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Reforming the Reformers

There are three works and then three persons, with only one known to history, who had a direct effect on the minds of the early reformers and on the beginning of the reformation of the Catholic religion. The first of these was Dutch, the second German, and the last English. The short title form of the first of these was Imitation of Christ by Thomas `a Kempis (1380–1471). This book was very well known and effected nearly all of the…

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Where Did All the Denominations come From – Seeds of Reformation

Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be the greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him next to him, and said: “Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For the one who is the least among you all will be the greatest.” (Luke 9: 46 – 48). “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes…

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The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament (1)

The subject of the Holy Spirit has been one of controversy and confusion. Some religious groups teach that the Holy Spirit still is imparting miraculous gifts to those who have enough faith. Other religious groups believe the Holy Spirit will overwhelm you, causing a person to have a variety of joyful emotions. Christians dispute about whether the Holy Spirit personally dwells within the each Christian and what is the extent of His influence over the Christian. I believe that our…

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You Have A Purpose

Why are you here? What is your destiny? What is God’s purpose? These are questions that have been around for ages. When we read the first chapter of Ephesians more questions arise. Why has God blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places? Why has God chosen us to be holy and blameless? Why has God predestined us for adoption? Ephesians 1:6 contains the ultimate reason. God did these things “to the praise of his glorious grace.” God did…

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Appeasement Is Not Grace

There is a theological doctrine that I have been thinking about and studying for many years: the concept of appeasement. Often it is declared that the sacrifice of Jesus appeased the wrath of God. Many commentaries use the language of appeasement at various places in the scriptures. I will use a variety of John Calvin's statements in his commentary on the scriptures. "When, therefore, he says, that victory has been given to us, you are to understand by this in…

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Where Did All of the Denominations Come From? The Catholic Schism

It is really not an overstatement nor an understatement to say that Catholicism (the Eastern and Western versions) was on its way to overtaking all of true Christianity by 800. All of the remaining digressive churches from the Iberian Peninsula in the west out to Persia in the east, and up to what would become Germany had by the twelfth century ceded their authority either to Rome or in part to Constantinople. And the imperial popes of Rome were assuming…

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You Are Predestined

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:4–6 ESV) Predestined The word “predestined” means what it sounds like — “to decide beforehand, mark out beforehand, to determine beforehand.” God decided in advance. We noted in our last lesson that God chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Before…

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You Are Chosen

The doctrine of election is a controversial point that is often misunderstood. The scriptures plainly teach that we are chosen in Christ, the elect of God. The difficulty comes in explaining how this is the case. Some will deny the election of God altogether to maintain their particular doctrine and beliefs. Others will take election beyond how the scripture describe. Our analysis for this study will be in Ephesians 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus…

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Logic and Analysis from Dead Scholars

 There is a well-accepted theory around today that the book of Revelation appeared right at the close of the first century. The theory is not as new as some folks may think because it actually dates back to the late second century. And as with many things, it seems to me that we would do well to recall what the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  In general, rather than paying attention to the signs…

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Some Things Said (October 2013)

1) What the Pope says – Pope Francis wrote the following comments in a letter to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica (as quoted by Newsmax). "You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don't believe and who don't seek the faith," the Pope wrote. "Given — and this is the fundamental thing — that God's mercy has no limits, if He is approached with a sincere and repentant heart, the question for those who do not…

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