Origin of Man/Creation

Man
Here are the basic views for how humans came into being:

Atheistic Evolution – You guys know this one. It comes from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species which says that given enough time, a combination of atoms, motion, time, and chance will produce a huge variety of lifeforms like we have today. Weaker species are eliminated through a struggle for survival and evolution occurs. This would mean that there is no God for man to be accountable to or any moral absolutes. Survival is the ultimate goal regardless of the consequences to anyone else.

Theistic Evolution – God used an evolutionary process to  bring about all that we see in creation. This theory is an attempt to reconcile evolution with the Bible, but it is strongly rejected by both evolutionists and biblicists. This argument breaks down with the analogy between Adam and Jesus in Romans 5:12-21 because it simply doesn’t work if Adam was not a real person. Genesis 1:1-2:4 must also be read allegorically and the statement in Genesis 2:7 doesn’t fit if humanity came from a non-human ancestor.

Progressive Creationism – This theory is also called the “Day-Age Theory.” The idea is that each of the 7 days of creation recorded in Genesis actually refers to a geological age. Most progressive creationists believe that God directly created man and animals, but that some evolutionary processes are still possible within a certain species. Exodus 20:10-11 uses an analogy between God working 6 days and resting and man working 6 days and resting on the seventh. This demands a literal interpretation. Also, if this theory were true, then people must have died before the fall of man. Genesis is clear that death did not enter the world until Adam’s sin.

Gap Theory – This theory places a long period of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This allows for an old earth. They also believe that there was another creation which fell with Lucifer’s fall causing the earth to become chaotic. “Formless and void” in verse 2 describes this chaotic earth. Unfortunately, the grammar in Genesis really doesn’t allow for this gap to exist at all.

Literal 24-hour days – As the Bible describes, God created everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Geological formations which seem to indicate an “old” earth can be explained by Noah’s flood. Scripture seems to indicate that this is the best approach to the origin of man. The more we study, there also seems to be more and more information/science which validates this viewpoint.

How does this impact my life? This particular issue is at the center of the main attack on Christianity today. I have taught and will continue to teach a Biblical standpoint on this issue to the students in our church.  As much as we try to accommodate both the Biblical record and evolution, it simply is not possible without compromising the Scriptures. I will continue hold to the Scriptures over any theory regardless of its popularity. Considering the lack of evidence for the evolutionary theory, I’m actually surprised at its popularity. I guess  it doesn’t matter how ridiculous something is – people will believe anything that allows them the ability to ignore God.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 301-304)

Demonology

Demon
There are a few different theories about where demons came from. Here they are:

(1) Dead people – Some early Christians  thought this was the case and it has remained a popular theory even to this day. The problem with this theory is that Lk 16:23 says that evil people are in hell after they die.

(2) Race of People before Adam – This theory is based on the “gap theory” of Genesis. The idea is that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and that there was a race of people who rebelled against God which caused them to fall into this demonic state.  The problem with this view is that there is no evidence in Scripture that these people ever existed. Also Romans 5:12 says that sin entered the world with Adam. If these guys existed and fell sin had to existed before Adam.

(3) Offspring of Angels and women. Genesis 6:2 says that the “sons of God” had intercourse with the “daughters of men” and created a race of demons called the Nephilim.  Scripturally though, there is no indication that the Nephilim were not people or that the “sons of God” were not also people. The verses say they took them as their wives which actually indicates that they were human.

(4) Fallen but unconfined angels. This is the most likely view. When Lucifer rebelled against God, he fell from his place of honor and a bunch of angels went with him. Mt 25:41 actually refers to demons as “angels” so this seems like a probable view. Scripture says there are 2 groups of fallen angels: (1) 2 Pet 2:4 talks about a group who are confined in hell permanently. (2) Lk 8:31; Rev 9:2-11 refers to a group who are imprisoned in a pit. They were “too depraved to and harmful to be allowed to roam upon the earth”  but they will be released during the Tribulation to afflict people who don’t have the seal of God on their foreheads.

What are demons like?
1. They are spirit beings. (Mt 8:16; Lk 10:17, 20) They do not have bodies of flesh.
2. They are not omnipresent. They can only be in one place at a time. (Mt 8:28-34)
3. They are intelligent, but not omniscient. (Mk 1:24; Mt. 8:29; 1 Tim 4:1)
4. They are powerful, but not omnipotent. (Mk 5:3-4; 9:22; Mt 9:32; 15:22; Jn 10:21)

What do they do?
1. Inflict disease. (Lk 13:11, 16; Job 1:12; 2:6)
2. Influence the mind. (Gen 3:1-5; 2 Cor 4:4; 11:3)
3. Deceive people. (1 Thes 3:5; Eph 2:2; Mt 13:19)
4. Deceive nations. (Rev 16:14)
5. Possess people. (Mt 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 12:22; 15:22; Mk 1:32; 5:3-4, 15, 16, 18; Lk 8:36; Jn 10:21)

Christ has defeated demons! (Col 2:15)
They will be thrown into the lake of fire! (Mt 25:41; Rev 12:9; 19:19-21)

How does this change my life? I’m able to recognize the work of demons more readily and can in turn pray against them. This information also will help me in answering the questions of the youth I work with. Spiritual issues like this are very interesting to students and in answering their questions, I have opportunities to share the good news of the demon’s defeat. Also with good answers to their questions, I can gain the students respect and trust for future conversations.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 295-298)

Angelology

Angel
It is clear from the Scriptures that angels exist. They are actually mentioned in 37 of the books of the Bible. Jesus Himself speaks of them (Mt 25:31-32, 41) and interacts with them (Mt 4:11). Here are some of the basic teachings about angels from the Scriptures:

1. They are spirit beings. They are called “spirits” (Heb 1:14) and do not have bodies. They also do not die (Lk 20:36) or get married (Mk 12:25). However, they do appear in human form sometimes (Gen 18:3).

2. They are created beings. Ps 148:2-5; Job 38: 6-7; Col 1:16

3. They were all created at the same time. Heb 12:22 says there are “myriads” of them but since they cannot reproduce (Mt 22:30). . . .Col 1:16 also suggests a singular act of creation.

4. They are a higher order than man. Heb 2:7 says that angels are higher than men – even higher than Jesus while He was in the flesh. They don’t die (Lk 20:36) and have more wisdom than man (2:Sam 14:20). Their wisdom is limited though – certainly less than God’s (Mt 24:36). They have more power than men (Mt 28:2; Acts 5:19; 2 Pet 2:11) but it is still a limited power (Dan 10:13).

Some of the most prominent angels are:
Michael (Dan 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9)
Gabriel (Dan 9:21; Lk 1:26)
Lucifer (Is 14:12)

Some of the things that angels do include:
Serving God (Rev 5:11-12)
Ministry to Jesus (Lk 1:26-38; 22:43; Mt 2:13; 2:20; 4:11; 28:5-7; 1 Kgs 19:5-7; Acts 1:10; Mt 25:31)
Ministry to Believers
Protection (Ps 34:7; Acts 5:19; Rev 7:1-14)
Provision (1 Kgs 19:5-7)
Encouragement (Acts 27:23-25)
Direction (Acts 8:26; 10:3, 22)
Assist in answering Prayer (Acts 12:1-11; Dan 9:20-27)
Carry us home (Lk 16:22)
Serve God in Judgment (Rev 8:2-12; 9:1, 13; Mt 13:39-42)

How does this change my life? I believe it has and will continue to change my life every time an angel ministers to me as a believer. I am not aware of specific times when this has happened, but I do believe that it has. There are certainly countless times when I have been in need of protection, provision, encouragement, direction, and answered prayer and have received those things. I feel confident in saying that angels have probably had a hand in those situations. I also believe that their work in ministering to Jesus and in serving God have an affect on me – maybe not a direct impact, but that doesn’t mean anything. Also, by having this understanding of angels, I’ll be able to pray specifically for God to send angels when I find myself or my friends in need of these kinds of ministries.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 287-292)

Substitution

In hanging on the cross, Jesus was our substitute. He was without sin. We are not. It is sin that deserves the punishment of death (Romans 6:23). Jesus took on our sin and died in our place – substituting His own body in place of ours. This concept is  important because Jesus is the only man (of course He is God too) whose perfect, sinless life was sufficient to pay for the sins of the world. The good news is that He did it and that God’s righteous judgment is still intact because His just demands have been met.

