Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless, but believing.”28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.” John 20:27-29
We need to understand that Thomas was a Jew. Jews only believed in one God, YHWH the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, & were very careful not to use His name in vain. By the Scriptures of the Old Testament they new about the Messiah, but didn’t have a complete understanding or revelation about Him, until Jesus came.
The prophets of the Old Testament said in referring to their coming Messiah, that He is God or Divine:
The gospel is ‘ good news’ for sinners, it is eternal salvation available to everyone. In the New Testament we find the rest of the instructions that we need to learn in order to know God better & to do His will, which in reality its the best for us (to benefit & protect us). For example, in book of Corinthians we find the following verse, which it’s called the ‘Gospel in a nutshell’. It is the only true gospel that the apostles preached:
God made promises to Abraham (Gen.12:1-3, 17:7) & his’ Descendant/The Seed‘ (Christ, the Messiah) but the Jews stumbled on this (Isaiah 28:16, Rom. 9:33), they misinterpreted it & took it as it was just for all Abraham’s descendants in the flesh, Israelites. Sadly they still believe that today! Most of them believe in salvation because of their race. But we’ll talk about this on a next post ‘Who is Abraham’s Seed‘.
All through out John chapter 3 we notice so many times that salvation if for whosoever believes in Jesus Christ. The King James translates the Greek word ‘pisteuōn‘ in ‘beliveth‘ to indicate the verb is in present progressive ‘believing‘, the action still continues.
Psalm 25 is a beautiful prayer that reminds us that God fights on our behalf, that He can guides us, teaches us and instructs us if we ask Him. It reminds us that God can rescue us, protect us & keep us safe. God love us and is faithful in all His ways. If we live by faith (trusting Him) and we humble ourselves before God, He’ll answer us when we pray for His forgiveness, deliverance and protection.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise“. Psalm 51:17
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
‘Replacement Theology” teaches God has no more plans for Israel & the church has ‘replaced’ them, but this is a doctrine that’s proved wrong by many bible passages one of them found in Romans 11 which tells us that God is not yet done with Israel, even they had rejected Him.
But on the opposite side of the coin we have another kind of ‘Replacement Theology’ were some teach that in order to be saved the ‘church’ needs to be part of Israel, (in other words the church is replaced by Israel). As one of their main points they use Romans 11, which they interpret that gentile believers are grafted into ‘Israel’, and for that reason have to become like them. But this is also wrong, to see it more clearly I’m sharing this next article that contains some nice illustrations:
Some Christians believe that once you are saved you will always remain saved, and that no matter what you do after that, including sinning, your salvation is still secured. Some others will add that if you sin willingly, then it is because you were never saved in the first place; even after 20 or more years of walking faithfully with God, if you fall, it means you were never really saved.
We’ll try to explain our position on this subject. We are not attacking people who believe differently, we are not questioning their salvation or attacking their character. We believe this is a very important doctrine, but we also think it is still not an issue to divide over if the person has the Foundational Doctrines right, unless ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ is used as a license to sin. Sound Doctrine is very important because what we believe is going to affect our actions & way of living.
God places on us the responsibility to guard our hearts from hardening. Deut. 15:7, Prov.4:23, Prov. 28: 14 We are warned NOT to harden our hearts.
So what about the passages where God hardens peoples hearts? The main confusion people encounter in this regard has to do with Calvinist’s teachings that say passages which speak of God hardening human hearts prove God’s selective election & determinism from the foundation of the world. That God hardens the hearts of people not elected for heaven so they won’t receive salvation.
But God is not saying one thing and doing another. God is Just! Deut. 32:4, Jeremiah 17:10, Job 34:12 , etc.
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. . . .For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying (G2205 = Jealousy), and strife (G2054= contentions ), and divisions (G1370= dissension, division, sedition ), are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? . . . Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. 1 Corinthians. 3:1-23
This bible verse is often misinterpreted. When reading it, at simple view, it may seem to some that Paul is saying division among Christian denominations is carnal. Some go as far as to accuse their brethren of being carnal just because they expose false doctrines or false teachers, not realizing they are the ones acting in a carnal way. Others even say that Peter (Cephas) is the founder of the Catholic church & for that reason we should accept this denomination as part of the body, otherwise it would mean we are carnal or divisive.
We are going to use the same 4 steps mentioned previously, to study PSALM 23:
1/ Setting the context: (abc’s)
– Author — King David
– Background — When did the author live? In what culture? Born in 907 BC, he reigned as king of Israel for 40 years, dying at age 70 in 837 BC. He was a farm boy, a shepherd & a musician, then became a warrior & a king. David had a heart for the Lord.
– Context — Book of Psalm, Chapter 23:1-6 The Christian sees in this Psalm a wonderful foreshadowing of “The Good Shepherd” Jesus Christ, (John 10) who gave His life for His sheep & watches over them even now.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice,” Psalm 95:7