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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

When Is The Church Not The Church?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

When we use the bible word church to describe the place of fellowship.

 

When we use the bible word church in part of the title of our place of fellowship.

 

My whole point is to get you thinking about how you use Bible terms in un-biblical ways.

 

The more we call our places of fellowship churches the more we put credence to the Roman Catholic teaching that the church is a building or place of fellowship instead of the body of Christ.  When we do such we are subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith.

 

What is the church?

 

and How they are to assemble?

 

These are not clearly taught that is why it has deteriorated to what we do today in calling our fellowship the Independent Baptist Church of "what so ever and ever".  The Bible never used the term church in that way. 

 

 I am going to paste here a teaching on the church written by a KJV Bible Believer.  Using only the word of God.  and hopefully if any of you read it you will see why I challenge you to use biblical terms and word when we speak. and to desire to practice those things you learn as well.

 

 

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  • Members

There is only ONE Body of Christ that is made up of many members. That ONE Body is identified in the Word of God as the CHURCH. Christ only has one Body.

That said, there are also buildings called Churches in the Bible.

In Revelation, we see Jesus speaking to the angel that was sent to the Church at Sardis, to the angel at the Church at Ephesus, and to five ofther Churches in other geographical locations.

I believe those Churches in Revelation to be places of worship where members of the ONE CHURCH, the Body of Christ met. Individually, we are not separate Churches. Rather, we are all members of ONE Body, ONE CHURCH, of which every joint supplieth.

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There are local, new testament churches, to which 98% of the NT references are written, and there is the church, overall, the full body of all believers, (despite how many may argue against that, it IS biblical). 

 

The building is not the church, though there is nothing wrong with giving a local body a name with 'church' in the title, to identify it as such. There is little difference between the church at Galatia and Bible baptist church of Herlong. We give them more of a name now, because with so many false groups calling themselves churches, we add so we can identify what we are. If I just say the church at Herlong, well, many will ask, Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.  

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

a few food for thought questions

 

1) Why are there so many divisions of the blood bought Saints to the point they have to have so many different doctrines and practices?

 

2) Which group of blood bought Saints is correct and who is not?

 

3) Are we willing to emphasize that the church is not the place but the group of blood bought saints?  (Happy clarified that and I knew that.  My point was to get minds stirred up to think biblically about the words we use, especially when it comes to the word church or churches.)

 

4) Knowing what we have learned above how many of you are willing to forgo fellowship with blood bought Saints that are not of our Genre?  If so why?

 

5) How much can we rely on the teaching of men verse the teach of Gods word?  If you know that Gods words are pure, true and right should we not put all we learn to the text of the Holy Scriptures and not our Bible colleges, commentaries and dictionaries?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 

Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.

Good point uke you are on the right track, but I think your conclusion is wrong.  Because most of what we add to God's words are not of God but men.  should we allow men to help us define who and what we are?  or Should we filter it all through solid Bible first and let God define what we are?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Not true.  

Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.

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Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.

Your first statement here is accurate. PrOBlem is, by that statement, you negate the statement that referring to a church "subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith."  And that is why I said your statement was not true.

 

Some people replace works for salvation, but simply referring to a place as a church does not affirm, in any way, that membership is equal to salvation nor does it put credence of works over faith.  That is a very broad-brush statement and it just isn't accurate - no matter who comes to that conclusion.  

 

There may be lost folk who attend our church (and, yes, I did use that word), but if so, they are in the minority, and  definitely do not give more $ or time or anything than those who are members. And, if they attend often, they hear the truths about salvation on a consistent basis - no way that anyone could assume that our usage of the word church in our name implies works.  

 

While I admit the same would not be true of other places, we cannot broadbrush and say it is the general order of things.

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 I sincerely believe we can know a persons' heart.  That which is in the persons' heart eventually manifests itself sooner or later.

If we can't know what is in a persons' heart, then why would the Apostle Peter speak of men of "like precious faith"?  Why would the Apostle Paul call anyone saints and faithful? 

Why?  Because what was in their hearts manifested on the outside.  Their actions and words revealed they were indeed "saints and faithful Brethren".

We can know whether one is saved or not, just as the Apostles also knew.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Perhaps if one is spending a great deal of time with a person it can be determined whether they are truly exhibiting evidence of salvation or not, but when encountering people only casually or even less, it may not be possible to know, at least not for an extended period of time.

 

I know plenty of folks I believe are saved that if one had looked at them at various points of their Christian life they might not have thought they were saved.

 

At the same time I know plenty of "good Christians" who appear to be evidencing the good fruit yet they have no biblical testimony of salvation.

 

Those we are closest to we should be able to tell where their heart is. We should be much closer to our fellow, local brothers/sisters in Christ but that's typically not the case, at least in America. Many of us only see fellow church members once or twice a week and very little, if any, actual contact with them. We can't know one another under such circumstance.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The local church is primary a place where Christians can meet together to be taught the Word of God.

I can WORSHIP God anytime and anyplace.

I can FELLOWSHIP with God and fellow believers anytime and anyplace.

 

"I worship God up at the Church house the same as I worship Him down at my house.

I worship God down at my house the same as I worship Him up at the Church house."

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