From Steve Singleton... How do I know the Bible is true?

How do I know the Bible is true?

We have to begin with the claims of the Bible. Here is a sampling of its truth claims from both the Old and New Testaments (we could give many, many more than just these).
  • Psalm 119:160: “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Especially note what Jesus himself says. Looking back to the Old Testament, He states, “scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Looking forward, He made this promise to his apostles, those mainly responsible for writing the New Testament, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).

Jesus, whose life is the very foundation of reality and truth”the One who could justifiably claim, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)”stamped His endorsement on the Old Testament and empowered the authors of the New Testament. If He says the Bible is true, I can believe it.

Additional confirmations involve such matters of deeper study as fulfilled prophecies, historical accuracy, archaeological confirmation, statements confirmed by science centuries later, and so on. I would not claim, however, that these add even an ounce to the infinite weight of the testimony of Jesus Christ. They are merely consistent with that testimony.

Want to go deeper?
The following are useful resources for pursuing your study of the reliability of the Bible:
Recommended for purchase:

Erwin W. Lutzer. Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible. (2001).

F. F. Bruce, et al. The Origin of the Bible (2004).

Online resources:
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F. F. Bruce.

Checkable Bible Accuracy

Many thanks to brother Steve Singleton, for allowing me to post from his website, deeperstudy.com

From Ben Fronczek... Exactly Who is Jesus Anyway? (Part 1)

Exactly Who is Jesus Anyway?   (Part 1)
By: Ben Fronczek

Read: John 1:1-14  (Click on verse to read)

Too many times we see things, or hear about something unfamiliar or new and we:
- Assume we know all about it. Or, we think we understand more than we really do.  Or, we guess a lot about what we see or hear.

Unfortunately some people do the same thing when they consider or hear the name of Jesus.
Each day people pass by our church buildings, some simply stare at the old building, some may wonder what we do inside. Some could care less. Some may even make fun of what we do here and shake their head as we enter this building as they drive by.

I wonder, ‘How many really have any idea who Jesus is?’

Maybe this is why so many people choose not to go to church anymore.

Over the next few weeks I would like to share with you a few lessons on WHO JESUS REALLY IS. I don’t think we can possible understand everything about Him, but I do want you to know some of the amazing facts that the Bible has revealed about Him.

Jesus has  been named and described in many ways; for example:   
●The Prince of peace  
● the King of kings   
●the Messiah     
●the Lamb of God   
●the Christ     
●Rhabboni (or teacher)  
● Savior    
● the Son of God  
● the Son of man   
● the capstone   
●  the cornerstone   
● wonderful  
● Counsellor   
● Immanuel  
● Light of the world  
● Bread of life   
● and the Lord

Some evil men called Him Beelzebub (or lord of the flies). Some today have doubts about Him, or just consider Him a nice guy, or just a prophet.

So many descriptive titles. So the first thing that I would like to touch on is the fact that  

Jesus is the ‘one and only God’. He is, ‘God of the universe’, the ‘Almighty Creator’ of all heaven and earth.

I personally believe that the theological term, ‘Trinity’  has confused many of us as to the true identity and nature of Jesus and understanding that HE is God.

Through the ages this term has been used to describe a plurality of God’s being; the idea that God is somehow 3 persons, yet one.

The term ‘Trinity’, was coined by the 3rd century theologian, Tertullian, and was first used by Theophilus of Antioch.  Unfortunately sometimes meanings of words change over the passing of time.

I hope to clarify how this term was originally used, and how our understanding of it differs today. I would also like to share with you my understand of how God has revealed Himself to us throughout the ages based on what we see in Scripture.

In reference to the definition of three persons, yet one, one Scholar  wrote:  “The word person has changed its meaning since the 3rd century when it began to be used in connection with the three-foldness of God. When we talk about God as a person, we naturally think of God as being one person.  But Terullian writing in the 3rd century used the word ‘person’ with a different meaning. The word ‘person’ was originally derived from the Latin word, ‘Persona’, meaning an actor’s face mask; and by extension, the roles which the actor takes in a play.
By stating that there were 3 persons but only one God, Tertullian was asserting that all 3 major roles in the great drama of human redemption are  played out by the one and the same God. All three great roles in this drama are all played out by the same actor, God. Each of these roles reveal Him in somewhat different ways, but it is the same God in every case.
So when we talk about God as one person, we mean one person in the modern sense of the word, and when we speak of God as 3 persons, we mean 3 persons in the ancient sense of the word.”         

Any other definition would portray God as a committee of individuals. It is God, the one God alone manifesting Himself in different ways as He saw fit throughout Human history. For example, consider some of the different ways God has revealed Himself in scripture taking on different roles for a particular purpose

The following are some different ways God has revealed Himself throughout history:

1) God appeared ‘Man-Like  Genesis 3:8  ‘God walked in the garden…’   Gen. 18  ‘The Lord appeared to Abraham and ate with him…’ Gen. 32:22-30  ‘Jacob wrestled with God…’

2) God appeared in ‘super natural’ forms    Exodus 3:1-6  God appeared in the flaming bush and spoke to Moses. He called Himself (YHWH) or YAHWAH – the ‘I Am’, ‘He who is active and present’.

Exodus 19:16-20  God appeared before Israel in Mt. Sinai as a pillar of smoke, lightening, fire, with a loud trumpet blast, and caused tremors.

God also appeared as a pillar of cloud and fire to lead the Israelites. Exodus 13:21; 16:10; 33:9; 40:36-48 Numbers 12:5; 16:42-43; Deut. 1:32-33; 31:15.

3) God Appeared as ‘the’  Angel of the Lord  (Not just any angel) 
 Judges 13:1-24  Manoah recognizes the Angel of the Lord as God.

4) Jesus and others refer to God as the FATHER    Psalm 68:4-5,  Isaiah 64:8; Matthew 6:9, 7:11; Romans 8:14-17; James 1:27; 1 Peter 1:17

5) God Manifest Himself as a Holy Spirit   The Hebrew word for Spirit (ruach) means ‘wind’ or ‘breath’. It suggests the idea of an unseen power, movement, activity, or force.

Though we cannot actually see the movement of air or wind we can see what it does. In much the same way God, as He manifest Himself as the Spirit, though unseen is present, and at work in His creation and in us.

It is in the form or Person of the Spirit we see God as ‘All Knowing, the All Powerful Force, and everywhere present Nature’.  Read Psalm 139:1-16

6) God Became Flesh – Born of woman, yet the Son of God – Jesus Christ  Read: John 1:1-14; 17:1-5;  Philippians 2:5-11    ;  Col. 1:15-23 & 2:9-12 I Tim. 3:16;   Heb. 1:1-3

I believe that it is important to remember God had a special purpose in mind as He appeared in different forms. The angel of the Lord, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are ONE and the same, just a different (persona) or manifestation of our one God, playing or accomplishing different roles. As a man, Jesus has physical limitations (eg. He cannot be divided or present everywhere at once or omnipresent), whereas God in Spirit form can. And likewise the Spirit could not have been the perfect sacrifice for our sin; it needed to be a man or ‘the Son of Man’, flesh and blood. Each manifestation is still the same person – God! Jesus is GOD!

I would like to share with you a verse that helps me see and understand more about the true nature of Jesus:
In Colossians 1, describing Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote,   

15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”(1:15-17)     

In 2:9 he also wrote,  

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”

So what do we see here in this passage?

#1. Jesus is God in the Flesh – or in human form.  In John 1:1-14 we read that “In the beginning and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”  And in verse 14 it says that this WORD “became flesh.” (Jesus!!!!)

Jesus is God!  In John 14 we see an interesting discussion between Jesus and His disciple Philip:    “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.””

#2. Also according to Col. 1, Jesus holds the #1 supreme position in the universe.       Vs. 15 states that ‘He is the first born OVER all creation.’  In verse 10 it says,  ”He is the head over every power and authority.”  In Matthew 28:18 Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Also see Phil. 2:6-11 ’His name is above all names.’   and before Him every knee will bow.          

This is why Jesus is referred to as the ‘King of kings, and the Lord of lords.

#3. Jesus Created all things – HE IS THE CREATOR!  – Of all things in Heaven and on earth. – of all things visible and invisible – everything!  See John 1:3;  & Hebrews 1:2..

4. Col. 1:17, not only lets us know that He is the Eternal God ‘existing before all things,’ Jesus is also the One that holds all things together.   He is the ‘atomic glue that hold all matter and anti-matter together and in place.  Take Jesus out of the equation and everything we know would just fly apart even down to the molecular level. Everything would just dissipate and vaporize. John 1:3 adds that He is also the source of life itself!    What is the origin of life itself? Jesus!

5. In Col. 1:9 Paul sums this up by writing,    

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”

Who is this Jesus we worship? He is God, the one who emptied Himself of so much glory and majesty and became a man, flesh and blood.

The writer if Philippians put it this way in Chapter 2: (I like how the Amplified Bible translate this verse)

5 Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]
6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,
7 But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
8 And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”

When we call upon the name of Jesus, when we say His name, and when we worship Him here in this building or someplace else we worship God, God who stepped out of His home and true element to become like one of His own children, like you and me but without sin so He could save us, make us whole and one day bring us home.

This is why we love Jesus. This is why we call Him ‘Lord’. It is because       HE IS GOD!

I therefore proclaim that Jesus is worthy of our: HONOR - RESPECT – WORSHIP -TIME – and ALLEGIANCE.

HE is our GOD.   HE created us. HE sustains us. HE came to us  in the flesh to help us understand God  like never before. HE loved us. He even died for us on that cross  to pay the penalty for our sin.

What and Awesome God we have… AMEN!

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... MUST I be baptized?

MUST I be baptized?

Numerous people ask me if they must be baptized to be united with Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.

I wonder who was the first to ask that? I read of a man in the NT (Acts 8:36) that wanted to know, "Why can’t I be baptized?" It wasn’t, "Do I have to be baptized?" His whole hearing of the gospel was unlike so many moderns in this respect. The moderns want to know if they must be baptized and he wanted to know what would keep him from it. [Maybe it has something to do with what they are being told and the way in which they’re being told.]

I read of an astonished apostle asking, concerning a Gentile household (Acts 10:47-48), "In light of what God has just done here, what’s to keep these people from being baptized?" Some might have wanted to keep it from them—Peter among them, up to that point—but now the apostle insists it’s their right (as well as obligation). All over the place today I read and hear of people that want to debate the matter rather than obey. All over the place I hear people teaching that people don’t need to be baptized or that we shouldn’t say they need to be baptized. What am I missing? In the NT God’s credentialed ministers and apostles are arguing for the right of non-Christians to be baptized and today we have people who not only won’t practice the ordinance, they insist that others don’t need to submit to it.

Why would they do that?

But why should people be baptized when they have loved and believed Jesus Christ for years? Perhaps—and maybe this should be sufficient—because the Lord would have it so! When God sent his Holy Spirit on the open-hearted Cornelius you don’t hear him debating whether he needed to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ. You don’t hear the crushed and penitent Saul arguing with Ananias when he was told to arise and be baptized and wash away his sins calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). None of this, "What? Do you know who you’re speaking to? I have seen the risen Lord and have been called to apostleship." None of that! Like everyone else in the NT, he rose and humbly obeyed.

No one today understands salvation by grace more clearly than Paul did. And no one today knows the profound witnessing power of baptism as Paul did. In three gospel saturated books (Romans, Galatians and Ephesians) he links baptism with union with Christ, sonship and life in Christ (see Romans 6:3-8, Galatians 3:26-27 and Acts 19:1-5 with Ephesians 2:8).

In Galatians 3:26-28 a faith-filled baptism is not only the door to sonship by faith and clothing with Christ, it is a protest against all that divides humans! And In Matthew 28:19 it links Jesus Christ with his "colleagues" in the Godhead, bearing witness to his nature and person. In Romans 6:3-8 it is a foe of sin and wickedness and a witness to the nature of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

And some dare to make it optional!

From Mark Copeland... A Tale Of Three Men ( 2 Timothy 4:10-11)

                    "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                     A Tale Of Three Men (4:10-11)


1. As Paul nears the end of his second epistle to Timothy, he mentions
   several people...
   a. Demas, Crescens, and Titus, who are no longer with him - 2Ti 4:10
   b. Luke, Mark, and Tychicus - 2Ti 4:11-12
   c. And others as well - 2Ti 4:14-22

2. An interesting comparison can be made between three individuals in
   a. Demas, who had forsaken Paul
   b. Luke, who was with Paul
   c. Mark, who was to come to Paul

[In "A Tale Of Three Men", there are lessons to be gleaned that
hopefully all can take to heart.  Let's begin by considering...]


