Christian Living

Sins That Check

One Saturday I was preparing reception food at a friend’s wedding. The pastor’s wife and I were rolling pieces of roast beef when one of the church leaders rushed into the kitchen to speak to her. “The Senior Saints are upset that the tables and chairs in their Sunday School class are missing.”

The pastor’s wife replied, “I know they get upset when we bother their room. Please tell them that we will be careful to put everything back the way we found it in time for church tomorrow. We really need those tables and chairs for the wedding reception.”

“I already told them that, but they still aren’t happy.”

I continued to roll the meat and thought to myself, The Senior Saints are really causing a lot of strife in this church. I wonder if they would ever be convicted about their cantankerous spirit regarding their Sunday school room.Although many of those men and women would have a strong conviction about other sins, such as immorality or drunkenness, they must think that certain sins of the heart and of the tongue are acceptable.

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Making Disciples (Part 1 of 2)

Note: This two-part article is a chapter from the book Teach As He Taught by Robert Delnay. Published by Moody Press in 1987, the chapter is reprinted by permission.

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
—Luke 14:33

The goal of our teaching is to make disciples. To make disciples we must make demands. A veteran missionary was explaining his success in planting several churches: “We have not been afraid to make demands on our converts.” Nor was Jesus.

The question we face is how many such demands we may rightly put upon our disciples. Many of us live with the desire not to put other people to any trouble, and if we want a lot done right, we prefer to do it ourselves. Why be obtrusive? Why be a bother? Is it not more Christlike to do favors than to ask for them, to give rather than to receive?

Well, not always.

Many have observed that Jesus did not do for people what they could do for themselves. He turned the water into wine, but others had to do the pouring. He healed the paralytic, but others had gone to the work of lowering him down into Jesus’ presence. The disciples prepared the Last Supper; only then did Jesus serve the food. He did wash their feet that night, but that was no exception when we consider what a powerful teaching device He made it.

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Shall We Cast Lots?

Pitfalls in the Pursuit of Biblical Patterns


In Scripture, casting lots is routine. Some might even say it’s the normal way to decide a difficult question.

The OT 1 contains 24 references to “cast lots,” “casting lots,” and “the lot fell.” Two of these are in Proverbs where lot-casting is highly recommended.

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Prov. 16:33).
Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart (Prov. 18:18).

In addition, the Urim and Thummim (probably a form of lot-casting) have a prominent place in Mosaic Law. All in all, the OT is very pro-lot.

The NT seems to be in favor of it as well. The practice is mentioned eight times, and one of those places refers to the selection of an apostle to replace Judas (Acts 1:26).

So if we have frequent favorable references to lot-casting across both Old and New Testaments, do we have a “biblical pattern”? Should we be casting lots in our churches rather than voting? After all, the Bible contains no direct command to vote on anything (some might argue that voting is the brainchild of humanistic philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his ilk).

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