Archive for July, 2017

God’s Favor Upon A Nation Is Conditional

July 28, 2017

Jeremiah 18:7-10 reads “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”

This passage shows God’s favor upon a nation is conditioned upon its attitude and actions. And it couldn’t be unchangeably set beforehand (like the Calvinists say), else it makes no sense to say God repented of his intentions regarding them. Unchangeably set would mean that God could never change His mind.

Calvinism says everything that happens is unchangeably set by God, but the Bible teaches God’s promises and favors are sometimes conditioned upon how we behave.

Is Bragging About Our Unrighteousness Showing Humility?

July 21, 2017

It seems many (including some Christians) feel it is more humble and Godly to brag about their unrighteousness instead of coveting righteousness. Former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze seemed to glorify unrighteousness in this way with his recent tweet – “Because of Him, you don’t need to fear unrighteousness. It’s our delusion of righteousness that we should fear.”

Instead of glorifying unrighteousness we should apologize (primarily to God) for our unrighteousness and diligently seek righteousness – which is defined by I John 3:7 as “… he that doeth righteousness is righteous ….” Never be ashamed of following God’s commands (John 14:15) and asking that out of others.

Make no mistake about it, obedience is required for God’s salvation. Heb 5:9 drives that point home well – Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” I Pet 1:22 also – “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth ….”

This attitude of glorifying unrighteousness is specifically condemned in Rom 6:1-2 – “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” And “because of Him” we should certainly “fear unrighteousness” because passages like I Cor 6:9 state “… the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ….”

Could Jesus Have Sinned? – I Peter 2:21-22

July 14, 2017

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to sin, but consider I Pet 2:21-22 – “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

Our text says Jesus’ perfect life is an example for us to try to follow. But how could He be our example in avoiding sin if it were impossible for Him to sin in the first place? To be our perfect example, Jesus must have faced real temptation to sin like we do (Heb 4:15), and overcome it. That should be our goal – to do the same thing as He did – face temptation and overcome it.

Some People Never Say They’re Sorry

July 8, 2017

James 5:16 reads “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Unfortunately, some Christians obey that verse next to nothing. It is not that they never do anything wrong to hurt another person. It is more that they are insensitive to their own faults (Prov 16:12) and/or are not humble enough to admit wrong (Luke 18:14, Col 3:12, James 4:6, I Pet 5:5, etc.).

Similarly, some Christians never say “thank you” to others, but they ought to (Acts 24:3, Col 3:15).

Admitting wrong to others is very important (Matt 5:23-24), but confessing wrong to God is even more important. I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”