Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Fall and the Ransom Price

In continuing my reading of the dialogue on "Free Will vs Sovereignty of God" on the aforementioned message forum I came across another posting by Mr White that I copy for you here:

Elktooth your point is well taken, if the LORD God commanded the man saying, “… from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die,” how was it possible to eat and not have free will? The answer I believe is found in the last part of the LORD’s command, “…for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” The LORD states that there is a specific day when Adam would eat from it and start to die… all for the good, so we could experience the Love of Jesus!
Unworthly to your question if God is responsible for sin … Ex 21:33-34 tells us: “And if a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall become his.”
The owner of the pit is liable even if he did not physically force the ox into the pit. The fact remains that he ALLOWED it to happen by digging the pit and not covering it. He is liable on the grounds that he could have prevented it but did not. He created the OPPORTUNITY for the ox to fall into the pit. And so, God’s law rules that the man who opened the pit is legally liable and must pay restitution to the animal's owner. In applying the spirit of this law to Adam's situation in the garden, God is both the owner of the pit and the owner of the ox (Adam). First, God dug a pit, because he created an opportunity for Adam to sin. God did not cover this pit in that He created Adam with the potential to sin and created a tree of knowledge, putting it within Adam's reach. God created an opportunity for Adam (the ox) to fall into the pit (sin and death). That made God legally liable by His own law and created a "tension" that demanded a resolution. The lawful solution is that restitution must be made. The final result is that "the dead animal shall become his." So God bought the dead ox (Adam and all who died in Adam), and the ox became His. Is not this why Jesus came? He fulfilled the law to the letter, purchasing all who died in Adam.
“When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet [railing] for your roof, that you may not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it.” Dt 22:8
If you neglected to build a railing and someone fell off and were killed, you would be liable for involuntary manslaughter. When God allowed Adam to fall, and when God allowed the tempter to tempt Adam, He left the railing off the roof. He did not take the safety precaution required by His own law that would have prevented Adam and Eve from falling. And so, when God walked in the garden "in the cool of the day" (Gen. 3:8), He found that Adam and Eve had fallen off the roof. God became liable. This liability would have to last until the death of the High Priest. Jesus had to come as the true High Priest of the temple in heaven and die, in order to release God from the liability incurred and strike the chord that would again bring harmony to the sphere of the universe.
God deliberately made Himself liable, not only for Adam's death, but for the death of Adam's sons and daughters (Ex 21:31) as well. Was a "ransom" (Ex 21:30) demanded of God as a result of the liability? Whether demanded or not, Jesus voluntarily gave Himself as a ransom for ALL (1 Tim 2:6). The demand is defined in Ex 21 as "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth," etc. And so we see Christ coming down to earth in the form of a man to pay "life for life" all the demands of His own law. None of this makes God a sinner, for He has not failed in fulfilling ANY of His plans and purposes for creation. He planned all this from the beginning. He made Himself liable for the sins of the whole world and then paid its full penalty.

I stand amazed...

And the last post in that thread (at this point in time anyway) is hilarious! ShannO (Arminian...? I think? although she/he goes all over the place and makes no sense whatsoever...) is shown to be completely wrong in her (I'm thinking she is a she, because it's usually us women that get this contorted) replies and ends with:

Kinda busy right now. Don't have time to respond properly.

Good one.


Ha! she finally came out of hiding with the same ole tactic of "ARE YOU A CALVINIST???" being her main line of argument....sigh...oh well....

Is God REALLY Sovereign?

Has God created us for a purpose? Or did He leave everything up to our decisions and chance? That is a question that comes up time and again on message forums, and I must admit that I've joined in the fray many times. Ma alerted me to a conversation at a forum I once was a part of, and I am thankful that I am relieved of the duty to have to wrestle there anymore, lol.

Here is an excerpt posted by Mr. White at the Watcher Meetup Forum:

Did Peter have the free will not to deny Christ trice? Could Peter have done anything other than what the Lord said he was going to do, even if Peter wanted to (and clearly he wanted to)? Is it possible for God to be wrong or make a mistake or is God sovereign over all things? Did Judas have the option of not betraying the Lord? Did Pharaoh have free will to let the children of Israel go out of Egypt (Ex 11:10)? Did Mary have a free will choice to name her Son any name she wanted (Luke 1:31)? Did Paul make a free will choice to accept Jesus as his person savior? Did the Lord say, "For you did not choose me, but I chose you."
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? Is it possible for man to direct his steps (Jer 10:23)?

See the full discussion here

That post sums the power, majesty, and complete sovereignty of God very nicely. What God does in this world, and in our lives, is not left up to our random choices and fallen desires and flimsy ever changing whims of what we think we want. It is in God's perfect and powerful hands to do His will which is perfect.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Psalm 23

The 23 Psalm is so refreshing to the soul, like an oasis in the desert, a place to rest and be thankful to the Lord for His goodness and mercy:

Psalm 23  A Psalm of David.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He always provides what I need, what I want isn't always what is best for me, and He knows what I need better than I myself do.

 2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 

Sometimes when I'm agitated, Jesus gives me a reminder of a promise in His word to comfort me. Whenever a Bible verse comes to mind quietly, it is His voice speaking to me words of comfort and peace. Then, without my trying to calm myself down, there is a quietness that washes over me.

3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

The broken and damaged areas in my soul He restores to what He had intended for me, and He leads me in the paths of righteousness not so I can impress everyone with my holiness. He leads me in the right paths for His name's sake, so others will praise God.
4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

We are all going to have times when we have close brushes with death, and being mortal, we all will eventually lay this mortal body down only to rise in immortality. When I go through those valleys of the shadow of death, He won't forsake me. He will be there to correct and guide me and the fact that He does correct and guide me is a comfort to me.  

5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

Our enemies love to taunt and ridicule us. King David also experienced that mistreatment often. His enemies thought themselves superior to David, but God would set them straight by blessing David in ways that his enemies could understand that David was special to God. He promised to treat me in that good and kind way in the presence of my enemies too. I have the anointing of the Holy Spirit! Cup "half full"? Or "half empty"? NO! It runneth over! :-)
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The goodness and mercy of God is so bountiful that it is a never ending fountain of blessing that is with me continually. Jesus promised that He went to prepare a place for us where we can be with Him for ever and ever. It will surpass anything of beauty on this fallen earth. I cannot even imagine the wonderful things God has planned.  Earthly palaces will look very beggarly by comparison to what God has in store.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Agape is the Greek Word for Love

Actually, I once heard a Bible teacher say Agape was a word coined by Paul because there was no word in the Greek at that time which conveyed the kind of love that God alone is capable of having all the time.


 The word "charity" has come to mean something other than what it meant in the old King James English. It used to be the word for the kind of love that Jesus has for us, full of grace and compassion and long suffering. Now it means giving to the Salvation Army your cast offs that you no longer need, or doing something out of pity, or out of wanting others to commend you for your "charitable works". I've seen this passage sometimes used to beat fellow brothers and sisters over the head with to "encourage" them (it has happened to me personally and I've seen it used on others too) to be more "loving" ( in other words: "don't say anything that will cause me to face anything that will challenge my selfishness and otherwise fleshy sensibilities please"). This is a passage that is personal. It is a passage that the Lord speaks to His own in times of quiet reflection. It isn't something to harass others with to get them in lock-step with yourself, forcing them to be your personal "yes-men" out of their "love" for you. It is to remind us of God's love, and how we often do not measure up to that incredible love that He has for us, and that His Spirit grows in us by His doing.


1Corinthians 12:30-13:13  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
                          I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity,
                         I am nothing. 

 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity,
                         it profiteth me nothing. 

 Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
               Charity envieth not;  
                      charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 Doth not
          behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not
          her own,
is not
         easily provoked,
thinketh no
 Rejoiceth not
         in iniquity,

   rejoiceth in the truth;
   Beareth all things,
   believeth all things,
   hopeth all things,
   endureth all things.

 Charity never faileth:

but whether there be prophecies,  
        they shall fail; 
whether there be tongues, 
        they shall cease; 
whether there be knowledge,
        it shall vanish away. 

  For we know
                     in part,
and we prophesy  
                     in part. 
  But when that which is perfect is come,
                     then that which is in part shall be done away. 

  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

  And now abideth  
              charity, these three;
                                       but the greatest of these is charity.


The Beatitudes are always a favorite:

Matthew 5:1-16  And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.   Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.