Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"In the name of the Lord Jesus"

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).

As I look at the religious world today, I tend to see a greater and greater misunderstanding of the idea of doing something in the name of Jesus. I think if we look at what the scriptures actually mean by this, it is completely different than what people think today.

When we think of somebody’s name it is only natural to think about what their actual name is or who they are called. Because of this when the scripture talks about the name of Jesus, some assume it is referring to the actual name of Jesus which is “Jesus” or “Christ”. For instance, in Matthew 28:19, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Because Jesus said to baptize in the name of the Son, some conclude that when one is baptized, it is necessary for the baptizer to say “Jesus” over the person being baptized, otherwise the baptism is of no effect. This, however, is not what Jesus means. This can be more easily understood when Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Now, does this mean that when we do something we have to say “Jesus” every time we do it? No, that doesn’t make any sense. What is Paul talking about then? Paul simply means when you do something in word or deed, make sure you have the authority from Jesus to do it. This is what the name of Jesus is referred to in most New Testament scripture. It is referred to as authority. This is what Jesus means when he says to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He simply means that when one is baptized, they should be baptized only by the authority of God.

This however, is something that many individuals do not want to accept, simply because they don’t want to follow God’s authority in how the church should be run, how they are to live their lives, etc. They want to do things their own way. We must remember that the only way to Heaven is by doing what God wants us to do. Our way will lead to disaster! “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

Jonathan Glaesemann

Monday, March 26, 2012

How’s your health?

Scott Adams, the creator and writer of the Dilbert cartoons, suffered from a vocal disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. With this rare disorder, a certain section of the brain simply shuts down, paralyzing the ability to speak with much command or volume. Think of it as a more permanent case of laryngitis.
Oddly enough, the condition is situational. For example, Adams could speak quite well when using his public speaking voice, but his more conversational, everyday voice eluded him. Adams wrote on his personal website about how frustrating the condition was. He desperately wanted his normal voice back. One day he finally had a breakthrough. While helping his child with a simple homework assignment, Scott found that he could speak perfectly when using a rhyme scheme. He could say, “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick” with very little difficulty. As he noted on his website, it was “just different enough from normal speech that my brain handled it fine.”
What is amazing is that Adams’s regular voice returned as well. He likened the healing to starting up a car on a cold winter night -- the words of the poem awakened a sleeping section of his brain, and his normal voice suddenly emerged.
In a similar way, the living word of God can awaken and transform a heart that has been spiritually dysfunctional. The apostle John wrote, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 2-4). If your heart needs spiritual healing, why not turn to the Bible and obey the gospel of Christ?
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another bad kind of covetousness

Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” A Christian believes that covetousness should be avoided. Usually money pops into someone’s mind first about covetousness, but there is something else with which we should be content: ourselves.
Wishing that we were someone else is very common, but is it right to truly want to be someone else? Dwelling on our deficiencies while always seeing the positive in someone else is like saying that God didn’t make us good enough. Paul emphasized that no two people were alike, and all had different kinds of gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). All of the different talents could ultimately profit everyone, and that is why everyone was needed (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
To build on Paul’s analogy, think about the possibility of the thumb becoming another body part. Have you ever thought about how hard it would be to function without the thumb? It takes all of us to work in God’s kingdom. Are you covetous of other people’s abilities or appearance? Do you wish to be someone that you can’t be? Wish no more! Don’t compare yourself to other people. Please God with your work, and be content with yourself.
Kyle Campbell

Friday, March 9, 2012

A hearty worker

The Bible addresses so many different parts of life. One of those subjects is the work of man. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Proverbs 21:25-26 adds, “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.”
Even in the New Testament, Paul wanted to tell Christians who were giving up their work, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Again, the Proverbs say, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (22:29).
Being a faithful Christian means you should be a hearty worker. You should enjoy and excel at what you do, taking pride in a good job. One final part of doing a good job is in our righteousness. Paul exhorted, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world …” (Philippians 2:14-15). Your secular work is important, but there is a work that is far greater than all others: your salvation (cf. James 2:24). A hearty worker will be rewarded, so be a hearty worker for God.
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Living by the scriptures

Everyone wants to be like Jesus, right? Philippians 2:5 says, “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” In what way should I have the “mind of Christ”? One important way is to live by the scriptures. When tempted by the devil, Jesus kept going back to the Bible by saying, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). If someone were to consider all the ways that Jesus could have communicated about the Father, or could have learned from the Father, but He went back to the scriptures.
Living by the scriptures was not just to be the prerogative of Jesus. We need to live by them too: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If I can make the Bible the source of my heart’s meditation (Psalm 119:97), then it will eventually become my manner of life. When it does, my life will become immeasurably better because I will enjoy the fellowship of God, enjoy the fellowship of Christians, and my life will have deeper purpose and meaning.
Live by the scriptures and do the will of God. I will guarantee, even though you have ordeals and troubles, you will be happy with your decision. In the end, you will enjoy the wonderful home of heaven.
Kyle Campbell

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Savior that didn't save Himself

“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Aha, You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!’” (Mark 15:29-30).

Those who said this had no idea that the One they were mocking had the power to come down from the cross. Not only that, but Jesus could have called twelve legions of angels to destroy the world and render vengeance on those who crucified Him (Matthew 26:53). If He could have saved Himself, then why didn’t He? Jesus made it clear that He didn’t want to die when He said to the Father while He was in the Garden, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). It is clear that Jesus did not want to do what He did, but, nevertheless, was willing to do His Father’s will. Paul shows us this idea in Philippians 2:8: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus became obedient, which simply means He fulfilled His Father’s will.

It is clear that Jesus had the power to save Himself. It is also clear that He didn’t want to do what He did. Nevertheless, this didn’t stop Him from showing His love in laying down His life for us. In doing so, He became the Savior of the world and gave us the chance to obtain eternal life if we believe and obey. Because of this, we should be ever thankful that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the one who saved us, and not Himself.

Jonathan Glaesemann