Jesus clearly identified God’s word- scripture- as being the source of truth: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). The Psalmist wrote the same message: “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth” (Ps. 119:142), and again, “You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth” (Ps. 119:151). It is because God is the source of scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17) that we understand scripture to be the source of truth. For that reason, we can rely upon scripture to guide us as to what is right, as to what is truly God’s will; “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).
What elevates man above the animals? Some would say, “Intellect, superior intellect is what elevates man above the animals.” A pretty good answer, on a surface level basis, but incorrect. Man is above the animals because God created man, and not the animals, in God’s own image, and He subsequently put the animals under the dominion of man (Gen. 1:26-28; 5:1; 9:1-2).
After the battles to conquer the promised land had been fought and won, Joshua gathered the people of Israel together at Shechem and addressed them (Josh. 24:1-2). During his discourse to them he admonished, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Joshua could have worded it differently: “make a choice,” “make up your mind,” “ make a commitment,” “take a stand…” Whatever the expression, his point to them was simple. They had to “choose.”
God is holy (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). Somebody might respond, “Well yeah, of course!” Holiness is such a fundamental aspect of God’s nature that it almost goes without saying. While a great deal is said about God’s holiness in scripture, many people may not think about it much. They like to think about God being loving and good and merciful and kind and full of grace. But thinking too much about holiness can make a person a bit uncomfortable.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Tim. 6:12). With that admonition in mind, how’s the fight going? The devil’s our adversary, our opponent (1 Pet. 5:8). Is he pummeling you? Are you standing your ground? Are you defending yourself, hitting back? Has he knocked you through the ropes? Did you get back up? Are you down for the count?
The date July 4th holds special significance to our nation. It marks the date, in 1776, on which the founding fathers signed the Declaration Of Independence, declaring our independence from England and our determination to be a free and sovereign nation. Accordingly, we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day.
The apostle Paul admonished, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22 KJV). The admonition does not just deal with not committing sin. It deals with staying out of potentially sinful situations, situations wherein we might find ourselves unduly tempted to sin. The idea is to stay away from not just the sin, but also the temptation that could lead to sin.
“Hold the line!” It’s a statement that calls for immediate strength and action. It even carries the idea of a command, a strong command. One might think of a football team being exhorted by its coach or captain to “Hold the line!” on a given play. If the opposing team breaks through the line, it could mean the ballgame.
Many passages of scripture speak of God’s love for mankind. Jesus stated, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). John also wrote, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). What God did, in sacrificing “His only begotten Son,” was certainly a supreme act of love.
The debate as to whether gay marriage ought to be legalized has been raging across our land for a number of years. It is my understanding that the president of our great nation has recently made a public statement of support for legalizing gay marriage- marriage between two men or two women. Never before has a president of this country issued such a statement. As citizens of this nation what should be our position and attitude regarding this prospect?
Gary L. Hutchens