June 24, 2012

Guarding The Word – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

By Don Patton

“How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him  with all their heart.”  Ps.119:2

It is not unusual today to hear skeptics openly attack the Bible. While the majority of our nation will say they believe it is God’s word, they have learned to “take it with a grain of salt.” “After all it is recorded by men and men make mistakes.”

The “bottom line” result of such attitudes is that the pupil becomes the teacher. If what the word says does not fit what we believe, no problem. It is justifiable to overlook, alter or re-interpret. Effectively, this student sits himself on God’s throne and assumes the position of the ultimate authority. It is obvious to anyone who reads the Psalms, that King David, (described as a man after God’s own heart) would be appalled at such an attitude. In the remarkable 119thpsalm, there are 176 verses (the longest chapter in the Bible).  The reverence of the Psalmist toward God’s word is unmistakable. There are 176 references to the written word of God. Eight different Hebrew words are used for the Scriptures, respectively translated (in the NAS Version) law 25 times, testimonies 23 times, precepts 21 times, statutes 22 times, commandments 21 times, judgments 4 times, ordinances 7 times, and word or words 43 times.

These are terms that do not indicate suggestions to be altered or modified by our impressions. Rather they indicate absolutes to which we are to bow in submission. When David did not, he suffered. When he did, he was blessed.

Furthermore, this psalm contains 28 admonitions to “keep” the Word, and these are applied to each of the above eight aspects of the Scriptures. The first is in our text where we are exhorted to keep His testimonies. Note the others also in the following examples.

“You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently” v. 4; “Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes!” v. 5; “Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word” (Hebrew dabar) v. 17; “Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.”

v. 34; “I hastened and did not delay To keep Your commandments. ” v. 60; “I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. ” v. 106; “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.” (Hebrew imrah) v. 67.

The word “keep” means much more than simply obeying His commands, though this is certainly included. Both words translated “keep” or “kept” in the 28 admonitions noted above, basically mean “guard” or “preserve,” as in Psalm 41:2 where both words are used: “The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive.” Here God is described as keeping us. Most of the references in this chapter admonish us to keep the Word.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon defines this word to mean:

“1.a. keep, have charge of, garden, ark, property in trust; tend flock. … preserve, protect …”

In these verses and many others throughout the Bible, therefore, we are commanded not merely to obey and proclaim God’s Word, but also to guard, preserve, and defend it against all its many enemies. This Psalm gives us insight into the responsibility of “the church of the living God” described by the apostle Paul as the “the pillar and support of the truth,” (I Tim.3:13).

Adapted from an article by Henry M. Morris

 

 

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June 10, 2012

Repentance – Ron Boatwright

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Many people believe repentance is when you feel sorrow, guilt, or shame for sin; but this is not repentance. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). If one is only sorry he got caught, then this will not lead to repentance. Godly sorrow helps bring on repentance. Repentance is not sorrow for sin, but one cannot repent without being sorry he has sinned. “Let the wicked forsake his way…let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him…for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). In repentance, one must first understand he has sinned, feel sorrow for the sin, and then stop and turn away from that sin.

“Truly, the times of this ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). All people are commanded to repent. It is not possible for anyone, except our Lord, to live a sin-free life, but this is no excuse for our sinning. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves; and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). We also read in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” It is God’s goodness that should lead us to repentance. “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).

Paul says, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:1-2). To show our repentance we are to “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Why should we repent of sins? “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:3). Spiritual death is separation from God in eternity. Jesus says, “I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Unless one repents he cannot go to Heaven, but will eternally suffer the torments of Hell. We must give up our sin and “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Romans 6:12).

If one is an alien sinner then he must, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). But if one is a child of God who has sinned then he must, “Repent of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). We must repent before we ask God to forgive us. Our repentance also includes our confessing our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sin shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Repentance is a change of heart, which results in a change of actions for the better. Without repentance we cannot receive forgiveness and be saved. Where we spend eternity, in Heaven or Hell, is determined by our repentance. All of Heaven is anxious for us to repent. Jesus says, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).