there is Something about that Name!
1:21 And she will bring
forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His
people from their sins."
Irreverence shown to that Name
people are going to swear today, it is often the name of the Lord Jesus
that they use. While there
are other ways to take the Lord's name in vain, certainly this is one
way to do it. People don't
say, “Oh, President Trump!” or “Oh, President Obama!” when they
want to swear, instead they say “Oh, My God!” or “Jesus!”.
I have tried to figure out why people use the name of a person
that they say is a myth, that they say is not the Son of God, that they
don't believe in and that they don't think has any power or authority
over them to add emphasis to whatever they are trying to say.
Why not use the name of someone whom they think actually existed?
I think it is because rebellion against God is inbred in the
heart of mankind. Using the
name of the Lord irreverently certainly seems to me to be unreasonable
tells us in Philippians 2 that Jesus humbled himself but God has exalted
Him and someday everyone is going to bow before the name of the Lord
Jesus. Philippians 2:8-11
says, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and
became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the
name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those
under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I believe that those who figuratively raise their fist in the
face of the God in whom they say they don't believe, will one day get to
find out that they should have bowed while they were alive on earth.
They will bow after they die.
Many will bow during the tribulation period.
The Great Day of His
We read in Revelation
6:15-17, “And the kings of
the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men,
every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the
rocks of the mountains, and
said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the
face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to
The great day of His
wrath is going to come. It
is easy to see that many people love war more than peace when they are
in power. It is good for the
economy. It good for the ego
of those who want to be domineering.
We are headed for a day of great calamity.
We have nuclear toys we have never used but when they are used,
the whole world is going to suffer.
Most people do not invent things to let them sit idly unused.
Whether future wars in our generation will be the culmination of
the prophetic plan or whether it will just be the culmination of the
stupidity of mankind, war is probably coming.
The only way to prepare for it is to be ready for our eternal
To Those Who Believe
Peter says that to
those who believe He is precious (1 Peter 2:7).
We who believe find it offensive when people use that name
irreverently. We wouldn't
want our family name used as a curse word, nor would we want the name of
our friends and those we respect and love to be used as a curse word.
We certainly don't want the name of the One who died to save us
used as a curse word. I
wonder if those who swear using the name of Jesus have really considered
what they are doing. It
would be so much nicer if those of us who love the Lord could convince
those who hate and disdain Him, to love Him as well.
Gaithers have written and sung a very precious song:
just something about that name
the fragrance after the rain
all Heaven and Earth proclaim
all pass away
there's something about that Name.
there is just something about that name!
for the week of October 1, 2017
Properly understanding our
2 Timothy 2:15 Be
diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Some Things are Hard
I am convinced that
many well-meaning Christians have never been taught how to rightly
divide the Word of Truth. They
think that is something that should be taught in seminaries.
But actually each believer should be equipped to do this.
Many translations say that rightly dividing should be translated
“rightly handling.” I
personally believe the idea is to properly interpret the word of truth
and then rightly apply it to our lives.
It is obvious that there are things that are hard to interpret
since Peter says that Paul wrote some things that are hard to understand
(2 Peter 3:16). So how can
the person who wants to know and understand God's will, rightly divide
the word of Truth?
Basic Principles of
First of all we need
to be absolutely certain that the God has providentially preserved for
us is the very God breathed or inspired Word of God.
Just because some of it doesn't make sense to us, doesn't mean
that it is wrong. The Lord
says in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words
will by no means pass away.”
Second we need to
properly understand the audience that each book or section of the Bible
addresses. The Bible is
divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament deals with an earthly people with an earthly
land and with earthly promises. The
New Testament primarily deals with a spiritual people with a spiritual
land and with spiritual promises.
However, some of the Gospel passages are oriented toward the Jews
and their earthly promises and prophecies.
We must distinguish what is for the Jew and what is for the
believers of our day. Believers
must be careful not to think we are Jews and that we are still living as
Jews under the Law of the Old Testament.
Many promises that I see Christians taking courage in today are
really principles that apply primarily to the Jews.
I always try to look
for the principles that we believe in the Gospels, for examples of those
principles being developed in the Acts of the Apostles, for teaching in
the epistles (letters) and for confirming illustrations in the Old
Testament. However, I
believe the epistles are the backbone of Bible interpretation for
believers today. The letters
written by the New Testament authors explain how the rest of the Bible
fits together. If we find it
in an epistle, it is an explanation of Biblical Truth for us today.
We always interpret
in context. We need to
interpret a verse in the context of the chapter, the context of the book
and the context of the Bible. We
let the simple explain the difficult and not the other way around.
All interpretation should be consistent with the truth of John
3:16 and with the truth that we are to love God and love our
neighbor—truth that is found in the Old Testament and in the New.
The Bible is a
spiritual book and will never be understood properly by one who is not
“born of the spirit.” The
Bible should convict the unsaved of their sin, and it will warn them to
flee from the wrath to come. However,
until a person bows to the Truth that they are lost and that only Christ
can save them, the Bible will for the most part be a closed book to
them. God is a God of order
and if we won't believe the simple truth of the Gospel, we aren't going
to be able to properly understand truth that was written for a believer.
If we are living a rebellious life as a Christian, we won't have
a clear understanding of Biblical truth.
Since most people want to become experts in the Bible without
letting the Holy Spirit teach them precept upon precept as they are
ready for the teaching, many turn to religious teachers that are not
saved and that are not living in fellowship with the Lord for their
teaching. Some of these
teachers are well-educated but they teach the logic of the natural (unregenerated)
man rather than the spiritual truth of the Bible.
In order to come to
saving faith in the Lord Jesus we have to repent—we need a mind
adjustment. The reason is
found in Isaiah 55:8-9 which says,
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My
ways," says the LORD. "For
as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than
your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Just as we needed a mind adjustment in order to trust Christ for
salvation, we often need a mind adjustment to understand and apply truth
that makes absolutely no sense to the natural person but that makes
perfect sense to the spiritual person.
There is no short-cut
to proper Bible interpretation. It
starts with coming to faith in the Lord for salvation.
It requires earnest prayer. It
takes time. We can get a lot
of help from others but ultimately we need to be taught by the Holy
Spirit and we need to develop our own convictions.
We also need to remember that letters by the New Testament
writers were understood by the recipients without teachers coming along
and telling them what the epistles “really meant.”
We need to have confidence that with some help with language and
the customs of the day, that we too are intelligent enough to understand
the messages found in these letters.
Understanding the letters will help us understand or rightly
divide the Word of Truth.
for the week of October 8, 2017