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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Reflections on the Church #3




The Church is unlike any other institution or body in society. That is why the Church must retain its special mission to present Jesus Christ to the world in a clear manner. Many think this is the pastor's job and they are willing to let him do all the work.

Yet it is clear in Scripture that God gives each Christian work to do. The job descriptions are listed in
1 Corinthians 12:27-30. Here Paul explains, “Now Christ’s body is yourselves, each of you with a part in the whole. And those whom God has appointed in the Church are…

First – apostles
Second – prophets
Third – teachers
Fourth – workers of miracles, and so on...

The qualifications for clergy are given in 1 Tim 3:1-13. Here we note that only those who are "in Christ" are to be added to the Church and only those who are mature in faith and stable in their relationships are to lead others.

In 1 Corinthians 3:1-17, Paul warns against bad conduct. Christian leaders to fail to adhere to the high moral standard of the Apostles harm the Church and give Christ haters occasion to speak evil of the Lord and his Church. Those who serve faithfully will be rewarded at Christ’s Judgment Seat.

The pastor is to follow the example of the Apostles. He is to instruct, correct, discern the spirits, rebuke, commend, and proclaim the Gospel. He is to gather the people for worship, for the study of God's Word, and for fellowship that builds the local congregation.

All Christians are to regularly participate in the life of the Church. “. . let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

All Christians are to seek the truth by searching the Scriptures, as did the noble Bereans who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

Related reading: All Christians are Ministers; Few are Priests; Reflections on the Church #1; Reflections on the Church #2


Monday, September 11, 2017

Reflections on the Church #2




The Church is the body of all faithful people. They are called "saints" because they are sanctified. The words "saint" and "sanctified" share the same Latin root. Sanctus means holy. The saints are sanctified, that is, we are made holy by divine grace. St. Paul explains this to the believers at Corinth.
“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” (1 Cor 1:2)

Paul encouraged the Christians at Corinth to live sanctified lives. Their conduct was to be exemplary. They were to live pure lives in the service of Christ and his Church. Their holiness would stand out in the midst of the sexual immorality that characterized this ancient city. Paul wrote:
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (1 Cor 3:16, 17)
All forms of sexuality immorality were to be avoided: adultery, fornication, bestiality, onanism, and homosex.

The Apostle's admonition is repeated in the epistle to Timothy.
“. . . so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Tim 3:15)

1 Timothy 3:1-10 is directed to the leaders of the Church. They are held to a high standard.
Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

Verses 12 and 13 continue the description of the style of life expected of a deacon.
 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

The call to holiness applies to the Church today as much as to the time of the Apostle Paul. Those who seek to live sanctified lives will stand out in a morally corrupt society. This is one way that the Church witnesses to the world that God grants power to live above the baseness of the prevailing culture. The saint who overcomes by God's grace will be clothed in a white robe of righteousness (Rev 3:5).

Related reading: Reflections on the Church #1; The Wardrobe of Saints


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reflections on the Church #1





Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

This is the first of several reflections on the Church.

The word "Church" appears 77 times in the New Testament. Some notable examples include Jesus' promise to build his church (Matt 16:18); the church as an instrument of correction (Matt 18:15-20; Acts 5:1-11); the natural home of the true convert (Acts 2:37-42); and the body that continually devotes itself "to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:41, 42)

The Church is God's creation through the blood of Jesus Christ, and an expression of God's will on earth. Therefore, the Church is a target for evil forces and needs faithful clergy and laity to protect it. The Apostle Paul understood this and experienced demonic attempts to destroy the fledgling congregations that he and other apostles worked so hard to plant and sustain. He experienced the "plots of Jews" to kill him and harsh treatment at the hands of Gentiles. He wrote:

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things,. .” (Acts 20:28-30)

What is needed in the Church are faithful clergy who will uphold the Gospel, rightly divide the Scriptures, maintain discipline in the churches, gather the people for regular worship, and equip them for ministry. Is this happening in your church?


Related reading: Looking for the True God?A Latent Stumbling BlockContending for the FaithA Historic BattleSatanic StrategiesDefining OrthodoxyThe Spiritual BattlePrinciples Determining Interpretation

Friday, September 1, 2017

INDEX of Topics


Current as of  21 September 2017

Apologetics
Why Sincere Muslims Should Learn About Jesus
Looking for the True God?
A Latent Stumbling Block
Contending for the Faith (Latent Stumbling Block, Part II)
A Historic Battle (Latent Stumbling Block, Part III)
Satanic Strategies (Latent Stumbling Block, Part IV)
Defining Orthodoxy (Latent Stumbling Block, Part V)
The Spiritual Battle (Latent Stumbling Block, Part VI)
Principles Determining Interpretation (Latent Stumbling Block, Part VII)
The Creation of the Universe (Latent Stumbling block, Part VIII)
My Response to a Muslim Scholar
Another Response to Islam
Further Thoughts on Creation Issues
The Glory of Belonging
The Science-Faith Question
President Lincoln's Faith
A.W. Tozer on Pursuing God

Authority
Divine Authority as a Gift
A Special Meeting in Galilee

Baptism
On Holy Baptism and Discipleship
Psalm 23: Identification through Baptism
Progressively Exchanging Life

Bible Blurb (Thoughts about the Bible, brief biblical insights)
Probability and Reliability
Specific Details of Jesus' Last Week
Mini Bible
The Bible is a Library

Bible Study
A Clarifying Search of the Scriptures
The Living Word Transforms Lives
The Gospel for Seekers
Two Powerful Words: "I Believe"
Melchizedek: A Type of Christ
The Incarnation of the Son of God
Conforming the Mind to Scripture
The New Testament: What Authority Without the Inspiration Doctrine?
Christ's Triumphal Resurrection: Victory over Death
The Second Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: Redemption!
The Third Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: A New People
The Fourth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: An Entirely New Self-concept
The Fifth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: God's Power for Living
The Sixth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection: A New Glorified Body
The Seventh Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Eighth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Breath of God: Why Study Greek?
The Veracity of the Holy Bible
Praying the Psalms
Meditation of Luke 22: Glory
Meditation on His Glory, Part II

Cartoons
Animal Pranks on the Ark
Adam's Bad Dream
Genesis is Spelled With a G
On the Lighter Side
Noah's Dog
Call it a day!

Church
Reflections on the Church #1
Reflections on the Church #2
Reflections on the Church #3

Discipleship
Thomas à Kempis on Discipleship
Discipleship Before Church Growth
Merton, Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard on Discipleship
Pastors Need to Disciple and Honor Vocations
The Importance of Teaching for Discipleship
The Importance of Follow-up in Making Disciples
What is the Context of Biblical Discipleship?
All Need to Repent
Forgiveness: Against Easy Believeism
Repentance Unto Life
All Need to Repent
Billy Graham on Discipleship
C.S. Lewis on Discipleship
Oswald Chambers on Discipleship
John Stott on Discipleship
Evelyn Underhill on Discipleship
Charles H. Spurgeon on Discipleship
Dwight L. Moody on Discipleship
Survey of the Fundamentals of Discipleship
Making Disciples: What Christian Students Need to Know
How to Build a Disciple-Making Church
Building a Disciple-Making Church
Discipleship and Church Mission Statements
C.S. Lewis Was a Thoroughly Converted Person
Larry Osborne: Thoughts on Discipleship
Who am I in Christ?
Living the Gospel, Part I
Living the Gospel, Part II
Forgiveness and Restoration (Part I)
Forgiveness Must Bring Forth Fruit (Part II)
Forgiveness is Not Enough! (Part III)
The Costs and Benefits of Christian Discipleship
Discipleship is Not Refurbished Religious Education
Discipleship Comes By Listening
Taking Your Spiritual Temperature
Are First Commandments Neglected?

Distinctive Discipleship blog
Launching a Blog about Discipleship
One Year Anniversary! Thanks for reading, folks.

Easter
Christ is Risen!
Resurrection Day Approaches

Emotions
The Dangers of Emotional Compulsion
The Christian and Emotions

Evangelism
Discipling With Authority
The Great Commission is Our Mission
The Great Commission and Things Unwritten
The Great Commission - Part III
The Great Commission - Part IV
Partnering with the Lord
Bringing Christ to our Neighbors
You Shall Be Fishers of Men

Faith
Our Common Confession
Overcoming By Faith
How Faith Overcomes - Part I
How Faith Overcomes - Part II
How Faith Overcomes - Part III
How Faith Overcomes - Part IV
How Faith Overcomes - Part V
How Faith Overcomes - Part VI
Faith Overcomes Antichrists - Part VII
How Faith Overcomes - Part VIII
How Faith Overcomes - Part IX
Obedience of Faith, Part I
Obedience of Faith, Part II
Obedience of Faith , Part III

Jesus Christ
The Many Triumphs of Christ's Resurrection
The First Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Second Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Third Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Fourth Triumph of Christ's Resurrection
The Fifth Triumph
The Sixth Triumph
The Seventh Triumph
The Eight Triumph
Before the Throne of God

Holidays
Let All the Angels Adore Him!
Christmas: Merry Christmas to Adam's Race (a poem)
Merry Christmas to All US Residents
A Blessed Nativity Feast
Divine Opportunities in the New Year
New Year's Day: A.W. Tozer
Salt the New Year!
Prayer for the New Year
Presidents' Day: President Abraham Lincoln's Faith
St. Patrick's Day: Remember an Obedient Servant of the Lord
Fourth of July: Prayer for the Nation

Lundwall, Edward F. Jr.
About Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
(See "Publications" below for information on ordering printed materials.)

Marriage
Part I: Christian Marriage
Part II: Married Love
Part III: The Many Facets Of Christian Married Love
Part IV: Living in Harmony
Part V: Loving for a Lifetime
Part VI: Married Life: Continued Harmony

Military Service
Military Service in Vietnam: Why Volunteer?
Why I Volunteered
Walking With Christ Through Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
When the Mortars Fell
Mercy in the Midst
On Mercy and the Number 13
Letter to a Christian Service Person in Desert Storm

Prayer
The Lt's Godly Prayer
George Washington's Prayer
Introduction to Praying the Psalms
Praying Psalm 1: The Way of the Righteous
Praying Psalm 2: Kiss the Son
Praying Psalm 3: God is My Shield
Praying Psalm 4: Let Me be Approved of Thee, O God
Praying Psalm 5: Renew a Right Spirit Within Me
Praying Psalm 6: When Weeping Leads to Victory
Praying Psalm 7: The Basis of Boldness
Praying Psalm 8: Worship in Admiration and Humility
Praying Psalm 9: Hope for the Oppressed
Praying Psalm 10: Deliverance from the Wicked
Praying Psalm 11: The Foundation of Life
Praying Psalm 12: Lamenting the Lack of Godliness
Praying Psalm 13: Faith's Triumph
Praying Psalm 14: Remembering We Are Sinners
Praying Psalm 15: Fellowship With God
Praying Psalm 16: God-Pleasing Godliness
Praying Psalm 17: Progression Sanctification
Praying Psalm 18: God's Power to Deliver
Praying Psalm 19: Witness for Worship
Praying Psalm 20: Personal and National Revival
Praying Psalm 21: Worship and Thanksgiving
Praying Psalm 22: The Hope of Christ - The Prophetic Vision
Praying Psalm 23: Daily Living with the Good Shepherd
Praying Psalm 24: Inspired by Creation, we worship the Creator
Praying Psalm 25: Lifting Up One's Soul
Praying Psalm 26: God's Affirmation of the Accused
Praying Psalm 27: Waiting on the Lord
Praying Psalm 28: Desperately Seeking in Prayer
Praying Psalm 29: God's Power and Glory Seen in Nature
Praying Psalm 30: A Disciple's Heart Desire
Praying Psalm 31: Humbly Waiting on the Lord
Praying Psalm 32: The Beatitude of the Redeemed
Praying Psalm 33: A National Prayer for Revival
Praying Psalm 34: God Redeems
Praying Psalm 35: Friends and Foes
Praying Psalm 36: Finding Holiness in God's Presence
Praying Psalm 37: Trusting the Lord
Praying Psalm 38: The Suffering Sinner
Praying Psalm 39: The Discouraged Disciple
Praying Psalm 40: The Sustained Servant
Praying Psalm 41: The Sick Servant
Praying Psalm 42: The Dry Disciple
Praying Psalm 43: The Questioning Disciple
Praying Psalm 44: A Dependent Disciple
Praying Psalm 45: A Disciple in Love
Praying Psalm 46: The Disciple's Refuge
Praying Psalm 47: The King's Disciple
Psalm 48: The Disciple's Stronghold
Prayers Not Answered? Why?
Unanswered Prayer, Part I
Unanswered Prayer, Part II
Unanswered Prayer, Part III
Unanswered Prayer, Part IV
Praying Hebrews 1:1
Praying Hebrews: He shall be to me a Son
Praying Hebrews: He shall be heir of all things
Praying Hebrews 2:9-11
Praying Hebrews 2:14-17
Praying Hebrews 3: The Builder and the Building
Praying Hebrews 3: Jesus Our Great High Priest
Praying Hebrews 3:6-19
Praying Hebrews 4:1-3
Praying Hebrews: The Disciple's Perfect Priest
Praying Hebrews: The Design of Discipleship
Praying Hebrews 6: God is Faithful


Publications
The Breath of God: Why study Greek?
The Disciple's Cross: Progressively exchanging life
Book 1: Growth of the Faithful (Acceptance of Foundational Precepts)
Book 2: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Contentment)
Book 3: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Development)
Book 4: Grown of the Faithful (Principles of Endurance)
Book 5: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Expression)
Book 6: Growth of the Faithful (Principles of Ministry)

Repentance
Repentance is Necessary
Repentance-Forgiveness-Regeneration

Spiritual Warfare
Some Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare
Spiritual Warfare
The Spiritual Battle

Testimony
A Dancing Disciple
Bug Inspired Faith
I Like an Old Wash Rag
The Story of Three Trees
Jesus and the Fire Witch
Digging Dirt by Faith
Faith Facing Death
A Lost Dad is Found
Loving God With My Mind


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Repentance is Necessary



Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Jesus said that repentance is necessary! “. . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5).

Why is repentance is necessary? Because all fall short of the glory intended for those created in the divine image. We were created for righteousness and we must repent to find that path.

In Ephesians 2:2, the Apostle Paul speaks of the natural man who walks "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."

This is the path upon which we walk that leads to death. Repentance is what happens when we turn and go back to the beginning where we are directed to the path of righteousness by the Holy Spirit.

Without repentance and returning to the authority and worship of God, the individual cannot please God. Further, the unrepentant individual contributes to the moral breakdown of society by choosing darkness and deception above the light of Christ and His truth.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; . . Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom 1:18, 21, 22).

Becoming a disciple of Christ is accepting a lifestyle of bringing every thought under subjection to His will. Believing and living according to His Word. Accepting the necessity of one's dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment (John 14:26; Gal 6:7). Being Jesus Christ’s disciple is a lifestyle of repentance and obedience of faith (Rom 16:25, 26). Forgiveness follows repentance. Regeneration follows forgiveness.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the greatest challenge a person can face and also the greatest joy!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Overcoming by Faith





“. . this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” 
1 John 5:4b

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Faith overcomes worldly influences by persuasive God-given influences. Faith gets its power from God through natural revelation (Ps. 19:1-6, Roms. 1:20), the special revelation of the Bible, and God's testimony within man of His reality.

The Greek word for faith comes from the verb to persuade. The classic scriptural illustration is the life of Abraham (Rom 4:11, 12). God persuaded Abraham through challenging circumstances to trust God's promises. Faith that overcomes is faith that trusts enough to be effective. 

Overcoming faith is a mark of the mature disciple and expresses true worship of the Triune God. It trusts without full understanding. The Bible describes faith by the examples of the obedience that faith produces. Abraham did not understand the divine plan, but he believed God and this was credited to him as "righteousness" in Romans 4:3.

Living after the time of Messiah's appearing, we have the added evidence of the Apostolic witness. As the Apostle John writes: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life — 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:1-3 NASU).


Related reading: What Abraham Discovered on Mount Moriah; William H. Willimon, On a Wild and Windy Mountain; Two Powerful Words: I Believe