Hugh’s News & Views (…Holy Spirit – Pt. 1)

BESTOWALS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

(Part 1)

The Holy Spirit is an eternal and divine person, a member of the Godhead, compatible in nature with the other two members of the Godhead, the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14). If we have no trouble conceiving of the Father as a divine person or conceiving of the Son as a divine person, then we should have no trouble conceiving of the Holy Spirit as a divine person rather than as an impersonal “it” or only a force, power, or influence. Seven times in a single text Jesus used personal pronouns to refer to the Holy Spirit, referring to Him six times as “He” and one time as “His” (John 16:13). This is but one of many texts that speak of the Holy Spirit as a divine person/being. Continue reading

#holy-spirit, #hughfulford

Nov. 24. Admonitions to Various Individual Groups of Christians

I Pet. 2:18-3:12

God does not classify Christians according to social status, gender or occupation. Servants sometimes refused to abide by their stations in life. Whether slaves or hired, they were admonished to submit to their masters or employers.

Many times, servants were punished unjustly. Even in those circumstances, Peter admonished them to suffer patiently as Christ had patiently suffered for the sins of man. All must remember how Christ who had no sins suffered unjustly in order for man who is a sinful creature to have forgiveness and freedom from his sins.

As Christian slaves were instructed to be submissive to their masters, Peter instructed Christian wives to be submissive to their own husbands even if the husbands were not believers. He pointed out that the example of a good Christian wife could be a greater influence toward her husband accepting Christ than what she might say.

Many women felt that their beauty was presented by the way they wore their hair and dressed in fancy clothing. Peter did not condemn their outward beauty. He stressed that their real beauty was within the heart and was expressed by the way in which they conducted themselves.

Lest husbands should become smug and abusive in their authority over their wives, Peter instructed them to respect their wives. Since husbands are physically stronger than their wives, it is their responsibility to protect them from danger. Marriage is a partnership and husbands and wives are to dwell together as instruments in God’s service.

In order to thrive as Christians among their persecutors, Peter reminded his readers of their relationship to one another as brothers in Christ. This relationship requires unity, love and compassion for one another. He stressed the importance of a Christ-like attitude of not returning evil for evil, but good, instead of seeking revenge for offences committed against them.

Peter turned to the Psalms to reinforce his admonition to his readers to do good instead of evil. He stated that the eyes and ears of the Lord are open to the righteous, but that His face is turned against those who do evil. Christians can enjoy God’s blessings in this life and in the life to come. According to Peter, evildoers who call upon God in prayer will not be heard.

#chronological-bible-study

In our pursuit of righteousness

No unbelief made him (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:20-22 ESV)

не поколебался в обетовании Божием неверием, но пребыл тверд в вере, воздав славу Богу и будучи вполне уверен, что Он силен и исполнить обещанное. Потому и вменилось ему в праведность. (Римлянам 4:20-22 Russian)

O LORD my God – we tremble in your presence as we behold the all that you have made by your infinite power and wisdom. Dear Heavenly Father, hear the prayers of your children. In our pursuit of righteousness, help us to have the same trusting faith like your blessed servant Abraham whose life is a testimony for us to learn how to trust and obey Christ as our Lord and Savior. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Nov. 23. Christians Are Different and Special

I Pet. 2:4-17

Individual Christians were referred to as living stones in a spiritual house (the church). Peter wrote of Jesus, a stone that had been rejected by the Jews as a living chief cornerstone in that house. He stated that those who refuse to obey the word of God stumble on the same stone.

Like the Hebrews writer had earlier written about the relationship of Christ as a High Priest who was offered once for the sins of the people, Peter stated that Christians are a royal priesthood. They have become a special people called by God’s mercy from “darkness into His marvelous light.” Under the Jewish law, only priests could speak to God for the people. The Christian dispensation allows individuals to pray to God for themselves through Christ, the High Priest.

Peter wrote in his letter of how different and special Christians are. Even though these believers were scattered and living among Gentile unbelievers, he stressed the importance of their behavior. Their Christ-like examples of good works among unbelievers would bring glory to God in the eyes of those unbelievers.

