Daily Archives: September 7, 2019

September 7 God’s Amazing Grace

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:1–12

Key Verse: 1 Peter 5:12

By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Though there will be times when we feel alone, we can be assured that God does not desert His children. Once we accept His unfailing love, we are His forever. To understand God’s grace, we must lay aside any human, preconceived ideas about grace. Eternal grace is a gift from God.

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, inviting Him to transform our hearts and lives, we enter into God’s amazing grace. We receive His grace for more than just a season—it is for a lifetime.

As we grow in our spiritual walk with the Lord, we quickly discover that God’s grace toward us never changes. Peter, a man who understood grace thoroughly, wrote, “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” (1 Peter 5:12 nasb).

When doubts or fears creep into your thoughts, stand firm in the knowledge of God’s grace. Realize that He will not leave you emotionally stranded alongside the busy highway of life. He provides for every need you have—physical and emotional. The provision of His grace is an important part of your Christian belief system. Without it, you would not know, understand, or be assured of salvation’s call.

God’s grace is sufficient for all you face. Ask Him to teach you how to live each day.

Your grace is sufficient, Lord. Teach me how to live each day. Let me stand firm in Your grace.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 262). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Liars in 1 John — Blog & Mablog

We should all know that it is a sin to lie. Perjury is, after all, prohibited by the ninth commandment (Ex. 20:16). The Colossians were told not to lie to one another, now that they had put off the old man with his deeds (Col. 3:9). And we are told that the lake of fire is reserved for liars, among a number of others (Rev. 21:8). The prohibition of deception is not a raw absolute,, and in wartime to camouflage your tank to look like a tree or a bush when it is not in fact a tree or a bush is not a violation of the ninth commandment (Jas. 2:25; Ex. 1:17-20). But aside from such exceptions, we do know that lying is simply a sin. But it is less well known that lying is foundationally about sin.

The Text

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8–10).

Summary of the Text

It is a lie to say that you mailed the check when you know good and well that you did not mail the check. That is a lie simpliciter. But there is almost always another kind of lie, a deeper lie, a more foundational lie. And that is the prior lie that you have to tell yourself, convincing yourself that you are not really sinning, that you are not really lying. And so the truth is not in the person who lies to himself, even though part of him knows what the truth is.

A person who says he has no sin deceives himself (v. 8). Now how is it possible for one part of us to lie to another part of us, and, on top of that, to have us buy it? How do we do that? How is such a trick accomplished? Scripture teaches us about self-deception elsewhere, and we are taught that one way it happens is by copping a religious pose while not bridling your tongue (Jas. 1:26). Another way is through listening to good teaching without actually doing any of it (Jas. 1:22). You start to think that listening to truth is just as good as doing it.

Now of course if we confess our sins (the opposite of lying about them), then God forgives us and cleanses us because He is faithful and just (v. 9). But if He says that we have sinned, and we claim that we have not sinned, then in effect we are accusing Him of being the liar (v. 10). If that is the case, then the truth is not in us.

Lying About Our Own Performance

Because we were created as God’s image-bearers, we have a deep need to believe ourselves to be righteous. But because we have, together with our first parents, tumbled into the chaos of sin, we are not in fact righteous. Put those two realities together—a deep need to be righteous, to be in the right, coupled with the fact that we are profoundly not in the right. What is the result? Self-deception is the necessary result.

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”

1 John 2:4 (KJV)

Bitterness Always Tells Lies as Well

If your internal dialog frequently starts out like this: “I am not bitter . . . I just want to pound his face into a jelly . . .” then you almost certainly have a problem. That problem is called “going to Hell.”

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

1 John 4:20 (KJV)

Bitter people are not just being unkind. They are also liars, and they are lying to themselves in the first instance. Manifest sin is glossed over, explained away, and attention is routinely drawn to the behavior of the other.

The Definition of Sin

Now if lying is fundamentally about our own sin, you can see why we would have an interest in tinkering with the definitions of sin. Adjusting the definition of sin is a great way to tell yourself these pretty little lies.

Absolute righteousness is established by the way God is. “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:21). “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). The holiness of God’s character is itself the ultimate law, and any deviation from this character is what all sin actually is. “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4, ESV).

Remember that we have already defined worldliness as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). Remember also that when Eve was dazzled by these things, she was deceived about them.

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ”

2 Cor. 11:3 (ESV)

So Rest Assured . . .

You may be assured of this. With regard to any besetting sin, any sin that seems to have you by the throat, your great problem with sin is likely not the one you are thinking of. Your great problem is not the porn, but rather the lies you are telling yourself about it. Your big issue is not the attitude of bitterness. Your big issue is the lying narrative that you have constructed that feeds the bitterness. Your great sin is not your covetousness proper, but rather all the free market jargon you have used to entangle your heart.

If you are tangled up in a particular sin, the first thing you need to repent of is the fact that you believe you actually understand what is going on. You do not understand what is going on because you have trusted in a mess of lies, lies that you yourself invented. And this means that the way out, the way of repentance, is to name and repent of all the lying first. Stop confessing the wrong sin first. Of course lust is a sin, and bitterness, and greed, and all the others. But learn to say this to God. “Father, I am a liar. Forgive me for all my deceptions, both of myself and others.”

The Unveiled Word

So sin is our problem, and Christ is our salvation from that problem. This means that it is not possible to be deceived about the nature of your sin without simultaneously being deceived about the nature of Christ. These twin deceptions are chained together. To lie about sin is to lie about Christ, the Savior from sin, and to lie about Christ is to lie about sin.

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son”

1 John 5:10 (KJV)

Sin is revealed whenever Christ is revealed. Sin lies hidden whenever Christ is veiled. And this is why so much of the Church lies in a mass of confusions today, stupefied by the world’s lies. This is why so many Christians worship at Ichabod Memorial. The glory has departed from the Church, but it is in the interest of clerics and professional religionists to prevent awareness of this from getting around. So they take the correct-on-paper gospel and smother it with academic jargon, or with soothing therapeutic whispers, or with reassuring devotional clichés.

This is nothing but a veiling of the gospel, and it is done for the same reason Moses had to do it. Professional theologians, parade ground generals, don’t want all the troops to see that the glory is gone. But we are not called to this. “It is not for us to use veiled language, as Moses veiled his face” (2 Cor. 3:13, Knox). Veiled language about Christ is veiled language about sin, and veiled language about sin is veiled language about Christ.

But we are called to be the people of God, which means that we are summoned to worship our God and Father in the name of an unveiled Christ, and to approach Him with unveiled face.

via Liars in 1 John — Blog & Mablog

September 7 The Fragrance God Loves to Smell

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:6–10

Key Verse: 1 Peter 5:10

May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

God is always in charge of the sifting process. There is never a time when the trials and tribulations of life are beyond His control. Even when you feel frustrated and confused, God is in the driver’s seat. Satan never has the upper hand. And though the enemy may seek to discredit you, God has justified you through your acceptance of His Son.

God uses sifting not only to remove the impurities in our lives, but also to surface the qualities He desires to use greatly. Most of us have heard about how fire refines gold. It is in the heating up of the material that the dross is made visible and removed. The hotter the fire, the purer the gold.

God doesn’t sift and refine us in relaxed and beautiful settings. Often the purging comes in times of tempest and trial. In her devotional classic Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles Cowman wrote,

Sometimes God sends severe blasts of trial upon His children to develop their graces. Just as torches burn most brightly when swung to and fro; just as the juniper plant smells sweetest when flung into the flames; so the richest qualities of a Christian often come out under the north wind of suffering and adversity. Bruised hearts often emit the fragrance that God loveth to smell.

Dear Lord, when my heart is bruised, let it emit the fragrance You love. Bring forth Christlike qualities in my tough times.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 262). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ — Monergism.com Blog Feed



1. GOD
1. Is. 6:1-5, 5:16; Rev.4:8-11. God is Holy.
2. Dan. 4:35; Ps. 135:6. God is Sovereign.
3. 1 Jn. 4:8,16. God is Love.
4. Heb. 12:29. God is a Consuming Fire.
5. Gen. 17:1; Jer. 32:17; Is. 43:13; Amos 9:2-3. God is Omnipotent.
6. Ps. 139:1-6; Rom. 11:33-36. God is Omniscient
7. Jer. 23:23-24; Ps. 139:7-12. God is Omnipresent
8 Ps. 145:17. God Is Righteous.
9. Ex. 34:6-7. God is Merciful.
10. Rev. 29:11-15. God is a Judge.
11. Jn. 4:23-24. God is a Spirit.
12. 1 Jn. 5:7; 2 Cor.13:14; I Pet. 1:2. God is one God revealed in three distinct persons; Father, Son, & Holy Spirit (trinity, not modalism).

13. Jn. 1:1-3, 14,18, 10:30-33, 17:5, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rm. 9:5; Phi. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-17, 2:9; I Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:1-12; II Pet. 1:1; Rev. 1:8. Jesus is God–YHWH.

2. SIN
1. Gem. 2:15-17. Adam and Eve’s disobedience resulted in spiritual and physical death.
2. Rom. 6:23. The wages of sin is death.
3. Dt. 6:4-5. However, before sin entered the world man’s purpose was to serve God and glorify Him.
4. Matt. 22:34-40. Therefore, man is now living in an abnormal condition.
5. Rom. 3:10, 5:6-9; Lk. 5:31,32 There is none righteous, no not one!
6. Rom. 3:23. Everyone, without exception, is a sinner.
7. Rom 5:12. Adam’s sin nature is inherited by all mankind.
8. Is. 64:6-7. God views our good deeds as “filthy rags.”
9. Eph. 2:8-9. God rejects our good works.
Ps. 51:5, 58:3. We are sinners from birth.
11. Jn. 3:19. Sinners love their sin.

1. Ex. 20:1-20. The Ten Commandments must by obeyed perfectly.

2. Mt. 22:34-40. If we disobey the 1st & 2nd greatest commandments we have broken all of the Bible’s laws.

3. Ja. 2:10-11. If we break one commandment we’ve broken them all.

4. Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:24. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is to reveal sin in us and disclose our inability in keeping the law’s demands. This creates an attitude of desperation in sinners to be delivered from the guilt and penalty of the law. Christ alone is the sinners hope.
1. Heb. 9:27. Three things are common to all: Life, Death, & Judgment.
2. 2 Pet. 3:8; Ja. 4:13-14. Life Is short: The earth will be covered by all new people 110 years from now. Our life span is compared to one grain of sand taken from one planet among a thousand planets covered with sand. After you die no one remembers you (Eccl. 1:11, 2:16).
3. Eccl. 12:8,13,14, Life is vain: Solomon, the wisest man who lived, had everything this world has to offer yet he judged this life as totally vain and futile. Nevertheless, man pursues the vain things of this world against all reason, logic and intelligence (2 Tim. 3:7).
4. Lk. 12:16-21. Life is fragile: You may die tonight! Many labor to extend their life through exercise and vitamins but will add only a few years.
5. Eccl. 5:15; 1 Tim. 6:7; Lk. 9:24. Money and riches are vain.

1. Rev. 20:11-15. The great white throne judgment.
2. Matt. 25:41-46. Everlasting fire and punishment for the unsaved.
3. Heb. 9:27. After this life comes judgment.
4. Lk. 16:19-31. Hell is a place of unceasing pain and torment with no escape.

1. Jn. 3:1-7. Jesus teaches that the “new birth” is necessary for salvation.
2. Jn. 1:13. Salvation is not inherited from our parents, secured by our effort, nor decided by our will, but is a process by which we are “born of God.”
3. 2 Cor. 5:17. To be born again means that our old life is replaced by a new one.
4. Eph. 4:21-24; Col. 3:9-10. When a person becomes “born again” the Bible describes him as a “new person,” who brings forth new fruit.
5. Gal. 6:15. All that matters is that we become a “new creation.”

1. Eph. 2:8,9. Grace is a free gift, it is unmerited favor.
2. Acts 15:11. We are saved by the grace of Christ.
3. Rom. 4:3-5. Salvation is by grace through faith and not by the deeds of the law.
4. Tit. 3:5-7; Rom.3:24. We are “Justified” freely by His grace.

I. Lk. 13:3. Unless we repent, we will all perish.
2. Acts 3:19. We must repent and be converted.
3. Matt. 4:17. Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” however; the world ridicules the need of repentance.
4. Acts 26:20. We must repent and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.
5. I Jn. 1:9. If we confess our sins He will forgive us our sins.
6. Prov. 28:13. He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confess and forsakes them will have mercy.
7. Ps. 66:18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.

1. Heb. 11:6. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
2. Jn. 20:24-29. Blessed are they who do not see yet believe.
3. Jn. 3:16-19. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal fife.
4. Eph. 2:8. We are saved by grace “through faith.”
5. Gal. 3:23-26. We are saved through faith in Christ and not by keeping the law.
6. Rom. 3:28, 5:1. We are justified through faith in Christ.
7. Gal. 3:11; Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:38; Hab. 2:4. “The just shall live by faith.”

1. Jn. 14:6. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
2. 1 Jn. 5:11-13. He that has the “Son” has life, and he that does not have the Son of God does not have life­.
3. Acts 4:10-12. Salvation is in none other than Jesus Christ.
4. Rev. 3:20. Jesus knocks on the door of our heart.
5. Rom. 10:13. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
6. Jn. 3:36. He who does not believe on the Son of God has the wrath of God on him.
This concise overview of the Gospel is an excellent tool for Bible study, discipleship, evangelism and group studies. For a laminated copy of this card to keep in your Bible for ready use write to: CHRIST BIBLE Pulpit, P.O. Box 5772, Oakland, CA. 94605 U.S.A.; or E-mail us @ wildernesstable@yahoo.com; or call (510) 727-1877.


via The Gospel of Jesus Christ — Monergism.com Blog Feed

September 7 Heart Attack

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:22–32

Key verse: Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

In our health-conscious society, how we take care of our bodies is a concern. From warning labels on certain packages to fat content information on food products, a growing interest in understanding health issues is evident.

The things you consume play a large role in determining how well you are, but equally vital to your overall spiritual health is your understanding of the scriptural principles of forgiveness.

When you refuse to let go of a past hurt or you continue to nurse a grudge, you create a spot of hardness in your heart. Over time, as layers and layers of hardness accumulate, your heart becomes stiff and insensitive to the extent that you are almost incapable of giving or receiving love.

Such a scenario of bitterness is not far-fetched. The story is told of two sisters who in their youth spoke unkind words. They never resolved that point of conflict, and over the years, the problem was magnified. Only after a family member helped them work through the original difficulty were they able to set hostilities aside. They regretted the years lost to senseless anger.

You do not have to be a victim of this kind of “heart attack.” Ephesians 4:31 tells us, “Let all bitterness, wrath … be put away from you.” You can take advantage of the best preventive medicine, complete forgiveness.

Lord, I choose to put away bitterness and wrath. I choose to forgive all those who have hurt or wronged me. Heal my heart.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 262). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The New Christian Enneagram Trend: Helpful Tool or Godless Wisdom? — Christian Research Network

The Enneagram came from George Gurdjieff, a mystic who claimed to have learned it from “the Sufis (a mystical spin-off sect of Islam).” So clearly, this “Christian trend” is not based in sound biblical teaching. Thus, no matter how CharismaNews (a site we do not recommend) couches it, the Enneagram isn’t a helpful tool for the Christian. The fact of the matter is that it is an occult tool….a tool of the devil. Any professing believer who’s involved in this practice is going against God.

All you need to know to understand how bad the Ennegram is, is that Catholic contemplative Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr, who wrote that “sins are fixations that prevent the energy of life, God’s love, from flowing freely,” bears most of the responsibility for introducing the Enneagram to the (undiscerning) Christian community in his book “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” in 1990.

The ChrismaNews article concludes with this statement:

The Enneagram is a deep well to explore—that much is clear. However, determine for yourself whether it’s for you to dive into. Most important of all, remain led by the Spirit—you won’t go wrong.

So, the question Bible believing Christians should ask themselves before getting involved in the New Enneagram Trend is, does the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writers of the Bible, lead believers to explore practices that are expressly forbidden in the scriptures (like, say, yoga) and then prompt them to dive into a tainted well?

With this backdrop in place, here’s Chanshi Chibwe’s article over at CharismaNews:

There’s no denying that our culture is obsessed with self-assessment and personality typologies. There are countless systems that claim to support every aspect of life, from Myers-Briggs for interpersonal relationships to DISC or Strengths Finder for work communication and team-building strategies. However, one especially unique system, the Enneagram, corners the market for spiritual assessment. The Enneagram is an ancient psychological model for understanding personality that identifies nine personality types ranging from 1 to 9. These nine archetypes break out our “tragic flaws” and sin tendencies which we cloud with learned behaviors and coping techniques.

The unique claim of the Enneagram is its ability to dive under the surface of personality and culture and peer into our core identity and lens on the world. These consist of our root motivations, fears, strengths and weaknesses.

Although the Enneagram has been in existence for several hundred years, in the last couple decades, its popularity in the Christian community has skyrocketed. Its ease of unearthing critical motivations and sin tendencies that shape our understanding of the world, experts claim, can ultimately better connect us to God and thus lead to spiritual growth. Franciscan Rev. Richard Rohr is attributed responsibility for bridging study of the Enneagram through a Christian lens when he published The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective in 1990. Some even describe the Enneagram’s 9 types as essentially “nine paths to God”—roads to understanding our true selves and thus God’s design.  View article →


Spiritual Disciplines and the Appearance of Wisdom


Occult – Sorcery

This news story is posted for informational and research purposes and is not in any way intended as an endorsement of CharismaNews.

HT John Lanagan

via The New Christian Enneagram Trend: Helpful Tool or Godless Wisdom? — Christian Research Network

The Left’s determination to destroy us from within — Christian Research Network

Governor Newsom of California has reached into the gutter for a new and obscene low.  So dishonorable is this man that he signed into law a bill that “struck down a more than century-old law that required any able-bodied persons 18 years of age or older to assist a police officer who requested help during an arrest.”  San Francisco, Newsom’s former mayoral gig, just named the NRA a terrorist organization.

(Patricia McCarthy – American Thinker)  How deranged and thoroughly despicable are the California and national Left?  How depraved is Governor Newsom?  They and he are a collective blight on the nation….

They are not alone in their immorality, in their contempt for civilized society.  Democrats, who have long led their hostage cities and states to inevitable decline, are absolutely to blame for the destruction of their disintegrating realms.  Candidate Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform America,” and he succeeded in doing just that.  He pushed the Democratic Party from what was a semblance of JFK liberalism to abject Alinskyite hate-America radicalism.

The Democrats now champion socialism, restrictions on free speech, post-term abortion, and the doxing and blacklisting of those with opinions they find unacceptable.  They support the abrogation of the Second Amendment.  In their view, only criminals should and will have guns.  And indeed, they will — like the man who killed seven people in Odessa, Texas, but who failed the background check but still acquired a gun.  View article →


Liberals Change Word Meanings With Intent To Deceive

via The Left’s determination to destroy us from within — Christian Research Network

Southern Baptist Pastor wants foreign governments to hack 2020 election to defeat Donald Trump — Christian Research Network

On Twitter, he declared his aversion to Trump and willingness to vote for Hillary Clinton. He tweeted, “Let the hate begin. But if choice is between Clinton and Trump, I’m voting Clinton. I’ll go back to not voting when this man is defeated!”

(Capstone Report)  A prominent Southern Baptist Pastor tweeted his desire that foreign governments meddle in the 2020 US Presidential election. The goal? Defeat Donald Trump.

“If I were the head of state for an American ally, I would be working to convince other American allies to work together to hack the next election to choose for the US a normal president so we could return things to normal. The world can’t afford more of this,” SBC pastor Thabiti Anyabwile tweeted.

Thabiti Anyabwile is the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church, Anacostia River Church of Washington, DC. He is the author of Exalting Jesus in Luke (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary) and many other books. The commentary on Luke was published by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Holman Reference. Holman is an imprint of the SBC’s Lifeway.

Anyabwile is a regular conference speaker at Big Eva conferences including T4G and The Gospel Coalition events. Anyabwile is highly connected to Southern Baptist leadership. He promoted prison reform during the ERLC 2019 Evangelicals for Life Event. He’s regularly featured by seminaries and entities. He spoke at chapel last year at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  View article →


via Southern Baptist Pastor wants foreign governments to hack 2020 election to defeat Donald Trump — Christian Research Network

Self-Examination — Gentle Reformation

As I get ready for communion I’ve just penned a few thoughts about how to self-examine…

A Testing Question

Paul tells the communion church that they have to examine self. What sort of examination is required of Christ’s communicants?

Spiritual Examination

This exercise is not designed to produce hopeless despair, self-flagellation, self-analysis or superficial assessment; rather it aims to allow the search light of the Scripture, in the power of the Spirit, to dig up hidden crimes, admit obvious errors, break down stubborn hearts and forsake wayward steps – proper self-examination induces a state of godly sorrow, that breeds a true repentance, and leads the soul to Christ, for pardon, cleansing and strength. The diagnosis is made and the soul restored to health! The examination verb has to do with removing dross – the metal should melt in the furnace and then the impurities be scooped off! Soul gold should be the result!

Careful Examination

No one rule fits all – we all come in various states: saints are hot & cold, others weak or strong. The conscience may be soft and may not need probed too much. Some consciences are robust and may require a loud wake up. If that is the case then perhaps the best advice is to examine the soul enough (no two believers will be identical in this respect, nor will any individual be the same at every time and season in life): just enough, mind you, till sin begins to smart, until sin breaks the heart, then leads on and up, for grace, to Christ. So be deliberate but also delicate or determined as each communicant demands. How can you seek help if you don’t see you are sick?

Personal Examination

Not looking round at others to nod your head at them, but looking in at self to see what is amiss. Paul says clearly let each one – that’s the sense of ‘man’ – look out for his own sin. Take a Bible verse like Galatians 5:22 – is there love joy peace? Or am I falling short? Rehearse the Ten Commandments – seek out their deep intent. Not just does God come first, but does my whole soul love His Christ. Or go to seven churches – am I lukewarm or on fire, have I forsaken my first love? Is their any pride – or only humble word, thought, deed? The answer makes all meek!

Evangelical Examination

If you still feel pure – go to Psalm 51 – sinners by nature and practice steeped and shaped in iniquity. Pause on Romans 3:23 so see if you fall short. Look to the Sermon on the Mount: what do you find there? Meek and making peace, uncompromising in persecution, an angry murderous word – does that not disturb? Always, and last, make a B-line for the Cross. See the spotless lamb who never committed one sin! See the Hell pangs as He bears your punishment! Surely nails and thorns will be enough to lay you low, and bring tears to your soul! Then lift your eyes again to hear ‘Father forgive!’ Clinging to Christ re-covenant to His embrace!

via Self-Examination — Gentle Reformation

What Makes Something Right or Wrong? — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Is it just human opinion? Are values just subjective preferences or is there a really objective standard of rightness, goodness, and justice beyond us?

This show delves into questions on morality and others you’ve emailed to Frank such as:

  • What moral standard are political parties using when they address the conflict between so-called LGBTQ rights and religious rights?
  • Do rights come from God or the government?
  • What kind of God does the moral argument prove? Could it be a pantheistic God?
  • What is the true nature of love?
  • Did Moses really write the first five books of the Bible?

Frank also responds to a couple of amazing letters, one from a divorced woman and another from a pastor. You don’t want to miss this one!


via What Makes Something Right or Wrong? — Cross Examined – Christian Apologetic Ministry | Frank Turek | Christian Apologetics | Christian Apologetics Speakers

Critics Want More Evidence From Benny Hinn That He Has Truly Renounced the Prosperity Gospel — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Image: House of Faith/Creative Commons

Benny Hinn says he is done with the prosperity gospel. But longtime observers are not ready to take his word on faith.

Hinn has been a leading proponent of prosperity gospel theology since the 1980s, teaching that God rewards active faith with health and wealth. But on September 2, during his 3-hour, 50-minute weekly broadcast, Hinn said he had changed.

“I am correcting my own theology and you need to all know it,” the televangelist told his studio audience and those watching online. “The blessings of God are not for sale. And miracles are not for sale. And prosperity is not for sale.”

Hinn said he now believes such give-to-get theology is offensive to God. He specifically repudiated the practice of asking for “seed money,” where televangelists tell people that God will bless them if they give a specific dollar amount. Hinn himself has done this numerous times, promising God will give material blessings in exchange for a gift of $1,000. On Monday, he said he wouldn’t do it anymore.

“I think giving has become such a gimmick,” Hinn said. “It’s making me sick to my stomach. And I’ve been sick for a while too. I just couldn’t say it. And now the lid is off. I’ve had it. You know why? I don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked.”

Some of the Christians who have watched him closest, however, viewed the apparent renunciation with skepticism. While they want to be open to the possibility of true repentance, and say God could have changed Hinn’s heart, they are waiting for some evidence of his transformation.

“I think time will tell whether this is a minor correction, something for publicity, or the beginning of a new trajectory towards greater maturity,” said Charles Self, a professor of church history at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS). “I’m taking a wait-and-see perspective, because we’ve been down this road before.”

Down This Road Before

Hinn rejected the prosperity gospel for the first time in the late 1980s and again in the early ’90s, and there were reports at the time that he had really changed. He went on to preach prosperity again.

Hinn has also ventured unorthodox descriptions of the Trinity, which critics called “tritheism,” but he corrected his theology when the criticism got to be too much. He joined the Assemblies of God for a while, accepting the oversight of the Pentecostal denomination, but then separated and went back out on his own.

Hinn’s financial practices have also been investigated twice by the federal government. The US Senate launched an investigation of Hinn, along with Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, and Eddie Long in 2007. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), then chair of the Senate Finance Committee, was shocked by the lavish lifestyles of American prosperity preachers, and expressed concern the IRS wasn’t doing its job enforcing existing rules against excessive compensation for leaders of religious nonprofits.

Hinn, according to some estimates, was receiving tens of millions of dollars in donations every year. He told ABC’s Nightline in 2009 that his salary was more than $500,000 annually. An exact figure is unknown. Hinn’s televangelist organization is registered as a church, so it doesn’t report any financial information to the IRS.

The Senate investigation faced sharp criticism from a number of evangelical groups, including James Dobson’s Alliance Defense Fund (now the Alliance Defending Freedom), the National Religious Broadcasters, and Christianity Today. A CT editorial called the investigation an “oversight overstep.”

The investigation ended in 2011 with no definitive findings. Hinn’s ministry, unlike some of the others, cooperated with investigators and was praised for it. Grassley’s office said the investigation was successful, despite its lack of findings, because Hinn was “instituting reforms without waiting for the committee to complete its review.” According to the senator’s official statement, “Self-reform can be faster and more effective than government regulation.”

