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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sin- Defined: The reason for Jesus’ Blood

Romans 3:23
Let’s begin this topical discussion on sin by looking at “sin” by summarizing sin and defining sin. Merriam-Webster School Dictionary (p 847) defines sin “as an offense against God.” Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary (p 796) gives many Hebrew and Greek meaning of the word “sin”. The Hebrew meaning is missing; pesha’, transgression; awon, perversion; ra’, evil in disposition; resha’, impiety; and the Greek definition is “hamartia, missing the mark; parabasis, transgression; adikia, unrighteousness; asebeia; impiety; anomia, contempt and violation of law; poneria, depravity; epithumia, lust.” From the above definitions, we see sound correlations in each language. However, Merriam-Webster’s definition and what we have come to know as sin gets to the heart of the matter.

Therefore as we begin our summary definition of sin will give us a profound picture of sin and just who we have sinned against. Sin is:
(a) A transgression against the divine boundary between good and evil, or overstepping the law (Psalm 51:1, Romans 2:23).
(b) Iniquity, is an act of inherently wrong, whether the wrong is forbidden or not (Romans 1:21-23). These two verses speak about man thinks himself wise when in actuality he is not. Second, man thinks of himself wise to the point of him changing the image of a holy God and this within itself is a sin. It goes against the first commandment, where God explicitly states “Thou shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
(c) Depart from the right (Romans 1:18; James 3:4). What is the right? It can be seen as the righteousness of God and can be viewed as a divine attributed and a provision of God for saving sinners (Romans 3:21-8:39). Another right is God’s sovereignty and wisdom in dealing with the problem of unbelief both in Israel (Jews and Gentiles). Therefore God is just in enacting His wrath on humanity, but His love and mercy He gave man a way out. What was that way? Salvation through Jesus Christ.
(d) Missing the mark, humanity’s failure to meet God’s divine standards (Romans 3:23). This verse clearly states that all we (humans) are sinners in the eyesight of God and only His Son’s blood can declare us right in the eyesight of God.
(e) Trespass is the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Ephesians 2:1). This verse tells us that Christ has made us alive again through His shed blood at Calvary. Thank God for Jesus!
(f) Our lawlessness or spiritual anarchy (1Timothy 1:9). What is spiritual anarchy? The word “anarchy” within itself means total chaos and absolute break down in order or form of government. In this scenario the believer/righteous spirituality is based on God’s divine order and when humanity deviate from His sovereign order, then there is anarchy. Another school of thought is sin runs rampart.
(g) Our unbelief is an insult to the divine veracity of God (John 16:9). What was the cause of humanity’s unbelief? Simply --sin.
The writer has outlined sin and its definitions, now let’s summarize sin in three short answers, which are as follows: (a) it is the act or the violation of, or the want of obedience to the revealed will of God (NJV), (b) the absence of righteousness, and (c) by nature an enmity toward God (NJV partial paraphrasing).

Now let’s look at who originated sin and how it entered the earth? Sin was originated by Satan himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). What do we know about Satan? He was in charge of the choir in heaven and wanted to be equal with God and was thrown out of heaven. When Satan left heaven, he brought a third of the kingdom with him and made destroying God’s plan of salvation his priority. He tempted Eve and thus sin entered earth through Adam and Eve, thus destroying God’s perfect harmony between Himself and humanity (Romans 5:12). Sin became universal, meaning it was and is everywhere; with sin comes penalties of both a physical and spiritual death (reference Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23). Is there a remedy for sin? Yes, it is found in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ who was the only one worthy to be man’s propitiator. Jesus can only be our propitiator if we accept Him in faith.

Why would God give His only Son to be man’s propiator? The answer is found in John 3:16, which states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This verse shows the true heart and purpose of God and that was to redeem man from his sinful state of affairs. The true heart of God is love for He is love and it was man’s unbelief in God that resulted in man falling prey to Satan’s snares which ended in a great sacrifice on the part of God and Jesus Christ. Man’s redemption or our deliverance came at a price that humanity could never repay; this was Jesus’ shed blood on Calvary’s cross. What love form God! It is God’s love, grace and mercy man has been reconciled back to God.

Have humanity ever considered the true meaning of God’s grace? Dr. Charles Stanley of Atlanta, GA defines grace as being, “God’s righteousness at Christ’s Expense. Ponder this statement for moment and ask yourself am I worthy of such sacrifice and love? Also, ask yourself, what can I do to express a heart of gratitude for what God has done in my live? Living holy lives would be my answer and obeying God’s commandments and commission, and then be a witness for Christ everywhere I go (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20).

In closing this dialogue on sin, we have looked at the definitions of sin and summarized sin, and then we looked at its cost? What and who did it cost to redeem us from its clutches. It is cost God and Jesus to redeem mankind. It is God’s love and wisdom; He left the Holy Spirit, who lives in each believer as our compass guiding us to heaven so mankind will spend eternity with God. Sin and Satan is bad, God and His righteousness is good. Which do you choose? Choose God!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Christ Cares

Mark 4:39
How do we know Christ cares? Let’s examine some recorded facts of Christ caring for all creation. First, He shed Himself of His glory to suffer human humiliation and limitations even to the point of death. Second, Christ came to earth for the sole purpose of providing salvation for mankind. Salvation is made possible through His shed blood on Calvary’s cross, reconciling humanity back to God, the Father. The way to God is through Christ our Savior. Humanity must accept Christ as their personal Savior and believing that He is God’s Son. Third, while on earth, Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, fed five thousand, and where there was a need He fulfilled that need without asking what pedigree. Christ displayed His love and compassion for all.

Our scripture verse, tells of Christ speaking to the raging sea “Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Christ cares enough to calm the natural forces of nature; He will calm the raging storms of our lives. It is His desire that no soul be lost, so cast all your cares upon Him; He is able and willing; standing ready to calm all your fears, doubts, and anxieties. We must decisively give our entire problems to Christ; do we trust Christ enough to take our problems to Him in faith? I Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your cares on Him; for he careth for you.” Consider how Christ cares for the lilies of the fields, and the birds of the air; they worry not about their well being; would He care for plants and animals and not man? I think not! Remember what He done for us.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is God angry with America?

This topical discussion question is being posed because in the past few years we have witnessed natural disasters one after another and in many instances they are occurring simultaneously. Case in point, we often witness one section of this country experiencing wild fires burning out of control; lives and property lost is staggering, another section is under water, here again property loss and lives being threaten, while another section of this country is suffering from sweltering heat, while yet another section is reeling from hurricane and tornado storms.

Who can forget Katrina? This disaster goes on record as being the worst that ever hit American shores. Many lives were lost, numerous people were displaced from their homes and in many instances families were separated. America had always been the one rushing humanitarian aid to other disaster victims but now it was America’s turn to receive aid form other countries. The Katrina disaster came to our sea shores shortly after the tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean where many lives were lost and the property losses were staggering. Each year since the Katrina disaster, it appears as thou natural disasters within our sea have shores become more severe. During the Katrina disaster, reflect with me on the many people that were relocated to what one may call higher grounds while New Orleans was under water and this year we are witnessing many cities and towns in Iowa and all along the Mighty Mississippi River being under water. This brings back vivid pictures of New Orleans. God destroyed a city with the forces of water from the ocean and this year in the Iowa flooding situation we see God bringing flooding and destruction from the sky; He simply opened up the storm clouds in the heavens and said rain and let the waters flow all along the Mississippi River. Look at the results, levees giving way under the pressure from the water, families being displaced and properties destroyed.

What are you saying? Well, I am not saying that all Americans are sinners or have turned their backs on God, but overall this country has been blessed beyond measure. How have we (Americans) responded to God’s blessings? Have our many blessings caused us to forget about God or do we feel we are blessed just because? Have we taken our eyes off God and feel we doesn’t need Him any longer? Aren’t we following in Israel’s foot steps? Are we searching the scriptures and taking notice as to what happened to Israel for their backsliding? Finally what are some of the impenitent wickedness that is occurring in this country today? We are witnessing same sex marriages, homosexuality is running rampart, gambling in almost every city and or state as if it is the panacea. We want to remove God’s name from court houses, and prayer have been taken out of our schools. The institution of the family structure has been altered, some churches preaching a prosperity gospel.
America the biblical principal of “In God we Trust”, is what this country was founded; therefore, let us not forget God and who He is and get back to trusting God.

America, another profound question comes to mind, is we living the book of Revelation? Many people I talk to seem to think so. What do you think? If you read Revelation chapters 6-19 and take notice of what’s happening in the world today, will make one think yes these are the last days. If these are not the last days, then is prophesy being fulfilled regarding the fall of America? The writer doesn’t have all the answer, but what the writer does know that if America will humble herself; turn from her wicked ways and pray then she will hear from heaven and God will heal our land. America gambling is not the panacea for our economic growth. God wants to remain first in our lives. He stated in His word, the Bible that “I will supply all of your needs according to my riches and glory by Christ Jesus.” Take God at His Word; try God for a change. We have tried our way, now its time to return to God and His methods.

Now if scientist and politicians were to read this article, they would say the natural disasters are due to climate change as a result of global warming; well that may be in part true but remember God gave man dominion over all His creation, therefore, we haven’t been good stewards have we? What is a steward? A steward is a manager or one who manages. Look at God who loved man so much He placed us in charge of His creation. What a trusting God?

This brings me to the final segment of this topical discussion, which is believers what are we to do? Fellow believers join with me in prayer for the healing of this land and sinners turn from their wicked way. Americans, believers and non-believers lets humble our selves before God. Let’s make God the forefront of our lives because He is the center of our existence from beginning to end.

Let’s pray, Father God, as we witness many natural disasters here at home and abroad, Lord touch the heart of every person and let them know that You are still supreme and in control and whatever our needs are You will supply, for this we thank You. Father, You are still all wise and all knowing. Father look on the ones experiencing difficulties, fix the situations. Finally, Father God, America as a whole has turned from you, give us a repentant heart so that You may withhold Your anger against us; so when the great day of Your wrath finally does come, we will be able to stand (Revelation 6:17 paraphrased). Father, we thank for Your goodness, mercy and answering this prayer. Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Has America lost its moral Compass?

This question is posed because it appears that what are right have become the wrongs and what is wrong has become right.

Let’s explore what is meant by the right becoming the wrong and wrong has become right; we see same sex-marriages being legalized by the high courts in some states, and many other states recognizing same sex-marriages as civil unions. Did these decision makers ever consider the institution of marriage being implemented by God according to Genesis1:27? We see from scripture God instituted marriage between Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve or Eve and Ethel. In addition, we see God implementation of the family structure as man, wife and then the children. God created man first, then Eve and instructed them to be fruitful and multiply; from this union their children were born (Cain and Abel named in the Bible). Two men do not constitute a family nor do two women and then incorporating the child constitute a family. Is man (mankind) leaning to his own understanding instead of consulting scripture for what is right in the sight of God or is man forsaking the knowledge of God in order to live by his own standards and not God’s moral laws? We see in Romans 1:18-32 the sins man was committing and God’s reactions. God gave them over to a reprobate mind, meaning it was a primary sign of God abandoning His prized creation. Questions come to mind which are, is modern day society (America) following in the foot steps of the people recorded in the Bible? Does America believe the Bible, or does America feel that since God has sent His Son Jesus to redeem man no harm will befall him and he can live anyway he wants? What happened to the principles that this country was founded upon which was “In God we trust”?

It appears as though we are trusting in the almighty dollar? Greed has become the ruler of this nation. I say that because we have CEO’s making millions of dollar per year while their company’s profit margin is falling, plants and other industries closing their doors, workers losing their jobs, which in turn results in homes being lost, an increase in our unemployment roles as well as an increase to our health and human services. This causes a strain on our economy and everybody loses. Ask yourself this question, is any CEO worth $52 million and more per year while their company struggles and their workers are being let go? Some of these workers will lose their pension or life savings? Who can forget the Enron and Kmart fiasco just to name a few? What happened to those people? What happen to live and let live or treat others as I want to be treated? Are these actions all about self and forget the workers (little guy)?

It appears that greed is prevalent throughout corporate America and our government as well. Reflect with me on the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 when our sitting president stated “it’s all about the haves and have mores, and I got my base.” This statement had a profound negative effect on me with regards to how he felt about people earning less that $200,000 per year. It did not give me a good feel for how he would direct the overall populace of this country. What do we have now? Our economy is on the brink of disaster, our dollar is being devalued and the value is lower than it has ever been. This country is deep in debt to China and other countries, we import far more than we export. Oil prices are at an all time high and steady climbing; make one wonder will this end and how long will the big oil companies and our government continues to bleed the people? All Greed!

Let’s not forget this war that this country is waging that has cost and continues to cost this country billions. The result is that our grandchildren’s future has been mortgaged away. Unless some God fearing leader (s) goes to Washington and put his trust in God for leadership to turn things around, then our grandchildren has no hope of the future as we know it. However, we Christians must teach our children and grandchildren to put all their trust in God first, and then teach them to live within or below their means. Second, teach them as our parents taught us to pay God His ten percent first, and then save some for a rainy day.

Other examples of this country’s moral decay is a majority of our TV shows promotes sex and numerous are promoting or pushing the envelope on homosexuality. Our earlier TV shows had more respected their TV audience and held themselves to a higher standard. Family shows depicted the husband, wife and kids, not two men and a child. Please let’s not forget the rap culture and the language that is uses in these recordings. This music is being played and our children listen and believe this is the norm. They should not be subjected to this kind of language and culture. Wrong is right!

I am reminded of the incident where a sitting judge was punished for having the Ten Commandments displayed in his court room. What’s wrong with this country? The ones who initiated these actions, don’t they know the Ten Commandments are the foundation for this country’s laws. Are they non-believers who does not want any evidence of God and His name displayed anywhere?

America let’s remember our morals which this country was founded upon; more importantly, right is right and wrong is wrong. That’s the way it is and will remain so. Fellow believers, go with me in sincere prayer for the moral decay of this country and its other aliments. As ambassadors for Christ we must be examples for immoral America of what is right and that right will always be right and wrong cannot become right. Has America lost its moral compass? The highlighted wrongs are enough to make you think so. You decide.