8/18/21

What is Apologetics? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=826

What is Apologetics?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

You walk up to the man on the street and tell him that Jesus Christ loves him and died so he could receive forgiveness of his sins. You explain that everyone should obey Jesus because He is the Son of God. The man wants to know how you know this information. You inform him that the Bible, the inspired Word of God, declares it to be true. He wants to know two things: (1) How can you prove that there is a God?; and (2) How can you prove that the Bible is His Word? He is not being belligerent or cantankerous; he simply wants some good evidence that would warrant the total overhaul of his life you are asking him to make.

It is now your responsibility to present solid, rational arguments that prove the things you have affirmed. You must defend the propositions you have presented. You are appointed for the defense of the Gospel (Philippians 1:17, NKJV).

The term “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which means “to defend” or “to make a defense.” Thus, apologetics is a discipline dedicated to the defense of something. There can be as many different types of apologetics as there are beliefs in the world: atheistic apologetics, Hindu apologetics, Buddhist apologetics, Christian apologetics, ad infinitum. However, generally when the discipline is discussed, most people associate it with Christian apologetics. Therefore, for the remainder of this discussion, when I use the term apologetics, I will be referring specifically to Christian apologetics.

What is apologetics? Christian philosopher Dick Sztanyo has suggested: “Apologetics is the proclamation and defense of the gospel of Christ regardless of whenever, wherever, and by whomever it is challenged.” The apostle Peter used apologetics when he appealed to the empty tomb on Pentecost. Paul used apologetics when he quoted the stoic poets to draw attention to God’s existence as he addressed the Athenians. Christ used apologetics when He appealed to a Roman coin to prove that Jews should pay taxes. We can see, then, that the word apologetics carries no hint of “apologizing”—in the sense of being sorry or ashamed. On the contrary, the word houses the exact opposite idea of intelligent vindication by vigorous argument. In fact, Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Apologetics vigorously defends the truth by refuting arguments that exalt themselves above God’s Word.

What tools, then, can apologetics use to “cast down” faulty arguments? Its toolbox is as endlessly deep as it is long. Any discipline—from astronomy to zoology—can be called upon to come to the aid of apologetics. Just as Peter used the physical evidence of the empty tomb, just as Paul used contemporary literature, and jut as Jesus used an inscription on a coin, modern apologists can use archaeology, literature, science, morality, technology, and countless other facets of human life to defend Christianity. A small child can watch ants hard at work and testify to the wisdom of the book of Proverbs. An astrophysicist can contemplate the Second Law of Thermodynamics and maintain that the world will not last forever. An archaeologist can find an ancient inscription about a people known as the Hittites and assert that the Bible has accurate information about this ancient group of people. A professor of literature can read poetry from ages past and ascertain that mankind always has desired to worship a Creator Who is infinitely higher than humanity. From the heights of the mountains to the depths of the oceans, facts surface that provide an ample array of ammunition that can be fired from the cannon of apologetics.

However, the machinery of apologetics can operate only on the fuel of reason, for without reason apologetics has no sure foundation. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines reason as “the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking, especially in orderly, rational ways.” Paul contrasted reason with insanity in Acts 26:24-25: “Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!’ But he said, ‘I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.’ ” God and His spokesmen always have spoken rational, reasonable truths. God employed reason to convince Isaiah’s listeners of their sin: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’ ” (Isaiah 1:18). When Samuel spoke to the Israelites at the coronation of Saul, he said: “Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers” (1 Samuel 12:7). From the dawn of time, God presented man with the facts, and then allowed man to use reason to reach correct conclusions. Thus, Romans 1:20 states: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made….” Reason provides for the removal of all contradictory and fallacious arguments, leaving only those facts that are consistent and correct.

The Christian religion, at its core, is based upon historically verifiable facts. The Bible is not a sourcebook of wise proverbs that somehow stand upon their own merit. Without an establishment of the facts concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Word of God as we know it—even with all of its sound wisdom and practical guidance—is nothing more than a devotional book full of helpful platitudes that deserves to be placed on the shelf next to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. By using historical facts that are consistent and correct, apologetics makes its defense by appealing to man’s capacity to reason. God never has desired that His human creatures blindly accept unreasonable propositions postulated by perverse persons. He does not want us to be “children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14). On the contrary, He demands that we “test all things; hold fast what is good” (2 Thessalonians 5:21). In the end, however, apologetics can soften only the hearts of those who agree to be honest with themselves and to deal honestly and reasonably with the available evidence. There is much truth in the old adage: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

What Do You Know? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3520

What Do You Know?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

We may not all understand the technical, philosophical terminology that philosophers use to dissect and describe things that we can and cannot know, but most rational people understand that there are some things we can know and some things we cannot. We can know that we exist. We can know that 1 + 1 = 2. We can know that yesterday is in the past and tomorrow is yet to be seen and full of the unknown. What is mind boggling are those things that atheistic evolutionists say Christians cannot know, while at the same time assuring the world of the many things they know regarding the origins of man and the Universe.

  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that there is a Creator, and that in fact, they know there is no Creator. Yet, they will affirm that they know that the Universe is the result of a infinitesimal ball of matter that exploded about 14 billion years ago. After explaining that the Universe came into existence billions of years ago from “nothing” in a black hole, world renowned, atheistic cosmologist Stephen Hawking said: “That is exactly what happened at the start of the Universe” (“Curiosity…,” 2011, emp. added). Really? He knows “exactly what happened” 14 billion years ago?
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that Christ lived, died, and arose from the dead 2,000 years ago (Acharya, 1999), yet they claim to know “exactly what happened” at the beginning of time, supposedly 14,000,000,000 years ago. Seriously?
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that life was created by a supernatural Creator a few thousand years ago. Even though biogenesis has repeatedly proven itself true—that in nature life comes only from life and that of its own kind—atheistic evolutionists claim to know the very opposite to be true: in nature life evolved from non-life billions of years ago.
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that a Creator created sea creatures and land animals, but they affirm with all confidence that fish flopped out of water and evolved into amphibians and reptiles, while fox-like, land animals drifted out into water and evolved fins, flukes, and blow holes on their way to becoming whales (“The Evolution of Whales,” 2012).
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that human life was specially created differently from all other creation (Genesis 1:26-28), but they know that humans evolved from ape-like creatures. As was emphatically stated in one widely used middle school textbook, “There is no doubt among scientists…that humans evolved from common ancestors they share with other living primates. Scientists also know that the human species evolved in Africa and then spread around the Earth” (Evolution…, 1994, p. 78, emp. added). [Of course, to be consistent, if humans evolved from animals, and were not created in the image of God, then butchering babies could be considered no more evil than butchering baboons, bugs, bull frogs, or buffalo.]  
  • Atheists contend that Christians cannot know that the Bible is from God, but they can know that their man-made, assumption-based, often-contradictory dating techniques prove that various rocks on Earth are billions of years old.

