Biblical truth standing on its spiritual head to get our eternal attention.
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    Our Lord came down from life to suffer death; the Bread came down, to hunger; the Way came down, on the way to weariness; the Fount came down, to thirst. —Augustine, Sermon 78
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    "It is refreshing to see the truth unfold from God's word about this most important subject."
  • 4 Reasons to be Baptized

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    If you consider yourself saved yet have never been immersed in water, why do you consider baptism so unimportant when: 1) it was done in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38); 2) it was the first question asked after a sermon on Jesus (Acts 8:35-36); 3) it was ordered to be done (Acts 10:48); 4) it was done immediately (Acts 16:33). Are these enough reasons to consider baptism more important than you do? If so let’s talk.

    Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Same, Methods Different

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That passage is used – misused – to prove anything the advocate wants. For example: 1) if God once provided man with miraculous ability then God always provides man with miraculous ability; 2) if God once approved of worshipping with instruments then God always approves of worshipping with instruments. To rightfully prove Hebews 13:8 refers to God’s character and not methods is simple: Did God once approve of sacrificing animals as part of a tabernacle? Yes. Did He change the tabernacle to a temple? Yes. Did He change the physical temple to a spiritual temple? Yes. Did He change from animal sacrifices to the sacrifice of His Son? Yes. God frequently changes methods. I don’t know too many humans made from clay or ribs today, do you?

    Isaiah 53 and Baptism

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    Would you be surprised if you talked about the best restaurant, someone would ask about their food? Can you discuss the NBA without it being somehow connected to basketball? If someone preaches about Jesus, should it lead to the hearer wanting to be baptized?
    That is exactly what happened when Phillip taught about Jesus beginning from Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26ffl). But why?
    1) Jesus himself was baptized (Matthew 3). 2) Jesus commanded baptism as a response to the gospel (Mark 16:15-16). 3) But most intriguingly, we see Isaiah 53 itself leading to baptism. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions and suffered death (Isaiah 53:5-9). Jesus was connected to the wicked and a rich man in his death and grave (Isaiah 53:9). And yet Jesus will see his seed (Isaiah 53:10), after his anguish he will see the light (Isaiah 53:11), plus receive an inheritance (Isaiah 53:12). That means he’s alive! That’s his death, burial, and resurrection all from Isaiah 53!
    What is a reenactment of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection that he both did and commanded? Baptism. That’s why preaching on Jesus, beginning from Isaiah 53, lead to the Ethiopian eunuch begging, “Look, there’s water. What prevents me from being baotized?” (Acts 8:36).
    If someone had a discussion about you, would they mention baptism?

    5 Reasons Some Modern Christians Would Not Want Jesus As a Preacher

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    5 Reasons Some Modern Christians Wouldn’t Want Jesus as a Preacher: 1) He preached hard lessons that drove people away (John 6); 2) He preached hard to understand lessons (Matthew 5-7); 3) He used illustrations that people did not understand (parables); 4) He brought in the wrong kind of sinners (Luke 15:1-2); 5) He specifically mentioned certain groups or people as wrong (Matthew 23). “He who has an ear to ear, let him hear” because we hearers have a responsibility to think while listening, apply personally, and take action.

    Psalm 30:9 – When A Loved One is Dying

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    When a loved one is at death’s door we pray. If we are honest, we pray “selfishly”. By that I don’t mean anything sinful, just that we don’t want to be without the person we love. We aren’t ready to lose them. We aren’t ready for the pain. We want them with us. Is there an alternative?
    Unselfishly we can pray for them, for our loved one be released from the suffering of their flesh, if they are God’s child. Maybe you have experienced the pain of that prayer; one that hesitantly is uttered.
    Again unselfishly we can focus on God. David wrote,
    “What gain is there in my death,
    if I go down to the Pit?
    Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your truth?” (Psalm 30:9)
    Praying our loved ones to live for God’s glory is the ultimate reason for life. Their life and ours.

