Daily Archives: April 1, 2016

April 1, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Apr. 1, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama said that the terrorist attacks in Brussels this month increased the urgency to secure materials that could be used for nuclear or radiological weapons after meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the first day of a summit in Washington.

After a spate of terrorist attacks from Europe to Africa, President Obama will rally international support during a summit in Washington for an effort to keep Islamic State and similar groups from obtaining nuclear material and other weapons of mass destruction.

Saudi Arabia is getting ready for the twilight of the oil age by creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund for the kingdom’s most prized assets. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil.

U.S. automakers reported sales increases in March that failed to keep up with analysts’ estimates for continued growth, while Nissan Motor Co. beat expectations.

Around 30 percent of the about 4,000 Europeans who have traveled to Syria and Iraq as so-called foreign fighters have returned to their home countries, posing a “potential security threat,” the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism said.

Birds flying north for the spring and humans relying on global positioning satellites to navigate could get a little lost this weekend. Three coronal holes spread across the sun are pointing at the Earth. As a result, a minor geomagnetic storm alert has been issued for Saturday by the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, and the Space Weather Operations Centre of the U.K. Met Office in Exeter. Forecasters in the U.S. and U.K. predict this could confuse migrating birds and other animals, cause minor problems with satellites and make an aurora visible as far south as Maine and Michigan. The storms could rise to G2 level on a five-step scale.

A magnitude 6 earthquake struck off the coast of central Japan at 11:39 a.m. local time today, halting bullet trains and triggering an early warning alert. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

AP Top Stories

President Obama joined South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, vowing to ramp up pressure on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea fired another short-range missile off its east coast on Friday, South Korean officials said, as regional leaders met in Washington to discuss the threat of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

Europe has more than 900 “no-go areas” with large immigrant populations, Hungary’s government claims on a hard-hitting new website aimed at drumming up opposition to an EU scheme to share out migrants around the bloc.

Beijing’s defense ministry on Thursday warned the US navy to “be careful” in the South China Sea and slammed a newly signed agreement between Washington and the Philippines.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday is part of a broader diplomatic offensive to put pressure on arch rival Pakistan by forging ties with some of Islamabad’s closest allies, Indian ruling party and government officials said.

A first-grader, who in an online video was seen in tears when she heard President Obama would be leaving the White House, was granted her wish to meet him on Tuesday.

In Mississippi on Thursday, the Senate voted 28-18 in favor of House Bill 1523, which protects the refusal of service to LGBTQ people by anyone, including religious organizations or businesses, if it conflicts with “‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs,” according to Buzzfeed.

The United States said it was “appalled” by Syrian government air strikes Thursday that killed more than 30 people — including children — in a key rebel bastion east of the capital of Damascus.

Islamic State posted pictures on the Internet calling on German Muslims to carry out Brussels-style attacks in Germany, singling out Chancellor Angela Merkel’s offices and the Cologne-Bonn airport as targets, the SITE intelligence group reported.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank accounts were used to purchase $15 million in luxury goods and pay out millions more to political figures ahead of 2013 elections, the Wall Street Journal reported.

BBC

Plans to partially reopen Brussels airport on Friday evening have been halted amid a strike by airport police over security concerns.

Turkey has illegally forced thousands of refugees to return to Syria, a report by Amnesty International says. The group said about 100 Syrians have been sent back to their war-torn country every day since mid-January in breach of international law.

Women in the western state of Maharashtra have a fundamental right to enter and pray inside temples, an Indian court has ruled.

California is to be the first US state to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour after a proposal passed both houses of the state legislature.

WND

Police at Brussels airport have claimed at least 50 Islamic State supporters are working there as baggage handlers, cleaners and catering staff.

A preschool in the Denver area has booted a 4-year-old from its classes, telling her parents her attendance was “not a good fit” after the parents questioned the cooperative’s curriculum promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.

Students at the University of California, Berkeley, are demanding an abortion clinic on campus despite having multiple facilities less than 10 miles away.


Top News – 4/1/2016

Russia Doubling Nuclear Warheads
Russia is doubling the number of its strategic nuclear warheads on new missiles by deploying multiple reentry vehicles that have put Moscow over the limit set by the New START arms treaty, according to Pentagon officials.

Double Trouble: Sweden Launches Crackdown on Terrorism Amid Soaring Crime
Sweden, which has been dubbed a “jihadist paradise,” has finally introduced new legislation designed to crack down on Islamic radicalism, as new fears of terrorist attacks grows across Europe.

