mid-week apologetics booster (6-30-2022)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 2300) from Nuggets:

Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even condemned. – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/bible-app/browseQuotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Sex abnormalities and transgender – creation.com – Abnormal sexual development has nothing to do with choosing which gender you would like to be.https://creation.com/sex-abnormalities-v-transgender
  2. How to Make the Case against Abortion in Less Than a Minutehttps://www.str.org/w/how-to-make-the-case-against-abortion-in-less-than-a-minute
  3. Make the Pro-Life Case in 60 Seconds – YouTube – You’re in a conversation and someone says, Pro-lifers just want to force their religious views on everyone else. They don’t really have a good reason to oppose abortion. What would you say? Dismissing opposition to abortion as religious ideology is intellectually lazy. There are rational arguments against abortion, and those who oppose abortion make them often. So, when abortion advocates dismiss arguments against abortion, remember these three steps: First, formally state the case against abortion. Second, defend the case against abortion by clearly stating the reasons for your pro-life position. Third, establish ground rules for further discussion.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEnokKiwtkA
  4. Is Hell Real? – YouTube – You’re in a conversation and someone says, I don’t believe a loving God would send anyone to Hell. He wouldn’t even allow a place like that to exist. What would you say? It’s easier to believe in things like Heaven, redemption, and eternal joy with God you know, the things we want to be true — than those things that are hard to imaging and even stomach, like eternal punishment. Hell is a hard thing to talk about, but the next time it comes up in conversation, here are three things to remember: First, God doesn’t force anyone into Hell, but He doesn’t force anyone to love Him or be with Him either. Second, Jesus taught that Hell is real, and talks about it more than anyone else in the New Testament. Third, Hell does not diminish Gods love; it displays it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucC8O471qyE
  5. How to Have a Conversation: When Under Pressure – YouTube – you’re in a conversation and suddenly an assertion is leveled against your view and you don’t know how to answer it. Now maybe you’ve forgotten the reasoning or evidence, or maybe haven’t done your research in the first place. What would you say? The What Would You Say videos are a great way to ground yourself in the basic arguments for Christian values and convictions, but the pressure of the moment, you may not be able to recall the details. For those situations, you need a game plan. The next time you’re in over your head, here are three things to remember: First, don’t try to answer the challenge immediately. If you do, you’re giving them a free ride. Second, don’t be taken in by their, I can explain that response and Third, ask for specific reasons why their ideas should be taken seriously https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhyMclem04A
  6. The Heart of the Abortion Issue – In this clip from To the Point LIVE, Jon Noyes asks how a civil society should treat innocent human beings who challenge our current way of life and reminds us not to be distracted away from the most important question in the abortion debate: What is the unborn?https://www.str.org/w/the-heart-of-the-abortion-issue
  7. What Is the General Theory of Evolution Unable to Explain? – YouTube – Dr. Craig answers a question about certain limits within the theory of evolution, common ancestry, random mutation, natural selection, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpuog3h_tb0
  8. Must You Remain Silent on Abortion Unless You Adopt a Baby? If you’ve never adopted a child, does this disqualify you from speaking out against abortion? Alan offers five reasons why this challenge is mistaken.https://www.str.org/w/must-you-remain-silent-on-abortion-unless-you-adopt-a-baby-1
  9. What does the Bible say about abortion? | GotQuestions.orghttps://www.gotquestions.org/abortion-Bible.html
  10. Values Voter Summit Highlights Abortion, Adoption Link | Politics Newshttps://www.christianpost.com/news/values-voter-summit-highlights-abortion-adoption-link.html
  11. When Christians Have a Contagious Faith – The Stream – While it’s easy to feel intimidated by the thought of sharing Jesus with others, Marks approach emphasizes the different gifts and skills within the body of Christ.https://stream.org/when-christians-have-a-contagious-faith/
  12. The Significance of the Overturning of Roe – The Streamhttps://stream.org/the-significance-of-the-overturning-of-roe/
  13. Barr: Public Schools Are So Hostile To Christians, They’re Unconstitutional – That’s because there are only two ways to restrain people from following disordered passions, Barr said: internal restraints, which are largely provided by ones beliefs; and external restraints, which are typically provided by government. So in order to have a limited government, Barr noted in an explicit echo of the American Founders, citizens must practice self-restraint.https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/27/barr-public-schools-are-now-so-hostile-to-christians-theyre-unconstitutional/

