An expository of the Word

  • Is death penalty biblical or not? 

    The Death penalty is biblical when it serves to be the punishment for malicious murder and the crime is committed demonstrably on purpose. In this way, capital punishment is in full accordance with both the Old and the New Testament. Romans chapter 13 strengthens the competence of the state of the Old Testament, namely its right to carry arms to reward the good and punish of bad. The New Testament agreed with this provision based on the covenant with Noah and it did not ban the death penalty for malicious murder. Naturally, it did not concern itself in political or religious questions or problems regarding differences in world view.   

  • Is financial blessing the only area in which case God tells us to try Him? Are the other blessings from grace?

    Financial blessing is from grace, but human force plays an important part in work. When human power and faith in God’s grace can be found when doing our job, then it will be blessed.  Two kinds of extremes tend to dominate this area: some expect financial welfare only from grace, while others want it by only human force. Obviously, the former one is not realized in this way. The latter one works to the extent to which the laws of the world allow it. The Bible teaches that God has promised to bless the Christians based on the covenant with Him. Financial blessing has its biblical conditions.  These conditions should be studied so as not to be poor or indigent, since Jesus Christ has become poor for our sake, so we can share in the rich blessing of God through his poverty. Though this does not appeal to many, II Corinthians 8 talks about it. After the fall, God has invoked curse on the land and the activities of man. Therefore, redemption from financial curse is one of the important areas of redemption.   Jesus was wearing a crown of thorns, because our thorns that represent the curse were carried by Him, so that we can get the crown of glory. Thorns represent the result of human effort and diligence in work. However, if the emphasis is not laid on human power but man believes that God has redeemed us through Jesus Christ of Nazareth, spiritual power may engage itself in man’s work.  Physical, intellectual and psychological power along with spiritual power brings breakthrough in financial life sooner or later. So human power and faith in God’s grace is important concerning work.    

  • Why did Jesus tell those whom He healed not to tell anybody?

    If this was a universal prohibition, then it would not have been written in the gospel. Jesus has forbidden the telling of healing for pragmatic reasons. He was unable to move due to the huge crowd surrounding him; therefore, He wanted to avoid having hysteria around Him. He was healing according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in this way his approach was different from the marketing philosophy of modern healing evangelists who waste their shots. Jesus had to hold them back so as not to have a blaze of publicity. When great things take place, then God prefers to hide them to avoid negative reactions. Nowadays, such things take place in the world, but people do not pay attention to them, since they are hidden from their eyes. People take note of things that will not be a matter of question in 10-20 years. In contrast, those that have been mentioned here will be more important questions for humanity in 20 years.        

  • In Chapter 23 of Luke, Jesus told the criminal while hanging on the cross: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” If Jesus rose from the dead after three days, then how was he able to be in the Paradise with the other man who was crucified? 

    In the Old Testament, Sheol had two parts: paradise, which referred to the place of comfort, and the place of torment reserved for the sinful people. Heaven should not be mixed up with  paradise. There are many references in the book of Job and the Psalms that this part of Sheol could be found in the underground sphere. Heaven is fully supernatural and cannot be perceived by the senses. Jesus was referring to the paradisiac part of Sheol and not to heaven when talking to the rogue. When the soul and spirit of Jesus left his body, first he went to the paradise (place of comfort), then went on to the place of torment and finally to the deepest part of Sheol where the peers of Noah were residing. According to the apostle Peter, Jesus was resurrected from this part of Sheol and reunited with his body before ascending to heaven.       

  • My question would be whether Christian faith can be lived out alone or not?

    Grace can be retained alone, but communal faith is an important aspect of Christian faith. Relationship with God can be maintained with people who also have relationship with Him. Therefore it’s important to belong to a church which maintains the Scripture, the Word of God. In chapter 4 of Ephesians the apostle Paul claimed that at rebirth, man does not represent the fullness of what God has called him to. We try to represent the highest level and encourage Christians not to be satisfied with only the following of biblical norms. It is important to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be able to represent Christ through their lives. 

  • Certain things have been listed in Acts that the nations have to abstain from if they are willing to live a Christian life. I particularly think of abstinence from eating blood. But we can read in the letter of first Corinthians that everything sold at the meat market can be eaten without raising questions of conscience. Isn’t this a contradiction? 

    This is not a contradiction. Unfortunately, many Christians are deceived by the letter of first Corinthians. On one hand, they do not take into consideration that there are absolute truths and relative truths that are not absolute. When two Bible passages refer to a single topic, then it has to be taken into account that one of them is absolute, while the other is relative. The prohibition of eating blood is absolutely valid, because it is an underlying principle of the covenant with Noah. This is the basic law of rules concerning dining.    The prohibition of eating blood appeared for the first time in the covenant with Noah and not at the giving of law. Therefore, this refers to every nation. The truths (moral principles) in the New Testament have been determined by the apostles in the Acts chapter 15 and the prohibition of eating blood can be found there as well. Jesus said to “eat whatever is put before you” and this is not an absolute truth, since there are countries where dog meat is sold and man is not obliged to buy or eat it. On the other hand, in the time of Jesus and Paul, blood products were not sold at the meat market, hence what can be found in the letter of first Corinthians does not refer to this. Mixing flesh and blood is a new invention. For example, pariser contained blood for sure, though I am not sure about the ingredients these days. This Bible passage refers to such products and people must abstain from them.    

  • I have read in an article that financial crisis is a “labour pain” before the coming of the Messiah, but after a tough period, humanity will enter into the period of peace when we may rest. What do you think about it?  

    According to the Bible, there will not be any financial crisis before the coming of the Messiah, since cash will be taken out of trade. Chapter 13 of the book of Revelation talks about it. A huge military conflict, the third world war will be the centre of the world crisis accompanied by a financial crisis. The financial one will be solved and there will be an economic upheaval in the following years in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Another Bible passage says people will eat, drink and get married and will not take notice of the closeness of the coming of the Messiah. These passages demonstrate that there will be prosperity before the coming of the Messiah.  

  • If God is righteous then why is one man born into a rich family and another man into a poor one? Someone is successful in everything, while another one is not. What is the reason for these things?  

    Quite often God is blamed for injustices experienced in earthly life. The problem with the world is that the human condition is in contradiction to the character of God. God went out of the world, and as a consequence an unfair and outrageous civilization has been made by the people. According to the Bible, it is under the wrath of God and He should not be blamed for this. The Almighty doesn’t agree with injustices, hence the Saviour has been sent to make a change in every area of human life. Those who raise this issue are motivated by rebellion against God and not by the love of justice. It would become obvious for them after reading the Bible that this is a crucial question from the first page to the last.