Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

The Elderly Mr. Phipp

James, the youth: Is affection necessary for true spirituality? I mean, can’t a man be Christian, yet cold as a stone emotionally? Mr. Brockton: Affection cannot be separated from true religion. James: But are we to strain to be affectionate toward God when it is not natural? Brockton: We are to strain to know God, and that is enough. Mr. Phipp will make my point for me. Hear his story: When the elderly Mr. Phipp lost his wife, he cried…

Silencing Deceiving Teachers

Polybius the historian was not fond of the people on the island of Crete. He stated that they loved money so much “that they are the only people in the world among whom no stigma attaches to any sort of gain whatever.” They were also liars. In fact, to “cretanize” was to deceive. Epimenides said, “The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!” This is quoted by Paul in Titus. Remember this when the people in your part of the…

Vain Salvation – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, A well-loved Christian conference speaker once posed this question to me after his message: “Is there any sin in trusting God?” Strange question, isn’t it? The answer has to be, “No.” I know that. You know that. The man who posed the question knew it also. He only wanted to emphasize that the best action all the time, regardless of the circumstance we might be in, is to trust God. But . . . is that what…

Pastors and Salary

It is very likely, despite the admonition to the Ephesians to support their pastors, that the New Testament church elders covered their needs principally through other means as they led house churches. Surely, as Paul appointed elders in nascent churches, he did not arrange a salary package along with the assignment. Only a few hundred years later, as church life was institutionalized, did churches with buildings and larger memberships have enough funds to give salaries to some of their pastors…

Upon the Gibbous Moon

Upon the Gibbous MoonJim Elliff Upon the gibbous moonThe ward was lighted, clean;Outside were dark and gloomAnd aggravated fiends. “Now he, the boy, is born,”They said in muffled tones,Their face in furtive scornAnd gurgling up their moans Sweet mother rests her head,With evanescent smiles;Awhile she lay in bed,Who birthed the precious child. The child was gently placedInto his mother’s arms,Though all the vicious racedTo plot the baby’s harm And then, first signs were found And ancient lines reviewedThe entry first…

Some Comments on the Wretched Man in Romans 7

Romans 7:13-25 is a difficult passage, but many concerns vanish when chapters 6 and 7 are analyzed together. Four questions are answered that arise in the Jewish mind related to grace and Law (Rom 5:20-21). This is in a section principally addressed to Jew-born believers, but not without benefits for the Gentile believer. Each of the questions are answered by “absolutely not!”. Here they are: 1. Are we to continue in sin that grace may increase? Absolutely not!….Paul uses the…

Always Present: A Letter From Jim

Always LordAlmighty Jim Elliff O God, my ever present helpIn floods of pain and trouble,You are my refuge and my strength,Though earth’s foundations crumble.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, in You I cannot fear,Though mountains fall around me,Though waters of adversityThat roar and foam surround me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord Almighty! O God, while kingdoms rage,My secret doubts may overtake me.But You are here; I will not fall;At break of day You’ll save me.Always present, Always helping,Always Lord…

Solomon’s Lust

Egypt’s Shishak “took away all the treasures of the house of the Lord,” and of the King’s house during Rehoboam’s reign, next in line after Solomon — an incredible take considering his father Solomon’s massive wealth. Add this to the fact that the ten tribes above Jerusalem split from Rehoboam when he took his position as king. By the time of Shishak’s theft, we have catapulted from the amazing wealth and expanse of Solomon, to a divided kingdom devoid of…

Walking to Death: Isaac and Jesus

How beautifully and intricately the Old Testament prefigures Christ. I read the following words concerning Abraham and Isaac walking to the mountain where Isaac was to be slain. Some, not all, believe this to be the same mount where the Temple was later to be built and close to the very place where Jesus was later crucified. “Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire…

Another Concerning Report About SBC Churches

If you were a pastor of a church of 80 members, with 23-24 people attending on average each Sunday, would you say the church is healthy (or 800 members with 230-240 attending)? If 4 or so of those 23-24 were not members, but children or guests, how would that affect your view of the health of the church? What if more than a third of those 23-24 didn’t attend any small group? I’ve just described the SBC churches (and some…

A Merciful Awakening, Please Lord

Though one can in some ways understand the desire to be inclusive (without expecting repentance) in the name of love as espoused in most mainline churches, it is a sad pattern that has emerged by that conviction —- the more inclusive they have become, the more they disintegrate. This pattern has been almost painful to watch, as literally millions have left these churches while they press on to disregard the true exclusivity of the gospel, that is, the good news…

Don’t Let God Rob You

The music was quietly playing before the offertory when my brother Tom stepped up solemnly to the podium and uttered these words: “Don’t let God rob you.” There was a pause. Clearly he was in a hard place. He had misspoken, but he wasn’t one who liked to admit such blunders at such moments in those days. He had said it very deliberately. I know, you would have said, “Whoops! I meant, ‘Don’t rob God.” Not Tom. His strengths were…