Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another "If"

Here is another “if”: “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“ (Colossians 2:20 ESV).

“If” this is true, why are you living as if you still belonged to the world?

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)


“If” this is true, set your hearts and minds on things above.

“If” has a consequence of “then” or “therefore.”

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Monday, April 14, 2014

"If"

“If” is not a certainty. Sometimes people think it is.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)

This “if” is not so. The “right eye” or the “right hand” do not cause sin. “If” they did, it would be a good trade to get rid of the cause.

“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” (Mark 7:21-22)

Jesus does not say “cut out your heart.” He says clean your heart.

“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god…” (Psalm 24:4)


“He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Today is Our Wedding Anniversary

This was preached at our wedding in 1952 and we put it into practice:

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)

I memorized the following two years before our wedding:

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

We considered our children to be “faithful men”.


Before Douglas was born, Bessie and I decided that if one of us corrected a child, that correction would not be contradicted by the other. The children would never see a difference between us. We would not differ with one another in front of the children.

We were heavy on love, not legalism.
We gave our children freedom early in growing up.
We would not correct when angry.
We taught the gospel over and over again.
We did not teach eschatology other than the certainty of the Lord's return.
We were heavy on integrity.
We did not compromise.
We cared for the poor, blacks, and internationals.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Clean Your Heart

“If” is not a certainty. Sometimes people think it is.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)


This “if” is not so. The “right eye” or the “right hand” do not cause sin. “If” they did, it would be a good trade to get rid of the cause.

“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” (Mark 7:21-22)

Jesus does not say “cut out your heart.” He says clean your heart.

“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god…” (Psalm 24:4)

“He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Light of the World

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)


“In Him was life and life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)


“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV)


Do others see the light of Jesus Christ in you? Is your light under a basket?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

“If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.” (Job 34:14-15)


When God breathed into man, man became a living soul. If God withdrew his breath we would all die at the same time. St. Paul says it this way in Colossians 1:16-17,

“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. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

God holds everything together. That is present tense. He is doing it right now. When HE will end things all he will have to do is to quit holding things together.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sound Doctrine

There is a Christian cultural expression – “sound doctrine.”

There is a biblical expression – “sound doctrine.”

Unfortunately the definitions are not the same. The cultural expression has been used to identify the distinctive doctrines of certain movements. The word “sound” gives these doctrines biblical authority.

The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching.” There is nothing good about the word itself. The Bible speaks of the doctrines of men, devils, strange, Balaam, the Nicolaitans, and every wind of doctrine. It also speaks of the doctrine of Christ, of God our Savior, and the doctrine which is according to Godliness. When the Bible speaks of sound doctrine it is speaking of the gospel of salvation and the teaching of holiness. Here are a few examples:

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer…for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” (I Timothy 1:3-10)

“If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” (I Timothy 4:6)

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (I Timothy 4:13)

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (I Timothy 4:16)

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (I Timothy 5:17)

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (II Timothy 4:3)

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)

“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)