rss

CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Romans 5:19 - Innocent NOT

Rom 5:19 As by the disobedience of one man many (that is, all men) were constituted sinners - Being then in the loins of their first parent, the common head and representative of them all.  So by the obedience of one - By his obedience unto death; by his dying for us. Many - All that believe.  Shall be constituted righteous - Justified, pardoned.  (John Wesley)
The foundation of this whole comparison is this, that these two men are set as two heads or roots, so that out of the one comes sin by nature, and from the other righteousness by grace springs forth upon others.  So then, sin enters not into us only by following the steps of our forefathers, but we receive corruption from him by inheritance. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)
For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (NASB)
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (KJV)
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (NLT)
For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous. (NET)

The substance of our life becomes apparent in that we sin (through acts of commission) unveiling the true character of what is inscribed upon our chromosomes, our genetic disease.  However, our propensities are not an excuse, nor can we claim innocence and charge our guilt to Adam.  Descendents of a corrupt clay we display our bricks do not withstand the test of righteousness.

This verse is not a mere repetition of the former, but it is an explanation. By the former statements it might perhaps be inferred that people were condemned without any guilt or blame of theirs.  The apostle in this verse guards against this, and affirms that they are in fact sinners.  He affirms that those who are sinners are condemned, and that the sufferings brought in on account of the sin of Adam, are introduced because many were made sinners.  Calvin says,”Lest anyone should arrogate to himself innocence, (the apostle) adds, that each one is condemned because he is a sinner.”  (The same objection which was stated against a previous quotation from Calvin applies here.  The reformer does not mean that each is condemned because he is actually a sinner.  He affirms that the ground of condemnation lies in something with which we are born, which belongs to us antecedent to actual transgression.) (Dr. Albert Barnes)
 

Romans 5:18 - One on One

Therefore, to be short, as by one man's offence the guiltiness came on all men to make them subject to death, so on the opposite side, the righteousness of Christ, which by God's mercy is imputed to all believers, justifies them, that they may become partakers of everlasting life.  Not only because our sins are forgiven us, but also because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (NASB)
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (KJV)
Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. (NLT)
Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. (NET)
1Co 15:22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. New Living Translation

How can mere mortal begin to articulate the length, breadth, and depth of such an amazing statement.  I try to picture myself in the court room standing before the jury as the foreman reads the verdict.  Instead of being condemned to an eternal separation as I deserve, I hear the amazing words of life instead!

Rom 5:15-19:  Through one man's offence, all mankind are exposed to eternal condemnation. But the grace and mercy of God, and the free gift of righteousness and salvation, are through Jesus Christ, as man: yet the Lord from heaven has brought the multitude of believers into a more safe and exalted state than that from which they fell in Adam.  This free gift did not place them anew in a state of trial, but fixed them in a state of justification, as Adam would have been placed, had he stood.  Notwithstanding the differences, there is a striking similarity.  As by the offence of one, sin and death prevailed to the condemnation of all men, so by the righteousness of one, grace prevailed to the justification of all related to Christ by faith.  Through the grace of God, the gift by grace has abounded to many through Christ; yet multitudes choose to remain under the dominion of sin and death, rather than to apply for the blessings of the reign of grace. But Christ will in nowise cast out any who are willing to come to him.  (Matthew Henry)
 

Romans 5:17 - Redeemed from the Empire of Death

The emphatic point of the comparison. The effect of the second Adam cannot fall behind that of the first. If death reigned, there must be a reign of life. (Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, Vincent's Word Studies)
Shall reign in life - Those who receive, retain, and improve the abundant grace offered by Jesus Christ, shall be redeemed from the empire of death, and exalted to the throne of God, to live and reign with him ever, world without end. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (NASB)
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (KJV)
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ. (NLT)
For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ! (NET)

What greater joy is there in this life than to know that we may "live in triumph over sin and death?"  Without ceasing, the enemy of our soul will try to dissuade us from this eternal ttruth.  What greater discouragement than to live a life of deception?  The contrast continues in these passages so that we my discover that our lives are indeed held up by the righteous right hand of Him who loved us and delivered Himself up for us!

