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"in the old and new testament. This guy says that as he learns about Christianity he doesn't like it. He says he finds it scary that God can be wrathful one minute and all about loving and accepting others the next. Help me better explain that He is the same God in both testaments and he shouldn't find it scary."

Well, Jesus will be just as wrathful too with those who don't repent—when the time comes:




Quote:
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (NIV)

6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.



If he doesn't like YHWH/Jesus' sense of justice, there's not much we can do. But yes, God is the same in the Old Testament and New Testament. He gives a bunch of chances to repent (ergo, Jesus warning to either "repent or perish" in Luke 13:1-5; he's taking a long time to come back and punish people because he prefers they repent, i.e. 2 Peter 3:9; just like YHWH in the Old Testament giving hundreds of years before wiping out the Amorites, Genesis 15:16) But God, the very one of the Old Testament, also relented of his wrath completely once he saw the nation (or the person) sincerely repenting of their sins:




Quote:
Jonah 3:10 (NIV)

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.






Quote:
Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV)

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’






Quote:
Joel 2:13 (NIV)

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.



The Father and the Son have the same level of mercy and wrath.

Also, it's not being wrathful "one minute" and not wrathful the next. That "minute" can take hundreds of years, if not thousands, for his punishment to come upon people. Of the people who were instantly smited, it was usually his own servants (priests and Levites more often than not) who violated one of his commands while serving him... or got prideful (like Korah). "Instant smite down" means you knew better, more than most, and still went ahead and did it (transgressed). Even in times of battle, the enemy nations were fully aware of the God they were messing with, and they still chose to attack. In all cases, anyone who felt YHWH's wrath had received plenty of warning beforehand.

Under Jesus' ministry, it's the same: he's showing us mercy every day (withholding punishment we deserve), giving every one of us plenty of opportunities to repent of our sins and be born-again; he is slow to anger, but if a person remains unrepentant, refusing to admit their sin / their transgression of his law, they will feel his wrath one day. The Book of Revelation, from chapter 6 and on (where Jesus starts opening seals, releasing plagues), is wrath on the world. To quote one example:




Quote:
Revelation 9:20-21 (NIV)

20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.



Like I said, Jesus started opening them in chapter 6. Just because he doesn't "like" this, doesn't mean he will avoid this. If he doesn't repent, that too will be him. If he does repent and reconcile with his Maker, only then will he be protected from all that.




Quote:
Revelation 7:3 (NIV)

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”






Quote:
Revelation 9:4-6 (NIV)

4. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.



And beyond any physical torment he endures on earth or not, more important is securing where he'll spend an eternity after judgment day: with God on the new earth? or cast into the lake of fire with the devil, his angels, the beast and the false prophet, where they'll be in torment forever? If you don't want to be with God, that's exactly what you'll get. He's giving people the chance to decide now while they have a chance: "do you want to be with me or not? You clearly hate me, so why would you want to spend eternity with me? It's my heavens, my earth, if you don't want me, nor want to live with me, than you'll have to go into exile, see what it's like to exist without a single bit of me." Right now, the wicked are living alongside God's people sharing the same planet, receiving the same rain and benefits. Once he separates the righteous from the wicked, there will be nothing of comfort left for the wicked.

What is so off-putting about him and any of his commands? He's protecting people with those commands, they help us maintain order, eliminate evil, and avoid all things that are detrimental to relationships/families (i.e. being enslaved to pleasure and to "self" to the point that you neglect the necessary things in life, duties, responsibilities; ergo why cheating on your spouse is a sin/transgression of his law, you're hurting the well-being and order of your family just for a moment of pleasure, that might actually hurt you just as much as your family). If he actually took time to meditate and seek God with his wholeheart, he would see how beneficial these commandments are.




Quote:
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 (NIV)

12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.






Quote:
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.






Quote:
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.



He's the highest Spirit in authority, there's no escaping him. You'll either be on his good side and shown favor—or on his bad side and shown wrath, because you want to stay his enemy and hate on him.

---


edit: and actually, it is suppose to be a scary thing.




Quote:
Philippians 2:12 (NIV)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,






Quote:
2 Corinthians 7:15 (NIV)

And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.






Quote:
Psalm 2:11 (NIV)

Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.



But his judgment is not something we should be worried about. In fear of, in reverence of? sure. But not worried if that's what you mean? If we're repentant and in prayer with him, there's no reason to be worried. We're not getting punished.




Quote:
1 John 4:18 (NIV)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.






Quote:
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.






Quote:
1 John 1:5-10 (NIV)

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Footnotes:

a 1 John 1:7 Or every



"Hey everyone i was just wondering if anyone had any good bible study tips for me. I am currently in the process of reading the bible and studying it"

#1
What has been the most beneficial to me is keeping a journal (whether online or a physical notebook). Use it to summarize, make notes about certain themes you see repeated, any moral lessons you see illustrated in the chapter, and write down any questions you have while reading. Summarizing the chapter in your own words forces you to make sense of everything you just read, and keep in check who is who / who is doing what to who. Writing down your questions/things you're wondering about is helpful because sometimes they'll be answered in other chapters (not the one you're currently reading). But also, you might have so many thoughts/questions coming to mind, that you might forget the thought and never get around to researching a little more in-depth about it. So, journaling—recording, summarizing, note-taking—is a must, I think.

#2
My second tip would be: learn how to use a concordance. It's useful to look up the meaning of names/words in the original languages (sometimes you'll notice a discrepancy in one version, how one version uses this word, but another translation uses that word, you might want to know what the original Hebrew/Greek says for clarification, sometimes it's not a big deal, but sometimes the meaning is a little more profound than what you would originally expect).

