Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fornication (Physical and Spiritual)

Many modern translations of the Bible have falsely interpreted the Greek word porneia (πορνεια) as "immorality," "sexual immorality," or "marital unfaithfulness." Even several lexicons, dictionaries, preachers, teachers, and theologians have attempted to claim that all sorts of sexual perversion—incest, homosexuality, bestiality, prostitution, harlotry, etc.—is included in this Greek word—as well as adultery. However, this is false. This word is correctly interpreted as "fornication." An examination of every passage where this word is used will show that if you let the Bible interpret itself—in context, in none of these passages does this word mean anything more than illicit sexual acts committed by unmarried persons (single, betrothed [engaged], or widowed). It does not include incest, homosexuality, bestiality, prostitution, harlotry, etc., nor does it include adultery.

If this word was inclusive of all sorts of sexual acts, as many unfortunately believe and teach, it becomes very problematic. First of all, if porneia includes adultery, then why are there so many passages where both Greek words are used side by side (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; Gal. 5:19; 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 13:4)? This becomes rather redundant. Second of all, if porneia includes other sexual acts, such as homosexuality, then, again, why are both words used side by side (1 Cor. 6:9)? Again, it would be rather redundant. When this word is understood correctly, it keeps us accountable for our actions and restricts our behaviour.

The Bible uses the terms adultery and fornication to address both physical and spiritual sin. When speaking of physical sin, adultery is illicit sexual acts committed by married persons (currently married or previously married [divorced]), while fornication is illicit sexual acts committed by unmarried persons (single, betrothed [engaged], or widowed). Adultery is only applicable to married persons, while fornication is only applicable to unmarried or single persons. When speaking of spiritual sin, spiritual adultery is the act of seeking after signs by unbelievers, while spiritual fornication is the act of seeking after signs by believers. The act of adultery and the act of fornication are identical. Likewise, the act of spiritual adultery and the act of spiritual fornication are identical.

Here is a biblical look at spiritual adultery:
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Matthew 12:38-39

Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, "It will be fair weather, for the sky is red"; and in the morning, "It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening." hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed. Matthew 16:1-4

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:24

Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation." . . . For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:11-12, 38

Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. Luke 11:16

So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" John 2:18

Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." John 4:48

Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work [Miracle] will You do? John 6:30

Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs [Miracles]. John 11:47

But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, John 12:37
Spiritual adultery = an evil generation (Matt. 12:39), a wicked generation (Matt. 16:4), a sinful generation that rejects the Word of God (Mark 8:11-12, 38), hypocrites (Matt.16:1-3), deception (Matt. 24:24), and unbelievers (John 4:48). In Luke 11:29-32, Jesus contrasts spiritual adultery with the wisdom of Solomon, the preaching of Jonah, and His own teachings.

If the church understood the Doctrine of Fornication correctly, and believed it earnestly, it would not be in the condition it is today. Marriages would not be in ruin due to false teachers teaching lies that contradict the truths of Scripture. Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 do not say "except for adultery," as is taught and believed by a vast majority of professing believers—unfortunately, but rather "except for fornication." Every time Jesus spoke of adultery, He used the Greek word moicheia. But when He says, "except for," He uses the Greek word porneia. In other words, if Jesus intended to say "except for adultery," He would have used the word moicheia. But He did not! Any Christian who believes and teaches that these verses allow for divorce is a liar and a false teacher! If you are offended by my saying this, good! You deserve a wake-up call. I suggest cracking your Bible and studying it a little more closely and a lot more in depth.

Marriage is my reformation, and I will strive to teach Christians the truth of this sacred institution until we take it back and look at it soberly and honourably, holding it in the highest regard (Heb. 13:4). Marriage is a divine institution and the cost must be counted before entering into it. If you cannot treat it the way it demands to be treated, then you ought not to marry because divorce is not an option!

Friday, March 20, 2015

I See Dead People

"I see dead people." —Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense

For the Christian, there could be nothing closer to the truth. When the Christian looks around him/her at the people of this world, they can truthfully say, "I see dead people." Why? Because the majority of the people you see are dead in their sins and will spend eternity in hell separated from God. The world should be offended to hear such truth, and if they had half a brain about themselves they would do something about it by repenting, confessing their sins, placing their trust and faith in Christ for the salvation of their souls, and being obedient children growing in holiness. But the world does not care for their own souls let alone the souls of their children. They go through their life essentially telling their friends and family, as well as their own children, "Go to hell!" Many Christians have the same attitude (Myself included at times, unfortunately, because, like Moses, I am not eloquent of speech.). They know the people around them are perishing and will spend eternity in hell separated from God, but they say nothing. If you saw a blind man walking toward the edge of a cliff, would you not yell and scream to get his attention so as to keep him from walking over the edge? So ought you not to do something more profound with the multitudes that you know are headed to hell on a greased pole?

The modern Christian likes to spout his/her concept of Christian love and yet they are the worst and most guilty when it comes to those who refuse to witness to and evangelize the unsaved. So much for their "love." Everything that comes out of their mouth is "love, love, love, love, love," and yet when it comes to the millions who are perishing in their sins, these professing "Christians" have no love to give or show because they do not know the God Who is love. They have no realistic concept as to what love is or what it looks like, but regurgitate the imitation thereof that they have dubbed "love." These people talk up a storm about "love" but have no clue what real love is or looks like and fail to walk in it. If you are going to talk about Christian love, you had best be putting it into practice yourself or else shut your hypocritical mouth.

