Daily Archives: November 30, 2019

November 30 Testing Our Spiritual Growth

Scripture Reading: Psalm 84:10–12

Key Verse: Psalm 84:10

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

You know you are maturing in your relationship with Christ when:

  • You are becoming increasingly aware of your sinfulness and weaknesses.
  • Your response to sin is quick and followed by genuine repentance.
  • Your spiritual battles are becoming more fierce, and yet you still rejoice.
  • You begin to see trials and temptations as opportunities for growth: “Lord, what are You trying to teach me?”
  • You view service to Him as an honor and not a burden.
  • You view everything as coming from God. He is sovereign, so He either brought it or allowed it.
  • You sense your faith growing stronger. It takes more to ruffle you.
  • You desire to spend more time in praise and worship. You are in love with the Lord and want to show it.
  • Your desire to obey Him becomes more intense, and sin becomes less attractive.
  • You are eager to share with others what Christ is doing in your life.
  • You experience more awareness of His presence at all times, not just in places like at church on Sundays.
  • You jealously guard your quiet times of prayer and Bible study.
  • You prefer to spend time with Him above all others. The more time you spend with Him, the more you become like Him.

Lord, I seek Your face and Your presence in all that I do. Search my heart and show me any impediments to my relationship with You.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 349). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 30 A Guide for Life

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14–17

Key Verse: Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

When it comes to using Scripture as the guide for life, the most common question is not why to use it, but how to use it.

Many people use the “hop, skip, jump” method; that is, they wait until a crisis hits and then try to flip through their Bibles quickly for fast answers. They want the words to leap off the page. True, God does work this way at times; He has ministered to many in their need by underscoring a specific promise of Scripture to sustain even the feeble and doubting heart.

However, the Lord wants His Word to be your sustenance and source of direction on a daily basis, not just an occasional respite when the going gets rough. Romans 12:2 (nasb) explains the key to making the Bible your moment-by-moment support: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Renewal is not an overnight process; the word itself implies an ongoing change and development. As you study and dig into its deeper meaning, you understand the interrelationship of His principles and how God works in the lives of His people. This process prepares you to sense His leading.

Dear heavenly Father, I need a guide for my journey. Thank You for the road map of Your Word. Let it do its work in me.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 349). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 30 The School of Sorrows

Scripture reading: Genesis 50:18–21

Key verse: Genesis 41:52

The name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

In Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles Cowman commented:

The hardest ingredient in suffering is often time. A short, sharp pang is easily borne, but when a sorrow drags its weary way through long, monotonous years, and day after day returns with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength, and without the grace of God, is sure to sink into the very sullenness of despair. Joseph’s was a long trial, and God often has to burn His lessons into the depths of our being by the fires of protracted pain. “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,” but He knows how long, and like a true goldsmith He stops the fires the moment He sees His image in the glowing metal.

We may not see now the outcome of the beautiful plan which God is hiding in the shadow of His hand; it yet may be long concealed; but faith may be sure that He is sitting on the throne, calmly waiting the hour when, with adoring rapture, we shall say, “All things have worked together for good.” Like Joseph, let us be more careful to learn all the lessons in the school of sorrow so that we are anxious for the hour of deliverance …

God is educating us for the future, for higher service and nobler blessings … Don’t steal tomorrow out of God’s hands. Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never too late; learn to wait.

Heavenly Father, teach me to wait. Let me learn the lessons You have for me in the school of sorrow.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 349). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

November 30, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Performance of the New Man

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. (3:12–13)

In 3:5–9a, Paul told believers what to put off, while in 3:9–11 he describes the believer’s new identity in Christ. In 3:12, Paul begins to tell believers what to put on. In 3:9–11, Paul describes what God has done for the believer. In 3:12–17 he describes what God expects of the believer in response. A righteous identity must issue in righteous behavior. Such behavior is the outward manifestation of the inward transformation, and it is the only sure proof that such transformation has taken place.

No one becomes a Christian solely by their own choice. Rather, believers are those who have been chosen of God. The truth of divine election is clearly taught in Scripture. Ephesians 1:4 says that God “chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world.” Paul was confident of God’s choice of the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 1:4) and thanked Him for it: “We should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). God did not call us because of our good works, “but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Tim. 1:9). Believers’ names have been written in the book of life from before the foundation of the world (cf. Rev. 13:8; 17:8). Underlying our response to God’s free, sovereign grace is His plan and initiative.

Because of God’s election, believers are holy and beloved. Hagios (holy) means “set apart,” or “separate.” God chose believers out of the mainstream of mankind and drew them to Himself. They are different from the world. When believers fail to act differently from the world, they violate the very purpose of their calling.

That believers are beloved of God means they are objects of His special love. Election is not a cold, fatalistic doctrine. On the contrary, it is based in God’s incomprehensible love for His elect: “In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Eph. 1:4–5).

Chosen (Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 1 Chron. 16:13; Ps. 105:43; 135:4; Isa. 41:8; 44:1; 45:4), holy (Ex. 19:6; Lev. 19:2; Jer. 2:3), and beloved (1 Kings 10:9; 2 Chron. 9:8; Hos. 11:1) are all used of Israel in the Old Testament. A change has taken place in the economy of God. What was once true of the elect nation is now true of all who come to faith in Christ. Israel has been temporarily set aside and Gentiles grafted in (cf. Rom. 9–11). The saved in the church are chosen by God. We are called “the chosen” (cf. John 15:16; Rom. 8:33; 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1). Acts 13:46–48 speaks of those ordained by God to eternal life:

Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For thus the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, that You should bring salvation to the end of the earth.’ ” And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Romans 9:13–16, 19–22 expresses God’s sovereignty in choosing whom He will:

Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

Romans 11:4–5 speaks of “God’s gracious choice.” Ephesians 1:4 affirms that believers were “[chosen] in Him before the foundation of the world.” The Thessalonians were “chosen from the beginning for salvation” (2 Thess. 2:13). Perhaps 2 Timothy 1:8–9 sums it up as well as any text: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”

The doctrine of election crushes human pride, exalts God, produces joy and gratitude to the Lord, grants eternal privileges and assurance, promotes holiness, and makes one bold and courageous, for one who has been chosen by God for eternal life has no need to fear anything or anyone.

Put on is from enduō, which means “to put on clothes,” or “envelope in.” The qualities that follow are to cover the new man.

A heart of compassion is the first character trait that is to mark the new man. Heart translates splanchna, a Hebraism that literally refers to the inward parts of the human body (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc.). As already noted in the discussion of 2:2, however, it is often used in the New Testament to speak figuratively of the seat of the emotions. That is its use here. Oiktirmos (compassion) means “pity,” “mercy,” “sympathy,” or “compassion.” Taken together, the phrase could be translated, “put on heartfelt compassion,” or “have a deep, gut-level feeling of compassion.” That divine quality (Luke 6:36; James 5:11), so perfectly exhibited by Jesus (Matt. 9:36), was sorely needed in the ancient world. For example, sick, injured, or elderly people were often left to fend for themselves. As a result, many died. Believers must not be indifferent to suffering, but should be concerned to meet people’s needs.

Kindness is closely related to compassion. The Greek term refers to the grace that pervades the whole person, mellowing all that might be harsh. Jesus used the word when he said, “My yoke is easy” (Matt. 11:30), not harsh or hard to bear. The kind person is as concerned about his neighbor’s good as he is about his own. God is kind, even to ungrateful and evil people (Luke 6:35). In fact, it was His kindness that led us to repentance (Rom. 2:4; cf. Titus 3:4). Jesus’ kindness was expressed in His invitation to “take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matt. 11:29–30). Kindness was epitomized by the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), whose example we should follow.

Tapeinophrosunē (humility) and its related words always have a negative connotation in classical Greek (cf. H. H. Esser, “tapeinos,” in Colin Brown, ed., The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977], 2:259). It took Christianity to elevate humility to a virtue. It is the antidote for the self-love that poisons relationships. Paul advocates genuine humility, in contrast to the false humility of the false teachers (cf. 2:18, 23). Humility characterized Jesus (Matt. 11:29), and it is the most cherished Christian virtue (Eph. 4:2; Phil. 2:3ff.; 1 Pet. 5:5).

Prautēs (gentleness) is closely related to humility. It is not weakness or spinelessness, but rather the willingness to suffer injury instead of inflicting it. The gentle person knows he is a sinner among sinners and is willing to suffer the burdens others’ sin may impose on him. This gentleness can only be produced by the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:22–23) and should mark the Christian’s behavior at all times, even when restoring a sinning brother (Gal. 6:1), or defending the faith against attacks from unbelievers (2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:15).

Patience translates makrothumia. The patient person does not get angry at others. William Barclay writes, “This is the spirit which never loses its patience with its fellow-men. Their foolishness and their unteachability never drive it to cynicism or despair; their insults and their ill-treatment never drive it to bitterness or wrath” (The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians [Louisville: Westminster, 1975], p. 158). Patience is the opposite of resentment and revenge. It was a characteristic of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to Timothy, “For this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Tim. 1:16). Were it not for God’s patience, no one would ever be saved (2 Pet. 3:15).

Bearing with one another means “to endure, to hold out in spite of persecution, threats, injury, indifference, or complaints and not retaliate.” It characterized Paul, who told the Corinthians, “when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure” (1 Cor. 4:12). It did not characterize the Corinthians, who were actually taking each other to court. Paul exclaims, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Cor. 6:7). Believers are to exhibit forbearance (Eph. 4:2). Such were the Thessalonians, of whom Paul wrote, “We ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure [anexomai, the same term used here in 3:13]” (2 Thess. 1:4).

Believers are to be marked not only by endurance, but also by forgiving each other. The Greek charizomenoi literally means “to be gracious” and the text uses a reflexive pronoun, so it literally reads, “forgiving yourselves.” The church as a whole is to be a gracious, mutually forgiving fellowship. By including the phrase just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you Paul makes Christ the model of forgiveness. Because He has forgiven us, so also must we forgive others (Eph. 4:32; cf. Matt. 18:21–35). The phrase whoever has a complaint against anyone refers to times when someone is at fault because of sin, error, or debt. The Lord Jesus is our pattern for forgiveness, because He forgave all our sins, errors, and debts. He is also the model for the rest of the virtues discussed in this section.[1]


13 As with the vice lists in v. 5 and v. 8, Paul turns now to expand and expound, albeit briefly, on the final item (i.e., “patience”) of his truncated catalog of Christian graces (cf. Vaughan, 215). (This is not to deny, however, that the other four virtues set forth in v. 12 might also be in view in v. 13.) The Colossians should put patience into practice by “bearing with” (lit., “enduring”) one another (cf. 1 Co 4:12; Eph 4:2). When complaints and grievances arise among church members, they should “forgive” one another. (“Paul is too much of a realist to imagine that the renewal he has been describing will produce faultless men and women” [Caird, 207]. He encourages believers, therefore, to cultivate a Christlike character, which will enable them to deal redemptively with one another.) Even as “the Lord” (likely “Christ” is meant here, as the variant reading suggests [so Dunn, 231; Moule, 123]) has forgiven Christians all their transgressions (cf. 2:13), so also believers should extend forgiveness to one another (Eph 4:32; cf. Mt 6:12, 14–15; 18:35). “Knowing oneself to have been forgiven by Christ should release the generosity required to forgive others” (Lincoln, 648; cf. Dunn, 231).[2]


13  Mutual forbearance, mutual tolerance, and mutual forgivingness should mark all their relations with one another. Did not Jesus himself inculcate the principle of unwearying and unceasing forgiveness, until “seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22)? More than that, had they not received his forgiveness, in far greater measure than they were ever likely to have to emulate in forgiving others? For he taught the lesson of unlimited forgiveness by example and not only by precept. In his teaching, too, he made it clear that those who seek the forgiveness of God must be ready to forgive others. Not that human forgiveness is a work that earns the divine forgiveness—the initiative in forgiveness lies with God—but an unforgiving spirit is an effective barrier to the reception of his forgiveness. So, in the parallel passage in Eph. 4:32, the readers are directed to be kind and tenderhearted to one another, “forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” In fact, Paul reproduces Jesus’ insistence on the close relation between God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others in a way that suggests he may have known the Lord’s Prayer.[3]


13 This verse now clarifies and supplements the list by shifting toward bearing with or, better yet, devotedly caring for and forgiving one another (or showing grace to one another).129 Again, the priority and circularity of the Lord’s own love and grace come to the fore: as the Lord bears with humans (Rom 3:25) and shows grace (Eph 4:32), so the Colossians are to do the same with one another. The term Paul uses is distinct to him and is not often used of forgiveness: charizomai, which describes an act of grace (charis) shown to another (Eph 4:32; 2 Cor 2:7, 10; 12:13). A remarkable feature of the earliest Christian movement was its commitment to graciousness prompted by God’s grace (see Matt 6:12, 14–15; 18:15–35; Rom 12:9–13:10). I am content to argue that the word charizomai in the Pauline letters is short-circuited when it is translated as “forgive.” Rather, the term means “show grace” or “be gracious” to someone else, even to those who have offended. The typical words for “forgive” (aphiēmi, aphesis) are not used in this verse, and so I suggest charizomai is used intentionally to evoke being gracious to another person, which naturally enough will be displayed in forgiveness but is wider than that term.

Forgiveness, C. S. Lewis once said, is a lovely idea until you have something to forgive; what he said in the middle of the twentieth century is no less true of all ages in the history of humans. Paul was headed toward this graciousness in his “clothe yourselves” virtue list (3:12). There was much to forgive and much to learn about forgiveness in Paul’s churches, as there is for any close fellowship. The process of forgiveness, which aims toward reconciliation as part of Christ’s cosmic reconciliation (Col 1:20), begins with knowing the offending matter at hand: “if any of you has a grievance against someone.” As with Jesus (Matt 18:15–20), the cause for the complaint must be aired, admitted to, dealt with honestly—not dismissing or minimizing the offending act or the offended—and then confessed before the choice to forgive comes into play. But forgiveness, as I said above, short-circuits the term, and we need to apply this to more than forgiveness. The social tensions of a typical Pauline church, with its mixture of Jews and Gentiles, males and females, slaves and free, along with the social tensions of barbarians and Scythians—all this tossed into a new kind of family surely produced tension where grace would be needed.136

Yet again, there is a theological/christological priority: “Forgive [or be gracious] as the Lord forgave you [showed grace to you].” The correlation creates a tidier theology than it does a tidy reflection in actual praxis, but the model is established by God’s revelation in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection (see Matt 5:43–48; 6:12; Rom 15:7, 8; Eph 5:2, 25, 29): as they have been shown prior and superabundant grace, so they are to extend grace. Here we have a good example of the circularity of grace. It is possible, first, that our text is an allusion to the teachings of Jesus (Matt 6:12, 14–15; 18:23–35); second, it is almost certain that “Lord” refers to Jesus as the one who shows grace (Rom 15:7; Eph 4:32; 5:2, 25, 29) and not to the Father.[4]


Forgiveness: a new ability (v. 13)

‘Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another’. The point here is that of keeping oneself in check even when irritated by others, and the forgetting of offences personally received. We have to do so looking to Christ as our example: ‘even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do’. Believers can, and must, be a forgiving people (Matt. 6:14–15). Peter was told to forgive up to seventy times seven (Matt. 18:22). Note that Paul is still discoursing on Christian freedom! The antinomians will not like this clear and unequivocal exhortation from Paul because they consider themselves not under the law of obedience. However, a forgiving attitude marks out a true Christian from a false one.[5]


3:13 / There are bound to be conflicts (grievances) within the church. When this occurs, says Paul, bear with each other forgive … one another. Tolerance and forgiveness should not be regarded as two additional virtues but rather as explanations of how gentleness and patience are to be exercised in the body. To be tolerant is to be patiently forbearing of others with the idea of forgiving them. Paul appeals to his readers’ experience of forgiveness in Christ. They are to forgive because of and according to the example of the Lord.[6]


12, 13. Put on, therefore, as God’s elect, holy and beloved. “Put on” is repeated from verse 10. And the word “therefore” means (amplified), “Since you have in principle taken Christ into your hearts, therefore actually be in practice—yes, be fully—what you have professed to be, and what I, Paul, actually believe you have begun to be.” Be this “as God’s elect.” For a twelve-point summary of the doctrine of election in the epistles of Paul see N.T.C. on I and II Thess., pp. 48–50. Note especially the following statements, taken from points 7, 10, and 12: “Election affects life in all its phases, is not abstract. Although it belongs to God’s decree from eternity, it becomes a dynamic force in the hearts and lives of God’s children. It produces fruits. It is an election not only unto salvation but definitely also (as a link in the chain) unto service. It has as its final aim God’s glory, and is the work of his delight” (Eph. 1:4–6).

In apposition with the expression “God’s elect” are the ascriptions “holy and beloved.” As God’s chosen ones, these people, both individually and collectively as far as they are true believers, are holy, that is, “set apart” for the Lord and for his work. They have been cleansed by the blood of Christ from the guilt of their sins, and are being delivered, more and more, from sin’s pollution, and renewed according to the image of God (see on verse 10 above). They are, moreover, “beloved,” and this especially by God (1 Thess. 1:4; cf. 2 Thess. 3:13).

Thus, the qualifying designations of honor that were formerly applied to the ancient covenant people of Israel (see 1 Peter 2:9; then Isa. 5:1; Hos. 2:23; cf. Rom. 9:25) are here used in connection with the members of the church of the new dispensation. The church is the new Israel. Paul continues. (Put on) a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering. It is immediately evident that these qualities overlap. A person with “a compassionate heart” will also be “kind.” One who is lowly or humble in disposition will also be “meek,” etc.

The expression heart of compassion indicates a very deep feeling, “a yearning with the deeply-felt affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). As to the depth of this feeling one thinks of the reaction of Joseph upon seeing Benjamin (Gen. 43:30), or in revealing himself to his brothers (Gen. 45:1–4). Another example would be the tender relationship between David and Jonathan (1 Sam. 18:1; 20:4, 17).

The next quality is kindness. This is Spirit-imparted goodness of heart, the very opposite of the malice or badness mentioned in verse 8. The early Christians by means of kindness commended themselves to others (2 Cor. 6:6). God, too, is kind (Rom. 2:4; cf. 11:22), and we are admonished to become like him in this respect (Luke 6:35). Examples of human kindness would be the same persons already mentioned in connection with “heart of compassion.” To avoid repetition, let us add the Good Samaritan of the well-known parable (Luke 10:25–37), Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 37; 15:37), and the apostle Paul himself (1 Thess. 2:7–12).

Lowliness or humility—a virtue despised by the heathen (as noted earlier)—is also mentioned as a quality which believers should more and more strive to acquire. The person who is kind to others generally does not have too high an estimate of himself. A happy condition arises when in a church each member counts the other to be better than himself (Phil. 2:3). Of course, there is also such a thing as “feigned humility” (see on 2:18, 23). Good examples of true humility would be the centurion who said, “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof” (Luke 7:6), and the publican who, in a striking parable, pours out his heart by sighing, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner” (Luke 18:13). According to the entire context, however, it is modest self-appraisal in relation to the neighbors, especially to fellow-believers, that Paul has in mind. Of course, these two—humility toward God and the same disposition toward men—far from being mutually exclusive, belong together.

Meekness, mentioned next, is definitely not weakness or spinelessness, the characteristic of the person who is ready to bow before every breeze. It is submissiveness under provocation, the willingness rather to suffer injury than to inflict it. A striking example is Moses (Num. 12:3).

For longsuffering see on 1:11. What a longsuffering hero was Jeremiah during his lengthy period of prophetic activity. Think also of Hosea who, instead of rejecting his unfaithful wife, slips away to the haunt of shame, redeems Gomer with fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley, and mercifully restores her to her position of honor!

Continued: enduring one another. The Colossians are urged to bear with one another in love (cf. Eph. 4:2). Paul was able to say, “Being persecuted we endure” (Cor. 4:12). The example of Job comes to mind (James 5:11). Paul adds, and forgiving each other if anyone have a complaint against anyone. Just as the Lord133 has forgiven you, so do you also. For the divine forgiveness see on 2:13. Christ, while on earth, had taught his disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). It is possible that the expression “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so do you also” is a conscious echo of the just quoted petition of the Lord’s Prayer, showing that Paul knew that prayer. Anyway, it is identical in spirit and meaning. Jesus had also instructed Peter to forgive “not up to seven times but up to seventy times seven times” (Matt. 18:22), and had added a touching parable ending with the words, “So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from the heart” (Matt. 18:35; cf. Mark 11:25). Moreover, the Lord had underscored these precepts with his own example. While being crucified he had implored, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). When Stephen, while he was being stoned to death, prayed “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge,” he was following the example of Christ.

This would seem to be the proper place to point out that Paul here links his admonitions to Christ’s person and work, as has been indicated also in connection with Col. 1:28. See the three columns there. The qualities which, according to Paul’s teaching here, mark the new man are also ascribed to Christ. For his “heart of compassion” and his kindness see Matt. 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34. His lowliness and meekness are exemplified in Matt. 11:29; 21:5; John 13:1–15; Phil. 2:8; his longsuffering and endurance or forbearance, in Matt. 17:17; John 14:9; 1 Peter 2:23; and his forgiving spirit, in Matt. 9:2; Luke 7:47; 23:34. Accordingly, when a believer manifests these virtues in his association with his fellow-men he has “put on” Christ (Rom. 13:l4). And it is comforting to know that he who has seen Christ has seen the Father (John 14:9; cf. 1:18), and that he who is an imitator of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Thess. 1:6) is also an imitator of God (Eph. 5:1).[7]


3:12–14. Verses 12–17 contain the virtues that stand in contrast to the vices mentioned in the preceding verses. With the old discarded, the character of Christ is to be displayed in its place. The transformation process includes more than don’ts. There are some dos as well.

Since the old humanity has been put off and the new community has been put on, believers are therefore to clothe themselves with the kind of behavioral apparel that fits their new life. The famous story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen has many possible applications for believers. One of them would be the simple lesson that we are not to be foolish like the emperor and take off our old clothes and put nothing back on. Before listing the appropriate attire, Paul reminds believers that they are God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved. These are exalted titles formerly used as designations for the nation of Israel (Deut. 4:37; 7:7–8) but now applied to the new community in Christ (1 Pet. 2:9–10).