For example, I was reading 1 Samuel 28 (the version I personally read has a hebrew word in place already), but if you were reading the NIV for instance and noticed the strange footnote for verse 13...




Quote:
1 Samuel 28:13 (NIV)

13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure[a] coming up out of the earth.”

Footnotes:

a. 1 Samuel 28:13 Or see spirits; or see gods



Or some versions like the KJV just simply says "gods". You might be left wondering, why spirits/gods plural? You can look up the Hebrew for that verse in a concordance and you'll notice it says "elohim" which is a highly ambiguous word that gets applied from everything to YHWH, the Most High God, to demons, goddesses, idols, and apparently to dead Samuel (if not a reference to the spirits bringing him up). And you'll see the word "elohim" applied to all those different things once you look up the word in a concordance and notice all the places that word shows up. You''ll naturally make your way into deeper study like that.

Aside from looking up words, looking up the names is helpful; names can be more revealing about the person being spoken about and help you remember certain details about them. For example, say you want to look up Jeroboam's name, how it appears in 2 Kings 17:21; I go to biblos.com, type in the verse, click the Hebrew tab (since it's Old Testament, it'll be a "Hebrew" tab; if it were New Testament it would have a "Greek" tab instead of Hebrew), then click the blue link next to Jeroboam, then the "summary" tab, and it gives you the definition, Yarobam: "the people increase,". It helps me memorize certain details about him as a King (how YHWH gave him 10 tribes to rule over, and left only 2 tribes to Solomon's descendant [Rehaboam], because Solomon had turned idolatrous. And so, the people increased for him, like God had promised him).

#3
I would also suggest reading straight through a book, instead of switching books from one day to the next. However many chapters it is you read a day, whether one or three+, look back at your notes/summaries after reading the chapter(s) to maintain the train of thought, and then once you finish the book, you can look back at all your entries.

#4
This one was already implied a bit, but read daily. "I don't have time" is not an excuse I allow myself to make. If I don't have time, then I make time—even if that means getting up while it's still dark so I can get uninterrupted time to meditate on his word.



In short:

- keep a journal to summarize, take notes, write down what you're wondering about
- use a concordance to look up names and words in the original languages
- stick to one book until you finish it
- read daily


**I use two different websites to access the concordance entries: biblos.com and blueletterbible.org. But you'll get the same information. Biblos has more than just the strong's concordance; I think that's why I use that site most often when I want a quick definition. However, if I want to know all the places that a specific Hebrew/Greek term shows up, I use BLB. I don't know, I feel like BLB is a little more organized in that department: you can even limit the search results by book, which you can't do on biblos. That said, you're not limited to those websites. Those are just the ones I use in particular.

I hope this helps smilies/icon_heart.gif

edit: derp, more important than journaling would be to pray for discernment before reading; forgot to mention that smilies/icon_sweatdrop.gif



What is sin?


Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18 ). Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Not content with his position, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, “you shall be like God.”

Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam’s descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion, bringing to him spiritual death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on depravity is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

Another type of sin is known as imputed sin. Used in both financial and legal settings, the Greek word translated “imputed” means “to take something that belongs to someone and credit it to another’s account.” Before the Law of Moses was given, sin was not imputed to man, although men were still sinners because of inherited sin. After the Law was given, sins committed in violation of the Law were imputed (accounted) to them (Romans 5:13). Even before transgressions of the law were imputed to men, the ultimate penalty for sin (death) continued to reign (Romans 5:14). All humans, from Adam to Moses, were subject to death, not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic Law (which they did not have), but because of their own inherited sinful nature. After Moses, humans were subject to death both because of inherited sin from Adam and imputed sin from violating the laws of God.

God used the principle of imputation to benefit mankind when He imputed the sin of believers to the account of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for that sin—death—on the cross. Imputing our sin to Jesus, God treated Him as if He were a sinner, though He was not, and had Him die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). It is important to understand that sin was imputed to Him, but He did not inherit it from Adam. He bore the penalty for sin, but He never became a sinner. His pure and perfect nature was untouched by sin. He was treated as though He were guilty of all the sins ever committed by the human race, even though He committed none. In exchange, God imputed the righteousness of Christ to believers and credited our accounts with His righteousness, just as He had credited our sins to Christ’s account (2 Corinthians 5:21).

A third type of sin is personal sin, that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths to murder. Those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited and imputed sin. However,

believers have been freed from the eternal penalty of sin—hell and spiritual death—but now we also have the power to resist sinning.

Now we can choose whether or not to commit personal sins because we have the power to resist sin through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, sanctifying and convicting us of our sins when we do commit them (Romans 8:9-11).

Once we confess our personal sins to God and ask forgiveness for them, we are restored to perfect fellowship and communion with Him. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

We are all three times condemned due to inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin have all been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

THERE IS NO SIN A BELIEVER COULD COMMIT THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS NOT ALREADY PAID FOR WITH HIS LIFE. OUR LIVES ARE NOT OUR OWN. WE BELONG TO CHRIST. LET US LIVE HIM IN US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO IS OUR SEAL UNTIL ETERNAL LIFE IS OURS AND WE ARE PERFECTED IN OUR BELOVED LORD AND SAVIOR WHEN HE CALLS US UP TO HIM AND WE ARE FINALLY FINISHED WITH OUR SIN NATURE.





 
 
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