Archives for : May2008

Who was Cain in the Old Testament?

Abel
(Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen 4:1-16). Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were trained in the duty of worshipping God. “And in process of time” (marg. “at the end of days”, i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labours. Cain, as a husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. “The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect” (Gen 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death; a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying into effect (Gen 4:8,9. Comp. 1 John 3:12). There are several references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of him as “righteous” (Matt 23:35). “The blood of sprinkling” is said to speak “better things than that of Abel” (Heb 12:24); i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb 11:4) that “Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” This sacrifice was made “by faith;” this faith rested in God, not only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that “faith” which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice, Abel’s offering was accepted of God. Cain’s offering had no such reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first martyr, as he was the first of our race to die. –Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

What does the word "abba" mean?

This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “father.” It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, “abbot.” — Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

How to be happy

If you want to be Happy, here are some things to practice….

¨ Seek to lead a quiet and peaceful life {I Tim. 2:2, I Thes. 4:11, Eph. 4:3}
¨ Count your blessings, don’t despise His goodness {Rom. 2:4}
¨ Laugh {Pro. 15:13}
¨ Be thankful {Col. 3:15, I Thes. 5:18}
¨ Be prayerful {I Thes. 5:17}
¨ Be unselfish {Phil. 2:4}
¨ Be concerned for the happiness of others {Pro. 18:24} (You have an impact on others happiness)
¨ Be caring, helpful {I John 3:17}
¨ Be loving {I Cor. 13:13}
¨ Be humble {Micah 6:8, Pro. 29:23}
¨ Be respectful {I Pet. 2:17}
¨ Be courteous {I Pet. 3:8,9}
¨ Be content {I Tim. 6:6}
¨ Be active {Rom. 2:7}
¨ Look inward, not outward {2 Cor. 13:5}
¨ Talk to yourself often, be honest {Psa. 119:11}
¨ Don’t blame others take responsibility for your actions,{Ecc. 12:14, Rom. 2:6}
¨ Realize your days are numbered {Psa. 90:12} (Life is too short to waste)
¨ Listen to others who love you enough to give you wisdom {Pro. 3:13}
¨ Love people, not things.
¨ Look forward with excitement and have a vision for yourself.
¨ Change your future by learning from the past.
¨ Leave the past in the past, don’t drag it around with you {Phil. 3:13, Eph. 4:26} (bitterness spoils happiness)
¨ Live modestly {I Tim. 6:9-10}
¨ Make the decision to be happy {Pro. 29:18}
¨ Have a plan, don’t leave things to chance {Pro. 4:26}
¨ Make good things happen {Mat. 12:35}
¨ Learn to be adaptable, change is the only thing that stays the same {1 Jn. 2:17}
¨ Actively manage your life: {Pro. 16:20}
? Relationship to God
? Relationship to people
? Health (as best as you can)
? Finances
? Behaviors
? Decisions

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

"How Does God Find Pleasure?"

God could not enjoy winning a competition, He never loses. He could not enjoy an abundance of material things, He owns everything.

Since God is not threatened by a lack of anything; and since He is not threatened with eternal damnation, where does He find pleasure?

The Bible tells us that God takes pleasure in helping those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11). He takes pleasure in seeing those who fear Him prosper (Psalm 35:27). Adopting men through the blood of Christ is according to His good pleasure (Ephesians 1:5). It is also His good pleasure to give His disciples the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).

God does not desire any to perish, but that all might come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). Therefore, God finds pleasure when one repents of sin and turns to Him.

Jesus found pleasure in always doing the things that pleased God the Father (John 8:39). That’s why God found pleasure in Jesus (Isaiah 42:1). Since Jesus is our Example (1Peter 2:21), God will find pleasure in us if we do only those things that please Him.

God takes pleasure in helping others. In 2Chronicles 16:9, we are told that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth looking for those whose heart is perfect toward Him in order to show Himself strong in their behalf.

Why do you and I take pleasure in helping others who have a genuine need? Because we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Think of all the things you have sacrificed to try and set your children on the right path of life. Do you feel bad about that? Of course not! Why? Because you are created in the image of God.

Are you looking for real meaning and purpose in life? It can only be found by doing those things in which God finds pleasure, because we are made in His image. You may have an abundance of “things” but still have a void in your life. To fill it, do the things that Jesus did, that is, always doing the things that please God (John 8:39), and helping others (Acts 10:38b). — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Who was the “Aaron” of the Old Testament?

He was the oldest son of Amram and Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (Ex 6:20). He was born in Egypt three years before his brother Moses and a number of years after his sister Miriam (2:1,4; 7:7). He was married to Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab of the house of Judah (6:23; 1 Chron 2:10). He had four sons with her (Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar).

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

The salvation of Cornelius (Acts 10-11)

1) One of the most important conversions in the book of Acts is Cornelius and his house.
2) This conversion is described in both Acts 10 and Acts 11.

3) Cornelius was lost . He had to “hear words” to receive salvation.
a) Cornelius may have been one of the finest men that has ever lived.
b) Acts 10:22 says a lot of Jewish people looked at this man and said he was a fine fellow.
4) He was “devout” (religious), Acts 10:2
a) Today people often say someone is “saved” because they are religious.
b) Our culture seems to equate almost any type of religious faith with heaven.
5) Cornelius proves religion is not an indicator of or proof of salvation.
6) He was religious, but He did not have a right relationship with God.
7) If that had been the case, Peter would not have needed to come and instruct him about spiritual things.
8) Acts 10:2 also says Cornelius feared God – this also was not enough.
a) The world assumes that thinking kindly about God and not speaking speak badly about him results in salvation.
b) Religion and respect for God do not save.

9) Cornelius was a giver. He helped the poor.
10) We would call him a “generous” man.
11) Cornelius tells us that giving money is not the way to salvation.
a) Cornelius’ life also consisted of prayer (this is stated at the end of verse 2).
b) His prayer life was very regular, but it did not save him.
12) Because Cornelius was in a state of condemnation he had to find a preacher –Acts 10:5 – READ.
a) Acts 11 tells us exactly why Peter was needed – verse 14 –READ
b) Cornelius had to hear “words” (a message). We also learn of the purpose behind this message.
13) Cornelius learned that he had to “do” some things so He could “receive” some things.
14) A person may have what we would regard as an excellent moral character.
15) Until someone hears and obeys the words of Christ, he is lost.
16) Cornelius was told by an angel to make contact with Peter (Acts 10:3), but this did not saved him.

17) Some point out from Acts 10 that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit and this is true.
a) Cornelius and his house did receive the Holy Spirit, but this did not save him or his family.
b) Acts 11:15 – READ

18) Verse 14 does not say Cornelius was saved by the Holy Spirit. Remember what was learned earlier.
a) “Words” were going to save this man and the other people in his household.
19) Verse 15 says Peter “began to speak.” Peter did not get a chance to speak the needed words.
20) He started to speak and then came the Holy Spirit.
21) If words were supposed to save this man, why did the Holy Spirit interrupt the speaker?
22) The Holy Spirit proved that it was okay to speak the “words of salvation” (verse 14).
23) Back in Mt. 16 Jesus said Peter would have “keys to the kingdom.”

24) Peter not only opened the door for this man and his house, he commanded them to be obedient.
25) Verse 48 of Acts 10.
26) Cornelius became a “saved man” when he obeyed the gospel.
a) Cornelius could have said he did not need Peter; he had all the religion he wanted.
b) He gave, he prayed, God was an important part of his life. He could have said he was satisfied.
c) This is what we hear from many people today.

27) People have a system of religion they like, they believe it works for them, so they will not change.
28) Cornelius was a great man in part because he was willing to listen to the truth.
29) What really made him special was his being willing to obey the truth.
30) His attitude is more fully expressed in verse 33 of Acts 10 – READ
a) This man said “we want to hear it all.”
b) ALL is a key word.
31) Have we found the Father through the Son?
32) Do we use the Son on a regular basis to maintain our relationship with God?

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Honoring mothers – a sermon about mothers

1) Story of Sara Tucholsky.
2) Today is Mother’s Day, a time when we think about words like “honor” and “help.”
3) Today we want to pay special attention to the word “honor.”
4) For our scripture reading we heard Ex. 20:1-17.
a) This is one of the places where the Ten Commandments are recorded.
b) In the New Testament we are told the Ten Commandments have been taken out of the way.
c) Jesus is the “end of the Old Testament law” Paul said in Rom. 10:4.
d) Paul did say we can “learn” from the Old Testament (Rom. 15:4).
5) One of the things we learn is that women—especially mothers—deserve honor.
6) God was explicit about this point in Ex. 20:12 – honor mother and father.
7) Ex. 21:15 – READ
8) We live in a time when parents are often not respected.
9) Ex. 21:15 describes something worse: hitting a parent.
10) Many evil people have tried to destroy much of what is good.
11) God said a mother is special she should never be struck by a child. Such is also true for dad.
12) Our world has told women for at least 50 years they are second class citizens.
13) When we look at women we find that they are special.
14) Let’s look at verse 17 in Ex. 21 – READ
15) Lev. 19:3 says children were to “respect” his “mother” and “father.”
a) In Ex. 21 we see things negatively—children were told what “not” to do.
b) In Lev. 19:3, the command is positive. Respect was to be shown to mom and dad.
16) In our culture children are often encouraged to not respect mom and dad.
17) In the movie “Expelled” professors and others talk about religion being “superstition.”
18) Children grow up, go to college, and hear from well educated men that their parents are ignorant.
19) Mom and dad believe in a God who is a fairy tale that is in the same category as Alice in Wonderland.
20) It is right to honor and respect mothers in the younger years.
a) In Lev. 19:32 God told His people “rise up before the hoary head.”
21) In 1 Kgs. 1:11 – Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba.
22) Bathsheba went to her son Solomon about a matter.
a) Notice what Solomon did when mom came to see him – 1 Kgs. 2:19 – READ
b) In the later years it is also right to respect and honor mom.
c) Prov. 1:8 says children are to “listen to the instruction of their father.”
d) Then the author also said “forsake not the law of your mother.”
23) Prov. 30:11 says there is a generation that “curses their father” and “does not bless their mother.”
a) This Proverb seems to be pretty much on target for the current day and time.
b) Our world may choose to live in this way, but Christians select a different course.
c) We hope this is the course you will pick – the choice that is now called Christianity.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Where did the devil come from?

Where did Satan come from one? This is one of the questions that many people want to know, and it is often answered based on a few select passages: Lk. 10:18; Rev. 12; Ezek. 28; Isa. 14. People see things like “Lucifer” in Isa. 12 and immediately conclude Satan is in view.

All the preceding verses have nothing to do with Satan; the writer was describing the “king of Tyre” in Ezek. 28. Luke 10:18 refers to victory over the devil, not how Satan came to be. John, also, in Rev. 12 refers to Satan’s lack of success, not how he started.

For a special study outline on the origin of Satan, visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com/theoriginofSatan

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

What is lust? What does the Bible say about lust?

Have you ever wondered what the word “lust” means? In the English language “lust” often has sexual connotation. In the Bible there is a sexual connotation to lust, but this is only a small part of what the Bible means.

As it is used in the scripture, “lust” occurs as both a noun (epithumetes) and a verb (epithumeo). In its noun form it occurs only once in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:6). Here Paul said Israel “lusted” after “evil things.” Because of the word “evil” we know Israel’s desires were sinful. Had Paul not included the word “evil,” we would not know whether the “lust” (desire) was good or evil because this word simply means “strong desire.”

We see the basic meaning of this word in its verbal form. Throughout the New Testament the verbal form of “lust” is used to describe a strong desire of what is good and bad. Readers can see this by examining the following passages, all of which have the word “lust” (epithumeo) in the text.

Verses in the New Testament that use the word “lust”:
Mt. 5:28; Mt. 13:17; Lk. 15:16; Lk. 16:21; Lk. 17:22; Lk. 22:15; Acts 20:33; Rom 7:7; Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 10:6; Gal. 5:17; 1 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 6:11; Jas. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:12; Rev. 9:6.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Mary chose the good part Luke 10:42

J.C. Ryle penned some excellent Bible commentaries on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His commentary on Luke 1:388) has some very insightful information on Jesus, Mary and Maratha. Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her, but Jesus said Mary had “chosen the good part” and this “would not be taken away from her.”

Ryle offered these comments on this situation:

“The true Christian’s possession shall never be taken from him. He alone, of all mankind, shall never be stripped of his inheritance. Kings must one day leave their palaces. Rich men must one day leave their money and lands. They only hold them till they die.—But the poorest saint on earth has a treasure of which he will never be deprived. The grace of God, and the favour of Christ, are riches which no man can take from him. they will go with him to the grave when he dies. They will rise with him in the resurrection morning, and be his to all eternity.”

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Sprinkling Or Baptism?

It’s interesting to know that Jesus commanded baptism for all who believed, that His apostles did baptize such believers, and that this was done two centuries before sprinkling was introduced by the Catholic Church.

Actually, sprinkling and baptism are different actions. Baptism means: “to immerse, submerge, bury, or to cover up.” In no way can the original word (baptidzo) be translated into the idea of something less than a burial.

Sprinkling, then, is altogether an unscriptural concept. That word is never used relative to the command to be baptized and cannot substitute for it.

One who is sprinkled has not been Biblically baptized. Sprinkling is one act; baptism is another. If a believer is not immersed in water, he is not baptized with the Lord’s baptism. If the Lord’s command to be baptized / immersed (Mark 16:16) is not strictly held to, then we do not have to hold firmly to any of His commands.

Romans 6:3-10 teaches us that baptism is a burial in water, and that this burial unites a believer with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. The word itself means a burial (Colossians 2:12), and the actions of the apostles show it to be a burial (Acts 8:26-40). That being the case, all the decrees, councils and synods in the world cannot rewrite the Scriptures of God or substitute a practice of their own choosing. All who do so are cursed by God (Galatians 1:8-9).

Do you have questions about baptism? The Bible has the answers. –Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Logos Bible Study Software

Spanish Bible software from Logos (Biblia) is available at this link: http://www.logos.com/es/

Bible Study Software from Logos (the English version) is available at this link: http://www.logos.com

Baptized unto moses – what does it mean?

1) Today we want to dig into 1 Cor. 10:2 .
a) A good beginning point is to consider the context.
b) In verse 6 Paul said he was providing “examples” for the Corinthians.
c) Paul spoke about the nation of Israel and how this nation had made many mistakes.
d) Many of the temptations selected by the Hebrews were also available to the Corinthians.
2) Israel engaged in idolatry (verse 7), and that was a temptation for the Corinthians.
3) Israel was sexually immoral (verse 8) and this too was a temptation for those at Corinth.
4) I want to read Rom. 2:17.
a) In Rom. 1 Paul said the Gentiles were under divine condemnation because of sin.
b) The Jews knew about God and they had a law from deity. Jews are described in Rom. 2.
c) Hebrews regarded the law from God (as well as other things) as an insurance policy.
5) God’s people felt secure – they felt like they could do whatever they wanted because they were the chosen.
a) Rom. 2:17 – READ Verses 18-19 make– READ
b) What is said here is also part of the point in 1 Cor. 10:2.
c) Before the law was given, the Jews had been “baptized into Moses.”
d) We can break the thought down by first considering the word “baptized.”
6) Baptism means to “dip, plunge, submerge, overwhelm, cover.”
a) Dishes in a sink are often “baptized” (covered with water).
b) The word baptism was the perfect word to use.
c) This term tells us the Hebrews were fully associated with Moses.
7) Because of this “baptism” Israel felt pretty confident – cocky.
8) There are also other points worthy of attention.
a) When did Israel really find deliverance from Egyptian bondage? It was not while they were in Egypt.
b) Neither was it when the Egyptian army was chasing them.
c) They found deliverance after the sea experience; then they were finally free from captivity.
9) In this chapter Paul says the history of Israel has some parallels to Christianity.
a) When are people today freed from Egypt (slavery to sin)?
b) It is after we are baptized. Unlike the Jews, we are not baptized into Moses.
c) Now people are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
10) The deliverance of Israel helps show that baptism is necessary for salvation.
MANY HAVE SEEN THE VALUE OF THIS VERSE, BUT THEY HAVE TRIED TO USE THE TEXT TO TEACH THINGS THAT ARE NOT TRUE.
a) For instance, some have tried to establish infant baptism from verse 2.
b) Since Paul said “all were baptized,” it is argued that “infants” were part of the “all.”
c) Paul is describing people who made a commitment to Moses.
d) He has in mind those who were old enough to make a decision to follow Moses.
2) A second error involving 1 Cor. 10:2 is very clever.
a) Some have said this passage proves that God does not require baptism for people today.
b) It is said the Hebrews were joined to Moses BEFORE the experience in the red sea experience.
c) Because Moses was the leader of these people before the baptism, we have a parallel.
d) Jesus is “our leader” (savior) before baptism. Refuted in Ex. 14:10-15.
3) Moses was not held in high esteem at this point. He was not regarded as a true deliverer.
4) If anything, Moses was being looked upon as a failure. He was bringing these people to death.
5) Ex. 14:31 – READ It was after the experience in the sea the Hebrews believed in God and Moses.
6) Then they had faith in God and Moses.
7) The actual “joining” to Moses did not come until the baptism (the sea experience).
8) Such is also true today; a person is not joined to Christ until they are baptized.
a) When Moses and the Israelites were joined together, there was a very close association.
9) When we are baptized into Christ, a similar thing happens – a strong commitment.
10) Mt. 6:33; Rom. 12:1-2. Baptism into Christ means a commitment to Christ and His word.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

What does the Bible say about marriage?

