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Deborah_

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About Deborah_

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    Bracknell, UK
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  1. A lot of people may be under the impression that praying in Jesus' name just means tacking the words "in Jesus' name" onto the end of their prayer! But as Retrobyter has said, what "in Jesus' name" actually means is "with Jesus' authority". So it certainly doesn't cover anything and everything we might want to pray for! What things has Jesus authorised us to pray for? The things in the Lord's prayer: the advance of God's Kingdom, our daily bread (necessities, not luxuries), forgiveness of our sins, etc. But not much else. We can pray for other things, of course, and because our heavenly Father is generous we may well be given them. But they don't fall under this particular promise.
  2. Deborah_

    I need help please♡

    The ceremonial law is the laws relating to worship (like the sacrifices) and ceremonial cleanness (like the food laws and leprosy laws). These have been fulfilled by Jesus and no longer apply. The civil law is the laws that are equivalent to any other national law code, and are the ones that prescribe punishments (such as stoning for adultery). These were only ever applicable to the nation of Israel. The moral law is the Ten Commandments (and similar commands). Still very much in force! It's a convenient way of making sense of the Torah, but an over-simplification. Also, some laws are difficult to classify - where do the laws on tithing fit, for example? So maybe it's not the best way of looking at the Law.
  3. Deborah_

    Ten Virgins

    I don't believe that anyone will 'miss' the Rapture; it'll be the last event before the Judgement, and the wedding feast will follow. "The Bridegroom arrived" seems to me to indicate the Rapture. Scripture teaches that some members of the Church will fall away, and not persevere right to the end. These would be represented by the foolish virgins, whose hearts are not really set on the kingdom at all - they're just 'coasting along'. Maybe some were never genuine Christians, maybe some were - the distinction between "not" and "never" might indicate this, but in practical terms what matters is our status when we are called to account (either by death or by Jesus' return).
  4. Deborah_

    Ten Virgins

    What makes five of the virgins wise, and why are the other five foolish for not being prepared? There are 'five wise virgins' in the Old Testament as well - the five (unmarried) daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11) They are remarkable not only for their initiative (in asking to inherit their father's property) but also for their faith. Even when the land of Canaan was as yet unentered, let alone conquered, they petitioned for a share in it as if it were already in Israel’s hands! They believed (probably with good reason) that once the land allocation actually began, the men wouldn’t give them a chance to put their case. So by staking their claim in advance, they made sure that they wouldn’t miss out. The wise virgins in the parable are also thinking ahead; they are determined not to run any risk of missing out on their places at the wedding feast. Like the daughters of Zelophehad, they want their inheritance - and they make sure that they get it. But whether through lack of faith or lack of desire, the foolish ones are less motivated; and they suddenly wake up to the fact that they may get left out at the last moment. So we must ask ourselves: do we give the Kingdom of God a high priority in our lives? If we do not think it sufficiently important to invest in it now, might we risk losing our place altogether?
  5. Deborah_

    1Thess 4:14 (Just checking)

    You're missing my point completely. Of course 'aparche' doesn't mean 'the beginning'! The Greek word for 'from' is 'ap'. The alternatives are 'ap arches' (from the beginning) and 'aparchen' (first fruits) - the 'from' bit becomes part of the word 'firstfruits'. So the one thing it couldn't be is "from the first fruits" - the 'from' simply isn't there. I suppose my point is that "firstfruits" is not a 'bad' translation, and certainly not an invention of the translator! There are some manuscripts of II Thessalonians that really do say "God chose you as firstfruits". At the end of the day, which is the original and which the error seems to be simply a matter of personal opinion.
  6. Deborah_

    1Thess 4:14 (Just checking)

    It isn't a question of 'adding' anything; it's a single letter change in the Greek, a copying error between different manuscripts. "From the beginning" is "ap arches"; "as first fruits" is "aparchen". (Remember that the words were originally written with no spaces between). Since both alternatives make sense in the context, it's now difficult for the translator to decide which is the correct one. Consequently some modern versions follow the first and others the second.
  7. Deborah_

    Divine Feminine

    God has no gender; He incorporates both the masculine and the feminine. In Scripture, the 'pictures' that are used to describe Him are overwhelmingly 'masculine' ones (King, Warrior, Judge, Bridegroom, Father) - but there are also some 'feminine' ones: a midwife (Psalm 71:6), a Mother (Isaiah 66:13), a hen protecting her chicks (Luke 13:34). He understands us women as completely as He understands the men. So prayer might well feel 'as if' you are talking to another woman.
  8. God creates a new, clean heart in all His children, beginning from the day we commit ourselves to Christ. But it's a slow process! None of us will stop committing sin altogether, until the day we die, and no amount of praying is going to change that universal rule just for you. Having said that, we are called to fight against our sinful natures, "putting to death" those things within us that are contrary to God's nature. It isn't easy - as GandalfTheWise has explained, some areas of our lives can be brought under the Spirit's control fairly quickly, but in other areas it's more of a struggle. Your strong desire for holiness is a good sign; don't get frustrated by an apparent lack of progress in the short term.
  9. Deborah_

    1 Peter 3:1-2

    Yes (see below) If you are a single Christian woman, it is very unwise to marry an unbeliever. But if you are already married when you become a Christian, Paul says, "If a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife." (I Corinthians 7:13,14) Obviously it can be difficult, but the most important thing is to be patient and not be unnecessarily provocative.
  10. There are good arguments on both sides. All I can give you is some thoughts to consider. Yes, it's very difficult to live a Christian life in a hedonistic and hostile environment. But these days you could apply the same argument to almost any career choice: even Christian bakers have been prosecuted for sticking to their Christian principles! Another problem (with regard to arts and entertainment in general) is that it's easy for Christian artists and performers to create a little Christian ghetto, which speaks only to other believers and doesn't challenge them. The quality often drops, too (most 'Christian' films are excruciatingly cheesy). If you choose to work in the secular world, it's relatively easy to take the skills that you've honed into a Christian environment occasionally (or full-time, at a later date, as the Lord leads you). It doesn't work so well the other way round. At the end of the day, what matters is what God is calling you, personally, to do. If He does call you to pursue a secular career path, He will give you the grace to walk that path. If you find yourself unable to make a decision, look prayerfully for opportunities to work in both Christian and secular jobs, and go for the first opening that comes up. God sometimes guides us through circumstances... that's how I found where He wanted me to be in my career.
  11. Deborah_

    Problem with evolution

    You can accept theistic evolution and still have Adam.
  12. Deborah_

    Problem with evolution

    And yet Christians have always debated the correct interpretation of Genesis 1-3 (see Augustine, for example), without needing to throw out the "theology of salvation". We owe the doctrine of original sin to Augustine, and yet he didn't interpret Genesis 1 "literally".
  13. Deborah_

    Problem with evolution

    You are a real Christian. The interpretation of Genesis 1 is not a test of orthodoxy, and never has been.
  14. Deborah_

    Problem with evolution

    "The idea that the Biblical 6 days of Creation are stages of evolution each millions of years long (a requirement of macro-evolution) is not Scriptural. Anyone who persists with this view when they are advised of their error cannot call themselves a Bible-believer, and their profession to be a follower of Christ is in doubt." I'm sorry, but I have to take issue with this statement. There are (and have been) many genuine Bible-believing Christians who have interpreted Genesis 1 in this way. Who has suddenly decided that this is "incompatible" with believing the Bible and even with being a Christian at all?
  15. Deborah_

    Disturbed about Matthew 5:32

    We are Christians, and Christ died for our sins. So there is always the possibility of forgiveness (I John 2:1,2). Here is my two cents' worth: First of all, in order to interpret Matthew 5:32 we need some background information. In Jewish society at that time, women had a relatively low status. A single woman could not work to support herself (other than by prostitution), so women depended on their husbands, and widowed or divorced women were in a perilous financial situation. Because men had all the legal power, divorce was usually initiated by the husband - sometimes (as today) for very trivial reasons. So a husband could divorce his wife at will, thereby putting her in a position where (unless she had rich relatives who were willing to support her) she had no choice but to either remarry or turn to prostitution. That's how a man could "make her an adulteress" - and Jesus considered that it was his fault, not hers! Secondly, with regard to your personal situation, I think the best advice would be to discuss it with the minister/pastor of your church, who knows the details of your case. There are some divorce scenarios in which the innocent party is free to remarry anyway: Jesus states adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), Paul states desertion on the grounds of religious incompatibility (I Corinthians 7:15), and many people would include other serious violations of the marriage (such as domestic violence). If your ex has remarried by now, many people would say that sets you free to do the same. If you have become a Christian since your divorce, many people would consider that your new birth means that you start over again with a clean slate. If none of these conditions apply, then you really must see your minister/pastor. As I said above, there is always the possibility of forgiveness - but we have to confess our sins and repent (I John 1:9), and an internet forum is really not the place for that.
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