Archive for March, 2008

Love, Courtship and Sex: Question and Answer #2

IF A BOY AND A GIRL WILL BE IN A RELATIONSHIP IN THEIR GRADE SCHOOL, DOES THIS MEAN THAT THEY ARE GETTING READY TO GET MARRIED?

– Definitely not. What I mean when I said that “you only start dating and courting when you are ready to get married” is when you are already old enough, capable enough to start a family. Remember, that marriage is a sacred one. We cannot treat it as a “Bahay-bahayan” or in bisaya if I am correct is “balay-balayan”. You will only be ready in marriage if you already have a stable job that could support a family, you are matured enough to handle a married life, you should be at the right age, in accordance to the family code of the Philippines, and (not or) if you already prayed for it. Therefore, I would suggest to you that you should not get into a relationship unless you are old enough. Being in grade school, I would say that you are still very young to be in love. What you are feeling is only “Puppy love”. If you will get into a relationship, of course the feeling of being cared for and of being in love is indeed very very good, however, that feelings will not last and when the time comes that you will be separating, you or the other person will still not escape the pain of being broken hearted. In other words, the relationship will definitely not last because it’s too premature yet the pain will be as painful as you have been maturely in love. In any case, especially if you are a girl, many boys will have a hard time respecting you. Having many relationships during your youth will somehow jeopardize your respectability as a Christian woman.

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Love, Courtship and Sex: Question and Answer #1

WHAT IF THE GIRL DOESN’T LIKE THAT HER FRIEND (BOY) WILL HAVE FEELINGS FOR HER?

First of all, we must understand that we do not have the control of another guy’s heart. If ever a friend of yours developed a feelings for you, may be he sees something admirable in you. (We can relate that to admiration or a puppy love or an infatuation wherein a person might develop certain electricity in his/her heart that they thought they are truly in love.) But, your not wanting to have a guy developed a feelings for you is quite normal. And there are many things that you can do to honestly and nicely tell the guy that it would be best if both of you would remain as friends. May be you can tell him that if he pursues you then you would be uncomfortable to be with him. And if you are still in your High School days, then telling your friend indirectly or directly that your focus right now is in your studies.

I had a classmate who is like you. Many guys adored her because of her kindness and Christ-like attitude. But as she consistently turned down guys and friends for the reason of focusing with her studies, people then respected her with her decision.

I am explaining this in the context that you do not want to have any relationship with any guys. But, if your primary concern is only with your guy friend (specifically), then it would be better for you to tell him straight forward that you can only treat him as a friend that if he will pursue courting you then you would be uncomfortable and your friendship would be at stake.

I hope I was able to answer your question.

 

All are welcome to give comments and suggestions.

The Heidelberg Catechism

Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

Answer: Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries;  the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

Why Memorize Scripture?

Why Memorize Scripture?
John Piper

First, a few testimonies: I have it third hand, that Dr. Howard Hendricks (of Dallas Seminary) once made the statement (and I paraphrase) that if it were his decision, every student graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary would be required to learn one thousand verses word perfect before they graduated.

Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization” (“Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person” in Vocatio, Vol. 12, no. 2, Spring, 2001, p. 7).

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture… No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).

One of the reasons Martin Luther came to his great discovery in the Bible of justification by faith alone was that in his early years in the Augustinian monastery he was influenced to love Scripture by Johann Staupitz. Luther devoured the Bible in a day when people earned doctorates in theology without even reading the Bible. Luther said that his fellow professor, Andreas Karlstadt, did not even own a Bible when he earned his doctor of theology degree, nor did he until many years later (www.orlutheran.com/html/luthbibl.html). Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said, “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” in order to confirm what he had found.

So here are a few reasons why so many have viewed Scripture memorization as so essential to the Christian life.

1. Conformity to Christ
Paul wrote that “we all… beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” If we would be changed into Christ likeness we must steadily see him. This happens in the word. “The LORD 
revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD” (1 Samuel 3:21). Bible memorization has the effect of making our gaze on Jesus to be steadier and clearer.

2. Daily Triumph over Sin
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word… I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9, 11). Paul said that we must “by the Spirit… put to death the [sinful] deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). The one piece of armor used to kill is the “sword of the Spirit,” which is the word of God (
Ephesians 6:17). As sin lures the body into sinful action, we call to mind a Christ-revealing word of Scripture and slay the temptation with the superior worth and beauty of Christ over what sin offers.

3. Daily Triumph over Satan
When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness he recited Scripture from memory and put Satan to flight (
Matthew 4:1-11).

4. Comfort and Counsel for People You Love
The times when people need you to give them comfort and counsel do not always coincide with the times you have your Bible handy. Not only that, the very word of God spoken spontaneously from your heart has unusual power. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” That is a beautiful way of saying,
When the heart full of God’s love can draw on the mind full of God’s word, timely blessings flow from the mouth.

5. Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers
Opportunities to share the gospel come when we do not have the Bible in hand. Actual verses of the Bible have their own penetrating power. And when they come from our heart, as well as from the Book, the witness is given that they are precious enough to learn. We should all be able to sum up the gospel under four main headings (1) God’s holiness/law/glory; 2) man’s sin/rebellion/disobedience; 3) Christ’s death for sinners; 4) the free gift of life by faith. Learn a verse or two relating to each of these, and be ready in season and out of season to share them.

6. Communion with God in the Enjoyment of His Person and Ways
The way we commune with (that is, fellowship with) God is by meditating on his attributes and expressing to him our thanks and admiration and love, and seeking his help in living a life that reflects the value of these attributes. Therefore, storing texts in our minds about God helps us relate to him as he really is. For example, imagine being able to call this to mind through the day:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)

I used the word “enjoyment” intentionally when I said, “communion with God in the enjoyment of his person and ways.” Most of us are emotionally crippled — all of us really. We do not experience God in the fullness of our emotional potential. How will that change? One way is to memorize the emotional expressions of the Bible and speak them to the Lord and to each other until they become part of who we are. For example, in Psalm 103:1, we say, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” That is not a natural expression for many people. But if we memorize this and other emotional expressions from the Bible, and say them often, asking the Lord to make the emotion real in our hearts, we can actually grow into that emotion and expression. It will become part of who we are. We will be less crippled emotionally and more able to render proper praise and thanks to God.

There are other reasons for memorizing Scripture. I hope you find them in the actual practice.

Still learning with you,

Pastor John 

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email:mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Heidelberg Catechism

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Small Children’s Catechism

By Chris Schlect

1. Who made you?
A. God

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2. What else did God make?
A. God made all things.

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3. Why did God make all things?
A. For His own glory

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4. Why do things work as they do?
A. God has so decreed it.

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5. How do we learn about God?
A. God reveals Himself.

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6. Where does God reveal Himself?
A. In His word and in nature

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7. What does God reveal in nature?
A. His character, law, and wrath

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8. What more is revealed in His Word?
A. God’s mercy toward His people

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9. Where is God’s Word today?
A. The Bible is God’s Word.

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10. How many Gods are there?
A. There is one true God.

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11. How many persons are in the Godhead?
A. three

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12. Who are these persons?
A. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

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13. Where is God?
A. He is everywhere.

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14. How long has God existed?
A. He has always been.

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15. How is man unique?
A. He bears God’s image.

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16. Who was the first man?
A. Adam

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17. What was Adam like at creation?
A. He was good.

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18. Did Adam remain good?
A. No, he sinned.

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19. What is sin?
A. disobedience to God’s law

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20. What is the penalty for sin?
A. death

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21. What came of Adam’s sin?
A. Death came to all men.

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22. Why did Adam’s sin affect all men?
A. we all sinned in Adam

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23. Must all men die for sin?
A. No, God elected some to life.

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24. How may we be saved from sin and death?
A. only through Jesus Christ

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25. Who is Jesus Christ?
A. He is God’s Son.

  26. Did Jesus ever sin?
A. No, only He is righteous.

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27. What did Jesus do for His people?
A. He conquered death.

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28. How did He do this?
A. He died, then rose again.

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29. What else did Christ conquer?
A. all his enemies

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30. Are His enemies powerful?
A. They have come to nothing.

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31. What did He give to His people?
A. His own righteousness

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32. What did He take from His people?
A. their sin

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33. How is Christ’s work brought to His people?
A. by the Holy Spirit

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34. What does the Holy Spirit do?
A. He gives faith.

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35. What is faith?
A. resting on Christ for salvation

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36. How do we recognize true faith?
A. it yields good works

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37. Who are Christ’s people?
A. they make up His church

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38. What are the traits of His church?
A. the Word, discipline, and sacraments

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39. How is the Word a trait of His church?
A. All God’s Word is preached.

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40. How is discipline a trait of His church?
A. God’s people are protected.

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41. What are sacraments?
A. signs and seals of God’s covenant

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42. What sacraments are there?
A. baptism and the Lord’s supper

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43. Who is Head of the Church?
A. Jesus Christ

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44. What offices has Christ appointed?
A. overseers and deacons

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45. Is His Church perfect?
A. It is being perfected.

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46. When will it be perfect?
A. at the resurrection

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47. What happens at the resurrection?
A. Christ judges all men’s deeds.

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48. What of those He deems righteous?
A. They dwell with Him forever.

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49. What of those He condemns?
A. They perish forever.

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50. How does this judgment affect Christ?
A. It magnifies His glory.

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