Types of Questions We Don’t Need to Answer

Question Mark

When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).

It is easy for discussions on controversial issues – either in person or online – to quickly become contentious. This is especially true right now regarding political discussions, but it is also true when it comes to topics that are religious in nature. Contentious discussions can consume our time and mental energy if we allow them to do so.

Questions are often used to draw us into discussions. Some questions are good. Peter said that we must be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks [us] to give an account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Peter 3:15). However, some questions do not need to be answered. It is important that we know which questions would fall into this category. The Bible shows us what types of questions we do not need to answer.Continue Reading

Trust in the Lord, Not in Princes

Psalm 118:8-9

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9).

People often have a tendency to put their trust in man. They trust that their civil leaders will always protect them, trust that their preacher will always teach them the truth, trust that their elders will always give them wise counsel, etc. While it is possible for these things to often happen, we cannot assume they will always happen. Furthermore, any good that is provided by those in whom we trust is never perfect. This is why the psalmist wrote, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8).

Immediately after that, the psalmist repeated the phrase with one change. He emphasized the fact that trusting in God is better than trusting in princes (Psalm 118:9). Because civil leaders may maintain security, provide for the people, rule in a way that pleases the people, or be the only government the people have ever known, many place their trust in these rulers. Yet the psalmist said it was better to trust in God. Why?Continue Reading

Understanding Romans 14

Argument

Romans 14 teaches the need to accept and not judge those with whom we differ on matters of opinion. Some have tried to expand the scope of this chapter to include matters of faith. However, we are not to tolerate departures from the faith (cf. Jude 3; Galatians 1:6-9; 2:3-5). Yet on matters of opinion, we need to be sure we understand and apply what Paul wrote in this chapter.

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.

One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God” (Romans 14:1-6).

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“I AM”

Jesus and the Pharisees

When God appeared to Moses and called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses asked the Lord for His name so he could identify Him when he went to the people. God responded, “I AM WHO I AM…Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).

When Jesus came to earth, He used this same name for Himself: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58). Even Jesus’ opponents recognized that He was claiming to be God because they “picked up stones to throw at Him” (John 8:59). This was not the first time something like this happened. Earlier the Jews sought “to kill Him” because He was “calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

By calling Himself “I am,” Jesus declared Himself to be Deity – God in the flesh (cf. Colossians 2:9). Since Jesus was and is God, there are other facts that are also true about Him. These are highlighted in other “I am” statements of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John.Continue Reading

The Problem with Division

Division

The first of many problems that Paul addressed in his first letter to Corinth was that of division. There were factions that had developed within the church as the brethren became loyal to different teachers (1 Corinthians 1:12). Paul appealed for them to have unity. He did so by explaining what the problem is with division.

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Let us consider what Paul taught in the passage above.Continue Reading

The Blessing of Autonomy

Church building in the trees

One characteristic of the Lord’s church that makes it different from most churches of men is autonomy. Autonomous local churches are not linked together in or through some larger organizational structure.

Why did the Lord design the church to be this way? Obviously, we cannot always know every reason behind instructions that have been given in the Scriptures. Our responsibility is simply to follow the Lord’s instructions whether we understand the reason behind them or not. However, we can look to the Bible to see what has been revealed that would indicate certain blessings of autonomy.Continue Reading

“If God Is For Us”

Man on a mountain

Paul’s words at the end of Romans 8 were meant to be a source of encouragement for the saints in Rome. They ought to be for us as well.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31).

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We must always remember that “God is for us.” Knowing this, we can make it through any challenge that may come against us. Let us take a closer look at the text.Continue Reading