Don’t you love this strong admonition of Solomon’s? Often we hear moaning and groaning that Christians are not doing their duty. We might have even joined in such a tirade. To some this explains why the Lord’s church seems to be dwindling in our time or that preachers or brethren in general will not take a stand for the truth as they should. Some get so depressed they seem to have in common the woeful sentiment Elijah expressed, “…And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1Kings 19:4a) I hope we do not actually go this far when we are discouraged. No doubt many of God’s children are content to be “sluggards.” But I have noticed a peculiar thing about those complaining and that is they are not talking about their own personal efforts but are mostly bemoaning that others are not doing enough or we blame others for causing our state of mind. Continue reading » “Go to the Ant, Thou Sluggard” – Proverbs 6:6
Paul tells us that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, emphasis mine, HR). We understand that Jesus came to this world to die for our sins because no one else could accomplish this task. He was our only hope. However, someone might ask, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?”
Death by crucifixion was the most painful manner in which a person could be put to death. Suspended from the ground, the weight of the victim’s entire body pulled against metal spikes which were driven through the hands (wrists) and the feet. The victim would writhe in pain as he slowly died of asphyxiation. Continue reading » Why the Cross?
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
With the current condition of the world (a reflection of what has always been so from the sin of Adam), it is amazing that God continues to allow this old world to stand. When we think about all that goes on around us (and we see but a fraction of the world’s evil), we are led to marvel that God does not say, "Enough! I will tolerate no more."
For a few thousand years now the history of man has been a history rejecting God. Beginning with Adam and continuing through every age of our history, each period of time is a story of dismal failure. True, there have been a few Abrahams and Noahs along the way, but the vast majority of mankind has "refused to have God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28). As Paul looked at this same thought, he concluded (with the prophet) in Romans 3:10ff: "There is none righteous, no not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable." If this be so (and it is), why does God allow the world to continue? This is a question worth our consideration. And yet the very condition of wickedness that abounds on every hand but magnifies and declares the answer: it is the longsuffering and mercy of God that continues to grant lost men and women time to repent and turn to Him before Judgment.
Continue reading » Longsuffering and Merciful
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“Longsuffering” is one of the fruits the Spirit creates in our lives as we live by His divine directions received through the written word.
Vine: “MAKROTHUMIA, “Forbearance, patience, longsuffering. MAKROS, ‘long,’ THUMOS, ‘temper,’ is usually rendered ‘longsuffering,’ Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Cor. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:1; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15; ‘patience’ in Heb. 6;12, and Jas. 5:10.”
Vine’s notes: “Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish, it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy 1 Pet. 3:20. Patience is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency, and is associated with hope, 1 Thes, 1:3…”
In defining “longsuffering,” the following words are used, “forbearance,” “patience,” “self-restraint,” “not hastily retaliate or promptly punish,” “opposite of anger,” “does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under pressure,” “opposite of despondency,” “long tempered.” Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering
The Longsuffering of the Bible is longsuffering with a purpose! A specific purpose: repentance. The word “longsuffering” itself is essentially the same in English, Greek, and Hebrew; it means “slow to anger.” Some of our brethren want it to stop there. But context everywhere shows it means one is slow to anger when pursuing good. It means you don’t just get angry and quit when someone or something opposes your good works. You keep at it.
But some of our brethren want it to mean you keep tolerating sin. That view of longsuffering is not Biblical. As a matter of fact, that view leads to the taking down of the church’s walls and the ultimate destruction of the Lord’s church. But don’t take my word for it: let’s go to the Scriptures to establish the meaning of Biblical longsuffering. Continue reading » Longsuffering