Rules for Religious Discussions

Bible Study

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15).

It is incumbent upon all Christians to be ready to teach others. There are many potential ways to do this. The passage above describes teaching that is done in the course of a discussion – someone “asks you.” These discussions take place in different environments – friendly or hostile, public or private, in person or online, etc. How do we make the best use of our opportunities to discuss the Scriptures with others?

On one hand, we are to “contend earnestly” (Jude 3); on the other hand we must speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We are to “demolish arguments” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV), but “must not be quarrelsome” (2 Timothy 2:24). How do we strike the right balance? We do so by remembering some rules for religious discussions.Continue Reading

Faith Working through Love

Galatians 5:6

In his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul addressed the problem of Jewish Christians wanting to return to or retain parts of the Law of Moses. If one attempted to do this and be “justified by law,” he would have “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

There are not many Christians today who are trying to go back to the Law of Moses as there were in the first century (at least not as overtly as the early Jewish Christians were). Yet this was the first major controversy among the early disciples. Much of the focus in this controversy had to do with circumcision. Circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:10-12) and was a commandment under the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12:2-3); however, it was not required for Christians under the law of Christ (Acts 15:1-11; Galatians 2:3-5). So in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he explained that there was something more important than whether or not one was circumcised.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).

What mattered for these brethren was “faith working through love.” Let us briefly break down what Paul meant by this.Continue Reading

Measuring the Love of God

Measuring

Midway through Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle described a prayer that he offered to the Father (Ephesians 3:14-21). Part of this prayer emphasized the greatness of the love of God.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Paul began this chapter by describing what God has given – His grace in the gospel (v. 2-3), a way to understand His will (v. 4), salvation to the Gentiles (v. 6), His wisdom revealed (v. 10), the church (v. 10), and His eternal purpose carried out in Christ (v. 11). All of these were part of the demonstration of the love of God. As Paul said, God’s love “surpasses knowledge” (v. 19).

Paul described the greatness of God’s love in terms of measurements – breadth, length, height, and depth (Ephesians 3:18). What do these measurements mean? Some commentators suggest that God’s love is described in this way simply to emphasize the fact that it cannot be quantified. However, each of these terms mean something and the New Testament shows how they apply to the love of God.Continue Reading

Add Love (Season 12, Episode 9)

Add Love (Season 12, Episode 9)

 
 
00:00 / 19:34
 
1X
 

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

Add Love (Season 12, Episode 9)

In this season, we’re discussing Peter’s admonition to add to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

One of the qualities are are to add to our faith is love. In this episode, we discuss what this is, what it looks like with and without faith, and how we go about adding it to our faith.

Mentioned in this episode:

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

Add Brotherly Kindness (Season 12, Episode 8)

Add Brotherly Kindness (Season 12, Episode 8)

 
 
00:00 / 18:49
 
1X
 

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

Add Brotherly Kindness (Season 12, Episode 8)

In this season, we’re discussing Peter’s admonition to add to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

One of the qualities are are to add to our faith is brotherly kindness. In this episode, we discuss what this is, what it looks like with and without faith, and how we go about adding it to our faith.

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.

How to Discuss Contentious Topics

Argument

Most have noticed that the world in which we live has become more divided and contentious in the past few years. Many topics that come up for discussion – both in person and especially online – can elicit strong emotional responses from individuals. Because of this, we may be tempted to avoid any type of discussion on potentially controversial issues, especially if we know (or are reasonably certain) there will be disagreement.

However, for many controversial topics, there are Biblical principles that apply to them. Therefore, discussions on these sorts of issues can provide a way to direct others – especially those who are not Christians – to what the Bible teaches. So we should not avoid discussing such things altogether, but we do need to understand the proper way to discuss contentious topics.Continue Reading

Do Not Love the World (Sermon #36)

Do Not Love the World (Sermon #36)

 
 
00:00 / 36:27
 
1X
 

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

Do Not Love the World (Sermon #36)

We’re in between season 11 and season 12. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on August 19, 2018 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

If you found this episode to be useful, please share it with others. Also, if you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher. This also helps others hear about the podcast. Thanks.