Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


Do you have a question about the Bible? Do you have a question about some doctrine or why we do what we do? Click here to send us your question and we will try to give you an answer as soon as possible.
January 31, 2011

Anyone who has listened to anything the world has said has heard the phrase “separation of church and state.” This is a myth. There is no such thing as separation of church and state. However, there is a “separation” in the Bible. It is not the “separation of church and state” myth, but it is the separation from the world that every Christian should demonstrate in their lives. As Christians, we are called to be distinct, peculiar and set apart people. We should be a people who are quickly and clearly known by the world to be Christians and our lives should be an enticement to the people in the world to come to the Lord.

Simply, separate means to set or keep apart. In the case of believers, from what are we separating?
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
There will come a time when all will gather before God. At that time, God will separate the sheep from the goats. If God is a shepherd who is being separated? It does not take much study of the Word of God to realize God is separating the Christians who are the sheep from the unsaved who are the goats.
Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. (23) Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Next, we see that separating from the world should not be a problem. If we are actually walking as Christians and living the Christian life we should be living, the world will separate from us. In fact, we should rejoice! When we realize our walk is such that worldly are convicted and made uncomfortable by our presence so much that they cast us out of their company, we should leap for joy! It is not God who is causing the separation in this passage, it is the unsaved who are separating from the believers. To be cast out from your unsaved friends is a tremendous testimony for the believer. It means that God is working and showing through you. It means that the Holy Spirit in you is convicting those around you.
2 Cor 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
The term “yoked” is one that may not be familiar to you. A yoke is a wooden bar which attaches two animals, such as oxen, at the neck so that they can work together. If the two oxen want to go in different directions, they will never accomplish anything or the stronger will pull them in circles. In the case of Christians being yoked with unbelievers simply means that a Christian is somehow bound to a believer. In almost every case, the believer is pulled down into disobedience.
This passage is giving us a clear exhortation to avoid the peril of being bound together with unbelievers. The Word of God only makes two distinctions: believer or non-believer. When a believer is bound to an unbeliever, the believer will almost certainly fall. God knows this. We should offer a testimony and we should offer the Word of God to the unsaved, but we should never be bound up with them.

The Basics of Practical Separation

1 Pet 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Separation will be natural when we simply obey God. We are commanded to he holy. When we are holy, the unsaved will either see our testimony and come to Christ or they will be convicted by our testimony and separate from us.
1 Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Living a holy life should not be difficult. The body of the saint of God is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Yes, if you are saved, the Holy Spirit of God lives within you. You need only allow Him to do His work in you. When you do, you will direct people to Christ. Also, when you allow the Spirit of God to work through you, you will be a conviction to the people around you.

Personal Separation

Before we get started, let’s look at what we mean by “worldliness” or “the world.” In the Bible, as well as in discussions with fellow Christians, you will hear the terms "world" and "worldliness." Basically, these terms refer to those who are unsaved and the things the unsaved people do. Another way to think of it is like this: the world will always do what the devil wants. So, worldliness is always going to be sinful.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
When one decides to become a Christian, many things happen: God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, will move into the new believer's heart and begin working, God chooses to adopt us and our desire to sin changes into a desire to serve God, etc. Of those, note that God chooses to adopt us and we are marked. Lucifer knows that he cannot get our souls any longer and, I believe, we are marked. From that moment on, the world (those who follow Lucifer) hates us. The degree to which they hate us depends on our testimony. The more bold we are for Christ, the more the world hates us. This begs the question: "Why would the world hate us?" When we are saved, the devil knows he cannot touch our soul. We will never go to hell. If a Christian is doing what he should, that Christian will be a thorn in Satan's side. When a Christian has the testimony he should, and serves Christ as he should, he will be winning souls for Jesus. The effective Christian will have a testimony which will steal souls from the devil. Of course, the devil hates this and fights against it. He certainly uses every tool he can to fight. Often, he will use the new believer's old friends to fight this battle.
Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
When we are saved and begin walking with God, the world will hate us. The world will begin to war against us and our walk. What should we do? First, we need to walk with God without fear and without discouragement. Second, we need to remember that those who now oppose us do not understand what they are doing. They do not understand that they are pawns on Satan's Chess table. So, how do we respond to them? We love them and we pray for them. Then we allow God to deal with their hearts.
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
As we talk about the world, we also talk about the flesh. These are the things we still want to do, even though we are saved. Things we know are sinful, things we know are wrong. Yet we still want to do these things. It is when this happens that we realize there is a clear difference between what our flesh wants to do and what our spirit wants to do.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Even when our flesh wants to do wrong, we should strive to do right. Yes, it is a battle which will rage in our bodies as long as we live, but it is a battle we must win.

Developing Personal Standards

Before we can really begin to develop personal standards, we must take a moment to define the following terms: precepts, principals and preferences. Understanding the difference between the three is vitally important to having a victorious Christian life as well as living a life where we do not superimpose our preferences where we should not.
First of all, what is a precept? It is a rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct ( For our discussion, let’s equate a precept with “Thus saith the Lord.” Basically, a precept is a direct commandment from the Lord. Exo 20:15, “Thou shalt not steal” is an example of a precept. It is a clear, direct command from God. There are many such precepts throughout the Word of God.
A Principle is a directive from God derived from the Word of God, based on other precepts and examples. Sometimes, principles are not quite as clear as precepts, but violating a biblical principle is as much a sin as violating a precept. For example, we all know that men should not look at pornography, but why is this? Is there a statement in Scripture saying, “Thou shalt not look at pornography”? No. But there is a very clear principle.
First, there is a precept: Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Second, there is an example. Jesus explained in Mat 5:28, …whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Based on the precept and the example, we can safely assume that looking at porn is a sin, right? Exactly. That is how a principle is defined.
A preference may be related to precepts and principles, but do not have a direct link to Scriptures. An example of a preference would be something like: I don’t want to own a television because I might be tempted to let the television dominate my life.
Now, a television is not, in itself, evil. It is a tool, a device. Granted, you can watch evil things on a television. You can also watch things on television which edify your spirit, entertain, educate or inform.
There are some who claim that owning a television is a sin. When they make this claim, they are in error. The Scriptures do not address the television, but many people do use televisions for evil programming. Some people have looked at only the bad, and assumed it is all bad. Based on this faulty assumption, they have made the blanket statement that owning a television is evil. They have elevated their own personal preference to the level of a precept. In effect, they have added their personal preference to the Word of God.
Adding to the Word of God is evil. Forcing standards on someone where there is no principle or precept to support the standards is also wrong.

Guidelines for Personal Standards

As you determine your personal standards, there is at least one verse you should always use as a filter. This verse gives you the clear guideline for everything you do in your life!
1 Cor 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
When we consider our actions in the light of this verse we are forced to consider our actions in the light of how it will bring glory to God. Would drinking that beer glorify God? No. Would going to that movie theater glorify God? No! Would telling that lie glorify God? No. Pick your sin - will it glorify God? No.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Through all that we do, we must remember that our light - the light of Jesus Christ dwelling within us must always shine. Sin hides the light within us and prevents those around us from seeing the love which God offers to all.
At this point, we could examine a list of individual precepts, one by one, but we will not. Every day, you should examine yourself and ask the Lord to reveal anything to you that is against His Word. As you grow closer to the Lord, the Lord will show you things that you need to change. the rest of your life on earth will be a process of growing and changing to be more like Christ’s likeness.


What does all of this have to do with the church? Stay tuned. That is what we will examine in the next issue.
January 29, 2011
Separation is definitely a subject which will cause a fight. Anyone who is a proponent of Biblical separation is vilified. After all, we must be tolerant of everything except Biblical standards. We have been looking at the standards we should see in the local church. One of those standards you should look for is the Biblical standard of Separation.
Since the mid 1950's, there has been a growing cancer among Bible believers. That cancer is the ignoring of the doctrine of Ecclesiastical Separation. As believers, we should be willing to deliver the Gospel of Christ to an unbeliever at any moment's notice. However, in delivering the Gospel, we cannot compromise our standards. God is not pleased when we sin to do something, even if we are doing something that would otherwise be right.
As a Bible-based church, we must adhere to the Word of God in all matters of faith and practice. We are called out of the world.
2 Cor 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
God gives us a clear command here. We are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Someone who believes they can be saved by any work is one who does not believe. One who ignores the Word of God in their practice of worship is likely an unbeliever. One who worships idols or dead believers (such as Mary) is not a believer! Yet, in the ecumenical movement, we often see the practice of many different churches coming together in solidarity to work and worship together. In the rare event that someone should feel the movement of God in their life, who deals with them? A Jehovah's Witness who will teach them damnable heresies? A Mormon who will teach them to ignore the Bible in favor of another revelation which is not a revelation of God? A Catholic who will teach them to pray to dead saints while they keep Jesus hanging on the cross? Perhaps the tender heart will be lead to a compromiser who claims to be a Baptist yet believes the Blood of Christ is no different than the blood of man? These are all manifestations of doctrines and beliefs which lead countless souls to Hell. Still, there are some who are genuinely saved who will participate in and support the ecumenical movement. As you look for a church, you should flee from a church which participates in this hellish practice.
Ecumenism is visible in many different ways. You can clearly see it in major gatherings such as the Promise Keepers where all of these different churches come together. But you don't need to see a major meeting to see evidence of this cancer in a church. This cancer can also be seen in the music of a church. Does the church use the contemporary music? I am speaking of music where the artists are also participants in this movement. Or, where the musicians the church uses travel to churches of many different denominations. Are these musicians just as comfortable in a Church of God as they are in a Baptist church?
Does the staff of the church participate in local non-denominational meetings or fellowships? Please, do not misunderstand. I am not claiming that one church cannot work or fellowship with another church. However, if one church is going to work of fellowship with another church, they must both be solid, Bible-believing churches. Would you want someone ministering to your children if their practices proved they did not believe the Word of God?
January 27, 2011
In Biblical churches, there are only two offices: the Pastor and the Deacon. We have examined the first office, the Pastor. In this article, we will look a the second Biblical office: The Deacon.
Acts 6:1-4 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. (3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
In this passage we see the calling of the first deacons and we see why they were called. In the passage, we see that the number of Christians is growing. In fact, the number of believers has grown to the point where the Apostles could not attend to the needs of all the widows as well as the instruction of the Word of God. The Spiritual feeding of the flock of God is far more important than the waiting of tables. Yet, attending to the physical needs of the church are important as well. Which should be neglected? God's answer was to add the office of the deacon to the church. God instructed these men to choose out a number of faithful men to attend to the daily needs of the flock while the Apostles dealt primarily with the Word of God. In today's church, the deacons should, in a sense, insulate the Pastor from the daily distractions of the church so that he can dedicate himself to study. The Pastor should be devoted to studying the Word of God that he may feed and protect the flock. As God gave certain qualifications for the Pastor, He also gave a clear set of qualifications for the Deacon. We will not rehash them here as they are practically identical to the qualifications of the Pastor.
1 Tim 3:8-13 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (13) For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The Bible clearly states that the Deacon must be grave or serious, not a liar, not a drinker, one who is saved with a pure conscience. The Deacon must be proved. In other words, he must be a mature Christian. Like the Pastor, he must be blameless. The deacon must also be the husband of one wife. Sorry, but that means there cannot be any deaconesses! And, as the Pastor, the Deacon must have his own house and children in order.
January 25, 2011
The Bible defines only two offices in the church--the Pastor and the Deacon. These are the two offices which should attend to the needs of the local, New Testament church.
The first thing to realize about the two officers is the scope of the officers. Since the church is self-governing or autonomous, the two offices of pastor and deacon exist only within the local church.
The first office we will look at is the office of the Pastor. The terms pastor, elder, bishop and overseer all refer to the same office, the office of the Pastor. The Bible has defined a very clear set of qualifications for the pastor. We find those qualifications in the following passage:

1 Tim 3:1-7 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (2) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (3) Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; (4) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (5) (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (6) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (7) Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

This passage defines a very specific list of qualifications. We will examine each of these qualifications in some detail.


It is often said that the preacher and his family lives in a glass house. The family is, quite literally, under a magnifying glass, under constant examination by the church family as well as outsiders. The pastor is a man, he is living in flesh as we all are. The doctrine of sinless perfection is a lie - the pastor is capable of sin just as we all are. However, to be qualified, the pastor must be without blame. It should be impossible to find glaring fault in the Pastor's life. As born-again believers, we are all a part of a royal priesthood. We can all go to the Lord with our sin. The pastor is no different. When he sins (and he does), he should be quick to run to the Lord and confess those sins. He should be equally quick to allow the Lord to deal with him regarding his sin.

Husband of one wife

This one seems to be of great contention or confusion in these latter days. It is very sad to see so many good people end their marriage in divorce. There is much to be said on the topic of divorce and remarriage, but that is not the topic here. The topic here is the qualifications of the pastor. The pastor is to be the husband of one wife. This is not to be misinterpreted as the husband of one wife at a time. Consider this passage:

John 4:16-18 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. (17) The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: (18) For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Of course, Jesus never asked a question to get information. He asked this woman to go get her husband, knowing that the man she was with was not her husband. The point here is that Jesus also pointed out that she had five husbands in the past. In comparison with 1 Tim 3:2, we can clearly see that the Lord is speaking of the total number of marriages. The pastor should be the husband of one and only one wife. There should never be a pastor who has been married, divorced and remarried.

Sadly, there is another aspect which must be addressed. In our day there are many women who believe they are called to preach and even pastor. It is quite simply impossible for God to call someone to do something which directly contradicts the Word of God. A woman cannot be the husband of one wife.

Likewise, a man who is unmarried is not qualified to be a pastor. He is not the husband of one wife.

Perhaps it is saddest that we have to mention this last one, but a sodomite cannot be a pastor. The sodomite is clearly not the husband of one wife. More than that, though, how could we even dare to dream of God calling someone to shepherd a church when that person is living in open rebellion to the Word of God - living in an open abomination.


