Monday, September 14, 2009

Do We Need a Creed?

For Systematic Theology I class, I enjoyed reading about the Creeds of the Church, for they are what I would call “Condensed Systematic Theologies”. I think that the formulation of a new creed would be helpful not just for catechesis, but for the sake of solidifying evangelical Christians together. In a way, the Evangelical Community does have a creed: the Gospel. The Gospel is really just a compact version of Systematic Theology, for it is basically Who God is, what He has done, what He will do, who we are, what we do, and what we need to do according to His Word. However, there is no clear, precise, smooth, and ubiquitous Creed for and of Evangelicals. In fact, if one could be synthesized from Scripture by the Community as a whole and then distributed, then it may help the spread of the Gospel, because believers will now have something in memory that contains the Gospel and the basics of what they need to share. For example, if someone has memorized a Scripturally based, Gospel-centered, true creed, then when his friend asks him what he believes he has a basic answer. Or, for another example, if a person asks what he has to do to be saved, then the believer can respond from the points of the creed. I am very tempted to try to get movement started to gather such a creed of the Gospel that we believe based of the Scriptures.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Make My Joy Complete: How the Church Should be a Joy to Pastors and Christ

This past week I went to J-Gen for the first time, at which I was a counselor. It was there in the Reidger Chapel at Taylor University that God opened my eyes to something that I should have been able to see since the beginning in the Church as a pastor: Joy. It is odd, but at long last I get those verse where Paul goes "Make my joy complete..." or Jesus says "that your joy may be complete"--this I am sure would make Christian Hedonists everywhere smile, but even still. I get it now. Before I could never understand how that could be a Godly thing to beg others to complete my own joy, but I get it! Make my Joy Complete! Although it seems selfish, my own joy is bound up with their faith and God's glory. I should indeed be filled with great joy as I see God being truly worshipped! How amazing will heaven be as I not simply worship, love, trust, and rejoice in God myself but as I rejoice in everyone else's worship--as I rejoice in God being glorified! What else could bring more joy to my heart, mind, eyes, ears, and soul than to see God Almighty, the One and Only Forever, glorified by all for all! My joy is for God's Best! My joy is for their best too! I beg them to make my joy complete, because it is my joy to have them continue in the faith for eternity, in ontology and activity! Indeed, since so many fall away, how great indeed is my joy when one person trusts in God for now and for always no matter the cost! How great is my joy when God is glorified by comparison instead of contrast! My joy is their faith exploding over into everyday life everyday! I rejoice to see my sheep--all sheep--worship God and to love and hope and trust in God--the One and Only God, who Is the GREAT I AM and who Is THE HOLY TRINITY! O how I rejoice in the exceeding joy of real faith being in my sheep--in all sheep--and that same faith going out in practice in Glory, Love, Trust, Hope, and Zeal for God all filled with Joy in Him!

I rejoice when girls starving themselves see their Hope in Christ and that True Beauty is first about being Beautiful to God--that such obsession with skinniness is just foolishness of the flesh, world, and devil--O how I rejoice to see girls see that being Beautiful to God comes way before looking "Beautiful" to the world--Indeed, Sarah was often (even in her old age) desirable to the world, but she clothed herself with submissiveness to Abraham. Godliness knocks socks off! O how I rejoice in men realizing the shallow and depraved foolishness of adulterous self-indulgence! O how I rejoice with men as they gut the idol of porn with the Holy Spirit's aid! O how I rejoice when impurity and sexual immorality leaves the sheep of my Good Shepherd! O how I rejoice when self-destruction and self-obsession vanish from the bodies and minds of the sheep of God! O how I rejoice when those in fear praise God for faith and courage! O how I rejoice when Christ's sheep hear His Voice and obey in faith! O how I rejoice when the sinner repents! O how I rejoice when there is Unity in the Body of Christ and Fidelity in Marriages down deep into even the passing impulses of the soul! O how I rejoice when God is Glorified in all things in all ways always! O how I rejoice when God's Word becomes the Anchor of Hope and Faith and Life and Love in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit according to the Sovereign Will of the Father! O how I rejoice when my sheep--all sheep--study God's Word passionately and lovingly endlessly, all the while in all things in all ways in all times praying as Christ does in complete and total faith and zeal and passion and emotion to God, their Hearer! O how I rejoice in the faith, hope, love, joy, and unity of Christ's Bride the Church! O how I rejoice as He washes us with the Word removing any and every blemish! O how I rejoice in all this and more! O how I rejoice in our rapture to Christ! O how I rejoice in the Holy Trinity's being glorified in us, the Body and Bride of Christ!

Brothers and Sister, please make my Joy Complete!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I LOVE the faith of children...

Today, it was most refreshing to see the beauty, humility, and honesty of a child's faith--O how I praise God for the sweet faith of His beloved children (literal children in age that is, not just us adopted children) that as I was helping someone at church to find a way to teach from Scripture that God is Real to children, the Spirit touched my heart to move from Exodus and Romans to Genesis as the foundational passage for the sermon. I then turned to my left as I called Jenny Kim a cute, Korean 2nd-Grader over to us to ask her a question. I asked her, "Jenny, how do you know that God is real?" She replied just as I hoped she would, "Because He made the world!" It was then that my heart praised God for her faith and its youthful beauty. She got it. All she needed to know or to see or whatever was just God has given us to belive in Him: Himself and His Word and His Creation. She did not need long explanations, she just held by God's grace to the faith! O Lord, that we would have faith in our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls that so we would trust You first and have a devout, humble, beautiful faith--childlike faith! O Holy Trinity, that we would trust in You, Your Word, and Your general revelation so easily! Hallelujah for Your gracing Jenny with such a pure, wise, passionate faith--please sustain it and keep it, while making us have faith like that!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Oddly enough, my 21st birthday was more of a day to serve and work than it was to relax and be served. However, Melissa did help make it special by taking me out to dinner at Giordano's (which is the best Chicago Style pizza ever--there is just so much wonderful cheese, an inch of it at least)--the pizza was quite good and she even let me put green peppers on half..mmm...and then when I took her home there was tea cake waiting for be fair, my family did something for me too, but they were trying to surprise me so I did not know about and apparently missed the signals that said I needed to get home earlier...needless to say I felt bad for obstructing their plans to make my birthday special.

Certainly, since it was a Sunday, I was in Chicago for Church, where it just so happened that a child was celebrating his birthday and so I sort of celebrated with him before my church surprised me with my own cake and balloon--it was very sweet...the act that is, but I suppose the cake too. Nevertheless, due to the necessity of helping the chaotic car wash going on at the same time in the Church parking lot, I did not get to celebrate long or finish my meal. Following which, I conducted a preparation for VBS (which is next week) meeting with the Youth Group after the Car Wash was over.

So, indeed I did not spend the day drinking or anything so foolish and wicked as to celebrate drunkenness by a grand participation thereof. (As an aside, for the record, I find no Biblical problem with drinking, but rather with getting drunk; considering that Paul told Timothy to drink some wine because it would be good for his stomach, drinking is not sinful, but God through Paul makes it very clear that getting drunk is a sin. So, for those of you who do drink, I applaud your Christian liberty to drink without getting drunk as long as you do so to the Glory of God, for drinking for the sake of drinking is rather a poor motivation, curiosity does not always mean it is a good reason, for my eyes may be curious as to what scantily clad thing that they just saw stroll past, but it would be evil to indulge their curiosity.) Personally, I feel compelled to not drink whatsoever, a compelling coming from the upbringing that God Providencially placed in me and coming from the Spirit and from a certain Moody Bible Institute form that I am repeatedly forced to sign. My conscience forbibs my partaking of alcohol, but I do not miss it, nor do I desire to look down on those who do partake of alcohol to the Glory of God.

Thank you, Lord for 21 years outside the womb! May the rest of the years you bless me with be all to love, serve, know, and glorify you and to that end to love, lead, and feed the church. I love You so much, Holy Trinity!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Testimony

God called me to salvation by His Loving Grace through my faith in Christ Jesus' death in my stead for my sin and my just eternal punishment in hell because of that sin and His Resurrection from the dead after 3 days in the tomb assuring me of eternal life--all by the working of the Holy Spirit in my soul who then came into me to dwell and sanctify me until the day of my receiving a new glorious body devoid of sin or weakness or fault and empower for the keeping of the faith, hope, and love to the Glory of the Holy Trinity forever and ever and the good works that God has pre-ordained for all the elect.
He did this when I was 3 almost 4 years old. It was a sunny day in late spring or early summer, but I was inside and my mother was preparing a Sunday School lesson with cutouts. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit reached inside of my wicked soul and convicted me of my current destiny of hell because of my sin and my need therefore of Jesus as my Savior. I did not want to hell for sure, so I told Jesus that I did not want to go to hell and I told Him that I really did believe that He died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart and give me eternal life in heaven. At that moment I felt the burden of my sins fall of my soul and the Spirit come in--Peace in the best and purest sense, Peace. For the next several years I grew little by little and I was baptized at age 7 if I remember accurately in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I had a mean streak however, according to my mother, which indeed I did and it lasted for a while. When I was about 12-13 I started actually listening to the sermons at church instead of drawing and personally pursuing God actively on my own with desire rather than just the passive pursuit that I had mostly had, although I served at church, prayed, memorized scripture, and read my Bible before then--I would say that I go more serious about things around that time. Puberty and all that agony was soon in full swing, which unfortunately meant that keeping my heart and mind in pure places was suddenly a great difficult. That turbulence was ironically a time of great growth in spite of the grotesque amounts of lust sin at the same time--I am living proof God is gracious and does not treat us in the way our sins deserve. Pastor Craig Parrow was my mentor and is still a good friend. He, God used to teach me much. Most of this is my retrospective analysis; God is good! This time full of darkness and growth lasted I was aged 16, then I surprise turn about came.
God called me to be a pastor. From then on the whole lust issue was more of a non-issue--God is so gracious. God intervened several times in the following eight months to reveal to me great truths and initiate great growth. I stepped up in the youth group and started leading--someday I will have to write out the story of my pastoral calling and subsequent affirming months--and was even given opportunities to teach. When the weather got warmer, I started evangelizing on the street every oppotunity I could get. That summer I got to teach the VBS several times. Oh right, I forgot to mention, my dad got a new job which required my familty to move from Cleveland, Ohio to Le Roy, Illinois. I was very active in the youth group and the church up until we left when I was 17 in September-October.
There is more to the testimony--I am almost 21 after all--but it will have to wait for another time. I know, sort of a cliff-hanger, but oh well...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Interpretation of Galatians 3:28

Complimentarianism and Egalitarianism are the topic of debate most between Christians, although some parts of the Lost, Outside world may debate the concept.

For the record, Complimentarianism is a system of thought--or view if you prefer--that believes that God has created men and women with specific roles to play in this world that equally bring glory to Him, are equally valuable and necessary, and that fit together in such a way that manhood and womanhood work together perfectly to reveal the bests in each other and achieve things in the best way, which is God's way--id est, men and women compliment each other in God's eternal design.

Conversely, Egalitarianism is a system of thought--or view--that believe that God has created men and women equal, that it is only because of the fall that there is any seeming inequality (although in truth, Complimentarians would agree to this, they would explain it differently), that in Christ now there are no difference in equality in terms of ethnicity, social status, and gender (something Complimentarians would also agree to, but not mean the same as Egalitarians), thus they believe that anyone, man or woman is eligible for leadership offices in the church (pastors/elders/bishops/etc.) and outside thereof as well (civic, professional, etc.) if qualified.

Both of these views have their own spectrum on which their adherent may fall. Both sides have many thing they agree on as well. Both try to base their views off Scripture, usually at least, although there are always some who swing by personal bias rather than the Spirit and God's Word. The main differences between these two views are their applications of Scripture and their emphases in Scripture. At the end of the day, this is a disagreement of views of person hood and what equality means. The main rub for Egalitarians is that they believe that to allow only one of the genders to hold spiritual leadership offices in the Church is unjust--that it is unequal treatment. They have a problem with restricting people from what they desire to do--people should be free to attain whatever status they desire. Similarly, they tend to focus on free will and are found main among those who espouse a high focus on it. Also, they often are be low-church in orientation. Further, many of them are in the Arminian camp theologically. For example, the Assemblies of God are Egalitarian and fit the aforementioned description.

In contrast, the Complimentarian view takes issue with the concept that everyone must have the same opportunities to be equal. Moreover, the rub comes with the concept of erasing the concept of gender that God create as good. Their focus is on the teleology of the person--that is what that person was created for--thus, they take issue with Egalitarianism in terms infringing God's intentions. They think that in fact it demeans men and women to say that there is no real difference between them and ignores that God is the God of Order and Everything-with-a-Purpose. Likewise, Complimentarians tend to come from Calvinistic or semi-Calvinistic circles. Often they are affiliated with more high-church orientations. They therefore focus on the Sovereignty and Glory of God. The fundamentally believe that people should be what God wills them and creates them to be.

Honestly, both sides have their own sets of abuses and extremes. Egalitarians would let unqualified people into offices, for example--id est, they will let just anyone be whatever they want regardless. Complimentarians can allow those in spiritual offices to abuse their power and subject women especially to mistreatment. God definitely abhors both extremes.

Now to the point, I am very much a Complimentarian and for a variety of good reasons. However, often Egalitarians cite Galatians 3:28 as proof of equality meaning everyone can be what they want in Christ, for in Christ there is no difference between Jews and Greeks, Slaves and Freemen, and Males and Females. Thus, I am left to wonder whether Complimentarianism really is the view of God. However, I am now convinced that Galatians 3:28 is not support for Egalitarianism whatsoever. The following is an exegetical interpretation of Galatians 3:28 that I believe to be true, which does not allow this to support Egalitarianism, and perhaps even supports Complimentarianism. I will admit however that I could be in error, but as far as the Spirit has so far led, I believe the following to be the true interpretation of the truth of God's Word. I will give you the context of the passage and then continue on to the specifics of the verse. So without further ado...

"But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise. Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
--Galatians 3:25-4:7

Now, for Galatians 3:28, in Greek
οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
--here is my transliteration for those unable to read that:
'ouk 'eni 'Ioudaios 'oude `Ellen 'ouk 'eni doulos 'oude 'eleutheros 'ouk 'eni 'arsen kai thelu pantes gar `umeis `eis 'este 'en Christo 'Iesou
--here is my translation of the Greek
"There's not (or "not is in") a Jew nor a Greek; there's not (not is in) a slave nor a freeman; there's not (not is in) a male and a female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus"
The key, I think, to the whole debate for this verse is a)Context, and b) Paul's weird change up of rhythm and terms when discussing the last "there's not" phrase. Firstly, as to the Context. there are some things to note. One, the context is talking about salvation by faith alone. Two, the context is talking about being heirs to the Promise given to Abraham by being sons of God and Abraham in Christ Jesus. Three, the verse taken alone (although a foolish thing to do) is focusing on unity, not equality. Four, the context mentions wrapping oneself in Christ in terms of heirship and sonship (this will be important once I explain).
Secondly, Paul changes from his not-nor trend to a not-and trend. This is odd. It clearly puts emphasis on the Male-Female section. Also, due to nature of how language is used and what the change means. With regard to Jew-Greek and Slave-Freeman, Paul writes: "NOT a Jew and NOT a Greek" and "NOT a Slave and NOT a Freeman". This means that there is not either of them. Both do not exist. They are moot. gone, nil. However, when Paul gets to Male-Female, he writes: "NOT a Male AND a Female". This can mean 5 things in the language:
1) it can mean that there is not Male-Female (i.e. male and female would be considered one concept, not two concepts, so it is not there is not male and female as two separate concepts, but rather there is not male-female as one concept);
2) it can mean that there is not both of them separately (however, this is not likely to my knowledge as a translation and very not likely given the context of the change from not-nor to not-and--the focus is on the AND);
3) it can mean that there is not a male, EVEN female (this might be possible grammatically, but very unlikely and it does not make sense as far as reading--I don't consider this an option);
4) it can mean that there is not both male and female, but that there is only female, for although the NOT means that you cannot have both of them together, you could have one all by itself, in this case female (however, this does not fit very well with context, which is talking about sons);
5) it can mean that there is not both male and female, but that there is only male, for you cannot have each one, but you could have one, in this case the male (given the context, the male makes the most sense, rather than the female, because of all the talk of sons and heirs).

