Theology


To Rome, Roman Catholics and those praying for them. “A Christian Witness to Roman Catholicism”~Guest writer and apologist, Rob Zins Dear Friends of His Word,   It seems that the apostle Paul has made it perfectly clear that all Christians are to understand that we live in a “world” within a “world”.  Listen to his advice to those Christians at Corinth.   “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-10   In the light of all the flak flying around the Indiana state legislature and governor perhaps we should step back and reflect a bit on the basics.   Christians are called to live in the sphere of biblical ethics and morals governed by the Word of God in community with other Christians.  This is where we live, move, and breathe so to speak.  It is the world created by the Word of God and all true Christians are a part of this world.  It is the Body of Christ.   However, as the apostle notes, we are a part of a broader context which Paul calls “the world.”  By this he means those outside of Christ.  One is either governed by being in Christ and His world or dominated by the wider more general “world” when it comes to living out one’s life and following principles of belief and conduct.   Christians must learn to cope with and “associate” in the domain of the secular world.  We cannot escape the secular world.  If we keep this straight we can be comforted.  We can rest in this truth and make our way knowing that we are strangers passing through.   Christians are free to do at least two things that seem on the surface contradictory but are in fact harmonious.   The first is freedom to associate with people of this world.  By association I do not mean endorse or become like. The danger for Christians is not in selling wedding cakes to Lesbians.  The danger is in selling cakes and not speaking the truth.  Christians cannot stop selling cakes to sinners.  And Christians dare not stop speaking the truth to sinners.  Second we are free to live by God’s definition of right and wrong, good and evil, and speak publicly of these things despite the wrath of the secular world.  Christians must serve the cake, cobble the shoe, deliver the mail, fix the air conditioning, and sell the car...

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God’s Love Is Unconditional!

God’s Love Is Unconditional!


Posted By on Apr 9, 2015

God’s Love Is Unconditional! Recently, while studying God’s love, I meditated on the vastness of this divine characteristic and was overcome with emotions of joy and hope.  Overwhelmed with the incredible depth and breadth of the love that God exhibits toward His elect, is utterly astonishing. As I pondered the love of God I began to recognize how replete this subject is throughout the Bible, and one word continuously came to mind– “unconditional”. We know that God exhibits love to the unregenerate man and even blesses them despite their lack of worshipping Him as Creator. (Matt. 5:45, Acts 14:16-17).  But, He only bestows “unconditional” love on those who are His chosen.  Amazingly, we are not a special class of people, nor did we accomplish anything special to earn His unconditional love.  (Deut. 7:6-7, John 3:16, 6:37, 19:28-29, 17:6, 9, 12, 23, Rom. 5:8, 8:32-39, 1 Tim. 2:19, 1 Pet. 2:9, 1 John 3:16, 4:9-10).   The word “unconditional” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, as: without conditions or limitations; absolute.  If we apply this definition to describe God’s love, it defines a limitless and perfect love.  God’s love is an inconceivable and mindboggling concept to Christians.  And because of its immeasurability many are uncomfortable trying to accurately convey His love, because it is so unexplainable.  Scripture states for example”…How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out”. (Rom. 11:33b). Or, “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge…” (Eph. 3:19a). These verses communicate to a finite creation (mankind), the unfathomable and inscrutable ways of an infinite God (Isa. 55:8-9). Therefore, it would be preposterous and pointless to even try to exhaustively comprehend His ways, because of that limited knowledge.  The mysteriousness of God ought to evoke us to praise and worship Him.  No matter how much knowledge we attain, we still are required to live by faith (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, 2 Cor. 5:7, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:28).  Because there is so much about God that we cannot comprehend, so we must believe on what we do not see (Heb. 11:1).   Sadly, we live in a society where every aspect of life is based on conditions and limitations.  For instance, when we purchase a product that promises a lifetime warranty; the warranty is not for the duration of your physical lifetime, but rather, for the average lifetime of that particular product.  Therefore, the product has a conditional and limited warranty.  Debts are other typical conditions which play a vital part in all our lives.  If a debt or installment is not paid by a specific payment date, it may incur interest or go to...

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  Be “Salt” And “Light” amidst persecution!    “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great…” Matt. 5:12a               The glorious promises of God that come through belief in Jesus Christ, may indeed be costly for the children of God; a cost that could entail severe persecution.  The Apostle Paul wrote that persecution of Christians is inevitable (2 Tim. 3:12) and can manifest itself in various forms. Such as: mockery, ridicule, slander, false accusations, ostracization from family or friends; reviling, scorn, resentment, hatred.  Being fined, imprisoned, abused, castigated, tortured, and even martyrdom.  No matter what the cost, we should be willing to pay the price.  In order to pay that hefty price, we must learn to cultivate: love, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, diligence, tenacity, fortitude; or in other words, a Christ-like heart and mind.  These disciplines do not result from a superficial understanding of God’s word and an attitude of indifference toward holiness and obedience.   In most of today’s American churches, the fabricated atmosphere encourages congregants to relax and enjoy comfort while being “entertained”.  During worship services, if I may call it that, all solemnity and fear of God is eviscerated and superficiality is promoted as the norm.  Congregants are accustomed to undergoing insignificant amounts of persecution, if any at all, in their lives and therefore are incapable of comprehending the concept of true persecution.  That is why it is essential to saturate one’s mind with Scripture and to spend ample time studying it (Rom. 12:2).  I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of being in constant commune with God!   Additionally, one must always keep in mind Jesus’ instruction in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.  “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.   “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…”Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matt. 5:11-16).    Therefore, when persecution arises we must not cower or become timid recluses, but rather be strong and bold witnesses of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:7).  This, mind you, gives evidence of a mature Christian firmly rooted...

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The Peril of Omission!

The Peril of Omission!


Posted By on Feb 1, 2015

The Peril of Omission!  During my recent reading of Proverbs 6:16-19; the seven sins that are abominable to God, the sins which stood out from the rest of the text were the sins of “lying” and “false witnessing” (vv. 17,19). As I contemplated heavily on these particular sins, I then realized just how easily they flow out of our mouths.  Lies or to proclaim false witness is when a person openly declares a falsehood or presents false testimony.  But, as I ruminated on these iniquities, what struck me as equally evil, is the “omission” of a truth, particularly biblical truth and especially when proclaiming the Gospel. “Omission” is when a person deliberately and purposely conceals the whole truth and presents only part of it.  An unidentified Puritan wrote: “You can recognize a false teacher, not by what they say; but rather, what they don’t say”. And Pastor John MacArthur stated: “A half-truth presented as a whole-truth, is not a truth at all; it’s a lie”. In other words, someone who willfully withholds proclaiming God’s full truth; this is omission and a form of lying.   Many of today’s evangelical preacher’s teach solely on God’s loving attributes, while intentionally omitting other attributes of God such as; wrath, justice, holiness, especially when they present the Gospel.  Some preachers commit this sin because they fear men, desiring approval rather than fearing God- enough.  Therefore, they craft powerless, ineffectual, and crippled sermons, designed to “tickle” the ears of the hearer, condemning them to hell.  In other words, they preach what their congregations desire to hear, rather than what they need to hear (1Tim. 4:16).  In fact, Scripture prophesies that people will have an ever-increasing penchant for a water-downed message, and will ardently seek molly-coddling preaching and surround themselves with compromising preachers. (2 Timothy 4:3-4).   Furthermore, some teachers omit saying the word “Hell” in a sermon while only declaring “Heaven”. Please don’t misunderstand me, preaching about God’s love and the glories of heaven are definitely important aspects of total Gospel message. But, equally imperative is teaching people about being born into sin, God’s just wrath against sin, His divine justice, yet providing mercy and grace by sending His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ to save those who are called and will receive eternal life. Others who have not heard the full Gospel will die with un-forgiven sins, condemned to hell.  Incidentally, the word “Gospel” means “good news”.  I ask; if pastors preach merely God’s love and the glories of heaven, then why would anyone need “good news” presented to them? Might people deem Jesus’ death on the cross insignificant? Might they ignorantly inquire...

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Love, A More Excellent Way!

Love, A More Excellent Way!


Posted By on Jan 20, 2015

Love, A More Excellent Way! Interestingly, the Apostle Paul concludes chapter twelve of his first letter to the Corinthians, by exhorting them to desire earnestly “the greater gifts” and how he will show them a more “excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31).   Paul, then proceeds into what is perhaps the most definitive chapter on “love” in the entire Bible; it is definitely the most known by Christians.   He urges the Corinthians earnestly to pursue love.  Interestingly, love is not even a spiritual gift, but rather a “fruit” of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).  In John MacArthur’s Commentary on 1 Cor. 13 he states: “The truly spiritual life is the only life in which the gifts of the Spirit operate.  The health of spiritual living is not reflected in spiritual gifts but in spiritual fruit, the first and chief of which is love. (Gal. 5:22).  Without the fruit of the Spirit the gifts of the Spirit cannot operate except in the flesh, in which they become counterfeit and counterproductive.  Through the fruit of the Spirit God gives the motivation and power to minister the gifts of the Spirit…Walking by the Spirit is Paul’s way of defining day-to-day obedience to the Word of God and submission to the Lord. (Col. 3:16).” To possess love is tantamount to faith in Jesus Christ; examples of this are taught with inculcation throughout the New Testament.  Peter exhorts Christians to love one another fervently and states how “agape” love (sacrificial; selfless) covers a multitude of sins.  Only two verses prior, he wrote instructing believers to use their spiritual gifts for the edification of one another.  (1 Pet. 4:8-10).  But perhaps the greatest exhibition of love recorded in Scripture, occurred in the Upper Room, where Jesus washed His disciples’ feet on the eve of His crucifixion.  (John 13:3-12).  Here was God, Creator of the universe; condescending to the level of an insignificant galley slave and washing the feet of sinful men.  Who, He omnisciently knew, very shortly, would all abandon Him at the time when His arrest and crucifixion had arrived!   Incidentally, Jesus even washed Judas Iscariot’s feet, the disciple who would betray Him.  This was the ultimate act of “loving your enemies”, as He had commanded during the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:44).  When Jesus had finished washing their feet, He commanded His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).   This was a new commandment Jesus had given...

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We Must Speak God’s Word’s!

We Must Speak God’s Word’s!


Posted By on Jan 1, 2015

  We Must Speak God’s Words! Evangelism must contain the proclamation of the Gospel; God commands it!   “…how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher”? Rom. 10:14    A sign posted outside of a Christian church read; “You can preach a better sermon with your actions, rather than your words.”   Another sign of a local church ominously read; “Preach the Gospel by how you live, and if necessary, use words.”  In other words, both signs insinuated that you can have a successful Gospel outreach and “attract” those to Christianity, by just living a godly life without proclaiming the Gospel.   Although, there is truth to that statement, we ought to live a sanctified life, always demonstrating the Gospel and Christ-likeness.  But, it is perilous to eliminate the essential vehicle the Holy Spirit employs to grant souls unto salvation.  In fact, the use of words is God’s chosen method to convey His truth, the Gospel message; a message vitally necessary for everyone to hear.  Scripture commands us to proclaim God’s truth in many verses and obviously this command includes the use of words (Matt. 28:19-20, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, 5:20, 10:33, 42, Rom. 10:14-15); as well as in numerous other places in the Bible.  Both, in the Old Testament and the New Testament God’s servants, prophets, or Apostles, were commanded to declare His unadulterated truth especially to recalcitrant and  stony-heart people.    The Old Testament prophets were commanded by God to proclaim words of repentance, judgment, wrath, or destruction to His people.  God did not simply “suggest” to His servants, that they live in a godly way, with the hopes of others responding positively to their examples.  But rather, He commanded them to proclaim with words exactly what He desired them to “speak”.  For example, the prophet Isaiah was commanded to preach a message of imminent destruction and captivity to the city of Judah.  Furthermore, God declared to Isaiah that nobody would listen to his warnings.  When Isaiah beseeches God how long he was to proclaim that impending judgment on Judah, God replied,  “…Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people, And the land is utterly desolate.” (Isa. 6:10).  That was an extremely difficult command for Isaiah to obey.  Just think, if you were commanded by God to proclaim ineluctable judgment on a very hostile nation, and had no good news to tell them; no light at the end of the tunnel.   Yet Isaiah unwavering obeyed God! Jeremiah faced similar circumstances, but even harsher.  Throughout the book of Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah and commanded that...

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