God and Allah: Different Gods or Different Beliefs

In the book Answering Islam, authors Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb wrote:
Allah is the personal name for God in Islam. We make no distinction in this book, as some do, between the word “Allah” and the English word “God.” As one well-known Muslim author puts it, “Al Lah means ‘the Divinity’ in Arabic: it is a single God, implying that a correct transcription can only render the exact meaning of the word with the help of the expression ‘God.’ For the Muslims, al lah is none other than the God of Moses and Jesus.”
In agreement with this warning, Kenneth Cragg, the noted Christian scholar of Islam, also claims that “since both Christians and Muslim faiths believe in One supreme sovereign Creator-God, they are obviously referring when they speak of Him, under whatever terms, to the same Being. To suppose otherwise would be confusing. It is important to keep in mind that though the apprehensions differ, their theme is the same. The differences, which undoubtedly exist, between the Muslim and the Christian understanding of God are far- reaching and must be patiently studied. But it would be fatal to all our mutual tasks to doubt that One and the same God over all was the reality in both.” Arab Christians use the term “Allah” for God. Of course, their understanding of what this term means differs from that of Muslims, but both have the same referent in mind.[1]
Campus Crusade’s Jesus Film in the Urdu language uses “Allah” for God throughout the movie. The New Urdu Bible also uses the term Allah for God. However, on 2 January 2014, Islamic authorities in Malaysia seized 321 Bibles from a Christian group because they used the word Allah to refer to God after a Malaysian court in October ruled that the Arabic word was exclusive to Muslims.[2] When the Catholic Church sought to overturn the ban, its challenge was rejected by Malaysia’s highest court. However, the government released a more moderate statement. Reuters reported:
…after the Federal Court announced its verdict on Monday, the government released a statement saying that the ruling would only apply to the Church’s newspaper, which has been at the center of the court battle since Malaysian authorities ordered the publication to cease using the Arabic word in 2007.

Malaysian Christians will still be able to use the word “Allah” in church, the government’s statement said.

Christian leaders argue that the word “Allah” predates Islam, and has long been used in Malay-language bibles and other texts to refer to God.[3]
Obviously, in Malaysia having a Muslim background, Christians unhesitatingly referred to God as Allah. However, the authorities were alarmed as they felt that this could influence Muslims to convert to Christianity.

On the contrary, Muslims in America continue to favor the idea that Muslims and Christians worship the same God and Allah and God are one and the same. However, Christians have felt that this threatens Christianity. On December 15, 2015, Wheaton College placed Larycia Hawkins on administrative leave for making theological statements that implied that Muslims and Christians worshipped the same God. She had stated, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.” Of course, without addressing the question whether this “same God” means the one God above all interpreted differently or meant that the two varying interpretations were equally valid, it would be too early to judge a statement about the one God. However, the issue stirred a heat of controversy.

Nabeel Qureshi of RZIM responded saying, “for years after leaving Islam and accepting Jesus as Lord, I believed that Muslims worshiped the same God as Christians but that they are simply wrong about what He is like and what He has done…. but I no longer do. Now I believe that the phrase “Muslims and Christians worship the same God” is only true in a fairly uncontroversial sense: There is one Creator whom Muslims and Christians both attempt to worship. Apart from this banal observation, Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.”[4]

