3/15/17

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" The Way, The Truth, And The Life (14:6) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                The Way, The Truth, And The Life (14:6)

INTRODUCTION

1. Two of the most remarkable statements by Jesus are found in one verse...
   a. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." - Jn 14:6
   b. "No one comes to the Father except through Me." - ibid.

2. These statements were made in a discussion with His disciples...
   a. As He prepared them for His impending death - Jn 14:1-4
   b. Which prompted questions by Thomas and Philip - Jn 14:5,7-9

[In making such statements, Jesus claims to be three things:  "The Way,
The Truth, And The Life."  Let's take a closer look, where we first observe that Jesus is...]

I. THE WAY

   A. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD...
      1. Jesus clearly claims to the be only way to God - Jn 14:6
      2. As Peter would later proclaim, there is no salvation but through Him - cf. Ac 4:12
      -- This may sound politically incorrect, but Jesus states it
         nonetheless

   B. HOW JESUS IS THE WAY TO THE FATHER...
      1. By revealing Him, stressed in the gospel of John - Jn 14:7-9;
         cf. Jn 1:18; 12:44-45
      2. By opening the way to Him, emphasized in the book of Hebrews - He 10:19-20
      3. By serving as our high priest, another theme in Hebrews 
           - He 2: 17-18; 4:14-16; 10:21-22
      4. He now intercedes for us
         a. As our Advocate - 1Jn 2:1
         b. At the right hand of God - Ro 8:34
         c. The one (and only) Mediator between God and man - 1Ti 2:5
         d. Who ever lives to intercede for us! - He 7:24-25
      -- By virtue of His life on earth, His death on the cross, and now
         His service in heaven, Jesus is truly the only way to God!

[Jesus not only is the way to God, He is also...]

II. THE TRUTH

   A. WHAT IS TRUTH...?
      1. The very question posed by Pontius Pilate - Jn 18:38
      2. Consider the meaning of the Greek words translated as "true" and "truth":
         a. True (alethes) - "unconcealed, manifest...actual, true to fact" - Vine
         b. True (alethinos) - "denotes 'true' in the sense of 'real, ideal, genuine;'" - ibid.
         c. Truth (aletheia)
            1) "objectively, signifying 'the reality lying at the basis
               of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter' (Cremer)" - ibid.
            2) "subjectively, 'truthfulness,' 'truth,' not merely
               verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character" - ibid.
      -- When Jesus speaks of truth, it describes that which corresponds
         to reality, what is factual and absolute, not relative

   B. HOW JESUS IS THE TRUTH...
      1. He proclaims that truth is real and knowable - Jn 8:32
      2. He proclaims that truth can set one free from the bondage of sin - Jn 8:32-34
      3. His doctrine is the way to truth that frees one from sin - Jn 8:31-32,34-36
      4. He faithfully proclaimed His Father's Word, which is truth - cf. Jn 17:14,17
      -- By abiding in Jesus' teachings, we can know the truth and the
         freedom it offers!

[Freedom from the bondage of sin becomes even more meaningful when we
consider how Jesus is...]

III. THE LIFE

   A. HE OFFERS ABUNDANT LIFE...
      1. As He promised in His discourse as the Good Shepherd - Jn 10: 10-11
      2. Jesus offers a peace the world cannot give - Jn 14:27; 16:33; cf. Php 4:6-7
      3. He gives us His love, which passes knowledge - Jn 15:10; cf. Ep 3:19
      4. He provides His joy, that is inexpressible - Jn 15:11; cf. 1 Pe 1:8
      -- With such peace, love, and joy, what an abundant life Jesus
         offers!

   B. HOW JESUS PROVIDES ABUNDANT LIFE...
      1. By His doctrine regarding the new birth
         a. We must be born again - Jn 3:3
         b. We must be born again of water and the Spirit - Jn 3:4-5
      2. By sending the Spirit who gives the new birth and new life
         a. The Spirit who regenerates us in baptism - Tit 3:5-6
         b. The Spirit who becomes for us "rivers of living water" 
              - Jn 7:37-39; cf. Ga 5:22-23
      -- Jesus provides abundant life His through gospel, by which we
         are born again to a new life which the Spirit makes possible
         - cf. 1Pe 2:22-25

CONCLUSION

1. Jesus is truly the way, the truth, and the life...
   a. The way to knowing and experience God as our Heavenly Father
   b. The embodiment of truth that provides freedom from the guilt and bondage of sin
   c. The source of life that is blessed now and lasts forever!

2. Has Jesus become your way to God, your truth, and your life...?
   a. To a close and personal relationship with God?
   b. To deliverance from the guilt of sin through the blood of Christ?
   c. To an abundant life by virtue of a spiritual rebirth and the
      blessings that follow?

Jesus may be "the" way, truth, and life, but He is of no value unless He
becomes "your" way to the true salvation that leads to eternal life with
God.  Have you responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ...? - cf. Mk 16:
15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" By This All Will Know (13:34-35) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                    By This All Will Know (13:34-35)

INTRODUCTION

1. How is the world to know that we are truly disciples of Christ,
   members of His body?
   a. Is it by the name we wear?
   b. Is it by having the right doctrine, organization, worship, etc.?

2. It is certainly important to have all these things; but if we think...
   a. That by these things alone we are truly the disciples of Jesus
   b. That by these things alone the world will know we are Christ's disciples
   ...then we are sadly mistaken!

3. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus identified a key mark of discipleship...
   a. He gave what He called "a new commandment" - Jn 13:34
   b. It was a command to "love one another" - Jn 13:34
   c. He said "by this all will know" who were His disciples - Jn 13:35

4. Love for one another is how people will know that we are truly the
   disciples of Jesus...
   a. Do we know what kind of love that is?
   b. How do we develop that kind of love?
   c. How do we demonstrate this love?

[In this study I wish to encourage the kind of love Jesus commands of
us, so that "By This All Will Know" that we are truly His disciples! Let's begin with...]

I. THIS LOVE DEFINED

   A. IT IS A NEW KIND OF LOVE...
      1. There had always been the love of family, friends, etc.
      2. The OT taught to "love your neighbor as yourself" - Lev 19:18
      3. But Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another"
                                     - Jn 13:34
         a. This is not simply a command to love one another
         b. But a command to love one another in a special way
      -- Jesus is calling us to new and higher standard of love!

   B. IT IS A SACRIFICIAL LOVE...
      1. What kind of love does Jesus command?
         a. "as I have love you, that you also love another"
         b. It is a love patterned after Jesus' love for us
         -- This is what makes it a new and higher standard of love!
      2. The love Jesus had for us can be summarized in one word: sacrificial
         a. As Jesus explained in Jn 15:13
         b. As John wrote in 1Jn 3:16-18
         c. As Paul commanded in Ep 5:1-2
      3. It was this kind of love manifested by the first disciples of Jesus
         a. The church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:44-45
         b. The churches in Macedonia - 2Co 8:1-5

   C. IT IS A VISIBLE LOVE...
      1. By such love Jesus declared "all will know that you are My disciples" - Jn 13:35
         a. The implication is that such love will be visible and
            observable
         b. And visible by ALL, not just by brethren!
      2. To be a visible love, requires a love...
         a. That goes beyond the four walls of the church building
         b. That extends beyond the few hours we are assembled together
         c. That can be observed by those of the world and in the world
      -- In some way, the world needs to have the opportunity to
         observe the disciples in action, in which their love that is
         patterned after Jesus' love can be seen

[Being a "warm and friendly church" while assembled is commendable, but
it alone does not fulfill the command to have a new, sacrificial, and
visible love patterned after the love of Jesus!

If we wish to manifest this kind of love in our lives, where do we begin?  Consider...]

II. THIS LOVE DEVELOPED

   A. WE ARE TAUGHT BY GOD...
      1. The Thessalonians excelled in this love - 1Th 4:9-10
      2. For they had been "taught by God to love one another"
      3. Certainly God's own love for us teaches us how to love - cf. 1Jn 4:9-11
      -- Think of the Father's own sacrificial love for us, in sending
         His Son to be the propitiation for our sins!

   B. WE LEARN FROM JESUS...
      1. Jesus' own example of sacrifice teaches the true meaning of love - 1Jn 3:16
      2. The more we contemplate upon the example of Jesus' life and
         death, the more likely we will love like He did!

   C. WE ARE TO BE STIRRED UP BY BRETHREN...
      1. We are to stir one another to love and good works - He 10:24
      2. An important means of doing this is by frequent assembling - He 10:25
      -- Perhaps one reason why some don't love as they should, is
         because they don't assemble like they should!

[Through careful study of the Father's love for us, the Savior's love
for us, and through frequent assembling where we stir up another to
love and good works, we can develop the kind of love "By Which All Will
Know" we are Jesus' disciples.  Finally, a thought or two about...]

III. THIS LOVE DEMONSTRATED

   A. IN OUR ASSEMBLY...
      1. When we are assembled and have guests, we have an opportunity
         to demonstrate our love for another
      2. What do our guests see?  Do they see Christians who...
         a. Are glad to see one another?
         b. Are willing to take the time to visit with each other?
         c. Even know each other's name?
      -- Our assemblies may be the only time some guests have the
         opportunity to see Christians interact; do they see an evident
         love and concern for one another?

   B. IN OUR COMMUNITY...
      1. We often have the opportunity to be together in ways that
         others can see...
         a. Perhaps we work with other Christians
         b. Or we have neighbors that are Christians
         c. Or we gather to visit, or do things together
      2. What do those in the world see?  Do they see an interaction that...
         a. Reveals a strong love and appreciation for one another?
         b. Shows a sincere interest in each other's well-being?
      3. Where there are differences, is the way we handle them different?
         a. Christians will often sin against one another, offend one another
         b. But will they see long-suffering and a quickness to
            forgive, even as Christ forgave us? - cf. Ep 4:32; Col 3:13

CONCLUSION

1. Jesus has revealed a powerful tool to persuade the world that we are His disciples...
   a. Certainly we show our discipleship by faithfulness to His
      doctrine - cf. Jn 8:32
   b. But in a world that cares little for doctrinal distinctiveness,
      a Christ-like love for one another is how Jesus would have us
      convince the world! - cf. Jn 13:34-35

2. How is your love for your brother in Christ?
   a. Is it Christ-like, i.e., a sacrificial love?
   b. Is it observable, i.e., do people see your brotherly love in our
      assemblies and community?

3. If you admit your love for your brethren needs work (and we all can improve)...
   a. Look to God and Jesus as the ultimate teachers of what it means
      to love one another
   b. Utilize opportunities to be with brethren
      1) Which provides occasion to grow and display your love
      2) Which can serve to stir you to love and good works - cf. He 10:24-25

So remember...

   "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as
   I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all
   will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
   another." (Jn 13:35)

   "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
                                                  (1Jn 4:11)
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Evolutionists Want It Both Ways by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=728

