Lecrae had the privilege to do a verse for the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards tonight. I think he did a great job showing that not all Christian rappers are whack. I also am thankful that he mentioned our Savior, idols in hip hop, Jesus’ resurrection, etc. The video is below. Leave your comments. What do you think about his verse from an artist point of view and did he communicate the gospel well?
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10as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.” Romans 3:10-12
Romans 3:1-20 is a teaching from the Old Testament that all people are guilty of sin and not righteous (verse 11).We know from scripture that natural man is born in sin as evil children of wrath (Ephesians 2:4, Psalm 51:5). Even though that is the case, we see unbelievers do good things, right? Things like helping other people, feeding the poor, loving others, or helping someone elderly across the street. How can Romans 3:12 say no one does good, if we see good actions all the time? Either the Bible is wrong or we are wrong in our understanding of what “good” is. I will not take the side that the Bible is wrong so I hope I can explain these verses in its correct meaning.
From verses 10-18, the apostle Paul quotes 6 Old Testament passages to teach the total depravity of man. (Total depravity does not mean that we are as evil as we can be, but that everyone is affected by sin. Everyone has room to become more evil.) Paul strings these 6 verses together, this was common among Rabbis who would take pearls of scripture, put them together and call it a necklace of pearls. Verses 10-12 is a summary from Psalm 14:1-3.
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
2The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
Romans 3:10 gives us the nature of man, “None is righteous.” At birth, we are not born good nor are we born neutral to good and evil. We are not born righteous, we are “by nature, children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:4). That is who we are, sinners! We are sinners because of our nature; it’s not just that we commit sins. I have a pet, and he barks because he is a dog. It’s in his nature to do so. In the same way, we sin because we are sinners, it is in our nature. Adam in his perfect state, sinned by disobeying God’s command. Adam was a representative for all humanity and as a result, all died in Adam. Some will say that this is not fair but we all partook of this first sin. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned,” Romans 5:12. The word “sinned,” in this verse is used in past tense. This points to us participating in that first sin in Adam. Since we all are guilty, we are born dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1).
Romans 3:11 says, “no one understands; no one seeks for God.” The power of sin is so great that it affects our mind. The sinner suppresses the truth so much they convince themselves of lies about God (Romans 1:18). That is the reason why “no one understands” or fully knows the truth about God. We can also cross reference this verse with 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
“No one seeks for God,” is a result of our sin. The reason why we do not seek after God is because we do not want to be held accountable for our sins. We are haters of God (Romans 1:30) so we have no reason to seek him. What about those who seem like they are seeking for God? Naturally, a sinner will never seek after God but he may do a great job seeking after the benefits of God. For example, someone may want peace in their life and attend church activities but do not want to repent from their sin. Their seeking is lead by a self-fulfilling desire rather than a desire to honor God. True God-seeking will only come when our heart is changed by the Holy Spirit and are given new desires.
We have seen that our nature is sinful and as a result we practice sinning. The sinner does not understand the things of God because he has convinced himself with lies. Since we are haters of God and are accountable for sin, we do not seek for him. In part 2, we will see why everything we did prior to our conversion was sin and why no one does good.
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Oh my goodness! Did you all hear the storm today? I was sleeping and heard what sounded like a giant whip snapping at the ground. <- This is a cheesy way of personifying nature. What does scripture say about God and nature? What does the Bible say concerning God’s activity in thunderstorms? Or lightning feeling like it is hitting your backyard?
Psalms 135:7 says, “he it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses”. Not only does God make the clouds and make lightning for the rain, he also cares for the land and waters to enrich it abundantly (Ps. 65:9). Isn’t this amazing!! Today not only were we able to see God’s attributes of power and wrath clearly through creation(Rom 1:20), we were also able to see his care for the earth.
When we hear thunder, the rain on our roofs, and see lightning. We can see God’s active hand in everything that he is doing. We as Christians do not believe that God made the world and left it to itself. Scripture speaks of Him personally being involved with creation. Notice God exercising control in the way the Bible speaks of storms. He makes the clouds. He makes the lightning. He brings forth the wind from his storehouses and he cares for the land as he enriches it abundantly. My prayer is that we are more aware of God’s control over the storm over against the reality of the fear thunderstorms may bring.
I have been enjoying reading and studying through John Frames, Doctrine of God. I highly recommend this book to those who want to dive into the deep end of the theological pool. This is an excerpt from this book. This is from chapter 17, page 348-349. Hope it bless you and encourages you as it has done to me.
“There is an identity between God and his name, as between God and his word. As we sing praise to God, we sing praise to his name(e.g., Pss. 7:17; 9:2; 18:49); we give to him the glory due his name(29:2); we exalt his name(34:3) and fear it (61:5). God’s name is an object of worship. Since in Scripture God alone is the proper object of worship, this language equates the Lord’s name and the Lord himself.
