Friday, December 31, 2010
Are These the Last Days
Ray Stedman playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list...
Romans 13 (New King James Version)
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones distinguishes the various different conceptions of what is the true Christian but he very clearly identifies the biblical delineation and mark of true Christianity.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Think not that you are alone in your sorrow—that there is not one in this wide, wide world, one who can appreciate your loss, or enter into all the peculiar features of your afflictions, the delicate shadings of your sadness; Jesus can, and Jesus only.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
"Love God and do as you please." That famous quote from St. Augustine has far outlived its author, but not everyone views it favorably. Some see his bluntness as irresponsible, possibly dangerous. But Augustine has solid ground to stand on. Thousands of years earlier, another theologian by the name of David said this, "Delight Yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4). Both are true. Watch, as John MacArthur explains...
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
• Luke 1:78-79
2) Surprise in Wonder (Luke 2:9-14)
• John 14:27
• Isaiah 48:22
3) Surprise in Worship (Luke 2:15-16)
4) Surprise in Witness (Luke 2:17-20)
• Psalm 107:2
For many, Christmas is the time to think of Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger. While the birth of Christ is a special and miraculous event, it isn't the primary focus. The central truth of the Christmas story is this...
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Right worship is always, and must be, the only basis for right giving and right learning and right service. Giving that is generous but done apart from a loving relationship with God is empty giving. Learning that is orthodox and biblical but is learned apart from knowing and depending on the Source of truth, is empty knowledge, like that of the chief priests and scribes. Service that is demanding and sacrificial but done in the power of the flesh or for the praise of men is empty service.
Throughout history gold has been considered the most precious of metals and the universal symbol of material value and wealth. It was used extensively in the construction of the Temple (see 1 Kings 6--7, 9; 2 Chron. 2--4). It was also a symbol of nobility and royalty (see Gen. 41:4; 1 Kings 10:1--13; etc.). Matthew continually presents Christ as the King, and here we see the King of the Jews, the King of kings, appropriately being presented with royal gifts of gold.
The Savior of the world is also the true King of the world, and He will not be Savior of those who will not accept Him as sovereign Lord. As wonderful as Jesus' saviorhood was to them, the early Christians' first known creed was "Jesus is Lord," acknowledging His rule.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Continuing his thrust to establish Jesus' right to Israel's true and final kingship, in chapter 2 Matthew gives three additional evidences of Jesus of Nazareth's legitimate, unique, and absolute royal right to the throne of David. In chapter 1 we saw the evidence of Jesus' royal genealogy and of His virgin birth. In the present chapter we first see the testimony of the magi, who came to give homage and gifts to the infant Jesus, "He who has been born King of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2). The powerful oriental kingmakers from Persia traveled a great distance to recognize and honor a King in whose coronation they had no part, a King far greater than any they had ever, or would ever, set on a throne.
The next evidence of Christ's kingship is shown in a negative, or reverse, way, through the antagonism and hatred of Herod. Herod's devious scheme to discover and destroy this unknown baby shows his fear that the magi's declaration about the Child could be correct, and gives unintended testimony to Jesus' true royalty. Herod knew that he himself was a usurper to the throne on which he sat only by virtue of Rome-who herself ruled Judah only by the "right" of military force. Herod was an Edomite, not a Jew, and had no legitimate claim to be the Jew's king. He therefore feared and hated even the suggestion of a rival claimant. But even the hatred of the false king gave indirect testimony to the identity of the true King.
The third evidence of Christ's kingship given in chapter 2 is presented through four fulfilled messianic prophecies. Some three hundred thirty Old Testament predictions concern, Jesus Christ...
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
How can I effectively share my Christian faith with family and friends during the holidays? (Greg Koukl) from ChristianityDotCom on Vimeo.
Paul tells us "We are ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20). An effective ambassador has three essential skills. First, an ambassador must have some basic knowledge of the character, mind, and purposes of his king. Second, this knowledge must be deployed in a skillful way. There's an element of wisdom, a tactical and artful diplomacy that makes his message persuasive. Paul says, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person" (Colossians 4:6). Finally, there is character. The kindness, even-handedness, and respect the ambassador shows for those who differ can either make or break his message.
The tactical element is critical to the effectiveness of this approach. Two different tactics have been effective even with postmoderns because of a couple of simple truths. First, fairness, gentleness, and respect are always in style, and they add persuasiveness to speech regardless of the message. Second, if Christianity is true, then every person who denies it must live in a contradiction. On one side is the pull of their postmodern convictions; on the other, the tenacious pull of reality.
The "Columbo" Tactic
Lieutenant Columbo was the bumbling and seemingly inept TV detective whose remarkable success was based on an innocent query: "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" The key to this tactic is to maneuver through an encounter--halting, head-scratching, and apparently harmless--with carefully selected questions. Columbo is most powerful if you have a plan of attack, if you ask questions with a goal in mind. You may be alerted to some weakness, flaw, or contradiction in another's view you can expose in a disarming way.
There are literally hundreds of ways to do this offering tremendous advantages. It's interactive, inviting the other person to participate in dialogue. It's a good tactic to use at work because no "preaching" is involved. The Columbo tactic allows you to make good headway without actually stating your case. More importantly, a carefully placed question shifts the burden of proof to the other person where it often belongs.
Using the Columbo tactic accomplishes a couple of things. First, it immediately engages the non-believer in an interactive, relational way. The questions are probing, but still quite amicable. Second, it's flattering because you've expressed a genuine interest in knowing more about the other's view. Third, it forces her to think more carefully--maybe for the first time--about exactly what she believes. Fourth, it gives you valuable information, putting you in a better position to assess her view. You learn what she thinks, but also how she thinks.
The Suicide Tactic
The suicide tactic makes capital of the tendency of many views to self-destruct when given the opportunity. Such ideas get caught in the noose of their own cleverness and quickly expire. These are commonly known as self-refuting views.
At first it would seem this rational approach to truth would put off a postmodern who rejects such methodology as illicit holdovers from the modern era. In practice, though, this seldom happens. Postmoderns still care about truth, in spite of their protests. They are human beings made in the image of God. As such, they live in a world in which their claims collide with reality. This tactic is meant to exploit that tension.
The simple truth is, no one is really a relativist, a fact that surfaces readily when one's guard is down. They wax eloquent about relativism, but in the next breath complain about crooked politicians, legal injustice, and intolerant Christians--all meaningless if relativism is true. When they do this they're not advancing personal opinions. They actually believe these things are wrong. Their own objective view morality is surfacing.
Is Truth True?
In a debate on postmodernism I participated in at Chapman University, I defended what seemed to be a very modest claim: Objective truth can be known. My opponent, Dr. Marv Meyer, was forced to argue against the proposition, effectively stating he knew truth couldn't be known.
The debate reminded me of a construction worker who complained one day about the air quality in Los Angeles. "This smog is killing me," he said. "I need a break. I'm going out back to have a smoke." His comment entailed a contradiction. He said one thing was objectionable, and then blithely proceeded to do the very thing he objected to, sensing no conflict between the two.
Dr. Meyer's claim was much the same. First, he claimed that knowledge was a certain way. Second, he claimed he knew it to be so. All the while he argued all such claims are false. In my final remarks, I encouraged the audience to cast their votes for Dr. Meyer, then reminded them what such a vote would mean, that my opponent convinced them his view was true and mine was false. A vote for Marv, then, would be a vote for the resolve: Objective truth can be known. Professor Meyer got one vote. My success was not due to cleverness on my part, but to the fact that even postmoderns must live in God's world. The suicide tactic was effective.
When someone is graciously disarmed in the context of a respectful discussion, there is more openness to consider the Christian story. When people become aware they actually do believe in morality, this has explanatory power for something else they know intuitively: the personal guilt that each is painfully aware of.
At this point I make a suggestion. "Maybe we feel guilty because we are guilty. Is that a possibility? If it is, then denial (relativism) is not going to solve the problem. Only forgiveness can do that. This is where Jesus comes in."
This brings us right to the foot of the cross in a way that is relational, interactive, and without the feel of dogmatism. It's a way of appealing to a postmodern mindset without adopting a postmodern epistemology.
Further, this is a truth I don't need to convince them of. They already know it. Note the frank admission in the final words of Douglas Coupland's ode of the postmodern man, Life After God:
Nowhere is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God--that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love.Coupland, the quintessential postmodern, knows that his sickness is a moral sickness--an inability to be virtuous--that only God Himself can heal. Christians who are careful ambassadors have a way of making sense of that gnawing angst. Relativism is not liberty; it's bondage. Yes, there is a problem, but there's also a solution. There is meaning. We're not alone. Someone does care. There is reason to hope.
James Sire, The Universe Next Door, 3rd ed., (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 178-9.
- Douglas Coupland, Life After God (New York: Pocket Books, 1994), 359.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tonight we're going to look at Romans chapter 3 again and I'm always blessed to have the privilege of doing this. I'm grateful for the new life that we know about in our church, the people who are being baptized every Sunday, the people who are coming into our church constantly. And I realize how foundational and important this particular section of Romans is so that everybody understands the reality of the doctrine of salvation in its fullness and in its richness.
The text I want you to look at is Romans chapter 3 and verse 25...Romans chapter 3 and verse 25, and we'll read down to verse 31.
This is speaking of Christ Jesus and His redemption as indicated in verse 24, "Christ Jesus whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed for the demonstration, I say, for His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Or works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be. On the contrary, we establish the Law."...
Monday, December 20, 2010
Well we, of course, have the responsibility tonight to set our hearts toward the cross and the things of Christ and we also are very mindful of he fact that we are on the brink of a new year and this is a good time to kind of do a bit of a spiritual inventory. And as I thought about that, I was drawn to a text of Scripture that I would call to your attention for a few moments...1 Peter, 1 Peter. You might want to turn to it and we'll look at a couple of scriptures here in the first chapter of 1 Peter that will help us focus not only on the cross but on setting our priorities.
