Christians believe Christ and His words…


BORN AGAIN -WHAT DID JESUS MEAN?

Have you been told that Christians believe the new birth as defined in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary—​Eleventh Edition? This is what Wacthtower has on their website site. Don’t believe this. It isn’t true. Christians do not define a born-again person as “a usually Christian person who has made a renewed or confirmed commitment of faith especially after an intense religious experience.”​

Christians actually believe the new-birth is from above, is necessary to become a Christian, and it is a result of trusting Christ as Savior and Lord as described here:

A more complete explanation is found at GotQuestions?.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES

I recently discovered that this religious group, Watchtower, has also written the following on their website:

The only place in the entire Bible where the expression “born again” is found is at John 3:1-12, which describes an intriguing conversation that took place between Jesus and a religious leader in Jerusalem. You will find that Bible account quoted in full in the accompanying box. We invite you to read it carefully.  JW.org

While it is true that the words ‘born again’ written together are only found in John chapter 3, the teaching is found in several places in the new testament as seen in the following passages, all of which are believed and taught in the Christian church:

There came a man having been sent from God. His name was John. 7 He came as a witness, that he might testify concerning the Light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but came that he might witness concerning the Light.9 The true Light who enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to the own, and the own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to be children of God—to those believing in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of will of flesh, nor of will of man, but of God. John 1

4 But when the kindness and the love of mankind of God our Savior appeared, 5 He saved us, not by works in righteousness that we did, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by that grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,… 1 Peter 1

DOES NEW BIRTH MEAN REGENERATION?

According to ThoughtCo.com, new birth is the same thing as regeneration. The Bible speaks in several places about regeneration. The writer at ‘Thoughts’ also writes:

Because God gives us this new birth, we know exactly where we stand. That’s what is so exciting about Christianity. We don’t have to struggle for our salvation, wondering whether we have said enough prayers or done enough good deeds. Christ did it for us, and it is complete.

John verifies this is true in chapter 1. He describes Christians as people…

John 1:13 …who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Got Questions? gives a study of ‘regeneration’ taken from the Bible. Scripture is clear. Rebirth and regeneration are the same thing and regardless of what the world teaches, Jesus simple statement was completely accurate and Christ said all that needed to be said:

3 Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old? Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.…John 3

Advertisements
Posted in Bible, Christ, Christianity, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, Religion

The three visitors who came to Abraham…


YHWH APPEARS TO ABRAHAM

Berean Study Bible – The Three Visitors

Genesis 18:1-2

Then the LORD (YHWH) appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent. 2  And Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the door of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

It is interesting that three visitors appeared to represent the One LORD. While we are told that three visitors appeared, and the reference to them is ‘they’, the Bible tells us that ‘He’ spoke. Genesis 18 We are not told why this happened this way. Here is the explanation I find to be the most likely to be accurate Genesis 18..

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

THE PROMISE ONLY GOD COULD KEEP

When the three men appeared to Abraham after he had reached the age of 100 years, Sarah was 90. Yet the three brought a message and a declaration. When Abraham set food before the three, God spoke to Abraham:

Genesis 18:10 He said, “I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.”

IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?

This question is repeated in Jeremiah 32:27, but the answer is found in Jeremiah 32:17. Christ Jesus answered the question as well as Matthew, Mark and Luke have recorded.

17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

Both passages are so encouraging. Jesus said in Luke 1:37.

“…For nothing will be impossible with God.”

With men, this couldn’t happen. God wants us to place our trust in Him and allow Him to do the impossible.

FACING THE IMPOSSIBLE

Many times I have faced situations that seem impossible. We all do. This is why our God, the great I AM, wants us to have faith and trust Him. He wants to do for us the things we need that we find impossible.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Christ, Christianity, Israel, Religion

A Study of Job


LESSONS FROM THE TEXT

Book of Job

People celebrated birthdays in those days. Job 1:4

Job offered sin sacrifices to God for his entire family. Job 1:5

God considered Job “upright.” Job 1:8

Satan could not touch Job because God had put a  hedge around Job. Job 1:10

Satan had to have God’s permission to touch Job. Job 1:11

Even though Job was upright he could not stand on his own merit. He needed mercy. (Job was a sinner who needed to be saved by grace.) Job 40:6-14

Job did what we often do. He forgot that Satan was involved, but Job did realize God has ultimate authority. Job 10

Job’s friends made the mistake of judging Job as being less righteous than they because Job was suffering. Job 11:2-5

Job’s friends believed good men do not suffer.  Job 11:14  Job understood this is not the case.  Job 12:3, 13:2, 13:10

Job’s faith was strong. Job 13:15

Even in Job’s sad condition, God granted his desire to have his words recorded. Job 19:23

Job realized that death is not the end of life.  Job 19:25-26

Job knew true judgment was coming. Job 19:28-29

Zophar was was insulted by truth. Job 20:3

Even in Job’s day, some people thought riches to be synonymous with being evil. Job 20:15-23, Job 22:9

Job could see the situation of life on earth as it truly is. Job 21:7-18

Job saw that all man experience unequal conditions not contingent upon their lifestyle. Job 21:23-26

Job’s friends were very judgemental, yet very wrong about Job. Job 21:17-30

OBSERVATIONS

Although Job was not perfect, he did understand many things his friends did not understand.  The book of Job shows us the danger of judging other people.  Making assumptions may cause us to be proven wrong and where God’s word is involved assumptions may cause us to commit grievous sins. It is clearly seen in Job that trying to reason with people will not change them. God loved Job greatly and restored to him everything he lost, and more. What Satan thought was his victory was actually Job’s victory and God was always in control.

