~Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

~Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

~Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Man was created in the “likeness” of God. Man had the choice between good and evil. However, since man was not God, or a god (as some religions teach), he was not able to say no to sin when given that choice.

God gave Adam and Eve the awesome privilege of living sin free as long as they obeyed one rule: not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At this point, Adam and Eve only knew “good.” You would think that they would understand how great their life was and they wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that life. However, they were easily deceived by Satan. He cast a shadow of doubt on God’s words (much like today’s attacks on the King James Bible). In Genesis 3:1, Satan said, “hath God said”? It caused Eve to question what God had told them. It further caused her to add to God’s words with ” neither shall ye touch it”. God didn’t say not to touch the tree but merely not to eat of it.

So from the beginning of man, it has been man’s choice to disobey God. Initially, Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not man.  Hell was there before Adam and Eve came along.

~Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

However, because man has chosen to sin, man has also chosen to go to Hell.

~Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

~Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God provided a way for man to go to Heaven, but again, it is man’s choice – as it always has been. We do have a loving God.  Sending people to Hell isn’t what He wanted.  He gave man a choice from the beginning.  God’s choice is for man to live a wonderful, sin-free life, just as Adam and Eve had the opportunity to have!

Why would God create man if all He wanted were robots who always did what they were told without choice? It’s evident that God wants us to love Him by choice, not because we have to. God gives us every opportunity to be saved from the choice of going to Hell. However, it is the hardened heart that refuses God’s love and His Heaven.

It is man’s natural instinct to blame someone else for his undoing.  Adam blamed, Eve.  Eve blamed the serpent.  Today, man blames God for sending people to Hell rather than praise God for providing a way to Heaven through Jesus Christ!  It’s man’s choice to sin that takes him to Hell, not God.

Just what is the basis of truth?  How can anyone really know that they are reading and hearing the truth when they go to church or open a Bible? What and/or how do we measure the truth?  These are all vital questions and there are answers!

In the Christian faith, the standard of truth sets on the Bible.  We know this because Jesus Christ Himself quoted the Scriptures throughout His ministry.  In fact, He said:

~John 10:35b … the scripture cannot be broken;

Christ laid the foundation for truth to His disciples and pointed them to it.  He was qualified to do so because He was the Word of God, made flesh, so He could convey those words to man.  Throughout Christ’s ministry, those words were revealed and recorded by men through the power of His Holy Spirit.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Christ also prayed that His disciples would be set apart and grounded in this truth then pointed them to what was considered to be the truth.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s Word not only is the truth but it contains the only truth for anyone who wishes to find it.  It is our plum line – our standard – our tool for measuring everything we hear.  The Scriptures are the inspired words of God.

~2 Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible alone is our ultimate authority.  Jesus Christ quoted it repeatedly to correct the Pharisees.  He also quoted Scriptures when He was tempted of the devil in the wilderness.  Christ used the Scriptures to ostracize the Pharisees and He also used the Scriptures to battle Satan in the desert.  The Bible is the final judge for all of man’s thinking and all of man’s traditions.

Because the Scriptures are the very words of God, we are commanded not to add to it or take away from it.  To do so opens the door to error because sinful man is in charge of the change.

~Proverbs 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

~Revelations 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

Our Bible is the final authority – the ultimate authority of God and it meets all of the Christian’s needs in his walk.  All we encounter in life can be measured according to God’s Word.

~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In the early church, man-made traditions became the standard for the “religious” and the Word of God lost its place as the only measuring stick.  But just as Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for putting tradition on equal ground as the Scriptures, so does God’s Word rebuke those religions today of the same thing.

~Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

This is found in many religions but most prevalent in the Catholic Church where it teaches “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together and communicate one with the other … And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God, which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit.  … As a result the [Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence”.

Jesus Christ said that God’s Word is made ineffectual through tradition.  There isn’t any tradition that can overpower what the Holy Spirit conveyed through the Holy Scriptures.  (2 Peter 1:29) He is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13) and He conveyed God’s words through the Scriptures.  Because the Holy Spirit is God, there is no one more qualified to write the truth.  Because the Holy Spirit wrote this truth, He is more than qualified to teach this truth to believers – He is the ultimate authority.  That is another one of the Holy Spirit’s missions.

~John 16:13-15 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

Popular religions of the world have their own “standards,” and some even place that standard on their leader.  Leaders are all sinners (Romans 3:23), unlike Jesus Christ who knew no sin.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)  The sinless Saviour used the Scriptures as His plum line to instruct, correct, and lead.  Unfortunately, those religions who place their standard on a leader will be sincerely disappointed.  These same leaders in church history  passed laws/rules which were later dismissed by their current leader.  Where is the plum line?  What is used to prevent error?  How can the common man trust leaders who negate what a leader in history said was from God?  Why isn’t it “from God” now?  Did their leader from years ago make a mistake?  How could he if he was considered infallible?  Man cannot and must not be used to BE the standard or the plum line because man is sinful.

~Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

~Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

~Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Only God is qualified to BE our plumb line and standard for truth because He is truth.  The Scriptures contain the truth and it is by this truth that we will be judged.

~Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

~Psalm 33:4 For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.

~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

~Proverbs 22:21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

~Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and [that which was] written [was] upright, [even] words of truth.

~Isaiah 39:8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good [is] the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

~John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

~2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

~Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

~Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

~1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

It is this truth, God’s Word, that Christianity must base all doctrine.  Not traditions of men.  If there are questions as to whether or not a certain “tradition” be of God, seek the truth in His Word because all truth is contained therein and it is our plumb line.

~Romans 3:4 … yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, …

 

 

~Psalm 5:5 — “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

~Psalm 11:5 — “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

~John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I’m sure this sounds “contradictory” but it really isn’t when you view it as God hates the sin but loves the “person.”  God could not possible hate the sinner because it would contradict:

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

If God hated sinners, He would not have sent Christ to die for us “while we were yet sinners.” However, I believe it is quite clear in the above text that God does hate those who are wicked, work iniquity and love violence.  God doesn’t have any problem with casting those into the lake of fire unless they repent and believe on the Lord Jesus!  (Acts 16:31)

It is still man’s choice to go to Hell, not God’s.  Man can choose to continue being wicked, continue working iniquity and continue to love violence.  It is these types of sinners that God hates.  God is omniscient (all knowing), therefore, He knows if this sinner will come to repentance or not.  Once man chooses not to repent, then God in His righteousness must judge that sinner.

God’s love is so great that He sent His own Son to take on the penalty of man’s sin.  How great is that love?!  Would you give up your own child for the same of someone else?

I don’t claim to have all the answers – especially to a foundational doctrine such as this. However, what I can do is to provide and point you to the Scriptures, which will help to explain what the Scriptures have to say about the Trinity.

The Scriptures teach there is one God (Ephesians 4:6). However, God shows Himself to us in different ways: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

~Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

~Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

There are so many verses which point to a Trinity.  We are not left to imagination or invention:

~2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, [be] with you all. Amen.

~1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

~Jude 1:20-21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

One of the best verses, in my opinion, which portrays the Trinity is found in the King James Bible.  All other versions skip right over this verse and make a comment that it is not found in the “originals.” How convenient! Satan has attempted to corrupt the word of God since the Garden of Eden and hasn’t quit yet.

~1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

I once heard a message on this topic which really helped me to understand the concept of the Trinity. Just as I have a body, soul and spirit, I am still one person. I have three roles, I am a daughter, I am a mother and I am a grandmother. However, I am still one person. Another good example is water. Water contains two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. When water is exposed to high temperatures, it becomes steam. When it is exposed to low temperatures, it becomes ice. All three have two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, right? All three are water – some form of water but yet each has a different role.

So is the Trinity. There is one God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is referred to as the Son. He is God manifested (1 John 4:9) in the flesh to be our redeemer. In this manifestation, Christ was also referred as the Word of God (John 1:1). Christ brought God’s words to man kind by becoming man.  He brought mankind salvation through His birth, life, death, and resurrection!

When Christ left this earth, the Father sent us His Holy Spirit to dwell amongst us (John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7). It is this Holy Spirit who dwells within the born-again Christian – He teaches us – He comforts us – He reveals God’s will to us – He prays to the Father for us when we can’t seem to find the words!  He is with us always and never leaves us!

Was the Trinity present in the Old Testament? I respond with an emphatic YES! Genesis 1:26 reveals this in “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”! Genesis 3:22 also reveals this “Behold, the man is become as one of us”. Another is Genesis 11:7 “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language”. Isaiah 6:8 reveals “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

So many verses reveal God’s triune nature.  We may not fully understand but we can believe by faith. (Romans 1:17) The Bible leads us to the truth – then it’s up to us to believe by faith.

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

A common statement heard today is that “If God is such a loving God, how can He send someone to hell?”  Today’s text is a wonderful depiction of God’s love.  He didn’t wait until we “cleaned up our lives.”  He knew that if Israel could not live by the Law, neither would we.  In fact, if we could clean up our lives, Christ’s death would not have been needed.

Hell was not originally created for mankind.  It was created for Satan and his angels

~Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

God’s love for His creation went so far that He provided a way to Heaven for mankind.  He went to great lengths, as a matter of fact.

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

~John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

~1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

~1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

These verses provide man with a choice to make:  (1) he that believeth on Christ and (2) he that believeth not.  It is plain and simple and quite obvious that God loves His creation and provides a choice for them to make.  He won’t force Himself on us.  God gave us a free will with the ability to seek things out and decide for ourselves.

By not accepting Christ, one has chosen to go to hell – he has made his choice and, therefore, is responsible for sending himself to hell.

~John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So in closing, God is a loving God and He does not choose to send anyone to hell.  He leaves that choice up to us.  He provided a way for us to avoid punishment for our sin through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.  The rest is up to us.  It is a choice! It is our choice!

responsible for sending them there.


~Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The flesh contains no good thing, according to Paul.  We are born sinners and we do not need to be taught how to sin.  Look at any toddler and you will see the evidence of this statement.

~Romans 7:18a For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: 

The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to his church and serves in different ministries there. The sad thing is he no longer views these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. (Romans 6:1-2) There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be pushed right into sin because of the poor testimony displayed by this man.

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as immature. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” A human being’s growth from baby to adult is very much like the spiritual life of a Christian. A dear friend wrote the following and I’ve used it a few times in my blog.  However, it is so relevant to this topic I thought it was worth repeating!

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psalms 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what no means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Proverbs 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psalms 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1 Corinthians 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator.

The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Proverbs 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalms 143:10)

So, my friend, where are you in the Spiritual Growth Chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This need not be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the word of God, Christian. Stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work on. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord again?

