Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Truth that can be trusted

2 Peter 1

      The wisdom of God is explicit in the bringing together of the Holy Scriptures. Peter says “we did not follow cleverly devised myths”

      One feature of God’s inspiration is that He uses multiple presenters. Most world religions and cults are based on the teachings of one man or one woman. This leaves the door open to human ingenuity or demonic deception. God seems to have deliberately used many prophets and many ways to communicate His truth. When the Son of God appeared, who spoke the words of God, He repeatedly connected with the witness and authority of the Old Testament. He truely could say “ but I say.....”, yet over and again He would link His teaching and actions with the former inspiration of the Old Testament.

   Then when it came to the writing of the New Testament, He committed that to His apostles. They were eyewitness, with years of experience to test this new revelation. The story of Jesus in the days of His flesh is told by four different men and the variety yet similarity gives verification of the authenticity of these records.
I recently bought an Aramaic New Testament. This is a significant book as it come through history independent of the Roman Catholic church, rather through the Eastern orthodox church. The two are so similar, once again verifying the wisdom of God in bringing to us the ‘Holy Scriptures’ that can be trusted as the final revelation of God in Christ.


      We ought not to worship the book ( as do some religions), but treasure it as the unveiling of the true God revealed fully in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us read and study, so that we can more intelligently love and worship HIM.


How much time do you spend each day waiting on God to speak to you from His precious book? ( compare that to the time spent absorbing other media!)

John McKee 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The intentions of God

A conversation in heaven

A boy in my school class recently said to me “ God is always against me!” Well, I don’t know all his circumstances, but I know that God is not always against us. 
I would like to show this in a different way – to read the prayer of the Lord Jesus as recorded in John17 and give a brief outline of His requests for His own.

1 To reinstate the glory of the Son of God (Our whole existence depends on the position of the Son)
He became poor – now to have ultimate riches
He humbled Himself – now He is exalted, to Him every knee will bow.
He was crucified in weakness – now His is fullness of power
He was despised – now He is great
He was pierced – soon He will be seen in power and great glory
[let us believe in Him, yield to Him, trust Him, honour Him]

2 To ‘give eternal life’. This intention of God is the greatest expression of grace – to the unworthy, God shares His own life, bringing redeemed sinners in His family that they might not only serve Him, but to know Him!

3 To bring the disciples, by the words of God, into the joy of knowing who Christ really is.

4 To keep them from the evil world and the evil one.

5 To keep them as one.

6 To have His joy fulfilled in them.

7 To be set apart for God, in the world that is committed to the evil one.

8 That they all may be one, as God is one. Oneness by the glory given to Christ, given to us.

9 To see His glory in heaven itself.

10 To be filled with the same love that existed and exists between the Father and the Son

I have not given you all the verse references in John 17 and related passages, rather I would like you the reader to now read the Lord’s prayer again and highlight the divine intentions. God is interested in our day to day lives, but His ultimate intentions for us are much much greater than feeling good today.

Indeed He is for us, not against us.

I do think the problem of my student, highlights the real need to know the enemy (Satan) and understand his ways. In Australian society Satan is not mentioned as the source of evil, so that people blame God for evil when the Devil is the source and propagator of evil!


How important it is to let the Bible be our compass in these matters.

John McKee

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Triumph

Romans Chapter 6

The subject of this section is very clear – ‘Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?’
Sin is doing anything that displeases God.
Surely not! After the exposure of ungodliness in chapter 1, and the denunciation of conceit and pride in Chapter 2. And yet we do sin – tempted by lust, pressured by peers, pushed by circumstances.

Considering peace with God in Chapter 5 – why disturb the peace by offending God. Then hope in God for a better purpose – why be turned aside to less. The love of God imparted to us by the Holy Spirit is insulted by sin. It will not do to blame Adam, so what is the answer to overcoming the propensity to sin.

Chapter 6 begins to answer this problem.
I would like to suggest that two words are most significant:
1             Verse 11 – consider, (reckon, calculate)
2            Verse 13 – present ( yield)

There is grace to overcome, if we have the will to do it.
I would like to briefly go through these verses to show the way to victorious Christian living.

Please observe the prepositions used in this section.
Verses 2,3 The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has died to sin. By our faith in Christ, we are immersed into His death. Not only did He die for us, we died with Him so that we acknowledge our guilty past should be buried and our only hope for new life is by the power of God. Immersion in water as baptism is the public identification of our link with Him.
And as the old self is seen as crucified, the power of God sets free from the habits and chains of sin. The new life is now orientated to God, alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Verse 11  - this pivotal verse calls upon us to pause and consider, to calculate what is God’s estimate of sin, God solution to sin and God’s desire for our holy living.

Verses 12 -14 This paragraph pivots around the word ‘present”.
The focus is on the body of the believer and the amazing opportunity we have to present the members of our body, our brain, our hands, our feet our all, to God. Previous to salvation, we were most unacceptable to God, now by grace  (not law ) we have this invitation to present ourselves to God, not in our own worth, but in the worth of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The conclusion is that law keeping will only bring us down, but the grace of God will lift us up.


Verses 15-22.  This section shows that as we were once slaves to lawlessness, we now have the opportunity to yield ourselves as slave to righteousness, slaves to God.  While the  idea of slavery sounds difficult in our culture, this is the path of eternal life (verse 23).