This concept is clear throughout Scripture:
Isaiah 53 –  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Matthew 20:28 – . . .the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

I Timothy 2:6a – who gave himself as a ransom for all men. . .

Galatians 3:13a – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. . .

2 Corinthians 5:21 –  God made him who had no sin to be sin[1] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 3:18a – For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous. . .

How does this concept impact my life? In every way. I live because Christ died in my place. He took on my sin – it is no longer my burden. It has been paid for by Jesus’ own blood. He has conquered death and brought me into the family of God. In this life and beyond I will enjoy the favor of a Father who is God. It’s a classic statement, but appropriate here – Because He died for me, I choose to live for Him! I’ll never be able to substitute myself for Him, but He has called me to try – to work on becoming like Him and to then represent Him to the world. It’s an incredible privilege that I’m honored to be a part of.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 323)

Women’s Role in the Church

WomanAlthough there seems to be lots of arguments about this issue in churches today, it seems like a pretty clear-cut case to me when you consider Scripture. The traditional view stresses the woman’s duty to
“submit” to the authority of men and that they should not “teach” men. Scriptures used include:

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

I Corinthians 14:33-35 – For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

I Timothy 2:11-14 – A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

I Corinthians 11:3 – Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Now, let’s consider the Scriptures that point to women being involved:

Gen 1:27-28 – Women were created in God’s image as well as man

Exodus 38:8 – Women served at the Temple entrance.

Exodus 15:20 – Miriam was a prophetess.

Micah 6:4 – Miriam led alongside Aaron and Moses.

Judges 4-5 – Deborah was a judge.

2 Kings 22:8-20 – Huldah was a prophetess.

I Chronicles 25:5-7 – Women sang in the temple choirs.

Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-18 – Women will prophesy.

Luke 2:36-38 – Anna was a prophetess.

John 4:7-26 – Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman in particular.

Mark 1:29-31; 5:25-34 – Jesus cared equally for the sicknesses of women.

Luke 10:42 – Jesus allowed a woman to sit at His feet.

Matthew 19:9-10; Mark 10:11-12 – Jesus reinterpreted issues which were against women

Mark 16:6-8 – Women carried the news of the resurrection even though a woman’s testimony was not considered valid.

Acts 2:1-4 – Holy Spirit fell on both men and women.

Acts 1:14 – Women prayed with men.

Acts 9:36; 12:12; 16:14-15 – Women served in lots of ministries.

Acts 18:26-28 – Priscilla and Aquila helped Apollos understand his faith.

Acts 21:8-9 – Philip’s 4 daughters were prophetesses.

Galatians 3:28 – In Christ there is no male or female.

Romans 8:9b – Women and men are indwelt equally by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 11:4-5 – Women have access to God in prayer just as men.

1 Corinthians 11:5; 14:26 – Women are allowed to speak in church.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 27-31; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Peter

4:10-11 – Women are given Spiritual gifts just as men.

Philippians 4:2-3 – Euodia and Syntyche were co-workers with Paul.

Romans 16; 1 Corinthians 9:5 – 10 out of 29 people commended for service are women.

Romans 16:1 – Phoebe is called a “deacon.”

Romans 16:7 – Andronicus and Junia are said to be “outstanding among the apostles.”

OK – so here’s my take on it all:

With all of the Scripture that affirms women’s involvement in the church, it seems
pretty clear that God approves. Each of the verses which are used to hinder
their involvement can be explained as problems within specific communities/churches or as issues of order. Voddie Bachaum uses an illustration that may be helpful. – An all-pro lineman submits to the authority of a rookie quarterback because the team is stronger when it’s structure/order is upheld. It’s not that the rookie is more valuable – but it’s an issue of order, not worth.

Now, there’s one catch in my opinion. There is only one role which Scripture has no example of women holding – elder or Sr. Pastor. I believe that women can and should function in all roles in the church except Sr. Pastor. Teaching is a spiritual
gift, not an office and so those roles should be open to anyone (male or female) who has that spiritual gift.

Now as to why I don’t think a woman should be a Sr. Pastor. . . .there are three
reasons. One is valid and others are simply my opinion.

