Mutually indwelling

Mutually indwelling June 2012 from Wikipedia

A useful explanation of the relationship of the distinct divine persons is called “perichoresis”, from Greek going around, envelopment. This concept refers for its basis to John 14:17, where Jesus is instructing the disciples concerning the meaning of his departure. His going to the Father, he says, is for their sake; so that he might come to them when the “other comforter” is given to them. Then, he says, his disciples will dwell in him, as he dwells in the Father, and the Father dwells in him, and the Father will dwell in them. This is so, according to the theory of perichoresis, because the persons of the Trinity “reciprocally contain one another, so that one permanently envelopes and is permanently enveloped by, the other whom he yet envelopes”. (Hilary of Poitiers, Concerning the Trinity 3:1).

This co-indwelling may also be helpful in illustrating the Trinitarian conception of salvation. The first doctrinal benefit is that it effectively excludes the idea that God has parts. Trinitarians assert that God is a simple, not an aggregate, being. The second doctrinal benefit is that it harmonizes well with the doctrine that the Christian’s union with the Son in his humanity brings him into union with one who contains in himself, in St. Paul’s words, “all the fullness of deity” and not a part. (See also: Theosis). Perichoresis provides an intuitive figure of what this might mean. The Son, the eternal Word, is from all eternity the dwelling place of God; he is the “Father’s house”, just as the Son dwells in the Father and the Spirit; so that, when the Spirit is “given”, then it happens as Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; for I will come to you.” [John 14:18]

Some forms of human union are considered to be not identical but analogous to the Trinitarian concept, as found for example in Jesus’ words about marriage: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.”[Mark 10:7–8] According to the words of Jesus, married persons are in some sense no longer two, but joined into one. Therefore, Orthodox theologians also see the marriage relationship as an image, or “icon” of the Trinity, relationships of communion in which, in the words of St. Paul, participants are “members one of another”. As with marriage, the unity of the church with Christ is similarly considered in some sense analogous to the unity of the Trinity, following the prayer of Jesus to the Father, for the church, that “they may be one, even as we are one”. [John 17:22]

Working for Salvation

Working for Salvation?

I think there are many ways people could look at what it means to be “Right with God”. I got the idea for this article from a conversation with my wife. Many times people can forget where we stand with God.

Some people think that if your a ‘good person’, then God will accept you. Or, if you do a lot to help your fellow man. Giving to a charity. Doing hard work to fix things. Going to Church every Sunday. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Please don’t think I’m against doing what is right to serve God. We should do those things because our relationship with Jesus leads us. Not for recognition.

I see a lot of Churches and some pastors teach a prosperity gospel. They give the impression that God wants to fulfill your every wish, Give us your money and it’s done. God wants me to be wealthy, so I have a right to it. Or I give a lot of money to charities and God has to see that. I love my pet so much, God sees my heart.

What this all means is people don’t always understand how to be saved. It isn’t something you can earn. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:10. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

If there was ever a summary verse that depicts the battle between good and evil, heaven and the world, it would be Matthew 6:19-21. The reference to “treasures on earth” speaks to the intoxication of worldly pleasures, while “treasures in heaven” points to spiritual blessings which have infinite, eternal value. ‘copied’

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The only way is through Jesus. It’s not a magic potion or a belief in any other path. Buddha, Islam, Mormonism, New Age, or any way that goes against Scripture. God has given everyone the freedom of choice. He will not force anyone to accept His way,

“What you need to know is that Salvation is in faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ. And faith alone in Jesus Christ and is preceded and followed by repentance. A turning away from sin, a hatred for things God hates and a love for things God loves”. Paul Washer

Please take a look. https://thelordsroom.org/2022/04/04/salvation-a-choice/

God Bless, Dan Beliveau

The Flood

The Flood

Genesis 6:Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Genesis Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female

The evil on the earth was so great that God had to put a stop to it. The amount was so horrendous man left God no choice. But as bad as that was it was not the main factor for the flood.

Genesis 3:14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

The key is in Genesis 3 above. Genesis 6:1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

The mix of fallen angels and women were giants known as the Nephilim. The whole purpose was to corrupt the DNA of mankind so the Lord couldn’t have a pure women to be birthed from. Again understand I am not saying the other abominations did not matter in God’s decision. His Word does not change.

The serpent knew his evil would have to be accounted for one day. The actions fallen angels took was an attempt to change God’s plan.

