"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" God's Gift Of Eternal Life (6:22-23) INTRODUCTION 1. An familiar verse is that found at the end of Romans six... "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ro 6:23) 2. This passage is often used to suggest that eternal life is... a. A gift given when one becomes a Christian b. A gift requiring no effort on the part of the recipient(s) 3. It is true that elsewhere we learn that.... a. Eternal life is described as a "present possession", enjoyed now by the Christian - 1Jn 5:13 1) Referring to a relationship made possible by knowing God and Jesus - cf. Jn 17:2-3 2) A feature of that which Jesus describes as the "abundant life" - cf. Jn 10:10 b. Salvation is not merited or earned - cf. Tit 3:4-7 1) Even though it does require obedience - He 5:9 2) The gospel contains that which must be obeyed - cf. 2Th 1:8; 1Pe 4:17 4. But in the context of Romans six, the gift of eternal life as described by Paul... a. Is not a present possession, but something received at the end of life! - cf. Ro 6:22 b. Is received not without effort, but as the result of a holy life! - cf. Ro 6:22 [As we carefully consider verse 22 along with the rest of the chapter, note first that eternal life is...] I. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN A. BY DYING TO SIN... -- Paul begins chapter six by revealing: 1. One who dies to sin should no longer live in sin - Ro 6:1-2 2. He who has died has been freed from sin - Ro 6:7 B. IN BAPTISM... -- He then explains how and when one dies to sin: 1. Where we are baptized into His death - Ro 6:3-4 2. Where we are united together in the likeness of His death - Ro 6:5 3. Where our old man was crucified with Him - Ro 6:6 a. That the body of sin might be done away with b. That we should no longer be slaves of sin [Those who have died to sin in baptism have been set free from sin. But now note that according to verse 22 eternal life is...] II. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME SLAVES OF GOD A. NO LONGER SLAVES OF SIN... -- Consider what Paul wrote: 1. We have died to sin - Ro 6:1-2 2. We now live with Christ - Ro 6:8-11 3. We are not to let sin reign and have dominion over us - Ro 6: 12,14 B. NOW SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS... -- Consider what is now the duty of Christians: 1. We are to present ourselves to God as alive from the dead - Ro 6:13 2. We are to present our members as instruments of righteousness to God - Ro 6:13 3. We have become slaves of righteousness through obedience - Ro 6:16-18 [As slaves of God, we are now to be obedient slaves of righteousness. From verse 22 we learn that eternal life will therefore be...] III. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE FRUIT OF HOLINESS A. WHO WERE ONCE SLAVES OF SIN... -- They were slaves of sin: 1. When they presented their members as slaves of uncleanness and lawlessness - Ro 6:19 2. When they were free in regard to righteousness - Ro 6:20 3. When they produced shameful fruit leading to death - Ro 6:21 B. WHO ARE NOW SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS... -- They are now slaves of righteousness: 1. For the purpose of holiness - Ro 6:19c 2. For the fruit leading to holiness - Ro 6:22 [Finally, from verse 22 we learn that for those who have the fruit of holiness, eternal life is...] IV. GIVEN AT THE END OF LIFE A. AT THE END... -- Eternal life is given to those: 1. Having died to sin - Ro 6:22a,1-11 2. Having become slaves to God - Ro 6:22b,12-18 3. Having had the fruit of holiness - Ro 6:22c,19-21 B. ETERNAL LIFE... -- Some observations concerning that which comes at the end: 1. Some translations say "everlasting life" (KJV, NKJV), but it is the same expression translated "eternal life" in verse 23 2. Here Paul speaks of our "future hope", given at the Judgment: a. Of which Jesus often spoke - Mt 25:46; Mk 10:29-30 b. As Paul did elsewhere - Ro 2:4-7; Tit 1:2; 3:7 c. Pertaining to that life with God we enter into in the age to come - cf. Re 21:3-7 CONCLUSION 1. From our study of the context of Ro 6:22-23, we have seen that eternal life is... a. Given to those who have been set free from sin b. Given to those who have become slaves to God c. Given to those who have the fruit of holiness d. Given at the end of life 2. If so, then how is eternal life called a "gift" (or "free gift")...? a. Because it requires the kindness, love, mercy and grace of God - cf. Tit 3:4-7 b. Despite our obedience, we have not earned or merited this gift of eternal life 3. Do we desire to receive "God's Gift Of Eternal Life"? Then one must ask... a. Have I been set free from sin by dying to sin in baptism? b. Have I become a slave to God, presenting myself as a servant of righteousness? c. Am I bearing the fruit of holiness in my life? Let Jesus be your author (source) of eternal life as you humbly obey Him... - cf. He 5:9; Mk 16:15-16
BLOOD—The Liquid of Life
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Blood always has been a curious substance whose vast mysteries and capabilities have yet to be fully explored. Doctors in the twenty-first century transfuse it, draw it, separate it, package it, store it, ship it, and sell it. And, although modern-day scientists have not uncovered completely all of the wonders of blood, they have discovered that it is the key to life. Without this “liquid of life,” humans and animals would have no way to circulate the necessary oxygen and proteins that their bodies need in order to survive and reproduce. Hemoglobin found in the red blood cells carries oxygen to the brain, which in turn uses that oxygen to allow it to control the entire body. A brain without oxygen is like a car without gas or a computer without electricity. Blood makes all of the functions in the body possible.