      1. He served as a fellow laborer with Paul
         a. Joining Paul and others in sending greetings - Phm 1:24; Co
         b. During the time of Paul's first Roman imprisonment
      2. Yet at the end of Paul's life, he forsook Paul - 2Ti 4:10a
         a. Not that he merely left Paul
         b. But that he left him in the lurch, i.e., abandoned Paul
            - Hendriksen
      3. Because he "loved this present world" - 2Ti 4:10b
         a. Barnes and Gill believe it simply means Demas did not want
            to die
         b. Clarke contends Demas reverted back to Judaism
         c. The tradition is he became apostate from the faith - cf.
         d. Loving the world is certainly contrary to loving the Father
            - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17
      4. At best, he deeply disappointed Paul; at worst, he fell away
         from the Lord

      1. Beginning a life of faith, only to fall away?
         a. It is possible to fall from grace - Ga 5:4
         b. We can become entangled again by the pollution of the world
            - 2Pe 2:20-22
         c. We can fall from our own steadfastness - 2Pe 3:17
         d. We can become hardened by sin's deceitfulness - He 3:12-14
      2. Loving the world, more than we love God and our brethren?
         a. Letting the world's distractions render us fruitless? - cf.
            Lk 8:14
         b. Leaving our brethren and God in the lurch?

[The cause of Christ is often hindered by those who forsake their faith
and brethren because of their love for the world.  On the other hand,


      1. He too was a fellow laborer with Paul
         a. A Gentile, a medical doctor, "the beloved physician" - cf.
            Col 4:11,14
         b. Who first joined Paul at Troas on his second journey (note
            the "we") - Ac 16:10-11
         c. Who stayed at Philippi until he rejoined Paul on his third
            journey - Ac 20:3-5
         d. Who went to Rome with Paul for his first imprisonment - Ac 27:1; 28:16
      2. He proved to be a steadfast companion and faithful Christian
         a. Who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts
         b. Possibly the "brother whose praise is in the gospel" - cf.
            2Co 8:18
         c. Who was with Paul during his first imprisonment - Phm 1:24;
            Col 4:14
         d. Who was with Paul during his last days - 2Ti 4:11

      1. Living a life of faith characterized by steadfastness?
         a. Faithful to the Lord in our service? - cf. 1Co 15:58
         b. Remaining faithful steadfast to the end? - cf. He 3:14
      2. Pleasing not just the Lord, but a constant source of
         encouragement to the brethren?
         a. As the Colossians were to Paul? - Col 2:5
         b. Refreshing the hearts of brethren, as did the household of
            Stephanus? - 1Co 16:15-18

[What a contrast between Demas and Luke!  The difference was determined
by the direction of their devotion.  Demas loved the world; Luke loved
the Lord and his brethren.  But let us also note...]


      1. A man who proved unreliable at first
         a. His name was John, surnamed Mark, son of Mary - Ac 12:12
         b. He joined Paul and Barnabas on their return to Antioch - Ac 12:25
         c. He started with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey
            - Ac 13:5
         d. He left them prematurely and returned to Jerusalem - Ac 13:13
         e. His departure later caused a rift between Paul and Barnabas
            - Ac 15:36-41
      2. A man who eventually redeemed himself
         a. He later proved useful to Paul for ministry - 2Ti 4:11; cf.
            Col 4:10; Phm 1:24
         b. He was also dear to Peter - 1Pe 5:13
         c. He wrote the gospel that bears his name (Mark)
         d. Thought to have gone to Alexandria in Egypt and martyred in
            62-63 A.D.

      1. Perhaps we are more like Mark than Luke
         a. Our service to God and brethren has not been what it should
         b. We have not been as steadfast and dependable as Luke
         c. Rather than like Luke, we have instead been 'lukewarm' - cf.
            Re 3:15-16
         d. Maybe like Mark (and Demas), we have left other brethren 'in
            the lurch'
      2. Yet the example of Mark gives us hope and direction!
         a. Mistakes can be corrected, sin forgiven
         b. We who may have been useless can still become "useful for
         c. Accepting opportunities for restoration and service - cf. Ac 15:39; Re 3:18-19
         d. Responding to calls to get back up and continue the race of
            faith - e.g. He 12:12-15


1. And so we have "The Tale Of Three Men"...
   a. The apostate Demas
   b. The steadfast Luke
   c. The penitent Mark

2. In the course of our spiritual sojourn in this life, which person
   will we be like...?
   a. Hopefully never Demas!
   b. Ideally like Luke
   c. But if necessary, then at least be like Mark

Remember, the difference is determined by the direction of your
devotion.  Will you love the world, or will you love the Lord and His

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading February 7

Bible Reading   

February 7

The World English Bible

Feb. 7
Genesis 38

Gen 38:1 It happened at that time, that Judah went down from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.
Gen 38:2 Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her, and went in to her.
Gen 38:3 She conceived, and bore a son; and he named him Er.
Gen 38:4 She conceived again, and bore a son; and she named him Onan.
Gen 38:5 She yet again bore a son, and named him Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him.
Gen 38:6 Judah took a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
Gen 38:7 Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Yahweh. Yahweh killed him.
Gen 38:8 Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her, and raise up seed to your brother."
Gen 38:9 Onan knew that the seed wouldn't be his; and it happened, when he went in to his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother.
Gen 38:10 The thing which he did was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and he killed him also.
Gen 38:11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house, until Shelah, my son, is grown up;" for he said, "Lest he also die, like his brothers." Tamar went and lived in her father's house.
Gen 38:12 After many days, Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died. Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnah, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.
Gen 38:13 It was told Tamar, saying, "Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep."
Gen 38:14 She took off of her the garments of her widowhood, and covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in the gate of Enaim, which is by the way to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she wasn't given to him as a wife.
Gen 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought that she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.
Gen 38:16 He turned to her by the way, and said, "Please come, let me come in to you," for he didn't know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?"
Gen 38:17 He said, "I will send you a kid of the goats from the flock." She said, "Will you give me a pledge, until you send it?"
Gen 38:18 He said, "What pledge will I give you?" She said, "Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand." He gave them to her, and came in to her, and she conceived by him.
Gen 38:19 She arose, and went away, and put off her veil from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
Gen 38:20 Judah sent the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend, the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman's hand, but he didn't find her.
Gen 38:21 Then he asked the men of her place, saying, "Where is the prostitute, that was at Enaim by the road?" They said, "There has been no prostitute here."
Gen 38:22 He returned to Judah, and said, "I haven't found her; and also the men of the place said, 'There has been no prostitute here.' "
Gen 38:23 Judah said, "Let her keep it, lest we be shamed. Behold, I sent this kid, and you haven't found her."
Gen 38:24 It happened about three months later, that it was told Judah, saying, "Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has played the prostitute; and moreover, behold, she is with child by prostitution." Judah said, "Bring her forth, and let her be burnt."
Gen 38:25 When she was brought forth, she sent to her father-in-law, saying, "By the man, whose these are, I am with child." She also said, "Please discern whose are these--the signet, and the cords, and the staff."
Gen 38:26 Judah acknowledged them, and said, "She is more righteous than I, because I didn't give her to Shelah, my son." He knew her again no more.
Gen 38:27 It happened in the time of her travail, that behold, twins were in her womb.
Gen 38:28 When she travailed, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This came out first."
Gen 38:29 It happened, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out, and she said, "Why have you made a breach for yourself?" Therefore his name was called Perez.
Gen 38:30 Afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand, and his name was called Zerah.

From Gary.... Incredible!!!

The movie "Star Wars" has had its effect upon our society.  Since the late 70's (1977?) there has been movie after movie, all sorts of merchandising and an influence on spirituality in our nation. Now, we understand that someone photo-shopped this photo to be humorous (and it is), but true spirituality involves caring for others.  The apostle Paul exemplifies this throughout his entire Christian life, but I like this one passage the best...

2 Corinthians, Chapter 11
26 I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers;  27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness. 

  28  Besides those things that are outside, there is that which presses on me daily, anxiety for all the assemblies.  29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I don’t burn with indignation?  30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that concern my weakness.  31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, he who is blessed forever more, knows that I don’t lie.

Paul really cared for his fellow Christians- I mean really cared for them!!!  How this man did everything he did is beyond me, but loving others as he did along with all he went through is incredible!!!  We can't all be as spiritual as Paul, but we CAN LOVE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS "IN CHRIST".  Good news!!! And you don't even have to be physically fit; just have a heart full of love.  Enter spirituality, level JEDI!!!!!