Ultimate Question ARCHIVES

About Your Site.

Moral Phobia and the Temptation of Christ: PRESUMPTION
By James E.Unger

Usually the first Sunday of Lent features the familiar story of Jesus being tempted in the desert.

His last temptation (of the three) was to throw Himself down and let God's angels save Him.

We do the same in today's amoral climate. Our sin is "presuming on God's mercy:" no matter what we do, He'll forgive us and we can carry on as is: ignoring the consequences of our actions, like Jesus was tempted by Satan to do.

An understanding of Jewish Scripture tells the reader that God sent prophets to warn His people that their sinful ways would lead to their destruction by Assyria and Babylon.
Only a remnant returned back to Judea.

Our sins are many, but one featured in headlines in the last administration was sexual.
We are tempted to say it is "personal." Sin is never personal. Sexual morality needs to be preached from the pulpits. Not only against adultery but against F-O-R-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N, perversion, salaciousness, and the infiltration into our minds of media filth from films and TV.

Sexual morality is the glue that holds society together. Living together before marriage results in higher incidents of divorce.

Today's moral-phobia is a result of us assuming God's mercy without taking responsibility for our activities. Unfortunately I only hear the preaching for moral responsibility from Jewish moralists, like Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Christians seem to be more into "mercy" than being responsible.

Are our minds renewed? Paul asked the Romans and the Holy Spirit asks us today.

Presented for your consideration

A Commentary on Romans chapter 10: verses 8-13 (4.March 2001 AD)
By James E. Unger

Confessing Jesus is Lord is great!
But notice what Paul states, "for if you confess with you lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe IN your HEART that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

"Believing in your heart" means more than just words and mental assent.
It means acting on the conviction that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead.

It means that people will see that you are a believer by your value system, not in your perfection of goodness, but what you strive after in life.

What are the important things in your life? Money, pleasure, power, security?
Do you view the world from God's eyes or from the world (media - culture)'s eyes.

Ask yourself if Jesus is in you, What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)? How does He want to act through you?

Do you exhibit the fruits of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faithfulness, mildness, and chastity?
Do you make room for the Lord (see steps above), so He can use you?
Don't lose heart, the author of this article isn't by far a great example either. But we have our eyes on the gift: Jesus.

Let's ask Him in prayer for help and confess to Him our shortcomings. During this time of Lent, let us "fast" from what give us instant gratification and thus feel our need for the ultimate friend and Savior.

"How beautiful are the feet of those who announce Good News" on their lips, in their hearts and through their lives.

Burn Baby, Burn!
A meditation on Exodus 3:1-5 and Luke 13: 6-9
By James E. Unger

Moses saw the bush on fire, yet the fire did not destroy the bush.
Similarly, the Holy Spirit is to burn in us yet not consume us.
Through us the fire of the Holy Spirit is to produce fruit:
and -- Chastity.

By our fruits will God and others know us.
Read Galatians 5.

If yet we have not produced the fruits of the Spirit, we have but little time,
similarly to the fig tree mentioned in Luke 13:6-9.
WE work the garden of our souls.

Either God's Spirit produces
godliness in us or destroys us as
WE cooperate with or oppose the Spirit.
WE make the choices between Life and Death.

If today you hear His voice,
harden not your heart.


WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT: 2.Corinthians 5:17-21 and Luke 15: 11-32
Commentary by James E. Unger

The world gives us many sights: the corporate media and entertainment gives us plenty to view.
But our Faith says to look beyond what is presented by them.
Our Faith says to look beyond what our friends, coworkers, neighbors and associates tell us what is so.
Our Faith says to trust in the Lord, His provisions and ordinances.
When God's Word tells us that we have sinned, His Word also tells us to repent (of our sins) and believe (act upon) the Good News of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When our (and sometimes the world's) conscience convicts us of wrongdoing, we are to go beyond our feelings of guilt.

Even while suffering these feelings, we are to make an ACT OF THE WILL to accept God's forgiveness and mercy like the Prodigal Son. Hence we are to overlook resentments of others and their presumption of moral superiority for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Truly repent, make a firm resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin. Go to Him in daily prayer and confess you sins (also to the priest [for Catholics]). Don't let the accuser, Satan, persecute you anymore.

Still have bad feelings and oppressive thoughts?
Simple prayers of exorcism (as opposed to the canonical prescribed solemn exorcisms) can be prayed by any Christian:
In honor of the Blessed Trinity, say three-times: I send you (the spirit of, or the thought of, or the sin of ....) to the foot of Jesus Christ on the cross!"

Easter Sunday
(JEU'S comments in parantheses)

The Reverend Felix Prior, O.Carm (Order of Carmelites), preached today at St. Matthews in Glendale Heights, Illinois, that we all hope to enter Heaven, realizing we have two choices for eternity.

To do so, we must attain and remain in the state of grace.

We cannot attain Heaven (on our own merit) and hope to enter Heaven because we do not
do any wrong(s).

We need Jesus and His grace (the perfect sacrifice in atonement for our sins (and our state of original sin).

We are to do His good works, but we can not do so if we do not believe in Him, Jesus.

We cannot do so without receiving His grace.

By not attending weekly Mass (JEU: "the Apostle Paul talks against absenting oneself from the assembly") we do not receive the graces from uniting ourselves to The Sacrifice on the Cross.

As we attend Mass weekly, the graces we receive enable us to be more open to receive more graces. (JEU: "similar to the [on the surface: unfair} Parable of the Talents")

It is important to attend weekly Mass (JEU: besides the Third Commandment [other traditions list it as the 4th]) for the graces we receive which allow us to avoid sin and enable us to do the good we are commanded to do.

We can (freely) lose our salvation [some traditions don't believe this, but the Catholic Church teaches that Free Will is never lost because of Grace] if we do not attend weekly Mass.

(JEU: because we are like the servant who received the least talent, we are afraid of God
[and His Graces{talents}], thus losing what little we have .
In awareness of Hosea's prophecy, "My people perish for want of knowledge," we
need weekly Mass for weekly reminders of God's Laws and to remind us of His
provisions [grace] and to receive His Grace.

For all Christians: do not absent yourself from the weekly assembly. Attend
Church on every Sunday, not just Christmas and Easter, weddings and your
Funeral [then it will be too late].

Don't commit the presumptuous sin of declaring explicitly [or implicitly] that it is
God's job to forgive: doing or not doing whatever pleases you

Every Sunday attend Church and receive His abundant [talents] Graces!

Have a comment?