Being a Productive Christian

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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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Christ’s Plan for His Church

Pews

In writing to the brethren in Ephesus, Paul explained that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church” (Ephesians 3:10). But when did the Lord decide that He would do this?

Some believe that Jesus “failed” to establish His kingdom when He came to earth so He established the church in its place until He returns a second time and will then set up His kingdom. However, the church was not established as an afterthought. It was not a backup plan. In fact, Jesus indicated that the church and the kingdom were the same, as He used the terms interchangeably (Matthew 16:18-19). Paul said that the Lord’s plan to make known God’s wisdom through the church was “in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).

Elsewhere in this letter, Paul described the church as the body and the bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23-24). This means that the church belongs to Him and is directed by Him. So what is Christ’s plan for His church? Let us consider a few points.
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How Could the Whole World Have Been Taught?

Globes

In his letter to the church in Colossae, Paul said, “The gospel…was proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23). When Jesus gave His apostles the Great Commission, He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Paul indicated that by the time he wrote to the Colossians, this had been done. How is that possible? Let us consider the record in the book of Acts.
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