Friday, January 30, 2015

Finding Wisdom

Recently, we lost something. Our search was so extensive that we were not merely looking from room to room but got right down to moving the furniture, sweeping every place with a flashlight in order to find it. We searched everywhere; that is, we searched in every place anyone would be. It did not make sense to get into the crawl spaces or get in our car and drive to some to another location to look because we did not lose the item anywhere except in a certain place. When we lose something, we look in the place we lost it. 

Sometimes we have an idea to look for something that is not lost so we chase the idea in the realm we expect to make a discovery. For example, when I was young we explored the Rocky Mountains and spent some time looking for gold. We did not look in the sky (though the color could be found in the sunset) and we did not look in the trees (though the Aspens in fall are quite aflame in gold); rather, we looked near abandoned mines and panned the streams below for even the smallest nugget. 

Where does one search to find wisdom? Rest assured that wisdom is not lost by us, but is waiting to be discovered. Proverbs 2 gives us a number of objectives to help us successfully find wisdom: 

If wisdom is something you will receive and store up, then: 
  • listen, shaping the heart to receive, just like when we strain to hear something and cup a hand around our ear to redirect the sound (2:2) 
  • call out for it. What happens when you pray for understanding? What kind of God would not answer or decline this kind of prayer? (2:3) 
  • dig (2:4). Just as precious metals are found in the dirt, you must be looking in the right context! 
If we listen, pray and dig by reading God’s unchanging Word, then you will be able to understand the fear of the LORD, the knowledge of God (2:5). Do you see the logic? 

We are told to look God-ward to find wisdom and when we do, look what happens: we gain wisdom (2:6) because He is the source of what we need to know AND the ability to understand it (2:7). 

God is: 
  • the storehouse of wisdom (2:7), 
  • the very treasure itself! the shield for those who walk behind it (2:8a,b); 
  • the sustainer of His way in those who obey (2:8c). 
In short: apprehend God, then you will know what is right and just and good; and wisdom will take up residence in your soul and protect you (2:9-11).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Randoms

For the second year in a row “Military Advanced Education” (MAE) magazine has awarded Columbia International University the designation of a Top School in its 2015 “MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities,” measuring best practices in military and veteran education. Read More here!

Lifehack: Why You Should Take Notes By Hand And Not On A Laptop

23 Affordable Ways To Keep Toddlers Busy On A Rainy Day

"The hills are alive . . . now they are not!"


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Truthfulness in Ministry (part 2): The Reason to Continue In The Face Of Opposition

Struggling with what God has called you to do? Sometimes we find ourselves asking, “why did I start this in the first place?” That’s really not a bad question by the way, because our “why” is an excellent resource to help us keep going. If we can’t answer “why,” then perhaps we need a better “why.”

Paul tells us why he continued in ministry, even in the face of opposition. “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” [2Co 1:21-22 ESV].

Paul’s “why” is rooted in Jesus, the God-given foundation of ministry, “it is God who establishes us with you in Christ.” This is the second time Paul fell back on his “why.” The first time was recorded in his first letter when he reminded his opponents of their position in Christ as “confirmed, blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful through whom you were called into one fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor 1:8-9). God in Christ Jesus is the faithful founder of our fellowship: not music, food, physical address, but His Son, Jesus Christ our LORD!

Paul goes further, stating that “it is God who . . . anointed us.” When God sets us apart by the Spirit of Truth our stability is found in Jesus, not in the circumstance. Circumstance challenges our “why.” Paul explains here that God gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge, a truth repeated from the first letter--and he will bring it up yet again, so here is a vital doctrine we should not miss.

Corinth was a trading crossroads, so Paul borrows the language of a good businessman to make his point: by “seal” Paul underscores the authenticity, validity of that which is marked. An example of this is found at Jesus’ baptism when we hear the voice of approval from heaven; the Spirit descended like a dove and the set apart for service to God. What the Father did for the Son, so He does for Paul. [1:21-22] “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”  God authenticates Paul to the world and the Corinthians by filling him with His Spirit and setting him apart for service to the Gentiles.

Here’s what this means for us: what the Father did for the Son and Paul, He does for us: authentic Christianity is God-authenticated, making us His beloved children. We respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent, The Spirit makes us alive in Christ, fills us to “be” followers of Christ. He in turn sets apart from the world for the purpose of serving Him in the world.

Now, there are conditions to the sealing, authentication:

  • Jesus did the will of His Father, which was obedience to death [Hbr 12:2] “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
  • Paul not only met our resurrected Lord, but had to die to self by faith in Christ. God could not authenticate Him until he died by faith and was made alive by faith in Christ.  
  • God gives His seal of approval when we die to our sins in Christ. Only then can we be useful to Him.
The Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. He was filled with the Spirit and returned to Galilee with power. Acts 9 records Paul receiving both his sight and the Holy Spirit. Test of the strength of your "why": 

  • Have you received the Holy Spirit, the seal of God’s authentic work in your life? 
  • Do you bear the marks of his promises, stamped with Jesus’ image?
  •  Have you experienced His grace? 
  • Do you hear His voice? 
  • Does your spirit witness with His Spirit that you are God’s child? 
  • Can anyone look at you and see His name? How do you bear it to the world? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Photoblog: Mugshot

I like this so . . .
 . . . I thought it over and did not buy the mug after all.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Truthfulness in Ministry (part 1)

Criticism of the gospel ministry is nothing new (ol’ Solomon was right, you know: there is nothing new under the sun), so we can find great encouragement to remain faithful in all we do out of love for the Lord by considering how the apostle Paul rooted the defense of his ministry in truth. He writes:

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. But I call God to witness against me--it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.” [2Co 1:19-24 ESV]

Paul is truthful in ministry because Jesus is truthful--and why not? He IS The truth! Jesus is Paul’s message! Notice what he says: “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,” Paul uses the full title of Jesus, leaving no room for doubt as to the content and authority of the message; “whom we proclaimed among you” . Who is “we”? Me [Paul], Silvanus,  [aka Silas] and Timothy [people you know]. This congregation knew the messengers personally (they were not strangers) and the message they brought “was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.” Nothing is more true than the Son of God, Jesus Christ. “For all the promises of God in Him [are] Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

Test anyone who says they are a minister of the gospel by examining their words and works in the context of truth. 
  • Do they look out for themselves, surrounding themselves with body guards and "yes" men? 
  • Do they always talk about Jesus, or have a platform for other topics? 
  • Are their words and works supported by a God who cannot lie? 
  • Is Jesus the guarantee of every promise (Heb 7:22)? 
  • Can the Holy Spirit confirm that what they say is in fact, true?
Paul reminds his reader that the reason they have this relationship is because of the God-approved the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything God does for us is a done-deal in Christ--there is not guessing about what He has done, what He means or intends. Their criticism of Paul is unfounded.

You can stand on God's promises because they are time-tested in the reality of Jesus’ presence on earth through an actual people who exist. Every time you watch the news and hear the name “Israel,” you should be reminded of His promise given at the fall of man in the garden of the coming redeemer.


You can stand on the promises because Christ is the way it is with God. He is the Word of God, made flesh and dwelt among us, and He is our solemn prayer to God. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Jesus Was A Vegetarian"

"Recently I read the statement, 'Jesus was a vegetarian.' Supposedly, since Jesus did not eat meat, neither should we. There are several problems with this line of reasoning."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 6): Let God Be God

“Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say ‘Yes, yes’ and ‘No, no’ at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.” [2Co 1:15-18 ESV]

This is the first big sticking point in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. A couple of items to notice here. First, we can see by inference how Paul’s opponents watched him closely, taking the first opportunity to slander him. Paul said he would come and he did not so the enemy was there to plant seeds of doubt and dissension against Him.

