gospel

Jesus is the “THE” in Theology

Simply stated, the widely accepted definition of the word “theology” with the world is, “the study of religious doctrine.” And simply stated, the unaccepted definition of “theology” with the world is when someone tries to place a particular religion ahead of all others.

Despite how the world may feel, whether religious or not, Jesus stood up and proclaimed that He was not “A” theological topic, but rather that He is “THE” theological topic when it comes to the beneficial welfare of mankind’s soul.

Even in His days upon the Earth people had their “theological” opinions about Jesus, but He provided the facts and answers about the deepest religious doctrine ever revealed. Jesus told the Jewish people of His day to search the scriptures because they testified to the fact the He was “THE” answer to all the theological questions and concerns they had about the coming Messiah of God (John 5:39). He would continue on to tell the Jews and the rest of the world that he was not “A” solution to the woes of men and women, but rather “THE” solution by saying:

“…I am THE bread of life…” (John 6:35)

“…I am THE light of the world…” (John 8:12)

I am THE door…” (John 10:9)

I am THE good shepherd…” (John 10:11)

“…I am THE resurrection and THE Life…” (John 11:25)

“…I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life…” (John 14:6)

I am THE true vine…” (John 15:1)

Hebrews 13:8-9 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines….” Many people, with whatever intention they may have, try to make Jesus “A” Savior instead of the “THE” Savior; but intentions do not change facts. Jesus was Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23). Jesus was “THE” God in the flesh, not “A” god. Amid all the religious ideas floating around in the heads of man, Jesus is the constant that man cannot change – He is the constant that changes man!

There is nothing wrong with getting a good theological education as long as a person is able to avoid a theological meltdown. The further man gets from the truth in Jesus the more danger there is in drowning in man’s ideas. Theological “deep thinkers” who have erred from the true and living God would benefit by coming up for some air and allowing the mind of Christ to renew their thinking.

Fetus told Paul that “his much learning” had driven him “crazy” (Acts 26:24). Paul responded by saying that his studies had actually driven him sane! He said, “…I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.” (Acts 26:25) When Paul received his new theological education in the scriptures he came to understand the difference between a “bright idea” that leads to trouble and “the actual light” that leads one’s soul to salvation (Galatians 1:6-24).

There is only one Teacher who wrote THE course that educates the soul (Matthew 11:28-30). Are you in His class? EA

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Why?

There is a question for you! How many times have you asked that one? How many times have you been asked that one? How many times has an answer escaped the moment?

For many reasons and in many ways we can ask this simple question that leads to simple or complicated answers. I can scarce imagine a human language that would not include an equivalent word to the English word “why.”

Children are masters at using the word. A close second would probably be Christians. At times we ask with honest hearts of intrigue. At times we ask with hidden motives. At times we ask in rebellion. At times we ask because we do not know the answer; and at times we ask even when we do not want to know the answer! What a conundrum!

When was the last time you asked why? Why did you ask? I often have questions that go around and around in my mind like the earth around the Sun. I often find no answer –which sometimes leads to me ask…why?

I see the faith of some that grows cold and I ask, “Why?” I see the faith of some that grows bold and I ask, “Why?”

There can be a difference in asking why and in having doubt. Sometimes asking why is the fruit of doubt! Sometimes we need to lay the axe to the roots.

When the questions of life leave us with no answer, maybe we are asking the wrong questions. Maybe we are asking the wrong person. Maybe the answer is already staring us in the face but we do not like the answer. So we ask another question until we get an answer we like! Why is that???

Why ask why? Why not? What do you say? Or better yet, why do you ask? EA

And he was very sad in spirit, and said, Why is this generation looking for a sign?…” (Mark 8:12)

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Undefeatable

If Paul is free, he converts the world; chain him to a jailor and he converts the guard; put him in prison and he writes the Bible; if you kill him, you do him a favor as he goes to be with Jesus.  Now how do you defeat a guy like that?” — Billy Bland, Memphis School of Preaching Lectures

From Glad Tidings of Good Things – Jacksonville, AL

“…for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)

Jesus Is The Real Deal

Long ago God’s prophet Amos warned his listeners, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11).

