Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“Jesus Never Said That He Was The Son of God.”

Yes, he did. 
At his trial, when Jesus was asked by the high priest if he was “the Son of the Blessed One,” he answered, “I am.”

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:61,62

When Jesus asked Peter who he said he was and Peter answered that Jesus was “the Son of the living God,” Jesus blessed him and said that he got that understanding from God, the Father in heaven.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17

When Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God,” Jesus encouraged him as a believer (John 1:48-50).

Jesus further acknowledged that he had directly proclaimed, “I am God’s Son.”

…what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? John 10:36

Monday, February 17, 2014

“Paul was wrong about a lot of things so we don’t have to go by what he said.”


Peter, the one chosen by Jesus to be the lead apostle had this to say about Paul’s writings:
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3;16,17

Peter calls Paul “our dear brother”, said that Paul wrote “with the wisdom that God gave him”.  He refers to Paul’s writings as “Scriptures,” saying that those who distort them are “ignorant and unstable people” who are headed for destruction by doing so.

Some protest that Peter’s “opinion” isn’t a good example because he was “always saying the wrong thing.”  The Bible is unique in not hiding people’s miss-steps, even sins.  However, none of the inappropriate things that Peter said (Matthew 16;22,23; 17:4) were for our instruction but only his reactions to the utterly new things he heard and saw. Even if Peter had instructed the wrong thing, that would give us no reason to doubt Paul.

Of course, Jesus is the better witness:

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. Acts 9:15

Jesus sought Saul of Tarsus/Paul out and appeared to him personally to call him to be his follower.  Jesus chose Paul to proclaim his name to us so we pick and choose what we observe of Paul’s teachings* at peril of rejecting Jesus’ commands.

*Perhaps a few things are only for their culture but probably not as many as people think—and everyone seems to have differing opinions on this.

“It’s acceptable for Christians to be in the military because Jesus never told the centurions to stop what they were doing.”


When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Matthew 8:10-13

Jesus commended one centurion for his faith—not his occupation. Jesus also never told the “woman at the well” that she was wrong for having five husbands—and divorces, as well as living with a man who was not her husband. Neither is there any record of Jesus directly telling prostitutes that they were in the wrong profession but that doesn’t mean he commended it.  Each of these things are covered in his teachings, which he clearly had in mind for his followers to obey, whether he made a direct, personal application to them individually or not.

Jesus taught:
“Love your enemy.” Matthew 5:43-48

“Bless those who curse you.” Luke 6:28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:38-40

“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Peter said, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Paul said, 
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Jesus’ expects his followers to be different because they’re not operating the way this world does, but in God’s way.  By not telling the centurion—just one man, that he shouldn’t be in the military, Jesus did not wipe out all of his teachings about loving ones enemy.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32

"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:21

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” 
John 14:23,24

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Lesser of Two Evils

“Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils.”

Why in the world would a Christian ever choose any evil? God has clearly urged us to choose good and blessings over evil and cursing.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

Followers of Jesus are to walk in the light of obeying his teachings—not giving into the devil.  To conclude that one must “choose the lesser of two evils” is, in effect, to say, “Well, the devil has me backed into a corner and I have no way out so I have to do things his way.”  God always provides a way out of every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:12-14).  Followers of Jesus do not have to give in to the devil.

The “lesser of two evils” can sometimes even look good, as can a political candidate but Scripture warns that even the devil can appear as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

Don’t be fooled—evil is always from and of the devil and should never be accepted by a follower of Jesus.

Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:44-46

If you choose evil, you’ll get evil.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7,8