Quenching the Spirit

Near the close of Paul’s first epistle to Thessalonica, he gave several brief exhortations. One of these was the instruction, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). What does it mean to “quench the Spirit”? The Greek word that is translated quench means to extinguish, or put out. This makes us think of extinguishing a fire. The word of God is compared to a fire elsewhere as Jeremiah described it as “a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9).

We should also remember that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). To “quench the Spirit” is to remove the power from the gospel. After all, the revealed word is the product of the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; John 15:26-27). The gospel is designed to convert the lost and edify the saved. Quenching the Spirit prevents these things and, ultimately, will cause us to forfeit our salvation. So we should look at how we are to preach so as not to quench the Spirit. How do we “quench the Spirit”?
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The Purpose of Preaching

Man with Open Bible

From the beginning of the New Testament we read about preaching. First we see John the Baptist “preaching in the wilderness of Judea” (Matthew 3:1). A little while later “Jesus began to preach” (Matthew 4:17) and went “throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23). Jesus commanded His disciples on different occasions to go out and preach the gospel (Luke 9:1-6; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). Throughout the New Testament, this is what we see – the gospel being preached. Though men may see this as foolish, this is what God desires (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).

God designed preaching to accomplish certain things. Let us notice the purpose of preaching.
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The Tempting of Christ

Matthew 4:1-11 contains the account of Satan tempting Christ. When we talk about “tempting” or “temptation,” we need to realize that there are two different uses for these words in the Bible. The first refers to a testing – that which comes from without. An example of this is when the Israelites tested God in the wilderness: “Where your fathers tried Me [tempted me, KJV] by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years” (Hebrews 3:9; cf. Psalm 95:9). The second use denotes a desire for sin – that which comes from within. James talked about this type of temptation: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:14). So not everything you are tempted with is a temptation to you. That is, not everything you are tested with produces or reflects a desire to sin on your part. The action of the one acting as the tempter is the same, but the difference is our desire or lack thereof. Failure to make a distinction between the two can lead to confusion.
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Must the Days of Genesis 1 Be Interpreted Literally?

Genesis

The first chapter of the Bible records the first miracle God performed – the creation of the universe. This was certainly a miracle because none of the events recorded in Genesis 1 would have happened naturally without the working of God. But the Bible does not just tell us that God created the universe, it tells us how He created everything: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made…For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6, 9). This is exactly what we see in Genesis. God spoke everything into existence. “All that He had made” was finished on “the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2).
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Positive Preaching

Sometimes we hear people describe a sermon preached as either “positive” or “negative.” The word of God does not use these terms to describe preaching. So to get an idea what these descriptors mean, we need to look to modern dictionaries. That which is positive is “marked by or indicating acceptance, approval, or affirmation” (Merriam-Webster). Conversely, “negative” would indicate “denial, prohibition, or refusal” (Merriam-Webster). Upon looking at these definitions, it is no wonder why people generally prefer “positive” preaching.
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Spiritual Warfare

At various times throughout the New Testament, our duty as Christians is compared to that of a soldier in battle. The Ephesians were told to “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). The evangelist Timothy was told to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12) and “suffer hardship…as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3). Later, Paul said he had “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7). As Christians, we are involved in this conflict here on earth.

This is a theme that is continuously emphasized in the New Testament. Another passage that speaks of this is found in Paul’s second letter to Corinth:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

For this article, we will focus on what this passage teaches us about the war in which we are engaged.
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Tradition in Worship

Hymn - Amazing Grace

Many of the things we do in worship are a matter of tradition. Some may be surprised by that admission. They read of “traditions” being condemned in the Bible and think that all traditions must be wrong. But the fact is, not all traditions are condemned by God in His word. In fact, some are even required.

There are basically three types of traditions. We will notice each to help us see what sort of traditions are right and which are wrong.
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