SIN’S CONSEQUENCES – The Bible looks upon sin in any form as the most serious of humanity’s problems. Though sinful acts may be directed against another person, ultimately every sin is against God, the Creator of all things. David acknowledged this in his confession in Psalm 51. David sinned against many people (2 Sam 11:1-12; 23), and yet David confessed: “Against You-You alone-I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight” (Psa 51:4).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SIN “SIN’S CONSEQUENCES”)
Premise: The Bible teaches that the Spirit indwells Christians (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20), seal them (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), and is the earnest of their inheritance (Ephesians 1:14).
In the days of Trajan there lived a Christian named Ignatius, who sealed his faith with his blood. Ignatius was commonly known as Theophoros– the Bearer of God. The title given to Ignatius is one to which every Christian who is faithful to his calling may in some degree humbly lay claim. Christ is in him “the hope of glory.”Continue reading SEALED BY THE SPIRIT
In the ancient Middle East, the originator of a custom was frequently referred to as the “father” of that custom. Thus, Jubal was called” the father of all such as handle the harp and organ” because he invented those instruments.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (THE TERM FATHER)
NEW TESTAMENT – Paul and Peter insisted that Christian salves be obedient to their masters (Eph 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1 Tim 6:1-2; 1 Pet 2:18-21) and not seek freedom just because of conversion (1 Cor 7:20-22). Masters were urged to be kind (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1). Slave trading was condemned (1 Tim 1:10). Paul claimed that in Christ human status was unimportant (Gal 3:28). But neither Jesus nor the apostles condemned slavery. Slavery was so much a part of their society that to call for abolition would have resulted in violence and bloodshed. Rather, Jesus and the apostles set forth principles of human dignity and equality that eventually led to abolition.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SLAVE/SERVANT PART3)
Title for Christ (Eph 4:15; Col 1:18). In Ephesians, the metaphor of Christ as head of His body, the church, is carefully developed. Headship includes the idea of Christ’s authority (1:22; 5:23) and of the submission required of the church (5:24). More is in view than a statement of Christ’s authority. The focus is on the character of Christ’s relationship with the church. Unlike self-seeking human lords (Luke 22:25), Christ exercises His authority for the church (Eph 1:22 NRSV, NIV), nourishing and caring for the church as one cares for one’s own body (5:29). Christ’sContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HEAD OF THE CHURCH)
Literally “building up,” it approximates encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3; 1 Thess 5:11); though with edification focus falls on the goal, defined as being established in faith (Col 2:7) or attaining unity of faith and knowledge, maturity, and the full measure of Christ (Eph 4:13). Edification is the special responsibility of the various church leaders (Eph 4:11-12) and is the legitimate context for the exercise of their authority (2 Cor 10:8; 13:10). The work of building up is, however, the work of all Christians (1 Thess 5:11), Spiritual gifts are given for the edification of the church. Of these gifts, those that involve speaking are especially important (1 Cor 14; Eph 4:29). All elements of Christian worship should contribute to edification (1 Cor 14:26). Prophecy and instruction are especially important (1 Cor 14:3, 18-19). Edification is not all talk, however, but involves demonstrating love (1 Cor 8:1) and consideration for those weak in faith (Rom 15:1-2).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (EDIFICATION)
Paul was no chauvinist. He taught the spiritual equality of women and men (Gen 3:28) and wrote eloquently about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church-sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25-33). But to a church in a corrupt culture where marriages were in disarray, the brave Paul argued that submission was essential for any institution-government, church, or family. Without authority, chaos reigns. Continue reading WHY DID PAUL SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT WIVES SUBMITTING TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
Characteristic of human and animal populations (Gen 10; Acts 17:26-27). Out of His richness God created an unfathomable number of creatures to fill the earth (Gen 1:11-12, 20-22,24-25) and respond to Him in praise (Ps 148). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DIVERSITY)
Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
Use of rocky sites as places of refuge (Num 24:21; Judg 15:8; 20:47) led to the frequent image of God as a rock, that is, a source of protection. Titles of God include the “Stone of Israel” (Gen 49:24 NASB), the Rock (Deut 32:4), the Rock of salvation (32:15), the Rock who begot Israel (32:18), “a rock that is high above me” (Ps 61:2 HCSB). Isaiah 8:13-14 pictures of the Lord of hosts as a “rock to stumble over” (NASB) to the unholy people of Israel and Judah. Paul identified Christ as the spiritual Rock that nourished Israel in the Continue reading DEFINITION OF ROCK