Faulty reasoning about worship

Faulty reasoning abounds about worship. This devotional thought centered on Psalm 149.2-3 from a denominational pastor is a prime example of it. This is the entire piece:

This is fascinating because the tambourine and harp were created by other cultures. From the beginning of worship music, the people of God took the instruments that were available in their day and used them for the glory of God. This means that the Biblical picture of praise is one that can incorporate the contributions of any culture, any style. Since that is the case, what do you have today in your culture that you could use to praise His name?

Men choose elements and features of worship thinking that God will like it. They justify it by twisted logic. Gone is any idea of God authorizing what can be done or under what covenant. Culture trumps covenant. Personal preference wins over worship given to God by faith—that faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Rom 10.17.

Man has often sought “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” Col 2.23 ESV. And he even uses the Bible to do it. Continue reading

#biblical-authority, #new-covenant, #new-testament, #worship

Get it directly from the source

sourceNothing like getting it directly from the source. In matters of the spirit, we can be content with nothing else.

Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, unmediated by human interpretation. A happy result of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman is this word of the townspeople to her: Continue reading

#faith, #hearing, #new-testament, #word-of-christ

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4-19-2016 Salvation And Prayer

In the New Testament, there is no record of a sinner being saved by prayer alone.  When the church of Christ began, sinful Jews asked, “what shall we do?”  Peter told them to, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV).  The first Gentile sinner, Cornelius, was praying, but was told to send for Peter to tell him saving words (Acts 10:30; 11:14 NKJV).  Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48 NKJV).  Saul of Tarsus saw Jesus, Who sent him into Damascus where he prayed, and was told to “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16 NKJV).  None of them were told to pray, claim their salvation, or join the church of their choice.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #new-testament, #saved-by-prayer

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12-2-2015 Salvation Finally Revealed

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4 NKJV). “Our learning” must come from studying the events written in the Bible. God’s plan to save both Jew and Gentile through Jesus Christ, and add the saved to the church of Christ, is in the New Testament, not the Old Testament. Paul wrote that God’s Plan, “in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5 NKJV). Peter commanded Jews, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV); and Gentiles “to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48 NKJV). Jesus saves “from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#church-of-christ, #new-testament, #old-testament, #saved

Hugh’s News & Views (New Testament)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

The New Testament is the capstone of God’s revelation to man. Without it the story of redemption is incomplete. Everything set forth in the Old Testament in prophetic predictions, promises, types, and shadows comes to majestic fullness and fruition in Christ, the gospel, the church, and the New Testament as they display in radiant splendor God’s “eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). Continue reading

#hughfulford, #new-testament

Thought # 3 – In Him We Have Redemption Through His Blood

Text: Ephesians 1:7-10

There are many reasons why Christians should praise God. One of the reasons is for the work of the Son of God in redemption. In Eph. 1:7-10, Paul expresses his praise for the great redemption through the Lord Jesus.

We all need the forgiveness of our sins! All of us are in spiritual bondage and imprisonment, whether we know it or not. Paul wrote in Col. 1:13-14, “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.”

Most of us, I’m quite sure, prefer light to darkness. Without Jesus, all of us were in darkness, members, although we may not have known it, in the kingdom of Satan. Our heavenly Father desired that we all come to a saving knowledge and has provided the means through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We are glad that we can share in the inheritance He has for us (Col. 1:12).

The Word of God describes this transformation as changing kingdoms. We have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. The terminology used here by Paul is a military illustration. It pictures Rome going into a free country and as a result of waging war and winning they subdue that nation and take them into captivity. But in the spiritual realm, we are the ones in bondage and when we accept The Lord Jesus and obey the Gospel, we are “transferred” (NASV) or “translated” (KJV) or are “conveyed” (NKJV) out of that bondage into the light of the Gospel. But it does not end there.

Paul tells the Galatians that we were bought with a price (Gal. 3:13). Our freedom cost Jesus His life. What should be our response to His redemptive work? We should pour out our hearts in praise. We should love Him greatly because of what He did for us. The Psalmist said in Psalm 1:30:3-4, “Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness.” (NLT)

Jesus lavished grace on us. “O, the love that drew salvations’s plan, O the grace that brought it down to man. O the mighty gulf that god did span—at Calvary” ! It is truly amazing grace. We do not have the words to express His grace.

Since we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Col. 1:14) we must put our new found faith to the test. We have been called out of that dark kingdom, changed by the light of the Gospel and now have the privilege to go back into that kingdom, now empowered by the Holy Spirit and utilizing the Whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to help others find their way out. We can never work our way to heaven, but upon salvation, we are to be the best workers the Lord has. Let’s be found letting our light shine for Jesus (1 Peter 2:10)!

-Larry Miles, April 18, 2015

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-form-ephesians, #word-of-god

Thought #2: We Have Been Blessed With Every Spiritual Blessing

Text: Eph. 1:3

The Apostle Paul is writing this epistle to the Christians in the city of Ephesus. He has talked about grace and peace in Eph. 1:2. We know that the “grace of God” was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus. That grace was also an action, whereby God showed forth His love for lost mankind and the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer who came down to Earth to die for the sins of man­kind. Since we are now “in Christ,” we can claim the blessings in the letter also.

In Eph 1:3, Paul stresses first of all that we need to praising the Heavenly Father above all things. God wants to bestow, yea, even lavish his love and blessings on His children. He is not up there in Heaven blessing us sparingly. Jesus said that He came that we might have an abundant life in Him. We must desire all that He has for us. We must want to live the Christian life to the fullest, learning more about Jesus every day. We strive for this because we want to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus,” as well as encouraging our fellow believers in their walk and reaching the lost with the message of salvation.

He has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.” The same Greek words rendered here “heavenly places” are translated heavenly things” in James 3:12. Since we are “citizens of Heaven,” (Phil. 3:20) we must look to the things above and not things on the earth. Our spiritual mindset must be honed in on Jesus at all times. We are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth. We sing “this world is not my home…,” and rightly so. But we are as John says in I John 2:15-17 “in the world but not of the world,” we have to have a heavenly perspective in life. That perspective comes from believing the words of Paul here in Eph. 1:3.

Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and worships with the Cherry St Church of Christ in New Albany, IN

#bible, #ephesians, #new-testament, #paul, #thoughts-from-ephesians, #word-of-god