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The New You Forever

From our physical birth to our physical death there is nothing on the outside besides a change of habits, thinking processes, and locations that make us spiritually alive.  We enter the world as sinners estranged from God.  We are born spiritually dead (Eph 2:1-3, Col 2:13).  We live a life of habits, environmentally and socially learned behaviors and ways of thinking.  One of the greatest results of coming to faith in Jesus Christ is being made spiritually alive and 'born again'.  But what does that mean? What happens?

The Birth of Jesus Christ

With so many stories, movies, plays, books, pictures, and any other possible visual representation of The Nativity scene its hard to know exactly what happened and how in regards to the birth of Jesus.  But looking a scripture, we see a more clear and realistic picture of the birth of Jesus.

Reading Matthew 1:18–25; 2:1–12; Luke 1:26–38; 2:1–20 we can see what God has allowed us to know about his birth.

The Virgin Birth

Jesus' virgin birth is extremely important to understanding who Jesus truly is!  Where he came from, how he got here, and how he relates to us are all intertwined with his miraculous birth.  First we need to look at what was foretold about him:

Isaiah 7:13-14
Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God?  Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

Don't Judge Me

At some point all genuine followers of Christ will be labeled judgmental and told to "not judge" someone for what ever reason.  Positivism and Emotionalism has crept into the church and infected the minds of some believers.  They are quick to water down God's own decrees in fear of offending the world.  They care more about their own likability and image before the world than they do making what God has already declared known.  They are scared of the 11th commandment; Tho Shalt Not Judge.  What what does God say about making his truths known?

God's Truths are Not a Matter of Opinions

When discussing what the bible explicitly states, some will state "well, its just your opinion".  Some will even state "well, I don't see it that way".  The implications are that truth is just a matter of opinion; but is it?

If God declared something that which offends him; that applies to all people at all times everywhere.  If God declared that getting drunk offends him and a believer in that which was declared re-states the declaration, is it just their opinion?  No, it is still God's declaration. 

Your Feelings Do Not Determine Truth

Ever had someone make you feel 'bad'?  Where they said something that seemed to be negative and made you mad or sad?  Because it seemed negative and made you mad or sad, does that make it wrong?  Is it sin to say things that seem to be negative?  Is it a sin to say things that make people mad or sad?  Do your feelings dictate what is good or bad?

These questions are key to be able to discern truth.  It is key for you to know yourself and see who you really are.

Dating Non-christians

Should Christians Date a non-christian?  The better question to ask is what does GOD say about being in an intimate and mutually influential and supportive relationship with someone who does not love Jesus Christ as God.  In this article we will address God's decrees and Will for dating, What happens to believers who date nonbelievers, and 4 Godly Dating Tips.

Wall of Martyrs

Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Not all people and individuals that get persecuted for Christ's sake are known.  But as persecutions are made known we will continue to add the names and regions.  Please also see the links below and stay informed and suffer with the body of Christ around the world. Pray for a region or person who is being persecuted today!

How Christians NEED to Respond to the Anti-Christian World

With terrorism becoming more apparent in Western nations and the threat of violence and death is becoming more abundant world wide, Christians NEED to respond the way The Lord God Christ Jesus calls all his elect to respond.  As the 'western' civilizations become more secular; the social, civil, and physical persecution of The Gospel message will grow.  How Christians respond to this is just as important as the identity of being Christian itself.  This article is a comprehensive support and aid to those who are not sure how or what they can do or really understand what they, as Christian, are even called to do.

Jesus Christ's Hypostatic Union

Hypostatic Union is a term given to describe the uniqueness of who Jesus is in his essence.  Jesus was God the Son who came to earth and was fully human at the same time.  It is very easy to jump to the conclusion that this seems like a contradiction but faithfully thinking through it with scripture helps us see that Jesus was fully God and fully man simultaneously.

Lets first look at each nature of Jesus.

What Did Polycarp of Smyrna Teach?

Polycarp is one of the earliest Church leaders.  Born around or just right after Paul The Apostles martyrdom and himself martyred around 150 AD.  According to Irenaeus and Jerome, he was literally a disciple of John The Apostle and ordained by John himself to lead the church in Smyrna.  Polycarp was also close to Papias, who was also a disciple of John.  His only surviving writing is a Letter to the Philippians.  Irenaeus also records how he heard Polycarp teach in person and speak about things John The Apostle told him about Jesus first hand.

Why is he important?

Jesus, The Son of God

This is one of the largest and most important characteristic of Jesus; it is also one of the most offensive.

In Matthew 26:63, while on trial, Jesus is asked directly if he is the Christ, Son of God.  He had remained completely silent up to this point.  Jesus then responds with a very powerful statement.  (Matthew 26:64) He then redirects their train of thought off him Jesus 'of Nazareth' but on to Daniel 7:13-14 prophecy about the son of man coming from heaven; and applying that it himself. He is Jesus 'of God' "like a son of man" coming from heaven. He connects the Son of God and the son of man into 1 person; himself (John 19:7).  Deity and Humanity, together, in him.

Jesus, The One Like a Son of Man

Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man; but what does that mean?

For the Jewish people around 25 AD living under the oppression of Rome, they would have known Daniel 7 very well.  They have been taught about their slaver in Egypt, Babylon, and now currently under the rule of Rome.  Daniel 7:13 gave them hope of a coming person; "ONE LIKE a son of man".  This individual was not a man but was LIKE a man and he was coming.  This One like a son of man was given authority and sovereign power over all people and all people will worship him (Daniel 7:14).  After continued slavery by different nations through their history, this individual would usher in a kingdom that would never be destroyed.  This person is the messiah the save them from Roman rule and establish their nation again.

What Did Clement of Rome Teach

Earliest Church leader and teacher outside of The Bible.

Appointed by Peter to lead the Christian community in Rome according to Tertullian.  He is mentioned by Paul in Philippians 4:3.  He knew the Apostles personally and would have access to a lot of eye witness testimony of Jesus and original writings himself.  A every early 2nd century extra-biblical writing called The Shepard of Hermas also mentions him.  In his letter, Clement names Fortunatus, as one of the people who carry his letter to Corinth.  He is named by Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:17 as well.

The only reliably known writing from him is known as 1st Clement to Corinth. A 2nd letter has his name attached but is clear it was not by him.

He was martyred around 98-100 AD.

What makes his writing and teaching so important?

How To Fight Your Sin

To know HOW to fight sin; we need to be able to recognize it and understand WHERE it comes from first.  This can be broken down into 4 Phases of how sin becomes a reality in our actions.  Within each Phase there is an opportunity to fight, resist, and be victorious against sins growth.

The Sparked temptation & Implanted desire:

Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Prosperity Teaching

In this new season of the Church, a new teaching has developed in America and spread to the rest of the world.  It is a teaching about spiritual positive thinking and speakingIt has become popular in America and developing parts of the world.  But what exactly is this teaching saying and how does it impact the hearts of those who listen to it?

You will notice a lot of catch words in these teachings and used by those who follow these new teachings.  Words like, victory, favor, claim, declare, destiny, and portions.  When used these words are positive in their context.  Sounds good right?  They go a step further and teach that by YOUR words that YOU create YOUR own Health, Wealth, Happiness, Prosperity, and ultimately your Destiny.  Sounds even better right?

Me, Myself, And I and "Doing Me"

Examining our selves is an important part to seeing where our hearts truly stand.  Fasting, private bible study and private prayer life are extremely important to our relationship and growth with the Lord.  BUT there is a big difference between "doing me" and seeking to mature in faith because they are not always the same.

When "me, myself, and I" and "doing me" takes away from how to love and care for others; that is sin.  A continuation of this mentality leads us to then idolize ourselves.  Our self becomes the most important thing.  More important than loving others.   More important than loving our enemies.  Eventually, more important than loving God.

When the claim of Freedom is really Blind Pride

Freedom in Christ is truly freeing.  It is true freedom.  Is it freedom to sin?  Is it freedom to do what YOU want to do?  I think in this American culture we miss what it truly means to be free in Christ. 

Christians are made free FROM the grip of sin and free TO worship God.  No one who is freed from sin, was freed to worship themselves at the expense of others.  This is where some get the freedom confused.  It is this confusion is due to the blind self idolatry.  Here is why:

Bible Translation Test

In recent history, printing bibles has become a business.  As time goes on we see the shifts in public opinion and cultural norms sway some of the bible translations.  Here we will list 6 verses that are an easy test.  When scanning through what ever bible translations you have you can see if your bible has the subtle changes from the original texts.  These six verses relate to the Divinity of Jesus, the uniqueness of Jesus, and cultural changes like gender neutrality and sexual issues. 

