Sunday, April 22, 2018

A MATTER OF FAITH: THE LAW vs. GRACE




Jesus said: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (MATTHEW 5:17). I hear people declare some churches are “legalistic” and their practices are under the law though we are under grace.

Two things happened this year that gave me pause, the first was my having the opportunity to own a prayer shawl. The other was my participation in a Messianic Passover Haggadah. The prayer shawl and the Haggadah are associated with Judaism and thus to many Christians being under the law. After doing some research I am comfortable with owning a prayer shawl and participating in Passover Haggadah.

Am I turning into a legalistic Christian and ignoring the grace of God? Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law. Why would I need grace if I can ignore the law?

This is what I believe: Jesus did not cancel the law.

HEBREWS 10:1-13
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.  But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— in the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),  then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.  By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Our Lord, the Son of God, is the perfect sacrifice and offering for all of our sins therefore we no longer need to present burnt offerings and such for our sins. But we still sin! How do we know that our behavior is sinful? God’s precepts tell us so.

I have often heard people refer to the Bible as an acronym: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The Hebrew word for law is ‘torah’ which means precept or statute. The Greek word for law is ‘nomos’ which within is meaning is “prescriptive usage” (Strong's 3551).  The law reflects our guidelines for living which includes: precepts, statutes, and / or guidelines.  

ROMANS 5:10-13
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Without these guidelines, aka laws, we would not know we were displeasing Father God. Because of these laws, precepts for living, we know how imperfect we are. It is the grace of God that allows us to receive His blessings.

EPHESIANS 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.


It is tradition, that has been teaching us to focus on the grace of God more than the laws of God.

MARK 7:13
making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”


It is important that you study Scripture for yourself and evaluate the origins of your church’s doctrine. I would submit to you that the reason there is so much transgression in God’s word today is because so many people disregard the precepts, statues, guidelines, laws that are found in the first 5 books of Bible; they are not Moses’ laws they are laws God gave to the people. Jesus said: ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. “ (NIV)   
                                          — written by Marsha L F Randolph

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A MATTER OF FAITH: WHEN STUFF HAPPENS

It has been a month since my last post because stuff has been happening, including the demise of my computer. In that time I have been writing the old fashioned way, with paper and pen. What I have gone through and what I am going through is not tragic but it is humbling; I am reminded that the world will continue without my opinion. It is never about me it is always about God's Word.

JOHN 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


This is the lesson Jesus taught the 11, He may not be physically present but He is always with us. As long as we have the word of God, not man, we can overcome whatever may come our way.

JOHN 14:26
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.


It is not I, nor your church leader who will teach you all things but the Spirit of God. If you are not learning what the Word of God says you will be lost when stuff happens.

I have walked this earth with the help of the Lord long enough to not panic when stuff happens. I was more disappointed than upset when I could not write my weekly post, upload my book BEFORE YOU PRAY FOR ME, or edit the novel I am working on. I have learned that if their is a drought in the land you have to move to where your provisions are. (see 1 Kings 17) That is what I am doing.

What type of stuff is going on in your life?  How are you moving forward despite it?

Far to often we depend on man and not God. We allow man to put his own spin / interpretation on what God said instead of what the Spirit of God is speaking directly into a person's life.

2 PETER 1:20
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

There really is no new revelation of God's word only better understanding.

I used the time, as I dealt with the loss of a friend, my computer crashing and other life problems by LISTENING to Father God. Today I felt free to share a Sunday post. Next week I will resume my regular posting though I still don't have a computer, I am writing on a borrowed "ax" (2 Kings 6:1-7) and it must be returned to its' rightful owner.

When stuff happens it is important to remember that God knows what is needed and will supply it. He will not give you what you think you need or what people say you have to have.

PHILIPPIANS 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


--- written by Marsha L F Randolph

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A MATTER OF FAITH: AM I? Part 3

1 CORINTHIANS 2:2
 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.     

CHARISMATIC

Charismatics can be found in many denominations including Catholic. This classification of Believers was birthed out of the Pentecostal movement around 1960. According to an article found in Christianity Today as of 2011 there were over 300 Million Christians who considered themselves Charismatic. Why would a person not want to be a Charismatic Christian?

Charismatics firmly believe in the manifestation of God via the Holy Spirit. Baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in a heavenly language referred to as ‘an unknown tongue’ is significant. It is the Spirit of God that empowers the believer to do the work God has called them to do which includes: healing, casting out demons as well as other signs and wonders that come from Father God.

ACTS 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 
ACTS 6:8
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 

Of the various Charismatic leaders Oral Roberts is probably the most known, some consider him the ‘godfather’ of the charismatic movement. What I remember of Oral Roberts was his passion for prayer and the move of God. His boldness of faith and what God would do despite other people’s opinions is the epitome (my opinion) of faith.

Charismatic ministries such as the one lead by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland shattered many stereotypes. Early in my Christian walk I discovered Kenneth Copeland Ministries, both he and his wife Gloria served as an introduction to teaching the word of God as oppose to preaching (yelling) based on a few Bible verses. There biblically based lessons present the promises of God and how a believer obtains them.

The word charisma is of Greek origin and means favor or gift. A Charimatic believer is one incorporates their God given gifts in his life.

1 PETER 2:24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 


Charismatics believe God has already healed every disease there is, those who are sick simply need to believe to receive. Kenneth Hagin Ministries like Oral Roberts and the Copelands, has a television ministry that promotes the blessings of God.  This ministry also focuses on the blessings of God through his word- rhema.

Charismatics are an extension of the Pentecostal movement. So what is the diffence? Pentecostals, based on my research, believe that a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit if he or she is speaking in tounges; charismatics do not believe this is a mandate. How gifts are recieved is another nuance- Pentecostals say laying on of hands, Charismatics say they are just recieved.  What is important to know is that both Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in the gifts of the Spirit of God.

Again, this is a brief overview based on my own study. It is important that you read your Bible and do your own research.   Resepctfully……written by Marsha L F Randolph

NOTE: Am I Pentecostal or am I Charismatic? I would classify my beliefs as charismatic.

A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post FOLLOW THIS BLOG and receive notifications when a new article is posted.
Please check out and subscribe to my YouTube Channel MY COUNTRY CITY PROJECT at NETTIE FR 






Sunday, March 11, 2018

A MATTER OF FAITH: AM I? PART 2

The more I study the more I learn! I have been studying God’s word for decades now, litterally, and I still don’t know anything. My journey of faith is now taking me to the basics; I know I am a child of God but who do I affiliate with? Evangelicals? Apologetics? Charismatics? As I continue reading my Bible I now begin reading articles, books and even watching lectures, on the Christian faith. Last week  I interrupted this series “AM I”  to share a YouTube video declaring my desire to no longer be a “Super Christian!”  Keeping up with what church leaders and brothers and sisters in Christ state I should be is exhausting. I am 1 Corinthians 2:2                         



1 CORINTHIANS 2:2
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.     




AM I PENTECOSTAL?

The problem, I have discovered, with studying such a personal topic as religion is who is sharing the information, the perspective can differ based on ones’ approach. Pentecostalism, in particular, triggers determined opinions.

Pentecostalism is not what I would call a formal religion but a movement, in my studies others have used this term as well. Studying Pentacostalism will lead to a discussion of ‘speaking in tongues,’ but that is not what this movement is all about. Pentecostalism embraces the Spirit of God and His work in a person’s life.

ACTS 2:1-4  THE EXPANDED BIBLE
When the day of Pentecost [C- a harvest festival fifty days after Passover, celebrating the firstfruits of the crops (while on this day the firstfruits of the Spirit); Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10, 16] ·came [arrived], they were all together in one place. Suddenly a ·noise [roar] like a ·strong [violent], ·blowing [rushing] wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like ·flames [L- tongues] of fire ·that were separated [that were divided; or that spread out] and ·stood [came to rest] over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak ·different [other; or foreign] ·languages [L- tongues] by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them [C- reversing the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel; Gen. 11:1–9].

The book of Acts details the move of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I used the Expanded Bible translation because of its’ explanations incorporated within the scripture. As Christians we believe in the Trinity, the Triune nature of God; God the Father God, the Son and God the Spirit. Jesus the Son of God said:

JOHN 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

It is the Spirit of God that teaches thus to be aware of His presence in ones’ life is signficant.  Pentecostals embrace the presence of the Holy Spirit upon alll who believe.

1 JOHN 5:6-9
This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son 
A study of Pentecostal leaders begin with the founders of the movement: William J Seymour, Charles Parham, Smiths Wigglesworth, and Kathryn Kuhlman. In addition: Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, and Kenneth E Hagin.  The birth of Pentecostal churches reached passed what could be considered a male dominated theology and incorporated people of all races and genders. (I might add: Church leaders are not perfect but they are usable by God).

Pentecostals embrace all of the promises of God allowing the Spirit of God to reveal God’s wisdom in their lives.The pentecostal movement influences various denominations thus your church may have pentecostal roots and you not know it. 

Am I a pentecostal? I am baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in a heavenly language. I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Are you a pentecostal? Do you reject praying in a heavenly language. Do you believe that doctors can heal but laying on of hands does not work?  Does your church embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
***written by Marsha L F Randolph

A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post FOLLOW THIS BLOG and receive notifications when a new article is posted.
Please check out and subscribe to my YouTube Channel MY COUNTRY CITY PROJECT at NETTIE FR 



Sunday, March 4, 2018

I TURNED IN MY SUPER CHRISTIAN CAPE!


It is not that I try to be anything other than who I am BUT people see what they want. I do not profess to be perfect yet I try to not offend;  Christians offend easily.  Jesus said "Follow Me" not follow Marsha aka Nettie.  Thus I am officially turning in my super Christian Cape!

I have a YouTube channel Nettie F. R. in which I share my thoughts on everything including faith. Those who watch my channel see more of my diverse personality than those who read my blog and some of my "FBFs"

After watching this video: I hope more people will stop being a Super Christian and just be the best follower of Jesus he or she can be.  - Marsha L F Randolph aka Nettie!



