Month: January 2015

It’s the principal of the matter

To most people, many things in life come down to the principle of the matter, and while that is fine and well, as long as the principle is a guideline worthy of imitation, to the Christian there are many things that come down to the principal of the matter – namely, doing what we do as a disciple because it is expected by the teacher who is Savior, Teacher and Lord.

So remember, a principle of Christianity may not make sense to the world but it’s because the world doesn’t understand the principal behind the matter (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.” (John 13:13)

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Bible Questions and Answers – Holy Spirit or the Word?

“Dear Editors: A preacher claimed that you people at GOSPEL MINUTES do not believe the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian separate and apart from the word of God. Please reply.

– S.G., PA”

If this preacher read our paper carefully, he would not have been so quick to point out what we believe, nor be as wrong in his conclusion. I don’t like that phrase, “Separate and apart from the word,” for it means different things to different people. How about this instead, “Do you believe that the Holy Spirit actually dwells in Christians?” I have no hesitancy in answering with a resounding, “Yes!”

Let me show you the problem with the phrase, “Separate and apart from the word.” If someone asked you, “Do you believe Christ saves people today, separate and apart from the word of God”, how would you answer? If you answer “Yes” that would be a denial of what God said in Romans 1:16, “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation.” But if you answer “No” that implies that Jesus Christ is not really involved in saving people today. That same basic problem is found with that phrase when used with regard to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian. The question comes, “How does the Holy Spirit dwell in Christians?” And the truth is I have yet to find the man who understands how his own spirit dwells in him! So, let’s forget the catchphrase and just look at the Bible.

I firmly believe the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian, for the Bible says so: “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him” (Acts 3:38-39). Compare that with Acts 5:32, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” Or, again: “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). These texts show that when people become Christians, God gives them the Holy Spirit. Now add Acts 2:41, “They then that received his word were baptized; and there added (unto them) in that day about three thousand souls.” Notice the order: Only those who believed and repented were baptized, and only those who were baptized received the Holy Spirit. They received the word, they were baptized, they then received the Holy Spirit. Thus, the reception of the word and reception of the Holy Spirit were two different things. (more…)

But who’s doing the counting?

Character counts – even the atheist proclaims such. But when it comes to the atheistic version of theological morality, minus God, I often find myself asking, “But who’s doing the counting?”

How can morality even be counted in a system of belief that has its roots in amorality? It’s an oxymoron from the get go. And it’s a pipe- dream with severe leaks! For a system based upon evolution must demand that evolution continue to happen through the avenue that “got us” to where we are as humans to begin with – survival of the fittest. But survival of the fittest isn’t a very positive moral guideline is it? I mean how can a wolf in sheep’s clothing ever be wrong if the wolf is only doing what he evolved to do? If nature does it then it must be right, right? Of course, unless nature is wrong. It’s fuzzy math to say the least!

Humanism says at the end of the day we’re animals but we’re not supposed to act like it. It says character counts but it refuses to add into the equation the fact that animals don’t care about character – and they care even less for math. EA

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The Holes Represent Security

A hand with a hole in it might normally represent a weak grasp, an absence of strength or a sign of inability when it comes to holding onto something – but not so when it comes to Jesus and a person’s salvation.Hand

The holes in Jesus’ hands represent security; security found in the only hands that finished the Father’s work; hands that are strong enough to hold onto the entire world without one soul slipping through.

But are we willing to hold onto the hand that can securely hold onto to ours? EA

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29

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If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted…

If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted, the attendance numbers for Sunday evening worship services would be higher.

If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted, whether their child is a toddler or a teenager, Christian parents would look at Bible classes the way they look at math, science and social studies.

If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted, the church wouldn’t have to beg for volunteers.

If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted, our neighbors would hear more invitations to come learn about Jesus.

If the majority of Christians were actually half-hearted, the average yearly contribution wouldn’t be less than half the percentage that Abraham gave.

I’m not saying that half-hearted is a good thing, I’m saying that half-hearted may be too much credit for the majority of Christians. You can accuse me of judging hearts if you like – I’m just looking at what’s coming out of all the treasuries. EA

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)