Similarly, the name of God defends us(Ps. 20:1) and saves us(54:1). We trust in his name for deliverance(33:21). His name endures forever(72:17; 135:13). It ‘reaches to the ends of the earth’ (48:10). It is holy and awesome (111:9). God guides us ‘for his name sake’ (23:3). In Isaiah 30:27, it is ‘the name of the Lord’ itself that comes to bring judgment on the nations and blessings on his people. So God’s name has divine attributes and performs divine acts. In short, Scripture says about the name of God virtually everything it says about God.
One of the most remarkable proofs of the deity of Christ, then, is that the New Testament uses his name just as the Old Testament uses the name Yahweh. When the Jewish rulers ask Peter and John, ‘By what power or what name’ they healed the crippled man, Peter replies, ‘It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth’ (Acts 4:7-10). He concludes, ‘Salvations is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’(v. 12; cf. v. 17). In Acts 5:41 we read, ‘The apostles let the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name’(cf. 9:21; 22:16). We see that name can be used as a substitute for Jesus, just as it substitutes for yahweh in the Old Testament, and the name of Jesus has the same powers as the name of Yahweh. In Isaiah 45:23, Yahweh says, ‘Before me every knee shall bow: by me every tongue shall swear’. In Romans 14:11, Paul applies this passage to God (theos), but in Philippians 2:10-11 he applies it to Christ.
…. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
I hope that this excerpt would encourage you to study God’s word, exalt in the glories of Christ, and grow a passion for proclaiming Him.
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I think my family has a pact with each other that is written something like this: “When we get together, let’s mess with Carlos by bring up weird religious topics.” lol. This past weekend I was surprised with a question and it went this way…My mother jumped up from the couch and asked, “So what’s wrong with Christians watching porn?” I did not want to answer the question; not because I did not want to discuss it but because I was stuffing my mouth with food. I knew I had to answer anyway. I took a few seconds to swallow my food and think about how I was going to answer. I had to be very careful how I did because in the room was my uncle, my aunt, my other aunt, my other other aunt, my grandmother, my 2 teen cousins, a younger cousin, my brother, my mother and my wife. Everyone stared at me while I took a sip from my coca-cola with crushed ice. I looked up at my mother while she had her hands on her hip. I answered by saying, “Porn is dangerous, not to Christians, but all people because it is used for the purpose of lust.” My grandmother responded by saying, if you can’t watch porn without lusting then you have a dirty mind. I did not know how to respond because porn is never used for other purposes except for lust.
I quoted Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” I explained how we should avoid pornography because it leads to lust which is a sin. My grandmother said, “When we watch movies, you close your eyes if there is something sexual. That just shows that you are not a strong enough Christian.” I asked, “Why would I want to entertain myself with that?” At that point other people started talking loud about it. My wife had no idea what we were talking about because we were talking in Spanish. I interrupted everyone by saying, “Anything sexual should be reserved and used within the context of marriage.” My aunt quickly responded by saying, “There is nothing wrong if you look at a naked woman.” Some began to laugh when I said, “You are right, and that woman is my wife.” It then turned into an endless discussion between my family members.
If you do not think there is anything wrong with watching pornography, I hope God can use me to change your mind. Adultery is a sin which is participating in sexual activity with a married person. In Leviticus 20:10, there are instructions on how to handle the sin of adultery. It says, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Do you see the seriousness of this evil act? I hope you do. Death was the result of this sin. We do not see the wickedness of this sin because most countries do not kill adulterers. In Maryland, Adultery can be punishable by paying a $10 fine! At first it seems funny but it is no joke at all. Adultery is not taken seriously.
What does adultery have to do with porn? Well as I quoted above, Jesus said that the lustful thoughts (Epithumeo) of another person is adultery in your heart. Not only our actions but thoughts also are judged by God. You might be wondering why is the thought is wrong; the reason is because you are desiring someone who does not belong to you. Think of covetousness, Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
This is what happens when porn is being watched (the sin of coveting), evil and wicked and sinful action of lust is being practiced at the same time being entertained with fornication and adultery. When you lust, your body is also involved by responding to your lust. Pornography becomes extremely addictive just as every other sin and it is difficult to break. The images get stuck in your head all day long when we should be meditating on the word of God day and night (Joshua 1:8). Another issue is that “Christians” preach against fornication and adultery but do not mind watching it.
If you are committing adultery in your heart by lusting, what punishment do you think you deserve? Death maybe? Death and God’s wrath! God wants us to keep our minds pure. He wants sex to be enjoyed within marriage because that’s how he intended it be. Do not misuse God’s gift of sex for your selfish pleasures! Guard your eyes, guard your heart from sin and pursue this Holy God. Repent from the adultery you committed in your heart and seek God’s forgiveness through the work of Christ. Here are some passages to consider.
19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
1 John 2:16
16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes
30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will you defile yourselves the way your fathers did and lust after their vile images?
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
1 Thessalonians 4:3–4
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
If you have an addiction to pornography, your sin can be defeated. You cannot do it by your own efforts, the Holy Spirit is the source by which you can kill your sin,”but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). Recognize the seriousness and wickedness of this violation of God . Then turn away from your sin towards God. Pray A LOT!! That is very important since God will help you. Get godly people in your life to keep you accountable by praying for you and with you. They should also discuss your sin with you and ways to prevent it from happening. God in his graciousness has provided forgiveness for sin by killing his son on behalf of sinners. Repent and trust in Christ to save you from his wrath. Below is a link to a program for your computer to keep you accountable. Please use it. Do not rely on the program alone but real Christians and church leaders who you trust as well.
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If you are offended by explicit language, please skip the video and read the blog.
It’s really heartbreaking that we Christians are not able to trust “Christian” TV. It seems that most programs are not Christian at all. It is overflowing with teaching called, “the prosperity gospel.” This teaching opposes Scripture by promising that if we come to Christ, God will make us wealthy, healthy, and prosper us in every area of our life. According to prosperity preachers, if we do not possess those three things then we are in sin. This is the mainstream Christian message which is no gospel at all.
Rhymefest, a secular artist from Chicago, has a song on his new album mocking the prosperity gospel. While he is not a believer, he shares his observations of televangelist who use God to obtain wealth. He points out how they preach God wanting to change people for the purpose to bless them with material possessions. He also talks about their gift of healing being counterfeit. He says, “You thought you were sick ‘til he laid hands, now you on the floor just shakin’, and you still have cancer when you awaken.”
It looks like Rhymefest has been thinking about the Christian faith for some time. He co-wrote the song, “Jesus walks,” by Kanye West. In other videos, when he is asked to freestyle, he does his verses from this song. It seems like a real concern to him and I hope he is seeking for the truth. At the end of the Prosperity song, twice he says, “I just want to know what Christ is.” That obviously shows that the prosperity gospel is lacking the teaching of Jesus Christ.
The reason I share this is because it should really trouble us believers that this message is being preached to non-believers. It makes the Christian faith look ridiculous and people discredit it because of its scam to make the “pastors” rich. If the prosperity gospel is false then what is the true gospel? Here is the true gospel: Man has violated God by breaking his laws. Since we are guilty, we are worthy of God’s wrath. The punishment for sin is hell, where God infinitely unleashes his wrath in order to satisfy his justice. God is wrath but he is also merciful and gracious. He voluntarily provided himself as a substitute through Jesus in order to save sinners from his wrath. God became a man and lived the perfect life on behalf of sinners. When he was hanging on the cross, the Father poured the wrath of sinners on him. He died and resurrected on the third day. Taking the punishment on himself, he is able to free sinners from his wrath and bring them to himself. We are linked to God’s salvation by repentance and trust in Jesus Christ to save us. That is the gospel. Put in a sentence, “The gospel is the forgiveness from sin by Jesus living and dying on our behalf.” The good news is not material prosperity but reconciliation with God.
Remember at the end of the song when he says, “I just want to know what Christ is”? I wish I could respond to him by saying, “Jesus Christ is God in human form. He descended from heaven to provide forgiveness for sinners. If you turn from your sin and trust in his work, he will save you from his wrath and you can enjoy him for eternity with new life.”
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Wow, this is going to be a great event! 3 of my favorite rappers performing June 26th! If you are in the Maryland area, you definately have to come out to this event. Here are my thoughts on each one performing that night:
Voice – His music is definately my preference in Holy Hip Hop. Loves theological topics for his songs. Knows how to pick really nice beats. Stage performance is awesome! He know how to spit and deliver it with his body language. He really knows how to get the crowd interested. He will most likely be performing songs from his new album “Christ the King.”
B-doe - I always look foward to seeing this dude perform. One thing that I like about B-doe is that he is very careful on how he communicates to the audience. I hate seeing rappers who perform and the audience cannot hear what he is saying, either because he cuffs the mic or he is yelling too hard and mumbling. B-doe is the total opposite. He is very clear when performing and you can understand and appreciate his lyrics. Since you can hear him well, you will apprecaite his rhyme patterns and punchlines. One thing I admire about this artist is that he will always point you to the glory of God. I hope he performs “Yet will I trust him!”
Evangel – When it comes to lyricism, this guy is incredible. He is at the top of my list of favorite rappers. His multi rhymes, difficult rhyme patterns and punchlines draws listeners to want to hear more. He is your favorite christian rapper’s favorite rapper, LOL. I love how carefully he studies his song concepts and teaches doctrine in a way we can nod our head and take notes at the same time. I love seeing him perform. One thing that amazes me is his character. Even though he knows he’s dope, he won’t show off or brag. He is a great christian example on and off the mic, haha. He is absolutely a person all young christian rappers can look up to. He will be performing songs from his new album “Elation Foundation.”
To purchase “Elation Foundation,” you can go to www.Christcentric.net or download it from iTunes, Amazon and all other digital music stores.
Here is the event details:
Shady Grove Presbyterian Church
16911 Redland Road
Derwood, MD 20855
Date: June 26, 2010
Time: 7pm, come at 6pm for free food