Daily Bible Nugget #494, John 5:24

The Nugget:

John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 

My Comment:

What is the most important thing I can tell you? I think the most important thing I can share with you is how you can know you truly have eternal life, how you can know that you truly belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

These things are not talked about today as much as they were when I was much younger. That is the primary spiritual reason why this country has largely departed from its original moral and Christian foundation. To solve the spiritual problems now experienced in this country and by this country, as partly evidenced by yesterday’s midterm elections nationwide, we need to experience for ourselves a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and then share with others how to do the same.

I began this spiritual journey for real on Saturday, November 7, 1953, while delivering the Detroit Shopping News. This was a five-mile walk each Wednesday and Saturday when I distributed the newspaper to about 300 customers. I was not allowed to use a bicycle. I was required to walk my route.

I had begun to read a pocket New Testament from my Grandma Smith’s farm in Belfield, North Dakota. It had belonged to my Aunt Norma. I read the New Testament through about two and a half times between August and November. While walking the five mile paper route that grey Saturday in November, I had the opportunity to think about the content I had been reading and rereading from the New Testament. I realized that though I had gone to church since my parents carried me there as an infant, I knew I was not saved.

I stopped at a point on Lumpkin Street where I usually crossed the street in the middle of the block, and while folding the next paper for delivery, stopped and prayed silently under an oak tree and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and save me for Jesus’ sake. From that time until today I know I have eternal life and am rightly related spiritually to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I believed the promise that Jesus gave:

John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Surely you can do the same! The promise is still valid.

Now how hard is that? 

Posted in Bible Promises, Christian Living, Daily Bible Nuggets, Doctrinal Discussions | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hidden Features in my Bible Cross Reference Books

Bible study is very exciting and spiritually profitable. Bible reading is wonderful, but Bible study is much more fruitful.

I have written three cross reference resources:  (1) The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; (2) Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible;  (3) The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

I wrote the following note to my twin nephews about ten years ago upon their high school graduation. The note pertains to my second resource, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, but equally applies to each of my other two collections of cross references. Using any of these resources to study any of the topics listed below should prove very informative.

12/27/08. Some otherwise “hidden” features of the Cross Reference Guide

 

This is a Bible study resource you can never exhaust! The more you use it to study the Bible, the better it gets. I spent over 26 years doing the research for this book, followed by five years to type it up, and two more years to put it in this format after 15 more years of research.

 

To use the book, look up a favorite verse, or select a verse you want to understand better, and look up its references. Favorite verses of mine include 2 Timothy 1:7; Colossians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 6:9, 10; Psalm 34:4; 40:17; 1 Peter 3:15; Romans 15:7.

 

Don’t miss the following special notes and references on:

 

Guidance, 1 K 12:7, 10. 13:9, 18, pages 339, 341;

 

Prophecy Index, Isaiah 11:11, pages 725, 726;

 

Bible study methods (cause/effect relationships), Psalm 9:10, pages 535, 536;

 

Special note on the use of “all” in the Bible, Genesis 41:56, page 59;

 

The use of “soul,” Genesis 2:7, page 4;

 

The use of “spirit,” Genesis 6:3, page 11;

 

Significant references to “If,” Genesis 4:7, page 8;

 

Four kinds of “if” in the New Testament, Matthew 4:9, pages 1017, 1018;

 

Attributes of God prove the Trinity, Matthew 28:19, pages 1075, 1076.

 

“Jehovah” of Old Testament passages applied to Jesus in the NT, 1 Peter 2:3, pages 1457, 1458.

 

Jehovah titles of the Old Testament, Exodus 15:26, page 87.

 

Prayer, major key reference to, Luke 11:9, pages 1129, 1130.

 

Reasons behind unanswered prayer, Psalm 66:18, page 583.

 

Instances of answered prayer, Psalm 99:6, page 611.

 

God punishes evil now, Genesis 6:13, key word destroy, page 12.

 

Imprecatory prayer, Jeremiah 10:25, page 807.

 

Receive one another, Romans 15:7, page 1298.

Posted in Bible Study Tools, How to Study the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Bible Nugget #493, Psalm 27:12

The Nugget:

Psa 27:12  Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

My Comment:

Satan is ever playing his same old tricks, and unwary people fall for them. We must learn to tell the difference between truth and falsehood, between fact and fallacy, between right and wrong, between news and propaganda.

False witnesses can be detected because their stories don’t line up with the facts as they stand.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was confronted by false witnesses at His trial. The witnesses brought forward against Him were sought for by the religious authorities who were against Jesus from the very start of His ministry.

Notice these texts:

Mat 26:59  Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 

Mat 26:60  But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 

Mat 26:61  And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 

Notice that we have in the New Testament record what it was that Jesus did say:

Joh 2:18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 

Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 

Joh 2:20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 

Joh 2:21  But he spake of the temple of his body. 

Joh 2:22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. 

I have placed the following note and cross references at Matthew 26:61,

I am able. See Joh 2:19, the words of which, however, they both misapplied and misquoted; see **Mar 14:58 (De Burgh). This was false; He had said “Destroy ye.” The false witnesses helped to fulfill it (CB). Note: The words of our Lord were widely different from this statement of them; so that the testimony of these witnesses was false, though it had the semblance of truth. Mat 27:40, *Psa 56:5, Jer 26:8, 9, 10, 11; Jer 26:16, 17, 18, 19, Mar 15:29, +*Joh 2:19, 20, 21, 22, Acts 6:13.

The passage cited above, John 2:19 and context, greatly troubles false witnesses even today. I have had Jehovah Witnesses visit me, and when we discussed this passage, they denied that the Scripture says that Jesus spoke of His own physical body. Yet, Jesus spoke these words in answer to the challenge of the Jews asking by what authority Jesus cleansed the Temple, and what sign would Jesus show as proof of His authority to do these things. The sign Jesus announced was His physical, bodily resurrection from the dead “in three days.” Scripture explicitly says, “But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:21), further adding, “When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said” (John 2:22). Most clearly, therefore, Jesus affirmed and predicted His own bodily resurrection from the dead, which Jehovah Witnesses resolutely deny, showing that they, too, are false witnesses.

Mark writes in his Gospel:

Mar 14:55  And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 

Mar 14:56  For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 

Mar 14:57  And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 

Mar 14:58  We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 

Mar 14:59  But neither so did their witness agree together. 

And that is the problem with all false witnesses: “But neither so did their witness agree together.”

Just a short time ago, Judge Kavanaugh faced several false witnesses, whose falsehood likewise was revealed by the fact that their testimony could not be substantiated. The tactic of bringing forward false witnesses to derail his appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States is clearly a very old one, for our Lord Jesus Christ Himself faced such treatment.

It is my belief, based upon Scripture, that it would be the height of unwisdom to support the political party in any way that employs such dastardly tactics against innocent persons. We should, instead, vote against them whenever we can, for they are traitors to our Constitutional Republic! Do not neglect your responsibility to vote on election day!

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, False Religions, Justice and the Bible, Politics and the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #492, John 7:51

The Nugget:

John 7:51  Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? (KJV)

Joh 7:51 “Our Law doesn’t let us condemn people before we hear what they have to say. We cannot judge them before we know what they have done.” (Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

When we go by the “rule of law” rather than by the “rule of men” or biased political parties, we adhere to the principle that a person is presumed innocent when faced by charges made by any accuser. We commonly say that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.”

We have lately seen, here in America, two gross perversions of law and justice in the scurrilous attacks upon the character of two great men, Judge Roy Moore and Judge Bret Kavanaugh.

Those who make accusations bear the burden of proof. Accusations must be backed up with credible evidence. An accuser’s account or story of what happened must be consistent with all the facts in the case. One witness must not be permitted to single-handedly condemn the innocence of the person they would accuse.

In the recent case that occupied the news cycle for nearly three full weeks (while other very important news items failed to make the news at all–a very handy cover-up procedure that is frequently employed), the emotional story of the accuser, Dr. Ford, failed to set forth verifiable facts to support her charges against Judge Kavanaugh. By her own testimony, she could not specify precisely where the alleged event took place. She did not know how she got there. She could not tell how she got home. None of the alleged witnesses were able or willing to verify her story. Dr. Ford was not able to produce any contemporary evidence in the form of testimony of persons to whom she told her story at the time. And in any case, there is no contemporaneous written testimony to back her story.

The sign on the security office door at the high school where I was a teacher says it best:

“If it is not written, it did not happen.”

The Bible has much to say about this issue. To find the places in the Bible that speak to the problems of properly hearing the charges of an accuser, of evaluating those charges, and of honoring the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty, read the Bible texts that are pointed out by the cross references given for John 7:51.

John 7:51

our law. Exo 23:1, Deut 1:17; +*Deut 13:14; Deut 17:6; Deut 17:8, 9, 10, 11; Deut 19:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, Prov 18:13, Zec 7:9, Acts 23:3.

before it hear him. FS184C, +Mat 4:9, +*Joh 7:24, Deut 1:16; *Deut 13:14; *Deut 17:4, **Jos 22:10; **Jos 22:11; **Jos 22:12 note, Jos 22:21 note, Jos 22:30, 1Sa 20:32, Ezr 10:16, +*Job 29:16, Psa 94:16, Prov 17:15; +*Prov 18:13; *Prov 31:8, Act 26:1, +**1Ti 5:19 note.

and know what he doeth. +*Deut 13:14, Acts 25:16; Acts 25:27.

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Justice and the Bible, Politics and the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #491, John 7:24

The Nugget:

Joh 7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 

My Comment:

I made a comment on Facebook just now about a video clip I saw posted, titled “Kavanaugh TORCHES Sen. Feinstein: ‘My Family’s Been Destroyed!’ White House Brief. September 27 at 8:15 pm. Bret Kavanaugh finally got the chance to testify about the uncorroborated sexual assault allegations against him. When he came face-to-face with Sen. Feinstein, there were FIREWORKS.”

Here is what I wrote:

Senator Feinstein literally sat on the letter she received from Dr. Ford (in July) until this critically “opportune moment” in September when it would have the greatest political effect to delay or derail President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
 
I understand that Senator Feinstein had a one-on-one half-hour interview with Judge Kavanaugh as part of the hearing and confirmation process. Why did she not bring up the existence of the letter she received to Judge Kavanaugh at that time?
 
The allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh are highly suspect because of their timing.
 
They are highly suspect because they lack contemporary evidence to validate them. A sign posted on the door of the security office in the high school where I taught says it all:  “If it is not written, it did not happen.”
 
As an English teacher, I had my students do much writing. Some of my students wrote about very personal and sensitive issues in their lives. I have always kept such matters in strict confidence. But I would think that a girl in high school who suffered the kind of incident claimed by Dr. Ford would have brought the incident to the attention of a trusted teacher or counselor to whom she could now appeal, but no such evidence has appeared to document that this alleged incident ever occurred.
 
The additional allegations from yet more “witnesses” are even more suspect for the same and additional reasons.
 
The political connections and allegiances of all of those making allegations are all from one political party. How is it that not one person advancing such allegations is not from the other major party?
 
Certainly, the Democrats have every reason to prevent Judge Kavanaugh or any other person nominated by President Trump from taking a position on the United States Supreme Court. Democrats are hardly motivated to restore the rule of law as opposed to the rule of men.

Jesus commanded us to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). This means Jesus insists that we follow “due process.” “Due process” is not Kangaroo Court in the public media. It means “righteous judgment” is not agenda driven, or politically driven. “Righteous judgment” involves the presumption of innocence whenever someone is charged with wrongdoing. We commonly speak of this as “Innocent until proven guilty,” with the emphasis upon “proven.” The burden of proof is upon the accuser, not the accused. This principle of law is widely disregarded by some institutions in our government, including the IRS. This principle must be insisted upon. Never vote for a person or a political party that thinks otherwise.

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Justice and the Bible, Politics and the Bible | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #490, Psalm 27:12

The Nugget:

Psa 27:12  Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. (KJV)

Psalm 27:12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. (NIV)

My Comment:

It is a very serious matter to speak or spread malicious accusations against anyone. Should you do so, be sure you are in big trouble with God. Solomon gave a list of seven things the Lord hates. Proverbs 6:19 tells us that one of those seven things is “a false witness that speaketh lies.” The Bible further declares that there are certain sins that will keep you out of heaven and send you straight to hell. Consider Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” This destiny is not a very pleasant prospect, but it is very real.

In the news this week and last week, accusations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Bret Kavanaugh have been most prominent. I believe these accusations are politically motivated. This is evident by the timing of the accusations. They are designed by the Democrats to derail the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. They do not want a conservative or a strict Constitutionalist to have a seat on the United States Supreme Court because that would derail all the plans they have against our Constitutional Republic. I believe that their actions demonstrate once again that they are very poor losers. In the light of the teaching of the Bible, I believe these accusers that have lately and most opportunely arisen out of nowhere against Judge Kavanaugh will surely be called to account in eternity.

This nation at its founding was founded upon the moral and ethical principles of the Bible. The so-called “law of nature and of nature’s God” is a direct reference to the Bible, the only Book where such information is contained. If you don’t believe me, you simply demonstrate that you have not read the founding documents of this country carefully. You have not read the sources that the founders were reading and most familiar with.

To make America Great Again, we must return to the principles of the founders, principles found in and based upon the Bible. Do not under any circumstance lend your support in the voting booth to those who make malicious accusations, who support falsehood and lies, or you will share their guilt on Judgment Day. And don’t stay home on election day and refuse to vote at all. Those who do that are, in effect, casting their vote for the “greater evil.”

 

 

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Politics and the Bible | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Daily Bible Nugget #489, Psalm 44:17

The Nugget:

Psalm 44:17  All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. 

My Comment:

When you experience turmoil and stress in your life, you may sometimes feel “All this has come upon me” and wonder why things happen the way they do. It may be that only God knows the reason why, but there are many things the Bible says that will shed light on this issue.

It is not wrong to have such questions. God understands our innermost feelings. He really does care. Even Bible characters have asked pointed questions. I have keyed these to Judges 6:13, where Gideon initially had such questions. Naomi asked such questions, and I have keyed many cross references to Ruth 1:13 and Ruth 1:20 in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. These passages and their cross references make for a good practical application Bible study that should be instructive and encouraging to everyone.

It could happen that in our own day we might find ourselves saying “all this is come upon us” both nationally and internationally. There are principles taught in the Bible that we as individuals and nations should follow. If we violate those principles expect to reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7, 8).

