True Love

Love is a favorite topic for many in the religious world. While it is good for us to talk about love, John warned us not to stop there: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18). That is, we must display love in our actions, not just our words.
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Training Our Senses

Bible study

In Hebrews 5, the writer began a discussion in which he compared Jesus Christ with the high priest Melchizedek. He broke from this discussion in verse 11 before picking it up again in chapter 7. The reason for this interlude was because there was “much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” So the writer had to pause to reinforce some more basic truths before finishing this discussion. By this point, these Christians should have been mature and able to consider such a discussion about Melchizedek; yet they were not. The mature are those who have trained their senses (Hebrews 5:14).

What is meant by the term senses? This is the part of us that can perceive or judge right and wrong. We might call this our conscience. The writer said that our senses – or our conscience – should be trained in such a way that it can “discern good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). We are striving to develop an inherent – almost subconscious – sense of right and wrong. This passage shows how we can train our senses in this way.
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Glorifying God

Jesus prayed to the Father, “I have glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Likewise, since Christians “have been bought with a price,” they must “glorify God in [their] body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

How do we glorify God? People may invent many different ways to try and glorify God. But instead of doing what we think will glorify God, we should look to Jesus – our perfect example (1 Peter 2:21). How did Jesus glorify God? He “accomplished the work” which was “given [Him] to do” (John 17:4).
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“A Good Work” – Really?

[This article was written by Tim Haile]

Religious people often attempt to authorize their religious practices and programs by labeling them “good works.” This label is too often attached, not upon the basis of Bible authority, but upon the basis of human preference and of the end justifying the means. These folks reason that if some good is accomplished by their action, then God must be pleased with it. Of course, this is human reasoning, and it arrogantly assumes that man’s approval of a thing makes it approved also by God! Jesus taught the danger of this reasoning in Matthew 7:22-23. He said that “many” will stand before Him in the day of judgment and claim justification on the basis that they had performed “many wonderful works.” The modern day my-work-is-a-”good-work” crowd might assume that such people will most certainly be admitted into Heaven, but not so! Jesus said that He is going to tell these people to “depart from” Him, for He “never knew” them! What had they done that was so wrong that they will be barred from Heaven? They had worked “iniquity” (lawlessness) (Matthew 7:23). Though their works were esteemed as “wonderful” by them, they were not so esteemed by God. Jesus classified these so-called “wonderful works” as acts of rebellion against God. It is sinful to invent “good works” and perform them “in the name of” Christ.
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What Is Baptism?

Baptism

Baptism is discussed numerous times throughout the New Testament. There are also different baptisms that are mentioned. John the Baptist mentioned three baptisms – the baptism of John, the Holy Spirit, and fire (Matthew 3:11). In his letter to Corinth, Paul made reference to baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). There is also the baptism that is done in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). It is this baptism that is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament as being applicable to men today (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:48; 19:5).

Many people have various opinions about baptism. Some believe baptism is unnecessary because they believe we are saved by faith alone. Others believe baptism is merely a confession of faith – an outward sign of an inward grace. Some see baptism as necessary for gaining membership into a local church, but that one is already saved before being baptized. Still others believe that baptism is for the remission of sins and through it one gains entrance into the universal church. It is important that we understand what baptism is. Part of our “platform for unity” is the “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Let us consider what the New Testament teaches about baptism so we can unite around that teaching.
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A False Sense of Security

The prophet Amos said, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria” (Amos 6:1). Amos was prophesying of the coming judgment against the nation of Israel. Despite the warnings, the people felt at ease. They believed they were safe and that nothing could happen to them. Yet they were not safe. They had a false sense of security.

Just before this he spoke of the “day of the Lord” (Amos 5:18). Throughout Scripture, this phrase is used to denote judgment – punishment of the wicked and reward of the righteous. Those who were “at ease” and felt “secure” (Amos 6:1) would look forward to this day. The righteous should always look forward to the day of the Lord. Yet these people had no reason to look forward to it.
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Right and Wrong

Many are uncomfortable with the idea that there is an unchanging moral standard. They do not want to think of truth being absolute. They want it to be subjective. They do not like to think of things as being “black and white” but want to believe there is a lot of “gray area.” They think whatever is right should be determined by the individual and be based upon the situation. But the Bible teaches that there is a clear difference between right and wrong. Let us turn our attention to Jesus’ conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-29) in which He showed five areas where is a distinct difference between right and wrong.
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