O Magnum Mysterium, Part 1

Come, Let Us Adore Him

In The Nick of Time

by Kevin T. Bauder

All Christians at all times and in all places have one thing in common: we worship Jesus Christ. In His presence we feel compelled to bend the knee and bow the head. We cannot escape the feeling that He is worthy, not merely of esteem, respect, and admiration (as if He were simply the greatest of teachers and humanitarians), but rather of adoration, exaltation, and glorification. We worship Jesus Christ, and we long for the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).

When we worship Jesus, we are tacitly acknowledging that He is God. None but God is worthy of worship. Apostles refused worship (Acts 14:14-15). Angels rejected it (Rev. 22:8-9). Herod was struck down with worms for accepting worship rather than giving glory to God (Acts 12:22-23). God alone is worthy of worship. He alone merits adoration.

Yet Jesus Christ freely accepted worship. He received worship from the man born blind (John 9:38). He accepted the worship of the disciples who were in the ship when He walked on the water (Matt. 14:33). He welcomed adoration from Thomas, who cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28, KJV). The risen Lord Jesus offered no rebuke to the disciples when they clasped His feet and worshiped Him (Matt. 28:9). Read more about O Magnum Mysterium, Part 1

Two Weeks in the Promised Land

by Aaron Blumer

Several weeks ago, my wife and I toured Israel and Jordan for the first time. It was an experience we’ll never forget and one we’d love to repeat. It’s also an experience we’re eager to recommend to others. Every Bible-believing Christian should seriously consider visiting the Promised Land, and every church should consider sending its pastor(s) there. Here’s why.
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The Perfect Counselor

by Debi Pryde

The world has never known a greater preacher than Jesus! There is no other perfect example of teacher, pastor, friend, father, spouse, or brother. He who is called “Wonderful Counselor” is also the perfect pattern for counselors. Who but Jesus could ever set himself up as the highest model of knowledge, wisdom, compassion, patience, or love? Can anyone 753196_tagged_lamb.jpgconstruct or apply an illustration as masterfully as Jesus did? Is there a greater soul-winner we could look to for instruction or inspiration? Have any mastered the ability to aim questions directed at individuals so effectively and wisely as He?
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Are We Known for Calling Upon Yahweh?

By Todd Wood.

A while ago, a 70-year-old single man took me out to lunch at a fast-food joint. Innocent enough. Yet while I was hungrily munching on my thick Arb’y roast beef sandwich, loaded with special sauce, my friend point-blank asked me how much time I spend in prayer.
PrayerThe stabbing question caught me off guard. And before I knew it, excuses were running through my brain like wild coyotes. Does he realize how busy the ministry is? And think about this: how many church congregations pay an elder to pray for them?

I shamefully mumbled an answer in the direction of my friend’s intense gaze. “Presently, very little.”

I was no longer interested in my roast beef sandwich. In fact, I wanted to chuck it into the trash can. I felt jarred and off balance. I knew there are two activities a biblical elder ought to give his full strength to: study of the Word and prayer. And I knew that the ratio of my time spent researching and studying and discussing and debating and proclaiming the Scriptures in relation to intercessory prayer for brothers and sisters and unbelieving friends toward the exalting of Yahweh’s glory didn’t really equal out. Did I really think that my concentrated study, my biblical exposition, my organized and carefully prepared words would win the day of accomplishing the work of the Lord Almighty God?
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So Why Go to School?

In The Nick of Time
by Kevin T. Bauder

In a recent In the Nick of Time essay, I suggested that learning is not the only qualification for ministry. I argued that it is not even the most important qualification. The brightest student may fail in ministry if he lacks the skills that will enable him to bring his learning to bear upon the lives of people.

From these observations, some might infer that I think learning is unimportant for ministry. That, however, would be a false inference. To say that a thing is not the most important is not to say that it is unimportant. In fact, I believe that learning is an indispensable qualification for ministry.

Evidently the apostle Paul agreed. When he enumerated the qualifications of a bishop, he specified that the man must be skilled in teaching (1 Tim. 3:2). Skillful teaching does require more than learning, but it certainly does not require less. One must learn a thing before he can teach it.
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Four Ways Instrumentalists Can Raise the Bar

by Greg Howlett

Music is a lightning rod for controversy on SharperIron, and I am hopeful that this article will lead to some thoughtful discussion and introspection. However, I have challenged myself to write about music in a way that is relevant to the average fundamentalist church while avoiding the normal debates about CCM and stylistic preferences.
PianoAs a church musician, arranger, and recording artist, I have been involved in church music for almost 30 years and have ministered in hundreds of fundamentalist churches. That track record hardly qualifies me as an expert, but I do have some strong opinions about what I perceive to be some of the weaknesses in our music.

This article is largely directed toward church instrumentalists though there are many applications for anyone else serving in music ministries. Specifically, I want to address four ways I believe instrumentalists can improve the music in their churches.
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