Articles

Articles

We Need the Spirit

We Need the Spirit The Holy Spirit “came upon” individual disciples in the New Testament, giving them great power most notably in the effectiveness of their speech. The Spirit also “filled” believers multiple times with the same effect. This is especially seen in the repeated experience of Peter in Acts. These are two ways of saying the same thing. We should think of “filled” as being overcome or dominated by the Spirit. Paul instructed the Ephesians like this: “Do not…

You Should Rejoice — and Israel Also

A first century Jew reading Isaiah 49:6 should have rejoiced in Gentiles being included in the restoration of Israel. So they should today, for it is among the greatest of the promises made to Israel. “He says [of the Messiah, called in Greek, the Christ], ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You A LIGHT TO…

Southern Baptists, an Unregenerate Denomination

“How are you doing?” “Pretty well, under the circumstances.” “What are the circumstances?” “Well, I have a very effective arm. It moves with quite a bit of animation. But then I have my bad leg.” “What’s wrong with it?” “I guess it’s paralyzed. At least it doesn’t do much except twitch once a week or so. But that’s nothing compared with the rest of me.” “What’s the problem? “From all appearances, the rest is dead. At least it stinks and…

Jesus Was Worshipped

Jesus was worshipped. “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” Jesus had walked on the water. I won’t go through that important story. Rather, I want you to weigh the response of his followers to that miracle. It was simply this: the disciples worshipped him. Worshipping Christ—perhaps you have not thought of the importance of this idea, repeated various times through Jesus’…

The Ten Plagues Memory Tool

The Ten Plagues One, water to bloodTwo, toads in mudThree, thriving gnatsFour, flies that splatFive, flocks that dropSix, sores that popSeven, stones and stormingEight, eaters swarmingNine, nighttime bumblingTen, tykes are tumbling Copyright Jim Elliff 2010

Starting Churches with No Money

I don’t want to presume that I know how you ought to start a church, but I’m increasingly less than satisfied with the kind of approach to church starting that takes loads of start-up money. Often U.S. church planters spend a year or two raising funds for the launch of their new church. Here are the reasons I think this is often (though not always) unwise. I don’t want to labor to prove my points, as if there is no…

Is Baptism a Requirement for Church Membership?

In our view, baptism and membership in a local church are inseparable, the former necessarily preceding the latter. While baptism is never explicitly said to be a prerequisite for church membership, the following biblical factors lead to that conclusion: Baptism is commanded of every believer.Baptism is an act of obedience, not only on the part of the individual Christian, but on the part of those who are commanded to baptize new disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Disciples who will not submit to…

Within These Joys

Within These JoysJim Elliff It is a time fresh joys have come around.Enwombed, our daughters loosed our newest kinAnd filled their homes and ours with gentle soundsOf gurgling, fussing, laughing, sure to winWorn hearts like ours to pleasures of their love And make the most enfolded of us bright.By their escape to light I think aboveThe greying path that walks us into night. Within these joys Christ’s older ones get eyes,For once entombed, to light we too shall rise! _____Sonnet,…

Say What You Love About God

May I suggest something of value for you to do that has great returns. It is so simple, yet profound and effective. We all can do it. Here it is: DESCRIBE SOMETHING YOU VALUE ABOUT GOD TO OTHERS. I mean by this to thoughtfully tell somebody what God is like. Portray as colorfully as possible a characteristic of the Father, Son, or Spirit that you value and think is worth being known. A believer who could learn to do this…

Dying with Debt

It is a sad proverb, but so true: “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Prov. 22:7). Tossing and turning through the night, the heavy borrower is a depressed soul. He dresses with striped prison clothes every morning and lugs his shackles to work—that job that offers so little hope for setting him free. He dreads the coming of the mail, and has few waking hours without remorse. Serious debtors crave freedom, but often, sadly, borrow even more in their desperate…

Christ’s Headship in the Church: The Neglected First Principle of Decision-making

I may seem naïve and overly simplistic when I say that Christ is the Head of the church and that this one fact, properly understood, will do more to clear up confusion over decision-making in the church than any other consideration. From this truth we are able to deduce that elders and members have one goal in decision-making—to find out what the Head of the church wills for His church. I don’t think most church leaders think this way. Starting…