God bless, Dan Beliveau

Amazing Grace

AMAZING GRACE

The good news of the gospel is that, in the cross of Calvary, God extended grace toward humanity. Words cannot express the wonders of His grace so graphically illustrated in that bloody cross. Grace can be defined as “unmerited favor to the infinitely ill-deserving,” or, in other words, “God’s Riches AChrist’s Expense.”

The question that should be on the heart of every Christian is how we may best show God’s amazing grace to this lost world. We tell sinners God loved them so much that He gave His only Son to die in their place, and yet it seems to have less relevance than the day’s weather forecast. To them, the forecast is at least applicable to them here and now.

The solution to this dilemma can be found in Romans 5:20. Here we are informed why God gave His Law to us: “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

When sin abounds, grace “much more” abounds, and according to Scripture, the thing that makes sin abound is the Law.

We can see the work of God’s Law illustrated in civil law. For example, when there is no visible sign of the law on a freeway, motorists often transgress the speed limit. Apparently each speedster says to himself that the law has forgotten to patrol his part of the freeway. He is transgressing the law by only 15 mph, and besides, he isn’t the only one doing it.

Notice what happens when the law enters the fast lane, with red lights flashing. The speedster’s heart misses a beat. He is no longer secure in the fact that other motorists are also speeding. He knows that he is personally as guilty as the next guy, and he could be the one the law pulls over. The fact that there are other people doing it is irrelevant. Suddenly, his “mere” 15 mph transgression doesn’t seem such a small thing after all; it seems to abound.

Look at the freeway of sin. The whole world naturally goes with the flow. Who hasn’t had an “affair” (or desired to) at one time or another? Who in today’s society doesn’t tell the occasional “white” lie? Who doesn’t take something that belongs to someone else, even if it’s just a little “white-collar” crime? Sinners know they are doing wrong, but their security is in the fact that so many others are just as guilty, if not more so. It seems God has forgotten all about sin and the Ten Commandments; the sinner says in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see it” (Psalm 10:11).

Now watch the Law enter with red lights flashing. The sinner’s heart skips a beat. He lays his hand upon his mouth. He examines the speedometer of his conscience. Suddenly, it shows him the measure of his guilt in a new light—the light of the Law. His sense of security in the fact that there are multitudes doing the same thing becomes irrelevant, because every man will give an account of himself to God. Sin not only becomes personal, it seems to “abound.” His mere lust becomes adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27,28); his white lie, false witness (Revelation 21:8); his own way becomes rebellion; his hatred, murder (1 John 3:15); his “sticky” fingers make him a thief—“Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound.” Without the Law entering, sin is neither personal, nor is it evident: “For without the Law, sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive…]” (Romans 7:8, Amplified).

It was the “Commandment” that showed Paul sin in its true light— that it is “exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13). Paul spoke from his own experience because he had sat at the feet of Gamaliel, the great “teacher of the law,” and therefore saw sin in its vivid colors.

According to the Scriptures, “[the real function of] the law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance…]” (Romans 3:20, Amplified).

Charles Spurgeon said that “the Law serves a most necessary purpose.” How true are his words regarding sinners: “They will never accept grace, until they tremble before a just and holy Law.” Those who see the role of the Law will be Sons of Thunder before they are the Sons of Consolation. They know that the shoes of human pride must be removed before sinners can approach the burning bush of the gospel.

It is important to realize that we can evoke a tearful response from sinners by saying that God loves them. The message is more appealing to both the Christian and the sinner. It certainly is easier to speak of love than of sin. Many years ago, before I understood the function of God’s Law, I told a prostitute of God’s love and was delighted that she immediately began weeping. Unbeknown to me, her tears were not tears of godly sorrow for sin, but merely an emotional response to the need of a father’s love. In my ignorance, I joyfully led her in a sinner’s prayer. However, I was disappointed sometime later when she fell away, and her tender heart became very callous toward the things of God.

Paradoxically, the Law makes grace abound, in the same way that darkness makes light shine. It was John Newton, the writer of “Amazing Grace,” who said that a wrong understanding of the harmony between Law and grace would produce “error on the left and the right hand.” I don’t know if any of us could claim to have a better understanding of grace than the one who penned such a hymn.

To help sinners understand that grace is truly amazing, use the Moral Law of God. As John Wesley advised a young evangelist, for effective evangelism, preach 90 percent Law and 10 percent grace.

‘Copied’

The Mark

The Mark of the Beast

I am seeing a lot of comments about the Mark of the Beast. The most popular right now is that it’s the vaccine. Lets take a Biblical look at what the mark is.