This list could go on and on. Atheistic evolutionists continually contend with all assurance that they “know” what happened millions and billions of years ago. They “know” that purely naturalistic evolution is “a fundamental fact…as real as hunger and as unavoidable as death” (Hayden, 2002, 133[4]:43). Creation-believing Christians, who refuse to accept the alleged “fact” of evolution, are, as world-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins put it, “ignorant, stupid, or insane” (1989, p. 3, emp. added). Why? Because we believe that the Universe is an effect of a cause much greater than the explosion of a tiny ball of matter. Because we believe that Mind, not matter, is eternal. Because we believe that design demands a Designer, and not a random explosion. Because nature (i.e., the Law of Biogenesis) demands a supernatural explanation for the origin of life. Because a human life is more precious than a bug’s. Because we choose to believe the answers that the Creator provided for us in His inspired, ever-enduring, never-changing revelation (see Butt, 2007), rather than in the ever-changing, constantly revised fable of evolution.

We can know that God exists because He is “clearly seen” by His Creation (Romans 1:20); the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). We can know that the Bible is His will for mankind because of its amazing predictive prophecy, scientific foreknowledge, historical accuracy, and perfect unity. We can know the Truth (John 8:32).

The world, through what is falsely called “wisdom,” does not know God (1 Corinthians 1:21). They believe that Christ and His Creation are “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). As Christians, we “boast in the Lord” (Psalm 34:2, emp. added). We know of His existence. We trust in His Word. Stephen Hawking and other atheists claim they can know “exactly what happened at the start of the Universe,” even though, allegedly, no conscious being was around 14 billion years ago to witness it. Christians, on the other hand, choose to believe in the answers of the One Who was at Creation and did the creating. Rather than accept the “wisdom” of the world, we seek the wisdom of the One Who created the world. Ultimately, only He can provide the details to the origin of the Universe and everything in it.

“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?... Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:2,4).

“[T]he foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

REFERENCES

Acharya, S. (1999), The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.

Dawkins, Richard (1989), “Book Review” (of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprint), The New York Times, section 7, April 9.

Evolution: Change Over Time (1994), (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

“The Evolution of Whales” (2012), Understanding Evolution, University of California Museum of Paleontology, http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03.

Hayden, Thomas (2002), “A Theory Evolves,” U.S. News & World Report, 133[4]:42-50, July 29.

What About Those Who Never Hear the Gospel? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5572

What About Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Some have challenged the justice and benevolence of God on the basis of His condemnation of those who never have the opportunity to obey the Gospel: “What will happen to those folks who never are given an opportunity to know Christ and His teaching?” Several factors deserve consideration.

All human beings of accountable age and mind have sinned by violating God’s commands (Romans 3:9ff.,23; 1 John 3:4). Sin condemns a person to an eternal hell—there are no exceptions (Matthew 10:28; et al.). The only way a person can escape the consequences of his sin is to be forgiven by God.

But the nature of deity is such that God cannot merely wave aside sin and forgive. To do so would literally violate His infinitely holy, righteous/just nature. So God had to formulate a plan by which He could forgive human sin in harmony with His divinity. The one and only suitable means of atonement (“propitiation”—Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2) was for God to come in person in the flesh and offer Himself for our sins. He did so through the person of Jesus Christ—God in the flesh. This incredible sacrifice/scheme of redemption is what the Gospel is all about: it is the Gospel—the good news that Jesus opened a way for humans to be forgiven.

However, that tremendous plan of salvation requires an obedient faith response (Romans 1:5; 16:26). That response consists of hearing and understanding the Gospel (Acts 8:30-32; Romans 10:17), believing that Gospel and the One Who offers it (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6), repenting of sin (Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3), and being immersed in water to contact the blood of Christ in order for sin to be cleansed (Romans 6:3-4; Acts 22:16).

In view of these plain biblical truths, it clearly follows that all persons who do not contact the blood of Christ cannot be forgiven by God. God is, in fact, powerless to forgive them. It would be completely contrary to His nature—and therefore ungodlike—for Him to try to forgive a person on some other basis than the blood of Christ. But the only way to contact the blood of Christ is to obey the Gospel (Romans 2:5-9). Those who do not obey the Gospel will be lost eternally in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17). It unmistakably and logically follows that God cannot and will not forgive anyone who has not been immersed into Christ—since they have not contacted the blood of Christ, the one and only means of atonement. We are forced to conclude that no one can be saved who does not hear the Gospel and obey it (Acts 4:12). If a person can be saved without hearing and obeying the Gospel, then Jesus did not need to come to Earth and die for sin.

With these facts in mind, the issue now shifts to a different question: Is God fair for condemning to hell all those who do not come into contact with the Gospel? The Bible offers a clear response. First, all human beings can and must come to the conclusion that God exists based on the readily available evidence of the incredible Creation that reflects the presence of the Creator. After all, “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Indeed, “[t]he heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

This knowledge should motivate all persons to seek Him, as Paul explained to the Athenians: “that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27). In seeking Him, they will come into contact with Christianity and the Bible: “those who seek me diligently will find me” (Proverbs 8:17; cf. Matthew 7:7-8). For those persons who possess an honest, noble, and good heart (Luke 8:15), examination of the Bible will cause them to conclude that it is the only book on the planet that possesses the attributes of divine inspiration (John 7:17). Hence, they will learn about the Gospel and the need to obey.

Second, the Bible also teaches that all persons on the planet who have a heart that is receptive to the truth will have access to that truth via the providence of God. God will make certain (without performing any miracles) that they come into contact with His Word. When God spoke to Paul while in the city of Corinth and stated, “I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:10), He meant that there were individuals who would be receptive to the divine message once they encountered that message. Hence, Paul was God’s instrumentality for reaching those potential converts (cf. Acts 10:4ff.; 16:9ff.). World evangelism, i.e., announcing the Gospel to the world, is an ongoing task for the Church. All Christians who are yielded to the will of God, willing to be used in His service, will have opportunities to influence people with the truth. God’s purposes will not be thwarted. In His unfathomable providential dealings in the world, God can interface receptive hearts with those who will introduce them to the good news (Acts 8:30; 10:24ff.; Colossians 1:23). (The Internet has only enhanced this accessibility to the Gospel even further.) He will see to it that receptive hearts are contacted.

Third, observe that all those who will not accept the truth, even if presented to them, need not be confronted with that truth, since God knows they would reject it. So the question, “What about those who never hear the Gospel?” suggests that there are innocent, honest people who would accept the truth if they heard it, but never get a chance to hear it. No such people actually exist. All those who will accept God’s truth will be given an opportunity to accept it via God’s providence and their own honest searching (Matthew 7:7-8). All those who never hear the Gospel would not have accepted it anyway.

A fourth and final observation pertains to the fact that the Bible plainly teaches that the vast majority of humanity throughout the 6,000+ years of world history have not desired the truth and would not have received it if presented to them (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:26; 1 Peter 3:20). Hence, the task of getting the Gospel to those who will receive it is considerably reduced in magnitude. Indeed, the multi-pronged combination of avenues through which efforts are made to reach the lost, including missionaries, printed materials, word of mouth, radio/TV, Internet, et al., are such that those whose hearts are receptive will have the opportunity to access the truth.

The nature of God is such that He must allow all human beings to act as free will agents and make their own choices regarding their eternal destiny. Hence, He will not interfere with their will. Nevertheless, He has done everything He can possibly do to enable mankind to access the Gospel message so that all can be forgiven of sin and live with Him forever. After all, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” and He “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).

"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?
    1. Is it by the name we wear?
    2. Is it by having the right doctrine, organization, worship, etc.?
  2. It is certainly important to have all these things; but if we think...
    1. That by these things alone we are truly the disciples of Jesus
    2. 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...
    1. He gave what He called "a new commandment" - Jn 13:34
    2. It was a command to "love one another" - Jn 13:34
    3. 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...
    1. Do we know what kind of love that is?
    2. How do we develop that kind of love?
    3. 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...]

  1. THIS LOVE DEFINED
    1. 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
        1. This is not simply a command to love one another
        2. But a command to love one another in a special way
        -- Jesus is calling us to new and higher standard of love!
    2. IT IS A SACRIFICIAL LOVE...
      1. What kind of love does Jesus command?
        1. "as I have love you, that you also love another"
        2. 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
        1. As Jesus explained in Jn 15:13
        2. As John wrote in 1Jn 3:16-18
        3. As Paul commanded in Ep 5:1-2
      3. It was this kind of love manifested by the first disciples of Jesus
        1. The church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:44-45
        2. The churches in Macedonia - 2Co 8:1-5
    3. IT IS A VISIBLE LOVE...
      1. By such love Jesus declared "all will know that you are My disciples" - Jn 13:35
        1. The implication is that such love will be visible and observable
        2. And visible by ALL, not just by brethren!
      2. To be a visible love, requires a love...
        1. That goes beyond the four walls of the church building
        2. That extends beyond the few hours we are assembled together
        3. 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...]

  2. THIS LOVE DEVELOPED
    1. 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!
    2. 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!
    3. 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...]

  3. THIS LOVE DEMONSTRATED
    1. 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...
        1. Are glad to see one another?
        2. Are willing to take the time to visit with each other?
        3. 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?
    2. IN OUR COMMUNITY...
      1. We often have the opportunity to be together in ways that others can see...
        1. Perhaps we work with other Christians
        2. Or we have neighbors that are Christians
        3. Or we gather to visit, or do things together
      2. What do those in the world see? Do they see an interaction that...
        1. Reveals a strong love and appreciation for one another?
        2. Shows a sincere interest in each other's well-being?
      3. Where there are differences, is the way we handle them different?
        1. Christians will often sin against one another, offend one another
        2. 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...
    1. Certainly we show our discipleship by faithfulness to His doctrine - cf. Jn 8:32
    2. 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?
    1. Is it Christ-like, i.e., a sacrificial love?
    2. 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)...
    1. Look to God and Jesus as the ultimate teachers of what it means to love one another
    2. 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, 2021
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What We Stand For: Sending a Clear Message by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


 https://thepreachersword.com/2017/09/26/what-we-stand-for-sending-a-clear-message/#more-11288

 

What We Stand For: Sending a Clear Message

Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ve probably heard that every team in the NFL protested in some form prior to Sunday’s games during The National Anthem.

Teams reacted in various ways. Some took a knee during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner. Others locked arms in a show of solidarity, including some team owners who joined them. Other teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and Seattle Seahawks stayed in the locker room while the Anthem was performed.

Last night the Dallas Cowboys took a different twist. They walked to the middle of the field with flamboyant owner Jerry Jones and briefly knelt as a team. Then walked to the sidelines and locked arms during the playing of The National Anthem.

But what does it all mean? What are they standing for? Or kneeling for?

It seems that the message is a bit muddled.

When former San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee last year it was to protest what he believed was the “incredible number of black people being shot by police.” At one point he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  By the way, this was a man who wore socks depicting police officers as pigs.

But what about the recent protests over the weekend? Is it about police brutality? Social injustice? The stained past of our nation’s history regrading slavery? Surely it can’t be the oppression of multi-millionaire African American athletes, can it? Maybe it was a protest against President Donald Trump’s bombastic and crude language over the weekend in Alabama about owners firing players who took a knee?

There is a bit of irony to this. I remember a few years ago another player who took a knee. Not during the National Anthem. But before or after a game. His name is Tim Tebow. Everyone understood why. It was his way to pay tribute to his faith. And to honor Jesus. He did so without disrespecting anyone else. Or our country.

While today’s players are praised for their protests, Tebow was widely criticized for his faith, especially from the far left and secular media. Ironic, isn’t it? It was wrong, according to some, for Tebow to quietly mix religion and faith with a sporting event. But it is acceptable to overtly disrespect our county and the flag for social and political causes.

We indeed live in a confused culture. One that has lost its moral compass on so many levels. There are real issues that divide us. Differing positions that have polarized our country by political party, race or religious convictions.

For Christians, the answer is to respond in a measured, Biblical, Christ-centered way. Whether you take a knee or not, be clear where you stand. And who you stand up for.

(1) Let’s be sure that our speech is “gracious, seasoned with salt,” whether in person or on facebook (Col. 4;6).

(2) Reflect the light of Christ that others may see our good works and give glory to God. Let’s be a beacon of light in a world of darkness. (Matt. 5:14-16)

(3) Demonstrate respect, honor, and esteem for all people created in the image of God (1Pet. 2:17)

(4) Treat other people, even those with whom you disagree, the way you want to treated (Matt. 7:12).

(5) You may want to take a knee and pray for those in authority that we may continue to enjoy peace and prosperity. (1Tim. 2:1-2). While on your knee, you may want to pray for your enemies. Our nation. Your family. The lost. The church. And those with whom you’re in disagreement.

(6) Be clear that your primary allegiance is to Jesus Christ, not a political party or partisan position. (Ax 4:12; 5:29).

I don’t know the religious background of Alejandro Villanueva, the lone Pittsburgh Steeler to stand for the national anthem Sunday. While his team stayed in the locker room, he stood at the head of the tunnel leading onto the field, hand over his heart.

Villanueva is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan and is known in the Pittsburgh area for his acts of community service.

Describing his faith in Jesus, Villanueva said, “If you’re right with God, everything else is fine; if you’re not right with God, everything else is out of place. Being connected with God is the most important thing there is.”

Villanueva is right. In the midst of societal upheaval, let’s not forget what is the most important part of our lives.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS? by steve finnell


 http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/09/washed-in-blood-of-jesus-by-steve.html

 

WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS? by steve finnell

The only sins forgiven are those that have been washed by the blood of Jesus The Christ.

Revelation 5:1 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (NKJV).

At what point does Jesus wash away our sins and how did He do that?

Jesus cleansed, sanctified, and made us holy, without blemish with the washing of water by the word. (Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV)

It is at the point of water baptism that Jesus washes us in His blood.

If men do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God they are not eligible to to baptized in water.(Acts 8:35-37)

 If men have not been baptized in water they have not been washed in the blood of Jesus.

If men do not believe and have not been baptized, they are not saved, they are still in their sins.

Mark 16:16 " He who believe and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.(NKJV)

Men need to be baptized in water to enter the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.(NKJV)

 

Chapter 8 THE COVENANTS with commentary by C.A. Feenstra

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Feenstra/C/A/1931/ch08.html

Chapter 8

THE COVENANTS

Q. Where in GOD'S WORD do we read of the one "Covenant of Grace" which is said to run from Abraham to this present day and on to the end of time?

Q. How many Testaments are there in your Bible and what are they called?

Q. If we wish to learn about the what, why and when of circumcision, as commanded and practiced under the old covenant, to which Testament in GOD'S WORD should we go?

Q. If we wish to learn about the what, why and when of baptism, as commanded and practiced under the new covenant, to which Testament in GOD'S WORD should we go?

Q. Do men have the right to take what they like of Old Testament circumcision and what they like of New Testament baptism, and with the parts of the two, make their own ceremonial religious sacrament?

* * *

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." Gen. 17:7-8

Q. Where in GOD'S WORD is Gen. 17:7 ever referred to as a promise and covenant which was given to any other than to Abraham and to his physical seed?

Q. Where in GOD'S WORD is Gen. 17:7 ever referred to as the promise and covenant by which God would bless all the families of the earth?

* * *

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee (Abraham) and thy seed (the Jews) after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." Gen. 17:7

Q. Do the words, "everlasting covenant" in Gen. 17:7 mean eternal or forever?

Q. Comparing the "everlasting" of Gen. 17:7 with its use in the other books of Moses, does it mean forever, OR as long as the old covenant with the house of Israel is in effect?

"And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father (Aaron), that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: and their anointing shall be to them for an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. Thus did Moses: according to all that Jehovah commanded him, so did he." Ex. 40:15-16

"And it shall be unto him (Phinehas), and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel." Num. 25:13

"And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth parts of an ephah shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before Jehovah. ... Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before Jehovah continually; it is on the behalf of the children of Israel, an everlasting covenant." Lev. 24:5-6, 8

"And he shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary; and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar; and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make atonement for the children of Israel because of all their sins once in the year. And he did as Jehovah commanded Moses." Lev. 16:33-34

Q. Does GOD'S WORD already in the Old Testament tell us that God planned to take away the covenant He made with Abraham and with Abraham's seed through Moses, and in its place to give all men a new eternal covenant?

"And in thee (Jacob) and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee, whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Gen. 28:14-15

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh come: And unto him (Christ) shall the obedience of the peoples be." Gen. 49:10

"Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt." Jer. 31:31-32

"And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from following them, to do them good; and I will put my fear in their hearts, that they may not depart from me." Jer. 32:40

"They shall inquire concerning Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come ye, and join yourselves to Jehovah in an everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten." Jer. 50:5

"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore." Ezek. 37:26

"Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts." Mal. 3:1

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, are we yet today living under the covenant that God made with Abraham and with Abraham's seed through Moses?

"Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:" Jer. 31:31 Heb. 8:8

"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matt. 26:28 AV

"And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you." Luke 22:20

"God; who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant." II Cor. 3:5-6

"And for this cause he (Jesus) is the mediator of a new covenant." Heb. 9:15

"And to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant ... See that ye refuse not him (Jesus) that speaketh." Heb. 12:24-25

"By so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant." Heb. 7:22

"In that he saith, A new covenant he hath made the first (covenant) old. But that (covenant) which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away." Heb. 8:13

"He (Jesus) taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second (covenant). By which will (covenant) we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb. 10:9-10

"Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every good thing to do his will." Heb. 13:20-21

"Tables of stone,
... the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones...
for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it (the old covenant) is done away in Christ. But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord (Jesus), the veil is taken away." II Cor. 3:3, 7, 14-16

* * *

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, what is the great spiritual promise and covenant that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and by which all nations and families can be benefited today?

"Now Jehovah said unto Abram...
I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Gen. 12:1, 3

"And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham that which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" Gen. 18:17-18

"And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son ... And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." Gen. 22:15-18

"And Jehovah appeared unto him (Isaac), and said...
I will establish the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Gen. 26:2-5

"And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba...
And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth...
And, behold, Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac...
and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed...
for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Gen. 28:10-15

"Ye are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Acts 3:25

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed. So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham." Gal. 3:8-9

"Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed." Rom 9:7-8

"And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise." Gal. 3:29

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, what is the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant?


