Daily Archives: September 21, 2013

Music Video: How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin

The splendor of a King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
It trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age, He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father, Spirit, Son
Lion and the Lamb
Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God and all will see
How great, how great is our God

(How great is our God, sing with me)
Name above all names
(How great is our God and all will see)
Worthy of our praise
(How great, how great is our God)
My heart will sing
How great is our God

(How great is our God, sing with me)
Name above all names
(How great is our God and all will see)
Worthy of our praise
(How great, how great is our God)
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God and all will see
How great, how great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God and all will see
How great, how great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Wouldn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Gets to Heaven?

The concept of Hell is daunting for many Christians. It’s not pleasant to think our unbelieving loved ones might spend eternity separated from God, regretting their decision forever. Several religious traditions seek to avoid the problem by offering a second chance to those who reject God’s gift of forgiveness. They envision a place where rebellious souls can, in the next life, reconsider their choice or earn their way toward heaven; the Catholic tradition offers “Purgatory” and Mormonism describes a “Spirit Prison”. Both seek to offer solutions to commonly asked questions: Wouldn’t a Loving God love all of His creation? Wouldn’t He make sure everyone goes to Heaven (regardless of what they might believe in this life)? A loving God would never limit Heaven to a select few and allow billions of people to suffer in Hell, would He?

Let’s consider, however, the nature of Heaven and the truth about humans. Heaven is the realm of God, and those who ultimately enter into Heaven will be united with God forever. While that sounds fantastic for some of us, it sounds ridiculous, boring or offensive to many who reject the existence of God (and resist God’s guidelines and obligations). If everyone will eventually end up in Heaven, it is inevitable and compulsory. This type of eternal destination seems contrary to the nature of God and the nature of human “free will”:

Read More Here: http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2013/wouldnt-a-loving-god-make-sure-everyone-gets-to-heaven/

Biblical Thematic Outline: Love, for God

 

Synopsis

Scripture teaches believers to love God and shows how such love should be expressed in worship and practical service.

Believers’ response to God’s love

1 Jn 4:19

1 John 4:19 (ESV) — 19 We love because he first loved us.

See also Dt 7:7–8 ; Ps 116:1 ; Jn 15:16 ; Eph 2:4–5 ; 1 Jn 4:10

Deuteronomy 7:7–8 (ESV) — 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Psalm 116:1 (ESV) — 1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.

John 15:16 (ESV) — 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Ephesians 2:4–5 (ESV) — 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:10 (ESV) — 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Love for God is commanded

Mt 22:37–38

Matthew 22:37–38 (ESV) — 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

See also Dt 6:5 ; Dt 10:12 ; Dt 11:1 ; Jos 22:5 ; Jos 23:11 ; Ps 31:23

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV) — 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 10:12 (ESV) — 12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 11:1 (ESV) — 1 “You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.

Joshua 22:5 (ESV) — 5 Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Joshua 23:11 (ESV) — 11 Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God.

Psalm 31:23 (ESV) — 23 Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

Loving God involves loving Jesus Christ

Jn 8:42

John 8:42 (ESV) — 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

See also Jn 5:42 ; Jn 15:23

John 5:42 (ESV) — 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.

John 15:23 (ESV) — 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also.

Expressing love for God

Delight in worship and in God’s house

Ps 27:4

Psalm 27:4 (ESV) — 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

See also Ps 26:8 ; Ps 43:4 ; Ps 65:4 ; Ps 84:2 ; Ps 122:1 ; Ps 122:6 ; Ac 2:46–47

Psalm 26:8 (ESV) — 8 O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.

Psalm 43:4 (ESV) — 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 65:4 (ESV) — 4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

Psalm 84:2 (ESV) — 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Psalm 122:1 (ESV) — 1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Psalm 122:6 (ESV) — 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!

Acts 2:46–47 (ESV) — 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Love for God’s word

Ps 119:97

Psalm 119:97 (ESV) — 97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

See also Ps 1:2 ; Ps 19:7–8 ; Ps 19:10 ; Ps 119:16 ; Ps 119:35 ; Ps 119:72 ; Ps 119:163 ; Je 15:16 ; Eze 3:3

Psalm 1:2 (ESV) — 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 19:7–8 (ESV) — 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

Psalm 19:10 (ESV) — 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalm 119:16 (ESV) — 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Psalm 119:35 (ESV) — 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

Psalm 119:72 (ESV) — 72 The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Psalm 119:163 (ESV) — 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.

