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  • May 07 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1) – Romans 4:1-25
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1) – Romans 4:1-25

Download Notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1)

Romans 4:1-25 (Pastor Heo)

Abraham Justified by Faith

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


Last Sunday, we made “justification” clear (i.e. how to have a right relationship with God). In the second half of chp 3: It is only by:

  1. The grace of God (the root)
  2. The blood of Christ (the power of the death and resurrection – the foundation, ground)
  3. Faith (condition – not method – for justification)

In chp 4, this is Abraham’s story. Why? What relationship do we have with Abraham in this matter of justification? At least there are more than 6x repeated “Abraham is our father.”

  • v. 1 “…Abraham, our forefather…”
  • v. 11 “…he, Abraham, is the father of all…”
  • v. 12 “…he, Abraham, is also the father of the circumcised…”
  • v. 16 “…he, Abraham, is the father of us all…”
  • v. 17 “…he, Abraham, is our father in the sight of God…”
  • v. 18 “…against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations…”

Abraham is the “father of the faith.”

What does this mean when we call Abraham “our father”?

If you are Christian, you have 4 fathers:

  1. Physical (biological) father
  2. Father God (our Creator)
  3. Adam (the first man)
  4. Abraham (father of the faith)

The fact that Abraham is our father means at least 2 things (let’s focus on one):

#1: Abram (Abraham) was an example, chosen by God, and shown in history HOW to have a right relationship with God.

Abraham’s story of how he was justified is the SAME as our own experience to be justified. Every single, individual person can be justified by the same God, the same grace, power, and faith.

Abraham = “the father of faith” = he was justified in the same way we are justified today.

#2: Abraham is the promise, the covenant, of how this is being fulfilled today.

In chp 4, HOW was Abraham justified? His story is the same as ours.

  1. Negatively: by what he was NOT justified (today)
  2. Positively: by what he WAS justified (next week – very important to attend)

Four things that DID NOT justify Abraham

#1: Not by his good works / character

v. 1-2 “1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.”

Yes, Abraham was not perfect before God. He told many lies about his wife (“she’s my sister”). What would you think? He said that many times before kings (in fear of losing his physical life by pagan labors). “Wherever we go, tell them ‘this is my brother'”.

  • Abraham’s character is NOT perfect (don’t idolize him).
  • Abraham’s justification has NOTHING to do with his justification.

#2: Not by circumcision

v. 9-10 “9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!”

Abraham was circumcised at the age of 99. The Jews (at that time) gloried in circumcision because they thought it was the method of justification (they thought it was one way to have a right relationship with God). In fact, they looked down on Gentiles as “dogs” who were not circumcised.

Actually, Abraham was justified 14 years earlier in Genesis 15. So, actually, from a Jewish point of view, Abraham was a Gentile by the time he was justified.

Actually,

  • In Genesis 12 (24 years before circumcision), God called him to bless all nations.
  • In Genesis 15 (14 years before circumcision), he was declared righteous because he believed God.
  • In Genesis 17, he was circumcised.

#3: Not by observing the Law

v. 13-15 “13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”

It is clear that Abraham was not justified by observing the Law. Abraham was the man of Genesis – but the Law was given through Moses (Exodus). This was much later.

At the time of Abraham’s justification, there WAS no Law.

#4: Not by his own power

v. 19-20 “19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,”

Abraham has an only son (Isaac). Spiritually, this was the son of the Promise, the covenant, through whom all nations will be blessed. The spiritual truth of this is – HOW Abraham received this promise is a symbol of how he was justified by God.

The method by which Abraham received his Promised Son is symbolic of how he was justified by God.

He received this son at the age of 100. Wow! His wife was 90. Double wow!

This is IMPOSSIBLE!~

What does this mean? This is a symbol of spiritual truth. He was NEVER justified by his own power. He was totally powerless, helpless, when God started to operate his power in their bodies.

How was he NOT justified?

  1. Not by character
  2. Not by circumcision
  3. Not by keeping the Law
  4. Not by his own Power

Also, we are the same. Can you say “my character justifies me”? Not by communion, baptism, circumcision. Not by keeping the Law. Not by our own strength.

So then, HOW WAS Abraham justified? Next week….

Let’s pray.

  • May 17 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Grace Triumphs Over Legalism (Galatians 2)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Grace Triumphs Over Legalism (Galatians 2)

05.18

05.17.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

<Download Sermon Notes in a .RTF file>

Grace Triumphs Over Legalism
Galatians 2 (Pastor Brian)

Paul Accepted by the Apostles
1 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. 6 As for those who seemed to be important–whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance–those men added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. 8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Paul Opposes Peter
11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”


Galatians 2:20 is a good memory verse FYI.

In the last study, we looked at the reason why Galatians was written. Paul had founded churches in Galatia, and they had seen miracles, experienced the Holy Spirit, and had great joy, etc.

There are two theories regarding who this letter was addressed to:

  1. North central Asia minor
  2. Southern Asia

These were under the Roman jurisdiction.

Most scholars believe the letter was written to the Southern Asians – this seems to fit well with Paul’s criticism of them. They’d received the HS, experienced the power of the gospel, but when Paul and Barnabas left, the Judaizers came in to tell them “Hey, you guys gotta follow the LAW man!”

God had overruled this many times and Paul had shown it. But the Judaizers came in to discredit Paul and say, “Look, Paul ain’t really a Jesus guy. He’s a faker.”

BUT, we are disciples of Jesus, saved by faith and grace, not the LAW (of Moses, not the Law of the Romans). Faith in Christ brings freedom and liberty and grace.

Chapter 2:

In defending himself as an apostle, Paul talks about a meeting in Jerusalem with Titus and Barnabas – where he was able to tell the gospel he preached. While there, some of the Jews tried to convince Titus to be circumcised to “be REALLY REALLY REALLY saved.” Paul refused with gusto.

The question posed was: Do Gentiles have to follow the Law of Moses in order to truly be saved? The Law began with the covenant. The sons of Moses were circumcised and he handed down the covenant to the people. John the Baptist was circumcised. Jesus was also circumcised on the 8th day according to custom.

But it’s important to understand this in relation with the gospel. Physical circumcision is not required. Remember Cornelius in Acts 10-11, where they were granted repentance and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t need to be circumcised BEFORE receiving the HS. They responded with faith in their hearts and the HS fell upon them, just like at Pentecost.

Acts 15 – there was a letter sent by the apostles and elders, expounded by Paul in most of his letter to the churches – that said physical circumcision was not necessary. However, in Colossians, Paul talks about how faith in Christ and repentance toward God brings about a dramatic conversion where we are made to be NEW creations – and the OLD man is cut off and thrown out. This is the experience of spiritual circumcision.

Acts – Paul went to Derby and met Timothy (half Jew/ half Greek). Paul wanted to take Timothy on the journey with him – so he circumcised Timothy for the sake of the Jews in the area (because they knew his father was a Greek). He did this for speed, to get into the synagogues and not create a big fuss among the Jews – this was NOT for salvation purposes.

Paul was “under” some of the other church leaders, but Paul attests that they didn’t add anything or correct his gospel. Paul recognized Peter’s apostleship to the Jews, and his own to the Gentiles.

  1. Peter went to the Jews.
  2. Paul to the Gentiles – but he always went to the Jews FIRST to preach. When rejected, then he went to the Gentiles – which is what the Lord had appointed him for anyway.

Galatians 2:11~

Paul opposed Peter to his face. Why? He was afraid of the Circumcised Cliche of Jewish Christians. Even Barnabas was led astray in this way. They both separated themselves from eating and fellowshiping with the Gentile Christians.

See, the Judaizers were trying to say, “Yo, Paul is LESS than the other apostles – especially Peter.”

But here we can see that Paul is on level standing (perhaps even higher) than Peter.

This falling away from fellowship with the Gentiles came gradually, but others eventually noticed and followed as well. This falling away was troubling for the grace of God. For people are saved by GRACE, not by works.

Acts 15:1 some men came from Judea to Antioch and were teaching – “Yo, if you ain’t circumcised, you ain’t really saved.” So, we can see this trouble.

But still, among the Gentiles there were miracles, and the acts and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

But then the Circumcision Cliche (Pharisees and all) said, “Hey, hey, you gots to be cut to be saved.”

But Paul said, “The Holy Spirit made no distinction between us (Jews) and them (Gentiles). Now, why are you putting a burden (yoke) on them that even we and our fathers couldn’t bear? NO, it is through GRACE we are saved, just as they are.”

James (leader of the Counsel) agreed with Peter (this was during the time of Cornelius) and they set up 5 regulations that Gentile Christians must follow:

  1. No food sacrificed to idols…..
  2. No sexual immorality……

However, after Peter had worked hard to convince the others that Gentiles were good to go if they believed, then perhaps Fear of Man issues started to cause him to go back on what he’d originally believed. He surrendered to the idea that “mmm, maybe circumcision is a good thing…?”

How did Peter react to Paul’s confrontation?

He loved him and accepted his criticism. In his letters he even addressed how Paul spoke to him. He clearly regards Paul as a brother, respects Paul’s guidance, and regards Paul’s writings as Scripture.

Paul stood alone when others were led astray, he had to rebuke a respected brother in Christ, but his courage was motivated by faithfulness – to Jesus and to the gospel.

He was courageous.
Peter was humble. He didn’t hold a grudge, and he recognized Paul’s wisdom.

Paul’s rebuke was motivated by love, love for his brother, love for Christ, and love for others (those he taught). “Love one another, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil for evil but with good…so that you may inherit a blessing.”

This all illustrates the power of Christ – how it turns a persecutor (Paul) and the persecuted (Peter) into co-workers. And the gospel can help those in conflict with one another to love and work together.

JB Philips:

If Paul had said, (v. 15-end)

If I try to rebuild the Law, then I remake myself a sinner.

Under the Law I died, and I’m no longer under its demands. I may consider that I died on the cross with Christ. The body I live in is not my old life, but the new life of Christ in me.

I refuse to make useless the grace of God by trying to get back under that old Law.

If we could be justified by the Law, then what’s the point of Jesus’ sacrifice?

A life crucified with Christ. (We can’t actually, physically do so) but spiritually we can. All of us, baptized into Christ, have been buried with him in baptism. And as he has been raised, so we are raised into newness of life.

We know that our old self was crucified to sin, our old bodies done away with, so that we are not slaves to sin.

We also know that as Christ was raised from dead, death has no power over him, even so, we are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  1. RECOGNIZE: your death with Christ
  2. RECOGNIZE: your resurrection with Him

And continually recognize this in your life.

In baptism by immersion, you go down under the water (as if being buried in the earth), and are raised again (as if being resurrected).

The Code of Justice in the EU:

Has forced Google to de-activate searches for private citizens who don’t want some things found.

A Spaniard brought this out – he HAD been in debt, but now is not – but he is still found in Google Searches.

Forbes “The EU’s right to be forgotten clashes with the US’s right to know.”

Will this cause another giant type of firewall like China? People, young and immature have done and posted stupid things online that can now NEVER be unposted.

But, interestingly, this “right to be forgotten” is a part of the gospel. Your sins will be forgotten.

Isaiah “I, even I, blot out your sins for my own sake and remember them NO MORE.”

Jeremiah 31:34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor and say ‘Know the Lord’ for they will know me, for I will forgive their sins and remember them NO MORE.”

Amazing that God is omniscient (all-knowing), yet he CHOOSES to forget all our sins when we believe in Christ. In this way, we are justified by faith in Christ.

Derick Prince: “Justified = Just as if I’d… never sinned.”

This is the truth Paul is fighting for.

“The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.” To go back to the Law would be to go back to WRATH. Now we live under GRACE.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 05 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31)

8.5

Bulletin_08.05.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Verse 1 – some men came from Judea to Antioch – teaching circumcision is necessary to salvation.

Gentiles would have to obey circumcision and other aspects of Jewish law (i.e. basically convert to Judaism) in order to be considered part of the church.

Different cultural backgrounds.

Some traditional Jews continue to obey all the laws (or try to) and worship at the temple as they had since Moses. Some of these things (circumcision) identified them as the people of God and set them apart.

God said, “This is my covenant you shall keep for your generations – circumcision.”

So, Abraham took Ishmael, and all his servants and everyone in his estate and circumcised them all in the same day.

Later on, Moses reinforced circumcision – Exodus 12:33-34 – “This is the ordinance of the Passover – no foreigner may eat of it, but all your slaves – after circumcision – may eat.”
Joshua also reinforced it – all those born in the wilderness – a new generation of Israelites – hadn’t been circumcised. So, God commanded them to be circumcised with flint knives.

This was an important mark of the covenant with God.

On the other hand, ex-pagans were continually becoming saved and entering the church.

They had been worshiping idols, they had no desire for circumcision since there was no cultural value for them.

The Jews were afraid that the ex-pagans would change the nature of the church. They weren’t so concerned with some who kept the Jewish laws, worshiped at the temple, and so on. But, IF ex-pagans entered the church and DIDN’T keep the Jewish laws, it might encourage Jews to not be so zealous about keeping the laws themselves.

Something had to be done.

So, Paul and company traveled around and preached about how the Gentiles were turning to God – and accepting Jesus as the Way, Truth, Life.

At Jerusalem, they are welcomed by the elders and reported everything that God had done through them (verse 4).

But then, some with a legalistic background (Pharisee-order Christians), decided that circumcision must be enforced even upon the Gentiles.
They are leaders, teachers, a powerful force (and legalistic). They said Gentiles must basically convert to Judaism before they can be called Christians.

MUCH discussion took place…

Genesis 17 likely referenced to make the case for circumcision.

Then Peter stood up and gave a strong testimony to accept the Gentiles into the church on the basis of “faith alone” and according to the basic Christian creed.

God had already (possibly 10 years earlier – Acts 9) made an example of bringing Gentiles into the church by faith alone.

Peter: “God, who knows the heart, showed he accepted them, he purified their hearts by faith, and gave them the Holy Spirit.”

Peter said that the Pharisee Christians were testing God, placing a yoke around the neck of the Gentiles that Jews themselves had been unable to fully bear.

Yoke – metaphor for political, social oppression (1 Timothy 1? – yoke on slaves)

The gospel came at a time when slavery was rampant. It took many, many years before God – through many Christian men – helped change the world’s views of slavery.

=====
When Jews (or anyone) set up rules to prevent others from entering the body, they are testing God and burdening others.

Jesus himself said, “my yoke is easy, my burden is light…come to me all you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest…take my yoke and find rest.”

Peter ends the speech by echoing the thoughts of Paul, “We believe it is by grace we are saved, just as they are.”

Next, Barnabas and Paul rise to defend their views on circumcision – the whole assembly became silent.

Barnabas spoke first, they trusted him, he was originally from Jerusalem, sent to Antioch. So, he and Paul both told the story of the Gentile conversion as it happened. Told of how they went to Cyprus, and how God through Paul had stricken the sorcerer with blindness because He wouldn’t put up with the obstruction to his gospel. Told of other miracles and wonders they witnessed.

This shows that God is blessing their work.

The next person to speak is James, the leader (head pastor) of the church in Jerusalem. He was highly respected all around, probably because he keeps all the Jewish laws.

He agrees with Peter and Paul that faith is the basis for salvation, but the Judaism-advocates misunderstand him. He said that “Just because I keep these laws doesn’t obligate Gentiles to do so.”

Amos 9:11-12 is quoted – prophecy.
He verifies and vindicates the Word of God. By quoting this, he is saying that the Gentile mission is the method by which the Gentiles are becoming part of David’s new tent (the new Israel) – verse 16)

He says, don’t obligate the Gentiles to follow our laws.

However, he has a public relations problem, he doesn’t want to alienate pious Jews – so he sets up 4 prohibitions.

3 of them are about food –
idolatrous worship foods – especially meat (but later Paul in 1 Corinthians says “eat” so long as it doesn’t cause another to sin),
flesh of animals that are improperly killed,
don’t eat blood – an extension on the previous one

The final prohibition = pornea (pornography origin)

No sexual immorality – 1 Corinthians – “He who sins sexually sins against his own body (all other sins are outside his own body)….each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband….I will be grieved over many who have sinned and not repented over their sexual sins in which they have indulged.”

Corinth was very perverse (Vegas?) and known for sexual immorality – in fact, immoral people were often referred to as “Corinthians”

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. DO NOT BE DECEIVED. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, prostitutes, homosexual offenders, drunkards, swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. AND that is what some of you WERE. BUT, you were purified, sanctified, washed, cleansed, made righteous.

But thank God for his grace.”

1 Corinthians – Paul recommended marriage BECAUSE of rampant immorality. If he were alive today, he would definitely encourage it.

Today, taboo things of the past have become commonplace. The Internet can bring any of these things with the click of a mouse.

Paul says “FLEE”
Many do struggle with sexual sin and temptation.

www.settingcaptivesfree.com
Porn, wine, cigarettes, finances, diet, homosexuality, etc.

www.purepassion.com?

Billy Graham? Do you know him?
Ruth Graham (his daughter) had been through 3 broken marriages.
First husband brought porn in, messed her up, divorced, raped before second marriage, second marriage broke up, third marriage.

Book “There’s a Broken Heart in Every Pew”

Everyone comes to church smiling, dressed in their best. “How are you?” “Fine!…..” She wasn’t, she was abused by first and second husbands. She finally found peace in her third.

God brought her through that, now she can minister to others with the same struggles. All these other online ministries are similar.

C.S. Lewis – The Great Divorce
Slay Sexual Sin in our own lives.

“Busload of people who travel to heaven on a tour before getting to their new home – heaven. Once in heaven, many flee back to the comfort of their bus. One ghost, with a talkative Lust Demon pestering him, wanders out and meets an angel. The angel asks, “Would you like me to make him quiet?” “Of course” “then I will kill him” “Oh, ouch!…You’re burning me.” “Don’t you want him killed?” “Nothing so drastic please” “It’s the only way, shall I kill it?” “no, no, he’s asleep now.” “May I kill it?” “no, no, some other day?” “No other day. You’ll kill me!” “Not kill you” “You’ll hurt me” “I never said it wouldn’t hurt you, just it wouldn’t kill you.”
Lizard, “I promise I’ll be good”
Angel “May I?” Man “You’re right, it would be better to be dead than live with this. God, help me”

The man screamed in agony, the angel squeezed the lizard, killed it and threw it.

Then the man (ghost) became solid – not a ghost anymore but a man.

The lizard grew bigger and bigger and changed. It became a stallion (horse), beautiful golden hair.

The man (not ghost) climbed upon his stallion that had been his sin and rode toward his Savior.

The only remedy for sexual sin is DEATH to that sin. But after that death, there is a beauty to the new creation life.

Let us prepare for communion, and if there are any lizards in our lives, let’s kill them.

Amen.

  • Jan 12 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 34-36 (Bible-365.12): Jacob as Deadbeat Dad
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 34-36 (Bible-365.12): Jacob as Deadbeat Dad

Observation

In Genesis 34, Leah’s daughter Dinah is raped, and her blood brothers (Leah’s second and third sons) avenge her by killing all the men in the whole city where she was defiled. This was only possible after convincing the city that circumcising all their men was the only way they would give their sister as the defiler’s wife. Jacob fears that the whole land will avenge that city now – but the sons reply, “Would it be better for our daughter to be treated like a prostitute?” Apparently they have some sort of familial honor (these three all have the same mother anyway).

Continue Reading

  • Jan 06 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 16-18 (Bible-365.6): Sexual Sin and Redemption
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 16-18 (Bible-365.6): Sexual Sin and Redemption

We’ll continue going through the daily Bible reading by looking at a chapter at a time.

Chapter 16

In which Abram follows in the footsteps of his forefather Adam by following unwise and sinful council from his wife while disregarding the word of God and His promises:

  • Adam’s wife Eve convinced him (I’m not sure it took much convincing) to disobey God and eat of the tree in the Garden that God specifically warned them against – despite the numerous other trees with delectable fruit. Continue Reading
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen