In the ancient cultures of the Middle East, there was a concept we know as Agency. The central notion of agency is this: that one person would send another as a representative to carry out his bidding with all the authority of the sender. In this teaching we look at this concept in the relationship between God and his son Jesus Christ.
In our contemporary world, the idea of Service often has a bad connotation. People tend to associate it with diminished value and a lack of self-worth. But from a scriptural perspective, a person simply will not go far with the Lord unless he or she learns first to be a servant. From the prophet delivering the Lord’s message, to the pastor trending the Lord’s sheep, the practical Christian walk is defined by Service. As Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Service is the heartbeat of every disciple of Christ.
The Bible teaches, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pridefulness, also called self-righteousness, is the affliction of the natural man and carnal Christian alike going back to Adam’s rebellion. “Better to be lowly in spirit,” scripture continues, “and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”
Pride’s only antidote to Pride is Humility. Humility to God. Humbleness is a quality shared by all godly men and women. It was said of Moses then he was more humble than any other man. Jesus never promoted himself but emptied himself of the l reputation and did the Father’s will.
Enjoy this wonderful teaching on Humility that will surely bless you!
These two chapters are the latter part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. He shares in them the wonderful wisdom of God on a variety of topics; among them is Jesus’s instruction to “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” Herein is the secret to the godly life – to seek Him above all. This represents the difference between true relationship and mere religion; and in response to doing this, God promises to provide for us all our needs. Enjoy this uplifting and illuminating teaching by Jon Touchstone.
The Epistle of Titus starts: “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness…” Godliness is a genuine, true relationship with our God. It is so far beyond mere religion. To the world, the person who talks to God is considered devout, but he that says that God talks to him is ready for the looney bin, but the truth is, the believer should be hearing from God often. Godliness is the objective of the spiritual walk – to not just know of God, but to know and understand Him.
Hezekiah was a king of Judah. He ruled for 30 years between 716 and 686 BCE. He was one of the few kings “who did right in the sight of God.” Hezekiah did several notable things that set him apart from other, lesser kings. The first was to clean the temple thoroughly upon his coronation of all the idols his father, Ahaz, had filled it with. Secondly, he broke his alliance with Assyria and then proceeded to stand against the Assyrian king when Judah was subsequently invaded. Though he was not a perfect man, Hezekiah believed God and stood for him when all seemed lost.
When we talk about Christianity, we must be clear with our terms. By far the majority of Christians throughout the world are cultural Christians. This simply means that Christianity has become engrained within their cultures, and faith is something one does. He wears the label “Christian,” but the label has more to do with his family background and upbringing than any personal conviction that Jesus is Lord. Of those who remain, the church separates into two distinct categories – those who live and worship according to the flesh and those who live and worship according to the spirit. It’s this latter church that is the true, biblical Church. It’s the church of power, the one that Paul preached. It worships God in spirit and in truth, and it is bound to its Lord, the Ascended and Glorified Christ, who rules with power at the right hand of the Father as the Head of the Church.
Spend some time with us learning about this magnificent Church.
Original Sin. It’s more correctly called, Adam’s Sin. The Humanist will call it, The Human Condition. Whatever the name, it describes the moral and spiritual degeneracy that afflicts all of humankind. So why is humanity, endowed with such intelligence and ability and created in the very Image of God, so depraved and destructive as a race? Is it a lack of philosophy or political acuity, as some would claim, or is it something deeper?
Study the scriptures with us as we delve into this interesting and vitally important topic.
This letter was written to encourage the scattered Christians to maintain hope while suffering. The intended recipients of 1 Peter were facing significant hardships as a result of social and governmental opposition to their faith in Christ. In this Study of 1 Peter 1 and 2, Peter reminds these believers to stand fast, to endure persecution, to seek holiness and remember that it was through the precious blood of Christ that they are saved.
Why is the heart important? Well, from a biological point of view, it sustains life. Without the heart pumping the life-giving blood, the body would quickly die.
The same is true spiritually. The heart is the well-spring of life. When it is allowed to become infirm with sin, a person’s spiritual life quickly deteriorates. This is why God, our concerned heavenly parent, tells us to guard our hearts with all our diligence, since he knows from it come the issuance of life.
Jon Touchstone teaches this timely message on the importance of the heart.
The word gospel literally means “good news” and is used 93 times in the New Testament. In Greek, it’s the word euaggelion, from which we get our English words evangelist, evangel, and evangelical. Specifically, the gospel is the good news of Christ’s salvation to the world:
1.) That God so loved the world that he gave his only son to die for our sin.
2.) That our salvation, eternal life and home in heaven are all guaranteed through Christ.
3.) That we simply cannot earn our salvation; that work of redemption and justification has already been completed on the cross.
4.) That we, former enemies of God, have been reconciled by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God.
5.) That “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God. This fact is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that, as God’s son, Jesus is a member of God’s family. This is a spectacular truth to consider: God, creator of the heavens and the earth, has a family. And not only is Jesus a member of this family, but Romans 8 tells us that he is “the firstborn among many brethren.” Who are these brethren, you might ask? Well, they are you and me. In fact, anyone who is born-again of God’s spirit becomes a permanent member of this Household of God. What a humbling truth for the Christian – that this magnificent God is our Father, and this wonderful Lord and Savior is our big brother.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
The Book of Titus is a letter Paul wrote in AD 63 to one of his faithful ministers, a man named Titus, a fellow-laborer who Paul left on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean to complete a work he had previously started.
This Pastoral Epistle tells of Titus’s assignment regarding this Church at Crete – to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city.” This task was more than just an administrative responsibility – it was spiritually significant. Titus was to find those among the Cretan Christian population who were uniquely qualified to become Elders within the Church, and who would preach the Gospel and stand against both the legalists, known as Judaizers, who sought to force this fledgling assembly to abandon Grace and following the Mosaic Law, as well as the decadent local cultural norms. This is a recurring theme throughout the epistles of Titus.
The Book of Titus deserves our attention as we look to the Bible for instruction on how to live a life pleasing to our Lord. We can learn what we should avoid as well as that which we are to strive to imitate. Paul suggests we seek to be pure as we avoid the things which will defile our minds and consciences. As Christians, we must examine ourselves to be sure our lives line up with our profession of faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 13:5).
As Christians, individually, Christ is in each one of us – hence the name, Christian, meaning Christ-In. And we, both individually and as a Church, are in Christ, “In Christo.” This phrase signifies something dynamic, and not static; it signifies life and growth. Most importantly, it signifies union. We are in union with Christ. God provided this unchangeable reality of the new birth for each Christian. This union provides us, as scripture says, with God’s increase – righteousness, power, wisdom. It’s the very essence of what Christianity is.
Scripture states that Jesus “loved righteousness and hated wickedness.” That’s amazing. This phrase defines in a nutshell what it means to be a followers of the Lord Jesus. As he did, so are we as his followers to “love righteousness and hate wickedness.”
In this regard, complacency is our enemy. When we are complacent, the black and white precision of righteousness and wickedness fades to a murky gray. The fact is, clarity is only found through distinction.
Take some time to hear this teaching that’s so important to the spiritual contest of the Christ.
The early definition of the word “partiality” connotes something that is not whole or complete. The word later developed into an idea of one-sidedness, or, an unjust or unreasonable preference for a person or a group over against another, and this is its general meaning in scripture. In the Authorized Version, God testifies that He is not a “respecter of persons;” that His standards are applied the same to each who is judged. In addition, the bible admonishes us to keep ourselves free from partiality due to its distortive affects our perspective. In a world overwhelmed with contention and strife, the believer must keep free of partiality and, as John 7:24 says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion but of peace. Peace and order are essential to one’s relationship with God. When we consider God’s still, small voice, peace is essential for our well being in our walk with God. We cannot remain emotionally and spiritually balanced without it.
That secret place in our hearts is where we go to meet with God. When we choose to live there and hide away under His shadow, staying in constant communion with Him, we can remain peaceful, even when circumstances may not be. When we learn to cry out to Him in times of trouble, we find that His peace really does pass all human understanding (Philippians 4:7).
John Lynn was not only the Founder and Head Minister of this ministry, The Living Truth Fellowship, but for many of us he was a friend. His love for God and Christ and his commitment to God’s people throughout the tenure of his fifty-year ministry provided for us a great example of what faithfulness looks like. John was truly a faithful minister, and he will be missed.
Our God is faithful, and His work continues. Other than our Lord, it was never dependent upon any one man. When Moses died, God’s work continued with Joshua. And so must it be with us. We are called to put forth our best effort to work from our hearts to bring glory to our God.
Although the whole world has been under the prevailing influence of the Evil One since Adam forfeited his God-given earthly dominion to him, the state of the world today certainly appears worse than anything any of us have seen during our lifetimes. What comes our way each day requires an overriding Hope that gives us a clear vision of a new world to come, with multi-variegated blessings beyond our imagination.
Most believers associate Hope primarily with Christ’s coming to raise all our loved ones who have fallen asleep, and rightly so. But besides spending forever with countless sterling saints in a glorious Paradise, there surely will be every good thing we enjoy now—magnified immensely. One of the most satisfying aspects of our forever future is JUSTICE, as meted out by Judge Jesus. Every human being—believer and non-believer—will get what he or she deserves, both good and bad. For Christians, the good includes REWARDS for how we have lived since being saved.
Jesus told the Jewish Leader Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” In this famous verse, we learn that the two realms, flesh and the spirit, are separate and mutually exclusive. The book of Galatians further elaborate for us that “the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh;” that these two are contrary, the one to the other, so that a person cannot do what he would.
In this teaching by Jon Touchstone we learn more about the two realities - the walk of the spirit versus the walk of the flesh. And though the born-again Christian is filled with holy spirit at the time he accepts Christ, scripture tells us that he must choose to live by that spirit. His choice will determine whether his life will manifest the Works of the Flesh or the Fruit of the Spirit.