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

Being a Productive Christian

Watch

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

There are many books, articles, and websites dedicated to the subject of productivity. People want to improve how they use their time and work more efficiently and effectively. While being productive is important in the realm of work and business, we should not limit it to those areas of our lives.

The Scriptures teach that we are to be productive in our spiritual lives. Though the word productivity is not used in the Bible, the concept is certainly discussed. In this article, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to be a productive Christian.Continue Reading

The Problem with Organized Religion

Cathedral

Many people today disparage “organized religion.” Instead, they simply desire a “personal relationship” with the Lord. However, this is not an “either-or” proposition. In our service to God, we have personal and corporate responsibilities. Notice what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-12, 16).

That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

In the same chapter, Paul spoke of personal responsibilities (laying aside the old self and putting on the new self) and corporate responsibilities (being a functioning part of a self-edifying body). Clearly, both are involved in the life of a Christian. In this article, we will discuss these responsibilities and notice what the real problem is with “organized religion.”
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Who Were the 7,000?

Elijah

Following the showdown with the prophets of Baal, Elijah was forced to flee from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-3). He had just participated in a great victory for the cause of the Lord, but because of the opposition he was facing he prayed for the Lord to take his life (1 Kings 19:4). He explained to God why he felt the way that he did:

I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).

Elijah believed he was the only one left serving the Lord. Yet there were others. In fact, God told Elijah that there were “7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).

Who were these 7,000 individuals about whom the Lord spoke? More importantly, what lessons can we learn from them to apply to us today?
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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast (Season 5)

Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This week we wrapped up Season 5 of the Plain Bible Teaching Podcast. The theme of this season was the church. You can listen to the audio from all of the episodes on this page. You can also click on the link for each episode to see the show notes and download the audio files if you’d like.
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Cities of Refuge

City of Refuge

Since the Levites were not given a territory in the land of Canaan like the other tribes, they were given “forty-eight cities” (Numbers 35:7). Six of these cities would be designated as “cities of refuge” (Numbers 35:6). If someone killed someone else unintentionally, he could flee to one of these cities.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, “When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there. The cities shall be to you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for trial”’” (Numbers 35:9-12).

In this article, we are going to notice five key points about these cities of refuge and how they parallel the church today.
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