Of course, Nabeel doesn’t narrow down the discussion into the controversy surrounding the use of the name “Allah”. But, Sham Shamoun,  in his article on answering-islam.org, “Is Allah the God of the Bible?” concludes after a brief examination of “Allah” as presented in the Quran that “he cannot possibly be the same God worshiped by Abraham and as described in the Holy Bible. The contradictions in attributes and nature between Yahweh and Allah are too numerous to pass over, and cannot be reconciled.” However, at the same time, he also notes:
We are well aware that the name Allah is used by Arab speaking Christians for the God of the Bible. In fact, the root from which the name is derived, ilah, stems from the ancient Semitic languages, corresponding to the Mesopotamian IL, as well as the Hebrew-Aramaic EL, as in Ishma-el, Immanu-el, Isra-el. These terms were often used to refer to any deity worshiped as a high god, especially the chief deity amongst a pantheon of lesser gods. As such, the Holy Bible uses the term as just one of the many titles for Yahweh, the only true God.
Yet the problem arises from the fact that Muslims insist that Allah is not a title, but the personal name of the God of Islam. This becomes problematic since according to the Holy Bible the name of the God of Abraham is Yahweh/Jehovah, not Allah…. Therefore, Christians can use Allah as a title or a generic noun for the true God, but not as the personal name for the God of the Holy Bible.”[5]
Albert Mohler, in his article “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?” published in Decision Magazine by BGEA wrote in December 2013:
… in recent years… some Christians, including some serving with mission agencies, have argued that Christians can use the name “Allah” in talking about God. In some languages, especially those based on Arabic source, there is no generic word for god. In such a situation, it might be necessary to begin a conversation by using this word, but the Christian cannot continue to call God “Allah.” It is hard to imagine that anyone can hear the name “Allah” without thinking of him as claimed in the Quran…. Indeed, Muslims who speak languages other than Arabic use “Allah” as the name of god. But as soon as the Christian begins to explain that the true living God is the Father of the Jesus Christ the Son, the Christian is making clear that the true living God is not Allah, but our Heavenly Father.
Continuing to use the name “Allah” to refer to the God of the Bible in such situations invites deep confusion.[6]
However, I think Matthew Stone of Columbia International University has a more sagacious observation in this regard. He writes:
… if one says Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God because Muslims reject Jesus as God, as well as the doctrine and reality of the Trinity, then we must also say Jews and Christians do not worship the same God.
…In Acts 17, Paul at the Areopagus declares Athenians who are confused about the true attributes of God to be very religious. He beautifully states that the true God is very close to them and that they live, move, and have their being in Him.
I like Paul’s approach, which is loving, philosophically adequate and practical in terms of correcting confused individuals who believe in the shadow of God but need to know His fullness.[7]
We understand that the New Testament doesn’t use the name “Yahweh” for God. We also understand that by this time, the Jews had started referring to God mainly as Adonai. In recent times, however, there has been a lot of controversy over the name not only of God (even its pronunciation, whether Jehovah or Yahweh) but also the name of Jesus (some turning to the Hebrew Y’shua). Certainly, such trends have more to do with the flesh (language, culture, etc) and nothing to do with the spirit. Certainly, Biblical believers will agree that neither Hebrew nor Arabic nor Sanskrit is the language of heaven, exclusively speaking. In a polytheistic setting such as India, we can find generic words such as Parmeshwar in Hindi and Deva in Telugu (but, Hindi doesn’t use Deva for God as it may connote devatas, gods). We also can choose between the Arabic Allah or Rab and Persian Khoda (Iranian, Khuda) in Urdu. While Urdu speaking people would usually choose Khuda or Rab, they are also usually receptive of Quranic names for Jesus such as Kalimatullah (Word of God) and Ruhullah (Spirit from God), though some are cautious. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Christian holds to whatever various interpretations one makes of God (and there are varying views among Muslims as well). Paul thought that the Athenians were very religious, and he found that they also had an altar to the Unknown God. Using this as a Launchpad and also the writings of their own poets that talked about humans as being children of God, he proclaimed to them the nature of God as that which cannot be like gold or silver (Acts 17:29).

If there is a choice, of course, it is always better to use a generic term that would be more open for use by every community. As pointed out, most Urdu speaking Christians prefer Khuda or Rab over Allah. Yet, at the same time, it more looks like burning bridges than building them when we say “Christians worship a different God from Muslims”. It would be more proper to say that “The Christian view of God is different from the Muslim view of God.” This, at least, allows room for discussion and prevents caricaturing. How do you know that there was never an Epimenides among the Muslims? Also, is the Calvinist view of God the same as the Arminian? Isn’t it possible that an Arminian may go to the extremity of saying that the God of Calvinism is not the God of Bible or vice versa? Disagreeing views about Obama don’t prove that the views disagree because they are referring to two different persons. Also, if Allah predates Islam and is more personal to Christians in a particular region, because they now are convinced that they know Allah better and in a more accurate and personal way through the Bible, who are we to fix the rules for them? Certainly, when the Arabic Christian opens Genesis 1:1 in his language, he always reads "In the beginning Allah created the heavens and the earth."




