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2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

     A new life in Jesus Christ is all about freedom.  Freedom from the chains of sin, the bondage of addiction, as well as guilt and shame over your past.  And a new life in Jesus Christ grants freedom from condemnation;  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

     Faith transforms a person; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Faith in His Word provides the strength to walk in His way; “. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight” (1 Corinthians 5:7). When you walk in obedience to Jesus and His Word no one can accuse you of still being the ‘old’ person you were.  If they do they are liars and want to keep you in the bondage of your past.

     Jesus voiced His contempt for such hypocrites; “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:13-15)

     The only way for a new creation to go forward is to walk after the Spirit.  What does that mean?  The Bible tells us; “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:16,17)  Freedom isn’t doing what ever you want.  Freedom is being able to choose the right thing when you lust after what you know is the wrong thing.

     Don’t let anyone deceive you.   Some will tell you that if you don’t do as they tell you, you are doing the ‘wrong thing’.  If you are a Christian, doing the wrong thing is going against Scripture. You don’t need a ‘prophet’ to tell you what the wrong things are. The Bible tells you plainly; “the acts of the  flesh are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

     How do you know if you are walking after the Spirit?  Again, you don’t need to follow the demands of anyone who accuses you of being out of God’s will because you going against their will.  The Bible tells us plainly what walking after the Spirit looks like; “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  (Galatians 5:22-25)

     In a world that idolizes the flesh walking after the Spirit can be a challenge.  In a world filled with little false ‘prophets’ who self-righteously demand ‘their way or the highway’ it can get hard to hear God’s voice.  That’s why it is so important to read His Word.  When you move towards God by going to your Bible for guidance and solace, His Spirit comes to you;  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  (James 4:8)

     No man’s words will ever wash you clean.  Only His Word will; “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)  If you’ve been beat up by a self-righteous bully and you’re hurting go to the Bible for His truth.  Jesus tells us plainly that He has come to set us free; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised . . .” (Luke 4:18)

     Praise the Lord!

Fool me once . . .

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“Fool me once – shame on you!  Fool me twice – shame on me!”

This saying underscores the responsibility we have to place our trust in people wisely.  Trust cannot be blind and must have a memory.   However, if you’re applying this saying  there must be a realization that you have been fooled once.

Some never realize this has happened to them.  For others, being fooled is the underpinning of their happiness.  Sometimes people actually prefer being fooled rather than knowing the truth.  How does this happen? Can we slide into that preference?  The preference for being fooled rather than knowing the truth is more prevalent that we might initially think.  It can be born out of laziness.

The desire to let others do our thinking  for us rather than checking things out for ourselves opens the door to being ‘taken in’.  We do this countless times a day when our decisions are swayed by advertising, public opinion and the desire to have people think well of us.  Any one who has acted against their better judgement because they were convinced by another to follow a different course of action from their own choice,  to their regret, knows this all too well.  Greed, peer pressure and fear of man are  ever beguiling accomplices of tyrants who  fool some into submission to what’s popular or expedient.  Fool them once – they want it.  Fool them twice – they still want it!

While others are prone to being fooled because they are vulnerable and have been traumatized.  People in those situations can be taken in by unscrupulous opportunists.  In such cases we cannot judge because when we do so we ‘blame the victims’.   When the vulnerable are ‘fooled’ more than twice the best we can do is to try to understand how that happens and learn from it.

Addiction, loneliness, trauma and the many misfortunes of life in a fallen world can bring a person to a desperation that searches for some kind – any kind, of solace and assurance.  Such people are predisposed to being fooled.  They grasp at any scrap of happiness and hope that they find .  A starving person doesn’t stop to dust off a stale crust of bread before they eat it, only to find that the scrap of food comes with a cost.   Vulnerable people are ready-made victims for predatory personalities who seek them out to  service their wants.  Fool them once – shame on them.  Fool them twice – even more shame is heaped on them!

How do we protect ourselves from being fooled?  Ask questions.  Pay attention to the answers.  Observe behavior – does it line up with what people say?  Don’t be pushed into committing yourself because your buttons of fear/obligation/guilt are being pushed.  Never be forced into quick decisions or making major commitments without allowing yourself plenty of time to think about it.  Finally, you have the assertive right to change your mind if you are having doubts and think you’re being fooled.  Use this right.

What do you think?

It’s God not anyone else!

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2 Corinthians 1:21,22 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

     I have heard it said; “Find someone you can trust. Ask them what to do then do what you’re told.”  Initially this seems like good advice.  However it can open the door to the most terrible emotional and spiritual abuse.  Vulnerable people are desperately searching for relief from their situation and a way out of the trouble they are in.  If someone comes along and convinces them that they (and no one else) have all the answers and they gain trust then they have virtually complete control over the vulnerable person.  Sadly this danger is ever present in our world, we must be vigilant; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

     If we add a lack of choice to the vulnerable person’s situation such as legal problems or broken relationships with family and friends so that  dire consequences are always looming we have a ‘perfect storm’ of isolation and dependence that provide a hellish foundation for exploitation.  The Bible warns us that such ‘false’ ministers will come along; “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

     When someone insists that sudden and swift destruction will befall a person under their control if they refuse to do everything and exactly what they are told then you have spiritual and emotional abuse.  Wolves in sheep’s clothing will equate their will with God’s will.  Once they have done this they will put their will first over God’s.  The Bible does tells us that sudden destruction can befall people.  The swift destruction on false prophets referred to earlier is an example (2 Peter 2:1-3).  A proverb tells us that after a long process of trying to help a person see reason, that person if they continue in their stubbornness will come to a bad end; “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”  (Proverb 29:1)

     Jesus also tells us that we all need to tend to our own spiritual condition.  No one is any better than anyone else; ” . . ., but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?”  (Luke 13:3,4)  In a broken hard world bad things can happen suddenly and we all have to be right with God if we are suddenly overtaken by a disaster.

     The Gospel Good News tells us that there is someone you can trust.  There is someone you can ask what to do.  And if you do as He tells you,  you will overcome in this life.  His name is Jesus! Jesus tells us clearly; “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)  Jesus won’t abuse you.  Jesus won’t exploit you.  Jesus won’t doom you!

     Jesus calls us; “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…”  (Matthew 11:28,29)

     Praise the Lord!

You’re nothing without love

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1 Corinthians 13:1-3  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy  and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

     What is a man without love?  He is selfish.  Selfishness can masquerade in religious vestments as easily as secular ‘garb’. Paul is telling us that tongues, prophecy, knowledge, good works and mountain moving power don’t add up to a ‘hill of beans’ without love.   Love makes the meaning; without it there is nothing but empty gestures.  The outer apparel of religiosity can dupe vulnerable people who may need love so much they will even accept a cruel parody of it out of desperation.

     In a world of pretence and masquerade it is important to be able to spot real love.  Often people will say they love you.  But what does this mean? Sometimes those who make these claims act in ways that demonstrate otherwise.  The Bible tells us; “. . . for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”  (2 Corinthians 11:14,15)

      What does love look like? The Bible tells us; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Use this scripture as  a checklist. You can evaluate any person who says they love by their actions not their words.

     Some attempt to justify their anger and rage by saying that Jesus was an angry man too.   Yes, Scripture tells us that Jesus got angry at the money changers who were disrespectful of God’s house (Matthew 21:12,13). Yes, Jesus got frustrated with His disciples (Matthew 15:10-20), the self-righteousness of the Pharisees (Matthew 15:1-9) and lack of fruitfulness (Mark 11:12-14).  Jesus being fully human did get angry but He was not an ‘angry man’.  His ministry to those He served was characterized by compassion. He would pass the ‘love’ checklist as laid out in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

     To justify anger and rage towards others, especially by those who claim to serve out of love, by ascribing a negative characteristic to Jesus on the basis of Scripture that shows the full range of His humanity, is twisting Scripture. Anger is an emotion.  It is what we do with our anger not the anger that defines us.  God judges us not by the emotions our hearts’ may struggle with but by our actions; “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

     The Bible tells us; “Be angry, and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26) We are told; “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:30-32)  Righteous anger is always tempered by the discipline of the Holy Spirit.

     Jesus commands us; “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”  (Matthew 5:44)  Does this sound like it is coming from an ‘angry man’? Rage and uncontrolled anger are not of the Holy Spirit; “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-2)  You are what you do not what you say!

     The outcome or fruit of our lives demonstrate the character behind our actions and conduct.  Scripture tells us where true love comes from; “. . .the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:22-24)  You now have checklists to evaluate any outcome or action and determine whether it is of the Holy Spirit or of carnal flesh.

     Use God’s Word to guide you and don’t fall victim to  any puffed up angry person seeking to justify his or her actions.  Jesus warns us; “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15,16)

     Praise the Lord!

Silencing – does it work?

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I Can't SpeakI had an interesting conversation with someone recently who sought to ‘silence’ a particular discussion not because of what was said but because of who said it.  I had quoted a philosopher on an issue that was of great interest to me and the content of my position was ignored because the philosopher was thought to be a person who introduced destructive and dangerous ideas into the world.  The rationale for this was; “While some one might speak truth, sometimes they just need to be silenced so that they aren’t given false credence or mar our witness.”

It is understandable that some views need to be confronted.  Hateful and false claims should be challenged and refuted. The trouble starts when people are silenced because their opinions or ideas are disagreeable.  The whole idea of silencing is based on the belief that those who do the silencing ‘know’ better than everyone else.  These self-appointed judges believe that the ‘hearers’ are not able to think for themselves.   So censuring, the silencers believe, is the best course of action.

How can ‘silencing’   reveal what the truth is when it is based on stifling free speech?    This kind of approach can lead to a ‘spiral of silence’;  “Spiral of silence theory describes the process by which one opinion becomes dominant as those who perceive their opinion to be in the minority do not speak up because society threatens individuals with fear of isolation.” (Wikipedia)  Silencing is a form of bullying.

Does silencing work?  Yes and no!  Yes it works in so far as it encourages ignorance over awareness because silencing stifles the free exchange of ideas.  Silencing is a great tool for mass control and deception.    Silencing doesn’t work when it comes to stopping the truth.  Christianity is a case in point.  Some 2000 years ago very powerful people attempted to silence the early church’s witness about Jesus Christ.

The religious leaders felt that people who spread dangerous ideas about Jesus ‘marred’ their self-righteous witness.   The Pharisees of the Sanhedrin tried to silence Peter and John; “What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.   But that it spread no further among the people, let us straightly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”  (Acts 4:16,17,18)  We all know how that went!

Sadly those who seek to silence rather than allow others to speak openly, by stopping others, trust in themselves more than God.  Those who silence while claiming they worship no gods but  reason alone, show that they don’t trust the very principles of free speech and democracy that they claim to defend.  The Pharisees finally had to accept good advice  from one of their own; “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;  but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”  (Acts 5:38,39)

What do you think?

Greedy, immoral, swindling idolaters

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1 Corinthians 5:9,10  “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.”

     The church often seeks to distance itself from the sinners of the world.  It’s almost as if we misread Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians.  Yet there is much in Scripture that tells us to be separated from the iniquity of this world  and there are dangers in becoming too comfortable with the world’s ways.  However we must not turn our backs to people who need to hear the Gospel and see it in us; “With all this talk of separation from sin and the world, we must understand, that does not relieve us of preaching the Gospel and letting people see the Jesus in us.”  (Heaven’s Helpers)

     Paul was speaking to the church about its own fellowship.  It had come to Paul that there was sexual immorality in the church and it was being tolerated; “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)  The church at Corinth had decided to let a problem slide and not make a big issue of it.  How this sounds familiar!  Paul warned the people: “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6)  The church today has a hard time hearing this message – as it did then.

     Sadly, the tendency to judge the world wicked while ignoring glaring sin in ourselves and our church brings about a very rotten state of affairs.  By avoiding contact with the world because it is wicked and avoiding dealing with wickedness within the church we become the very worst that both the world and religion has to offer.  We become self righteous judging hypocrites and every bit as worldly as the non-believer.    The church today struggles with these problems just as much as in Paul’s day; Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians is equally applicable today; “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12,13)

     Some in the church fear that if we do expel the wicked person(s) from among us too many churches will have to close.  Or they worry that churches will face financial hardships – some wicked people are great ‘tithers’. We forget that Jesus sought out sinners – greedy, immoral, swindling idolaters.  He actually said it was His mission; “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31)  Perhaps it would be far better to invite Jesus back into our churches by confessing just who and what we are rather than kicking the majority of us out!   If we stay put we can let Jesus come to us!  We can truly do as the Bible tells us by expelling the wicked person within us by confession.

     Søren Kierkegaard describes the problem with precision; “The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that; the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

    “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

     Praise the Lord!

The proof of the pudding . . .

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There is a debate about which version of the Bible is the best in terms of accurately stating God’s true Word.  Some say the King James is the best and others claim that newer translations are just as good if not better.  Sometimes Christians get quite heated about the subject even to the point of being uncharitable towards those who disagree with their position.  Most of the arguments are based on the way each version is translated and whether the ancient Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew  is interpreted  (See Fifteen Myths about Bible Translation).   Being a layman and not educated in ancient languages or methods of translation I cannot speak to these issues.  Being a Christian who wants to live according to and be guided by God’s Word, I do not want to be fooled by counterfeit versions of the Bible or be lead astray by poor translations.  What test can a simple layman apply?

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An old ‘proverb’ dating back to the 14th century provides some insight.   The proverb states; “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  Wikipedia explains the meaning of this proverb; “The only real test of something is as what it is intended to be used for.”  What is Scripture intended to be used for?  The Bible tells us; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17)  Scripture is to give us doctrine, correction and instruction so that we are equipped to do His work in the world.  If a particular translation doesn’t do as good a job at that compared to another translation then it isn’t hard  to pick the better translation.

This is a test that can guide as to  whether a particular translation is ‘good’ or not.  Does a particular translation promote proper equipping?  Let’s do an example, we can use an online Parallel Bible which is an invaluable tool when comparing versions of the Bible.  Consider the scripture, John 3:16; in the King James it reads; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  And in the Message it reads; “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”   Immediately we see that ‘everlasting life’ and ‘a whole and lasting life’ don’t seem to say the same thing.  The former expression is very specific and points to an eternal life while the latter is general pointing to a fulfilled life that lasts but isn’t necessarily ‘everlasting’.   Which translation equips a person to share the full extent of God’s love towards us?  Clearly, I would use the King James  over the Message when citing John 3:16.

How does another version of the Bible stack up to the King James on John 3:16?  Lets look at the NIV version;  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  I think the NIV does a good job on this particular verse.  But in other areas the NIV doesn’t do as good a job.  Consider John 6:47, in the KJV the verse reads: “…He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” And in the NIV John 6:47 reads; “…He who believes has everlasting life.”  Missing words make a big difference – I believe a lot of things but it is my specific belief in Jesus and what He did for me that grants me everlasting life.  Yet The Message seems to be reliable on this verse; “I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life.”  I would argue that the King James is the most reliable standard but not necessarily the most readable standard.

Sometimes you just have to struggle with the wording and ponder the language in the same way you have to chew  your food before swallowing it.  A tasty Big Mac can be swallowed without chewing being basically comprised of mushy empty calories but it isn’t as good for you as a lean cut of beef.  The same is true for intellectual and spiritual food.  I think the best thing an honest Christian can do is get a variety of translations (KJV, NIV, NASB, NLT, . . .) or a parallel Bible (places the text of different versions side by side for comparison) and start comparing particular scripture.  Those verses that God has brought to you when you have had a special need for His Word are good to use because they have a lot of personal significance.  If your experience is anything like mine, you will find that the King James Bible has a beauty and power in its translation that is not matched in the other translations.  That’s why it has become my standard.

J. Kenneth Grider claims; “Pentecost is sheer proof that God wants His written Word to be translated into the many languages of the world.  At that event, people from 13 language areas heard the Christian message in their own tongues.” (Wesleyan-Holiness Theology, p 87)  God wants to communicate with us and today He does so by His Word (the Holy Bible – translated into our language)  and through  His Holy Spirit; “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things. . . .”  (Hebrews 1:1,2)  Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would help us; “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”  (John 14:26)

We have to trust that the Holy Spirit was there to help the translators if they asked for His Help; “One realizes that something of the exactness is lost when Scripture is translated.  Yet one is confident that the Holy Spirit has helped the translators as they have been opened up to His persuasions.” (J. Kenneth Grider, Wesleyan-Holiness Theology, p 89)  More importantly, we must pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and inform us as we read any translation of the Holy Bible.  This way we do not read it alone, so we are not at the mercy of translators who may or  may not have asked for the Holy Spirit’s help.  God promises us that he will always be there for us; “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

God’s Word is meant for you to live by not debate over.  His Word is a living Word and so must be tested not by academic methods of any sort but by living His Word out in your life.  The danger of debate is to see the words but not Him.  Jesus nailed the Pharisees for this very thing; “You study  the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”  (John 5:39,40)

The proof of any translation of His Word is does it draw you to Him.  Are you transformed by it?  Does it have power in your life and the lives of those around you?

What do you think?

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