What the Bible says about marriage

1) Marriage first began in the Garden of Eden (paradise). It is God’s idea so we use His rules.
2) Marriage is one of the first subjects spoken of in the Bible is marriage (Gen. 2:24).
3) It has many purposes, including this one (Gen. 1:28): ____________________
4) What is another purpose of it in 1 Cor. 7:2? _____________________________
5) Men and women come and work together, with wives being a ___________ (Gen 2:18)
6) Husbands are to be loving leaders in the home/marriage (1 Cor. 11:3). Protects and provides.
7) Wives are to accepting that loving leadership (Col. 3:18).
8) Wives should influence their husbands for good (1 Pet. 3:1-2).
9) How permanent is marriage designed to be (Mt. 19:5-6)?________________________
10) Marriage is called a “covenant” in Mal. 2:14—this is a very serious matter.
11) How does Mt. 19 compare to a marriage based on “feelings”? ___________________
12) Is marriage the best environment in which to raise children (Mal. 2:14-15)? _________
13) Is marriage limited to this earth (Lk. 20:35)? _________________________
14) What completely breaks the marriage bond (Rom. 7:1-3)? ____________________
15) Some forbid marriage but 1 Tim. 4:1-3 says: _______________________________.
16) List some of the ways people see marriage: ___________________________________________
17) ______________________________________________________________________.
18) Would we say marriage is designed to be an “exclusive” relationship? Mt. 19:9 – ________.
19) We live in a time when marriage is coming under fierce attack. Millions of divorces.
20) California Supreme Court ruling.
21) We must make a choice about what we will believe and stand for – Acts 5:27-29.
22) This means know who marriage is for, what marriage is for, and why it exists.
23) God has some clear instructions about marriage.
a) 1 Cor. 7:3 tells us marriage: _________________________________________
b) Some things in a marriage apply to both partners; there are also unique responsibilities.
c) Husbands receive special instructions in 1 Pet. 3:7 – ____________________________
d) More instructions to husbands are in Eph. 5:25-28 – _____________________________
e) Harsh treatment is forbidden in Col. 3:19.
f) Men should find ______________ with their wives (Prov. 5:18-19).
g) Satan is in the business of destroying marriages; God wants them to be strong and good.
24) Twentieth Century Christian (March 1955) offered these good suggestions:
• Never both be angry at once.
• Never talk at one another.
• Never yell at one another, unless the house is on fire.
• Let each one strive to yield more often to do the wishes of the other.
• Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each.
• Never taunt with a past mistake.
• Neglect the whole world rather than one another.
• Never make a remark at the expense of one another.
• Never part for a day without kind words to think of during absence.
• Never meet without a loving welcome.
• Never let the sun go down on your wrath.
• Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessings alone can make it what it ought to be.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Repent or perish – Lk. 13:1-5

Jesus was asked about some “Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices” (Lk. 13:1) and then responded to this question in Lk. 13:2. He answered a question with a question. He wanted people to consider whether or not “these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things?” Jesus then answered this both questions in verse 3 by saying “no.”
Where the Galilaeans “special sinners?” Where they “especially wicked people” who deserved fierce judgment from God? Jesus’ answer was “of course not.” Rather than suffering special punishment from God, these men were essentially “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” They had the unfortunate experience of meeting up with evil men and subsequently lost their lives.

Jesus then used this information to tell His listeners that they should “repent” (change their lives for the better and live according to how God wants) or they too would “perish.”

Jesus then illustrated His point a second time with the “tower in Siloam.” We are not given much information about this tower, but we do know that it fell and “18 people” died in the accident. Jesus again asked if those involved in this accident were “sinners above” others living in the city of “Jerusalem.” His answer was again no.

We have many modern parallels to the things described in Lk. 13, one of which happened on September 11th, 2001. The United States was attacked; planes crashed into both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers. Thousands of people died, but their deaths were in no way related to personal sin or criminal wrongdoing. People were in the wrong place at the wrong time and they perished. We often hear of other instances involving tornados were all kinds of people die (the young and the old, the good and the evil). Physical death or various problems are by no means proof God is punishing people.

We cannot know when the end of time will come (Mt. 24:36), but we can be ready for Jesus’ final return. Part of being ready is “repenting” (Lk. 13:3).

Find out more about repentance and New Testament Christianity. Visit a local “church of Christ” in your community and worship with a group of people who follow the Bible and nothing but the Bible.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Every knee will bow to Jesus

We learn from our study of the book of Esther that for one to come before the Persian king without first being called was putting his life in jeopardy. One only hope was in a show of mercy by the king. If he held out his scepter, the life would be spared (Esther 4:11). We also have observed the reverence paid to kings of old. When one would come before the king, the subject would kneel and bow one’s head in a show of veneration. Some, being brought defiantly before the king, would be forced to the ground. From these examinations, we note a few biblical truths worth consideration.