(1) the valid one – because we don’t see a Scriptural example.

(2) my opinion – If we ask men to be the “head of household” and for women “to submit” to them at home, we are sending a mixed messages to our men when it comes to their role at church. Again, it’s not a matter of value or worth, but only of order.

(3) I also think that culturally, here in the Bible belt, it’s difficult for men to respect a woman’s leadership in such a way that a healthy situation can be accomplished. As long as there is a Male Sr. Pastor, you also have a situation where this “order” can still be established and women can exercise their gifts in all areas of ministry.

How will this impact my life? I hope to be involved in a church plant one day, so this will have a very direct impact on how it all comes together.

Prideful Paul

I always thought it was a bit prideful of Paul to write things like – “follow my example” (1 Cor 11:1) and “join with others in following my example” (Php 3:17). Anyway, he says things like this throughout Scripture and it always bothered me a little, but last night in our small group it came up again and I think I finally understood it. One of the guys explained that in those days they didn’t have the Bible (well, not as we know it) – most people couldn’t read the letters that they did have either. Jesus had already resurrected too, so there really was no way for someone to know how to live out their faith except in watching someone else do it. Paul was trying to live his life in such a way that others could look at him and know how to live as a Christian.

Just as a father tries to live as an example to his children, Paul was doing the same. The idea of following someone’s example was not a foreign concept for the Jews either – the whole rabbinical system was based upon “becoming” like the rabbi. Jesus Himself taught his followers to do as they had seen Him do. (John 13:15). Anyway, all this is to say that Paul wasn’t just a big headed guy, he was simply trying to teach others how to live out their faith, and he used the same technique as their culture had been accustomed to.

Indescribable

Here’s the info I spoke on last Sunday Night. I got it all from a DVD sermon by Louie Giglio – the founder of the Passion Worship movement.

1 milky way galaxy

Psalm 19:1-4 – New Living

“The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.

They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;[a]

yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to all the world.”

The stars are shouting God’s praises – day after day they’re telling us what they know! The stars are like a billboard telling us everyday about His glory and how great He is.

Big bang – there probably was a big bang when God created it all! Science and Christians are all seeking to find the truth in this mystery of creation.

God said “let there be light.” Of course – when God asks for something, that’s what He gets.

We don’t even know how big the universe is – the telescope isn’t big enough. God is laughing at us – He enjoys when we discover more, but He has so much more for us.

Habited planets? If the universe is just for us, then it’s way oversized. What if it’s primary purpose isn’t to give us a home, but to show off the glory of God? Then it’s probably the right size.

Light Speed is 186,000 miles/second – a beam of light could circle the earth 7 times every second.

Psalm 33:6 – “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”

We live in the subdivision called the milky way universe. Consists of billions of stars. Scientists say there are hundreds of billions of other galaxies in the known universe.

Light year = 5.88 trillion miles/year

2 milky way galaxy

If we were to count just the stars in the milky way galaxy one/second, it would take 2,500 years.

Isaiah 40

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

We’ve got to right-size Him tonight. He is not our size. He doesn’t think like we think. He is working on a canvas bigger than anything we ever imagined. The heavens are telling us that, and they’re telling us that we are really really really really small.

3 – milky way galaxy

 

4 – milky way galaxy

The Milky way galaxy is a bard spiral galaxy which is 100,000 light years across. (remember a light year is 5.88 trillion miles)

5 – milky way galaxy with earth

Where’s earth? We’re not even in the center of our own subdivision – it’s not about you, it’s about God. You don’t wanna live in the center anyway – it’s scary there. It’s also scary in the bands surrounding the center – we live between them about 2/3 of the way out. Our solar system is too small to even put on this picture. Scientists say that our solar system is the size of a quarter and the milky way galaxy is the size of the North American Continent.

06 – earth

Earth – you don’t see any people, cities, countries. . .you don’t see the great need, the poverty, the strife, the pain, the glory, the glamour – as you step back you get this feeling that maybe we aren’t so big after all. We know the one who made this world must be huge. Maybe we aren’t as important as we thought. Maybe our plans aren’t so grand at all.

Neil Armstrong – first man who walked on the moon said, “I remember on the way home on Apollo 11, it suddenly struck me that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth. I put my thumb up and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out planet earth, but I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very very small.

Psalm 8

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

Voyager was launched 1977 – to take pictures. In 1990, Voyager is 3.7 billion miles away from the earth traveling 40,000 miles an hour away from the sun. It takes 60 pictures, with 640,000 pixels in each image. It takes 5 and a half hours for each pixel to make it back to earth from 3.7 billion miles away. – talk about a dial-up problem.
07 – pale blue dot

Do you see earth in that one? It’s there. The “Pale Blue Dot” picture was taken – the suns rays reflected off voyager (4 billion miles away) to create the bands you see. Earth is the dot.

Famous astronomer called it a “mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.” Our huge lives are all played out on a “mote of dust.” Not trying to make you feel small – I want you to see that you are small.

But it’s significant, insignificance ’cause as tiny as we are – we are prized my majesty. Who sent for us and knows us and loves us even though we are just tiny little specks in this vast universe that He made. Just as He can call the stars by name, He can start in this room and call each of us by name. And not only that – He could even tell you how many hairs are on your head and what you’re thinking right now and if you secretly desire to be sitting next to someone else right now. He knows us!!!!! And Is aware of us!!! And Loves us!! And Invites us into a relationship with Him that will never ever end!!! It’s amazing to think how big He is and that He still knows and cares for us.

Lets go on a journey now.

10 – sun

93 million miles out to the sun.

It burns you up. Raging ball of fire. Not the smiley face sun like we drew it as kids. 10,000 degrees on the surface. It’s like billions of nuclear explosions going off every second. It takes 8 seconds for light from it to go the 93 million miles from there to your skin. It came out of the mouth of God – He is not some kind of wimpy God. He is intense, powerful, ferocious, holy, and full of radiant splendor – He opens His mouth and stuff like this just come out. The sun is 100 times the diameter of earth.

11 – earth/sun comparison

That’s why you wanna thank God in your bed tonight that we are 93 million miles away from the sun.

12 – close up of sun

Close up of the sun from the Swedish solar institute – they’re doing studies of the sun – raging fire. Scientists say, it would take the gross national of the United States for 7 million years for our local power company to run the sun for one second – and it’s just one star out of billions in the milky way – which is only one galaxy of billions of known galaxies in the universe that God has made.

5.88 trillion miles is a light year – 440 light years out we find:

13 – plieades

The Pleiades constellation.

Job 38:31

“Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion?

14 – vela pulsar

Vela Pulsar – 1000 light years away

what’s a pulsar? A star explodes into a supernova and can collapse back into itself into a magnetic intensity – it’s a highly magnetized neutron star – it’s center occilates 11 times a second – it sends out this intense signal:

A radio telescope captured this recording of the Vela Pulsar

The vela pulsar didn’t wanna miss out on the worship – it’s screaming “He’s Big!! He’s bigger than you think He is!! God is Awesome!!”

15 – hourglass nebula

8000 light years away – hourglass nebula – just beautiful – God is watching us.

16 – helix nebula

17 – star dust ring

28 million light years out (28 million X 5.88 trillion miles) – sombrero galaxy


18 & 19 – sombrero galaxy

Sombrero galaxy – not just a cool little frisbee thing – its 50 thousand light years wide – trillions of miles thick – why is it there? Just to glorify God – to give a small example of who He is. Showing off the greatness and majesty of God.

20 – hubble telescope

Hubble hangs out 353 miles above the earth.

21 – whirlpool galaxy

31 million light years away – grand design galaxy – hundreds of billions of stars – pink areas are star-forming incubators – every second a new star is born in our universe – God is naming them all and putting them where He wants

Let’s go far far far out! Indescribable how far out it is

22 – christ

He made everything we’ve seen tonight – and yet He chose to be hung on a tree that He himself created. The maker of the entire universe came to that pale blue dot –

Philippians 2:5b-11

Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Psalm 103:8-12

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

23 – x structure at core of whirlpool galaxy

The world – the universe is all about God. Not us, but God. And He has decided to ask you and I to be a part of His big big story. It doesn’t matter how big your situation seems, God is bigger and He loves you! Nothing can shake you out of God’s hand as He holds you.

Love so amazing so divine, demands our my soul my life my all.