In the past, ignorance of blood’s value caused some “learned” men to do tragic things. For instance, during the middle ages, and even until the nineteenth century, doctors believed that harmful “vapors” entered the blood and caused sickness. For this reason, leeches were applied to victims of fever and other illnesses in an attempt to draw out blood containing these vapors. Also, the veins and arteries located just above the elbow were opened, and the patient’s arms were bled to expunge the contaminated blood. George Washington, the first President of the United States, died because of such misplaced medical zeal.
Maybe you have seen a red and white striped, twirling pole at the entrance to a barbershop. In the middle ages, barbers did much more than cut hair. They also performed minor surgeries (such as tooth extractions). One of their most frequent feats was bloodletting. Barbershops generally kept on hand a fresh supply of leeches—stored in a basin on top of the pole.
But what does all this have to do with the Bible? Thousands of years before the lethal practice of bloodletting was conceived, mankind had been informed by God that blood was indeed the key to life. In Leviticus 17:11, Moses wrote: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Because red blood cells carry oxygen (due to hemoglobin in the cells), life is made possible. In fact, we know today that human red blood cells carry approximately 270,000,000 molecules of hemoglobin per cell. If there were any less, there would not be enough residual oxygen to sustain life after, say, a hard sneeze or a hefty pat on the back.
Today, we understand completely the truthfulness of Moses’ statement that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” But how did an ancient shepherd like Moses come to know such information? Just a lucky guess? How could Moses have known almost 3500 years ago that life was in the blood, while it took the rest of the scientific and medical community thousands of years (and thousands of lives!) to discover this truth? That answer, of course, is that Moses was guided by the Great Physician—and therein lies the difference between life and death.
Wrong is Always Wrong
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
Sinful human beings are ever attempting to blur the distinction between “right” and “wrong.” This inclination reaches far back into antiquity. The book of Proverbs declares: “He that justifies the wicked, and he that condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination unto Jehovah” (17:15). Later, the prophet Isaiah affirmed: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Amos spoke of those who “turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth” (Amos 5:7).
“Right” and “wrong” do exist. They are not merely “evolved inclinations” that have been humanly contrived in order to introduce a sense of order and security into society. Nor are “right” and “wrong” subjectively determined so that, practically speaking, each person functions as his own law-maker. Rather, morality is to be measured by the laws and principles of divine revelation, as made known in the inspired writings of the Bible. Ultimately, morality is grounded in the very nature of God Himself. “[A]s he who calls you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy” (1 Peter 1:15). Though such a concept is almost wholly rejected by modern society, there is ample evidence to support it.
Let us contemplate briefly some of the principles contained in Scripture that assist us in putting “right” and “wrong” things into proper focus.
1. “Wrong” is not determined by the perpetrator’s moral sensitivity to an act. A wrong act is still wrong whether or not the violator is aware of it, or whether or not he feels comfortable with the situation. Saul of Tarsus did not know that he was doing wrong when he persecuted Christianity (see Acts 23:1; 26:9; 1 Timothy 1:13), but he was violating the will of God nonetheless. Ignorance is no excuse (Acts 17:30). In modern society, for example, many have entangled themselves in adulterous “marital” relationships. Frequently it is argued that such liaisons may be sustained because the parties “did not know” the intricacies of God’s marriage law when the unions were made. The logic is fallacious. Will a similar argument eventually be offered to defend the concept of same-sex “marriages”?
2. “Right” is not established merely by what man is able to accomplish by means of his genius and/or ability. Pragmatism does not provide the criteria for ethics. One human being presumptively can take another’s life, but that does not make the act moral. Two unmarried youngsters are able to conceive a child apart from the sacred vows of matrimony, but the act is illegitimate nonetheless. “Might” does not make “right,” and autocratic decisions relating to moral matters are condemned in Scripture (see Habakkuk 1:11). Radical attempts at human genetic engineering, or cloning, may be accomplished eventually through the manipulation of genetic laws, but the achievement, in and of itself, does not license the practice as ethical. The issue must ever be: Is a procedure consistent with the principles of God’s inspired revelation?
3. “Right” and “wrong” are not determined by what is legal. In the Roman world of the Caesars, infanticide was legal, but it was not moral. In some ancient cultures, a woman was not a person; she was mere property to be abused, or disposed of, at the whim of her husband. There are few who would defend the ethics of this custom. Homosexuality is legal, but it is moral perversion (Romans 1:26-27). The destruction of human life by means of abortion has the sanction of civil law, but the practice is abominable before the eyes of the Creator (Proverbs 6:17).
4. “Right” and “wrong” are not grounded in what a majority of the population “feels” is ethical. Jesus Christ is a King; He has not implemented a democracy to determine, by majority vote, how human beings ought to live. In the first place, man never can be his own guide. “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Second, fallible opinion, multiplied a thousand times, does not change wrong into right. Moses solemnly warned: “Thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). It hardly is necessary to remind ourselves that the path of the majority is the way of destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
5. “Wrong” is wrong, whether or not one is ever caught. In the isolated environment of ancient Egypt, separated from his kinsmen, Joseph might well have rationalized an illicit relationship with Potiphar’s wife on the ground that his indiscretion never would be known by his family. His reasoning, however, was: “[H]ow then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). There will be a time when the “skeletons come out of the closet” and “the chickens come home to roost.” Many things that have been perpetrated in darkness will be revealed in light, and secret evils will be proclaimed from the rooftops (see Luke 12:3). Secrecy does not sanctify!
6. “Wrong” does not become right by virtue of passing time. It is certainly the case that the public’s conscience sometimes becomes dull with the passing of years, so that what once was horrifying eventually becomes commonplace. But wrong still is wrong, though a millennium passes. Eventually, there will be accountability (2 Corinthians 5:10).
May God help us to examine our practices by the illumination of His glorious Word (Psalm 119:105), and to determine “right” and “wrong” issued upon that reliable basis.
Peleg, Pangea, and the Division of the Earth
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Most everyone who has read Genesis 10:25 has been intrigued by a particular statement found there. The text says: “To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” What does the statement, “the earth was divided” mean in this verse? In light of the modern idea of Pangea (see Butt, 2006), many have wondered if this verse could be talking about the breaking up of one supercontinent into the various continents that we see today. While this interpretation is not impossible, it is unlikely.
In the context, this verse comes just seven verses before Genesis 11:1. Of course, in the original language, Genesis was not divided into chapters and verses, so there would have been no chapter division. Thus, Genesis 10:25 would naturally have flowed into the discussion of Babel that immediately follows it. In addition, the word “earth” in the passage leads many people to believe that the division is of the physical continents, since, most of the time, in English, the word relates to the physical mass of land. Yet Genesis 11:1 gives us another clear meaning of the term as it was being used in the context. The verse says: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.” What does the text mean when it says “the whole earth?” It is obviously referring to the whole human population that inhabited the Earth. It could not be discussing a physical, geological mass of land.
Interestingly, verse nine of chapter 11 states: “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth, and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Notice that in this verse, the first use of the term “earth” refers to the people on the earth, and the next use “over the face of all the earth” refers to the actual land. The important idea to consider is which “earth” is being divided in this context. The context shows that the “earth” that was divided was the people, and nothing is stated about the division of the land. As Eric Lyons wrote concerning the reference to Peleg: “This is a clear reference to the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel described in chapter 11. The “Earth” (i.e., people; cf. 11:1) divided when God confused the languages (11:7-8). Thus, the division in Peleg’s day is linked contextually to the linguistic segregation at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)” (Lyons, 2004). It seems the best interpretation of Peleg’s name and the division of the Earth during his lifetime is that the text is referring to the separation of the human population due to the fact that God confused their languages at Babel.
REFERENCESButt, Kyle (2006), “Pangea and the Flood,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=1729.
Lyons, Eric (2004), “Only One Language Before Babel?, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=6&article=760.
What Did You Expect?
