Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The nature of verbal inspiration

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, Paul wrote, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

Understanding the nature of verbal inspiration is important because it directly affects how well someone can believe in the Bible. Verbal inspiration literally means that God inspired every word of the Bible. From the above passage, Paul said the words were chosen by the Holy Spirit. This is also confirmed in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 18:18 says, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” Jesus told His disciples, “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:19-21). God directed the apostles in “what” and “how” to speak; He chose every word that was written.

Some have a hard time accepting this truth because they see different styles of writings in the scriptures. But acknowledging this fact does not remove the truth that our God knows man better than man knows himself and it is no problem for the Spirit to dictate His words in the words or styles characteristic of the prophet through whom He spoke.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 28, 2011

Are you spiritually strong?

In Colossians 1:9-11, Paul wrote, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; …”

Paul wanted spiritual strength for his beloved brethren, but strength does not come easy. Spiritual growth requires food and exercise. In the physical realm, our bodies will not function without them. The reward of growth is in vs. 12 -- we can be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

A Christian grows by attending worship to God, by the company of fellow Christians, and by private study of the scriptures. If you will continue your study with diligence and patience (2 Timothy 2:15), then you can be a partaker if you will obey the gospel by having faith, confessing Christ, repenting of your sins, and being baptized into Christ. Please contact us further if you would like to study further.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 21, 2011

God's tool chest

If we were in charge of a effort to preach the gospel, we would probably assemble the most eloquent preacher with the nicest voice, the most ornate and beautiful building, the largest circulation of newspaper, radio and television coverage, and the brightest thinkers among Christians.

But this is not what it takes to do God’s will. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 that God uses what is foolish to shame the wise and what is weak to shame the strong. There is no doubt that God’s ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:7-9), and it is interesting and encouraging to see how God can accomplish something great with something so seemingly insignificant and irrelevant.

In Exodus 4:1-5, God used a simple staff to show His power to Pharaoh. In Judges 15:14-17, Samson used a jawbone to kill the Philistines. In 1 Samuel 17:38-40, 48-51, David used five smooth stones to kill Goliath, the Philistine giant. In 1 Kings 17:8-16, Elisha used a handful of flour and a little oil to prove to the woman of Zarephath that God would provide for her during the drought. In John 6:5-14, Jesus used five barley loaves and two fishes to work a great miracle and show the glory of God.

God called Abraham (Genesis 12:1), Moses (Exodus 3:10), Gideon (Judges 6:14), Elisha (1 Kings 19:19), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8). God called fishermen and tax collectors (John 15:18-19) and he chose a tentmaker who was a fierce opponent (Acts 9:15; 26:15-18). If God can call all these people, He can call us to do His will. The wisdom of men want to use persuasiveness of speech and human wisdom to do the will of God, but He uses what is simple: the cross of Jesus Christ and the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Christ truly has “no hands but our hands, no feet but our feet.”

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A lust for vengeance

A story published March 8, 2011 says that the father of a 5-year-old boy allegedly eaten in 1975 says he will murder his son’s killer if he’s released from jail. “I do intend, if this man is released anywhere in my vicinity, or if I can find him after the fact, I do intend to kill this man,” John Foreman told WPRO-AM radio.

Michael Woodmansee, 16-years-old at the time, kidnapped and killed Jason Foreman in 1975 in Rhode Island. Foreman was presumed to be missing until 1982 when Woodmansee tried to lure another boy into his home. The boy escaped and police began to question Woodmansee about Foreman’s disappearance. They found Jason Foreman’s skull and bones on Woodmansee's dresser along with a journal which detailed the gruesome killing.

A parent can understand the desire for vengeance. However, the Bible says that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Furthermore, vengeance is not for us. God will recompense every evildoer (Luke 18:7-8; Romans 12:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:6; Hebrews 10:30; Revelation 6:10). It would feel like your heart was being ripped out to see a situation like Mr. Foreman’s, but all we can do is trust in a wise, all-knowing God, and know that Jesus is our greatest example: “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

Kyle Campbell

Monday, March 7, 2011

To the praise of God

One of the most fundamental tasks of a Christian is to praise God. Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

A lot of the psalms concentrate on the proper praise of God. One in particulate is Psalm 71. Four times in this psalm the writer declares his desire to praise God:

Psalms 71:6: “By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.”

Psalms 71:8: “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.”

Psalms 71:14: “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.”

Psalms 71:22: “I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.”

Just like the psalm says, you need to keep praising God. He has been so wonderful to us. We praise those who have done good; therefore, it is right to praise God. The Hebrew writer said, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Archaeology: The Erastus inscription

In 1929 archaeologists found a paving stone near the theater of Corinth in Greece that contains the name of Erastus, and notes that he was indeed a Roman public official in Corinth.

Writing from Corinth, the apostle Paul passed along greetings from several Corinthian Christians, including Erastus, the city treasurer or chamberlain (Romans 16:23). This find, with seven inch high letters, verifies the existence of Erastus as a public official in Corinth just as the Bible says.

Kyle Campbell