Thanks so much for your ministry and the time and energy you devote to it. I have a question about the faith of Abraham.
Romans 4:10-20 says that Abraham did not waver in his faith, in regards to the Promise. I believe that this is true. Clearly, he believed in the promise of a son in order to continue to do the things that are necessary for a couple to have children. Doing this even unto very old age.
What I’m trying to understand better is why Abraham took Hagar when she was offered.
I’m just trying to reconcile how saying his faith in a promised son didn’t waiver with his decision to be with Hagar for the specific reason of producing a son. Is it that GOD doesn’t expect our faith to be perfect to be acceptable? What was GOD looking at when He said Abraham’s faith did not waiver? I think understanding this better would help me understand the state of my own faith better.
A follow-up question to the kosher question I recently posted: regarding the Council of Jerusalem and the four edicts sent to the Gentiles and its applicability today, how what does it mean to avoid eating blood and things strangled and how can we avoid that today?
I understand that in keeping kosher, to avoid blood would require either broiling or soaking in saltwater to remove any residual blood, but are we expected to do that today? Inevitably, there seems to be trace amount of blood in precooked meat. Also, I understand that the prohibition from things strangled may pertain to avoiding eating meat from animals that have been inhumanely slaughtered. How can we be sure in today’s world? If the blood and inhumane slaughter avoidance is to be taken to the nth degree today, how does that apply to buying meat from the market or even eating out?
My 21 yr old son was raised Baptist but now has recently been going to a Pentecostal church. This makes me a little uneasy because I believe that they believe things that are not quite right such as believing that you can lose your salvation. Baptists believe that “once saved always saved”. Now I realize that denominations are a man made thing and that you can certainly be saved and not be Baptist. Am I right in my uneasiness or wrong?
I have been tithing on my gross income. But my mother called me this morning and said that I should be calculating at net income. Do I calculate gross or net income?
I ask this question because I am about $20,000 in debt with credit cards. I really really want to pay them back steadily so that by the end of this year, a lot of it can be gone. I just started working so I built most of the debt up in college and grad school. One of my credit cards has an interest of 30%.
So I am generous in general with my money, but being so much in credit card debt, (not including school loans or car loans), I feel like I should be more responsible and pay the least tithe, at least until I’m somewhat out of major debt.
I want to do the right thing, and even if its hard, I will pay everything if I need to. But I’m behind and wish God could just cancel how much I owe Him.
During my recent Bible studies, I began to delve into the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. I had never really studied it before. I started to wonder at the meaning behind abstaining from blood and the meat of strangled animals and how it applies to Christians today. After going through various commentaries, I received so many varying points of view that I felt entirely uncomfortable eating any meats.
What are your thoughts on the following:
1. The purpose of the edicts in Acts 15 and their applicability today 2. The Law of Moses’s place for today’s Christian 3. Kosher as it applies to believers today
Does the gift of Grace cover hypocrisy? I know all sins, except for the one, are forgivable, but it just seems that Jesus deals with hypocrisy on a totally different level whereas I was always taught and believe that in the eyes of God all sins are basically the same.
In Ephesians 4:17-32 Paul listed a bunch of do’s and don’t’s (mostly don’t’s) for appropriate Christian behavior. Would I be correct in saying that Paul was warning us not to act in this manner because God will disapprove of our actions? But according to 1 John 1:9, if we do act in that way and ask for forgiveness He is faithful and just and will forgive us because He already died for all our sins. Is that the way you see it?
I know I am saved by God’s grace thru faith in what Christ accomplished on the cross. But how do we separate law and grace? Spiritually speaking we want to do what we know we should do, but how do we avoid thinking that it’s part of our salvation? In other words, how do I go on living “right” without messing with grace?
Romans 14:21-23, “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that will cause your brother to stumble be offended or be made weak. So whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
I understand the verse about not causing a brother to stumble. Please explain the rest for me.