Not a Sermon only a Thought

seignet posted:
ksazma posted:

Clearly Muhammad didn't follow the Jews nor the Christians. He said the Jews were too obsessive and the Christians were too reckless. He ADVISED (not ordered, Siggy) his companions to take the middle path between the two instead which would be more reasonable, rational and correct. The proven wisdom of Muhammad.

Mohammad had fundamental differences with Christians of ME. He had dialogue with them  for a long time. His major objection was how the Almighty God was percieved. Basically, he felt so strongly about it, he took to the sword to ENFORCE his ideaology.

Muhammad's understanding of God is similar to everyone before Paul concluded with the Romans to concoct the fraudulent claim that Jesus was part of a triune Godhead. Even Jesus couldn't bring himself to have another address him as good one (telling the man that ONLY God is good) much less allow a fraud like Paul to betray Jesus by lying that Jesus is part of a triune Godhead.

An Ordinary Person

Matthew 4:18-20

The apostle Peter was an ordinary person who lived in an extraordinary time. His was the generation during which Jesus Christ lived on the earth, died for the salvation of mankind, and rose again.

It was through his brother Andrew that Peter (who was originally called Simon) met the Lord (John 1:40-42). When Jesus invited him to become a disciple, he immediately left his fishing trade and placed himself under Christ’s authority (Matt. 4:20). He became a passionate follower who consistently demonstrated an eagerness to be near the Savior and in the middle of whatever was going on. Whether meeting Jesus on the water during a storm (Matt. 14:27-29) or speaking to Him during His transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-5), Peter was devoted to his Master’s service.

In the beginning, the former fisherman was quick to speak and to act, and this impulsiveness created many problems for him. For example, when Jesus was talking about His imminent suffering and death, Peter objected, as if he knew better than the Lord. Christ’s rebuke was swift and direct (Matt. 16:21-23). The apostle, however, learned from his mistakes. He’s a good example of how we should let go of personal desires, wholeheartedly embrace Jesus’ way, and walk closely with Him (Mark 8:34).

The Lord chooses unexceptional people like Peter, you, and me to build His kingdom. He asks His followers to love Him above all else and fully commit to obeying Him. When we do, He will accomplish more through us than we could ever imagine.

Again, it is only ignorance of the Bible that results in such outrageous claim.

Jesus is using a penetrating question to push the man to think through the implications of his own words, to understand the concept of Jesus’ goodness and, most especially, the man’s lack of goodness.  Review the scripture again.

"As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ ‘Teacher,’ he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this, the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth."

The young ruler "went away sad" (Mark 10:22) because he realized that although he had devoted himself to keeping the commandments, he had failed to keep the first and greatest of the commandments—love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Matthew 22:37-38). The man’s riches were of more worth to him than God, and thus he was not "good" in the eyes of God.

Thus, Jesus’ question to the man is designed not to deny His deity, but rather to draw the man to recognize Christ’s divine identity. Such an interpretation is substantiated by passages such as John 10:11 wherein Jesus declares Himself to be “the good shepherd.” Similarly in John 8:46, Jesus asks, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?" Of course the answer is "no." Jesus was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), holy and undefiled (Hebrews 7:26), the only One who "knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Shows how gullible people will believe anything. Although Jesus' statement was clear (in fact one of his clearer statements since most of the times he just beat about the bushes) gullible people will choose to grab at straws. Then they make assisine statements about not understanding the passage. I prefer to think I people like me are not willing to drink the kool aid.

To each his own. A simple, "I don't understand" would have suffice .

The Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, "I am God." That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason: "You, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. When Jesus declared, "I and the Father are one," He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am!" Jews who heard this statement responded by taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded (Leviticus 24:16).

Mathew 16:13-20:
13 
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"

14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Here a thought: Now why didn't Christ corrected Peter if he is not God?

17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be looseda]">[a] in heaven."

Another thought: ksazma mention a few post back that "Paul started the Christian church" maybe not in those exact words but as you can see ksazma the church was stared long before Saul...excuse me Paul got converted

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: "The Word [Jesus] was God" and "the Word became flesh" (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, "Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, "But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’" The Father refers to Jesus as "O God," indicating that Jesus is indeed God.

In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.

The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that, if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.

Keith posted:

To each his own. A simple, "I don't understand" would have suffice .

The Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, "I am God." That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God.

Why would I say that I don't understand? I understand the written words perfectly. What you do is swallow conjectures gullibly. Now explain in English what is highlighted above. God never had any problems proclaiming at the top of his voice that He is God so why was Jesus so shy to do the same? And all this nonsense about Jesus being the son of God doesn't make it any more bona fide. The Bible has countless statements of God having "sons by the tons". Even Israel (Jacob) was God's son, "His Firstborn". And this word Christ. That is no more than a translation for the Greek word Cristos which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew word masah which is used constantly in the Bible for different people and things. Even pots and pans are labeled masah. So they labeled Jesus as masah, then translated it to Cristos and then to Christ and today people mistakenly go around thinking that Christ is only for Jesus. After Paul colluded with the Romans to concoct a religion similar to Mithraism, the writers of the New Testament fell in line with his argument and made up stories about Jesus to corroborate his. Why do you think the first book on the New Testament is called The Gospel ACCORDING to Matthew? That is because it was not actually written by Matthew. Modern Bible scholars have long maintained that Matthew was actually written by Mark but they are open to someone other than Matthew or Mark.

That analogy is how to understand what one reads. You do nothing other and conjecture and made up stories that one has to be gullible to accept.

The Authority of Our Message

1 Kings 17:1

After encountering the prophet Elijah, King Ahab may well have thought, Of all the nerve! Just who does this guy think he is? Bursting onto the scene as if out of nowhere, Elijah confronted Israel’s wicked king with a message that would soon disrupt life throughout the region.

The validity of the prophecy rested with the Source, not the mouthpiece. Elijah was a man of great faith who spent time alone with the Lord and listened to Him carefully. The prophet could pass the message on with boldness and authority because he knew and trusted the One from whom it came.

We can’t expect our Father to communicate with us in exactly the same way that He spoke to the Old Testament prophets, but the process of receiving His message hasn’t changed. It starts with being alone in His presence and listening as He speaks through His Word. But it shouldn’t end there.

Prophets had the responsibility of telling the people what the Lord revealed to them. Similarly, we’re to share with others what we learn from God’s Word. Devotional time with the Lord is not just about our own interests and needs. The Father reveals His truths to us so we can share them with others.