Old Covenant - II Cor. 3:14New Covenant - II Cor. 3:6
1.Given by the fathers and prophets - Heb. 1:1Given by Christ - Heb. 1:2
2.Given to Abraham and his seed - Gen. 17:7-9Given to every creature - Mk. 16:15-16
3.Fleshly circumcision - Gen. 17:9-11Circumcision of the heart - Col. 2:11-12
4.Moses the mediator - Ex. 20:19 Gal. 3:19Christ the mediator - Heb. 12:24
5.Its law from Sinai - Ex. 19:16-25Its law from Jerusalem - Isa. 2:2-4
6.Written on stones - II Cor. 3:7Written on hearts - II Cor. 3:3
7.Was glorious - II Cor. 3:9-10Exceeds in glory - II Cor. 3:10-11
8.Blood of animals - Heb. 9:18-20Blood of Christ - Heb. 9:12
9.Carnal ordinances - Heb. 9:10Spiritual sacrifices - I Pet. 2:5
10.A ministration of condemnation - II Cor. 3:9A ministration of righteousness - II Cor. 3:9
11.A temporal inheritance - Ps. 105:9-11An eternal inheritance - I Pet. 1:4
12.Priest of the tribe of Levi - Heb. 7:11Priest of the tribe of Judah - Heb. 7:14
13.Priest had sins - Heb. 7:27A sinless priest - Heb. 7:26
14.Priests without an oath - Heb. 7:21Priest by an oath - Heb. 7:21
15.Many priests all died - Heb. 7:23One Priest abides forever - Heb. 7:24
16.Offer many sacrifices - Heb. 10:11Christ once for all - Heb. 7:27
17.A shadow of good things to come - Heb. 10:1The true - Heb. 8:1-2
18.A figure of the true - Heb. 9:24 AVThe true - Heb. 8:1-2
19.Infants - Gen. 17:1-14All know the Lord - Jer. 31:34 Heb. 8:11
20.Natural birth - Gen. 17:1-14Spiritual birth - John 3:3-7
21.A remembrance of sins - Heb. 10:3Sins remembered no more - Heb. 10:17
22.Bondage - Gal. 4:24-25Freedom - Gal. 4:26,31
23.No clear conscience - Heb. 9:8-9Conscience cleansed - Heb. 9:14
24.Made nothing perfect or complete - Heb. 7:19Made perfect or complete in Christ - Col. 1:28
25.Faulty - Heb. 8:7Better, perfect - Heb. 8:6 Jas. 1:25
26.Christ takes away the first - Heb. 10:9Christ establishes the second - Heb. 10:9
27.Passed away - II Cor. 3:11Remaineth - II Cor. 3:11
28.Blotted out - Col. 2:14Remaineth - II Cor. 3:11
29.Abolished - Eph. 2:14Remaineth - II Cor. 3:11
30.Taken away - Heb. 10:9An eternal covenant - Heb. 13:20

Q. Do men have the right to take what they like of the old covenant and what they like of the new covenant, and with the parts of two covenants, make their own system of salvation and worship?

"He (Jesus) taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second (covenant). By which will (covenant) we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb. 10:9-10

"Tables of stone...
... the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones...
... for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it (the old covenant) is done away in Christ. But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord (Jesus), the veil is taken away." II Cor. 3:3, 7, 14-16

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, when was the old covenant taken away and the new covenant with its new conditions of salvation, established?

"Having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he (Christ) hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross." Col. 2:14

"And for this cause he (Christ) is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it. For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth." Heb. 9:15-17

"He (Christ) taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second (covenant). By which will (covenant) we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb. 10:9-10

"He (Jesus) became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." Heb. 5:9

"Jesus the mediator of a new covenant...
See that ye refuse not him (Jesus) that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape who turn away from him (Jesus) that warneth from heaven." Heb. 12:24-25

Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that there are those in this present day, who by their physical birth are born into a special covenant relationship to God, and that therefore it is not necessary for them to obey the gospel of Jesus to be saved?

"Neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed." Rom. 9:7-8

"But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh: for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father." Eph. 2:13-18

"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him (Jesus) shall not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him." Rom. 10:11-12

"Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction." Rom. 3:22

"And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him. ... And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 10:34-35, 48

"Brethren, ye know that a good while ago God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knoweth the heart, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. ... But we believe that we (Jews) shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they (Gentiles)." Acts 15:7-9, 11

"Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed. So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham...
For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise." Gal. 3:7-9, 26-29

* * *

"For to you is the promise, and to your children..." Acts 2:39a

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, is Acts 2:39a addressed to good covenant-keeping Jews, OR is it addressed to people who were guilty of the greatest crime that has ever been committed.?

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay." Acts 2:22-23

"Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." Acts 2:36

* * *

"For to you is the promise ("remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:38) and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." Acts 2:39

Q. If this promise of remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit is not to all men of all time on the same conditions (repent and be baptized, Acts 2:38), according to GOD'S WORD, who are those who are not included in it?

* * *

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife,
and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother:
else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." I Cor. 7:14

Q. If this scripture teaches that children are holy or sanctified because of one of the parents is a believer, WHY does it not also teach that the unbelieving husband or wife is sanctified because of the faith of the believing husband or wife?

* * *

Q. Does Gal. 3:29 teach that we are the spiritual sons of Abraham because of a physical birth into a so called "covenant home", OR does it teach that we must first become Christ's and that only then are we the spiritual sons of Abraham?

"And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise." Gal. 3:29

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, how do we become Christ's, get into Christ, and put on Christ?

"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ...
And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise." Gal. 3:27, 29

"Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?" Rom. 6:3

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

Bible Reading for August 18 and 19 by Gary Rose

 

 

Bible Reading for August 18 and 19

World  English  Bible


Aug. 18

Job 9-12

Job 9:1 Then Job answered,

Job 9:2 "Truly I know that it is so, but how can man be just with God?

Job 9:3 If he is pleased to contend with him, he can't answer him one time in a thousand.

Job 9:4 God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and prospered?

Job 9:5 He removes the mountains, and they don't know it, when he overturns them in his anger.

Job 9:6 He shakes the earth out of its place. Its pillars tremble.

Job 9:7 He commands the sun, and it doesn't rise, and seals up the stars.

Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea.

Job 9:9 He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

Job 9:10 He does great things past finding out; yes, marvelous things without number.

Job 9:11 Behold, he goes by me, and I don't see him. He passes on also, but I don't perceive him.

Job 9:12 Behold, he snatches away. Who can hinder him? Who will ask him, 'What are you doing?'

Job 9:13 "God will not withdraw his anger. The helpers of Rahab stoop under him.

Job 9:14 How much less shall I answer him, And choose my words to argue with him?

Job 9:15 Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn't answer him. I would make supplication to my judge.

Job 9:16 If I had called, and he had answered me, yet I wouldn't believe that he listened to my voice.

Job 9:17 For he breaks me with a storm, and multiplies my wounds without cause.

Job 9:18 He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness.

Job 9:19 If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty! If of justice, 'Who,' says he, 'will summon me?'

Job 9:20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth shall condemn me. Though I am blameless, it shall prove me perverse.

Job 9:21 I am blameless. I don't regard myself. I despise my life.

Job 9:22 "It is all the same. Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked.

Job 9:23 If the scourge kills suddenly, he will mock at the trial of the innocent.

Job 9:24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If not he, then who is it?

Job 9:25 "Now my days are swifter than a runner. They flee away, they see no good,

Job 9:26 They have passed away as the swift ships, as the eagle that swoops on the prey.

Job 9:27 If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;'

Job 9:28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that you will not hold me innocent.

Job 9:29 I shall be condemned. Why then do I labor in vain?

Job 9:30 If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye,

Job 9:31 yet you will plunge me in the ditch. My own clothes shall abhor me.

Job 9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, that we should come together in judgment.

Job 9:33 There is no umpire between us, that might lay his hand on us both.

Job 9:34 Let him take his rod away from me. Let his terror not make me afraid;

Job 9:35 then I would speak, and not fear him, for I am not so in myself.


Job 10:1 "My soul is weary of my life. I will give free course to my complaint. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

Job 10:2 I will tell God, 'Do not condemn me. Show me why you contend with me.

Job 10:3 Is it good to you that you should oppress, that you should despise the work of your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked?

Job 10:4 Do you have eyes of flesh? Or do you see as man sees?

Job 10:5 Are your days as the days of mortals, or your years as man's years,

Job 10:6 that you inquire after my iniquity, and search after my sin?

Job 10:7 Although you know that I am not wicked, there is no one who can deliver out of your hand.

Job 10:8 " 'Your hands have framed me and fashioned me altogether, yet you destroy me.

Job 10:9 Remember, I beg you, that you have fashioned me as clay. Will you bring me into dust again?

Job 10:10 Haven't you poured me out like milk, and curdled me like cheese?

Job 10:11 You have clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews.

Job 10:12 You have granted me life and loving kindness. Your visitation has preserved my spirit.

Job 10:13 Yet you hid these things in your heart. I know that this is with you:

Job 10:14 if I sin, then you mark me. You will not acquit me from my iniquity.

Job 10:15 If I am wicked, woe to me. If I am righteous, I still shall not lift up my head, being filled with disgrace, and conscious of my affliction.

Job 10:16 If my head is held high, you hunt me like a lion. Again you show yourself powerful to me.

Job 10:17 You renew your witnesses against me, and increase your indignation on me. Changes and warfare are with me.

Job 10:18 " 'Why, then, have you brought me forth out of the womb? I wish I had given up the spirit, and no eye had seen me.

Job 10:19 I should have been as though I had not been. I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.

Job 10:20 Aren't my days few? Cease then. Leave me alone, that I may find a little comfort,

Job 10:21 before I go where I shall not return from, to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death;

Job 10:22 the land dark as midnight, of the shadow of death, without any order, where the light is as midnight.' "


Job 11:1 Then Zophar, the Naamathite, answered,

Job 11:2 "Shouldn't the multitude of words be answered? Should a man full of talk be justified?

Job 11:3 Should your boastings make men hold their peace? When you mock, shall no man make you ashamed?

Job 11:4 For you say, 'My doctrine is pure. I am clean in your eyes.'

Job 11:5 But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against you,

Job 11:6 that he would show you the secrets of wisdom! For true wisdom has two sides. Know therefore that God exacts of you less than your iniquity deserves.

Job 11:7 "Can you fathom the mystery of God? Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

Job 11:8 They are high as heaven. What can you do? They are deeper than Sheol. What can you know?

Job 11:9 Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

Job 11:10 If he passes by, or confines, or convenes a court, then who can oppose him?

Job 11:11 For he knows false men. He sees iniquity also, even though he doesn't consider it.

Job 11:12 An empty-headed man becomes wise when a man is born as a wild donkey's colt.

Job 11:13 "If you set your heart aright, stretch out your hands toward him.

Job 11:14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away. Don't let unrighteousness dwell in your tents.

Job 11:15 Surely then you shall lift up your face without spot; Yes, you shall be steadfast, and shall not fear:

Job 11:16 for you shall forget your misery. You shall remember it as waters that are passed away.

Job 11:17 Life shall be clearer than the noonday. Though there is darkness, it shall be as the morning.

Job 11:18 You shall be secure, because there is hope. Yes, you shall search, and shall take your rest in safety.

Job 11:19 Also you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. Yes, many shall court your favor.

Job 11:20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail. They shall have no way to flee. Their hope shall be the giving up of the spirit."


Job 12:1 Then Job answered,

Job 12:2 "No doubt, but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

Job 12:3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Yes, who doesn't know such things as these?

Job 12:4 I am like one who is a joke to his neighbor, I, who called on God, and he answered. The just, the blameless man is a joke.

Job 12:5 In the thought of him who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune. It is ready for them whose foot slips.

Job 12:6 The tents of robbers prosper. Those who provoke God are secure, who carry their God in their hands.

Job 12:7 "But ask the animals, now, and they shall teach you; the birds of the sky, and they shall tell you.

Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you. The fish of the sea shall declare to you.

Job 12:9 Who doesn't know that in all these, the hand of Yahweh has done this,

Job 12:10 in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?

Job 12:11 Doesn't the ear try words, even as the palate tastes its food?

Job 12:12 With aged men is wisdom, in length of days understanding.

Job 12:13 "With God is wisdom and might. He has counsel and understanding.

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaks down, and it can't be built again. He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.

Job 12:15 Behold, he withholds the waters, and they dry up. Again, he sends them out, and they overturn the earth.

Job 12:16 With him is strength and wisdom. The deceived and the deceiver are his.

Job 12:17 He leads counselors away stripped. He makes judges fools.

Job 12:18 He loosens the bond of kings. He binds their waist with a belt.

Job 12:19 He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty.

Job 12:20 He removes the speech of those who are trusted, and takes away the understanding of the elders.

Job 12:21 He pours contempt on princes, and loosens the belt of the strong.

Job 12:22 He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death.

Job 12:23 He increases the nations, and he destroys them. He enlarges the nations, and he leads them captive.

Job 12:24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light. He makes them stagger like a drunken man. 

 

Aug. 19

Job 13-16

Job 13:1 "Behold, my eye has seen all this. My ear has heard and understood it.

Job 13:2 What you know, I know also. I am not inferior to you.

Job 13:3 "Surely I would speak to the Almighty. I desire to reason with God.

Job 13:4 But you are forgers of lies. You are all physicians of no value.

Job 13:5 Oh that you would be completely silent! Then you would be wise.

Job 13:6 Hear now my reasoning. Listen to the pleadings of my lips.

Job 13:7 Will you speak unrighteously for God, and talk deceitfully for him?

Job 13:8 Will you show partiality to him? Will you contend for God?

Job 13:9 Is it good that he should search you out? Or as one deceives a man, will you deceive him?

Job 13:10 He will surely reprove you if you secretly show partiality.

Job 13:11 Shall not his majesty make you afraid, And his dread fall on you?

