What Is Hamartiology?


Hamartiology is the study of sin.

A really good way to understand the Bible is that it speaks in terms of contrasts – good/evil, blessing/curse, salvation/damnation, sin/commandment.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the ceremonial and ritual aspects of the law by performing them to the utmost and in the proper manner. All the commandments – whether positive or negative – found their fulfillment in Him.

When Jesus Christ died, we too died to the law. Once you’re dead, the law and the covenant is dissolved.

However.

If you haven’t died with Christ and be risen with Him to walk in the newness of life – the ritual law of blessings and curses remains in effect to a certain extent.

Can you be cleansed by the blood of bullocks, goats, sheep? No. they were a type of things to come.

The things to come came long ago – and thus the Temple was destroyed. And not allowed to be rebuilt. We tried rebuilding it a couple of times and the thing blew up. Look that up. Little trivia thing most Christians have no idea of.

When you do anything the Lord declares you shall not do, it is sin. Jesus Christ explained on the sermon on the mount that this included intent as well. If you sin in your heart, as far as the Lord is concerned, you’ve sinned in the flesh.

If you do not do anything the Lord has commanded you to do, it is sin.

This is the study of sin, it’s implications. Hamartiology is not a rewarding study – it is a sobering one. I have become convinced over the last few years that the Lord very seriously regards how we treat each other. If you’ve got a clique that other people are not welcome in, the Lord considers that sin.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8–10, KJV)

In the coming kingdom, there will be no people we shun because they’re awkward socially. There’ll be no people we shun because they don’t fit our standards.

So if a few years from now we don’t do these things – shouldn’t we start today?

“They’re old.”

You may be too someday. The way things are going now, I don’t think you’ll get there.

“They’re strange.”

Ever think you might seem strange or boring to them?

“So awkward.”

You know, it could be that because they might not be what we consider attractive today, that people have rejected them their whole life? And so, they’re used to being in their own thoughts. Not used to conversing with people. Give it a couple of years. They might well be social etiquette experts in two years.

Love the Lord your God. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

The whole law is bound up in these.

To break these is sin. To not observe these is sin.

Advertisements

What Is Bibliology?


Bibliology is the study of the Bible.

Essential doctrines of the Bible dictate what your beliefs about it must be.

THe Bible is inerrant. There are no mistakes in the Bible.

The Bible is divinely inspired. I’ve heard it all from people who claim to believe this. False Christians dismiss any passage they don’t like by claiming inerrancy for every verse except the ones they don’t like.

I think I said it best when I wrote my statement of faith…

We Believe in the Holy Bible.

1.1. The Holy Bible is the divine revelation of God (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Sam. 23:2, 1 Thes. 2:13, 2 Pet. 1:21)

1.2. The Holy Bible is Inerrant, without error and perfect, each word chosen by God and given to men to be written down word-for-word by holy men of God as moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Sam. 23:2, 1 Thes. 2:13, 2 Pet. 1:21)

1.3. The entire Bible, and all of its words are inspired, infallible and inerrant, not suffering loss in transmission, supernaturally preserved from the time of the Apostles to today through the Masoretic Text Old Testament and the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament (Psalm 12:6-7, 2 Tim. 3:16).

1.4. The King James Bible, as the only Bible translated from these texts (The Masoretic (Ben Chayimבן חיים) Text in Hebrew and Textus Receptus/Stephanus 4th Edition in Greek), is the pure, preserved Word of God for English Speaking people, without any error, without any need for correction or re-translation.

1.5. Any translation based in whole or in part upon any other texts (Such as Wescott/Hort, Vaticanus & Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Nestle/Alland and so forth) are to be rejected (including the NIV, NRSV, NKJV, RSV, TNLB, the ESV and The Message, among others).

1.6. The Holy Bible is to be read and interpreted literally, and that the Holy Ghost gives understanding of the Scriptures to all Saved persons, without needing any person, pope or church to interpret it for them (Psa. 119:104, Psa. 25:4-5,8,9, Psa. 26:11, Jer. 31:34, Deut. 6:6-7, John 14:26, 1 John 2:27).

1.7. The Holy Bible consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. There are no other books or Oral tradition to be considered Holy Writ. Neither is the Apocrypha or any of the Pseudographa to be considered Holy Scripture. The Holy Bible is complete, without missing books or gospels (Jude 1:3, Rev. 22:18-19).

1.8. The Bible is the complete and final revelation of the will of God to man (Heb. 1:1-2)

1.9. Thus, the Holy Bible is the sole authority of faith and practice in our church and in our lives (Rom. 15:4).

Can’t think of any other way to say it than that.

What is Pneumatology


Preach

Pneumatology is the study of the holy Spirit.

There’s a number of errors commonly made of the Holy Spirit – making too little of Him, or too much.

Cults tend to dismiss the Holy Spirit as ‘Electricity” or “power without thought or personality.”

This deviates from the historical view of the Holy Spirit. Judaism views God as a dualism, even though they deny it. To Jews, God is one, but they still talk about the Ruach HaKodesh in the Gemara in such a way that you understand it to be a distinct personality, separate from God but still God. It’s far more prevalent in the Chassidic literature. The Bath Kol (properly, Bat Kol) is essentially the holy Spirit in Action. I’m not going to discuss the sefirot and “divine emanations” of the Kabbalah – that’s far outside the scope of this writing. Just because it’s Jewish literature does not make it Scripture, or even Biblical.

Here’s how to properly see the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a distinct personality, separate from God but still part of God. The Holy Spirit always points you to Jesus Christ, and serves to lead and influence Christians. The Holy Spirit is the dominant force in the Inspiration and Inerrency of Scripture.

The Charismatics err in giving too MUCH attention to the Holy Spirit. Benny Hinn’s multi-million selling “Good Morning Holy Spirit” is so unbiblical it’s amazing – it should have sold maybe fifty copies. That it has sold millions proves to me that the day after the rapture a lot of Charismatic churches are going to take attendance and find that almost everyone is still there. Hopefully, that should tell them something about the status of their salvation.

Praying to the Holy Spirit is unBiblical. The Holy Spirit leads you to pray to the father. There’s no case whatsoever of anyone in Scripture praying to the Holy Spirit.

By the way, the Holy Spirit is not a asian female with a Hindu name. Seriously. Hopefully everyone who’s reading this realized long ago the Shack was an unBiblical pagan Universalistic mess, and has stayed far away from it.

Take some time and study the Holy Spirit this week. You’ll find the Bible speaks little about the third person of the Trinity – but what it says is important. You are saved through the work of the holy Spirit leading you to Christ, who intercedes on your behalf to the Father.

What is Christology?


What is Christology?

I’m abbreviating all this, because this is a six month course- at least.

Jesus Christ is God. He existed from before time. He is distinct and apart from God, yet one with God. God is one.

Huh?

I’ve discussed this before. The trinity is a huge concept, and exceptionally difficult for humans to understand. We may indeed glimpse a little bit in eternity to show us what some of this means. But as finite beings, we cannot comprehend.

Jesus Christ is God. He is God in human flesh, eternally the son of God.

He did not become the son upon baptism. He did not become God upon baptism. The very definition of God is something that has always existed. The human side of Jesus Christ is eternally bound up in the nature of Christ. He is (as theologians call it) the God Man.

Jesus Christ has always existed.

He has always been the son of God.

He has always been the lamb of God.

Here’s another strange thing we’ll never understand about God and Jesus Christ – the Bible calls him the Lamb slain before the foundaition of the world.

But we know when He died for us. Apparently theres some kind of fluidity of time in Heaven. Or foreknowledge equates to it actually happening.

It’s remarkably easy to fall into heresy when studying the concept of who Jesus Christ is.

He is not created.

He is not a human who somehow became God.

He is not an astronaut from another world.

He is not a man who just figured out He’s God.

He is not God the Father assuming the place on the Cross and leaving Heaven empty. That violates the rules of theology we learned – God is everywhere. This is a heresy called Modalism. It’s far more common than we think. It’s also called patripassionism – the Father was Crucified.

The easiest way to understand it is probably what 300 out of the 330 people following this blog did – “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it, and I don’t think too much about it.”

you really can’t go wrong that way.

What is theology?


What is theology?

It is one of the ten major doctrines – theology, Christology, Pneumatology, ekklesiology, hamartiology, soteriology, anthropology, bibliology and eschatology.

Theology is the primary doctrine, the study of God.

The lines of Pneumatology, Christology and Theology get really fuzzy. Where does God leave off and the Holy Spirit take over? Answer- yes. Where does God leave off and Jesus Christ take over? Answer – yes. Are God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ three or one? Answer – yes.

It’s kind of like that.

You’re answering yes to questions that don’t provide a yes answer.

The first and primary understanding of God is that He is God. “The Lord, He is God.” El Hu Adonai, if I’m remembering it right from the High Holy Days.

God has always existed. I remember an Atheist thinking he could stump me by challenging me, “When did God first exist?”

I stumped him instead. “The dimension of time did not exist before God created it.”

It’s like asking how tall God is. “height” is a concept God created.

“WEll, I can learn about God by studying what He created.”

Yes you can, but you’re trying to change the subject.

God has existed from before time.

God is omnipresent – everywhere at once.

God is omnipotent – He is all powerful.

God is omniscient – He knows everything.

The standard apologetic argument is to confront someone saying, “if you knew 50% of all the knowleedge in the Universe, you can’t guarantee God does not exist, because God could be in the 50% you know nothing about.”

An Atheist is ALWAYS honest enough to say, “There’s no way to have 50% of the knowledge in the Universe. It’s too much.”

you just glimpsed a hint of God. Really think about that.

God knows EVERYTHING.

God can do EVERYTHING.

God is EVERYWHERE.

Everything that exists, God created ex nihilo for His own purpose and enjoyment. Ex Nihilo is an important phrase, because it means “from nothing.” Many theologians deny the creation Ex Nihilo of the Universe. They assume God created it from existing matter.

That’s an error.

To write in detail of God, and all His attributes, would go on forever.

Here’s what the Bible boils down to – God created us, knowing we would rebel and reject Him. So knowing that, He still created us. And out of Love, He refused to let us go to Hell – by taking our Punishment on Himself.

That’s theology.

Helpful Grammar Primer


Why am I writing a Grammar primer for Christians?

It’s important. You should know how to define basic elements of grammar – because apparently, the translators of the NIV did not. They replaced verbs – which show action – with adjectives – which describe.

Not the same thing.

You need to know the subject of the sentence – the person it is talking about – and the object of the sentence- the thing the subject is doing, talking about, or talking to.

Peter threw the ball.

Peter is the subject.

Ball is the object.

Threw is a verb.

“The” is a definite article.

Articles.

We show numbers or ownership by articles. “A” is the indefinite article. It is “A” ball. “The” is a definite article (some people like to say definitive – I had an English teacher – Mrs. Chapman – who would explode if you called it that).

It is a ball – indefinite

it is the ball – definite. your being specific which ball. “Throw me the ball.”

Nouns – person place or thing.

“Jericho”

“Jesus”

“Javelin”.

Verb – action word.

Like “Peter hit Malchus.” Hit is a weak action verb, in that it does not show much detail about it. a strong verb would be “Peter slashed Malchus”. Okay, now you know the hitting was done with an edged object, like a sword, knife or dagger.

Pronoun – pronouns are nouns that make a living. No, I’m kidding! Think of the definite article “The”, and transform it to possesive. “it is the ball” becomes “it is my ball”. See? “My” is a pronoun.

here’s a quick Tom Swifty way to remember it. “Quick, give me two pronouns!” “Who, me?”

Adjectives – these describe nouns. Words like “ugly”. The Bible is remarkably sparing in adjectives in regards to people – mainly because God does not consider anyone Ugly. Someone may be short – Zacchaeus (who went to Heaven), or tall – Goliath (who went to Hell). Draw your own conclusions.

I’m kidding!

The black cat.

The tall tree.

The long field.

the little lamb.

Black, tall, long, little are adjectives.

adverbs. Adverbs describe or modify a noun.

David ran quickly. Quickly modifies ran.

Peter slashed Malchus savagely. Savagely is an adverb. And it violates the grammar rule that I ignore all the time, never end a sentence in -ly.

Easy rule – adverbs answer the questions when, where how.

Preposition. This one in Seminary I remember one of the people in the class saying “prepositions are in a box.” Anything you can do to a box is a preposition. Not my rule, but it seems to work. about, above, after, among, around, along, at, before, behind, beneath, beside, between, by, down, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, out, over, through, to, up, upon, under, and with are the most common prepositions. Not the most, but I remember my Shelley and Cashman 8th grade English primer with the orange cover had a list that Mrs. Chapman made copies of and we all taped the list of prepositions to it. Once I was out of school, I promptly forgot all of it. And threw the textbook away.

now I’m relearning it.

Okay, identify the parts of speech.

“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30, KJV)

this is techically a sentence and a half. The semicolon connect the two.

The subject is actually the angels (“cast ye”). They are doing the acting. The object of the sentence is the unprofitable servant. What’s the verb? “cast”.

definite article is used – “the”.

preposition – into.

noun – darkness, hell.

adverb – outer. It describes the location of Hell.

Is this important? It is, because often we get confused on who the Bible is speaking of, and who is speaking. The Greek will tell you, but you have to be able to identify subjects, objects, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc before you learn Greek. Another reason is, I’ve seen SERIOUS errors in doctrine because a person can’t identify subject and object!

This is not the end all and be all of Grammar. There’s all kinds of nouns and verbs, but we’re not getting into that. Just enough to identify.

Thanksgiving


Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s not about mass slaughter of tasty birds with limited IQ’s, but rather about being thankful.

The origin of Thanksgiving is in Sukkot – or for the Gentiles in the audience, the feast of Tabernacles. A couple of months late, but it was a heartfelt thanks intended to thank God for safe passage across the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the winter storm season, and to egin a new life of religious freedom.

It’s also not about the slaughter of native Americans. I’ve read that rumor, and native americans were present at the feast. The new world settlers ewnt to a lot of trouble to make a lot of food to thank their hosts. you really don’t do that if you’re thakning God for letting you kill a lot of the people you’re making the feast for.

Like God’s kingdom, everyone was welcome.

So, today, let’s think of things we’re thankful for. God delights in being thanked for what He gives you. If you’re ungrateful, He still gives you things, but He delights in being thanked.

Prayer, family, and thankfulness is what this day’s about.