Saturday, August 16, 2014

God helps those that help themselves..

 God Helps Those that Help Themselves,
and other prideful lies of the

The question from Linkedin was "Does the Bible teach that Christians should pull themselves up by their own boot straps?" Here we must address not our opinion but what does the Bible say?  The only way we can be sure of what the Bible says is to go to the Bible  Psalm 127:1-2  teaches “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.”
Leviticus 26:19-20 “and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.”

Here we see the futility of trying to accomplish anything without God. Pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, is being zealous for our will not God’s  it may appear to be the will of God but hidden in self-sufficiency is pride and self-worship.
Consider the disciple Peter, who was more zealous for Christ them he? In Matthews 26:33 he proclaims “Even if everyone else deserts You, I will never desert You.” When Jesus tells him of his denial Peter insisted “No!”. “Even if I have to die with You, I will never deny You!”
Peter thought that he could stand by Jesus in his own strength, however, as we all know this was not true. From this we can that zealot doing even for God, or what we think is God’s will is our own self-sufficiency and pride and they always lead to denying Christ. Whenever we say “I can do it” we are saying “I don’t need Christ”
But John 15:5   Jesus tells us we can do nothing without him. Some people think this means only spiritual things, but when we consider God who sustains us, we see that everything we do, even the very breath we take is because of Him 2Cor 3:5 tells us that our sufficiency ( even our self- sufficiency) is from God.  Paul reminds us we should glory in our infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Cor 12:9)
Nowhere is the Bible does it ever say “God helps those that help themselves” yet this lie has been perpetuated in the church as the truth. When you combine this lie with the world, that teaches we must become self-sufficient, is there any wonder we have missed the mark for what God's will is for the Christian? Please brothers and sisters don't be fooled by the world The devil want you to help yourself that is a state of pride, however,  God’s desire is that we lean on him in every part of your life.
Let us pray;

Dear Heavenly Father,
Please forgive me if I have ever though that I could do something apart from you, if I have put on the fa├žade of self-sufficiency, pride, egoism it has only been to make myself appear some way to men. I know that these thoughts are a result of my lack of trust in you, and the lie that I can do something apart from you.
My God, please help my lack of trust, my unbelief, teach me how to live totally dependent on You. Not on my abilities, or another man’s promises, but on You alone.
Father, I know it is only you that have the ability to do those things which need to be done in my life. But if these things that I hope for never get done on this side of Your glory, teach me to understand that Your Grace is sufficient in my life.
In Jesus’ Name I pray Amen.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

When Divinity Meets Humanity

Doctrine is not revealed as fact like a number but the teaching of the Bible that is systematically arrived at. What this means is that you look at all of scripture as a whole and see what it is teaching about a given subject.

For instance the Bible teaches, that
·        God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
·        That there is one God, (Deuteronomy 6:4)

From this we can say confidently there is but one God and He created the Heavens and the Earth.  That is until we get to Colossians 1:16 which in speaking of Jesus Christ says “ For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”

How do we reconcile Colossians 1:16 with Genesis 1:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4? Simple Jesus must be God. This is very staggering to say the Jesus is God until we get to Colossians 2:9-10 here we see the divinity of this Jesus Christ, and the formation of a Godhead, 3 person is one god. This is the Trinity revealed to us in scripture and taught through sound doctrine.
Now let us deal with a question given to me last Sunday which indirectly denies the Trinity, a 2000 year old fully accepted, irreproachable, historically provable, doctrine of the Bible.

If Jesus is God why did He not know the hour of his return?

Mark 13:30-32, "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Matt. 24:36, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

Many times when dealing with the Trinity, (And because it [this question] challenges the deity of Jesus Christ it challenges the doctrine of the Trinity) the issue is not as much the Trinity as it is the difficulty in understanding the Trinity. Sometime the inquirer just does not understand the Trinity, however, most often this question comes from those that are used to dealing with things out of their own intellect. Smart people so to speak; they are those that search the scripture diligently to prove in one lifetime what has been established and stood the test of the wisest scholars for over 2000 years.  Most cases it comes from those that struggle with the power of a sovereign God, because they are used to being important, or smart, or the center of intelligence, or something to their small portion of the world.  

But perceiving Christ as God, someone much more than a man, omnipotent makes them impotent;  and everything they have done that has heretofore hailed as good to man, is but a filthy rags before an all mighty God (Isaiah 64:6)

Return to His Glory
During His earthly ministry Jesus moved and walked as man and every miracle that he did was as a man. This is because He was made a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and had emptied Himself (willingly choose not to express His deity)  and taken on the form of a man (Phil. 2:7). 

Because Jesus, was a man who was ministering completely as a man under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5), He did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Christ was therefore completely dependent upon God as He in the form of man was cooperating with the limitations of being human.  That is why He said He didn't know the day or hour of His return.

However, we see that after the resurrection of Christ it is said of Him that He knows all things (John 21:17) and that He is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20).  Therefore, after His resurrection and glorification, the Lord Jesus did know all things.

The Hypostatic Union.
So how is it that Jesus being God did not know the hour of His return?  Simple Jesus is both God and man we see his deity in passages like (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Col. 2:9) However, Jesus was also fully man and during His ministry in Jerusalem, He was cooperating with the limitations of being a man. 

·        As a man, Jesus walked and talked just like each of us,
·        As God, He was worshipped (Matt. 14:33; 28:9; Heb. 1:6), prayed to (1 Cor. 1:2), etc. 
This Dual Nature of Christ is called the Hypostatic Union, So why was it necessary to have a hypostatic Union? Hebrews 2:17 tells us so that he might identify with our suffering…

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)

… and so that he could be a spiritual High Priest and mediator between God and man and to secure eternal redemption for us…
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:11-12)

But excitedly important He took on the image of a servant (Philippians 2:7) so that He could die on the cross and atone for the sins of His elect and give everlasting life.
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. (John 3:16)

Philippians 2:5-11 says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

…and he could not have done that without being human

Until we can see the blessed beauty of the Trinity and the need for the Hypostatic Union we will never understand the power of God’s unmerited Grace toward our salvation.

Sola Deo Gloria