Revelation 13

The Beast from the Sea

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The Beast from the Earth

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

The beast of the Sea is the Anti Christ

The Beast of the Earth is the False Prophet. * It is him who will cause everyone to worship the 1st beast or anti Christ. They work together to control everyone and everything on earth. In the middle of the tribulation is when the anti Christ will be shot in the head. On the 3rd day Satan will enter the body imitating the resurrection of Jesus. Everyone who is left after the rapture will have to receive the mark and worship the anti Christ.

It is at that time the new anti Christ {Satan} will sit in the temple and declare himself to be God. Satan the True Son of Perdition. The mark will be an actual thing. Either a chip, tattoo or something of that nature, but it is not known yet. It will not be a shot or something you might drink. If a person refuses to worship the anti Christ and take the mark, they will probably be put to death.

Please verify what people say with Scripture, not just by someone who claims to have a message from God. His Word and message do not change! 2Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

God bless

If you want to know about the rapture. https://thelordsroom.org/2021/11/22/rapture/

The Gospel

The Gospel

Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not mean you go to a church building, following a lukewarm church, listening to lukewarm teachings that makes you feel good and going through the motions/works someone else tells you to do. There are many religions, many denominations and many churches who are either false or lukewarm and steer away from sound biblical doctrine. They are all about “me”, about how to prosper in this world, about doing works, about going through specific motions, deeds and traditions.
There are many churches that carry the name of a church and make people identify as christians but they have little to do with being a follower of Christ, this goes for both visitors and teachers.  As Matthew 7:16 states: “You will know them by their fruits”.

God is not looking for perfect people. God is not looking for people who are all about their own self righteousness, their own deeds and their own works. God is looking for people who have an open heart and are willing to listen to, grow and walk with Him. He is looking for people who can understand and acknowledge that they have sinned against Him (English: Sin = “Chata” in hebrew, meaning: to miss the target/to come short (to God’s standard, to God’s holiness), a failure to love God & humans created in His image). 

Being a follower of Christ means you have accepted His Gospel (greek: “Euangelion”, meaning: good news). It means you accept and believe in Christ and His finished work on the cross which He did for you, that is what saves and makes you a follower of Christ. After accepting and believing in Him and his works, you will develop and have a personal relationship with the Lord as He guides you and convicts your heart step by step going through life. A follower of Christ will experience a continuous tug of war in his/her life and heart, with many victories and losses, that will continue on and on as long as you keep leaning into the Lord, allowing Him to reveal more and more things for you to overcome, so you will grow closer to Him and develop your personal relationship with Him.

Leaning into the Lord means for example reading and studying the Bible yourself, by praying over all things (good and bad things) and laying it all at Christ’s feet (share with/give it all to Him) and have faith in Him (faith in the Lords works, not your own). By following Christ’s example and not following your own flesh and the lusts of the flesh or this world. These are examples of leaning in that will develop your walk and relationship with Him but this is NOT what saves. Believing in Christ and His finished work which He did for you is the starting point and is what saves you. 

As religions and people say: “do works to prosper” or “do works get saved”,
Christ said: “it is finished”, that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. It is as simple as it is written, we all have sinned, but Christ finished the work on the cross for each one of us to acknowledge, accept and believe in. We are not saved by our own works but we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

The “Trinity”

Compare God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, often called the Trinity) to an apple: in an apple there is the seed, the flesh and the skin, all three are unique and distinctive but all three are the same one apple, the flesh of an apple is not the skin, and the skin is not the flesh, but both are the same apple, just as Christ is not the Father, and the Father is not Christ, yet there is only one true living God. Not three Gods. Same principle goes for humans, we are created in HIS image. This does not mean we physically look like Him, it means we have a soul, body and spirit (like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), you are you, you are not three persons, there are not three apples, there are no three Gods.

Through sin however our spirit is dead, but by accepting and believing in Christ His finished work on the cross we receive God His Holy Spirit that makes us a new creation, with eternal life and HIS living spirit living inside us, reviving us. Which, again, means we cannot save ourselves since our spirit is dead, but God’s living spirit and His finished work is what saves us. So no 3 God’s, just one LIVING god that saves us. Christians often call this being “born-again”, since first we are born physically and when you started accepting and believing in Christ you have another birth but this time it’s Spiritually by Gods Holy Spirit. Baptism is also a beautiful representation of this. Note: baptism itself does not save, it is not a requirement for being saved (as some say or want it to be) since true baptism is of the Holy Spirit, it’s spiritual, and no, water baptism is not what gives you the Holy Spirit (God does) and is also not the moment it happens (it happens when you accept the Gospel thus believing in Christ). However, baptism by water is a beautiful outward expression of this above described picture.

The Gospel Explained

1

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He is not a creation of God, but is God made flesh that dwelt among us. If Christ was not who He was, then what He did made no difference. (John 1:1-14)

2

Jesus Christ did not just die, but rose from the dead three days later. It is through the Resurrection that we have proof of the Father’s acceptance of Christ’s work. Without the Resurrection, we are of all men most miserable (I Cor 15)

3

We are condemned sinners legally (Romans 5) because of who we are in Adam, being dead in sin, (Ephesians 2:3) morally and because of what we are in our nature, and habitually (1 John 3:4) in what we do because of our behaviour.

4

Jesus Christ is perfect, holy, and sinless. He is perfect in his relation to the Father, morally in His nature, and was habitually perfect leading a spotless and sinless life. (Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:19; Luke 1:35)

5

Jesus Christ lived out this perfect and sinless life on our behalf to give to our account. This is called “imputed righteousness,” and it is purely Jesus’ and none of our own. In fact, it is in place of our own. Because of this, we are recognised as pure, holy, spotless and sanctified. Not because we actually are, but because Jesus Christ actually was, and we are accounted so because of Him. (Romans 3-4)

6

Jesus Christ died the perfect death on your behalf, and in your place. Just as Christ gives you His righteousness to your accounts, so too did He take upon Himself your unrighteousness upon His. Because of this, and to those who believe and trust in it, you are legally pronounced spotless, sinless, and perfect, moving from death of the judgment to life in Christ. You are no longer condemned, but are pronounced innocent, not guilty, and justified. (Zech 3:1-5; Isaiah 53:6)

7

When you accept and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, you are given something called the Holy Spirit in which the Lord indwells within you, allowing you to experience what it means to be “born again.” Because of this “born again” experience, you will reflect the life and love of Jesus Christ as He lives Himself out in you. (Galatians 3:1-7)

8

This does not mean you will be sinless in your very lives however. But you will reflect Jesus’ perfect life as you wrestle against your own imperfect one. This is a tug of war, with many victories and losses, that will continue on and on, allowing God to reveal more and more things for you to overcome, so you will grow closer to the Lord, have an increasingly better relationship with Him and become more spiritually mature until death or Jesus Christ’s second coming and then changes your nature from corrupt to incorrupt. Then and only then will you experiences sinless perfection. (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7)

The Gospel Simplified

God sent his Son Jesus Christ to save you from all your sins.
John 3:16 KJV – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried and on the third day He rose from the dead1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”.
What it means? It means your death has been paid! What death? The death of sin.Romans 6:23 KJV – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Believe in Christ and what He did for you and you are saved. It’s simple:Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast”.To be a good person means nothing. Why? Because we aren‘t saved by works, but by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Praying

Praying itself does not save, it’s the acceptance and faith/belief in Christ and His finished work that saves. Below is an example of what you could say and ask Him as a first time prayer. Praying does not have to be out loud, it can be private, it can be public, it can be quiet, it can be mumbled, and yes it can also be out loud. When you truly believe in Christ let the Holy Spirit inside you guide you in your prayers everyday, share your happiness with Him, humble yourself and praise Him for all He did for you (small and great things), ask Him for help for whatever you need Him to help you with. Prayers can be very short or you can pray for a long time pouring your heart all out to Him. Do as His spirits leads and guides you to.

It does not have to be 1 prayer a day, or 3 prayers a day, and it does not have to be at a specific time, pray throughout all the day and especially when you feel the Holy Spirit calling you to do so. You have (maybe just now) a personal relationship with Christ, so feel free to communicate and express yourself to Him, anything you feel, experience or emotion you have, lay it at His feet. Some treat praying as if it’s a specific moment in the day to make some requests to God and they follow a rigid prayer they pray everyday the same thing over and over again. But just talk to God. Express yourself to Him, Thank Him, Praise Him and Ask Him.

For example thanking your partner for something He/She did is beautiful when you thank Him/Her with your whole heart, thanking just because it’s the thing to do and to get over with it, is not. It’s ok to have a set moment in the day for prayer with a prayer that follows some set points but remember that you are talking to God and have a relationship with Him, this also makes being a follower of Christ different to all religions in the world, you are not following a ToDo or checklist, you have a personal relationship with God. So do it with your whole heart and mind in it, not just to get over with it because it’s the thing to do following a checklist. 

Example First Time Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

To Conclude

Believing in Christ and His Gospel is what saves you, not baptism, not working good deeds, not being the most charitable person, not your own self-righteousness, not how many times you attended church, not how many times you have repented, not how many times you have confessed, not how many times you have prayed, not how many times you went to a priest, not how many things need to be ‘purged’, not about how good or ‘holier than thou’ someone may seem to be, It’s not about us, it’s ALL about Christ and HIS >>finished<< work on the Cross FOR US. And that is what we need to accept and believe in.

“Investing” in your relationship with God by leaning into Him is good and being faithful to God throughout your life will be rewarded at the BEMA seat (more on this in the playlist section), and it will improve you spiritually in a way to you will be more Christ-like with the fruits of the spirit: (Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”). But all these things are not what saves someone. Believing in Christ and HIS finished work for us is what saves. Good works is what comes after you are “born-again”, it is God working in and through you doing the good works and good deeds as long as you keep leaning into Him and stay faithful in your walk with God. But again, that is not what saves, that is the result of being saved.Some people may add the word ‘repentance’ to salvation. Repentance itself is not wrong, in fact it’s right, we all must repent of our sins and turn to Christ. But some imply that if you repent or confess (they often bundle those two together) long or often enough that you will be saved, meaning that you are only saved as long as you repent or confess of every single sin you commit, so when you commit sin today you would have been ‘unsaved’ until you repented or confessed that sin, but again that is false and wrong, only Christ’s finished work saves, not us. Repentance comes from the greek word: “Metanoia”. It means a change in way of life, a change of heart or change of mind. It’s a spiritual transformation/change, in this case, it means you accept and understand now that our sin seperates us from God, that as unbelievers we had a spiritual death penalty, that there was a gap between us and God. But that it is Christ’s finished work on the cross what saves us. Repentance is what happens when you become a follower of Christ, turning from unbelief to believing, turning from sin to being accounted worthy through Christ. Confessing your sins and asking God for help with certain sins in your life is a good thing to do and that is what you can do to God in prayer (no need for a priest for that), but again, same with all other things, confessing itself is not what saves. Accepting/repenting/understanding/turning from unbelief to believing in Christ and HIS finished work for you is the good news, that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you believe and trust in the blood of Christ, God’s finished work on the cross? in God’s mercy? in God’s Grace? in God’s forgiveness? that is what saves and makes you a follower of Christ. The other pages contain information on the last days that may or may not be close (different positions and theories exist on this), believers being caught up to God and what happens in those “End Times”. You can use it all for your own walk with Christ and for your own studies, encouragement and getting together with fellow believers. God bless you all, and to all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ: one day it will all be over and we will be together in His kingdom, together with all our brothers and sisters from all over the world, together with our Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Last Updated: 17-4-2022

‘copied’ I totally agree with the post. Dan

Are Some Sins Worse than Others?

Are some sins worse than others? Charles Stanley

Christians tend to categorize sins, rating some as small and inconsequential, but others as huge and far-reaching in the damage they cause. In reality, no one sins in isolation. Each disobedience to God affects not only the sinner but also countless others in both the present and the future.

If we were to separate Adam and Eve’s sin from its context, few of us would convict them of great transgression. All they did was swallow some fruit from a tree with a “do not eat” sign. Today people think nothing of ignoring commands – even biblical ones.

But God has a totally different view of our sins. Each one is followed by negative consequences. Adam and Eve’s disobedience led to pain and frustration in two basic areas of fulfillment – relationships and meaningful work. The whole earth fell under sin’s curse, and every person born since then has entered the world with a sin nature that alienates each one from the Lord.

That first rebellion plunged humanity into a terrible condition. Civilization is now plagued by countless ramifications of the innumerable sins committed by human beings throughout the ages. Is it any wonder the world is in such sad shape? Sin not only causes suffering; it robs us of God’s best. The Garden of Eden is closed and locked to sinful mankind.

The good news of Christ’s grace and forgiveness is our only real hope in this fallen world. Though unpleasant, focusing on sin’s consequences is necessary at times to remind us of the greatness of our salvation and to move us to obey God, even in the small things. Each obedience is huge to Him.

Taken from “The Consequences of Sin” by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).

What Miracles Did Jesus Perform?

What Miracles did Jesus Perform?

Jesus.org

According to the gospel accounts, here are the miracles Jesus performed *
(though this is an incomplete list according to John 21:25):

Jesus changed water into wine (John 2:1-11).
Jesus cured the nobleman’s son (John 4:46-47).
The great haul of fishes (Luke 5:1-11).
Jesus cast out an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23-28).
Jesus cured Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever (Mark 1:30-31).
Jesus healed a leper (Mark 1:40-45).
Jesus healed the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13).
Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-18).
Jesus stilled the storm (Matthew 8:23-27).
Jesus cured two demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-34).
Jesus cured the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8).
Jesus raised the ruler’s daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26).
Jesus cured a woman of an issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48).
Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31).
Jesus loosened the tongue of a man who could not speak (Matthew 9:32-33).
Jesus healed an invalid man at the pool called Bethesda (John 5:1-9).
Jesus restored a withered hand (Matthew 12:10-13).
Jesus cured a demon-possessed man (Matthew 12:22).
Jesus fed at least five thousand people (Matthew 14:15-21).
Jesus healed a woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22-28).
Jesus cured a deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37).
Jesus fed at least four thousand people (Matthew 15:32-39).
Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man (Mark 8:22-26).
Jesus cured a boy who was plagued by a demon (Matthew 17:14-21).
Jesus opened the eyes of a man born blind (John 9:1-38) Jesus cured a woman who had been afflicted eighteen years (Luke 17:11-17).
Jesus cured a man of dropsy (Luke 14:1-4).
Jesus cleansed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19).
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-46).
Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 20:30-34).
Jesus caused the fig tree to wither (Matthew 21:18-22).
Jesus restored the ear of the high priest’s servant (Luke 22:50-51).
Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 24:5-6).
The second great haul of fishes (John 21:1-14).

A Battle over the Biblical View of the Trinity?

A Battle over the Biblical view of the Trinity.

gotquestions.org by R.C. Sproul

Quicumque vult – this phrase is the title attributed to what is popularly known as the Athanasian Creed. It was often called the Athanasian Creed because for centuries people attributed its authorship to Athanasius, the great champion of Trinitarian orthodoxy during the crisis of the heresy of Arianism that erupted in the fourth century. That theological crisis focused on the nature of Christ and culminated in the Nicene Creed in 325. Though Athanasius did not write the Nicene Creed, he was its chief champion against the heretics who followed after Arius, who argued that Christ was an exalted creature but that He was less than God.

Athanasius died in 373 AD, and the epithet that appeared on his tombstone is now famous, as it captures the essence of his life and ministry. It read simply, “Athanasius contra mundum,” that is, “Athanasius against the world.” This great Christian leader suffered several exiles during the embittered Arian controversy because of the steadfast profession of faith he maintained in Trinitarian orthodoxy.

Though the name “Athanasius” was given to the creed over the centuries, modern scholars are convinced that the Athanasian Creed was written after the death of Athanasius. Certainly, Athanasius’ theological influence is embedded in the creed, but in all likelihood he was not its author.

The content of the Athanasian Creed stresses the affirmation of the Trinity in which all members of the Godhead are considered uncreated and co-eternal and of the same substance. In the affirmation of the Trinity the dual nature of Christ is given central importance. As the Athanasian Creed in one sense reaffirms the doctrines of the Trinity set forth in the fourth century at Nicea, in like manner the strong affirmations of the fifth-century council at Chalcedon in 451 are also recapitulated therein. As the church fought with the Arian heresy in the fourth century, the fifth century brought forth the heresies of monophysitism, which reduced the person of Christ to one nature, mono physis, a single theanthropic (God-man) nature that was neither purely divine or purely human. At the same time the church battled with the monophysite heresy, she also fought against the opposite view of Nestorianism, which sought not so much to blur and mix the two natures but to separate them, coming to the conclusion that Jesus had two natures and was therefore two persons, one human and one divine. Both the Monophysite heresy and the Nestorian heresy were clearly condemned at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, where the church, reaffirming its Trinitarian orthodoxy, stated their belief that Christ, or the second person of the Trinity was vere homo and vere Deus, truly human and truly God. It further declared that the two natures in their perfect unity coexisted in such a manner as to be without mixture, confusion, separation, or division, wherein each nature retained its own attributes.

The Athanasian Creed reaffirms the distinctions found at Chalcedon, where in the Athanasian statement Christ is called, “perfect God and perfect man.” All three members of the Trinity are deemed to be uncreated and therefore co-eternal. Also following earlier affirmations, the Holy Spirit is declared to have proceeded both from the Father “and the Son.”

Taken from “The Athanasian Creed” by Ligonier Ministries (used by permission).

Who Decided What Went into the Bible?

Who decided what went into the Bible? Hal Seed, New Song Community Church

Just about everyone wants to know how the sixty-six books got chosen to be in the Bible. Why these sixty-six? Why not a few more (or a few less)? Why these books and not others?

In Persecution in the Early Church Herbert Workman tells the story of a Christian who was brought before the Roman governor of Sicily during the last great persecution of the church. His crime? Possessing a copy of the Gospels.

The governor asked, “Where did these come from? Did you bring them from your home?”

The believer replied, “I have no home, as my Lord Jesus knows.”

The governor asked his prisoner to read a portion of the Gospels. He chose a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Next he read from Luke: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

At this, the judge ordered the prisoner taken away—to his death.

Under Roman law new religions were illegal. In its first few decades Christianity was seen as a sect within Judaism. Once it was determined that Christianity was a separate religion, it became illegal to identify as a Christian. So, for the first three centuries of what we now call the Christian Era, it was a crime to be Christian. Persecutions sprang up throughout various parts of the empire. Believers were tortured and sometimes martyred for their faith. In 303, Emperor Diocletian ordered the confiscation of Christian property and churches, and the burning of Scriptures. Believers and their Book had become so inseparable that the way to eliminate Christianity was to eliminate the Bible.
How the Bible Came Together

Who decided what went into the Bible? The short answer to that question is no one. Or maybe a better answer is God did. When scholars talk about how a book qualified to be called Scripture, they list five characteristics called the laws of canonicity. But these characteristics are recognized in hindsight; they weren’t developed by a particular group at a particular time in history.

After his resurrection Jesus commissioned his followers to go and make disciples, and they did. They devoted themselves to sharing the Christ’s good news, enfolding people into local churches and teaching them to obey all that Jesus had commanded.

These Jewish believers already had Scripture. Around Palestine the Jewish Scripture is exactly what Protestants today call the Old Testament. Jesus referred to these books when he spoke of the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

Outside the Holy Land some Jews included twelve to fifteen other books as part of Scripture. The Septuagint, which was translated in Egypt, contains books that we now call the Apocrypha. (Apocrypha means “those hidden away.”) Early Christians differed over whether these extra books should be considered Scripture or not. Those nearest Palestine tended to exclude them. Those closer to Rome tended to include them.

During the sixteenth-century Reformation, Martin Luther spoke strongly against the Apocrypha. In reaction the Roman Catholic Church convened a council in Trent (now in Italy), where they declared the Apocrypha to be canonical. To this day Catholics and Protestants disagree on this issue. Catholics uphold the Apocrypha. Protestants believe that the Apocrypha is useful but not inspired.

Wherever Christianity spread, Christians gathered for worship and instruction. In keeping with the customs of the Jewish synagogue, a portion of Old Testament Scripture would be read and explained. Meanwhile, the apostles, along with other evangelists and teachers, traveled from place to place to plant churches and encourage believers. When one of these recognized leaders was in town, he was invited to speak during the service.

As need arose, the apostles wrote letters to various churches. When a letter arrived, it was read with great excitement in the worship service. Often the letter would be copied and shared with neighboring churches, who, in turn, would share it with still other churches. Naturally, the more inspiring letters were copied and shared more often.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote, “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). We still have the letter to the Colossians. The letter to the Laodiceans was not considered inspired or pertinent enough to be preserved.

Around A.D. 150, Justin Martyr described worship this way:
On the day called the Day of the Sun all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then all rise together and pray.

By this early date, “the memoirs of the apostles” were considered as important to the teaching of the church as the writings of the prophets.

Marcion and Montanus. About ten years earlier a wealthy ship owner named Marcion sailed from his home near the Black Sea to the capital city of Rome. Marcion believed that the God of the Old Testament was different than the God of the New Testament. The former was distant and loved justice, while the latter was loving and emphasized grace.

Marcion rejected the Old Testament, along with any writings that might reinforce views other than his own. He developed a list of books he considered acceptable: portions of the Gospel of Luke, ten of Paul’s letters, plus a letter purportedly from Paul to the Alexandrians. This list is known as the Marcion Canon.

The church had to respond to this. Though nothing had been officially written down, decided or proclaimed, most Christians had a sense of what was Scripture and what wasn’t.

Between A.D. 156 and 172, a second provocateur appeared on the scene. His name was Montanus. Montanus was accompanied by two prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla. “The Three” spoke in ecstatic visions and encouraged their followers to fast and pray, calling the church to a higher standard of righteousness and zeal. If that was as far as their teaching went, they would have been an asset. But their message included what they called “new prophecy,” which pushed Christ and the apostolic message into the background. The age of Jesus was being superseded by the age of the Holy Spirit, and Montanus was its spokesman.

Was Montanus truly bringing a new prophecy with new authority? Prophecy more authoritative than Jesus and the apostles? This question prompted the church to respond a second time.

In A.D. 144, the church of Rome excommunicated Marcion and continued the sifting process on what was Scripture and what wasn’t. The Montanus controversy pushed the church to ask further questions of their Scriptures. Specifically, was God bringing further revelation? Could that revelation be true if it contradicted things taught by Jesus and the apostles? Could new truth change or add to the basic teachings the church had been feeding on for the past century? The answer was no. From this the church concluded that the canon of Scripture was closed.

Spurred by these dilemmas the church developed its list of canonical books. The following are guidelines for accepting a book into the New Testament:

1. Was the book written by a prophet of God?

2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?

3. Does the message tell the truth about God?

4. Did it come with the power of God?

5. Was it accepted by God’s people?

These are the marks of canonicity. “Canon” is a Greek word meaning “rule” or “measuring stick.” These five questions are used to determine which books “measure up” to being labeled divinely inspired. They exhibit “the marks of canonicity.”

Turn to a Bible’s table of contents and you’ll see that each of the books was written by either a prophet or apostle (Ephesians 2:20), or by someone with a direct relationship to one.

Miracles were the means by which God confirmed the authority of his spokesmen. In Exodus 4, Moses was given miraculous powers to confirm his call. In 2 Corinthians 12:12, Paul teaches that the mark of an apostle is “signs, wonders and miracles.”

Truth cannot contradict itself, so agreement with the other books of Scripture was only logical. As was historical accuracy. If the facts of a book were inaccurate, it couldn’t have been from God.

The inner witness of the Spirit was equally important. A key question these early Christians asked was, When we read this, is there an inner sense from God that what is written is right and true?

Initial acceptance by people to whom the work was addressed was crucial. What was the original audience’s sense? Did they accept the book as an authoritative word from God? Daniel, who lived within a few years of Jeremiah, called Jeremiah’s book “Scripture” in Daniel 9:2. Paul called the Gospel of Luke “Scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18. Peter affirmed that Paul’s letters were “Scripture” in 2 Peter 3:16.

The Muratorian Fragment. Even before Marcion and Montanus, the church was aware of these important criteria. In A.D. 96, Clement of Rome wrote “The apostles were made evangelists to us by the Lord Christ; Jesus Christ was sent by God. Thus Christ is from God and the apostles from Christ. . . . The Church is built on them as a foundation” (1 Clement 42).

After Marcion and Montanus, lists of New Testament books begin to appear. One of the first was The Muratorian Fragment. It was discovered among the Vatican’s sacred documents by historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori in 1740 and dates to about A.D. 190. The fragment is damaged. The portion we possess begins with “the third book of the Gospel is that according to Luke.” We assume the first and second Gospels to be Matthew and Mark. The fragment lists John, Acts, all of Paul’s letters, James, 1-2 John, Jude and the Revelation of John. It also includes the Revelation of Peter, the Wisdom of Solomon and (“to be used in private, but not public worship”) the Shepherd of Hermas.

Eusebius. By the early third century only a handful of books that we now call our New Testament were in question. In western regions of the empire, the book of Hebrews faced opposition, and in the east Revelation was unpopular. Eusebius, a church historian of the fourth century, records that James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John and Jude were the only books “spoken against” (though recognized by others).

Athanasius. In 367, Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, wrote an Easter letter that contained all twenty-seven books of our present New Testament. In 393 the Synod of Hippo affirmed our current New Testament, and in 397 the Council of Carthage published the same list.
Who Decided What Belongs in the Canon?

Theologians are careful to note that the church didn’t develop the canon, God did that by inspiring its writing and superintending each book’s preservation. The church recognized the canon by experience and mutual agreement.
Assignment

Read 2 Peter 1:19-21.