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
In contrasting the God of Israel with the pagan idols of old, the prophet Isaiah issued a challenge to those who believed in the potency of their pagan deities. Isaiah said this about the idols: “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them…. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods” (41:22-23). According to Isaiah, any deity that could consistently forecast the future would be recognized as a true God, while any unable to tell the future should be relegated to the rubbish pile of false religions. In order to prove that the God of Israel was the true God, Isaiah quoted this from the mouth of God: “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times thins that are not yet done” (46:9-10). Truly, Isaiah’s God could tell the future. The fall of Babylon, the reign of Cyrus, and the coming Messiah are but a few of the more prominent examples found within the book of Isaiah itself. In fact, the writers of the New Testament quoted the book of Isaiah more often than any other book of the Old Testament. The first-century Jewish community respected the book of Isaiah as inspired and infallible. Yet, the majority of first century Jews missed one of the main points of the book—that the coming Messiah would be not only a conquering king, but also a suffering servant.
Much of the time, people find what they want to find. During the time that Isaiah wrote his prophecy, the children of Israel suffered persecution from the surrounding nations. Years after Isaiah wrote, the nation of Israel fell into even greater troubles, even being led away into captivity by the Babylonians and being scattered throughout many different nations. During their various persecutions, they began to formulate a picture of the promised Messiah. The Coming One was He of whom it was spoken:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6-7).From this prophecy, what else could one expect but a mighty, conquering Savior Who would carry the burden of the government on His own two shoulders; a sovereign Ruler the likes of David, Who would sit on the throne of a united, far-reaching kingdom? How Israel longed for such a Ruler Who would cast the burden of foreign bondage from their backs and lead them into a physical kingdom, victorious and everlasting!
However, Isaiah did not paint a one-sided picture of the Messiah. In fact, the entire chapter of Isaiah 53 details a suffering servant who would be “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” This suffering Messiah would be oppressed, afflicted, bruised, and stricken. At His death He would be counted among the wicked, led as a lamb to the slaughter. This picture of the Messiah was not of a conquering warrior, but rather of a beaten servant, carrying the sins of the world.
Of course, the pictures painted by the prophets were not mutually exclusive. The conquering power of the Messiah would result from His ability to bear the sins of the world through suffering and shame. But for most of the first-century Jews, a suffering Messiah was too much to bear. When Christ came from the despised Nazareth as a lowly carpenter’s son, He just wasn’t what they expected. They taunted Him to prove His power when they said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him” (Matthew 27:42). They failed to recognize the “time of their visitation” because they kept in mind only the prophecies that they liked—only those pictures that suited their fancy.
Let us learn a valuable lesson from those first-century Jews. What we expect from Christ is not always what we find. Christ’s Gospel was not one of health and wealth on this Earth. It was not one of moral laxity, or a half-hearted call to devotion. The Christ of the New Testament turned over moneychangers’ tables, set fathers against sons, cried out against divorce, and demanded undivided adoration. When we see something in the character of Christ that we did not expect to find, let us not join the majority of first-century Judaism in rejecting Christ and His Word based on a one-sided acceptance of the evidence. Instead, let us probe deeper for the full portrait of our Savior, based on all the evidence. Let us have the courage to go where that evidence takes us so that we can join the apostle Andrew in saying, “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).
Most Americans Still Reject Evolution
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Ever since Charles Darwin penned his Origin of the Species, the theory of evolution has bullied itself into the public sector with increasing vehemence. From the infamous 1925 Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee that captured worldwide attention, to the more recent ravings of intolerant perpetrators like Richard Dawkins, the American population has been the berated brunt of incessant ridicule and coercion by the scientific community. Young people in the public school system have been prodded with intimidating indoctrination at all levels, from the lower grades to the university. Evolution has so dominated the field for over a century that virtually every area of public life has been targeted by the purveyors of evolutionary propaganda, including the entertainment industry, where science fiction movies from Star Trek to Star Wars routinely advance evolutionary assumptions. The propaganda ministry of a totalitarian regime could not have enacted a more pervasive means of achieving their objective than what evolutionists have actually accomplished in America—especially in the last 50 years.
You might think that with the deck stacked so overwhelmingly against the biblical view of origins, the vast majority of Americans would believe in evolution. Yet, seemingly against all odds, a majority of the American people has managed to maintain a respectable resistance to the ongoing evolutionary indoctrination. Apparently, the Founders of American civilization so thoroughly rooted the Republic in the Christian worldview that the hurricane-force gales of unbelief and skepticism that have beat steadily upon society have been far less influential than anyone could have imagined. Though evolution has been cloaked under the guise of “scholarship,” “intelligence,” and “science,” most Americans still manifest the good sense to reject it. So show a wide variety of polls (see “Science and Nature...,” 2007 for the poll results that follow).
