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A couple weeks ago, I posed a questions about what "vain faith" was, and i wanted to come back to it and bring some resolution.

I wanted to circle back and touch it one more time. I was not happy with where it all landed last time, and have a bit more light on it now. It was one of those - Oh - that makes sense moments for me, and i just thought i would share it with you.

Here is the main verse I was puzzling over:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

What I had missed was this verse a bit farther down the page.:

 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Now in my study, I have found many who want to make the first reference one of working hard so your faith is not ignored in the grand scheme of things, but when i read this second part, i see that the "unless you believed in vain" in verse 2 is a foreshadowing of his argument in vs 14 where he comes right out and says: If Christ is not raised from the dead then your faith is vain.

Vain faith is faith that is placed in something that is worthless. Vain faith is misplaced faith or misplaced trust.

Faith in Christ is a gift of God - every man is dealt a measure of faith by God, as we are told in Romans 12:3

So how could faith that God has given in the first place, when it is place in Christ, the most secure foundations, ever be vain?

It could not.

If your life shows no fruit after a period of time, the question is not whether you have vain faith, but rather, do you have faith in Christ at all.

So - there you go.

What do you think?

Ben NelsonSee you again soon. I should be back to the pen (well - keys) next week. Thanks to you all for coming by and checking out my parade of favorites this week.

Ben

 

 

Random Himmingbird
Random Hummingbird

Welcome to Friday Q&A.

I have no new questions in my mail bag today - ah well. There was a question a couple weeks ago that Brother Larry from Larry Who and I were tossing about. Feel free to jump into the discussion with your opinions or even your empirical knowledge of the subject matter. Larry is the author of many books which you can find on his site, or on Amazon.com and he has a wonderful and challenging blog.

So here is our little conversation - please feel free to join in.

Also - if you have questions of your own that you would like to pose to me - or to the community click the Q&A button to the right and we will give it a go.

 

Question: Is the leprosy as stated in the Bible the same as what we call leprosy today?


Good question – and i honestly am clueless on that one – Do you have any insight on that?

Leprosy as stated in the Old Testament was more of a skin discoloration or skin condition. (Exodus 4:6) Whereas today’s leprosy involves a nerve problem and leads to a rotting away of limbs, ears, nose, and other extremities.

They don’t seem to be related, but yet, they could be. Not sure about this.

I have heard that too, yet it always seemed pretty desperate when folks got it – like Miriam or Hezekiah, and with Jesus it is listed among the biggies – heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead – so i always thought it fell in there in severity to – like right next to dead – which sounds worse than – say psoriasis.

I agree, but from a Jew’s perspective, they were right next to the dead. They were blemished sheep who were not allowed into the Temple or near other Jews. As far as they were concerned, they might as well have been dead.

Wow – yes good point Larry!

OK - now it's your turn - What do you think, or know?

Thanks for coming by.

Don't forget to submit your questions.

Ben

Deb brings up a great questions about God’s promises:

God’s promises: When He has made a promise to a person or people, are we out of line to claim it for ourselves?

I love this question.

So let me rephrase it: Are all God’s promises for all God’s people?

Clearly that is a stretch. For instance – Sarah was promised a child, but I am pretty sure that if some other woman got up close they could not claim Sarah’s child. In fact Hagar tried (ok – I know the whole thing was Sarah’s idea) but in effect they tried to transfer the child of promise over to Hagar and that did not turn out so well.

Now, let’s talk about some of God’s promises to Israel? Are God’s promises to Israel transferable to the Church?

For example is the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 valid for the Church today?

Hmmm

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

I thought I would include the conditions with this from verse 13.

First of all, I believe that it is really good for God’s people (Christians or Jews) humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from wickedness, He will hear, and forgive, and heal their land.

But I also recognize this is a little out of context.

Is God judging today? Is He lifting His hand of blessing?

Or is this true?

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:18-19

I guess I wonder if God can both judge unbelievers at the same time He is not counting their trespasses against them?

Now I do count the New Testament promises as for me, you know, the ones Jesus (you know I love the red letters) made – like:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. ~ John 14:12-14

That one is mine, but I am willing to share with you if you like.

I do have a couple other verses to toss in this discussion mix:

For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

...seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4* For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4

Oh - one more thing just for the record Israel or "My People" does not necessarily mean The USA

You may ask – Ben, why aren’t you walking in the same power Jesus did? Well – I can tell you for sure the problem is not at His end.

Will you ponder this with me? What do you think about any of this?

BenThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.

Ben

My dear friend ‘Sis Caddo Jael,’ a wonderful poet and rock star encourager blogs over at “Grace Pieces.” She has an amazing way with words and the ability to draw emotions with words as if they were acrylics and we were her canvas. (Clearly not my gift – LOL)

Here is her question:

I remembered my question, hope it’s not too stupid: Everyone always says, “2000 years ago”, when referencing Christ’s appearance on earth. I heard it again, just this week–but I’ve been hearing the same “2000 years ago” for at least the 47 years I’ve been a Christian. Why is this?

So – out of the gate - no such thing as stupid questions.

First off, we are a lazy bunch, and not too precise. I have been hearing, and probably saying, 2000 years all my life, since my calendar theoretically started counting from the birth (or is it death) of Christ. There is some uncertainty to the exact dates in my mind anyway, so I am not sure I would say Jesus died 1980 years ago, or something like that.

Of course, this was not Christ’s first appearance on earth. There is some disagreement on this score, but I believe that anytime God shows up in human form, it is likely Jesus. Throughout the history of mankind Jesus has been showing up here and there in bodily form.

  • It was Jesus (in my opinion) walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day.
  • It was Jesus who fashioned the lambskin outfits for them as the first covering for sin.
  • It was Jesus to whom Abraham tithed – the man with the name Melchizedek, King of Salem (aka Prince of Peace?)
  • It was Jesus  - the captain of the Lord Army who met Joshua before the battle of Jericho.
  • It was Jesus, the fourth man in the furnace with Daniel’s friends.

I love these “Theophanies” or better yet “Christophanies”

I have rambled enough on this one – what do you think? Does the 2000 years thing bug you?

Do you have another question you would like to toss about? Click on the Friday Q&A button to the right and let's jump in.

BenHappy Friday and Happy first day of Summer!

Ben

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