Begin each day alone with God in His Word and in prayer, listening as He speaks to your heart. Believe what He says in Scripture, apply it to your life, and then share with someone else what He has revealed. Be bold and remember that the authority of your message comes from Him.

ksazma posted:

Why would I say that I don't understand? I understand the written words perfectly. What you do is swallow conjectures gullibly. Now explain in English what is highlighted above. God never had any problems proclaiming at the top of his voice that He is God so why was Jesus so shy to do the same? And all this nonsense about Jesus being the son of God doesn't make it any more bona fide. The Bible has countless statements of God having "sons by the tons". Even Israel (Jacob) was God's son, "His Firstborn". And this word Christ. That is no more than a translation for the Greek word Cristos which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew word masah which is used constantly in the Bible for different people and things. Even pots and pans are labeled masah. So they labeled Jesus as masah, then translated it to Cristos and then to Christ and today people mistakenly go around thinking that Christ is only for Jesus. After Paul colluded with the Romans to concoct a religion similar to Mithraism, the writers of the New Testament fell in line with his argument and made up stories about Jesus to corroborate his. Why do you think the first book on the New Testament is called The Gospel ACCORDING to Matthew? That is because it was not actually written by Matthew. Modern Bible scholars have long maintained that Matthew was actually written by Mark but they are open to someone other than Matthew or Mark.

That analogy is how to understand what one reads. You do nothing other and conjecture and made up stories that one has to be gullible to accept.

What stories have I made up? Everything I've said are factual, I present my facts from the BIBLE to backup my statements as you can see below.

The Bible teaches that God has many sons but it is not correct to assume that this somehow means that Jesus is God’s Son in the same sense as the rest.

In the first place, angels are God’s sons in the sense that they are spiritual creatures that dwell in heaven, God’s abode, unlike man who is created from the dust of the ground to dwell on earth (cf. Genesis 2:4-7, 3:19; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:4-7).

In other words, angels are called sons because their nature is similar to God in that they are spirit beings like God:

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24

"And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.’" Hebrews 1:7 NKJV

But even here we need to be careful since God is an omnipresent and timeless Spirit Being whereas angels are not. Thus, even though angels are similar to God this doesn’t mean that they are identical to him since God is infinitely more complex and greater than them:

"And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him. O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You." Psalm 89:5-8 NKJV

Secondly, the nation of Israel is God’s son because he chose them to be his people who would reflect his glory to the nations:

"‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." Exodus 19:4-6

"I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy." Leviticus 11:44-45

And as Israel’s Father God would save and protect them, as well as provide for their every need, much like an earthly father does for his children:

"Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you." Deuteronomy 8:1-5

"But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name." Isaiah 63:16

Thirdly, David and the rest of Israel’s kings were God’s sons because they were chosen to sit on God’s throne to rule over his people. As such, God served as guardian of the throne who made sure that their enemies were brought under complete subjection:

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. ‘Let us break THEIR chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off THEIR fetters.’ The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:  He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’ Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." Psalm 2:1-12

"David said to Solomon: ‘My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: "You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever."’" 1 Chronicles 22:7-10

"Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Praise the LORD your God.’ So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king… Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the LORD to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. So Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. All the officers and mighty men, as well as all of King David's sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon. The LORD highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before." 1 Chronicles 29:20, 22b-25

Fourth, Adam is God’s son by virtue of the fact that God created him, being his life-giver and Sustainer. In this sense everyone is a child of God since God gives life to and provides for everyone:

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:24-28

Fifth, the reason why peace-makers are called God’s children is because they reflect and share God’s attribute of peace. In other words, the term son is being used here in the sense of one who has a specific characteristic of God (albeit to a limited extent).

Jesus, on the other hand, is the unique Son of God:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (ton huion ton monogenee), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life… Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son (tou monogenous huiou tou theou)." John 3:16, 18

The term monogenes literally means of sole descent, only one of its kind, unique. Thus, Jesus is the only Son of his kind, God’s Son in a unique manner, Son in a sense that no one else is.

Christ’s uniqueness consists of his having the following qualities and characteristics:

1.He bears the very nature of God:

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4-6

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped," Philippians 2:5-6

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation… For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him," Colossians 1:15, 19

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." Hebrews 1:3

Christ bearing the nature or form of God and being the very exact representation of God’s being means that he is fully God in essence, that he has every essential attribute of God. This is precisely the point made by both John and Paul in their inspired writings:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (kai theos een ho logos)." John 1:1

John places the word "God" (theos) before the verb "was" (een) in order to stress and emphasize the qualities or nature of the Word. John is basically saying that the Word has all the essential qualities of Deity, possessing the very nature of God. Paul says the same thing when he writes that:

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form," Colossians 2:9

In light of this does it come as a surprise that Jesus is addressed as God or Theos in the NT?

"Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’" John 20:28

"Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen." Romans 9:5

"while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ," Titus 2:13

"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" 2 Peter 1:1

Or that OT prophecy identifies him as the Mighty God?

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6-7

  1. He Fully Comprehends and Reveals the Nature of God to man.

"At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’" Matthew 11:25-27

"It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father." John 6:45-46

"Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.’" John 7:28-29

"Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:15

"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me." John 17:25

The point that the above references are all making is that since Jesus alone has seen and knows God, due to his intimate relationship as the Son, he alone is qualified and capable of perfectly revealing God to man. In the words of the inspired Evangelist:

"No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (monogenes theos), who is at/in the Father's side/bosom, has made him known (exeegeesato). John 1:18

John is essentially saying that Jesus is the One who explains or interprets God for man, that he is the perfect commentary on God’s nature, which is precisely what he claims in his first epistle:

"We know also that the Son of God HAS COME and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

This explains why Jesus could say that to see him is to see the Father:

"Then Jesus cried out, ‘When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.’" John 12:44-45

"‘If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.’" John 14:7-11

In conclusion a child of God is one who is perfected forever and receives a glorified physical body, which is free from sin and decay, so that s/he can live in God’s eternal presence and reign with Christ forever!

ksazma posted:

And this word Christ. That is no more than a translation for the Greek word Cristos which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew word masah which is used constantly in the Bible for different people and things. Even pots and pans are labeled masah. So they labeled Jesus as masah, then translated it to Cristos and then to Christ and today people mistakenly go around thinking that Christ is only for Jesus.

Lets get this right, the word Messiah is use in the Bible NOT masah come on ksazma get your facts right. Messiah is used instead of Christ. Messiah is derived from the Hebrew word Mashiach (which means "anointed one"). Christ is the English equivalent of the Greek word christos, (which means "anointed one"). The Greek word to the use of the original Hebrew term is a way of emphasizing that the Messiah is for Jewish people and not exclusively for Gentiles. A second reason for using this term is that as with the name Jesus thousands and thousands (perhaps millions) of Jewish people have been persecuted and killed by those claiming to act on behalf of Christ. To Jewish people, the word Christ is not simply a non-Jewish word out of the Greek language. "Christ" is a word that carries anti-Jewish connotations.

After Paul colluded with the Romans to concoct a religion similar to Mithraism, the writers of the New Testament fell in line with his argument and made up stories about Jesus to corroborate his.

Where are your facts?

Let’s talk about Apostle Paul whom ksazma love to mention

It may come as a surprise to some to hear that the quran implicitly affirms that the teachings of the Apostle Paul, which has become the foundation of Christianity, are derived from Christ. In other words, the quran indirectly testifies that Paul’s theology wasn’t something that he simply concocted in order to win converts from the Gentiles, but came from God through Christ.

