The Good Word Of The Day

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Understanding Of Forces Which Have Shaped The 20th Century

Right off the bat of in this video they jump into an EXCELLENT historian Carol Quigely. If you doubt the NWO at all download a copy of "Tragedy and hope" this book will tell you about the anglo american banking elites trying to take control of the world.

Just make sure you have time and patience since the book talks about LOTS of other stuff as well.


The Bible tells us, "...God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent," (Acts 17:30). But, what is repentance according to the Bible? Biblically, it can mean anything from sincere regret to altered behavior that results in a moral change. God desires that we repent. He desires that our behavior, deeds, and words be molded to the image of His Son. As Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Matt. 4:17). Okay, so we are supposed to repent, But repent from what? What is it we are supposed to stop doing? What are we to change?

Sin is breaking God's law. The Law of God is best exemplified in the Ten Commandments which is a reflection of the perfect, holy, and pure nature of God's character. God cannot lie, or steal, or bear false witness because these things are against His nature. God is good. Therefore, the Law is good and it is the standard of moral perfection. But we, on the other hand, are fallen creatures who cannot keep the law perfectly. Those of use who are redeemed constantly fight with our fleshly desires (1 Peter 2:11) in an effort to obey God and be conformed to His holiness: "Be holy for I am holy," (1 Pet. 1:16). That is, we continually fight against our natural tendency to do that which is often contrary to God's will. This is why Paul said in Rom. 7:19, "For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish." So, we are to repent of any and all things contrary to God's revealed word which means we need to study the Bible so we might be better conformed to what He desires. We also need to face the reality that even though we Christians are redeemed, we are still battling our sins and, unfortunately, we fail too often to live up to the standard of God's holy perfection. This is why we need Jesus.

Jesus is the One who stood in our place and fulfilled all of the Law of God perfectly. He never sinned (1 Pet. 2:22). When we become Christians, the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to us; that is, it is reckoned to our account so that God sees us as being righteous because of the work of Christ. This means that our repentance from our sins is not without purpose or value. You see, we know too well that we repent of sins that we commit over and over again. But we must ask how can God forgive us if we have asked for forgiveness for a sin(s) and yet we continue to fall back into it? Does not our failure condemn us and prove that we have not repented? Not at all. Jesus bore all our sins in His body (1 Pet. 2:24), not just some of them, not just the ones we are able to repent of, but also the ones that we struggle with and continually fight against. The important truth is that we are not redeemed by our efforts at holiness and we do not maintain salvation by repenting and not sinning. All our hope and security is in Jesus and He loves us and forgives us as often as we need it. Of course, this does not mean that it is okay to sin just so we can be forgiven (Rom. 6:1-2). But it does mean that we are secure and free in Christ to not have to beat ourselves up in our efforts to please Him.

Beware of a pitfall. Sometimes, penance is part of our problem. Penance is a repayment, a way of fixing a wrong. Sometimes we try and make things right with God through an effort or self inflicted guilt. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making things right with someone you've sinned against and guilt is the right response to a wrong deed. But, there is absolutely no penance that we can do that can ever please God in anyway. If there were, then Jesus would not have needed to die for our sins (Gal. 2:21). The simple truth is that if we try and do something to suffer in order to make ourselves right with God, we are insulting God and the very work of Christ on the cross by attempting to please God by our works. This must be avoided at all costs. Let me restate this yet again. Penance is sinful when it is aimed at making ourselves right with God. The only way we can be right with God is by throwing ourselves at the cross and asking forgiveness from the Lord Himself.

Do you have sins you need to repent of? Are there some old habits, some new sins, some people you're not reconciled with, or something else that is contrary to God's word that you have not turned from? If so, then confess it to God and repent. Don't try and please God through your efforts to make up for a sin against Him. Please God by completely and totally relying on Jesus -- and turning from your sins. You need to know that God is there to forgive you and to love you. He is good and kind and patient with you. "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4, NASB).

Repentance is a holy command of God. It is something He can give to you (2 Tim. 2:5) through the grace of His Son Jesus. Seek God's holiness and turn from that which is unholy.


This isn't to sway you impress you but to show you what I am trying to prove to people.

This stuff isn't fake those who haven't ventured in life or have, God is all forgiving.

I promise you the devil is the biggest deciever, please read the book of life, believe in God it is full of promise and truth!

When a world is full of fakes and Bologna you need truth!

Are you humble? I have a friend who jokingly says, "I'm proud of my humility." The funny thing is that he actually is one of the more humble men I know. He and I both realize that humility is no joke. It is a hard thing to master. If I say I am humble, then am I humble? If I think I'm humble, am I? Or what if I say, "In my humble opinion, I'm not very humble," then what do I do?

What is humility? Biblically there are several facets to humility, but I want to focus on that aspect that deals with our relation to God. Therefore, humility is the right understanding of who you are before God. Notice, I did not say it means that you have to hate yourself, or call yourself names, or say you aren't worth anything, etc. Humility is that quality of a Christian that demonstrates a right relationship and position before God. This demonstration is manifested in attitude, words, and deeds. John the Baptist was humble: "And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals," (Mark 1:7). He knew who he was in relation to Jesus. Remember the parable of the tax gather in Luke 18:9-14 where he said, "Lord have mercy on me a sinner"? Jesus called him humble. He knew that before God, he was a sinner.

How about you? Are you humble before your Lord -- don't answer. Instead, think of who Jesus is, His holiness, His greatness, His majesty, His love, His sacrifice, etc. And remember that Jesus humbled Himself by becoming one of us, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross," (Phil. 2:8). Then, ask yourself if you are humble or not.

Romans 12:3 says, "For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith," (NASB). God does not want us to think too highly of ourselves. Instead, he wants us to think soundly. Whenever I start getting prideful and begin thinking that I know a lot about the Bible, or how big my website is, or whatever else I can boast about, the Lord reminds me of how utterly pompous I really am. Does God need me to carry out His will on this earth? Nope. Does He need me to answer tough questions for people? Nope. Does He need me to "get things done"? Nope, not at all. He doesn't need me at all. That is why it is really amazing that He uses me in spite of what I am inside. Now, THAT is grace! Praise God! What I need to do is listen to Him, look to the cross, love God first, love my neighbor second, and not think more highly of myself than I ought. Oh Lord, I pray that you would fill my heart with humility as I look to your Son, that you would not let me think more highly of myself than I ought, and that I would love you and honor you.

We need to be humble for many reasons, but 1 Pet. 5:5 has a good one to focus on: "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I don't want God to oppose me. I suspect you don't want Him to oppose you either. It is good to be humble before people and to be thought of as nice and kind and not proud, but our humility before God is where we need to start, not with people. We need to start with our relationship with Him that can only come through a proper relationship with Jesus. We need to be humble before God and dependent up Him, seeking His will. Therefore, prayer, the place of dependence upon God, is the practice of humility before God. When we let our souls bask in the presence of God, we find out who we really are: sinners, saved by grace, and kept by His love. And, as Moses' face shined because of being in the presence of God, so too will your heart reflect the humility and love of Jesus as we spend time with Him in prayer. Seek Jesus and you will find perfect Humility.

The Fruit of the Spirit

Gal. 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Now, quick, without looking, how many fruit are there of the Spirit? Take a guess and then count to see if you got it right. Did you get it right? Did you get nine? If you did, you're wrong because there is only ONE fruit of the Spirit, that's right, just one. In Greek the word for "fruit" is "karpos" and it is in the singular. So, to translate this a little loosely, it could read like this. "But the single fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control..." This means that all of these graces listed are one group that go together as a unit.

Now, this little tidbit of information is important. First of all, notice that the fruit of the Spirit is just that, of the Spirit. It is not your fruit, but the fruit of the Spirit of God. This is because God is love (1 John 4:8) and He lives in the believer (John 14:23). This means that it is the work of God the Holy Spirit in you to bear this fruit. Of course, you cooperate with God in bearing this fruit and you absolutely need to seek to develop it, but it is God who is " work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). Of course, we know that it is God's good pleasure that you love and bear the fruit of love.