Jesus is the shepherd but the pastor is the under-shepherd. Jesus has delegated some of the responsibility of protecting the flock to the pastor. As a shepherd, the pastor must be ever watchful of the trends of society. The pastor must be all but militant in his response to the attacks of the devil and the pastor must be quick to sound the warning when the devil attacks. He does this primarily through his preaching.


There are two possible applications of the word sober. As we will see a little further in this article, the pastor should not be one given to wine (beer, liquor, etc.). While the pastor should certainly not be a drunk, I believe the better application of sober would be one who is marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor []. The pastor should be grave or serious. This aspect of his character shows his maturity and his ability to deal with the serious, even life and death decisions he may face. He should be thoughtful as his answers to questions and conversations could have an eternal effect on his flock.

Of good behavior

Again, this is an issue which reflects the pastor's maturity. It would be difficult to respect and trust a pastor who had never grown up.

Given to hospitality

We visited a church once where the pastor was anything but welcoming and we visited that church only once. How could a pastor who had no ability to be hospitable expect to grow a church? Hospitality is the ability to make one feel welcome and comfortable.

Apt to teach

It is primarily the responsibility of the pastor to teach his church sound doctrine. The ability to teach is one of the many abilities pastors have lost in our modern era. However, it is an ability which must be kept in balance. While the pastor must teach, he must also preach. Preaching without teaching is as much out of balance as teaching without preaching.

Not given to wine

The pastor should literally not have a taste for wine. Again, how could a drunken pastor lead a drunk to salvation? The drunk on the street would see nothing different in the pastor. Secondly, how could anyone respect a drinking pastor when the Bible condemns the recreational use of alcohol?

Not a striker

A striker or a brawler is one who cannot control himself, who cannot control his temper. This is another example of poor character in a man - poor character which should not be seen in the pastor. Moreover, one who cannot control his temper is one who is in danger of being taken in the devil's snare - he has no defenses.
Prov 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
You have to remember that in Bible times, a city's primary defense was its walls. If it had no walls or if its walls were broken, the city had no defense. Likewise, one who has no control over his own spirit is defenseless when it comes to the attacks of the devil.

Not greedy

Ultimately, the pastor will have access to a lot of money. Practically, there must be an assurance that the Lord's money will not be consumed on the pastor's own lusts. Moreover, greed is a sign of another character flaw.
1 Tim 6:10a For the love of money is the root of all evil...
The Lord makes it plain that the love of money is the ultimate cause of all evil. How, then, could one be an effective pastor if he is greedy? If he has a love of money


Anytime one preaches, he faces the attacks of the devil. There is no doubt about this. In addition to this, the pastor is dealing with his flock. The pastor is dealing with a large group of people, all of whom are sinners. The pastor must be patient to withstand the attacks of the devil as well as the daily trials of the flock.

Having his children in subjection

This is a huge issue to contend with. Yes, the pastor's children should be well behaved. There are some churches I would not attend because the pastor's children are so badly behaved. In the future, I will be presenting a series of articles about child training. I believe children are a periscope into the home. With more than fourteen years of dealing with teens, I have learned that (so-called) Christian teenagers who have spiritual problems almost certainly live in a home with spiritual problems. If daddy cannot deal with the spiritual problems in the home, how could he be trusted to deal with the spiritual problems in the church? He cannot.

Not a novice

The man who would lead a church must be a mature Christian. Some are saved for only a short time, and feel God's call to preach on their lives. I cannot know if you are called of God or not. However, if you are called of God to preach, you are also called of God to train, to prepare for the ministry. If a preacher is ill-prepared for the ministry, he will be tossed by every wind of false doctrine. He will be easily deceived by Satan.

Of a good report of them which are without

The pastor is the leader of the church and the church is the light of the community. If the pastor has a bad testimony in the community, so will the church. The pastor's testimony will have a dramatic impact on how he is able to witness to the community and grow the church.
January 23, 2011
As we saw earlier, every local church is an assembly of believers in a local assembly. In that article, we did not look at who should be a member of a local church.

Joining a Church

As we look at membership in a local church, we need to first define what the church is. First, there is the global body of Christ which is called the church. God has already determined what the membership requirements are for membership in the body of Christ. That requirement is salvation. If one is not saved, he is not a part of the body of Christ, he is not a part of the global church. Second, there is the local church. The local church is a "local" assembly of believers within the body of Christ.

Acts 2:41-47 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
In this passage, we see who was added to the church: those who were saved and baptized. This is the requirement for membership in a local church. Baptism is our outward symbol of the inward transaction which has taken place.
2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
In the United States, the local church is also a political organization. The local church rightfully enjoys an exemption from the payment of taxes. However, to enjoy that exemption, the local church must have a system of internal government. The local church must, then, have formal guidelines for membership and participation in the administration of the church. Again, we look to the Scriptures to see what that requirement is. 2 Cor 6:14 gives us the precept of Separation (we will look at practical separation and ecclesiastical separation in later posts). Specifically, we are not to be bound together with unbelievers.
In both passages, we see that the local church should simply be a body of believers. Since baptism is the outward symbol of one's salvation, baptism then becomes a requirement for membership.

Removal From A Church

Mat 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Church discipline is a doctrine which many so-called churches have lost, but it is a clear Biblical teaching. Jesus, Himself, instructs us in the three steps of this practice. When someone offends us, or does something to damage the church or the cause of Christ, we are to go to that person individually, privately, and discuss the offense. If both people are right with God then this was an innocent mistake, the offense will be dealt with and it goes no further. If there is a rebel involved, it may take another step. So, two or three witnesses are taken and the offender is confronted yet again. Hopefully, the offender will realize the gravity of the circumstance and repent. Still, there will be those who refuse to repent of their transgression. In this case, he should be brought before the church, publicly. If he still refuses to repent, then he should be removed from the role of the church and treated as any other unsaved man would be treated. In my opinion, anyone who refuses to see their transgression after all of these steps have been taken has, very likely, never been saved.
January 22, 2011
Is everything okay? Is something bothering you? I would love to share your burden.
The gossip is cunning and sly much like a fox. She is constantly looking for ways to collect information. She wants to share your burden - she wants to share it with the world. As a sin, gossip is a dangerous one. Gossip is one of Satan’s best tools. If you have a church that is genuinely on fire for God, how else could Satan effectively destroy the church from the inside out? Like Satan himself, a gossip is subtle, sly, ambiguous and bent toward the destruction of another. Gossip is often concealed behind the mask of “concern” for someone else. Listening to gossip is far more palatable if you are sharing in someone’s concern for another. A conversation may begin with one person saying, “I really hate to bring this up, but I am worried about…” Perhaps the gossip will turn to a confidant saying, “I just don’t know who else I can talk to about this…” If you are a gossip, you can always talk to the Lord about it. After all, the Lord is the one who can ultimately fix the problem. If you are prayed up, you could even consider going directly to the person you are concerned about! Perhaps your concern will be the motivation they need to fix the problem (if there is one at all). Romans chapter one shows us some very dire consequences for certain actions. Many people point to Romans 1 as one illustration of what the Lord thinks of the lifestyle sodomy (homosexuality). Yes, the Lord does take a hard line against the lifestyle of sodomy, but, sodomy is not the only sin listed in Romans 1. The Lord’s view on these sins is dire - the wrath of God is revealed. It is never good to be the object of the wrath of God!
Rom 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
This passage is “revealed” to those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness.” In other words, this passage would seem to have an application for those who know the Word of God. Perhaps this could apply to someone who regularly sits in a church and hears preaching from the Word of God. Perhaps it is someone who knows enough about the Bible to put on a good show, but not really know what it means to be a Christian. In any case, this passage is clear: The wrath of the Lord may be poured out against these people at any time.
Rom 1:28-31 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
The Lord lists a number of things in this list, but we will only deal with one aspect: gossip. You may think that gossip is not in this list, but it is! Did you see it? The gossip is in the covetous one, the malicious one, the envious one, the deceitful one, the whisperer, the backbiter, the proud and the boastful. These attributes are all attributes of the reprobate mind. Anyone in their right mind knows the lifestyle of sodomy is an abomination but we are not so quick to realize that there is another list of abominable actions:
Pr 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
In this passage in Proverbs, we see that it is an abomination to speak lies and sow discord among the brethren. We can immediately see the gossip there. But as we look at the list in Romans 1:28, the Lord lists covetousness, maliciousness, envy, deceit, malignity, whisperers and backbiters. Do those sound familiar when you think of a gossip? All of these are traits of a gossip! Let’s look at them each individually and how they apply to the gossip. The first in this list is covetousness. The gossip would likely deny all of these traits if she were confronted about the sin of being a gossip, but she would certainly deny being covetous. After all, if she is degrading someone in gossip, the trait she is degrading or making fun of is something she would not want, right? Ah, that is one of the keys. Often, the gossip will make fun or make degrading remarks about someone if they have something she wants. A gossip might say, “Just look at that new Coach purse. I would never carry something like that.” When she says this, she is really jealous and trying to look as though she does not care. She is coveting what the other person has and out of her pride, she is trying to make it look like she does not care. Of course, envy, appearing a little later in the list, walks hand in hand with covetousness. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion that must be removed from the heart of the believer. This ties in directly with the list of abominations the Lord listed in Proverbs 6! The Lord literally hates a proud look! Another aspect of her pride in gossip is her desire to be popular. She wants the attention of other people, other gossips, who are looking for the dirt! In order to be popular she has to spread the dirt, or gossip, around, but she also has to accumulate the dirt. In her slyness, she may come to people seeming concerned, asking, “Are you ok? Is everything alright?” seeking those nuggets to build upon. In her false concern, she reveals her true colors. If she is concerned about someone, wouldn’t it be best to pray about it? Malice and malignity are two more aspects of the gossip. As the gossip is jealous of what another person has, the gossip’s envy turns to malice. Malice is defined in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite. Consider some of those: enmity of heart, a disposition to injure others without cause for mere personal gratification or spite. Here is another aspect of the gossip’s heart that is revealed by Scripture. A gossip has a desire to injure someone's testimony out of spite, for personal gratification or for no cause at all! When compared to Proverbs 6, this is the “heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,” and the “feet that be swift in running to mischief.” Again, it is a sin that the Lord absolutely hates! The gossip is deceitful, in other words, the gossip is a liar. Perhaps she will take a small nugget of truth and add to it or twist it in such a way that the truth could not be found with a search warrant. Or, a gossip may make up the facts all together. So, if the gossip is perfectly willing to lie in the form of gossip, she has proven she cannot be trusted in other things. After all, she is deceitful, she is a liar! If the gossip is deceitful, and a liar, we see yet another abomination from Proverbs six – a lying tongue! Is there anything that needs to be said in a whisper? Gossip flourishes on secrecy and rides on the wheels of a whisper. A gossip is cowardly. If she hears of a problem, she does not consider going to the source of a potential problem. Instead, the gossip will work in the shadows. Finally, from Romans 1, we see that the gossip is a backbiter, or one who slanders, falsely accuses or speaks ill of the absent. The gossip does not have the courage to confront someone to their face. The gossip can only speak of another behind their back. True, the gossip is a coward, but the gossip is likely only afraid of the truth.
Pr 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Where there is a talebearer, or gossip, there is strife. We have already looked at the traits and some of the goals of the gossip. Another goal of the gossip is strife. Yes, the gossip is interested in building herself up, in making herself look better, but one of her methods for doing this is not by making herself better, but by making others look worse. The strife she causes is destructive and when the gossip is silenced, the strife ceases. All of this is a sad commentary on the gossip. But the fruits of the gossip may be even sadder. The gossip causes several things to happen.
1Ti 3:8-11 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
First, we see that the ministry of a gossip is limited. If the gossip is a man, then he would be disqualified from becoming a deacon. If the gossip is a woman, her actions would disqualify her husband from becoming a deacon as well.
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me
Next, we see that the gossip, with their sin or inequity, in their hearts will have their prayers blocked. The Lord simply will not hear them!
Pr 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
The gossip will face troubles in their heart.
Pr 6:12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. (13) He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; (14) Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. (15) Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
In fact, the gossip, the person who sows discord in the body of Christ, can expect sudden calamity or destruction. This could be the most frightening aspect of all. To think that a few idle words could bring the judgment hand of God in to someone’s life in the form of sudden destruction.
Rom 1:28-31 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Perhaps the saddest part is that the gossip has pleasure in their sin even when they know the penalty of their sin!
Mt 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Jesus gave us a firm warning: we will give an account for every idle word. Will that be a time of pleasure for you or a time of pain?
January 21, 2011
Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution.
Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
While the Bible is true, and is not subject to any private interpretation, as individuals, God gives us a free will. We have a God-given liberty to determine what we will believe or reject. This is evidences in the vast number of religions both those of the true faith as well as the countless religions based upon the false teachings of men.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
If one chooses not to accept the Word of God, that person will be judged according to their works - according to the fruits of their sin nature. Choosing to reject the Word of God does not remove one's responsibility. Still, we all have that choice before us. We would consider the Apostle Paul to be one of the greatest Christians to ever live. Yet, Paul described himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tim 1:15).
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Finally, we have the freedom to convince or attempt to convince those who are crazy enough to not believe. Yes, the United States was founded as a Christian nation. It is because the United States is a Christian nation with the principle of Individual Soul Liberty that the United States has been successful. If the U.S. were a country, like others, where a particular religion were all but forced upon the individual, it would have failed.
January 19, 2011
The Lord’s Supper is one of the two ordinances of the church and, like baptism, it is an ordinance of the church that is frequently misunderstood and misapplied. Some people even teach that it is required to keep our salvation. Again, it is sad that the religions of the world have created substitutions for the Lord’s Supper without looking to the Bible for the true meaning behind the Lord’s Supper (or Communion).

What Is the Lord’s Supper?

