Tip for Getting Along

What you think of the Bible does not affect it – but it affects you. If it seems uninteresting that does not make it so – that has to do with what you think. If it seems too exacting, remember that it contains the only kind of standards God can give – perfect ones. It is your attitude that determines whether they help you to live a better life… or not. To get anything worthwhile from it you have to let it speak truth to you.

Wounds

There are 6 types of wounds a person can suffer.

Abrasive- the skin is scrapped off. This can result from carrying a rough object – like a rough wooden beam (John 19:17).

Contused- caused by a heavy blow (Mark 15:19, Luke 22:63).

Incised- produced by a sharp object, such as a piece of metal or bone (John 19:1).

Lacerated- the flesh is torn open, leaving jagged edges (John 19:1).

Penetrated- the flesh is pierced through, such as with a nail or like object (John 20:25).

Punctured- as with a spiked instrument (John 19:34).

Of these wounds, Jesus suffered ALL OF THEM.

Why? For you. “He was wounded for your transgressions (sins) – Isaiah 53:5

Is It Valid for The Christian To Fear God?

The Scriptures speak of the Christian being able to draw near to God with confidence. Based on the sound foundation of the Lord’s totally substantial sacrifice, the Christian can “have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 10:19). In his first letter, John says that the Christian can be confident before God “if our hearts to do condemn us” (Hebrews 3:21). And “if love is made complete in us so that, in this world, we are like him” we can be confident in the day of judgement (Hebrews 4:17). Note the conditionality of he confidence we may have. We may be confident if we are completely submissive to the grace of God, to obeying His commands and to loving as He loves.

It is true that “The Lord will judge His people” (Hebrews 10:30). It is true that “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). It is true that if a person “deliberately keeps on sinning after receiving the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). It is true that God is both “kind and stern,” exercising “sternness to those who fall” and “kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness” (Romans 11:22). [Note the condition]. Thus, heeding the warning “be on your guard so that you may not… fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:17) is critical.

It is the Christian’s personal responsibility “to present himself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed…” (2 Timothy 2:15). Reverence is the basis for the Christian’s behavior. Christians are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). God is to be worshipped “acceptably with reverence and awe” (because He is a “consuming fire”) (Hebrews 12:28-29). Thus, it is every Christian’s concern that he “always obey” and “continue to work out (his) salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

It is valid that the Christian practice fear of God. Not the kind of fear that compels an effort to hide from Him. Or the kind that separates from Him. But rather that which compels us to seek Him. That which seeks a disciplined walk in His way. A fear that so loves Him that we would not want to grieve Him, disappoint Him, nor wound His heart. That kind which keeps one from “crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace” (Hebrews 6:6).

Frank J. Daniels, pulpit minister and teacher

Making the Sick Well

Jesus showed interest in making sick people well. It was not the focus of His ministry. Nevertheless, several cases of His healing the afflicted are recorded in the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in giving accounts of His work, all mention cases of His making the sick well. For instance, when Jesus met a man with a shriveled hand in a synagogue, He told the man to stretch out his hand and the record says, “So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other” (Matthew 12:9-13). On another occasion, a lame man was “made well” (John 5:15). A woman drew power from Jesus to address her aliment and Jesus, commending her faith, said, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34). Careful to mind the Spirit’s authority, the apostle, Peter, healed a lame man (Acts 3:6-8). Later, defending himself, Peter said, “It is by the name of Jesus of Nazareth…. that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10).

In many of the cases where healing of the ill is mentioned, a word for ‘wholeness’ is used. Jesus and his apostles were interested in restoring folks to wholeness. The word hugies. The modern word hygiene is derived from it. Good, sound health was the result of the interventions Jesus exercised.

A form of this same word is use by the Lord to describe the nature or character of His teaching. For instance, in 1 Timothy 1:10, and Titus 1:9 and 2:1, the word hugiaino (sound, healthy) is used to qualify the doctrine of Christ. To be healthy a man must give heed to the doctrine of Christ. And it must be the doctrine of Christ for health to result. This is the word used in 2 Timothy 1:7 to tell us what it is God gives instead of and to displace “a spirit of timidity.” God gives “a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” self-discipline literally being, “soundness of mind.” It is also the word used in 1 Peter 4:7 where the Christian is urged to be clear “clear minded and self-controlled;” clear-minded being the translation of hugiaino. And the text relates why this is important. The Christian must be healthy in mind in order to pray because “the end is near.” The term is also used in 1 Timothy 3:6 where this warning is sounded by the Lord: “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.”

Jesus is interested in making sinners whole. Yet, wholeness depends upon attending to the correct material. The doctrine of Christ is healthy. It is given to make men whole. To deny the doctrine of Christ is to invite the visitation of ill-health. To change or modify the doctrine of Christ is like changing a prescription. The wrong chemical, or the incorrect dosage could maim, injure, or kill. At best, the wrong prescription will be ineffective in effecting a cure. Only the correct medicine, applied in the prescribed way, will restore health. The great Physician, Jesus, knows what ails us. He knows best what will achieve our health. So, why do men and women want to do other than what His word says? Sinners who are converted to saints are those who “agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching.” And saints who slop into sin are those who do not “agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus and to godly teaching.” For excellent health choose the correct prescription. Choose – and agree with – the doctrine of Christ.

Frank J. Daniels, pulpit teacher and preacher

Who is a Christian?

The term “Christian” is used very broadly today, but it was not always so.

The name Christian refers to a follower of Christ. It is only used three times in the New Testament: in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and  1 Peter 4:16. There is a similar thought expressed as “I am of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 1:12. In fact some translations fo the scriptures have this as “I belong to Christ.” Therefore, it is understood that the term Christian refers to a person who is a believer and a follower of Christ; not just one who believes in Him, but also one who follows Him.

Out of concern for the error of men following religious leaders, Paul was severe in his correction of such and error. People in the city of Corinth, who were Christians, had begun to set themselves up in camps of people who claimed loyalty to one or another of the men who preached the gospel about Jesus. Some said that they favored Paul, others said that they preferred Peter and still others said that Apollos was the man. So, Paul asked them “Was Paul crucified for you?” and “Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” In other words, he was saying you must only be loyal to the one who was crucified for you. And who was that? There was only one who did – Jesus [see Romans 5:8]. So, the only religious person who deserves to be followed is Jesus Christ.

Also note that Paul asked whether anyone had been baptized into the name of Paul. If that name was to be worn a person would have to believe that Paul had been crucified and raised from the dead and to have been baptized “in the name of,” or by the authority of, Paul. But Paul had not died for anyone’s sins and he had not been resurrected. [Neither had Peter or Apollos]. What is plain is that to wear the name of Christ one must have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Also, as He died and was raised again, the form of that baptism must be like that of a death, burial, and resurrection – see Romans 6:4. Only one form of baptism meets those requirements – immersion.

Also, Jesus said that is “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Thus, the whoever who is baptized must be old enough to believe for the person believing must be the same person being baptized. These rules out baby christening/baptism.

Are you a believer and follower of Jesus Christ?
Do you believe that Jesus is the Lord of the Universe and thus of your life?
Do you believe that Jesus died to save you?
Have you been baptized in such a way that you were immersed?