Bible

What can you say about…Lydia?

Only five verses contain everything there is to say about Lydia, and they tell us so much about her:

and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. … So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.” (Acts 16:12-15, 40)

She was:

  • from Thyatira (a Greek city)
  • a hardworking and industrious merchant (her name happens to literally mean, “travail”) in Philippi (a major polytheistic Greek city)
  • a religious worshiper of the one true God (although not yet a Christian)
  • desirous of the truth and tender-hearted to God’s word
  • influential to her family
  • a baptized believer
  • devoted, hospitable and brave

Lydia stood out amongst those in her culture in the past as any woman of God stands out from her culture today. She was in the world, but not of the world, and it only takes five verses to see that Heaven was in her heart.

What about us? EA

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

What can you say about…Matthias?

Everything that can biblically be said about Matthias is basically found in Acts 1:20-26, that being:

  • Matthias had a great interest in spiritual matters, since, although not mentioned by name, he was present all throughout the various situations we read about in the gospels, and if not anything else, that alone shows great dedication.
  • Along with the other apostles, Matthias was also a man of great faith in God and in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.
  • Additionally, Matthias’ life was greatly affected by prophesy when he filled the vacancy created by Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
  • And finally, Matthias (as “God’s gift” – the literal meaning of his name), as an apostle, had a sincere interest in the spiritual lives of others.

These few words don’t add up to a lot of space on a page, but they say a lot! EA

He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:10-12)

What can you say about…Jochebed?

What can you say about Jochebed?

Well, the woman mentioned twice by name in the scriptures (Exodus 6:20, Numbers 26:59) was born in Egypt and bore three children, who grew up to become some spiritually heavy-hitters as well. She made tough choices, she knew the providence of God and her faith must have been a topic mentioned at her funeral (Exodus 2:1-9, Hebrews 11:23).

This is why Jochebed stands as an example to every woman who knows the value of fearing God despite the feelings of the culture that surrounds her. EA

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

Related Article:

What can you say about…Jabez?

What can you say about, Jabez? Well, there’s the place (1 Chronicles 2:55), and then there’s the person (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)…the person is a lot more interesting despite the fact we’re told very little about him biblically speaking.

But in light of what we’re told, here are a couple of things you could say about him: One, something about him reminded his mother of great sorrow. Maybe his birth was costly, physically speaking. Maybe it was a family situation. Regardless of the cause, the name of sorrow (the literal meaning of Jabez) was given at his birth, but it would be a name that he would outgrow because the second thing we can say about Jabez is that he became a faithful, a praying, a blessed and a protected man of a God.

We can’t honestly say much else, but what we can say is worth being listened to. EA

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)

Blaring Bible Ignorance

Ever noticed anything unusual about the typical image of the Devil drawn by artists during the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Let me give you a small clue – the snake has no legs!

Why’s that an issue? Because his legs were “kicked out from under him” in God’s judgment after the sin had taken place, not before.

Now if the average person misses something so obvious right from the beginning, what else do you think escapes our attention?

That’s why proper Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15) helps to keep the apples with the apples and the oranges with the oranges when it comes to biblical knowledge. EA

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”” (Genesis 3:14-15)

 

You Don’t Need the Book of Mormon to Know the Truth of God

If asked why it took approximately 1,800 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the book of Mormon to be revealed the Mormons will respond by saying that the world was not ready for the truth. But is that true? Was the world living without the truth, the whole truth of God’s revealed word until the “hidden” books that make up the book of Mormon were revealed in 1827? Contrary to what the Mormon Church teaches, the answer is a resounding no!

The Bible itself testifies that the entirety of God’s truth for all of mankind was going to be revealed, and that in fact it had been entirely revealed, proclaimed and received before the end of the first century A.D.

And how can we be sure that this happened? Because Jesus told his apostles that “…when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth….” (John 16:13) and this is why:

  • Jude, in the first century, told his readers to contend earnestly for the faith which had been once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)
  • Peter, in the first century, told his readers that God had provided all things that were necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
  • James, in the first century, told his readers that they had been born again by the word of truth (James 1:18)
  • John, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth, were filled with truth and were walking in the truth (2 John 1-4)
  • Paul, in the first century, told his readers that they knew the truth of God’s grace and word through the gospel which had been preached to all under heaven (Colossians 1:5-6, 23-28)

Jesus kept his promise, and the Holy Spirit fulfilled his mission by the end of the first century as the testimony of God’s true apostles and prophets testify within the Bible’s pages which were recorded and preserved by the providence of God many centuries before some supposed “angel surrounded by light” ever uttered a word (see Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
The book of Mormon is not needed to know the truth of God because the truth of God is not found in the book of Mormon, for the truth of God’s true kingdom is only found in one testament – and that’s the books which make up the New Testament of Jesus Christ in the Bible, a testament that has no need for any “other” testament, hat’s down!

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

Do we have a direct line to the Divine when it comes to morality?

Hillary Clinton, in a recent interview about the evolution of her view on homosexual marriage with Terry Gross, host of NPR’s “Fresh Air”,  said:

One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything,

Well one of my big problems with that is when it comes to homosexual marriage and its morality we do have a direct line to the divine – it’s called the word of God (a.k.a. the Bible).

As surely as the word of God reveals his righteousness (Romans 1:16-17) it also reveals the sin that violates it (1 John 5:17). And as surely as the word of God contains the answer to sin (1 John 2:1) it also contains the sins that create the need for an answer (Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:13-26; Colossians 3:1-10; Revelation 21:5-8, 22:10-15) which includes the sin of homosexuality.

The problem doesn’t come from not knowing whether or not we have “a direct line to the divine” – it’s that people are ignoring what they hear when they pick up the phone! EA 

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

The Bible: Ancient in Age but not in Application

If the Bible is known for one thing to the masses it is known for being old! Parts of the Bible are approximately 3,500 years old, but my, oh my, it looks so good for its age. Would you not agree?

It amazes me how God’s word manages to stay so up-to-date. It has never fallen “behind the times” in appearance. It has made its way from stone work to vellum and papyrus scrolls to modern paper and book form and even on into the digital age without missing a beat.

And think of the language barriers it has crossed during the process! God’s word is easier to find and keep up with more now than it has ever been at any other time in history. And remember, this “old book” is still the best-seller around the world. Go on and look it up.

But not only has the Bible kept up with the times in appearance it has kept up with the times in application! People of today are no different from the people we read about in the ancient scriptures. The only thing that divides us from them is time and technology!

God’s word fills the same void within man today that it filled centuries and millennia ago. Many try to substitute the Bible’s spiritual guidance with politics, pop-psychology, and work or with one of the hundreds of manmade religions found around the world. And many find satisfaction with these until they are faced with the ageless application of the word of God.

The obvious applications of God’s Word are the very things that draw so much angst against it. The Bible reveals the very reason of our existence and the very Creator that raised us from the dirt of the Earth. Both male and female made in the image of God! Many have not tried to destroy the Bible simply because of its existence; they have tried to destroy the Bible simply because of the applicable content. They see too clearly the image it reflects back. Not the image of the flesh, but the image of the soul. A very unflattering image in their own eyes!

No one would mind the Bible if it only sat quietly as a supposed piece of fiction as other controversial books can and do. But the Bible will not sit quietly. It works on the conscience in a way that makes most uncomfortable. It was designed to do this very thing when necessary (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible gets personal…right down into every facet of our life!

The Bible gets into our family life – our marriage, our parents, our children.

The Bible gets into our personal life and the way treat others – strangers, our spiritual brothers and sisters, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

The Bible gets into our spiritual life – the sin we struggle with, the sin we ignore, the sin that condemns us, the sin we must confess and the only sacrificial solution given for it (John 1:29).

Is God’s word ancient in age? Absolutely! Who could deny this? Is God’s word ancient in application? Absolutely not! Try honestly reading it and then try to honestly deny it. It’s as one perishable man said, who wrote so long ago on such a perishable medium, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25)

How wonderful is the ageless word of God!  EA

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Related Articles:

We Need to Study the Bible Because…

Bible study is vital for good spiritual health. Bible application in our life is just as important as Bible study for our life because without the application, the knowledge does no good; but we can’t apply anything unless we know what needs to be applied and that’s where the necessity for actual study comes in (2 Timothy 2:15).

Here are six articles that I posted on The Fellowship Room several months ago that revolve around the importance of studying the greatest book that’s ever been written – the word of God.

I hope that these articles may be found useful as you study the word of God to see His will for our lives. EA

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:3-4)

Does Our Doctrine Make A Difference?

When a word appears 49 times in 15 out of the 27 books of the New Testament that may be a “clue” to its importance.  And these “clues” lead to the importance of following, believing and teaching proper doctrine.

The word doctrine itself comes from the Greek word “didache” meaning, “that which is taught; doctrine, teaching concerning something; the act of teaching and instruction particularly in Christian religious assemblies.” So basically “doctrine” means what a person teaches concerning religious issues specific to the God of the Bible and His will for our life.

Now, although there are many different doctrines taught in the religious world today (which is actually against the doctrine of God taught in the Bible to begin with – John 17:20-22) I want to quickly whittle down all of these doctrines to two different kinds:

There is “sound” doctrine: “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9)

and

There is “strange” doctrine: “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.” (Hebrews 13:9)

The word “sound literally means “to be well and in good health” and “having an understanding and teaching free from any mixture of error.”

The word “strange” (which represents any other doctrine other than sound ones) means “without knowledge of” or “unheard of; new.”

So you can see how any lesson, sermon, or opinion, etc. religiously speaking can fall into these two categories.

Now, in light of these two very plain definitions and scriptures shown above, some people today still insist that it doesn’t matter what a person’s “doctrine” is. In other words they believe that a person can teach just about anything they want as long as they are sincere in their belief, but how does the Holy Spirit feel about that particular doctrine?

Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3-7 to “…charge some that they teach no other doctrine….” He also told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3 that “…the time will come when [people] will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.

John said when a person abandons the doctrine of Jesus the Christ, in reality they abandon God: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:9-11)

Jesus Himself warned about and condemned any doctrine other than God’s when he said, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:8-9) And as a matter of fact in Revelation 2:15 Jesus told the compromising church of Pergamos that He hated the doctrine of the Nicolatians that they were allowing to be taught.

So according to Jesus the Son of God, the Holy Spirit of God, and John and Paul the apostles of God, does our doctrine matter? Can our doctrine make a difference in our  relationship with God? The answer is a resounding YES.

But before I finish I must ask, can we know and teach “sound doctrine?” Again the answer is a resounding YES. How does this happen? How can we do this? By listening to the Spirit of God through God’s word and God’s word alone found in the Bible and by teaching doctrines that do not contradict God’s written and revealed will for our lives (Matthew 7:24-29).

2 John 1:9 teaches the importance of staying within the boundaries of the New Testament, and that means we must study God’s word to know the sound doctrine that comes from God. And if you’re not convinced yet, read 2 Timothy 2:14-18 and then try to tell me with a straight face that the Bible doesn’t say our doctrine makes a difference. Think about it. EA

How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 6:11-13)

Related Articles: