I recently attended a wedding ceremony of a close family member, and I ended up giving a very short speech for the bride and groom. I did not plan to give a speech and did not have anything prepared before hand, but I thought about what advice I would like to give from my 13+ years of marriage and I came up with something on the fly. At the end of the reception the bride complimented me about my advice and so I thought that I would share it on my blog. Maybe it will help others as I hope it will help them. Read More
A couple months ago, I had a conversation with a church brother regarding the body of Jesus Christ. His claim was that Jesus’ body was specially made for him, and my rebuttal was that Jesus’ body was a (hu)man’s body just like any other man. I recall having an almost identical argument with an older church brother over five years prior, where that brother claimed that Jesus’ body was “perfect” and thus was a special body. Although this post is not about either discussion, what I found interesting upon reflecting over both encounters is that both men quoted Hebrews 10 verse 5 as their main proof text. After this recent encounter, I decided to have a second look at this verse in context, and found out that it is actually a quote of Psalm 40 verse 6. So, I cross checked this reference, and was absolutely shocked that the phrase that was used as a proof text was different to the original quote. It seems like I have found another quotation quandary. Let’s have a deeper look. Read More
I have been reading Hebrews recently and came across a verse that I have read before but never really took much notice of. Interestingly enough, it reminded me of sermons I have heard in my church, on the radio and on TV over the years of how God chastens the children that he loves. But what struck me as I read the verse was a particular word it used to describe how God treats his children. In Hebrews 12 verse 6, it says “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” As I thought about it, I found it to be an outrageous statement that God “scourgeth” his children. Scourge is a very strong word and it brings image of someone brutally whipping another person with a whip. This is not the image of God that I have seen in the scripture over the years, and to be honest, spanking a naughty child is not the same as scourging another person. So, what’s the deal here? As I asked myself these questions, a thought popped up in my mind, which I believe was directly from the Holy Spirit. The thought was to check if that verse was a quote from the Old Testament. Right after I had this thought, I did a quick search and found out that indeed the verse was a quote of Proverbs 3 verse 12. To my surprise, as I checked what Proverbs 3:12 says, I immediately realized that there was one slight but major difference between the verses, and for me, it changed everything. Here I discuss what I found. Read More
Growing up in church, I never heard anyone speak in tongues. Honestly, I can’t even recall my first exposure to tongues in church, whether positive or negative. I do know that the elders in the churches in which I grew up do not believe in speaking in tongues, and when they do preach about it, the message is that tongues have ceased since we have the "full canon of scripture" and that the expression of tongues by Pentecostal Christians is gibberish, at best. I am almost 40 years old now, but ever since I was a teenager, I had a habit of reading the Bible and trying to understand it for myself, regardless of what a preacher may say. The more I read and study the scriptures, the more I am realizing that many good and faithful men have been preaching and believing things that they were taught about the scriptures rather than what the scriptures actually say. So, I want to take the time to outline what I see in the scriptures in comparison to what I have been taught and what I have heard in my own church experience. I hope that you will find this to be clear, accurate and edifying. Read More
Growing up in church I have always believed in “Heaven” and “Hell” has it has been traditionally taught in most Christian denominations. So, for example, if we die in our sins without being saved, we will go to Hell and a lost eternity. However, in recent years as I have delved more into studying the Hebrew and Greek scriptures instead of just my typical English translations like KJV and NLT, etc, several things have stood out for me that have challenged my long held understanding of certain doctrines. The chief question I have is, “Why is the word ‘Hell’ in the Bible?” Or, more specifically, “How did the word ‘Hell’ get into the English Bible?” Read More
The word ‘slave’ is only found twice in the entire King James Version Bible (KJV), yet in many modern day translations, it is found from 100 to 300+ times in both Old and New testaments, and in some bibles it is found from 30 to over over 150 times in the New Testament alone. This is truly an astounding change and variation in the way bibles are translated, but more importantly it is greatly impacting the way in which the Bible is perceived and received. In this post, I want to explore the use of the Greek word δοῦλος (transliterated: doulos) in Romans 6, and discuss whether it should be translated ‘servant’ or ‘slave’ or something else. This won’t be an exhaustive study, but I hope it will open our eyes to how we look at the scriptures, and more importantly, what God is trying to show us through the apostle Paul in his teaching to the church about grace and its relation to sin in Romans chapter 6. Read More
Almost every Christian in the world today knows what the term “Easter” refers to? Usually it refers to the death, burial and (primarily) resurrection of Jesus Christ that occurred around 33 AD. However, Easter does not only seem to refer to celebrating/remembering this past event. With it also comes talk of the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, Easter egg hunt, and the numerous types of chocolate delicacies associated with these. There is also Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday, and let’s not forget the period of Lent leading up to all of this. With all of these traditional celebrations and events being recognized by almost every Christian, why do I question where it comes from? I mean, everyone knows, right? Well… maybe the origins of Easter may be different from what we all really thought. Read More
When studying the New Testament, it is important to understand the source of the text. I believe that the scriptures, as written by the apostles, prophets and scribes are inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. I do not subscribe to the idea that any translation is inspired, or without flaws. However, I certainly assert that regardless of any translation’s flaws, they do not take away from the inspired word of God presented through the scriptures. Some people would certainly disagree with me, as they see certain differences in various Bible translations to correspond to (deliberate) attempts to influence, change or alter established church doctrines. My view is that anyone who seriously studies the scriptures doesn’t really depend solely on a particular Bible translation to understand the teachings of scripture. When I study the scriptures, I use various search tools, lexicons, dictionaries, original Greek/Hebrew texts, and even various Bible translations. Read More
I have been reading the Holy Bible ever since I could learn to read. I still read it now as an adult. I study it, and preach the Gospel from it. I also give Bible study classes from it. Yet, I often hear persons say that the Bible is so hard to understand. I also hear people claiming to quote from the Bible to prove how it contradicts itself or how what it says proves Christians wrong. There are many claims being made from various people about the scriptures that are partially or even completing inaccurate. So, how do you start to understand the Bible? I think that understanding the scriptures first start with your heart being in the right place, and your mind being open to understanding what the Holy Bible actually is, and what it is designed to accomplish. Read More
When I was a little boy, my grandmother often told me words of wisdom that I still remember today and apply to my life. One of the things she used to say often to me is,
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me!
As a child, I used to hear this not only from my grandmother, but from other elders, old folk, teachers, older family members. It was something that we heard, especially when you came home and told your family about what mean things others have said to or about you.
Now, I am almost 40 years old and I rarely hear this being said to kids now. What I hear a lot about now is people encouraging kids to focus on how they feel. Read More