Before presenting the evidence, lets clarify the reasons for appealing to the quran. I do not believe that the quran is God’s Word. However, I do believe that the quran is an early record of what the first Muslims believed. As such, the quran becomes an important source of information for discovering the official beliefs of the first Muslims.

In light of this, it bears repeating that the quran testifies that the Christianity proclaimed by Paul (i.e., "Pauline" Christianity) is true Christianity.

Base on the quranic claim that Christ’s true believers would prevail over the unbelievers till the Day of Resurrection:

Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee SUPERIOR to those who reject faith, TO THE DAY OF RESURRECTION: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute." S. 3:55

O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: as said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?" Said the Disciples, "We are Allah's helpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, AND THEY BECAME THE ONES THAT PREVAILED. S. 61:14

According to these passages, Allah gave Christ’s followers the power to prevail over the disbelievers, and made them superior till the day of resurrection. Yet the ones that prevailed were the Apostles such as Paul, as well as his followers. This means that if the quran is correct, then Paul’s message is the truth since it has become dominant and has prevailed over all other opposing messages.

Sayyid Qutb comments on S. 3:55:

... It was also the will of God to elevate the followers of Jesus above the unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection ...

It is not difficult, on the other hand, to explain God’s statement that He had placed those who follow Jesus above the unbelievers, and that this elevation continues until the Day of Resurrection. Those who follow Jesus are the ones who believe in God’s true religion, Islam, or surrender to God. Every prophet is fully aware of the true nature of this religion. Every messenger preached the same religion and everyone who truly believes in the Divine faith believes in it. These believers are indeed far superior to the unbelievers according to God’s measure, and they will continue to be so until the Day of Judgement. Moreover, they prove their superiority in our practical life every time they confront the forces of un-faith with the true nature of faith and the reality of following God’s messengers. The Divine faith is one, as preached by Jesus, son of Mary, as preached by every messenger sent before him and by the messenger sent after him. Those who follow Muhammad at the same time follow all the messengers sent by God, starting with Adam until the last messenger. (In the Shade of the Qur’an - Fi Zilal al-Qur’an, Volume 2, Surah 3, translated and edited by Adil Salahi & Ashur Shamis [The Islamic Foundation, 2000], pp. 97-98)

The problem with Qutb’s claim is that the Christian believers that prevailed over all were not Muslims and their message certainly wasn’t Islam. Hence, either the true followers of Christ were vanquished, thus falsifying the Quran which says that they would dominate. Or, the Quran is false since it contradicts the true message of Christ’s followers.

In response to a question regarding 3:55, Moiz Amjad writes:

This verse relates to the law relating to the messengers of God. As a punishment on the rejecters of Jesus (pbuh), the Qur'an has mentioned that at the time of the God's decision relating to the termination of Jesus' (pbuh) mission, God declared that after him those who believe in Jesus (pbuh) will dominate those who rejected him (i.e., the Jews) till the Day of Judgment. In the referred verse, those who believed in Jesus (pbuh) refers to the Christians. It is clear that even today, the Jewish collectivity is completely dependant upon Christian collectivities for even maintaining their existence.

Maulana Muhammad Ali writes regarding S. 3:55:

This verse contains four promises relating to Jesus’ triumph over his enemies as against their plans ... And the fourth promise is that those who follow Jesus shall be made dominant over his rejectors till the day of Judgment. The truth of this fourth prophecy is witnessed TO THIS DAY in the dominance of the Christians over the Jews. (Ali, Holy Quran [Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc. USA, 1995], pp. 147-148, fn. 439; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Here are his statements regarding S. 61:14:

... The description applies to the triumph of the teachings of Christ over those who opposed the dissemination of his teachings, and speaks prophetically of the ultimate triumph of Islam over all other religions of the world. (Ibid., p. 1058, fn. 2501; bold emphasis ours)

Ali fails to mention that the teachings that dominated were those passed on by Paul (which is actually the same message preached by Christ and the other disciples)!

  1. Yusuf Ali, in his translation The Holy Qur’an - Text and Commentary, p. 1543, footnote 5448, states:

A portion of the Children of Israel - the ones that really cared for Truth - believed in Jesus and followed his guidance. But the greater portion of them were hard-hearted, and remained in their beaten track of formalism and false racial pride. The majority seemed at first to have the upper hand when they thought they had crucified Jesus and killed his Message. But they were soon brought to their senses. Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus in A.D. 70 and the Jews have been scattered ever since. "The Wandering Jew" has become a bye-word in many literatures. On the other hand, those who followed Jesus PERMEATED the Roman Empire, brought many new races within their circle, and through the Roman Empire, Christianity became the predominant religion of the world until the advent of Islam ... (bold and capital emphasis ours)

What this Ali failed to note is that the form of Christianity that permeated the Roman Empire is what Muslims degradingly call "Pauline" Christianity. Hence, that Paul’s message dominated is a sign that his Gospel was that which God entrusted to Christ’s true followers. If it were argued that Paul’s version of Christianity is an aberration of the truth, this then means that the Quran is wrong for claiming that God had caused Christ’s true followers to prevail. It would mean that Paul was able to thwart Allah’s purposes, being able to prevent the true believers from dominating over their enemies.

Here are the late S. Abu Al’a Maududi’s comments on S. 61:14:

... Those who disbelieved in Jesus Christ are the Jews, and those who believed him are the Christians as well as the Muslims, and Allah granted them domination over the disbelievers of Christ. This is meant to requires [sic] the Muslims that just as the believers of Christ have dominated over his disbelievers in the past, so will the believers of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) prevail over disbelievers. (Meaning of the Qur’an, Volume V, english rendering by A.A. Kamal, M.A. [Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Limited, 13-E, Shahalam Market, Lahore-8 Pakistan], p. 516, fn. 21; underline emphasis ours)

As we had noted earlier, the obvious problem with Maududi’s explanation is that the message of Christ’s true believers directly contradicts the message of Islam. That is, unless one wants to claim that Christ’s true message got distorted and a false message prevailed over it, a claim which then contradicts the plain reading of the passages in question.

As Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, while commenting on the last part of S. 61:14, states:

... (and neither the Messenger NOR THE MESSAGE could be destroyed). (Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Volume IV [Darul-Ishaat Urdu Bazar, Karachi-1, Pakistan; First edition: 1991], p. 356, fn. 270; capital emphasis ours)

Again, if "Pauline" Christianity is a corruption of Jesus’ true teachings then the message was destroyed and Allah failed to bring to pass what he said would happen!

Noted Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir’s statements are most interesting. Commenting on S. 3:55, he writes:

"This is what happened. When Allah raised ‘Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent ‘Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant.

