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31
Oct

Ephesians 5:19

It is possible to engage our LIPS in

29
Oct

Is God One or Three?

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#1 in a series

QUESTION:  “Is God absolutely alone?  Is He only one person?”

ANSWER:  Let’s  go to the Word of God for an answer:

God is ONE. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4; cf. Isa. 44:6; Mark 21:29; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; Jas. 2:19).  “The intent of these words was to give a clear statement of the truth of monotheism, that there is only one God.  Thus, it has also be translated ‘the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.’  …The same word is used in Genesis 2:24, where the husband and wife were said to be ‘one flesh.’1  Deuteronomy 4:35 serves as a good commentary on 6:4: “To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; THERE IS NONE OTHER BESIDES HIM”.

There is ONE Infinite Spirit Being—God, and yet within that one being there are THREE distinct persons. Note:

  • The Father is God—“Blessed by the GOD AND FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), but He is not the Son (1 John 4:14), nor is He the Holy Spirit (John 14:6).
  • The Son is God—“But to the SON He says: ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom’” (Heb. 1:8), but He is not the Father (2 John 3), nor is He the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).
  • The Spirit is God—“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to THE HOLY SPIRIT and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?  You have not lied to men but to GOD’” (Acts 5:3-4), but He is neither the Father (John 15:26), nor is He the Son (John 16:13-14).

These three distinct persons each share in, and partake of, THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE (cf. 2 Cor. 13:14). When the Bible tells us that “the LORD is one”, it’s referring to a numerical one, i.e., there is one God as opposed to many gods.  When the Bible tells us that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are/is God, it’s referring to a united one, i.e., they each share the attributes which deity alone possesses2 and are therefore referred to collectively as the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9 (KJV).  Study the following verses carefully:

  • “Then God (Hebrew—Elōhīm, is a plural pronoun) said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness… So God created man in His own image; in the image of God HE created him; male and female HE created them’” (Gen. 1:27a-28).  Note the plural pronouns “Us” and “Our” (x2) in verse 27, but then that observe the singular pronoun “He” (x2) is employed in the very next verse.
  • “Then the LORD GOD said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of US…’” (Gen. 3:22a).
  • “Also I heard the voice of THE LORD, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’” (Isa. 6:8).

We need to caution against a) blending the three divine personalities so strongly that we make absolutely no distinction between them, and/or b) over-emphasizing the individuality of the three and inadvertently creating a doctrine of Tritheism—or three Gods.

Other verses to consider and study include: Mat. 3:16-17, Mark 13:32; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Cor. 15:24.

1 John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, 207.
2 Examples:  eternality (Deut. 33:27), immutability (Mal. 3:6), holiness (Exo. 15:11), righteousness (32:4), omnipotence (Jer. 32:17), omnipresence (Psa. 139:7-10), omniscience (Psa. 147:5).
3 ALL CAPS emphasis in some text as well as verses of Scripture is mine—mb.
25
Oct

Psalm 19:1

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24
Oct

WHERE is Salvation? #5

River Jordan

THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT the following question please:

Is there ever a time—in all of the Bible—when God restricted salvation—to just ONE location?

Let’s explore this together with an open mind and open Bible (cf. Acts 17:11).

Please read the following chapter and then answer the questions listed below—2 Kings 5:

  • WHAT was physically wrong with Naaman? v. 1

 

  • HOW did Naaman find out about a possible cure for his ailment? vv. 2-4

 

  • WHAT two kings were involved in Naaman’s story? vv. 5-7

 

  • WHAT prophet heard about the king of Israel’s actions and Naaman’s illness? v. 8

 

  • WHERE did Naaman go to get instructions on to how to be cleansed? v. 9

 

  • WHERE exactly did Elisha tell Naaman to go in order to be cleansed, and WHAT exactly was Naaman to do when he got there? v. 10

 

  • HOW did Naaman feel when he heard Elisha’s directive? vv. 11-12

 

  • WHAT two other places did Naaman think were better than what Elisha had commanded? v. 12

 

  • WHO helped Naaman get a proper perspective about what he needed to do in order to be cleansed? v. 13

 

  • WHAT exactly did Naaman do in order to be cleansed? v. 14; cf. Acts 2:37; 16:30
    • WOULD Naaman have been cleansed if he had dipped in either the Abana or Pharpar rivers?
    • WOULD Naaman have been cleansed if he had dipped in the Jordan only six times?

 

  • WAS Naaman cleansed before or after he had dipped in the Jordan seven times, and HOW does the Bible describe his skin when he obeyed Elisha’s word? v. 14; cf. Psa. 51:7

 

  • Since God said (through Elisha) that Naaman’s cleansing (i.e., salvation) was found ONLY in dipping in the Jordan seven times, would it be arrogant or unloving say that our spiritual cleansing today can ONLY be received when a person obeys the gospel? 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18; Eph. 4:5; 1 Pet. 3:21

 

  • WHAT does the Lord do today with obedient believers who obey the gospel? Acts 2:47, 37-38
22
Oct

WHERE is Salvation? #4

sky-church

THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT the following question please.

Is there ever a time—in all of the Bible—when God confined salvation—to just one location?

Let’s explore this together with an open mind and open Bible (cf. Acts 17:11).

Please read the following passage and then answer the questions listed below—1 Timothy 3:14-15 (NKJV):

  • WAS Paul concerned about possibly being delayed in his trip to see Timothy in Ephesus? 14-15; cf. Jas. 4:15
  • WHAT three designations did Paul employ for the church? v. 15
  • WHAT kind of instructions did Paul give Timothy pertaining to the “house of God?” v. 15
  • IS the word “behave” a synonym for the word “conduct”?
  • WHAT do we mean when we say, “We OUGHT to do something?” WHAT does the word “ought” suggest?
  • IS the house of God an actual physical structure (i.e., a building), or is it people?  Acts 2:47; 5:11; 8:1, 3; 11:22; 13:1; 14:27
  • WHO is the head of the house/church of God?  Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18
  • DOES the word “house” or “household” of God equal “church” of the living God?
  • According to v. 15, WHAT is one of the primary purposes of the church?
  • HOW MANY churches did Jesus promise to build?  Mat. 16:18
  • Since Paul said the “HOUSE of God” is the same thing as the “CHURCH of the living God,” and since Jesus promised to build HIS (singular) church, HOW is it today that we have thousands of different churches/houses:
    • which wear different names,
    • which practice different (even opposing) forms of worship,
    • and which teach contradictory doctrines?
      • Is this what Jesus prayed and died for?  John 17:20-21
      • Is God the author of religious confusion?  1 Cor. 14:33

 

16
Oct

What Words are NOT Used for Elders or Their Authority?

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BEFORE WE CAN understand the authority of elders we must first examine what it is not.

The point of the following word list is to show that there are many Greek words in the New Testament that describe authoritarian leaders and none of these words are used for elders.

This is significant, and should lead the Bible students to recognize that kingdom authority is different.

  • Archon (Ruler) –  This Greek word can refer to a ruler, lord or prince.  Jesus used this word to refer to the rulers of the Gentiles (cf. Mat. 20:25).

 

  • Despotes (Master) – This is the Greek word from which we ge despot, which refers to a ruler with absolute power or authority.  In the New Testament, the word is used  with reference to the slave-master relationship (cf. 1 Tim. 6:1)

 

  • Dynamis (Power) – This is a word which means power, might or force (the English word dynamite comes from this Greek word).  Power is attributed to God (Rom. 1:16), the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13, 19), and Jesus (Rom. 1:4), but not to elders.

 

  • Dynastes (Ruler) – A ruler or court official was often called a dynastes in Greek.  It is used to describe the position of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:27) and other officials (Luke 1:52).

 

  • Exousia (Authority) – This word refers to the power of authority.  Jesus was often asked by what authority he did things (Mat. 21:23).  It is used of the power of rulers and officials and the power of office (Luke 19:17).

 

  • Hyperoche (Superiority) – This word may refer to a superior person or one who holds a superior position.  It often refers to a high position of authority (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

 

  • Katakurieuo (Domineer) – This verb means to exercise authority over another person.  Leaders in the Lord’s church are forbidden to do this (Mat. 20:25-26).

 

From Elders & Deacons – A Biblical Study of Church Leadership by J.B. Myers, edited for space–mb, 134-135.

15
Oct

WHERE is Salvation? #3

cotton_rope_bright_red.800THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT the following question please.

Is there ever a time—in all of the Bible—when God confined salvation—to just ONE location?

Let’s explore this together with an open mind and open Bible (cf. Acts 17:11).

Please read the following chapters and then answer the questions listed below—Joshua 2, 6-7:

  • WHAT did Rahab the harlot say that knew the LORD was going to do to Jericho? 2:9-11

 

  • WHAT request did Rahab make of the two spies she had hidden on the roof? 2:12-13

 

  • WHAT did Rahab have to do in order to assure the salvation of her family? 2:17-18

 

  • WHAT would happen if Rahab and any of her family left the safety of her house? 2:19-21

 

  • WHAT had to be hung in the window of her house to assure the salvation of Rahab and her household? 2:18, 21

 

  • WHO won the battle of Jericho? 6:2; 7:17, 22-23, 25

 

  • WHO exactly was spared in the attack upon Jericho? 7:17, 21

 

  • WHAT IF a member of Rahab’s family had watched her as she hung the scarlet cord in the window and asked, “Rahab, do you think we are the only ones who are going to be saved (or spared) in Jericho?” WHAT would/could Rahab have said?

 

 

  • WOULD it have been arrogant for Rahab to tell her family member that salvation was confined to just one place (i.e., inside her house where the scarlet cord had been tied)? Would it have been wrong or unloving for Rahab to say that “salvation was found only in this this house?”  (Explain your answer).

 

 

  • If it had been neither arrogant, wrong, nor unloving, for Rahab to tell a loved one that salvation was confined to just one place (i.e., the house), would it be arrogant, wrong, or unloving for a Christian to say that “God tells us through His Word that salvation is found only in one place (i.e., the church) today? 1 Tim. 3:15; Mat. 16:13-18; Acts 2:47; 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; Col. 1:18
9
Oct

We Men, Ain’t We?

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IN A TIME of crumbling traditions and values, in a day of dangerous streets and collapsing homes, people long for stability and hope.

They need to catch a glimpse of the powerful High Kings who loves them.  And the King wants His knight-companions at His side.

In the movie Glory, one scene portrays a Union regiment of freed slaves, the 54th Massachusetts, sitting around a campfire on the night before the big battle.

The fire crackles, the cicadas chirp, and several of the men hum a spiritual in union as they clean their rifles.  They know that on the morrow their lives will be on the line, and they must seize the day.

One soldier looks up from the fire at his fellows, willing them to give him eye contact.

He says, “We men, ain’t we?”

That says it all, doesn’t it?

We’re men.

Men.

We’ll face the danger.

We’ll take the risks.

We’ll absorb the pain.

We’ll square our shoulders and–for the sake of heaven–we’ll look death and hell square in the eyes.

And it will be this generation that gets it done.

You and me.

To paraphrase Churchill, when masculinity has endured a thousand more years, may they say that this day was among its finest hours.

Listen to the apostle’s battle cry: “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.  Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

Stu Weber, All The King’s Men, “Rusty Knights in a Hostile Land,” 52

8
Oct

WHERE is Salvation? #2

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THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT the following question please.

Is there ever a time—in all of the Bible—when God confined salvation—to just ONE location?

Let’s explore this together with an open mind and open Bible (cf. Acts 17:11).

Please read the following chapter and then answer the questions listed below—Exodus 12:

  • WHAT was God going to do to the land of Egypt? v. 12

 

  • WHERE exactly were the children of Israel to be on the night of the first Passover? v. 22

 

  • HOW were the children of Israel to prepare for the Passover? vv. 3-11

 

  • WHERE exactly was salvation found on this first Passover? vv. 22-23

 

  • WHAT would happen to anyone who left their house on the night of the first Passover? vv. 22

 

  • WHO died/perished on the night of the first Passover? vv. 29-30

 

  • WHAT did God do when He saw the lamb’s blood on the door posts and lintel of each house? vv. 11, 13, 23

 

  • WHAT IF an Egyptian had watched Moses and the Israelites as they placed lamb’s blood on their door posts and lintels and this individual asked, “Moses, do you think you and the rest of the Israelites are the only ones who are going to be saved (or spared) in Egypt tonight?” WHAT would/could Moses have said?

 

  • WOULD it have been arrogant for Moses to tell the Egyptian that salvation was confined to just one place (i.e., inside the house)? Would it have been wrong or unloving for Moses to tell the Egyptian that “God told me that salvation was found only in the house?”  (Explain your answer).

 

  • If it was neither arrogant, wrong, nor unloving, for Moses to tell an Egyptian that salvation was confined to just one place (i.e., the house) back at the first Passover, would it be arrogant, wrong, or unloving for a Christian to say that “God tells us through His Word that salvation is found only in one place (i.e., the church) today? 1 Tim. 3:15; Mat. 16:13-18; Acts 2:47; 20:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; Col. 1:18
4
Oct

Isaiah 5:20

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