Evolutionists Want It Both Ways

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Astronomers from more than 30 research institutions in 15 countries are working together to select a site for a giant telescope that they hope will read TV or radio signals from alien civilizations. Slated to cost one billion dollars, the Square Kilometer Array, or SKA, would be the world’s most powerful radio telescope. Speaking at a conference of the International Society for Optical Engineering in Orlando, Florida, project astronomers said they hope to find “immediate and direct evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe” (“Sites Under...,” 2006).
Despite this bold venture, the scientists admit that “such a search would have distinct limitations, to be sure.” “Distinct limitations”? Like what? For one, the scientists “aren’t sure how to recognize such signals, if they do turn up. The hope is that the signals would consist of organized patterns suggestive of intelligence, and not attributable to any known celestial sources” (“Sites Under...,” 2006, emp. added). Wait a minute. Evolutionary scientists are renowned for their condescending ridicule of creationists because those who believe in God assert that evidence of intelligent design in the Universe is proof of an Intelligent Designer. No, the evolutionists counter, the Universe got here by accident through random chance, mindless trial and error, and the blind, mechanistic forces of nature. They maintain that life on Earth owes its ultimate origin to dead, non-purposive, unconscious, non-intelligent matter. Yet they are perfectly willing to squander one billion dollars on a telescope with the speculative idea that solid proof—hard evidence—for the existence of alien life would reside in otherwise undecipherable radio or TV signals that convey “organized patterns suggestive of intelligence.” [NOTE: One is reminded of NASA’s Viking mission to Mars in the mid-seventies in which scientists eagerly declared evidence for life on Mars based on initial photos that appeared to show a “B” or even a face on a rock (cf. “‘Life’ on Mars,” 2006; Warren and Flew, 1976, pp. 112,156). Such judgments soon were deemed premature and incorrect.] Atheistic evolutionists want it both ways: organized patterns prove the existence of life and organized patterns do not prove the existence of God. Philosophers and logicians refer to such duplicitous posturing as irrational and “logical contradiction.” Apparently, evolutionists call it “science.”

REFERENCES

“‘Life’ on Mars” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/mars_life.html.
“Sites Under Review for Telescope that Could Detect Alien TV” (2006), World Science, July 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/060711_ska.htm.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony Flew (1976), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Prayer: “Immoral and Un-American”? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=395

