Friday, June 29, 2012

What is a "pastor"?

One of the most misused terms in the denominational world today is “pastor.” The word “pastor” occurs one time in the New Testament in Ephesians 4:11. The Greek word poimen, from which “pastor” is derived, is translated elsewhere as “shepherd.” The word means, “one who tends herds or flocks.” The word is used metaphorically in the New Testament of one who would “tend” and “feed” a flock of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-2).

Those appointed to this task in the New Testament were referred to as elders, bishops, or overseers. God had very specific qualifications for these men (1 Timothy 3:1-11; Titus 1:5-9). And there were to be multiple elders or overseers in each church (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).

Today, many churches have a single “pastor” over a congregation who preaches, makes most of the decisions and lays out a direction for the church. For several years, churches have appointed women as “pastors” in clear violation of 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 3:1. It is possible for an elder, pastor, or overseer to be a preacher, but a preacher is not a “pastor” by virtue of the fact that he preaches.

We must “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Having a single “pastor” over a church is not the way of the Bible. If we are to please God, let’s turn away from denominational perversions of the church’s organization and accept the pure teaching of scripture.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Are you abounding?

A Christian should never fall out of the habit of evaluating their work in the Lord: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). But we need to be exhorted to look deeply at the nature of our service, not just at the question of whether we serve the Lord or not. Another way to put this is to consider if we are abounding.
God doesn’t just want Christians who haven’t hurt the Lord’s work; He wants them to grow and do more. The Bible calls that principle “abounding”. Paul wrote, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12).
True abounding means that you are going to be diligent (2 Timothy 2:15). The one talent man learned what happens when someone isn’t diligent in abounding (Matthew 25:25-30). Another useful warning is for a Christian never to go beyond the truth and pretend to do more, like Ananias and Sapphira, and therefore sin against God (Acts 5:1-10). Everyone in Christ should be righteously working up the ladder to do more and more.
Kyle Campbell

Monday, June 18, 2012

Compromise: Pharaoh vs. Moses

Before the children of Israel left Egypt, God dealt harshly with Pharaoh and Egypt. He sent ten plagues on Egypt before Pharaoh finally gave in. During those ten plagues, Pharaoh tried to get Moses to compromise with him three times. The first time was in Exodus 8:25, where he told Moses they could go, but not far. The second time was in Exodus 10:11, where He said only the men could go. Then in 10:24, he said everyone could go but leave the cattle behind. After the third time, Moses said in Exodus 10:25-26, “You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.” God’s children were destined to leave Egypt without compromising with Pharaoh to leave something that they needed behind. Moses wouldn’t give in to Pharaoh at all.

The same is true for us in our dealings with Satan. He is cunning and may try to get us to compromise and give in a little to him. This can be done in many ways: by the way we dress, talk, and act around others. We must realize that we cannot give in even a little if we want to be right with God. James 4:4 says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” It doesn’t matter how small the friendship with the world is, if it exists, we become enemies with God. We have to be like Moses and be strict with ourselves. The world is out there, wanting to be your friend. Do not give in and compromise with Satan, no matter how small the matter may seem!

Jonathan Glaesemann

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I can overcome

John wrote, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). The term “walk” means a way or manner of living. Living cannot be done perfectly, but it can be done faithfully (Romans 3:23).
There is a good illustration of this principle in Peter. In Matthew 16:18, he confessed Christ. After being warned of falling away in Luke 22:31-32, in Matthew 26:75 he denied Christ three times. His repentance is evident as he assembled again with the disciples and preached the gospel of Christ on Pentecost.
In Acts 8:22, Simon was told, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” I can overcome sin if I repent. John wrote further, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). If we repent, God’s forgiveness is complete. There is an old adage which tells us to not give up, but look up to God and His forgiveness.
Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making the most of today

There is a simple fact about time, and that is we can never get it back. As we go forward in time throughout our lives, we change. Our bodies age and we soon become old. I think the writer James said it best in James 4:14, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” It is clear that we do not live long. That is why we need to make the best of today.

How do we do this? Well, first of all, every selfish desire and sin that may be within us must go. It must be swept away. We cannot make the best of today if we are living in sin. Any day in sin is a bad day, therefore it must go (James 1:21).

Secondly, our thoughts of tomorrow have to be controlled, and when I say this, I mean the worries of tomorrow. It’s hard to concentrate on something while having to worry about something else. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Once sin and every selfish desire, along with the worries of tomorrow have gone, you are now free to live today to the fullest. To do this, the thought and the intent of living today for God and others must reside in your heart (Philippians 2:4).

Now you can make the best of today. Now you will be fully able to make a difference in the lives of others for the better. But the choice is yours. You have today and may not have tomorrow. What will you do? Hopefully you will make the most of today while you still have it.

Jonathan Glaesemann

Friday, June 1, 2012

Three cases for the deity of Christ

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3). There are many who question the deity of Christ, questioning whether He was really God. In this particular passage, three cases are given for the deity of “The Word,” which in this passage is referring to Christ, and by looking at these three verses we will see a strong argument that Jesus is truly God.

First of all, verse one, which in my opinion is the strongest argument of the three, plainly states that the Word was God. Jesus Himself claimed to be the Son of God which would make Him God as well. By saying that Jesus is not God, we are saying that the Holy Spirit lied while inspiring John, and that Jesus lied when He claimed to be the Son of God.

Verse two says that “the Word,” or Jesus, was in the beginning with God (the Father). Verse one also expresses the idea that Jesus existed in the beginning, which would be the beginning of time. This proves that Jesus was not just a man, but existed before man was created.

Verse three states, “All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.” This proves that Jesus was not like an angel, being created by God as some tend to think, but that all things were created by Him, even the angels themselves. Since Jesus was not created and had a hand in creating all things, He must have always existed, which again proves that He was, is, and will always be God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Jonathan Glaesemann