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Monday, April 28, 2014

Bible Blurb: The Bible is a library

The Bible is a library of 66 books. It is called Biblia in Spanish, a word that is closely related to biblioteca, meaning library. These books were written by 44 authors over a period of about 1500 years. The 39 books of the Old Testament were composed between 1400 and 400 B.C., the 27 books of the New Testament between A.D. 50 and A.D. 100. Among these books we find poetry, liturgy, prayers, historical records, king lists, sacred drama and letters (epistles).

Related reading: Biblical Blurb #1; Biblical Blurb #2

Thursday, April 24, 2014

If Jesus Didn't Rise, Why Bother About Him?

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”  ― Timothy KellerThe Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Poem for Easter


By Sherrie Morrison

Tis midnight and on Olivet
The moon and stars are all that stare
Upon the sacred ground
Where Jesus prayed and wept.
This grove of trees - this sanctuary -
Where the Son of Man sought solace from the agony he faced,
Stands dark and still.

Gnarled, ancient trees with roots in hallowed soil,
Olive trees, Israel’s symbol of true light and life,
Raise their branches to the skies.
In fruiting season, these trees bear
The oil that will anoint and run down priestly beards.
This grove of trees,
This sanctuary where the Son of God
Surrendered to His Father’s will,
Now listens, quiet and calm.

Tis midday and on Golgotha
Soldiers and mourners hover ‘round and stare
Upon the condemned cross
Where Jesus bled and died.
This grove of beams - this gallery -
Where the Son of God sought his Father’s face in the agony he faced,
Stands dark and wild.

Rough, hand-hewn trees with crossbeams in the sky,
Killing trees, Rome’s symbol of barbaric justice served,
Raise those crossbeams to the skies.
These have no fruiting season, but one bears
The blood that will run down and wash away man’s sin.
This grove of three,
This gallery of death where the Son of God
Gave up His life to save those who believe,
Now trembles, grieved and torn.

Tis early dawn and in a grove of graves
Faithful followers now stoop and stare
Into the open tomb
Where Jesus had been laid.
This grove of graves - this gallery -
Where the risen Lord broke forth and conquered death,
Stands bright and calm.

Dark, haunting graves, devoid of branch or beam to raise,
Multiplying graves, a constant testimony to decay,
Expel their mounds of dust up to the skies.
In death’s dark season, these graves bear
The piteous tears anointing mourners’ beards.
This grove of graves,
This haunting place has lost its power of fear.
Beyond death’s reach, God’s Tree of Life 
Now beckons. Come! Rejoice!

Tis Easter Morn’
Faithful followers kneel and think
Upon the grace of God
Where sin’s dread debt was paid.
This grove of worshippers – this holy church- 
Where the Son of God now lives and reigns eternally,
Stands fast and free.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Obedience of Faith

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Is Obedience of Faith a Universal Principle?
Part I
            What is obedience? Is it following a set of laws? Is it following the set practices of a certain church?  Or is it more?  To truly understand how that word is used in the New Testament, a close look at the language (Greek) in which it was written should be examined.
            The Greek word for "obedience" is composed of two words: "under" (upo) and "hearing" (akohn).  The Greek word: "under" speaks of agency or means which governs "hearing." Jesus described this in John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." It speaks of a faith relationship to Lord Jesus, thus the phrase “obedience of faith.”
             Hebrews 11 describes this lifestyle in the heroes of faith: "And without faith it is impossible to please him: for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6). Another great illustration of this in Old Testament history is the example of Samuel when he was called by the Lord to be a prophet. He said: "Speak; for you servant hears." (1 Samuel 3:10)
            Is “obedience of faith” universally applicable?  Romans 16:25-26 answers:  "Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”

The importance of obedience of faith is seen as the "…the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures…" that is, it is the capstone of man's relationship to God and that it is contained in all of God's revelation to man!
            An even deeper examination of the Greek answers some other important questions:
1.      Does obedience of faith have universal eternal application? From past to future?
2.      Is obedience of faith being applied even in the church age to people also applied to the principalities and powers in the heaven (angels)? (Ephesians 3:10).
3.      Is this the precept that the Scripture speaks that the angels desire to look into and examine (1 Peter 1:12)

