MInTheGap

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

Education and Authority – Marriage from the Israelite Law – Part 2

March 26th, 2018 Viewed 889 times, 2 so far today

Why is wife listed among the possessions not to covet?

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Exodus 20:17

The term husband actually carries multiple meanings in the Hebrew and Greek.  According to Strongs, the word “husband” has the following possible definitions:

husband, Lord, lord, lord’s, lords, master, master’s, masters, owner.

We covered this with Abraham and Sarah.  She belongs to him because she is one flesh with him. In the last post, marriage was shown to be, in Bible times, partly a financial transaction. The husband paid the bride price to wife’s family in exchange for her. This means that he had paid a financial price and had a financial obligation to her, but it would be wrong to infer that this is an indication of status as an object. While she is listed with the possessions, you can also interpret this to mean “you shouldn’t covet anything that is your neighbor’s,” just like when you are introduced you say “this is my husband” or “this is my wife.” While she may be in an inferior or subordinate position, she is not a possession.

You could easily reword this into the positive by saying, be content or grateful with what you have instead of wanting what someone else has or the common phrase, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” which implies the same.

photo by: chiron3636

A New Beginning – The Story of Abraham and Sarah

March 11th, 2018 Viewed 1013 times

Abraham has his wife lie, and yet they are blessed.

Genesis 12:15 – And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Here we have a problem for Abraham: He is a man with an attractive wife and he believes that the men of the land, being less civilized than himself or where he has come from, will kill him in order to get her. She must have been quite attractive! In order to avoid death, Abraham convinces his half-sister to say that she is only his sister, and in that way he will be spared. What should Sarai do?

photo by: keithjohn0

I Don’t Hate Gays

July 2nd, 2015 Viewed 1664 times

2015-07-01-hate1

Click the image, read the whole thing.

Are There No Differences Between the Races?

June 23rd, 2015 Viewed 1338 times

Vai e vivrai. roma. 4 october 2008. No racism! by LucianoWe are going through the book of Ephesians in church, and one of the things that Paul wants to make sure that the believers in Ephesus (and in other churches, as it’s a major theme in Romans as well) know is that God is not a respecter of persons.  Before Him, there’s no difference between male and female, master and slave or Jew and Gentile.  Spiritually, we all have the same standing before God.  There’s no question about it.

It is upon this truth that much theology is based—whether it’s equality between the sexes, the idea that no man should own another or even the pro-life message to an extent.

Heresy

So it is not surprising when Dr. Albert Mohler comes out to make sure that everyone understands that the the Southern Baptist churches may have been founded by slave owners, that racism is something that is heresy.  This he outlines in full at his post The Heresy of Racial Superiority – Confronting the Past, and Confronting the Truth:

I do believe that racial superiority is a heresy. That means that those who hold it unrepentantly and refuse correction by Scripture and the gospel of Christ must, as Harold O. J. Brown rightly said, “be considered to have abandoned the faith.”

The Modern Christian–Introduction

July 1st, 2014 Viewed 1161 times, 1 so far today

The Modern Christian

One of the catalysts of the creation of this nation was the fact that two very divergent belief systems were rising on the European continent. One of them was the Reformation. Lead by men with famous names like Martin Luther, John Huss, John Calvin, Tyndale and the rest, these men wanted to get the Bible into the hands of the normal people, to let them read the Word of God in their own tongue and to remove from the readings the traditions and false teachings that had spread up in the years since Jesus had left the Earth.

The other was the Enlightenment. This was a strand of people that had taken to science and human understanding to explain those things around them. It was from here that many sought to rationalize the church’s teachings, and it culminated with Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species” where man had finally found a way to define his existence without the need for God.

While Christians have been battling over whether Evolution as it is taught today is in the Bible or not, what they have somewhat missed is that they have not seen the way that the secularists have shaped the way that we think about our world, and have thereby challenged the Bible and its teachings in such a way that we now attempt to understand our Bible and its commands through a modern and secular lens. This is contrary to what the Word of God teaches us about truth, history and reality.

Walk with me this week as we look into The Modern Christian and understand one of the greatest issues that we face as believers in this modern time.


Image by Indigo6811 used under Standard Restrictions

Our True Identity

June 3rd, 2014 Viewed 1488 times

Living In Reality

If we are to live in reality, that means that we need to see things for what they truly are, which starts by seeing ourselves for who we really are.  Because we were born in this world and this world is what we interact with, it is easy to believe that we are people of this world.  That being the case, the Bible has some very interesting things to say about who we are:

We Are Pilgrims

The Bible states that people are more than just their physical representations, but are actually spirits with a body.  We are not of this world, but like Abraham, we are pilgrims, headed to a land whose builder and maker is God.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:8-11

A.W. Tozer states: “Abraham had faith and was able to carry on because he could see that which was not seen and could not be seen. And in so doing, these Christians mentioned in 1 Peter experienced the invisible so vividly and so satisfyingly that they were able to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

The truth is that we don’t belong here, we’re citizens of another location.  We’re visitors, strangers, or aliens, whatever you want to call us, and because of that, we can rightly claim that this world is not our home, we’re just passing through.

2 Corinthians 5:16 and following gives us the key to understanding this truth:

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

This passage states that the believer has been made a new creature—the old has passed and the new has come.  This is further underscored by the new mission given the believer—he is now an ambassador.  The Christian mother at home with her kids is an ambassador.  The Christian factory worker is an ambassador.  The female Christian executive is an ambassador.  All believers are ambassadors—which we understand as a representative from one land to another land.

