Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"
    As noted in the first post on this subject Peter's responses to Jesus change due to a series of events culminating in Christ teaching from Peter's boat and His miracle draught of fishes. Peter's first response;
" 'Master,we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless...' "
although somewhat tenative is done out of respect for a teacher. This makes sense as rabbis were often seen gathering disciples and teaching in Jesus' and Peter's day;
"Jesus' gathering of disciples was not unusual in his time and Jewish setting. Many rabbis would gather students around them to teach Torah." (Biblegateway)
    Yet it is quite different from Peter's second response as the second is addressing someone much greater then just another respected rabbi/teacher, i.e. Peters second response is addressing God or at the very least someone who speaks for and carries the authority of God.  Please note; it is doubtful Peter saw Jesus as God at this point, rather Peter now saw Jesus as God's representative with God's power and authority so it was as if God Himself were actually there. Consequently we see a change in Peter's response to Jesus. This response to Jesus is frequently shown in the New Testament;
"And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11/NKJV)
"And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, 'You are the Son of God.' " (Mark 3:11/NKJV)
"And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet..." (Mark 5:22/NKJV, see also Luke 8:41)
"But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth." (Mark 5:33/NKJV)
"Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.' "(John 11:32/NKJV)
    So let us continue to look at Peter's responses to Christ;
"But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' " (Luke 5:5/NKJV)
"When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' " (Luke 5:8/NKJV)
    Peter's second response is different because;
"Simon, for his part, knows that he is a sinner who is not worthy to experience the benefits of God's power and presence. There is no presumption that God owes him anything." (Biblegateway)
    This attitude is frequently reflected in Jewish culture and beliefs, and is consistent with that of other responses to God and His representatives throughout scripture;
"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.' Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:" (Genesis 17:1-3/NKJV)
"Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground," (Genesis 18: 1-2/NKJV)
"Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.' " (Exodus 20:18-19/NKJV)

"So He said, 'No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant?' " (Joshua 5:14/NKJV)
"So I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.' " (Isaiah 6:5/NKJV)
For New Testament references please see the above scriptures on Jesus.
    Note the responses of the Israelites and Isaiah in the scriptures above;
" '...but let not God speak with us, lest we die.' "
"So I said: 'Woe is me, for I am undone!...' " 
    Like Peter they realize that an impure, unholy, wretched and sinful people cannot stand in the presence of a pure, holy, worthy and righteous God.  We see examples of this in Exodus 33:18-22 when Moses asks to see God in all His glory and in Leviticus 10:1-6 when Aarons sons present profane (unholy) fire before God.  In the first circumstance God provides a means for Moses to see only part of His glory and in the second God's holiness consumes Aarons sons. However, coming "face to face" with God not only shows us His true nature, but (in the pure light of God) also shows us our true condition; i.e whenever we have an encounter with the true God we are faced with two things;
  1. who and what God really is
  2. who and what we really are
    Fortunately, God does not break forth upon Moses, Peter and even us today as he did with the sons of Aaron. His response is one of grace. It is the same response that Christ shows Peter.  It is this response which will be discussed in my next post.

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther
images sources;
Fish In Net 
Woman At Jesus Feet

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"
   I am going to take another break from our faith discussion and write a little about God's grace.  God's grace is truly amazing, normally as I read this passage the miracle draught of fishes is what is most prevalent to me;
"So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.' But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.' So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him."  (Luke 5:1-11/NKJV)
   However God's Word and Spirit are so wonderful, this time as I read something else was brought to my attention;
  1. Peter's responses
  2. Jesus' response
   Let us look at Peter's responses first;
"But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' " (Luke 5:5/NKJV) "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' " (Luke 5:8/NKJV)
    It is strange that Peter would respond in this way .  After all the natural man would simply attribute what happened to "luck", "good fortune" or perhaps Jesus was simply a very good fisherman.  In fact Peters initial response seems to reflect this thinking; (see Luke 5:5 above). It appears Peter is initially responding out of obedience and courtesy, even the very word he first addresses Jesus with - "Master" - reflects this as it is not the same word he uses moments later - "Lord" - when he falls at Jesus feet in Luke 5:8.  In Greek the first word "Master" is epistates which means; commander or teacher.  While the Greek word for "Lord" is kurios which can mean; Mr., Sir, master, supreme in authority, controller, or God/Lord.   So why does Peter go from treating Jesus as a highly respected teacher (his first response) to falling at His feet and honoring Jesus as God or, at the very least, someone who speaks for and carries the authority of God (his second response) perhaps we should back up just a little and look at a few of the events that lead up to this one.  By so doing we see the grace of God in Peter's life both publicly and privately/personally.
   First we must remember (as Jesus so often states) He is not operating of His own accord.  This event happens not long after Jesus;
  1. is baptized and the Holy Spirit comes upon (fills) Him, (Matthew 3: 13-17, Mark 1:9-11,Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-34)
  2. miraculously fasts for 40 days and nights, (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2)
  3. resists the tempter (Satan/devil), (Matthew 4:3-11, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:3-13)
  4. and consequently returns with the power of the Spirit. (Luke 4:14)
    So, Jesus comes to Peter and others with the power and authority of God and the Holy Spirit because he obeyed God's will (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21) and subjected Himself to the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, Luke 4:1).  Second we must remember this is not the first time;
  • Jesus has taught/preached (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:15-32, 43-44)
  • or performed miracles; (Luke 4:33-35,38-41)
    So,undoubtedly Peter has at least heard of Jesus, His teachings and His miracles (Luke 4:15, 36-37, John 1:40-42) but now there is no doubt he hears Jesus teach;
"Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat." (Luke 5: 3/NKJV) and sees Him performing the miraculous; "When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.' But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.' And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!' " (Luke 5:4-8/NKJV)
    Furthermore, this is not the first miracle Jesus performs which has effected Peter personally;
"Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.  But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at onceSo He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them." (Mark 1:29-31/NKJV)

"Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.  So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them." (Luke 4:38-39/NKJV)
    In the passages above we not only see Jesus entering Peter's home, but also (at their request) healing his mother-in-law.   God's grace cannot get anymore personal then to enter someone's home and to heal someone in that home after they have asked.

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

images source;
bleu elle
Jesus Healing Peter's Mother-In-Law

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PT4 THE GREAT ADVENTURE i.e. Practical Faith (Pt7 Living Life To Its Fullest)
"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"

    One final look at the Greek words for substance and evidence shows us some interesting things about faith.  For substance the Greek word is hupostasis and for evidence the Greek word is elegchos.
*Substance - Hupostasis hoop-os-tasis; a setting under (figuratively support), concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident person, substance.
Evidence - Elegchos (el-eng-khos) is defined as; proof, conviction: - evidence, reproof, and is taken from a root word elegcho (el-eng-kho) meaning to confute, admonish: - convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.
It is interesting to note that hupostasis is only translated into substance in Hebrews 11:1.  Otherwise it is translated as;
  • confident or confidence (2 Cor 9:4, 11:17, Heb 3:14/NKJV)
  • person or nature (Heb 1:3/NKJV & NASB respectively)
   Hupostasis not only means assurance or confidence, but also implies support and when used in a concrete way it means essence, so when Hebrews 11:1 says; " is the substance of things hoped for..." (NKJV) the Greek word shows that faith is assurance/confidence "of things hoped for" and that the "things hoped for" are supported by faith. i.e. faith gives substance/essence (not in a literal sense) to our hopes (as long as they are aligned with God's will).  So our definition;
"Now an intimate and personal trust in the truthfulness of God and the reliability of His word is the essential nature of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen."  needs to be modified;
"Now an intimate and personal trust in the truthfulness of God and the reliability of His word is the confidence or assurance we have of things hoped for, the proof or conviction of things not seen.
    However, faith does not stop there as true faith goes beyond mere confession.  When Hebrews 11:1 states; " is...the evidence of things not seen." (NKJV)
   It is saying faith is the conviction that the "things not seen" will become reality, so in essence faith becomes an "outward sign of things not seen".  This is supported by the rest of Hebrews 11 as it gives examples of faith in action;
"By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." (Hebrews 11:7/NKJV see also Genesis 6:1 - 8:22)

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going." (Hebrews 11:8/NKJV see also Genesis 12:1-9)

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace." (Hebrews 11:30, 31/NKJV see also Joshua 2:1ff & 6:1ff)

   Looking at the first example we see Noah shows faith by building and preparing the ark. Additionally, not only did Noah work on the ark himself but also involved his family.  This was no small task considering the ark was a huge vessel which took them 120 years to make.  So, for Noah (and his family) the "outward sign of things hoped for" was a three story boat roughly 450 feet/135 meters long, 75 feet/ 22.5 meters wide and 45 feet/13.5 meters high which took 120 years to build.  Furthermore, not only did Noah and his family build the ark, but they had to gather and prepare all the materials to build it as well as gather all the provisions needed for themselves and the animals while they were in the ark.  In essence there was no way Noah could hide his faith in God.
   So the ark was definitely an "outward sign of things not seen";
  • Noah could not see God.
  • Noah could not see all the animals much less collect or get to all of them.
  • Noah could not see any rain on the horizon (remember it took 120 years to build the ark)
    In addition, many believe that up until Noah's time there had never been rain on the earth, if this was the case then the idea of water falling from the sky would seem ludicrous at best and insane at worst.  So, true faith produces action.  This is very important to note as this demonstrates the difference between true faith and belief.  Scripture plainly shows that faith is not just belief,  James hits the nail on the head;
"But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18/NASB)
   Furthermore, James also states;
"You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder." (James 2:19/NASB)
   The fact is that demons know there is a God, being fallen angels means they have had the opportunity to experience God in a way we as humans will not until after we pass on from this earthly plain.  Yet demons do not exercise any faith in God other then the certainty that they will be judged and condemned.  Obviously it is one thing to say I believe in God and quite another to have and manifest faith in God. True faith is not someone simply stating, "I believe in God."

*NOTE: all definitions are from Strong's Greek Dictionary of the New Testament

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

cowboy image source;
Visualphotos; Cowboy Riding Horse through Plains
fallen angel image source;
CanvasReplicas; Paradise Lost

Sunday, August 07, 2011


"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"

Romans 1-2
(New King James Version)


1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Desire to Visit Rome

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—
12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

The Just Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

God's Righteous Judgement

1Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
3And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
5But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:
7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
8but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,
9tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
10but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11For there is no partiality with God.
12For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
13(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
15who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
16in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

The Jews Guilty as the Gentiles

17Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God,
18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,
19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.
21You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
22You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
23You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
24For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.

Circumsion of No Avail

25For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
26Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
27And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?
28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
29but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

God's Judgement Defended

1What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?
2Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
3For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:
  • “ That You may be justified in Your words,
  • And may overcome when You are judged."
5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)
6Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
7For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?
8And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

All Have Sinned

9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10As it is written:
      “There is none righteous, no, not one;
      11There is none who understands;
      There is none who seeks after God.
      12They have all turned aside;
      They have together become unprofitable;
      There is none who does good, no, not one."
      13“Their throat is an open tomb;
      With their tongues they have practiced deceit";
      “The poison of asps is under their lips";
      14“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
      15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
      16Destruction and misery are in their ways;
      17And the way of peace they have not known."
      18“There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

God's Righteousness Through Faith

21But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
26to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded

27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
29Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
30since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
31Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

"Simul iustus et peccator. "*
*Martin Luther

image re-design;
bleu elle
original image source idea;
bible passage source;
Bible Gateway; Romans 1-3

Monday, August 01, 2011


"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"
   So who or what are you a slave to?
"Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever',..." (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV))
   I hope to re-post this once a month so anyone reading will understand my blog title and my purposes for creating this blog.  So why hopefully Onesimus?  Why such an odd name for a blogspot?  For an explanation please see my first post - GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES! - WHY HOPEFULLY ONESIMUS?  In that post I said Onesimus' situation is interesting and has a great deal of moral and ethical implications.  I also said, "I can definitely identify with Onesimus...after all we are all slaves to something or's simply a matter of who or what."  Those implications, the beauty of their parallels to Christianity, and why I can identify with Onesimus will be discussed in later posts.  However,  before I do any of these please allow me to explain the main purpose of this blog and particularly these posts, i.e. the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The bad news first -  (In the Shackles of Sin)
   Again I ask; who or what are you a slave to?
"Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever',..." (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV))
   You are not alone, the truth is we all have sinned and consequently will not get to be with God,
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,..." (Romans 3:23/NASB)
    We are all are weighed down by those things which seperate us from God, continually bring spiritual death in our lives, and inevitably destine us to hell;
"For the wages of sin is death,..." (Romans 6:23/NASB)

Now the good news - (Get Out of the Shackles It's Time to G.O.)
   God freely provided a way for us to be with Him;
"...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23/NASB)
   God loves us so much He sent His son Jesus to pay the price;
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8/NASB)
   God provided Someone who can and will set you free. All you have to do is turn to Him, acknowledge your need and ask Him to forgive you;
"...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;..." (Romans 10:9/NASB)
   Once we have turned to Christ, confessed our sins, and need for forgiveness to Him we have peace with God;
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,..." (Romans 5:1/NASB)
   Once we have done so we have the ability (through Christ) to overcome sin in our lives
"For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14/NASB)
   Once we make the choice to follow Christ we are heirs with Him;
"Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." (Galatians 4:7/NASB)
   So, again I ask; who or what are you a slave to?   I (and millions of others) know Someone who can set you free. If you truly want to be set free then all you have to do is turn to Him (Jesus).

"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

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Get Out of the Shackles - wallpaper