For instance, a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll on August 25-26, 1999 asked registered voters nationwide, “Which do you think is more likely to actually be the explanation for the origin of human life on Earth: the theory of evolution as outlined by Darwin and other scientists, the biblical account of creation as told in the Bible, or are both true?” Only 15% chose the theory of evolution, while 50% pointed to the biblical account (26% cited both).
In an NBC News Poll of adults nationwide March 8-10, 2005, respondents were asked, “Which do you think is more likely to actually be the explanation for the origin of human life on Earth: evolution or the biblical account of creation?” Only 33% cited evolution, while 57% cited the biblical account, with 44% of the 57% believing in the Genesis account of a six-day Creation.
In a Harris Poll of adults nationwide, conducted June 17-21, 2005, 64% indicated that humans were created directly by God (with another 10% affirming the necessity of a powerful force or intelligent being). Only 22% said humans evolved from earlier species.
In a nationwide CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted September 8-11, 2005, 53% said that God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it, with another 31% opting for God guiding the process of evolution (a total of 84% attributing human origins to God). Only 12% said they believed in evolution with no God.
In a nationwide CBS News Poll April 6-9, 2006, 53% said that God created human beings in their present form, 23% said God guided the process using evolution (for a total of 76% believing in God), while only 17% said godless evolution was responsible for the origin of man. These results compare with the same questions asked two years earlier by CBS (November 18-21, 2004), in which 55% attributed the creation of human beings to God, 27% said God guided the process of evolution, and only 13% eliminated God from the process.
Seven nationwide Gallup Polls were conducted among adults beginning in 1982, then repeated in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, with the most recent being May 8-11, 2006, in which the numbers remained fairly constant. The 2006 poll showed 46% of Americans still believing that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Another 36% said God guided the process (for a total of 82% attributing creation to God), while only 13% said God had no part.
In a Newsweek Poll of adults nationwide, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on March 28-29, 2007, 48% said “God created humans pretty much in the present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Another 30% said God guided the process (for a total of 78% attributing human origins to God). Only 13% believed in straight evolution.
These results are absolutely astounding—especially since, as previously stated, American culture has sustained an incessant bombardment of evolutionary propaganda for many decades. Two observations are worthy of note. First, juxtaposing the two “purist” positions, i.e., humans were created miraculously and instantaneously by God (no evolution) versus humans evolved over millions of years by means of non-theistic naturalistic forces, it is evident that a majority of Americans (roughly three to one) still believe the Bible account:
Second, the greatest fallout of the strong-arm tactics of the evolutionists appears to have been—not the abandonment of belief in the Bible’s depiction of God as the Creator of humans—but the inclusion of evolutionist principles as the means by which God accomplished creation, i.e., theistic evolution. This compromise carries serious negative implications. Theistic evolution is equally as fallacious and spiritually damaging as atheistic evolution (see Lyons and Thompson, 2001; Thompson, 2000). The Founders of American civilization certainly would be saddened at the flippant attitude toward the biblical account inherent in theistic evolution.
Nevertheless, the majority of Americans are to be commended for maintaining a continuing realization that God exists and He is the Creator. In the words of many of the Founders of American civilization, He is “Parent” of the human race (e.g., Washington, 1789; Madison, 1814; Huntington, 1782; Ward, 1776; Journals of..., 1779). He is “the Divine Author of our existence” (Jefferson, 1775). He is the “Creator” of us all (Adams, 1775; “Official Letter...,” 1777; Adams, 1780; Scudder, 1778; et al.). Indeed, humans did not come into being by means of the mindless, mechanistic forces of materialism posited by evolution. “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us” (Psalm 100:3).
Adams, Samuel (1780), “Letters of Delegates to Congress: Samuel Adams to John Adams,” Vol. 16, December 17, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:9:./temp/~ammem_SCBH::.
Dawkins, Richard (1996), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton).
Huntington, Benjamin (1782), “Letters of Delegates to Congress: Benjamin Huntington to Anne Huntington,” Vol. 19, August 5, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:41:./temp/~ammem_ORjd::.
Jefferson, Thomas (1775), “Declaration on Taking Arms,” Journals of the Continental Congress, July 6, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:13:./temp/~ammem_SCBH::.
Journals of the Continental Congress (1779), March 20, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:106:./temp/~ammem_it8j::.
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2001), “Theistic Evolution,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1642.
Madison, James (1814), “Thanksgiving Day 1814—A Proclamation, Pilgrim Hall Museum, [On-line], URL: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ThanxProc1789.htm.
