Archive for the ‘beginnings’ Category

      Focus today is upon how much of the Bible a believer must accept; and there is more on the importance of how we are first introduced to Christ. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Mike M”(Level 1 with 101 points, a member since June 21, 2008) posted the following:

Do you have to believe everything in the Bible to get into heaven?

I know you have to believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but what does the Bible say about getting into heaven, when it’s talking about the Bible itself? Does one have to believe and like everything in the Bible?

THE BATTLE AXE: Unexceptional Beginnings (11/22/2012)—Many believers are misdirected for a great while when first coming to Jesus, because they think that salvation is through a social process where Christ is in a role of an estranged relative, a returning family member, or even as a friend-of-a-friend. Others get caught up in emotional and mental traps by pursuing argument, debate and intellectual competitions. The full extent of spiritual process whereby the Holy Spirit installs divine substance and benefit (e.g., confidence, faith, sacred knowledge, repentance, trust, truth, and godly vision) is going forward silently and unseen. When believers begin to arrive at maturity and greater perfection, they often realize that GOD had been working within them all their lives and long before they made any conscious decision to change their ways because of sin, or seek new life by organized religion. Those who reject the church because they fear losing their freedom as individuals, like those who deny the Bible or insist they can take responsibility for their own inner development, are like youngsters who spend long hours at practice shooting hoops or pitching the baseball, and refuse to play in the context of a team or organized league. They never really find out how great their mistake is until they find themselves envying others with less skill who nonetheless have gained clear benefit.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20: 32, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Before the Fruit? (11/10/2012); Why “Mysterious” (11/11/2012); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); A Holy Kiss? (11/13/2012); Does Everyone Go To Heaven? (10/28/2012); Magick and Prayer? (10/29/2012); Why No Answer? (08/25/2012); To Be or Not To Be? (08/26/2012)

      Among other things, the Bible has special importance for Christian believers because (1) answers to many of their most frequent and necessary questions are found there; (2) commandments from GOD and law to direct the behavior and conduct of believers in various relationships (e.g., business partnership, courtship, friendship, governance, marriage, parenting) are recorded there; (3) examples from the lives of earlier believers are documented there to provide comfort, encouragement and instruction; and (4) spirit substance is conveyed from the Scriptures that amplifies and nourishes the imparted, indwelling spirit residing within the believer.

      The value of the Bible is not the same for believers and unbelievers. Just as two people may be given invitation to a concert, and the one who accepts has a very different experience than the one who declines, those who rightly respect the Bible as a way to communicate about, to and with GOD have a very different spiritual awareness, and experience salvation with a different consciousness of fulfillment and satisfaction. Those in the “cheap seats” and “nosebleed” sections get to see the same presentation as those in the sky-box and those having an “all-access pass”, yet, the richness of their insights and memories and will not be the same.

      The Bible presents an “official” record of divine events whereby GOD, who is entirely made-up of spirit, has been made known and visible to created beings and living creatures in the realms of both earth and heaven. In addition to the Gospel that proclaims the good news of recovery for humankind from sin, the holy writings detail divine processes, sacred purposes, and godly mechanisms that generate life. Included are birth, covenant, death, family, forgiveness, judgment, priesthood, re-birth, repentance, revelation, and sanctification.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, getting to heaven is more a matter of what you are, not what you do. Mankind must be changed and transformed, because the endowment of divinity from GOD that was given in Creation has been corrupted and reduced by sin. Through the sacrificial death of Jesus, atonement has been provided, and the Holy Spirit is sent to obedient believers supplying them with a new infusion of divine nature. The same spirit content that makes GOD who he is, must make believers who they are.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Happy Thanksgiving! Topics today include how we first may have been introduced to Christ. Also, there is more on the use of alcohol and drugs along with a BATTLE CRY commending Christian rock group MercyMe. A “Yahoo! Answer” writer using the ID “ l.e.b. ” (Level 1 with 68 points, a member since November 19, 2012) posted the following:

Does god care how you became christian?

I became christian after i found out kanye west is a christian but i don’t read the bible or go to church is this okay?

THE BATTLE AXE: Henceforth, Of This Fruit (11/21/2012)—Many young people in present day society approach the use of alcohol and drugs as a rite of passage, a process of growth, and a matter of facing ones fears essential to becoming adult. In their understanding, the sharing of food and drink should always be an acceptable and legitimate aspect of fellowship. For many younger Christians, their abstinence and putting away of alcohol and drugs are motivated by a desire to have clear grasp and comprehension of their experiences caused by the Spirit of GOD and to avoid all spiritual confusion, rather than by fears of addiction, fear of emotional and mental illness, or fear of punishments by the law and other bad experiences (see 2nd Peter 1: 10, KJV). The refusal of Jesus to partake of wine again pertains to the practice of ratifying a new covenant by sharing a meal that serves as a “deed” of accord and sealing as well as to the transformation of the Passover and its eternal purposes of GOD. New fruit and new life come in to view that emerges by the imparted, indwelling spirit from GOD (see Ephesians 5: 1-21 and Galatians 5: 16-26, King James Version).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1st Peter 2: 1-5, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Faith of Ones Parents? (11/18/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); Violence In The Bible (02/26/2012); When at Work… (11/08/2010)

THE BATTLE CRY: It has been a while since I last shared a comment on the works of those who prophesy and share as music ministers. Today, I encourage readers to hear an 8-time Dove Award winning Christian rock band, MercyMe. Formed in 1994, out of Greenville, Texas, the members of MercyMe are Bart Millard, vocalist; James Bryson, keyboardist; Robby Shaffer, percussionist; Nathan Cochran, bassist; Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul, guitarists. Be sure to hear “I Can Only Imagine” from the 2008 album Almost There, and the title selection from the band’s seventh album, “The Hurt & The Healer” 2012.

Many young people express a concern similar to yours where they were introduced to Christ in settings and situations apart from family values and “traditional church.” Included are evangelist crusades (tent meetings), mass media campaigns (e.g., Internet, radio, televangelism), Bible study groups, and concerts featuring Christian hip hop and rock music. Often, new believers are first encouraged to accept Christ by strangers who share Bibles, tracts and other materials; by athletes, news-makers and celebrity role models; as well as by those with whom they have or hope to develop intimate relationships (e.g., dates, friends, ones spouse). A person may have beginnings that are quiet, simple, and unexceptional. However, to correctly embrace the Savior is to embrace change, death, rebirth, growth, and eternity.

Where a person is “born again” they also have to “grow up” again. The new believer is like a baby and has much to learn in order to become full grown and mature in faith, service and understanding. In addition to being delivered from sin (called salvation), day-by-day, the believer must be made clean and set apart for GOD (called repentance, baptism and sanctification). All believers then receive duty and work (called ministry, priesthood and sharing the gospel). On the one hand, we cannot save ourselves, and Jesus Christ has done all the divine work necessary for mankind to have acceptance from Almighty GOD. On the other hand, there is a life-work that we must complete in order to have the full benefit from the sacred gifts that now are being shared with us.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, gaining new knowledge and mental growth are only one aspect of new life in Christ. There must be unseen spiritual growth that can be made visible through church attendance, forming new habits, praise, prayer, sacrificial giving and worship.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC