What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.

—Treasury of David—Psalm 26

Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.

Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.

While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).

READ: “But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head” Eph 4.15.

THINK: The neologism above expresses the Greek verb alētheuō, for which English has no corresponding term. It means speaking the truth, Gal 4.16, and “remaining attached to the truth (of the gospel), holding fast to it, … being of the truth, loving it, professing it, carrying it out; in other words, conforming one’s conduct to it” (Spicq). Continue reading

exclude-fence

Psalm 101. As the one responsible for the spiritual well-being of the nation of Israel, the king declares his intention to make the people do the will of God and to cultivate loyalty and justice (1). Aware of the strong influence that others exercise, he wants to surround himself with the faithful and people of integrity (6). Continue reading

Christian action

People in the world react to their circumstances and to others around them. They determine their attitudes and actions based on what others do. The Christian doesn’t follow the world’s standard.

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse.
1 Peter 2:18 NET

Even with a bad master, the Christian slave could serve with respect, doing his best. Who determined his actions was Christ and not his master.

In the same way, in every area of life, the Christian acts with the Lord Jesus as his rule. He no longer reacts to others. Having the Lord as his reference point provides him security and integrity.

Unchanging Lord, thank you for giving me the means to be always the same, as is Jesus, yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.

consistencyDoes it make a difference how we behave in the world? How we act and speak? Will God’s grace take care of everything, or do we need to pay attention to the details of faith? Do we have a whatever faith?

These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.
James 3:10b NET

James refuses to accept a Christian’s inconsistency. It’s an unacceptable state to God. God is light and in him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). How then can his children allow a mixture of good and evil, of praise to God and cursing one’s neighbor? Continue reading

Clarity of holiness

Without a life dedicated to God, we lack certainty of his cause and the clarity of holiness. With such a life, we speak with confidence.

The LORD judges the nations.
Vindicate me, LORD, because I am innocent,
because I am blameless, O Exalted One!
May the evil deeds of the wicked come to an end!
But make the innocent secure,
O righteous God,
you who examine inner thoughts and motives!
Psalm 7.8-9 NET Continue reading

Here are five introductory points for tomorrow’s lesson on “How to Beat Hypocrisy,” from Luke 12:1-12. I include them here and now, since I don’t know if I’ll get the whole outline translated or not.

  1. Some days ago an American actor admited his hypocrisy, since he campaigned against polluting the earth and rode in his private, polluting jet. Generally, people tend to point out hypocrisy in others, but Jesus wants us to confess our own and repent of it.
  2. The text of Luke 12:1-2 is divided, according to the markers (“speak,” “say”), in three paragraphs: verses 1-3, verses 4-7, and verses 8-10. (NET, NRSV, ESV e NKJV follow this division exactly.) Continue reading