New England Primer (1805), [On-line], URL: http://public.gettysburg.edu/~tshannon/his341/nep1805contents.html.
“Official Letter Accompanying Act of Confederation” (1777), Elliot’s Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 1, November 17, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:4:./temp/~ammem_SCBH::.
“Science and Nature: Origin of Human Life” (2007), PollingReport.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm.
Scudder, Nathaniel (1778), “Letters of Delegates to Congress: Nathaniel Scudder to Joseph Scudder,” Vol. 9, May 1, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_SCBH::.
Thompson, Bert (2000), Creation Compromises, Apologetics Press, second edition, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/cre_comp.pdf.
Ward, Samuel (1776), “Letters of Delegates to Congress: Samuel Ward to His Daughter,” Vol. 3, March 8, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?hlaw:86:./temp/~ammem_ORjd::.
Washington, George (1789), “First Inaugural Address,” The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, [On-line], URL: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/wash1.htm.
Who Gets to Kill a Child Legally?
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
The drug mifepristone is the active ingredient in the abortion pill known as RU-486. On a regular basis, women in the United States legally use the drug to abort their children. This is done in complete accord with the law, with no fines or other punitive measures enacted. Thus, according to the laws of the United States of America, women can legally kill their children.
But what happens when someone other than the child’s mother attempts to kill the child? What if the child’s father would like to end the child’s life, without the consent of the unborn child’s mother? In that case, the law is not so lenient. Recently in Wisconsin, 34-year old Manishkumar Patel was charged with first-degree murder of an unborn child. What had Patel done to be charged with such a heinous crime? Apparently, his girlfriend was pregnant with his child. Patel wanted to kill the child, against the wishes of the mother. In an attempt to do so, he intentionally spiked food and drinks he offered to his girlfriend with the drug mifepristone. Consequently, according to Patel’s girlfriend, she suffered two miscarriages. Patel has been ordered to be held on bail and the case has yet to be tried (Ramde, 2007).
Cases like that of Patel’s bring to light the extreme absurdity of our nation’s stance on abortion. The state of Wisconsin maintains a law that states that “anyone who attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her fetus could face life in prison” (Ramde, 2007). Patel is being charged based on that law. Yet, the laws of the country allow that same woman to visit an abortion clinic, and with the help of a doctor, ingest the same medicine that Patel used on his girlfriend. In Patel’s case, the action is “intentional homicide of an unborn child.” But if the mother does it, what is it called? Simply, legal abortion. The same child is dying, the same drug is ingested, so what is the difference? In reality, there is no moral difference. Murder is murder whether it is committed by the father of the child or by the child’s mother and a doctor. When will our deluded nation tear itself away from the carnage of legal abortion and be honest enough to admit that murder is murder, regardless of the perpetrator? How long will the Lord withhold His judgment on a nation that has filled its borders with “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17)?
Jashobeam—David’s Mighty Manby Kyle Butt, M.Div.
Encountering differences between two parallel texts in the Old Testament is not such a rare occurrence. Inevitably, when these differences arise a red flag marking a possible contradiction pops up in the mind of the reader. However, once any plausible solution presents itself that can reconcile the difference, then the red flag is dropped. For a case in point, consider 2 Samuel 23:8 and 1 Chronicles 11:11.
2 Samuel 23:8: “These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb- basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite, against eight hundred slain at one time.” 1 Chronicles 11:11: “And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty; he lifted up his spear against three hundred and slew them at one time.”These two verses have striking similarities, as well as obvious differences. They both talk about David’s primary mighty man, but his name is Josheb-basshebeth in 2 Samuel and Jashobeam in 1 Chronicles. This difference amounts to little more than a slight name variation. For instance, if you were to say that Robert Butt wrote this article and another person said that Kyle Butt wrote this article, both of you would be correct since the author’s name is Robert Kyle Butt. Often parallel passages in the Old Testament offer different spellings of a name or different names altogether when discussing the same individual.
The real difference between these verses resides in the number of men Jashobeam killed at one time. It seems that the verse in 2 Samuel tells us he killed 800 men at one time, while the verse in 1 Chronicles mentions only 300.
Upon further contemplation and study, several possible solutions to this “difference” become evident. One of the most obvious is that of a copyist’s error. Even in the English language, only a small portion missing from the front of the numeral 8 would make it look like a 3. In similar fashion, the Bible Knowledge Commentary states: “The difference may be due to a scribal error in copying Chronicles for the Hebrew numerical symbols 300 and 800 look much alike” (see Walvoord and Zuck, 1985, 1 Chronicles 11:11). [For a general background on copyists’ errors, please see our foundational essay on that subject, Lyons, 2007.]
