God’s Love is Powerful

What is it about intimate romance that contacts each heart? For what reason does the straightforward expression “I adore you” bring out such all inclusive happiness?

Men give different reasons, yet the genuine reason is that each individual who comes to earth is a soul child or girl of God. Since all affection exudes from God, we are conceived with the limit and the craving to love and to be adored. One of the most grounded associations we have with our premortal life is how much our Father and Jesus cherished us and the amount we adored Them. Despite the fact that a shroud was drawn over our memory, at whatever point we sense intimate romance, it stirs a yearning that can’t be denied.

Reacting to intimate romance is a piece of our extremely being. We intrinsically want to reconnect here with the affection we felt there. Just as we feel God’s adoration and fill our hearts with His affection would we be able to be genuinely cheerful.

God’s adoration fills the tremendousness of space; in this way, there is no deficiency of affection in the universe, just in our ability to do what is expected to feel it. To do this, Jesus clarified we should “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, … soul, … quality, and … mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luke 10:27).

The more we obey God, the more we want to help other people. The more we help other people, the more we cherish God without any end in sight. On the other hand, the more we ignore God and the more childish we are, the less love we feel.

Endeavoring to discover enduring affection without obeying God resembles attempting to extinguish thirst by drinking from an unfilled glass—you can make a halfhearted effort, however the thirst remains. Essentially, endeavoring to discover love without aiding and yielding for others resembles attempting to live without eating—it is against the laws of nature and will fail. We can’t phony love. It must turn out to be a piece of us. The prophet Mormon clarified:

“Philanthropy is the unadulterated love of Christ, and it endureth perpetually; and whoso is discovered had of it at the most recent day, it will be well with him.

“Wherefore, my adored brethren, ask unto the Father with all the vitality of heart, that ye might be loaded up with this affection” (Moro. 7:47– 48).

God is on edge to enable us to feel His adoration wherever we are. Give me a chance to give a case.

As a youthful minister I was alloted to a little island of around 700 tenants out of a remote territory of the South Pacific. To me the warmth was abusive, the mosquitoes were horrible, the mud was all over the place, the dialect was incomprehensible, and the sustenance was—well, “unique.”

Following a couple of months our island was struck by a ground-breaking tropical storm. The pulverization was huge. Products were demolished, lives were lost, lodging was overwhelmed, and the transmit station—our solitary connect to the outside world—was annihilated. A little government pontoon typically came each month or two, so we apportioned our nourishment to last four or five weeks, trusting the watercraft would come. Be that as it may, no vessel came. Consistently we wound up weaker. There were demonstrations of extraordinary benevolence, however as the 6th and seventh weeks go with next to no sustenance, our quality slipped perceptibly. My local sidekick, Feki, helped me inside and out he could, yet as the eighth week initiated, I had no vitality. I just sat under the shade of a tree and implored and read sacred writings and put in a long stretch of time contemplating the things of time everlasting.

The ninth week started with minimal outward change. Be that as it may, there was an awesome internal change. I felt the Lord’s adoration more profoundly than any time in recent memory and realized firsthand that His affection “is the most attractive over all things … yea, and the most glad to the spirit” (1 Ne. 11:22– 23).

I was basically skin and bones at this point. I viewed, with profound adoration, my heart pulsating, my lungs breathing, and thinking what a heavenly body God has made to house our similarly brilliant soul! The prospect of a perpetual association of these two components, made conceivable through the Savior’s affection, making amends forfeit, and Resurrection, was so moving and fulfilling that any physical uneasiness blurred into insensibility.

When we comprehend god’s identity, our identity, how He cherishes us, and what His arrangement is for us, fear dissipates. When we get the most minor look at these realities, our worry over common things vanishes. To think we really succumb to Satan’s lies that influence, distinction, or riches is imperative is genuinely absurd—or would be were it not all that pitiful.

I discovered that similarly as rockets must defeat the draw of gravity to thunder into space, so we should conquer the draw of the world to take off into the endless domains of comprehension and love. I understood my mortal life may end there, however there was no frenzy. I knew life would proceed, and whether anywhere didn’t generally make a difference. What did make a difference was how much love I had in my heart. I knew I required more! I realized that our euphoria now and everlastingly is inseparably attached to our ability to love.

