The letters that Jesus wrote to the seven churches serve as a warning to us all. Many of them were in danger of falling away. There were a variety of problems that existed in these churches, but there was one enemy seeking their destruction – the Devil. The Devil sought to destroy these churches by any means necessary, and we need to understand that the Devil wants to destroy this church.
God’s wisdom can be understood as we read His word, and comprehend His design for the church. Certainly, mankind would have done things different. Evidence of this fact can be seen from all of the many groups that have left the Biblical pattern in order to establish their own churches governed by their own rules. Yet, none of them can compare to God’s plan set forth in His word. It is our goal to bring forth some very practical thoughts regarding God’s design for the church that we may have a deeper understanding of His great wisdom.
Although the King James Translation simply says, “They watched Him,” there are a number of translations that say, “They watched Him closely.” In fact, there are a number of passages throughout the Gospels that mention how the Pharisees watched Jesus. The text before us lets us know their motive in doing this. The Bible says that they watched Him, “that they might accuse Him.” Later, the text mentions that they desired to destroy Him. The bottom line is that the Pharisees desperately wanted to find fault with Jesus. They did not like Him, and they wanted to destroy Him. In order to satisfy their hatred for Jesus the Pharisees watched Him closely that they might accuse Him. What a sad way to act toward someone! Let’s examine this attitude for a little while in order to make sure that we don’t develop it in our life.
Not long after Moses had lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, God required Him to collect an offering of gold, silver, and other precious materials from the people in order to build the tabernacle. The Israelites had been slaves in the land of Egypt for some four hundred years, how did they have all of those precious materials to contribute to the building of the tabernacle? Modern estimates place the value of the tabernacle well over a billion dollars in today's money.
Submission is a concept that is almost altogether lost in our society. If the idea is suggested and it involves people and civil government, it is oppression. If it involves people of different genders, it is sexism. If it involves people of different races, it is racism. If it involves parents and children, it is abuse. We could go on and on about the negative stereotypes that society has placed on the idea of submission. What does the Bible teach on this subject?
The Biblical teaching of baptism has been a greatly debated subject. Men have discussed its relevance to salvation and method of administration. Despite all of the discussions that have taken place in regards to this subject, baptism is still misunderstood by many people. There are, I believe, many contributing factors to this confusion.
It is a blessing when there is peace and harmony in the relationships that we have in our life. However, no matter how close the relationship may be, conflicts will arise. Conflicts often occur between husbands and wives; parents and children; and members of the body of Christ. The important question for us as followers of Christ is how we handle conflicts when they disrupt our relationships. Thankfully, God has left us a pattern within His word on how to deal with conflict in our relationships and it is our goal to discuss it at this time.
The New Testament is rich with verses that contain the phrase "in Christ." It is a simple phrase, yet the depth of its meaning is endless. All that the world holds does not even come close to comparing to the riches and blessings in Christ. They are unsearchable the Bible says. We could preach a lifetime of sermons on this subject and only scratch the surface of its meaning. That being said, I want to introduce just a few thoughts on the subject.
In the marital relationship a husband and wife are to portray to a lost and dying world the relational oneness that exists between Christ and His Church. Wives, you are to portray the Church in this relationship. The Bible says that the wife is to be subject to her husband the way that the Church is subject unto Christ. Wives, are you doing your part to portray this relationship to the world and bring glory and honor unto God?
Husbands should seriously consider the picture they are painting for a watching world. In your relationship with your wife, are you portraying Christ's love and leadership to the Church? If you are not, God expects you to. In fulfilling his role withing the home, a husband is to reflect Christ in His relationship with the Church. This is a high calling! When a husband fails in his role, he fails to represent the Lord's love for the Church. He mars the image of Christ in a way which his wife cannot because he is Christ's authority in the home.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.