However, even though a copyist’s error poses a quality explanation for the differences, others exist. One of those deals with the possibility that the verses could be discussing two separate occasions where Jashobeam defeated a multitude each time—on one occasion 300, and on another 800. This does not seem the most likely explanation, but it is a possible explanation. Along these lines, a spear is mentioned in the verse in 1 Chronicles, but no weapon is mentioned in 2 Samuel. It could be that different weapons were used in his attacks.
After studying these two parallel verses, and contemplating their obvious differences, it becomes apparent that no contradictions exist. And the two verses easily can be reconciled.
REFERENCESLyons, Eric (2007), “Inspired Writers and Competent Copyists,” Reason and Revelation, 27:17-23.
Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck (1985), The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press).
The Baby and the Wash
Since there has arisen in the church various aspects of the "Pentecostal movement," such as tongue speaking, direct operation of the Holy Spirit in conversion, there are those who have taken the position that if God does anything in answer to prayer, this would be a direct operation of the Holy Spirit and the idea must be condemned as false doctrine. Some attempt to modify that idea by saying, "God may providentially do some things," but they seem unable to explain exactly what they mean by that.
There should be a clear distinction between a miracle that was apparent to all who saw it that it was a miracle, and God acting directly on a situation and causing something to happen that would not otherwise have happened. For example, when I pray for a sick person, I see nothing strange or wrong with praying that God heal the sick person. If God does it, I have no way of knowing that He did, so it is not a miracle in the Bible sense. However, it does not solve the problem to pray that God will bless the doctor, the nurse, the medicine, and all means that are used and still deny that God does anything. It is no more a miracle for God to heal the sick person than it is to bless the doctor's hands that they may do something that they would not have done otherwise.
When God "providentially" got Moses' mother to put him in the ark and got Pharaoh's daughter to come down to the river at the same time Moses drifted to the spot, He was acting, just as surely as He was acting when He turned the river into blood. However, the first was not a miracle as the second was, for no one could tell that God had anything to do with the first situation. How He got Moses down there at the right moment without anyone seeing His hand in it, or without overruling the will of anyone, we do not know. This is why we have used the term, "providence." However, by the use of that term, we do not have to deny that God is still active in the affairs of men. To do so would, in terms of this article, be throwing the baby out with the wash.
There is another area where it is possible that some of us are trying to throw the baby out with the wash. We have a group in the church who see nothing wrong with accepting as a Christian brother anyone who claims to accept Jesus as Lord. It matters not that they have neither understood nor obeyed the gospel. This ungodly, unscriptural practice has led some brethren to so react as to stigmatize and ostracize any who would say a good word about some denominational preacher or practice, or even be courteous to their members. To them, the expression, "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" means that you sin even if you play golf with a denominational preacher. If you do not call a specific denomination by name when you point out some false doctrine, you are presumed to be a liberal, compromising the truth.
The baby still needs to be washed, and the dirt eradicated. We just need to be careful that we do not do more harm than good by the way we respond to situations. Jesus was teaching approximately the same thing when he gave the parable of the tares and the wheat. He did not mean that we are to disregard the tares and pretend that they are not there, or that they are as good as the wheat. He did include the idea that we are to be careful that we do not root out or trample down the wheat as we get rid of the tares. We are not to get rid of them in the sense that the Roman church got rid of heretics -- by burning them at stake, or otherwise killing or persecuting them. We are to have no fellowship with them as brothers in Christ, but we are not to take vengeance on them or punish them as God alone has the right to do, and will do in the judgment day.
T. Pierce Brown
Bible Reading June 6 (World English Bible)
1 Samuel 5, 6
1Sa 5:1 Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.
1Sa 5:2 The Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
1Sa 5:3 When they of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
1Sa 5:4 When they arose early on the next day morning, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off on the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
1Sa 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day.
1Sa 5:6 But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its borders.
1Sa 5:7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore on us, and on Dagon our god.
1Sa 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? They answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about to Gath. They carried the ark of the God of Israel there.
1Sa 5:9 It was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of Yahweh was against the city with a very great confusion: and he struck the men of the city, both small and great; and tumors broke out on them.
1Sa 5:10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. It happened, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.
1Sa 5:11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, that it not kill us and our people. For there was a deadly confusion throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
1Sa 5:12 The men who didn't die were struck with the tumors; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
1Sa 6:1 The ark of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months.
1Sa 6:2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do with the ark of Yahweh? Show us with which we shall send it to its place."
