Guilt and shame have their proper work in our lives yet they can be great obstacles to overcome. Guilt is good to experience and a must if repentance is to occur; however, some let it drown them in shame and never move on it (see 2 Corinthians 2:5-7). Continue reading » David, The Meek King of Israel
The question, “How are people saved from the consequences of their sins,” is answered in Galatians chapter 3. God revealed to Abraham that justification is by faith far before doctrines such as circumcision, Calvinism, Mormonism, Islam, or denominational-ism in general came to be. When someone tells you that you must “Say the sinner’s prayer” or “Accept Jesus into your heart to be saved” know that before these doctrines came to exist the word of God said, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness” (Galatians 3:6). All who emulate the faith of Abraham today are made righteous by the blood of Christ. Galatians chapter 3 demands that we understand the faith of Abraham that we too can be justified. Secondly, Galatians 3 demands that we respect the authorized word of God and never change it by adding or subtracting from it. Continue reading » How are People Saved? A Study of Galatians 3
It seems that our society is always changing for the worse. Immorality is shamelessly promoted and defended by celebrities, educators, and politicians. The law of our nation will allow a mother to kill her unborn baby, but will incarcerate a man for mistreating his pet. We have seen great changes in our nation as a result of the pro-homosexual agenda. What was once considered an abomination, detested and rejected by our society, has become embraced and championed. Laws have been changed, marriage has been re-defined, entire denominations have become split over this issue – and it is only getting worse.
The religious landscape of our nation is also changing. Basic truths of Christianity are constantly challenged and denied by so-called Christians. This change has had an impact upon some of our brethren. In recent years we have heard brethren make arguments for a figurative interpretation of the creation account in Genesis, question the inspiration of 2 Peter and Jude, and deny the eternal nature of Hell.
All this change going on in the world is enough to make one’s head swim. However, we must remember that we are not the first ones to have lived in a time of great moral decline. Things generally happen in cycles (consider the book of Judges), which should indicate to us that we are not living in the “worst of times.” Continue reading » Timeless Truths in an Ever-Changing World
There are occasions when in the study of morality and in particular the issue of modest dress, that we will consider definitions and examples in the Old Testament to further clarify our understanding of what God requires. When this is done, there sometimes is an element of backlash and an accusation that we are “binding the Old Testament.” In fact on one occasion a well known gospel preacher made the statement on the issue as he discussed modest dress in a sermon that he was “not one of these popes who takes it upon himself to bind the Old Testament on people in the matter.” While this sentiment seems a bit harsh and over stated, the basic premise should be considered as we “prove all things, [and] hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Are we binding the Old Testament when we define such terms as “nakedness” from its pages? Let us consider the scriptures on the subject.
Continue reading » In Reference to Modest Dress, Are We Binding The Old Testament?
Once upon a time, in perhaps another world (sometimes it seems like it to me!), I received my income by secular employment. That’s right; because I did not begin to work with a church as a located preacher till I was almost 30. During my early adult years I was not the Lord’s man and by that I don’t mean I was not a Christian because I was, but only in the sense that I received no financial support from the church for doing the work of preaching the gospel. Of course, gospel preachers are entitled to receive such support and usually depend upon it for their livelihood (as did Paul the apostle: Philippians 4:15&16; 2 Corinthians 11:8; Acts 28:30). For me the change from secular work to being dependent upon the Lord for a livelihood was really quite great. But there is more to this idea and I’d like to bring you to my point by explaining how I come to this.
Continue reading » "Are You On the Guerdon of the Lord?"
It’s that time of year again, when millions make New Year’s resolutions — with many breaking them within the first week of the New Year. Resolutions are not bad. Making goals is a helpful way to achieve the improvements we wish to make in our lives. They need to be realistic and possible. Here are a few suggestions to be in 2005 that are within the reach of every Christian.
Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: What to be in 2005
As all of us are keenly aware, the "Twin Towers" are no more. A portion of the Pentagon is in ruins as well. These acts were the result of planning, spying, and a deep-seated hatred for the United States. The product of such hatred is the destruction of American landmarks, and the death or injury of untold thousands. As I write these lines, it is not known what the actual death-toll might be, nor do we know the number of injured people buried in the rubble and ruin from the attacks. Some ten years ago, I was in one of the "Twin Towers" — the second one to fall. It had an observation deck on the 110th floor, from which you could see for many miles in any direction. Such an experience helps me to appreciate the destruction which occurred on Tuesday, "911", as it has been called. I am sure others who read this article have been to the World Trade Center, and/or perhaps have visited the Pentagon, and have an idea of the destruction that has taken place.
As I watched in horror the tragic events of September 11, I was numb with shock, as there was no way to put into words what one feels at a time when one’s own country is being attacked from an unknown enemy. Through the day that fateful Tuesday, many thoughts went through my mind, and I wish to use this space to consider a few of my thoughts in light of what the Bible says. Perhaps this will help all of us to put these horrible acts in perspective. In light of the horrible acts of terror we faced together as nation, let us realize ….
Continue reading » Lessons from Terror
We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
The writer of this passage in Hebrews 13:10-14 is addressing an audience of Hebrew Christians, under great pressure to forsake Jesus and renounce his discipline. He begged them not to cast away their confidence and draw back from faith to perdition, though their goods were plundered, their companions abused and themselves made a spectacle by reproach and tribulation (10:32-39).
The writer calls upon Hebrew history as examples of enduring faith in chapter eleven, hoping to inspire similar perseverance in these troubled saints. Finally, he cites the Lord Jesus himself, who "endured the cross, despising the shame" (12:2). "For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" (12:3-4).
Continue reading » Solid Food: Joining Jesus Outside the Camp
Faithfulness is one of nine fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 of which it is said “against such there is no law.” The only way in which we will be able to possess this precious fruit in our life is through hearing and study (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15). Knowledge is an essential element in all of faith, and is sometimes spoken of as an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Faithfulness is an essential element that each and every Christian must possess in order to go to heaven; “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev 2:10).
The Word “Faithfulness”
Faithfulness is the Greek “pistis.” There are 244 uses of the word “pistis” (faith) in the King James Version of the New Testament. It primarily means to have a “firm persuasion” which is usually gained from having a conviction based upon hearing. It is used in the New Testament to mean “faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, New Testament, p. 222). Vine’s goes on to say: Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness