Thursday, November 30, 2006

What is a Conviction?

(Please click the link above to see Pastor David Reagan's Learn The Bible web ministry, where this article was found. He has a vast amount of Biblical resources for the serious Bible student.)

What is a conviction? One person says that it is no more than a personal opinion. Others define it as those things for which you would be willing to die; all else is a preference. Some teach that convictions are based on direct scriptural teaching. Others teach that convictions are not even scriptural. Why all the confusion? What is a good biblical approach to the concept of convictions? Let us see if we can make any sense out of it all.

The word conviction is not found in the Bible and this is the source of much of the confusion. It is, however, related to two biblical words: convict and convince.
  • The word convict is only used once in the Bible where the men who accused the women of adultery were "convicted by their own conscience" (John 8:9).
  • The word convince is used seven times (Job 32:12; John 8:46; Acts 18:28; 1Corinthians 14:24; Titus 1:9; James 2:9; Jude 15). This word (convince) is the key to understanding the other two words. One who is convicted is convinced of sin or error. In its simplest meaning, a conviction is something about which we are convinced. In most of the cases where convince is used in the Bible, it is similar to our use of the word convict. It usually deals with those who are convinced of sin.

This being the case, we need to ask, are convictions a biblical concept? I think they are—at least, in the way we commonly use the word. If we use it correctly, we use it to describe the work of our conscience in making personal decisions of right and wrong in areas not specifically detailed in scripture. A conviction is a convinced conscience.

Please note that a conviction is not needed where the Bible is specific in its command. We need only to obey in those areas. Perhaps we need to be convicted of our disobedience. But we do not need to have a conviction about it. A conviction is only needed in those areas where biblical precepts (by definition, general principles) need to be applied to particular circumstances. Does God teach us to do this? Yes. Notice the following teaching from God’s word.

  1. We are to use our spiritual discernment to judge all things (1Corinthians 2:14-15).
  2. As to certain practices, Paul said, "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Romans 14:5).
  3. John speaks of doing those things in which our heart condemns us not (1John 3:20-21). Evidently, there are also things in which our heart does condemn us.
  4. We are to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (1Thessalonians 5:21).
  5. We are to use wisdom and judgment to approve things that are excellent (Philippians 1:9-10).
  6. We are to make certain that we condemn not ourselves in the things which we allow (Romans 14:22-23).
  7. We are to use the Bible to such an extent that we are able to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

Paul exalted the use of the conscience as a guide in daily practice. He said: "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men" (Acts 24:16).

The Bible clearly teaches that the conscience is not a perfect indicator of right and wrong. It can be weak (1Corinthians 8:12), defiled (Titus 1:15) and even seared with a hot iron (1Timothy 4:20.) However, when fed a steady diet of the word and submitted to God in a pure heart, it can help to guide us in many circumstances. It can tell us that things are wrong before we know why they are wrong. It can act as an early warning system against sin. It can help us to establish personal convictions that guide us as we walk through the pitfalls of this life.

As to a conviction being something for which you will die and all else being a preference, this is a man's definition as much as any other. It is good as far as it will carry you. Perhaps it describes some particular concepts, but I personally find it faulty. I first saw it in material dealing with legal cases where people had Christian schools or were homeschooling. These definitions made a particular point but they are weak for every use of the word.

As I said, a conviction is a convinced conscience. Some may say that all we need is the Bible and the conscience is thereby made superfluous. Yet, it is the Bible that tells us that God uses the conscience. Our convictions will not always agree because they are personal. They do not carry the authority of scripture and may be faulty. But, as we submit to God and exercise ourselves in His word, we are to keep our consciences clean by establishing convictions in our lives and by avoiding offense to our consciences. By the way, we are also to allow others to live according to their conscience without molestation—as long as their convictions do not directly oppose God's word.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving - Lev. 7:11-15

(Here is a timely article by Pastor David Reagan of Antioch Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, as he reviews the first mention of thanksgiving in the Bible. Here are the notes from his message, but if you click the link above, you will find an audio link to hear his complete message.)

Introduction: The first reference to thanksgiving in the Bible is in the description of the thanksgiving offering. This offering is not just an ancient ceremony. It shows us the true value and of a thankful heart. Through it, we learn how God's expects us to practice thankfulness.

I. Thanksgiving is a Key Ingredient of Peace
A. It is part of "the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings" (Leviticus 7:11)
B. It is necessary for the peace of God to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15)
II. Thanksgiving Must be Made For All Things
A. The thanksgiving offering was a multiple offering with many different items offered together (Leviticus 7:12-13)
B. We are to "give thanks always for all things unto God" (Ephesians 5:20).
III. Thanksgiving Must be Made for the Worst Things
A. The thanksgiving offering included an offering of "leavened bread" (Leviticus 7:13)
i. Leaven (yeast) is used in the Bible for negative things like sin, false doctrine, evil events
ii. To include leavened bread in the thanksgiving offering means we are to be thankful for even the bad things in our life
B. We are to be thankful for even the worst things that happen to us
i. We are to "glory in tribulations" (Romans 5:3)
ii. We are to "take pleasure in infirmities" (2Corinthians 12:10)
C. This kind of thankfulness separates the believer from the lost
i. Even the lost are thankful for those things they perceive to be good
ii. It takes true faith to be thankful for things in which we see no good
IV. Thanksgiving Must be an Offering unto the Lord
A. Part of the offering was to be "an heave offering unto the Lord" (Leviticus 7:14) - the priest would take the offering in his hands and stretch his hands toward heaven as a sign of presenting this sacrifice unto God.
B. True thanksgiving is that which we direct unto God
C. God will accept the sacrifice of thanksgiving as a special offering; it pleases Him (Hebrews 13:15-16)
V. Thanksgiving Must be Offered on the Basis of the Blood
A. The thanksgiving offering was offered with the sprinkling of the blood (Leviticus 7:14)
B. The sprinkling of the blood was a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross (1Peter 1:2)
C. The shed blood of Christ is the foundation of all the thanksgiving of a Christian (2Corinthians 9:15)
VI. Thanksgiving is the Basis of Christian Fellowship
A. The sacrifice of the Peace Offering was enjoyed as a fellowship meal with priest and people joining in together (Leviticus 7:15)
B. Thanksgiving draws us closer to God and to other saints (Psalm 35:18)
VII. Thanksgiving Must be Offered Fresh Every Day
A. The sacrifice of the thanksgiving offering must be eaten the day it is offered; none may be left for another day.
B. The act of thanksgiving must be a present practice. Yesterday's thanksgiving will not suffice for today and today's cannot be held over for tomorrow. We must be thankful each day. (Psalm 118:24)

Conclusion: Do you practice thanksgiving in your daily life? Is it an integral part of your relationship with God? Do you need to confess your unthankful spirit? Will you do so today?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


(Here is part 2 of a post I originally listed on my blog on 11/11/06. As I mentioned in my introductory comments then, this comes from an article from News With Views. Again, let me say that I do not agree with all the content from this conservative editorial news source or its authors, but from time to time they do make some good points which need to be shared with others. Please click the link above to see the complete article.)

Scripture twisting has become an art form. This is not just a problem in America. All over the globe false teachers are pulling Christians into their web of deception. (Personal comment from me; although scripture twisting has gone on from the garden of Eden, I believe this practice has grown immensely with the introduction of so many different bibles in the market place today - please check out the shelves of your "Christian" bookstore today to see if this is true - bringing confusion to man, exactly what Satan has desired to do. Christianity and the church is watered down as the words of God in today's modern bibles have been watered down. The bible was originally changed by man to make it easier to understand, and it has been changed many, many times since then. However, today here in the US, looking from generation to generation, we as a nation are by far a vast majority biblically ignorant.)

There’s so much unorthodox teaching going on that it’s impossible to expose all of it. Flawed “theology” should be obvious to Christians who are biblically literate. I’m not talking about Bible scholars; I’m talking about your average Jack and Jill Christian who study the Bible for all it’s worth. What results from a diligent study of God’s Word is discernment. Even so, false teaching blended with truth is sometimes hard to detect, even for the discerning mind. Which is why false teachers have been so successful at making their mark on the Church, and marketing their made up Christianity.

Don’t think for one minute that these men and women are unaware that what they’ve been feeding the gullible sheep is not only unorthodox, it’s heretical. Many of them know perfectly well that they’re preaching a different gospel. But they don’t care! In Part one, I used Robert Schuller’s “Theology of Self-Esteem” as an example. Rev. Schuller is the epitome of a false teacher who is preaching another gospel to millions of people. What is the true Gospel? Christ crucified. Schuller is more concerned with people’s “self-esteem” than with their eternal souls.

What this all boils down to is that the Church can’t make up its mind! Why? Because liberals, liars, low-lifes, losers and lunatics have infiltrated Christendom and made it one unholy mess! Is it any wonder that the younger generation want nothing to do with organized religion? Who can blame them!

Progressives would have us believe that Jesus is not divine and there was no resurrection. Scripture was written by men, not by Divine inspiration, the Bible is a book of myths and fables, full of contradictions, open to interpretation, holds hidden meanings only the “enlightened” know about. God loves, doesn’t judge, hence no Hell. And heaven’s for all! Triniterianism is out, modalism is in. Sodomy? No sin there! Fornication and cohabitation? Who cares! Abortion? My choice! Pretty much everything is acceptable in our post-modern church, including outright heresy.

Jesus commands believers to follow His way. Certainly the unsaved can follow Jesus’s way without becoming a Christian. Following Jesus’s is to love your neighbor as yourself. But loving one’s neighbor is not what saves a person! The Bible has guidelines on how to live the Christian life -- and God expects His people to obey them! Being obedient is important, it’s not what gets a person into heaven. To be an advocate of tolerance and social justice is admirable but it won’t get one single soul beyond the pearly gates. In other words, a “good deed doer” gets zero points with God. Put your faith in Jesus Christ, and the gates will be thrown open, the trumpets will sound, and the celebration will begin!

What I’ve described in this two part series is just the tip of the iceberg. False teachers and progressives have twisted sacred Scripture into a theological pretzel. Douglas Groothuis, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, entreats “I believe that, more than anything else, the church is imperiled by its own failure to teach, to believe, and to live out the great truths of the Christian faith in a way that pleases God. This is true not only of theologically liberal congregations--which essentially abandoned the Bible long ago--but also of too many evangelical churches and institutions. When "truth stumbles in the public square" (Isaiah 59:14, NSRV), when the church succumbs to the larger culture’s trivializing of life’s greatest questions, then the gospel and all the truths of the Bible go unheeded. People lose their way and call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). As Jeremiah lamented, "Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips" (Jeremiah 7:28).”

In John 8:31 Jesus said, " If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Clearly, Jesus expects His followers to hold to His teaching. To know the truth. And there’s only one truth. God’s truth. Play it safe. Remain within the pale of orthodoxy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Go over the Romans Road verses during the day.
Invest time during the day to think about soul-winning.
Volunteer your time to present the Gospel.
Enlist a soul-winning partner.

Take time to pray for God to give you a soul.
Have all the tools you need to present the Gospel.
Employ God's technique for presenting the Gospel.
Make sure you stop the first person you see.

Tell them who you are and what you are doing.
Hit them with "the question."
Explain the plan of salvation clearly and illustrate.

Go over the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Observe their reaction to the verses.
Settle all their questions before you continue.
Pray and give them an opportunity to trust Christ.
Encourage them to come to church with you this Sunday.
Lead them to the assurance of salvation.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Wrong Judgment

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” — Galatians 6:7

Sin, I repeat, in addition to anything else it may be, is always an act of wrong judgment. To commit a sin a man must for the moment believe that things are different from what they really are; he must confound values; he must see the moral universe out of focus; he must accept a lie as truth and see truth as a lie; he must ignore the signs on the highway and drive with his eyes shut; he must act as if he had no soul, and was not accountable for his moral choices.

Sin is never a thing to be proud of. No act is wise that ignores remote consequences, and sin always does. Sin sees only today, or at most tomorrow; never the day after tomorrow, next month or next year. Death and judgment are pushed aside as if they did not exist and the sinner becomes for the time a practical atheist who by his act denies not only the existence of God but the concept of life after death....

The notion that the careless sinner is the smart fellow and the serious-minded Christian, though well-intentioned, is a stupid dolt altogether out of touch with life will not stand up under scrutiny. Sin is basically an act of moral folly, and the greater the folly the greater the fool.

From A.W. Tozer’s: Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pp. 47-48.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Pastor Rick Finley of Fellowship Baptist Church in Durham, NC recently met with our church staff and ministry leaders to bring a word of encouragement and challenge us as we continue to serve and minister to the people in our local community.

In II Cor. 6 the apostle Paul is writing to the Christians at Corinth about their rightful place in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. These people had grown from their earlier stages of carnality and immaturity, and now Paul is speaking to them about their responsibility as "...workers together with him..."

2 Cor. 6:11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. What does Paul mean about an enlarged heart? Enlarged means "to widen, to make broad, to make room." Paul is saying that he has grown in his love for these people, loving them even more than when he first began to work with them.

As we serve in our local church, it is my prayer to God for both me and for those who serve along with me that God would enlarge our hearts.

  1. Pray that God would give you greater patience with people.
  2. Pray that God would give you greater understanding of people's needs.
  3. Pray that God would give you a greater vision for people.
  4. Pray that God would give you greater accomodation of people.
  5. Pray that God would give you a greater willingness to serve people.
  6. Pray that God would give you greater expression of the the love you already have.
  7. Pray that God would give you a greater desire to help people.
  8. Pray that God would give you greater confidence in people.
  9. Pray that God would give you greater influence in people's lives.
  10. Pray that God would give you a greater love for people.

Monday, November 13, 2006


  1. Just preach God's love; don't mention His sovereignty or His judgment of sin.
  2. Amuse. Use jokes and plenty of music, especially christian rock! Don't go deep into the word of God.
  3. Don't preach separation from the world and its pleasures.
  4. Don't preach holiness; God knows our weaknesses. We can't be just like Him.
  5. Don't preach Bible prophecy; the return of Christ and coming judgment. It frightens people.
  6. Preach that there's a large revival just around the corner here in our nation and around the world (although the Bible clearly teaches the opposite).
  7. Don't preach sound doctrine. Major instead on emotional experiences, spiritual "highs," and feelings.
  8. Don't teach the Genesis record of creation. Educated people won't accept that.
  9. Don't press for Bible study or prayer meetings; instead give them plenty of fun and entertainment.
  10. Don't teach the Lordship of Christ; that's taking things entirely too far.
  11. Don't talk about the blood of Christ, repentence, or santification.
  12. Teach them that all denominations and religions are heading down the same road to Heaven.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


(Here is an excerpt of one more post from the News With Views mailing list that I thought I would share... again, I do not agree 100% with all their writers, but often they do share some solid thoughts. Click on the above link to read the entire article)

My heart goes out to Ted Haggard, and especially to his family. The collateral damage to sin is devastating. Let us never forget the impact our actions have on others.

Mr. Haggard doesn’t need a kick in the ribs from me. Sadly, we all struggle with sin. I am no exception. It is a sad, sordid story that is repeated daily in America. Ted Haggard’s fall seems greater because people had elevated him so high; putting him on a pedestal that he didn’t deserve. He is a sinner, just like the rest of us.

We are treading on dangerous ground in the American Church. We love to engage in hero-worship, and unfortunately, pastors are most vulnerable, gleefully receiving the flock’s adulation. The pastor is only one of the parts in the Body of Christ. Sadly, in most churches, Sunday has become a spectator sport where most sit and watch the man in the pulpit perform. He becomes the show, and in some cases thousands flock to feed off of every word that spills from the pastor’s lips. Glorification of personality, especially in the Church, grieves the heart of God.

I continue to be amazed as I scan the TV on Sunday mornings. In most cities, Sunday morning TV has become a haven for those who want to “preach the Gospel.” I wouldn’t be as discouraged if they really did…preach the Gospel. Instead they regurgitate over the airwaves a humanistic Gospel that is nothing short of a life-enhancement seminar designed to make our journey here more enjoyable.

Go ahead; scan your dial on Sundays. See if I am wrong. Most of the sermons you will hear focus on how much the Lord wants you to be happy and prosperous, which by the way, I think He does. But that is a by-product of salvation, not the goal.

Do your own search and you will not find that one thing the preachers need to mention; the thing that is strangling the Church.


It makes me want to weep, what we have allowed Christianity to become. Christ died to give me a better life…what a cheapening of His sacrifice. I John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

Sin is of the Devil. It is rebellion against God. God hated sin so much he sacrificed His Boy (My Comments: I do not like that term there; He is the Son of God, not simply termed a boy)….wouldn’t you think we would talk more about that rather than using the Gospel to enhance our fleshly desires?

Americans’ souls are sick and dying. But we want to put a salve on the flesh.