[1] Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb, Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 13-14
[2] “Malaysia’s Islamic authorities seize Bibles as Allah row deepens”, Reuters, Thu Jan 2, 2014. Reuters.com
[3] “Malaysian court to Christians: You can’t say ‘Allah’” CNN. June 24, 2014. Cnn.com
[4] Nabeel Qureshi, “Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?” December 27, 2015. Rzim.org.
[5] Sam Shamoun, “Is Allah the God of Bible?” answering-islam.org
[6] Albert Mohler, “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?” Decision Magazine, December 1, 2013, billygraham.org
[7] Matthew Stone, “A Messianic Jew and Former Muslim on the Allah vs God Debate”, Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, zwemercenter.com
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Man Proposes, God Disposes (Origin of Saying)

"A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." (Pro. 16:9)

"Le coeur de l'homme se propose sa voie, mais l'Éternel dispose ses pas. (Proverbs 16:9, Darby)

Means: The heart of a man proposes or plans his way, but God disposes or directs his steps (brings about his goings).

Seems like this is the origin of the saying "Man proposes but God disposes."

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LITTLE FAITH VS GREAT FAITH

If I believe that God created the entire universe, but fail to believe that He controls everything, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that Christ forgave all my sins, but I still feel bad and guilty, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that God cares for the flowers and the sparrows, but I still worry about food and clothing, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that Jesus became a man, yet I feel life is meaningless sometimes, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that Jesus healed all the sick, but wonder if He would heal me, am I not a man of little faith?
If I can believe what God did in the past and what He will do in the future, but fail to believe Him to do something now, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe He rides over the waves and the storms, but am terrified by the sound of the wind, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that He loves the world and cares for even the sparrow, but I feel unloved sometimes, am I not a man of little faith?
If I believe that Christ rose for my justification, but still am afraid of some guilt or curse that may be over my life, am I not a man of little faith?

The difference between little faith and great faith is not in quantity; it is in quality. Little faith is self-contradicting and wavering. Great faith is absolute, complete, unrelenting, and unconditional to the end. Only believe!

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MODERN RESPONSES TO THE GOSPEL

1. The Rationalist: The Cross is too irrational!
2. The Empiricist: I won't believe unless I see and touch and verify.
3. The Utilitarian: What do I gain from all this faith-talk? What does it matter to me if God is God? I want to know what I benefit by accepting this Gospel now.
4. The Pluralist: All rivers lead to the same ocean. So, everything is alright.
5. The Sensualist: There is too little drama in this story. It is too plain if not too incomprehensible.
6. The Religionist: The Gospel will destroy our age-old religion. Begone with it!
7. The Believer: I believe!

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God in the Midst of Sudden Silence

The passion of a hurricane,
The pouring of a cloudburst rain,
Then, suddenly, a dumb silence;
But, God, You are still there!!

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How Can Those Already Dead in Sins Die in Christ Again?

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1 NKJ)
In Christ we die to sin.
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Rom 6:2 NKJ)
Christ also did not die in sins; for He is the sinless One. But, He died to sin, i.e. to the condemning power of sin that held over the old creation.
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Rom 6:9-10 NKJ)
Therefore, we are called to reckon ourselves "to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:11 NKJ)
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom 6:5 NKJ)
Thus, in Christ, by faith in Him, those who are dead in sins become dead to sin so that they can live to God.

To be dead in sins means to be separated from the life of God because of our sins. But, Christ Himself is Life and in Him is Eternal Life. Therefore, death could never touch Him. Death could not hold Him. By faith in Christ one is made alive in Christ, so that one is now dead to sin and alive to God.
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Bultmann - Simple Living

Liberal Professor: How could you have finished your biblical studies without ever having heard of Bultmann!!
Pastor: Bultmann is nowhere mentioned in the Bible.
~Simple Living~

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Why theology when there's so much of suffering out there?

Seminary Student: Why bother so much about theology and doctrine when there is a whole lot of suffering in the world? Instead, we must go out and serve the victims of suffering.
Professor: So, why are you here?
~Simple Living~
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"In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh", "In the Likeness of Men" (Rom.8:3, Phil.2:7) - Barnes and Zodhiates

ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκὸς ἁμαρτίας (Rom 8:3 BYZ)
in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom 8:3 NAS)
Albert Barnes:
"That is, he so far resembled sinful flesh that he partook of flesh, or the nature of man, but without any of its sinful propensities or desires. It was not human nature; not, as the Docetae taught, human nature in appearance only; but it was human nature without any of its corruptions."