In the thirteenth verse of 1 Peter chapter 1, Peter writes, "Therefore prepare your minds for action." Now the Authorized says, "Gird up your loins, pull all the loose ends of your life together." This is kind of military language. When a soldier went into battle, he made sure that he pulled his tunic up, tied it around him tightly so that he could move freely and not be encumbered or hindered, or give any opportunity for the enemy. And as a soldier pulls all the loose ends together to go into serious combat, so we are called upon to prepare our minds for action, to call all of our thoughts into control. And then he says, "Keep sober," and what that essentially means there in verse 13 is to get your priorities right. Think seriously, think accurately, think nobly, be sober minded. He adds, "Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ...
Saturday, December 18, 2010
• Genesis 3:15
2) The virgin birth: Confronted (Matthew 1:19–20)
3) The virgin birth: Clarified (Matthew 1:21)
• Luke 3:23
4) The virgin birth: Connected (Matthew 1:22-23)
• Isaiah 7:14-16
5) The virgin birth: Consummated (Matthew 1:24–25)
• Mark 6:3a
Friday, December 17, 2010
It's God's will that you suffer...for righteousness' sake. Though every Christian would affirm that statement, people interpret it in a number of different ways. For some, it's doing ministry in an inner-city homeless shelter. For others, it's absorbing whatever comments your critics make about your ministry methodology—e.g., the mega-church or multi-site pastor who gets called out for franchising his brand. Still others completely ignore the issue of righteousness and godliness. For them, suffering is doing something radical, something crazy, unpopular, even shocking. Is that what God wants? Crazy suffering? Or should we interpret suffering from a more biblical paradigm? Here's John MacArthur to answer that question...
Thursday, December 16, 2010
And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)
The heretics viewed Jesus as one among a series of lesser spirits descending in sequential inferiority from God. Paul refutes that with two powerful descriptions of who Jesus really is. First, Paul describes Him as the image of the invisible God. Eikon (image) means "image" or "likeness." From it we get our English word icon, referring to a statue. It is used in Matthew 22:20 of Caesar's portrait on a coin, and in Revelation 13:14 of the statue of Antichrist.
Paul further describes Jesus as the first-born of all creation. From the Arians of the early church to the Jehovah's Witnesses of our own day, those who would deny our Lord's deity have sought support from this phrase. They argue that it speaks of Christ as a created being, and hence He could not be the eternal God. Such an interpretation completely misunderstands the sense of prototokos (first-born) and ignores the context.
Although prototokos can mean first-born chronologically (Luke 2:7), it refers primarily to position, or rank. In both Greek and Jewish culture, the first-born was the son who had the right of inheritance. He was not necessarily the first one born. Although Esau was born first chronologically, it was Jacob who was the "first-born" and received the inheritance. Jesus is the One with the right to the inheritance of all creation (cf. Heb. 1:2; Rev. 5:1--7, 13)...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Submitting to authority is one of the single most effective ways you can make the gospel attractive. And even though submission is clearly the will of God, too many Christians seem to think it's optional. That's a reproach to the gospel, the church, and the Lord Himself. It's God's will that we lead peaceful, quiet lives, submit to the laws of the land, and be a blessing to church leadership. We are to submit. That is God's will. Here's John MacArthur to explain...
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
One motive for believers' working out their sanctification is understanding the consequences of sin. Although God is loving, merciful, and forgiving, He nevertheless holds believers accountable for disobedience. Like John, Paul understood well that "if we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8--9). Knowing that he serves a holy and just God, the faithful believer will always live with fear and trembling. Fear translates phobos, which describes fright or terror (cf. Matt. 14:26;Luke 21:26; 1 Cor. 2:3) as well as reverential awe (cf. Acts 2:43; 9:31; 2 Cor. 5:11; 7:1). Trembling is from tromos, which refers to shaking and is the word from which the English word tremor derives. Both of those are proper reactions to the awareness of one's own spiritual weakness and the power of temptation. The Lord seeks such an attitude in His children, as His words in Isaiah 66:2 indicate:"To this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word."
An important Old Testament truth is "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps. 111:10; cf. Prov. 1:7; 9:10). This is not a fear of being doomed to eternal torment, nor a hopeless dread of judgment that leads to despair. It is rather a reverential fear, a holy concern to give God the honor He deserves and avoid the chastening of His displeasure. Such fear protects against...
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
• 1 Peter 1:10-11
• Luke 17:20-21
2) The Reply (Matthew 11:4-6)
• Isaiah 35:4-5
• Isaiah 61:1
3) The Recognition (Matthew 11:7-11)
• Malachi 3:1
Thursday, December 09, 2010
This clip, entitled "Combat Fear by Knowing the Father," is taken from the sermon "Jesus and Anxiety," preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church in Seattle as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
This clip entitled "Fear Not" is taken from the sermon "Jesus And Anxiety" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
This clip entitled "7 Truths About Fear" is taken from the sermon "Jesus And Anxiety" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Monday, December 06, 2010
But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self--control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:8--9)
These verses answer the question, "Should those who were married and divorced before becoming Christians remarry?" No doubt that was a key question in the Corinthian church. Formerly married people came to salvation in Christ and asked if they now had the right to marry someone else. Paul's response here is uniquely fitted to those who want to know their options.
