Friday, October 31, 2014

Respecting Bible Authority

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said "...All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." The Father delegated all authority to Jesus. Therefore, Jesus has all authority. The apostles and other inspired men wrote the Bible based upon the authority of Jesus (2 Peter 3:15-16; 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). If we say that we respect the authority of Jesus, then we must respect His authority as recorded for us in the Bible. The word "authority" by definition is the right to rule, command, or act. Since Jesus has the authority to command, then we must search the Bible to find the authority to act.

The Old Testament is full of examples of men obeying and disobeying God. By taking the time to read Romans 15:4 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, we see that these examples are still purposeful for us today. Although we are not under the old law of Moses (Colossians 2:14; Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 7:26), the nature of God does not change (Hebrews 13:8). In the Old Testament we learn that when God promised to bless His people when they obeyed Him, that He always kept His word. We also see that when God promised to punish them if they disobeyed, that He also kept His word. When reading the New Testament we learn that God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), and therefore when He commands we have a responsibility, out of respect for Him, to obey Him. Do you respect God? If so, then you will ensure that you are obeying Him in all things (Matthew 7:21-23).

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Commandments of Jesus

Must we keep the commandments of Jesus in order to be saved and go to heaven? Some will answer yes and most will answer no. Those entrenched in denominationalism will answer no, stating that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and therefore, all we have to do is believe in Him and we are saved. The primary passage used for this reasoning is John 3:16. They will also reason that although it is important to keep Jesus’ commandments, there is no way that we possibly can — that His death on the cross forgave us of all sins and all we must do is believe in Him in order to be saved. If this line of reasoning is true then the demons will be saved (James 2:19), there is no need to be baptized (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21), and Jesus’ words are not to be taken seriously (John 14:15; 15:14).

We Must Obey Jesus In Order To Be Saved
Those who reason that we don’t have to obey all the commandments of Jesus to be saved are practicing a "cut and paste" religion. How can you claim to live for someone whom you have no intention of listening to and obeying everything that they ask you to do? Most religious people "cut and paste" the commands of Jesus that are "easy" for them to keep, while discarding those that don’t quite fit their own lifestyle. This is an absolute dishonest type of religion. If we claim to follow Jesus, to walk in His steps, then we MUST obey His commandments. Take a moment to read what Jesus and His Word says concerning obedience in John 14:15; 15:14; Hebrews 5:9; Acts 5:29, 32; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17. Jesus said baptism is required in order to be saved (Mark 16:16). Who will you choose to obey — Jesus or religious leaders?

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Righteousness of God

The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote: "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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17). We learn from these words that the righteousness of God is revealed to us through His Holy, inspired word.
How Can We Become Righteous?
We become righteous before God by understanding and doing several things. First of all, we must read and understand the significance of Christ’s death on the cross for us. God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross so that we can have forgiveness of our sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:8). When we understand His great sacrifice and what it means to us, then we develop a strong and abiding faith in Him. Our faith must be an unwavering faith (James 1:6-8). A faith that longs to be obedient to all of Christ’s commandments and ordinances that He asks of us as we strive to serve Him each day (Luke 1:6; John 14:15). There are many religious people that are willing to submit to most of Christ’s commands but not all of them. The same Jesus who asks us to believe in Him as being the Son of God (John 3:16; Romans 10:9), also commands us to be baptized in order to receive the forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), and then be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10). In order to become righteous in God’s sight we must be willing to submit to ALL the commands of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Christian's Love

The teachings of Jesus demonstrate that love is the most important virtue that we can possess. His teaching concerning love is not a surface, glossing over type of love, but rather it is a sincere, from the heart kind of love. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says to His disciples: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." In these two passages, Jesus gives us a command, example, and necessary inference of "love." In verse 34a He commands us to love. In verse 34b He gives us an example of what genuine sincere love is "as I have loved you." In verse 35 our proof of our discipleship for Jesus is demonstrated by our love for one another.

Our Love of God and Man Must Come First
When Jesus was asked what the first commandment was He answered: "….the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Then He said: "And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31). I am convinced that if every Christian would demonstrate the sincere, dedicated love that Jesus instructs of us, then every Christian would grow and mature into the kind of person that God would want us to be in our personal life, in our home, and in the church. Home and church strife would cease if everyone would truly demonstrate the love that Jesus commands us to have toward God and one another. May we all learn this valuable lesson.