~Proverbs 25:1  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 

Don’t you love Solomon’s style of writing? Can you just picture in your mind’s eye what apples of gold in pictures of silver look like? No matter what it looks like, it appears “regal.”  But what’s the true meaning behind it? How can our words be compared to apples of gold?

The whole point of this Proverb is to bring your attention to a word that is fitly spoken and its value. These apples apparently have much value in God’s eyes and, therefore, must be referencing valuable words. I believe these valuable words reference the Christian who guards his tongue and makes sure that he always has the words of hope and kindness ready for all to hear.

There are surely various scenarios in life but each requires that words be fitly spoken. The first scenario I think of is during an argument.

~Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 

I’m sure you’ll agree that this soft answer qualified as a word fitly spoken. Speaking kindness also qualifies in this category.

~Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

How about speaking the blessed Gospel to the lost? Oh, how fitly spoken are they?

~1 Peter 3:15 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:

But wherever you see something referencing what God loves, you don’t have to go too far in your reading before you find what the world loves. The world’s apples are quite the opposite. The wicked are known for their tongue. 

~Proverbs 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

~Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.

~Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. 

Where do your words fit? Are they apples of gold or apples with worms? As disgusting as that sounds, I’m sure our Heavenly Father looks upon His children’s unfit words much in the same way.

Which would you rather be known for? Someone who spoke kind and uplifting words which the Lord likens to apples of gold? Or someone whose words are unkind, venomous, and filled with worms? We have the words of life for a dying and lost world.  We have the words that change lives for those who are going in the wrong direction.  This is an awesome responsibility and one not to be taken lightly.

~Proverbs 9:13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

Proverbs is such a great book – full of instruction and wisdom! Why don’t more people heed to its precious instructions? What is in this proverb that can be applied to our own lives?

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary’s definition is way more than what I thought clamorous meant! I thought it meant “noisy.”

CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

Now that it’s put that way, can you imagine living with someone like this? Do you recognize this in your own life?

Unfortunately, clamorous women probably have no clue that they are this way – or they probably don’t care. Solomon says that these women are not only loud but repetitious! That means they are naggers and complainers and they do it loudly! I don’t know about you but I truly do not want to be known as a clamorous woman! Nor do I think a man would want to live with one either.

Solomon goes on to say that the clamorous woman is simple and knows nothing. Noah Webster defined “simple” as being weak in intellect.  This person is not wise in God’s word but simple.  James says that this type of person’s ‘wisdom’ does not come from above but is devilish.

~James 3:14-16 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

I believe Solomon means that the clamorous woman is simple in the word of God. You can “know” an instruction but it does not mean that you have applied it to your life. Any believer who spends daily time in the Bible seeking the Holy Spirit’s will is going to be convicted of sin in their lives. So, obviously, this woman does not make the Scriptures part of her daily life. If she does, she is reading for the sake of reading and not for the sake of growing spiritually.  She is most certainly quenching the Holy Spirit.

I surely feel badly for the man who is married to such a woman.

~Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

How sad it is when a women is so prideful that she does not allow the Holy Spirit to work in her life.  She prefers to dwell in a home filled with strife!

The Lord has much reward in store for the woman who can be taught. Let’s look at the flip side.

~Proverbs 9:13 A prudent woman is quiet: she is wise, and knoweth the will of God.” 

This woman’s wisdom produces the fruit of the Spirit.  She puts into action what God’s word has revealed to her and yields herself to the work of the Holy Spirit in her life.

~James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Women are not the only ones who can be clamorous.  I personally know men who are this way.  It is an equal opportunity sin and one that fills a home with strife.  No one wants to come home to this type of environment.  Instead, a home filled with peace, gentleness and evidence of good spiritual fruit is a home that brings joy!

 

~Proverbs 10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

The tongue is such a small member according to the Apostle James.

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 

It’s amazing how such a small member can wreak so much havoc one moment and yet be sweet as honey the next. Should this be the normal way of life for a believer? Absolutely not! The believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, producing the fruit of the Spirit, does not struggle with his tongue but has command over it. He has learned to control the sin of gossip.

The weak minded believer, however, does not share in this. Not only is this weak minded believer allowing the devil to control him, he does not have the sense to get into the word of God and allow the Scriptures to keep him from sin.

~Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 

Instead, this weak minded believer relies on what is in his heart to guide him. If the heart is ruled by sin, it won’t guide this person to anything but trouble.

How can a heart filled with gossip allow the tongue to speak gracious words? The weak minded believer thinks he can fool those in his church by pretending to be a good Christian but then gossip and strife come out of his mouth only to reveal his true colors. God’s word says that this is wrong!

~James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

This gossip stirs up strife and sows discord. I’ve yet to meet a gossip who has not caused much problems. How can the church have a sweet spirit when there’s a gossip in its midst? How can a church attract visitors when there’s a gossip in its midst? A busy body does so much damage to everyone she comes in contact with!

That gossip not only hurts people with his tongue, but he is also known as a sower of discord! If you want to see just how God feels about a gossip, a sower of discord, all you have to do is search for verses with the words “God, hate” and it will be an eye opener! God hates the sower of discord! It does not say He hates the sin – but he hates the one who sows discord. In fact, it is an abomination to Him.

~Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 

A gossip is not only a liar but that gossip is also one that sows discord among the brethren (meaning in church).