Currently in the news we might have a case of someone writing and speaking lies to defame an innocent person with the intent to prevent them from being approved for a position on the United States Supreme Court. The person making the accusations has brought up an alleged incident that took place 36 years ago. The person does not remember almost any details of exactly when or where the event took place. The person does not remember how she got there or how she got home. The person was 15 years old at the time it happened but she did not report it to anyone else at that time. No police report was filed. As a teacher myself, I would question why no report was made to the school counselor. The then 15-year-old student is now a college professor who teaches psychology. Her political background has been that of a strong supporter of the Democratic Party. She wrote a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein back last July. Senator Feinstein did not release the letter until a couple of days ago, and the accusation it contained has created quite a firestorm in the current news cycle.

This kind of unsupported accusation against a candidate for office or position has been used all too frequently, and almost always by Democrats against Republicans, or as in this case, against an appointee to the Supreme Court made by our Republican President. I am convinced that the timing of the release of this accusation in and of itself marks it as a false accusation. It fits a pattern. This repeated ploy by the Democrats, in my opinion, ought to be resisted by all American voters of whatever political party because it is morally wrong. In my estimation, everyone should refuse to vote for any Democrats this November to teach everyone that such blatant falsehoods backed by a complicit national media that refuses to tell the truth but instead broadcasts propaganda at every turn will not be tolerated.

I watched a clip of Senator Feinstein herself state that she was not entirely sure about the truthfulness of the letter she received. I understand that Senator Feinstein had a face-to-face meeting with the Supreme Court candidate and that she did not bring up the written accusation she had received against him. I also understand that the same college professor wrote a similar letter against the first Supreme Court appointment by President Trump, but the letter was never acted upon. If true, that surely casts doubt upon the truthfulness of the accuser.

As a former English teacher, I am appalled at the apparent lack of ability of many consumers of the American news media to detect or sense propaganda when they see, read, or hear it. The moment I heard of the psychology professor’s accusations against the current Supreme Court nominee, I sensed this was blatant falsehood, because of the timing of the revelation. The letter writer has a political agenda.

As a Bible-believing Christian, I believe every Christian must stand up for the truth and express their faith at the ballot box. We need to be truthful ourselves, and never try to use a lie to further any agenda we might have. We are not to forget God, and we are never to deal falsely in any matter.

 

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Politics and the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

by Vijay Chandra

Introduction:

The most important and significant event in history was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Most people know that Jesus was crucified almost 2,000 years ago in Palestine. Many people even have a vague idea regarding the meaning of Christ’s death. They know it has something to do with salvation. But, when people are questioned regarding the biblical theological significance of Jesus’ person and work most display a woeful ignorance of God’s Word. The purpose of this paper is to provide readers with a small primer on the atonement.

The word ‘atonement’ is a theological term that is used to describe the substitutionary act or work of Christ. The word occurs in the KJV in Romans 5:11. It has the basic meaning of ‘reconciliation.’ The word often is used in the Old Testament to translate the Hebrew word kipper and kippurim, which means ‘propitiation’ or ‘expiation.’ The word atonement encompasses Christ’s work of redemption on behalf of His people. The center of Christ’s work, the main event to which the whole Old Testament pointed and which the whole New Testament expounded was Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, or His blood, or His cross (Rom 3:25, 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:16; Eph.1:7, 2:13, Col.1:20, Heb 11:12, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 John 1:7; 5:6,  7, 8, Rev 1:5).

Many people today regard the idea of the atonement as barbaric and outmoded. They often say: Why would God require or even allow His Son to be tortured and killed in such a bloody humiliating manner? Isn’t God a God of love? Couldn’t He just forgive people’s sins without the awful shedding of blood? A Protestant liberal theologian has even argued that the classic Christian concept of the atonement is nothing short of child abuse. Such comments reveal an ignorance and/or rejection of divine revelation. They also show us that in order to understand the meaning of Christ’s death we also must learn some things regarding God’s nature, sin, man’s estate and so forth. Thus, while on the one hand, the subject of the atonement is simple, it also is very rich and multifaceted.

 

The Necessity of the Atonement:

When discussing the necessity of the atonement some different aspects of the atonement need to be considered for the sake of clarification.

First, a distinction needs to be made between necessity, as it relates to God’s motive or moving cause to save sinners, and necessity, as it relates to God’s method or means used to achieve salvation. These topics need to be treated separately because they deal with different questions, each of which the Bible answers differently.

Did God because of something within His own nature or something intrinsic to man have to save sinners? Did God’s attributes of love, mercy, and compassion force Him to act? Could God have left the whole human race to perish in their sins if He so desired? The Biblical answer is that God’s decision to save a people for Himself was a free choice that was not determined by any internal or external necessity. Paul says that God’s predestination of the elect to salvation in Christ was ‘according to the good pleasure of His will’ (Eph 1:5, also see in Gal 1:4 and Gal 1:19). All these passages clearly indicate that God’s decision to save sinners was a free sovereign choice.

