1/5/17

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Jesus Cleanses A Leper (1:40-45) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                    Jesus Cleanses A Leper (1:40-45)

INTRODUCTION

1. One of the more moving accounts of Jesus' miracles is that of
   cleansing a leper...
   a. Described by Mark in our text - Mk 1:40-45
   b. Also by Matthew and Luke in their gospels - Mt 8:2-4; Lk 5:12-14

2. There is much that can be gleaned from this miracle...
   a. About the compassion and power of our Lord Jesus Christ
   b. Not only toward the leper himself, but toward us as well!

[In this study, we shall note some similarities between the leper's
condition and cleansing, and that of our own condition and need for
cleansing.  As we begin with Mk 1:40, consider first...]

I. THE LEPER'S CONDITION

   A. HIS CONDITION...
      1. Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases - ESV note
      2. Today it is often applied to Hanson's bacillus, a progressively
         disfiguring disease - BKC
      3. It is likely this man suffered a pitiful existence - ibid.
         a. Not just from the physical ravages of the disease
         b. But from ritual uncleanness and exclusion from society
            imposed by the Law of Moses - cf. Lev 13:44-46
      -- The leper was truly a wretched man

   B. OUR CONDITION...
      1. What leprosy is to the body, so sin is to the soul!
      2. Sin progressively enslaves us - Jn 8:34; cf. Ro 7:14-24
      3. Sin separates us from God, and from His people 
         - Isa 59:2; 1Co 5:11
      4. Sin is universal - Ro 3:23
      5. Sin leads to eternal death - Ro 6:23; Re 21:8
      -- As long as we remain guilty of sin, we are truly wretched!

[Should we ever see a leper, let us remember that without Christ our
condition is much worse!  The leper had heard of Jesus' power to heal,
and so he came to Him.  We next notice...]

II. THE LEPER'S CRY

   A. HIS CRY...
      1. It was earnest and desperate - "imploring Him"
      2. It was reverent - "kneeling down to Him"
      3. It was humble and submissive - "If You are willing"
      4. It was believing - "You can"
      5. It acknowledged need - "make me clean"
      6. It was specific - not "bless me" but "make me clean"
      7. It was personal - "make me clean"
      8. It was brief - five words in the original
      -- The leper gives us an instructive example of the prayer that
         God answers (BBC)

   B. OUR CRY...
      1. For forgiveness of sin is first made in baptism
         a. It is how we call upon the name of the Lord - Ac 2:21,37-41;
            22:16
         b. For baptism is an appeal for a good conscience - 1Pe 3:21
            (ESV, NASB)
         c. Only through the blood of Christ can we truly purify our
            conscience - He 9:14
      2. For forgiveness of sin is then found through prayer
         a. As Peter counseled Simon after his baptism - Ac 8:13,22
         b. As John counseled his brethren in his epistle - 1Jn 1:9
      -- The gospel describes how we can make our appeal to Christ
         today!

[We have undoubtedly heard the gospel; have we made our appeal to
Christ? We next read of the wonderful compassion of our Lord as Mark
describes...]

III. THE LEPER'S CLEANSING

   A. HIS CLEANSING...
      1. Actuated by the Lord's compassion - cf. Mk 6:34; 9:36
      2. Accompanied by the touch of His hand - cf. Mk 1:31
      3. Accomplished as soon as the Lord spoke, "I am willing, be
         cleansed." - Mk 1:41-42
      -- Through a simple touch and with simple words, the leprosy was
         gone!

   B. OUR CLEANSING...
      1. Actuated by God's love - 1Jn 4:9,10
      2. Accompanied by the blood of Jesus - Ep 1:7; 1Pe 1:18-19
      3. Accomplished when we are united with Jesus in baptism - Ro 6:
         3-7; Col 2:12-13
      -- Through a simple act of faith (immersion), our sins are washed
         away!

[The leper received his cleansing; have we received ours?  Finally, let
us note in Mk 1:43-45...]

IV. THE LEPER'S COMMISSION

   A. HIS COMMISSION...
      1. Sent away quickly with a strict warning - Mk 1:43
      2. Told to tell no one anything, but to show himself to the priest
         - Mk 1:44
         a. To offer what Moses commanded for his cleansing - cf. Lev 14:1-7
         b. As a testimony to them (of Jesus as the Messiah?)
            - cf. Mt 11:5; Lk 7:22
      3. The leper failed to keep the commission given him - Mk 1:45
         a. Told to keep quiet, he proclaimed what happened so that news
            of it spread
         b. It forced Jesus away from cities, and forced people to find
            Him in deserted places
      -- With misdirected zeal, the leper hindered rather than helped
         Jesus and others

   B. OUR COMMISSION...
      1. Jesus gave His disciples a great commission
         a. To produce disciples of Christ- Mt 28:19-20
         b. To preach the gospel to every person - Mk 16:15-16
         c. To proclaim repentance and remission of sins to all nations
            - Lk 24:47
      2. The early church was faithful to that great commission
         a. Their words went out to the ends of the world - Ro 10:18
         b. The gospel had gone to all the world - Col 1:5-6
         c. It had been preached to every creature under heaven - Co
            1:23
      3. What about the church today?
         a. Are we remaining faithful to that great commission?
         b. Or are we, like the leper, doing what we think best?
         c. Many have the church focusing on social rather than
            spiritual needs
      -- With misdirected zeal, are we hindering rather than helping
         Jesus and the lost?

