Was Tertullus Right?

The label applied

Tertullus asserted Paul to bea ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5).

Tertullus called Christians “Nazarenes” because they followed Jesus of Nazareth. But he also labeled them a sect.

The label denied

Here’s how Paul responded: “…according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers…” (Acts 24:14—emphasis added). Paul considered Pharisees a sect (Acts 26:5), but not Christ’s church.

If not a sect, what is it? It is the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15), the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).

When Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), was His intention to add yet another sect? Was it a mere sect Jesus bought with His blood (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:23, 25)?

Was Tertullus right and Paul wrong?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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“In his own eyes”

Where they went wrong

“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right . . .” (Judges 17:6).

The three dots following the word “right” indicate words have been deleted. The title of this article is the missing phrase. Deleting those four words dramatically changes the meaning.

This verse describes the sad decline of Israel in forsaking the true and living God to serve lifeless idols.

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History repeating itself

Many today deny there is an objective, universal standard by which we must live. That standard is God’s word. They lean instead on their own understanding and are guided by their own subjective feelings (Proverbs 3:5-6; 14:12; 28:26a; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). They do what is right in their own eyes.

Is it any wonder that chaos reigns?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Too Good to be True?

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

But what if . . . ?

A big claim vindicated

Jesus told His apostles He would rise from the dead. It didn’t sink in. After reports began coming in that He was alive, the apostles would not believe it. But later, when confronted with such overwhelming evidence they could not deny, they then believed.

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Another big claim (awaiting vindication)

Jesus spoke of another resurrection—of faithful believers (John 5:28-29; 6:40; 11:25-26). The Scriptures boldly claim that the saved will be dramatically changed into glorious beings far more wonderful than we could possibly imagine (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 John 3:2-3).

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory . . .” (Philippians 3:20-21a).

Too good to be true?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Being Content Not to Know

Have you ever felt the urge to open a door marked “Private”? Some things are not for us to know.

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

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What we know/what we don’t know

God has revealed some things about the end times. Christ will come, but we don’t know when (Matthew 24:36). Yet that doesn’t seem to stop date-setters.

Regarding our immediate future, “. . . you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow” (James 4:14). Crystal-ball gazing, palm-reading, and horoscopes are out of bounds for the Christian.

From knowing to doing

That which God has revealed was not given to satisfy our curiosity. He revealed it so we could do it.

In doing it we are blessed (James 1:25).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Who is this Jesus?

Both Son of Man and Son of God, He knew hunger and fatigue, sorrow and joy.

He healed the blind, the deaf, the lame, the leprous.  He raised the dead, stilled the storm, and walked on water.

He practiced what He preached—stooping to serve and refusing to retaliate. He befriended the penitent and rebuked the hard-hearted. He hated sin while loving sinners–loving even to the point of death.

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He is the most respected and the most rejected of all men.  He did no wrong, yet died as a criminal.

He died, yet lives. He first came as a babe and will come again as Judge.

He is both Lamb of God and Good Shepherd, sacrifice and High Priest, servant and Master. He is all this and so much more.

What is He to you?

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The Latest Thing

New and Improved!

Today I used a carpet sweeper. It uses a rotating bristle brush to sweep the floor. It’s inexpensive, cordless, quiet, easy to push and pull, and has no bag to replace. Technology has done it again!

Seriously, the pace at which new inventions arrive on the market whets consumers’ insatiable appetite for newer, better, faster, fancier.

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Never dated

And yet all that’s most important in life doesn’t depend on technology: faith, love, kindness, patience, honesty, family, friendship—to name a few.

Let’s balance our gratitude for recent developments with a deepened appreciation for the timeless values that never become obsolete or need replacing.

“Heaven and earth will pass away,” said Jesus, “but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Justified!

With one quick click of the mouse, we can justify the right margin as we type. People my age can remember when justifying the margin on an old manual typewriter was tedious and time-consuming. So most of the time we contented ourselves with a ragged right edge.

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We can’t

The New Testament has a lot to say about justification—not of margins but of our very souls.  This is something we could never do for ourselves.

But He can!

Jesus takes our messy, sinful, ragged edges, and He brings us into line with the holiness of our Righteous God.

Only He can make us right; He alone can justify (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

“The LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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