Articles Tagged with: bible


July 21st, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland

    “Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment …would [betray] what life we have led,” wrote Shakespeare. Some people love shoes. Some people are addicted to shoe-buying. Others are not so impulsive, but do have a plethora of footwear – far more than the average man thinks is necessary!

    National Geographic, September 2006, had an article entitled, “Every Shoe Tells a Story.” The author, Cathy Newman, details the history of footwear and the practicality of various types – sagebrush bark fiber was used in the early stages of this country’s history. A stainless steel, polyester & aluminum space boot will be used on the moon.

    Spiritually speaking, what does your footwear say about the life you lead? Listen to Paul’s words about our God-provided armor: “as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Notice Paul’s words that our feet are to be clothed, not with the Gospel, but with “readiness.” Our feet are to be shod with “readiness.”

    Are you ready? Do you know that you know what you know? Are you ready to defend the existence of God? Do you know the four major arguments for the existence of God? Are you ready to defend the nature of God as it is depicted in the Bible? Can you defend the deity of Christ? Why do you believe that Jesus is the Savior? Do you have any reason stronger than “that’s just what I believe?” Are you ready to defend the doctrine that the Bible is God’s Word, inspired by the Spirit and without error?

    With what are your feet shod? Readiness? Silence? Reticence? Complacency? Compromise? The apostle Peter writes: “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

    If we want to evangelize our community, we’ve got to put “readiness” on our feet. What story does your footwear tell about you? What are you wearing today? Bible class on Sundays and Wednesdays are designed to help all of us be prepared. 


June 23rd, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland 

    World magazine (6/14/2014, pg. 12) reports that Saira Blair – who happens to be 17-years-old – won in the West Virginia Republican primary, defeating an incumbent, for a seat in the state house. Saira’s father is a state senator so politics apparently runs in the blood. She won even while spending less than $5,000. She can’t vote – yet. She turns 18 in July. She is favored to win in November, as a pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment candidate.

     Saira’s example brings a few thoughts to mind. A young person can accomplish a lot of good. One does not have to be 30 or 40 or 50 years old to make an impact. The Bible shows us regularly that youth ought not to be despised. King Jehoash was 7 years old when he became king and he instituted a restoration movement in Israel (2 Kings 12). King Hezekiah was 25 years old at coronation and he, too, made efforts at restoration (2 Kings 18-20). The most notable example, perhaps, is King Josiah, coronated at 8 years old and instituting a major restoration movement at age 18 (2 Kings 22). Isaiah even pictures the leader of the restored Kingdom of Israel as a young child (Isa. 9:6). Saira’s example inspires us to what youth can do.

     Saira’s example also inspires us to what a girl can do. While she needs to keep God and family first regardless of her career goals and aspirations, she is showing what her skills and abilities can perform. The Bible is also replete with examples of strong women: Noah’s wife, Miriam, Deborah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, Phoebe, and others. To the degree that God has endowed a young lady with qualities that lead to prosperity for one’s family, community, church, and country, to that degree she needs to utilize her gifts. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).

     At the same time – and we have spoken to this point recently – Saira’s example also reminds us that while she might lead her state or her country to prosperity, she still would not have any right or permission from the God of heaven to become a leader in Christ’s church. Humility would lead her to accept the limitations God has place on women in leadership roles in the church.

     In a conversation with a Baptist not long ago, he (while apparently still “studying the issue”) suggested that if a woman had a gift to lead, God would expect her to lead (in the church). After directing him to the appropriate New Testament passages, I reminded him that Miriam wanted to have more authority than what God had allowed and God struck her with leprosy (Numbers 12). In that context, to speak against God’s duly-appointed leaders is to speak against God Himself (12:8).

     For women (or men, for that matter) to set aside 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as somehow limited by culture is to ignore the context and the reasons for Paul’s injunctions. It is – to speak against God’s duly-appointed leadership in the church, which must be male (1 Tim. 3:2, 12).

     May we teach our daughters to be strong and humble.


June 11th, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland 

    Rachel and I have been married – August 12 – for 19 years. She has always told people that she was born in Kennesaw, Georgia.  Except, she wasn’t. I realize she was fairly young at the time and may not remember all the details…

    We have been transferring our car title and registration from Kentucky to Michigan and had to get out copies of our birth certificates. Rachel took a closer look at it and was shocked to realize she wasn’t born inKennesaw, she was born in Kennestone (Hospital, that is) – which is in Marietta. We got a laugh out of it and I’m getting a Daily Droplets out of it…

    Most of what the Bible teaches on baptism, it teaches in passages that are written to Christians. Paul writes about baptism in Romans 6, for example, in the context of sin reigning in death. But sin doesn’t reign in the life of a Christian because we have died to sin. “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” The context of Romans 6 is encouraging Christians to “consider [our]selves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (vs 11). But baptism is that point when we died to sin.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions baptism in chapter one. We learn several things about baptism as Paul writes to Christians with their baptism in the background. The crucifixion of Christ is presumed as well as their baptism into Christ (vs 13). Since we have been baptizedinto Christ, it is His name we should wear and Hisauthority we should follow.

    In the same letter, chapter 12, Paul says that we have been “baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (vs 13). Yet again, baptism is not the main subject of the context but Paul presumes it in the background of his argument. “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (vs 26). Why? Because we were all made one when we were all baptized into Christ.

    The same thing is true with all the passages dealing with baptism through the remainder of the New Testament. Baptism is not the main focus of the passages. Christians are presumed to have been baptized and we learn much about their baptisms from the context.

     Here’s my point. Whether we have been Christians for 60 years or 60 minutes, it is important to review our “birth certificate” from time to time to be reminded of the blessings and responsibilities we have. Baptism is not the end. It is the beginning.

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