Among the characteristics of God’s people is their attitude toward civil government. Jesus had taught His hearers to, “Render therefore to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Peter taught that same principle when he admonished to, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake…” If a law of government does not contradict God’s law, man is compelled by God to comply with that law, even if we think that 55 mph is too slow on the open highway—to disobey is to disobey God.

#chronological-bible-study

Restoration in 1 John?

I just found the following quote and comment of mine from an old, old blog. This was written 10 years ago. Just yesterday.

‘From the beginning’ is a favourite phrase of 1 John (8x) and is indicative of the author’s harking back to the foundations of Christianity. (Ruth B. Edwards, The Johannine Epistles, p. 30)

Sounds like the language of those who want to live by the original intent of the Sacred Text and, in our day, restore what has since become corrupted.

#restoration #1-John #quotes

Not ashamed to wear the name of Christ

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. (Jeremiah 10:23-24 ESV)

Знаю, Господи, что не в воле человека путь его, что не во власти идущего давать направление стопам своим. Наказывай меня, Господи, но по правде, не во гневе Твоем, чтобы не умалить меня. (Иеремия 10:23-24 Russian)

Most holy, righteous and loving Father in heaven ~ thank you for the brightness of the glory of your beloved Son in whom we trust for eternal life. Bless all faithful Christians around the world who are not ashamed to wear the name of Christ. Be with us in our worship today as we exalt Christ as Lord in songs, prayers, the Lord’s Supper, giving as you prosper us, and gospel preaching. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Nov. 22. Christians Purchased with Christ’s Blood

I Pet. 1:17-2:3

Christians are valuable. They are not purchased with precious metals like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. God had planned from the beginning to send Christ to die for the sins of the world. Peter said that He was revealed “in these last times.” (The Christian Dispensation)

Those who believe in God and Christ and are obedient to the commands of the gospel are born again to a spiritual family. With this new birth comes the responsibility to not only love God, but also to love one’s spiritual family. This brotherly love was especially essential as the church suffered persecution. Everything pertaining to the flesh is temporary, but the word of God that brings about the spiritual life lasts forever.

Peter instructed his spiritually born-again readers to return to the innocence they had when they were first born into the physical world. Infants are not consumed with hatred, evil speaking and other vices associated with a sinful life. As spiritually newborn babies, Christians should have a fervent hunger for the pure word of God which is their spiritual food.

#chronological-bible-study

Restore love for the Scriptures

There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:9-11 ESV)

Недоля та утиск на всяку душу людини, хто чинить зле, юдея ж перше та геллена, а слава, і честь, і мир усякому, хто чинить добре, юдеєві ж перше та гелленові. Бо не дивиться Бог на обличчя! (римлян 2:9-11 Ukrainian)

Dear Father in Heaven ~ hear my prayer O LORD as we come before you on this new day. Restore love for the study and application of Scriptures to everyday situations. Help all people to have an opportunity to learn about your beloved Son – Jesus Christ our Lord. Help all faithful Christians to show the way of right and wrong by doing good and forsaking evil. Help us to have a loving respect for those who do not yet know Christ but they faithfully follow their conscience that leads them to do good and shun evil. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Nov. 21. Perseverance in Persecution Rewarded

I Pet. 1:3-16

Peter admonished his readers to realize that even though they were in a state of persecution, this suffering was only temporary and that their faith was more precious than gold. Gold will eventually be destroyed, but faith can endure forever.

Christians possess the salvation of which the inspired prophets of old wrote. Those prophets could not fully comprehend the times of their fulfillment even after diligent searching.

The apostle had pointed out to his readers the great blessings they had in Christ. It was their responsibility even in the face of persecution to determine within themselves that they would press forward in obedience, not turning back to their old lives.

#chronological-bible-study

Right Criteria

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

“My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.” James 2.1

Looks could be deceiving! When this letter was written by James, it was believed that God blessed those who were good with wealth. Apparently, there were those who showed preference for people arriving for the assembly who were dressed in fine clothes, as opposed to people dressed in ragged clothing. Woe to you if you showed up dressed in rags. You could sit on the floor or stand to the side. However, if you showed up in fine clothes, you were given attention and proper seats.

James wrote that this attitude caused one to judge a person based on the wrong criteria. Christians are to treat all people equally! One does not have the ability to know the motive or heart of another person. Just as important, we are to teach everyone that is willing to listen and not prejudge a person’s response based upon appearance. The proper criteria to use is God’s word.

