For the second time, I was on Bob Enyart Live radio program to discuss problems with the big bang!
Listen to Big Bang Hit List Part 1
For about 40 years I have heard believers state, “the just shall live by faith.” For that whole time I have taken that to mean, that by their faith, or following their faith, they will live on this earth. That is, we follow the blueprint that God laid down in the Bible for us to live by, not by law but by faith. The focus being on the living by faith, trusting in the living God. That view seems to be supported by these New Testament Scriptures:
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
I understand when Paul wrote in Romans 1:17 “it is written” he was quoting from the Old Testament Scriptures.
by John Calvin (abridged)1,2
1. Justification by faith has been discussed before this, but slightly, because it was necessary first to understand that the faith, by which alone we attain justification, is not unattended by good works. The subject of justification must now be fully discussed, with the recollection that it is the principal hinge by which religion is supported.
2. First let us explain the meaning of these expressions: To be justified in the sight of God, to be justified by faith or by works. To be justified in the sight of God means that a person is accepted, on account of his righteousness, before the Divine judgment; for iniquity is abominable to God, and no sinner can find favour in His sight. Thus he must be said to be justified by works, whose life shows such purity and holiness, as to deserve the character of righteousness before God. On the other hand, he will be justified by faith, who, being excluded from the righteousness of works, receives by faith the righteousness of Christ. Invested in Christ, he now appears in the sight of God, not as a sinner but as a righteous man. Thus we simply explain, that justification is God receiving us in His favour, esteeming us as righteous persons. This consists of the remission of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.
As a high school student, at a time when I was an atheist, I co-authored a book reviewing the various cosmological models that were discussed in the scientific literature in 1968. That was three years after the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, and the Big Bang Theory had just made a big leap forward in front of its competitor at the time, the Steady State Theory.
In our book—which by the way won us second prize in a Western Australian state-wide science competition—we outlined the two competing models. The Big Bang Theory at that time had three distinct forms:
The most favoured of the three was the closed cycloidal model with a matter density greater than critical so it had to collapse back in a big crunch. Nowadays it is the accelerating infinite (open) universe, which is spatially flat due to dark matter and dark energy content.
On reviewing these models, and even knowing that the CMB discovery favoured these as a prediction of the big bang theorists, particularly George Gamow, I personally favoured the Steady State Theory. The Steady State Theory really had only one model, which was an infinite universe that was eternal both into the past and into the future. It had no beginning and no ending.
Recently (February 2015) we heard the terrible news of the martyrdom of the 21 young Egyptian Christian men in Libya, murdered at the hands of the Islamic death cult called ISIS, or Islamic State. For the full story JihadWatch or ChristianNews.com.au.
When the General Director of the Bible Society of Egypt, Ramez Atallah, heard this news the society very quickly put together a tract and printed more than one million copies.
“Who loved me” Galatians 2:20
…is the verse from the Daily Remembrancer this morning February 23.1 It reminded me of what one of my sons once asked in an email:
Does God love or hate sinners?
These verses2 seem to indicate that He hates sinners (emphases in original email):
Psalm 5:4-6 For You are not a God that has pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with You. The foolish shall not stand in Your sight: You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy them that speak leasing [lies]: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Psalm 11:5 The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence His soul hates.
Leviticus 20:23 And you shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things does the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.
Hosea 9:15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters [rebels].
by John Calvin (abridged)1,2
1. Though we have shown how faith possesses Christ, and how by means of faith we enjoy His benefits, yet the subject would still be left in obscurity, unless we describe the effects which we experience. Faith must lead us to repentance.
2. The argument, that repentance rather goes before faith, is based on the preaching of Christ and John the Baptist, wherein they first exhort the people to repentance; and that the Apostles were commanded thus to preach (Acts 20:21).
Yet, when we speak of faith as the origin of repentance, we dream not of any space of time which it employs in producing it. Those who prescribe to their young converts certain days, to work out repentance before they could be admitted to the communion of evangelical grace, have erred. Anabaptists and Jesuits prescribe such a period for repentance which a Christian ought to extend throughout his whole life. These people also err in regarding repentance, merely as a product of terrors of conscience, without first having tasted a knowledge of grace. We say that a man cannot devote himself to repentance, unless he knows himself to be of God; and no man can know he is of God, until he has first received His grace.
by John Calvin (abridged)1,2
1. A great part of the world, when they hear the word faith, conceive it to be nothing more than a common assent to the evangelical history. And even those, who say God is the object of faith, tend to mislead miserable souls through their vain speculations. It is true, that faith relates to the one God; but there must be added a knowledge of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. God Himself would be altogether concealed from us, if we were not illuminated by the brightness of Christ. Paul, when he speaks of faith in God, does not contradict his frequent inculcation of faith in Christ; and Peter most suitably connects them together, when he says, “by Him [we] do believe in God” (1 Peter 1:21).
2. The evil of concealing Christ must be attributed to the schoolmen [philosophers, theologians]. These schoolmen have not only concealed Christ, but fabricated the notion of implicit faith, that is, a blind faith of submitting their understanding to the Church. Implicit faith breeds ignorance and eradicates knowledge. But true faith is based on knowledge and understanding, yea, even explicit knowledge of the Divine goodness (Romans 10:10).
by John Calvin (abridged)1,2
1. What Christ has received from His Father is nothing to us, till we are united to Him. Though it is true that we obtain this by faith, we see that the communication of Christ, offered in the Gospel, is not embraced by all. This leads us to inquire into the secret energy of the Holy Spirit, by which we are introduced to the enjoyment of Christ and all His benefits.
In 1 John 5:6,
This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. (KJVER)
it is declared that Christ came by water and blood that the Spirit may testify concerning Him. It is the Spirit that seals the ablution [cleansing] and sacrifice of Christ. For which reason Peter also says, that believers are “elect . . . through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:2). This passage suggests to us, that our souls are purified by the secret ablution of the Spirit, that the effusion of that sacred blood may not be in vain. For the same reason also Paul, when speaking of purification and justification, says, we enjoy both “in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). The sum of all is this—that the Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ efficaciously unites us to Himself.