As these contemplations filled and lifted my spirit, I bit by bit wound up mindful of some energized voices. My partner Feki’s eyes were moving as he stated, “Kolipoki, a vessel has arrived, and it is loaded with nourishment. We are spared! Aren’t you energized?” I didn’t know, however since the vessel had come, that must be God’s answer, so yes, I was cheerful. Feki gave me some nourishment and stated, “Here, eat.” I dithered. I took a gander at the sustenance. I took a gander at Feki. I investigated the sky and shut my eyes.

I felt something profound. I was thankful my life here would go ahead as previously; still, there was a contemplative inclination—an unobtrusive feeling of delay, as when dimness shuts the splendid shades of a flawless dusk and you understand you should sit tight for another night to again appreciate such excellence.

I didn’t know I needed to open my eyes, yet when I did I understood that God’s adoration had changed everything. The warmth, the mud, the mosquitoes, the general population, the dialect, the sustenance were never again challenges. The individuals who had endeavored to hurt me were not any more my foes. Everybody was my sibling or sister. Being loaded up with God’s adoration is the most happy of all things and is justified regardless of each cost.

I expressed gratitude toward God for this decision time and for the numerous indications of His affection—the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the introduction of a kid, the grin of a companion. I expressed gratitude toward Him for sacred texts, for the benefit of supplication, and for that most magnificent indication of His adoration—the holy observance.

I discovered that as we sing the holy observance psalms with genuine aim, phrases like “How awesome the astuteness and the affection” or “Sincerely, beyond all doubt has he cherished! What’s more, we should love him as well” will swell our hearts with affection and appreciation (see “How Great the Wisdom and the Love,” Hymns, no. 195; “There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” Hymns, no. 194). As we truly tune in to the holy observance petitions, expressions, for example, “recall forget him,” “keep his edicts,” “have his Spirit to be with them” will fill our hearts with a staggering want to be better (see D&C 20:77, 79). At that point when we share of the bread and the water with a broken heart and a remorseful soul, I know we can feel and even hear those most wondrous words “I adore you. I cherish you.”

I figured I could always remember these sentiments, yet the draw of the world is solid and we tend to slip. Be that as it may, God keeps on adoring us.

A while after I recaptured my quality, we were gotten in another fierce tempest, just this time adrift. The waves turned out to be so enormous they flipped our little vessel over, tossing the three of us into the seething, beating sea. When I ended up amidst a turbulent ocean, I was amazed, frightened, and somewhat disturbed. “Why has this happened?” I thought. “I’m a minister. Where is my security? Evangelists should swim.”

In any case, swim I should on the off chance that I wished to remain alive. Each time I griped I got myself submerged, so it didn’t take long to stop whining. Things are the manner by which they are, and whining doesn’t help. I required each ounce of vitality to keep my head above water and make it to shore. Having earned my Eagle Scout Award, I was a really certain swimmer, however after some time the breeze and the waves started to sap my quality. I never quit attempting, however there came a period when my muscles basically would move no more.

I had a petition in my heart, yet at the same time I started to sink. As I was going down for what could have been the last time, the Lord injected into my psyche and heart a profound sentiment of adoration for an extremely unique individual. It was as if I could see and hear her. Despite the fact that she was 8,000 miles away, the intensity of that affection came surging over those miles and, entering time and space, came to down and pulled me up—lifted me from the profundities of haziness, despondency, and passing and exposed me up and life and expectation. With a sudden burst of vitality I made it to shore, where I discovered my shipmates. Keep in mind the intensity of genuine romance, for it knows no boundaries.

At the point when loaded up with God’s affection, we can do and see and comprehend things that we couldn’t generally do or see or get it. Loaded up with His adoration, we can continue torment, subdue fear, pardon uninhibitedly, stay away from dispute, reestablish quality, and favor and help other people in ways amazing even to us.

