About Denny

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Denny has created 979 blog entries.

Ghostly Day or Godly Day

2018-10-05T13:43:59+00:00 October 29th, 2018|

Martin Luther (1483-1546), not Martin Luther King, Jr., was born over five hundred years ago. He became a monk in a religious order. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted ninety-five statements on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. The church door was like a bulletin board. Martin Luther wanted to debate his ninety-five statements. A debate of historic proportions did begin. We call it the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther was protesting certain teachings in the church and wanted to bring about reform.

The center of the protest had to do with how people get to heaven. The church taught men and women they could buy their way into heaven. If they offended God by their conduct, they could pay the church certain sums of money and literally buy tickets to heaven. Through his experience, Martin Luther discovered nothing he did could rid his conscience of the awful burden of guilt he felt. Nothing would do except faith in Jesus Christ. Luther learned to be right with God and receive eternal life you must trust in the death of Christ on the cross as the only adequate payment for your sins.

We know October 31 as Halloween. It is also Reformation Day, a day to remember Martin Luther and his renewed discovery of faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.

Click here and listen to: “Jesus, The True and Living Way.” 

All Saint’s Day

2018-10-05T13:45:40+00:00 October 28th, 2018|

We get more and more hype and gore on October thirty-first. We not only have witches and goblins. We have chain saw massacres, Freddy slashing his way across the big screen, and every other conceivable horror brought to our attention.

October thirty-first was a similar time of feasting and celebration back in the 1500’s. It was Allhallows Eve or the eve of All Saint’s Day. A German monk by the name of Martin Luther challenge his contemporaries on that day. He took issue with the idea heaven could be bought with money or a good life. In fact, Martin Luther started a great controversy called The Reformation. It started on October 31, 1517. And that Day is called Reformation Day.

It is the day celebrated by all protestants, those who protest the teaching that heaven can be earned through good works. The cry of the Reformation was salvation by grace alone through faith alone. “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works” (Romans 11:6). Martin Luther proclaimed faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for sin as the only pathway to forgiveness and eternal life. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Now, listen to today’s podcast, “Your Grace Empowered Walk.”

Unless the Lord of Hosts

2018-10-05T13:51:23+00:00 October 27th, 2018|

October 31, commonly known as Halloween, is Reformation Day. In 1517 a German religious monk, Martin Luther, posted ninety-five statements on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. In those days church doors were used as bulletin boards. Martin Luther launched a great debate. He sparked what historians call the Protestant Reformation.

Martin Luther argued we receive salvation from sin and heaven to come through faith in Jesus Christ. Only the perfect work of Jesus Christ earns heaven. The Bible says, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him” (Philippians 2:8-9).

Martin Luther maintained we do not and we cannot earn a place in heaven. “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6).

On the other hand, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He also died to pay the penalty due to others for their sins. We deserve that death penalty. Christ takes the judgment of God against sin for all those who trust in His work rather than their own. In this way Isaiah 1:9 comes true, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a few survivors, We would be like Sodom, We would be like Gomorrah.”

Today’s podcast is also called “Unless the Lord of Hosts.”

Grace Alone, Faith Alone

2018-10-05T13:51:26+00:00 October 26th, 2018|

The great principle of the Protestant Reformation is salvation by grace alone through faith alone. This principle comes through loud and clear in Isaiah 1:27 in the Old Testament of the Bible. “Zion will be redeemed with justice, and her repentant ones with righteousness” (Isaiah 1:27).

In the Old Testament Zion is a picture of the New Testament church. Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches us this. When someone redeems a slave, they pay a price for that servant. Justice refers to the just payment for evil. Justice demands recompense be made for evil acts. Righteousness refers to the requirement for heaven. Leviticus 18:5 says, “So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the Lord.” To live is to have eternal life. The requirement for eternal life in heaven is perfection. But no one is perfect except One, Jesus Christ.

Since Jesus Christ died to pay for the sins of those who believe in Him, justice is served. Since Jesus Christ also lived a perfect life on behalf of those who believe in Him, the requirement of righteousness is met. Through Jesus Christ God can “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). This is God’s grace received through faith. We celebrate this Reformation principle on October 31.

Listen to today’s podcast, “Christ Justifies the Ungodly.”

