The purpose of this blog is to share my passion for the truth of God and the truth of His Word. Sound or healthy doctrine can only be known and understood if the sovereignty and holiness of God is passionately pursued in order to know Him as He reveals Himself and then to make Him known in the same fashion. Or, better yet, a right view of God results in a right knowledge of His holy Word.

One of my goals is to attempt to stir up Christian unity among my kinsmen of the Faith. When the phrase "church division" is mentioned, the first thing many think of is that of racism or classism. While these are imporatant issues and will be addressed by yours truly, the more important form of unity/disunity among saints is that which pertains to doctrine. If the church of Jesus the Christ were more unified in how we understand Him and Scripture, then all other forms of disunity and discord would be quite minimal or nonexistent. It is my prayer that many of my kinsmen (of all races) would develop a healthy fear of God (or increase the one they already possess) and then begin to tread carefully through the Word in understanding the truth as He means and not what we want to get out of it.

Hermeneutics is the art and science of interpretation, specifically Biblical. We must gather a proper way to interpret and understand scripture that destroys our opinions and allows us to submit to the Author and know "the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10). We must not continue to "piecemeal" the Scriptures by bouncing around the pages, skipping over important elements and drawing quick conclusions that only give us limited knowledge, or worse, false knowledge that can give birth to false doctrine. The church (Greek "ecclesia" or called out ones) is supposed to be "the pillar and buttress (support) of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15) How can we be that when we are so divided on our Lord's one-true Word? How can we be a light to the world for truth when many of us are in the dark on what we believe?

Theology is not just for the pulpit. It is not just for clergy. It is for anyone who has received the righteousness of the Lord Jesus the Christ. We are to grow in His grace and not just be the recipients of it (2 Peter 3:15-18). This blog is theology in layman's terms!

Please be sure to read the articles from the earliest posts to the most recent as some of them are written in the form of a series.


ZEAL FOR TRUTH is moving soon...

while it's pretty sad that i haven't posted anything in a while on this important blog, i've decided to move it to a more familiar location for me. don't get me wrong. i like blogger. but, i'm becoming more familiar with wordpress. so, in about a month, i will move over there and work harder on studying and posting more frequently. as soon as the move is complete, i will post the link. peace!


I must confess: I'm a procrastinator!

Please forgive my sin of procrastination. As much as I love and fear my LORD and love His Word, I'm not consistent with reading like I should be or, most notably, posting new blog entries. This is really bad when I call myself doing a series. What's even crazier is that I really have soooo much I want to say/address as far a theology and the church goes. I will get back on this very soon. To anyone following this blog please accept my most humble apology. And please, stay tuned!!!



The NAME of the WORD

Ok, so far we know that according to John 1:1-3 that the Word was in the beginning, with God, was God and was the cause of all that exists. That's good information, but that's not all there is to know. We're privileged to know just exactly Who this Word is. If we continue to read the chapter it's revealed that this Word came into the world (v. 9) and enlightened everyone.

"The true light, which enlightened everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him." (vv. 9-10)

Verse 11 goes on to point out that the Word

"...came to his own, and his own people did not receive him."

By "his own people" it means the people of Israel which I will explain in more detail in a later post. This is pretty sad, but it's a fulfillment of ancient prophecy as foretold by the prophet Isaiah, who spoke of the Word concerning his coming and mission in chapter 53, verse 3:

"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

Verse 12 continues on a higher note:

"But, to all who did receive him, who believe in HIS NAME, he gave the right to become children of God."

In order to believe in HIS NAME, we have to find out what this NAME is, right?

On a side note, names are highly significant in the Bible. A name was always given to describe the character of the person or, most definitely, the purpose to which God was using that person for His sovereign plan.

Verse 14 informs us that the WORD, even though preexisted in eternity past (from our finite perspective), came to physically exist in this world:

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only SON from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Verse 16: "And from HIS fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

The apostle writes to say that the Word is also referred to as having a direct relation to God the Father by identifying Him as "the only Son." John the Baptist is said to have borne witness about Him (v.15) and is quoted from verse 30: "This was He of Whom I said, 'He Who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me.'" Before me speaks not only of His position (rank or superiority) but also of His pre-existence, or better yet, eternal existence – something else that will be address further in a future post.

Following verse 16 which speaks of our receiving grace from His fullness, we are then told specifically from Whom this grace comes from in verse 17:

"For the law came through Moses; grace and truth came through JESUS CHRIST."

Came through WHO??? There is no argument or rebuttal that can deny that the name of the Word is JESUS. The name which is defined by His earthly purpose, told to us in Matthew 1:21:

"...and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."

The name JESUS means "God saves." (Hebrew "Yeshua" | Greek "Iesous")

While this all may read like basic elementary school teaching, I'm doing this because it's amazing how many of "us" miss this truth that is so foundational to what we believe about Who we believe in and follow. There are also many "outside of us" who deny the person of Jesus and will go so far as to say that the Bible has been distorted and it has been the responsibility of their faith/sect/denomination to "correct" the so-called errors of the original writings and historical teachings, particularly on subjects like this one.

The Bible has more to unfold on this subject. Stay tuned... sooner this time ;-).


In the beginning...

First things first. Let's look at John 1:1-3:

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through Him,

and without Him was not anything made that was made.

The apostle begins with introducing us to someone in the beginning. Beginning of what? Obviously beginning deals with time. So, we can say that this person was in existence when time began. We should also understand that not only was this person in existence when time began, but was also in existence when all things (creation) were made. Not only was this person in existence when all things were made, but this person was the cause of the all things being created (i.e., all things were made through Him...). Once we have established the time factor and the causing of creation, it's good to note that the passage is not secret about who this person is. This person is referred to as the Word. The greek word for Word is logos which is defined as "something said (including the thought), by implication, a topic (subject of discourse - written or spoken communication)." Basically, the word "word" deals with something spoken or written; something communicated as in a body of information or fact.

So, this logos was in the beginning. Not only in the beginning (of time before creation), but also with God. The greek word for God is Theos which simply means, God, Who is the eternal, supreme, divine, sovereign ruler over all that lives and exists. So, the logos was with Theos in the beginning before time began and all things were made through him. Nothing was made without him.

Back in Genesis 1, you'll notice that all of creation came into existence by God's spoken word (And God said, "Let there be... Let the earth... Let the waters..." and so on). He spoke and it all came to be with no previous existence of anything outside of Himself. The Latin phrase ex nihilo is applied here which means "out of nothing." A more complete phrase is creatio ex nihilo which simply means "created out of nothing." Hebrews 11:3 states:

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Romans 4:17 explains that only God, being the Creator, has the power call anything into existence which had not existed before:

[God] who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

But, wait a minute! Not only was logos with Theos in the beginning. The next line says that logos was Theos!

Please note that there is no definite or indefinite article in the Greek, like the or a, before the word Theos as is noted in the English by some. It signifies monotheism (belief in one God) and has no need to distinguish it from any other god since there is no other. The addition of an indefinite article would signify another deity, perhaps equal or lesser in power and position, would it not? That would then change one's theological position from monotheistic to polytheistic (belief in more than one god).

So it has been identified in this passage that the Word (logos) was in the beginning, was with God, and was God. To some of you this may seem pretty basic and simple to understand. But, it is so essential and so foundational that it must be understood and interpreted as it is, or better yet as the Author means it. There are many believers (or those who claim to be) who do not understand this or even the importance of it. That's why I'm spending much time trying to break it down as much as I possibly can.

But, this is not it. There's more to the Word than just being in the beginning, with God and was God and bringing everything into existence. There is something more specific to be known and understood about the Word that greatly affects our beliefs regarding eternity and the truth.

Let's read further into the text to find out specifically who the Word is.

The Word has a name.


Who do you say that I AM?

For the next few blog entries I will deal with probably the most essential truth about the person of Jesus the Christ - that being His deity. Interestingly, most of the controversy around the division over Jesus' deity comes from within the church, not just from without. Please take note of my previous entry on "church division." If there's one thing we as the body of believers should not be divided over is the fact that Jesus is God! A lot of the confusion comes from us trying to logicize the position of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit - three persons, but one God. That doesn't make sense to us. Admittedly, it's not logical. But that doesn't mean that it's illogical. It's superlogical! What does the prophet Isaiah say of the LORD:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

We quote that, but do we really submit our thoughts and methods of biblical interpretations to it???
Stay tuned...


divine perspective

I couldn't hesitate to add this one.

