Passion Week – Thursday – The Last Supper in the Upper Room & Gethsemane

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

(via) Justin Taylor from the Gospel Coalition

Holy Week: What Happened on Thursday?

With help from the ESV Study Bible, here’s an attempted harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life.

Jesus instructs his disciples Peter and John to secure a large upper room in a house in Jerusalem and to prepare for the Passover meal

Matthew 26:17-19  Mark 14:12-16  Luke 22:7-13

In the evening Jesus eats the Passover meal with the Twelve, tells them of the coming betrayal, and institutes the Lord’s Supper

Mathew 26:20-29  Mark 14:17-23  Luke 22:14-30

After supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, interacts with them, and delivers the Upper Room Discourse

John 13:1-17:26  

Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn together (probably from Psalms 113–118), then depart to the Mount of OlivesMatthew 26:30    Mark 14:26  Luke 22:39

Jesus foretells Peter’s denials
Jesus gives his disciples practical commands about supplies and provisions

Jesus and the disciples go to Gethsemane, where he struggles in prayer and they struggle to stay awake late into the night

Matthew 26:36-46  Mark 14:32-42  Luke 22:40-46

The Last Supper

By Bob Deffinbaugh at Bible.org: We find Luke’s account (and, the other gospel accounts as well) of the last supper amazingly brief and unembellished. Somewhere 30 to 50 years after our Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension, the gospel of Luke was written (depending upon which conservative scholar you read). In spite of all the time which passed, and of the great significance of the “Lord’s Supper” or “Communion,” neither Luke nor any other gospel writer makes a great deal out of the celebration of the last Passover, just before our Lord’s death. I am not saying this celebration was unimportant, but rather that because of its importance, I would have expected it to have been a more detailed account. This brevity is the first of several “tensions of the text.”

There are other tensions as well. Why is nearly as much space devoted to the preparation for the Passover meal as for the partaking of it? Furthermore, why was Jesus so eager to partake of the Passover, when it preceded and even anticipated His death? Finally, why is there such confusion and consternation (including a deletion of some of the text) over Luke’s account of the Lord’s Table, in which it appears that the (traditional) order of the bread and wine may have been reversed?

Events Surrounding the Last Supper

Before we begin to look more closely at the partaking of the Passover, let us pause for just a moment to remind ourselves of the broader setting in which this event is found. The Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem have already determined that Jesus must die (not to mention Lazarus, John 11:47-53; 12:9-10).After the meal at the house of Simon the Leper, at which Mary anointed the feet of Jesus, “wasting” her expensive perfume on him, Judas decided to betray the Lord, approached the chief priests, and received an advance payment (Matthew 26:14-16Luke 22:1-6). Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and after He cleansed the temple, the sparks really began to fly, with the religious leaders making every effort to discredit Him, or to get Him into trouble with the Roman authorities (Luke 20:19-20). When these efforts, as well as their attempts to penetrate the ranks of our Lord’s disciples miserably failed, the chief priests were delighted to have Judas approach them with his offer. It was only a matter now of waiting for the right chance. This could have been the Lord’s celebration of the Passover, along with His disciples.

At the meal itself, a number of events took place. It would seem that the Lord’s washing of the feet of the disciples was the first item on the agenda (John 13:1-20). During the meal, once (cf. Matthew 26:20-25Mark 14:17-21), if not more (Luke 22:21-23), the Lord spoke of His betrayer. The meal seems to have included some (perhaps most all) of the traditional Passover elements, and in addition, the commencement of the Lord’s Supper, with words that I doubt the disciples had ever heard at a Passover meal (Luke 22:19-20). John’s gospel avoids giving us yet another description of this ceremony. He, unlike the other gospel writers, includes an extensive message known as the “upper room discourse” (John 14-16), concluded by the Lord’s “high priestly prayer” of intercession for His followers, which may have been prayed during the meal time, or perhaps later on in Gethsemane (John 17). The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) report the disciples’ argument about who would be the greatest, along with our Lord’s response (cf. Luke 22:24-3), the Lord’s specific words to the over-confident Peter (Luke 22:31-34), and then His words about being prepared to face a hostile world (Luke 22:35-38). With this the party is said to have sung a hymn and to have departed to the Garden of Gethsemane, where our Lord prayed, with little help from His disciples (Luke 22:39-46). The arrest of Jesus then follows, concluding in His being handed over for crucifixion.

The point in all of this is simply to remind you that the meal was a lengthy one, during which time the Passover was memorialized, and also the Lord’s Supper was inaugurated. It was also during this time that a great deal of teaching took place, as recorded primarily by John. Click here to read the entire article at Bible.org.

Jesus and the Martyr

by Stephen Witmer - Here is an article by Stephen Witmer posted at the Gospel Coalition on Jesus in the garden of Ghetsemane and His divine nature. (Jesus and the Martyrs.)

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:41-44).

In this passage, the eternal Son of God pleads with God the Father not to make him go to the cross, requires the help of an angel, and experiences great emotional upheaval in light of his approaching death. He is profoundly shaken. Early in church history, already in the second century, critics of Christianity were pointing to Jesus’ agonized prayer as reason to doubt that he was divine. The problem is heightened when we compare Jesus’ reaction in the face of death to other martyrs, ancient and modern, who appear to be more composed and able to face death with greater dignity than Jesus showed (see Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God for an insightful treatment of this). Here I provide three such examples.

Stephen Witmer gives examples of 3 ancient and modern  cases of martyrdom where the men involved appear to face death with a calm dignity and contrasts it with Jesus’ agonizing prayer.

He concludes-

first, the Gospel writers had to be honest, to include such passages of struggling by Jesus and

second, ‘ What sets Jesus’ death apart from the death of any other person in the history of the world is the spiritual component of his suffering’.

We have an indication of that terrible spiritual reality in Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.” To what “cup” is Jesus referring?

We get an answer in the Old Testament. Psalm 75:6-8 uses the imagery of a cup to refer to God’s judgment upon his enemies:

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.

Isaiah 51:17 makes explicit that the “cup” is the cup of God’s wrath: “Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.”

The “cup” Jesus is going to drink on the cross is far worse than the horrific physical suffering of crucifixion he faces. Jesus’ “cup” is the infinite wrath and judgment of almighty God upon human sin. The wrath of God that Jesus will experience on the cross is, very literally, hell. On the cross, he will experience separation from God the Father. He will be cut off from God. He will be considered an enemy of God because our sins will be counted as his (2 Cor. 5:21).

This is why Jesus agonizes and struggles in the Garden—because he knows he will soon be crushed under the infinite weight of the wrath of God.

click here to read the entire article…

Passion Week – Wednesday Events and Judas Iscariot,the suicide of Satan and the Salvation of the World

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

(via) Justin Taylor from the Gospel Coalition

Holy Week: What Happened on Wednesday?

Jesus continues his daily teaching in the Temple

Luke 21:37-38

With Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaching, the chief priests, elders, and scribes plot to kill Jesus

Matthew 26:3-5 Mark 14:1-2 Luke 22:1-2

Satan enters Judas, who seeks out the Jewish authorities in order to betray Jesus for a price

Matthew 26:14-16 Mark 14:10-11 Luke 22:3-6

Luke 22:1-6

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

This is the final message in the series called Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ. The aim has been to show that over and over in the history of the world, the epoch-making sins that changed the course of history never nullified but only fulfilled the global purposes of God to glorify his Son and save his people.

My prayer is that, as these great historical vistas of God’s sovereignty over sin take their place in your renewed mind, they would have a profoundly practical effect in making you strong in the face of breath-stopping sorrows and making you bold for Christ in the face of dangerous opposition. Christ-exalting strength in calamity and Christ-exalting courage in conflict. I pray that the Lord will weave cords of steel and silk into the fabric of your soul.

History’s Most Spectacular Sin: The Murder of Jesus

The most spectacular sin that has ever been committed in the history of the world is the brutal murder of Jesus Christ, the morally perfect, infinitely worthy, divine Son of God. And probably the most despicable act in the process of this murder was the betrayal of Jesus by one of his closest friends, Judas Iscariot.

Judas was one of the twelve apostles that Jesus had personally chosen and who had been with Jesus during his entire public ministry. He had been entrusted with the moneybag for the whole group (John 13:29). He was close enough to Jesus at the Last Supper to be dipping bread with him in the same cup (Mark 14:20).

“Satan Entered into Judas”

On the night of the Last Supper, Luke tells us in Luke 22:3-6 that “Satan entered into Judas. . . . He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray [Jesus] to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.” Later he led the authorities to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and betrayed Jesus with a kiss (Luke 22:47-48). With that, Jesus’ death was sealed.

When Luke tells us in verse 3 that “Satan entered into Judas,” several questions come to our minds. 1) One is whether Satan simply mastered a good Judas or whether Judas was already walking in line with Satan and Satan simply decided that now is the time. 2) Another question is why Satan would do this since the death and resurrection of Jesus would result in Satan’s final defeat, and there is good reason to think Satan knew that. 3) And the third and most important question is: Where was God when this happened? What was his role or non-role in the most spectacular sin that ever was? So let’s take these questions one at a time.

1) Satan’s Power in Judas’ Sinful Passions

When it says in Luke 22:3 that “Satan entered into Judas,” how are we to think about the will of Judas and the power of Satan? Judas was not an innocent bystander when Satan entered into him. The apostle John tells us in John 12:6 that he was a thief. When Judas complained that Mary had wasted money in anointing Jesus, John comments, “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

If that sounds incredible, just think of the scandalous behavior of so-called Christian leaders today who use ministry gifts to buy $39,000 worth of clothes at one store in a year, and send their kids on a $29,000 trip to the Bahamas, and drive a white Lexus and a red Mercedes. As Judas sat beside Jesus with his pious, religious face and went out and cast out demons in Jesus’ name, he was not a righteous lover of Jesus. He loved money. He loved the power and pleasures that money could by.

Paul tells us how that works together with Satan’s power. Listen to Ephesians 2:1-3: “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air [notice the connection: dead in sins, following Satan], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Dead in our sins, walking in the passions of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of body and mind, and therefore following the prince of the power of the air.

Satan does not take innocent people captive. There are no innocent people. Satan has power where sinful passions hold sway. Judas was a lover of money, and he covered it with a phony, external relationship with Jesus. And then he sold him for thirty pieces of silver. How many of his tribe are there still today! Don’t be one. And don’t be duped by one.

2) Satan’s Role in His Own Destruction

The second question is why Satan would lead Judas to betray Jesus. Doesn’t he know that the death and resurrection of Jesus would result in Satan’s final defeat (Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 12:11)? There’s good reason to think Satan knew that.

When Jesus began his ministry on the way to the cross, Satan tried to turn him away from the path of suffering and sacrifice. In the wilderness, he tempted him to turn stones into bread and jump off the temple and get the rulership of the world by worshipping him (Matthew 4:1-11). The point of all these temptations is: Don’t walk the path of suffering and sacrifice and death. Use your power to escape suffering. If you’re the Son of God, show your right to reign. And I can help you do it. Whatever you do, don’t go to the cross.

Then do you remember the time when Jesus predicted he would suffer many things from the elders and the chief priests and be killed and Peter rebuked him and said, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22). In other words, I will never let you be killed like that. Jesus did not commend him. He said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23). Hindering Jesus from going to the cross was the work of Satan. Satan did not want Jesus crucified. It would be his undoing.

But here he is in Luke 22:3 entering into Judas and leading him to betray the Lord and bring him to the cross. Why the about face? Why try to divert him from the cross and then take the initiative to bring him to the cross? We are not told. Here is my effort at an answer: Satan saw his efforts to divert Jesus from the cross failing. Time after time, Jesus kept the course. His face was set like flint to die, and Satan concludes that there is no stopping him. Therefore he resolves that if he can’t stop it, he will at least make it as ugly and painful and as heartbreaking as possible. Not just death, but death by betrayal. Death by abandonment. Death by denial (see Luke 22:31-32). If he could not stop it, he would drag others into it and do as much damage as he could. It was a spectacular sequence of sins that brought Jesus to the cross.

3) God’s Role in the Murder of His Son

Which brings us now to the third and final question—the most important one: Where was God when this happened? Or more precisely: What was God’s role or non-role in the most spectacular sin that ever happened—the murder of Jesus Christ?

To answer a question like that we should put our hands on our mouths and silence our philosophical speculations. Our opinions don’t count here. All that counts is what God himself as shown us in his word. And the first thing he shows us is that the details surrounding the death of Jesus are prophesied in God’s word hundreds of years before they happen.

The Scriptures prophesy that evil men will reject Jesus when he comes.

Matthew 21:42: “Jesus said to them (quoting Psalm 118:22), ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”?’”

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus must be hated.

In John 15:25, Jesus quoted Psalm 35:19 and said, “The word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’”

The Scriptures prophesy that the disciples would abandon Jesus.

In Matthew 26:31, he quotes Zechariah 13:7: “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus will be pierced but none of his bones will be broken.

John quotes Psalm 34:20 and Zechariah 12:10 and says, “One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. . . . For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they have pierced’” (John 19:34-37).

The Scriptures prophesy that Jesus would be betrayed by a close friend for thirty pieces of silver.

In John 13:18, Jesus cites Psalm 41:9 and says, “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’”

And in Matthew 26:24, Jesus says, “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!”

And in Matthew 27:9-10, it says, “Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me’” (Jeremiah 19:1-13; Zechariah 11:12-13).

And not only the Scriptures, but Jesus himself prophesies, down to the details, how he will be killed.

In Mark 10:33-34, he says, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

And on that last night, Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times” (Matthew 26:34).

According to His Sovereign Will

From all these prophesies, we know that God foresaw, and did not prevent, and therefore included in his plan that his Son would be rejected, hated, abandoned, betrayed, denied, condemned, spit upon, flogged, mocked, pierced, and killed. All these are explicitly in God’s mind before they happen as things that he plans will happen to Jesus. These things did not just happen. They were foretold in God’s word. God knew they would happen and could have planned to stop them, but didn’t. So they happened according to his sovereign will.

And all of them were evil. They were sin. It is sin to reject, hate, abandon, betray, deny, condemn, spit upon, flog, mock, pierce, and kill the morally perfect, infinitely worthy, divine Son of God. And yet the Bible is explicit and clear that God himself planned these things. It is explicit not only in all the prophetic texts we have seen, but also in passages that say even more plainly that God brought these things to pass.

God Brought It to Pass

For example, in Isaiah 53:6 and 10, it says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.” So behind the spitting and flogging and mocking and piercing is the invisible hand and plan of God.

And I say that carefully and with trembling. This truth is too big and too weighty and too shocking to be glib about or to be cocky about. I choose to say that the invisible hand and plan of God are behind these most spectacular sins in all the universe—more grievous and more spectacular than the fall of Satan or any others. The reason I use these very words is because the Bible says it in those very words.

The Hand and Plan of God

In Acts 4:27-28, we have the clearest, most explicit statement about God’s hand and plan behind the horrific crucifixion of his Son. “Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand (cheir) and your plan (boule) had predestined to take place.” Those are the two words I am using: the hand of God and the plan of God.

It is a strange way of speaking—to say that God’s hand and plan have predestined something to happen. One does not ordinarily think of God’s “hand” predestining. How does a hand predestine? Here’s what I think it means: The hand of God ordinarily stands for God’s exerted power—not power in the abstract, but earthly, effective exertions of power. The point of combining it with “plan” is to say that it is not just a theoretical plan; it is plan that will be executed by God’s own hand.

This explains Isaiah 53:10: “It was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief.” Or more literally, with the King James Version, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” The Lord bruised him. Behind Herod and Pilate and the Gentiles and the people of Israel was Jesus’ own Father who loved him with an infinite love.

The Gospel: God At Work in Death

Why should this matter to you? It should matter because if God were not the main Actor in the death of Christ, then the death of Christ could not save us from our sins and we would perish in hell forever. The reason the death of Christ is the heart of gospel—the heart of the good news—is God was doing it. Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If you break God’s activity from the death of Jesus, you lose the gospel. This was God’s doing. It is the highest and deepest point of his love for sinners. His love for you.

Romans 8:3: “Sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” God condemned sin in Jesus’ flesh with our condemnation. So we are free.

Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” God cursed Jesus with the curse that belonged on us. So we are free.

2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God imputed our sin to him, and now we go free in God’s righteousness.

Isaiah 53:5: “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.” God wounded him. God crushed him. For you and me. And we go free.

The Cross of Christ: The Work and Love of God

The reason why this series of messages matters is this. If you embrace the biblical truth (and I pray you will) that God ordains spectacular sins for the global glory of his Son, without in anyway becoming unholy or unrighteous or sinful in that act, then you will not shrink back from the cross of Christ as a work of God. You will not be among the number of those who call the most loving act that ever was “divine child abuse.” You will come to the cross and fall on your face. And you will say: This is no mere human conspiracy. This is the work of God and the love of God. You will it receive as his highest gift. And you will be saved. And Christ will be glorified. And I will not have preached in vain.

© Desiring God

Gicu Stan – Duhul Sfant: Botezul cu Duhul Sfant si Vorbirea in Limbi – Logos Podcast Interviu, realizat de Dan Miclea

Cincizecimea photo wikipedia

Dan Miclea: Bun venit la emisiunea Logos, unde o sa vorbim azi de lucrarea Duhului Sfant, Duhul Sfant ca persoana. Il avem cu noi pe fratele Gicu Stan.

Gicu Stan: Ce este de facut atunci, fratilor, cand va adunati laolalta, daca unul din voi are o cantare, altul o invatatura, altul o descoperire, altul o vorba in alta limba, altul o talmacire. Totul sa se faca spre zidirea bisericii. Stiti ce surprinde aici, din pasajul acesta? Apostolul, si printre altele abordeaza vorbirea intre alte limbi si spune ca daca unul are o vorbire in alta limba, altul o talmacire, cum e cu vorbirea asta in alta limba. Pentru ca in Faptele Ap. 2, citim ca atunci cand Duhul Sfant s-a coborat peste cei aproape 120 care erau in odaia de sus, spune Scriptura ca de-odata toti au inceput sa vorbeasca in alte limbi, dupa cum le da Duhul sa vorbeasca. Aici, apostolul spune in continuare in vers. 27: Daca sunt unii care vorbesc in alta limba, – ceea ce intelegem, ca nu toti vorbeau in alta limba. Calatorind si prin tara si in afara tarii,  mi-am dat seama ca in ce priveste lucrarea aceasta a Duhului Sfant, a botezului, a umplerii cu Duhul Sfant, sunt multe semne de intrebare. Si in cele spirituale, niciodata nu ne vom ridica mai sus decat intelegerea pe care o avem, decat cunoasterea pe care o avem, inclusiv despre credinta.

Apostolul Pavel spune in Romani 10:17  astfel: credinţa vine în urma auzirii; iar auzirea vine prin Cuvîntul lui Hristos. Deci, credinta, ca sa existe in vietile noastre, mai intai trebuie sa avem cunoasterea. Daca avem o baza corecta, cunoastere corecta, atunci, aplicand cunoasterea aceea vietilor noastre,  avem sansa sa ajungem la un crez corect. Dar niciodata in cele spirituale, noi nu ne vom ridica mai sus decat intelegerea pe care o avem, cunoasterea pe care o avem. Ei, calatorind prin tara, calatorind in afara tarii mi-am dat seama ca la capitolul acesta al botezului, al umplerii cu Duhul Sfant e multa confuzie. Am inteles ca sunt cel putin 3 probleme care trebuiesc clarificate in ce priveste lucrarea aceasta a botezului, a umplerii cu Duhul Sfant.

  1. Cand s-a nascut Biserica Domnului?
  2. Daca exista vreo diferenta intre manifestarea Duhului Sfant  inainte de Cincizecime si dupa Cincizecime,
  3. Si o a treia, poate putin mai delicata. Unde e frontiera care desparte insusirile noastre native, cat si cele pe care noi le dobandim prin instruire de darurile pe care le imparte Duhul Sfant?

Pentru ca gasim cantareti buni si in biserica, dar gasim cantareti buni si in afara bisericii. Gasim oratori buni in afara bisericii, si din cand in cand mai gasim si prin biserici. Nu putini sunt cei care spun: ,,Domnule, asta-i darul pe care Duhul Sfant mi l-a dat mie.” Ba, in acelasi timp, Scriptura ne indreptateste sa credem ca sunt anumite lucrari pe plan spiritual care se pot face fara sa fi trait Cincizecimea, fara ca sa fi trait botezul sau umplerea cu Duhul Sfant, cum o numeste Scriptura. Timpul in seara aceasta nu ne permite sa le abordam pe toate cele 3 aspecte. Dar as vrea, asa sumar, sa trecem peste ele.

(1) Inteleg, bazat pe anumite pasaje in sfanta Scriptura ca Biserica Domnului s-a nascut in seara invierii, nu la Cincizecime. Daca Biserica Domnului s-a nascut la Cincizecime, atunci nasterea din nou si botezul cu Duhul Sfant sunt doua evenimente care au loc in acelasi timp. Deci, cand m-am intors la Dumnezeu si L-am primit pe Isus Hristos ca Domn si Mantuitor al vietii mele s-a realizat si nasterea din nou si botezul cu Duhul Sfant. Ori, Evanghelia lui Ioan, cap. 20, care ne vorbeste despre intalnirea Domnului Isus Hristos cu ucenicii in seara invierii, spune acolo Scriptura ca s-au bucurat  cand L-au vazut pe Domnul si Domnul acolo-i trecut cu D mare. Deasemenea, Scriptura ne spune ca dintre cei 11, unul lipsea. Stim ca al 12-lea, Iuda, isi pusese capat zilelor. Dar Toma nu era cu ei. Si se intalnesc astia 10, care fusesera colegi in aceeasi scoala, cea mai buna scoala teologica ce a existat vreodata in lumea noastra. Se intalnesc cu fostul lor coleg de teologie, cu Toma. Si spun: ,,Toma, a inviat Domnul!” Si el spune: ,,Ce? Cum? Nu cred!”
,,Dar noi am stat de vorba cu El. I-am vazut mainile si coasta!”
Si ce zice Toma?: ,,Daca nu voi pune eu mana mea in coasta Lui si degetul meu in rana Lui n-am sa cred.”

Si zece se straduiesc sa-l treaca din tabara necredinciosilor in tabara credinciosilor si nu reusesc. Si dupa 8 zile, din nou ucenicii erau impreuna si era si Toma cu ei. Si vine Domnul. Cand vine Domnul, intotdeauna El vine la mijloc. El nu vine ca spectator [ca] sa vada ce se intampla la biserica. Nu, nu. De multe ori noi Il chemam sa fie musafirul nostru. Nu. Domnul e Stapanul Bisericii. Si El cand vine in Biserica, El vine ca Stapan. Ca Domn. Ca Pastor al Bisericii. A venit si s-a asezat in mijloc. N-are de a face cu ceilalti 10, ci se indreapta spre Toma. Si spune: ,,Toma, vino si fa experimentul.” Nu gasim scris ca a mai avut curajul sa duca mana in semnul cuielor si sa verifice prin simturile lui tactile, sa vada, ii asa sau nu-i asa? Dar a facut doua mari afirmatii acolo despre Domnul Isus Hristos: ,,Esti Domnul meu si esti Dumnezeul meu!”

Prin faptul ca Toma nu credea ca Isus inviase din morti, stiti in ce situatie se gasea el? Pentru el, Isus nu era Fiul lui Dumnezeu, deci nu era ceea ce a spus ca este si anume: Dumnezeu adevarat din Dumnezeu adevarat. Si in al doilea rand, necrezand in invierea Lui, pentru el, jertfa pe care Domnul Isus a dus-o la Golgota nu reprezenta unica solutie randuita de Dumnezeu Tatal pentru mantuirea noastra. Dar cand se intalneste cu El, se prabuseste inaintea Lui si spune: ,,Esti Domnul meu si Dumnezeul meu!” Ce inseamna cand cineva spune despre Domnul Isus Hristos ca-i Dumnezeul lui? El recunoaste ca Isus exista din eternitate cu Dumnezeu, ca la implinirea vremii a venit in lumea noastra, S-a intrupat, a trait printre noi plin de har si de adevar, la timpul stabilit de Dumnezeu Tatal s-a dus la Golgota si a platit pretul mantuirii noastre. Ca dovada faptului ca moartea Lui a fost o moarte reala, a fost coborat si a stat in groapa rece a mormantului. De acolo, Dumnezeu L-a inviat, asa cum spune Romani 1:4: (1) dovedindu-L cu putere ca-I Fiul Lui si (2) ca jertfa care El a adus-o la Golgota este si ramane solutia randuita de Dumnezeu Tatal pentru mantuirea noastra. Si Toma spune: ,,Da, cred asta.” Dar nu numai atat. ,,Nu numai ca esti Dumnezeul meu, esti si Domnul meu!” Atunci cand cineva traieste ceea ce Scriptura numeste nasterea din nou, el trebuie sa faca din Domnul Isus, Dumnezeul lui si in al doilea rand sa faca din El Domnul vietii sale. Adica, din momentul acela frang voia mea in fata vointei Lui si spun:  ,,De azi inainte, 24 din 24 de ore  inima mea va bate pentru Tine.”

Ceilalti 10 erau convertiti? Traisera nasterea din nou, dar au trait-o cu opt seri mai in urma, cand in seara invierii, Domnul a venit si le-a aratat mainile si coasta. Si spune: s-au bucurat cand au vazut pe Domnul. Si acolo spune Scriptura ca Domnul a suflat peste ei si le-a zis: ,,Luati Duh Sfant.” Au luat Duh Sfant? Dar, [tot] la acestia le spune: ,,Sa nu va departati de Ierusalim pana veti fi imbracati cu o putere de sus, si apoi veti fi martori.” Intreband cu ceva vreme in urma pe niste tineri, ca ei sunt mai deschisi pentru dialog: ,,Au primit s-au n-au primit?” -  ,,Da, nu, nu stiu.” Le-am spus: ,,Daca Scriptura spune Da, atunci asa este.” Domnul a suflat peste ei si a zis: ,,Luati Duh Sfant!” Dar ce inteleg de aici? Duhul Sfant pe care ei l-au luat atunci in seara invierii cand Domnul a suflat peste ei, nu-i altceva decat lucrarea Duhului Sfant care prin Cuvantul Scripturilor realizeaza in noi nasterea din nou. Acolo era prezent Cuvantul Intrupat, spune in Ioan 1 ca la inceput era Cuvantul si Cuvantul era cu Dumnezeu si Cuvantul era Dumnezeu. Si mai jos spune: Si Cuvantul s-a facut trup si a locuit printre noi plin de har si de adevar. Deci acolo era Cuvantul si acolo era Duhul Sfant.

photo credit vimeo.com

Deci, in seara invierii, Duhul Sfant despre care vorbeste acolo evanghelistul este lucrarea Duhului Sfant care prin Cuvantul Scripturilor realizeaza in noi nasterea din nou. Cincizecimea este o lucrare aparte. Deci, una este nasterea din nou si alta este Cincizecimea. Stand de vorba cu tineri, pentru ca spuneam, ei sunt deschisi dialogului. Ii intrebam: ,,Cum stati? Asta e Cincizecimea?” Dar zice: ,,Frate Gicu, ce vrei sa ne intrebi? Daca vorbim in alte limbi?” Am zis: ,,Nu numai asta. Dar si asta.” Si au spus: ,,Putem sa va punem cateva intrebari?” Am zis: ,,Sigur, aveti toata libertatea!”
Au zis: ,,Frate Gicu, David a avut Duhul Sfant?”
Am zis: ,,Da, spune Scriptura in Psalmul 51 ca la un moment dat, David se roaga: ‘Doamne, nu lua Duhul Tau cel Sfant de la mine.” Zic: ,,A avut, cum sa nu-L aiba?”
Dar zice: ,,A vorbit in alte limbi?”
,,Scriptura tace. Unde Scriptura tace, trebuie sa tacem si noi.”
Au venit mai aproape si au zis: ,,Frate Gicu, Ioan Botezatorul a avut Duhul Sfant?”
Si am zis: ,,O, despre Ioan Botezatorul spune Scriptura ca s-a umplut de Duhul Sfant inca din pantecele mamei lui. Deci a avut.”
,,Da, dar a vorbit in alte limbi?”
,,Scriptura tace.”
,,Mai avem o intrebare: Domnul Isus a avut Duhul Sfant?”

,,O – zic, -  despre Domnul Isus spune Scriptura ca I s-a dat Duhul fara masura!”
Si zice: ,,A vorbit in alte limbi?”
Inclusiv cuvintele care le-a rostit pe cruce, au fost rostite in limba aramaica. Si au zis: ,,Frate Gicu si noi avem Duhul Sfant. Dar eu n-am semnul asta de a vorbi in alte limbi. Eu am un alt semn.”

Fratii mei, noi n-avem voie sa ne zidim crezul nostru pe experientele noastre. Crezul nostru trebuie sa fie zidit pe Cuvantul Scripturilor. Daca experientele se incadreaza in Cuvantul Scripturilor, sunt bune. Daca nu, oricat am fi noi de indragostiti de ele, daca n-au acoperire in Cuvantul Scripturilor trebuie sa avem taria sa le aruncam la cosul de gunoi, pentru ca Dumnezeu n-are nimic de-a face cu ele. Pavel spune in 1 Corinteni 15: ,,ne mantuim dupa Evanghelie.” Ca si mantuiti, trebuie sa ne traim viata dupa Evanghelie si in Romani 2:16 spune ca intr-o zi, Dumnezeu prin Hristos Isus v-a judeca lucrurile ascunse ale oamenilor dupa Evanghelie. Vreau sa va spun ca m-au pus pe jar. Am mai gasit in Scriptura cateva pasaje care au amplificat framantarile mele. In Ioan 7, gasim acolo spunandu-se ca in ziua de pe urma, care era ziua cea mare a praznicului, Isus a statut in picioare si-a strigat. Si atat de tare a strigat Domnul ca se aude si astazi. ,,Daca inseteaza cineva,”- spunea Domnul, “sa vina la Mine si sa bea. Celui ce crede in Mine, din inima lui vor curge rauri de apa vie.” Si acolo completeaza evanghelistul si spune: ,,spunea aceste lucruri despre Duhul care aveau sa-l primeasca cei ce vor crede in Isus, fiindca Duhul Sfant nu fusese dat, pentru ca Isus nu fusese proslavit.”

Cum “nu fusese dat Duhul Sfant”? Nu fusese Duhul Sfant si nu fusese peste Domnul Isus Hristos? Citim in Evanghelia lui Luca despre batranul Simion care a adus o viata fara de prihana si Duhul lui Dumnezeu era peste el. Si spune acolo Scriptura despre plinatatea Duhului Sfant. Si Domnul instiintase din timp ca el nu va muri pana cand va vedea pe sfantul lui Israel. Si in ziua cand parintii cu pruncul Isus se duceau la Templu, ca sa implineasca in dreptul Lui ceea ce spunea legea, Duhul Sfant ii spune: ,,Du-te, ca acuma vine Mesia.” Si cand ajung parintii cu pruncul, el e prezent acolo, Il ia pe brate, binecuvanteaza pe Dumnezeu si spune: ,,Doamne, slobozeste acuma in pace pe robul Tau ca ochii mei au vazut mantuirea Ta.” Scriptura vorbeste despre Ana proorocita, care si ea, manata de Duhul Sfant in ceasul acela, a venit la Templu si vorbea oamenilor despre Isus. Ba spune Scriptura tot in Evanghelia dupa Luca despre Zaharia, ca intra in scoala suferintei, a durat intre 9-10 luni scoala aceea. Si cand iese din scoala suferintei, spune Scriptura ca se umple de Duhul Sfant si incepe sa prooroceasca. Si Ioan spune acolo: ,,Duhul Sfant nu fusese dat fiindca Isus nu fusese inca proslavit.”

Cum nu fusese dat Duhul Sfant? Il gasim pe Domnul Isus in Ioan 16 spunandu-le ucenicilor: “Ma duc la Tatal,” si cand a spus asta, spune Scriptura ca inima lor s-a umplut de intristare. Si Domnul revine: “E spre folosul vostru sa ma duc, ca daca nu ma duc Eu, nu vine Mangaietorul.” Cum nu vine Mangaietorul? Cum? Cateva saptamani ma culcam seara cu problema aceasta in mintea mea. Uneori, ma trezeam noaptea si ma intorceam de pe o parte pe alta in pat si ma intrebam: ,,Doamne, ce ai vrut sa spui prin Cuvantul Scripturilor? Ca Duhul Sfant nu fusese dat, ca Domnul Isus nu fusese proslavit, cand Duhul Sfant era in lume in vremea aceea?” Cand Domnul Isus Hristos tinea cuvantarea aceea in ziua de pe urma, care era ziua cea mare a praznicului, Duhul Sfant era peste Domnul Isus Hristos. Duhul Sfant fusese peste proorocii Vechiului Testament. Ne spune Scriptura ca Duhul a miscat pe Samson odata intre Ţorea şi Eştaol, i-a pus limitele si acolo il insotea Duhul Sfant si acolo, Duhul Sfant era peste el.

Si spune aici: Duhul Sfant nu fusese dat fiindca Isus nu fusese inca proslavit. Citind Scripturile mi-am pus urmatoarea intrebare: cea de-a doua persoana a divinitatii, Mesia, a mai vizitat lumea noastra pana la intrupare? Da. Gasim pasaje in Vechiul Testament care ne indreptatesc sa credem ca El a mai vizitat lumea noastra pana la intrupare. Dar ascultati-ma, intruparea Domnului Isus Hristos a fost o premiera nu in istoria omenirii, ci a fost o premiera in istoria cosmosului, in felul in care cea de-a doua persoana a divinitatii a vizitat lumea noastra. Cum ne-a vizitat prin intrupare si cum ne-a vorbit Dumnezeu prin Fiul, nu mai facuse pana atunci. Deci a fost ceva, o premiere, ceva ce nu mai fusese pana atunci, in ce priveste felul in care cea de-a doua persoana a divinitatii a vizitat lumea noastra prin intrupare.

Venind la Duhul Sfant al lui Dumnezeu, stiti ce am inteles? Ca Cincizecimea a insemnat o premiera in felul in care Duhul Sfant a venit in Biserica Domnului. Ceva nou, ce nu mai fusese pana atunci. Si stiti ce le-am spus? Nu cautati vorbire in limbi la David, ca n-o veti gasi, asa cum nu gasiti pe Hristosul crucificat inainte de intrupare. Nu cautati vorbire in limbi la Ioan Botezatorul, ca n-o veti gasi pentru ca ea apartine de aici, de la Cincizecime incoace, nu inainte de Cincizecime. E un fel nou in care Duhul Sfant a inceput sa lucreze in Biserica Domnului.

Dar, tot ei spuneau: “Frate Gicu, tu crezi ce spune in Scriptura?”
Si am spus: “Cum sa nu cred ce spune Scriptura?”
Zice: “Stii ce scrie in 1 Corinteni 12?”
Am zis: “Hai sa citim.” Spune Scriptura asa, incepand cu vres. 28: Şi Dumnezeu a rînduit în Biserică, întîi, apostoli; al doilea, prooroci; al treilea, învăţători; apoi, pe ceice au darul minunilor; apoi pe cei ce au darul tămăduirilor, ajutorărilor, cîrmuirilor, şi vorbirii în felurite limbi. 29 Oare toţi sînt apostoli? Toţi sînt prooroci? Toţi sînt învăţători? Toţi sînt făcători de minuni? 30 Toţi au darul tămăduirilor? Toţi vorbesc în alte limbi? Toţi tălmăcesc? 31 Umblaţi dar după darurile cele mai bune. Şi vă voi arăta o cale nespus mai bună.
Mi-au sis: “Frate Gicu, daca Scriptura spune aici ca nu toti vorbesc in alte limbi, de ce sustii invatatura ca toti cei care traiesc Cincizecimea, pe langa altele trebuie sa fie prezenta si vorbirea in alte limbi? Cand Scriptura spune ca nu toti vorbesc in alte limbi si nu toti talmacesc.
Si am spus: “Voi aveti dreptate. Da, asa este cum scrie aici. Nu toti vorbesc in alte limbi.

Dar in 1 Corinteni 12 ap. Pavel abordeaza darurile pe care Duhul Sfant le imparte, odata ce El a venit in viata credinciosului. Pentru ca este scris: Duhul Sfant da fiecaruia in parte cum voieste El. Si ceea ce spune el aici in 1 Corinteni 11 si in versetul ce s-a citit din 1 Corinteni 14, e vorba despre darul vorbirii in alte limbi. Nu e vorba despre ‘vorbirea in alte limbi’ din Ziua Cincizecimii. Ascultati ce spune Scriptura in 1 Corinteni 14:2 ‘În adevăr, cine vorbeşte în altă limbă, nu vorbeşte oamenilor, ci lui Dumnezeu; căci nimeni nu -l înţelege, şi, cu duhul, el spune taine.‘ Deci vorbirea aceasta nu-i adresata oamenilor, ci lui Dumnezeu. Asta nu-i vorbirea in alte limbi din 1 Corinteni 12.

In 1 Corinteni 12 ap. Pavel vorbeste despre darurile pe care le imparte Duhul Sfant odata venit in viata credinciosului.(22) Si unul dintre ele este si darul vorbirii in alte limbi. Si cum se manifesta acesta? Sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant  mesajul pleaca din partea lui Dumnezeu. Se manifesta prin cel ce are darul. El trebuie sa se manifeste public; trebuie sa fie talmacit si trebuie sa aduca zidire altora, asa cum spunea aici in 1 Corinteni 14- Toate sa se faca spre zidirea sufleteasca. Invatatura, cantarea, vorbirea in alta limba, talmacirea. Deci toate sa se faca spre zidirea sufleteasca. Cand e vorba de darul vorbirii in alte limbi, deci, sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant, mesajul vine din partea lui Dumnezeu, porneste de acolo, se manifesta prin cel ce are darul. Trebuie sa fie talmacit, trebuie sa se manifeste public si sa aduca zidire altora. Asta-i darul si nu toti vorbesc in alte limbi. Nu toti.

Am avut bucuria in timpul care s-a scurs sa particip la seri de partasie, la servicii de partasie in care s-a manifestat felul acesta de lucrare a Duhului Sfant, prin vorbire in alte limbi si prin talmacire. E atata de frumos. Incepea vorbirea in alte limbi prin unu, prin altul se deda talmacirea. Cand cel care talmacea spunea ‘Amin’, cel ce vorbea in alte limbi s-a oprit. Asta- i darul si nu toti au darul. In Ziua CIncizecimii, cand spune Scriptura: “Si toti, deodata, au inceput sa vorbeasca in alte limbi, dupa cum le da Duhul sa vorbeasca.” A fost darul vorbirii in alte limbi?” N-a fost talmacit. Da, acolo a fost un mesaj care s-a dat pe intelesul prozelitilor prezenti in Ierusalim. Si cu ceva ani in urma, un profesor de studiu biblic la o scoala crestina din Cluj m-a sunat si mi-a zis: “Frate Gicu, vreau sa stau de vorba cu dvs.” M-am dus intr-una din zile la scoala si-mi zice: “Auzi, am auzit ca esti suparat pe mine.” I-am spus: “Bine ai auzit, pentru ca eu ii invat pe tineri intr-un fel in biserica si tu in scoala ii inveti altfel.”

“Pai,” zice, “uite care-i problema. Am 4 ore care sunt destinate pentru subiectul asta a botezului cu Duhul Sfant. Vino in scoala si ti le ofer tie; vorbesti tu elevilor despre botezul cu Duhul Sfant.” I-am spus: “Nu asta-i solutia. Daca facem asa, cineva v-a fi discreditat in scoala asta ca nu-i competent sa abordeze subiectul asta. Solutia este sa stam la masa, sa luam Scriptura si sa vedem ce spune Scriptura.”  “Frate Gicu, dar a fost prezenta vorbirea in limbi in Fapte 2, pentru ca a fost un mesaj pe intelesul prozelitilor veniti la Ierusalim.” Am zis”Bine, dar in Fapte 10?” “Pai, in Fapte 10 a trebuit sa fie o marturie puternica pentru Petru si pentru cei 6 care-l insoteau, ca Domnul a deschis usa mantuirii si pentru neamuri si de aia a fost rpezenta vorbirea in alte limbi acolo.” Zic: “Sa fie asa cum spui tu. Cu toate ca nu cred asa. Dar, hai sa facem un pas mai departe in Scriptura,” si ne-am dus in Fapte 19. Scriptura ne spune acolo, ca ap. Pavel in timp ce predica Evanghelia ajunge in Efes si acolo ii intalneste pe cei 12 ucenici si-i intreaba: “Ati primit voi Duhul Sfant cand ati crezut?” Si astia au fost oameni sinceri, n-au vrut sa spuna: ‘L-am primit atunci.’ Nu, nu. Au zis: “Noi nici n-am auzit ca s-a dat un Duh Sfant.” Si cu voi, cu ce botezati?” “Cu botezul lui Ioan.” Eh, ce a facut Pavel? L-a propovaduit pe Domnul Isus Hristos, i-a botezat in numele Domnului Isus Hristos, si cand si-a pus mainile peste ei s-a coborat Duhul Sfant peste ei.(26) Si din context reiese ca toti au inceput sa vorbeasca in alte limbi si sa prooroceasca.

Si intrebarea mea pentru el a fost urmatoarea: “Daca in Fapte 2, vorbirea in alte limbi a fost necesara pentru prozelitii din Ierusalim, daca in Fapte 10 vorbirea a fost necesara pentru Petru si ceilalti ca sa aiba un argument puternic pentru biserica din Ierusalim, ca Domnul a deschis usa mantuirii pentru oameni in Fapte 19, de ce toti, ca din context reiese ca toti au inceput sa vorbeasca in alte limbi si sa prooroceasca. De ce toti? Pentru cine trebuia sa fie argumentul asta puternic al botezului cu Duhul Sfant? Pentru cine? Pentru ca, daca cineva era pregatit in sensul acesta, ca poate sa aiba loc botezul cu Duhul Sfant fara vorbiri in alte limbi? Am zis, printre ei trebuia sa se numere si cel care a fost ap. Pavel. De ce toti? De ce?

A ridicat din umeri si a spus: “Ramane o problema de studiu si de cercetare pentru viitor. Eh, ce inteleg ca la botezul cu Duhul Sfant, cand Duhul Sfant vine si se coboara peste credincios, ia in primire duhul credinciosului, mintea lui e fara rod- adica, nu cadem in transa, nu ne pierdem cunostinta si nu mai stim ce se intampla cu noi. Nu. Nu. Noi ramanem perfect constienti. Vine Duhul Sfant, ia in primire duhul nostru, prin gura noastra El se roaga, si mintea n-are nici o contributie la cuvintele care le vorbim. In situatia aceasta, vedeti, sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant, vorbirea porneste de la credincios si se inalta catre Dumnezeu. E exact ce spunea ap. Pavel in 1 Corinteni 14 “In adevar, cine vorbeste in alta limba, nu vorbeste oamenilor, ci lui Dumnezeu. Caci cu Duhul el spune taine si nimeni nu-l intelege.” Asta-i vorbirea de la botezul cu Duhul Sfant. Deci, vine Duhul Sfant, ia in primire duhul meu, mintea mea e fara rod- adica, ea n-are nici o contributie la cuvintele pe care eu le rostesc si de la cel credincios care traieste in lucrarea aceasta a botezului, a umplerii cu Duhul Sfant si apoi manifestarea acestei vorbiri in viata de credinta care urmeaza, se inalta vorbirea de la credincios la Dumnezeu.

Tongues gift Holy SpiritCand vine darul vorbirii in limbi, sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant, mesajul pleaca din partea lui Dumnezeu sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant se manifesta prin cel ce are darul. Trebuie sa fie talmacit, sa se manifeste public si sa aduca zidire altora. Acesta e darul, dar cealalta e vorbirea. Tot aici in capitolul 14, ap. Pavel scrie Bisericii din Corint, deci le scrie, astia erau indragostiti de vorbirea in alte limbi. Si ap. le scrie ca sa faca randuiala. Si ce le spune printre altele? “Multumesc lui Dumnezeu ca eu vorbesc in alte limbi mai mult decat voi toti. Dar in biserica voiesc mai bine sa spun 5 cuvinte intelese, ca sa invat si pe altii, decat sa spun o mie de cuvinte in alta limba.” E darul [vorbirii in limbi]? Nu cred ca e darul. Ca daca e dar, atunci cel care da vorbirea trebuie sa dea talmacirea sau celuia care vorbeste sau daca nu, da altuia darul acesta al talmacirii. Apostolul Pavel spune: “Nu. Voi toti Corintenii la un loc, voi nu vorbiti in alte limbi asa cat vorbesc eu singur. Dar in biserica, cinci cuvinte intelese, ca sa aduca zidire si altora, decat o mie de cuvinte in alta limba.” Photo credit http://www.smashwords.com

Stiu ca este o problema destul de delicata, aceasta, a botezului cu Duhul Sfant si in special pentru cei care sunt cerebrali, cei pregatiti in stiintele exacte. Ma rog, au multa scoala in spatele lor si… Eram cu ani in urma la niste seri de staruinta si era acolo prezenta si o tanara si studenta in anul IV la studii Europene – Studii Politice si in paralel facea si studii Europene. Nu cu mult timp, in serile alea de rugaciune, de staruinta, ea isi predase viata in mana Domnului si era in perioada asta de pregatire pentru botez. Si a venit intr-o luni seara, luni am inceput serile de rugaciune, dar ea a venit ceva mai tarziu. Si marturisea dupa cateva zile: “Cand am intrat in Casa de Rugaciune si am auzit cum se inaltau rugaciunile catre Dumnezeu, la un moment dat am auzit voci, care au inceput sa spuna: ‘Auzi, tu ce cauti aici? Tu esti o fata inteligenta, citita, rationala, cerebrala. Nu-i auzi? Nu vezi cum se manifesta? Lasa-i si du-te!’” Dar ea si-a zis asa: “Nu plec. Raman aici pentru ca trebuie sa decid ce fac. Mai merg la botez sau ii las in pace?” Si cand a zis lucrurile acestea, toate apasarile la nivelul gandirii si a cugetului ei, toate au parasit-o. Si a ramas acolo pana la orele 11, 11 si ceva seara, cand s-a terminat seara aceea de rugaciune.

Marti a zis: “Ma duc. Dar nu mai stau in spate. Ma duc in fata, ca acolo-i focul. Ma duc sa iau temperatura de acolo, sa vad ce se intampla.” Dar ce si-a zis? Ce si-a zis si Luni seara: “Pastrez totul sub controlul ratiunii mele.Nimic n-am sa las sa iasa. Cum, sa ajung sa vorbesc eu cu gura mea ce nu inteleg cu mintea mea? Nu se poate asa ceva; nu se poate asa ceva.” A venit si in seara urmatoare si a venit in fata. Dorinta ei in inima ei era sa fie botezata cu Duhul Sfant, dar marea batalie era: “Cum s vorbesc eu cu gura mea ce nu inteleg cu mintea mea?”  A inceput rugaciunea sa curga. Cu noi, in seara aceea la partasie, era si un frate care avea dar de descoperire din partea Domnului. Si in timp ce rugaciunea curgea, Dumnezeu i-a aratat aceasta tanara si Duhul Sfant sub forma de porumbel se asezase pe capul ei si voia sa vorbeasca prin gura ei. Dar ea zicea: “Nu. Nu. Nu se poate. Cum sa vorbesc eu cu gura mea ce nu inteleg cu mintea mea?” S-a apropiat de ea si numai atata i-a spus: “Lasa-L pe Duhul lui Dumnezeu sa vorbeasca prin gura ta.” Si dintr-o data a izbucnit in vorbirea in alte limbi. Si in seara aceea, cand s-a terminat serviciul de partasie a sarit in fata si a zis: “Stati. Stati. Nu plecati niciunul de aici pentru ca eu trebuie sa va marturisesc bataliile pe care eu le-am trait seara trecuta si la inceputul acestei seri de partasie si cum Domnul s-a indurat de mine si m-a botezat si pe mine cu Duhul Sfant.(33)

E adevarat. Sunt batalii. La un moment dat, abordand subiectul acesta am ajuns la subiectul asta cu o fata care era ordinata in slujire. A zis: “Frate Gicu, tu creezi teroare in mintile credinciosilor.” “Pai, de ce?” “Pai. le spui ca nu au botezul cu Duhul Sfant daca nu vorbesc si in alte limbi.” Si i-am zis: “Asculta-ma. Nu numai vorbirea in alte limbi, ca daca-i numai vorbirea in alte limbi, s-ar putea sa fie si ceva contrafacut la mijloc. Trebuie sa fie vorbirea in alte limbi, dar trebuie sa fie si ravna aia pentru viata sfanta si curata. Trebuie sa arda focul ala de a duce Evanghelia si de a vorbi altora. Poti sa taci, pentru ca Duhul Sfant, primul scop in care El s-a dat, din care vorbeste Scriptura si le spunea Domnul: “Voi veti fi martori…” dar mai intai ramaneti sa fiti imbracati cu putere de sus.

M-a intrebat cineva: “Frate Gicu, eu sunt mantuit daca n-am trait Cincizecimea, n-am trait botezul cu Duhul Sfant?” Si le-am spus: “Intrebarea nu e corect pusa. Intrebarea nu trebuie pusa ca ‘sunt mantuit/mantuita daca n-am trait Cincizecime.’ Ci altfel trebuie pusa intrebarea si anume: ‘Daca n-am trait Cincizecimea, pot sa fiu martor eficient pentru Domnul? Si pot sa-mi duc mantuirea pana la capat?’” Darul lui Dumnezeu pentru un pacatos e mantuirea. Darul lui Dumnezeu pentru mantuit e botezul cu Duhul Sfant. Nu botezul cu Duhul Sfant ne confirma mantuirea. Mantuirea o castigam prin credinta in Domnul Isus Hristos. Ascultati ce spune Scriptura in Galateni 4:6 Şi pentru că sînteţi fii, Dumnezeu ne -a trimes în inimă Duhul Fiului Său, care strigă: ,,Ava“, adică: ,,Tată!` Nu ca sa devenim fii, ci pentru ca suntem fi. Deci darul asta al botezului cu Duhul Sfant, al umplerii cu Duhul Sfant nu-i pentru cei pacatosi. Pentru pacatosi e mantuirea. “Dar la Corneliu?” spunea cineva. Da, la Corneliu. Oamenii acestia au crezut Scriptura propovaduita de Petru. Petru le-a spus: “Isus ne-a poruncit sa le propovaduim norodului ca oricine crede in El, capata in numele Lui iertarea pacatelor. Au crezut si dupa ce a avut loc nasterea din nou, la cateva secunde, sau minute, nu stiu, a avut loc umplerea lor, botezul lor cu Duhul Sfant. Dar niciodata nu poate sa aiba loc botez cu Duhul Sfant inainte de nasterea din nou. Spunea Domnul Isus Hristos: “Vinul nou se pune in burduf nou.” Pai, daca se pune in burduf vechi, spunea Domnul ca se sparge si burduful si se risipeste si vinul.

Sunt unii la care li-e frica. Zic: “Ma duc la staruinta, da daca se intampla ceva rau?” Zic: “Asculta-ma.” Era tatic, dar nu de mult timp. Si-i zic: “Auzi, daca fetita ta, papusa aia vine la tine si-ti cere ceva, iti cere o bucata de paine, ce faci? Ii dai o piatra?” Zice: “Nu. Cum sa-i dau?” Stiti ce a spus Domnul Isus Hristos in Evanghelia dupa Luca cap. 11:11 Cine este tatăl acela dintre voi, care, dacă -i cere fiul său pîne, să -i dea o piatră? Ori, dacă cere un peşte, să -i dea un şarpe în loc de peşte?12 Sau, dacă cere un ou, să -i dea o scorpie? Si ascultati ce concluzioneaza acolo Domnul Isus Hristos: “13 Deci, dacă voi, cari sînteţi răi, ştiţi să daţi daruri bune copiilor voştri, cu cît mai mult Tatăl vostru cel din ceruri va da Duhul Sfînt celor ce I -L cer!` Nu trebuie sa ne speriem. Problema stiti care trebuie sa fie in atentia noastra? Sa fie curat vasul. De aceea, intotdeauna cand organizam seri de staruinta stam la incemana celor ce vin la staruinta si cu lucrarea marturisirii pentru ca sunt anumite prabusiri spirituale din care nu putem sa iesim decat cu marturisire si pocainta. Da, Domnul da iertare.

Craig Evans Discusses Bart Ehrman’s Book “How Jesus Became God”

photo patheos.com

Craig Evans discusses Bart Ehrman’s assertions against the divinity of Christ in Ehrman’s book ‘How Jesus became God’, as he published in his own book ‘How God became Jesus’.

~~ Bird et al, How God Became Jesus. http://amzn.to/1gJHalo (Canada: http://amzn.to/1jmdez6 )
~~ Ehrman, How Jesus Became God. http://amzn.to/OKT20e (Canada: http://amzn.to/1plFQKP )

VIDEO by AcadiaDivCollege

How God Became Jesus:
The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature
—A Response to Bart Ehrman

Book Description via Amazon – In his recent book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee historian Bart Ehrman explores a claim that resides at the heart of the Christian faith— that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. According to Ehrman, though, this is not what the earliest disciples believed, nor what Jesus claimed about himself.
The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as ‘the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later. (Book – 233 pages) Publisher: Zondervan (March 25, 2014)

DORU POPE – Atributele lui Dumnezeu PARTEA 2-a Logos Podcast

Daca Dumnezeu este suficient in El Insusi, care este ratiunea pentru care am fost noi creati? Ce inseamna autosuficienta lui Dumnezeu, aseitatea lui Dumnezeu, eternitatea lui Dumnezeu? Cum intra in timp Dumnezeu? Pentru ca noi, cand intram dintr-o dimensiune, dintr-o camera intr-alta, atunci parasim primea dimensiune, aceea din care am iesit. Deci, cand Dumnezeu intra in timp, si lucreaza in succesiunea timpului, iese El, sau altfel spus, abandoneaza calitatea Sa de a fi in afara timpului? Iese El din afara timpului si intra in timp?
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Dan Miclea, realizator Emisiunea Logos Podcast: Astazi vom discuta Autosuficienta (Self Sufficient) lui Dumnezeu: Dumnezeu care are totul, Dumnezeu care este totul, dar totusi a ales sa faca pe om si vrem sa vedem de ce a ales sa creeze pe om. Iar numele lui Dumnezeu il vedem atunci cand Moise este trimis in Egipt, Moise Il intreaba pe Dumnezeu: “Cine esti tu?” Dumnezeu ii raspunde: “Eu sunt.” Haideti sa vedem acest atribut a lui Dumnezeu.

Autosuficienta lui Dumnezeu

Doru Pope: De data aceasta, autosuficienta lui Dumnezeu. Aceasta inseamna ca Dumnezeu poseda in El insusi orice calitate de care are nevoie, si aceasta fara limite. Putem spune ca lui Dumnezeu nu-i lipseste nimic. El este complet in tot ceea ce are si in tot ceea ce este. Dumnezeu poseda intrinsic toate calitatile. Niciuna dintre acestea nu se dezvolta sau nu scade in timp. Niciuna din acestea nu provine din afara fiintei Sale. Avand totul deplin in Sine, Dumnezeu este astfel capabil de a creea totul si de a sustine doar din sine Insusi. Pavel, de aceea spune ca in El avem miscarea si fiinta. Acum, autosuficienta lui Dumnezeu ne pune cel putin o problema. Daca Dumnezeu este suficient in El Insusi, care este ratiunea pentru care am fost noi creati, daca Dumnezeu are totul, daca este deplin satisfacut in El Insusi? Daca nu-i lipseste nimic, atunci nu-i lipseste nimeni. Am vazut in studiile trecute ca Dumnezeu este o Trinitate- trei persoane de aceeasi esenta, alcatuind pe Dumnezeu care este unul. Deci Dumnezeu nu era singur, nici plictisit in Sine Insusi. Pavel ni-L prezinta ca fiind fericitul Dumnezeu in 1 Timotei 1:11. In cantarea intelepciunii din Proverbe 8, intelepciunea de aici, prefigurand pe Domnul Isus, se spune ca ea, adica intelepciunea, era desfatarea lui Dumnezeu. Proverbe 8:30.

Atunci, de ce omul? Lumea, intelegem ca a trebuit a fi facuta ca suport la viata omului si pentru dezvoltarea relatiei acestuia cu Dumnezeu. Dar creearea omului pare ca a dat probleme lui Dumnezeu. La oarecare timp dupa facerea sa, omul a decis sa devina independent de Dumnezeu. Si-a ales un drum propriu de realizare de sine. A vrut, dupa propunerea diavolului, sa devina ca Dumnezeu. Sau, altfel spus, sa devina el insusi dumnezeu. Ori, indepartarea omului de Dumnezeu l-a pus pe Dumnezeu sa se puna la lucru din nou, ca sa zicem asa, pentru mantuirea omului. Adica, pentru aducerea din nou la o relatie buna a omului cu Dumnezeu. Astfel, omul nu are ce sa ofere lui Dumnezeu. Omul nu-L imbunatateste pe Dumnezeu. Dumnezeu nu are ce invata de la om.

Una din imaginile cu care am crescut in adunare este aceea a unui Dumnezeu reprezentat in Fiul Sau Isus Hristos care sta la usa si bate. Ba ni se mai spunea ca Isus este afara, si afara e frig si ploua. Deci, eram indemnati ca sa avem oarecum mila de Isus si sa-i deschidem usa sa intre inauntru, unde era cald si bine. Cum adica? Cald si bine intr-o inima moarta, rece si de gheata? Nici vorba. Daca Isus sta la o usa si bate si bate, o face nu pentru Sine, ci pentru mine. Si El nu sta la usa oricui. Textul din Apocalipsa ne arata ca El sta la usa bisericii, a unei biserici reci si moarte, caruia ii mergea vestea ca traieste.

Adam CreationPhoto credit www.atheistexile.com -

Una din explicatiile oferite este aceea ca Dumnezeu ne-a creat din dragoste, [ca] omul este o expresie a iubirii lui Dumnezeu care se vrea impartasita. Facerea omului dupa chipul si asemanarea lui Dumnezeu este exprimata dragostea lui Dumnezeu in creatia omului, cat si calitatile si frumusetea cu care l-a inzestrat Domnul pe om. Apoi, Dumnezeu l-a delegat pe om cu stapanirea lumii, pe care a creat-o ca suport pentru viata lui. Stiu ca autosuficienta lui Dumnezeu nu sta bine cu omul modern. In anii recenti s-a dezvoltat o teologie numita Teologia Procesului. Conform acesteia, Dumnezeu este Insusi intr-un proces de dezvoltare si este afectat de relatia cu omul si cu istoria. Charles Hartshorne, unul dintre inventatorii acestei teologii de proces spune ca Dumnezeu este slujit de om si ca omul aduce astfel o contributie valorica lui Dumnezeu. Valori, care daca nu ar fi omul, i-ar lipsi lui Dumnezeu. Astfel, faptele noastre bune si ideile noastre frumoase il imbunatatesc pe Dumnezeu. O astfel de teologie este eretica.

Dumnezeu nu beneficiaza nimic de pe urma noastra. Dar El ne-a creat pentru ca in autosuficienta Sa are atat de multa dragoste si mila si bunatate si credinciosie, etc., incat vrea sa le impartaseasca. Si de aceea ne-a creat pe noi. Tot de aceea alearga dupa noi cu atata interes si consecventa, pentru a ne duce mereu inapoi la o relatie cu El de partasie, pe noi care mereu si mereu Il dezamagim cu superficialitatea noastra si cu dizinteresul nostru. Tot de aceea ne spune sa ne dam Lui viata, pentru ca numai asa o castigam, daca ne pierdem viata pentru interesul Lui. De aceea El cere atat de mult de la noi.

Cat de mult cere El? Pai, El cere totul. In cuvintele lui C S Lewis, din cartea sa ‘The Problem of Pain’(Problema Durerii), parafrasez ” Cererile divine pe care le are Dumnezeu de la noi, acelea care ni se par ca fiind mai curand cererile unui despot, decat ale unui iubit, te trimit, de fapt, in directia in care am vrea noi sa mergem, daca am stii ce am vrea.”

Aseitatea lui Dumnezeu

Un alt atribut a lui Dumnezeu de care discutam de data aceasta este aseitatea sau existenta prin Sine Insusi a lui Dumnezeu. Este logic sa gandim acum, ca un Dumnezeu care este absolut suficient in Sine Insusi, exista prin Sine Insusi. Aseitatea este un termen compozit care provine din latina, din doi termeni a + se, adica, existenta ce deriva din sine insusi, care nu are o sursa in afara de sine insusi. Toate lucrurile care exista au o cauza si o sursa din afara lor. Nimeni si nimic nu poate exista prin sine insusi decat Dumnezeu. Este in natura Lui sa existe fara cauza. Acest atribut a lui Dumnezeu cred ca l-a facut pe Anselm sa conchida ca toate lucrurile au o cauza si daca nu se poate merge  la nesfarsit, pentru a cauta o cauza, atunci este logic sa concluzionam ca exista o fiinta a carui existenta nu este cauzata de nimeni si de nimic si ca aceasta fiinta este Dumnezeu. Dumnezeu este fiinta imaginata care nu poate fi depasita de  nici o alta fiinta. Fiinta de care vis a vis, nu se poate imagina o fiinta mai mare. Este o fiinta necesarmente existenta. Daca ar fi doar o fiinta imaginata, atunci Dumnezeu n-ar mai fi mai mare decat o fiinta existenta. Adica, fiinta care exista este mai mare decat fiinta care este doar o idee a mintii tale. Astfel exista fiinta fata de care  altceva mai mare nu poate fi conceput. La randul sau, Thomas Aquinas a spus  ca Dumnezeu este acea fiinta care este miscatorul a tot ceea ce misca.

Aseitatea are de a face cu caracterul lui Dumnezeu de a exista prin Sine Insusi. Dumnezeu s-a prezentat pe Sine lui Moise in felul acesta, cand trimis de Dumnezeu inapoi, in Egipt, Moise a intrebat pe Dumnezeu: “Bine, ma trimiti inapoi in Egipt, sa eliberez pe poporul Tau. Dar care este Numele Tau? Adica, cine esti Tu? Cum esti Tu?” Dumnezeu spune ca El este cel ce se numeste “Eu sunt’. Spune poporului Meu: “Eu sunt” m-a trimis la voi. exod 3:14.

Eternitatea sau vesnicia lui Dumnezeu

Un al treilea caracter despre care discutam este eternitatea sau vesnicia lui Dumnezeu. Moise spune in Psalmul 90:2 ca “din vesnicie in vesnicie Tu esti Dumnezeu.” Daca existenta lui Dumnezeu prin Sine Insusi se refera la faptul existentei, atunci vesnicia lui Dumnezeu se refera la existenta lui Dumnezeu in raport cu timpul. Wayne Grudem spune, parafrasez, ca “Dumnezeu n-are nici inceput, nici sfarsit si nu exista nici o succesiune de momente in existenta lui Dumnezeu. El vede intreg timpul perfect sau dintr-o data si totusi Dumnezeu vede evenimentele asezate in timpul lor si El actioneaza in timp.

Acuma, problema ce-o avem cu eternitatea lui Dumnezeu este aceasta. Dumnezeu este infinit in timp, altii au spus, are El un timp nelimitat, sau este infinit in afara de timp. Adica, vesnic in timp sau in afara timpului. Existenta lui Dumnezeu in afara timpului a fost pozitia favorizata de multi teologi ai bisericii. De ce? Deoarece, timpul presupune schimbare. Ori, Dumnezeu este neschimbat. Acesta va fi un alt atribut pe care-l vom discuta curand. Daca Dumnezeu s-ar putea schimba in timp, spre mai bine, atunci asta ar insemna ca inainte de a fi fost mai bine, El n-a fost 100% Dumnezeu. Dar daca in timp, Dumneze s-ar schimba in mai rau, atunci, El oricum nu este Dumnezeu. De aici popularitatea parerii ca Dumnezeu este vesnic atemporal, adica in afara timpului. El este transcendent. Dar El este si imanent, adica aproape de noi, intrand in timp, deoarece noi traim in timp. Si Creatorul reactioneaza cu noi in acest timp al existentei noastre.

Avem insa o intrebare: Cum intra in timp Dumnezeu? Intra El cum am intra noi, de exemplu, dintr-o camera intr-alta? Pentru ca noi, cand intram dintr-o dimensiune, dintr-o camera intr-alta, atunci parasim primea dimensiune, aceea din care am iesit. Deci, cand Dumnezeu intra in timp, si lucreaza in succesiunea timpului, iese El, sau altfel spus, abandoneaza calitatea Sa de a fi in afara timpului? Iese El din afara timpului si intra in timp? Eu cred ca nicidecum. Intrarea lui Dumnezeu in timp este doar aparenta si este necesara. Este si aceasta o manifestare a bunavointei lui Dumnezeu fata de om, de a se dezvalui pe Sine si planul Sau in succesiuni ale timpului. Astfel, Pavel poate scrie despre Dumnezeu ca la implinirea vremii, Dumnezeu a trimis pe Fiul Sau in lume. Dumnezeu nu vine in timp ca o schimbare sau ca o abandonare a esentei Sale , ci numai ca o reprezentare a Sa, facand un lucru sau altul. Bunatatea lui Dumnezeu se manifesta astfel fata de fapturile create de El, care traiesc in timp, si care fara de revelatia lui Dumnezeu, in timp, ar fi pierdute pentru totdeauna.

Vesnicia lui Dumnezeu a fost probabil definita cel mai bine de catre Petru in 2 Petru 3:8, cand spune: “Dar, preaiubitilor, sa nu uitati un lucru, ca pentru Domnul o zi este ca o mie de ani si o mie de ani sunt ca o zi. Adica, pentru Dumnezeu nu exista nici inceput si nici sfarsit. In cuvintele lui — noi oamenii ne asemanam cu cei ce se invart mereu in jurul unui munte. Dar Dumnezeu este acela ce sta pe varful muntelui. Si de la inaltimea muntelui, El vede totul intr-un prezent continuu. Eternitatea lui Dumnezeu este necesara pentru suportul tuturor celorlalte atribute sau calitati divine. De exemplu, daca Dumnezeu este bun, dar nu este vesnic, atunci bunatatea Sa nu este pentru totdeauna, ci numai pentru o vreme. Puterea Sa s-ar sfarsi. Dragostea Sa n-ar fi nici ea vesnica. De aceea, am vorbit noi data trecuta despre unitatea lui Dumnezeu. In El, nici o calitate nu este mai importanta sau mai marcanta decat altele. Amin.

Asculta toate emisiunile la website-ul Logos Podcasting aici - http://www.logospodcasting.com/category/podcasts

Alte Emisiuni Logos, Realizator Dan Miclea-

  • Misionarul Român din Egipt Partea 1-amisionarul ne-a povestit cum a ajuns in Cairo, cum si-a inceput misiune printre egipteni si calatoria pe Raul Nil, ca sa duca evanghelia la nubieni, iar apoi calatoria la muntele Sinai unde a propovaduit evanghelia la beduini. E foarte fascinant sa asculti martuira misionarului si felul in care Dumnezeu se face cunoscut egiptenilor musulmani prin vise, ca mai tarziu diferite persoane sa-l traga la o parte pe strada si sa-l intrebe daca e crestin, si sa le spuna despre acel Isus pe care ei L-au visat.
  • Misionarul Român din Egipt Partea 2-a - Pretul platit de 3 convertiti egipteni – Misionarul Român din Egipt – Partea 2-a
  1. Dumnezeu Tatal Introducere (1)
  2. Teologia: Arma sau Ajutor? (2)
  3. Despre Trinitate (3)
  4. Exista Dumnezeu? (4)
  5. Atributele lui Dumnezeu PARTEA 1 (5)
  6. Atributele lui Dumnezeu PARTEA 2-a (6) Pagina actuala

 

DORU POPE – Atributele lui Dumnezeu PARTEA 1 Logos Podcast

Asculta podcastul aici - http://www.logospodcasting.com/doru-pope-atributele-lui-dumnezeu

Realizator Dan Miclea: Astazi vom discuta despre atributele lui Dumnezeu. Nu este indeajuns doar sa cunoastem numele lui Dumnezeu, sau ca exista Dumnezeu. Trebuie sa cunoastem si ceea ce face acest Dumnezeu. Cand intalnim un om, vrem sa-l cunoastem, sa-i stim numele si conform atributelor care le are, noi ne raportam la el. Astazi, vrem sa vedem cine este Dumnezeul nostru si care sunt stributele lui.

Doru Pope: A W Tozer a scris undeva ca cunoasterea lui Dumnezeu ne va influenta intreaga viata. El a spus, si parafrasez: Ceea ce ne vine in minte cand ne gandim la Dumnezeu este lucrul cel mai important despre noi. Ce inseamna aceasta? Inseamna ca daca avem o cunoastere gresita a lui Dumnezeu, atunci gresim pretutindeni. Deoarece, cunoasterea de Dumnezeu ne va afecta nu doar caracterul, ci intreaga privire asupra lumii. Noi suntem fiinte create de catre Dumnezeu. Despre faptul ca suntem creati de Dumnezeu, vom vorbi alta data, in viitor. Acum, doar sa spunem, ca in calitate de creaturi, exista in noi o tendinta, un fel de busola interioara care ne face sa cautam si sa avem un dumnezeu, indiferent cine este sau ce este acesta. Apoi, noi avem tendinta de a ne misca catre dumnezeul nostru si de-al imita, de-al copia, de a deveni ca si el- a-l ilustra. Psalmistul ne asigura cu privire la aceasta, ca este adevarat, cand spune in Psalmul 115:4-8

Idolii lor sînt argint şi aur, făcuţi de mîni omeneşti.
5 Au gură, dar nu vorbesc, au ochi, dar nu văd,
6 au urechi, dar n’aud, au nas, dar nu miroase,
7 au mîni, dar nu pipăie, picioare, dar nu merg; nu scot niciun sunet din gîtlejul lor.
8 Ca ei sînt cei ce -i fac; toţi cei ce se încred în ei.

Deci, ciné are un idol, devine ça idolul. Ca sa nu mai vorbim ca si idolul este o proectie  a ceea ce suntem noi. Acum, Dumnezeu ar fi putut crea tot universul si sa continue sa ramana ascuns, sa nu se descopere, chiar si in revelatia generala. Si daca va amintiti, data trecuta am vorbit despre aceasta. Putem observa decizia lui Dumnezeu a ni se descoperi si de a ne arata cum este El. A facut-o, asa cum am vazut din scrierile lui ap. Pavel, prin natura. S-a revelat in lucrurile create de El, facute de El. Toti oamenii, ne spune Pavel, sunt pusi fata in fata cu aceasta descoperire de sine a lui Dumnezeu. Asta nu este doar o informare despre Dumnezeu, cum le-ar place unora sa creada, ci este o cunoastere despre Dumnezeu, cum spune Pavel in vers. 21 “au cunoscut pe Dumnezeu.”

Ce-au facut, insa, oamenii cu aceasta cunoastere a lui Dumnezeu? Tot in cuvintele lui Pavel: “Au inadusit adevarul.” Adica, altfel spus, au suprimat adevarul despre Dumnezeu. In pacatul lor, in viata lor, traita in faradelege, ca si cand ar fi fost orbi sau legati la ochi. Este expresia strutului cu capul in nisip. Ca si cand, daca noi ne-am face ca nu-L vedem, El n-ar exista. Cum spuneam mai sus, pentru ca omul nu poate trai fara Dumnezeu, oamenii au cautat dumnezei in alte fapturi: banul, alti oameni, ba in animale, sau plante si chiar si in lucruri, in obiecte, sau in idei. In vers. 23, Pavel ne spune: “Si-au facut idoli.” Nu de mult, am vazut un actibild, pe bara de protectie a unei masini. El ortretiza o balena si o inscriptie care spunea ‘Save Humans’. Balenele nu sunt umani, sunt animale si trebuie sa fie lasate sa fie asa cum au fost create animalele.

Ce element a lipsit in aceasta revelatie generala, despre care vorbeste Pavel in Romani 1? A lipsit un element salvator, de care Pavel ne spune ca este continut in Evanghelia lui Isus Hristos. Mai tarziu, in cap. 10 vorbeste despre aceasta, in Romani. Vestea buna, despre Isus Hristos, duce la credinta. Si cine crede in Isus Hristos devine un copil al lui Dumnezeu si-L cunoaste pe Dumnezeu. Ioan, in cap 17:3 ne spune ca aceasta cunoastere a lui Dumnezeu este egala cu viata vesnica. Si in cuvintele lui Isus, viata vesnica este aceasta: Şi viaţa vecinică este aceasta: să Te cunoască pe Tine, singurul Dumnezeu adevărat şi pe Isus Hristos, pe care L-ai trimes Tu

Acum, tot Domnul Isus ne explica cum functioneaza aceasta cunoastere, cum ne vine aceasta cunoastere. Matei 11:27 ‘Toate lucrurile Mi-au fost date în mîni de Tatăl Meu; şi nimeni nu cunoaşte deplin pe Fiul, afară de Tatăl; tot astfel nimeni nu cunoaşte deplin pe Tatăl, afară de Fiul, şi acela căruia vrea Fiul să i -L descopere.‘ Descoperirea aceasta de Dumnezeu este prin intermediul cuvantului lui Dumnezeu, atat scris, cat si intrupat. Intrupat, adica, prin Domnul Isus Hristos. Cuvantul s-a facut trup, ne spune Ioan. Si chiar daca Dumnezeu este inalt si mai presus de orice fiinta, cum spuneam data trecuta, imposibil de cunoscut in totalitate, El care este infinit de catre mintile noastre infinite, totusi, Dumnezeu ne-a descoperit suficient despre Sine, pentru a putea ajunge la cunoasterea Lui. Sa mai spun aici, ca eu personal, cred ca viata vesnica, vesnicia, cerul, raiul, cum vreti sa-i ziceti- o vom petrece, tot timpul acesta, cautand si si continuand sa-L invatam pe Dumnezeu. Sa descoperim pe Dumnezeu si sa-I slavim maretia si frumusetea fapturii Sale. Cred ca asta va fi preocuparea noastra de o vesnicie.

photo credit  answersfromthebook.com

Insusirile lui Dumnezeu: Incomunicabile si Comunicabile
Acum, cunoasterea lui Dumnezeu prin caracterul lui Dumnezeu, cu insusirile Sale, ne apropiem incet de subiectul nostru. Insusirile ne spun cum este Dumnezeu si cine este El. Teologia se apropie de aceste insusiri si pentru o mai usoara abordare a lucrurilor, le-am clasificat in cel putin doua grupe majore:

  1. Teologii vorbesc despre insusirile incomunicabile a lui Dumnezeu
  2. si insusirile comunicabile a lui Dumnezeu

Ca si trasaturi incomunicabile, aceasta se refera la ceea ce este aparte, sau numai apartine doar lui Dumnezeu. Insusiri care il fac, sa zicem asa, pe Dumnezeu sa fie Dumnezeu. El nu le imparte cu nimeni. Aici putem sa vorbim despre vesnicia, eternitatea lui Dumnezeu sau atotputernicia Sa, sau omniprezenta Sa, sau atotstiinta Sa. Aceste atribute apartin numai lui Dumnezeu. El nu le impartaseste cu oamenii.

Atunci sunt atribute sau insusiri comunicabile. Astea se refera la faptul ca anumite trasaturi de caracter, Dumnezeu le-a impartasit omului si El chiar si cere omului ca sa le exprime. Acestea trasaturi sunt, de exemplu, bunatatea si dragostea, si mila si altele ca ele.

Atribute transcendente si imanente a lui Dumnezeu. 
Acuma, alti teologi au facut o alta clasificare a insusirilor lui Dumnezeu. Si ei vorbesc despre atribute transcendente. si imanente. Transcendente, in sensul ca Dumnezeu este altfel decat noi. Este separat de noi. Este mai presus de noi. Este aparte de noi. Iar imanent, in sensul in care Dumnezeu este cu noi, este alaturi de noi. Ii pasa de noi, se ingrijeste de noi.

Insusiri absolute si insusiri relative. 
Si acum, din multele clasificari, sa mai amintesc inca de una si trece ma departe. Sunt insusiri absolute si insusiri relative. Aceleasi trasaturi care-s incomunicabile sunt si absolute. Aceleasi insusiri care-s incomunicabile sunt si relative. Vedeti ca e numai o altfel de denumire sau clasificare a lor.

Si inca ceva, inainte de a ne avanta in unele din insusirile lui Dumnezeu, ca nu o sa le tratam pe toate, nu avem nici timp si poate ca si interesul va scade fata de aceste subiecte, fiind una dintre subiectele tehnice, ca sa zic asa. Deci, inainte de a ne avanta in aceste insusire a lui Dumnezeu , trebuie sa spun ca este un cuvant de avertisment aici. Exista tendinta in crestinism de a sublinia sau de a accentua o insusire mai presus de altele, sau in detrimentele altora. De exemplu, in lumea in care traim noi, in ultimii 20-25 de ani, am auzit mereu vorbinduse despre faptul ca Dumnezeu este dragoste. Ca Dumnezeu este pentru noi, ca Dumnezeu vrea sa ne faca bine si sa ne binecuvanteze, si sa ne imbunatateasca viata, sa fim mai realizati, mai fericiti.

De partea cealalta, se vorbeste foarte rardespre justitia lui Dumnezeu sau despre mania lui Dumnezeu. Ca sa nu mai vorbim, ca iadul nici nu se mai aminteste. Apar carti, ca celebra scrisa a lui Rob Bell, ‘Love Wins’ – ‘Dragostea Invinge’, si in cartea aceasta, Rob Bell cocheteaza cu universalismul, credinta ca in cele din urma, toti o sa fie mantuiti. Deci, dragostea va calca in picioare dreptatea si judecata lui Dumnezeu, ca si Biblia spune ca ‘Dumnezeu este dragoste.’ Nu-i asa? Si de aia nu se vorbeste despre judecatile lui Dumnezeu, despre iad. Asta este o teologie care-l are pe omin centrul unviersului. Dumnezeu este transformat intr-u fel de adaus la viata noastra, care ne imbunatateste. Ne aduce un plus de noroc, care ne lipseste fara El. Sa nu uitam dragii mei, ca in centrul universului sta doar Dumnezeu. Nimeni si nimic altceva.

Asa ca, Dumnezeu este privit in asemenea teologii, care au tendinta de a sublinia un atribut in defavoarea  sau detrimentul altora, Dumnezeu este privit ca o manusa, care are cateva preturberante unde intra degetele. Si locul unde intra degetul mijlociu este mai lung si mai mare decat celelalte si degetul unde intra degetul gros e mai scurt si mai gros. Vreau sa precizez ca insusirile lui Dumnezeu sunt intr-o armonie perfecta. Faptul ca intr-un anume moment al vietii cuiva, cineva l-ar percepe pe Dumnezeu ca fiind milostiv si iubitor si purtator de grija, nu inseamna ca aceste atribute sunt superioare sau mai pronuntate decat altele sau ca celelalte. Vorbim astfel in teologie de simplitatea lui Dumnezeu. Dumnezeu este simplu. Si asta nu inseamna ca Dumnezeu este redus sau ca El este usor de dus cu zaharelul. Si simplitatea nu se refera nici la structura lui Dumnezeu, ca fiind lipsita de complexitate. Simplitatea se refera la faptul ca Dumnezeu nu este alcatuit, compus din mai multe parti, dintr-un x numar de parti. De exemplu: Dumnezeu nu este compus din iubire, mila, manie, bunatate, sfintenie, El, insa, este fiecare din aceste lucruri.

Dumnezeu, deci, nu are dragoste. Dumnezeu este dragoste. Dar Dumnezeu este si dreptate. El este neprihanire. El este deplin in aceste insusiri. De aceea, nu trebuie sa ne mire, chiar si Scriptura vorbeste si ne spune ca Dumnezeu este dragoste. Sau, in alta parte, in Vechiul Testament, cred ca in Isaia, Dumnezeu, neprihanirea noastra. Pentru ca Dumnezeu este fiecare pe deplin, in aceste insusiri. Insusirile lui Dumnezeu nu sunt partile lui Dumnezeu. Dumnezeu nu este ca un fel de reteta culinara- doua parti faina, o parte apa, una de lapte. Fiecare dintre insusirile lui Dumnezeu este identica cu Dumnezeu. Insusirile lui Dumnezeu nu sunt diferite de esenta lui Dumnezeu. Dar nu sunt diferite nici de celelalte insusiri. Adica, in cuvintele lui Herman Bavinck,  Dumnezeu este ceea ce are.

De ce avem, oare, dificultati in a considera astfel pe Dumnezeu? A ne uita la Dumnezeu in felul acesta? Cred ca este din cauza umanitatii noastre. Sa dam un exemplu: Omul ramane om si daca pierde un madular. Sau daca isi pierde posibilitatea de a trai fara aparate, deci, daca functiile vitale sunt tinute doar prin niste aparate, la care esti legat pe patul unui spital, chiar si in acele conditii, el este tot om. Rudeniile, de aceea se intreaba si dezbat problema: Cand este momentul potrivit sau daca este vreodata momentul potrivit sa il desprinzi pe om, sa-l dezlegi de la aparatele care-i mentin functiile sale, ca doar este om. Omul este om si daca devine ucigas sau criminal si este om si cand isi pierde mintea. Tot om ramane. Astfel, noi proiectam asupra lui Dumnezeu felul nostru de a fi. Dar Dumnezeu nu poate sa continue sa fie Dumnezeu daca pierde una din insusirile Sale. El trebuie sa fie si sa raman si de fapt este 100% drept, 100% intelept, 100% sfant si 100% dragoste. Dumnezeu este fiecare din insusirile Sale, complect si concomitent in acelasi timp.

Astfel, Dumnezeu, nu trebuie sa vorbim despre El ca fiind o esenta, o fiinta care are anumite propietati. Sa iei de exemplu- apa. Va aduceti aminte de povestirea aceea cu elefantul, la care se spune ca mai multi orbi au fost adusi cu totii langa un elefant si au fost rugati sa descrie obiectul pe care ei il pipaie, doar in urma ce ei pipaie. Au apucat elefantul de picior si au zis, “Aici e un copac.” Altii au prins trompa elefantului si l-au descris altfel, samd. Dumnezeu, ziceam in exemplu cu apa, nu este ca apa. Bagi mana in apa si zici: “Okay, apa este calda sau rece, sau este uda.” Are aceste trasaturi de caracter, propietatile lui Dumnezeu sunt esenta lui Dumnezeu. Lucrul acesta este important sa-l tinem minte, ca  sa ne fereasca de eroare si de erezii.

In timp, multi l-au privit pe Dumnezeu ca fiind o esenta cu mai multe propietati si propietatile fiind separate, fiind emanatii ale esentei Sale. Acest lucru a fost mult dezbatut in filosofia antica, de Socrate, Plato, gnosticii. De exemplu, au considerat ca Dumnezeu este necunoscut si imposibil de explorat de catre noi, oamenii. Si Dumnezeu, de aceea, a avut anumite emanatii, eoni. Aceste emanatii au fost de rang, din ce in ce mai inferior, pana cand acestea au putut fi pricepute de oameni. Arius si teologia sa, arianismul, au fost victime unei asemenea interpretari. Conform Arianismului, Isus Fiul lui Dumnezeu este entitate separata de Tatal, El are un inceput si este subordonat Tatalui. Conciliul de la Nicea (cum am spus data trecuta) s-a ocupat de aceasta erezie si de punere la punct a ei.

Astfel, Dumnezeu este o esenta pura, este una simpla, indivizibila. Dar pentru scopul nostru, vom vorbi despre anumite insusiri ale lui Dumnezeu. Va rog sa nu considerati, vorbind despre exemplul dragostei a lui Dumnezeu am elevat dragostea deasupra justitiei. Sau ca vorbind despre mania lui Dumnezeu am neglijat dragostea lui Dumnezeu. Si inca ceva si apoi incheiem. Insusirile lui Dumnezeu nu-s dobandite in timp, mai ales ca Dumnezeu este in afara de timp si de spatiu. Dumnezeu nu dobandeste in timp anumite insusiri. El nu ia din exteriorul fiintei Sale anumite lucruri, care i se par ca sunt bune si i-ar putea fi folositoare. Insusirile lui Dumnezeu nu sunt dezvoltate sau deteriorate in timp. Ele nu sunt abandonate acum, in favoarea altora mai populare. Dumnezeu nu zice: “Acum este vremea Vechiului Testament si Eu am sa-mi arat mania si dreptatea si o sa sterg de pe fata pamantului natiunile, ca sa fac loc poporului Meu, Israel. Si acum, i nperioada aceasta, Dumnezeu spune: “Imi pare rau ca am fost manios si acum sunt numai dragoste. Imi arat iubirea, iubirea este insusirea Mea principala. Insusirile lui Dumnezeu nu cresc, nici nu scad. De fapt, Isus Hristos este acelasi ieri, azi si in veci. Amin.

Dan Miclea: Urmeaza sa vorbim in podcasturile viitoare despre caracteristicile lui Dumnezeu.

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Despre Trinitate (3) Logos podcast cu Ted Pope

Alte Emisiuni -

  1. Dumnezeu Tatal Introducere (1)
  2. Teologia: Arma sau Ajutor? (2)

Realizator Dan Miclea:
Aici avem doua pareri. O parte spune, este Dumnezeu, care s-a aratat in Vechiul Testament, acelas Dumnezeu care s-a aratat in Noul Testament ca Fiu si pe urma s-a aratat ca Duhul Sfant, ca si persoana. Apoi avem o alta partida care spune ca Trinitatea este Dumnezeu Tatal, Dumnezeu Fiul si Dumnezeul Duhul Sfant, dar sunt 3 persoane.

Doru Pope:
Mai intai, trebuie sa spun ca este un subiect controversat dealungul istoriei crestine. Unii il considera a fi triteism, adica credinta in 3 dumnezei diferiti. Ce este Trinitatea? Este clar din Scripturi ca este un singur Dumnezeu ca esenta, dar care exista in 3 persoane. Trinitatea exprima credinta ca Dumnezeu este o singura fiinta, alcatuite din 3 persoane distincte si diferite, care coexista in aceeasi esenta si intr-o comuniune eterna, ca Tatal, ca Fiul si ca Duhul Sfant. Este greu de priceput Trinitatea. Daca am putea sa pricepem totul despre Dumnezeu, El ar inceta sa mai fie Dumnezeu si noi am fi dumnezeu.

Mai intai, as vrea sa ne uitam putin la unitatea lui Dumnezeu. In repetate randuri, gasim in Biblie ca Dumnezeu afirma despre Sine, “Eu sunt singurul Dumnezeu.” Este recunoscuta afirmatia din Sema Israel., Deuteronom 6:4 Ascultă, Israele! Domnul, Dumnezeul nostru, este singurul Domn. Si Pavel o spune in 1 Corinteni 8:4 - şi că nu există decât un singur Dumnezeu. Cu toate acestea, in alte texte, precum in Genesa 1:1 - La început, Dumnezeu a creat cerurile şi pământul, este folosit cu privire la Dumnezeu, termenul de Elohim, care este un termen plural. Deci, avem aici un Dumnezeu care este conectat cu intreaga creatie, inclusiv cerurile, pamantul si tot ce exista in acestea. Dumnezeu este astfel, nu doar singurul Dumnezeu, dar este si singurul Creator si este suveran la tot ceea ce a creat. El exista mai inainte de toate lucrurile si toate exista prin El si din cauza Sa. Pavel ne spune ca ‘din El si pentru El sunt toate lucrurile.’ De fapt, Coloseni 1:16 ne zice,

pentru că prin El au fost create toate lucrurile,
în cer şi pe pământ,
cele vizibile şi cele invizibile,
fie tronuri, fie domnii,
fie conducători, fie autorităţi.
Toate au fost create prin El şi pentru El.

Deci, avem un Dumnezeu care ne este descris prin Elohim, nume plural. Sufixul ‘im’, adaugat la un nume sau un substantiv evreiesc il face plural. Avem astfel ‘serafim’, sau ‘heruvim’. Dar, desi Geneza 1:1 ne arata pe Dumnezeu ca anumit Elohim, la plural, verbul ‘a facut’ este la singular. Deci avem o problema. Ori scriitorul nu stia gramatica, ori era confuz. Un Dumnezeu care are un nume plural lucreaza ca o singura persoana, deoarece verbul care descrie ce face acest Dumnezeu este la singular. In Exod 20 avem invataturi cu privire la cele 10 porunci repetate in Deuteronom 6. Vedem ca Dumnezeu ne interzice sa avem alti dumnezei in afara Sa. Asta nu inseamna ca ar exista alti dumnezei, ci ca Dumnezeu trebuie sa fie totul pentru cei ce cred in El. Oamenii pot crede in multi dumnezei, pot avea o multime de idoli. Dar Dumnezeu este numai unul singur si in prezenta Sa, inainte de El, nu trebuie sa aiba nimeni un alt Dumnezeu. A folosit aici un cuvant- ‘idol’, si pe masura ce citim Biblia vedem ca exista o multime de idoli.

Omul este o fiinta profund religioasa si el nu poate trai fara a crede in ceva. Daca nu crede in Dumnezeul cel adevarat, va crede intr-un idol. Un idol poate fi un obiect, un obicei, o persoana, un viciu sau orice altceva care devine obiectul de inchinare si obiectul dominant al vietii cuiva. Un idol este ceea ce iti subjuga si iti preocupa interesele, timpul, gandirea, imaginatia, resursele, sentimentele in afara lui Dumnezeu, cautand sa obtii de la acel idol ceea ce numai Dumnezeu poate da. Astfel, cand cineva pierde un idol din diferite motive, cel ce l-a pierdut are impresia ca nu mai poate trai, ca nu mai are rost sa existe fara idol. Desi are asa o mare putere de influenta, un idol nu este nimic in comparatie cu Dumnezeu.

Dumnezeu este doar unul singur. Dar atunci, de ce vorbim despre Trinitate? Si mai ales, de ce vin scriitorii Noului Testament si ne vorbesc despre Duhul Sfant si Fiul? Si ne spun ca si Fiul si Duhul Sfant au caracteristicile lui Dumnezeu. Cand au aparut aceste fiinte care sunt asemenea lui Dumnezeu? Chiar si in Vechiul Testament avem pasaje despre un Dumnezeu existand in mai multe persoane. Numai trebuie sa intelegem ca descoperirea lui Dumnezeu a fost progresiva, adica, Dumnezeu nu a corectat azi ceea ce am gresit ieri si n-a inlocuit azi ceea ce ne-a spus ieri. Ci, ceea ce El nu ne-a dezvaluit despre Sine, ne-a dezvaluit astazi. Deci, de ce a procedat astfel Dumnezeu? Doua rapsunsuri sumare:

  1. Dumnezeu s-a revelat pe Sine intr-o lume politeista, o lume care avea multi dumnezei. Practic, fiecare funcatie umana avea un dumnezeu. Apoi, existau dumnezei ai stelelor, ai astrelor, a culturilor, a ploilor, a fecundarii. In plus, fiecare natiune avea o multime de dumnezei diversi, pe langa un dumnezeu superior al tuturor. Era nevoie, deci, ca in mintea inchinatorului evreu sa se implice conceptul de monoteism, adica, ca exista un singur Dumnezeu adevarat.
  2. Anumite lucruri despre Sine si planurile Sale au fost tinute ascunse de Dumnezeu pentru cel putin doua motive: Fie ca omul nu le putea intelege la vremea respectiva, sau fie ca nu le sosise inca timpul de a fi descoperite.

Sa ne intoarcem la Elohim din Vechiul Testament, ca prima mentiune ca Dumnezeu este unul, dar la plural.

  • Unii au sustinut ca acestia se refera la multitudinea de atribute ale lui Dumnezeu. Stim ca Dumnezeu are atribute comunicabile si incomunicabile. Atribute incomunicabile sunt numai ale Lui insusi, ca Dumnezeu. Si cele comunicabile, care sunt impratasite cu fiinta  creata de El, cu omul. Deci unii au zis ca Elohim se refera la faptul ca Dumnezeu are multe atribute.
  • Altii au zis ca pluralul acesta este pluralul suveranitatii, pluralul cu care ne adresam unui rege, de exemplu, sau cum ar scrie un rege despre sine cand ar da o lege si ar zice, “Noi legiferam ca….” dar de fapt este doar un singur rege.
  • Chiar in vers. 2 din Geneza 1, vazand ca apare Duhul lui Dumnezeu, care in mod suveran pluteste pe deasupra apelor si acopera pamantul. Duhul lui Dumnezeu poate fi considerat ca o emanatie a lui Dumnezeu, cum zic unii. Dar textul nu ne permite aceasta interpretare. Il avem pe Dumnezeu care a creat si pe Duhul lui Dumnezeu, o entitate separata care pluteste pe deasupra apelor.

Mai tarziu, unul din psalmii amintiti si de Domnul Isus pe vremea Sa, vorbeste din nou despre conceptul acesta de doua persoane in divinitate. Psalmul 110:1 ‘ Domnul a zis Domnului meu: ,,Şezi la dreapta Mea, pînă voi pune pe vrăjmaşii Tăi supt picioarele Tale.“ As vrea sa facem cateva adaugiri aici pentru ca sunt necesare, ca sa putem sa intelegem ce spune acest verset din Psalmul 110. Numele lui Dumnezeu la evrei, stim ca Moise L-a intrebat, “Care este numele Tau?” Si Dumnezeu a zis, “Eu sunt cel ce sunt.” Asta s-ar pronunta prin Yahweh sau Iehova, cum zicem noi Romanii. Dumnezeu a folosit si alte nume in Vechiul Testament . Este supranumit ca El Shadai, adica Dumnezeul cel Atotputernic, si Adonai, care inseamna Stapan sau Domn. Cam dupa secolul al III-lea inainte de Hristos s-a interzis folosirea numelui de Iehova. Numele acesta nu putea sa fie folosit decat de catre Marele Preot, o singura data pe an, intr-o singura zi, ziua ispasirii- Yom Kippur. Cand era in templu, el avea voie sa foloseasca el singu, pentru o singura data, intr-un singur loc, intr-o singura zi, numele de Iehova. Toti ceilalti, inclusiv marele preot cu alte ocazii foloseau numele de Adonai, adica Stapanul sau Domnul.  Acum, dupa ce am facut aceasta scurta precizare, Psalmul 110 se poate citi asa: Iehova a spus lui Adonai, “Sezi la dreapta Mea.” Ca sa nu mai amintim ca Psalmul acesta ne spune inca un fapt, ca Fiul lui Iehova va fi preot in veci, dupa randuiala lui Melhisedec.

Acum, ne apropiem de Noul Testament si aici exista o multime de texte care afirma unitatea si unicitatea lui Dumnezeu. Astea sunt pastrate in Noul Testament. Apar texte care atribuie Dumnezeirea  si Tatalui si Fiului in mod concomitent, de exemplu in 1 Corinteni 8:4 – ‘Deci, cît despre mîncarea lucrurilor jertfite idolilor, ştim că în lume un idol este tot una cu nimic, şi că nu este decît un singur Dumnezeu.‘ Apoi 1 corinteni 8:6 – ‘ totuş pentru noi nu este decît un singur Dumnezeu: Tatăl, dela care vin toate lucrurile şi pentru care trăim şi noi, şi un singur Domn: Isus Hristos, prin care sînt toate lucrurile şi prin El şi noi.’ In acelas verset, deci, avem pe Dumnezeu Iehova ca Dumnezeu, dar si Isus este Domn Adonai, care este numele lui Dumnezeu, am explicat adineaori. De asemenea, Pavel ne precizeaza ca Tatal este sursa lucrurilor de la care vin toate lucrurile, de la Dumnezeu Tatal, ia Isus este mijlocul prin care ne vin lucrurile. Deci, Tatal de la care vin toate lucrurile si Isus Hristos prin care sunt toate lucrurile.

Am o multime de texte din Noul si Vechiul Testament  in care putem sa aratam ca si Tatal si Fiul si Duhul Sfant sunt uniti si Dumnezeu,  in separate locuri, sau creatori, in separate locuri, au caracteristica sau atributul de atotprezenta, de atotstiinta, de vesnicie, eternitate si ca dau viata fiecare. Deci Trinitatea este un concept biblic. Nu-s trei Dumnezei, nici trei fiinte. E un singur Dumnezeu in trei persoane. Fiecare dintre aceste 3 persoane vorbeste, simte, gandeste, face ceva. Armonia este perfecta. Iar substanta , daca putem vorbi de asa ceva, este una singura. Isus Hristos este acuma Dumnezeu intrupat. In El exista doua naturi, aceea de om si de Dumnezeu, care sunt intr-o uniune hipostatica, intr-o uniune esentiala. Isus a venit de la Tatal din slava. El acolo avea slava, spune in Ioan 17, se ruga ca Dumnezeu sa-i redea slava pe care a avut-o inainte de intemeierea lumii. Deci de acolo a venit, din acea slava. Si dupa ce termina lucrarea de rascumparare si inviaza, pleaca inapoi de unde a venit pentru a reprimi slava pe care a vut-o inainte de a fi lumea.

Din primele 13 minute, mai sunt 9 minute din podcast. Pentru intrebari, comentarii, sau sugestii pentru emisiuni de viitor intrati la Facebook aici pe pagina DanMiclea Music Studio

NEW from D A Carson – 4 video lectures on the book of Hebrews – Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

D A Carson at TEDSPhoto from video lecture

Each video is one lecture on the book of Hebrews from Dr. Carson’s Spring 2013 Acts, Pauline, and General Epistles course at the Deerfield campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In these four lectures, Dr. Carson covers the basic questions involved in interpreting Hebrews such as authorship, date of composition, and intended audience, as well as covering its content and focusing in particular on major themes of Christology. Hebrews is unique in the New Testament in its explanation of Christ’s high priestly work and its extended application of Yom Kippur imagery to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Dr. Carson highlights the unique, once-for-all quality of Jesus’ sacrificial death as presented by Hebrews as well as the reality of Christ’s ongoing high priestly ministry on behalf of believers.

- See more at: http://news.tiu.edu

LECTURE 1 of 4

In the first lecture of this four-part series on the Book of Hebrews, Dr. Carson looks at the introduction to the book, the significance of the idea of “better,” and explores Old and New Testament occurrences of the phrase “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

For LECTURES 2, 3 and 4 click here - http://divinity.tiu.edu/media-resources/video/teds-lecture-series-d-a-carson/. You will also have the option of downloading the text for each video in pdf form, as well as downloading each video to iTunes.

Lecture 2 of 4 - Carrying on in the Book of Hebrews, Dr. Carson highlights the Biblical trajectory of entering God’s rest, walks through understanding passages in a moralizing and typological way, discusses how to preach particular passages in Hebrews, and points out what he sees as the definition of a true Christian.

Lecture 3 of 4 - Dr. Carson’s third lecture on Hebrews focuses on perseverance and preservation of the saints, with discussions on the doctrine of Christian assurance and its implications for pastoral ministry and evangelism. He also begins to lay the groundwork for the next lecture on the king-priest figure of Melchizedek.

Lecture 4 of 4 - In the final lecture on Hebrews, Dr. Carson digs into what the Old and New Testament writers say about priesthood, law, covenant, and sacrifice, and the “once-for-all” effect of the death of Jesus.

Debate – William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist? Biola University (April 04,2009)

With winter on our heels, we always like to spend time watching apologetics debates, so here is a very good debate with 2 formidable opponents, whom to watch and learn from.

Dr. Craig, presents his case using 5 arguments

  1. cosmological argument, the well known first cause argument,
  2. teleological argument, the incredible beauty, organization and complexity of the universe testifies to intelligent design. He uses the anthropic principle to back up his point here. There are over 100 known fundament physical constants that demonstrate the extreme fine tuning required to support life on Earth. [...]
  3. Morals come from a transcendent creator making them objective.
  4. The resurrection of Jesus, shows us there is a personal God. Dr. Craig expounds on the veracity of this claim.
  5. The immediate experience of God

Hitchens, bases his belief of atheism on lack of evidence of a supreme being and a few of the things he brought up include:

  1. The big bang and evolution with very large quantities of time explain the start of the universe and life as we know it today.
  2. When presenting his case, he groups the major monotheisms: Christianity, Jewish faith and Islam into one assembly asserting the arguments based on his vast experience of debating representatives from each world view are similar
  3. Since Mr. Hitchens doubts all arguments for the existence of God based on lack of evidence, he concludes there isn’t one
  4. All religious beliefs are gibberish and wishful thinking
  5. He states the Bible has records of genocide and slavery in it, asserting that it promotes immorality
  6. Firmly believes that morals evolved much the same way organic structures have and cultures that didn’t practice basic morality became extinct.
  7. Uses the fact the Catholic church promoted an Earth centric universe as evidence the theistic camp doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it comes to science
  8. He values personal freedom very highly and doesn’t want a theocracy telling him what to do.
  9. He takes this subject extremely seriously and respects the discussion of it.
  10. He attacks the saint hood of mother Teresa strongly.

There were four sections in the debate: a 20 minute opening speech, rebuttal, question and answer period between Dr. Craig and Mr. Hitchens, a closing argument was given by Dr. Craig and not Mr. Hitchens, presumably he presented his case completely in the first 3 sections of the debate.

This summary is given by an amazon reviewer here. This debate took place in the gymnasium of Biola University - http://Biola.edu. The introduction start in about the 12th minute, so if you want to skip the part before that just of to the 12th minute. VIDEO by Wade Davis

Historical (NON BIBLICAL) Evidence of the EXISTENCE of JESUS (Essential Apologetics)

Photo credit www.eternalcog.org

The skeptical views on the existence and ministry of Jesus are addressed, with citations from thedevineevidence.com/‎ website. Some of the topical pages on this website include:

The Historicity of Jesus Christ

Jesus did exist; Jesus was the founder of Christianity; Jesus

Bible Contradictions Answered

examine these alleged Bible contradictions and difficulties

Investigating the Similarities

If you search the web for similarities between Jesus and

The Bible Fraud

Plot Summary: Tony Bushby takes the reader on a wild ride of

Christian Apologetics

4) Extra-Biblical Sources (Christian) 5) Answering Common Skeptic

Messianic Prophecies

Approximately 300 Messianic prophecies were written

VIDEO by poftc

Gary Habermas: 10 Reasons for the Fall of Atheism

steps to atheism rodiagnusdei

Gary Habermas is Chair, Department of Philosophy Distinguished Research Professor at Liberty University, author of 36 books (with contributions to 60 other books) and expert on the facts surrounding the Resurrection of Jesus.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – A Christian apologist presented 10 reasons for the fall of atheism during the Southern Evangelical Seminary’s 20th annual Christian Apologetics conference on Saturday, an argument which he is also set to deliver before the Swedish parliament, one of the most atheistic societies in the world.

Gary Habermas, who is the distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, divided his 10 reasons into two groups: those which argue for theology in general as opposed to naturalism, and those which support specifically a Christian worldview.

“Both categories are important. God exists, naturalists are wrong, there is some kind of theism or deism, something to do with God, and then there are things saying Christianity is true,” the apologist explains.

“Virtually no religion, and no philosophy, tells you why their beliefs are true,” he added of belief systems outside of the Christian faith. “Christianity has something that no other religion has.”

A number of recent surveys have suggested that the number of non-believers in America is on the rise. According to a 2012 poll by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life in conjunction with PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, one-fifth of Americans said that they are religiously unaffiliated. That number rises to 32 percent when dealing specifically with young adults between 18-29 years of age.

Similarly, an extensive General Social Survey report from earlier this year also found that the number of people who do not identify with religion is on the rise, and has jumped to new levels in recent years.

“This was not happening really for decades, until around 1990 when it started to take off,” Claude Fischer, one of the researchers with UC Berkeley, shared with The Huffington Post. “One thing striking is the trend in terms of renouncing religious affiliation you might say continues to move up at a regular pace, while there is hardly any perceptible trend in the percentage of people who express atheist or agnostic beliefs.”

The decline in religious views has also been felt throughout Europe, and especially in Sweden, where Habermas will be presenting before the parliament this month.

According to a 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, only 18 percent of Swedish residents believe that there is a God, 45 percent believe that there is some sort of spirit or life force, while 34 percent do not believe in any kind of God or spirit.

Habermas argued, however, that despite cultural trends, belief in naturalism, which states that the world operates without any kind of divine or supernatural influence, is losing ground in academic circles.

“The naturalistic argument is starting to break,” the research professor said, bringing up a number of examples of atheists who have turned to theism, or non-believers who have admitted that naturalism doesn’t hold as much weight as previously thought.

The four theistic arguments that Habermas listed against atheism were as follows: Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Fine Tuning, and Near-Death Experiences.

For cosmology, which explores questions about the Big Bang, the beginning and eternal nature of the universe, he brought up a quote from C.S. Lewis, where the famous Christian author said: “If there ever was a time that nothing existed, then nothing would exist now.”

While Habermas only mentioned by name the two other reasons, he noted that next to the resurrection, he has done more work on near-death experiences than on any other topic.

“I have been working on this topic for 40 years, and I am a reviewer for a secular peer-reviewed journal on the subject,” he revealed, adding that near-death experiences have been written up in almost 20 different medical journals.

The apologist explained that this reason falls in the general theistic field, because it deals specifiaclly with people who had lost heart and brain function for a while, and been able to see or understand things through their experience that they could not have come to otherwise.

“But these are non-worldview specifics, meaning that it is religious data in general and that any religion can be right,” he noted.

Next, he presented six reasons that people can use for believing specifically in the Christian faith, listing them as follows:

  • Recent documentations of miracle claims: referring to thousands of cases around the world of documented miracles, including those where medical doctors witness prayer healing people with severe physical disabilities.
  • Double-blind prayer experiments: where people pray for others with terminal illness. Habermas admitted that most such experiments have not worked, but the three that he knows of that have indeed worked were cases of orthodox-Christians praying for the sick.
  • Jesus as a miracle healer: the research professor noted that when he went to graduate school, most people did not believe that Jesus was a miracle healer, but that has changed and many scholars now believe in the real miracles presented in the Bible.
  • Jesus proclaimed the resurrection beforehand: meaning that Jesus did not simply rise from the dead, but revealed beforehand that he would be resurrected. “It’s one thing to rise from the dead, but you claim double the significance of it if you told everybody what was going to happen ahead of time, which shows that you’re in control and know what’s going on,” the apologist argued.
  • Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Habermas said that “we are on the strongest grounds up here on the resurrection argument. Today, there are more scholars who believe that something happened to Jesus than there are those who believe that nothing happened to Jesus.”
  • Shroud of Turin: the apologist referred to an hour-long session he led on Friday about recent discoveries surrounding the Shroud, but admitted, “It deserves to be put on the board, at least now. It could be proven wrong tomorrow.”

Habermas concluded: “We have got to get the world out there, because the challenge is there, naturalism is losing, and we need to see Christianity ascend, because we have the data.” SOURCE: http://christianpost.com

Livius Percy: Erezii moderne – Martorii Lui Iehova

Martorii lui Iehova in Romania

Martorii lui Iehova pe judete Photo credit http://www.incont.ro

La nivel national sunt 49,820 membri ai acestei religii. Judetele top cu membri Martorii lui Iehova

  1. 6,981 Mures
  2. 5,960 Maramures
  3. 5,783 Cluj
  4. 3,841 Satu Mare
  5. 2,455 Brasov
  6. 2,389 Hunedoara
  7. 1,838 Salaj
  8. 1,794 Bucuresti
  9. 1,736 Alba
  10. 1,724 Harghita
  11. 1,616 Suceava
  12. 1,612 Bistrita Nasaud

bible magnifying glass

Livius Percy: Pe cei care aduc erezii nimicitoare, Domnul Isus ii numeste prooroci mincinosi, pentru ca ei pretind ca vorbesc din partea lui Dumnezeu, dar, de fapt mint si mesajul lor este o invatatura nebiblica, o invatatura distrugatoare. In aceasta emisiune Livius Percy se ocupa de una dintre cele mai mari erezii contemporane. care se raspandeste rapid in Europa rasariteana. Programul nu este menit sa fie un atac personal impotriva adeptilor acestei religii pseudocrestina, ci sunt un atac impotriva ereziei a invataturii nebiblice. Cunosc oameni care cred din sinceritate aceste erezii si cauta sa-si castige mantuirea prin faptele lor bune. Nu vreau sa pun la indoiala integritatea lor. Dar. nu pot trece cu vederea pericolul in care se afla, pentru ca ei sunt pe o cale gresita, care contrazice sfintele Scripturi. De aceea, vreau sa prezint raspunsul Bibliei la invataturile eretice aduse de acesti oameni. Veniti sa ne apropiem de Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu, sa-l citim, sa-l studiem, ca sa gasim raspunsuri la intrebarile dificile cu care suntem confruntati.

Matei 7:15-20

15 Păziţi-vă de prooroci mincinoşi. Ei vin la voi îmbrăcaţi în haine de oi, dar pe dinlăuntru sînt nişte lupi răpitori. 16 Îi veţi cunoaşte după roadele lor. Culeg oamenii struguri din spini, sau smochine din mărăcini? 17 Tot aşa, orice pom bun face roade bune, dar pomul rău face roade rele. 18 Pomul bun nu poate face roade rele, nici pomul rău nu poate face roade bune. 19 Orice pom, care nu face roade bune, este tăiat şi aruncat în foc. 20 Aşa că după roadele lor îi veţi cunoaşte.

Martorii lui Iehova: Este o grupare foarte raspandita. In 100 de ani, au reusit sa ajunga la peste 2 1/2 milioane de membrii in toata lumea. Vreau doua lucruri:

  1. Sa vedem daca cel ce a originat lucrarea este un prooroc adevarat sau mincinos?
  2. Cum se compara invatatura lor cu invatatura Scripturii? Si, acolo unde sunt diferente, care este raspunsul Biblic la diferentele sau ereziile pe care le aduc ei?(10:00)

VIDEO by Daniel Husi

Ravi Zacharias quotes from ‘Jesus among other gods’

Read more quotes and/or buy the books here- http://www.goodreads.com/

  1. I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has 330 million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive.”
  2. “Faith in the biblical sense is substantive, based on the knowledge that the One in whom that faith is placed has proven that He is worthy of that trust. In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is.”
  3. “Capturing the beauty of the conversion of the water into wine, the poet Alexander Pope said, “The conscious water saw its Master and blushed.” That sublime description could be reworked to explain each one of these miracles. Was it any different in principle for a broken body to mend at the command of its Maker? Was it far-fetched for the Creator of the universe, who fashioned matter out of nothing, to multiply bread for the crowd? Was it not within the power of the One who called all the molecules into existence to interlock them that they might bear His footsteps?”
  4. “Truth by definition excludes.”
  5. “Worship is a posture of life that takes as its primary purpose the understanding of what it really means to love and revere God.”
  6. “The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a buket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.”
  7. “Every other person who is at the heart of any religion has had his or her beginning either in fancy or in fact. But nevertheless, there is a beginning. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view. In that sense, the message of Christ was not the introduction of a religion, but an introduction to truth about reality as God alone knows it. To deny Jesus’ message while pursuing spirituality is to conjure an imaginary religion in an attempt to see heaven while sight is confined to the earth. That is precisely what Jesus challenged when he said, “I have come that [you] may have life” (John 10:10). His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death.”
  8. “We do not live so that we can eat, nor do we just eat so that we can live. Life is worth living in and of itself. Life cannot be satisfied when it is lived out as a consuming entity. When it is filled by that which satisfies a hunger that is both physical and spiritual in a mutuality that sustains both without violation of either, only then can life be truly fulfilling.”
  9. “Teaching at best beckons us to morality, but it is not in itself efficacious. Teaching is like a mirror. It can show you if your face is dirty, but it the mirror will not wash your face.”
  10. “Truth is not only a matter of offense, in that it makes certain assertions. It is also a matter of defense in that it must be able to make a cogent and sensible response to the counterpoints that are raised.”
  11. “My longings, my hopes, my dreams, and my every effort has been to live for Him who rescued me, to study for Him who gave me this mind, to serve Him who fashioned my will, and to speak for Him who gave me a voice.”
  12. “Historic figures have homes to visit for posterity; the Lord of history left no home. Luminaries leave libraries and write their memoirs; He left one book, penned by ordinary people. Deliverers speak of winning through might and conquest; He spoke of a place in the heart.”
  13. “We are living in a time when sensitivities are at the surface, often vented with cutting words. Philosophically, you can believe anything so as you do not claim it a better way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it. If a spiritual idea is eastern, it is granted critical immunity; if western, it is thoroughly criticized. Thus, a journalist can walk into a church and mock its carryings on, but he or she dare not do the same if the ceremony is from eastern fold. Such is the mood at the end of the twentieth century. A mood can be a dangerous state of mind, because it can crush reason under the weight of feeling. But that is precisely what I believe postmodernism best represents – a mood.”
  14. “There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed and wealth.”
  15. “We are his temple. We do not turn in a certain direction to pray. We are not bound by having to go into a building so that we can commune with God. There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed, and wealth.”
  16. “If God is the author of life, there must be a script.”
  17. “Our intellect is not intended to be an end in itself, but only a means to the very mind of God.”
  18. “His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death.”
  19. “The primary purpose of a home is to reflect and to distribute the love of Christ. Anything that usurps that is idolatrous.”
  20. “The first and foremost reality is that suffering and death are not only enemies of life, but a means of reminding us of life’s twin realities, love and hate.”

Description for ‘Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message’ (Amazon):

In a world with so many religions, why Jesus?

We are living in a time when you can believe anything, as long as you do not claim it to be true. In the name of “tolerance,” our postmodern culture embraces everything from Eastern mysticism to New Age spirituality. But as Ravi Zacharias points out, such unquestioning acceptance of all things spiritual is absurd. All religions, plainly and simply, cannot be true.

Jesus Among Other Gods provides the answers to the most fundamental claims about Christianity, such as:

  • Aren’t all religions fundamentally the same?
  • Was Jesus who He claimed to be?
  • Can one study the life of Christ and demonstrate conclusively that He was and is the way, the truth, and the life?

In each chapter, Zacharias considers a unique claim that Jesus made and then contrasts the truth of Jesus with the founders of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism with compelling insight and passionate conviction. In addition to an impressive breadth of reading and study, he shares his personal journey from despair and meaninglessness to his discovery that Jesus is who He said He is.

In Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias demonstrates that he is one of the most intellectually gifted as well as spiritually sensitive writers of today’s leading apologists for the Christian faith. Zacharias brings alive the unique power of the claims of Jesus about himself and the utter relevance of his message today for the human condition.”

— David Aikman, author of Great Souls

VIDEO by religionphilosophy

If Christ was fully God lived on this earth in human nature, what was the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s earthly life? What could the Spirit of God contribute to the deity of Christ?

Alemayehu Mekonnen, Ph.D, Associate professor of missions at Denver Seminary, 2013 reviews Dr. Ware, A. Bruce, The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflection on the Humanity of Christ. Crossway, Wheaton, IL; 2013. Paperback $13.50. ISBN 13-978-1-4335-1305-3 (Photo credit http://www.amazon.com)

One would ask, if Christ was fully God lived on this earth in human nature, what was the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s earthly life? What could the Spirit of God contribute to the deity of Christ? Bruce said; “The answer we must give is: Nothing! As God he possesses every quality infinitely, and nothing can be added to him. So then we ask instead this question: what could the Spirit of God contribute to the humanity of Christ? The answer is everything of supernatural power and enablement that he, in his human nature, would lack. The only way to make sense, then, of the fact that Jesus came in the power of the Spirit is to understand that he lived his life fundamentally as a man, and as such, he relied on the Spirit to provide the power, grace, knowledge, wisdom, direction, and enablement he needed, moment by moment an day by day, to fulfill the mission the Father sent him to accomplish” Pg. 30. To illustrate this point biblically, Bruce exegetes (Isa. 11:1-3) effectively.

The Man Jesus Christ sets an example of dependence on heavenly father and obedience to Him in the context of suffering. “This incarnate obedience, we might call it, was rendered often within the context of opposition and affliction, with the result often, that his obedience was the cause of much further suffering. In other words, he knew that he obeyed the Father, he was inviting only greater opposition and was putting himself in a place of increased suffering. Obedience per se was not new; rather, this kind of obedience was indeed new” Pg. 60. At a time a when “wealth and health” gospel is preached, and suffering is considered as negative in spiritual maturity or labeled with lack of faith. The obedience of Jesus Christ in the context of suffering refreshes authentic Christian and biblical outlook. “Oddly, some Christians seem instinctively to want to push away suffering. They think it best to keep suffering at arm’s length. But not only is this a mistake biblically and theologically; it is a huge mistake spiritually and practically” pg. 70.

Read the article in its entirety here- http://www.denverseminary.edu/

Darrell Bock and Dr. Gary Habermas discuss Bill O’Reilly’s book ‘Killing Jesus’ (video)

Bill O'Reilly at the World Affairs Council of ...

Bill O’Reilly  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In popular books and the media, Jesus continues to attract attention. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly builds on this fascination with his latest best-selling book Killing Jesus. What does O’Reilly present about the facts of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection?

John Ankerberg interviews his two guests: Dr. Darrell Bock, who is one of the leading historical Jesus scholars of the United States, and one of the foremost authorities in the world on the Gospel of Luke, and Senior Research Professor of the New Testament and Dallas Theological Seminary. One of the books O’Reilly recommended that we all read, and one he relied on for his writing is Dr. Bock’s book ‘Studying the historical Jesus- A Guide to Sources and Methods’.

The second guest is Dr. Gary Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair of Dept. of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, he holds a pHd from Michigan University and has authored, co-authored or edited  more than 60 books, including one of the key articles in the book ‘Jesus Under Fire’- another book Mr. O’ Reilly used and recommends we read. Dr. John Ankerberg, Darrel Bock and Gary Habermas examine the points raised in Killing Jesus. VIDEO by John Ankerberg (length 26 minutes)

Did God really say? VIDEO with full transcript

An essential, highly interesting affirmation by the panel of the belief on biblical inerrancy from the Together for the Gospel Conference 2012, led by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. Besides the great panel discussion, there are also a few book recommendations (linked to Amazon, just click on title or photo) and lots of links to search peripheral issues as they relate to the inerrancy debate. This page will be added to the (permanent) apologetics page.

photo from T4G website - http://t4g.org/resources/photos/

  1. We affirm that the sole (final) authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible and totally sufficient and trustworthy. We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or by effects of human sinfulness. 
  2. We affirm that the authority and the sufficiently of Scripture extends to the entire Bible and that therefore the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice. We deny that any portion of the Bible should be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or for example to set the words of Jesus against the words of Paul. 
  3. We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church and that the Church must resist the allure of pragmatism and post modern conceptions of truths as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture. We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of the biblical events and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques or contemporary cultural fashions.

Is inerrancy something new? Short answer “NO!”

Minute 4 – Dever addresses the charge that “inerrancy” is a “new thing” or just a “reformation doctrine?”.

  • John Piper responds:.In 1971 Fuller Theological Seminary  took the Word out.  I read what was happening in Germany. It blew me away. I did not see it coming. So it may have been there, but the teachers that I loved and had influenced me most didn’t talk that way and didn’t give me indication that it would be going that way. I was never able to make any sense out of the distinctions between infallible and inerrant. 
  • Dr Simon Gathercole - teaches New Testament at Cambridge, in England. One of the clearest figures to express a doctrine of inerrancy was St. Augustine and it came up for him in conversation with the Manichaeans where he made it very clear that there were no contradictions in Scripture , that if you do find what looks like a mistake in Scripture, it is either a result of a problem with the translation, a problem in the text, a particular manuscript or scribal error or that you have misunderstood it. So Augustine is an example of someone who was very clear on inerrancy.
  • Ligon Duncan – there is a consistent witness across Christian history to the Bible’s sole, final authority and its inspiration and inerrancy.
  • Peter Williams – (undergraduate studies at Cambridge) “I believe it is fully authoritative, inerrant, inspired by God’ I think I’d want to add more words, I want to say: It’s basically clear, it’s sufficient, it’s historical. People can take a word like “inerrant” and leech it (by saying) – “I agree with the notion that Scripture is entirely true, but then they try and weaken it in other ways and I think that’s happening particularly because a lot of people, at least in this country are signing an inerrancy statement for their paycheck (which sometimes happens; they redefine inerrancy). There are many reasons to believe in inerrancy, but I think when you believe in verbal inspiration (i.e.) that God gave words and you believe in God’s trustworthiness, that He has a true character and you want to have a relationship with God, then it is inescapable logically to come to a view of Scriptural inerrancy. If you believe that God has given words, I don’t see how you can break that and say, “Well, He gives words and they are sometimes full of errors”, without actually questioning God’s trustworthiness Himself.

The 3 roots/trajectories on how inerrancy is denied

  • Al Mohler (11 min mark) Why wouldn’t anyone believe in this? (This question) leads to a principle of interpreting church history, which often surprises people when you first hear it, and that is that “heresy precedes orthodoxy“. That doesn’t mean that the false precedes the true. It does mean that the codification, or confession of the faith is often in the face of, is a response to heresy or that which is sub biblical or sub orthodox. So, in 325  AD you have a statement made by the Council of Nicaea, that wasn’t necessary until Arius denied that the father and the Son are of the same substance. And when it comes to inerrancy, the first thing is that this is God’s word, God is totally true, so all the attributes of Scripture seem to come, and yet Augustine has to respond to the Manichaeans and we have to respond to contemporary denials of the total truthfulness of Scripture. I think there are 3 roots, or 3 trajectories in which that comes:
  1. The first is ideological and this is basically the external critique of biblical inerrancy. It comes from new atheists, of course if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe there could possibly be a word of God; if you don’t believe in supernatural revelation as a possibility, or even recently, if you don’t believe in words as units of meaning; that are capable of conveying truth, there are various rules of philosophy and literary interpretation that have lost all confidence in words. They have to use words to explain how little confidence they have in them any longer; it’s part of the whole conundrum, but nevertheless, it is an ideological assault and so a good bit of what you will read simply says: “Inerrancy is an impossibility” and it will move on. But, it is not the major issue of our concern, there are two other trajectories.
  2. Another trajectory is apologetic. This is where you have evangelicals who say: This is an embarrassment. To claim inerrancy is to over claim the text, it is an impediment to our intellectual credibility and so you have people who would pose to be within the evangelical movement who will say, as Kenton Sparks in a recent book said, “This is the intellectual doom,” to paraphrase him, because it makes us continually defend the truthfulness of every passage in a text and that is leading modern people to have huge intellectual obstacles to receiving the main message in the text, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So you have various forms of this kind of apologetic argument; it’s the same argument as people who come along and say you can’t talk about the Bible’s teaching on sexuality; that’s presenting too much of an obstacle for contemporary people to come to Christ. Ot, you can’t deny the theory of evolution, it’s metanarrative because that creates too much of an impediment for people to come to Christ. And so, you have websites today and people arguing that inerrancy is just an obstacle, it’s a theological construct that’s doing more damage than good.
  3. The third trajectory, or the third root you can look at this is moral, in which case you have people say that if we’re committed to total truthfulness of Scripture, then we’re committed to text which reveal God as acting in immoral ways; God’s people sanctioning immoral acts, and what you have is people who will say, “Look, we have the capacity as human beings to judge God, and thus we’re gonna go to the conquest of Canaan or we’re gonna go to the way God deals with any individual in either Testament of the canon and say that that’s immoral. If you’re gonna try and impose a human standard of morality, like the late atheist, Christopher Hitchens, if you read the Bible honestly you’re gonna find texts that are gonna cause you all kinds of  difficulty and by the way, one of the things Christopher Hitchens did very well for us was to say, “He can understand theists who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and he can understand atheists who don’t believe it’s possible, what he didn’t understand were people who tried to pose in the middle.
  • Dr Simon Gathercole - The central plank for me in the doctrine of inerrancy, and that is that it was Jesus’ view of Scripture and I think the 2 other points that were mentioned are really significant. The sort of dogmatic logic of what Scripture says, God says and therefore because of the character of God, Scripture is without error. Also, it’s the continuous testimony of the Church. I would recommend everyone read John Woodbridge’s book  Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal even though the debate is now different, but there’s a lot to learn there. But, if you just look at the way Jesus treats Scripture, what He says about Scripture, “Your word is truth”, “Scripture cannot be broken”, the way He refers to Adam, the way He refers to Elijah and Elisha, all the figures of the Old Testament, the way He responds to Satan: “It’s written, and every word is proceeding from the mouth of God.” That has to be the real cornerstone for our doctrine of inerrancy and it means that it’s an imperative of discipleship for us, that it’s a matter of following Jesus. (Also recommends Christ and the Bible” by John Wenham)
  • Peter Williams - If heresy precedes orthodoxy then I think that apologetics precedes heresy, as in most heresy begins as apologetics movement. And, I say that as someone who is involved in apologetics and likes it. Liberal theology is an attempt to rescue Christianity from deep embarrassment and that’s how a lot of these things begin and  those of us that are involved in apologetics need to be quite careful about that, because it can lead to error. The way people get seduced sometime into abandoning Scriptural authority is when they become persuaded that, that thing which adheres most to their dreams and their aspirations and start to believe “that more people will come to Christ if I just water this down somewhat”. Sometime people become persuaded in theological education that they are being more faithful to the text if they read it in a way that is contrary to another text. When people are being brought up in a Chirstian context, to value the authority of the Bible, it appeals and they become persuaded that the most honest reading of the text is to read it so it contradicts to another one.
  • Al Mohler –   Liberal theology is a succession of rescue attempts for the reputation of Christianity and to just give an example of what Peter is talking about: You have Rudolph Bultmann, who in one of his books says people who use electric lights don’t believe in a supernatural universe. So, in other words, if you’re gonna reach modern people we’re gonna have to bring christianity into intellectual credibility with the modern world. A lot of the things you see being claimed right now are as old as the heretics that the church fathers faced and certainly in terms of protestant liberalism and what the church has faced in over 100 years.
  • Ligon Duncan –  Another example in modern liberalism is Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher  was offended by the doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ and the uniqueness of Christ. And he looked out at Germany and he said: German intellectuals are rejecting Christianity in droves, they’re impacted by the enlightenment and the message of Christianity must change if we are going to be able to capture this generation for christianity. It wasn’t as if he was sitting around inventing to destroy christianity, but in fact he did that with apologetic missionary motives in reaching his culture and so liberalism’s fundamental premise is that the message must change if christianity is going to survive and effectively engage the culture.
  • Peter Williams -It’s going right back to Marcion in the second century. Marcion is deeply embarrassed by the Old Testament, by the Jewishness of Jesus. He, as an apologist thinks that he can commend christianity far better by ditching those things. So, that’s why becoming an apologist, led straight to the heresy.
  • John Piper (minute 20 mark) Mark Dever asks why JP concluded that inerrancy was true: There are layers to that like- My momma told me it was true. That’s one layer. “..remember those from whom you’ve learned the faith” (2 Timothy 3:14), that’s an argument in the Bible. Second layer would be: God made me see it. That’s the deepest layer and I do believe I couldn’t believe the Bible is untrue, if I tried because I am just taken by Him, for it. I believe that’s the deepest reason. You can’t persuade anybody with that and so, up above those layers are the layers of experience, of encounter with the text and I think that at one level the Bible, as C.S.Lewis said: “You believe in it as you believe in the sun, not only because you see it, but you see everything else by it”. I asked my professor in Germany one time, “Why do you believe the Bible? And he said: Because it makes sense out of the world for me. Year after year, after year you live in the book and you deal with the world and it brings coherence to evil and good and sorrow and loss. And there’s one other level I would mention: Liar, lunatic, Lord argument in the Gospels works for me in Paul: Liar, lunatic or faithful apostle because I think I know Paul better than I know anybody in the Bible. Luke wrote most quantitatively, but he’s writing narrative. But with Paul, if you read these 13 letters hundreds of times, you know this man. Either he’s stupid, I mean insane, or liar, or a very wise, deep, credible, thoughtful person. So, when I put Paul against any liberal scholar in any German university  that I ever met, they don’t even come close. So, I have never, frankly, been tested very much by the devil or whoever to say, “This wise, liberal, offering his arguments…” I read Paul and I say, “I don’t think so”. This man is extraordinary, he’s smart, he’s rational. He’s been in the 3rd, 7th heaven and he is careful about what he is saying. So, that whole argument “Liar, lunatic, Lord – works for me with Jesus and it works powerfully for me for Paul and moreover once you’ve got Paul speaking, self authenticating, irresistible, world view shaping truth, then as you move out from Jesus and Paul, the others just start to shine with confirming evidences. Just a few ayers, there are others. Dever prompts John to give one more. JP: Why are you married after 43 years? How do you endure losses? really, where does your strength come from? You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Free from pornography and free from divorce, free from depressions that just undo you. How do you find your way into marriage over and over and out of depression and away form the internet? How does that happen? It happens by the power of this incredible book. Dever: For people who haven’t had time to accumulate all those layers, anything you would tell them to read? Piper: Back when the inerrancy council was red hot “Scripture and truth” edited by Grudem and
  • Mark Dever recommends J. I. Packer’s “Fundamentalism and the Word of God”.
  • Al Mohler – The problem is how few of our confessional statements are clear on this in the first place. So one of our evangelical liabilities is that too much has been assumed under an article of Scripture without specifying language, with inerrancy being one of those necessary  attributes of Scripture confirmed. You do find people today, some lamentably who are trying to claim that  you can still use the word, while basically eviscerating it, emptying it of meaning. So you have historical denials, in particular, you have someone who says that a text… and “The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy” makes it very clear, our affirmations and denials are actually patterned after the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, which was itself patterned after previous statements in which there were not only affirmations, but clear denials. So, when you look to that statement, you’ll see that there’s the version of what inerrancy means and that means “This is not true”. So, you have clear denials. One of the affirmations is: Scripture has different forms of literature, but the denial is that you can legitimately dehistoricize an historical text. So, in other words, everything in Scripture reveals, including every historical claim is true. You find some people saying: “Well, you can affirm the truthfulness of the text without the historicity of the text. You can’t do that. You have people who are now using genre criticism, various forms to say: This is a type of literature. My favorite of these lamentable arguments is the one that says: This is the kind of text to which the issue of inerrancy does not apply. In other words: I don’t like it. But, what they mean is: I am not making a truth claim. If I am not making a truth claim… that’s ridiculous, but you find these kinds of nuances going on. You also find very clear, points of friction. So, let’s give an example of points of friction: Do we have to believe in the historicity of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis? What Pete said about apologetics, that puts us over, against a dominant, intellectual system that establishes what is called credibility in the secular academy. Those evangelicals who feel intellectually accountable to that, are trying to say, “There has to be some other way then,  of dealing with Genesis 1 through 11 and that’s where you have now the ultimate friction point, with coming, for instance, the historical Adam and an historical fall and now you’re finding people who are trying to say, “Okay, there is no historical claim in Genesis 1 through 3, but I still believe in an historical Adam because I am just going to pull him out of the air and pop him down and say, “I still believe in an historical Adam (but) I am not going to root it in the historical nature of the text, but I need him because Paul believed in him. And then, you have people who have websites today, someone like Peter Enns, who used to teach at an institution which required inerrancy, but no longer teaches there, who says, “Clearly, Paul did believe in inerrancy, but, Paul was wrong”. And so, now you not only have the denial of inerrancy of the historicity of Genesis 1 through 3, you have Paul now, in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 being said, “Well now, inerrancy for him means ‘he was speaking truthfully, as inspired by God, but limited to the world view that was accessible and available to him at the time’. That is not what Jesus believed about Scripture. That is not what the church must believe about Scripture. I never came close to not believing in the inerrancy of Scripture. I came close to believing that there could be other legitimate ways of describing the total authority and truthfulness of the text and especially in context of fierce denominational controversy, I thought there must be room for finding it somewhere else and some people even mentioned here were correctives. For example J.I. Packer’s Fundamentals of God, was the bomb that landed in the playground. That little experiment just doesn’t happen; you take that out, it simply won’t work. At about the time that you (Mark Dever) and I really became friends, we were looking at how you came from an evangelical background where those issues have been discussed for 20 years before they did explode in the Southern Baptist Convention. My denomination had to learn this lesson a little bit late and at great cost.
  • Mark Dever- leaving the denominational stuff aside, you (Mohler) as a Christian, you found an intuitive, like John is talking about, an intuitive faith in Scripture.
  • Al Mohler- Well, it was intuitive, but I also had intellectual guardrails. My earliest, explicit theological formation was when apologetics hit me as a crisis as a teenager and I was led directly into the influence of Francis Schaeffer. And the book that most influenced me as a  teenager in high school, holding on to the faith as against a very secular environment was his book based on  lectures at Wheaton “He is there and He is not silent”, and I would point to that as the 5 or 10 books that most shaped my thinking, because Schaeffer’s logic in his lectures is really clear: “If there is a God, who doesn’t exist, we’re doomed. If there’s a God who does exist, but doesn’t speak, we’re just as doomed. If there is a God who does exist and He does speak, then salvation is in the speech. And so that was one of the guard rails in my life and being raised in a Gospel church that preached the word of God and just assumed that when you say “It’s the word of God”, it means all this.
  • Ligon Duncan – I didn’t have faith challenges as a teenager that Al did, but I was reading a lot of that apologetic literature and this was being talked about by evangelicals and the Ligonier statement on Scripture had come out in 1973, the ICBI Chicago Statement came out in 1978. Those are my teenage years. This is a conversation in the conservative corner of evangelicalism, in which I was reared. I had a good pastor that was happy to have me ask him questions about this when I was troubled with something I could ask him, he was on the board at Westminster Theological Seminary. When I went to Edinburgh (Scotland for PhD) I already had a solid education in the doctrine of Scripture at Covenant Seminary. But when I went to Edinburgh , James Barr’s book “Fundamentalism”  had just come out and I read it. I have more writings in the margins of the text in this book. I was arguing with him relentlessly in this book.
  • Mark Dever – This was an attack on J.I. Packer’s book and other kinds of statements of faith and Scripture.
  • Ligon Duncan - At that point I thought this would be some kind of hot topic. I had read some Barr in seminary, mostly semantics of biblical language and other things like that, in which, hopefully he is going after some bad stuff, but, I decided that when that book came out that I needed to read everything that Barr had ever written because of the potential influence on scholars. I was doing patristics at Edinburgh and so this wasn’t something that was part of my reading for work, it was just something I needed to do on the side and so I did. It was the most soul killing 6 months that I have ever spent. It was very disturbing. And several things helped me: One is a professor who had already thought through all of these issues. I went to another professor, and as we sat down he said, “You need to know, I have walked through all of these issues long ago and I’m happy to walk with you through them now. That was an enormous intellectual and theological resource to me. But then, it was the reality of Christ and the Gospel and the lives of believers that didn’t even know that they were ministering to me because that person could not be the way he or she is if there wasn’t a Holy Spirit indwelling Christ in us. I was also reading Ned Stonehouse’s biography of J Gresham Machen, who went through the same thing when he went to Marburg to study and he came into contact with Hermann and the german liberals of those days, and his correspondence with his mother was very significant in keeping him with just losing his mind.
  • Al Mohler – One other thing that was very informative to me was listening to people preach and seeing the distinction in the midst of a huge controversy with some people saying, “I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and other people saying, “I believe almost the same thing, I just think the words aren’t necessary, etc., etc.” When one got up and said, “This is the word of God”, read the text and preached the text and the other read the text and said, “Let’s find what’s good in here”. And they didn’t necessarily put it that way, but you could tell that is what they were doing homiletically. Here is an accountability to every word of the text. The text speaks because when the text speaks, God speaks. And on the other hand, people saying, “You know, there’s good stuff here, let’s go find it”.
  • Peter Williams - I went through a time of significant doubt when I was around 21 , 22. Mark (Dever) was in town at the time, in Cambridge, a great help and the Lord brought me through those, having to work through a lot of that. I certainly looked at liberalism and secular approaches to the Bible, from the inside, within my heart and really, there is nothing there, there’s nothing that has the explanatory power, the comprehensive work that the Gospel, the work in your life and even, also, I think on a historical  level there are some amazing things about the Bible. If I can just mention one: Historical level: Go back 400 years to someone like James Ussher (or 350) calculating the dates of Kings of ancient Israel, or Kings of Assyria. That was before archaeology had begun, before the language of the Assyrians had even been deciphered (that’s been in the last 200 years) and he gets the dates of Tiglas Pileser within one year of what now people believe it to be, based on the Bible and he’s not got Hebrew manuscripts any earlier than 11th century AD. and he’s getting reliable information from 1800 years earlier. You can document that. It’s not widely appreciated, but he gets the year 728 and we think it’s 727. It’s pretty remarkable, that sort of level of agreement. It is one of the most amazing stories to me, of historical accurate information being transmitted.
  • John Piper – ends with prayer that faith would increase in this generation.

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VIDEO by BiolaUniversity Talbot School of Theology Chapel from September 10, 2013.

2 great tweets from M’Cheyne & Piper

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