1 Cor 10:16 the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
The Lord’s Supper is often referred to as communion. Communion is merely an instance of fellowship or sharing in something. In many middle eastern cultures, even today, fellowship is centered around meals. If you are friends with someone, you eat with them. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are demonstrating our fellowship, or communion with the Lord. There are two distinct aspects of fellowship within the Lord’s Supper. The blood of Christ and the Body of Christ.
1 Cor 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
There is clearly a communion with the Lord which can be enjoyed by all. Likewise, there is a communion with the devil with which we can all be partakers. However, one cannot partake in communion with the Lord and with the Devil.
1 Cor 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
1 Cor 11:23-26 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: (24) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (25) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.
This two passages are connected by the phase, “…I delivered unto you…” and “…as I delivered them to you…” This passage is describing what was delivered to the church: the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
1 Cor 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (25) After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
Throughout the Bible, the children of Israel were commanded to set up memorials or reminders of what the Lord had done for them. Communion is a memorial in the life of the Christian to remind us of what the Lord has done for us. We are to take Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus (vs. 24). There is no Scripture which commands us to take the Lord’s supper to obtain salvation. We are commanded to participate in the memorial.
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.
Some question how often we should partake in the Lord’s Supper. There is no clear Scriptural guidance on this. The only requirement is that we eat and drink to show the Lord’s death until He returns.

The elements of the Supper

Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
1 Cor 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
The first element of the Lord's Supper is the bread. The bread symbolizes the body of Christ. Plainly, the Jesus explained that He broke the bread to represent how His body was broken for us. Remember, our very salvation is only available because Christ's body was broken and sacrificed for us. Some also teach that taking the bread or body of Christ represents our communion with the body of believers in Christ.
Mat 26:27-29 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (28) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (29) But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
The second element of the Lord's Supper is the cup. When we take communion, we drink grape juice - unfermented grape juice. Neither the Bible nor Jesus condoned the consumption of fermented wine. That said, the cup (wine, new wine, grape juice) represents the blood shed to provide the remission of sins for us all.

Who Should Participate In the Lord’s Supper?

1 Cor 11:27-32 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Many are sick and many sleep (are dead) because they took communion unworthily. This begs the question, "Who is worthy to take communion?" Verse 31 of this passage gives us an indication: we should judge ourselves that we would not be judged by the Lord. What would Jesus judge us of? Sin! If we examine ourselves and deal with the sin in our own lives, we would not be judged of those sins by the Lord. Of course, it is impossible for the one who has never been saved to completely deal with the individual sins in their lives. So, salvation becomes the first requirement. One must be saved to participate in communion.

Closed or Open

Some churches allow anyone to examine themselves and determine if they should or should not participate in communion. Others limit communion to the membership of that local church. This is a matter of preference - it is not addressed in Scripture. However, in my opinion, it would seem logical that one be a member of a local assembly of believers and must be in good standing with that assembly to participate in communion. If one is not an active member of a local church and not in good standing with that local church, I find it difficult to believe that he is in fellowship with Christ.
January 17, 2011
What is Baptism In the true church, there are two ordinances for the believer: Baptism and the Lord's Super. (An ordinance is simply a rule, a law or a statute established by a sovereign power. What power is more sovereign than God?) Some people make much more out of these ordinances than they really are. They are ordinances. That is to say that they are actions the Lord wants us to take, but they have absolutely no bearing on whether we are saved or not. The first of the two ordinances we will look at is Baptism. What is the significance and the symbolism of baptism? How does someone get baptized? When should you get baptized? How does baptism affect your salvation? These are all questions you will be able to answer when you complete this study.
Eph 4:4-5 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This first passage shows us that there should be only one baptism. There is only one Lord - Jesus. We are only saved once and after that salvation, there is only one baptism.
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:12 compares baptism to burial. The entire baptism is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is also symbolic of our death to sin and our walk in a new life. When one is saved, he should become dead to sin. Sin should no longer reign in his life. In fact, after salvation, the new believer is actually fully alive for the first time. Spiritually, we have been quickened or made alive. Remember, before someone is saved, their spirit is dead. There is a hole in their life where their spirit should be. Baptism does not regenerate the dead spirit and it does not wash away our sins. Baptism is merely a symbol of our death to sin and our resurrection into a new life. Baptism is also symbolic of Christ's physical death, burial and resurrection. Likewise, baptism can relate to our physical death and upcoming resurrection. Baptism is a very powerful, rich symbol, but it is only a symbol.
Mark 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
John 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
These verses are all telling us something about baptism. Notice how "much water" is required, how they were coming up out of the water and how they were "planted." All of these terms are showing us something. Many false forms of Christianity, including the practices of the Catholic church and her Protestant offspring (remember, a true Baptist is NOT a Protestant) practice "sprinkling." In other words, when they claim to baptize someone, they only sprinkle a little water over their head. This practice does not require "much water," does not require the one being baptized to "come up out of the water" and does not illustrate someone being planted. In fact, the Greek word which is transliterated as our English word "baptize" is βαπτίζω (baptizo). Literally, this word means "to immerse." Some speculate we have our English word baptize because of the political pressure placed upon the translators of the day. It is certain that they were faithful to the accurate translation of the Word of God, but it is equally certain that the religious and political powers which existed in that day (the Catholic church) did not want the Word of God accurately translated into the language of the common man. One doctrine they held on to was the doctrine baptism. They taught that baptism was required for salvation and must be performed on an infant. Teaching anything contrary to this was heresy. A complete and accurate translation of the word βαπτίζω and its variations to indicate immersion would result in death. To be faithful to the Scriptures and, quite literally, keep their heads, the translators did not translate, they transliterated. That means that they translated the individual letters into English letters, thus accurately and faithfully representing the Scriptures.
1 Cor 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
In the verses we have studied so far, we see baptism compared to being planted or buried. In this passage (1 Cor 15:1) we see how Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again out of that grave. When we compare 1 Cor 15:1 to Romans 6:5, we see that we are also planted in the likeness of Jesus' death and raised up out of that death. Baptism is a symbol of that death, burial and resurrection. Who Should Be Baptized? Again, there are many religions which have practices regarding baptism which are not Biblical. Who should be baptized is another aspect which has been perverted. Some believe that one must be baptized to be saved (or go to heaven). Some also believe that children and infants should be baptized to protect them from Hell. Both of these are un-Biblical teachings. In fact, I believe these are teaching which are condemning people to Hell. There are people who rely upon their baptism to prove they should go to heaven. It is almost as though they are planning to show their baptism certificate to get into the gates of heaven.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
In each of the verses above, we see that receiving the Word of God through preaching and believing are before salvation. In other words, the example we see is that one must believe to be Scripturally baptized. This is further confirmed in this verse:
Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Acts 10:47 is asking if anyone who has the Holy Spirit (someone who has been saved) can be forbidden from being baptized? The answer is no. Being saved and having the Holy Spirit is a requirement to be saved.
Acts 16:30-33 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Again, the jailer was saved first, then baptized.
Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
They believed first, then were baptized.
Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Jesus promised to see this malefactor in paradise, yet he was never baptized. If baptism were required for salvation, this man could never have been saved. However, we know that Jesus’ promise is true and that Jesus saw this man in Paradise. Baptism was not required. Why Should We Be Baptized?
Mat 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.(14) But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (15) And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. (16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
The very first thing we see is that Jesus thought it was important to be baptized. In fact, Jesus wanted to be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” (vs. 15). Did Jesus need to do anything to be righteous? NO! However, Jesus did set an example for us. We also see that the father was pleased to see Jesus baptized.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
As the Father was pleased to see Jesus baptized, we can suppose that He would be pleased to see us baptized as well. However, we have a command to be baptized in Acts 2:38. Again, this is one of the passages which is often misapplied. Some teach that this passage means that we must be baptized to have our sins cleansed. This would contradict many other passages in Scripture: it would make baptism a work one could do to earn their salvation on their own. The very first error in this theory is the fact that there are no contradictions in Scripture. You cannot find one verse which contradicts anything else in Scripture. Knowing that there are no contradictions in Scripture, how do we explain this passage? Easily. Just as you could read this verse to indicate baptism is required to obtain the remission of sins, you could also read this verse in a way which indicates that we should be baptized because we have already obtained the remission of our sins. The latter meaning is grammatically correct and does not contradict the Scriptural teaching of Baptism in any way. In the next article, we will look at the second ordinance of the local church – the Lord’s Supper.
January 15, 2011
Are you saved? If you are, did you know that you are a part of a royal priesthood? A Priest is one who is authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediator agent between humans and God. Under the Law of Moses, priests were required to offer the sacrifice on behalf of the Old Testament saint. A priest was also the only one who could enter into the 'Holy Place' in the Tabernacle or temple. Today, we commonly see priests in the Catholic church. People confess their sins and their requests to the priest and this priest supposedly delivers them to God. However, when the Holy Spirit of God dwells within the believer, why do we need to confess our sins to someone else? God already knows about them.

Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As priests, we can study God's Word, pray for others and offer spiritual worship to God. We all have equal access to God whether we are a preacher or not.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
By contrast, many of the other false religions require you to go through some priest. This is not Biblical. This is a ploy designed to keep the individual believer away from true worship. The so-called priests maintain a control over the church member and dole out only what they want the church member to know. Effectively, these so-called priests insulate their followers from the Bible and from the truth of the Word of God. 
January 13, 2011
In our acrostic for BAPTIST, the letter 'A' represents Autonomy of the Local Church.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests, but a Baptist church cannot be a "member" of any other body.
Many churches submit themselves to other authorities outside of the church. Sadly many Baptist Churches do this as well. We are all familiar with the Southern Baptist Convention. As "Independent Baptists" we cry out against the organization, but there is a dirty little secret within our fundamental circles! While we all teach and preach the autonomy of the local church, there are many Independent Baptist Churches which are anything but Independent. In the course of my travels, I have visited churches which only support missionaries from a selected mission board. When we were in the process of officially starting our ministry, we looked at several options. We just assumed that we must join some mission board. However, as we looked at mission boards and compared them to Scripture, we were shocked to learn some things! For example: Suppose God had called me to be a church-planting missionary. There are a couple of boards that insist on some things: First, they maintain ownership of any property purchased on the field. Second, with some of these boards, even if the missionary plants a church (effectively becoming that church's pastor in the process), the Pastor of that new church must report to the mission board. Is that new church autonomous? It does not seem so, does it. Yet, these boards call themselves independent and fundamental. In the next article, we will delve into an issue which sets some on their ear - the priesthood of the believer. Yes, it is true that all who are saved by the grace of God are a part of a Royal Priesthood!
January 11, 2011
As we look at what kind of church to consider, we must look more deeply into the reasons why we are distinctly Baptist. What does it mean to be a Baptist? The names we often ascribe to different religious groups (Baptists, Presbyterian, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Mormons, etc.) are clear indicators of what we believe and why. I have said this before, but I will say it again: I am a Baptist. That begs the question, "Why am I a Baptist?" I am a Baptist because I believe the Bible. It really is that simple! As I examine the Bible, and compare it to other sects and religions, I cannot see any other cult, sect, religion or practice that honors and adheres to the Word of God. In class, I was given a simple acrostic which clearly defines some of the major differences between a true Baptist and some of the other religions out there (later in the series, we will look at some of the differences between a true Baptist and others who claim to be Baptist). That acrostic spells BAPTIST. In this article, we will look at the first letter: B, for Biblical Authority. As we examine the authority of the Bible, must realize that the Bible is the very Word of God. Yes, there are many books which claim to be The Bible, which are not. You cannot be a Bible believer if you do not hold the Bible in your hand. We will discuss which is actually the Bible in a future article.
1 Thes 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
There is a clear proclamation that the Bible is the very Word of God. Yes, it was received through the hands of men, but it is still the Word of God. Imagine someone taking transcription. That is very much like what the penmen of the Bible did: they were transcribing for the Lord. Understanding that the Bible is the Word of God, and likewise understanding that God is sovereign, then we must logically assume that the Word of God is our authority. We must also assume that the Word of God is truth since God cannot lie.
2 Pet 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
If the Bible is true and is the Word of God (and it is), then we must accept all of it as it applies to us. This verse explains to us that there cannot be any private interpretation of the Bible. So, the Bible simply says what it says.
2 Tim 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Finally, Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and admonished him that all Scripture is good to be used for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. The Bible is the ultimate authority for all matters of faith, practice of worship, and lifestyle of the believer. Regardless of what any single person or group of people may believe to be true, the Bible must be considered the final authority. If the opinions of any person or group of people disagree with the Bible, those opinions should be discarded. We can accept the Bible (KJV for the English-speaking people) as our ultimate authority because of the nature of the Scripture. The Scripture is the very WORD of GOD to man. We know that God simply cannot lie, and the Bible has proven itself to be the Word of God! Men have tried to elevate creeds and traditions to be equal to the Word of God. Most notable of these are the Mormon Church with their Book of Mormon and the Roman Church (aka Catholic) with their various creeds, councils and the ramblings of their pope - all of which seem to change the truth of the Word of God to suit the leaders of the church at the moment. However, as a BAPTIST, one must accept and rely upon the Bible as their sole and final authority. If some doctrine or practice contradicts the Bible, it must be discarded in favor of the Biblical truth.
January 9, 2011
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" [Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii]. Shakespeare proposed that a name means little in the description of something. What does a name mean? Is a name relevant? When comparing churches, a name means a lot! The very first thing we need to look at is the name of the church. It should be distinctively BAPTIST! There are some clear distinctives to being a Baptist. These distinctives are very important and we must look for a church which is distinctively Baptist.
The first distinctive of the Baptist church is its history. Contrary to popular claims, Baptists are the only ones who can trace their heritage back to Christ. The Catholic Church cannot, nor can the myriad of Protestant churches which were birthed out of the Catholic church. Why is this important? First, as a Baptist, I have a pure heritage. Second, as a Baptist with a pure heritage, I am not subject to the abominable teachings of the Catholic church. We could exhaust many books speaking about what a Baptist is not. It is more expedient to explain the basics of what a Baptist is.
As the name implies, one of the key tenants of the Baptist faith is regarding baptism. According to the Word of God, a person is not saved by baptism. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from a saving faith in Jesus, one cannot be saved no matter how many times they are sprinkled or immersed.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Yes, as we will see, baptism is important, but it does not affect one's salvation. Salvation is a gift of God. If we had to be baptized, salvation would be the result of one's ability to be baptized, it would be the result of a work. Salvation is a gift! Consider the thief on the cross who hung beside Jesus: when was he baptized? He was not. He died on the cross, yet Jesus promised to see him in paradise. To be saved, one must understand that he is a sinner. He must also understand that there must be a payment for his sins. The unsaved must believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus paid the price for the sins of all mankind. The sinner must ask Jesus to save him. Apart from salvation by grace through faith, one cannot be saved. When a church teaches that one may be baptized to cleanse them from their sins, that church is in opposition to the Word of God. In fact, that church is in opposition to God, Himself and is teaching heresy.

The Bible teaches that water baptism is always by immersion (you go completely under the water), after one is saved. Without salvation, baptism is meaningless. Baptism is, however, an ordinance of the church. That is, one must be baptized to be in obedience to the Word of God. When one is baptized, the baptism is not to cleanse one from sins or as an act of salvation, baptism is symbolic. When we are baptized, we are identifying ourselves as a Christian. We are also using the symbolism of baptism to show the world we have been buried in sin and raised to walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:1-5 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3) Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Baptism is about identifying oneself with Christ. When we go under the water in baptism, we symbolize our death to sin. When we are brought out of the water, we symbolize our coming resurrection. Baptism is purely symbolic.

Baptism is also an act which takes place after salvation.
Acts 8:36-37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
This eunuch wanted to be baptized and was asking what prevented him from being baptized. Philip replied by basically asking the eunuch was saved - he believed. The eunuch could only be saved if he had already believed, if he had already been saved.
Baptism is one of the many traits which make us distinctly BAPTIST. In the next article, we will look at some more of the traits which make us distinctively BAPTIST.
January 7, 2011
I have been challenged to use observations and science to prove God exists. What a fool. One needs only look at the miracle of creation to see the hand of God. However, God does not seek to prove His existence. What God does want is faith.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Faith is not merely something we have, faith in God is a way of life. We literally live by faith. How do I know God is real? To begin with, I have a brain, I think, I reason and I can see the work God has done which no natural process or action of evolution could create.

1 Cor 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Faith will never be understood by those who are willingly ignorant of the existenance of God. 
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Having a law to live by or a set of things to do or not do does not make one just and it does not make one whole. It is only salvation by grace through faith which can make us just and whole. The law or the rules are only there to show us our need for salvation. 
Heb 11:1-2 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report.
I don't expect someone who is not saved to understand this, but my faith in God has allowed God to prove Himself to me. 
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Faith is a simple concept. We must believe in God to please Him.

Now, my question for all of you scoffers will be a simple one. Explain gravity. How does it work. What makes it work. How do you know it exists? You can observe gravity but can you explain how it works?
Over the years, many people have asked the question, "What should I look for in a church?" This is actually an excellent question. There are a lot of things we should look for in a church - things which, sadly, are not found in many of the churches we all pass by every day. Yes, there are many buildings which are labeled "Church." However, many of these churches are hardly places where one can truly find peace and a place to worship. So, pay attention over the next few weeks to see what you should look for in a church. If you are in a church already, this guide may open your eyes to some interesting flaws in many churches. We promise this will be an informative series!
January 5, 2011
Typically, modesty is viewed as an issue for the women. The majority of men are visually stimulated where the majority of women are stimulated on various emotional levels. For that reason, it is the women who have the most to be concerned about regarding their appearance. This does not mean that men do not have a problem with modesty. The majority of the Scriptural principals discussed in this series of articles apply to men equally as they do to women. Men are to be covered, should not reveal their thigh, should not reveal their chest and should not wear clothing which is so tight as to reveal the form of their body. More importantly, men and women both need to have an appearance which brings attention to their countenance. They need to draw attention to Christ. Ultimately, directing attention to Christ is the key to modesty for both men and women. If you have read this series on modesty and you only came away with a checklist or a list of rules to dress by, you have missed the point. Just as Christ should be the focus of our life, Christ should also be what people see in our lives. This leads us to a logical question: can a person, whether male or female, be modest if they are not saved? Regardless of how you may dress, you cannot be truly modest, in the sense described here, if you are not saved.
Mark 5:1-15 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. (2) And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, (3) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: (4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. (5) And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. (6) But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, (7) And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (8) For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. (9) And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. (10) And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. (11) Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. (12) And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. (13) And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (14) And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. (15) And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
In this passage, Jesus encounters a man possessed with many demons. He was described as a man who was unable to be tamed, who was naked and who cut himself. In verse 13, we see Jesus bidding the demonic spirits departing from the man into a group of swine. Immediately, the man was changed. In verse 15, the man is described clothed and in his right mind. Jesus gives us a clear principle in this passage. When one is saved, he is changed. A newly saved person is also a new creature. Part of the change Jesus makes in our lives is clothing us. Second, it is impossible for someone to be truly modest (drawing attention to Christ living in them) if they are not saved. One cannot draw attention to something that does not dwell within them and one cannot direct attention to someone she has never met. When someone is saved, the Holy Spirit of God indwells that person. One job of the Holy Spirit of God is directing attention to Christ. If you have never met Christ and the Holy Spirit is not living within you, you cannot direct attention to Christ - you cannot be modest.
Do you find the concept of modesty repulsive? If so, I would suggest that you may not be saved. No, I cannot know what is in your heart. Nor do I have access to the Book of Life, but if you find the concept of modesty, of drawing attention to Christ, to be so repulsive, so revolting that you must mock it and fight against it, you may be in the same condition as this maniac of the Gadarenes.
One of the key issues of modesty is not drawing attention to yourself but rather drawing attention to your countenance and to Christ. In order to truly be modest, a lady should be revealing Christ in her life, not her body.
1 Pet 3:1-4 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (2) While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (3) Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; (4) But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
The lady should be respectful of her husband’s wishes. When he is asking her to be modest, she must respect his wishes. In fact, the lady should seek her husband’s opinion about modesty. She should allow her husband to consider what she is wearing and determine what is or is not appropriate. The husband knows what attracts a man’s eye and can help steer the wife away from things that would not be appropriate. Unmarried young ladies should seek the advice of their Godly mothers. If their mother is unsaved, they should look to another Godly, married lady in their church. In either case, when dealing with an unmarried young lady on the subject of modesty, a man should not directly deal with the issue. He should guide his wife and allow his wife to deal with the issue. Part of the adorning of a lady is her chastity or quality of having a chaste spirit. To be chaste is to be free from sexual defilement. A lady who is unmarried would be sexually pure – having never touched a man in a romantic context. A lady who is married would be loyal to the marriage bed. In addition, whether married or unmarried, a chaste lady has pure conversation; she is free from the obscene. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says, “In language, pure; genuine; uncorrupt; free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions.” To compare, the harlot is loud, boisterous and explicit. Finally, the passage above reinforces that the adorning of a lady should not be her outward appearance. Wild hairstyles and gaudy jewelry scream for attention, and the admiration of others, instead of pointing people to the Lord. People are attracted to the modest lady by her meek and quiet spirit, by the spirit in her that is controlled by the hidden man of the heart. She should reflect the Holy Spirit of God.
1Ti 2:9-10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Tim 2:9-10 echo’s the sentiments in 1 Pet 3. It is amazing how the Word of God never contradicts itself. Again, the lady should not rely upon her jewelry, hairstyles or costly array to make herself attractive. She should rely upon the Spirit of God dwelling within her. If she is attracting people to the Spirit of God, then the Spirit of God may use her to get people saved.
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
As someone who is legitimately a Christian, you are also a new creature. The things of the world you once enjoyed should no longer be pleasurable to you. If you drank liquor, the Spirit of God should convict you of that. If you were one who spent time in dance clubs, and you are saved, the Spirit should have shown you that modern dancing is a sin! Likewise, when you were saved, the Spirit of God should show you that immodest apparel is a sin also. As a new creature, you have the individual soul liberty to do what you want to do, but what you want to do should reflect becoming a new creature through salvation. So what should a modest lady avoid? Over the years, styles of dress have changed. Sadly, the styles of dress have become more revealing to the point where many women, whose character is far from harlotry, are dressed in ways which could easily cause a man to stumble into sin. Hollywood, the popular music culture and the fashion industry all encourage you to show off your body, but a Christian lady should know that her body is not her own.
1Cor 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
As a Christian, you have been purchased already. Paul referred to himself as a servant. Literally, a bond-slave belonging to Christ. Therefore, since we are not our own, we belong to Christ and we should do the will of Christ. For a lady, dressing modestly is the will of Christ. The following notes are a practical guide intended to help a Christian lady who desires to glorify God in her body and spirit
The modest lady will not be ‘naked’. In other words, nothing above the thigh should be revealed. Whether sitting, standing or hanging from a tree, everything from the thigh to the top of the chest should be covered. In most cases, this means the garment should extend below the knee when standing, because the garment will gather up and shorten when sitting. The garment should also completely cover the rear (crack-free zone). If you constantly have to tug your skirt down to cover your knees when sitting, then it is too short. The same goes for having to keep pulling your shirt down to keep your stomach or backside covered. Why fight that battle all day?? It is so much easier to wear clothes that aren’t on the border line of being too short, that way you can relax! On top, she should not reveal her chest. A good rule of thumb here is that the neckline should not be lower than three fingers widths below the notch at the top of the breastbone. Cleavage should never be seen. Also, sleeves should not reveal the lady’s underwear. A good rule of thumb here is covering the armpit. If someone cannot see the armpit, they cannot see anything else.
The modest lady will not wear tight clothing. The modern harlot will dress in a way that advertises what she has to offer. This means that the little she covers will still be revealed through tight garments. What is tight? Today just about everything has spandex or some type of stretchy material in it. This is not by accident. If you have to stretch open your shirt to fit it over your head and shoulders, then it is going to be tight and form fitting on your chest and torso, revealing every curve. Clothing that is tight is revealing and leaves little to the imagination. This advertises your chest size and the curves of your waist and hips. A Christian lady should not want to “show off” her body; after all if she truly is a Christian, her body is not her own and she will want to advertise the Spirit of God and not her body.
A modest lady will not reveal her underwear. “Teacher, teacher, I declare. I see someone’s underwear!” Remember that? In a time now past, it was an open shame to reveal your underwear. Now, it is common. This concept should be simple enough. If the garment is tight so that it reveals the outline of underwear (or that there is no underwear at all), then it is also drawing the guy’s attention away from the lady’s countenance and to her undergarments. Additionally, if the garment opens in a way that reveals the undergarment, it is inappropriate. For example: sleeveless garments (or garments with very short sleeves, three-quarter sleeves, etc.) allow a guy to see into the blouse revealing the lady’s undergarments or chest. Another modern trend is to actually show off the underwear. Many women are wearing low-waist skirts/pants. As a result, they are revealing their underwear. In a similar way, women are revealing their underwear on top -almost to the point of showing off their underwear. Lace peaking out of the top of a shirt draws curiosity and attention to that point. Once again drawing attention where it doesn’t belong. A Christian lady should be pointing people to her Saviour, not to her body.
A modest lady will not draw attention to her jewelry. The verses on modesty also mention gold, pearls and costly array. A Christian lady should not be “flashy” with her jewelry and clothes. People around her should not look at her and admire or even covet her expensive clothes and jewelry. When people look at a Christian lady they should first see her sweet spirit and testimony. Our clothes and jewelry should never over power, or stand in the way of people seeing Christ in us. This is not to say that all jewelry is wrong, but it should be kept in balance as an accent, and not a focal point. A Modest lady will not adorn herself with overbearing makeup. God gives each lady a natural beauty from within. That beauty can be accented with mild, natural makeup. However, when the makeup becomes a focal point, it has already become too much. Unlike nakedness, there is no hard and fast rule we can point to here. However, the Bible does give us an example to look at. Jezebel was a queen who has the reputation of being the wickedest of women. She was a murderer, a prostitute and, overall, an enemy of God. How did she adorn herself? Among other things, she “painted her face” (2 Kings 9:30). We do not know what she looked like, but I think it is safe to assume that her makeup was distracting, so much that it was noteworthy. In today’s culture, makeup has drifted toward a dark tone. Many young women use very dark makeup, especially around the eyes. Dark makeup has always been associated with Satanism. Many of the young women today may not consider their association when wearing the black or dark colors, but the association is there. Also, when she paints dark colors around her eyes, she is drawing attention to her eyes. A woman’s eyes can be very enticing. If the woman is sly, she can use them to entice a man into her snare.
A modest lady will not wear unnatural hair coloring or gaudy hair styles. In 1 Peter 3 and 1 Timothy 2 the Bible refers to hair styles. The references here point to braiding and folding hair in an excessive way. They were styling their hair so that the hair became a focal point instead of God living within them. Today, we see many different bold and attractive hair styles. Styling your hair is not necessarily wrong. It is only when the hair style becomes overwhelming or when the hair style draws someone’s attention away from your countenance. Hair colors that do not naturally occur are immodest. The sole purpose of such a color is to draw attention to the person and not to Christ. Likewise, coloring styles are immodest. You will never see a modest Christian lady wearing un-natural colors or stripes in her hair!
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
In everything she does, a modest Christian lady will be separated from the world. Anything which could be written about modesty in relation to today’s fashion or style will change. As the world’s standards change, the Christian’s standard should not. Christians, and sadly, the church, seem to keep the worldly standards at arm’s length. However, as the world’s standards become worse, so do the church’s standards. The church is keeping the world at arm’s length and moving away from the Word of God. Ultimately, the standard of modesty should be one of separation. Our appearance should set us apart from the world. People should visibly see a difference in Christians. The ungodly fashion industry, and Hollywood stars should not be our examples of how we should look. Quite frankly it is a good measure of what we should NOT look like. From the top of their self absorbed heads to the bottom of their anything for money and attention feet, the Hollywood crowd is the complete opposite of what a Christian should aspire to look like. Separation does not mean drab. Christians do not have to wear muted colors, and dress plainly. But at the same time the Christian should look distinctly different. The Christian should not be constantly trying to keep up with every crazy fad that comes along, especially if it is extreme and draws attention to the body and not the Spirit of God.