My Hope is in God

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In keeping with my word of the year: HOPE, I am looking at some of the many scriptures in the Bible that have the word hope.

I am also relating them to Chivero Home of Hope. If you follow my writings, you will remember I do not believe in coincidence.

If one looks up the definition of hope in the dictionary, they will find that Psalm 62:5-7 explains what hope looks like.

Psalm 62:5 -7

My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

David cherished the desire of waiting for that hope with anticipation so much he repeated “My soul waits in silence for God only” in verses 1 and 5 David knew where his hope came from. He was more than willing to wait in silence for God only.

In verse 6 David’s hope is that he wants something to happen or be true. That something is David knows that God is his rock and salvation. He knows he needs God for salvation.

He trusted God because he said “God is his rock and my salvation. My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” David expects that God will sustain him.

Verse 8 tells us what to do to have this hope and how we benefit. “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Our Heavenly Father,

My prayer for everyone and especially the children at Chivero Home of Hope is that they put their trust in You to continue to take care of them. That they wait in silence for You only. That their hope is from You. That You are their rock and their salvation. That You are their stronghold; so they will not be shaken. That You are their salvation and the rock of their strength and that their refuge is in You. That they trust in You at all times. That they pour their heart before You; and that You are a refuge for them. In Jesus most Holy and Mighty name, Amen

Go and be blessed, Shelia

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My Scripture for 2019


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For several years now this has been my scripture of the year. Ever since I truly paid attention to that scripture, I cannot get it out of my mind. Nor do I want to. I want to focus on it and put it into practice everyday.

The siting in Mark is not the first time we read that scripture in the Bible. We read in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Moses says, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

In Mark 12:28-30 Jesus is being tested by the scribes who ask Him,  “What commandment is the formost of all? Jesus answers by quoting scripture from Deuteronomy. …”The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND AND WITH ALL YOUR STREGTH.’ Jesus adds ‘ The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Why are these scriptures so meaningful to us today?  In previous scripture in Deuteronomy:

  • God Himself commanded Moses to tell this to Israel.
  • Moses warns them that they should listen and be careful to do what God says.
  • It is for our own good to listen to what God tells us in Deuteronomy.

However, when we hear it again in Matthew 22:36-39,  Mark 12:28-30 and Luke 10:25-26,  it comes straight out of Jesus’ mouth.

  • Seems to me if Jesus said it again, we need to stand up and take notice and put it into practice.

Dear Father,

Thank you Father that You are the LORD God that we should listen to. Thank you Father that You are the only God we should serve. Father please help us learn to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

Thank you for your word that is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword. Most of all thank you for Jesus Christ and the saving grace we have if we are truly in Him. In Jesus name, Amen

All content is Copyrighted by Shelia Holmes 2019

All scripture comes from New American Standard Bible used with permission.

For a free Bible Study go to: www.worldbibleschool.org

Are You Wrestling with God?

Stop Wrestling with God

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Have you ever wrestled with God? Jacob did as we are told in Genesis 32: 24-30.
Job did not curse God, but he sure did have a few things to say to God. That is until God set him straight. Job 40:2-4 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” Then Job answered the LORD and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth.
I guess you might say I have been debating, wrestling, questioning God of late. Over an issue which I fully know the correct answer. Like Job, I lay my hand over my mouth.
The issue is whether to attend a family gathering. This time of the year one wants to be with family. Many times, of the year also. But especially at holiday times. It doesn’t seem like a big issue to want to be with family at certain times of the year, right?
For several days I have been arguing with myself. Should I go? Or, should I not go? But I really want to be with my small family, after all they are all I have. No matter what, they are family. Right?
When one grows up in a dysfunctional, co-dependent family, normal looks different. Normal is about being with family no matter how weird and uncomfortable it might be. Normal means being with family because that is what one is supposed to do no matter how it makes you feel. Just do it to keep the “peace.” What peace?
What does God say about family? Matthew 10: 36-39 and a Man’s Enemies will be the member of his household. He who loves father of mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
What does God say about the company we keep?
1 Corinthians 15: 33 Do not be deceived; “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
How are we supposed to conduct ourselves?
Ephesians 5: 1-21 Be Imitators of God
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So * then * do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
The final answer is that I choose to serve God with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength. So, just do the next right thing and God will always bless us.
Probably my all-time favorite scripture is Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
I especially love verses 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, if God is for us, who is against us? It doesn’t matter, does it?
Stay in His word to find the peace that passes all understanding.  Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Go and be blessed now.
Shelia-s Notes

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13 Objections to Baptism

13 Objections to Baptism
by
Dave Miller, Ph.D. (used by permission-see end notes)

A Look Back at 2012 as 2013 Zips By.
Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation.

Objection #1: “Jesus could not have been baptized for the remission of sins because He was sinless; therefore, people today are not baptized in order to be forgiven. They merely imitate Jesus’ example.”
The baptism to which Jesus submitted Himself was John’s baptism (Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9). John’s baptism was for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). This truth is particularly evident from the fact that when Jesus presented Himself to John for baptism, John sought to deter Him, noting that, if anything, Jesus needed to baptize John (Matthew 3:14). Jesus did not correct John, as many seek to do today, by falsely arguing that baptism is not for remission of sins. Rather, Jesus, in effect, agreed with John, but made clear that His baptism was an exception to the rule.
Jesus’ baptism was unique and not to be compared to anyone else’s baptism. Jesus’ baptism had the unique purpose of “fulfilling all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). In other words, it was necessary for Jesus to submit to John’s baptism (1) to show His contemporaries that no one is exempt from submitting to God’s will and (2) more specifically, Christ’s baptism was God’s appointed means of pinpointing for the world the precise identity of His Son. It was not until John saw the Spirit of God descending on Jesus and heard the voice (“This is My Son…”) that he knew that “this is the Son of God” (John 1:31-34; Matthew 3:16-17).
Of course, John’s baptism is no longer valid (Acts 18:24-19:5). John’s baptism paralleled New Testament baptism in the sense that both were for the forgiveness of sins. But John’s baptism was transitional in nature, preparing Jews for their Messiah. Baptism after the cross is for all people (Matthew 28:19), in Jesus’ name (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 19:5), into His death (Romans 6:3), in order to be clothed with Him (Galatians 3:27), and added to His church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13). We must not use Jesus’ baptism to suggest that salvation occurs prior to baptism.

Objection #2: “The thief on the cross was not baptized, and he was saved.”
When we “handle aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we see that the thief was not subject to the New Testament command of immersion because this command was not given until after the thief’s death.¹ It was not until Christ was resurrected that He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). It was not until Christ’s death that the Old Testament ceased, signified by the tearing of the Temple curtain (Matthew 27:51). When Jesus died, He took away the Old Testament, “nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
The word “testament” means “covenant” or “will.” The last will and testament of Christ is the New Testament, which consists of those teachings that apply to people after the death of Christ. If we expect to receive the benefits of the New Testament (salvation, forgiveness of sin, eternal life), we must submit to the terms of the will for which Christ is mediator (Hebrews 9:15), for “where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator; for a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17).
So prior to the Lord’s death and the sealing of the New Testament, the baptism for the forgiveness of sins that would be in effect after the crucifixion was not a requirement for those who sought to be acceptable to God. Indeed, while Jesus was on Earth in person, He exercised His authority to forgive sin (Matthew 9:6). People now, however, live during the Christian era of religious history. Prior to Christ’s death, there were no Christians (Acts 11:26). For a person to reject water baptism as a prerequisite to salvation on the basis of what the thief did or did not do, is comparable to Abraham seeking salvation by building an ark—because that’s what Noah did to please God. It would be like the rich young ruler (Matthew 19) refusing Christ’s directive to sell all his possessions—because wealthy King David did not have to sell his possessions in order to please God.
The thief on the cross could not have been baptized the way the new covenant stipulates you and I must be baptized. Why? Romans 6:3-4 teaches that if we wish to acquire “newness of life,” we must be baptized into Christ’s death, be buried with Christ in baptism, and then be raised from the dead. There was no way for the thief to comply with this New Testament baptism—Christ had not died! Christ had not been buried! Christ had not been raised! In fact, none of God’s ordained teachings pertaining to salvation in Christ (2 Timothy 2:10), and in His body the Church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23), had been given. The church, which Christ’s shed blood purchased (Acts 20:28), had not been established, and was not set up until weeks later (Acts 2).2
We must not look to the thief as an example of salvation. Instead, we must obey “from the heart that form of doctrine” (Romans 6:17)—the form of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection through baptism (Romans 6:3-4). Only then can we be “made free from sin to become the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).

Objection #3: “The Bible says, ‘Christ stands at the door of your heart,’ and all we have to do to be forgiven of sin and become a Christian is to invite Him into our hearts.”
It is no doubt startling to discover that the Bible simply does not say such a thing. The phraseology is reminiscent of Revelation 3:20—the passage usually invoked to support the idea. But examine what Revelation 3:20 actually teaches. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 consist of seven specific messages directed to seven churches of Christ in Asia Minor in the first century. Thus, at the outset, we must recognize that Revelation 3:20 is addressed to Christians—not non-Christians seeking conversion to Christ.
Second, Revelation 3:20 is found among Christ’s remarks to the church in Laodicea. Jesus made clear that the church had moved into a lost condition. The members were unacceptable to God since they were “lukewarm” (3:16). They had become unsaved since their spiritual condition was “wretched and miserable and poor” (3:17). Thus, in a very real sense, Jesus had abandoned them by removing His presence from their midst. Now He was on the outside looking in. He still wanted to be among them, but the decision was up to them. They had to recognize His absence, hear Him knocking for admission, and open the door—all of which is figurative language indicating their need to repent (3:19). They needed to return to the obedient lifestyle essential to sustaining God’s favor (John 14:21,23).
Observe that Revelation 3:20 in no way supports the idea that non-Christians merely have to “open the door of their heart” and “invite Jesus in” with the assurance that the moment they mentally/verbally do so, Jesus comes into their heart and they are simultaneously saved from all past sin and have become Christians. The context of Revelation 3:20 shows that Jesus was seeking readmission into an apostate church.
Does the Bible teach that Christ comes into a person’s heart? Yes, but not in the way the religious world suggests. For instance, Ephesians 3:17 states that Christ dwells in the heart through faith. Faith can be acquired only by hearing biblical truth (Romans 10:17). When Bible truth is obeyed, the individual is “saved by faith” (Hebrews 5:9; James 2:22; 1 Peter 1:22). Thus Christ enters our lives when we “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [i.e, repentance—DM] and our bodies washed with pure water [i.e., baptism—DM]” (Hebrews 10:22).

