Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Carnal vs. Spiritual Life

Paul writes to the church at Galacia concerning the dichotomy of a life lived in wasted pursuits with a carnal mindset opposed to one living a Christ centered life….
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” 
(Galatians 5: 16 - 21) 

“But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.” The law he is referring to is the law of sin and death epitomized by personal failures, self loathing and lack of self-worth which all who fail to acknowledge Christ and abide in Him suffer under. However those who do abide in Him are given the desire and the will to abstain from living a carnal existence and prefer instead to experience the continual joy of living a clean and upright life which in turn brings forth good characteristics that these verses refer to as spiritual fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. (Galatians 5: 22 - 26)

Jesus uses the following analogy to make His point clearly understood alluding to how the vines in a grape vineyard respond to the tending of the viticulturist when He says…..

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15: 1 - 11)

Those who understand the word and pay mental assent to who Christ is and then just walk away reverting back to their old ways, they then are essentially spiritually dead, still-born lifeless stiffs who will in the end be cast out.

“Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes”  For those who continue to abide in Christ, He does away with the dead and useless works that have been produced, just as the viticulturist removes the dead pieces from otherwise healthy vines so that they can flourish and produce fruit more abundantly. This is an ongoing spiritual process and a beautiful picture of the relationship between God and His own as He helps them develop and mature until that great day when He receives them into His eternal realm.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Made In The Image Of God

Musing over thoughts about why God decided to create human beings, one begins to realize that it is a subject that deserves extensive pondering along with a considerable amount of prayerful investigation into the scriptures to try and discern what may have been the mindset of the Almighty. After all He had created everything else in the universe and was most likely not at a loss for entertainment. On the other hand, as we delve deeper into it we are confronted with several aspects concerning the Creator and His relationship to that which He created. First of all the scriptures indicate that God is eternal, He always existed before anything else, and will continue to exist long after everything ceases to exist. Moses understood this when he said, “Lord, thou have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had ever formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn man back to the dust, and say, “Turn back, O children of men!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. 
(Psalm 90: 1 - 4)

So we know that the Almighty is eternal and exists in a realm unaffected by what we call time, so therefore He is timeless and His domain is omnipresent. There is no past or future, there is only the continual ongoing present, something difficult to grasp as humans who have a beginning, birth and end in death. When we couple this understanding with the two arguments about creationism as opposed to evolution, then it becomes clear that rather than flounder around and wallow in either argument, we begin to realize that creation is an ongoing process. Astrophysicists and astronomers have observed that the universe is continually expanding and developing as they visually explore the universe from their observatories. So with this knowledge in mind then one might wonder if perhaps the Creator Himself was bored with all of the created beings before the advent of man, including even the angels because none of them had been given free will as we understand it other than Lucifer His greatest angelic being who He created with a specific purpose in mind. Perhaps God Himself had decided to create mankind and planned that they would become endowed with free will and the capacity to reason and make choices like He himself. For that to happen, they would have to be given an opportunity to choose either good or evil out of which would come conscience and self awareness. The scriptures indicate that God wanted to have a great company with whose presence He could delight in and enjoy and who He would imbue with eternal life. 

So here we have the testimony in scripture that gives us an even clearer picture of the nature of God. 
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1: 26 - 28)

Notice that it says “Let us make man in our image.” Who is He talking to? Here is where we are faced with the concept of the triune persons of God. We can examine this by backtracking from our own human perspective which will help clarify this often misunderstood concept. Man is a tripartite being, in other words man is made up of a physical body and a soul, which is the individual’s personality, mind and will, and a spirit which is the life force, the breath of life which emanates from God. So there it is from a human perspective, God the Father is the personality, mind and will, God the Son is the physical embodiment of God on earth, and God the Holy Spirit is His life force pervading eternity. We are in essence made in His image, this is not to mean how He appears, but how we are made in three distinct parts uniquely different from all other beings throughout creation.

The apostle John is speaking here about the second person of the trinity, the one who the Creator spoke to when He said; “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” this is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and physical embodiment of God on earth. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 
(John 1: 1-3, 9-15)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Destroyer Of Western Civilization

Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles. During the last several decades, Humanists have been very successful in propagating their beliefs. Their primary approach is to target the youth through the public school system. "Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every school is a school of humanism” wrote Charles F. Potter in his 1930 book "Humanism: A New Religion.” Secular humanism posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. Rather, the humanist life stance emphasizes the responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.

This is not new, it began eons ago when Lucifer magnified himself and placed his throne above the throne of God. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’
(Isaiah 14: 12-14)

It became an inherent part of human nature at the fall of man in Eden, recorded in Genesis chapter three when man gave his allegiance and his spiritual future over to Satan. Since then down through the ages various men and women have succumbed to the desire of becoming masters of human destiny eradicating the knowledge of God from the face of the earth, a plan contrived by their master.
Adherence to Judaeo-Christian ethos within the member states of the European Union has paled to insignificance as Secular Humanism has been fully embraced by Europeans with anti-semitism once again on the rise. The predominantly secular humanistic leadership of the United Nations continues working feverishly to undermine Israeli political and economic life while encouraging Jew hating Muslim nations to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth.

American freedom of worship and social acknowledgment of the Judaeo-Christian principles which date back to the founding fathers is being chipped away by God hating humanistic Atheists. This gives us cause to understand the reasoning of those who arrogantly assume that there is no God and that they alone hold the answers to the climate, the ice caps and seas and every facet of human life, the earth and even the universe. Herein lies the essence of a great spiritual battle between conservative Judaeo-Christian believers who revere the Creator along with the founding fathers and Constitution, standing in opposition to the powers of darkness behind the duped humanistic atheists who riot, burn, destroy and shout down any voice of sane reason and righteousness.

The bible addresses this and makes clear the source of this divisiveness, “For we contend not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Be rest assured that the outcome of this war was determined at Calvary long ago when the Messiah laid down His life paying the ransom for all who call Him Lord, Savior and Master.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)