Christians in the Workplace (Part 1)


christians in the workplace

While pondering recently (which I seem to do regularly) I was contemplating Christian behavior in the workplace. Here are some incidents on my mind.

In early 2000’s after election as Chief Justice of Alabama, Roy Moore asserted his Christian beliefs – not for the first time – by championing replacement of a wooden plaque, hung in the Alabama Supreme Court building, with a granite block that weighs more than an adult rhinoceros, with the ten commandments chiseled into the face. A unilateral decision by a Christian judge concerning a public building. Even after a district court ruled that it must be removed Judge Roy insisted that it would not. The court fined the state of Alabama every day the monument remained. Finally, it was removed from the courthouse as was Judge Roy, a consequence of his defiance. Not ten years after his removal he was re-elected as Chief Justice of Alabama. Judge Roy defended his position by saying his responsibility was to God and not to man.

Some questions about Judge Roy’s attitude.

  • Was Judge Moore violating God’s Word if the Ten Commandments were removed from a public place?
  • What verse of scripture supports his stance?


A Christian brother, friend, and Pharmacist was forced to resign from his job because he refused to violate the Word of God. The controversy involved dispensing Plan B (morning after pills), which have a high probability of preventing most pregnancies if taken within 24 hours. A customer came to the pharmacy expecting her Plan B prescription to be filled. When she arrived at the pharmacy my friend told her that it was against his morals to provide her pills but that she could come back later when another pharmacist was on duty. My friend was asked to resign due to his stance.


  • As a Christian in the workplace, should we inform our employers of our beliefs and how it will impact the duties of our job?
  • Is it immoral to dispense the morning after pill, but moral to sell somebody a condom the day before?
  • Is the morning after pill an abortion since there is no guarantee of a fertilized egg?


Kentucky court clerk, Kim Davis, refused to issue ANY marriage licenses after the Supreme Court voted that same-sex marriages are a federal right. Mrs. Davis, a devout Christian, said that it is her duty to obey God in this matter and was subsequently jailed for five days due to her beliefs.

  1. Is issuing a marriage license a civil act or a religious act?
  2. Should she have notified her manager that she would not be issuing the marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision?
  3. Since she could not perform her duties, should she have resigned?

These are three incidents that made me think about Christian behavior in the workplace. What are our Christian responsibilities in the workplace?

Oversight with Blinders

checks and balances

“The Constitution was made to guard the people against the danger of good intentions.”  Daniel Webster

They have a private, highly trained army with no rules, no oversight, and no accountability. Stealth activities including killings, bombings, and tortures are commonplace. Am I describing a king, North Korea, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or a military dictator? These special operations teams are under the authority of the President of the US and our CIA.

Since 9-11, the special ops teams have doubled from 35,000 to 70,000 troops, distributed in 81 countries. This is an average of over 850 ops personnel in each country. Bolivia was 81st in population in 2013 with about 10,000,000.   This growth was funded by a five-fold increase in their budget from $2.1 billion to $10 billion.

These troops have no congressional or public oversight. Therefore, we do not know of their successes or failures because even the special ops personnel cannot tell their families about their missions.

Special Ops are an elite force with a specialized skill set of physical and mental abilities. They are honorable, loyal, and patriotic men and women with a love for our country. Unfortunately, they do not always know the political and economic reasons for their missions.

81 countries? I don’t know if I could list 81 countries.  If you poke a hornet’s nest, then don’t be shocked if you are stung.

Notice the absence of government checks and balances which the Constitution explicitly prescribes for our protection.


Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

The Federal Reserve is neither Federal nor Reserve. It’s a privately held organization authorized by Congress with no Congressional oversight. The owners are from multiple countries which determine fiscal policies in the U.S. Since the US money was decoupled from the Gold standard on August 15, 1971, by Richard Nixon, our fiat currency is backed by the good faith of the government. When Congress asks for a trillion dollars, the Federal Reserve types the number into a computer. Congress spends the money but owes the reserve a trillion dollars plus interest. The ramifications boggle my mind.

The Federal Reserve chairman is testifying before congress this week. She intimated to trust the Reserve because any Congressional oversight would be harmful to our economy.

Notice the absence of government checks and balances which the Constitution explicitly prescribes for our protection.


Paris was bombed this week resulting in 150 deaths and more injured. The public outpouring due to the tragic actions by terrorists is inspirational. The bombing was not a random act committed in an innocent country. The French are militarily committed to the fight in Syria by sending troops and weapons.  In a terrorist war, there are no boundaries for fighting. ISIS may not have highly trained special ops like the US but do have committed suicide bombers willing to wreak havoc in other nations. I’m not sure that it’s possible to win an ideological war against a loosely organized global terrorist movement. When individuals are willing to commit suicide to carry out their mission, anywhere in the world, then it’s a dangerously unpredictable force.

I’m not promoting succumbing to terrorism, but we are guilty of kicking the hornet’s nest and acting shocked when we are stung.


In the wake of 9-11, the extra-Constitutional Patriot Act was passed. This act traded our privacy rights for the promise of safety. Warrantless monitoring of unsuspected individuals on a massive scale, lying to the American people about the scope of data gathering, and spying on our allies were some of the egregious activities perpetrated by the NSA and CIA.

Eric Snowden stole over 200,000 pages of NSA documents and fled the country. His legacy as a traitor or a whistle blowing freedom fighter will be determined in the future. He exposed the deception of our government officials who have lied (the political euphemisms are “misspoke”, “can’t recall”, or “plead the fifth”) under oath concerning covert unthreatening activities. This has caused public embarrassment but no apparent national security breaches.

What do these incidents have common?  Violations of the constitution by all branches. Congress has ceded their Constitutional authority of oversight, the Executive Branch (Bush and Obama) have exceeded their Constitutional authority by executive orders or implementing programs without oversight, and the Judicial branch have violated their oaths of office. The following oath is taken by all federal employees except for the president.

“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.  So help me God.”

Our Constitution has been the foundation of our country for 225 years. When enough people choose not to “support and defend the Constitution”, then our checks and balances fail. This will result in the powerful and influential ruling our country. Pray for those in authority.

1 Timothy 2

I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The Medical Costs Labyrinth

medical costs

Would you buy a car without knowing the price? Would you buy a house without knowing the price? Would you even buy a pair of pants at the mall without knowing the price? Most of us want to know the cost of anything before we buy it. However, for medical services, most people find out the cost of the services when the bill arrives. Sometimes there are additional services billed including facilities charges and anesthesiologist services.

The medical costs in the US comprise 17% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product).  That’s one out of every six dollars in our economy.  In 2013, 60% of all bankruptcies were due to medical bills, 78% of them had health insurance. I believe there is a correlation between unknown medical costs and medical bills bankruptcy. This is a systemic problem in the U.S. as a result of the collusion of insurance companies, health care owners, and politicians.

My Story

In 2013, my dentist referred me to a local ear, nose, and throat doctor due to a sore throat.  After the ENT identified that I had a malignant tumor, he referred me to an oncologist. I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer which was compounded by no health insurance. This initiated my journey to understand my health costs.

Diagnostic Services

My oncologist requested diagnostic testing in order to survey the quantity, location, size, and activity level of the tumor(s). She recommended a PET scan and an MRI. This combination of tests would have cost over $10,000 locally. I asked if the MRI was needed since I did not have any insurance. The doctor said that a CT instead of an MRI would be sufficient. The cost of a PET scan and a CT scan would be over $5500. This was still a lot of money out of my wallet.

I then started searching the internet to compare pricing of these services. I found a diagnostic facility close to Orlando, Florida that would perform the same services for $1200, about 20% of the local cost.  I made an appointment, booked a flight, reserved a rental car, and embarked on a 15-hour day trip to Orlando. The total cost was $1600. I saved almost $3000 by taking a day trip out of state. This illuminated my understanding of the profit margins of different health care businesses.

Choosing a Cancer facility

The next step was to choose a facility for radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  I inquired about the total costs of treatments and the hospital took over a month to provide me a cost estimate. This required multiple calls, reminders, and escalations. Meanwhile, my stage 3 tumors continued to rapidly grow.

In the interim, I checked with an independent cancer center, located a block away from the hospital. It was a fantastic facility with a great staff and doctors. They provided me a cost estimate within a week. The hospital was going to charge $65,000 and the independent center would cost $40,000. Unfortunately, the hospital was unsure if the $65,000 was the only costs that I would be billed. I opted for the independent cancer center and had a great experience.  Note: In 2014, the independent center was absorbed by two hospitals. Now the facility is only used for chemotherapy.

Ear Tubes

In 2014, I lost 50% of my hearing due to post-radiation trauma. The doctors told me that my hearing loss was permanent and to make an appointment to be fitted for a hearing aid. I visited an ENT who said that I had fluid in my ears. He recommended tubing my ears in his office. I enquired about the cost without insurance. I was told $400. The procedure took about 15 minutes, which entailed: drill a small hole in the eardrum, vacuuming the fluid through the hole, and then insert a small tube with a grommet into the hole. I paid the $400 for the procedure, but then weeks later I received another $400 bill for a facilities charge from the hospital. My $400 estimate doubled. Yikes! My experience is that the doctors and care providers are far removed from costs. Even billing departments are not aware of the additional auxiliary costs from other facilities, e.g. radiologist, anesthesiologist, labs, etc.

Ear Tubes part 2

My hearing was perfect for months after the ear tubes were inserted. At the end of 2014 the tubes fell out as planned, the holes in my ear drums healed, and the fluid returned to my ears. My hearing was back to the pre-tubed state. In 2015, I landed stable employment as a full-time faculty member at a local community college, which included benefits. I then began exploring options to improve my hearing.

I went back to my ENT for his advice (he did not inform me in 2014 that I could be back in a year with the same problem). He recommended a more permanent tube, but ithe procedure would require anesthesia because, during the insertion of the new tubes, he would need to temporarily touch my inner ear, which he described as excruciating pain.

Even though I had insurance, good stewardship required me to know my out-of-pocket costs for the procedure.  The ENT office provided me their charges, but the hospital and anesthesiologist could not provide pricing in time, so the procedure was postponed.

I called Blue Cross with the procedure code, insurance id, and hospital name, but they would not provide their allowed cost for the procedure. They will provide their allowed costs after the procedure but not before. Blue Cross said to ask the provider.  The hospital let me know that they bill $8000 for the half-hour procedure, but Blue Cross will only pay $4000. Since I am on an 80/20 plan then my cost would be $800. The American Anesthesiologist (a national conglomerate of Anesthesiologists) said they could not tell me how much their services would cost me.

I then decided to try a non-conglomerate hospital. I called Sanford, NC and immediately was notified that my cost would be $625 for the hospital charge.  Next I contacted a hospital at Rocky Mount, NC, one hour away, and received an out the door cost of $265 for the hospital charges.

Here are my hospital facilities estimates for a 15-minute outpatient procedure to have my ears tubed at three different locations.

  • Raleigh $800
  • Sanford $625
  • Rocky Mount $265

This is assuming that the procedure goes as planned. This does not include the anesthesiologist charges or the ENT bill. I did receive an estimate of my costs, from my ENT, for $108.

The same insurance policy and the same procedure produce vastly different allowed costs by the same insurance company.  Even the allowed cost in Raleigh of $800 is the same charge at their ambulatory surgery center as their full-service hospital.

Why would an insurance company allow $4000 at an ambulatory surgical center and only $1300 at a full-service hospital that is 60 miles away? Remember, this is for the same insurance policy and the same procedure code.

One billing agent told me that most insurance companies have an across the board discount of 6-10% of their billed costs, but Blue Cross has a complicated algorithm that is difficult to unravel.

Patient Cost Transparency

I believe that this is an area of oversight that the government can add value. This year, congress enacted that all mortgage loans require the lender to receive a copy of their HUD statement at least 3 days before their closing date. This is a fix for people receiving their closing costs the night before or even the day of a closing.

