By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed November 30, 1982)
We would like to add a few remaining thoughts to the principles of giving and make a few general comments on related matters. We observed from the scriptures that our Father has been liberal indeed and we would expect the same of his children. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him, also freely give us all things.” The desire to give bountifully should be further prompted by the attitude of the Son. Let us give like the Lord himself gave. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed October 31, 1982)
John makes it very clear those who declare the gospel unto the lost of mankind do not receive financial gain from them (3 John 7). The Lord’s work moved forward by the congregation giving, and by the goodness of Christian individuals in time of special needs (Acts 4:34-37). Therefore, the pages of inspiration indicate the church did not solicit funds from the world nor engage in any financial endeavors to broaden their financial base. Unfortunately, little or no respect is being shown by man for these Bible truths. There are very few voices crying out about the shame and reproach being heaped on the Lord’s body due to disregard of the Lord’s teaching on giving. But it is still a shame. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed October 15, 1982)
It is almost a daily experience to pass signs advertising fund-raisers for some church or religious group. Television programs associated with religion constantly make a plea for money to aid their labors. The pleas are pitched toward anyone and everyone out there. This raises the interesting question of why those who claim to be God’s people seek the financial aid of those who make up the world? How did the early church support itself in carrying forth the name of Jesus? Does the Bible set forth principles regarding the funds of the church or is it left for man’s way?
It is evident the religious world gives little thought about how money is raised, but much thought to how much money they can raise. Surely, this is wrong and reflects the general mood of society. Concession stands or Games of chance are a constant source of money for “Good works” today. But what does the Bible teach about church fund raising? Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed December 31, 1985)
God has always moved his people from the divinely inspired spokesmen to the written word of God as the revelation became available. The scriptures become the final source of divine authority. The understanding of truth spoken or written comes down to meditating upon the revealed will of heaven. This pattern is evident even before the scriptures are completely given. Acts 17:11 reads, “ These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” People need to look more closely at the revelatory process within the confines of the Old and New Testaments, instead of a few passages obscurely used. Do not expect less confusion, until men recognize God’s teaching methods correlates with where God is in the process of giving revelation or if God has finished giving revelation. Continue reading
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible not only reveals the will of God, but how God has and is revealing his will to man. The following depiction shows how God has always worked from the miraculous to the non-miraculous, or from the direct to the indirect.
How God has and Does Reveal His Will
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1,2)
The word for God reveals how God has revealed himself in times past and how he now reveals himself to man. Unfortunately divine inspiration of the scriptures has been under attack for many years and the sufficiency of the word of God is presently being undermined by subjective claims regarding God’s present mode of communication. The following illustrations are to help us reflect on God’s revelatory process for it is wondrous and complete for the maturing of the spiritual man (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Old Testament Revelatory Process
New Testament Revelatory Process
Romans 11: 33-34
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?”
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Psalms 19 tells us that the God of Heaven has revealed himself by even more than nature. Divine revelation was necessary for man to know the will of God because we could never discover God’s will for man through human ability alone (1 Corinthians 2:11). God has not only revealed himself through nature (Romans 1:19,20) but also by divine revelation and inspiration through the spoken and written word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)(2 Peter 1:20,21). The link below depicts the necessity for God’s Revelation.
The Necessity for God’s Revelation
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed June 30, 1985)
This lesson will have two main objectives. We will make some concluding remarks on the discussion of Romans 9. Thereafter, we are going to include a brief review quiz to help stir your memory on the subject to aid retention. Continue reading
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed May 31, 1985)
Let us begin by stepping a shade beyond our actual study, but it is worthy of our time. Why? Because this subject always seems to provoke words about God’s way. God has never left himself without attestation (Acts 14:15-17). God has always left testimony of himself for mankind. Recall Romans 1:20 speaking of nature revealing there is a God. Read Psalms 19:1-4. Paul reasoned the Gentiles had no body of revelation like Israel enjoyed. Paul declared they were without hope, but let us realize there was knowledge of God among them. Paul told the men of Athens that God was not far from them. A total view certainly reveals Edom’s position is no embarrassment to the justness of God. It is well to remember in studying the Bible many statements dealing with the progress of the redemptive scheme are highly comparative and deal with the development of God’s scheme of redemption. They are not always statements regarding eternal life or eternal condemnation. There are enough interactions of Gentiles in the redemptive scheme to illustrate the previous statement must be examined carefully in different passages. Comparative statements go back to the comparison of the privileges or the role of that group of people in bringing about God’s plan. This is the type of circumstance we face in Romans 9.
By Ron Courter (Excerpt from Article Originally Printed April 30, 1985)
How did God love or prefer Israel over Edom? The manner of Jacob’s preference is biblically declared. Paul writes, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of Circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:1,2).” Israel received a clear, complete body of revelation from heaven. Who would claim such a body of revelation is not to one’s advantage? Stephen spoke of such in Acts 7:38 when he said, “…and our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.”
The Psalmist speaks clearly of how Jacob was preferred. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD (Psalms 147: 19,20).” For those who prematurely affirm such actions were not proper for the sovereignty of heaven, let it be remembered Israel had to obey the revelation given to obtain righteousness. Amos 3:2 reads, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Furthermore, the completed revelation leaves no doubt that God is just and far more aware of justice than man’s development. God is far more capable than man to see the demands of justice are fulfilled. Therefore, be silent when you begin to question the justness of the creator and sustainer of man. Continue reading