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Exploring The Bible

11. New Testament

Titus (AD62-64)

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • Titus 2:11-13 & Titus 3:4-8

 

Titus, another close friend, colleague and student of Paul, is the pastor of a church on Crete. Paul instructs him to teach and organize the believers with authority. He is to emphasize three areas - local church organization and function, doctrinal instruction, and the use of doctrine in everyday life.

Paul commands and expects that their behaviour will be exemplary due to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This will ensure relationships within the church are good and godly.

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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 92 - John 21:13
Eating with Jesus

Was this the most exciting, glorious thrilling meal that humans have ever eaten? Here they were, seven men and Jesus sitting cross-legged on the shore of the little sea of Galilee, and, if we let our imaginations fly perhaps an outer ring of local men and women watching in awe and wonder what was happening. The Creator and Saviour of the world was here, alive and well, after his great sacrifice on the Cross. It must have been a beautiful morning when the heavens declared the glory of God more clearly than usual. All creation was rejoicing. The sky was a matchless blue; a gentle breeze just rippled the surface of the sea; all the birds were singing, singing, singing their joy. The little animals, usually asleep in their holes and burrows at this time of day, were poking their noses out whiskers all a quiver to see what was happening. Only the fish left in the sea were not rejoicing because they had lost so many of their mates!


In it all we need to take note that he had sat down to eat with his people, and even to be their cook, their food provider. This time it was fish and bread - and presumably something to wash it down, water or wine. This was just one of the three recorded meals Jesus ate with his disciple after he had risen from the dead. They were not special sacramental meals, but rather simple ones eating the food that was available.

The hint could not be clearer - we too, are to eat with Jesus very frequently in the meal we know as the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, the communion service etc. Those churches which restrict the communion service to once every 3, 6 or 12 months, from good motives to be sure, do their people a grave disservice - and do not follow the clear intent of scripture. So does any church that does not hold a service because there is no officially ordained person, usually male in many cases, to lead the service; or no proper building in which to observe it; or particular liquid to drink. No, by his example, we are to eat with him whenever we can without any particular need to be ‘posh’ in the way we do it. Meeting him is far more important than any detail of how or where.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

24th March 2017!

 

We pray together and when Christians pray together, including across the internet and from different times, different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity!

 

Today we pray once more, a Morning Prayer from the Syrian Clementine Liturgy. This Liturgy, dates from the 4th century, and was celebrated in Syria and throughout the Church of Antioch. It is the oldest model known in Antioch, and is a liturgy is related to the Apostle James. Come pray, particularly bearing in mind places in this world where turmoil, war and horror are daily happenings.! 

 

A Morning Prayer from the 4th Century Syrian Clementine Liturgy

 

O God,

You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,

the ineffable sea of love,

the fountain of blessings,

and the bestower of affection.

~~~~~

O God,

You who sends peace to those that receive it;

open to us this day the sea of Your love,

and water us with the plenteous streams

from the riches of Your grace.

~~~~~

Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.

Kindle in us the fire of Your love;

sow in us Your fear;

strengthen our weakness by Your power!

~~~~~

Bind us closely to You

and to each other

in one firm bond of unity;

for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

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WOW Word 05 - Peace

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WOW Word

Peace

The world we live in, wants peace! The world is unified around the concept of peace! However, the peace the world wants requires the manipulation of circumstances. God's peace, however, comes regardless of circumstances. Peace Definition: 'Shalom' was the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament. It means a wholeness of well-being & mind; the total absence of conflict and turmoil evidenced by an untroubled mind and a heart that does not fear! It is total harmony with God, man, circumstances & self. That is true peace!

 

History of Peace

The end of peace was when Adam sinned and fellowship was broken with God and between humans. God is a God of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:23). and the Kingdom of God is about peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9v6). As a Christian Disciples, you have peace with God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection! There are three scopes of peace.

Peace with God.

As a Christian Disciple, you have peace with God because you are justified by faith. This peace gives you access into God's grace and blessings (Romans 5:1-2). Jesus Christ is your bridge of peace between God & yourself. Jesus is also the peace between other people and you, and all hostility has been removed (Romans 2:13-18).

Peace with Others

You are to live at peace with everyone and not to be proud or vengeful (Romans 12vv17-20). You are to do what is right in the eyes of other people and exhibit positive goodness. You are to make every effort to do what leads to peace & mutual edification Romans 14:13-19, and not place stumbling blocks in front of others!

Peace within

As a Christian Disciple, you have the gift of peace with God, from the God of peace (Philippians 4:4-9) given to you by Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace! (John 14:27). You are to be a peacemaker, by having internal peace, this shows the fruit of the Spirit. When faced with troubled times & a troubled world, you can have peace through an untroubled, unfearful heart & mind (John 16:33).

How do you gain peace within?

As you live a life in obedience to Jesus, you bear the fruit of righteousness, which is peace, quietness and confidence (Isaiah 32:17). A mind controlled by the Holy Spirit of peace gives a life of peace and total trust in God! (Isaiah 26:3; Romans 8:6). Lastly, when you are content whatever the situation , this enables the peace of God to guard your heart & mind (Philippians 4:11-12). Go, and be at peace with God, others and yourself!

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Issues Facing Christians Today

Standing Alone

Jesus speaking and from the Gospel of John 15:18-21 "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.  Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.  They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me."

As Christian Disciples, those who proclaim that they follow Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we have a new identity.  What are we to do with it?  The Bible is very clear that we are to stay faithful to Jesus Christ, particularly when it is difficult! It means staying faithful to Jesus and His will, regardless of opposition and alternatives. By doing this we are standing alone and being faithful to Him. Satan brings pressure to bear on Christians to reduce their standards and commitment.  Christian Disciples undergo challenges from those that either don't like or understand us.
We are constantly tempted to do wrong things or we are tempted not to do right things.  Either way, we are tempted to sin against our God. So we are to be separate from sin but not separated from a sinful society. This is what Jesus meant when He said we are to be "In the world but not of the world" (John 17:15-19).  The key to standing alone is to have constant identification with Jesus Christ in lifestyle and words.  It is to have a permanent reminder that we serve a faithful God and that Jesus Christ is to be our Master.  When we sin, either actively or passively, it is because we have some form of memory loss about who we are, if we call ourselves a follower or disciple of Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God.

Hindrances to standing alone

As we live the Christian life, as Christian Disciples we will face hindrances to identifying with Jesus.  Here are three major areas that as Christian Disciples, we all undergo.
Firstly there is an inborn fear of what others will think - fear of being different and being laughed at.
Then there is the fear of losing friends. To have the right friends however, a person must be willing to have enemies. Jesus made friends on the basis of who would accept Him and His message. We may be excluded from the company of those who reject Jesus (Luke 6:26).
Another one is the desire to be like those in the world. In Psalm 73 David envied the success of the godless, until he realized their destiny was disaster; and that he had God and needed nothing else. Always taking what is best is no sacrifice.

How to stand alone

So if they are some of the hindrances, what are some of the keys in battling these hindrances?  As Christian Disciples we have to remember God's way of life is superior.  It is a life filled with abundance according to Jesus in John 10:10!  Then we realise that acting as light & salt in the world, you are co-operating with God and He is being glorified according to Peter in 1 Peter 4:12-14).  Remember; if you give people no reason to ask about the hope and faith you have in Jesus, they probably won't ask!  Jesus said in His final words before His ascension in Matthew 28:18-20, that we are to expect persecution for being his Disciples.  If that's how we identify with our lifestyle how do we identify verbally with Jesus?

How to verbally identify with Christ

Never apologize for what you know and believe to be a superior way of life.  However, that does not mean to be smug and arrogant about it because we are commanded to walk humbly and meekly.  Then just be natural about it.  As a college principle told me a long time ago and I still remember the words "Let your spiritual life be natural and your natural life be spiritual."

One way to do this is to project the idea that you are not your own boss - Jesus is your Lord and let him take both the strain and glory.  Remember that those who reject you also reject Jesus.

Making right decisions in questionable areas

Imagine you are in a situation and you have to make a correct decision in a questionable area.  What do you do?  Why not ask yourself questions and tell yourself statements such as:

  • Does it bring glory to God? (1 Corinthians10:31)
  • Can I thank God for this activity - could Jesus accompany me?
  • Does it build Christian character? (1 Corinthians10:23)
  • Will it cause another Christian to sin/stumble? (1 Corinthians8:9-13)
  • It should not control me habitually (1 Corinthians6.12)
  • If in doubt, throw it out. (Romans14:22-23)
  • Ask other people for advice. It is important what other people think.
  • Abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians5:22)
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit to help you! Ask for His help and guidance!

Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them.  Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together. For more to do and think about please do read for yourself, John17:15-19.

Q1 - Have I given every area of my life to Christ in order to be faithful to Him?
Q2 - Am I prepared to be holy and obedient to God in all circumstances?
Q3 - Am I willing to sacrifice my desires for God's Will, so that I can clearly be seen identifying myself with Jesus in lifestyle and in words?

 

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POD - Psalm 149

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Psalm 149

 

 

Praise the Lord!

 

Sing to the Lord a new song.

Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.

O Israel, rejoice in your Maker.

O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.

 

Praise his name with dancing,

accompanied by tambourine and harp.

For the Lord delights in his people;

he crowns the humble with victory.

 

Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.

Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

Let the praises of God be in their mouths,

and a sharp sword in their hands -

to execute vengeance on the nations

and punishment on the peoples,

to bind their kings with shackles

and their leaders with iron chains,

to execute the judgment written against them.

This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones.

 

Praise the Lord!

 

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