The call to follow Christ is seldom pressed upon the hearts of those coming seeking the way of salvation. We band around such cliches as "give your life to Christ" without really pondering the depth of such words! Sadly, we see that so much of Christianity today in the West is emotionally driven. Yet when men came to Jesus seeking the way of salvation He laid down plainly the cost and requirement to be His disciples. His words are clear...His words are straight...His words are convicting!! "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mt. 16:24).
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.6)
This teaching focuses on the apocryphal books and asks the question, 'do they belong in the canon of Holy Scripture?'. Apocrypha is the name given to the 15 additional books that appear in some Bible translations which contain Jewish religious literature. If one was to pick up a KJV Bible today, one would turn the page from Malachi, past the page separating the Old and New Testaments, straight into the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. However, in the original KJV Bible of 1611, one would have turned from Malachi to 1 Esdras!! In fact, the Apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years and was not removed until as late as 1885. If one picks up a Roman Catholic Bible today, one will find that it consists not of 66 books but of 73 books which includes some apocryphal books known as the deuterocanonical books. Do these books belong in our Bible and if not why not? What about the great mass of so-called lost books claiming to be from Bible characters, known as the Pseudepigrapha, such as the Book of Enoch, the Book of Noah, The Acts of John, The Gospel of Thomas etc.
We shall set out in this teaching to answer these questions along with many more.
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2 Kings 3:16-24
In the midst of this super fast generation, where yesterday's news is old news and last hour's tweet has been lost in the mass of tweets coming after; how soon and how quick are we oft to forget and even blind to see, the blessings of answered prayer! All too often we look for answered prayer to come in the form of the supernatural - water coming out of a rock or manna coming from heaven. Yet, God the supernatural so often works through the natural!
Oh, that God might sharpen our discernment to recognise the supernatural hand of God working through natural occurrences on the behalf of His beloved children!! Oh, that we might more quick to see His hand of mercy and in giving thanks to count our many blessings!
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.5)
In this part of our study on how we got our Bible, we now turn to look at the canon of the Bible. When we use the word canon, we don’t make reference to that large military weapon mounted on wheels for that is spelt cannon! Canon is defined as a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged (Oxford Dictionaries). When the word is used in the context of the Bible, i.e. the Biblical canon then it refers to an accepted list of books that are considered to be authoritative Scripture coming from God. At the very heart of the issue of canon lies the question; How do I know that the books I have in my Bible are the books that are divinely inspired by God? It is this question that we will seek to place at the very heart of this teaching!! This teaching we will focus on the Old Testament canon.
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Up and down the length and width of this nation we have within the professing Body of Christ, leaders who though present in person, are absent in function! Many love to occupy the seat of authority, but know nothing of the weight of accountability that rests upon them in their God given role to be a covering of protection for those God had placed in their care. Woe unto such a one, who through neglect of duty, leaves those under his care without a covering!
This is a message to pastors, to husbands and to fathers; don't neglect your God given responsibility to guard and to shepherd the flock!
1 John 2:1-2
When we fail God...what next? Many Christians live under the sentence of condemnation because they do not truly understand what exactly took place on the cross. The Apostle John tells us, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". This message is a great encouragement for those who may have failed God in the area of sin and who need encouraging and lifting back up to press back on in a life of victory!
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.4)
We conclude this final part on the inspiration of the Bible by looking at Isaiah 53. This Messianic passage predicts with the most stunning precision and accuracy the person, mission and ministry of Messiah. So staggering and graphic is this passage that many Jews, though not all have sought to deflect it away from Messiah choosing instead to assert that it applies not to the suffering of Messiah but is allegorical of the suffering of Israel as a nation.
In this teaching we shall analyse this astounding passage and document the clear fulfilment of the many prophecies contained within this passage which could apply to none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There is absolutely no doubt that this prophecy provides irrefutable proof that the Bible is indeed the Inspired Word of God!!
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The world is not short of good talkers, they abound in their millions and billions. The MOST, Solomon tells us, proclaim their own goodness: but a faithful man who can find! Have you enrolled in God's school of small beginnings? The true test of our faithfulness is not how faithful we think we will be over much but how faithful we actually are in the little.
This message looks at the steadfast faithfulness of a young king in the making, who first learned to be faithful over the little before being entrusted with the much. His name...David! May this message both encourage and challenge you; do not despise the day of small beginnings!