Note also that the Bible repeatedly speaks of salvation as a ‘free gift’ given by God. This does not mean that achieving redemption was without cost for the Bible says Christians were ‘bought at a price’ (1 Cor 6:20, 7:23), that Christ redeemed the church with His own precious blood (1 Pet 1:19). The free gift passages refer to the fact that God bestows salvation upon the elect freely or voluntarily. God was not obligated to save anyone, but out of his own good pleasure He gave ‘freely.’ Paul says that believers are ‘justified freely by his grace’ (Rom 3:24), that God will ‘freely give us all things’ (Rom 8:32); that the Holy Spirit enables us to ‘know the things that have been freely given to us by God’ (1 Cor 2:12). God’s freeness in giving salvation to the elect is intimately connected with the biblical concept of grace. Grace means that God gives His favor and salvation to those who deserve wrath and hell-fire, to those who hate God and are His enemies. Salvation is never presented in the Scriptures as bestowed because of obligation or debt. Neither a foreseen faith, nor good works, or bloodline, or nationality have anything to do with God’s free choice (Rom 9:18, 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Although the Bible teaches that the moving cause of the atonement was God’s Sovereign good pleasure, this fact does not mean that God’s decision was purely arbitrary. Yes, it was a free act but it was an act rooted in God’s nature. The Bible speaks of the atonement as the provision of God’s love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9, 10, 11). The love of God is the spring from which the atonement flows. Jesus’ death was the supreme demonstration of God’s love. ‘But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Rom 5:8). Paul informed us in Romans 8:29 that God’s love preceded election, ‘For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed o the image of His Son’ (the word ‘foreknew’ in this passage is used in the Hebraistic sense of ‘to love beforehand’). The fact that God the Father sent His only begotten Son to die for sinners because he loved them beforehand should spur every Christian not only to wonder and amazement but also a profound adoration, love, and praise toward God. The Father didn’t have to send the Son and the Son didn’t have to humble Himself, but because of their love and mercy toward the elect, Jesus came and died (Psalm 100:4, 5).

 

A second distinction that needs to be made is between a hypothetical necessity and an absolute necessity. Some of the early reformers (Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli) held that the atonement was necessary only in the sense that God sovereignly decreed to save sinners by Christ’s death. In other words, the sacrifice of Christ had to take place because God predestined it, not because it was the only method that did not contradict God’s moral perfection. If God had wanted to, He could have decreed other methods of securing the salvation of the elect. It is important to understand the difference between a hypothetical and absolute necessity because many passages which point to an absolute necessity could also be used to support a hypothetical or relative necessity viewpoint. For example, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You Will” (Matt 26:39; Mk 8:31, Luke 9:22, 17:25, John 3:14, 12:34, 20:9, Acts 17:3). If God has decreed that something take place in history, it must take place.

Having considered the moving cause of the atonement and the hypothetical necessity viewpoint, let us turn our attention to the biblical evidence for the absolute necessity understanding of the atonement.

 

This doctrine is vital for a number of reasons:

First, it refutes the popular modern day notion that there are many different paths that lead to God and eternal life. This doctrine proves that only the sinless blood of Christ can remove the guilt of sin and consequently God’s wrath against the sinner.

Second, it tells us a lot about the God who is—the God with whom we all have to deal. The God of the Bible is not promiscuous or sloppy regarding ethics. Jehovah Is infinitely holy and righteous and thus cannot dwell or have fellowship with any person who has the guilt of sin.

Third, it teaches us that sin is exceedingly wicked and evil. Sin (the transgression of God’s holy law) is not a light thing. It is a deadly, soul-damning, God-hating, death-loving act. This thought of committing sin against a God of infinite holiness should make us tremble with fear. Sin is the reason that the spotless, harmless, undefiled Son of God had to die to accomplish redemption. Because of sin, the only sinless, good man who ever lived was humiliated, abandoned, tortured and publicly executed as a criminal.

Fourth, as noted above, it teaches us that God’s love of the elect is totally amazing. Although God was not obligated to save anyone, He out of His love, mercy, and kindness decided to save a people from every nation even though this redemption could only be achieved at the ultimate cost of the suffering and blood of the Lord of glory (Rev 5:9, 1 Cor 2:8).

 

There are four major reasons why the atonement was necessary, most of which are intimately connected with God’s nature or character.

Although the God of the Bible is totally sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing and infinite in perfection, there are certain things that God cannot do. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Heb 6:18) or tempt man to sin (James 1:13). Jehovah can do anything except violate His own nature. In other words “He cannot deny Himself”(2 Tim 2:13). Therefore, when God determined to save a people from the guilt of sin, He could only choose a course of action consistent with His own character (in particular His moral character). The apostle Paul put it this way, God’s method of salvation had to demonstrate “His righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26). The attributes of God that directly lead to the necessity of the atonement are God’s righteousness, justness, and holiness.

God’s Righteousness and Justice:

Many people who object to the biblical doctrine of the atonement do so because they do not understand who God is. They reason within themselves; ‘Why doesn’t God simply forgive and forget? Wouldn’t God forgive people as long as they say sorry and endeavor to be a better person? Isn’t the idea that only the death and shed blood of Christ can remove sin extreme and fanatical? ’ The reason God cannot simply let sin slide or sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist is that He is righteous and just. “The LORD is righteous, He is in her mindset, He will do no unrighteousness” (Zech 3:5). “Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Ps 89:14). “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He”(Dt 32:4). When the Bible speaks of God’s ethical perfection and justice, it does not refer to a standard or realm of ideals outside of God but to God’s very being itself. “God is light and in Him is no standard or realm of ideals outside of God but to God’s very being itself.” God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Therefore, Abraham, who knew God’s character, could ask Jehovah, ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ (Gen 18:25). Likewise, the apostle Paul could say, “Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!” (Rom 9:14). God can only do what is right. Because of His nature, He can only do what is just.

God’s nature demands that sin be punished. If God refused to give sin its full measure of punishment then he could not claim to be perfectly just. God’s infinite holiness, justice, and righteousness of necessity demand the infliction of punishment on the sinner himself or on an appropriate substitute. The Bible contains many passages that declare that God has to punish sin. We read of this in the following Scripture texts (Ex 23:7, 34:7, Num 14:18, Nah 1:3, Psalm 5:4, 5, 6, Nah 1:2, Rom 1:18). Paul argues in Romans 3:25, 26, that it was necessary that Christ should be offered as an atoning sacrifice for sin, in order that God might be just while justifying the sinner. The important thing was that the justice of God should be maintained.

 

A common objection against the biblical teaching that God must punish sin is that it makes God less charitable than many people who are willing to forgive offenses without any sort of satisfaction. While it is true that many people can and do forgive personal offenses against them, the comparison between God and a private individual is totally illegitimate. God is the Creator, Sovereign Lord over all, Supreme Lawgiver and Judge of all men. Therefore, He must maintain His veracity, law, and justice. A private individual does not have to contradict his own nature, law, and justice to forgive an offense. The Bible repeatedly affirms that as the Supreme Judge over the whole earth, God will only render just judgment. “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render each one according to his deeds” (Rom 2:5, 6. cf. Rev 20:12).

GOD IS HOLY:

Another aspect of God’s character that necessitates the atonement is His holiness. The nature of God is perfect and complete holiness. This is not optional or arbitrary; it is the way God is by nature. He has always been absolutely holy. Nothing more need or can be said. It is useless to ask, Why is God holy? He simply is. Being contrary to God’s nature, sin is repulsive to Him. He is allergic to sin, so to speak. He cannot look upon it. He is compelled to turn away from it. His infinite holiness causes Him to hate sin with perfect hatred. God is so holy that before sinful men and women can come into his presence and have fellowship with Him the guilt of their sin must be removed and they must be clothed with perfect righteousness.

The attribute of God that is emphasized by Scripture above all other attributes (including love) is Holiness. God’s holiness refers to His absolute distinctiveness from all His creatures (His creatures are not holy or perfect but in deep sin) and to His glorious exalted existence above His creation in infinite majesty as well as His infinite moral purity. The God of the Bible is not like the pagan deities who fornicate, get drunk and commit sexual acts with other goddesses and give birth like in Hindu and other eastern religions (Rev 4:8, Isaiah 6:3). ‘Who is like You, O LORD among the gods, Who is like You, glorious in holiness.’ (Ex 15:11).

God demands a perfect holiness in people not arbitrarily but because His own perfect holiness requires it. To the Israelite, He said, ‘you shall be holy; For I Am holy’ (Lev 11:44). Because God is holy, he hates sin and cannot dwell with sinners. ‘You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wickedness’ (Hab 1:13, Psalm 5:4, 5). Unlike other religions, the God of the Bible cannot be compared with the other gods (man-made gods, deities) or to gods of stone, wood, etc.). He is the HOLY ONE.

When God created Adam and Eve, He made them in His own image (Gen 1:27). Before they ate the forbidden fruit and fell into sin, they were holy and righteous. They were without any ethical spot or blemish. What happened to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God’s command and sinned against Him? They were cast out of God’s presence. Why? Because a thrice holy God cannot have fellowship with people who are not holy! God is so infinitely holy that every sin that an individual commits merits death: physical, spiritual and eternal. God had warned Adam that the day that he disobeyed Him, he would certainly die (Gen 2:17). God’s holiness of intrinsic necessity set up a separation between Jehovah and all sinners (Isaiah 59:1, 2).

Once we understand the holiness of God then we can understand the severe penalty that sin deserves. When God demands that ‘the soul who sins must die’ (Ezekiel 18:4), He is not setting forth an arbitrary penalty but is penalizing sinners exactly as His holy and righteous nature require as we see from the following Scriptures: Rom 1:32, Ps 5:5, 7:11, Rom 6:23). ‘Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death’ (James 1:15). ‘The soul who sins must die’ (Ezekiel 18:4).

The Requirement of a Perfect Righteousness

Thus far we have seen that because God is holy and just, His nature requires that sin be punished with death (spiritual, physical and eternal). Therefore, to be saved we need a substitute who can pay the penalty in our place (Christ is the sinless God-man who could fulfill the necessary requirements to be that perfect substitute). However, the Bible teaches that having the guilt of our sins removed is not enough to gain eternal life with God. Jehovah also requires a positive righteousness. God requires a life lived in perpetual righteousness; a life lived in perfect obedience to His law before eternal life is bestowed. Money wrote ‘In order to gain the blessing of God your obedience must be [1] personal: ‘If you listen to the commandments’ (Dt 11:26); [2] perfect: ‘what does the LORD your GOD require from you but to fear the LORD your GOD, to walk in all His ways and love Him and to serve the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul’ (Dt 10:12). [3] perpetual: ‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always’ (Dt 5:29, James 2:10).

The biblical teaching that God requires a perfect, personal and perpetual obedience to His law before eternal life is attained is taught by the covenant of works made with Adam. After God created Adam, he told him not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). If Adam obeyed he would live. That is, he would gain access to the tree of life. In Rev 22:14, the right to the tree of life and entrance into the heavenly city are linked. If Adam had met God’s condition of perfect obedience, his reward would have been life everlasting in God’s presence. Adam, however, failed, his own act of disobedience caused him to be ejected from Eden to prevent access to the tree of life.

Our problem is not just that we have the guilt of sin but also that we lack a perfect righteousness (Rom 2:13, 3:23, Jn 8:46). The author of Hebrews says that Jesus was ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners’ (Heb 4:15). Paul says, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21). The apostle John writes, ‘In Him there is no sin’ (1 John 3:5). Peter says that Jesus committed no sin (1 Peter 2:22); that Christ was ‘as a lamb without blemish and without spot’ (1Peter 1:19). Christ is the way, the truth, and the life to heaven: besides Himself, there is no way to heaven or to eternal life. Good works will not save us.

The teaching of the Gospel

When the New Testament epistles explain the death of Christ, they do so in terms of necessity. For example, the authors of Hebrews says that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no remission’ (Heb 9:22). If the method of salvation depended solely upon God’s arbitrary decision then the shedding of the blood would not be necessary. The author of Hebrews speaking under divine inspiration not only says that the blood is necessary but only one type of blood will do—the blood of Christ. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb 10:4, 11, 12, 14). If God could simply by divine fiat pardon sin then the central message of Hebrews 9 and 10 would be totally untrue. Furthermore, the Bible says that Christ appeased the wrath of God (Rom 3:25). If God could have appeased His own wrath by a mere act of volition (without first demanding any satisfaction) then all the passages which speak of Christ propitiating God’s wrath would be not only unnecessary but would be purely for dramatic effect as in a stage play and nothing more. The very idea that God would send His Son to the cross for any other reason than necessity not only is a denial of God’s wisdom but also borders on blasphemy. Paul did not for a moment entertain such thinking: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin” (Eph 1:7). Christ made peace through His blood of the cross (Col 1:20).

When we examine the Biblical teaching regarding God’s moral attributes, His law with eternal penal sanctions, the nature of sin and man’s predicament as guilty before God, the need of perfect righteousness for eternal life, and so on, everything points to only one conclusion. Christ’s sinless life and sacrificial death was the only way that sinners could be saved (John 14:6). ‘I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved’ (John 10:9). Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said regarding ‘Jesus Christ of Nazareth,’ ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12).

The issue of the necessity of the atonement is a life and death, heaven and hell matter. Now we should have an understanding of who God really is, why he hates sin and why sin must be punished, how God’s love and mercy sent His only Son to the cross and, why there is no other way to be saved other than Christ’s life and blood. Are you going to trust in Christ alone for your salvation or will you continue on the path of iniquity and destruction? 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9 says: ‘When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.’

 

Posted in Doctrinal Discussions, Vijay Chandra Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Today is Literacy Day

The Nugget:

1Ti 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 

My Comment:

Literacy, both here in America and around the world, is a very important subject.

The ability to read well is essential to learning. The ability to write is critical to communication.

Reading is a skill that improves with practice. The best way to practice reading is to spend quality time actually reading books.

Parents of school-age children and young people need to encourage reading at home. Reading for pleasure is something all children and students should experience.

Even before children are old enough to attend school, parents can help the future personal and academic success of children by spending regular quality time reading to them.

