Posts Tagged ‘Truth’


The Prophet’s Story

The story begins with Adam and Eve, who listened to the voice of the devil instead of God. They disobeyed, and mankind’s perfect relationship with God was broken.

They became the first to experience sin and the death sin causes. They tried to hide themselves with tree leaves to cover their shame, but God was not pleased with these coverings. He covered them instead with animal skin garments. God Himself made the first animal sacrifice to cover their shame.

Adam and Eve had two children: Cain and Abel. Cain made an offering to God from the food he had grown while Abel offered an animal sacrifice—a blood sacrifice.

God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s. Why? Because sin demands death, separates us from God, and must be paid for . . . with life. In Cain’s jealousy, he killed Abel and led a large portion of humanity down a dark path.

Hundreds of years later, things had gotten so bad that God said there was no one on earth that deserved to live . . . no one except Noah and his family. God called Noah to build a boat—a big one—and in doing so preach this message: Judgment for sin is coming, and there is only one way to escape and receive the mercy of God—the ark.

They laughed and ridiculed Noah until rain came from the sky and the water burst up from the deep while the people were unprepared. The flood killed every person and animal, and the world perished for their sins. Only Noah, his family, and the animals God had brought to the ark were saved.

Then came Abraham, the Father of Faith. God told him to take his son and sacrifice him on a mountain. Abraham was disturbed by this command, but he obeyed God. He proved his faith with action and took his son to Mount Moriah. But just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and provided an animal to take his son’s place. The animal redeemed, replaced, bought back his son—blood for blood, life for life.

Four hundred years passed and God sent Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, didn’t like this, so God punished him with ten plagues. For the final plague, God sent an Angel of Death to kill the firstborn son of every household. But there was a way out. The people were commanded to sacrifice a lamb and put its blood on the doorpost of the house. If the Angel of Death saw the blood, he knew the children inside had been redeemed by sacrifice. Whether Jew or Egyptian, slave or freeman, if they obeyed the command of God, their child would be saved. If not . . . their child would not be saved. That night it happened just as Moses prophesied and a great weeping went up all over Egypt in any household that had refused God’s mercy by sacrifice.

Later, Moses gave the people the Torah in which God prescribed a ritual for covering the sins of the people. The offender brought an animal sacrifice to the priest, laid his hands on its head symbolizing the way his own sin and shame was transferred to the animal. Then the animal was sacrificed—its blood spilled out—and the offender’s sin was covered. King David and the prophets followed the Torah given by Moses, but they wondered, “Can the blood of animals really cover the sins of a man, or are they signs and symbols pointing to the future?”

David prophesied a Coming One, a King, a Messiah, a descendant of King David who would rule and reign in power, yet be a humble man with a heart of compassion. This Messiah would be sinless, perfect, blameless, innocent. He would suffer and die and be a worthy sacrifice. He would become “the Great Sacrifice.” Jesus was born in a barn because nobody had room for him. Born of a virgin, born pure. A royal, but poor, descendent of King David. Poor country shepherds and wealthy wise men from the East came to honor the child and testify that He was indeed the Coming One, the Messiah, whom the Scriptures had promised.

Jesus preached love, truth, peace, humility. He was a humble carpenter, but brilliant philosopher. He offended religious hypocrites who cared about rituals more than loving God, but He was loved by the poor, the humble, the repentant, the sinner. He healed the deaf, blind, deformed, and demon possessed. He even raised dead men back to life again. A homeless man, a wandering teacher, a revolutionary calling Lovers of God to live full lives. Jesus even called God His “Father,” and showed mankind that “the All Powerful” loves you like a Daddy.

God wanted to relate to humans as His children, but there was a problem. They were still sinful and God is Holy! Man’s sin, starting with Adam, had separated the people from their God, and the Messiah knew what He had to do to bring them back.

John the Baptist prophesied of Jesus saying, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus was the Messiah, the Chosen One—chosen to become the Great Sacrifice. Having never sinned, He was holy, pure, perfect, and worthy to pay the price for sin. The innocent one in exchange for the guilty. The Holy One in exchange for sinful people. He did this for His Father to pay the price for mankind’s sin, to free them from their slavery to sin, and to restore to them what Adam had lost—a perfect relationship with God. Jesus died on the cross, not because of the Jews, nor the Romans, but by the hand of God, his Father. God sacrificed Jesus to fulfill what was written by the prophets—that He would become the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, yours and mine. But He didn’t stop there. Three days later God raised Jesus, the Messiah, from the dead as a promise to those who believe in Him, that they too will rise again to eternal life. After this, Jesus promised his disciples that He would return again, but this time as Judge and King!

The Messiah is God’s gift to mankind so they would not die in their sins and be separated from God. By receiving Jesus’ sacrifice they could be restored back into a perfect relationship with Him. But like any gift, it’s not yours until you take it.

two-commandments

You cannot love God without first obeying the Truth and knowing Him.

“In Him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in Him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 (NRSV)

“He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NRSV)

“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because He will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-14 (NRSV)

It is absurd to say you love God without loving the Truth. If you are not engaging your mind in your pursuit of knowing God you are not really loving God. You are not really obeying the greatest commandment.

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Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2)

Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scriptures:

i. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable;(1) yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation:(2) therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;(3) and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;(4) which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;(5) those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.

(6)
(1) Ro 2:14,15; Ro 1:19,20; Ps 19:1,2,3; Ro 1:32; Ro 2:1
(2) 1Co 1:21; 1Co 2:13,14
(3) Heb 1:1
(4) Pr 22:19,20,21;Lk 1:3,4; Ro 15:4; Mt 4:4,7,10; Isa 8:19,20
(5) 2Ti 3:15; 2Pe 1:19
(6) Heb 1:1,2

ii. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

Of the Old Testament:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Of the New Testament:
The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians I, Corinthians II, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians I, Thessalonians II, To Timothy I, To Timothy II, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation
All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.(1)
(1) Lk 16:29,31; Eph 2:20; Rev 22:18,19; 2Ti 3:16

iii. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.
(1)
(1) Lk 24:27,44; Ro 3:2; 2Pe 1:21

iv. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

(1)
(1) 2Pe 1:19,21; 2Ti 3:16; 1Jn 5:9; 1Th 2:13

v. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture,(1) and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet, notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts.

(2)
(1) 1Ti 3:15
(2) 1Jn 2:20,27; Jn 16:13,14; 1Co 2:10,11,12; Isa 59:21

vi. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.(1) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word;(2) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed.

(3)
(1) 2Ti 3:15,16,17; Gal 1:8,9; 2Th 2:2
(2) Jn 6:45; 1Co 2:9,10,11,12
(3) 1Co 11:13,14; 1Co 14:26,40

vii. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;(1) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

(2)
(1) 2Pe 3:16
(2) Ps 119:105,130

viii. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;(1) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.(2) But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,(3) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,(4) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner;(5) and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

(6)
(1) Mt 5:18
(2) Isa 8:20; Ac 15:15; Jn 5:39,46
(3) Jn 5:39
(4) 1Co 14:6,9,11,12,24,27, 28
(5) Col 3:16
(6) Ro 15:4

ix. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

(1)
(1) 2Pe 1:20,21; Ac 15:15,16

x. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

(1)
(1) Mt 22:29,31; Eph 2:20; Ac 28:25

What-Do-You-Believe

Doctrine matters…really. There are two important things to keep in mind. Matters of doctrine or as John Piper calls them “theological trademarks” are not new, or distinctive to us, they are not a niche or eccentric. True apostolic doctrine all have wide foundations in the Bible and deep roots in the history of God’s people. What you and I read in the Apostles Creed or in the Nicene Creed, really matter. The true apostolic teaching revealed in Holy Scripture, and through the writings of the early Church fathers, and the Reformers are treasures for the Church today. These doctrines are fundamentally eternal truths that we must immerse ourselves in so that we can increase the vision of our awesome God so much that we will want to act on them. These teachings will make us want to build something, to start something, to dream big, and risk even more for the glory of God in Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! I pray for nothing less.

seek-the-truth

The Truth About Jesus

There is a 2,000 year old truth about Jesus that may still need to be discovered in your life. The Bible informs us that we tragically exchange the truth of God for all kinds of substitutes (Romans 1:25). And yet, marvelously, the truth can win us over. It’s the truth about why Jesus came and why he died.

Jesus’ Bold Claim and How He Proved It

Jesus made a bold claim during his days on earth. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV).

Did you get that? Jesus says that you can only know God the father through belief in him. That’s a pretty radical statement! But he backed it up by going to the cross, dying in our place, and rising again on the third day. The Bible says that we should have been punished for breaking God’s law, but he took the punishment in our place. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth to reveal a marvelous message that our offenses can be forgiven and we may become reconciled to God, and have eternal life.

How You Can Know the Truth

Are you wandering, not sure about truth, lost in your search for identity? Do you know yourself to be guilty of unfaithfulness to God? Do you know you need to be saved from moral compromise? Well then, there’s very good news for you. Jesus appeals to you to come to him, to ask him to forgive you and make you a child of God.

For you see, anyone who receives him has the right to become a child of God (John 1:12). This is the message Jesus taught that Peter and Mary believed. Jesus calls you to know the truth so you can be set free (John 8:32).

How You Can Receive the Truth

If you’d like to know the God of truth, lift up the empty hands of faith and trust Him for your salvation. Come to Him on your knees and pray this prayer:

O Lord, I am lost without You. My life is empty without Your truth and your love. I commit my life to You. I turn away from my sinful behaviors and I turn toward You. Forgive me for all my offenses and give me the power to do good. Reconcile me with Yourself. Look at me only through the work of Jesus, and enable me to live for Him. Thank You that You care for someone like me. Thank You that You welcome me into heaven, because Your love knows no bounds. Help me to grow in grace and guide me in all my ways. In Christ’s name, Amen.

How You Can Continue in the Truth

Now that you have committed your life to the Lord, it is important that you identify yourself to a leader from a Bible-believing church in your area. You have begun an amazing journey. The church is there to ensure that you grow and enjoy the Lord in fellowship, and not alone. The church will help you understand more about all of these things, and will guide you into the life of worship and the celebration of the sacraments.

I can help you. Call 888.492.0285 or Send an email and I will pray with you and/or for you!

God bless you all!

b-b-warfield-portrait1

“The habit of calling ‘Evangelical’ everything which was from time to time characteristic of that church or which any strong party in that church wished to make characteristic of it—has ended in robbing the term of all meaning.

Along a somewhat different pathway we have arrived at the same state of affairs in America. Does anybody in the world know what ‘Evangelical’ means, in our current religious speech?

The other day, a professedly evangelical pastor, serving a church which is certainly committed by its formularies to an evangelical confession, having occasion to report in one of our newspapers on a religious meeting composed practically entirely of Unitarians and Jews, remarked with enthusiasm upon the deeply evangelical character of its spirit and utterances.

But we need not stop with ‘Evangelical.’ Take an even greater word. Does the word ‘Christianity’ any longer bear a definite meaning? Men are debating on all sides of us what Christianity really is…

We hear of Christianity without dogma, Christianity without miracle, Christianity without Christ. Since, however, Christianity is a historical religion, an undogmatic Christianity would be an absurdity; since it is through and through a supernatural religion, a non-miraculous Christianity would be a contradiction; since it is Christianity, a Christ-less Christianity would be—well, let us say’ lamely (but with a lameness which has perhaps its own emphasis), a misnomer.

People set upon calling unchristian things Christian are simply washing all meaning out of the name. If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything, designates nothing.”

~ Benjamin Breckinridge (B. B.) Warfield (1851-1921)
taken from: The Princeton Theological Review, Volume 14, pg. 199.

Patrick_Ireland4

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever.
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet ‘well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.