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Ecclesiastes_1_14

1.0 Life Under the Sun Filled with Vanity

King Solomon as the Wisest Person who ever lived, reflected upon life “under the sun” from an Earthly perspective.

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.2-3.esv

2.0 Vanity (Hebrew Word Hevel ) Defined

The definition of vanity available on several word meaning websites shows English word vanity (Original Hebrew Word Hevel הבל) includes descriptions like breath, emptiness / empty, fruitless, futility, hollowness, valueless, vapor, and worthless / worthlessness.

3.0 Activities Inherently Vain

From the Earthly perspective of things, peoples activities inherently as vain as chasing the wind. Picturing a person chasing the wind, it appears an non-ending lifelong effort in futility & busy-ness.

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.14.esv

4.0 Pursuing Wisdom & Foolishness Like Chasing the Wind

The situation is so dire that even pursuing wisdom & even foolishness also is like chasing after the wind too.

“And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/ecc.1.17.esv

5.0 Jesus Greater than King Solomon

Jesus the Savior lived on the Earth and is greater than Solomon. Jesus shares both Earthly and Heavenly perspectives.

The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:31 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+11:31&version=ESV

Jesus shared a way to create lasting value in our lives & the lives of others. Jesus is co-creator of our Universe with God the Father & the Holy Spirit. Jesus left Heaven to come to Earth as a human and returned to Heaven after his death & his resurrection.

6.0 Earthly Treasures Not Ultimate Aim

People’s lifelong pursuits often encompass striving to obtain money & possessions. When looking to find treasure, Jesus revealed worldly wealth & possessions are not the ultimate aim in life.

“”Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.19.esv

7.0 Aim Life Towards Heavenly Treasures

Ultimately, Jesus instructed people to aim their lives pursuit of treasure away from Earthly treasure and instead towards lasting treasure in heaven as more important & more permanent than Earthly treasures.

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.20.esv

8.0 Treasures Valued Reflect Heart Values

Earthly treasures ultimately may get stolen or lose value or get damaged. Earthly treasures left behind when life over.

Heavenly treasures are a lasting gift for this life and the next life in the New Heaven & New Earth.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.21.esv

The things individuals treasure (value) provides insights into their character as reflected in references to “The Heart,” which reflects what ultimately is important to a person.

  • To the degree our possessions & wealth & power & position get valued above people, it reflects our sinful nature & our need to reach out to Jesus to redirect Our Hearts.
  • To the extent our faithful obedience to Jesus & love for God dominates us inwardly & gets evidenced in our lives externally through our love for others exhibited in our actions, then reasonably expect our heavenly treasure to accumulate.

9.0 Heavenly Treasures & Righteousness

What hints does the Bible’s Holy Scriptures provide about what constitutes these heavenly treasures?

One hint provided to find out what constitutes heavenly treasures is in what God says is our first priority in life.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.6.33.esv

Seeking God’s Kingdom and his righteousness is the first priority.

  • To clarify, people don’t automatically understand what’s important to God, so people need to learn from Jesus the Son of God which behaviors & characteristics God desires us to live out.
  • Even with a partial understanding of what’s important to God, people don’t always pursue what’s important to God.
  • People don’t always engrain what’s valued by God into their personal character at “The Heart” of their innermost self.

10.0 Heavenly Treasure Types

What other types of treasures get stored up in Heaven?

God provides another hint through the lives of apostles & disciples who followed Jesus’s teaching in their lives after Jesus resurrection & later ascention into Heaven.

“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1th.2.19-20.esv

Early Apostles & Disciples like Paul, Silas & Timothy cared deeply that others came to know & believe in Jesus “The Christ” & attain eternal life. The treasure in Heaven in this context corresponds to people getting admitted into Heaven. These believers build up their own heavenly treasure troves, being transformed inwardly into the image & character of Jesus. These believers live out that reality while still in their mortal human bodies.

Even misguided people with misguided theology get converts to their religious beliefs, and this does not provide them nor their converts heavenly treasure.

11.0 Heavenly Treasures & Seeking God’s Heart

What additional hints does God provide on what leads to treasure in Heaven?

God’s looking for people who will follow his will by pursing a heart like God’s. The Apostles point back to King David whose inner character God highlighted as striving to align with God’s heart, even though King David also needed to seek forgiveness for his sins too.

“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/act.13.22.esv

King David’s Son Solomon, as the next appointed King of Israel, affirmed the character attributes God valued in King David. God wishes to see these values in all people walking a life in faith towards God with a proper heart reflecting these values. This involves exhibiting a righteousness aligning with God’s views, consistent with seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.

“And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.”

‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭3:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/1ki.3.6.esv

12.0 Righteous Live By Faith & Evidential Works Follow

God provided many examples recorded in scripture of people in history who followed him & set their heart towards God through faith. The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus “The Rock” & living that faith results in evidential works.

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.

Romans 9:30-33 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+9%3A30-33&version=NIV

13.0 Jesus’ Nature The Divine Nature

Ultimately, all these examples point to God’s Son Jesus “Emmanuel / God with Us”, who reveals God’s heart & what God expects from us & points us to store up treasures in heaven.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hebrews 1:3-4 (English Standard Version):

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+1%3A3-4&version=ESV

14.0 Does Heavenly Treasures include Material Rewards & Companionship Rewards ?

Reason infers heavenly treasures is not money and not material possessions, though possibly heavenly treasures include material possessions also. Of course, for those who make it to Heaven, expect God to provide needs wonderfully. Scriptures mention receiving hundredfold (or manifold / many) more fields/lands/houses for those faithful followers who left lands/fields/houses for Jesus’ name sake. The same likewise true if needed to leave for Jesus’ name sake sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and children.

  • Do you think these material rewards mentioned awarded on Earth or in Heaven or both?
  • Likewise, do you think companionship of sisters / brothers / fathers / mothers / children awarded on Earth or Heaven or both?

Positions of authority & power & judgement getting awarded to the Apostle Peter in the New World, along with other faithful Apostles in Jesus’ time.

Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Matthew 19:27-29 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19&version=ESV

15.0 Divine Nature Path &  Life of Godliness Path to Accumulate Heavenly Treasures 

Reason suggests treasures in heaven encompass wealth that is spiritual in nature & pertains to how well our inner nature approaches God’s Divine nature & our resulting outward accomplishments mirror God’s will for our lives. The path to accomplish accumulating treasures in heaven through individual faith in Jesus Christ God’s Son.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

Starting in our mortal bodies, a life of godliness rooted in Jesus is the key to our sharing in God’s divine nature & to accumulate heavenly treasures for eternity.

16.0 Pursuing God’s Image Path to Heavenly Treasures

As God created humankind’s original mental brain capabilities in his image, God’s original intention for his people to aspire to grow further into maturity in godliness into God’s image, as knowledge of God increased & people learned from lives experiences under God’s mentorship & tutelage & friendship.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=NIV

17.0 Richly Accumulate Heavenly Treasures

Knowing that Jesus points the way to treasures in Heaven, does God in the scriptures share if there exists a way on Earth to now accumulate greater wealth in Heaven? Yes.

2 Peter 1:11 (English Standard Version):

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

18.0 Character Attributes to Accumulate Great Treasures in Heaven

What specific additional guidance does the scriptures contain to accumulate great treasures in Heaven in our Faith Walk with Jesus?

  1. Faith supplement with Virtue
  2. Virtue supplement with Knowledge
  3. Knowledge supplement with Self-Control
  4. Self-Control supplement with Steadfastness
  5. Steadfastness supplement with Godliness
  6. Godliness supplement with Brotherly Affection
  7. Brotherly Affection supplement with Love
  8. Love

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter+1&version=ESV

What benefits result from adding the above traits to our character as follow Jesus Christ in Faith? The beneficial results enable each person to become productive in their personal faith walk as their own character improves.

19.0 Lacking Character Attributes to Accumulate Great Treasures in Heaven

What if an assessment accurately shows these qualities not improving? If not improving, then lose effectiveness, so need to refocus on faith in Jesus & again work on those character traits in the spirit of first seeking God’s Kingdom & righteousness.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

2 Peter 1:8-9 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+1%3A8-9&version=ESV

20.0 Your Chances to Succeed at Accumulating Heavenly Treasures

In the business arena’s pursuit of worldly wealth, it’s known that seeking monetary & material wealth is not guaranteed to result in success due to both foreseen & unforeseen risks & events.

In our religious pursuit of heavenly treasures, what’s the chance to succeed in accumulating Heavenly wealth of eternally superior value? Success comes when diligently done properly as these traits become embedded into our character in living out our faith walk in Jesus.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

2 Peter 1:10 English Standard Version

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+1&version=ESV

21.0 Accumulating Heavenly Treasures a Lifetime Lifestyle

Is this a lifetime pursuit, or something you do once & then move onto something else? This a lifetime pursuit & process & a lifestyle that encompasses each person’s entire life.

In Heaven, Jesus’ true faithful followers in a privileged situation to become like Jesus in nature after more fully then comprehending God’s character & heart that Jesus reveals.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 John 3:1-3 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John+3&version=ESV

22.0 Accumulating Even More Abundantly Heavenly Treasures

In business, it’s known that acting wisely with good advice increases chances of business success, and also improves likelihood that succeed even more abundantly.

Likewise, to increase your chance in eternal matters, in faith ask God for Wisdom, so you can better understand & discern & navigate & live out a life that abundantly stores up treasures in Heaven.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:5-8 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1&version=ESV

23.0 Challenger Bonus Rounds to Accumulate More Heavenly Rewards 

When people play challenging games & doing well in game, then sometimes presented with challenging bonus rounds where can accumulate more points / rewards.

Likewise, in some cases real life provides “bonus rounds” where believers face intense opposition & persecution.

  • It’s important this persecution not due to a believers poor mistreatment and/or disrespect of opposition
  • It’s important this persecution related to opponents rewarding good behavior with persecution

Preparation for bonus round includes previously mentioned heart-work & character attributes overlaid upon individual faith & love. Basically need own heart in proper position where you love God & secondly love all people. The involves care & consideration towards others.

As it’s important your own faith exhibits a great depth to best prepare to endure & succeed past bonus round, please later review below materials too:

What scriptures highlight these challenging bonus round to achieve Great Bonus Rewards in Heaven?

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=NIV

  1. Does above scripts imply all persecution bonus rounds result in great heavenly rewards?  No, not all, since scriptures listed terms / conditions.
  2. Why Not? On several occasions people claiming to follow Jesus & Christianity actually very inconsiderate & disrespectful & uncaring towards others. When persecution a responsive byproduct of improper treatment of others, then above great heavenly rewards mentioned by Jesus not necessarily guaranteed.
  3. Why? The great heavenly rewards Jesus mention apply when the persecution because of Jesus. If persecution not due to Jesus, then not necessarily get these great heavenly bonus rewards. As per above Bible verse, the persecution to fit into conditions where “people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of” Jesus.

To handle this challenging bonus round to earn great heavenly rewards difficult, as it involves a character that responds in love & prayer towards persecution & persecutors especially when mistreatment undeserved & unwarranted based upon believers conduct & care towards others.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48 New International Version (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A43-48&version=NIV

24.0 Recap Path to Successfully & Abundantly Accumulate Heavenly Treasures

To summarize, our lives already filled with vanity & chasing after the wind. To add lasting value, people need to leverage faith in Jesus Christ to store their own eternal treasures in heaven & guide others to store their own eternal treasures. In Faith, ask God for Wisdom to abundantly increase your treasures in Heaven & become a blessing in the world.

Accomplish this by first seeking God’s righteousness & Kingdom & and then internally working on a living faith exhibiting the identified character traits in increasing quality to become successful. Ultimately our Faith in Jesus leads us to properly share & exhibit the Love God intended & even commanded people to exhibit.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:36-39 (English Standard Version)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A35-38&version=ESV

Wishing you a fruitful journey as your explore the scriptures to understand God’s Character to solidify your faith in Jesus to live out your life as a blessing to others.