God kept His word. In an age that saw about 450 years of silence from the prophets of God before John came out of the wilderness preaching repentance and the kingdom of God, Israel managed to get their spiritual appetite back (Matthew 3:1-6). They were lacking true spiritual leadership. The religious sects of the day had abused the people with a fake outward show of righteousness and an inward moral decay (Matthew 23 & Mark 12:18, 38-40). The people were looking for someone who was truthful, understanding and passionate. They were looking for someone who was real. The prophet who broke Israel’s “spiritual fast” with his words from God declared Jesus to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29-35). The real deal had come.

Jesus was the real Man. He taught the people of Israel how to truly show their love for God and their neighbor (Luke 10:27, Matthew 6:33 & Philippians 2:5-8). It’s easy to be a “man” when you have a crowd behind you, but Jesus stood up against wrong even when the crowd and public opinion was against Him (Matthew 21:12,13 & John 8). He showed what a real man was by treating women with respect, love and mercy (John 4:6-15; 8:3-11); and without a doubt, this man loved His mother (John 19:25-27). He showed the world what the definition of a man was.

Jesus was the real Friend. Jesus made friends before His public ministry began (Mark 3:21). He had a bad reputation with the religious leadership of the day for being a friend to “tax collectors and sinners” but He had a good reputation with the common people (Luke 7:34 & Mark 12:37). (more…)

Which Comes First???

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind.” (Genesis 1:21)

The “age-old” question, “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” that so many in the world quibble about is easy to answer when one reads what God’s word says about it. So what does it say? Right there in Genesis 1:21 you have it. First the bird, then the baby.

Another question that so many in the religious world quibble about is, “Which comes first? Baptism or salvation?” The answer to this question can be found just as easy as the answer to the previous question if we would only let God’s word give us the answer.

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

So what does God’s word say about it? Right there in Mark 16:16 you have it. First baptism, then salvation.

Now, why do so many in the religious world trust God’s word when it comes to Genesis 1:21, but they can’t trust it when it comes to Mark 16:16? It’s something to think about. EA

The Greatest Peace Sign the World Has Ever Seen

For it pleased the Father that in [Jesus] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…” (Colossians 1:19-23)

AND MEANS AND

Do you know what the word “and” means? From the elementary levels in school, kids are taught that the word “and” fulfills the role of a conjunction in a sentence. That means that the simple definition of “and” is, “along with; in addition too.

An example on how to use the word “and” would be: Go to the store and get a gallon of milk. When we want to tell someone to do two or more things in one sentence then we use the word “and.” I know all of that sounds like a “duh” statement, but I have a reason for speaking so plainly and simply, so please stick with me as I continue to explain.

Now, to be honest, English was really my least favorite subject in school, but I do remember some of the lessons that I was taught and the importance and meaning of “and” is one of them. Maybe one of the reasons I still remember it so well is because as a child I learned what the word “and” meant even before I started school. If my parents told me to do something by using the using the word “and,” then I knew whatever they were saying had better be done whether it was before or after the “and” was spoken.

It seems as if everyone completely understands what “and” means when it comes to everyday life. When someone gives us directions to a location we pay attention to every “and.” For example, if someone tells us to go straight and turn right at the second red light, then we look for the second red light so we can turn right. If you are cooking and the cookbook says to add one egg and a cup of flour, we don’t just add the egg; we add the egg and flour. Why? Because the cookbook said so when it used the word “and,” right?

You see, no person with a simple understanding of the English language will argue about what “and” means – that is until we start talking about what the Bible says about becoming a Christian. If the Bible uses the word “and,” why don’t we look at it the same way that we do any other time?

See if you can agree with the word “and” in all these scriptures. They are in order:

John 4:24; Romans 1:16; 1st John 1:8 “and” Mark 16:16.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Now here’s my whole reason for what I said in such plain language earlier. Does a person have to worship God in spirit and in truth? Can the gospel save Jews and Gentiles? If a person denies their sin, is the truth in them? Look at the verses and answer the questions. They are easy to answer because of the word “and.” Now, can a person be saved without being baptized? I guess it depends on what your definition of “and” is. Think about it. EA