Consider Your Calling

Man thinking

In Paul’s first epistle to Corinth, he spoke of the gospel – “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Though many had rejected it, these Christians had accepted it. However, they needed to remain faithful to the Lord. In order to encourage them to do this, Paul admonished them, “Consider your calling” (1 Corinthians 1:26). We must do the same if we hope to please the Lord and be saved in the end.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 13): The Pharisees Loved the Praise of Men

The Real Pharisees

But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:5-12).

The Pharisees, in their arrogance, believed they were better than others. We discussed this in an earlier lesson when Jesus exposed those “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt” (Luke 18:9) by comparing the prayers of a Pharisee and a tax collector (Luke 18:10-14). The Pharisees had this elevated estimation of themselves and they wanted others to see it as well. In order to receive this recognition, they did three things:
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The Real Pharisees (Part 9): The Pharisees Were Arrogant

The Real Pharisees

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted’” (Luke 18:9-14).

This was a parable, not an actual event of two men who went to pray. But parables were based in reality. In this parable, Jesus focused on two individuals and highlighted a particular character trait in order to contrast them with each other.
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Always Learning, But Never Coming to Know the Truth

Bible study with coffee

Paul warned Timothy of those who were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). How is it possible for one to continue to progress in his learning but never come to know the truth of God’s word? There are three ways this can happen. Any one of these, or a combination of the three, will prevent someone from coming to know the truth.
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Our Adequacy Is From God

Man Above the Clouds

There are times in life when every one of us, no matter who are are, feels inadequate. We might feel incapable of doing what we need (or think we need) to do. We might feel as though what we are doing is insignificant. We might feel as if we are unimportant to the world and to those around us.

However, we should not feel this way, especially as Christians, even though it may be tempting at times. Why should we not feel inadequate? Paul explained that “our adequacy [sufficiency, KJV] is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). Consider the text:
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Do Not Be Like Ephraim

Donkey

The prophet Hosea warned the people of Israel (Ephraim) about God’s judgment that was coming against them because of their sin. In the passages we will discuss in this article, he compared the people to different things – the dew, a dove, and a donkey.

These things have been “written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). The warning for us is this: Do not be like Ephraim!
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Elders in Every Church (Part 3): Character Qualifications for Elders #2

Elders in Every Church (Part 3): Character Qualifications for Elders #2

In the previous lesson we noticed several of the character qualifications for elders. This lesson will discuss those that remain which are found in the following passage in Paul’s letter to Titus:

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self- controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:7-9).

There are several character qualifications given in these verses. A few of these were discussed in the previous lesson. Let us consider the ones that we have not discussed already.
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