North Korea threatens ‘nuclear storm’ against China as ally makes pact with US
In a letter which reportedly condemns Beijing’s part in the sanctions, the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of North Korea has commanded its people to actively confront China with a “nuclear storm”. The letter was obtained by the Daily NK but could not be independently verified.

Nazi doctor Mengele’s remains to be used for experiments
Brazilian doctor Daniel Romero Muniz receives permission to use the remains of the infamous ‘angel of death’ from Auschwitz to train medical students.

Al Arabiya TV closes Beirut office amid Saudi tensions with Lebanon
The Saudi-owned television news channel Al Arabiya has shut its offices in Lebanon and dismissed 27 employees, two of its journalists said on Friday, in a sudden move that comes amid political tensions between Riyadh and Beirut. Saudi Arabia has already cut $3 billion in military aid to Lebanon after the Lebanese government failed to condemn an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January.

Syrian refugees face mass expulsion
“Turkish authorities have been rounding up and expelling groups of around 100 Syrian men, women and children to Syria on a near-daily basis since mid-January,” Amnesty said.

4.7 Earthquake North Of Hawaii, No Tsunami
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck in the ocean 52 miles north northeast of Honoka’a. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that a destructive tsunami was not produced by the earthquake.

Does a Weakening El Niño Mean a More Dangerous 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season?
Klotzbach found that the chance of a U.S. hurricane impact rises dramatically in a La Niña or neutral (neither El Niño or La Niña) season compared to an El Niño season. Over twice as many hurricanes impact the United States in La Nina years vs. El Nino years

Multiple Tornadoes Touch Down in Mississippi, Alabama; Teen Dies in Wreck on Wet Road
Multiple tornadoes were reported in Mississippi and Alabama Thursday evening as a multi-day round of severe weather clobbered the South, and the threat persisted Friday morning into Georgia.

Magnitude 6 Earthquake Shakes Central Japan, No Tsunami Threat
An magnitude 6 earthquake struck off the coast of central Japan at 11:39 a.m. local time today, halting bullet trains and triggering an early warning alert. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Was ‘Trump 2016’ Prophesied in the 19th Century?
Dutch politician and historian Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (1801-1876) is credited with what seems an eerily prescient foreshadowing of the bizarre phenomenon that is “Trump 2016.”

The Real One Percent Strikes Again
The real one percent, as opposed to the fake one percent touted by Bernie Sanders (I-VT), raised its ugly head in Georgia on Monday, when “conservative” Republican Governor Nathan Deal collapsed under pressure. He vetoed a bill respecting the freedom and rights of Christians and other religious believers who oppose the gay-rights agenda.

North Korea nuclear tests: US and China to co-operate
China and the United States will work together to try to prevent further missile tests by North Korea, US President Barack Obama says. In recent weeks, North Korea has carried out a hydrogen bomb test and repeatedly test-fired missiles. Mr Obama met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in Washington on Thursday.

Children in Pakistan are learning disturbing things about other religions in school
In recent years in government-approved schools, students are using textbooks that teach hostility towards all forms of thought and expression – except orthodox Sunni Islam.

Turkish president threatens to sue those who insult him
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned on Thursday that he will continue to sue critics who insult him in Turkey, where journalists and other critics of the president have been imprisoned.

Virginia trooper killed in shooting at Greyhound bus station in Richmond
A Virginia State Police trooper on a training exercise for a criminal interdiction squad was killed and two civilians were wounded when a man the officer had just begun to question opened fire Thursday afternoon inside a Greyhound Bus Station near downtown Richmond, authorities said.

China Unveils ‘Trumpian’ Tariffs On All Foreign Goods
Having glad-handed with President Obama just this morning, and complained of a “sluggish global economy,” that ironically his credit-fuelled mal-investment maelstrom enabled via its deflationary forces, Chinese President Xi appears to have moved on from currency wars to protectionism as WSJ reports China is tightening its grip on cross-border e-commerce, imposing a new tax system on all overseas purchases. While Trumpian tariffs are dismissed as crazy talk by America’s establishment, it seems China took first-mover advantage to boost “Made-in-China” products at the expense of the rest of the world.

Olympics In Doubt As Brazil Sports Minister Quits, Rio Governor Says “This Is The Worst Situation I’ve Ever Seen”
In less than five months, Brazil is expected to host the Summer Olympics. If you follow LatAm politics, you know that that is an absolute joke. Last summer, the country descended into political turmoil and the economy sank into what might as well be a depression. Nine months later, inflation is running in the double digits, output is in freefall, and unemployment is soaring. On Wednesday, the government reported its widest primary budget deficit in history and less than 24 hours later, the central bank delivered a dire outlook for growth and inflation.


