Posts tagged ‘father’

January 24, 2013

Isaac Could Have Died

by pastortimfowler

Isaac

In Genesis 22 God’s promise of a son to Abraham has been fulfilled and God tests Abraham’s faith with a really bizarre request. He tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the place of worship and sacrifice him. Without chasing that obvious questions of “isn’t that cruel”, because it isn’t if you know God’s promise to him. I want to talk about Abraham’s faith. This whole story is a Christ like story. Think about the similarities. Abraham’s only son, God’s only Son. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, Christ carried the cross up a hill. The father, Abraham was asked to sacrifice, God the Father offered the sacrifice. There was a ram with thorns around its head, Christ wore a crown of thorns. I could go on, but I think you can see the similarities.
Abraham had been promised that God would make his descendants more than the stars in the sky. If Isaac dies, how could this happen? So Abraham had to make a choice. Trust God or argue with God. The Bible tells us that God would rather have our obedience than our sacrifice. But if God wants our sacrifice, we need to trust Him to still fulfill His promises. God cannot lie.
So what were the choices that God had? Well, He could have let the sacrifice happen. If so, He would have had to raise Isaac from the dead or have his 100 plus year old wife have another baby. God could do either. Raising the dead is not hard for God to do. It is hard for us to believe and understand, but not hard for God. Sarah had Isaac at 99, so it wouldn’t be hard at 100 plus.
He could have caused the knife not to penetrate Isaac. Jesus walked through walls and disappeared from among crowds. God made himself in the form of fire and smoke and human flesh, I am sure that He could cause a knife to not penetrate skin.
What God did was what Abraham said God would do. He provided the lamb. As the knife was raised, an angel said stop and they looked and there was a ram in the thorn-bush. It was the lamb from God, again a Jesus picture, as He is THE Lamb of God.
Sure, Isaac could have died. But Abraham believed God and we are told in Hebrews that God counted this faith toward Abraham’s righteousness. As I said, God wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. He wants us to believe that His promises can be trusted no matter how bizarre they sound. God’s ways are higher than ours and our understanding is not required. He wants us to do what we are asked and allow Him to be God. He has done miracles as long as we have been on earth and even before. Nature’s laws do not apply to God and He will never allow the impossible to make Him a liar.
So next time that you are faced with the unbelievable and even the impossible, remember that God is the God of impossible and His love for us is unending. If He tells you to do the unthinkable, first, know that it is from God. Abraham knew this was from God, because Abraham had a very close relationship with God. He knew His voice and knew His promises were true.
I don’t think that God will ask you to sacrifice your child. I often prayed for that when my children were little and was not given the go ahead. But He may ask you to be obedient in the face of logic and worldly wisdom. Knowing God will mean that whatever He asks of you, you can find peace and you can trust Him. The closer your relationship, the greater the peace. The greater the faith, the easier it is to do the impossible.

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January 22, 2013

Liar Liar

by pastortimfowler

liar

Genesis Chapter 12:10-20 is a strange story in the Bible. Abraham is going to the place that God will show him and he comes into Egypt where he thinks that something bad will happen to his wife so he lies about her and calls her his sister. He does not have to lie, for a couple of reasons. One, he has God on his side and two, his thoughts were unjustified, as we see when we read the story.
Lying is a common place in our lives. We have this idea that if we are lying for a good reason that it is justifiable. I think that all of us have lied about stuff at one time or another. Those of you who are now saying that you have not done this are now lying. Lying is one of the first sins that humans commit. We don’t have to be taught to lie, it comes natural.
The Bible says that the truth will set us free. It also tells us the Satan is the father of all lies. But, we think that lying is a tool to help us not hurt feelings. So that brings me to the purpose of this blog. If lying is so appalling to God, why do Christians think it is okay?
Abraham is the father of faith. He trusted God to go to a place that he would be shown. Trusted God to make him the father of many nations, even to the point of being willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac. But when facing the present perceived threat to his family, he lies. What I think happened is that he was in a place that was so ungodly, that He dismissed God’s protection for self-protection. When you can’t see God it is easy to turn to self for what we think is best.
Faith is about trusting even when we can’t see or don’t feel God’s presence. Faith is remembering that God is truth and truth never changes. Faith is knowing that when we are in a situation that God has put us in, we can continue to be godly, even when no one else is.
God does not want us to remove ourselves from the things of this world. Jesus lived and ate with sinners. The difference is that He never forgot to be holy. He loved those who were sinners but taught them to not sin. So God wants us to influence others as well. As soon as we give in to the temptation to lie, we give away the ability to allow our faith to shine through. We also limit our ability to show how God works through the tough situation that makes Him the one who solves our problem and not ourselves.
Lying is never the answer. It may feel better, but it will not set us free. Feelings can often be our worst enemy.
God is gracious and will never stop being the God of truth. He often works around our failures and in spite of our sin. But never confuse His love and grace for acceptance of our lack of faith and feeling as if we need to lie. Often our feeling of the need to lie is not justified, even to those who don’t believe. In Abraham’s case the ungodly king was the one who reminded Abraham that God was who He was. I think far more people who claim to not be Christians still know in their hearts that there is a God. They are just looking to see if those of us who publicly say that we believe will allow our faith in action to match our words.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that lying is okay. Tell the truth and live it and watch how God is faithful and true. Jesus said, ” I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”