Second, if it is all one fruit, then all the nine things listed there are already yours in the Spirit of God. In other words, all nine things are really one thing that you have because the Holy Spirit indwells you -- if you are a Christian, that is. You see, if you are loving, then will you not have joy? If you are loving, will you not also have peace? If you are loving, will you not also be patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled? It could easily be said that love is the tree that bears the fruit of joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. If you have love, the love of God in your heart because of your belief and faith in Jesus and His sacrifice, then all the other graces listed there are yours too. You just need to develop them.

But, when you examine yourself you might notice that some of the fruit (speaking of individual aspects of love here) are not all that well developed. You might be kind and good, but need to work on your patience. You might have great joy and peace but need work on self-control and gentleness. None of us are perfect, and we all have areas of improvement. But, all Christians have the Spirit of God and therefore, they have the fruit of the Spirit of God in them. It is there, if only in developing form, but it is there.

Now, this is important. Why is it there? I want you to focus on this following point. The fruit of the Spirit of God is in you because, if you are a Christian, you have been bought with a price. You have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, God in flesh (john 1:1,14), who died on the cross for your sins (1 Pet. 2:24). It is only because of what Jesus did that you can ever hope to be good, or gentle, or kind, or patient, or loving, or anything. You cannot truly live these things without the Spirit of God in you.

Finally, it is by faith that you walk before God (Hab. 2:4). It is by faith that you seek the Lord and seek to manifest the love of His Spirit in you. It is important because the unbelievers need to see those graces working in you. They are an evidence of your conversion and a testimony of God's indwelling.

So, ask yourself if you are loving or trying to show love not only to God but also to people. Then, go back and count those fruit again. When you get to "one," stop and ask the Lord to develop that in your heart.

Facing Ourselves

In light of two Christian friends suddenly discovering they have terminal cancer, I have been forced to face some issues in my own life. As a Christian who defends the faith, who teaches about God's love, and who seeks to have the ministry of Jesus spread as far as possible, I find that my own heart is cold, dark, and selfish. I do not like what I see.

My two friends are facing death and one of the first things I think of is that I am glad it isn't me. I hate to admit it, but it is true that I am more concerned about myself than them. How selfish I am in my heart. My wife, who can cry compassionately for her friend who has terminal cancer, shames me by the demonstration of her kindness and empathy. My own heart does not weep as easily as hers. Instead, I am glad that I am "okay." Don't be mistaken. I feel for my friends and I am sorry that they have cancer and I pray that God will heal them both. But, I am not broken inside over their plight. I am not so empathetic as I should be because the compassion in my heart is wedded to my desire for personal safety and comfort. Somehow, I feel as though I am betraying Christ and what He stands for by being so selfish. Have I not learned what I need to learn in life so that the woes of others move me to a greater compassion? Have I become so comfortable in my life and patterns, that my heart has grown cold? Is God trying to show me something through the suffering of others?

In John 11, we read the story of Lazarus. Verses 2-5 say, "And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick...5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."

We know the story. Lazarus dies and Jesus raises him from the dead. But what is interesting is that Jesus waited. He tarried. He did not rush to Lazarus to heal Him after He finds out that Lazarus is ill. Instead, the Bible says in verse six, "When therefore He heard that he was sick, He stayed then two days longer in the place where He was." Why did Jesus wait two days longer? It seems to that one of the reasons was so that Lazarus could die so that Jesus could raise Him from the dead and glorify God and so that the disciples would believe in Him (John 11:15) and know that Jesus is the "resurrection and the life," (John 11:25). But, please take note of what Jesus does as He approaches the place where Lazarus has died. "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, 34and said, "Where have you laid him?" They *said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35Jesus wept. 36And so the Jews were saying, "Behold how He loved him!" (John 11:33-36).

I am always impressed by the compassion of Jesus. Here He is, God in flesh, a man of men, the living Word of God and yet, Jesus weeps -- in public. His compassion was so true that He was not ashamed to cry before other men. He loved dearly and truly and His love moved Him to compassion. His compassion led Him to action.

Whenever I study Jesus and His life, I invariably feel uncomfortable because in so doing I am forced to see myself in light of His kindness, compassion, goodness, truth, sacrifice, and love. I always fall short and I always WILL fall short. So, I find that I like to hide in the corners of my own comfort and self righteousness and say "Well, at least I go to church, don't lie, and help people understand God better. I mean, I'm not THAT bad." But the truth is, I AM that bad. I AM selfish with an underdeveloped sense of love and compassion. But, as long as it doesn't have to be tested, I can stay comfortable and secure.

Isn't that just like us to find a comfortable level of spiritual existence where we don't have to face ourselves the way we should? I don't know about you, but that is definitely a problem I have and the cancer in my friends has forced me to realize just how sinful I am in my heart which, as the Bible says, is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jer. 17:9). Again, I do not like what I see.

What about you? How is your heart doing? Are you so comfortable that your heart isn't being stretched? How is your compassion for others? How is your love for them? Are you led to action, to prayer, to help, to minister to others when they are in times of need or do you brush it off because to face the needs of others means that you have to face yourself?

We all have issues to deal with before God. But, one thing I know is that Jesus' compassion for us is infinite and holy. He knows our weaknesses, our selfish desires, and our sins. Yet, the amazing thing is that He still loves us -- in spite of what we are. He loves us not because of what we are, but because of what He is. He said He will never leave us or forsake us (Matt. 28:20). He knows us all too well and yet, He loves with an infinite love. Let us look to Jesus and learn how to be more like Him. To Him be the glory. To Him be the praise.

The Witch of Endor 5


Are you a slave? There are two kinds of slaves we can choose to be according to the Bible. First, 2 Pet. 2:19 says, " what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." Second, 1 Cor. 7:22 says, "For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave."

Before we were Christians, a great many of us followed the lusts of our heart, indulging in our flesh, our egos, and our desires. We were slaves to these lusts and answered their call, all the while thinking that it was us who was in control. But, what benefit were we deriving of those things that we are now ashamed of? I see no benefit. Rom. 6:21 says, "Therefore, what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death." The truth is that being a slave to sin brings nothing but bondage, suffering, and sin.

But now, by the grace of God, we are set free from the enslavement of our passions. We are called of the Lord, freedmen, the slaves of Christ. I would rather be the slave of Christ than a slave of my flesh. The former brings joy and peace. The later brings pain and anguish.

Which are you? Which do you want to be? It is a good idea to periodically sit back and analyze your relationship with God. First of all, are you saved? Have you trusted in the sacrifice of Christ alone, who is God in flesh, for the forgiveness of your sins. Are you are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1)? Have you received Jesus (John 1:12)? Do you rely in no way on your own effort to be saved (Rom. 4:5)? If so, then praise God. But, if you have not done this, then you are still a slave to your sins -- whether you believe it or not -- and are on your way to eternal damnation.

However, if you are a Christian and still struggle with some of the sins of your past, there is comfort for you. First, you must understand that God still loves you and forgives you -- because of Jesus. Second, you must realize that you are not saved by your "staying good." You are saved by grace, not by your sustained goodness and obedience. Third, you must continue to war against your sin and confess it to the Lord -- each and every time you fall. Fourth, you must, by faith, receive the forgiveness of Jesus and not guilt-whip yourself into a false sense of "penance" in a morbid attempt to appease God by making yourself suffer so as to be found worthy to be with God. There is nothing you can do to be found worthy to God. All your worth is found in Jesus. You must look to Him and to Him alone for your salvation and your sanctification. You must throw yourself completely upon Jesus and trust Him alone -- for everything.

Jesus is the one who you must seek. Spend regular time with Him in prayer asking for strength, for deliverance, and faith. Remember that Jesus is gentle and kind. He loves you and is desiring fellowship with you. Go to Him in all things.

Dying with Christ

Here is a trick question. Have you died yet? I am not talking about a near-death experience. I am talking about a theological statement made in the Bible and what it means. In short, if you are a Christian, you have died. Please consider the following Scriptures: "Now if we have died with Christ..." (Rom. 6:8); "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world..." (Col. 2:20); "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3); "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him" (2 Tim. 2:11).

Our death in Christ is a death to the old self, the old ways, the sinful life. It is a reality and a hope. It is truth as well as life. Jesus so completely represented us on the cross, that when He died, it is said that we died. This is why Paul says in Col. 3:5, "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry." You are to mentally reckon, intellectually acknowledge, meditate on, think in such a way as to consider yourselves dead to sin.

Of course, we Christians know that we struggle with sin, that it is not dead in us, that we fail, and continually come to the Lord Jesus and ask for forgiveness. We Christians know what we are inside. We know we are not perfect and that many of the thoughts of our mind would terribly embarrass and shame us if they were publicly spoken. Such is the reality of our fallen selves. Yet, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin. We are to think of ourselves as dead to sin.

The reason we can do this is because of Jesus and what He did on the cross. Only through Jesus can we be delivered from sin. Only through the shed blood of God the Son can our lives be made right before God the Father. The reality of the crucifixion and of Jesus' bearing our sins, all of them, in His body, is realized in the acknowledgement of our deadness to sin. This is an important truth that God wants us to understand. But, understanding it isn't enough. You must practice it. This does not mean, however, that you ignore your sins, or say you have none, or claim perfection. Rather, it is an admission that you are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus and that you are "in Christ" and reckoned as dead to sin because of Jesus. Your mind is an important battleground in the war of sanctification and it begins with your own death. If you are a Christian, then you have died to sin because of your relationship with Jesus. Therefore, consider yourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ. Turn from the deeds of the flesh and seek Jesus.

Frontline: How do I recognize the Holy Spirit in my life?


What do you think of when the word discipleship comes to mind? Do you think of discipline, or following Jesus, or helping others, or memorizing Scripture, etc.? When I think of discipleship, of being a follower of Jesus, one common theme always comes to mind. It is found in Jesus' words in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." To me, this is the essence of discipleship.

The cross was a place of great pain and humiliation, but it is also a place of great love. Jesus' endured the scorn and ridicule of so many in order to buy life for us. He allowed Himself to be led to a place where He would suffer greatly. He humbled Himself so that He could die. He did not boast in Himself. He did not seek His own. He did not remember a wrong suffered. Instead, He loved. He taught. He healed. He forgave. This is what He meant when He said to pick up your cross and follow Him. He wants you to follow Him to the place of where you die to yourself, where you live humility, where you do not boast, where you are forgiving and loving, and kind -- and where you bring glory to God. This is what He is asking of us because this is what He exemplified. We cannot serve two masters. Either Jesus is Lord or our lives, or we are.

To be a disciple of Jesus means that we follow Him. It means that we are trying to become like Him in many ways. This is a very difficult thing to do because He is so good and we are sinners. So much of it is left up to ourselves and our responsibility. God lets us choose our way, our needs, our disciplines. Of course, He desires that we seek Him first; He desires that we love Him first. But, He will not force us into this. He lets us grow and learn from our success as well as our mistakes. He allows us the opportunities to die to ourselves and thereby grow in Christ. He provides the means for us to put others first. He arranges things so that we can make godly choices or choices that suit our fleshly desires and needs. In this, He is discipling us by providing choices to make in our lives.

Every opportunity of every day can be a place of turning. Whether or not someone else knows you are a Christian, or knows the motives of your heart, you are to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3). It is a high calling, this thing called Christian discipleship. But it is a worthy calling.

Nevertheless, when I compare myself to Jesus, I find myself falling short. To be honest, I don't like bearing the cross daily. It is heavy. I am not particularly fond of disciplining myself to read His Word, not to mention actually applying it to my life. Being humble is something I struggle with and considering the welfare of others means that I have to be less selfish. All of these things are difficult -- and all of these things are unChristlike. Therefore, I cling to the cross, confess my sins, and yet again ask for forgiveness and the strength to continue to walk in a manner worthy of my calling. I will choose to follow Him regardless of the difficulties, the humiliation, and the suffering. Why? Because that is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. That is what it means if I claim the name of Christian for myself.

How about you? Do you claim the title of Christian? If so, are you living as though that were true?


The term "Christian" was first coined in Antioch probably some ten maybe even fifteen years after the death of Jesus. Now while this term Christian of course becomes the standard terminology for all later Christian traditions, and we think of it in much more lofty and positive terms, at the time that it was coined it was probably a slur. It was probably thrown at these early followers of Jesus as some derogatory designation of them. This is what we often see happening with new religious movements.... We often find in the sociology of sectarian groups that the group may have one self designation. They may call themselves "the way" or "the true light" or something like that because that's their religious self conception, but outsiders will often label them by the name of the leader or the name of some catchy element in their message that sparks their interest. So when we hear at Antioch that they're called "Christians" we have to think of that in more in the vein of them being called "Messianists" or "Christies." People who follow a Messiah or just talk about the Messiah an awful lot and we're not actually sure who coined the term. Whether it's other Jews who didn't believe in the Messiah or pagans who heard these Jewish groups talking about messianic ideas. It's not entirely clear.


Were there practical issues that arose during the time that Paul was in Antioch? Can you describe to me the difference in the tension between Jerusalem and Antioch? The tensions that arose over time.

It's during the time that Paul is Antioch that a major new development starts to take place in the Christian movement. Because it's there that we first hear of the expansion of the movement more to gentiles, to non-Jews. Even though it's coming out of this predominantly Jewish social context of the synagogue communities of Antioch. Now the situation seems to be that initially when people were attracted to the Jesus movement, they first became Jews and they had to go through all the rituals and rites of conversion to Judaism. But apparently it's among Paul and some of his close supporters that they began to think that it was okay to become a member of the Christian movement without having to go through all of those rites of conversion to Judaism, and that would, in the case of Paul's career, spark one of the most important controversies of the first generation of the Christian movement. Do you have to become a Jew in order to be a follower of Jesus as the Messiah?

The major issues in converting to Judaism for a gentile, for a non-Jew, is that one must, if a male, become circumcised, and of course this was a an obvious distinction if one is working out in a Greek gymnasium where everyone was nude to begin with so the physical fact of circumcision was the noticeably distinctive quality to Jewish self-identity in the Greco-Roman world. So the ritual of circumcision as a process of conversion to Judaism is one of those major hurdles that people would have thought about from the Greek world background in which Paul was living.

Now the other things that one must do in order to convert to Judaism, in addition to circumcision if a male, would be to observe the Torah. That is, the Jewish law and the dietary and other kinds of purity regulations that would have come from the Torah.

The one other thing to say, though, is that conversion to Judaism was actually much easier for women, and it may actually be the simple fact that more women could easily be attracted to Judaism...we know that later on when we see Paul's churches in the Greek world... in those Greek cities there are far more women in them, and it may be that this is where he had an early following precisely because it was already a hurdle that was easier to jump.

So how did Paul get this idea that it was okay not to do all this stuff? What was his logic?

Paul's notion that it was possible for gentiles to enter the congregation of God without some of the rules of Judaism interestingly enough seems to be a conviction on his part that comes from his own interpretation of the Jewish scriptures. In fact he gets it mostly from the prophet Isaiah. Paul's message of the conversion of gentiles seems to be predicated on the Isaiah language of what will happen when the kingdom comes when the Messiah has arrived and there will be a light to the nations, "a light to the gentiles." And in that sense Paul views the messianic age having arrived with Jesus as being a window of opportunity for bringing in the gentiles into the elect status alongside the people of Israel. So what Paul is really doing is creating this apocalyptic message of what the kingdom is about to be, and the arrival of the gentiles, the engrafting or integrating of the gentiles who will come to believe in the true God of Israel into the community of Israel as the elect nation, then is one of the hallmarks of the messianic age.


Do these views that Paul had, did they cause conflict or tension with the group in Jerusalem?

Apparently Paul's attitude toward gentile converts stimulated controversy both at Antioch among the Jewish communities there and also among the older Christian communities back in Jerusalem. There are several issues involved here. One is the notion of the dietary laws, the eating restrictions that would have obtained for eating certain kinds of food if one was an observant Jew. Also with whom one could eat, and so we see some indication during Paul's time in Antioch that this becomes a source of some tension. Precisely because in Paul's view it's now possible to integrate these gentiles, people who don't keep the proper food laws, into a dining fellowship with Jews, all of whom are followers of Jesus. And it's in that mixed community where fellowship around a common meal and the celebration of the story of Jesus is the center where Paul brings everyone together, but because it's at a meal it also runs headlong into some Jewish sensitivities about what kind of foods you can eat and with whom you can eat.

Now where we see this tension coming to a head most clearly is after Paul returns from a conference in Jerusalem. When he went to Jerusalem he took with him a young gentile convert by the name of Titus who was Paul's test case and Paul says explicitly that he went down to Jerusalem to meet with the leaders of the church there. ... Peter, one of the leading Apostles from all the gospel stories, and James the brother of Jesus himself.... When Paul goes to see them he takes with him Titus and some of others of the Antioch community who are his supporters in the beginning..., and they go down to ask the question of "how do we deal with these gentile converts?" and they manage to get some sort of rough agreement with the Jerusalem leadership. They agree that it's okay for Paul to convert these gentiles and yet not to force them to be circumcised.

So when Paul goes back to Antioch he seems to think that he's won a major victory in the understanding of what the Christian will be. Shortly after his return to Antioch, however, Peter arrives from Jerusalem. Initially Peter seems to have been willing to [keep] fellowship with Paul and these gentile converts. He eats with them, but then not too long thereafter some other people from Jerusalem arrive and Peter backs off. He refuses to eat with them, and Paul blows his stack because he feels that Peter has backed out on a fundamental agreement on what it means for gentiles to convert to followers of Jesus. Paul says he confronts Peter to his face and challenges him with hypocrisy.

What was the flip side of the [agreement with Peter and James in Jerusalem? Did Paul agree to do anything in return ...?

The other thing that emerged out of the Jerusalem conference was that Paul would go predominantly to a gentile audience and from this point on in Paul's career he is a preacher predominantly to gentiles. He doesn't really work mostly in Jewish communities any longer. In fact he even says that Peter is the one charged to be the missionary to the Jewish communities. Now as part of this agreement that was reached in Jerusalem, Paul also decides that it would be important to raise funds in support of the poor in Jerusalem. That is, the followers of the Jesus movement who live there and who seem to be beset with some problems as a result of the famine or other kind of economic distress. So part of Paul's missionary activity for the rest of his career is raising funds to bring back to Jerusalem.

So what happens after he and Peter have this blow up? What does Paul do?

The blow up in Antioch over eating with gentiles probably is the turning point in Paul's career. Up until that point Paul has worked predominantly within Diaspora Jewish communities, where he moves out of the Jewish context to deal with gentiles, but after the blow up with Peter, Paul leaves Antioch and probably never returned again. And from that point on, Paul works almost exclusively within gentile communities. Now we know he does encounter other Jews in these major Greek cities and there presumably are Jewish communities in all of them, but Paul doesn't view himself as working any longer within a predominantly Jewish matrix.

Read Paul's account of the altercation at Antioch in his letter to Galatians.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

You are the light of the world
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, "God with us."

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

  1. Matthew 1:11 That is, Jehoiachin; also in verse 12
  2. Matthew 1:17 Or Messiah. "The Christ" (Greek) and "the Messiah" (Hebrew) both mean "the Anointed One."
  3. Matthew 1:21 Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves.
  4. Matthew 1:23 Isaiah 7:14

Job 36:5 "God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.


What do you think of when the word discipleship comes to mind? Do you think of discipline, or following Jesus, or helping others, or memorizing Scripture, etc.? When I think of discipleship, of being a follower of Jesus, one common theme always comes to mind. It is found in Jesus' words in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." To me, this is the essence of discipleship.

The cross was a place of great pain and humiliation, but it is also a place of great love. Jesus' endured the scorn and ridicule of so many in order to buy life for us. He allowed Himself to be led to a place where He would suffer greatly. He humbled Himself so that He could die. He did not boast in Himself. He did not seek His own. He did not remember a wrong suffered. Instead, He loved. He taught. He healed. He forgave. This is what He meant when He said to pick up your cross and follow Him. He wants you to follow Him to the place of where you die to yourself, where you live humility, where you do not boast, where you are forgiving and loving, and kind -- and where you bring glory to God. This is what He is asking of us because this is what He exemplified. We cannot serve two masters. Either Jesus is Lord or our lives, or we are.

To be a disciple of Jesus means that we follow Him. It means that we are trying to become like Him in many ways. This is a very difficult thing to do because He is so good and we are sinners. So much of it is left up to ourselves and our responsibility. God lets us choose our way, our needs, our disciplines. Of course, He desires that we seek Him first; He desires that we love Him first. But, He will not force us into this. He lets us grow and learn from our success as well as our mistakes. He allows us the opportunities to die to ourselves and thereby grow in Christ. He provides the means for us to put others first. He arranges things so that we can make godly choices or choices that suit our fleshly desires and needs. In this, He is discipling us by providing choices to make in our lives.

Every opportunity of every day can be a place of turning. Whether or not someone else knows you are a Christian, or knows the motives of your heart, you are to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3). It is a high calling, this thing called Christian discipleship. But it is a worthy calling.

Nevertheless, when I compare myself to Jesus, I find myself falling short. To be honest, I don't like bearing the cross daily. It is heavy. I am not particularly fond of disciplining myself to read His Word, not to mention actually applying it to my life. Being humble is something I struggle with and considering the welfare of others means that I have to be less selfish. All of these things are difficult -- and all of these things are unChristlike. Therefore, I cling to the cross, confess my sins, and yet again ask for forgiveness and the strength to continue to walk in a manner worthy of my calling. I will choose to follow Him regardless of the difficulties, the humiliation, and the suffering. Why? Because that is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. That is what it means if I claim the name of Christian for myself.

How about you? Do you claim the title of Christian? If so, are you living as though that were true?

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Psalm 138:8
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.


Biblically we confess our faith and we confess our sins. Both are declarations. To confess our faith means to publicly declare our belief in Christ. To confess our sins means to admit them. Of course, our confession is properly accompanied by a request of forgiveness.

When we confess our sins to the one against whom we have sinned, we are humbling ourselves and becoming vulnerable. Our confession before God is the same. It is an act of humility, a necessary attitude when we approach the infinitely holy God of the universe. Confession is a sweet release and welcome healing to the soul. Once completed, confession restores relationships and often brings blessing. Confession is good. It is sometimes hard, but it is always good.

Have you ever committed a sin that you have tried to hide? Have you ever tried to bury a sin in your heart? Have you ever sinned against someone and not asked forgiveness because to do so would mean to face the person and admit your sin, risk the shame and embarrassment of such an admission, become vulnerable, and show humility? Have you ever confessed a sin to God only but not to the person you've sinned against? After all, it is easier to confess our sins to the God we can't see than to the person we can. Have you ever done this and struggled with trying to get by with confessing to God, but not to the one you've offended? If so, if you have ever hidden your sin and not followed through in the confession that God desires, then you know the ache of the Holy Spirit who gently and persistently calls you to repentance.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (John 16:8). He indwells our hearts and requires that we not harbor sin. He lets us know that we have an obligation to be vulnerable, admit our wrong, ask for forgiveness, and receive it. He desires our purity and we cannot be pure by harboring unconfessed sin in our hearts. Therefore, He calls us to confession and restoration. He is persistent. Finally, when confession is made, Jesus is glorified and your fellowship with God is restored. Nevertheless, if you do not confess your sins, then the loving work of the Spirit will gently, constantly, and persistently call you to confession. When the Holy Spirit wants you to admit your sin, He will not leave you alone. He makes His presence felt. He doesn't give up.

It is both a pain and a blessing to be convicted by the Spirit of God. It is painful because that is what conviction is, painful. It is unpleasant, and the longer you resist, the more He persists and the more our discomfort is felt. On the other hand, the Spirit's conviction is a blessing because it means you belong to God and He is actively working in your heart. It means He has not given up on you and that He desires what is best for you -- even though that means doing something that may not be pleasant. It is good to be convicted by the Spirit of God. It is very good.

Confession is also good. We need to not harbor sin in our hearts. We need to openly declare our sins before God and, if need be, before others. Jesus died to remove our sin and to grant fellowship with God. He did not die so that we could hide sin in our hearts. You see, God, who is holy, is too pure to look upon evil (Hab. 1:13). Therefore, He gently and persistently calls us to confess our sins, to be cleansed, and to walk in fellowship with the Son (1 Cor. 1:9).

"In Victor Hugo's great Les Miserables, Jean Valjean, the ex-convict, under a new name, had buried his past and became the prosperous mayor of a provincial town. But one day he learned that in a neighboring village an old man arrested for stealing apples had been identified as the notorious and long-sought ex-convict, Jean Valjean. That news precipitated a crisis in the soul of the real Jean Valjean. Should he keep silent, or should he reveal his identity and be sent back to the gallows? Should he remain in paradise and become a demon, or go to hell and become an angel?

His first impulse was to say nothing and do nothing. Out of a secret closet in the wall he drew a blue linen blouse, an old pair of trousers, an old knapsack, and a huge cudgel shod with iron at both ends. These were the last ties which attached him to the old Jean Valjean. He threw them into the fire, and then seized the candlesticks which the Bishop had given him and flung them into the flame. But a voice said, Jean Valjean, there will be many voices around you which will bless you, and only one which will curse you in the dark. All those benedictions will fall back before they ascend to God. This made him take the candlesticks out of the fire and replace them on the mantel. All through the night he fought his awful battle, until, in the morning, his servant told him that the carriage he had ordered to take him to the town where the old man was on trial waited at the door.

The next day as the president of the court was about to pronounce sentence, the true convict stood up before the court and said, 'I am Jean Valjean. Some thought that he was mad, and others pitied him for the sacrifice he had made. As he left the courtroom, he said: All of you consider me worthy of pity, do you not? When I think what I was on the point of doing, I consider that I am to be envied. God, who is on high, looks down on what I am doing at this moment, and that suffices'" (Taken from Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations)"



The Apostle Paul is, next to Jesus, clearly the most intriguing figure of the 1st century of Christianity, and far better known than Jesus because he wrote all of those letters that we have [as] primary sources.... There are many astonishing things about him. For example, in modern scholarship, we have tended to divide various categories. There are gentiles, and there are Jews. There are Greek speaking people and there are Hebrew speaking people. There's Palestinian Judaism, which includes apocalypticism. There's Rabbinic Judaism and there's Hellenistic Judaism, which has derived deeply from the Greek world. Paul seems to fall into several of these categories, therefore confounding our modern divisions. So he's an intriguing and puzzling character in some respects.

The primary impact he has left on Christianity after him is through his letters, but in his own time, he sees himself primarily as a prophet to the non-Jews, to bring to them the message of the crucified Messiah, and he does this in an extraordinary way. He is a person who is somehow a city person, and he sees that the cities are the key to the rapid spread of this new message. ...At one point he can write to the Roman Christians, I have filled up the gospel in the East, I have no more room to work here. What could he possibly mean? There are only a handful of Christians in each of several major cities in the Eastern Empire. What does he mean, that he has filled up all of the Eastern Empire with the gospel? But we look at those places and we see [that] each of them is on a major Roman road or it is at a major seaport. They are the great trading centers of the world. They are the center of migrations of people and he sees this world, from a Roman point of view, which is an urban point of view, that the surrounding country is centered in that city and the spread of Christianity depends upon getting it to those major centers....

I am non-biased open for all types of discussion, but i am for peace not unruly unjustice through discrimination, violence, bigotry and hatred

What is a Christian World View and Why do Christians Need One?

A world view is a set of presuppositions and beliefs that someone uses to interpret and form opinions about his humanity, purpose in life, duties in the world, responsibilities to family, interpretation of truth, social issues, etc. A Christian should view all these things, and more, guided by the light that is shed upon them by the Bible.

The Bible has much to say about the nature of man, the world, purpose, truth, morality, etc., and so does the world. More often than not, the secular world view is in conflict with the biblical one. For example: Where the world asserts that man evolved, the Bible says he was created and ultimately responsible to God. Where the world says that morals are relative, the Bible says they are absolute. Where the world says that there is no need of salvation and redemption, the Bible clearly states that all people are in need of deliverance from their sin. The contrast is obvious and profound. Both cannot be true.

The secular world exalts man to the apex of evolutionary development, the sovereign over all he dominates, though only another animal. God is relegated to the belief systems of the uneducated and superstitious. Such opposing views will clash.

The Condition of Society

The fruit of the secular world view can be seen in around us. As we observe society, it is evident that not all is well. Television has degenerated into a bordello of violence, soft-pornography, anti-family sit-coms, commercials that appeal to immediate gratification, and senseless children's cartoons that are full of violence, occultism, and disobedience to parents. It often portrays pastors as psychotics, priests as pedophiles, and religious people as insecure, ignorant, and bigoted.

The News is extremely biased and when speaking in areas where religious and secular morals collide, it uniformly presents information with loaded words. Instead of "pro-life" we hear "anti-abortion rights." Instead of "conservative" it is "right wing fundamentalist." Other words are used such as "Bible thumpers," "censorship," "intolerance," "bigoted," etc.

"According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, the average TV watcher sees 14,000 references to sex and the average child "watches 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence by the end of elementary school."

Illegitimacy is on the rise. In 1970 babies born out of wedlock were 10% of all births. In 1991, it was 30%. Rape is increasing as is violent crime, venereal disease, drug usage, and prison populations.

In many American schools the "Impressions" series is promoting the New Age and the occult. Some programs have students being taught that they alone are the ones who should decide if drug use is good or bad. Many school textbooks teach anti-family values, promote homosexuality, teach moral relativism, encourage sexual conduct, and, of course, instill evolution as a fact. In addition, they condemn the notion of a Christian God even being mentioned. Consider the following:

"When 10-year old Raymond Raines bowed his head and silently said grace over lunch in a St. Louis public school cafeteria, he was placed in detention for a week and told that he must eat in a room by himself if he continued to pray.

"When 30 Texas high school students gathered to pray at the flagpole before school one morning, the principal politely told them not only to leave, but to pray out of sight.

"In Illinois, a high school principal sent police to break up a similar prayer group. Two students were arrested."

Obviously, America (and the world) is in desperate need of the life changing gospel of Jesus.

The Progress of the Gospel

But lest you get discouraged, the gospel is progressing. There are more Christians in the world now than ever before. In the 1700's less than 20% of the American population went to church where now it is above 50%. More people have heard the gospel than ever before, and Bibles are produced en masse and being sent to nations all over the world with unprecedented reception. The Gospel is preached on Television and Radio. Millions are coming to Christ in third world countries and a new Christian awakening is working its way through Russia and Africa with China becoming the new Christian frontier.

Nevertheless, the Christian community has a great deal of work left to accomplish. To fully carry out the mandate of winning the world for Christ, Christians must adopt a biblical world view in all aspects of life and present to the world, biblical perspectives on every niche of our existence. This includes everything: education, medicine, the arts, politics, science, contemporary issues, ethics, and more.

To God be the glory

How Strong Is Your Relationship With God?

Exodus 9:16
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Close calls

It is unavoidable that we will all die -- unless we are first raptured. Death is a reality that we know will claim us one day. But, like so many other things, we dismiss the thoughts of its arrival, until it comes a little too close for comfort.

Sometimes we experience unexpected illnesses or accidents that abruptly force us to face God, our mortality, and our future. This can be a very good thing, especially if you are not a believer. But, what if you are a believer? What then? If you suddenly woke up in an intensive care unit and you didn't know if you were going to make it or not, what would you be thinking about regarding your life and God? It is hard to say unless you are actually there, but the longer you live, the more that scenario either has been a reality or will be one.

Since we will all face death one day, why wait to think about the meaning of your life until you are forced to? Why wait to talk to God about what is really in you, about what you really feel, really doubt, really believe? Close calls can be good for the soul. God can use them to cause us to face ourselves and Him. Close calls can wake us up and help us sort out our priorities.

Sometimes, when life is comfortable and predictable, we let our priorities slip because we take our eyes off of the Lord and put them onto our lives and even on our ability to get things done. I can't help but wonder if God doesn't use sickness and misfortune in the world to cause us to re-evaluate ourselves before Him. After all, don't we need to do that from time to time even if we don't think we need it? Don't we need to see if we are growing closer to the Lord or not?

I think that it can be quite merciful that God would allow us to undergo hardship since such hardship can bring us closer to Him -- if we allow the opportunity to do that. Personally, I am thankful for close calls. Of course, I don't enjoy them, but they can be quite helpful by scraping away all of our self reliance and exposing ourselves before God.

So what about you? Do you need a close call to get you thinking? Do you need a drastic wake up call from God to get you to reconsider your life with Him? Maybe, maybe not. But, why don't you just sit down and talk to God. Why not take a survey of your spiritual life and see where you are at with the Lord? Open the Word of God, read, and pray. Talk to Him. He is always there to listen, close calls or not.

This Life Is Very Short

Psalm 31:18
Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

Chicago Statement on biblical Inerrancy

This statement was produced at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago in the fall of 1978.

The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian Church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.

The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God's own Word that marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstanding of this doctrine in the world at large.

This Statement consists of three parts: a Summary Statement, Articles of Affirmation and Denial, and an accompanying Exposition. It has been prepared in the course of a three-day consultation in Chicago. Those who have signed the Summary Statement and the Articles wish to affirm their own conviction as to the inerrancy of Scripture and to encourage and challenge one another and all Christians to growing appreciation and understanding of this doctrine. We acknowledge the limitations of a document prepared in a brief, intensive conference and do not propose that this Statement be given creedal weight. Yet we rejoice in the deepening of our own convictions through our discussions together, and we pray that the Statement we have signed may be used to the glory of our God toward a new reformation of the Church in its faith, life and mission.

We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we propose by God's grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word.

We invite response to this Statement from any who see reason to amend its affirmations about Scripture by the light of Scripture itself, under whose infallible authority we stand as we speak. We claim no personal infallibility for the witness we bear, and for any help that enables us to strengthen this testimony to God's Word we shall be grateful.


1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.

2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: It is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.

3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.

5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited of disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.


Article I.

We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God.

We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.

Article II.

We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.

We deny that church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.

Article III.

We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.

We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.

Article IV.

We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.

We deny that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God's work of inspiration.

Article V.

We affirm that God's revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive.

We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects of contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.

Article VI.

We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration.

We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.

Article VII.

We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.

We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.

Article VIII.

We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.

We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

Article IX.

We affirm that inspiration, through not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write.

We deny that the finitude or falseness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God's Word.

Article X.

We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

Article XI.

We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses.

We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished but not separated.

Article XII.

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.

We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Article XIII.

We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture.

We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of metrical, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.

Article XIV.

We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture.

We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved violate the truth claims of the Bible.

Article XV.

We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration.

We deny that Jesus' teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.

Article XVI.

We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the Church's faith throughout its history.

We deny that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism.

Article XVII.

We affirm that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God's written Word.

We deny that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in isolation from or against Scripture.

Article XVIII.

We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads or relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims of authorship.

Article XIX.

We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.


Our understanding of the doctrine of inerrancy must be set in the context of the broader teachings of Scripture concerning itself. This exposition gives an account of the outline of doctrine from which our Summary Statement and Articles are drawn.

A. Creation, Revelation and Inspiration

The God, who formed all things by his creative utterances and governs all things by His Word of decree, made mankind in His own image for a life of communion with Himself, on the model of the eternal fellowship of loving communication within the Godhead. As God's image-bearer, man was to hear God's Word addressed to him and to respond in the joy of adoring obedience. Over and above God's self-disclosure in the created order and the sequence of events within it, human beings from Adam on have received verbal messages from Him, either directly, as stated in Scripture, or indirectly in the form of part or all of Scripture itself.

When Adam fell, the Creator did not abandon mankind to final judgment, but promised salvation and began to reveal Himself as Redeemer in a sequence of historical events centering on Abraham's family and culminating in the life, death, resurrection, present heavenly ministry and promised return of Jesus Christ. Within this frame God has from time to time spoken specific words of judgment and mercy, promise and command, to sinful human beings, so drawing them into a covenant relation of mutual commitment between Him and them in which He blesses them with gifts of grace and they bless Him in responsive adoration. Moses, whom God used as mediator to carry his words to His people at the time of the exodus, stands at the head of a long line of prophets in whose mouths and writings God put His words for delivery to Israel. God's purpose in this succession of messages was to maintain His covenant by causing His people to know His name--that is, His nature--and His will both of precept and purpose in the present and for the future. This line of prophetic spokesmen from God came to completion in Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Word, who was Himself a prophet--more that a prophet, but not less--and in the apostles and prophets of the first Christian generation. When God's final and climactic message, His word to the world concerning Jesus Christ, had been spoken and elucidated by those in the apostolic circle, the sequence of revealed messages ceased. Henceforth the Church was to live and know God by what He had already said, and said for all time.

At Sinai God wrote the terms of His covenant on tablets of stone as His enduring witness and for lasting accessibility, and throughout the period of prophetic and apostolic revelation He prompted men to write the messages given to and through them, along with celebratory records of His dealings with His people, plus moral reflections on covenant life and forms of praise and prayer for covenant mercy. The theological reality of inspiration in the producing of Biblical documents corresponds to that of spoken prophecies: Although the human writers' personalities were expressed in what they wrote, the words were divinely constituted. Thus what Scripture says, God says; its authority is His authority, for He is its ultimate Author, having given it through the minds and words of chosen and prepared men who in freedom and faithfulness "spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (I Pet 1:21). Holy Scripture must be acknowledged as the Word of God by virtue of its divine origin.

B. Authority: Christ and the Bible

Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is the Word made flesh, our Prophet, Priest and King, is the ultimate Mediator of God's communication to man, as He is of all God's gifts of grace. The revelation He gave was more that verbal; He revealed the Father by His presence and His deeds as well. Yet His words were crucially important ; for He was God, He spoke from the Father, and His words will judge all men at the last day.

As the prophesied Messiah, Jesus Christ is the central theme of Scripture. The Old Testament looked ahead to Him; the New Testament looks back to His first coming and on to His second. Canonical Scripture is the divinely inspired and therefore normative witness to Christ. No hermeneutic, therefore, of which the historical Christ is not the focal point is acceptable. Holy Scripture must be treated as what it essentially is--the witness of the Father to the incarnate Son.

It appears that the Old Testament canon had been fixed by the time of Jesus. The New Testament canon is likewise now closed, inasmuch as no new apostolic witness to the historical Christ can now be borne. No new revelation (as distinct from Spirit-given understanding of existing revelation) will be given until Christ comes again. The canon was created in principle by divine inspiration. The Church's part was to discern the canon that God had created, not to devise one of its own.

The word 'canon', signifying a rule of standard, is a pointer to authority, which means the right to rule and control. Authority in Christianity belongs to God in His revelation, which means, on the one hand, Jesus Christ, the living Word, and, on the other hand, Holy Scripture, the written Word. But the authority of Christ and that of Scripture are one. As our Prophet, Christ testified that Scripture cannot be broken. As our Priest and King, He devoted His earthly life to fulfilling the law and the prophets, even dying in obedience to the words of messianic prophecy. Thus as He saw Scripture attesting Him and His authority, so by His own submission to Scripture He attested its authority. As He bowed to His Father's instruction given in His Bible (our Old Testament), so He requires His disciples to do--not, however, in isolation but in conjunction with the apostolic witness to Himself that He undertook to inspire by his gift of the Holy Spirit. So Christians show themselves faithful servants of their Lord by bowing to the divine instruction given in the prophetic and apostolic writings that together make up our Bible.

By authenticating each other's authority, Christ and Scripture coalesce into a single fount of authority. The Biblically-interpreted Christ and the Christ-centered, Christ-proclaiming Bible are from this standpoint one. As from the fact of inspiration we infer that what Scripture says, God says, so from the revealed relation between Jesus Christ and Scripture we may equally declare that what Scripture says, Christ says.

C. Infallibility, Inerrancy, Interpretation

Holy Scripture, as the inspired Word of God witnessing authoritatively to Jesus Christ, may properly be called 'infallible' and 'inerrant'. These negative terms have a special value, for they explicitly safeguard crucial positive truths.

'Infallible' signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe and reliable rule and guide in all matters.

Similarly, 'inerrant' signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.

We affirm that canonical Scripture should always be interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant. However, in determining what the God-taught writer is asserting in each passage, we must pay the most careful attention to its claims and character as a human production. In inspiration, God utilized the culture and conventions of his penman's milieu, a milieu that God controls in His sovereign providence; it is misinterpretation to imagine otherwise.

So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole and metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and approximation as what they are, and so forth. Differences between literary conventions in Bible times and in ours must also be observed: Since, for instance, nonchronological narration and imprecise citation were conventional and acceptable and violated no expectations in those days, we must not regard these things as faults when we find them in Bible writers. When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. Scripture is inerrant, not in the sense of being absolutely precise by modern standards, but in the sense of making good its claims and achieving that measure of focused truth at which its authors aimed.

The truthfulness of Scripture is not negated by the appearance in it of irregularities of grammar or spelling, phenomenal descriptions of nature, reports of false statements (for example, the lies of Satan), or seeming discrepancies between one passage and another. It is not right to set the so-called "phenomena" of Scripture against the teaching of Scripture about itself. Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.

Inasmuch as all Scripture is the product of a single divine mind, interpretation must stay within the bounds of the analogy of Scripture and eschew hypotheses that would correct one Biblical passage by another, whether in the name of progressive revelation or of the imperfect enlightenment of the inspired writer's mind.

Although Holy Scripture is nowhere culture-bound in the sense that its teaching lacks universal validity, it is sometimes culturally conditioned by the customs and conventional views of a particular period, so that the application of its principles today calls for a different sort of action.

D. Skepticism and Criticism

Since the Renaissance, and more particularly since the Enlightenment, world views have been developed that involve skepticism about basic Christian tenets. Such are the agnosticism that denies that God is knowable, the rationalism that denies that He is incomprehensible, the idealism that denies that He is transcendent, and the existentialism that denies rationality in His relationships with us. When these un- and anti-Biblical principles seep into men's theologies at presuppositional level, as today they frequently do, faithful interpretation of Holy Scripture becomes impossible.

E. Transmission and Translation

Since God has nowhere promised an inerrant transmission of Scripture, it is necessary to affirm that only the autographic text of the original documents was inspired and to maintain the need of textual criticism as a means of detecting any slips that may have crept into the text in the course of its transmission. The verdict of this science, however, is that the Hebrew and Greek text appears to be amazingly well preserved, so that we are amply justified in affirming, with the Westminster Confession, a singular providence of God in this matter and in declaring that the authority of Scripture is in no way jeopardized by the fact that the copies we possess are not entirely error-free.

Similarly, no translation is or can be perfect, and all translations are an additional step away from the autograph. Yet the verdict of linguistic science is that English-speaking Christians, at least, are exceedingly well served in these days with a host of excellent translations and have no cause for hesitating to conclude that the true Word of God is within their reach. Indeed, in view of the frequent repetition in Scripture of the main matters with which it deals and also of the Holy Spirit's constant witness to and through the Word, no serious translation of Holy Scripture will so destroy its meaning as to render it unable to make its reader "wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15).

F. Inerrancy and Authority

In our affirmation of the authority of Scripture as involving its total truth, we are consciously standing with Christ and His apostles, indeed with the whole Bible and with the main stream of Church history from the first days until very recently. We are concerned at that casual, inadvertent and seemingly thoughtless way in which a belief of such far-reaching importance has been given up by so many in our day.

We are conscious too that great and grave confusion results from ceasing to maintain the total truth of the Bible whose authority one professes to acknowledge. The result of taking this step is that the Bible that God gave loses its authority, and what has authority instead is a Bible reduced in content according to the demands of one's critical reasoning and in principle reducible still further once one has started. This means that at bottom independent reason now has authority, as opposed to Scriptural teaching. If this is not seen and if for the time being basic evangelical doctrines are still held, persons denying the full truth of Scripture may claim an evangelical identity while methodologically they have moved away from the evangelical principle of knowledge to an unstable subjectivism, and will find it hard not to move further.

We affirm that what Scripture says, God says. May He be glorified.

Amen and Amen.

Waldensian Convession (1655 A.D.)

2 Chronicles 32:26
Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah.

A brief confession of faith of the Reformed Churches of Piedmont

Published with their Manifesto on the occasion of the frightful massacres of the year 1655.

Having understood that our adversaries, not contented to have most cruelly persecuted us, and robbed us of all our goods and estates, have yet an intention to render us odious to the world by spreading abroad many false reports, and so not only to defame our persons, but likewise to asperse with most shameful calumnies that holy and wholesome doctrine which we profess, we feel obliged, for the better information of those whose minds may perhaps be preoccupied by sinister opinions, to make a short declaration of our faith, such as we have heretofore professed as conformable to the Word of God; and so every one may see the falsity of those their calumnies, and also how unjustly we are hated and persecuted for a doctrine so innocent.

I. That there is one only God, who is a spiritual essence, eternal, infinite, all-wise, all merciful, and all-just, in one word, all-perfect; and that there are three persons in that one only and simple essence: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

II. That this God manifested himself to men by his works of Creation and Providence, as also by his Word revealed unto us, first by oracles in divers manners, and afterwards by those written books which are called the Holy Scripture.

III. That we ought to receive this Holy Scripture (as we do) for divine and canonical, that is to say, for the constant rule of our faith and life: as also that the same is fully contained in the Old and New Testament; and that by the Old Testament we must understand only such books as God did entrust the Jewish Church with, and which that Church has always approved and acknowledged to be from God: namely, the five books of Moses, Joshua, the Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, I and II of the Kings, I and II of the Chronicles, one of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the four great and twelve minor Prophets: and the New Testament containing the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St. Paul - 1 to the Romans, 2 to the Corinthians, 1 to the Galatians, 1 to the Ephesians, 1 to the Philippians, 1 to the Colossians {2 to the Thessalonians, 2 to Timothy, 1 to Titus, 1 to Philemon}, and the Epistle to the Hebrews; 1 of St. James, 2 of St. Peter, 3 of St. John, 1 of St. Jude, and the Revelation.

IV. We acknowledge the divinity of these sacred books, not only from the testimony of the Church, but more especially because of the eternal and indubitable truth of the doctrine therein contained, and of that most divine excellency, sublimity, and majesty which appears therein; and because of the operation of the Holy Spirit, who causes us to receive with reverence the testimony of the Church in that point, who opens our eyes to discover the beams of that celestial light which shines in the Scripture, and correct our taste to discern the divine savor of that spiritual food.

V. That God made all things of nothing by his own free will, and by the infinite power of the Word.

VI. That he governs and rules all by his providence, ordaining and appointing whatsoever happens in this world, without being the author or cause of any evil committed by the creatures, so that the guilt thereof neither can nor ought to be in any way imputed unto him.

VII. That the angels were all in the beginning created pure and holy, but that some of them have fallen into irreparable corruption and perdition; and that the rest have persevered in their first purity by an effect of divine goodness, which has upheld and confirmed them.

VIII. That man, who was created pure and holy, after the image of God, deprived himself through his own fault of that happy condition by giving credit to the deceitful words of the devil.

IX. That man by his transgression lost that righteousness and holiness which he had received, and thus incurring the wrath of God, became subject to death and bondage, under the dominion of him who has the power of death, that is, the devil; insomuch that our free will has become a servant and a slave to sin: and thus all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are, are by nature children of wrath, being all dead in their trespasses and sins, and consequently incapable of the least good motion to any thing which concerns their salvation: yea, incapable of one good thought without God's grace, all their imaginations being wholly evil, and that continually.

X. That all the posterity of Adam is guilty in him of his disobedience, infected by his corruption, and fallen into the same calamity with him, even the very infants from their mother's womb, whence is derived the name of original sin.

XI. That God saves from this corruption and condemnation those whom he has chosen {from the foundation of the world, not for any foreseen disposition, faith, or holiness in them, but} of his mercy in Jesus Christ his Son; passing by all the rest, according to the irreprehensible reason of his freedom and justice.

XII. That Jesus Christ having been ordained by the eternal decree of God to be the only Savior and only head of his body which is the Church, he redeemed it with his own blood in the fullness of time, and communicates unto the same all his benefits by means of the gospel.

XIII. That there are two natures in Jesus Christ, viz., divine and human, truly united in one and the same person, without confusion, division, separation, or alteration; each nature keeping its own distinct proprieties; and that Jesus Christ is both true God and true man.

XIV. That God so loved the world, that is to say, those whom he has chosen out of the world, that he gave his own Son to save us by his most perfect obedience (especially that obedience which he manifested in suffering the cursed death of the cross), and also by his victory over the devil, sin, and death.

XV. That Jesus Christ having made a full expiation for our sins by his most perfect sacrifice once offered on the cross, it neither can nor ought to be repeated upon any pretext whatsoever, as they pretend to do in the mass.

XVI. That the Lord Jesus having fully reconciled us unto God, through the blood of his cross, it is by virtue of his merits only, and not of our works, that we are absolved and justified in his sight.

XVII. That we are united to Jesus Christ and made partakers of his benefits by faith, which rests upon those promises of life which are made to us in his gospel.

XVIII. That this faith is the gracious and efficacious work of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens our souls, and persuades them to lean and rest upon the mercy of God, and so to apply the merits of Jesus Christ.

XIX. That Jesus Christ is our true and only Mediator, not only redeeming us, but also interceding for us, and that by virtue of his merits and intercession we have access unto the Father, to make our supplications unto him, with a holy confidence that he will grant our requests, it being needless to have recourse to any other intercessor besides himself.

XX. That as God promised us regeneration in Jesus Christ, so those who are united to him by a living faith ought to apply, and do really apply themselves, unto good works.

XXI. That good works are so necessary to the faithful that they can not attain the kingdom of heaven without the same, seeing that God has prepared them that we should walk therein; and there fore we ought to flee from vice, and apply ourselves to Christian virtues, making use of fasting, and all other means which may conduce to so holy a thing.

XXII. That, although our good works can not merit any thing, yet the Lord will reward or recompense them with eternal life, through the merciful continuation of his grace, and by virtue of the unchangeable constancy of his promises made unto us.

XXIII. That those who are already in the possession of eternal life in consequence of their faith and good works ought to be considered as saints and glorified persons, and to be praised for their virtue and imitated in all good actions of their life, but neither worshipped nor invoked, for God only is to be prayed unto, and that through Jesus Christ.

XXVIII. That God does not only instruct us by his Word, but has also ordained certain sacraments to be joined with it, as means to unite us to Jesus Christ, and to make us partakers of his benefits; and that there are only two of them belonging in common to all the members of the Church under the New Testament - to wit, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

XXIX. That Christ has instituted the sacrament of Baptism to be a testimony of our adoption, and that therein we are cleansed from our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ, and renewed in holiness of life.

XXX. That he has instituted the Holy Supper, or Eucharist, for the nourishment of our souls, to the end that eating effectually the flesh of Christ, and drinking effectually his blood, by a true and living faith, and by the incomprehensible virtue of the Holy Spirit, and so uniting ourselves most closely and inseparably to Christ, we come to enjoy in him and by him the spiritual and eternal life.

Now to the end that every one may clearly see what our belief is as to this point, we here insert the very expressions of that prayer which we make use of before the Communion, as they are written in our Liturgy or form of celebrating the Holy Supper, and likewise in our public Catechism, which are to be seen at the end of our Psalms; these are the words of the prayer:
'Seeing our Lord has not only once offered his body and blood for the remission of our sins, but is willing also to communicate the same unto us as the food of eternal life, we humbly beseech thee to grant us this grace that in true sincerity of heart and with an ardent zeal we may receive from him so great a benefit; that is, that we may be made partakers of his body and blood, or rather of his whole self, by a sure and certain faith.'

The words of the Liturgy are these: 'Let us then believe first of all the promises which Christ (who is the infallible truth) has pronounced with his own mouth, viz., that he will make us truly partakers of his body and blood, that so we may possess him entirely, in such a manner that he may live in us and we in him.'
The words of our Catechism are the same, Nella Dominica 53.

XXXI. That it is necessary the Church should have pastor known by those who are employed for that purpose to be well instructed and of a good life, as well to preach the Word of God as to administer the sacraments, and wait upon the flock of Christ (according to the rules of a good and holy discipline), together with elders and deacons, after the manner of the primitive Church.

XXXII. That God has established kings and magistrates to govern the people, and that the people ought to be subject and obedient unto them, by virtue of that ordination, not only for fear, but also for conscience' sake, in all things that are conformable to the Word of God, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

XXXIII. Finally, that we ought to receive the symbol of the Apostles, the Lord's Prayer, and the Decalogue as fundamentals of our faith and our devotion.


And for a more ample declaration of our faith we do here reiterate the same protestation which we caused to be printed in 1603, that is to say, that we do agree in sound doctrine with all the Reformed Churches of France, Great Britain, the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and others, as it is set forth by them in their confessions; as also in the Confession of Augsburg, as it was explained by the author,[1] promising to persevere constantly therein with the help of God, both in life and death, and being ready to subscribe to that eternal truth of God with our own blood, even as our ancestors have done from the days of the Apostles, and especially in these latter ages.

Therefore we humbly entreat all the Evangelical and Protestant Churches, notwithstanding our poverty and lowness, to look upon us as true members of the mystical body of Christ, suffering for his name's sake, and to continue unto us the help of their prayers to God, and all other effects of their charity, as we have heretofore abundantly experienced, for which we return them our most humble thanks, entreating the Lord with all our heart to be their rewarder, and to pour upon them the most precious blessings of grace and glory, both in this life and in that which is to come. Amen.

1. Viz., the editio variata of 1540, which Calvin subscribed at Strasburg.

XXIV. That God has chosen one Church in the world for the salvation of men, and that this Church has one only head and foundation, which is Jesus Christ.

XXV. That this Church is the company of the faithful, who, having been elected by God before the foundation of the world, and called with a holy calling, unite themselves to follow the Word of God, believing whatsoever he teaches them therein, and living in his fear.

XXVI. That this Church can not fail, nor be annihilated, but must endure forever {and that all the elect are upheld and preserved by the power of God in such sort that they all persevere in the faith unto the end, and remain united in the holy Church, as so many living members thereof}.

XXVII. That all men ought to join with that Church, and to continue in the communion thereof.