This is not a litmus test for christian beliefs. What I’m about to say isn’t a test for whether someone is Christian or not. Nor is this a way for a person to test how many beliefs they must have to keep their salvation. This isn’t a math equation for figuring out if you’re in-or-out of the faith. This is an illustration that has all the weak spots of word pictures, but that I use to underscore the idea of what is central to historical Christianity and what might be more debatable.
When Marriage Goes Wrong: The Right Way to Respond
Someone was crazy enough to ask me about my position on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. I struggled because my answer was short and lacked context. Later, it made me think that we Christians need to adjust how we think about marriage. Too often we focus first on the posed situations. “When can people get divorced?” “Which marriage is recognized by God?” “Can marriage survive without love?” If we’re answering wrong, we build a list that shows what to avoid and when you’re okay. Indeed, we don’t have 613 laws for tough questions. We need to start elsewhere. (tl;dr)
A list of messages that cover First and Second Timothy which were preached in Bristol Bible Chapel in 2017.
Scripture tells us almost nothing about the selection, work, and office of the deacon.
In the early church, deacons were church officers—third to bishops and elders—and they had to be obeyed and respected “as Jesus Christ.” (Tabb, B. J. (2016). Deacon.) Mounce (Pastoral Epistles) points out that at one point the deacon was over the church serving the bishop (Pastoral Epistles, 210) instead of serving the church. Today, a deacon is everything from a trustee to ordained ministers who are a step down from priests.
We need to dig deep.
What is faith? I’ve seen answers that range from another religion (for example “one of many faiths”) down through some sort of fairy-tale opinion that stands opposed to science.
In the Bible, we’ll see all sorts of usage on “faith” and “belief”—sometimes even referring to when someone adheres to the doctrines that make up Christianity. One of the best usages of faith is the one that is tied to the concept of justification.
Faith is just an archaic word for trust. What I love about seeing faith, or trust, tied to justification in texts like Romans 4 (see more of the Romans study), that it explains the nature of the concept even while using, basically, case-law. No more fuzzy lessons grounded in someone’s personal trust issues, but rather taking the structure of Hebrews 11:1 where it says “faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen” and garnishing it with doctrinal meat.