Faith

This page will host posts that concern the “Faith once and for all contended for by the saints” as Jude puts it.  Theology and Christian life issues will addressed.

 

The Dumb Teach

The Dumb Will Teach is a play on a phrase that the dumb will speak… we know that the Bible in the Old Testament taught that when the Messiah would come, certain signs and wonders would accompany that coming. The phrase the dumb speak of course concerns a man without the ability of speech.  He is dumb.  Today the word dumb doesn’t only refer to a person without the ability for speech, it also refers to a person that is unintelligent or that is uneducated etc…  You’ve all heard of the dumb blond jokes I’m sure.

The back story of John 9 begins in John 8 with Jesus great proclamation that “before Abraham was I am”.  This statement came following an argument with the Pharisee’s which led to Jesus calling them out as children of the devil.  They in turn said Jesus had a demon.  Jesus would have none of their foolishness and instead claims that the father they so honor, Abraham himself, rejoiced to see His day; His coming, to which the Pharisees replied, you aren’t even 50 years old how can you say that?!? This opened them up for the moment Jesus was leading them toward; that blessed statement “BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM”, talk about a set up!  I AM… the very name that God had given Moses in the Exodus.

So here we are, Jesus has once again claimed to be God and has absolutely humiliated the religious, self-appointed, holier than thou, smartest people in the room crowd.  He leaves them standing gape mouthed and his disciples follow in his wake.

Enter another opportunity to prove that He is indeed the Christ; a man born blind.  The question comes as to why this man was born blind.  Is it his sin or his parents?  Jesus teaches us that sometimes tragedies occur to show us the grace and power of a loving God.  A word that has captured my attention lately has been the word opportunity.  This tragedy was an opportunity to know and glorify God.

There is certainly significance to how Jesus healed this man.  Perhaps Jesus used this method to further drive home the point that He is the Lord of the Sabbath and He could do whatever He desired.  He once again gives an object lesson alluding to the fact that HE is the light of the world.  He had just given a sermon on the fact that He is the light of the world.  Look at the event; He was giving a man that was trapped in darkness from birth to show symbolically that HE is the Light!

As we study this passage we see that this is yet another case where healing and salvation are not one in the same.  The salvation comes later, but the seed of faith has been planted.  The problem here is the same as with many today, they have a general belief in God and even attempt to communicate with him.  They believe in God but without a personal faith in Christ.  They may even argue with people that don’t believe.  They may be moral and passionate and strong in their belief of God but they are still lost in their sin.

This man’s story as it stands however is still a compelling one…
John 9:13-34(KJV) 13They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.  14And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.  15Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.  16Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? AND THERE WAS A DIVISION AMONG THEM.  17They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet (HE STILL DOESN’T KNOW WHO JESUS IS).  18But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.  19And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?  20His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:  21But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.  22These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.  23Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.  24Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: WE KNOW THAT THIS MAN IS A SINNER.  25He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see26Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?  27He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?  28Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.  29We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is (LIE! LIE!).  30THE MAN ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, WHY HEREIN IS A MARVELLOUS THING, THAT YE KNOW NOT FROM WHENCE HE IS, AND YET HE HATH OPENED MINE EYES.  31NOW WE KNOW THAT GOD HEARETH NOT SINNERS: BUT IF ANY MAN BE A WORSHIPPER OF GOD, AND DOETH HIS WILL, HIM HE HEARETH.  32SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN WAS IT NOT HEARD THAT ANY MAN OPENED THE EYES OF ONE THAT WAS BORN BLIND.  33IF THIS MAN WERE NOT OF GOD, HE COULD DO NOTHING.  34THEY ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, THOU WAST ALTOGETHER BORN IN SINS, AND DOST THOU TEACH US? AND THEY CAST HIM OUT.

The entire back story leads to this moment…

The dumb teach!  These religious leaders were too smart for their own good.  THEY HAD IT ALL FIGURED OUT AND JESUS DIDN’T FIT!  They lied as they claimed that they didn’t know if Jesus was from God; Nicodemus had already established that they KNEW THAT HE WAS FROM GOD… tell a lie long enough and maybe you will believe it though!  How many of us have been in the same place as these religious leaders, Jesus getting in the way of our plans or ideas!

Consider the courage of this formerly blind man… He had nothing and Christ gave him everything!  He goes toe to toe with these mad religious men!  He calls them out and shames them!  He nails it and says “All I know is that I was blind but now I see”!  This man that these religious leaders considered a dumb, dim, foolish man takes them to school!  Verses 30-33 show that this man had a sense of humor and sarcasm.  This man knew that he had met someone special and yet he was still in his sins…

Then Jesus meets him and asks him the question… DO YOU BELIEVE ON THE SON OF GOD? who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?  YOU HAVE BOTH SEEN HIM AND IT IS HE THAT TALKS WITH YOU Lord, I believe… and he worshipped him – angels and men of God have never allowed other created being to worship them; always they lift them off the ground.  YET JESUS ALWAYS RECEIVES THE WORSHIP…  HE IS GOD.

