Index by Subject

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”

A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense (Digest)

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’ Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:4-8)

It was God’s desire – therefore, the apostle Peter’s desire – that those “who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (v. 10) would grow. It is the desire of every parent to see their child grow, and such desire is no different with our spiritual Father. To grow, they would first need to lay aside the evils which characterized their former man (v. 1). Then, as does the newborn babe, they would need to “desire the pure milk of the word, that [they] may grow thereby” (v. 2). Continue reading » “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”

How are People Saved? A Study of Galatians 3

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

Worthy to Obtain

Every believer should be familiar with the words of Christ as they touch on the sentencing phase of Judgment Day. Where the wicked will hear, “Depart me from me all you workers of iniquity,” the faithful hope to be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant. … Enter into the joys of your lord.”

Perhaps, we are sometimes led to believe it doesn’t matter what we do at all, even in regard to our soul’s salvation, but the sentence of Christ surely emphasizes it is more blessed to do well than to work iniquity. There are many spiritual blessings to be found in Jesus, but those that are eternal are the ones that only the worthy obtain–not by worth of personal merit, but by the interaction of faith and grace. Heaven is a prize, a gift, a reward, an inheritance and a a treasure. Thus it is an objective worth striving after and one which only the faithful and few will attain. Continue reading » Worthy to Obtain

The Bible Is Relevant

Relevancy is important. It has to do with making sure we are spending our time, attention and energy with something worthwhile. When discussing the relevancy of the Bible, it would question whether or not the Bible has any bearing upon our lives today. Some people would say that it does not. While acknowledging its historical and religious significance, the prominent opinion seems to be that the Bible is an outdated book. It may have served a purpose for previous generations, but times have changed. Some question how a book as old as the Bible can have any serious application to our lives today.

Is the Bible relevant? Does this ancient book have any practical application to our lives today? Does it satisfy our needs as individuals and as a society? Or do we need something else? I believe a consideration of the following points will help to answer these questions and prove that the Bible is relevant today. Continue reading » The Bible Is Relevant

Video Script: What Now? (12)

You have heard the precious gospel of the Lord, and have responded in faith, repenting of your sins, confessing Jesus as your Lord, and have been baptized in water for the remission of your sins.

You have risen from that watery grave as a new creature in Christ. Your sins have been washed away, and your faith has been rewarded with the gift of salvation. You are now a child of God.

Now what? Well, the first thing is a natural response to your changed state. You rejoice! The Ethiopian Eunuch was in the same situation, and we are told in Acts 8 that after the evangelist Philip baptized him, they “came up out of the water”, and that the eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (vs. 39). Continue reading » Video Script: What Now? (12)

Living Water

(John 4:1-15)

After Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3), He left Judea, and traveled through Samaria on His way back to Galilee. Many took a circuitous route between the two regions to avoid the Samaritans, who were despised by the Jews. However, Jesus determined to cross through Samaria, and immediately struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in the city of Sychar.

Jesus’ disciples had departed into the city to buy food, and upon their return (vs. 27) marveled that he had talked with the woman. Jesus’ actions, and the content of the conversation itself, made clear that His purpose in coming to earth was to save all men, not just the Jews.

Continue reading » Living Water

Doing the First Works: The Mission of Christ and His Church

What Exactly IS the Mission of Christ and His Church? This seems like such an obvious question, yet there is so much confusion about such a simple and straight forward question. Is it possible to quickly walk through the clear steps listed in scripture, the book, chapter and verse, so to speak, to make easy understanding of this subject? I believe it is easy to do, if we give it even a few minutes of thought. Remember, every Christian is supposed to be able to describe this (1 Peter 3:15). Have you felt guilty because you never gave this even a little time to work this out? Continue reading » Doing the First Works: The Mission of Christ and His Church

11 – Wash Away Your Sins

Video Script: Wash Away Your Sins (11)

We affirm that the gospel is God’s power to salvation. That to be saved one must believe that gospel, repent of their sins and be willing to confess before men that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.

When we affirm these things, almost everyone is pleased. Texts such as Romans 1:16, John 3:16, Luke 13:5 and Romans 10:8-10 clearly teach these truths.

We also affirm that baptism in water is necessary for salvation. And now we have a problem. Most people deny that one must be baptized to be saved. So why do we affirm it? Simple, just as belief, confession and repentance are clearly taught as necessary for salvation, so it is with baptism. Don’t believe me? Well, consider the following:

Continue reading » Video Script: Wash Away Your Sins (11)

10 – With the Mouth Confession

Video Script: With the Mouth Confession (10)

While commissioning his disciples to go and preach His gospel, Jesus said, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33). Later in that conversation Jesus added, "He who doe not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it" (vs. 38-39).

The lesson is clear. Jesus demands loyalty. We must be on His side, we must be militant, we must be bold. It is unacceptable for us to hide our allegiance in the hope we will be spared by our enemies. There is no room for covert operations in the battle with Satan, we are required to boldly proclaim, "I am on the Lord’s side, Master here am I."

Continue reading » Video Script: With the Mouth Confession (10)

9 – Repent or Perish!

Video Script: Repent or Perish! (9)

Little Johnny hits his playmate in a dispute over a favorite toy. His momma first says, “Tell Bobby you’re sorry for hitting him.” Then, after the apology, she makes little Johnny promise not to hit anymore. What she has required of little Johnny is repentance. If he modifies his behavior, he proves himself and all is well.

God requires the same of us. Sin is the bane of mankind. All are guilty, and as Paul tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” All of us desire to escape the consequence of our sin. God tells us clearly that in order to do so, we must repent.

Continue reading » Video Script: Repent or Perish! (9)

Video Script: What Must We Believe? (8)

The Apostle John once wrote, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith." (1 John 5:4)

It is faith that saves our souls. Jesus said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16).

Just about everyone accepts that faith saves, but an important question often remains unasked. What, or who is it I must believe in? Now the simple answer is, you must believe in Jesus. John stated in his gospel, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (3:16).

Continue reading » Video Script: What Must We Believe? (8)

Video Script: Are We Saved by Faith Only? (6)

One of the only creed books I have in my library is J.M. Pendleton’s Baptist Church Manual. On page 47 of that little book, Pendleton states: “We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace.” Only one page later, he likewise affirms that justification is “solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood.”

So, we are told that we are saved “wholly” by the grace of God, then in the next breath that we are justified (a word that indicates the very same thing), “solely” through faith in Christ.

Even a small child can understand that salvation can’t be wholly of one thing and solely of another.

Continue reading » Video Script: Are We Saved by Faith Only? (6)

Video Script: Are We Saved by Grace? (5)

One of the primary and clear teachings contained in the New Testament is that God saves us by His grace. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

No man can be saved without God’s grace. In fact, if any man depends upon any other means of salvation, he forfeits his standing with God. Some Jewish Christians, in Paul’s day, did just that in their insistence upon keeping the Old Law. Paul wrote of them, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4).

Continue reading » Video Script: Are We Saved by Grace? (5)

Doing the First Works: Right Pew, Wrong Church?

I knew a wonderful Christian once upon a time who had a saying I have never forgotten. He would say it pensively and reflectively when referring to good, decent people he knew, some of them relatives, who were not Christians and who attended some denominational church. Quite sadly, he would declare: “They are in the right pew, but the wrong church!” Continue reading » Doing the First Works: Right Pew, Wrong Church?

"You Must Be Born Again"

(John 3)

This article consists of an analysis of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, recorded in John 3.  As the conversation is lengthy, and I desired to include the entire context in this one article, it too is rather long.

Born Again (John 3:1-5)

Jesus, in John 3, had a conversation with a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. While it is obvious by Nicodemus’ words he was impressed with Jesus, it must be noted that he was ignorant of who Jesus truly was, and was a bit cautious in his approach.

Nicodemus referred to the Lord as a “rabbi” (teacher), and acknowledged that the miracles Jesus performed marked Him as a man from God. However, the fact that John revealed the ruler’s approach to be “by night” indicates that Nicodemus may have desired not to be seen talking with such a controversial man.

Continue reading » "You Must Be Born Again"

7 – The Power of God Unto Salvation

6 – Are We Saved by Faith Only?