Monday, August 30, 2010

The God of peace

Five times in the New Testament God is described as the “God of peace.” The peace which is spoken of is not the absence of physical conflict, but spiritual reconciliation through Jesus Christ. To this end, God creates peace. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Acts 10:36, Peter said, “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).” When we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1-2), we are alienated from God (Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21). In this condition, we need reconciliation!

Thankfully, God did not leave us in an unreconciled state. Jesus creates peace, and because those who obey Christ now have peace with God through the sacrifice of Christ, they are peaceful people. In fact, Galatians 5:22 says that part of the fruit of the Spirit is peace. We no longer live like the world (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Do you want your mind to possess the “peace that passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)? Be obedient to the gospel! Do you want to find more peaceful relationships in your life? Be faithful to your calling!

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No constitutional authority

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the host was debating the merits of the existence of Social Security. The argument was being made that it does not have a right to exist because it is not mandated by the Constitution. The radio host stated that it should be gradually abolished because of its lack of a mandate.

Now whether this will ever happen is beside the point. The host at least saw the fact that authority must exist for something to lawfully exist. The same is true for matters of religion. Jesus said that all authority had been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). Furthermore, He advocated that everything in religion is done with authority (Matthew 21:23-27).

What does your church do? What do you do in your life? Do you do everything because tells you to in the Bible? When you go to worship does your church do what is stated in the Bible? If you cannot turn to the scriptures and find your practice, you are acting without authority. This is wrong! If you would like to learn more about God and His authority which should rule your life, please contact us for a study.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The lot of the cowardly

Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” It might be hard to accept, but people who are afraid to do God’s will are going to hell.

In John 12:42-43, the chief rulers believed on Jesus but they were afraid that they would be kicked out of the synagogue. As a result, they did not follow Him. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy (Luke 14:26-28). The apostle Paul said that it will take many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

Following Jesus takes courage. Standing for truth means going against the crowd (even when it is fellow Christians), opening yourself up to mockery and abuse. Jesus had to undergo the same, but He was steadfast, not returning evil for evil (1 Peter 2:20-23). Make sure that when you make the decision to follow Jesus, you steel yourself to be courageous, and do not be afraid of standing for the truth.

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Your life is hid with Christ

Colossians 3:1-3 reads, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

The first two verses of this well-known passage are relatively straightforward to understand. However, the third verse, with its reference to our lives being “hid with Christ in God,” is a bit more difficult. But this is a beautiful passage, and it is worth examining in greater detail.

The language of being “hid with Christ in God” is taken probably from treasure which is “hid” or concealed in a place of security. The idea is that eternal life is an invaluable jewel or treasure, which is laid up with Christ in heaven in the presence of God. There it is safely deposited -- nothing can reach it or take it away. It is not left with us, or entrusted to our keeping -- for then it might be lost, as we might lose an invaluable jewel; or it might be taken from us; or we might be defrauded of it; but it is now laid up far out of our sight, and far from the reach of all our enemies, and with One who can “keep that which we have committed to him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). Our eternal life, therefore, is as secure as it could possibly be made (Romans 8:31-39; 1 Peter 1:3-5). The true condition of the Christian is that he is “dead” to this world, but he lives for heaven, knowing that if he successfully throws off the temptation of sin, he will be saved.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good intentions

A man bought a new hunting dog. Eager to see how he would perform, he took him out to track a bear. No sooner had they gotten into the woods than the dog picked up the trail. Suddenly he stopped, sniffed the ground, and headed in a new direction. He had caught the scent of a deer that had crossed the bear's path. A few moments later he halted again, this time smelling a raccoon that had crossed the path of the deer. Then a turkey, a rabbit, and so on, until finally the breathless hunter caught up with his dog, only to find him barking triumphantly down the hole of a field mouse.

Often Christians start out with high resolve, putting the kingdom of God first in their lives, but their attention is soon diverted to matters of lesser worth. One pursuit leads to another until they have strayed far from their original purpose. Do your best to put what needs to be first, first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Kyle Campbell

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Archaeology: The Cyrus cylinder

A 9-inch long clay Akkadian cuneiform cylinder found at ancient Babylon, dating to 539 B.C., tells of King Cyrus of Persia’s conquest of Babylon and of his decree to let captives held by Babylon return to their lands and restore their temples.

King Cyrus of Persia also made a similar decree that the Jews, carried away captive to Babylon, could return to Jerusalem.

Cyrus sent the Jews back to their homeland after many years of exile in Babylon as Isaiah prophesied (2 Chronicles 36:23; Ezra 1:1-4; Isaiah 44:28). This “return home” decree was one of many issued by Cyrus. Though not mentioning Judah, it confirms that this was Cyrus’ policy and gives credibility to the biblical record.

Kyle Campbell