This Blog is meant to discuss any question or doubts you may have about the Bible, the Life of Christ or Life in General. Any one may add their comments
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on May 31, 2010 at 6:56 AM||comments (0)|
Offending and Being Offended
-By Kevin Cauley
The word "offence" is used in the KJV of the Bible in one form or another some 73 different times. Out of those occurrences, 23 are found in the Old Testament and 50 in the New Testament. In the New Testament, the vast majority of these instances are from a word which means to cause another to stumble. Sometimes the word refers to clear cut cases where sin is involved (cf. Matthew 13:41, Romans 4:25, Romans 16:17). Sometimes the word refers to offences that cannot be avoided due to preaching God's truth (cf. Matthew 13:57, 15:12, John 6:61, Galatians 5:11, 1 Peter 2:8). Sometimes the word refers to matters of personal preference that others believe to be sinful ( Romans 14:20,21, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 10:32). Basically, the word means to cause another to be upset or troubled through either our words or our actions whether justified or not. The definition, however, is not the problem; we generally know when we have been offended. The question we need to ask is: what do we need to do when we offend and are offended? In this week's article we will look at the subject of offending others and in next week's article we will look at being offended by others.
First, it ought to be mentioned that the Christian is going to live his life in a way to try to unnecessarily avoid offending others. This principle is found in Romans 12:18, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." The Christian's desire is to be at peace with all so that God's truth may be taught and Christ seen in his life and this involves avoiding any actions or words that would unnecessarily offend others. Paul wrote, "Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed" ( 2 Corinthians 6:3). This is also the underlying principle behind avoiding actions that cause someone else to do something that they believe is sinful. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:32, "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God." In the context of these passages the offence is a matter of personal preferences that would cause any individual to sin or reject the gospel. Certainly we never ought to allow our own personal tastes to hinder one from being saved! So, the Christian must live in a way that avoids unnecessary offences.
Second, it is quite impossible to live the life of a Christian and not offend someone by doing that which is right! There is no wholesale prohibition in the scriptures to ever offend anyone regardless of what the circumstance is. In fact, the scriptures presume that many are going to be offended by the teaching and preaching of the gospel. Jesus offended people by telling them the truth ( Matthew 13:57, 15:12); Jesus even offended his own disciples ( John 6:61)! Yet not once did Jesus apologize for telling the truth. In fact, in Matthew 15:12, after his disciples told him that the Pharisees had been offended by him, he said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" ( Matthew 15:13-14). The Christian ought not to be concerned about offending someone because he is teaching or preaching the truth so long as that truth is being taught in love ( Ephesians 4:15).
Third, another cold and hard fact is that we are going to say or do something wrong that causes someone else to be offended. James wrote, "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" ( James 3:2). In this case, when we commit sin and do something wrong, it ought to be obvious that we ought to apologize and ask for forgiveness both from God and the one whom we offended (see 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16).
It ought to be the hallmark of the Christian life that very few are offended with him, even of those who are opposed to the teaching of the gospel. Let us make this our aim and put into practice a life void of offence. When we do offend, let's make sure that we quickly recognize it and make the appropriate corrections.
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on May 21, 2010 at 5:04 AM||comments (0)|
GOD'S OWN HEART"-sheperd king DAVID
1 Samuel 13:13-14
INTRODUCTION 1. In Paul's sermon at Antioch, in which he briefly recounts the history of Israel, he refers to the statement made by God concerning David: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will." - Ac 13:22 (cf. 1Sa 13:13-14) 2. This beautiful compliment, "a man after My own heart", is one that should characterize every person who wears the name of Christ a. For David was not only the ancestor of Christ according to the flesh... b. But he possessed many of the attitudes that: 1) Were later perfected by Christ 2) Should characterize all those who are disciples of Christ 3. In this study we shall... a. Consider some of these attitudes that David had b. See the similarities between his attitudes and those of Christ c. And encourage all who are Christians to have the same so that we too might be people "after God's own heart" [We begin, then, by noticing that...]
I. DAVID LOVED THE WORD OF GOD A. "OH, HOW I LOVE YOUR LAW!" - Ps 119:97 1. In this psalm, if not written by David it certainly expresses his sentiment found elsewhere, we find one who has a great love for God's Word - cf. Ps 119:47-48 2. This love for God's Word is due to the fact that... a. It protects him from sin - Ps 119:11 b. It revives him in affliction - Ps 119:50 c. It gives him great peace of mind - Ps 119:165
B. JESUS LOVED THE WORD OF GOD... 1. As is evident from His frequent quotation of it 2. Especially at the time of His temptation - Mt 4:4,7,10 C. HOW IS OUR LOVE FOR THE WORD OF GOD? 1. Do we "hide" it in our heart? 2. Do we find it to be a source of comfort in times of affliction? 3. Does it give us peace of mind? 4. If not, we should give heed to the instructions of David in Ps 1:1-3 a. Learn to delight in the Word b. Learn to meditate upon it daily -- Then we will be truly "blessed"! [We next see that...]
II. DAVID LOVED TO PRAY A. "I WILL CALL UPON HIM AS LONG AS I LIVE" - Ps 116:1-2 1. His love for prayer was based upon the fact God had answered him before - Ps 116:1-2 2. It was based upon the fact that God had greatly blessed him - Ps 116:12-13 3. It was based upon the fact that prayer brought God close to him - Ps 145:18
B. JESUS WAS ALSO A MAN OF PRAYER... 1. He made it a point to often slip away to pray privately - Lk 5:16 2. In times of greatest trial, Jesus resorted to prayer... a. At Gethsemane - Mt 26:36-44 b. On the cross: 1) "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." - Lk 23:34 2) "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" - Mt 27:46 3) "Father, into your hands I commend My Spirit." - Lk 23:46 C. HOW IS OUR LOVE FOR PRAYER? 1. Have we found it to be a source of peace "which surpasses all understanding"? - Php 4:6-7 2. Do we "pray without ceasing"? - 1Th 5:17 3. If not, then let David instruct us to depend upon prayer for our very preservation - Ps 32:6-7 [In addition to the Word of God and prayer...]
III. DAVID LOVED TO PRAISE GOD A. "SEVEN TIMES A DAY I PRAISE YOU" - Ps 119:164 1. He praised God because of His righteous judgments 2. He praised God because of His greatness and lovingkindness - Ps 95:1-7 3. And he was determined to sing praises as long as he lived - Ps 104:33
B. JESUS ALSO LOVED TO PRAISE GOD... 1. As He did on one occasion publicly in prayer - cf. Mt 11:25-26 2. As He did with his disciples in song - cf. Mt 26:30 C. DO WE LOVE TO PRAISE GOD? 1. Do we delight in singing praises to God in song? 2. Do we take time to praise God in our prayers? 3. Once again, David has words to encourage us in this activity - Ps 147:1 -- Thus it is becoming for those who profess to be children of God to praise their Heavenly Father! [We note also that...]
IV. DAVID LOVED UNITY AMONG BRETHREN A. "BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS..." - Ps 133:1 1. David knew the value of good friendship and unity, as exemplified in the relationship he had with Jonathan - 1 Sam 18:1 2. He also knew the terrible pain of division within a family (cf. his sons, Amnon and Absalom - 2Sa 13) B. JESUS LOVED UNITY ALSO... 1. He prayed diligently that His disciples might be one - Jn 17: 20-23 2. He died on the cross that there might be unity - Ep 2:13-16 C. DO WE LOVE UNITY ENOUGH TO PAY THE PRICE? 1. By diligently displaying the proper attitudes necessary to preserve the unity Christ has accomplished through His death? - cf. Ep 4:1-3 2. By marking those who needlessly cause division? - Ro 16:17 [Finally, we note that...]
V. DAVID HATED EVERY FALSE WAY A. "I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY" - Ps 119:104 1. His hatred was based upon his understanding of God's precepts - cf. Ps 119:104 2. His hatred affected his selection of activities and friends - cf. Ps 101:3-4,6-7
B. JESUS ALSO HATED ERROR AND FALSE WAYS... 1. As manifested in His driving the moneychangers out of the temple - Mt 21:12-13 2. As manifested in His denunciation of the hypocritical Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers - cf. Mt 23:13-36 C. WHAT IS OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD FALSE WAYS? 1. Are we soft or compromising? 2. Or do we realize that we are involved in a "battle" over the souls of men, and are not to think lightly of that which is false? - cf. 2Co 10:3-5 3. While we are to love the sinner, we must ever hate the sin!
CONCLUSION 1. In closing, we note that it was said concerning David that he was one "...who will do all My will." - Ac 13:22 a. Because he was "a man after God's own heart" and had all these attributes we have considered in this lesson... b. God was confident that David would do ALL that God asked of him 2. Thus it requires all of the attributes to motivate one to be faithful to all that God may ask a. We have seen where Jesus possessed them, and He was certainly motivated to do the Father's will - cf. Jn 4:34; Mt 26:42 b. How about us? Are we motivated to do ALL of God's will? Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on May 4, 2010 at 6:33 AM||comments (0)|
Why are Jesus' genealogies in Matthew and Luke so different?
Answer: Jesus' genealogy is given in two places in Scripture: Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38. Matthew traces the genealogy from Jesus to Abraham. Luke traces the genealogy from Jesus to Adam. However, there is good reason to believe that Matthew and Luke are in fact tracing entirely different genealogies. For example, Matthew gives Joseph's father as Jacob (Matthew 1:16), while Luke gives Joseph's father as Heli (Luke 3:23). Matthew traces the line through David's son Solomon (Matthew 1:6), while Luke traces the line through David's son Nathan (Luke 3:31). In fact, between David and Jesus, the only names the genealogies have in common are Shealtiel and Zerubbabel (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27).
Some point to these differences as evidence of errors in the Bible. However, the Jews were meticulous record keepers, especially in regard to genealogies. It is inconceivable that Matthew and Luke could build two entirely contradictory genealogies of the same lineage. Again, from David through Jesus, the genealogies are completely different. Even the reference to Shealtiel and Zerubbabel likely refer to different individuals of the same names. Matthew gives Shealtiel's father as Jeconiah while Luke gives Shealtiel's father as Neri. It would be normal for a man named Shealtiel to name his son Zerubbabel in light of the famous individuals of those names (see the books of Ezra and Nehemiah).
Another explanation is that Matthew is tracing the primary lineage while Luke is taking into account the occurrences of “levirate marriage.” If a man died without having any sons, it was tradition for the man's brother to marry his wife and have a son who would carry on the man's name. While possible, this view is unlikely as every generation from David to Jesus would have had a “levirate marriage” in order to account for the differences in every generation. This is highly unlikely.
With these concepts in view, most conservative Bible scholars assume Luke is recording Mary’s genealogy and Matthew is recording Joseph’s. Matthew is following the line of Joseph (Jesus’ legal father), through David’s son Solomon, while Luke is following the line of Mary (Jesus’ blood relative), though David’s son Nathan. There was no Greek word for “son-in-law,” and Joseph would have been considered a son of Heli through marrying Heli's daughter Mary. Through either line, Jesus is a descendant of David and therefore eligible to be the Messiah. Tracing a genealogy through the mother’s side is unusual, but so was the virgin birth. Luke’s explanation is that Jesus was the son of Joseph, “so it was thought” (Luke 3:23).
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 28, 2010 at 5:36 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 28, 2010 at 5:33 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 25, 2010 at 8:31 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 25, 2010 at 7:32 PM||comments (0)|
"What is true worship?"
The Apostle Paul described true worship perfectly in Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”
This passage contains all the elements of true worship. First, there is the motivation to worship: “the mercies of God.” God’s mercies are everything He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to pour forth praise and thanksgiving—in other words, worship!
Also in the passage is a description of the manner of our worship: “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” Presenting our bodies means giving to God all of ourselves. The reference to our bodies here means all our human faculties, all of our humanness—our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, attitudes—are to be presented to God. In other words, we are to give up control of these things and turn them over to Him, just as a literal sacrifice was given totally to God on the altar. But how? Again, the passage is clear: “by the renewing of your mind.” We renew our minds daily by cleansing them of the world’s “wisdom” and replacing it with true wisdom that comes from God. We worship Him with our renewed and cleansed minds, not with our emotions. Emotions are wonderful things, but unless they are shaped by a mind saturated in Truth, they can be destructive, out-of-control forces. Where the mind goes, the will follows and so do the emotions. First Corinthians 2:16 tells us we have “the mind of Christ,” not the emotions of Christ.
There is only one way to renew our minds, and that is by the Word of God. It is the truth, the knowledge of the Word of God, which is to say the knowledge of the mercies of God, and we’re back where we began. To know the truth, to believe the truth, to hold convictions about the truth, and to love the truth will naturally result in true spiritual worship. It is conviction followed by affection, affection that is a response to truth, not to any external stimuli, including music. Music as such has nothing to do with worship. Music can’t produce worship, although it certainly can produce emotion. Music is not the origin of worship, but it can be the expression of it. Do not look to music to induce your worship; look to music as simply an expression of that which is induced by a heart that is rapt by the mercies of God, obedient to His commands.
True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how the worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things completely misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed. Worship can include praying, reading God's Word with an open heart, singing, participating in communion, and serving others. It is not limited to one act, but is done properly when the heart and attitude of the person are in the right place.
