Category Archives: Articles

James 1: 19-25 How Faith Works in Receiving the Word

Since the Scripture is so important to living out the Faith, we must know how to receive it properly and beneficially. James gives 3 staccato commands. 1) be quick to hear; 2) be slow to speak; 3) be slow to anger. Someone once observed that we have two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak. Our ears are always open while the mouth has two rows of teeth and two lips to keep it shut. It is the fool in Proverbs who does not listen but only vents his own opinions (17:27; 18:2; 29:11, 20).

1. Without anger (v.19-20)

We’ve got to listen to the Word and learn before speaking. The idea is to be teachable and receptive to the Word of truth that gave us life. But there are some things in the Word that are offensive, that we do not like. We must be slow to anger. Both quick-temperedness and talking when you should be listening are signs of immaturity and lacking wisdom (v.4-5). God uses trials to give us these, but we must be receiving the Word for those trials to be of benefit. It is not suffering itself that grows us, but suffering guided by the Word. Sometimes it’s the suffering that causes the anger. In either case, we must not be hot-heads (Proverbs 14:29; 15:18). The goal is righteousness, godliness, spiritual maturity. Man’s anger does not produce righteousness. It is not going to help us. To receive the Word so it is profitable to righteousness, we must be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

The Church’s Tolerance in an Intolerant World 4

Tolerance1.        The Church’s Relationship to the World

2.        The Characteristics of Tolerance

3.        The Changes in Tolerance

4.        Some history explaining how these changes in tolerance came about

4.1      The Pre-Modern period was before the Enlightenment (1700’s)

Faith and Reason were held together so that Scripture was understood to be revelation from God in words that have real meaning. We believe in the God who speaks and acts from outside the system into the system by His Word. Our reasoning is from the Scripture, not against it.

Raising the Next Generation 4

Child

We’ve seen God’s design for children, but what is His design for parenting our children? There are 4 key areas in which we must train our children. Here is the first of those.

Training the Conscience

Ephesians 6:4 speaks of the “discipline/training” and “instruction” of the Lord. Parents must train, discipline and instruct their children in the ways of the Lord. Along with teaching the mind, the child’s conscience must be trained. God has created every person with a conscience. Romans 2:14-15 says that even where God’s Law is not known, people have a sense of right and wrong. Your child has a conscience that will guide him when you are not there to direct him.

James 1: 13-18 How Faith Works in Resisting Temptation

1. By not blaming God (v.13)

Every trial has its temptations. In fact, the same Greek word is used for trials in v.2-12 as for temptations in v.13-15. When enduring trials, there are the temptations to not be steadfast, to doubt and to not follow God’s ways. Likewise, every temptation is a trial of our faith and obedience. James has made it clear that God tries us. Does it follow that He tempts us also? God is sovereign over all things, including my temptations, but God NEVER entices me to do evil. This is actually the point of Jesus’ instruction about prayer in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Temptations to sin are inherent in the trials God does lead us into so we are to pray for deliverance from the former while enduring the latter. Praying in this way helps me to “watch and pray that [I] may not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). If, however, I blame God for my temptations and believe that He is luring me into sin, I will not resist temptation. I will turn God’s sovereignty into an evil fatalism that blasphemes God and destroys me. Real faith doesn’t work that way.

The Church’s Tolerance in an Intolerant World 3

 

Tolerance 1. The church’s relationship to the world

2. The Characteristics of Tolerance

3. The Changes in Tolerance

3.1 Tolerance used to assume the categories of right/wrong and truth/error, and tolerant people would put up with those who differed from them. Now tolerance is used as a club that beats down those categories. Now we are told that there is no absolute, objective truth. Everything is a matter of relative opinion and cultural perspective. There is no right and wrong – no transcendent morality – just personal preference.

This results in the ultimate sin being telling a Muslim they are in error worshiping Allah or telling a homosexual, no matter how kindly, that his sexual lifestyle is wrong. “Well, that’s your opinion,” we are chastised, “and your opinion offends me so keep it to yourself.”

Raising the Next Generation 3

ChildWe must raise our children according to God’s design for children. Let’s consider 2 more aspects of that design.

Children Are Designed by God to Be Under Parental Authority
Parents are God’s appointed authorities in the lives of their children to do all of this. Parents represent and exercise God’s authority to their children (especially Fathers). The training and instruction is “of the Lord” – His design, His standards, His methods. Parents are responsible to God for raising their children in these ways (Ephesians 6:1-4).

Parenting is a stewardship entrusted to us by our children’s Creator. We must see our authority over them and our training of them as such and proceed confidently in faith. Our own obedience to God is behind our carrying out of His design for our children.

Did the Devil Make Me Do It?

Devil 1Ephesians 6:10-20

In Ephesians the Apostle Paul has been telling us about all the great blessings we have in Christ. We have the blessedness of salvation and strength; the blessedness of the New Covenant body of Christ; the blessedness of our high and holy calling seated with Christ in the heavenlies, freedom from sin, hope of harmony in our families and work places. We may think that all this means we will have nothing but joy and gladness in our lives. But Paul would have us know all this does not mean the end of our problems. But rather, because of all God has done for us and all he calls us to – this means war! There is an enemy out there who is literally hell-bent on hindering us and robbing us and defying and defaming our God. Living this glorious Christian life means participating in the glory of the battlefield; it is to fight and do battle in real spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is much misunderstood today. Satan is often given too much credit. But what is this battle about?