Submit to God, Resist the Devil

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

The two words James used to admonish Christians in their walk – submit and resist – both involve action. This should not be surprising. Earlier in the letter he commended an active faith while condemning a passive faith.

Regarding the active faith, James wrote, “Show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18). Further on he said, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).
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The Catholic Church’s Search for Aliens

Last week the Associated Press reported that the Vatican is looking for signs of alien life. They have called in thirty scientists from several countries to study “whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds.” If extraterrestrial life is possible, there is also the question about “its implications for the Catholic Church.”

The subject of aliens is an interesting topic to many people. But what, if any, bearing does it have on our faith or service to God. Regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is possible, or even if intelligent life forms do exist on other planets, there are some truths that we must remember. These will not change, no matter what is discovered by science (or the Catholic Church).
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A Call for Praise to the Lord

Psalm 100 is a call for all men to praise the Lord. It also reminds us of the reasons we are to praise Him and what our attitude should be in our praise.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

There are four points in this psalm that relate to our praise to God.
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What Must One Believe to Be Saved?

Standing by a Mountain Lake

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Brethren have debated the meaning of this verse with those in denominations for years. The disagreement is over baptism. Brethren teach that Jesus’ words indicate that one must be baptized (in addition to believing) to be saved. Those in denominations teach that since baptism is not mentioned in the second clause, then one must only believe to be saved.

It is clear that belief is essential for salvation. If one does not believe, he will be condemned. But what exactly is it that one must believe to be saved? I would suggest that once we find the answer to this in the Bible, it will also settle the debate on baptism. So what does the Bible teach that one must believe to be saved?
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Start with the Right Foundation

Stone Wall

The Unitarian Universalist church is an interesting denomination. While it does share roots, historically, with Protestant churches, it is not really a “Christian” denomination. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that “Christianity” is only a part of its identity. This group welcomes and accepts various forms of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and even atheism. They simply ignore the things that most obviously divide these groups and focus on personal “spiritual” growth.

There is one of these churches that I pass on my way to and from work everyday. On their sign by the road, they have a message board they change once a week or so. They use this to provide concise messages to the public, reflecting their liberal religious (and even political) views. These messages sometimes say things that other churches/Christians do or believe, but will not admit. The most recent message is an example of this:
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“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Was Jesus actually forsaken on the cross? Did the Father turn His back on the Son? Maybe believe the answer to these questions is “yes” based on their interpretation of Matthew 27:46. When we look at the context, however, we see that Jesus was not separated from the Father while on the cross.

Tim Haile has pointed out several problems with the idea that Jesus was actually forsaken on the cross in a recent article posted on the website of the Parkway church of Christ. I encourage you to click on the link below and read that article.

“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” (by Tim Haile)

Some time ago, I also wrote an article with the same title. If you are interested you may refer to that article as well – “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Unity of the Spirit

Ephesians 4:4-6

Paul instructed the church in Ephesus to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). He then went on to explain the reason for unity and the basis of it.

Our unity must be based upon the following:
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