Prayer: “Immoral and Un-American”?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The ongoing assault on America’s historic Christian heritage grows more aggressive and alarming with each passing day. One recent outrage by the ACLU consists of an attempt to punish Louisiana school officials for permitting a pre-game prayer at a high school baseball game. The local ACLU director called the brief prayer for player safety—“un-American and immoral” (Hume, 2005). Unbelievable and outrageous! How can the broad segment of American society allow such vicious, ludicrous attacks on our freedoms to be perpetuated? Did the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the federal Constitution wish to create a secular society in which the Christian religion is not allowed to be manifested in public—whether in the government, the public school, or local communities? Would they agree with the ACLU’s contention that prayer is immoral and un-American? Quite the opposite. The historical evidence is overwhelming and decisive. Even a casual perusal of Founder remarks quickly and easily exposes the ACLU’s contention as erroneous and uninformed.
Having been instructed by resolution from the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the Senate, President George Washington issued a proclamation calling for a day of national prayer and thanksgiving:
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God...” (1789, emp. added).
The second President of the United States, John Adams, issued a proclamation on March 23, 1798 urging the nation to petition God in prayer:
As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; ...it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants. I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies (emp. added).
President James Madison called for a national day of prayer during the War of 1812:
The two Houses of the National Legislature having by a joint resolution expressed their desire that in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, His blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace (1814, emp. added).
A year later on March 4, with peace restored, another proclamation was issued:
The senate and House of Representatives of the United States have by a joint resolution signified their desire that a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace (1815, emp. added).
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, while governor of Massachusetts, issued a proclamation on February 28, 1795 calling for “public fasting, humiliation, and prayer”:
The supreme Ruler of the Universe, having been pleased, in the course of his Providence, to establish the Independence of the United States of America, and to cause them to assume their rank, amount the nations of the Earth, and bless them with Liberty, Peace and Plenty; we ought to be led by Religious feelings of Gratitude; and to walk before Him, in all Humility, according to his most Holy Law.... [I]t is therefore highly incumbent on us, according to the ancient and laudable practice of our pious Ancestors, to open the year by a public and solemn Fast. That with true repentance and contrition of Heart, we may unitedly implore the forgiveness of our Sins, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and humbly supplicate our Heavenly Father, to grant us the aids of his Grace, for the amendment of our Hearts and Lives, and vouchsafe his smiles upon our temporal concerns: I have therefore thought fit to appoint, and with the advice and consent of the Council, I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Second Day of April next, to be observed as a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer throughout this Commonwealth (emp. added).
On Thursday, June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin delivered a passionate plea to the Constitutional Convention to pray to God for His assistance in their deliberations:
In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered.... I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business (emp. added).
These allusions to the essentiality of public prayer throughout the nation are legion during the period of the Founders and Framers. They could be multiplied many times over. The average American today simply has no idea how thoroughly the Christian worldview was embedded into the hearts and lives of the Founders—who frequently and repeatedly indicated their insistence that America’s status was integrally and inextricably linked to God and His providential acts.
Consider one additional compelling sample. Three years after they declared their independence from England, while the Revolutionary War was raging, the Continental Congress issued a national proclamation that is literally saturated with recognition of the one true God, the one true religion, and the absolute imperative that all Americans direct prayers to the God of the Bible. [NOTE: The reader is asked to exercise patience in giving due consideration to the lengthy quotation that follows, taken from the Library of Congress Web site (see “Proclamation,” 1779).]
WHEREAS, in just Punishment of our manifold Transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all Events to visit these United States with a calamitous War, through which his Divine Providence hath hitherto in a wonderful Manner conducted us, so that we might acknowledge that the Race is not to the Swift, nor the Battle to the Strong: AND WHEREAS, notwithstanding the Chastisements received and Benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a Sense of their Guilt, or warmed with Gratitude, or taught to amend their Lives and turn from their Sins, that so he might turn his Wrath: AND WHEREAS, from a Consciousness of what we have merited at his Hands, and an Apprehension that the Malevolence of our disappointed Enemies, like the Incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the Scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is Reason to fear that he may permit much of our Land to become the Prey of the Spoiler, our Borders to be ravaged, and our Habitations destroyed:
RESOLVED,
THAT it be recommended to the several States to appoint the First Thursday in May next to be a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending Calamities which we have but too well deserved: That he will grant us his Grace to repent of our Sins, and amend our Lives according to his Holy Word: That he will continue that wonderful Protection which hath led us through the Paths of Danger and Distress: That he will be a Husband to the Widow, and a Father to the fatherless Children, who weep over the Barbarities of a Savage Enemy: That he will grant us Patience in Suffering, and Fortitude in Adversity: That he will inspire us with Humility, Moderation, and Gratitude in prosperous Circumstances: That he will give Wisdom to our Councils, Firmness to our Resolutions, and Victory to our Arms: That he will bless the Labours of the Husbandman, and pour forth Abundance, so that we may enjoy the Fruits of the Earth in due Season: That he will cause Union, Harmony, and mutual Confidence to prevail throughout these States: That he will bestow on our great Ally all those Blessings which may enable him to be gloriously instrumental in protecting the Rights of Mankind, and promoting the Happiness of his Subjects: That he will bountifully continue his paternal Care to the Commander in Chief, and the Officers and Soldiers of the United States: That he will grant the Blessings of Peace to all contending Nations, Freedom to those who are in Bondage, and Comfort to the Afflicted: That he will diffuse Useful Knowledge, extend the Influence of True Religion, and give us that Peace of Mind which the World cannot give: That he will be our Shield in the Day of Battle, our Comforter in the Hour of Death, and our kind Parent and merciful Judge through Time and through Eternity.
Done in CONGRESS, this Twentieth Day of March, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Nine, and in the Third Year of our Independence.
JOHN JAY, President
Attest. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary
Not only does this proclamation, and many more early documents, refute the contention that “prayer is un-American and immoral,” it establishes very clearly the fact that the Founders firmly believed in the one true God to the exclusion of all other deities, that they believed in the one true religion (i.e., Christianity) to the exclusion of all other religions, and that they believed in the one true “Holy Word” of God (i.e., the Bible) to the exclusion of all other books. They believed that the establishment of the Republic, the outcome of the Revolutionary War, and America’s future survival were completely dependent on the favor, guidance, and blessings of God. They believed the Bible’s assertion: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). Indeed, how tragically ironic that the very ones who are opposing the Christian religion—by doing everything they can to undermine prayer and Christian morality in the public square—are in actuality the ones who are “un-American and immoral.”

REFERENCES

Adams, John (1798), “Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations,” Pilgrim Hall Museum, [On-line], URL: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1789.htm.
Adams, Samuel (1795), “1795 Massachusetts Fasting and Prayer Proclamation,” Wallbuilders, [On-line], URL: http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=108.
“Proclamation” (1779), Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789, The Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query.
Franklin, Benjamin (1787), Records of the Federal Convention, [On-line], URL: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/benfranklin.htm.
Hume, Brit (2005), “Prayer Punishment,” Fox News: Political Grapevine, [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,152684,00.html.
Madison, James (1814), “Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations,” Pilgrim Hall Museum, [On-line], URL: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1789.htm.
Madison, James (1815), “Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations,” Pilgrim Hall Museum, [On-line], URL: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1789.htm.
Washington, George (1789), “The Thanksgiving Proclamation,” The Papers of George Washington, [On-line], URL: http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/thanksgiving/intro.html.

Is Marriage a "Good" Thing? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=664&b=Genesis

Is Marriage a "Good" Thing?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Generally, marriage is looked upon by the world around us as a good and acceptable institution. Since the commencement of time, the universal law has been that marriage is proper and beneficial. On the very day that God created the first man, He stated: “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18); thus He created a wife for Adam (2:21-24). Everything God had created and examined up until that point had been “good” (1:4,10,21,25). The one thing He stated as being “not good,” however, was man’s lack of human companionship. Therefore, God created woman to be man’s helper and lifelong companion. It was only after her creation (at the end of the six days) that we read for the first time His creation was “very good” (1:31).
Although other biblical passages confirm that “marriage is honorable among all” (Hebrews 13:4), and that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22), some have questioned the reliability of the Creation account in light of Paul’s assessments of marriage in his first letter to the Corinthian church. In this epistle he wrote the following:
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (7:1).
“I wish that all men were even as I myself [i.e., not married— EL]” (7:7).
“I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am” (7:8).
“It is good for a man to remain as he is” (7:26).
It is alleged by some that Paul’s analysis of marriage is in opposition to the view found in the Creation account. Whereas God said, “it is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18, emp. added), Paul told the Corinthian church that “it is good” to remain single. Can these two views of marriage be reconciled? Or is this a legitimate contradiction?
As is often the case, the verses in 1 Corinthians only present a problem because the context of chapter 7 has been overlooked. The reader must understand that Paul is responding to questions he received in a letter from the Corinthians (7:1). Obviously some of the questions pertained to marriage, and whether or not the apostle deemed it advisable. What many people overlook is that the questions were asked, and Paul’s responses were offered, in light of “the present distress” that the Corinthians were facing. Likely, the members of the church at Corinth had asked him whether or not it was proper for a Christian to marry in their present circumstances. In 7:26, Paul wrote: “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress —that it is good for a man to remain as he is [single—EL]” (1 Corinthians 7:26, emp. added). Exactly what “the present distress” was at this time is unknown, but it likely involved oppression and persecution at the hands of the Romans (possibly Emperor Nero).
Whatever the precise “distress” was in Corinth, it is clear that God inspired Paul to write that it was in their best interest to remain unmarried. Perhaps he wanted to spare them situations like someone telling them they would have to either deny Christ or see a family member put to death (cf. Jeremiah 16:1-4). Even today, if a person is aware that severe persecution is imminent, he likely will delay getting married and having children. When Jesus spoke about the “great distress” that would come upon Jerusalem, He specifically warned “those who are pregnant” and “those who are nursing babies” (Luke 21:23). Jesus informed them that they would have greater difficulties surviving “the edge of the sword” that would come upon Jerusalem (Luke 21:24; cf. Matthew 24:19-21). Similarly, Paul advised those in Corinth to remain unmarried “because of the present distress” (1 Corinthians 7:26).
The Bible teaching on marriage is clear to the unbiased reader: marriage is indeed “ honorable among all” (Hebrews 13:4), and since the beginning it normally has been “good” for mankind (Genesis 2:18). In certain instances, however, it might be inadvisable. The apostle Paul mentions one such case in 1 Corinthians 7.

THE WAR IS ON by J.C. Bailey


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/warison.html

THE WAR IS ON

As the year 1990 comes to a close, dark war clouds hover over the world.

As Christians, we are also engaged in a war, but we do not war according to the flesh. The forces of the Muslim world would destroy Christianity, if they could; and this battle is joined throughout the world.

We call your attention to the statement made in the Scriptures, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:4,5).

Some years ago, brother J.A. Johnson (now deceased) converted a Muslim to Christianity. This man has made an exhaustive study of the Muslim religion and has been very successful in turning Muslims to Christ. This has brought upon him persecution, but he is pressing the battle more and more zealously. The battle has not been without fruit, for more than 240 former Muslims are now devout Christians in India. This brother has started a school to train these former Muslims to go out into the villages of India and convert Muslims to Christ. I had the privilege while in India this time of visiting this work. I heard the beautiful singing of these men who joyfully proclaimed to the world their faith in Christ.
Warning! The original article by brother Bailey included the name of the above-mentioned man. If you were referred to this article as a reference for this man, please be informed that he no longer has the confidence of faithful brethren who are well-informed about his personal character and work. Roy Davison, 2008.
There is probably no place in the world where the Muslim can be won for Christ with less difficulty than in India. It is true that Muslims sometimes persecute severely those who dare to become Christians. I saw the scars on the head of a beautiful girl of about 18 whose only offense was that she had accepted Christ. The laws of India are supposed to guarantee freedom of religion, so the Muslims are not as vicious as they are in some countries.

This conflict between Christianity and the Muslim religion has continued from the very days of Mohammed himself. From an historical standpoint, 'Christianity' (as commonly practiced) has not been very successful because it is vastly corrupted. Now, however, this spiritual battle is being joined by men who proclaim Christianity in its pure form as revealed in the New Testament.

I am calling upon my brethren to join in this struggle on behalf of the truth of the gospel. Paul said (by the Holy Spirit), "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art also called and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (I Tim. 6:12).

Brethren, a spiritual war is raging. There is no force that is so determined to destroy Christianity as the Muslim religion. When the simple and pure gospel of Christ is preached, we can win decisively. Are we prepared to join the battle for the hearts and minds of men? "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (II Cor. 10:4).

We have seen the truth triumph in India. More than one half million people have become obedient to the faith. Some 1,000 preachers proclaim Christ and Him crucified. Some of these men are of outstanding ability. This conflict with the Muslim religion is just a new phase of our effort to bring the Indian people to the foot of the cross. Brethren, we cannot fail and face the judgment uncondemned.

My twenty-second trip to India has ended. The outward man is decaying, but the inward man is being renewed day by day. I have passed my 87th birthday, and there is serious question that I will ever be able to go to India again, but I promised the Indian brethren that I would fall with my face to the foe and the sword of the Spirit in my hand. To join in this fight "casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:5) gives me extreme joy. (All quotations are from the K.J.V.)

J.C. Bailey, 1990, Bengough, Saskatchewan


Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading March 15 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading  March 15 (World English Bible)