    1 Corinthians 15:33 – Religious Peer Pressure

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    Everyone is affected by peer pressure, regardless of age. What peers, what pressure, and how we react is the difference between: 1) Doing Wrong; 2) Doing Right but Wrong; 3) Doing Right.
    1. Every teenager in a Bible class has heard, “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Paul is quoting a Greek poet, Meander. Paul is quoting him to warn adult Corinthians against false teachers. Every adult needs to heed Paul’s warning. Even religious peers can be dangerous!
    2. Selling your possessions to give to others? Very good! Selling your possessions because you want credit and glory from others? Very bad. The way Luke writes, he implies Ananias and Sapphira were influenced by Joseph (and others) whom the apostles called “the son of encouragement”, that is Barnabas (Acts 4:32-5:11). Did they want acknowledgement and a cool nickname? They did good but for the wrong reason which caused them to greedily lie about how much they sold their property for. I wonder if Paul thought of them when writing, “And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Pure religion (James 1:26-27) must be pure in heart.
    3) Our assembling together is not just about worshipping God. We are commanded to “not forsake” (Hebrews 10:25) so we can influence one another: “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). To provoke is “a provocation which literally jabs (cuts) someone so they “must” respond” (Bible Helps).
    We all will be influenced by religious peers. Let’s make sure our peers are good and so is our heart.

    Leviticus 10 – Intentions and Actions

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    This short article on intentions intends to make us aware that right actions and right intentions are both required to please God.
    1. Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10). One of the few narratives in the priestly book of rituals is Aaron’s sons offering “strange” or unauthorized fire. Why they did this is seemingly connected to the sequential commands against drinking (v.9). I infer these two young priests were drunk. In that sense their actions were unintentional yet still wrong. Often today people are drunk on ignorance as they – though humanly innocent – worship God in unauthorized ways.
    2. Uzzah (2 Samuel 6). While David’s priests were already lawbreakers by how they were transporting the ark via cows; it was not until he – humanly innocent -reached out to steady the Ark that God responded. God – oddly to us – struck him dead. One lesson for us is how often God shows grace. Everyone deserved to die yet God allowed all except one to live. Uzzah’s action was intentional – humanly good – but still wrong. For us sincerity is not enough.
    3. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Both husbands and wife were struck dead because they lied to the Holy Spirit. Even though there was good in the outcome because money was raised, their intentions were greed and attention seeking. Today we can argue about the ultimate good, even if intentions are innocent. Yet as we all know bad intentions can fuel – humanly good – great works and good outcomes.
    Two of these were about the First Great Command. The last about the Second Great Command. Let’s intend to worship God and help our neighbors with God’s intentions.

    The difference between martial arts and marital is where you place “I”.

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    Genesis 32-33 – How To Replace Bitterness

    Posted By on February 9, 2018

    When you think of Esau, what comes to mind? Maybe it is what the Hebrew writer said right before naming him as godless: “Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many” (Hebrews 12:15).
    Bitterness well describes Esau’s wanting to destroy his brother Jacob (Genesis 27:41). And yet, when he finally has an opportunity for revenge years later against his runaway brother, the bitterness has been displaced by forgiveness (Genesis 32-33).
    How? “I have enough, my brother,” Esau replied. “Keep what you have.” (Genesis 33:9). What Jacob had was the result of the stolen blessing. Instead of focusing on what he had lost, Esau focuses on his blessings. That’s how forgiveness replaces bitterness. Learn to forgive by being thankful on how has God blessed us!

    Hebrews 10:22 – Water, Purification, and God

    Posted By on January 27, 2018

    If water is a symbol of purity or purification, and it is time and again (John 1:23-25; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:22), then we must ask: 1) Did God create water and then think, “this is a good symbol”?; 2) or, Did God create water to be a good symbol? Which came first, the reality or the plan?
    Since God’s plans were made before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3), and God does nothing by accident since he is omniscient, we dare not think water as a symbol is unimportant or unnecessary.
    This does not mean we are saved by the symbol of water in baptism. It does mean God saves us using the symbol of water as he planned through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21). Has God purified you in water baptism by the blood of his Son?