Unfold the Evangel before your eyes!

Are you lost?
Are you worn out?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you rational?

Only rational, non-dogmatic persons can understand and accept this message. Give yourself a try. Nothing will be like before, I promise!

sábado, fevereiro 23, 2008

There is a God

Written by Michael Gleghorn

A Much-Maligned Convert

I remember how astonished I was when I first heard the news of his “conversion.” In 2004, longtime British atheist philosopher Antony Flew publicly announced that he now believed in God! I could hardly believe it. Professor Flew had been an atheist for the greater part of his life and, until 2004, his entire academic career. As the “author of over thirty professional philosophical works,” he “helped set the agenda for atheism for half a century.”{1} But then, in 2004, at the age of eighty-one, he changed his mind!

As one might expect, the reaction to Flew’s announcement varied widely. Theists naturally welcomed the news that one of the most important atheistic philosophers of the past century had come to believe in God. Skeptics and atheists, on the other hand, made little effort to conceal their contempt. Richard Dawkins characterized Flew’s conversion as a kind of apostasy from the atheistic faith and implied that his “old age” likely had something to do with it.{2} Others suggested that the elderly Flew was trying to hedge his bets, fearful of the negative reception he might have in the afterlife. And Mark Oppenheimer, in an article for The New York Times, argued that Flew had been exploited by Christians and that he hadn’t even written the recent book that tells the story of his “conversion.”{3} That book, There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, is the subject of this article.

By his own admission, the eighty-four-year-old Flew suffers from “nominal aphasia” and has difficulty recalling names. Nevertheless, it’s quite unfair to insinuate that his belief in God is due to something like senility. He may have problems with his short-term memory, but he’s still capable of explaining what he believes and why. In the introduction to his book he responds to the charge that he now believes in God because of what might await him in the afterlife by pointing out that he doesn’t even believe in an afterlife! “I do not think of myself ‘surviving’ death,” he explains.{4} The charge that Flew didn’t actually write his book is also misleading. While it’s true that he didn’t physically type the words, the content was based upon his previous writings, as well as personal correspondence and interviews with Mr. Varghese. In other words, the ideas in the book accurately represent the views of Professor Flew, even if he didn’t type the text. With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at some of the arguments and evidence that led “the world’s most notorious atheist” to change his mind about God.

Did Something Come from Nothing?

In a chapter entitled “Did Something Come From Nothing?” Flew addresses issues surrounding the origin of the universe. Is the universe eternal, or did it have a beginning? And if it had a beginning, then how should we account for it?

Flew observes that in his book The Presumption of Atheism, which was written while he was still an atheist, he had argued that “we must take the universe itself and its most fundamental laws as themselves ultimate.” {5} He simply didn’t see any reason to think that the universe pointed to some “transcendent reality” beyond itself.{6} After all, if the universe has always existed, then there may simply be no point in looking for any explanation why.

However, as the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe became increasingly well-established among contemporary cosmologists, Flew began to reconsider the matter. That’s because the Big Bang theory implies that the universe is not eternal, but that it rather had a beginning. And as Flew observes, “If the universe had a beginning, it became entirely sensible, almost inevitable, to ask what produced this beginning.”{7}

Of course, many scientists and philosophers felt quite uncomfortable about what a universe with a beginning might imply about the existence of God. In order to avoid the absolute beginning of the universe, an event which seems to smack of some sort of supernatural creation, they proposed a variety of models that were consistent with the notion that the universe had existed forever. Unfortunately, all these models essentially suffer from the same problem. When carefully examined, it turns out that they can’t avoid the absolute beginning of the universe. Thus, according to Stephen Hawking, “Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang.”{8}

Reflecting upon his initial encounter with the Big Bang theory while he was still an atheist, Flew writes, “it seemed to me the theory made a big difference because it suggested that the universe had a beginning and that the first sentence in Genesis (‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’) was related to an event in the universe.”{9} He concludes his discussion by noting that “the universe is something that begs an explanation.”{10} He now believes that the best explanation is to be found in a supernatural creative act of God. Interestingly enough, this view finds dramatic confirmation in the exquisite “fine-tuning” of our universe which allows for the existence of intelligent life.