            In Romans 1:5, the Greek is translated as "obedience to the faith" and then Romans 16:26 "the obedience of faith" (KJV).  In the Greek text, the definite article, "the," is not present in either verse. The Greek definite article is used to identify that which it modifies. Without the definite article, the words speak of quality or the nature of a thing.  Differing translations into English have confused the teaching of the original Greek.
            To illustrate: "The faith" historically is often used concerning the orthodox doctrine of a state church. In the King James’ time, this would be the doctrine of the Church of England, in which the translators of the King James Bible emphatically believed. Indeed, one of the stated purposes for this translation was to achieve unity between the Protestant and Catholic oriented factions in the Church of England.
            This problem applies to other translations as well. In the New American Standard Bible these words are rendered: "The obedience of faith." By placing “The” in front of “obedience,” it implies a specified way of obedience for those that believe. By illustration, this could be obedience to The Ten Commandments, or the Law of Moses, the Beatitudes, or obedience to the ordinances of a state church.  All legalism is not of faith, because a person under a legalistic relationship makes the benefit or threat of non compliance dependent upon the individual. (Galatians 3:9-12). This type of legalism is Paul what deals with in the Epistles of Galatians, Colossians, Romans, and Hebrews.
            In the Greek New Testament, there are only two words in this phrase: upakohn pistews -"obedience of faith." "Obedience" (upakohn) is in the accusative case (used for direct objects) showing that it is the designed result of God’s “grace” and “apostleship” (Romans 1:5).   “Grace” (pistews) is the basis of an unmerited giving of “obedience of faith.” It is a gift that cannot be earned, and “apostleship” is the God given authority to convey the revelation or inspired giving of the New Testament’s good news of God’s salvation. The preposition (eis) shows God’s giving of “grace and apostleship” through the Lord Jesus Christ are the means of producing “obedience of faith” into those who will let them function within them. This preposition literally should be understood as: "into union with." In the King James translation, “for” would have the idea of provision. And, in the New American Standard Bible “to bring about” would have the idea of means. The Greek preposition (eis) gives the understanding that “obedience of faith” will come when people come "into union with” the function of “grace and apostleship.”
            "Faith" is in the genitive case (the reason for putting “of” in “obedience of faith”) indicating possession or characterization of what it modifies. This “obedience” comes about when “grace and apostleship” are utilized to produce faith. Therefore, “faith” rules or produces “obedience.” This Greek construction is found in Romans 1:5 and 16:26.
            As Saul of Tarsus, Paul experienced God given grace on the road to Damascus and came “into union with" Christ’s “grace” and “apostleship” whereby he bore Christ’s name to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13).  Indeed, “obedience of faith” applies to all who would profess the name of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bible Blurb: Specific details

Biblical Blurb: Be specific!

Recently a group of young people were asked, “What specific details in the New Testament about Jesus’ last week do you think it would be impossible to predict?” These were their top five picks, and where they found the prophecy in the Old Testament:

1. Jesus would be betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15, 48-50)

Psalms 41:9 - “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”

Zechariah 11:12 - “…And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.”

2. Jesus would be silent before His accusers (Matthew 27:12)

Isaiah 53:7 – “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.”

3. His garments would be parted and lots would be cast as to who would get which part (John 19:23-24)
Psalm 22:18 – “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

4. His bones would not be broken but his side would be pierced (John 19:33-34)

Psalm 34:20 – “He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

Zachariah 12:10 – “An I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and please for mercy, so that, when they look me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first born.”

5. Jesus would be buried among the rich but would rise from dead (Matthew 27:57-69; Acts 2:31)

Isaiah 53:9 – “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.”

Psalm 16:10 – “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.”

These young people picked only five out of twenty possibilities, which they believed confirmed facts, not coincidental fiction.

Bible Blurb: Probability and reliability

Probability and Reliability

When written out fully, 10 to the 157th power looks like this:


If one considers only 48 prophecies found in the Old Testament about the coming of Messiah described in the New Testament, occurring in the life of a single person, the probabilities would be only one (1) possibility or probability in the number written out above.

All of them were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ, whose life, crucifixion, and resurrection we celebrate and proclaim during what is called “Holy Week,” the seven day period between the what is called “Palm Sunday,” when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt greeted as a king with palm branches waved by the crowd, and the third day after his Roman crucifixion when He rose from his grave and was seen by many, the day Christians designate as “Resurrection Day,” popularly known as Easter.

