jump to navigation

Jesus: The God-Man September 7, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Bible Doctrines, Jesus Christ, salvation.
add a comment

This past Sunday, Brian covered one of the more important, yet more mind-boggling aspects of Jesus — the fact that He was 100%, totally God while being 100%, totally human.  This is called Jesus’ Deity and Humanity

I am so glad that Jesus is not some lesser deity, some smallish god sent to do the dirty work of the more potent gods.  No!  He was and is God holding on to every attribute and characteristic of God, claiming and owning equality with the Father.  Anything less and His sacrifice on the cross would have been as effective as the death of the theives beside of Him. 

I am also so glad that Jesus had the humility to take on this dirty humanity, to walk among us, to teach us, to model perfection to us and to suffer the agonies of the flesh.  Anything less and He would have been unable to suffer, to bleed, to die for me on the cross … to suffer the ultimate separation from God by taking on the sins of the world!  And beyond His redemptive capabilites, Jesus can be so sympathetic to me and my suffering and sin.  He is a loving and sympathetic High Priest.  Finally, what a lesson in humility: Jesus, who was and is equal with The Father, nonetheless obeyed the direction of the Father and became even lower than the created angels … an all because He loved me!

Lord … May I be ever mindful of the sacrifice that You both required and gave to reconcile my depraved humanity with Your holy righteousness,  Thank you ever so much for the ultimate expression of love, humility and righteousness that Your Son dying on the cross of Calvary represents.  I pray that You forgive us for ever thinking we can do anything in our own power and ever being so bold as to ignore or shun the efficacious shedding of blood.  I beg that You use us to lift up Christ and in so doing, allow us to be co-laborers with You in drawing men to yourself. 

Rationality and Faith September 3, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in faith.
add a comment

Are those two words a choice or complimentary concepts?  Said another way, do I have to be rational OR have faith or should I only have faith BECAUSE it is rational?

This very issue is dealt with very comprehensively on the Pyromaniacs website (a personal favorite): http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2006/08/is-christianity-rational.html

I’m not going to weigh in on the comment discussion … in part because it’s very long to keep up with and in larger part because I don’t think I could keep up with the mental power being spent.  But, for the sake of our discussion on the Doctrines of the Christian Faith, I will make a couple of comments:

  • We ought to be very careful about applying human logic to the things of God.  I Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the natural man will find no logic in the things of God.  And in fact, even believers can only understand many of them through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.   
  • Although something may not be logical to natural (unsaved) men, it doesn’t make it unreasonable or irrational.  Appealing to Paul again, this time in chapter one of I Corinthians: the wisdom of God, while being foolishness (unreasonable) to the world, it is nonetheless powerful.  Call it what you will, but the power of God’s grace extended to me new life through the means of preaching.
  • While I think our faith (Christianity) is rational, reasonable and logical, I am cautious about putting God into a human-defined box.  While I do know everything He wants me to by reading the Bible and heeding the Holy Spirit, that is far from everything there is to know about God.  Also, my flawed (by virtue of sin) logic is likely to do disservice to God’s character and substance if I rely on it instead of wholly on the revealed Word of Truth. 
  • Stepping into the world of faith isn’t discarding logic or reasoning.  Instead, it actually opens up a new world of truth (additive, not replacement … 2+2 still equals two, but we now can do calculus) according to Ephesians 1:8.  Said another way, science knows and is confident that time and the universe began at some unknown point many, many years ago — that’s a fact.  But through the revealed word of God, the only person to be in existance at that moment in time (the triune God, Elohim) gave us a first-hand account of how it happened.  I can never know that the world was created by the effectual word of God in seven days … except it is revealed to me.  But even as “unbelieveable” as it may seem, it in no way contridicts truth (the world has a beginning and started suddenly at some point many years ago).

The Doctrine of God: The Trinity August 29, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Bible Doctrines, Doctrine of God.
add a comment

In the final lesson on the Doctrine of God, we examined the Trinity.  You can hear this lesson or catch up on others that you may have missed on the Bible Doctrines page.

The Doctrine of the Bible: Interpretation and Application July 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Bible Doctrines, The Bible.
add a comment

Brian discusses some practical points about how to interpret Scripture and make application of it to our lives. Download/listen to the recording here: http://www.archive.org/download/1BasicDoctrine/BasicDoctrine7.WMA

The Doctrine of the Bible: Divisions and Themes July 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Bible Doctrines, The Bible.
add a comment

Brian discusses the various divisions of the Bible and the pre-eminent and ultimate theme of Scripture, Jesus Christ. Download/listen to the recording here: http://www.archive.org/download/1BasicDoctrine/BasicDoctrines4.WMA

Is the Bible Really God’s Word? July 6, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Evangelist Randy Wall (www.randywall.org) spoke to us this past Sunday. He covered the next topic in the doctrine of the Bible: is the Bible really God’s Word?

Ultimately, this being a question of faith — there are just some people who will never believe that the Bible is God’s Word regardless of the proof — Brother Wall primarly focused on the Bible’s own proofs and claims to answer it. You can download a recording of the lesson here: http://www.archive.org/download/BasicDoctrines3/BasicDoctrines3.WMA.