Romans 5:16 - Many to One VS One to Many

And not as it was by one that sinned — That is, the judicial act that followed Adam’s sin (the sentence of death pronounced upon him, and his expulsion from paradise) took its rise from his one offense alone, and terminated in condemnation; but the free gift of God in Christ takes its rise also from the many offenses which men, in a long course of life, have personally committed; and the object of this grace is to justify them freely, and bring them to eternal life. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. (NASB)
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (KJV)
And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but God's free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. (NLT)
And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. (NET)

In the previous verse we established that the evil consequences emanated from one man's sin, Adam.  By contrast the benefits then came from the work of a single man, Jesus Christ.  Now in verse 16 we see that the consequences of iniquity flowed from a single crime, a single act of guilt.  However, that because of Christ, Grace covers many acts of guilt.  The malevolent results of Adam’s sin pertained to the one sin (many to one); the effects of the work of Christ, to many sins (one to many).

We must observe here that from the end of Verse 12 to that of 17 (Romans 5:12-17) is a parenthesis: only the idea is developed, as in similar cases.  In the parenthesis the apostle, after having presented Adam as the figure of Him who was to come — of Christ, argues that the character of the gift cannot be inferior to that of the evil.  If the sin of the one first man was not confined in its effects to him who committed it, but extended to all those who as a race were connected with him, with much greater reason shall the grace which is by one, Christ Jesus, not end in Him, but embrace the many under Him also.  And with regard to the thing, as well as to the person — and here the law is in view — one single offence brought in death, but grace remits a multitude of offences.  Thus it could suffice for that which the law had made necessary.  And, as to the effect, death has reigned; but by grace, not only shall life reign, but we shall reign in life by One according to the abundance of grace — by Jesus Christ. (Dr. John Darby)

Romans 5:15 - Grace Abounds to Many

Hath abounded unto many - That is, Christ Jesus died for every man; salvation is free for all; saving grace is tendered to every soul; and a measure of the Divine light is actually communicated to every heart, John 1:9.  And, as the grace is offered, so it may be received; and hence the apostle says, Romans 5:17:  They which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by Christ Jesus: and by receiving is undoubtedly meant not only the act of receiving, but retaining and improving the grace which they receive; and, as all may receive, so All may improve and retain the grace they do receive; and, consequently, All may be eternally saved. But of multitudes Christ still may say, They Will not come unto me, that they might have life. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. (NASB)
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (KJV)
But there is a great difference between Adam's sin and God's gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and His gift of forgiveness to many through this other Man, Jesus Christ. (NLT)
But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! (NET)

The sin of Adam led to condemnation. The righteousness of Christ leads to Grace bestowed upon all who believe. There are a great many contrasts between these two expressed. In 1 Corinthians 15 Adam is a "figure of him that was to come" and Christ is the "last Adam" and "second man." Adam is an earthly vessel and Christ is the Lord from heaven. Adam brings to us all guilt, condemnation and death. Whereas Christ brings to all righteousness, justification and life. One single act of commission brought death to all mankind, while Grace covers a whole world full of debt and countless acts of sin!

The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9 NLT)
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 NLT)
We must observe here that from the end of Verse 12 to that of 17 (Romans 5:12-17) is a parenthesis: only the idea is developed, as in similar cases.  In the parenthesis the apostle, after having presented Adam as the figure of Him who was to come — of Christ, argues that the character of the gift cannot be inferior to that of the evil.  If the sin of the one first man was not confined in its effects to him who committed it, but extended to all those who as a race were connected with him, with much greater reason shall the grace which is by one, Christ Jesus, not end in Him, but embrace the many under Him also.  And with regard to the thing, as well as to the person — and here the law is in view — one single offence brought in death, but grace remits a multitude of offences.  Thus it could suffice for that which the law had made necessary.  And, as to the effect, death has reigned; but by grace, not only shall life reign, but we shall reign in life by One according to the abundance of grace — by Jesus Christ. (Dr. John Darby)

Famine Ahead!

Famine Ahead!

