Tag Archives: New Testament

The Treasure of God’s Word

Are you a Christian who believes that the Old Testament has nothing to offer we Christians in these modern times?

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. ~ Luke 24:27

Soon after His resurrection, Jesus joined two of His followers as they walked along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were kept from recognizing Him. Jesus asked them what they were discussing along the way, and they described the recent events concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and reported resurrection. They expressed their disappointment that Jesus of Nazareth apparently was not the Messiah as they had come to expect.

Jesus then opened the Scriptures to them, explaining the prophesies of the Old Testament that point straight to the Messiah. Later, as they dined together, Jesus broke bread and their eyes were opened; they recognized their risen Lord and Savior!

God reveals Himself to us in many ways. We look at the wonder of creation and see His handiwork all around us. We see Him in the faith and sacrifice of those Christians who have gone before us. God reveals Himself to us in His Holy Word – the Bible.

I’m always amazed when somebody claims that the Bible is nothing more than an elaborate hoax on humanity. Some claim that it is all made up, and that we believers are fools for believing it. They claim that it is out of step with modern-day humanity; that it was useful before, but no longer useful in this so-called evolved and intelligent society. They accuse those of us who believe God’s word of wallowing in fantasy. Such thought, my friends, is the work of the devil himself.

Many modern day believers set themselves up to fall into this trap by ignoring God’s Word, or by only studying portions of it. When we Christians limit our study of Scripture, we do not partake of God’s full revelation of Himself and we open ourselves up to buying into the hoax. As I read God’s Word, the majesty of who He is springs forth from the pages. As I read Old Testament prophesy and New Testament revelation, I see a more complete picture of God and I realize that those proffering the hoax theory are the fools.

In this passage, Jesus intentionally keeps His companions from recognizing Him so that He would have the opportunity to relate Scriptures to Himself – to alleviate their doubts, from God’s Word, that Jesus is the Messiah. Later, when He opened their eyes over dinner, the full picture of Jesus became crystal clear to them and they were ready to share the good news.

Christian, if you are not studying God’s Word in its entirety, you are missing out on God’s gift of revelation to His people. It’s not too late. On January 1, I began a one-year Bible reading plan. Each morning I read passages from the Old Testament and the New Testament as well as Psalms and Proverbs. The reading plan is sequential – I am in the Old Testament book of Judges and the New Testament book of Luke as I write this. And, already, my understanding and awe of my Lord and my God is rapidly growing. As He reveals Himself to me in this Treasure of His Word, my faith is growing stronger as well. Bible reading plans don’t have to start on January 1 – won’t you join me?

For the complete account of Jesus’ encounter with His followers along the road to Emmaus, read Luke 24:13-35.

On Phil Robertson and Homosexuality

Phil Robertson photo credit: harvest.orgSocial media is all abuzz after Phil Robertson of Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty fame answered questions concerning homosexuality during an interview for Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine. This statement seems to be the one that has so many people up in arms:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson stated. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” (Source: http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/12/18/duck-dynasty-star-a-vagina-is-more-desirable-than-a-mans-anus/)

From a purely Scriptural standpoint, Robertson’s take on homosexuality is correct. The act of sex between two individuals of the same gender is a sin. Scripture is abundantly clear on this point in both the Old and New Testaments (Romans 1 is one NT example). As Martin Luther would say, “This is most certainly true.”

With that said, Scripture also teaches that each of us has sinned and falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) which pretty much levels the playing field here on Earth for all of us sinners, regardless of the sins we commit. Hence, all of us are in need of salvation – the homosexual, the drunkard, the swindler, the liar, the thief, the foul mouthed, those living lives of debauchery…you get my point.

So how does the Christian respond to this issue? I believe we are to be honest about what God tells us in His Word, and in doing so we are to share His word out of an attitude of love and respect for our fellow human beings; we are to love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34). If we know what Scripture says but are not honest in sharing it, we are not acting out of love for our fellow human being; we are doing them a huge and selfish disservice. Such honesty comes with a price, and Phil Robertson is experiencing that now. Personally, I’d rather be Scripturally truthful and pay the earthly price for that than bow to the whims of societal PC when such is contrary to what Scripture teaches. I suspect that Phil Robertson feels the same way.

Although the precept of “hate the sin, love the sinner” is not recorded verbatim in Scripture, it is a precept that Jesus demonstrated throughout His earthly ministry. I believe it is the precept that we who trust in Him as our Lord and Savior ought to live by as well, especially when dealing with sin in our own lives, in the lives of others, and in society at large. Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well offers a good example of this (John 4:5-26).

Phil Robertson also said this:

“If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: ‘You are now a brother. Our brother.’ So then we look at you totally different then…We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job…We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later.” (See link above)

Those wanting to burn Robertson at the stake aren’t talking about that comment. I’d say he hit the nail on the head.

(Photo credit: harvest.org)

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