I live in the Southern part of America—also known as “The Bible Belt.” I would actually like to rename this belt by calling it “The Church Belt,” because there are a ton of churches (where I live, there are 100+ churches in a 50-mile radius). The problem with this title is that not all these churches are faithful to Christ. So, I personally call this belt the “Lots of Buildings With The Name ‘Church’ On Them, In Which You Don’t Have To Be Committed, But You Must Go Occasionally To Fit In With The Culture.”
God appointed two ordinances to the church: believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper (also called the Lord’s Table and Communion). Baptism consists of the declaration of one’s salvation, of being “in Christ Jesus” by faith.
Baptism symbolizes our commitment of faith; the Lord’s Supper symbolizes our obligation to brotherly love and to the “one anothers.”
Baptism is our Godward obedience; the Lord’s Supper is our brotherward obedience.
The Lord’s Supper provides a picture of the full program of redemption:
It requires Christ’s incarnation: “My body . . . My blood” (Matthew 26:26–29).
It demands Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice: “for you” (Luke 22:19).
The Word of God must be at the core of all missions strategy. Without the Word of God, no ministry can be satisfactorily performed—
the Word provides the authority for ministry,
the instruction for ministry,
the power of ministry, and
the message of ministry.
To all of this nearly all agree. But what we too often neglect is how Bible translation fits into missions strategy.
Bible Translation and Evangelism
First of all, James 1:18 and 1 Peter 1:23 declare that the new birth itself is by means of the Word of God. That means that a missionary must speak from the Bible in the language of the people in order to evangelize.… Continue reading
I have now been a full-time, vocational youth pastor for almost 3 years (party hats! Whoop whoop!) Every year I grow more and more in love with teenagers and in the conviction of the importance of specific ministry toward them. To pass on seeing the importance of youth ministry in the local church is to pass on faithfully shepherding a needy section of the church. It is enjoyable and fun, but youth ministry is also challenging and demanding. It is in every since, work! Why? Simply, youth are people (against popular opinion 🙂 ) who have emotions, make decisions, must live with the consequences of those decisions, and who also have a spiritual life that God is interested in.… Continue reading
How is the Church’s priesthood like that exercised by Melchizedek or by believing Israelites? Melchizedek’s functional role joined together kingship and priesthood—his was the first royal priesthood (Genesis 14:18). An echo of Melchizedek’s priesthood occurs when God appoints Israel as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Of course, Jesus Christ’s own priesthood consists of the same royal priesthood (Zechariah 6:12–13; Hebrews 5:6, 10). As we shall see, the Christian believer’s priesthood also belongs to the same classification according to 1 Peter 2:1–12.
A Holy People
The apostle Peter quotes directly from the Old Testament to point to the similarities between the people of God in Israel and the people of God in the Church.… Continue reading