Friday, January 28, 2011

Can adversity be a blessing?

Most of the time, we think that adversity is, well, adversity. No one likes to feel the “hard knocks” of life, and most of us honestly want to avoid adversity as much as possible. But the Bible says that adversity can be useful. James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Adversity shows our mettle; it shows what we are made of. Athletes train for years to build their skills. Their intensive training allows them to get knocked down and be able to pick themselves up. Peter wrote, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ …” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Trials help someone to develop their faith. Because of this, adversity can be a blessing. Do not despair when difficult times come upon you -- rejoice that you have the opportunity to be made better. Falling down does not make you a failure, but staying down does!

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A denial of prayers

The Hebrew writer said, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared …” (Hebrews 5:7). The life of Jesus provides the model for our prayers. God wants to mold us into the image of His Son (Colossians 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayers must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with cries and tears and because of His godly fear, He was heard by the Father.

Why, then, did the Father refuse His request? It was not due to any sin in Jesus’ life, nor was it because the Father did not love His Son. The Father said no, despite the unfathomable love He had for His Son, because He knew He could not spare His Son and save a world. Likewise, the Lord cannot always spare you.

Are you willing for God to deny your pleadings? Will you intercede with the Father so deeply and intimately that even in the midst of your tears you are able to say, “… nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”? Has God said no to one of your requests recently? Accept His answer. Have you been learning obedience through what you have been suffering (Hebrews 5:8)? If so, know that you are in the great company of your Savior, Jesus Christ.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The names of Satan

Satan is known by so many designations in the Bible. These designations help us to know more about his work, and knowing more about his work helps us to fight temptation. The following is a list of the terms he is known by in the New Testament.

  1. “Devil” (Matthew 4:1).
  2. “Tempter” (Matthew 4:3).
  3. “Satan” (Matthew 4:10).
  4. “Beelzebul” (Matthew 12:26-27).
  5. “Enemy” (Matthew 13:28).
  6. “Liar” (John 8:44).
  7. “Ruler of this world” (John 12:31).
  8. “Evil one” (John 17:15).
  9. “God of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  10. “Belial” (2 Corinthians 6:15).
  11. “Prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).
  12. “Roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8).
  13. “Abaddon” (Revelation 9:11).
  14. “Apollyon” (Revelation 9:11).
  15. “Great red dragon” (Revelation 12:3).
  16. “Old serpent” (Revelation 12:9).
  17. “Accuser” (Revelation 12:10).

With a “resume” like this, who wouldn’t take him seriously? A lot of people don’t, to their peril. Don’t be someone who thinks they can handle Satan and the temptation he throws at people, only to be lost in the end. Jesus Christ gives us the power over Satan to everyone who will be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 26:15-18).

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Walking with God

In Amos 3:1-3, the prophet wrote, “Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” We all have to ask the question in this scripture.

We walk to please God (Romans 6:4; 13:13; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:1). How can we walk together without agreement? How can we please God without following what He says? It is so ridiculous to hear people state that they love God, but they have no desire to worship Him or obey Him in any way. If you really want to be rewarded by God, follow the great example of Zacharias and Elizabeth: “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6). If you would like to study further, please contact us.

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The order of Melchizedek

The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was a priest after the “order of Melchizedek” (5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 17). The word “order” signifies an “arrangement.” In this case, it means a similar nature of, or just like, Melchizedek.

The reference linking Christ and Melchizedek first appears in Psalm 110:4, and Christ made the application of the psalm to Himself in Matthew 22:43-45. Melchizedek was a “type” of Christ. Certain features of his service (his reign as king and his function as a priest) are useful for us in understanding the role of Jesus.

Perhaps the most confusing description of Melchizedek is in Hebrews 7:3: “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Being an Aaronic priest meant have a detailed family line, but the priesthood of Melchizedek was given directly by God. Jesus Christ was appointed as our high priest in exactly same way. He did not inherit it by means of a physical lineage (Hebrews 7:14). Furthermore, the Aaronic priests were limited by time in their service; there were no such restrictions on Melchizedek. As it relates to Christ, He will serve in His capacity as high priest throughout the span of His entire reign (Revelation 5:13). The effects of this heavenly priesthood will be unending. All of God’s redeemed will praise Him eternally.

Kyle Campbell

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Archaeology: The bema at Corinth

One of the most important New Testament archaeological finds from Corinth is the city’s “Bema,” a platform where officials addressed the public.

In A.D. 51 the apostle Paul was brought before the Roman governor Gallio at this platform in Corinth (Acts 18:12-17; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Bema was discovered in 1935. The identity of the Bema is certain because seven pieces of an inscription are found nearby.

Kyle Campbell