"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Addicted To The Ministry Of The Saints (16:15) by Mark Copeland


             Addicted To The Ministry Of The Saints (16:15)


1. Many people have addictions to one thing or another...
   a. Some are negative addictions:  drugs, alcohol, cigarettes,
      gambling, etc.
   b. Some are positive addictions, such as exercise

2. In the KJV translation of 1Co 16:15, we read of a family with a very
   positive addiction...
   a. "...ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of
   b. "...and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the

3. The Greek word translated by the KJV as "addicted" is tasso...
   a. Which literally means "to arrange in an orderly manner" - Strong
   b. Most other translations render it as "devoted" (NKJV, NASB, NIV,

4. Playing on the word "addicted" (for the sake of illustration)...
   a. If we are addicted to something, what a more noble habit?
   b. Would it not be wonderful if we were all "addicted" to serving one

[In this lesson, we shall see why everyone should have such an
addiction, and offer some suggestions on how to get hooked...!]


      1. When we bear one another's burdens, we fulfill the law of
         Christ - Ga 6:1-2
      2. Thus we are encouraged to do good to another as we have
         opportunity - Ga 6:10
      -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, we are more likely
         to utilize our opportunities to fulfill the law of Christ!

      1. We cannot have the love of God in us if we do not love one
         another - 1Jn 4:20-21
      2. Loving the brethren indicates that we have passed from death to
         life - 1Jn 3:14-20
      -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, it is a positive
         sign that we are truly the children of God!

      1. God intends for members of the body to be concerned for one
         another - 1Co 12:24-27
      2. For the body to grow as it should, every member must do its
         part - Ep 4:15-16
      -- If addicted to the ministry of the saints, we will do our part
         in the body of Christ!

[There are both personal and altruistic motives to becoming "addicted"
to serving one another as brethren.  That being so, here are some
thoughts on...]


      1. Will Rogers once said, "I never met a man I didn't like"
      2. Allow me to rephrase that:  "I never loved a person I never met"
      3. Unless we know each other, there is little hope to becoming
         addicted to serving one another
      4. Getting acquainted requires some effort; how much?
         a. More than just seeing each other for a few moments, once or
            twice a week
         b. Whatever it takes so that when one is absent from one
            assembly, others are concerned
      5. It requires being given to hospitality - cf. Ro 12:13
         a. What I knew growing up as "southern hospitality"
         b. Not the cold, hands off, keep your distance, attitude so
            prevalent in some circles
         c. But the love of strangers that opens heart and home, and
            turns them into friends
         d. A willingness to visit, and be visited
         e. Truly believing in the phrase "mi casa, su casa" (my house
            is your house)
      -- We must know each other well enough to like one another if we
         are going to be truly concerned about each other

      1. For addictions to be developed, habits must be formed
      2. Make it a habit to learn the names of  the members and others
         who visit frequently
         a. Learn a new name each week
         b. Greet those you know by name each week - cf. 3Jn 14
         c. Continue until you know everyone by name
      3. Make it a habit to practice hospitality with one another - cf.
         1Pe 4:9
         a. Invite people into your home, or out for dinner
         b. Accept invitations when offered, for hospitality is a
            two-way street!
      4. Whatever abilities you have, use them in service to your
         brethren - cf. 1Pe 4:10-11
         a. For the goal is to become addicted to serving our brethren
         b. Whether it be serving through teaching, helping, etc.
      -- The more we know one another, and the more we grow in our
         abilities to serve, the easier it is to become addicted to the
         ministry of the saints


1. The family of Stephanas left behind a wonderful reputation...
   a. They were devoted to the ministry of the saints - 1Co 16:15
   b. They made Paul glad and refreshed his spirit when they came to him
      - 1Co 16:17-18

2. What kind of reputation will we leave behind...?
   a. Devoted to serving our brethren with love and zeal?
   b. Or unwilling to render loving service because we were too busy or

May we all become "Addicted To The Ministry Of The Saints"...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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A Giant Among Pygmies by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


