Monthly Archives: February 2009

Sidetrack; More talk about transubstantiation…

I have more to write on my Romans passages, but I was reading in Matthew last night, and came across another example of the Lord using a food parable to get His point across in a similar manner that He was attempting to do in John 6.  Of course, John 6 is the often referred to chapter in John when someone is trying to promote the idea of transubstantiation.  You can read my post on that chapter, and transubstantiation here: John 6 and Transubstantiation (pt. 1).

Let’s look in Matthew;

Matthew 16:5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

First notice that the apostles tried to take Christ literally.  He’s talking about bread and leaven…He must be referring to the literal, right? Nope.  Next notice that Jesus does not correct them outright; He makes them get to the conclusion on their own.  He gives them the non-sinful equivalent of an eye roll.  They do eventually catch on to the truth themselves; Jesus was being metaphorical.

I also note that when He brought used the idea of bread and leaven here, that He was speaking about doctrine.  That further supports that idea that He was also speaking of doctrine, or partaking of the the words of life, in John 6, not His literal body.

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Friends, listening ears, and open hearts…everyone needs ’em, and praise the Lord for them!


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In honor of Darwin, on his “special” day…

Here’s a link to a lovely article from The Journal of Creation, 21 (3), 2007.  Astonishing DNA Complexity Demolishes Neo-Darwinism.  Tis a good summary of the awesome design found within DNA, and why Darwinian evolution is not a viable theory.  Thanks to Uncommon Descent for posting a link as well.

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Romans 8:35-39; part 2…

Now on to verses 36 and and 37 in Romans 8:

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Paul pulls a saying from Psalm 44:

Psalm 44: 21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. 22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. 23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. 24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and forgettest our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth. 26 Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.

This is an example of why I love the Psalms…they are very honest in expressing the emotions and struggles that humans face, and the way believers call out to God amidst those struggles.  Don’t forget, Paul had just given a litany of bad things that cannot separate us from the love of Christ.  Here, he is pointing out that we, by being believers, by standing for God and things that are right, we will be persecuted by the world.

This brings up an interesting apologetics point.  Many non-believers would have people think that religion, esp. Christianity, was formed so that men could have power over other men; that preaching about faith and love is all about control.  Along with this is the idea that it was all self-serving.  I always laugh at that, because what did faith gain the earliest Christians in this worldly life?  Torture, ridicule, prison sentences, death, dismemberment, being persecuted by their own cultural group, etc… Oh, yes, these men of God were greedy, power-mad individuals for sure.  They were indeed counted as sheep for the slaughter…and in many countries of the world, my fellow brothers and sisters still are in a very real sense.

Also, this should make those preachers teaching that life as a Christian is a bed of roses stop and take note.  We are going to face rough times, there’s no doubt about it, but these tough issues and events cannot separate us from the love of Christ.

What does verse 37 tell us?  Not only will we eventually conquer all of those previously mentioned circumstances, but we are more than mere conquerors.  The Greek term here is hupernikao, which my Strong’s tells me means, “to gain a surpassing victory.”  What an interesting thought connected to the image of us being slaughtered sheep.  Precisely how did Christ Himself conquer?  Through death on the cross, and He conquered death itself by rising three days later.  We have the same victory that surpasses mere conquering only through Christ as verse 37 clearly points out.

We gain the victory through Christ, we become conquerors through Him, then go on to eternal life with Him that loves us so dearly and bought us by His death.  We can only wind up at that point by acknowledging what Christ has done and having faith on Him.  Don’t expect the going to be easy, it isn’t, but the end result is all worth it, and the journey is too.  I’ll continue on with the rest of the verse in my next installment.

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Romans 8:35-39; part 1…

I know I’ve been away awhile; I’ve actually been elsewhere on the ‘net dialoguing with an agnostic, and I’ve been a bit obsessed with practicing my guitar, so there ya have it.  Today I want to blog about a Bible passage that many people, including me, read through and don’t really stop and ponder the full meaning of.  I know many people that quote this passage, and really like this passage, but there’s an aspect to it that I find highly comforting that I used to gloss over.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I want to take this passage in parts to talk about each idea.  First we have a type of rhetorical question from Paul, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”  Now, here’s one aspect of this that I used to skip over without thinking about; notice that Paul doesn’t just ask us about Christ; “Who shall separate us from Christ?” no, he is emphasizing the love of Christ.  If anyone is curious this “love” is the Greek “agape.”

We already have Christ Himself telling us He’ll never leaves nor forsake us, and Paul emphasizes that point, as well as the aspect of Christ’s love toward us.  Not only will all these things not separate us from Him, they cannot separate us from His Love either.  What a comforting thought!

So, what is covered in verse 35?  We have; tribulation, distress, persecution, famine,  nakedness, peril, and sword.  Tribulation, in the Greek; thlipsis. Looking up thlipsis in Strong’s I find an interesting literal meaning; a pressing, or pressure.  So, all those pressures in life, all those things pressing in on us cannot separate us from the love of Christ.  Distress, in the Greek; stenochoria.  Another interesting literal meaning; narrowness of place, a narrow place.  Now, I don’t know about you, but that conjures to mind situations we feel “stuck” in, where we feel smothered by anguish, or indecision, or doubt.  Again, all those things smothering us, causing us anguish cannot separate us from the love of Christ.

Next; persecution, diogmos in the Greek.  This one is straightforward, yet we Christians suffer persecution in different intensities and in different forms.  There are missionaries right now suffering physical persecution to the point of death in some cases.  There are teenagers being harassed by peers and even teachers for their faith.  There are people split from their families because they accept Who Christ is, and on and on and on.  We are promised persecution in this life, BUT it cannot separate  us from the love of Christ.

Famine is next.  I like the literal in Greek; limos, a scarcity of harvest.  Think about that one.  A scaricity of harvest means you’ve put what effort you can into something, yet it does not come to fruition.  With the economic situation around the globe, times are tough.  There’s also countries and peoples facing literal famine too.  It’s hard and daunting, but know that even that cannot separate us from the love of Christ.  Nakedness?  Gumnotes in the Greek; literally bodily nakedness.  If you’ve lost everything, including the shirt off your back, we are still united to the Love of Christ.

The Greek for peril is kindunos; dangers is another way of putting it.  Notice it doesn’t limit what kind of danger we find ourselves in which means they are all covered in the fact that any danger cannot separate from His love either;  physical, financial, emotional, spiritual, etc…  How ‘ bout danger by sword?  The literal in the Greek is literally a blade; big sword, little sword, machaira covers them all.  What a comfort to both our soldiers, and our fellow believers who are missionaries who literally face the sword for their beliefs!

All of this should make us seriously consider a few things.  First, there are some salesmen out there that are selling the idea that if you become a Christian your life will be magically transformed into a bed of roses.  After reading just this bit of scripture, does that seem to be the case?  By no means.  We will go through very very tough and trying times, some of us will even face death for our beliefs; being a Christian and having faith is no crutch, no easy ride.  HOWEVER, we are promised something no one else is; absolutely nothing can, nor will separate us from the love of Christ.  Most of us know what it is like to feel really loved by someone or something.  Imagine love that is eternal, that is perfect and that is always with you.  For those of you who feel unloved, or who have never known that kind of love, you can have it in Christ.  He came to this earth, lived, was crucified and resurrect for us humans, that’s love.  He did it all so that we may be reconciled to God Himself, through Jesus Christ and it’s all rooted in love.  Think about it.

I’ll continue on with this passage in the next installment…

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