Archive for December, 2005

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God called… Gen. 1:5

December 27, 2005

“God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” (Genesis 1:5)

Again, God speaks. This time the word used has the meaning of call as in to proclaim. By naming the light and the darkness, God further separates them. In the same act He gives meaning to the light and darkness.

Next we find the controversial part of this verse that some argue is not strictly one day. There are several reasons we can refute this view point. First, the word for day is clarified by evening and morning, which is a single day. Second, Genesis 2:2 says “by the seventh day”, telling us of seven days that comprised the completion of creation. Third, throughout the Bible the days of creation are treated only as twenty-four hour periods. Lastly, what would you say to God if He asked you to justify your view of the time period of creation? We can choose to trust God’s word or deny it (Psalm 119:42 or Romans 1:21).

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas my friends. I thought I’d greet any potential readers on this fine Christmas day.

A thought came to me yesterday while ice skating. My girlfriend told me it was supposed to rain today. If God allows rain, it is good. God’s will now is just like the passages from Genesis I have been going over. What God does is good simply because God does it, thus putting His impression on His work. The same is true of His grace. Psalm 145:17 says that He is gracious (or kind) in all His ways.

Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the Lord’s good and gracious work.

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Santa as a teacher

December 20, 2005

When I was growing up I was fully aware of Santa. I received gifts from him. I left notes for him. I set out cookies for him and carrots for Rudolf. It was all very fascinating.

My girl-friend did not have the same experience. When she asked me to defend my parents’ perpetuation of Santa I fell back on a million similar things in books and videos etc. It did get me thinking though.

I began to think about what Santa taught me. Over eight or ten years he must have taught me something. A basic premiss is his song – “You better not pout, you better not cry… He knows when you are bad or good so be good for goodness sake”.

He taught me to be good. Why? For goodness sake. With a little tweaking I may have seen that it was for God’s sake, no problem. But why should I refrain from bad and do good? So I would get Christmas presents, of course.

There are two ways to look at this.
One:
With Santa we try not to do bad and try to do good. It’s good enough, so Santa gives us a new Nintendo 360. Our teaching from Santa teaches us just as the Old Testament does. We receive eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ. This is a gift of infinite value. We cannot refrain from bad and do good to the extent that is required by the one giving us the gift, our perfect heavenly Father. Therefore, we must give up our effort to earn the infinite gift of God. Instead, we have to accept that Jesus lived sinlessly (refrained from bad) and in complete righteousness (did good) as well as dying for our sins (paying the cost for our gift) so that we could live forever with Him. Then in gratitude for God’s gift we obey Him.
Two:
Exactly the opposite, Santa teaches that being good enough has a pay-off. That pay-off can be earned by our hard work. He would then end up teaching a salvation by works, which is damning.

I pray we look more closely at what we teach at this time of year. You will be the one who teaches your children about Santa and his message. Is that message the gospel or a lesson on where life without the gospel will leave you?

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A little about this site

December 16, 2005

The first comment I received was from a good friend. It reminded me that I should really introduce myself for any new people that come to the site as well as the site’s purpose.

My name is Joshua. I live in Rhode Island. I’m not going to say exactly where but it is quite a small state. If you are looking to help then I’d be glad to have comments on the posts here. If you have the gift of sharing your faith, encouraging, teaching or the like then maybe I can add you as a user to create posts of your own.

The purpose of this site is the glorification of Jesus Christ and by Him, the One Living God. I hope to eventually have three different main categories.
First, “Passages” that will explore a verse or section of Scripture to properly interpret it (and perhaps apply it but that should be left mostly to the reader).
Second, “Topic” that will evaluate subject matter in light of the Bible’s teaching (no “our culture/society/etc. is SO messed up” type stuff – complaining/grumbling is out, Philippians 2:14-15 NIV, NASB).
Third, “Inspiration” that will offer encouragement or insight as we keep the cross in mind during our daily walk.

And again, feel free to comment on the posts and discussions.

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God saw… Gen. 1:4

December 15, 2005

“God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4, NASB)

First, we observe that God sees or observes the light He has created. He observes that the light is good. Much like a painting, the nature or character of the artist can be seen in the creation. God, by creating light, has left the imprint of His nature upon it – it is good. The rest of creation is still in need of work. It has not yet been declared good.

God then separates light and darkness. As with much of Scripture the “how?” question is not answered. It was most likely with His command (see verse 3). We do not know what creation would be like if God had not separated light from darkness. Due to this separation though, we gain many things. It begins the sense of seasons or times. This will prove to be very important as the rest of creation comes into being. Also, we have what becomes a great analogy throughout Scripture of good and evil (2 Corinthians 6:14).

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Then God said… Gen. 1:3

December 14, 2005

“Then…”

I cannot even remember the first time I read Genesis 1:3. Now I always have a general idea of what is going to come next. I have no idea how Moses would have felt or what he would have thought when, for the first time, God narrated to him “Then…” Moses must have been on the edge of his seat!

“Then God said ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3, NASB)

Here God brings light into existence out of nothing, no materials, no help. Before this, nothing like light existed. We find elsewhere that God created all of the heavens in this way (Psalm 33:6). Further, these created things are established firm and solid (Psalm 33:9). After God spoke, light leaped into existence.

Again, the text uses the name of God which means Almighty. The power of God is shown through His word. The word translated here as “said” is the Hebrew meaning God said this with His will – God decreed that light exist. The Hebrew word for light is the light of the morning or dawn – sunlight. Beyond obedience, light explodes into being.

Hebrews 11:3 states well that these things are understood by faith. God made everything without aid or material, by the power of His decree.

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The earth… Gen. 1:2

December 3, 2005

I am contemplating going through the whole Bible like this, verse by verse. For now, the second verse of the Bible is our subject for today:

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

Frantically, a woman rushed between isles three and four of the supermarket. An employee soon took notice and approached to help. “Can I help you, ma’am?” “I’m making a pie for Christmas dinner at my mother-in-law’s. She makes everything from scratch. I looked through all the baking isles and can’t find the main ingredient: scratch!”

The first verse of the Bible summarizes all of creation. We are now set at the point where earth will be ordered. God has created the “scratch” and will now work it into a masterpiece. Being without form and void gives two insights. The first is that water covered the entire earth. The second is that no life dwelt on the earth.

Darkness, another part of the “scratch”, has already been created. It covers the whole earth – over the waters.

Most interestingly, “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters”. Here we have a distinction – “the Spirit of”. In the first verse we were introduced to God. In the second verse we are introduced to the Spirit of God. Each are God, yet there is a distinction. God has sent forth His Spirit that the earth may be created (Psalm 104:30, notice, again, the distinction).

We also have God the Son participating in all of creation (Colossians 1:16, I hope to have a Topic entry on the Trinity before we come to the introduction of Jesus Christ in Genesis). Of special note in the verse from Colossians is that not only were all things created through Jesus but all things were created for Him. Jesus was also before all things and all things hold together in Him (v. 17).