Church Blog (Page 2)

Church Blog (Page 2)

Galatians 2: False Brethren and a Faulty Pope

In Acts 16, Paul takes on young Timothy as he continues his journey with Silas. Because Timothy’s father was well known to be a Gentile, Paul circumcised Timothy (16:3). We can only speculate that this was done so the preaching of the gospel among the Jews would not be hindered. But in today’s reading, we find Paul taking the opposite stance on circumcision regarding Titus. While Timothy had a Jewish mother, Titus was a Gentile. Also, Paul was keenly aware…

Galatians 1: Another Gospel

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal 1:6-7). This has long been a “favorite” text of mine, not because I love to study about perverting the gospel, but because of the clarity of the original text that is not borne out in any English…

2 Corinthians 13: The testimony of witnesses and self-examination

Paul begins his concluding remarks in chapter 13 by reminding the brethren that he will examine them, and that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word will be established.” Throughout Scripture, God has always protected the innocence and integrity of good men by requiring multiple and credible witnesses before receiving an accusation against another. We find this in the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 17:6, in the Law of Christ in Matthew 18:15-20, and in the writing…

2 Corinthians 12: The Third Heaven, Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

There are (at least) two points of considerable interest in this great chapter. First, “What is the third heaven of verse 2?” The general view is that the Jews knew of three heavens as revealed to them in Scripture. The first is the atmosphere or sky wherein the clouds dwell and the birds fly (cf Gen 1 :20; 2 Sam 21:10). The second was the realm beyond the first wherein dwell all the celestial bodies (Gen 1:14ff; Deut 10:22). These…

2 Corinthians 11: A Preacher Talks about His Brethren and Fellow Preachers

The carnality of Corinthian thinking continues on display in chapter 11. As I read and re-read the text, I thought about a couple of dichotomies within the churches of Christ, namely, how different brethren treat their preachers differently. Without painting with too broad a brush, here are a couple of observations from my last 30 years in the church. Many of my white brethren have been perfectly content to allow men to serve them as Paul served the brethren at…

2 Corinthians 10: The Weapons of Our Warfare are not Carnal

As Paul prepares to return to Corinth, there remain some who have failed to recognize his authority as an apostle and refuse to accept his instruction. One of the reasons for this rejection was a misunderstanding of Paul’s deportment while he was present among them. His demeanor while in their presence was one of lowliness (v 1). However, those who opposed Paul mistakenly construed his lowliness as weakness. This is because they were unaccustomed to servant leadership. Like many today,…

2 Corinthians 9: Glory in Giving

2 Corinthians 8-9 is the most extensive text regarding the matter of our giving. As noted yesterday, there is no mention of tithing in this or any other New Testament text provided for church instruction. Paul concludes his discourse on giving with some principles that will prove helpful to any church. First, Paul speaks of giving with goals in mind, in this case to relieve the needy saints in Judea (vv 1-5). People will not give generously without defined goals.…

2 Corinthians 8: Giving with Grace

Today begins the first of two chapters dedicated to the matter of giving to the Lord of our financial blessings. Many religious institutions continue to teach and practice the Old Testament law of tithing, but nowhere in the pages of the New Testament do we find Christians commanded to tithe. However, we will note some principles of giving that are found in 2 Corinthians 8-9. Paul begins this discourse by praising the churches in Macedonia for their giving. He first…

2 Corinthians 7: A Picture of Biblical Repentance

There’s a lot of misinformation about the subject of repentance. Many think it is being sorry for sin. Others think it is the cessation of sin or some sinful activity. Both are involved in repentance, but they do not paint the complete picture. We would do well to note Paul’s statement in vv 2-9 (v 1 belongs in chapter 6). First, he defends his integrity in dealing with the brethren, “We have wronged no one; we have corrupted no one;…

2 Corinthians 6: Misused, Mistreated, and Mismatched

Misused #1 – “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (v 1). Anyone teaching irresistible grace or the inability to fall from grace has never read or does not understand verse 1. Misused #2 – “Behold, now is the accepted time: behold, today is the day of salvation” (v 2). Ten times out of nine when I hear this verse quoted, it is in the closing portion…