William Barclay has an insightful comment on the nature of the virtues listed now:

“It is most significant to note that every one of the virtues and graces listed has to do with personal relationships between man and man. There is no mention of virtues like efficiency, cleverness, even diligence and industry—not that these things are not important. But the great basic Christian virtues are the virtues which govern and set the tone of human relationships. Christianity is community” (Barclay, 188).

The first piece in the believer’s fashionable wardrobe is compassion, which refers to “heartfelt sympathy for those suffering or in need.” The next item in the believer’s wardrobe is kindness, the friendly and helpful spirit which meets needs through good deeds. This is the concrete action of compassion. If the believer is to be fully dressed, other Christlike characteristics are to be worn as well. The believer is to be clothed with humility, which is a proper estimation of oneself (Rom. 12:3). Humility is not a self-debasing attitude (like the “false humility” of 2:18 and 2:23) but an attitude that is free from pride and self assertion. The believer is to be clothed with gentleness, sometimes translated “meekness.” Gentleness has been described as “power under control”; the picture of a powerful horse under the control of its master is a helpful image. The attitude behind gentleness is an attitude of refusing to demand one’s rights. The believer is to be clothed with patience which is the capacity to bear injustice or injury without revenge or retaliation.

The idea of putting up with the abuses and offenses of others continues with Paul’s call to bear with each other. Believers are to go beyond quiet resignation positively to forgive whatever grievances [they] may have against one another. Believers have been fully forgiven by Christ (2:13–14), and the forgiven are obligated to become forgivers. The standard for this forgiveness is Christ himself.

Paul saves the most important item of clothing for last. Without love, all the other virtues may amount to mere moralism and little else (a thought found also in 1 Cor. 13:1–3). When love is present, there is harmony and unity in the community. It is not clear whether love binds the virtues together, completing a lovely garment of Christlike character, or whether love binds the members of the community together in mature oneness. Perhaps the ambiguity is intentional. Both ideas make good sense.[8]


Ver. 13. Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another.

Forbearance:—To forbear is not only freely to forgive, but to meet half way, with extended hand (E.T.E.B.). During the celebrated John Henderson’s residence at Oxford, a student of a neighbouring college, proud of his logical achievements, was solicitous of a private disputation. Some mutual friends introduced him, and having chosen his subject, they conversed for some time with equal candour and moderation; but at length Henderson’s antagonist, perceiving his own confusion inevitable, in the height of passion threw a full glass of wine in Henderson’s face. The latter, without altering his features, or changing his position, gently wiped his face, and coolly replied, “This, sir, is a digression. Now for the argument.” A greater victory than any controversial success could have given him. (Cottle.)

Divine forgiveness admired and imitated:—

  1. Study the pattern of forgiveness. 1. What is this forgiveness of Christ? (1) He forgave offences most great and grievous. Men did all they could against Him. Say not that you have never thus transgressed. “He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” These offences were unprovoked. Towards no man had He acted harshly. Such is human depravity that His very virtue provoked hostility. “They hated Me without a cause.” He continues to forgive causeless wrong. (2) He forgave the most unworthy persons. None deserved such kindness; in fact, to talk of deserving it is a contradiction. If He had left us in our sin we could have brought no complaint against Him. (3) He had always power to execute vengeance. Some pardon because they cannot punish. Half the forgiveness in the world comes from weakness of hand rather than forgiveness of heart. 2. How did He forgive? (1) Unsolicited. Before we had thought of mercy He had thoughts of mercy toward us. “I have blotted out … return unto Me.” Pardon is not first as matter of experience, but it is as matter of fact with God. (2) Heartily. Forgiveness when it cornea from human lips in studied phrase is not worth the having: but when Jesus absolves it is from the heart, and sin is put away for ever. (3) Completely. He keeps no back reckonings. “I will not remember thy sins.” Even fathers, when they have forgiven a wayward child, will, perhaps, throw the offence in his teeth years after; but Christ says, “Thy sins shall not be mentioned against thee any more.” (4) Continuously. He forgave us long ago. He still forgives. It is not a reprieve, but a free pardon. (5) Graciously. Some people make it appear as though they were coming down from such awful heights. You never feel that about Christ. He never scalds the sinner with scornful pity. (6) Greatly. The offence had brought trouble into the world, and He bore that trouble. Some people hand us over to consequences; Christ delivers us from them. (7) Consciously. There is a theory abroad that we may be forgiven and not know it. But the Holy Spirit writes forgiveness on our hearts.
  2. Copy it for yourselves. 1. This precept is universally applicable. It is unqualified in its range. It is not put that superiors are to forgive inferiors, or the less are to forgive the greater. The rich are to be forbearing to the poor, and the poor to the rich; the elder is to forgive the junior for his imprudence, and the junior the elder for his petulence and slowness. 2. This forbearance and forgiveness are vital. No man is a child of God who has not a likeness to God; and no man is forgiven who will not himself forgive. 3. Gloriously ennobling. Revenge is paltry; forgiveness is great-minded. David was greater than Saul, and Saul acknowledged it. To win a battle is a little thing if fought out with sword and gun, but to win it in God’s way with love and forgiveness is the best of victories. A nation in fighting, even if it wins the campaign, has to suffer, but he that overcomes by love is all the better and stronger for it. 4. Logically appropriate to all. If our Lord has forgiven us ten thousand talents, how can we take our brother by the throat for one hundred pence. 5. Most forcibly sustained by the example in the text. “Even as Christ.” It is said (1) “If you pass by every wanton offence you will come to be despised.” But has Christ’s honour suffered? Far from it. It is His glory to forgive. (2) “If we overlook offences, other people may be tempted to wrong us.” But has any been tempted to do so because Christ has forgiven you? Why, that is the very groundwork of holiness. (3) “I know several pious persons who are unforgiving.” But that proves their impiety; and if it did not, the Master is your example, not your fellow-servant, particularly in his faults. (4) “These persons would not have forgiven me.” Just so; but you are a child of God, and must not lower your standard down to that of publicans and sinners. (5) “I would forgive him, but he does not deserve it.” That is why you are to forgive him; if he deserved it you would be bound to do him the justice he could claim. (6) “I cannot forgive.” You “can do all things through Christ that strengthens you.” (C H. Spurgeon.)

Human forgiveness:—The world is rife with human quarrels; families, neighbourhoods, Churches, have their quarrels. They arise from many principles in the depraved heart besides misunderstandings. Hence forgiveness is important. The text suggests two things concerning forgiveness.

  1. The duty. Here it is urged as well as in other places (Rom. 12:19). Besides this there are two reasons. 1. You desire forgiveness yourself. Who would like to have the vengeance of a man always in his heart towards him? If you would like forgiveness, you must do as you would be done by. 2. You need forgiveness yourself when you have offended. He who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he himself has to pass. Besides, an unforgiving spirit is an injury to its possessor.
  2. Its model. “Even as Christ.” 1. How did Christ forgive? Promptly, generously, fully, without any reflection upon past offences. 2. Examples: The woman taken in adultery. His enemies—“Father, forgive them.” The dying thief. (D. Thomas, D.D.) Forgiveness implies—1. The remission of the right to retaliate when safe and proper. 2. The dismissal of the revengeful feelings which injury may have excited. 3. The revival of those feelings of goodwill which it becomes us habitually to cherish. (W. Fleming.)

Forth-giving:—To forgive a thing is to “forthgive” by your own act and freewill, to give it forth from you that it may go clean out from you—out of sight and out of mind.

Forgiveness a distinctively Christian virtue:—We cannot say that it was unknown to the ancients; under certain conditions, no doubt, it was very common. In domestic life, in which all the germs of Christian virtue are to be found, it was undoubtedly common. Undoubtedly friends fell out and were reconciled in antiquity as among ourselves. But when the only relation between the two parties was that of injurer and injured, and the only claim of the offender to forgiveness was that he was a human being, then forgiveness seems not only not to have been practised, but not to have been enjoined nor approved. People not only did not forgive their enemies, but did not wish to do so, nor think better of themselves for having done so. That man considered himself fortunate who on his deathbed could say, in reviewing his past life, that no one had done more good to his friends or more mischief to his foes. The Roman Triumph, with its naked ostentation of revenge, fairly represents the common feeling of the ancients. Nevertheless, forgiveness even of any enemy was not unknown to them. They could conceive it, and they could feel that there was a Divine beauty in it, but it seemed to them more than could be expected of human nature, superhuman. (Ecce Homo.)

International forgiveness:—Is that which is right between individuals wrong as between societies? Am I to forbear and forgive when acting alone, but when associated with two or three others am I to manifest a different spirit? Is my individual conscience to be merged in the associated conscience, and does the Christian law for a society differ from the law for individuals? Enlarge the society till it becomes the nation. Is the law of Christ abrogated? It would seem to be so considered by the “Christian nations” of the world. Why is Europe in time of peace an entrenched camp? Why are millions of the strongest and healthiest men withdrawn from productive labours and domestic life to be trained in the art of killing, while the people groan under the burden of a taxation and a poverty God never sent? Because in international law there is so little recognition of the Divine precept—“forbearing one another and forgiving one another.” Because many who in their private relations manifest meekness and gentleness, as politicians and statesmen seem to think the old Pagan law is unrepealed. How few of the wars which have desolated Europe during the last thousand years would have been waged had it been more than nominally Christian! If instead of resenting every supposed affront, of vindicating on every petty occasion what is called the honour of a flag, of supposing the dignity of an empire precludes all forbearance, patience, and concession, there had been even a little of the “bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering” enjoined in our text, the history of the world had been differently written; heathen nations would have said, “see how these Christians love;” instead of the flags of Europe inspiring terror in distant regions, they would have been everywhere hailed as symbols of peace; and the old prophecy would have had a fulfilment in the case of Christendom—“the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion.” (Newman Hall, LL.B.) A quarrel.A quarrel: Both sides wrong:—In most quarrels there is a fault on both sides. A quarrel may be compared to a spark, which cannot be produced without a flint as well as a steel; either of them may hammer on wood for ever, no fire will follow. (R. South.)

Quarrels prolonged:—“I have seen in the south of France a row of beggars sitting on the side of a bridge, day after day, winter and summer, showing sore legs and sore arms; these sores never get well, they were kept continually raw with caustic in order to excite compassion and obtain alms. And the most bitter jealousy reigned between these beggars as to the size and irritability of their respective sores. The man with only an inflamed knee burned with envy of the man whose whole leg was raw. Not for all the world would they let their wounds heal, as that would cut off from them a means of livelihood. I fear a great many people love their grievances against neighbours much as those beggars loved their sores. They keep them constantly open and irritable by inventing and applying fresh aggravations. They are proud of them, they like to expose their wrongs, as they call them, to all their neighbours.” (S. Baring-Gould.)[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (pp. 153–157). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 332). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (p. 155). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] McKnight, S. (2018). The Letter to the Colossians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (pp. 323–324). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] McNaughton, I. S. (2006). Opening up Colossians and Philemon (p. 66). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[6] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 79). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, pp. 155–158). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, pp. 330–331). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Philippians–Colossians (Vol. 2, pp. 229–231). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

Excommunication Deserved, but I’m Happy

Unfathomable Grace

The following is an overview of 1 Corinthians 5 and 6. Perhaps you should skip below and read the text first. My blog-thoughts are not based upon extensive study. I am not going to my commentaries or back into my personal records to look up previous expositions on these two chapters. Today, I am merely meditating on these two chapters as part of my daily devotions, and in doing so the Holy Spirit is bringing to mind four questions:

1. Why are we not more undone by our sinGod hates all our immorality in all its forms. All our sins of commission and sins of omission are equally heinous. Oh, how God despises our …

  • Heterosexual sins
  • Homosexual sins
  • Arrogance in the face of sin
  • Lack of mourning over our sin and others
  • Selfish greed
  • Swindling
  • Thieving
  • Idolatry
  • Revelry and drunkenness,
  • Food domination and other addictions
  • Judging of outsiders; this…

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November 30 A Glimpse of Heavenly Praise

scripture reading: Revelation 4
key verse: Psalm 89:5

The heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord;
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.

It is wonderful to read of the tidal waves of worship that unceasingly sweep over heaven’s celestial shores. But what good does that do you as you wake up to a rainy morning, a car with a dead battery, an angry boss, or a sick child? How can you worship with such sheer, constant joy in the face of a world that has only tribulations?

Well, you know this: God wants you to experience the pleasure of worship now as well as in heaven, so He must have a way.

And He does. Each time you open the Word of God, you encounter God, revealed accurately and divinely to you during your earthly journey. As you sink your mind and heart into studying and meditating on His Word, you will learn more and more about God and His ways.

As you do, a sense of growing reverence and awe should spring up within. Worship of God should adorn your days. He has given you His Word so that you might know and praise Him as often as you like.

Are you taking advantage of the opportunity now? If so, heaven will simply be a continuum of adoration.

Mighty God, teach me to worship You now so that I will be prepared for eternity. Let me learn to lift heavenly praise while still here on earth.[1]

 

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

Weekend Snapshot · Nov. 30, 2019 – Top Stories This Week

Be Thankful for America

We’re living in a wonderful time in which there are a great many things to be thankful for.


Memo to Chick-fil-A From the BSA

There is a lot to admire about Chick-fil-A, but good, faithful people can make poor decisions.


‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Thanksgiving News Dump

Aid was held the day of the call, and Trump released it after learning of the whistleblower.


‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Dems Get Cold Feet?

Recent polling shows Americans are turning against impeaching Trump.


Kaepernick ‘Canceled’? Please.

The former quarterback simply isn’t good enough to offset the inevitable media circus.


NavSec Firing Should End Gallagher Saga

What Gallagher was accused of was troubling. So are questions about integrity of the process.


Public Schools Must Be De-unionized

It’s time to sink the union monopolies in school districts across the nation.


Bloomberg ‘News’ Propagandists

The billionaire Democrat’s news outlet will only target Trump with its investigative journalism.


Big Business and Climate Cronyism

Market solutions, not top-down control, are the best way to address the climate.


Political Cease Fire Is the Perfect Thanksgiving Recipe

Perhaps it’s better to pass the gravy than to pass political insults this holiday.



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

“The Washington Post published a story claiming Barack Obama is a ‘Conservative.’ Which makes sense considering they also believe: Biological men can be women. President Trump is a Russian puppet. And ISIS terrorists are ‘Austere religious scholars.’” —Charlie Kirk

Source: “The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 11/30/2019

Charity Chick-fil-A Plans to Expand Support to in 2020 Drove Woman to Abortion Facility in Michigan   Nov 23, 2019 05:47 pm

A recent report notes that a Michigan chapter of Covenant House International, a faith-based homeless charity which is also inclusive and affirming of homosexuals, was photographed in August taking a woman to an abortion facility in Detroit. Covenant House International was one of the recipients of the 2019 Chick-fil-A True Inspiration awards, and the chicken chain…

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Chick-fil-A Exec in Charge of Giving Personally Gave $1K to Hillary, Obama Campaigns—Also on Board of Salvation Army Where Funding Cut   Nov 25, 2019 10:50 am

Screenshot. Click to enlarge. (Front Page Magazine) — Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it was dumping the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which have come under attack by gay activist groups, caught Christian fans of the fast food chain by surprise. It shouldn’t have if they had been paying attention to CFA’s corporate…

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YouTube Prankster Plots With Pastor to Have Service Disrupted During Sermon With Hot Dog Vendors   Nov 26, 2019 02:40 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. — Popular YouTube prankster Charles Ross recently plotted with a Florida minister to interrupt his sermon dressed as a hot dog vendor, with the agreement that the unconventional stunt would be tied into the message. While the prank has been praised by Ross’ fans, others remark that such a disruption in the house of God is irreverent and should…

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‘I Can’t Live Without Jesus’: Pastor Tells of God’s Power in Iranian Prison   Nov 24, 2019 11:41 am

(Open Doors USA) — In today’s 21st-century Iran, the church is increasingly under intensifying persecution from both society and the state, as Christianity— and anyone involved in spreading it — is seen as a threat to the Republic’s Islamic identity. But like the early church of Acts that expanded exponentially in the face of persecution, the persecuted…

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Lesbian Who ‘Married’ a Woman Sues After Being Expelled From Fuller Theological Seminary   Nov 27, 2019 04:16 pm

Photo Credit: Bobak Ha’Eri PASADENA, Calif. — A lesbian who was allegedly expelled from Fuller Theological Seminary after it was discovered that she was “married” to another woman has filed suit, accusing the educational institution of violating federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination. Joanna Maxon, 53, of Fort Worth, Texas was reportedly working…

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NY School Board Votes to End Contract With Doctor Who Declined to Allow Girl to Wrestle Boys   Nov 27, 2019 05:33 pm

Photo Credit: Dreier Carr LANCASTER, N.Y. — A school board in New York State has voted to terminate the contract of its district pediatrician after he declined to clear a female student to join the boys wrestling team, citing concerns about her physical maturity and that “girls don’t play boy sports.” Trista Blasz, 12, has already been competing on a national…

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Pastor Beaten Unconscious Faces Charges by Hindu Extremists in Jharkhand, India   Nov 23, 2019 01:27 pm

Photo Credit: FancyCrave/Pexels NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – A pastor and his family in eastern India are facing police charges after Hindu extremists with an axe, bamboo rods and wooden sticks attacked them in their home, leaving the pastor for dead, sources said. The eight assailants, including a policeman, who attacked pastor Basant Kumar Paul as he…

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Chinese House Church Members Arrested for Listening to Foreign Pastor’s Audio Sermons   Nov 27, 2019 02:48 pm

(Bitter Winter) — On June 19, over a dozen members of Fule Church, a place of worship that is not part of the state-run Three-Self Church in Jiamusi city in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, were listening to an audio sermon by a South Korean pastor, when officials from the local Religious Affairs Bureau and police officers suddenly broke in. They combed…

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Chick-fil-A Foundation Donated to Far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center in 2017, Tax Records Show   Nov 29, 2019 07:06 pm

(Christian Post) — Chick-fil-A’s charity arm donated in 2017 to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that has labeled many Christian conservative organizations as “hate” groups. Following the immense conservative backlash to Chick-fil-A’s recent decision to end giving to the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes,…

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Christian Printing Company Declines to Publish Pro-Homosexual Edition of University Magazine   Nov 28, 2019 04:47 pm

Photo Credit: Ket Quang/Free Images MOBILE, Ala. — The editor of the student magazine for the University of South Alabama recently took to the media after a Christian printing company declined to publish a particular edition of the publication that was favorable toward homosexuality and drag queens. “Initially, I was shocked. It never crossed my mind that…

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TBP Headlines – 11/30/2019

Gaza rocket explodes in open field in Israel; IDF strikes Hamas post in response

Gantz: Likud knows the right thing to do is form a coalition without Netanyahu

Israeli Diplomats Celebrate 72nd Anniversary of UN Decision That Led to Jewish State’s Founding

Commentary: Knife Netanyahu and Trump’s peace plan may bleed to death

Netanyahu clings to office while calling criminal charges against him a “witch hunt.”

IDF: Lebanese drone briefly entered Israeli airspace

Naftali Bennett: We need to boost our campaign in Syria

Erdogan attacks Macron as ‘brain dead’ after French leader’s Syria criticism

After more than 400 killed in 2 months of protests, Iraqi PM says he will resign

Iraqis keep up anti-regime demos despite PM’s vow to quit

Iraqis shatter taboos in rage at Iran, but bloodshed may follow

Falling oil prices may be misreading a tenuous situation in Iraq

Pompeo: Iran should know there is a cost to malign activity ‘wherever it takes place’

Melanie Phillips: The heroism of the Iranian people shrugged off by degenerate Europe

Sudan overturns Shariah-inspired moral policing law, disbands ex-ruling party

2 killed, several injured in terror stabbing at London Bridge, suspect shot dead

‘Heroic’ Londoners praised for tackling knifeman in terror attack that killed 2

London attacker said to have Islamic extremist ties, been jailed for terrorism

London Bridge stabbing is latest in string of UK terror attacks in recent years

Italy’s ‘Miss Hitler’ Among 19 Investigated for Starting New Nazi Party in Italy

Malta’s PM expected to quit in crisis over journalist’s murder

Apple slammed for marking Crimea as part of Russia

Trump administration to cut its financial contribution to NATO

Mexico warns will not allow US operations against cartels

“No invasion since 1914” – Mexico bristles at U.S. terror designation plan

Nadler gives White House deadline for deciding on impeachment hearing participation

Trump ruins media smear tactics with surprise Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan

‘We live in a democracy’: Melania Trump defends students who booed her

Amazon workers stage strike on Black Friday

Shopping online this Black Friday? Beware: A third of online reviews are fake

Costco’s website crashed for several hours over Thanksgiving, and experts estimate it could have cost the retailer nearly $11 million in sales

China seeks to root out fake news and deepfakes with new online content rules

In latest sign of trade-war pain, the Trump administration announces tariff relief for dozens of Chinese products

Singapore just used its fake news law. Critics say it’s just what they feared

Prosecutors: Noted American coder taught North Korea how to evade sanctions with cryptocurrency

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Champerico, Guatemala

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Masjed Soleyman, Iran

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,500ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 12,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Typhoon “Kammuri” (Tisoy) intensifying on its way toward the Philippines

Snowmageddon Around the World: Meters of Snow in California – Europe’s Exceptional Snowfall Continues – Japan, Canada and China Winter Storm Alerts

San Francisco ties cold record as Bay Area freezes

Germany is closing all its nuclear power plants. Now it must find a place to bury the deadly waste for 1 million years

Leonardo DiCaprio Accused Of Bankrolling Amazon Rainforest Fires By Brazil President

Iran officials close schools in Tehran because of pollution

Alarmists Propose Rebranding ‘Climate Change’ for Greater Shock Value

Students stage global strikes to pressure U.N. climate summit

Climate protesters block stores, disrupt Black Friday shopping

Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face ‘abortion murder’ charges

Dem governor vetoes Pennsylvania ban on aborting Down syndrome babies

Abortion rights group fears 23 states may ban abortion if Roe is overturned by Supreme Court

Chick-Fil-A Talks Out Of Both Sides Of Its Mouth While Switching Support From Christian To LGBT Charities

Cowardice and Capitulation: The Shocking Things Chick-fil-A Funds

Source

30 november (1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Manasseh

“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13

suggested further reading: Romans 1:18–25

It takes ten thousand times more faith to be an unbeliever than to be a believer in God’s revelation. One man comes to me and tells me I am credulous, because I believe in a great First Cause who created the heavens and the earth, and that God became man and died for sin. I tell him I may be, and no doubt am very credulous, as he conceives credulity, but I conceive that which I believe is in perfect consistency with my reason, and I therefore receive it. “But,” saith he, “I am not credulous—not at all.” Sir, I say, I should like to ask you one thing. You do not believe the world was created by God. “No.” You must be amazingly credulous, then, I am sure. Do you think this Bible exists without being made? If you should say I am credulous, because I believe it had a printer and a binder, I should say that you were infinitely more credulous, if you assured me that it was made at all, and should you begin to tell me one of your theories about creation—that atoms floated through space, and came to a certain shape, I should resign the palm of credulity to you. You believe, perhaps, moreover, that man came to be in this world through the improvement of certain creatures. I have read that you say that there were certain monads—that afterwards they grew into fishes—that these fishes wanted to fly, and then wings grew—that by and by they wanted to crawl, and then legs came, and they became lizards, and by many steps they then became monkeys, and then the monkeys became men, and you believe yourself to be cousin ape to an orang-utan. Now, I may be very credulous, but really not so credulous as you are.

for meditation: If Manasseh, the greatest of idolaters (2 Chronicles 33:3), could be converted and worship the one true God, your most ardent evolutionist neighbours or colleagues can be converted and worship the God who created them!

sermon no. 105[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 341). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

30 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Running from Guilt

But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 2 Samuel 11:9

suggested further reading: Isaiah 57:15–21

David was frustrated when Uriah did not want to sleep with his wife, so he racked his brain, seeking time and ways to still bring that about. Previously David had sent Uriah “as a present to his house” (2 Sam. 11:8). Now David called Uriah to his table (2 Sam. 11:13).

By his own actions, David would prove himself guilty, though he was trying to do the opposite. In this we see how God removes every vestige of prudence and discretion from those who operate with a bad conscience. No one had yet accused David of wrongdoing, but even when his sin was unknown, he felt under pressure to cover it up. He began running in strange directions, first seeking one way out of his sin, then another.

When we despise the judgment of God and try to conserve our good reputation before others, God gives us our just reward by drawing us in the very opposite direction from where we want to go. He thus brings us by force to judgment. Let us carefully note, therefore, that a bad conscience will always be accompanied by torment, anxiety, and anguish.

If we wish to have true peace, let us have a good conscience and do right. Furthermore, let us not hope to have peace when we flee the presence of God, especially when we attempt to abolish his justice. Now the wicked, at times, are certainly dead to the disturbing pain of guilt, but this kind of peace is not lasting. The reason is that, instead of presenting themselves before God, they go farther from him.

To have sure and permanent peace, let us be careful to present ourselves before God and deeply examine our conscience. When we feel guilty, let us groan and sigh over our sins, then ask pardon of him who is ready to give us mercy when we come to him in sincerity of heart.

for meditation: The peace David was frantically trying to find was false. It only made him run farther from God and dragged him down into greater sin. Do you find yourself in the same frenzy? Do you try everything to escape the just reward of your sin? Turn to God, rather than from him, and find the peace that passes all understanding in the gospel of Jesus Christ.[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 353). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

November 30 – A certain knowledge — Reformed Perspective

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Scripture reading: Romans 8

Faith is not some blind leap in the dark. Christian faith is first and foremost a certain knowledge. Faith knows certain facts. First, faith knows the truth of this world. Faith deals with reality, this sad age is our fault. The problem in the world is our problem. Faith never says, “I know I do bad things, but deep down inside I’m a good person.” No, faith is honest, it knows that deep down is the problem. Faith also knows that we have been delivered from this problem.

Faith knows that we are not alone. Faith knows that the Holy Spirit works in this sad age to bless us. It also trusts God’s omnipotence. Faith knows that “all things” includes “the sufferings of this present time.” Job sums up the “all things” best when He confessed in great adversity, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” God makes the foulest clean.

Faith knows that God is sovereign, which is a most comforting doctrine. The omnipotence of God is very practical. That’s right, I said doctrine is practical. Worried about your career? Your job is in His Almighty hands. Worried about your health? Your body is under His cosmic microscope. God’s providence undergirds and directs all of life. God’s power is not limited. Some ask, “if God is all-powerful, why pray?” We respond, “If He is not all-powerful, why pray?” Let me ask you, “Do you want a God in control of evil?” Before you answer, know that if He is not, then He cannot really ever help you. True faith rests in God’s omnipotent hands.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that in church tomorrow your faith will be strengthened and pray that those without faith would find Christ as their only comfort in life and in death.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

via November 30 – A certain knowledge — Reformed Perspective

November 30, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

13 Confidence in the Lord’s ability to discern and perceive the nature and needs of his people comes from a belief in God’s purpose. He is the Creator, and his creative concerns include individuals.

In a sense this section continues the emphasis on divine involvement by an emphatic use of “you” (ʾattâ, vv. 2, 13: “you know … you created”) and by the use of the pronominal prefixes and suffixes to the verbs and nouns in Hebrew (translated by “you” and “your”). The Lord has formed the individual as a spiritual (“you created [qānâ, GK 7865; Ge 14:22; Pr 8:22] my inmost being [‘kidneys’],” v. 13) and a physical being (“you knit me together”; cf. Job 8–11; Jer 1:5). All beings owe their existence to the Creator-God. How much more the individual who walks with God, who knows that the Lord has formed him or her for a purpose.[1]


13. “For thou hast possessed my reins.” Thou art the owner of my inmost parts and passions: not the indweller and observer only, but the acknowledged lord and possessor of my most secret self. The word “reins” signifies the kidneys, which by the Hebrews were supposed to be the seal of the desires and longings; but perhaps it indicates here the most hidden and vital portion of the man; this God doth not only inspect, and visit, but it is his own; he is as much at home there as a landlord on his own estate, or a proprietor in his own house. “Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” There I lay hidden—covered by thee. Before I could know thee, or aught else, thou hadst a care for me, and didst hide me away as a treasure till thou shouldst see fit to bring me to the light. Thus the Psalmist describes the intimacy which God had with him. In his most secret part—his reins, and in his most secret condition—yet unborn, he was under the control and guardianship of God.[2]


139:13 formed … wove. By virtue of the divinely designed period of pregnancy, God providentially watches over the development of the child while yet in the mother’s womb.[3]


139:13 my inward parts The Hebrew word used here, kilyah, can refer to organs like kidneys in sacrificial animals. It is also used metaphorically for one’s inner self and is often used parallel to the heart (see Jer 11:20).[4]


139:13 you formed my inward parts. God’s knowledge of the writer goes back even before his birth, to his conception, when the Lord created the psalmist’s personal existence.[5]


139:13 Humankind is the Lord’s possession and his creation (Gn 14:19, 22; Dt 32:6). Inward parts (lit “kidneys”) often denote the seat of emotion or affection (16:7; 73:21; Jb 19:27).[6]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 962). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 120-150 (Vol. 6, p. 262). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ps 139:13). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 139:13). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 861). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[6] Warstler, K. R. (2017). Psalms. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 936). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

The Annunciation (Part 2 of 2) | Truth For Life

The incarnation is an absolutely astonishing doctrine. When the angel informed Mary that she would conceive miraculously and give birth to the Messiah, though, she responded with humble faith. That’s our subject on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

Listen…

Source: The Annunciation (Part 2 of 2)

November 30 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

1 Chronicles 28; 2 Peter 2; Micah 5; Luke 14

 

if the forward-looking vision of Micah 4 does not include any description of a coming Messiah, the opening verses of Micah 5 redress the balance. The chapter begins with a sad depiction of Jerusalem and her king (5:1). Probably the historical allusion is to the invasion of the Assyrians under Sennacherib in 701 b.c. Although in God’s providence Jerusalem held up, the other walled towns of Judah were breached, and King Hezekiah was humiliated and almost overthrown. Ideally, the king from David’s line was to quell rebellion and disorder “with a rod of iron” (Ps. 2); he was to promote justice by striking with the rod of his mouth (Isa. 11:4). Yet here “Israel’s ruler” is struck “on the cheek with a rod” (5:1).

But the dynasty survives. Without filling in the intermediate steps, Micah the prophet envisages another king from the Davidic line (5:2–4). He springs from Bethlehem Ephrathah, ancestral home of David, the birthplace of his dynasty. From this village, God says, “will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (5:2). This wording is not affirming the eternal preexistence of this messianic figure (though of course it is not denying it). Rather, the glorious prospect is grounded in the past, in the ancient Davidic dynasty. When this king takes up the scepter, he will “shepherd his flock,” not in the uncertain strength of Hezekiah or any other king who precedes him in the line, but “in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God” (5:4). And in due course “his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth,” and the secure peace pictured in the previous chapter will be ushered in (5:4–5).

So in the fullness of time, God arranged international affairs to ensure that Jesus was born not in Nazareth, the residence of Mary and Joseph, but in Bethlehem, their ancestral home (Luke 2). It was almost as if Almighty God was going a second mile: not only would it be said that Jesus “as to his human nature was a descendant of David” (Rom. 1:3) and thus an offshoot from Bethlehem, but that he was actually born there. Indeed, when the Magi arrived in Herod’s court to inquire as to where the promised King had been born, the chief priests and teachers of the Law quoted this passage in Micah 5 to settle the matter: he would be born in Bethlehem in Judea (Matt. 2:5–6). Though the village of Bethlehem was entirely unprepossessing (“small among the clans of Judah,” 5:2), with such a son it could “by no means” be considered “least among the rulers of Judah” (Matt. 2:6).[1]

 

[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

30 Nov 2019 – Rapture Ready News

San Francisco Gripped by Record Cold on Thanksgiving
San Francisco saw record-breaking cold on Thanksgiving Day with temperatures plummeting to 48 degrees, tying the city’s record for November

The Rush To A Cashless Society Only Serves Globalist Interests
The US dollar is itself just another tool of the banking cabal, and tools sometimes lose their usefulness over time…

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes, who penned thrillers exposing the murderous vaccine deep state, found shot to death
Jennifer Jaynes, USA Today bestselling author of Malice and other novels exposing the vaccine deep state, was found shot to death on Monday, November 25th, according to media reports

Insider Sources Reveal a CHICOM Initiated Mexican Civil War Which Will Spill Over Into the United States
This article is a combination of facts presented by a reliable confidential informant (CI), a DEA agent and recent reports produced by the CSS. This article will advance the notion that Mexico is headed twoards a civil war that is backed by China.

ONE WORLD RELIGION: Pope Francis Traveled To Thailand And Presented Buddhist Supreme Patriarch With ‘Declaration On Human Fraternity’ Peace Covenant Of Chrislam
…Pope Francis has travelled to Thailand where he met with the ruling Buddhist leader there, and as in Abu Dhabi, presented him with a copy of his Declaration On Human Fraternity’, the Vatican manifesto of the One World Religion.

BLACK FRIDAY: Walmart And Amazon Selling ‘A Children’s Book of Demons’ For Kids And Families Who Want To Learn How To Summon The Devil
Satanism is not only on the rise in America, it has actually attained a position of prominence. Everywhere you look, things connected to the occult, satanism, devil worship and demonology are on display, even this book for kids called “A Children’s Book Of Demons” teaching you how to invite the Devil into your home.

Denver sees snowiest Thanksgiving since 1979, dense fog on Black Friday, Colorado
Denver residents woke up to 203 mm (8 inches) of snow on Thanksgiving morning, November 28, 2019, making it the most snow on the ground on the holiday since 1979, according to official statistics at Denver International Airport. Meanwhile, fog covered the city on Black Friday, November 29.

Atmospheric river heads for California following ‘bomb cyclone’
A powerful storm system is set to approach the West Coast of the USA this weekend, soon after the ‘bomb cyclone’ pushes east of the Rockies. The storm will bring more rounds of heavy rain and snow to California, beginning on November 30 and December 1, 2019.

China Braces For December D-Day: The “Unprecedented” Default Of A Massive State-Owned Enterprise
On December 9, bondholders of China’s state-owned Tewoo will have to decide if they will accept a “distressed exchange offer”, triggering the biggest SOE default in China since 1998.

Source: 30 Nov 2019

11/20/19 Powerful Pride — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Ezekiel 27-29, 1 Peter 3

Scholars debate whether Ezekiel 28 refers to the fall of Satan when it describes the fall of the king of Tyre. Regardless of where we land on this issue, though, we cannot ignore the description of the ruler in Ezekiel 28:1-5. The text clearly describes his heart—a heart reflected in the people of Tyre as well:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god; I sit in the seat of gods in the heart of the sea.’ Yet you are a man and not a god, though you have regarded your heart as that of a god. Yes, you are wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you! By your wisdom and understanding you have acquired wealth for yourself. You have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries.  By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, but your heart has become proud because of your wealth.”

In my early years as a believer, it was hard for me to believe that this text described any human being. Who would think he was anything close to being a god? And who would have thought he was so wise that he knew all things? Since then, I’ve learned (and, to be honest, continue to learn) about the subtle power of ego that leads human beings to see ourselves as much more than we are. When you’re wise enough to acquire much wealth for yourself, it’s easy to let the pride of your success go to your heart and head – and though you may never say, “I’m like a god,” still you act otherwise.

The danger is that pride so subtly takes control that we seldom recognize the first steps in the wrong direction. May the Lord make us discerning of our own hearts, reminding us always that we are only men—not God.

PRAYER: “God, remind me that I’m just a man in need of Your daily grace.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Review and catch-up day

via 11/20/19 Powerful Pride — ChuckLawless.com

Pastor Adrian Rogers Would Weep: SBC Approves Resolution 9 Incorporating ‘Critical Race Theory’ to Help Interpret Scripture

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The Great Falling Away Continues

In June of this year, the Southern Baptist Convention approved Resolution 9 which incorporates ‘Critical Race Theory’ and ‘Intersectionality’ as doctrines to be used to help interpret Scripture. This article is meant to be informative, as there are many in the body of Christ who are unaware of these dangerous doctrines.

First of all, let’s make sure that we all know what Critical Race Theory is:

In a nutshell:

This “Theory” basically concludes that racism is inherent to white skinned  people and therefore whites need to repent for being born “racist” and are more privileged just because they are white.  This is rooted in Marxism. This is classic of promoting division and hatred between the races.  Can you say Obama??

Intersectionality believes that anything said by a white person (therefore inherently racist) can be traced back to their racism.  In doing this, groups of…

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