God’s providence for his people.

One week ago Tuesday I was told that the plant I work at would be closing in one months time. This was not a shock as most of us knew lay offs were coming, we just didn’t know when. Still, this was not something we wanted to hear. For me it struck differently as my wife’s income alone would not keep us afloat.  The rush was on to find another source of income. God in his mercy and providence was already working!
The same morning I was informed of my pending lay off, my bride had an interview. If she were to get the job, the pay was substantially higher than the one she is at now. She interviewed there before, but was rejected. We both had high hopes this time around.

 

God in his good will already worked for us. He knew my layoff was coming and knew when it would take place. He provided for us in my bride being offered the job within one hour of me being told of my layoff! There is still a lot of uncertainty, but the Lord is already making sure we’re provided for.

 

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2Pe 1:3 ESV)”

“Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

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Second Commandment to what extent does it go?

Many of us have grown up with or have seen Images of Christ, some have expressed that this is not a direct violation of the second commandment given in both Exodus and Deuteronomy. Some have said it is, what is it? In this post, we will look into the very issue and come forth with an answer. This solution will be found by watching the scripture and looking at what the word says. First, we will examine the texts that drive this and look at other sources to help aid us in the answer. This post is not to bind your conscience but rather to prove it to study the word.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

(Exo 20:4 ESV)”

“‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

(Deu 5:8 ESV)

 

Most people I would like to think to miss the second part without malintent, but they do miss it let’s be honest. We are called to know what the scriptures mean. So let’s begin with the part that is overlooked. “or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,” we need to look at the word here “likeness”  Strong’s gives us a biblical definition, of

H8544

תְּמֻנָה    תְּמוּנָה

temûnâh    temûnâh

tem-oo-naw’, tem-oo-naw’

From H4327; something portioned (that is, fashioned) out, as a shape, that is, (indefinitely) phantom, or (specifically) embodiment, or (figuratively) manifestation (of favor): – image, likeness, similitude.

Total KJV occurrences: 10

Image let us look further into the word image,

pesel

peh’-sel

From H6458; an idol: – carved (graven) image.

Total KJV occurrences: 31

Idol, Strong calls having an image an idol! We need to think long about this (apart from the blog). If we come to the conviction of it being a violation of the commandment to have an image. Look let’s step back here, in the core understanding of the B, we see that it is not just in heaven but also on the earth. If one was to make the objection that it is just things in heaven  than based on John 1:1-4 image of Christ is still out as it reads,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

(Joh 1:1-4 ESV)

Christ is the Word, and he was with God. From the beginning he was with him, he is creating all things, this being that he is in Heaven and falling under the objection above. He would still be in his heart making for himself an idol. Other objections can be and have been made many others have claimed that because Christ is God in the flesh and that he is the one we worship we have not made an idol in our heart but rather doing worship unto God. Let us investigate this with more intent. We will turn to the secondary source now that being the Westminster shorter catechism to help aid in this.

“Q: Which is the second commandment?
A: The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.1

  1. Exodus 20:4-6.
“Q: What is required in the second commandment?
A: The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his word.1

1. Deuteronomy 12:32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Deuteronomy 32:46. And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
Matthew 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, evenunto the end of the world. Amen.

“Q: What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A: The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images,1 or any other way not appointed in his word.2

1.       Deuteronomy 4:15-19. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Acts 17:29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

2.       Deuteronomy 12:30-32. Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

“Q: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A: The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us,1 his propriety in us,2 and the zeal he hath to his own worship.3

1.       Psalm 95:2-3. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

2.       Psalm 45:11. So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

3.       Exodus 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

 

 

We see in Question and Answer 51, the answer to the objection above. The wording is the worshiping of, so if the objection were to stand based on it is for worship than no longer can it. When we look at the second commandment we need to see that there is more to it than just having images of other gods.

In the end it Is of my belief that images or any kind are in violation of the commandment my prayer will be that your study of all this will be of fruit and lead you to this end as well.

 

 

 

Changing of the POUTS

January 20, 2017 the United States changes the president, moving from Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump. One thing is for sure Jesus is still Lord. Ok well, even though this is true, there is more to this blog than this. We have seen hurt and joy from both sides of the political map. Also fear for what’s next, and happiness for what is to come. We have seen people pointing fingers. We have seen people blaming news networks. We saw a lot. But the fact of the matter is – Jesus is still Lord.


Jesus is and always will be Lord, and we have been given a commandment to pray for our leaders,

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (1Ti 2:1-3 ESV)”


We need to stop pointing fingers, and start praying for the people elected to office. This goes for me as well. When we pray for these men, we need to petition for their salvation. The church needs to see that we need to stand together for the Gospel and then for the people who govern us, all in submission to God.


When we submit unto the command of God to pray for those in local, state, and federal levels we open up a way for real change to happen in the country. The change will only come when the church acts as she should. We need fight the sin that is first within the body and preach the gospel within the walls.

 

Also, we need to be out in the world bringing the Gospel to others. There are many ways to do this and many ways not to do this. One thing we must be aware of is letting something other than the gospel be our battle cry. When we believe that Christ is a greater king, we can be open to seeing the men power coming to him in ways we never thought possible.


When we, as the church, say not to point fingers, but do it anyway, how can we expect the ones in power behave differently? This is not to say that the people over us should be more holy than us, but rather we should place holy men over us. This brings me back to the commandment earlier about praying for them. We need to pray for the ones who are placed over us. Remember, that it is God who has given us the rulers and well as judgment more than anything.


Democrat, this is for you, I know that you are scared with what the next 4 years will bring, but rest in this: If you are, in Christ than rest in his understanding and not your own. Rest in his holiness not your righteousness. Rest in the promise of the life to come in his blood not to the life here and now.


Republican, this is for you, I know that you are excited about the next 4 years, but rest in this: If you are, in Christ then rest in his understanding and not your own. Rest in this holiness not your righteousness. Rest in the promise of the life to come in his blood not to the life here and now.


Libertarian, this is for you, I know that you are mixed with what the next 4 years will bring, but rest in this: If you are in Christ then rest in his understanding and not your own. Rest in His holiness not your righteousness. Rest in the promise of the life to come in his blood not to the life here and now.


Constitutionalist, this is for you, I know that you are mixed with what the next 4 years will bring, but rest in this: If you are in Christ then rest in his understanding and not your own. Rest in His holiness not your righteousness. Rest in the promise of the life to come in his blood not to the life here and now.

Death and the truth that comes from it.

So 2016 brought celebrities to their death, from Glenn Frey to Nacy Reagan, and Wiliam Christopher, just to name a few. Many have taken to Facebook to say that they have died young or that there is something wrong with this world because people are dying. Why has this world gone to such a mindset that people will not die? Many people think or wish that people would not die but live on forever. The fact of the matter is that because of sin we have death, scripture says

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom 6:23 ESV)”

When we think of death, most of us think of the things we will miss or all the “good” things that person has done. Rather I would like to put on the table a new perspective of death one that I would argue is more in line with biblical teaching. As I said the wages of sin is death, look the Bible does not promise us a life that is eternal on this earth, but rather it will be either, in heaven or under the wrath of God. As Romans say, sin leads to death, but Christ leads to life. See,

“But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

(Rom 6:21-22 ESV)”

When we view death as something that happens to “good” people we come up with this false understanding of mortality. When we look at it in light of the work of Christ, we see it very differently. We see it as an end to a life of pain and Sin we see it as a joyful time of one being closer to being glorified, this all being for the Christian, the ones which the father has called,

 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

(Rom 8:28-30 ESV)”

Moreover, for the Christian, our only comfort in life and death is in Christ, as the heidelberg catechism states

“Lord’s Day 1

Q&A 1
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1 but belong—body and soul, in life and in death2—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4 and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5 He also watches over me in such a way6 that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;7 in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life9 and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.10”

At the end of the day when we have the view of the good people go to heaven, or everyone does we have a view that does not give the wages of sin, and as we have shown that is death, but with the gospel. And the work of Christ we need not worry about death if we are in his blood, and are called by the father.

 

 

 

 

1 1 Cor. 6:19-20
2 Rom. 14:7-9
3 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14
4 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2
5 John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11
6 John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5
7 Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18
8 Rom. 8:28
9 Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14
10 Rom. 8:1-17

State of the Blog Address.

So, another year has gone by it is now 2017. I have not blogged much in 2016 only 14 (ok 15 if we count this one), but I also have been busy. I was married in July working a lot. The past year with the number of blogs I have been able to post have been with good repose well I am not a guy who cares about numbers here is some from the past year on the blog. My most popular one was Marriage number of total views was 342, and some visitors were 272. Goals for 2017 is first to get out more blogs but also. I am looking to start a stream of blogs that will be a “book report” of all the books I will be reading, from theology to fiction, in the blog, I will be looking at the book from different viewpoints depending on the kind of book it is. Also, I look to blog more about theology and or matters from marriage and life to more Christian necessary things, also looking into the very things that we hold dear and near to our hearts. Also, I will be trying to time map the journey of being part of a church plant. I will look to within time get the blog to be its own domain name if finances  are available for it, getting the name is a small price but one that may not be able to pay for it at this time. I hope that the Lord may use this Blog in the year to come to help grow his people.

Livin’ on a Prayer

I was painting the other day at work and I got Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer stuck in my head. This made me start thinking about prayer. Before I dive into my thoughts the other day, let me back up to some to the days of kitchen work, when I was working at a golf course. We were almost always busy and I use to be in prayer all the time. Since then I have I have lost that consistency for one reason or another.

Back to the other day at work. I was painting a part, and I just started singing in my head “Oh, we’re halfway there Oh oh, Livin’ on a prayer” and I started thinking, we are to be a people of prayer. The Apostle Paul called us to be. He commanded us to pray without stopping,

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1Th 5:16-18 ESV)”

The big question is what does this look like and also how can we, in this day and age of always being on the go, fulfill this commandment? I think we need to start back with the basics of prayer and what it is. The Westminster Shorter Catechism teaches us:

“Quest. 98. What is prayer?
Ans. 98. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God,(1) for things agreeable to his will,(2) in the name of Christ,(3) with confession of our sins,(4) and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.(5)”

So, it is a conversation of sorts. We enter into a conversation with the Father seeking Him for the very things we need and also to seek his will. But what does it mean to pray without ceasing? Fist I want to look at what the word “ceasing” means. By definition, it means without stopping. So we are to pray without stopping. To be in a state of prayer from hour to hour.

Are we really able to do this? Do we even have to?

If we want to be Christians who live for the father and ones who seek to be in a state of fellowship, then we must be a people of prayer. Moreover, we must pray without ceasing. Admittedly this does not come naturally (not calling this sin if we are not praying all the time), but it is something that we should seek to improve upon. Also, we need to remember there are many ways to pray. Keep in mind that in Psalms, we have a whole book devoted to prayer and many any examples in other parts of the Bible, such as Isaiah, Lamentations, The Gospels and many more.

Let us rejoice in a God who is merciful enough to answer our prayers!

(1) Ps. 62:8.
(2) I John 5:14.
(3) John 16:23.
(4) Ps. 32:5-6; Dan. 9:4.
(5) Phil. 4:6.

 

 

 

What kinds of prayers are there?

What sort of prayers are there for the Christian? Theologians have placed 8 different types of prayers. Prayers of, Faith, Corporate, Supplication, Thanksgiving, Worship, Consecration, Intercessions, and Imprecation (link gives scripture proofs). With each one in need of their own blog to look in deep but, what I am attempting to get at here is that within prayer we have more than just the idea of just asking for God to do things or give us things. Many times we forget that there are many different ways to go about praying from asking for supplications and also giving thanks for the very things we have. When we come before the Lord in prayer we need to think about the types of prayer we want, we must also remember that we have an intercessor for us, in Christ Jesus.

“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Rom 8:34 ESV)”

SO when you go be for the Lord next time in prayer do so within the mind in what ways we go before him. May his grace blesses you and may your prayer life get strong.