CONCLUSION

1. The cleansing of the leper provides insight into...
   a. The compassion and power of our Lord Jesus Christ
   b. The humble faith needed to receive the benefits of such compassion
      and power
   c. The danger of misdirected zeal in hindering the cause of Christ

2. We may not suffer from leprosy, but we do face a much greater
   problem...
   a. The spiritual disfigurement and isolation caused by sin
   b. Which requires the same compassion and power of Jesus
   c. Along with the same humility and faith to receive forgiveness

3. Once we have been cleansed of our sin, shall we not show proper
   gratitude...?
   a. By fulfilling the commission given to all His disciples?
   b. By directing our zeal in the same manner as did the early church?

May we learn from both the positive and negative examples of the
leper...
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" At The Home Of Simon And Andrew (1:29-39) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

               At The Home Of Simon And Andrew (1:29-39)

INTRODUCTION

1. Mark's account of the ministry of Christ, like most of his gospel,
   is...
   a. Concise
   b. Fast-paced

2. Even so, Mark does reveal what it must have been like for Jesus...
   a. On a daily basis
   b. In constant demand as a teacher and a healer

[For example, after teaching in the synagogue, casting an unclean spirit
out of man, Jesus retires to the home of two of his disciples, Simon and
Andrew.  In our text (Mk 1:29-39), we read how...]

I. JESUS HEALS SIMON'S WIFE'S MOTHER

   A. THE TEXT...
      1.  Leaving the synagogue, they enter the house - Mk 1:29
         a. The synagogue where Jesus had taught with authority 
            - cf. Mk 1:21-28
         b. The house of Simon and Andrew, whom Jesus had called - cf.
            Mk 1:16-18
      2. Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever - Mk 1:30
         a. Her daughter the wife of Simon, better known as the apostle
            Peter - cf. Mk 3:16
         b. About whom (the mother-in-law) they told Jesus immediately
      3. Whom Jesus heals immediately - Mk 1:31
         a. Taking her by the hand and lifting her up
         b. Free of fever, she then served them

   B. OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Note the compassion of our Lord
         a. Whether in the crowded synagogue or the quiet home, Jesus is
            ready to heal - Erdman
         b. The touch of His hand, suggests tenderness and sympathy
            - ibid.
      2. Note that Peter was married
         a. His wife would later join him on his travels - cf. 1Co 9:5
         b. Who according to tradition suffered crucifixion together
            with him
         c. "That Peter had a mother-in-law shows that the idea of a
            celibate priesthood was foreign to that day. It is a
            tradition of men which finds no support in the Word of God
            and which breeds a host of evils." - Believer's Bible
            Commentary
         d. Requisite celibacy is certainly foreign to the Scriptures
            - cf. 1Co 7:2,9; 1Ti 3:2,12
      3. Note the immediate response of the mother-in-law
         a. Restored, she used her health to serve others
         b. When restored from sickness, do we show our gratitude by
            serving others?

[As the day draws to a close, Jesus' work is not yet done.  For we next
read how...]

II. JESUS HEALS MANY AFTER SUNSET

   A. THE TEXT...
      1. At evening many assemble - Mk 1:32-33
         a. After sunset, when the Sabbath was over
         b. All who were sick, and those demon-possessed were brought to
            Him
         c. The whole city gathered at the door of the house
      2. Jesus healed many - Mk 1:34
         a. Mark says "many"
         b. Matthew says "all" - Mt 8:16
      3. He cast out many demons - Mk 1:34
         a. Just as He done with the unclean spirit in the synagogue
            - Mk 1:23-26
         b. Likewise forbidding them to speak, because they knew Him

   B. OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Note the time - at the end of the day
         a. When people would normally retire
         b. Yet Jesus receives all who come to Him
      2. Note the response of the people
         a. Reacting naturally to hearing of one who could really heal
         b. If someone could really heal like Jesus or His apostles,
            crowds could not be kept away - cf. Ac 5:14-16
      3. Note the success of the healer
         a. Jesus healed all who came to Him - cf. Mt 8:16
         b. The apostles had similar success - cf. Ac 5:16
         c. Contrast this with so-called "faith healers" today

[Following such a long day of teaching and healing, even so we find that
early the next morning...]

III. JESUS TAKES TIME TO PRAY

   A. THE TEXT...
      1. Jesus rises early in the morning, long before daylight - Mk 1:35
      2. He departs to a solitary place, and there He prays - Mk 1:35

   B. OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Note that Jesus was a man of prayer
         a. Mark mentions other times that Jesus prayed - Mk 6:46;
            14:32-42
         b. If the Son of God needed to pray, how much more do we!
      2. Note that Jesus preferred places of solitude to pray
         a. Luke says it was a deserted place - cf. Lk 4:42
         b. Jesus would later go to a mountain - cf. Mk 6:46
         c. He prepared for His crucifixion by praying in quiet garden
            - cf. Mk 14:32-42
         d. We do well to seek out quiet places to pray - cf. also Mt 6:
            5-6

[Finally, we observe in our text that...]

IV. JESUS REMAINS TRUE TO HIS PURPOSE

   A. THE TEXT...
      1. Simon and others search for Jesus - Mk 1:36
      2. Finding Him, they tell how everyone is looking for Him - Mk 1:37
      3. He says that His purpose requires that He go to other towns to
         preach - Mk 1:38
      4. Which He does throughout all Galilee, preaching in the
         synagogues and casting out demons - Mk 1:39

   B. OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Note that Jesus' purpose was to preach
         a. To proclaim the coming kingdom of God - cf. Mk 1:14-15
         b. Healing was secondary, to confirm His authority
         c. Likewise our focus should be on what Jesus taught, rather
            than His miracles
      2. Note that Jesus preached and then moved on to the next town
         a. Once people heard the message, He moved on to those who had
            not heard
         b. Might this provide insight into our own evangelistic
            efforts?
         c. Oswald J. Smith said, "No one has the right to hear the
            gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard
            it once."
         d. That is not entirely true, for the apostles later stayed in
            the same place for some period of time - cf. Ac 17:2; 18:
            3-4,11; 19:8-10
         e. Even so, the point remains the same:  our purpose is to tell
            as many people as possible about the gospel of Christ! - cf.
            Mk 16:15

CONCLUSION

1. In the short time He was at Simon and Andrew's home, Jesus revealed
   Himself to be a man of...
   a. Compassion
   b. Service
   c. Prayer
   d. Purpose

2. As disciples of Jesus, may we too be people of...
   a. Compassion toward those who are sick
   b. Willing to serve others as we have the ability
   c. Prayer, taking the time and find the place to do
   d. Purpose, especially in regards to fulfilling the Great Commission

Speaking of the Great Commission, have you responded to its message...?
- Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16
 

Noah's Ark—A Flawless Floater by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=562

Noah's Ark—A Flawless Floater

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In Genesis 6:15, God instructed Noah to build an ark that was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. This is a ratio of 30 to 5 to 3 (length to breadth to height). Until about 1858, the ark was the largest floating ship ever created. In terms that we understand better, the ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. In 1844, a man named Isambard K. Brunnel built his giant ship, the Great Britain. He used almost the exact ratio of the ark—30:5:3. As it turns out, these dimensions are the perfect ratio for a huge boat built for seaworthiness and not for speed. Obviously the ark was not built for speed, since it had nowhere to go! What is more, shipbuilders during World War II used approximately the same ratio to build a ship known as the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien (one of a group of ships known as the Liberty Ships, which were referred to as “the ugly ducklings”)—a barge-like boat built to carry tremendous amounts of cargo, just like the ark. How did Noah know the perfect seagoing ratio to use in building the ark? Brunnel and others like him had many generations of shipbuilding knowledge to use, but Noah’s literally was the first of its kind. Where did he get such information? From the Master Builder!

Human Knowledge of Ice, Still Frozen by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3751

Human Knowledge of Ice, Still Frozen

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Many modern scientists who have jettisoned belief in a divine Creator like to pretend that “science” has it all figured out. We are told that modern scientific methods are able to tell us how the Universe spontaneously popped out of nothing and what happened 10-43 seconds after the initial Big Bang. Furthermore, we are informed that modern science adequately and eloquently has documented the transition of a single-celled life form into the complex organism known as man. In addition, we are told that there is no need for a belief in God, because humans have figured out everything important or are on their way to solving the last of the Universe’s unsolved mysteries.

Anyone familiar with true science knows, however, that such grandiose claims ring as hollow as a drum. Not only have atheistic, evolutionary scientists failed to offer reasonable ideas concerning the origin of the Universe and biological life, but human knowledge of some of the most basic structures remains extremely limited, to say the least.

