Our glory, to know God

Humans were created to seek their worth in God. When man cut himself off from God, he began to seek his worth in other things. No longer did he have God’s measure for himself and his existence. He lacked any objective, spiritual ruler for himself.

The prophet Jeremiah speaks of man’s casting about for worth as glorying. To glory in something is man’s attempt to raise himself up and value himself. Having rejected God’s measure, he winds up comparing himself to others. The weeping prophet must have cried when he wrote: Continue reading “Our glory, to know God”

The church that pleases God

The young couple came to the truth because, as he said, they quit looking for a church that would please them both—since they were from different branches of Christendom—to search for a church that pleased God.

A coworker had told him to look for a church that “met in the name of Jesus.”

Before that, he’d begun reading his Bible. He noticed the differences between what Scripture said and what his church taught. When he asked a religious authority in his church about such differences, the answer was not convincing. Continue reading “The church that pleases God”

Jesus Christ gives certainty

In a world that considers everything relative except relativity, Christians need to feel sure of their faith and to find certainty in the truth of the gospel. God is a competent and willing revealer of his eternal plan.

The Bible presents us with proven facts, a coherent history, and verifiable written prophecies of the Lord. There need be no embarrassment about possessing truth. Continue reading “Jesus Christ gives certainty”

Rest for your souls

Weekends, holidays, vacation time — we want rest! Today we have more time off than people of any age. But some still think that the time they have for rest is little for so much work and responsibility.

Our problem is that the rest we need is for the soul.

In the greater context of chapters 11-12 of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus condemns the Jews for not accepting God’s emissaries (John the Immerser and himself) and for creating and imposing upon others their religious rules. To those willing to accept it, Jesus offers rest for the soul, with these conditions: Continue reading “Rest for your souls”

Careful righteousness

Jesus expects us to do works of righteousness. Our righteousness must go far beyond that of practitioners of religion, in order to enter God’s kingdom, Matthew 5.20. One way in which it must go beyond is in a superior motivation behind it.

“Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven” Matthew 6.1.

In the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6, the Lord Jesus cites three examples of righteousness that we must practice: giving, prayer, and fasting. Continue reading “Careful righteousness”

Church as decentralized web

It’s not in my job description, or wouldn’t be if I had one. But I joyfully spend a not insignificant amount of time helping saints connect with other saints.

Except for Antartica, we’ve touched all the continents. We’ve helped people find churches in places like Japan, France, New Zealand, and Malawi. Even the American states of Virginia and Kentucky have not escaped our searches.

Today, it was closer to home. I finally got answers for a brother in Rio looking for churches or contacts in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Continue reading “Church as decentralized web”

Better to have never been born

Job expressed the desire to have never been born, so great was his suffering. In his moral confusion, Solomon considered better than both the living and the dead “the one who has not been born and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth” Ecclesiastes 4.3.

The Lord Jesus used this idea, of better to have never been born, for the one who betrayed him. Continue reading “Better to have never been born”

After 12 years of continuous writing, Richard Mansel leaves Forthright

February 21, 2017, will mark twelve years of consecutive articles on Forthright Magazine for columnist Richard Mansel, without missing a single week. Because of personal reasons, Richard says it’s time to leave. For several years during this period Richard also provided good leadership as Managing Editor.

Shortly after he came aboard, Richard fast became a good friend and someone to bounce ideas off of. We did not know each other personally, but he quickly gained our trust. Continue reading “After 12 years of continuous writing, Richard Mansel leaves Forthright”