Modern life has become ever more complicated, so it seems. Laws, requirements, commitments, qualifications all multiply. Today, for example, it’s not enough to speak English, we have to learn Spanish and French and, soon, Chinese. We must acquire greater competitiveness, more talent, and this requires more courses and resources and knowledge.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV Continue reading
Another earthquake in the world yesterday, this time in the eastern U.S., 6.0 on the Richter Scale, happily, with no deaths. Any tremor, and I’ve felt several there and here, reminds us that the earth isn’t exactly terra firma (in Portuguese, that would be terra firme).
However, God’s solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.”
2 Timothy 2:19 NET Continue reading
Among human powers, one rises only to fall shortly thereafter. This is especially clear in dictators like Kadhafi, who yesterday toppled the previous head of Libya in order to exercise complete power and oppress his own people, but today was toppled by rebels. There is one, however, who has defeated his enemy to never again be challenged.
[Christ] has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!
2 Timothy 1:10 NET Continue reading
Yesterday, a pundit wrote that a politician understood something about governmental power: Use it or lose it. Jesus said that the people of the world often are more shrewd than the children of light (Luke 16:8). This use-or-lose principle is forgotten by Christians.
O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and absurdities of so-called “knowledge.”
1 Timothy 6:20 NET Continue reading
Brazil has become richer, and now people complain about the consumerism of Brazilian society. But those outside of Christ have no other reason for spending their money. The pleasures of the flesh mean everything to them. Helping one’s neighbor, when they do help, is to quiet the conscience.
Those who love pleasure become poor;
those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
Proverbs 21:17 NLT Continue reading
Even those who criticize the famous Brazilian shortcut often let escape a certain pride. I mean, the shortcut is Brazilian. And the Brazilian is nothing if not creative. That’s true, but others also have their creativity, which isn’t always used with good results.
Like the athlete who uses forbidden products to gain better marks or performance in the competition, and who winds up losing his trophy or medal after medical exams.
The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Proverbs 21:5 NET Continue reading
Educational systems and school directors create, from time to time, various methods to evaluate the teacher, be it grade school or university. The methods vary, depending on the pedagogical philosophy.
By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
1 Timothy 4:6 NET
To be a good servant of Christ means speaking what people need to hear, not what they want to hear. It means teaching sound doctrine, not giving in to popular false teachings.
When used to refer to a teacher, the adjective “good” transmits the idea that he does his work well in God’s sight. The teacher is good when he faithfully delivers the divine teaching, not when he impresses or pleases his hearers.
This evaluation method will never change.
Q: My friend says that saying, “Come in to my heart, Jesus” saves you; I say Mk 16:16 is necessary. Why is baptism ignored?
A: Protestants have an aversion to baptism, apparently since the time of Martin Luther, who swung from the extreme of Roman Catholicism’s works-righteousness to declare that faith only saved.
Many see baptism as a work of merit, so it has to be excluded. They miss, however, that the New Testament identifies it as an act of obedience, but nowhere calls it a work of righteousness or merit.
The British Baptist scholar, F.F. Bruce, stated that the New Testament does not know of an unimmersed believer. But even he dispensed with the necessary reason for baptism. It’s been observed that, according to Baptist doctrine, it’s easier to get into heaven than it is to get into the Baptist church, for they teach it’s not necessary for salvation but it is to enter the Baptist church.
By helping our Protestant friends see the difference between works of merit and the obedience necessary to salvation, we might be able to help them overcome their aversion to it.
For as you say correctly, according to Mark 16:16 (and other texts) faith and baptism are necessary for salvation.
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Some people can hold up for an hour in the gym, but can’t manage ten minutes in the Word of God. Others can watch television for hours on end, but sleep in the middle of prayer. Why? Depraved minds. Carnality. Dissolution.
Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:7b-8 ESV
Opportunities do not lack to exercise godliness, devotion, dedication to God. Copies of Scripture are everywhere. Bible classes are always being offered. Every day presents open doors to serve, to speak a word of salvation.
Say no to worship of the body, and yes to dedication to good works in Christ Jesus.
Science fiction imagines fantastic worlds, which we enjoy thanks to the creativity of the writers. Christianity offers the amazing revelation about Christ, which, if it were not for the united testimony of the disciples, might appear to be fiction.
And we all agree, our religion contains amazing revelation:
He was revealed in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 NET Continue reading