Not only now during this pandemic but always it is helpful for the believer to know what the Bible says about our responsibility to obey the authorities. We read in Romans 13:1-4a, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are […]
Issues and Answers
In Part 1, we noticed God makes one New Covenant solely with Israel. Now let us consider four spiritual blessings the Church receives and relate them to God’s future enactment of the New Covenant with Israel. First, every believer in Christ has been born from above, imparted with a new nature in Christ. Born spiritually […]
Romans 9:4-5 lists the unique privileges that Israel enjoyed as a nation. Among these were the covenants. Therefore, the covenants “pertain” or belong to Israel, not the Church. Prophesying of the New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31 says, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of […]
Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would be a “light to the Gentiles” and bring “salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isa. 49:6). In the New Testament, Simeon having been promised by the Spirit that he would see the Messiah before his death, recognized that the Child Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy […]
Three biblical words are used in the New Testament to identify men overseeing the spiritual matters of the local church. Though each word describes the same role, they individually highlight specific features of their responsibility. The first word is “elder” (presbuteros), literally meaning an older man1, underlining his competence (Acts 14:23; 20:17; 1 Tim. 5:17; […]
In reply we must answer the following questions: who was given the Sabbath, what was its purpose, and is it necessary in the church age? The first mention of the Sabbath occurred in the wilderness when the Lord gave Israel manna from heaven (Ex. 16:23). He instructed them to gather daily and on the sixth […]
The word “propitiation” is not commonly used today but it typically referred to people propitiating or trying to appease their false gods1. However, in Scripture it means satisfying the penalty of God’s law through the holy Christ, so that now justice having been served, God can be propitious or favorable towards the believing sinner. Its […]
In part one,1 we looked at two key principles (Rom. 14:1-12) for dealing with inconsequential things,2 recognizing that believers may hold differing opinions on these non-essentials. A third principle exhorts mature Christians to recognize their responsibility for weaker believers (Rom. 14:13-17). The strong should clear the immature’s path, not stumble them (v. 13), they should […]
Throughout church history believers have asked, “should a Christian partake in this or that activity?” These questions concern gray areas, choices that believers make in their personal lives that Scripture does not call sin or specifically mention. In Romans 14 Paul compares a believer who was weak in the faith with one who was mature. […]
This Christmas we have contemplated again the eternal Son’s incarnation. But what did it mean for the transcendent One to draw near? In Philippians 2:7 we read that He “made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant.” The word translated “no reputation” literally means “to empty or abase.”1 In […]
Some quit because they were never saved (1 Jn. 2:19). However, when genuine believers depart, relational problems are often the root cause. Yet leaving one’s assembly should be the last option. If we must leave, it’s important to find another local church as soon as...
Since three nouns used for Christ’s coming can either refer to the rapture (His descent to the air for His church) or to the second coming (His return to earth with His church), the verse’s context is vital to our understanding. The first word is parousia (G3952) meaning “presence,” signifying both the Lord’s arrival and […]
From biblical times until the middle of the 19th century, believers were typically buried after death. It was not until 1876 that the first American crematory was built in Washington, Pennsylvania1 and 1901 that the first Canadian crematorium was built in Montreal, Quebec.2 Today believers’ opinions vary. Those that choose cremation often cite the high […]
The Day of the Lord is a phrase used in the Old Testament to describe God intervening in earthly affairs with judgment. For example, Babylon’s destruction of Egypt (Eze. 30:3) and Judah’s punishment for idolatry (Joel 1:15; Zeph. 1:7) are both referred to as the Day of the Lord. The Bible also prophesies a future […]
Fasting denotes abstaining from food for a period of time. The only time God commanded fasting was during the annual Day of Atonement when Israel was told to afflict their souls, neither eating nor working (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7). It was a time of solemn...
How do you reconcile the passage in James 2:14-26 with the clear scriptural teaching that we are saved by grace through faith alone?
While at first glance it may appear otherwise, this passage is actually a perfect complement to Paul’s teaching in Romans. Paul argued against those who thought the “works of the law” could save (Rom. 9:32) while James contended that a living faith should express itself through “works of faith.” Speaking of James and Paul, William […]