Did the Universe Know We Were Coming?

Flew observes that “the laws of nature seem to have been crafted so as to move the universe toward the emergence and sustenance of life.”{11} Just how carefully crafted are these laws? According to British physicist Paul Davies, even exceedingly small changes in either the gravitational or electromagnetic force “would have spelled disaster for stars like the sun, thereby precluding the existence of planets.”{12} Needless to say, without planets you and I wouldn’t be here to marvel at how incredibly fine-tuned these constants are. The existence of complex, intelligent life depends on these fundamental constants having been fine-tuned with a precision that virtually defies human comprehension.

So how is the observed fine-tuning to be explained? Flew notes that most scholars opt either for divine design or for what might be called the “multiverse” hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, our universe is just one of many others, “with the difference that ours happened to have the right conditions for life.”{13}

So which of these two theories best explains the amazing fine-tuning of our universe? Flew correctly observes that “there is currently no evidence in support of a multiverse. It remains a speculative idea.”{14} The fact that multiple universes are logically possible does absolutely nothing to prove that they actually exist. Indeed, the multiverse hypothesis appears to be at odds with the widely recognized principle of Ockham’s razor. This principle says that when we’re confronted with two explanations of the same thing, we “should prefer the one that is simpler, that is, the one that uses the fewest number of entities . . . to explain the thing in question.”{15}

Now clearly in the case before us, the theory of divine design, which posits only one entity to explain the observed fine-tuning of our universe, is much simpler than the multiverse hypothesis, which posits a potentially infinite number of entities to explain the same thing! The philosopher Richard Swinburne likely had Ockham’s razor in mind when he wrote, “It is crazy to postulate a trillion (causally unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when postulating one entity (God) will do the job.”{16}

The observed fine-tuning of our universe is one more reason why Antony Flew now believes there is a God. And as we’ll see next, the mystery of life’s origin is yet another.

How Did Life Go Live?

One of the reasons consistently cited by Flew for changing his mind about the existence of God has to do with the almost insuperable difficulties facing the various naturalistic theories of the origin of life. In particular, Flew observes, there is a fundamental philosophical question that has not been answered, namely, “How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self-replication capabilities, and ‘coded chemistry’?”{17}

When considering the origin of life from non-living matter, it’s crucially important to note a fundamental difference between the two. “Living matter possesses an inherent . . . end-centered organization that is nowhere present in the matter that preceded it.”{18} For example, lifeless rocks do not give evidence of goal-directed behavior, but living creatures do. Among the various goals one might list, living beings seek to preserve and reproduce themselves.

This leads naturally to the second difficulty, namely, providing a purely naturalistic account of the origin of organisms that are able to reproduce themselves. As philosopher David Conway points out, without this ability “it would not have been possible for different species to emerge through random mutation and natural selection.” Since different species can’t emerge from organisms that can’t reproduce themselves, one can’t claim that self-reproduction emerged through the evolutionary process. Conway concludes that such difficulties “provide us with reason for doubting that it is possible to account for existent life-forms . . . without recourse to design.”{19}

The final difficulty Flew raises concerns a purely naturalistic origin of “coded chemistry.” Scientists have discovered that the genetic code functions exactly like a language. But as the mathematician David Berlinski asks, “Can the origins of a system of coded chemistry be explained in a way that makes no appeal whatever to the kinds of facts that we otherwise invoke to explain codes and languages?”{20} In other words, if every other code and language we’re aware of results from intelligence, then why think the genetic code is any different? As physicist Paul Davies muses, “The problem of how meaningful . . . information can emerge spontaneously from a collection of mindless molecules subject to blind and purposeless forces presents a deep conceptual challenge.”{21}

Ultimately, such challenges became too much for Flew. He concludes his discussion of these difficulties by noting, “The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.”{22}

The Self-Revelation of God in Human History

In a fascinating appendix to his book, Flew has a dialogue with prominent New Testament scholar N.T. Wright about Jesus. Although Flew is not a Christian and continues to be skeptical about the claims for Jesus’ bodily resurrection, he nonetheless asserts that this claim “is more impressive than any by the religious competition.”{23} But why is this? And what sort of evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus? This is one of the questions to which N.T. Wright responds in his dialogue with Flew.

Although we can only scratch the surface of this discussion, Wright makes two points that are especially worth mentioning: the historicity of the empty tomb and the post-mortem appearances of Jesus. But why think these events actually happened as the Gospels claim? Because, says Wright, if the tomb were empty, but there were no appearances, everyone would have concluded that the tomb had been robbed. “They would never have talked about resurrection, if all that had happened was an empty tomb.”{24}

On the other hand, suppose the disciples saw appearances of Jesus after His crucifixion. Would this have convinced them of His resurrection if His tomb were not empty? No, says Wright. The disciples knew all about “hallucinations and ghosts and visions. Ancient literature—Jewish and pagan alike—is full of such things.”{25} So long as Jesus’ body was still in the tomb, the disciples would never have believed, much less publicly proclaimed, that He had been raised from the dead. This would have struck them as self-evidently absurd. For these and other reasons, Wright concludes that the empty tomb and appearances of Jesus are historical facts that need to be reckoned with. The question then becomes, “How does one account for these facts? What is the best explanation?”

Wright concludes that, as a historian, the best explanation is that “Jesus really was raised from the dead,” just as the disciples proclaimed. This is clearly a sufficient explanation of Jesus’ empty tomb and post-mortem appearances. But Wright goes even further. “Having examined all the other possible hypotheses,” he writes, “I think it’s also a necessary explanation.”{26}
How does Flew respond to this claim? Asking whether divine revelation in history is really possible, he notes that “you cannot limit the possibilities of omnipotence except to produce the logically impossible. Everything else is open to omnipotence.”{27} Flew has indeed come a long way from his former atheist views. For those of us who are Christians, we can pray that he might come further still.


1. Roy Abraham Varghese, preface to Antony Flew, There Is A God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), vii2. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantam, 2006), 82; cited in Varghese, preface to There Is A God, xviii-xix
3. Mark Oppenheimer, "The Turning of an Atheist," The New York Times, November 4, 2007,
4. Flew, There Is A God, 2
5. Ibid., 134.
6. Ibid., 135.
7. Ibid., 136.
8. Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20; cited in William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 478.
9. Flew, There Is A God, 136.
10. Ibid., 145.
11. Ibid., 114.
12. Craig and Moreland, Philosophical Foundations, 483.
13. Flew, There Is a God, 115.
14. Ibid., 119.
15. Craig and Moreland, Philosophical Foundations, 244.
16. Richard Swinburne, "Design Defended," Think (Spring 2004), 17; cited in Flew, There Is A God, 119.
17. Flew, There Is A God, 124.
18. Ibid.
19. David Conway, The Rediscovery of Wisdom (London: Macmillan, 2000), 125; cited in Flew, There Is A God, 126.
20. David Berlinski, "On the Origins of Life," Commentary (February 2006): 30-31; cited in Flew, There Is A God, 127.
21. Paul Davies, "The Origin of Life II: How Did It Begin?" ;cited in Flew, There Is A God, 129.
22. Flew, There Is A God, 132.
23. Ibid., 187.
24. N.T. Wright, "The Self-Revelation of God in Human History: A Dialogue on Jesus with N.T. Wright," in Flew, There Is A God, 21025.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid., 212-13
27. Flew, There Is A God, 213.

© 2008 Probe Ministries

About the Author

Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe he taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael is married to his beautiful wife Hannah.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at http://www.probe.org/.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
Probe Ministries1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100Richardson, TX 75081(972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664



quarta-feira, fevereiro 20, 2008

On Faith and Films

from the February 19, 2008 eNews issue
http://www.khouse.org (visit our website for a FREE subscription)

"I will set nothing wicked before my eyes." - Psalm 101:3a

Kids today spend an average of more than 6 hours a day immersed in movies, television, magazines, music, computers, internet, video games and other forms of media. Furthermore, studies show the majority of young people say their parents don't impose any rules on them regarding the use of such mediums. There is no denying that the media has a significant impact on both adults and kids alike. However in our increasingly secular, media saturated culture it can be difficult to control what our kids are exposed to.

