“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2).
This is a very familiar passage to most of us, as it is the statement the Lord made immediately before giving Moses the Ten Commandments. These statutes and judgments were given to the children of Israel so they could “learn them and be careful to observe them” (Deut. 5:1).
Why was it so important for Israel to understand these commandments? First of all, they were God’s special people. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deut. 14:2). It was also important for them to keep these commandments because God promised them prolonged days in the land that He had given them (Deut. 4:40). And as Solomon concluded the book of Ecclesiastes, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13).
Continue reading » The Ten Commandments of Marriage: Introduction
I attended the preacher training program up in Ellettsville, IN in the summer of 2008. Upon hearing of my recent educational experience someone asked me if it would be appropriate to start calling me “Reverend”. I responded saying to not call me “Reverend” because that was a title reserved for God.
In Matthew 23:2, Jesus spoke to his disciples about how the scribes and the Pharisees had positioned themselves greater among the Jews; “…The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses”. Exodus 18:13 says that Moses “sat to judge the people”. He judged the people according to the law that God had revealed to him. During the time of Christ, the scribes and Pharisees had become the keepers and teachers of the Law, but there was a problem with them because they wanted “their deeds to be noticed by men” (Matthew 23:5). They did this by enhancing the appearance of their garments (Matt. 23:5), taking the best seats at banquets and in the synagogues (Matthew 23:6), and being greeted and called special names such as “Rabbi” by men (Matt 23:7). Jesus said “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ” (Matthew 23:8-10).
Continue reading » Why I Am Not Called "Reverend" or "Pastor"