Jeremiah 15:16 (ESV) — 16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

Ezekiel 3:3 (ESV) — 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

Self-sacrifice

Lk 14:33

Luke 14:33 (ESV) — 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

See also Jn 21:15–17 ; Ro 12:1 ; Php 3:8

John 21:15–17 (ESV) — 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Romans 12:1 (ESV) — 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Philippians 3:8 (ESV) — 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Giving

1 Ch 29:3

1 Chronicles 29:3 (ESV) — 3 Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God:

See also Ex 25:2 ; Ex 35:5 ; 1 Ch 29:6 ; 1 Ch 29:9 ; 2 Co 8:4–5 ; 2 Co 8:8 ; 2 Co 9:7

Exodus 25:2 (ESV) — 2 “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.

Exodus 35:5 (ESV) — 5 Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze;

1 Chronicles 29:6 (ESV) — 6 Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work.

1 Chronicles 29:9 (ESV) — 9 Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

2 Corinthians 8:4–5 (ESV) — 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

2 Corinthians 8:8 (ESV) — 8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV) — 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Obeying God

1 Jn 5:3

1 John 5:3 (ESV) — 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

See also Ps 40:8 ; Jn 14:15 ; Jn 14:23 ; Jn 15:14 ; 2 Jn 6

Psalm 40:8 (ESV) — 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

John 14:15 (ESV) — 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:23 (ESV) — 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 15:14 (ESV) — 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

2 John 6 (ESV) — 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

Loving others

1 Jn 4:21

1 John 4:21 (ESV) — 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

See also Jn 13:35 ; Jn 15:12 ; 1 Jn 4:11

John 13:35 (ESV) — 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12 (ESV) — 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

1 John 4:11 (ESV) — 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

The blessings of loving God

Jn 14:15–16

John 14:15–16 (ESV) — 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

See also Jn 14:23 ; Jn 16:27 ; 1 Pe 1:8

John 14:23 (ESV) — 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 16:27 (ESV) — 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

1 Peter 1:8 (ESV) — 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

Examples of love for God and Jesus Christ

Ps 18:1

Psalm 18:1 (ESV) — 1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.

See also Ps 73:25 ; Mt 26:7 ; Jn 12:3 ; Lk 2:37 ; Lk 7:47 ; Lk 24:53 ; Jn 11:16 ; Jn 21:16 ; Ac 21:13 ; Heb 6:10

Psalm 73:25 (ESV) — 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

Matthew 26:7 (ESV) — 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.

John 12:3 (ESV) — 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Luke 2:37 (ESV) — 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

Luke 7:47 (ESV) — 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Luke 24:53 (ESV) — 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

John 11:16 (ESV) — 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

John 21:16 (ESV) — 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

Acts 21:13 (ESV) — 13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Hebrews 6:10 (ESV) — 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

 

Theology: God – NATURALISTIC THEISTIC ARGUMENTS SHOWING GOD (Part 1)

Naturalistic would be something to do with nature. Theistic would have to do with God. Naturalistic theistic arguments then would be arguments for God from nature.

 

The term theism is used in different ways: In the most general sense it is any belief in god as a concept or idea. In the specific sense as we use it, it relates to the belief in Almighty God the Creator.

 

Atheism is the thought there is no god. The atheist is up front, automatically a fool according to the Psalmist (Psalm 14:1). The atheist should assume there is no god and force the theist to prove there is a god. Instead the atheist attempts to prove there is no god. If something is not there then how do you prove that it is not there? Especially when that thing that is not there is invisible. That is at best, a foolish thing to attempt.

 

The theist is left with the job of proving that his god is there even though that god is not visible and scientifically observable.

 

Our discussion in this section will be concerned with some of these proofs that have been set forth to prove that God exists. To be more specific, they are proofs that our God the creator of the universe exists.

 

Natural Theism: This is the information available from nature and through man’s reasoning about God.

 

Biblical Theism: This is all information available to man from nature and from the Word of God that is not only complete, but true.

 

I. NATURAL THEISM

 

Knowledge of God comes from three sources in the natural realm. These three sources are intuition, tradition and reason.

 

 

A. Intuition: Due to the sin in man this knowledge is distorted, however it is a knowledge that all of mankind has shared through the centuries. This is an inborn knowledge of God. Romans 1:19 mentions,

 

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them.”