A Giant Among Pygmies

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Ancient books thrill our imaginations with vivid pictures of worlds and cultures from long ago. Beautiful poetry, accurate history, and interesting narrative are but a few of the literary devices these ancient writers employed with captivating genius. Take the writings of Homer, for instance. His epic poems The Illiad and The Odyssey rank among the most influential pieces of literature ever written. It often has been said that a person cannot know Greece without reading Homer. Or consider The Histories of Herodotus, who was said to have revolutionized the way the world recorded history. He changed it from mere folklore and yarn stringing into documentation of actual fact. Also call to mind the writings of Josephus, which shed radiating light on the relationship between the Roman Empire and the Jewish nation in the early years of the first century A.D. And we must not neglect The Annals by Tacitus, which gives us a bird’s-eye view into some of the most intricate workings of the Roman Empire during the later part of the first century and early part of the second century A.D.
But one ancient book has outshone all of these. In America alone, it generates a 200-million-dollar market every year. It is the best-selling book of all times. Translated into over 800 languages, introduced into over 200 countries, the Bible, and more specifically, the New Testament, stands as the greatest literary achievement the world has ever read.
Yet, as we look at these monumental works of literature, we might wonder how we know Homer actually wrote the Illiad, and how many copies from the past have we discovered? Or how do we know that Josephus wrote in the first century A.D.? Did we find a copy of his works with a handy title page and copyright date in the front cover? And if we did, how many of these copies have we found? And what about the New Testament? Have we found many copies of it? If so, how old are they, and how do they compare with the evidence that verifies the other ancient works? I think the following chart answers many of these questions and speaks for itself.
How Does the New Testament
Measure Up to Other Ancient Books?
Title of Ancient BookDate it was WrittenDate of Earliest ManuscriptNumber of Manuscripts
Homer’s Illiad700 B.C.Unknown643
History of Herodotus425 B.C.A.D. 9008
Josephus’ Jewish WarsA.D. 70A.D. 4009
Histories of TacitusA.D. 100A.D. 9002
New TestamentA.D. 35-100A.D. 1255735
Based solely on the actual manuscripts evidence available, the New Testament stands as the most historically documented piece of ancient literature ever written. F.F. Bruce once stated: “It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians” (1953, p. 19). Aside from any discussion as to the inspiration of these documents, simply looking at their overwhelming manuscript evidence should quickly alert even the most skeptical observer to the fact that the documents of the New Testament are “special” to say the very least.


Bruce, F.F. (1953), The New Testament Documents—Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), fourth edition.

Cell Nuclei: Anything but Random by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Cell Nuclei: Anything but Random

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

At the heart of biological evolutionary theory is randomness. Evolutionists claim that the human body is the result of random mutations prompted by natural selection. According to the University of California at Berkeley, “The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation” (“Mutations...,” n.d.).
However essential a pillar of evolution the random may be, it is antithetical to what we actually observe in nature, even in the basic unit of all living matter—the cell (Aw, 1982, p. 127). New research suggests that the nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically (“Scientists Prove...,” 2006). Systems biologists worked with mathematicians to identify, for the first time, “spatial relationships” governing the distribution of an important control protein in the nucleus, in relation to other components within the nuclei of mammal cells (“Scientists Prove...,” 2006).
The study, published in PLoS Computational Biology, reports that, “[i]t is becoming increasingly clear that nuclear macromolecules and macromolecular complexes are compartmentalized through binding interaction into an apparent three-dimensionally ordered structure” (McManus, et al., 2006). The widespread protein CBP acts on certain genes within the cell nucleus, causing them to make specific proteins at different times throughout the life of the cell (“Scientists Prove...”). The scientists developed a probability map for the nucleus and determined that CBPpockets are more likely to be located closest to the gene regions with which they are known to modify (“Scientists Prove...”).
Also, scientists at Purdue University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a technique that automatically locates and maps proteins involved in regulated cell behavior (“New Cell Imaging...,” 2006, p. 46). This allows the cancer researcher, for example, to verify the distinction between multiplying cells that are harmless and those that are malignant (4:46).
Perhaps these new advances constitute substantial progress in scientific examination of cellular life, but they certainly are not the first observations of incredibly sophisticated organization in the cell. Indeed, to observe cells at all is to observe strict organization in the human body itself, for the body is composed in a hierarchy of organs, tissues, and cells. And while it may be very useful to try to put things such as DNA and proteins in the perspective of a cell, “the amazing beauty and complexity of a cell is not always easy to grasp because of the very small sizes involved.... Cells have typical radius [sic] of 10 to 30 microns” (one micron equals a millionth of a meter; Baldi, 2001, p., 22).
