ANSWER TO OCTOBER 1, 2017 TRIVIA QUESTION:
Can we know if we are loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and stength?
We find that God gives us His standard for this question when He points to the first of His RTE COMMANDMENTS saying, "I ams the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of bondage." (Spiritually speaking in today's language the world is a representation of our Egypt by which we were or are held in bondage.) God goes on and further says, "Therefore you shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:1--- To have no other gods before Me is everyone's test which should reveal to our hearts or conscience whether we hold anything in greater favor or value over God and His Commandments. If we love other gods more; which may even mean ourselves, or things of deeper interest, or the creation itself more than the Creator; then we must alert ourselves to a more serious self-examination.
ANSWER TO OCTOBER 8, 2017
What is the Apostle Paul telling us when he says work out your own salvation in fear and trembling? First Paul directs his question to each individual seeing they are accountable for their own sins. Looking at the word fear, which term incurs much connotation or implications, we find Matthew 10:28 telling us - Do not fear those who can kill the body, but rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Luke 5:12 compounds Jesus' response - But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Again, the Apostle Paul shows his concerns in II Corinthians 11:2,3 that he would fear on our behalf; for as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, may not your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Paul could certainly relate to II Peter 1:10. Brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure. Thus Hebrews 12:14-17 tell us pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see God, looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness spring up causing trouble, for by this many become defiled: like Esau who for one morsel of food sold his birthright, and afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
As for trembling, it seems here we are going to an even deeper level then fear's surface. We now are speaking about awe and reverence. When Moses went up to the mountain on behalf of the Israelites, they had begged him to go instead because they could not bear to hear the voice of God and the word should not be spoken to them for they could not endure what was commanded. It is here on Mount Sinai that symbolizes God's righteous judgment, for if so much as a beast would touch the mountain it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow. It is here that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses a second time; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I am exceedingly afraid and trembling. The awe to be captured here is that the Law is the perfect mirror of God's character, therefore, who can stand in His presence? Hebrews 12:18-21. Paul himself says in I Corinthians 2:1-5 – I did not come with excellence of speech or wisdom, for I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ crucified. In weakness and fear and much trembling I was with you, that your faith should not be in the human wisdom of men,
but in the power of God.
ANSWER TO OCTOBER 15, 2017
What does the Apostle Peter mean when he says in II Peter 1:10 to make your calling and electionsure? The word calling in this verse denotes a concerned warning along with a directive to follow through and pursue the validation of one's salvation.The -calling- being pursued here is to be understood as a result of God's action, an action which is invoked by God Himself alone to those who are being-called-.
We read in II Peter 1:2,3- Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him-whocalled us- by glory and virture. But if God called us, why does Peter make an appeal to know for sure? One reason is that there are many false teachers out there that distort the truth. Therefore it is imperative to know scripture! Moreover, it is for our own benefit and assurance to realize where our salvation status lies in regard to eternity, so that faith may grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ-II Peter 3:18. Paul says, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward-call- of God in Christ Jesus -Philippians 3:14. And that God would count you worthy of this -calling- IIThessalonians 1:11. II Timothy 1:9 puts it like this: Who has saved us and-called us-with a holy calling, not accoding to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
The second part of this verse pertains to election which is a brother to the woed calling. As a matter of fact, the word election is a designated appointment that cannot be countermanded or revoked under any circumstances. How so? Simply because it is God ordained. We read in Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the -calling- of God are irrevocable. Romans 9:11 -For the children not being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to -election- might stand, not of works but of Him who -calls-. When God points to Israel's rejection, He says it is not in total. For even so at this present time there is a remnt according to the election of grace- Romans 11:5 But, for those in Romans 11:7 we see that Israel by its own efforts could not obtain what it sort after, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. I Thessaloians 1:4 tells us to know this, beloved brethren, your-election-is by God.
Answer to October 29, 2017
What are the first and last Beatitudes?
1st Beatitude (Matthew Chapter 5 verse 3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (NIV)
Last Beatitude (Matthew chapter 5 verse 11) "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."(NIV)