 

All civilizations have had some sort of afterlife and belief in some sort of god or higher power. This knowledge is that which does not need to be taught. It is knowledge that does not come from his environmental training or upbringing. The thought of right and wrong is a good example. Every society has rights and wrongs. Some of them are much more primitive than others, yet we find some concept of right and wrong in any society that we care to study.

 

Man has this type of knowledge of God. He may not know much, and his knowledge may be warped, but that knowledge is built in.

 

Strauss quotes Zwemer, The Origin Of Religion: “On two great conceptions modern scientists are agreed: namely, on the unity of the race and on the essential religious nature of man….Man is very much alike everywhere from China to Peru….He always has been and is [,] incurably religious….Humanity itself finds its roots in God….” (Strauss, Lehman; “The First Person”; Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1967, p 32)

 

In all societies man has the concept of God and there is also along with that concept the concept that if the man does wrong there will be displeasure on the part of God, and punishment for the man. On the other hand — good actions bring lack of punishment, or reward.

 

B. Tradition: The information we have in our Bible may have been tradition before it was set down by Moses. The men that followed God during this period operated on what had been handed down to them from previous generations.

 

To a point much of what we can know of God today came from past generations that have committed their findings about God and His Word to the printed page for us to consider and ponder.

 

C. Reason: There are several arguments for the existence of God from reason. Walvoord says these arguments are inductive and proceed from facts to a conclusion. If I grab the two wires in a light socket, I feel something. That is fact. From the fact of pain, I Should draw some conclusions that I should not touch two wires in a light socket.

 

1. Argumentum A Posteriori: This is the argument from effect to cause. If you see or observe an effect you know there was a cause. If you come up to a car that is upside down in the ditch you know there has been an unexpected occurrence. That is the effect — the cause may be a number of things, but you can be sure there was some cause.

 

We lived in an apartment in Salem, OR located on a curve at the edge of town. We had numerous accidents every year on the curve. One morning early we heard a crash and I went to see if I could help. Another car was just pulling off in a hurry. The driver of the wrecked car said he had taken the corner at 30 miles per hour and he didn’t know what happened. I was told by one of our sons before going to the scene that the two cars had been drag racing. He knew the cause of the effect just as well as I did, even though the driver just couldn’t figure out what happened.

 

This argument for the existence of God is quite effective with people that don’t know if God exists. These arguments are very logical in their approach, and thus conducive to acceptance by both the intellectual mind and the mind of a less educated person.

 

This line of argumentation moves from the end product that we are, and in which we live (creation), backward to what was in the past — only One that had intelligence, desire and power enough to create what we see today could have created it all. There must have been a being that had intelligence, desire and power enough to create, to have done so.

 

A well-built car, if examined, will demand there be a designer that had the desire to design and build such a device, as well as the power to build.

 

a. Cosmological: Cosmological comes from the term, “kosmos” meaning orderly. Simply stated this tells us that we can observe the great and vast creation thus we must assume there was a great and vast power that was powerful enough to have created that creation.

 

There are four arguments concerning the creation that have been presented in the past.

 

 

1). Nature is eternal so there is no need for a cause.

 

2). Matter is eternal and therefore is self-developing. It can do as it wants — man has no direction or purpose — only the matter that is developing has purpose.

 

3). Matter is eternal however it’s present arrangement is due to the influence of God. Plato, Aristotle, and others held this thought. Man then may have some purpose else wise why would God influence matter.

 

4). Matter was created for the express purposes of Almighty God. Only this final argument is consistent with the Revelation of God.

 

Pardington quotes Strong: “Everything begun, whether substance or phenomenon, owes its existence to some producing cause. The universe, at least so far as its present form is concerned, is a thing begun, and owes its existence to a cause equal to its production. This cause must be indefinitely great.” (Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 65)

 

This system of argumentation is based on three presuppositions:

 

1). If there is an effect there was a cause. If you enter a room and a thief is standing over me with his fist raised and I am lying on the floor, there must have been a cause for my reclining position.

 

2). The effect depends on the cause for its being. My reclining position is not because the price of eggs is higher today than yesterday in Chicago, but it may be because I said something about the way the thief was acting.

 

3). Nature cannot in and of itself produce itself. There had to have been a cause for the effect of nature.

 

Cause and effect. Everything begun owes its existence to some producing cause. Let us consider a room for example; something caused it; it didn’t just come into existence. This book — a cause somewhere caused it to come into existence.

 

Lockyer ends his study in this way:

 

 

“There is a power somewhere because there are effects everywhere.

 

“There is wisdom somewhere because wise deeds are accomplished everywhere.

 

“There is intelligence somewhere for there are order and arrangement everywhere.

 

“There is goodness somewhere for there are beneficent agents and resultant gladness everywhere.” (Taken from the book, ALL THE DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE by Herbert Lockyer. Copyright 1964 by Zondervan Publishing House. Used by permission. p 21)

 

b. Teleological: Simply stated is the fact that we can see design in the creation thus we must assume that creation was designed and created by a being that has design and order.

 

The term comes from the Greek word “telos” which means design or end. If there is design then it is logical to assume there was a designer.

 

Pardington quoting Strong states, “Order and useful collation [means bringing together] pervading a system respectively imply intelligence and purpose as the cause of that order and collocation [means arranging together]. Since order and collocation pervade the universe, there must exist an intelligence adequate to the production of this order, and a will adequate to direct this collocation to useful ends” (Pardington, pp 66, 67)

 

I once took apart a Norelco razor — there had to have been a designer — it was too well engineered to just have come into existence in some junk yard somewhere. The universe is full of examples of the great design to be found in the creation in which we live.

 

Cambron mentions the design whereby ice floats to the top of water thereby allowing fish life to live through cold weather. If ice sank to the bottom then all above would also freeze killing the fish.

 

Reason for the design is indicative of intelligent thought processes of a being that designed due to a reason and created. Intelligent thought processes also indicates the personality of the designer.

 

 

The human eye and its intricacies. The seed that can be planted and spring forth to life as a plant and later as fruit.

 

It should be noted that the skeptics must admit that the world is ordered. They are left with the problem of explaining how the order came into being if there was no order. They must rely on disordered primordial gluck moving from itself to a finely ordered world of today. This idea is not only illogical but it lacks reason.

 

Some might state that the order and design came from the natural working of the laws of nature. If this is true where then did the orderly laws of nature come from if not from an orderly God?

 

c. Anthropological: Simply stated this point says that man has a spiritual side that did not happen by chance — we must assume there is a spiritual being that created him.

 

Pardington states, “The argument may be represented in three parts:

 

a. “Man’s intellectual and moral nature requires for its author an intellectual and moral Being. The mind cannot evolve from matter; neither can spirit evolve from flesh. Consequently, a Being having both mind and spirit must have created man.

 

b. “Man’s moral nature proves the existence of a holy Lawgiver and Judge. Otherwise, conscience cannot be satisfactorily explained.

 

c. “Man’s emotional and volitional nature requires for its author a Being, who, as Dr. Strong says, “can furnish in Himself a satisfying object of human affection and an end which will call forth man’s highest activities and ensure his highest progress.” (Pardington, p 68)

 

Ryrie states, “Inasmuch as God has created man with unusual qualities not found in any other created being, it is possible for man, on the basis of what he is, to have some concept of what God is. Man is composed of both material and immaterial elements.” (Taken from: “A Survey Of Bible Doctrine”; Ryrie, Charles C.; Copyright 1972, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission.)

 

In using this argument you must be careful to not use “God” in your proof of God’s existence. I think that Ryrie needs to reconsider his argument. It would be better to say that because man has qualities that animals do not have there is some reason for that difference. We can assume that due to our makeup that a creator would probably have some of those same characteristics, which He gave to us.

 

Ryrie goes on to say that a being creating man with “Life, intellect, sensibility, will, conscience, and inherent belief in God” must also have those attributes. (Taken from: “A Survey Of Bible Doctrine”; Ryrie, Charles C.; Copyright 1972, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission.)

 

Some submit man’s moral nature as indicative of a moral God as well. Indeed, some call this whole thought the Moral argument.

 

In concluding the three arguments Walvoord states the following:

 

(1) In the cosmological argument, the existence of the cosmos, originating in time, constitutes proof of a First Cause who is self-existent and eternal and who possesses intelligence, power, and will.

 

(2) In the teleological argument the evidence of design extends the proof of the intelligence of the First Cause into details of telescopic grandeur and microscopic perfection far beyond the feeble ability of man to discover or comprehend.

