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January 9, 2014, 3:17 PM

Who Knows?


Three scriptures tell us about who knows what. II Timothy 2:19 says "The Lord knows those who are His"  IJohn 5:19 tells us that we can "know that we are of God". Ole Vance Havnor said, "God knows His own, It is well that He does, for sometimes it would be difficult for us to determine who are His!"

The Spirit testifies with our spirits that we are the childen of God, but what else testifies to who we are? What is the evidence of who we are? God knows, we say we know, but does the world know?

The third scripture points to how the world knows. In John 13:34-35 it reads, "I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

When I see a badge on a man I identify him with law enforcement. Love is the Christians badge. When we sincerely love one another in word and in deed; when we treat others within our congregations with respect and honor, esteeming one another greater than ourselves, then we are practicing true Christian love.

You see, when your a Christian God knows you belong to Him. If you trruly are a believer then you know  in whom you have believed. Those are the easy "knows". The truth of that knowledge nust be played out in how we love one another and that is so that the world may know.

Who knows? They will know if we love one another like Jesus loved us! 




September 4, 2013, 2:30 PM

Our English Bible and the Modern Translations


I have talked to people who  honestly and ignorantly believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the only inspired translation of scripture. The "King James only" controversy has been brewing for sometime now and there does not seem to be any end to the arguments anytime soon. I new a fine Christian man in a former church who would yell a loud "amen" when ever I announced I was reading out of the King James.

But to be sure the King James Version of the Bible has stood the test of time and has proven to be a beautiful and reliable translation that has reached the world for Christ over the past four hundred years. It is excellent in its accuracy to the original Greek. It is beautiful in its cadance and style. The problem lies in its difficulty for the modern reader. The language is archaic and hard to sometimes follow. So began the need for a modern translation. Just as the 1611 edition needed to be revised so was there a need for more modern translations of the scriptures.

If accuracy is the only issue then rating the translations would be only reasonable. The King James Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Version, New  King James Version, Holman Christian Standard , and English Standard Versions are all rated as excellent in their accuracy to the original Greek.

Other popular translations such as the New International Version and New Living Translations are rated as good to excellent in their accuracy to to the original language.

The difference really is found  in whether the translation is a word for word translation or a thought for thought translation and if there are any inconsistancies to the original Greek in either picking an English word for a Greek word in  which there is no English equivilent, or, if the thranslation of the meaning or  thought of the original writer is accuratly portrayed.

Therefore, in the final analysis most of the popular modern translations are absolutely trustworthy and can be rendered accurate to the original Greek language.

I recommend comparing and using the different translations in parallel in order to discover the richness of the words used. In my years of study I have discovered that one translation might be weak in its use of a certain word and stronger in others. There should not be any controversy only the study of God's Word for all its worth!

 




August 29, 2013, 1:50 PM

Unapologetically Southern Baptist


I have recently been studying our Baptist heritage and distinctives in preperation of my Bible study series on Wednesday nights. As I have enjoyed delving into Baptist history and the formation of our denomination I notice a sense of pride swelling up in my heart. Baptist have such a rich history! They have been called "a people of the book" because they believe in the authority of God's Word in every area of faith and practice.. They are pioneers and leaders in missions around the world. Baptist cooperate together to use their resources in the best possible way for the purpose of advancing the  kingdom of God. They are the champions of religious liberty. Baptist reach out to serve their fellow man through numerous ministries such as disaster relief and others.

I am unapologetically Southern Baptist! I don't want to change our denominations name in order to hide the fact that we are the same Southern Baptist people with the same identity and distinctives we have always had. I don't want to change the name of our church to hide who we are because of the ignorance of those who do not know us or misunderstand us. Rather, I want the church to be the church and love one another as He has loved us and because we love one another they will know we belong to Jesus.  I want the world to see that our denomination cares for the lost, cares for the sick, cares for the hungry, cares for the orphaned, cares for people enough that we are willing to reach out in love and to serve them as Christians who happen to be Southern Baptist! We are more than just a name!

Do we have problems as a denomination? Of course we do!  Is there a stigma attached to the name Southern Baptist that is unappealing to the unchurched? Perhaps and perhaps not. I believe it is the gospel that saves! If we as the church will strive to evangelize our world and to be witnesses of the saving grace of Jesus Christ our Lord, then it will not matter what emblem you have on your sign, or what name you have on your letterhead. It is the power of God in the preaching of the gospel! it is Jesus Christ that is to be displayed in the lives of His people! That is what is needed to reach the lost!  Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Myself".  Be a Southern Baptist, but be the Church!

 

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