Source: Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler

Related reading: Bible Blurb: Specific details; Bible Blurb: The Bible is a Library, 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Further Thoughts on Creation Issues

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Thoughts on Creation Issues: Part I

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASU)

In the conflict over the age of the Earth and Universe, there is much idealism and reaction. Idealism largely reflects “What God could do!” and neglects the full biblical record of what He chose and did do! Idealism is too often what people want to believe rather than what the Bible spells out.

In the light of something difficult, especially seen in suffering, people often will say to themselves and others: “How could an all-loving and powerful God let such and such happen?” They set aside the facts that God created the earth as a perfect place and early in it revealed the existence of Satan as His and humanity's enemy. In the third chapter of Genesis, Satan seduced our first parents into believing his suggestion and lie that God's warning was not to be believed. Instead, he made them believe and embrace the lie that using misapplied knowledge could enable them to make a better future than trusting God as One who rewards those who would diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). In doing so, they would make themselves their own god(s) (Genesis 3:5). By this, they adopted Satan's self orientation.

In the biblical books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, God reveals what happened to Satan to transform him from a cherubim to being a rebellious, self conceited enemy of God1. When people adopt their own or culturally held views and make them authoritative over the exegetical teachings of the Bible, they assume the attitude of being their own god, which is the attitude of natural human nature2. To correct this reasoning, Paul characterizes his ministry as “…destroying speculations and every lofty thing…” (2 Corinthians 10:5). One danger of teaching is to speculate and teach lofty or idealistic things. Even in teaching or holding to accurate biblical doctrine there is danger of being harsh and prideful: “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” (1 Corinthians 8:1b NASU)

Almost all of “young earth” people have become angry when I have suggested that theory they hold is not accurate biblically. They ignored “…speaking the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15 NASU) My motive in correcting this erroneous theory is exactly what secular professors use this to discredit the inspiration of the Bible and so tear down many young people's faith.

In the doctrine of creation, the idealistic teaching is that creation and even the universe came into being in six successive twenty four hour days. While this school of teaching has some variation, the most emphatic of them will say that the universe is only about 6000 years old. It does not bother them that the father of this modern movement, Dr Henry M Morris in his book: “Studies in the Bible and Science” (1966) admits: “A date of about 15,000 B.C. for man's creation would probably represent the outer limit…” (30). Young earth is relatively new; it has not always been held by scholarly Bible believers. For many years C. I. Schofield (venerated by many Fundamental Christians) in his study Bible viewed the earth and universe as much older than 6000 years. Even in the reedited copy, this view is presented. The editorial committee listed nine of the most respected men from some of the most respected institutions and ministries. They held some of the highest biblical academic degrees available.

While Dr Morris and Dr Humphries have no academic degrees in the Bible, their promotion of the young creation teaching has prevailed in a great number of biblically Fundamentalist circles because of their strong allegations that any variance of their interpretation is denying the inspiration of the Scriptures. They shout that any “Old Earth/Universe” teaching open the door to the atheistic Darwinian theory of natural evolution. Even those who emphatically reject the validity of evolution are called “theistic evolutionists.” Why? Because evolution is built on the idea that natural selection and survival of the fittest require millions of years. By using a young earth position as their tool to dispute evolution, they unconsciously imply that the theory of evolution could be valid. However, even pure scientists reject macro evolution. Macro evolution theorizes that all life evolved from prehistoric slime to produce the multiplicity of species of life, climaxing in man. The numbers of these scientists are constantly growing. From astronomers to micro biologists, massive amounts of evidence support intelligent design. While many are not yet Christians, they are progressing towards faith.

Basically, only the secular academic community holds to evolution as a fact. To the secularist evolutionist, evolution has become their religion. Having chosen to reject the existence of God, they have replaced Him with the worship of evolutionary theory, even though as some have said, “It takes more blind faith to be an evolutionist, than to be a Bible believer!”

Related reading: The Science-Faith Question; Creation of the Universe: Examining the Evidence;

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Psalm 24

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

Inspired by Creation, We Worship the Creator

Theme Verses: The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein; For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Ps. 24: 1-2)

O Father, when my heart contemplates your creation work, my heart is filled with awesome wonder. From the vastness of the seas and rivers, to the logically deceitful security of the ground beneath our feet, I see your provision and the need to trust you. For as dependant as we are upon them, if your power does not restrain their potential power, we would live in constant peril as floods and volcanoes testify. Our minds are so small when we try to comprehend all that there is to know! When I look and consider the heavens and galaxies of the universe I realize how minutely we understand all that you have created. (Ps. 90)

How often I find myself leaning upon my understanding, rather than trusting in yours. This is how you have designed our life upon this earth. For if I knew all that I would want to know at any one time, I would not come to seek you as much. I would not feel the need of resting and trusting in your almighty care so much. I would then fail to find your strength, for I would walk in the strength of my feeble understanding. Therefore, I rejoice in you by faith, for all the greatness of your creation is beyond me!

I rejoice even more as I contemplate the effects of sin, not only upon the Earth, but in the inward world of my will, my intellect, and my emotions. How often they react as storms and volcanoes, to threaten my destruction and bring conflicts in both my earthly and spiritual life.

Father, as I look into your Heavens, it reminds me of my staircase, the Lord Jesus Christ, called “the Way” into your Presence. As I climb this great Staircase by faith into your Presence, help me to be in harmony with what the Lord Jesus is. For as David meditates, one who would “….ascend into the hill of the LORD” must have apply spiritual principles to earthly circumstances to be welcomes by you for fellowship and worship.

I thank you for the blood of Christ and your Holy Word whereby my hands maybe cleansed and my heart made pure through the Holy Spirit’s illumination. I worship you because as Christ dwells in my heart by faith and his Spirit’s facilitates our fellowship, I am delivered from the deceit and falsehood of sin which seeks to separate You Lord God, me and my fellow men. What joy to know that in Jesus I have every spiritual blessing available to my experience (Eph. 1:3). What an unspeakable sense of peace I have as I stand in Christ’s righteousness. My salvation is made possible by Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary, the empty Tomb after his triumphant resurrection (1 Cor. 15;1-4,) and His intercession at your right hand in Heaven! How else can sinful man be at peace before you? How else can man seek you without being held back by our feelings of guilt and unworthiness? (John 3:19-21). 

But now, with joy I join in the great throng that is now seeking your presence in Christ and in the Spirit. The scene is upon Earth, with the worshipers in Jerusalem, just as when we assemble in the Local Church for worship. The last part of this hymn reminds me that assembling for worship is one thing, but to have fellowship in worship needs you Lord God must be with us. While I look forward to the time of coming into Your presence in Heaven itself, both myself and the others in the congregation behold your manifested presence! Therefore, even in this time of personal worship I pray with the Psalmist:

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; 

even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; 

and the King of glory shall come in. 

Who is this King of glory? 

The LORD of hosts, 

he is the King of glory. 

Psalm 24:9‑10 

Praise You Lord Jesus, who leads us in victory over sin and death even into Heaven.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Christian Married Love: Continuing Harmony

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

The Many Facets of Christian Married Love - Part VI
Continuing Harmony

To have continuing harmony within the married relationship, it is first imperative to understand the differences between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16–26). The works or deeds of the flesh are: “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these “ (Galations 5:19–21 NASU). Many of these expressions of the flesh, (i.e., human natural life expressing the self centered sinful nature) obviously need to be avoided as much as possible, if not entirely. These need to be treated as rattle snakes in the jungle of our culture. They are destructive to spiritual life and especially to marriage.

The expressions of the flesh that are inadequately understood and often destroy Christian marriages, compatibility, and spiritual life are impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying. These are all signs of exalting one’s self life at the expense of other persons, and ultimately of God. Both the husband and his wife must address with these issues first before God, and then in the arena of their relationship.

In order to do this, one of the essential agreements between husband and wife is to continually apply the scriptural principle found in James 1:30: “…be swift to hear , slow to speak, slow to wrath,” (James 1:20) Each must be more oriented to listening than to speaking. What the other person has to say often is a frustration or anxiety which can only be relieved if fully talked out. Further, if the listener is “slow to speak” that one can understand what is truly being communicated. Is it an emotional reaction or is it problem that needs to be addressed? Thereby the listener and the speaker may together recognize the problems, needs and solutions. Each needs to remember and apply the scriptural principle “… the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). To resist the temptation of a fleshly reaction, use the nearly magic reply to an argumentative assault: “Okay, let me think about it!” This enables a time of cooling down of escalated emotions giving a period of distance for all to assess and pray through the situation.

Anger can be viewed and defined as a reaction to protect personal rights, or retaking rights that were once yielded to God. When one is tempted to make an angry outburst, that one should stop and think: “What perceived personal right is making me this way, is it a need or a preference, am I being self willed in this, and can I afford the consequences?” My father used to frequently remind me that: before I speak, I govern my words, but after I speak they governs me! In these circumstances, each partner needs to reaffirm that God will supply their essential needs, so each must again yield this to God. Words can wound or bless, so pray to “…be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

The second way to guard the harmony of a marriage is with intelligent and frequent expressions of love and affection. God’s love is intelligent in that it meets real needs and is timely, but must also be received with discernment and patience. This applies to all areas of married love, but especially to sexual expression. Marital sexual love is more that what is done in bed. Fond touches, fondling, kisses and even smiles of appreciation are acts of marital sexual love. These should never be interpreted simply as foreplay. Couples must remember that demands for intercourse can destroy love and the marriage. Neither is there an advantage to give it as a means of manipulation. The physical expression and experience of married love only finds enhancement when frequent small expressions are given and accepted in mutual appreciation. (Meditate on 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 for further consideration.)

A third facet of married love is agreement on God’s overall purposes, his specific calling (work and/or mission), and the temporal projects to which those lead. This adds richness and avoids feelings of boredom, because marriages that are simply living together can become routine and what is routine becomes empty of meaning. God’s ongoing purpose for Christian marriage is to model the relationship of Christ and those who trust in Him as their Lord and Savior---the body of believers known as the Church. This leads to a question that each couple must ask themselves regularly: How does that play out in practical day to day living together?

Related reading:  Part I: Christian Marriage; Part II: Married Love; Part III: The Many Facets Of Christian Married Love; Part IV: Living in Harmony; Part V: Loving for a Lifetime

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Forgiveness, Not Enough! - Part IV

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

That God requires more than just forgiveness is found in the history of Israel and the structure of the Law system. The Old Testament records the many times that Israel had experienced forgiveness, but consistently fell back into sin and discord with God. Idolatry with its appalling practices most persistently attracted them until the severe chastening of the Babylonian captivity. Then, under the ministry of the Ezra, Israel began to think in terms of observing God’s Law. However, they turned their self life to making God’s Law null by replacing it with their own (rabbinical) interpretive opinions. When the legalism of self righteousness became entrenched as it was at the time that Jesus came, it resulted in the Jewish rejection of Christ.

The Lord has always wanted human beings to have a personal dependence upon Him. The requirements for the maintenance of loving trust rested upon a faith that would translate into obedience. Indeed, it was this character commitment that the New Testament purposes to produce in believers: “Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Rom 16:25, 26).

The Lord Jesus put it simply in the Parable of the Sower; the seed, God’s Word, must find fertile heart soil to grow until it bears fruit. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, you must be born again.” (John 3:7). “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; (practice as a life style) for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9) “. . . We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The exhortation to continue in, to abide, and daily put into practice one’s faith is repeated in Scripture many times.
  • “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
  • “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” (Hebrews 2:3).
  • “For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
  • “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:” (2 Peter 1:10).
  • “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life;” (John 10:27, 28).
  • “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Initial faith is great, but more often than not, it is assumed that the one responding to an invitation to find forgiveness wants to be reconciled to God. To be reconciled to God, a person must change the things that stand between him and God. He must repent, a word that means completely turn around: “…except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

A person must give all of himself and life to God and receive the new life Christ offers (Luke 9:23-25). The assumption that all professions of faith immediately give regeneration is so prevalent that few Churches even plan grounding those come seeking forgiveness. Even when many will give literature to new converts, there is little attempt to make disciples of them. This is in spite of the fact that the Lord Jesus said that true believers stay in His word until they have overcoming lives and become “truly His disciples.” “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, “We are Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, you shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:31‑36).

Indeed, Jesus commanded making disciples with all authority in heaven and on earth! (Matthew 28:18-19). So, anyone who would truly seek forgiveness must also be willing to become a changed person through finding a mature believer to whom they can apply this verse; “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17). All must move forward to experience the forgiveness, grace and empowerment of abiding in an intimate relationship with God through Christ, delving deeply into God’s Word, with intentional willingness to follow its precepts through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is best done under the tutelage and in the fellowship of those who have also made the commitment to be a true disciple!