A Testimony from an underserving but grateful man who cannot be silent

The following is a record of recent events, where I do my best to try and accurately represent, on a timeline, all that God has been doing in my life these past few days. It is a very personal testimony and I hope you are blessed by it.

4.21.20 – 10:26 AM: Final Thoughts

Now that I have proofread and edited this for final sharing (the previous emails below had gone out this morning but were jumbled and not as clear so I felt it beneficial to join everything here – resend it out to all my contacts and trust the rest to the Lord – may he receive all the glory, forever and ever!

This morning when I was in the shower a song came to me, it was Let it Be by the Beatles. Reading through the lyrics of that song just now, the answer is not mother Mary, though she is a wonderful part in the story deserving honor according to the scripture (not worship, or mediation between us and Jesus! – FYI -convictionaly, I’m a Protestant – a reformed Baptist at heart – member of a solid SBC church – but I suspect, and hope to be meeting a lot of new people from different traditions soon – to increase my joy!). As I was singing it in the shower, treasuring all that has taking place in my heart, as testified below, it dawned on me that the answer they were singing about, whether they know it or not, is Jesus! Will you sing his praises with me?! 

1 John 1:1–4 (ESV): That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 6:32 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

I do pray you take the time to read through all of this and that for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, you find it a refreshing testimony. I pray it also inspires you to proclaim the gospel. My earnest hope is that the wellspring of life will overflow for you too as it has me. That you will be reminded of the living hope within you, that is, the eternal life you possess through faith in Christ! Please share this with your loved ones. Who knows, maybe by God’s grace they will come to faith. Also, if this does gain any traction by Gods will, temperance your passions by getting surrounded by sound elders in a solid church who test everything by the word of God. The enemy will try to sabotage wherever he can. 

Masks are a distraction too. Please do not divide over it. Eternal life cannot filtered or stopped by a face covering. Treat it as a conscience issue if necessary. Or humble yourself and wear it. Is truth limited, or its power constrained by what your eyes see? I sang last Sunday with my church family with my mask on and my soul was trembling with joy. Please. End the debate. Show grace to one another. Hopefully soon the need for them in the culture will pass but we can enjoy each other still, even if we have to wear them when we’re gathered.

Grace and Peace in Christ Alone!

– Abram Germano

1 John 1:1–4 (ESV): That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 4:20 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Dad, as I was writing this, I realized politics is such a distraction. That was the reason for the slew of OMGs. I know you are very into the Trump movement and such but listen to the call of the gospel in this message. It’s so beautiful! Spread the gospel. This is prayer for real sweeping revival. A prayer for the harvest to come in. I posted the below quote on Facebook and pinned it because it’s all that matters right now. Let’s start sharing the gospel. It’s ripe for the taking. Let it be! Amen!

“What if told you eternal life is a reality, and it can be yours simply by believing through faith in the resurrected Christ?! Seriously. Private message me. Let’s have this conversation. The chains of sin are broken and captives are set free in Christ. Flee from sin. Turn to Christ. His love will overwhelm you and make you glad.

If you already have the eternal life I speak of, rejoice with me, and then ask this same question to someone else please.”

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 3:15 AM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Dad, I love you so much! This is too much for me to contain. Glory to God in the highest! I’m addressing this to you but I’m cc’ing everyone in my contact list because I cannot be silent, but I want the addressing of this email to be yours. 

I can’t imagine how hard it’s been, being separated all these years from me and my family. You, being in that beautiful land of Tennessee since I turned 18 and my being here in the wonderful Hudson Valley of NY. Oh, how sweet is our land that God has given us to walk and tame! Its been 21 years apart for me and you! I’m going to be 40 this year! I have a strange feeling my birthday this year is going to be the best party ever. It’s going to be heaven on earth. Out of love for our neighbors and our town, and our country, and our President…we need to be mindful in kindness regarding the current pandemic and party safely…as liberal as he is dad….oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God! oh my God!  oh my God! 

People. Pray for your president. Make this viral. To God be the glory. Forever and ever. I can’t wait to see you there. 

🙂

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: A written record of recent events
To: Rachel Germano <RachelGermano@gmail.com>

A Letter to my Wife.

One clarification to note: The Power of Testimony is an email I was drafting to the elders right before God moved upon me. You literally see in the email below where I stopped writing, the 2nd move happened, then I finished the email later that morning after you went to work. 

On Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 11:55 PM Abram Germano <secondadamnewcreations@gmail.com> wrote:

Same Letter

Rachel, 

I know this has been a wild ride and all too much considering everything already on your plate. I really am thankful for your love and grace in all of this. Thanks for not leaving me! Or committing me to a psych ward! Thanks for caring for our boys when I was sick. Thanks for everything. 

In this email I’ve compiled all the different pieces I’ve written over the past few days in which I hope to capture and memorialize the essence of what God is doing in my heart. As I tell Abe at the end (my oldest son), you will know if this whole thing is from God by its fruit. If it’s holy, if it’s good, if it’s Son glorifying, if it’s pure, if it’s love…than it’s the Holy Spirit. I know it’s a lot to work through with the business of your current schedule, no rush to try and digest it all now. Perhaps, come back to this in a few months once you’ve graduated and passed the boards. 

I love you so much. May God fill you with joy and peace. 

-Abe

A Compilation of Recent Events

Sunday 4.18.21. Record of 1st move of God. 

This is the bulk text message I sent to all the close men of my life.

You all are so very dear men to me and I feel the need to share something wonderful God did in my heart last night. I share this with you now hoping it is a great blessing to you. I thank you all for your prayers. God is great!

“Truth is wonderful always! It is even more sweet, more fully savored, and most delicious to the soul that has been reconciled to its Maker and is at peace. Thank you God the Father, thank you God Christ Jesus the Son, thank you God the Holy Spirit. 

Tonight on 4.18.21 I had an amazing experience with God while in my bed in the twilight hours. By God’s grace, my heart was broken for its lack of love and distance for loved ones in my life these past few years it seems. Specifically, my grandmother was on my mind and I wept over her condition and isolation. 

But my heart also was warmed and resolved by grace to resolve to visit her; and in this settled decision I began to smile. I look forward to seeing her soon! (When I visited her the following day – our fellowship was heavenly! I came to find out the next day she had almost died 2 months prior, and I didn’t even know.) 

After this I knew God was moving upon me in supernatural ways as this was a deep sobbing of the soul, so I turned to thanksgiving and prayer. Specifically for my family. Al, my mom, Sally, Al Jr., Brianna, Kailey, Erik. Asking for grace and reconciliation for them all. God comforted me that he is at work in all events and I will be a blessing toward his good ends with them. I long now, more than I ever have, to love them all so much better. 

My heart became even more full in prayer. Fullness I cannot describe in increasing measure. Especially for my wife and boys. Oh, how beautiful this moment. I had a vision of sorts, of my heritage as an heir, a Germano, who’s been prayed for by someone else in history like this, that it should come to me this way, generationally, in the light and service and privilege that I get to work in God’s Kingdom by raising this family in Christ. In this town, in this country, in this time. God showed me he is in control. My boys are his. He made my heart long for mine, and their Godly manhood, and in this vision I seem to have seen it complete. It will be accomplished by his mighty hand. He will use this family for His glory and for a lasting impact in this country. For truth and the spread of his gospel, against evil and strongholds of Satan, including the overcoming of many wicked schemes of man in our society. My family will have this heritage I know now and what an honor it is. God is not done with America. I sensed and feel convinced that Revival is coming. It may be through pain and war but the light will win the day. I look with joy ahead at the prospect of growing old with my boys and teaching and learning how we are to become godly men. God has great plans for them. May he also prepare great women for them! 

My heart also turned to my wife. For her salvation and joy. For her sanctification. My joy could only be most fully complete now if I were rest assured in comfort that her soul is at peace and in love with Christ. That I also prayed for and am trusting with joy that the free gift will continue to pursue and draw her deeper into His riches. I long to look upon her and see her most glad in her Maker. May the day draw sooner still my Lord. 

I write this having calmed down now from the fullness of the event, not wanting to sleep lest I forget a detail. It’s been years since my passions in Christ have been stirred in such deep ways but never was I moved like this. I lay here now thankful to God for it though. He’s been bringing me back to His word and to prayer more and more recently. Getting Covid and the recovery process I’ve been going through has certainly been a skillful tool in his hand to this end. God certainly uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. I’m overjoyed to be numbered among his elect. Even more so to know his hand of sovereign grace is upon my family and loved ones too. My delight knows no bound at the thought!

Grace shine down. Grace reign. Plow the fields and send the rain. Have a harvest and bring it in. Let us feast. In Christ we win!”

The following note was added to the group text to comfort my mother-in-law and prevent any unintended conclusions regarding my wife.

Friends, I’d like to clarify something in what I wrote concerning the salvation of my wife. The intention of my comments is not that I don’t believe she is saved, but that she would work out her salvation in fear and trembling as we all are called to more and more. I know she loves the Lord, but my prayer is for this same fullness to dawn on her too as it has me. Only then could it be possible for my joy to even be greater than it is now. Grace and Peace. 

Tuesday 4.20.21. Record of 2nd move of God

The Power of Testimony (this was the subject title of the email sent to my church elders)

My brothers, give glory to our King with me! 

He is so great and worthy to be praised!

I trust by now most of you have read the testimony I group texted out the other night. I intended for you all to receive it so please respond quickly if it did not come through, which would mean I have the incorrect contact in my phone and need your number. 

When God moves, who can turn it back? Who can say this or that when he does something? If He has done it…that is final! There is no questioning or challenging of his creative acts, His purposes, His plans. Which are all so wonderfully beautiful and glorious and fill my heart with joy and praise the more I think of them! Who can fathom the depths of His love and richness brothers?!

It’s simple really when we think about it. But it’s so profound. It’s so true. God is in control and God is working in our lives. 

You my wonderful elders. My wonderful brothers. The beautiful Shepard’s he has chosen to guide the VRBC flock, of which I am so blessed to be a member of! God has made me glad! (we are going to sing that song on Sunday – I trust it’s going to be glorious :-)) I’m so happy brothers. My heart is overflowing with love for all of you right now as I write this. I cannot contain it. I cannot be silent. I have to testify! 

(I am happy, and not a little overwhelmed right now, to report that as I was writing this to you, God moved again upon my soul and flooded me again with His Spirit in such a supernatural way! It happened at around 3AM when I began drafting this email, it’s 5:30 now and my family is just now getting back to sleep! Such that I literally ended up extolling his praise… at 3AM in the morning! Thinking over all God’s goodness and power I felt compelled to shout, and even scream….to extol his praises. (Extol, the band, is my favorite metal band – I used to dream of seeing them play someday – I figured it would happen in eternity sometime….there is a really cool book coming about this word Extol my friends) I couldn’t be silent. I know now what it means to extol the Lord and I’m undeserving to have been privileged to experience such an honor – but it just happened. I’m sure my neighbor must have heard me (that’s going to be an interesting conversation)! A very real spiritual war cry has risen in my soul. I literally was just rolling in laughter and awe, praising God on the floor of my bedroom at the enormity and reality of what I am convinced God is about to do. Revival is coming. People will be set free from sin. The gospel will have its way. Many baptisms. Matt’s church will be blessed (Matt is a faithful church planter who’s been fellowshipping with us for a few years now, seeking to Plant an SBC Church in Poughkeepsie, NY). Sound doctrine and sound churches will rise. Orphans and widows will be comforted. Reform is here! My wife and children were shaken because obviously I woke them. We just spent the past few hours working through all that God has done in my life so far. I shared with them my testimony and we had the most beautiful fellowship in the gospel just now. How God first saved me from my sins in 2001 and how we must be born again. How he has been faithful to me even when I’ve been unfaithful. We together realized that God is rightly to be feared but that He is also so very good toward sinners like us. The fear of the Lord truly is the beginning of knowledge. Fear because he is Sovereign, who can stay His hand? What a wonderful morning this has turned out to be!)

So….back to it then. Lol. I want you to know brothers that I desire order in the church as much as any of you. Please do not let the magnitude of this personal spiritual move of God in my life to distress you with regard to worship and order in the church. I do not desire to make much of myself or a scene in the church – why God is doing what he is doing in me only he knows and it is personal. I do not consider these normative events in the least – but something special is certainly happening and I do desire however, to have an opportunity, perhaps, separate from our worship service, to simply share my testimony with our church. I think it would be a great blessing to them. (Sharing random testimony in the context of church worship is a popular practice you might find in more Charismatic circles. And in mercy toward my Charismatic brothers, I know there are many good testimonies and beautiful movements of God to be had in sharing testimony, but there are also severe dangers that accompany the opening up of the pulpit, without order, to just anyone. There are false sheep among us and the flock must be guarded from umbilical thinking, unbiblical teaching, and error. In an SBC church like mine you would expect an ordered, liturgical style of worship. Which I do not intend to disrupt at all! It’s actually been quite lovely as of late. My pastor and elders and deacons are the bomb! Perhaps there may be some Charismatics who read this who rejoice with me to know, that yes, these other conservative denominations have the Holy Spirit too! Lol – Praise God – can you sense the healing taking place?!)

The power of a testimony seems fitting right now to me. It makes sense that I should share publicly with God’s people what God is doing in my life for their edification and mine. What a wonderful time to be alive. Exciting times are ahead. This is going to be so much fun!

Grace and Peace,

-Abe

4.20.21. Text to my son to comfort him for he fears recent events could be satanic. 

Abram, I highly respect you for what you told your mother (this happened last night before bed, 4.20.21). It is good that you are concerned that the devil comes as an angle of light (shout out to Shai Linne – we listen to that album a lot together). Yes he does. And I’m glad that you are concerned for me. It shows me how much you do love me and also how much you care about truth and error. I’m so proud of you. In a godly and holy way. 

I’m overwhelmed with joy as I write this to you because the word of God speaks to your concern too. You will know if what is happening to me is from God or from the devil by the fruit I produce. If you find me praising the Son of God and the Father, or worshiping God, especially worshiping the Son of God, then you can rest assured that what is happening to me is not of the devil, but of God. 

It’s time we spend more time in God’s holy word my boy. We will learn so much together. It’s going to be fun!

I know this is all so very much and fearful. I did not intend to scare you and mommy. But I pray as things calm that you will find peace and great joy as you see God working good and holy fruit in my life. Then you will be confident that the devil has no power over me…or anyone who belongs in the family and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

I highly recommend you pray now and slowly read and study this passage. Then journal your thoughts so you don’t forget them. I love you so much!

May you be filled with grace, mercy, peace, hope and love. All beautiful fruits of the Holy Spirit. 

1 John 2:18–27 (ESV): Warning Concerning Antichrists

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life. 

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

1 John 2:28–3:1 (ESV): And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 

3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

May the meek inherit the earth! May the people of God rise up and enjoy this Creation. To tame it, to fashion it, to party in it. 

Grace and Peace,

-Abe

Seeing Christ

What a blessing to see

That which once evaded

Blindness breaks at your beam

And renders me persuaded

In thine excellencies I will awe

Eating, drinking in remembrance

Eternal cup and bread for all

Who come in faith and repentance

Stir in me eyes to behold

Grace the ancients also wondered in

Brought into God’s own fold

By Christ’s merit and perfection

What a blessing to see

This is His doing and I posses it

By faith alone and without a fee

Christ’s death and resurrection.

The Righteous Law of Christ Condemns Murder

A Protestant appealing to Christ’s Righteous Law for the justice due to the murderers of unborn children.

Christ is the resurrected King of the Nations. He is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Christ fulfilled and upholds the law. Not one jot or tittle will pass away.

Classical Distinctions in Biblical presentations of law: National, ceremonial, moral. The moral elements in all these categories remain; ceremonial and national laws pertaining to Israel are not binding per New Testament Revelation. The moral truths revealed to man in those categories remain binding as they reveal the character of God.

What biblical law remains authoritative and binding is Christ’s law. Old & New Testament binding law = the Law of Christ.

How the regenerate operates in relation to an unbelieving ruling authority who is breaking the Righteous Law of Christ:

  1. Christians are not obligated to obey unrighteous law.
  2. Christians must acknowledge the binding law of Christ that is being rejected by man and repent of individual sin. Abortion is Murder and we are not guiltless for allowing it to continue uncontested. Repent, turn from sin and sin no more.
  3. Call the state/nation to repent of its sin. Abortion is Murder. Repent, turn from this sin and allow it no more in the land. The State’s duty is to protect and serve and punish all who would practice or promote murder. As a resident of New York State I am deeply disgusted at the rate this gross practice continues to thrive. NYS must immediately cease and desist from expanding, legalizing, or protecting abortion activities and instead criminalize it for what it is, premeditated Murder from the moment of conception.
  4. Operate in grace toward all who have sinned against the Lord, extending to them the saving power of the gospel of Christ: He is the Mediator slain for repentant sinners and is raised for their justification.
  5. Understand the authority of the Lord to exact justice upon murderers through a righteous lesser magistrate, even despite their repentance. All sin has consequence, but praise God that for even murderers who repent, there is a crown of eternal life whose faith and trust is in Christ!
  6. Visit the prisons and preach the cross of Christ to convicted murderers.

My hope is the Lord will cause His people to repent and go to our local magistrates and plead the cause of the unborn being murdered in our land. Lord, have mercy upon us!

#notantiabortion #antimurder

Distinction in Titles

The Son of God and the Son of Man

The two titles have two different meanings for the same person and have to do with the office of the person before entering time and after entering time.

The Son of God is a title given to us for the One and only Son proceeding from the Father who in eternity past existed in complete unity with the Father as part of the Trinitarian God head as revealed in scripture.

The Son of man is a title given to Jesus of Nazareth who claimed the name for himself while displaying that He was also the Son of God and the Christ; and that not without signs and wonders. This title should produce a close look at the scriptures because it has some serious logical conclusions built into it. The Son of man implies that one is born of man. Man here could be looked at in a universal form, as in ‘human race’ or ‘mankind’. Christ’s resurrection from the dead is relevant to this discussion;

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭20-21‬ NASB)

The Son of God entered into time and took on full humanity in order to fulfill what fallen man alone cannot; fulfill the Holy commands of God in perfection and worship and enjoy Him above all else. His perfect obedience and worship solidifies Him as who He claimed to be, the Son of God, the Christ, and the spotless lamb of God slain for His chosen people.

The son of man is the firstborn from the dead; Christ is the firstborn from among us and we too will rise! What is sown perishable will be raised imperishable. A seed doesn’t burst forth until it is planted and dies, God gives it a new body by His power. Kiss the Son, for He has brought us a true and living hope!

All That Requires Speech Will Influence

https://www.npr.org/2018/05/01/607181437/on-fire-for-gods-work-how-scott-pruitts-faith-drives-his-politics?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20180502

Everyone has a worldview. Christian or secular atheist, both come at issues with a core set of beliefs (clearly defined or culturally assumed, they exist) that inform them in their decision making processes. If a person’s work is to shape and govern a nation’s law, he should do so from his own genuine conviction, be they religious or not. The Christian should not limit Christ’s Lordship to his personal life, never challenging the laws established by unbelieving world-views. Engage the presuppositions, debate the standards for each law, challenge the consistency of truth claims…doing so requires speech, and speech will influence.

As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ is the uncreated Maker of heaven and earth and is currently the Lord of the nations forevermore. God has revealed himself to man in nature through His creation, sent His Son to earth to redeem a people for Himself, and has spoken to His creatures in scripture; a core message in scripture is that everyone is accountable to Him. God is perfectly holy, loving, just and unchanging. Such core beliefs drive my worldview. Where God has spoken, I’m to obey and encourage others that obedience to God is a good and holy thing, however culturally offensive that may be. Since I trust in God’s goodness, I bow the knee to his revelation regarding life, marriage, and sexual morality. If I truly believe God’s design is good not just for me but for everyone who would follow after him, I ought to plead with others to do the same…I’m actually commanded to.

When it comes to faith and politics, there are helpful distinctions in scripture that Christians ought to remember when treading these waters. For instance, those in the church are to judge members from within the church according to the standards Christ has redeemed those members into. A Christian cannot expect an unbeliever to desire to bend the knee to Christ, indeed scripture says an unbeliever cannot truly follow Christ unless he be born again. We are to expect obedience from those who claim the name of Christ, but call those who do not to the faith once for all handed down to the saints.

There is no forcing someone into Christianity in scripture, the only way in is through God’s sovereign grace. God has commanded obedience to the nations yet grants it to His church alone. The church is called to proclaim repentance and faith in Christ alone to every person in every culture; the church and all her members are subordinate to the law of Christ before the laws of men. If by God’s common grace political power can be influenced such that it aligns more with God’s created order and His revelation, then his blessing is upon that land. History and scripture is a good teacher however that such blessings are temporary; man loves darkness and God withdraws his blessings from the land that spurns him. I’m convinced by scripture that no culture this side of judgement day will fully honor God in their government, for unbelievers are naturally opposed to His reign. For the Christian, the law of Christ commands obedience to the rulers of the land until those laws violate obedience to scripture. The inevitable result historically is persecution against those who do not compromise their Christian convictions.

How is a man, who’s conscience is held captive by God’s revelation, to withhold his speech on any given subject in any given theater of vocation or practice? Even in political office? Does not the secular atheist also have passionate convictions, creeds, and presuppositions by which they argue their position and derive their agenda? I say we must allow them both have their place in government, in school, in sport, in society. Let’s not send our representatives or our children into an echo chamber. Seems to me that Christians have by and large allowed the secular worldview go unchallenged for too long; this article sparks some hope for those of us who bow the knee to Christ and trust wholly in His goodness.

Scripture’s Self Attesting Authority

When any historical text is read, thought needs to be granted to the context in which the author penned his piece. The original intentions of the author, especially if what is written places itself in an attested historical literary category, need to honored. Truthfulness in reading does no damage to an author’s intent and allows the life and scope of the literature to breath in its own organic way. To force owns own life experience and context into literature that never asks the reader to do so is an all too common literary tragedy, especially when it comes to scripture.
The organic breath of biblical literature comes to us in two primary contexts: The Old & New Testaments we’re penned with Ancient Near East & Greco Roman cultural witnesses. The testimony of the written word was addressed to the people of their time, in a way they spoke and would understand. It came in many literary forms such as historical narrative, poetry, lament, or apocalyptic in nature; it did so with the intent to span generations which required apologetic usefulness. Any sound apologetic communicates truthfully to a person in the language they know most amidst the cultural challenges of their day so that reason may have its way and truthful convictions may result. The Ancient Near East religions were known to Moses as well as the Greek philosophers to Paul; the controversial apologetic was the same in both their voices: absolute monotheism. No God but Yahweh. No salvation but through Christ. Scripture holds this conviction consistently, with knowledge of the other world-views, it is not ignorant of them.
The biblical text reveals the Maker of heaven and earth who is an author and he used real historical people in real historical cultures to reveal Himself to us in literary form. The amazing thing one finds in that same literature are eye-witness accounts of an alien Author who is sovereign over the affairs of mankind. This alien Author literally created a historical nation out of a group of slaves demonstrating His divine power in ways that mankind couldn’t forget. He made promises to these people of a coming suffering servant centuries before he came. He then brought the good news of His kingdom by His Son: all are slaves to sin, not just Israelites but gentiles too, and through faith in Christ are men set free from sin and death. He literally became flesh and walked among us, ate with us, died like us. But we will be lead to marvel and worship as we learn that He is not like us because He was before us and because death couldn’t keep Him: He is risen! His death purchased salvation, a full and eternal pardon for rebel sinners who come to believe in Him. His resurrection is man’s true hope for the new body to come in the next age.
The authority of scripture is self attesting. Any claim to ultimate authority must rely upon its own self-attestation otherwise another authority would be required to validate it. So when reading the Bible it is important to resist reading anachronistically into it. As has been historically observed, when allowing the text to speak for itself, a most holy Author is revealed in scripture that no other text has ever, or ever can equal.

The Lord of the Living & the Dead

“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. ” Rom 14.9;esv

“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Rev 1.17-18;esv

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” Rom 6.9;esv

Do you consider yourself greatfully dead? Dead or alive, born again or dead in sin, you have a Lord. Willing to accept that truth or not doesn’t change the reality. Death has a conqueror to whom it has given over authority and all who are going to the grave will answer to Him who holds the keys. Think not that your Lord is some dark lord. Granted, your father may indeed be Satan, but he is God’s Satan and there is no escaping the righteous judgment of Christ the Lord of lords and King of kings to whom all must give an account.

The love of the Lord should not be overlooked, it is His blood that screams to our sinful souls. It is on our account He went to the cross. May we truly find in His grace the gift of sorrow for our sins and in that sorrow, new birth. We all start out dead in our sins but by God’s grace we don’t all die dead. To die well is to die as one who has been made alive in Christ.

Jesus calls out even now to those dead in their sin, turn from them, believe upon Him and know life eternal. You must be born again. In Him is fullness of Joy and freedom. He is a good and faithful Lord.