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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thinking on Bible Translations

There are many people who have no use for a modern language Bible translation.  I am not in their camp and if you will be patient with me I will tell you why.  In my father's last couple of years of life he was in and out of the hospital and the nursing homes (for rehab) frequently.  He was at home when he could be but often that was not possible.  The pattern would be the hospital, the nursing home, and then back home where we would start the whole process all over again.  

One day when Dad was in the nursing home I asked him if I could bring him some reading material as it would help him pass the time.  His response was he would not know the words and would not know what they meant.  It was an honest answer.  While my father was a great math student he was a horrible English student and his grades in school reflected that.  Reading was very difficult for him. 

My grandfather on my Dad's side was born in 1879 and all my other grandparents were born in the 1880s.  My grandfather on my mother's side was off on his own when he was 13 working for one farmer and then another in the state of Illinois.  His education ended, I believe, in the 5th grade and one must also remember the school year back then was very abbreviated compared to today.

None of my grandparents got past the 8th grade.  I know the family purchased for my grandfather on my mother's side a Revised Standard Version of the Bible just because of the reading difficulty issue with the King James Version with one of so little education.  This purchase was made way back in the 50s or early 60s when for all practical purposes there were only 3 translations available to most people—the KJV, the ASV, and the RSV. 

As for today, I have spent nearly 40 years in classrooms either as a full-time teacher or as a substitute teacher.  I can assure you that even to this day many kids, and I am talking about high school kids, cannot read satisfactorily.  Reading is difficult for many of them and reading with comprehension is even more so.

My experiences with my own family and with kids in school have led me to have sympathy for those who have difficulty reading and understanding what they read.  I will never forget the words of my Dad that he could not understand the words.  Are we to deny people the opportunity to read a modern-day language Bible that they just might have a chance of understanding versus the King James Bible where chances are they just give it up as hopeless?

I personally gave up the King James Version when I came across the phrase "evil concupiscence" (Col. 3:5) one day in my reading.  I felt like there was probably not more than 1 person in 1,000 ordinary everyday Americans who knew what the word "concupiscence" meant.  I switched over to the New King James Version which I have now used for years.  (I might add that the NKJV and the NASU translate the Greek in Col. 3:5 as "evil desire" which even I could understand). 

Is making the Bible easier to read a sin?  Which translation, if one would learn its teaching and follow it out in his life, is so bad that it would lead one to hell?  Would it be the New King James Version, the New American Standard Version, the English Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, the Holman Christian Standard Version, the Christian Standard Version, which one would it be?  Yes, they all have passages they have not translated well as judged by those qualified to make such judgments but so does the King James Version. 

My plea would be to have sympathy for those who find reading to be difficult.  Don't judge a man by the translation he carries and uses but by the life he lives.  "By their fruits you will know them" (Matt. 7:20 NKJV) and not by the Bible translation they carry.  Let me offer you a challenge.  Read the book of Job in the King James Version and then read it in say the New International Version and then tell me which one you got the most out of.  I'd say you already know but try it and see. 

[For those interested in reading up on the subject of Bible translations I can recommend the following books which I suspect are all on Amazon but you will have to check and see:  (1) How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss, (2) King James Only?:  A Guide To Bible Translations by Dr. Robert A. Joyner, (3) The King James Version Debate:  A Plea for Realism by D. A. Carson, (4) The King James Only Controversy:  Can You Trust the Modern Translations by James R. White, (5) Questions You’ve Asked About Bible Translations by Jack Lewis, (6) and saving perhaps the best for last One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? by Dave Brunn.] 

(While I originally wrote this article in 2013, I add this update in 2022.  I have expanded the translations I read and study from since 2013 to include the Christian Standard Bible, the English Standard Version, the New International Version, and occasionally I even consult the New Living Translation.)

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rebellion Against the Word of God in America

 A couple of items in the news recently, the year 2013, caught my attention.  In New Jersey, Gov. Christie signed a bill "barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight."  If you want to read the article it is still online as I update this article here in 2022 under the title "Christie Signs Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy in New Jersey."  You can do a copy and paste and Google it.

I quote from the article I read, "The Republican governor also said the health risks of trying to change a child's sexual orientation . . . outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice."  Also quoting from the same article, "Christie said he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin."  California also has a similar law.

It ought to be obvious to anyone who knows the Bible and can read that homosexuality is a sin in God's eyes.  Here is what the Bible says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.   Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 6:9-10 NKJV, my underlining)  Does Christie get to trump God in deciding what is and what is not sin?

In Romans 1 we read the following:

"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, . . .  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." (Rom. 1:24, 26-27 NKJV)  Does Gov. Christie believe this passage teaches that homosexuality is not a sin?

Note from the passage just quoted that God gave these people up to uncleanness.  Now I ask you what was this uncleanness associated with?  Was it not with homosexual acts?  A homosexual act in God's eyes is uncleanness.  I do not mean to imply that homosexual acts would be the only kind of acts that fit into the category of uncleanness but certainly, they are included if this passage is to have any meaning.

Here are a couple of New Testament passages that associate uncleanness with sexual sin in addition to the one above.

Paul speaking, "Lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced." (2 Cor. 12:21 NKJV)  The word is clearly used in the context of speech about sexual sin.

Paul speaking again in Gal. 5:19 says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness." (NKJV)  Here again, uncleanness is in a list of sexual sins and we already know that while homosexual acts are not the only acts of uncleanness they are nonetheless one type of such acts based on Rom. 1:24, 26-27.  Do Gov. Christie and the lawmakers in New Jersey as well as those in California think the unclean will inherit God's blessing?  But then do some of them even believe there is a God?  If they do, do they believe the Bible is the word of God?  If so do they believe he meant what he said or is he wishy-washy?

But I want to mention one other thing in the news just this morning, Sept. 4, 2013, which I saw on Fox News.  It seems in the state of Oregon a lady by the name of Melissa Klein had a bakery and cake decorating business.  When a lesbian couple planning on marrying came in asking her to make a wedding cake for them she refused.  What happened?  It got in the news and on social media and she was besieged by demonstrators and protestors carrying signs in front of her store forcing her to close her business (she moved it into her home).

She refused to make the cake for the couple out of her Christian faith.  Did she do what was right according to scripture?  Hear Paul, "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure." (1 Tim. 5:22 NKJV, my underlining)  "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Eph. 5:11 NKJV, my underlining)

Now hear John, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ (teaching of Christ-ESV), hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ (teaching-ESV), he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 1:9-11 KJV)  Would helping one commit sin be a thing God would look favorably on?

Solomon said, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." (Prov. 8:13 NKJV)  So I guess the lady was to hate evil by making the cake and profiting off it and by helping out those who were engaging in it?  Is that right?  She did what was right and separated herself from any association with the sins of others.  She did not help others sin by assisting them in doing it.

The main point I wanted to get at in this article is the fact that Christianity and the Bible and even God himself are under attack in America today.  I have never seen a time like this where it has been so pervasive all throughout society and throughout our government.  People simply no longer care what the Bible says.  They are no longer willing to accept it nor want anything to do with it.  They are writing their own bibles, that is to say they are guiding their lives by the rules they have set up for themselves irrespective of any religion.

They are like Gov. Christie who is supposed to be a Catholic but does not care what his church teaches or what the Bible says and will not allow parents of homosexual children to get professional help under threat of law for those who provide the help.  I truly believe Christians in America are headed for persecution both by the government (by law) and by a people, fellow Americans, who have rejected the word of God and decided like the children of Israel to go their own way without God.

(All underlining was done by me for emphasis.)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Preaching on Hell—Then and Now

I am reading a book entitled A Time to Laugh…Grandpa Was a Preacher by Leroy Brownlow.  Here is a short take from it:

"At a preachers' conference that was held to discuss the merits of preaching on hell, the chairman pointed him out and asked, 'Do you preach on hell very often?'

'No, not often.'

'Why not?' inquired the chairman.  'Is it because you feel that you are not effective on this topic?'

'No, because it disrupts the service.'

'How's that?' continued the chairman.

'It's like this,' explained grandpa, 'the audience becomes so fatigued fanning that I have to declare a recess about every five minutes.'" (Page 23)

Funny, yes, but while funny there is truth here about the preaching of days gone by versus today.  Growing up in the 50's thru the early to mid 60's I often heard sermons that would figuratively speaking curl your toes and send chills up your spine.  In those days hell was real and man was in present danger of ending up there without faith, gospel obedience, and living thereafter a faithful Christian life.

Today it seems no one is afraid of God and everyone seems to believe that in the end no one is going to hell despite their disregard for spiritual things in this life.  The idea is just so you are a decent person, the way society today defines that, then all is well and you will be okay in the end.  No need to worry about reading your Bible, obeying all those commands, attending worship services, etc.  Why even non-Christians may get to heaven seems to be the thinking of the day.

Many despise all that old-time fear-mongering preaching but one wonders whether or not we are better off today without it than we would have been had we kept it up?  After all, those preachers of days gone by did preach on other subjects as well but they made it clear there were things you had to do to be saved and you left those services not doubting for a minute but what they were right.  If a tornado (think hell) is headed directly for you don't you think you might be better off if the weatherman (think preacher) warned you versus giving you soothing words of peace and all is well?

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Love Versus Love

In 1 Cor. 13 Paul talks about and defines love.  If we believe he was an inspired apostle of God then his words were the words of God.  He claims as much when he said earlier in the book, "These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Cor. 2:13 NKJV)

All of us seem to have our own dictionary when it comes to defining terms.  We want words defined the way we desire they be defined even if it means we write our own dictionary.   Even the word "is," as small as it is, came into question as to its meaning if you remember the days of Bill Clinton.  The word "love" is a word we all seem to want defined the way we want it defined.

American society today has defined the word love in a way that is contrary to the way the Bible defines it.  Love for the adulterer, for the one engaged in fornication, for the active homosexual in America today means you tacitly embrace them in the very acts which the Bible calls sin.  And, we are afraid not to do it as the ones involved are often family members or friends whose love we do not want to risk by upsetting them.  The end result is we never rebuke the sinner and he or she goes on their merry way as if all is well with their spiritual being.

They are not to be rebuked for sin, in today’s society, but are to be treated as if they were righteous.  You seemingly are to rejoice that they have been made free to sin without stigma.  If a couple has a child outside of marriage you are to think how wonderful it is that they have a child.  This reaction to sin is now called "love."

Of course, that means our society would have condemned John the Baptist who refused to hold his tongue with Herod and Herodias but rather told Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have her." (Matt. 14:4 NKJV)  Today we want to do what Herod did and persecute the one who speaks out against sin.  We would say John the Baptist was a hater and intolerant, the only true sinner among the three, and that beheading was too good for him.

But how does God define love?  In 1 Cor. 13:6 Paul says of love, "It does not rejoice at wrongdoing." (ESV)  The Bible has declared adultery, fornication, and homosexuality to be sin or wrongdoing (1 Cor. 6:9-10) yet how many Americans rejoiced with the coming of no-fault divorce freeing up the adulterer from blame?  How many rejoiced with the most recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage?  That was seen as being merciful, tolerant, and a loving act, and it was about time they received equal rights and ceased to be discriminated against.  There was no point in discussing it with God for if he was to disagree he would be wrong and besides we define love nowadays, not God.  Yes, we have love versus love and the only question is whose definition will prove to hold up in the end.  Most of the world seems to be staking their claim on man, not God.

Our society has had a desire to redefine sin for we as a people have been unhappy with some of God's declarations on it.  Sin is no longer sin because of anything God has said in the Bible but sin is now what man declares it to be.  It is no longer what the Bible declares but what man declares.  It is what seems wrong in man's eyes, not in the eyes of the God of the Bible.   

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isa. 5:20 NKJV)

Woe, woe, woe to man.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Sin of Being Deceived

1 Tim. 2:12-14 has always troubled me a little.  It reads, "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." (NKJV)

Paul says elsewhere, "the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness" (1 Cor. 11:3 NKJV) which Eve herself admitted in Gen. 3:13 when she said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (NKJV)

I would have thought that sinning with one's eyes wide open (Adam) would be worse than sinning because one was deceived (Eve).  Of course, I understand both suffered the same penalty for sin so in that sense it mattered not but it does seem that Eve was to be blamed in a way Adam was not, and for the worse, not for the better.

Eve's sin was that she was willing to believe one who contradicted what the word of God said and acted on that belief.  That ought to be a lesson for us all, male or female, for that was the road that led to her ruin.  You can read in 1 Kings 13:1-33 about another person who did the same thing, allowed himself to be deceived, a man described as a man of God, and who likewise suffered for it.  God does not give mankind a pass for being honestly deceived.  He does not look with favor on those who will take someone else's word over his own.

This being the case it would behoove the Protestant world to take another look at baptism.  Will the Protestant believe God’s word that baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV), the washing away of one’s sins (Acts 22:16), the “antitype which now saves us, namely baptism” (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV) or will he or she continue to believe a deception of man that it is merely a sign?  The word sign is not once used in the New Testament in association with the word baptism, not once.  It is an invention of man.

But if the reply is we are saved by faith, not by baptism, a false dichotomy is set up for who says it must be one or the other exclusively?  If these are the only two requirements for salvation then repentance from sin is not required.  We know that is not true.  The truth is everything related to salvation begins with faith.  Faith is the motivating factor but it is not the end-all of salvation but merely the starting point from which everything else flows.

As sure as the Bible teaches that faith is a requirement for salvation it just as surely teaches that repentance is (Acts 2:38, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30) and that baptism is.  Who wants to try to explain to God on the Day of Judgment why he believed man rather than God’s own word?  Eve chose to believe another over God.  It did not work out well for her.  Likely, it will not work out any better for anyone who tries it today. 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Did God Know Adam and Eve Would Sin

The answer is yes but it is a hard answer to accept for some for they cannot understand how man, make that Adam and Eve, could keep from sinning if God foreknew they would sin.  Did they have free will is the question being asked.  If God knew we were all going to need Jesus and his blood for salvation even before our birth what choice did any of us have but sin?

That question does not bother me.  Why not?  Because God by definition is supernatural.  His understanding is infinite.  What seems impossible with man is possible with God (creating the universe, the virgin birth, raising the dead to life again, walking on water, walking through closed doors, knowing man’s thoughts without being told, disappearing into thin air, etc.).  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14 NKJV)  “Is there anything too hard for me?” (Jer. 32:27)  “His understanding no one can fathom.” (Isa. 40:28 NIV)  Because a matter is too deep for my own understanding does not mean it is too deep for God. 

Now for the scriptural truth that God did indeed know Adam and Eve would sin I will just quote the appropriate scriptures and leave it with you.

In 2 Tim. 1:9 the scripture says God has "saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." (NKJV)  You did catch that did you not—"before time began."  John refers to Jesus as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8 NKJV)

In Eph. 1:4 Paul says we Christians were chosen "in him before the foundation of the world." (NKJV)  The prior verse (verse 3) makes it clear Paul is speaking of "in Christ."  In the same book, we read of “the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:11 NKJV)  If it was eternal it was before the earth was created.

The kingdom was prepared for us “from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34 NKJV)  Paul speaks of “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” (1 Cor. 2:7 NKJV)  Did this wisdom have anything to do with Jesus and salvation from sin?  Paul says, “Had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Cor. 2:8)  So, yes, this wisdom that was ordained before the ages dealt with the salvation of man.

We read in Titus 1:2 of the “hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (NKJV) but, of course, eternal life depends on Jesus and his sacrifice for man so again the answer is yes, God did indeed know man would sin before creating man.

Finally, we close with Peter who says Christ was "foreordained before the foundation of the world." (1 Peter 1:20 NKJV)

Our duty before God as believers is to believe and not fret about how God can do things that seem impossible to us.  God knew we would sin before we were created.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Hem of His Garment

A lot of times we read accounts of events that happened in scripture accounting them to be but a historical record and of no special importance to us today.  The account of the woman healed from her flow of blood is one such event that can easily be overlooked as having no importance for you and me today--that is until we look closer at it.  The account of this healing can be found in Matt. 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, and Luke 8:43-48.  Because Matthew's account is so short I will quote it here.

"And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment; for she said to herself, 'If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.'  But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, 'Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.'  And the woman was made well from that hour."  (Matt. 9:20-22 NKJV)

At the time this event occurred Jesus was on his way to raise from the dead Jairus' daughter.  Jesus and the disciples were accompanied by a great multitude on their journey to the home of Jairus and in that crowd was the woman who is the subject of our study.

We live in a day and age where the idea that seems to prevail is that faith alone saves.  The idea is that no effort on our part is required for that would be, we are told, salvation by works.  Jesus said this woman was healed by her faith but according to today's thinking why did she have to leave home to be healed?  She believed in Jesus and his powers before ever making the journey to meet him else why leave home to go?  Why did she if faith alone is sufficient?  Why would her faith not heal her at home? 

The answer is really quite simple and is written all through the Bible and taught time and time again.  Faith must act if it is to be of any value.  This unnamed woman had undoubtedly heard from others that those who touched Jesus were often healed of whatever disease they had.  Luke's account of the story is found in chapter 8 but in chapter 6 earlier in time we read that, "the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all." (Luke 6:19 NKJV) 

Mark's account of the event of the woman's healing is found in chapter 5 but in the next chapter, a little later in time, we are told, "Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well." (Mark 6:56 NKJV)  It must have been well-publicized throughout the country that by touching Jesus one could be healed.  The woman left home based on some things she had heard and believed.  That much is obvious.  The test of her faith was whether or not she would leave home to go to Jesus.  Was her faith strong enough to get her to act?  It was a test of her faith.

Many people today do not believe faith is tested.  God, however, has always tested faith.  Adam and Eve had a test before them of their faith in God while in the garden.  Would they believe God or the serpent?  Would Noah believe God concerning a flood to come and build the ark or would he not believe and thus not build it?  Would Abraham offer up Isaac or would he not do it?  The Bible specifically calls this a test for it says, "God tested Abraham." (Gen. 22:1, Heb. 11:17 NKJV)  We can call these events and many others like them tests of obedience if we want to for they are that but if we stop there we have stopped short and failed to see the big picture.  Why does one obey in the first place?  There is only one reason—one obeys because one believes.  He believes the word of God and believes it is essential to obey it to achieve the end he desires.

The Hebrew writer reminds us of the reason the children of Israel failed to enter the Promised Land when he says in Heb. 3:18-19, "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." (NKJV)  They did not obey God for they did not believe God.  Moses reminds the children of Israel of what happened when he says, "And I said to you, … Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers, has spoken to you … Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD you God." (Deut. 1:20, 21, and 26 NKJV)  God had given them the promise of victory over the inhabitants of the land but they did not believe God and thus feared and failed to act.  Moses says plainly, "You did not believe the LORD your God." (Deut. 1:32 NKJV)

A man acts when a man believes.  We strictly obey the speeding law when we see a state trooper parked along the side of the road because we believe he will indeed come after us if we violate the law.  The first thing we do when we see an officer is look at our speedometer and if it shows us over the speed limit even a tiny bit we will do whatever is necessary to get ourselves slowed down.  We act because we believe.  Genuine belief leads to action.  So it is also in religion.  This is why only a deeply committed faith can save because it is the only kind of faith that is strong enough to act, to obey God.      

Our lady with the issue of blood acted on her faith.  Today one often hears that baptism, clearly a command of God (I have never heard anyone disagree with that), just does not matter.  Many seem to believe you can disobey God and not be baptized and you can and will still be saved.  Have you ever given thought to the idea that baptism might well be a test of your faith? 

When we say this command matters and I will obey it on the one hand but then, on the other hand, say that this other command does not make that much difference so I will be negligent in my obedience to it then we have displaced the king of glory as the lawmaker, we have displaced King Jesus and made ourselves king.  James puts it this way, "if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge." (James 4:11 NKJV)

We do not get to decide what laws ought to be obeyed and which ones can be discarded.  James goes on to say "there is one Lawgiver" (James 4:12 NKJV) and that is not you or me.  Disobedience can expose ignorance of the word of God or weakness of the flesh but it also in many cases exposes unbelief, unbelief being the root cause of the disobedience.

Most of us are probably familiar with Heb. 11:6, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (NKJV)  The part of this verse that is overlooked is the last part, a thing the text says must be believed—"that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  No person who is willfully disobedient to the commands of God can be said to be a diligent seeker after God.  Why are they not diligent seekers?  They lack the faith to be such.  Faith and action (we might well call it obedience) must travel together or, as James says, faith is dead and thus useless.  "Faith without works is dead." (James 2:20 NKJV)

What have we learned from the woman who was healed of her blood flow issue?  For healing to take place faith must be accompanied by action.  That is as true of spiritual healing as it was of her physical healing.  It was not enough to travel to where Jesus was.  Once there she had to follow through and touch Jesus’ garment.  That is what her faith required.  Would Jesus have healed her without her faith following through with this act?  He didn't; he didn’t heal her until she reached out and touched his garment.  That was in accord with her faith.

Her faith in Jesus' power to heal was just as great before she touched him, when she left her home to travel to meet him, as it was when she actually reached out and performed the act but the act was required.  She was not healed a single second before she reached out and her faith was made perfect by her works.

It is a simple lesson taught time and time and time again in the Bible—faith without works is dead.  Faith must act.

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