So when the apostle Matthew mentions a prophecy in Matthew 1:21-23, he is quoting from the prophet Isaiah written in 700BC (before Christ incarnate). Is that not mind blowing? The prophecy states in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
This book contains easy to use orders of service which are guides for various services. They are valuable, but in no way should they replace the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The person who grovels in depression and says he hates himself for having wasted his life would actually be glad that he had wasted his life if he really hated himself. In fact, he is unhappy about having wasted his life because he loves himself. The apparently remorseful criminal, who says he hates himself because of the crimes he has committed, should then be glad to see himself suffer in prison. Yet he hopes to escape that fate, which proves he loves himself in spite of his protestations of self-loathing.
Jesus did talk about tithing as shown in Matthew 23: 23 and Luke 11: 42, but these verses cannot be quoted in our day to encourage Christians to tithe because it was not His intentional message. Although Jesus did not condemn tithing here, we must understand Jesus was still under the Old Covenant as the New Covenant began with His death and resurrection.
God’s whole counsel includes both the bad news about our natural state and the good news about God’s plan to redeem us.
True Christians need to strip the idols from what should be a Christ-centred Christianity. I believe that much incorrect understanding and thinking about God is due to poor teaching, this then leads to “pastors farting on their congregations”. We need to bring people back to the fundamental truths—out of the serious misrepresentation of Christianity—in order to introduce them to true Christianity and not showmanship.
This remission of all sins is not limited to past sins only, but to all sins—past, present, and future. If it were not so, then justification would have to be repeated over and over again, and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ would be lowered to the level of the animal sacrifices of the old covenant. Therefore it has to be offered over and over again for the continued presence of sin.
Though Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6), we are being urged to “visualise” ourselves into success.
So we have worldly leadership and church leadership, which are opposites. Worldly leadership works on a pyramid hierarchy system, which emanates from the demonic hierarchy used by Satan. As a worldly system it is evil, according to Jesus. However, church leadership is based on service and the leader being at the bottom supporting everyone else. In addition, Jesus demands that we do not call church leaders by any formal titles of respect (Matt 23:8), because everyone in the church is a brother.
Grace from the Work of Christ is NOT to be understood as grace to be external enlightenment or instruction graciously provided for humanity by God. God does not just demand that human beings should be “perfect”, which is a vague term. Rather, God graciously provides specific guidance as to what form of perfection is required – such as keeping the Ten Commandments, and becoming like Christ. Grace thus informs humanity what its moral duties are (otherwise, it would not know what they were); it does not, however, assist humanity to perform them, because there is no need for such assistance.
Moralism is the default mode for preachers. It’s second nature. But it misinforms the congregation. Why do it then? Maybe it tells them what they really want to hear, which is that they can please God through moral improvement. But moralising cannot save. We must do better than this if we are to escape the rebuke of Christ: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me”
Therefore, those who truly understand the Gospel will not downplay doctrines, to do so is to minimise how much they will know about the Gospel. Could it be that those who are arguing for the “Gospel” at the expense of “doctrines” are simply trying to find a way to justify their opposition to some of our distinctive beliefs or avoiding to disclose their ignorance.
We depart from Biblical teaching when we think that today’s so-called gospel rock, gospel clowns, gospel magicians, and other forms of gospel entertainment can legitimately be employed to communicate spiritual truth. The Scriptures teach that the world is on its own, “without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12). Therefore, instead of borrowing worldly methods to reach the world, Christians are sent forth like the apostle Paul, “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God”
With the explosion of different sects that claim to honour and follow Jesus, how does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? Just what are “the marks of a cult?”
During the darkest period of my life I had no one to say “Brother, how is your faith? Is Christ alive in your life? Are you lawless and doing your own thing? Brendon do you know that if you are carrying on in your sin and ignore God’s will – Jesus will say to you, ‘depart from me you lawless one – I don’t know you!”.
The tabernacle was instituted by God as the place where he would dwell in the midst of the people of Israel. It was the forerunner of the temple; it was a tent that went before the children of Israel as they made their way to the promised land. Within the tabernacle was the most holy place, where God came to meet man. Just as God came to meet man in the tabernacle, he came to meet man in the person of Jesus.
Christians, by definition, believe Christ to be God- made-man, God-in-the-flesh. His claims cannot be amended, watered down, relativised, negotiated away or nuanced into acceptability. But this exclusivism is not an exclusivism of Christian culture, of Christian ethics or of Christians as the only candidates for heaven.
Should a Christian use some Zen Buddhist meditation techniques? Should Chinese Christians use Confucius as their teacher of social ethics? Should Christian pacifists learn from Gandhi’s methods? Should Jewish Christians celebrate the Jewish holidays? Such questions should be addressed with great care, for religion is the active, actual service of God, gods, spirits or demons.
Chinese New Year is the largest holiday of the year in China and if you are praying for China or joining some Chinese friends during the festival, there are two things that every Christian should know.
Baptismal regeneration is not a biblical concept. Water baptism is the symbol of what has already occurred in the heart of one who has trusted Christ as Saviour (Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12). Baptism is an important step of obedience that every Christian should take, but it is not a requirement for salvation. To make it such is to question the sufficiency of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In summary, as the Son of Man, Jesus followed the pattern laid out for the “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7:13. He had authority; he suffered at the hands of his enemies; and he was vindicated and exalted by God. As the Son of Man he also called on his followers to follow him in this pattern of life. (1) They were God’s chosen people and possessed the authority God gave to his people. (2) Now they must suffer faithfully in their commitment to Jesus. (3) When God brings his purposes to an end and executes judgment on all peoples, they will be vindicated and restored to their rightful place of authority.
After Jesus fed the five thousand, those who came to find Jesus asked him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?” (John 6:30). Do not miss the audacity of their questions. They asked Jesus these questions the day after the feeding of the five thousand—after that miracle, after that sign, after that work. They refused to see it.
Do you have a hunger for something more in life? Is there something deep inside of you that never seems to be satisfied? Are you confused? Are you unable to find a path or purpose in life? Does it seem like someone has turned out the lights and you cannot find the switch? Do you ever feel like you are locked out of life? Have you tried many doors only to find that what is behind them is empty and meaningless? Are you looking for an entrance into a fulfilling life?
The Bible as a whole clearly states that life comes from God as His gift and that we are answerable to him for what we do with our own and other people’s lives. Such responsibility means that we shall all answer before the judgment seat for our actions and failures to act. Thus, any and every taking of life is a most serious business and requires justification to God.
The purpose of charismatic gifts is primarily the edification of the whole church, and, secondarily, the conviction and conversion of unbelievers. The once popular view that the charismata were given for the founding of the church and ceased during the 4th century when it became strong enough to continue without their assistance is contrary to historical evidence.
The Gifts of the Spirit are special abilities provided by the Holy Spirit to Christians for the purpose of building up the body of Christ.
If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want, without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God.
Being right with God is a matter of your response to what God has done on your behalf. He sent the Savior, He provided the sacrifice to take away your sin (John 1:29), and He offers you a promise: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Many preachers stand behind a pulpit and instead of declaring, “Thus saith the Lord,” they pronounce, “Try whatever you like” Why we stand and where we stand makes all the difference in the world.
Explores the confusion about prophecy, a prophet’s experience, original meaning and New Testament perspectives on Old Testament prophecy.