"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Prayer is one of the most powerful tools the Christian has in his possession. Yet, it is sadly one of the most overlooked and under-used tools God has given us. Just imagine how long we would stay on the phone with God if we could talk directly to Him. In essence, we do have this kind of communication. Jesus said, "Men ought to pray always and never loose heart" (Luke 18:1). Since prayer is such a powerful tool, how can we become a more prayerful people? There are three principles to strengthen our prayer life.Read More
Some Christians quote Matthew 18:20 to try to justify their practice of going out on Sunday to fish, golf, attend travel ball or perform some other recreational activity, missing the first-day-of-the-week assembly and simply holding their "own services" since two or three are gathered. Many verses like this are abused in like manner (such as, Matthew 7:1 where people claim that you cannot judge (see our Question in the Q & A- Is It A Sin To Judge?).Read More
For something to be authorized means that it must be Divinely sanctioned (Colossians 3:17). For something to be mandatory means that it is something that must be done. Does giving financial means to the Lord's work fall under both categories? Is it authorized and mandatory?
It is certainly authorized to give of one's financial resources to the Lord's work as we see throughout the Scriptures some examples of the church of Christ giving on various occasions (Acts 4:34-36; 6:1-7; 20:35) to help those who were in need. But is it also mandatory to give of one's financial resources?
This question cannot be answered with a "yes" or "no" as will be explained. Transporting the Lord's Supper to sick Christians who are unable to attend worship is an issue that will have to be reserved for every congregation of the Lord's church to decide.Read More
There are some students of the Bible who believe that a congregation is obligated to use only one loaf of unleavened bread for the Lord's Supper. They will use passages such as Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, 1 Corinthians 10:16,17; 11:23-24 to attempt to justify their position. They misunderstand the significance and meaning of this emblem.Read More
1 Corinthians 11:26-34 states: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason, many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come."Read More
Does Romans 15:11 teach that the New Testament church is authorized to clap as a form of acceptable worship to God? Does the word "laud" in this verse mean "to applaud or clap"? Merriam-Webster's English dictionary defines "laud" as "praise or acclaim", but gives a possible synonym as "applaud." Just as is the case for defining the action of "baptism", so also is the case for defining the action of "laud": we must first consult the context of the Scriptures (not uninspired, English dictionaries) for God's meaning of a word and secondly the original languages of the Bible, especially the Koine ("common") Greek - realizing we will be judged only by the New Testament in the last day (Matthew 28:18; John 12:48; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11).Read More
The answer is no. They apply to both Christians and non-Christians. For example, one of the reasons Paul gives for a female not to teach or have authority over the man is because "Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression" (1 Timothy 2:12-14). The roles of male and female have been a universal law applying to believers as well as non-believers ever since the Garden of Eden (as have murder, deceiving, disobeying God, etc.). This is true also under the New Testament as is indicated by these passages: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:34,35; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7.Read More
"Transubstantiation" is a doctrine which claims that the Lord's Supper actually changes into the literal body and blood of Jesus. Such a view is based on an erroneous understanding of the following statements of Jesus: "This is My body" and "This is My blood" and "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life" (Mark 14:22-25; John 6:51-58).Read More
When we come together as the church to worship God (1 Corinthian 11:20; 14:23; Hebrews 10:24-26; James 2:2), is it a sin if a Christian does not sing with the rest of the congregation (assuming one is well and able)? Ephesians 5:19 is a part of fulfilling the command to..."be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18), which is in the imperative mood. Therefore Ephesians 5:19 is a commandment. Breaking a commandment of God is sinful (1 John 3:4). Is it a sin to choose not to worship God? Yes (John 4:24). Who would not want to sing to the One who died for their sins? It is very sad that a Christian would not want to give the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of His lips, to the praises of God's name (Hebrews 13:15). It is not enough to say, "I cannot sing" or "I love to listen to the beautiful singing because it is more meaningful for me than when I sing along", etc.Read More
One of the longest held arguments that advocates who are in favor of justifying the practice of worshipping with mechanical instruments of music in the worship of the New Testament church is known as the "expedient (or aid) argument ". The "expedient argument " states that mechanical instruments of music in church worship are an aid to the congregational singing in the same way that songbooks, pitchforks, projectors, projector screens, and many other items are considered an aid.Read More
A chain prayer is where adult males and females are gathered together for the purpose of prayer and each member of that group will lead a prayer in turn while the other members listen. Is such a practice acceptable and authorized by God?Read More
The Bible presents a number of different postures in which people prayed to God , for example:
- Exodus 4:31 - Bowing down one's head
- Daniel 6:10 - Kneeling
- Matthew 26:39 - Falling on one's face
- Luke 18:13 - Not look ing toward heaven (expressing a contrite and humble spirit as a sinner who is in need of the grace of God).
- 1 Kings 8:22,23 - Spreading out one's hands toward heaven
- Nehemiah 8:6 - Answering "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up one's hands
In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the Bible states: “Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.Read More
One argument used to try to justify the use of mechanical instruments in worship to God is stated as follows: “Ephesians 5:19 is not related to or found within the context of the worship assembly; it only applies to the activities of daily life.”Read More
We must define the terms “hear” and “alien sinners”.
First, we will define alien sinners from the Scriptures. An alien sinner is a person who is amenable to the law of Christ (this would not include the unaccountable, such as, infants and the mentally retarded).Read More
A ladies' day generally occurs on the weekend where a Christian female speaker (or a variety of Christian female speakers) comes to speak to a congregation and usually, all the older female Christians (even non-Christians) and younger female Christians (even non-Christians) from the surrounding congregations in that area are invited to attend. There is often a fellowship meal that is set aside for the ladies to eat together generally after the speaking sessions are finished.Read More