Jesus Christ was loaded up with unimaginable love as He persevered through limitless agony, savagery, and bad form for us. Through His adoration for us, He transcended generally unrealistic boundaries. His adoration knows no boundaries. He welcomes us to tail Him and share of His boundless love so we too may transcend the torment and pitilessness and foul play of this world and help and pardon and favor.

I know He lives. I know He cherishes us. I know we can feel His affection without further ado. I know His voice is one of impeccable mellowness which infiltrates to our extremely focus. I know He grins and is loaded up with empathy and love. I know He is loaded with delicacy, thoughtfulness, kindness, and want to help. I adore Him with everything that is in me. I affirm that when we are prepared, His unadulterated love right away moves crosswise over time and space, comes to down, and pulls us up from the profundities of any turbulent ocean of haziness, sin, distress, demise, or hopelessness we may end up in and exposes us a

Seeking After God

Seeking, seeking after God.
Where are you, Lord?
Will I find you in this place? In this person?
Thirsting, bless my thirsty soul.
Hungering, bless one who is hungry for you.
Looking, wanting the will of God.
Seeking, longing for clarity about God’s direction for me.
Resting, sitting quietly, waiting for God to reveal himself.
Knowing, confident that he is seeking me, too.
Seeking me like a coin lost in the recesses of a house.
Seeking me like a wandering sheep on the hillside.
Seeking me like he would a lost son
who is trying to find courage
to take the first step on the long road home.
My father is seeking me.
And I know that if I seek him and he seeks me,
we will meet and find each other,
and sit down for a long talk.
And, at last, my soul’s hunger will be satisfied.

Embracing the Storm/Finding the Beauty

Life is full of both opportunities and challenges. That is one way to see it. The other way is to see life is as a series of problems interspersed with fun and pleasure and rest. The thinking goes that if we can just get through the next problem, get the frustration to stop, or solve the issue that plagues us, then we have a better chance of experiencing what we want, which is fun and rest. But, more and more I am seeing this approach as completely wrong. We all face storms and waves and scary moments. We all face things that we are unsure of. What will the future hold? How will we find provision? What does God have in store for us? If we see these questions as things to be solved so we can get to the life we always wanted, we miss what God wants to show us in the moment, namely Himself. What if the beauty is found in the midst of the storm? What if God’s best for us is not getting us to a place of rest and relaxation but in actually training us to enter the battle and find Him there with the love and hope that we need? With Himself? Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” No matter the storm, if we are in God’s presence, there is joy and beauty. Sometimes, we find God in the midst of the crashing waves and the storm. Sometimes the beauty that we seek is hidden in the midst of the trial that we are trying to escape or just get through instead of in what we perceive to be the pleasure and satisfaction that we seek out of life. God’s way is better. God is sovereign. He is committed to our sanctification and to us being conformed to the image of Christ. He is also committed to us treasuring Him above all things and learning to worship Him in everything. He is committed to revealing His beauty and worth to us. But, He is also often hidden beyond the obvious. He sometimes calls us to seek Him in places that we would not expect Him to be. I pray that you will seek and find God this summer and that you would seek Him with all your heart. And find Him.

 

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Does God Exist?

 

With the hatred and joke of the world for the individuals who trust in God, many have a tendency to trust that there is next to zero confirmation or evidence for the presence of God. Some have the possibility that science has by one means or another negated God.

The confirmation for God is so overpowering the Psalmist expressed: “The trick has said in his heart there is no God” (Psa. 14:1). This confirmation is plain to the point that nobody can genuinely deny God. Paul expressed, “On the grounds that what might be known about God is show in them, for God has indicated it to them. For since the formation of the world His undetectable properties are obviously observed, being comprehended by the things that are made, even His unceasing force and Godhead, so they are without reason” (Rom. 1:19-20).

The individuals who preclude the presence from securing God don’t do as such for absence of proof however from a craving to lighten their blame and responsibility towards God. Paul clarified this issue – “And even as they didn’t prefer to hold God in their insight, God gave them over to a degraded personality, to do those things which are not fitting” (Rom. 1:28).

