The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The world of the First Century, when the New Testament was written, was in many ways very much like today’s world. For example, people loved to watch athletics and First Century athletes were stars, just like today!

Bible writers often used pictures from everyday life that were designed to catch the attention and make their readers think. One of the pictures that’s often used is the picture of life as a race.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:24–25). Read more

The Real Jesus

THE REAL JESUS

THE REAL JESUS

The Real JesusTrue Christian faith is centred around the work of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection form the basis for God’s plan of salvation.

It is vital to understand the real reason for Jesus Christ, his true status as Son of God and how we can benefit from his work. Jesus prayed to His Father just before his cruel death:

“This is eternal life, that they (true believers) may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

The Virgin Birth

Over 2000 years ago the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with this message:

“You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest…Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man? [i.e. she was a virgin]. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35).

Through the Holy Spirit (God’s breath/power) acting upon her, Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin. Thus Joseph was not the true father of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit acting upon the womb of Mary, Jesus, the Son of God, could not have come into existence.

Jesus was “begotten” by God (John 3:16), rather than created as Adam was originally. This explains the closeness of God’s association with Jesus and also helps explain his natural aptitude for the ways of God his Father. Read more

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of LifeThroughout time, men and women have asked the big question:

   What is this life all about?

  ❖  Is there a purpose or meaning to it?

To answer these questions, we can turn to the Bible message and see that it is still relevant to us living in the 21st century. We will look at what the Bible tells us about the meaning of life, then go on to consider the Bible message to us personally.

We will consider the meaning of life in three sections:

❖  Where did we come from?

❖  What is life all about?

❖  Where are we going?

Then we shall look further at God’s plan and the promises which He has made.

Where Did We Come From? Read more

The Logic of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith – The Inspiration of Scripture

The Logic of FaithInspiration
The Evidence of Peter
The Evidence of the Prophets
How God revealed Himself through Prophets
Balaam – Jeremiah – Amos
Visions and Events
Style
Conclusion

Inspiration
To anyone studying the Bible it is of vital importance to know where the ideas in the Bible came from. If they are merely the opinions of ancient clerics then they are of historical interest but there is no need to take them especially seriously today. If, on the other hand, they represent the words of a higher authority, then they provide a guide to life that must not be ignored.

The Bible makes claims for itself. For example:
2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This passage tells us that the Bible is inspired by God. However, to understand this claim it is necessary to decide what is meant by the word inspiration. Read more

Time to Stand Still

Finding the time to Stand Still?

Finding the time to Stand Still?

It isn’t easy to find time to think. Life is so busy and there is always such a lot to do. Even when on holiday there are places to go, things to see,Time to Stand Still shops to visit and meals to eat. It can be exhausting! Just sitting and thinking is seldom an option.

Stand still

Sometimes we need to find time to take stock, especially when we are really stressed and times are hard. Fleeing refugees were once being pursued by their erstwhile slave masters when they came to an impassable barrier. What were they to do? Fortunately they listened to their leader and he gave them this startling advice:

Time to Stand Still in Awe of God“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever’”(Exodus 14:13).

As it happened the fleeing Israelites couldn’t do much else. The sea was in front of them and the Egyptian army was behind them, so they had to stand still. Then it was that God opened a way across the sea which enabled them to escape. Thus it was that Israel moved forward as a nation and reached Mount Sinai where God declared them to be His special people, through whom He would communicate to all nations.

Kadesh Barnea

Less than two years later, the infant nation assembled on the edge of the Promised Land and hesitated. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey and now they had to possess it, under His guidance. But they asked for a scouting party to be sent in first, so they could see what they were up against, and selected twelve men – one from each of their tribes – to go and spy out the land. Read more

Getting to know God

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Getting to know GodHow do we get to know anyone? Is it possible to know someone you have never met? For example, can you get to know an artist just by studying his or her artistic work? Starting with these questions, Anna Hart explores how we can get to know God, who we have not met.