~James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James continues to say that the tongue is like a fire! Fire destroys and kills. This little member of the body can do so much destruction if it is allowed to continue. We cannot sweep a sower of discord’s actions under the rug. It must be dealt with, swiftly, or the church body will be destroyed. What better testimony for the devil than to allow this sower in the church! This should not be so. What a sad day it is when families are destroyed by this person! This gossip and sower of discord is at war with everyone around him, except other gossips. Darkness fellowships with darkness.

~Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. 

I have witnessed this gossip in action. I have witnessed this sower of discord in action. These “supposed” Christians have allowed the devil to rule in their lives. Yes, the devil can rule in a Christian’s life. Even Jesus had to rebuke Peter and tell him that the devil was ruling.

~Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Jesus was not saying that Peter was possessed by a devil. Jesus was stating that Peter was allowing the devil to rule in his life and Peter’s words were evidence of it. Jesus did not mince words. He did not sweep Peter’s conduct under the rug. Instead, Jesus brought it out and exposed it.

The words of a gossip are wicked, wicked, wicked! There is no life in them but only destruction. Guard your tongue, oh Christian. Be careful what you expose your heart to. What is in your heart will come out of your mouth.

~Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 

So, what is considered gossip? If you want to steer away from even the appearance of evil on this one, consider gossip as anything that is said about someone that is not gracious and kind. Many disguise their gossip with statements like, “Bless her heart, she just doesn’t have enough money to buy a dress that would cover her whole body!” My friend, don’t be fooled.

You can’t Febreeze a skunk – it will still be a skunk and it will still stink! Don’t allow the devil rule over your mouth. Yes, I said “allow”! It is our choice to gossip. Recognize the sin of gossip … repent … confess it … seek forgivness from those you have hurt … forsake it. Then fill your heart with the precious Scriptures and allow it to cleanse you, keep you clean, (Psalm 119:9) and prevent you from falling.

~2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

When we buy our fruit in the grocery store, we don’t stop to think about where the fruit came from or the work it took the fruit farmer to get that fruit to us. A tree can only produce plenty of fruit – good fruit – when it is properly cared for and has all the right “ingredients.” It needs the right amount of sunshine, rain, fertilizer and pruning. A healthy tree produces a good crop of fruit.

It is the same with our Christian lives. Without the Son-shine in our lives, we cannot bear fruit. One must be born again to produce spiritual fruit. Without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we cannot possibly be fruitful nor can we make it without Him. Without getting to know Him better through the word of God, we cannot grow.

~John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

At times we need pruning so we can be more fruitful. Pruning comes in various ways – through trials, through the Scriptures, and through the preaching. God uses multiple things in our lives to get our attention if we are being disobedient to His word. A tree doesn’t have much choice but to be pruned. But we do! We don’t have to be pruned by the Lord. We can resist the devil (James 4:7) and the temptations by removing ourselves from the situation that is tempting us.  God provides us with a way to escape temptation so we do not fall.  (1 Corinthians 10:13) However, when we don’t, we can be sure we will not grow properly. This is why we won’t produce the fruit we could produce.

~Psalm 1:2-3, But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Notice that verse 3 says that his leaf shall not wither. If I water my plants regularly, they stay looking nice. If I miss a week or two, however, the leaves start to droop and they “scream” for water. So should Christians scream for the living water of the Word. Daily reading, studying and submitting to God’s word is what will produce good fruit.

~John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 

Don’t allow yourself to go one day without gleaning from the Scriptures.  This is our spiritual food which will produce good fruit.  One cannot walk away from the Scriptures without being changed.  The word of God is the fertilizer that every Christian needs to be fruitful!


~Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 

I truly believe that the worse “new teaching” from the world today is the one of self esteem. This teaching is definitely not scriptural and it has done so much damage to the Christian. It is not a new teaching but it is certainly more prevalent in today’s world than in the past. Everyone is focused on me, myself and I. What’s in it for me? You offended me! You hurt my feelings. You’re no better than I am. Don’t tell Johnny, who’s in the tenth grade, that he is reading at fifth grade level, you’ll ruin his self esteem! No where in God’s word does it say that we should esteem ourselves! Why do you think people are conceited and full of themselves? Why do you think there is so much concentration in the church to “feel good about themselves”? They have been “self esteemed” ad nauseum!

Noah Webster’s definition of the word esteem is SO very different from today’s.

1. To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32. They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.

2. To prize; to set a high value on; to regard with reverence, respect or friendship. When our minds are not biased, we always esteem the industrious, the generous, the brave, the virtuous, and the learned. Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.

Merriam-Webster’s definition 

is the regard in which one is held; especially : high regard

Merriam’s definition is quite diluted, isn’t it? What things in God’s Word are we to esteem? Job 23 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Psalm 119:28 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.  God’s word should be esteemed. If you were to place the emphasis of Merriam’s definition for esteem to God’s word, you would not be totally convinced that it deserved such a high rating, right? But if you put Noah’s definition, you see that the Bible is to be prized and reverenced. This is a much different viewpoint! No wonder the worldly Christians do not look to the Word of God to change them. They don’t revere it, therefore, it’s impact on their lives is minimal.

Does God regard esteem as sin? Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (emphasis mine) God considers it an abomination if you esteem that which is ungodly.

