Between teacher Humberto’s comments in Bible class, as he covered Acts 4, and my notes, here are five points on what makes for a strong church.
#1. It preaches Jesus, Acts 4.18-20.
No message can transform lives but Jesus. No message can save eternally but that of the Cross of Christ. The issue between the Sanhedrin and the apostles was speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus. The Name made everything happen. The Name made men walk, united warring factions, caused new birth, gave hope to the hopeless. There was no talk of politics, of social change, of financial gain, of mission strategies or church resources. Jesus was the sum of their message. The strong church stays on message. Continue reading “What makes for a strong church”
A London merchant and the poet William Blake watched the sun rise up out of the sea. The bright, yellow disk revealed itself, gilding the water, and painting the sky with a thousand colors.
“What do you see?” the poet asked the merchant.
“Ah, I see gold,” the merchant replied. “The sun looks like a great gold piece. What do you see?” Continue reading “What do you see?”
The following points are one side of an amicable online conversation I had last week with some social-media friends. One is an atheist. I’m not sure about the others. You can read the whole thread at this link. The text has been slightly edited for readability.
¶ The New Testament shows a distinct line between saved and unsaved. The difference between the two is one’s reaction or reception of Jesus: “And there is salvation in no one else [besides Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved” Acts 4.12 NET. Continue reading “An online conversation about salvation, restrictions, and literalism”
Arrogance claims, “I know that already.”
Humility says, “You’ve made an interesting point.” Continue reading “Humility says”
Many false doctrines are a result of misunderstanding covenants. The improper use of the Word has eternal consequences (Galatians 1:8-9), so it’s imperative that we properly divide the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15).
God established a covenant with Israel after Egyptian bondage (Exodus 19:1-6). If they would be faithful, God would care for them with great gentleness (Exodus 19:7-8). Continue reading “No longer under the Law of Moses”
The doorway of your word gives light. They give insight to the untrained. (Psalm 119:130 NET)
If you have been following through our Bible reading schedule for the past year, you will now have completed reading the New Testament. We hope the thoughts we have written to accompany one day’s reading each week have been helpful – we appreciate the comments that we have received. Continue reading “God’s word give light”
The friendly little town of Georgetown was just about the nicest sort of place to live. If your habit was to bring a paycheck in to the bank on Monday, then they would cover an accidental overdraft the Friday before, without any charges. This may not be the case presently, but it was true 30 years ago.
The surrounding Illinois countryside was a pastoral picture of green, gently sloping land. Some of the green was made up of corn or soybean fields; others were wild places, filled with the ubiquitous wild grapes that flourish in this area. Continue reading “Through the grapevine”
by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Twins grew up with an abusive alcoholic father. One of them became an alcoholic. The other refused to touch drink and maintained a respectable lifestyle.
The two were asked why they turned out the way they did. They both gave the same answer. “With the father I had, how else could I turn out?”
Although they gave the same answer in words, they meant very different things by them. One made it his excuse; the other, his reason.
We are not formed or influenced by our experiences, but by our interpretation of them. It is not what happens to us, but how we frame events in our minds that determines how they will affect us. Perspective is everything. Continue reading “Perspective is everything, so Scripture must constantly feed our minds”
Only when we experience the power of God’s Word, can we see God’s plan. Continue reading The undefiled way