Artistic Work

You may get some clues about the type of scenery an artist likes, by studying his portfolio. But what can the paintings tell you about his moral standards, his likes or dislikes? It is unlikely that you would be able to deduce much useful information.

Or think about a musical composition.  Some composers have set scriptural words to pieces of music which are so moving that a listener can be reduced to tears. We might imagine that a composer able to do this would have a strong religious faith. However, this is certainly not always the case, and some very popular religious music has been composed by self-declared atheists.

So a person’s body of work does not, of itself, help you to know the individual. Even people we have met and think we know can react differently from how we expect, for people are unpredictable by nature. It is only when they tell us about themselves that we can start to understand them.

God’s Handiwork

It follows that whilst we can learn something about God by studying His creative handiwork, we cannot conclude that we know what He is like just because we are keen students of nature. We need something more if we are to get to know the God who made the universe. The Bible says this:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

When we look at nature we certainly see beauty, and many people would argue that there is clear evidence of design. There is majesty in high mountains, peace in a babbling brook, glory in a fiery sunset and excitement in a roaring sea. But what does this tell you about the character of God? Nature also gives us earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, beasts of prey, suffering and death.

What do these things tell us about God?

Wrong Assumptions

We often hear people say things like ‘I can’t imagine a God who would disapprove of …’ or ‘I am sure that God would not mind…’ or ‘God would like that’. Read more

The Centre of the Bible

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

The Centre of the Bible

The truth is there are 31,102 verses in the King James Bible.  Therefore there is no single middle verse.  You cannot have a middle verse with an even number of verses.  However there are two middle verses. These would be verses 15,551 and 15,552 (Psalms 103:1-2.) 

PSALM 103:1-2

BLESS the LORD, O my soul:  and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

These are the middle two verses of the King James Bible.  Both verses start with “Bless the LORD, O my soul”.  Verse 1 continues – and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Verse 2 concludes with – and forget not all his benefits.  These are powerful words coming from the two center verses of the Book.  

Now let’s count the words in these two middle verses.  There are twenty-eight.  That’s seven quadrupled (7 times 4) instead of seven doubled (7 times 2.)  Here we have seven compounded twice as much.

Now let’s see if we can find some middle words in the center of God’s middle verses.  Yes, I see four (bless his holy name.)  There are twelve words on one side of this phrase and twelve words on the other side.  So the King James Bible has bless his holy name right in the center of the two middle verses! Read more

Are YOU Really Saved

Are YOU Really Saved?

 Is YOUR knowledge of the BIBLE Are YOU Really Saved

and YOUR belief and worship of GOD 

able to SAVE YOU?

 Not sure? Well consider this passage from JOHN CHAPTER 17

“1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

The Greek word for “know” is ‘genosko’ and it means to have a thorough intellectual understanding of what something is all about.

Do you have this understanding of God and His Son Read more

Calling on the Name of the Lord

Calling on the Name of the Lord

Calling on the Name of the Lord

What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? There are several Bible verses which mention this, but they are not wellCalling on the Name of the Lord understood. For instance, it is common for church leaders to quote verses like:

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

They interpret this as saying that anyone who calls out to Jesus is saved, from the moment they confess to being his followers.

Another type of ‘calling on the name of the Lord’ which is taught by some, is where people are told to accept Christ as ‘their personal saviour.’ This is done in response to a rousing sermon, after which members of the audience are invited to come forward and declare this to the congregation. If they do, they are said to be saved.

But if we want to be saved, we need to do more than just walk down the church. We will see this as we examine what the Bible teaches.

Worshipping God

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, we are told that Abram built an altar between Bethel and Ai where he “called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8).

When Abram returned from Egypt, he returned to that place and again, “Abram called on the name of the LORD” (13:4). It was the same with his son Isaac (Genesis 26:25). Read more

God is always Right

God is Always Right!

God is Always Right!

When things go wrong for us we might think that God has got things wrong for us. But He never does that and His purpose is always designed to achieve the best, let John Woodall explains what he means by this.

Why Animal Sacrifices?

God is always RightThroughout Old Testament times, the worship and service of God involved the sacrificing of animals. God is the King; He can forgive anyone He wants to forgive, but we humans are in this mess of failure and death because we have broken His laws. We can understand therefore that God is right to insist that we realize this: that we admit that He is right and we are wrong. This is the lesson that the sacrificing of animals was meant to teach.

People have misunderstood this.

They have thought that God wanted to be appeased by a gift, or that He wanted to vent His anger in some way so instead of killing the sinner He had an animal killed instead.

This is a big mistake because the Living God is not like that. The facts are the other way round. The sacrifices were not killed to change God’s mind or attitude; they were killed to help the sinner admit that he or she was doing wrong and needed God’s forgiveness.

Just as a child who has done wrong tells his parents that he (or she) is sorry and is then forgiven, so it is with us and God. Read more

Bible Truth

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE TRUTH

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE TRUTH

Is Bible Truth important to your Faith and Salvation ie. will you be saved despite what you believe the bible teaches or does it matter what you believe?

Well, the word “truth” appears 237 times in the bible, that alone says it must be important!

Therefore, it must be important to understand what “truth” is.

A quick scan of the passages using this word “truth” leave us in no doubt that it is not only important, but vital to our salvation.

John 17:3

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 John 5:20

20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Read more

The Evidence of Go is all around US

OUR Belief In God

OUR Belief In God

There are, and always have been, many opinions on this subject.

  • Is there a God?
  • Need we believe in God?
  • Is belief in God an outdated idea?

The questions and opinions go on, and on. Some people who believe in God are highly educated; others who do not are equally intelligent and nowadays often outspoken. Is there any certain way of knowing? 

Does it depend on education or on current thinking?

EVIDENCE IS ALL AROUND US

Consider the following passage from Romans chapter 1:

What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools … (Romans 1:19–22) Read more

Are You Saved

Are You Saved?

Are You Saved?

The house was blazing and fire-fighters were rescuing people trapped inside. It wasHouse on fire extremely dangerous and the firefighters had to apply their skills with great care.

“Thank you SO much for saving me”, gasped one man who had finally been brought to safety. “No problem”, said the fire-fighter, “but you stay well away from the building now; don’t go anywhere near until we say it is OK”.

Some minutes later the man ran back to a part of the house that did not look as though it was on fire.

No-one knew why and no-one could stop him.

Suddenly there was an almighty crash and part of the building fell on him, killing him outright.

Remember Lot’s Wife

There is a similar account in the Bible. Read more

A Pearl of Great Price

A Pearl of Great Price

When a change of approach proved necessary, Jesus began to teach using parables. HisA Pearl of Great Price message about a coming kingdom on earth was encouraging some Jewish nationalists to imagine that he was about to head a revolutionary movement which would sweep away the occupying Roman force and establish a Jewish State again. They wanted Jesus to be their king, but he had been given a very different job specification by his Father.

Coming Kingdom

Jesus will come as a king and will rule over God’s Kingdom on earth, as the Scriptures clearly promise:

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice.

Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land (Isaiah 32:1–2). Read more

Believe

Believing

Believing the Seemingly Unbelievable

Imagine someone from 200 years ago visiting us today. They would know nothing of electricity, cars, aeroplanes, or mobile phones. How amazed would they be? Now try to imagine someone in the 1800s describing our way of life to a friend. It would all seem incredible.

BelieveGodly faith has always required people to believe things that are well outside of their experience – things that seem incredible.

The Resurrection of Jesus

The apostle Paul, talking about the resurrection of Jesus, asked King Agrippa “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8). This was indeed a phenomenal miracle, because Jesus was not only brought back from the dead: he was raised to eternal life. In one of his letters Paul says:

…Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him (Romans 6:9). Read more