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Category Archives: Christ died for us!

Transquotation: Genesis 26:4-5

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Genesis 26:4-5)

Transquote:

You will be allowed to come into Heaven and you and yours shall be blessed, because Jesus obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Explanation of the transquote:

I know I’ve said this before, and I hate repeating myself, but I believe this is something worth repeating: we can’t work our way into Heaven. — And while I’m at it:

The Pope isn’t another Christ, Buddha was wrong; we don’t reincarnate, the Bible hasn’t been translated so many times that it’s lost its original meaning as the Muslims think, Jesus did die on the cross, and no, baptism isn’t required for salvation but is instead something that springs out of a love for God; it’s a public display of our love for God. — How does any of this explain the transquote? Like this:

The Pope isn’t another Christ: only Jesus obeyed God’s commands, laws, etc perfectly. Yes, Abraham did obey them, but not at all perfectly. — Confirmation that the pope can’t be another Christ, as He claims to be:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)

Buddha was wrong: we don’t reincarnate. And we will face judgment. Praise God! – Because Christ obeyed completely, we are now forgiven completely at that judgment.

27 And just as oit is appointed for man to die once, and pafter that comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27)

the Bible hasn’t been translated so many times that it’s lost its original meaning as the Muslims think:

See this website for more details: http://www.executableoutlines.com/bible/bible_01.htm — The Bible can be trusted, and the Bible says that through Christ’s obedience for us we are forgiven, not by any act of our own.

Jesus did die on the cross (despite the misconception that He simply fainted):

His heart was pierced and He was laid in a tomb, covered in twenty pounds of sticky stuff… Wouldn’t you be dead? — Jesus did indeed die for us, He was obedient to God unto death, so that we wouldn’t have to die.

Baptism isn’t required for salvation but is instead something that springs out of a love for God; it’s a public display of our love for God:

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18)

The only baptism that is ever required for salvation is the baptism into Jesus’ blood every believer goes through. That is the only way we are saved. And the only way that it can be the only way that we are saved, is through the fact that Christ was obedient in every way to God.

So, over all, the transquote is this: through Christ’s obedience, we are saved. Plain and simple.

New Testament confirmation:

10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:10-11)

Context confirmation:

So Isaac settled in Gerar. (Genesis 26:6)

So Isaac did as His father, and obeyed God. And now as brother’s of Christ and children of God, we are to do the same. Of course we can’t, and it’s not expected of us to, obey the law perfectly. But, out of our salvation; out of the Old Nature dying, should come fruit of the Holy Spirit. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the relation between Abraham and God, and it does that by strengthening the connection between us, the sons and daughters of God, and Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

P.S. Sorry for the run-on sentences, I tend to do that when I’m having fun.

 

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A Personal Relationship With Jesus

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22-24)

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – There’s an interesting statement. Be a doer of the word and not just a hearer, or you’re deceiving yourself. You’re lying to yourself, if you think that by looking at your dirty face in a mirror your suddenly clean. Likewise, if you think by looking at the bible, you’ve suddenly done everything it tells you to do, your deceiving yourself. – Especially because an order to have obeyed the whole bible, you would have had to obey this verse in James. – So how then do you not deceive yourself? Well it’s natural to assume that by actually obeying the bible, you wouldn’t be deceiving yourself. The equivalent of looking at the mirror and washing your face in the sink as well. But now, let’s assume that everyone reading this is a doer and not just a hearer, what is it we’re doing exactly? Obeying the ten commandments? Obeying everything the Apostles tell us to do in the New Testament? What is it we’re obeying and what is it were supposed to be obeying?

What exactly is it someone is supposed to obey? … The ten commandments?

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:25)

We’re supposed to, “look into” the perfect law; the law of liberty. Alright, so we have to obey the 613 Mitzvot commandments, the Torah, word for word, and the rest. Isn’t that not only the perfect law, but the only law?

If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? (Hebrews 7:11)

The first was flawed, therefore a second was required. The, “law of liberty,” James talked about, is Jesus Christ. So then, under this new law, what’s required of us? Well we know that from Second Peter:

faith

virtue 

knowledge

self-control

steadfastness

godliness

brotherly affection

love

We also know that these things in fact, spring out of the new law (Jesus). The reality of the situation is that James warning to be a doer of the word and not just a hearer, requires you first to accept Jesus as savior, then everything else ends up coming out of that relationship. Faith comes when we can talk to God, virtue comes when we have faith and so on. In essence, James is telling us (and those he’s actually sending this letter to) to have a personal relationship with Jesus. This is backed up by the fact that Jesus is in fact the word of God (the Bible) and therefore obeying Jesus is the same as obeying the Word:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

In summary: James is telling us to have a personal relationship with God. Because if we don’t, we’re deceiving ourselves about our own salvation. Each and every Christian has to have a relationship with Jesus to some degree, but in order to obey what James has told us, Jesus must be our friend. How does that happen? By talking with him (prayer) and by reading him (the bible) and understanding/applying him.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Satanic Attacks and Our Defense

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. (1 Peter 4:1-3)

All who have suffered in the flesh, have died to the flesh. That makes sense when you think about it, after all, if you’re reveling in your flesh (which is exactly what we were doing before being saved), you’re clearly not suffering in it. Whereas if you’re suffering in it, you know for certain you’re actually trying to resist it (in the power of the Holy Spirit). – Aside from that though, what exactly is the, “way of thinking” that Peter is talking about?

First, what, “way of thinking,” is Peter talking about? … So that we can arm ourselves with it.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

“arm yourselves with the same way thinking,” in saying that, Peter was referring to Jesus’ suffering in the flesh. i.e. He’s saying that we should arm ourselves with a mindset of suffering in the flesh. If someone is saved, they will at some point, suffer in the flesh, no matter who they are or how much they’ve, “done for God”. So Peter warns us to expect this; to prepare our defenses for when the attack comes, because it will come. – Then he continues, giving them further instructions on what else they can do to prepare them-self.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:8-11)

Both Paul and Peter say pretty much the same thing at this part, “above all, keep loving one another earnestly” or as Paul says, “above all else, put on love”. Loving one anther with a Godly love is clearly important, but why is that? If you love someone (with a Godly love) that person can share their struggles with you, as, likewise you can do with them. But also, because love binds together. If you have a church without love, you don’t have a church, you have a, “religious group”.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)

The point? In order to actually have a church, or more specifically, to have a church with good defenses against Satanic attack, you need a couple of things (which Peter mentioned), but the main two are these: the knowledge that you will in fact be attacked and a healthy dose of love from those around you.

Of course, you should also always keep in mind that Jesus has defeated Satan and that because of that, we do have the power to overcome temptation!

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Cases, Contradictions, and Testimonies Presented Before God

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:7-11)

There seems to be a contradiction in Paul’s thinking here. First he says that Christ died and rose again, “to the end of” making us his, and we know from what Paul has written in the past that this means dying to self and living in Christ… So then, why does Paul bring out that everyone will have to stand before God and give a testimony of his/her life, as if it was some sort of threat that would make them work harder at being perfect. Which is it? Is Paul saying we are Christs’, or do we have to be perfect, because after all, we all will have to stand before God and tell him all our sins if we’re not perfect. It’s one or the other.

First, is the Paul contradicting himself? … If he is, how can we trust anything he says? After all, if he contradicts himself here, how can we be sure any of what he says in place, lines up with something he says in another place in the bible?

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (Romans 14:12-13)

First let’s look at what Paul says about the question of works or being saved in Colossians:

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)

Do things make a little more sense now? Everyone will have to give a testimony of their life before God and they’ll say how they’re perfect in Christ, horrible without him. – But even so, Paul is saying ‘everyone will have to stand before God’ as if what we do will matter! In other words, the question now becomes, “Does Christs’ giving his life for us mean we no longer have to do anything, and basically have the right now to do whatever we want?”

Second, can we do whatever we want, or will we still have to answer for what we did even if Christ does cover us? …

Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. (Romans 14:18-21)

We’re covered in Jesus’ blood, meaning that now nothing will, as Paul puts it in Corinthians, “master” us. But because we still live in a body of flesh, we will fall. Paul’s point of view on the subject is clear:

2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:2-4)

My point being that Christs’ blood covers us yes, but that’s not an excuse to sin. We will all have to stand before God and give a testimony, yes also true, but Paul only uses this as a sort of reminder, not that if we don’t ‘shape up right this instant’ our salvation could be lost, but more towards in this way, “you’ve died to sin, don’t you remember that you’ll have to stand before God at some point?”. He’s reminding them that yes, they are in Christ and our saved, but that they should now quote, “live like it” now as well. Which in their case, meant not eating certain types of food, etc. In our case, this could mean almost anything. Depending on what your “case” actually is.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The Whole Point

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

What I’m wondering, is why it is that Paul continually seems to bring out how we were weak, not righteous or good, and still sinners. Don’t we already know that? It all seems very repetitive and not very helpful.

First, we have to find out why Paul seems to be so repetitive… Why does he seem to be concentrating on Jesus dying for us “while we were still sinners”, etc. Shouldn’t he be telling me the three steps to purity in Christ, or some other simple program I can follow?

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The reason Paul seems to be repeating himself, is because it’s important! Something like a parent repeating something 20 times to a child (either because s/he has to, or because s/he wants to make something crystal clear). Paul is talking to the Romans as a parent, reminding them how it was they were saved… He’s also reminding them though that they had no ability and still don’t, to save themselves.

And the reason Paul doesn’t give them some sort of thing like, “12 steps to a guilt-free life!” is because Paul knows that the Gospel of Jesus will do everything and more that the twelve step course can do.

Second, now that we know why Paul kept bringing out their(/our) weakness, what did he hope to accomplish by it? … What was Paul’s “goal” when reminding them of their weakness?

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Paul’s reasoning was pretty simple as far as I can see. He wanted them to change from one thing, to another thing. Judging from the last several chapters, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the Roman’s were falling into the same trap the Galatians were. They were thinking that they needed to be circumcised, and that they needed to somehow work their way into Heaven. Paul wanted them to change from that “understanding” to a correct one, i.e. to the understanding that it wasn’t them that saved them-self, but Jesus who did it for them.

In fact, that seems to be Paul’s whole point. And it applies for both them and us. We are weak, pathetically so, to resist temptation. But Jesus is strong, strong enough in fact to save us!

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And it’s only by Jesus’ amazing and quite literally, other-worldly love for us, and extraordinary power to save that we can be saved.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Inward Jews

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (Romans 2:25-29)

What did Paul mean by all that? What’s did he mean by, ‘if someone is circumcised and yet doesn’t keep law it’s like he hasn’t be circumcised,’ and vise versa? And do you mind reminding me how again does this all applies to me today?

First, we have to understand what Paul meant. Paul is talking about physical and Spiritual circumcision here. More important than that however, is that here he is talking about how physical circumcision doesn’t mean a thing, unless you’re Spiritually circumcised; able to obey the law. Which, if you’re wondering, is impossible for anyone to do except for Jesus.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10)

 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-26)

Second, we have to figure out how it’s possible to be circumcised inwardly in a way that’s not physical… In other words, we have to figure out how a person can be Spiritually circumcised, and we have to figure out what exactly that is.

11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[a] was put off when you were circumcised by[b] Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12)

Being Spiritually circumcised is to have Jesus cut off your sinful nature; your “flesh”. Which is only possible through his death on the cross for us.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)

Third, we have to figure out what it means to be Spiritually Circumcised. In essence, this is pretty much like the question, “what it it like to be a Christian?, because in essence, there both the same thing. – Being Spiritually circumcised means that we are now a quote and quote “inward Jew,” instead of “outward Jews”:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. (Matthew 23:27)

… To put it another way, it means we have been saved by grace, and now live a new life in Christ. And it means we’ve realized that we can’t, in fact, keep the law perfectly and therefore we have realized we have to rely on Jesus for salvation.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– (Ephesians 2:8)

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Spiritual Circumcision

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (Colossians 2:11)

A circumcision where the body of flesh is cut off. What can Paul possibly mean by that? Well, I believe he means an actual circumcision of the body of flesh. Not psychically, but spiritually.

 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:12-13)

How is it that we can be circumcised Spiritually? “by the circumcision of Christ” is what the verse in Colossians says. Again in Romans where Paul talks again on the same basic subject, you see it again:

but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

It seems Paul isn’t simply talking about being circumcised Spiritually though, in fact, here it seems putting to death the “misdeeds of the body” is a matter of life and death! If I don’t put to death my sin will I die? – To be blunt, yes, you will. But spiritually, not physically. Christ can’t abide in a house that only partly serves him, while the other part serves Satan! A person can’t have two masters, you’re with one and against the other, or eventually your bluff will be found out and you’ll be exposed. – As you can see, being spiritually circumcised is obviously important, but now we must address the bit about what exactly “the circumcision of Christ” is and how it can affect my spiritual circumcision.

having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)

That, right there, is the circumcision of Christ; Christ died, and our sinful nature died with him before being raised back to life as a new creation in Christ through faith. That’s why Paul made it seem like a matter of either spiritually living or dying, because it is one!

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The Point of Being a Christian

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. (Colossians 2:2-4)

How is it, I wonder, that knowing that in Christ are hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge, will help them not be persuaded by plausible arguments. Well first let’s identify what some plausible arguments would have been for them:

1. Perhaps they were like the Corinthians, and might be persuaded into believing “super-apostles (super-imposters).

2. Maybe they would be tempted like the Galatians were, to observe special days (the law) instead of believing that Christ is all they need.

How could just knowing that Christ has treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him really help anyone with any problem? Surely it wouldn’t help them not believe in an imposter, or help them to realize that Christ is our (their) only hope of salvation. – Let’s look at one particular part of the verses in Colossians:

riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

As a Christian, we are Christ’s “temple” where he dwells. Paul is reminding the Colossians that Christ now dwells in them, and therefore Christ’s wisdom and knowledge also dwells in us. All that to say that with Christ dwelling in us, we can recognize one of Satan’s traps. Notice how exactly Paul phrases this:

riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.

God’s mystery is Christ. But let’s get more specific, what about Christ?

26(BP) the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27(BQ) To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are(BR) the riches of the glory of(BS) this mystery, which is Christ in you,(BT)the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26-27)

More specifically, Christ, the hope of glory. – Christ can live in us, because he died for us. Hence giving us a ‘hope of glory’ as Paul phrases. But now there’s another question that we see, “So what’s the point?” Sure Christ living in me is pretty cool, and being able to recognize and bring to God a trap from Satan is amazing, but really, it’s not exactly what I had imagined becoming a Christian would be like. Where’s the unexpected quadrupling of my salary?

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:8-9)

God promises to provide all our needs not necessarily our wants (salary raise, etc). In fact, it usually means hardship (what form of “hardship” I don’t know). – “But, what’s the point of being a Christian then?” Is another question that arises. The point of it, is that we have Christ living in us and hope of glory. The point of it, is that we’ve been saved through Jesus’ blood. The point of it, is how could anyone do anything but praise the very one who died so that they could live?

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Forgiven

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; (Lamentations 3:30-32)

“We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven. “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us, killing without pity; (Lamentations 3:42-43)

The author seems to be contradicting himself. In the space of 10 verses, he went from talking about God’s steadfast love, to talking about how God is a pitiless God. Is that the God we have? A God always changing from gentle to cruel (or vise versa) in an instant? Well we can see God isn’t a constantly changing and fickle God in Hebrews 13:8. – Yes the Lord will return and grant mercy, but it seems he first wishes to kill all but a few of the Israelites! So now we have a different picture of God, arguably, a slightly worse one. Is God truly so unforgiving and pitiless that he would slaughter his chosen people without cause or justification? No! All of this was happening because Israel had made its bed, and it was now time to go to sleep. They had “transgressed and rebelled” against God, and God hadn’t forgiven them. Which reminds me, I thought, according to the Bible, that God was a forgiving God?

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; (Daniel 9:9)

O LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. (Psalm 99:8)

It seems to me God has gotten stuck on the punishing bit. – This leads me to another question: we don’t offer sacrifices anymore, and some worship items and ideas more than God. So why aren’t we a bug-splat against the world? God poured his wrath out on Israel, why not do likewise to us? We sure deserve it.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
(Hebrews 8:12)

He doesn’t “do likewise to us” because he’s already forgotten our sins! There is a difference between Israel’s time and now. Back then sacrifices were required, to try to “appease” God. And the moment they started to worship an idol or something else, God’s wrath would fall upon them. But now, because Jesus actually became sin for us, God’s wrath falls on him instead of us! – The veil separating us from God has been torn from top to bottom, and God now hears our prayers.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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The “Jail Treatment”

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy; though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; (Lamentations 3:6-8)

Let me get this straight, God stuck Israel – The author is referring himself to Israel here – in darkness, made his chains heavy, and then stopped listening to there prayers. Now, to a certain extent I for one can understand this, after all, the Israelites forsook him. But don’t you think our God would be a little more kind; a little more sparing then that? After all, people today “forsake” God for modern idols, so why is it all those people didn’t get thrown in jail with an extra-large size ball ‘n chain? – Well God did in fact make a way for the Israelites, just as he made a way for us not to get the “jail treatment”.

Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)

That’s all the Israelites had to do, just reform their ways, actions and obey the Lord. Simple, right? Well as anyone who has tried (and inevitably, failed) can tell you, it’s impossible for us in of our-self to do. By our self we simply, no matter how hard we try, make so much as a dent in our “self”. Hence the ball and chain for the Israelites; but even then, God “called off his wrath” and left (a small) remnant of Israel. But aside from that, what is the difference between now, and back then?

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

The difference between now and then is “the way” has changed. “The way” to God has changed from we do, to he did. That is how we “come to the Father”; Through the son!

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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