Top Headlines – 4/1/2016

  • Saudi Arabia Will Only Freeze Oil Production If Iran Joins (Read More)
  • Japanese gloom ensures slow start to quarter for world stocks (Read More)
  • Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era (Read More)
  • Prices Sag in Warning to ECB Even as Manufacturing Picks Up (Read More)
  • China factories scent hint of spring, Europe still chilly (Read More)
  • Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements (Read More)
  • Macau Casino Sales Drop More Than Estimates After Festival (Read More)
  • NY state in tentative deal to raise minimum wage toward $15 an hour (Read More)
  • Reddit deletes surveillance ‘warrant canary’ in transparency report (Read More)
  • China’s Fosun to Pull Back on Foreign Buying Spree, Chairman Says (Read More)
  • World’s Largest Coal Miner Posts Record Haul as Oversupply Looms (Read More)
  • Drug shortages prompt question: are some medicines too cheap? (Read More)
  • Egypt blocked Facebook Internet service over surveillance (Read More)
  • Counter-Terrorism Center Says About 1,200 Foreign Fighters in EU (Read More)
  • The Credit Collapse Opened the Door for Trump and Sanders (Read More)
  • Kremlin hopes Syrian government delegation will show flexibility at peace talks (Read More)
  • World Bank official says political crisis threatens Ukraine reform drive (Read More)
  • Tesla unveils $35,000-Model 3 with range of 215 miles (Read More)
  • Indian police file homicide case after overpass collapse kills 23 (Read More)
  • Walker Sees Cruz Victory Over Trump in Wisconsin Resetting Republican Race (Read More)

Despite everything, Abbas tells Israelis, peace is attainable

Abbas says curbing Palestinian attacks, offered to meet Netanyahu

Abbas: We are searching schools, in one 70 children had knives

Palestinian official: US is ‘enemy no. 1’ of Palestinians, entire region

US pans move to blacklist companies working with settlements

‘Hezbollah’s Israel target bank dictated by Iran’

Israeli and Egyptian ministers meet for first time in years

Israeli defense firm announces Indian deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars

Arab MK: Israel founded on ‘exploitation, racism, terrorism’

Associated Press willingly cooperated with the Nazis, new report shows

Hamas military wing’s Twitter account shut down

Belgium terror hotline operator to Jewish caller: Israel doesn’t exist

Terror threat: Bomb alert at Sweden’s second-largest airport, ‘suspicious’ plastic bags found

Fifty ISIS Supporters ‘Working as Staff at Brussels Airport’

Former Muslim Author Urges Christians to Love Muslims Despite Terror Attacks

Obama cites ‘great urgency’ to end terrorism

CIA fighting the Pentagon in Syria

Syria: At least 30 dead in Russian attack on hospital

Amnesty: Turkey forcibly returning Syrians to war zone

Turkish president threatens to sue those who insult him

The cult of religion and personality threatening Turkey’s constitutional order

Seven police officers reported dead in southeastern Turkey car bombing

Russia vows ‘totally asymmetrical’ response to major US troop build-up in Europe

US General: NATO To Switch ‘Assurance To Deterrence’ in E. Europe

1st time ever: UN head to be selected after open debates

Obama, Chinese leader warn North Korea to give up nuclear weapons

North Korea: We Are Ready for ‘Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike’ on U.S.

Pentagon Confirms New North Korean ICBM

Kim Jong Un balloons to 300 pounds as famine nears

North Korea now blocking Facebook, Twitter, other websites

Some prominent Chinese are chafing against censorship. Then their complaints are censored

Cuban State Media: ‘Negro’ Obama ‘Incited Rebellion and Disorder’

Olympics In Doubt As Brazil Sports Minister Quits, Rio Governor Says “This Is The Worst Situation I’ve Ever Seen”

Dow posts biggest quarterly comeback since 1933

China Tax on Overseas Purchases Set to Kick In – could hurt e-commerce players

‘First Time in Human History’: People 65 and Older Will Outnumber Children Under 5

IBM’s Latest Supercomputer Inspired By The Human Brain: How Powerful Is It?

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Shingu, Japan

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Merizo Village, Guam

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Merizo Village, Guam

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Sinabang, Indonesia

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 32,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 30,000ft

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 16,000ft

Mt Etna volcano in Italy erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 14,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

Chinese Lake Disappears in Huge Hole

Low Water Levels Due to Drought Mean Lights May Go Out in Caracas, Venezuela

Obama and President Xi of China Vow to Sign Paris Climate Accord Promptly

The World May Have Too Much Food

World’s obese population hits 641 million, global study finds

Hundreds in Guinea get Ebola vaccine in fight against flare-up

New Legislation in Missouri Would Define Unborn Baby as a Person and Ban Abortions

‘Feel the burn?’ LA nonprofit uses Sanders slogan to encourage STD testing

Central African Republic abuse: UN looks into ‘bestiality’ report

Five San Francisco officers found exchanging racist, homophobic texts

Mississippi’s Senate approves sweeping ‘religious liberty’ bill that critics say is the worst yet for LGBT rights

Federal judge voids Mississippi ban on same-sex couple adoptions

Guilty by Association or Accessory to Heresy?

The Quiverfull Movement – True Christianity or Cult?

Abuse survivors urge Mahaney be disinvited from conference

Exorcism is making a comeback — and big news — worldwide

Steven Furtick Is Pretty Sure God Sinned

Turkey’s government completing $100 million mega-mosque in Maryland


Happy Beltane? Temple Of Baal In New York Is Going Up Just Before Baal’s Biggest Day Of The Year

Beltane - Photo by Stefan SchaferIs it just a coincidence that reproductions of the 48-foot-tall arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria are going to be put up in Times Square in New York City and in Trafalgar Square in London exactly 13 days before Baal’s biggest day of the year?  In the occult world, 13 is the number of rebellion, and these arches are going to be put on display precisely 13 days prior to the major occult holiday of Beltane on May 1st.  In a previous article, I explained that the chief god of ancient Babylon named Marduk eventually came to be known as “Baal” or “Bel” which both mean “Lord”.  As worship of this ancient deity spread all over the globe, sometimes this language was retained, and this is definitely true when it comes to “Bel-tane” or “Baal-tein”.  Beltane can be translated as “Baal fire”, and even many Wiccans acknowledge that this festival has origins which can be traced all the way back to the Baal worship of the ancient Middle East.  For example, the following comes directly from the website of a Wiccan named Lady Bridget(Read More…)


 

Stand for Truth Thursday: Should I Befriend Non-Christians?

by Erin Davis

As we seek to stand for God’s truth, should we befriend non-Christians?

Whatever You Do, Don’t Follow Your Heart

by Erin Davis

There is a voice that can be trusted. It’s the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Why a Good Thing Should Never Be Your Ultimate Thing

by Leanna Shepard

Four steps to take when a good thing in your life has become your ultimate thing.

Look for a Guy with Vision, Passion, and Purpose

by Bethany Baird

What’s the difference between a “nice guy” and a “potential husband” kind of guy? Look for these three qualities.


Disney Among Companies Accused of Going to ‘War’ on Christianity

In the wake of their successful lobbying effort to defeat a controversial religious freedom bill in Georgia, Disney and several other like-minded companies are getting called out by a conservative organization called Texas Values for allegedly going to “war” on Christianity.

View Article


The Hal Lindsey Report – Hal Lindsey

The coming alliance between Russia and Iran represents one of the pivotal points in Bible prophecy. We’ve seen them flirting with one another for years, but it is now becoming something more.

View Article


Sexual Confusion: the New Religion

By David Fiorazo

Promoting transgenderism is now classified as child abuse because gender ideology harms children. Sadly, this will not matter to those who selfishly only care about their own depraved interests.

View Article


Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I’m not going to have time tomorrow to post an RAAH, so I’m going to post this today even though I don’t have a large collection.  Still, it’s always a rough ride.

This woman’s husband is a youth pastor in a Baptist church and yet he is allowing his wife to support Muslims?!?!  He should be relieved of his position because he is not “managing his own family well.” (1 Tim 3:4)  H/T to Erin.
Justin Bieber, the entertainer who I just recently reported on as going to build and pastor his own church (and who is a Hillsong follower) now is being used by the devil to promote the heretical writings of Sarah Young.
Evangelicals Divided, A Movement Fractured, Part 1.  Marsha West does an outstanding job of explaining what is happening in the “evangelical” Church.  Looking forward to part 2!
Cleaning out my files I came across this excellent review of John Eldredge’s wildly unbiblical book, Wild at Heart.  Don’t wast your money on this book.
I also found this short review of Jessie Penn-Lewis’ book, War on the Saints.  I read the book a long time ago and found way too many problems with it.
Another Gilley book review from that file is this one on Bruce Wilkinson’s Secrets of the Vine.   Not as bad as his “The Prayer of Jabez,” but that’s not saying a whole lot!
Answers in Genesis has a very good technical article reviewing Robert T. Pennock’s book, “Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism.”  The book’s intent is to “prove” the errors of creationism while “proving” evolution, but his charges are all easily dismantled by the reviewer.
Just too funny.  Sounds like Steven Furtick’s church.
Speaking of Steven Furtick — SIGH!
Doctrines of Demons.  The whole idea in charismatic circles is not only unbiblical and nonsensical, but also spiritually dangerous to those under the burden of such teachings!
Video exposing Beth Moore as a false teacher.
The Resurrection really happened.
Let’s end with some more humor:  Altar Call Self Defense Training.  Something you’ll need to know for those charismatic meetings!

This ‘n’ That

  • I love this latest video from No Compromise Radio: Is substitution the greatest concept in the Bible? Seems more than reasonable.
  • “The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.”
  • I appreciated these thoughts from my friend, DebbieLynne, on discerning our discernment.
  • We should all appreciate these wise, measured, biblical thoughts on the #SaveLexi situation.
  • This article offends my sensibilities on multiple levels: as a Christian, as a writer, as a human being…
  • Take comfort in Christ’s cross.
  • Five lies you’ve been told about Easter.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Parents are worse than children, and I’d argue that parental behavior like this is the reason so many children today are…well, the way they are.
  • There is a lot going on in April on the Christian conference front, especially here in the Midwest! Why not start your month hearing Phil Johnson speak at the Ohio Fire conference? Then travel toward Cincinnati the following weekend for Trusting God in Trying Times, a helpful (and free!) conference offered at Truth Community Church. And ladies, it’s not too late to register for Discern: Answers for Women, which is hosted by Answers in Genesis.
  • What makes this ironic is that I had just turned on a rerun of Mother Angelica’s show prior to seeing this article.
  • What is Andy Stanley’s problem with the Bible?
  • Another warning for you. Remember, this can happen with any contemporary hymn or worship song, mostly because they all sound alike.
  • You know, because we’re so into mindless meditation around here. Sigh.
  • This does not mean that it’s okay to send cats by mail.
  • This wins the prize for my favorite tweet of the month (you must read the whole string of tweets to fully appreciate it). Totally audacious!
  • It’s time for strength:

The Daily Discovery (April 1, 2016)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Does Ken Ham Embrace Evolution? – “Kenneth Keathley is a professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an old-earth creationist who has been challenging young-earth creation for as long as I have known him. I appreciate the interactions that I’ve had with Professor Keathley in the past, and he comes across as a winsome and kind brother in Christ. Unfortunately, his recent blog on AiG’s position on speciation does not meet the standard of professionalism, scholarship, and charitable behavior toward a fellow brother in Christ.”

ICWA, Lexi, and the worst of American history – “Today I want to give a summary of the foster care case happening out in California involving a family from Grace Church and the ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act). I—along with many other pastors—have encouraged people to sign a petition about this case, so I think it requires some more explanation, and then I will close with seven recommended posts to read on the ICWA and Lexi.”

Did You Hear The Latest? – “Many discernment blogs have helped me evaluate well-known evangelical teachers over the past 17 years, and the Lord has graciously used several of them (in addition to the prayers and influence of my wonderful husband John) to draw me into Reformed Theology. But lately I’ve noticed that a few of them read a bit like supermarket tabloids. At times they ‘critique’ legitimate ministries over minor points of doctrine, or worse, on the basis of sensational websites that don’t properly document their claims.”

Gospel Lenses and the Search for Allies – “Last week I ran afoul of the ever-present issue of political correctness when I posted a brief video of a young man flipping off a passing police car, wearing his shorts around his thighs, and then tossing the drink bottle he had just finished after flipping off the cops onto the ground, all in front of all the waiting traffic during rush hour. In other words, he wanted to be seen doing these things. I then discussed my thought process as I pulled away from the light. I had been offended by the behavior of this young man. I was offended at his flipping off the police officers who, obviously, were unknown to him. It was an act of rebellion against instituted authority, plain and simple. I was offended by his wanting to show us his rear end, as if it was something we all needed to see and admire. I was offended by his disrespect of us all in tossing trash on the ground, openly. And I immediately thought back to my own youth and began to consider the means God had used to keep me from the same behavior.”

Sterilizing Marriage – “In his powerful manifesto, Nation of Bastards, Douglas Farrow argues that the Kulturkampf in which we find ourselves began in the early part of the 20th century with ‘the promotion of sterilization, eugenics, and the contraceptive mentality.’ In short, it started ‘as an attack on children,’ more horrifically in the legalization of abortion: ‘No account of same-sex marriage that ignores this prior defiling and searing of conscience can hope to be fully plausible, nor for that matter any account that ignores the culture of divorce . . . scarring generations of living children’ (26).”


SERMON:

joshHall

Josh Hall – Three Conversations with Jesus


VIDEOS:

The Modern Church Worships Secular Humanism

Terrible Years of Marriage


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur


Check Out

Three Types of Accountability Every Leader Needs | Eric Geiger
“Who a leader listens to shapes much of what a leader does. A leader who surrounds himself with wise counsel is a leader who is much more likely to lead well. A leader surrounded by fools is a leader who is doomed to fail.”

I Slept with My Girlfriend — Now What? | Ask Pastor John, Desiring God
“A friend of the podcast, who wishes to remain anonymous, writes in: ‘Hello Pastor John, I’m a listener in the Middle East. I slept with my girlfriend two days ago, and now we are both left hurt and feeling dirty, cheap, ashamed — we cannot even look at ourselves. We are both born-again believers in Christ, but we got lured into temptation. Is there any hope that we might become pure again and be healed from our sin?’”

The Fastest, Cheapest Way to Learn Evernote | Michael Hyatt
“Brett has just released a brand new edition. It’s updated to correspond with the most recent Evernote interface and packed with new tips and approaches for maximizing your experience.”

Introducing the New and Improved Logos Pro Training Page | LogosTalk
“If you want to learn how to use Logos — because you want to study the Bible — you’ve got to check out the new Logos Pro page.”

Martin Luther on Vocation and Serving Our Neighbors | Gene Veith, Acton Institute
“For Martin Luther, vocation is nothing less than the locus of the Christian life. God works in and through vocation, but he does so by calling human beings to work in their vocations. I”

These Will Be The Top Jobs In 2025 (And The Skills You’ll Need To Get Them) | Gwen Moran, Fast Company
“‘There are some overarching shifts poised to change the nature of work itself over the next decade,’ says Devin Fidler, research director at Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research center focused on long-term forecasting. That includes a demand for new skills and strategies that could help people to thrive in future work environments.”

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.


Love Into Light: The Gospel, the Homosexual and the Church by Peter Hubbard ($0.99)


An Infinite Journey: Growing toward Christlikeness by Andrew M. Davis ($0.99)


Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear

New Book

Recapturing the Voice of God: Shaping Sermons Like Scripture by Steven W. Smith. See video below.

Video

Introduction to Steven W. Smith’s Recapturing the Voice of God


A La Carte (April 1)

Today’s Kindle deals include An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis ($0.99); Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace ($0.99); How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark Strauss ($4.99). As always, Amazon has their monthly selection of general market books at $3.99 or less that may be worth browsing through.

Logos users will want to download the free book of the month. You may also be interested in this Tim Keller pre-pub deal.

This month’s free audiobook from Christian Audio is Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word.

Andy Stanley’s Problem with the Bible

“Andy Stanley knows the Bible. As the son of the popular Baptist pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, he has grown up under Bible teaching and preaching. As a pastor of a very large megachurch, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, Andy Stanley has spent much time reading and studying the Bible. So, why does it seem that Andy Stanley has a problem with the Bible on so many different levels?”

Paul Washer Snaps

This anecdote from Paul Washer cracked me up. (And, on a satirical note, In Lieu Of Sermon, Paul Washer Glares At Congregation For 43 Straight Minutes.)

I Slept with My Girlfriend — Now What?

John Piper may no longer lead a church, but he still has the heart of a pastor.

Does the Pro-Life Movement Want to Punish Women?

Russell Moore: “Regardless of whether or not Trump’s comments come from a genuine and convictional pro-life worldview, all pro-life Americans need to make this issue clear: Protecting unborn babies is not about punishing women, but punishing an industry and a culture that dehumanizes human beings.” (Denny Burk also comments.)

Drugs You Don’t Need for Disorders You Don’t Have

I enjoyed this longform article on the pharmaceutical industry and how they can bamboozle us into buying ineffective and unnecessary medications. (Note: Click the button on the bottom-right to skip the splash page.)

This Day in 1743. 273 years ago today, David Brainerd began his missionary work among the Native Americans of New Jersey. *

Speed Limit 101

This short video explains all need to know about speed limits (and why your speedometer never quite matches your GPS).

How “God’s Not Dead” Fails Christians

I guess God’s Not Dead 2 comes to theatres this weekend. In the meantime, here’s a review of the first movie that does a good job of explaining objections to the first one.

Wragg

Spiritual credibility springs from a holy and pure life. —Jerry Wragg


Links I like

links-weekday

Kindle deals for Christian readers

How God’s Not Dead fails Christians

Chris Williams:

I initially ignored it, citing my usual allergy to “Christian” cinema.  But as “God’s Not Dead 2” hits theaters this weekend, I decided to finally give the movie a shot.

And here’s my review: “God’s Not Dead” is an offensive and harmful movie — and I say that as a Christian.

Now, the film isn’t poorly made. The acting is capable. Harold Cronk is a competent director. From a technical standpoint, “God’s Not Dead” is fine at what it does — but what it does is extremely problematic. “God’s Not Dead” sets out to be an encouragement for young Christians encountering challenges to their faith. But in the end, it actually fails its key audience and becomes the thing it’s preaching against.

The Lost Art of Disagreement

Samuel James:

The loss of good faith in public dialogue isn’t exclusive to one side of the aisle. Crank conservatism has found a patriarch in the 2016 Republican frontrunner, whose relentless personal attacks on any and all who challenge him are exposing a deep and systematic animus in right-wing politics. You don’t even have to explore what he says about immigrants and minorities to see this; a look at how he treats journalists and even party cohorts is jarring enough.

I Slept with My Girlfriend — Now What?

John Piper responds to an important question.

Does the Pro-Life Movement Want to Punish Women?

Russell Moore:

Regardless of whether or not Trump’s comments come from a genuine and convictional pro-life worldview, all pro-life Americans need to make this issue clear: Protecting unborn babies is not about punishing women, but punishing an industry and a culture that dehumanizes human beings.

No Big Deal. Just a Regular, Old Martyr.

Michael Kelley:

Who would we liken Stephen to today? Not the great orator that thunders from the pulpit every week. Not the amazing leader who knows how to motivate and inspire. Not the great strategist who knows how to effectively facilitate church growth. Stephen is more like the guy who drives a truck, or works as an accountant, or sells insurance on the weekdays but week after week shows up on Sunday to stand at the door of the clothes closet. Or teach the 3rd grade Sunday school class. Or unstack and restack the chairs in the youth room. Or go with the pastor to the homes of the shut-ins to administer communion. He’s that guy. That regular old guy.

Five Marks of Contentment

Erik Raymond:

In his book The Art of Divine Contentment, Thomas Watson described 5 characteristics of a contented heart. I have found these to be both challenging and instructive in my own pursuit of contentment. I interact with his observations, updates some language and quote a fair bit below.

The Unspoken Vocational Hierarchy

Dennis Bakke:

For those of us who are followers of Christ, we know our purpose is to live holy and glorify God. And part of glorifying God is making known his kingdom and his ways.

So how does our workplace fit into such a purpose? Should it be our primary mission field where we seek to carry out the Great Commission? Is it simply a means to provide for our families and earn enough money to support our church, missionaries, and parachurch organizations? Or is secular work—even for-profit business—the principle mission to which God calls many of us?


 

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Knowing When to Speak and When to Be Silent

Welcome to the new millennium, when we are provided constant opportunities online to voice our opinions and slay any opposition. But what happens when our beliefs and opinions are challenged? We prepare for defense, we prepare for verbal retaliation. And when we do this, we ultimately disregard Christ’s commandment to love one another.

As believers, we are put in a position to influence those around us. The power of our words can be used to build up or tear down. Ecclesiastes 3:7 tells us that there is a time to keep silent and a time to speak. But when? How?

To discern the difference between knowing when to speak or be silent, we need to humbly seek the Lord through prayer, immerse ourselves in Scripture, and ask for his wisdom and discernment.

When Is Silence Best and Blessed?

Naturally, when we are not opening our mouths, we are more inclined to open our ears – whether toward others or toward God. We are forced into self-reflection and obedience in our silence, which will only further our ability to listen to the Spirit.

Silence is best in moments of anger. When we are angry, there’s a high likelihood that our words will not be produced by the Holy Spirit. James 1:19 instructs us: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Similarly, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Peter 3:10).

Scripture tells us that silence can help us avoid sinning (Proverbs 10:19), gain respect (Proverbs 11:12), and is deemed wise and intelligent (Proverbs 17:28). In other words, you may be blessed by holding your tongue.

Ultimately, refraining from speaking in certain situations means we are practicing self-control. Maintaining our composure can be challenging! We are to seek wisdom in controlling our tongue, for when we control it, we are ultimately walking by the Spirit. And we know that self-control, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), is a discipline that is blessed.

When Is Silence Unhelpful or Harmful?

Fear, lack of self-confidence, and anxiety can tempt us to keep our mouths shut when we need to boldly speak truth in love. But walking with the Lord means we must give justice to the weak and fatherless (Psalm 82:3), correct oppression, utter wisdom (Psalm 37:30), and plead the widow’s cause (Isaiah 1:17). When we take a cowardly, quiet backseat to injustice, we are doing more harm than good in our silence.

Additionally, if fear is keeping us from sharing the gospel with others, this too is an example of our silence being more detrimental than helpful. Remember, “just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). And just as the Lord said to Paul in Acts 18:9, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,” so must we obey the call to evangelize in the proper setting and time.

When Is Speaking Apt and Gracious?

The Bible shares an abundance of accounts where Christ’s disciples speak boldly for others and for the Lord, and we are commanded to do the same. Sharing the gospel displays that we are not ashamed of the cross. Christ’s last commandment he gave to his disciples was to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) – and it shouldn’t be overlooked that these were some of his last words.

Can you imagine if Christ’s disciples and other witnesses chose to disobey this command? You and I would not know the gospel if his followers hadn’t stepped out in courage and boldness to speak of him.

Whether we speak or are silent, it is our duty and privilege to represent Christ’s cause.

TWEET

So how are we to speak? 1 Peter 3:15 instructs us to “give an answer to those who ask,” to do it with gentleness and respect, and to keep a clear conscience. Colossians 4:6 instructs us: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Our goal is “to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:2).

And what do we speak of? We are to speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and put away falsehood (Ephesians 4:25). We are to speak the truth in Christ and not lie (Romans 9:1). And when we speak in godly clarity and truth, we are teaching and admonishing one another with wisdom (Colossians 3:16).

Just as Paul asked the church in Ephesus to pray for his boldness (Ephesians 6:18-20), so we should ask the Lord that “words may be given to [us] in opening [our] mouths boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which [we are] ambassadors in chains, that [we] may declare it boldly, as [we] ought to speak.”

When Is Speaking Worldly or Evil?

How easy is it for our flesh to dominate an argument? In our pride and foolishness, we itch to prove our point and end up speaking in anger. The Psalmist in 141:3 wisely says, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”

James tells us:

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (4:11)

Keeping from slander, gossip, deceit, evil, perversity, quarreling, and lying sounds like a long list of obvious commands. But we must know that our words can feel like sword thrusts (Proverbs 12:18), sharp razors (Psalm 52:2), and fire (James 3:5). They can break a person’s spirit (Proverbs 15:4) and destroy our neighbor (Proverbs 11:9) – so if our intention is not to build one another up and give grace to those who are listening (Ephesians 4:29), we should control our tongues.

When speaking without the Spirit’s leading, we may also fall prey to blasphemy, which we need to take seriously. We are to make every prayerful effort not to speak of twisted theology or unbiblical opinion, which could potentially draw believers away from the truth (Acts 20:30).

Speaking in the Spirit

Whether we are led to speak or to be silent, we remember that it is our duty and privilege to represent Christ’s cause. It’s crucial to seek the Lord and study what his Word says so that we’re prepared to walk boldly in knowledge and truth. Let us always remember Christ’s words in Matthew 12:36-37:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Judgment for our words sounds frightening, but not for those saved by Jesus Christ. Our sinful nature will cause us to fail, but we can rejoice in the truth that Christ has fulfilled every commandment to love God and others. So when we eventually stumble into speaking harshly or are tempted to avoid speaking from fear, we can rest on Christ’s perfect record on our account and move forward with this assurance and motivation.

Ultimately, we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom, discernment, and power when we’re lacking: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). In his great mercy, grace, and love, he gives believers the power to be effective.

Today, pray and ask the Lord to remind you of this: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Colossians 3:17).

Are there other ways that you discern when to speak and when to be silent?

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The post Knowing When to Speak and When to Be Silent appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Living in the Spirit rather than the flesh

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

9 Ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σαρκὶ ἀλλʼ ἐν πνεύματι, εἴπερ πνεῦμα θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν. εἰ δέ τις πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ οὐκ ἔχει, οὗτος οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ. (Romans 8:9 NA28)

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

When we talk about “the flesh” in this life, we are not always talking about these living breathing bodies we all have though the context does mean that in some cases as we shall see. Here in Romans 8, the root word of what is translated in English as “flesh” is σάρξ or sarx

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