“ISSUES & ANSWERS”
Where Scripture Speaks
Often times, over the years our human secular ideas/social convictions cross over into the realm of our religion. During such discussions, when this happens we may become argumentative then divisive. Examples of pro and con topics may be abortion, drinking alcoholic beverages, voluntary/involuntary euthanasia for those with terminal illness, homosexual/lesbian clergy, stem cell research, church “traditions” verses scriptural doctrine, etc.
Serious debate still goes on within the “church world” concerning these and other issues of discussion. A number of major denominations have even broken off from their mainline organization and became either independent congregations or will adjoin themselves to, perhaps what might be called, their “original church.” For instance, St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Bay Village, Ohio voted to sever ties with the Episcopalian church and reclaimed, so to speak, membership with the Anglican Church, due to non-acceptance of homosexual clergy. Nor does St. Barnabas parishioners believe in that lifestyle. Considering the Bible’s overall texts on this matter, especially I Corinthians 6:9-11, was their decision wrong?
It is true, that on some topics there is no literal “thus says the Lord” contained within the Bible’s framework whereupon one may stand. We as fellow believers, brothers and sisters, were first of all broken-hearted individuals. Thusly we repented—verbally/publicly confessing ‘Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God’—thenceforth we humbly obeyed the simple command of baptism. God keeps His eternal promises for herein we ultimately receive not only forgiveness of our sins plus our Lord’s abundant Grace, in the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we seek His will for our lives, shall we not find fellowship, comfort, healing and guidance? When we knock on doors of knowledge and understanding, shall we not have opened unto us a nurturing growth in/through God’s Word, knowing and experiencing Him, that GOD IS LOVE? The incarnate Word of God, Jesus Himself earnestly commands us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, first.” Secondly is to, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:34-40). Who are we as finite beings created in God’s image to vainly attempt doing otherwise. Regardless our talent(s), each of us must use those talents and abilities to manifest the Master’s glory in our daily walk. Thus, let us lose ourselves in fields of humble service to others, for herein we serve Him.
Who is it that brings to pass the great plan of salvation with life saving fruition? “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. All Scripture is God breathed/given by inspiration of God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness. Study/do your best to present yourself approved to God, one who is not ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.” (Rom. 8:16, II Tim. 3:16, 2:15)
A Christian mother, Anne Cetas, took her preschooler to class one spring day. Jordan began asking questions about Jesus’ resurrection. In Mrs. Cetas’ explaination, she concluded, “Jesus rose from the dead a long time ago, and now He wants to live in our hearts.” But Jordan still didn’t understand. Following through, she suggested going to a bookstore to get an Easter storybook and read it at home. With wisdom beyond his years, Jordan responded, “Can’t we just read the Bible?” Jordan’s idea is right. Author Eugene Peterson once said, “God’s voice speaks to us, inviting, promising, blessing, confronting, commanding and healing.” Go to the Bible for protection, correction, and direction.
(Story used from Our Daily Bread, devotional article February 6 2006, RBC Ministries, Discovery House Publishers)
It is written that, “a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah11:6b) Volumes are spoken to us when Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4)
Inspiration through Jesus Christ
Composed by God’s Grace
Written by Randall Laraway