Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The following Scripture quotation was taken from the New International Version (N.I.V.) and provides us with a concise definition of what the gospel is. In a "nutshell", we are saved by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ:
The purpose of this brief reflection paper is to address the question of what constitutes true love. On what basis or by what standard can one claim to have authentic love? Why is Love even significant? Love is what enables us to have a dedicated, compassionate, attraction to another person. It is the foundation upon which all relationships stand. This innate desire is completely different from a mere instinct or physiological obsession because it is formulated by our reason and free will. Love is therefore a pillar which keeps the gears of this world turning in a peaceful manner.
Just imagine what the world would be like if the concept of love was purely a product of our vain imaginations. Without love, it is not possible to care about anything. These two concepts are one in the same, which means, they function together in perfect harmony. The existence of love presupposes the existence of care. The worldview of malice would make it absolutely pointless to hold opinions, show any kindness, and evaluate anything.
The entire idea of an ultimate purpose or fulfillment in life would be non-existent because compromise itself would be impossible. If people are unable to tolerate each other simply because of hatred, then life on earth would come to an unnecessary and abrupt termination because it would not be able to make any further progress. Love and hatred cannot co-exist because they are diametrically contrary notions. Hatred brews other abominable states of heart such as being prideful and jealous. Without love, life would collapse like a line of dominoes. We cannot operate without love any more than a tree can survive without water or a vehicle can run without a motor.
Hatred presents us with a rather hopeless, monotonous, and untenable perspective of the general aspects of life. On the basis of divine revelation and plain reason we can claim to know what love is. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (1 Corinthians 13:4)
- Although God instituted Saturday as the Sabbath during the Old Testament so that His people could relax from their physical labor and concentrate on worshiping Him (mandatory observance was required by the Jewish Law--Exodus 20:8-11), we see a shift in the New Testament to Sunday because Jesus Christ resurrected on that day (Mark 15:42-46; 16:9; Luke 23:54-24:3; John 19:42). Scripture passages indicating a transition of Saturday to Sunday as the Lord's day of worship would include Acts 20:7-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; and Revelation 1:10.
- An Interesting Observation:
-The New Testament restates only nine of the Ten Commandments (Matthew 19:18; Romans 13:9)---worshiping God according to His Will covers the first three commandments (for the original listing, see Exodus 20:1-17). The Sabbath is the missing one. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8), and He is our rest (Hebrews 4)!
- Is it wrong to observe the Jewish Sabbath? Are we as Christians still obligated to observe Saturday?:
-There is absolutely nothing wrong with Christians observing Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. In fact, we have been given the special privilege of choosing which days that we wish to celebrate (Romans 14:1-12; Colossians 2:13-17). But we should be glorifying the Creator daily. We also need to avoid becoming a stumbling block to others who uphold different views (1 Corinthians 8:9). Therefore, it is wrong for professing Christian groups such as the Seventh-Day Adventists (who demand Saturday observance) and the Churches of Christ (who demand Sunday observance) to cast judgment on others.
- What is the purpose of Sunday worship?:
-The purpose of Sunday worship is to celebrate the Lord's finished work on the cross and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 11:26). Furthermore, Jesus instructed us to us bread and wine (communion "meal") as symbols to remember His broken body and shed blood (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25). It is not as if we observe a "Christian Sabbath", but rather, we set aside a day to especially worship Christ.
- How often should we celebrate communion?:
-The New Testament does not identify a specific number of times (or when) in which Christians are to partake of the communion meal (bread and wine/juice). However, notice how the Apostle Paul recorded a statement of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 11:25, which is as follows," Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." We can infer from this Scripture text that we have been given some flexibility. Think about it! The frequency of participating in the communion meal is nowhere near as important as our intention or state of heart when we do this. We should observe the Lord's Supper often enough to make it a vital part of our ongoing worship services. To partake of the meal too frequently would be to reduce it to merely a ritual and to partake of it in too seldom of a manner would cause people to gradually forget the significance of Jesus' work.