Come as you are. Bring a Bible & a friend. All are welcome. Studies last one hour.
Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls” (The Crisis). Indeed, the faith of many is being tested, tried and increased. The faith of others is now more than ever, if not for the first time, taking root. Though the backdrop of these trials is harsh and real and distressing, these are great opportunities for spiritual awakening and times worthy of all joy (cf. Jas. 1:2-3).
Watching souls wrestle with spiritual truths held dear for so long is an encouraging dilemma. Thinking which has become rote and routine—the norm—is now being pressed, revisited, challenged, clarified, refreshed and even restored. The discussions taking place about bible authority, lawfulness, and right and wrong on issues seemingly “settled” are indeed necessary and beneficial. We are examining ourselves. Faith is growing. Souls are being tried, and that is not a bad thing.
Disciples have been questioning the authority of cancelling church assemblies in the face of the deadly pandemic sweeping the globe. On the surface, such might seem like ignorant, “legalistic” wrangling, but we should rejoice that souls want to do only that which is lawful and biblical. Rather than push aside the need for bible authority in the present distress, we need to seek it, discuss it and embrace it. We must always welcome such questions and take heart in the fact that souls are seeking God’s glory.
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, TELL IT UNTO FACEBOOK, and let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17, NKJV - Social Media Edition).
“By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Lev. 10:3). This was the powerful admonition of the Lord after consuming Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, with fire for offering ‘profane fire’ before the Lord, which the Lord had not commanded them (Lev. 10:1-2).
Though there can be no doubt that God was just in punishing Nadab and Abihu and that they had indeed sinned, much debate exists as to what exactly was ‘profane’ about the fire.
The church at Corinth struggled in a variety of ways. As Paul writes to them, one particular principle seems to surface frequently. They are admonished to look out for one another’s well-being. Do we do so?
Whether issues relating to eating meat offered to idols, tarrying one for another when observing the Lord’s Supper, marriage relationships, spiritual gifts, filing lawsuits against brethren, or immorality among them, one admonition resonates repeatedly. In sundry ways, they were told, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (1 Cor. 10:24).
Delaying or avoiding death is the quintessential hope of most, if not all, of mankind. Thus the hope of everlasting life has an appeal to all. While many seek to obtain some form of everlasting life, not all will find true life (John 17:3; 1 Cor. 15:19). The reason for this is that most are looking in the wrong places.
One of the great failures of understanding when it comes to the intersection of the ideas of grace, faith and works in salvation is rooted in the idea of contingency. In other words, we are not saved by any of these items independently, but each is interdependent, or contingent upon the other.
The word contingent is defined as “dependent on or conditioned by something else” (Merriam Webster).