As a single man, the two topics that don’t really concern me that much are head coverings and divorce-remarriage. I just didn’t want to waste time studying a topic that doesn’t really affect me that much, so I didn’t really bother. I took the default position: “You can wear it if you want to, but it’s not a big deal. No need to fight or divide over it.” This is usually the position people take by default when they don’t know much about a particular topic.
Have you ever wondered and asked yourself why the Jehovah Witnesses don’t like the Cross? They say Jesus died on a Stake. Or in exorcism, demon(s) scream when you put a Cross in front of them? Is there magic or power in the Cross? Should we use religious item(s) to scare them away? Read on and find out.
We’re all wired differently. Some people like to write out their thoughts nicely on paper, but for me I can’t seem to do that. Also, I find the process to be slow and tedious (on paper), not to mention that my writing isn’t that neat. It would also slow me down (if I’m listening to a sermon) because Scriptures fly through my mind and pops up out of nowhere very often. If I’m busy writing I might miss the opportunity or forget to capture them because connections vanish from my mind if I don’t record them down. So I’m more interested in seeing how Scriptures connect, how they’re linked and related, and I record that instead. I can give an example of this in another post.
Proverbs 18:17 ESV
The one who states his case first seems right,
until the other comes and examines him.
Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). When it comes to truth or spiritual matters (not just things we hear on the news) it is always a good idea to get a second opinion or view by consulting other men of truth (Exodus 18:21; Acts 6:3, 8:30-31) because all of us have blindspots and are biased. False teachers can be very convincing in what they say until someone who is more skilled in the word comes along and examines them. Each and everyone of us should heed the warning given in Proverbs 18:1, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” When teaching the word we need to make sure that it’s rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15) and is agreeable by many witnesses (Acts 15:15) who are also skilled in the word: “And the things that you have heard from me [among many witnesses], commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2). This is to avoid private interpretation of any kind (2 Peter 1:20). So consider what they say (2 Timothy 2:7) but remember to always wait on the Lord (John 4:25 [cf. Proverbs 3:5-7; James 1:5; Psalms 139:23-24]).
Sometimes we persecute each other, condemning one another to hell for not agreeing with us just like Paul went around destroying Christians prior to his conversion (Acts 22:3-4; Galatians 1:13-14; Philippians 3:6). This happens when we don’t know God (John 16:2-3 cf. 1 Peter 1:14) as we ought and are lacking in the fruit of the Spirit.
On this side of heaven, we will never agree with one another on every single issue because we all have blindspots (1 Corinthians 8:7,13:12) and stumble in many ways (James 3:2). However, this does not mean that the person we’re disagreeing with does not have the Spirit of God—It just means that we have not all arrived fully (Hebrews 5:12; Romans 14:1 cf. John 17:17; Acts 18:26). A good and perfect example of this is the marriage union: Husband and wife are one flesh in a godly union brought about by God, and yet they don’t always agree on everything, do they? Even the Apostles didn’t: Paul rebuking Peter and Barnabas (Galatians 2:11-13), disagreement between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:36-41), and who can forget Jesus rebuking Peter (Matthew 16:22-23)?
This is a good question, and if asked in humility it can open a door for a great discussion. However, this can only happen if we’re willing to give ears to a fuller explanation of God’s ways. A lot of times, we ask that question in pride and to end the discussion right there on the spot, simply because we’re not willing to listen to a fuller explanation; ones that take in the whole counsel of God and requires the use of our sanctified reasoning.
God reveals His truth to us—His sheep—through the word by His Spirit that He has given us (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). There are deeper things of God that we won’t be able to figure it out on our own (Acts 8:30-31), and God will be delighted to reveal them to us in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Luke 8:9-10) through whatever means He sees fit, and that can include commentaries and other studies. In the meantime, let God prepare your heart, and let Him sanctify you through His word (John 17:17). The hardest and most difficult part of the Bible is not the part that we don’t understand, but the ones that we do. The texts that we do understand are always a challenge, for it bids us to lay down our pride and to walk in humility before God and men (Acts 24:16). The commands we find throughout the Scriptures are there not to exalt self but to crucify it.