We have an enemy, who is the devil (Satan). He is the Father of lies. His business is the opposite of the business of Jesus. The business of Jesus is to build a church with kingdom keys to lock down the business of Satan. The Corinthian church was not doing the business of Jesus. They were doing the opposite. We need to remember that Satan has no kingdom, no throne. Satan rules nothing so he is entitled to nothing--especially from The Church!

Second, notice how Paul describes his conscience: it is clear. He was deliberate in his intention to come “to you before, that you might twice receive a blessing: to pass your way into Macedonia, and to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea. Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? [I was not vacillating when I intended to do this] Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, [“I’ll go to Corinth” or] Yes, and [then] No,[ “I’ll go . . . or not”] No? [“I’m not going.”] But [as] God [is] faithful, our word to you was not ‘Yes and No.’” We come and go on God’s agenda.

The Corinthians must have forgotten the way he closed his previous letter, “For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.(1 Cor 16:7). God did not permit the visit, yet remains faithful.

What room do you leave in your life for God to be God? His faithfulness depends on Him, not us. “Blessed are the flexible” is a saying often heard in our fellowship. Let us not make the mistake of the Corinthians and conform truth to our comfort, our agenda. They lost perspective and it damaged their relationship with Paul. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 5): The Day Of The Lord

“For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also [are] ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.” [2Co 1:13-14 NKJV] 

The day will come when we will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. Any ideas what you will say to Him? What will be your boast about your relationship to others in His Church? Are you able to rejoice in the ministry you have received? Will the things you say then match what you say now about the church?

Paul’s attitude toward this church is not the same as the attitude this church has for Paul. They misunderstood Paul so they wrote him off. Paul prayed and gave thanks for them (1 Cor 1:4-9). Paul had already referred to the Day of the Lord Jesus 3 times in the previous letter, so this does not catch them (or us) by surprise.

The day he refers to is not a day when a person’s salvation is decided, whether one gets to enjoy God forever (eternal life) or receive the just reward of eternal punishment for sin. Rather, the day Paul refers to here is the day followers of Christ see Him face to face by means of resurrection or rapture.

How does God see your heart? Do your words and works match . . . now, or will Jesus our Judge match them for us later? Have a clear conscience as you interact with people before God. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

“Men and women who saw God in the Bible: Why did they not all die?”

[July 2004 I went to Kenya, Africa to speak in two Pastor’s Conferences on the subject of Man, Sin and Salvation. At the end of each day I left just over an hour for questions: half the time were questions touching the subject of my lectures and the other half for “open questions” Here is one of the questions asked by a Bible student]

Question: “Men and women who saw God in the Bible: Why did they not all die?” “But He said, ‘You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’” (Exodus 33:20)

Answer:

First, consider those who did see God—how did they respond when they saw Him? They were instantly aware of their sinfulness, and God’s holiness and righteousness (to name a few. And notice also that each responded in an attitude of worship, bowing down): Abraham built altars, worshipping on his face; Isaac and Jacob set up heaps of stones as memorials when they saw the LORD in visions; Moses was told to remove his sandals for he was on Holy ground; only one priest could enter the Holy of Holies once per year provided sin was covered; Joshua fell on his face before the captain of the hosts of the LORD; Gideon not only saw, but presented an offering to the LORD and received the promise that though he saw the LORD, he would not die having seen Him; Manoah and wife fell to the ground; Isaiah pronounced judgment against himself when He saw the LORD; Joseph obeyed immediately after his vision; Mary demonstrated submission and obedience; John the Baptist recognized he was not worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals; Paul fell on his face; John did likewise.

When each saw the Lord, they were aware of His holiness and their own sin and mortality; but, each also experienced a level of grace; that is, God granted them continued physical life because they honored and glorified Him for who He is (unlike Nabad and Abihu), recognizing there was nothing good in themselves, and everything good in Him. Each time God extended mercy because they submitted to His righteousness. They furthermore trusted Him by faith to make them spiritually alive as well.

Second, consider the context of the verse specifically. Moses is on Sinai receiving the Law (moral, civil and ceremonial). While God would not allow anyone to see His face, He still made Himself available to be seen. Additionally, God provided what was necessary (a covering) in order for what was seen of Him to be enjoyed. The Law reveals His glory while simultaneously revealing man’s sinfulness. Seeing God without dealing with sin leads to disaster.

(re-post from June 19, 2008)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 4): Conduct In The Church

Paul's ministry was misunderstood by fellow believers, but he did not treat them in a way that compromised The Faith. Rather, he showed them great grace. He says “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you." [2Co 1:12 ESV]

In the midst of misunderstanding, Paul says “toward you we conducted ourselves honestly.” He recognized that they were once in the world. There is a gentle reminder here: Remember when we came to you with the gospel as we did in all the world -- honestly, simply? We came in obedience to His Commission; you responded to HIM, not us. There is great grace in the midst of misunderstanding when we remember our sinful past how we first received the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul says “toward you we conducted ourselves in godly sincerity.” We did not soften God’s word for you but spoke to you as from God. You listened and received the teaching. We were not one thing to you and then another. We are real.

Paul says, “more abundantly toward you we conducted ourselves not with fleshly wisdom.” It was God’s plan, not Paul’s that he came to Corinth (Read Acts 18:1-8).

Paul says, “more abundantly toward you we conducted ourselves by [in] the grace of God.”  How much more the ministry of grace the Corinthians are receiving right now as Paul battles for the truth.
So what is our response when our ministry is misunderstood?

1) Be honest, simple. No hidden agenda. In terms of our discipleship, the purpose Great Commission is not to invite people to a physical address but point them to Christ. Let Christ builds His church with living stones (people). The church is not a business, for profit.

2) Be sincere. Don’t soften the Gospel--they are God’s Words, not to be changed (He protects them):

G: God made us to have a relationship with Him.
O: Our sin separates us from God.
S:  Sin is breaking God's Laws; everyone has sinned.
P: Proving He is God, Jesus lived the Perfect sinless life, performed miracles, fulfilled all the Prophecies, then paid the price for sin when He died and rose again.
E: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (repents of their sin and puts their faith and trust in Jesus) shall be forgiven for their sins
L: Love & Life - God showed the depths of His Love by sacrificing His only son. He wants to give you a new heart, a new Life.

3) Be spiritual, not fleshly. In other words, be “prayed up.”  Participate in what God is already doing. Plug into the power source.

4) Be graceful. ”The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” [2Ti 2:24-25]

Monday, January 12, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 3): Conduct In The World

When the Apostle Paul was misunderstood, he did not plant his feet, grind his teeth and fight his opposers; rather, he spoke the truth with confident joy. “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” [2Co 1:12 ESV]

Paul appeals to “conscience” (con = with; science = knowledge) the sense of right and wrong that God  put within each person. While some  may debate particulars of exactly “what” is right and wrong, we cannot miss the fact that the debate itself proves we have a concept of “right” and “wrong.”  Paul’s confidence in the face of misunderstanding is that He knows how God sees His heart. His joy lies in the fact that God’s got his six!

He says, “we [act in a rejoicing manner] because of the way we conduct  ourselves in the world” 
We too can have a clear conscience in the way we minister in a world of disguises and fakes--we are opposite of the world; therefore we first conduct ourselves in the world with simplicity, honesty; that is, of “one purpose” that is not self-serving. Our Commission from Jesus is to go into all the world with the gospel. We have no hidden agenda. As Jesus calls people out of the kingdom of darkness and into His marvellous light, He builds His church into a living body, a fellowship so we can boast in the fact that we’re not doing ministry for money or fame but out of obedience to Lord Jesus Christ. This is a good reason to give away money because the world perceives the church as takers, not givers.

We conduct ourselves in the world in godly sincerity. What does he mean by “godly sincerity?” There are two approaches to understanding what Paul means here: “sin-cere” means “without wax” (Latin). This is a plausible explanation, but Paul wrote in Greek, not Latin. The word Paul uses here is found only 3x in all scripture, and each occurrence in found in Corinthians (1 Cor 5:8; 2 Cor 1:12 and 2:17). Literally the word means, “on the breathing.” Paul communicates that we conduct ourselves the way God intends, by the Holy Spirit and in truth.  When we go into all the world with godly sincerity our gospel is pure, uncorrupt. There No lies in our teaching, unmixed but God-sent.

Finally, we conduct ourselves in the world not with fleshly wisdom. Paul says, “we did not plan this.” Our ministry is God’s doing--any sane person knows you can’t make this stuff up! Remember Paul’s story: his plan was to kill! The implication from Paul is, “hey, if I were working according to fleshly wisdom, we would not be having this conversation and you would be dead at my hand!” Rather, we conduct ourselves in the world by [in] the grace of God. This is the vehicle that moved us around. It is God’s grace that brings salvation to all men. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

17 Reasons God Never Recieved a PhD (re-post)

Someone actually came up with 17 reasons as to “Why God Never Received a PhD.” While my initial thought was “who would award it to Him?” here are my responses to each point:

1. “He had only one major publication.” This is like saying a Library only has one book. There are sixty-six books of the Bible, each “published” over the course of time.

2. “It was in Hebrew.” There are doctoral students who do publish dissertations in languages other than English. (I can’t believe I actually had to mention this). Besides, the Bible was written in Aramaic and Greek as well.

3. “It had no references.” What is one to do with Ancient Near Eastern law code (such as “the goring ox” law) and the other extra-biblical books referenced there (such as those mentioned in the books of Kings and Chronicles)?

4. “It wasn't published in a refereed journal.” The quotations of scripture in the works of early Christian writers alone are so extensive that the New Testament can be reconstructed without use of any actual manuscripts (over 32,000 citations of the New Testament are recorded before the Council of Nicea, in 325 A.D.)

5. “Some doubt he even wrote it himself.” The burden of proof lies on the objector in light of the internal evidence alone.

6. “It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?” Aside from holding everything together by His Word and ordering everything by His direct and permissive will?

7. “His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.” How, and compared to whom?

8. “The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.” The reason is because Nature itself does not have flasks of pure ingredients to pour out each in each step of processes; a real primeval pond has no screen to protect fragile amino acids from destructive wavelengths of sunlight; nature is not equipped with traps to protect compounds from others. There must be someone out there who knows something the scientific community does not.

9. “He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.” The question of ethics is answered by the human subjects themselves.

10. “When one experiment won’t went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.” If by definition an experiment is the verification of validity, then the very outcome confirmed the hypothesis--the soul that sins will die.

11. “When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.” The subjects were given a choice and by that choice the subjects deleted themselves from the sample. God’s will is that subjects remain in the sample.

12. “He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.” Must a teacher always be in the room for student learning to occur? Perhaps if the objector had actually read the book, he would learn the proximity of the teaching professor.

13. “Some say he had his son teach the class.” What’s the point? Team teaching, guest lecturers and teachers aids are features of higher education!

14. “He expelled his first two students for learning.” What was the lesson, again?

15. “Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.” What is your score?

16. “His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.” Are you at the right office?

17. “No record of working well with colleagues.” It’s the other way around, actually. Take this list, for example . . .

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 2)

Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 that it is the will of God that the church of God, built of the saints of God, be blessed with the Grace and Peace of God through the Christ of God, the God of all Comfort. Since we have this theological agreement, this spiritual relationship and this atmosphere in which we live as believers, what happens when conflict arises? What happens when one person misunderstands another?

First, one must know what the conflict is all about. What happened between the Corinthian church and Paul is that Paul said he would do something and was delayed, nearly at the expense of his life. The church did not know what was happening to Paul except that false shepherds had gotten to the flock and stirred up trouble. They were bad farmers, planting seeds of doubt that resulted in confusion and unhealthy attitudes about Paul. The church had become convinced that Paul was self-serving, untrustworthy, inconsistent, unbalanced, untrained, unsophisticated, incompetent--and the church fell for the deception.

When conflict arises, beware of the contribution of outside influences. Many folks like to meddle in affairs that are not their own. They may have good intentions, but their involvement can be disastrous. If conflict arises, keep it between you and the other party and leave others out. It’s hard work, but the truth must be protected.

Stay tuned as we think about how Paul stood in truth and tears, defending his ministry against misunderstanding.

Monday, January 05, 2015

How To Stand When Misunderstood (part 1)

A misunderstanding can be a tiny thing, but then so is a termite. A friend from Long Island told me of his experiences with the tiny bug: it’s blind, lives 48 hours and destroys everything. The damage of misunderstanding is not easy to repair.

The start of a new year is often the time most people want to get back in shape. Interestingly, as “out of shape” as many may be, we have eight well-worked and very “in shape” muscles--they are found in the tongue. Flex it just right and an entire reputation is destroyed; ones’ good motives are suddenly transformed into evil motives; dignity is stripped. It’s not true that sticks and stones only break bones. Words hurt.

The tongue can stab people in the back without shame in broad daylight. Often the victims slowly bleed to death without knowing they were wounded. Then CSI comes (Christ, Spiritual Inspector) and He finds the victim sitting in their car in the church parking lot wondering what just happened in that conversation. The weapon bears fingerprints of saints who, just moments before, raised their holy hands praising the Holy One.

Life is full of trouble but the most devastating damages come from the tongue. When your motives were pure, have you been hurt by comments regarding things you did or did not do? Have you been injured by misunderstandings of what you said--or did not say? Did someone confuse your intentions?

When our character is called into question, we suddenly realize we are faced with a difficult decision: do I hold my tongue, or use it in defense? Do I bite my tongue and wait to see if this blows over, or throw down--“let it do it’s thing!” Do I answer the lie said about me? And if I do, will the problem be better or worse? How do I speak the truth, in love?

We are now in the perfect position to understand Paul’s situation when he wrote his second letter to the Corinthian church. Paul began by reminding his readers first of the priority of God’s truth regarding his identity and ministry to that church. Second, he reminded them of who God is, who Jesus is and the identity and purpose of the church. Finally, he reminds them of their relationship with one another as children of God and of the comfort brought in the face of the difficulties experienced by believers.

In short, Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 that it is the will of God that the church of God, built of the saints of God, be blessed with the Grace and Peace of God through the Christ of God, the God of all Comfort.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Is God the Author Of Confusion?

Question: How can it be taught that God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), when God Himself is quoted as saying “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7)?

Answer: There are a couple of approaches to find our answer, the first being to recognize the involvement of three languages: Hebrew, Greek and English. The Hebrew word translated “confuse” in Genesis 11:7 is balal, better be understood as “pour together” or “mix.”

The second approach is to look at the narrative again. God commanded Noah and his descendants to spread out, fill the earth; instead, they came together in one place. Rather than obey God’s command to fulfill His purpose and receive the subsequent blessing of ruling the earth as His vice-regent they kept to themselves, even speaking the same language. Genesis 10 contains the table of nations as they were divided according to their languages, but Genesis 11 gives the details of how the languages came to be.

Is God the author of confusion? No. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the church is reminded that gifts are to be used in accordance with God’s purpose. Using the gifts wrongly to creates akasatasia (disorder, disturbance) where God intends peace. Paul is addressing the way people speak in church, especially when more than one person has something to say.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Randoms!

What's first on your list for the New Year?


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