#risingjoy #James #devotional

Teach children from the earliest ages

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 ESV)

Ибо, что можно знать о Боге, явно для них, потому что Бог явил им. Ибо невидимое Его, вечная сила Его и Божество, от создания мира через рассматривание творений видимы, так что они безответны. (К Римлянам 1:19-20 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord for the uplifting power of your grace and mercy that is available to all people who will love and obey your Son – Jesus Christ our Lord. Open the minds eye of those whose thinking has been clogged by the refuse of deceitful teaching disguised as truth in the name of science. Help parents and grandparents to teach children from the earliest ages that you are the Creator of everything that exists. Restore respect for the teachings of the Holy Scriptures as the most trustworthy explanation for who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Truth comes from totality

The whole story reveals all of the truth; not standalone snippets. This doesn’t mean standalone snippets are not true. It means until the whole story is available for consideration, the details cannot be compared to each other in totality so that the whole truth can be known (Proverbs 18:13).

It’s kind of like when a parent asks their child if they’re telling the whole truth. A little here without a little there leaves us without the sum total, right?

The scriptures are a source of record even to atheists, but to be fully useful, even to theists, the scriptures must become a source of truth. This only comes by allowing the entirety of the Bible to tell the entirety of God’s will. This is like comparing puzzle pieces sitting in a box to puzzle pieces that have been placed together.

Continue reading

#bible-study, #devotional

Nov. 20. Peter’s First Letter

I Pet. 1:1, 2

Simon was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee by trade and was brought to Jesus by his brother Andrew. Christ changed his name to Peter or Cephas, a small stone or rock. He became a disciple very near the beginning of the ministry of Christ. His leadership abilities made him very prominent among the apostles. During various events, he would be the first of the group to speak. At times his words and actions were rash and later came back to haunt him just as those of other mortals. However, it was he who first preached the gospel to the Jews on Pentecost and to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius.

The first letter by Peter was written from Babylon around A.D. 65. There was much persecution of the church during that period of history. It is recorded that Nero even burned Christians as human torches in his garden. Peter, along with other writers of that time wrote his letter to encourage Christians to remain faithful to Christ even in the face of those cruel and intense sufferings.

Peter began his epistle by identifying himself and asserting his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ to address those who would read his letter. He referred to those addressed as pilgrims (probably included Jews and Gentiles) scattered in areas in the country that is now known as Turkey.

Christians are elected through their obedience to the commands of the gospel to become partakers of the grace, peace, mercy and salvation in heaven that come through the resurrection of Christ.

#chronological-bible-study

Wake up with knowledge

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! (Acts 28:30-31 NIV)

И жил Павел целых два года на своем иждивении и принимал всех, приходивших к нему, проповедуя Царствие Божие и уча о Господе Иисусе Христе со всяким дерзновением невозбранно. (Деяния 28:30-31 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you, Lord, for allowing me to wake up with knowledge that you are deserving of the highest possible praise that human tongue can express. Continue to lead all people who love your Son in the direction that stands opposed to all the evil that is in the world. Give us more evangelists who will continue to boldly proclaim Jesus as the Way, Truth and Life even when under arrest. Strengthen the faith of those around them who hear, believe and obey Christ as Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr., Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Receiving Others

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest.” Luke 10.38

Do you receive people into your home? If you do, what is your attitude toward the situation? Do you get anxious about what to feed them? Do you feel that everything has to be just right? I have been on both sides of the situation.

In the past, when receiving someone, I would do a super cleaning, wearing myself out physically. Mentally, I would worry about what to serve and what to do while the guest was in our home. Many times, I was exhausted before they even arrived, being unable to enjoy to the fullest the time they were there. I could definitely relate to Martha in the context of Luke 10.

With time, I have come to realize that the important thing is to make someone feel comfortable while in my home. That does not mean that I have to serve them a huge, special meal. It does mean that I need to give them the attention that they need. That need might be physical, emotional, or spiritual.

I am blessed by inviting others into our home. I have learned to simplify many things so that I do not allow stress to steal my enjoyment of the moment. That makes it more positive for everyone!

#risingjoy #devotional #Luke #hospitality