I am not afraid to tell it like it is. It is my prayer that the things I write would bring conviction to those who call themselves Christians (as they sometimes do even for myself). I do not hide from the truth but write it unwaveringly because even the conviction I feel needs to submit to and conform to the truths of Scripture. I do not get to pick and choose what I want to agree with and believe, and neither does any other Christian. If you are a genuine Christian, your heart will desire to conform to the truths of God no matter what it may cost you. The reason why most people "take offense" is because what they really feel is properly called conviction! And you ought to feel convicted by the truth. The reason people feel "offended" by the truth is because they do not have the truth!

Remember, Christian, every person you see today is more than likely a dead person. They do not know Christ. They are dead in their trespasses and sins. They are destined for eternity in hell. Are you going to remain silent and essentially scream at the top of your lungs, "Go to hell!!!," or are you going to warn them of the precipice they are about to drop off? If you say nothing when you know you should, know that their blood is on your hands. Do not believe me? Read Ezekiel 3:16-21. Everywhere you look, Christian, you are seeing dead people. What are you going to do about it?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Two Camps Within American Christianity

There are two totally different camps within American Christianity.  In the first camp, there are pastors who aspire to "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Eph 5:11), while in the second camp, there are pastors who aspire for "cool," wear tattoos, and evade any questions on the sinfulness of sin.  In the first camp, we have people who are striving to "flee sexual immorality" (1 Cor 6:18), while in the second camp, we have people who are willing to read books and go watch movies such as Fifty Shades of Grey (pure pornography) on the grounds of "Christian liberty."  In the first camp, we have people who believe we ought to watch our lives and doctrine closely, because if we persevere in right teaching, we will save both ourselves and our hearers (1 Tim 4:16), while in the second camp we have people who are willing to forgo sound doctrine for musical goosebumps and a crowd gathered for a rock concert-type experience.  The lines could not be clearer—yet strangely, for the superficial Christian, the lines are hard to find.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Michael Gungor's Absurd Declarations

I thought I would take the time to write an article that deals with the absurd statements that Michael Gungor has uttered and wrote. God willing, perhaps Michael will come across this blog and read my responses and thus educate himself by eliminating the ignorance he accumulated from his time in university. Michael Gungor is neither a Bible scholar nor a scientist, and yet he speaks and writes as though he knows more than people who have spent their lives studying the inerrancy of Scripture. If Michael were in the least bit like the Bereans in Scripture, when he was in university he would have been able to study the subject thoroughly and be able to support what he was taught growing up. But, where ignorance is bliss, he blindly assumed that what the church taught was in error and that the "science" he was taught was accurate and true. Oh, how foolishness abounds.
Do I believe that God literally drowned every living creature 5,000 years ago in a global flood except the ones who were living in a big boat? No, I don’t.
Why don’t I?
Because of science and rational thought.1
First, Michael Gungor clearly has a poor concept of what "science" is, because the evidence of science informs us that there was indeed a global flood, as I addressed here, and Scripture gives us the details of that event. Second, Michael Gungor apparently has no clue what rational thought looks like. He is making a fallacious statement with which he has no credibility to back up. He is not a scientist nor is he a biblical scholar. His statements are made in complete ignorance to the facts of both fields of study.
We can prove that there are no “corners” of a flat earth (like some other pre-scientific writers in the Bible seemed to think). We can prove through the fossil record that the diversity of life gradually arose over millions of years and that there was never a global flood that made everything go extinct except for a single pair of every animal species 5,000 years ago. With archeology, DNA evidence, and common sense, we can prove that all human beings did not come from two individuals 6,000 years ago.2
Here, Michael Gungor puts on full display the extent of his ignorance. If ignorance is bliss, Michael Gungor is in paradise. When the Bible, or any other piece of literature, refers to "the four corners of the Earth," no one in their right might reads that and understands it to be speaking of a flat square. To make such a statement is incredulous, ridiculous, and absurd. Even a grade-school child in geography class can tell you that the Earth consists of four hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern. The equator divides the Earth into Northern and Southern hemispheres. The Prime Meridian and the International Date Line divide the Earth into Western and Eastern hemispheres. Ergo, "the four corners of the Earth." Apparently Michael Gungor does not know as much as a grade-school child does. How embarrassing!

Michael Gungor also displays his complete ignorance of science by referring to the "fossil record." First of all, the fossils we have do not prove that life gradually arose over "millions" (or even "billions") of years. That statement is utter nonsense. All fossils prove is that these animals once lived and are now dead. Second, as any paleontologist will admit and tell you, the "fossil record" is missing all the supposed intermediary fossils that would back up the bogus claims of Evolution. Here are just some of the many quotations I could provide:
“I will lay it on the line, there is not one such [transitional] fossil for which one might make a watertight argument.” –Dr. Colin Patterson

“Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable.” –Sir. Arthur Keith

“Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing. I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation. One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” –George Wald

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going.” –Francis Crick

“Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time.” –David Raup

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of palaeontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.” –Stephen J. Gould
The simple fact is, Evolution is not science. It is a fairy tale not based on empirical evidence. It is philosophy and it is religion, but it is not science. Not only does Michael Gungor have no sweet clue what common sense is or looks like, but it is blatantly obvious that he has never done a single shred of homework before making his asinine statements. DNA evidence fully supports the fact that we are descended from two ancient individuals:
Despite what the classroom textbooks say, in a cover article from Newsweek 1988 entitled “The Search for Adam and Eve,” palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote, “It makes us realize that all human beings, despite differences in external appearances, are really members of a single entity that’s had a very recent origin in one place. There is a kind of biological brotherhood that’s much more profound than we ever realized.” [Emphasis mine.] According to the article, scientists “…trained in molecular biology … looked at an international assortment of genes and picked up a trail of DNA that led them to a single woman from whom we all descended.” [Emphasis mine.] … “There weren’t even telltale distinctions between races.” Duh! That’s because there is only one race. The human race. Then, in 1995, Time Magazine had a brief article saying there was scientific evidence that “…there was an ancestral ‘Adam,’ whose genetic material on the chromosome is common to every man now on earth.” [Emphasis mine.] Again, duh! Geneticists have proven the Bible accurate and reliable once again, proving the fact that there was an Adam and an Eve and that we are all descended from them.
Archaeology, along with history and science, has verified the accuracy of the details of the Bible repeatedly throughout history. Again, if Michael Gungor had done the least bit of research in order to shed his blatant ignorance, he would know and understand this. There is no excuse for making such blatantly incorrect statements.
I would be very surprised to find a single respected and educated theologian or biblical scholar that believes that one MUST read Noah’s flood completely literally down to the last detail to be ‘orthodox.’ That’s crazy!3

“NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally” (Emphasis Gungor’s).4
Apparently Michael Gungor has been living under a rock his entire life in order to make such asinine statements as these. There are hundreds of theologians and biblical scholars who would oppose Michael's foolishness. He is 34 years old and he has never heard of one?!? That alone would make me question his professed Christianity. But what really makes me question his profession of faith is the upcoming nonsense he has to say about Jesus.

Michael Gungor appeared on The Liturgists Podcast where he made even more outlandish statements. This first statement informs us when and where he gave up scriptural authority for the nonsense he now believes:
In college, I came up against some of the science, you know, showing the age of the earth, showing evolutionary principles, and it really kind of rocked me a little bit . . . I was raised in Christian school and I learned in my Christian school textbooks how carbon dating was flawed and the scientists of the world—the more mainstream scientists—were all very biased and were trying to sway the science toward atheism because they didn’t want to believe the Bible. . . . And then when I got into college and had to cite my work for my papers, and I was trying to argue that against my professors, I kept seeing that my sources were the biased ones . . . and that created a lot of tension for me.
When asked what he thinks of the claim that Jesus spoke of Moses’ writings as though they were historical fact, so that to reject any of Moses’ words as allegorical is to reject the divinity of Christ, Michael Gungor responded with this alarming nonsense:
I think you’re making a lot of assumptions based in a perspective that was handed to you from our culture, and the way we think in the modern world is very different than how people thought in the pre-modern world. To just see a few words that somebody said, that Jesus said, about Noah, and to assume that you can get into Jesus’s mind and know exactly how he thought about the whole situation, and how He considered history versus myth versus whatever—how do you know? And even if He was wrong, even if He did believe that Noah was a historical person, or Adam was a historical person, and ended up being wrong, I don’t understand how that even would deny the divinity of Christ. . . . The point is it wouldn’t freak me out if He was wrong about it, in His human side. But I still don’t see the issue. If Noah and Adam were mythical ideas, the point of what Jesus was saying still applies to me. . . . It has very little do, in my perspective, with Jesus trying to lay out a history of world to a historical-minded people. . . . Even if Jesus knew that Noah and Adam were mythical, but knew He was talking to people who thought they were real, that’s another possibility. [Emphases mine.]
Michael Gungor introduces two problems that make me seriously question the genuineness of his profession of faith. First, if Jesus were wrong, then He is not God. Jesus was fully God and fully man. As a man, there are some things He chose not to know (like His return). However, that does not mean He would defend wrong ideas or beliefs or that He could be wrong about things. If Jesus were wrong about the creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood, what other things was He wrong about? Salvation? Heaven and hell? Where do you draw the line? Michael Gungor has some issues he needs to sort out. Second, if Jesus knew Adam and Noah were only mythical figures but went along with them because of His culture and what His people believed, that makes Him out to be a conformist, a liar, and a deceiver. Just what sort of Jesus does Michael Gungor believe in?!? Clearly his Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible!

Furthermore, how can Michael claim that perhaps Jesus was merely conforming to the beliefs of the people of His culture even though He knew they were wrong when all four gospels bury us with evidence to the contrary? Jesus was considered a trouble maker, a rebel, because He frequently stood against the beliefs and practices of the people of His culture. Has Michael Gungor ever read the Bible? Jesus was a non-conformist. He was not afraid to stand up and tell it like it is. Why do you think they wanted to kill Him on so many occasions?

Jesus and His disciples accepted creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood as historical facts and treated them as absolutely true:
"And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26–27)

"By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." (Hebrews 11:7)

"For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression." (1 Timothy 2:13-14)
Jesus' reference to and citation of creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood put His stamp of authority on the credibility of these people and events. To claim that Jesus was either wrong or that He deliberately deceived people when He knew better is to turn Jesus into a mockery and raise questions as to the Jesus you worship. Michael Gungor's statements make one thing crystal clear—the Jesus he worships is not the Jesus revealed to us in the Bible!

In an introduction to commentary on Genesis published in 1887, Franz Delitzsch made it clear that the Bible, as the literature of a divine revelation, cannot be permitted to be charged with a lack of veracity or to be robbed of its historic basis. Michael Gungor would do well to learn this.


1 Michael Gungor, I'm With You.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

"Unconditional Love"? Unbiblical Nonsense!

Where does this idea of "unconditional love" come from? Is it rooted in Scripture? No, it is not. Where in the Bible do you read anything regarding God's "unconditional love" toward us? This phrase has become so entrenched in religious vocabulary that Christian and non-Christian alike assume that it is biblical. Even more so, both Christian and non-Christian alike presume on God's love and assume He loves everybody. This has arisen from a false preaching and teaching regarding "love." The majority of people today have no true concept of what love is or what love means. They make asinine statements such as, "God is love, therefore He wouldn't send anyone to hell." God is love, yes, but love is not God. And God's love does not trump His other attributes. His love does not make Him unjust. He will met out justice as it is deserved.

