Christian

By His Stripes

Have you heard “by his stripes we are already healed”?

Most preachers and teachers today use this as a verse to say God doesn’t want you sick. They use it to talk about healing from physical illness or diseases, even going so far as to say it is a promise of God.

I interpret it differently. I believe we are to place value on each stripe and wound laid upon Jesus when he was scourged. If we truly appreciate his suffering, the healing referred to in “by his stripes we are healed” is healing from sin and death. We stop sinning and learn to walk in the light. In other words we strive to live righteously because Jesus suffered and was crucified showing us exactly that, how to live for God.

If you are seeking physical healing, seek it in accordance with James 5:14-15. If you want to truly be healed, appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice and turn from sin.

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Christian

The Right Answer

In my previous post I discussed some teachers asking the wrong question, but have I really helped anyone if I do not try to provide the right answer.

What’s the right answer:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46 KJV

If women are not supposed to speak in Church how can I teach them? First, no man can give women the permission to speak in Church. If it is a shame for women to speak in Church then all they can do is participate in their shame. Women are instructed to ask questions of their husband at home. What if they aren’t married? I suppose they could write their question on a piece of paper and hand it to the preacher/teacher or they could ask their father at home. I believe the Lord himself will teach you if you pray and read the Holy Bible.

What about Roman’s 16:17-18? If God says avoid someone, then you should avoid them, you don’t ask how can I teach them and try to circumvent the word of God. Are you wiser than God? In another place it says, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1 KJV

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The Right Question

Twice now I have heard preachers and teachers ask the wrong question.

If women should not speak in Church how then can I teach them? 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

If we are to separate ourselves from those that cause division how can I teach them? Romans 16:17-18.

The correct question is not how can I fulfill my own desire, but how can I keep the word of the Lord? The desire to teach may seem Holy, but any answer that moves you away from keeping God’s word is incorrect.

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I Think Therefore

The Church of Christ, at least where I attend, teaches it preachers to not say “in my opinion” or “I think”. However, these phrases may save a preachers soul. If you say something is the word of God and it isn’t or if you are just plain wrong these phrases could save you from God’s eternal judgement.

If you let the people know your thought isn’t necessarily the word of God you cover yourself and you give them a chance to consider the issue or thought on their own. You give them the opportunity to form their own opinion.

Opinions aren’t bad, but serving up doctrines of men as the word of God could prove deadly both to the preacher and the listeners.

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Christian

The Cross

Lately I’ve been thinking about the many songs dedicated to the cross. I’ve also wondered about wearing the cross. Whether made of metal, stone, wood, or some other material is it appropriate to wear one?

I do believe the cross is an important symbol. Jesus himself prophesied in John 3:14-15 KJV And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The cross embodies symbolism involving death, baptism, and resurrection. Romans 6:3-6. Near where I live there is one of those billboards that says, He loved you this much and it shows a depiction of Jesus on the cross with his arms outstretched wide. I appreciate these things and I suppose there may be something I’m missing, but I have two issues I’d like to raise.

What’s the difference between singing a song about a rifle, or a sword, or a guillotene and the cross? It is an instrument of death. My savior is Jesus. He is my focus, not a piece of wood.

The second is wearing or praying with a cross. In my opinion a cross shouldn’t be worn or prayed with. Here’s why: A cross is a graven image or a likeness of something that is in the earth. It is an image. Perhaps intent is key, but what will you reach for when you are in trouble or in time of need? The icon or Jesus? Jesus should be in our hearts and in our minds. Our strength doesn’t come from a piece of metal or wood or a tattoo. Your salvation will not come from the cross in your hand or one worn around your neck. Salvation comes from believing in Jesus, that he is the Christ. And with that faith knowing both what he did and what he does for us.

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Deaf, Dumb, and Worse

I have noticed over the years that some people cannot hear the truth. Whether it’s a New Testament commandment such as 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 or God’s continuing promise of miracles displayed in James 5:14-15 they simply cannot hear it.

It begs the question why?

Perhaps they are attached to errant doctrine. Perhaps they are having difficulty accepting the truth. Perhaps there is an issue with understanding.

Indeed, perhaps there is some mitigating circumstance, but there is a worse case scenario. It is explained by Jesus in John 8. John 8:43-44, 47 KJV says, Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. [44] Ye are of your father the devil… Jesus continues in John 8:47 KJV, He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Not being all knowing it is possible we go too far if we surmise the worse concerning others, but it is something that requires strong consideration. In the least it is a warning flag.

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Origin

In the last few weeks I’ve heard Church of Christ preachers speak about the origins of the Church. Both mentioning the Catholic’s tracing of position as the true Church from Peter as the first Pope and Christ’s statement in Matthew 16:18. Both disputing the above and claiming the Church of Christ as the only one true Church with origin in Acts.

While I suppose it is not uncommon for denominations to claim they are the one true Church with authority from Christ, I don’t believe either of the above positions is accurate. I believe the true Church can be found in Mark 3:34-35 KJV. And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! [35] For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

I’m not sure if Peter was actually the first Pope or not, but the Catholic church has played a crucial role in the development and spread of Christianity around the world. Meanwhile, the Church of Christ irregardless of their claims was created after the Protestant Reformation in the United States of America.

Looking at doctrine from the Catholic Church and the Church of Christ it is evident some of their beliefs and teachings are right while some are simply wrong. I’m not going to get into that here, but I feel safe in saying there is no denomination following the Word of God perfectly.

Hence the Church in my opinion will come from various denominations. It will be composed of those who do the will of God and keep his Commandments. These are those that read the Holy Bible. They learn of God himself and will not be led astray by commandments and doctrine of men.

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Make No Mention

It may be popular to write about other gods. It may even be an interesting read. But what does God say about it:

Exodus 23:13 KJV
And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

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Those That Went Before

Do you believe God worked through men in the past?

I do.

You can question which Bible translation is the best. You can argue over the Greek and the Hebrew. You can even dispute over which books should be included in the Holy Bible.

I choose to trust in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. I consider it Authorized by God. The Bible tells us God appoints Kings in Daniel 2:21. King James organized a group of learned men to complete the translation. They completed the work inspired by the Holy Ghost and chose to include the 66 books we have today.

It is up to us to argue and dispute or rest in God’s completed work from over 400 years ago.

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Christian, Inspirational

Available To All

I had a conversation with a Church of Christ preacher who believed the gospel was available only to humanity.

I don’t believe this to be the case. See Mark 16:15 KJV. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Men may not often have the opportunity to preach to every creature or baptize angels, but I believe the gospel of Christ is available to any creature that can understand it. Only Satan, the Anti-Christ, and the False Prophet have received their final judgment. Revelation 10:20

Except for those three, salvation is available to all.

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