Tag Archives: sin

500th Anniversary of “THE REFORMATION”

On October 31, 1517 a German monk named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg seeking a discussion on the selling of Indulgences for the remission of sin by the Catholic Church. The aim of the Church in selling the Indulgences was to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Luther, who had become the Professor of Theology at the college, knew from his reading and studying of the Scriptures there was no forgiveness of sin except through the blood of Jesus Christ. The people were being put under great deception by being told by their priests the Catholic Church held the key to God’s forgiveness through the purchase of Indulgences. The simple act of Martin Luther on that day began a Reformation to return to the Truths of Scripture and away from what had become the tenets of a man-made religion.

During Martin Luther’s early days as a monk he came under great conviction of his sinfulness before God. Whereas other monks in the monastery would spend a few minutes a day confessing their sins to the priest, Luther would spend hours confessing his for he was cognizant of how sinful man is in his fallen state. It was not until he read in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith,” that he realized it was not by the works of confession, simplicity of living as a monk, or even self-flagellation that provided forgiveness of sin but having a living faith based totally ALONE upon Jesus’ voluntary death on the Cross for man’s sin, His burial, and bodily Resurrection triumphant over sin and death (Romans 10:9-10). As a repentant sinner, Luther placed his full faith and trust in Christ apart from the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church from which he was eventually excommunicated and proclaimed anathema, bound for hell.

Only available in Latin and confined to only being read and interpreted by the Catholic Church, Luther began translating The Scriptures into the language of the German people so they, too, could read for themselves, “The just shall live by faith,” and find salvation in none other name but Christ Jesus as the Apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 4:12). In doing so, Luther found himself having to be in hiding to complete the task as those led by the demons of Hell sought to stop his work. The Scriptures we hold in our hands today, written in our own language, found its beginning in the days of Luther on that fateful day in October 1517 when God opened the floodgates, that whosoever reads and keeps those things written therein will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).

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Preparing for Eternity

The coming eclipse of the moon passing before the sun caused numerous details to be considered and executed in preparation of its arrival throughout the United States for its safe viewing. Some traveled great distances at great cost to be in the direct path of its totality of coverage. Maps were pored over, arrangements for travel and lodging were made, meals were planned, the acquisition of solar viewing glasses were sought out and action taken to be in the best possible location for the best possible view. Much preparation took place by individuals to see the once in a lifetime event.

Before natural disasters strike, such as hurricanes in the current age, much time is given broadcasting the time of their potential arrival. Admonitions are made to prepare for the coming wind, rain and flooding such storms bring. Windows are boarded up, store shelves are emptied of their products, fuel is sought out to power transportation and generators, arrangements are made to either stay or find shelter elsewhere until the storm passes by. Much time and preparation takes place by each individual in its path in anticipation of what is about to befall them.

The Prophet Amos in the Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures admonished his hearers “Prepare to meet thy God,” (Amos 4:12). The judgment of God was once again upon the Children of Israel after endless years of rebellion and rejection of God’s Will for their lives. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament over 800 years later called for Spiritual preparations to be made, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27). Preparing for Eternity is the most important preparation each individual must make.

To find what is needed to prepare for an Eternity with God one must spend time in His Word reading the Scriptures for what God requires of man to be in a right relationship with Him. One must spend time in prayer seeking God’s forgiveness and His Will for their life. One must daily be about the Father’s business, going where He would have them go, doing what He would have them do, sharing the Good News of the Gospel with all who will hear. The first step in preparing for Eternity is to begin with the ABCs…  Acknowledge your sin (Romans 3:10, 23);  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection for sin (Romans 5:8-9; 6:23);  Confess your need to Him of His Forgiveness (Romans 10:9-13). From there, as the Apostle Peter admonished in 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be Glory both now and forever. Amen.”

God’s Instructions to His Children

As the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses concerning His statutes and judgments they were to obey once they entered the Promised Land in order to receive His blessings. God spelled out for them what they should eat (Leviticus 11), how to curb the spread of leprosy (Leviticus 13-14), the importance of personal hygiene (Leviticus 15), and how to conduct themselves in the new land they would inherit (Leviticus 19).

God’s words to Moses to speak to the Children of Israel included the familiar “Ye shall not steal;” “Neither lie one to another;” “Neither shalt thou profane the Name of thy God,” (Leviticus 19:11-12). The LORD further related to Moses the Children of Israel were not to turn to idols (v.4), they were to give their offerings to Him of their own free will (v.5), pay those they hired (v.13), and were not to be talebearers (v.16). They were also not to eat anything with the blood, use enchantments, nor observe times of supposedly good days or bad days for human activity (v.26).

In order to “Be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy,” (v.2), God instructed Moses to “not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind,” (v.19). From the days of Creation each animal was designed by God to reproduce after its kind. The mixing of different animals to produce a new type of animal was forbidden by God. The same applied to different seeds being “mingled” together to form a new type of plant, or a garment made of an alternative type of fabric that combined linen with wool. In order to keep the strains pure, God instructed Moses to admonish the Children of Israel to abstain from any attempts at these practices, which were part of idol worship taking place in the land they would inherit.

Included in the idol worship of the Canaanites was the rounding of the corners of their heads and marring the corners of their beards, cutting themselves to mourn the dead, and printing marks upon themselves. God forbade the Children of Israel to participate in any form of idol worship, for “I am the LORD” (vs.27-28).

God’s instructions to the Children of Israel to “keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them,” was to cause them not to be spewed out of the land as was happening to those He was removing for them to occupy the land. God said, Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” The inheritance of the Children of Israel of the land flowing with milk and honey for which God laid out strict instructions was for His people to know, “I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people… I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine,” (Leviticus 20:22-26).

Thou Shalt Not Raise a False Report

In Exodus 20 of the Holy Scriptures is listed what is referred to as “The Ten Commandments.” These commandments given to Moses from God on Mt. Sinai include, “Thou shalt not kill;” “Thou shalt not steal;” “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The list of commandments does not end with the ten most familiar commandments of the chapter, but continue on throughout the rest of the Book of Exodus, the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, containing over 600 laws in all given by God to be obeyed.

As The LORD continued giving Moses in detail HIS LAW that was to be followed in addition to the Ten Commandments, in the very first verse of Exodus 23 is written, “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” A true witness among the people is what must be maintained to have a civil society for mankind to live in peace and experience the blessings of God. The verse goes on to say, “Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” It is Satan who is the father of lies and false reports, and those who follow him do his bidding (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul wrote of those who are deceitful, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips,” (Romans 3:13).

Just a few verses following the command, “Thou shalt not raise a false report,” God admonished Moses in the giving of His Law that the people were to “Keep thee far from a false matter,” (Exodus 23:7). Whenever and wherever a falsehood rears its ugly head, God commands man to distance himself from it and not to become a part of it. It is Satan’s desire to deceive the people through falsehoods; it is God’s desire to bring eternal salvation and right living to the people through the TRUTH of His Word (John 17:17).

The Atheist Delusion

For those who in their own mind try to deny the existence of God, Ray Comfort of Living Waters Publications speaks with several willing participants of the Truths of God’s Creation and His Word, showing them the fallacy of their thinking. Transformation takes place for some as they begin to clearly see the error of their way and consider what they had refused to understand before. A powerful presentation with breathtaking views of God’s Creation, “The Atheist Delusion” uncovers the root of atheistic belief.

Thou Shalt Not Covet

The sin of coveting was first committed in the Garden God had planted in Eden where Eve believed the lie of that old serpent, the Devil, when she ate of the tree God had instructed her and Adam not to partake. Satan had convinced Eve that God’s Word concerning not eating the fruit of the tree lest she die was not to be believed, nor trusted. Eve desired to taste the fruit, saw that it did not look harmful, and reached for the first bite, what the Apostle John referred to in 1 John 2:16, “the lust of the flesh… the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father.” What God commanded, Eve rejected.

To covet something is to want it so much that one will do anything to get it regardless of the consequences, as in the case of Eve. In taking a bite of forbidden fruit and encouraging her husband to do the same brought disastrous life-changing results that harmed both their own personal relationships with God, their relationship with one another, the glorious plan God had prior to their sin for their lives , and the plan of God for the entire planet and those who would inhabit it in the future (Genesis 2-3).

In Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 who came to Him desiring to know what he must do to obtain eternal life, the young man professed to have kept the six Commandments Jesus named. But Jesus knowing his heart was full of covetousness honed in on the last of the Ten Commandments, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s,” (Exodus 20:17). When Jesus told him to sell all he had and give to the poor, the depth of his sinfulness was revealed to the man. Like Eve, the rich young man rejected God’s command.

The sin of coveting is referred to as idolatry in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Colosse where he implored the believers in Christ to put off and put to death those things that should not be found among them, “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry,” (Colossians 3:5). In the Book of Hebrews God’s people are told to not be covetous, but “be content with such things as ye have,” (Hebrews 13:5). The things of this world rust, corrupt, and decay, and eventually will be burned up at the end of this age, but those things that are laid up in Heaven will retain their value for eternity.

Baptismal Regeneration

In Jesus’ final words to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room before His arrest and crucifixion, He made it clear the only way to forgiveness of one’s sin and a right standing before God was through Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me, (John 14:6). Within two centuries of Jesus’ return to Heaven there began to creep into some of the early churches a teaching that baptism was the way to salvation.

Known as “baptismal regeneration,” this was and is a most serious deviation from the Scripture, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7). Man’s desire to make baptism the way of salvation contrary to Scripture is evident from the introduction of baptizing infants. It was thought if salvation could be obtained by water baptism, the earlier one was baptized the better. When infant baptism was first introduced babies were fully immersed under the water, but centuries later pouring or sprinkling of water came into vogue in most erring churches.

It was baptismal regeneration along with infant baptism that brought about the numerous denominations in the world today. Whereas Baptists alone continued to stand firm on by grace are ye saved through faith, in Christ Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), declaring non-fellowship with those early churches which accepted and practiced the errors of baptism, it was not long before, in A.D. 416, a law was passed in the Roman world making infant baptism compulsory. Ten years later in A.D. 426 the Dark Ages began, lasting 1,000 years, during which time many Bible-believing Christians were martyred for their faith and their stance against the corrupting of the Scriptures taking place in their midst.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke of those who would stand in the judgment and be told “I never knew you: depart from Me,” (Matthew 7:23). For those who do not come to God His way in repentance of their sin and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ Alone by His blood, but desire to come by water baptism or any other means, those words will be their doom. The Apostle Paul wrote, I declare unto you the Gospel… by which you are saved… How that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Baptism is not the means of salvation; baptism by immersion is a picture of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the repentant sinner who has placed their faith and trust in Him pre-baptism, identifying  with Him for eternity.