Cellular divisions of organic matter were identified and given the name “cells” as long ago as 1663 by the English scientist Robert Hooke (Pfeiffer, 1964, p. 9). Although some 17th-century scientists realized how ridiculous it would be to suggest that something as obviously structured as a human body was composed of randomly assembled components, they did not understand fully the complexity of the cell. Ernst Haeckel, the famed proponent of embryonic recapitulation, contended even in 1877: “the cell consists of matter called protoplasm, composed chiefly of carbon, with an admixture of hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur. These component parts, properly united, produce the soul and body of the animated world, and suitably nursed become man” (as quoted in Eiseley, 1961, p. 346).
By the mid-20th century, technology had opened the eyes of scientists to a deepened examination of the cell’s inner workings:
The microscopic blob of jelly called the cell is a remarkable entity. The most remarkable thing about it is the very fact that it is alive—not with a murky primordial glow, but as fully and vibrantly alive as a tiger or an oak tree. In a remarkable miniaturization of life’s functions, the cell moves, grows, reacts, protects itself and even reproduces. To sustain this varied existence, it utilizes a tightly organized system of parts that is much like a tiny industrial complex. It has a central control point, power plants, internal communications, construction and manufacturing elements (Pfeiffer, 1964, p. 16).
Reports of cellular organization do not surprise creationists, who understand that each cell is built according to fundamental design principles. Considering that even the most minute cell is capable of the five activities of life (metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and autonomous movement), it only makes sense that the “brain” of the cell—the nucleus—is organized in a recognizable pattern.
In their cytology textbook, Cell Biology, Roberts, Nowinski, and Saez wrote: “[I]t has been demonstrated that beyond the organization visible with the light microscope are a number of more elementary structures at the macromolecular level that constitute the ‘ultrastructure’ of the cell. We find ourselves in the era of molecular biology...” (1970, p. 3). That was 1970, a few years after the advent of the electron microscope, which made it possible to study intracellular structures and their interrelationship. Scientists consistently have found that different parts of the cell relate to each other. Baldi wrote that the cell structure could be illustrated by a football stadium:
In the stadium, proteins come in many shapes and sizes, but typically have the dimensions of a tennis ball.... [P]roteins are extremely busy in the stadium as they continually bind and interact with each other.... Somehow proteins must find their way to the region of their activity: the football field (nucleus), the rest of the stadium (cytoplasm), the wall around the stadium (membrane), or even the external world in the case of secreted proteins. They are what keeps the stadium functioning, by generating energy, removing waste, exchanging food and other signals with the external world, producing other tennis balls, fighting enemies, and so on.... From time to time, proteins take care of the very complex events by which an entire stadium is precisely duplicated into two stadiums... (2001, pp. 23-24).
Evolutionists believe that the first living cell appeared 3.5 billion years ago and gradually increased in sophistication and organization (Baldi, 2001, p. 25). How and why did it appear? Is it reasonable to assume that the original nucleus, in all its complexity and organization, simply came together for no apparent reason, and then summoned the remaining cellular parts to join in the fight for existence? Is the origin of the cell explicable on strictly natural bases?
Such is illogical for several reasons, not the least of which is the existence of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and its vital role in the nucleus and in the life of the cell. The DNA is a supermodule that carries the coded information for the replication of the cell. It stores coded information in a chemical format and then uses a biologic agent (RNA) to decode and activate it. As Darrel Kautz has stated: “Human technology has not yet advanced to the point of storing information chemically as it is in the DNA module” (1988, p. 45, emp. in orig.; see also Jackson, 1993, pp. 11-12). The DNA regulates life and directs its synthesis (see Thompson, 2003, pp. 78-86).
The DNA, all within the nucleus, stores a tremendous amount of information. If transcribed into English, the DNA in the human genome would fill a 300-volume set of encyclopedias of approximately 2,000 pages each (Baldi, 2001, p. 21). As Jackson concluded, “a programmed message is not self-explanatory in terms of its origin. One must assume that someone wrote the initial program. A program does not write itself! Similarly, it is obvious that someone has programmed the data in the DNA” (1993, p. 11). The cell, with its complex nucleus, could not have developed accidentally.
Furthermore, consider cellular reproduction and the important role of DNA in the process. In mitosis, cell division is “a mathematically precise doubling of the chromosomes and their genes. The two chromosome sets so produced then become separated and become part of two newly formed nuclei” so that “the net result of cell division is the formation of two cells that match each other and the parent cell precisely in their gene contents and that contain approximately equal amounts and types of all other components” (Weisz and Keogh, 1977, pp. 322,325).
We demonstrated that the cell could not have developed accidentally. For the sake of argument, however, suppose that a single cell did “appear.” What then? Evolutionists are burdened to explain how and why the first living cell, 3.5 billion years ago, would have perceived a need to divide itself and reproduce. Evolution quickly becomes a logistical conundrum.


For purposes of research and experimentation, scientists depend on regular patterns at the cellular level. Such is possible only because cells exhibit precise organization. To believe evolution is to believe that the random gave rise to the organized by accident. Such a position is increasingly recognized as irrational in the presence of cellular organization. Sir Fred Hoyle, a prominent British scientist, has argued that the chance of higher life-forms emerging accidentally is comparable to the chance that a Boeing 747 jet could be assembled by a tornado sweeping through a junkyard (1981, 294:105). Thankfully, we have a more sensible explanation: “It is He Who has made us” (Psalm 100:3). God designed the eukaryotic human cell and its nucleus!


Aw, S.E. (1982), Chemical Evolution: An Examination of Current Ideas (San Diego, CA: Master).
Baldi, Pierre (2001), The Shattered Self (Cambridge, MA: MIT).
Eiseley, Loren C. (1961), Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It (Garden City, NY: Anchor).
Hoyle, Fred (1981), “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, 294:105, November 12.
Jackson, Wayne (1993), The Human Body—Accident or Design? (Stockton, CA: Courier).
Kautz, Darrel (1988), The Origin of Living Things (Milwaukee, WI: Darrel Kautz).
McManus, Kirk J., et al. “The Transcriptional Regulator CBP Has Defined Spatial Associations with Interphase Nuclei” (2006), PLoS Computational Biology, [On-line], URL:http://compbiol.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/ journal.pcbi.0020139.
“Mutations are Random” (no date), University of California at Berkeley, [On-line], URL: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIIC1aRandom.shtml.
“New Cell Imaging Method Identifies Aggressive Cancer Cells Early” (2006), Bioscience Technology, 4:46-47, April.
Pfeiffer, John (1964), The Cell (New York: Time).
Roberts, E.D.P., Wiktor W. Nowinski, and Francisco A. Saez (1970), Cell Biology (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders).
“Scientists Prove that Parts of Cell Nuclei are Not Arranged at Random” (2006), Imperial College London, [On-line], URL: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/ news_20-10-2006-8-43-24.
Thompson, Bert (2003), The Case for the Existence of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Weisz, Paul B. and Richard N. Keogh (1977), Elements of Biology (New York: McGraw-Hill).

The Name “Christian” by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Name “Christian”

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Christendom is conspicuous for the myriad of names worn by individuals and churches—from “Catholic” and “Protestant” to Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Episcopalian, and an innumerable host of others. Those who employ these terms to identify their religious orientation also would claim to be “Christian”—as if the secondary terms are simply further refinements or clarifications of the broader, more basic designation of Christian.
Whence did these names arise? History answers this question for each name. For example, “Catholic” simply means “comprehensive” or “universal.” The Catholic Church therefore wishes to emphasize that it constitutes the universal church. “Baptist” is connected to the Greek word for immersion, and thus represents the wearer’s conviction that baptism is by immersion. A “Baptist” is an “immersionist.” “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word presbuteros, which refers to the form of government by which the church is to be organized. A “presbyter” in the New Testament was one of a plurality of elders who functioned as the leaders or overseers of the local congregation. “Pentecostal” refers to the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to speak in tongues. Thus a “Pentecostal” is one who believes in the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. All other names, terms, and designations by which people who claim to be Christian refer to themselves may also be explained on the basis of some doctrine or feature of Christianity that historically came to receive special emphasis among a specific group of people.
What does the New Testament have to say about this state of affairs? Does Christ sanction the use of differing names and terms to identify individuals and churches? Perhaps the place to begin is in the Old Testament when the messianic prophet Isaiah predicted that the day would come when God would implement a “new name:”
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name (Isaiah 62:1-2).
This fascinating prophecy contains four points that merit close consideration: (1) Righteousness/salvation would go forth from Jerusalem; (2) the Gentiles would see this righteousness/salvation; (3) a new name would be given; and (4) the Lord Himself would bestow that new name.
One must go to the New Testament to find fulfillment and clarification of these marvelous assertions. A number of names are used to refer to God’s people in the New Testament, including believer, disciple, saint, servant, and brother. But all of these terms were used previously in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:31; Isaiah 8:16; John 9:28; Psalm 106:16; Proverbs 2:8; Leviticus 25:46,55; Nehemiah 1:2). They were not new. Isaiah’s inspired prediction allows us to pinpoint the precise occasion on which a new name was given. His first indicator was that righteousness or salvation would go forth from Jerusalem. Here is an apparent allusion to the commencement of the Christian era on the Day of Pentecost in A.D. 30, described in detail in Acts 2. After His death and resurrection, Jesus instructed His apostles to go to Jerusalem and there await the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,12). They did so, and the Holy Spirit, as predicted, empowered the apostles to present the Gospel message and to launch Christianity and the church of Christ (Acts 2). Indeed, on that auspicious occasion, just as Isaiah predicted, the means to salvation went forth as brightness, and proceeded to go forth from Jerusalem even as Jesus predicted (Acts 1:8). The first point of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled.
However, the throng gathered on Pentecost was composed entirely of Jews (Acts 2:5). In fact, though about 3,000 were converted to Christianity that day (Acts 2:41), and several thousand thereafter (Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:1,7), all the converts were Jewish. Samaritans (half-Jews) were eventually incorporated into the Lord’s church (Acts 8:5ff.). But it was not until perhaps eight to ten years later that the first Gentiles obeyed the Gospel and were added to the church. This momentous event occurred when Peter, at the instigation of a heavenly vision, agreed to go to the home of a Roman centurion to preach the Gospel to him, his family, and close friends (Acts 10:24). They, in turn, became the very first Gentile converts to Christianity as a result of hearing the preached message and submitting themselves to water baptism (Acts 10:47-48; 11:14).
But look back at Isaiah’s prophecy. The second action that Isaiah anticipated would occur, after salvation went forth from Jerusalem, was that the Gentiles themselves would be the recipients of this same righteousness/salvation and likewise bask in the glory of the Lord. The conversion of Cornelius and those with him in Acts 10 constitutes the fulfillment of the second criterion of Isaiah’s prediction. Incredibly, immediately after the conversion of the Gentiles in Acts 10, in the very next chapter, Luke reported that Peter was confronted by hostile Jerusalem Jews who had heard about the inclusion of Gentiles into the Christ’s church. These Jewish Christians insisted that he give account of his actions. He did so in Acts 11:4-18, recounting sequentially the events of Acts 10. Upon hearing of these astounding events orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, the hostile Jews melted, backed off, glorified God, and conceded: “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:18). This was an amazing concession that further cleared the way for Gentile missions.
At this point in his inspired narrative, beginning in Acts 11:19, Luke proceeded to clarify the full significance of what had just occurred. The persecution that drove Jewish Christians out of Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-4) forced them to travel into predominately Gentile areas. However, these Jewish Christians had refrained from imparting the Gospel message to Gentiles (Acts 11:19). But with the conversion of the household of Cornelius, the Gospel now began to be presented to the predominately Gentile population in the city of Antioch: “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21). Aside from Cornelius’ own household, Antioch thus became the first Gentile church of Christ in all of human history. The church in Jerusalem immediately sent Barnabas to Antioch to confirm the reports, who in turn (quite logically) went to Tarsus in search of the “apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul, to introduce him into the mix at Antioch. Together, the two men spent an entire year meeting with the church and teaching many people.
In line with the prophecy of Isaiah, the first two preconditions to God imparting a new name had now been met. If the application of Isaiah’s prophecy is correct, one ought naturally next to expect the bestowal of the new name. We are not disappointed. The very next statement by Luke is simply: “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). What an earthshaking statement! Astonishing! Isaiah was absolutely accurate—dead on! Consider the following three observations about this astounding moment in human history.
First, observe that from the inception of Christianity (Acts 2), converts were called “disciples.” They were not called Christians on the day of Pentecost! Though thousands had converted to Christianity, and now belonged to Christ and were therefore followers of Christ, they nevertheless were not called Christians. Unlike Judaism, one of the central features of New Testament Christianity is its international application—with absolutely no consideration given to ethnicity. In this sense, the church of Christ reached its full existence only when Gentiles were incorporated into its membership (cf. “also to the Greek” in Romans 1:16; 2:9-10). This circumstance came only with the conversion of Cornelius and the commencement of the Antioch church of Christ. Thus we do not read what we would full well expect to find: that “the disciples were called Christians first in Jerusalem.”
Second, Luke included a grammatical feature worth considering. He said the disciples “were called.” The term he used (chrematidzo) is typically used in the New Testament in relation to those occasions when God is specifically the One Who does the calling: “to appoint, warn, or nominate, by Divine direction” (Clarke, n.d., p. 772; cf. McCord, n.d., 2:311). The term occurs nine times in the New Testament: Matthew 2:12,22; Luke 2:26; Acts 10:22; 11:26; Romans 7:3; Hebrews 8:5; 11:7; 12:25 (Moulton, et al., 1978, p. 1011). In every case, divine calling, warning, or admonition is contextually self-evident (cf. Thayer, 1901, p. 671; Robertson, 1930, 3:160). In fact, several translations indicate this use of the word by inserting “by/from/of God” (KJV, ASV, NASB, RSV), or “divinely” instructed/warned (NKJV) in some or all of the passages.
Third, observe the final feature of Isaiah’s prophecy: “which the mouth of the Lord will name” (Isaiah 62:2). Church historians insist that the name “Christian” arose as the result of persecution wherein the enemies of Christ originated the name as a term of derision. However, they are mistaken. Isaiah predicted that God Himself would be the author of the name. And so He was. The name Christian is, indeed, so special that it occurs only three times in the New Testament and each time flags a critical aspect of the name. In addition to Acts 11:26, where the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy spotlights the magnificent inclusion of the Gentiles in the church of Christ, the word occurs again in Acts 26:28. In that setting, Paul strove ardently to convert King Agrippa. Agrippa indicated his awareness that Paul’s purpose—his mission and goal in life—was to make people Christians. He endeavored to make people followers of Christ—not followers of Moses or any other religion.
The final occurrence of the word Christian in the New Testament is Peter’s use of the term in a context dealing with suffering that is inflicted on God’s people by their enemies: “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16). “In this matter” in the NKJV is a rendering of the literal Greek phrase “in this name,” i.e., the name “Christian.” Peter insisted that the suffering that is heaped upon a follower of Christ ought to be borne under the name Christian—not some other religious appellation.
Writing over 200 years ago, Rice Haggard recognized the extreme importance of the name “Christian” in the divine scheme of things, when he wrote: “[I]t is but a due honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, that they who profess his religion, should wear his name” (1804, p. 14).


