TJC Young Adults

Who We Are: TJC Young Adults exists to equip young adults ages 18 to 29 in becoming passionate followers of Jesus who enter their life on Christ. We do this through intentional relationships, fellowship and worship centered around the gospel. Young adults are tempted to conform to the world and we want to create an authentic atmosphere that leads individuals to be transformed into the image of Christ. Our walk with Christ was not meant to be done alone so we would love for you to join us as we strive to know Jesus and make Him known.

Our Mission: To equip young adults in becoming passionate followers of Jesus who impact the world through the hope of Christ.

Our Vision: To develop a family of young believers who are baptized, self-feeding disciple making followers of Jesus who let the gospel shape every sphere of their lives.

The Fount: The Fount is a place where college students and young professionals can come to be in community, worship together, and sit under the teaching of God’s Word. This is a worship service specifically for 18-29 year olds that meets every Tuesday night at 7:37pm beginning January 18th.

*FOR THE MONTHS OF JUNE & JULY WE WILL MEET AT 7:00PM*

THE FOUNT JUNE SCHEDULE

June 7th - Worship @ 7p

June 14th - OFF

June 21st - Nashville Sounds Game

June 28th - Worship @ 7p

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

 

 

 

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	TJC Young Adults
</h2>

<p dir="ltr">
	<strong><img class="tt4-cke-img-align-left" src="/images/r/dsc09603/320x/dsc09603.jpg" />Who We Are:</strong> TJC Young Adults exists to equip young adults ages 18 to 29 in becoming passionate followers of Jesus who enter their life on Christ. We do this through intentional relationships, fellowship and worship centered around the gospel. Young adults are tempted to conform to the world and we want to create an authentic atmosphere that leads individuals to be transformed into the image of Christ. Our walk with Christ was not meant to be done alone so we would love for you to join us as we strive to know Jesus and make Him known.
</p>

<p dir="ltr">
	<strong>Our Mission:</strong> To equip young adults in becoming passionate followers of Jesus who impact the world through the hope of Christ.
</p>

<p dir="ltr">
	<strong>Our Vision:</strong> To develop a family of young believers who are baptized, self-feeding disciple making followers of Jesus who let the gospel shape every sphere of their lives.
</p>

<p>
	<strong><img class="tt4-cke-img-align-right" src="/images/r/screen-shot-2021-12-17-at-11-23-39-am/c216x216/screen-shot-2021-12-17-at-11-23-39-am.png" />The Fount: </strong>The Fount is a place where college students and young professionals can come to be in community, worship together, and sit under the teaching of God’s Word. This is a worship service specifically for 18-29 year olds that meets every Tuesday night at 7:37pm beginning January 18th.
</p>

<p>
	*FOR THE MONTHS OF JUNE & JULY WE WILL MEET AT 7:00PM*
</p>

<h3>
	THE FOUNT JUNE SCHEDULE
</h3>

<p>
	June 7th - Worship @ 7p
</p>

<p>
	June 14th - OFF
</p>

<p>
	June 21st - Nashville Sounds Game
</p>

<p>
	June 28th - Worship @ 7p
</p>

<h3 dir="ltr">
	“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
</h3>

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	The Fount We will be celebrating and sending out Katherine Berman and Abby Campbell on their gap year trip! The entire church is invited to this event!
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	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">I recently heard a story of a young man who claimed he, “converted from Southern Baptist to Catholic.” When I heard this my initial internal response was, “no, you converted from Christianity to Catholicism.” In the name of unity and peace, developments like the John 17 movement claim that Catholicism is just another Christian denomination, and regardless of doctrinal differences we are still brothers in Christ. However, this is contrary to what Christ taught His disciples, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51). We should not seek out division, but neither should we cower from it. Division over primary doctrines is actually a positive thing. This is the same ideal that the reformer Martin Luther believed in when he proclaimed, “Peace if possible. Truth at all costs.” Doctrine matters, and we have a Biblical responsibility in our fight for theological truth (Titus 2:1). </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">There are essentially three tiers of Christian doctrine. Third tier doctrines like Bible translation or eschatology views are doctrines that, although important, should not cause any division or rift between fellow believers. Second tier doctrines are beliefs concerning abortion, marriage, or women pastors. These are beliefs that do not necessarily point to a lack of salvation, but are important enough that they should cause a healthy division between believers. First tier doctrines, on the other hand, are closed handed issues that are not up for debate. Things like the inerrancy of Scripture, Christology, and salvific doctrine are beliefs that sit at the core of the Christian faith. First tier doctrines represent what it means to believe in Christianity. Therefore, if a person does not agree with these doctrines, it implies that they do not hold an orthodox view of the Christian faith. Protestants and Catholics have major disagreements on these highly important doctrines, which is what makes Catholicism a separate religion from Christianity. In this article we will discuss a brief overview of several of these doctrines. In 1992 Pope John Paul II, the leader of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005, published the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Catechism of the Catholic Church </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">where he outlined doctrines of the Catholic faith, many of which are contrary to the Christian faith. Oftentimes Catholics will claim that their beliefs are misrepresented or misunderstood by Protestants, and that Christians will make misguided assumptions about Catholic doctrine in order to perpetrate better arguments. In an effort to avoid this claim, this article will cite Pope John Paul II’s writings to be sure that Catholicism is charitably represented.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Apocrypha</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The divide between Catholicism and Protestantism begins at the center of Christianity: the Bible. As discussed in the first TJC Young Adults article </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">How did we get the Bible</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">, there is a serious difference between the Catholic Bible and the Christian Bible. The Catholic Bible has 15 extra books that the Christian Bible does not include. These books are known as the Apocrypha. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Christian Church does not include these books in the Bible because they do not align theologically with the rest of the Old Testament. The official Catholic doctrine on these books is:</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself” (CCC 105).</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This catechism includes the Apocrypha in the Old Testament Canon (CCC 120). In return, Christian doctrine argues that these 15 books could not possibly have been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as the Catechism claims, because they contradict teachings in other inspired books. To claim something is true that is in contrast to the Word of God would be a claim to falsehood, it would be a lie. However, “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18), which means it is impossible for God to contradict Himself. Therefore, these books cannot possibly be the inspired Word of God. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Salvation </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Another huge divide between these two faiths is their stance on salvation, or soteriology. Catholic tradition will readily affirm justification by faith, like Christians do, but they will follow that affirmation with an additional list of things that are required in order to complete your salvation. Catholicism believes that baptism (CCC 1987), church attendance (CCC 846), penance (CCC 1422), and merits (CCC 2010) are necessary for salvation. On the contrary, Christians believe that, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). The Christian faith believes that the only hope for humanity is in the atoning work of Christ which is received purely by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Protestant Christians hold firmly to the belief that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to add to or warrant our salvation (Romans 5:1). It is purely a work of the Lord from beginning to end (Titus 3:5).</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Confession and Intercession </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">A third demarcation between these two religions is their views on confession and intercession. Catholic doctrine claims that simply by confession to another human, a man, “opens himself up again to God” (CCC 1455). This leaves confession directly to the Lord out of the equation. This distortion also leads to the doctrine that confessing sins to a priest is essential (CCC 1456). In addition to this, Catholic tradition holds to praying for dead saints like Mary and Peter to intercede on their behalf. However, the Christian Bible holds that, “there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), and, “there shall not be found among you anyone… who inquires of the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). Christians are called to confess their sins to each other in an effort to hold each other accountable and fight their sins together (James 5:16), but God alone can forgive our sins because our sins are committed against Him (Mark 2:7). </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-89f3f35c-7fff-4b3e-f0de-b919dbbeaad1" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">There are more doctrines like pedobaptism, mortal sins versus venial sins, and purgatory that divide these two religions, but the ones outlined in this article give a broad enough view to effectively debunk the misconception that Catholicism is simply another Christian denomination. The purpose of this article is not to make the argument that a practicing Catholic cannot be a regenerate believer, but it is making the argument that if they are, it is in spite of what the Roman Catholic Church is teaching them, not because of it. John Piper describes Catholics who are truly saved as, “devout and inconsistent.” They are devout in the fact that they have truly given over themselves to Christ as their savior; they are genuine about their wholehearted faith. However, they are inconsistent in that their doctrine does not align with the authenticity of their faith. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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</p>
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                    [title] => Does the Bible Condone Slavery
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">If you are like me and you enjoy engaging nonbelievers in conversation, you have likely heard a carousel of arguments thrown at you concerning the validity of the Bible. They might be worded differently depending on the person, but there are really only a handful of objections about the Bible, like: “the Bible has been translated so many times that the books we have today are not accurate representations of the original manuscripts,” “the Bible is so old and outdated that it cannot be applied to our culture,” or, “the Bible was written by fallible men and fallible men could not possibly transcribe the words of God.” Another common argument is: the Bible condones slavery, therefore it cannot be a reliable book because slavery is the epidemy of a moral atrocity and a book inspired by God cannot promote something so evil. This is a reasonable objection, and a serious question that all Christians should be able to provide a gentle and respectful defense for. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">A few verses quoted when it comes to slavery are: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Exodus 20:20-21 - “When a man strikes his slave, male or females, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money,” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Ephesians 6:5 - “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Colossians 3:22 - “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters.” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
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<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">These verses seem troubling at first glance when they are not fully understood. For starters, whenever Americans hear the word, “slavery,” today, they automatically think back to the North African Slave Trade which was the slave trade that led to slavery in the United States during the 1700s and 1800s. This is a natural inclination for many since that is the primary example of slavery that Americans are conditioned to, but the word slave carries far more weight in modern times than it did during the 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">century. In fact, Crossway has recently discussed totally removing the word slave in the ESV Bible and replacing it with the word servant because of the way the meanings of those words have developed over time. Today when people hear the word slave, they wince and run images through their heads of white men beating black men, women, and children while forcing them to work farms. However, slavery in the context of the New Testament consisted of two different types people: indentured servants and war prisoners. The primary version of “slavery” in the Bible was actually what we would now call indentured servitude. This act of service played out in a couple different ways. It was a common practice during this era for a young man to be pledged to marry a young woman, and the young man would work for the woman’s father for a period of time so that he would approve and give overher hand in marriage. Another practice of Biblical era indentured servitude was for a younger man to work an agreed upon amount of time for an older man, and by the end of that time the older man would give over land to the younger man. Slavery in the context of indentured servitude was a facet for men to work and earn things for themselves. Slavery was also used in the context of war prisoners. It was a common practice across many civilizations at this time to have enemy prisoners work during the day in order to keep them from gathering together and fighting to escape. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">In addition to this, you may hear the argument that the Bible was used to promote slavery in the United States particularly, and there was in fact </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">a </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">bible used to condone slavery during that time period, but it was not </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Bible that we use today. Since the true Word of God clearly did not condone slavery in that context, the slave owners then required alterations to Scripture in order to fit their presuppositions into the Christian religion. One way they did that was by ordering the creation a new version of the Bible. In 1807, the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Slave Bible </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">was published in the United Kingdom by missionaries hoping to evangelize to Africans who were enslaved in Britain and in the U.S. We still have three surviving copies of these books today. Slave owners would not allow them to evangelize to their slaves using the Bible because of the clear teachings about human dignity and worth, and the teachings against oppression and hatred. Therefore, these missionaries were forced to remove 50% of the Old Testament, including the majority of the book of Exodus, and 80% of the New Testament. This was in direct violation of John’s command in Revelation 22:19, “and if anyone takes away the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city.” That is as clear of a prohibiting order as can be said: Do not remove a single word from the Bible. Therefore, we can conclude that the use of the Bible to promote slavery in the United States was an inherently unbiblical action, by all means. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">It is also worth noting the true impact that God’s Word had on new world slavery. In about AD60 the apostle Paul wrote a letter to his brother in the faith, Philemon, and in this letter he instructs Philemon to accept his runaway slave, Onesimus, back into his household. Paul petitions Philemon to welcome back his servant, “no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother” (Philemon 16). This is converse to the idea that the Bible is an oppressive, slavery ridden book. In fact, Philemon was one of the New Testament books removed from the Slave Bible because of its antislavery implications, and it was also a book used later in the fight to abolish slavery. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-54f54ec2-7fff-36df-c2a1-4fcf24bb7694" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Understand that whenever someone lays this objection on you, they are likely genuinely concerned about these verses that seem problematic to the faith. Therefore, we should use this information as an opportunity to gently correct them about this error and guide them towards truth. However, do not fear this argument or waver in light of it. Stand firm against this troubling misconception and unashamedly hold to the true Biblical ethic concerning slavery.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [title] => “Christianity is a White Man’s Religion”
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">With the explosion of the social justice movement, there has been an increasing number of people in the western hemisphere who believe in the misconception that Christianity is the, “white man’s religion.” This is a farce propagated by those who wish to lead current and potential believers away from the faith, and unfortunately many people who genuinely love Christ have fallen victim to this lie over the past few years. Christianity is indeed an exclusive religion, but the idea that it is exclusive on any sort of ethnic basis is inherently unchristian. Typically, people do not begin with the presupposition that Christianity is a white man’s religion, they usually arrive at this conclusion after succumbing to multiple other misconceptions. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This idea usually begins with a historically inaccurate view about the beginning of the New Testament. Partially due to the teachings of Dan Brown and other nonbelievers, a surprising number of people believe that the New Testament was compiled by Roman emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in AD325. This is usually coupled with the idea that the Bible helped promote slavery in the southern United States during the 1700s and 1800s and the western image of a white Jesus. Malcolm X, a Muslim, even propagated the idea that Christianity harmed black people during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Beliefs like these have often led people to the conclusion that Christianity is a white man’s religion. However, there are several things we can look to both inside and outside the Bible to see that Christianity is not an ethnically centered religion. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">For starters, the idea that the Bible was compiled in AD325 is a historical sham. There are manuscript copies of every single book of the Bible predating that date, so it could not have possibly been written then. Historians have discovered commentaries written by early church fathers during the first three centuries that show us that the verses were not altered in the fourth century meeting. There are also recordings directly from the Council of Nicaea which show that those men were not debating what books to use, but they were debating on the doctrines taught in the books that were already accepted into the Biblical canon. Secondly, the belief that the Bible was used to condone slavery in the United States is a misconstruction of what actually happened. The Bible that we currently use is not the same Bible used by slave owners in the 1800s. They created what was known as the, “slave bible,” where they removed over half of the Bible and gave that version to their slaves (This will be discussed more in depth in next week’s article on </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Does the Bible Condone Slavery</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">). Thirdly, the image of a Jesus with white skin is a mistaken over-contextualization of Christianity. A short Google session will teach anyone that Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure of Christianity, was in fact, not a white man. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-70a84356-7fff-416a-0cc9-0edd306b91df" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">In addition to that, we also have multiple examples in the Bible where we see that the gospel is not limited to any particular group, but instead is an open invitation to all. In John 4 Jesus sends His disciples into Sychar, which is a town in Samaria, but He stays back at Jacob’s well which is outside the city. He stayed there at the well just so He could meet a Samaritan woman who was coming to gather water. Jews and Samaritans had strong theological variances that caused serious division between the two. In fact, when Jesus spoke to the woman, she was shocked that He, a Jew, would dare speak to her, a Samaritan (John 4:9). However, Jesus was not fazed by the fact that she was from Samaria, in fact, He likely engaged her in conversation specifically </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">because </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">she was a Samaritan. This was also one of the few times in the New Testament where Jesus plainly revealed His identity, “’I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ)…’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (John 4:25-26). When Jesus was in conversation with Jews about His identity, He almost always spoke in language that was confusing to them. He regularly used complicated parables and metaphorical symbols to inconspicuously hint at who He is. However, we see in John 4 that Jesus plainly tells this woman that He is the Savior that she has heard about her entire life. Racial boundaries played no part in Jesus’s ministry. He took no shame in revealing Himself to her, which is a symbolic representation of what He affirmed later on in Matthew 28:19 before His ascension, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The Great Commission was the last thing Jesus said to His disciples before He left to take His place on the throne. This was not the last thing He said because it was of least importance, but instead it was the last thing He said because it was His final command, His final instruction for the men who would go on to found His Church filled with people of all colors, nations, and tribes. We see that represented in global Christianity today. The majority of Christians are actually not white people at all. In fact, Africa has the highest concentration of total Christians compared to every other continent. Justin Peters sums it up like this, “There is no white church. There is no black church. There is no brown, yellow, or red church. There is only Christ’s church; purchased by Christ, built by Christ, headed by Christ, for the glory of Christ.” The gospel is for everyone. Faithful Christians spread the gospel to all people in hopes that God’s people will hear His name and come to Him because we all need a savior. Christianity is not the white man’s religion, it’s the sinful man’s religion.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [title] => “God Gives His Toughest Battles to His Strongest Soldiers”
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-685dcd97-7fff-6c7c-a31c-a3c38fbd4e8c" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Humans have a natural instinct to try and comfort others. We do not want to see other people suffering, and we have an innate desire to help others when we see them in these situations. We often do that by offering encouragement during trials, which is a God glorifying thing to do. For example, we call our friends to remind them that they are loved, we buy meals for friends that are grieving, or, most importantly, we point them to Scripture and to the gospel. These are excellent, practical ways to support our brothers and sisters who are experiencing afflictions on any level. However, there are also ways that we can poorly encourage them as well. You have almost certainly seen those corny reposts floating around social media that say, “the teacher is always silent during the test,” “He won’t give you more than you can handle,” or “God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers.” While these statements often have innocent purposes behind them, they give a false idea to those who are truly suffering. Not only does this give a misrepresentation of the purpose of suffering, but it also falls short of Biblical teachings about actual stressful circumstances. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-685dcd97-7fff-6c7c-a31c-a3c38fbd4e8c" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-685dcd97-7fff-6c7c-a31c-a3c38fbd4e8c" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">There are multiple passages in Scripture that directly address this issue. For starters, in Acts 6 and 7 the apostle Luke records the suffering of Stephen. In the beginning of chapter 6, the apostles gathered to appoint the first deacons of the Church. They appointed seven men, but Stephen in particular stood out. Luke described him as a man full of faith, grace, and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5,8). His face was like an angel (Acts 10:15). Stephen was a man’s man, Biblically literate with a passion for the gospel. He had a knack for intellectual ability. When people would try to debate him they would be stuck without arguments (Acts 6:10). Stephen perfectly exemplified what it meant to be a strong man of God, and it was precisely because of his spiritual strength that unbelievers conspired together to arrange his unjustified murder. At the end of Acts 6 we see those who could not refute Stephen and hated him, instigating his arrest and trial for blasphemy. The next 53 verses of the Bible are devoted to Stephen’s speech during his trial where he delivered the gospel to them and rebuked them because they were denying the truth and resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Then Luke says that they were furious with him and carried him out of the city before stoning him to death in front of Saul of Tarsus, who would later become the apostle Paul. While he was being beaten in the head with rocks, Stephen prayed for his offenders’ forgiveness and asked the Father to receive his spirit. Imagine that… praying for the forgiveness of a man as he is in the act of murdering you. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-685dcd97-7fff-6c7c-a31c-a3c38fbd4e8c" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-685dcd97-7fff-6c7c-a31c-a3c38fbd4e8c" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">As Luke clearly outlines for us in the text, Stephen was a warrior for the gospel, and a strong one at that. Stephen perfectly exemplified for us what it means to be a, “strong soldier,” yet he still died. Stephen had proven himself to be a formidable opponent by winning a number of debates, but this was a battle that he could not win. We would be naive to believe that the Lord had no hand in Stephen facing this trial, so how do we reconcile this story with the idea that God will not give you more than you can handle? We do it by coming to the logical conclusion that God, in fact, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">does </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">give you battles that you cannot win. If God was to only give struggles to strong soldiers, He would never give us any struggles at all. Our triune and sovereign God does </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">not </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">give His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers because apart from Him, we are not strong. In fact, apart from Him we are not </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">able </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">to be strong, “for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). God doesn’t give you battles that only you can handle, He gives you battles that only He can handle, and He does that in order to show us our dependence and His sufficiency. When we find ourselves in the midst of a trial that we recognize we cannot sustain ourselves through, it forces us to come face to face with the realization that we are not adequate enough to bolster through even our temporal troubles. Which in turn causes us to look outside of ourselves to find something that is ample to handle our sufferings. Stephen left us a great example of this during his death. Right before they began stoning him, Stephen looked up into the sky and, “saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Seeing the majesty of our Lord is what enabled Stephen to respond with grace while he was being beaten. This is why we, “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus… who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2). We look to the cross in all things because it is there that we can see the all-amazing, all-glorifying power of our Lord, and we rest in knowing that the One who accomplished that great work is the one who sustains us in our toughest battles, especially the battles that we are not strong enough to win. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-40ddf58c-7fff-dc7a-5ea2-647a5f3aa051" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Christian life is a call to love. When Jesus was being questioned by the Pharisees, He told them that the greatest commandment is to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:38),” and the second greatest commandment is to, “love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).” Love God and love people. As a faithful Christian, you should be following these two commands. However, we have a subconscious understanding within our obedience to these commandments. You may indeed love all people, but you love your significant other in a different manner. If you are single, then you love your best friend with a particular affinity as compared to a stranger, although you love that stranger and care for their soul. God is the same way. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-40ddf58c-7fff-dc7a-5ea2-647a5f3aa051" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-40ddf58c-7fff-dc7a-5ea2-647a5f3aa051" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">God created humanity distinct from the rest of Creation. Humanity is the embodied image of Yahweh, the mediator between God and nature. He has a general love for every single creature that is in His image. However, God has a particular love for His Church. Oftentimes people are offended when they hear that God actually loves certain people more than others, and they think that the God they have envisioned in their head could never do such a thing. I would like to take an unorthodox approach in answering the objection that Jesus could never play favorites with humans. In Ephesians 5 Paul charges husbands to, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">“love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">(Ephesians 5:25). God’s Word shows the distinction of Christ’s love for the Church. Just before Paul delivers this command to husbands, he also gives a command of equal importance to wives, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">“submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">(Ephesians 5:22-23). This verse is often hated by many in our culture because of the seemingly misogynistic implications behind it. However, that limitation comes from reading this verse through a westernized English analysis. When we hear the word, “head,” we naturally think of the formation of a human body where the head is at the top, but that is not what the apostle Paul is talking about. Paul uses the word ἀρχή (arche) here. In this context, the word arche is a military term referring to the most dangerous position in a triangular battle formation. The arche was at the head of the triangle, or the front of the triangle, and they were always the most likely person to die. This is how Paul calls husbands to lead because this is how Christ leads His people. In light of that, it makes perfect sense that God has a particular love only for Christians that is distinct from the rest of humanity, because He paid a high price for their lives.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-40ddf58c-7fff-dc7a-5ea2-647a5f3aa051" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-40ddf58c-7fff-dc7a-5ea2-647a5f3aa051" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">John Piper says it like this, “He is like a husband waiting for his wife at the airport, watching as each person disembarks from the plane. When she appears, he knows her, he recognizes her features, he sees in her eyes a happy reflection of his own love. He delights in her. She is the only one he embraces.” This is not to say in the slightest that God hates everyone who is not a part of the Church. God has what we call, “common grace,” that extends to all people. This is why the majority of the richest people on earth are not believers, because our Lord extends His common grace to everyone who is made in His image. This also explains why during Jesus’s ministry the vast majority of people that He healed did not place their faith in Him. However, for those who did not repent and believe did not get to experience the vastness of His special love. Christ did not atone for all, He atoned specifically for His Church. Those who acknowledge the truth and have saving faith in Him. Those are the people that the Lord has a propinquity for. God loves all His Creation, but He has a special place for His people. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<br class="Apple-interchange-newline" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; font-weight:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000" />
	 
</p>
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                    [title] => "Money is the Root of All Evil"
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:0.01099395751953125pt; margin-top:31.10833740234375pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:0.01099395751953125pt; margin-top:31.10833740234375pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2766794f-7fff-5880-99ed-18a642162da0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Dave Ramsey, who has a net worth of $200+ million, has a podcast called </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Ramsey Show</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">. During an episode in January 2022, he discussed the strategic moves that he made in his real estate business in order to increase profit. Ramsey explained that he raised the rent prices on his properties in order to stay in alignment with the rising market rates, and because of those higher prices, some of his tenants were forced to leave and move to lower priced homes. While discussing this on his podcast, Ramsey said, “If they need to move to a cheaper house, because they can’t afford, they’re gonna move to a lesser house, because if they move they’re gonna pay market rent</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">… </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">if I raised my rent to be market rate that does not make me a bad Christian. I did not displace that person out of that house if they can no longer afford it,” (The Wrap). This caused an uproar on social media. People proceeded to slam Dave Ramsey, calling him a hypocrite, a money lover, and a sinner. The verse that Christians primarily referred to in this controversy was 1 Timothy 6:10, which says, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” There you have it. Dave Ramsey is evil because he’s rich</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">… </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">not exactly. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0.68585205078125pt; margin-top:23.8050537109375pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2766794f-7fff-5880-99ed-18a642162da0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Note what Paul says here, he makes a specific distinction. He says that the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">love </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">of money is the root of all evil, not money itself. Christians have often ignored that one very important word in order to use this verse to bash anyone who makes a hefty earning for themselves, but they miss the context of this passage. Paul is not just talking about money here. Money itself is a gift of God’s grace and should be enjoyed in a wholesome and responsible manner that is consistent with Christian ethics. 1 Timothy 6 is talking about a yearning for money, an unhealthy obsession. A love of money is a result of the temptation that comes from desiring to be rich as Paul explains, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">“those who desire to be rich fall into temptation” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">(1 Timothy 6:9). The root of evil Paul mentions in verse ten comes from a domino effect that starts with the desire to be rich for the wrong reasons. When people desire to become rich they fall into a, “snare,” that leads to, “ruin and destruction,” which is the cause of, “all kinds of evils,” (1 Timothy 6:9-10), and this is because when we place money over obedience to the Lord, we are willing to change our morals in order to gain more money, which leads to sinfulness. This does not mean that a Christian who strategically earns an honest wage for their family is sinning. In fact, Christians should work to make money to provide for their families. Finances also offer an opportunity to promote the gospel. Although</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-right:14.54364013671875pt; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt; padding:0pt 0pt 0pt 0.6489944458007812pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2766794f-7fff-5880-99ed-18a642162da0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">the majority of Christians do not directly work in ministry, every Christian has an opportunity to help promote the Kingdom through financial support of those who are in ministry. In these two verses Paul plainly makes his case, but his intention is often misquoted due to a lack of Biblical literacy. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2766794f-7fff-5880-99ed-18a642162da0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Although there are those who overexaggerate this command, on the other hand there are Christians who ignore it all together. You have likely heard it called by many names, but the most popular title is the, “prosperity gospel.” Those who proclaim this false gospel claim that it is always God’s desire for Christians to be healthy, wealthy, and prosperous, and if you are not experiencing that then there is something wrong and you need to increase your faith so that God will bless you. This false teaching is rampant in the American Church, and as we see from 1 Timothy, it has been an issue throughout all of church history. Jesus even condemned this idea in the sermon on the mount, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money,” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">(Matthew 6:24). The Greek word for serve here, douleu</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ō</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">, is indicative of slave work, not voluntary work. The verbiage that Jesus uses in this verse implies that he is posing the reader with a choice. You can either be a slave to money, or you can be a slave to the Lord, but not both. This completely destroys the prosperity gospel. Throughout the Bible it is blatantly obvious that God’s ultimate goal is His own preeminent glory, not our prosperity. This does not mean, however, that a Christian cannot or should not earn a substantial amount of money. If a follower of Christ has the ability to earn a significant amount of money through honest gain, then may they be good stewards of those finances to the glory of God. Therefore, no, money is not the root of all evil, the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">love </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">of money is.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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                    [title] => “Only God can Judge me”
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                    [content] => <p>
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:0.0110015869140625pt; margin-top:31.10833740234375pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">If you have done any sort of evangelizing, or you have lovingly approached a brother or sister about a decision they made, then you have no doubt been opposed with the objection, “Only God can judge me,” or “Remove the plank from your own eye.” People often appeal to Matthew 7 in these conversations where Jesus said, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Judge not, that you be not judged” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">(Matthew 7:1). They use this sentence to claim that no human has a right to oppose them or call them out because Jesus tells us, “do not judge,” and they would be right if Matthew 7 stopped after verse one. However, Jesus does not stop here. He spends the first five verses of Matthew 7 expanding on what He meant when He said, “Judge not.” In verse two He demonstrates that by whatever standard you choose to judge a brother or sister, that same standard will be applied to you. Then in verses three and four Jesus illustrates what that looks like. He gives the famous example of someone attempting to remove a speck of dust from their brother’s eye meanwhile there is a plan of wood in their own eye. After this, Jesus gives His statement in verse five that ties the whole passage together, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” (Matthew 7:5). That verse is the key to understanding what Jesus means in this teaching. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:23.80511474609375pt 0.00567626953125pt 0pt 0.0110015869140625pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">If you removed verse five from this passage, then it would be easy to make a case for the typical scenario in which Matthew 7 is most commonly quoted, as mentioned above. However, without divorcing verse five from verses one through four, we can clearly see that Jesus is not forbidding Christians from opposing one another out of love. In verses one through four He is giving a strongly worded warning against hypocrisy, not a disapproval of criticism, and then in verse five He clarifies what He had been teaching the entire time. Jesus is teaching the exact same thing that the apostle Paul addressed in his letter to the Church in Galatia, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” (Galatians 6:1). The Bible does </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">not </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">forbid Christians from approaching other Christians who are living in unrepented sin, it actually encourages it. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:23.805023193359375pt 10.9049072265625pt 0pt 0.02199554443359375pt; padding:0pt 0pt 0pt 0.30800628662109375pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Although it is not sinful to correct a Christian who has gone astray, there are ways in which you can go about that action that are sinful. For example, notice that Jesus says, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">first </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">take the log out of your own</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:0pt 3.5980224609375pt 0pt 0.02199554443359375pt; text-align:justify">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">eye” (Matthew 7:5a). This is a warning against hypocrisy, as previously stated. Jesus makes it clear that a Christian should not approach a brother or sister while they are living in habitual sin themselves. Before you plan to go to another Christian, examine yourself, inspect your own sin, and if you are not currently </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:1.83245849609375pt 4.9403076171875pt 0pt 0.121002197265625pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">living with unrepented sin, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">then </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5b). To approach a Christian about their sin while you are still living in yours is blatant hypocrisy, and Jesus explicitly forbids it. In addition to that, if you have found yourself to be in a spiritual position to approach someone, you should also check your heart. Figure out the real reason why you want to talk to them. Do you want to correct them because you see an opportunity to embarrass them, or do you want to go to them because you genuinely care about their walk with Christ? If you are without habitual sin and your heart is in the proper position, then approach that person with the right attitude. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a trusted third party about how to approach the situation. However, you should never go to another person in an angry manner with the intent of spreading negative gossip about a brother or sister. It is also wise to pass off this burden to a trusted member of church leadership that you know will properly handle the situation if you do not feel comfortable with it. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-37c25ebf-7fff-a146-cf7e-7776972513d0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Regardless, the most important point to remember in regards to judgment comes from Paul’s command in Galatians 6:1, “you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">gentleness</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">.” The most paramount aspect of Matthew 7 is that you always approach this situation in a posture of gentleness and respect. You are dealing with an image bearer of God who has fallen away, and you want to humbly and lovingly address them in an effort to draw them back to the holy walk our Father desires for them. That cannot be done out of a mean spirit. Yes God can and will judge you, but that does not exclude other humans from that same action. In fact, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">because </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">God will judge you one day, you should be well accepting of other Christians who lovingly judge and correct you.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin:31.07720947265625pt 1.30108642578125pt 0pt 0.19800567626953125pt; padding:0pt 0pt 0pt 0.0989990234375pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:31.07720947265625pt 1.30108642578125pt 0pt 0.19800567626953125pt; padding:0pt 0pt 0pt 0.0989990234375pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-e5091121-7fff-65ca-5b00-0414ec0c8159" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">There was a Christian missionary in the 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">century. He was a scholar of the highest quality. In fact, he was such a deep writer that we still debate some of the things he said today. He went on three long mission trips to unreached people. This man spent his entire Christian life living out the Great Commission, and he was willing to endure any hardship necessary to do so. While traveling to share the Gospel, this missionary was shipwrecked in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Malta, an island off the coast of southern Italy. He spent an entire night floating in the water by himself, stranded. On five separate occasions he was tied to a post and whipped 39 times. Three times Roman soldiers took a vitis stick and beat him, a vitis stick was a common weapon used by Roman soldiers made of hard vine wood. Once, in Antioch, he was stoned by a crowd until he was unconscious then drug outside of the city before he got up and went back inside. This missionary was arrested three times, and spent a combined five and a half years in jail before he was finally beheaded in Rome in 65 A.D. While he was in prison, he wrote a letter to one of the churches he oversaw. These are his words: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36.417999267578125pt; text-align:justify; margin-top:23.8050537109375pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-e5091121-7fff-65ca-5b00-0414ec0c8159" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:23.80511474609375pt 2.36907958984375pt 0pt 0.417999267578125pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-e5091121-7fff-65ca-5b00-0414ec0c8159" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Philippians 4:13 has been one of the most famous verses of the last 20 years. Tim Tebow wore that verse on his face for the majority of his college football career before changing to John 3:16 in the 2009 national championship. Christians, especially athletes, have loved applying Philippians 4:13 to whatever situation they are in, in order to motivate themselves. However, we often miss the context behind what Paul is talking about in this verse. The apostle Paul, who lived through years of torture on the mission field, was not concerned about basketball games. He was focused on outlasting persecution for the sake of the Gospel.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin:23.80511474609375pt 2.36907958984375pt 0pt 0.417999267578125pt">
	 