Hollywood, for example, routinely rewards directors and producers who "push the envelope" and "go to extremes" - phrases usually indicative of excessive violence, foul language, gratuitous sex scenes and crude humor. Hollywood has historically been equated with excess and wickedness, but in recent years the motion-picture industry seems to have reached new lows. Even G-rated children's movies aren't guaranteed to be free of thinly-veiled sexual innuendo.

The good news is that in recent years the production of family-friendly and faith-based films is on the rise. Films such as Facing the Giants, Amazing Grace, End of the Spear, and One Night With the King (the story of Queen Esther), have received praise for both their artistic qualities and their strong Judeo-Christian themes. For Christians who are looking for wholesome and uplifting entertainment, there are options, but you have to be willing to do your homework.

Most people enjoy a good movie. Unfortunately, determining which movies are appropriate can be like navigating a minefield. It requires diligence, and often we don't realize we've made a mistake until it's too late. If you find that you've made a poor choice, take corrective action. Don't be shy about turning off the TV or leaving the theater. Also, take the opportunity to have a discussion with your kids about your decision.

If you rely on movie ratings alone to determine what is acceptable for your family, be aware that such ratings are notoriously inconsistent. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that ratings have changed over the last decade and today's movies contain significantly more violence, sex, and profanity on average than movies of the same rating a decade ago. Furthermore, the study showed that movies with the same rating can differ significantly in the amount and types of potentially objectionable content.

If you're looking for a little help, the Screen It website is a great resource for parents who want to know precisely how a movie earned its rating. Screen It parental reviews contain direct quotes and detailed descriptions of a film's objectionable content so you know exactly what your kids will encounter.

The Bible tells us to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure and lovely - things that have virtue and that are praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). Don't be afraid to set boundaries, do your homework, lead by example, and encourage your kids to spend their precious time and energy on pursuits that are pleasing in the eyes of the Lord.

Related Links:

Fox Faith Films - Homepage
Screen It - Movie Reviews for Parents
Common Sense Media - Reviews for Movies, TV, Games, and More
Kids In Mind - Movie Reviews
The Choice: Hypocrisy or Real Christianity - Koinonia House

quarta-feira, fevereiro 13, 2008

Evolution and Academic Freedom

from the February 12, 2008 eNews issue
http://www.khouse.org (visit our website for a FREE subscription)

Nearly 150 years after Darwin published Origin Of The Species, his theory of evolution continues to cause controversy. This next week the Florida Board of Education will vote on the state's new science standards, including what will be required in the area of evolution education. In the meanwhile, a professor at Iowa State University recently lost an appeal after arguing his tenure was denied because he supports Intelligent Design.

While many people believe that the evolution controversy is about religion, many closely involved believe it is more about the academic freedom of a scientific minority - a minority that argues that evolution is insufficient to explain the well-engineered complexity of life on earth.


Florida's time for the science standards battle has arrived. On February 19, the state board will finalize its decision on how to handle the prickly subject of evolution in the state's science standards. If left as they are, the standards would promote microbes-to-man evolution as basic scientific fact.

The board held a final hearing Monday to allow differing views to be expressed. Concerned citizens traveled from the far nooks and crannies of Florida to voice their opinions and nearly 80 people spoke over five hours. Significant numbers expressed concern that evolution should not be promoted as a fact but as a theory, while others argued that a soft approach on evolution would set the state back and would fail to prepare the students for college.

The chairmen of various district school boards joined the fray.

Chairmen like Debra Walker of the Monroe County School Board argued that the science standards should remain the same. Walker asserted that there would be little controversy over evolution if people were better educated in science.

On the other hand, Patricia Weeks, chairman of the Baker County School Board argued that, "The standards deny academic freedom to students and teachers." Her local school board had voted to request revised standards in which "evolution is not presented as fact."

While the state board has given all sides freedom to speak, only the votes next Tuesday will show whether the open forum had any effect on the science standards.