It is not clear whether there was any self-reform, though. Hinn’s ministry is not accountable to any outside group.

Hinn’s ministry came under investigation again in 2017. The IRS raided the televangelist’s headquarters in Grapevine, Texas. The agents had a search warrant saying there was probable cause to believe they would find evidence of tax evasion and “general fraud against the government” in the ministry’s offices.

A spokesman for the IRS told CT that the agency cannot legally confirm or deny whether that investigation is ongoing.

Neither Hinn nor his spokesman could be reached for comment on Friday.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christianity Today

via Critics Want More Evidence From Benny Hinn That He Has Truly Renounced the Prosperity Gospel — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Weekend Snapshot · Sept. 7, 2019 – Top Stories This Week

The Left’s Next Target: ‘Christian Nationalists’

The Left’s latest straw man to label patriotic Christians as “haters.”

Dems’ Assault on the Second Amendment

Their claim of wanting to uphold Americans’ right to bear arms is simply not genuine.

Walmart’s Vacuous Virtue Signal

Banning its ammunition sales will do nothing to prevent the next homicide with a gun.

Another ‘Weak Month’ of Job Growth?

The biggest problem is that small businesses can’t find enough qualified workers.

Dems Pan Nuclear Power, Tout Wind, Solar

While wind and solar don’t live up to the hype, nuclear is very under appreciated.

Democrats Turn Up the Heat on Climate

A seven-hour CNN town hall provided 10 presidential candidates a platform for radical demands.

50 Years of No-Fault Divorce Has Taken Its Toll

Marriage was badly damaged long before “progressives” demanded that it be redefined.

The ‘Gay Gene’ Guessing Game

A new genetic study claims that homosexuality is determined by multiple DNA factors.

Communist Chinese Gov’t Fears a Free Hong Kong

Withdrawing the extradition bill is good, but it may be simply an attempt to restore order.

Mattis: Obama and Biden Empowered ISIS

The former defense secretary says Obama let his ideology overrule his military advisers’ expertise.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Quote Of The Week

“A gun ‘buyback’ is not a thing. The govt can’t buy back something they never owned. The govt never owned my firearms. A gun buyback is a misnomer for forced gun confiscation by the govt.” —Liz Wheeler


Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 09/07/2019

Video: ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’ Becomes Anthem for Hong Kong Protests Against China’s Communist Push   Sep 01, 2019 02:54 pm

Even though only a small percentage Hong Kong’s citizens profess to be Christian, numerous online videos have captured crowds singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” on the streets in recent months among protests against a bill that some fear would extradite residents to Communist China. The protests — and singing — have continued as the calls have…

Continue reading the story

‘The Gospel Is Not for Sale’: Benny Hinn Confesses ‘Crazy Theology,’ Says Prosperity Gimmicks an ‘Offense to the Lord’   Sep 04, 2019 04:37 pm

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Televangelist Benny Hinn said on Monday that he has had a change of heart in regard to prosperity preaching and is actually quite upset about the matter — specifically in terms of asking people to give money so that God will bless them in return. Hinn stated that he is concerned that many churches are delivering a “feel good” message that…

Continue reading the story

The Satanic Temple: ‘More Than 50 Percent of Our Membership’ Is Homosexual   Aug 31, 2019 08:10 pm

In a recent interview surrounding a new documentary entitled “Hail Satan?” which centers on the views of the non-theistic Satanic Temple, co-founder Doug Messer — who goes by the name Lucien Greaves — stated that more than 50 percent of the group’s nationwide membership identifies as homosexual. “It would be a conservative estimate to say that more than 50…

Continue reading the story

Late-Term Abortionist Offers Mothers Chance to Hold Their Dead Baby, Get Photo or Footprints of Murdered Child   Sep 01, 2019 08:03 am

BETHESDA, Md. — A brochure for a late-term abortion facility in Maryland outlines that it offers “remembrance” services for mothers who end the life of their unborn child, including an opportunity to hold the baby or to have photographs taken of their deceased son or daughter. “Many patients request a remembrance of their baby to take home with them,” the…

Continue reading the story

Pat Robertson Claims God Could Have Made The Earth in Six ‘Galactic’ or ‘Universal’ Days   Sep 02, 2019 04:35 pm

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Televangelist Pat Robertson again refuted that the Earth was created in six literal days in answering a question from a viewer on Tuesday’s “700 Club” broadcast. The viewer, named Julie, had asked Robertson if he believes that the earth is billions of years old, and if so, how that would square with the Bible’s chronology of a six-day…

Continue reading the story

Two Men Accused in Case Involving Children and Satanic Rituals, Bestiality   Aug 31, 2019 04:44 pm

LOCKLAND, Ohio (WXIX-TV) — Two men are under arrest on child rape and porn charges as police race to identify children they suspect are being victimized in pornographic pictures posted online. Lockland police describe the case as the worst they’ve ever seen. They say they found the pornographic images, including child bestiality, on the suspects’ phones…

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‘I Don’t Support Groups that Promote Inequality,’ NFL’s Drew Brees Says After Focus on the Family Ad Questioned   Sep 06, 2019 07:23 pm

NEW ORLEANS, La. — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took to social media on Thursday to state that he “does not support groups that discriminate … or promote inequality” after being criticized by homosexual advocates for recording an advertisement for Focus on the Family’s “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” Brees was addressing an article published by…

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Finnish Politician, Pastor’s Wife Under Investigation for Saying Pride in Sin Not ‘Compatible’ With Bible   Sep 05, 2019 12:36 pm

Paiva RasanenPhoto Credit: Soppakanuuna/Wikipedia HELSINKI — A lawmaker in Finland who is also a pastor’s wife has been placed under investigation by police over a social media post from June in which she questioned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s partnership with the Helsinki Pride event. “How can the Church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible…

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Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr. Backs Congressman Who Officiated Same-Sex ‘Wedding’   Sep 05, 2019 08:08 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, which touts itself as the world’s largest Christian university, wrote a letter on Tuesday to a Republican congressman who recently received a no confidence vote from a local GOP committee after he “happily” officiated a same-sex “wedding.” Falwell, also seeing that some leaders of the…

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Judge Dismisses Father’s Lawsuit Against Alabama Abortion Facility That Killed His Unborn Child   Sep 02, 2019 08:16 pm

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A county circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Alabama teenager who sued the abortion facility that killed his son or daughter despite his wishes that his girlfriend keep the baby. “he court finds that Plaintiff’s asserted claims for punitive money damages are not cognizable under Alabama law, including the Alabama Wrongful Death…

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More Bombshells to Come: Why IG Report on ex-FBI Chief James Comey Was Just an Appetiser – Sputnik International

Although the IG Horowitz report did not find evidence that ex-FBI Director James Comey leaked any classified information about his talks with Donald Trump to the press, there is a big chance that upcoming exposures concerning the FBI’s targeting of Trump’s campaign may hit the ex-FBI chief and other top officials, Charles Ortel believes.

On 29 August, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the 83-page report on ex-FBI director James Comey’s handling of memos concerning his interactions with President Donald Trump.

As it turned out, Comey gave one of the documents to his friend, who, in turn, leaked it to a New York Times reporter. Contrary to the expectations of some Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits, the investigation found “no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media”. Still, the report highlighted that Comey did violate DOJ and FBI policies and set a “dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees”…

… Nevertheless, on 1 September Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz told Fox News that he expects more damning revelations to come about the former FBI chief. Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel has explained what Biggs actually meant.

— Read on sputniknews.com/analysis/201909061076734011-more-bombshells-to-come-why-ig-report-on-ex-fbi-chief-james-comey-was-just-an-appetiser/

September 7, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Body is a Temple of The Holy Spirit

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (6:19–20)

As Christians our bodies are not our own. Paul puts sting into this verse by framing it as a sarcastic question. They are the Lord’s, members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit, who has been given by God to indwell us. So Paul calls for sexual purity not only because of the way sexual sin affects the body, but because the body it affects is not even the believer’s own. Understanding the reality of the phrase the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God should give us as much commitment to purity as any knowledge of divine truth could.

To commit sexual sin in a church auditorium, disgusting as that would be, would be no worse than committing the sin anywhere else. Offense is made within God’s sanctuary wherever and whenever sexual immorality is committed by believers. Every act of fornication, every act of adultery by Christians, is committed in God’s sanctuary: their own bodies. “For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16). The fact that Christians are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is indicated in passages such as John 7:38–39; 20:22; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9; and 1 Corinthians 12:3. The fact that God sent the Holy Spirit is clear from John 14:16–17; 15:26; and Acts 2:17, 33, 38.

We no longer belong to ourselves because we have been bought with a price. We were not “redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from [our] futile way of life inherited from [our] forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18–19).

Christians’ bodies are God’s temple, and a temple is for worship. Our bodies, therefore, have one supreme purpose: to glorify God. This is a call to live so as to bring honor to the person of God, who alone is worthy of our obedience and adoration.

A friend once took a visitor to a large Catholic cathedral in the east. The visitor wanted to pray at the station of his favorite saint. But upon arriving at that station, he was startled to find no candles lit, and a sign saying, “Do not worship here; closed for cleaning.” The Corinthians provided no divine focus, either, no place for seeking souls to worship, since they were unclean. That, Paul said, had to change.[1]

18–19 Paul is now ready to sum up in a general way how a Christian should react with respect to sexual matters. Believers should “flee from [all forms of] sexual immorality.” This is a general and all-embracing statement. But what does Paul mean when he says (lit.), “Every sin [the Greek text does not have a word for the NIV’s “other”] whatever a person commits is outside the body”? We in the twenty-first century can think of many sins a person can commit against his or her own body—addiction to alcohol or drugs, gluttony, and suicide, to name a few. Among the possible understandings of this text, the one that seems to fit best is to see this statement as another maxim cited by the triumphalist Corinthians. In keeping with their other maxims as cited in 6:12–13, here certain Corinthians are suggesting that sin doesn’t matter since the body (which will be destroyed) doesn’t matter to God. Thus any activity that might directly affect one’s body is not to be considered sin: “Every (true) sin a person commits is not connected with the body.”

Paul’s response to this pagan viewpoint is, also once again, to stress that the body does matter and that sins of immorality are indeed against one’s body. This does not deny, of course, that there might be other sins against the body; Paul’s sole concern in this section is with porneia. In fact, as he goes on to say, the human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (once again, introduced by a “do you not know,” v. 19). This, then, is a second significant reason why the body is important and why we are not free to do with our bodies as we please: Not only will God raise the human body someday, as he did the physical body of Christ, but he also comes to abide within us through his Spirit. Imagine that! God, through his Holy Spirit, inhabits our bodies! Do we need any further proof that the Lord places a high value on the human body?[2]

19–20 With yet another “Or do you not know that?” Paul gives theological justification for the prohibition of v. 18a and theological explanation of v. 18bc. At the same time the content of this question serves to reinforce and elaborate the theology of the body expressed in vv. 13–17. With the use of two images (temple and purchase of slaves = the Spirit and the cross) he reasserts that the body in its present existence belongs to God. Thus the body is included in the full redemptive work of Christ—crucifixion, resurrection, and the present work of the Spirit. All of which leads to the final inferential imperative: They must therefore glorify God in their bodies, which of course in this context means no sexual immorality.

The tie to what has immediately preceded is achieved with the conjunction “or” (again omitted from the NIV). “The one who sins sexually sins against his own body,” he has just affirmed, by which he means his own body as it is “for the Lord.” “Or do you not know that your body65 is a temple of the Holy Spirit,67 who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?” As in this translation, the final clause should be included in the question. The two parts complement each other. The body is the present habitation of God’s Spirit, which means by implication that one belongs to the God whose Spirit dwells within. At the same time the second part results in a shift of metaphors, so that God’s proper ownership of the body is affirmed in terms of their being “bought at a price.” The emphasis, therefore, is especially on the body as “for the Lord” in the sense of being God’s rightful possession, which is evidenced both through the indwelling Spirit and the redemptive work of Christ. This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the pneumatics’ view that the body is destined for destruction and therefore has no present or eternal significance.

In referring to the body as the temple of the Spirit, Paul has taken the imagery that properly belongs to the church as a whole (cf. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21–22) and applied it to the individual believer. On the imagery itself, see on 3:16. The use of the possessives reflects something of the difference. The church through the Spirit is God’s temple in Corinth, in contrast to all the pagan temples and shrines. Through the phenomenon of the indwelling Spirit, Paul now images the body as the Spirit’s temple, emphasizing that it is the “place” of the Spirit’s dwelling in the individual believers’ lives. In the same way that the temple in Jerusalem “housed” the presence of the living God, so the Spirit of God is “housed” in the believer’s body. This is imagery pure and simple, in which the significance of the body for the present is being affirmed; it is not intended to be a statement of Christian anthropology, as though the body were the mere external casing of the spirit or Spirit.

The Spirit’s indwelling is the presupposition of the imagery, reinforced here by the two modifiers, “who is in you” and “whom you have received71 from God.” What Paul seems to be doing is taking over their own theological starting point, namely that they are “spiritual” because they have the Spirit, and redirecting it to include the sanctity of the body. The reality of the indwelling Spirit is now turned against them. They thought the presence of the Spirit meant a negation of the body; Paul argues the exact opposite: The presence of the Spirit in their present bodily existence is God’s affirmation of the body.

Paul moves easily from the fact that the Spirit is “from God” to his final point: Do you not know that the presence of God’s Spirit in you means that “you are not you own,” that is, that your bodies are not your own to do with as you wish in the matter of sexuality? This is the final punctuation of the original affirmation that the “body is for the Lord.” As evidence for this final assertion, Paul shifts metaphors once more, this time to the slave market, imagery to which he will return in the concrete situation of the slave in 7:22. That passage makes it clear that the imagery here is that of slavery; the verb “bought” with its accompanying genitive of quantity, “at a price,” places it squarely in the slave market. In contrast to the use of this metaphor elsewhere in the NT, where redemption for freedom is in view (e.g., Gal. 3:13; 4:5; Rev. 5:9; 14:3), this passage images their new position as “slaves” of God, bought with a price to do his will. Although some have argued otherwise,76 the related usage in Galatians and especially the liturgical passage in Rev. 5:9 indicate that Paul has the cross in view, whereby at the “cost” of his life (“by your blood,” Rev. 5:9) Christ purchased us for God. His point here is that even the body is included in that purchase. Thus at the end of the argument he joins the cross to the resurrection, along with the present gift of the Spirit, as evidence that the “body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

The final imperative flows directly out of the argument from the two preceding images. The body is the shrine of the indwelling Spirit and is therefore not one’s own but God’s, who purchased it through the work of the cross. “Therefore honor78 God with your body.” At the same time, it serves to bring the entire argument to its conclusion. This is the positive side of the imperative of v. 18a: “Flee from sexual immorality.” Because the body is God’s, one must not use it in illicit intercourse; instead, one must make it a chaste temple whereby to honor God.

The later addition of “and in your spirit, which are God’s” may have been the result of early Christian liturgy, as Lightfoot (p. 218) suggests. Unfortunately, it also became Scripture to generations of Christians and had the net result of deflecting Paul’s point toward the position of the Corinthian pneumatics. Not that the addition is untrue; rather, it completely misses the concern of the present argument, which stands over against the Corinthian view that the body counts for nothing and therefore it does not matter what one does with it. To the contrary, Paul argues throughout, the body is included in the redemptive work of God and therefore may not be involved in sexual immorality.

Two points from this passage need to be emphasized in the contemporary church. First, in most Western cultures, where sexual mores have blatantly moved toward pagan standards, the doctrine of the sanctity of the body needs to be heard anew within the church. Sexual immorality is still sin, even though it has been justified under every conceivable rationalization. Those who take Scripture seriously are not prudes or legalists at this point; rather, they recognize that God has purchased us for higher things. Our bodies belong to God through the redemption of the cross; and they are destined for resurrection. Part of the reason why Christians flee sexual immorality is that their bodies are for the Lord, who is to be honored in the deeds of the body as well as in all other behavior and attitudes.

Second, this passage needs to be heard again and again over against every encroachment of Hellenistic dualism that would negate the body in favor of the soul. God made us whole people; and in Christ he has redeemed us wholly. In the Christian view there is no dichotomy between body and spirit that either indulges the body because it is irrelevant or punishes it so as to purify the spirit. This pagan view of physical existence finds its way into Christian theology in a number of subtle ways, including the penchant on the part of some to “save souls” while caring little for people’s material needs. The Christian creed, based on NT revelation, is not the immortality of the soul, but the resurrection of the body. That creed does not lead to crass materialism; rather, it affirms a holistic view of redemption that is predicated in part on the doctrine of creation—both the physical and spiritual orders are good because God created them—and in part on the doctrine of redemption, including the consummation—the whole fallen order, including the body, has been redeemed in Christ and awaits its final redemption.[3]

6:19 / Paul turns more directly to religious imagery in the following lines. In this verse he reiterates the point he made earlier in 3:16, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s pronouns are plural, addressing the entire body of believers in Corinth. He does not single out only those who have been fornicating, for while those particular persons have acted inappropriately, they have acted in a manner that ultimately touches and shapes the life of the Christian community. Thus, the community is in need of instruction, for in different but complementary ways all have been involved in the degradation of the body of believers.

Moreover, Paul qualifies his reference to the Holy Spirit by adding the phrases who is in you, whom you have received from God. All the pronouns are plural, indicating that Paul directs his remarks to all the believers at once. With these brief lines Paul registers at least four crucial theological truths. First, the Spirit is present and active among the Corinthians, empowering them to live the life to which they have been called. Second, the Spirit comes to them from God, whose will is to be manifest in the life of the Spirit-filled community of the Corinthian believers. God’s authority, will, presence, and power form and should inform the shape of the temple of believers in Corinth. Third, the Holy Spirit was received by the Corinthians. They did not earn or produce the Spirit’s presence among them; God acted graciously in bestowing the Spirit on the Christian community in Corinth. Fourth, the Spirit dwells in the temple so that the Corinthians are bound into an intimate relationship to God through the presence of God’s Spirit. They are not independently blessed, but they live in relation to the life that God lives among them.

Paul’s final words in this verse, you are not your own, may form the final part of the question that began at the outset of the verse: Do you not know that … you are not your own? The sense is self-evident: the Corinthians are neither autonomous individuals nor an autonomous community of human beings. God founded, forms, and holds a claim on the lives of these and all other believers. No greater truth can be brought home to the church and its members in every generation. How often do discussions of personal and community affairs (freedoms? rights? responsibilities?) take their start and find their course from the reality that every aspect of the life of believers belongs to God? Nothing we have is ours to have and to do with as we please. All of life belongs to God, and it is ultimately God’s will and work that is to be accomplished in our lives and in our life together. The believer and the believers find identity, purpose, direction, and meaning from the foundational nature of the relationship that God has established in creating us and in reclaiming us in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.[4]

19. Know ye not that your body. He makes use of two additional arguments, in order to deter us from this filthiness. First, That our bodies are temples of the Spirit; and, secondly, that the Lord has bought us to himself as his property. There is an emphasis implied in the term temple; for as the Spirit of God cannot take up his abode in a place that is profane, we do not give him a habitation otherwise than by consecrating ourselves to him as temples. It is a great honour that God confers upon us when he desires to dwell in us. (Psalm 132:14.) Hence we ought so much the more to fear, lest he should depart from us, offended by our sacrilegious actings.

And ye are not your own. Here we have a second argument—that we are not at our own disposal, that we should live according to our own pleasure. He proves this from the fact that the Lord has purchased us for himself, by paying the price of our redemption. There is a similar statement in Rom. 14:9. To this end Christ died and rose again, that he might be Lord of the living and the dead. Now the word rendered price may be taken in two ways; either simply, as we commonly say of anything that it has cost a price, when we mean that it has not been got for nothing; or, as used instead of the adverb τιμίως, at a dear rate, as we are accustomed to say of things that have cost us much. This latter view pleases me better. In the same way Peter says, Ye are redeemed, not with gold and silver; but with the precious blood of the Lamb, without spot. (1 Peter 1:18, 19.) The sum is this, that redemption must hold us bound, and with a bridle of obedience restrain the lasciviousness of our flesh.[5]

19. What? know ye not? &c.—Proof that “he that fornicates sinneth against his own body” (1 Co 6:18).

your body—not “bodies.” As in 1 Co 3:17, he represented the whole company of believers (souls and bodies), that is, the Church, as “the temple of God,” the Spirit; so here, the body of each individual of the Church is viewed as the ideal “temple of the Holy Ghost.” So Jn 17:23, which proves that not only the Church, but also each member of it, is “the temple of the Holy Ghost.” Still though many the several members form one temple, the whole collectively being that which each is in miniature individually. Just as the Jews had one temple only, so in the fullest sense all Christian churches and individual believers form one temple only. Thus “your [plural] body” is distinguished here from “his own [particular or individual] body” (1 Co 6:18). In sinning against the latter, the fornicator sins against “your (ideal) body,” that of “Christ,” whose “members your bodies” are (1 Co 6:15). In this consists the sin of fornication, that it is a sacrilegious desecration of God’s temple to profane uses. The unseen, but much more efficient, Spirit of God in the spiritual temple now takes the place of the visible Shekinah in the old material temple. The whole man is the temple; the soul is the inmost shrine; the understanding and heart, the holy place; and the body, the porch and exterior of the edifice. Chastity is the guardian of the temple to prevent anything unclean entering which might provoke the indwelling God to abandon it as defiled [Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women]. None but God can claim a temple; here the Holy Ghost is assigned one; therefore the Holy Ghost is God.

not your own—The fornicator treats his body as if it were “his own,” to give to a harlot if he pleases (1 Co 6:18; compare 1 Co 6:20). But we have no right to alienate our body which is the Lord’s. In ancient servitude the person of the servant was wholly the property of the master, not his own. Purchase was one of the ways of acquiring a slave. Man has sold himself to sin (1 Ki 21:20; Ro 7:14). Christ buys him to Himself, to serve Him (Ro 6:16–22).[6]

Ver. 19.—That your body is the temple (or rather, a sanctuary) of the Holy Ghost. He has already said that the Church is a shrine or sanctuary of the Holy Ghost (ch. 3:16); but here for the first time expression is given to one of the deepest and newest truths of Christianity (comp. 2 Cor. 6:16). Three great epochs are marked by the use of the word “temple.” In the Old Testament it means the material temple, the sign of a localized worship and a separated people; in the Gospels, our Lord uses it of his own mortal body; in the Epistles it is used (as here) of the body of every baptized Christian sanctified by the indwelling Spirit of God. Ye are not your own. We cannot, therefore, use our bodies as though they were absolutely under our own control. They belong to God, and, “whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14:8).[7]

The habitation of the body by the Lord (19)

Paul’s fourth plea for Christ-centred purity is the habitation of our bodies by the Lord, by the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are not simply physical shells of remarkable composition: they are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Earlier Paul affirmed that the whole church of God at Corinth was God’s temple, with stern warnings against any who might destroy that temple. Now he uses the same metaphor to remind individual Christians at Corinth that God has given to each the gift of his indwelling Holy Spirit, whom you have from God. In the earlier passage the reference was simply to ‘God’s Spirit’. Here he feels compelled to emphasize the call to holiness, ‘your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’ (19).[8]

19. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? And you do not belong to yourselves.

  • “Or do you not know?” The comparative conjunction or provides an additional reason for fleeing sexual immorality. For the last time in this chapter, Paul rhetorically asks the Corinthians whether they have definite knowledge (see vv. 2, 3, 9, 15, and 16). They again have to give an affirmative answer to this query. We assume that on an earlier occasion Paul had taught them about the purpose, use, and destiny of their physical bodies.
  • “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” Paul reminds the Corinthians of the sacredness of their bodies. He notes that the Holy Spirit makes his abode within them, so that their body is his temple. He writes the two words body and temple in the singular to apply them to the individual believer. Further, through the word order in the Greek, he places emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Paul literally writes to the Corinthians, “Your body is a temple of the one within you, namely the Holy Spirit.” That is, the physical body of the Christian belongs to the Lord and serves as the residence of the Holy Spirit.

What an honor to have God’s Spirit dwelling within us! Note that Paul writes the word temple (see the commentary on 3:16). The Greek has two words that are translated “temple.” The first one is hieron, which refers to the general temple complex, as in the city of Jerusalem. The second is naos, which denotes the temple building with the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (see, e.g., Exod. 26:31–34; Heb. 9:1–5). Naos is used in the present verse. For the Jew, this was the place where God dwelled among his people until the destruction of the temple in a.d. 70. For the Christian, not a fixed geographic site but the body of the individual believer is the place where God’s Spirit is pleased to dwell. In the early church, Irenaeus called individual Christians “temples of God” and described them as “stones for the Father’s temple.” If, then, the Spirit of God dwells within us, we should avoid grieving him (Eph. 4:30) or extinguishing his fire (1 Thess. 5:19).

  • “Whom you have from God.” In this brief segment of the verse, Paul teaches first that the individual believers possess and continue to possess the gift of the Holy Spirit. Next, he reveals that the Spirit’s origin is from God.
  • “And you do not belong to yourselves.” We are not the owners of our own bodies, for God created us, Jesus redeemed us, and the Holy Spirit makes his abode within us. The triune God claims ownership, but he leaves us free to consecrate and yield our physical bodies to him. By contrast, those who commit fornication desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit and cause untold spiritual and physical damage to themselves and others. For this reason, Paul exhorts us to flee sexual immorality (v. 18). Because God owns our body, we are its stewards and must give an account to him. Therefore, we ought to guard its sanctity and protect it from defilement and destruction. God’s temple is holy and precious.[9]

6:19. For this reason, the apostle appealed once again to a teaching which he had already given the Corinthians. The Christian’s body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in believers, making their bodies a holy place for the dwelling of God’s special presence. That the Holy Spirit resides in believers points to the new nature of believers’ bodies. Believers’ bodies are sanctified and holy, being in union with Christ. When a person in Christ engages in sexual immorality, that immorality runs contrary to the new nature and new identity of his body. The Christian has been redeemed for good works (Eph. 2:10), so he ought to use his body for good deeds and righteousness, not for sin.

Paul also reminded the Corinthians that they did not have rights to their own bodies. They were not free to use their bodies any way they wished. He insisted that Christ bought them at a price—his own blood. As a slave was bought in the ancient world, Christ bought his followers, body and soul, through the price of his own death. Because they belong to him, believers do not have the right to rebel against him by using their bodies in ways the Lord has prohibited.

Further, because this purchase results in redemption and salvation, it ought to inspire grateful obedience, not rebellion. In this reminder, Paul chastised the Corinthians and pleaded with them to obey Christ eagerly and thankfully.[10]

6:19 Again Paul reminds the Corinthians that theirs was a holy and dignified calling. Had they forgotten that their bodies were a temple of the Holy Spirit? That is the solemn truth of Scripture, that every believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God. How could we ever think of taking a body in which the Holy Spirit dwells and using it for vile purposes? Not only is our body the shrine of the Holy Spirit, but in addition, we are not our own. It is not for us to take our bodies and use them the way we desire. In the final analysis, they do not belong to us; they belong to the Lord.[11]

6:18–20. Paul draws his final application, commanding everyone in the church to flee sexual immorality because every sin that a believer does is outside the body. The believer who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Sexual immorality goes contrary to the very nature and purpose of the human body. While other sins also affect the body, sexual immorality does so in a unique way because its cravings originate entirely from within. It forces the fulfillment of personal lust, the height of self-violation of the physical body which, Paul says, is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The believers were bought at a price, an expression that brings to mind the act of redemption and the outcome of the change of ownership. Therefore the Corinthian believers are commanded to glorify God in their physical body and in their spirit, which are God’s.[12]

6:19 The temple (3:16, 17) was the congregation of believers. The temple was recognized as the sacred dwelling place of God. The Shekinah glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34) and the temple (1 Kin. 8:10, 11). Now, the glory of God in the person of the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer (John 14:16, 17) and thus inhabits the entire church. The OT priests took great pains to maintain a pure sanctuary for God’s presence. Every Christian ought also to care diligently for his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, in order to honor God and the church.[13]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians (p. 152). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 312). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fee, G. D. (1987). The First Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 263–266). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (pp. 133–134). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 1, pp. 220–221). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 274). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Corinthians (pp. 194–195). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Prior, D. (1985). The message of 1 Corinthians: life in the local church (p. 103). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 201–202). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[10] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, pp. 101–102). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[11] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1764). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Hunt, D. L. (2010). The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 731). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[13] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1469). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

Hong Kong – Never The Same Again | Zero Hedge

The People’s Liberation Army’s garrison HQ is one of the most visible landmarks of Hong Kong island, a constant symbol of the fact that China can fully take over Hong Kong in minutes…

Hong Kong – Never The Same Again

Authored by LibertyUnbound’s Jayant Bhandari, annotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum,

Freedom Rock

Hong Kong ranks among the freest societies in the world. Not only economically, but socially it is a very liberal place. It was marinated in British ways until 1997, much longer than Singapore and other colonies. Then China took it over as a special administered region, which according to the agreement with the UK meant that it was only nominally to be under Chinese control for the next 50 years. It was possibly the only colony in which a vast majority of citizens did not want the British to go.

Hong Kong skyline at night [PT] Photo credit: Timon Studler

For most of the past 22 years, China has been easy on Hong Kong, despite the fact that the People’s Liberation Army’s garrison headquarters is one of the most visible landmarks of Hong Kong island, a constant symbol of the fact that China can fully take over Hong Kong in minutes, if it wants to.

This alone is enough to generate fear and hate among the people of Hong Kong. It does not help that they are conscious and made aware every day by the hordes of visiting tourists from China — through what are seen as their rather less sophisticated ways, their rudeness and misbehavior — that the far less developed country of China controls one of the richest societies on the planet.

Nouveaux riches from China buy properties in Hong Kong, driving up prices, their children take up slots in good schools, and they put buying pressure on edible goods, such as milk powder, etc., that have a high risk of being adulterated in China. Or at least this is what the people of Hong Kong think.

A marching band of the PLA mangling music at the Hong Kong barracks [PT] Photo credit: Edmond Tang / China Daily

Chinese Development and Achievements

China has built ultramodern infrastructure in the region. It is now possible to cross the sea from Hong Kong to Macau using the world’s longest bridge, which is 55 kilometers long and cost a whopping $19 billion to build. Bullet trains now run from the heart of Hong Kong to Shenzhen in a mere 15 minutes for a cost of $10, and to Guangzhou in a mere 50 minutes.

Shenzhen and Guangzhou are cities that were the fountainhead of the Chinese economic miracle when Deng Xiaoping made them the places for experiments in free-market capitalism in 1979.

The area adjoining Hong Kong continues to be the heart of Chinese manufacturing. It is a hive of energy, activity, progress, and optimism unlike anywhere else on the planet. In many ways, technology is more customer friendly in East Asia than it is in the West.

The enormity of this can be appreciated only by those who visit. I often go to China, where I hold a long-term visa, and I go to Hong Kong often enough that I am allowed to pass the immigration eChannel that its citizens use, without the need to talk with any officer.

Engineering marvel: Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge, the longest sea bridge in the world [PT] Photo credit: The B1M

I am extremely fond of China, and see it as the future of humanity, and certainly as the only Third World country — if at all it can be considered that any more — that has the potential to become a developed society.Culturally and economically, it has been on a rapid upward trend. Chinese today compete with the best in the world, and their creativity has been unleashed.

In many areas of research, Chinese organizations produce more quality and quantity of output than any other country on the planet, including the US. The reading habit is increasing rapidly among Chinese. There are tens, perhaps hundreds, of Chinese cities whose downtowns look more modern than those in the most developed parts of the world.

China owes a lot of its growth to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, countries that were able to channel both Western technology, adapted for Chinese culture and language, and Western investments.

China became successful by copying Western technology and often improving on it, something that I, unlike others in the West, see as a massive achievement — because copying is not all that easy, as is demonstrated by the failure of the other Third World countries to do the same. China owes its gratitude to the West for enabling this.

Rise of the Nationalist Emperor

Time has moved on, and gratitude has faded, or perhaps it never existed — the concept of national gratitude hardly exists outside the West and Japan. And China’s egocentric president Xi Jinping has inserted his thoughts in the constitution of China, declared himself a lifetime president, implemented a tyrannical social credit system, and taken a heavy-handed policy toward neighboring countries. In his overconfidence, he appears to think that China has arrived and can fight a trade war with the US head-on.

Xi has likely surrounded himself with yes-men and with others too fearful to speak. His arrogance and his distance from the ground realities are weaving a web of entanglements for China. Xi has helped to accentuate a sense of nationalism among Chinese. Out of jealousy and an inferiority complex, Chinese nationalists act big-brotherly toward Taiwan and Hong Kong, both highly developed societies.

China’s new politburo is revealed at the 19th Party Congress in 2017 – from left to right: Han Zheng, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Wang Yang and Zhao Leji.  [PT] Photo via Getty Images

But in a country where face value is very important, where the central government is the key stabilizing force, and where decisions once taken cannot be easily reversed, Xi cannot afford to look weak. In a country of 1.39 billion people, this has created massive systemic risk.

Unfortunately, by fueling nationalism, by engaging in a trade war with the US — a war that could have been avoided had he agreed to play fair — by being heavy-handed in contrast to tilting toward the rule of law, and by constantly interfering in Hong Kong, Xi is making China unstable. At best he is seriously retarding its progress.

When in 2014 Xi tried to influence Hong Kong’s electoral process, massive protests arose. Today, Hong Kong once again finds itself in the crosshairs of China. The new protests, enormous and intense, are against China’s attempt to institute a law enabling extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China. Xi miscalculated. The protesters have come to conclude that China wants — by hook or by crook — to incorporate Hong Kong fully into China, something the people of Hong Kong are very paranoid about.

Hong Kong protests – the controversial extradition bill has in the meantime been withdrawn. [PT] Photo by Anthony Kwan / Getty Images

Hong Kong people are not like those who were at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The people of Hong Kong lack conditioning in fear-based control. They will fight much longer and harder, and will do everything possible to attract international attention.

A Looming Disaster

According to the agreement that China had with the UK, it was to keep Hong Kong politically independent until 2047. But Xi cannot keep his hands off the golden-egg-laying goose. He and nationalist Chinese fail to understand that Hong Kong under the party’s control will no longer be Hong Kong, and will break one of the major channels of progress for China.

But if he has to pull back, the reverberation will embolden those elements within China that want democracy. This is a lose-lose interference — because democracy would be a disaster for China.

Let me explain.

Across the political spectrum, from the Right to the Left, the people of Hong Kong tend to like the West. Many would have preferred to be continued to be ruled by the UK. They fly the Union Jack or the American flag to show their affiliation. The central theme organizing the protesters is a desire for a democratic process, unrestrained by China.

But despite their liking for the West, a large number of people in Hong Kong exist in situations that would not be approved of in the West.Live-in maids who must stay away from their families in Indonesia and the Philippines, lower-class workers who must share a small room, often with the same bed shared among those working in shifts — there are many such examples.

They all go against the sensitivities of the egalitarian forces in today’s West. Of course, these people exist because they get a better deal in Hong Kong than they would have where they grew up. Insisting that they get better working conditions would only mean that they would not have a place in Hong Kong and would be forced to stay in their home countries. Life is tough, but the free market offers them the best deal.

Poking the big Panda…  [PT]

Democracy, by igniting populist forces, will destroy this arrangement. Taxes will go up and interference in private property and business — the kind of interference that gets socially generated in a democracy — will significantly reduce the freedoms that make Hong Kong what it is.

Hong Kong has no minimum wages. And, interestingly, wages in Hong Kong go down when the economic situation requires. No doubt there is a huge underclass. In a democratic system, the underclass will vote for economic egalitarianism, exactly what will destroy Hong Kong’s free market — damaging the underclass the most.

But anyway, it is impossible to see Hong Kong becoming democratic. China won’t let that happen. China cannot even afford to find a compromise, for losing face would mean nationalists going against the government, destabilizing China.

Never the Same Again

The need of Xi and China not to lose face means that this situation can no longer be disentangled. Given Xi’s constant interference, democratic desire in Hong Kong is going to stay. Several of my friends living in Hong Kong are seriously contemplating moving to Singapore. I myself am investing in property companies in Singapore, but I feel sad that, irrespective of which side wins, Hong Kong will never be the same again.

I go to China often. Chinese people are clearly fearful of discussing politics in the open, often even among friends. I like the fact that they are politically not active and focus on their own circle of influence. They lack the sense of entitlement. They also lack political freedom (which often translates into a sheep expecting the fox to steal from another sheep), but they enjoy social and economic freedoms. Unlike in other poor countries, women walk around feeling mostly safe.

If Xi now gives in, even partially, to the demands of Hong Kong protesters, it will embolden those demanding democracy in China. But a democratic China would be a disaster. It would create entitlements among its people, waste their resources on political activism and introduce short-term-minded politicians and outright goons to power.

The chief is irritated… [PT]

Stability would be replaced by political infighting, and with that would also go whatever liberties there are. Measuring liberty is subjective, but I cannot think of a poor country that offers more liberty than China. I certainly feel far freer in China than in India — although the Chinese generally dislike Indians.

Whatever happens, Hong Kong will no longer be the same Hong Kong. Nor will China be the same China. And Xi is responsible for the mess, and for creating massive systemic risks threatening stability within China. I am a big fan of China and hope it finds a way out. But in retrospect, China would have been much better off never taking Hong Kong back.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/06/2019 – 19:15

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-06/hong-kong-never-same-again

September 7 The Truth That Sets You Free

scripture reading: John 14:1–6
key verse: Matthew 7:13

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

A highway designed to exacting specifications gives us the freedom to drive. Medicine formulated with precise chemical components gives us the freedom to enjoy its benefits. In every instance the truth—accurate, unbending—is the foundation for lasting success.

It is the same with the spiritual realm. The eternal, unchanging, appli–cable, divine truth sets us free to enjoy God and experience His blessings.

That truth is Christ and His Word. When you have Christ within and when you abide in (live in, meditate on, internally assimilate) His unerring Word of truth, you are on the road to freedom in your emotions, will, intellect, family, job, relationships, and future.

Your constant battle is against the deceiver, the devil. His tactics always are to distort and twist the truth. He is the cursed liar who seeks to enslave the inner person. The devil tells you, “You are no good. God cannot possibly be pleased with you. You will never amount to anything. You cannot measure up to others. You cannot overcome this habit.”

This master liar can be overcome only by the truth of God as revealed in His Word and applied by the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, help me to abide in Your truth. To meditate on it. To assimilate it. I want to be able to overcome every lie of the enemy with the truth of Your Word.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

7 september (1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Lovest thou me?

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:15–17

suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 13

He did not say, “Simon, son of Jonas, fearest thou me.” He did not say, “Dost thou admire me? Dost thou adore me?” Nor was it even a question concerning his faith. He did not say, “Simon, son of Jonas, believest thou in me?” but he asked him another question, “Lovest thou me?” I take it, that is because love is the very best evidence of godliness. Love is the brightest of all the graces; and hence it becomes the best evidence. I do not believe love to be superior to faith; I believe faith to be the groundwork of our salvation; I think faith to be the mother grace, and love springs from it; faith I believe to be the root grace, and love grows from it. But then, faith is not an evidence for brightness equal to love. Faith, if we have it, is a sure and certain sign that we are God’s children; and so is every other grace a sure and certain one, but many of them cannot be seen by others. Love is a more sparkling one than any other. If I have a true fear of God in my heart, then I am God’s child; but since fear is a grace that is more dim and has not that halo of glory over it that love has, love becomes one of the very best evidences and one of the easiest signs of discerning whether we are alive to the Saviour. He that lacks love, must lack also every other grace in the proportion in which he lacks love. If love be little, I believe it is a sign that faith is little; for he that believes much loves much. If love be little, fear will be little, and courage for God will be little.

for meditation: The commandments of God can be headed and summarised by one word—love (Matthew 22:36–40; Romans 13:8–10).

sermon no. 117[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 257). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

7 Sep 2019 – Rapture Ready News

Is China The New ‘Evil Empire’?
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was the enemy of the West, and President Ronald Reagan had the moral courage to identify it as the “evil empire,” which arguably sped up the fall of Soviet-led communism by a decade or more. However, communist China did not fall. Slowly and anonymously in the shadow of Russia and Iran, the Chinese have been building their might. Could China be emerging as the new evil empire today?

US Health Officials Report 3rd Vaping Death, Repeat Warning 
U.S. health officials on Friday again urged people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses. Officials said they had identified 450 possible cases, including at least three deaths, in 33 states. The count includes a newly reported death in Indiana.

Tempers Flare Over Fukushima Plan To Dump Radioactive Water In Ocean
South Korea has fired off a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to express concerns over a Japanese plan to release radioactive water into the ocean which has been collected since the 2011 nuclear disaster, according to NHK.

Saints QB Drew Brees Under Fire For Appearing In Video Promoting ‘National Bring Your Bible to School Day’ By ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Focus On The Family
The battle lines are drawn now, people, and clearly defined. Drew Brees found himself in hot water today because he made a video promoting National Bring Your Bible To School day, in a video produced by Focus On The Family. Read the story below to get all the details, but know this. From this point forward, standing for the Bible is now considered ‘hate speech’ because the Bible is against the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile Movement. 100%.

Hurricane Dorian Clobbers the Carolinas, Virginia; Residents Stranded on Outer Banks 
As Hurricane Dorian made landfall along North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a Category 1 storm Friday morning, powerful winds and storm surge had major impacts on the coastline, especially on Ocracoke Island, where serious flooding inundated buildings and stranded residents who chose to ride out the storm.

GEORGE SOROS is Lobbying Lawmakers to Take Your Guns
There is no other way to say it: politicians and the elitists are coming for your guns. If they can get them from you and convince you to turn them over willingly, they will do so with propaganda.  But don’t expect that to be the end of it.

Go For ‘Woke’: Children’s Book Publisher Promotes Bisexuality, Political Activism At School Fair
A national publisher of children’s books has refocused its marketing on a hot new trend: diversity. But it’s not tackling the subject on its own. As Scholastic gears up for back-to-school presentations with its book fairs, the publisher is teaming up with a nonprofit coalition that promotes “diverse books.”

Typhoon “Lingling” heading toward North Korea, landfall expected September 7
Typhoon “Lingling,” known as Liwayway in the Philippines, formed September 1 in the Western Pacific Ocean as the 14th named tropical storm of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. The storm is now closing in on the Korean Peninsula with the landfall expected in North Korea around 08:00 UTC, September 7.

9/11 & The Road To America’s Orwellian Hell
“When you consider the potential effect of a terrorist attack against the privacy of an entire population, there has to be some trade-off…”

— Read on www.raptureready.com/2019/09/07/7-sep-2019/

7 SEPTEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Obeying Parents in the Lord

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

suggested further reading: Colossians 3:18–25

Why does the apostle use the word obey instead of honor, which has a greater scope of meaning? It is because obedience is evidence of the honor which children owe to their parents and is therefore more earnestly enforced.

Obedience is also more difficult, for the human mind recoils from the idea of subjection and with difficulty allows itself to be placed under the control of another. Experience shows how rare this virtue is, for do we find even one among a thousand who is obedient to his parents? By a figure of speech, a part is here put for the whole, but it is the most important part and is necessarily accompanied by all the others.

Children are to obey their parents in the Lord. Besides the law of nature, which is acknowledged by all nations, the authority of God enforces the obedience of children. Hence it follows that parents are to be obeyed so far as is consistent with piety to God, which comes first. If the command of God is the rule by which the submission of children is to be regulated, it would be foolish to suppose that the performance of this duty could lead away from obeying God himself.

For this is right is added to restrain the fierceness which, as we have already said, appears to be natural to almost all people. It is right, because God has commanded it. We are not at liberty to dispute or call in question the appointment of him whose will is the unerring rule of goodness and righteousness. That this honor should be represented as including obedience is not surprising, for mere ceremony is of no value in the sight of God. The precept honor thy father and mother includes all the duties by which children can express sincere affection and respect to their parents.

for meditation: Are you showing due respect to your parents, even as an adult? How do the principles Calvin has outlined here apply to us in other areas of life in which we are subject to divinely appointed authority?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 269). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.