Thursday, 30 April 2009

Nauwelijks

„En indien de rechtvaardige nauwelijks zalig wordt, waar zal de goddeloze en zondaar verschijnen?” 1 Petrus 4:18

Geliefden, wij hebben u getoond dat de rechtvaardige zeker zalig zal worden, maar hoe gaat dat ernaartoe? Het is niet gemakkelijk die ruime weg te bewandelen. Ach, neen, zij worden maar nauwelijks zalig. Dat ligt niet aan de Vader, noch aan de Zoon, want God de Vader heeft Zijn enige beminde Zoon uit enkel genade geschonken en de Zoon heeft uit genade gewillig, uit volkomen liefde de borgtocht op zich genomen om de afgeweken mens weer met Zijn Vader te verzoenen.

Ja, aan onszelf scheelt het dat wij nauwelijks zalig worden. Wij kunnen nauwelijks de oude lusten te boven komen en de oude mens afleggen. Dat moet ik tot mijn leedwezen en uit eigen ondervinding getuigen. Wat moet ik dagelijks een strijd daartegen voeren en met veel tranen. Het valt zo zwaar om hand en voet af te kappen. Nochtans moet de oude natuur ten onder gebracht worden, ja, vlees en bloed moeten gekruisigd en gedood worden. Het lichaam van de zonde moet eerst sterven en ondergaan eer wij sterven en onze ziel moet uit deze aardse hut verhuizen, zullen wij ooit het Koninkrijk van God ingaan.

G. A. Schotsman, te Ter Beets

(”Stichtelijke en zielsroerende leerredenen”, 1720)

- Reformatorisch Dagblad 29-04-2009

Het wonder levend houden

In deze tijd van materialisme en secularisatie is het onze opdracht de verwondering levend te houden. Dat was maandag, tijdens de eerste dag van de Leicesterconferentie, de boodschap van Lindsay Brown.
De conferentie van het IFES in het Engelse Leicester, georganiseerd door de Britse uitgeverij The Banner of Truth, trok ongeveer 300 bezoekers uit diverse landen. Doel is, naast het levend houden van het gedachtegoed van reformatoren en puriteinen, onderlinge steun en herkenning bieden op het gebied van pastoraat en prediking.
...

Niet alleen kan een christen zich afvragen of de goede boodschap tegenover de wereld wel verdedigbaar is, het is ook mogelijk de verwondering betreffende het Evangelie kwijt te raken. „Oude gezangen en teksten tonen ons de diepe verwondering van voorgeslachten, maar onze eigen roeping tot getuige-zijn in de wereld lijkt soms verlamd te raken.”

Vooral voor predikanten is het nodig stil te staan bij de eigen ervaring van de grootheid van de verlossing, stelde Brown. „Ervaren wij de Schriften als Gods stem die tot ons spreekt? Het besef van de grootheid van de Auteur maakt de boodschap belangrijk.”

...

„Luther zei dat ons volle besef van het oordeel waarvan Gods genade ons redt, ons zou doen sterven van vrees en dat het volle besef waartoe Gods genade ons redt, ons zou doen sterven van vreugde.” Het kan in deze tijd van materialisme en secularisatie moeilijk lijken om de verwondering levend te houden. „Maar waar wij voor het eerst en bij vernieuwing tot kinderen gemaakt worden, kunnen wij er ons niet aan onttrekken.”

De Schotse theoloog Sinclair Ferguson behandelde in zijn lezing het in het Evangelie gegrond zijn van de eenwording van de mens met Christus. Dit onderwerp is bij Calvijn een centraal thema. Ferguson waarschuwde ertegen om Calvijn te veel van buitenaf te bestuderen. „Alleen van binnenuit, vanuit een zien op de eenwording, eindigen we met Calvijn aan Christus’ voeten.”

> Houd het wonder levend


How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop

Excerpt taken from the Trinity Bochure in the chapter, "How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop?":    

"THROUGHOUT the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Christ. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity.

    "Historian Will Durant observed: "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity." And in the book Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz notes: "The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology." Thus, in Alexandria, Egypt, churchmen of the late third and early fourth centuries, such as Athanasius, reflected this influence as they formulated ideas that led to the Trinity. Their own influence spread, so that Morenz considers "Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity."

  "In the preface to Edward Gibbon's History of Christianity, we read: "If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief."

  "A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge notes that many say that the Trinity "is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith." And The Paganism in Our Christianity declares: "The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan."    "That is why, in the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings wrote: "In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahma, Siva, and Visnu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus . . Nor is it only in historical religions that we find God viewed as a Trinity. One recalls in particular the Neo-Platonic view of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality," which is "triadically represented."'

Jesus spitting image of his father

Me Twinkle Toes wrote:

Something I find escapting many Trinitarians is the simple fact that God himself, through his Word, gave us the illustration of a father and son when teaching us about himself and his beloved son. God wants us to know him and the best he came up with was the relationship of father and son, not an egg or triangle.
 
There are times when I remind myself of my parents, even look a bit like them but I am not them. I can't go to the bank and take money out of their account, I can't go to work for them, my siblings don't call me mom/dad, you get the idea. I am just not my parent no matter how much DNA we share or how much we look alike or even how we think alike. Not only are we separate people but we are also very different.
 
Jesus is the spitting image of his father. Yet, he remains distinctly separate. Jesus thinks so much like Jehovah that Jehovah entrusts him with all things. From my understanding the only difference between these two is that of power. Jehovah created Jesus, not the other way around. But this does not mean Jesus is some shrinking violet! Hardly! Jesus created all other things using the power his father gave to him and when it was lost he went and got it back, for his father. Jesus himself gives his entire being to his father... and for that, his father gives him everything back. It is quite a beautiful relationship.
 
Don't we all wish our relationship with our parents/children were in such perfect harmony!

Weekly World Watch 19th - 25th April 09

$Account.OrganizationName
19th - 25th April 09
This weeks WWW is now available.
To view it please click on the following link. You can either open it and view now.
Or you can save it and view it later. It may take a minute to download.
CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEKS WWW.
In this weeks WWW
Signs this week that link to Matthew 24. Look for the sun dimming and also new fears of plague epidemic. Russian troop movements and Israel v Iran also in the news.

Vriendelijkheid

English version > Kindness



"Er is geen oefening beter voor het hart
dan neerwaarts te reiken en mensen op te liften "
- John Andrew Holmes

"... stel alles in het werk om aan uw geloof goedheid toe te voegen;
en tot goedheid, kennis, en tot kennis, zelf-controle;
en tot zelfbeheersing, doorzettingsvermogen, en tot volharding, godsvrucht;
en tot godsvrucht, broederlijke vriendelijkheid;
en broederlijke vriendelijkheid, liefde. "
2 Peter 1:5-7

"Constante vriendelijkheid kan veel verwezenlijken.
Zoals de zon het ijs doet smelten,
veroorzaakt vriendelijkheid misverstand,
wantrouwen en vijandigheid te verdampen. "
- Albert Schweitzer

"Hij heeft u verteld, o mens, wat goed is;
En wat verlangt de Here van u
Maar recht te doen, om vriendelijkheid lief te hebben,
En om nederig te wandelen met uw God? "
Micha 6:8

Heer God, geef dat ik nederig genoeg kan zijn om anderen te helpen.
Laat mij steeds recht doen en anderen met zachtheid benaderen.
Dat mijn vriendelijkheid ontwapenend mag zijn en opbouwend.


Kindness

Dutch version / Nederlands > Vriendelijkheid


"There is no exercise better for the heart
than reaching down and lifting people up."
- John Andrew Holmes

"… make every effort to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control;
and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness;
and to Godliness, brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness, love."
2 Peter 1:5-7

"Constant kindness can accomplish much.
As the sun makes ice melt,
kindness causes misunderstanding,
mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."
- Albert Schweitzer

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

Lord God, grant that I may be humble enough to help others.
Let me always do right and approach others with gentleness.
That I may be disarmingly friendly and constructive.

+++
2013 update:

Albert Schweitzer, Etching by Arthur William H...
Albert Schweitzer, Etching by Arthur William Heintzelman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

C-Factor

Vooral twintigers zijn calvinistisch


Nederlanders zijn calvinistisch. De gemiddelde Nederlander scoort 56 procent op de nationale C-factor, die aangeeft of iemand calvinistische trekjes heeft. Calvinistisch of niet, ze genieten wel van seks, luxe en lekker eten.

Dat blijkt uit onderzoek naar 70.000 internetzelftests van dagblad Trouw en de Vrije Unversiteit, die vaststellen hoe hoog iemands C-factor is.

Twintigers scoren met 64 procent hoger dan 80-jarigen op de C-factor, zo blijkt. Nederlanders die in het buitenland werken scoren minder hoog, hun C-factor is 50.

Trouw kwam met de C-factor aan het begin van het Calvijn-jaar. Bij de internettest reageerden mensen op stellingen als: 'eigenlijk zou ik harder moeten werken' en 'je mag best genieten van seks'. Godsdienstpsychologe Joke van Saane van de Vrije Universiteit analyseerde de uitkomsten.

Mannen blijken iets calvinistischer dan vrouwen; zij scoren 57 procent, vrouwen 55 procent.

Van Saane vindt de hoge C-factor van twintigers niet echt opmerkelijk. "Jongvolwassenen scoren vaak wat orthodoxer. De trend gaat richting conservatisme, blijkt uit veel godsdienstwetenschappelijk onderzoek. Ze denken vaak zwart-witter dan volwassenen.'' Ook al wordt calvinisme vaak geassocieerd met iets van vroeger, toch voelen jongeren zich ertoe aangetrokken, zegt Van Saane. "Het is helder. Aan die helderheid is behoefte.''

De 'echte' calvinist, mensen die de hoogste C-factor hebben, zijn tobbers. Hoe hoger de C-factor, hoe meer negatieve emoties als schuld, schaamte en wrok, zo blijkt. "Echte calvinisten verwonderen zich minder, zijn naar binnen gericht en staan minder open'', aldus Van Saane.

Calvinisten worden vaak gezien als seksloze types, zonder humor, zuinig, conservatief en vooral niet uitbundig. "Benepen'', aldus Van Saane. Maar dat beeld verandert, zegt de godsdienstpsychologe. Op de stelling 'je mag best genieten van seks' reageerde 98 procent positief. "Dat beeld klopt dus niet. En het grappige is, het was Calvijn zelf die daarvoor pleitte.''

Bron: ANP

Bord 'er is geen God' langs A4 in Nl mag



De zin 'Er is waarschijnlijk geen God' die op een billboard langs de A4 in Nederland te lezen was, mocht daar gewoon staan.

Dat maakte de Reclame Code Commissie (RCC) vandaag bekend. Enkele vwo-leerlingen uit Amersfoort vonden de tekst discriminerend. Zij voelden zich naar eigen zeggen 'aangetast in hun geloofswaarde' en dienden een klacht in.

Initiatiefnemer van de reclame, Floris van den Berg, wilde 'mensen laten nadenken over de vraag of God echt bestaat'. Het was niet zijn bedoeling om te kwetsen. Volgens de RCC geeft Van den Berg alleen zijn persoonlijke mening, waar niets verkeerd aan is.

Recent was er ook al ophef over atheïstische boodschappen in het buitenland. Een Britse organisatie kocht advertentieruimte op bussen en schreef 'Waarschijnlijk bestaat God niet'. Deze tekst is nu te lezen in het openbaar vervoer van Barcelona, Madrid en Londen.

Bron: De Spits

Waar denken mensen aan bij Calvinisme


Calvijn in Budapest (Calvin Tér), temidden van het oprukkende modernisme in de breedste zin van het woord, blijft zijn woord verkondigen. Eddy Smid uit Groningen

Er is een fototentoonstelling Calvijn & Ik, het resultaat van een fotowedstrijd van dagblad Trouw en Erfgoedcentrum DiEP, die op 8 mei van start gaat in het Hof in Dordrecht. Er zijn meer dan vijftig mooie, indrukwekkende en aangrijpende foto’s te zien van associaties met het calvinisme.

Een vakjury heeft uit de vele honderden inzendingen tien foto’s genomineerd. Bezoekers kunnen ten slotte hun stem uitbrengen op de foto die het best het calvinisme verbeeldt.

Een opgeheven vingertje, knielende kinderen, een streng polderlandschap; of een sobere doorzonwoning en minister Donner op zijn dienstfiets. Het zijn typisch Nederlandse fenomenen - en volgens velen zijn ze ook echt calvinistisch.

Van oudsher was het calvinisme meer verbonden met woorden dan met beelden. Met de fototentoonstelling 'Calvijn & Ik' presenteren DiEP en Trouw dit cultuurfenomeen nu eens in beeld; met foto’s van eenieder die zijn associatie met het calvinisme voor de lens wilde halen.

De fototentoonstelling is gelieerd aan ‘Calvijn & Wij’, de eerste Nederlandse tentoonstelling over Calvijn en calvinisme in de Grote Kerk van Dordrecht. Dordrecht viert Calvijns 500ste geboortejaar deze zomer met een divers cultureel programma.

 
‘Wie wat bewaart heeft wat’ door Leny Hamoen-de Bree uit Renkum


> Trouw.nl/religie-filosofie/calvijn/

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Christenen voorop bij integratie minderheden

Volgens Gordon Showell-Rogers, secretaris-generaal van de Europese Evangelische Alliantie, kennen de meeste Europese landen een ,,rijke etnische diversiteit'' en overal in Europa gaat kerkgroei het hardst onder etnische minderheden. Bovendien groeit in ons werelddeel het aantal zendelingen uit Afrika, Azië en Latijns-Amerika. Integratie is van levensbelang, onderkennen veel politici in de Europese Unie, tekende hij erbij aan. Europese christenen hebben in dit verband unieke mogelijkheden: de vorming van echte, geïntegreerde gemeenschappen. ,,Het volk van Christus viert oprecht de eenheid in verscheidenheid binnen de evangelische familie'', aldus Showell.
Christenen moeten vooropgaan bij de integratie van minderheden in de Europese samenleving.

> Evangelischen zien rol bij integratie

Strijd tegen Israëls God

Volgens Ton Stier, directeur van de stichting Israël en de Bijbel (IB), is de strijd tegen Israëls God de laatste fase ingegaan. „Het is als met een uurwerk. Om dat in beweging te brengen, moeten de gewichten in de hoogste stand staan. Maar dan loopt de klok nog niet. Pas als je de slinger een zetje geeft, komt de klok in beweging. Zo gaat God Zijn weg in de geschiedenis. De gewichten zijn opgewonden, maar de slinger die de laatste fase inluidt, moet nog in beweging worden gezet.”

Lees meer >„Grote openheid voor Bijbel in Israël”
+ De stichting Israël en de Bijbel wil Joodse mensen hun eigen Boek, de Bijbel, teruggeven.

A visible organisation on earth

Here are a few quotes of Morton Edgar from “Gleanings from Glasgow”, most which statements were made in 1928/1929 or shortly thereafter:

Quote
The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.

How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see. We have the whole history of that great “whore,” the Apostate Church during the Gospel Age, to warn us against making any such claim as being God’s visible organization on earth. If Judge Rutherford is not able to read the lesson, then he has become blind. If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin.

- - -

"Hence it is that we sometimes see an honest, truth-hungry child of God gradually progressing from one denomination to another, as a child passes from class to class in a school. If he be in the Church of Rome, when his eyes are opened, he gets out of it, probably falling into some branch of the Methodist or Presbyterian systems. If here his desire for truth be not entirely quenched and his spiritual senses stupefied with the spirit of the world, you may a few years after find him in some of the branches of the Baptist system; and, if he still continues to grow in grace and knowledge and love of truth, and into an appreciation of the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, you may by and by find him outside of all human organizations, joined merely to the Lord and to his saints, bound only by the tender but strong ties of love and truth, like the early Church. 1 Cor. 6:15,17; Eph. 4:15,16 The feeling of uneasiness and insecurity, if not bound by the chains of some sect, is general. It is begotten of the false idea, first promulgated by Papacy, that membership in an earthly organization is essential, pleasing to the Lord and necessary to everlasting life." Volume 3 p186

A Living Faith #5 Perseverance


Perseverance
Having accepted the wisdom of listening, taking to heart the Word of Yahweh and the effort that must be made in order to develop a living faith. We will come to realise that effort needs to be sustained if we are to put the Commandments of Christ into daily action, despite our failures. We are but dust and very easily forget! Perseverance is the next essential ingredient required in order to develop a living and active faith. Paul speaks of a progression of events:

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:1-4

We are utterly undeserving of the grace Yahweh has extended towards us. Faith brings justification by grace, in that God is willing to count faith as righteousness through the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet the value of faith and willingness to be obedient to the Word will be tested by trials and tribulations. Therefore, Paul reminds us that faithful endurance of tribulations will generate perseverance, which in turn will develop an individual’s character by a putting on of the mind of Christ. Faithful perseverance gives rise to hope. Yet that hope is not directly seen, for the fulfilment of faith still lies in the future. Indeed as Paul comments, if we saw that which is hoped for, we would not still hope for it:

“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:24-25

Faith and hope know that the promises of God are real and certain. Faith believes that His Word does not change and that His promises will be fulfilled. Thus hope springs forth from that certainty. The value that we place upon His Word, will determine to what extent we are willing to persevere in order to attain the fulfilment of His Word. The value that we place upon His Word will also determine the amount of effort put into obeying His commandments.

If His Word is our greatest treasure, then we will indeed look forward with eager anticipation, desiring to become like the Lord Jesus in character and manner of life. Developing ‘Christ-like’ characteristics is contrary to our natural human nature. Thus those changes in character will only come stage by stage, one step at a time. It will require perseverance and dedication, but that is what having a living faith is all about!

There can be no half hearted measures, no trying to do the bare minimum. There can be no personal compromise of scriptural standards. There can be no compromise and no fraternising with those who do not follow sound doctrine and thus are not in fellowship. Attentiveness and attention to detail in putting the Word into practice daily is required. Peter describes the process of one Godly characteristic being added to another, he says:

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,   to knowledge self–control, to self–control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Peter 1:5-8

Honest self examination will show how each one measures up to those qualities. The way will be hard; it will take a lot of effort and personal sacrifice to overcome our sinful nature. We will fail many times and frequently face the stark reality that we do indeed come very far short of what Yahweh requires of His children. Many times we will look inwardly and observe a singular lack of virtue, knowledge, self control, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. Maybe there will also be times when we despair of those attributes ever being found within us, giving rise to a feeling of abject unworthiness.

But the attribute of perseverance will help us through such times. A living faith will drive us forward, strong in the knowledge that Yahweh is very merciful and has shown His love by providing the Lord Jesus as the means of atonement, the one through whom salvation can come. Thus rather than despair, faith will endure, remaining hopeful to the very end. James speaks of the blessings wrought by endurance saying:

“Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord––that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11

Yahweh is compassionate and merciful indeed towards all His children who hope in Him. But perseverance and endurance will require a willingness to make sacrifices. Job lost much, indeed all that he had, but counted such loss as more than worthwhile saying:

"Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

We note that Job acknowledges that all he had came from God, whose right it was to give and whose right it was to take should He so wish. In either state Job praised the name of the Lord. Job further said: Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:10

Herein lies a lesson for us to thank Yahweh both in times of plenty and in times of adversity. We owe Him all, even life itself. The very fact that we live, have opportunity to know His Word and be part of His purpose, is in itself more than sufficient cause for praise. We do not deserve anything and have rights to nothing; anything Yahweh chooses to give is an act of love and mercy.

The adversity of Job was not wrought out of unkindness, but rather out of love, Yahweh having prepared something better for Job. Though Job did not understand why these calamities had come upon him, Yahweh had an end in mind that Job could not at that time see. Those calamites were designed to teach Job a spiritual lesson and as a result Job is set before us in scripture as an example of faithful perseverance. After the trail of his faith and the refining process that he endured, Job concludes: "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.” Job 42:5

Job knew of God and knew about God, but after all his calamities and trials he learned to truly know God. This same lesson we must also learn though the trials and tribulations found within our own personal lives and circumstances. But it is a lesson that will only be learned if we persevere in putting the Word into practice day by day to the very end.

To be continued….. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice

Andy Peel


In this series:

A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
A living faith #2 State of your faith
A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
A Living Faith #4 Effort
A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
A Living faith #7 Prayer
A Living Faith #8 Change
A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
A Living Faith #11 My place in the body of Christ and my ecclesia
A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus

Of interest: >
Faith Requires a Basis

+++

2016 linkupdate

Bewaak goed in jezelf die schat, vriendelijkheid


"Bewaak goed in jezelf die schat, vriendelijkheid.
Weet hoe zonder aarzeling te geven,
hoe te verliezen, zonder spijt
hoe te verwerven zonder krenterigheid. "
- George Sand

"Maar de vrucht van de Geest is
liefde, blijdschap, vrede, geduld,
vriendelijkheid, goedheid, trouw,
vriendelijkheid en zelfbeheersing.
Tegen dergelijke zaken is er geen wet. "
Galaten 5:22-23

Heer, geef dat ik vrij kan geven.
Laat het gevolg van het licht in mij zijn dat ik alleen maar doe wat goed is.
Dat ik in mijn hart steeds de liefde kan dragen,
en dat ik tedere ontferming, goedheid, deemoed, zachtheid en geduld kan opbrengen,
welke een toonbeeld mogen zijn voor een Christen.


Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness



"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness."
- George Sand

"But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

Lord, make that I can give freely.
Let the result of the light in me be that I only do what is good.
That in my heart I can bear love always
and that I can bring up tender pity, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,
which may be a model for a Christian.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Nanobijbel

(KerkNet/N-TV) – De Israëlische president Shimon Peres schenkt paus Benedictus XVI tijdens zijn reis naar het Heilige Land de kleinste en allicht meest compacte Bijbel ter wereld. De nanobijbel van het team van de Israëlische technicus Ohad Zohar uit Haifa, die de 30.428 woorden van het Oude Testament op 0,5 millimeter bundelt, kan slechts met elektronenmicroscoop gelezen worden. Israëlische onderzoekers ontwikkelden anderhalf jaar geleden een techniek die het mogelijk maakt teksten op een siliconenchip te graveren. Nanotechnologie bestudeert de allerkleinste deeltjes. Die technologie kent steeds meer commerciële toepassingen. De Israëlische wetenschappers willen met hun huzarenstuk tonen wat technisch mogelijk is en vooral bij jongeren belangstelling wekken voor nanotechnologie.

Ethiek of religie

GODSDIENST BLIJFT KEUZEVAK IN BERLIJN

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/DieWelt/Die Zeit/Kipa-Apic) – Iets meer dan de helft (51,3%) van de inwoners van Berlijn heeft via een referendum het voorstel verworpen om leerlingen de keuze te laten tussen het vak ethiek en godsdienstonderwijs. Godsdienstlessen kunnen momenteel slechts als keuzevak gevolgd worden. Die regeling blijft dus in de toekomst behouden. Het resultaat van het referendum is een ernstige tegenslag voor de Duitse Kerken, die zich fel verzet hadden tegen de invoering van het verplichte vak ethiek en daarin een voorbeeld zien van hoe godsdienst steeds sterker naar de privésfeer verdrongen wordt. De Duitse evangelische en katholieke Kerk slaagden er eerder in meer dan 100.000 handtekeningen te verzamelen om een referendum af te dwingen. Ook nu sprak 48,5% van de deelnemers aan het referendum zich uit voor de keuzemogelijkheid tussen het vak ethiek en godsdienst.
Kardinaal Georg Sterzinsky, de aartsbisschop van Berlijn, stelt dat de Berlijnse overheid er met haar initiatief vooral in geslaagd is grote verdeeldheid te zaaien. Hij kondigt aan dat de Kerken hun verzet niet opgeven. Aartsbisschop Robert Zollitsch van Freiburg im Breisgau en voorzitter van de Duitse bisschoppen, klaagde eerder al de gang van zaken in Berlijn aan. “Leerlingen kunnen geen vrije keuze maken. Ouders kunnen niet langer kiezen of hun kinderen ethiek of godsdienst volgen.” Ook de evangelische bisschop Wolfgang Huber eist dat het aanbod van het verplichte vak ethiek herbekeken wordt. De socialistische SPD en andere linkse partijen zien in het resultaat van het referendum echter een bevestiging van hun beleid. Zij zijn vastbesloten de ingeslagen weg verder te bewandelen, een weg die volgens de Duitse Kerken slechts zal leiden tot steeds meer onverdraagzaamheid.

(Kerknet)

Ruimte voor religie en cultuur beleving

Mensen moeten de ruimte krijgen om hun religie en cultuur te beleven. Maar dat mag er niet toe leiden dat anderen buitengesloten worden, betoogde prof. dr. mr. Wibren van der Burg vrijdag in zijn oratie aan de Erasmus Universiteit. en zo komt hij te praten over Inclusieve, exclusieve en compenserende neutraliteit.

Klik hier voor de volledige tekst van de oratie

>
Geef ruimte zonder buiten te sluiten

A Living Faith #4 Effort

A LIVING FAITH IN ACTION

Effort
Faith and works are inseparable; salvation requires both elements to be present and neither of these elements will be achieved without making an effort to overcome the natural tendencies of human nature. It takes an effort to learn and put into practice the Commandments of Christ.

However, although effort is required on our part, non-the-less faith and its works will not be achieved by personal strength. Trust and faith in the Lord Jesus comes first. It is only by remaining firmly rooted and grounded in him that faith will grow and produce works. Paul writes:

“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:5-8

Firstly Paul speaks of remaining steadfast in faith. Life will throw many temptations, trials and difficulties in the path of all who truly seek to follow the Lord Jesus.  There will be times when these temptations and trials may feel overwhelming and maybe even insurmountable. Possibly there will be even times when the thought comes, ‘why me’? Nobody is unique in having this experience, for it will be something that all who diligently seek the Lord Jesus and strive to follow him will maybe feel. What really counts is how we respond to these trials and moments of weakness.

Now one option is to think that the path and effort needed is too much. Faith wavers, trust decreases which then leads to an attitude of ‘live for today, for tomorrow we die’.  Another option is giving way to despair; a longing for salvation may remain, but a deep abiding feeling of personal sin and unworthiness, hangs like a black cloud overhead. This may lead to an attitude of ‘I have done so much wrong, sin feels overwhelming, and therefore I must have failed’.  However, there is a third option, the one that fights despondency and puts faith into action. 

So, how can we put faith into action? Well in the quote from Colossians Ch.2 Paul continues by exhorting believers to walk in Christ, being rooted in him and established in faith. If we ‘walk in Christ’ then in effect we will obey and follow His Commandments. Faith does not give up, rather faith acknowledges personal failure and inabilities, it perseveres and remains in Christ.  Faith does not surrender to despair, but continues to be active:

Ø  A living faith trusts and has hope.
Ø  A living faith confesses sin, repents and endures.
Ø  A living faith realises that Yahweh has in Jesus provided the means of reconciliation and paved the way for mercy and forgiveness.

Apart from Christ we are and can do nothing. But through him all things are possible for as Jesus said “all things are possible to him who believes." Remember the allegory that Jesus used when he described himself in these words:  ‘I am the true vine’. Jesus is the root stock that nourishes the whole vine, thus he continued:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

Without Christ we are powerless and without hope. However, if we remain in him then despite our weaknesses, despite our failures and despite our personal sense of sin, we will ultimately bear fruit. We will produce the works of faith.

Therefore with this in mind, we must take to heart the third point from the quote in Colossians Ch. 2 where Paul warns against being led astray by what he terms ‘empty deceit’ and the ‘traditions of men’. There is only one Truth, only one path, only one Lord. Did not Jesus say: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to the one true Gospel message. Paul warned the early disciples saying “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another” Gal 1:6. The same message applies equally as much in this age:

F There is no other gospel, no other path to salvation than that clearly shown in scripture.
F We know, believe and obey the one gospel message or we do not. There is no middle ground, no alternative way.
F Only if we walk according to the Word can we have fellowship
F We must avoid those things and people that could lead us astray

Thus again Paul writes:

“I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you” 1Cor 15:1-2

Only if we receive the Word of Truth and stand firm by making the effort to “hold fast the pattern of sound words … in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2Tim1:13) will faith be something living and active in our lives.

Without daily exercise and the correct diet the body soon becomes flabby and out of condition.  Likewise without exercising faith and having a well balanced scriptural diet, we become spiritually flabby and spiritually out of condition. In its extreme lack of physical exercise and poor diet leads to obesity and premature death.  In a similar way, unless we make the effort to feed on the Word and grow spiritually, faith will die! Now Paul exhorts:

“…exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” 1 Tim 4:7-8

So once again we see that it is a matter of character development and having the right attitude of mind. Effort and exercise in spiritual matters is the beginning of exhibiting the works of a living faith.  Paul sums up some of these works saying:

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:10-12

Note those active words, denoting effort and describing some attributes of a living faith:

Ø  Diligence
Ø  Fervent
Ø  Patient
Ø  Steadfast
Ø  and the implied humility and selflessness.

If the effort is made to acquire these attributes then we will indeed rejoice in hope, for our eyes will be focussed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The wisdom of Solomon gives the final word:

“diligence is man’s precious possession”… ..“A wise son heeds his father’s instruction” Proverbs 12:27; 13:1

Are you wise? Are you heeding Yahweh and obeying His instruction?  Are you making the effort to develop a living faith?

To be continued …….A Living Faith #5 Perseverance

Andy Peel

+
In this series:
A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
A living faith #2 State of your faith
A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
A Living Faith #4 Effort
A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
A Living faith #7 Prayer
A Living Faith #8 Change
A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
A Living Faith #11 My place in the body of Christ and my ecclesia
A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus


+++
2016 January update