Christian, Inspirational

Tell and Turn

1 John 1:9 KJV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is a promise.

Proper baptism covers past sins, but what do we do if we sin after baptism? First and foremost we should fear God and strive not to sin. We have to value Jesus’ sacrifice. 

There are those that preach a difference between public sin and private sin and intentional and unintentional sin. These preachers do great damage to the Kingdom of God. One preaches 1 John 1:9 doesn’t apply to private sin another says 1 John 1:9 is not for intentional sin. I know from past experience how hard it is to confess. These preachers make it harder. There is darkness and death in silence.

I once typed a page with my sins, printed about 30 copies, and handed it out at church because I could not find the courage to speak it publicly. I also called the police once and confessed to them for a past deed that troubled me greatly. It is both scary and difficult to confess, especially if you are denied a forum.

What are the requirements of confession? 

What is the purpose?

I believe confession is made to another, not just praying silently to God for forgiveness. James 5:16. He already knows them, so where is the confession, if this is all we do?

The purpose of confession is to tell and turn, to bring darkness to light, death to life. Repentance walks hand in hand with confession. We are sorry for our sin and we will quit the sinful activity. 

Don’t die in your sins. Tell and Turn.

Proverbs 28:13 KJV He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Matter of Degrees

I worry for the future of the Church. I had a recent conversation with someone attending a Church of Christ preaching school in which he said everyone who was not of the Church of Christ denomination was unrighteous.  I have heard before of certain denominations or individual churches believing they were the only ones saved, but was somewhat shocked that this was the spirit of a church I attend.

Is this the future spirit of the Church? The Bible tells us the righteous are scarcely saved. 1 Peter 4:18. And yet I have not found a congregation that worships perfectly. Where is that church, one that keeps the Ten Commandments and understands the gospel?

There are keys of Salvation that cross denominational barriers? 

  1. John 3:16 Belief in Jesus
  2. Mark 16:16 Correct Water Baptism
  3. 1 John 1:9 Forgiveness After Baptism


Does the use of musical instruments in worship make one unrighteous? Does receiving sprinkling as an infant make a person unrighteous? Does not keeping the Sabbath make one unrighteous? 

It’s a matter of degrees from the straight and narrow. Being unable to discern God is accepting of both a cappella and musical worship may not make one worthy of damnation. However, believing you are holier because you only worship a cappella may be a stumbling block. Being sprinkled with water as an infant doesn’t make one unrighteous. However choosing not to read the Holy Bible to learn baptism requires knowledge of Jesus, knowledge of sin for repentance, and being immersed by another in the name of Jesus or in the name if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost may jeapordize one’s salvation. Keeping the Sabbath is a commandment, yet we are told not to judge one another in regard to the keeping of holy days. Colossians 2:16.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Covering

On the SALSA channel I saw someone speaking about people needing a covering. He said he needed to know a person’s covering, who their preacher or pastor was.

I don’t know if this is an Hispanic thing or a left over from the influence of the Catholic Church. I tell you a fact. Your preacher or pastor is not your covering. His primary job is to teach the Word of God including the Law.

1 Timothy 2:5 KJV For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

No one should stand between you and God.

Now if we are talking literal covering. Men should not cover their heads when they pray. 1 Corinthians 11:4. When women pray, they should cover their heads – a simple scarf works. 1 Corinthians 11:5-6.

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Christian, Inspirational

The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:25 KJV After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it , in remembrance of me.

Matthew 26:26-28 KJV

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it , and brake it , and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. [27] And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; [28] For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.


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Christian, Inspirational

Preaching

Matthew 9:35 KJV And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Mark 16:15 KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

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Christian, Inspirational

Prayer

For public prayer in modern churches you really need to go back to the Old Testament.

Isaiah 56:7 KJV Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Technically I cannot think of a publicly led prayer in the Temple. Solomon led a prayer outside of the Temple and Daniel prayed three times a day towards Jerusalem. In Matthew 6:5, Jesus talks of those praying in synagogues and streets, but overall his comment is not favorable.

There are many verses in the New Testament referring to prayer. The first part of James 5:16 is often overlooked.

James 5:16 KJV Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I firmly believe the men who get up and pray should pray Matthew 6:9-13. I cannot think of a time in any church where I have heard this prayed, but it is how our Savior, Jesus Christ, instructed us to pray. When listening to another pray in their own words I have to pause and consider if I agree. There have been times when I just pray Matthew 6:9-13 silently during public prayer.

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Christian, Inspirational

A Prettier Pan

Is it easier to give at a building? Is it easier to give to someone on television? Are these things easier than giving to someone on the street?

James 2:2-4 KJV For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; [3] And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: [4] Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Cant these verses apply to giving as well? When certain men panhandle for thousands or even millions of dollars and begrudge the man on the street ten or twenty dollars it gets under my skin. See my previous post.

In that post, I also stated that we should be prepared to exam all things that occur in our churches. We should be aware of the history of giving at churches and how our money is spent. To just tell ourselves we are giving to God may be irresponsible.

The early tabernacle of the Lord began with Moses and the Jews after leaving Egypt. Offerings were made for sin and the tithe was often of first fruits. What did this mean? The Levites had food to eat and were supported by the larger group of Israelites. The job of the Levites was care, upkeep, and transportation of the Tabernacle. When the Israelites later built a temple and moved into the promised land these same practices were followed similarly. The Levites were given land and divided among the various cities. They had rotating duties at the Temple.

What does this mean today since the Temple of God no longer exists? When you contribute at the modern church you pay for the support of the preacher and the maintenance of the Church building. 

Things you should know and question. What is the preacher paid? Does the preacher consistently preach the truth? After paying the salary of the preacher and building expenses how much is left? How much of the money you give on Sunday actually goes to charitable purposes, i.e. the poor or missions?

The Church of Christ denomination claims biblical support of all they do. Since they claim we only follow the New Testament this biblical basis should be found in the New Testament. Their biblical claim for passing the plate every Sunday is 1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

What they ignore is context. This instruction was given by Paul to collect an offering to give to the saints at Jerusalem. It was not and is not an instruction to modern churches to take an offering every Sunday.

It’s your money, when you give be aware of where it might do the most good. Giving directly to the poor should never be frowned upon. It might mean survival to that person. It might mean their only meal that day.

When giving to your church or a charity be aware of administrative fees. How much of your money actually reaches the intended recipient?

A handy tool for charities is charitynavigator.org. At your local church you may have to ask for a copy of their budget.

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