Think about this: What's the most exciting thing about your faith in Christ - to know Him, or just what He can do for you? This is a really good thought in this age of materialism, even within the church as far as the whole prosperity doctrine goes. I plan to write more about this subject in the future, but had to plug this one in for now.

Last night I was watching some public television and there was a show on called "Walking the Bible." Great documentary starring and narrated by a guy who's basically journeying through Egypt and the Middle East and tracking the events of the Bible as they happened with an added focus on geography. While discussing the subject of the promised land and the fact that Moses and many of the Israelites didn't get to see it, the host was in dialog with one of the locals and asked, "Isn't it sad that Moses never got to see the promised land?"

The response of the local was pure gold! He replied:
"No, because he got to see the face of God!"

I ask you, does it get any better than that!!!??? Now, we know that Moses didn't actually see God's face, but he did stand in His presence quite a bit (burning bush, Mt. Sinai, etc.). There was one event where Moses got as close as he could when the Lord let him see His glory after first hiding him in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:22, in verse 20 the Lord told Moses that he couldn't see His face and still live). Even though Moses himself disobeyed God and was refused to see the promised land (Number 20:10-13), I'm sure he would say that there is no better place to be than in the presence of God!

So what excites you more - the kingdom, or the KING???


Church Division, pt. 1

"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
What I mean is that each one of you says, 'I follow Paul,' or 'I follow Apollos,' or 'I follow Cephas,' or 'I follow Christ.'
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"
1 Corinthians 1:10-13

In regards to relevance of the Bible to present time, these verses are far too relevant! I can go on and on for days on this one, but to be brief, let me pose a few questions:

First, are denominations ordained by God? Years ago, I worked at a full service filling station. Among my co-workers were a few "preachers-in-training" who attended a Baptist college in the neighborhood. As I was in dialog with a customer (another "preacher") he questioned the source of my views by asking me of what denomination or sect was I affiliated with. My reply was, "Hey, I don't get into that denominational stuff - just the Bible." My co-worker responded with, "But, all denominations are ordained by God." To which I responded, "If they're ordained by God, why are they all different?" He responded by pausing and walking out of the door with nothing to say.

Second, if God ordained all Christian denominations (baptist, united methodist, c.m.e., presbyterian, united pentacostal, disciples of Christ, church of God, church of Christ, church of God in Christ, episcopal, catholic, anglican, lutheran, etc., etc., etc.) wouldn't it make sense that they would only differ in name and not differ and be divided in doctrine? If our perfect, holy, good, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, sovereign and unchanging God ordained and appointed the existence and function of denominations, then they would and should only differ in name - possibly based on location - not on belief and teaching.

Third, do you think that God approves multiple interpretations and opinions of His one-true, holy Word? God's Word, just like His Name, is holy, perfect, and good (Psalm 138:2) As His disciples, we should not be comfortable with our own interpretations or someone elses unless it completely agrees with what God has said! Do not settle on what sounds and feels good. Relying on our feelings can bring great suffering - in this life and the life to come.

Remember, we are to be a light to the world! Non-Christians already laugh and criticize us a great deal. One of the main problems they have with the Church is that we can't agree with each other, so much so that we are divided all over the globe - doctrinally, racially, and socially. A muslim, who I was in dialog with years ago, commented that our doctrinal inconsistencies are most notable in our many denominations and he went on to address the obvious fact that many Christians don't believe the same thing. I really could not argue with him. While most of us do agree on the essentials (notice I said most - not all), there are many other very important Biblical topics that we ought not be in the dark on and divided over. Unity means a whole lot more than simply living together in peace and harmony. While we all are different, and God made us so, He also made Christians to be of the "same mind and same judgment" according to the absolute standard of His perfect law! That should be the goal of every disciple of the Lord Christ!