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Early Church

April 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common;they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved (Acts 2:43-47, NRSV).

Review of 2 Corinthians

August 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Paul had his work cut out for him.

He had some strong words for the Corinthian church,.

History indicates that this strengthened their resolve.

Sometimes the church is foolish today. Strong words may be exactly what is needed for the church to stay faithful in today’s world.

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Church, paul

Diotrephes

November 30, 2013 Leave a comment

I wrote to the church. But Diotrephes won’t have anything to do with us. He loves to be the first in everything. So if I come, I will point out what he is doing. He is saying evil things about us to others. Even that doesn’t satisfy him. He refuses to welcome other believers. He also keeps others from welcoming them. In fact, he throws them out of the church.

Dear friend, don’t be like those who do evil. Be like those who do good. Anyone who does what is good belongs to God. Anyone who does what is evil hasn’t really seen or known God (3 John 9-11, NIrV).

Categories: Church, Diotrephes

Qualities of a Church Leader

November 29, 2013 Leave a comment

An elder must be without blame. He must be faithful to his wife. His children must be believers. They must not give anyone a reason to say that they are wild and don’t obey.

A church leader is trusted with God’s work. That’s why he must be without blame. He must not look after only his own interests. He must not get angry easily. He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must not try to get money by cheating people.

Instead, he must welcome people into his home. He must love what is good. He must control his mind and feelings. He must do what is right. He must be holy. He must control what his body longs for. The message as it has been taught can be trusted. He must hold firmly to it. Then he will be able to use true teaching to comfort others and build them up. He will be able to prove that people who oppose it are wrong (Titus 1:6-9, NIrV).

Categories: Church, Leadership, Titus

Help When We Need It

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Suppose a woman is a believer and has widows in her family. She should help them. She shouldn’t let the church pay the expenses. Then the church can help the widows who really need it.

The elders who do the church’s work well are worth twice as much honor. That is true in a special way of elders who preach and teach (1 Timothy 5:16-17, NIrV).

Categories: 1 timothy, Church, Widow

So You Want to Be a Church Leader?

November 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Here is a saying you can trust. If anyone wants to be a leader in the church, he wants to do a good work for God and people.

A leader must be free from blame. He must be faithful to his wife. In anything he does, he must not go too far. He must control himself. He must be worthy of respect. He must welcome people into his home. He must be able to teach.He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must be gentle. He must not be a person who likes to argue. He must not love money.

He must manage his own family well. He must make sure that his children obey him and show him proper respect.Suppose someone doesn’t know how to manage his own family. Then how can he take care of God’s church?

The leader must not be a new believer. If he is, he might become proud. Then he would be judged just like the devil.

The leader must also be respected by those who are outside the church. Then he will not be put to shame. He will not fall into the devil’s trap (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

Categories: 1 timothy, Church

Church, Body of Christ II

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Follow the lead of one another because of your respect for Christ.

Wives, follow the lead of your husbands as you follow the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church. The church is Christ’s body. He is its Savior. The church follows the lead of Christ. In the same way, wives should follow the lead of their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives. Love them just as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her. He did it to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her with water and the word. He did it to bring her to himself as a brightly shining church. He wants a church that has no stain or wrinkle or any other flaw. He wants a church that is holy and without blame.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives. They should love them as they love their own bodies. Any man who loves his wife loves himself. After all, people have never hated their own bodies. Instead, they feed and care for their bodies. And that is what Christ does for the church. We are parts of his body.

Scripture says, “That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.” (Genesis 2:24) That is a deep mystery. But I’m talking about Christ and the church.

A husband also must love his wife. He must love her just as he loves himself. And a wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:21-33, NIrV)
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Categories: Christ, Church, Ephesians

Church, Body of Christ

November 25, 2013 Leave a comment

God placed all things under Christ’s rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. The church is Christ’s body. It is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:22-23, NIrV).

Categories: Christ, Church, Ephesians

Paul’s Zeal for the Church

November 24, 2013 Leave a comment

As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelationfrom Jesus Christ.

For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it (Galatians 1:9-13, NIV).

Categories: Church, Galatians, paul

Advice for Church Meetings

November 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Follow the way of love. You should also want the gifts the Holy Spirit gives. Most of all, you should want the gift of prophecy.

Anyone who speaks in a language he had not known before doesn’t speak to people. He speaks only to God. In fact, no one understands that person. What he says with his spirit remains a mystery. But anyone who prophesies speaks to people. He says things to make them stronger, to give them hope and to comfort them. Those who speak in other languages build themselves up. But those who prophesy build up the church.

I would like all of you to speak in other languages. But I would rather have you prophesy. Those who prophesy are more helpful than those who speak in other languages. But that is not the case if those who speak in other languages explain what they have said. Then the whole church can be built up.

Brothers and sisters, suppose I were to come to you and speak in other languages. What good would I be to you? None! I would need to come with new truth or knowledge, or a prophecy or a teaching.

Here are some examples. Certain objects make sounds. Take a flute or a harp. No one will know what the tune is unless different notes are played. Also, if the trumpet call isn’t clear, who will get ready for battle?

It’s the same with you. You must speak words that people understand. If you don’t, no one will know what you are saying. You will just be speaking into the air.

It is true that there are all kinds of languages in the world. And they all have meaning. But if I don’t understand what someone is saying, I am a stranger to that person. And that person is a stranger to me.

It’s the same with you. You want to have gifts of the Spirit. So try to do your best in using gifts that build up the church.

For that reason, those who speak in languages they had not known before should pray that they can explain what they say. If I pray in another language, my spirit prays. But my mind does not pray. So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit. But I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit. But I will also sing with my mind.

Suppose you are praising God with your spirit. And suppose there are visitors among you who don’t understand what’s going on. How can they say “Amen” when you give thanks? They don’t know what you are saying. You might be giving thanks well enough. But the others are not being built up.

I thank God that I speak in other languages more than all of you do. But in the church I would rather speak five words that people can understand than 10,000 words in another language. Then I would be teaching others.

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. Be like babies as far as evil is concerned. But be grown up in your thinking. In the Law it is written,

“Through people who speak unfamiliar languages
and through the lips of strangers
I will speak to these people.
But even then they will not listen to me.” (Isaiah 28:11,12)

That is what the Lord says.

So speaking in other languages is a sign for those who don’t believe. It is not a sign for those who do believe. But prophecy is for believers. It is not for those who don’t believe.

Suppose the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in other languages. And suppose visitors or unbelievers come in. Won’t they say you are out of your minds? But suppose unbelievers or visitors come in while everyone is prophesying. Then they will be shown by all who speak that they are sinners. They will be judged by all. The secrets of their hearts will be brought out into the open. They will fall down and worship God. They will exclaim, “God is really here among you!”

Brothers and sisters, what should we say then? When you come together, every one of you brings something. You bring a hymn or a teaching or a word from God. You bring a message in another language or explain what was said. All of those things must be done to make the church strong.

No more than two or three people should speak in another language. And they should speak one at a time. Then someone must explain what was said. If there is no one to explain, the speakers should keep quiet in the church. They can speak to themselves and to God.

Only two or three prophets are supposed to speak. Others should decide if what is being said is true. What if a message from God comes to someone else who is sitting there? Then the one who is speaking should stop.

Those who prophesy can all take turns. In that way, everyone can be taught and be given hope. Those who prophesy should control their speaking. God is not a God of disorder. He is a God of peace.

As in all the churches of God’s people, women should remain silent in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak. They must follow the lead of those who are in authority, as the Law says. If they have a question about something, they should ask their own husbands at home. It is shameful for women to speak in church meetings.

Did the word of God begin with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? Suppose some think they are prophets or have gifts of the Holy Spirit. They should agree that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. Anyone who does not recognize that will not be recognized.

Brothers and sisters, you should want to prophesy. And don’t stop people from speaking in languages they had not known before. But everything should be done in a proper and orderly way (1 Corinthians 14, NIrV).

Categories: 1 corinthians, Church
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