I recently saw an advertisement for a book (written by Casey Head) in essence ask if we had lived in Galilee in Jesus’ day, what kind of Jew would we have been? Would we have been a Pharisee, Sadducee, Essene, Herodian, Zealot, or Samaritan? Which kind did Jesus choose to be? As you may know, Jesus faithfully practiced the Jewish religion, without joining any of those dividing sects. Why can’t we do that today with Christianity? Don’t passages like I Corinthians 1:10 (“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”) imply that dividing up Christianity is wrong, and therefore we shouldn’t have any part in it (II John verses 9-11)? Why not do in our situation today what Jesus did in his situation then? – be a Christian only, not any certain kind of Christian.
Archive for October, 2011
John 1:1 reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 goes on to say “And the Word was made flesh” – so “the Word” in this context is referring to Jesus.
The above two statements detail two facts: Jesus was with God (the Father) and was God (deity). From these two facts we can conclude two undeniable truths. The fact that Jesus was with God proves Jesus is not the Father. And the fact that Jesus was God proves Jesus is divine himself.
The Watchtower folks claim Jesus is not deity (God), but only an angel. John 1:1 demonstrates that they are wrong.
I Peter 3:21 reads “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (NASV).
This verse says water baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience” by the one being saved at baptism. It is an appeal not using words, but through an action. But an infant cannot make an “appeal to God.” Therefore, infants should not be baptized – they are not responsible/mature enough to make such a conscious decision to appeal to God through baptism. I Peter 3:21 then is another verse showing us that infant baptism is unscriptural.
The state of New York legalized same-sex marriage on July 24, 2011. Yahoo! News reports "New York Celebrates First Same Sex Marriages." It was done with jubilation and applause of homosexual advocates who reveled in this "freedom" and "end of marital discrimination." Reuters reported that one gay couple said, "We are achieving that real American dream to be treated like everyone else." New York is the sixth and largest U.S. state to legalize homosexual marriage.
Yet, God’s infallible truth of Scripture still says that homosexuality is an abominable sin (1 Tim 1:10, Lev 18:22). "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh [homosexual union], are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire" (v. 7; cf. 2 Pet 2:6, ). "Strange flesh" refers to homosexual activity. The only joining of flesh approved of God is the union of "one flesh" in marriage of a man and a woman (Gen 2:18-25). (Note: in Canada this statement could have me charged with committing a "hate crime," which sadly shows the horrible decline of moral absolutes in our relativistic world).
This is just like the darks days of Judah’s sin that Isaiah denounced: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isa. 5:20). Jeremiah lamented the moral perversity of his generation that was soon punished by God with the Babylonian’s destruction of Jerusalem: "Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush" (Jer. 6:15). President Barack Obama said he is in favor of a law repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman.
When the apostle Paul sets forth gospel plan of salvation in Christ (Rom 1:16-17), he first establishes the guilt of man’s sin (Rom 1:18-3:28). Paul therein clearly describes homosexuality as the premier example of man’s perversity when he deliberately rejects submission to God’s absolute authority. "God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:24-27 NKJV). Being "gay" is termed "unnatural." Homosexuality, literally, doesn’t fit, as God designed for married males and females. It is inherently a sterile, futile perversion. How sad that what this world celebrates (Rom 1:32) that the holy God of heaven condemns to hell (1 Cor 6:9-10).
Like God, we must hate the sin but also love the sinner. We are all sinners in need of God’s saving grace. The only hope of man’s moral perversity is the soul-saving, life-transforming gospel of Christ. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation" (Rom 1:16). The Corinthians were liberated from their sins, which included homosexuality, as they obeyed the gospel that "washed…sanctified…justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 6:11). Someone has said, "God loves us as we are, but He loves too much to let us stay that way." Only Jesus Christ can save and heal our soul.