Born to Win Podcast - with Ronald L. DartAuthor: Born to Win
23 Feb 2019

Born to Win Podcast - with Ronald L. Dart

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Born to Win's Daily Radio Broadcast and Weekly Sermon. A production of Christian Educational Ministries.

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    Understanding the Fall

    If there is one concept that is central to Christian teaching along with creation and redemption, it is the fall of man. The concept may be integral to the Christian faith, but it often isn’t really understood. From this all-too-brief story in Genesis (and some later comments in the Bible) a surprising number of beliefs have arisen to resolve some of its unanswered questions.

    Was it inevitable? Did God know it was going to happen? What were the real consequences of these first human sins—for men, women, and the entire Earth? All of this is very simple, of course, until you start trying to explain the details and depends in large measure on the philosophy you’ve developed from reconciling other questions about life.

    Now, there are three ways of looking at the fall of man. So open up your Bibles to Genesis and let’s take another look at this essential story.

  • Posted on 22 Feb 2019

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    The Words of Jesus #24

    Which is more important, do you think, pursuing a religious argument with someone, or giving a life to man who doesn’t have one? Note that I said, pursuing a religious argument, not resolving a religious difference. These arguments never seem to be resolved, so we must engage in them for our own entertainment. And when I talk about giving a life to a man who didn’t have one, I am talking about poor devil who claws at his flesh, foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth. I am talking about a man whose life is so bad that he throws himself into the fire or sometimes into the lake trying to destroy himself. This is a really tormented man, and I am talking about complete and total restoration. Which is more important?

    There must have been times when Jesus wondered if he could afford to leave his disciples alone. The poor man I was talking about was brought to Jesus’s disciples while he was away. His father brought him and asked the disciples to cast the demon out of the man. I don’t know what they did. Whether they stood there helpless or whether they attempted an exorcism that didn’t work. But when Jesus returned, he saw a crowd gathered around them and the scribes questioning them. For the scribes this was an important failure by Jesus’ disciples, and they would have jumped on this as they did everything Jesus and his disciples did. And while they stood and argued religion with the disciples, this poor, tormented man sat there drooling and clawing at himself.

    For some, he was just an object of a religious argument. But Jesus did not see people like this as objects. He saw them as tormented human beings. What was it like to be inside a body and mind like that? How bad does it have to get in your mind before the pain of tearing your skin or burning yourself is preferable to the torment of the soul? When Jesus came on this scene, he focused on the poor man. In a way, you might think that having the power to heal a person like that would give you a flippant attitude toward suffering. You could shout be healed and walk away triumphantly. I have an idea that, when you really have the power, it is not that way.

    When you don’t have the power, you feel bad about human suffering, but there is nothing you can do. But when you do have the power, there is a terrible burden of responsibility that comes with it. I suspect that Jesus, having the power to heal, felt the pain of the sick and the suffering much more deeply. And all the more so, because he would bear their sicknesses and their pain to the stake.

  • Posted on 21 Feb 2019

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    The Words of Jesus #23

    It is hard to imagine the confusion that swirled around Jesus during his ministry. The entire Jewish world had already been ripe with expectations of a Messiah, but Jesus was not exactly what they expected. It is strange when you think about it—that a person could miss seeing the Messiah because he expected the Messiah to be different. I think this is what the prophets were talking about when they warned man about making God in their own image. It is sobering to consider that I could miss something very important about God because I expected something else. It is testimony to the importance of keeping an open mind.

    When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

    Matthew 16:13–20

    Now what seems strange to me about this passage is that not one of the disciples asked Jesus, Lord, what is a church? Don’t you think that is odd? Up to this point, he had said nothing about any church. Now, out of the clear blue sky he says He is going to build his church. What is a church, anyway?

  • Posted on 20 Feb 2019

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    The Words of Jesus #22

    Do you wash your hands before you eat? Well, if you had a mother, you probably do. It is a habit acquired in childhood. But chances are you don’t worry about it very much unless you have just been petting the dog or something like that. Why do I ask? Well, it became a major issue between Jesus and the Pharisees, believe it or not.

    Jesus had made a decision to stay in Galilee because the religious leaders in Jerusalem wanted him dead. It just wasn’t safe for him in Judea. So the Pharisees sent delegates to Galilee to report on what Jesus and his disciples were doing. What did they find? Jesus’ disciples were eating without washing their hands. Mind you now, this was not a matter of hygiene. The oral law had a long section dealing with ritual purification. They scrubbed up like a surgeon before sitting down to eat.

    Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

    Mark 7:1–5

    A small digression about ceremonial defilement. Under the law of Moses, there were a lot of things that might defile a man or a woman, but ceremonial defilement or uncleanness as such was not a sin. It was a sin to go to the tabernacle or temple and to attempt to carry out the ceremonies there in an unclean condition. But the condition of being unclean was not a condition of sin. A woman was unclean after childbirth, but childbirth is no sin. All uncleanness or defilement did was to prohibit a person from temple ceremony. But for the Pharisees, ritual purity was a way of life. So how did Jesus answer this charge?

  • Posted on 19 Feb 2019

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    The Words of Jesus #21

    There were at least three major categories of people who heard Jesus speak. There was a smallish group of people who immediately responded to him. To them, he was like water on dry ground. They soaked up his every word and wanted more. There was another small group that bristled at Jesus’ every word. There was something about him that annoyed and angered them. Frankly, I don’t think in most cases they could have told you why. There was a third group, by far the largest, that just didn’t get it. They were fascinated with Jesus—who wouldn’t be? But his words seemed to go in one ear and out the other.

    It is easy to criticize these people, but it probably better to feel sorry for them. Jesus certainly did. They tell us he was moved with compassion for the multitudes because they were scattered abroad as sheep without a shepherd. The truth is, they had looked at things so long in the same way, that Jesus might as well have been from another planet. They simply were unable to process a lot of what Jesus had to say. Jesus brought new wine, but they only had old wineskins. And they thought the old wine was better.

    It is tempting to think, when you encounter people like this third group, that more arguments or better arguments will help. But the problem is not with the facts, the doctrines, the arguments. The problem is on the inside of the people who are listening. There is an interesting dialogue between Jesus and a crowd that included all three of these groups of people. It is found in the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John.

    The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

    John 6:22–26

  • Posted on 18 Feb 2019


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