In our free enterprise society, the medical community is shielded from competition by the lack of cost transparency. I think that the cost of any non-emergency medical procedure or operation should be available to all patients, with or without insurance, prior to contracting for services. This requires a caveat in the case of emergency procedures, undetected problems during surgery, etc.

Too many people press their “I believe” buttons when they go to the doctor. Most people find out their costs after medical services are rendered because the culture does not demand the information ahead of time.

I called my NC state legislature representative’s office yesterday.  The office has referred my concerns to the Dept. of Insurance liaisons.

 Spiritual Matters – 1 Corinthians 12

 body of christ

God is spirit (John 4:24). Therefore our communications with God are spiritual. In 1 Corinthians 12, God proceeds to explain about some of the spiritual things in the church so that we will be equipped saints.

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I would not have you ignorant.

This chapter is about spiritual matters because the subject is broader than gifts. The Greek word is pneumatikos which means spiritual things. The phrase “I would not have you ignorant” or a close variant is used seven times in the New Testament. It means that God wants us to have a full understanding. We have no excuses to be clueless.

2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as you were led.

Gentiles are the nations, not Jewish. They were led away to mute idols fashioned by man’s hands.

3 Why I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

“Speaking by the Spirit of God” is speaking in tongues. Therefore no man speaking in tongues curses Jesus and only by speaking in tongues can a man really say that Jesus is Lord.

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with.

There are different gifts from the same spirit

There are different administrations from the same Lord

There are different energizing’s but the same God who energizes all of them in all believers.

The manifestation of the spirit is given to each man for the benefit of all. The following verses list the nine manifestations of the spirit and emphasize that each are profitable.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Each of the nine manifestations produce a profit. Each believer has the ability to operate all nine manifestations.

11 But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

All of the manifestations are energized by the same Spirit, distributing to every man as the man wills.

12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

The body of Christ is one but has many members and all members comprise the entire body of Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

We are all members of the body of Christ by the baptism of holy spirit, both Jews and Gentiles, and slaves or non-slaves.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

The body is not composed of only one member.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now has God set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.

God is comparing the body of Christ to the human body. Just like we need our hands and eyes which provide different functionality and are needed, so are all nine of the manifestations needed because they each provide a different function.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 No, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

God does not want divisions in the body because we have different gifts and talents. We are to have the same care for all members of the body.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

We are each unique members of the body of Christ. Your talents and gifts are not replaceable. If you do not contribute then then the body is handicapped or lacking.

28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

The equipping ministries (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) and the nine manifestations are all needed. They are for the building up of the body.

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I to you a more excellent way.

Zealously desire the best gifts. As we continue into Chapter 13 the more excellent way is to think, speak, and live life in love(agape).

The Mystery

mystery solved

Hid in God

A Study of the Mystery

We are all intrigued by the unknown. Enthralled by card tricks, magic shows, mystery novels, CGI effects in movies, and how the internet works, we enjoy being wowed. God gave us a curiosity and desire for things that are above the natural – the supernatural. In the church letters, God introduces a mystery which was revealed after Jesus resurrection.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:9 (KJV)

God wants us all to understand and experience the fellowship of the mystery, which he hid since Adam. This is the same God that created all things. If you have a bible that has the phrase “by Jesus Christ”, then omit the phrase because it was added by the translators and is not in the critical Greek texts.

What is this mystery that God hid from his people in the Old Testament and the Gospels, but now wants to reveal to the Church? Why are we the privileged ones to know this mystery? Are we more special than the others? We will explore the answers to these questions in this article.

The mystery is composed of three main components. The first is personal, the second is corporate, and the third is destiny.


Col_1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Col_1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The first part is about the mystery among the Gentiles (Nations), which is “Christ IN you, the hope of the glory”. In the Old Testament, the Israelites looked forward to Christ’s first coming. In the Gospels, Christ is present with his apostles, disciples, and the masses.  They heard his teachings, saw the healings and miracles, and experienced his friendship and love.  Life was good for the twelve apostles. Then in John16 he baffles them with the following statement.

Joh_16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient [more profitable] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Did he really tell them that life, after he left, would be better after he left because the Comforter is his replacement? Absolutely. The Comforter is the Holy Spirit, also called Christ in you. Instead of having Christ WITH them then they would have Christ IN them. This meant there would never be a separation with Christ. This applies to all believers. Once you are saved you have Christ in you.  He is always available! This was a mystery that even Satan and his minions regretted.

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Praise God for his manifold wisdom.


 After reviewing how the mystery relates to us individually, we will now explore how we are related to other believers. This is a long passage from Ephesians about how marriage between a man and a woman is to be an example of the mystery.

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

We are to submit ourselves to one another in Godly respect.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Wives are to submit themselves, not to a husband, but to their own husbands, as unto the Lord

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

The husband is the head of his wife, just like Christ is the head of the church.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Wives are to be subject to their husbands just as the Church submits to Christ.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Husbands are charged with loving their wives like Christ loved the Church. Husbands, remember that Christ willingly died for the Church.

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

This love includes sanctifying and cleansing her, not with your words, but with the Word of God.

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Husbands, love your wife as your own body.

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:

Husbands, nurture, cherish, encourage, support, and comfort your wife even as the Lord does the same for the Church.

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

The Church IS Christ’s body and Christ is the head. This is an analogy to our physical bodies.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Marriage is a revelation of the mystery. Husbands with their wives is a microcosm of Christ and the Church.

Just like every cell has the same DNA in our bodies, every member of the Church body had the same DNA, Christ in you.


The first part of the mystery is about salvation which results in Christ IN you. The

second part is about the interconnection of the saved members which compose the

body of Christ and their relationship to Christ, who is the head. We will now look at the destiny of this body.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Paul is revealing a mystery about we [the Church] shall not all sleep [die] but we will all be changed.

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

In an atom [ the smallest unit of time possible], the trumpet will blast, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [in perfect health]

1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

The corruptible bodies of the dead will put on incorruptible [perfect health for eternity], The mortals [those that are alive but death doomed] will put on immortality [perfect health for eternity].

1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

After the dead and the living have perfect health for eternity, then Death will be swallowed up in the victory. Until then, death will continue to have a limited victory.

1Co 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

These are the questions after the dead and the living have put on perfect health for eternity.

1Co 15:56  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the Body, will provide this victory when he comes for his saints.

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Because of this destiny we are to be stand firm and fast in our callings because our labor is not in vain.

Understanding and applying the mystery is vital to our Christian walk. Be encouraged by this knowledge.

Faith Comes by Hearing

faith comes by hearing

The tenth chapter of Romans is a tremendous section from the Word of God. Paul provides a perspective on salvation and instructions for receiving salvation.

10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

Notice that this verse is addressed to Israel. Paul always went to the synagogues first because he believed in this verse.

For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

The Jews were zealous of God according to man’s thoughts and ways. This may be talking about the 600+ fence laws that were instituted by the religious leaders to keep people far away from breaking the law.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

These Jews were endeavoring to earn their righteousness by their works instead of by God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Since Christ fulfilled the law then the Mosaic Law ended on the day of Pentecost for all those that believe.

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

There are rewards and consequences for the Law. In Deuteronomy 28

28 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:

Verses 3-13 proceed to list the blessings received for obeying ALL His commandments. The requirement for receiving the blessings is to fulfill 100% of the law. If you missed one then you fell short and received the cursings.

In verse 15, God declares the consequences of not obeying ALL of the law

15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

In verses 16-68, God elaborates on the cursings resulting from not obeying ALL of the law. God spent 11 verses detailing the blessings for obeying ALL of the law and 53 verses detailing the cursings for NOT obeying ALL of the law. Why would God spend approximately five times more verses to explain the cursings?

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Christ is seated at the right hand of God in heaven (Colossians 3:1).

Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

God raised Christ from the dead three days and three nights after his burial.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

The following two verses are the minimal requirements for salvation; confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

This highlights our need to stop being Lord over our lives and confess Jesus as the new Lord in our life. Then we confess that God raised Jesus from the dead because otherwise the Lord of our life is dead.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Christ died for both the Jews and the Gentiles, extending his riches to all that believe.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they are sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!

There is a progression in these two verses.

  1. Send – Our responsibility
  2. Go – Our responsibility
  3. Preach – Our responsibility
  4. Hear – Their responsibility (fulcrum)
  5. Believe – Their responsibility
  6. Call on him [Jesus] – Their responsibility
  7. Salvation – God’s responsibility

They are presented in reverse order, but the progress is forward. Our responsibility is to Send, Go, and Preach. Their responsibility is to Hear, Believe, and Call on Jesus. God’s responsibility is Save those that believe.

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith (believing) comes by hearing the Word of God. Hearing the Word of God is the fulcrum of faith. It’s the hearer’s responsibility to tenderize their heart for receiving the Word of God.

Paul the Apostle expresses God’s desire for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved, the inadequacy of the Mosaic Law producing  righteousness, ,the details of how to be saved, then the steps for sharing salvation with our friends, relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors. Share how God has changed your life and the Good News that Christ wants to change their life.

My Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves

These are some of my observations on the coarsening of our culture. This is not extensive because it will probably grow, but definitely not shrink.

  • OMG – This is a ubiquitous acronym meaning “Oh my God”. No Christian should ever use this exclamation because at best it’s a numbing of the meaning of God and at its worse blasphemy. Choose another exclamation e.g. “Thank you very much.”, “Whoa”, “Wow!”, “What???”,
  • Like – This is an overused filler word which can be left out most of the time. It’s appropriate when using a simile e.g. “It was so hot today that it felt like the desert.” Usually, this is a result of laziness when talking.
  • Frigging – Frigging is a substitute for the F-bomb. It seems to be nice, but it has the same meaning. Find another adjective in the thesaurus or even better just leave it out. Instead of saying “That was frigging great.” just say, “That was great.”
  • Addiction to electronic devices –Learn the art of conversation. Sitting in a room with friends and family while texting is usually not a necessity but, a habit. One of the problems with electronics addictions is that your mind is constantly occupied with email, text, Snapchat, music, Facebook, etc. This means that there is limited to no time allocated to think, process, muse, ponder, and have that critical inner dialogue.

My nephew, from Rhode Island, visited us at a North Carolina beach. He was walking on the beach by the surf with his smartphone in hand and buds in ears. He was on vacation and spent his time listening to music and texting with friends. I asked home about his frequency of texting and he said “About 300-400 a day”. That may be an exaggeration but over 100 a day is a lot!

Just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think. – Matthew Crawford

  • Thinking a ringing phone or text needs immediate attention – Screen your phone calls and text because most are not a real-time response. It’s a modern opportunity to always be available for communication. Millennials are the first generation to have cell/smart phones from elementary school.

If I am visiting somebody’s office and their phone rings, then they will inevitably answer the phone as if it’s a higher priority. However, if another person comes to the office then they will have to wait for my visit to complete. They are both disruptive, but a phone call seems to have priority over a personal visit.

Take advantage of your voice mail to control your time. Allocate specific times of day to catch up on email and voicemail.

  • Social media is a poor choice for therapy – If you are having relational problems then Facebook (or any social media) is a bad forum because it’s public, and most of your “friends” are not really friends but acquaintances. It can become gossip, which is a sin. Some things are better handled in private.
  • Comparing yourself to others – The popularity of tabloid magazines (People, US, most of the magazines at the check-out counter) are about the wealthy, famous, beautiful people and the façade of their great lives. We like to live our lives vicariously by imaging how great their lives are. The same thing happens with Facebook. We see pictures of smiling people at events or on vacation but never pictures of the struggles and frustrating times. This presents a distorted view of life when balance is needed. We all have good times and bad times. We like to hide the uncomfortable in our lives when those weaknesses are what makes us relatable.
  • Pursuing the world’s unattainable beauty standards – Most of the models have a makeup artist, a hairstylist, professional photographers, lighting, and Photoshop. Even the models do not look like their pictures. God made you beautiful. Focus on your inward beauty.

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. (Matthew 15:11)

What comes out of your mouth reveals your heart which is fed from your mind. To improve your beauty, change what you put into your mind, which will influence your heart, which will change the words that come out of your mouth. Now that’s a beauty makeover!