Paul is speaking to people who were divorced before coming to Christ. They wanted to know if they had the right to marry. His word to them is that it is good for them who are now free of marriage to remain even as I. By that statement Paul affirms that he was formerly married. Because marriage seems to have been required for membership in the Sanhedrin, to which Paul may once have belonged, because he had been so devoutly committed to Pharisaic tradition (Gal. 1:14), and because he refers to one who could have been his wife's mother (Rom. 16:13), we may assume that he was once married. His statement here to the previously married confirms that—even as I. Likely he was a widower. He does not identify with the virgins but with the unmarried and widows, that is, with the formerly married.
The point is that those who are single when converted to Christ should know that it is good for them to stay that way. There is no need to rush into marriage. Many well--meaning Christians are not content to let people remain single. The urge to play cupid and matchmaker can be strong, but mature believers must resist it. Marriage is not necessary or superior to singleness, and it limits some potential for service to Christ (vv. 32--34).
Later in the chapter Paul advised believers to remain as they were. Staying single was not wrong, and becoming married or staying married were not wrong. But "in view of the present distress" the Corinthian believers were experiencing, it seemed much better to stay as they were (7:25--28).
Deciding about marriage obviously is more difficult for the person who has strong sexual desires but who has no immediate prospect for a husband or wife. It is never God's will for Christians to marry unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14), but neither is it right just to marry the first believer who will say yes. Though we may want very much to be married, we should be careful. Strong feelings of any sort tend to dull judgment and make one vulnerable and careless.
There are several things that Christians in this dilemma ought to do. First, they should not simply seek to be married, but should seek a person they can love, trust, and respect, letting marriage come as a response to that commitment of love. People who simply want to get married for the sake of getting married run a great risk of marrying the wrong person. Second, it is fine to be on the lookout for the "right person," but the best way to find the right person is to be the right person. If believers are right with God and it is His will for them to be married He will send the right person—and never too late.
If, however, a single believer did not have self--control, that person should seek to marry. If a Christian is single but does not have the gift of singleness and is being strongly tempted sexually, he or she should pursue marriage. Let them marry in the Greek is in the aorist imperative, indicating a strong command. "Get married," Paul says, for it is better to marry than to burn. The term means "to be inflamed," and is best understood as referring to strong passion (cf. Rom. 1:27). A person cannot live a happy life, much less serve the Lord, if he is continually burning with sexual desire—even if the desire never results in actual immorality. And in a society such as Corinth's, or ours, in which immorality is so prevalent and accepted, it is especially difficult not to succumb to temptation.
I believe that once a Christian couple decides to get married they should do it fairly soon. In a day of lowered standards, free expression, and constant suggestiveness, it is extremely difficult to stay sexually pure. The practical problems of an early marriage are not nearly as serious as the danger of immorality.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
This clip entitled "Jesus Identifies With Us" is taken from the sermon "Jesus And Anxiety" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Thursday, December 02, 2010
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. . . you'll no doubt be wrestling with a Christmas to-do list packed with shopping, decorating, school plays, and traveling to name a few. Through it all, how will you stay focused on what's most important?
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
If you ever blew a test because you didn't review your notes, you know how forgetting important details can ruin your whole day. Ironically, forgetting what's important doesn't seem to ruin Christmas day for countless people...
On Sunday nights here at Grace Church for many months, we have been dealing with very important matters of theology, great doctrines that are critical for our understanding of the Christian faith, and therefore our service to the Lord. And tonight I want to embrace one that is certainly foundational, I want to call it, "The Theology of Creation...The Theology of Creation." Creation is a theological issue, not a scientific issue. Theology is the only source from which we have any information about creation. Any study of creation must come in the framework of theology because it is a word from God.
Theology, by the way, used to be called the queen of the sciences. It was called the queen of the sciences because in the final analysis the ultimate reigning truth is theology. Biblical theology, the revelation of God in Scripture, trumps all other sources of information and knowledge. And so, for centuries creation was a theological issue, not a scientific one. And then came Darwin and Darwin confiscated the subject of creation out of the realm of theology and tried to put into the realm of human knowledge and did no service to mankind.
If we want to understand creation, if we want to understand origins, if we want to understand how the universe came into existence and everything that is in it, we have to look at theology, not science. And the source of theology is the Word of God in which God speaks. The Bible is not theory, the Bible is fact. The Bible is reality. The Bible is truth no matter what subject it addresses, but particularly with regard to origins since no one was here when God created, we have only His eyewitness account.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
If the miracles Jesus performed 2,000 years ago were seen today, would people believe in Him? What about the folks who saw Jesus' miracles firsthand . . . why did most people reject Him?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
• Matthew 25:32-46
• 2 Peter 2:4-9
2) Ready (Matthew 24:43–44)
• 2 Peter 3:2-18
• Luke 12:35-40
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
You, I, and everyone who's ever lived was born spiritually dead. We need new life. That in mind, what does an incident between Jesus and a religious leader ruler have to do with your salvation?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It's pretty easy to assemble a child's toy . . . add oil to your car . . . use a piece of software — you just follow the directions. But how about when you're looking for direction in the big decisions in life — what then?
Monday, November 22, 2010
So . . . How do you glorify God? Bottom line . . . you obey Him — you do what He wants. But knowing God's will in every situation isn't always so clear and easy . . . or is it?
Friday, November 19, 2010
Why does God's saving grace allow so many to live as lukewarm Christians? If we are saved by grace then what does it matter how we live?
Pastor Mark Driscoll answers this question as part of a live "Ask Anything" session in which audience members SMS questions to the pulpit to be answered in real time.
This question was answered in the broader context of a sermon entitled "Grace" which can be found at http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/r...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
One of the most difficult decisions you'll ever make isn't whether to do right or wrong . . . but what to do when something is neither right nor wrong! Look to God's Word for help in dealing with life's gray areas . . .
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
http://www.gty.org/Radio ... It's said the only difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is what you make of it. Today, John MacArthur helps you avoid stumbling over those gray-area issues that Scripture seems to neither prohibit or approve...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (John 6:52--57)
The Lord was obviously not talking about cannibalism when He spoke of eating His flesh. Rather, He was giving a physical illustration of a spiritual truth. Once again, however, the antagonistic Jews completely missed the significance of Jesus' statement. As a result, they began to argue with one another. Argue translates a form of the verb machomai, which means "to fight," or "to quarrel" (cf. Acts 7:26; 2 Tim. 2:24; James 4:2), indicating that it was a heated dispute. The discussion centered on the question, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" Blinded by the ignorance of their own unbelief, they were unable to understand the spiritual significance of which Jesus spoke (cf. v. 42; 3:4, 9; 4:11--12; 9:16; 12:34).
Although confronted with their willful unbelief, Jesus did not tone down, soften, or even clarify His words. Instead, He made His teaching even harder for them to swallow by adding the shocking concept of drinking His blood. To drink blood or eat meat with the blood still in it was strictly prohibited by the Old Testament law.
Jesus, of course, was not speaking of literally drinking the fluid in His veins any more than He was of literally eating His flesh. Both metaphors refer to the necessity of accepting Jesus' sacrificial death. The New Testament frequently uses the term blood as a graphic metonym speaking of Christ's death on the cross as the final sacrifice for sin (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:25; 5:9; 1 Cor. 11:25; Eph. 1:7; 2:13; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9:12, 14; 10:19, 29; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2, 19; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11). His sacrifice was the one to which all of the Old Testament sacrifices pointed...
Friday, November 12, 2010
See the faces and hear the cry of persecuted Christians by watching this year's 5-minute IDOP video
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:5--6)
Christ promises every true Christian that He will not erase his name from the book of life, but will confess his name before the Father and before His angels. Incredibly, although the text says just the opposite, some people assume that this verse teaches that a Christian's name can be erased from the book of life. They thus foolishly turn a promise into a threat. Exodus 32:33, it is argued by some, supports the idea that God may remove someone's name from the Book of Life. In that passage the Lord tells Moses that "whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." There is no contradiction, however, between that passage and Christ's promise in Revelation 3:5. The book referred to in Exodus 32:33 is not the Book of Life described here, in Philippians 4:3, and later in Revelation (13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27). Instead, it refers to the book of the living, the record of those who are alive (cf. Ps. 69:28). The threat, then, is not eternal damnation, but physical death.
In John's day, rulers kept a register of the citizens of a city. If someone died, or committed a serious crime, their name was erased from that register. Christ, the King of heaven, promises never to erase a true Christian's name from the roll of those whose names were "written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain" (13:8).
On the contrary, Christ will confess every believer's name before God the Father and before His angels. He will affirm that they belong to Him. Here Christ reaffirmed the promise He made during His earthly ministry: "Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32). The comforting truth that true Christians' salvation is eternally secure is the unmistakable teaching of Scripture. Nowhere is that truth more strongly stated than in Romans 8:28--39...
Thursday, November 11, 2010
November 11th is a day when we remember those who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the freedom we do in this part of the world. Many have suffered and died to secure our release from oppression at least a little longer. I am always moved when I see those who are prepared to put their lives on the line for others. Talk is cheap and talkers are plentiful. But men and women of action, resolve and commitment are rare treasures. I am thankful for the military defeat of those who would like to subjugate us. I'm thankful, for instance, that the Nazis were defeated in World War II. And as a citizen of the so-called "free world" I never want to see Islam conquer anyone by means of the sword, and if they try I support all legitimate efforts to crush them as completely as possible. What is true of Islam is true of any person or group with imperialistic intentions. In a fallen world we need governments and military forces to keep human avarice and folly in check, and we should be thankful for them. The Bible indicates, in passages like Romans 13, that God has ordained governments and that he has given them authority to "bear the sword." This "authority" is not an unlimited authority to use anyway they see fit but the right to do good and protect their citizens as defined by God.
