Though there is a present trend toward more “casual” weddings, it has long been the practice of the betrothed to dress up on their special day. A groom may not have ever seen a cummerbund before, but on his wedding day he straps one on, asking friends and family if the pleats go up or down.
The bride typically wears white, a long dress with lots of lace, and a long flowing train. The veil, hair and jewelry combine to make for a special and beautiful bride, and a wonderful celebration.
These things are not unique to the west or to the present. Consider the special nature of such an occasion, and the wonderful metaphor it supplies for the salvation of mankind. Isaiah wrote:
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a brid adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).
What a glorious picture of the sublime salvation we enjoy as God’s children!
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God’s conversation with Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, reveals important lessons about God’s presence, and the importance of a sanctified life in response to His redemptive plan.
There is a lot of speculation and misinformation concerning the resurrection.
The lesson establishes seven facts about the resurrection from scriptures such as John 5 & 1 Corinthians 15.
In 2007, the state of Iowa updated the state’s Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The statute prohibits “unfair or discriminatory practice” in any public accommodation. However, it contains an exemption for religious organizations. A provision in the law states that the law does not apply to “any bona fide religious institution with respect to any qualifications the institution may impose based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose.” The term “bona fide religious purpose” is nebulous.
In fact, a brochure published by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission interpreted the law in a broad fashion. The brochure stated:
Continue reading » Bona Fide Religious Purpose?
I am personally appalled and discouraged by the attacks upon the police in the past couple of weeks. While I acknowledge that corruption and abuse of power may exist in certain circumstances, the anti-police sentiment that has led to inflammatory rhetoric, physical assaults and murder of police officers is indefensible.
There is a simple, logical statement from the pen of the Apostle Paul that is appropriate here:
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4).
Violence and disregard for law in our land is rampant. Evildoers will always exist, but it seems in our time that their destructive efforts are enabled by the ineffectual and misguided efforts of some of our country’s leaders. National leaders need to step up, support and enable the police to maintain peace and protect our communities. Those who threaten the safety of law enforcement officers should be dealt with swiftly and decisively.
As the wise man wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
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The lesson is an exposition of the text of Matthew 6:1-18, with applications. Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, gives instructions regarding the practice of benevolence, prayer and fasting.
Audio – 1 (am)
Audio – 2 (pm)
“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19).
Human “wisdom” that denies God or His word is described by Paul here as only illusory, (“seems to be wise”). Interestingly, he also refers to being wise “in this age.” It seems that every generation believes itself to be wiser than the one before. There is an arrogance of time that leads the current generation to disregard the accomplishments and knowledge of the previous one.
An example. Many of the most accomplished Presidents of our nation believed in God, and in the Bible’s inspiration. However, to many today, such a belief in and of itself makes a man unqualified to serve in the office. Such arrogance is disturbing.
The problem is that knowledge is equated with wisdom. Because men gain more and more understanding of technology, science and medicine, they think themselves to be more capable than their predecessors in other realms as well. However, there is nothing in those disciplines that either disproves or invalidates the words of the great apostle Paul, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24-25).
To gain actual wisdom rather than the illusory wisdom that has its origin with men, we must turn to God and His will. We are fooling ourselves if we don’t. As our text states, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”
Invitation delivered by: Stan Cox
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Paul speaks of our being a “new creation” in Christ. This happens because we are reconciled with God.
There are so many different philosophies of life, with different values and priorities, it seems it would be difficult to determine the most important attribute an individual might have. In fact, the Holy Spirit has revealed that attribute in a very interesting way in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Love is most important. If love is not present, inspiration, knowledge, faith and sacrifice are all vain. That is not to say that such are not important, or even necessary. It is to simply say that they are not supreme. As Paul concluded the chapter, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love“ (vs. 13).
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Sermon by Armando Vera
God is holy, and as sanctified individuals, Christians must live their lives in a holy way before Him.
Sermon by Bob Ward
In 1 Peter 2:13-17, the Apostle Peter indicated that we are to “Honor the King.” The lesson discusses the appropriateness of Christians involving themselves in the political process, and the issues of the day.
Recently, in doing some reading about evangelism, I came across a sermon outline by Mark Copeland titled “Perspectives for Success in Evangelism”. The lesson pointed out that even diligent Christians can reach a point where they become discouraged or apathetic with regard to teaching the lost. As this is an important duty for the child of God, it is important to avoid that trap. Mark points out certain perspectives that will help a person maintain enthusiasm and persistence in seeking opportunities to teach others. I want to share and discuss them in this short post.
Continue reading » How to Succeed in Sharing the Gospel