This is the first in a series of writings on an almost-forgotten Christian duty – and I am not talking about your duty to read, pray, study the word, evangelize, or congregate. After all, I believe that Christians today still attend church, despite much negligence about this matter, and that stupid virus fear that almost closed half of the world.
God’s world declares God’s glory. His Word declares His mercy and grace and judgment. And we would do well to listen to the heavens that declare His glory, and His Word that warns and guides us along the way.
Ephesians 1:3 marks the very beginning of a section of Scripture which is a reminder of Paul to the Ephesian believers of all that they are in Christ Jesus, and all the spiritual blessings that flow from from Him, which they possess even now as a result of the grace of God and the eternal plan that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit purposed before time began.
Many Christians admit to feeling that they are not growing in their faith. They are frequently given to old sins, and in reality, their life doesn’t look much different to that of their unbelieving counterparts. These five biblically prescribed practices, however, can and will change your life, by the grace of God.
The Bride of Christ is not declining. If anything, she is becoming more glorious. Christ is doing to her according to his unchanging and indefeatable purpose and presenting her to Himself unblemished without spot or wrinkle. This MegaMystery is not something created out of time and mortality. She and her Husband are eternal entities. She has ever existed in the Mind of the Almighty, having been brought into manifest light in the fullness of time. And because she always has been, she forever will be.
What can someone aspiring to missions be doing now to best prepare for cross-cultural kingdom work someday? This article will be a follow-up to the previous article on “What is a Missionary?” It has three application points for young people to consider before heading to the field. These are directed primarily at young people, but are also for pastors who have aspiring missionaries in their churches.
“How do we find a new Pastor?” Pastoral transitions are a delicate thing. As churches navigate these waters, the guiding principle should always be seeking God’s will and the spiritual well-being of the congregation.
It is significant that this book of blessed meditations, often set to music and sung, begins with a contrast between the two men who make up the whole of humanity. While there is an infinite variety in the human race, the contrasts set forth here are the only ones that matter in the end.
When we pour out our praises to God, we often think solely about our giving of worship to Him. However, there is a reflexive aspect of worship where our true self is under the microscope. As we magnify God, it also magnifies the condition of our soul.
The apostle Paul is greeting the saints in Ephesus in these first two verses reminding them that they are saints, redeemed by Christ. He speaks of their faithfulness in the short time they have been believers, and reminds them in his opening words of the grace and peace that they have with God, which is through the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross.
There is a principle of hermeneutics (the science of Scripture interpretation) that states the first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible, all its foundational principles are present. How valid this is in all cases we are not prepared to argue, but it seems to hold well in the subject of faith.
The effects of song and music, namely that of psalms and hymns, are mysterious to me, but they are not to God. This is why He Himself has given us inspired songs to sing, and it is why He has commanded that we should do so.
My challenge for interested or aspiring missionaries is to do here and now what you want to do then and there. Missionaries are essentially full-time church members who are given to evangelism, discipleship, and serving the body.