“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, ‘When I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall turn to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.’”  Amos 8:11-12

Can you imagine if here in these United States originally founded using the Bible as the guide to even write laws, that there will come a time when the best selling book of all time, the Bible, could not be found anywhere, I mean anywhere?  Many scoff at this notion saying, "Becky that is not possible" but I say to turn off the secular news and tune in to things happening with Christians worldwide you never hear about on the three major networks.  Christian persecution is happening.  Even on some university campuses Christian Bible studies are not welcome.

There in fact may come a time according to this verse for today, when you will be starving for the word of God.  Now for people who don't even read it except on Sunday that will not be a loss, but to you who do love studying God's word you need to be hiding it in your heart so you will have it to rely on in troubled times ahead.  Imagine really starving for food which most reading this never have done.  Hunger yes, starvation no.  Literally starving I mean.  Imagine no Bibles anywhere.

Store up God's word in your heart.  Treasure it as if it were gold.  Many nations do not allow the Bible now.  Several years ago my husband travelled to the Middle East and hid his Bible in his suitcase.  Don't take God's word for granted.  Read it daily.

PRAYER:  I am so grateful to have a Bible, and many people have several.  Help me to treasure it above all else and use it daily.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

Becky Juett Miller
God's Lemonade Stand

https://www.facebook.com/GodsLemonadeStand/
https://www.godslemonadestand.blogspot.com

Why is there a CMF?

Why is there a CMF?

Why CMF? — by Dan Cartwright, Chariman, CMF Board of Directors


SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret)
Chairman, Board of Directors

More than a few years have passed since I enlisted in the ranks of Christian Military Fellowship. I joined CMF after hearing a presentation by a CMF staff member to a small group of soldiers gathered for a Bible study in a chapel at Ft. Devens, MA. This “prodigal son” had returned home not long before, and I was excited about my rediscovered faith and hungry for both the Word and Christian fellowship. As a result of that hunger, I had joined the small group that met once a week over lunch at Independence Chapel. What I heard about CMF that day really caught my attention!

I heard about a fellowship of believers who wore the uniforms of our Armed Forces. They were ordinary people, like this young NCO, with an extraordinary vision! They felt called of God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with their comrades-in-arms, and further, to help each other grow while serving in our country's military. I learned that the purpose of CMF’s small staff, in Denver, Colorado, was to help us “ordinary folks” accomplish the mission defined in the CMF motto— “To Win…To Disciple…To Equip…To Win.” In other words, CMF wasn't about an organization’s ministry TO the military, but about encouraging and supporting ministry IN the military. The “minister” IN the military was supposed to be the “man in the mirror"!

Through the years, the mission and goals of CMF haven't changed. If you read the CMF Orientation Brief today (available on the CMF website “Resource” page), you will find the following statement: "We are a PEER ministry TO military people BY military people WITHIN the military society."

You might be asking "Why?", and that's certainly a valid question. I found a large part of the answer to that question, already in practice, in a book called "Revolution in World Missions," written by K.P. Yohanan and first published in 1986.

K.P. is the founder and President of Gospel for Asia, an organization dedicated to sending support to native pastors in Asia. "Revolution in World Missions" discusses the shift from “colonial" missionary efforts sponsored by Western nations (foreigners), due in large part to countries in Asia gaining their independence from the rule of colonial governments (foreigners) and the tossing out of colonial missionaries (foreigners) along with their governments. The leadership of remaining Christian missionary efforts fell to the native believers, Christians born and raised in the now free countries and remote areas of much of Asia. The spreading of the Gospel became primarily an “inside job,” accomplished by indigenous believers. Was there still a role for the West? Absolutely!

K.P. Yohanan aptly remarks in his book:, "God still sovereignly calls Western missionaries to do unique and special tasks in Asia. But we must understand that the primary role for Westerners now should be to support efforts of indigenous mission works through finances and intercessory prayer."

What may have begun out of necessity (foreigners tossed out) has actually resulted in evangelization and missionary work in much of Asia that is far more effective than the efforts under the leadership of the westerners (foreigners). There are several reasons for the increased effectiveness of native missionaries, attested to by the many organizations that, like Gospel for Asia, are solely dedicated to supporting native pastors and indigenous mission boards:

“They already know the culture, the customs, the laws, the language. So they encounter fewer barriers in witnessing for Christ. They can go where no “foreigner” ever could.” - World-Wide Missions

“… the most effective work done in many foreign countries was that carried forward by the nationals themselves. There were many arguments in favor of such missionary endeavors. They were already on the field. They knew the language and the customs.…I later discovered there is another sound argument for national programs—the fact that the work cannot be closed down where there is any type of religious freedom at all.” Dr. Basil Miller. Founder, World-Wide Missions

Indigenous means, “native to the land.” A palm tree from Puerto Rico transplanted in Pennsylvania will not survive because it is not indigenous. But fertilizer from Pennsylvania applied to a palm tree in Puerto Rico will make it grow better in its native soil. Indigenous Christianity is not an imported denomination or other foreign organization. A Christian group started by foreigners hardly ever becomes truly indigenous. But an indigenous group can be inspired by visiting speakers from other countries (foreigners) and strengthened by financial help from believers overseas (foreigners), provided it is not used to buy control.” - Christian Aid U.S.A.

Let's summarize. Indigenous ministry would be ministry carried out by those who are:

  • Native to the land,
  • Already in the field,
  • Knowledge of the culture, language, customs, and laws,
  • Cannot be expelled,
  • More effective, and
  • Can go where no foreigner could

“Culture” is emphasized above because there is a distinct culture in the military. If the military can be viewed as a culture, the different branches can be called sub-cultures. Taken one step further, there are even sub-sub-cultures in each of the branches of service. I spent my entire career, aside from training and certain schools, in the Special Forces culture. If you are a current or past member of one of the branches of service, you know exactly what I mean. I need explain it no further. Suffice it to say that every culture or sub-culture has its own language, customs, and laws. Outsiders to the culture are viewed as foreigners in the same sense as the colonialists mentioned earlier in this article.

That last characteristic is strongly emphasized because, years ago, an Army Chaplain invited two young soldiers to a Saturday morning men's breakfast fellowship at a local church of his endorsing denomination. At one point the Chaplain told the assembled group: "These two men go places where I will never be able to set foot."

That Chaplain’s few words said it all then, and they still ring true today. They apply to every man and woman in uniform who, unashamed of the Gospel, live out their faith where no Chaplain will ever set foot.

And that's what CMF is about!

Romans 5:14 - Death is Here to Stay - Deny the Cross?

I'll steal your life and cut, out your heart.
Rip the core of your, world apart.
Then I'll, Take your sight.
Leave ya blind.
Laughing hard as you, loose your mind.
Smash in your skull!!!
Kick out your brains!!!
Dance all over!
What remains!!!

Life! The living danger,
Death! The welcome stranger,
In sin! You deny the cross.

Deny the cross...!

I'm an angel I'm, virgin white.
This only happens, every night.
Restitution, for my sin,
Imprisoned virtue, time begins.
Killer instincts!!!
Escape my find!
Path of destruction!
Left behind.

Life, it walks away...
It walks today...
It fades away...
Death, is here to stay...
Is here today...
To deny the cross...!

Draw and quarter, slice the meat.
Now there's something, more to eat.
Nothing left there is, just a frame.
This poor soul, has no name.
Back to dirt!
Six feet deep!
I take a breath!
Long and deep!!!

Deny the cross!!!
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (NASB)
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (KJV)
Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.  Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. (NLT)
Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. (NET)

They are torn from the security of their homes and are brought down to the king of terrors. (Job 18:14 NLT)

We still often search the clouds for the wrath of God to come thinking we have time while all the while judgment has already been pronounced!  Death reigns! It remains, as Bildad describes, "the King of Terrors."  We need look no further than the nearest cemetery to see wrath inflicted.  There is no escape even for the infant who "did not sin in the same way that Adam" solely because of sin imputed from Adams fall.  Were it not for the second Adam we would all be lost to eternal separation, the King of Terrors indeed!  But for those who are in Christ Jesus, we have the eternal blessing of forever knowing Him who set us free from the bondage of sin and death.  Not only so, but also to be able to share from the "hope that is within us" the amazing love we have thus experienced with those around us!

What then shall we choose?  Shall we do as the "Heavy Metal" lyrics ascribe and turn death into an object of worship believing that there is nothing beyond the grave.  Is that the end of our created being to become worm food?  If we evolved out of the primordial soup and have no reason for being except the random act of untamed amino acids then hope is a star trek myth.  If however, we are created in the image of the Most High, then perhaps hope is real and Christmas is the greatest gift of all! God come down as a man to save us from our sins!

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?
Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of tears can ne'er repay
the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'tis all that I can do.  (Issac Watts)

Words. They Matter!

Words.  They Matter!

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  Colossians 4:6

These past few months with political debates, television  adds many people have become so angry.  I have seen professing Christians just going ballistic on Facebook pages spewing unseemly words about one candidate or another.  Are we really justified in being so ugly?  The answer of course is no.

The enemy is having a hey day with the actions of many.  The issue is we as believers need to stop judging, mind our own business, and pray.  Stop spewing hate ourselves.

This was the most important election of our lifetime.  One of the biggest issues is the three Supreme Court justices that will be put into play by whoever is elected.  Everyone seemed too angry to remember that factor.  The election is over.  I urge all of you reading this to take time each day to pray that the transition will be completed peacefully.  If you are beside yourself with anger, turn on some Christian praise music to soothe your soul.

 PRAYER:  Dear Lord I am thankful for being born in a democracy.  Many in other nations probably laugh at us.  Help my brothers and sisters in Christ trust that you have a plan and help all of us know that once words are spoken they can't be taken back.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

What is God Like?

What is God Like?

What is God Like?


SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret
) Chairman, Board of Directors
“And this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)

This is an introduction to, and the first in a series of articles offering answers from Scripture to the above question.  To say that this is an important question, that deserves serious consideration, is a huge understatement!

I first learned something about God’s glorious attributes years ago from two main sources: Lutheran Catechism and reading the Bible for an “Advanced” English course as a senior in high school. Catechism provided sound doctrine (and large words) to describe characteristics of God found in the Bible.  In reading the Bible for itself, I found out that what it said about God matched the big words I learned in Catechism.  (As odd as it might sound in today’s scholastic environment, in those days it was permissible to write a paper about The Bible as Literature, my chosen subject.)

In addition to Scripture itself, a source of information for these posts is J. I. Packer’s book, Knowing God.   Scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the NIV and linked to their context in an online Bible.  Please read them, read the context around them, and let Scripture speak to you.  There are of course other, more exhaustive treatments of the Attributes of God; one of the most notable is Arthur W. Pink’s work, (http://www.eternallifeministries.org/awp_attrib.htm).

This article can provide only a brief glimpse into the awesome character of God and hopefully will whet your appetite to learn even more about the Creator of the universe and the One who sent His own Son to die so that you might live.  The reason for these posts is two-fold.  First, there seems to exist today, in American Christianity, a deplorable lack of knowledge concerning what God has revealed about Himself in Scripture.  Most of what we hear from pulpits across the country speaks only of God’s love, and even that, for the most part, is described according to our concept/definition of love, not His.

The second reason is from Scripture itself.  John 17:3 tells us that “eternal life is knowing God.”  That can be a bit difficult to get our heads wrapped around, but it speaks of how our eternal life has a “right here, right now” aspect.  How can that be explained in more practical, understandable terms? What effect does knowing God have on a person?  J. I. Packer suggests four great effects:

  1. Those who know God have great energy for God.
  2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God.
  3. Those who know God have great boldness for God.
  4. Those who know God have great contentment in God.

We must ask ourselves, do we desire such knowledge of God?   When you ask yourself this question, remember that it’s not a matter of knowing God so we can “become” great for God, it’s simply that really “knowing” leads to “having.”

And lest I forget, when God sees knowledge of Himself in His children, it gives Him pleasure.

“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 KJV)

When you think about it, generally, the most we can know about other people is what they reveal to us.  The extent and quality of our knowledge of them depends more on them than it does on us. Knowing God is no different.  Only what God has chosen to reveal of Himself can be known, and that which God has chosen to reveal to us can be found in Holy Scripture.

Our quest to know God begins by understanding that God is our Creator and that we are a part of His creation (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1).  God said that man is created in His image.  Man is above the rest of creation and was given dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28).  Creation is marred by the “fall” (Genesis 3:17-18) but still offers a glimpse of His works (Romans1:19-20).  This glimpse of God that we do have is available to all men─we are all born with the knowledge that God IS. By considering creation’s vastness, complexity, beauty, and order, we can have a sense of the awesomeness of God.  However, considering how lightly and how often we use the term “awesome” in today’s culture, I don’t think it’s a nearly “big enough” word to begin describing God.

I remember when I was just a wee lad and we would visit my grandparents’ farm in Wisconsin.  There weren’t any street lights, and I remember looking up at the night sky and all the stars with a feeling of “WOW, God made that!” filling my little heart with wonder at how BIG God is.  That was awesome.

I also remember a church, nestled in tall pine trees across the road from Grandma’s house.  I found an old photo of that church, dated back to around 1955.  As if it were yesterday, I can still hear the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” resounding through the pines as we walked to church.  That was awesome.

I can’t describe just how “BIG” God was to this 5-year-old, from just looking at the night sky and hearing a hymn.  As we grow older and begin to read Scripture, our sense of God’s greatness looms even larger, or at least it should.

Face it: we don’t much care for hearing God when He speaks to us about our sin, our guilt, our helplessness, our weakness, our blindness, and our spiritual “deadness.”  We would rather hear just the “good stuff” He might say about us.  Nevertheless, knowing God involves listening to His Word and receiving it, as the Holy Spirit interprets and applies it to us and to the character of God.  When we see our “true selves” in the blinding light of Scripture, we can “know” God more fully, and might even have something to boast about.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24

God is the Great I AM - Eternal and Unchangeable

“Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’”

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.’” - (Exodus 3:13,14).

God is eternal, meaning He had no beginning and that His existence will never end.  He is immortal, infinite (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17). God is immutable, meaning He is unchangeable; this means that God is absolutely reliable and trustworthy (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 102:26,27).

God’s life does not change.

Created things have a beginning and an end, however their Creator is from everlasting to everlasting.

“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”   (Psalm 102:25-27)

A small child will often ask, “Who made God?”  Our answer is simple. He was always there. Children accept that answer more easily than adults, with the childlike faith that Jesus reminded His followers we all need.  When Mom told this little 5-year-old that God was always there, that settled it─Moms don’t lie!

God’s character does not change.

The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.  Listening to sermons in many of today’s churches, one might come away with the idea that the God who destroyed His enemies, the enemies of His Chosen people, and those among people who would dishonor His Name, has somehow changed into a kindly grandfather who waits for us to jump into His lap for a hug and a bit of candy.  While God is certainly the giver of all good things to His children, His moral character is changeless, as James reminded dispersed followers undergoing trials and temptations (James 1:12-17 NKJV).

God’s truth does not change.

How many times have we had to eat our words because something that was said was not what was really meant, or something that we thought was truth turned out to be not true.  God’s Word, however, spoken but once, stands as truth for all eternity (Isaiah 40:6-8).

God’s ways do not change.

The wages of sin is death, so Romans 6:23 tells us.  It will always be so. This verse also tells us that God offers eternal life through His Son.  It will always be so.  God discriminates between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel message, while others hear the words but not the message (Acts 16:13-15).  To some he grants the gift of repentance and faith, while others He leaves in their sin, demonstrating that he owes mercy to no one and that it is entirely an act of His grace that any are saved (Romans 9:15).

God’s purposes do not change.

“One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of foresight to execute them. But as God is both omnipotent and omnipresent, there is never any need for Him to reverse His decrees.” (A.W. Pink)

The plans of God stand firm forever... (Psalm 33:11). Whatever God does in time, He planned from eternity; and whatever He planned in eternity WILL be carried out in time.

God’s Son does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus is able to, and will save all who come to Him─all that the Father gives Him (John 6:37-40).

This fact is the strong consolation and assurance for all God’s people.


Christian Military Fellowship

An Indigenous Ministry • Discipleship • Prayer • Community • Support
Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contact Us

  • Address:
    PO Box 1207, Englewood, CO 80150-1207

  • Phone: (800) 798-7875

  • Email: admin@cmfhq.org

Webmaster

Book Offers