Zodhiates, Word Study:
homoíōma; gen. homoiṓmatos, neut. noun from homoióō (G3666), to make like. Likeness, shape, similitude, resemblance. It is important to realize that the resemblance signified by homoíōma in no way implies that one of the objects in question has been derived from the other. In the same way two men may resemble one another even though they are in no way related to one another....
....
In Rom 8:3, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness [homoiṓmati] of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Paul indicates not that the body of Christ was merely human, but that in spite of His having a real body and a truly human nature, yet these were only similar to ours, without sin or the propensity to sin.
....
ἀλλ᾽ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν, μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος (Phi 2:7 BYZ)
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Phi 2:7 NAS)
Zodhiates, Word Study:
In Phil. 2:6-8, three synonymous words occur:
(A) The first word is morphḗ, form or inward identifiable existence. Christ's identification as God in heaven is clear, "Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God [He was not made equal to God but that He always was of the same essence as God and of the same rank {cf. Joh 1:18}]" (Phil. 2:6). No person could be in the form of God and not be God. In Phil. 2:7, the Gr. text simply says, "But He emptied Himself." ...
In His incarnation, however, He voluntarily took on the form of a man and His humanity was fully recognized by men on earth. While He lived on earth as the God-Man, He was simultaneously the Son of God in heaven. In other words, He did not empty Himself of His divine perfections nor of the essence of His being, but He emptied Himself into a life of humiliation that was itself emptied into death.
....Jesus Christ did not have His life taken from Him. He died because He chose to die (Joh 10:17-18).

This is the reason why in Phil. 2:7 for the statement that Jesus "was made in the likeness of men [en homoiṓmati anthrṓpōn]"; and in verse eight that He was "found in fashion as a man [hōs ánthrōpos]." In shape (schḗma), He was exactly as man. In this instance the words homoíōma, likeness, and schḗma, shape, are parallel. In His essence (morphḗ) He was God, but took upon Himself, in addition to His deity, the likeness of men (with a true human nature in a real body), yet without sin (Heb 4:15). For this reason we are told that he was made en homoiṓmati anthrṓpōn, "in the likeness of men," not merely that He became man.

(B) The second word that is used in Phil. 2:7 is homoíōma, "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness [homoíōma] of men." Paul declares here that Jesus Christ, whose essential preincarnate form was spirit (pneúma), emptied Himself and took upon Himself the form of man. But His was, as Rom 8:3 says, not the flesh of sin, but sinless flesh....

(C) The third word that occurs in the Philippian passage (Phil. 2:8) is schḗma, form, fashion. It refers here to the physical form that Jesus took. Schḗma is more closely related to homoíōma, likeness, than to morphḗ, form or substance, essence. "And being found in fashion [schḗmati, sing. dat. of schḗma] as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." The Lord Jesus did not deliver His divine nature to man to kill; His spirit could not be killed. His enemies, failing to recognize His deity, found "a man." This one they killed, not knowing that He was indeed the God-Man. Even so, the Apostle Paul tells us that the only reason they could kill Him was that "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto [until] death, even the death of the cross."



The death of Christ was an act of obedience. The death of Adam was the result of disobedience. In His death, Christ was essentially sinless. He was the sinless Lamb of God who took away all the sins of the world. He was made sin (2Cor.5:21); but, not sinner; for He is the Righteous One, the Holy God manifest in flesh. He offered Himself for our sins. Therefore, death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). And, He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Phil.3:21).
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A Translation Difficulty: 1 Thessalonians 4:5 - "Possess Vessel" or "Procure Wife"

"that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor." (1Thess.4:4)
Almost every translation in the English language, as well as translations in various other languages (including many Indian languages), preserves the idea of possessing one's own vessel or one's own body.

