Why We Might Not Want to Live Without Suffering

I have to share this because sometimes we forget what the purpose of pain is in our lives is. This says it all.

Brandon J. Adams

The other day, I learned the physiological mechanics of a mosquito bite.

Yee-haw.

Some of you might have seen the same animated video that I did as it makes the rounds on Facebook. I learned that it’s really all about the mosquito’s saliva (ick) – it acts as both an anesthetic and anticoagulant, allowing the female to get the blood she needs (what a wonderful provider God is!….I think…).

Then the video concluded with an interesting point: the actual swelling and itching of a mosquito bite isn’t directly caused by the saliva. It’s caused by the body’s immune  response to the bite. The saliva is an allergen, which triggers antibodies to attack the foreign intrusion, and that causes the swelling and itching we’re all familiar with as we writhe around upon the grassy ground, scratching like gangbusters.

I was reminded of other bodily responses. A lot of symptoms we experience…

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Launch of Study of Revelation

I am excited to announce that I have published my blog on the study of the Book of Revelation.  I am presently working on Chapter One. I am sure that you will be excited by the addition of charts, maps, and illustrations in this study.

The blog address is: http://www.finalbattlesite.wordpress.com

I look forward to your comments and questions!

As most of you know, if you’ve read my bio, I do a lot of reading and writing. Well, last Friday I was preparing to study the Righteousness of God. I had been studying Romans 4 that week. My pastor stopped by to surprise me with some dinner he had prepared for me. It was delicious!

After eating the hot meal, I decided I’d start work on my lesson. I reached for my hot coffee and placed it on my table next to my laptop. I guess you know where I’m going with this. Yes. Somehow I hit the bottom side of the coffee spilling it on my computer. The hot coffee spread all over my table and onto the floor and on the side of my bed. I had to call my CNA for help. I quickly lifted up my laptop wiping off the keyboard and laying it face down on my bed. I didn’t care about my bed–only my laptop.  She was very kind to me. She cleaned everything up for me.

After everything was cleaned up, I sat down to consider what kind of damage I had done to my beloved laptop. Well I was deeply wounded because it did not want to work. It did. Then it didn’t. Then it did. Then it gave up and so did I.

I was disconected from my online community. I was disconnected from my work on the Book of Revelation. I was disconnected from my e-mail. I was disconnected period. I found myself with all this time on my hands. You see when I’m not online, I’m typing up research on chapters  from the Bible. I was lost.

Now the reason that I am sharing this with you is not so you will feel sad that I’ve been off the net since Friday. No. I have something else in mind. How would you feel if you were disconnected from the Lord? How long would you be able to be away from Him? What you do in order to reconnect yourself to Him? How fast would you work to get your connection back? What would be your mindset? Oh well. I will eventually get connected again. Or would you be like the song that says “I’m desperate for you?” Would it be a life and death situation? Don’t answer too fast. Be honest with yourself. How valuable is your connection with your Savior? How desperate are you to stay connected?

Righteousness that is of God

Background Scripture: Romans 4 (NASB)

Faith in Jesus is credited as righteousness. What then is righteousness? The scripture says our righteousness is as filthy rags. (Is. 64:6)

Imputation

The act of ascribing or crediting something to someone.

In this respect, we are discussing the doctrine of imputation. The sin of Adam was imputed to all his descendants. It is reckoned as theirs, and they are dealt with accordingly. Therefore, all are shaped in iniquity. Romans 3:23 declares that “all have sinned,” and they fall short of the glory of God. Then Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Yet there is hope for the repentant. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to them who believe in Him. It is attributed to them as they believe by faith. That is why we are told to put on Christ. (Rom. 13:14) Our sins are imputed to Christ, i.e., and He assumed our “law-place.” In doing so, He undertook to answer the demands of justice for our sins.

