What if?

What if Christ had not come?

John 15:22  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

Effects on mankind:

      Man would not have the possibility to gain heaven. The only way to enter heaven is to have our sins paid for and we cannot pay for our own sin and live. Heaven would be closed to mankind and God would remain separate from us. Man would abide forever under the curse of sin. There would be continual sacrifices being made.

We would be telling time as the Jews – 6,023 or something like that. There would be no hope for a lasting peace on earth.

There would be no Christmas season to celebrate. No decorations, carols, or nativity.

There would be no church, no communion or Easter, no great hymns. There would be no New Testament; no new covenant. The story of man would end in a curse Mal 4:6. The bridge from God to man would be incomplete.

God without honor:

      Bethlehem vindicated God’s promise of a Deliverer in Genesis. The announcement of “a child is born . . . a son

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Knowing Truth

How to know the truth

John 7:17  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Ever learning:

      Paul writes about certain philosophers in 2 Tim 3:7 saying that they were unable to come to the knowledge of the truth. In the next verse, Paul tells us why they cannot – even though they are highly intelligent or well educated – they resist the truth. Resist means to oppose, set against, to withstand. They could not learn the truth because they were not willing to believe it or obey it when they learned it. An example of that today is the controversy among Christians about the Genesis account of creation. The written text says six days and there are those who say that it means six literal twenty-four hour days and others who say it means thousands, even billions of years. Often the unbelief or unwillingness to believe the plain reading of Scripture comes because of man’s contrary teaching and supposed evidences opposing what the Bible says.

      The difficulties in this as well as in other doctrinal difficulties are a basic unwillingness to

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The gay issue

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Abomination to God:

      The word used for abomination is toebah and literally means “a disgusting thing, abomination” and in every occurrence it is either translated as abomination, abominable thing or just abominable. When a person commits the sin of homosexuality it is also called “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7); the word strange is also used in relation to other gods (Josh 24:23), and also a foreign woman or a prostitute or temptress (1 Ki 11:1; Prov 6:24).

Called sodomy:

      The name sodomite comes from the city of Sodom where this prevalent sin is recorded in Scripture was that of homosexuality (Gen 19:4-5). This was not their only sin because there was much wickedness in it (Jer 23:13-14; Eze 16:48-50).

      The practice of sodomy was associated with false gods and the worship of them (Jud 19:22; 1 Ki 14:24). This along with other cultic practices were part of

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Holy Spirit fruit – longsuffering

Ephesians 4:2-3   With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;   Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If our relation to others is shown in these three characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, then it is fitting that it begins with longsuffering.


      Longsuffering is patience, constancy, perseverance, endurance and steadfastness. The fact that “suffer” is part of the word means that there will be some suffering on our part in regards to others. Longsuffering is a quality of God written by the prophets and others (Ex 34:6; Psa 103:8) and with it goes the idea of not easily angered or not retaining anger long.

      Paul also talked about “forbearing” or enduring, literally hold oneself erect and firm. Through the power of the Spirit we are enabled to be right and righteous even in the face of ornery and testing people. Paul says the purpose of longsuffering and forbearance is so that we keep the unity of the Spirit in peace.

      Longsuffering is something that we go through not the other; it means to keep sweet in face of opposition, disagreement

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He is risen!

He is risen – as He said

Matthew 28:6-8   He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

                The resurrection of Jesus Christ was once seriously doubted by many and attempts were made to declare it an untruth. But Godly men researched and wrote on the subject and so convincingly proved that the resurrection was a fact that for years no one dared to publicly declare anything against it. Today in our post Christian age many once again take up the mantle of the doubters from years past, only these are not as honorable as their ancestors. These refuse to believe historical facts and records simply because they do not want to believe or accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a fact of history. Instead of honor they prove their dishonor by attacking Scripture and those

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Passion week

Luke 19:37-40 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.   And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.  And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

            On what we call Passion Week Jesus entered into Jerusalem for the last time in His human body taken on in the incarnation at our Christmas celebration. He would be tested with severe questioning each day and finally arrested and crucified. Then on the third day He would rise from the dead and have a glorified human form (similar to what we will have in the resurrection – Phil 3:21).

            On this occasion of His entry into Jerusalem He makes an interesting statement to the leaders when they call for Him to rebuke the people

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The fruit of peace

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Three-fold aspect of peace:

     The Bible presents a three-fold aspect in the area of peace – peace with God; peace of God and peace on earth.

Peace with God:

Peace with God (Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14-17), the peace provided between the sinner and God through the work of Christ, entered into by faith. Sin is in direct opposition to God and when we sin or align with sinners we are in an enemy relationship to God (Jam 4:4; Isa 48:12; 57:20-21). Sin keeps us from God and hides His face (Isa 59:1-2). When Christ died for our sins He took away that barrier between us and God and all who admit they are sinners and seek forgiveness can now enter into peace with God (2 Cor 5:18-19).

Peace of God:

Peace of God (Phil 4:7), inward peace, the state of the soul that has through faith entered into family relationship with God (Lu 7:50). The state of the soul when one has given their anxieties to God in prayer with thanksgiving in supplication and petition (Phil 4:6). There is also the peace

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The Spirit's fruit of Joy

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Christian character:

      Christian character is more than mere moral or legal correctness, but possession of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, manifested in our lives. The nine fold expressions of the fruit of the Spirit can be divided into groups of three, each representing an aspect of our character. Love, joy and peace are inward qualities of the Christian. Longsuffering, gentleness and goodness express our fruit toward our fellow man. Faith, meekness and temperance as character qualities toward God, all representing the moral portrait of Christ. Taken together they present the explanation of Paul in (Gal 2:20)  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

      Exemplifying this nine-fold expression of fruit of the Spirit is possible only as Jesus outlined in Jn 15:1-8; and can be exhibited only when three criteria are followed. First, there must be

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Hereby Know

1 John 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

John’s word use:

     John uses the phrase “hereby know” eight times in his first epistle. The phrase means by this we understand, perceive or know and is the opposite of many belief systems that strand the follower in doubt and uncertainty. John emphasizes that we can know and do know by the way he uses this phrase in this epistle.

His eight uses of it:

      1 Jn 2:3 – John says we can know that we do actually know God by our lifestyle. To keep His commands is to attend to carefully; to under go something. The word “submit” relates to that; as part of the definition – to submit under. We live our daily life closely in subjection to God’s commands.

      1 Jn 2:5 – Here John equates attending to carefully; undergoing something to God’s entire word logos (portions of God’s word are recorded as rhemas), but logos means the entire word of God. David said that God’s entire word is a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path, thus

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Honoring God's Word - 2

Matthew 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

            Jots and tittles:

      Paul taught that all Scripture is “God breathed” and reliable and profitable. Jesus taught that even the smallest Scripture (portions of letters, words and phrases) are also inspired. In numerous portions of Scripture the teaching rests on a seemingly insignificant component of the word or phrase.

      For example: Paul used a differing tense of a verb to speak to the Galatians about their relationship with God Gal 4:9. Jesus used a past tense and present tense together to declare His deity Jn 8:58. Paul also used the singular to proclaim Christ Gal 3:16; Gen 22:17-18. Similarly, Jesus used present tense to correct the error of the Scribes concerning the state of those who die in the Lord Matt 22:32.

      Jesus reprimanded two disciples after His resurrection because they did not believe all Scripture pertaining to Him Lu 24:25, 27. The Psalmist said (Psa 119:89)”For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” They are the words of God and they can never

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Honoring God's Word

Deuteronomy 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

It is truly God’s Word:

            Various Scriptures declare that the Bible is authored by God – Moses wrote what God told him to say and wrote to the people (Lev 1:1). Jeremiah spoke and wrote what God told him (Jer 1:4). John wrote what he was instructed to write as given to him from the resurrected Lord (Rev 1:1). Paul wrote that all Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Tim 3:16). Paul also told the Thessaloian believers that they were receiving and believing the very word of God (1 Thes 2:13). If we try to say that portions of the Bible are untrue or myths, then we have to say the whole is that way, because it is declared to be wholly given by inspiration – God-breathed.

            Warning about the Word of God:

                        God gives us four such warning about tampering with His word.

            Deut 4:2 – Adding to God’s word by saying more than it says – Eve did

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Working out in God's gymnasium

Hebrews 12:5-11  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Sanctifying grace

      Jesus prayed for us to be sanctified – He said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth”. God uses His word to sanctify us and uses various methods to

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The God who provides

Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

God’s provision for believers

          God provides for us far more than just our physical needs – although He does that also. These are seen in the seven titles given to Him in the NT.

The God of love

     We need love and so does the world just as the pop song said. One of the nine-fold products of the abiding Holy Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). We all need to be loved and that is the famous verse’s statement that God so loved. But more than that we need love within us in order to show God’s love to others who are also seeking to be loved (Ro 5:5). God’s love imparted to us by the Holy Spirit enables us to love the unlovely.

The God of all grace

      We are saved by grace thru faith; but we are also to grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18). God’s grace is freely given to us (Jn 1:16) to help us in our walk and life. When Paul asked for

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God hardened hearts

Joshua 11:20  For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Complaints against God

          One of the most bitter complaints against God by critics opposed to the Bible is its portrayal of the severity of God, especially in His command to Moses to destroy all the Canaanites (Deut 7:2; 20:16-17). This seems even more severe upon reading of our text from Joshua 11:20 that God Himself hardened the hearts of the Canaanites against Israel so that they would come boldly to destroy Israel and Joshua would then destroy them.

False concepts of God

     The notion that God is merely a kindly grandfather figure is a self-serving figment of man’s sinful imagination. The attributes of God are innumerable but man tries to focus upon the kindness and mercy of God above all others so that man too ofte is emboldened in their sinful ways. If we take one attribute and place it above all others we get out of balance with proper doctrine and idea of

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Fruitless trees and fruitless lives

Mark 11:12-14  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

      Mark tells us clearly that the time of figs was not yet – it was not the season of figs. Many look at this as a fit of petty anger on Jesus’ part even after He has instructed His disciples concerning quarreling and so on. Jesus has just entered Jerusalem the day before and allowed the people to proclaim Him as Son of David (Lu 19:39-40), He goes to the temple and looks around. After this He goes to Bethany and resides there for the night (probably with Lazarus, Mary and Martha). The next day He goes back into Jerusalem and upon this occasion sees the fig tree with leaves but finds no figs and thus curses the tree;

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The test of love

The fruit of love – 2  (The test of love)

1 John 3:11-18 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.   Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Love and hate

     The old song says, “Everybody loves somebody sometime.” And if that is true and

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The fruit of love

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

What is love?

      The word used in the NT is agapao and means “to love dearly, fond of, to welcome”. The Hebrew word is ‘ahab and carries the whole swing of love, affections and desires. (Deut 6:5). It carries all these meaning because the command is love God with all our being – even our emotions and feelings.

      The Bible gives more what love does than the emotional side of love. When it speaks of individuals loving another then the emotions and feelings are also involved. When God speaks of loving our enemy it speaks of our treatment of them – feed, give water, help them in a bad situation.

      The “Love chapter” is originally translated charity because that word carries the idea of action over feeling. In this chapter Paul tells us what love is and what it is not by telling what it does and what it does not.

      Love suffers long – long spirited; doesn’t lose heart; perseveres patiently, bravely, enduring misfortunes and troubles; patient in bearing offense and injuries

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Four cosmologies

2 Peter 3:13   Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The cosmos

      The word cosmos is most often translated world, but not every time that the word world appears does it come from the word cosmos. Many times the word used for world is aion and carries the idea of period of time. However cosmos means: 1 an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government. 2 ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3. 3 the world, the universe. 4 the circle of the earth, the earth. 5 the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race. 6 the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ. 7 world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly.

      Our word cosmology and other related words come from this word, which always carries the idea of outward adorning and not true substance. Now, when we talk about cosmos in the context of our study, we are meaning all things – every system, every structure, every organism, every process,

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Four "B's" of Christian awareness.

2 Peter 3:1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

BE mindful:

     Peter tells the Christians he is writing to that they should stir up their pure minds by way of remembering. One thing they are to remember is what God has said through the prophets of the Old Testament as well as the Apostles of the New Testament (2 Pet 3:1-2). God's word is of utmost importance for us today. In the days when Peter wrote they only had the Old Testament Scriptures and the spoken words of the Apostles and their letters to the Christiamns.Today, we have both recorded for us in the Bible. It is very important and we need to remember and take heed to it. Solomon tells about those who despise God' word (Prov. 13:13). A person's attitude toward the word determines God's attitude toward that person. When Adam and Eve despised God's commandment they brought sin and death into the world. The Hebrew word despise is from a root meaning "not to respect" and is very similar to the word meaning "be ashamed of". Again, Solomon tells us

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God knows the way into the New Year

(Job 23:10)  But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

      As we enter another year of life we wonder “what does it hold for us?” We make plan and try to prepare for upcoming events and also to allow for the “unexpected”. But as we have found this last year and years prior to that one, things do not always go the way we want and the “unexpected” can knock us completely off coarse for a little while or even change our life radically.

      Job experienced the epitome of the “unexpected” and suffering. No one has suffered the way Job did during his days of trial. Oh, some may say they have, but I seriously doubt any have. In one day Job lost all his wealth and all his children, yet he retained his integrity and faith in God. Later he lost his health and sat upon an ash heap (probably a place for the diseased outside the city) and in his loneliness he scrapped his sores with a broken piece of pottery. He was probably forced to live outside the home because of his diseased body

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