However, the Hindi translation (OV) is variant.
और तुम मे से हर एक पवित्रता और आदर के साथ अपनी पत्नी को प्राप्त करना जाने
(And each one of you must know to procure his wife with purity and honor)
One new Hindi translation (Adhyayan Sankaran) follows the popular translation of possessing the body; however, adds the following footnotes:
अथवा तुम मे से प्रत्येक दाम्पत्य में अपनी ही पत्नी के साथ रहना सीखें
(Each one of you must learn to stay with his own wife in the marital relationship)
अथवा तुम मे से प्रत्येक अपने लिए पत्नी प्राप्त करना सीखें
(Each one of you must learn to procure for himself a wife)
The following English versions favor the "procuring a wife" translation:
Weymouth New Testament:that each man among you shall know how to procure a wife who shall be his own in purity and honour...
GOD'S WORD® Translation:Each of you should know that finding a husband or wife for yourself is to be done in a holy and honorable way
The Greek word for "possess" is ktaomai and, according to Thayer, means:

  1. to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one's self, to possess
    a.  to marry a wife

The word has been used to mean "obtain" (Acts 22:28) and "purchase" (Acts 1:18; Acts 8:20) in other places.
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Did Jesus Pay Tithes to Melchizedek?

"Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him." (Heb.7:9-10)

If so, did Jesus also pay tithes to Melchizedek?

Of course, not. For before Abraham, Jesus IS.

Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (Jn.8:57-58)

In fact, scholars have identified Melchizedek with the Christophany, the appearance of Christ in the Old Testament; and it says:

"Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives." (Heb.7:8)

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The Marks on the Resurrected Body of Christ

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.... Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:19-27)

Obviously, Jesus' body had the marks; for, if they were not there, then the other disciples would have told Thomas that the body they saw had no marks of the wounds. But, why did Jesus rise up in a body with marks?

I understand that some of the beloved saints have maintained that the martyrs will still carry the marks of their persecution in their resurrected bodies. With utmost respect and love for these beloved ones, however, I find this not very plausible. For instance, what about those whose bodies were mutilated and who were torn apart by lions? Obviously, the resurrection of saints will be in a body that is healed of all wounds. Also, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; therefore, the glorious transformation of the living saints and the glorious resurrection of those who slept in Christ is necessary. This body has to be saved. But, that was not the case certainly with Jesus. His body was holy.

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Lk.1:35)
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me" (Heb.10:5)

It is impossible to say of Jesus that mortality reigned over Him, for He was sinless and free of the effects of sin. One could not say of Him, "just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." (Rom.5:12). Jesus never sinned. Jesus died for sins of the world not because of His sin, for He is sinless. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin; thus, He could be tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.

On the other hand, Adam was only a type of Christ, the Second Man, from heaven.
"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Rom.5:14, NKJ)

So, while sin came by Adam, through Christ came righteousness.
"Therefore, as through one man's offense [judgment] came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act [the free gift came] to all men, resulting in justification of life." (Rom.5:18, NKJ)
This couldn't be if Christ was an effect in the chain of sin.

Jesus could never have cried like Paul:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells" (Rom.7:18) And,
"O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom.7:24)

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He came to give life, and life more abundantly. He couldn't say all that if He was in the line of effects of Adam's sin. For, even before Abraham or before Adam, Christ IS. Therefore, the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is so significant.

Also, there is certainly a reason for the prophetic pronouncement that not one of His bones would be broken (Ps.34:20) and the fulfillment thereof (Jn.19:33-36).

His transfiguration on the Mount gave a glimpse of who He was, the Glory of God tabernacled in flesh and blood. It is wrong to think that Christ became something greater in His resurrection. His greatness is always in the infinite superlative, without any comparison whatsoever. However, in the Incarnation, we are told that He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant (Phil.2:7). He was made a little lower than the angels.

The physical wound marks on His body, apparently, only signify His distinction as the One from Above, the Last Adam, the Second Man.

Certainly, it is not impossible for God the Creator to rise up with a body without wound marks. Also, after His resurrection He appears to His disciples no longer in the same way as before the resurrection. In addition, it was not always easy for them to recognize Him always. In His High Priestly prayer, He prayed the Father to grant Him the glory which He had with Him before the foundation of the world. John testified that in Christ they beheld the glory of the only begotten of God.

-------------------------------
Last updated on June 7, 2016

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Pastor, Why Do I Fall?

Young Man: Pastor, why do I fall into sin again and again?
Pastor: Because you do not do all you can to avoid it. The snares are everywhere, but the watchful perceive and stay away. But, the curious, the careless, and the self-confident venture close to the pit and slip into it.

