One of the things all Christians need to do is to examine themselves and try to understand who it is they are listening to and learning from because the gospel truth is not from men, but from God.
There is only one truth of the New Covenant, just as there is only one God and Father, One Christ who is the Son of God and Saviour of all mankind. But in this world we do not see this same oneness of mind, spirit and purpose. This is especially true in the church today, for the church is widely splintered in a multitude of sects, denominations and groups, all of whom claim to be Christians, but who frequently disagree on what is the fundamental truth of the New Covenant.
That is why it is important to examine yourself and determine from whom you are learning. Is the quality of the doctrine and teachings that you accept and believe really the truth, or is it a concoction of teachings, some of which are true and some of which are not, for the purpose of bringing you under the dominion and bondage of men rather than into the freedom of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Gospel Truth Is Not From Men”
In my previous post I wrote about the issue of knowledge versus love and how knowledge puffs up but love builds up. But in spite of this issue, knowledge is essential to our growth and understanding of the ways of the Lord.
In these scriptures today we see how we are to use the knowledge we have cautiously because knowledge can be destructive if used incorrectly. The example Paul uses is in relation to people who have been used to making offerings to idols and eating food offered to idols.
If we are to walk in the path that Jesus Christ set before us, then we need to learn how to walk in love with all people, especially new converts who do not have the knowledge that we may have of the ways of the Lord and are still in their infancy in Christ. The last thing we want to do is to do or say something that might destroy their faith or confuse them. We must learn to walk in love with all people, as Jesus Christ walked in love with the people of His day and with us still today.
Every so often you come up against a scripture you have to spend some time meditating upon. You mull it over and pray over it seeking the fullness of the meaning and asking the Lord to provide insight.
Such was the case for me with this set of verses today. I have been thinking about this section of scripture for the past week trying to understand the significance of the words, and seeking to know all there is to know about this section.
I'm still not sure I've got it, but I have seen some things in a different light and will share what I can. Please also, if you see something more that I have missed, then add it into the comments section below. It will be greatly appreciated by me and all those who read this blog.
In these few verses Paul gives thanks to God for what God has done with the church at Corinth. At a high level when we read between the lines we see that Paul is expressing thanks for the work done in the knowledge that this work is not his own work, nor the work of those at Corinth, but is the work of God.
How does God work in the church to effect change among the people? Again the answer is in these few verses for we see that what Paul is thanking God for is the great and wondrous gifts that God gave to the church that brought them out of the world to where they were in Christ Jesus, and that would continue to protect and hold them in His name until the end.
There are a few interesting aspects to these verses and these gifts that are worth looking into and that is what this study today will cover.
What is the Bible? What is it about this book that has made it the number one best selling book of all time?
In my opinion, the bible is not just another book full of interesting stories and rules for living. No, it is much, much more than that.
The bible is the Book of Life. It contains the words of God given to man for the purpose of teaching man how to live in accordance with God's will. It provides teachings, examples, methods and instruction that if followed will lead us to life, both a better life now and a future everlasting life.
No other book written by man can do this or has the power to do this and the reason why is that every other book on earth is written by man. But the bible is written by God. It is the inspired words of God written down and recorded by faithful and just men for the purpose of bringing man back into communion with God.
So often today I see infighting between the different denominations and groups who call themselves Christians.
I see Protestants arguing with Catholics, Pentecostals arguing with non-spirit filled religions, and everything in between. Every group has a point of view and every group believes they are correct and have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They throw up the arguments of past Christian writers pitting one expert against another in an attempt to prove that they are right and others are wrong. And they use their experts to try to disprove and discredit the expert opinions their so-called opponents are quoting.
And they are all wrong. All they show in their arguing is pride and arrogance. They add nothing to the advancement of the gospel and rather they are away from it because pride and arrogance have no part in the gospel of Jesus Christ or the pathway to life. And this is part of what this section of scripture discusses.
Do you want to be stronger in your faith? Do you want to stand in the faith with the strength that Abraham had when he was prepared to sacrifice his son and heir but fully convinced that God would provide a solution when he was tested?
The faith that we Christians hold as we come to Christ and grow and mature in Him is not a blind faith. The gifts and revelations we receive from God as we walk in His ways with Christ Jesus are given by grace but we must learn how to use His gifts to serve Him and to grow ourselves.
God’s will for His people is that they mature and be strong in the faith. There is much to learn as we walk with Jesus and much to believe as the mystery of the words of God written in the Bible He has given us is unravelled. All of this is thus boiled down to the pursuit of one thing.
Every now and then I come across some scripture that leaves me stumped, and the question of predestination is one of those.
Here in Romans 8 is one such scripture. This verse is quoted by the proponents of predestination as proof positive that this is the way God chooses people to be saved.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of predestination, the doctrine basically suggests that everyone has already been predestined as to who will or will not be saved and that God will call those people and not the rest.
There are various camps between the proponents of this doctrine and slightly different shades or degrees to which they believe things are predetermined, but this is the essence in a nutshell.
In previous posts I have looked at sin, freedom from sin and freedom from law. Here we see a further section of scriptures that look at the matter of the knowledge of sin.
The understanding of the knowledge of sin is important for all Christians, even after they are set apart from the law and have had their sins removed.
It is important to understand these things because sin is a problem for all of mankind and it is not something easily escaped. Even though the scripture tells us we are set free from sin and have been removed from the law, it is the fact of sin that sneaks up on us and has the power to tear us down and pull us apart…if we allow it.
So understanding sin and the power of sin under the law becomes critical so that we do not allow it to overcome us.
Have you ever been in a place that was totally dark? I'm not talking about a moonless night but somewhere that was so pitch dark that you could not tell any difference whether your eyes were open or closed. Perhaps in a deep cave or a deep mine underground with the lights extinguished? If not have you ever got out of bed in the middle of the night and blundered about the house in the dark?
What did it feel like to you? You stumble about not knowing where you are going, unable to see anything that might be in your way and not able to see dangers ahead in the form of things that may trip you over.
But as soon as there is the tiniest point of light, a lit match, an LED, a small torch or whatever, it immediately grabs your attention and becomes the focal point to which you are drawn.
It is the same with Jesus Christ. And here we see Paul speak about the work he was doing for The Lord in turning the people from darkness to light.