But besides being an ambassador, we are all called to the ministry of reconciliation.  What is this ministry?  It is the ministry of telling others about what Christ did on the cross for everyone—the Good News that there is salvation from sin!  Paul states in 2 Corinthians what Jesus ends His earthly ministry with—that we are all called to go and tell all the world that there is salvation.

We Are Running a Race

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2

One of my family’s favorite games to play is the game of LIFE.  It’s always a race to see who can get to the end the fastest, and it’s interesting to see what twist and turns life takes.  Like the game of LIFE, our lives are races that started the day that we were born and finish the day that we die.

The believer has a goal in life, a way to define success, and it’s not the same as the world’s.  God, the giver of life, set out the rules, and He alone can state what a successful life looks like.  Those that are running a good race, are running toward the high calling of Christ.  This doesn’t mean perfection.  I’m not perfect, your pastor’s not perfect, Mother Theresa wasn’t perfect, etc. This means that we’re striving to be the best that we can for the glory of God.

Just like running a race, the believer sometimes must set aside every weight—and this sometimes means something that may seem good, or others may seem to enjoy.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14

Paul stated that because of what Christ has done, he will never stop his pursuit of that high calling.  He strives never to see another reality and to never take his eyes off the prize.

We are Dead to the World

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20

The next thing the Bible tells believers is that they are dead to the world.  Paul states that we died with Christ at the cross, and we are now alive in Him—or He lives in us.  Does this mean that we no longer have to struggle with sin?  Paul covers this as well.

18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. – Romans 7:18-19

Paul states that though he wants to do right, he does not always do right—his body wars against his spirit doing things that we should not.  This is the reason that Paul states that he dies daily, and that Jesus told us that we have to take up our cross daily and follow Him.  It’s something that we consistently need to point back to.

We are Slaves to Christ

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:22-23

Slavery is a bad word in modern times because of its link to the slave trade and the American War Between the States (or Civil War).  However, Paul here states that the reality is that all men and women are slaves.  We are born slaves to sin, and salvation makes us slaves to Christ.  There is no middle ground, no opportunity to not choose sides.

In chapter 7 of Romans, Paul compares the slavery each person is under to the way that a wife is under ownership of her husband and is free to remarry when her husband dies.  Christ is our spiritual husband and we are the bride of Christ. We belong to Him.

A Christian Cannot Be Harmed

The last thing about our reality is that a believer can not be harmed.  This is a weird statement to make, because surely the body can be harmed through all sorts of means.  Possessions can be lost, family can turn away, jobs can be lost, and all of these things, but like a lot of other places in the New Testament, what is needed is an understanding of perspective.

In Christ, the believer has everything.  God has stated that even if family leaves you, He never will.  Paul stated that to live was Christ, to die was gain.  If this is true to the believer, what harm can be done?

This is one of the difficult concepts, as no believer wishes himself harm, or seeks physical pain, and yet if a believer understands the reality—that he is at war with forces more powerful than himself, the prince of the power of the air—he cannot expect things to be easy for him.


Scripture from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Image by Vangel_PL used under Standard Restrictions

Reality Is Not What We See

June 1st, 2014 Viewed 1487 times, 1 so far today

Living In Reality

In C.S. Lewis’ story The Horse and His Boy (part of the Chronicles of Narnia) we find ourselves following the story of a boy named Shasta that doesn’t realize that he’s the prince of Archenland and a horse named Bree that knows he’s Narnian and pretends that he knows a whole lot more than he does. At one part in the story, Shasta is now off on his own, and has left his travelling companions behind and a discussion ensues among the three of them as to Aslan and just what he is.

Those of you who have seen the movies or read the previous books know that Aslan is a lion, but to a horse that was taken from his homeland as a child and had not been raised properly, well, the idea that Aslan could be a lion is just too much for Bree the war horse to comprehend.  When he’s challenged that all the old stories refer to him as a lion, Bree tries to say that it is because he’s “as strong as a lion” or “as tough as a lion” but that doesn’t mean that he’s a real lion.

Of course, Bree gets a first class education when he finds Aslan behind him!

Like Bree, we tend to have a distorted view of reality.  We see the world around us, and we can get convinced that this world is reality, but it’s not.  Oh, the things that we see are tangible and real for the purposes of being able to manipulate objects, to test things and to interact with the environment around us, but it is so much more than that.  Our senses cannot comprehend the spiritual world around us.  We’re also told that there are those that are spiritually blinded and cannot see the truth of the Gospel.  It’s not that it isn’t truth, it’s that it’s not perceived as truth.

Living In Sin Not as Glamorous as You Think

January 5th, 2011 Viewed 3101 times

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris - WENN.com

Hugh Hefner has announced his engagement to his latest “girlfriend”, Crystal Harris.  The age difference between Hefner and his latest blonde bombshell is 60 years.

This coincides with a new book put out by a former “girlfriend”: Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion.

Either It’s Right, or It’s Not

July 13th, 2009 Viewed 1550 times

man praying header

Truth is a difficult concept.  It’s not difficult to use—for much of math uses it as a foundation of logic—but to get to the bottom of truth means that one has to believe something with absolute certainty.

Post modernism tells us that there is no truth—or truth is not knowable.  It emphasizes the idea that either truth can change, or truth can be different for different people.

One great illustration of this is what’s currently going on in the Catholic Church.

He is the Way, the Truth and the Life

August 8th, 2008 Viewed 2612 times

A Visionary Dream

John 14:6 is a very familiar passage to the believer.  It’s fundamental to a a believer’s salvation, especially the last part:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. – John 14:6

This passage teaches both the exclusiveness of the message—Christ is the only way—but it also teaches something about Jesus—about who He is.

MInTheGap

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