Posted in Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Christianity, Grace of God, Jesus, Our World Today, Religion

On this matter of judging others…


PASSING JUDGEMENT ON OTHERS

Should we, in light of Biblical teaching, ignore those who make it their business to judge others?

Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 

Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.…

Is there any authority from scripture to pass judgement? I have found some use Matthew 20:16-20 as giving them authority to judge.

Matthew 7:. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So every good tree bears good fruits, but the rotten tree bears bad fruits. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruits, nor a bad tree to bear good fruits. 19 Every tree not bearing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire. 20 Then surely by their fruits you will recognize them.

CONTEXT

When looking at Jesus words, we find He said ‘do not judge others’ in the same sermon in which He stated, “By their fruits you will know them.” Jesus was teaching the people how to recognize false prophets. Matthew 7 ESV

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

GOD IS OUR JUDGE

We need to know if a person is teaching a false doctrine or prophesying falsely, but we have no business passing judgement on the heart or faith of those around us. God will cut them down eventually. If we presume to do this, we will be in disobedience and Jesus said we will be judged with that same judgement. Now we should speak out against false teaching. We have a standard in the Bible and when it is abused or misused we are given the right to refuse to accept the teaching.

Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and obstacles that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Turn away from them.

1 Timothy 1:3 As I urged you on my departure to Macedonia, you should stay on at Ephesus to instruct certain men not to teach false doctrines 4 or devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculation rather than the stewardship of God’s work, which is by faith.…

We go too far, however, when we judge another person’s heart or question their testimony. That judgement belongs to God who knows the heart. 

John 2: 24 But Jesus on His part did not did entrust Himself to them, because of His knowing all men, 25 and because He had no need that anyone should testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

 OUTSIDE VS INSIDE

What then do Christians do concerning those who are outside the body of Christ BUT claim to believe in Christ? What if they claim to believe, but reject the true gospel? Christ and scripture (the only two places described as Truth) tell us there are only two places to be: outside the body of Christ or inside the body (in Christ). We must believe the gospel of Jesus Christ or we are not believers. Christ knows who believes the gospel and who places their faith elsewhere. Only He can judge individual hearts. We cannot. At best we can judge outward appearance. This judgement is His, not ours.

CONDUCT OF OTHERS

The  behavior of those not in the body of Christ is not our concern other than we need to pray for them and witness to them. Christ knows His own. We are told to pray for both the brethren and our enemies. The rest is up to Him. We can be sure that if we stay in the word, that if we do not add or subtract from the word, and that if we testify as instructed to do, Christ will be glorified and He will glorify the Father in heaven. All instructions are found within the Bible. We are to stay in the word. 

LOOK TO THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE

Finally…

2 Timothy 4:8 From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me in that day; but not only to me, but also to all those loving His appearing.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Christ, Christianity, Cults, Grace of God, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST…


Jesus of Nazareth was arrested and accused of blasphemy against the Temple and of claiming to be the Son of God. Jews understood this claim meant He was claiming to be equal to God. He was convicted and Pilate handed Him over to be crucified. After He died, Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple requested His body and Jesus was buried in Joseph’s tomb. Roman guards were placed to watch the tomb. The season was Passover. 

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.

MARY ARRIVES AT THE TOMB 

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat on it…4 The guards trembled in fear of him and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay. Matthew 28

1 Corinthians 15 gives us much information concerning the gospel and the resurrection, including how Christ conquered sin, death and accomplished the will of the Father. 

RESURRECTION – ‘ANASTASIS NEKRON’ – THE STANDING UP OF A CORPSE

 The literal meaning of the word resurrection teaches us that Christ was raised bodily, His corpse stood and exited the tomb. The Bible teaches how and who this resurrection benefits and in what way.

1 Corinthians 15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is worthless, and so is your faith. 15 In that case, we are also exposed as false witnesses about God. For we have testified about God that He raised Christ from the dead, but He did not raise Him if in fact the dead are not raised.

