Tag Archive: Belief



Galatians 3:16-17, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.”

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In a previous entry I discussed the righteousness of Abraham, which he was granted by God because of His faith. This was not only due to his belief in God, but his faith that God’s promises were steadfast. In addition, I discussed the “offspring,” promised and made known to Abraham. This offspring was to be a singular person, and through Him the world would be offered the reconciliation unto God. Here, in Galatians, Paul presents the argument of the singular seed that was to come by and through Abraham’s bloodline. As profound as this is, Paul goes further, dipping a bit into history to reveal the true nature of the covenants.

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Within the philosophical and theological boundaries of the Christian “religion,” we tend to separate the covenants of Moses and Jesus, and break the Bible down, in a general sense, into both the Old and New Testaments. Man loves to put things and ideas into categories or groups, that by their division, they may be easily sorted and understood. Concerning the division of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the old and new covenant, I conclude there is nothing specifically wrong with this. However, one stumbling block does arise that I have witnessed, but this is the fault of man. It usually concerns those new in the faith or exploring it. It doesn’t seem too uncommon for those whom Christ is calling to be curious about the differentiation between the God of the Old Testament and the New, rather than looking at it as a complete revelation from and of God.

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We need to remind our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in fact everyone, that the Scriptures represent a singular narrative that explicitly shows God and reveals He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Why the wrath shown in the Old Testament? Paul gives us a clear answer:

“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us . . .” -1 Corinthians 10:11

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So am I saying its wrong to refer to old and new? Not at all! In fact, the Lord Himself declared prior to Christ that a new thing was being done, and a new covenant will be established with Israel. The Book of Jeremiah says in Chapter 31, Verse 31:

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.'”

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Yet, if it was shared with Abraham, what is it that makes it new? Simply, it is new in human, temporal terms. It is not as if man, who is subservient to God, caught God unaware and He had to hatch a new plan to save man. Rather, God’s plan was destined from the beginning. God, let it be known that it is a new covenant, because this is truly what it is in the context of time. Time has no bearing on God, for God controls time, and since time is under God’s belt, to God it is already finished. If anyone believes differently, then one cannot believe in the omniscience of God, for God would be subservient to time. Furthermore, if He is subservient to time, He could not be God, and our faith would be meaningless, for by and out of God came Christ. Yet, to God, it is time that has no meaning. The breadth of its meaninglessness is shown by eternity. We usually think of eternity as it corresponds to time, that time will stretch forever, but in actuality, eternity is a place where time doesn’t exist. The extent of the meaninglessness of time to God is made clear in 2 Peter 3:8:

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

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Therefore, according to time, which we all are subservient, the law came before, and Christ after, and in temporal terms it is new, or more recent. Yet, that’s not all, by this new covenant it gave the law unto the hearts of man, and revealed God unto the world, so that no man or woman is without excuse. Yet, God did promise the new covenant unto Jeremiah and Abraham, and because He refers to it as “new” to Jeremiah, we see that though the promise was made known, and though the revelation of Christ to come preexisted some 430 years prior to the Law, it doesn’t negate the temporal relativity of the coming of Christ and the Spirit. In addition, as Paul says, the two don’t cancel each other out, but instead, they compliment each other to such perfection, they become united and fulfilled in Christ.

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It is not necessarily disrespectful or wrong to conclude that the two covenants, outside time, represent one great covenant, where man can be saved through faith, as Abraham was. This, I would argue, when approaching this issue in human linguistics, that the covenants represent old and new revelations, through which God’s attributes and power were proclaimed to man. First, His nature, commandments, and wrath. Secondly, His grace, love, and peace.

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The plan of God was singular, but we can differentiate between the covenants, because of what they revealed to man and by the manifestations of God. Under the old covenant, God spoke through the prophets, yet in the new, God came to earth, became man, taught to a multitude, was crucified, and rose again. By this, man does not need to turn to a prophet to know God, but now, His Son and Sprit dwell within our hearts, upon which the law is now written.

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“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.” -Romans 5:18

Photobucket The compare/contrast stated in Romans is truly an amazing one to behold, yet it presents a question at the same time. The amazing aspect of it concerns the almighty power that came to fruition by Christ’s death and resurrection. One man, Adam, was responsible for bringing sin into the world, and by our worldly birth we are born into this curse. However, how much more can that sin, which afflicted all mankind, be negated by the perfect obedience of one who descended from heaven? If Christ was mere mortal we would still be in our sins, but because He rose again, the Firstfruit of righteousness, we can partake in the glory offered, not by any deed, but mere acceptance of the gift and belief upon Him. It is of this fruit we should eat, the one that leads to life, and not of the one offered by Adam, which leads only to death.

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Why did sin come through one man as opposed to through one woman? Isn’t it the scriptures that tell us that Eve first sinned? There are many plausible commentaries I have read, as well as the outlandish, but I find it more simplistic and satisfactory to say that the original sin was first made possible through Eve, meaning her action opened the gateway unto sin, and Adam’s action led man through that gateway. In the same way Christ’s death opens the gateway to righteousness, and by His resurrection, which pays the toll, we can walk through the narrow doorway that we may receive it.

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Sin was a partnership between Adam and Eve that led to their expulsion. Sin wouldn’t have the foothold it does without Adam’s disobedience. If Eve had just sinned, and Adam remained righteous, the curse would not have entered the world. Thus, the responsibility rested on Adam. Furthermore, the biological union between them passed the curse along to their offspring, until Christ, who was in perfect obedience with the Lord, and thus partook of the first fruits of righteousness. Now, in Christ, we partake of the full fruit of righteousness, offered by our Lord, rather than the spoiled fruit offered by Adam. Thereby, let us come into eternal life and grace rather than into death and wrath.

In addition, may we see Adam and Eve as a warning and example, to not to take the sin of others, encourage it and indulge in it, thereby forming it into a “greater,” more ensnaring sin. Rather, let us convict with encouragement and help bring those, whom the Lord has set in our path, away from their iniquity and out of the darkness into the radiant light of God.

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“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom.” -1 Corinthians 1:22

Christ, our savior, is so sublime He cant be put into any category except “Lord,” which only He can occupy. Christ was different, but greater, than the worldly king the Jews were expecting. They were expecting an earthly king, who blessed by God would raise Israel’s status to a world power. Yet, the Son of God was a king of another sort. Not a political one, but a heavenly one, who came to not just the Jews, but all mankind. Concerning what some expected, He was something far greater and some even to this day refuse to recognize it. They demanded the miraculous, in the Old Testament and New, but no number of miracles or fulfilled prophecies could convince or appease those who drove Christ to the cross. He was scorned, mocked, tortured and put to death, only to rise three-days later, alive and the King of Kings. Yet, for some that’s not enough, He is still mocked and spit on. People still demand from Him, the miraculous is done even to this day, but still today, as it was then, it’s not enough. You would think the mere conception of a figure like Christ would at least win some sort of respect. People will respect a sports figure or celebrity to the ends of the earth, but a man who was nailed to a cross for love of even those who scored Him to his face, is still receiving the same treatment to this day.

"Christ in The Wilderness," by Ivan Kramskoy. oil on canvas, c. 1872

Yet, there is another school, the school of thought and reason, which strives to know what it can’t. Though by it’s own rules say it needs to be witnessed to be proven, those supposed wise men contradict themselves by believing in something with no empirical evidence, and that is nothing but hydrogen. Belief, or faith, in that is alright, but belief and faith in God is not. God is a foolish idea, the eternal cloud of hydrogen is smart. Yet, fact is, it exists far in the past and cannot be proven. Science, where is your undeniable proof? You are made up of curious generalities but the specifics are lacking. All the breakthroughs you have made in medicine and technology, where is your breakthrough in the questions concerning the foundation of existence itself? All your “breakthroughs” concerning such deteriorate to being hoaxes, misidentifications, or just plain hypothetical. You have a theory for how the form of man developed, but what about the lung? The eye? The internal ear? The very things that make the form work? How did they even come to union in one form, man, and not others?


Where is your answer for the existence of things like math? How do laws exist without someone to write them? Evolution itself is a law, where did that come from? How does order exist without an orderer?


We see that both religious zealots and the wise can be blinded from the truth. How Christ put, and will put, them all to shame! These foundations of religion and science will crumble when Christ’s truth is revealed to all in its due time. It extends beyond the boundaries of science and reason, and those that call out for “proof.” It’s a truth which will not be extinguished and a truth that will never die.


“. . . and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” -Romans 1:23

 


I have looked at a few different translations of this and it has only served to add to the wisdom behind the verse. This is one of the reasons I encourage people to read different versions, for by doing so, the mere wording alone may bring another important lesson to the forefront of your mind that the Lord wants you to focus on.

When I first read this verse, I can’t help but see the theory of evolution being addressed somewhere in here. In addition to evolution, I further see many of the polytheistic religions represented as well. When we look though history upon places like Egypt, or even the religions of Central America we find illustrations of their gods. These are included in their sculpture, paintings and carvings. These echoes from the past show their earthly kings as well as their deities.

 


When we look upon these examples, the gods are shown to be humanoid in their basic shape, with attributes of animals interlaced within the human form. The wording in Romans 1:23 to me is so precise in almost addressing is very thing that I find it rather awe inspiring. Indeed, many peoples of the past and even today worship gods whose being is an aggregate of both human form and a whole bestiary of assorted creatures. The, what must be, perfection of god represented by the corruptible nature of man and beast.

Concerning the evolution theory, we see that this is man’s new god and the transfiguration from some organism from the primordial soup into modern man, the supposed steps of evolution of form, are shown to progress through many different supposed species, though the fossil record has not one of these. Even recent accounts of a missing link being discovered have been extremely premature and led to the embarrassment of several individuals in the scientific community.

 


When we examine this verse we find a clear juxtaposition between the incorruptible God and corruptible man. The image of a mortal, with mortal understanding and imperfections, as a god, along with other gods at that, can only lead to such a contradiction that if it were true than chances are we would cease to exist altogether.

 


God needs to be perfect, and immortal, for if He were otherwise, existing outside of time, time, that edifice He created under Him, as well as all His creation, would fall apart in an instant and we would not be.

I once had the opportunity to talk to a coworker some years back who was a neo-pagan. Though they call themselves neo-pagans, neo meaning “new,” there is actually nothing new about it. Indeed it’s been around for thousands of years.

 


Anyway, this gentleman was devout, even had a shrine, and despite knowing I was a follower of Christ, wrote runes all over my truck, but intended no malice from it and hence I let it go and did not raise issue. For some reason, and despite his initial ridicule of Christianity (though it should be mentioned it wasn’t nearly as vicious as I have encountered), God opened his heart to respect me for some reason. It was in mutual respect that we began to discuss how the scriptures came to be, including in the canon, and the validity of the Word itself.

 


I respected him because he was truthful and honest concerning his own beliefs and we had conversations, which supposedly don’t happen, that is respectful discourse between two opposing schools of thought concerning religion. I have no idea what became of him, but I pray the Lord used our discussions to some higher purpose that he may be saved.

At any rate I reasoned with him concerning his numerous imperfect gods, four of them total, which included the likes of Esther and Odin. He had informed me that each controlled a season, and I made the argument that such polytheism could only reach an absurdity like the one brought up earlier. I half jesting asked him if it was like the other three gods took a vacation while one was in power, and to my surprise, he said there was nothing untrue about my statement, that indeed all other three took some sort of divine recreational break. It was due to this degree of truthfulness and honesty that I came to respect him, though not his gods.

 


Truth is the immortal and incorruptible God is a necessary condition for our existence. The polytheism we hear about, read about, or are confronted with, is so logically improbable and contradictory it makes reading the Greek mythology and the like almost laughable. Yet, people being led astray by such beliefs is not a laughing matter. Rather it is tragic and it is of the utmost importance that we not succumb to these ideas and work on, in a respectful manner, to denounce any such belief. This too is the reason the Trinity must be, for if there were three gods, each of their own will, we will eventually reach some sort of battle between them, in which the destruction of creation would be immediate.

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