Shame: A Biblical Perspective

Man covering face

Shame may be defined as “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” One can also be shamed or put to shame by others, causing him to feel ashamed.

Shame has a very negative connotation in our society today. Many believe that children should not be disciplined or corrected for fear that they might be made to feel ashamed. Sin is tolerated and even celebrated so that those who practice it will not feel shame for their actions. Behaviors that were once kept secret because they were shameful are now proudly announced to the world.

What does the Bible have to say about all of this? Let us consider shame from a Biblical perspective.Continue Reading

More Important Than Numbers

Church Attendance Board

Some churches are so focused on numbers that they will do almost anything to boost their numbers – attendance, membership, conversions, etc. Any Christian with a love for the Lord and for others would certainly prefer to see an increase in these numbers, but not at all costs. We need to recognize that there are certain things that are more important than numbers. In this article, we will notice seven of these that are presented to us in the New Testament.Continue Reading

Mark and Avoid

X-mark

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18, KJV).

At the close of his letter to Rome, Paul told the brethren to “mark” and “avoid” certain people. In other words, he was urging them to observe these individuals and be aware of who they were so they could not keep company with them.

Why would the apostle tell these brethren to do this? What was this to accomplish? What would this look like in practice? It is important that we understand what Paul was teaching here. We can answer these questions from the word of God.Continue Reading

Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

In addition to an elder being a mature man who exemplifies the life of a Christian, there are certain qualifications on top of the character qualifications we discussed in the previous two lessons. In this lesson, we will notice the qualifications that pertain to his family, his ability, as well as other miscellaneous qualifications.
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Godly Sorrow

Prayer

There are many reasons to sorrow in this life. However, in this article we will focus on sorrowing over sin. Paul discussed this in his second letter to Corinth:

For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while—I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter” (2 Corinthians 7:8-11).

Sorrow can be produced by our own sins or the sins of others. Generally, sorrow is destructive unless we have the right kind of sorrow – godly sorrow. What is godly sorrow? Why is it beneficial for us? We will examine the passage above and seek to answer those questions in this article.
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 10): Life

The Psalm of the Word

Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.

May those who fear You see me and be glad,
Because I wait for Your word.

I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word to Your servant.

May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.

May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
But I shall meditate on Your precepts.

May those who fear You turn to me,
Even those who know Your testimonies.

May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,
So that I will not be ashamed.

(Psalm 119:73-80)

God is our Creator – the giver of life. Understanding this fact should cause us to serve the Lord and do so in a certain way. Let us notice the connection between God being our Maker and our Master.
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The Psalm of the Word (Part 9): Affliction

The Psalm of the Word

You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.

Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.

Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.

You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.

The arrogant have forged a lie against me;
With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.

Their heart is covered with fat,
But I delight in Your law.

It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.

The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

(Psalm 119:65-72)

It may sound strange when we read it, but the psalmist said that it was good that he was afflicted. How could affliction be considered a good thing? And what kind of affliction was he talking about? Let us consider these questions.
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