Archive | October, 2013

Alcohol is Poison

October 10, 2013

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I am stumped by the number of people that go to a church in general or claim to be a part of the Lord’s church specifically, that do not find it harmful to drink alcohol. Since there are exhaustive explanations out there against any possibility of social drinking being “OK”, I’m not going to add a lot of my own words. Why not just look at the warnings of the wisest man to have lived? Solomon says not to even look at it:

The lie of social drinking claims more Christians every day

The lie of social drinking claims more Christians every day

Who has trouble? Who has pain?
Who fights? Who complains?
Who has unnecessary bruises?
Who has bloodshot eyes?

It is people who drink too much wine,
who try out all different kinds of strong drinks.

Don’t stare at the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.

Later it bites like a snake
with poison in its fangs.

Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will be confused.

You will feel dizzy as if you’re in a storm on the ocean,
as if you’re on top of a ship’s sails.

You will think, “They hit me, but I’m not hurt.
They beat me up, but I don’t remember it.
I wish I could wake up.
Then I would get another drink.” –Proverbs 23:29-35 NCV

Alcohol is poison – Don’t touch it. The “disease” of alcoholism was never caught by someone that never took a drink.

Daily Bible reading for October 10

Psalm 70
1 Kings 5
Ezekiel 32
Romans 4

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The Faith of Jesus Christ

October 9, 2013

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Today I am still looking closely at Romans 3. Continuing with the notes I previously posted about segmenting what is written to wrest meaning that isn’t in the Scriptures, I am going to capture some additional points about it. This way I have the thoughts recorded so I can remember them later. I apologize in advance for it looking more like a rough draft than a finished devotional.

In addition to breaking up Romans 3:22b-25 into chunks to make the argument for a “faith only” salvation, there is another problem that can be seen when one consults an older commentary, such as Adam Clark, with something newer from someone who teaches faith only. Several verses through the New Testament have been changed in newer versions to talk about faith in Christ instead of the faith of Christ!


Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference – Romans 3:22 KJV


the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: – Romans 3:22 ESV

This little tweak to the Scriptures gives the faith only teacher the basis to use Romans 3:28 as support for their error. The biggest question I have for them, is how does the faith of a sinful person give him salvation when compared to the perfect faith of Jesus Christ? And then, if our own faith alone is sufficient, why was Jesus’ perfect faith not enough to save us? He also had to be obedient to God to complete the plan!

Some other Scriptures that have this same problem between versions:

  • Galatians 3:22 KJV – Galatians 3:22 ESV
  • Ephesians 3:12 KJV – Ephesians 3:12 ESV
  • Philippians 3:9 KJV – Philippians 3:9 ESV
  • Galatians 2:16 KJV – Galatians 2:16 ESV
  • Galatians 2:20 KJV – Galatians 2:20 ESV

(For those reading in email, these references are linked for easy comparison.)

Daily Bible reading for October 9

Psalm 69
1 Kings 4
Ezekiel 31
Romans 3:21-31


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Redemption In Christ

October 8, 2013

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…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… – Romans 3:23

That fragment of sentence gets a lot of play as a standalone statement – probably because it is given its own verse. It seems like the tendency is to chop up this section of scripture so that we get

…and we are justified by his grace … – Romans 3:24a

This is wrong and misuses the verses to support “faith only” doctrine.

When taken as a whole the phrase says something much different:

For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. – Romans 3:22b-25

The key portion of Paul’s statement is about the redemption that is “in Christ.” Paul used the phrase “in Christ” at least 150 times in his letters and he meant a very specific situation by it. To be in Christ is to become a part of his body. The body is Christ’s church, and he is the head.

When Paul wrote these verses, he wanted us to know that no one person was better than another when it comes to our salvation. We all need to find our way into Christ and not expect to be able to earn salvation or expect it to just happen. It comes through obedience.

Daily Bible reading for October 8

Psalm 68
1 Kings 3
Ezekiel 29-30
Romans 3:9-20

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15 Reasons Everyone Knows God

October 5, 2013

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Think about this for a minute: In Romans 1:18-23, Paul is saying that everyone should have a clue about God. He is specifically talking about the pre-Christian era Gentiles that had full access to the knowledge of God, but chose to ignore it in favor of the “ungodly and unrighteous.”

Wait a minute …

Even though the Jews were the chosen people, the Gentiles supposedly knew about God? Here are fifteen reasons why the answer is yes:

Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek — by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67

Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek — by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67

  1. Adam was alive when Noah’s father Lamech was born. – Firsthand knowledge of God was available through to the flood!
  2. Beginning post flood, 100% of the world once again knew and feared God.
  3. Between Noah and Abram, God was worshipped and taught through the ministry of priests like Melchizedek
  4. Through Hagar and Ishmael, the entire Arab nation knew of the one true God
  5. Abraham taught Sodom and the eleven kings about God
  6. Through Lot’s family the Moabites and Ammonites knew God.
  7. Sodom and Gomorrah (and Lot’s wife) were punishments from God for wickedness
  8. Abimelech heard directly from God in a dream because of Sarah
  9. Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, knew God
  10. Through Joseph, the Egyptians knew God
  11. Moses reminded the Egyptians of God’s power through miracles attacking their popular gods.
  12. Israel’s captors (the Persians and the Medes) were introduced to the power of God (Think Daniel, Esther, Ezra …)
  13. The inhabitants of the promised land knew to be afraid when the ark was present
  14. Jonah saved Nineveh
  15. Gideon destroyed baal

So, back to Paul’s point, there is no excuse for not knowing God. I stopped at 15 key ways God made Himself known, but the list could go on. Even Plato and Cicero had an idea about the spirituality only known through God!

Therefore, it is man’s own fault when God is not known or ignored though his foolish heart. (Romans 1:22)

Daily Bible reading for October 5

Psalm 65
1 Kings 1:1-27
Ezekiel 26
Romans 1:18-32

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The Challenge of Sharing the Gospel

October 4, 2013

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The difficulties in bringing the Gospel to others in today’s climate is nothing new. The boldness that seems to have suddenly grown among notable scientists and other “educated” people to rule against the Bible as a factual document might seem edgy and groundbreaking, but Paul was dealing with the same thing in his day.

The Apostle Paul  - Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

The Apostle Paul – Bartolomeo Montagna (1450–1523)

A number of scientific theories and ideas have taken hold and are discussed as facts. These are even ideas that conflict with established scientific laws and definitions. Even though it takes more faith to believe in these theories due to the inherent problems with them than it does to believe in the Bible, the world is choosing poorly. Other than the miracles which operated outside of scientific explanation, (they were miracles after all) the Bible has never been discredited by science, archeology or mathematics.

The prospect of going into Rome might have been a daunting prospect for Paul, but he reassures his brothers there (and us today) that he is not afraid to share the Gospel. (Romans 1:16-17) Why? Because it contains salvation! The Gospel is the sum total of:

  • Facts we need to believe
  • Commandments we need to be obey
  • Promises we need to accept

The Bible has been placed under more examination, duress, attack, study, commentary than any other document in history and it still stands. A guide for life, love, and security.

Perhaps we should be try harder to be bold like Paul.

Daily Bible reading for October 4

Psalm 64
2 Samuel 24
Ezekiel 25
Romans 1:1-17

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Saving Our Enemies

October 2, 2013

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As Jesus was tried and his life taken, (Luke 23) we know the world became a different place. Changes were coming to the Lord’s kingdom, but what did not change was the basic groundwork that Christ laid while he was here.

As he went through being tried seven time for false charges, he demonstrated great strength and faced his enemies just as he taught us. The first words he spoke on the cross were even for their benefit. (Luke 23:34)

It is a difficult thing to do, but treating our enemies a certain way is part of being the image of God. From the beginning Jesus taught us to give our enemies:

  • the other cheek (Matthew 5:39)
  • our cloak (Matthew 5:40)
  • an extra mile (Matthew 5:41)
  • what he asks for (Matthew 5:42)
  • what he borrows (Matthew 5:42)

Not only is it Christ-like to treat our enemies this way, it is our responsibility to try to get the Gospel to them. What better way to prove we are not like the world than to treat them in an unexpected way?

Daily Bible reading for October 2

Psalm 62
2 Samuel 22:1-23:7
Ezekiel 23
Luke 23:26-56

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October 1, 2013

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Did you ever notice that when Jesus put the guy’s ear back on, no one seemed to notice? (Well ok, I’m sure the servant noticed.) (Luke 22:50-51)

The Jewish leaders were so intent on finding “proof” of his blasphemy, that they ignored the proof that Jesus was the Messiah.

Seems like there is a lot of that still going on.

Daily Bible reading for October 1

Psalm 61
2 Samuel 21
Ezekiel 22
Luke 22:47-23:25

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