Thankful (Part 4): Thankful for Our Hope

Thankful

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:52-57).

In Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he spent the entire fifteenth chapter discussing the resurrection. The resurrection is the reason why our hope as Christians is better than anything for which others may hope. No matter what happens in this life – even when we face difficult situations, including the eventual end in death – our hope remains as long as we continue to faithfully serve the Lord.Continue Reading

Thankful (Part 3): Thankful for God’s Mercy

Thankful

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:12-16).

As Paul wrote to Timothy, he told of his own background as a persecutor of the church and how he considered himself as the “chief” of sinners (KJV). Yet he was able to be forgiven and become a part of the Lord’s work because of the mercy that was shown to him. He explained to Timothy that the Lord’s treatment of him is an example for all believers. As Paul received mercy, we also receive mercy from God. As Paul thanked the Lord for this, we are to be thankful for God’s mercy as well.Continue Reading

The Cross as a Symbol

Cross and sunset

It is common to see the image of a cross being used as a symbol – a symbol of “Christianity,” an image in art and jewelry, and so on. However, that is not what we will be discussing here. A Christian does not need a cross around his neck, nor does a church need a cross on its building. Instead, we will be talking about “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) – the message of the gospel.

In the gospel, the cross is shown as a symbol representing some fundamental concepts. In following Christ, we are to take up our cross (Luke 9:23), making the same traits which are symbolized by the cross manifested in our lives.

So what does the cross symbolize?Continue Reading

Pay Attention

Attention

We receive reminders throughout our lives to pay attention – to our spouses, children, parents, teachers, employers, etc. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of paying attention. In this article, we are going to see what we are – and are not – to pay attention to and why it matters.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

How to Determine If One Is a Christian

Paul Before Agrippa

When Paul was on trial before King Agrippa, he used the opportunity to preach the gospel (Acts 26:19-23). One of the apostle’s goals was to persuade the king to become a Christian. Agrippa recognized this because he stated, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28).

We are trying to do the same thing today that Paul was doing on that occasion – trying to persuade people to become a Christian. However, if we are going to persuade them to become a Christian, we need to know what a Christian is. Also, they need to understand what a Christian is before they can be persuaded to become one.

So how can we determine if one is a Christian? How can one determine if he/she is a Christian or not? We can consult the Scriptures to find an answer.Continue Reading

The Entrance into the Eternal Kingdom (Season 12, Episode 12)

The Entrance into the Eternal Kingdom (Season 12, Episode 12)

 
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The Entrance into the Eternal Kingdom (Season 12, Episode 12)

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

The Lord has made it so that we can be saved eternally, opening up the “entrance into the eternal kingdom.” But as Peter explained, in order to have this way “abundantly supplied” to us, we must continue to add to our faith the qualities we have been discussing over the past several episodes.

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