The Church Growth Movement will tell you that preaching on sin is a no-no. Read this, scroll down to Joel Osteen’s interview with Larry King, where he admits he doesn’t talk about sin! Is it any wonder he has 30,000 members in his church?

I’m a sinner, let there be no mistake about that. Like everyone else I have “besetting sins” that constantly are knocking at my heart. But as I once told my pastor, “please preach the Truth to us. When I go to church I don’t want to be told how great I am…I want to be told how much I am missing the mark. I want to be challenged. ‘Be Holy’ Christ said. Please Pastor; challenge me to live that way.”

I can’t help but wonder if Pastor Haggard would be in this situation if he had spent more time preaching against sin. The conviction of the Holy Spirit is God’s smoke alarm. It warns you that it is time to flee the impending doom. Perhaps if sin had been a greater focus in the ministry it wouldn’t have been as easy to hide behind that isn’t-everything-great grin. As most pastors will tell you, when they preach on sin, they find they are preaching to themselves.

Apart from Jesus, who was the greatest man the world has ever seen? Moses? David? Joshua? Daniel? Samson? We could certainly get a discussion going on that one. But fortunately, Jesus already answered the question for us.

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen one greater than John the Baptist:

None greater than John the Baptist, huh? Isn’t that amazing? John the Baptist was not welcomed into the churches of his day. He spent most of his time living in the wilderness eating locust and wild honey. He didn’t have a huge following, no multi-media productions, no books and CD’s to promote. His message was simple and Jesus said it was the most important message ever delivered. What was that message?

Matthew 3:1-2 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We could learn something from that radical.

Ted Haggard won’t be the last to fall. Many more are afflicted with the illness. Sin is nothing more than soul-sickness. Americans are rotting in their souls and instead of a pastorate of John the Baptist’s trumpeting the cure, America’s pulpits are filled with snake-oil salesman marketing the “blessings of God,’ feeding our flesh, ......

Luke 13: 2-5 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Saturday, November 11, 2006


(I subscribe to the conservative editorial news site News With Views, which features weekly articles from various conservative sources. Although I do not agree 100% with their religious views or the various resources that they cite - such as their use of just any old Bible - I value their thoughts and opinions and often they come up with some precious GEMS!!! Here is an excerpt of one of those I especially like.... click on the above link to read the entire article.)

"Any of it [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, 'I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you'" -- A.W. Tozer

Many Christians are adopting the new "spirituality" and tossing out orthodoxy like an old ragged pair of jeans. Believers have settled into "progressive churches" and have lost touch with objective truth found in God's Word. Followers of Jesus Christ must submit to the absolute authority of the Bible. Jesus said, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4). (Note this and the following scripture references are not taken from the King James Bible, but it is copied directly from her article)

What Paul referred to as a "different gospel" has been introduced into churches through music, books, false teachers and unorthodox movements. The authority of the Bible is trumped by what is deemed politically correct, thus watering down the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Liberal or conservative," says Chuck Colson, "if you weaken the Bible as your authority, you give up more than just some ancient set of dogmas and rules. You give up joy, excitement, the very heart of the Christian faith. You lose what I call the thrill of orthodoxy - the exhilaration of experiencing and living out eternal truth that has been lived through the ages."

So, if the Bible isn't a Christian's authority, what is? Short answer: Anything he or she wants it to be. You sort of make up your religion as you go along. Does this strike a cord?

Christianity has become a blend of religious beliefs. Add a pinch of modern psychology, a dash of Buddhism, a teaspoonful of Catholic mysticism, a cup of New Age spirituality, mix well, and viola! You've cooked up a batch of New Age Christianity.

Where were the faithful when doctrines of demons sunk its teeth into Christendom? The followers of Jesus Christ are to "contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3). This is every Christian's mission!

Let's face it. Most believers were too busy with everyday life to sweat the small stuff, like what was going on inside the hallowed sanctuaries of local churches. Christians who recognized all the aberrant teaching did little or nothing to challenge it. Instead they decided to let it slide. And slide it did. Right into the pit of moral relativism! What resulted is "Whatever" Christianity. Whatever makes you happy; whatever feels right; whatever it takes to draw the unsaved into churches; whatever works. Basically, whatever floats your boat. In a word, pragmatism. (Pragmatism is the idea that if something works it must be true. Put another way, the end justifies the means.)

Those who practice pragmatic Christianity believe that today's churches must be relevant. The Church has to adjust to our modern culture. In order to recruit the unsaved, Christianity must rid itself of its antiquated dogma and doctrines. The Church must become "inclusive," "non-judgmental," and "tolerant." To accomplish this, the atmosphere in churches should be warm and inviting and its members must be friendly.

As well, church sanctuaries must do away with anything that might offend seekers. Hence no cross, no choir, no organ, no stained glass, no pews, anything that smacks of tradition must be done away with. Pragmatists reason that churches in a plain brown wrapper are more palatable to the seeker-sensitive crowd. The unchurched prefer up beat contemporary music played loud. Hymns are for old fogies. Seekers love their mocas and lattés, don't ya know, so churches should have an espresso bar on the premises. It's a good idea to add a few parking spaces in front of the worship center (the use of "church" could be offensive) for first time visitors. Wow 'em!

The results of "Whatever" Christianity are in. The Church has lost its salt. The light of Christ has gone out. The Gospel is compromised. Christianity stands for, well, not much of anything anymore. Churches now boast of "gays" and lesbians in the pulpit. For the New Age population, churches offer worship services that blend Christianity with Eastern religious practices and neo-paganism, which includes goddess worship, earth spiritualism, Shamanism and Native American spirituality. Incorporated into services of mainline denominations you'll discover humanism, radical feminist theology, evolution and Jungian psychology.

Columnist David Aikman's words ring true. "For Americans variety of choice in any domain of life is seen as an inherent virtue, the greater it is, the greater the virtue. Americans like to experiment, to 'mix and match,' and in religion it's no different than in the department store. A friend who attended Yale divinity school a few years ago had a classmate who signed herself in as a 'Catholic Buddhist.'"

Variety is the spice of life, as they say. This even applies to a person's sacred beliefs! No wonder Christianity isn't taken seriously anymore. Who can define it? Ingrid Schlueter warns, "Defining our terms is becoming more and more important in this hour. The words may be the same, but the meanings can be very, very different." Indeed.

Christians must become skilled at recognizing heresy and false teaching within the Church. Paul warns believers to make sure that "no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Col. 2:8). Paul is addressing human philosophy and experiences. Believers are to be alert to any philosophy or teaching that gives humanity credit for being the answer to all life's problems.

Rick Warren an ultra-conservative? Not so fast. Rick Warren made the following statement regarding Christian fundamentalism: "Now the word 'fundamentalist' actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones?I am an evangelical. I'm not a member of the [ultra-conservatiive] religious right and I'm not a fundamentalist ...Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America." (Rick Warren, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, May 23, 2005)

Are the "five fundamentals" really a legalistic, narrow view of Christianity? First of all, there is no document called the "Five Fundamentals of the Faith." The name "fundamentalist" came from a series of books called "The Fundamentals" which was published from 1910-1915. The series did not promote "five fundamentals" but rather dozens of fundamentals. The original formulation of American fundamentalist beliefs are 1) the inerrancy of the Bible, 2) the virgin birth of Christ, 3) the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, 4) the bodily resurrection of Christ, 5) the imminent return of Jesus Christ. To say any less is heresy.

Would Rick Warren get into a debate over the essentials of Christianity? Or would that be too divisive?

Rebecca Merrill Groothuis asks this challenging question, "What would happen if churches began focusing on ministry to God in worship before concentrating on ministries geared toward meeting people's many needs? What if 'upreach' preceded outreach? If church growth were understood in terms of the spiritual growth of its members?"


(Listed below is one of many questions and answers from the web ministry of Pastor David Reagan at I found this one interesting because many Christians believe all Bibles are the same. What do you think???)

Q: In Acts 26 verse 28 Agrippa tells Paul, Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian-this seems to be the King James version of the Bible. However in the New International Version, which seems to be very popular and regarded a more accurate version of the Bible, it states in that same verse, "you didn't think you could change my mind in such a short time."

Many years ago My mother in law gave me an old booklet with John Wesley's sermons. One of these was entitled "almost persuaded," and how many people are stranded at that level. It has been 40 years, and this sermon is still my favorite. So that is why I was surprised by this new translation of the Bible. Can you help me?

A: Thank you for writing. Though I was not able to answer you last week, your question sparked my mind in several directions and one sermon has already come from it. You mention a sermon by John Wesley called "Almost Persuaded." However, you also reminded me of an invitation song I have known and sung over the years by the same name. Not only is the doctrine of Acts 26:28-29 altered by the New International Version, its basis for sermons and songs has also been destroyed. Here is a comparison of Acts 26:28-29 in the two translations:

King James Bible - "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."

New International Version - "Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long--I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'"

One thing that struck me as I read this is what damage the new versions have done to the body of biblically-based matter that has built up over the previous centuries. I would argue that removing the concept of Agrippa being almost persuaded harmfully changes the doctrine of this passage. Now he is pompous and boldly resistant to the pleas of Paul--not almost persuaded. But something else is done as well. The biblical foundation for the sermon you mentioned, the song I know, and thousands upon thousands of similar sermons and songs throughout the years has also been destroyed. If a congregation uses the NIV, they no longer have any reason for singing "Almost Persuaded." If the NIV is right, then that song is wrong.

Now, if that were the only song effected, that would be bad enough. But, the truth is, our entire corpus of Bible literature, sermons, songs, and more is being attacked. There are other examples. Since "Calvary" does not occur as a word in the NIV, there is now no basis for songs or church names that use this beautiful and meaningful word. We sing a song called "Are you Washed in the Blood?" But the NIV removes the Bible wording that speaks of being washed in the blood. I greatly enjoy an old song called "Come and Dine" (John 21:12) taken from the post-resurrection appearance of Christ when He said this to His disciples. But in the NIV, they are told, "Come and have breakfast." It just does not work.

I am not even referring to the correctness or incorrectness of the translation. I know that technically, statements in other languages can be honestly translated in many different ways. Perhaps this is the case in these instances. I have not studied it out. However, no matter what, our 400-year-old heritage of songs, sermons, sayings, and more that have been taken from the wording of the English Bible is being destroyed. This, I am convinced, is intentional. The "new" worship cannot flourish with the "old" Bible. As the versions take more and more liberties with the text, I see those foundations being destroyed. And then, what will the righteous do? Thank you for pointing this passage out for me.

Till He comes,
Pastor David Reagan

Thursday, November 09, 2006


(This is an excerpt of a devotional thought by Dr. Guy Goodell, pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Hudson Falls, NY, published in 1999 by The Flaming Torch.)

As I was returning home after a series of hospital visits I was rejoicing that I had been able to witness to a friend in the hospital. I came down Main Street in Hudson Falls and saw a mother duck and six ducklings crossing the main highway in a painted crosswalk.

Head erect, steps deliberate, the mother duck pranced meticulously into the crosswalk; six little ducks assumed the same posture and accomplished the same task. Traffic was backed up on both sides of the walkway as THE DUCKS CROSSED ALL IN A ROW!

Like the duck in the crosswalk: I must set my face in determined Christian Living. I must high step the path God has given me, despite the dangers and disappointments. I must exemplify the right habits for those who would follow my example. I must persist to the other side, holding up the traffic of this ungodly world, if necessary. Let me ask you, "Do you have ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW"? Is there a spiritual order to your life? Are the right things prioritized?

Bible Study

Get it together. Fight every possible intrusion to time in the book.


Get it together. Section out blocks of time deliberately to fellowship with the One Who inhabits The Holy of Holies.


Get it together. Name a day, and spend part of it soul winning. Give out tracts; phone a lost friend and invite him to services; knock on some doors for Jesus.


Get it together. Don't get bogged down with TITHING. Go far beyond what the Law required. Give cheerfully and out of love.

Church Loyalty

Get it together. Never let anything interrupt attendance at the local church. GOD HONORS THOSE WHO HONOR HIS CHURCH.

Family Life

The family was created by God. He wants us to win our children to Christ and develop Christlikeness in them. Learn to play with your family as well as pray with them.

Personal Integrity

There are many who get the previous matters in a row, but the little duckling of honesty is out of line. HOW IS YOUR HONESTY? Can you be trusted? NEVER SURRENDER YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE TRUTH for any substitute offered either by the world or by peers in fundamentalism.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


(This is an excerpt of a post from the Fundamental Baptist Information Service posted on November 8, 2006.)

1 Cor 6:12-13 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1 Cor 10:23-24 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

These verses are frequently misused today by those who desire liberty to fulfill their carnal desires. These would have us believe that the apostle Paul is saying the Christian has liberty to wear immodest clothing and watch indecent movies and romp near naked at the beach and listen to wicked rock music and to fellowship with anyone who says he "loves Jesus" regardless of his doctrinal beliefs, etc.

Is that what the Holy Spirit through Paul meant by the statement "all things are lawful unto me"? By no means! Obviously there are limitations on the Christian's liberty. The New Testament Scriptures, in fact, put great limits upon our "liberty." We are not free to commit fornication (1 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Thess. 4:3-6), nor to be involved in any sort of uncleanness (1 Thess. 4:7), nor to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Eph. 5:11), nor to be drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18), nor to allow any corrupt communication to proceed out of our mouths (Eph. 4:29), nor to allow any filthiness of the flesh or spirit (2 Cor. 7:1), nor to be involved in anything that has even the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22), nor to love the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-17), nor to befriend the world (James 4:4), nor to dress immodestly (1 Tim. 2:9), etc.

What, then, did the apostle mean? He meant that the Christian has been set free by the blood of Christ, free from the wages of sin, free from the condemnation of the law, free from the ceremonies of the Mosaic covenant, but not free to sin, and not free to do anything that is not expedient or edifying.


In the two passages in Corinthians Paul gives four tests to determine whether the Christian should allow a certain thing in his life:
(1) Does it bring me under its power?
(2) Is it expedient?
(3) Does it edify?
(4) Does it help or hinder my fellow man or does it cause him to stumble?

Again, these are tests that are applied not to sinful things which already are forbidden to the Christian, but to things the Bible does not specifically address.

The sincere application of these tests to things commonly allowed in the world of contemporary Christianity would put a quick stop to many practices. Rock music does bring people under its power; it does not spiritually edify; it is influenced by demons (a simple study of the history of rock music will confirm this) and is not therefore expedient for the Christian who is instructed to be sober and vigilant against the wiles of the devil; it appeals to the flesh which the Christian is supposed to crucify.

Immodest clothing, such as shorts and bathing suits, does hinder our fellow man by putting before him a temptation to sin in his thought life; it does not edify those who see us clothed in such a fashion; it does cause others to stumble.

Ecumenical relationships between those who believe sound New Testament doctrine and those who do not, hinders my fellow man and causes him to stumble by confusing him about what is true and what is false Christianity, by giving him the impression that doctrine is not important. Such relationships are not edifying because they weaken the believer's spiritual discernment and zeal for the faith once delivered to the saints.

The Bible says we have liberty in Christ, liberty from eternal condemnation, liberty to serve God and to enjoy our unspeakably wonderful salvation in Christ. It does not say, though, that we have liberty to do whatever we please with our lives or to do anything that is not expedient or edifying.

The apostle Paul had such a low view of "personal liberty" that he was willing to forego the eating of meat for the rest of his life if he thought that such eating would offend his brother or cause his brother to stumble in any way (1 Cor. 8:13). He did not have the idea that he was in this world to live as he pleased.

Contrast this apostolic view of Christian liberty with that which is so popular today. Those who are consumed with their "liberty" will not forego even highly questionable things for the sake of glorifying Christ and edifying their fellow man. When confronted with such things, they become puffed up and lash out against a straw man they call "legalism."


Dear friends, beware of this trap. It is a slippery slope. Once you have begun to fight for your "liberty," where do you stop? If you accept the lie that the very concept of drawing a line for Christian standards is "legalistic," that the emphasis of the Christian life should be upon "liberty," you suddenly have no boundaries. We have seen repeatedly that there is no stopping. Those who enter this path are on a backward, downward slide.

You do not lose anything by holding the strictest line of Christian standards in this present evil world, but you have much to lose if you loosen those standards.

One thing those who let down their standards often lose is their children, to the world.

