Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 3

(Read Part 1 and Part 2.)

#8 - Jesus Rose from the Dead After Three Days

Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead, (Acts 10:40-41)

If we only focus on the Cross, without the resurrection, then we have a dead Savior—who isn’t a Savior at all. If we don’t have a risen Savior, we don’t have victory over Satan, a perfect mediator between us and God, forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption into God’s family, the promise of eternal inheritance, the promise of eternal life, the promise of His second coming or the promise of a new earth in a new creation. In short, we have nothing at all.

Jesus rose from the dead—it’s part of the gospel, and people need to know about this and the cross of Calvary! God raised Him from the dead. God showed Him openly and plainly to the people. Peter and the others even ate and drank with Him—what more simple and forceful proof could there even be for His real resurrection? He wasn’t a spirit, an apparition or a ghost—He was flesh and blood, come back to life from the dead! Read more about Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 3

Review - Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About the Location of Solomon's Temple

Many of us recognize Robert Cornuke as the man whom many believe discovered the real Mt. Sinai. He is also president of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute, and has been featured on major television networks including ABC, FOX, CNN, National Geographic, and the History Channel; he received his PhD from Louisiana Baptist University.

What I especially appreciate about the author is that he begins with complete confidence in the Scripture. If accepted tradition contradicts Scripture, Cornuke’s game is afoot.

Dr. Cornuke, in a few pages, argues convincingly that the Temple was built in the old City of David—as he documents the Bible avows—rather than atop what has been wrongly dubbed the “Temple Mount.”

Cornuke quotes a number of passages that equate Zion with both the Temple and the City of David. Since the “Temple Mount” sits outside the old City of David, Zion and the Temple Mount cannot be one and the same. Read more about Review - Temple: Amazing New Discoveries That Change Everything About the Location of Solomon's Temple

A “Hold Nothing Back” Approach to Ministry

A Rigorous Approach

In a previous article, I showed that every Christian is responsible to teach the Word of God. But God does not call every Christian to be a shepherding teacher (a pastor, Eph. 4:11), and not every Christian receives the spiritual gift of teaching (Rom. 12:7). Still, every Christian is responsible to teach (Heb. 5:12). Thus, every pastor is responsible to motivate and equip the members of the church he shepherds to teach the Word of God effectively (Eph. 4:12).

Paul deployed this strategy. He trained Timothy in both what to teach and how to teach those things to others (2 Tim. 2:2). So how did he do this? What method did he follow? He tells us that he held nothing back. He reveals this rigorous approach in Acts 20:20, when he told the church at Ephesus that he “kept back nothing that was profitable” from them. This rigorous approach reveals why the Ephesian church affected the outlying region so well (Acts 19:10). As Paul equipped them to do the work of the ministry, he held nothing back that enabled them to do this. Read more about A “Hold Nothing Back” Approach to Ministry

The Catechism of The Catholic Church - Key Points

Statue of Mary at Freiburg Münster, Germany

(Read the series so far.)

Among Roman Catholics, Vatican II, and thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), is interpreted across a spectrum from essential rejection to continuity with the past to rupture.

Essential rejection is the position of extremely traditional Catholics who remain in communion with the Pope but who continue to give or take the Mass in the wafer alone and who gravitate toward the Latin Mass. Their interpretation of CCC has the greatest continuity with pre-Vatican II statements and tends to minimize the discontinuity.

Continuity with the past is the mainstream interpretation of serious Catholics. “Serious” does not include politicos who claim Augustine supported abortion or who have purchased multiple annulments. Pope Benedict XVI, now emeritus, appears to me to be a very conservative proponent of the continuity view, and he is the mind behind the current universal Catechism. This view is represented by Catholic voices like the magazine First Things. Read more about The Catechism of The Catholic Church - Key Points

The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part3)

(Read Part 1 & Part 2)

The Spirit & Plurality in the Godhead

What is clear from the second verse of the Bible is that the Spirit of God was superintending the process of creation. The word for “was hovering” or “brooded” (merakhepet, 1:2) implies a determination to act. It strains credulity to think that the Spirit brooded over a glob of matter for billions of years before deciding to do something with it. There is no logic to starting the work of creation by bringing forth matter and then leaving it all in idle suspension. The making of the unformed earth was with the intention of forming it!

As we are but two verses into the Genesis account it would be premature to think that the “Spirit (ruah) of God” can be distinguished from “God” in the first verse. But already the verb “brooded” discloses personality. The “S” should therefore be capitalized. This is no inanimate breath. The same Holy Spirit who would come in to a person and regenerate them, making them “new creatures in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17), is the power behind the formation of the Cosmos. Read more about The Creation Narrative - Genesis 1 & 2 (Part3)

Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 2

(Read Part 1.)

5 - Jesus Did Good by Preaching the Gospel

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him., (Acts 10:38)

Some “churches,” some denominations, and many cultural “Christians” seem to think of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Salvation Army employee. His job is to do nice things to make disadvantaged people feel happy, and to foster a sense of well-being and happiness in the community. This is the social Gospel, popularized by the novel In His Steps. It’s a false Gospel, which doesn’t bring peace. Read more about Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 2

Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 1

In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter preached a gospel message to a Gentile named Cornelius, and to his household. Peter’s message was simple, to the point, and devastating in its bluntness and force. It’s a model of what evangelism looks like. If you want to know how to share the gospel, you need to read Peter’s message to Cornelius.

Peter did not care who He offended. He preached the truth and did not avoid hard sayings. Peter told Cornelius the plain, simple and powerful gospel. This Good News is becoming increasingly hard to find in America and the rest of the western world.

This raises the question—what should a local church spend it’s time and energy doing? Read more about Portrait of a God-Honoring Church, Part 1

A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 6)

(From Maranatha Baptist Seminary Journal; used by permission. This installment continues Part 5’s examination of the question of whether the Hebrews 6 warning is aimed at believers or unbelievers.)

Context determines? Compton argues that the wider context argues in favor of the view that those in Hebrews 6:4–5 are unsaved.1 The only parts of the context that Compton uses are those verses that follow 6:4–5.2 He makes three points. First, “fall away” in verse 6 means apostasy. Second, the judgment mentioned in verses 7–8 refers to eternal condemnation of the unsaved. Third, verse 9 can be paraphrased, “In spite of the fact we were talking about things that belonged, not to salvation, but to divine condemnation and judgment, nevertheless, we are confident that you are saved.”3 Read more about A Warning for True Believers Who Lack Faith (Part 6)