The Wonders of Biblical Chronology

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A new book review of Phillip Mauro’s work, The Wonders of Biblical Chronology has been posted under the Book Reviews page on this website.  Important features of this book are:  (1)  Mauro examines the chronological statements in the Bible and gives the number of years that have elapsed from the time of Adam’s creation until the final week of Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks which brings us up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; (2) the book includes twelve chronological charts that aid in the record of the time elapsed during Old Testament history and the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ; (3) the book helps in the refutation of evolutionary chronology; (4) Mauro demonstrates that the chronological statements in the Bible are interwoven with the history of the people, places and events that form the history of the Messiah.  You cannot alter the chronological statements without radically altering the history of the Messiah.
Many Bible students have never taken the time to study the chronological statements in God’s Word.  This book will aid the student in that important study.

Conformed, Reborn, Transformed

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Recently, I uploaded a new book review on my Book Reviews page.  The book was written by Lance Mosher and is titled, Conformed, Reborn, Transformed.  The book is an autobiographical look at Lance’s own spiritual journey.  Lance is led by his study of God’s word to reject man-made doctrines.  He is influenced in his early years by family, friends and culture to take paths that do not lead  him to the truth.  Only God’s word provides the guidance that helps him reject sin and religious error and come fully to the light.  Every person is on a spiritual journey.  Every person would benefit from reading Lance’s own story.  Perhaps you, too, will find the Light.

 

A Note of Explanation

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Recently, I experienced a cyberattack.  This caused me to also experience a shut-down of my webpage for several days.  I have corrected all problems and I have uploaded all of the previous information that existed on my webpage.  In short:  I’m back!  Thanks for your patience and be sure to tell others about this website.

The Divorce Dilemma

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I have posted a five and one-half page book review of the Divorce Dilemma by James Woodroof.  This book was published in 1977.  The author states that the main purpose of the book is to make application of the divine law on divorce from the viewpoint of the circumstances of the first century.  The book misses the mark.  The author does not thoroughly examine the primary divorce legislation in the New Testament.  There is very little exegetical work done on the specific passages that touch on this important subject.  The author contradicts himself several times.  He makes Paul contradict Jesus.  He makes Paul countermand Jesus.  He attempts to establish his case on pure speculation and yet feels very confident in doing this.  You’re going to want to read this review.  It is located under Book Reviews on this blog.

What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage?

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Recently, I added a new book review to my website.  The book is What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage?  It was written by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe.  The book tackles some important issues regarding same-sex marriages.  The authors focus on the real reasons for the push for same-sex marriage.  They address the important question relating to whether or not homosexuals are genetically determined or developed gender identity issues because of some childhood trauma.  They also give many important statistics that show the destructive nature of the homosexual lifestyle.  This book is easy to read and contains important information regarding this current issue in America.  To read my review, click on the Book Reviews page and select Same-Sex Marriage.

Grace and Holiness

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Grace and holiness are often misunderstood.  Christianity Today published an article titled, “Do American Christians need the message of grace or a call to holiness?” (Dec. 2012, p. 58).  That’s a good question.  Grace is often portrayed as a pushover.  He’s the toll-free number to call in every situation.  Just call 1-800-GRACE and you get off scot-free.  Holiness, on the other hand, is viewed as outdated and prudish.  Holiness is stuffy and a real party squelcher.  How can we better understand both concepts?
Paul states, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Rom. 6:1-2).  We are not the only ones who struggle with grace and holiness.  Many did in Paul’s day too.  To continue in sin is to persist in a life of sinful conduct.  Some do not believe that you can live in sin, but Paul makes it clear that you can.  Sin is a transgression of God’s law.  It is lawlessness.  If one gives himself over to a persistent life of sinful conduct, he becomes the servant of sin (Rom. 6:16).  Grace saves from sin.  It saves from the eternal penalty of sin (hell) and it saves from the practice of sin.  Grace secures our salvation and at the same time it sanctifies us to God.  To be sanctified is to be set apart for a holy use.  Jesus Christ redeems us by His precious blood.  We are bought with a price and therefore, we must glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits (I Cor. 6:19,20).
In the Gospel call, there is a call to salvation (II Thess. 2:14).  And, there is a call to holiness (I Thess. 4:7).  The same Gospel, the same call; but two objectives: salvation and sanctification.  Many desire salvation without sanctification.  Many want the blessings of salvation without the responsibility of discipleship.  It won’t work.  You cannot save the soul without dealing with the desire to sin.
The glory of grace is not diminished by the honor of holiness!  Grace is important.  Without God’s grace we could not be saved (Eph. 2:8,9).  But, grace without holiness is a sham.  The honor of holiness begins when we repent.  The Gospel call also contains the call to repentance (Acts 17:30-31).  Repentance is a change of heart.  It takes place in our heart and affects real change in God’s direction.  Repentance is a turning away from sin and a turning to God.  God’s does His part (grace), but we must do our part (repentance).  Repentance sets us out on a new course.  It puts us on the pathway of righteousness.  It is an important aspect of holiness before God.  Paul said, “we…are dead to sin.”  Repentance brings about that death to sin.  We who are dead to sin do not live any longer therein (holiness).  We become the servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:16).
Baptism changes our spiritual status.  Rom. 6:3-4.  The “old man of sin” is buried and a “new man in Christ” is raised from the waters of baptism.  This imagery denotes that baptism is an immersion in water.  A real change takes place in the waters of baptism.  Our sins are remitted (forgiven–Acts 2:38) and new life is begotten (-regeneration–John 3:3-5).  Baptism is the new birth.  We are purchased by God and belong to Him (I Cor. 6:19-20).  We become the servants of righteousness.  This new pursuit defines us in holiness.  As God is holy, so we must be holy (I Pet. 1:14-16).
The glory of grace and the honor of holiness are both a part of the Christian life.  You cannot claim salvation apart from sanctification.

The Power of the Forgiving Spirit

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For too long we have regarded forgiveness with an effeminate virtue of the wishy-washy and weak.  As a result, we crusade with the sword instead of the cross.  Jesus said, “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matt. 26:52).  We know that there is no lasting progress made without love that cares enough and dares enough to suffer–love that is brave enough to seem slow and soft–love that is not afraid to lay itself down in mercy to redeem.  Forgiveness does redeem.  It redeems us to God and to each other.  While on the cross, Jesus redeemed one of the two thieves who were being crucified along with Him.  The centurion who superintended the crucifixion was overcome with faith and hailed Jesus as the Son of God.  The power of forgiveness has reached forth from the cross and touched untold millions.
The power of forgiveness is manifested in three distinct ways.  First, the act of forgiveness is a demonstration of self-control.  Self-control is a major aspect of forgiveness.  Jesus was goaded to “save himself.”  In Luke 23:35, the scriptures state, “And the people stood beholding.  And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”  Jesus could have called twelve legions of angels to deliver Him in that moment.  However, He exercises self-restraint in the face of such mockery.  This is meekness.  Meekness is strength or power under control.  Jesus exercised self-control in order to speak the words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Second, there is power in forgiveness to chasten and rebuke.  Listen to Paul, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head”  (Rom. 12:20).  There is a power in goodness.  We can overcome evil with good.  Forgiveness taps that power and turns it on one’s enemies.
Third, there is power in forgiveness to strengthen the forgiver himself.  When Jesus prayed for His enemies He beat back the spirits of anger and revenge which try to poison the soul.  “The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh” (Prov. 11:17).  “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Prov. 25:21-22).  Forgive and the LORD shall reward thee.  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt. 5:7).
Forgiveness has a power all its own.  It blesses twice.  It blesses the one forgiven and it blesses the one who forgives.  Without the spirit of forgiveness, we shall never obtain mercy from God.

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