Take ice formation, for instance. Humans have been interacting with ice and snow for thousands of years. Yet, for all the time humans have been studying the stuff, we know precious little about its formation. Science writer Margaret Wertheim admitted: “In an age when we have discovered the origin of the universe and observed the warping of space and time, it is shocking to hear that scientists do not understand something as seemingly paltry as the format of ice crystals. But that is indeed the case” (2006, p. 177). While Weytheim is wrong about science discovering the origin of the Universe (people for millennia have known the true origin of the Cosmos to be God), she is right that human ignorance glares at us through the simple structure of an ice crystal.

How can humans claim to know so much, and claim to be at the pinnacle of all knowledge, intellect, and wisdom, and yet not be able to explain how something as seemingly simple as ice forms? As God told the prophet Jeremiah, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” (12:5).

When Job questioned God’s care, God condescended to speak with the suffering patriarch. Yet God’s answers were nothing Job expected to hear. God did not begin by offering a reasoned defense of why He was allowing Satan to torment Job. Instead, God asked Job questions that exhibited Job’s ignorance and pathetic frailty. He asked Job where Job was when God “laid the foundations of the earth” (38:4). God further queried if Job could bind the constellations together, or control rain and weather (38: 31-35). In the middle of God’s inquisition, He asked Job: “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen” (38:29-30). God was asking Job if he understood ice and its formation. Job’s answer to God’s interrogation shows his honest heart. He said to God: “Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (42:3).

Would to God that our modern, “enlightened” generation of thinkers would recognize that, just as Job, we still cannot explain even some of the most “paltry” physical reactions as the formation of ice crystals. That being the case, the only correct inference from such is to conclude that the Intelligence that created ice and initiated the laws of its formation is vastly superior in every way to human intelligence. Margaret Wertheim is an evolutionist, but she was forced to concede: “Though they melt on your tongue, each tiny crystal of ice encapsulates a universe whose basic rules we have barely begun to discern.” All rules and laws demand the presence of a lawgiver, and the humble snowflake manifests the fact that our Universe’s Lawgiver has thoughts that are supremely higher than human thoughts, and ways that are higher than man’s ways (Isaiah 55:9).

REFERENCE


Wertheim, Margaret (2006), What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty, ed. John Brockman (New York: Harper).

God Always Thinks Ahead by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1547

God Always Thinks Ahead

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The report of the miraculous events that God used to deliver the Israelites from bondage had spread throughout the land of Canaan. The inhabitants of Canaan had lost all courage and trembled with fear at the prospect of fighting against a people with such a powerful God. In fact, when Joshua sent out the two spies to explore the city of Jericho, the harlot Rahab hid them from danger and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt” (Joshua 2:9-10). God’s work and reputation had so paralyzed the Canaanites that the Israelites planned to make easy work of them.
In the first major battle of the Canaanite conquest, the battle of Jericho, God continued to help the Israelites by miraculously destroying the walls of the city. God did, however, decree that none of the gold or silver in Jericho was to be taken by any individuals; it was all to be dedicated to Him. Sadly, an Israelite named Achan disobeyed God’s command and took a wedge of gold, unbeknownst to Joshua and the other Israelites.
In the confidence of their colossal victory over Jericho, the Israelites next plotted to take the small Canaanite city of Ai. Without consulting God, the Israelites only sent a few thousand men to Ai, thinking that victory was inevitable. Aspirations of victory were defeated, however, when the few men of Ai sallied forth and defeated the Israelites, killing some 36 men.
Joshua and the Israelites were devastated and confused. Why had God left them? And what would the other Canaanite nations do now that they saw that the Israelites could be beaten? Joshua mourned and cried to God, “O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great Name?” (Joshua 7:8-9).
Upon hearing Joshua’s prayer, God informed him of Achan’s sin and explained that the Israelites would not be victorious until the sinner was removed from the camp. Joshua speedily followed God’s instructions for the removal of Achan. Then God gave Joshua a plan for defeating Ai. He instructed Joshua to set an ambush behind the city. Then he was to set a band of soldiers in front of the city and retreat as in the previous battle (Joshua 8). When all the men of Ai saw the retreating Israelites, they thought that the Israelites were defeated as before, and they all rushed forward, leaving the city unguarded. Those in ambush then attacked the city, and signaled for the retreating Israelites to turn and fight. The result was the utter defeat of Ai.
What appeared to be a major defeat to Joshua and the other Israelites, God used to set the stage for a major victory, by making the defeat look intentional. God had added another element to the Canaanites’ reasons to fear Him, showing that not only were the Israelites powerful and strong with His aid, but that they also were capable of cunning military strategy through His guidance. God’s name and brilliance were once again glorified, even in spite of the temporary setback caused by sin in the Israelite camp. This episode provides one more piece of evidence that “[t]here is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30).