Mar. 15
Exodus 25

Exo 25:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 25:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they take an offering for me. From everyone whose heart makes him willing you shall take my offering.
Exo 25:3 This is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, brass,
Exo 25:4 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair,
Exo 25:5 rams' skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood,
Exo 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense,
Exo 25:7 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.
Exo 25:8 Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
Exo 25:9 According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all of its furniture, even so you shall make it.
Exo 25:10 "They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Its length shall be two and a half cubits, its breadth a cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half its height.
Exo 25:11 You shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and outside, and you shall make a gold molding around it.
Exo 25:12 You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four feet. Two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.
Exo 25:13 You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
Exo 25:14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.
Exo 25:15 The poles shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it.
Exo 25:16 You shall put the testimony which I shall give you into the ark.
Exo 25:17 You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth.
Exo 25:18 You shall make two cherubim of hammered gold. You shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.
Exo 25:19 Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end. You shall make the cherubim on its two ends of one piece with the mercy seat.
Exo 25:20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward one another. The faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.
Exo 25:21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I will give you.
Exo 25:22 There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Israel.
Exo 25:23 "You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth, and one and a half cubits its height.
Exo 25:24 You shall overlay it with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it.
Exo 25:25 You shall make a rim of a handbreadth around it. You shall make a golden molding on its rim around it.
Exo 25:26 You shall make four rings of gold for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet.
Exo 25:27 the rings shall be close to the rim, for places for the poles to carry the table.
Exo 25:28 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be carried with them.
Exo 25:29 You shall make its dishes, its spoons, its ladles, and its bowls to pour out offerings with. You shall make them of pure gold.
Exo 25:30 You shall set bread of the presence on the table before me always.
Exo 25:31 "You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. Of hammered work shall the lampstand be made, even its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.
Exo 25:32 There shall be six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of its one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of its other side;
Exo 25:33 three cups made like almond blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower; and three cups made like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower, so for the six branches going out of the lampstand;
Exo 25:34 and in the lampstand four cups made like almond blossoms, its buds and its flowers;
Exo 25:35 and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the lampstand.
Exo 25:36 Their buds and their branches shall be of one piece with it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 25:37 You shall make its lamps seven, and they shall light its lamps to give light to the space in front of it.
Exo 25:38 Its snuffers and its snuff dishes shall be of pure gold.
Exo 25:39 It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these accessories.
Exo 25:40 See that you make them after their pattern, which has been shown to you on the mountain.

 

Mar. 15, 16
Mark 10

Mar 10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them.
Mar 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
Mar 10:3 He answered, "What did Moses command you?"
Mar 10:4 They said, "Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her."
Mar 10:5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment.
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife,
Mar 10:8 and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Mar 10:10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter.
Mar 10:11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.
Mar 10:12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
Mar 10:13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mar 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
Mar 10:16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mar 10:17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Mar 10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one-God.
Mar 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.' "
Mar 10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."
Mar 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."
Mar 10:22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
Mar 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
Mar 10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Mar 10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."
Mar 10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News,
Mar 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.
Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
Mar 10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.
Mar 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles.
Mar 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
Mar 10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."
Mar 10:36 He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Mar 10:37 They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."
Mar 10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
Mar 10:39 They said to him, "We are able." Jesus said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;
Mar 10:40 but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."
Mar 10:41 When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
Mar 10:42 Jesus summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Mar 10:43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.
Mar 10:44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.
Mar 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mar 10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.
Mar 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:49 Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him." They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"
Mar 10:50 He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Mar 10:51 Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."
Mar 10:52 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.




Forget voices from nowhere; open your Bible and read! by Gary Rose

Charlie Brown: GET OVER YOURSELF!!!  We all make mistakes, we all question ourselves sometimes. Move on, grow up- again, get over yourself!!!

Now, its easy to criticize a "sad sack" cartoon character who is way too hard on himself, but its even easier to be too hard on yourself. Face it, over-analyzing everything you do is a sure-fire path to mental instability.

Make decisions and deal with the consequences. Paul did and we can too...


Philippians, Chapter 3 (World English Bible)
 7 However, I consider those things that were gain to me as a loss for Christ.  8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be a loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ  9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith,  10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death,  11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 

  13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do: forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,  14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.                     (emp. added, vss. 13-14)


Before becoming a Christian, Paul was a "somebody". Then, he was confronted by the risen Christ and his life changed forever. Yet, he still had the memory of his persecution of the church. His solution: forget the past, look to the future and do what you must because of Jesus.

True story, good lesson for us all and hope for the future.