As it’s important your own faith exhibits a great depth to best prepare to endure & succeed past bonus round, recommend review below materials too:

25.0 Key Points Fill in the Blank:

  1. Life “under the sun” from an Earthly perspective filled with ___________ and a striving after the ________.
  2. Jesus instructed people to aim their lives pursuit of treasure away from Earthly treasure and rather towards lasting treasure in ___________.
  3. “For where your treasure is, there your __________ will be also.” (Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬)
  4. To accumulate great treasures in Heaven due to our Faith Walk with Jesus, enhance your Faith by adding _________, enhance _________ by adding knowledge, enhance knowledge by adding ____-________, enhance ____-________ by adding steadfastness, enhance steadfastness by adding _________, enhance __________ by adding Brotherly Affection, enhance Brotherly Affection by adding _____.
  5. God’s looking for people who will follow his will by pursing a heart like ________.
  6. To increase your chance to succeed in eternal matters, in faith ask God for _________ to better understand & discern & navigate & live out a life which abundantly stores up treasures in Heaven.
  7. Accumulating Heavenly Treasures a _________ pursuit & process & lifestyle.
  8. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more ___________ to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never ______.” (2 Peter 1:10 English Standard Version (ESV))
  9. If _______________ traits not improving then lose effectiveness, so need to refocus on faith in Jesus & again work on those _____________ traits in the spirit of first seeking God’s Kingdom & righteousness.
  10. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your __________ in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12 New International Version (NIV) )

Matthew_6_19-20

26.0 Credits:

  • Special Thanks for Earth Globe Courtesy Microsoft Office used in Visual Graphics, Microsoft Corporation, https://www.microsoft.com/

27.0 Related References:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life's Eternal Way

The Christian Reformation Insights to Faith & Works:

The date 31 October 1517 celebrated as when Martin Luther posted “The 95 Thesis“, which marks a critical juncture in The Reformation Movement 500 years ago. The Catholic’s Church hypocrisy & power players felt “scared” by this document.

The challenges to prevailing assumptions at that time lead to deeper understandings of God’s Word. Faith’s primary role emerged from careful study of God’s Words in the Biblical Scriptures.

Acknowledging nuanced interplay between Faith (being) & Works (doing) as subtle yet important, created a visual with accompanying explanations to showcase the process from God’s intervention to each person’s eternal life.

While this visual & explanation focuses upon the “sunny day” path for true believers who reach heaven & eternal life with God, Biblical scriptures also contain much about the destination of unbelievers & people who presume they’re true believers incorrectly.

Life’s Eternal Way Summarized:

God intervenes to instruct people who hear God’s word to initiate a living faith resulting in a new Godly Creation (i.e. new internal character) leading to willful obedience showcased by evidential works used in divine judgement to determine an individual’s destination in an eternal home where true believers fellowship continues forever with God & The Church as Christ’s Bride.

God Instructs People:

God intervenes to instruct people who hear & read & experience God’s word, which serves to to initiate a living faith in Jesus our Savior.

Romans 10:17 (ESV): “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

While some people believed in God’s Word and Jesus God’s Son, others did not believe & did not obey God’s Word.

Romans 10:16 (ESV):But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

For those uncertain, recommend follow examples of those of Berea, who searched God’s Word to ascertain eternal truths.

Acts 17:11 (ESV): “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. “

God recognizes the value of those who search for God’s righteousness to understand what God expects & to know God’s character & what God expects in our personal character.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV): “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Seek God’s Righteousness a lifelong process to better understand Jesus’ character which the exact nature & image of God.

Hebrews 1:3 (ESV):He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, …”

The goal our of searching for God’s Righteousness & God’s Kingdom to enter into a living faith.

Living Faith:

A living faith more than simply an intellectual acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is Son of God & came to restore people to God.

Romans 1:17 (ESV):For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Even Satan’s Demons & Satan knows God & knows Jesus is The Christ. This evidences that intellectual knowledge itself insufficient. Many people unable to even realize that knowledge in their lifetime.

Luke 4:41 (ESV): “And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.”

A living faith impacts how one makes decisions & what risks take as learning what God expects & seeking to follow Jesus’ example. See Hebrews 11 for examples of those who lived by Faith & even risked their lives.

A living faith is not a counterfeit faith. A counterfeit faith where people try to follow rules without pursuing fixes to their underlying character. In Jesus’ day, the highly regarded religious Pharisees obeyed all types of man-made rules & even God’s rules like the tithe, yet their inner hearts far from what God expected, even rejecting & seeking to kill Jesus & lying about it too.

Galatians 2:16 (ESV): “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

A living faith results in a new Godly creation, where a person “born again” spiritually.

John 3:3 (ESV):Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The living faith that comes leads to receiving of God’s Holy Spirit, rather than following any specific law whether human-made or divine law.

Galatians 3:2 (ESV): “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?”

A New Godly Creation:

A living faith a way of life rather than mere intellectual accent, which results in a new transformed Godly character.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

This new Godly character a spiritual reality rather than merely something which comes about via any external religious traditional, even traditions instituted by God.

Galatians 6:15 (ESV): “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

Because of a changed internal character, then a person looks for opportunities to do good to others.

Galatians 6:10 (ESV):So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

As a new Godly creation, then a desire to follow God’s Word and do what is right via willful obedience to God.

Wilful Obedience to Christ:

While it’s important to obey God, it’s even better when do it cheerfully & willingly because you get to participate & help out, as God desires willful obedience.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV): “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

When people desire to obey God and do what’s right, then know they will often do even more than asked.

Philemon 1:21 (ESV): “Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.”

Our role to focus on the spiritual & the good character God wishes to see inside each of us, so as to get victory over our sinful nature.

Galatians 5:16 (ESV): “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

The Apostle Paul exhibited such a willingness in the inner being to follow God, so as to even exhibited heightened awareness to his failings in doing all God desired.