Jesus is, “King of kings, and Lord of lords;” (1 Timothy 6:15), and calls all men to come unto Him (Matthew 11:28-30). We have not a vicious, capricious king, but one who is loving, merciful and kind. However, there are conditions laid forth in God’s word for how we come to Him. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1).

Only those who come to him in obedience receive the blessings of the King. Consider prayer: “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth” (John 9:31). When we come together to worship we must do so “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). You see we must come to Him in obedience and in a show of humility and reverence.

If we answer the call and come to him now on bended knee we receive the blessings of the Father both here and in eternity. But what of those who refuse to answer the call. Well, just like in the days of old, you will be brought before the King and forced to your knees. Consider these verses:

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Now let us ask ourselves, when Jesus returns and calls us to judgment, which group would we rather be in? The group who has already in reverence and obedience come to the King and bowed before Him, or would we want to be among those who will be forced to their knees? The answer seems simple, doesn’t it? Be obedient, and be faithful!

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this great Bible commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a perfect addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished evangelist. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect itwill be out soon!

Sermon illustration for mother's day

Things my Mother taught me:

My mother taught me RELIGION – “You’d better pray that comes out of the carpet”, as well as IRONY – “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about OSMOSIS – “Shut your mouth and eat that corn”, as well as about STAMINA – “You’ll sit there until all that corn is gone.”

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION – “Stop acting like your father!” as well as about GENETICS – “You’re just like your father.”

My mother taught me about LOGIC – “Because I said so, that’s why”, as well as MORE LOGIC – “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION – “Just wait until we get home” or “you just wait until your father gets home”, as well as about Receiving – “You are going to get it when we get home (or when your father gets home).”

My mother taught me CONTORTIONISM – “Look at that dirt on the back of your neck!” as well as all about the WEATHER – “Your room looks like a tornado went through it!”

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE – “If you and your sister are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning the house.”

My mother taught me HUMOR – “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me”, as well as all about my ROOTS – “Shut that door! Do you think you were born in a barn?”

And last but not least, my mother taught me JUSTICE – “One day, you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out to be just like you!”

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

A sermon for mother's day

Mary, the mother of Jesus (a sermon by Toby Miller)

OPEN: One this day (Mother’s Day), I thought I would utilize the opportunity to talk about the Mother of Jesus, and why God chose this particular young lady to be the Mother of our Lord. Our text will be Lk 1:26-38.

A. I find it interesting that God went to a little town call Nazareth (a town that did not have a very good reputation (Jn 1:46), and went to a humble household and confronted a young lady, who was probably barely a teenager, and choose her to be the mother of Jesus.
1. Two times in our text, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was highly favored by God. I wonder WHY … what was there about Mary that caused God to choose her to be the mother of His only Son?
2. We are not told specifically, but as I studied and reflected on this, I came to a couple of conclusions.

B. Even at her young age, Mary must have already demonstrated great, faithful commitment toward God.
1. We might think that being the mother of Jesus would be a relative easy task … but that isn’t so.
2. She had to have been someone whom God knew would be “up to the challenge” of being the mother of the single most important individual that would ever be born.

When Gabriel confronted Mary, she was “greatly troubled” (vs 29).

A. She was no doubt a little on edge having an Angel of the Lord verbally speak to her … plus, the message the Angel gave her was also very troubling.
1. After all, she was engaged at the time to Joseph … and engagements in that day were much more serious than they are today. (For example, an engaged woman could not be dismissed without a bill of divorcement. … If she was suspected of unfaithfulness, she could be divorced or even put to death … If her fiancé died, she was considered a “widow.” … And, if a child was born during the engagement, it was considered illegitimate.

B. Therefore, as the Angel delivered this unique message, Mary faced many troubling possibilities:
1. She faced rejection by Joseph … the task of raising a child alone in a culture hostile to women …She would jeopardize her reputation … and she even risked death should she be accused of unfaithfulness against Joseph.
2. NO WONDER SHE WAS TROUBLED.
3. Add to this, she would have undoubtedly felt a little insecure, unworthy, and insufficient with the great task of being the mother of God’s only Son, the Savior of the world!

