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Day 204 - John 8

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Starting At The Beginning

Friday, October 13, 2017
I was never raised in a family who lived by the Bible; they said they were christians, but they only lived by the Bible when they wanted to.  Now that I have started a family, I want to live the right way.  I have started to read the Bible from the beginning, and I found it a little hard to understand, so I went and bought myself a child’s Bible.  That may sound silly, but it has helped me, so I can go back and understand the Holy Bible.  My question is: I know God created the world. Jesus Christ is His Son that gave His life for our sins. The thing that I want to know is: is Jesus a separate person, or is it God who lived in Jesus?  And also, who is the Holy Ghost?

Sincerely,
Putting The Pieces Together

Dear Putting The Pieces Together,

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct Beings.  The easiest way to see this is to look at the baptism of Jesus.  At Jesus’ baptism, Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and the Father spoke from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).  All three of Them are God.  Jesus is described as deity in Jhn 1:1.  The Holy Spirit is described as deity in 1 Cor 2:11 and Gen 1:2.  And last, but not least, the Father is described as deity in Gen 1:1 and numerous other locations.  They are each distinct entities, but They are one in purpose.  We will try and summarize Their responsibilities:

The Father – The Father has total authority to plan and oversee the salvation of mankind.  The Father was the one that sent Jesus at the proper time to die on the cross (Gal 4:4).  The Father answers our prayers (Lk 11:2).  The Father provides for the needs of mankind (Lk 12:30).  He is the great master builder and planner of our salvation.

The Son – Jesus made the Father’s plan happen.  Jesus emptied Himself and became a human (Php 2:4-8).  Jesus is God’s son because He was miraculously born (Matt 1:18).  His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7).  He is the head of the church and its Savior (Eph 1:22, Col 1:18).  If the Father was the architect of our salvation, Jesus is the carpenter… which is ironic, since He actually was one! (Matt 13:55)

The Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood of all the Godhead.  We have answered many questions on His role.  If you want an in-depth look at the Holy Spirit, read “What The Holy Spirit Does”.  For the sake of brevity, we will simply say that the Holy Spirit’s primary job was to create the Bible and keep it preserved throughout all time.  It is the Holy Spirit that guided the minds of the apostles as they wrote down the words of the Bible (Jhn 14:26, 1 Cor 2:13).  If the Father was the architect, and Jesus was the carpenter, then the Holy Spirit is the realtor.  He made sure that everyone would know what Jesus did and how to be saved through Christ’s blood.

Hopefully, that helps give you a basic idea of how the Godhead works.

Constantinian Shift Pt. 2

Thursday, October 12, 2017

(This question is a follow-up to “Constantinian Shift”)

I am glad you have corrected your statement about Constantine "forcing" all to convert to Christianity.  There is a very fine line between statements of historical truth and statements meant to lead a reader to a conclusion by implication and exaggeration.  My only issue with your line of reasoning has to do with how you determine what is historically reliable and what is not.  You cannot have things both ways.  When presented with historical sources and actual named witnesses to a questioner laying a foundation of an organized church before Constantine, you rejected the history outright and claimed it was contradictory and unreliable (see your response to "A History Of Error" in the Catholic archive).  Then in response to other topics (canon of New Testament and Constantine's activities), you relied on extra-biblical historical accounts.  So on one hand, you are relying on history to make some points, while on the other hand, you are rejecting history to disprove other points.  I am hoping you see this contradiction as I really don't want you guys to keep sawing off the very branch you are sitting on in an attempt to influence your readers away from a faith you don't agree with.  Why do you accept the testimony of the witnesses to Constantine's subtle ways of influencing conversion?  What makes you think those extra-biblical accounts are reliable?  How do you know the early church historians (bishops and clergy) that attest to an organized church before the famous edict are unreliable?

Sincerely,
Cite Your Sources Please

Dear Cite Your Sources Please,

We appreciate your concern over our use of extra-biblical history.  Let's see if we can quickly clarify.  We use historical resources as reliable sources in regards to Constantine because that is the ONLY history of Constantine we have.  The Bible never directly deals with Constantine; therefore, we are left to use secular history as our only guide.  You may have misunderstood our statements about Constantine – we do believe Constantine forced people to obey his state-run religion.  As we mentioned in the last post, he forced them by using inducements.

The times that we have stated that the early church historians were being unreliable or contradictory is when we do have a biblical account to compare it to.  The Bible is always the first and foremost guide in church history, and the Bible soundly condemns Catholicism's practices.  Therefore, people who lived and taught anything in opposition to the Bible are wrong, no matter whom they are.  There were early church historians that were beginning to move toward the Catholic way of functioning before the era of Constantine (Constantine simply is the historical demarcation point when things began to quickly move downhill), but the fact that early church writers taught things contradictory to Bible teachings discredit them in doctrinal matters.  We can trust early historians in secular history unless they prove otherwise (i.e. contradict the majority of historians); we can trust early historians in religious history unless they prove otherwise (i.e. contradict Scripture).  Hopefully, that gives you some clarity as to why it seems like we are "cherry picking" the history that we want.  Everything gets compared to Scripture – even early church writers.

Day 203 - John 7

Thursday, October 12, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Apartment Drama

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I live in an apartment complex, and the guy that works around here is a pastor.  About a week ago, he came to fix something in my house.  He is a married man, and he gave me a hug.  I am a single woman.  I have not been with a man in four years.  What should I do?

Sincerely,
Tenant

Dear Tenant,

If you believe that there was more to the hug than just platonic kindness – you should make sure that you aren’t ever in a position to be alone with this man.  The problem with something like a hug is that it isn’t a definitively inappropriate gesture, but as a general rule, your “radar” is correct when you sense something wrong with a situation.  The Bible gives one command regarding sexual temptation – FLEE (1 Cor 6:18).  Sexual relations are only intended for a husband and a wife (1 Cor 7:1-2).  You are not married and should avoid all inappropriate relationships with this man.  Adultery and fornication only bring heartache and pain (Pr 5:3-6).

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