However, some of them went to the extreme over ‘Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah. Some of them said that ‘Isa was Allah Himself, while others said that he was one of a Trinity. Allah mentioned these false creeds in the qur’an and refuted them. The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity. Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant. Constantine changed the religion of ‘Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust which is in fact the Great Treachery. He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine, changed the direction of the prayer that ‘Isa established to the east, built churches for ‘Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed. So the religion of ‘Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more than twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul). THROUGHOUT THIS TIME, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. ALLAH AIDED THEM AGAINST THE JEWS BECAUSE THEY USED TO BE CLOSER TO THE TRUTH THAN THE JEWS, even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah’s curse descend on them." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 2, Parts 3, 4, & 5 (Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: March 2000], p. 171; bold and capital emphasis ours; cf. online edition)

Ibn Kathir’s explanation doesn’t solve the problem since if the Quran is correct then the Christianity that Ibn Kathir attacks is indeed the truth. Otherwise, Ibn Kathir’s comments imply that Allah either allowed a false form of Christianity to prevail, or failed to grant Christ’s true believers dominance over those seeking to pervert the true teachings of Christ!

Another renowned commentary, Al-Qurtubi, says of Surah 61:14:

It was said that THIS VERSE was revealed about the apostles of Jesus, may peace and blessing be upon him. Ibn Ishaq stated that of the apostles and disciples that Jesus sent (to preach) there were Peter AND PAUL who went to Rome; Andrew and Matthew who went to the land of the cannibals; Thomas who went to Babel in the eastern lands; Philip who went to Africa; John went to Dac-sos which is the tribe to whom the sleepers of the cave belonged; Jacob went to Jerusalem; Bartholomew went to the lands of Arabia, specifically Al-Hijaz; Simon who went to the Barbarians; Judas and Barthas who went to Alexandria and its surrounding regions.

Allah supported them (the apostles) with evidence so that they prevailed (thahirin) meaning they became the party with the upper hand. Just as it is said, "An object appeared on the wall" meaning it is clearly visible (alu-wat) on the wall. Allah, who is glorified and exalted, knows the truth better and to Him is the return and retreat.

Notice how al-Qurtubi had no qualms in admitting that Paul was a legitimate follower of Christ! If al-Qurtubi is correct, then this means that Paul was one of the followers whom God gave the power to overcome the unbelievers and prevail!

This next writer, a moderate, makes the following rather candid admission in reference to 3:54 and 61:14.

Christian readers especially will be interested to learn that the quran teaches that Jesus was God's best prophet, and that Christians will be placed above non-believers until the Day of Judgment. Does it surprise you to learn that the quran may have been intended for Christians, to confirm all that they had been taught by Christ?

The first time I read this verse [3:54] in the quran, I could hardly believe my eyes. Even today, any Muslim I discuss this verse with is shocked. In the quran, God tells all Moslems that the followers of Jesus will be exalted above the disbelievers until the Day of Resurrection. While there are some verses in the quran that promise the world to the Muslim people if they follow its teachings, these are followed up with predictions that they will disobey their holy book, and not uphold its commands. God's prediction that the Christians will succeed in doing so is even clearer in the following verse [author then cites 61:14] ..." (Ibid., pp. 103-104)

Most Muslims obtain their understanding of the quran from the interpretations of their religious leaders. Few ever question what they are told to believe. But the holy book contains many messages that might shock them from their complacency. For example, in the quran there is a verse saying [quotes 3:54] ...

The above verse says very simply that Christians will be above non-believers until the resurrection. Moreover, the quan states:

"Do not falter and feel saddened since you are superior, if you are believers."

The most reasonable conclusion to this is that among all believers, whether they are Jews, Christians, or Muslims, only one group will be above the non-believers and only one group will be superior. That group will be comprised of the believers who are the followers of Jesus (Christians)... (Ibid., p. 119)

Hence, Muslims are in a dilemma that they cannot easily resolve. Namely, to accept the quran is to accept "Pauline" Christianity. Yet to accept "Pauline" Christianity is to reject the quran, since the quran contradicts the core teaching of Paul as has been preserved in the pages of the Holy Bible and amongst true Christians historically.

ksazma may wish to argue that these verses refer to Muhammad and the Muslims as those who truly believe in Christ and dominate till the Resurrection Day. This explanation fails to resolve the issue. The passages do not say that Christ’s followers would only prevail from the time of Muhammad’s advent, but from the time that Christ was taken to God and unto the Day of Resurrection.

In fact, this Muslim view can be found in the commentary of the late Mufti Shafi' Uthmani who wrote regarding Surah 61:14:

Baghawi interprets this verse in the light of a narration of Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas that when Prophet 'Isa was raised to the heaven, his followers disagreed and became three groups. A group claimed that He was Himself God who went back to the heaven. The second group claimed that He Himself was not God, but God's son. God lifted him up and salvaged him from the enemies and granted him superiority. The third group proclaimed the truth and said that he was neither god nor the son of god, but that he was Allah's servant and His messenger. Allah took him away to the heaven and to protect him from the enemies, and to raise his status. Those people were the true believers. Different sectors of the general public attached themselves to each one of these groups. The groups clashed with one another. The two of the non-believing groups overpowered the third group, which was a group of true believers. Eventually, Allah raised the Final Messenger of Allah who supported the group of the true believers. This group thus dominated the others because of their correct belief and its solid proofs confirmed by the Qur'an. [Mazhari].

In this interpretation, the phrase ... "those who believed [14]" would refer to the Ummah of the Prophet 'Isa who would triumph against the unbelievers with the help and support of the Final Messenger. [Mazhari]. Some scholars hold that when Prophet 'Isa was raised to heaven, his followers were divided into two groups. One of them believed that he was God or God's son and thus they became polytheists. The other group believed that he was servant of Allah and His Messenger, and thus they stuck to the right religion. Then there was a war between the believers and the unbelievers. Allah GRANTED VICTORY to the believing faction of Prophet 'Isa against the unbelieving faction. But it is popularly understood that in the religion of Prophet 'Isa the institution of jihad did not exist. Therefore, it is inconceivable that believers would have waged a war. [Ruh-ul-Ma'ani]. However, it is possible that the unbelieving Christians might have started the war and the believing Christians were forced to defend themselves. This will not fall under the category of war.

As stated before the problem with this explanation, but it bears repeating: the text of Sura 61:14 does not say that Jesus' true followers would prevail only at the time of Muhammad, but that they were clearly given the victory over the unbelievers from the very start. This means that the second interpretation proposed by the Mufti is the sounder one (even though this also has serious historical problems). Moreover, although we agree with the Mufti that Jesus never commanded jihad for his followers, his comments are in direct conflict with the Quran which claims that Allah did command Christians to observe jihad in the Gospel:

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success. S. 9:111 Hilali-Khan

Be that as it may, it is quite apparent from the Mufti's comments that Muslims really had a hard time trying to reconcile the Quran with the historical fact that the Christianity that has prevailed till this day is that which Paul taught and which is recorded in the pages of the NT!

This is perhaps why men such as Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Kathir, al-Tabari, al-Qurtubi, and al-Thalabi could view Paul in such a positive light. They seemingly realized that Paul had a tremendous influence in the growth and spread of Christianity, and had been sovereignly used by God as his instrument of domination over the unbelievers.

To summarize the Islamic evidence, we discovered that

  • The quran records the domination of Christ’s true believers over the disbelievers.
  • This domination would continue till the Day of Resurrection.
  • Paul’s message dominated and became superior to all other opposing messages.
  • This implies that if the quran is right then Paul’s message must be correct.

Yet, these factors introduce the following problems for the Muslims:

  • The quran contradicts the core teachings of the Apostle Paul as well as the message of the Holy Bible as a whole.
  • Since the quran and early Muslim commentators clearly testify to the accuracy and legitimacy of Paul’s preaching, this means that the quran cannot be the word of God. Rather, it must be the word of fallible men such as Muhammad and/or others.
  • This also implies that the author(s) of the quran was (were) unaware of the true message of the Holy Bible and of the Apostle Paul, and thought that it agreed with his (their) own preaching. The author(s) presumably thought that in acknowledging the testimony of the Holy Bible he (they) would therefore be legitimizing the prophetic claims of Muhammad. Had he (they) been aware of the true message of the Holy Bible the author(s) might not have given so much credence to both Paul and the Holy Bible.

Sources: Charles Ryrie and some excerpt taken from Mr. Shamoun

It is very pitiful that you need to post all of that to try to prove your point? Why don't you try something novel like making your arguments in your own words? Is it that you don't understand what you are told and can't put it in your own words so you have to post wholesale what others write (probably not even taking the time to ascertain is that person is making accurate statements or not). You chose to enter a discussion forum but seems incapable of any meaning discussion, insisting on just posting entire articles of other people's work. I can do the same but I have way too much self dignity to reduce myself to that kind of nonsense. I just scrolled down your post and decided that it is not worth wasting my time on. You should have done the same and save yourself the shame.

Why would I want to sound like a broken record when Mr. Charles Ryrie and Mr. Shamoun so eloquently stated some of what I intended to point out. 

We each have free will to do want we want in providing accurate and factual information. Who's stoping you from quoting others? 

What's probably eating you up right now is fact I can used the quran to repudiate your statements about Paul. 

Try no to lose any sleep brother. Have a good night. 

God’s Ways: Ordinary and Miraculous

1 Kings 17:2-7

In Isaiah 55:8, God declared, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” And in fact, one of the biggest frustrations of the Christian life stems from a lack of understanding about God’s ways. There are times when we could really use a miracle, but He does not come through for us the way we think He should. Our unmet expectations lead to confusion, disappointment, and even anger. We might think, Why did the Lord let me down?

Some people don’t believe God performs big miracles at all, while others are convinced that if He’s not doing the miraculous every day, then something is wrong with their faith. Neither belief is true. We need a balanced perspective, which we find in the Bible.

God works in both supernatural and ordinary ways, and He determines the method. Elijah ate food miraculously delivered by ravens, but his water supply from a brook was completely natural. When the water dried up, the Lord could have made more spring from the ground, but He didn’t.

Sometimes God uses ordinary means to move us in a new direction. The curtailment of Elijah’s water supply opened the door for his next assignment. When the Lord withholds miraculous intervention and lets your brook dry up, He has something else planned for you.

Seeing the work of God in the miraculous is easy. But He’s just as involved in the everyday aspects of life as He is in any supernatural event. Look for His fingerprint in the day’s mundane activities. He is there, opening and closing doors, drying up one opportunity but initiating another.

Keith posted:

Why would I want to sound like a broken record when Mr. Charles Ryrie and Mr. Shamoun so eloquently stated some of what I intended to point out. 

We each have free will to do want we want in providing accurate and factual information. Who's stoping you from quoting others? 

What's probably eating you up right now is fact I can used the quran to repudiate your statements about Paul. 

Try no to lose any sleep brother. Have a good night. 

Nothing is eating me up dude. Feel free to use the Qur'an whenever you want especially where it CLEARLY states that God has and never had any sons. I made a simple and short reference to a passage in the Bible of what Jesus said. All you need to do is show where the statement is not where I stated it is or show that it does not mean what it stated. Posting a whole book to refute a statement of a few words shows that you either need all of it to try to support your argument or you are not interested in any response. Discussions are points by points processes. GNI is not your personal Sunday school forum.

ksazma posted:

Imagine taking liberties with your words like 'I' can use the Qur'an when you didn't actually use the Qur'an but only parroted what someone else wrote. You are as fake as a three dollars bill.

oh, I must have hit a nerve there for you

I have a question for you, do any authentic hadith's exist that say Jesus was not the Messiah, you know, the anointed one?

I was looking over surah 27:65 which stated, "Say, none in the heaven or on earth, except Allah, knows what is hidden", then in surah6:59 we have, "With Him are the keys to the unseen, the treasures that none knoweth but He"

Look at the first verse you notice the quran emphasizes beyond any doubt that knowing what is hidden belongs only to God and nobody else. The second underlines the fact that only God knows the unseen and the future.

Meanwhile, the quran teaches about Mohammed that he used to rebuke anyone who attributed to him the ability to know what was hidden, look at surah 6:50, "Say, I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden"

I read an article awhile back where Moaz was having a discussion with Mohammed and said, "if Allah wills and you will", and Mohammed interrupted the man saying, "How could you make me equivalent to Allah? No one in heaven or on earth knows what is hidden but Allah."

As for Christ, we find all limitations removed. He knows and does what every other person cannot. The quran says, in surah 3:49, "And I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses".

It is very unusual that in these verses Christ speaks in the first person; on the other hand, Mohammed was always told what to say. Christ was unique because He spoke of himself, which means that His abilities were His and not acquired. Wouldn't you agree my friend?

Don't flatter yourself about striking a nerve. You demonstrate a high degree of laziness content with parroting other peoples' work. Now go back and read clearly the Qur'anic passages that you posted. While you are at it, read the Qur'an for start to end.

Keith posted:

If you care to dispute anything that was said above lets here your arguments. Answer the questions and stop dodging. It's already established that you have a problem with comprehending.

Your first post has over 2600 words and your second one has over 3400 words. So where do you want to start? Did you even read them or you just posted them after someone gave them to you?

Here is a better place to start. In the passage I quoted many times, Jesus said "Why call me good? The only one who is good is God" Simple English answer. Did Jesus object to the man calling him good and reminded the man that only God is good? I don't care about any other passage because if you point to another passage that contradicts this statement, then you are admitting that Jesus contradicted himself.

When you are done answering this one in your own words, we can discuss another one but if you expect me to read your post which I have great doubt that you even read, you are kidding yourself.

Rely on the Source

1 Kings 17:8-16

From God’s perspective, being in need can have spiritual benefits. For example, people often look to economies and markets as their basis for financial security. But if the bottom drops out, they’re in a position to discover the reality that all provision comes from God’s hand. The Lord uses various instruments to meet needs, but He alone is the source of all we have.

