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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Jesus Christ

Just a Thought

Galatians 1.6

If God was not the author, and Jesus Christ not the subject, then it is NOT the Gospel

Roger Copeland

Was Jesus Really God-Part 8

jesus is god

Today we will be wrapping up our study on the Deity of Jesus. We will close with what others had to say about this subject, or the thoughts they expressed concerning it. We won’t just talk about what those friendly to our Lord said, thought, and wrote; Jesus’ enemies also expressed themselves concerning the claims Jesus made.

The Writers of the Bible Clearly Describe Jesus as Being Divine

Time and time again, various writers of Holy Scripture describe the Divinity of Jesus Christ. We are working under the premise here that The Bible as we have it today is, in fact, inspired by God. Therefore if the writers of Scripture call Jesus God, then it is just as if God the Father called Jesus God. The only way to escape this conclusion is to deny that ,as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”

One of the most clear descriptions of the Deity of Jesus Christ is contained in the opening words of the John Chapter 1. In this passage, The Word clearly refers to Jesus, as context makes clear. In Verse 1, we are told “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That clearly states that Jesus is Eternal and that He is also God. On into Verse 14 we see “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

God Himself said Jesus was God in Hebrews 1:8. That entire chapter is a good summation of God comparing Jesus to anything else He created, and how Jesus is superior to all created beings..

Isaiah said the child born would, in addition to all the other things He would be called, would also be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9:6.

John 5:23 teaches we should worship the Son just like the Father.

Philippians 2:5-7 describes Jesus as “being in the form of God

Timothy 3:16 says “God was  manifested in the flesh

Writing to Titus, Paul said in Titus 2:3  that we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

So it goes on, time after time, numerous passages clearly show that the writers of Holy Scripture considered Jesus Christ to be Divine. And if we believe in the inspiration of the Bible, we can only come to the conclusion that God the Father is clearly informing us that Jesus the Son is also divine.

Jesus enemies clearly understood that He was claiming to be God

In this section, we will discuss briefly the concept of Jesus’ own claims to deity. Earlier, we talked about what our Lord Himself had to say about it; now we will discuss how others, specifically His enemies, perceived some of the things Jesus said and did. They had no doubt whatsoever just what Jesus was claiming. In fact, they often wanted to kill Him for claiming to be God, since that claim was considered blasphemy and punishable by death.

In John Chapter 10 Jesus was walking and teaching with the Jews in the Temple and gave them His teaching where He made the claim “I and My Father are one“,: and the Jews wanted to stone him. When Jesus asked then why they wanted to kill him they replied in Verse 33, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

In fact, blasphemy was the only crime for which Jesus was actually convicted at his various “trials” before His Crucifixion. In Mark 14:61-64 Jesus and the High Priest had the following conversation.

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.”

The Jews of the day understood that to forgive sins was a claim to be God, since only God could forgive sin. In Mark Chapter 2 we can again see the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching so that Jesus could heal him. In Verse 5 note, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”  The scribes quickly realized just what Jesus was saying here and though in their minds, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” in Verse 7. Actually Jesus’ ability to read their thoughts was also a claim to Divine nature, as who is omniscient, or all knowing, but God?

 Conclusion

If we use the Bible as our source of information, and of course we should, of we believe the Bible is the all sufficient rule of faith and practice, then we can only come to one conclusion on this issue. And that conclusion is that Jesus was, and is, 100% fully God.

The only way we, or anybody else, can deny that conclusion is to simply toss out as untrue vast sections of the Holy Scriptures. Then we head down that slippery slope we have discussed before, of disregarding portions of the Word of God because they do not fit with our pre-conceived notions of God which we each have in our minds.

This is yet another case of us having the choice to accept God as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word, or continue trying to create a god which we find appealing in our own minds.

More importantly we can choose to accept salvation on God’s terms, in the way He has stated it must occur: repentance and belief on His Son Jesus Christ, or our own feeble efforts to somehow be good enough to earn our way in to God’s Grace.

Was Jesus Really God? Part 6

jesus is god

Part 6. We have been studying in some detail this very critical central doctrine of the Christian faith, and are working our way towards a conclusion. Before we dive into the meat of the post, I want to establish the parameters of how this is being approached to cut off, before they begin, certain arguments which might be made.

The objective here is to teach what the Bible teaches about the deity of Jesus Christ. We are going to look at things Jesus said, and we will look at things He did. We will look at what others had to say, including Jesus’ enemies and other writers of the Bible. By the time we finish this series we will clearly understand that those who teach counter to to the true Biblical position on the Deity of Jesus, and claim to base their position on the Bible, are simply wrong and have no case to make. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Stay with this study for the duration, and that point will be made quite clear.

The objective is NOT to debate the accuracy of The Bible. If that interests you, move on along, because that is not the discussion here. We are here to teach what the Bible teaches, with a big dose of presupposition that is is correct and accurate.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

So, did Jesus claim to be God? Well, as we have discussed, He never said the words “I am God.” He did, however make some claims that clearly seem to indicate He was making just that claim. Let’s look at some of those.

In John 10:30, Jesus claimed He and His father were one

In John 14:1, he said those who believe in God also believe in Him

In John 14:9, Jesus told Phillip that anyone who had seen Him had seen God.

John Chapter 14 is, in fact full of references to Jesus and the Father being of one essence.

In John 14:7, Jesus informed Phillip that if he had known Jesus, he would have known “My Father as well.”

John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”

 John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me

Jesus claimed equality with God, that He was the Son of God.  It is simply a rule of logic that if two things are equal, they are basically the same. For instance 2=2 clearly shows us that 2 and 2 are the same thing in every sense of the word.  It gets more complicated when you compare beings or ideas, but the concept is the same.  If Student A claims to be equal with Student B, then in some verifiable way they are equal. Of course, they may not be equal in every way: one may be tall and one short, one may be large one may be small. However, in some way they are equal. In normal usage, to claim equality with another person is claiming positional equality;in other words they share an equal position in the scheme of things and in life. When our country’s founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”, they were not saying we are all alike, they were saying that we are equal in our position and standing before other people as well as before God.

So, if Jesus claimed equality with God (and He did), then He was stating He shared a position of equality with God. Who can be positionally equal with an infinite God other than God Himself? Therefore to claim equality with God is to claim to be God.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. This claim is very important when studied in the context of Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. Ancestry and lineage was of primary importance in the culture of the day. A son, while he might have to grow and mature, was in many ways the absolute equal to his father. Ultimately, every first born son of a Jewish male would assume his father’s place in the structure, authority, and culture of his time. So, to be a man’s son was to imply, basically, equality with that man. So, for Jesus to claim to be God’s son was to claim equality and one-ship with God.

Here are a couple of useful outside remarks concerning this issue”

Norman Giesler quoting Peter Kreeft in his book, “Why I Am a Christian:

Jesus also claimed to be the, “Son of God.” This title does not mean Jesus is God’s biological Son. Neither does the term “Son” imply inferiority anymore than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his father’s DNA, and although he is different, they are both men. Scholars say that the term “Son of God” in the original languages refers to likeness, or “of the same order.” Jesus meant by it that he has divine essence, or in 21st century terms, the “DNA of God

From Jesus OnLine Misistries:

What did Jesus mean when he called himself the ‘Son of God’? The son of a man is a man. (Both ‘son’ and ‘man,’ in the traditional language, mean males and females equally.) The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. ‘Son of God’ is a divine title.

So, we can see that even if Jesus, never uttered the words, “I am God,” that He did make claims to being of one essence with God, or claims of equality with God. We could stop here and have sufficient evidence that Jesus laid claims to divinity, but we won’t. Next week we will look at some things Jesus DID which basically amount to claims of a divine nature.

Until then, peace and blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Paid it All and the Payment Was Permanent

My Friday morning post from Church Set Free by Wally Fry. It’s actually a previously published post, but one of my personal favorites.

jesus-paid-it-all-jesus-21291422

The question is often asked: Can a person, once saved, ever lose their salvation? The short answer is: NO. The Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches that a person who was truly saved and converted can is eternally secure in that salvation and will never lose it. This is referred to as the Eternal Security of the Believer, Perseverance of the Saints or “Once saved always saved.”

We are going to discuss a lot of material here, so this will be a longish post. We will look at the key passages that support this doctrine; we will look at how Security of the Believer flows naturally from other things we know about Salvation; we will look at at some arguments made against the doctrine and finally we will look at why proper understanding of our security in Jesus Christ matters so much.

Source: Jesus Paid it All and the Payment Was Permanent/Church Set Free

Just a Thought

jesus saves
http://cdn.crossmap.com/images/2/08/20857.jpg

The Plan of Salvation has never changed; it has ALWAYS been about Jesus. It has always been about the promise of His coming, or the fact that He did.

Jesus Paid It All-Parts 1-5 Summarized

Over the last few weeks, I have rerun a series of posts entitled “Jesus Paid It All.” It has been designed to illustrate the total and complete sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross to atone for our sins.

Since the posts have been somewhat spaced apart and the entire message in them is extremely important, I have decided to do a final summary of all of them in one post.  Links to each of the articles are included, and I hope and pray readers, particularly unsaved readers, will take the time to read all of them in their entirety. More importantly, I hope and pray readers will take the time to read the Scriptures contained in them. Because what I have to say about the matter simply does not matter; what God has to say about it matters greatly and eternally.

We are all sinners by birth and by nature. Our sins have separated us from God and put a gulf between us that simply cannot be bridged by us. God has clearly stated what sin is, that we are all guilty of it, and what the penalty for it is. The prescribed penalty for sin is death in the form of eternal separation from God in a place called Hell. We can pay our own penalty if we so choose, but we do not want to and we do not have to.

Jesus paid it all. That is a very simple statement, with very profound implications.  Today begins a multi part series on Jesus’ payment. A good starting point is for us to discuss exactly what Jesus paid for. We will end with a discussion of why we really don’t want to make that payment ourselves.

What did Jesus pay for? Well he paid the necessary payment for our sins, of course. That seems fairly simple, yet the vast majority of the world fails to truly understand exactly what that means. The non believing world, as well as a large part of the “Christian” world totally fails to really understand what the Bible teaches about this issue.  Of course the non believing world simply dismisses the issue completely; and within the “Christian” world there are so many perversions and misunderstandings about this issue that they simply cannot be counted. Read Jesus Paid it All Part 1-You Really DON’T Want to Pay Your Own Way.

We know a penalty is due for our sin. The problem is, we desperately want to find some way to atone for our own sin. This is simply not possible. The Bible has clearly stated what payment is due; nonetheless, we have tried since the beginning of time to work our way to Heaven. The Bible teaches the total impossibility of this effort.

Aside from the obvious non religions like atheism, humanism and so forth, there are only two actual “religions” in the world.

The first is the religion of good works. Believers in this religion believe that there is something, somehow, that they can do to ensure their own entry in to Heaven. There are subsets of this religion: some believe sacraments and rituals, if done properly, ensure entrance into heaven. Some believe in the scale of justice theory of salvation, believing that if their good outweighs their bad they can ensure their entry into Heaven. Some believe that if they just do not do anything “really bad” they can ensure their entry into heaven. Adherents of this religion call themselves many different things: New Agers, spiritual, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhist, and even Evangelical Christians. Some may call themselves Methodists, Baptists, or any other name one can call to mind. Read Jesus Paid It All Part 2-Your Payment’s No Good Here.

Jesus’ payment for the sin of humanity was sufficient for, and available to, all humanity. Jesus did not just die for a group of people He decided to save in eternity past. The only reason people end up spending eternity in Hell is because they reject Jesus, not because He rejects them.

When Jesus paid it all, He paid it for all of us. Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to cover the sin of every human past, present and future.  Before readers get alarmed, please understand I am not saying that everyone from the past was saved, nor am I saying that all will be saved now or in the future.  In fact, the majority of people from the past, people now and those who live in the future will not be saved and enter Heaven. The sad truth is the majority of humankind will spend eternity separated from God in a place of torment called Hell.  So, please do not misunderstand; I am not espousing some form of Universalism, where everybody ends up in Heaven. Read Jesus Paid It All Part 3-The Payment Was Enough for Everyone.

Jesus is the only way. The Blood of Jesus is the only payment accepted by God the Father for the sins of humanity. Many religions teach many paths to Heaven, but they are all false paths.

That, of course, is John 14:6Those were the words of Jesus Himself and sum up His thoughts about how a person comes to a relationship with God.  It seems like a fairly straight forward statement, really. Jesus did not say He was one of the ways, or one truth  or that there was any life other than Him.  He stated unequivocally that the only access to God the Father was through Him, God the Son.  Nonetheless, we live in a time where truth is considered relative, any belief is okay as long as it is sincere; to say there is only one way is considered hateful and exclusionary. Read Jesus Paid It All Part 4- The Blood Is The Only Payment Accepted Here.

If you have accepted Jesus’ payment and atoning death for your sins, repented of them and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are eternally secure in that salvation. Just like you could never earn it in the first place, you do not have to spend the rest of your life trying to keep it.

The question is often asked: Can a person, once saved, ever lose their salvation? The short answer is: NO. The Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches that a person who was truly saved and converted can is eternally secure in that salvation and will never lose it. This is referred to as the Eternal Security of the Believer, Perseverance of the Saints or “Once saved always saved.”

We are going to discuss a lot of material here, so this will be a longish post. We will look at the key passages that support this doctrine; we will look at how Security of the Believer flows naturally from other things we know about Salvation; we will look at at some arguments made against the doctrine and finally we will look at why proper understanding of our security in Jesus Christ matters so much. Read Jesus Paid It All Part 5- The Payment Was Permanent.

Are you lost? Are you a non believer? The above posts contain the essentials of what God has revealed to us in His Word to change that.

Have you been in church all of your life? Are you confused or uncertain about the eternal state of your soul? The above posts contain the  essentials of what God has revealed to us in His Word to change that.

Are you religious? Are you believing in something other than Jesus to save your soul? The above posts contain the essentials of what God has revealed to us in His Word to change that.

Daily Devotion-May 19,2015-Love, If You Have it You Probably Are His!

1 John 4:15,16

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.


Since yesterday’s devotion might not have been particularly uplifting, we are heading a different direction this morning. In case readers did not read yesterday’s, we discussed the possibility that a lack of expressed love in one’s life and conduct might be a warning sign that a person might question their actual personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, we are going to briefly discuss the opposite condition. Let’s review love again very briefly. We have talked about love as a feeling we have towards particular people. In other words, there is “love” as expressed towards those we like, those we might be simply duty bound to love and those who will return something to us. We should all know by now, that is not the definition God uses for love. His love in an action based, self sacrificial love and is modeled on the actions of His Son Jesus Christ.

Can an unsaved person love extensively? Of course they can. The world is full of lost people who show great acts of love. Can an unsaved person love self sacrificially? Of course they can. History is full of examples of that. Is it likely that an unsaved person will live a lifestyle of self sacrificing love towards every single person they meet? Probably not; in fact, the odds are slim that most saved people could do that on a continuous basis.

However, read our verse. Dwelling in love could be defined as constantly living a state of self sacrificing love toward all those around you. And understand, that may also mean simply desiring to live that life, because as sinners we still fail daily. If that is true, then further reading reveals some encouraging news. A person who dwells in love, dwells in God, who dwells in that person.

So, while a lack of self sacrificing love in one’s life could be cause for worry; the presence of it as a lifestyle should be a very strong encouragement for a person to rest comfortably in their salvation through Jesus Christ.

Daily Devotion-May 18. 2015-No Love? You Might Not Be His

1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.


We are continuing on with our devotional series on love. We have defined love, talked about what love is and covered ways love can be put into action. Today is not going to be a particularly uplifting devotional, but hopefully will be something to think about and consider.

The verse above clearly refers to Salvation. Salvation is when we pass from death to life, and to not be saved is to still abide and death. But there are two other key components of that passage we are going to briefly look at.

First is the statement that if we don’t love the brethren, we still abide in death. That is a harsh statement on the surface. If we profess salvation, and do not love our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there are only two alternatives. One is that we are saved, but simply in full rebellion against Jesus’ command to love. In that case, we should certainly feel the conviction and chastisement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Option two is simple; our profession of faith may not have been real!

But, there is quite an upside as well. This we find in the statement, “we know.” When we talk about the Assurance of Salvation, we aren’t just talking about the fact that it is eternal and that we never lose it; we are also talking about the fact that we can KNOW we have salvation through Jesus Christ. And love is one of the tools God has so wonderfully given us to provide assurance. Feeling doubtful? We all have at times. Do you really, truly demonstrate love towards your Brothers and Sisters in Christ? Then, you are probably doubting for no good reason.

Turn lose of your doubts (the ones Satan so desperately wants you to hang on to), and get busy in your freedom in Jesus doing the thing or things He has actually called you to do!

Daily Devotion-May 13, 2015-Laying Down Your Life

John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Of course, when He made that statement, Jesus was directly referring the the fact that He was about to literally lay down His life for His friends. Jesus was about to literally lay down His life for the entire world and its sins. Is that necessarily the application for all of us? In certain circumstances, it might be. Any one of us could encounter a situation where literally laying down one’s life might be an appropriate expression of ultimate love. What about the rest of us? What if we are never asked to literally sacrifice our lives for a friend? Are we just off the hook? Hardly! What, then, might it mean to lay down one’s life for a friend?

We live in a culture today where people won’t even lay down their thoughts, ideas and opinions for their fellow man, much less their lives. The United States, particularly, is a “me” culture. “Looking out for number 1,” “If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody will.” These are all reflections of the way we are. Yet, Jesus’ still said to lay down one’s life for friends is the ultimate expression of love.

We can do this by making others needs more important than our own. Jesus did that for us; He gave up his rightful place in Heaven to come here, live as a man, suffer and die just because our need for a savior was so great. Next time you have a situation where two needs are presented and only one can be met, meet your brother or sister’s need and let yours go unmet.

We can do this by forgiving. People wrong us; that is simply a fact. Scripture teaches us over and over that we are to forgive. Jesus asked His father to forgive the very people killing him on the cross in Luke 23:34.  We simply have to learn to forgive the same way; we need to forgive no matter the seriousness of the offense that is committed against us

We can do this by sacrificing for others. Not only might we be required to meet another person’s need and leave ours unmet, but we might actually have to give up something our our own to meet their need. Maybe you have plans but a brother or sister has a need; give up your plans and be there for them.

We can do this by meeting the needs of people who don’t deserve it and cannot or will not do a thing for us. Some folks don’t deserve help. Some are not capable of doing anything for us in return. Some are capable, but in our hearts we know they wouldn’t give us a fire extinguisher if we burst into flames. Help them anyway.

Laying down one’s life for friends is similar to Jesus mandate that we pick up our cross and follow Him. He didn’t mean for us to literally pick up a cross, and He probably didn’t mean, in most cases, for us to literally die for or friends. Jesus was setting a pattern for us here, and in our efforts to be Christlike, we should follow that pattern.

Who have we laid our lives down for today? If the day is just starting, who will we lay down or lives for today?

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