January 16, 2013

Walk By Faith

by pastortimfowler

Abraham

In Genesis chapter 12 we meet a man named Abram, later called Abraham. He is named in a genealogy in the previous chapter, but the first few verses of 12 kind of make you think that we should have known this guy a little more than we do at this point in the Bible. God starts talking to this guy and making him promises as if they have known each other for a while; well they had, but we haven’t.
God tells Abram to go to a place that he will be shown later. The motivation behind it almost seems to be the promise of being a great nation, but this guy was old and didn’t have any kids. I have to be honest with you. If God were to tell me to go somewhere, right now, at my age, and promise to give me lots of kids, I would have to seriously consider becoming a Buddhist monk instead. Promising me kids as motivation would be like promising a kid broccoli as motivation.
The sudden introduction of Abram and the assumption that he knew God a lot longer than it took for us to read that much of the Bible, lets us use our imaginations and assume more than we probably should. What I want to share with you is that the safest assumption is that God and Abram had a relationship that was very close. It had to be for this man to leave his land and relatives with no idea of where he was going. And, I know from reading the rest of the Bible and a personal testimony, that God desires relationships with His people and not religion.
God does not make sense. He reminds me of my parents when I was 6. They made no sense to me when they said not to build a ramp for my bicycle in order to jump over my little brother who was laying in front of the ramp. I had been riding for 2 years and can’t remember ever seeing them on a bike. What did they know about daredevil stunts? I had been watching Evil Knievel jump motorcycles over buses and cars and his parents weren’t around telling him to stop it.
You see, God is, or wants to be our Father. He wants to be intimately involved in our lives. He knows when we are in danger and knows how to do what is best for us. We tend to think that God is only there to be at our beck and call when it should be the other way around. God is our maker and our God. He wants us to love him and trust Him and we can, if we will just quit acting like know-it-all 6 year olds.
I think back through my childhood days and remember all the times that I did just trust my dad. He told me to cast my fishing line in that direction and I did, and I caught a fish. He told me to stand up to that bully and don’t act scared and the bully went away. He told me to go over there and wait and the snipes would come running out of the woods…No wait…there was no such thing as snipes and I waited in the dark for quite a while before I figured out it was a joke. But for the most part, I trusted my dad and did things he told me when I did not know the outcome. I did it because I knew he loved me and was going to take care of me.
Now I can see how Abram took off on his journey to a place that God would show him. Abram is the father of the Jews and the Christians and the Muslims. God held up His end of the bargain. He always does and always will. We just need to know Him. We need to walk by faith.

September 24, 2012

Answer The Call

by pastortimfowler

Old Bibles, Book Craftsman 7-2012

Over that last two weeks there have been two men in our church who have stepped up to say that they believe that God is calling them into the ministry. I remember when I finally made that announcement and it was very difficult because of the disbelief that God could use someone like me. But, 18 years later, I am the pastor of a church that is growing like crazy and now has men who are being called. It is truly a humbling experience.
I remember back before President Obama was even the nominee, when Hillary Clinton ran an ad asking the question, who do you want answering the call at 4am when the world’s peace is at hand. It was questioning whether or not the other candidate was qualified to be put in such a position of authority and responsibility. I thought that it was a great ad, but obviously it was not met with the answer that she wanted people to give.
All throughout the Bible, God calls men and women to serve Him and they begin to doubt that they are qualified. The truth of the matter is that no one is qualified on our own merits. You don’t get qualified by going to school or even seminary. You are not born with a knack for pastoring a church or preaching the gospel. It is purely a call from God. Because of this, no one feels worthy of the call. Moses argued with God when he was told to go and speak to Pharaoh. Ezekiel argued that he was just a youngster. None stepped up to say something like, ‘Finally, God. I was wondering when you were going to pick the right person’.
There is an old saying that I wish I could take credit for but I can’t. God does not call the equipped, He equips the called. It is one of the most truthful sayings ever made. Somehow, God takes messed up people and uses them to win souls and spread the message of hope. He takes people like me, who were drunks and drug addicts and sets them free and lets that horrible past become a testimony of God’s awesome love and power.
These two guys are part of a group of 5 others who have expressed a “call” in their lives by God to do something other than just come to church. I meet with them every Thursday morning at 6am for breakfast and try to share from my experience some useful bits of information that may help them along the way. Most of the time I spend sharing God’s words and my mistakes. They say that we should learn from our mistakes and I therefore may be the smartest man in the world if that is how I am learning. But I really want to encourage these guys to trust in God and give Him everything they can to fulfill the call.
Everyone who claims to be a Christian needs to know that God is calling you to do more than sit in a pew or a chair on Sunday. That is not why Jesus died on a cross. We are all called to share the love of Christ with others. Not all are called to pastor a church and lead mission trips around the world, or hold crusades like Billy Graham. But, we are all called to let our light shine before men and glorify our Father in heaven. Because of this, we need to answer the call. What can you do to be more than someone who just goes to church? It may be as simple as smiling and saying hello to someone who is lonely. Perhaps you can call people throughout the week a let someone know that you are praying for them. Maybe you can give extra so that someone else can go where you can’t. Whatever it may be, if God is calling, you will not be sorry for answering. I know that I have never regretted the moment that I said yes to God and I know that you won’t be either.
Answer the call.

February 28, 2012

A Cruel God

by pastortimfowler

Revelation 21:4He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.”
Is God cruel? After all, the Bible says that he killed many innocent animals and in many cases people, including women and children. That goes against even His own commandment to not kill.
Kill comes from the Hebrew word rāṣaḥ-a primitive root; kill (a human being), especially to murder :- put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er). As you can see it does not have anything to do with animals. It has to do with taking the life of another human without cause.
I want to share a few thoughts in light of the verse from Revelation at the top.
Today, some people think that this life is the one and only. They believe that the only thing that matters is what happens now. Their reasoning of morality is based on feelings, mainly their own. If something makes them feel bad, then it is wrong, if it makes them feel good, then it is right. Here’s the problem with that thinking. Who’s to say my feelings, if different from yours are right or wrong? If I think that it is okay to have sex with little children, who are you to tell me I am wrong. Sure, that is an extreme. So what about if I want to smoke and feel like it is alright? Or what if I want to cheat on my wife and feel it is alright? If humans are the ones who determine what is right or wrong, which humans have the authority to tell me what that is?
As a Christian, I believe that all of mankind is flawed and we have only the morality of God be judged by. The problem with that for most is that God’s morals don’t change with my or your feelings. It does not matter if I feel it is okay to have sex with a child, it is wrong in God’s morality therefore it is wrong in mine. God’s law is the basis for most human laws on earth and have been for as long as we have been here. God is moral and good and loving, not cruel.

Don’t confuse love and good and moral with free from consequences. God has said from the beginning of time that sin brings on death, physical and spiritual. Spiritual death is for those who are not reconciled with God at the time of their physical death. Physical death is the result of sin being confined to the flesh. God’s plan from creation was for us to live with Him eternally. Our sin separates us from Him and God provided a substitute for us in death through Jesus Christ so that sin could die with the flesh and the spirit could be redeemed for eternity. Physical death begins eternal existence.
Now this is a blog, not a theological paper, so I am stating biblical doctrine that I don’t have room to elaborate on in a blog. But the point of this blog is that we focus on this life and that we should remember that there is something that happens after we die.Either eternal life or eternal death.

God does not want anyone to end up in hell. He made salvation easy and accessible to all. I believe the Bible teaches that some go to heaven even if they did not go through the church view of salvation as in the confess and pray for forgiveness. Mainly what I am talking about is children and those who can’t understand right and wrong. Then there are those who have never heard about God from those who believe. Romans 1:20 From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. I believe this says that someone can look at creation and never hear about God, but make a logical assumption that something greater than them made it all and believe, that God is so loving and merciful that He will accept them in Heaven. Gods (gods) are not something that are new. Human societies have always believed in supernatural beings. They just want the ones who let them make the rules instead of a True Living God that makes the rules
So if innocent children and those who have no teaching of God die, like in a worldwide flood or a war, and they go to heaven and heaven is what God say it is, isn’t that good. Is it better to live in this world with death and pain and sickness or live forever where there is none of that? God even promises a new heaven and a new earth where animals will not even kill each other. I don’t know if animals have eternal souls, I have my opinion, but I do know that God has always cared for even a bird that dies. Matthew 10:29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission.
A cruel God? I don’t think so.

January 6, 2012

Make Disciples

by pastortimfowler

By now those who follow my blogs have noticed that these early 2012 blogs have been rather serious. Don’t lose heart, the humor is still here, but the challenge to tweak a few things in my life has hit me pretty hard. Many in our church have been saying for months that we felt like God was going to do something big in our church this year and I agree. But I have always believed that God will start with the leader and this time is not different.
Jesus gave the command to go into all the world and make disciples, and, this is something I love, but can improve on. Standing before a group of people on Sunday mornings preaching a sermon is not making disciples. It is an important part of my calling and I love it, but God expects all of us to help others grow in their Christian life. This is not any different from any other family. Older brothers and sisters should help teach the younger siblings how to be productive parts of the family. Since the church is full of brothers and sisters in Christ with God as our Father, it only makes sense that we help the young to grow in their faith.
My wife and I have taken this challenge serious for years, and I can look back through the years at the younger brothers and sisters that have grown and are now teaching others. This year we are purposefully picking a few young men and women to pour our lives into. We are not going to teach them to be deacons or Sunday School teachers, but we are going to teach them how to know what God has in store for them and help them pursue that.
A wise man once told me that you only have to be one step ahead to lead. This sounds simplistic and it is true. But what we are missing is the fact that much too often, those who are a step ahead end up sitting still and stay where they are, thus they quit leading and began gathering a crowd. Jesus was not about gathering crowds, He gathered a group of people to live with and teach a lifestyle to, not a position in the church. He taught them about life as His follower, not how to act in a building on Sundays.
Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to teach people how to have church. We are to teach people how to have Christ, then how to live as Christians. Christianity is meant to be a life of discipline in the ways of Christ. That is what a disciple is, someone who is disciplined. Discipline is not punishment, it is living under control and in subjection to the ways of Christ. It is about learning how to do what the Bible says and not just learning what it says. And, for a person to do this they must first see it in action.
If you are one step ahead, keep taking the steps needed to lead. Don’t rest because you feel as if you have reached your potential. God has no limits and neither do the ones who follow His ways. Church is not the place where Christians live, it is the pit stop in the race to the finish. It is where we rest and fuel up and get a cool drink of living water in order to go back out and run the race.
I am looking forward to leading this group of young men. I eagerly look forward to the day that they are leading others and so on. After Jesus left this world to go and prepare a place for us, he left behind men and women who understood that the leading was now on them. Each one of them was responsible for leading others and then those were responsible for even more. Fast forward and couple of thousand years and millions upon millions have come to know Christ. The family has grown and yet somehow we seem to have reached the point where we are satisfied with a weekend meeting. It is time to rethink what the church has become and return to the command of Christ to make disciples.

September 29, 2011

Bad Mouthing The Family

by pastortimfowler

I had a fellow come by my office yesterday and was asking for help and advice. He did not go to my church nor did he go to any other church. He told me that he was a Christian and that he had just moved into the area about 4 years ago. When he first got here, he visited a church and they were not very friendly, so he did not go back there or anywhere else. He proceeded to tell me how churches and church people were rude, uncaring, and of course, hypocritical. I think he was surprised when at the end of his rant I agreed with him about church people being so uncaring. He was even more surprised when I told him to get the heck out of my office. Just kidding. I did not tell him that, although at times I wanted to.
I did decide to change the subject. I asked if he had a job and he said no, but he was looking. He said that he had been to several places and was not having any luck. He told me that a lot of the places he went to apply at were rude and did not even want to talk to him. Of course I told him that most places of employment were rude, uncaring and hypocritical. I then asked him why he went anywhere else to apply for a job if the first place was so bad. He did not have a response.
He told me that him and his wife were about to get a divorce. It seems that everything that she did was wrong. Probably rude, uncaring, and hypocritical, but I didn’t ask. I did ask what he was doing to reconcile his marriage and he said it couldn’t be fixed. When I asked if they had been to see a counselor he said no, they were all crooks. I told him I agreed, and went outside to steal the tires off his car. That is what us counselors do you know.
He was a likeable guy. I think that he was actually trying to be humble and genuine as he was asking me for help. It was just that continual negative bashing of Christians and the church, of which I think highly of, was starting to get to me. I hear this quite often. People will come to the church for help and bash churches for not doing exactly what they ask. Then expect you to kiss their, never mind. Then they have expectations that you and your church will jump through hoops to help them as they finish telling you that church people are not nice people.
About now there are a few of you saying, “But that’s what churches are supposed to do!” Hold on though, Buckwheat. There is more to it than that.
The church has to deal with two type of people; Christians and those who are not. For those who are not, we are to love them and meet their needs to the best of our ability, and to share the message of love and hope in Jesus Christ. Feeding and clothing and other types of benevolence are part of that, but our number one priority is sharing Jesus’ message of forgiveness and salvation. Even though we want to feed and clothe everyone, if there are no means in which to do this, we still have the hopes of sharing Jesus.
For the Christian, we are to be a family. Families deal with each other differently. There are family values that are expected to be upheld. There are standards that every family member is expected to keep and when a family member needs help, the family helps. But there are always times when if someone in the family rebels and becomes an embarrassment to the family, it sometimes means a separation from the family until reconciliation is made. Sometimes tough love is the answer and sometimes that looks wrong to people outside the family. You never let a family member starve or go homeless or get hurt, but you may let them struggle a while to learn the value of family. I probably need to explain this further, but blogs should not take all day to write or to read.
In closing, I asked if he needed food, shelter, clothes, and even offered my services as a counselor for his marriage. He said no to all. I gave him information on some job leads that I had and invited him to visit our church. But because he said that he was a Christian, I told him that he needed to quit bad mouthing the family or he would probably continue to get the results from churches that he had gotten before. Dad won’t let His children continually talk bad about their brothers and sisters.

June 20, 2011

Free Marriage Counseling

by pastortimfowler

Genesis 2:24
That is why a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Before the church was started, before sacrifices were started, and before the Bible was ever written, God created the institute of marriage. It was His idea to unite a man and a woman for the sake of being one unit working together for the better of each other and to grow a family. He did not create marriage to be 2 men, 2 women, a man and a bunch of women, a woman and a bunch of men, or any other combination that may or may not include animals.
He created marriage and told us that this would be the reason that a man would leave his father and mother. Yes, it is time to move out when you get married. There is not a healthy situation in which you and your wife should stay in your parents house. If they have lots of land and another house can be put on this land, then that may be suitable, but always remember that it says that he should leave his father and mother.
It tells us that the two, husband and wife, should be united. This means that they begin new life as one. They no longer have his stuff and her stuff and my stuff and your stuff, they now have their stuff. Bank accounts, bills, dreams, and disasters are now all shared, along with the responsibilities that come along with being adults. The more stuff you don’t share the more likely that the unity is challenged and the marriage will break down.
Next we are told that the two shall become one flesh. Many believe that this means that they will have a sexual relation and I agree, but, not just for the sake of having sex. The purpose of sex in this account to be one flesh has the meaning of reproducing. (Genesis 1:28~ God blessed them and said, “Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth,…” ) That is why the idea that marriage is anything but a man and a woman is ridiculous. Only a man and a woman can make babies naturally. When the sperm and the egg join together, the two unite and become one flesh, thus fulfilling the command given to the couple.
Marriage can be a challenge that is greater than most anything we will do with another human. It is a life time venture that truly does take in the better or the worse, richer and poorer, and sickness and health. But like anything else in this world, if is valuable, it is worth working hard for. The most gratifying things in the world are the things that you work the hardest for. Marriage is no different.
There is such great wisdom in the Bible and we live in a time when we all need to seek wisdom, especially in our marriages. God is the creator and founder of marriage. He knows how they work successfully and how to heal them that are broken. We will take our dogs to the vet, cars to the mechanic, and computers to the geek, but we won’t take our marriages to a counselor. That is a matter of pride and that is selfish and that violates the command to be united.
As a veteran of 31 years of marriage, I am fully qualified to speak on all areas of pride, selfishness, and all things counter-productive to a healthy, God-based marriage. BUT…I am also the recipient tons of grace and mercy and patience that has allowed me to soak up a bit of wisdom. I have swallowed my pride and sought counseling and have been blessed with the healing from God of one of His most precious gifts, marriage.
My marriage is not perfect, but it is better than most. It is not broken, but has a few scars. It is strong though and a great example of how letting God have His way can allow the joy that He intended for a couple to be experienced on a regular basis. God used a wise man to counsel us and it helped save our marriage and strengthen it to the point that we can now help others. As part of my ministry, I have been blessed to be able to counsel others and will continue to do so, free of charge. Too often I hear that couples can’t afford counseling and therefore don’t seek it. Although I can’t promise to heal your marriage, that is up to you, I can promise to help and never let money stand in the way. I wish that every couple could experience the type marriage that I have and because of that, I will always offer free marriage counseling.
(You can reach me through http://www.thebodylive.com or respond through the comments section of this blog.)

May 17, 2011

Jesus a liar?

by pastortimfowler

One of the oldest arguments in the Christian world is whether or not one can lose their salvation. I think that is the best argument in the universe for Satan to have Christ’s people arguing about. After all, we call Satan a liar, so in this argument, someone is calling Christ a liar. No, I don’t mean that you are saying, ‘Jesus is a liar’, but someone is believing and following a lie if God’s people disagree on this important doctrine. These are the words of Jesus out of John’s Gospel:
John 10:28-30
28 and I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me.
29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than everyone else, and no one can tear them away from my Father.
30 The Father and I are one.”
In John 3:16 we are told that whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life.
In these verses there are words that make Jesus a liar if we can lose our salvation. Here are Webster’s definitions for these important words’
Eternal- 1. without beginning or end; lasting forever; always existing ( opposed to temporal ): eternal life. 2. perpetual; ceaseless; endless
Never- 1. not ever; at no time 2. not at all; absolutely not
Everlasting- 1. Lasting forever; eternal


Now I am not sure if Jesus was confused when He said these things, but they seem to be leaning toward not being able to lose your salvation. It is hard to imagine that Jesus really meant you could lose it and I will unsave you if you do something bad enough. After all, there is nothing we can do prior to salvation that is bad enough for Him to say, “No, I don’t think I will save you. You have been too bad.” But somehow, now that we are saved, there will be something that is bad enough for Jesus to lose someone from His own hands; you know, the ones that were nailed to the cross for us.
What kind of cruel God would allow His Son to die for the sins of the world but that death not be good enough to keep you saved once you are saved? That would mean that our sins we commit after salvation are worse than the sin that Jesus died for before our salvation. That would mean that we can’t work to earn salvation but we have to work to keep it. And that would make not only Jesus a liar, but the Apostle Paul a liar too when he wrote this:
Ephesians 2:4-9
4 But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us.
5 We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. It is God’s kindness that saved you.
6 God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him.
7 He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come.
8 God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God.
9 It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it.
My strongest argument of eternal salvation comes from Jesus words in John 3:3, when He said that no one can enter into heaven unless they are born again. And then this verse, Galatians 4:6, Because you are God’s children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into us to call out, “Abba! Father!” .
If we are truly children of God, then we can NEVER not be children of God. We can be rebellious children and we can even be children who say that we don’t even know who our Father is, but that can’t change the fact of who our Father is. He is the one who saves us from our sin. Even the stupid sin of a rebellious child who decides that he/she does not like the rules of the Father and chooses to run away and change their identity. Because of the blood, especially the blood of Jesus, we can’t change who our Father is. We can deny Him, but that does not stop Him from being who He is; Our Heavenly Father.
Deep in our heart, we know if we were truly born again. That is the real question. If it was real, we can’t lose it. JESUS said so. Salvation is HIS and WE are HIS. But if we are playing a game of “get me out of the mess I’m in” and not truly seeking forgiveness, then you are not a child of God and Jesus is not the liar, you are.
So, are you a child of God? Do you have eternal life? If so, you can never lose it, it is not yours to keep. You are His to keep and He is perfect, the perfect keeper of His people, His children.
Jesus is not a liar.

April 11, 2011

How Are There Three In One?

by pastortimfowler

I was asked to write about the Holy Trinity, God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Mainly to give some understanding of how this can be three individual identities and yet still be one. The focal point of the question was Jesus being man and God. Wow, this should be a simple blog…NOT.
This is and has been a great theological discussion and teaching that has been a struggle of faith for many. There is not an easy answer and I know some who accept no answer to this except that it is a false premise. So in my bestest English and simplification efforts I will dive right in.
Starting out in Genesis 1:26 God is referred to in the plural when He says, “Let us make man in our image”. Throughout the Old Testament (from here on out I will use OT) God appeared to people in many ways, including, smoke, fire, spirit, angel, and human. The angelic and human appearances are referred to as pre-incarnate Christ because of the references to them as LORD. Pre-incarnate meaning prior to being born in the flesh.
Moses was the only human to ever catch a glimpse of the full glory of God. By this I mean all three, Father, Spirit, Son at one time. God was able to show Moses His backside as He passed by and it nearly killed Moses (Exodus 33). On earth we never see all 3 at the same time for that reason. We see Jesus and the Spirit, the Spirit and the Father, Jesus and the Father, but never all 3 because humans can not see the fullness of God prior to death.
So how can this trinity be? I like to explain it like this. Using myself as an example, I am Tim. I am a father, and son, and a husband. I am all three at the same time. I never stop being one to be the other. But I am only a father to my children, only a son to my parents, and only a husband to my wife. I never change those roles and I am completely correct in claiming all three identities. I answer to Tim, father, son, and husband, even though if my wife ever called me husband to get my attention I would not respond because that just sounds weird. But I am three identities in one, kinda like God.
The difficulty most people have is Jesus and God being one yet totally separate. Jesus is the most unique attribute of God. The pre-incarnate Christ appeared many times to people in the OT as a human form but was not born of flesh like the Jesus of the New Testament (NT). Throughout the OT we are told of a coming Messiah. A Savior that would end the reign of sin on the human soul. We are told that this Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
From the first sin of humanity, God demanded that blood be shed to cover the sin. Adam tried to use a leaf, but God gave them skin of an animal. The penalty for humanity’s sin is death. This sinful nature is passed from generation to generation through the blood lines. Man is the link of sin (Romans 5:12) and that is the importance of the virgin birth. When God fathered the Child, the human blood-line of sin was broken. When Jesus was born from a woman He was 100% flesh and still God.
God has 3 attributes that are important to know. He is omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresent or, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at once. When God became man, he gave up, by choice, the attribute of omnipresent. God can do all things, including that.
Just as sin was passed to all men through the blood of one man, Adam, so is salvation passed to all who ask through the blood of one man, Jesus (Romans 5:17) Because God required death for sin, and through the sacrificial system He set in place, it was told that a spotless lamb was the acceptable offering. Jesus became the Lamb of God that would be the final sacrifice for all humanity.
Remember that when we see God in heaven we will see Him in all His glory. Humans can not comprehend God in His glory so He breaks it down to in to 3 easier ways to understand Him. Our Father in heaven, the Spirit who keeps and teaching us, and our Savior who lived a complete human life yet sinless to die as our sacrifice.
Remember that God lives outside the limits of time ad space and beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend. He took great efforts to understand us as humans by becoming human. It was far easier than Humans becoming God.