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-e5091121-7fff-65ca-5b00-0414ec0c8159" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">So, can you do </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">all </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">things through Christ who strengthens you? Not necessarily. To say that you can do </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">anything </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">because of your faith in Christ creates a broad umbrella that far too often leads to unbiblical expectations. Without the context Paul gave, Christians can easily read that verse to mean that anything you desire to do can be accomplished if you have enough faith. In fact, there are pastors who teach this false ideology to the Church. However, when we understand who the author of Philippians is, what Paul is experiencing at the time he is writing this letter, and the passage that this verse is used in, we can easily see what the apostle Paul is trying to communicate to the church in Philippi: Sell yourself out for the proclamation of the Gospel. Do good works prepared in advance for you to advance the Kingdom of the Lord. When you do this, you will almost certainly run headfirst into persecution. It may look different than Paul. You may not find yourself under physical persecution. For you, persecution may be losing your job because you refuse to bow the knee to secular culture. It may be that your professor drops your grade because you will not agree with their ideology. Whatever it looks like for you, the apostle Paul says that when you are in </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">that </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">situation, you can do it, through Christ who strengthens you.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [title] => Scriptural Doctrine: Necessity
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Deuteronomy 8:3 - </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The necessity of Scripture is the last Scriptural doctrine we will cover in this series. Wayne Grudem defines this doctrine as, “the Bible is necessary for knowing the Gospel, for maintaining spiritual life, and for knowing God’s will.” As discussed in the article on the clarity of Scripture, the Bible does not blatantly answer every possible question that could be asked. However, it does tell us all things that are </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">necessary</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> for us to know in order to have a faithful relationship with Christ. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">All people can know that God exists through general revelation whether they have ever read the Bible or not. General revelation is, “the means by which God reveals Himself universally (Gregg Allison).” General revelation is everything that is an effect of God existence and actions, like the universe and morality. These things are naturally existent mechanisms that point to the existence of an omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresent Being. Therefore, all humans have the potential to know about God. However, God is not </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">knowable</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> through general revelation. That is to say, we can know God exists because of the effects that His existence causes, but we cannot know Him personally unless He chooses to reveal Himself to us, and He did that through the Bible. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Scripture is God’s chosen mechanism to unveil Himself to the creatures made in His image. In this special revelation He perfectly outlines all things that are essential for His people. Those things that He clearly states as vital are what we refer to as 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> tier doctrines. He also reveals through His Word things like how to receive salvation, how to know Him, and how to live according to His will. This is what the Apostle Paul was alluding to in Romans 10 when he wrote, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have not heard?</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” There is no other writing in existence where the Spirit has directly revealed these things. That is why the Bible is necessary, because it is the only place where God has revealed all the things that need to be known about Him in order to live according to His will. Therefore, Biblical submission is a necessary tenant for a faithful Christian. In fact, you cannot be a faithful Christian without the Bible, because there is no other way to know Him. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Attempting to do life without the Bible can be detrimental to the walk of a believer. We often long to hear God speak to us, but are quick to neglect the fact that we have His Word sitting on our shelves. If you want to hear the Father speak aloud, then read your Bible out loud. Another misconception we have as believers is that the Holy Spirit will just speak to us. This is not entirely wrong; God the Spirit does speak to us through different convictions. However, we often easily misinterpret our “feelings” of conviction. The best way to discern whether or not a thought comes from God is to test it against Scripture, and the more you dive into the Bible, the easier it will be to determine His will for your life. Consistent abidance in Scripture is imperative for all believers. Acknowledge the necessity of Scripture for your life and exercise the spiritual discipline of Word-centered devotion. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">As we conclude our series on Bibliology, reflect on King David’s Psalm about God’s Word and think about how this Psalm conveys all of our Scriptural doctrines, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<br />
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-eccd9183-7fff-fae0-56c2-cea134410238" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Psalm 19:7-11 – </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Law of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> is perfect, reviving my soul; the testimony of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the L</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">ORD</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they and gold, even much fine gold; sweeter than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Deuteronomy 30:14 </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">– </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">But the very word is near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">God is omniscient. He knows all things. Every question you could ever have, He knows the answer. Every philosophical thought that perplexes the greatest scholars in history are understood by God. Since He knows all things, He also knows how to properly communicate with His creatures. Although He is infinite, He knows how to communicate in terms that out finite minds can comprehend with clarity. This does not necessarily mean that every Biblical passage is easy to interpret, or that everything in the Biblical context of a passage is easily understood. What it does mean though, is that when studied in the proper historical context, what the Holy Spirit is trying to convey through the human author is clear and can be read with clarity. The Bible clearly states what God wants it to say. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Although God has clearly stated His Word, that does not mean that everything in the Bible is easily understood and interpreted. This makes sense in light of the fact that the Bible was inspired by God who is infinite, compared to humans who have finite minds. The Westminster confession defines clarity as, </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">“All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.” </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	 
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Bible is not blatantly obvious in all that it means, but it is clear about what is </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">needed</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> to know for an orthodox Christian life. All things that Christ followers need to know pertaining to salvation and obedience for the Christian life are plainly stated in Scripture. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This doctrine is most commonly denied on the basis that the Bible is an, “outdated book;” that the Bible was written so long ago that it is not applicable to our current lives or culture. People often think we have outgrown the Bible, but this is not true. The Bible was inspired by the one and only perfect and immutable God. God’s immutability simply means that He never changes, in fact He is incapable of changing. If God never changes then that also means that He never changes His mind, and if He never changes His mind then what He commanded us at any point in the past will never change. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">As we stated at the beginning of this series, all Scriptural doctrines stem from the inspiration of Scripture, clarity is no exception. The Bible is clear because it is inspired by a perfect God. This doctrine is important for us to affirm because it keeps us from becoming cynical about the Bible. This doctrine keeps us from thinking that the Bible is either inapplicable to us, or that we cannot read it because it is clearly written. When the Holy Spirit inspired the authors of the Bible, He inspired them to write exactly what was meant to be in there, and did it with clarity. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-7f7aa342-7fff-795e-45c5-275c558649a2" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Brothers and sisters, read Scripture, study those things that are not easily comprehendible, and obsess over God’s breathed-out Word.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<br class="Apple-interchange-newline" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; font-weight:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000" />
	 
