January 14, 2018

Swelling Seas – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.” (Psalms 89:8-9)

I stood on the beach, a few feet from the roaring ocean, as a hurricane roared ashore. That impression of overwhelming, uncontrollable power, the awesome sound, has remained vivid in my mind for over 50 years. When we imagine a mere mortal trying to oppose such power, we laugh. Only the truly insane would try. But He can.

“For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; ..He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.” (Psalm 107:25-26, 29)

One of the most obvious demonstrations of the divine authority of Christ (absolutely confirming His word) was seen when a fierce storm suddenly arose on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus and his disciples were traveling across in a small sailing boat when the disciples were terrified in the midst of the raging sea.

“…He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.” (Luke 8:24)

The same kind of superhuman power was witnessed when Jonah was fleeing from the disagreeable task assigned him by God. He was on board a sailing vessel when the mariners, sailing to Tarshish, realized that the storm threatening to destroy them had been sent by God because of Jonah.

“So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.” (Jonah 1:15-16)

Consider the fact that Isaiah compares the opponents of truth to a roaring sea.

“But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’.” (Isa. 57:20-21)

Likewise, Jude describes ungodly, false teachers who are like “wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam;” (Jude 1:13)

In Luke 21, Christ used the figure of a raging sea to portray the anguish “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,” (v.20) “days of vengeance,” (v.22) the “great distress on the earth and wrath against this people,” (v.23), when “Jerusalem will be trampled down.” (v.24). He says, “nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves.”

From all the examples cited above, we are reminded that the God who created the swelling, threatening oceans and calmed them, can surely calm our darkest, most threatening storm. The Psalmist foresaw the coming Messiah as one who would “rule in the midst of Your enemies.” (Psalm 110:2) He can defeat or speak peace to the nations. He can calm our troubled hearts. Through faith we can see His power in the midst of the storm and await His calm voice of peace.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

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January 7, 2018

The Word – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5)

In this passage John the used the Greek word “λόγος,” (logos) to communicate the role of Christ, the divine, eternal, perfect expression of God. It was a word that had already been used in Greek society, by deluded philosophers, to describe absurd notions of a few of their idols. When John appropriated their term, he was not copying their pagan absurdities; he was challenging their foolishness. Starting where they were, he took their concept to a completely new level. The real logos perfectly expresses the mind of God, is himself God, created everything, was the source of all life and light, and dispels their feeble darkness.

John’s description is a direct confrontation of Greek paganism. It supersedes any puny pagan competitor. It is as well, a marvelous portrayal of our savior, the foundation of Christianity.

The writer of the book of Hebrews describes the concept to a Hebrew audience.

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:1)

Consider also John’s description of the conquering Christ in his Revelation of Christ to the persecuted saints of Asia.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.’” (Revelation 3:11-13)

Consider also the fact that the title of the “Word of God” is given both to Jesus Christ as the living Word and to the Scriptures as the written Word.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (I Thessalonians 2:13)

How can one rationally claim to accept John’s “logos,” the perfect expression of God, while at the same time failing to honor the written word of God (the Bible)?

Some say “Oh, it used to be honorable but it has been polluted.” They are effectively saying the “logos,” the eternal, divine “Word” was powerless to protect and preserve, as He promised to do.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:34-35)

The living Word and the written Word are so perfectly synchronous that what is said of one can usually be applied also to the other.

Both are human, yet without error;

“…in Him there is no sin.” (I John 3:5)

“…the Scripture cannot be broken,” (John 10:35)

Furthermore, each is eternal.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” Hebrew 13:8)

“Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalms 119:89)

Each gives everlasting life to those who believe.

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” (I John 10:11)

“…born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (I Peter 1:23)

Finally, judgment comes by both Christ and the Scriptures.

“…He has given all judgment to the Son,” (John 5:22)

“…the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Revelation 20:12)

The Word of God is truly awesome, but which, the living Word or the written Word? The answer is, “Yes.”