Tag Archives: word

NEXT TO GODLINESS


NEXT TO GODLINESS

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

There is an old saying often heard a generation or two ago: “Cleanliness is next to godliness!” If applied to one’s spiritual life, there may be something to it, but most often it was understood to apply to the physical body. Maybe that was due to the weekly bathing most did due to a lack of running water, especially hot water.
As the idea applies to the body, I never did believe the old saying was true. However, there is much to be said of it when one applies it to the spiritual life.
Sin is always represented as vile, filthy, reprehensible, etc. Even the goodness of natural man is that way in God’s sight. Notice His estimation of man’s righteousness in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
On the other hand, true righteousness is represented as cleanliness. It is here that the old saying finds it true meaning. As the Lord chastened His people through the prophet Isaiah, He admonished: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Isa. 1:16-17.
In New Testament times when Jesus was rebuffed because His disciples were eating without washing their hands, He taught quite plainly that it was not what entered the body that defiled a man, but what came out of it. Matt. 15:11, 20.
It should also be noted that the apostle Paul explained to the church at Ephesus that His church was so loved by Jesus that He gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Eph. 5:25-26.
The apostle James doubled down on this great truth by stating,”. . . cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8. Presented here as the essential action to be close to God, he introduced the idea by saying, “Draw night to God, and He will draw nigh to you. . . “
Obviously, it is essential for every person to repent of sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as the only personal Savior, but perhaps the appeal is most often written to God’s own people to enter the strait gate an walk in the narrow way. How that is done is pointedly revealed by the ancient psalmist in Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word.”
Truly, a clean body smells better than a dirty one, and it is often essential to good health. But the cleanliness that is next to godliness must reference the very heart to be realized as true. How clean is your heart?

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April 23 – The Sureness of God’s Word


April 23 The Sureness of God’s Word

Isaiah 55:10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Another incomparable comparison that is made in God’s Word. This comparison is about God’s Word. The hydrological cycle always supplies the earth with water. This is God’s plan for the growth of plants. Notice the reference to seed to the sower. At this present time, many are preparing and planting gardens. Seed is needed to drop in furrows and then the prayer for rain goes up. This rain will cause the seed to bud and grow and produce a harvest because someone has invested in sowing seed.

God gives us many examples in the New Testament of sowing seed. This is our example to sow the seed of the Word. This is a continuous process because the field is always white unto harvest. We must be faithful even when we are discouraged. The emphasis is on God’s Word. It is not our words or our wisdom. God has promised that His Word will not return void. God will take the seed we deposit and send the rain from the Holy Spirit and cause the seed to grow in the heart. God said His Word would not return empty or void. God’s Word will always accomplish the work God intends for it.

He is simply waiting for us to sow the Word to all we meet and then allow Him to work within the hearts where the seed has been sown. Are we sowing the seed?

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MARCH 20 – Self Destruction


MARCH 20 – Self Destruction

Pro 13:13  Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. 

There is a great value in the Word of God that orders life in a profitable way. There are many today that despise the Word of God. They boldly attack it and try to destroy the Word of God. There are those that are not so bold and simply attack the Word in a subtle way. They attempt to quietly destroy the authority of the Word. Some do that by being correctors to the Word. The way they use to do that is to say, “well this passage really means this.” This implies that the common man cannot understand the Word of God. Others despise the Word by misapplying passages of scripture. Leaving the idea that if you are a true follower, God wants you to be rich. If you are a true follower, you will never be sick.

John 1:1 gives us what the Word is. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This speaks of Jesus Christ. Now when we despise the Word, we are despising Christ and in essence trying our best to destroy Him. We distort Jesus Christ. We give pictures of Christ that are not true. Notice that those that despise the Word will be destroyed. But those that fear the commandment shall be rewarded.

We should fear God and his call to trust in His Son. We should be obedient to the Word after repentance and believing so that the world will know we do not despise the Word. Those that claim to have been saved and still are living in their sins are despisers of the Word, of Jesus Christ.

May we ever love the Word and love our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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MARCH 19 – My Thoughts are not Your Thoughts


MARCH 19 – My Thoughts are not Your Thoughts

Isaiah 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

There are times when we need to stop and take a look at what we are doing. We need to study and re-consider, are we doing this God’s way. Are we feebly trying to get God to accept something that we are doing? God has made the claim that our ways are not His ways. Our thoughts are not His thoughts.