Riches to Rags

2018-10-05T13:52:00+00:00 October 25th, 2018|

The story of rags to riches can be told over and over again. Men and women work hard, see their businesses succeed, build large estates, and live comfortable lives. But men and women also lose fortunes as businesses fail and farms collapse.

The Bible tells the story of a young man who wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. Jesus set the Ten Commandments before this young man. And this fellow boasted, “All these things I have kept from my youth” (Luke 18:21). But Jesus was more perceptive. He showed this man the greed of his own heart. “One thing you still lack,” He said, “Sell all you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22). The young man became “very sad.” Why? “He was extremely rich” (Luke 18:23).

This is a story of riches to rags. The rich man wanted to keep his earthly wealth. But he had to leave it all behind anyway. “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Timothy 6:7). He also failed to gain heavenly riches. He didn’t follow Jesus. And this same Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Click here and listen to: “Reformation Day Riches.”

Only One Way?

2018-10-05T15:26:46+00:00 October 24th, 2018|

Don’t worry, we are all going to the same place. We are all taking different roads. But we are all going to the same place. Whether you worship Buddha, or follow Confucius; whether you are a Mormon or part of the Unity movement, the goal is the same.

But what about Jesus Christ? He made some rather exclusive claims. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus denied that there are several ways to the Father. He claimed that the only way to heaven and life with God the Father is through faith in His death and resurrection.

Is this Jesus to be trusted? Well, what does God the Father tell us? He says, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). And why should you listen to Jesus? Jesus is God! Yes, that’s right, Jesus is God. The Christ of the Bible is God in human form. This Jesus is the “exact representation” of God’s nature (Hebrews 1:3). “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). And so you had better listen to Jesus. Jesus is God. And “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).

This means there is only one way to heaven. And if you have hope of being allowed into God’s heaven, you must go the way Jesus directs. You must trust in this God-man who gave His life in payment for the sins of people like you and me. And you must believe that this same Jesus, who is God, opens the gates of heaven to you when you believe in Him.

To help you understand the importance of trusting in the Christ of the Bible, please listen to today’s podcast, “Jesus Christ: God and Savior.”

Gospel Light

2018-10-05T15:24:54+00:00 October 23rd, 2018|

I won’t go to church, it’s full of hypocrites. What’s the answer? Don’t succumb to the excuse. Despite how some so-called Christians act, get to know Jesus Christ yourself. Don’t worry so much about the other fellow. Confess your sins to God. Accept Christ as your Savior. Serve him as your Lord. Set an example for others in Christian living.

Sure, a lot of professing Christians need to change. This requires the work of God’s Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul tells Christians, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). He explains being filled with the Spirit affects every area of life. Being filled with the Spirit puts a song in your heart and on your lips. Being filled with the Spirit causes husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church and died for her. Being filled with the Spirit causes wives to love and serve their husbands. Being filled with the Spirit makes children love and obey their parents. Being filled with the Spirit makes you put in an honest day’s work and rejoice at the good of your employer. Being filled with the Spirit affects your life at the very roots.

The light of God penetrates the darkness of your life to bring renewal. God shines the light of his Spirit in your heart and changes you on the inside.

Now, and listen to the message, “Gospel Light Pierces the Darkness.

God’s Wonderful Grace

2018-10-05T15:23:17+00:00 October 22nd, 2018|

We used to have a young Ethiopian man worship with us occasionally. This college student was fond of saying his native tongue, Amharic, is the language of heaven. This handsome dark skinned man was also a Christian. God renewed him and remade him. God changed him on the inside. This is the great modern day miracle, the work of God changing human hearts. God says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jeremiah 13:23).

Many people have problems; they are accustomed to doing evil. They are addicted to sexual sins, illicit drugs, cheating in school or stealing things from work. Can these people change permanently? The popular answer is a resounding No. An alcoholic always remains an alcoholic. As the leopard cannot rub off its spots, so those practiced in sin cannot change themselves into saints. Only God can bring about such change.

The apostle Paul reminds Christians, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, not the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God does what we cannot do. He miraculously changes people so they are no longer what they once were.

To help you understand this grace, listen to today’s podcast, “Grace: God’s Remedy for Evil.”

Did Abraham “Find” or “Gain” Justification (Romans 4:1)

2018-10-18T11:34:51+00:00 October 22nd, 2018|

In a recent preaching class, we were looking at Romans 4:1-3 as a possible text and deriving the main point of this text. I was using the NASB. “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?” (verse 1). One of the class members pointed out that the ESV uses “was gained” rather than “found,” as in the NASB. “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?” Why the difference and how do you handle the difference in a sermon?

After some study, two questions emerge. Question 1. What is the better translation? The better translation of the verb form, which is active voice, is “found.” If the verb form was passive voice, it could be translated “was gained.” Since the verb is active voice, NASB is the better translation.

It might be argued that the ESV takes the context into consideration. For example, Romans 3:27 asks, “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.” If salvation is gained by works, boasting is appropriate. As Romans 4:2 indicates, “If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” Hence, there is a link back to the context in Romans 3. True enough. This fact does not obviate the coordinate fact that “found” is the better translation of the underlying Greek term.

Question 2 bears more directly upon the interpretation of Romans 4:1. What does the prepositional phrase, “concerning the flesh,” modify? Does “concerning the flesh” or “according to the flesh” modify Abraham, our forefather? Or, does this prepositional phrase modify “gained,” and read, “gained according to the flesh”? The latter translation points to justification by works and seems to take context into consideration.

This second question leads us to consider the underlying Greek structure more carefully. NASB follows the United Bible Societies Greek text; “according to the flesh” modifies “Abraham, our forefather.” The USB Greek New Testament is a critical text. That is, it considers the numerous copies of the New Testament, in whole or in part, including fragments, and makes a judgment as to the earliest readings and possibly the best readings of respective texts. The USB Greek New Testament favors the reading followed by the NASB.

The Geneva Study Bible of 1599 offers a different reading of Romans 4:1. “What shall we say then, that Abraham our father hath found concerning the flesh?” In this case, in my view, Geneva 1599 properly translates the text “found” rather than “gained.” However, notice that in Geneva 1599, the prepositional phrase, “concerning the flesh,” modifies the verb “found.” This reading of Romans 4:1 connects back more directly to the context of Romans 3. In other words, “found concerning the flesh” refers to justification on the basis of human effort or strength. Geneva 1599 follows the Received Text, Textus Receptus (TR), which is a Greek New Testament that provides the basis for translations of the Reformation period. The Received Text also underlies the King James Version.

Bottom line? In studying Romans 4:1, in teaching from Romans 4:1, or in preaching on Romans 4:1, we need to decide as to the best translation of the text as a whole. Overall, it seems to me that NASB offers the best translation of the text. In this case, I favor the reading in the USB Greek New Testament. Further, after analyzing Romans 4:1, I conclude that although the differences outlined above are real, they do not materially alter Paul’s purpose for introducing Abraham in Romans 4:1. His purpose is to use Abraham and then David as clear examples of justification by grace through faith. My study does influence how I handle Romans 4:1-3 in the specifics but it does not change what I understand Paul’s purpose to be—displaying Abraham as a preeminent example of free and gracious justification.

As to how I would address the difference between the NASB and the ESV in a sermon, I would simply say, that after careful study of the text, I think the NASB, in this case, gives us the better translation.

All of us who engage in the teaching and exposition of Scripture understand that the above study involves issues that we often encounter in our work of interpreting and preaching the Word of God.

Denny Prutow

Know the King

2018-10-05T15:19:41+00:00 October 21st, 2018|

Ignorance is bliss. That’s one perspective. The other side of the coin is plain. Ignorance is no excuse. Then, there are some folks who say, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” But that’s not entirely true either. This is especially the case when it comes to knowing God. Too many people suffer from an ignorance of God. When they die and come to judgment, they will not be able to plead ignorance. Ignorance will be no excuse. The Bible says we should recognize God through what has been made. The Bible therefore says of all people everywhere, “they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Why is this so important? Well, first of all, your eternal welfare hangs in the balance. That’s right. If you expect to enjoy eternal life after death and find a place in heaven, ignorance of God must go, because, as the Bible teaches, “this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent” (John 17:3). To have eternal life, you must really know God and Jesus Christ. You must know them as persons you love and trust.

Then, too, if you really know Jesus Christ, you know that he is the Lord of creation. You bow before him and accept him as your Lord. You seek to serve him. There is no other way to heaven and eternal life. The Bible is clear, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9). Do you know God? Do you confess Jesus Christ as the Lord over your life?

To help you know Jesus Christ better, listen to today’s podcast, “Christ, Our King.”