Apologetics · Church · Theology

Two Types of Faith.

Alexandre_Bida_Jesus_and_Peter_on_the_water_700There are two types of faith. One type of faith is willingness to believe in something, which isn’t proved, or a hope in something that may be. Then there is a saving faith, which is granted by God to those who He has elected, and predestined.
The first type you might have had in a person. For instance, perhaps they told you that they would do something for you, and you believe that they will. Then you act on that faith in hopes that they will fulfill their promise to you. Some people have that type of faith in God, in a general sense. They believe there is a God, and they hope He is merciful. They might even believe He is merciful. They might even believe they are saved. Have you talked with someone who has many heretical beliefs, bad fruit, and still insists that they are a Christian? I’m sure you probably have. This person doesn’t have the second type of faith.
The second type of faith is the saving kind. It isn’t something we can come to without God. It must be granted to the person by God. You can want to believe, but without God granting it, you could never have it. Have you ever been talking with someone, sharing the gospel with them, and had them say, “Wow! That really sounds like a great gift, I just can’t believe in a God that would_______.” They can understand the gospel intellectually, they might even like it as a philosophy, but they just can’t believe it.
The second type of faith, when God grants it to a person, allows them to believe in Him rightly. It allows them to believe in the work of Jesus on the cross. Without it the cross is just another mythology. The true believer has the faith to do things that doesn’t make sense to the world. We have the faith to put into practice the doctrines of the Bible. God fulfills His promises and makes effectual that which He has willed. The believer will produce fruit in keeping with the spirit of salvation. The believer will persevere until the end. The believer will operate with the presupposition that the Bible is true. The believer will love Jesus. The believer will love others. You get the idea. They don’t do the things they do because they want to believe, they do them because they actually believe. This is a gift from God. It is coupled with true repentance when a person is justified by Christ.

Apologetics · Church · marriage · Theology

Gay marriage, What’s next?

To learn who rules over you, simpy find out who you are not allowed to criticize.
To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

In the near future, gay marriage will be a reality across the U.S. It seems that we have become the moral minority. The younger, more liberal crowd and even moderates are on board with it. Even some professing evangelicals are approving gay marriage. I don’t understand it, but it is going to happen. I have resigned myself to it as a certainty.

We’ve been told that all they want is the same rights that we have to be married. Marriage isn’t a right to be conveyed upon a people by a government. Marriage predates any human government or authority. As such, governments can only recognize what God has already ordained. In this post-Christian world of secular morals, government no longer looks to the moral authority of God, who transcends their authority. No, they look to the secular majority for their doctrine. The majority wants gay marriage to be a reality. We can’t stop it from happening. The secularists and the government will take marriage and define it how they will. That does not mean that the marriage is one of Godly ordination.

christian-marriageThe question we need to ask now is, “What’s next?” What will they want from us? I am certain they will want the, “right” to be married in a Christian Church, by a Pastor. Now ask yourselves, “Why would a couple who don’t believe in the authoritative word of God or God Himself, want to be joined in a covenant between Him and a man and a woman? Why would they want to do this in a Church that is dedicated to God? Why would they want a minister of His word to perform the ceremony?” It doesn’t make any sense to us because our minds are being renewed by the reading of His word. We are not worldly thinkers anymore. Our moral authority is external to us. God is our Lord and master, not the sinful world system that enslaves the minds of the unregenerate.

We can’t expect them to change their minds and be reasonable. They are deceived by their very own sinful natures. It is this fact that drives them to pervert every good thing from God. They will keep doing this because they are His enemies. Because we love the Lord and are His children, the world will hate us for His namesake. This is just one step on the path to full open persecution of Christians in America. The next step will be to punish Churches that won’t perform the ceremony for them. Then it will be to arrest anyone who preaches from the Bible about Hell, sin, and mankind’s wretched state. It will be a, “hate-speech” violation to call a person a sinner and to suggest that God is anything other than love. Try it now. Try preaching the justice of God and His sovereignty. Try preaching that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Preach that all are destined for eternal torment in Hell lest they repent and put their faith in the exclusivity of the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the utmost offense, that there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus.

If you don’t believe it will happen, then you will be surprised when oppression, in a velvet glove comes to quietly crush you in the night. Then later the gloves will be off and open persecution will come. We will see the type of persecution that happened during the communist revolution in Poland. We will see the persecution that happens to our brothers and sisters in Christ that is happening now all over the world. When it hits home it will be too late. It will be too late for us to be salt and light. There will be nobody to listen to us except to delight in our cries.

For those of you who are secular and reading this… remember. Remember what I have said this day. When it happens while you are young or much older, remember and intervene. Let it be a testimony to you. Let the screams of the tortured bounce around in your head until you see the truth of it. Then, repent and ask God to forgive you for being so very wrong. Repent and put your faith in Him to forgive you for going along with it. He is merciful and trustworthy to forgive a humbled, penitent heart. You can know peace between you and your creator through His finished work on the cross. Jesus has paid the debt that your sin has accrued. He provides righteousness for you upon your regeneration and justification. May God bless you with salvific repentance and faith.

Apologetics · Theology

Should we, as Christians be ready to defend ourselves and others with lethal force?

killer
This evil man happens to be a muslim carrying out the commands of the Quran. If the Brits could carry guns someone could have stopped him from beheading a man in broad daylight in the middle of the street.

 

 

Luke 22:36, “…And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one…” This verse has long been asserted to be allegorical. Theologians have said that this verse tells us to be prepared to fight the spiritual enemy in spiritual places. That it doesn’t mean physical fighting. They say that we must be ready to fight temptations. Here is a quote from Calvin’s Commentary for verse 36,

But now let him who hath a purse take it. In metaphorical language he threatens that they will soon meet with great troubles and fierce attacks; just as when a general, intending to lead the soldiers into the field of battle, calls them to arms, and orders them to lay aside every other care, and think of nothing else than fighting, not even to take any thought about procuring food. For he shows them–as is usually done in cases of extreme danger–that every thing must be sold, even to the scrip and the purse, in order to supply them with arms. And yet he does not call them to an outward conflict, but only, under the comparison of fighting, he warns them of the severe struggles of temptations which they must undergo, and of the fierce attacks which they must sustain in spiritual contests. That they might more willingly throw themselves on the providence of God, he first reminded them, as I have said, that God took care to supply them with what was necessary, even when they carried with them no supplies of food and raiment. Having experienced so large and seasonable supplies from God, they ought not, for the future, to entertain any doubt that he would provide for every one of their necessities.

Here is a quote from the Geneva Study Bible notes, “{m} Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

(m) He says all this using an allegory, as if he said, O my friends and fellow soldiers, you have lived until now in relative peace: but now there is at hand a most severe battle to be fought, and you must therefore lay all other things aside and think about dressing yourselves in armour. And what this armour is, is shown by his own example, when he prayed afterward in the garden and reproved Peter for striking with the sword.”

Here is John Wesley’s notes on the verse, “22:36 But now – You will be quite in another situation. You will want every thing. He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one – It is plain, this is not to be taken literally. It only means, This will be a time of extreme danger.”

They site Luke 22:50-51 as support for this assertion. Luke 22:50-51, “…And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him…”

 

I tend to agree with John Gill’s understanding of the verse. Here is a quote from his exposition of the Bible,

“Then said he unto them,…. That is, Jesus said unto them, as the Persic version expresses it:

but now he that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise his scrip; signifying hereby, that from this time forward, immediately after his departure from them, after his death, resurrection, and ascension, when they should be sent into all the world to preach the Gospel, it would be otherwise with them than before; that they should be reduced to great penury and distress, should neither have food, nor money to buy any with; and that they should suffer hunger, and thirst, and nakedness, and have no certain dwellingplace, as was their case; see 1 Corinthians 4:11 and that they would not be received, and entertained in the manner they had been; and therefore it would be advisable, if they had any provisions, to take them with them in their scrips; or if they had any money, to carry it with them in their purses; for glad would they be to provide themselves with necessaries at any rate:

and he that hath no sword; the word “sword” is not in this clause, but in the next; it is only in the original, “he that hath not”; which, at first sight; looks as if the sense was, he that hath not a purse, or a scrip, to sell, and buy a sword with, let him sell his garment, and buy one: but, as De Dieu observes, the phrase, “he that hath not”, is the same with “he that has nothing”; who is a poor man, and has no money to buy a sword with, let him part with his garment, which rich men, who had money, had no need to do; though the Syriac, Persic, and Arabic versions put the word sword, in both clauses;

he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy a sword; that is, if he could get one no other way. Christ here uses the common dialect of the nation, as Dr. Lightfoot observes. So on the feast of dedication of the temple,

“if a man had not any thing to eat, but what he had by alms, he must beg, or , “sell his garment”, and take oil, and lamps, and light them (u).”

These words of Christ are not to be understood literally, that he would have his disciples furnish themselves with swords at any rate, since he would never have said, as he afterwards does, that two were sufficient; which could not be enough for eleven men; or have forbid Peter the use of one, as he did in a very little time after this: but his meaning is, that wherever they came, and a door was opened for the preaching of the Gospel, they would have many adversaries, and these powerful, and would be used with great violence, and be followed with rage and persecution; so that they might seem to stand in need of swords to defend them: the phrase is expressive of the danger they would be exposed to, and of their need of protection; and therefore it was wrong in them to be disputing and quarrelling about superiority, or looking out for, and expecting temporal pomp and grandeur, when this would be their forlorn, destitute, and afflicted condition; and they would quickly see the affliction and distress begin in himself. In “seven” ancient copies of Beza’s, it is read in the future tense, “he shall take, he shall sell, he shall buy”.”

(u) Maimon. Hilch. Megilla Uchanucha, c. 4. sect. 12.

There clarification we need is clear when we add context. The first assertion stops at the rebuke by Christ when one of the disciples used a sword to attack the slave of the high priest. This is to support the notion of physical pacifism today. The fact that Christ rebuked him for using force against an aggressor is misunderstood to mean that the use of force against an aggressor is wrong in all circumstances. We all agree that our true enemies are of the spiritual world and they are not of flesh and blood, but we must acknowledge that these enemies use flesh and blood as fodder for their war against God and His servants.

We must also look at all of the text. If we read verses 52-52, “…Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber? “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”…” We see that Jesus is explaining to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders that He has never given them cause to come with weapons against Him. He wasn’t saying that there is never a time to use force. He was saying that that moment wasn’t the time for it.

We can also see from the entirety of the New Testament that Christ came to fulfill a purpose that was from the Father. For the time that He was here and through the time of His ministry He would not be stopped until that time which was decreed. When His kingdom was established and He would ascend then the disciples would be open for persecution much as He was.

They would be hated for His namesake. There would be all sorts of dangers and hardships. They were to spread the gospel and establish the Church in opposition to the world, Contra Mundum. Provisions would be required. While Christ was with them, they didn’t need anything and were sent out with the provision of God to show them that He would care for them. They were now being sent out. They would be providing for others out of God’s provision for them, both spiritually and materially. When we see someone being oppressed unjustly, assaulted or abused, we have an obligation out of love to assist them. Certainly while the disciples were waging spiritual warfare they at times must do physical battle with the enemy’s forces as well.

I’m not suggesting that they were like the crusaders. They weren’t running around fighting great battles. I think it is reasonable to assume they were to defend themselves and others from thieves, murderers, and other such offenders. We know that if a man lives by the sword he shall die by the sword, but that isn’t what they are being told to do. They aren’t being told to go out as murderous killers or warriors like the Muslims. They are simply being warned that things are going to get bad once Jesus is no longer bodily with them. They are being told to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. I personally have no problem owning firearms and protecting myself and others when prudent. I won’t tell you to violate your conscience either.

I believe it is much more loving to live in an ordered society with laws, but when the police aren’t around to help you must stand up and deal with evil men. Love for people will move us to defend them from the enemy’s minions. Love for Christ will make us prudent in our use of force. If we don’t love Christ, our use of force will surely turn into cruel tyranny. This is what we see going on all around the world today.

We must first and foremost be Christians. We must be people who have repented of sin and put our faith in the Lord Jesus for our salvation. We must seek His kingdom first and make Him preeminent in our minds, and lives. When His will is Lord over ours we won’t take a life without great cause and deliberation.

Church · Theology

Saudi Arabia: MERS cases reach more than 400, more than 100 dead

Saudi Arabia: MERS cases reach more than 400, more than 100 dead

This was one of the headlines from one of the articles on Reuters site for today 05/05/14. A particularly nasty virus from Saudi Arabia is killing one out of four people that get it. When some tragedy strikes Islamic countries and people some of us respond with joy. How is that Biblical? How is that at all different from the world? It isn’t. God says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

As Christians we might err and say among ourselves, “See, I knew that God would punish those Muslims for their evil ways!” I know I have heard people speak this way, but how are they behaving any differently than the Muslims they hate? It seems to me that we shouldn’t hate anyone. We can hate what they do, we can hate who their master is, and we can hate their satanic doctrines, but we mustn’t hate them. God said in His word, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21)

Hate proves we are not in the will of God and our hearts are hardened. We must consider ourselves the servants of all. We need to esteem ourselves as lower than others. Our sins put Christ on the cross. We know Jesus, they don’t. We don’t have any excuse for behaving like the world. We can’t be pragmatic like the Muslims of the communists. We operate on faith. We don’t solely rely on what we can see and prove. We have the word of God, and we must apply it to our lives. Faith is in stark contrast to pragmatism. It operates in direct conflict. We do things that don’t make sense to them. We need to be obedient to God. This is worship, to truly apply His word to our lives. So let us pray for them to be converted by God. Let them become our brothers and sisters in Christ. This world is suffering and the lost are a multitude of peoples. What hope have they, Except for the faithful to share the gospel and for Christ to save them.

Church · marriage · Theology

Marriage, as a Typological Representation of Christ and the Church.

I-DO-Marriage-Series

In today’s culture, many people are embracing the doctrine of egalitarianism, as it is applied in theology. They go so far as to ignore what scripture says. For them, it is more important to conform scripture to the corrupted and sinful judgments of humans, then to be sanctified in obedience, and humility to the standard of scripture.

Egalitarianism, as it is applied to human equality is noble. In so much as it is not improperly applied. It is true that God is no respecter of persons. In His perfect and holy sight we are all justly damnable. Every man, woman, child, from every race, religion, and creed, are all sinners. In Christ we love and treat all with humility. We should consider ourselves as the worst sinners, while considering others better than ourselves. So does this notion of considering others as better than ourselves fit with egalitarianism? A noble idea is not noble at all when seen in the light of true humility and mercy. Christ left majesty and dwelt among His creations in the flesh. He washed the lowly, sinner’s feet, bore our scorn, made propitiation for the expiation of our sins, by enduring the wrath of God until He declared, “It is finished.” Philippians 2:6-11(NASB)

who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In the true faith we are all equally adopted and justified by Christ, but we mustn’t err by taking egalitarianism so far as it offends the word of God. “How far is that?” you may ask. Scripture, I believe is very clear. It is so clear, in fact that I am not going to list every single verse that refutes it. A plain reading of the scriptures, from beginning to end is an overwhelming avalanche of proof, that God has ordained the complimentary roles of male and female.

Marriage, as a typological representation of Christ and the Church is diminished by egalitarianism. The deeper theologies are robbed of their import by such societal concessions. If we understand that man, through sin, is separated from God and that through Christ he is rejoined, it is a marvelous thing. We see this typological example in marriage. Woman was separated from man. She went out of his flesh. In marriage the woman is joined again by the power of God to her husband. They are beautifully unified again part of the same body. Christ is our head and over us he rules. We the Church are His body, and we submit to His loving rule over us, His bride.  Marriage portrays such a beautiful thing. The gospel of Christ is portrayed in each marriage ceremony. When we see a married couple we should be reminded of the work that Christ did on the cross to justify us with God. When we look upon our beloved wife we should see someone who we would lay down our lives for. When our dear wives look upon us they should see someone who is willing to sacrifice all for them. We all should be mortified at the perversion of marriage in the world. It has been perverted by brazen things like polygamy, and same sex marriage, but even the subtlety of egalitarianism should offend us. Instead we embrace all of these. Ashamed of nothing, proud, and arrogant, we tell God how we will understand Him. We tell God how we will do things, and never truly repent with a bent knee and penitent heart.

Marriage is truly ordained by God. It is a union that should preach the gospel to us as believers and be a witness to the world. Let us pray for God to perform His will in our lives against our fleshly desires. Let us affirm His word and be conformed to His sovereign will in all things.

Theology

Justice is restorative to the victims, and punitive to the offender.

justice

 

 

 

 

 

Justice is restorative to the victims, and punitive to the offender.   All of us, before salvation are offenders. That is the part people skip. They think they are pretty good, and don’t deserve hell, like the Bible says they do. We deserve death and hell, every single one of us.  We are all sinners.  Those that God made, even knowing they would reject Him naturally will suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  (Romans 1:18-22) So if we all deserve hell, it is a miracle that God saves any.  God didn’t need to do anything.  He chose to create and demonstrate His loving kindness.   How can a fallen creature look upon its Creator, who perfectly defines all things by His very existence, and have the impudence to judge Him as evil? It is ludicrous.  Creations have no rights to their Creator.  He has all rights to what He has made.  God demonstrates His justice, by pouring out the rightfully deserved wrath, on the unrepentant sinners, in Hell for all eternity. This brings glory to God, because in punishing sin, He restores the victims. The victims are the people who have repented and put their faith in the grace of Jesus and His atoning work on the cross. The offense caused by sin would mar God if He did not punish it. The believers would be victims of this, if God did not punish the unbelievers.  They would be victims, because God would be unjust and unloving to not punish the unbelievers in Hell for all eternity.  So the wrath poured out on the offender restores that what would be done to the believer, by demonstrating that God is, in fact just, and will not let sin go unpunished. The fact that He is just, and restores those He has no need or obligation to restore, shows that He is also loving and merciful. God didn’t have to make anyone. He was perfect without creating a thing, but He did create, because He desired to do so. He is omniscient.  So in His all knowledge, if He creates people, knowing which ones will not repent, and knowing which ones will repent, and even still creating them all demonstrates that some vessels were made for wrath, and others honorable purposes.  Read Romans 9 for crying out loud people.  For those of you that claim to be Christian, READ YOUR BIBLE!!!  If He chose to do this then it is good because He defines good.  He is the creator.  We are the creatures.  Saying He is evil because He judges and punishes creatures He made, knowing they would be in rebellion demonstrates how little you actually know about your Bible and God.  You have believed the horrible Barney theology of, I love you, you love me nonsense.  Open theists and Universalists shouldn’t even call themselves Christian.  They are heretics.

So God is glorified in damnation by demonstrating His wrath for the purpose of His justice and He is glorified in salvation by demonstrating His grace for the purpose of His loving kindness.  This grace is not a violation of justice because He came down from majesty incarnate as Jesus to suffer the cross.  He had the wrath that you and I deserve poured out on Him on our behalf.  He paid the penalty and satisfied justice so that you could be saved if you would repent and put your faith in Him.  If you can’t then He didn’t die for you and you are not saved.  You are not one of the elect and will be in hell for all eternity.

Uncategorized

Marital Love

5_16_LoveLikeJesus_330742342

Marital Love

            When two people get married, usually they are in love.  This is true for Christians and the lost.  What happens when one person stops being in love with the other?  However this comes about, let’s assume that it has happened.  In a marriage of lost people, what is there to keep them together?  Once the one spouse realizes the other is no longer in love with them, why should they stay?  Why would anyone want to stay in a marriage where they are not cherished and loved?  There might be some pragmatic reasons like, convenience, money, or children.  Some people will stick it out just for these reasons.  What is the point of all of that if you don’t have the love of your spouse?  You might as well be living on your own, looking for someone to share love with.

Nobody gets married, thinking that one day they won’t be in love anymore.  People get married to share their love and lives together.  So what happens to a Christian couple when one of them stops feeling in love with the other?  The same thing happens to them, that happens to a lost couple.  About half the time they get divorced.  The others stay married out of pragmatic reasons or some sense of duty or obligation.

How should it be with a Christian couple?  What should the spouse do that has found out their spouse isn’t in love with them anymore?  What should the spouse do that doesn’t feel in love anymore?  Should they divorce and look for someone to be in love with?  Should they stick together because of duty, obligation, or their faith?  We know that God hates divorce.  We read about it in Malachi 2:16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”  So the Christian couple should stay together, but that doesn’t fix the problem.

They are not in love anymore.  Either both of them have no feelings for each other, or one of them has lost their feelings for the other.  How do we resolve this?  What does the bible say about love?  We read this about love and God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, “1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

How pointless is life without love?  The love of Jesus for us, the love we should have for each other is explained in the cross of Christ.  In 1 John 4:7-13 we read this, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”  Are we starting to get the picture?

Maybe they are not in love anymore because one or both of them feel like they have been wronged or victimized?  If so, they are holding on to hurt feelings and resentment.  Healing of their marriage can’t happen until they forgive each other.  In Matthew 6:15 we read, “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Ephesians 4:31-31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

We know that in a marriage there are two sinners living together.  Sins are bound to happen.  One of them will sin against the other and the other might sin back or sin in the way of harboring a grudge, hurt feelings, or resentment.  If these things are left undealt with they will keep coming up to cause problems.  Both people must repent.  Sometimes one person believes they never did anything wrong.  They think, “It is all the other persons fault, I don’t need to repent.  What could I have possible done wrong?  They are the one who hurt me!”  Most of the time, both people are thinking the same thing.  This is why both need to repent and ask not only God to forgive them, but they have to ask for forgiveness from the other.  When you humble yourself and come to someone asking them for something that they can give or deny it takes the power away from you.  You are at their mercy.  Hopefully you have a truly saved spouse who can see their own sin and grant you their forgiveness because of how much they have been forgiven by Christ.

Even still, while you are living in this torment you can’t give up.  As Christians you aren’t allowed to stop loving your spouse just because they aren’t in love with you anymore.  Oh, you might want to.  You might even feel yourself beginning to resent them as you put yourself on the throne of your life.  You might hear, “You poor, poor person you…  You don’t deserve to be treated like that by them!  How dare they!  Don’t they know how good they’ve got it with you?  You’ll teach them!  You’ll leave, and then what will they do?”  So you like what sin is telling you?

Do you want to be on the pitty pot?  You have failed to remember that you are the worst kind of sinner.  Christ bled and died for your sins.  Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  Jesus pursued us, our salvation, and the Father’s will, all the way to the cross and the grave.  How dare we give up on forgiving, loving, and repenting!

Sinners who don’t think that they have been loved the way they think they should be, you have been loved by Jesus in spite of your many sins against Him.  Your sins are responsible for His suffering on the cross.  You don’t deserve love!  You deserve death and Hell, being so self-centered, to think that you deserve to be treated with love from anyone is ludicrous.  Repent of your selfishness, ask Jesus to forgive you.  Ask your spouse to forgive you for not loving them selflessly, even if your love is not reciprocated.  Love them, while they are yet, not in love with you.  The only love you need is the love of Christ.  Pour yourself out for them the way Christ did for you, and Love them to the grave.  See your sins, and how much they cost Christ.  Look at your spouse, and see them for what they are.  They are a sinner, just like you, in need of The Saviors’ grace.  Demonstrate love and mercy towards them, because you have experienced the love and mercy of God.  Repent of harboring bitterness and forgive them.  Fill your heart with the love of God and then pour it out as a merciful balm of healing on your marriage.  Together, repent and be restored to each other and God.  God can make all things new, including your marriage.  You should know this, because when you were saved, He made you new.

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Peter do you love me?

agapephileo

Peter do you love me?

Something interesting, that I don’t remember thinking about before, is found in 1John 21:15-17.  My son Josh was visiting us.  He and I were talking, and he asked if I ever thought of what Jesus was doing when He was asking Peter if he loved Him?  You see, the first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, He uses the Greek word, “ἀγαπᾷς” it transliterates as, “agapas.”  It is a form of the word, “agape.”  I’ve always been told by people and Preachers that the word, “agape” means, God’s perfect, sacrificial love.  While looking the word up it seems there is more to it than that.  It also has implications of a willful, reasoned, self-volitional type of love.  We also see that this type of love is supposed to be reciprocated by us, to God, and we are supposed to love each other in the same way, in 2Matthew 22:37-39 when Jesus, in Greek uses the word, “Ἀγαπήσεις” or “Agapēseis.”

So why does Peter respond with the Greek word, “φιλῶ” which transliterates as, “philō.”  Philō implies a warm, brotherly love, the kind of love you would have for a very close friend.  So Peter is responding back with a more reserved, lesser type of love, than what Jesus is asking him about.  Keep in mind, this is after Peter had denied that he even knew Jesus, to save his own neck.  Jesus is fully aware of this, and what is going on in Peter’s heart.  One has to wonder, “What was going on in Peter’s mind after these questions from Jesus?”  I’m not going to make any assumptions here.  What we read in the Bible is enough.  It is just one of those things that I have wondered about.  I hope to find out one day.  I think I’ll pass this on to one of my more learned friends and see what they have to say.  I’ll get back to you all.  Maybe, they can comment on this article?

115So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.

2Matthew 22:37-39 (NASB) “…37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’38“This is the great and foremost commandment.39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’…”

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Jesus Christ saves us by His grace according to His will not by our works or favor earned through deeds.

Titus 3:4-7 NASB But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, (5) He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Image

marriage · Uncategorized

Marriage Isn’t About Being Happy

Marriage Isn’t About Being Happy

If you aren’t happy in your marriage chances are it is because you have a wrong expectation. This is probably because you have put your hope in your spouse to satisfy you. He ordained marriage for one man, to one woman as a helpmate. It wasn’t good for man to be alone. Marriage is supposed to be two sinners, giving grace to one another, remembering Christ Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for their very own personal sins, and forgiving the smaller offense of a creature against a creature, because you understand the horrible consequences of your sin as a creature against the holy Creator. Marriage is an archetype of Christ and His bride the Church. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial love for us we have an example of how we are supposed to love our spouse. If you find your contentment and happiness in God’s will and providence, then you will look upon your spouse as a fellow sinner who needs selfless love and grace. When you are fulfilled by God, and He is enough for you, then you can truly appreciate the blessing of a spouse.