Why don’t people just forgive? That’s a very good question. If forgiveness is easier and more beneficial, why isn’t it more popular? The sad reality is that there’s short-term, relationally destructive power in refusing to forgive. Holding onto the other’s wrongs gives us the upper hand in our relationships. We keep a record of wrongs because we’re not motivated by what honors God and is best for others, but by what’s expedient for ourselves. Here are some of the dark “benefits” of unforgiveness.
The rainbow was given by God as a sign of His mercy upon sinful man. It signified a divine promise that “all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there be again a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11). The rainbow signifies the grace and mercy of a holy God.
Yet, in light of God’s mercy and grace, one must not forget that God is holy and hates sin with a passion. He abhors sin. In fact, it was because of sin that God destroyed the human race (save Noah and his family) with the flood in the first place. His holy anger is stated by God Himself in these words, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth” (Genesis 6:7). Why? Because “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Wickedness is what fills the heart of man—wickedness that has infected all parts of our being, continually—the very wickedness that God hates.
Since the need to restore a marriage relationship can be for many different reasons, we will look at underlying principles that the Bible sets forth for relationships in general and then marriage in particular.
The place to start is with the individual one-on-one relationship between a man or woman and the Lord Jesus Christ. As born-again believers, the success of any relationship with others is in direct correlation with the quality of our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are out of fellowship with the Lord due to sin or mental attitudes that are contrary to divine viewpoint, we find that we are out of sorts with ourselves, first, and that spills over to our relationships with others. Therefore, restoring our relationship and fellowship with the Lord through agreeing with His viewpoint and resting in the forgiveness that is ours in Christ Jesus (1 John 1:9) is the place we must begin.
The above presupposes that one has a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the new birth. That is being born again unto newness of life in accepting salvation through the gift of eternal life given to us in Christ. If that step has not been taken in an individual’s life, then biblical principles are not the first issue to be addressed; one’s eternal salvation or redemption is. This website has an excellent resource available to help to guide one to repentance and acceptance of the gift of life in Christ.
For the born-again believer, forgiveness is the position and privilege that we have in Christ, and because of that forgiveness we are commanded to forgive others. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). If we are believers, we are forgiven “in Christ,” and “in Christ” we also forgive others. No relationship can be restored without forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice we make based upon the reality of our own forgiven state.
For the marriage relationship, the Bible has given us a very clear model that is opposite to the world’s viewpoint. To restore a marriage relationship once forgiveness has been given and received, applying God’s model will begin to bring the two separate parties into a God-honoring union. This requires a choice on the part of both parties. There is an old saying, “you cannot use what you do not know.” Therefore, to learn God’s model for marriage we must look into God’s Word.
God ordained the first marriage in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve. When sin entered because of their disobedience, that perfect union was destroyed. Subsequently, God told Eve that Adam would be her “head” to rule over her (Genesis 3:16). (Compare 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:5–6.) This “rule” has been overthrown by the modern liberal women’s movement and has brought untold unhappiness to those who believe the “lie.” There is also the human viewpoint that “all are equal.” In a way, that is true. We all have equal access to salvation in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). But to say that all in the world are equal in human opportunity, abilities or even power is naïve. God had a purpose for placing wives under the authority of their husbands. Because of sin, that rule has been both abused and chaffed under, and the result has brought chaos to the home and family. However, God does not let the husband off the hook. The husband is to “love his wife as he loves his own body” (Ephesians 5:28). In fact, the greater part of the responsibility of the marriage model is given to the husband. The woman is to obey her husband as unto the Lord; however, husbands are to love their wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25–29).
There is also a passage in 1 Corinthians 7 that lays down some principles and practical, personal, Spirit-led, advice about marriage from the Apostle Paul. This is all in accordance with the supposition that the individuals are born-again believers. This passage speaks about adultery, fornication, staying single and pure or—in order to avoid the pitfalls of passion and fornication—to marry.
God’s marriage model works, but it takes commitment on the part of both parties to create a relationship with a balance of each individual’s obedience to God and walking in fellowship with the Lord. It does not happen overnight. And, usually, if a marriage relationship has broken down, there are issues that need to be forgiven and put behind in order to move forward, and, again, that takes a choice and a commitment. Unwillingness on the part of either party will mean no restoration. The overriding issue is with each individual’s responsibility before the Lord and then coming together before the Lord. Walking in forgiveness and fellowship would be a wonderful place to start to put the pieces back together again.
Preparing oneself for marriage biblically is the same as preparing for any life endeavor. There is a principle that should govern all aspects of our lives as born-again believers: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This is not a flippant command. It is the centerpiece of our lives as believers. It is choosing to focus upon God and upon His Word with our whole heart so that our soul and our mind are occupied with the things that will please Him.
The relationship we have with God through the Lord Jesus Christ is what puts all other relationships into perspective. The marriage relationship is based upon the model of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22–33). Every aspect of our lives is governed by our commitment as believers to live according to the commandments and precepts of the Lord. Our obedience to God and to His Word equips us to fulfill our God-given roles in marriage and in the world. And the role of every born-again believer is to glorify God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31).
In order to prepare yourself for marriage, to walk worthy of your calling in Christ Jesus, and to become intimate with God through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17), focus upon obedience in all things. There is no easy plan to learn to walk in obedience to God. It is a choice we must make every day to put aside worldly viewpoints and follow God instead. Walking worthy of Christ is to submit ourselves in humility to the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis. That is the preparation every believer needs to be ready for the great gift we call marriage.
A person who is spiritually mature and walking with God is more prepared for marriage than anyone else. Marriage demands commitment, passion, humility, love, and respect. These traits are most evident in a person who has an intimate relationship with God. As you prepare yourself for marriage, focus on allowing God to shape you and mold you into the man or woman He wants you to be (Romans 12:1–2). If you submit yourself to Him, He will enable you to be ready for marriage when that wonderful day arrives.
At the heart of the controversy over charismatic theology and practice is a simple question: What is the nature and purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Is Spirit baptism an internal, one-time event that occurs at the moment of salvation, or is it a subsequent event that’s manifest through ecstatic expressions of tongues, signs, and special revelation?
In the following audio clip, John MacArthur explains from the Bible the nature of Spirit baptism, and how it is brought about in the lives of believers.
By categorizing Christian conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit as two separate works of God, charismatics have created for themselves two separate classes of Christians. The Strange Fire conference will bring necessary correction to this false dichotomy by carefully examining what Scripture teaches about the work of the Spirit. For more information about Strange Fire, please visit the conference website.
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130625 COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You
“An Iranian government spokesman has said that outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad will return with the Hidden Imam, who according to Shi’ite belief went into hiding in the 10th century and will reappear to bring justice to Earth,” reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
“God willing, with the manifestation of Imam Mehdi, Ahmadinejad will also return and work for the establishment of pure Islam,” spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.
“Ahmadinejad and his close aides have been criticized in Iran over their repeated references to Mahdi and signs of his imminent coming,” reports RFE/RL. “Ahmadinejad came under fire in March for saying that former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be resurrected alongside Jesus and the Hidden Imam.”
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I’ve been thinking about words lately. Words that we use in the visible no longer mean what they used to mean. Terms like Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and especially Evangelical have changed. Today, words like Missional, Transformational or Spiritual Formation are now the new cool trending words in the majority of churches these days. I’m not going to tell you what those words mean in this article. Our website along with many others can help you do your own research.) I want to take a moment and speak to those who are discouraged, and not wanting to cave in to those whom you believe have hijacked these words.
(Jerusalem, Israel) — After having just been in Ottawa meeting with Canadian Members of Parliament to discuss Israel and Middle East issues, I’ve now been in Israel for ten days of meetings and preparations for our upcoming Joshua Fund tour and Epicenter Conference. I was encouraged to read this morning that the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird was recently in town to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli and Palestinian officials. His comments on the Iran threat were worth noting because he indicated a concrete time frame by which Iran needs to show it has ended its nuclear program or other action — decisive action — needs to be taken. Coming from the most pro-Israel government on the planet, this was encouraging. My hope is that the Foreign Minister was also laying the groundwork for a state visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but there was no public report of…
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Here’s a new twist on church growth: creating a pagan atmosphere and branding campaign for New Age spiritualists in order to increase the number of bodies in the pews. The Church of England is actually training its ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the center” to attract spiritual believers.
“Is there anything wrong with this?” That’s the question Christians usually ask to determine whether something is acceptable. To be sure, it’s not a bad question. But there’s an equally important question that we ought to be asking: “Is there anything sanctifying in this?”
Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/holiness-b-choosing-whats-best/
By Mike Ratliff
1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” 2 Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him…
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NBC has an important report on our forgotten brothers and sisters in Egypt–
Thousands of Egypt’s Coptic Christians are fleeing to Europe, the United States and elsewhere rather than face mounting discrimination at home. Copts, Egypt’s ancient Christian community, are the country’s largest minority, making up nearly 10 percent of its 85 million people. But clashes between Christians and Muslims have become more frequent since the ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak in the 2011 uprising – some say due to a breakdown of government security. Many Copts feel Egypt’s Islamist-led government is not doing enough to protect them from religious hate crimes and inflammatory rhetoric – so many are leaving.
The ‘Arab Spring’ is a Christian disaster. We need to remember the Christians in Muslim countries who are far worse off now than they have been before. Ever.
Do you want to know the primary reason why rapidly rising interest rates could take down the entire global financial system? Most people might think that it would be because the U.S. government would have to pay much more interest on the national debt. And yes, if the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rose to just 6 percent (and it has actually been much higher in the past), the federal government would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. But that isn’t it. Nor does the primary reason have to do with the fact that rapidly rising interest rates would impose massive losses on bond investors. At this point, it is being projected that if U.S. bond yields rise by an average of 3 percentage points, it will cause investors to lose a trillion dollars. Yes, that is a 1 with 12 zeroes after it ($1,000,000,000,000). But that is not the number one danger posed by rapidly rising interest rates either. Rather, the number one reason why rapidly rising interest rates could cause the entire global financial system to crash is because there are more than 441 TRILLION dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there. This number comes directly from the Bank for International Settlements – the central bank of central banks. In other words, more than $441,000,000,000,000 has been bet on the movement of interest rates. Normally these bets do not cause a major problem because rates tend to move very slowly and the system stays balanced. But now rates are starting to skyrocket, and the sophisticated financial models used by derivatives traders do not account for this kind of movement. (Read More….)
The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming. They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems. As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way. Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes. They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008. When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes. Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again. Right now we seem to be living in a “hope bubble” and people have become very complacent. For a while there, being a “prepper” was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided. What a tragic mistake. As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again. Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly. The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse… (Read More….)
Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org By Nick Sorrentino Surprise: Senate Immigration Bill Packed With Kickbacks, Waivers, “Stimulus” Spending The “immigration bill” has now also been turned into a “stimulus bill.” Special provisions for Alaskan fisheries have been included. (Funny, Alaska got a whole pile of money from the “Sandy Relief bill” too. They do love their […]
Now, granted, the technological capabilities of the NSA are massive. And, as was revealed in subsequent news reports following the initial revelations about the NSA, tech companies and Internet Service Providers are in cahoots with the government, so they’re not going to protect you. Further, the Fourth Amendment appears to mean nothing to the Obama Aadministration.
What’s a poor, hapless citizen to do? First off, take a deep breath and read on. There are things you can do.
Processed foods seem like the answer to today’s busy lives. And new fads and fancy advertisements make promises that keep us coming back for more.
But before you hit the vending machine or the fast food window, find out what the processed food industry doesn’t want you to know.
1. Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to over-eat.
Whole foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water. When foods are processed the components of these foods are modified (for example, fiber, water and nutrients are removed) and in other cases, components are concentrated. In each case, processing changes the way they are digested and assimilated in your body.
Note: Bono has served Satan and may not be a believer. The ministry once run by Dr. James Dobson may have been seduced into believing a lie. Promoting a man who displayed upside down crosses has identified his loyalty. Unless Bono has had a recent conversion experience, we urge caution about this story.
Yes, that Bono – the rock star and human rights activist who is also a committed Christian. In fact, it’s his faith that motivates him to help those in extreme poverty and living with HIV/AIDS.
The interview may not have aired yet, but various media outlets are already abuzz with the news. I wanted to share three articles about the interview with you.
Once the economic news shows an increasingly negative trend, and it will, my guess is by the end of the year or by early 2014, they will once again admit the economy’s addiction to QE and manipulation of interest rates, and risk assets will once again be in vogue.”
“Sadly, it appears that this rethinking has resulted in something like a surrender to the cultural currents of the day. … While Alan Chambers is right when he insists that our beliefs do not center on ‘sin’ because ‘sin’ isn’t at the center of our faith, he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Christ came to save us from our sin. … The greatest tragedy is that persons experiencing same-sex attractions or involved in same-sex sexuality will be further confused by the capitulation of Exodus International.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Baptist Press)