Emmanuel—God With Us

When Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, learned Mary was pregnant, he was inclined to break off their engagement (Matthew 1:19). While he was considering his options, St. Matthew relates, an angel of God appeared to him and told him to go ahead and marry Mary. The baby she was carrying was implanted in her by the Holy Spirit. This was done to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy given over 700 years earlier: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is ‘God with us’”(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).

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Genesis 1:1 — God Before Time

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Have you ever wondered what was before the Earth? What was God doing before he created the heavens and the earth? I know, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29) and most of the answers to the question remain a mystery known only to God. However, I have often wondered and consequently given some thought to the matter.

God is totally self-sufficient

To hear some preachers and teachers tell it, God must have been lonely. Continue reading

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Self-Deception: It’s Nature, Evils, and Remedy, Pt. 3

This is the third installment of a series from the book with the above-named title. You may read the earlier installments here.

The Nature and Forms of Self-Deception (cont’d and concluded)

Others are deceived by taking reformation for regeneration.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart will indeed bring forth good things. His character will be determined by his conduct. The heart is no better than the life. If the fountain be pure, the streams will be so too. In vain however do we attempt to cleanse the streams while the fountain remains corrupt. Such was the case with the Pharisees. Our Savior appropriately  compares them with “whited sepulchers,” which, however beautiful they may be without, are “within full of all uncleanness.”

It is no uncommon thing for one form of sin to be exchanged for another. A man may abandon a course of open profligacy only to settle down upon a system of self-righteousness. We read of those who “turn to the Lord feignedly, but not with their whole heart.”

Nothing short of a radical change can constitute us Christians. Continue reading

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3 Ways to Enhance Your Walk with God, Part 1 of 3

 This post originally appeared on August 24, 2007. It appears here in updated form.

 I have had the opportunity to counsel a number of people with problems of a spiritual nature. People coming for counsel can be divided into three groups:

  1. those who are curious about something and those who have hypothetical questions,
  2. those who have worked through their difficulties mentally and just need confirmation;
  3. and those who are in serious straits. Those who are in serious straits have certain common traits.

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Self-Deception: Its Nature, Evils, and Remedy, Pt. 2

This is the second installment on a series from the book with the above-named title. You may read the first installment here.

The Nature and Forms of Self-Deception (continued)

There may be also an intellectual approbation of the truth where its sanctifying power is
wholly unknown. The manifestation which God has made of himself in creation has sometimes called forth expressions of the highest admiration, while the heart has shown itself to be in a state of decided enmity against his character. It is related of a lecturer on philosophy that, in discoursing on the wisdom and power of God as displayed in the immensity of creation, he with his audience was wrought up into a rapture of apparent devotion, and yet in less than an hour’s time after leaving the room, he was heard to curse and swear, as was his usual manner of conversation.

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