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Genesis 1 (Bible Primer)

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Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

We will be looking at this text today. I would like to first however, do some equipping for all of us. To some this may be review and to some this is completely new. Before we get started in the first verses of scripture, I would like to look at the nuts and bolts of how we are going to understand our Bible. Further to that I think we should look at why it’s the Bible we study. How do we know its trust worthy? And then finally how do we understand it. This is to empower you all with the ability to know how to always be able to hold yourself and others accountable to the teaching they try and give you. There cannot be growth by hindering anyone from proper spiritual growth and understanding of the Bible. This is not to say that you all are interpreting scripture wrong. I have no way to know that or not, that’s why it may be review in spots for some. New information perhaps for the younger people and all around strengthening to your walk in faith.

 

Let us pray and Begin.


First: Why the Bible and not a different religious text?

 

My first stop in helping to answer this question was to turn to a big brain. Ravi Zacharias for those who don't know is a very intelligent apologist. He writes the following.

 

Ravi Zacharias wrote on a blog the following:

 

With the numerous religions in the world, how can Christians claim exclusivity? I am often asked this question in different settings. But I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the Christian faith is the only one that seems to have this question posed. The truth is that every major religion in the world claims exclusivity, and every major religion in the world has a point of exclusion.

 

Hinduism, for example, is often represented as being the most tolerant and accepting of other faiths. That is just not true. All Hindus believe in two fundamental, uncompromising doctrines—the Law of Karma, and the belief in reincarnation. These will not be surrendered. In fact, Buddhism was born out of the rejection of two other very dogmatic claims of Hinduism. Buddha rejected the authority of the vedas and the caste [sic: Ritual purities] system of Hinduism. The issue here is not who was right or wrong. The truth is that they were systemically different—both claiming rightness.

Islam, as you know, is very clearly an exclusive claim to God. A Muslim will never tell you that it doesn’t matter what you believe or that all religions are true.

  1. But before we get upset with such claims, let us remember that it is the very nature of truth that presents us with this reality. Truth by definition is exclusive. Everything cannot be true. If everything is true, then nothing is false. And if nothing is false then it would also be true to say everything is false. We cannot have it both ways. One should not be surprised at the claims of exclusivity. The reality is that even those who deny truth’s exclusivity, in effect, exclude those who do not deny it. The truth quickly emerges. The law of non-contradiction does apply to reality: Two contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense. Thus, to deny the law of non-contradiction is to affirm it at the same time. You may as well talk about a one-ended stick as talk about truth being all-inclusive.
    1. Christ is either the immeasurable God or one dreadfully lost. Apply the tests of truth to the person and the message of Jesus Christ. You see not only his exclusivity, but also his uniqueness.”(http://rzim.org/a-slice-of-infinity/point-of-exclusion/)
    2. So where does that leave us? We must not be surprised at truth claims but we must test them before we believe them. If the test demonstrates truth then we are morally compelled to believe it. And this is precisely the point from which many are trying to run. As G.K. Chesterton said, the problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult and left untried.


There is a method of testing a worldview that is attributed to Dr. Zacharias, (that I can’t seem to find a source for) called the 3-4-5 method

1) A worldview must pass 3 tests:


- Logically consistent: It cant contradict itself

- Empirically adequate: It has to match what we see in reality

- Existentially relevant – Its teaching must speak directly to how we live our lives.

 

2) A worldview must answer four questions:

 

Origin – Where did I come from?
Meaning – What am I worth?
Morality – Why is it wrong to do things/ or is it wrong to do certain things?
Destiny – Where am I going when I die. If anywhere.

 

3) Five academic disciplines used to study the worldview

 

- Theology: Study of God

 

- Metaphysics: the study of what is real

 

– Just a note: Can you believe we have to talk about this now? We have masses of children who cant decide if we are really here or not.

 

- Epistemology: The study of how we can know things

 

- Ethics: The study of moral right and wrong.

 

- Anthropology: The study of what and who humans are.

 

 

The beauty of boiling every worldview and faith to these points is there is no need then to read every piece of literature of a certain faith. Once a worldview breaks a rule it is falsified.

 

For example: Islam denies the death of Jesus on the cross. Islam cannot comprehend a prophet, being killed. Therefore Jesus in the Qur'an was caught up before death and perhaps switched with someone else. All the other historical evidence shows Jesus died. Greek history, Jewish history. Therefore something is fundamentally flawed.


Now that would be a Philosophically motivated answer to the question of why Christianity. If your interested in those types of discussions, Ravi Zacharias' ministry has a ton of info and I highly encourage you to check them out.


Perhaps you feel like the late Adrian rogers and that “Philosophy is the study of things we already know… using words we can't understand.”


How about this then perhaps?

 

Fulfilled Prophecy as a proof of authenticity of the Bible.:

 

Looking just at Jesus, He fulfilled 333 prophecies from the Old Testament. Here are a few.