Romans 7:19-20 (ESV):19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

God wishes us to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our walk with God in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV):22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Evidential Works:

A living faith resulting in a new Godly character ready to willfully obey God will naturally live life doing good works as a by-product of the new inner self.

James 2:18 (ESV): “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

What each person does evidences their faith or lack or faith. Because of this, God able to judge & justify people by looking at their works.

James 2:24 (ESV): “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

If good works that proceed naturally don’t exist, then person must evaluate whether possess a living faith rather than a dead faith.

James 2:26 (ESV): “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”

Divine Judgement:

The evidential works of each person who followed Jesus used on Judgement Day, based upon record keeping God put in place.

Revelation 20:12 (ESV): “12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”

Even those who did not follow Jesus judged also by their works.

Revelation 20:13 (ESV):And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

Eternal Home

God sent his son Jesus for all people to get opportunity to spend eternity with God.

John 3:16 (ESV): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

God plans to create a new Heaven and a new Earth for those who followed him with a living faith with their names written in The Book of Life:

Revelation 21-1-2 (ESV): Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Even before the new Heavens & new Earth created, know God prepared a paradise for believers. How much more a paradise the new creation!

Luke 23:43 (ESV): “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” “

Fellowship Continues with God:

Those who exhibit a living faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior of the World desire to fellowship with God & become more & more like God. God plans to fulfill this desire in true believers for eternity by dwelling with people.

Revelation 21:3 (ESV):And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

Once in Heaven with God, then true believers will become like Jesus in matters of character in fulfillment of their aspirations.

1 John 3:2-3 (ESV): “2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

A deeper mystery concerns God’s Church as the Spiritual Bride to Jesus the Christ as the Bridegroom (i.e. groom or groom to be), which expect spiritually consummated in Heaven. This also consistent with God’s condemnation of God’s people the Israelites as unfaithful in the Old Testament.

Ephesians 5:31-32 (ESV): ” 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” “

Life’s Eternal Way Wrap-up:

Shared scriptures showing God instructs people who hear God’s word to initiate a living faith resulting in a new Godly character leading to willful obedience showcased by evidential works used in divine judgement to determine an individual’s destination in an eternal home where true believers fellowship continues forever with God & The Church as Christ’s Bride.

For those interested, Biblical scriptures also contain much about the destination of unbelievers & people who presume they’re true believers incorrectly, which you welcome to research further.

Additional References:

 

The Golden Rule

the-golden-rule

The Golden Rule sets a high standard of conduct in our treatment of others in raising the bar as high as we raise our expectations of others treatment of us.

The Golden Rule (ESV): Matthew 7:12 (ESV): 12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Golden Rule (NIV): Matthew 7:12 (NIV): 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

A shallow surface understanding misinterprets treating others how’d we’d like despite others preference on treatment.

  • A better understanding embraces others’ treatment preferences, just as we ourselves prefer others to take into account our own preferences.
  • At a high level, people move in maturity from only operating from their own understanding & preferences to embracing how others prefer to get treated.

The Golden Rule best understood in  context of Jesus’ Command to “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”.

Mark 12:31 (ESV): 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

When you love your neighbor as yourself, there exists a greater desire to respond in an appropriate way taking into account social & situational factors in context of individual considerations.

In practicality, often people’s responses represent a best effort governed by group norms & limited by our own understandings & misunderstandings, in efforts to live peaceably & in harmony with others.

Romans 12:18 (ESV): 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Each of us may come into contact with others quick to misunderstand & take offense, especially under strained situations & poor timing, where hope able to identify misstep to avoid situation in future & perhaps to find a good way forward.

When find ourselves more likely to take offense, recommend to consider the wisdom to pause & overlook offenses so much as depends on us.

Proverbs 19:11 (ESV): Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Parents with children also know that to properly raise their children, sometimes need to say no to their children’s preferences so their children to understand deeper truths & handle life better.

God’s treatment of others even beyond our limited abilities as God knows truly what people need to improve, even if that not their own treatment preference. God likewise also takes into account broader implications to entire community.

Hebrews 12:7-9 (ESV): 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

When God allows tricky circumstances into our lives, recommend to take a step backward & ask God to help identify what expect us to learn & how expect to move forward.

James 1:2-10 (ESV): 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Recognize wisdom & comfort gained from above in our handling tough circumstances also meant to help others as they face trials in life.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV): 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The few points presented today represents just a handful of numerous references of how expected to treat others when consider what The Golden Rule means in practice.

In summary, Jesus’ example & Bible scriptures contains so much more about love & friendship & helping others that must take into account when understanding & applying The Golden Rule.

Recommend search the Bible to identify so many more ways to show kindness to others, seeking continual improvement in our interactions with others as mature in life.

The Greatest Commandments

Mark 12:28-34 (ESV): 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Contribution Credits:

  1. Microsoft PowerPoint for Trophy Image
  2. Wall Paper Cave Gold Backgrounds  at http://wallpapercave.com/gold-backgrounds

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Additional Links on The Golden Rule by Other Authors:

 

 

 

 

Divine Logos God Father Son Holy Spirit Image

The Word Logos Greek Origins

The Bible’s Gospel of John Chapter 1 reveals fundamental truths about God’s Nature describing God as “The Word” and explains “The Word Became Flesh and dwelt among us”, referring to Jesus Christ the Son of God entering Our World as a human.

John 1:1-5 (ESV):  1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:14-18 (ESV): 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known

The Greek Language original word “Logos” typically translates to “The Word”, yet scholars reveal a more accurate historical understanding of “The Word” refers both to “Word” and “Reason”. (Reference: Bible Study Tools Encyclopedia, Logos, http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/logos.html )

Logos Word & Reason in Technological Content

Let’s view the “Logos” concept embodied in the combination of “Word” & “Reason” through our modern programming technology lens (a lens focuses our ways of seeing & perceiving). Let’s view our own mind’s capabilities as integrated programs combining words & reasoning, and likewise God’s mind similarly. Today’s programming tools only augment our mental capabilities, as much of our minds capabilities still mysterious. Our human reasoning severely limited compared to God’s in Heaven.