Objection #4: “A person is saved the moment he accepts Christ as his personal Savior—which precedes and therefore excludes water baptism.”
To suggest that all one has to do to receive the forgiveness of God and become a Christian is to mentally accept Jesus into his heart and make a verbal statement to that effect, is to dispute the declaration of Jesus in Matthew 7:21—“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” To be sure, oral confession of Christ is one of the prerequisites to salvation (Romans 10:10). But Jesus said there is more to becoming a blood-bought follower of His than verbally “calling on his name”3 or “inwardly accepting Him as Savior.” He stated that before we can even consider ourselves as God’s children (Christians), we must show our acceptance of His gift through outward obedience—“He that does the will of My Father.” Notice the significant contrast Jesus made: the difference between mental/verbal determination to accept and follow the Lord, versus verbal confession coupled with action or obedience (cf. James 2:14,17). This is why we must do everything the Lord has indicated must be done prior to salvation. Jesus is telling us that it is possible to make the mistake of claiming we have found the Lord, when we have not done what He plainly told us to do.
Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Jesus also stated: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Honestly, have you accepted Christ as your personal savior—in the way He said it must be done? He asks: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46, emp. added).

Objection #5: “We are clothed with Christ and become His children when we place our faith in Him.”
Read Galatians 3:26-27: “You are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The words “put on” (NKJV) are a translation of the Greek verb enduo which signifies “to enter into, get into, as into clothes, to put on.” Can we be saved prior to “putting Christ on” or “being clothed” with Christ? Of course not. But when and how does one put on Christ—according to Paul? When one is baptized in water. Those who teach we can be saved before baptism are, in reality, teaching we can be saved while spiritually naked and without Christ! Paul affirms that we “put on” Christ at the point of our baptism—not before.
Paul wrote these words to people who were already saved. They had been made “sons of God by faith.” But how? At what point had they “been clothed with Christ”? When were they made “sons of God by faith”? When were they saved? Paul makes the answer to these questions very plain: they were united with Christ, had put on Christ, and were clothed with Christ—when they were baptized. Ask yourself if you have been clothed with Christ.

Objection #6: “Baptism is like a badge on a uniform that merely gives evidence that the person is already saved.”
The New Testament nowhere expounds the idea that baptism is merely a “badge” or “outward sign of an inward grace.” Yes, baptism can biblically be referred to as a symbolic act; but what does it symbolize? Previous forgiveness? No! Romans 6 indicates that baptism symbolizes the previous death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Thus the benefits of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (remember, Jesus’ blood, which blots out sin, was shed in the context of His death, burial, and resurrection) are realized and received by the individual when he obediently (in penitent faith) submits to a similar ordeal, i.e., the death of his own “old man” or “body of sin” (Romans 6:6), burial (immersion into a watery tomb), and resurrection (rising from the watery tomb).
Denominational doctrine maintains that forgiveness of sin is received prior to baptism. If so, the “new life” of the saved individual would also begin prior to baptism. Yet Paul said the “new life” occurs after baptism. He reiterated this to the Colossians. The “putting off of the body of the flesh by Christ’s circumcision” (Colossians 2:11) is accomplished in the context of water immersion and being “risen with Him” (Colossians 2:12). Chapter 3 then draws the important observation: “If then you were raised with Christ [an undeniable reference to baptism—DM], seek those things which are above” [an undeniable reference to the new life which follows—not precedes—baptism].

Objection #7: “Baptism is a meritorious work, whereas we are saved by grace, not works.”
“Works” or “steps” of salvation do not imply that one “merits” his salvation upon obedient compliance with those actions. Rather, “steps” or “a process” signifies the biblical concept of preconditions, stipulations of faith, or acts of obedience—what James called “works” (James 2:17). James was not saying that one can earn his justification (James 2:24). Rather, he was describing the active nature of faith, showing that saving faith, faith that is alive—as opposed to dead and therefore utterly useless (2:20)—is the only kind that is acceptable to God, a faith that obeys whatever actions God has indicated must be done. The obedience of both Abraham and Rahab is set forth as illustrative of the kind of faith James says is acceptable. They manifested their trust by actively doing what God wanted done. Such obedient or active trust is the only kind that avails anything. Thus, an obedient response is essential.
The actions themselves are manifestations of this trust that justifies, not the trust itself. But notice that according to James, you cannot have one without the other. Trust, or faith, is dead, until it leads one to obey the specifications God assigned. Here is the essence of salvation that separates those who adhere to biblical teaching from those who have been adversely influenced by the Protestant reformers. The reformers reacted to the unbiblical concept of stacking bad deeds against good deeds in an effort to offset the former by the latter (cf. Islam). Unfortunately, the reactionary reformers went to the equally unacceptable, opposite extreme by asserting that man need “only believe” (Luther) or man can do nothing at all (Calvin). The truth is between these two unbiblical extremes.
From Genesis to Revelation, faith is the trusting, obedient reaction that humans manifest in response to what God offers. This is the kind of “justification by faith” that Paul expounded in Romans. Like red flags at the very beginning (1:5) and at the end (16:26) of his divinely inspired treatise, he defined what he meant by “faith” with the words “obedient faith” (hupakoeinpisteos), i.e., faith that obeys, obedience which springs from faith.4 This fact is precisely why God declared His willingness to fulfill the promises He made to Abraham: “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Genesis 26:5). Hence, in Romans Paul could speak of the necessity of walking “in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had” (Romans 4:12). Until faith obeys, it is useless and cannot justify.
The Hebrews writer made the same point in Hebrews 11. The faith we see in Old Testament “men of faith” availed only after they obeyed God-given stipulations. God rewards those who “diligently seek Him” in faith (vs. 6). Noah “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” when he “prepared an ark.” If he had not complied with divine instructions, he would have been branded as “unfaithful.” The thing that made the difference, that constituted the line of demarcation between faith and lack of faith, was obedient action—what James called “works,” and Paul called “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). In this sense, even faith is a “work” (John 6:29). Hebrews 11 repeatedly reinforces this eternal principle: (1) God offers grace (which may at any point in history consist of physical blessings, e.g., healing, salvation from enemies, land or property, etc., or spiritual blessings, e.g., justification, forgiveness, salvation from sin, being made righteous, etc.); (2) man responds in obedient trust (i.e., “faith”) by complying with the stipulated terms; and (3) God bestows the blessing.
It would be wrong to think that man’s obedient response earns or merits the subsequent blessing. Such simply does not logically follow. All blessings God bestows on man are undeserved (Luke 17:10). His rich mercy and loving grace is freely offered and made available—though man never deserves such kindness (Titus 2:11). Still, a non-meritorious response is absolutely necessary if unworthy man is to receive certain blessings.