Darwin, Evolution, and Racism by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2654

Darwin, Evolution, and Racism

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The creation and evolution models stand in stark contradistinction in many ways. One model suggests the Universe is the product of an infinite, eternal, omnipotent Creator; the other credits time and random chance processes for the Universe and everything in it. The creation model declares that an intelligent Designer created a variety of life on Earth; evolution purports that all life evolved from a common ancestor. The creation model maintains that morality originated with the Creator; atheistic evolution implies that morality is a human invention without a universal standard.
Another major contrast between creation and evolution, which receives relatively little attention from evolutionists, concerns whether some groups of humans are innately superior to others. The biblical creation model indicates that all humans, regardless of shape, size, or color, descended from an original couple created specially by God (Genesis 1-2). Every human life is valuable (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6), but no human (save God incarnate—John 1:1-3), nor any group of humans, is more valuable or superior than others (Romans 10:12; cf. Colossians 3:11). Darwinian evolution, on the other hand, is grounded in the idea that all humans evolved from ape-like creatures, and, since some groups of humans supposedly are less ape-like than others, some humans are more highly evolved, and thus, superior and of more value.
Multiplied millions, perhaps even billions, of people around the world are familiar with Charles Darwin’s most famous work, The Origin of Species. This year (2009) marks the book’s 150th anniversary—a fact highly publicized by today’s scientific establishment. It seems, however, that relatively few people are aware of the full title of Darwin’s 1859 work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection—or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (emp. added). Favored races? Did Darwin believe that some races, or “species of men,” as he referred to them (1871, p. 395), were favored or more highly evolved than others? Although he steered clear of these ideas in The Origin of Species, his second major work on evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, did address the issue.
Darwin began the first chapter of The Descent of Man with these words: “He who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals” (1871, p. 395). Later, in his chapter titled “On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man,” Darwin wrote:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521).
Clearly, Darwin was convinced that the more “civilised races” (e.g., Caucasian) would one day exterminate the more savage races, which he considered to be less evolved (and thus more ape-like) than Caucasians. Darwin believed that “the negro” and “Australian” are like sub-species, somewhere between Caucasians and apes. [NOTE: In addition to Darwin’s racist comments in The Descent of Man, he also included sexist statements. His evolutionary views led him to believe that “[t]he chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.... [T]he average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.... [M]an has ultimately become superior to woman” (pp. 873-874).]
One of Darwin’s closest friends and defenders, the prominent 19th-century English biologist Thomas Huxley, was even more direct in his evolutionary-based racist remarks. In his 1865 essay, “Emancipation—Black and White,” Huxley remarked:
It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest (emp. added).
According to “Darwin’s Bulldog,” as Huxley was called, the “Negro” is not equal to “the white man.” The alleged smaller-brained, big-jawed negro supposedly cannot compete on the same playing field with the white man. Huxley espoused the false notion that “[t]he highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins” (1865, emp. added). Little did Huxley know that less then 150 years later an African-American would sit in the highest office of the most wealthy and powerful nation on Earth.
The fact is, Darwinian evolution implies that some groups of humans are closer to our alleged ape-like ancestors in their mental faculties than others. Thus, some groups of humans supposedly are superior to others. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. There are not different species or races of men; there is just one human race—an intelligent people (see Lyons, 2002)—that God created “in His image” in the beginning (Genesis 1-2; see Lyons and Thompson, 2002), both “male and female” (Genesis 1:27, emp. added). All of humanity descended from Adam and Eve, the first couple (1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20), and later Noah, through whom the Earth was repopulated after the Flood (Genesis 6-10). Whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, we share equal value as human beings, God’s image-bearers (Genesis 1:26-28; cf. Romans 10:12). What’s more, all men stand on equal footing before God as sinners (Romans 3:10,23) in need of a Savior (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16).

REFERENCES

Darwin, Charles (1859), The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Darwin, Charles (1871), The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Huxley, Thomas (1865), “Emancipation—Black and White,” [On-line], URL: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/B&W.html.
Lyons, Eric (2002), “Ancient Nitwits or Knowledgeable Ancestors?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1798.
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’” Reason & Revelation [Part I & Part II], 22:17-23,25-31, March/April.

Homosexuality and Transgenderism: The Science Supports the Bible by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1011

