The Bible uses several metaphors to describe the church. All of Paul’s extended descriptions of God’s gifts give attention to various concepts I like to think of as the giftwrapping. Prominent among them is the metaphor of the human body. The church, that is, is not a building or a random group of people but the body of Christ.
The most extensive description of gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14) includes the most extensive description of the church as the body of Christ. Let’s take a careful look (quoting from CSB).
Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12). After a while, they understood that he was warning them against their teaching. Today, we speak much more of the Pharisees than the Sadducees. We have forgotten to beware of the leaven of the Sadducees in the church.
Mix leaven (yeast or baking powder) with a flour dough and the whole dough will rise. The leaven leaves no flour untouched. Although Jesus once compared the kingdom of heaven to leaven (Matthew 13:33), it usually signifies some kind of corrupting influence. If the leaven of the Sadducees corrupts good teaching, we need to consider what it is and how to identify it.… Read the rest
Does it require courage for a man of God to speak to the people of God?
It shouldn’t, but sometimes it does. God’s chosen people have consistently rebelled against God’s chosen leaders and messengers. They started against Moses. The rebellious church today continues in the same vein.
God called Ezekiel as prophet to the sons of Israel and told him not to be afraid of their looks or words.
And that’s after Ezekiel had seen four creatures that had four faces apiece. After it dawned on him that God himself appeared to him with them. People can be scarier than the weirdest supernatural visions. … Read the rest
Have you ever noticed that some people just like to complain? They don’t even need a legitimate reason. Alas, you can easily find them in churches.
But here’s a better question. What is the effect when griping goes into overdrive? It would try the patience of a saint. Or in the case of an Old Testament illustration, Moses. Nobody comes out looking good in the sorry story told in Numbers 11.
We often refer to the people Moses led out of Egypt as the children of Israel. They never acted like grownups, did they? But according to Exodus 12:37-38, 600,000 Israelite men left Egypt, plus the women and children—plus a large number of other people.… Read the rest
A small but vocal minority of people have managed to redefine marriage in the United States by judicial fiat.
Justice Kennedy excused his setting aside all of human tradition on grounds that most Americans now accept same-sex marriage.
Ten years ago most Americans rejected it. Why the change?
Because the church failed to be the church. It followed the sorry pattern of Old Testament prophets and priests.
Judgment is coming. It will not be pleasant. “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”… Read the rest