Objection #8: “Not only is baptism nonessential to salvation, even faith is a gift from God to a person. Man is so depraved that he is incapable of believing.”
Surely, God’s infinite justice would not permit Him to force man to desire God’s blessings. God’s intervention into man’s woeful condition was not in the form of causing man to desire help or miraculously generating faith within man. God intervened by giving His inspired Word, which tells how He gave His Son to make a way for man to escape eternal calamity. Faith is then generated in the individual by God’s words which the person must read and understand (Romans 10:17; Acts 8:30). The individual then demonstrates his faith in obedience.
Did the walls of Jericho fall down “by faith” (Hebrews 11:30)? Absolutely. But the salient question is: “When?” Did the walls fall the moment the Israelites merely “believed” that they would fall? No! Rather, when the people obeyed the divine directives. The walls fell “by faith” after the people met God’s conditions. If the conditions had not been met, the walls would not have fallen down “by faith.” The Israelites could not claim that the walls fell by their own effort, or that they earned the collapse of the walls. The city was given to them by God as an undeserved act of His grace (Joshua 6:2). To receive the free gift of the city, the people had to obey the divinely stipulated prerequisites.
Notice the capsuling nature of Hebrews 11:6. Faith or belief is not given by God. It is something that man does in order to please God. The whole chapter is predicated on the fundamental idea that man is personally responsible for mustering obedient trust. God does not “regenerate man by His call, thus enabling man to respond.” God “calls” individuals through, by means of, His written Word (2 Thessalonians 2:14). In turn, the written Word can generate faith in the individual (Romans 10:17). How unscriptural to suggest that man is so “totally depraved” that he cannot even believe, thus placing God in the position of demanding something from man (John 8:24) of which man is inherently incapable. But the God of the Bible would not be guilty of such injustice.
Some people approach passages like Romans 10:17 in this fashion: (1) God chooses to save an individual; (2) God gives him the free gift of faith; and (3) God uses the Gospel to stir up the faith which He has given the person. Yet neither Romans 10:17, nor any other passage, even hints at such an idea. The text states explicitly that faith comes from hearing Christ’s Word. Notice verse 14, where the true sequence is given: (1) the preacher preaches; (2) the individual hears the preached word; and (3) believes. This sequence is a far cry from suggesting that God miraculously imparts faith to a person, and then the Holy Spirit “stirs up” the faith. Such a notion has God giving man a defective faith which then needs to be stirred up. The text makes clear that God has provided for faith to be generated (i.e., originated) by the preached Word. God does not arbitrarily intervene and impose faith upon the hearts of a select group of individuals.
According to 1 Corinthians 1:21, mankind did not know God, so God transmitted His message through inspired preachers so that those who respond in faith would be saved. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 that this gospel message is God’s power to save those who believe it. Notice that the Gospel is what Paul preached (vs. 15). Thus the preached message from God generates faith and enables people to be saved.
We see the same in Acts 2:37. What pierced the hearts of the listeners? Obviously, the sermon. Acts 2:37 is a demonstration of Romans 10:17—“faith comes by hearing…the word of God.” God did not change the hearts of the people miraculously; Peter’s words did. If denominational doctrine is correct, when the Jews asked the apostles what they should do, Peter should have said: “There’s nothing you can do. You are so totally depraved, you can’t do anything. God will regenerate you; He will cause you to believe (since faith is His ‘free gift’).” Yet, quite to the contrary, Peter told them that they needed to do some things. And they were things that God could not do for them.
First, they were required to “repent.” Biblical repentance is a change of mind (Matthew 21:29). A “turning” follows repentance (Acts 3:19) and consists of some specified action subsequent to the change of mind. John the Baptizer called this turning activity, which follows repentance and serves as evidence that repentance has occurred, “fruits” (Matthew 3:8). After being convicted (Acts 2:37—i.e., believing the truth of Peter’s contentions), they were told to “repent,” to change their minds about their previous course of life. What else were they to do?
Peter did not tell them to “repent and believe.” Their belief was already abundantly evident in their pricked hearts and their fervent petition for instructions. What was lacking? Peter said (i.e., God said) they still lacked baptism. Remember, the only difference between dead faith and saving faith is outward action—compliance with all actions that God specifies as necessary before He will freely bestow unmerited favor in the form of forgiveness.
Thus baptism marked the point at which God would count them righteous if they first believed and repented. Baptism served as the line of demarcation between the saved and the lost. Jesus’ blood could wash their sins away only at the point of baptism.