Next week I will resume my study on Christian ideologies: I am looking at Pentecostal.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A MATTER OF FAITH: AM I? Part 1



For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.     —  1 CORINTHIANS 2:2

Apologetics, Charismatics, Evangelicals and such catagorize the approaches a person has towards faith. We all believe in the Trinity; these catagories explain the manifestation of a person’s belief. What do they mean?

Most of us, myself included have a working understanding of what these catagories mean. Are these ideologies in conflict with one another? Is one not necessary, is one more important than the other?

In the next at least four blog post and perhaps a few more I will endeavor to give a summary of each.




JOHN 20:29 
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 




APOLOGETIC 
When I first heard the term Christian Apologetic I thought it was a group of believers who made excuses for their faith; apologizing. Then I began thinking it was an ideology that justified faith supported by historical evidence. Am I way off base?

Apologetics is from the Greek word ‘apologia’ which means defense. Think of Christian Apologetics as the Closing Arguments for the defense. When accused of being a Christian there will be evidence against you and you should be able to prove they are right.

If you were accused of being a Christian, how much evidence could the prosecution bring against you?

MARK 16:17-18
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

I did not have to go deep as I began my superficial research on Apologetics; I discovered authors I knew of who are Apologist. Walter Martin’s book, KINGDOM OF THE CULT, was on my book shelf for years until I gave it away. I did skim through it and will be ordering it soon, this book focused on why other beliefs and is an excellent source of information. I also had Josh McDowell’s book EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT until I gave it away. When I purchased these books I was researching, trying to understand why I believed what ‘they’ told me to believe.

In a court case in which the Prosecutor declared Christianity is not the only belief system the Defense attorney would present the evidence laid on in the book KINGDOM OF THE CULT. By examining the foundation of various belief system- including its’ origin, its’ founder and its’ core beliefs- the reader is able to see how the ideology is a man made ideologoy, a cult. In sharing such evidence the Defense will have proven why other belief systems are false.

Apologetics not only help us confirm what we believe is true they also point out why other religions are false. 

JOHN 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Everyone, most people anyway, has heard of C.S. Lewis, he is an Apologist; his book which became a movie: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is classic.   Though I have seen the movie I have yet to read any of his writings.

Another great Apologist is R. C. Sproul, I was introduced to his writings in 2017. His books  are excellent foundational reading for followers of Christ. During his life, his lectures, messages and other speaking events revealed concrete information to justify believing in the Triune nature of God which includes the death, burriel and resurection of Jesus the only begotton Son of God.  Many of his books are available as an ebook download FREE of charge on Amazon. Such titles as:

  • What is Repentance?
  • Can I be Sure I am Saved?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Can I Trust the Bible?
  • ..and many more 

Apologist present the closing arguments against other belief systems and confirm the Scripture by pointing out what is clearly seen. Shouldn’t we all be apologetic?

ROMANS 1:20-23
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
                                                                                              — written by Marsha L F Randolph
 


A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post FOLLOW THIS BLOG and receive notifications when a new article is posted.
Please check out and subscribe to my YouTube Channel MY COUNTRY CITY PROJECT at NETTIE FR 



Sunday, February 18, 2018

POLITICS: CHRISTIAN BLACK HISTORY


As I study Scripture I am in the book of Matthew now. How fitting it is BLACK HISTORY MONTH- far to many people of color believe that Christianity is a "White-man's" religion. How ignorant; I say that not out of disrespect, by definition of the word it is lack of knowledge that one believes.

In his commentary Andrew Wommack shares such valuable information as Matthew sharing the gospel in Ethiopia. Those of us who study Scripture know their are Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) Ethiopians, located in Africa, are people of dark pigment.  Matthew went to Ethiopia to share the good news of Jesus with the Ethiopian Jews.

"External evidence: There is such an abundance of external evidence to prove that Matthew was the author of this Gospel that it cannot be ignored. There is no biblical reference to Matthew being martyred, and the extra-biblical references that we have about him say he ministered in Judaea for fifteen years (might be supported by Acts 1:26, 15:2; with Galatians 2:1-2), then in Ethiopia and other lands "-Andrew Wommack's Living Commentary.

When Joseph and Mary had to flee Bethlehem they went to Egypt. If you are trying to flee persecution you would want to be able to blend in with the crowd. There had to be Jews in Egypt otherwise they would have been found.

MATTHEW 2:13
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.  

I don’t care what color Jesus was He is my Lord and Savior. I share these thoughts because so many people do not realize that there were people of ALL CULTURES mentioned throughout Scripture.  STUDY YOUR BIBLE!           —written by Marsha L F Randolph

NETTIEOLOGY A compilation of ideas, opinions, beliefs and activities of Nettie a pseudo-fictional character created by Marsha L F Randolph. The author, Marsha L F Randolph maintains all rights associated with copyright laws; do not use post / articles without the permission of the author Marsha L F Randolph. All quotes should cite Marsha L F Randolph as the author.
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