Articles (Page 2)

Articles (Page 2)

Are We the Witnesses in Acts 1:8?

In Acts, the use of the word “witnesses” relates to the Apostles themselves, who were “witnesses of his resurrection.” It doesn’t seem to be used of the normal believer throughout Acts. Acts 1:8 was a commission and a promise given to the Apostles only, which was fulfilled in their missionary journeys (Mk 16:15; Col 1:23). See it in that light: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in…

The Integrity of the Local Church

The following is a portion of a conference message presented to the Midwest Southern Baptist Founders Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 14, 2001 [revised 2022]. I have chosen chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians to help us consider the integrity of the New Testament Church. This is a short chapter with only 13 verses out of which I wish to uncover five observations. Before I read this passage let me tell you a story that took place in 1837. A protracted…

To Teach My Poor Mind

A man traversing an ancient stone bridge over a fast moving stream encountered a meditative old soul tossing sticks into the water and straining to see what she had done. She did not lift her head or shift the focus of her eyes from their downward gaze to even acknowledge his presence as he came close. There was nothing trivial about her motions or about the look in her fixated eyes. She anticipated no watchers. She intended no words. She…

Is Zeal Enough? Rethinking the Missionary Call

I’m baffled with the phenomenon that so many become missionaries with a dangerously low level of insight into Scripture coupled with extraordinary romantic zeal. A handful of verses guide them, about which most have little true understanding. Their experience of church life is limited and often built on poor models, even though their labors are to be all about planting churches, making leaders (even if they’ve never been leaders before), and setting churches in biblical order. And, sadly, they have…

Moses’ Speech Problem

Some of the most potent speeches ever heard by men were given by Moses. Consider his speech recalling the episodes in Israel’s history on the plains of Moab before his assistant Joshua would lead the Israelites over to the Promised Land. And his eloquence seen in the “songs of Moses” in Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32, and Psalm 90, is unparalleled. His song in Exodus 15 is sung in heaven (Revelation 15:3)! No Wordsworth, or Dickinson, Keats or Frost will be…

An Intimate Hour with God

The Lord invites us to know Him better. What a privilege! If the joy of heaven is in knowing the Lord’s presence without any sin to hinder us, surely seeking His presence now must be the greatest possible pursuit. Do you feel your need to pray? A person who has no need to pray cannot be living by faith. Prayerless-ness says, “I am sufficient in myself for everything required of me.” But is that so? And do you not grieve…

The Foibles and Fallibility of Christian Leaders

The inconsistencies, unattended weaknesses, eccentricities, normalizations of subtle sinful habits, relational neglectfulness or awkwardness, sometimes grating quirks, phases of tiredness and even laziness, and susceptibility to pride — just to begin the list — illustrate what kinds of things can be found in almost every Christian leader at one time or another. They should remind us that we are all treated mercifully by God and cannot claim that any leadership position or recognition is fully “deserved” but strategically assigned by…

Biblical Descriptions of an Ideal Father/Child Relationship

Benjamin Elliff has given us below a useful list of of Bible texts describing how the critical Father/child relationship is to be lived out. This could be a source for daily meditation, discussions with a spouse, mentoring men, training children, and small group interaction. Make good use of this list to improve relations between children and fathers, and to honor God who is the perfect Father. Biblical Descriptions of an Ideal Father/Child Relationship The Father’s Relationship to His Child 1.…

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…

Profitable Questions to Ask Missionaries and Their Helpers

We were very excited! All those we had developed and sent out for missions (plus one family about to leave) were going to be home at the same time. We knew it might never happen again. One family was back from Peru. Another young lady was just in from the Middle East. And one family, having served previously in South Africa, was headed there soon under our care. We just knew that we needed to get them (the adults) in…

The Cause Is Still As Dear

There are a some followers of Christ who laid it all down in the battlefield. Most of them are unknown. Not all had the same opportunities. But God knows who they are. Among them was my indefatigable grandfather, A. P. Elliff, who was still teaching the Bible until he died at 93. I want to be like him. Here is a short poem to call us to that kind of life. The Cause Is Still As DearJim Elliff The body…

The “Word of the Lord” Appearance to Jeremiah

Pay close attention to the phrase “the word of the Lord” in this encounter with Jeremiah: Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.”7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not…