Money, politics and religion can stir up controversy. Within Christendom, opinions about church run deep. Yet, most agree what the New Testament teaches, such as its insistence there is one church. Disagreement arises over how this teaching should be applied to our world.
Can we understand how the Bible’s teaching regarding one church relates to our world? Can the confusion be untangled? I believe yes. Continue reading “One church: the intersection of scripture and today’s world”
Our actions often tell the world more than we want to reveal. The attitudes behind our behavior will be leaked to the world regardless of our intentions. Continue reading “The shocking reason they complained about two baptisms”
Our world abounds with controversial issues ranging from politics to scientific theories, from social policy to religion. Among the chorus of dissenting voices rise competing perspectives regarding baptism.
It is my belief that scripture provides an unequivocal voice inviting us to rely upon Christ in baptism in order that we might receive the benefits of our Savior’s death. My experiences have also led me to conclude that one major barrier against accepting this understanding lies not with scripture’s failure to positively teach about baptism, rather false assumptions about faith are negating the biblical message.
How might someone tackle such a scenario? Here is one possibility.
Continue reading “The gospel instructs: rely upon Christ in baptism to be saved”
George never did anything wrong, that you’d notice. He wasn’t one to commit grave errors. He never spoke ill of another. He never cheated anyone, especially not his wife. He never killed anyone, nor harmed anyone bodily. George wasn’t a violent man. He never mistreated or failed to provide for his family. Continue reading “Can George be saved?”
“Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’
“So he said to them, ‘Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, “Lord, let us in!” But he will answer you, “I don’t know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” But he will reply, “I don’t know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!”
“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table in the kingdom of God. But indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.’” (Luke 13:22-30 NET) Continue reading “The narrow door”
The following quote describes a richness lying within the word “faith” that challenges popular thinking. What are we to make of this claim about faith within the Greek New Testament?
The noun pistis offers a range of semantic possibilities for English translators. It can be rendered as ‘faith,’ ‘faithfulness,’ ‘fidelity’ or ‘trust.’ It probably does not, however, mean ‘belief’ in the sense of cognitive assent to a doctrine; rather, it refers to placing trust or confidence in a person. The cognate verb pisteuw (pisteuo) can be translated as ‘believe’ or ‘trust.’ English, regrettably, lacks a verb form from the same root as the noun ‘faith.'” – Richard Hays’ commentary on Galatians
Continue reading “The crux of our saving faith”
“If we are saved by grace, how can Paul write about Christians being worthy? This sounds like works salvation.” A sincere elderly lady raised this line of reasoning as we studied 2 Thessalonians.
Scripture affirms no one is worthy. And yet, at other places explicit statements expect Christians to be worthy. How can this be?
Continue reading “Never worthy, yet worthiness expected”
Few biblical stories challenge both exclusive and inclusive perspectives. Yet a story exists revealing how God can be pleased with the spiritual activities of the lost, while simultaneously excluding them from salvation. Some might question, how can God do both?
Continue reading “God’s surprising inclusion and exclusion”
Rock City, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, has a winding trail around (or through) many limestone outcroppings. One of those is “Fat Man’s Squeeze.”
In the past, when I weighed much more than now, I’ve had my troubles getting through the squeeze. While it might be possible for a severely overweight person to get through the narrow corridor of rock, it would not be comfortable.
There are many people who think salvation is as easy as going to the grocery store for a dozen eggs. “Have you got saved?” they ask. It’s almost as if “getting saved” is as easy as getting something to eat at a fast-food place. Jesus Christ never described it that way. Continue reading “Strive to enter”
“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)
There are numerous things that vie for our attention in this digital age. Computers, smart phones, tablets, social media apps – they all ring, bleep, notify, chime and alarm us of the next seemingly important thing. Much of the time, it is just social candy that distracts us from more nourishing things in life.
This is also true spiritually. We can easily become distracted from our mission and purpose as Christians, if we’re not careful. Here are a couple of things that can distract us: Continue reading “Do these two things ever distract you?”