 

His Virgin Birth. (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23)
His Bethlehem Birth. (Micah 5:2-3; Mt 2:5-6)

His flight to Egypt. (Hos 11:1; Mt 2:15)

His Childhood in Nazareth (Isa 11:1; Mt 2:23)

His Healing ministry (Isa 53:4; Mt 8:16-17)

His betrayal money by a friend for 30 pieces of silver (psalm 41:9, 55:12-14; Zech 11:12-13; mt 26:14-16, 21-25)
The betrayal money used to purchase a potters field. (Jer 18-14; 19:1-3; Zech 11:12-13; mt 27:9-10)

His scourging and being spat upon. (Isa 50:6; Mt 26:67; 27:26)

His crucifixion between thieves. (Isa 53:12; Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27-28; Lk 22:37)

The piercing of His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Zech 12:10; mk 15:25)

The ridicule and mocking as He hung on the cross (psalm 22:7-8; Lk 23:34; Jm 19:23-24)

His resurrection (Psalm 16:10; Mt 28:2-7)

His ascension. (psalm 24:7-10; Mk 16:19; Lk 24:51)


If one prophecy was fulfilled that would be neat. However that’s only 13, of some 300+ prophecies. Just for Jesus alone. Bearing in mind the following.

The Bible is technically 66 books not 1
Written over a period of approx 2000 years
by ~40 different authors

over 3 continents

from three different languages.

Keeping all consistency and free of error. Some STILL critique the Bible and say it was fabricated for gain.

1) looking at the above how on earth would that even be possible.

2) For what gain? The Bible is a book stained in martyrdom for the cause of Christ. No story of a man using God for gain ended well for that man.

 


So those would be two different ways to come to the conclusion that the Bible is the true text holding Gods word. There are certainly more ways to delve into this topic, for time I will stop there. Resources if your still interested, would be places such as Gotquestions.org, carm.org, RZIM.org, answersingenesis has been delving into these things, same with places like the ICR, and creation.com lots and lots and lots.

 

So we know the Bible is our source for truth, how do we know we can trust what we have.


Inspiration: Crash course in Bibliology.

 

First thing to note: Inspiration means to be “God Breathed” therefore came straight from the mouth of God.

 

A few false views (there are tons):

 

Natural inspiration theory.

This view says that the bible was simply written by “inspired men” just as anyone is inspired when they write a novel or a story

 

Partial Inspiration theory.

As the name suggests this gives the idea that portions and parts are inspired, however others are not. The decision of what is inspired work and what is only mans words are left up to each individual interpreter.

 

Mechanical dictation theory.

This view is that God mechanically moved the hands of the writers. No personality or person(s) distinct vocabulary or influences are shown in the text.

 

A Biblical view of inspiration:

 

Verbal plenary inspiration.

That is each and every word in the Bible is the words of God. Written by men while fully keeping their own writing style, vocabulary and influences intact.

 

What about preservation: Here at Bethel we have made a distinction as “The King James type”. From a leadership point of view we have taken that position and while not everyone who comes through these doors as a whole may agree with the view. That is where we currently stand. So what does that actually mean? We would say that the copies from originals to English we believe to be preserved. I would personally urge you that if you hold to this view strongly like even I do myself, let us not beat people with our convictions.

 

More information on VPP -> From the dean burgeon society:
 

What does VPP mean? “Verbal” means “every word to the jot and tittle” (Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18). “Plenary” means “the Scripture as a whole with all the words intact” (Matt 24:35, 1 Pet 1:25). So VPP means the whole of Scripture with all its words even to the jot and tittle is perfectly preserved by God without any loss of the original words, prophecies, promises, commandments, doctrines, and truths, not only in the words of salvation, but also the words of history, geography and science. Every book, every chapter, every verse, every word, every syllable, every letter is infallibly preserved by the Lord Himself to the last iota.

VPP extends past just the originals, the question is can God keep His word intact from one language to the other. Dean burgeon society like we here at bethel feel God has done just that into the English language with the KJV. There are still numerous projects to take the proper source texts and get them into other foreign languages and we should be praying for those and supporting if we can.

 

Now that we know why the Bible, how it got inspired, and that we have what was written from time past in our hands today. How do we understand it.

 

Hermeneutics:


Instead of going through every different way some people come to interpreting the Bible, lets first look at how not to do it.


Things not to do:
1-Don't make a point at the expense of a text; This is known as the deductive method, or
Eisegesis we do not approach a text with our conclusion set. Emotions have a sneaky way to getting into our conclusions before we have even read the text.

2-Think not of “what does the passage mean to me”, but rather what does the passage mean. What was the author getting across, and to what people? and knowing that! What is the implication of this truth?

2a-Generally; there are not multiple literal meanings to the text.

 

While some few passages are indeed both prophetical and historical, we must use the principles outlined in a few moments to be sure that is what’s happening. Otherwise as a general rule plain meanings in scripture are singular in interpretation.

 

3- Don't spiritualize or allegorize a text.

Eg: Davids slingshot that flung the stone that killed Goliath: The sling shot is the church and the rock are missionaries we send out to slay the false faiths in remote areas where we send them.

 

The following is not the plain sense of the text and therefore makes no sense to claim. It sounds nice to the ears, and could make any man behind the pen feel like he's unlocked some sort of new meaning. I would submit there are no new meanings, scripture is clear, literal and singular in meaning.

 

Through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in illumination (Think of a light bulb turning on; That is a supernatural assistance in guiding our knowledge and wisdom of a text, it is the spirit opening our eyes to see what God is saying) we attempt understand the word through:

 

Historical grammatical interpretation: Exegesis (to draw out)

 

-Literal principle: Interpret the scripture according to normal language.

 

-Historical context: How the people think, the politics, what was going on in that time. What was the city like, what where the social pressures, customs. Etc.

 

-Grammatical principle: look at the language, the syntax, the way things are arranged.

 

-Synthesis: Scripture interprets scripture.

 

-Practical principle: What are the implications of this.

 

We are attempting to reconstruct the setting so we can understand ancient documents. We want to drop ourselves into that time and period while knowing the customs and beliefs at the time. Then see where else in scripture we see similar things and draw out the truth from the text. Then not ask “what does it mean to me” as that could lead to all sorts of weird theology. Rather ask what are the implications of this? What do I know now that I can apply practically to my life.


I hope that helps equip you a bit more, to hold yourself, me, any teacher accountable. Its never wrong to ask “Where do they get that idea from?” and go looking.

 

Ok Part 2!

Genesis “Book of beginnings”:

 

Now before we start lets ask this important question is Genesis Historical or allegory? (Biblical support for historical). It is my opinion that without taking hermeneutic jumps you must land on a literal historical view.
 

1) Other authors taught a literal creation event:

Psalm 90:1-2
90 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

-------------

 

Colossions 1:12-17

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

--------------

Hebrews 11:3

 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

 

The writing:

 

From one verse we can't delve to deeply into the structure of how Genesis is written, however we will see that the language it self is not written using allegorical words that imply personal interpretation. Genesis is written as a historical document. (a quick example would be the use of the word day yom followed by a number is always indicative of a 24hr period of time, which is what we find in genesis)
 

Opening Genesis:

 

In a brief sentence I would like to echo a sentence I learned in FBI. “Genesis is the story of the beginning of the Redemption of man through the promised seed of Abraham.

Note this point: “THROUGH THE PROMISED SEED OF ABRAHAM”. We will get to this later in Genesis but it is extremely important we always remember this point. The Jewish people have been and still are apart of Gods plan. This will help you understand scripture from end to end.

 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”

 

First what do we learn immediately?

 

1) God lays out clearly summarizes what He did, and leaves no doubt of His creative work, and His alone.

 

In the beginning God

a) This disproves atheism.

1) because everything must have a beginning, and everything with a beginning must have a cause. A watch needs a watch maker and the universe begs for a creator. We need an un-caused first cause for the universe. This is and must be God.

 

B) disproves evolutionary thought: God created everything, there is no mention of a half baked creation and a period of waiting. Furthermore the Bible goes on to call everything very good at the end of creation week, billions of years of cancers and death and disease would not be a perfect creation by any means.

 

c) Disproves pantheism. (Pantheism identifies God with the universe. The Universe is God. This is where ideas like karma come from) we see Biblically God must be and is apart from His creation. Also God created Ex Nihilo That is “out of nothing”, not a “reconstruction of the pre existing universe)

 

d) Disproves polytheism. (ie many Gods)
The Bible here speaks of one God. Now just some… information on this word God I found extremely fascinating and hopefully I dont lose you but rather peak your interest a bit.

 

So lets pause for a second on this. We're going to get technical, so bear with me for a moment as I attempt to unpack a thought here.


It should be noted the ENGLISH word here “God” is the Hebrew word Elohim → Elohim is the PLURAL of the Hebrew word “Eloah”, the (-ohim) in Elohim makes it masculine plural. However, looking at the next word bara or “Created” is a singular verb. It is implied that the verbs / context surrounding the word Elohim define the singular use/definition of Elohim (at this time in scripture). Its not lost on theologians that this “plural” version of the word God, with the singular verb. Seems to be a blinding light towards the idea of the trinity. I will in a moment read from Adam clarkes commentary (but it should be noted now once and for all. I use a lot … A LOT of commentary’s when I teach, I do not agree with any single one of them 100%… Which kind of worries me, however feel free to check them out yourself but in all things practice solid disernment, there is only one and only one perfect Book, just know that while I use a variety of resources and I encourage everyone to do the same, I am not fully endorsing anyone. ever). Continuing on:

 

The original word אלהים Elohim, God, is certainly the plural form of אל El, or אלה Eloah, and has long been supposed, by the most eminently learned and pious men, to imply a plurality of Persons in the Divine nature. As this plurality appears in so many parts of the sacred writings to be confined to three Persons, hence the doctrine of the Trinity, which has formed a part of the creed of all those who have been deemed sound in the faith, from the earliest ages of Christianity. Nor are the Christians singular in receiving this doctrine, and in deriving it from the first words of Divine revelation. An eminent Jewish rabbi, Simeon ben Joachi, in his comment on the sixth section of Leviticus, has these remarkable words: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim; there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.”... He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity in unity, is expressed in the above words. The verb ברא bara, he created, being joined in the singular number with this plural noun, has been considered as pointing out, and not obscurely, the unity of the Divine Persons in this work of creation. In the ever-blessed Trinity, from the infinite and indivisible unity of the persons, there can be but one will, one purpose, and one infinite and uncontrollable energy.

 

I was going to quote from Keil & Delitzsch. However, while I love their commentary, it takes me about 30 reads to understand what they are getting at, So for your own clarity, they may be a resource for you to check out as well if you ever get to interesting spots in terms of language or culture in the OT. You can come back and tell me how many reads it took you! Ha!

 

Also let us think about the scripture “in the beginning”

 

If this is the beginning, this is the beginning of everything, The beginning of Time. The beginning of space. The beginning matter. (Think of energy as a form of matter)

None of these can exist without the others. Can you have, matter and time with no space? Where would you put matter? Can you have space and time with no matter (energy)? What would you put into space? How about, Space and matter with no time? Of course not. When would you put anything? All three must co instantly come into being. Not gradually but instantaneous. This can only be plausible with someone/thing outside these rules creating time, space, matter and the laws that govern how they behave. This can only and therefore demands that uncaused fist cause beginning we discussed before. Beyond our level of understanding. He is God.

 

In the beginning...God”

Who is God?
- uncaused first cause.

 

From this passage alone we can draw some simple charactistics about God thus far. As we progress through scripture we will pull out more and more and more etc. At this time, just a few things to note already.

 

Omnipresent → He is everywhere.

Omnipotent → He is unlimited in power, and able to do anything within His nature.

Omniscient → He is all knowing.


“Created the heaven and the earth”


Created once again:

 

This word Created Bara, in the Hebrew, is creating Ex Nihilo out of nothing. Not a reconstruction of something already existing.

 

The Heaven


Notice the separation between Heaven and Earth. Some say that it could be the solar systems in creation perhaps everything but the lights listed in Genesis 1:14. I personally would reserve the celestial bodies as a whole for those following verses. Perhaps we see the creation of vastness of space...and in this (to us) seemingly endless space.

then we read:

and the Earth.

 

In the midst of all the grandeur of special creation. God creates Earth. The immediate question(s) of what is His plan? Why would He create earth? What was God doing before creation? And many more come into play and later on we can hopefully address those.

 

I didn’t know where to tag this in for fun so right here works, does anyone else find it neat we live in a Universe? (Uni → single, Verse → spoken sentence) “And God said…” I heard that when I was 16 and came to know God as creator and moments later Lord. It has always stuck with me I’m sure many have heard it, but I still enjoy repeating it.

 

 

What we do know and can say for sure real fast, God created earth. God created us, and we fell into sin. God in His foreknowledge saw our fall and had a solution. He would redeem His people by becoming a man, Gods Son, fully divine and fully man. Pay for the sins of those who trespassed Him. So that whosoever believes in Him/Jesus. Shall not perish in the sin they have laid on their own heads, But receive the everlasting life God graciously bestowed on those who love him.

 

And it all started with Creation.



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    • As we go through the life of Joseph in these devotions, I would like to express to all of you that God was with Joseph in all of the extreme trials that he went through. Joseph, as with all of God's saints, and the favoured nation of Israel, are led through the trials of life in order to know God,  His will, and experience the work of God through our lives for our good and the good of others; Romans 8:28 As we can see in the life of Joseph, and his love for God, and his trust in God, God has been with Joseph and God will work out all things for his good.The Chinese have a saying, a proverb, that may be a blessing to you as it has been to me. 「天理昭彰」Translated into English, it says that, "The law of heaven always prevails." The will of God will be performed in the life of Joseph as, "... the LORD was with Joseph." May God richly bless all of you  
    • "A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 14:25 KJV). Nowhere does this seem to be truer than in the realm of "religion." A faithful preacher speaking the truth is not very popular in this world, yet those that consider him their undershepherd are blessed and strengthened by his sermons. They know that when they listen to Him they are going to hear the Word of God in such a way that it applies to them personally and results in them becoming fully equipped to live the life that pleases the Lord. Unfortunately, the multitudes prefer to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are and how sins are simply mistakes but that God loves them anyway and accepts them just the way they are. They prefer the lies that make them feel good and doesn't convict them of sin and hell, while the Bible-believer prefers the truth that makes them feel bad but points them to the Cross, the Blood, and the Saviour. After being convinced by the false witness that there is nothing to fear from God, that He is a loving grandfatherly-type being that loves all and accepts all, the lost continue to bear their sin under the false notion that God will excuse them, while the Word of God as a faithful witness says that they are “condemned already” and that they are “without Christ,” “without hope,” and “without God in the world.” The megachurches are filled with those that are wish to feel good in this world, but eternity is a long time to ponder their willful act of letting themselves be deceived, for they are without excuse. The lying and false preacher is only reinforcing what they themselves want to believe for the invisible things from the beginning of the world are clearly seen, but rejected. The believer clings to the cross where the Blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin and unrighteousness and makes it possible for them to serve the living and true God, as they await the day when their faith will become sight in the very presence of their Saviour. Paul strengthened many by his epistles, and still does in the written word, yet he had those that hated him and his message. At one point he asked, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16 KJV). Ever will it be true, that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV). Lord, help us to be honest and tell our friends what they need to hear, and not only what they want to hear. Give us stars for our crown as we share your precious gospel with our lost loved ones and friends. But above all, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Amen!
    • "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things" (Proverbs 15:28 KJV). The Word of God is our "necessary food" for without it we would starve spiritually, just as we do physically when we refuse to eat physical food. Yet, apart from serious illnesses, how many folks do we know that just don't like to eat? We rarely miss our three squares a day, but what of that man that can go weeks, if not months, at a time failing to read their Bible? Why do we need to read and study God's Book of instructions to man? Peter answers that, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15 KJV). We need to know how to answer their reasonable questions. This, of course, does not mean that we spend hours debating what Scripture refers to as “doubtful disputations,” that is but a waste of time. We need to have a testimony and be able to clearly tell others what took place in us when we came to know the Lord. A lost friend is not going to benefit from a theological explanation of the rapture, or any of the many doctrinal truths—they’ll not understand them without the Holy Spirit. They only need to understand the Cross and what God did there for them. Well, in a true sense, we were there—and we can tell them what He did for us. After all, we are all blind beggars telling other blind beggars where we found food. And if their soul is hungry, they’ll gladly have some of it as well. But, “the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” There are plenty of cultists out there that are fully trained by their leaders to give answers--but those things are "damnable heresies" that unfortunately, make sense to the unsaved man. A lot of things seem reasonable to unsaved man—such as the whole salvation-by-works heresy. When they come to the Lord, the Holy Spirit awakens their understanding to the point where they can see that such teachings as the cultist brings are from the pits of hell, as well as any idea that God elects man to reprobation without any say in the matter. That is because “the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” For us that are saved, who are witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11 KJV). Lord God, we have all wisdom at our fingertips and the promise of the "mind of Christ" as we devour Your Word as though it were our "necessary food." Make us more like You every day and use us as we make ourselves available, and dependable. Give us fruit from our labors. Amen!
    • behold, all things are become new

