The New Birth

Baptism

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again”’” (John 3:3-7).

When Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He told him about the need to be “born again.” Peter also used this type of language in his first epistle – being “born again” (1 Peter 1:3, 23). There is a reason why Jesus and the inspired apostle used this analogy – this new birth parallels physical birth.Continue Reading

Add Knowledge (Season 12, Episode 4)

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Add Knowledge (Season 12, Episode 4)

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 knowledge. 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:

  • Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review – Free PDF for Plain Bible Teaching subscribers. Sign up here!

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Planning for the Future

Plan

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

If we are going to be pleasing to God, there are two critical factors for us to consider – God’s instructions and our decisions. At the turn of every new year, many of us make resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. With this in mind, let us consider some passages from the book of Proverbs about planning for the future. As we move forward in the new year, we need to be sure we are acting with wisdom.Continue Reading

Identifying the Lord’s Church (Part 2): What Rule Does His Church Follow?

Identifying the Lord's Church

In the previous lesson, we discussed the question regarding the number of churches that Jesus built. We saw from the Scriptures that He built just one church. Yet we need to know how His one church can determine what to believe, teach, and practice. So in this lesson, we are going to ask this question: What rule does His church follow?Continue Reading

The Preacher’s Work

Man with Bible Standing on the Train Tracks

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, one of the matters he addressed was the support of preachers (1 Corinthians 9:3-14). He explained that although he did not take wages from them (1 Corinthians 9:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:8), he had a right to receive such support. To show that a man has a right to receive support for his work as a preacher, Paul cited three other types of work for which men may receive compensation.

Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?” (1 Corinthians 9:7).

The point of this article is not to discuss the right of preachers to be supported for their work.* Instead, I want us to notice the three illustrations that Paul used in the verse above. He did not simply pick three random occupations and say that since they have a right to receive a return on their work then preachers should be supported. Every legitimate work is worthy of pay (cf. Proverbs 14:23). Yet the inspired apostle mentioned three works that in some way resemble the role of a preacher. Let us consider these briefly.Continue Reading

“Raccoon” John Smith: Relying More on the Word Than the Holy Ghost

"Raccoon" John Smith: Relying More on the Word Than the Holy Ghost

When “Raccoon” John Smith (1784-1868) began preaching, he was part of the Baptist church. As a result, he was heavily influenced by Calvinism. This led him to believe that no one could be converted except by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit on his/her heart. Without this kind of direct operation of the Spirit, no one could be saved.

At this time, his wife – who was “unconverted” when they married – developed an interest in religion. She asked him the meaning of a certain passage of Scripture; however, he would not answer her question. It was not because he did not have an answer or because he did not want her to know the answer. There was another reason behind his refusal to answer her Bible question:

“His wife, who was unconverted at the time of her marriage, soon became deeply concerned on the subject of religion. He was, of course, much interested in the progress of her experience; but he reverently and hopefully left her alone with her God. The young husband, who, in any other trouble, would have succored her, even at the sacrifice of his life, abandoned her in this, the most solemn and perplexing of her trials; for no obtrusive human agency, he thought, must interfere with the work of the Spirit. She asked him one day, what was the meaning of a certain text; and he was too considerate to give her any explanation at the time, fearing that, in the simplicity of her unregenerate heart, she might improperly take comfort from it, and rely more on the Word than on the Holy Ghost” (Life of Elder John Smith, p. 59).

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Two Philosophies

Two Men Talking

One person says, “Look at all of the people in all of the different churches. They all have different beliefs and practices. Surely they can’t all be wrong.”

Another person says, “Let’s look at the Bible because the Bible is right, even if I am wrong.”

The first person begins his reasoning with the beliefs and practices of men. The second person begins his reasoning by examining the Scriptures.

Which philosophy should we have? The following passages are helpful in answering that question:Continue Reading