God Made Everything Very Good

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made , and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Everything that God made is described as “very good”.  This indicates the perfect nature of God’s creation.  Sin had not entered the universe at this point.  Adam and Eve are best thought of as “innocent”—they had the ability to sin, but had not done so yet.

There are some logical conclusions to this sinless state.  First, physical death was not a possibility.  Sin brought sickness, pain, suffering, and death as is seen in Genesis 3 and numerous other passages in the Bible. Continue reading

The End of Christian Freedom in the U.S.?

With the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage (marriage equality), there have been dire warnings from numerous sources heralding the negative effects of this landmark decision.  Todd Starnes has outlined one in this opinion piece: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/08/11/chaplains-banned-from-preaching-that-homosexuality-is-sin.html.

Essentially, a Christian chaplain in Kentucky was told he could no longer minister to juvenile inmates because he refused to “sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is ‘sinful’”.  Although the final outcome will be decided in court, this is just one example of Christians being discriminated against for not toeing the the line of political correctness. Continue reading

Christians Are Dead?

Colossians 3:1-3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

In this passage, Christians (i.e. those who are “risen with Christ”) are told to keep their focus on heaven and not Earth.  Then we read something rather strange.  Paul writes, “For ye are dead…”  Huh?  I thought we were made “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:11)  What does it mean that we are dead!

When we read the word “dead” in the Scriptures, it needs to be understood as “separated”.  Death is always a separation.  Physical death is a separation of our spiritual part from our physical body.  Spiritual death is the separation of a person from God.  We are told in Romans 6:2 that believers are “dead to sin”, which in context means separated from its penalty, and by extension, its power. When one is dead to something, the thing in question has no power.

So in the passage above, believers are dead to the things of this world.  Therefore, the things of the world should not be our focus.  The life of the believer is “hid with Christ in God.”  It is “hid” in the sense that it cannot be found on the Earth.  It is where Christ is, and that is in heaven.  Christian need to keep looking to Him.

Power in the Day of Death

Ecclesiastes 8:8a There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death:

Death affects all.  It is an event over which we human beings have no control.  It can occur in a moment and forever change the lives of those still here. Continue reading

Living Under Grace

Christians have an obligation to live a life of holiness in honor of their God Who is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15-16) and provided a holy sacrifice for their sins in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ.  This is the only reasonable response believers have (Romans 12:1).  Paul wrote of this in the Epistle to the Romans.

Romans 6:11-15 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Continue reading