About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.” When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Men of Ephesus, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today’s events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly. Acts 19:23-41

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-23-2022)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 2200) from Nuggets:

We can hate our sin without hating ourselves because we who have committed our lives to Christ stand in His righteousness and not our own. Our real identity is not in the sin we battle, but in the Savior we embrace. – Rosaria Butterfield

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/bible-app/browseQuotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Should Morality Be Legislated?https://ryanpauly.org/2022/05/07/should-morality-be-legislated/
  2. College Life and Apologetics Part 1 Biblical Worldview Academyhttps://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/college-life-and-apologetics-part-1/
  3. College Life and Apologetics: Part 2 Biblical Worldview Academyhttps://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/college-life-and-apologetics-part-2/
  4. Neanderthals becoming more modern with time – creation.com – Neanderthals did not need a major step toward humanity; they were already fully human.https://creation.com/neanderthals-modern
  5. Margaret Sanger Christianity Today – creation.com – Sanger believed that American society faced a rising number of human weeds as a result of the wrong sort of person having too many offspring. And a major reason she promoted contraception was to try to convince these people to stop reproducing.https://creation.com/margaret-sanger-christianity-today
  6. The 5 points that led me to leave Calvinism SOTERIOLOGY 101https://soteriology101.com/2014/12/08/the-5-points-that-lead-me-out-of-calvinism/
  7. A biblical and scientific approach to climate change – creation.comhttps://creation.com/climate-change
  8. Are We Morally Obligated to Have Fewer Children? – Stand to Reasonhttps://subspla.sh/6t64w36
  9. Responding to Pro-Choice Memes – Stand to Reasonhttps://subspla.sh/kfkzfdw

Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalms 102:1-2

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-16-2022)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 2200) from Nuggets:

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings, between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness, between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/bible-app/browseQuotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Three Realities Chance Can’t Explain That ID Can | Evolution Newshttps://evolutionnews.org/2022/06/three-realities-chance-cant-explain-that-intelligent-design-can/
  2. Why The Bible Is Reliable – Dr. Frank Turek – YouTubehttps://youtu.be/3f5Flb6LY4I
  3. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Religion Quickly Explained and Refuted – YouTubehttps://youtu.be/Kox1QCcaAsc
  4. Science Confirms Biblical Creation – Dr. Jason Lisle – YouTubehttps://youtu.be/Av3GycE9rms
  5. William Lane Craig and James White debate Calvinism vs Molinism | WINTERY KNIGHThttps://winteryknight.com/2022/06/11/william-lane-craig-and-james-white-debate-calvinism-vs-molinism-2/
  6. New Discoveries on Shroud of Turin Directly Contradict 1988 Carbon Dating, Put It Roughly Around Judea Some 2,000 Years Agohttps://www.westernjournal.com/new-discoveries-shroud-turin-directly-contradict-1988-carbon-dating-puts-roughly-around-judea-2000-years-ago/
  7. In the Morally Relevant Sense, it is Not a Woman’s Body – The Good Book Blog – Biola Universityhttps://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2022/in-the-morally-relevant-sense-it-is-not-a-woman-s-body
  8. Prepare to Stand – In October 2016, pastor Andrew Brunson was falsely accused of terrorism and held for two years in Turkish prisons. Following a worldwide prayer movement and significant political pressure from the U.S. government, he was released in October 2018. Since then, Andrew has felt an urgency for Christians in the West to prepare for a coming wave of hostility.https://frc.org/preparetostand
  9. A Christian Reacts to the Nupur Sharma Controversy – Former BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) spokesperson Nupur Sharma was suspended for saying (during a televised debate) that Muhammad married a young girl (Aisha). As protestors demand Sharma’s arrest or execution, and her defenders insist that she did nothing wrong, the controversy is escalating rapidly. What does an American Christian think about the Nupur Sharma controversy? David Wood discusses the issue.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6hDxPKyIYY
  10. Smart slime – creation.com – the headaches it causes evolutionary scientists are less well publicized. Existing at the crossroads between the kingdoms of animals, plants and fungi,1 it has long defied evolutionists attempts to categorize it and the other slime moulds. In some ways its life cycle resembles that of a fungus, but partially also that of certain bacteria. Adding to the complication, Physarum makes its own cellulose, like plants do. Mostly, though, Physarum lives and feeds like a one-celled animal.https://creation.com/smart-slime

Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” John 8:19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (6-9-2022)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 2200) from Nuggets:

Christian, beware how thou thinkest lightly of sin. Take heed lest thou fall by little and little. Sin, a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer’s head with thorns, and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. Could you weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be “exceeding sinful”. – Charles Spurgeon


To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/bible-app/browseQuotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Tips for Discussing Abortion Onlinehttps://www.str.org/w/tips-for-discussing-abortion-online
  2. Clarks woodpecker – Amazing birds help trees with staggering feats of rememberinghttps://creation.com/clarks-woodpecker
  3. Questions on Universal Salvation, Molinism, and the Burial of Jesus – Reasonable Faith Apphttps://subspla.sh/rs4mksb
  4. Aren’t Some Unbelievers Sincerely Seeking Truth? – Stand to Reasonhttps://subspla.sh/gq6spcf
  5. Since God Values Humility, Is He Against Certainty? – Stand to Reasonhttps://subspla.sh/pgrk69q
  6. The Top 20 Discoveries About Jesus Outside the Bible – Cross Examinedhttps://subspla.sh/mvjpsm9
  7. Christian Student Files Federal Lawsuit after Illinois University Punishes Her for Sharing Her Beliefs with Classmates – Milton Quintanillahttps://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/milton-quintanilla/christian-student-files-federal-lawsuit-after-illinois-university-punishes-her-for-sharing-her-beliefs-with-classmates.html
  8. Three Realities Chance Can’t Explain That Intelligent Design Can: https://evolutionnews.org/2022/06/three-realities-chance-cant-explain-that-intelligent-design-can/

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. Psalms 103:6

Blessings to you all

Teaching on John 8:31-59

I delivered the following teaching to a group of about 15 men on Tuesday May 10th at our weekly Bible study at Mimi’s Café:

John 8:31-59

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?"

34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father."

39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." 48 The Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."

52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.' 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. NASB

Verse by Verse

I want us to read a few verses back to get the context of Jesus’ words in v31-32:

28 So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. 31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  

The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.  Jesus desired them to move on in their faith.  Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled.  Such maturity expresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom. 

The 1st step in the progress toward true discipleship is belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah and Son of God.  The 2nd step is Perseverance in obedience to Scripture, which is the fruit or evidence of genuine faith:

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The word “continue” in v31 means to habitually abide in Jesus’ words.  A genuine believer holds fast, obeys, and practices Jesus’ teaching.  The one who continues in His teaching has both the Father and the Son (2 John 9; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:26):

2 John 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end

Revelation 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS

Real disciples are both learners (the basic meaning of the word) and faithful followers.

The word “truth” in v32 has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that He brought.  A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will both know divine truth and experience freedom from sin.  The divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1 Cor 2:14) but saving commitment to Christ (Titus 1:1-2).

Salvation is not just a one-time decision, but a life-long commitment to continue in His word (not perfectly, but increasingly).  However, there is a surviving “free grace movement” (FG) within the evangelical church today which contends that the reformation teaching of justification by faith alone precludes the need for repentance by the believer (repentance being understood as “remorse for sin and an internal resolve to forsake it”). FG believes requiring repentance from new believers is “adding works to faith”.  FG employs a kind of fallacious mathematical reasoning when it asks, “How many good works does one have to do in order to be assured of salvation?”, as though such things could be quantified. The biblical answer is, “Some”.[1]  The reformers repeatedly and unanimously insisted that justification is by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone – it is always accompanied by good works.