1Sa 6:3 They said, "If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, don't send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you."
1Sa 6:4 Then they said, "What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?" They said, "Five golden tumors, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
1Sa 6:5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
1Sa 6:6 Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn't they let the people go, and they departed?
1Sa 6:7 Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cows, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them;
1Sa 6:8 and take the ark of Yahweh, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by its side; and send it away, that it may go.
1Sa 6:9 Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us."
1Sa 6:10 The men did so, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home;
1Sa 6:11 and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.
1Sa 6:12 The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.
1Sa 6:13 They of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
1Sa 6:14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
1Sa 6:15 The Levites took down the ark of Yahweh, and the coffer that was with it, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.
1Sa 6:16 When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.
1Sa 6:17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;
1Sa 6:18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of Yahweh, which stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
1Sa 6:19 He struck of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.
1Sa 6:20 The men of Beth Shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?
1Sa 6:21 They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yahweh; come down, and bring it up to yourselves.
Joh 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha.
Joh 11:2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick.
Joh 11:3 The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, "Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick."
Joh 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it."
Joh 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
Joh 11:6 When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was.
Joh 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let's go into Judea again."
Joh 11:8 The disciples told him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"
Joh 11:9 Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn't stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
Joh 11:10 But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn't in him."
Joh 11:11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, "Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep."
Joh 11:12 The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
Joh 11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep.
Joh 11:14 So Jesus said to them plainly then, "Lazarus is dead.
Joh 11:15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let's go to him."
Joh 11:16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let's go also, that we may die with him."
Joh 11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.
Joh 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.
Joh 11:19 Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
Joh 11:20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.
Joh 11:21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died.
Joh 11:22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Joh 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Joh 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.
Joh 11:26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Joh 11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world."
Joh 11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, "The Teacher is here, and is calling you."
Joh 11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him.
Joh 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him.
Joh 11:31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."
Joh 11:32 Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died."
Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Joh 11:34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They told him, "Lord, come and see."
Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.
Joh 11:36 The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had for him!"
Joh 11:37 Some of them said, "Couldn't this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?"
Joh 11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Joh 11:39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."
Joh 11:40 Jesus said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see God's glory?"
Joh 11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank you that you listened to me.
Joh 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me."
Joh 11:43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
Joh 11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
Joh 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.
Joh 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.
Joh 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs.
Joh 11:48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
Joh 11:49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,
Joh 11:50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish."
Joh 11:51 Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
Joh 11:52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
Joh 11:53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.
Joh 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.
Joh 11:55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
Joh 11:56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, "What do you think-that he isn't coming to the feast at all?"
Joh 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.
What does God mean to me? Theology in
BR: 2 Cor 11:18-30 Song: "I want to be a worker for the Lord"
A. God can not be ignored -- we have a choice to make. Dt 5:7
B. God was never an impersonal deity -- He got involved with us.
C. God expects us to live a spiritual life. Dt 6:4-8
D. God in us, the hope of Glory Col 1:27
A. Understanding God means understanding ourselves.
1. Our origins. Gen 1:26ff.; Acts 17:28
2. Our purpose in life. 1 pet. 2:9; Eccl 12:13
3. Our ultimate goal. 2 Tim 4:7-8; 1Cor 15:1-4, 50-58
B. Understanding God means knowing and being known by Him.
Mtt 7:21-23; 2 Cor 10:17; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Jn2:4, 3:14; Jer 31:34
C. Understanding God means becoming like Him.
1. A change from our ways to His ways. 1 Cor 10:13
2. A Great example. Mt 4:1-10; Heb 4:14-16
3. A Godly life. Heb 12:14; Eph 5:2
D. Understanding God will enable us to detect and exterminate sin in our lives.
1Tim 1:15-16; Eph 4:22; Heb 12:1-2
E. Understanding God will allow us to obey His commands in Spirit and Truth.
1Cor 1:18-31; Dt 5:6-21; Matt 5:2-18;
F. Understanding God correctly will help us to acceptably worship Him.
Jn 4:24; Acts 17:22ff.; Heb 11:6; Jn 4:22; Matt 15:7-9
G. Understanding God will help us mature spiritually.
Eph 4:11-15; 2pet 1:1-8
H. Understanding God will enable us to share Christianity with others.
1 pet 3:15; Jn 3:11-16; 2 pet 1:9-10; 2 Tim 3:14-15
A. Learning about God will reinforce our faith.
B. Learning about God will give us new goals of spirituality.
C. Learning about God will give us encouragement to reach out to others.