Notice that God is not happy with the wicked ways of man. He is not happy with man’s unrighteous thoughts. We can scheme and plan all we want and attract a great crowd and it not be accepted by God. Paul had a few things to say about the manner of doing things.

2Timothy 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 

5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 

God lays out for us in His book how to approach Him in worship and in service. I have heard the statement, “God knows my intent.” I have also heard, “what is important is what is inside not outside.” These are people that are trying to justify themselves before man hoping that what they are engaged in will be accepted by God. If it is of the world or worldly thought, it is unacceptable to God.

Have we entangled ourselves with the methods of the world? Are we truly seeking God’s way?

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Just Look – We Won’t Say A Word


Pope’s Points

Julian Pope

Just Look – We Won’t Say A Word

I saw a sermon in an ad one day. Over the picture of a new model automobile were these words: “Just look – we won’t say a word!” Thinking of my efforts to get people to believe in God, I was reminded that my only task is to get people to look at Him. Although science proves God on every hand, you nowhere trying to prove God to one who will not look at Him, just as the beauty of a rose is lost to one who has his head to the ground, and as food is of no avail to one who will not eat. My task as a soul-winner is not to argue religion or try to prove God by logic but to introduce the sinner to God. I will let God speak for Himself! Read His Word, His precious promises.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8

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AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL


William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL
Genesis has been described as the baby book of mankind. Certainly it is true to its name which means “beginning.” The book is of immense value, attracting the keen attention of all who would learn of their origin, and the beginning of so many things affecting modern life.
Relating the creation story, Holy Writ profoundly states “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7. Researching the ancient language one finds interesting information not readily stated here, but confirmed in other places in God’s Word. Specifically, attention is drawn to the word “life.” In the ancient Hebrew language, it is plural, thus: “man became a soul of lives.” Since the dual number is used in Hebrew for two things that normally go together, but is not used here, the employment of plural indicates at least three. Thus does the bible affirm that man is a spirit, a soul, and a body. I Thess. 5:23.
The body that God created from the same elements as the earth was a lifeless form until He breathed into it the breath of lives. The result is man became a soul of lives. Soul is the working expression of an intellect and spirit appropriately housed in a physical body to which they give life.
For those with hearing ears, this provides great understanding of the species as it relates both to sin and to salvation. Sin stained all three aspects of mankind. Just so, all three must be saved to realize the fullness of salvation. However in the wisdom and purposes of God, no one receives salvation in totality at one time. Instead, in the new birth, the spirit of a repentant person is both saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, Eph. 4:30. In obedient discipleship, the mind is saved by being renewed to a high state of spiritual maturity, Rom. 12: 2. Under the operating laws of our present cosmos: that of sin and death, there is no hope for the body. It MUST die! However in the rapture or resurrection the body will be saved in immortal newness. It is then that men will know the fullness of salvation, and more precisely what Adam and Eve lost in paradise in choosing to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the Tree of Life.
It is of immense importance that every offspring of Adam should know this information, especially those of the household of faith. It is of eternal consequence what is done with the application of this information regarding the soul of lives that each one is.

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HEAVEN ON MY MIND


HEAVEN ON MY MIND
Parson to Person

The Lyrics of a gospel song include the words: “I woke up this morning feeling fine; I woke up with heaven on my mind.” What an inseparable duo! They are cemented more securely than “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.” When thoughts of heaven and of the Good Lord are founded solidly on the eternal Word, they become the substantiating of heaven on earth. How else could one feel then but fine, mighty fine! Think about it!
David described the blessed man as one who meditates in His law day and night, Psalm 1:2. That is feeling fine, mighty fine! When others dish out unfair treatment, instead of being discouraged, consider the marvelous meaning of the words in Psalm 119:78, “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause but I will meditate in thy precepts.” This turns personal hurt and discouragement into feeling fine, mighty fine! When the forces and “friends” of this world bring pressure to think and walk perversely, remember Psalm 119: 15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This severs a bad situation and leaves one feeling fine, might fine.
Some folks are comparable to a reed shaken by the wind. They bend and sway with whatever force is predominant at the time. Others are more comparable to a mighty tree, realizing that even though evil winds may not be stopped, one may, but the grace of God, stand strong and not bow down to them. It is incumbent upon every Christian to know who he is through identification with the person and words of the Lord, not by simple, blind acceptance of the tenants of a church where he may belong.
In the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” Scarlett dealt with unpleasant or difficult situations by procrastination: “I won’t think about that today, I will think about that tomorrow.” That mindset can only make matters worse by creating a vacuum evil is eager to fill. By all means, take the initiative!
Taking the initiative then to be in control of spiritual and mental matters, one will find himself marching in cadence with the Pauline instructions that speak so pungently to this point. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Now there is the subject matter having come full circle. With goodness and heaven on one’s mind, life is fine, mighty fine!