But having said that, I think it is also important for Christians to realize that biblically speaking all of the countries and kingdoms of this world, including the western world, are part of eschatological "Babylon" that will be destroyed by God himself one day. Wars waged by sinful human beings, even though they may have the authorization of God during this time in human history, will never bring lasting peace because they are never pure in their purpose or execution, and because lasting peace cannot be achieved by human efforts no matter how noble. We are always dealing with greater or lesser amounts of evil. Besides that, the cross of Jesus Christ eloquently testifies to the fact that all of us need divine grace and forgiveness if we are going to enter the new heavens and earth that will last forever. So this Remembrance Day, let us be thankful for the relative peace and prosperity we enjoy. Let us be thankful for the sacrifices that have been made. but let us also remember that this world is not our home we are just passing through. There is a hell to be shunned and a heaven to be gained through the ultimate sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest and King.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)
Even if a man has outstanding character and an outstanding calling, he must also have opportunity in order to reach the potential of his greatness. John the Baptist entered the scene of history at precisely the right time—according to God's own plan, prediction, and provision. After 400 years with no word from the Lord, Israel was expectant; and until Jesus began His own ministry, John was the focal point of redemptive history. He was the culmination of Old Testament history and prophecy.
But John generated conflict wherever he went, because his message upset the status quo. With his call for repentance, he stirred up a hornet's nest among the religious leaders and even with the king. Everywhere he moved there was reaction, and often even violence, which eventuated in his being arrested, imprisoned, and finally executed.
From the days of John the Baptist until now (which had been a relatively brief period of time, perhaps eighteen months), the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. Everywhere he went, John evoked strong reaction....
Monday, November 08, 2010
This clip entitled "What Is The One Thing God Won't Forgive?" is taken from the sermon "Jesus And Fear" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current seriaes, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Saturday, November 06, 2010
- 1 Thessalonians 4:10
- 1 Thessalonians 3:12
- 1 Corinthians 14:12
- Philippians 1:9
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
- Romans 12:9-21
- Galatians 6:9-10
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Friday, November 05, 2010
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service.
At public gatherings in Ottawa and around the country, Canadians pay tribute with two minutes of silence to the country's fallen soldiers from the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and peacekeeping missions.
(This Veterans Affairs map shows the gatherings)
Also known as Veterans Day in the U.S., Remembrance Day was first held throughout the Commonwealth in 1919. It marks the armistice to end the First World War, which came into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, a year earlier.
It isn't a national holiday across Canada, but employees in federally regulated employees do get the day off. Several provinces and territories — including Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon — do observe a statutory holiday.
Why the poppy?The association between the poppy and war dates back to the Napoleonic wars, when a writer saw a field of poppies growing over the graves of fallen soldiers.
During the Battle of Ypres in 1915, Canadian Lt.-Col. John McCrae was inspired to write the poem In Flanders Fields on sighting the poppies growing beside a grave of a close friend who had died in battle.
The poem was a great inspiration in adopting the poppy as the Flower of Remembrance in Canada, France, the U.S, Britain and Commonwealth countries.
The first poppies were distributed in Canada in 1921.
Today the volunteer donations from the distribution of millions of poppies is an important source of revenue for the Royal Canadian Legion that goes toward helping ex-servicemen and women buy food, and obtain shelter and medical attention.
Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason answers the question, "Is there a chance to repent after death but prior to judgment for those in remote areas who 'never had the chance to hear'?". For more information, visit http://www.str.org/.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3--5)
As Judas watched Jesus being carried away to Pilate, the full enormity of his treachery finally began to dawn on him as he realized the Jewish leaders did indeed intend to put Jesus to death. The one last obstacle was the permission of Pilate, which Judas had no reason to believe would be denied. Once Pilate consented, Jesus' death would be inevitable.
The sight was devastating to Judas, more than even his money-hungry mind, his sordid soul, and his seared conscience could deal with. He felt remorse as he began to experience the intense, excruciating pain that is unique to profound guilt....
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
It's true that Rick Warren has done some admirable things in the social realm that would make some Christians embarrassed when compared to those deeds alone, but does this translate over to his ministry and doctrinal beliefs? The cast of the White Horse Inn discusses Rick Warren and his book, The Purpose Driven Life.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? (1 Corinthians 15:29)
This verse is one of the most difficult in all of Scripture, and has many legitimate possible interpretations; it has also, however, been used to support many strange and heretical ideas. The careful and honest interpreter may survey the several dozen interpretations offered and still not be dogmatic about what it means. But we can be dogmatic, from the clear teaching of other parts of Scripture, about some of the things it does not mean. As to what this verse does mean, we can only guess, since history has locked it into obscurity.
We can be sure, for example, that it does not teach vicarious, or proxy, baptism for the dead, as claimed by ancient gnostic heretics such as Marcion and by the Mormon church today. Paul did not teach that a person who has died can be saved, or helped in any way, by another person's being baptized in his behalf. Baptismal regeneration, the idea that one is saved by being baptized, or that baptism is in some way necessary for salvation, is unscriptural. The idea of vicarious baptismal regeneration is still further removed from biblical truth. If a person cannot save himself by being baptized, he certainly cannot save anyone else through that act. Salvation is by personal faith in Jesus Christ alone. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8; cf. Rom. 3:28; etc.). That is the repeated and consistent teaching of both the Old and New Testaments. Quoting from Genesis 15:6, Paul says, "For what does the Scripture say? 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness' " (Rom. 4:3). The only way any person has ever come to God is by personal faith.
If one person's faith cannot save another, then certainly one person's baptism cannot save another. Baptism is simply an act of obedient faith that proclaims identity with Christ (Rom. 6:3--4). No one is saved by baptism—not even living persons, much less dead ones. "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27). Death ends all opportunity for salvation and for spiritual help of any sort...
Monday, November 01, 2010
Have you ever noticed how many different approaches you watch parents take with their kids? Some parents treat their kids like little buddies—that accepting friend they always wanted but could never find. Others are the exact opposite, ruling over their kids with an iron fist, enforcing good behavior with intimidation and threats. It's the dictator ruling over his subjects. And then you talk to some parents who are fulfilling dreams vicariously through the lives of their children. They enforce a strict regimen of disciplined training and study so the children will excel in sports, the arts, or education.
Whether a parent elevates the child unduly (friendship parenting), causes him to cower in fear (authoritarian parenting), or drives her to achieve (dream-fulfillment parenting), the poor kid completely misses the opportunity to enjoy what God created him or her to be...a kid. Childhood is lost because of the self-centeredness of the parent.
None of that has anything to do with God's design for childhood. Here's the approach God intended. It's simple, biblical, and we think your kids might like it a lot better. Here's John MacArthur to explain . . . http://www.gty.org/Blog/B101015
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Recovering the treasures of the past is a marvelous gift to the church. I love these presentations of the classics given by Max McLean. However, Martin Luther’s “Here I Stand” is my favorite.*
— R.C. Sproul
In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, “Here I Stand,” marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history, that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world.
In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms: Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther's stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.
2. The Road to Reformation
3. Luther’s Prayer
4. Here I Stand
5. Eck’s Response to Luther
6. Luther’s Final Response
8. Sources and Closing Comment
This free download is a limited time offer and will expire on November 1st.
Purchase Single CD
Max McLean's critically-acclaimed narrations include The Listener's Bible (NIV, KJV & ESV); John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress; St. Augustine’s The Conversion of St. Augustine; Martin Luther’s speech, Here I Stand; Jonathan Edwards’ classic sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God; and George Whitefield’s The Method of Grace.
His dramatic presentations from the Bible and from classic Christian literature, such as C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, are performed on stages nationwide and have attracted critical acclaim from secular theatre critics and Christian leaders. His performance of Mark’s Gospel received Chicago’s 2009 Jeff award for Best solo Performance. For more information visit www.screwtapeonstage.com.
The Listener’s Bible®
a ministry of Fellowship for the Performing Arts
1674 Broadway, Suite 404,
New York, New York 10019
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
When you hurt physically, you know something's wrong with your body. Is the same true when you hurt spiritually? Is something wrong with your soul? Bottom line, why does God allow you to go through trials?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
About the American Revolution, Thomas Paine said, "These are the times that try men's souls." Of course, those words could apply to your life today . . . or sometime soon. How can you know victory amid struggles?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
http://www.gty.org/Radio ... You may believe everything Scripture says about God's goodness . . . mercy . . . and protective power. Yet when the really hard times come, have you ever wondered, "Why me?" Find out how you really can benefit from any trial.
Monday, October 25, 2010
http://www.gty.org/Blog/B101012 ... If you're a Christian parent, no doubt—no doubt—you've come face to face with the limits of your knowledge and experience. At whatever stage of life—witnessing the birth of your firstborn; seeing your child's capacity for destruction in the terrible twos (or threes); preparing your kids for the first day of school; helping your teenager struggle through an awkward and confusing stage of life; or advising your son or daughter about marriage—it has a sobering effect on you, doesn't it?
Perhaps you've looked at Ephesians 6:4 and thought, "That's it? One verse?", and looked elsewhere for help—family, friends, the internet, the church. Ever thought of looking in the Old Testament? Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 11 that God has given us examples from the Old Testament for our instruction. Modern man may scorn the wisdom of a 3,000-year-old book, but what's recorded there illustrates parenting at its best, and worst. Today, John MacArthur takes us to the very heart of it all.
Friday, October 22, 2010
• Philippians 2:2-8
• James 5:7-8
2) The Basic Instruction (Romans 15:7)
• Ephesians 4:32-5:2
3) The Biblical Illustrations (Romans 15:8-12)
4) The Benedictory Intercession (Romans 15:13)
As parents, we strive to instill respect and obedience in our children—and rightly so. That's part of our responsibility. We take pride in training them to sit quietly, listen carefully, speak graciously and obey promptly. Sometimes, we're tempted to think that's the ultimate goal of parenting—controlling our children's behavior. But is it? Listen as John MacArthur answers that question . . .
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This clip entitled "Hear & Obey" is taken from the sermon "Jesus vs. Satan" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
The statement, All things are lawful may have been a common Corinthian saying in that liberated society. Paul borrows it and, playing off it, says, "It is so for me, too. Every sin I as a Christian commit is forgiven in Jesus Christ." But no sin is ever right or good, and no sin ever produces anything right or good. Sin can never be worthwhile or profitable. Profitable (sumphero) means "to be to advantage." In the sense that believers are free and no longer under the penalty of the law in any way, all things are lawful for them. But the price for doing some things is terribly high, terribly unprofitable. Sin never brings profit; it always brings loss.
All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Paul was free in the grace of Christ to do as he pleased, but he refused to allow himself to be mastered by anything or anyone but Christ. He would not become enslaved to any habit or custom and certainly not to any sin. "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14)...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This clip entitled "How Have You Aided The Enemy?" is taken from the sermon "Jesus vs. Satan" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church as part of the ongoing series, "Luke: Investigating The Man Who Is God" For more information about this current series, visit http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/luke
and for more audio and video content visit marshillchurch.org
Monday, October 18, 2010
http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com ... And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. (1 Corinthians 3:1--3)
The cause of division in the Corinthian church was more than an external, worldly influence. It was also internal, fleshly. The Corinthians had succumbed to the pressures of the world, but they were also succumbing to the pressures and enticements of their own flesh.
Before Paul chastises them for their immature sinfulness, he reminds them again that he is speaking to them as brethren, as fellow believers. That is a term of recognition and of love. It reminded his brothers in Christ that they were still saved, that their sinning, terrible and inexcusable as it was, did not forfeit their salvation. He did not try to diminish the seriousness of their sins, but he did try to diminish or prevent any discouragement that his rebuke might otherwise have caused. He stood with them as a brother, not over them as a judge.
But Paul could not speak to the Corinthian believers as spiritual men. They had come through the door of faith but had gone no farther. Most of them had received Jesus Christ years earlier but were acting as if they had just been born again. They were still babes in Christ.
The New Testament uses the word spiritual in a number of ways. In a neutral sense it simply means the realm of spiritual things, in contrast to the realm of the physical. When applied to men, however, it is used of their relationship to God in one of two ways: positionally or practically. Unbelievers are totally unspiritual in both senses. They possess neither a new spirit nor the Holy Spirit. Their position is natural and their practice is natural. Believers, on the other hand, are totally spiritual in the positional sense, because they have been given a new inner being that loves God and is indwelt by His Holy Spirit. But practically, believers can also be unspiritual...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
• 1 Peter 5:2
• 1 John 4:1-6
2) Following the Voice through the Only Door to the Fold (John 10:7–10)
• Revelation 7:17
• John 6:51-57
Friday, October 15, 2010
http://www.gty.org/Radio ... Give a man a fish, he eats for a day . . . but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. See how you can feed yourself on the Word of God, your most important source of nutrition.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
http://www.gty.org/Radio ... If there's one thing you want to use effectively, it's the Bible. Question is, how do you get all you can from God's Word? Find out what it takes to be a student of Scripture from a fellow student — John MacArthur...
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
If you were a student enrolled in a class called "Studying the Bible 101," what kind of grade would you be getting? What do you need to know to unlock the riches of God's Word?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The good news that God's Word proclaims is a recipe to use in times of disaster. That is to say, it comes as a relevant announcement only to those who are in trouble for one reason or another. A Place for Weakness, formerly titled Too Good to Be True, by award-winning Michael Horton, calls for more realism in facing life's challenges and a richer view of God and his purposes to match them.
Learn more and purchase at: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/a-place-...
Monday, October 11, 2010
And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
Heaven will be so dramatically different from the present world that to describe it requires the use of negatives, as well as the previous positives. To describe what is totally beyond human understanding also requires pointing out how it differs from present human experience.
The first change from their earthly life believers in heaven will experience is that God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (cf. 7:17; Isa. 25:8). That does not mean that people who arrive in heaven will be crying and God will comfort them. They will not, as some imagine, be weeping as they face the record of their sins. There is no such record, because "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1), since Christ "bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Pet. 2:24). What it declares is the absence of anything to be sorry about—no sadness, no disappointment, no pain. There will be no tears of misfortune, tears over lost love, tears of remorse, tears of regret, tears over the death of loved ones, or tears for any other reason.
Another dramatic difference from the present world will be that in heaven there will no longer be any death (cf. Isa. 25:8). The greatest curse of human existence will be no more. "Death," as Paul promised, "is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54)...
Saturday, October 09, 2010
• Ephesians 4:1-3
• Philippians 4:6
2) Thankfulness to Others: (Colossians 3:16a)
• Ephesians 5:15-21
3) Thankfulness to God: (Colossians 3:16b-17)
• Psalm 66:18
• 1 Corinthians 10:31
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Specifically, unbelievers will be deceived by Antichrist and perish because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. The phrase the love of the truth appears only here in the New Testament, and adds a compelling thought to Paul's argument. The unregenerate are eternally lost, not because they did not hear or understand the truth, but because they did not love it. The truth includes both "the word of truth, the gospel" (Col. 1:5), and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truth incarnate (John 14:6; cf. 1:17; Eph. 4:21). Unbelievers do not welcome either Jesus or the gospel He proclaimed. Their antipathy to the truth is not intellectual, but moral, and their self-imposed blindness leaves the unredeemed under a damning level of satanic deception. It is not surprising, then, that Antichrist will deceive the entire lost world.
The Bible clearly teaches that those who go to hell do so because they reject the truth. Speaking of Jerusalem's rejection of the truth, Jesus lamented, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling" (Matt. 23:37). John 3:19--20 says, "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." To the unbelieving Jews Jesus declared, "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life" (John 5:38--40). He reiterated that truth later in John's gospel...