16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep IN CHRIST have perished. 19 If our hope IN CHRIST is for this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Seventy-five times in the New Testament we find the words ‘IN CHRIST.’ It always refers to a group of people. People are either “in Christ” or they are in the world.  Our way to escape from the world is to be placed “in Christ” and this is an act accomplished by the grace of God when we place our faith in Christ. Our redemption is secured by what Christ did during Passover when He became our Passover Lamb and died in our place, taking on our sins, and paying the penalty for those sins. Our future is secure because of His resurrection. In God’s word we are given…

THIS GOSPEL

Paul wrote:

2 By this gospel you are saved…For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one of untimely birth.

BELIEVING THE GOSPEL RESULTS IN SALVATION

It is written that we are to repent and believe the gospel.

Mark 1:14 …Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. 15“The time is fulfilled, He said, “and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel!” 

Repentance is actually a turning away from our own sinful ways and a turning to the LORD, believing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Acts 20:20-21 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you…Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

SHARING THE GOSPEL

We know because witnesses testified. Our job is to tell those who have not heard.

Acts 4:33 With great power, the apostles continued to give their testimony about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And abundant grace was upon them all. 

MAY YOU BE BLESSED THIS RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

 

Posted in Bible, Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, Gospel, Grace of God, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, Jewish People, Love of God, Religion, Resurrection

The name written that only The Word knows…


 Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven having been opened, and behold, a white horse, and the One sitting upon it called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 Now His eyes are like a flame of fire, and upon His head many diadems, having a name having been written, which no one except He Himself knows, 13 and having been clothed with a garment having been dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S NAME

We learn from scripture that God’s name is important. The Almighty tells us so in the Old Testament… 

Exodus 3:14-15  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

Exodus 6:2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, YHWH I did not make Myself known to them. 4″I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned.…

I am YHWH [the LORD]; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” –Isaiah 42:8

And in the New Testament…

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,…

Ephesians 1:18 I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. He displayed this power in the working of His mighty strength, 20 which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every NAME that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed….11 Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one.”

THE MYSTERY 

The Hebrew name for God, YHWH, has been said to be unutterable or unpronounceable. This has been a dilemma for  translators. Jews are thought to have left off saying the name out of reverence for His holiness.  Some say they omitted vowels for this purpose . The question could arise as to why our Creator would allow such important information to be lost, especially since He stressed the importance of His name. One thing we can know. He had a reason and it was for our good and His glory!

THE REVELATION 

There has been speculation, accusations, and misinformation surrounding this NAME that is forever. Men have added vowels to make a name for God. Others have attributed sinister motives to those who do not use these man-made names. Yet the truth is that the only name YHWH (which we cannot pronounce) has given us is the name He gave  Moses, the name I Am. He has also revealed Himself in Christ and told us that the name of Christ is elevated above all names, so…What is Christ name? It is pronounced Jesus in English, Yeshua in Hebrew, And Ha’soos in Spanish. Christ revealed Himself as I Am.

John 18:5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. Jesus said, “I am He.” And Judas, His betrayer, was standing there with them. 6 When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

John 8:58 “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

Perhaps we have yet to learn His new name…

Revelation 19:12 …having a name having been written, which no one except He Himself knows.

The name we know is that He is I Am, the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit!

Will we know another name after judgement? Possibly, but for now this is what has been given to us. 

Revelation 19:14 The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and pure, follow Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth proceeds a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

CALL ON HIS NAME

We are given clear instructions as to what we are to do:

 Joel 2:32 And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD (YHWH, I Am ) will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

Romans 10:9-13 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.“

 

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, I AM, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, Jewish People, Our World Today

Should Christians celebrate Easter?


EASTER OR RESURRECTION 

For most Christians, the word Easter is synonymous with Resurrection. We understand Easter means resurrection. We celebrate the fact that Christ arose bodily from the grave three days after being crucified during Passover in Jerusalem. This we should celebrate! 

Sadly, the term Easter, that has been given to our holiday, brings up pagan ideas for many. Some of our practices had pagan origins. While we do NOT worship or even acknowledge pagan gods, these origins may be a stumbling block for some people.

My opinion is that we who are true Christians, those who have repented of going their own sinful way and who have turned to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith that He is Messiah and Lord, should refrain from the use of the pagan term Easter and call our celebration what it is – Resurrection Sunday!

GIVE THE ADVERSARY NO OCCASION TO ACCUSE

The Watchtower organization, similar organizations, and Satan himself accuse Christians. Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is edifying.

We have the right to do things so long as we are not deliberately breaking God’s commandments, but some things are not wise. Weak and unsaved people in our midst should be more important than an Easter Egg hunt or a chocolate bunny. Those who are not grounded or who are unsaved are easily confused and led away. Christians should not give an occasion for this to happen.

REASON TO CELEBRATE 

Christians have more reasons and the best reason to celebrate. We have more reason than anyone on earth. Much of what we do at Easter is completely biblical. We hold a Communion Service on Palm Sunday whereby Christ’s people may be in obedience to His command to:

Luke 22:19 And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 

We sing, pray, worship, teach, and rejoice that:

5 … the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay. Matthew 28

We do not need the eggs or the bunnies to celebrate our Lord’s resurrection! Let’s celebrate Christ’s Resurrection!

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Cults, Easter, Jehovah's Witness, Jesus, Religion