</p>
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The sufficiency of Scripture plays out on two levels. First, the Bible is sufficient in that it is complete and we don’t need any more special revelation from God. Secondly, the Bible is sufficient in that it is adequate for our lives and for our knowledge of salvation. In this article, we are going to look at both of these levels separately. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Completeness</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Revelation 22:18-19 –</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes words away from the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this book. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">            Two of the last four verses in the Bible are devoted to explaining that the Bible is finished. In Revelation the apostle John commands that no one is to ever add anything to the completed Bible, and no one is to ever remove anything from the completed Bible. The Bible is finished, and nothing else written after the completion of the Bible is written by divine inspiration (refer back to the article on inspiration). There is also an argument to be made that these verses are only talking about the book of Revelation not the entire Bible. However, one line of argument that is not debatable is this: the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit strictly through prophets and apostles. All of those prophets and apostles have now died; there are no prophets or apostles alive today. Therefore, after the prophets and apostles died, the Holy Spirit has not given the same divine inspiration to anyone else, so no one can write anything that will be of the same substance as the Biblical writings. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Adequateness</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">2 Timothy 3:16-17 – </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correcting, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">            The first part of these two verses, “All Scripture is breathed out by God,” is the most important text in terms of the doctrine of inspiration. This section is then followed up with four examples of what Scripture is useful for doing, or, “profitable,” for. Using Scripture, we can teach, reproof, correct, and train ourselves and each other. Then in verse 17 we are told why that is, so that, “the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” If we only read one book our entire lives, the Bible would be enough. The Bible is completely sufficient in leading us throughout life. We do not need anything outside of what the Bible teaches. This fact is not to be confused as condemning non-Biblical books, however, but what it is meant to do is encourage us that when we have the Bible, we have everything we will ever need to direct ourselves towards Christ. Scripture tells us all that we need to know pertaining to our salvation: faith alone in Christ alone. The Bible is sufficient in explaining things that we absolutely need to know. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Nothing else that has ever been written is equal with the Bible. That does not mean that other books are not true or even useful for our lives, but it means that nothing else in history has the same power as Scripture. One way we can live out this doctrine is by understanding that the Bible and only the Bible is the only fully adequate source of truth for our lives. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-8bcbc7b7-7fff-eec1-766f-1016b3ccff26" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Brothers and sisters, read your Bible and take comfort in its completeness and adequacy for your life.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b><br />
	 
</p>
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                    [title] => Scriptural Doctrine: Authority
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">1 Thessalonians 4:2 – </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This article continues in our series on Scriptural doctrine. We will cover the authority of Scripture, starting with 1 Thessalonians chapter four verse two. This is the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica – a 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">century Greek city. The main purpose of this letter is explaining the second coming of Christ, but Paul also gives some snippets of instructions. Towards the end of his letter, Paul explains by what authority he is giving these instructions: the Lord Jesus. “The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God (Grudem).” This quote from Wayne Grudem gives us excellent insight to how deep this doctrine actually goes. Everything in the Bible is directly from God, and we should interact with it as if it has the authority of God Almighty, because it does. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">It is important to understand that when Paul says he is writing these things by the authority of Jesus, it doesn’t just mean that this specific letter written to the Thessalonians is by Jesus’s authority, and it also doesn’t mean that only Paul’s letters are by the authority of Jesus. Like we discussed in our earlier article on the inspiration of Scripture, ALL Scripture is God-breathed (</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">2 Timothy 3:16</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">). Therefore, this authority that comes from Jesus, the authority breathed out by God, applies to all 66 books in the Bible. Every single book, chapter, and verse is given to us for us to use it with authority over our lives. Scripture is authoritative because it is literally God’s words told to us with His authority. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">What does this mean for us practically? We can apply this doctrine to our lives daily by living a life of obedience. How do we live a life of obedience in a post-ascension world? Two ways: we obey all that the Bible says and we allow Its authority to shape every sphere in our lives (even the verses that challenge us), and we live out the Great Commission, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” (</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Matthew 28:19</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">). </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This doctrine is highly opposed in our culture, not only by secularists and other religions, but also from antiorthodox movements like progressive Christianity. The inerrancy and authority of Scripture are both true doctrines that are often denied by this movement. This is a problem because the Bible is the only perfect authority to ever exist, and everyone has something that they hold as authoritative in their life. Therefore, if you don’t hold the Bible as authoritative over your life, you are holding something imperfect as your ultimate authority. Because of that you will never have an authority that can properly guide you throughout your life and towards Christ. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d98e1f8-7fff-4e88-31e6-089c74b5d87d" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Brothers and sisters, let’s practice obedience by shaping our lives around the Bible’s authority, and not trying to shape the Bible around our lives. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p>
	<br class="Apple-interchange-newline" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; font-weight:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000" />
	 
