Friday, January 28, 2011

Teaching On True Christian Unity

Two Wednesdays ago I taught on Christian unity. Later I published a devotional piece based on what I taught.  See here.  I made use of F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches" and Arlo Newell's "The Church of God as Revealed in Scripture."

I am still reading Smith as well as Adam Miller's "An Introduction to the Old Testament."

Last Wednesday snow prevented the Church from meeting, so I did not teach.


Scripture references from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches."

The observance of Baptism and other ordinances rests upon the Great Commision. (Mt. 28: 19-20, Mk. 16: 15-16). Ordinances were not done away with at Christ's death.  Misapplication of Col. 2:4. What was abolished were the ordinances of Mosaic law (Col. 2: 16-17, Heb. 9:10).  

Baptism is for believers- Mk. 16:15-16 limits baptism to those who are capable of hearing and believing. See Acts 8:12. No mention of children. Only believers- Acts 10, 16: 31-34.  Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God (1Pet. 3:21).

Baptism conditioned on repentance- Mt. 3: 1-8, Lk. 7:30, Acts 2:38, 8: 21.

Baptism is a burial- The English word for baptizo is immerse.  Believer dies to sin, is crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20), buried with Christ in baptism, rise with Christ through faith (Col. 2:11-12). An outward sign of an inward work. Rom. 6: 1-4. Jesus went into the water at His baptism in the Gospel accounts.  See Acts 8: 36-39.

Baptism a purifying ordinance- Jews considered it a purifying ordinance (Link Lev. 14: 2-7[a double cleansing, ceremonial and actual] and Mt. 8: 1-4, see also Jn. 3: 23-25).   See Acts 2: 38, 22:16. Baptism does not actually cleanse us from sin but is a testimony.  Figurative nature of baptismal cleansing- 1Pet. 3: 20-21- the answer of a good conscience toward God.  How is this good conscience obtained? Christ's blood cleanses us: Heb. 9:14, 1Jn. 1:7, Rev. 1:5.     

Single Immersion- Acts 2:38, 10:48, 8:16, 19:5.

Women In Ministry (And A Definition of Prophecy)

Scripture references from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches."

Equality of Men and Women In The Church: In Old Testament, some women rose to prominence, such as Deborah (Judges 4). Christ delivered one of his greatest sermons to one woman (Jn. 4).  A woman was the first messenger of the resurrection.  Paul recognized equality of men and women (Gal. 3:28).

Women in official positions: As deaconess (Rom. 16:1). This position was a public position; those who held it were ordained by the laying on of the Apostles' hands (1Tim 3: 8-13 with Acts 6: 1-6).
As Ministers- Priscilla and Aquilla (Acts 18:26). Anna preached the first sermon concerning Christ (Lk. 2: 36-38). The Samaritan woman proclaimed Christ so that Samaritans beleived (Jn. 4:39).  The Holy Spirit was poured out on men and women at Pentecost and they all prophesied (Acts 2).  Philip's daughters prophesied (Acts 21: 8-9). What is prophesy? To speak forth, to tell out the message or the mysteries of God.  The gift of prophecy is to understand all mysteries, all knowledge (1Cor. 13:2) of God. These are spiritually discerned (1Cor. 2: 7-14) To preach the Gospel under the Spirit's inspiration is to proclaim the hidden wisdom, or the mysteries of God-to prophesy (1Cor. 14:3).  Prophecy is the public proclamation of the Gospel (1Cor. 14: 23-25) when the Church is in one place (verses 23-24). Joel prophesied the pouring out of the Spirit on men and women (Joel 2: 28-29) and Peter declared that at Pentecost this prophecy was fulfilled (Acts 1: 14-15, 2: 4, 14-18). Paul spoke of women as "fellow laborers," laborers together on the same plane and the same work (Phil. 4:3).  The words of Tertullian: "Together they pray, together prostrate themselves, together perform their fasts; mutually teaching, mutually exhorting, mutually sustaining. Equal are they both found in the Church of God." Part IV, Book II, Chap. 8.

Exceptions based on the reality of cross-cultural ministry (1Cor. 9: 20-23).  In pagan areas, women were considered inferior, so in that situation women were to keep silent in Church (1Cor. 14: 34).

1Tim 2: 11-15 does not cover women's official positions in the Church but the relationship between a wife and her husband.  In domestic matters the husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23). The husband is not the head of the wife in spiritual matters, but Christ is the head of both (Eph. 5: 23-24). Wives ought to obey God rather than men.  Sapphira was accountable directly to God, not to her husband, in a matter which concerned the Church.      

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Teaching On Sin And Infirmities

Two Wednesdays ago, I taught on discerning the difference between sins (deliberate acts in violation of God's known will) and infirmities (limitations present in fallen man as the result of the Fall which are not sins but can lead to sin). I based my teaching on "Holiness and Human Nature" by Leon and Mildred Chambers.  I wrote a review of the book on my main blog where you can read much of what I taught. Snow forced the cancellation of Church last Wednesday.

Reading For Ordination

I have read more of F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches."  I quote a passage from my reading in the previous article.  I am half way through Dr. Adam Miller's "Introduction To The Old Testament."  I have finished Dr. Arlo F. Newell's "The Church of God as Revealed In Scripture." I will do some teaching from this book on Wed. evenings at Church.

Does Romans 7 Demonstrate That Paul Was In A State Of Sin

The following is taken from F.G. Smith's "What The Bible Teaches: A Systematic Presentation of the Fundamental Principles of Truth Contained In the Holy Scriptures":

"That the sin experience described in Romans 7 was not the experience of Paul the Christian at the time he was writing this chapter, is shown also by other facts.  This Epistle was written about the year A.D. 60.  Six years before this time, or in A.D. 54, he was living a much better life than that; for he declared to the Thessalonian bretheren, 'Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe' (1Thess. 2:10).  Was he a backslider at the time he wrote the Roman Epistle?  No; for about the same year, A.D. 60, he testified before a council, 'I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day' (Acts 23:1.  And a few days later he said, 'Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men' (Acts 24:16).  Neither did he dishonor God and his cause by departing into sin after this time, for in his dying testimony, given about six years later, he said: 'The time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith' (2Tim. 4:7)"