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Showing posts from May, 2021

What is Required in the Second Commandment?

Dear Neighbor, What is required in the second commandment? Firstly, the commandment should be observed carefully and taken to heart. It is not a vein thing that the Lord our God takes His word seriously; therefore, His people should take His word seriously and observe all that He commanded. The heart is the center of a person, for in the heart a person cares and holds what is most important to them. (cf. Dt. 32:46) Secondly, the commandment is pure for it was given by the mouth of God to His servant. When a person disregards the commandment of God, he disregards the Lord. To disregard His is word is saying that His word is nothing, and therefore, makes God out to be nothing. All worship of God by man should be pure, and done as ascribed by God without bringing into worship that which He has declared in His word to be unholy. The commandment is holy because God is holy. (cf. Mt. 23:20) Finally, the second commandment requires devotion. Devotion to God and His word, and not giving of one

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Dear Neighbor,  During the week I have been writing about the questions and answers written by previous generations who catechized their children. To catechize means to interrogate; therefore, a catechism is an exam of a person’s knowledge; however, knowledge does not make a person a Christian but it does instruct a convert in the way that he/she should walk.  In many Christian traditions, the children of believers are baptized, thus making them members of the church before conversion. I do not believe this to be a correct way of doing things; therefore, I am a Credobaptist, I believe that only believers should be baptized. Credo from the latin, meaning, “I believe.”  However, I believe that Paedobaptist traditions do a better job of training their children in Christian religion than Credobaptist. I am not a fan of youth groups that have become part of CredoBaptist traditions in America. These groups are more American than they are Christian. I have written before and I write it again;

Which is the Second Commandment?

Dear Neighbor, Which is the second commandment, of the ten, which God gave to Israel at Mount Sinai in the desert? Exodus 20:4-6 (NASB) “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. What is an Idol? An idol is a graven image hewn out of stone, carved from wood, or cast out of metal but an idol can also be anything that is sacred to a person. An idol defines a person’s self-worth; therefore, it is whatever becomes the controlling center of a person’s life.  What defines you? What is the controlling center of your life? Is it the one true God, revealed to men in the word of God, and in the person of Jesus the

What Are We Specifically Taught By These Words “Before Me” in the First Commandment?

Dear Neighbor, The Westminster Puritan divines said in the shorter catechism, “ These words before Me i n the first commandment teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.” Psalms 44:20-21 (NASB) If we had forgotten the name of our God Or extended our hands to a strange god, Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. The number one essential belief, throughout the history of the Christian Church, is that there is but one God who exist in three persons (Father, Son and Spirit) all of whom are equally God in essence. The Trinity are not three gods but one God in three persons. This was not a problem until the fourth century, when Christian beliefs became excepted in Roman society. Romans, Greeks and pretty much all cultures on the earth worshiped a pantheon of gods; therefore, the church developed the theological term Trinity  in order to explain how God could be one yet three persons.

What is Forbidden in the First Commandment?

The first commandment forbids the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying, the true God as God, and our God; and the giving of the worship and glory to any other, which is do to him alone. Psalms 14:1 (NASB) The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Romans 1:20-21 (NASB) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Psalms 81:11 (NASB) “But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me.” Romans 1:25 (NASB) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

What is Required in the First Commandment?

The First Commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God to be only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify Him accordingly. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NASB) As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Deuteronomy 26:17 (NASB) You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. Matthew 4:10 (NASB) Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

Which is the First Commandment?

The first commandment is, “You shall have no other God’s before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) Deuteronomy 6:14-15 (NASB) You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. Jeremiah 35:15 (NASB) You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. The preface in Exodus 20:2 has already indicated that the Yahweh is their God; therefore, the phrase “before Me” means in my presence. They were not to acknowledge any other so called god or gods except Yahweh.  The apostle Paul wrote: 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (NASB) For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there a

What Does the Preface to the Ten Commandments Teach Us?

The preface to the Ten Commandments teaches us that because the Lord is our God and redeemer, we are bound to keep all of his commandments. Leviticus 18:2-3 (NASB) “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘I am the LORD your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes. Luke 1:74-75 (NASB) To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. 1 Peter 1:14-16 (NASB) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” Christians are to be holy because our Lord is holy; therefore, he has called believers to walk in holiness while on the earth.

Sunday Morning, May 23rd, in the year of Our Lord, 2021

Dear Neighbor, There is a saying, “One can never return home.” Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NASB) says, “Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’  For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” Earlier this week, I happened to be in the town that I grew up in, which also happened to be the town that we raised our children in during their early years of life. I drove around the town to the places that I once knew; my boyhood home and also the home in which Darlene and I loved our children. Both of these homes were shells of what they once were; in fact, the town itself has changed so much that it could only be recognized by someone who spent many years of life in the area. I have such fond memories of these, especially the first home of our marriage. We had difficulties, many in fact, but we were a young family, and we had children to raise. I do miss those days, but one can never return home. It is not from wisdom that one says, “Why is it that the former days we

What is the preface to the ten commandments?

The preface to the ten commandments is in these words; I am the Lord your God.”  Exodus 20:2 (NASB) “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It was Israel whom the Lord took out of bondage in Egypt; therefore, the latter clause “who brought you out of the land of Egypt” is specific to the history of Israel but the former, “I am the LORD your God” is applicable to all of mankind, for the LORD is creator of all and he took us from the house of slavery.  John 8:34-36 (NASB) Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

What is the sum of the Ten Commandments?

The sum of the Ten Commandments is, "to love the Lord our God" with all our heart, all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves. When asked by a lawyer, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40) In Romans 13:9, the apostle Paul sites several of the Ten Commandments that show one’s responsibility to others, and he says that all of these commandments are fulfilled in the call to love one’s neighbor as one loves self.

Where is the Moral Law summarily comprehended?

The Moral Law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments. Moses said, Deuteronomy 10:4 (NASB) “He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten Commandments which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.” Someone came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Jesus first corrected the man’s understand of good saying, “There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Jesus then using the ten commandments, as a test, shows the man how far short he is from perfection, for the man put his wealth before God; thus, violating the first of the ten commandments. (Matthew 19:16-22)

What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?

The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the Moral Law. Romans 2:14-16 (NASB) 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. Everyone has a consciences that tells them what is right or wrong; however, we are easily deceived and even deceive ourselves; therefore, until our inner most desire is changed by God, man needs an external law to tell what is right and wrong.

What is the duty which God requires of man?

The duty which God requires of man is obedience to His revealed will. God does not require religious works. The religion of old involved burnt offerings with yearling calves, rams and oil, but this is not what God requires of man. Nor does God require our children. (Micah 6:6-7) So, if God does not require of man the fruit of our labors or the fruit of of our bodies, what does God require of man? Micah 6:8 (NASB) “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?” God is not asking to be appeased through gifts offered to Him. The only thing that God requires of redeemed man is to be just, kind and humble.

What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?

At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgement, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:43 (NASB) “It (the human body) is sown in dishonor (buried), it is raised in glory.” Matthew 10:32 (NASB) “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.” 1 John 3:2 (NASB) “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NASB) “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”

Sunday Morning, May 16th, in the year of Our Lord, 2021

Dear Neighbor, For the past 37 days in a row, I have been going through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. It has been a wonderful time thinking about those great questions and answers given in that catechism. However, today I thought that I should write to you a letter about some of the things that have been on my mind. The picture above is of a business card that I had printed. I am giving them to my patients, their families and others while working in the hospital. The saying comes form 2 Corinthians 4:5 (NASB), “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.”  I am a servant to the patient and their family for Jesus’ name sake; for his glory and exaltation.   I read something interesting this morning in the book of Amos. Amaziah the priest did not like Amos’ prophesizing to the king or the people of Israel. Amaziah who was the priest of Bethel told Amos to go away and no longer prophesy at Bethel. (Amos 7:12-13) This is

What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?

The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection. Hebrews 12:23 (NASB) “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.” Philippians 1:23 (NASB) “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14 (NASB) “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.” The believer is promised, upon death, to immediately be with Christ in Paradise, (Luke 23:43)  and to be bodily raised up by Christ on the last day. (John 6:40) The psalmist trust that he would behold the face of the Lord in righteousness and would be like the Lord when he rose from the dead. (Psalm 17:5)

What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are:  Assurance of God's love Peace of conscience Joy in the Holy Ghost Increase of grace Perseverance therein to the end Romans 5:1-2 (NASB) “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:5 (NASB) “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Proverbs 4:18 (NASB) “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” 1 John 5:13 (NASB) “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

What is sanctification?

Sanctification is the work of God's free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB) “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” Ephesians 4:24 (NASB) “And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (ESV Global Study Bible Notes)  “Sanctification refers to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life, whereby the person becomes increasingly more like Christ.”

What is adoption?

Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the Sons of God. “But as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” ~ John 1:12-13 (NKJV) “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” ~ Romans 8:16-17 (NASB) “He (God) predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” ~ Ephesians 1:5 (NASB) “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” ~ 1 John 3:1 (NASB)

What is justification?

Justification is an act of God's free grace, in which He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. (ESV Global Study Bible Notes) “What does it mean to be “justified”? To be justified means to be declared righteous before God. It means that, as the divine judge, God looks on those who are in Jesus and declares them “guilty as charged, but pardoned and accepted.”  Do you have a favorite passage in Scripture? I do, it is Romans 3:21-26 because it gives the answer as to how a just God can declare the unrighteous righteous in his sight and keep His own righteousness.  The New American Standard Bible (1995) translators titled this passage, “Justification by Faith.” In other words, those who are justified in the sight of God are the ones who have faith in Jesus.  2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of

What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?

They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them. Romans 8:29-30 (NASB) “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Ephesians 1:5-6 (NASB) “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NASB) “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

What is effectual calling?

Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he persuades and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel. “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling.” ~2 Timothy 1:9 “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God.” ~Acts 26:18 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” ~ Ezekiel 36:26 (NASB) Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” ~ John 6:44-45 (NASB) “No human being has the ability to come to Christ unless God the Father draws him, that is, gives hi

How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?

The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” ~ Ephesians 2:8 (NASB) Salvation is the gift of God, every part of it, for we are not saved because we believe in Christ, we believe in Christ because we are saved by grace through faith; faith is, therefore, the vehicle through which we are brought to Christ. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~ Ephesians 3:17 & 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NASB) Fellowship with the Son is an effectual calling. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” ~ John 6:37 (NASB)

How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?

We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” ~ John 1:12 (NASB) To receive Him means to welcome Jesus into every part of your life. To believe in His name means that you personally trust Him. 1 “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” ~ Titus 3:5 (NASB) We are not saved by good works or church membership; salvation comes solely, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. The washing here is spiritual cleansing which baptism outwardly symbolizes. 2

Wherein consisteth Christ's exaltation?

Christ's exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day. 1 Corinthians 15:4 Christ was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Mark 16:19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Acts 17:31 He (God) has fixed a day in which He (God) will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him (Christ) from the dead.

Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?

Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” ~ Luke 2:7 (NASB) “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” ~ Galatians 4:4 (NASB) Isaiah 53:3 (NASB) “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ that is, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’” ~ Matthew 27:46 (NASB) “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the p

How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies. Psalms 110:3 (NASB) says, “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power.” Isaiah 33:22 (NASB) says,  “For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us.” The apostle Paul said of Christ, “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:25 (NASB) Jesus said to His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” ~ Matthew 28:18 (NASB)

How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. ~ Hebrews 9:27-28 (NASB) Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. ~ Hebrews 2:17 (NASB) Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. ~ Hebrews 7:25 (NASB)

How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation. Irenaeus, a third generation Christian, born 130 AD, died 202 AD, understood the Lord in terms of a Shepherd guiding His sheep. He believed that Christ guides his elect with his two hands: the Word and the Spirit. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” ~ John 1:18 (NKJV) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” ~ John 14:26 (NASB) “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” ~ John 20:30-31 (NASB)

What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?

Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. Acts 3:22 (ESV) Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. Hebrews 5:5-6 (ESV) So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” Psalms 2:6 (ESV) “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”