Jesus taught that God's love is conditional. He Himself exemplified conditional love in his dealings with men:
  • "For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father" (John 16:27). If the Father's love were unconditional, this verse would have to read, "For the Father Himself loves you, whether or not you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father."
  • "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love" (John 15:10). The word "if" introduces a condition. If Jesus' love were unconditional, this verse would have to read, "Whether or not you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love." Sadly, this is how some professing "Christians" treat the Christian faith.
  • "He who loves Me shall be loved by My Father" (John 14:21). If this were unconditional, the verse would read, "He who loves/hates/is indifferent to Me shall be loved by My Father."
  • "Whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:33). How is being disowned by Jesus consistent with unconditional love?
  • When Jesus calls Herod a fox (Luke 13:32), when He calls hypocrites children of the devil (John 8:44), when He denounces the Pharisees with scathing woes (Matthew 23:13-33), when He blows off His own family (Luke 8:19-21), He is not loving them. Not in the way that the majority of people ignorantly understand "love" today. Love is when He washes His disciples' undeserving feet (John 13:5). Love is when he goes to the cross on our behalf to take our punishment upon Himself. When is the last time you put yourself in harms way for the unsaved in order to demonstrate the "love" you profess to have for them? When was the last time you "took a bullet" (so to speak) for the unsaved to demonstrate to them the love of Christ?
Most people have no concept of what the word "unconditional" actually means. Dispensationalists teach an "unconditional" love of God, and probably because they do not teach repentance, obedience, and holiness. This is evidenced from their false teaching of the "carnal (worldly) Christian." What does the Bible teach us about being worldly?  "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19). "Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?" (James 2:5). "So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:12-14).

Words condition thoughts. Careless words distort truth. Words that are used imprecisely by one generation are taken literally and at face value by the next—with devastating consequences. The false teaching of God's "unconditional love" results in licentiousness, where people believe that because they are under grace and because God loves them "unconditionally," they can sin as much as they want to and God will be perfectly fine with it. It is tiring enough as it is that sinners who defy God's commands still believe He loves them anyway. Why should they adjust their behaviour if God loves them unconditionally exactly the way they currently are?

It is better to preach the biblical admonition, "DO NOT SIN ANYMORE, so that nothing worse may befall you" (John 5:14). The something worse? Being cast into hell and separated from Jesus for all eternity.

Personal Relationship? Unbiblical Nonsense!

One of Evangelicalism's many presentations of a false gospel includes the invitation to "have a personal relationship with God/Jesus." Where in the Bible does it say such a thing? What in the world does it mean? What exactly is that supposed to look like? I do not know about anybody else, but the Bible's Gospel message is pretty consistent and clear: "Repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15); "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins" (Acts 2:38); "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved" (Acts 16:31); "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9). There is nothing in there about praying a specific prayer that supposedly saves you regardless of how you live afterward; there is nothing in there about "making a decision for Jesus"; there is nothing in there about walking an aisle and signing your name on a card or in the front/back of a Bible; and there is nothing in there about having "a personal relationship with God/Jesus." These are unbiblical jargon of a false gospel that has put numerous false converts in the pews in church because individuals fail to realize and understand that church is only for the believers. You do not change the way you do church in order to try and fill the seats with unbelievers hoping they will get saved. You evangelize them outside of the church until they are saved and then bring them into the church to enjoy fellowship with other believers.

When you leave out things like "repent," "believe," "worship," "obey," "holiness," etc., you present a false call of salvation. When you fail to address people's sins and expose their sins and show them how they have sinned so they can better understand the Gospel and what it means, you present a false call of salvation. Many people will admit they are sinners, but if you dig deeper and ask them why they are a sinner and what makes them a sinner, they cannot answer. For you to be ignorant and think there is no need to address their sins and warn them of hell, you are presenting a false call to salvation with a false gospel message. Look at how our Master did it in Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27, Luke 18:18-27, and Luke 10:25-37. Jesus used the Ten Commandments to expose their sin and make them aware of how they have sinned against God. He then instructed them to repent by doing a complete 180 from what they had been doing.

An invitation to "have a personal relationship with God/Jesus" is an invitation to have a certain kind of experience. When people are not sure whether or not they have a "personal relationship," the temptation is to conjure one up. The things that draw us closer to God are repentance, faith, and obedience. Repentance from what is enmity against God, faith in what is true, and obedience to what is right. When we "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33), a "relationship" of sorts will develop all on its own. Emphasizing a "personal relationship" to the exclusion of concrete requirements such as repentance, faith, obedience, holiness, etc., merely creates a experiential form of Christianity. Whether or not we can "feel" a relationship with Jesus is irrelevant. Are we walking in constant repentance? Are we walking in constant faith? Are we walking in constant obedience? Are we walking in constant holiness? A person who has genuinely repented and believed will naturally walk in obedience and grow in holiness. A "Christian" faith that accepts the forgiveness and salvation of God but rejects repentance, holiness, and obedience is merely Cheap Grace. If you examine the fruits of such individuals you will see a professed "good tree" bearing rotten fruit, which is evidence that they are not saved in the least.