Gal. 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

1 Pet. 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

2 Pet. 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


(This article was written by Missionary John Henry and published in The Flaming Torch in 2004)

The Lord Jesus Christ taught that every word of Scripture proceeded from God (Matt. 4:4).
The Lord never corrected or criticized Scripture, even though He did not have the original autographs (John 17:17).
Jesus pre-authenticated the New Testament writings as Scripture (John 14:26; 16:12-13).
Christ Jesus accepted the Old Testament Jewish canon, but rejected the Apocrypha (Luke 24:44).
He taught the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture (Matt. 5:17-18; 24:35; Luke 6:17).
He taught that the Old Testament Scriptures pointed to Him (Luke 24:27,44).
He taught that man will be judged by God's Word (John 12:47-48).
He taught the absolute authority of Scripture (John 10:34-36).
He believed in the Genesis account of creation (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8).
He believed the Flood of Noah was universal (Matt. 24:37-39).
He believed Abraham was a historical figure (John 8:56).
He believed Sodom and Gomorrah were literal places (Matt. 10:15; 11:23-24).
He believed Lot's wife was actually turned into a pillar of salt (Luke 17:32).
He believed God gave the Israelites manna from heaven (John 6:31,49,58).
He believed Jonah and the whale were historical (Matt. 12:39-41).
He believed Moses was the author of the first five books of the Bible (Matt. 8:4; John 5:46; 7:19).
He believed in David's authorship of the Psalms (Matt. 22:43).
He believed Daniel was the author of the book of Daniel (Matt. 24:15).
He believed in the unity of the book of Isaiah (Matt. 13:14-15; Mark 7:6; John 12:38-41).
He believed the Jews had a history of rejecting God's Word (Luke 11:47-51).
The Lord Jesus scolded the Sadducees for their ignorance of Scripture (Matt. 22:29).

Those who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to hold the same high view of Scripture that He held. Believing Christians hold no other view?

Monday, November 06, 2006


(Here is an interesting article from Pastor James Melton, Bible Baptist Church in Martin, TN. Click on the link above to see the article on his website.)

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Cor. 3:1-3)

In the above passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul speaks of the Corinthian Christians as being immature babies. Rather than having grown up and matured in the Lord, these Christians were still carnal and selfish babies who were bringing shame to the name of Jesus Christ.

Could this be the case with you, friend? Are YOU a spiritual baby? No doubt, the Corinthians would have denied being immature babies, yet Paul stated that they were. Would he say the same about you? Please examine yourself, Christian, because YOU just might be a spiritual baby.

You Might be a Spiritual Baby if......

You Find Yourself Often Fighting with Other Christians

Babies will fight about anything and everything. Left to themselves, young siblings will slap, pull hair, kick, poke, punch, argue and scream. They haven't really learned that they aren't enemies, so they live as though there were.

As a Christian, your enemies are the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Other Christians are NOT your enemies. In the above Scripture, Paul points out envy, strife and division as characteristics of babies! Yet, our churches are filled with Christians who see nothing better to do than fight with other church members. Are you presently "mad" and fighting with another Christian about something? Is the cause of your fight something that Jesus would also fight about? If not, then you are a baby and you need to GROW UP and follow your Lord.

Get out of the playpen and onto the real battlefield. Stop fighting the "goo goo" fight with other Christians and start fighting the GOOD fight for Jesus Christ.

You Enjoy Being the Center of Attention

A baby delights in being the center of attention. If someone else is receiving attention, then a baby will do or say something to put himself in the spotlight.

Many Christians are like this. Rather than wait for their turn (I Pet. 5:6), spiritual babies will speak up, or step out, or act up, or show out in an effort to draw attention to themselves. Paul said, in III John 9, "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not." Diotrephes was a spiritual baby, so he misbehaved by rejecting Paul. Paul would have received too much attention, so the spotlight baby turned him away.

Are you such a baby? Do you push for attention, or do you wait upon the Lord?

You Are Shallow in Your Knowledge of the Scriptures

Babies have very little knowledge and understanding, so they will drink poison, eat insects, play in the streets, and even jump into water far over their heads. They have a great lack of knowledge and understanding, so they must rely on others to teach them.

The Bible says in I Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." Just as a baby needs to grow from his mother's milk, a Christian baby needs to grow from the word of God. If you are rather shallow in your knowledge of the Scriptures, then you are just as shallow about applying the Scriptures to your own life. You can't possibly be obeying the Bible if you aren't faithfully reading it. This makes you a spiritual baby. God wants you to GROW UP to be a good soldier for Christ.

You Are Easily Offended

Babies are very sensitive, and their feelings are easily hurt. When things don't go their way, they will whine, cry, pout, sulk, and even throw tantrums. They haven't learned to endure affliction, so they only know to be offended when trouble comes. Are YOU such a person?

Psalm 119:165 says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Friend, the word of God can make you strong and mature. Faith in God's great promises can give you the strength to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:3). Why be a brownie scout when you can be a trained veteran soldier of Jesus Christ?

You Are Never Satisfied

A baby never ceases to whimper and cry for things. He's hungry, so you feed him. Then he's tired, so you give him a nap. He then wakes up with a wet diaper. You change the diaper, then he wants to play. You refuse to play, so he cries. Then he's hot. Then he's cold. Then he bumps his head. A baby is just never satisfied.

Many of God's people are like this. They whimper about everything. The preacher preaches too long. He didn't shake your hand today. He didn't smile at you. Sally's dress is nicer than your dress. George's wife is prettier than your wife. Doesn't old Fred know that he's sitting in your pew? By the way, who authorized that new wall paper? No one consulted your opinion. Our churches are just filled with this kind of never-ending nagging and murmuring. While the mature Christians are praying, studying, working or winning souls, the murmuring little babies are being used of Satan to hinder and frustrate the real work of the ministry.

The Bible says in Numbers 11:1, "And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD . . ." God is DISPLEASED with your constant murmuring, and He will judge you for it if it doesn't stop. You, as a born-again child of God, are expected to be CONTENT, THANKFUL and REJOICING in the Lord (Philip. 4:4; 4:11; I Thes. 5:18). Anything less is SIN.

You Have Trouble Staying Clean

A baby simply cannot stay clean. You can give him a bath and powder him real nice, but, if you aren't careful, he'll be in a mess before you can drain the bath water. He will play in the flower pot. He will play in the toilet. He will play in the cat litter. Then he will spill the apple juice all over himself. A baby will not stay clean.

Are you like this? Do you walk a straight and clean path for the Lord Jesus Christ, or do you find yourself playing with sin? Do you peep at the dirty magazines as you walk by the display? What about those steamy "love scenes" on television? Young person, what happened on your date last week? Dad, how many dirty jokes did you laugh at? Mom, how much gossip did you help to spread?

Jesus said, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," (John 15:3) yet most Christians don't spend even one tenth of the time reading their Bible that they waste watching television. No wonder you can't stay clean! You're a spiritual baby, always defiling yourself with sin.

You Become Jealous Over the Success of Others

A baby only cares about himself. He is totally self-centered, so he always wants what others have. No matter how many toys he has, he will throw a fit if he cannot have another child's toy. If another child is receiving special attention, then a baby will become jealous and fight to have the attention all for himself.

Spiritual babies are the same. They become jealous when other Christians receive a special blessings. They can't rejoice with those that rejoice because they are too busy being jealous! Are you jealous because someone sings better than you, or because someone knows the Bible better than you? Are you jealous because the preacher often speaks well of a certain person, but that person isn't you? Does it bother you that someone is getting married while you are still single?

Christian friend, your eyes should be upon your Saviour, not upon other Christians (Heb. 12:2). If you find yourself focusing on the affairs of others, then maybe it's because you are still a babe in Christ and you need to grow up.

There will always be some babies in our churches. The little ones are in the nursery, and the big ones are in the pews, but YOU don't have to be one of them. Your spiritual growth is your personal responsibility. Your primary goal in life should be to become LIKE Jesus Christ. If you wear His holy name (CHRISTian), then you should live a life that is worthy of His name.

If God has shown you that you are a spiritual baby, then why not confess your sin right now and make a commitment to start growing. Why not put off your spiritual diapers and put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:10-18)?

Copyright © 2000 James L. Melton

Sunday, November 05, 2006


BELIEVE IT! Read it. Study it. Love it. Carry it to Church. Memorize it. Hide it in Your Heart. Meditate on it. Obey it. Delight in it. Grow in Your Knowledge of it. Rightly Divide it. Let its Precepts Guide you. Walk in its Light. Honor it. Pray According to it. Let it Search Your Heart. Preacher, Preach it! Let it Keep You From Sin.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Don't Leave the Same Way You Came In

(A devotional thought by Pastor David Reagan. Click the link above for more information.)

Read: Ezekiel 46:1-24

Ezekiel continues to describe the order of worship for the kingdom temple. The inner eastern gate must be opened only for Sabbaths and new moons (v.1). The prince will enter at this gate and the priests will prepare his offering there (v.2). The prince will both enter and exit by the eastern gate (v.8). Yet, the people approach and depart the temple differently.

“But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.” (v.9).

God forbade the people to leave His house the same way they came in. What a lesson! David rejoiced when he was told, “Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). But when he left God’s house, he had changed. “Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good” (Psalm 122:9). His trip to God’s house moved him to seek God’s good.

We are warned against “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) but are to come “exhorting one another.” To exhort is to push someone to action. Church services should press us into service for our heavenly sovereign. Are you listening? Do you “behave thyself wisely in the house of God” (1Tim.3:15) so that you can go out by a way other than the one by which you entered?

Will you look for God to change you when you go to church this Sunday?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Is the Church Important to You? It Sure was to Paul!

(Click the link above to find other interesting articles from Pastor Bobby Mitchell and the Mid-Coast Baptist Church)

Most professing Christians today treat the New Testament churches of the Lord Jesus Christ as if they are optional to Christianity. Some actually demonstrate by their actions that they believe the local church is unnecessary. It is obvious from his PRACTICE as well as his teaching that the Apostle Paul believed that God's plan for this age is the local New Testament church. By that I mean that it is God's perfect will for everyone to be saved, baptized, and united with a New Testament church. I set forth Paul as an example because he is rightly considered as possibly the greatest Christian that ever lived. Search the Scriptures and you will see that the following facts about Paul are obvious:

Paul was convicted concerning the Gospel as he heard preaching from a deacon in the first New Testament church.

After his baptism Paul “assembled” with the disciples at Damascus.

When he went to Jerusalem “he assayed (meaning "attempted") to join himself (meaning "glue, stick, cleave, keep company") with those disciples that were known as the church which is at Jerusalem. “And he was with them coming in and going out of Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:28)

When he relocated to Antioch he assembled with the New Testament church that was located there.

When he took money to help the church at Jerusalem he did so under the direction of the church at Antioch.

He ministered to the Lord as a teacher in the church at Antioch.

He was sent out as a missionary by the church at Antioch.

He reported to that church after his missionary journey.

He wrote his epistles to the churches, the pastors, and one time a member of a church (Philemon).

He Encouraged, Exhorted, Reproved, and Rebuked the churches that God allowed him to start.

He prayed for the churches.

He gave himself for the churches.

He hazarded his life for the churches.

He laboured, loved, and longed for the churches.

He labeled the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saints, House of God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Temple of God, Body of Christ, Church of the Living God.

He confirmed the churches.

He protected the churches by taking a strong stand for the truth and a militant position against error, heresy, apostasy, and any stripe of false doctrine and non-Biblical practice. He went so far as to name the names of those that were contrary to sound doctrine. He loved the Lord's churches enough to sound the trumpet blast of warning.

He led in the discipline of unruly members who were contrary to the will of God and the Word of God.

He gave commandments concerning the doctrine and practices of the churches.

Now, what about you? Is the church important to you? It sure was to Paul!