Saturday, April 4, 2009

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Random Bible Questions/Insights

1. Why refrain from debate of the Word with unbelievers especially?

The Word tells us it is fruitless and only leads to strife because the unbeliever has no correct basis of thinking because their minds are “beclouded” by a lack of knowledge. All “right” thinking must be based upon faith in the wisdom of the Lord, not on man’s opinion. Right thinking is based upon faith in God, His Word, and the resurrection power of Christ.

Titus 3: 9 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”

I Timothy 6: 3, 4, 5 “ If any man teach otherwise (than God and His doctrines), and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud (a fool), knowing nothing, but doting (being fond of) about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt mind, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

I Timothy 1: 4 “Not to be teaching otherwise (against the doctrine of Jesus Christ), nor yet to be giving heed to stories and endless genealogies, the which bring arguings, rather than the stewardship of God which is in “faith.”

The following translation provides an even more complete understanding of the dilemma.
I Timothy 6: 4 “He (the unbeliever) is beclouded, knowing {nothing} rightly, But is diseased about questionings and word-battles out of which spring envy, strife, defamations, wicked surmisings, incessant quarrelings of men wholly corrupt in their mind and bereft of the truth- Supposing godliness to be {a means of gain}.

Furthermore, lest the reader think that I am being judgmental or arrogant in stating that an unbeliever has no “right thinking” within him, please consider the following scripture:

I Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Remember that is not my personal statement, but rather from the Lord God Almighty. So if there is a disagreement, it must be with God, not me.

II Timothy 3: 16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Each Christian is responsible for renewing his own mind by the “washing of the water of the word.” As a baby grows in knowledge in little daily steps, so does the Christian grow in his ability to gain “right thinking.” That growth to “think rightly” depends, to a great degree, upon our willingness to learn and receive instruction from the word of God. We are exhorted to study the word that we may be a “workman that need not be ashamed.”

2. The Balm of Gilead: balm is a medicinal gum. It is a sap that is obtained from certain trees and made into a suave or cream that relieves pain. Jesus

Christ is the Great Physician and is the true Balm of Gilead. Through His death and resurrection, He has provided the balm that cleanses and heals us from the pain of our sins. He has removed the “sting of death” from the believer.

In a recent prayer time for a loved one, the Holy Spirit spoke forth this proclamation. We were lifting the loved one up to the Lord. We looked upon Jesus, the Great Physician, holding this person in the peace of His loving arms, while the Holy Spirit covered the person with the Balm of Gilead providing soothing and calming power.

Later, I was led to search for the scriptures about the balm of Gilead. I have copied two of those scriptures below:

Jer. 8: 22 “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (This is not a real question, but rather an expression of wonderment as to why those things had not been sought out, and provided for the recovery of the person in need.)

Jer. 51: 8 “…take balm for her pain, if so she may be healed.”

3.Why we are to refrain from letting persons, not even family and other loved ones, cause us to compromise on our stand upon the word of the Lord?

The following story is relayed in the book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, pgs.157-163.

II Chronicles 14 and 15: tells of the story of Asa, the grandson of Solomon. He was not brought up to be a God fearing man, but at some point in his life he chose to truly seek the Lord and follow Him and Him alone. He ordered all symbols of foreign gods to be removed. Yet later he discovered that his own grandmother, Maacah, still had such a repulsive “ Asherah pole.” Not only did he cut down the pole, going even further, he deposed the woman from her throne as queen mother. One can only imagine the pressure that must have come against him. Can you hear the voices around him demanding that he consider the happiness and “feelings” of his very own Grandmother? “After all,” they might say, “doesn’t she deserve to have this last little bit of solace in her later years? What harm can a little pole do? How can you possibly even think of dethroning her? If you really love her, why not do all that you can to make her last years happy? Why not just let her have her way, and give her your undying support?” Yet when we do choose to be a respecter of man’s “feelings,” we are oblivious to the greater danger and harm that we are doing to that very person that we say we love so very much. For in so doing, we are supporting them in their sin, rather than letting them suffer the consequences of their behavior, in hopes that they may possibly come to see the error of their ways, repent, and be restored to a right standing with the Lord, and bask in His blessings.

As Christians today, we are constantly bombarded with social issues that are intended to influence us to compromise the word of God and our allegiance to Him. Can we not hear the voices of our fellow man luring us to “have compassion and tolerance?” Yet what is more important- considering the feelings of others, or standing strong for the advancement of the Kingdom of God? As Jim Cymbala
stated in his book, “Whatever God approves of comes first. Whatever grieves Him has to go.”

4. The gift of rebuke from a righteous man.

Related to the previous topic is a scripture that really jumped out and went to the core of me. None of us enjoys discipline at the time. However, it is part of the protection against the fiery darts of the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world. How many times have I been able to look back upon this scripture in thanksgiving to the Lord? It reminds me NOT to have “itchy ears” that would seek to only listen to words that I may want to hear that soothe my “feelings,” or agree with my “opinions,” but rather seek the words and ways of the Lord which may be hard for me to hear, but serve to refine me in His fire and mold me into His image.
Psalm 141: 5 “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head:…”

I can only think of the many times that I have had to undergo suffering, because I would not learn a lesson the first time. If we don’t learn a lesson, then we are doomed to suffer again and again the same agony until we finally yield to Him, shunning our rebellious nature and seeking to let Christ live within us. I also ask the Lord to forgive me for being an enabler to others, helping sin become more entrenched in their lives.

5. How do we renew our minds that we may be able to think rightly?

The Bible warns us to become properly equipped in the wisdom of the Word that we will not be easily seduced by the darkness and hypocrisy of this world. II Timothy 3: 2-7 “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The Word tells us that the natural man without the “mind of Christ” is devoid of understanding and right thinking. We, who are made a new creation in Christ Jesus, are to submit ourselves to the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit that He may renew us daily in thought, word, and deed. Being a new creation in Christ does not mean that we are instantly grown in maturity, but that we are to seek His face daily that we may be made more and more into His image. Ephesians 4: 11- 15 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting (equipping) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (tricks) of men, and cunning craftiness(cleverness), whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

We are to guard against thinking and behaving as our old man (natural corruptible nature), which was our previous practice before we were made a new creation in Christ. Ephesians 4: 17, 18 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity (emptiness) of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” We are reminded that our daily walk with the Lord is a process that is strengthened only in the relationship to the process whereby we seek to put off the old man (our old nature). Ephesians 4: 21- 24 “If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (life) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (holiness of truth).

6. Can we out-give the Lord? And does He invite us to let Him show forth just how much He wants to bless us?

Psalm 34. It includes the phrase "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." Then the other scripture we had mentioned that goes along with the latter one in many ways is in Luke 6:38. The idea is not that we give to get, but rather that the Lord is so good to us if we but trust in Him in all things. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete (use in measuring anything) withal it shall be measured to you again." Then Malachi 3:10,11 " Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." We can never out give the Lord as His crucifixion proved that He was will to leave the glory of heaven to give His very life for us that we may be saved by grace through faith in Him as our Savior and Lord. Isn't that a wonderful invitation that He has given us? If we will only turn to Him and give Him the chance to prove to us just how very much He does love us. Again, " Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good." No matter what trials and tribulations we may go through here on earth, thank the Lord that He has promised to be with us always to give us His peace that passes understanding and provide oil that turns any of our mourning into joy.

7. Where and what is true liberty?

II Corinthians 3: 17. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The Lords not only gives liberty or freedom to do but freedom from-such as freedom from sin and freedom that gives us access to the things of the spirit as only the Lord’s Spirit can provide. Within the realm of freedom, it is God that gives man inalienable rights. Rights that are given by God are secure. Rights given by the state are never secure for they can be taken away from us at the whim of the state.

Liberty from the Spirit of the Lord is more than just human rights. True liberty deals with the freedom of choice. God grants us freedom, or free will, to choose to receive or reject Him as Lord and Savior. We have the liberty to choose to belong to ourselves or belong to Him. Man’s ways are right in his own eyes. What does that mean?

It means that there are no absolutes of right and wrong, for left to his own devices, man’s opinion of what is right and wrong is forever changing from day to day based upon what might seem acceptable at any time or place. Man, without God, just makes things up as He goes along; whereas, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When man chooses to belong to God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, then His Spirit comes to live within us and thus redeems us from the enslavement to our fleshly lusts and desires and bestows upon us liberty to become more Christ-like as we yield our free will to Him. Liberty in the Lord grants us the spiritual liberty to receive all the promises of God granted to us within His Word, which includes the cloak of righteousness of Jesus Christ which was bestowed upon us when He took our sins upon Himself.


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