In the meanwhile, Guillermo Gonzalez believes that he was wrongly denied tenure at Iowa State University because he supports Intelligent Design.

Gonzalez, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State, appealed the decision to deny him tenure last spring. He argued that the decision was based not on his research and his teaching, but on a smear campaign against him because he supports Intelligent Design.

The Iowa Board of Regents voted 7-1 to deny his appeal on February 7. Gonzalez, however, had not been allowed to give oral arguments to the board. He believes that if he had been able to do so, he might have proved his case. Emails between professors and administrators at Iowa State justified his position.

"I don't see how they come to reach an informed decision without all of the relevant facts," Gonzalez said. He believes the vote was a "major blow to academic freedom."

Related Links:

Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez And Academic Persecution - The Discovery Institute
Professor Who Backs Intelligent Design Loses Tenure Appeal - AP
Evolution Backers, Opponents Make Points At Orlando Hearing - Orlando Sentinel
Bay District School Board to Discuss Evolution - WJHG.com

sexta-feira, fevereiro 08, 2008

The Sermon on the Mount

By Chuck Missler

from the February 05, 2008 eNews issue
http://www.khouse.org (visit our website for a FREE subscription)

The Sermon on the Mount is the manifesto of our King and the platform of the Prince of Peace. And it's the Law! It goes vastly beyond the Law of Moses. It is the Ten Commandments amplified and expanded. It raises the Law to the nth degree. As the Law of the Kingdom, it is the highest ethical teaching in the Bible. It will be the Law of this world during the Millennium, and then it will find full fruition. Christ will reign on earth in person and will enforce every word of it. The Sermon on the Mount will finally prevail when He whose right it is to rule shall come.

The Sermon on the Mount is the longest discourse recorded in Scripture and it was addressed to believers! (This would be a source of condemnation to the unsaved.) Don't let the familiarity of this passage lure you into thinking that you have mastered it; it is tough ground and one of the most misunderstood portions of Scripture.

The Beatitudes

The word beatitude is not found in your Bible. It simply means "blessing" and comes from the Latin word for "blessed." Note that these verses deal with attitudes - what we think in our hearts, and our outlook on life. "Beatitudes" are the attitudes that ought to be in our lives if we are true Christians. These first 16 verses of Matthew 5 describe the true Christian and deal with character. The rest of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7) deals with the conduct that grows out of character. Character always comes before conduct, because what we are determines what we do. There is a definite progression in these verses. They show how the person begins with his or her own sense of sin and finally becomes a child of God and the results that then follow:

  • "Poor in spirit" (v. 3): This is our attitude toward ourselves, in which we feel our need and admit it.
  • "Mourn" (v. 4): This is our attitude toward sin, a true sorrow for sin.
  • "Meek" (v. 5): This is our attitude toward others; we are teachable; we do not defend ourselves when we are wrong.
  • "Hunger and thirst" (v. 6): Here, our attitude toward God is expressed; we receive His righteousness by faith because we ask for it.
  • "Merciful" (v. 7): We have a forgiving spirit and love others.
  • "Pure in heart" (v. 8): We keep our lives and motives clean. Holiness is happiness to us - there are no substitutes.
  • "Peacemakers" (v. 9): We should bring peace, between people and God, and between those who are at odds with each other.
  • "Persecuted" (v. 10): All who live godly lives will suffer persecution.

It's interesting that there are eight beatitudes listed; the number eight in Scripture usually represents a new beginning. (The unwritten 9th Beatitude: "Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken.") The rest of the Sermon on the Mount shows the results of the new life in the believer:

Salt of the Earth

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. - Matthew 5:13

Salt was used as a preservative; it preserves materials from corruption. Salt also creates thirst and introduces flavor. Salt speaks of inward character that influences a decaying world. Our task is to keep our lives pure that we might ''salt'' this earth and hold back corruption so that the Gospel can get out.

Light of the World

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 5:14, 16

Light speaks of the outward testimony of good works that points to God. Our good works must accompany our dedicated lives as we let our lights shine.

The Higher Righteousness

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven... For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:19a, 20

What a blow to the Jew! He knew the extremes that the professional Law-keepers resorted to! What was to become of them? This is the key point of the passage. You cannot break the commandments and get away with it. But you cannot keep them in your own strength either. The only way you can keep them is to come to Jesus Christ for salvation, power, and strength. The commandments are not a way of salvation but a means to show you the way to salvation - through the acceptance of the work of Jesus Christ.

Pharisaical Error

The scribes and Pharisees were not insincere: they tried to adhere to the keeping of the Law. Although misguided, they were zealous and sincere. Anyone that tries to reconcile himself to God by his works, his rules, or his legalism is pharisaical. Is there any other way to heaven other than by Jesus Christ? If there is, Jesus' own prayers were not answered - in Gethsemane, Jesus pleaded with the Father three times for an alternative.

Which "Commandments"?

What are "these commandments" being referred to in Matthew 5:19? The ones we find in the remainder of Matthew 5 and continuing in Chapters 6 and 7. Jesus will emphasize "my words" (Cf. Mt 7:24-27). His call was to obedience (Jn 14:15, 21, 23; 1 Jn 5:3). Does the Christian need to "keep the Law"? The fact of the matter is that the Law is still a standard: it reveals to me that I cannot measure up to God's standard. This drives me to the cross of Christ. The only way I can fulfill the Law is by accepting the only One who could fulfill it - Jesus Christ.

Jesus Fulfilled the Law

Jesus became our sacrifice and shed His own sinless blood on our behalf. He offered Himself once for all for the sins of all mankind (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 26, 28, 10:10, 1 Peter 3:18). Everything was fulfilled just before Jesus’ death on the cross when He uttered His last words: "It is finished!" (John 19:30) tetelestai = "paid in full." The second way He fulfilled the Law is that He taught and commanded what God’s will is under the New Covenant for those who would enter the Kingdom of God. He gave us a new set of rules. Paul called those rules Christ’s Law. Some of those were the same as God gave in the Old Testament Law. Many were changed, but most of Old Testament Law was not included at all in Christ’s Law. "For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Rom 10:4)." New Testament believers are not under the Law; Jesus abolished the Law through His sacrifice on the cross.

The Purpose of the Law

  • "Through the Law we become conscious of sin." (Rom 3:20)
  • "The Law was added so that the trespass might increase." (Rom 5:20)
  • "It was added because of transgressions until the Seed [the Lord Jesus Christ] to whom the promise referred had come." (Gal 3:19)
  • "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." (Gal 3:24)
  • "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law." (Gal 3:25)

Paul was the writer who most discussed the question of the Old Testament Law and its applicability to the New Testament Christian. He was in a unique position to do so, having been a Pharisee who had been taught by Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), an esteemed teacher of the Law. The Law said, ''You shalt not kill [murder]'' (Ex 20:13); but Jesus said, ''Don’t be angry with others.'' Anger is like murder in the heart and it can lead to evil words and actual murder. And while actual adultery is far worse than inward lustful fantasies, the inner desires can quickly lead to this forbidden sin (Ex 20:14). We must deal ruthlessly with ourselves and not encourage the imagination to ''feed on'' these sins. The eyes and the hands (seeing and touching) must be kept under control.

Religious Practice

In Matthew Chapter 5, the King speaks of the righteousness His subjects must possess. It must be a righteousness to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and that comes only through trust in Christ. Matthew Chapter 6 deals with the external part of religion: the righteousness that the subjects of the kingdom are to practice. The internal motive, of course, is the important thing in what you do for God. Chapter 7 deals with judging others, prayer, and the "Golden Rule."

The Law of Christ

Jesus did not set aside the Law of Moses, He fulfilled it! He takes the Law of Moses, interprets it in the extreme, and in an absolute sense. And then He absolutely fulfills it! Remember that your salvation does not accrue because of your ability to fulfill Matthew 5, 6, and 7, but because Jesus did - and you can appropriate His achievement to your benefit. Do it now, in the privacy of your own will.

Related Links:

The Manifesto of our King - DVD - Special Offer!
The Manifesto of our King - MP3 Download - Koinonia House