      My salvation is fully accomplished (John 19:30).
      I have eternal life as a present possession (John 5:24; 6:47; 1 John 5:11-13).
      I have Jesus Christ as my present possession (1 John 5:12).
      I know the one, true God (John 17:3; 1 John 2:3; 5:20).
      I have been saved by His grace (Eph. 2:1-10).
      I have been justified by His grace (Tit. 3:7).
      I have passed from death unto life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14).
      I have been quickened (made alive) by God (Eph. 2:1,5; Col. 2:13).
      I have been made fit for heaven (Col. 1:12).
      I have the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).
      My sins have been taken away (John 1:29; Heb. 9:26; 1 John 3:5).
      My sins have been completely purged (Heb. 1:3).
      My sins will never be remembered by God (Heb. 8:12; 10:17).
      I have been washed (1 Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:5; Rev. 1:5).
      I will walk with Christ in white (Rev. 3:4-5).
      I have been healed by His stripes (1 Pet. 2:24).
      I have been forgiven all trespasses (Col. 2:13; 1 John 2:12).
      I have been fully justified (Rom. 4:5; 8:30; 1 Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16; Tit. 3:7).
      I am reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:20).
      I am made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13).
      I am redeemed through His blood (1 Pet. 1:18,19; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).
      I am redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13).
      I am redeemed from all iniquity or lawlessness (Titus 2:14).
      I am bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).
      I am delivered from so great a death (2 Cor. 1:10).
      I have been delivered from this present evil world or age (Gal. 1:4).
      I have been delivered from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13).
      I have been delivered from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10).
      I will not come into condemnation or judgment (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1).
      I am a child of God (John 1:12; Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; 1 John 3:1,2).
      I am a son of God (Gal. 4:5-7).
      I belong to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:29; 5:24).
      I have been adopted (Gal. 4:5; Rom. 8:15,23).
      I am an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17; Tit. 3:7).
      I am an heir of the grace of life (1 Pet. 3:7).
      All things are mine (1 Cor. 3:21-23).
      I possess all things (2 Cor. 6:10).
      I will inherit all things (Rev. 21:7).
      I am enriched by Christ in everything (1 Cor. 1:5; 2 Cor. 9:11).
      I am a fellow heir (Eph. 3:6).
      I am rich because of Christ (2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 2:9).
      I am blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3).
      I have obtained an inheritance (Eph. 1:11,14; Heb. 1:14; 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:4).
      I have been appointed to obtain salvation (1 Thess. 5:9; Heb. 1:14).
      I am His inheritance (Eph. 1:18).
      I am a partaker of His promise in Christ by the gospel (Eph. 3:6).
      I am a new creature (creation) in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10; 4:24; Col. 3:10).
      I have been renewed by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5).
      I am accepted and highly favored in the Beloved One (Eph. 1:6; cf. Matt. 3:17).
      I have been seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6).
      I am to the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:6,12).
      I am light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8).
      I am a child of light (Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:5).
      I am a "peculiar person," even God's special, purchased possession (Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet.2:9).
      I am a priest who can offer spiritual sacrifices (Heb. 13:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10;20:6).
      I am a king who will reign (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
      I am privileged to have fellowship with the Father and with the Son (1 John 1:3).
      I dwell in Christ (John 6:56; 1 John 3:24; 4:13,15,16).
      Christ dwells in me (John 6:56; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 3:24; 4:12-16).
      I am in Christ (John 14:20; 2 Cor. 5:17).
      Christ is in me (John 14:20; Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10; 1 John 4:4).62. The Spirit of God dwells in me (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21-22).
      The Spirit of God dwells (John 6:56; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 3:24; 4:12-16).
      I am not in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9).
      My "earthen vessel" houses a great Treasure (2 Cor. 4:7).
      My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
      I have been blest with the gift and pledge of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Thess. 4:8; Tit. 3:6; 1 John 3:24; 4:13).
      I have an anointing (unction) from the Holy One (1 John 2:20,27).
      I am one of the "called" of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:6; 8:28-30; Jude 1; Rev. 17:14).
      I have been called unto the fellowship of God's Son (1 Cor. 1:9).
      I have been called unto eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10).
      I have been called with a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9).
      I am a partaker of the high, heavenly calling (Phil. 3:14; Heb. 3:1).
      I have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9).
      God foreknew me (Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2).
      God predestined me to be conformed to Christ's image (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:5,11).
      I have already been glorified according to God's mind and purpose (Rom. 8:30).
      I am eternally secure in God's love (Rom. 8:38-39).
      I am chosen in Christ (Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 17:14).
      I have been chosen to salvation (2 Thess. 2:13).
      I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10).
      I am beloved of God (Col. 3:12; 2 Thess. 2:13).
      I am chastened and disciplined by my Heavenly Father (Heb. 12:6-7).
      I am part of that group that Christ is not ashamed to call His "brethren" and "friends" (Heb. 2:11; John 15:14-15).
      I am a child of Abraham (Gal. 3:7).
      I am Abraham's seed (Gal. 3:29).
      I enjoy the blessing of Abraham (Gal. 3:9).
      I am a child of promise (Gal. 4:28,31).
      I am faithful (Rev. 17:14).
      I am a sheep in His flock (Luke 12:32; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25).
      I am a member of His body (1 Cor. 10:17; 12:27; Eph. 3:6; 4:25; 5:30).
      I am a stone in His building (Eph. 2:20-22; Heb. 3:6; 1 Pet. 2:5).
      I am a branch in the Vine (John 15:1-7).
      I am a child of the kingdom (Matt. 13:38; compare Mark 10:14-15).
      I am born again into His family (John 1:12-13; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3,23; 2:2; 1 John 5:1).
      I am one of God's people because He graciously claims me as His own (1 Pet. 2:10; Rev. 21:7).
      I am a fellow citizen with the saints (Eph. 2:19).
      I was baptized into Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
      I was identified with Christ in His death (Rom. 6:3-6,8-11; 2 Cor. 5:14; Col. 2:12,20; 3:3).
      I was identified with Christ in His resurrection (Rom. 6:5,8,11; 2 Cor. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:12; 3:1).
      I died to sin (Rom. 6:2).
      My "old man" was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6).
      I have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).
      I have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24).
      I am alive unto God (Rom. 6:11,13; Gal. 2:19,20).
      Christ is my life (Phil. 1:21; Col. 3:4).
      I can walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).
      I can serve in newness of spirit (Rom. 7:6).
      I can live unto righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
      I died to the law (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 2:19).
      I am delivered from the law (Rom. 7:6).
      I am not under the law but under grace (Rom. 6:14).
      I have God's laws written in my heart (Heb. 10:16).
      I am married to Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:4).
      I am a partaker of Christ (Heb. 3:14).
      I am identified with Christ in His suffering (2 Tim. 2:12; Phil. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:20; 4:12-13; 1 Thess. 3:3; Rom. 8:18; Col. 1:24).
      The knowledge of God is made known by me (2 Cor. 2:14).
      The savor (aroma) of Christ is made known by me (2 Cor. 2:15-16).
      I am an epistle of Christ (2 Cor. 3:3).
      I am being changed into Christ's glorious image (2 Cor. 3:18).
      I am being perfected (Phil. 1:6).
      My inward man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
      I have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).
      I am not of the world (John 17:14,16).
      The world is crucified unto me (Gal. 6:14).
      I am crucified unto the world (Gal. 6:14).
      I am separated unto the gospel of God (Rom. 1:1).
      I am set apart and sanctified in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10; Jude 1).
      I am holy (Col. 3:12; Heb. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:6).
      I am clothed in His righteousness (Rev. 19:8).
      I am a saint (1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2; Rom. 1:7).
      I am faultless in Christ (Eph. 5:27; Col. 1:22; Jude 24).
      I am perfected forever (Heb. 10:14).
      I am not my own (1 Cor. 6:19).
      I am called unto holiness (1 Thess. 4:7).
      I am a citizen of heaven (Phil. 3:20).
      I am a stranger and pilgrim who is not at home in this world (Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet. 2:11).
      I have been translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13).
      I am circumcised in my heart (Col. 2:11; Phil 3:3; compare Deut. 10:16).
      My faithful God will sanctify me wholly (1 Thess. 5:23-24).
      My faithful God will keep me from evil (2 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 4:18).
      Christ has made me free, free indeed (John 8:32-36; Gal. 5:1; 1 Cor. 7:22).
      Jesus Christ is my Deliverer (Rom. 7:24-25).
      I am free from sin (Rom. 6:7,18,22).
      The law of the Spirit of Life has made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
      I am God's servant or slave (Rom. 6:22).
      I am Christ's servant or slave (1 Cor. 7:22).
      I am a servant or slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).
      I have been called unto liberty (Gal. 5:13).
      I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).
      I have a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
      Christ has given me an understanding (1 John 5:20).
      I have the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
      I have all sufficiency in all things (2 Cor. 9:8).
      I have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).
      I can ever be content for I have Christ (Heb. 13:5).
      I have all the armor and weapons I need (2 Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:10-17).
      I have God's all-sufficient grace (2 Cor. 12:9).
      I have grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
      I have God's power (Eph. 1:19; 3:20).
      I have access to the Father (Eph. 2:18; Heb. 4:16).
      I have a great High Priest (Heb. 2:17-18; 3:1; 4:14-16; 8:1; 10:21).
      I have an unfailing Intercessor (Heb. 7:25; 9:24; Rom. 8:34).
      I have a righteous Advocate with the Father for times when I sin (1 John 2:1).
      I have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
      Christ is my peace (Eph. 2:14).
      I have rest for my soul (Matt. 11:28-29; Heb. 4:9).
      I am led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14).
      I am enabled during trials and temptations (1 Cor. 10:13).
      I am given assurance by the Spirit (Rom. 8:16; Heb. 6:18).
      I am given comfort by God (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
      I am tranquilized by His peace (Phil. 4:7).
      I am freely given truth and knowledge by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12).
      I am not distressed (2 Cor. 4:8).
      I am not in despair (2 Cor. 4:8).
      I am not forsaken (2 Cor. 4:9).
      I am not in darkness (1 Thess. 5:4).
      God is my Sufficiency (2 Cor. 3:5).
      God is my Strength (2 Cor. 12:9-10; Phil. 4:13).
      God is my Helper (Heb. 13:6).
      I belong to a Sovereign God who works all things together for my good (Rom. 8:28).
      All things are for my sake (2 Cor. 4:15).
      My God is for me (Rom. 8:31).
      My every need is supplied (Phil. 4:19).
      I am a laborer together with Christ (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1).
      I am His workmanship (Eph. 2:10).
      God works in me (Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:21).
      God's Word works in me (1 Thess. 2:13).
      I am sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13).
      I am on the Rock, Christ Jesus (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11).
      I am established securely in Christ (2 Cor. 1:21; 2 Thess. 3:3).
      I am kept by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5).
      I am preserved in Jesus Christ (Jude 1).
      I am kept from falling (Jude 24).
      I have a building of God eternal in the heavens (2 Cor. 5:1).
      My name is forever written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
      I am more than a conqueror, even a super-conqueror (Rom. 8:37).
      I have victory through Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).
      I have overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5).
      I always triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14).
      I am indwelt by the victorious Christ who is greater than Satan (1 John 4:4).
      Satan cannot touch me (1 John 5:18).
      I have a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3).
      I have a glorious future (Rom. 8:18; 2 Thess. 2:14).
      I have been given eternal encouragement and good hope through grace (2 Thess. 2:16).
      I will be preserved unto His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18).
      I am receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved (Heb. 12:28).
      I have a place reserved in heaven for me (John 14:2,3; 1 Pet. 1:4).
      I will eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).
      I will not be hurt of the second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6).
      I will have a new name (Rev. 2:17; 3:12).
      I will have power over the nations (Rev. 2:26; 5:10).
      I will not have my name blotted out of the book of life (Rev. 3:5).
      I will be a pillar in God's temple (Rev. 3:12).
      I will sit with Christ in His throne (Rev. 3:21).
      I will be with my God forever (Rev. 21:3-4).
    • “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 KJV). One can only imagine what it must have been like for Jacob to wake up that morning after his marriage to Rachel only to find out that her cross-eyed sister was looking back at him across the pillow. Such a thing would be nightmarish in our western culture. I believe that we would be fit to be tied! After the shock wore off, though, Jacob had to abide by the custom of the land. One day, his agonizing wait was over and his truly beloved was by his side, his great desire had come. We that are saved have a great desire and it is found in 1 John: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:2-3 KJV). We have a great desire for a coming day when we will be like our Saviour, to be as He is. Until then, our hearts are sick with not only the anticipation of waiting, but with the agony of not being like Him. How our heart melts as we consider that we are still so far from that likeness. Yet, because of our heartsickness, we strive to be pure as he is pure, and Jesus’ Blood is ever near to cleanse us and make us right. Still yet, the pain of our personal failures is heartbreaking. We, as the church, are in possession of a quite blessed hope, as Paul reminds us: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11-14 KJV). This holds for us both the glorious anticipation of our Lord’s return for us, His bride, at the rapture and the reminder that we will be purified and saved from the very presence of sin. Our heart is often heavy as we watch a loved one leave this world in death, and wish that the Lord had only come already, but we have a hope (assured knowledge) that we will see them again one day, because we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” But our hope will be deferred, just for a little while. Our hope is a real hope! It is not like the hope I had in a birthday present that I yearned for weeks to possess only to shove it in a closet the day after because the joy was but fleeting. Our hope in heavenly things will far surpass the wonders of it all, when we see our loved ones, when we see our new home, and when we see Jesus! And when we are like Him at last. Father, only You can fill our hearts with a grandeur that the world can never give, and it can never take away. We thank you for the promises of Your Word, and only wish that the lost world could understand what is ours can be theirs by simply coming to You for life. Use us in Your field today, Amen.
    • “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1 KJV). “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge . . .” If you love knowledge, then obviously you have to love instruction, because that is how you get it. Not a whole lot to that, just a axiom, just a truth, We learn through correction. Learning is often called a discipline. One must discipline themselves if they are to excel in learning a subject. It is not a pleasant thought to think that the pilot of the 747 you are riding in got through his studies by the skin of his teeth, or the doctor about to open up their chest cavity and explore the recesses of your heart was more interested in partying and drinking. We would hope that we are being treated by the utmost of professionals. The best way to learn a trade is to work as an apprentice under a master. That specialized type of one-on-one training is priceless. This is also true of the spiritual life. If we want to learn to please God and be the right kind of believer, we have One that said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29 KJV). He is certainly our example, not to become saved, but to live a holy life after we are saved. Also, Paul tells us, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1 KJV). How many good and faithful pastors have learned more about their trade under the tutelage of the Apostle Paul then they could ever learn from their professors in Bible college? But . . . “But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” He’s like an animal. Did you ever try to teach a cow anything? Did you ever try to teach an animal something? I mean other than ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘sit’, etc.? A person that hates reproof is just like an animal. There just isn’t any hope for them. Honestly, what can you do for someone that just refuses to learn? They are only interested in self-gratification, self-preservation, and self-propagation. The best dog you got is only interested in that. When a man won’t learn the principles of life and to be above those things, are no better than animals. “But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” Our society seems to be geared to appease these brutish people. In our country, an able-bodied, healthy man, can get on government doles and be handed a living while he sits around the house all day collecting a check. He is content to allow hard working Americans to pay his way through their tax dollars, and it isn’t just a handful of welfare recipients, but whole cities full of them. And their only contribution to society is to somehow make it to the polls where he votes for the party which promises to continue to hand him free things. I’ve been in their homes, and in many ways, they are enjoying life and have more things than those that sweat day-in and day-out to earn their living. “But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” You take an evolutionist. He is brutish. He will not accept reproof, he will not believe what the Bible has to say about Creation, about God. And so, he winds up being a monkey’s uncle. And that is exactly his own claim—we came from the monkeys. They act like it. You go out here in the world and they dress like it, and they even smell like it. And they look like it. They get more brutish all the time. As a result, they hate reproof and they live for the body and the flesh, and for the lust of it. Father, You have so much to teach us if we have a mind to learn. Teach us that it is far better to be faithful to our convictions and to love Your Word more than our necessary food. Use us, Lord, to reflect You in our daily lives that others might see You in us. Amen.
    • “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14 KJV). Where are there no good and wise counsel? The company break room is one place. A bar is another. There is no proper counsel at the lodge club. To be honest, there really isn’t any place where you’ll find good, godly, and wise counsel other than your local church. And there is like to be no good counsel from any other than your faithful pastor who has been serving up the Word of God to you and your family for a long enough time that you know that his understanding is a grounded wisdom from God. This is, for me, the best argument for attending a church with no more than a hundred or so members, or less. When a church becomes too big, the pastor becomes less and less visible except for when he is preaching. If a man needs wise counsel, he is generally sent to a co-pastor or a Sunday school teacher. When churches reach a certain threshold, perhaps it is time to start a new work on the other side of town. A pastor needs to be accessible. The sheep don’t go around looking for a shepherd, their shepherd is constantly looking after them. Now, this is not to say that a Sunday school teacher can not offer wise counsel, or another faithful brother in Christ, but the pastor should be consulted when a problem is too big. Yet, we are told of a “multitude of counsellors.” That would be at least three, maybe more. But before even going to the preacher, perhaps we should start at the same place where he would begin—the Word of God. Within the Bible you will receive the counsel of a great God. Often, men like David will offer their wisdom, even if it is seeing how they handled a situation wrong—but has similarities to something you might be contemplating. Paul has much doctrinal advice, James will offer his practical advice. There are forty men in the Bible that have something to say and are worthy to be consulted. We can speak to our Lord Jesus Christ, and often the solution to our problems may just be an application of His cleansing Blood for forgiveness accompanied with a cleansed heart and renewed conscience. And, thankfully, we have our constant teacher residing within: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (I John 2:27 KJV). Father, we thank You for the Word which is a lamp in a very dark world, and a light which removes all darkness and guides us through the night. We thank You for not simply saving us and then leaving us to fend for ourselves, but that You instruct us moment by moment as we walk with You, to keep us from falling and provides safety to us and our loved ones. Amen.
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