Saturday, November 3, 2018

You are Holy in Christ Jesus

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 

The Apostle Paul, and the Holy Spirit (as the author of Scripture) makes a simple but profound declaration at the opening of the letter to the church in Ephesus. 

He greets those in Ephesus as "saints." What a simple but epic salutation!

We need to apply the biblical principle that while the apostolic letters addressed specific issues in doctrine and behavior to specific churches, the doctrines declared and the commandments issued apply to all churches and all Christians everywhere, for all time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Law of God Gives Believers Direction

It's a blessing for believers to walk in the law of the Lord. Ps 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 

We are not saved by obeying the law, but by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Acts 16:30 Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."  

Go HERE for more on forgiveness by faith alone in Christ alone.

But once we're saved by faith alone in Christ alone, we are called to walk in the law of the Lord. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Biblical Characteristics of Disciple Training

Not only does the Lord command the church to train disciples to observe all that he commanded, he has also given us numerous principles (or characteristics) of how he wants individual disciples to be trained.

Put together like a mosaic, they paint a picture of biblical ministry in the life of believers, and it looks nothing like modern day program-oriented ministry we see everywhere in the church today.

Here are some of the biblical characteristics of disciple training, found in the word of God.  A link to the pdf document is found by going HERE.

                                        The Teacher/Disciple Model 

What commandments/principles/examples do we see in Scripture regarding teachers and how disciples are to be trained?

Note: Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, by hearing the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone. No one is saved by works, or by obedience to God’s commandments. (Romans 3, 5:1 etc…)  However, once a person is saved, is justified by faith alone, their calling is now to learn to observe all that Christ commanded according to the Great Commission. Christ commissioned the church not only to preach the gospel so that people can be saved by coming to faith in Christ, but also to then train those new disciples to walk in his ways according to his word.

The Great Commission:  This is found in Matthew 28:18-20 as follows:

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

We Were Once Foolish - But Then God's Goodness Appeared

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy... 

We who are Christians are no different than anyone else. We were born into the world in sin, lived out our lives according to our own desires, and denied that Jesus was God. 

Paul talked about this in Ephesians 2:1-3. We were by nature children of wrath, just like everyone else. He echoes this in Titus 3:3 by saying that "we ourselves were once foolish..." 

Because of this, we should NOT look down upon others in the world, because they do not believe in Christ, or behave a certain way. This is in fact, hatred.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Law Informs Us on How to Love

Jesus said,  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34)

If we've believed in Christ for a while, we've heard this commandment. Now, here's a diagnostic for you. 

Without referring to the word of God, how do you love your brother? What are you supposed to do to show love to your brother?

If we have an answer to this question, without referring to the word of God, then we have what's called an opinion. Because that's all that we could offer up as an answer to the question, "what are we supposed to do to show love to our brother" without the word of God as a reference. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What Priority Should the Church Have in the Believer's Life?

What priority should the local church have in the life of a believer? It is given by the Apostle John in 1 John 3:16 as follows,

1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 

The church is not a club, a social group, a local chapter of some organization. It is the living, breathing, temple of the Holy Spirit. It is the elect from every nation. It is the very people Christ came for, lived for and died for. Matt 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 

The value of the church, to the Father, is Christ, for Christ is the price he paid for it. Is 53:10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Christ is the Motivation, the Holy Spirit is the Power, and His Law the Direction

The church so desperately needs clarity today on teaching on the law of God. So many pitfalls to fall into, so much error.

With lack of clarity, there is a lack of understanding, and ultimately lack of love for God and for our neighbor. 

One area where clarity would help us greatly is in understanding the mechanics of obedience. By this, I mean the motivation for obedience, the power to obedience and the direction of obedience.

It is great error and perhaps even heresy to confuse these. For instance, if the law is our motivation, we may become Pharisees in our faith. Or, if we believe we can obey on our own power, self-righteousness is a danger, and so on.

So, let's quickly consider all three of the above. 


You are Holy in Christ Jesus

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:  The Apos...