Vaclav's blog

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Is it God, or us?

Is it God's will, or men's will that is done in the end in the matter of our salvation? I believe it is God's will. But our will is done as well, in another sense. God does as he pleases, but so do the people.

If God has no choice as to our destiny, than we control God, which would make us stronger than God, which is not true.

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Shibboleths

Judges 12:1-7

The Gileadites came from Ephraim and Manasseh -- they were family. They were accused by their family with these words: "You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh." Family politics never work out. Because of this accusation, Gilead killed all of Ephraim and took over the borders, so if there was any survivor from Ephraim he would also be killed.

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"Open my eyes"

Psalm 119:18, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

When David wrote it, he probably had only the first 5 books of Moses, therefore he calls it "law", in Hebrew Torah. So law in this Psalm would simply mean "instruction".

For the believers in the New Covenant we not only have Torah, but also the Prophets, the Psalms and the New Testament. And it is God's word, his word, his special revelation inspired and breathed out by God's Spirit given to us, to instruct us in the way of salvation in his Son Jesus Christ.

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“For he is praying”

Christ as Elohim in Acts 9:1-22

The life story of Saul is amazing! He was “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” (Philippians 3:5-6). He was one of the greatest of all the Jews who ever lived.

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"God, who had set me apart from my mother’s womb"

Galatians 1:15-16a, "But when God, who had set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him..."

God did this in the case of Saul who was persecuting the early Christians, causing them to be put to prison, suffering and death, and who became Paul after he believed in Jesus Christ...

Have you ever thought that God did this in your life as well? -

1. Set you apart from your mother's womb, before you did anything good or bad.

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"the will of our God and Father"

"According to the will of our God and Father" (Galatians 1:4b)

It was God the Father's good will, it pleased him so to give up his only Son to death for our sins. He is God and he does as he pleases.

But it pleased God's Son as well to come and die, because it says, he, Jesus "gave himself for our sins..."! No one forced him or make him to come and die in our place, he did it of his own free will.

And so the will of God, of the Father and the Son is one, they both willed the death of God's unique Son, Jesus Christ.

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"so quickly turning away from Him"?

Galatians 1:6
"I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel —"

What was it that made Paul astonished and amazed at the Galatian church?

It was that they were "deserting him [Jesus Christ]" who called them to himself by his grace, his marvelously undeserved favor.

And not only were they turning away from Christ, but also they were turning away from him "so quickly"! It would have been within the first three years of Paul's first visit to the Galatians!

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"...for our sins..."

Galatians 1:4a, "who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age..."

What is that "present evil age"? When the apostle Paul wrote this letter the present age he lived in was evil. And presently we live in the evil age as well. Things have not changed much in two thousand years. Is the "evil age" something out there? Is it them who are evil and not us who are good?

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"The life apeared"

1John 1:1-4, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete."

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Christ, not the Law, is the rule of our life

The law has occupied my mind for many years, and it almost killed me. I think, especially in many reformed circles, the law, rather than the person of Christ is the center of focus. We hear it said, "the Law is the rule of our life". But is that true?

As believers under the New Covenant we certainly do not discard and ignore the law, but we fulfill it, but as if to say, indirectly, by the Spirit's work within us, writing it on our hearts, changing us from within to love God and to love others - which also sums up the whole law.

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