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Doubting (διακρίνω)

In Romans, when Paul writes concerning what sin is for a Christian, he uses a word that has the meaning of “to thoroughly judge”, which is translated as “doubting” or “making a distinction”

But the one doubting, if perhaps, he should eat is condemned because it is not out from faith. And all which is not out from faith is sin. – Romans 14:23.

Since sin involves doing something that is not out from faith, doubting is questioning what is permissible. Therefore, when we do something that is contrary to what we have determined within our minds is permitted by God for us as Christians, we are not taking God at His Word. This involves a battle with the conscience, for it will either excuse or accuse us based upon our knowledge and actions (Romans 2:15). One who is doubting is thoroughly judging ways to get around their conscience to justify doing something that they know is wrong. Typically, this type of a situation comes about by the influence of others. We are instructed in Romans 14:1 to accept the weaker in the faith brother, but not for the purpose of thoroughly judging their beliefs. And neither is to seek to influence the other with the way they have chosen to separate themselves out to God (Romans 14:10). One may choose to abstain where the other does not. This is not permitting sin in the assembly, but how we each govern our own bodies before God.

James also uses this same word to describe someone who is not asking out from faith. Describing this type of a person as one who is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed (James 1:6). These are […]

Doubting (διακρίνω)2023-11-25T08:05:01-08:00

The Methods of Satan – Doubt

Doubt is a lack in the ability to discern what is proper and what is wrong in our actions. As Christians, we should have our senses trained to discern the difference between actions that are good and actions that are wrong.

But the solid food is of [the] mature, the ones through the exercise train the senses, having discernment toward both good and wrong – Hebrews 5:14

Because of this inability to discern between right and wrong the believer hesitates and will not act out from faith.

but let him ask in faith, not while doubting. For the one doubting is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed – James 1:6

Anything done by a Christian that is not out from faith is sin, which means that an action that normally would not be sin, such as eating and drinking, can become sin to the one who is not discerning what is proper in contrast to what is wrong. How can eating be wrong? Questioning whether God allows you to eat it without violating His standard and therefore causing a conscience issue because our action is not lining up with what we think is God’s expectation of us.

But the one doubting, if perhaps, he should eat is condemned because it is not out from faith. And all which is not out from faith is sin. – Romans 4:23

The righteous live out from faith. Satan does not want us to live by faith because it means we will be applying the promises God has given to the Church, training our senses to discern what is proper and what is wrong, and living a life of righteousness out from faith, which makes […]

The Methods of Satan – Doubt2023-12-14T08:47:15-08:00

Happy are those who die by a lord, Revelation 14:13

In Revelation 14:13, we come across the phrase “by a lord” when John is instructed to write, “Happy are the dead, the ones who die from now on by a lord (ἐν κυρίῳ).” The word “lord” is capitalized in some English translations, indicating it is in the Lord Jesus. However, the context does not support this interpretation. The timing of Revelation chapter fourteen, starting in verse six, is in the last half of the Tribulation Period, just before the return of Christ. Three angels are seen giving distinctly different messages. The first angel has good news related to eternity, the gospel for those in the Great Tribulation. This is not the gospel message presented today, which has the inherent ability to save a person, Romans 1:16, and relates to the death for sin and resurrection of Christ three days later according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. This messenger is bringing a message to the Nations, telling them to worship the God, Who is the Creator of heaven and earth, for the hour of His judgment has come, Revelation 14:7. The second angel cries out with the message that Babylon, the great religious harlot, has fallen, Revelation 14:8. Her fall is just before the return of Christ to claim the earth and set up His kingdom. A third angel is then heard shouting that anyone who worships the beast and his image, having received his mark, will now face the wrath of God, Revelation 14:9-11. At this point, John is instructed to write, “Happy are the dead, the ones dying by a lord from now.” They are happy because they are able to rest from their hard labor, Revelation 14:13.

The tribulation period […]

Happy are those who die by a lord, Revelation 14:132024-04-04T05:30:14-07:00

Hope (ἐλπίς)

“Hope” expresses an eager expectation that is always based upon a promise. Unlike the English word, the original Greek does not include the concept of “a wishful desire”; rather, expressing a ready anticipation based upon confidence or trust.

In the crucifixion of Christ, He had hope because God the Father had given Him a promise that He would not leave His soul in Hades, nor would His flesh see corruption. Therefore, He did not face the cross with wishful thinking, but in eager expectation concerning the promise given to Him.

Because of this My heart praises and My tongue rejoices, indeed still also My flesh rests upon hope, because You will not abandon My soul in Hades, nor give Your pious One to see corruption – Acts 2:26-27

Herod had desired for a long time to see Jesus, because he hoped (eagerly expected) that Jesus would perform some sign for him, Luke 23:8. Herod knew of what Jesus was doing among the people and the signs and wonders that He had performed; however, his hope was not about believing in the Christ, but for entertainment. And when Christ refused to answer him, he and his men of war mistreated Jesus. Later, Herod is struck with worms and dies when he claims to be a god, Acts 12:21-23.

The hope we find on the road to Emmaus with two of the disciples after the resurrection of Christ expresses an eager expectation because they had anticipation that Jesus was the Messiah and would restore Israel, a hope based upon God’s promise; however, the Chief Priests and rulers of Israel delivered Him over to be condemned to death and crucified. Therefore, even though they expected that Jesus was the Messiah, for He […]

Hope (ἐλπίς)2023-11-25T07:37:53-08:00

Wavering (διστάζω)

The concept of doubt is expressed in a couple of different ways in Scripture, and they are important to distinguish between each other. There is doubt that describes someone who is wavering (διστάζω); having two sides, and doubt that is a result of justifying a way around (διακρίνω).

Wavering is when a person is unsure, or lacking confidence. It was this type of doubting that happened to Peter after he stepped out of the boat onto the sea with Christ in Matthew 14:31 that caused him to start sinking. After the resurrection of Christ, the 11 disciples were wavering, even after seeing Him, Matthew 28:17. Wavering is not a sin but does express only having a little faith. Being of little faith is often seen in relation to how God cares for us, Matthew 6:30.

The term for doubt that could cause a Christian to sin because they are doing something while doubting is a word that means to thoroughly judge or discern (διακρίνω). “Discerning” is the positive aspect of this word where “doubt” is the negative meaning. When Abraham believed God, he did not doubt in unbelief what God was saying; rather, he took Him at His Word, Romans 4:18. He did not attempt to justify his way around what God said. If a Christian does something while doubting, they can sin, Romans 14:23. However, this is not the same as wavering or being unsure. Thoroughly judging (doubting) is being used to justify one’s actions rather than taking God at His word. In the case of food, it would be coming up with a reason to be permitted to eat something that otherwise would defile your conscience before God, such as on a special occasion, or […]

Wavering (διστάζω)2023-11-25T07:37:40-08:00
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