We can’t demonstrate the presence of God by citing the Bible to one who does not have confidence in God or the Bible. Be that as it may, the Bible gives us some capable contentions for the presence of God. How about we consider some of these contentions.

Cosmological or First Cause Argument

The Cosmological Argument is otherwise called the First Cause Argument. This contention starts with the plainly obvious certainty that something exists. Since nothing originates from nothing, the something that exists can’t originate from nothing. Each limited ward thing or “impact” has a make satisfactory create it. An unending relapse of causes is incomprehensible, in this way, there is an uncaused First Cause. This First Cause is an extraordinary, interminable, uncaused, eternal, self-existing, autonomous, all-immaculate being. This First Cause is God.

Some ascribe this contention to Thomas Aquinas, yet it is found in the Scriptures. “For each house is worked by somebody, yet He who manufactured all things is God” (Heb. 3:4). Each house that exists has a make satisfactory for it exist, somebody who constructed it. The cause sufficient for all made things that exist is God.

There are four conceivable clarifications for the presence of the universe (all things):

the universe does not exist but rather is a fantasy;

the universe left nothing;

the universe has existed everlastingly;

the universe was made by an everlasting Creator.

Which of these clarifications is generally sensible? Which is upheld by the proof? Which is the sufficient cause to create the impacts we see? The initial two decisions are not for the most part acknowledged as sensible or legitimate. Few really trust everything is a hallucination or that all things flown into reality out of nothing. The third decision is in opposition to the all around perceived Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says the universe is running down, which fundamentally suggests a start or cause. The main satisfactory clarification for the presence of the universe is the First Cause, He who manufactured all things, God.

Teleological Argument or Argument from Design

Maybe the most surely understood and well known contention is the Teleological Argument or Design Argument. This contention reasons that the confirmation of God is found in the request and configuration found on the planet. The universe shows request and outline. The cases of this request extend from the atomic particles that contain the iota to the terrific breadth of the stars congregated in worlds. We don’t need to make one move to some far off corner to stand amazed at the magnificence and elegance of our own human bodies.

Each limited impact has a make sufficient create it. A boundless insightful fashioner is the main sufficient cause to create the request and outline we see in the universe. Configuration requests a creator, arrange requests an orderer and insight requests a higher knowledge from whence it came. “For each house is worked by somebody, however He who manufactured all things is God” (Heb. 3:4), along these lines, the universe was caused by a clever creator.

The nineteenth Psalm richly puts forward the Argument from Design. “The sky announce the transcendence of God; and the atmosphere demonstrates His handicraft. Day unto day articulates discourse, and night unto night uncovers information. There is no discourse nor dialect where their voice is not listened. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the apocalypse. In them He has set a sanctuary for the sun, which resembles a husband leaving his chamber, and cheers like a solid man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of paradise, and its circuit to the next end; and there is nothing escaped its warmth” (Psa. 19:1-6).

In like manner, Paul focuses to the deliberate plan of the seasons as proof of an altruistic God. “By and by He didn’t abandon Himself without observer, in that He did great, gave us rain from paradise and productive seasons, filling our hearts with nourishment and energy” (Acts 14:17).

General Argument or Universal Belief Argument

Each country and culture has held a confidence in God, as indicated by the General Argument. Where did this all inclusive conviction originated from? In the event that each impact has a make sufficient deliver it, God is the main source satisfactory to create such an all inclusive faith in God. In this manner, the widespread confidence in God was caused by God and is confirmation that God exists.

The cases of the all inclusive faith in a divine being or divine beings are found in every single antiquated human progress. Indeed, even the Tasaday progress as of late found in 1971 in the mountains of the Philippines, held a faith in god.

How could such a large number of assorted people groups so broadly conveyed geologically and truly all hold to a faith in a Supreme Being? The Scriptures express this all inclusive conviction originates from God. “He has made everything lovely in now is the ideal time. Additionally He has placed time everlasting in their souls, aside from that nobody can discover the work that God does from start to finish” (Eccl. 3:11).

Paul gave a contemplated clarification for an all inclusive confidence in God. “What’s more, He has produced using one blood each country of men to harp on all the substance of the earth, and has decided their preappointed times and the limits of their homes, with the goal that they ought to look for the Lord, with the expectation that they may grab for Him and discover Him, however He is not a long way from every one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as additionally some of your own writers have stated, ‘For we are likewise His posterity'” (Acts 17:26-28).

Aesthetical Argument or Argument from Beauty

The universe displays magnificence and man can value it. Stylish esteems fill no need in a simply materialistic universe, why do we have it and where did it originate from?

Jesus talked about the magnificence of the blooms of the field. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they develop: they neither drudge nor turn; but I say to you that even Solomon in all his greatness was not displayed like one of these” (Matt. 6:28-29). Individuals acknowledge magnificence in the regular world, from the blooms to an infant youngster, and in the workmanship, writing and music of men.

Each impact has a make satisfactory create it, along these lines magnificence and man’s stylish sense is caused by God. The Scriptures credit magnificence to God. “For every one of the divine forces of the people groups are symbols, however the Lord made the sky. Respect and greatness are before Him; quality and excellence are in His haven” (Psa. 96:5-6). “He has made everything lovely in now is the ideal time” (Eccl. 3:11).

Moral Argument

God exists due to the confirmation of ethical quality. Inside each man is a feeling of profound quality. While men may vary on the specifics, all have a feeling of good and bad and equity. An equitable and exemplary God is the main source satisfactory to deliver a widespread feeling of ethical quality in man, accordingly Man’s inward feeling of profound quality was caused by a fair and honorable God.

Paul validates that men’s inward good compass originates from God and uncovers the God who offered it to them. “For the fierceness of God is uncovered from paradise against all indecency and profaneness of men, who stifle reality in wickedness, since what might be known about God is show in them, for God has indicated it to them. For since the formation of the world His imperceptible characteristics are plainly observed, being comprehended by the things that are made, even His everlasting force and Godhead, so they are without reason” (Rom. 1:18-20).

God gave men an ethical nature as well as will judge them “for when Gentiles, who don’t have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, in spite of the fact that not having the law, are a law to themselves, who demonstrate the work of the law written in their souls, their still, small voice likewise giving testimony, between themselves their contemplations blaming or else pardoning them) in the day when God will judge the insider facts of men by Jesus Christ, as indicated by my gospel” (Rom. 2:14-16).

Confirmation of the presence of God encompasses us as well as is profoundly implanted inside us. Some may disregard and deny the proof, however they can’t escape it. Also, one day God will call all of us into record for what we have finished with this confirmation.

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The Bible: Authoritative in the Strictest Sense

This article has been written by Gene Taylor.

The Bible and its teachings are not to be applied “loosely.” If one is going to be pleasing unto God, he must strictly adhere to those principles He has revealed in it. There are a number of good reasons why.

Strict Adherence to Biblical Principles

The Bible is fully inspired of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 says that the Spirit searched out the deep things of the mind of God in order to reveal them to man. The Spirit then moved godly men to write those things down in permanent form in the Scriptures, the Bible (2 Pet. 1:20-21). 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The word translated “inspiration” in this text literally means “God-breathed.” It is the same as saying that all Scripture came directly from the mouth of God. Thus, in the Bible we have God speaking His will directly to man. Since His ways are higher than ours (Isa. 55:8-9) and all authority emanates from Him, we have no right to question or ignore anything that He has said in Scripture. Thus, the Bible alone is the guide and standard in religion and its teachings must be strictly followed and applied.

There are divinely imposed limits or boundaries for truth. There is a specific realm where divine authority is found. That area is the word of Christ (Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:1-2). Outside of it, there is no authority.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles with “all truth” (John 16:13). No other gospel is to be preached other than the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9). One is not to beyond the doctrine, teaching, of Christ (2 John 9). One is not to teach any words other than the words of Christ (1 Tim. 6:3-5). One is not to go beyond the things which are written in the gospel (1 Cor. 4:6). One must do all things in religion “in the name of Christ.” Colossians 3:17 states, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” “In the name of” is the same as “by the authority of.” Thus, whatever we do in the religion of Christ, we must have authority for in the word of Christ, the gospel. And we must apply all that is found in His teachings.

Strict versus Loose

The distinction of strict versus loose comprises the difference between “liberals” and “conservatives” in religion. “Liberalism” is manifested when a congregation does not restrict or limit the church to what is authorized in the doctrine of Christ. A “liberal” stance by a congregation could involve a church in such things as adding to its work or mission those things not authorized by Christ in His word; devising organizational changes such as enlarging the scope of elders’ authority; and perverting the worship services.

In reality, it is actually a matter of obedience or disobedience to Christ rather than a matter of “strict or loose” or “conservative or liberal.”

God, The Ultimate Source of Authority

written by Gene Taylor – also found at http://www.centervilleroad.com/articles/authority-3.html

There must be an ultimate, final authority. There has to exist a person or place beyond which there can be no higher source. There has to be a person or place in whom resides inherent authority. That ultimate authority is the source of all authority.

The Criteria for the Ultimate Authority

Bernard Ramm, in his book Pattern of Authority, suggests two sources of authority: superior position and truth. He refers to them as “Imperial” and “Veracious” authority. Applying these criteria to God show Him as the source of authority. “He (God – GT) alone is self-existent and supreme, who is what He is of His own right. If God exists, He is the ultimate criterion and power of truth and reality. All truth inheres in Him and issues from Him. The problem of authority thus becomes one with the proof and definition of God” (I.S.B.E., Vol. I, p. 334).

God as Ultimate Authority

That God is ultimate authority is seen in His divine being. He has inherent authority because He is God (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

The divine names for God indicate His primary authority (Psa. 96:8): El Elyon – God most high (Gen. 4:18); El Shaddai – God Almighty (Ex. 6:3); Yahweh (Jehovah), His memorial name (Hos. 12:5-6). “Jehovah” means “Self-Existent or Eternal” (Strong’s Hebrew-Chaldee Dictionary, p. 47). It is related to the designation “I am” (Ex. 3:14). It is significant that Jesus said of Himself, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58), thus showing His divinity, His right to command.

The authority of God is rooted in His inherent nature and character: His eternal existence (Deut. 33:27); omniscience — limitless wisdom and knowledge (1 Sam. 2:3; 1 John 3:20); omnipotence — matchless power and strength (Rev. 19:6; Heb. 11:3); and perfect holiness and righteousness (1 Pet. 1:16; Titus 1:2).

God is the ultimate authority by reason of the fact that He is both creator and sustainer of the entire universe (Gen. 1:1; Acts 17:24-29). All things were created by Him and for Him and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:16-17).

Some Consequences of God as Ultimate Authority

God alone has the inherent right to command. The only kind of authority mankind has is delegated authority. No human has either the right or power to assume to be on an equality with God (Isa. 55:8-9). Delegated authority is restricted by stipulated purpose or intent.

Earthly governments receive their right to make and enforce civil law from God (Rom. 13:1).

The right to enact religious law does not reside in man. It never has and never will. Man cannot set forth his own ideas and opinions as the standard for others to follow. Even the apostles were never anything more than inspired messengers sent to deliver a divine message. For them to have taught or commanded anything other than that which heaven had revealed to them would have caused them to be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9).

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Authority in Religion Is Objective

This article is written by my friend Gene Taylor – it’s also found at http://www.centervilleroad.com/articles/authority-2.html

Of necessity, authority in the religious realm must be determined either subjectively (internally, within man) or objectively (externally, outside of man). Jesus Himself views the above choices as the only possibilities to determine authority.

Consider Matthew 21:23-27: “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’ But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: ‘The baptism of John – where was it from? From heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, say-ing, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, `From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’ And He said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.'”

In this passage, Jesus asks the Jews if the baptism of John had its source with heaven or men. One of those alternatives had to be the correct answer. If there had been other alternatives available to them, do you not think those embarrassed Jews would have quickly forwarded one of them? They did not because they could not. Authority in religion is either from heaven of from men and the Bible makes it plain that proper authority in the spiritual realm lies with God not man.

