So, you’re at the dentist. And if you’re like me, you’ve postponed the appointment at least once, and now the plan is to simply survive the scraping, scratching and stretching, and get on with your day (full disclosure: I do enjoy picking the toothpaste flavor and receiving the little blue gift bag). But I realized something recently: I can avoid most of the pain and discomfort by taking better care of my teeth between visits. What a novel idea! This conclusion is nothing new. It’s not news-worthy or surprising. So why did it take so long for so many of us to realize this? It’s not because we didn’t know better. It’s because being disciplined is hard, and if we are honest, it just wasn’t worth it before.
Have we recently pleaded with someone to repent and believe? Are we engaged in relationships where we are teaching someone how to follow Jesus? If so, praise God. Odds are, however, we could use a more robust and intentional commitment to these high callings of the Christian life – that of ambassador and disciple-maker!
On the one hand, the church is the strongest, most secure, and stable organization there is. This is simply because it is Christ’s and He has promised to build His church, guaranteeing that the very gates of hell will not prevail against it. The church of God will not be destroyed or for that matter diminished in the slightests. On the other hand, however, on the local level, the institution of the church can truly be the most volitile of organizations. Maintaining the “unity of the bond of peace” that Paul talks about takes work – hard work.
All the activities of the church are to accomplish the common goal of discipleship. This is the case whether we are evangelizing the lost in order to make disciples in the salvific sense or we are engaged in the work of sanctification of the body of Christ. While the church engages in discipleship outside its walls, our gatherings ought to be defined by discipleship. Among the things prescribed by Scripture that we do when we meet, our singing is no insignificant thing!
Scripture is (literally) breathed out (spoken) by God. A better translation for “inspired…” (theo-pnuestos) in 2 Tim. 3:16 is actually “expiated of God.”
The Bible is, at the same time, an extremely human book and an undeniablydivine book.There is a sort of “Dual Authorship.” The author’s personalities and even writing styles are preserved. All but a couple biblical authors/writers were known to be common men with no rabbinic training. But the Bible is ultimately a divine book. Despite merely human authorship, they spoke and wrote for God while never being self-conscious about it, making around 4,000 claims to be writing and speaking the very words of God.