our liturgy, in communion with the saints, by honest dealings and a caring eye for a suffocating humanity and compassionate service—by these and in many more ways the Lord God heals us while he forgives us.

“Sick” as we are we didn’t call ourselves! The Church didn’t call us! The world didn’t call us! God called us, so ulcerated or not thank God we’re here and live in assured hope of our final and complete personal victory over Sin and sins!

From Bert Thompson, Ph.D. ... The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis

 http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=408

The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION

Who among us would attempt to deny or ignore the tremendous impact that science has had on our world? Each of us lives in a world that is far better than it would be were it not for the tremendous sacrifices of scientists down through the years. Generations long since gone benefited from, and we today continue to enjoy and benefit from, the fruits of their labors. All that is necessary to understand the debt we owe to science, and to scientists, is to survey the world around us. Science has indeed been our great benefactor. Smallpox has been eradicated. Men have walked on the Moon. Communications have improved drastically. Life spans have increased. And a thousand other similar benefits could be named, establishing our indebtedness to men and women down through the ages who have successfully employed the scientific method.
“Science,” said Harris Rall, “stands for a way of study, and an attitude of mind. To leave theories and prejudices to one side, to bring an open mind and ask only for the truth, to study concrete facts with endless patience, to try to find an order of behavior in the world, as indicated by these facts, to test these findings by experiment and more facts—this is the spirit and method of science” (1936, p. 66). The Oxford Dictionary defines science as “a branch of study which is concerned with a connected body of demonstrated truths or observed facts systematically classified and more or less colligated and brought under general laws, and which includes trustworthy methods for the discovery of new truth within its own domain.” Margaret Balcom has noted that science “is primarily a method for dealing with matter (objects) in action through (1) observation and experimentation, (2) analysis, (3) derivation of a physical law (a concept), (4) prediction in terms of that law. Science is concerned with a given physical system already in operation” (1967, p. 592).
One applies the scientific method by observing and recording natural phenomena. Then a basic generalization (a scientific hypothesis) is formulated, based upon those observations. In turn, this generalization then permits predictions to be made. Through experimentation, the hypothesis is tested in order to determine if the predicted results do, in fact, occur. If the predictions ultimately prove true, then the hypothesis is considered verified. After repeated, numerous confirmations, the hypothesis obtains the status of a theory. The theory, if it passes continued testing through time, eventually graduates to the status of a law. The following chart demonstrates this procedure.

(After Wysong, 1976, p. 41)
David Hull, the famous philosopher of science, noted in his text, Philosophy of Biological Science, that “scientific laws are viewed as reflecting actual regularities in nature” (1974, p. 3, emp. added). In other words, so far as we know, there are no exceptions to scientific laws. Any law which, during experimental testing, did not continue to fit the facts as described in that law, would lose its position as a “law” and be relegated to the status of a theory. Laws know no exceptions.

THE LAW OF BIOGENESIS

In the field of biology, one of the most commonly accepted and widely used laws of science is the law of biogenesis. This law was set forth many years ago to dictate what both theory and experimental evidence showed to be true among living organisms—that life comes only from preceding life, and perpetuates itself by reproducing only its own kind or type. As David Kirk correctly stated: “By the end of the nineteenth century there was general agreement that life cannot arise from the nonliving under conditions that now exist upon our planet. The dictum ‘All life from preexisting life’ became the dogma of modern biology, from which no reasonable man could be expected to dissent” (1975, p. 7). The experiments that formed the ultimate basis of this law were first carried out by such men as Francesco Redi (1688) and Lazarro Spallanzani (1799) in Italy, Louis Pasteur (1860) in France, and Rudolph Virchow (1858) in Germany. It was Virchow who documented that cells do not arise from amorphous matter, but instead come only from preexisting cells. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states concerning Virchow that “His aphorism ‘omnis cellula e cellula’ (every cell arises from a preexisting cell) ranks with Pasteur’s ‘omne vivum e vivo’ (every living thing arises from a preexisting living thing) among the most revolutionary generalizations of biology” (1973, p. 35).
Down through the years, countless thousands of scientists in various disciplines have established the law of biogenesis as just that—a scientific law stating that life comes only from preexisting life and that of its kind. Interestingly, the law of biogenesis was firmly established in science long before the contrivance of modern evolutionary theories. Also of considerable interest is the fact that students are consistently taught in high school and college biology classes the tremendous impact of, for example, Pasteur’s work on the false concept of spontaneous generation (the idea that life arises on its own from nonliving antecedents). Students are given, in great detail, the historical scenario of how Pasteur triumphed over “mythology” and provided science “its finest hour” as he discredited the then-popular concept of spontaneous generation. Then, with almost the next breath, students are informed by the professor of how evolution started via spontaneous generations. Nobel laureate George Wald has commented on this discrepancy as follows:
As for spontaneous generation, it continued to find acceptance until finally disposed of by the work of Louis Pasteur—it is a curious thing that until quite recently professors of biology habitually told this story as part of their introductions of students to biology. They would finish this account glowing with the conviction that they had given a telling demonstration of the overthrow of mystical notion by clean, scientific experimentation. Their students were usually so bemused as to forget to ask the professor how he accounted for the origin of life. This would have been an embarrassing question, because there are only two possibilities: either life arose by spontaneous generation, which the professor had just refuted; or it arose by supernatural creation, which he probably regarded as anti-scientific (1972, p. 187).
Indeed, Dr. Wald is correct. Students do forget to ask the professor how, if spontaneous generation has been discredited, evolution could ever have gotten started in the first place. This point may have escaped some students, but it has not been lost on evolutionary scholars, who confess to having some difficulty with the problem posed by the law of biogenesis. Simpson and Beck, in their biology textbook, Life: An Introduction to Biology, state that “there is no serious doubt that biogenesis is the rule, that life comes only from other life, that a cell, the unit of life, is always and exclusively the product or offspring of another cell” (1965, p. 144, emp. added). Martin A. Moe, writing in the December 1981 issue of Science Digest, put it in these difficult-to-misunderstand words:
A century of sensational discoveries in the biological sciences has taught us that life arises only from life, that the nucleus governs the cell through the molecular mechanisms of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and that the amount of DNA and its structure determine not only the nature of the species but also the characteristics of individuals (p. 36, emp. added).
In recent years, however, some evolutionists have suggested that what is commonly referred to as the “law” of biogenesis is not a “law” at all, but only a “principle” or “theory” or “dictum.” This new nomenclature is being suggested by evolutionists because they have come to the stark realization of the implications of the law of biogenesis—not because contradictions or exceptions to the law have been discovered. It is of interest to note that in nineteenth-century science texts, biogenesis was spoken of as a law. But, of late, that term has been replaced by new terms that are intended to “soften” the force of biogenesis upon evolutionary concepts. A rose, however, by any other name is still a rose, as the adage goes. And there can be no doubt that biogenesis most certainly reflects (to use Dr. Hull’s own words) “an actual regularity in nature,” since there never has been even a single documented case of spontaneous generation! Still, some modern-day evolutionists prefer to use a different term when speaking of biogenesis. One well-known biology dictionary says under the heading of “Biogenesis, Principle of ”—“The biological rule that a living thing can originate only from a parent or parents on the whole similar to itself. It denies spontaneous generation...” (Abercrombie, et al., 1961, p. 33). Others have followed suit. Simpson and Beck, in their text quoted above, stated: “We take biogenesis as a fundamental principle of reproduction from the experimental evidence and also from theoretical considerations” (1965, p. 144, emp. added).
R.L. Wysong, in his classic work, The Creation-Evolution Controversy, commented:
The creationist is quick to remind evolutionists that biopoiesis and evolution describe events that stand in stark naked contradiction to an established law. The law of biogenesis says life arises only from preexisting life, biopoiesis says life sprang from dead chemicals; evolution states that life forms give rise to new, improved and different life forms, the law of biogenesis says that kinds only reproduce their own kinds. Evolutionists are not oblivious to this law. They simply question it. They say that spontaneous generation was disproved under the conditions of the experimental models of Pasteur, Redi, and Spallanzani. This, they contend, does not preclude the spontaneous formation of life under different conditions. To this, the creationist replies that even given the artificial conditions and intelligent maneuverings of biopoiesis experiments, life has still not “spontaneously generated.” ...Until such a time as life is observed to spontaneously generate, the creationist insists the law of biogenesis stands!... How can biogenesis be termed any less than a law? (1976, pp. 182-185).
Moore and Slusher, in their text, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity, wrote: “Historically the point of view that life comes only from life has been so well established through the facts revealed by experiment that it is called the Law of Biogenesis.” In a footnote, the authors stated further: “Some philosophers call this a principle instead of a law, but this is a matter of definition, and definitions are arbitrary. Some scientists call this a superlaw, or a law about laws. Regardless of terminology, biogenesis has the highest rank in these levels of generalization” (1974, p. 74, emp. in orig.).
Indeed, biogenesis does have the highest rank in these levels of generalization. As Dr. Kirk (quoted above) noted, the dictum “became the dogma of modern biology, from which no reasonable man could be expected to dissent.” Furthermore, it is of interest to turn to the scientific dictionaries and observe the definition of the word “principle” that is being used so often in the current controversy. The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, an industry standard, defines principle as, “a scientific law which is highly general or fundamental, and from which other laws are derived” (1978, p. 1268, emp. added). Little wonder, then, some scientists call biogenesis a superlaw, for in a sense, other laws are indeed derived from it (the laws of Mendelian genetics hardly could operate without the fundamental “principle” of biogenesis being correct). If a principle is defined as a law, and biogenesis is spoken of as the “principle of biogenesis,” then what more shall we say? As Kirk himself noted: “The more broadly encompassing paradigms—those from which the largest and most diverse blocks of biological information may be related in orderly fashion—are sometimes called ‘principles’ of biology” (1975, p. 14). In other fields of science besides biology, it is not uncommon to hear scientists speak of established and recognized laws as “principles.” Reference often is made to the “principles” of thermodynamics or the “principle” of gravity instead of the “laws” of thermodynamics or the “law” of gravity. Yet no one calls into question these basic and fundamental laws of science. Even in biology we use such terminology (e.g., we speak of the “principles” of Mendelian genetics), without having anyone question the basic nature of the laws of science that are under discussion.
Why, then, are we suddenly being told that, in regard to biogenesis, the word “law” no longer applies? It did in the nineteenth century. Has it been disproven? On the contrary, every piece of scientific evidence still supports the basic concept that life arises only from preexisting life. Is biogenesis no longer an “actual regularity in nature”? On the contrary, every piece of scientific information we possess shows that it is, in fact, just that—an actual regularity in nature (remember Dr. Simpson’s statement that “there is no serious doubt that biogenesis is the rule, that life comes only from other life...”). Has biogenesis somehow ceased being experimentally reproducible? Not at all. Why, then, does the evolutionist wish us to refrain from calling the law a law? The answer, it would seem, is obvious. If evolutionists accept biogenesis as a law—an actual regularity in nature—how could evolution ever get started? Biogenesis (the law of biogenesis) would represent the complete undoing of evolutionary theory from the ground floor up. Little wonder, then, that some modern-day evolutionists have attempted to scour the dictionary in order to come up with some other word (“rule,” “principle,” “dictum,” etc.) besides law to attach to biogenesis. Regardless of their efforts, and the success or failure with which those efforts eventually meet, one thing is for certain. The “dogma of modern biology, from which no reasonable man could be expected to dissent,” is still biogenesis. J.W.N. Sullivan, brilliant scientist of a generation ago, penned these words, which are as applicable today as the day he wrote them.
The beginning of the evolutionary process raises a question which is yet unanswerable. What was the origin of life on this planet? Until fairly recent times there was a pretty general belief in the occurrence of “spontaneous generation”.... But careful experiments, notably those of Pasteur, showed that this conclusion was due to imperfect observation, and it became an accepted doctrine that life never arises except from life. So far as the actual evidence goes, this is still the only possible conclusion. But since it is a conclusion that seems to lead back to some supernatural creative act, it is a conclusion that scientific men find very difficult of acceptance (1933, p. 94, emp. added).
The law of biogenesis plainly teaches that all life comes from preexisting life, and that of its kind. That is exactly what the Bible always has taught as occurring in nature. In Genesis 1:11-12, recorded by inspiration are these words:
And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good.
The same point is made again in Genesis 1:24-25:
And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
Other passages throughout Scripture (e.g., Leviticus 11:13-19) continue to stress that life comes only from life, and that “of its kind.” The law of biogenesis states exactly that. This fundamental law of science is the basis for all that we do in biology and biology-related fields—from hybridization research to genetic engineering. Scientists and non-scientists alike recognize the truthfulness of this law, which knows no exceptions. Ask any farmer what he expects to get when he plants wheat seeds, and he will tell you he expects to reap wheat—not corn, or tomatoes. Ask him what he expects to get when he breeds a bull to a cow, and he will tell you that he expects a calf to be born as the result of that union. The law of biogenesis rules supreme in the biological world. From peas you get peas; from tulips you get tulips; from horses you get horses; from dogs you get dogs. That is the law of biogenesis at work. Everything reproduces “after its kind.”
I often have stated that the Bible and true science have the same author—God. This is the God Who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). That being the case, one can rightfully expect God’s book in nature (the world around us) to perfectly coincide with His book, the Bible. The law of biogenesis is just one example of the truthfulness of that statement. While on occasion one may see examples of a conflict between poor biblical interpretation and good science, or between poor science and good biblical interpretation, it never will be the case that good biblical interpretation and good scientific interpretation are at odds. Rightly so. Ultimately, they both share the same Author.

REFERENCES

Abercrombie, M., C. Hickman, and M. Johnson (1961), A Dictionary of Biology (Baltimore, MD: Penguin).
Ackerknect, E.H. (1973), “Rudolph Virchow,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 23:35.
Balcom, Margaret (1967), The Christian Century, May 3.
Hull, David (1974), Philosophy of Biological Science (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
Kirk, David (1975), Biology Today (New York: Random House).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (1978), ed. D.N. Lapedes (New York: McGraw-Hill).
Moe, Martin A. (1981), “Genes on Ice,” Science Digest, 89[11]:36,95, December.
Moore, John N. and H.S. Slusher (1974), Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Rall, Harris (1936), Faith For Today (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).
Simpson, G.G. and W.S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World), second edition.
Sullivan, J.W.N. (1933), The Limitations of Science (New York: Viking).
Wald, George (1972), Frontiers of Modern Biology in Theories of Origin of Life (New York: Houghton-Mifflin).
Wysong, R.L. (1976), The Creation-Evolution Controversy (East Lansing, MI: Inquiry Press).

Originally published in Reason & Revelation, June 1989, 9[6]:21-24. Copyright © 1989 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

From Mark Copeland... Peter's Ministry In Western Judea (Acts 9:32-43)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

             Peter's Ministry In Western Judea (9:32-43)

INTRODUCTION

1. With the conversion of Saul, the chief instigator of persecution...
   a. The churches in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed a reprieve
      - Ac 9:31
   b. They experienced peace, edification, and growth - ibid.

2. The apostle Peter took the opportunity to travel...
   a. Which may have included areas of Galilee and Samaria - Ac 9:32
   b. But definitely included regions of western Judea - Ac 9:32-43

[Especially two cities, Lydda and Joppa, where Philip may have preached
earlier (cf. Ac 8:40).  It was at those two cities, that Peter
performed two miracles that Luke recorded in Acts...]

I. AT LYDDA - HEALING AENEAS (Ac 9:32-35)

   A. THE CITY...
      1. Formerly known by its Hebrew name Lod
      2. Located eleven miles southeast of Joppa
      3. In the picturesque plain of Sharon - cf. Ac 9:35
      4. Built by Shemed of Benjamin - 1Ch 8:12
      5. Re-populated after the Babylonian exile - Ezr 2:1,33
      6. Where there was evidently a church ("saints who dwelt at Lydda")
         - Ac 9:32

   B. THE MIRACLE...
      1. Peter finds Aeneas, bedridden for 8 years and paralyzed - Ac 9:33
      2. Appealing to the name and power of Jesus, Peter heals him - Ac 9:34; cf. Ac 3:6
         a. Commanding him to arise and make his bed
         b. Whereby he arose immediately, healed instantly
      3. This miracle is reminiscent of Jesus healing the paralytic - cf.
         Lk 5:17-26
      4. All in Lydda and Sharon who saw Aeneas "turned to the Lord" - Ac 9:35

[The miracle served to confirm Jesus as Lord and Peter as His apostle
(cf. Mk 16:19-20).  The same would prove true at...] 

II. AT JOPPA - RAISING TABITHA (Ac 9:36-43)

   A. THE CITY...
      1. A harbor town on the Mediterranean Sea, today is known as Jaffa
      2. Located thirty-five miles northwest of Jerusalem
      3. From which Jonah boarded a ship to Tarshish - Jon 1:3
      4. It too had a church ("the disciples had heard") - Ac 9:38

   B. THE MIRACLE...
      1. There was a certain disciple named Tabitha - Ac 9:36
         a. Tabitha was her Aramaic name, Dorcas her Greek name
         b. Both literally means "gazelle" (a small, swift, long-horned
            antelope)
      2. She was full of good works and charitable deeds - Ac 9:36
      3. She became sick and died - Ac 9:37
         a. Her body was washed
         b. Her body was laid in an upper room
      4. Hearing that Peter was in Lydda, two disciples were sent for him
         - Ac 9:38
      5. Arriving, Peter was brought to the upper room - Ac 9:39
         a. Where widows stood by weeping
         b. Displaying tunics and garments Dorcas had made
      6. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead - Ac 9:40
         a. He put everyone out of the room - Ac 9:40
         b. He knelt and prayed
         c. Turning to the body, he said "Tabitha, arise"
         d. She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up
      7. Peter then lifted her up and presented her alive - Ac 9:41
      8. This miracle is also reminiscent of Jesus raising Jairus'
         daughter - cf. Lk 8:41-42,49-56
      9. It became known throughout Joppa, and many "believed on the
         Lord" - Ac 9:42

CONCLUSION

1. Peter remained in Joppa many days...
   a. Staying with Simon, a tanner - Ac 9:43
   b. From where he would be sent for by Cornelius - Ac 10:5-6

2. The effect of the two miracles in the two cities is expressed
   differently...
   a. In Lydda, it is said people "turned to the Lord"
   b. In Joppa, it is said people "believed on the Lord"

3. But these are simply two ways of saying the same thing...
   a. To turn from sin and self, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ
   b. To place one's faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ

This is how evidence that Jesus is the Christ and Peter was His apostle
should affect us (cf. Jn 20:30-31).  With such evidence, not only here
in Acts 9, but throughout the Scriptures, shouldn't we be careful not
to neglect the great salvation that we have in Christ...? - cf. He 2:1-4  

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading May 29

Bible Reading  

May 29

The World English Bible


May 29
Judges 15, 16

Jdg 15:1 But it happened after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father wouldn't allow him to go in.
Jdg 15:2 Her father said, I most certainly thought that you had utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion: isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead.
Jdg 15:3 Samson said to them, This time shall I be blameless in regard of the Philistines, when I do them a mischief.
Jdg 15:4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between every two tails.
Jdg 15:5 When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves.
Jdg 15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? They said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his companion. The Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.
Jdg 15:7 Samson said to them, If you behave like this, surely I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
Jdg 15:8 He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
Jdg 15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
Jdg 15:10 The men of Judah said, Why have you come up against us? They said, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he has done to us.
Jdg 15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, "Don't you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?" He said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them.
Jdg 15:12 They said to him, We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines. Samson said to them, Swear to me that you will not fall on me yourselves.
Jdg 15:13 They spoke to him, saying, No; but we will bind you fast, and deliver you into their hand: but surely we will not kill you. They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.
Jdg 15:14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands.
Jdg 15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and struck a thousand men therewith.
Jdg 15:16 Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have struck a thousand men.
Jdg 15:17 It happened, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand; and that place was called Ramath Lehi.
Jdg 15:18 He was very thirsty, and called on Yahweh, and said, You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised.
Jdg 15:19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: therefore its name was called En Hakkore, which is in Lehi, to this day.
Jdg 15:20 He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
Jdg 16:1 Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went in to her.
Jdg 16:2 It was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come here. They surrounded him, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, Let be until morning light, then we will kill him.
Jdg 16:3 Samson lay until midnight, and arose at midnight, and laid hold of the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and plucked them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.
Jdg 16:4 It came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Jdg 16:5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will each give you of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Jdg 16:6 Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, Please, in which your great strength lies, and with which you might be bound to afflict you.
Jdg 16:7 Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
Jdg 16:9 Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner chamber. She said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson!" He broke the cords, as a string of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.
Jdg 16:10 Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, Please, with which you might be bound.
Jdg 16:11 He said to her, If they only bind me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:12 So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. The ambush was waiting in the inner chamber. He broke them off his arms like a thread.
Jdg 16:13 Delilah said to Samson, Until now, you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you might be bound. He said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web.
Jdg 16:14 She fastened it with the pin, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awakened out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web.
Jdg 16:15 She said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? you have mocked me these three times, and have not told me in which your great strength lies.
Jdg 16:16 It happened, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was troubled to death.
Jdg 16:17 He told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man."
Jdg 16:18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hand.
Jdg 16:19 She made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Jdg 16:20 She said, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he didn't know that Yahweh had departed from him.
Jdg 16:21 The Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he ground at the mill in the prison.
Jdg 16:22 However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved.
Jdg 16:23 The lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Jdg 16:24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, Our god has delivered into our hand our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us.
Jdg 16:25 It happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. They called for Samson out of the prison; and he made sport before them. They set him between the pillars:
Jdg 16:26 and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, Allow me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house rests, that I may lean on them.
Jdg 16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about three thousand men and women, who saw while Samson made sport.
Jdg 16:28 Samson called to Yahweh, and said, Lord Yahweh, remember me, Please, and strengthen me, Please, only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were therein. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life.
Jdg 16:31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.
 
May 28, 29
John 7

Joh 7:1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Joh 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.
Joh 7:3 His brothers therefore said to him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.
Joh 7:4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world."
Joh 7:5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.
Joh 7:6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
Joh 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil.
Joh 7:8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled."
Joh 7:9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.
Joh 7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?"
Joh 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray."
Joh 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Joh 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Joh 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"
Joh 7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
Joh 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
Joh 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Joh 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"
Joh 7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"
Joh 7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it.
Joh 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy.
Joh 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath?
Joh 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
Joh 7:25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill?
Joh 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ?
Joh 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."
Joh 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know.
Joh 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
Joh 7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Joh 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"
Joh 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.
Joh 7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me.
Joh 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."
Joh 7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
Joh 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come'? "
Joh 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
Joh 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."
Joh 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.
Joh 7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."
Joh 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?
Joh 7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
Joh 7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.
Joh 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.
Joh 7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?"
Joh 7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
Joh 7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you?
Joh 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?
Joh 7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."
Joh 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,
Joh 7:51 "Does our law judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?"
Joh 7:52 They answered him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
Joh 7:53 Everyone went to his own house,

From Gary... TRUTH, OPINIONS AND DISCERNMENT

I like Jesus. Quiet, then forceful, didactic yet understanding, determined but submissive. All things in their proper place, in just the right amount at the correct time. Many volumes have been written about his teachings, character, mission and legacy and I could never be even be remotely equal to the smallest of these efforts.  BUT, I know truth when I hear it and recognize HIM for who he really is. That is not true for everyone...

John, Chapter 18
Joh 18:33  Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:34  Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?"
Joh 18:35  Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?"
Joh 18:36  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
Joh 18:37  Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Joh 18:38  Pilate *said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.
Joh 18:39  "But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:40  So they cried out again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a robber.

I am quite sure that if we really put forth an effort, we could find something to argue about when it comes to Christianity.  People have been arguing about everything concerning Jesus since he came into this world and will continue until he comes again.  The thing is - let Jesus speak for himself; and when he speaks, listen!!!  Why?  Well, he is the one who sacrificed himself for sinners like me. Eternal life rests in HIM.  As you read through the New Testament this year (and hopefully this is something you are doing- or will begin to do) underline his teachings and double underline those things his followers should do. Then, do them!!!  Again, Why? Because HE is a KING and do you really want to argue with the KING of all KINGS