Job 13:12 Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.

Job 13:13 "Be silent, leave me alone, that I may speak. Let come on me what will.

Job 13:14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand?

Job 13:15 Behold, he will kill me. I have no hope. Nevertheless, I will maintain my ways before him.

Job 13:16 This also shall be my salvation, that a godless man shall not come before him.

Job 13:17 Hear diligently my speech. Let my declaration be in your ears.

Job 13:18 See now, I have set my cause in order. I know that I am righteous.

Job 13:19 Who is he who will contend with me? For then would I hold my peace and give up the spirit.

Job 13:20 "Only don't do two things to me; then I will not hide myself from your face:

Job 13:21 withdraw your hand far from me; and don't let your terror make me afraid.

Job 13:22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you answer me.

Job 13:23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my disobedience and my sin.

Job 13:24 Why hide you your face, and hold me for your enemy?

Job 13:25 Will you harass a driven leaf? Will you pursue the dry stubble?

Job 13:26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth:

Job 13:27 You also put my feet in the stocks, and mark all my paths. You set a bound to the soles of my feet,

Job 13:28 though I am decaying like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.


Job 14:1 "Man, who is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble.

Job 14:2 He comes forth like a flower, and is cut down. He also flees like a shadow, and doesn't continue.

Job 14:3 Do you open your eyes on such a one, and bring me into judgment with you?

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.

Job 14:5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his bounds that he can't pass;

Job 14:6 Look away from him, that he may rest, until he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day.

Job 14:7 "For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, that the tender branch of it will not cease.

Job 14:8 Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stock dies in the ground,

Job 14:9 yet through the scent of water it will bud, and put forth boughs like a plant.

Job 14:10 But man dies, and is laid low. Yes, man gives up the spirit, and where is he?

Job 14:11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the river wastes and dries up,

Job 14:12 so man lies down and doesn't rise. Until the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be roused out of their sleep.

Job 14:13 "Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare would I wait, until my release should come.

Job 14:15 You would call, and I would answer you. You would have a desire to the work of your hands.

Job 14:16 But now you number my steps. Don't you watch over my sin?

Job 14:17 My disobedience is sealed up in a bag. You fasten up my iniquity.

Job 14:18 "But the mountain falling comes to nothing. The rock is removed out of its place;

Job 14:19 The waters wear the stones. The torrents of it wash away the dust of the earth. So you destroy the hope of man.

Job 14:20 You forever prevail against him, and he departs. You change his face, and send him away.

Job 14:21 His sons come to honor, and he doesn't know it. They are brought low, but he doesn't perceive it of them.

Job 14:22 But his flesh on him has pain, and his soul within him mourns."


Job 15:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered,

Job 15:2 "Should a wise man answer with vain knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind?

Job 15:3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches with which he can do no good?

Job 15:4 Yes, you do away with fear, and hinder devotion before God.

Job 15:5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the language of the crafty.

Job 15:6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I. Yes, your own lips testify against you.

Job 15:7 "Are you the first man who was born? Or were you brought forth before the hills?

Job 15:8 Have you heard the secret counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

Job 15:9 What do you know, that we don't know? What do you understand, which is not in us?

Job 15:10 With us are both the gray-headed and the very aged men, much elder than your father.

Job 15:11 Are the consolations of God too small for you, even the word that is gentle toward you?

Job 15:12 Why does your heart carry you away? Why do your eyes flash,

Job 15:13 That you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth?

Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? What is he who is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Job 15:15 Behold, he puts no trust in his holy ones. Yes, the heavens are not clean in his sight;

Job 15:16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks iniquity like water!

Job 15:17 "I will show you, listen to me; that which I have seen I will declare:

Job 15:18 (Which wise men have told by their fathers, and have not hidden it;

Job 15:19 to whom alone the land was given, and no stranger passed among them):

Job 15:20 the wicked man writhes in pain all his days, even the number of years that are laid up for the oppressor.

Job 15:21 A sound of terrors is in his ears. In prosperity the destroyer shall come on him.

Job 15:22 He doesn't believe that he shall return out of darkness. He is waited for by the sword.

Job 15:23 He wanders abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?' He knows that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Job 15:24 Distress and anguish make him afraid. They prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.

Job 15:25 Because he has stretched out his hand against God, and behaves himself proudly against the Almighty;

Job 15:26 he runs at him with a stiff neck, with the thick shields of his bucklers;

Job 15:27 because he has covered his face with his fatness, and gathered fat on his thighs.

Job 15:28 He has lived in desolate cities, in houses which no one inhabited, which were ready to become heaps.

Job 15:29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth.

Job 15:30 He shall not depart out of darkness. The flame shall dry up his branches. By the breath of God's mouth shall he go away.

Job 15:31 Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; for emptiness shall be his reward.

Job 15:32 It shall be accomplished before his time. His branch shall not be green.

Job 15:33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive tree.

Job 15:34 For the company of the godless shall be barren, and fire shall consume the tents of bribery.

Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. Their heart prepares deceit."


Job 16:1 Then Job answered,

Job 16:2 "I have heard many such things. You are all miserable comforters!

Job 16:3 Shall vain words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?

Job 16:4 I also could speak as you do. If your soul were in my soul's place, I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you,

Job 16:5 but I would strengthen you with my mouth. The solace of my lips would relieve you.

Job 16:6 "Though I speak, my grief is not subsided. Though I forbear, what am I eased?

Job 16:7 But now, God, you have surely worn me out. You have made desolate all my company.

Job 16:8 You have shriveled me up. This is a witness against me. My leanness rises up against me. It testifies to my face.

Job 16:9 He has torn me in his wrath, and persecuted me. He has gnashed on me with his teeth. My adversary sharpens his eyes on me.

Job 16:10 They have gaped on me with their mouth. They have struck me on the cheek reproachfully. They gather themselves together against me.

Job 16:11 God delivers me to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked.

Job 16:12 I was at ease, and he broke me apart. Yes, he has taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces. He has also set me up for his target.

Job 16:13 His archers surround me. He splits my kidneys apart, and does not spare. He pours out my gall on the ground.

Job 16:14 He breaks me with breach on breach. He runs on me like a giant.

Job 16:15 I have sewed sackcloth on my skin, and have thrust my horn in the dust.

Job 16:16 My face is red with weeping. Deep darkness is on my eyelids.

Job 16:17 Although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure.

Job 16:18 "Earth, don't cover my blood. Let my cry have no place to rest.

Job 16:19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven. He who vouches for me is on high.

Job 16:20 My friends scoff at me. My eyes pour out tears to God,

Job 16:21 that he would maintain the right of a man with God, of a son of man with his neighbor!