Authority in the Spiritual Realm Is Not Subjective

Man has neither the ability nor right inherent within him to be his own source of authority. Jeremiah 10:23 states that it is not in man to direct his own steps. Proverbs 14:12 confirms, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

Some suggest that one’s conscience is a sufficient guide in religion. But the conscience, in and of itself and by itself, is neither an accurate guide nor proper authority in the spiritual realm. The apostle Paul, before his conversion, used his conscience as his guide and it caused him to do many “contrary (defiant) things” (Acts 26:9; 23:1). In the days of the judges of Israel evil abounded because “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6).

Despite what Scripture says, though, mankind, over the ages, has sought to be its own authority and establish its own standards in the spiritual realm. These include such things as traditions (Matt. 15:13); opinions of family, ancestors (Matt. 10:37-39); and creeds of men (2 John 9-11). All of the standards in religion established by men, though varied, have one thing in common: they are all false. Since the wisdom of men is not from above, it is “earthly, sensual, demonic” (Jas. 3:15).

The Unique Nature of Scripture

While the world is filled with many books, with more being published every day, there is only one book from God. That book is the Bible. The word “Bible” means the book. Actually, though, it is not just one book but rather a compilation of sixty-six books.

These sixty-six books were written by about forty authors over a period of some 1600 years. These different men were found in different circumstances. Often they never knew one another. Yet, they wrote on the same general theme — the salvation of man. More unique is the fact that in all their writings there are no contradictions.

Many facts about “The Book of Books” are quite unique for the Bible, when compared to other books, is a strange book.

The Bible was the first book printed (in 1450 A.D.), yet, it was never copyrighted. It has the widest circulation of any book that has ever existed. It is found in libraries, hotels, offices of government, etc. It has been the greatest influence for good in the history of mankind. Wherever the Bible has gone civilization has been raised to a higher level of morality. Many civil laws that make life better for man have their origin in the Bible.

It is also a significant book in other ways. It is man’s sole source for the creation of his world and the origin of life. It gives him his only information on God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. While it is not the only book that refers to a life after death, it is the only one where promises concerning that life have been fulfilled and man’s hope in it substantiated. It makes all of this known in plain, understandable language and form.

In Ephesians 3:1-5, the apostle Paul states emphatically that the person who reads Scripture can have the same understanding that he had of the mystery of Christ. To gain that understanding, though, one must first desire to have knowledge of the Bible and then begin a systematic, logical study of it.

The Bible can be studied in a sytematic way because is a systematic book which reveals a logical plan and purpose. It is a purpose which involves the glory of God, the love of Christ and the salvation of mankind. The Bible is not, as some would suggest, a conglomeration of stories and wise sayings scattered about haphazardly without logic or system. If one logically studies it while considering its overall theme, the salvation and redemption of mankind, he can understand and profit from it. With diligent effort (2 Timothy 2:15), the mystery of God in Jesus Christ can be unlocked and applied.

The Bible is unique in that it makes promises and warnings no other book does. It promises to enlighten (Psalm 19:9; 119:130); give understanding (Psalm 119:130); be better than gold (Psalm 19:10); save (James 1:21; Romans 1:16); sanctify (John 17:7); judge (John 12:48); and endure forever (John 12:48). It warns of sin (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20; Rev. 21:8). It also warns everyone to neither add to the word of God contained in it (Rev. 22:18) nor take away from it (Rev. 22:19). It warns all not to teach or accept anything else (Galatians 1:6-9).

The Bible is likewise unique because it fills all of mankind’s greatest needs spiritually (2 Peter 1:3). It answers mankind’s greatest questions — questions which man has pondered since the dawn of time — “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” No other literary work has the answers to these questions.

Yes, the Bible is unique in many ways. No other written work begins to compare to the inspired Scriptures. That uniqueness gives evidence to the fact that the Bible is from God and not a product of man’s wisdom. Its contents are far superior to anything man has ever devised because of its source — Jehovah God. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Written by my friend Gene Taylor.

God’s Authority Expressed to Man

written by my friend Gene Taylor – this article can also be found at http://www.centervilleroad.com/articles/authority-4.html

God’s will has always been made known through His speaking — His word. His revelation is a manifestation of His moral character. His laws, statutes, commandments, etc., are holy because He is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). They are true because He is truth (John 17:17; Heb. 6:18).

He spoke through prophets in previous dispensations. Holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to speak the things of God (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Hebrews 1:1 states that in times past God spoke to the fathers through the prophets. He even testified of Jesus Christ before His coming to earth through the prophets (1 Pet. 1:10-11).

In this present age, God speaks exclusively through His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). The Father has delegated all authority to the Son (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22-23). Jesus is that “prophet” of whom Moses spoke would be “like unto” him (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22). Jesus, while upon the earth, repeatedly stated that God had “sent” Him into the world (John 8:16,18,26,29,42). The apostles, over and over, declared the Lordship of Jesus (Acts 2:36; 3:26; 10:36; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; 2:9-10). Since Jesus is God’s only spokesman today, and since He possesses all authority, all teaching must be “of Christ” if it is to have proper authority behind it (2 John 9-11; 1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Using the Holy Spirit to guide them, Jesus authorized His apostles to use His authority. He promised they would receive dunamis, power (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). They were given exousia, authority (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10). The Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised, endowed them with their power and authority (John 14:26; 16:7-13).

The work of the apostles began on the day of Pentecost recorded in the second chapter of the book of Acts. Later, when they wrote, the words were given to them by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:9-13; Gal. 1:11-12).

We must respect the authority of God as it is expressed unto us by Jesus Christ since Jesus possesses all authority and since He is God’s exclusive spokesman to us. If we respect His authority:

  • All of His laws will immediately be important to us. We will want to know all that Jesus has commanded of us.
  • A to Him will become our way of life. Jesus expects such obedience (Matt. 7:21-23; Luke 6:46). He is Savior to those who are obedient to Him (Heb. 5:8-9).
  • His character will be developed in our lives by the application of His teaching to our minds. We will be transformed into having the “mind of Christ” in all things (Phil. 2:5; Rom. 12:1-2). The qualities of character He possesses and the attitudes He has for God and others will become our standards in every aspect of our lives.

It is vitally important that every person understand how God’s authority is expressed to man so that all will recognize it, learn what it commands, and submit to it in all things. To do anything less, would be to fall short of what God would have us to be and fail to live in accordance with His revealed will.

Thanks so much to j29events.com, the best Portland Wedding Planner for sponsoring my blog!

The Need for Authority in Religion

written by Gene Taylor – also found at http://www.centervilleroad.com/articles/authority-1.html

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Authority, as used in the above text, is defined as “the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). W.E. Vine defines it as “the power of rule or government, the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others” (Expository Dictionary of NT Words).

There is a definite need for authority in the spiritual realm. The nature of man demands it. Since man was created as a free moral agent capable of determining good from evil and of choosing between the two, the authority to make the distinction between good and evil is not within him but must come from without. Jeremiah 10:23 states, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” To this Proverbs 14:12 adds, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

The history of man when he is left to the vanity of his own reason displays his desperate need for divine authority. Romans 1:21-28 says that without God man became foolish (v. 22); unclean (v. 24); vile in his passions (v. 26); and debased in his mind (v. 28). 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 reveals that the “wisdom” of man is foolishness in comparison to the wisdom of God (cf. Isa. 55:8-9). Ephesians 4:17-19 states that the world apart from God lives in futility with its understanding darkened because of ignorance. “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

Without authority, religion would be completely meaningless. Such was the case during the period of the Judges in Israel. There was no recognition of authority because “in those days…everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud. 17:6). Thus their religion lost meaning and they became evil. Failing to submit to God’s law and rejecting His authority, they were condemned and delivered to their enemies to be oppressed.

The ultimate end of a lack of authority in the spiritual realm would be total moral and spiritual bankruptcy.