C. Others have balked at God’s calls in the past. Consider what Moses said when God approached him in the burning bush and told him to go to Egypt and set the Hebrews free.
1. Moses pleaded: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” “They won’t believe me or listen to me” “O Lord, please send someone else to do it!” (Ex 3:11ff)
2. Moses obviously faced a tough challenge, but not anymore challenging than being told you’ll have a child as a virgin, and that child will be conceived through the Holy Spirit, and will be the Son of God … the Redeemer of Mankind.
3. Marry could of said, “Lord I’m just a young girl, I’m not ready to be a mother … I’m not wealthy, I’m not educated … “I’m not worthy of this.” Maybe it would be better if you chose someone else.”
4. That’s not what she said. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be as you have said.”
5. That’s the attitude God searches for in people (cf. Lk 18:8b) … and that’s one of the reasons God chose this particular young lady.

## Mary also had the right perspective — She knew who God was … and she knew who she was: His servant.

A. … she knew that nothing was impossible for her God … if God said it, she knew that it would be so … even if she didn’t understand the “hows” she would do it anyway because she was God’s servant.
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B. Mary also had the proper perspective about her role as a mother … she saw it as an honor … a blessing.
1. Christian mothers today need that same understanding … they too are servants of God … they too have the responsibility to raise children for God.
2. They need to view their work as mothers as an honor and a blessing.

C. Note 1:37, It says WITH God, nothing is impossible. You should underscore that word WITH in your Bibles.
1. If we are at the side of God, nothing is impossible that God would have us to do. Do you believe that?
2. And even though at times children are frustrating and make us want to pull our hair out (or better yet, pull their hair out), still, they really are a gift from God (Ps 127:3).

D. Mary found favor with God because she knew who God was, and who she was in relation to God: a servant … something we must all realize. And, she believed nothing was impossible with God … and, she saw motherhood as a blessing.

## Another reason Mary found favor with God is because she had a solid foundation. To be grounded on a solid foundation is to be grounded in the Word of God. Jesus talked about that in Lk 6:46-49.

A. In Lk 1:46-56, Luke records for us Mary’s song. In those 11 verses, there are at least 30 phrases or words that echo truths from the OT … so it’s quite evident that Mary was already grounded in God’s word at a young age.

B. Mary’s foundation in the Word of God is an example for Godly mothers today: (Rd Ps 78:1-7)
1. We see an example of this very thing in 2Tim 1:5, Paul writes to Timothy, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”
2. Lois gave a solid foundation to her daughter Lois, who in turn, gave it to her son Timothy.

C. We should ask ourselves, “Just how solid is our foundation?” Do we have God’s word hidden in our hearts and minds so that it supports and guides us in our life?
1. Do we know His Word well enough to pass it on to our children? Do we set a scriptural example of one who loves to worship and praise God?
2. If we are NOT building a home like that, then WHO is building our house?
3. Let’s understand that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain” (Ps 127:1).

D. 2,000 years ago God choose a young girl to give birth to the Savior of the World. God chose Mary because she lived on a solid foundation, and she had a proper perspective of life. Because of these, she “found favor with God.”
1. Mothers today who have a solid foundation of faith (which comes by hearing the word), and have a proper perspective of life … that is, know who they are, what they are doing here, and where they are going, and an understanding of who they are in relationship to God — such women today will also find favor with God.

## Another characteristic that caused God to look with favor upon Mary was knowing that she would provide unrelenting protection that would be necessary in her role as the mother of His Son.

A. From the very moment Jesus was born his life was in danger.
1. She protected Him form Herod … She protected His identity … and the many other things she knew about the child. As Luke 2:19 says, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
2. God had a plan to reveal His Son to the world, and He knew Mary would not complicate those plans.

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B. Mothers today need to provide protection for their children. This is an instinct that God builds into mothers. In fact, when a mother does not protect her children, it’s considered “against nature.”
1. When they are young, they need protection from germs, stairways, electrical outlets, poisons, stoves, etc.
2. When they get older, they need protection from things that are even more deadly: Low self esteem, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, sexual immorality, suicide, and especially the worldly value system that’s constantly being marketed by TV, Movies, Videos, IPods, EPods, XPods (what
ever)…

C. Mary’s love and devotion for Jesus began before He was born and lasted even beyond the Cross.
1. The last picture we have of Mary is in Ax 1:14. Jesus had ascended back into Heaven, yet she is with His disciples … He is still the center of her attention.

## You might be thinking that, “Jesus must have been so easy to love.” And you are right. It was easy to love Jesus, but loving Jesus wasn’t an easy road for Mary to travel. In fact, it was difficult from the start.

A. Mary’s soul was pierced many times because of her love for Jesus (Lk 2:34) …
1. At his birth, the king tried to have Him killed…
2. In Mark 3, the respected leaders in Jerusalem said that Jesus was a fanatic, a lunatic, and demon possessed (what mother wouldn’t be hurt if people said those kinds of things about their child)
3. In John 7, Jesus’ own brothers and sisters didn’t want anything to do with Him, and didn’t believe Him. Can you imagine what the conversation was like at Mary’s dinner table?
4. How do you suppose Mary felt every time she read Isaiah 53, and other prophecies about her Son’s death…
5. Not to mention how she felt as she watched her Son being mocked, beaten, stripped, and nailed to the cross.

B. When others mistreated Jesus, Mary was there. When others turned Him away, she stayed by His side. Even at the Cross, she was there.
1. At the Pan Am games, champion diver Greg Louganis was asked how he coped with the stress of international diving competitions. He said that when he climbs to the diving board, he takes a deep breath, and thinks, “even If I blow this dive, my mother will still love me.”
2. George Elliot once said, “We often do the impossible, not because we think we can, but because someone we love and respect thinks we can … and that someone is our mother.”

C. Mothers today need to have the same kind of love toward their children as Mary had toward hers.
1. Loving children may not always be easy — and you may have your soul pierced at times, by things that happen to them, by things they do … when they are hurt, sick, betrayed, or even die…
2. Still, your love must be unconditional and unwavering. You don’t have to condone all they do to love them unconditionally.

D. Mothers, it is a worthy goal to have God look upon you with favor as He looked upon Mary … and He will if you have your life built on the proper foundation of His Word. TRUST and OBEY.

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Baptized into Moses – what does this mean?

“and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea”

Have you ever wondered what Paul meant when he spoke of the Jewish people being “baptized into Moses” and the experience of the “cloud and the sea” in 1 Cor. 10:2? Many do wonder about this passage and it is very important text. The KJV renders this passage as: “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”

Notice first the word “baptized” (baptizo) is the Greek term. This word describes an immersion, a dipping, plunging, submerging, etc. The Jews had been “baptized” (immersed) into Moses. That is, they did not have a slight association with Moses – the Hebrew people became disciples of Moses. M and the Jewish people were close to one another; there was a very strong sense of intimacy and togetherness. They were joined together. See Ex. 14 for illustrations of this point.

Today people are no longer baptized into Moses; the New Testament says people are “baptized into Christ.” Since “baptism” means “immersion,” the Bible tells us that proper baptism is by immersion. Just as there is only “one God” (Eph. 4:4-5), so these same verses say there is only “one baptism.” This one baptism is not to “join the church.” It is a baptism for the “forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38). It is a baptism that allows Jesus to add us to the church He built (Mt. 16:18; Acts 2:38-47). People are baptized “in order to become a Christian,” not “because they have become a Christian.” As the “baptism unto Moses” separated the Hebrew people from Egypt, so the baptism into to Jesus Christ separates people from their sins and gives them new life (Rom. 6:1-4).

Have you been baptized (immersed into Christ) for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 22:16)?

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!

Mary the mother of Jesus

One might think that being the mother of Jesus was an easy task. But when considering the heart of a mother, then such a task becomes emotionally over whelming.

What would it be like to talk one-on-one with an angel and be told you were going to become with child by the Holy Spirit of God? When Jesus was born, the shepherds came and told her of the miraculous visit by the Angelic chorus, and she “…kept these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:15-19).

A few days later, a prophet approached her and said, “this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel…and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul…” (Luke 2:33-35). Undoubtedly, she would have pondered these words over in her mind with some anxiety as to how all this would come about. When she and Joseph found Jesus, at the age of twelve, in the temple astonishing scholars with His understanding, we are told, “…but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.” (Luke 2:40-51).

She watched him eat, sleep, interact with other children, and haul timber down from the mountains to the carpentry shop. She watch him grow, and go into the ministry. Whether people were shouting, “Hail Him,” or “Nail Him,” she was always by His side, typical of a Mother.

Finally, she found herself on a hill called Calvary. Jesus had spoken many times about the dangers in following Him (Matthew 10:34-36), but Mary never hesitated, after all, she was His Mother! Whether being praised or persecuted, His mother never left His side. Few will stand by you as closely as “Mother.” — Toby Miller

Get a FREE on-line Romans commentary at http://www.abiblecommentary.com. You may also order this commentary in book form for just $14.95 (it is a great addition to your library, or an ideal gift for friends, a special Bible class teacher or a cherished minister. The next commentary for release will be First Corinthians and we expect that will be out soon!