Calls to salvation that attempt to put us on equal footing with God and make us equals in a "relationship" with God are merely calls to send people to hell on a greased pole. We are not equals. He is God, we are His creation. He is Master, we are His slaves. He is sovereign over all things—including us. Jesus made it clear that we ought to count the cost of precisely what it means to follow Him, because "the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life" (Matthew 7:14). When you present the Gospel message to the unsaved, are you warning them and explaining to them how they had best count the cost of what their "decision" will mean in life? If you examine Jesus' words, quite frequently it appears that He is deliberately trying to push people away rather than draw them in. In today's Evangelicalism, they will use any means necessary to try and fill their pews with unbelievers. Jesus did the opposite. If we are not doing exactly like Jesus did, then we are not expressing true love toward these people. Truly loving the unsaved means we will warn them of what coming to Christ entails. Falsely "loving" them means we will make it as easy as possible for them to "come to Christ" even though they still remain dead in their sins. If you do not warn them to count the cost of what it means to come to Christ, then when trials, tribulations, and persecution come their way they will inevitably fall away because they did not count the cost to begin with. Their "decision" was made on the Easy Believism or Cheap Grace that you preached to them. And so you are guilty of them being two-fold the sons of hell than they would have been if you had said nothing to begin with or had preached the Gospel correctly.

A call to "have a personal relationship with God/Jesus" is unbiblical nonsense and needs to be removed from our vocabulary. Let us read our Bibles and imitate the things that Jesus did!

P.S.: While through our reading of the Word and prayer to God we will develop a relationship of sorts, which is indeed personal, this is quite different from inviting people to "have a personal relationship with God/Jesus." Most people try and measure a "relationship" with God by the standards of personal relationships they have with other people, which is experiential. In order to have such a "relationship," these people will attempt to have "conversations" with God wherein they label one of the thought processes or "voices" in their mind as "God." The relationship we have with God is not of this nature. He speaks to us through His Word, and we speak to Him through prayer. Having a relationship with God, while it is indeed personal, is vastly different from having a "personal relationship" with Him. Again, He is sovereign over all things; He is Creator, we are His creation; He is the Master, we are His slaves. He commands, we obey. We are not equals and we are not on equal footing. We had best remember this the next time we try to treat God like He's our buddy.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Award-Winning Christian Musicians Mock Biblical Creationists

by Ken Ham

Christian musicians Michael and Lisa Gungor, members of the Dove-award winning band Gungor, made headlines this week with their denial of the inerrancy of Scripture in Genesis. Then Michael Gungor declared in a clarifying blog post, “NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally” (emphasis Gungor’s).1

Of course, that is a misrepresentation of those of us who believe in the complete inerrancy of the Bible. When we take the Bible literally, we are reading it in what is called a natural manner—recognizing that the Psalms, for example, are poetry, that there are parables in the Bible, and so on.

Michael Gungor studied jazz guitar at Western Michigan University and the University of North Texas. His wife, Lisa, studied music at Oral Roberts University.2 Neither is a Bible scholar nor scientist. And yet, they are writing as though they know more than people who have spent their lives studying the inerrancy of Scripture and who—in many cases—have come to different conclusions. 

On the Gungor Music blog, Michael uses a mocking tone to explain his view of the Bible’s account of history:
Do I believe that God literally drowned every living creature 5,000 years ago in a global flood except the ones who were living in a big boat? No, I don’t.
Why don’t I?
Because of science and rational thought.3
So in other words, man’s autonomous reasoning  and what Gungor calls “science” supposedly mean we can’t take the account of the Flood in Genesis as a historical record.  But as we’ve explained many times on our website and elsewhere, “science” means knowledge.  And there is a big difference between observational science (that builds our technology) and historical science (beliefs about the past—e.g., concerning origins).  As you read his post, you realize that what he calls “science” is man’s beliefs concerning evolution and millions of years.  So, when Gungor asks why he doesn’t believe in the literal Flood account from Genesis, he is really answering this way: “Because of my autonomous reasoning as a fallible sinful human taken with fallible man’s evolutionary views based on naturalism, I can’t take God’s Word as written in Genesis.”
 
Attacking the Biblical Account of the Global Flood
In his rant against the biblical account of the global Flood, Michael Gungor attacked many aspects of the account. For instance he claims, “There is really just NO way to fit two of every kind of animal species on an ark.”4 First of all, Noah had to only take two of each kind—not species.  Creation scientists have good reason to conclude that in the majority of instances, the Hebrew word translated “kind” in most instances corresponds to the family level of classification.  For example, Noah probably only had to take two dogs on board, as all the different types of dogs today are most likely from a single canine “kind.” Secondly, taking into consideration the latest research of creation scientists, Noah may have only needed fewer than 1,000 kinds of animals on the Ark, thus needing only 2,000–3,000 animals. 

Gungor also uses straw men arguments in his attempt to mock those of us who take the Flood account literally.  Concerning the distribution of animals after the Flood, he just makes up the idea that Noah built “hundreds or thousands of boats” to hold all the animals “to send to every continent and island,” or that, he states, “God just did it Star Trek style and performed a beam me up miracle to everything.”5 Of course, all of this is written to misrepresent and make fun of those Christians who hold to a literal Genesis.
 
Invalid Claims About Science and the Bible
Ultimately, Gungor is declaring that he knows better than what the Bible writer clearly states. Furthermore, Gungor defends his views with a series of claims about science and the Bible:
We can prove that there are no “corners” of a flat earth (like some other pre-scientific writers in the Bible seemed to think). We can prove through the fossil record that the diversity of life gradually arose over millions of years and that there was never a global flood that made everything go extinct except for a single pair of every animal species 5,000 years ago. With archeology, DNA evidence, and common sense, we can prove that all human beings did not come from two individuals 6,000 years ago.6
To his first point, the writers of the Bible did not believe the earth was flat. Scripture repeatedly affirms the spherical shape of our planet. For example, Isaiah 40:22 mentions the “circle of the earth,” while Job 26:10 talks of a “circular horizon on the face of the waters”—put there by God Himself!7

Now, what about the supposed proof that life arose over millions of years and that there never was a global Flood? Scientists have not proven these beliefs—and they can’t. There is no evidence to confirm molecules-to-man evolution or long ages. We do not dig up fossils with tags on them telling us how old they are! But the fossil evidence does confirm a rapid burial from a catastrophic cause, consistent with the global Flood described in Genesis. What’s more, the layers in the fossil record appear to have been deposited by the Flood waters in a certain order, with single-cell fossils buried first and land animals buried last.8

In the same way, scientists cannot prove the origin of human beings. The fact that we descended from Adam and Eve is a divine revelation from God, found in Genesis.9 Now, certainly observational science confirms this. For instance, the Human Genome Project (2000) found that all humans belong to one race.

Gungor has been taught to believe in long ages (millions/billions of years), and he confuses observational science with historical science. Observational or experimental science can be tested and observed; it’s the science that can make things like the guitar Gungor plays. But historical or origins science cannot be tested or observed. Evolution and creation, for example, are both part of historical science, because they are worldview-based and cannot be proven.10

Gungor states, “I would be very surprised to find a single respected and educated theologian or biblical scholar that believes that one MUST read Noah’s flood completely literally down to the last detail to be ‘orthodox.’ That’s crazy!”11

But, even Friday and Saturday of this week, the Creation Research Society is hosting a conference here at our Creation Museum. This meeting features leading scientists, with PhDs in geology, biology, astrophysics, and so on, as well as scholars with qualifications in theology—and all are biblical creationists!  And of course, AiG employs PhD scientists and trained theologians who certainly believe God’s Word in Genesis.
 
Trust the Historicity of Genesis
Gungor reveals his ignorance about what the Bible teaches about Bible/science matters. Does he know that Jesus quoted Genesis regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:3–6), Noah, and the Flood (Matthew 24:38–39)? If Gungor says that we cannot trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis, then he is essentially calling Jesus a liar—as well as the Apostles Peter and Paul!    

All of our doctrines ultimately come from Genesis. A denial of Genesis is an issue of authority: taking man’s word and undermining the very Word of God. If you accept millions of years of history, then you are saying that there was death before sin—clearly contradicting God’s Word, when the Bible states that the creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Michael Gungor also states the following:
And you can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth . . .
Gungor is not, and has never been a fundamentalist band seeking to spread young earth, biblical literalism across the planet.12
Now if Genesis is myth, then the gospel is also myth, as the first time the gospel is preached is in Genesis 3:15.  Not only that, but the foundation of the gospel is in Genesis, where we read about the origin of sin, death, and our need for a Savior.  And if, as Michael Gungor states, “With archeology, DNA evidence, and common sense, we can prove that all human beings did not come from two individuals 6,000 years ago”—then where did sin come from?13  If we are not all descendants of Adam, then where did we come from, and what does it mean that Jesus is the “last Adam”?  Also, it is clearly taught in 1 Corinthians 11 that woman was made from man—just as Genesis 2 details.  (Also Jesus refers to man and woman being “one flesh” in Matthew 19.)

Jesus and the Bible writers quoted the account of Noah in the New Testament. So if Genesis is myth, then Jesus is a liar and passages like Hebrews 11 can’t be trusted: 
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26–27)

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
 
Influence Young People to Stand on the Authority of God’s Word
Now I want to be clear here: I am not saying Michael and Lisa Gungor aren’t Christians. If they profess Christ, no matter what they believe about Genesis they are still Christians. But as popular musicians, the Gungors have a responsibility as role models for the younger generation—a generation that mainly attends public schools and are being taught millions of years and evolutionary ideas. 

For those that look up to him, Michael Gungor’s statements could very well lead them to doubt or disbelieve the Bible altogether. If we can’t trust God’s Word in Genesis, then why are we to trust His Word in the gospels, particularly when Jesus affirmed Adam and Eve, Noah, and the Flood?

That point is my great concern—that the Gungors are influencing young people regarding the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. The majority of our youth are already hearing from the public schools, media, museums, and so on, that evolution and millions of years are true and that the Bible is made up of fairy tales. Increasingly in this culture, we are hearing from professing Christians who say we do not have to trust the Bible in Genesis. As I state in my coauthored book Already Gone, two-thirds of young people are walking away from the church by the time they reach college age. This exodus is a big problem, and Christians need to stem this walking away by standing on the authority of God’s Word beginning with Genesis— and give answers as to why we can trust the Bible and its gospel message!

I would say that Gungor’s blog post comes across as an emotional, angry, and arrogant outburst, without any hint of wanting a respectful dialogue. Frankly, he should be held to account for his harsh tone in his blog. One church recently canceled an event with Gungor, and I think more churches will cancel his events once they realize the way in which they could lead young people astray by undermining the authority of God’s Word.14 And the church as a whole needs to demand that he apologize for his tone (as well as for his clearly anti-biblical teachings). At the very least, he should write respectfully about these issues.

As I said to the Baptist Press reporter who interviewed me on Friday, “We want to invite Michael and Lisa Gungor to the Creation Museum. If they get themselves here, we will put them up for the night and give them free passes to the Creation Museum and also give them access to our PhDs to talk to. We want the Gungors to understand the importance of taking God at His Word, from the very first verse.”

You can read Gungor’s mocking rant at this link—and maybe you will consider posting a firm but respectful comment about his teachings and his tone.
 

Footnotes
  1. Michael Gungor, “I’m With You,” Gungor Music (blog), August 6, 2014, http://gungormusic.com/2014/08/im-with-you/.
  2. Kristina Puga, “Grammy-Nominated Gungor, Label-Less in Music and Life,” NBC Latino, November 8, 2013, http://nbclatino.com/2013/11/08/gungor-label-less-in-music-and-life/.
  3. Gungor, “I’m With You.”
  4. For more on how the animals fit on the Ark, see John Woodmorappe’s “How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?,” Answers in Genesis, October 15, 2013, https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/how-could-noah-fit-the-animals-on-the-ark-and-care-for-them/.
  5. Gungor, “I’m With You.”
  6. Ibid.
  7. For more about the Bible’s statements on Earth, see Dr. Jason Lisle’s “The Universe Confirms the Bible,” Answers in Genesis, March 6, 2008, https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/taking-back-astronomy/the-universe-confirms-the-bible/.
  8. To read detailed discussions of how the fossil evidence confirms the Flood account, visit our “Fossil Record” topics page at https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/fossil-record/.
  9. If you want to know more about how genetic evidence confirms the Bible, visit our “Genetics” topic page at https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/.
  10. For more on the two kinds of science, see our “What Is Science?” topic page at https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/.
  11. Gungor, “I’m With You.”
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Leonardo Blair, “Baptist Church Cancels Gungor Event Over Views on Bible; Band Insists 'No Reasonable Person Takes the Entire Bible Literally,'” Christian Post, August 7, 2014, http://www.christianpost.com/news/baptist-church-cancels-gungor-event-over-views-on-bible-band-insists-no-reasonable-person-takes-the-entire-bible-literally-124485/.

This Book

by James Smith

The fountain of divine truth is the Lord Jesus Christ,
the repository of divine truth is the Holy Scriptures,
the proper abode of divine truth is the sinner's heart,
and the sacred revealer of truth is the Holy Spirit.

The Bible contains all necessary truth—and nothing but truth. It was written expressly for sinners, it is freely given to them by God, that they may learn the things which make for their everlasting peace and salvation. It was never designed to gratify the critic's pride, or please the carnal imagination; but it was intended . . .
   to inform the mind,
   to sanctify the heart,
   and to direct the feet.
When we take it up, we should remember that it is a precious gift of God to poor sinners, designed to benefit them, and glorify His holy name.

This book sets before us our true state before God, as sinners:
   cursed,
   loathsome,
   vile,
   unworthy,
   base,
   Heaven-daring,
   wrath-provoking,
   mercy-despising,
   Hell-deserving sinners.

It shows us that . . .
we have come short of the glory of God;
our hearts are depraved beyond description, and vile beyond expression;
the nature of Satan is not actually worse than ours;
instead of having anything to boast of, or pride ourselves in—all that we have and are, is calculated to fill us with shame, confusion, and self-abhorrence!

This book shows us plainly that salvation must be of grace—or not at all. It informs us that by faith in Jesus, we can rise from our dreadful state, and escape our fearful doom. It sets before us . . .
   the provision of divine mercy,
   the contrivance of infinite wisdom,
   and the promises of eternal love.

It exhibits a perfect Savior, suited to our miseries and woes.

It presents to us a salvation . . .
    all of grace,
    to be enjoyed by faith, and
    manifested by good works.
A salvation that . . .
reaches to our present state,
delivers us from all that we have reason to fear,
introduces us to all that we can consistently desire, and
gives us a right to all that God has promised, and that Jesus has procured.

In a word, this blessed Bible tells the poor sinner . . .
   what he is by nature,
   what he must be by grace, and
   then what he will be in glory.

It shows him . . .
nature's deservings,
mercy's way of escape, and
how God is glorified in his present salvation and future glory.

This book exhibits God's . . .
   gracious purposes,
   merciful promises,
   and wise precepts.

It sets forth . . .
the thoughts of God,
the secrets of eternity,
the designs of everlasting love,
the method of salvation,
the saint's privileges and glory,
the impenitent sinner's state, condition and awful doom!

This book  . . .
contains the mind of God;
reveals the way of salvation by Jesus Christ;
teaches the genuine evidences of real Christianity;
is a complete rule of life;
is the charter of the Christian's privileges;
is the casket that contains the jewels of God's promises;
is the light that illumines our path in this dark world; and
marks out as with a sunbeam, the blessed end of the righteous—and the miserable doom of the impenitent sinner. All who live and die without the salvation it makes known—will be cast into outer darkness, where there is eternal weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!

There is a majesty in the Word of God which the believer sees, and an excellency, and glory which the Heaven-taught sinner discovers. He can no longer trifle with it, despise it, or pour contempt upon it. He views it as of . . .
   infinite importance,
   inconceivable value, and
   exact adapted to himself.
He feels a deep interest in its contents, and is concerned . . .
   to become acquainted with the blessings it reveals,
   to enjoy the privileges it sets forth, and
   escape the threatenings it holds out.

The true Christian . . .
   learns the doctrines with satisfaction,
   believes the promises with joy,
   accepts the invitations with gratitude,
   receives the cautions with fear,
   listens to the exhortations with pleasure,
   walks by the precepts with delight,
   reads it with reverence,
   searches it with diligence, and
   implores the promised teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand it.

Beware of slighting, despising, or neglecting the Bible.
Read it daily,
pray over it incessantly, and
meditate on what it reveals continually!
"His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night!" Psalm 1:2

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Incomparable Book

by Thomas Brooks, "Apples of Gold," 1660

"Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long!" Psalm 119:97

The whole of Scripture is but one entire love letter, dispatched from the Lord Christ, to His beloved spouse!

