Ever notice that Christians have these fancy terms that few if any other people use? And some of the words may have a different meaning in scripture than how the average Joe would use it (like faith). Some of these terms are critical to the gospel message. I tried to make sense of it all and I hope I can explain in a way that is easy for all of us to understand. As I studied these, it was quite interesting to see how these words are used in the Greek and throughout the scriptures. I don’t know Greek, but googling the Strong’s definitions of the Greek/Hebrew terms and looking at the context in the Bible has helped quite a bit. We will discuss some of these terms in the next few posts. Let’s begin with the scripture that is the heart of the gospel message and incorporates most of these terms. I hope you read on and that God blesses you and gives you and me more insight. Continue reading “What’s that mean?”
Sorry for no posts for a while, but I was on a mission trip in Haiti and we had no internet. What a blessing! One of the things we did was lay the foundation for a new church building. While I was out there pouring cement, a five gallon bucket at a time, so many parallels came to mind about laying a foundation for the church, on stony ground, with thorn bushes here and there, the hot sun beating on us, but God is in control and Christ is our true foundation, the chief cornerstone. The church service we had was wonderful, 41 people and 25 of them children. Although it was in Creole, we had one universal language and that was our love and faith in Jesus Christ. The people here were very passionate in their worship and with things like voodoo in this land, their faith (as well as spiritual battles) is very real. Continue reading “What is Your Foundation?”
As we go through our series on “I am Saved…Now what to do?”, we will discuss the importance of being involved in your local church. Probably one of the first things to do after you accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life is to find a good church, one that teaches the Bible with no compromise, one that disciples new believers, one who has a community of believers to help each other grow and encourage one another, one who is a praying church. Check out their mission statement, tenets of faith and what they offer. I am a strong believer in small groups. This is where people really get to know each other as they study God’s word. I also am a strong believer that everyone has a ministry that God has appointed them to do. We all need to be an active member of our church, participating in Bible studies, small groups, Sunday school, and ministries. Seek what the Lord has called you to do. Help where help is needed. That is a good way to discover your gifts and your calling. Don’t wait for it to come to you…but also know when to say no. God will lead you. Too many people come to Sunday services and think that is enough. I call them “pew-sitters.” Getting fed through the music and sermons is great, but there is more to it than that. How do you help to “feed” others? I believe this is what God meant when He says, “I know the plans that I have for you…to give you a future and a hope.” (See Jeremiah 29:11) Continue reading “Don’t Be a “Pew-sitter””
We are saved by grace. Not by works. Does that mean once we are saved we don’t need to do anything? As Paul would say, “Certainly Not!” I think there is a reason that God doesn’t just take us up to heaven the moment we are saved. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but we are also guided by Him to do good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Without Christ, we can do nothing. With Him, we can endure all things and we can “bear fruit.” Bearing fruit means living according to God’s will, doing good works according to His purpose, having strength in our weakness, ministering to others, lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ, letting our light shine so that others can see Christ in us.
We as a church body and members of the body have many responsibilities, I think. One thing we are lacking is discipling new believers. I think many new-born Christians ask the question, “now that I am saved, what do I do next?” Hopefully we don’t stop at just showing people how to be saved, but show them how to grow as a believer. I have previously written posts about what it means to be saved and what it means to pick up our cross. I think that is a good place to start. The last post was about being a part of a church and why go to church? This is where we can fellowship with others and learn how to grow. As we read God’s word, pray daily and seek godly advice from others, we can become more mature followers of Christ. Continue reading “I am Saved…Now what to do?”
This is the second part of scriptures on eternal security. Are we forever saved once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior? Or can we lose our salvation? What do you think? More on that in the future. Before reading, please be sure to read through my previous post in Part 1. When you finish and think about it. please comment. I hope to get a good discussion. I have friends who believe one of each of the arguments, some who may not believe in either. I hope as you search the scriptures and pary to God, that you will have clarity. Whatever the case may be, may you be blessed and may the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. Continue reading “What is our Assurance? Part 2”