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Category Archives: Through the Bible

Absolute Truth and the Armor of God

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth… Mph 6:14a

Why do we need the Armor of God?

Its an interesting question because it is one of those times that the “churchy” answer seems like the correct answer. We need the Armor of God because the Bible tells us that it is important.  We need the Armor of God because we are in a fight for our souls. How many of us, however, actually on a daily basis fight for our Christianity?

Most of us I would venture to say could live our current lives without the Armor of God because we don’t ever find ourselves in a war with this world.  If the world or the spiritual powers that Christ calls us to stand firm against attack we are all to happy to just move on down the line thinking “I’ll fight the next one.” After all the world might be correct on this issue.

That is the bottom line.  Most christians today, whether they would admit it or not, do not believe in the absolute truth of the Bible.  If the bible is in contradiction with what the world tells us we are quick to align ourselves with the world.  We don’t investigate, we don’t struggle, and we don’t pray over these issues because there truth may be just as valid as ours.

The absolute truth of the Gospel is the only reason we have to fight.  Take away that truth and we may as well hang up all the other pieces of the armor because no one fights for something they know is not true.  Without the Absolute Truth of the gospel every part of our armor is weekend to the point of being harmful to us.

The Belt of Truth

Truth in life as with the Armor of God is the single thing on which we hold up ever part of our lives.  If you have ever had a belt that you thought would hold give out on you then you know the danger you can be in if a truth that you held give way.  No mater if it is serious or silly when something you know to be true is proven false it can reck your beliefs.

This is why Paul set up the truth of the gospel as the belt for our spiritual Armor.  If for any reason the bible is not true than ever thing that we hang on that belief becomes useless in the fight.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Righteousness is the defense of the major part of our body.  The largest thing that can be attacked is our actions and attitudes.  This is why it is good that we are not clothed in our righteousness but in the righteousness of God.  However, if the truth of the gospel is not absolute  than we are counting on our own righteousness to save us and that would be worse than useless in the spiritual battles we fight.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

We can have peace in God because we are comforted by his grace.  The protection we have in Him gives us “a peace of God that surpasses all understanding”.  We walk in that peace daily and take comfort in the fact that we can live worry free because God is in control.  If truth is not absolute, however, than we will live in worry over our salvation and our lives needing to control everything or risk loosing it all.

The Shield of Faith

We use our faith in the gospel as a shield to fight off the “flaming darts of the evil one” that when we are attacked by worry, guilt, or shame we can defend ourselves with the knowledge and faith in the Armor of God.  If truth is not absolute, we are not defended by a shield, but instead hobbled by a crutch that slows us from taking actual control of our lives or as Paul puts it.

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1Cor 15:19

The Helmet of Salvation

It is the knowledge of salvation that protects and transforms our mind.  We are ultimately not afraid of the things of this world because we know that we have be saved for a future place.  If truth of the gospel is not absolute then we have only a wisp of protection and are in danger of grievous harm because of the snares of this world.

Why do we put on the Armor of God?

Because the Truth of the Gospel is our reason to fight, our reason to go to war, and in war we must be protected from the evil one.

 

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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Through the Bible, Uncategorized

 

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Count The Cost And Come

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28

Ten years minimum is how long Naomi had spent in the far country of Moab.  Ten years that from what we know had brought her nothing but heartbreak and misery. She has spent enough time away from God to know what it means to be under his favor. So it should be no surprise that when Naomi hears in the fields of Moab that the LORD has returned to his people and they have food again, she wastes no time delaying but sets out for home.

It must have been a strange sight for anyone that day to see three women hauling all the possessions they had in the world down the road that led out of Moab.  Even stranger when, for what to passers by must have seemed like for no reason, these three women stop moving completely and have a “sob fest” right in the middle of the road.  As a man I can tell you I would have just felt absolutely awkward even walking near a group of crying women.  Why are they so sad? Why are they in the middle of the road? How do i keep from making this more awkward? All these and more would have been questions going through my mind.  Yet what happened in that road is probably one of the most profound moments in the Book of Ruth (a book just jammed with profound moments.)

Naomi doesn’t want to be a burden. Like so many people, older people especially, she just wants to finish out her life with a little dignity.  She doesn’t want to drag these young ladies down with her to a situation that they were in some ways obligated to follow.  Naomi decides to give them an out. If you have ever seen, Harry and the Hendersons, you will know the situation well.  Naomi knows how hard it is to join another culture first hand, and so she is throwing all the facts at these women she can to get them to run away, “for there own good.”

There is allot you can unpack from this segment of scripture, but one I want to focus on is this, Naomi is telling these girls to count the cost of giving up everything, and at the same time telling them what they will have to endure.  To come with her means conversion to Jewish tradition, laws, and religion.  There is an undeniable cost to that situation.  How often are we then this honest with people about the cost of following Christ.  Christ himself was very clear that it was a hard road.  Do we tell people what to expect and what will be expected, or do we try to hide the details until we think they are ready?  What is amazing is that as Naomi describes the struggles we see the very two reactions that come from honesty about the cost of A life with Christ.

Orpah (The Realistic World)  Orpah gives us a picture of, if the scripture is to be believed, is the majority of our worlds response to the Gospel.  She is in no way an evil person she loves Naomi, weeps over her leaving, and kisses her goodby in a genuine way.  Orpah’s problem is the same as many of our friends in the world they may “believe” in God and even think his way of life is best, but when the cost is laid out for them they find that they love there life in the world much more than they love God.  If only they didn’t have to give up their pleasure, their power, or there free will to follow Christ.  If only the cost was not so high.  Instead they leave like the rich young ruler,  “But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” Mark 10:17-27

Ruth (The Blessed Believers)  Ruth is the beautiful opposite to Orpah.  Orpah took the easy way out and went home.  Ruth throughs all her previous life at Naomi’s feet and tells her that all she ever was or had know was now her past and her future is all with Naomi.  What Ruth did was brave, and also scandalous.  Just like that we as believers were once presented with the truth and had to count the cost.  It was laid out in Mat 10, “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”  To follow Jesus is to abandon anything we once had and any family who does not believe and take up our cross and follow Him.

That is it then as we go through our lives we have been presented with an honest choice, and are obligated to give others the same honesty.  Go back to the world and live in peace till judgement, or take up your cross and follow Christ.  The second is infinitely harder, but also infinitely better.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2015 in Ruth, Through the Bible

 

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An Ordinary Beginning

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

Ruth is one of the most amazing books in the Bible.  In just four short chapters it discusses the themes of distrust, pain, redemption, blessing, providence, and many many more that would take too long to name.  It is hard to believe sometimes that the story of two widows struggle to survive could so explain the effect of Gods providential grace.

The awe of how amazingly ordinary this story is cannot be accurately described until we understand that it was set “in the days when judges ruled…”.  To compare, the time of Judges was marked by amazing wars, and even more amazing victory’s. It is the time of Gideon, Ehud, Samson, and Debora, and yet during all of this chaos going on in the world we are treated to the tale of a young widow, her mother, and there struggles. There is no flash. No amazing miracles. Just two women doing what they know is right and reaping the blessings and favor of God.

The story opens during a famine brought with the oppression of Moab as a punishment for Israel’s sin and distrust of God. We are then introduced to Elimelech who while the entire country is being punished by God decided that the wisest course of action was to abandon his home and everything he knew, further distrusting God, and go to settle in the land of Moab.  He sided with his nations enemy rather than trust that God would provide.  There is no exact time frame of how long they lived in Moab as a family, but the next thing the verses reveal is that Elimelech dies and leaves his family to continue as strangers in a strange land.

The sons Mahlon and Chilion rather than return to there homeland decide to double down on there rebellion and marry two women from Moab, Ruth and Orpah. Fast forward ten years. Both sons have died with no children to carry on there family name.  They leave behind nothing but there wives and mother Naomi.

It is important to note that even in these times of trouble God is still moving and working.  He uses all of the bad decisions made by this family to ultimately bring His plan of salvation into the world.  That doesn’t mean that what Elimelech did had to happen and so it was right, but that God worked even Elimelech’s sin and distrust into ultimate good.

It is in verse 6, however, that we start seeing what will become one of the major themes of Ruth.  Naomi rises from Moab and heads home, because she heard the LORD had returned.  Without any discussion or, from what we can see, forethought, Naomi does what she knows is right and heads home to Bethlehem.

P.S. : It is funny to note that Hebrew names were often spot on or ironic in there meanings, I will discuss it more as I get into Ruth but to give you some here Elimelech means “to whom God is King” even though he abandoned God and his Homeland, Mahlon means “sickly or weak” good name for a child who dies young, and Chillion means “deathly”…just saying if you want your kid to survive adulthood long maybe don’t name them “sick dead guy”.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Ruth, Through the Bible

 

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From There to Here

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham”  Matt 1:1

“Be very careful what you do, because it not only reflects on you but on your mother and I”

This was a phrase I heard over and over again as a young boy growing up.  Usually it was after some big fiasco that I am certain to this day was someone else’s fault, but the point got across loud and clear, anything I did people were going to judge my parents by it.

The reverse of this is true as well, we are judged so much in our early lives by who are parents and relatives are or what they did in life.  If they were paragons of the church then you are expected to be the same and often given more leeway.  If they were somehow less than perfect, however, then often not much is expected of us or we are watched more closely to see how we are going to mess up.

The Lord of Lords and King of Kings who caused the words of scripture to be written knew this simple fact as well, and He chose to start the very first book about His Son with a listing of where He came from, so the whole world would know.

Why is this so important to scripture?  Why would we “waist” our time going over these names?

   1. Fulfillment of Prophesy 

 “Clearly, Jesus was the one true Messiah who came to save our world from our own sin. (Isaiah 37:31) However, because we as people find it hard to truly take things on faith, God inspired Matthew to record an entire account of Christ linage so that there could be no doubt as to where he came from, and who He would grow to be.”

   2. Reminder of Heroic Past

“People, in general, find it harder to believe something to which they cannot relate. Knowing this our God put in Matthew the credentials of Christ.  An entire listing of all the history that was not just related to Jesus, but also spoke to his very coming.  Seventeen whole verses dedicated to reminding the Jews and us alike why we as people could never be enough to save ourselves.”

   3. Example of Generations of Faith

“Each one of the people in the genealogy of Christ have a unique story to tell about the faith of the Jewish people.  From Rahab, to Boaz, to David, and Hezekiah, a listing of foreigners, workers, kings, and shepherds all brought into the family of God most High.  These people show the greatest example of faith imaginable by following the prodding of there God to live a life waiting for Him.  Never being able to see the end result, but having faith that through there lives He might be made known.”

As we come to know Christ in our personal lives, we have something that this list of people never did, the fulfillment of our faith.  When we come to a saving knowledge of faith we join this group of men and women as a part of Christ family.

“Be careful what we do, because it not only reflects on us, but on our Father and Brother (Jesus) as well!”

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Matthew, Through the Bible

 

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