It’s also important to know that worship is reserved only for God. Only He is worthy and not any of His servants (Revelation 19:10). We are not to worship saints, prophets, statues, angels, any false gods, or Mary, the mother of Jesus. We also should not be worshiping for the expectation of something in return, such as a miraculous healing. Worship is done for God—because He deserves it—and for His pleasure alone. Worship can be public praise to God (Psalm 22:22, 35:18) in a congregational setting, where we can proclaim through prayer and praise our adoration and thankfulness to Him and what He has done for us. True worship is felt inwardly, and then comes out through our actions. "Going through the motions" out of obligation is displeasing to God and is done completely in vain. He can see through all the hypocrisy, and He hates it. He demonstrates this in Amos 5:21-24 as He talks about coming judgment. Another example is the story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. They both brought gift offerings to the Lord, but He was only pleased with Abel's. Cain brought the gift out of obligation; Abel brought his finest lambs from his flock. He brought out of faith and admiration for God.
True worship is not confined to what we do in church or open praise (although these things are both good and we are told in the Bible to do them). It is the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do. The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word. To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him (Acts 17:23). Worship is to glorify and exalt God—to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father.
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 23, 2010 at 12:34 PM||comments (0)|
Mr. Abraham Lincoln and the Bible
by Z. A. Mudge
A visitor in Washington once had an appointment to see Mr. Lincoln at five o'clock in the morning. The gentleman made a hasty toilet and presented himself at a quarter of five in the waiting-room of the President. He asked the usher if he could see Mr. Lincoln.
"No," he replied.
"But I have an engagement to meet him this morning," answered the visitor.
"At what hour?" asked the usher.
"At five o'clock."
"Well, sir, he will see you at five."
The visitor waited patiently, walking to and fro for a few minutes, when he heard a voice as if in grave conversation.
"Who is talking in the next room?" he asked.
"It is the President, sir," said the usher, who then explained that it was Mr. Lincoln's custom to spend every morning from four to five reading the Scriptures, and praying.
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on April 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM||comments (0)|
What is Prayer? – Talking With God
What is prayer? Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another.
To many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God. Here are some points about what prayer is:
What is Prayer? – The Logistics
Many people question what is prayer because they desire to pray, but don’t know how. Consider these tips:
What Do I Say?
Praying is like talking to your best friend! It’s easy to talk to someone when you know they love you unconditionally!
Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and make you new in Him! “Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins” (Acts 3:19).Tell Him your needs! “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).Thank Him, for He died on the cross at Calvary for us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
How Do I Say It?
Here’s how I have learned to approach the Savior of my life.With confidence and belief that He will deliver: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome” (Ephesians 3:12). “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” (Hebrews 4:16).With joy that He can deliver. “You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence” (Acts 2:28).With expectation that He is going to deliver. “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). “I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray” (Psalm 17:6).
What is Prayer? - What Does the Bible Say?
Pray for each other. Jesus set an example for us on what to pray. He prayed for His disciples and for every generation to come that would follow Him. His prayer was that God protect and strengthen them as long as they were in this world. Jesus also prayed for those who would come to believe in Him through the Gospel message (John 17).
Pray with faith. “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Pray with worship and reverence. “Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!” (Psalm 99:5). “‘Yes, Lord,’ the man said, ‘I believe!’ And he worshiped Jesus” (John 9:38).
You will know with confidence that God can hear you when you pray, so open that line of communication! Pray, knowing that no matter how far you roam, your connection with Him can never be lost!
“I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding” (Philippians 1:9).
|Posted by Jonathan Cornelius.J on March 18, 2010 at 8:14 AM||comments (0)|
EVANGELISM TO CHILDREN,IS IT A NEED ?
Results from the poll The Barna Research study , announced on 1999-NOV-12, shows that the vastmajority of those who are saved experience the conversion during childhood --before the age of 14. A person who is unsaved at the age of 14 only has a 10% chance of being "saved" later in life. The survey also showed that about 40% of all American adults consider themselves as having been saved during their lifetime. This number agrees with previous surveys.
Age range % who experience salvation within that age range
5 to 13 years 32%
14 to 18 years4%
over 19 years 6%
Should evangelism be concentrated on children? Barn Research concluded:
"The data also challenge the widely-held belief that the teenage years are prime years for evangelistic activity." Most church efforts to evangelize the unsaved is directed at adults -- an age group which is relatively resistant to the message. They concluded that more evangelical programs should be directed at childrenand youth.
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