Isaiah 55:6-11 (ESV): 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

In the digital electronics context, programs conceptually use words eventually implemented via underlying logical machine code detailing what to do in certain order & circumstances. Likewise, our ability to reason & understand limited by the mental cognitive abilities inherent in our brain’s physical platform implementation, which also designed with reliance upon God for proper living.

Proverbs 3:1-6 (ESV): 3 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

Trinity Integrated & Distinct Three in One

Programmers who design & codify programs often create new programs by integrating distinct programs together. As a technical analogy, think about The Trinity encompassing God the Father, God the Son (Jesus The Christ), and God the Holy Spirit as distinct minds / persons each programmatically manifesting the divine character nature & operating together as a unified integrated whole.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV): 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Mark 12:28-32 (ESV): 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

The Logos Word & Reason Dwelt Among Us

Christian Gospel writers eye-witnessed Jesus Christ personally in our world and recorded witnesses of others too, in their report of Jesus’ words, actions, obedience, love, grace, truth, and sacrifice to die on the cross for our sins.

John 1:6-7 (ESV): 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV): 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

When God created humankind (male & female) in the image of God, God effectively created a mental physical platform capable of housing the essence of God’s character, even though that character became corrupted by sin. Because of God created people in his image, Jesus Christ the Son of God, able to come into the world with a human mind platform as an infant & grow into an adult.

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV): 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

1 Corinthians 15:22 (ESV): 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus’ mental programming, the Logos of Jesus, implemented the essential reason & character of God, though limited physically by processing capabilities of just a few mere pounds of brain material. Jesus embraced human restricted capabilities yet with the divine nature, so Jesus increased in wisdom & knowledge as aged in years. Jesus likewise subjected to human weaknesses & even temptations & handled without sinning.

Luke 2:52 (ESV): 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV): 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 2:17-18 (ESV): 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus’ divine character never corrupted by sin, and Jesus came to lead us back to God, as the living example showcasing God’s love, holiness, and character.

Colossians 1:13-20 (ESV): 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

God ensured the physical incarnation of the Son of God received the divine mind character programmed into the brain of Jesus known as “God with us” (“Immanuel”) & “Son of the Most High” starting before birth though the Holy Spirit’s Divine Power. With Mary’s consent, the child in the virgin Mary not conceived by physical relations with God, since  Mary remained a virgin until after the child’s birth (References https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/pointed-ponder-virgin-pregnancy/  and https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/pointed-ponder-virgin-birth-and-in-vitro-fertilization-ivf/)

Luke 1:30-33 (ESV): 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Matthew 1:20-23 (ESV): 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Children of God

The Bible reveals the way people become Children of God through Jesus the Christ who is the Way, The Truth, and the Life.

John 14:6 (ESV): 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 8:14-17 (ESV): 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Jesus followers embrace reprogramming our minds willingly by God the Father, God the Son (Jesus The Christ), and God the Holy Spirit, according to God’s Word in the Scriptures, and ongoing guidance by the Holy Spirit, as a new creation.

Psalm 51:10 (ESV): 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Galatians 6:14-16 (ESV): 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

A signature mark of true Christian followers of Jesus that even non-followers can recognize is exhibited by followers demonstrated love for one another, which witnesses becoming born as a new creation by God’s will.

John 13:34-36 (ESV): 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 1:9-13 (ESV): 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

1 John 2:10-12 (ESV): 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him[a] there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Temple of God:

As new creations, the followers of Jesus the Christ through faith individually & collectively are God’s temple inhabited by the Holy Spirit with responsibilities as service workers for God temple with divine help from God.

1 Corinthians 3:9-17 (ESV):  9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV): 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

The Word of God:

Delve into The Word of God starting in The Bible’s Book of John Chapter 1 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+1&version=ESV):

 

John 1:1-18 (ESV):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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known

 

 

 

Creation Common Sense

Creation Common Sense:

Modern technology replying upon physics accomplished a lot via explanatory & inferential tools. Though great, physics is limited to what it can explain by itself. Physics itself feeds into many present day people’s common sense understandings & misunderstandings of Our Universe. What physics accomplished in combination with engineering led us to compute platforms, typically exhibited by Android, Apple, Microsoft, and Linux-Unix Devices. Understanding these compute platforms allows us to explain & model much more about how Our Universe works fundamentally. These compute platforms enable a more scientifically sophisticated common sense understanding of creation.

Compute Platforms:

Compute platforms power “virtual worlds” with many types of programmed physical “rules”. Think of Our World as powered by a grander compute platform, where God designed, engineered, and programmed Our Universe, which God oversees via interventions. The compute platform model explains how God intervenes in numerous ways recorded in the Bible, in ways highly interwoven into the history of people & nations. To better understand Our Universe requires going beyond the two extremes where people either (i) just disregard evidence too quickly as unbelievers or (ii) just accept supernatural interventions as believers. As Christianity is reasonable, achieving greater maturity pushes people to ponder God’s interventions in context of the compute platform paradigm (also known as Universe Tools Paradigm).

Evidences to Consider — Yes, Really!

  • Genesis Account: When you examine the Genesis Account, event sequences fit more closely from a compute platform perspective than from a purely physics model, though physics clearly involved. (Genesis 1 & Genesis 2)
    • Agile / Iterative Design & Development: Programmers use Iterative Software Life Cycle (SLC) methodologies to build software capabilities in stages. Think about God’s Genesis Account showcasing the iterative cycles God used over seven “Creator Days” to form Our Universe, the Planet Earth, and its’ inhabitants.
  • Exodus Interventions & Miracles: God controlling nature from compute platform perspective makes it easy for God to defeat the great Egyptians.
    • Parting the Red Sea: God used winds overnight to create dry ground over which Israelites crossed in their escape from the Egyptians (Exodus 14)
    • Water from Rock: God controlling the data in compute platform, made it easy for water to come out of rock (Exodus 17).
    • Pillar of Cloud & Pillar of Fire: God speaking to Moses in a Pillar of Cloud next to Moses on Earth where Israelites observed Moses talking with God makes sense from a platform perspective rather than a physics perspective (Exodus 33:7-11). God guiding the Israelites with a Pillar of Cloud by Day & Fire by Night makes sense from platform perspective. (Exodus 13:21-22Nehemiah 9:12-21)
  • Oversight & Interventions:
    • Heard Prayers: When looking at prayers being heard, a platform perspective shows this corresponds to looking at underlying data to understand thoughts in our minds.
    • Prayers Answered: God the Creator intervening periodically in Our World in response to our prayers, either by guiding thoughts of others or intervening in nature itself
    • Prison Deliverance: Angel releases Peter from Prison in response to Church Prayers (Acts 12)
    • Counting Hairs: God counting our hairs & not allowing even one to fall out outside of God’s consent, makes sense under a platform model. (Matthew 10:26-33)
    • Daniel in the Lions Den: God shut the Lions mouths when Daniel thrown into the Lions Den, only to allow the Lions to feast once Daniel’s underhanded adversaries thrown into the Lion’s Den. (Daniel 6)
    • Walking in the Furnace: Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego thrown into Furnace by orders from the King without any harm to themselves, even though the guards throwing them in their burned up by the Furnace heat. God’s Angel walked in the Furnace with them until they came out of the Furnace by the command of the King. (Daniel 3)
  • Various Miracles: When examining miracles, often they appear to contradict physics, yet from a platform model, miracles make perfect sense, as creator controls underlying programming (“rules”) & data.
    • Healing People & Curing Diseases: God applies intervention based upon how biology operates at cellular & molecular levels.
    • Raising the Dead: God raised people from dead on multiple occasions (Elijah Raises Child – 1 Kings 17:17-24, Bodies Falling on Elisha’s the Prophet’s dead body come back to life – 2 Kings 13:20-25, Jesus raises Lazarus – John 11, Jesus from Heaven Raises Earthly Body Back to Life – Matthew 28John 10:17-28Luke 23:39-43)
    • Controlling Water / Nature:
      • Walking on Water (Jesus & Disciple – Matthew 14:22-33)
      • Speaking to Waves to Calm Storm (Jesus with Disciples – Mark 4:35-41)
      • Controlling Waves (Storm at Sea Calms once Disobedient Jonah thrown Overboard – Jonah 1)
    • Coin in Fish: Jesus instructed disciple to go fishing, and that fish caught contain a coin, so able to pay taxes / tribute, so as to cause no offense. (Matthew 17:24-27)
    • Curing Blindness: Jesus heals man born blind since birth (John 9)
    • Moses & Abraham on Mountain with Jesus & Disciples: God is God of the Living. (Matthew 17:1-132 Peter 1:16-21Malachi 4:5-6)
    • Ascend into Clouds: Jesus taken up into Clouds (Acts 1:1-11)
  • Special Effects:
    • Chariots of Fire: Elijah taken up to heaven in horses & chariots of fire predates “Hollywood” style special effects, in God’s “Holy-World” interventions. (2 Kings 2)
    • God’ Angel After Prophesy: The Angel of the Lord went up in flame of the alter, in way representative of Hollywood-style special effects. (Judges 13)

Clues Evidence Fits Proper Model:

God shares clues into the nature of Our Universe throughout the Bible. God does not tell us how’s it’s done to an infinitessimal degree. Rather, when our understanding of Our Universe is more accurate, then God’s miraculous interventions increasingly make more sense. God provides historical accounts, poetry, prophesy, and revelation. The proper model shines much explanatory power both into what God does and into what God reveals.

Who, How, What:

Some people assert that God’s Genesis Account really just about the “Who”, yet this provides an incomplete picture. Clearly Genesis Account not just about “Who”. It’s also about “What” & “How”. The brief Genesis Creation Account does not cover every detail and does not describe all creation (Genesis 1 & Genesis 2). The clues God provides throughout the Bible enable us to delve deeper into “How”.

Time Scale:

Which Time Scale really referenced in Genesis Creation Account? The compute platform model views time scale in God the Creator’s Realm outside Our Universe. From the Compute Platform view, Our Universe really just represents computation applied to data via rules, which can be implemented at different speeds, just like compute platform speeds different. This provides a decoupling of time scales “inside Creation” from “outside Creation in Creators Realm”, even though relationship exists between both. The time the Creator spent in the Creator’s World called “Creator Days’ in this compute platform paradigm. Important not to jump immediately to conclusion that (i) seven days of creation necessarily 24-hour Earth days or (ii) seven days inconsistent with science’s millions to billions of years. Why? Clearly something special happening in creation itself when Our Universe created.

Physics Alone an Obstacle:

The World of Science leverages the tool of physics frequently, due to its’ explanatory power, and tried to use that as pinnacle of knowledge to explain the Creation of Universe. Physics itself a brick way. Powerful, yes — but incomplete. Physics itself led to compute platforms, which ushers in much better explanatory power. Physics alone is weaker. Physics plus the compute platform is powerful since provides a much better understanding. Physics provides insights into default rules implemented in the platform. The platform helps us understand the Creator’s Power to control waves, heal people of sickness, appear in one place & disappear, ascend into the clouds (Acts 1:1-11), sending horses & chariots of fire, to go up like a Hollywood Event as disappear out of sight. So much readily explained easily from the Compute Platform Perspective. The Compute Platform Perspective enabled by applying physics together with engineering & understanding of language.

Creation Account Elevates the Word:

The Genesis Creation Account elevated the “Word” as a key participant in creation with phrases like “Let their be Light”. The “Word”, a form of logic & control, points us to a tools type of programming. This enables us to understand how God can speak and things happen. Consider modern day digital assistants like Apple Siri, where its’ common sense to tell digital assistants to do things & it does. God asks creation to do something and it does.

Distribution to Billions of People:

Modern advanced technology tools like Smart Phones / Smart Devices (compute platforms) used by recent generations point to God. Billions of these devices getting distributed to Billions of People over time. Many devices designed to fit into our hand & place into our pockets & bags. These provide witness in our generation to the creative power of Our Creator, and to the creative power God placed into people, who God created in his image & likeness.

God’s Ultimate Design:

God creating Our Universe goes beyond “what” God created & “how” God created into “why” God created. Part of God’s ultimate design is to present the Church (The Bride) with Holy & Good & Loving & Caring Character like God (Ephesians 5Revelation 19) to Jesus, The Son of God. God foreshadowed this plan by creating humankind in his image, and starting them off as a married couple (Genesis 2). While people started off like God being made in God’s image, that image got corrupted through the decision to sin & do wrong (Genesis 3). God provided people a free will and an eternal soul. God points our soul towards the proper character that Jesus, The Christ, the Son of God demonstrated, and to which the Bible scripture testifies in Old Testament & New Testaments. God showcases the fallen nature of people and how it contrasts to God’s will for our character. God stresses the importance of love & caring for others.

Limits of Knowing How:

You can understand “how” God made All Creation & how miracles work, yet if lacking love, then missing bigger picture of God’s plan for our lives (1 Corinthians 13). While hope explanations enable you to understand bigger picture of “how” God Created Our Universe, recommend embrace what’s more important than “how” God created Our Universe too.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (ESV)1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Did God Create Our Universe from Nothing? No

Carefully reading the Bible reveals God did not create Our Universe from nothing. God created our observable Universe from things we do not see. Creating Our Universe from things we do not see differs greatly from creation from nothing.

Hebrews 11:3 (ESV): 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Historical Theological Views:

If you ask many Christians today, several will share a contrary inaccurate theological viewpoint asserting God created Our Universe from nothing, as stated by the thoughtful Westminster Short Catechism.

“Quest. 9. What is the work of creation? Ans. 9. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.(1) (1) Gen. 1; Heb. 11:3.” Reference: http://www.westminsterconfession.org/confessional-standards/the-westminster-shorter-catechism.php

It’s reasonable to infer that if our Westminster Catechism human authors were still living today with sufficient time & energy to research this finer subtle point more closely, that they’d graciously agree to reconsider & update the Westminster Catechism accordingly. As these authors passed away already, how do useful references like this that people study get updates? As Commentary?

Earlier Technology Era:

Prior to modern technology showcasing words creating worlds via programming languages on physical hardware platforms, it is reasonable to infer creating via words appeared to many like God was speaking our world into existence from nothing and/or simply by supernatural divine powers.

New Lens:

Modern technology provides a new lens (way of seeing & perceiving) to view God’s inspired word as divulging Divine hints into Our Universes’ underlying technical & engineering architecture.

Related Reference: “Words Creating Worlds“, https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/words-create-worlds/

Understanding Our Universe architecture this way explains God’s capabilities, miraculous interventions, and how God knows even our unspoken prayers.

Modern Electronic Era:

Today billions of people hold in their hands modern electronic platforms where words are creating worlds (i.e. words of programming languages & tools for example). These modern electronics include mobile smart phones, tablets, and computers, where game designers create game-play worlds & other virtual worlds to explore. Reason infers that God controls much more robust platforms & capabilities at a much grander scale used to create & sustain Our Universe via underlying data & rules. The platform implements many underlying Universe “physical laws” like gravity, conservation of matter & energy, electricity & magnetism, among others. God’s Universe platform enables God to inspect & control underlying “data”, and even “rules”. Just like a “Game World” on modern electronic devices have a beginning, so too “Our Universe” had a beginning. Just like “Game Worlds” can implement different rule sets, likewise God chose which physical rules to put into operation. Scientists attempt to understand these rules more precisely. Our Universe’s beginning did not violate any rules of physics, yet rather implemented physical rules under which Our Universe operates. Likewise, matter being created is similar to specifying certain types of “data” in the underlying Universe Platform.

Related Reference “Bible Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm & Comparison & Literal Creator Days” “https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/

Disappearing Matter:

Once you understand God ‘s Universe Platform Paradigm (also known as Universe Tools Paradigm), you’ll understand how God can make people & matter even disappear from Our Universe.

Genesis 5:24 (ESV): Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

The way to think about this is parallel to how “data” can be arbitrarily changed on electronic platforms, since God has access to underlying data, rather than to think about this as constrained by “Conservation of Matter & Energy”.

Reasonableness:

Even reason itself supports our Universe originating from something rather than nothing. If nothing was all there was, then nothing is all there would be forever. Everyone can observe Our Universe exists, so it is reasonable to conclude something existed for all time. Christians assert that God has existed for all time, with the Bible’s documentary evidence showcasing God’s character & existence & interventions.

The Word of God:

Learn more about The Word of God starting in The Bible’s Book of John Chapter 1 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+1&version=ESV):

John 1:1-5 (ESV): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Related Topical References:

1. “Did God Create Everything Out of Nothing?” by Hank Hanegraaff August 7, 2013:  http://www.faithgateway.com/did-god-create-everything-out-of-nothing/#.VWetcmDdVFI

2. “When God made something out of nothing” http://creation.com/when-god-made-something-out-of-nothing-day-1

3. “Creation out of nothing” http://www.theopedia.com/Creation_out_of_nothing

4. “DID GOD CREATE THE WORLD FROM NOTHING?” http://booksnthoughts.com/did-god-create-the-world-from-nothing/

5. “Creation out of Nothing” http://www.catholic.com/tracts/creation-out-of-nothing

6. “Ex nihilo”, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_nihilo

7. “Did God Create the Universe? No” Discovering Religion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r2eE5tHRlA

8. “How could God create a material world out of nothing?” http://evidenceforchristianity.org/how-could-god-create-a-material-world-out-of-nothing/

9. “Did God Create Everything Out of Something or Out of Nothing?” http://churchofchristarticles.com/blog/administrator/did-god-create-everything-out-of-something-or-out-of-nothing/

10. “A Universe from Nothing?” by Jake Hebert, Ph.D. http://www.icr.org/article/universe-from-nothing/

Many Non-Believers & Believers Agree that the Statement “God Said It. I Believe It. That Settles It” is fundamentally Wrong! Why this agreement? What’s Wrong with the statement? The statement incorrectly assumes individuals accurately understand & know how to apply what God communicated. The statement subverts further reasonable discussion on topics discussed by implying incorrectly that further discussion must be due to lack of belief and/or an inherent underlying abundant clarity. God’s word can sometimes be tricky to understand & apply properly, yet is open to reason using our God given mental capabilities.

Misunderstanding:

The Bible is very often misunderstood, which is acknowledged by the Bible itself. The Bible is misunderstood by both believers and non-believers.

2 Peter 3:14-17 (ESV): 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Believers do periodically misunderstand God’s Word & even share these misunderstandings. At times non-believers misunderstanding is the reason they do not believe the Bible, and speak against God, God’s Word, and God’s People. For this reason, it is even more important that believers take extra care to understand God’s Word, for the sake of non-believers, as well as themselves, and believers.

Jude 1:10 (ESV): 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

James 3:1-2 (ESV): 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

Misunderstanding Scenario: Revised Quotation:

God Said It. I Believe It. I misunderstand it! That Surely Doesn’t Settle It

Misapplication & Out of Context:

Even when Bible statements seem clear, people misapply them, typically out of context, or in a substantially different context than intended. Satan vainly attempted to trick Jesus into misapplying one part of God’s Word to get Jesus to sin. Jesus knew this was a misapplication, because Jesus knew what God instructed in the other scriptures, to properly understand contexts under which scriptures apply.

Matthew 4:5-7 (ESV): 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

While the Bible is known as God’s Word in Christian Circles, the Bible also contains words of others, which are put in their for our instruction, even if other peoples’ words are sometimes inaccurate & even untrue. People may inaccurately think the statement “God Said It. I Believe It. That Settles It.” applies to anything in God’s Word, rather than just what God had spoken. One illustration of this is Job’s friends, who made several statements that sound correct on the surface, yet were not.

Job 42:7-9 (ESV): 7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite:”My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.

Misapplication & Out of Context Scenario: Revised Quotation:

God Said It. I Believe It. I misapply it! That Surely Doesn’t Settle It

The Solution:

God also provides others who sharpen our ability to correctly understand & properly apply God’s Word.

Proverbs 27:17 (ESV):  17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

When properly understood & applied, Wisdom from Above is open to reasonable dialogue respectfully & considerately with others.

James 3:13-18 (ESV): 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

God provides many types of instructors & guides so we’ll understand God’s Word better, so as to properly apply it, and gain salvation leading to eternal life.

Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV):  11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Christians are to ask God with unwavering faith for Wisdom to understand God’s Scriptures.

James 1:5-7 (ESV): 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Seek God & his righteousness & pray that God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, via your faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God, will share with you the intent of each scripture passage.

1 Corinthians 2:11-14 (ESV): 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Recognize there are limits to what our God given minds are able to understand in this lifetime.

2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV): 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

It’d seem reasonable that God is even able to use non-believers speculations in the right dosages to strengthen believer’s discernment, as believers turn more deeply to God to understand & apply God’s Words as revealed in The Bible.

When you do find God’s Words in the Bible, you can acknowledge that “God Said It’, and then use your mind to seek to understand it, look to apply it properly, and be reasonable & respectful when sharing it. Recognize that often you’ll find it beneficial to learn from others (i.e. preachers, teachers, …) who have spent time analyzing areas of scripture of which you are focused.

1 Peter 3:13-17 (ESV): 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

While some things are useful to build people up, others are controversial & divisive & unhelpful, and are best avoided.

Titus 3:9-11 (ESV): 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

When subjects are discussed, be respectful and courteous toward all people. It is profitable for believers to discuss the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who came to deliver us from our sins, and transform us into godly people who do good works as faith is lived out.

Titus 3:1-2 (ESV): 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Christians Believe & Trust God, despite gaps understanding portions of Scriptures. What God says is truthful. This brings us to a better way to think about scriptures than “God Said It. I Believe It. That’s Settles It – Wrong” mindset. Bring a mindset that seeks to know & understand & follow God properly that is respectful of others.

God Reveals. Seek Understanding. Live Faithfully. Courteously Discuss.

Related Articles:

1. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”, http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/god-said-it-i-believe-it-that-settles-it/

2. “God Said It, That Settles It!”, http://www.sermons4kids.com/that_settles_it.htm

3. “GOD SAID IT, THAT SETTLES IT”, http://lifehealingministries.us/newsletters/god-said-it-that-settles-it-2/

4. ““God Said It; I Believe It; That Settles It” by Jarrod Jacobs, http://knollwoodchurch.org/yr2014/b05_settles_it.html

5. “People Wrote It, You Believe Them, That Settles…Nothing”, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/09/people-wrote-it-you-believe-them-that-settles-nothing.html

6. “GOD SAID IT . . . AND THAT UNSETTLES IT” http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/3677/god-said-it-and-that-unsettles-it

7. “Is The Bible Reliable?- Part 5”, http://www.woodburypres.com/sermons/Reliable%205.htm

8. “God Said It; I Believe It, and That Settles It!” by Ernest Angley, https://www.ernestangley.org/read/article/god_said_it_i_believe_it_and_that_settles_it

9. “You Have Heard It Said: “GOD SAID IT. I BELIEVE IT. THAT SETTLES IT.””, http://yhhis.blogspot.com/2014/04/you-have-heard-it-said-god-said-it-i_1.html

10. “Claim CH100: God’s word, the Bible, must be our ultimate authority. The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it”, http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH100.html

11. “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it (Talk.Origins)”, http://creationwiki.org/The_Bible_says_it,_I_believe_it,_that_settles_it_(Talk.Origins)

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