The Question to ask is "Which option is right?". Connected to that, we should ask, "Why would Paul change the pattern and theme of not-nor?" This is where the context comes in. We need to ask this question of Galatians 3:28: "What question is this verse answering?" Firstly, I say the fifth option is right, because of the answers to the next to questions. Paul, I believe, changed the pattern to put emphasis on one simple fact, in Christ we are all heirs, and if heirs, sons. In fact, the whole point of this verse is to emphasize the importance of us all being sons in Christ Jesus. Being in Christ Jesus is a key theme for Paul throughout many of his letters--it is a position of ontological fellowship with Christ Jesus by the Father's Grace through faith and in the Spirit. It is our salvation, our position of salvation. The point is that we are sons and heirs in Christ Jesus. Above all that is what we are in Christ Jesus, we are not Jews and not Greeks, not Slaves and not Freemen, and not male and female--we are just males, sons, heirs in Christ Jesus. Only males, sons, could be heirs. Remember this is in the context of salvation by grace alone, so when it comes to salvation, we are only male--that is we are only eligible for being an heir, a son. In terms of salvation, we are equal, we are heirs and sons. We are wrapped up with Christ Jesus the Son, we are not female when it comes to salvation, we are heirs to the Promise, we are sons. So then, what question is this verse answering, "Who are we in terms of salvation in Christ Jesus?" The answer is twofold: We are not Jews, Greeks, Slaves, Freemen, we are male heirs and sons of the Promise in Christ Jesus, for we are one in Christ Jesus. We are united and share the position of heirs and sons in Christ Jesus by God's grace through faith in the Spirit!

On a side note, I have translated all the adjectives of Galatians 3:28 substantively, that is to say as nouns for that is the best way given the context and the grammar. Male ('arsen) seems to come from the word for "lift up/take/take away"--'aipo. Female (thelus) comes from the word for "give the breast/suckle" (thelazo), which comes from the word for nipple (thele). Also, male and female are both adjectives, but are used twice in Scripture (Matt. 19:4 and Mark 10:6) to quote from Genesis how God created them. This could denote that gender is meaning to be thrown out, but I disagree because of the context. Therefore, the contexts denotes that there is a special role and position for sons that of receiving the Promise down from Abraham (and the curse through Adam) and leadership. Therefore, this verse, besides clearly not supporting the aims of Egalitarianism, may actually support the view of Complimentatianism.

Please do let me know what you think. Feel free to critique and criticize. Interact. We want the truth after all. Ask questions and I will try to answer as well. Thanks.

Stickers, Stickers, Stickers

Hey, so now we are going to have something called a Prize Chart or something else if you have a better name, but the important thing to know is that it will keep tract of all the things that glorify God and show that you love Him and who He loves that I have decided to reward you for. You can get stickers for:
  1. Being good in large group time (which means staying quiet, listening, answering questions, and obeying)
  2. Being good in small group (which means the same thing as being good in large group, except you can talk more freely)
  3. Being good at Friday's lesson
  4. Bringing your Bible
  5. Winning Sword Drills
  6. Bringing guests (preferably non-Christians or people who don't go to church)
  7. Singing
  8. Coming to me or another adult with your problem (like if somebody hurts your, calls you a name, hurts your feelings, or something like that) and not retaliating (hurting them back)
  9. Extra Surprise Stickers that I will give when I choose to give grace
I will give stickers at the end of the day.


When you get 10 stickers, you will get a prize.
When we are able to add up all the stickers and the total is 500 Stickers, then we all will have a big prize together, like an Ice Cream Party or something really cool and worth working hard at.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

#2 How Old is God?

Here are the options: 
1. God is as old as the universe
2. God is as old as time
3. God is 1,000,000,000,000 years old
4. God is not old at all, He is young/new
5. God is too far away to know how old He is
6. God does not have an age, because He created time--He goes beyond time
7. God does not have an age, because He always was, is, and will be--He goes beyond time 

Option 1 is wrong, because God created the universe (Gen. 1:1), so he was already around before it existed. 
Option 2 is wrong, because time has only been around since it began in the beginning (Gen. 1:1), which means that time started when God first created. Without God there is no time, but with out time there is still God. 
Option 3 is wrong, because God is infinite, which means that you cannot measure Him because He is unlimited and measures are a way to limit things, so since years are a measure, then God cannot be any number of years old, no matter if it is a lot of years or a little bit of years.
Option 4 is sort of right or sort of wrong, depending on what you mean by saying that. If you mean that God did not always exist, then Option 4 is wrong. However, if you mean that God is not frail/weak like many who are old, but rather that He is always strong, vibrant, and quick, then Option 4 is right. For God never gets old or wears out or gets weaker or decays or becomes boring, so in that sense He is always young/new/untarnished. 
Option 5 is wrong, because God has told us about Himself in His Word, and He puts His Spirit in those who believe, so that God really is close and we really can know about Him. 
Option 6 is right, because it is saying that God is bigger than time and that He does not have an age, because all time (and so all ages inside of time) depends on God. God goes beyong time, beyong years, decades, centuries, millennia, etc. (Gen. 1:1 implies this, so does Rev. 22:130). He is infinite (I Kings 8:27, Psalm 147:5). 
Option 7 is right, because it is saying that God is. This is a little  more complicated than option 6. It is an reason from God's necessary and infinite and eternal being--which is a way to say that that God is not just bigger than everything and the creator of everything, but rather He is the sustainer of everything including time (Acts 17:29; Col. 1:15-20; Heb. 1:3). We are, only because He is. He does not have an age because He is. He just is. He exists, always have, does, and will no matter way. His existence is the only one that does not have a cause, but is the cause for all other things. Age is a way to measure the length of someone immediate existence, but God's existence is infinite (immeasurable, unlimited) and is in fact the source of all existence. Therfore, not only can God not have an age, but further He gives age to everything else. He is ageless. His being is was makes age possible, without Him nothing could exist, and age is a measure of existence, so God does not have an age He only gives them. So, basically God is and something about Him being who He is and the way He is means that He cannot have an age, because age is a way to limit, but God has no limits when it comes to time or anything else. Or God is who He is: He who was and is and is to come  (Ex. 3:14, Rev. 4:8).

Are you confused by now, I think I am. So if you have questions, leave a comment. I will try to answer. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

#1 What happened to the people who died before Christ died for the world's sins?

They were either saved or condemned. Look at Noah (Gen. 6-9)

How were they saved before Christ?

Genesis 3:15 look forward to God's promise
Genesis 15:6 faith credited as righteousness
Jonah 3 Ninevites believed God
Galatians 3  NOT by the Law 
Ephesians 2:8-10 NOT by doing "good works" 
Romans 3 Justified by God a righteousnesss from Him through faith/left the sins committed before Christ unpunished until Christ
Romans 4 by faith 
Romans 9 by God's mercy/choice 
Hebrew 4 heard the gospel, like us
Hebrews 9:15 Christ died for their sins (and ours)
Hebrews 11:1,6 By Faith

What if they weren't saved?

Numbers Destroyed in the desert for unbelief

Luke 16:19-31 hell
I Peter 3 Sent to prison (hell)
Revelation 20 Judged and sent to hell 


Basically people who died before Christ died on the Cross for the world's sins either went to be with God or to be judged by God--destined for Heaven or for Hell. However, it is not about what they did. It is about what God did. God is Love and He is full of mercy, so some God chose to save, just like He chooses to save us. He worked in us and them to impell them to faith. If someone believed in God, that person would be declared righteous by God--God would look and see their faith and say because of what Christ is going to do, I say they are righteous. Instead of believing in what Christ did, like we do to be saved, they believed in what God promised to do. They believe looking forward, we believe looking backward. They were saved by believing God in what He had already said He would do. In fact, Christ's death was so powerful that it covered even all the sins of the people before Christ. The same righteousness of Christ that God imputes to us is the same righteousness that God credited to the people before Christ's death. People who believed in God then obeyed God because of their faith, just the way we believe in God and show it by obeying Him.  They were not saved by obeying; they just showed they were saved through faith in God and His Promises by obeying. They willl be in Heaven with us. For those who did not believe in God and His promises before Christ died for the world's sin, they went to hell. When Christ comes back, the ones who did not believe in God and His Promises will be judged and sent to the lake of fire forever. 

If you have any questsions on my answer or have heard a different answer, just leave it as a comment. Thanks. 

Grace and Peace
Pastor Anthony

Monday, May 18, 2009

Peace at Last...and Greek Study

After enjoying a rigorous semester of labors and toils and little sleep, I am finished. I have finally slept in and enjoyed this odd feeling of having nothing in particular to do, id est, except for studying intensely Greek grammar and vocabulary so that I can take that placement exam and Lord's Willing be spared from having to retake grammar courses that I should already know. On the upside of victory is greater depths of studying into Greek and thus greater depths of insight into the meaning of Scripture. On the downside of failure is the fact that I will have to take stuff that I should know already and be delayed in my pursuit of greater Greek learning. On the upside of failure, my next semester will be much easier than expected. Regardless, for now it is nice to have little more to do that fulfill my highest callings: To Love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, body, soul, and strength, To Love Melissa the one and only woman God has called me to as Christ loves the Church, and To serve and edify the Church as an undershepherd of the Savior. Peace Indeed! To pose another philosophical question: "How do the mind and the body interact?" I desire interaction. No answer is too crazy, well, perhaps that is saying a bit too much...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Regarding God's Goodness

Everyday indeed, God reaffirms His Goodness. He is indeed very God. It is His Ontology--His Being--He is GOOD! Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him, for He is God and He is Good. His Word and His Works testify to His Goodness. I know that He puts up with evil for the sake of His mercy and patience toward us so that all would come to Him. But, one wonders, why did He allow for evil in the first place? I mean He is All-Good All the Time, so where did it come from. He could have prevented it, for He is omnipotent and He is omniscient, so He knew it was coming. He is omnibeneficent, so He hates evil. So why is there evil? I mean, yes, I realize Adam and Eve sinned and brought evil into the word, the devil too had already fallen and sought to defile God unblemished creation. God could have indeed created us to be impervious to evil and sin, but indeed we were weak. I had not thought until now, but considering faith is the crux of our relationship with God perhaps that faith, which makes us so intimate with God, is that which also provided frailty--although God is the source of our faith, so why did that faith not get sustained? God does test. We failed. Ergo, we have great sin and thus great evil in the world. I just wonder why this is the way God chose to do things--surely He knows best. So I suppose the scariest thought is that this is the best option. Tell me, what do you think by faith that makes God in His Goodness allow sin to come into existence in the first place. He is Good. That is the unpronounceable Truth. I think to much for my own good, so you think for me. Why does evil exist? It perplexes me of recent days. Yet, I am have very little time. Praise the Lord for He is GOOD! He is Unfathomably GOOD!

Omnia Pro Gloria Dei

Omnia in hac area oportent etenim necesse sunt esse pro glora Dei, quia Is dignus infinite in aetates habere et dari omnia potentes et omnia honores et omnia gloriae et omnia laudes et omnia amores quoniam Is Tres Personae--Pater et Filius et Sanctus Spiritus--in Una Substantia--Sanctus Deus--est et Is Bonus, Bellus, Benignus, Verus, Aeternus, Omniponens, Unicus, Justusque est.