MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Light out of Darkness – Conclusion

June 30th, 2018 Viewed 176 times, 1 so far today

Conclusion

As we walk away from these first few verses of the book of John’s Gospel, let us marvel anew about who Jesus is. He is God, who came in the flesh to dwell among us. He is God, the one who Created all things. He is God, the light that came into the darkness and lights the way to salvation.

May we be worthy to carry that light into the darkest places, the places where the truth needs to be heard, and to share that light so others may see and glorify Him.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – The Gospel of John is Not About John

June 29th, 2018 Viewed 179 times

The Gospel of John is not about John

Each of the four gospels is geared toward a specific audience.

  1. Matthew – Christ as King
  2. Mark – Christ as Servant
  3. Luke – Christ as Man

Written between 85 and 95 AD, John’s book is the most theological of the bunch, written to teach us that Jesus is God. The focus of the book is not on the author. He’s an eyewitness and the beloved disciple.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – Jesus is the Word

June 28th, 2018 Viewed 119 times

He is the Eternal Word

He existed with God at the beginning, not because He was created then, but because He is eternal. The word “was” in the first verse in the imperfect tense, which focuses on continual existence in past time. In contrast with the aorist tense in v. 3 talking about something that happened once in the past.

This echoes Jesus very claim about Himself (John 8:48-58). In response to the Jews asking about Jesus casting out a demon, Jesus said that Abraham would have rejoiced to see His day. When they challenge Him, He responds with “before Abraham was, I AM.”

John is here, telling us exactly who the Word was. There is no clearer verse than this on the Divinity of Jesus. This verse had to be rewritten the Jehovah Witness bible to say was “a god” because they do not believe Jesus is God. The fact that Jesus was God makes it so that the eternal punishment of our sin could be paid. Only the blood of the Eternal Son of God could pay the eternal price of the sin of mankind. Only God could fulfill the entire law.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – Jesus is the Light of the World

June 27th, 2018 Viewed 112 times

Jesus is the Light of the World

John begins the book by taking us back to the very beginning

Genesis 1:2 – God creates light out of darkness

“God created light to serve as a boundary to darkness. Here light is not only instantly linked to God’s presence but also institutes time and order over the chaos of the formless void. God creates a functioning, orderly environment for people, and the creation of stars gives humanity seasons and cycles of time by which to order their lives. The link of light with the Creator also acts as a symbolic tie between light and life. If light symbolizes God’s presence, and God is the author of life, then surely where God is, life abounds.” – Lexham Bible Dictionary

Light is created before the current orbs of light we have in the sky. John is making a statement about who Jesus is by tying Him to the Creation and calling Him the light.

Darkness is not an equal to the light, it cannot comprehend or overcome the light (vs 4). The darkness is beholden to the light. The light and the darkness are not equal powers. Walking in the light is equated to walking in God’s purposes. Those that walk in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2). Light is also linked to concepts of wisdom, understanding and character.

If God’s presence is light and life, then opposition to Him brings darkness and death. If condemnation and death are spoken of as darkness, then salvation from these evils is also spoken in terms of light. Thus also God Himself … becomes a light leading a person out of darkness, toward salvation. The tone of confidence that pervades the [Old Testament Scripture] demonstrates that there is no doubt that God’s presence as light will conquer and even eliminate the darkness. Old Testament prophesies of the ultimate restoration of God’s people are full of the language of light and dawn.

This ties into various Prophecies…

Isaiah 60:1-3 – Darkness shall cover the earth, but light will shine forth such that the Gentiles shall come to your light.

The light will shine out of the darkness and it will be so bright that it will make you bright and the Gentiles bright.

Ezekiel 43:2, 5 – God’s glory will shine in the east and His glory will be seen.

Ezekiel is in Babylonian captivity at the time. The light of God’s glory in Jerusalem is seen from there.

In New Testament times teaching was often layered and calling back to previous things that people would have known growing up

While the words of the opening of the Gospel of John are powerful in themselves, John means something more.John is calling forth the prophecies of the Light coming forth out of darkness to tell us something about this Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.The readers of John’s Gospel would know that John was saying that Jesus is

  • God
  • Salvation
  • Hope
  • The Promised One

John the Baptist

John the Apostle wants to make sure that we make a distinction between John the Baptist and Jesus. John’s light is not of His own, he is witness to the light. He is like the moon, reflecting the light.

Our job as believers is to reflect the light, because we are not the light:

  • No matter how smart we are
  • No matter how successful we are by the world’s standards
  • No matter the size of the people that listen to us
  • No matter the size of our Facebook followers

We are simply servants who are trying to show others salvation and the Master. We are witnesses to the Light, trying to share that Light with others.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness

June 26th, 2018 Viewed 136 times, 1 so far today

Introduction

When I say C.S. Lewis, many of you would think of the Chronicles of Narnia, and I could blame you because it will soon feel like we’re the ones with 100 years of winter! But Lewis wrote more than these famous children’s books. He also wrote a science fiction space trilogy, and the first book is entitled Out of the Silent Planet.

Like Narnia, these books have allusions to Christianity. The main character, Ransom, travels to the planet Mars where one of the pieces of information that he learns as he’s wandering around is that Earth is called the Silent Planet. This is because Earth had turned evil and rebelled against the ruler of the Universe. Communication with it had become non-existent.

When man fell and cursed Earth, the Earth became bent. Another way to put this is that the Earth went dark, no longer in harmony with its Creator, and without the Creator’s intervention it would be doomed to destruction. With this background, John enters the scene to tell us about that Light that shined out of the darkness.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Our Sunday Best – 1 Corinthians 14:26-40, 1 Timothy 2:8-15

June 25th, 2018 Viewed 147 times

Where Does Paul Derive His Instruction about the Men/Women in the Church?

First, Paul appeals to the fact that God is not the author of confusion. Next, he takes on the idea that the man is the spiritual leader in the home (Deut 6). Adam and Eve get another mention in 1 Tim 2.

What are the commands in these passages?

  • All done in church is for edification and needs to be done in order.
  • Those that are not speaking should weigh what has been said.
  • Women are to keep silent and submissive in church.
  • A woman is to ask of her husband if there is something she wishes to learn.
  • Women should be adorned modestly, showing her good works.
  • Women are not to exercise authority over a man.

Is the Pastor/Teacher/Leader Always Right?

This passage would imply that the answer is no—even if it’s someone that’s prophesying, there were to be those that judged what was said to determine whether it was so. Paul indicated that we should be aware of false teachers and false teaching, as well as the Bereans were commended for searching out the Scriptures after hearing teaching. We are not to be passive learners. This underscores the power of the home as spiritual center (Deut 6) as the woman was to seek her “head” to learn, and not just learn from that which was taught because she could be more easily deceived.

What Is a Church?

If these are rules for a gathering of the church, what is a meeting of the church? Does that include Bible Studies? Sunday School? Just Worship Services? Are we violating these teachings by how we allow for questions from anyone from any sex? In the early days, they met in homes and had more like home Bible Studies, so the idea that it’s just for in the church does not seem to fit. And yet, what would this look like?

Is the Command Cultural?

Perhaps this command was only for them, as the women might have been less educated in spiritual things, and maybe men were less tolerant and considered it high disrespect for his wife to be holding forth on the word over him. And yet what man wants another man telling his wife what is right or wrong in the Lord if that’s his duty? Perhaps the problem that we have is that men have become passive in their responsibility both to their wives and to the Scripture. They have allowed the Pastor to take the position of Spiritual authority for his home, which the Bible never gives him. While the Pastor is to care for the flock, he is never given that place of Spiritual Authority of someone else’s home any more than any other believer pointing out sin.

He Did What Was Right – Things That We Keep Inside

June 22nd, 2018 Viewed 132 times

Some kings left idols

What do we leave in our lives?

As you think over these words, is there something in your life that you know shouldn’t be there? Is there something you should get right with a brother? What are you waiting for?

It was easier to leave them there than it was to clean them out. We believe it to be easier to let a sin stay there, and it may be now, but… compared to the effect it will have on our life, is it worth it?

Some kings did right only when right influence was present.

What are you like when you are not at church? What are you like when that godly person isn’t around?

Even David, the standard didn’t do everything right! He had not kept the feast of tabernacles– Nehemiah 8:13-18. They observed it, but did not go out in booths.

If the Bible was still being written, what would God’s comments be about your life? I pray that you’d be mentioned as one that loved the Lord– if you need to have a personal relationship with Him, please see me or a deacon here today. After that, would He say that you did which was right, but…? What would that list look like? Or would He say that you follow Him perfectly?

photo by: jeansman

He Did What Was Right – Even the Good Kings Failed

June 21st, 2018 Viewed 140 times

Some did evil and were punished

When looking back over the kings, even the Good Kings failed. Two were punished with leprosy. David lost control of his kingdom while feeling Absolom. Hezekiah was told that because he showed all of the palace and temple riches to the Babylonians that they would all be gone.

Did you notice?

Some did right, but…

They did like their fathers– they got rid of different levels of sin, but God’s standard was perfection, and they fell short. Many did not remove the the high places. Some were confronted about different things– of which the good ones made it right.

When you think about your life, how do you think you are doing? We have a tendency to compare our lives to those that are doing more open sins, but what is our thought life like? Galatians 6:3 states that a man who thinks that he is something when he is nothing fools himself. It goes on and instructs us to examine our works. We should evaluate how we are doing with God’s Word– His standard, nothing else.

photo by: jeansman

Human Rights Council Sham

June 20th, 2018 Viewed 174 times, 1 so far today

Much has been made about the U.S. leaving the Human Right’s Council. Last week, when President Trump met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, many were upset that by him being present he normalized this radical leader. They said that he shouldn’t have met with him because of his terrible record with his people. These same people are now decrying leaving a group which has known human rights violators on the council and see no disconnect:

We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.

Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored, and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.

The only thing worse than a council that does almost nothing to protect human rights is a council that covers for human rights abuses and is therefore an obstacle to progress and an impediment to change. The Human Rights Council enables abuses by absolving wrongdoers through silence and falsely condemning those who have committed no offense. A mere look around the world today demonstrates that the council has failed in its stated objectives.

Its membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/06/19/secretary-pompeo-and-ambassador-haley-withdraw-from-irrelevant-u-n-human-rights-council/

photo by: Sean MacEntee

Is Trump Using the Media Again?

June 19th, 2018 Viewed 162 times

Color me skeptical, but I highly doubt that no one in the Administration thought about the optics of the child deportation and decided to stand against this onslaught without considering how bad it would play on the media. It’s obvious that the message the Administration is sending is “Don’t think you’ll be able to get into the U.S. by bringing your children with you.” The media are playing their part by amplifying the message– all day coverage of “how could Trump do this?” only serves to get the message across– and when the Administration says “it’s the law, we can’t do anything about it” you know that they are telegraphing “No, we’re not going to change our policy.”

We’ve rarely, if ever, see the Trump Administration change course based on what the Main Stream Media has called forth, so it’s doubtful that this will work either, especially since the administration is reacting to being called out by the Bushes and Obamas, so my guess is that they are probably trying to pressure both the illegal immigrants (don’t come here, you’ll lose your kids) and Congress (Democrats say they want to do something, but they don’t) to take action.

Only time will tell if this will work.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.