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Stand Firm  


 

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle,” 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

The church in Thessalonica dealt with a lot. Much like other new churches that we see in the New Testament, the members were facing incredible challenges. They were threatened, persecuted and bombarded with false teaching. They knew what persecution was. They were experiencing the tremendous pressure to just quit. There were probably moments that these early believers wondered if it was all worth it.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, they are encouraged to “stand fast.” This is a plea to stand firm and stay strong, to persevere in spite of the difficulties they were facing. Why should they choose to keep at it? What could motivate them to continue their pursuit of Christlikeness in light of all that it could cost them? It is the truth of the gospel that we see in 2 Thessalonians 2:12-14 that gave them the reason to stand firm.

The gospel that saved us has to be our motivation to hold to the teachings of Christ. When we understand how deeply He loves us and what a sacrifice it took to redeem us, it should motivate us to want to serve Him. Our desire should be for His glory and not ours. This level of love and grace should drive us to stand firm.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

When you find it difficult to continue standing firm for God, just remind yourself of the gospel and the price Jesus paid for our salvation.

Nathan Rogers

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56 – February – 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists Publish the Word

 

1824 – THE FIRST BAPTIST PUBLISHING HOUSE IN AMERICA WAS FORMED IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY – On February 25, 1824, from a meeting in Washington, D.C., the “Baptist General Tract Society” was begun.  Luther Rice was elected Treasurer.  He was a partner of Adoniram and Ann Judson and had returned from the mission field to raise money to keep them on the mission field.  Early on Christian people had united in the effort to evangelize through Christian literature.  “The Evangelical Tract Society” was formed in Boston in 1811; the Philadelphia Sunday School and Adult School Union were organized in 1817, and the Baptists joined with other denominations in organizing the American Sunday School Union.  However Baptist leaders were not satisfied until they had their own publishing house to formulate Baptist ideas and doctrine which culminated in the organization mentioned above.  On April 30, 1840, in N.Y. City, representatives from 15 states voted to change the complexion and name to “The American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society.”  From that time Baptists have been able to obtain distinctive Baptist literature to train their members.  The “Baptist Manual” was published consisting of a Doctrinal, Historical and Biographical series.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 77.

 

The post 56 – February – 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

 

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HEBREW – Word


 

dāḇār [and] ‘imrāh

 

One of the most significant words used for Scripture, of course, is the term word, which actually is a translation of several Hebrew words. Today we examine two of the most important.

 

The first is dāḇār (H1697), which means a word or “speech” and is a general term for God’s revelation. The Ten Commandments are referred to in Exo_34:28 and Deu_10:4 using dāḇār, which we could translate as “the ten words” because they are exactly what God said. The passion of the Christian should not be the most entertaining speaker of the day or the latest self-help teacher. The believer’s passion should be, “God says . . .” Its first occurrence in Psalms 119, for example, is in Psa_119:9 : “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word,” a clear reference to God’s moral law being the one and only path to right living (February 14).

 

Another Hebrew word translated word is ’imrāh (H565), a derivative of ’āmar (H559). While the latter is found often, the former is a rare poetic word that appears more in Psalms 119 than everywhere else combined. It is more or less a synonym for dāḇār and simply emphasizes not just a concept or thought but the very words of God, and is often used in the phrase “the words of my mouth” (e.g., Psa_19:14; Pro_4:5; Pro_5:7; Pro_7:24; Pro_8:8). Another form (’ēmer; H561) is often translated with the Greek rhēma (G4487) in the Septuagint (e.g., Psa_78:1; Psa_138:4), which usually relates to individual words and utterances.

 

Turning once again to Psalms 119, the first occurrence of ’imrāh there is that wonderful verse, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa_119:11). In a day when God’s words are more and more being replaced by concepts, or what is called “dynamic equivalence,” this word underscores that it is the individual words that are crucial. The same principle is underscored in Psa_12:6-7 : “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Let us truly desire the words of Scripture.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read a few of the occurrences of ’imrāh in Psalms 119, noting the significance of each: Psa_119:50; Psa_119:67; Psa_119:76; Psa_119:103, and Psa_119:117.

 

 

 

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