Our Lord's Teachings About Money

(About this series)

CHAPTER V - OUR LORD’S TEACHINGS ABOUT MONEY

BY ARTHUR T. PIERSON

Our Lord’s teachings as to money gifts, if obeyed, would forever banish all limitations on church work and all concern about supplies. These teachings are radical and revolutionary. So far are they from practical acceptance that, although perfectly explicit, they seem more like a dead language that has passed out of use than like a living tongue that millions know and speak. Yet, when these principles and precepts of our Lord on giving are collated and compared, they are found to contain the materials of a complete ethical system on the subject of money, its true nature, value, relation and use. Should these sublime and unique teachings be translated into living, the effect not only upon benevolent work, but upon our whole spiritual character, would be incalculable. Brevity compels us to be content with a simple outline of this body of teaching, scattered through the four Gospel narratives, but gathered up and methodically presented by Paul in that exhaustive discussion of Christian giving in 2 Cor. 8 and 9. Read more about Our Lord's Teachings About Money

The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 8)

Read the series so far.

A Thematic Account

The second chapter of Genesis is clearly somewhat different than the first. But it was not intended to be another variant account of it. It follows up on the second half of Day Six and the creation of humanity, and throws theological light on it. It is not as concerned with chronology as the previous chapter. So Genesis 2 is not, as the more liberal scholars think, another creation story. It is a thematic zeroing in on the creation of Adam and Eve.

It is possible that the making of trees in the Garden occurred separately from Day Three, and was witnessed by Adam. But such speculation need not detain us. I am happy to follow Sailhamer, who comments, Read more about The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part 8)

Thoughts On Eternal Security

From Faith Pulpit, Spring 2016. Used by permission.

It has been twenty-four years since the topic of eternal security was last addressed in the Faith Pulpit. In the February 1992 issue Dr. Myron Houghton presented the four major views on security and then explained how Romans 8:28–30 supports eternal security. In this issue Dr. Alan Cole, professor of Bible and theology at Faith Baptist Bible College, extends the discussion by presenting additional evidence to support the view that genuine believers cannot lose their salvation.

I appreciate the article Dr. Myron Houghton wrote in 1992 about eternal security, and I completely agree with his position. The article provides valuable help to Christians regarding this important issue. Since Dr. Houghton’s article examined Romans 8:28–30, I want to explore several other passages that support eternal security. Read more about Thoughts On Eternal Security

Carnal Christians? Part 2

From In the Nick of Time, Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Read the series.

Believers struggle with sin. But disagreement arises over how this ongoing conflict ought to be engaged. Some have suggested that classifying Christians into “spiritual” and “carnal” categories helps to explain the battle so that steps can be taken to secure victory over sin. Responding to a two-part essay on the “carnal Christian” by Charles Hauser, I proposed an alternative position. I first sought to provide some historical context as a foundation for the theological and exegetical issues that will be addressed in this essay.

John Wesley was the first to teach the concept of two categories of Christians: the saved and the sanctified. Once this second blessing theology took root in many evangelical circles, the revivalist preachers and holiness teachers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries embraced and trumpeted it. Out of this ferment arose the need to provide biblical support for the carnal Christian teaching. The one passage used by all who accept the two-categories-of-Christians view is 1 Corinthians 2:14–3:3 (Ernest Reisinger, What Should We Think of The Carnal Christian?, 8). For this reason, I offer an interpretation of this passage followed by a survey of several other references which argue against the two categories doctrine and which support the assertion that all believers will bear spiritual fruit. Read more about Carnal Christians? Part 2

Self-Defense and the Christian, Part 2

From Baptist Bulletin, March/April 2016, used by permission. All rights reserved. Read Part 1.

New Testament texts

Luke 22:35, 36, and 38 are the only direct New Testament statements about self-defense. Jesus had previously sent His followers on various missions with instructions regarding what provisions and equipment they were allowed to take with them. In sending out the Twelve, He permitted no staff, bag, bread, money, or extra shirt (Luke 9:3). When He sent out the Seventy, He disallowed purse, bag, and sandals (Luke 10:4). These were not, however, intended as permanent, normative commands for all believers for all time. That is clear since Jesus contrasts these earlier restrictions with what would be necessary after the Crucifixion.

In Luke 22:35, 36, and 38 Jesus explicitly commands His followers to take the sort of provisions they were previously asked to leave at home: “He who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack” (v. 36a). But now a new item is added to the list. They are told to buy a sword (machaira), even if they have to sell their cloak to do so (v. 36b). This was not a butter knife for their bread or a paring knife for peeling apples. The machaira was, as BDAG (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament) defines it, “a relatively short sword or other instrument, sword, dagger,” which is most commonly referenced in the New Testament as an instrument for killing (e.g., Mark 14:43; Luke 21:24; Acts 12:2; 16:27; Heb. 11:37; Rev. 13:10). Read more about Self-Defense and the Christian, Part 2

Self-Defense and the Christian, Part 1

From Baptist Bulletin, March/April 2016, used by permission. All rights reserved.

A foreign nation launches an unprovoked military attack on another country for the purpose of gaining control of valuable natural resources or to gain control of a strategic military position. This is not the threat of such an attack, but an actual invasion in which force is being used and people are being killed. Do the people of the nation under attack have the right to defend themselves with military force even if that means many of the invaders will be killed? May Christians serve in the military and participate in such deadly force?

What if the Christian is a civilian? In which of the following situations, if any, would you consider it acceptable or appropriate for a Christian to exercise lethal force or to condone such force by a fellow Christian? Read more about Self-Defense and the Christian, Part 1

The Synagogue & the Word

The Capernaum Synagogue

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2015. Used by permission.

A former graduate professor of mine made a passing statement once that grabbed my attention. He referred to two types of worship: the temple model and the synagogue model. The temple emphasized ritual and the synagogue emphasized the Word. In this companion article I want to focus on three physical aspects of the synagogue that relate to the Word of God— the ark, the platform, and Moses’ Seat. 

The pictures below help illustrate these three physical features. The first image shows two arks, or special containers for the scrolls of Scripture, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem today. On Mondays and Thursdays young men have their bar mitzvah celebrations at the Western Wall. These arks are here in preparation for their reading from the scrolls at this turning point in their lives.  Read more about The Synagogue & the Word

The Tour of a Lifetime

From Faith Pulpit, Winter 2015. Used by permission.

It’s like coming to a place you have never lived and having the sense you are home. Sometimes it’s referred to as the “Fifth Gospel.” Others say it’s worth a year of Bible college. Sometimes you hear someone say, “I have taken a lot of trips in my life, but none equals this one.” What do all these statements have in common? They all refer to a tour of Israel. In this article Dr. Ernie Schmidt, former dean of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, former interim FBBC&TS president, and a veteran guide in Israel, shares why believers should consider taking a Holy Land tour. In the second article Dr. Schmidt illustrates how a tour of Israel helps us have a clearer understanding of Luke 4:16–30.

The heart of an Israel tour is to observe the topography, geography, and culture which provide unparalleled insight into the Bible. When we are there, we do not use PowerPoint slides; we simply point and say, “That is where it took place.” Such “hands- and eyes-on” experience takes your knowledge of the Bible to a whole new level in just a few days. Every day seems like a Sunday worship service as we go from site to site and learn new truths about the Bible. Here are some reasons for investing in a study tour of Israel. Read more about The Tour of a Lifetime