When is a Believer Saved by Grace and Raised with Christ?

When does God save a believer by grace and raise that person with Christ? 

Ephesians 2:4–6, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with ChristRaisedby grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (ESV, emp. added).

Must a believer die with Christ for God to raise that believer to life?

2 Timothy 2:11, “The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;” (ESV). Continue reading

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When Should Christians Judge?

“Never!” Some say that Christians must never judge. However, Christ commands judging. “Where? And if so, how could that be?”

Turn to the words of Jesus. Christians are to be followers of Christ and not the followers of culture’s “tolerance.” Christ commands His followers to gently restore those who go astray and often believers who attempt to do this are met with the words, “You can’t judge me!” Is this not a double standard to judge those who are judging? However, many people are right to confront those who judge them unjustly with prejudice. Continue reading

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God, Justice, and Genocide

How can anyone worship the God who commands people to murder others? God’s existence requires that God is morally perfect especially if He is worthy of worship. The definition of God is that He is the Creator of the universe who transcends matter, space, and time, and who is an incomprehensible Mind and demonstrates unimaginable power. By accepting that there is a Creator of humanity, God’s nature requires that God is the originator and foundation of moral values that He neither arbitrarily invents nor must exist in subjection. According to Christian theology, God’s divine nature is love (cf. 1 John 4:8). How does the Christian then handle the accusations of genocide against the biblical God?

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A Christian Plea to Islam (Open Letter to the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida)

The following is an open letter to the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida and response to the ICNA billboards in Jacksonville, FL. My intention is to spread the Gospel of Christ with sincerity, love, and kindness to all. This letter may not reach a Muslim, and yet exhort straying Christians and unbelievers to reconsider and come to Christ. Furthermore, my objective is to encourage boldness in openly addressing those who mistakenly oppose the Gospel. The churches of Christ seek to gather to Christ (Matt 12:30). This approach that presents God’s love and the historical Christ is not original to this writer. [Download PDF: Letter to Islamic Center of Northeast Florida.]

16 July 2015

ICNEF
2333 St Johns Bluff Road S
Jacksonville, FL 32246

To the Board of Directors and members of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida:

The following is my plea for you to address your belief in Continue reading

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Three Ways for Husbands to Love Their Wives — Plus Six Behaviors that Complete that Love

“What do you think about divorce and remarriage?” asked a young Christian man. Knowing that the young man was engaged and his parents divorced, the minister lovingly pleaded, “Maybe you should focus yourself in understanding Ephesians 5 and husbands loving their wives before you try to understand divorce.” That reply impacted that young man’s life and strengthened his future marriage.

How much have Christian couples influenced their children, the church, and the world by glorifying God with Christ-like behavior?

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Seven Signs for Identifying a Pharisee

Jesus taught in Matthew 5:20, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (see also Matt 16:11–12).

Have we already decided who the Pharisees are (i.e. “those sinners”)? Do modern-day Pharisees ever call other people “Pharisees” since being a nominal “Pharisee” fell out of style twenty centuries ago?

“Am I a modern-day Pharisee?” Do people Pharisee and the Tax Collectortell you that you are a Pharisee, legalist, or judgmental? Do you wonder if they are right? Does loving Christ and keeping His commands make you are a “Pharisee” or a legalist (John 14:23–24)?

Christians can avoid slipping into the Pharisee’s mindset if they adhere to Christ. The Christian must examine oneself. Here are some characteristics of Pharisees: Continue reading

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Sacrificial Worship to God and the Biblical Definition of Worship

Some say that worship consists of everything that a Christian does including involuntary actions such as sleeping, blinking, or breathing. Some say only praise is worship to God. Others say only a certain actions in the assembly consist of worship. Continue reading

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The Greek Words for the Biblical Definition of Worship

Who defines worship? The obvious answer is God through His written Word, but there is no explicit definition of worship in the Scriptures. However, the English-speaking world has already defined the word “worship” for itself, and there are some quite different definitions between Christians. When examining the definitions of the words for worship in the Scriptures along with the English definition of worship, this issue begins to resolve. Hopefully, this study will reconcile biblical Greek to modern English, and end needless division over related issues.

To be able to reach a correct understanding of worship and to define worship according to the Scriptures, the starting point is a scriptural study of the Continue reading

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Scholarly Conclusions about the Biblical Definition of Worship

“Worship” is one of the most misunderstood words of the Bible. Many believers have confused the word “worship” confining worship to assemblies. The following are the conclusions of scholars who clarify a biblical concept of worship.

In the book published by Gospel Advocate, The Church of Christ (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1997. p. 135), Edward C. Wharton exhorted, “We should not think of worship as confined to praise or a worship activity in a church house.Continue reading

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The Source of Love is Why Humanity Should Believe in God

[Why do I believe in God? The source of love has convinced me. There is no greater virtue than love and it is worth our every effort to live for it.]

The virtue of love can only have three possible sources: (1) Love evolved from a survival instinct and lacks free-will. (2) People invented the concept of love, and it may or may not have become embedded in human nature. (3) Love is Continue reading

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Is the Soul Destroyed in Hell?

What did Jesus mean that body and soul could be destroyed in Gehenna in Matthew 10:28? Many use these words of Jesus as the starting point for doubting the eternal condemnation of Hell, Gehenna. Rather than Hell being the place of everlasting torment, some have concluded that Gehenna fire destroys lost souls into nonexistence. Continue reading

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Are Atheists Open-Minded?

Do atheists and agnostics actually have open minds to the evidence? Or, are atheists and agnostics too prejudice to consider evidence for God even ex-skeptics turned believers? If a skeptic would be convinced and converted to believe, would he not have to consider the reasoning of those who have converted to believe? Continue reading

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