Reading non-fiction informational books is especially important. Make use of the public library if you have access to such a marvelous place. Choose books that are of interest to your child or student. Read more than one book on the subject. Read the easiest book or books you can find first. Then read a book written for young adult readers on the same non-fiction subject. Finally, read a book written for adults. Your child will be able to understand the more complex adult-level book if your child has encountered the easier books first. Let your student become an “expert” on several different subjects of interest by following this “reading ladder” procedure.

The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to “give attendance to reading.” In that day, when copies of the Bible were too scarce and expensive for everyone to own one, the Bible was read publicly to the congregation. Paul urged Timothy to take special care to continue that practice. Now, when we can all own our own Bible, we ought to follow Paul’s advice to Timothy and read the Bible regularly, even daily, for ourselves. That would greatly help us to grow spiritually and increase in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For any who may read here, I would mention that I have created a reading program that is available on Amazon. Just type the title into the search box on the Amazon site where it is available as a Kindle book ($9.99) or paperback printed book ($19.99). The book is 350 pages long, with a page size of 8 by 10 inches. The title is The Language Enrichment Program. This resource works to improve reading comprehension, reading speed, and academic motivation.

It works well for users of any age above age 8, and works for speakers of English as a second language too. I have used it with adults. I have used it with gifted and talented high school seniors. I have used it with reluctant learners. I have found it helps everyone I have used it with over a period of more than 50 years. Users on average show a gain of two years in reading comprehension, with many users showing four or five years and even more  in a single semester. The Language Enrichment Program is self-instructional and can be used without the help of a teacher or tutor. Parents of motivated children under age 8 can use this resource if they help the child when the child has a question. The book contains a complete answer key with explanations where I have found explanations to be helpful or needed.

Posted in Education Issues, The Language Enrichment Program | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #488, Daniel 9:13

The Nugget:

Dan 9:13  As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. 

My Comment:

Pastor W. L. Wade of the Lighthouse Bible Church of Danville, Virginia, spoke on this verse, Daniel 9:13, paired with another verse, Psalm 44:17, in his radio program on Friday, August 18, 2018. Pastor Wade is a gifted Bible teacher and preacher of God’s Word. I wish I could capture the essence of his message here in writing, but I am not that talented. Nevertheless, I would like to point out just a few things about Daniel 9:13.

Daniel is making a great prayer to God on behalf of his nation and himself in chapter nine of the book of Daniel. The whole prayer is most instructive.

Daniel understands that the great troubles that have befallen his nation are a fulfillment of the promises (blessings) and curses given in the law of Moses (see Deuteronomy 28:15). Notice that Daniel expresses no doubt concerning the fact that Moses wrote the laws of God as found in our Bible. Daniel accepts the Bible account as true, and so should we.

In his prayer, Daniel confesses that a proper response to all the evil that has come upon his nation has not been made. The right response would be to come to God in earnest prayer.

Daniel understood that proper prayer would lead to a change of heart and a turning to God. This would result in the ability on their part to understand God’s truth as it is recorded in God’s Word, the Bible. Notice that Daniel expresses this truth as a cause/effect relationship, something to take careful note of.

What Daniel prayed, and what Daniel revealed about his own understanding of God’s Word, is applicable to us today, both as individuals, and as a nation.

Much more can be studied regarding what Daniel 9:13 actually teaches, and the bearing of the rest of Scripture on the themes reflected in this verse, by studying carefully the cross references given for this verse:

Daniel 9:13

As it is written. Note: Thus every succeeding part of the Sacred Writings attests and proves the Divine authority of the preceding. The history relates the fulfillment of former predictions; and then new prophecies are added, which future events accomplish, and thus demonstrate their inspiration to the latest ages. See on Dan 9:11, +*Lev 26:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 <rp. *Deut 28:15 <rp, etc. Deut 31:9, +*Isa 42:9, Lam 2:15, 16, 17, +*Joh 10:35; *Joh 13:19; +*Joh 14:29; *Joh 16:4.

law of Moses. +*Exo 24:4, Neh 1:7.

is come upon us. Psa 44:17.

yet. **Jer 36:24.

made we not our prayer before. Heb. intreated we not the face of, etc. +Exo 32:11, Job 11:19; Job 36:13, Isa 9:13; Isa 31:1; Isa 43:22, *Jer 2:30; *Jer 5:3; +**Jer 10:25; +Jer 26:19 mg. Jer 36:7, Hos 7:7; Hos 7:10; Hos 7:14.

that. +**Psa 9:10.

we might turn. Deut 29:4, 1Ki 8:48, Job 33:23, Psa 85:4; +*Psa 119:18; +*Psa 119:27; +*Psa 119:73, Isa 59:20; Isa 64:7, Jer 31:18; Jer 44:27, Lam 5:21, Eze 18:30; Eze 24:12; *Eze 33:11, Luk 24:45, Joh 6:45; *Joh 8:32, +Act 3:19, Eph 4:21.

and understand. T1733, +Psa 119:27 (T1737). +*Pro 28:5, Eph 1:17, 18, +*Jas 1:5.

 

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment