"19. The Way of Light, then, is as follows; and whoever desires to make his way to the appointed place must be actively at work. Now, the Knowledge granted us to enable us to walk in this way embraces the following points: Love your Maker; reverence your Creator; glorify Him who ransomed you from death; abhor everything not pleasing to God; detest every form of hypocrisy; do not by any means neglect the commandments of the Lord. Do not carry your head high, but be ever in a humble frame of mind; do not reach out for personal glory; do not plot evil against your neighbor; do not open your heart to presumption. Do not fornicate; do not commit adultery; do not practice pederasty; do not let the Word of God escape your lips in the presence of any that are impure. Make no distinction between man and man when correcting anyone's transgression. Be gentle, be quiet; with trembling treasure the instructions you have received. Do not bear malice against your brother. Do not waver in your decision. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain. Love your neighbor more than yourself. Do not kill a fetus by abortion, or commit infanticide. Do not withdraw your hand from your son or daughter; but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Do not covet your neighbor's goods; do not be greedy. Do not be on intimate terms with the powerful, but associate with holy and lowly folk. Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you, assured that nothing happens without God. Do not be double-minded or double-tongued, for the double tongue is a deadly snare. In reverence and fear be submissive to your masters as representatives of God. Do not when embittered, give orders to your slave, male or female, for they hope in the same God; otherwise, they might lose the fear of God, who is the Master of you both. He surely did not come to call with an eye to rank or station in life; no, He comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared. Share everything with your neighbor, and do not say: "It is private property;" for if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more so in the things that perish! Do not be hasty of tongue, for the tongue is a deadly snare. As far as you can, be pure to save your soul. Do not be the one that opens his hands to receive, but shuts them when it comes to giving. Love as the pupil of your eye anyone that explains to you the Word of the Lord. Day and night remember the Day of Judgment. Seek daily the companionship of the saints. Are you proficient in speaking? Then go to comfort, and endeavor to save, an afflicted soul. Do you work with your hands? Then pay a ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, and do not give in a grumbling mood; you will find out who is your good Rewarder. Hold fast to the traditions, neither adding nor subtracting anything. Hate evil incessantly. Be just in your judgment. Do not start a schism, but pacify contending parties. Confess your sins. Do not come to prayer with a guilty conscience. Such is the Way of Light." Epistle of BarnabasA.D. 130-131 pp. 62 & 63 (Ancient Christian Writers).
We are going through the book of Ephesians in my church, and our pastor has been doing an excellent job in expositing the Scriptures faithfully. Today I think we are nearing Ephesians 5, and I am interested for sure in what he has to say about it. Nevertheless, there is a verse in this chapter, verse 4 to be exact that has always interested my thoughts, and I have never gotten a straight answer from anyone on. Here it is.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for
us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in t…
I recently read Jeff Riddle's blog, and he has a new Bible tract that he is publishing. He chose to share the section on Total Depravity. I was increasingly helped by it, and wanted to share it with you. I also planted a couple of videos by Jerry Johnson of nicenecouncil.com that is not directly related, but helps us understand some things concerning our sin and this subject. I hope they are as helpful to you as they were to me.
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
Faith is gift that comes by the vehicle of God's grace. It is also difficult for fallen men to obtain while laboring arduously to be the masters of our own destiny. Usually we are too proud to receive any such gift, even one that is life giving. I suppose the worriment is related to the fact that we also tend not to be good listeners. Many times my wife could say about me and my sons:
"hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." Matthew 13:13b
Nevertheless, the truth remains that one must "hear" the word of God in order for faith to take root and grow.
I am no ancient Greek scholar, but according to the concordance, ἀκοή: akoē is the Greek word translated as "hearing" in Romans 10:17. Specifically it refers to the organ by which one perceives sound. The context even more specifically suggests that this involves listening, and this we know because faith is…