Posts from June 2017

Posts from June 2017

What Does it Mean to Believe in Christ?

To believe in Christ is to whole-heartedly, with mind and life, buy into the supreme value and status of Christ along with the system of truth and way of life He represents. Trust, or faith in Him, who has alone done what is necessary for our forgiveness and complete salvation now and forever, is a main tenet of that system. If a person says he believes in Christ, yet does not demonstrate that he has bought in fully through his…

Seeking Assurance?

The “security of the believer” is the unchanging objective reality that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ forever. The “assurance of the believer” is the sometimes shifting subjective confidence that God has forgiven us and has accepted us through Jesus Christ. Do you have assurance? And do you have good reason to have it? Faith is assurance, true, yet the faith of real believers is sometimes weak allowing doubts for a variety of reasons. An…

Tolerance Trouble

The Corinthian church boasted about its tolerance of the incestuous man who was permitted to retain membership and acceptance within the Corinthian church. They were congratulating themselves for such open-mindedness when they should have been weeping. Their tolerance was beyond even what Roman law allowed. “We should note that under Roman law both this man and his stepmother would be sentenced to exile on an island, his possessions would be confiscated, and his social status would be repealed.” (Schnabel: Paul…

Missionary or Missionary Worker?

Missionaries must have other workers, long and short term, to assist. Many of these will naturally come from among those who show promise as converts through the missionary’s efforts. Paul, though perhaps exceptional in his management skills, had 38 whose names appear as likely assistants at various times. He was always traveling and laboring with a coterie of faithful helpers. There could have been even more! Some of Paul’s workers were women (18%, according to Schnabel, p. 251), although no…

He’ll Stand

The following words by Paul the Apostle make for tangible peace between sincerely conscientious Christians who differ in convictions: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). A true believer will ultimately stand justified before God, regardless of differences in those matters about which God has chosen to give no definitive command. In such areas we…

Law Confusion

It is an often repeated mistake for Bible readers to assume that “the works of the Law” means any good work or act of obedience to God. However, Paul appears to mean by this term in his first century context “the externalities of the Mosaic Law”. If someone said, “You have to be circumcised to be saved, and obey Old Covenant separation laws, feast days and dietary restrictions” he would be talking about what hopeful Gentile converts in the first…