Only Three Sins… Only 3 ?

What if I told you that I believe that there are Only Three Sins? Will You Bite?

Apple If you go to Google and search “Sin List” you will find a web page with the Heading… Sin List – wogim.org Sin List

“Click” on it and a list of sins numbered from 1 to 667 pops up, each one followed with a scripture reference. The “A’s” were tough starting with [1] Abortion and including things like [5] Adultery and [15] Astrology.

I Printed the list… its 14 pages long. I think it covers everything i have ever done wrong.667 vs 3

Still, I believe that there are ONLY 3.. You say “What about the “10” Commandments?” and again I say THREE… Only 3 Sins …and everything else is simply Fruit.

There is a Sin that leads to Death… “The Ultimate Sin” …Denying the very Existence and Power of God.  It makes perfect sense to me.  Your born and choose in your infinite wisdom to ignore the existence of God and you live to be old and you die.

HELL, Though there is written testimony and evidence that there may be additional consequences… why should you care, you don’t believe in God anyway.

AppleSin Number ONE: The Sin of unbelief… Saying that no God exists and therefore without God’s existence… there is certainly NO Holy Power of God anywhere in the universe..

And if there is no power to save you when death comes… you will surely Die!

Jesus said… “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:31-32]

Death pathway

But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit (the Power of God) will not be forgiven,

This is the unbelievers only sin… for if you are already separated from God, can another sin  possibly separate you further?  Plus Dead is Dead.

The next two sins are reserved for believers!

AppleSin Number Two: Knowing God, yet not loving Him as the Lord your God of your life and not loving Him with all your Heart, with all your Soul, with all of your Mind and with all of your Strength.

I trip and stumble over this more than I know… choosing my way over His way.

Jesus said this: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37 Mark 12:30

Apple

Sin Number Three: Not loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself… choosing to love me, myself and I more than all the rest of you.

everyday I choose myself over the needs and desires of others, don’t you? 

Dropped MoneySomeone cuts me off in traffic… do I honk and offer a hand gesture in anger or do I pray for their safety?

When I see someone drop a $1.00 bill or a $20.00, does the size of the bill influence my decision to catch up with them and return their loss?

It is so easy to choose me first and let my neighbors fend for themselves.

Jesus said: “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Matthew 22:39 Mark 12:31

I actually like the way this is recorded in Luke’s Gospel when a Lawyer stands up to put Jesus to the test saying: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 

and Jesus answered his question with a question: “What does the Law say and how do you read it?”  …The Lawyer answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to the Lawyer, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

IS A SIN IN THE BIBLE THEREFORE NO LONGER A SIN?  NO OF COURSE NOT!   There are still over 600 individual definable sins that we as humans commit every day,  The most common one is denying that GOD even exists, or writing Him off as being Mother Nature, or The Powers That Be, or A Statue or Carved Image… However, for the remaining 666 sins on the printed Sins List… Careful examination will resolve them down to either not Loving God with all of our Heart, or not loving our Neighbor as much as we love ourselves… OR BOTH… think about it..!

And If you still find yourself standing on the wrong side of the Unbelievers line, your the-linenot alone, there are millions of people still standing there with you… The good news… there is still time to change your mind.

In Acts 2:37-38 we find a group of men who come to realize they are still standing on the Death side of this line… so they cry out  saying “What shall we do?”

This is my advice to you: Let God reach out and touch your Heart.  And as Peter said to those lost men… Repent… [change your mind about who you say Jesus is] and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [the power of God in your life]

If you will do this, then you are set free from Sin Number One and God can begin to work on Sins Number Two and Three.  Believe Me it is worth every minute!apple-love

Beyond Belief

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. John 1:6-8  

Belief in God is just the beginning…a beginning to a new relationship.  When I finally decided that I really did believe, it was like I simply opened the door and said… “Okay God, it’s okay with me, you can come on in.”

That is the day I started arguing less and listening more…however, before that day… any conversation with me about God was the beginning of an argument. …no matter what side you were on…I was on the arguing side.  Why?  It’s simple enough…I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  My favorite target for an argument was my sister-in-law.  She was always talking Jesus this and Jesus that, but I was so caught up in myself…I couldn’t see her Jesus.  I guess you could say I was hardpan soil…

Like the soils described in this parable in Mark’s Gospel.. …there went out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground… and some fell among thorns…and others fell on good ground…And He said to them, he that has ears to hear, let him hear…The sower soweth the word. Mark 4:3-9 & 14

I was more like asphalt…hard and stoney and near impenetrable…like a concrete sidewalk along the wayside on my road to nowhere.  That was me…pretty much oblivious to what was going on outside my little world…until I invited Him In!  And then the first crack appeared in my protective shell… on the day I finally said;

“Yes, I believe in you God”

…and in my believing, my hard ground started to become His good ground..!

Soon after…God sent an emissary in the form of a child.  A little girl just three years old,  as His special secret agent.  My little girl, curious about whose picture was hanging on the wall at daycare asks…

“mommy, who is that?”  In passing…her mother replys.”that’s Jesus honey.”   “mommy…where does Jesus live?”  following a pause… she answers “honey…he lives at church.”  …”mommy, I want to go where Jesus lives…I want to go to His house..!”

From the very last row of a balcony in a little church in Aloha Oregon…my wife says she found something and wanted to go back…and my little one…she just wanted to pray all the time…everywhere.  That’s what she learned at Jesus House.  Oh, and my sister-in-law…well they were becoming a lot like her… Jesus this and Jesus that..!  Belief in God was one thing…but I didn’t sign up for all this…a life with Jesus freaks…”come on”…plus praying in public was, to say the least, a little uncomfortable…and a lot embarrassing..!

So…in defense…and sure that my family had joined a cult…I sought some help. . . 

The owner of The Dove Bookstore listened…then suggested a book… “The parallel Bible”…It didn’t look like a bible…it was a big paperback.  He said; It was like a Bible… except contained four different translations…that way, I could be sure to know the truth and hopefully set my family free.  He suggested, It might be best to begin my reading at The Book of John, and showed me the page…so thats what I did… At first reading… ‘The Amplified’ version seemed best…however…reading every verse in every chapeter in all four translations…well that proved most helpful in my quest for truth…

The Amplified Bible…The Gospel According to John…starts out reading like this… 1. In the beginning [before all time] was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.  2. He was present originally with God.  3. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.  4. In Him was Life and the Life was the Light of men.  5. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never over-powered it – darkness has never put it out, has not absorbed it, has not appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it.

which brings us back where we started today’s blog… There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.   This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. John 1:6

Those very first few verses captured me…I could not put this book down.  I read the book at home…I read the book at the office…everywhere I went…I read the book.  For thirty days I read this book…everyday.  I read the book so much…that my dad thought I might have lost my mind.  And then suddenly something happened…I knelt down behind my desk… and began to talk to God…saying…”God…all this makes sense…more sense than anything I have ever heard before…God…I want to be your son…I want your Jesus in my life…I want you to be my God…please forgive me for not seeing you before..!”  And it was so…And I was beyond belief.  My hard soil was being broken.

Read the Word of God…I believe it will change your life…

Thanks for Listening…

Resolution “I want a better year”

Okay…it is here…it is finally here…out with the old and in with the new…the new year… is here…Happy New Year…Happy Happy Happy New Year… now what..?

Maybe I need to resolve to do better this new year. 

Let’s see…what can I do?  Okay…I am over-weight…I could resolve to weigh less…Um…     I’ll eat less and exercise more, how about that……or I know… I owe to much Money…so I will resolve to spend less and work harder…and just maybe I will earn more…

One thing is certain…If I want a better year…I am going to need something to Change.

 Perhaps a New Year’s Resolution..!  The Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.   The Romans began each year by making promises to the god janus, for whom the month of January is named.   In Medieval times, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end on the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.  And even today about 45 percent of Americans make ‘New Years Resolutions” …However recent studies show that only about 52% of those making a resolution have confidence that they will actually succeed and only about 12% actually do.

That is not going to work for me…I said I needed Change not Chance..!

Webster defines Resolution as follows; 3a: something that is resolved as in <I made a resolution to mend my ways> I may need to mend my ways…but a 12% chance is just not good enough for me…I think what I need is another WORD..!  So I am going to change the word RESOLUTION like this…I ‘ll remove the S like this…RE_ OLUTION… and replace it with a V like this…and there it is…my new word… REVOLUTION…that’s it… I want a revolution in my life…a New Year’s Revolution… I want a changed life…

Webster basically says it like this…Revolution is a sudden, radical, or complete change… a fundamental change in my way of thinking… out with the old and in with the new… so to speak…a leadership change…a new decision maker change…Hmmm…

THIS NEWS JUST IN…I have been stuck right here…unable to finish this blog for days. Writers block I guess.  I could not find the words to say what I knew that I wanted to say…and I was frustrated.  After all…this is a New Year’s Blog and it is already the 10th of January.  It’s time to get er done..!

Then this morning about 10 o’clock a friend asked me to come pray with him and a man who had just minutes before…re-accepted and re-invited Jesus Christ back into his life.

He had good parents that believed in God…he first accepted Christ when he was a teenager…and then he lost his way in rebellion, alcohol, drugs among many other things…then today after some twenty years of trying to fight his way back…TODAY he gave up his fight and asked a friend for help…and today it is as if he has been Born Again…

Today he did’nt make a resolution to mend his ways…He had already tried and failed at that at least a hundred…maybe even a thousand times before.

Today he started a Revolution…Today he surrendered his personal government to God…not in some obscure private secret way…but publicly…and in front of witnesses..!

And because he has asked the Lord of Lords to be his King…he is being born again Today…he has new life right now…and new hope for tomorrow.  Already God is telling him “I Love You”…

Today a man was Born Again into the Kingdom of God…a man of great value…a man Jesus agreed to die for…a man created with purpose…for the Glory of The Lord..!

…Today at 10 o’clock He called me and I answered..!

Now that is what I call a REVOLUTION..!

Now a child of God

In Christ, we are no longer orphans…Father God understands the importance of fathers…and …He knows most of us have been orphaned in some way sometime in our lives…So He sent us a Helper and that Helper is His Spirit…[the Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit].

The Holy Spirit is… the Lord’s Spirit…the Lord’s Presence…the Lord’s Breath…and God’s Prophetic promise as proclaimed to us by the prophet Joel [Joel 2:28-29]…

Through the Holy Spirit… God Reveals Himself & His purpose to us…

By the Holy Spirit… He Empowers us to fulfill His purpose…

The fulfilling of the promise of the Gift of the Holy Spirit took place on the day of Pentecost…and is described by the Apostle Peter in Act chapter 2:38…Peter says…People of all nations…repent… repent means “to change your mind”… so Peter is saying…”change your mind and be baptized…every one… in the name of Jesus Christ…for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In order for us to receive the Holy Spirit…Jesus had to die first for the forgiveness of our sins…with our sins now forgiven…we can receive the Holy Spirit…Gods’ Spirit..!

Q.  What is it that we need to change our mind about..?

A. We need to change our mind about who we say Jesus is…We need to decide…Jesus is the Christ…the one who came to die in our place for our sins.  Jesus is the one we crucified…

Acts 2:36 [just 2 verses earlier Peter says]…”Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” … ESV

So Peter says…”Change your mind…then be baptized…every one…in the name of Jesus Christ…then…your sin is forgiven…and you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…the Helper..!”

The entire world changed that day…on the Day of Pentecost…Just a day or so earlier in Acts 1:15 the word says…”And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty)…” – Acts 1:15 NKJV… and then the Holy Spirit comes in Acts 2 and the word says in verse 42 …those who received his [Peters’] word…were baptized, and were added that day about three thousand souls…Acts 2:41 ESV

WOW…the Spirit of God can do…even greater things…

What Changed…? …from this day Pentecost and forever more… sin would no longer be failure to keep and fulfill the Law…sin was now simply “not having Jesus Christ at the center of your life”…and it is still the same today…by changing our mind about who Jesus is and being baptized in His name…our sins are forgiven…and because our sins are forgiven…we can once again enter into a relationship with Father God…and His Holy Spirit can become our Helper…

Now a little Definition and History lesson…someone asked me “when is Pentecost..?”

Pentecost literally means “The Fiftieth Day” pente-fiftieth and cost-day [the fiftieth day] in Greek…

And the History…For Ancient Israel “Pentecost”, and the Jewish holiday, called Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah [the Law] to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai, The date of Shavuot is directly linked to that of Passover.  Shavuot is always fifty days after Passover…and is celebrated either as Shavuot if your Jewish or as Pentecost if your Christian, but always fifty days after Passover. Passover dates back to Egypt and the blood of the lamb spread upon the door posts to be passed over by death…

So Father God chose to pour out His Holy Spirit [our helper] over all the earth on the very day that His Israelite nation…already celebrated “the day God gave Moses the Law at Mount Sinai… So we get to choose…  Shavuot or Pentecost… Law or Spirit…

Choose the Spirit & there will no longer be a knotty or nice list& that is called Liberty or Freedom.

Many people have chosen the Law rather than the Spirit as it says in 2 Corinthians 3:14-18

14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 ESV

Everybody’s story is the same but different…different details…same circumstances… somewhere someone abandoned me…someone didn’t protect me…someone deprived me of my God given advantages and stole my opportunities and now I am all alone…and there is no hope.

Simply put…I am damaged goods…God knows this…life has taken its toll on me…and I am no longer the person He created me to be…the good news is…He has a plan to restore me to whom I was created to be…I can’t do it myself…I have tried and failed and tried and failed over and over again…So he made a way through Jesus to send a helper to help me…and now there is hope…and I am a son of God.

I want to show you this in His word…in John Gospel 1:12-13 first in the English Stantard Version and then in the Kings James Version…

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,   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 ESV

12 But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: – John 1:12 KJV

It is right here in His word…He gave the right…He gave the power…to become…children of God…the sons of God…

…in John 3 Jesus tells Nicodemus…you must be born again to see the kingdom of God…and then says…unless one is born of water & the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God…  BE BORN AGAIN..!

It is through these words that I now can see more clearly this picture of born again…

John the Baptist says in John 1 …but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name… the King James says “He gave the power to become the sons of God” …the power is in the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit [the Helper] we can become the sons of God..!

John the Baptist prophesied it…to be reborn…not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus Christ proclaimed it and died for it…that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is Spirit…he who believes in the Son has everlasting life…

The Holy Ghost delivered it…On the day of Pentecost…

and Peter proclaimed it in Acts 2…

Q. Will we receive this life God has for us or not..?

In the Kingdom of Godthe helper is the one who knows what I need before I even ask…He is the one who hands me the tools I need to finish His work…He is the one who supplies whatever I need whenever I need it…He even lets me know what it is that I need… sometimes even before I know that I need it.

The True Story of Christmas

It is Christmas time…and we are all about decorating and shopping and doing advent with our kids and stuff. And of course…family…and plans for a very large dinner…and presents…and disagreements with family over politics and sports and old grudges and first and second hand offences and disputes over whether Christmas is a pagan holiday and whether we should have Christmas trees or not…and then there is the Christmas story…with Santa, his sleigh full of toys and eight tiny reindeer…and don’t forget Rudolph with his red nose so bright…and Frosty the Snowman…and of course The Grinch who stole Christmas…and all the Christmas songs on the radio and Christmas moves…and if you type “Christmas Movies” into your Google search window…you will find over 250 titles…Elf is my favorite…and of course we can’t forget the knotty and nice list…but wait…wait just a minute…woe dancer and dasher and donnor and blitzen…didn’t I hear someone say the Christmas Story…what about the Christmas Story…the real Christmas Story…stop the presses…

 

Somewhere in all this hustle and bustle…we flew right by the reason for Christmas…so let us set aside our commercialized Christmas Stories…our Elf, and Home Alone, and Yes Virginia There is a Santa Clause, and Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas, and yes even Rudolph and Frosty…and let’s take a minute to refocus those Christmas eyes all filled with visions of sugar plums…and again take a look at the rest of the story…

 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: which is to say…the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way: When as his mother Mary was espoused [meaning that she was betrothed, or promised in marriage] to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just [man], and not willing to make her a publick example [as a just man he was unwilling to put her to shame], was minded to put her away privily [considered quietly divorcing her]. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, [in the book of Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14] saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel [or Immanuel], which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised [woke] from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden [commanded] him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth [given birth] her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. – Mat 1:18-25 KJV

So what is the true Christmas Story..?

We all know that this story goes on to tell of how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for the census for tax purposes…and how the wise men from the east came bearing gifts…and how they had followed the star in the sky…and traveled great distance to find this baby…this promised one…and how they worshiped Him when they found this baby born in a stable…waiting their arrival…swaddled and lying in a manger…no crib for a bed…as the song goes…

Almost all of the Christmas Jesus stories seem to be about that little baby in that manger with no crib for a bed…But that is not the purpose of Christmas…for the ‘True Story of Christmas’ is this…

For God So loved the world that on the very first Christmas…He gave to all…His only begotten Son so that His Son could die for us all on a cross…so that we could once again be Gods sons & daughters…as it says in Acts chapeter 2…we have changed our mind about who Jesus is…been baptized in His name and received the Holy Spirit along with all the gifts that come into our life through His Spirit…we have received the right…the very power…to become children of God…

That is the gift…The true Christmas Story is…God with us..!