Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Explaining and Giving Evidence

"And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ'" (Acts 17:2-3)

These verses are talking about Paul's teaching in the synagogue in Thessalonica. He came with the message that Jesus was the Messiah who had been prophesied of in the Old Testament.

Notice how Paul taught this message. He did not simply state his premise that Jesus was the Christ and therefore had to suffer and rise again. He explained and gave evidence. His explanations and evidence were from the Scriptures.

Paul's main point was true: the Christ had to suffer, die, and rise again and that Jesus was the Christ. But Paul did not expect them to accept this simply because he said it. He pointed them to the Scriptures and reasoned from them. He later wrote to the ones here who accepted his message, "we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). They could accept it as the word of God because they were shown that it was the word of God.

We must teach in the same way today. Never expect someone to accept a point you make, even if it's true, simply because you say it. Reason from the Scriptures. Explain and give evidence why the point is true. Our aim is to bring people to faith. Faith, the type of faith that saves, does not come by hearing what men say, but hearing that comes "by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Better Sacrifice

"Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:11-12).

Throughout this book, the Hebrew writer has been demonstrating why Jesus Christ and His new covenant are better than the system put in place by God through Moses. The above passage continues in this theme. It contrasts the work of the Levitical priests and the work of Christ.

The contrast is a simple one. The priests of old stand daily. Jesus sat down.

The implication is that the priests stand daily because their work was never done. Every time they offered a sacrifice, they would later have to offer another. And these sacrifices themselves would never atone for sins.

On the other hand, Jesus sat down. His work of sacrificing is done. He offered one perfect sacrifice, His life. He will never have to offer His life again, because the first offering was fully sufficient.

The lesson for the Hebrews was for them not go back to the old system. Atonement for sins and salvation is in Christ. If they deserted Him, they had no hope.

Today, there are probably not many Christians tempted to go back to Judaism. But the basic point still applies. Salvation is found only in Christ. If we desert Him, we will be lost. Let us remain faithful and devote our lives to the One who offered His life on the cross for us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

BOTC - February 2008

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following articles:

What is the Church of Christ? by Andy Sochor
Allegiance to Christ by Andy Sochor

Banner of the Cross

Friday, February 1, 2008

PBT - February 2008

The February issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

Living in View of Christ's Return by Andy Sochor
Safeguards Against False Teaching by Robert A. Sochor
Who Is Qualified to Preach the Gospel? by Andy Sochor
Prayer and the Christian Soldier by Andy Sochor

You can read the new articles by clicking on the link below. I hope you may find the new material helpful to you.

Plain Bible Teaching
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