Jesus warned against hypocritical groups who try to have godliness through their own rules and regulations above the commandments of God and setting their own rulers above the Holy Spirit in the lives of their congregation… Jesus told them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.’ “You abandon the commandments of God Continue reading A form of godliness (show of religion, piety, holiness, outward righteousness)
We realize this is a natural tendency of human nature to distinguish between “us” and “them.” From the first man, Adam—who wanted God to know that he wasn’t as bad as his wife (Genesis 3:12)—all the way to you and me, pride wants us to exalt ourselves by humbling other people. As usual God wants it to be the other way around.
This little verse has caused more fighting, more division, and more heartache than almost any other verse… Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3) There are Christian groups teaching it is your responsibility, it is your work, and it is your endeavor that makes the unity in this verse. These groups teach unity is the result of correct doctrine, the result of correct walk, and the result of correct practices. Therefore, they teach, you have Continue reading What about keeping unity?
Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. (John 17:20-21) But most Christians have not answered that prayer. They have splintered into thousands of groups, sects, divisions, schisms, churches, and denominations. They have institutionalized their differences and Continue reading When Jesus prayed for you
After giving one of the most beautiful greetings of thanksgiving for the church of God in Corinth, the Apostle Paul was forced to address the first of many problems: schisms. This seems to be a common problem among mankind because it is just as prevalent now as it was then. Paul criticizes the sin of schisma (cleft, rent, division of opinion, dissension) and appeals for them to strive for the opposite, using the word katartízō (repair, mend, restore).
Never before in the history of mankind has there been more diversity in the body of Christ, which gives more opportunity for disharmony, distrust, disunity, and even outright hatred. If you think the early church suffered persecution, if you think the protestant reformation suffered persecution, if you think the Jesus grace movement suffered persecution, you haven’t seen anything yet. When will Christian’s learn to fulfill the first commandment?
There are some Christians who feel they can only have “limited fellowship” with other Christians outside their group. They cannot have unconditional fellowship with Christians who do not agree with them on their fundamental doctrines. Let’s look at the facts… Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to Continue reading What is limited fellowship?
A king once innocently asked the most important question ever asked… Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. (John 18:37-38, Matthew 27:11-14; Luke Continue reading What is truth?
Most Christian churches and organizations write a statement of faith to document their understanding of the Bible so you can know what they believe. We have resisted doing this for fear that we would put an arbitrary gloss on one portion of scripture over another. But, in this age of world-wide communication through the internet, I think it would be wise to have something available. Therefore, I have attempted to list some Bible verses that I believe are non-negotiable truths… Continue reading What about a statement of faith?