Origins of the Christmas Tree
Depending on family tradition, the tree brought into the house is now festively decorated and referred to as the “jultree,” “light tree,” “Christmas tree,” or “Christ tree.” How many people are aware that this practise was long reviled by the church? Numerous sources in folk literature mention the fact that the
The Philocalian Calendar or Chronograph of 354 lists Rome’s consuls from 255 to 352, Roman bishops from 255 to 352, and martyrs’ anniversaries. It is the first document to mention Christmas. The list of martyrs begins with the birth of Christ on December 25, whereas the list of consuls begins on Friday, the fifteenth day…
How many meanings are there in a Biblical Text?
Scripture becomes, as Martin Luther put it, a wax nose that can be shaped into whatever form the interpreter likes. When this happens, the interpreter cannot be corrected by the text; rather, the interpreter becomes lord over the text.” Therefore, when we seek to discover the meaning of scripture we are seeking the plain meaning…
Your sacrifices are not good enough!
The Tabernacle is a visible picture, or model, showing us how we come to God through Jesus. From the foundations of the world, there’s only been one way. Jesus is the way.
Can Christians lose their salvation?
This question of whether a person can lose his salvation is not an abstract question. It touches us at the very core of our Christian lives, not only with regard to our concerns for our own perseverance, but also with regard to our concern for our family and friends, particularly those who seemed, for all…
Euthanasia for children?
Child euthanasia is a form of euthanasia that is applied to children who are gravely ill or have significant birth defects.
Christological Heresies: EUTYCHIANISM
A follower of Eutyches in the belief that the divine and the human in the person of Christ so blend as to constitute but one nature so that Christ is of two natures but not in two : monophysite
Christological Heresies: NESTORIANISM
At Council of Chalcedon in 433. The assembled bishops declared Christ was two natures in one person. “We all with one voice confess our Lord Jesus Christ one and the same Son, at once complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father…
Christological Heresies: APOLLINARIANISM
Apollinarianism granted Christ a human body but not a complete human soul. But if Christ was to have a real incarnation it was necessary that He add to His divine nature not merely a human body but also a human mind or soul; for humanity consists not merely in the possession of a body but…
Christological Heresies: ARIANISM
Arian theology holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father with the difference that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father, therefore Jesus was not co-eternal with God the Father.
Christological Heresies: DOCETISM
Docetism is an ancient heresy that says Jesus was not fully human. According to Docetism, he seemed to be human, but because Jesus was fully divine, he had no physical body. The form people saw was essentially a ghost.
Christological Heresies: EBIONISM
They believed in one God and taught that Jesus was the Messiah and was the true “prophet” mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15. They rejected the Virgin Birth of Jesus, instead holding that he was the natural son of Joseph and Mary. The Ebionites believed Jesus became the Messiah because he obeyed the Jewish Law.
Be a man!
An irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God, proceeding from ignorance . . . a belief in magic or chance, or the like is the definition of superstition.
What did Jesus Preach?
The Gospels indicate that Jesus’ full humanity as David’s heir, and full divinity as the ruler of the universe, relate closely to his role as Christ and to the “good news” or “gospel” he announced.
Why Didn’t Christ Fight Back!
After Jesus’ Farewell Discourse and final prayer, Jesus was arrested. But even though He knew He was going to be crucified, Jesus made no effort to avoid arrest. He allowed himself to be taken, beaten, and executed.
Was Jesus a Real Person?
We have canonical evidence. We have extra-canonical evidence. We have evidence from Josephus. We have evidence from other early Christian sources that are not in the New Testament. We have evidence from the Roman historian Tacitus. We have evidence from Suetonius, and other roman historians, so we have both biblical and extra biblical evidence that…
What is the relationship between the gospel and the kingdom of God?
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” The gospel is the good news proclaiming that the reign of God’s kingdom has come into this world.
Is Jesus’ sonship similar to those born-again?
When Christians become disciples, become sons of God in that sense there is, of course, a kind of transformation, a kind of likeness with God that happens to us, but that of course is true with Christ in His capacity as Son in ways that go far beyond what any disciple of Christ can claim.
No Christianity Without Christ!
The divinity of Christ says, because He is Lord, because He is God, what He says about himself and about who we are and what the way of salvation is, is authoritative and final. Christianity is definitely Jesus. Without Jesus it would not exist.
Divinity of the Holy Spirit
He gives us the strength to say “no” to sin, and so, “yes” to God — say “yes” to God — and to say “yes” to obedience. And only God can do that. The Holy Spirit is God, and he does those mighty works in our lives and in our world. He rules over every…
How should we respond to the Holy Spirit in our worship and prayers?
Even though Christians insist that the Holy Spirit is fully divine, and that his works and personhood benefit us in many ways, we often don’t praise Him for these things in our worship, or even petition Him in our prayers.
How could Jesus be both fully human and fully divine?
Christ comes to unite the divine life that is lost in the fall of Adam, back to our humanity. Only if Christ is the one who can bring God and man together can we really say that we have been saved.
The Idea that One God is Trinity…
There should be no question that the doctrine of the Trinity is true to Scripture. But there should also be no question that it’s a difficult doctrine that took the church hundreds of years to define clearly.
Mentoring should not be Manipulation
Today’s mentoring processes have been largely replaced by the classroom experience. Instead of a stamp of approval by a mentor, the person receives final grades and a diploma. Knowledge has become more important than wisdom and character. The essence of mentoring is relationship. For the Christian leader, mentoring is the process of developing a man…
Human Free Will Incapacitated
Human free will exists in sinners, but that it is compromised by sin.
A biblical view of spiritual warfare points to the final establishment of the kingdom of God throughout the whole universe. When we focus too much on the current battle, we lose sight of the cosmic picture in which the real story is not the battle, but the eternal reign of Christ. That vision transformed the…
Jesus was in the form of God
If Jesus is in the form of God, then He has all the essential attributes of deity, or all those characterising qualities that make God. Thereby, Jesus is in the form of God is God. Paul is merely stating that Jesus did not surrender His divine attributes but chose voluntarily not to use them or…
The issue of the relationship between God as Father and human fathers is very important in our culture, especially because we of course so often experience in the brokenness of modern families-father models who are problematic
Can we call Jesus God?
The Apostle John in affirming the deity of Jesus Christ in John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known”. Thus showing oneness of essence between Father and Son. In addition, Apostle John mentions in John 10:30, “I and the Father are…
Impossible Prophecy Fulfilled
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…
Packaging the Messiah
People are still answering the question by conveniently “packaging” the Messiah so to conceal their true heart’s condition – trying to bind-up the revelation of the Messiah just like those religious leaders of Jesus’ day. For to acknowledge the Messiah as Jesus – would result in revealing who they are! As in the words of…
The Timeless Jesus
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. Therefore, there are no impossibilities of time and space for what Jesus Christ was He is, and what He is, He was.
Church Leader, how is your spiritual relationship with Jesus?
So now, you are in God’s work but lost, no feelings and you can’t feel your faith so what do you do? You have to depend on gimmicks and amusements to keep your “employers” (the church board) believing in you, for many of them are using you like Micah from the book of Judges -…
“Upon this rock will I build my Church” …what does this mean?
Jesus Christ tells us, “Upon this rock will I build my Church.” What did the Lord Jesus Christ mean when He spoke of this foundation? Did He mean the Apostle Peter, to whom He was speaking?
Spiritual Comfort in Earthly Troubles
It is impossible to conceive a Saviour more suited to the wants of man’s heart than our Lord Jesus Christ—suited not only by His power, but by His sympathy—suited not only by His divinity, but by His humanity.
The faith of a thief
The disciples had seen mighty signs and miracles. They had seen the dead raised with a word—and lepers healed with a touch —the blind receiving sight—the dumb made to speak—the lame made to walk. They had seen thousands fed with a few loaves and fishes. They had seen their Master walking on the water as on…
How many clergymen work hard in their profession for a few years, and then become lazy and indolent from the love of this present world?
A New Creation
Are my affections dead toward the world and alive toward God? What engages my mind in seasons of recreation? Can I truthfully say, “How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103). Is communion with God my highest joy? Is the glory of God dearer to me…
The New Man Created for Good Works
The drive of man to establish himself by his own efforts, even when these efforts are religious in character, belongs to the sphere of the old man. Yet there is a place for good works.
God’s Presence is Dreadful
The presence of God is a dreadful and a fearful thing; yes, his most gracious and merciful appearances; how much more then when he shows himself to us as one that dislikes our ways, as one that is offended with us for our sins?
Human Inability to come to God
In matters pertaining to his salvation, the unregenerate man is not at liberty to choose between good and evil, but only to choose between greater and lesser evil, which is not properly free will. The fact that fallen man still has ability to do certain acts morally good in themselves does not prove that he can do…
Are you Dead or Alive?
We are dead! Dead is a strong word, but it is not my own coining and invention. I did not choose it. The Holy Spirit told Paul to write it down about the Ephesians: “You hath he quickened who were dead” (Eph 2:1).
Is natural man totally depraved by nature?
It is our deep conviction that the vital question most requiring to be raised today is this: Is man a totally and thoroughly depraved creature by nature? Does he enter the world completely ruined and helpless, spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins?
Crossing over to Heaven
So, I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city—for “the city was pure gold” (Rev 21:18)—was so extremely glorious that they could not, as yet, with open face behold it but through an instrument made for…
A New Heaven and A New Earth
Reader, I want you to go to heaven after this life is over. I want heaven to be very full, and I want you to be one of its inhabitants.—J. C. Ryle
What do Christians know about Heaven?
To the worldly and careless they may seem nothing at all. To all who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of God, they are full of unspeakable comfort. If we hope to be in heaven, it is pleasant to know what heaven is like.
The night is far spent. The time is short. Do not lose your soul.
You cannot save that soul of yours…remember that! You cannot make your own peace with God. You cannot wipe away a single sin. You cannot blot out one of the black records that stand in the book of God against you. You cannot change your own heart. But there is one thing you can do:…
What is Hell?
Hell is a real place. It is not a metaphor or a symbol, not a description of our inner desolation or our present sufferings, no matter how agonising these may be. It is not a state of mind. It is a place with spatial dimensions.
Dwelling with everlasting burnings?
It is a fearful thing to fall into a fire or to be shut up in a fiery furnace on earth. But the terror of these vanishes when we consider how fearful it is to fall into the hands of the living God, which is the lot of the damned. “Who among us shall dwell…
The prospects of eternal hell?
Thus you see it among young and old. Multitudes of youth lead a careless life, taking little care about their salvation. So you may see it among persons of middle age and with many advanced in years, when they certainly draw near to the grave…
Who has the Keys of Hell and Death?
Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death
FREE BOOK: Guide to Church Services by Brendon Naicker
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.
How to be a rich and successful Pastor?
Now God says “do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. But the world says, “come lie with me and satisfy the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and fulfil the pride of life… you don’t even have to leave the church congregation.” Having intercourse…
The Lie of Loving Yourself!
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…
Jesus mentioned the word “tithe” twice…
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…
Do Non-Christians Have Free Will?
This is exactly what has happened to humanity through sin. The human free will is biased toward evil. It really exists, and really can make decisions – just as the loaded scales still work. But instead of giving a balanced judgment, a serious bias exists toward evil. Therefore, human free will really exists in sinners,…
Sell-Out! Reaching the Masses Losing Your Soul!
This lack of personal development is just sheer laziness on the part of many, and as a result, the church is happy just paying someone else to look after their Christianity. We need to address the fundamental issues facing Christendom with Scripture and Scripture alone.
Christians whose lives don’t matter!
More than 245 million Christians worldwide are enduring high levels of persecution for their faith—from militant extremist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram (an Islamic extremist group terrorizing West Africa), to government law and the general culture that often sees converting to Christianity as betrayal.
The Good and Bad News on Good Friday
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…
The Grace of God
Liberal theology, with its belief in the inherent goodness of man and his ability to help himself is making a comeback. For the doctrine of salvation by grace has practically become an insult for it’s portrayal that man is innately spiritually dead – unable to ever come to God. The word “grace” is also emptied…
Blood of the Covenant
Christ came into the world as the second Adam. And Paul demonstrates here in Romans 5 that just like Adam, Christ is the covenant representative of all those who believe in Him. So, just as all humanity was condemned on the basis of Adam’s disobedience, so too, all those who belong to the Saviour are…
No persons choose to become a Christian?
The faculties which men receive at birth have a carnal bias, an earthly trend, a distaste for the heavenly and divine, and are inclined only to selfish aims and groveling pursuits. In the most polished or religious society, equally with the vulgar and profane, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and can…
Must I keep asking God for forgiveness?
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…
No need for Christ – we need self-esteem they say…
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.
Demonic Church Leadership Structure
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.…
Jesus says “apart from me you can do nothing.”
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…
Reading the Old Testament Incorrectly
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…
No Doctrine but Jesus… is a doctrine of lies!
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…
Circus in the Church
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…
Is your church a cult?
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?”
Pastors Bondservant of the Church Board!
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,…
“The wicked who borrow money but then fail to repay it”
Jesus took these notions another radical step when he challenged his followers to examine their way of living: “And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and…
Satan, you can take our church buildings!
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…
Are other religions good?
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 Christians Participate in Practices of Other Faiths?
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.
Christians and Chinese New Year
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.
Is baptism essential for salvation?
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…
What does it mean that the Son of Man must suffer?
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…
Jesus’ works, miracles and signs—testified of Him
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…
What happens to you when you die?
Having such great advancements in science and its innovation to making us live longer- the mortality rate has meant that people seldom see the face of death as their forefathers once did. With the recent pandemic and the increasing number of casualties has now confronted us with the subject of death. Science has proved that…
When all hope is gone…
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…
Jesus called himself the “Son of God”
Jesus kept pointing people to himself, saying, “Come to me” (Mt 11:28). Buddha said, “Look not to me; look to my dharma (doctrine).” Buddha also said, “Be ye lamps unto yourselves.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12). Lao Tzu taught the way (tao); Jesus said, “I am the way” (Jn…
The Sanctity of life must be matched by Concern
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…
The History of Spiritual Gifts
The spiritual gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues and healing seemed to have disappeared from the mainstream of the church’s life by the middle of the third century. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian all testify to the continuing experience of such gifts before then, but in the fourth century Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo thought…
What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts?
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…
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
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.
Who made God?
God is the uncaused Being who caused everything else to come into existence. God is the uncreated Creator who created the universe and everything in it.
Does God exist?
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…
Are you right with 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).
London City Church
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.
Your kingdom come the doctrine of eschatology – Lesson 1
Looks at how God’s plan for history leads to the ultimate goal of completing his kingdom.
Your kingdom come the doctrine of eschatology – Lesson 2
Considers how individual human beings experience the events of the last days.
Your kingdom come the doctrine of eschatology – Lesson 3
Explores what the Bible says about Christ’s “second coming” and its relationship to events that lead to the end of the age.
Your kingdom come the doctrine Of eschatology – Lesson 4
INTRODUCTION When God created the world, his goal was to turn the entire planet into his earthly kingdom. He began by setting up the Garden of Eden as his sanctuary. And he appointed humanity to increase in number, and to spread the borders of the garden to the ends of the earth. But, of course,…
What Is man – Lesson 1
Explores what human beings were like when God first created us and placed us in the Garden of Eden.
What Is man – Lesson 2
Examines what it means for human beings to be created in God’s image.
What Is Man – Lesson 3
Examines what the Bible says about human sin, and especially its negative effects on humanity.
What Is man – Lesson 4
INTRODUCTION In the 19th century, Charles Dickens published the novel A Tale of Two Cities. At one point near the end of the story, the protagonist is in prison awaiting his execution. But he’s rescued through a secret plot in which a free man switches identities with him. The prisoner is set free, and the one…
Making biblical decisions – Lesson 1
Establish a definition of Christian ethics, examine the threefold criteria of good works and present a biblical threefold process for making ethical decisions.
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