The Law and The Redemptive Process

The Law and The Redemptive Process

The Law and The Redemptive Process

A brief overview of the book of Romans

General and special revelation have very strong differences that are easily distinguishable: revelation given by direct divine intervention is special revelation and general revelation is accessible to all by virtue of living in the world.

General revelation is available universally and was pursued by means such as Philosophy wherein geniuses like Plato and Aristotle were able to make great strides in the realm of theology by utilizing philosophy to develop arguments like the Argument from Contingency (Aristotle’s unmoved mover), the Teleological argument, and others.

They, however, fell short of knowing God quite like the Hebrew did to whom God made special effort to reveal himself: “despite Aristotle’s remarkable moral sensitivity in many ways, he still despised the idea of humility and the idea of being in anyone’s debt.” (McQuilken, & Copan, 2014, pg.72).

Another philosophical argument for God, the argument from morality, is used by the Apostle Paul when he makes this a major premise in the beginning of Romans to lay out his argument of the inexcusability of all the gentile world before God (Romans 1:18-32). He goes on to liken this general moral understanding of right and wrong (Romans 2:14-15), of which has been seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2), to the Law of Moses in that he explains how the Jew is likewise doomed despite being divinely given the correct moral understanding of right and wrong by divine fiat (Romans 2:17-29).

Thus, both general revelation and special revelation are impotent for dealing with the great problem of evil and suffering faced by all mankind (Romans 3:9-20). 

This problem, of course, goes back to the very beginning wherein Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, giving them the ability to know both (Genesis 3:22) something which the Law of Moses serves an identical purpose: “law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless” (1 Timothy 1:9, ESV). That is why Paul spoke of the law as a curse to those who are under it in Galatians 3:10-14.

As Paul continues in Romans, he shows how God was fulfilling His prophecy of writing the law on our hearts through faith in Jesus Christ by referencing Abraham’s actionable faith in chapter 4, showing that it was the patriarch’s circumcised heart being lived out through faith that led to a circumcised flesh as a sign, proving circumcision of the flesh alone to be useless (Romans 4:9-16; Jeremiah 4:4; Deuteronomy 10:14-16; 30:6).

 

Abraham had, however, only general revelation to work from (Romans 4:10).

Paul argues from thus that it is faith in Christ that brings a total death to one’s own old moral framework of right and wrong, which he has shown in the earlier chapters to be inadequate and marred, via faith and baptism and (Romans 6:3-4).

This is because by being under grace, no longer have we any incentive to refuse repentance since the punishment that would discourage repentance (like admitting one was wrong, sinful, or wicked) has been entirely paid for. By this, the Law does not bind us (Romans 7:1-5) but rather just incites sin to war against us in the death throes of a soon-to-be-conquered kingdom (Romans 7:25; Matthew 16:17-19).

In a sense, this makes life much easier for the Gentile Christian who has never gotten the conscious correcting Law of Moses and thus has only to fight the battles against sin as they progressively learn more from the schoolmaster that is the law (Galatians 3:24; Acts 15:24-29), while Jewish converts have full knowledge of the law and thus have to combat sin in every part of life as soon as they are within Christ (Hebrews 2:19, Hebrews 1-12). 

Paul goes on to encourage believers that this life of internal war is worth the persisting battles that sin wages against us when we come to faith in Christ (Romans 8:18-25) because we have been made “…more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37, ESV).

In chapter 9…

…Paul shows that God’s not done with those who received God’s special revelation, arguing that it was because of their over-reliance on that very special revelation that they allowed themselves to stumble and that we Christians allow Israel to persist in existence by becoming the new child of promise that bears her birthright, replacing not Israel but rather those wicked generations that embody Esau.

Paul’s conclusion defeats the heresy of replacement theology in his quotation of Isaiah: Christians became the faithful remnant within apostate Israel, just like she was apostate back in Isaiah’s time, so that through the Christians Israel might be reconciled and saved (Romans 9:27-29).

Paul’s multiple quotations of the prophet Isaiah in Romans 10:18-21 shows how God going unto the Gentiles to punish Israel was specifically prophesied of and should come as no surprise. Thus, the Jewish rejection of Jesus is not evidence of the falsehood of Christianity but rather proof of it. 

In case it was not at this point already clear, Paul gives a useful illustration to explain how this process works: there is a breaking off of the branches of apostate Israel to graft on new wild branches of Gentile Christians; the tree is still the same tree meaning Israel never got replaced but rather only some of her branches. Moreover, there are even today Jewish-Christian believers.

Paul concludes that once this process is complete, then Israel will finally desire her king (Romans 11:25).

Paul spends the final 2 chapters of Romans describing how Christians rest in a sort of general-special revelation wherein the Holy Spirit renews our minds and empowers us with various gifts by which we can fulfill the law through love (Romans 12:10).

General, because it is universal to Christians; special, because He indwells only those whom He set apart.

Olive Tree in the Holy Land

To summarize…

…Humanity had a general-special revelation in the beginning but forsook it for a false, or anti-revelation that marred our ability to live by faith and caused us to live by a mental framework of what is right and wrong cursed to maintain it perpetually as it progressive degrades in our sinfulness.

Abraham was a unique man who lived by a similar kind of faith, via his general revelation, as from the beginning and so God decided that because of his faithful lifestyle He would save the world through him. From there, God gave mankind the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil again, intellectually repairing that lost knowledge of good and evil through special revelation. Then, through His son Jesus Christ, God repaired that spiritual loss of knowledge of good and evil so that we may live by faith one again and grant us a general-special revelation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

With renewed minds and renewed spirits, one day soon the Lord Jesus will return to renew our flesh in the resurrection at the end of days so that we may once again live as we did in Eden.

References:

McQuilken, R; & Copan, P. (2014). Introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the way of wisdom. Intervarsity Press.


 

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Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Many scientists say evolution is a done deal. Is it really? To this day, scientists have not been able to produce life coming from non-life, even in the most perfect conditions in laboratories the world over.

It’s not for lack of trying.

Many scientists are obsessed with proving evolution actually happened, and have worked on making life come from non-life in their own laboratories.

If they have not been able to reproduce the catalyst or mechanism for life springing from a non-living entity, how can they say that evolution is even remotely possible?

After decades of trying to reproduce life in these perfect conditions, many of these scientists have come to believe life is very complex to the extreme.

Darwin believed life sprang from the primordial soup in a basic non complex form. He had no idea how that would happen because it was way beyond his pay grade of understanding in 1840.

He just believed scientists would figure it out in future generations.

After 150 years they have not.

Not Even Close

There is absolutely no living organism on this planet today that is not complex even right down to living cells.

From the very smallest forms of life to the largest, the complexities are amazing.

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Every year biological scientists gather in a central location in Europe, and review the new discoveries in the field.

Evolution is always on top of the list, and the big question that is asked every year, “has anyone of their colleagues” come up with the solution to reproducing life coming from non-life in their labs.

It would be a real feather in the cap of any scientists who would discover how this happened. They would be revered among all their colleagues for years to come.

Evolution, is many scientist’s Holy Grail or even their god.

Evolutionary biologists believe that evolution is a done deal, and have fooled the general public that it is, but truth be told, there is nothing done about it.

It’s actually quite undone.

Many average people put these great researchers and so-called great thinkers on such a high pedestal and believe everything they say because they do not have even have the basic understanding of the problems these scientists are facing.

Those who believe that natural selection explains the development of new totally different species speak in generalities about evolution and claim that any changes developed over millions of years.

Do the fossils speak to this?

That’s where much disagreement has sprung. How to interpret fossils is far from conclusive. There is something called the Cambrian explosion, an event that happened 541 million years ago, when practically all major animal phyla started appearing in the fossil record.

In other words, animal groups and their great diversity showed up out of nowhere in the fossil record. There were no transitional fossils going from basic life forms, to more advanced ones. Thousands of animal groups just appeared in the fossils.

A broken record to be sure!

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Astronomers and Evolutionary Biologists talk about the conditions in the universe to produce life. With the billions and billions of galaxies in our visible universe surely life must be on some of those.

You constantly hear in the news how it is possible that we have life on other planets in our own solar system like Mars, Venus and some of the moons of the gas giant planets.

All of it is just conjecture and unproven.

In a field that prides itself on reproducible experiments, they have none!

If you are a fellow scientist and bring up the problems with the evolutionary paradigm, you will be attacked by other scientists.

If you are a teacher in high school or college and bring up the problems, they will seek to have you fired.

What is amazing to me, is that many Christians believe in evolution.

Why? Do they not understand or believe what the bible says about who created all life, especially humans? Why do they allow the secular world to dictate what they should believe in, even if it is wrong and unscientific.

I wrote a blog that you should read “Evolution and an Age of Confused Children”

There are many objections by scientists who work in the fields of Microbiology, Biophysics, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Quantum Chemistry and the study of DNA. They are ringing the alarm that evolution has many problems and they are voicing their concerns. 

I found a website called “Dissent from Darwinism” that lists over 1,000 scientists worldwide who have come together to voice their objections. I was shocked at how many there were and the diverse scientific fields they came from.

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, has written a book that has taken the science world by storm called “Darwin’s Doubt”. A scientist himself, he points out from a scientific standpoint why there are many problems with this theory. It is a hard book to understand, in that he goes into detail on many aspects of how life works and functions. You can find Dr. Meyer’s on his Website.

My advice to you, as a Christian, is do some research of your own on where man came from for the sake of yourself, your family, and friends and try to think deeply on the question of all questions, that has haunted mankind since the beginning.

“Where did we come from?”

Can you answer that with confidence as if your life depended on it?

 

Life from Non-life. Is it Possible?

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Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

With talk about Climate Change raging all around us and hysteria everywhere you look, several things have come to my mind as a believer in an all-knowing entity that created us and this universe. Yes, I am a Christian.

The three main attributes or characteristics of God.

Theologians say is that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. Without these characteristics God is not God at all is He? Are not all three of these essential to be the Intelligent Designer of this universe.

What These Terms Mean

 

Omnipotence means all-powerful. Monotheistic theologians regard God as having supreme power. This means God can do what he wants. It means he is not subject to physical limitations like man is. Being omnipotent, God has power over wind, water, gravity, physics, etc. God’s power is infinite, or limitless.

Omniscience means all-knowing. God is all all-knowing in the sense that he is aware of the past, present, and future. Nothing takes him by surprise. His knowledge is total. He knows all that there is to know and all that can be known.

Omnipresence means all-present. This term means that God is capable of being everywhere at the same time. It means his divine presence encompasses the whole universe. There is no location where He does not inhabit. This should not be confused with pantheism, which suggests that God is synonymous with the universe itself; instead, Omnipresence indicates that God is distinct from the universe, but inhabits the entirety of it. He is everywhere at once.

Of these three it is Omniscience that I want to concentrate on when it comes to Climate Change. As a Christian, I believe God created this universe with only human beings in mind. All the rest is for us to use and consume. Not just on this planet and solar system but all of what is going on in the far reaches of this enormous universe impacts us directly also.

Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

 

When God pulled the trigger at one point in time through the ‘Big Bang’ or ‘Cosmological Singularity’, He put into motion all the ingredients that human life on this blue planet would need to thrive.

It does not matter if you are a young earther who believes the universe is only 7,000 to 10,000 years old or if you are an old earther that believes the universe is 13.8 billion years old, the dynamics are still the same.

Does God have Omniscience and that He is an all-knowing Intelligent Designer?

Would He have had complete understanding of what we would need from the beginning of creation until the end?

Do you think this all loving God would have put all these different minerals on this planet for humans to have access to knowing that we would kill ourselves off by using them?

What kind of God is that?

When it comes to fossil fuel of coal, oil and gas that he would have the earth go through a period that all these giant plants and animals like dinosaurs would live and die so we would have these ingredients to use later in man’s development and then kill ourselves off by using too much and causing a greenhouse effect?

Maybe God did not know about the production of carbon when burning fossil fuel? Maybe it took him by surprise? How about the burning of wood that humans have done since the begging of time to warm ourselves and cook our food? Look at all the carbon that released?

I suppose you could say the same thing about the nuclear age and creating nuclear bombs. I remember the fear that swept this country during the Cuban missile crisis. Teachers made us dive under school desks when the alarm went off.

 By all rights from many stories I have read that mankind should have killed himself off by now in a nuclear holocaust or war. Did the nuclear age take him by surprise? Does He not have control of that also? 

The hysteria around climate change has become so acute by many people that I question if they believe in God at all. The fear has become so overwhelming that it is driving many individuals to almost lose their reasoning.

Has Climate Change become their God?

Human beings have such a need to be in complete control over everything and when they do not, fear erupts like a volcano.

We see that in our daily lives when we lose a job, how are we going to pay our bills, someone close to us gets very sick or we have a car wreck. How are we going to deal with it?

Does God only deal with individuals but on a large scale like the survival of the planet and all life on it, is beyond His control?

Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

What does it say about fear in scripture?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

Does that say do not be anxious about anything except climate change or nuclear bombs?

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

Our culture has eliminated God out of everything so it no wonder they are terrified of the future and what it will bring.

They call Christians anti science but is that true or are they just pushing their godless agenda with their small-minded opinions. They like to accuse Christians of being out of touch and fools. Fools to believe in a Creator of the universe and not godless evolution.

Who and what is really behind fear and anxiety?

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

So, what does this tell us about this present age we live in?

That the culture that we live in does not have a clue about what is really going on this planet. Does it seem like we really have a handle on any of this? Ask yourself if it all seems like its grinding to halt. You can feel it. God’s Word confirms it.

God gave us all an owner’s manual in the Bible and also what is coming in the end times.

“Fear not!” is the most repeated command in the Bible. In fact, it’s been said that there are 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! … God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!”

Do not get all caught up in the hysteria and fear of climate change. Do not let mere humans with their narrow incite and opinions shout over God’s voice of reason.

He created you and I and has a hope and future for each one of us. He also created this time and space called a universe and is not surprised by anything. He knew it would come down to this in the end.

Do not let fear rule you!

Jesus walked on this planet, died and rose again so we could have a future.

That you can take to the bank!

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Climate Change: Is God A Fool?

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Who Made God?

Who Made God?

Who Made God?

Who made God? Where did God come from? This question are asked by many Christians and non-believers alike. Everything had to be made by something and had a starting point in time, right? It’s very hard for us to wrap our heads around something or someone that was not created.

We have been taught all our lives of this logical fact. The largest object in our human knowledge, the universe, came into existence at one point in time from the big bang or cosmological singularity. Who made that? Who pulled the trigger?

The universe could not pop into existence from nothing. Nothing can. When have you ever seen something pop into existence without explanation?

Everything in this universe had a starting point no matter how large or small. Some objects came into being at the Big Bang, but many things started sometime after.

Who made all this stuff?

Stuff like gravity, planets, stars, galaxies, and atoms. Its ingrained into our brains that everything has been made or designed by someone or something.

If God created everything who created God?

Dr. William Lane Craig (one of the top analytic philosophers and Christian theologian) said it best: “God is the only self-existent source of everything other than Himself”

In other words, a timeless, immaterial, eternal being cannot have a cause. Nothing could bring into existence a being into reality who transcends space and time.

How could something be made inside of our universe that made the universe itself? That makes no sense. It would have to be a being outside of our universe that made it in the first place. Something powerful enough and smart enough to create something of this magnitude and complexity.

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Something could not come into being out of nothing. If something is eternal and timeless it does not need a cause.

Think of it this way: where did the sun get its light? The sun is its own source of light. Same way with God. He is His own source of life.

When atheists think they have Christians on the run when they ask who made God, it really exposes their ignorance on who God is.

The simple answer to who made or created God would be God is not caused but self-existent.

The best part of all this is that this Christian God who is the uncaused cause desires the perfect relationship with me and you!

“Father… you loved me before the foundations of the world.” John 17:24

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set into place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

Watch a very good short video on this topic, go to Dr. William Lane Craig 

 

Who Made God?


 

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Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Christmas time is a time for celebration. As humans, we look for things to celebrate or to party for. We want a break from our normal lives and want to participate in something larger than ourselves.

As Christians, our focus should be on the birth of Jesus and not Santa Clause, gifts, Christmas lights and a tree to decorate. We reflect on the baby in the manger and we may even understand what it took for Mary and Joseph to arrive at that place in time and space along with the shepherds and wise men.

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” John 1:14

This baby had made His entrance into the world in all the usual ways that all human baby’s show up. He had grown inside of Mary from the smallest organisms. Did God inject Himself as a sperm into her womb and then fertilize her egg that started the whole process? We know Jesus grew all his body parts in His human mother and when He had come to term, He was born on a specific moment in time.

If so, that sperm made Him fully God and that human egg from Mary made Him fully human. That sperm had all the DNA and knowledge of God Himself in this teeny tiny package that would mix with the human egg cell with all of the DNA of humanity.

Wrap your head around that.

Why God decided to design human life to exist on this planet in this solar system in this universe is only something He knows. The possibilities must have been endless. God’s Middle knowledge is something only He has. When you factor in man’s ‘free will’ this existence that we are living in realy is the “Best Possible of All Worlds”. 

I know I am playing Monday morning quarterback here because I know how this story ends but for all those people that lived and had contact with Jesus, I do not think anyone truly understood what they had in their midst until He died and was resurrected from the dead.

Here was a small helpless baby with many different types of people staring down at Him. Each one of them had thoughts dancing in their heads of who and what this baby represented and meant for them and everyone else, but I think the full understanding was elusive to them.

Missing God in Baby Jesus

Missing God in Baby Jesus

 

Can you imagine being right there and hearing this baby cry or watch His mother feed and change His dirty diaper? God in the flesh? Who can grasp that concept? One moment you could gaze down on this little helpless human baby wrapped in small blankets and the next you could walk outside of their dwelling and look up into the nighttime sky and realize that baby made ALL of that!

A sky that was so clear and, in a place, and time that no city lights could dim the view of the universe. An amazing perspective with the billions of galaxies all swirling about just out of reach above your head.

“The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1

To many of us, we have heard this story of the birth of Jesus so many times that its true impact can be lost on us in the mundane. I try to unpack this truth not only at Christmas time but at other points in time when I am trying to understand the creator of this universe and what He has done for humanity and me in particular.

I am trying to make it fresh. Peel away the God onion and look deeper into what it is we worship. I love exploring God’s universe and checking out all His creative ways. The natural world just cries out Intelligent Designer from the largest to the smallest and everything in between. The complexity of it all is truly breathtaking in its scope.

Who is this entity that we call God?

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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