Man Does Not Need God?

Modern Man Does Not Need God

It’s true. For all outward appearances, that person who denies the existence or relevance of deity can get along in life just fine without belief in one (see Psalm 73).

But this isn’t what we affirm. The Bible does not speak in terms of need or desire, except for some Psalms. The expression of desire or want of God speaks from the heart of a man who believes and trusts in the God of the Bible (Psalm 42) and the question of belief is not present.

The Bible doesn’t speak about want, need, or desire of God because that is not the problem. The secular humanism of the 1960s made it clear that man, in his current state, does not need God. God, therefore, is dead.

Of course, their assumption was that God was a psychological and evolutionary concept that was to be outgrown, but that’s another post.

No, the Bible speaks to another condition: rebellion:

[Genesis 14:4Exodus 23:21Numbers 14:9Numbers 17:10Numbers 20:10Numbers 20:24Numbers 27:14Deuteronomy 1:26Deuteronomy 1:43;Deuteronomy 9:7Deuteronomy 9:23Deuteronomy 9:24Deuteronomy 21:18Deuteronomy 21:20Deuteronomy 31:27Joshua 1:18Joshua 22:18;Joshua 22:19Joshua 22:291 Samuel 12:141 Samuel 12:151 Samuel 20:302 Kings 1:12 Kings 3:52 Kings 3:72 Kings 18:72 Kings 18:202 Kings 24:12 Kings 24:202 Chronicles 13:62 Chronicles 36:13Ezra 4:12Ezra 4:15Nehemiah 2:19Nehemiah 6:6Nehemiah 9:26Job 24:13Psalm 5:10Psalm 66:7Psalm 68:6Psalm 68:18Psalm 78:8Psalm 78:17Psalm 78:40Psalm 78:56Psalm 105:28Psalm 106:7Psalm 106:43Psalm 107:11Isaiah 1:2Isaiah 1:5Isaiah 1:20Isaiah 1:23;Isaiah 1:28Isaiah 30:9Isaiah 36:5Isaiah 48:8Isaiah 50:5Isaiah 63:10Isaiah 65:2Isaiah 66:24Jeremiah 3:13Jeremiah 4:17Jeremiah 5:23Jeremiah 6:28Jeremiah 52:3Lamentations 1:18Lamentations 1:20;Lamentations 3:42Ezekiel 2:3Ezekiel 2:5Ezekiel 2:6Ezekiel 2:7;Ezekiel 2:8Ezekiel 3:9Ezekiel 3:26Ezekiel 3:27Ezekiel 5:6Ezekiel 12:2Ezekiel 12:3Ezekiel 12:9Ezekiel 12:25Ezekiel 17:12Ezekiel 17:15Ezekiel 20:8Ezekiel 20:13Ezekiel 20:21Ezekiel 20:38Ezekiel 24:3Ezekiel 44:6Daniel 9:5Daniel 9:9Hosea 7:13Hosea 7:14;Hosea 8:1Hosea 9:15Hosea 13:16Zephaniah 3:1Zephaniah 3:11;Mark 15:7Hebrews 3:16]

This is a very surface survey, but it raises the question as to how we speak to others about the Gospel. Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions and making the wrong offer. “You need Jesus in your life,” can ring hollow to a person who is emotionally happy, physically well and economically doing well.

It is true that all people everywhere need a saviour, and that saviour is Jesus. But the Bible also tells us that we are in rebellion to the God we know:

Romans 1:18–25 (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

The only solution to this cognitive disconnect between the felt needs of people today and their real needs, and their real peril is a holy church (Ephesians 1:4Ephesians 5:271 Peter 1:15-16).

What Christians must do is to stop trying to fulfill needs that are not needs and to continue to holiness. Isn’t an emphasis on holiness a path to irrelevance? Not for those who have an appointment (Acts 13:48). But offering a solution to what is not even perceived to be a problem will not bring salvation; obedience to the call of holiness will. The church must seek to be relevant only to her Lord.

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The Bible is Our Authority

We often speak of the Bible as our authority–our “rule of faith and practise.” But how far does that authority extend? What does it mean to say the Bible is authoritative?

Sunday, October 7th, at the Mountain View Christian Church,  Scott will open the Word of God to explain what it says itself about its authority, and why we need to listen to it. We meet at 11 AM at 118 Limeridge Road East in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Scripture Readings for Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Old Testament

Exodus 12:1–4 (5–10) 11–14

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

 

[Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. ]

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

Psalm

Psalm 116:1–2, 12–19

116 I love the Lord, because he has heard

my voice and my pleas for mercy.

Because he inclined his ear to me,

therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

 

12 What shall I render to the Lord

for all his benefits to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation

and call on the name of the Lord,

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord

is the death of his saints.

16 O Lord, I am your servant;

I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.

You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving

and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,

in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

 

New Testament

1 Corinthians 11:23–26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for6 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”7
25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

 

Gospel

John 13:1–17, 31b–35

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,1 but is completely clean. And you2 are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant3 is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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