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My Metanoia

Learnings on the Path to Christlikeness


The Bible is very careful in how it describes Jesus. Jesus is the only begotten, and this word speaks to his uniqueness. From the Greek, it is clear that the who is begotten is exactly like the one who begot him. The word refers to Jesus' uniqueness, not his being a creation. A very different Greek word is used for "created" and this word is never applied to Jesus, unless describing Jesus as the creator. One has to purposefully ignore the meaning of the original texts to attempt to say Jesus is a created being.
This article discusses the similarities between the teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses that Jesus is not God to the "little gods" heresy of some prosperity preachers today. These two derivations from scripture have similar roots, and both errors share some fundamental misunderstands from scripture.

William I. Cetnar's "wheel of deity" is reviewed regarding the biblical texts declarations that both God the Father and Jesus the Son are in fact, the one true God. The fullness of deity is applied to both in scripture, yet Christianity is a monotheistic religion. While difficult to explain, the clarity of scripture is absolute.
It's so easy to complain. It's human nature and prevalent in the world around us. God, however, has called us to a better way. We need to realize that the Bible says that when we grumble, we are really grumbling against the Lord. Would we still complain if we honestly believed that God was sovereign in all things?
Inspired by a Jack Hayford podcast, this entry discusses the importance of recognizing our weaknesses within ourselves and our dependence on Christ. It's too easy to substitute true growth and trust in Jesus with confidence in our formulas/programs or faith in our self-perceived knowledge of the Word. It's also possible to simply give up with a defeatist view regarding our circumstances, or to avoid the truth of things with an unfounded positive view of what could possibly happen to us as Christians.
I grew up in a world where it was commonly taught that after Jesus died on the cross, he had to suffer in hell at the hand of Satan. This teaching was everywhere in the 1980s TBN world, but is it true? Many have backed off from this obvious false teaching, but not everyone. What does the Bible say happened to Jesus between the cross and the resurrection?
Having previously looked at promises of healing in the Bible, in this entry, we review examples where healing was not granted in New Testament scripture. Sometimes, God even seems to allow sickness or suffering for our own good. Sometimes, Jesus healed one of many and then walked away. Maybe we are not meant to be dogmatic regarding God's promises of healing, and maybe we're to trust his sovereignty.

This entry is my first entry on healing, and looking back, it must be considered in light of the others. This writing discusses Paul's thorn in the flesh, healing in the atonement, and the correct interpretation of Proverbs 23:7, from which comes the common phrase, "as man thinks in his heart, so is he."
Many in the church today are trying to follow worldly self-improvement teachings and ideologies. But is this what the Bible calls us to do, or is this man's thinking? Having recently taken a Ministry by Strengths course based on Tom Rath's book, Strengths Finder 2.0, I question the wisdom of this model. Following a leadership pattern set out by someone who doesn't even claim to be a Christian may result in a well-run, prosperous church, but will it be God's Church, or man's facsimile?
Do the warnings of Jesus regarding forgiveness not count because he was speaking during the time of the old covenant? Do we not need to worry about sinning because it's covered? Are we expected to fully follow the law, perfectly, because we are Christians? We look at these questions in this study of Jesus' words regarding forgiveness in Matthew 6 ("but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses").
Many Christians see the Bible as a list of things not to do. While this is an aspect of Christianity, not doing things can leave us empty, doing nothing. This is not profitable to our faith. True Christianity calls us to do the righteous works of God, replacing the "NOTs" we used to do with the good works we are called to do.
"If Bush is not reelected, the world will end as we know it, and if God is in control, he will win!" -When he was not reelected, "God is still in control, and this isn't the end of the world."

At a prayer meeting when Clinton was president, hearing "If Clinton doesn't immediately turn and do (something), strike him dead to remove him from office."

Hearing of a native Russian in 1993 speaking about removing Lenin's statues in Russia, "I don't think they should take him down... Because he's a part of our history... The Bible says we are to respect the government, and he was our government too."

What are the circumstances that should drive our voting? Our protesting? Our going to war? Our fighting against other humans who are made in God's image? Or is our battle a spiritual one, and are we doing it all wrong?

Watch this amazing pro-life speech by Gianna Jessen at Queen's Hall Parliament House in Victoria, Australia, on the eve of the debate to decriminalize abortion in Victoria. In the face of the lying cry "my body, my choice," Gianna speaks for the many innocent boys and girls who are never given a say about what is done to their bodies.

Nothing we do outside of God's will and without his help is ultimately worthwhile. The Bible says, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

What does the term "polluted garment" ("filthy rags" in the KJV) mean, and what can we learn about the beauty of partnering with God in everything we do?
This journal entry was penned during the opening days of "Obamacare" when Hobby Lobby was suing so they would not have to fund abortion. The entry discusses the science of what is and is not a true "pregnancy" and with that, what is or is not a true "abortion."

This journal entry speaks to the importance of keeping in prayer for fellow believers. We must stay in unity with our brethren.

Sometimes our prayers just don't seem to be answered. What does the Bible say about prayer? What are some Biblical reasons for prayer that appears unanswered?

Sleep is a struggle for some, including myself. God's word has some things to say about resting in him. God has been known to do mighty things for people while they were asleep.
Having looked at Jesus' teachings regarding money and prosperity, this fourth entry in our series on prosperity looks at the New Testament teachings on the subject. Are we to simply "be rich" because we are Christians? How does the Bible describe our labors and earnings in Christ?
This is the third entry in a series on Biblical prosperity. This article looks at what prosperity meant concerning Abraham and to how prosperity was addressed by Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus had quite a bit to say about money. Was one of those things, "Seek ye first financial blessing, that you may bless others in my name?"