</p>
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                    [title] => Scriptural Doctrine: Inerrancy
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">John 17:17 – </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Sanctify them in the Truth; your Word is Truth. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The word inerrant is made of two parts, “in,” and, “errant.” In- meaning not, and -errant meaning with error. Therefore, the word, “inerrant,” literally means, not with error. The inerrancy of Scripture means that every word in the Bible is completely and fully truth, and there is no error within any of the original writings of the Bible. Wayne Grudem defines inerrancy as, “Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact (Grudem).” Everything that the Bible affirms is true. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">John 17:17 quote above, is about half way through a prayer from Jesus to the Father in front of His disciples. Reread this verse carefully and intentionally, Jesus uses specific language in this sentence. He says, “your Word </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">is Truth</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">.” Notice the conjugation of the word, “truth,” in this sentence. He does not say, “your Word is truthful,” or, “your Word is true.” No, He says that God’s Word is Truth. He uses the noun, “truth,” not the adjective, “true,” and He does this for specific reason. The Bible is truth itself. Everything in the secular world that is true aligns with the Bible. For example, the Law of Causality (the philosophical law that everything with a beginning had a cause) is true, and it is also consistent with the Bible. The very essence of truth itself derives from Scripture. Attesting to the truth of Scripture was done over and over throughout Jesus’s ministry. In fact, He referred to the Old Testament 180 times throughout the four Gospels. Jesus believed the Scriptures are true, and we should follow His example.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">We want to be careful to not use circular reasoning here. An example of circular reasoning is: if A is true, then B is true, and if B is true, then A is true. We are not saying that the Bible is inerrant simply because it claims to be inerrant, that would be a logical fallacy and unreasonable. There is outside evidence that points back to the perfection of Scripture. One piece of evidence is archaeological history. There has never been a single archeological discovery that has disproved any claim of the Bible, but there have been hundreds of discoveries that affirm Biblical records. An example of this is the Hittite people. The Hittites were a group of people mentioned all throughout the Old Testament, especially in the books of Moses. For centuries there was no record of the existence of the Hittite people outside of the Bible, so many people who do not affirm inerrancy claimed this was simply an example of the unreliable Bible. This was a huge argument against the Bible until the 1940’s when archaeologists discovered tablets written by the Hittites. There is a plethora of examples just like this which point to the truth of the Bible. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">As we stated in the previous article on inspiration, every doctrine of Scripture stem from inspiration. If you believe in the God of the Bible then you believe in a perfect God, and if you believe in a perfect God then you believe in a God who cannot make mistakes. Therefore, you must believe that the Bible says exactly what God wanted it to say. This can be explained in three premises: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">1.     God is perfect and without error </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">2.     God inspired the Bible </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-left:36pt; margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">3.     The Bible is perfect and without error </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">This doctrine can have a few implications for our lives. By affirming this fact, we have solace in knowing the reliability of the Bible. We don’t have to worry about whether or not we can trust the Bible, or whether or not we should believe certain Biblical commands that do not line up with our current culture. On the other hand, if we do not affirm this doctrine, it leads us down a very dangerous path. If we do not hold to Biblical inerrancy, then we have no authority to fall back on in our daily lives, or if we still choose to hold onto the Bible without inerrancy then we have no firm foundation for anything in our lives because we do not hold to the truth of that so called foundation. Biblical inerrancy is necessary for the professing Christian. Practically enacting this doctrine looks like one very simple task: If the Bible says it, believe it.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"> </b>
</p>

<p>
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-6defbfe4-7fff-0c3f-05ff-4cd696a248e0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Be comforted brothers and sisters, that the Bible in which God gave to us is completely and totally </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">inerrant</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [title] => Scriptural Doctrine: Inspiration
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-ab311b95-7fff-7211-cdda-f825e9766a06" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">2 Timothy 3:16 – </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-ab311b95-7fff-7211-cdda-f825e9766a06" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Scriptural doctrines are all 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> tier doctrines. These are things that we must believe and affirm in order to be faithful Christians. These are doctrines like inspiration, inerrancy, authority, sufficiency, and clarity. We will walk through a series of articles together diving into what these doctrines mean and how they can impact our lives. Our first doctrine is inspiration. All doctrines about Scripture stem from Its inspiration. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-ab311b95-7fff-7211-cdda-f825e9766a06" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Everything that has ever been written in the history of human literacy was written because the author had a reason to write it. The “author’s purpose,” as we were taught in elementary school. For the writers of the Bible, their inspiration was God; more specifically the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit guided the Biblical authors in their writings. As the Apostle Peter explains it in 2 Peter 1, “</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">” The Holy Spirit did not force the writers to do anything, but He helped them. The writing of the Bible was a working relationship between the authors and God. This is why the Bible completely aligns with itself and doesn’t contradict itself, but also has convergent details (details that are not the same, but point to the same central story and theme). This is why we see different personalities come out through the different books, and especially explains the differences in the Gospels. Different humans, being different in personality and different in interests, noticed different details and saw those details that stood out to them as being necessary to record. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-ab311b95-7fff-7211-cdda-f825e9766a06" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Biblical claims to inspiration are where we start understanding this doctrine, but we do not just believe It is inspired because It claims to be inspired. One way to see the divine intervention in the Bible is by understanding what It is historically. The Bible is a collection of books, not just one single book. There are over 30 authors of the Bible, and many of them never actually knew each other. For example, Moses who wrote the Torah never correlated his writings with Daniel, who wrote his book around 530BC. You can apply this example to almost every Old Testament author. However, even though these men never spoke to each other, their books all align together theologically and have a central theme: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Jesus</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">. This points to some sort of divine intervention. The odds of all of these books aligning with each other simply by chance is insurmountable. So, as an honest scholar, one must be open to the inspiration of Scripture. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-ab311b95-7fff-7211-cdda-f825e9766a06" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Finally, what are the repercussions of not believing in inspiration? As a Christian, your baseline of understanding is the Bible. If there is no Bible, then we can know nothing about God or Christianity. Blatantly put: if you do not believe in the Bible, you have no reason to be a Christian. This is sometimes a hard truth to swallow, but it is a necessary one to state. If the Bible is not inspired, then it is meaningless. It is basically just a suggestion book with no substance behind it. This leads us back to the previous statement; if the Bible is not inspired then we can know nothing about Christianity with complete certainty. Thankfully, by God’s goodness, we do have a Bible that is inspired by Him, so brothers and sisters, be comforted in the truth that God’s Word is inspired by Him and given to us freely.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>
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                    [title] => How did we get the Bible?
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                    [content] => <p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<em>By Morgan Cates</em>
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	 
</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Almost every Christian asks questions about the Bible, as they should. Asking questions is the most efficient way to learn more about a certain idea or object. One question commonly asked is, “where did the Bible come from,” or “how did we get the Bible?” These are both excellent questions and ones that every Christian should ask because when you know the etymology of something, you build a strong foundation for your ability to understand it in depth and effectively communicate it to others. The Bible is a collection of 66 divinely inspired books written by over 30 different authors in different time periods, spread across three continents. The process of placing these separate books together is often referred to as the </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Canonization</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> of Scripture. It is important that we understand Canon because it is one of the major divides between the Protestant Christian Church and the Catholic Church. So, how exactly did we get the Canon? </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
</p>

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</p>

<p dir="ltr" style="margin-top:0pt; margin-bottom:0pt">
	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Old Testament</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> </b>
</p>

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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The Old Testament writings that we have today were passed down to us from 435BC and beyond; after Malachi was completed in 435BC there were no more writings added to the Old Testament (Grudem). All 39 books in the OT were written by prophets who were chosen and inspired by God to relay His Word to His people. The first record of OT writings are the 10 commandments written down by God Himself and given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 31:18). From there, Moses went on to write the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah. After Moses’s death, Joshua went on to finish His writings, and write his own historical account of the Israelites. The rest of the OT consists of 30 historical recordings and four books comprised of songs and prophetic sayings. In order for a book to be included in the Hebrew Bible, it had to be written by an Israelite king or prophet who was inspired by the Holy Spirit. There is a small minority of people who argue that the Old Testament cannot be trusted because it was either not reliably recorded, or it was not completed until the 4</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">th</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> century. Both of these arguments fall to their knees in light of a single archaeological discovery: the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest compilation of OT writings that we have today. They were discovered in 1947 (in the Dead Sea, obviously), and date back as far as 150BC. This proves that the OT was placed together before any event in the NT ever happened, and because the Dead Sea Scrolls are consistent with other OT writings we have found, they prove the reliability of our current OT. If you need any more proof of the completeness of the Old Testament Canon, there is zero record in 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> century history of Jesus saying that any of these books should not be used. Which we would highly expect Him to say if there was actually a discrepancy among Canon. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Which books are included in the OT is arguably the most important part of Canon because this is where the Scriptural divide between Catholicism and Protestantism is. The Catholic Bible contains 15 books that are not included in the Christian Bible; these books are known as the Apocrypha, sometimes called, “the lost books of the Bible”. (They weren’t lost, they were left out for a reason). The Apocrypha consists of historical recordings like 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> and 2</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">nd</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> Maccabees, and additions to Esther and Daniel. However, this collection of books was left out for one very important reason: they were not inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is evident in multiple places that after the writing of Malachi, God stopped speaking to His people until the birth of the Son. For example, 1 Maccabees 4:45-46: “So they tore down the altar and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them.” This one verse from 1 Macc. explicitly states that even the Apocryphal writers themselves believed there was no divine inspiration behind their writings. This fact was also affirmed by Jewish historians like Josephus, “From Artaxerxes to our own times a complete history has been written, but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records, because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets” (Jewish Antiquities 11.184). Without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these books are flooded with human error, and that is the reason that the Protestant Church removed these books from the Bible we have today. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">New Testament</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> </b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">The New Testament is compiled of three types of literary work: historical accounts (Gospels & Acts), letters (the epistles), and Biblical poetry (Revelation). These literary works were placed together by the early Church fathers. Their process of discovering which books belong in the NT was significantly easier than their predecessors who compiled the Old Testament. This was because the early Church fathers had a baseline of theology and doctrine already established by the OT. One factor that went into the decision of whether or not a book belonged in the NT was whether or not is was theologically consistent with the OT. Paired with the requirement of theological consistency, the early Church used two other mechanisms to determine what should be added to the New Testament Canon: </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">apostolicity</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">, was the book written by or commissioned by and Apostle, and </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">antiquity</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">, was God displayed in the writing in a way historically accurate compared to other inspired writings, (Allison). The 27 writings in the NT were all completed within the 1</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">st</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> century AD. Therefore, they were each used individually by the early Church during the 2</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">nd</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> and 3</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">rd</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> centuries, and some Churches used different combinations of them to read to congregations and teach from. The first complete list of all 27 books and letters dates back to 367AD (Allison), so is it reasonable to conclude that the New Testament was generally accepted by the Church as inspired holy work from God by the 5</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="vertical-align:super">th</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap"> century. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:700"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">Conclusion</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> </b>
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	<b id="docs-internal-guid-2d1094dc-7fff-01de-9cdb-45f6e4ddb9a0" style="font-style:normal; font-variant-caps:normal; letter-spacing:normal; orphans:auto; text-align:start; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; widows:auto; word-spacing:0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust:auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; caret-color:#000000; font-weight:normal"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:normal"><span style="font-variant-ligatures:normal"><span style="font-variant-caps:normal"><span style="font-variant-east-asian:normal"><span style="font-variant-position:normal"><span style="vertical-align:baseline"><span style="white-space:pre-wrap">It is also important to note the reliability of our current Bible when compared to the original manuscripts. In fact, when scholars line up all the OT manuscripts that have been discovered they are 99.5% consistent with each other, and the 6,000 Greek manuscripts that have been discovered are 99.3% consistent with each other when compared (Challies & Byers). This has made it extremely easy for scholars and historians to compile exact copies of the original Biblical texts. This is how we got the Bible that we have today. Information like this is not usually taught or explained, but it is a great tool in both evangelism and your own personal comfort in the truth of Christianity.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></b>
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