Oh! the mysteries, the excellencies, the glories which are in this incomparable book! There are none so useful, none so needful, none so delightful, none so necessary to make you happy and to keep you happy—as this!

Ah! the Word of the Lord is . . .
   a light to guide you,
   a counselor to counsel you,
   a comforter to comfort you,
   a staff to support you,
   a sword to defend you,
   a physician to cure you!

The Word is . . .
   a mine to enrich you,
   a robe to clothe you,
   a crown to crown you.
   bread to strengthen you,
   wine to cheer you,
   a honeycomb to feast you,
   music to delight you,
   a paradise to entertain you!

Oh! therefore, before all and above all:
   search the Scripture,
   study the Scripture,
   meditate on the Scripture,
   delight in the Scripture,
   treasure up the Scripture!

There is . . .
   no wisdom like Scripture wisdom,
   no knowledge like Scripture knowledge,
   no experience like Scripture experience,
   no comforts like Scripture comforts,
   no delights like Scripture delights,
   no convictions like Scripture convictions,
   no conversion like Scripture conversion!

I exhort you to a speedy, serious, diligent,
and constant study of the Scripture.
Ah! you do not know how soon . . .
   your blind minds may be enlightened,
   your hard hearts may be softened,
   your proud spirits may be humbled,
   your sinful natures may be changed,
   your defiled consciences may be purged,
   your distempered affections may be regulated,
   and your poor souls may be saved . . .
      by searching into the Scriptures,
      by reading the Scripture, and
      by pondering upon the Scripture.

Ah! if you do not in good earnest,
give yourself up . . .
   to the reading,
   to the studying,
   to the pondering,
   to the believing,
   to the practicing,
   to the applying, and
   to the living up to the Scripture—
Satan will be too hard for you,
the world will be too hard for you,
your lusts will be too hard for you,
temptations will be too hard for you,
deceivers will be too hard for you,
and in the end you will be miserable!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cheap Grace

Cheap Grace is the "Christian" faith that accepts the forgiveness and salvation of God but rejects repentance, holiness, and obedience. These individuals attempt to call the latter legalism and try to associate it with works-salvation. Apparently these people have never read their Bible, or have never paid any attention to what it was they were reading. If they read their Bible they way they ought, they would see plenty of evidence, especially in the New Testament, for repentance, holiness, and obedience. All three are key to genuine Christianity.

People who believe in Cheap Grace like to condemn what they have dubbed "Lordship" salvation, again attempting to associate it with works-salvation. One of their most favourite verses they like to quote in their belief toward a person's salvation is Romans 10:9. This verse evidences the fact that they clearly do not pay any attention to what it is they are reading from the Bible. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord..." (Romans 10:9). Not Saviour; Lord. "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). Again, not Saviour; Lord. If Jesus is not Lord of your life, He will not be Saviour of your life. The two go hand in hand.

Cheap Grace is a heretical faith. It is held by individuals who love their sin and are only seeking for fire insurance and want nothing of Jesus. These individuals would do well to read Matthew 7:21-23 and meditate on it carefully. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [will enter]" (v. 21). These people reject obedience, but what did Jesus say? "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). There are plenty more verses to back that one up. These people reject holiness, but what did God say? "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). There are several more verses to back that one up, too. These people also reject repentance, but what does Scripture say? "Repent and believe the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). Again, there are a number of verses to back that up. Their rejection of repentance, holiness, and obedience is either deliberate or else they fail to pay attention to and understand what they read from the Bible, if they read it at all.

The Christian faith is not limited to the forgiveness of sins and the receipt of salvation. Such a belief is Cheap Grace and it is a heresy. People who hold to Cheap Grace are either ignorant of the truths of Scripture or else they are not saved. If it is the former, when discipled with the truth they ought to conform their beliefs in accordance. If they reject discipleship and become contentious, they have a rebellious spirit and you can be sure they are not genuinely saved. Grace is not cheap and it does not neglect the full Gospel and what it means to be a Christian. Either a person accepts the whole of Christianity or they reject it all. One cannot pick and choose what they want to be part of it.

If your "Christian" faith does not include repentance, holiness, and obedience, you had best re-examine your faith and claim to salvation. More than likely your faith is a sham and you are still dead in your sins.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Let Me Tell You A Secret

by Charles Spurgeon

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law!" Psalm 119:18

Let me tell you a little secret: whenever you cannot understand a text, open your Bible, bend your knee, and pray over that text; and if it does not split into atoms and open itself, then try again. If prayer does not explain it, then it is one of those things that God did not intend you to know, and you may be content to be ignorant of it.

Prayer is the key that opens the cabinets of mystery.

Prayer and faith are sacred picklocks that can open secrets, and obtain great treasures! There is no college for holy education like that of the blessed Spirit, for He is an ever-present tutor, to whom we have only to bend the knee, and He is at our side—the great expositor of truth!

You will frequently find fresh streams of thought leaping up from the passage before you, as if the rock had been struck by Moses' rod! New veins of precious ore will be revealed to your astonished gaze as you quarry God's Word and use diligently the hammer of prayer!

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth!" John 16:13

"Every text prayed over opens a mine of 'unsearchable riches,' with a light from above, more clear and full than the most intelligent exposition." (Charles Bridges)

"A humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible—which the proud, self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern." (J. C. Ryle)

"There should be a definite asking Him to graciously anoint our eyes—not only that we may be enabled to behold wondrous things in His law, but also that He will make us of quick discernment to perceive how the passage before us applies to ourselves—what are the particular lessons we need to learn from it. The more we cultivate this habit, the more likely that God will be pleased to open His Word unto us." (Arthur Pink)