Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take responsibility for your behaviour

An Illustration of James 1:15

Q. Could you please give me an illustration for this verse, James 1:15 - "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." I mean how do you explain this verse. I find it not easy though it seems easy.

A. James was talking about taking responsibility for our sins. He said we can’t accuse God of tempting us because He is neither tempted by evil nor does He tempt anyone else. (James 1:13) In verse 14 he said we are enticed to sin because of our own evil desires, which cause lustful thoughts. When these thoughts are given consideration they become sin, which under the Law is punishable by death. (James 1:15)

To illustrate, say I’m walking down the street when I see a beautiful woman coming toward me. This woman is not my wife but I find her desirable to look at just the same. If I entertain even a momentary thought on what it might be like to become sexually involved with her, I’ve committed the sin of adultery which is punishable by death.

Can I blame God for making the woman so attractive, or for causing her to cross my path, or for making me a healthy man with human desires? No. I can only blame myself for entertaining such a thought about a woman I’m not married to.

This is one of the illustrations Jesus used in Matt. 5-6 to show us the need for a Savior, because it’s impossible for us always avoid doing thing like this. And the same is true of an angry thought, or an envious one, or an untruthful one.

James was making the point that we can’t blame God when we succumb to the temptations of this world. From other passages we know that Jesus died for all our sins so we won’t have to. (Col. 2:13-15) And even after we’re saved, when we take responsibility for our sins and confess them as such, God is just and faithful to forgive us and will purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) so we won’t become estranged from Him.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why September 11?

Question: "Where was God on September 11?"

Answer: On September 11, 2001, God was exactly where He always is – in Heaven in total control of everything that happens in the universe. Why, then, would a good and loving God allow such a tragedy to happen? This is a more difficult question to answer. First, we must remember, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). It is impossible for finite human beings to understand the ways of an infinite God (Romans 11:33-35). Second, we must realize that God is not responsible for the wicked acts of evil men. The Bible tells us that humanity is desperately wicked and sinful (Romans 3:10-18, 23). God allows human beings to commit sin for His own reasons and to fulfill His own purposes. Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought.

God looks at things from an eternal perspective. We look at things from an earthly perspective. Why did God put man on earth, knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in Heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? It must be remembered that the purpose for all creation and all creatures is to glorify God. God is glorified when His nature and attributes are on display. If there were no sin, God would have no opportunity to display His justice and wrath as He punishes sin. Nor would He have the opportunity to show His grace, His mercy, and His love to undeserving creatures. The ultimate display of God’s grace was at the Cross where Jesus died for our sins. Here was unselfishness and obedience displayed in His Son who knew no sin but was “made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This was all to the “praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14).

When thinking of September 11, we tend to forget the thousands of miracles that occurred on that day. Hundreds of people were able to flee the buildings just in the nick of time. A small handful of firemen and one civilian survived in a tiny space in a stairwell as the one of the towers collapsed around them. The passengers on Flight 93 defeating the terrorists was a miracle in and of itself. Yes, September 11 was a terrible day. Sin reared its ugly head and caused great devastation. However, God is still in control. His sovereignty is never to be doubted. Could God have prevented what happened on September 11? Of course He could, but He chose to allow the events to unfold exactly as they did. He prevented that day from being as bad as it could have been. Since September 11, how many lives have been changed for the better? How many people have placed their faith in Christ for salvation as a result of what happened? The words of Romans 8:28 should always be in our minds when we think of 9-11, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.”

Got Questions? The Bible has Answers! We'll find them for you!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Christian's Belief

What Is The Apostles’ Creed?

Q. I hope that all is well. Listening and reading your material have helped me greatly to be more ascertain in my faith. I have been blessed to understand Bible Prophecy in perspective of “What God done in the past, What He is doing now, and What He is ‘gonna’ do”. I thank you for being a good servant to His Son Jesus. My intellect is simple ( I think that is a blessing) and I like a simple explanation, and when I come across a statement of belief that go over my head from a denomination that I will not mention, I wonder how much trust should I put toward this denomination. Could you please help me understand? This is their Statement of Faith: “We believe in what is termed The Apostles’ Creed as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.

A. The Apostles’ Creed is so-named partly because of its great antiquity, dating from the 2nd Century AD. Another reason is that a 5th Century tradition holds that each of the 12 Apostles dictated a part of it. Here’s what it says:

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”

Don’t confuse catholic church, which means the universal church, with the Catholic church, headquartered in Rome.

This statement was developed to establish certain basic truths to which the Church had to conform to be called Christian. It was an early effort to combat the heresy that came to be called “Gnosticism” which challenged these truths.