So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:12-15
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had – Philippians 2:1-5
Hebrews 13:17 is quite hard for some preachers to preach on. And even more so hard for the congregation to follow. The reason is that there are abusive leaders and that we don’t want to have someone in authority over us. We live in democracy. We are concerned primarily with our freedom and our profit. Here I will present first a balance view of church leadership and how the congregation should respond to the call for obedience and submission, and second, the motivation behind this, namely Joy.
Topic : Bible Interpretation and Preaching
Theme : The Christian’s responsibility of learning the Scripture and Christ-centered biblical interpretation
Scripture Reading : Luke 24:13-35
Main Text : Luke 24:25-27
Let me begin with a quote, with a bit of my own modification in it:
“A key that can open many locks is called a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a worthless(my modification) lock.”
Now, the word of God is definitely not locked or a hiding but it is open and a revelation. However it’s interpretation is not an open season. It can’t be understood how ever we wanted to. Every text must be interpreted with Christ as the interpretive key in mind. Our Lord Jesus is the master key that opens all locks so to speak. That’s our aim today. Let’s have Christ demonstrate for us how to understand all of the scriptures in light of his redeeming work. Christ is like a lens we put on to read and a failure to do so would distort our understanding of the Bible. Read More
We live in times where pervertion of marriage is rampant. Love is reduced to mere feelings and unabated sexual intercourse, both inside of marriage and outside of marriage. The concept of a covenant love is foreign to most of the world, and even within the so called evangelical church. No wonder that relationships are too shallow and can’t withstand great trials. Instead, in just a whim, marriages are broken and their main reason was “irreconcilable differences”. Here are some pratical pointers to help couples strengthen their marriages and also the rest to have a high view of biblical marriage and covenant love.
3.Marriage is momentary, Christ and the Church is not
Loving our own bodies is not a sin in of itself. Neither loving one’s own life. In fact the scripture assumes that we do love our lives and bodies. It doesn’t command us to love ourselves(because we’re doing this already), nor does the scripture forbids it. Loving one’s life and body is not the same as selfishness. It is self-love apart from loving God first and loving others is selfishness. When Christ said in John 12:25 “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”, he is not saying not to love your life at all, but that we should not love our lives the way the world does. The reason I say that is because of the result and motivation for not loving our lives in this world, namely eternal life. Is wanting eternal life not loving one’s life? In other words, we’re just merely exchanging it for something better. So when the scripture said that we should love one another as we love ourselves, husbands love your wives as you love your own bodies, and love is not self seeking, it is not telling us to disregard ourselves, but that we should first and foremost love others without any pretense, not taking advantage of them, not abusing them. Christ does not abuse, mistreat, and hate his own body(the church), so do you of your own body, therefore don’t abuse, mistreat and hate others, but instead love them.