Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Domestic abuse is an IMAGO DEI issue

I am convinced that domestic violence is an imago Dei issue; It is not a gender issue nor is it about getting our "roles" right. If men and women are equally made in the image of God, then both deserve honor and respect as His image-bearers. If the Gospel is applicable to both men and women, then both have equal standing before God because of Christ's merit. 

But in direct opposition, abuse takes place when one human being attempts to gain power and control over another human being through whatever means to achieve that result. This is nothing more than an attempt to usurp the authority of "God" over another image-bearer.  And this is why all forms of abuse, physical and nonphysical, are evil irrespective of gender.  It is God's prerogative alone to exercise His rule over every aspect of creation because He is Creator.


And lest we forget, Jesus explicitly said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:25-28.


Likewise, when it comes to confronting abuse, there should be no respecter of persons. There should be no allowances made and immunity given to excuse this sort of behavior.  To do so is to admit that the victims are not equal in terms of their humanity or the dignity with which they should be treated. To excuse or provide cover for the abuser in inexcusable and a contradiction of Scripture.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. Matthew 5:21-22




If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. James 2:8-9


For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:7-10



If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:20-21

These verses apply to all human relationships including (and especially) marital and familial relationships.  Among God's people (the Church) abusers must not be excused; they must be disciplined.  No human being has the right to abuse another person who is made in the image of God. No exceptions. No excuses. Period.

So I pray that the Church-at-large would:

- Repent of where and when it has sided with abusers and learn from its mistakes.



- Recognize domestic abuse in all its forms and refuse to harbor it within its walls.

- Pursue justice on behalf of the victims.

- Be a place of safety and healing for the victims.

- Take a biblical stand and declare, "My brothers, these things ought not to be so."

(Written by Persis at triedbyfire.blogspot.com  for DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS.  Used by permission and edited by me; Ralph M. Petersen)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Colored People

Why do colored people insist on being called "People of Color?"

What's wrong with just calling them colored people?  We don't call wealthy people "People of Wealth."  We don't call intelligent people, "People of Intelligence."  

Why don't we call white people, "People of no color?"

Just Wondered

Friday, April 13, 2018

SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET

I’m posting this for two reasons:

1. SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET
2. To inform a generation of ignorant young people who wasted years in public indoctrination facilities where they learned NOTHING worthwhile about real science, history, biology, or basic reading, writing, and math skills.
REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST

Most people have heard the numbers – approximately 6 million Jew were exterminated but that is not the total extent. There were others among which were:

About 5.5 million Soviet civilians.
Nearly 3 million prisoners of war.
Approximately 1.8 million non-Jewish Polish civilians.
312,000 Serb civilians
Around 250,000 institutionalize elderly people with various disabilities.
Between 196,000–220,000 Roma (gypsies).
1,900 Jehovah's Witnesses.
At least 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and homosexuals deemed to be socially unfit.
An undetermined number of German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territories.
And at least 250,000 Homosexuals.
The real casualties, of Hitler’s regime, are estimated to be about 11,000,000 (eleven million). 
That is equal to the entire population of Wyoming, Washington DC, Vermont, N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Hawaii COMBINED!
We are raising young people who are enthralled with and attracted to Nazism. To them, I offer this warning: You are really going to hate the new world you are trying to create. Wake up before you screw up this country. And VOTE RIGHT.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Letter to President Trump about Crime and Punishment




February 15, 2018


Dear Mr. President,


I agree with the Democrats and the mainstream media; it is time for you, our President, to "Step up and do something about these mass shootings." 

But gun control is not the remedy. Here is what we should expect from you and our government.

We don't need investigations into the shooter's head. I don't care why he did it and, knowing why is not going to bring back the dead, satisfy their families, or protect society.

And we don't need diagnoses from psychologists either. It doesn't matter if he is mentally ill.

What we need from our government is a swift and fair trial for the accused and, if he is convicted, we need a long incarceration or, in this case, a speedy execution. That is the biblical and constitutional responsibility of government, to "wield the sword" in the execution of a blind (that means indiscriminate) system of justice.

The commission of crimes MUST have real consequences for the criminals; we don't need our government to administer understanding, compassion, rehabilitation, correction, treatment or any other ineffective, touchy-feely nonsense. 

So, Mr. President, you should step up and insist on the right and appropriate punishment of criminals; not victims. And when our government starts doing its job, the penal system will be, once again, an effective deterrent. The crime rates will decrease, and we will all be safer. 

(And, by the way, why is Hillary still walking around? but I digress.) 

Thank You for Making America Great Again. 

Sincerely, 


Ralph M. Petersen



(mailed to the White House on Feb. 16, 2018)

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Shadow Government


"I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the first time in history, one of our former presidents, Barack Obama, has set up a group called "Organizing for Action" (OFA).


"OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed, we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run.  What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?



"If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

"Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues, and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration's top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

"OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

"OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for "progressive" change. Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.

"OFA members were propped up by the ex-president's message from the shadows: 'Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished.  Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.'

"OFA's website says it obtained its 'digital' assets from the ex-president's re-election effort and that he inspired the movement.  In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic we know as AMERICA.

"Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says, 'The OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.'

"Sperry writes that 'The ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the Trump administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide.' The OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate that the OFA has 32,525 (and growing) volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office in Washington DC.

"Think about how this works. For example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; the OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; the ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action in support of these activities; the twitter-sphere lights up with social media; and violence follows. All of this happens from the ex-president's signal that he is heartened by the protests.

"If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years.

"If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know."

Charles Krauthammer


So, do your part. You have read it, now pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are losing our country and we are so compliant. We are becoming a "PERFECT TARGET" for this lunatic,  our enemy!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Does Antinomianism Characterize My Church's Doctrines?

Because this year marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we reviewed the “Five Solas” that are sometimes called the Doctrines of Grace.  After discussing Sola Gratia (salvation by grace alone), someone asked me, “Is ours an antinomian church?”   Here is my answer:


I hope not but it seems to be evident in the minds of a lot of church attendees, these days, who want to make excuses for all kinds of sin.

I try to avoid using secular dictionaries to define spiritual or biblical terms, mainly because our language is constantly changing according to contemporary usage and not according to what words actually meant when they were first used.

The simple contemporary dictionary definition for antinomianism is the belief that, under the gospel dispensation of grace, the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.

So, let me reemphasize—Our salvation is by GRACE ALONE.  That simply means that it is an action that results from God’s goodness and cannot be earned or deserved by any attempts on our part, to be good or do good.  God saves unworthy sinners.  Keeping the law perfectly is impossible so if any part of our salvation were based on our works, we would all fail, and all fall short of His glory, and all be condemned to eternal judgment.
 
The dictionary definition is fairly accurate, but it only mentions the moral law which is still in effect on Christians today.   I think the definition needs some clarification.
    
The problem (or confusion) arises in the heresy that twists the definition by implying that, because we live in a dispensation or “age of grace,” we are no longer bound to any of God’s laws including His moral laws; we’re saved by grace and therefore we are eternally secure.  We don’t even need to try because God will simply overlook all our sins.

Antinomianism is contrary to everything the Bible teaches.  God expects us to live a life of morality, integrity, and love.  Jesus Christ freed us from the burdensome commands of the Old Testament Law, but that is not a license to sin; but rather a covenant of grace.

There are nominal Christian sects that teach that.  But that is not what you hear preached in our pulpit as has been evidenced in our pastor’s recent sermons on the Ten Commandments. 

And that is the whole point of the epistle from James.  Obedience and good works are the evidences of salvation and without the evidence, there is good reason to doubt an actual conversion.  When God saves us, He begins the process of cleaning us up and making us fit to live forever in His presence.

The ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sin and bring us to repentance and obedience.  To ignore Him, and His laws, is tantamount to blasphemy and violations of the First, Second, and Third Commandments, and God will not tolerate it nor will He accept our worship.
 