God can use ordinary means or remarkable methods to supply our needs. Through God’s unusual ways, Elijah had learned to live by faith—such as the time he’d been fed by ravens. Now God sent him to Zarephath, to a starving widow with no ability to feed him.

Every financial need is an opportunity to learn to walk by faith, recognizing the Lord as our source. Prosperity can lead to a sense of independence that blinds us to how inadequate we actually are to provide for ourselves. We’re totally dependent upon the Father whether we know it or not.

Believing God would provide, Elijah witnessed His miraculous intervention. We may not see the Lord perform a supernatural work in our financial situation. However, we can be sure that just as God fulfilled His promise to Elijah, He’ll likewise be faithful to His Word in our situation, supplying “all [our] needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Are you focusing on the instrument or the source of your provision? The means God uses may change, but His faithfulness endures forever. He’s infinitely more reliable than any employer or 401(k). The Lord is inviting you to trust Him and live in both the adventure and security of a life of faith.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

If you care to dispute anything that was said above lets here your arguments. Answer the questions and stop dodging. It's already established that you have a problem with comprehending.

Your first post has over 2600 words and your second one has over 3400 words. So where do you want to start? Did you even read them or you just posted them after someone gave them to you?

Here is a better place to start. In the passage I quoted many times, Jesus said "Why call me good? The only one who is good is God" Simple English answer. Did Jesus object to the man calling him good and reminded the man that only God is good? I don't care about any other passage because if you point to another passage that contradicts this statement, then you are admitting that Jesus contradicted himself.

When you are done answering this one in your own words, we can discuss another one but if you expect me to read your post which I have great doubt that you even read, you are kidding yourself.

The passage/scripture you are referring too is where Jesus is using a strident question to push the man to think through the implications of his own words, to understand the concept of Jesus goodness and, most especially, the man's lack of goodness. Just like I challenge you daily to understand what you are reading due to your lack of understand what you read.

He is challenging the religious leader to wake up and understand the truth that stands right in front of him. If he is calling Jesus "good", then he must come to understand that Jesus is God and not play religious games, but come to truly believe. Jesus isn't denying that he is God; I clearly made that distinction in previous post, Jesus is affirming that he is God. Eternal questions are not simply religious speculation, but the core questions of the human soul. Only God can answer those questions. So if he is going to ask Jesus this question, he needs to pay attention and place his faith in Jesus' answer.

You tell me where is the contradiction? As usual you love to pose questions while ignoring the ones that were addressed for you to answer. You took the time to count the numbers of words in my previous post did you took that much time reading to edify yourself? Why don't you start tally the number of questions you failed to come up with an answer for? Now who's kidding who?

Here are a few thoughts for you
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding"

"Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach." 

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."

Jesus did not tell the man that he was teaching him anything. He simply objected to the man addressing him as good. Then he told him to follow the 10 commandments ESPECIALLY THE FIRST ONE. It is Christian apologists who make up the argument about Jesus teaching the man something.

Did you read those two long and erroneous posts that you posted? Or did you just post them because someone gave them to you?

Be honest now.

ksazma posted:

Jesus did not tell the man that he was teaching him anything. He simply objected to the man addressing him as good. Then he told him to follow the 10 commandments ESPECIALLY THE FIRST ONE. It is Christian apologists who make up the argument about Jesus teaching the man something.

Did you read those two long and erroneous posts that you posted? Or did you just post them because someone gave them to you?

Be honest now.

Why don't you go back and READ the entire chapter slooooooowly. It may hit you in the head this time. Again, it is only ignorance of the Bible that results in such outrageous claim. Are you for real dude simple comprehension.

By the way what was the moral of the verses Jesus was trying to teach his disciples? I believe you clearly understand this one, try not to fail me bro.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

Jesus did not tell the man that he was teaching him anything. He simply objected to the man addressing him as good. Then he told him to follow the 10 commandments ESPECIALLY THE FIRST ONE. It is Christian apologists who make up the argument about Jesus teaching the man something.

Did you read those two long and erroneous posts that you posted? Or did you just post them because someone gave them to you?

Be honest now.

Why don't you go back and READ the entire chapter slooooooowly. It may hit you in the head this time. Again, it is only ignorance of the Bible that results in such outrageous claim. Are you for real dude simple comprehension.

By the way what was the moral of the verses Jesus was trying to teach his disciples? I believe you clearly understand this one, try not to fail me bro.

So you didn't read the two posts that you posted, right?

Refocusing on Jesus

John 15:4-6

Today’s passage urges us to stay connected to Jesus. The image of Him as the vine and believers as the branches helps us understand that apart from Him, we can do nothing. It is possible to receive His salvation yet still act out of the flesh, distracted or separated from His direction and power. All believers find their focus wandering at times, but some have strayed so far that it’s hard to see their way back.

If you discover your heart is loyal to something besides Christ, it’s vital to acknowledge that this has happened. Identify which attitudes or activities are drawing you away from Him. Then repent and get whatever help is necessary to set aside diversions, insecurity, worldly desires, or anything else that draws your attention away from the Lord.

Once the distraction is gone, refocus on Jesus by reading the Word, praying, learning from biblical messages, and spending time with godly friends who will encourage you. After living outside of God’s best for a while, it can be hard to discipline yourself to function as the Lord desires. But remember that those who abide in God will bear much fruit (John 15:5).

Don’t delay. As Hebrews 12:1 urges, “lay aside every encumbrance” so you can run with endurance the race set before you. Acknowledge anything that is keeping you from living passionately and fully for Jesus Christ. Following His plan—in His strength—is the way to peace, joy, and contentment in life. Ask for His help and commit to action. There is nothing like living fully for God.

Prayer on Behalf of the Church

Colossians 1:1-12

Today we meet Epaphras, a man who had a heart for the local church. He was most likely converted to Christ under Paul’s teaching when the gospel was rapidly spreading throughout Asia Minor. Epaphras evangelized his hometown of Colossae and founded a church there—and possibly the churches in Hierapolis and Laodicea as well.

Although very little is written about Epaphras in the New Testament, the letter to the Colossians emphasizes his great love and deep concern for Christ’s church (Col. 4:12-13). At the close of the letter, Paul points out that Epaphras is “always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (v. 12).

What he was asking for wasn’t greater numbers or bigger offerings but spiritual maturity and the true knowledge of God’s will. At that point in time, Epaphras was in prison with Paul (Philem. 1:23), and he couldn’t refute the false teachers who’d infiltrated the church at Colossae. But being apart from his congregation didn’t mean he was helpless. Intercession is a powerful ministry. It can alter circumstances, change thinking, and bring God’s truth to light. Epaphras went to his knees to plead for the church, and Paul joined him, which we see in his prayer in Colossians 1:9-14. (See also Col. 1:7)

Is anything weighing on your heart? Do you feel helpless to remedy the situation? If so, follow Epaphras and Paul’s example: Go to the One who knows exactly what to do and has the power to accomplish it. Then rest in Him and let His peace guard your heart and mind.

The Believer’s Highest Honor

John 12:24-26

I’ll never forget the best introduction I’ve ever received as an invited speaker. The presenter simply said, “It is my great pleasure to introduce to you my brother, Charles Stanley, servant of the Most High God.” I couldn’t move from my seat for a few moments; I was so struck by this opening that glorified the Lord and identified my proper position.

The Word of God describes believers as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3), and saints (Eph. 2:19). But the highest honor that we can receive is to be called servants of the Most High God. From the world’s perspective, those who die to self in order to follow the Lord may stand in last place—in reality, however, they are first in His kingdom. (See Matt. 20:16.)

Sadly, service to God is often equated solely with what goes on at church. The preacher serves. The choir serves. The worker in the soup kitchen serves. But the guy pushing papers and the woman cleaning up others’ messes tend to be seen as simply doing their jobs. From the Father’s vantage point, though, work well done brings as much glory to His name as a song lifted in praise. (See Col. 3:23-24.) So take heart—if you’re doing quality work and striving to make an impact on those around you, then you are serving God.

Service to the Lord is not about what we do, but rather how well we do all that the Lord has given us to accomplish (1 Peter 4:10). A good servant shares both Jesus Christ’s attitude of humility and His motivation to reach people with the love of God.

Jesus Christ, Bondservant

Philippians 2:5-7

The disciples gathered around a table to celebrate Passover with Jesus. If one of them had been more thoughtful of the others—or possessed a spirit of servanthood—he would have done the very thing Christ did: take water and a cloth, kneel before the 12 other men, one at a time, and wash their feet. Jesus came into this world as a servant (Matt. 20:28). He was willing to do whatever was necessary to move men and women’s hearts and bring them to a saving knowledge of God.

A bondslave was the lowest of household servants, and he had the distasteful job of washing the feet of anyone who entered the home. This is the very task Christ voluntarily performed that evening, right before His trial and sufferings would begin. His act was a foreshadowing of the service He was about to render on behalf of the whole world—by dying on the cross for humanity’s sin.

We who believe in Jesus Christ do not call Him “slave”; we identify Him as our Master. So when He says that a servant is not greater than His master, He is speaking of our relationship with Him (John 13:16). Believers bend their knees to God’s most humble servant, His Son. How are you serving the almighty Lord?

Christians are God’s workmanship, created for the purpose of good works (Eph. 2:10). In other words, we were saved to serve. Therefore, there is no valid excuse for refusal. When you surrender to the Lord, you step onto the pathway of Jesus Christ, which is the best possible way to live.

Overcoming Obstacles

Matthew 17:14-21

Nothing is impossible for the heavenly Father. No obstacle confuses God or poses any kind of challenge for Him. Though we know He is sovereign over every situation, we have trouble maintaining this perspective, just like the disciples in today’s passage. Too often when difficulties arise, we ...

Experience a shift in focus. During trials, we tend to take our eyes off the Lord and instead see only our problems. The longer we look at our circumstance, the larger it seems. As we dwell on it in thought and conversation, our mindset can become very negative. Though God still has a direction for us to take, we are no longer concentrating on His purposes.

Develop an incorrect assessment of resources. In our troubles, we start taking inventory of our own strength and abilities. When they prove insufficient, we become discouraged. The truth is that we don’t have what is needed for life’s trials—Jesus Himself told us that. (See John 15:5.) But God’s capabilities are unlimited, His power is never-ending, and His wisdom is complete. We need to take stock of His resources, not our own.

View obstacles as barriers. For the obedient believer, impediments represent opportunities, not problems. The Lord can demonstrate His awesome power through our difficulties. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) At such times, we grow in our faith and learn more about our Father. If we view hardships simply as troubles, then we can miss demonstrations of God’s love, power, and wisdom.

Start each day committed to a Christ-centered focus, a dependence on His resources, and an “opportunity” mindset.

Obstacles as Opportunities

Psalm 27:14

Learning to see obstacles as opportunities takes time. Recalling certain truths can help our perspective:

God is at work. As barriers remain in place and our situation seems unchanged, God is orchestrating people and events to move His plan forward. He works silently, invisibly, and effectively.

God prepares the way. He has already decided in His mind which hindrances to remove and which to leave unaltered. For the obstacles that remain, the Lord will arrange a way around them or fit them into His plan. What He has determined will be accomplished.

God requires our cooperation. He wants us to be ready to face difficult situations. Through His Word, He communicates what we need to know and also equips us (Heb. 13:20-21).

God is personally involved. He wants to develop in us a greater sensitivity to His presence. Through Scripture, prayer, and other believers, we can receive the assurance that the Lord is near.

God gives clear instruction. He does not bring confusion. Whether we receive His direction in stages or all at once, He asks us to trust in Him rather than our own thinking (Prov. 3:5-6).

Facing challenges involves courage, patience, and faith. It takes courage to accept the presence of barriers, to move in step with God, and to do what He asks. Patience is required as we wait for Him to equip us and reveal His plan. Faith is necessary for us to trust God with the outcome and to focus on obeying Him.

The Rewards of Patience

Psalm 40:1-17

The Scriptures contain many stories of people who waited years or even decades before the Lord’s promises came to pass. What modern believers can learn from the patience of biblical saints like Abraham, Joseph, David, and Paul is that waiting upon the Lord has eternal benefits.

Today let’s look at Israel’s most memorable monarch. David was the chosen heir to Israel’s throne, but he spent years dodging King Saul’s wrathful pursuit. Despite having two different opportunities for vengeance, David resisted the temptation and spared Saul’s life. He chose to adhere to God’s timetable for his coronation instead of dishonoring the Lord by killing the divinely anointed king. David’s psalms reveal his intimate awareness of Yahweh’s work in his life. The shepherd king not only achieved his objective through patience; he also observed that God’s way is always the best.

David left behind an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness for each of us to read and ponder. He was committed to waiting upon the Lord, and as a result, he had the Father’s approval and blessing. We cannot underestimate the reward of living in divine favor. That isn’t a special state reserved for the “giants of the faith” like David. All who obediently endure until the Lord acts on their behalf abide in His favor (Isa. 40:31).

David didn’t receive his blessings because he was special; he was honored among men because he honored the Lord above all. And since he trusted in God’s faithfulness, he endured hardship with patience. We, too, can expect to be blessed when we wait upon the Lord.

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Patience: Our Gift of Service

Colossians 3:12-13

When we are troubled or in pain, we turn to people who will listen patiently to our cries of distress. But I wonder how often we seek to be the person who steps up to share a hurting friend’s burden.

In today’s reading, the apostle Paul encouraged believers to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, and patience. In other words, we don’t come from the womb pre-equipped with these traits. Rather, we receive on-the-job training in imitating Jesus Christ as we bear with and forgive one another. The Holy Spirit is more than willing to instruct us in the proper ways to grow spiritual fruit. The heavenly Father then provides opportunities for us to try out our newly developed skills.

We tend to classify patience rather narrowly as “waiting.” That’s certainly part of the definition, but so are concepts like endurance, perseverance, and persistence. When we’re relating to others as Paul challenged us to do, we are not simply waiting for them to become better versions of themselves. We are enduring their hardship alongside them or persisting in our attempts to offer aid. We’re caring, listening, and serving however we can. In a world that insists on doing everything quickly, patience is an amazing gift to give another person.

By placing patience on the list of spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), God indicated that every believer could develop this trait. Whatever additional gifts and talents you possess, patience is an attribute that you can put on. Practice it for the glory of God and as a way to serve your fellow man.

Measuring Our Spiritual Growth

2 Peter 3:17-18

All around the world, people go to church, bow their heads to pray, and hear sermons, but many are not growing spiritually.

It is all too common for believers to assume that these actions fulfill Christian obligations. They may complete a checklist but have an idle relationship with Jesus. Do you see evidence in your own life that you’re maturing in your walk with the Lord?

To blossom spiritually, we must be saved. This happens the moment God makes us new, cleansing us of unrighteousness and adopting us as His own children. Then, we can begin to grow. However, even with this new life, we can be stagnant.

There are several indicators that reveal the quality of our Christian journey. Today, let’s explore a few of them. First, growing believers should sense a deepening hunger for Christ. As we experience more of Jesus, who is the bread of life (John 6:35), our desire for Him will increase. Second, believers dwelling closely with the Savior will notice that their discernment of sin sharpens. Faulty teaching and thinking become more obvious as we accumulate truth within our spirit. Third, our sphere of love should continuously expand. In time, the Holy Spirit enables us to care for people who previously were either unnoticed or difficult to accept.

Do you have a hunger for God and an increasing awareness of sin? Is your love available only for those who match your personal standard of performance—or do you find yourself caring about even difficult people? These are important questions to ask when evaluating your spiritual growth.

Evidence of a Growing Believer

James 4:8

I have a friend who was, at one point, a self-confessed shopping addict. Recently, his family realized that this activity had stopped, though he hadn’t intentionally curtailed it. Why did his longing to acquire more goods dissolve?

The reason was that my friend had become more satisfied with the Lord. He no longer needed fulfillment from what the world had to offer. What a terrific illustration of growth in Christ.

In addition to finding fulfillment in God, there are many other growth indicators that are noticeable to the believer. For instance, offering forgiveness becomes easier over time. Consider our Savior, who asked God to forgive even those who crucified Him on the cross (Luke 23:34).

Also, as we mature, our faith will increase. God loves us, and He gracefully and gently builds our confidence in Him. Then, as our trust grows, we realize how faithful He truly is—which makes our assurance even greater.

Finally, as our relationship with the Lord deepens, we will increasingly desire to obey Him. We will be able to confidently proclaim, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). The desire is born not out of fear but out of love for our heavenly Father. Similarly, when we do sin, our heart will become saddened and repentant.

Are you satisfied spiritually? Or do you have a growing, insatiable hunger for more of Jesus? Friend, if you think that you’ve come far enough in your journey with Christ, you have made a terrible mistake. You are missing great fulfillment and excitement that come from getting close to Him.

Evidence of a Growing Believer

James 4:8

I have a friend who was, at one point, a self-confessed shopping addict. Recently, his family realized that this activity had stopped, though he hadn’t intentionally curtailed it. Why did his longing to acquire more goods dissolve?

The reason was that my friend had become more satisfied with the Lord. He no longer needed fulfillment from what the world had to offer. What a terrific illustration of growth in Christ.

In addition to finding fulfillment in God, there are many other growth indicators that are noticeable to the believer. For instance, offering forgiveness becomes easier over time. Consider our Savior, who asked God to forgive even those who crucified Him on the cross (Luke 23:34).

Also, as we mature, our faith will increase. God loves us, and He gracefully and gently builds our confidence in Him. Then, as our trust grows, we realize how faithful He truly is—which makes our assurance even greater.

Finally, as our relationship with the Lord deepens, we will increasingly desire to obey Him. We will be able to confidently proclaim, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). The desire is born not out of fear but out of love for our heavenly Father. Similarly, when we do sin, our heart will become saddened and repentant.

Are you satisfied spiritually? Or do you have a growing, insatiable hunger for more of Jesus? Friend, if you think that you’ve come far enough in your journey with Christ, you have made a terrible mistake. You are missing great fulfillment and excitement that come from getting close to Him.

Living in God’s Grace

Philippians 1:1-11

Since all of Paul’s letters begin with an expression of God’s grace to us, we may be tempted to think that it is simply a customary word of greeting. But in reality, God’s grace is our foundation, our covering, and the sphere in which we live as believers in Christ.

Grace is commonly defined as God’s unmerited and undeserved favor. According to Ephesians 2:8, it’s the means by which we are saved through faith. And Romans 5:2 says that by our faith, we have “obtained our introduction … into this grace in which we stand.” In other words, we are continual recipients of an abundance of grace throughout life and into eternity.

Just as our salvation never ends, so God’s grace never ceases to do its work in our life. That’s why Paul could confidently say, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). We never have to fear that we will lose our salvation, because God is the one who keeps us and promises to complete us when Christ returns. Furthermore, Paul says we have been “filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ [and glorifies] God” (v. 11).

Sometimes it’s difficult to see righteousness in ourselves, because we know how weak and flawed we are. But if we’ve been saved, then Christ lives in us and we in Him (John 15:4). He is our righteousness, and He’s actively producing His fruit in our life as we abide in Him. This process, known as sanctification, is God’s grace working to align our behavior with Christ’s righteousness. So let’s stand firm in His grace and trust Him to complete us.

Evaluate Your Commitment

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Have you ever evaluated your level of commitment to our heavenly Father? Sadly, many Christians have entered the door of salvation and settled down into their pew, expecting nothing more. But Christ wants us to make a deliberate decision to let Him be the Lord of our life. This requires the surrender of all our rights and recognition that He’s the one who plots the course. Our responsibility is simply to follow.

However, our natural tendency is to limit the areas where we allow God access. The day you trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, did you keep the title deed for your life? Have you drawn a circle indicating, “This is the area in which I will serve You, Lord, but don’t ask me to go any farther”? If so, you’ve failed to recognize that when Jesus granted you forgiveness from sin, He also purchased you for Himself. All that you are and have belongs to Him. It’s the height of pride to assume authority over that which no longer belongs to you.

When the Lord challenges us to do something beyond our self-determined boundaries, He is calling us to a higher level of commitment. No matter how dedicated we may be at present, none of us have yet “arrived.” Each challenge is an opportunity to hand Christ full authority over every aspect of life.

You are only as committed as you are obedient to whatever God is asking of you at any given moment. If you’ve posted a “no trespassing” sign anywhere in your life, now is the time to take it down. As Christ’s blood-bought possessions, we are His—not only by purchase but also by His sacrificial love.

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