vlog: 1 Corinthians 1:11 – Quote Your Sources

 

 

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 1 Corinthians 1:11 KJV

 

Undercurrents in church fellowships are so destructive. It shouldn’t be like this. Listen to the simple lesson that can be learned from the House of Chloe.

 

————————-

This is the 7th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

Jump to the next video in this series…

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 5]

 

Christ Preeminent

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Today we shall explore another aspect of Jesus Christ’s relationship to the Church.

In Ephesians 5, we noted that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. In other words, He purchased her with His own precious blood. It was the only way by which lost souls could be ransomed, sins could be forgiven and God could be satisfied. Because of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, sinners can be called out and set apart for God’s purposes and in Christ’s Church.

 


The Head of the Church



 

We remarked, albeit briefly, that the Church is the Body of Christ. And, just as our human bodies have a head, so does the Church. The Church’s Head is Jesus Christ.

In Colossians 1:18-20 ESV, we have an inarguable affirmation of this. “And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

As a side note, it confuses me how a statement so clear can be so ignored by people who profess to be part of the Body of Christ. Christ is the Head! That means that NO ONE else could possibly be the Head. No man, now or ever, could or should take the place of Jesus Christ. Not Peter, not Paul, and no one today.

Much is in the news about a man who leads a denomination of professing Christians and his plans to retire. This mere man is often referred to as the head of the church. Dear loved ones, this man is not the head of the Church! Jesus Christ is and — praise His name Jesus is not retiring! I do not write this to cast aspersions, rather I must write this because the Word of God demands that truth be defended and taught.

 


Prominent or Preeminent?



 

Equally undeniable is the fact that, as Head, Jesus has the right to be preeminent in all things. That means He gets the first place, the most important position, the top priority in everything that we do – as a Body and as members of the body. One dear brother said, “It is easy to have Christ as prominent, but there is quite a difference when He is preeminent.”

For most reading this little blog, Jesus Christ probably plays a prominent role in your life, but, dear ones, is He preeminent? This is a challenge to my heart, as well!

Next week, we will continue looking at the role of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. Praise His name!

 

————————

Jump back to the first, second, third, or fourth post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

————————

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 4]

Bride and GroomWe continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 ESV – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

Over the last few weeks, we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms dwelling place, house, and pillar and ground of truth.

This week, I want to look at my personal favorite. All of the phrases are amazing and reveal what God thinks about the Church, but the Bride of Christ reveals an amazing love and incredible sense of intimacy.

Let’s think about what John the baptizer said about Jesus Christ and His bride. “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete” John 3:29 ESV.

Two important points can be made from this short statement:

One is that the Bridegroom “has the bride”. In other words, there is an intimate relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. We often say, “we don’t have a religion, we have a relationship,” but do we really understand the significance of that statement. A religion is a series of beliefs/mores that define how God relates to man and man relates to God. But a relationship is about two living, intelligent beings that involve our emotions, our intellect, and our physical being. Relationships are living and can grow or can drift. Marriages get stronger or they stagnate. The same is true with our relationship with our Bridegroom, it ought to get stronger. Relationships take work. I like to say it takes investment, where we expend our time, emotions, and energy in something that is worthwhile.

The other fact contained in John’s statement is that there is great joy involved in a relationship between the bride and the Bridegroom. Now, John is saying that he has joy, so it is a joy that spreads. His joy is in knowing that the Bridegroom is rejoicing in His relationship with His bride.

I have to admit, that this concept is hard for me to grasp sometimes. I can understand, having experienced it myself, the joy of ME knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But, the Lord is rejoicing because He knows me?? How can this be? The answer is clear. It all has to do with His nature and His character and His attributes and it has NOTHING to do with me. He loves me (and His entire Bride) because He is love and because He loves us because of Who He is. We are unlovable, but He loves us anyway. I am so incredibly thankful that He loves me despite my numerous flaws, despite my falling short.

The Church is not a building, nor an organization! I hope we are starting to see this. The Church is the Bride of the Son of God and as such, it is the object of His special love and affection.

Praise God for His incomparable love!

————————

Jump back to the first, second, or third post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Photo credit]

————————-

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 3]

Sunflower

 

We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.

We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 – “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” as our theme verse.

And last week we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms flock, building temple, husbandry, and body.

The first term we will look at this week is the “Habitation of God” or “dwelling place for God.” This speaks to us of a permanency and closeness in proximity. God has routinely dwelt with man in various ways – in the Tabernacle, in the Word made flesh, in believers, and in a very special way in the Church. This speaks of fellowship – the fact that God wants to have a relationship with us! Praise His name!

In a similar way, the church is referred to as the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15). This speaks of order and discipline. The term “house” isn’t referring to the structure, but rather to the functions contained within the house. Think of the writer to the Hebrew’s comparison of Moses and Jesus Christ. The writer states that Moses was faithful “in God’s entire house” but that Jesus Christ was faithful “over the house of God as a Son.” The writer is referring to the functions of the house, not the structure.

This reminds us that we are part of what God is accomplishing here on earth – the functions, the work, the order is all part of the house of God, and as members of the Body, we are part of what God is accomplishing. It also speaks to us of an order as well. God, with all due respect, gets to call the shots. He is in charge. It’s His house! We would do well to submit to His revealed instructions and directions.

In the same passage in Timothy, the writer mentions that the church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. William MacDonald brings out some amazing insights to explain the significance of this phrase. Pillars, in biblical times, were used to post announcements and proclamations. They were also used to support the structure. So, the church is the instrument used by God to proclaim, support and defend the truth. Sadly, it would seem that some who profess to be the church, have done a terrible job of fulfilling this role. Much truth has been watered down or simply changed to make it more palatable to itching ears.

Next week, we will look at one more phrase. Until then, think about the magnitude of God’s love for the Church based on the phrases we have looked at thus far.

 

————————

Jump back to the first post or the second post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Photo credit]

————————-

 

Read More

NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 2]

 

dont go to church - be the church

 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-28

 

Last Week I began a new series of posts to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about the Church. After all, if “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” then this must be an important subject to Him! Therefore we must focus our thoughts on His Word to gain an accurate understanding of what the Church is.

In his book, Christ Loved the Church, William MacDonald listed many ways in which the Church is referenced in Scripture. For the careful reader, each of these references provides a different vantage point of God’s manifold love for His church.

Let’s take a look at a few of these.

In John 10:16, the Lord refers to the church as a flock. The term “flock” brings before us a sense of care, feeding, protection, and guidance! And our Father certainly performs many shepherd like functions for His flock.

We are also referred to as His husbandry (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). He expects fruit from us! Are we a fruitful garden/field/orchard? Or are we dead, fallow ground? God expects fruit from us – let’s work to meet His expectations.

Paul uses the term “building” to describe the church (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). This provides us with two view points as to God’s love. The first is ownership – God owns us. He created us, He purchased us. He owns us.

Secondly, sticking with the building theme, we are also referred to as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV). This implies worship. As a corporate body we worship the Living God. The Holy Spirit is the one and only Worship Leader – there are no others. Just as we would never tolerate a man/woman filling the role of Head of the Church, we should be equally diligent in preserving the role of the Holy Spirit, as well.

We are the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). This has a ton of implications, but the most significant implication is that Christ (the Head) uses the Church (the Body) to express His thoughts and intentions via our actions. What we do reflects on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every action we take, or every failure to act is perceived by others as a manifestation of the expression of the Head.

Is it any wonder why so few people are attracted to Christianity? We, as a church, have failed in properly expressing Christ to those watching. We have failed to be His hands and feet. We have failed to be His voice and His heart. But, the end has not yet been written! As we grasp this truth, we can, by God’s grace and help, die to self and seek to manifest the life of the Lord Jesus through our actions. The church ought to be His hands and feet! Let’s get busy, folks.

There are several more terms that we will review next week. Until then, let’s be the Church!

————————

Jump back to the first post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Graphic Credit]

————————

Read More

vlog: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

 

 

Paul, a called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 KJV

How to blow away your audience! Tell them how God sees them and what He has called them.

I think if it was me I would be a bit apprehensive! Imagine the delight of discovering that God sees you as a saint, all Christians are, no exceptions! Wow.

Watch and discover more of this exciting and thrilling truth.

————————-

This is the 3rd video in a series of teaching videos on the book of First Corinthians.

Jump back to the first video in this series…

Jump to the next video in this series…

————————-

 

Read More

Titus 3:10-11 – Avoiding Division in the Church

 

 

This is the 38th video in a series of teaching videos on the book of Titus. You can find the first video here.

How do you handle people who are divisive among God’s people? People who are clever and argue well but at the end of the day it’s their view they are promoting and not what scripture teaches. In fact they are actually upsetting people, building a following and dividing the church. People like this have been around for a long time and the verses we are looking at this week teach who they are and how to handle them.

————————-

Jump to the next post in this series…

————————-

Read More

NT Tuesday: Be Affectionate & Honor One Another

SubwayLast week we looked at the Biblical imperative of “build up one another“. This week we will look at being devoted to one another or outdoing one another in showing honor. Paul writes in Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor”

We want to look at two thoughts that are contained in this verse, but first the setting for the verse. In the first eleven chapters of Romans, Paul, in a most systematic and concise manner, expounds on God’s gospel according to His Son, Jesus Christ. He then exhorts us to live in an entirely different manner based on the truth of the Gospel. In fact, the difference was supposed to be so remarkable that we would appear to be like a living sacrifice! (A living sacrifice – think of how odd that sounds).

Read More

NT Tuesday: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth – 2 Timothy 2:15

 

I recently wrote an article titled “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” for Uplook Magazine. This week’s blog post is a condensed version of that as part of our on-going look at New Testament principles.

 


Continued Steadfastly in the Apostles Doctrine



 

The Holy BibleOne of these principles is that the believers continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s Doctrine. I’d like to suggest that studying the Word of God is a New Testament Principle. Now, let’s look at 2 Timothy 2:15.

Many dear saints have memorized the verse in a translation that includes the word “divide”, but a more practical and updated translation of the word can be found in the English Standard Version: ‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” The idea is that we ought to know how to handle the Word of Truth and that we ought to handle the word of truth responsibly and with discernment.

Whether you prefer the translation “rightly dividing,” “cutting in a straight line,” or “rightly handling”; the image is clear – correctly using the Word of Truth takes work, takes effort, takes purpose and takes discernment.

 


Rightly Dividing



 

Let’s consider, in broad terms, the ways by which the Word needs to be divided – where distinctions need to be made while handling the Word of Truth.

  1. Recognizing that God has dealt with man differently throughout history. This concept is often called “dispensationalism.” A big word with even larger significance. Simply put it means that God has dealt differently with man in various ways over history.
  2.  

  3. Recognize a distinction between the Church and Israel. A casual student of the Bible will recognize that Israel has a unique and special place in history. A casual student will also recognize that something changed after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and that a new body was formed, a body much different than Israel.
  4.  

  5. Recognize that there are two times when the Lord will come to the Earth. Failing to discern the difference between the first advent of the Son of God (that happened about 2000 years ago) and the second (still future) has led many to miss the first because they were looking for the second.
  6.  

  7. Recognize that the believer has two natures. Born again believers receive a new nature at the time of their new birth. God, in His perfect wisdom, allows the old nature to remain.
  8.  

  9. Recognize the difference between truths that pertain to the believer’s position and to his practice.
  10.  

  11. Recognizing the difference between faith unto salvation and service unto rewards. Salvation is a free gift offered by God to sinners, rewards are gifts given by God to believers for their faithful service to Him while here on earth. Many a misguided soul has confused the two and led many straight to eternal judgment.

 

There are other areas of truth that require a careful handling, rightly dividing it, but these examples should suffice to give the reader a basic understand of the necessity of heeding the Holy Spirit’s instruction to Timothy and to enable each and every believer to be a worker who need not be ashamed, but one who is approved.

Until next week, fulfill your ministry!

————————-

Photo credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

————————-

 

 

 

 

Read More

An Assembly Website – How?

August 2012 Precious SEED Magazine CoverAs mentioned in a prior post one of my favorite publications is Precious SEED International magazine.

The most recent issue (August 2012 vol. 67 no. 3) arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Among the many excellent articles is one with much practical help regarding how an assembly can establish a effective website.

The advice is solid and concise — containing much wisdom in planning and then building an assembly website. The article also warns of several common pitfalls to avoid, such as: “Whilst getting ideas together during the planning phase will come relatively easily, the practical implications of delivering can prove to be problematic.”

If you have an interest in seeing your assembly establish an effective website (or you would like to see your assembly’s present website improved), I highly recommend reading the entire article, Creating An Assembly Website – How?

If you are interested in more information regarding Precious SEED Magazine and its history look here.

Read More
p 2 of 512345