Category Archives: Bible Learning
Sin from the Old Testament was cleansed by good works, now the New Testament teaches that you only have to be forgiven to be cleansed. How is that and why is there such a drastic difference?
*All scripture is from the New International Version unless noted otherwise.
The biggest difference between the Old and New Testaments is the birth of Jesus Christ. In reading the Old Testament, you quickly find out that sin is cleansed through animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifice actually began after the fall of Adam and Eve. God killed animals to clothe them because they were no longer pure. Animal sacrifice was very important in the Old Testament as a temporary cleansing of sins, because as we find in Hebrews 9:22, there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. You can read in the Old Testament that scripture seemed to foreshadow the coming of Christ as the Ultimate Sacrifice.
In the New Testament, the animal sacrifices were not necessary anymore because of the price Jesus paid on the cross for our sins. He paid our debt and was the Ultimate Sacrifice for our forgiveness (Hebrews 10:4-7.)
If Christians are so worried about their faith, why is it that 10% of Christians now go to church just to say they can without actually going to LEARN?
*Opinion of my own. **All scripture is from the New International Version unless noted otherwise.
Christians who are “worried” about their faith usually fit into just one category: those that go to church to learn and to grow their faith and their relationship with Christ. Typically, Christians are even more worried about the faith of others*.
While there is no way to accurately determine the percentage of Christians who attend church for an appearance, I can assure you that it is probably fewer than you think. There are vocal Christians, and there are vocal and acting Christians.
Christians who are vocal tend to vocalize their faith in Jesus but they don’t feel the convictions or obligations to abide by Biblical laws or even try to. These people may fall under the idea you have of attending church to say they did. Christians who are both vocal and acting, will not only vocalize their beliefs but in many ways follow the Bible and better themselves and who have a relationship with The Lord. These Christians may be in the minority now-a-days but it our job as Christians to keep each other on the right path with God (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1-2, Luke 17:3.)
Here is my review of her latest session, held on February 18, 2014:
Tonight’s online Bible Study was nothing short of liberating for me. It was very thought-provoking and forced me to ask myself questions which I either hadn’t addressed before or had completely dismissed.
The biggest question, the question which kind of umbrellas the others (for me) was, “If we’re AFRAID, how are we different from the world?” Our goal as Christians is to be like-Christ, to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world. But when fear creeps in, doubt, guilt or shame, we give a poor reflection of Christ in our lives.
Sharing things of my past is still challenging for me simply because of my own fear. I’ve realized tonight how big a role FEAR has played in my life and in the purpose that God has created for me. Fear has handicapped me into believing the lies of the enemy when instead I should be listening to how GOD defines me, written in the scriptures.
The enemy doesn’t define me. My deliberate (and constant) decision to step out of Fear into Faith will empower me to doing great things. I believe this will be a constant effort on my part, a daily need for reminder and affirmation in prayer, but something that will be life-changing and greatly improve my relationship with The Lord.
Thank you so much, Heather Bixler for allowing us into your home Tuesday nights and especially for this eye-opening message.
If you’d like to be apart of this awesome online study and fellowship SIGN UP TODAY HERE. It’s FREE!
Is Catholicism Biblical? By Mary Ann Colins
This was a phenomenal read. Having no prior knowledge of the Catholic Church,
Catholic beliefs, it’s history and all that it entails, I was truly enlightened.
Her knowledge and plethora of resources and citations regarding her experiences
and extensive research is marvelous and quite impressive. This book touched on
every aspect of Catholicism, without passing judgement. Her approach to this
topic was tactful, informative, just, honest, and 100% biblical. She is very
thorough and explanatory…I can’t say enough of how much I gained reading this
book and her invaluable insight. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking
answers about Catholicism, even anyone with a peeked curiosity of Catholicism,
or any present/former Catholic who wants the truth.
Check it out for FREE: Is Catholicism Biblical?
I just found this article in my search for “aging” in the Christian and Biblical point of view.
I hope you find it as enlightening as I have when it comes to age, the inevitability we all face.
Today’s society has painted an idea of age to appear almost poisonous and unfortunate. Something that if you’re lucky with “good genes”, you’ll wisp by your forties and fifties with only the subtlety of a wrinkle or age spot. And although some companies have promoted the beauty of gray hair, it’s not a wonder why their products have flopped simply as a result of our preconditioned ideas of AGING.
In this article you will not only find that aging is a gift from God, but that it’s not solely determined upon appearance as it is to the rest of us. Hopefully, upon reading this article, you will adopt a new outlook on aging and look in the mirror a bit differently next time…
Note by Crossing Paths Daily: CPD is not being compensated or sponsored by the author of this article or website thereof in any way.
Your Relationship With God: How-to
The human race has always longed to have a spiritual connection with a higher entity. It started with Adam and Eve each having a relationship with God, before given the ultimate test of true love and faith. In the end, they were not faithful; they did not trust God and they didn’t obey Him. All of these things impaired their relationship with God and sin entered the world. Ever since, we’ve had a deep yearning to fellowship with Him.
Now how can we, imperfect sinful creatures, ever have fellowship with God, who is holy and perfect? Through Jesus Christ. God sent His son to die on the cross, paying our debts and allowing us the gift of eternal life. Not only did God give us this opportunity in the beginning with Adam and Eve, He decided that His love for us was so great, He sacrificed His son to die so that we may be forgiven of our sins and so that we may have a relationship with Him.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)
Having a strong relationship with God is crucial to being receptive and emotionally available to all of God’s Blessings, Lessons and Love. Like any relationship we cherish, we must make the efforts necessary to not only grow in the relationship but in maintaining it. A relationship with God is truly a gift and a blessing in itself. You’ll find that to begin and develop a strong relationship with The Lord, you’ll need to do a few things:
First, we must ask for forgiveness of our sins.
“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3)
Many will argue that receiving the Holy Spirit should come before repentance, but there are scriptures in the Bible which support otherwise. Sometimes people must accept Christ and accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God, to feel convicted of any sins. But in reality, it’s always the CONVICTION of your sins which brings you to God in the first place… But that’s a different topic.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)
Receive the Holy Spirit:
This may seem like an obvious point but when you want a relationship with God, you have to accept and genuinely believe that He is eternally existent in three persons: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You must also accept that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and forgive us of our sins.Only through Christ can you receive this gift, thus, allowing you to be close to Him.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6)
Another tip that may seem obvious to some of you is to pray. What I mean by “to pray”, I’m not talking about a quick “hello” and “please do this for me”. I’m talking about long, in depth, personal conversations with God. Talking is essential to any relationship, so how would that be different from God? All of this shows your love for Him.
The great thing about prayer is that there is no script.
There is not necessarily any “right way to pray.” But there are a few verses of the Bible which guides us in prayer. Check out this article on Prayer. It’s important to always be thankful to Him, for anything past and present and future. Other than that, let your heart pour. He wants honesty, trust, obedience and sincerity. He wants that special bond with you.
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
One thing you have to understand about prayers is that God ALWAYS ANSWERS THEM, but it may not be in the way you desired. You have to understand that God is all-knowing which means when He has control over your life and You pray for His Will, things will change that you may not understand.
“Pray without ceasing. “(1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)
Obedience starts with listening to God. Listen to Him through the Bible, His commandments and listen to Him when He speaks to you. Check out the Sunday Sermon Journal on listening to god to determine God’s voice. Once we start listening to Him, we start drawing ourselves closer to Him. There is no gray area of right and wrong in the Bible.
“If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15 NIV)
HOW TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN: 10 Ways
Explore other avenues of expressing your faith
make something (pottery, painting, crochet)
Read your Bible
seek answers only in the bible
give only scriptural answers
be knowledgeable in the Bible
Take yourself into nature
be in a quiet place
appreciate Gods creations
separate yourself from technology
Take care of your body
discipline yourself to an exercise regime
be mindful of excessive sun exposure
stay clean and attractive to your spouse
monetary donations through tithing to your church and/or charity
your time to church groups, community outreach and christian organizations
recycle unused furniture, clothes, non perishable items, etc.
be comfortable with long conversations with God
commit a designated lot of time to spend talking with God
pray aloud with your spouse and family
your first reaction to the positive and negative of your life should be to pray
be open to new Christian ideas
be open to everything in the Bible
be open to wisdom, to be rebuked, and to the commands by God that may be uncomfortable.
Always be humble
don’t boast or brag
admit to your faults
never pray selfishly
don’t become a sanctimonious Christian
Always be thankful
be thankful of everything and everyone in your life
be able to notice your blessings
see positive and see God, not your problems
commit everything you do to The Lord, glorify Him
be the example to non-believers
understand that religion is man-made, faith is God-made
Prayer: How-to Pray According to Scripture
Although there is no “right way to pray”, there are a few tips that the Bible gives us which helps God to hear us. Yes, it’s true that harboring sin can hinder your prayers.
God commands us to not harbor-or- cherish sin:
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” (Psalm 66:16 NIV)
When we hold sin in our hearts, sit on unforgiveness, and most importantly ignore repenting to God, He will not feel inclined to listen to your prayers. It may seem a bit harsh, but would you continue to listen to someone who never takes your advice? God instructs us to repent of our sins, let go of a sinful lifestyle or behavior, and in doing that we are heeding His commandments. In turn, God won’t be thinking “Wait a minute. You’re asking me for this when you haven’t even done what I asked?”
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 NIV)
God detests the prayers coming from those who deliberately ignore Him:
”If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9 NIV)
Remember, God knows your heart, if you’re coming to Him based on a tradition your family instilled in you, you should pull back and re-evaluate how you truly feel. God says your heart is far from Him, and this will not get your prayers heard.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught…” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV)
“By offering defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:7-9 NIV)
This verse can easily be taken to another level. Who are you to offer yourself to me when you haven’t even made an effort to obey My commandments? This is unacceptable- I need more from you than words.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NIV)
Do not be hypocritical or public in your prayer. Often times when someone prays publicly they are seeking outward attention, with no eye on The Heavenly Father. If you’re tempted to pray in a room full of people, and your motives are for personal gain in any way, your prayer will not be heard.
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14 NIV)
This is probably my favorite verse of this message. It speaks volumes of a topic which I feel is so important. Those who “exalt themselves will be humbled,” which means that those who applaud themselves will be humbled. And those who humble themselves, will be applauded. It speaks to the truth of being humbled in everything you do and say. And prayer counts.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NIV)
Again, the Bible tells us here that your motives should never be selfish.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6 NIV)
Many Christians forget this verse and admittedly, I do too. Sometimes when we pray, we pray earnestly and we’re humbled, yet we forget the confidence in knowing that our prayer will be answered. This ties in to trusting the Lord to carrying out your prayers according to His Will.
I hope this clears up some things with regard to Prayer. Often times, we may be so focused on praying about one person or one thing, that we forget to stop and say Thank You to The Lord who has blessed us in so many ways. No matter your circumstance, the Bible commands to ask all things, in thanksgiving. (Colossians 1:12 NIV)
Additionally, we may be focused on praying for one person and their faults and wrong-doings, when God wants you to change.
Try focusing on being thankful, humble, ask for His Will, and be confident it is done.
–Prayer and a close relationship with God is the first step into the forgiving process.
–Next, identify not only who you have to forgive but for what. Sometimes there are multiple people we resent.
–Realize the truth behind forgiveness. Forgiveness is not vengeful, nor does it justify what the other person did or didn’t do. Forgiveness does not mean that you support or condone their actions, nor does it mean you even understand them.
–Understand that forgiveness is not always confrontational and it will always involve God. People may not ask for your forgiveness, apologize or even realize that they hurt you. If you feel comfortable with talking to them about it, pray about it first so that God can give you the right words to say. Just because they hurt you, never makes you less imperfect in your life.
–Forgiving their debts means to look past the person and seek to find the good in them. Instead of holding the grudge(s) to determine how you feel about them, try to look at them differently: at their good qualities.
–Let go of the emotion that comes with un-forgiveness. By letting this go you’re able to look at what has hurt you as something that you’ve detached yourself from, thus, separating yourself from that pain.
–Realize that you have your own faults that need forgiving. God forgives you daily, when you repent.
–Never seek revenge. God is the only one who has the perfect revenge for anyone and any situation, and we should never take that upon ourselves. It will not help you. Understand that the greatest, more effective “revenge” will be to live your life in fulfillment and not let anyone take that from you.
–Be prepared to forgive someone more than once. It’s not uncommon that someone will hurt you, maybe for different reasons, repeatedly. But just as Christ has forgiven you, repeatedly, you’re commanded to do the same.
FIVE VERSES ABOUT FORGIVENESS:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 NIV)
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37 NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13 NIV)
“ ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18 NIV)
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NIV)
|2. SELFISH GAIN
|5. TRUST & SUBMIT
|6. UNDERSTAND & REMEMBER
|7. ON GUARD
|8. PROTECT HIS TEACHINGS
|10. REBUKE THE WISE