 

(3) In the anthropological argument, though confirming the proofs advanced in the two preceding arguments, an added indication is secured which suggests the elements in the First Cause of intellect, sensibility, and will, which are the essentials of personality; the moral feature of conscience in man indicates that his Creator is the One who actuates holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” (Reprinted by permission: Walvoord, John F. editor; “Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, Vol. I & II, 1988, p 122)

 

d. Christological: Simply stated this argument shows that if we can observe so many things related to Christ that cannot be humanly produced, we must assume there was a supernatural being that produced the effects.

 

 

This point is closely related to Scriptural proofs of God’s existence yet the unsaved philosophical mind must cope with it if he is to be honest.

 

If there is no God then how do you account for:

 

1). The Bible and its longevity.

 

2). Fulfillment of prophecy.

 

3). The miracles.

 

4). Supernatural character and divine mission of Christ.

 

5). Christianity’s influence on the world.

 

6). The fact of conversion and the change in people’s lives.

 

If there is no God then you must account in some way for all of the above.

 

e. Congruity: Congruity simply stated says, if you have a system of thought that fits the facts of the effect then you must assume the system of thought contains facts that are correct about the cause. This comes from the state of being “harmoniously related or united.” (Bancroft, Emery H. /Ed. Mayers, Ronald B.; “Christian Theology”; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976, p 66)

 

The following is an argument that follows this line of thinking. If a key fits the lock of the door and it unlocks the lock then it is the correct key to the door. If an infinite God fits all the facts that we perceive, then He is the answer that we seek.

 

2. Argumentum A Priori: This argument by definition works from the minute to the enlarged. It moves from a bone to a suggested full size recreation of the bone’s original owner. Pardington states, “a priori argument, that is, from cause to effect.” (Pardington p 69)

 

a. Ontological: Ontological comes from the Greek word “ontos” or being. Simply stated, man has a concept of an infinite perfect being thus we must assume that the infinite perfect being made us aware of Himself.

 

Walvoord describes this argument: “The argument is that man could not have this idea unless something exists that corresponds to it. According to this argument, the existence of God is certified by the fact that the human mind believes that God exists.” He also states that most do not use this argument due to the fact there are questions that can arise from it. (Reprinted by permission: Walvoord, John F. editor; “Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, Vol. I & II, 1988, p 123)

 

Pardington likens it to “the Scotchman’s definition of metaphysics: “one man talking about something of which he knows nothing to another man who does not understand him.”” (Pardington, p 69)

 

Pardington lists three forms of this argument:

 

1. Samuel Clarke of the 18th century. “Space and time are attributes of substance or being. But space and time are respectively infinite and eternal. There must therefore be an infinite and eternal substance or Being to whom these attributes belong.

 

“Gillespie mentions: “Space and time are modes of existence. But space and time are respectively infinite and eternal. There must therefore be an infinite and eternal Being who subsists in these modes.” (Pardington P 70)

 

Space and time are infinite; therefore there must be an infinite and eternal substance or being to whom these attributes belong. Some thing or being had to be operating in infinity to create these things to enjoy.

 

We have an idea of an infinite and perfect being. This idea cannot be derived from imperfect, finite things. Thus there must be an infinite being who is the cause.

 

2. Descartes a Frenchman from the 16th century: “We have the idea of an infinite and perfect Being. this idea cannot be derived from the imperfect and finite things. There must, therefore, be an infinite and perfect Being who is the cause.” (Pardington p 70)

 

We have an idea of an absolutely perfect being. But existence is an attribute of perfection. Thus, an absolutely perfect being must exist.

 

Strong argues that the finite mind cannot come to the infinite idea.

 

 

3. Anselm of the middle ages: “We have the idea of an absolutely perfect Being. But existence is an attribute of perfection. An absolutely perfect Being must, therefore, exist.” (Pardington p 70)

 

Q. Is this truly a naturalistic argument? As Ryrie and Walvoord state it, I’m not so sure. If as the other writers define it — not using God but the idea of a being, then you might see it as naturalistic. To put God into it is to say that we are arguing from a knowledge of God.

 

In witnessing you can use these arguments to jog people’s minds as to the possibility of God’s existence. Missionaries in foreign countries oft times have to use these arguments to help the people to the place where they can believe that there is a God and then the missionary can witness to them of the Gospel.

 

In The Daily Bread a story by Mark Ralph Norton of the Belgian Gospel Mission, illustrates the truth that we need to remember even when using these arguments.

 

“What do you do Mark Norton, in a case where an unsaved man does not accept the Bible as having any authority?” He replied, “Well, if I were in a fight and had a sword with a keen double-edged blade, I wouldn’t keep it in its sheath just because the other fellow said he didn’t believe it would cut.” (Used by permission of Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan.)

 

We need to use the Word at any and every opportunity even though the person may or may reject the Word’s validity. (“For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12)

 

I would encourage you to be familiar with these arguments in coming days. You will be running into more and more people that will not believe there is a God and these will give you an opening to talk to them of God anyway.

 

Someone has suggested that when Paul preached on Mars’ Hill he approached the people via an unknown god they worshiped, but that he went immediately into the Gospel, not using any rational arguments, thus we must assume that we should not use rational arguments with people in witnessing. NO. This is wrong logic.

 

Paul was talking to people that had belief in gods. They had many but

they believed in gods. “…I perceive that in all things ye are very religious.” (Acts 17:22b It should be noted that Paul began at Genesis 1 to explain his thought to the Athenians.) It should also be noted that though Paul did not use the arguments of reason that we are discussing, he did use reason with them. This is seen in his presentation in vss. 22ff. (Vs. 29 especially)

 

He did not have opportunity to share the Gospel with these people by the way. He did have some that followed and evidently accepted the Gospel later. Vs. 34.

 

There are people that do not believe in any god or gods. These are the people that we can confront with rational arguments. They may accept the possibility of a god and then begin to listen to the Word.

 

I spent an afternoon talking with a man that was irate with a Christian that had spent the noon hour telling him that he needed to be saved. When I entered the truck, He challenged me. “You aren’t a religious nut are you?” As the afternoon went along, I talked with him of the possibilities of God existing. He was very open to the logic of the arguments. Ultimately I was able to share the Gospel with him. His final comment that day was, “Stan, thank you for telling me that. At home I have stacks of religious literature, and I have never heard what you told me today.” He promised to seriously consider the Lord’s claims — because he was open to logical arguments for the Father’s existence.

Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: Who Were the Essenes? Was John the Baptist an Essene?

The Essenes were a Jewish mystical sect somewhat resembling the Pharisees. They lived lives of ritual purity and separation. They originated about 100 B.C., and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Essenes are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although some believe they may be referred to in Matthew 19:11, 12 and in Colossians 2:8, 18, and 23. Interest in the Essenes was renewed with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were likely recorded and stored by the Essenes.

It has been popular among some scholars to claim that John the Baptist was an Essene. There are some similarities between John and the Essenes: 1. John was in the desert (Luke 1:80). The Essenes were in the desert. 2. Both John and the Essenes used Isaiah 40:3 to describe themselves as the voice in the wilderness. 3. The baptism (or washing) practiced by John and the Essenes required a change of heart. At the same time, there are significant differences between John the Baptist and the Essenes: 1. The Essenes hid themselves away from society in the wilderness. John was a very public figure. 2. John had a much more strict diet (Luke 7:33) than did the Essenes. 3. John preached Jesus as the Messiah. The Essenes did not recognize Jesus as Messiah, but they thought that the Teacher of Righteousness would himself be an Essene. 4. There was a strong organization among the Essenes that was missing among John the Baptist’s disciples. So, was John the Baptist an Essene? While it is possible, it cannot be explicitly proven either biblically or historically.

The Essenes as a sect of Judaism do not exist today. However, there are fringe groups that call themselves Essenes. One such group is the Essene Church of Christ, which declares itself to be “the authorized custodians and chief disseminators of the true teachings of Lord Christ and Lady Christ.” They share similarities with all cults and false religions: their “holy book” is something other than the Bible; they rely heavily on mysticism and occult revelation; they believe they and they alone possess truth; they deny the Trinity; and they deny biblical doctrines including original sin, heaven, hell, and salvation through Christ. As purveyors of false doctrine, modern “Essenes” are to be avoided.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Creation: What Do Creationists Believe about Natural Selection?

Natural selection is considered to be the survival of the fittest and is often confused with evolution. But far from being proof for evolution and against creationism, natural selection is quite a reasonable and “God-given” process whereby we observe a certain genotype (the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms) that has pre-existed and has gradually adapted to one particular environment. Genes that are pre-existent are those genes that have always been there but certain environmental factors behave as a selection pressure that weeds out other genetic traits that are unsuitable. Hence, those that carry unsuitable genotypes are eventually removed from the gene pool.

The best example of natural selection in a modern-day environment is the peppered moth, Biston betularia. This moth has adapted through changes in genotype—not the result of random or spontaneous mutation, as evolutionists would prefer—to having two different appearances or “traits” within that species. The peppered variety live in the country on surfaces covered in lichen. Their “peppered” appearance has developed so as to appear invisible to birds. In the cities, where there is more pollution, the surfaces are darker, and the melanic form dwells there. These two types are of the same species, but environmental factors have predisposed a “selection” pressure on each type, so that only one type exists in each particular environment.

Clearly, the peppered moth types were rapidly spotted in the towns, by birds and other predators, and so were easy prey. However, within the pool there were a small number which were dark and less visible and survived to be able to pass on their traits, which in time lead to a “gene pool” of predominantly dark moths. The environment only has an indirect effect; the provision of one particular allele leads to the selection of one favorable genotype. This genotype is permitted the survival of the fittest.

It is because natural selection favors “pre-existent” genetic traits in any particular environment or situation that enables creationists to agree with the process. Clearly, there are many arguments against evolution, but the very fact that natural selection permits the expression of genetic material that may have never been manifested, due to the effects of being recessive or being diluted due to other, stronger traits, suggests that God has provided the means for survival in changing environments. If anything, natural selection would have been more prevalent after the flood due to the rapid change in climatic conditions. Despite all the consequences that the Fall brought into creation, the Most High had the wonderful ability to foresee the need for a process that would ensure the continuing survival of life on earth, for which He continues to care (Psalm 24:1; Job 12:7–9).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about the Holy Spirit: What Is the Spiritual Gift of Helps?

The spiritual gift of helps is found in one of the spiritual gifts lists. The Greek word translated “helps” in 1 Corinthians 12:28 is found only there in the New Testament; therefore, the exact meaning of the gift of helps is somewhat obscure. The word translated “helps” means literally to relieve, succor, participate in and/or support. Those with the gift of helps are those who can aid or render assistance to others in the church with compassion and grace. This has a broad range of possibilities for application, from helping individuals to assisting in the administration of the daily affairs of the church.

Helping in the body of Christ can take a variety of forms. Some see the gift of helps as given to those who are willing to “lend a hand” and do even the most mundane and disagreeable tasks with a spirit of humility and grace. Helpers are often those who volunteer to work regularly around church buildings and grounds, often laboring in obscurity. Others see helping as assisting the widows and elderly or families to accomplish daily tasks, coming alongside to render assistance in those areas where help is needed. Theses helpers render a gift of service in the broadest sense, assisting and supporting the body of Christ.

But there is perhaps a deeper meaning to the spiritual gift of helps. Since it is one of the spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, all of which are given for the building up of the body of Christ, the spiritual aspect of the gift of helps is perhaps even more important than the practical aspect. Those with the spiritual gift of helps are those who have been given the unique ability to identify those who are struggling with doubt, fears, and other spiritual battles. They move toward those in spiritual need with a kind word, an understanding and compassionate demeanor, and the unique ability to speak scriptural truth that is both convicting and loving. Their words are “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) to the spiritually weak and weary. These helpful Christians can quell an anxious heart with cheerful and confidently spoken words of truth and joy, and they often do more for a downtrodden believer than a month of Sunday sermons.

Praise God that He knows us so well with all our needs and challenges that He has given the gift of helps to special individuals, those who can come alongside others in mercy, grace and love. These precious saints can lift the heart by assisting and helping to carry a variety of burdens that we cannot, and should not, carry alone.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Biblical Covenants and Hermenuetics Part 4: Mosaic Covenant

The Domain for Truth

GO TO PART 3

a-covenant-with-god

I. Introduction

a. This covenant is important in Old Testament Hermeneutics.

i.      The Mosaic Covenant is important in understanding what God is doing in different period of the Old Testament, according to the people’s obedience or disobedience of the Covenant’s requirement.

ii.      In a sense, the Mosaic Covenant provides the normative in interpreting the situations in Old Testament history.

Note: The historical narrative and prophetic Genre in Scripture operate as the verification of whether or not one’s hermeneutic has properly interpret the Mosaic Covenant by seeing whether the situational genre cohere with the normative genre.

b, The Content of the Covenant

i.      Mosaic Law

ii.      Blessings and Curses

c. This study will focus on two passages that provides the content of the Covenant in terms of blessings and curses: Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 27-28.

II. Elements

a. Setting

i.      Leviticus 26

1. This is revealed after the…

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