Index by Subject

Works of the Flesh: Dissensions

(Seditions, Divisions)

Numerous times people have written, prayed, and preached words of thanksgiving for the various denominations so abundant in America. Although there is nothing wrong with our love for the religious freedom enjoyed in this country, Paul condemned party spirits and religious division when he listed dissensions among the works of the flesh. It is just as much a work of the flesh as fornication, adultery, drunkenness, murder, etc. Galatians 5:21 warns against practicing any of these: “…of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Since our soul will be in jeopardy if we are guilty of this sin it makes good sense to understand what it is.

Definition of “Dissensions”

Dichostasia (dee-khos-tas-ee’-ah) is found three times in the Greek New Testament: Galatians 5:20; Romans 16:17; and 1 Corinthians 3:3. Some disagree with the inclusion of dichostasia in 1 Corinthians 3:3 due to the lack of support from ancient manuscripts. It means “lit., a standing apart (dicha, asunder, apart, stasis, a standing),…” (Vine, p. 1008). Thayer defines it as “to cut into two parts, cleave asunder, dissever” (p. 158). The prefix “di-” means “to divide” in many words in numerous languages. As can be seen in the words “dialogue” (two or more speakers); “diameter” (cutting a circle into two equal parts); “dissect” (dividing an organism into various parts); etc. Thus, dissension takes place whenever two or more parties are created by drawing a line between what one believes. Dissension also encourages others to choose sides. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Dissensions

Old Testament Law (The Law Given for Israel’s Good)

The Law of the Lord is Good!

While the Israelites were assembled at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:1) God delivered through Moses the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1f). Moses was the Lawgiver. He received the Law from God and delivered it to the children of Israel. Even before the words of the Law had been put down in writing the Jews promised Moses, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.” (Ex. 24:3). In the second giving of the Law, Moses clearly states that the covenant was not made with the Gentiles or even with the Israelites’ forefathers, but only with the nation of Israel whom God had led out of Egyptian bondage.

“And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive” (Deut. 5:1-3).

The Old Testament law was given to a specific group of people, the Jews and was never said to have been given to anyone else. The Law was never designed for Gentiles or even Christians. Where is the Scripture that shows this covenant was made with anyone else? Continue reading » Old Testament Law (The Law Given for Israel’s Good)

Reversing the “Spin-Doctors”: Don’t Blame the Messenger

Kenneth Starr has been under an extreme denigration from the press, the White House, and various members of Congress for his independent counsel investigations of President Clinton. In his defense, Starr recently told reporters, “Don’t blame the messenger if you don’t like the message.” Attacking the messenger when you don’t like the message has been a common ploy practiced throughout the ages. Many of the prophets of the Old Testament as well as the apostles and preachers of the New have known the stinging feedback that is received when the truth hits its target. When King Ahab saw Elijah he cried, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17,18). Yet, Starr has not troubled America. Clinton and his sins have caused the trouble.

They Attack His AuthorityThroughout this ordeal doubt has been cast upon Starr’s authority for his investigation. Starr has conducted his investigation within the parameters and with the authority delegated to him from others. If he has abused his authority, his accusers have yet to produce any evidence. Continue reading » Reversing the “Spin-Doctors”: Don’t Blame the Messenger

Solid Food: Does God Justify Deception?

We live in an era where honesty is no longer believed to be the best policy. Some believe that “lying is sometimes necessary” and that those little “white lies” really don’t hurt anyone. Lying has been gaining respectability. In The Day America Told the Truth it is related that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses (Daily Bread, August 28, 1992). In Situation Ethics: The New Morality, Joseph Fletcher proclaims “for the situationist, what makes the lie right is its loving purpose; he is not hypnotized by some abstract law, ‘Thou shalt not lie.’ He refuses to evaluate ‘white lies’ told out of pity and espionage in wartime as ipso jure, wrong. If a lie is told unlovingly it is wrong, evil; if it is told in love it is good, right.” However, the Bible believer should keep in mind that we are commanded to “Speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). There is no such thing as “speaking a lie in love”.

Yet, does God ever approve of lying? Is there evidence from the Word of Truth which would demonstrate God’s blessings upon those who tell a lie provided that their motive is “just?” What if one lies to protect his life or that of a loved one? Wouldn’t lying at such a situation be acceptable to God? Some might find such a proof text with 1 Samuel 16:2. Continue reading » Solid Food: Does God Justify Deception?