Q: Is a “carnal Christian” really a Christian?

Note the sequence of what Jesus is saying in v31-32 – it is obedience, then knowledge (similar to a statement in the last chapter):

John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own.

In the Jewish way of thinking, obedience is the means of spiritual knowledge.

We should also remember the great commission delivered by Jesus at the end of Matthew’s gospel:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

In the Great Commission, Jesus directs the 11 disciples (and by implication all future followers) to make disciples, not just believers and to teach them to observe (obey, follow) all that He taught.

33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?"

In reality, the nation of Israel were slaves of the Egyptians:

Exodus 1:11 - So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Of course they were also made subject to Nebuchadnezzar in the Babylonian captivity:

2 Chronicles 36:15-17,20 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy. Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans [Nebuchadnezzar] …; He gave them all into his hand. … Those who had escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia

Regarding their being Abraham’s descendants, John the Baptist had addressed this topic with them:

Matthew 3:7-9 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.”

34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

The ultimate bondage is not political or economic enslavement but spiritual bondage to sin and rebellion against God.  

The idea of “commits sin” (v34) means to practice sin habitually.  The apostle John also references the topic in his 1st epistle:

1 John 3:4-9

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Although genuine Christians have a sin disposition, and do commit and need to confess sin, that is not the unbroken pattern of their lives.  A genuinely born again believer has a built-in check or guard against habitual sinning due to a new nature (“born of God”).  Since Christ died on the cross to transform sinners, those truly born again have replaced the habit of sin with the habit of righteous living.  Consider the following quote:

Religion says, “I obey, therefore I am accepted.” Christianity says, “I am accepted, therefore I obey.” – Alistair Begg

35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

While the Jews thought of themselves only as free sons of Abraham, in reality, they were slaves of sin.  Those whom Jesus Christ liberates from the tyranny of sin and the bondage of legalism are really free.  Paul expounds extensively on these topics in his epistles, here is a sampling:

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

37 I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

Jesus was denying that mere physical lineage was sufficient for salvation.  The Apostle Paul echoed that sentiment in recounting his own lineage and lofty attainments as a Jew:

Philippians 3:4-9 Although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

Paul’s lineage and attainments were greater than those his opponents (the Judaizers) could claim, but were of no benefit for salvation.

38 I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father." 39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham.

Jesus calls on them to do the deeds of Abraham.  This could be a reference to the events of Genesis 18, where the LORD appeared to Abraham at his tent near the oaks of Mamre.  Abraham welcomed the Messenger who came from heaven, but these Jews were not welcoming Jesus, the Messenger from heaven.  When the LORD took Abraham outside to look up and said his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, he believed Him (Genesis 15:6), but the Jews did not believe Jesus, God who came down from heaven, when He spoke.

40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God."

The Jews may well have been referring to the controversy surrounding Jesus’ birth.  The Jews knew the story about Mary’s betrothal and that Joseph was not Jesus’ real father; thus they implied that Jesus’ birth was illegitimate (see Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-38):

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

According to John MacArthur sermon (False Assurance of the Religious (John 8:37-47)), here’s the way to diagnose a child of the devil:

Doesn’t believe the truth, doesn’t love Christ.

Here’s the way to diagnose a child of God:

Loves the truth, loves Christ and loves others!

45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?

Jesus challenges them to convict Him of sin.  They certainly were looking for any reason to condemn Him and would’ve presented it if they had any evidence of Him committing sin.  Yet, they were presented no evidence – just baseless ad-hominem attacks (“you are a Samaritan”, “you have a demon”).

47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

These “believers” were not true believers – they were not His sheep and therefore could not hear Him:

John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

They continued with baseless, unfounded, ad-hominem attacks:

48 The Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?"

They had no substance, so they just resorted to name-calling.  The same is going on in the modern day!

49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."

This is a staggering statement (“if anyone keeps My word he will never see death”).  C.S. Lewis comments on Jesus “talking as if He was God” in Mere Christianity:

Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.

Imagine your neighbor making these kinds of claims: I am the first and the last—the self-existing One. Do you need your sins forgiven? I can do it. Do you want to know how to live? I am the light of the world—whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Do you want to know whom you can trust? All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Do you have any worries or requests? Pray in my name. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. Do you need access to God the Father? No one comes to the Father except through me. The Father and I are one.

What would you think about your neighbor if he seriously said those things? You certainly wouldn’t say, “Gee, I think he’s a great moral teacher!” No, you’d say this guy is nuts, because he’s definitely claiming to be God.  Since Jesus claimed to be God, one of only three possibilities could be true: he was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord (refer to famous C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity).

52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.' 53 Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?" 54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"

58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

Here Jesus declared Himself to be Yahweh, i.e. the Lord of the OT.  Some of the most powerful affirmations of Jesus’ deity are a chain of expressions in John’s gospel known as the “I am” statements.  Each of these phrases employs the name God revealed to Moses at the burning bush – “I AM” (Ex. 3:14).  Jesus applied that name to Himself in a series of prominent declarations: “I am the bread of life” (6:35).  “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven” (6:51). “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5).  “I am the door of the sheep” (10:7).  “I am the good shepherd” (10:11).  “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25).  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (14:6).  And the stunning, inescapable affirmation of deity, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (8:58).  Jesus’ stature as the great I AM of the OT was essential to His role as Savior.  Those who refuse to acknowledge Him for who He is cannot be saved: “Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins” (8:24).  This set up an extremely difficult barrier for Pharisees.  They understood that He was claiming authority over their greatest patriarchs and prophets (8:53).  Indeed He was claiming equality with God and the ramifications of that they could not accept.  Therefore Jesus warned them, they would die in their sins (8:24).

Q: What statement or act of Jesus is the most explicit declaration of His Deity?

59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

The Jews understood Jesus’ claim and were ready to punish Jesus for blasphemy:

Leviticus 24:16 Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

Resources Used in Preparing this Teaching

  1. MacArthur Study Bible (NASB)
  2. MacArthur sermons:
    1. The Freedom of True Discipleship (John 8:31-36) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM5x0_Bvzzo
    2. False Assurance of the Religious (John 8:37-47) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBLkSJVfg1Q https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/43-47/false-assurance-of-the-religious
    3. Jesus Provokes His Enemies (John 8:48-59): http://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/43-48
  3. How “Free Grace” Theology Diminishes the Gospel: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/free-grace-theology/
  4. “Free Grace” Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel (by Wayne Grudem): https://www.amazon.com/Free-Grace-Theology-Diminishes-Gospel/dp/1433551144/
  5. Salvation without Repentance from Sin? A Critique of the “Free Grace” Gospel – Nov. 21, 2014: ETS Annual Meeting, San Diego, California – Wayne Grudem’s notes (http://www.waynegrudem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Salvation-w-o-repentance-ETS-paper-11-21-14.docx)
  6. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist (Norman Geisler and Frank Turek)
  7. The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith (John MacArthur)

[1] Adapted from the Gospel Coalition review of Wayne Grudem’s book “Free Grace” Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel

mid-week apologetics booster (6-2-2022)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 2200) from Nuggets:

There is a difference between mercy and grace. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. – O. S. Hawkins

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/bible-app/browseQuotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Navigating the (New?) Negative World: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/navigating-negative-world/
  2. What is the Strongest Case for Pro Life? Interview with Stephanie Gray Connors – YouTube: https://youtu.be/FXIxryxlnI4
  3. Richard Dawkins FINALLY admits there’s evidence for God? – YouTube: https://youtu.be/hHXXacBAm2A
  4. Uvalde and the Problem of Evil | FrontpageMag: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/06/uvalde-and-problem-evil-daniel-greenfield/

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile –the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:8-15

Blessings to you all