John 9:39 “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”

If I could sum up our mission and purpose as a church it would find its essence in this verse.  We are to warn the world of judgment to come and of redemption available.  We are to bring sight to the blind and lead them to Jesus who will then reveal himself to them.  We are to expose false religion as blind and ruined.  Do you KNOW Christ personally?  Maybe your eyes have been opened and you believe in God, maybe you even believe in Jesus as a religious figure, but have truly placed your trust in Christ alone?  HE ALONE IS SUFFICIENT TO SAVE.

You have your sight.  You have known Jesus.  You have trusted.  HAVE YOU WORSHIPPED?  DO YOU WORSHIP?  DO YOU FOLLOW?



The Lost Generation

Deuteronomy 11:18-21
18Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  20And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:  21That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

What a promise the Lord had made to Israel!  What a command He had given them!  First look at he command that the Lord gave to Israel.  He essentially is saying that God and His Word should be a part of your everyday life.  A few years ago now, I preached message “All Mixed Up”.  The point of that message was basically the same thing that this passage teaches.  We need to permeate our lives with God.  We cannot afford to break our lives up into God pieces and “real” pieces like work, sports, school, hobbies vs. church and ministry.  Yet that is exactly what many of us do.  We need to mix God into everything that we do, take opportunities to share with our children or co-workers or those around us the glory of God!

The promise was that God would bless them and the generation to follow.  Now I know that we all have a responsibility for our own actions and that we cannot place all of the blame on previous generations for the failing of currents ones.  However, as the saying goes…”monkey see, monkey do”.  Take for example my nephew.  He is a Marine today because dad was… and many other cases.  Like it or not, we have the greatest opportunity to influence the next generation.  Are we doing it the right way.  Is it all rules and no relationship?  I it always what our children are doing wrong and never what they are doing right?  Do we show them God in our homes, in our attitudes and in our lives?

The verse that led to this entry is from Judges
Judges 2:10(KJV) 10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

My heart breaks for the times that I haven’t shown my children faith and dedication to the Lord that saved me.  The generation prior to the one that was lost was a generation of compromise.  They had seen the hand of God, they had seen the sun stand still, the Jordan parted, the hornets go ahead of them to drive out the inhabitants of the Promised Land and yet they chose to let the sin live on in the land.  They chose to disobey rather than obey the Lord.  They chose to live with loss instead of living with the Lord.  This compromise along with a lack of teaching the next generation of the works of the Lord led to the Lost Generation that knew not the Lord.  May we take the message and run with it.  Not just in our homes but in our church with the next generation of believers.  Those of us that have seen the miracles of God in our lives and in this church need to show them to the new believers!  We need to show them in our lives!

To God be the Glory!



What a Difference Perspective Makes

Joshua 2:23-24
“So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them: And they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.”

It seems that today all we can think of and talk about concerning the next generation is that they are worse than the previous. However this is not always the case. These men were the next generation of spies and they got it right. These men didn’t get distracted by the giants of the land they were too busy being distracted by the the hand of the Lord!

These men saw God in what Rahab did for them and they were right! They were so right in fact, that later we find that this woman found her way into the genealogy of Jesus! They had completed their mission against the odds because of God’s provision and now instead of acting like their ‘fathers’ before them (which distracted and discouraged the people of Israel), they encouraged the hearts of Joshua and the people.

How about you today… Have you been so busy seeing the giants in the land that you have failed to see the hand of God? These spies encountered the same type of conflicts, the same type of enemies and yet from their perspective, they had already won!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus seems like a trite and common saying almost as if it’s like talking about the weather. However, it should never be like that! To the believer, that reminder should take us back to the day we met the Savior and realized His power was and is enough.

God we need you!



Remember When

Deuteronomy 24:17-22

Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge: But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

This passage is facinating, when we read the Old Testament, we are to read it in the Light of the New Testament. In reading this passage we hear the Lord remind Israel time and time again that they are to remember their time in Egypt. When dealing with others it leads me to find mercy for those with whom I disagree, or that have wronged me, or even sinned against me.

We should also be reminded that the Lord is a fair and merciful God and judge.

Matthew 18:21-35 Explains this, read on

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

The Life Principle in these passages to the Believer in Christ is to remember YOUR time in Egypt, remember YOUR time in bondage when you are dealing with others and have mercy.  Remember too that God does notice our actions and attitudes while we sojourn here on earth.

Thank you Lord Jesus!