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Archive for December, 2009

The Church of Christ

Greetings to all my family and friends out there! ­čÖé I intended to write this blog post a few days ago, but things keep on getting in the way. No excuses. OK. Here it is.

One of the courses we took this past semester at Sunset International Bible Institute was on The Church of Christ. This was one of my favorite classes. In it we learned the uniqueness of the church of Christ, its fundamentals, and just how the church is supposed to work.

We learned there is a pattern that Paul picked up from Jesus. Paul kept them and passed down to the churches he planted. Those churches, in turn, were to keep that pattern, and keep on passing it down. For example, in 1st Corinthians 11:1 Paul told the brethren there that they were keeping the pattern he gave them of regularly meeting together on the first day of the week and of taking the Lord’s Supper.┬á In 1st Corinthians 4:17, Paul told them he would send Timothy to them, and he would remind them of all that Paul taught them. All of those were the exact same things he taught in every church. So we see there is a pattern of teaching that must be held on to.

We learned about elders, deacons, and evangelists. Elders have the special work of overseeing the church, shepherding the church. There are three Greek words that talk about and describe elders and their work. In Acts 20:28 we see all three words. Elders are to “keep watch” over themselves and the church to which God set them to be watch over. The Holy Spirit set them to be “overseers”, to watch over the church. And elders are to “be shepherds” and protect the church. Remember the shepherd imagery in Psalm 23? God protects His sheep with his staff and rod. In John 10 Jesus showed Himself to be the Shepherd for His sheep.

Those Greeks we talked about in Acts 20:28 are the same ones we see in 1st Peter 5:1-2. Peter writes to his fellow elders urging them to shepherd God’s flock, to protect their sheep. They are to serve as overseers, watching over the sheep God set them over, to watch after them and protect them.

In this course we learned the importance of baptism. Our word “baptize” is really a transliteration, rather than a translation of the Greek word baptizo. Our teacher suggested (and I whole-heartily agree with him on this) the word should have been translated “immerse”. The word carries the meaning of submerge and overwhelm. The New Testament talks a lot about baptism. From when Jesus was baptized in the early parts of Matthew (3:13-17), Mark (1:9-11), and Luke (3:21-22); Peter teaching the Jewish crowd in Acts (2:14-41); and throughout the book of Acts (10:23-48, 16:29-34, among others). There is also a lot of baptismal imagery through out the New Testament. For example, in Romans 6:1-14. This whole section pictures baptism as a burial underneath water. In 1st Corinthians 1:13 Paul tells the Corinthian brethren not to divide over personalities, because they were not baptized into Paul’s name, nor Peter’s, nor Apollos’. They were joined together in Christ, therefore they belong to Jesus, not to any human. And in Ephesians 5:25-26, Paul is talking husbands loving their wives as Jesus His church; because Jesus washes and cleanses His church, His bride with the waters of baptism.

There was so much more that we learned from this class. The Church Christ was definitely one of my favorite courses. I learned so much in it!

Thank you all so much for reading today. God bless you all! Grace and Peace.

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Hebrews

Greetings to my family and friends! I’m so sorry I have not written a blog post in so long. I have intended to write a blog every week, but it has not happened as of yet. No excuses though. I apologize and vow to do better at that.

This past Thursday my classmates and I completed our first final exam. We have now completed our class on the book of Hebrews (the rest of our finals don’t start until Wednesday afternoon).

The book of Hebrews absolutely facinating! In the semester before this we studied the Sacrifical System in Levitcus, Exodus, and Numbers. All of those sacrifices were shadows of Jesus, the reality the shadows pointed to. Hebrews especially points out how Jesus is the fulfillment of all those Old Testament sacrifices. Hebrews has a lot of Old Testament imagry in it. Not only does it talk about the Old Testament sacrifices, but it also shows how Jesus’ priesthood┬áis the embodiment of Melchizedek and his priesthood. In Genesis 14:18 Abraham meets Melchizedek the king of Salem and priest of God Most High. Melchizedek gives Abram a blessing from God and Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all he had (Gen 14:18-20). Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High though he had no priestly linage in his family. Therefore his priesthood had no beginning and had no end. The writer of Hebrews would talk about this in Hebrews 7:1-10. Jesus’ priesthood, likewise, had no beginning and no end either.┬á Hebrews 7:11-28 talks about Jesus and His priesthood. Verse 17 states Jesus is “… a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek…”. And verse 28 says Jesus has been “… made perfect forever”. Melchizedek’s priesthood was a shadow of Jesus’ perfect priesthood.

The homework assignment in the class was to go through Hebrews and write about Jesus’ high priestly resume’. In Hebrews 1:1-14, we see Jesus’ divinity. In Hebrews 2:1-18 and 5:1-14 we discover Jesus’ humanity. In Hebrews 7:1-28, we learn Jesus’ priesthood. Reading Hebrews 8:1-13 and 9:15-18 we see the new covenant of Christ. The New Tabernacle of Jesus is discussed in Hebrews 9:1-28. Hebrews 10:1-18 talks about Jesus’ new sacrifice. And the Christian privilege is in Hebrews 10:19-39. Learning all of this about Jesus helped me to see our Savior and Lord is perfectly qualified to be our Most High Priest.

I will write about more of our classes next week I hope. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support that allows me to be here learning about being a better servant for the Lord. God bless you all.

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