In the last post I brought up the signal vs noise ratio and how it is used metaphorically to differentiate factual/relevant information from false/irrelevant information. Signal is the factual and relevant info; noise is the false and irrelevant info. I then posed the question, where does someone go to find the “signal” about Christianity? With the endless number of sources on Christianity this seems like an impossible question to answer. One could go to the bookstore, library, internet, friends, family, religious leaders…the list could go on and on. So, where can you reliably go to find factual and relevant information about Jesus, God and the church?
Author: Blake Stanley
Have you heard of the signal vs noise ratio? It is a science and engineering ratio used to measure the desired signal being received in a transmission versus the amount of noise in the background. Even if you are unfamiliar with the ratio itself you are certainly familiar with the concept. Ever listened to the radio, talked on cell phone or played walkie-talkie as a kid? Then you are familiar with the concept.
A Christian’s loyalty ultimately rests in God. A Christian recognizes God’s sovereignty in their lives over human governments, administrations, organizations, or any other form of authority. Throughout history this has placed God’s followers at odds with many of man’s institution. Worldly men are always striving for influence over other men. Whether it is through social status, governmental institutions, or religious authority men are always placing themselves in a position where they are able to exert influence and control over others.
Acts 13:45 – But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. As the early Christians traveled through the Roman Empire preaching the message of Christ they spoke with people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, education and heritage. The book of Acts provides insight into how many of these people reacted to hearing the gospel. The passage quoted above (Acts 13:45) is the reaction of many of the Jews who lived in Antioch (in Pisidia). Unfortunately, their reaction is not based on an evaluation of truth but on their emotions.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is the opinion of this writer, that Jesus was referencing all of the apostles as “this rock” and not just Peter. This opinion is supported by other passages pointing the apostles as the foundation of the church. In Ephesians 2:20 Paul writes the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone.” In addition, when John sees the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 he describes the wall of the city as having, “twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (verse 14).
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 There is a lot of comfort in this statement spoken by Jesus. It is an all-inclusive statement. ALL who labor and are heavy laden can go to Jesus and find rest – no matter what our past and no matter how many sins we have committed Jesus will accept us. Jesus makes this point again in John 6:37 when He said, “…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” There is no need for pre-qualification to accept Jesus as our savior. There is not a background check or an interview process. We can truly come to Jesus “as we are” and find rest.
Ezekiel 8:17 – “And He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here?’” In the eighth chapter of Ezekiel God brings Ezekiel “in visions of God to Jerusalem (vs. 3).” When Ezekiel arrives in Jerusalem he is standing in the north gate door of the Temple’s inner court. Through the rest of the chapter God takes Ezekiel on a tour through the Temple to show him “the great abominations that Israel commits… (vs. 6).”
In Psalm 19 David writes about the creation and the word of God. David gives no indication why both of these subjects are contained within one Psalm. The Psalm reads as if these are two non-related, distinct thoughts. However, God’s creation and God’s word do have one very important characteristic in common. These are two pieces of evidence we have of God’s existence. As David writes in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight (Mark 1:1-3 KNJV).’”” Before the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God sent a messenger, John the Baptist. His purpose was to prepare the hearts and minds of the Israelites for the coming of their King.
Over the last sixty years there has been a drastic increase in the number of available Bible translations. By my count, there have been at least fifty full (both Old Testament and New Testament) English Bible translations published since 1949, and at least twenty-five of those fifty were published after 1990. It appears this trend will continue with more translations being published every year. There is no doubt that the Bible being translated from the original languages (Old Testament was written in Hebrew and New Testament was written in Greek) into other languages is a praiseworthy event.