Objection #9: “The preposition ‘for’ in the phrase ‘for the remission of sins’ in Acts 2:38 means ‘because of.’ Hence, they were baptized because of sins for which they were forgiven when they believed.”
The English word “for” has, as one of its meanings, “because of.” However, the Greek preposition eis that underlies the English word “for” never has a causal function. It always has its primary, basic, accusative thrust: unto, into, to, toward. We must not go to the text, decide what we think it means, and assign a grammatical meaning that coincides with our preconceived understanding. We must begin with the inspired grammar and seek to understand every text in light of the normal, natural, common meaning of the grammatical and lexical construction. The same grammatical construction of Acts 2:38 is found in Matthew 26:28—“into the remission of sins” (eisaphesin hamartion). Jesus’ blood, the blood of the covenant, was undeniably shed for many “in order to acquire remission of sins.” This is the natural and normal meaning of the Greek preposition—toward, in the direction of. Had the Holy Spirit intended to say that baptism is “because of” or “on account of” past forgiveness, He would have used the Greek preposition that conveys that very idea: dia with the accusative.
Similarly, in Acts 2:38, if repentance is not “because of” remission of sins, neither is baptism. Regardless of person and number considerations, Peter told his hearers to do both things. The act of baptism (connected to the act of repentance by the coordinate conjunction) cannot be extricated from the context of remission of sins by any stretch.

Objection #10: “When the Philippian jailer asked what to do to be saved, he was simply told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As further proof that God does not miraculously bestow faith on a person through the Holy Spirit, observe that Paul told the jailer that he (the jailer) had to believe; he did not answer the jailer’s question with: “You don’t have to do anything. God will give you faith.” On the contrary, Paul and Silas told him that he had to manifest faith in Jesus. But was this pagan jailer in a position at that moment to do so? No, he would have to be taught Who, how, and what to believe. No wonder, then, Luke records immediately: “they spoke the word of the Lord to him” (Acts 16:32). If Romans 10:17 can be trusted, the words which Paul and Silas proclaimed generated faith in the jailer. And those same words surely included the necessity of repentance and baptism, because the jailer immediately manifested the fruit of repentance (by washing their stripes), and likewise was immediately baptized (not waiting until morning or the weekend). Observe carefully Luke’s meticulous documentation, that it was only after the jailer believed, repented, and was baptized, that the jailer was in a position to rejoice. Only then did Luke describe the jailer as “having believed in God” (vs. 34), i.e., now standing in a state of perfected belief.5

Objection #11: “Saul was saved before and without baptism while he was on the road to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him.”
The actual sequence of events delineated in Acts shows that Saul was not saved while on the road to Damascus. Jesus identified Himself and then accused Saul of being a persecutor (Acts 9:5). Saul “trembled” and was “astonished” (hardly the description of a saved individual), and pleadingly asked what he should do—a clear indication that he had just been struck with his lost and undone condition.
This question has the exact same force as the Pentecostians’ question (Acts 2:37) and the jailer’s question (Acts 16:30). All three passages are analogous in their characterization of individuals who had acted wrongly (i.e., the Pentecostians had crucified Jesus, Saul was persecuting Christians, and the jailer had kept innocent Christians jailed). Likewise, in each instance, the candidates for conversion are portrayed as unhappy (i.e., the Pentecostians were “cut to the heart,” Saul “trembled” and “was astonished,” and the jailer “came trembling”—i.e., he was frightened). They were scared, miserable individuals, suddenly brought face to face with their horribly unacceptable status before God. Such is hardly an apt description for saved individuals. Where is the joy, peace, and excitement that comes when one’s sins have been washed away?
Saul was not forgiven on the road to Damascus—he still needed to be told what he “must do” (Acts 9:6). He still lacked “hearing the word of the Lord.” The only way for Saul to hear the Gospel was through the agency of a preacher (Romans 10:14; 1 Corinthians 1:21). Similarly, an angel told Cornelius (Acts 10:4) that his prayers and money had gone up for a memorial before God—yet he was unsaved. He needed to contact an inspired preacher, Peter, “who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). Likewise, before Saul could learn of God’s plan that he be the great “apostle of the Gentiles,” he first needed to hear the Gospel expounded and told how to respond to what God offered in Christ.
Rather than tell him what he needed to do to be saved, Jesus told him to go into the city, where a preacher (Ananias) would expound to him the necessity of salvation. Notice: Saul waited in Damascus for three days without food and drink, and was still blind. Here’s an individual who was still miserable, unhappy, and unsaved, awaiting instructions on how to change his unfortunate status. Acts 9:18 condenses Saul’s response to the preached Word, while Acts 22 elaborates a little further on the significance of Saul’s response. Ananias said, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Notice Ananias’ inspired connection between baptism and sins being cleansed. If Saul was saved prior to baptism, it was wrong for Ananias to say that Saul still had sins that needed to be washed away. Ananias did not congratulate Saul because his sins already were washed away, and tell him that he needed to be baptized only as a “badge” or “outward symbol” or “picture” of what had already occurred. He plainly said Saul’s sins yet needed to be washed away. That can be accomplished only by Jesus’ blood in the act of baptism. The water does not cleanse the sin-stained soul—Jesus does. And Ananias clearly stated when (not how or by Whom) that occurs. If Saul’s penitent faith would not lead him to submit to water immersion, he could not have had his sins washed away by Jesus. Instead, he would have remained in opposition to Jesus. Remember, Scripture never portrays baptism as symbolic of previous sin removal. The only symbolism ever attached to the act of baptism is its (1) likeness to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5); (2) its comparison to the removal of sin like circumcision removes skin (Colossians 2:12); and (3) its likeness to Noah’s emergence from a sinful world (1 Peter 3:20-21). God literally (not symbolically) removes sin and justifies the individual by grace, through faith, at the point of baptism.

Objection #12: “If baptism is necessary to salvation, Jesus would have said, ‘but he who does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned’ in Mark 16:16. And besides, the last twelve verses of Mark 16 are not included in the oldest and best Greek manuscripts.”
The omission of “and is not baptized” in Mark 16:16 is completely logical and necessary. The first phrase (“he who believes and is baptized”) describes man’s complete response necessitated by the preaching of the Gospel: Faith must precede baptism, since obviously one would not submit to baptism if he did not first believe. It is non-essential to ascribe condemnation in the second clause to the individual who is not baptized, since the individual being condemned is the one who does not initially believe. The person who refuses to believe “is condemned already” (John 3:18) and certainly would not be interested in the next item of compliance—baptism. He who does not believe would obviously not be baptized—and even if he would, his failure to first believe disqualifies him from being immersed. Only penitent believers are candidates for baptism. An exact grammatical parallel would be: “He who goes to the store and buys coffee for his father will receive $5.00. He who does not go to the store will be spanked.” Obviously, if the child refuses to go to the store, he would not be in a position to buy coffee, and it would be redundant—even grammatically and linguistically inappropriate—to include the failure to purchase the coffee in the pronouncement of an impending spanking.
Are the last verses of Mark 16 uninspired? The textual evidence supporting the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 is exceptional in light of the vast sources available for establishing the original text. While it is true that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus omit the last 12 verses, it is positively misleading to assume that “the validity of these verses is weak.” In fact, the vast number of witnesses are in favor of the authenticity of verses 9-20. The rejection of Vaticanus is less weighty in light of its comparable exclusion of the Pastoral Epistles, the last part of Hebrews, and Revelation. The rejection of Sinaiticus is similarly unconvincing, since it includes some of the Apocryphal books.6

Objection #13: “Romans 10:9-10 indicates that all one needs to do is believe and confess Jesus.”
The use of eis in Romans 10:10 cannot mean “because of.” Verse nine explicitly says one will be saved “if” he confesses and believes in the heart. Confession and faith are therefore prerequisites to forgiveness. They are God-ordained “responses” to the preached Word (vs. 8) and must occur before salvation is imparted by God. In other words, one’s soul is purified when he obeys the truth (1 Peter 1:22). Jesus provides eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
But is baptism excluded from salvation since only faith and confession are mentioned in Romans 10:9-10? Notice, four chapters earlier, the order of Romans 6:17-18: (1) slaves to sin; (2) person obeys; (3) made free from sin (righteous). Item (3) cannot occur unless item (2) occurs first. The “whole” of man is to reverence God and keep His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13). To whom does God give the Holy Spirit? To those whom He arbitrarily chooses, without any consideration of the individual’s necessitated response? No. Acts 5:32 says God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. God has always conditioned the bestowal of spiritual blessing upon prior obedient response (Jeremiah 7:23; Genesis 26:4-5). Deuteronomy 5:10 says God shows mercy to those who love Him and keep His commands.
In Romans 10, Paul is not stressing the specific aspects of the conversion process. That is not the context. Rather, the context addresses whether one is acceptable to God in the Christian dispensation due to physical heritage (i.e., race/ethnicity), versus whether one is saved when one complies with God’s instruction. Paul was stressing that their nationality could not bring the Jews into God’s favor. Rather, people are saved when they render obedience to the Gospel. He quoted Joel 2:32, where the emphasis is on the word “whosoever” in contrast to “Jews only.” Verse 12 argues that God does not distinguish on the basis of race. The individual’s response to the preached Word is the deciding factor. However, Romans 10 does not reveal all of the details of that obedient response. One must be willing to search out the whole truth on such a subject.
If repentance is essential to salvation, one must concede that such teaching must come from some passage other than Romans 10. Does Romans 10:10 mean that repentance is unnecessary, just because it is unmentioned in the text? No, since repentance is required in chapter 2:4. If not, then why assume baptism to be nonessential simply because it is not mentioned in this particular text? It is enjoined in chapter 6:3-4. To ascertain the significance of baptism in God’s sight, one must go to passages that discuss that subject, rather than dismiss them in deference to verses on faith. If God says, “faith saves” (Romans 5:1), let us accept that truth. If God says, “baptism saves” (1 Peter 3:21), let us accept that truth, too! Jesus Himself said: belief + baptism = salvation (Mark 16:16), not belief = salvation + baptism.
Notice also, Romans 10:10,13 does not say that salvation can be acquired by mere verbal confession (e.g., “I accept Jesus into my heart as my personal Savior”). Why?
(1) Nowhere is the statement, “Accept Jesus as your personal Savior,” found in Scripture.
(2) Jesus forever dashed the idea of salvation by mental acceptance/verbal profession alone in Matthew 7:21 and Luke 6:46, where He showed that oral confession alone is unacceptable. In every age, there have been specified actions of obedience that God has required before He would count individuals as pleasing or acceptable. In fact, if faith is not coupled with the appropriate obedient action (like baptism), then such faith is unable to justify. Such faith is imperfect (James 2:17,20,26) and therefore cannot save!
(3) The phrase “call on the name of the Lord” is an idiomatic way to say: “respond with appropriate obedient actions.” It is the figure of speech known as synecdoche (i.e., the part stands for the whole). To “call” on God’s name is equivalent to saying, “Do what He tells you to do.” Isaiah 55:6 told the Jews of Isaiah’s day to call on God. Verse 7 explains how: (1) forsake wicked ways, (2) forsake wicked thoughts, (3) return to the Lord. To obey these three stipulations constituted “calling on God.”
Likewise, those in Jerusalem who “called on the Lord’s name” (Acts 9:14,21) had done so, not solely by verbal confession, but by repentance and baptism for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Similarly, Paul himself became a Christian, that is, he “called on the name of the Lord”—not by verbally confessing Christ—but by being baptized (Acts 22:16). For Paul, “calling on the Lord’s name” was equivalent to (not precedent to) being baptized. God washed his sins away by the blood of Jesus at the point of his baptism.
CONCLUSION
Though the bulk of Christendom for centuries has veered off into Calvinism and other post-first century theological thought, the meaning and design of baptism is determined by the New Testament. The verses in the New Testament that speak about baptism are definitive. They indicate that water immersion precedes salvation—along with faith, repentance, and confession of Christ’s deity. No objection has ever overturned this divinely intended function.
ENDNOTES
1 Although the thief may well have submitted to the precursor to NT baptism, i.e., John’s baptism, it also was “for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
2 See also Dave Miller (2003), “The Thief on the Cross,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1274&topic=86.
3 Cf. Eric Lyons (2004), “Calling on the Name of the Lord,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/597.
4 Rudolf Bultmann (1968), “πιστεύω,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982 reprint), 6:206; Fredrick William Danker (2000), “ὑπακοη,” A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago), third edition, p. 1028; James Denny (no date), “St. Paul’s Epistles to the Romans” in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 2:587; J.B. Lightfoot (1895), Notes on Epistles of St. Paul (London: Macmillan), p. 246; H.P.V. Nunn (1912), A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p. 42; Geoffrey H. Parke-Taylor (1944), “A Note on ‘είς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως’ in Romans 1.5 and xvi.26,” The Expository Times, 55:305-306; A.T. Robertson (1931), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press), 4:324; Marvin Vincent (1946), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 3:5; W.E. Vine (1966), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell), p. 123.
5 W.M. Ramsay (1915), The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London: Houghton and Stoughton), p. 165.
6 For a more thorough discussion of this matter, see Dave Miller (2005), “Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?” Reason & Revelation, 25[12]:89-95, December, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2780.

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God’s Protection and God Alone our Refuge! Week 8 of 52 Weeks.

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Stacking up Rocks~copyright Shelia Holmes 2017

 

God’s Protection and God Alone our Refuge! Week 8 of 52 Weeks.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Devotionals by Shelia~s Notes as we are studying Jesus through the entire Bible~Genesis to Revelation
This weeks devotional will be looking at Some Psalm passages and how they tie into New Testament passages about Jesus.
The Reign of the LORD’s Anointed ~The Son of God
Psalm 2:7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Acts 13:33 That God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’ God predicted the coming of His Son way back in Psalm 2:7. The writer of Acts tells of the fulfilled promise about Jesus.
Jesus the Messiah would be despised and crucified and hated without cause:
Luke 23:13-22(please read) Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release: But the anger crowd wanted Jesus killed.
Verse 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him”
Verse 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.
Matthew 27: 35 When they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. Verse 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” also found in Psalm 22:1
This is not the end of the story: Jesus died for the world’s sins (John 3:16-17) but He also was raised and He lives.
Acts 13:30-38(please read) But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus. But He whom God raised did not undergo decay. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
Jesus the Messiah would be Lord at the Right Hand of God:
Psalm 110:4 -5 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. The Lord is at Your right hand;
Then in 1 Peter 3:21:22 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
Psalm 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 62:1-8 My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
My soul, waits in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold, I shall not be greatly shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Lots to think about this week. Be sure to open your Bible and read all the passages and see if you can find other passages that go along with these. Thanks for stopping in and reading this. Please leave a commit. Would love to hear from you.
Have a blessed day. It is icy here in May Town as I type this. Stay safe and warm
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Jesus’ Baptism: Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Devotionals by Shelia~s Notes

Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Devotionals by Shelia~s Notes

Jesus’ Baptism

We have talked at great lengths in the previous weeks about how Jesus Christ is prophesied throughout the OT. Jesus is in every book of the Bible. How awesome is that?

Last week I jumped right into why Jesus came to earth. He was rich but He became poor for our sake. He came to save the lost world of humanity. He came to teach us what we are to do to obey.  He came to seek and save the lost. He came to be our Passover sacrifice as we learned earlier. He came to fulfill the prophecy of God. These are some of  the reasons He came.

This week we will look at His Baptism.

Jesus’ Baptism

What does Jesus’ baptism say about the importance of obedience and of baptism?

Matthew 3:13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”
But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.  Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.  Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was without sin but He did the will of His Father by being baptized. We are taught what to do to have our sins forgiven in Acts 2:38  Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We are to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. This is what we must do to be obedient to the will of God.

Jesus learned the Obedience. Hebrews 5:8-9 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

Jesus lived, suffered and died as a man to show us what obedience to God looks like. Jesus did not have to be baptized for the forgiveness of sin. He had no sin. He was baptized to fulfill the righteousness of God’s will.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves not having been baptized by John. Their hearts were too stubborn to obey.

Jesus’ baptism fulfilled the appearance of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in one spot of time. This is a huge statement and witness of the power and might of God.

As we read in Matthew 3:13-17  Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

  1. Jesus was baptized
  2. The Holy Spirit came in the bodily form of a dove,
  3. The Father spoke from heaven.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct Beings.

God miraculously demonstrated Jesus’ special nature when Jesus was born. He again demonstrated Jesus’ special character at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

Jesus and His disciples taught us what we must do to obey and be saved through Jesus Christ precious blood.

  1. I must Hear the saving message of Christ’s Sacrifice. Romans 10:17, 1 Cor. 1:18
  2. I must Believe Jesus is the Son of God. John 8:24, Hebrews 11:6
  3. I must Confess Christ as my Lord. Matthew 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-11
  4. I must Repent of my sinful conduct. Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  5. I Must be Baptized for the Forgiveness of my sins. Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16
  6. I must Teach others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:20

If you have any questions, please notify me. Thanks for coming.
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What does the Bible say about being a Busybody(Nosey)?

What does the Bible say about being a busybody/(Nosey)?
http://www.gotquestions.org

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Answer: A busybody is a person who meddles in the affairs of others. Sometimes this meddling is under the guise of “helping,” but usually the “help” is unwelcome and uninvited. Busybodies are often people who are dissatisfied with the level of drama in their own lives and gain satisfaction by becoming involved in the problems of other people. Gossip is usually a staple of every busybody, but it is usually camouflaged as a “prayer request” or given under the pretense of asking for advice.

The Bible has strong words for busybodies (2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13). First Peter 4:15 warns us, “Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler.” It is noteworthy that Peter lists meddling as prohibited right along with murder and theft. Busybodies within the church often camouflage their nosey meddling as compassionate concern. The difference between meddling and concern, however, is whether or not the intrusion is beneficial or productive in the lives of others.

Some people have difficulty recognizing themselves as busybodies, so a few questions can aid in determining whether or not attempts to “help” are in fact meddling. A potential busybody should ask him/herself the following questions:

1. Is this any of my business? (1 Timothy 5:13)
2. Has God given me this assignment? (Ephesians 6:19)
3. Am I qualified to involve myself with this? (Romans 14:10)
4. Is my true motivation to bring help, or do I only want to feel needed? (1 Corinthians 13:1)
5. How much of my “discussion” about the situation could be classified as gossip? (Proverbs 11:13)
6. What was the result the last time I intruded in a situation that was not my problem? (Proverbs 26: 11)
7. Has my opinion been sought by those involved? (Proverbs 27:2)
8. Am I motivated by love for this person or by a sense of my own importance? (1 Corinthians 16:14)
9. Am I basing my “help” on Scripture or on my own opinion? (Proverbs 16:25)
10. Do I respond with anger when my “advice” is not accepted or found to be flawed? (Proverbs 17:10)

The answers to these questions can help us determine whether our involvement in the affairs of others is, in fact, meddling. If we recognize that our real motivation is the enjoyment of being in the center of other people’s issues, it may be time to let God deal with that insecurity. It is important to remember that busybodies rarely think of themselves as insecure. If we find ourselves often embroiled in the secrets of others, it may be wise to seek the oversight of a trusted friend or pastor. An objective person can help clarify our motivations and keep us from becoming a busybody.

What does it mean to be a busy body?
A busybody is a nosy, meddling person, who’s very interested in what other people say and do. If you’re a busybody, you can’t help offering advice to friends, whether they want it or not. Busybodies are known for trying to help with situations in which they’re not necessarily welcome or needed

What is the meaning of a gossiper?
A gossiper is someone who talks eagerly and casually about other people. If you like to spread rumors and hear the latest news about your friends, you might be a gossiper. When you gossip, you talk enthusiastically about other people’s news or business. To do this regularly is to be a gossiper.

If you have been guilty of this now is the time to repent. If you want to study the Bible please go to this free Bible study: www.worldbibleschool.org

Open Their(Our) Eyes

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Paul is the writer of this passage. Paul had his eyes closed for three days so he might see with his heart. It took a face to face meeting with Jesus to truly open his eyes.

Acts 26:14-15 And falling on the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, Who are you Lord? And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,” Jesus told Saul to get up and go to Damascus. Saul got up, his eyes were open but he could not see. He went three days without sight.

How many days have we gone without sight? Our eyes are open but we do not see God~Jesus. We go through the motions but we are not doing what God wants us to do. Paul was preaching and persecuting Christians in good faith. He believed he was doing God’s will. How many things are we doing that we believe is God’s will~~~but it turns out not to be?

How many times does Jesus come before us and we do not see Him but our eyes are wide open?

1 Timothy 1:15 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief. Are we just like Paul? Are we ignorant and unbelieving.

Jesus wants to rescue us just like He did Paul. Will we let Him open our eyes and heart? Acts 26:17-18 Jesus tells Paul why He rescued him, so he can go to the Jews and Gentiles, ‘to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion“ of satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Jesus has already paid the price for our hostage ransom. He died for our sins and He wants us to live for Him.

First: You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Second: John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His Love.

Third: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is a free gift but we have to choose to accept it. The only way to get into Jesus Christ is to do what He tells us to do.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Do you see that there is a condition on this. If we are baptized then we will have forgiveness of sins and receive the gift….

I found at least 44 scriptures that mention baptism. Don’t you agree that baptism is critical? That is 44 scriptures that are life or death statements.

Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. We have to be baptized into Christ to get into Him.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greek….

This may be the biggest step we have to take to have our eyes opened. There are many false teaching out there that contradict the word of God.  My challenge is to seek the Word of God to see what He wants us to do. NOT the world’s view of what God wants, NOT man’s view of what God wants. I challenge you to look up all the scripture on Baptism-Baptized and do your own study. PM me is you have questions and I will be happy to study with you.

Or you may go to the link below to do your own bible study.

www.worldbibleschool.org