Righeousness is accounted separately from works. The Hebrew and Greek terms which are translated “righteousness” or “justice” signify that which is right. It conforms to the character of God. He graciously made a covenant with His people (Israel). His righteousness takes the form of keeping that covenant with acts of deliverance and salvation along with judgment on His enemies. Righteousness is demanded of man for fellowship with God. It is obtained through simple faith in Christ, which results in the righteousness of Christ being accounted to the believer. (Romans 3:21-23) It is gradually incorporated into the practical life of the believer through the ministry of the indwelling Spirit. (Romans 8:4; Ezek. 36:26)

Further References for Study

Attribute of God

Gen. 18:25; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 7:9-17; 9:8; Is. 9:7; Jer. 12:1; Rom. 3:25-26; 2 Pet. 1:11

Given to man Justification

Is. 45:8, 24-25; 46:13; Hosea 10:12; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:30

Righteousness (Imputed)

Predicted–Is. 56:1

Revealed in the gospel–Rom. 1:17

Is of the Lord–Is. 54:17

Described as the righteousness of faith–Romans 4:13, 9:30

The righteousness of God by faith in Christ–Romans 3:22

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Defending the Gospel

Understanding Our Part in Connection with the Holy Spirit

As defenders of the faith, we must always remember that Jesus promised that we would receive power after that the Holy Spirit would come upon us. (Acts 1:8) It is this “power” that we must rely upon for all things as we walk by faith and not by sight. He is spoken of as the “Spirit of Truth” in John 14. With this view, we must understand that God is his “own supreme counsel for the defense.” (p. 58) If then sin seeks to frame God, then God Himself is the only one who can actively counter this outrage. Yes, as witnesses, our work is important, but at best our part is to bring the presence of God into the debate through the power of the Holy Spirit. We then must see ourselves as junior counsels for the defense. Therefore we must read the Bible with this in mind. When the law court is seen with God Himself in view as the lead prosecutor indicting the sins of his people and others, then we will understand the following statement noted in Job 38:2-3:

Job 38:2-3 (KJV)
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 3:13 (KJV)
13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

Hosea 4:1 (KJV)
1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

Hosea 4:4 (KJV)
4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

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Isaiah 41:27 and 42:1 speaks of one who will be an advocate for Zion. He will be a defending counsel for Jerusalem and God’s servant (NEB) The same prosecuting role can be seen in the self-awareness of Jesus and his promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit who will appear after He leaves. He tells His disciples that He will come for their good. Note John 16:7-11.

With these verses in mind, we must understand that our human role is always one of humility, support and subservient. Notice how Os Guinness words it. “With the Holy Spirit resting upon us as Jesus promised, our part is to host the very presence of God wherever we are, to exercise the very power of God in every situation and to witness to the gospel and what God has done in Jesus and is doing in the world today.” (p. 59) I think that says a mouthful. We are presenting something new. We are pointing to something already established.

We then speaking only on behalf of God. We speak under Him, and we have no authority apart from Him. Notice the prophet’s formula which is “Thus saith the Lord.” The indictment against them was when they attempted to speak for God when God never gave them a word. It is never about us. Nor is it up to us.

No Individual is the Same

I am reading a book that considers the Christian’s approach to witnessing to an individual about Jesus Christ. I have not gotten too far in the book because I am forever arrested by the author’s words. At one point, he states that Jesus never approached any two people the same way. This made me pause to reflect on the individuals He talked to. The author was right. Jesus did not use a “formula” or “steps” to minister to individuals. Instead he met them where they were.

Dr. Guinness uses the phrase “cookie-cutter evangelism” to describe the method that most churches use when reaching out to the lost. This made me think about the church where I first got saved. My enthusiasm for my newfound faith in the Lord motivated me to join the evangelism team. They taught me the “method” to witness to souls. It was okay to put it in my own words, but certain things had to be covered before walking away from the candidate.

There was an apartment complex located down behind the church. It was on the next street. Once a month, the evangelism team would have a service there on Saturday. We would gather at the church around 10:30 a.m. for prayer. Then we would walk down to the apartment complex as the church van played gospel music announcing our arrival.

Once we got to the complex, we knocked on doors, and passed out gospel tracts, and then we gathered to sing songs. Then someone would encourage people to gather to hear the message of the day. There would be some soloists singing before the speaker brought forth the Word. Then altar call would be made before we left. The workers would get upset because the majority of the tracts were thrown on the ground. Now I know why. We used the same method every time we saw these individuals. They knew the routine, and they knew what we were going to say. It was old and outdated. No wonder they were hard to win to Christ! It was never fresh. The Word of God should be fresh—not stale!

I hope this makes you think about how you approach an individual who you are trying to win to the kingdom of heaven. It does make sense doesn’t it?