Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Reading Genesis 3 this morning and noticed something interesting.

Genesis 3:17-19New King James Version (NKJV)

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

God did not curse Adam and Eve because of their sin. God continue to show love for them. God continued to provide for their needs. God continued to have a Divine relationship with Adam and Eve.

God did not curse their work. Indeed, God’s calling on Adam and Eve never changed. Their work was still a scared and Divine calling to care for creation and populate the Earth.

There were still consequences for their sin. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, God cursed the ground.

God’s love for Adam and Eve never changed. God’s provision for Adam and Eve never changed. God’s calling for Adam and Eve never changed. Yet, the consequences of sin changed their environment. When their environment changed, life became more difficult.

The rest of the story is Adam and Eve never outlived the consequences of their sin. They also never outlived the love of God, the provision of God nor the calling of God. Even after their relationship with God was restored, the living environmental consequences of sin remained.

Even in forgiveness, sin changes our environment. Yet, the love, provision, and call of God never changes. Restoring the relationship changes us within the environment.


Naughty or Nice

Posted: December 20, 2014 in Christian
Tags: , , , , , ,

Christmas is a few days away.  All around there is talk of a little guy making a list and checking it twice… the “Nice List” or the “Naughty List.”  Which list are you on?

All of us like to believe we are on the nice list, don’t we?  But, if we are really honest, we have to admit, we’re not always so nice.

Do you know someone who you are absolutely positive if there really is a naughty list, this person is one it?  We all do. But, do those “naughty” people receive Christmas presents?

Ever wonder why the naughty kids received presents too?

The legend of Santa Claus is based on a man, who lived a long time ago, named Nicholas.  We know him as St. Nicholas, because saint means someone who belongs to God.

In St. Nicholas’ town there were many poor children. They didn’t have enough food, clothes, or toys. St. Nicholas used his money to buy things for the children, they could not buy for themselves. He didn’t want them to be embarrassed by his gifts, so he gave secretly.

St. Nicholas also told everyone about Jesus and how much God loved them. Many people became Christians because of what St. Nicholas said and did.

St. Nicholas loved Jesus and he loved children. So, when it came to the naughty or nice lists, Nicholas chose to look at the lists the way God looks at these lists.

When God looks at the nice list, He sees People Who Need to Know Jesus.  When God looks at the naughty list, He sees People Who Need to Know Jesus.

Because of how much St. Nicholas loved Jesus, and because of the many gifts he gave the children of his town, we still remember St. Nicholas at Christmas time. All of the gifts he gave, and all of the Christmas presents we give, are to remind us of the very best gift anyone ever gave: when God the Father gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to us for our salvation.

We all know a lot about Christmas. But, many stop short of knowing the reason for Christmas.

The reason for Christmas is we needed something we could not give ourselves. The Bible says “All have sinned.” (Romans 3:23) Because of sin, we are all on a naughty list we cannot remove ourselves from.

The reason for Christmas is God provided a way for us to be removed from the naughty list. Because, while we were still sinners, God gave His Son to redeem our overwhelming sin debt. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8) We celebrate God giving His Son, by celebrating the birth of Jesus during the Christmas Season. But, if at Christmas we only remember Jesus as the Babe in the manger, we miss the whole Reason for the Season.

The reason for Christmas is the giving and receiving of gifts. My name might be on the biggest gift, with the prettiest wrapping and bows, under the tree. But, if I never accept and open that gift it will never do me any good. God has offered us the best gift we could ever receive, complete forgiveness of our sin. It is up to us to receive it. We can receive the Greatest Gift, the real Reason for the Season. (Romans 10:9)

May the Reason for the Season, the infinite gift of Christmas, be yours this year.

Merry Christmas!!!

The more I read and study Scripture, the more firmly rooted my Christian beliefs become.  For many years, I would describe myself as anything but liberal.  However, after many years of daily consistent Bible study, I have come to the conclusion; I might just be a liberal Christian.

That may come as a shock to some of you, who know me.  But, I am absolutely convinced.

Why? Because, as I read Scripture, I realize more and more how liberal God truly is.

  • God offers grace liberally. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
  • God offers eternal life liberally, to whosoever believes. – John 3:16
  • God gives wisdom liberally, to all who seek him first. – James 1:5
  • God shows mercy liberally, to those that fear Him. – Psalms 103:17
  • God gives strength liberally, to those that wait on Him. – Isaiah 40:31
  • God blesses liberally, all who honor Him first. – Malachi 3:10
  • God gives joy liberally, to all who abide in His love. – John 15:11
  • God gives peace liberally, to those whose mind is steadfast on Him. – Isaiah 26:3
  • God gives life liberally, to all that trust in Jesus Christ. – John 10:10
  • God gives Himself liberally, to all who worship Him. – Ephesians 3:14-20

Looking at it this way, I believe I am a liberal Christian, serving a Liberal God.

Some of you are disappointed “Liberal” did not mean what you thought it would.  Others are thinking: “I might be a liberal Christian, too.”

What other ways have you found God to be liberal toward His people?

In his Gospel, John, in chapter 19 records the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Writing in Greek, John records the words Jesus spoke as He is on the cross. John, standing as close as possible to the cross, meticulously captures each phrase, each word, as though it were forever etched in his mind. Then, one word stands alone in the passage. One word so specific, it sears its way into the readers consciousness. One word specifically defined the business of Christ and the cross. One word boldly proclaims, TETELESTAI.

TETELESTAI – On the cross, Jesus used a business term to signify everything had been completed, according to prophesy.

The word TETELESTAI (in Greek: τετέλεσται)was written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to show indication that a bill had been paid in full.

What is unique is the way Jesus used the word. Whenever TETELESTAI was written on a business document, receipt or loan note by a debtor or the one to whom the debt was paid, it was almost always written in an abbreviated form, TETE (Greek: τετέ), meaning “this debt is paid.”

However, when a third party (redeemer or kinsman redeemer) would step in and pay a debt for someone else TETELESTAI was always written in full, by the one paying the debt. When written in full TETELESTAI has a very specific meaning and delivers a specific message to the one to whom a debt was owed. Written in full, TETELESTAI meant “I have paid the debt and you no longer have a claim.”

The Greeks, to which John was writing (John 19) understood the difference in the phrasing.

In one word, Jesus served notice to death, hell, the grave and Satan: “I HAVE FULLY PAID THE DEBT AND YOU NO LONGER HAVE A CLAIM!!!

TETELESTAI – My debt has been paid! Satan has no claim.