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...