Apr/23/14 06:00 Filed in: Devotional
Two thousand years ago a man walked this earth who was like no other man who. His birthplace was a stable in the tiny town of Bethlehem in Israel. He lived on this earth for about 33 years and was crucified by the Roman government as a criminal. He life was under the microscope of human observation. He did not live in secret. His ministry was public, and his every word and deed was examined by those who lived at that time. And the record of His life has been examined by the world ever since. No man has been as intensely examined as Jesus of Nazareth.
Before His death Jesus issued an amazing challenge that has never been answered, a challenge that only an insane or a sinless man could offer. He said, “Which of you convinceth me of sin” (John 8:46). The word “convince” means to bring an accusation that can be proven, a charge that can stand.
Though He was accused of wrongdoing by those who hated him, the accusations were blatant and obvious lies. The Roman governor himself said that Jesus was innocent of all charges. He wasn’t crucified because of any sin He had committed. He was crucified because of the jealously of false Jewish teachers and the idolatry of the Roman Empire with its Caesar worship. But far more than that, He was crucified because He came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came as the Son of God to make atonement for man’s sins so that men might be reconciled to God.
The fact of Jesus’ sinlessness proves that He was the Son of God. Every man since Adam has been a sinner by nature, by thought, and by deed. Children don’t have to be taught how to sin. We don’t need schools to educate children in how to lie and cheat and dishonor their parents and disobey authority.
I believe that the Bible is the Word of God for many reasons, and one of those is that what it says rings true to what can be observed in life. The Bible says, for example, that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I can observe that in my own life, and I can see it everywhere in the world today and everywhere in human history.
Everywhere except in Jesus.
Following are some of the testimonies to Jesus’ sinlessness:
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Apr/22/14 06:00 Filed in: Devotional
The following is excerpted from The Tabernacle, the Priesthood, the Offerings by I.M. (Isaac Massey) Haldeman, 1925. Haldeman [pictured below] was the pastor of First Baptist Church of New York City for nearly 50 years, from 1884-1933. Though Haldeman did not have advanced formal theological training, he made up for this with a high native intellect, excellent gifts, a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for God’s Word, diligent study habits, and a broad appetite for learning under the Headship of Christ. In recognition of this he was awarded an honorary D.D. from William Jewel College in 1909. He was a theological warrior who did not draw back from the public reproof of modernists and other false teachers, speaking against fellow Baptists such as Harry Emerson Fosdick and against Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah Witness cult. He was a crusader against worldliness in the churches. Bible teacher James M. Gray called him “the greatest prophet of the Lord now standing in any pulpit in this country.” Said to be “the most influential preacher of prophetic themes in his generation,” he interpreted Bible prophecy literally and emphasized the imminent return of Christ.
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:25-27).
What an amazing fact it is, that He who is the Master of Heaven and earth prays for us--and prays in Heaven on the throne of the Highest.
It may not be that He is praying for just the things we wish, nor even such we dream we need, but the fact that He is praying for us is beyond definition of all it demonstrates of interest in, of grace and care for us.
Believe He is praying for us, and what matter the cloud-covered sky, the tempest swirling and uprooting all things we hold dear, leaving us neither root nor ranch in those things; what matter though we stand with hands folded, hands of helplessness, and the fragments of shattered plans scattered at our feet; what matter though our soul be filled with darkness and our lips be dumb and faith shivers and begins to grope and at times stops and listens to subtle questions filled with a hiss, the hiss of the serpent; what matter that at its worst if, through it all and at the last, we can believe, and will believe in spite of every increeping fear, that He is yonder back of storm or woe praying for us, interceding for us?
To believe that, gives assurance He will meet us in the blessing such as never could have come had the answer been in response to our own poor, blind, unthinking an wholly selfish prayer.
How often we escape sickness, disease, the assault of circumstance and sudden death because He has prayed, has interceded on our behalf and caused the special providences to be swung over us and along our path, we shall never know till the record of it is read to us when we stand face to face with Him in the glory hour.
If there are times when faith would sink and sink as in the anguish of a drowning soul and then suddenly rises as on a swelling tide which lifts us out of the deeps of dark distress till we find firm footing on the shore of peace and rest again in His Word and truth, it is because He prays for us, because He neither slumbers nor sleeps nor closes His eyelids, but open-eyed and watchful bears us on His heart and lifts us in unfailing petition before the Father’s throne” (I.M. Haldeman).
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Apr/18/14 06:00 Filed in: Friday Church News
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
Apr/17/14 06:00 Filed in: Doctrine
April 17, 2014 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
The following is from M.R. DeHaan, M.D., The Tabernacle, chapter 20, “The Hatred of God.” 1955:
Because God is infinitely holy, He cannot condone the smallest sin (although there are no small sins, for all sins are great sins).
To emphasize the awfulness of sin in the sight of a holy God, we have but to go back to the first sin of the human race. You will recall the story. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree which God had prohibited. Now that, of course, seems in itself but a little thing. We would call it mere petty larceny, eating one fruit from a forbidden tree. In the estimate of men, and according to our moral standards, that was only a little sin. We would hardly inflict the death penalty upon an individual for taking one fruit from a tree which had been forbidden. But God did not consider it as such, for God knows nothing about ‘little’ sins.
Listen, friend, so great was that sin in the sight of God that He not only cursed man from the garden, imposed the penalty of death upon him and upon all his offspring, but God even cursed the entire creation, the earth, the birds, the animals, and every creature over which Adam was placed as the federal head. God did not wait until man had committed murder before He cursed him, but this so-called ‘LITTLE SIN’ was the occasion for God’s awful penalty and judgment. Sin is never a little thing, even though men may belittle it and call it by any other name.
Has it ever struck you, as it has me, that the world has tried desperately hard to rid itself of even the very mention of the word sin? It has almost entirely disappeared from the world’s vocabulary. We can pick up our newspaper or magazine and read all the accounts of violence and atrocity and murder and dishonesty, but seldom are these things called ‘sin.’ Writers talk about crime and violence and death and murder and immorality, but the word SIN is carefully avoided.
Now all of this becomes very significant, for we believe it to be an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to get rid of the idea of sin. But sin is still sin, and until there is a revival of preaching against sin in all of its awfulness, as a filthy damning rebellion against God, which it is there cannot be a revival, but the world will continue getting worse and more rotten and more sinful than ever.
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Apr/16/14 07:00 Filed in: Apologetics
April 16, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ever since the discovery of the Babylonian Gilgamish Epic in the 19th century, skeptics have attempted to use ancient pagan flood accounts to discredit the Bible. Yet like every other attempt to disprove Scripture, this one is found to have feet of clay.
The first Gilgamish tablet was found in the 1850s by Henry Layard in the ruins of Nineveh and translated in 1872 by George Smith at the British Museum. It purports to be the account that Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh of how he survived the flood and gained immortality. Several versions of the story have since been discovered.
In contrast to the Bible’s majestic account, the Gilgamesh Epic is a ridiculous pagan myth on its very face.
The Gilgamesh ark is A CUBE 200 feet square, which would have been incredibly unstable even on a calm sea!
More recently, Irving Finkel of the British Museum translated another ancient Mesopotamian flood account (“British Museum: Prototype of Noah’s Ark Was Round,” The Times of Israel, Jan. 24, 2014). This tablet describes A CIRCULAR ARK as large as a football field made of a wood frame walled in with ROPE and open to the elements. Now, that would be a great ship for an ocean voyage through the worst weather this world has ever seen!
Finkel observes that there were circular boats known as coracles that were used on rivers. This is true, but a river craft is not an ocean-going craft!
By contrast, the ark described in Genesis was 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 30 feet high, similar to the proportion of modern sea-going vessels such as oil tankers and cargo containers.
(Finkel’s tablet is of unknown origin or “provenance.” He got it from “a man whose father acquired it in the Middle East after World War II.” Thus no one knows where it came from, who wrote it, or when it was written. Yet this tablet and its silly story, with no solid history older than the mid-20th century, is a major international news item in the most recent attempt to overthrow the Old Testament. This sin-cursed world will accept the testimony of a silly Babylonian fable over that of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who attested that the Bible is divinely inspired.)
Don’t be deceived by willfully blind skeptics. The British Museum has a peerless collection of artifacts, and I have spent many days exploring its treasures on multiple trips to England, but its interpretation of those artifacts can be misguided and prejudiced. The Museum has been proven wrong many times (e.g., the Piltdown Man hoax), but the Bible has never been proven wrong.
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