Whom should we esteem? Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  and 1 Thessalonians 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. We should esteem the brethren better than ourselves and we should esteem those who are over us – our deacons and our Pastors. No where in my of salvation have I ever read in God’s 1ord that I should think highly of myself. If I love the brethren, they will always take precedence over me. 1 Corinthians 3:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Paul says that our love for each other will cause us to be longsuffering with each other, be kind to each other, not envy one another, and not think highly of ourselves. Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 

My friend, these are not the Bible verses encouraging us to have self esteem! These verses are encouraging us to be humble, meek and low in pride. What will happen to the one who thinks highly of himself?

~Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

~Ezekiel 21:26 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. 

~Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. 

~Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 

~Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

~Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

None of these verses sound like words from a support group for self-esteem. Quite the opposite. We should humble and be promoted to the front of the line by the Lord than to think more of ourselves rather than have Him tell us to get to the back of the line. If anyone had reason for self-esteem, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But He humbled Himself to the point of dying for you and I. If we are to walk in His footsteps, how can we possibly have self-esteem and say that it comes from God? This is hypocrisy – we should do well to learn from the account of the Pharisee and the Publican.


~1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Not everyone is an engineer, doctor, police officer, etc. Each person is drawn to an occupation by the individual’s uniqueness.  The Bible absolutely recognizes uniqueness and equality amongst Christians:

~1 Corinthians 12:14-20 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body? 20 But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.

Paul explained how the church, made up of individuals, could not all be doing the same “job.” Each unique person was needed and there weren’t any which were more important than the other. They were equal in their importance – all had a specific job to do and all were needed to make the body “whole.”

As it relates to husband and wife, as in today’s text, we note that they are heirs together. As one reads Scriptures relating to husband and wife, it is clear to see that the husband is responsible for his household by providing for it and the wife is to submit to his Godly leadership.  Each has a different role.  On the most part, she bears children and cares for them. Although we see some homes where the husband has to stay at home and care of the children while the wife works.  Either way you look at it, it does not mean that the husband is better than the wife – it means that they are equal in their Christian walk as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20.  The emphasis lies in the different roles in their marriage, just as they do in the body of Christ, the Church.  It does not lie in whether one is better than the other.  Not everyone in a place of business can be the president.  Not everyone can be the janitor.  Each is necessary. Despite the different roles, the husband and wife are joint heirs together. Paul did not outline different requirements, correct?

We know that Paul also told the Ephesians that the husband is to love his wife as he would his own body (as Christ loved the Church).  A man would not belittle his own body.  A man would not treat his own body unkindly.  This clearly depicts equality. (Ephesians 5:28)

As well, the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31) suggests equality.  Whatever we would not have done to us, we must not to do someone else.  If we do not want to be treated inferior, we must not act superior.  Adam tried to pass the blame for his own sin on Eve, but God punished them equally.  Adam would have to toil the land dealing with weeds and Eve would have pain in bearing children.  Both have different jobs but both were treated equally for their sin.

The world attaches a person’s “role” in life to equality.  For example, the janitor is less important than a doctor.  However, that is the world’s view.  The world is most certainly caught up in social hierarchy.  But the Bible does not support this amongst members of the church.  We are considered the body of Christ.  As Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20, there is not a part of the body that is not necessary or that is more important than the other.  What a beautiful depiction of all being equal!


~Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Beginning in Genesis, God established a covenant with Abram and his people.  This was the beginning of the Jewish people.  The covenant was defined as:

~Genesis 17:10 This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

The physical act of circumcision defined a “setting apart” of a people for the glory of God. Just because they were physically set apart for the glory of God, they were not acting like it spiritually. God wanted them to be a holy people – a special people – above all people on earth.

~Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

However, they were not obeying the Lord’s statutes and, therefore, became stiff-necked.  God wanted a people that desired to obey Him out of love.  But the people refused and their hearts were hardened.  These people were serving God by the letter of the Law rather than with their hearts.  They were viewing their works as their own righteousness and, therefore, “working at being righteous.”

~Deuteronomy 6:24-25 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as [it is] at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

In other words, they were serving God in the “flesh” and not serving Him with their hearts.  That is why God told them to circumcise the foreskin of their heart.  This cuts away at what makes them the same as everyone else and causes them to be different – to be set apart in their hearts.  It is the heart that reveals what kind of person one is – it is with the heart that one comes to salvation:

~Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

One can be circumcised in the body but not of the heart.  In other words, a person can be circumcised but not have a circumcised heart – born again through repentance and faith (Acts 20:21).  Once a person is truly born again, a miracle happens.  A spiritual circumcision occurs in that person’s heart.  He is now set apart! The Christian is to be different from the world. The foreskin of our hearts has been circumcised and we are set apart for God’s use!

~Romans 2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

~Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

~Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

The Christian is now holy to God because Christ’s righteousness and holiness is what God sees!

~1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

~Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

~1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

God chose a special people – a people that were not just to be set apart through the physical circumcision, but a people that served Him with their heart.

~John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Jesus spoke the words in today’s text.  He made it very clear that it was by His words that would pass judgment on man kind.  Those who reject Him and do not receive His words will be judged according to His words.  (John 1:1) Since mankind will be judged according to what is in the Scriptures, then it must be our final authority in all matters.

When we break the law of the land by speeding, we will be judged by a paragraph and section in the book of statutes for that jurisdiction.  The ticket issued lists the section of the code of law that has been broken.  I imagine Judgment Day to be the same.  The books will be opened and man will be judged according to the Bible book, chapter and verse which has been broken.

God’s words have been present amongst mankind for thousands of years.  God’s words were initially entrusted to the Jews and then to the Christians.

~Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Man’s argument is that the Bible was written by man.  But God knew this would be an argument and He included the Scriptures to refute them.

~2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

One of the Holy Ghost’s tasks was to record God’s words in a book by working through men.  The mention of  God commanding to write things “in a book” occurs 12 times throughout the Scriptures. His words are important and are not only to be used to judge us when we die, but also to help us while we are living.

~2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture {is} given by inspiration of God, and {is} profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We are to apply God’s words to our everyday lives in order to become more Christ-like in our walk.  It is the word of God that cleanses us and it should be our plumb line in our decision making. (Psalm 119:9)  I’ve been told by religious people who do not believe that the Bible is our final authority that I am interpreting my way. However, God’s word contained Scripture to refute them:

~2 Peter 1:20-21 (20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake {as they were} moved by the Holy Ghost.

It amazes me that the religious crowd can adopt their church’s traditions as their final authority but yet they cannot read 2 Peter 1:20-21 in context.  These verses are not difficult to understand. The fact of the matter is that those who do not hold the Bible as their final authority are those who are afraid of what it contains.  The exhortations in Scriptures put man-made laws and religious works in the light in which they should be viewed – evil and from the devil. Man-made religion does not want its followers to read the Bible because they will receive God’s words and HE will expose religious heresies!

~Hebrews 4:12 (12) For the word of God {is} quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and {is} a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God promises us that none of His words will return empty and fruitless.  There is power in His words and they have the power to draw one to salvation despite of man-made religion. (Romans 1:16)

~Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper {in the thing} whereto I sent it.

As well, those who do not believe in the Bible as their final authority also do not want their followers to search the Scriptures because their false doctrine will be exposed.  The Scriptures lead us to see our sin (the Ten Commandments) and they also lead us to salvation.

~John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

The Bible says that we must be born again, plain and simple.  Not born again at birth (John 3) but born again to a new life.  When one says they are born again after their physical birth when then they are baptized, they are ignorant of the word of God.  God says that we must repent and have faith.  (Acts 20:21) A baby cannot repent of its sins and have faith.  This is the corruptible seed of false doctrine which results in religion that does not hold the Scriptures as their final authority.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

David knew the importance of God’s words.  He realized that there was nothing that could refute what God had spoken. God’s words are forever settled.

~Psalms 33:8-11 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

~1 Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh {is} as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

~Psalms 18:30 {As for} God, his way {is} perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he {is} a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Nothing will supersede the word of God: not government’s laws, not man’s laws, not your church’s traditions, not your parents’ religion … nothing! God’s words are eternal and will be what is used to judge all mankind.  I don’t know about you, but if I am going to be judged by something, I would want to know what it was. I keep the laws of my State because I know most of the laws.  However, I will still be judged and held accountable for those laws which I don’t know.  For example, it is against the law in my State for someone to spit on the sidewalk.  Just because I didn’t know about it when I spit on the sidewalk, does not mean that I am exempt from that law. Absolutely not! I am accountable because I am a citizen of that State.

We will be held accountable according to the words of God written in our final authority, the Scriptures. You can’t hide your head in the sand and say you didn’t know.  It won’t matter because God gives everyone an opportunity (especially today when there’s a Bible in every household) to know His word.

~Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.


~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

A young friend in the Lord asked me this question and I’m glad that she did. It caused me to dig into the Scriptures! 🙂

One of God’s characteristics is that He is merciful.

~Luke 1:77-78 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

~Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

~Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

As well, He is a God of love.

~1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

~1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

He is also a God of judgment.

~Revelations 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

These are merely three areas of God’s character.  We must understand that we can’t possibly understand God’s reasonings behind everything that happens in our lives.  His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).  There is nothing more heart wrenching for a parent than to see their own child suffer and die. There are two replies to this question.  One reply is for those parents who are not true born-again Christians and the other is for those who are.

Let’s look at when a child dies whose parents do not know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.  God’s word says that in order for one to be saved, one must repent and believe.

~Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

A child who has not reached the age of reasoning [where he understands what sin is and that he is a sinner] cannot repent from his sin and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, when a child dies before the age of reasoning, he goes to Heaven. Once you understand this, it makes it easier to comprehend why God would allow such a tragedy.  Unsaved parents who lose a child will be grieving and searching in their hearts for comfort.  This allows the Holy Spirit of God yet another opportunity to reach them with the Gospel so they can be saved. So where’s the mercy, you ask?  God could have taken the parents instead of the child.  But where would their souls have gone if He had?  They would have been condemned to an eternity in Hell. (John 3:18) Do you not see God’s mercy now? Instead of losing these precious parents to the devil, God chose to take their child because that child would be with Him. This is just another attempt by God to give the parents another opportunity to come to Him.

Then there are those times when God takes away the child of a saved couple. However, He promises to be in the midst of the trial by providing comfort (Psalm 23:4).  This couple knows where their child is and they are encouraged because that child is with Christ and they will see their child again (John 14:3). Why would God take away a saved couple’s child?  Missionaries to Cuba (the Cretzmans) recently lost their daughter in a car accident. You can Google their name and read article after article about the outpouring of love that was shown to this couple – it was amazing! As a result of their daughter’s death, opportunities for ministering to a lost and dying world arose and this grieving family was able to share the Gospel with others. God was glorified through it all and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up – as they witnessed the strength in this couple’s lives.  That precious child’s death brought glory to God! In that trial, God comforted this family and showed His love and compassion through others. That precious family showed a dying world just how personal God was to them!

We cannot always understand God’s ways. But we know that all those things He allows in our lives is for our good. (Romans 8:28) For example, we read that Jacob was distraught when he thought that Joseph had died. (Genesis 37:34-35) We know by this account in Scriptures that Joseph had not died but went through years of imprisonment and suffering. In the end, God used this situation for the good of his people. It was because of Joseph that the Israelites were brought to Egypt and saved from famine.  As well, later in time, Moses led these people to the Promised Land!  God had a plan that wasn’t visible at the time but in the end, it became evident.

~Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

God doesn’t want anyone to perish and go to Hell. He provides every opportunity for man to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, the Christ, Saviour and Lord of mankind. It is more merciful to take a child from his parents and allow the parents to come to salvation than to take the parents in their lost condition. That is true mercy!

~2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 

The Romans Road to salvation is a term used to reflect the Bible verses used to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Most of the Bible verses used can be found in the Book of Romans.

I actually like the term “Romans Road” because it speaks of a path that every man and woman must walk.  God wants everyone to find the path to Him

~Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.

Christ taught that the road to Him is narrow and not everyone will find it. So where is this road?  How does one find it?

~Matt 7:13-20 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The road to Jesus Christ and the salvation He purchased for us can be found in the Book of Romans.  If you walk this road, you will learn what it means:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

There are no exceptions here.  This verse says that all have sinned.  It does not leave room for any one person. We are all born under the control of sin in our lives.  You don’t have to teach a child to misbehave.  It comes “naturally.”  So the person who reads this verse must admit that he/she is a sinner.

~Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are repercussions to sin and that is death – an eternity without God. This penalty is what we deserve for sin.  We choose to sin and, therefore, there must be payment for that.  The latter part of the verse says that salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord gives us eternal life!  It also says that it is a gift of God – you cannot earn a gift – you cannot purchase this gift otherwise it is no longer a gift.

We must acknowledge our sinfulness, repent from that sin (Acts 20:21) and accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We cannot wait until we have “cleaned up our act” before accepting Christ.  For the Scriptures say:

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When Jesus died on the cross He paid that penalty for sin. We no longer need to be slaves to sin.  Christ paid the cost and we are, therefore, no longer under the bondage of sin.

Repentance is key (Acts 20:21) because we can say we are a sinner but unless we repent, we will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3 and Luke 13:5).

Once one has repented and accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he/she is then saved! This verse does not say, “might be,” but shall be saved!

~Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Remember, the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19) but they are definitely not saved.  They cannot call Jesus Christ their Lord.  But we can:

~Romans 10:9,10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

All that we need is contained in the Scriptures, friend. It is the Scriptures which will lead man to repentance and salvation:

~Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

~Genesis 4:2-7 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

From the beginning of man’s fall, God provided a way for man to have an acceptable sacrifice for atonement for man’s sin.  The sacrifice had to be the shed blood of a spotless animal.

~Leviticus 1:3 If his offering [be] a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

Granted, at the time of Cain’s life, the Oracles had not been written down.  However, the same God that required a perfect sacrifice during Moses’ time, set the ground rules for offering such sacrifices during Adam and Eve’s time.

~Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

~Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

We know that Adam and Eve passed on the sacrifice requirements to their children because of Genesis 4:4. Abel brought the “firstlings” of his flock for a sacrifice.  Because God is the same and does not change, the same process of sacrifice was given to Moses for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 12:6). Therefore, Cain had was taught this by his parents.

But what did Cain bring for an offering? Genesis 4:3 says he brought the fruit of his crops.  Cain knew what was required.  He knew that nothing would do but the shedding of blood of a spotless lamb. However, Cain chose to disobey God.  Instead, he wanted to gain access to God his own way and through another door!

The shedding of the blood of a spotless lamb was a picture of what was to come.  Jesus Christ left Heaven to take on human form so He could live a sinless life and shed His blood for the remission of sins.  Just as Christ is the only way to Heaven, so was the sacrifice of a spotless lamb in Cain’s time.

~John 14:6-9 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Cain was so jealous of his own brother for doing what was required that he did not even want to go buy a lamb from Abel so he could have a sacrifice to give to the Lord.  Instead, he wanted to do it his way. However, God’s response to Cain’s offering was not favorable and Cain was upset!  Here Cain did what was wrong yet he was upset with Abel, who did what was right! So much so, he killed Abel!  We know that Cain knew to do the right thing by Genesis 4:7.  God asked Cain that if he did what was right, wouldn’t it be accepted? Cain didn’t do what was wrong out of ignorance.

It amazes me that this same “attitude of Cain” is alive and well today.  People get angry when they are told that there is only one way to Heaven, as the Scriptures dictate. So much so, they kill true born-again Christians in the name of religion!

Biblical discernment is important and very much needed in this area of spanking. Spanking is not a “right” to physically abuse a child.  God forbid! Abuse is not what the Scriptures endorse. We must remember that anger is the root of abuse.  Love is the root of discipline. The Bible says that a parent who does not chasten his son, hates him. Yes, that’s harsh but it’s truth! God teaches us that He chastens us because He loves us in Hebrews 12:6.  In turn, the same applies to earthly parents toward their own children.

~Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Betimes here is defined as “early.” It is while our children are still young that we must discipline. For wee little ones, like toddlers, spankings are needed (to sting their thighs). But save these for major offenses. Their behavior is developed early.  But again, spanking is not always necessary.  I watch my daughter-in-law with our 18 month old grandson.  He understands what “time out” means and she uses it with much success.  She is wise and “chasteneth him betimes.” Why? Because she loves her son and does not want a toddler who throws temper tantrums in public.  Saving the spankings for serious matters will make an impression in that child.

As the child gets older, spankings are needed less and less. You can use restriction to a room or have them copy Bible verses like the ones below. For example, if you tell your daughter to clean up her room and she does not, have her write out Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20 fifty times each. Explain why God wants children to obey their parents.  Even parents have to obey – they must obey God (Acts 5:29). While she is doing something that is time-consuming, she is learning Scripture.

In my opinion, some things that do deserve spankings would be outright rebellion (temper tantrums) and lies. Lying is a serious sin – Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when they lied to God (Acts 5:1-10). Again, relate the act with the Scriptures that tell us that these things are sin. Then explain the virtue which should be displayed rather than the sin.  For example, if a child tells a lie, show that child the Scriptures dealing with honesty and the blessings that come with honesty like Proverbs 10:9 and 12:17.  These instructions take time but they produce eternal results.

The verses below are not everything the Scriptures give us on discipline but they will teach the parent what God says about this:

~Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

~Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

~Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

~Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

~Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

~Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

~Colossians 3:20-21 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

~Proverbs 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

~Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

~Proverbs 15:20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

Proverbs 29:15 shows us what happens when parents are too lazy to discipline a child.  They bring shame and it is shame to the mother because the mother is the one who is with the child the most, usually. I’m sorry if this rubs someone the wrong way but what other reason would a parent have for not taking the time to teach their child to do what is right?  When parents are not consistent in their discipline, I hear them say it is because the timing “was not convenient.” I dare say that their child’s temper tantrum will not come at a convenient time either.

Children are not a convenience but are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). They are a heritage – the way they act is a direct reflection on the parents.

MATTHEW 25:1-13  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh

When reading Scripture, one needs to remember who God used to write the book, who the book was written for, and the message that God desired to communicate. Matthew was used to write this book and it was written to the Jews. Chapter 25 discusses Christ’s coming and His establishing the kingdom of God in Israel (Matthew 25:31-34).

The virgins were divided into two groups: the foolish virgins and the wise virgins.  What differentiates the two?  The answer is the oil which was needed for their lanterns. The foolish virgins didn’t have any oil for their lanterns (Matthew 25:3-4) and were caught unawares without oil. As we read the passage, we can see that the foolish virgins were not saved and the wise virgins were saved.  The saved virgins had oil for their lamps and, therefore, did not miss the bridegroom’s return.

When oil is spoken of in Scripture, it is known to mean one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit – the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

~Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Jesus said,

~Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

~sHebrews 1:8-9 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

~1 John 2:20, 27 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 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.

The Holy Spirit, then, is known as the “anointing oil” given to the believers to teach us (1 John 2:20, 27); to heal those who are sick amongst us according to the will of the Father  (James 5:14-15); and to be our Comforter (John 14:16-17, John 14:26, John 15:26-27, and John 16:7).

In closing, the foolish virgins did not have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, were not saved.  The wise virgins, however, did have the anointing oil of the Spirit and were ready when the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, came.  What a beautiful picture of the saints who are alive at the time of the Rapture!  🙂


In today’s obsession with the paranormal, you read statements about people who have had near-death experiences and how they walked “toward the light.” Let’s not be deceived by the “feel good” stories out there.  Rather, we must compare these stories with the Scriptures where all truth lies.

The Bible says that the devil is deceiving and appears as an angel of light.  Therefore, we must compare stories and phenomenons with God’s word before putting our trust and faith in it.  The devil wants nothing more than to deceive the masses so they won’t be searching for salvation through Jesus Christ, the Saviour. Jesus told us to beware of those false prophets who are led by the devil.

~Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

~2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

The Lord gives us the Scriptures so we can be armed with power to overcome these deceptions.

~Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

The Bible is the armour that protects us from the enemy who works evil and promotes the works of darkness.

~Ephesians 6:11, 13 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Walking the Christian path is like walking in the dark with a flashlight.  It’s a great comparison, actually.  When one walks with a flashlight, only what is seen in the light’s path is our line of vision.  However, with a map of the roadway, one can know the turns up ahead.  As well, with warnings from those who have walked the same path in the past, we are alerted to what is ahead.  This is what the Scriptures do for us.  They lead us to salvation and have the power to save the lost (Romans 1:16) and lead the Christian in the way he/she should go.

~Romans 13:12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Our flashlight is only as strong as its battery.  We get our fuel from God’s word (1 Peter 2:2) as we get nourishment and physical fuel from food.  As we charge our spiritual battery through reading the Scriptures, we can clearly see what things in our lives we are to eliminate and what hurdles may lie ahead of us.  Romans 13:13-14 give us an idea of those things we should remove from our lives: rioting (indulging in excessive feasting), drunkenness, chambering  (immodest behavior), wantonness (sportiveness, frolicsomeness, negligence of restraint, lewdness), strife, envying, and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Whatever I choose to do, I should see if it falls under any of these categories.  If it does, I am to stay away from it. If it reflects Christ, then I am walking in the light of His word.

~John 8:12, 9:5 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.