~Simple Living~

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Sowing and Reaping

One cannot sow wheat and expect somehow, by some miracle, rice to grow. What one sows is what one reaps. One cannot jump from a cliff and expect nothing to happen. Every effect has a cause. Every thought has a consequence. Every consequence follows from a chain of decisions. One cannot play with fire and not expect to burn. Therefore, be careful how and where you set your foot. Do not presume divine protection for careless stubbornness. Fear the Lord. There is a law of sin and there is a law of the Spirit. These laws don't budge to our whims and fantasies. If one tries to indulge in mire, even for a little while, by the edge, the mire will pull him down. If there is a warning or danger sign, better take heed. The fool hardens himself and gets punished. A man who repeats a mistake twice has failed to learn from it. A man who judges others for falling into a pit, and then himself goes and falls into it has not learned from the mistakes of others. But, it may not be a mistake the second time, just a presumptuous hardening of heart. Those who know the laws don't follow their feelings. A builder who builds according to what feels right and innocent or harmless, but, neglects the laws of engineering and is lazy to minutely refer to them will waste both time and material, and sometimes lives. One who sows at the wrong time and the wrong place will only damage the seed. There is a time for everything. There is a place for everything. And, there is a law by which each thing finds its own place and purpose.

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Temptation and Sin - Paris Reidhead

Paris Reidhead, "Temptation and Sin" (Audio Teaching)

Temptation is the proposition presented to the mind or the intellect to gratify a good appetite in a forbidden way. Temptation isn't sin. It is an idea presented to the intellect. Our Lord Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Temptation isn't sin. Sin is the decision of the will to gratify a good appetite in a bad way. It's not the gratification of it; it's the decision to do it. The decision to do it before the act is complete gives to the act the character of transgression. The decision constitutes the essence of sin.

When a child of God sins,
1. Fellowship with God is interrupted. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with one another.” If we walk in darkness, that fellowship is broken. If we never had the witness of the Spirit, and joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit, we would not ever know whether the fellowship was interrupted or not, because we never ever had any. We know that fellowship is broken, when the Spirit of God is grieved.
2. Prayers are not answered. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord does not hear me.” (Psa.66:18). It hasn’t even gotten into my lips yet, it hasn’t even gotten into my hands yet; if I regard it in my heart. If I decided to do and I’m not through yet, God will not hear me.
3. God won’t use him. He may go on using God, and people may never know the difference; but, God will not use him. God never uses a life that gets Him dirty (F.B. Meyer illustration of a leaking fountain pen that the author would never use because it gets him dirty every time he uses it).
4. He gives place to the devil (Eph.4:27). The fear of the Lord is the basis for the angel of the Lord encamping around us. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. When we tolerate in our lives that which grieves God, then you can just be sure that the devil’s dogs are going to sneak in and tear up everything that’s precious to you.
5. If we permit unconfessed, unforsaken sin in our lives, we fall into the chastening hands of God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There’s something marvelous here. God never lays a finger on the devil’s family. But, He chastens every child and scourges every son. Why? Because with His own children, this is all the hell they’re ever gonna know and when they die it’s gonna be heaven forever. But, with the devil’s family, this is all the heaven they’re ever gonna have, and when they die, it’ll be hell forever. And if they traded their soul for a mess of pottage, God doesn’t go around throwing gravel in it to make their teeth grit on.

God’s Prescription for this Problem (John 15:3): You are clean through the word.
Symbol: The Laver in the Tabernacle. It functioned as a mirror that showed where one was dirty and the water was used to clean.

1. Use the Word as Mirror to the Heart. Proverbs 6:16-19. The Spirit of God never wants to depress us; He only wants to cleanse us. He focuses on the thing that is there now in order to deal with it. God hates pride. He hates racial pride, He hates facial pride, He hates financial pride, He hates educational pride, and I think the one He abominates most is religious pride. He hates a proud look. And, He hates a lying tongue; misrepresentation and deception in speech. And, hands that shed innocent blood, an intention to hurt somebody…. Romans 1:29-32. Gal.5:19-21.
2. The Word tells us how to deal with sin. (a) Judge yourself (b) Let the wicked forsake his way (c) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

"Victory" Through Identification With Christ on the Cross
At Calvary, we were wired for victory. We need to only put the switch on. And, the switch is to reckon ourselves crucified with Christ.

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