Clarke, Adam (no date), Clarke’s Commentary: Matthew-Acts (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury).
Haggard, Rice (1804), An Address to the Different Religious Societies, on the Sacred Import of the Christian Name (Lexington, KY: Joseph Charless).
McCord, Hugo (no date), Fifty Years of Lectures (Atwood, TN: Atwood Church of Christ).
Moulton, W.F., A.S. Geden, and H.K. Moulton (1978), A Concordance to the Greek Testament(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark), fifth edition.
Robertson, A.T. (1930), Word Pictures in the New Testament (New York, NY: Harper).
Thayer, Joseph H. (1901), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977 reprint).

Jesus Was Logical by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Jesus Was Logical

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The view of Jesus that prevails in popular culture is one that portrays Him as unconcerned with logic and correct attention to doctrinal detail. Diluted Christendom has conjured up a Jesus that is non-confrontational, “politically correct,” and would never be “judgmental” or “intolerant.” Nevertheless, the New Testament—the only source for ascertaining the identity of Jesus—depicts Him in a completely different light.
Take, for example, the occasion in John 7 when the Jews were critical of Jesus for having healed on the Sabbath a man who suffered from a 38-year-old ailment (John 5:2-9). Many would suppose that Jesus would not be concerned with careful conformity to the Law. They would assume that Jesus would chide the Jews for their nit-picky, legalistic approach to religion, and that He would be quite willing to dismiss the requirements of the Law in order to give priority to human need in the name of compassion. Unfortunately, this viewpoint is fraught with error, not the least of which is its demeaning assessment of law—law which God, Himself, authored. Law, according to God, is given for human well-being (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:13; Proverbs 29:18). God’s law is “holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12), and serves divinely-intended, positive purposes (e.g., Romans 3:20). Indeed, Jesus’ handling of His persecutors on this occasion illustrates the high regard He had for law, the necessity of carefully conforming to it, and the critical importance of applying it accurately.
Calling attention to the miracle He performed, Jesus offered a logical rebuttal to the allegation that He violated the Sabbath. Here is that argument placed in syllogistic form:
  1. If the Law of Moses requires the circumcision of a male infant on the 8th day after birth—even when the 8th day falls on the Sabbath—then healing a man on the Sabbath is equally legal.
  2. The Law of Moses requires the circumcision of a male infant on the 8th day after birth—even when the 8th day falls on the Sabbath.
  3. Therefore, healing a man on the Sabbath is equally legal.
Jesus then offered a concluding admonition that cinched the validity of His argument: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (vs. 24). Making application of God’s laws based on “appearance” refers to doing so based on how things seem or look to the person making the judgment, i.e., forming an opinion based on inadequate evidence. To the contrary, to “judge with righteous judgment” means to make accurate assessments by drawing only warranted conclusions from the evidence, i.e., thinking and acting rationally.
This one incident in the life of Christ is typical of His behavior on other occasions, proving that Jesus was logical in His approach to life. It demonstrates the high respect He had for law. It spotlights Deity’s concern for careful compliance with law. All who desire to be like Christ must emulate these same concerns. As Jesus Himself stated: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

A Crater of Consensus, or False Assurance? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


A Crater of Consensus, or False Assurance?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to a litany of recent news reports, “the mystery has been solved.” The riddle has been unraveled. A “dream team” of scientists now knows the answer. After much debate over the last several decades, the matter of the great dinosaur demise reportedly has been confirmed, reaffirmed, and settled. At least, that is what the main stream, pro-atheistic, evolutionary media has reported.
On what did a group of evolutionary scientists come to an agreement? The volcano theory? The hay fever theory? The poisonous plant theory? None of these. Forty-one researchers from across the globe believe that everyone can now rest assured that, as many evolutionists had previously thought, dinosaurs became extinct as a result of an asteroid that hit Mexico 65 million years ago (Watson, 2010). According to Kirk Johnson of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, “We assessed the whole picture.... The answer is quite simple.... The Chicxulub crater really is the culprit” (as quoted in Watson). Due to the impact of this seven-mile-wide asteroid and its subsequent effects, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and darkness (as a result of dust and debris), all of the dinosaurs died out.
As with the General Theory of Evolution, these scientists would like us to think that the debate is over. But the debate is far from over, as even some evolutionary scientists are unconvinced by the asteroid theory. For example, Princeton University professor Gerta Keller still believes that the crater at Chicxulub was formed long before dinosaurs became extinct. What’s more, as many creationists have been asking ever since this theory was first proposed (see Lyons and Butt, 2008, p. 210), evolutionist Norman MacLeod of the Museum of Natural History in London, “wonders why, if the asteroid strike was such a doomsday event, some classes of species survived and even thrived” (Watson, 2010).
The truth is, no one knows for sure why the last of the dinosaurs died out. The Noahic Flood certainly would have destroyed countless thousands (or millions) of dinosaurs around the world. Those that survived the Flood (on Noah’s ark) eventually became extinct for unknown reasons. Creationists have proposed logical reasons why they may have died out (see Lyons and Butt, pp. 220-223), but no one can be absolutely certain.
There is one thing that we can know for sure: dinosaur extinction in no way disproves Creation.


Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2008), The Dinosaur Delusion (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Watson, Traci (2010), “‘Dream Team’ Agrees Huge Asteroid Killed Dinosaurs,” March 4, [On-line], URL: http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/scientists-reaffirm-asteroid-theory-in-dinosaur-deaths/19383600?icid=main|aim|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fscience%2Farticle%2Fscientists-reaffirm-asteroid-theory-in-dinosaur-deaths%2F19383600.

Another Significant Sign of Moral Decline by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Another Significant Sign of Moral Decline

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The government organization that monitors health issues in America, the National Center for Health Statistics, has reported the latest dismal stats on the state of marriage (“Almost 40%...,” 2006). Whereas in 1950 the average age for people to marry was 23 for the man and 20 for the woman, now the ages are 27 and 25 respectfully. It is true that some people are now waiting longer to get married. But in many cases, they have chosen to live together without getting married. In 1970, the number of unmarried-couple households with children was under 200,000. That figure now has soared to 1.7 million and climbing.
Most alarming, out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high. Indeed, 37% of the babies born last year—nearly 4 in 10—were born to unmarried parents. Such a figure is seismic in its implications—not to mention absolutely shameful and disgraceful (Proverbs 14:34). If we were to contemplate that 10% of the babies born in America were without married parents, that figure would be tragic. Or if we were to consider that 20%, one fifth, of all babies, or even 25%, one fourth, of all babies were without married parents, our forefathers would not believe it. But no, the figure is now at nearly 40%! Forty percent of the children in this country are born to people who are not married to each other! And that figure is just for one year; the stat has been nearly that high each year for quite some time. No doubt, much of the population of our nation is so morally and spiritually desensitized that they do not consider such stats to be a problem: “what’s the big deal?”
The “big deal” is that the God of the Universe established the home at the beginning of the Creation. The home as God created it consists of a man and woman married to each other for life (Genesis 2:24). Hence, by divine design, the very fabric of human civilization, the basis of any nation, is the home. In order for society to function in a civil fashion, its citizens must be raised in stable homes consisting of both scriptural parents. The home is the incubator for developing mature, unselfish people. As the number of such homes decline, society itself will destabilize and unravel. Lack of concern for others manifests itself in cold, cruel apathy, and treating others discourteously and rudely. Crime rates inevitably will increase and prison populations will expand. The list of aberrant behaviors goes on and on.
Few Americans are aware that the Founders of the Republic warned against neglect of the Christian principles of morality—including those pertaining to marriage—principles they deemed indispensable to national survival. Consider one sampling from the pen of one acclaimed as a “Father of American Jurisprudence,” Joseph Story, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President James Madison where he served from 1811-1845:
The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, the being, and attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to him for all our actions, founded upon moral freedom and accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues;—these never can be a matter of indifference in any well ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive, how any civilized society can well exist without them. And at all events, it is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects (III.44.1865:722-723, emp. added).
Indeed, in a republic, there would seem to be a peculiar propriety in viewing the Christian religion, as the great basis, on which it must rest for its support and permanence, if it be, what it has ever been deemed by its truest friends to be, the religion of liberty (III.44.1867:724-725, emp. added).
Indeed, since Bible teaching on marriage and the family is being ignored by a sizeable percentage of Americans as they reject the responsibility to God for their actions, how can America as a civilized society continue to exist? By rejecting the moral principles of Christianity, how can the Republic be perpetuated? According to those who founded this nation, it cannot.
But the solution to our nation’s ills is available:
  • He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).
  • Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments...that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land (Deuteronomy 4:39-40).
  • See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land.... I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).
  • And now...what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
If America does not wake up and recover its moral sanity, only one possible fate awaits the nation: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).


“Almost 40% of Children Born in the U.S. in 2005 Were Out of Wedlock, an All-Time High” (2006), Associated Press, November 21, [On-line], URL:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,231183,00.html.
Story, Joseph (1833), Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, & Co.), [On-line], URL: http://www.constitution.org/js/js_344.htm.

Does God Dwell in Light or Darkness? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Does God Dwell in Light or Darkness?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the February 12, 2009 Butt/Barker Debate on the existence of the God of the Bible, atheist Dan Barker spent nearly two-thirds of his opening 15-minute speech alleging that the Bible’s portrayal of God is contradictory. Barker alleged several discrepancies (most all of which we have answered elsewhere on our Web site), including that God cannot logically dwell in light and darkness. Twelve minutes and five seconds into his first speech, Dan Barker asserted:
Does God live in light or does God live in darkness? First Timothy 6: “The King of kings, Lord of Lords dwelling in the light which no man can approach.” James 1:17: He’s “the Father of lights” and on and on we see God is light. There’s no darkness in him at all. However, in 1 Kings 8: “Then spake Solomon: “The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” First Samuel 22: “He made darkness pavilions round about Him, dark waters and thick clouds of the sky.” Psalm 18:11: “He made darkness his secret place.” So, God lives in light. God lives in darkness.
Do these verses paint a contradictory picture of God? Not at all.
First, the Bible uses the terms “light” and “darkness” in several ways and in a variety of contexts. God’s dwelling place in the spiritual realm of the heaven of heavens is filled with “unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16), because His unrestrained glory illuminates it (Revelation 21:23). God made light in the physical Universe during the six-day Creation and “called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night” (Genesis 1:5). He made the Sun, Moon, and stars on day four of Creation, thus making Him the “Father of lights” (James 1:17). Jesus was miraculously transfigured before three of His apostles and “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). The psalmist referred to light in the sense of divine instruction: “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (119:130). Conversely, the psalmist referred to those who “do not know, nor...understand,” as those who “walk about in darkness” (82:5). While addressing the subjects of sin and righteousness, the apostle John used the terms light and darkness symbolically: “God is light (i.e., holy) and in Him is no darkness (i.e., sin)” (1 John 1:5). This same apostle referred to Jesus as “the Light” throughout his gospel account (1:4-9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:34-36,46), and Matthew recorded that Jesus spoke of His disciples as “the light of the world” (5:14-16), reflectors of His righteousness.
Notice that Barker never hinted at the different ways in which the word “light” and “darkness” are used in Scripture. He simply positioned a phrase like that found in James 1:17 regarding God being the Creator (“Father”) of lights against the poetic statement found in Psalm 18:11 (“He made darkness his secret place”) and expected his listeners to believe they are contradictory. But the fact is, God being the Father of the Sun, Moon, and stars made on day four, has no bearing whatsoever on the question of whether God dwells in darkness or light. What God has created and where God dwells are two different things. One cannot fault Scripture when a critic compares apples and oranges. For there to be a legitimate contradiction, the same thing must be under consideration.
Second, the passage in 1 Kings 8:12 that Barker noted (“The Lord said that he would dwell in thick darkness”—KJV) is not discussing God’s dwelling place in the heaven of heavens. First Kings 8:12-13, along with 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, discuss God’s presence in the physical temple of God in Jerusalem. Just as “the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” in the days of Moses (Exodus 40:34), so “the house of the Lord [the temple], was filled with a cloud” (2 Chronicles 5:13). Similarly, the highly poetic wording in Psalm 18 and 1 Samuel 22 (a quotation of Psalm 18) pictures God, not on His majestic, glorious throne in heaven, but as One Who “came down” from heaven (Psalm 18:9), “flew upon the wings of the wind” (18:10), and delivered his servant David from his enemies while making “darkness His secret place” and “His canopy...dark waters” (18:11). As H.C. Leupold commented:
The picture is that of a violent storm—a figure so frequently used in the Scriptures to furnish the accompaniment of God’s approach, He Himself being as it were housed in the storm. From the time of Sinai onward these figures become standard (cf. Exod. 19:16-18; Judg. 5:4,5; Ps. 68:7;77:16-18; Is. 29:6; 30:27ff.; etc.). As the storm sweeps near, He is in it. The thick storm clouds are the material upon which He rides (1959, pp. 166-167).
Once again, when a person takes the time to carefully inspect Dan Barker’s allegation that the Bible paints a contradictory picture of God, the sincere truth seeker will discover the vacuousness of his charges. Time and again, both in his debate with Kyle Butt on the existence of the God of the Bible and in his writings, Barker has disregarded the fact that for a legitimate contradiction to exist, one must be referring to the same person, place, or thing, at the same time, in the same sense (for more information, see Lyons, 2003 and 2005).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Leupold, H.C. (1959), Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Lyons, Eric (2003), The Anvil Rings: Volume 1 (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Lyons, Eric (2005), The Anvil Rings: Volume 2 (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

“Fear God!” (1 Peter 2:17) by Roy Davison


“Fear God!”
(1 Peter 2:17)
True worshipers are God-fearing people.
Job “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1).
God told Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son” (Genesis 22:12).
Cornelius “feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2).

What does it mean to fear God?
To be God-fearing is to have an overwhelming feeling of profound respect for God that causes us to be highly conscious of our own inadequacy and dependence. God is so great and we are so small, that it is scary! Ezekiel fell on his face when he saw the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28). Fear is the reasonable response of mortal man in the presence of almighty God. Fear of God is the sober realization that our eternal destiny depends on His judgment.
The word fear is used in connection with God more than 300 times in the Scriptures.
Fear of God is a healthy fear, like fear of fire or fear of falling. Its effects are positive. Whom do you trust more, a God-fearing person, or someone who does not fear God?

Every person on earth is commanded to fear God.
“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6, 7).

We learn to fear God by reading the Scriptures.

“And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God’” (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
By reading the Scriptures or by hearing them read aloud, adults and children learn to fear God.

Leaders ought to fear God.
The king of Israel was to read the Scriptures to learn to fear the Lord: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
King David wrote: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3, 4).
When King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, he charged them: “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes. ... Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart” (2 Chronicles 19:6, 7, 9).

Fear of God is a prerequisite for wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psalm 111:10). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

We fear God because He is our judge.
Jesus said: “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4, 5).
Although we fear God as our judge, genuine love can dispel fear of punishment. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
John refers to fear of punishment, not fear of God. People who love God do not fear condemnation because they “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
Those who fear God are comforted: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When Daniel saw the Son of Man [compare Daniel 10:5, 6 with Revelation 1:12-15] he “stood trembling” but was told, “Do not fear, Daniel. ... O man greatly beloved, fear not!” (Daniel 10:10, 12, 19).
Christians are commanded: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Although perfect love casts out fear, lack of fear does not prove love! Someone who does not fear God, does not fear judgment. And many who are confident that they are saved will be lost because they did not build on the Rock by obeying Christ (Matthew 7:22, 23). If they had truly loved God and feared Him as judge, they would have obeyed Christ.

A God-fearing person wants to please God.

Of Hezekiah, king of Judah, it is said: “Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD’s favor?” (Jeremiah 26:19).
They who fear God want to be faithful and true. Joshua told Israel, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). Later, Samuel reminded them: “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
God has promised that we can be His sons and daughters if we separate ourselves from the uncleanness of the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Paul continues in the next chapter: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

A God-fearing person wants to obey God.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6). “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12). “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).

A God-fearing person wants to avoid evil. 

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).

God takes care of those who fear Him.

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. ... Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34:7, 9).
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:18, 19).
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Malachi 3:16, 17).

God extends grace to those who fear Him.
“His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18). “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:10-18).

Let us walk in the fear of the Lord.
“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
“You who fear the LORD, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23).
“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” (Revelation 19:5). Fear God! Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.,
Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive