Archive for March 3, 2013

Open Bible“The abundance of grace in Christ makes it possible for us to “reign in life.” Reigning in life is being a Christ-like overcomer. It is growing and maturing in the things of Christ. It is living above circumstances instead of under them. It involves walking increasingly in the liberty of the Lord instead of in the bondage of the world. It involves walking in the wholeness of Christ instead of in the brokenness of man, but it can only be done “through the One, Jesus Christ”. Such cannot be produced in any way by the religious efforts of man, even the dedicated and zealous attempts of a serous Christian. It is only “through the One, Jesus Christ.” Reigning in life comes from trusting in, depending on, abiding in, counting on the One who walked upon this earth and overcame the world, the flesh, and the devil. It comes from looking to the One who always did those things which were pleasing to the heavenly Father. Then, as we draw life and strength from Him, we become more and more those who display His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”

“Such spiritual fruit comes from the grace of God at work in and through us, because it is the life of Christ flowing into and through those who do not deserve it, could never earn it and could never produce it on their own.  That is what life in Christ is all about. Jesus came full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace (or, grace upon grace)” (vs.16). The true Christian life is by grace from the moment of new birth right on into eternity. Christian living involves one layer of grace upon another, upon another, upon another, etc. Oh how we underestimate the overwhelming abundance of the grace of God. Every day is to be lived by the sustaining grace of God. Every step of progress and change into greater heights of new life in Christ is to be taken by the transforming grace of God. Only God’s abundant grace can take people from death reigning over them, to them reigning in life.”  Bob Hoekstra, “The Psychologizing of the Faith”, pp. 20-21

The Bible Movie

THE BIBLE: produced Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (Note: Both are Roman Catholics.  Roma Downey is also pastor via the internet.)

The Bible: Part 1 of 5  (Creation-Spies in the Land of Canaan)

The comments below are this writer’s observations from watching part 1 tonight.  My desire was to base both pros and cons on  biblical accuracy, not visual and acting quality.

Note: Too often it’s what is omitted that reveals what kind of story a person is trying to tell. Granted, the History Channel’s movie is meant to be a “docudrama”, and there are many constraints in attempting to pictorially portray God’s Word, however people are very influenced by sights and sounds.  We must be careful to weigh everything against the actual Bible.

Some Pros from the Movie

Some Cons-

  • God’s angels never killed people with swords in Sodom. There are no examples in God’s Word of the Lord’s angels ever killing people.  See Genesis 11
  • The sacrifice of Isaac left much to be desired. The biblical description of a ram caught in the thickets by his horn was made out to be a little lamb in the movie.  There is important biblical symbolism to the ram. The horn represents power, and only Jesus had the power necessary to overcome sin. Although other OT places talk of the lamb as a sacrifice, the ram here is key.  Also during the sacrifice Isaac cries and begs Abraham not to do it.  Isaac is a type of Christ, and the Bible says nothing of Isaac begging his dad to stop.  Isaac trusted Abraham just as Christ trusted to Father all the way to the cross.  After the sacrifice, Isaac pulls away from his dad and runs to his mother who is at the bottom of the mountain.  See Genesis 22
  • Again, according to the Bible, Abraham’s servants went with Isaac and him. The movie has Sarah running after them as if to stop Abraham.
  • The movie is very misleading as to how Isaac’s family ended up in Egypt.
  • The movie states that the Israelites all left the Promised Land due to a famine and went into Egypt where they were slaves for 400 years and Abraham was just a distant memory.
  • Unfortunately there is no mention of Joseph, even though there dozens of parallels between Joseph and Jesus. See Genesis 30-50
  • The key prophetic details of the lamb’s blood in the tenth plague in Egypt are omitted. See Exodus 12:6-7
  • In part 1, God is never referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob even though this is one of His names in the Bible. Even Muslims recognize God as the God of Abraham. See Exodus 3:6, etc.

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comIn the eternal Kingdom of God, those who’ve chosen to be raised anew by the life of Christ are then called to reach back into the kingdom of darkness, allowing the power of Christ to work through them, rescuing the blind and the lame. And as with any battle, the enemy of our souls doesn’t stop attacking simply because we’ve defected to the true King’s side. In fact, now we can, for the first time, begin to understand the reality of the battle. The side we once fought for is now the side which fights so ardently against our souls. Now openly engaged, the battle has really just begun.

In this spiritual war, there will be many important lessons to learn, relearn, and teach to others.  This three part series  is written to share a few simple, but key points that can hopefully serve as lamp posts for those just joining the battle and for seasoned vets as well.  The first key to remember and continually return to is that of our own powerlessness. 

Street LightCall it a negative profession if you want, but it is a reality none the less. We cannot fight this spiritual battle in our own strength.  In Psalm 103 it says, “For He [the Lord] knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” 

Again in Matthew 26:41, Jesus says, “Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  

In our own power, we are at best using dust in a battle that is more powerful than we can begin to fathom.  We are powerless against temptations and trials if we depend on our own resources.  In fact, our flesh would love for us to try fighting in our own strength.  After all, in our power, it is our flesh that gets all the glory and God gets none.  In the end, we cannot win against the enemy of our soul, but Jesus can.  Jesus did.  And that same God who died for our sins and had the power to raise Himself from the grave is the same God who will fight for us every day.  Just as in so many of the battles recorded in the Old Testament, the Lord promises to go before us and guards behind us.  “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:14. “For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52:12.

No matter how strong or weak we think we are, may we never resort to fighting our own battles.  God is our daily bread and He will fight our daily battles from now until eternity!  “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 7:19,24,25a

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