Homosexuality and Transgenderism: The Science Supports the Bible

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


For over 40 years, a host of forces have worked vigorously to normalize homosexuality in American society—culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court’s infamous ruling that stipulated homosexual marriage as a constitutional right. These same forces have most recently turned their attention to transgenderism.1 As is always the case, when human beings decide that they want to pursue certain behaviors that have always been considered deviant and illicit (particularly in God’s sight), they will do everything possible to bully and intimidate the opposition (cf. Genesis 19:9). A careful analysis of history demonstrates that the tactics that have been used the past several decades to advance sexual aberration in America are reminiscent of propaganda schemes that have successfully transformed other societies, including Nazi Germany and other totalitarian regimes.2
For all the bombast, coercion, venom, and widespread ridicule marshalled by the left3 and directed against Americans who have steadfastly remained unmoved in their conviction that homosexuality and transgenderism are immoral behaviors, it is refreshing and encouraging to hear the truth declared by credible scientists. In a special report titled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh divulged their startling findings.4 Consider their qualifications and credentials.
Lead author Dr. Mayer is an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, a biostatistician, and a research physician, having trained in medicine and psychiatry in the U.K. and received the British equivalent (M.B.) to the American M.D. Currently a scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, Mayer has been a full-time tenured professor for over 40 years, having held professorial appointments at eight universities, including Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and the University of Michigan. He has also held research faculty appointments at several other institutions, including the Mayo Clinic. He has held appointments in 23 disciplines, including statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, social methodology, psychiatry, mathematics, sociology, political science, economics, and biomedical informatics, and has been published in many top-tier peer-reviewed journals. Co-author Dr. McHugh is arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century and one of the leading psychiatrists in the world. He is the former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is presently a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.5
These scientists found that the most frequently heard claims about sexual orientation and gender identity are not supported by scientific evidence. They found that the LGBT community suffers from “a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole.”6 Regarding sexual orientation, they found: “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”7 “Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times as likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.”8
Regarding human sexuality as it relates to mental health and social stress, they discovered that, “compared to the general population, non-heterosexual subpopulations are at an elevated risk for a variety of adverse health and mental health outcomes,” and are “estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.” Further, “members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population” with “the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%, compared to under 5% in the overall U.S. population.”9
Regarding gender identity, the research showed that “the hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex—that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”10 What’s more:
Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.11
In view of the finality of such drastic surgeries and their impact on mental health, the report insists that
nearly all children ultimately identify with their biological sex. The notion that a two-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science. Indeed, it is iniquitous to believe that all children who have gender-atypical thoughts or behavior at some point in their development, particularly before puberty, should be encouraged to become transgender.12

Conclusion

You see, if the Bible is, in fact, of divine origin, i.e., if there really is a God, and He’s the God of the Bible,13 then the information given in the Bible can be counted on for its veracity. If it affirms explicitly that homosexuality is “against nature” and an “abomination” (Romans 1:26; Leviticus 18:22),14 then we can know that such a behavior is not genetic.15 Knowledge of the truth regarding human behavioral proclivities pertaining to a host of actions is available from the Creator who created the human body and infused it with a spirit, a personality, a mind. We can know what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral.
Hence, Christians were not at all surprised to see some years ago the invention of junk science to allege a genetic source for homosexuality; nor are they surprised finally to hear some honest, legitimate, reputable, credible, scientific investigation that harmonizes with the Bible viewpoint. One can imagine the hostile response with which this latest research has been received by the anti-Christian forces of political correctness. Nevertheless, may the rest of the scientific community heed the admonition of Dr. Mayer when he urges colleagues to maintain impartiality and not allow political controversy and culture to taint their research: “May they never lose their way in political hurricanes.”16

EndnotES

1 Vice-President Joe Biden ludicrously labeled transgender discrimination “the civil rights issue of our time”—Jennifer Bendery (2012), “Joe Biden: Transgender Discrimination Is ‘The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Time’,” The Huffington Post, October 30, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/30/joe-biden-transgender-rights_n_2047275.html.
2 William Allen (1965), The Nazi Seizure of Power (New York: Franklin Watts); George Mosse (1981), Nazi Culture (New York: Schocken Books), pp. 7ff.; J.P. Stern (1975), Hitler: The F├╝hrer and the People (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), pp. 35ff.; Jacques Ellul (1965), Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (New York: Vintage Books).
3 By “the left” I mean those who champion behaviors that throughout history have been deemed immoral by Christian standards. Sometimes alluded to as the “cultural aristocracy,” the primary instigators in America have been television networks and the leftist news media, university faculties, liberal mainline Protestant denominations, Hollywood, liberal judges, and various foundations that are dedicated to transforming the American way of life.
4 Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh (2016), “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” The New Atlantis, 50:10-143, Fall, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/number-50-fall-2016. The authors explain their methodology: “This report offers a careful summary and an up-to-date explanation of many of the most rigorous findings produced by the biological, psychological, and social sciences related to sexual orientation and gender identity. We examine a vast body of scientific literature from several disciplines. We try to acknowledge the limitations of the research and to avoid premature conclusions that would result in over-interpretation of scientific findings…. [O]ur focus is on the scientific evidence—what it shows and what it does not show” (p. 10, emp. in orig.).
5 The reasons for recounting the lengthy and impressive credentials of the authors is to demonstrate (1) that they would be considered by the secular community to be highly qualified to discuss the subject, and (2) that they are not “right wing radical” Christians or religious fanatics who are biased in their appraisals of the scientific evidence. Indeed, Dr. McHugh describes himself as a “politically liberal” Democrat—Erica Goode (2002), “Psychiatrist Says He Was Surprised by Furor Over His Role on Abuse Panel,” The New York Times, August 5, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/05/us/psychiatrist-says-he-was-surprised-by-furor-over-his-role-on-abuse-panel.html?pagewanted=all.
6 Mayer and McHugh, p. 6.
7 Ibid., p. 7.
8 Ibid.
9 p. 8, emp. added. The authors note: “The prevailing explanation in the scientific literature is the social stress model, which posits that social stressors—such as stigmatization and discrimination—faced by members of these subpopulations account for the disparity in mental health outcomes. Studies show that while social stressors do contribute to the increased risk of poor mental health outcomes for these populations, they likely do not account for the entire disparity” (p. 59, emp. added).
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid., p. 9, emp. added.
12 Ibid., p. 6, emp. added.
13 Abundant evidence proves these facts. See apologeticspress.org.
14 For further discussion regarding the biblical view of homosexuality, see Dave Miller (2012), “The President and Homosexuality,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=689&topic=36.
15 Four reasons why we can logically know that homosexuality is not genetically based: (1) The God of the Bible would not forbid or condemn a behavior, holding an individual culpable, if the behavior is in-born, endemic to a person’s being, or an act that the person cannot control or from which he cannot refrain; (2) In referring to homosexuals, when Paul said to the Corinthians, “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11), he demonstrated that practicing homosexuals can cease their illicit practice; (3) As a matter of fact, many practicing homosexuals have reformed, further proving that the practice is a choice; and (4) no scientific evidence exists demonstrating the presence of an alleged “gay” gene.
16 Mayer and McHugh, p. 6.

