Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Barnabas

Alex Haley, the author of Roots, wrote
"Look for the good and praise it".

Audrey Hepburn said "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

His name was Joseph but his friends called him Barnabas, which means the son of encouragement. (See Acts 4:36). God has graciously provided each one of us a Barnabas. If you have not found your Barnabas yet, take a second look at those who are investing their lives into yours.

My Barnabas is Chaplain Steve Lowe.
#mybarnabas #encourage
en - to cause (a person or thing) to be in
courage - the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.

zoe perissos
Steve Matten

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Virgin Birth - The Most Important Miracle in all Scripture

Old Adam and New Adam

I could start this post with a statement from faith or from science but the end result would be agreement. By faith we trust the Bible to be the word of God, His divinely inspired communication to mankind. In the Scriptures we read these passages:

1 Cor 15:39
All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.

1 Cor 15:45-48
45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 

Genesis 5:3
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.
 
Scientists have discovered that the Y chromosome carried only by males has remained essentially unchanged from the very beginning. There have been small mutations that characterize some branches off of the original but every male living on earth for all time from the original Adam carries a common characteristic, the Y chromosome.  
 
Look at this National Geographic Special Report: http://press.nationalgeographic.com/2005/04/13/ibm-launch-landmark-genographic-project/. 

This project resulted in a DVD Special Report called National Geographic - DNA Mysteries Search For Adam (http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/241/3063/128.html)

Here is an excerpt from the series. Pay special attention to the two and a half minute section 3:30 to about 4:48.




The study goes on to conclude that the original Adam lived in Africa. The whole over 1 hour documentary is worth watching but has to make some assumptions to come to that conclusion.

This is why the virgin birth is so important in our theology and christology today. Jesus had no human father and therefore was a completely new man, a new Adam. He did not carry the (sinful) Y chromosome passed on from father to father, generation to generation. This is why he could be a perfect and sinless sacrifice.

The human race was diseased with sin (Romans 5:12). Jesus sacrifice was the perfect atonement for sin and His incarnation as fully man and fully God is the most significant miracle in all of Scripture.

zoe perissos

All scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

No one wants me.


Charlie came to Orangewood Bible Study week after week. Then one Sunday at church he told me that he trusted Christ for the first time that day. We prayed and I gave him a Bible and a small wooden cross. I did not see Charlie again for several weeks, he ran from Orangewood and ended up in Juvenile Hall. I asked him what he was going to do when he was released and he said he would go back to Orangewood because no one wanted him.

I prayed for Charlie, a lot! I could not get him out of my mind.

 Charlie was eventually released back to Orangewood where I met with him again. He told me that he has a new foster home that he will be going to in a few days. This is God's doing!

 I would like you join me in continued prayer for Charlie and the other kids at Orangewood, in foster care and the ones still out on the streets. Thanks.

Zoe Perissos

Friday, May 17, 2013

Why does Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of Man? Ever wonder?

His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to anyone, and by His ascension our Lord entered heaven, keeping the door open for humanity.
From My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers

When Christ entered this earthly realm it was a true miracle, not just the virgin birth but God becoming man, that was the awesome miracle. Never before had God appeared in such a way, and we along with the apostles declare Him to be the Son of God, meaning God in human form. Our relative position to Christ is that we are sons of men and He is the Son of God. As the Son of God, we are reconciled with God through Him.

But he most often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. When Jesus ascended and returned to heaven another awesome miracle happened, never before had a man of flesh appeared before the Father. Jesus relative position to the Father was Son of Man. As the Son of Man, God is reconciled with man through Him.

It is a simple formula:

Son of God - God is reconciled to man on earth.
Son of Man - man is reconciled to God in heaven.

Jesus saw his role and purpose on earth as Son of Man, we see Him as Son of God.

zoe perissos


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Those who have a high view of the importance of eternity have a high view of the importance of life. Those who disregard eternity will also disregard life.

Think  about this for a minute. It would seem to be the opposite. Didn't the Apostle Paul say "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."? (2 Cor 5:8)

The think that we often miss or ignore when we speak of life is that life includes suffering! We must take life as a whole, the good, the bad, the pain and the joy. Suffering, injustice, war, tragedy and natural disaster are all as much a part of  life as love, family, joy, art, music and beauty.

If life were only the positive things, we would have no need for eternity.

You see, suffering and eternity go hand in hand. Suffering has no value at all if there is no eternity. I am not talking about pain. Pain has a purpose, it leads us to repair. If we had no pain we would have no inclination to repair or improve. But I speak of prolonged pain, without hope of improvement - suffering.

Let's put this in practical terms. As the horror of late-term abortions are played out in the court and the media, those that support the idea of late-term abortions do not deny that how this is done is critical. They defend the practice out of a manufactured need.

Pro-Choice Colorado explains that their state is one of the few where a late abortion can be obtained. “Outpatient abortion is available up to 26 weeks. In addition, medically indicated termination of pregnancy up to 34 weeks is also an option for conditions such as fetal anomalies, genetic disorder, fetal demise and/or severe medical problems” (NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, italics added). The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice says that “on the rare occasion when a woman has a late abortion it is because the fetus has severe or fatal anomalies or because the pregnancy endangers her life or health” (italics added).  Source http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/beyond-the-rhetoric-gosnell-and-the-late-term-reality

Of course everyone knows that abortions are also justified by pro-choice groups because of other non-medical reasons as well.

But even in the cases of "fetal anomalies, genetic disorder, fetal demise and/or severe medical problems" and the potential suffering of a child born with such conditions, only the certainty of eternity gives reason to this suffering.

This is true even for the babies who will only live a short time or who will live their entire lives with suffering, for they also live in the reality that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. . .” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Here especially is an opportunity for those who cling to Jesus to love hurting families in ways that make God look strong, good, and worthy of our hope and trust. ibid

We cannot compare our suffering or even the suffering of innocents in this life to "the eternal weight of glory".

And to those who despair in this life to the point that they consider removing themselves I propose these things:

1. The Father so highly valued life that God became a man and submitted Himself not only to the joys of life but also to its ultimate suffering, then we should value it the same and continue on until God is finished His work in us and through us. (John 3:16)
2. If God has designed and proposed a work that is to be accomplished through us according to His will, created us with an exact blueprint for His purposes (Psalm 139) then we should value this purpose in life even though the suffering seems futile and non-productive.
3. With the indwelling Spirit we are the representatives and ambassadors of God here on earth. The majority of God's work is done through his Body of believers. Our ultimate joy and purpose is found in doing His will while we remain here on His earth. (2 Cor 5:20 and 2 Cor 1:3-4)

zoe perissos


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why are you reading the Bible?!??!

As time passes, for the aged Christian, things that were once alive and vivid become rote and less colorful. Think of the main occupations of our faith, prayer and Bible reading. Are we really, I mean really consistently finding God and experiencing His face in these daily endeavors as we once did, or have we either abandoned the daily work or come to see it as chore and ritual.

What do I expect when I read God's word? The disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the risen Christ because they did not expect to see Him. They knew the living Christ but they were not familiar with the Risen Savior. Of course God's word supplies more than we could ever expect but to expand my limited understanding of what to expect when I approach His Word I want to experience at least these five things when I meet God in His word.

We read God's word to grow in faith, to learn about God, to become wise, to understand the world, to grow our imagination.

I will leave it at that. Stop reading this and go experience God in His word.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Power of the Gospel

We have just finished celebrating the resurrection of Christ, more commonly known as Easter. On Sunday I preached at Orangewood Children and Family Center on what the resurrection means for us today. While my message to the abandoned, abused, neglected, traumatized and displaced youth of Orange County was centered on hope, with the resurrection we have real hope based on a real and risen Christ, one of my themes was the power we have as believers in Christ.

Paul says in Romans 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile". (NIV)

The Gospel is power but what is the source of that power? It is in the resurrection. Paul writes in Phil 3:10-11
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (NIV)

Finally, we are identified and united with Christ in his death and resurrection, which is symbolized by baptism

Romans 5:4-5
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his" (NIV)

Power of the Gospel then comes through our identification with Christ, our participation in his death and resurrection, being placed in Christ by the Holy Spirit through faith.

Together we can say with Paul in Gal 2:20:
 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NIV)