The matter of circumcision became a contested issue as the early Christian church was finding its feet. To appreciate why, we first need to understand that this had grown to be a most important element within Judaism. Between the time of the Old and New Testament, Seleucid King Antiochus IV attempted to stamp out Judaism, in part by forbidding the practice of circumcision among the Jews. This rite had become so vital to the identity of God’s people that they chose to die rather than yield to this pagan order.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMCISE)
1.Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PSALM 106:1-21 “JOY IN FORGIVENESS OF ISRAEL’S SINS”)
The New Testament is full of “Marys.” With six or seven different women sharing that same name, it’s easy to get confused. The Mary we’re looking at here was a resident of Bethany, near Jerusalem. She was the sister of Martha and Lazarus. We meet her in three separate stories in the New Testament.Continue reading WOMEN OF THE DAY (MARY “THE SISTER OF MARTHA”)
It is official membership community. When the world divided into nations, citizenship became the certified recognition of privilege and accountability to the laws and leaders of the nation granting it. Paul invites Christians to think of membership in God’s kingdom in the same way-a relationship of privilege and responsibility. This latter citizenship supersedes and qualifies all other memberships so that the Christian, while loyal to the state (Rom 13:1), is not unconditionally so.Continue reading WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?
The last meal Jesus shared with His disciples before the crucifixion. The high point of the Bible and central event of the ages is the passion (betrayal, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension) of Jesus Christ. All that goes before it in the Bible anticipates His coming. All that comes after presents the full meaning of the person and work of Christ. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LAST SUPPER)
In order to understand the idea of sacrifices and offerings, we must go back to the very beginning of the Bible. By Genesis 4, the first sons, Cain and Abel, were practicing an early form of sacrifice: “Later Cain brought some crops from the land as an offering to the LORD. Abel also brought some choice parts of the firstborn animals from his flock. The LORD approved of Abel and his offering, but he didn’t approved of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed” (Gen 4:3-5). From the beginning, offerings and sacrifices generally expressed two attitudes: gratitude and repentance. In the case of Cain and Abel, later history of sacrifice might lead us to think that God’s rejection of Cain’s offering was because it wasn’t a blood sacrifice, but the text doesn’t indicate such a conclusion. Cain’s offering was casual and perhaps careless; Abel’s was costly. Cain brought “some crops”; Abel presented “some choice parts.” Cain’s response to God’s correction revealed his heart. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SACRIFICE/OFFERING)
- Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
- To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
- For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
People communicate in may ways. What about God? Does he have an answering machine? How does he call people, how does he lead them, and how should they respond? Many was a young woman when she was engaged to Joseph. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that God had a special mission for her. The Holy Spirit would soon cause her to become pregnant, and she would give birth to God’s Son, Continue reading HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD’S LEADING
Remind your people to obey the government and its officers, and always to be obedient and ready for any honest work. They must not speak evil of anyone, nor quarrel, but be gentle and truly courteous to all. Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us.