Saturday, February 23, 2013

Practical Atheism and the Fear of the Lord

Those who say they believe in God,
but who live their lives with no fear 
 of God, are, as such, practical atheists.

Transgression speaks to the ungodly
within his heart; there is no fear of
God before his eyes.
Psalm 36:1
Transgression is the deliberate violation
of the law of God, and the ungodly
fearlessly violate the Law of God.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
pride and arrogance and the evil way
and the perverted mouth I hate.
Proverbs 8:13
Pride, arrogance, and a mouth that
speaks perverted things are 
all part of the evil way; and those
who truly fear the Lord hate these
things when they see them in themselves.

...by the fear of the Lord one
keeps away from evil.
Proverbs 16:6b
 One who truly fears God, is one
who shuns evil and runs from evil.
One who fears God does not embrace evil.

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but live in the fear of the Lord always.
Proverbs 23:17
 One who truly fears God does not 
desire to have the same life, to live
the same lifestyle as sinners.

There is none righteous, not even one...
There is none who seeks for God...
There is no one who does good...
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 3:10-18
One who truly fears God is one who truly
seeks after God, who seeks the things of
God, and seeks to do good--according to
what God says is good.

..."Give praise to God, all you His bond-servants,
you who fear him, the small and the great.
Revelation 19:5
One who fears God is one who has 
the desire to praise God, and cannot
contain his praise for God.

I will make an everlasting covenant with them 
that I will not turn away from them, to do them
good; and I will put the fear of Me in their 
hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.
Jeremiah 32:40
My friends, do you have the fear of God within you?
If not, repent of your rebellion against Him, and ask
Him to forgive you and give you the fear of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Leadership and Authority

Leadership in the church is not based upon power, but upon authority.  Therefore being a pastor/elder is not a position of power, but a position of authority.  However, it is not an authority inherent in the person, it is a delegated authority because of the position held.  It is delegated from God to the elder(s), and also delegated from the congregation to the elder(s).

It is God who has created the position of pastor/overseer/elder and laid out the qualifications for the office, and it is the recognition by the congregation of those who meet God's qualifications (I Timothy 3, Titus 1) that bring the man of God to that position. So God calls the pastor/elder to that office from the congregation with their approval.

The pastor/elder is to lead, not lord it over the people (Hebrews 13:7, I Peter 5:2-3); and the people are to voluntarily submit to his leadership and follow his example (Hebrews 13:7, 17; I Corinthians 16:16), just as a wife is to voluntarily submit to her husband.

As such, the man of God is accountable to both God and man, as both were instrumental in placing him in that office; and both delegated to him the authority which the office holds.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Finished Product

For I am confident of this very thing, 
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Life is the Lord's finishing school, as He uses all of what we encounter to continually conform us into the image of Christ until we are complete in Him.  He leaves nothing unused as He works all things together for our good, and our good is to become more like Christ. He has begun the work of salvation in us and will continue in that work until it is perfectly accomplished.  So, my fellow saints, rejoice this day that He is busy at work in you.  Rejoice that He will not leave undone the good work that He has started, and will continue to work in you to accomplish His good pleasure for His glory, and your complete salvation.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify
you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and
body be preserved complete, without blame
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also
bring it to pass.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Now a Saint, no longer a Sinner

But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God
has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and
the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through 
faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe...
For as through the one man's disobedience the many
were made sinners, even so through the obedience 
of the One the many will be made righteous.
Romans 3:21-22a, 5:19


Saints is the dominant term in the NT for those who have placed their faith in the person of Christ, and in His finished work on their behalf.  So why are those who come to faith in Christ called saints (hagiois, holy ones)?  Because they have been made righteous in Christ, they have received the righteousness that comes from God (God's righteousness, Christ's righteousness) as a result of their faith.  This is why the Scriptures never call those who have come to faith in Christ sinners.  Yes, while we were sinners (those who practice sin, those who live to sin, those who have a lifestyle of sin, those who spurn obedience to God, those who are called the ungodly) Christ died for us.  Christ did die for the ungodly (a synonym for sinners), but post-salvation we are sinners no longer, we are now saints.  Saints are those who are holy (I Corinthians 3:17), those who practice righteousness (I John 3:7-11), and those who have been freed from sin (Romans 6:6-7, 22).

Yes, we are saints, God's holy ones; and yes we still sin; but we no longer live in sin, and sin no longer dominates our lifestyle.  Instead of practicing sin, we have incidents of sin.  God has cleansed us of our sin (John 13:5-11, 15:3, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:26, Titus 3:5) so that we stand holy and clean before Him, and each time we confess our sins He cleanses us thoroughly (John 13:10, I John 1:9)  Our standing before God, our position before God, is one of holiness, the holiness of Christ.  That is why He calls us His holy ones, and has called us to be saints (Romans 1:7, I Corinthians 1:2, II Timothy 1:9, Hebrews 3:1).  

So now fellow saints, let us be like the Holy One who called us, let us be like His Son (the Holy One of God), let us be holy in all our behavior, for this is what we are and who we are called to be.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Your Most Effective Greeter

Pastors, we must remember that the
most effective greeter in the church
is us.  We set the tone for greeting, 
and we are the catalyst for greeting.
Additionally, it is not just greeting the
guests, being greeted is also important
for the members as well.  I have never 
seen a church that was good at greeting, 
that had a pastor that wasn't.  

Friday, February 08, 2013

Simple Ministry

The task of spiritual leadership may
not be easy, but neither is it complicated.
When God called us to serve as leaders in
the church, He did not give us the
responsibility to build the church.  Instead,
He gave us the responsibility to proclaim
His Word in order that people might be
transformed into the character of
Christ...
Ministry is really simple; it's a matter
of preaching the Word, loving the 
people, and living our lives as an
example for others to follow.

Glenn Daman
Leading the Small Church
Page 224