There are many, many people today, who are resting in a false assurance that, because they responded to a preacher’s altar call, walked an aisle, and repeated a prayer, they are saved, but the real evidence of a new birth is an obedient life.

I hope this helps and I trust you are convinced that we are not identified as a church that teaches or practices antinomianism.



Everyone Has A Personal Relationship With God!

The God of creation; the God of the Bible, is your God whether you want Him or Not.

Does everyone have a personal relationship with God?  I would say, “Yes” but not in the way most Christian use that phrase today.  In fact, I would have to say that no one has that kind of personal relationship with Jesus.

It is true that authentic, born-again Christians have a unique and intimate relationship with God; we are the elect of God, we have been redeemed, and our sins have been atoned.  The Spirit of God indwells us.

But the concept of a “personal” relationship with Jesus is not found in Scripture.  The idea of having “My own personal Jesus” is a relatively new invention of the pragmatic approach to modern evangelism.

Here is the picture of our relationship; “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-2

The Church is described as the Bride of Christ.  So, a Christian’s life with Christ is not isolated or private.  When the Scriptures speak of believers, they are always part of a community or a fellowship of other believers.  Christianity is about the Bride’s relationship with Jesus.
   
Christianity is not a solo act.  It is not a private relationship between Jesus and me.   Jesus doesn’t have any secret concubines.   In the Old Testament economy, God formed Israel as His chosen people together in one body by His covenant.  And that is the way our relationship is with Jesus.  We are His Bride (the Church).  When a sinner is saved, he is added “to the Church” by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

And that is why active Church membership is important.  It is within that body that we worship together and commune together in remembrance of His death and resurrection.

We sing together, pray together, confess and hold each other accountable together, rejoice together, and grieve together.

God gives each of His members gifts, not for our personal fulfillment, but for service within the body.   He knits us all together as members in the faith.  And He gives His church pastors to feed us, care for us, protect us, and guide us.
.
Having said all that, why would I suggest that everyone (both the saved and the lost) has a personal relationship with God?

God is a personal being and He created every one of us; both the saved and the lost “in His image” and it was a special unique creation.   No one is hidden from Him or can escape Him.  In fact, no one can live without Him.
  
He is omnipresent (present everywhere) always.  And He is Sovereign (personally in control) over all things including the affairs of men.

So, what about the final destiny of the lost?  We have been taught that Heaven is where God is, and hell is where Satan is.  We have been conditioned to believe that when a sinner dies and goes to hell, he will suffer forever, absent from God and under the punishment of Satan.

But that idea is not Scriptural either.  In fact, it diminishes the Glory of God.  We understand that God created everything for His purpose and it wasn’t because He was lonely or that He needed someone to love.  He is neither diminished nor fulfilled by His creation.   Before anything was created; He was complete in His triune being and lacked nothing.  His work of creation was His pleasure and for His manifest glory.

And He is glorified in His work of salvation.  We will enjoy Him forever knowing that our sins have been blotted out.

But God will also be glorified in His righteous judgments and He will not share that glory with anyone else; He will NOT delegate the execution of His righteous justice to a fallen creature (Satan).  Satan will come under God’s good and final judgment as will all the lost when they are tormented in darkness and silence forever, as the results of their sins.  And God will be there with His face turned away from them.   

“Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”   (Philippians 2:9-11)

In the end, every created being will know that God is, and all creation will show forth His Glory forever.


Ralph M. Petersen

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WHO IS YOUR GOD? (part 5. The Omnipresence of God)

Who’s your GOD? 
A brief description of the Attributes of God.

We can know nothing about God, except that, and ONLY that, which He has revealed to us.  And those attributes are found in Scripture.  If the god you worship is less than, more than or different from the ONE TRUE GOD of the Bible, then your God doesn’t exist.
Ralph M. Petersen


THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

In part 2, we caught a brief glimpse of this attribute; because He is Spirit, God is not confined to a physical body in time and space. 

Here, I want to reemphasize that God is present everywhere always.  There is no place anywhere, past, present or future, in the entire universe of His creation, where He is not.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 

If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.    Psalm 139:7-10

People often question or doubt God’s presence during times of catastrophes or griefs or losses, about God being absent or negligent.  But they are wrong; God is there. 

Where was God during the 9-11-2001 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York?  He was in the cockpits with the pilots, He was in the towers when they began to collapse, and He was under the rubble with hundreds of people as they were being crushed to death.  God was there. 

“If God be infinite, He is omnipresent.  Suppose Him infinite, and then suppose there is anything besides Himself, and His presence with that thing, wherever it be, doth necessarily follow; for if He be so bounded as to be in His essence distant from anything, He is not infinite.”  John Owen

“Does the Lord turn Himself unto our prayer only after long delay?  Is not He omnipresent?  Is not every whispered and stammering prayer know to Him before there is yet a word in the tongue?”  Abraham Kuyper

Most people, to some degree, imagine that God is transcendent; He inhabits and rules from Heaven.   According to scripture, The Lord is enthroned in the heavens (Psalm 23:1).  He is exalted over all other rulers and authorities on earth (Psalm 97:9).  His throne is high and lifted up (Isa. 6:1) and His throne room is in Heaven (Rev. 4:1-2).

But He is also, always immanently present; He is with us in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).  He is ever present on earth and in heaven (Deut. 4:39).  He dwells in the high places and with the humble and lowly (Isa. 57:15).  He will be with His children to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20) and He will never leave them or forsake them (Heb. 13:5).

There is no place where God is not.  We often talk about the eternal existence of the lost in hell as being isolated from the presence of God but that idea is not supported in Scripture.  God is the one who actively and eternally administers His divine wrath in hell.  Rev. 14:10 describes that eternal (never-ending) punishment occurring “…in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”

Many will rightfully argue that God cannot look on sin; that He will turn His countenance away from sinners.  But this is a part of His righteous vengeance and wrath on the unjust.     

Whenever I treat my wife poorly or inconsiderately, sometimes I get to the point where she suddenly turns her face away from me; “she gives me the cold shoulder.”  And then she gives me the silent treatment.  And that is not a fun place to be.  Nothing is right or happy in our relationship until I apologize.  I need her forgiveness and I can’t imagine what it would be like if she never forgave me.

In hell, God will turn His face away and there will never be any reconciliation, forever, for the inhabitants of hell.  They will exist eternally, in their sin.  And in the presence of the God whom they spurned, forever without any hope of forgiveness.




(Some material presented here has been quoted from "The Attributes of God" as published by Ligonier Ministries and influenced by the companion lectures of Steven Lawson)


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Does God Love Everyone?

'It has been customary to say God loves the sinner though He hates his sin.  But that is a meaningless distinction. What is there in a sinner but sin?   Is it not true that his “whole head is sick” and his “whole heart faint,” and that, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness” in him? (Isa 1:5-6). 

Is it true that God loves the one who is despising and rejecting His blessed Son?   God is Light as well as Love, and therefore His love must be a holy love.  To tell the Christ-rejecter that God loves him is to cauterize his conscience as well as to afford him a sense of security in his sins.  The fact is, the love of God is a truth for the saints only, and to present it to the enemies of God is to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.  With the exception of John 3:16, not once in the four Gospels do we read of the Lord Jesus, the perfect teacher, telling sinners that God loved them!  In the book of Acts, which records the evangelistic labors and messages of the apostles, God’s love is never referred to at all! 

But when we come to the epistles, which are addressed to the saints, we have a full presentation of this precious truth—God’s love for His own.  Let us seek to rightly divide the Word of God and then we shall not be found taking truths which are addressed to believers and mis-applying them to unbelievers.  That which sinners need to have brought before them is the ineffable holiness, the exacting righteousness, the inflexible justice and the terrible wrath of God.  

Risking the danger of being misunderstood, let us say—and we wish we could say it to every evangelist and preacher in the country—there is far too much presenting of Christ to sinners today (by those sound in the faith), and far too little showing sinners their need of Christ, i.e., their absolutely ruined and lost condition, their imminent and awful danger of suffering the wrath to come, the fearful guilt resting upon them in the sight of God: to present Christ to those who have never been shown their need of Him, seems to us to be guilty of casting pearls before swine.  If it be true that God loves every member of the human family then why did our Lord tell His disciples “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father...If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him”(John 14:21, 23)? 

Why say “he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father” if the Father loves everybody? The same limitation is found in Proverbs 8:17: “I love them that love me.”

Again; we read, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity”—not merely the works of iniquity. Here then is a flat repudiation of present teaching that, God hates sin but loves the sinner; Scripture says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity”(Psa 5:5)! “God is angry with the wicked every day”(Psa 7:11). “He that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him”—not “shall abide,”but even now—“abideth on him”(Joh 3:36). 

Can God “love”the one on whom His “wrath” abides?  Is it not evident that the words “the love of God which is in Christ Jesus”(Rom 8:39) marks a limitation, both in the sphere and objects of His love?  Again; is it not plain from the words “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”(Rom 9:13) that God does not love everybody?  It is written,  “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth”(Heb 12:6).  Does not this verse teach that God’s love is restricted to the members of His own family?  If He loves all men without exception then the distinction and limitation here mentioned is quite meaningless. 

Finally, we would ask, Is it conceivable that God will love the damned in the Lake of Fire?  Yet, if He loves them now He will do so then, seeing that His love knows no change—He is “without variableness or shadow of turning”!' 

A.W. Pink, 'The Sovereignty of God'


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Spiritual Quackery



“The real impulses which propel ministers to the new measures, while sometimes ignorantly pious, are more frequently improper, a prurient impatience to hurry and huddle the work which God reserves as his own, — sinners' conversion, — with a secret mistrust of the power of the simple truth, with prayer and faith; a love of notoriety, and of the reputation of effectiveness; a desire to count large numbers of converts, and especially an indolence which is impatient of God's method, the detailed, unobtrusive, sustained work of pastoral and catechetical instruction.  It is, in a word, a system of spiritual quackery; It relies not on spiritual powers, but on theatrical sympathies and manipulations.” 

R.L. Dabney, An Exposition of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Discussions Volume 1

WHO IS YOUR GOD? (part 4. The Holiness of God)

Who’s your GOD? 
A brief description of the Attributes of God.

We can know nothing about God, except that, and ONLY that, which He has revealed to us.  And those attributes are found in Scripture.  If the god you worship is less than, more than or different from the ONE TRUE GOD of the Bible, then your God doesn’t exist.
Ralph M. Petersen


THE HOLINESS OF GOD

I would proffer that most Christians, today, don’t really understand the word, HOLY.

Holiness is not about practicing or exuding a posture of humility.  It’s not about the appearance of being devout or religious.  Holiness is a demarcation of separation.  It means to be sanctified, marked out, set apart, or unique.

One aspect of God’s holiness is His ultimate purity.  All His decisions are righteous, and His judgments are perfect. He is without flaw or blemish.

His goodness is not just an acquired or practiced virtue.  He IS Good.  He cannot look on evil.  There is no sin or moral blemish in Him. 

“Infinite purity, even more than infinite knowledge or infinite power, is the object of reverence… ‘The Holy One of Israel’ is He who is to be feared and adored.”   Charles Hodge  

But beyond His spotless purity, His holiness exists in His “utter otherness.”  He is not like us.  He doesn’t act like us and He doesn’t think like us.  His ways are not our ways.  He is utterly indefinable. 

As a man, when I look at a slug on the ground, I might think how much different I am than that slimy, slow-moving mollusk.  But, I have things in common with the slug.  We are both created, mortal, physical beings.  

The difference between God and me are infinite.  I am mortal; He is immortal. I am a creature; He is the creator.  I am a physical being; He is Spirit.  There is nothing comparable to God. 

His holiness is overwhelming.  He is superior to and separate above all creation.   He is superlatively majestic and indescribable in His splendor.  His Glory is too stunning to look upon or understand.

“When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate.  He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us.”    R.C. Sproul   

Of all God’s attributes, revealed in scripture, His holiness is uniquely and superlatively emphasized.  He is thrice Holy.  The four living creatures surrounding His throne, raise up and honor Him by crying out continuously, day and night forever, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”   And that is what we, His Church will do also.  We will worship Him in His holiness forever as we bow before His throne and cry out, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will, they existed and were created.”  (Rev. 4:11)

So when Scripture uses the word, holy, to describe people, places, or things, as holy, we should be sober in the way we mark them out or set them aside for service to our God.
  

According to the Bible, Human life, Marriage, Sex, His Church, His Word, His Name, and His Worship are not to be profaned, manipulated or abused for our convenience or pleasure.  They are to be set apart to Him and revered for His glory. 



(Some material presented here has been quoted from "The Attributes of God" as published by Ligonier Ministries and influenced by the companion lectures of Steven Lawson)

Monday, October 23, 2017

WHO IS YOUR GOD? (part 3 - the Sovereignty of God)

Who’s your GOD? 
A brief description of the Attributes of God.

We can know nothing about God, except that, and ONLY that, which He has revealed to us.  And those attributes are found in Scripture.  If the god you worship is less than, more than, or different from the ONE TRUE GOD of the Bible, then your God doesn’t exist.
Ralph M. Petersen


THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

Is there anything your god can’t do?  If so, yours is not the True and Living God of the Bible.

Our God is in control.  He has absolute control and authority over all His creation.  His authority transcends time and space; there is nothing He does not see and there is nothing that will confound Him.  God rules over everything including the human heart and will.  

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry,’Mine!’ ”   -- Abraham Kuyper


God’s RULE.

One who is sovereign is supreme in rank, power, and authority.  Because He is sovereign, God has the right to rule, govern, and preside over all things.

Satan is NOT sovereign.  The devil doesn’t make you do anything.  Compared to God, Satan is a powerless wimp whose most effective devices are deception and lies.

As a sovereign God, He exercises His control over our circumstances.  Our future does not rest in the hands of men.  Our destiny does not depend on chance.  God is actively involved in the direction of all things according to His pleasure and for our good.



God’s REASON

His purposes extend to eternity.  God is sovereign in salvation.  Christians are, predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.  (Eph. 1:11)

That “counsel” refers to the deliberate plan, of the triune God, that preceded the creation of the universe.   His “will” refers to His divine decisions that define and control every aspect of our lives.

It is His “purpose,” or, pre-determination, to accomplish His righteous will.

God’s act of predestination, is His guaranty that His will is completely accomplished.  God doesn’t have a plan B.


God’s REALM.

He is in control of creation.   He is the source of everything.  All things belong to Him and He created all things for His good pleasure and His manifest Glory.  (Psalm 33:6-9)

He is in control of history.  He didn’t just set everything in motion and then sit back to see what would happen; He orders and directs human affairs. (Psalm 33:10-11)   He manages all things and directs all circumstances for the glory of His Name and for the good of His people.  (Romans 8:28)

He is in control of salvation.  He does not “look down the corridor of time to see who would believe; He predestines His people for salvation according to His eternal purposes.  (Ephesians 1:3-7)

“God’s sovereignty has ever appeared to me a great part of His glory.  It has often been my delight to approach God, and adore Him as a sovereign God.”   -- Jonathan Edwards



(Some material presented here has been quoted from "The Attributes of God" as published by Ligonier Ministries and influenced by the companion lectures of Steven Lawson)

Friday, October 20, 2017

SOLUS CHRISTUS (In Christ Alone)


We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in CHRIST (Acts 4:12). We should, therefore, take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.

If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of HIM’ (1 Cor 1.13).

If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in HIS anointing.

If we seek strength, it lies in HIS dominion;

If purity, in HIS conception;

If gentleness, it appears in HIS birth. For by HIS birth HE was made like us in all respects (Heb 2:17) that HE might learn to feel our pain (Heb 5:2).

If we seek redemption, it lies in HIS passion;

If acquittal, in HIS condemnation;

If remission of the curse, in HIS cross (Gal 3:13);

If satisfaction, in HIS sacrifice;

If purification, in HIS blood;

If reconciliation, in HIS descent into hell;

If mortification of the flesh, in HIS tomb;

If newness of life, in HIS resurrection;

If immortality, in the same;

If inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in HIS entrance into heaven;

If protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in HIS Kingdom;

If untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given to HIM to judge.

In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in HIM, let us drink our fill from this fountain and from no other” 

(John Calvin's Institutes 2.16.19).



(If God should ask you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" what will be YOUR RESPONSE?  Did you see anything of your efforts, your merits, your goodness, or your works in that list?  NO, YOU DIDN’T.) 


Salvation is in CHRIST ALONE!  There is NO OTHER NAME given under heaven whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:10)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Very Own Original Poem about Poetry

Poetry’s nice,

It’s quite the device
For speaking in language, sublime.

But seldom I rhyme;
I don’t have the time,
To fiddle with fluff, so concise.

Why be so terse,
And blather in verse,
That flows with cadence and beat?

I’d rather explete;
Use words more concrete,
So thoughts are made simple, not worse. 





An original poem by Ralph M. Petersen

Oct. 19, 2017




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Of Morons and Intelligence Quotients


I expect several people may be upset by this but, any REAL men over the age of 50 will understand.

I have been in the habit of meeting with other men for coffee nearly every morning for over 40 years.  It started when I was a young contractor.   Over the years, some have died and some have moved away but we always managed to pick up new acquaintances along the way.  The group has changed but the dynamic of the meetings has not.  Now, at the age of nearly seventy years, I am the youngest of the remaining five men.  So, what holds us together? 

Just guy stuff; that’s all!  At our ages, we repeat stuff but that's okay because we forget stuff, too.  It’s the same old stories (that get more unbelievably fantastic and embellished every time they are repeated), the same stupid jokes, and THE SAME INSULTS.

That’s right, every morning is NON-STOP INSULTS.

You see, we all grew up during a time when boys were taught how to roll with the punches. 

When someone on the playground called us names, we responded with snappy little self-defense retorts like, “Sticks and Stone can break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Or “I know you are but what am I?”  Or my favorite, “I may be fat but you’re ugly and I can diet!”
     
We didn't consider that bullying.  We didn't run to "tattle" to the teacher.  We knew what real bullies were.  And we were taught how to stand up to, and fight them, if necessary.

Today, everything that offends someone or hurts someone’s feelings is called bullying.  That’s because too many young men have been sissified by unmarried mamas who have trained them to be emotional wrecks.  They run to safe spaces and cry whenever they hear something that doesn’t agree with them.

Not so with REAL, MATURE MEN.  So, in our early morning coffee shop meetings, we have polished and perfected the manly art of sarcastic insults.  There are NO LIMITS.  We make fun of each other and we insult each other’s physical appearances, disabilities, behaviors, and even stupidity.  Nobody is immune.  And at the end of the hour we all say goodbye and then we reassemble the next morning and it starts all over again.  That’s what men do.  And that’s how men express their affection for each other (although most of us would deny that there is any “affection”).


So, when two old guys, who work together, make seemingly insulting remarks, Most of us old guys are not necessarily concerned.  When one old guy named Rex calls another old guy named Donald, a moron; and when Donald retorts that his I.Q. is higher than Rex’s, I don’t see a problem. 

Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson are on the same team and are working toward the same objectives.  I just see two good old boys acting like good old boys.


For all the rest of you easily offended snowflakes; just deal with it.