by Nathan Purdy
The word "legalism" is often used in a way that is cheap, careless, and potentially dangerous. But legalism properly so called is a serious spiritual problem that fails to recognize our acceptance with God is entirely through faith in Jesus, giving us deep spiritual rest.
A British tourist checks into his hotel in Pittsburgh. He asks the hotel receptionist, “Do you have a chip shop nearby?” “Sure,” the local responds, “that gas station across the road sells chips.” They are both using the word “chips,” but their meanings differ. The receptionist has a bag of chips (Lay's or Middleswarth) in mind, while the visitor is thinking of something akin to steak fries.
The bewildered Brit returns and says, “I couldn’t find any!” The confused hotel worker responds, “You’re talking about the things you eat that are made out of potatoes, right?” “Yes!” This confusion will continue until they are both referring to exactly the same thing. This scenario serves as a metaphor for a lot of conversations about legalism – confusion reigns because the word means different things to different people.
Sermon on Matthew 6:25-34 by Johnathan Arnold
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” Matthew 6:33, is one of the most famous verses in the Sermon on the Mount, which spans from chapter five to chapter seven. Its context, Matthew 6:25-34, reveals much about the nature of the verse: the heavenly Father feeds the sparrows and cares for the lilies in the field, so why be anxious about our lives?
by Stefan Paulus
What is faith? Faith is the basis of Christianity. We are saved by grace through faith. We are entirely sanctified by grace through faith. We live by faith. We hope for Heaven by faith. Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith. We call Hebrews 11 the faith chapter and hold it up as the example or the definition of faith, but really it speaks of faith in action. Sometimes we pit faith against works, as if the two are unrelated or possibly even opposites. There is no such problem in Scripture. Hebrews 11 is not the typical place people go to talk of faith and works, but the writer of Hebrews uses “acts” to describe great faith.
by Johnathan Arnold
In the Conservative Holiness Movement, we hear countless exhortations about worldliness — and rightly so. James 4:4 warns, “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” However, Romans 12:2 suggests that the fight against worldliness is just as much about how we think as it is about what we wear or how we entertain ourselves. When it comes to the question, “How do we view people who are single and celibate?” we may be much more worldly that we would like to admit.
Perhaps you have heard this kind of chatter in the vestibule of your church or on Facebook messenger:
“She’s still single? How old is she now?”
“At some point, he is going to have to stop being so picky.”
“I feel so bad for her. She is 30 and still hasn’t found anyone.”
“I’ll never understand why he didn’t marry. Poor guy — must be lonely.”
by Johnathan Arnold
The Bible is more accessible than ever before in history. We have Bible reading plans, Bible reading tools, and Bible reading apps — all at our fingertips. We even have daily Bible reading reminders on our phones. But do people actually read the Bible?
In the digital age, Charles Spurgeon’s words still seem timely: “There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation’ with your fingers.” Spurgeon’s words carry a certain weight: it is a great wrong to neglect the Word of God; however, fear is not a sufficient motivator for the kind of Bible reading that God wants us to enjoy. What will it take to make someone a Bible reader?
by Alan Walter
“If we are weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere” (Leonard Ravenhill). When one ponders that thought for a while it becomes convincing that Ravenhill was absolutely right. The reverse is also true; thus, we utilize the great resource that God has made available to us. We do not need one more thing to validate the need for prayer; we just need to pray! In the spiritual realm, there are many battles to be fought in which prayer is the only capable weapon.
Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Who can deny the fact that the prayer of faith gets results? God wants us to ask, seek, and knock. He wants us to come boldly into His presence, fully assured of His glad welcome. He inspires our tenacity and perseverance in prayer! When God reveals a promise, we can hold onto it with bulldog faith. Though the battles may rage, God’s promises are true. If you want to be able to enjoy a great blessing, then be persistent in your prayer life!
by Johnathan Arnold
There is no question that Proverbs 31 is a precious passage. There is a reason why familiar passages are familiar. Nevertheless, preaching and teaching to women should not be confined to Proverbs 31 or even to 1 Timothy 2, 1 Peter 3, or Titus 2. All of the Bible is for all women. All of its commandments and all of its promises are for all of God’s daughters. We need to champion less for Proverbs 31 women and more for all-of-the-Bible women.
While Scripture establishes a male-led church, it is also clear that women are equal heirs of grace: their claim to the inheritance and promises of God is just as binding as any first-born son. Daughter, these promises are for you:
by Rex McDowell, Sr.
In our circles, we have heard a lot about worldly Christians. We need to hear about World Christians.
World Christians are Christians who cannot get away from God’s yearning to bring the whole world back to Himself.
World Christians share the Father’s heartbreak over the billions who do not know that His Son already bought them freedom from their debauchery, misery, and hopelessness.
by Kent Engle
You don't have to be Daniel Boone to experience some very strong emotions while engaged in the pursuit of the elusive whitetail giant.
When I took the SD card out of my Moultrie game camera, I hardly expected to see more than a bunch of worthless squirrel shots — and if I was lucky, a doe or two. The monster 10-point swaggering through the 10-second video seemed like a surreal dream! I couldn't believe this guy was actually in Pennsylvania, much less on my camera!
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Dr. Timothy Cooley, Sr.
Fact Checker, Accountability Editor