The Doctrine of the Bible: Its Source and History June 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
add a comment

This is the first of the lessons on the doctrine of the Bible. A recording of this lesson is available for download. The following blog entries are summaries of the various parts of this lesson as presented by Brian Johnson.

Why is it important for God to preserve His Word? June 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
add a comment

First of all, allow me to admit that I am no historian (Biblical or Secular). Since this is true, most of the historical information in this study is compiled from the labor of others. None of the information is new (Ecclesiastes 1:9); it is readily available for all those who would take the time to research the subject.

Having said that, let’s take a few simple things into consideration as we look at this particular subject. First, we must come to the understanding that God has promised to preserve His Word.

  • Psalm 12:6-7: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.”
  • 1 Peter 1:23-25: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Obviously, there are multitudes of additional verses that would reiterate this point, but those will be left for you to uncover in your private study.

The fact that God has gone to such lengths to preserve His Holy Word begs the question, “Why?” Why is it important for God to preserve His Word?

At least part of the answer can be seen in the aforementioned verses in 1 Peter; man needs salvation. It is through the infallible Word that man learns of his sin as well as God’s remedy for sin. The Bible declares that ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ Simply put, without God’s preserved Word, man would be doomed. Beyond salvation, man needs to know what God expects of those who are truly born again, or how we should live in this world.

A Brief History of the Canon of Scripture June 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
add a comment

The Jews were very careful in transcribing the books of the Old Testament. The Talmud describes in detail what practices were to be carried out as the books were copied. Some of these requirements included:

  • The pages had to be lined and spaced so that there were a certain number of columns.
    Not so much as a letter could be written from memory. The scribe had to look at each word before writing
  • If at any point during copying a mistake was made, the page had to be thrown away and a new copy made.
  • There had to be a certain amount of space between letters (about a hair’s breadth).
  • Every letter was counted.

There were countless other rules and restrictions that had to be followed (do some research on the subject, it’s quite interesting), but these few that I have listed should give you enough insight to see that the Jews were extremely careful in their transcription; there was no room for error.

Somewhere around A.D. 70 or A.D. 90 (it depends on whom you read after) the Sanhedrin received permission from the Roman government to reconvene for the purpose of reaffirming that these 39 books were in fact inspired and to be included in the canon. More importantly, the Bible itself gives evidence that these 39 books are inspired of God and to be included in Scripture.

In John 5:39 Jesus told the unbelieving Jews that they were to ‘search the Scriptures’, because they [the Scriptures] testified of Him. Luke 24 is another example of the Biblical evidence.

Luke 24:44-45: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.”

Historically, the New Testament is another story. There apparently was never a time when an official council of any kind met to determine which books should be included in the canon.

How then was it determined?

  • Apostolic authority. The work had to be either written or backed by an Apostle.
  • Inspiration of the content. There had to be internal evidence that a book was inspired of God.
  • General acceptance. The work had to be accepted by the church as being inspired.

David Cloud in his book, “Give Attendance to Doctrine” stated that around A.D. 208, Tertullian, in his “Prescription Against Heretics”, urged heretics to ‘run’ to the apostolic churches because the ‘authentic writings’ were still being read in these churches. Specifically mentioned were Corinth, Philippi, Rome, Thessalonica, and Ephesus. Most agree that the 27 books of the NT canon existed in the Greek language as early as the middle of the second century.Once again, study of the Bible itself gives us the best evidence. For example, you can see 2 Peter 3: 15-17 where Paul’s writings are included as Scripture. Please be reminded that there are other texts you can and should study on your own (these lessons are simply meant to be somewhat of an ‘overview’ of basic doctrine).

How then did we get our English Bible? June 28, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
add a comment

The first English Bible was translated by John Wycliffe in 1380. It was an English translation of the Latin Vulgate. Apparently he didn’t know Hebrew or Greek, so this Bible was essentially a translation of a translation.In 1514, Erasmus published his Greek text based on between 5-8 manuscripts (it depends on who you read after). This text is commonly known as the Textus Receptus (TR). In 1611, the KJV was translated from this text.

Modern critics enjoy pointing out that the manuscripts used in the TR were not the oldest. Most of the more popular modern translations embraced by these critics apparently come from the Westcott-Hort Greek text. Proponents of the KJV (more educated than myself) point out what these critics fail to: that the Westcott-Hort text was primarily based on just two manuscripts, the Sinaitic and Vatican. The Sinai manuscript was actually found in a trash receptacle in a monastery. The other was supposedly in remarkably good condition compared to manuscripts of equal or similar age. If this is true, it would seem that it apparently wasn’t deemed good enough to be used with any regularity. It is a fact that good books are used, and books that are used will become worn with age.

Putting that aside, we should once again appeal to Scripture. Should any Bible-believing Christian accept any version of the Bible that would undermine the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith? Frequently these modern versions do. How many times should one allow the name of Christ to be left out of a text before it is deemed unacceptable? How can you stand against the heretical writings of the cults when you cannot embrace the inspired Word of God?

On a more personal note, I will ask you to do this one thing as you study. No matter whom you read after when studying a particular doctrine, make it a point to read as much as you can about that individual. I have never found an individual who is anti-KJV who is not either a liberal when it comes to doctrine or when it comes to separation. Be careful.