There are many ways to memorize the Scriptures. Here are five ways that I can think of.
- The Entire Book (James, Ephesians, Romans etc…):
This is a lot of work, and it’s translation-dependent. If you decided to change your mind later and switch to another translation then it will be a problem. And if you have already memorized a book, then it will certainly discourage you to switch to another translation. Choose wisely.
Not everyone who claims to be a “Christian” is truly a Christian in a biblical sense (Matthew 7:21-23). Back in 2016, I came up with this short list for why a person might identifies him or herself as a “Christian.”
My targeted audiences for this blog are seekers of truth in general, and laypeople (who are believers) without any special background or training. I have been in the faith for about 10 years now as of this writing. There are a lot of translations and versions out there that can really confuse those that are just starting out. Since the Bible is God speaking to us, we want a translation that is as close to the original language as possible, and as literal as possible if possible, because we want to hear His voice, and not the voice of the translators. You might ask, “In that case, why not learn the original language?”
Nehemiah 8:1-3 NKJV
Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
Romans 10:17 NKJV
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Another way to fill the mind with the Bible is to listen. Sometimes reading is not possible, such as while driving, old age and eyes problem for example, and that’s where audio bible comes in. It also comes in handy when you’re down and discouraged, and don’t feel like opening the Bible. Or, you can use it to just read along! Sometimes I’m just tired to even open my mouth or read it mentally. Got seven chapters to read through? Easy: Open the audio bible to your chosen translation and just follow along on your Bible. Can’t sleep? Worried about something at night? Open the audio bible and let it comfort and encourage you as you drift into sleep.
There was no chapter and verse divisions in the Old Testament when the New Testament was written. See Who divided the Bible into chapters and verses? @GQM. Without these divisions, if we want to refer to John 3:16, we would have to say something along this line, “Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus?” or “Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘For God so loved the world…’”
And that’s how Jesus did it,
“even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (KJV)
“But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’” (NKJV)
Jesus couldn’t say Exodus 3:6 because chapter and verse divisions didn’t exist. Thanks to Stephen Langton, we can now easily point people back to the burning bush passage, or to that famous saying Jesus told Nicodemus! With these divisions it makes Bible studying, searching, and referencing a lot easier, even helps with Scripture memorization. However, there are a few problems…
The OliveTree Bible is a free app you can download on your mobile device. You can purchase addons but for Bible reading plans (there are a whole lot to choose from), you don’t have to pay anything. Some will prefer to read on their device (while on the go), but I personally use it as a checklist and reminder!
Spirit of tooth decay? I seriously had a chuckle when I heard this from Derek Prince for the first time. But then one night I was pondering about it, and then a Scripture flashed through my mind and it all makes sense. Just like that. Holy Spirit moment? You decide. Before this, I would probably assume that you’re out of your mind had you told me that the “spirit of tooth decay” is causing tooth decay on people. The idea of a [spirit of tooth decay] is beyond ridiculous that I wouldn’t bother to ask for a Scripture reference.
10 years ago, it was hard to find a single column / paragraph Bible (not sure if it even existed back then). Now, there are plenty! But finding the one that matches your criteria can be a challenge and pricey.
When you’re first starting out, don’t be too dogmatic on things, but also don’t be quick to believe everything you read or hear. Keep an open mind, but guard it by praying and keeping your eyes fixated on the Gospel of His grace. Those starting out tend to have a lot of zeal and passion, and they see things in black and white, easy to be tossed to and fro.
There are people who will try to persuade you that the KJV is the best translation. Whether it is or it’s not, I’ll say this: It’s not the best translation for those just starting out and are coming to know Christ. I am speaking from experience here. An obsession with the KJV earlier on will stunt your spiritual growth and maturity, and make a legalist out of you.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV)
I was going to make a switch to another webhosting because I didn’t see “Let’s Encrypt” in the cPanel. While searching for something I came across a video that shows how it’s done, and it’s now activated. I just need to remind myself to renew the certificate every 90 days, at no cost. Now I can have peace of mind when logging into the site while on the go if I ever need to.