What is gnosticism? Gnosticism is literally, “the cult based on special, personal knowledge.” The apostle Paul specifically warned against this kind of division, which has spawned several very large Christian-like religions, dozens of very closed denominations, and hundreds or thousands of small sects. Each of these groups claims some “special personal knowledge,” which they have and you do not, which makes them more acceptable to God than you, and which keeps them separate from you. In the last month, I talked to Continue reading Gnosticism and the altar of special knowledge in the church today
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) Christian Agape Love –Adapted from Introduction by Tyrone Edwards to Charity and its fruits by Jonathan Edwards Love is the best way of all Keep on desiring the better gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all. (1 Corinthians 12:31) Love is the sum of all virtue All the virtue that is saving, and that distinguishes true Christians from others, is Continue reading Faith, Hope, and Love — the Greatest of these is Love
There are 2 character traits that are very important for service to the Lord: humility and submission. Humility about yourself towards others and towards God. Submission first to God and then to each other. Without these character traits, the Apostle Paul said you will be just like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. All noise. No benefit. If you consider these opposite character traits, it is obvious why pride and arrogance cannot serve the Lord. What motivates you?
When Samuel was sent to anoint a new king to replace Saul, he fell into a common trap. It’s not about appearance, countenance, height, or stature. It’s all about the heart. When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the LORD’s anointed!” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, Continue reading Don’t judge by appearance, countenance, height, or stature, because the LORD looks at the heart
What did Jesus teach about serving others? Many leaders in the Christian community are identified as Christian “ministers”. This tradition leads many to equate Christian ministry with clergy or leadership over Christian congregations. In scripture, a “minister” is simply a “servant” and “ministry” relates to “service”. How can one be both a servant to, and an authority over, God’s people?
The struggle of mankind’s plans versus God’s plans has affected history for thousands of years and it is affecting us today. The church is God’s creation and workmanship. It is eternal in nature and too big to become the exclusive province of one group of partisans. Why not be big and wise enough to see this? Rehoboam and Jeroboam divided the Kingdom of Israel The division has lasted about 3,000 years. But, God is not impressed! It hasn’t changed his plans. Continue reading Mankind has divided and conquered! God is not impressed.
If we lived 2,000 years ago, what would a church service look like? How did they meet? And, why couldn’t it work like that today? 1 Corinthians 14:26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.
You may have thought God could only use superstars. But, this is not true, God can use anyone, if they are willing. God is very clear that these 8 gifts are given by him to ordinary people for service in your congregation… προφητείαν — prophecy; the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth διακονεῖ / διακονίαν — to serve (as a servant), waiting at table; in a wider sense: service, ministration διδάσκων — to teach (literally, “cause to learn”); instruct, impart knowledge (disseminate information) Continue reading 8 Gifts of Service for Your Church
The teaching of Hebrews 12:15 is much broader than just the emotion of bitterness… Hebrews 12:1 “…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:14-17 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root4491 of bitterness4088 springing5453 up causes trouble, Continue reading What is a root of bitterness?