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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Daily Reminders #24

Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, "Glory!"
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29

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Niagara Falls: Me

Friday, September 13, 2013

Galatians: Predestination (Part 3)

File:Conversion on the Way to Damascus-Caravaggio (c.1600-1).jpg
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.
I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.
I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Galatians 1:11-14

The bible is not some made up fairy tale, it's not a ghost story told around a campfire. The bible is the God reveling himself through men.

Paul literally went blind from the majesty of God, from the holiness of God when he was going to Damascus. Paul knows that God is real because he experienced God's presence. Paul was a religious leader, until God turned his whole world upside down. Paul knows that he is not making up what he is writing.

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased

to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.
Galatians 1:15-16

Before we are even born, God had already selected me to be a Christian, to do his work. God has everything worked out for good. God is in control!

I know that some of my reads might doubted that God does indeed predestine humans. Know that if you're already christian, we you became one, it was entirely your choice. God did not force you into become one of his children, but it's more like this:
If you were to adopted a child, you would pick one child to take home from the orphanage. All the orphans need a home, but you can only take one. You love them all, you want them all to have a family, but you cannot take ever orphan home.
Likewise, God loves everyone. He wants everyone to be a part of his family, but not everyone can come to heaven.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will
Ephesians 1:5

In Ephesians, Paul also brings up the idea of predestination.
I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days.
I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.
I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
Then I went to Syria and Cilicia.
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
And they praised God because of me.
Galatians 1:17-24

The bible is not a joke, it's the God inspired book written of thousands of years by dozens of different authors.

I want you to know...the gospel I preached is not of human origin.I did not receive it
from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Next (Coming Soon!)


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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Galatians: Christ's Servant (Part 2)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:6-7

The are so many false gospels in the world today. Much like in Galatia, people are perverting the gospel. One widely used one is when your a Christian, life is all good things because a God who loves us wouldn't send us any hard times.
There are dozens of verses that say otherwise, though. A few examples being James 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and 2 Timothy 3:12.
There are so many false gospels out there, just as there were when Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Galatians 1:8-9

The bible is very clear on this: if you pervert the gospel, you will be cursed. That means you must be careful. Not to the extent that you never say anything about the gospel ever, but just make sure the bible is in line with your personal views. As I write post for my blog, I try to make sure I am not distorting the scriptures. In Acts, Paul has something to say about distorting word:

I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:29-30

Based on this and other passages, I can conclude that the curse is more oriented towards people who go out with the mindset to distort God. Don't oppose God. Curses are real.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10

Paul brings up the fact that he is on God side, which poses this question: are you on God's side or man's? Are you looking for approval from God or approval from man? There is no in between the lines here, it impossible to serve two masters much like Jesus says in Mathew,

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Mathew 6:24

Though Jesus was referring to serving money, the same idea applies. You cannot serve both God and Man. Paul says it best.

If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Next (Coming Soon!)

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Galatians: Introduction


One thing I like to do when studying a book of the bible is answers the five Ws

Who? Paul
What? A letter to the church of Galatia
When? 50-60 A.D.
Where? Paul was in prison.
Why? To correct false gospels being presented in Galatia

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Galatians 1:1-5

Paul's letters have always been inspiring to me. Look at verses 3 and 4:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

Jesus died for you he for the present, for the present sinners, the present evils and everything that exists now. He died for all of in 2013. As Jesus carried the burdens of sin, he was carry every sin that has been done and will be done. 
Jesus never sinned, but he had to carry you sins, until he could bear them no longer, then he gave of his spirit for you. He died. For you.

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30b


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