Christianity 201

May 25, 2013

Leadership Videos from Verge Network

Many of you are involved in leadership in your local assemblies. Have you ever had experiences in ministry which seem to take away all your joy?  Sometimes the enemy of our souls has ways of creating intense frustration and discouragement.  Francis Chan looks at this at one of a number of videos at Verge Network’s YouTube channel.

Matthew 7:21 (NLT)

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

Here’s another message from the same channel. David Platt looks at the variety of beliefs — some of them somewhat wacky — belonging to people who identify as Christians. Can they really be Christ followers? I know some of you don’t have internet connections which allow you to watch videos, so some of the text is printed below.

David Platt says,

“We live in a day where is means almost nothing to be a Christian. According to research almost 4 out of every 5 Americans identify themselves as Christians…But in this group of self proclaimed Christians, less than half of them are involved in church on a weekly basis. Less than half of them believe the Bible is true. An overwhelming majority of them don’t have a biblical view of the world around them. So researchers went even deeper then to distinguish men and women who are ‘born again Christians,’ as if there’s any other kind of Christian. But these are people who say they’ve made a personal commitment to Jesus, they believe they’ll go to heaven, because they’ve accepted Jesus as their savior. And according to research nearly half of Americans are ‘born again Christians.’

But you look at this group of ‘born again Christians’ and researchers found that their beliefs and lifestyles and virtually indistinguishable from the world around them. Many ‘born again Christians’ believe their works can earn them a place in heaven. Others think that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. Some believe that Jesus sinned while He was on Earth. And an ever increasing number of ‘born again Christians’ just describe themselves as marginally committed to Jesus. So people you can use data like this to conclude that Christians are really not that different from the rest of the world. But I don’t think that interpretation of that research is accurate. I think the one thing that’s abundantly clear from those statistics is that there are a whole lot of people in our country who think that they are Christians, but they are not. There are scores of people—here and around the world who culturally distinguish themselves as Christians and biblically are not followers of Christ.”

April 16, 2013

Slave: A Bible Word Study

Lots of text today, but you need to click through to read it. This is from the blog of Clay Gentry where it appeared under the title Slave: The Christian’s Identity in Christ. Note the difference between the way the word was understood then as compared with today.


I recently presented a lesson to a small group on the slave metaphor used in the New Testament that describes Christians as Slaves of Christ. Below is my PowerPoint outline from that presentation. I did not intend for this to be an exhaustive study. Rather I hope that it will wet ones apatite to study this rich metaphor even further.

Several Metaphors Used to Describe Christians:

  • Sheep,
  • Soldiers,
  • Athletes,
  • Brothers, and
  • Workers.
  • However, Slaves is the most common…

Two Primary Greek Words Establish Christians as Slaves:

(1) kyrios: “master and Lord.” To confess Jesus as your “Lord” is to say He is your “master” and “owner” and you are His slave.

(2) doulos: “slave.” The Primary word used in the NT to describe Christians as slaves of Christ (124x). For the most part it is missing from the pages KJV and to a certain extent the NKJV, ESV, NASB and HCSB. Often times doulos, or its congugents is simply translated servant, or serve. In this lesson well jump around between various translations to show slave language.

American Verses Roman Slavery:

(1) Roman Slavery:

  • Non Racially Based,
  • Encompassed All Professions,
  • Everywhere in the Empire,
  • Hope of Freedom

 (2) American Slavery:

  • Race Based,
  • Primarily Agrarian in Nature,
  • Geographically Limited to the South,
  • Little/No Hope of Freedom

(3) Similarities Between the Two

  • Exclusive Ownership by the Master,
  • Complete Submission to the Master,
  • Total Dependence on the Master.
  • These are true of physical and/or spiritual slaves

Slaves of God in the Old Testament

Slaves in Jesus’ Teaching:

(1) An Element in 13 Parables (Here’s a sampling):

 (2) An Aspect of His Commands:

Slaves of Christ in the Epistles:

(1) Self Descriptions:

(2) Teachings Concerning Slavery:

(3) Various Verses:

Slaves of Christ in Revelation:

Suggested Reading:

April 24, 2012

Bowing Knees, Confessing Tongues

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Today’s post is from Carley Evans’ blog Grace Partakers, where it appeared under the title, Every Tongue, Every Knee.

11 It is written:    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;
   every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

Jesus tells us the truth. One day — “as He lives” — every individual who ever existed will bow to Him and give God praise. Now I can see every person kneeling in humility before God, but imagining every one praising God is not as easy. I’ve heard such vile, foul statements made against Him in my time here on earth that imagining those same persons speaking words of praise is difficult.

Think of Hitler or Stalin or Manson speaking words of praise to God, and you may have some appreciation for what I am saying. Praises from such men are incongruous with their personalities.

So, what happens? What changes? Do their hearts change at the judgment? Do they become like Job who said to the Lord, “I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from Thee. Who is he who hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech Thee, and I will speak; I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6, KJV)

Will persons such as Kim Jong-il and Saddam Hussein suddenly recognize God and “abhor” themselves? Will they see God and “repent in dust and ashes?” As they bend their knees and fall on their faces, will their mouths open in songs of praise?

Amazing!

~Carley Evans