Give Unto Caesar
Having recently come through tax time, I thought a few Biblical considerations about taxes and such might be appropriate.
Jesus’ words, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”, have been quoted many times to document the Master’s instructions as pertaining to a believer’s financial responsibility to his government as well as to God. The illuminating context of this statement, however, is usually ignored.
Jesus was not sitting on a hillside teaching his disciples about their responsibilities to their government. He…
Have You Ever Wondered about Proverbs?
For those of us who believe that the Bible as originally given, was to holy men of God who were moved by the holy spirit of God to write the inerrant Word of God, we’ve got to consider what the story is with some of the statements in the book of Proverbs. A case in point is the following:
Proverbs 10: 4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
Is this statement true? Is it absolutely true? Do the slothful always become…
Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword?
Did Jesus really say that all they who live by the sword will die by the sword? How could Jesus have said something that is so obviously not true? There have been many hundreds of thousands of career military men and women who have died peacefully in old age. Yet “those who live by the sword will die by the sword” is a common saying. An Internet search turned up millions of hits. Wikipedia asserts that the “proverb” comes from Mathew 26:52. Many other sources attribute the…
Some Thoughts on the Phrase, “The Power of Prayer”
I am very much in favor of prayer, lots of it, and the last thing I would ever want to do would be to demean those who laud “the power of prayer.” I know what they (most of them) mean by this expression, and I believe their hearts are in the right place. But words have meanings. It matters what we actually say, not JUST what we mean.
Is there power in prayer or is the power in the One Who answers our prayers? I vote for…
Money is the Root of All Evil?
We’ve heard it many times: “money is the root of all evil.” I’m guessing that most of you reading this already know that this statement is a corruption of what God’s Word says. The expression comes from 1 Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (KJV)
But did you know that “the love of money” is not the root of all evil? The Greek…
“Pride goes before a fall” has been a devastating expression for many Christian believers. They don’t understand it, and they get it used against them. Often there has been some wonderful believer faced with adversity who has made up his mind to go for it, to trust God, to choose to believe that his efforts with God’s help will bring to fruition his dream. Upon sharing his optimism with some other supposedly more seasoned “believer.” The latter feels compelled to deflate his tires and does so with, “Watch out. Pride goes before…
This is a topic that deserves much more attention than I am going to be able to give it in a single article, but I trust that the few Biblical considerations offered here will be helpful. First, I never use the word, “tithe,” to describe the believers’ giving, because of its association with the Old Testament law. The word essentially means, “the tenth part,” and it was commanded in the Old Testament law that the tenth part was to be held holy unto the Lord.
Leviticus 27:30 And all the tithe of the…
Last week my wife and I were standing in “line” at the Memphis airport with 100 or more other people waiting to board our plane. It was the typical scene. People looked bored, silently staring forward. A couple behind us spoke to us and a lively conversation erupted. Then a couple several layers of people ahead of us turned around and spoke to the four of us, smiling and waving. Another family near them began talking to them. Within moments many of the waiting crowd were engaged in friendly conversations. The entire…
Luke 15 and the Prodigal Son
The parables of the Gospels are interesting from a number of perspectives. Many people have lauded the brilliance of the parables in so clearly and convincingly communicating Jesus’ message in a way easily related to by the masses. I have no doubt that Jesus used parables at times to communicate clearly, though the only recorded time he was ever asked about his purpose for using parables, his response was quite different.
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered…
Truth Versus Tradition
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
God’s Word is truth. In life, one must eventually choose what he holds to…
The New Wine of Acts 2:13
This is in response to a question that came up. What is the “new wine” of Acts 2:13? The record could have just said “wine.” What is the meaning and significance of “new wine?”
“New wine” is translated from a Greek word that indicates sweet and/or fresh wine. Most versions translate this as “new wine” as is in the King James Version, and I believe that is correct.
I have heard it taught that “new wine” in the Bible refers to recently squeezed grape juice, unfermented and thus no alcoholic …
Let me start by saying that my purpose here is not to promote civil disobedience, nor is it to promote anything other than an accurate knowledge of Romans 13. This record, however, has been erroneously used to proclaim that all disobedience of one’s government is categorically immoral, contrary to God’s Word, the Bible. Many Bible versions even translate the early verses of this chapter in a manner that clearly conveys this message. The New International Version (NIV) is a case in point.
Romans 13:1 (NIV) Everyone must submit himself to the governing…
Trust in the Lord
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We as believers are always to trust absolutely in our wonderful heavenly Father. Any “Bible-believing” Christian (and should there be any other kind?) would acknowledge this in a heartbeat. In practice, however, who or what we REALLY trust in can be so subtle that even the most sincere among us might at times be outside of where we want to be.
It is easy…
Creation, Science, and Genesis 1
I was at a wedding reception not long ago, seated next to a man I had not previously met. We exchanged the usual small talk. I learned that he was a retired eighth-grade science teacher and so on. The conversation was pleasant enough until he learned that I am a Bible-believing Christian (and as I like to say, “Should there be any other kind?”). He immediately launched into an all-out assault. “How can you possibly believe Genesis?” He went on and on about evolution, endeavoring to make a mockery of God’s Word. It takes hundreds of…
Tradition can be a subtle thing. We grow up believing something about a Biblical doctrine or event. It might never even occur to us to question where some particular belief came from, especially if that belief happens to be regarding some relatively minor point. I think the financial status of Joseph and Mary is a matter like that for many Christians.
It is a commonly held belief that the mother and “stepfather” of our Lord Jesus Christ were poor, but where does this belief come from? Granted, a newborn baby laid in a manger is indeed a humble picture, but it…
Truth Versus Tradition: Joseph and Mary on Their Way to Bethlehem
I was embarrassed a few days ago to realize I had accepted as truth a certain matter of tradition. Oh well, it happens to all of us, I guess. It shouldn’t, but it does. If we are to believe the truth and only the truth, we must be ever vigilant.
I was writing the article on whether or not Joseph and Mary were poor. I was going to include a line saying that at least they owned a donkey. How could I have been so dumb? We’ve all seen the…
Truth Versus Tradition: His Star
What was the star referred to in Matthew 2?
Matthew2:1 Now when [after] Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Matthew 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where…
It’s The Lord’s Prayer, not Yours
For those of you who have frequented Christian church services of almost any variety, you are familiar with the routine: “Let us pray the prayer the Lord taught us. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name….” The tiny little inconvenient detail is that our Lord Jesus Christ never taught us any such thing. He did not teach us to pray this prayer. This practice is contrary to what he taught.
Let’s take a look at what he taught regarding this matter. The record is in Matthew 6…