Why Are There So Many Translations?

This is another basic question that gets abused and if left unresearched it can lead to ignorant and incorrect views of The Bible.  Some people just don't have an answer when asked, other people assume they know an answer but it is false.  Yet others see an opportunity to push their bias against The Bible on other genuine inquiring minds in the hopes of steering them away from discovering the truth about The Bible.

If there is one message from God, recorded in a single original language, why is there so many different translations/versions in English?  The true answer is actually pretty simple.  But first you have to understand language. Example:

Freedom for The Law and Sexuality

The Leviticus Law is a go-to area of the bible some use to justify why they can do certain things.  The argument attempts to say that Jesus freed Christians from the old covenant law and that the church currently cherry picks what to follow and what should not be followed.  But, the ignorance of that very scripture is clear when simply looking at who the law is addressed to.

Leviticus 18:22

22 You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; it is detestable.

This is the verse of 'controversy' 

It is not denied what is being condemned here.  But is being contested is whether or not this behavior is still condemned or not.  But this argument must then address the following verse as well:

23 You are not to have sexual intercourse with any animal, defiling yourself with it; a woman is not to present herself to an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorah

It is clear God was not pleased with the inhabitants of these ancient cities.  It is only in recent history that WHY he was not pleased and WHY he destroyed them has been questioned.  Since the event and all through Jewish, early Christan, and until modern church history it has been understood.  With changes in American culture and the church world wide the WHY has been questioned.  But the answer is clear with a simple look.

 Begins in Gen 18:20
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious.
Right off the bat The Lord states that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are extremely sinful and their sin is serious.  What is so serious?  They are so enslaved by their sin, it has infected their bodies, souls, and minds to the point of absolute blind slavery.

Has The Bible Changed?

This is a question for some people that is a genuine concern.  For others it is an attempt to belittle or patronize a religion.  The question it self is a valid question for any and all documents that claim to be the source of unchanged universal objective divine truth.
Has the teachings and documents evolved and morphed into what we have today?

The Entire Bible is God's Word: pt4, The New Testament

In parts 1, 2 and 3 we have shown the reliability of The Bible.  Parts 1 and 2 even show how the Old Testament has not changed and how it has been reliably copied through its history.  But what about the New Testament?

Has the New Testament been reliably copied or has it changed over time?

First we need to understand that we have 1st and 2nd century quotes, copies, and manuscripts.  Clement I was written around 96 AD to 100 AD and it quotes a lot of different portions of the Bible.  The John fragment mentioned in part 3 is from the 2nd century along with many others. 

The Entire Bible is God's Word: pt3, The New Testament

The timeline of the events leading up to the New Testament and during are vital to understanding the writings themselves.

Before Jesus:

There was a time period of 400 years where there were no prophets or anyone who is hearing the voice of God.  Malachi was the last prophet but Israel did not listen; then, 400 years of silence from God.  Suddenly around 25-29 AD a man that was not like the rest of his culture appears calling for everyone to repent and make way for the Lord.  He proclaims that coming of someone great directly from God, and his coming is soon.  Next thing he knows, that someone, is here; Jesus of Nazareth.

The Entire Bible is God's Word: pt 2, The Old Testament

The Old Testament as a divine and authoritative set of writings has been recognized and validated all through out the Jewish history.  The formation of the Old Testament is nothing new either.  A simple look at all the historical clues reveal that The Old Testament has been declared all along.

The Entire Bible is God's Word: pt 1, The Old Testament

Some religions claim parts of the bible is from God, some people claiming to be Christian also say that some parts are from God and other parts are not.  Some that claim the whole bible is from God only cherry pick bible verses to suit their needs, desires, and arguments.   The orthodox Christian faith believes that the whole bible is from God.  The Old testament is from God just as equally as the New testament and the apostolic epistles.  God used and spoke through the Prophets and Apostles.  But how do we know?

The "Jesus didn't say it" Reasoning

With so much debate in our culture, there is a quick judgment to condemn people for quoting scripture for their reason or their lack of support or lack of encouragement for certain cultural issues.  One of these forms of reasoning why some feel scripture quoting Christians are bigots its this:  "Jesus did not specifically say..." or "Jesus did not specifically mention..."  The reason is assuming that because the topic or moral issue is not mentioned in the red lettering of a bible, than Jesus did not have anything to say about the issue.  But there is one major and critical problem with that reasoning. 

SCOTUS and God

5 Justices of the Supreme court of the United States of America made a decision for the of the population and indirectly the rest of the world.  I am not going to get into the politics of the issue because there is something greater than politics going on here. The greater is God's Will, God's Wrath, and The Churches stance.

Unconditional Election

This is a simple definition:

Unconditional election is God’s free choice before creation, not based on foreseen faith, to which traitors he will grant faith and repentance, pardoning them, and adopting them into his everlasting family of joy.

At the core of this are two things:

1.  God gets eternal credit for our eternal salvation
2.  God is supremely sovereign, just, and right in his eternal decrees regarding his creation; man.

Here is why these two cores are so important.

The Universe Before and After The Fall of Man

Scripture makes it clear that our relationship with God changed.  Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God there was a different relational interaction with God.  After they disobeyed God, the relational interaction transformed into something different.

The event that caused the relational change between Mankind and God has been called the "original sin".  Original Sin looks at how the event effected our nature toward God and our standing before him.

Before The Fall

Prior to the event, we can clearly see the universe and mankind in good standing and harmony with creation and God.  Gen 1:31 states that everything was very good.  But note, that God did not say everything was perfect.

How Facebook Reveals Your Heart

Social Networking has become a modern phenomena.  First it was America Online and its instant messenger then Geocities and Tripod.  It allowed people to connect on a more impersonal level.   Then came Friendster and Myspace.  These allowed people to create an image of a persona they want the world to see.  An image of their desired self.  Over timed it turned from a page set up to a focus on content shared.  Here we are, we can see into the heart and mind of people by the things they desire to share and say for everyone of their friends to see. 

Because of the natural condition of the human heart; our heart uses facebook to satisfy its natural desire for acceptance, identity, notoriety, and glory.  It can be made into a tool for self idolatry or to support and encourage other idolatries in the world.  But the truth about facebook is that we can see the fruit of the someone by their comments and things they share.  This article is convicting, not condemning.  Here is why:

God, The Holy Spirit

One of the most misunderstood and mischaracterized persons of the Trinity of God himself is the person of The Holy Spirit.  Man gets confused with feelings, emotions, wind, or just thought of as a 'force'.  Yet, scripture makes it clear He is a unique, co-equal, divine person of the Trinity that makes  God himself.  This simple study will help understand him more clearly.

God The Father

The first person of the Triune God, is God The Father.  This study looks at who this person of the Trinity is.

By Christ's Work Alone

On what date did you make yourself come from spiritual death to life?  How did you give birth to your own spirit?  What steps and procedure did you do and work hard at to save yourself from death?  If you say anything besides "none" or "zip" or "nada"; you have mild case of thinking that you are god.  Because only God can bring people to spiritually life from spiritual death; we are not God.  That's right, God himself declares that we are spiritually dead from birth.  We are D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival).  So how do we become alive and  right before God?

God's Glory Alone

God is the almighty sovereign and eternal God and creator of all things.  He is perfect is his goodness and righteousness, justice and mercy.  Man, is not.  Man corrupts what it touches and is not good without God. 

So who deserves the glory for what is good in the world?

Abortion and God's Gift

To cut through all the human emotion and partisan opinions we need answer the fundamental questions that lead us to the truth of this issue.  To obtain the knowledge of God we must search his Word and not lean on our own views and opinions:

 Is the unborn child a human person in God's image?

Rioting Christians?

This issue takes a real level of pure honesty to see clearly.  By establishing biblical truths we can be correctly guided into a correct and godly understanding and decision making.   Rioting and violence because of oppression is revenge.  So the question now comes to: 

Should Christians support and take part in Riots because of injustices?

Faith Without Works is Dead

Let's make this clear;  Christians are saved by GRACE through FAITH in Jesus Christ as Lord God and Savior (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).   But it is because of genuine faith in Jesus that will defiantly cause the life of someone who just came to faith to drastically change.  A changed life is a sure fact.  To reiterate, it is NOT the changed life that leads someone to faith.  It IS the faith that leads to a changed life.  Faith proceeds the life change but the life change is an inevitable result from saving faith.  This addresses the issue of Lordship Salvation.

James drives this point home in James 2:14-26.  Verse 26 bluntly states "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

The Triune God of Christianity

This essential biblical teaching is a profound and deep understanding of the eternal God of the universe.  He condescends these truths about himself just enough for us to be able to understanding Him to this degree.  This understanding allows us to know and understand him on the deepest level in our time in this world.  It also helps us see faiths that know Him and religions that do not know him.  Helps discern false teachings and truth in more clear terms.  The following is known as The Trinity.

It is so profound and at the deepest level of our understanding; it is best that our finite freshly minds can understand of our infinite and eternal creator of the universe.  Anything deeper is incomprehensible for our limited intellectual sinful minds to grasp.  The term "trinity" is not in scripture because it is a word used to describe the triune God described in scripture.  See 'Objections to the Trinity' bellow.

Christianity can be described as Monotheistic Trinitarianism.  Belief in One God made up of three 'persons'.  The word 'persons' does not accurately describe what makes up 'the trinity' but it helps.  It is NOT faith in three different gods. It is NOT One God with three different 'masks' (Modalism/Oneness Pentecostalism). It IS the following:

Islam: Muhammad's Fatal Mistake

Much like the bible, the Quran is dependent on the truthfulness of its teachings.  The source of the Quran's teachings is claimed divine.  Divine truths can not contradict other known truths or false in its teachings and this must be true for the Quran to be true (Quran 2:256).

It is clear the church taught The Trinity when Muhammad was having the Quran written.  The teaching of the Trinity is found all over the bible and the doctrine of the trinity was described in mid 4th century.  Orthodox Christianity has always taught that the Trinity is simply this:  One God made up of three unique equal 'persons'; God the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  One Triune God.  This is evident from all the early church writings and councils long before the creation of the Quran.

The Quran on the other hand runs into a big problem in its record of what Christianity taught and claimed.  In fact, Muhammad miss understood the doctrine of the Trinity found in the bible and taught for hundreds of years before him.  His misunderstanding and ignorance is recorded in the Quran.

Scripture Alone

With so many teachings being passed around and so many new religions and cults coming and going throughout history we need to be sure we hold to sound doctrine and the truths recorded in scripture.  There are some other religions that claim to view the bible as divine but then use other sources to add to it or interpret it making their other outside sources equal to scripture in essence. Yet these different religions do not believe the same things and in many ways contradict each other in what they teach about the bible.

Witnessing to Jehovah's Witness: The Watchtower organization

for any religion and faith there is a source that provides the defining elements of that religion.  For Jehovah's Witness their source is the Watchtower publications that define how the bible should be interpreted.  The bible is not their source but the Watchtower is.  The Watchtower agrees that logic helps lead man to know truth as they use logic to define their doctrine and interpret scripture.  Therefore logic can help us discover not only truth but also lies. 

Christian Sinners or Christian Hypocrites

Christians are sinners and the world is quick to view them as hypocrites.  Some Christians even embrace the idea of being a hypocrite but the real question is; are Christians hypocrites?  More importantly when people put their faith in Jesus Christ as lord and savior, does God see them as hypocrites?  Lets first look at Jesus' attitude toward those who followed him and those who claimed to love God but did not follow him.

Your Personal Ministry and Missions

Please read All Christians Are Missionaries

So what can you do locally, Nationally, and Internationally to be obedient to Christ and his commission for the church and you?  There is a lot of simple things every person can do to reflect the grace and truth of Jesus in their lives and everyone around them.

All Christians Are Missionaries

Anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a Christian is taking on the responsibilities and the duties given to all those who are part of the body of Christ.  All disciples of Jesus are called to make more disciples of Jesus and to teach the world everything that is in the scriptures for God's ultimate glory.  This is known as The Great Commission.  Although Jesus has commissioned all his followers to be missionaries; that doesn't make all his missionaries willing and effective.  Do you see your local community, work, family, friends, and everything you live around as your mission field?

The Amazing Grace of God

Gracious; the greatest characteristic of God.  Without his Grace, we would be nothing.

What is Grace?

Simply put, unmerited favor.  It is God showing kindness and being benevolent to anything undeserving of his kindness and benevolence.  It can not be stressed enough that it is undeserved.  We do not deserve or earn his favor.  We do not deserve blessings; they are given without merit.

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