When did Paul go to Jerusalem? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=782&b=Galatians

When did Paul go to Jerusalem?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Three times in the book of Acts,the Bible student is informed that after Saul’s conversion to Christ in Damascus, he departed for Jerusalem. According to Acts chapter 9, Saul (also called Paul) “increased all the more in strength” following his baptism into Christ, and “confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus” (vs. 22). Then, when “many days were past…the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket” for fear of the Jews (vss. 23,25). Immediately following these verses, the text reads: “And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple” (vs. 26, emp. added). Add to these verses Paul’s respective statements to the Jerusalem mob (Acts 22:17) and to King Agrippa (Acts 26:20) regarding his journey from Damascus to Jerusalem, and Bible students get the impression that shortly after Paul‘s conversion in Damascus, he journeyed to Jerusalem. The problem with this reasoning is that Paul later wrote to the churches of Galatia, and indicated that he “did not immediately…go up to Jerusalem” following his calling to Christ (Galatians 1:16). Rather, he went to Arabia, back to Damascus, and then after three years he went up to Jerusalem (1:17-18). [NOTE: “Arabia” generally is taken as a reference to the vast peninsula which bears that name. Its northwestern boundaries reached almost to Damascus—Pfeiffer, 1979, p. 203.] Concerned Bible students want to know how these passages are harmonized? Did Paul go straight to Jerusalem shortly after his conversion, or three years later?
Although Acts chapters 9,22, and 26 all indicate that Paul went from Damascus to Jerusalem after he became a Christian, one must realize that none of these passages specifically says that Paul went straight from Damascus to Jerusalem. It only says, “And when Saul had come to Jerusalem….” The writer of Acts gives no time limitations here. In fact, nowhere in the New Testament will a person find a statement denying that three years expired between Paul’s conversion and his first trip to Jerusalem as a Christian. Although rarely emphasized, what the Bible does not say regarding Paul’s journeys is very important—it proves that the alleged contradiction is based only on speculation, and not on a fair representation of the Scriptures.
Some question why Paul did not mention his trip to Arabia to preach among the Gentiles when he spoke to the Jewish mob in Jerusalem, and later to King Agrippa. Was it not a vital piece of information? Did he just “forget” about this part of his life? Actually, Paul had a good reason for not mentioning his trip to Arabia—he was speaking to Jews who were “seeking to kill him” because of his dealings with Gentiles (Acts 21:28-31). As a way of comparison, we can understand why a college football player, who transferred from a rival school, may not talk to his current teammates about his former college experiences, or why a new sales representative, who transferred from a competing company, may refrain from talking to current customers and/or coworkers about the three years he spent with the rival company. In a similar way, it did not aid Paul’s cause to mention at the very outset of his speech that some of his first work for the Lord was done among the Gentiles. (The Jews hated Paul for his dealings with the Gentiles. The events recorded in Acts 21 alone are proof of such hatred.) Certain situations simply warrant silence on a subject, rather than an exhaustive detailing of historical facts. Paul did not lie (to the Jerusalem mob or to King Agrippa) about his past experience working with the Gentiles for a time; he merely omitted this piece of information in his efforts to show his fellow Jews that the very people among whom he had been a loyal persecutor were those to whom he now preached.
The twenty-first-century reader must remember that a Bible writer (or a speaker whom a Bible writer quotes) may be writing/speaking from one point of view, and raise a point that may not be made in another situation. Neither Paul in his speeches, nor Luke in penning the book of Acts to Theophilus, saw a need to mention Paul’s journey to Arabia. In his letter to the churches of Galatia, however, Paul was dealing with Judaizers who taught that one had to keep the Law of Moses to be saved, and who wished to discredit Paul as an apostle. Paul thus wrote to tell them that after his conversion, he preached among the Gentiles for an extended amount of time before ever meeting with another apostle. Paul did not hurry off to Jerusalem to get instruction and approval from the Twelve. In defense of his apostolic credentials to the churches of Galatia, Paul mentioned his delayed journey to Jerusalem in order to emphasize (among other things) his genuine apostleship, whose message and authority came from Almighty God, and not from the twelve apostles, or any other person.
REFERENCES
Pfeiffer, Charles F. (1979), Baker’s Bible Atlas (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Cast your burden on the Lord by Roy Davison


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/burden.html


 Cast your burden on the Lord
Have you ever wished that you could just throw off difficulties and problems, that you could be freed from your cares?

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).

Thus, you can! Our cares may be transferred to God. He will take care of us. We may place our trust in Him.

But often, we do not. We tend to be like the vagabond who was walking along the road with a heavy burden on his back. A farmer with a horse and wagon stopped and called: “Friend, climb in the back. I’ll take you to town.”

With much gratitude the heavily loaded man climbed in the back of the wagon.

After a while, the farmer noticed that his passenger, although he was sitting in the wagon, still had his heavy load on his shoulder. He called: “Friend, lay your burden down. Why are you still holding it on your shoulder?”

The man replied: “I thought it might be too heavy for the wagon. So I kept it on my shoulder.”

We are often like that. We come to the Lord for salvation, but think we must carry our own load.

Cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

We can rely on God: “Trust in the LORD forever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4 KJV).

Often, rather than trusting God, we depend on something that is not trustworthy.

The Scriptures warn us not to place our trust in the wrong things .

We may not trust in our own understanding.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Sometimes God allows us to experience difficulties so we will learn to place our trust in Him. Paul wrote: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8, 9).

We may not place our trust in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:8, 9).

“Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

We may not place our trust in military might.

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (Isaiah 31:1).

We may not place our trust in riches.

“He who trusts in his riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28).

“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

If we trust in God we can be free of fear.

“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:7). “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3, 4). “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song; and He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2 NASB).

We may trust, even when things seem bad.

We can follow the example of Daniel’s three friends: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up’”
(Daniel 3:16-18 NASB). Because of their example of trust, Nebuchadnezzar believed in God. At first he said: “What god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15 NASB). What does he say later? “Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God” (Daniel 3:28 NASB).

When we trust in God, we receive grace.

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him” (Psalm 32:10). “We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

Do not try to carry your own load .

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). Cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading January 5 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading January 5 (World English Bible)

Jan. 5
Genesis 5


Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in God's likeness.
Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Gen 5:3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Gen 5:4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
Gen 5:6 Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh.
Gen 5:7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
Gen 5:9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan.
Gen 5:10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
Gen 5:12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel.
Gen 5:13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters
Gen 5:14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
Gen 5:15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared.
Gen 5:16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:17 All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
Gen 5:18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.
Gen 5:19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:20 All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
Gen 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
Gen 5:22 Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years.
Gen 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Gen 5:25 Methuselah lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech.
Gen 5:26 Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.
Gen 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,
Gen 5:29 and he named him Noah, saying, "This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed."
Gen 5:30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.
Gen 5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Jan. 5,6
Matthew 3

Mat 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."
Mat 3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.
Mat 3:6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!
Mat 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Mat 3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."
Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"
Mat 3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
Mat 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.
Mat 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Written on the face by Gary Rose

I would like to say that I really understand people, but I don't. Dogs are much easier and this one is very easy to "get". Love is written on his face- just look at that nose! With humans, its quite difficult to know their hearts, even ones you think you know.

Paul's second letter to the Corinthians shows he knows them well, and their heart.


2 Corinthians, Chapter 3 (World English Bible)
 1 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as do some, letters of commendation to you or from you?  2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men,  3 being revealed that you are a letter of Christ, served by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone, but in tablets that are hearts of flesh.


There is a difference between a person who does things because he has to or because he wants to. Love is that difference; the love of Christ!  Better than rules that are just obeyed, love changes you inside.  Somehow, I wish people could be understood by their noses- just like that dog. Not likely, but I can hope!