Job 16:22 For when a few years are come, I shall go the way from whence I shall not return. 

 

Aug.  18

Acts 27

Act 27:1 When it was determined that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to a centurion named Julius, of the Augustan band.

Act 27:2 Embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to places on the coast of Asia, we put to sea; Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

Act 27:3 The next day, we touched at Sidon. Julius treated Paul kindly, and gave him permission to go to his friends and refresh himself.

Act 27:4 Putting to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.

Act 27:5 When we had sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.

Act 27:6 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy, and he put us on board.

Act 27:7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and had come with difficulty opposite Cnidus, the wind not allowing us further, we sailed under the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone.

Act 27:8 With difficulty sailing along it we came to a certain place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Act 27:9 When much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, because the Fast had now already gone by, Paul admonished them,

Act 27:10 and said to them, "Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."

Act 27:11 But the centurion gave more heed to the master and to the owner of the ship than to those things which were spoken by Paul.

Act 27:12 Because the haven was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised going to sea from there, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, and winter there, which is a port of Crete, looking northeast and southeast.

Act 27:13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to shore.

Act 27:14 But before long, a stormy wind beat down from shore, which is called Euroclydon.

Act 27:15 When the ship was caught, and couldn't face the wind, we gave way to it, and were driven along.

Act 27:16 Running under the lee of a small island called Clauda, we were able, with difficulty, to secure the boat.

Act 27:17 After they had hoisted it up, they used cables to help reinforce the ship. Fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis sand bars, they lowered the sea anchor, and so were driven along.

Act 27:18 As we labored exceedingly with the storm, the next day they began to throw things overboard.

Act 27:19 On the third day, they threw out the ship's tackle with their own hands.

Act 27:20 When neither sun nor stars shone on us for many days, and no small storm pressed on us, all hope that we would be saved was now taken away.

Act 27:21 When they had been long without food, Paul stood up in the middle of them, and said, "Sirs, you should have listened to me, and not have set sail from Crete, and have gotten this injury and loss.

Act 27:22 Now I exhort you to cheer up, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.

Act 27:23 For there stood by me this night an angel, belonging to the God whose I am and whom I serve,

Act 27:24 saying, 'Don't be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. Behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.'

Act 27:25 Therefore, sirs, cheer up! For I believe God, that it will be just as it has been spoken to me.

Act 27:26 But we must run aground on a certain island."

Act 27:27 But when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven back and forth in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors surmised that they were drawing near to some land.

Act 27:28 They took soundings, and found twenty fathoms. After a little while, they took soundings again, and found fifteen fathoms.

Act 27:29 Fearing that we would run aground on rocky ground, they let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for daylight.

Act 27:30 As the sailors were trying to flee out of the ship, and had lowered the boat into the sea, pretending that they would lay out anchors from the bow,

Act 27:31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, "Unless these stay in the ship, you can't be saved."

Act 27:32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat, and let it fall off.

Act 27:33 While the day was coming on, Paul begged them all to take some food, saying, "This day is the fourteenth day that you wait and continue fasting, having taken nothing.

Act 27:34 Therefore I beg you to take some food, for this is for your safety; for not a hair will perish from any of your heads."

Act 27:35 When he had said this, and had taken bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it, and began to eat.

Act 27:36 Then they all cheered up, and they also took food.

Act 27:37 In all, we were two hundred seventy-six souls on the ship.

Act 27:38 When they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.

Act 27:39 When it was day, they didn't recognize the land, but they noticed a certain bay with a beach, and they decided to try to drive the ship onto it.

Act 27:40 Casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time untying the rudder ropes. Hoisting up the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach.

Act 27:41 But coming to a place where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground. The bow struck and remained immovable, but the stern began to break up by the violence of the waves.

Act 27:42 The soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, so that none of them would swim out and escape.

Act 27:43 But the centurion, desiring to save Paul, stopped them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should throw themselves overboard first to go toward the land;

Act 27:44 and the rest should follow, some on planks, and some on other things from the ship. So it happened that they all escaped safely to the land. 

 

Aug. 19

Acts 28

Act 28:1 When we had escaped, then they learned that the island was called Malta.

Act 28:2 The natives showed us uncommon kindness; for they kindled a fire, and received us all, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

Act 28:3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

Act 28:4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said one to another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live."

Act 28:5 However he shook off the creature into the fire, and wasn't harmed.

Act 28:6 But they expected that he would have swollen or fallen down dead suddenly, but when they watched for a long time and saw nothing bad happen to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Act 28:7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us, and courteously entertained us for three days.

Act 28:8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery. Paul entered in to him, prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him.

Act 28:9 Then when this was done, the rest also who had diseases in the island came, and were cured.

Act 28:10 They also honored us with many honors, and when we sailed, they put on board the things that we needed.

Act 28:11 After three months, we set sail in a ship of Alexandria which had wintered in the island, whose sign was "The Twin Brothers."

Act 28:12 Touching at Syracuse, we stayed there three days.

Act 28:13 From there we circled around and arrived at Rhegium. After one day, a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli,

Act 28:14 where we found brothers, and were entreated to stay with them for seven days. So we came to Rome.

Act 28:15 From there the brothers, when they heard of us, came to meet us as far as The Market of Appius and The Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God, and took courage.

Act 28:16 When we entered into Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

Act 28:17 It happened that after three days Paul called together those who were the leaders of the Jews. When they had come together, he said to them, "I, brothers, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, still was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans,

Act 28:18 who, when they had examined me, desired to set me free, because there was no cause of death in me.

Act 28:19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was constrained to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything about which to accuse my nation.

Act 28:20 For this cause therefore I asked to see you and to speak with you. For because of the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."

Act 28:21 They said to him, "We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor did any of the brothers come here and report or speak any evil of you.

Act 28:22 But we desire to hear from you what you think. For, as concerning this sect, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against."

Act 28:23 When they had appointed him a day, many people came to him at his lodging. He explained to them, testifying about the Kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning until evening.

Act 28:24 Some believed the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.

Act 28:25 When they didn't agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had spoken one word, "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah, the prophet, to our fathers,

Act 28:26 saying, 'Go to this people, and say, in hearing, you will hear, but will in no way understand. In seeing, you will see, but will in no way perceive.

Act 28:27 For this people's heart has grown callous. Their ears are dull of hearing. Their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again, and I would heal them.'

Act 28:28 "Be it known therefore to you, that the salvation of God is sent to the nations. They will also listen."

Act 28:29 When he had said these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.

Act 28:30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who were coming to him,

Act 28:31 preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, without hindrance.