I write this article from personal experience. Whatever denomination you are part of, as a follower of Jesus Christ, your local church has a form of “government”. The English word “government” comes to us via Old French, according to Online Etymology Dictionary. The meaning is “control, direction, administration”. The origin of the Old French word is of course the Latin, “gubernare”. The Romans borrowed the word from the Greeks, modifying the Greek word “kybernan” (pronounced cybernan). It was a nautical term for steering a ship in the right direction. A local church is made up of redeemed sinners who still fight a moment by moment battle against their sin nature and as a result, they need to be guided through life. God created man to be led by Him. Once mankind rebelled against God, we traded God’s leadership for the leadership of others. We still need to be led, even to this day. Communities and relationships fall apart if there is not strong leadership. Your local church needs leadership. God has provided leadership in the local church, just like He has established leadership in local, secular government. When God set the guidelines for leadership in the church, He chose mature believers who had certain experience and spiritual giftings to lead. God chooses what spiritual girts we receive upon salvation and He also provides ministry (service) for those gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. Biblically speaking, people do not choose a path to leadership in the church. God equips them and calls them according to His desire. In order to understand church leadership, we need to examine a couple of passages in the New Testament, passages that were written under the inspiration of God and these passages are the heart of God when it comes to church leadership. Continue reading
I had the privilege of leading a Bible study for a couple of families the other night after we had a wonderful dinner. We took a look at Ephesians 4. I would like to share what we discovered. In order to better understand the context of Saint Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, we need a little background information. In Acts 19, we learn about how Paul made disciples in Ephesus and the church was formed. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years, making disciples. In Acts 20, Paul gives his final instructions to the Ephesians. This is his final teaching that he gave them face to face. He is going to instruct them more through his letter that is to come later. This church is very important because these believers made disciples in Asia Minor. These disciples formed the other 6 churches that the Apostle John writes letters to in the Book of Revelation. Now, let’s take a look at some of what Paul teaches the Ephesian disciples through his letter to them. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach the next lesson in the study of II Thessalonians and we are going to examine the relationship of the church to the Day of the Lord. This is teaching number 4 in the series.
We have seen that it is very important for the followers of Jesus Christ to remain excellent students of the Scriptures so that we will not have our faith shaken by false teachings or by false teachers. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them and to get them back on track so that they can remain faithful to the Lord, serving Him by preaching the Gospel in the midst of persecution and suffering. One of the areas in which the Thessalonians had been led astray was in the area of the Day of the Lord. There are many people today who are confused when it comes to the rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of the Lord. These are three distinct events yet often lead to great confusion for people who attend church or read the Bible. We fully covered the idea of the rapture in the last lesson so I will not get into explaining it in this lesson. Continue reading
This coming Sunday, we are going to finish our walk through the entire Bible in 2016. It has been an amazing year. All of us, kids, teachers, and leaders learned so much about the Word of God. The Bible really is all about Jesus. Here are some of the previous lessons that we have learned:
- The treasure of the kingdom of God
- Jesus feeds the 5,000
- Fear vs. Faith
- Lord, Teach us to pray
- The Sermon on the Mount
- Jairus learns to have faith
- Great in the kingdom of heaven
- Jesus saves Zaccheus
- Christ’s Crucifixion
- The Ascension of Jesus Christ
- Jesus sends the Promised Helper
- Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles
So, the trick in covering Revelation in 45 minutes is deciding what to focus on from the book. There is so much here. Praise the Lord for this amazing book. I decided to break the book up in three parts, focusing on chapter 1, 7, and 19. Continue reading
Yesterday, I was watching a video of a Bible study that our church leadership did a few years ago as we met and planned the upcoming year for us at that time. It was an amazing day. As a leadership team, we hiked about 18-20 miles, visiting villages, sharing the Gospel, doing Bible study, and planning. It was a great day of fellowship and brotherhood. We even found time to take a nap beside a lake under some shade trees during the hottest part of the day. All the memories came flooding back as I watched the Bible study session. I wanted to write an article with the teachings from Acts 20, given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul. I linked to the verses, or, you can open your own Bible and read the account, starting in verse 15 and going through the end of the chapter. As we studied the passage, we looked at what we learned about Paul and the commands Paul gave to the Ephesian elders. From these two aspects, we have much to learn about Biblical leadership.
I. Insights about Paul
Dear friends, I am excited to share this message with you, a message that my mentor, Vasile Filat, preached at our former church, Good News, last Sunday. It was a powerful message that rebuked, corrected, and encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. I want to share it with you here in written form since most of you do not have the ability to listen to it in Romanian and understand it. I pray that the Word will work in your heart the way that It worked in mine. Continue reading
I am getting ready to teach the final lesson on the Apostle Paul’s epistle to one of his disciples, Titus. This lesson will focus on the importance of sound doctrine. We live in a day when there is a great famine in our world, especially in the churches, when it comes to teaching and learning sound doctrine. Many have watered down the Word of God so much that It is lost in the church. It seems that very few leaders are actually teaching the full counsel of the Word of God. This is nothing new. During Paul’s day, he had to teach the full counsel of God’s Word because there were so few who were doing it. As Paul instructs Titus via his epistle, he emphasizes the importance of sound doctrine and commands Titus to teach and defend sound doctrine. The question that we want to focus on is, what is sound doctrine? Continue reading
I am sure the title of this lesson got your attention. Good, that was the point. There are some in our modern world today that teach that the church is a hospital for sinners. It sounds like a nice analogy, but . . ., this is not the picture that the Bible paints about the church. Biblically speaking, the church is the gathering of those who are called out from darkness (sinful lifestyles) to light (a new life of righteousness in Jesus Christ). Does this mean that everyone who attends your local church is a genuine follower of Christ? NO!!!
In the previous article, I wrote about God’s description of a believer according to what He inspired the Apostle Paul to write to Titus. Is there a danger to the rest of the church when there are ungodly people in the church? YES!!! God explains why this is dangerous and what needs to be done about the ungodly who have infiltrated the ranks of the local church. Continue reading