"THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST AND THE PROBLEM OF SIN" The Gospel's Answer To The "Guilt" Of Sin (The Remission Of Sins) INTRODUCTION 1. We have been examining how the gospel saves us from the problem of sin in this series 2. Our last three lessons dealt with commands found in the gospel which, when obeyed, effectively answer several specific problems of sin... a. The command to believe, when obeyed, solves the problem of the love of sin b. The command to repent, when obeyed, solves the problem of the practice of sin c. The command to be baptized, when obeyed, solves the problem of the state of sin 3. In this lesson and those to follow, we shall turn our attention to the promises of the gospel... a. Again, bear in mind that the gospel of Jesus Christ contains: 1) Facts to be believed 2) Commands to be obeyed 3) Promises to be received b. We have seen how keeping the commands of the gospel deal with the problem of sin c. Now we want to be sure to appreciate how the promises we receive upon obeying the gospel are also effective in dealing with sin... [In the first lesson of this series, we touched briefly upon the guilt of sin. Let us first elaborate on this point...] I. THE "GUILT" OF SIN A. THE BIBLE DECLARES ALL ARE GUILTY REGARDING SIN... 1. This was Paul's first main point in writing the epistle to the Romans - Ro 3:9-11 2. Even if a person breaks only one commandment! - cf. Jm 2:10-11 B. THIS GUILT REFERS PRIMARILY TO "LEGAL" GUILT... 1. In the sense of having violated the law of God a. In this way, everyone has sinned - Ro 3:23 b. This makes them "transgressors" of the law - cf. 1Jn 3:4 c. Other synonyms are used to describe those who have violated God's law: 1) "lawless" 2) "disobedient" 3) "workers of iniquity" 4) "ungodly" 2. This "legal guilt" is real, whether or not a person... a. Is aware of their actual guilt (ignorance does not excuse one of guilt before God) b. Feels any sense of emotional guilt (more on this shortly) -- They are still held accountable before God as "guilty" of sin - 2Co 5:10 C. FOR MANY, THERE IS ALSO THE "EMOTIONAL" GUILT... 1. But this really only a side effect of the "legal" guilt of sin a. Though it does include some terrible consequences: anxiety, depression, fear, doubt b. "There is no peace, saith the LORD, for the wicked." - Isa 48:22 2. Some may not experience the emotional consequence of "legal" guilt... a. Because they have rejected their conscience to the point of it being "seared" - e.g., 1Ti 1:19-20; 4:1-2 b. Such people have "legal guilt", nonetheless! [Yet the gospel of Christ declares that when we obey its commands, then one of the promises we receive is the remission of sins, which effectively deals with the guilt of sin...] II. THE "REMISSION" OF SINS A. THE PROMINENT PLACE OF "REMISSION OF SINS" IN THE GOSPEL... 1. The blood of Jesus was shed for the remission of our sins - Mt 26:28 2. Remission of sins is to be preached to all nations - Lk 24:45-47 3. Peter told people they could receive remission of sins in the name of Jesus... a. By believing in Jesus - Ac 10:42-43 b. By repenting and being baptized in His name - Ac 2:38 B. WHAT DOES THIS "REMISSION OF SINS" INVOLVE...? 1. The word remission means "to remit", and involves a dismissal,release 2. A key synonym often used in some translations is the word "forgiveness" 3. Other terms and metaphors found in the Bible to describe the "remission" of sins: a. "taken away" - Jn 1:29; Ro 11:27 b. "blotted out" - Ac 3:19 c. "washed away" - Ac 22:16 d. "covered" - Ro 4:7 e. "not imputed" - Ro 4:8 f. "set free" - Ro 6:17-18 g. "purged" - He 1:3; 2Pe 1:9 h. "remembered no more" - He 8:12 4. All of these signifying the removal of the guilt of sin from the sinner! a. A legal term used to describe a sinner whose sins have been so forgiven is the word "justified" b. Which means "not guilty" - cf. 1Co 6:11 C. NOT JUST REMOVAL OF "LEGAL GUILT", BUT "EMOTIONAL GUILT"... 1. We can now have a perfect conscience a. Something the Old Law could not do! - cf. He 9:8-10; 10:1-4 b. But by the blood of Christ, it is possible to have this "perfect" conscience - cf. He 9:14; 10:22 2. A perfect conscience in the sense that we have real reasons not to feel guilty for our sins: they are totally forgiven by the blood of Christ! a. Therefore, there is no need to have fear, doubt, anxiety, or depression over our spiritual condition b. Instead, we can have peace and joy through the justification that comes by grace - Ro 5:1-2 CONCLUSION 1. This is the promise given to those who obey the gospel that effectively deals with the problem of the guilt of sin... a. Your sins are remitted! b. You are released from the guilt of your sins! 1) From your legal guilt for breaking God's law 2) From your emotional guilt burdening your sensitive conscience 2. Again, how does one receive this promise of "remission of sins"? a. By obeying the commands of the gospel... 1) Believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, who died for your sins! 2) Repent of your sins, deciding in your mind to turn from sin and turn to God 3) Be baptized into Jesus Christ a) By the simple act of immersion in water b) In which by God's grace you are raised to walk in newness of life! b. Note how the last command (baptism) in particular answers the problem of guilt... 1) First, the legal guilt - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16 2) Also, the emotional guilt - cf. 1Pe 3:21 (The "answer of a good conscience", or as the NASV puts it, "an appeal to God for a good conscience") Have you accepted the gospel's promise of remission of sins to deal with the guilt of your sins, by submitting to the commands of the gospel...?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011
From Mark Copeland... "THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST AND THE PROBLEM OF SIN" The Gospel's Answer To The "Guilt" Of Sin (The Remission Of Sins)
Searching for Sargon
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
A favorite argument against the Bible’s inspiration comes from the silence of the archaeological record. On more than one occasion, skeptics have accused the Bible of making a mistake regarding a person, place, or thing simply because no archaeological evidence has been uncovered corroborating the statement found in the Bible. Such was the case regarding the sole mention of Sargon, King of Assyria. In Isaiah 20:1, the prophet said: “In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the King of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it.”
For many years, skeptics insisted that the biblical writer must be mistaken. After all, many inscriptions and archaeological finds from the Assyrian Empire had been found, yet not a single one of them mentioned the Sargon of Isaiah 20. In fact, a well-known list of Assyrian kings conspicuously omitted Sargon (Wilson, 1999, 3:78). But in 1843, Paul Emile Botta dealt the deathblow to this argument. Acting on information he had received about the small village of Khorsabad, Iraq, Botta began searching for ancient bricks with cuneiform writing on them. Not only did he find a rich cache of such bricks, but he also stumbled upon one of the most magnificent finds in archaeological history. Occupying the entire side of a hill, buried under centuries of dirt, stood the remains of King Sargon’s palace. This palace was of such size that it has been described as “probably the most significant palace the world has ever seen, covering an area of more than twenty-five acres.” Among the ruins, Sargon left numerous inscriptions detailing his military conquests. Not the least among those inscriptions was a particularly revealing inscription discussing his actions against Ashod, the very city mentioned in Isaiah 20:1.
Needless to say, skeptics no longer accuse Isaiah of a historical discrepancy regarding Sargon. The more we uncover the past, the more we uncover the truth—the Bible is indeed the Word of God.
REFERENCESWilson, Clifford and Barbara (1999), The Bible Comes Alive (Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press).
Is Richard Dawkins Really an Atheist?
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
Anyone familiar with Richard Dawkins cannot help but be struck by his “convictions” about atheism and evolution. Of course, when using the term “convictions,” one has to be careful not to attribute something to Dawkins that he does not really have. Since Dawkins is an atheist, and does not believe in any absolute moral standards, his “convictions” are ever shifting and liable to change with a whim. Furthermore, he seems not to feel too “convicted” about any idea that might cause the one holding the idea to be put into peril.
For example, in his recent book The God Delusion, Dawkins documented a case of religious intolerance from the past in which Catholics persecuted Protestants for their beliefs. In fact, he mentioned three Protestants who were martyred because they would not convert to Catholicism. He wrote: “But how could the martyrs Ridley, Latimer and Cranmer let themselves be burned rather than forsake their Protestant Little-endianism in favour of Catholic Big-endianism—does it really matter all that much from which end you open a boiled egg? Such is the stubborn—or admirable, if that is your view—conviction of the religious mind” (2006, p. 314). Then, when discussing another family who refused to be baptized in the Catholic Church in order to be reunited with their son who was kidnapped by the Church, Dawkins wrote: “Couldn’t they cross their fingers, or whisper ‘not’ under their breath while being baptized?” (p. 314).
Dawkins believes that religious people who have true convictions about their religion should simply be able to “fudge” when those convictions might cost them something. One wonders, then, if someone were to make atheism a crime punishable by death, point a gun at Dawkins’ head, and ask him if he believed in a God, what he would say. From the comments in his book, he would certainly say, “Yes.” Although later, after the duress had passed, he would probably explain that he did not really “mean” it or that he simply claimed to believe in God in order to live.
In light of Dawkins’ view of adjustable convictions, one is forced to ask why he claims to be an atheist. Could it be the case that a claim of atheism just happens to be the more profitable “belief” for Dawkins at the present? It allows him to sell books, be interviewed on international television programs, and be the recipient of massive amounts of media attention. Could it be that secretly, Dawkins believes in God but the crossed-fingers and the whispered “nots” are never seen or heard by the population Dawkins is attempting to deceive? In all probability, this is not the case. But considering his views on how readily “convictions” should be jettisoned in favor of self-preservation, it certainly is a possibility. The next time Dawkins boldly proclaims his atheism, take a close look at his fingers and watch for minute lip movement devoid of audible sounds. And remember that Dawkins is not a man of true “convictions.” Why should he be, if there is no God, all things are permissible, especially self-preserving/self-promoting “conviction” adjustments.
Dawkins Calls Evil Good and Good Evil
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). Turning right and wrong upside down is a human habit that goes back thousands of years. Modern times are no different. Famous evolutionary biologist and professor of Oxford University, Richard Dawkins, recently showed his hand in a twitter conversation that has gained media attention. The British Broadcasting Corporation, a public service broadcaster among many others in the United Kingdom, reported that a twitter user said to Dawkins, “I honestly don’t know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down’s Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma.” Dawkins replied, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice” (emp. added). He said: “These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings.” After coming under some fire for his comments, he defended himself by saying, “I do not for one moment apologise for approaching moral philosophic questions in a logical way. There’s a place for emotion & this isn’t it” (as quoted in Hawkins, 2014).
It is a scary thing to admit that he is right, from a naturalistic perspective—the worldview that he holds. His thinking is a logical outgrowth of naturalism. If naturalism is correct, we are the end result of evolution, where the ultimate law of the Universe is “survival of the fittest”: might makes right; the strong survive. If naturalism is correct, it would make sense that one should do whatever is necessary to encourage the survival of the species, including helping nature eliminate the unfit (cf. Lyons, 2008). Why would one spend time, energy, and resources helping someone who is a significant “drain” on society? Why would one try to keep those around that are loaded with harmful mutations, syndromes, and disorders? From a naturalistic perspective, such behavior would be fighting against progress and evolution. It would be “immoral.”
The day after the public backlash from his comments, Dawkins attempted to calm the furor he generated by further clarifying his thinking on his Web site. He said,
For what it’s worth, my own choice would be to abort the Down fetus and, assuming you want a baby at all, try again. Given a free choice of having an early abortion or deliberately bringing a Down child into the world, I think the moral and sensible choice would be to abort…. I personally would go further and say that, if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare…. In any case, you would probably be condemning yourself as a mother (or yourselves as a couple) to a lifetime of caring for an adult with the needs of a child…. [W]hat I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most of us, I presume, espouse (2014, emp. added).What a selfish and scary society in which to live—reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Imagine being deemed unfit because of the effort others must exert to help you. Imagine being deemed “unfit” because of your ailments or aches and pains, your age, your race, your financial situation, your I.Q., your level of education, your psychological state, or worse, your beliefs. Who would have the right to be the fitness police? Who would be deemed the fitness judge? Dawkins? How is he qualified to deem what is moral and what isn’t, considering the fact that there is no such thing as “immorality” if naturalism is true (cf. Lyons, 2011)? [NOTE: See Butt, 2008 for a thorough discussion of other disconcerting implications of naturalism.]
If naturalists had their way in determining laws based on their standards of morality, progress would be hampered. As our growing understanding of genetics allows us to anticipate disorders that will likely arise in an individual, people that would even be deemed valuable by naturalists in the future if they were allowed to live would inevitably be wiped out. Famous atheist, theoretical physicist and cosmologist of Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, was diagnosed, decades ago, with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), is permanently in a wheelchair, must communicate through a computer system operated by his cheek, and must “have around-the-clock care” (Harmon, 2012). Ironically, he would have likely been killed off long before he became the famous naturalistic thinker and influence that he is now. Truly, the fact that people with such conditions have proven themselves to be of benefit to society is a strong argument against abortion of the “unfit.”
Eerily, the United States might not be as far from a society in which Dawkins’ thinking has free reign as we might think. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 15% of Americans believe we owe our origins to naturalistic evolution (Newport). That figure translates to about one in every seven Americans who you meet on the street being naturalists. If those individuals follow out the logic of their worldview, they will be forced to think the same way Dawkins does about the “unfit.” This implication of the naturalistic mindset and the millions that are affirming naturalism highlights the paramount need for Christians to be prepared to defend the truth from the dangerous doctrine of naturalism. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” [NOTE: See Miller, 2013 for a scientific refutation of naturalism.]
REFERENCESButt, Kyle (2008), “The Bitter Fruits of Atheism (Part I),” Reason & Revelation, 28:49-55, July, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=603.
Dawkins, Richard (2014), “Abortion & Down Syndrome: An Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar,” Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, August 21, https://richarddawkins.net/2014/08/abortion-down-syndrome-an-apology-for-letting-slip-the-dogs-of-twitterwar/.
Harmon, Katherine (2012), “How Has Stephen Hawking Lived to 70 with ALS?” Scientific American, January 7, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-als/.
Hawkins, Kathleen (2014), “Richard Dawkins: ‘Immoral’ Not to Abort Down’s Foetuses,” BBC News Ouch, August 21, http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-ouch-28879659.
Lyons, Eric (2008), “Save the Planet…Abort a Child!?” R&R Resources, 7:8-R, February, http://apologeticspress.org/pub_rar/28_2/0802.pdf.
Lyons, Eric (2011), “The Moral Argument for the Existence of God,” Reason & Revelation, 31:86-95, September, http://apologeticspress.org/pub_rar/31_9/1109.pdf.
Miller, Jeff (2013), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Newport, Frank (2012), “In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins,” GALLUP Politics, June 1, http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx.
How Important is the Bible to America’s Survival?
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
There was a time in American civilization when the Bible was integral to every aspect of life. It was reverenced in the home. It was taught and used in the schools. It was incorporated into our laws and integrated into our courts of justice. It was quoted by politicians, judges, educators, and even entertainers. It permeated the great literature of Western Civilization. But with the multitude of attacks on the integrity, inspiration, and inerrancy of the Bible over the last century, respect for the Bible has waned significantly. Particularly after World War II, confidence in the Bible as the divine Word of God has been seriously undermined in America. Amazingly, a recent poll still shows the Bible to be the all-time favorite book for American adults: “Researchers said it’s rare to find such consensus among Americans, regardless of gender, education level, geographic location, race/ethnicity or age” (Hamm, 2008).
THE BIBLE’S CLAIM
Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?... You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land (Deuteronomy 4:5-8,40, emp. added; cf. 5:33; 6:2-3,18).This means that the Bible is the most important book on the planet, in a class by itself, surpassing all others. Indeed, whereas all other books are the word of men, the Bible is the Word of God.
Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, emp. added).
The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it (Jeremiah 18:7-10, emp. added).
I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:93,97-98,100,103-105, emp. added).
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, emp. added).
If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.... He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.... Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth (John 8:31-32; 12:48; 17:17, emp. added).
THE FOUNDERS’ CLAIM
Indeed, we live in a time warp far removed from America’s origins. The Founders clearly believed that the initial founding and the future survival of the Republic were both heavily, if not exclusively, dependent on the successful diffusion of the Bible throughout society. In fact, the Framers of the first state constitution of Massachusetts emphasized that very point in its third article:
Article III. [As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of God, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, to promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of...teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily (Constitution of the...,” emp. added).The Framers of the Massachusetts constitution believed that “public instructions in piety, religion and morality” could come only from the Bible.
The Continental Congress considered the Bible so important to national life that they actually passed resolutions to make certain that Bibles were in abundance in the country. The Continental Congress directed a committee to investigate ways by which Bibles could be secured. The committee made its report on September 11, 1777, stating “that the use of the Bible is so universal, and its importance so great...your Committee recommend [sic] that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the states in the Union.” Congress promptly ordered the importation (Journals of..., 1907, 8:734-745, emp. added). Four years later, as the colonies suffered from the effects of the British embargo, and as the shortage of Bibles continued, importation became sufficiently impractical that Congress was again petitioned for approval, this time to print Bibles in America, rather than to import them from outside the country. The request was approved and upon completion of the printing, on Thursday, September 12, 1782, the full Congress not only approved the edition, but gave permission for their endorsement to be placed in the front of the Bible! It read: “Whereupon, Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled...recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States” (Journals of..., 1914, 23:574). Who today would believe that the members of the original Congress of the United States considered the Bible so important to national existence that they would expend effort—even in wartime—to make certain that Bibles were available to the American population? The present widespread loss of respect for and interest in the Bible, is disgraceful, and if continued, will spell our national doom.
Numerous Founders gave eloquent testimony to the critical importance of the Bible to America. For example, Constitution signer and Secretary of War under the first two Presidents, James McHenry, insisted:
The Holy Scriptures...can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability, and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses (as quoted in Steiner, 1921, p. 14, emp. added).
[W]ere you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive, both to the wise and the ignorant. Were you to ask me for one, affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible: and should you renew the inquiry, for the best philosophy, or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge; And be assured, that it is for want of understanding the scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, that so little value is set upon them by the world at large (1801, p. xv, emp. added).Noah Webster asserted: “[C]itizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion” (1832, p. 6). Webster also insisted that “[t]he Bible is the chief moral cause of all that is good and the best corrector of all that is evil in human society; the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men” (1833, p. v). He further claimed: “All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible” (1832, p. 339). Who today believes these statements? According to this prominent Founding Father, the Bible is responsible for our Republic, our civil liberty, our constitutions of government, and for correcting and regulating human behavior. Yet, we have banned the Bible from public schools, we allow college professors to impugn its inspiration and integrity, and we disallow its use in jury deliberation rooms (People v. Harlan, 2005).
James Brown (Revolutionary War soldier; Minister to France; U.S. Senator)Still other Founders were associated with various Bible societies. Revolutionary War soldier and Governor of New Jersey, Joseph Bloomfield, was a member of the New Jersey Bible Society. Revolutionary War officer and Governor of Massachusetts, John Brooks, served as president of the Middlesex County Bible Society. Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and U.S. Senator, James Burrell, Jr., served as president of the Providence Auxiliary Bible Society. James McHenry, Secretary of War and signer of the federal Constitution, was a founder and president of the Baltimore Bible Society. Rufus Putnam, Revolutionary War Brigadier-General as well as Surveyor-General under Presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, served as president of the Ohio Bible Society. Declaration signer and Surgeon-General of the Continental Army, Benjamin Rush, served as founder and vice-president of the Philadelphia Bible Society. These lists could be greatly expanded. [NOTE: see American Bible Society, 1816 and Barton, 2000, pp. 139-143, for lengthy listings.]
DeWitt Clinton (U.S. Senator; Mayor of New York City; Governor of New York)
Jonas Galusha (Revolutionary War soldier; Vermont State Supreme Court justice and Governor)
William Gaston (U.S. Congressman; North Carolina State Supreme Court justice)
Charles Goldsborough (U.S. House member; Governor of Maryland)
William Gray (Revolutionary War solder; Constitution ratification Massachusetts convention delegate)
Felix Grundy (U.S. House member; U.S. Senator)
William Jones (Revolutionary War solder; Governor of Rhode Island)
Andrew Kirkpatrick (New Jersey House Member; New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice)
Rufus King (Revolutionary War solder; Signer of federal Constitution;U.S. Senator)
John Langdon (Delegate to Continental Congress; Constitution signer; U.S. Senator)
George Madison (Revolutionary War soldier; Governor of Kentucky)
John Marshall (Minutemen officer; U.S. Congress; Secretary of State; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice)
David Morril (Physician; Clergyman; U.S. Senator; Governor of New Hampshire)
Joseph Nourse (Military Secretary to General Charles Lee; Clerk/Paymaster for Board of War)
William Phillips (Lt. Governor of Massachusetts; State Senator)
Charles C. Pinckney (Revolutionary War officer; Signer of federal Constitution)
Thomas Posey (Revolutionary War officer; State and U.S. Senator)
Isaac Shelby (Revolutionary War officer; first Governor of Kentucky)
John Cotton Smith (U.S. House member; Connecticut Supreme Court Judge and Governor)
Caleb Strong (Constitutional Convention delegate; U.S. Senator; Governor of Massachusetts)
Smith Thompson (New York State Supreme Court Chief Justice; U.S. Supreme Court justice)
William Tilghman (Federal Constitution ratification delegate; Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice)
Daniel Tompkins (New York State Supreme Court justice; Vice-President under James Monroe)
Robert Troup (Revolutionary War Lieutenant-Colonel; New York U.S. District Court judge)
Peter Vroom (New Jersey Governor; U.S. House; State Supreme Court Chief Justice)
Bushrod Washington (Revolutionary War soldier; Constitution ratification Virginia delegate)
William Wirt (Virginia State House member; U.S. Attorney; U.S. Attorney-General under Monroe)
Thomas Worthington (Ohio state constitutional convention delegate; U.S. Senator; Governor)
The following Founders were members of the Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Indians and Others (see Holmes, 1808):
James Bowdoin (Constitution ratification delegate and Massachusetts Governor)
Francis Dana (Continental Congress member; Constitution ratification Massachusetts delegate)
Samuel Dexter (U.S. House; U.S. Senator; Secretary of War/Treasury/State under John Adams)
Benjamin Lincoln (Revolutionary War Major-General; Secretary of War)
John Lowell (Continental Congress member; Court of Appeals judge; U.S. federal judge)
William Phillips (Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor; state constitutional convention delegate)
James Sullivan (Massachusetts Supreme Court judge; elected to Continental Congress)
Increase Sumner (Constitution ratification Massachusetts delegate; State Supreme Court justice)
Still another indication of the central place of the Bible among America’s Founders is seen in the fact that U.S. Presidents still follow the tradition, set at the very beginning of the Republic by the “Father of our country,” by placing their hand on a copy of the Bible while being sworn in as President (“Bibles and Scripture...”). History even records that immediately after taking the oath of office, George Washington leaned down and kissed the Bible (“Inaugurals of Presidents...”). The Bible has been so thoroughly part and parcel of American culture that a Bible is still included in most motel and hotel rooms across America.
INTOLERANT ATTACKS ON THE BIBLE
Indeed, the judiciary of America has been a primary perpetrator in the war on the Bible, as the U.S. Supreme Court banned the practice of requiring students in public schools to read Bible verses every morning (Abington School District v. Schempp, 1963), banned postings of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms, since worship of God is included in them (Stone v. Graham, 1980), and banned teachers from sitting at their desks and silently reading the Bible in front of students during a classroom silent reading period (Roberts v. Madigan, 1990). And what of the incessant, ongoing assault in universities across America for the last 50 years, as professors have paraded before their students, steadily chipping away at the integrity of Bible. Such instances are legion. Founder and physician Benjamin Rush’s words, written in 1789, could not be more relevant to our predicament: “The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effectual means of extirpating Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools” (1951, 1:521). This systematic cleansing of American culture in an effort to jettison the Bible from public life is absurd, demented, and utterly foolish.
Words spoken by God to our predecessors who strayed from His Word are sobering:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you...; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame (Hosea 4:6-7, emp. added).We remove the Bible from public life to our shame—and at dire peril. May God bless us with a sufficient number of citizens, educators, preachers, and political leaders who will recall America from her shame. May God bless Americans with the will to return to the Bible in order to bask in the marvelous light of His glorious Word (1 Peter 2:9).
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34, emp. added).
Adams, John (1850-1856), The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, ed. Charles Adams (Boston, MS: Little, Brown, and Company).
American Bible Society (1816), Constitution of the American Bible Society: Formed by a Convention of Delegates, Held in the City of New York, May, 1816: Together with Their Address to the People of the United States: a Notice of Their Proceedings: and a List of Their Officers (New York: G.F. Hopkins), [On-line], URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=uXsXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=”Constitution+of+the+American+Bible+Society”&source=web&ots=U3Nhsz-BxA& sig=psatMhvNw81TY5k7tiMTo-3NQV8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPT1,M1.
Barton, David (2000), Original Intent (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders).
“Bibles and Scripture Passages Used by Presidents in Taking the Oath of Office,” Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pibible.html.
Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation (Philadelphia, PA: Asbury Dickens), [On-line], URL: http://www.google.com/books?id=XpcPAAAAIAAJ&q=baptized.
Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, [On-line], URL: http://www.mass.gov/legis/const.htm.
“Fact Sheet: Who We Are” (2008), American Bible Society, [On-line], URL: http://www.americanbible.org/pages/about-more-facts.
Hamm, Brittani (2008), “Poll: Bible is America’s Favorite Book,” USA Today, April 22, [On-line], URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-04-22-bible-favorite-book_N.htm.
Holmes, Abiel (1808), Discourse, Delivered Before the Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Indians and Others in North America (Boston, MA: Farrand, Mallory, & Co.), [On-line], URL: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=ChATAAAAYAAJ&dq=%22Society+for+Propagating+the+Gospel+Among&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=CGHJcDhcpY&sig=l2TPzRA6q069U63GfH65dYp-KiI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA64,M1.
“Inaugurals of Presidents of the United States: Some Precedents and Notable Events,” Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/pinotable.html.
Jay, John (1980), John Jay: The Winning of the Peace. Unpublished Papers 1780-1784, ed. Richard Morris (New York: Harper & Row).
Johnson, Kirk (2005), “Colorado Court Bars Execution Because Jurors Consulted Bible,” The New York Times, March 29, [On-line], URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/national/29bible.html.
Journals of the Continental Congress (1904-1937), (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html.
Lutz, Donald (1988), The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press).
Morris, Gouverneur (1821), “An Inaugural Discourse Delivered Before the New York Historical Society by the Honorable Gouverneur Morris on September 4, 1816,” in Collections of the New York Historical Society for the Year 1821 (New York: E. Bliss & E. White).
“Our Story” (no date), National Association of State and Regional Bible Societies, [On-line], URL: http://www.nasrbs.org/.
People v. Harlan (2005), Colorado Supreme Court, Case No. 03SA173, [On-line], URL: http://www.courts.state.co.us/supct/opinions/2003/03SA173.pdf.
“Remove Bible from Courthouse Display, Judge Says” (2004), The Associated Press, August 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=13849.
Roberts v. Madigan (1990), 921 F. 2d. 1047 (10th Cir. 1990).
Rush, Benjamin (1798), Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia, PA: Thomas & Samuel Bradford).
Rush, Benjamin (1951), Letters of Benjamin Rush, ed. L.H. Butterfield (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
“Scripture Yanked From Grand Canyon” (2003), World Net Daily, July 14, [On-line], URL: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=33564.
Steiner, Bernard (1921), One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society Work in Maryland: 1810-1920 (Baltimore, MD: Maryland Bible Society).
Stone v. Graham (1980), 449 U.S. 39 (1980), The Oyez Project, [On-line], URL: http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_321/.
Story, Joseph (1854), A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Harper).
“Ten Commandments Judge Removed from Office” (2003), CNN News, November 14, [On-line], URL:font http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/11/13/moore.tencommandments/.
Thomas, Cal (1996), “Silent Cal Speaks: Why Calvin Coolidge is the Model for Conservative Leadership Today,” The Heritage Foundation, [On-line], URL: http://www.heritage.org/Research/PoliticalPhilosophy/HL576.cfm.
Webster, Noah (1832), History of the United States (New Haven, CT: Durrie & Peck).
Webster, Noah (1833), The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments, in the Common Version. With Amendments of the Language (New Haven, CT: Durrie & Peck).
Wilson, Woodrow and Mario R. DiNunzio (2006), Woodrow Wilson: Essential Writings and Speeches of the Scholar-President (New York: NYU Press).
Winthrop, Robert (1852), Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Co.).
Wirt, William (1818), Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia, PA: James Webster).
Tyranny is Suicide"He is a braggart, restless, rapacious as the grave, like Death he would sweep all the nations in, he would rake in every race. Shall not your victims suddenly arise, and men awake to make you shake? Then you shall be their prey." (Habakkuk 2:5,7, Moffatt)
That's how God describes the unrighteous, swollen tyrant of 2:4. God insists that the tyrant and bully is really digging his own grave. Tyranny is the (often) slow, even if pleasant and scenic road to oblivion. The man or nation that insists on "having it all and having it now" no matter who it belongs to, is borrowing from every quarter a huge debt he will have to repay (see 2:6)
It's true that many tyrants lived to old age and died with a smile on their face but the whole story hasn't been told for, as Paul would put it, some men's sins go before them unto judgement and some follow after. But history has enough illustrations of tyranny over-reaching itself and the people finally rose up and brought the tyrant down.
Whether the tyranny is in a home or a school or a factory or office; whether it shows itself in one nation over another, one class over another or one race over another the word of judgement is sure. The "puffed up" one whose "desires are not upright" is drugged by his own greed and blinded by his own success and his day is coming!
We hear many horror stories about this kind of thing in churches. In churches where leaders are control freaks and who suffocate the people they're supposed to shepherd. Tyrants they are rather than leaders, bullies they are rather than guides. They rig fences around minds and forbid people to think in this way or that. They say "speak your mind" and when people do they are punished and threatened. They define the faith in ways that suit them and by this they not only stifle other constructions, they slam the door on any possibility of their ever learning better. "This is how the faith will be expressed around here!" and disagreement is driven underground, out of sight but not out of mind. Tyrants are those who stupidly strap ticking bombs to every foundation stone and wonder why the building one day collapses on their heads. "They sat there for years in the pew and we thought they agreed with everything that was being said. What hypocrisy," such leaders say when people, having heard enough, depart for other locations. But they have no answer when they're asked, "Are these the people who expressed their views some years ago and you punished them with threats and suspicion?" Tyranny, as George Adam Smith has said, is suicide.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
World English Bible
Psa 71:1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge. Never let me be disappointed.
Psa 71:2 Deliver me in your righteousness, and rescue me. Turn your ear to me, and save me.
Psa 71:3 Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may always go. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psa 71:4 Rescue me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
Psa 71:5 For you are my hope, Lord Yahweh; my confidence from my youth.
Psa 71:6 I have relied on you from the womb. You are he who took me out of my mother's womb. I will always praise you.
Psa 71:7 I am a marvel to many, but you are my strong refuge.
Psa 71:8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise, with your honor all the day.
Psa 71:9 Don't reject me in my old age. Don't forsake me when my strength fails.
Psa 71:10 For my enemies talk about me. Those who watch for my soul conspire together,
Psa 71:11 saying, "God has forsaken him. Pursue and take him, for no one will rescue him."
Psa 71:12 God, don't be far from me. My God, hurry to help me.
Psa 71:13 Let my accusers be disappointed and consumed. Let them be covered with disgrace and scorn who want to harm me.
Psa 71:14 But I will always hope, and will add to all of your praise.
Psa 71:15 My mouth will tell about your righteousness, and of your salvation all day, though I don't know its full measure.
Psa 71:16 I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord Yahweh. I will make mention of your righteousness, even of yours alone.
Psa 71:17 God, you have taught me from my youth. Until now, I have declared your wondrous works.
Psa 71:18 Yes, even when I am old and gray-haired, God, don't forsake me, until I have declared your strength to the next generation, your might to everyone who is to come.
Psa 71:19 Your righteousness also, God, reaches to the heavens; you have done great things. God, who is like you?
Psa 71:20 You, who have shown us many and bitter troubles, you will let me live. You will bring us up again from the depths of the earth.
Psa 71:21 Increase my honor, and comfort me again.
Psa 71:22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God. I sing praises to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
Psa 71:23 My lips shall shout for joy! My soul, which you have redeemed, sings praises to you!
Psa 71:24 My tongue will also talk about your righteousness all day long, for they are disappointed, and they are confounded, who want to harm me.
Psa 72:1 God, give the king your justice; your righteousness to the royal son.
Psa 72:2 He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people. The hills bring the fruit of righteousness.
Psa 72:4 He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy, and will break the oppressor in pieces.
Psa 72:5 They shall fear you while the sun endures; and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
Psa 72:6 He will come down like rain on the mown grass, as showers that water the earth.
Psa 72:7 In his days, the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more.
Psa 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth.
Psa 72:9 Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him. His enemies shall lick the dust.
Psa 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will bring tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Psa 72:11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him. All nations shall serve him.
Psa 72:12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries; the poor, who has no helper.
Psa 72:13 He will have pity on the poor and needy. He will save the souls of the needy.
Psa 72:14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. Their blood will be precious in his sight.
Psa 72:15 They shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all day long.
Psa 72:16 There shall be abundance of grain throughout the land. Its fruit sways like Lebanon. Let it flourish, thriving like the grass of the field.
Psa 72:17 His name endures forever. His name continues as long as the sun. Men shall be blessed by him. All nations will call him blessed.
Psa 72:18 Praise be to Yahweh God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
Psa 72:19 Blessed be his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and amen.
Psa 72:20 This ends the prayers by David, the son of Jesse.
Psa 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
Psa 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone. My steps had nearly slipped.
Psa 73:3 For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psa 73:4 For there are no struggles in their death, but their strength is firm.
Psa 73:5 They are free from burdens of men, neither are they plagued like other men.
Psa 73:6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck. Violence covers them like a garment.
Psa 73:7 Their eyes bulge with fat. Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
Psa 73:8 They scoff and speak with malice. In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
Psa 73:9 They have set their mouth in the heavens. Their tongue walks through the earth.
Psa 73:10 Therefore their people return to them, and they drink up waters of abundance.
Psa 73:11 They say, "How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?"
Psa 73:12 Behold, these are the wicked. Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
Psa 73:13 Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence,
Psa 73:14 For all day long have I been plagued, and punished every morning.
Psa 73:15 If I had said, "I will speak thus;" behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
Psa 73:16 When I tried to understand this, it was too painful for me;
Psa 73:17 Until I entered God's sanctuary, and considered their latter end.
Psa 73:18 Surely you set them in slippery places. You throw them down to destruction.
Psa 73:19 How they are suddenly destroyed! They are completely swept away with terrors.
Psa 73:20 As a dream when one wakes up, so, Lord, when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
Psa 73:21 For my soul was grieved. I was embittered in my heart.
Psa 73:22 I was so senseless and ignorant. I was a brute beast before you.
Psa 73:23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You have held my right hand.
Psa 73:24 You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Psa 73:25 Who do I have in heaven? There is no one on earth who I desire besides you.
Psa 73:26 My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psa 73:27 For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish. You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
Psa 73:28 But it is good for me to come close to God. I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
1 Corinthians 11
1Co 11:1 Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and hold firm the traditions, even as I delivered them to you.
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.
1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.
1Co 11:5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonors her head. For it is one and the same thing as if she were shaved.
1Co 11:6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.
1Co 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, because he is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man.
1Co 11:8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man;
1Co 11:9 for neither was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
1Co 11:10 For this cause the woman ought to have authority on her head, because of the angels.
1Co 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman independent of the man, nor the man independent of the woman, in the Lord.
1Co 11:12 For as woman came from man, so a man also comes through a woman; but all things are from God.
1Co 11:13 Judge for yourselves. Is it appropriate that a woman pray to God unveiled?
1Co 11:14 Doesn't even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
1Co 11:15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering.
1Co 11:16 But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither do God's assemblies.
1Co 11:17 But in giving you this command, I don't praise you, that you come together not for the better but for the worse.
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when you come together in the assembly, I hear that divisions exist among you, and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there also must be factions among you, that those who are approved may be revealed among you.
1Co 11:20 When therefore you assemble yourselves together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.
1Co 11:21 For in your eating each one takes his own supper first. One is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22 What, don't you have houses to eat and to drink in? Or do you despise God's assembly, and put them to shame who don't have? What shall I tell you? Shall I praise you? In this I don't praise you.
1Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread.
1Co 11:24 When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me."
1Co 11:25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me."
1Co 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
1Co 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord's cup in a manner unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he doesn't discern the Lord's body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.
1Co 11:31 For if we discerned ourselves, we wouldn't be judged.
1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
1Co 11:33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait one for another.
1Co 11:34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgment. The rest I will set in order whenever I come.