Bible Study

Bible Study
Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Angel Visits Mary

Bible Stories

The Angel Visits Mary 

The Angel visits Mary 
(picture thanks to )

One day a very unexpected thing happened to a young girl named Mary. Mary lived in a village called Nazareth. She was not married but she was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an angel appeared to Mary and said "Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!" Mary was shocked and surprised and did not know what was happening. Then the angel said "Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High".

Mary was confused when she heard the angel speak and she did not know how Joseph would respond. Would he still love her and go through with the wedding? So she asked the angel,  “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” Then the angel explained that the baby would be God's son and he encouraged Mary to not be afraid. The angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God".
Then Mary was very happy and said to the angel "“I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”  Then the angel went back to heaven again.

Questions to discuss:
Do you think it would be scary to see an angel?
God picked Mary to be the mother of his Son, baby Jesus. How do you think Mary felt when she realized this? I think she would feel special because God picked her for a very important job. What kinds of things do you think God might pick for you to do? What does God want you to do? ( Be kind to other children, love them and share with them, obey your mom and dad, help your teacher, things like that )  You are special to God and to Jesus, He will always love you and you can be sure that He is always with you. Because Jesus is with us we need not be afraid.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Spirit, the Water and the Blood Bible Study

1John 5:11
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1John 5:6
 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

2 Corinthians 13:1 
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

For a long time I have wondered what is meant in 1 John 5: 6 where it states that Jesus came by water and blood. What does this mean? I had heard some explain that this referred to his humanity, that Jesus was born as we are born into this world. I always felt that it had a deeper meaning than that. So recently as I again was reading this portion of, I felt as though I finally began to gain an understanding. This portion of Scripture in 1 John 5 is bringing clarity to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. It is the record or witness that God is testifying of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  God reveals the truth of Scripture to us by two or three witnesses. And in this passage today, God is saying that there are three that bear record on earth - the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are witnesses that agree on earth. 
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and He is the One who is in our world today, We all know that the Holy Spirit is living inside of those of us who are Christians, He bears witness in our spirits that Jesus is the Son of God - our Savior, and He whispers into our hearts constantly to help us to live the Christian life. Here though the Holy Spirit gives witness to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God - our Savior! 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I believe that the water is the baptism of Jesus when he came to John the Baptist and required of him to be baptized. If we read the story, we see that God bore witness to the fact that Jesus is Son here at the baptism of Jesus. Notice the following verse carefully.  Matthew 3: 17 - And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
This is the witness of the water - God gave witness to the fact that Jesus is His Son.
The blood is of course the death of Jesus on the cross and the fact that He rose from the dead. 
John 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
John 19:24-37  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony of God that He is pleased with His Son Jesus and that He accepted the death of Jesus as atonement for our sin so that we can all be saved through Jesus.
Hebrews 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

So we see the testimony of God on earth by the Spirit, the water and the blood!

There is another testimony of God that Jesus is His beloved Son in the story of the transfiguration. We need to consider this as well. Please read from Matthew 17 with me: Here too God is testifying to the fact that Jesus is His beloved Son and He is pleased with Him and we are to obey Him!
Matthew 17: 1- 5And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Believe on the Lord Jesus today, Receive Him as your Savior and Lord, He is truly the Son of God - our only Savior! Jesus is our Savior, and there is no other at all!

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

1 John 5: 4-11
 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Final Study from the book of Titus

We are studying through the complete book of Titus and we have come to our last study in this book now. Today we are going to be studying Titus 3:8-15. Once again we will go verse by verse and I will comment on each verse as we go along. 

Verse 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Here in verse 8 we are encouraged once again to do good works. We know that good works can never save anyone, but after we have come to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we are to follow Jesus every moment of every day. The Lord has prepared good works for each of us to do and as we obey the nudges from the Holy Spirit, He directs and guides us to do that which He has prepared for us to do.

Verse 9 - But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Here we are instructed ( we must remember that the Bible is not a book of suggestions, it is a book of instructions!! ) We are not to be involved in foolish arguments about genealogies or the law. We must devote ourselves to living according to the teachings of the Bible. Some people are often disagreeable and seldomly will agree with you even if they know you are saying the truth. Some people are just disagreeable for the sake of arguments. The Bible is very clear and in most cases if we just state what the Bible says, there is really no valid argument. The Bible has the ultimate and final authority in a Christians's life.

Verse 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

Here again Paul is not playing games ... he is giving solid instructions. He is teaching that a person that is teaching untruth or one causing sinful divisions in life is to be given two warnings. After that, if there is no repentance or change in the person's behavior, we are to have nothing to do with that person any longer. This is a very difficult portion of Scripture to truly live out. We must be in humble prayer as we go about these issues and be obedient to the direction of the Holy Spirit. 

Verse 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Here Paul elaborates on the heart condition of the person with whom we are to have nothing to do with. Such a person has turned away from the truth and his or her own sins condemn that person. They know that the lifestyle they are living is sinful but they love their sin and have no fear of God in their hearts. Eternal judgement awaits these persons unless they truly repent.

Verse 12-When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Now we come to some closing remarks. Paul is sending a friend out to Titus and is asking him to come to Nicopolis as he plans to spend the winter there.

Verse 13Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.
He is asking Titus to help Zenas and Apollos with whatever they need, to help them with their trip.

Verse 14 And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Here again we are instructed as children of God to learn to do good and to help to take care of the urgent needs of other people. When the Holy Spirit nudges us to supply the needs of others we must be quick to respond. Always be alert to the nudging of the Holy Spirit within your heart and life.

Verse 15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

 Here are the goodbyes and final greetings of the letter. He says "grace be with you all". We all need the grace of our Lord Jesus in our life each and every day. He gives us many blessings each day that we do not deserve nor could we ever earn. Salvation is by grace. God's grace is very powerful and active in our daily life.

That concludes our study in the book of Titus. May God richly bless you as you continue to trust Him and study His Word!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Do That Which is Good... Bible Study from Titus 3:1-7

We are studying through the book of Titus. Today we come to Chapter 3. We are learning to take God at His Word as we are studying verse by verse. What good is it to know the Word of God and then not to obey? We must be willing to yield to the authority that the Lord God has in our lives. He holds eternity in His hand. So let's begin with verse 1 of Titus Chapter 3.

Verse 1: -Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Paul is putting out a good reminder for us all. We are to be obedient to the laws of the land, we are to abide by the law - yes this includes paying taxes willingly and driving within the speed limit! Recently we have seen many instances where the authority of our police officers is not respected. This is wrong and results in much tragedy.  We are to obey the police officers and to show them respect. God has placed them in authority for our safety, our protection and for the protection of our rights and property. We are always to be ready to do the next right thing!

Verse 2: - To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
We are encouraged here and instructed to be careful in our speech. We must not slander others, and we must not be involved in riots or rough types of protests. As Christians we are people of peace and we promote peace, we promote respectful and God honoring conduct. Christian character is that of gentleness and respect. 

Verse 3: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Here in verse 3, we are reminded of what our character and lifestyle was like before we became a Christian - that is before we surrendered our life to Jesus as Lord and Saviour.  In those days we lived foolishly, we were disobedient to the ways of the Lord, we were deceived and served the sinful lusts and pleasures that the devil entices everyone to. Our lives were filled with envy and hate. Thank the Lord that we no longer need to live in the sinful flesh. Jesus has redeemed us by His blood, He died on the cross to save each of us. Please do turn to Him for forgiveness of your sin today- one day it will be too late and we do not know even if we have tomorrow!

Verse 4: - But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Verse 4 has a very important word. It is the word but. It represents the turning point in our lives. We were lost and living in sin ...But then Jesus came and rescued us from our sin! Our Saviour appeared!!

Verse 5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

We are saved by grace, by the grace of God. There isn't anything that we can do to earn God's favor, there is no other way to get to heaven except through Jesus. Jesus is the way! Jesus is the answer! Only Jesus saves!! He washed away our sins, He gave us salvation and new life through the Holy Ghost. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 says - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Verse 6: - Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
God poured out the Holy Spirit on us through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to reside in us at the time of our conversion to Christ. He dwells within us, He guides us and speaks to us into our spirit, He comforts us, and He convicts us when we do wrong. Do not quench the Holy Spirit in your heart. This happen when we refuse to become rid of sin.  The Holy Spirit is there to help you.

Verse 7: - that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is a very exciting verse! The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, Jesus becomes our righteousness. We are free in Him - free to live the rest of our lives here for Him and then to be heirs with  Him of eternal life in Heaven! Praise the Lord! As the old hymn says ..... What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace, when He takes me by the hand and leads me to the Promised Land, what a day, glorious day that will be !!!

Link here to listen to the song "What a Day that will be"  What a Day that will be

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Blessed Hope - Titus 2:11-15

We are studying through the book of Titus. This passage from Titus 2 which we are about to study is a favorite of many many people. It is the passage regarding the blessed hope that we have. We will see Jesus face to face. Our troubles and trials will once and for all be behind us. We wait with great eagerness and longing to be with Jesus! 
So let's go through this passage verse by verse and unpack it slowly:

Verse 11 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
It is the grace of God that provides salvation for us. We read in Ephesians 2:8-9 -For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast

Salvation has been provided full and free for everyone. No one is excluded. All who are willing can be saved. When Jesus Christ came to earth the first time, He came to save us from our sin. The next time He comes, it will be to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. Every knee will bow to Him and confess that He is Lord!

 Verse 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Here in verse 12 we learn that we are to say "no" to the evil that presents itself before us. We are to turn from all that God calls sin, turn away from lust and sinful pleasures. We are to resist evil temptations. We are instructed to in complete surrender and devotion to God. We need to obey Him, do what He says in the Bible. Sometimes we may feel that we have already done what God requires when in fact we have only read about it. One example of this is repentance. We need to repent of our evil ways and turn from them once and for all. The reason why this is so is explained in verse 13.

Verse 13 -  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
 We are looking for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the blessed hope that is alive within us by the power of the Holy Spirit. This gives us hope to endure whatever we are enduring or facing today. This old world is not all there is. We are looking for Jesus to appear in the clouds and take us home! Then we will be with Him forever! No more sorrow, or pain, no more tears. All who are saved through faith in Jesus can rest in this blessed hope of eternal life with Jesus for eternity!

Verse 14 - Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Jesus died on the cross for each of us. He took your sin and mine, He became guilty of that which we have done wrong. Jesus was pure and sinless, but He died to pay for our sin.  He died to redeem us back to God. He died to cleanse us from our sin, to purify us for Himself. We belong to Jesus, we are set apart for Him. We are to bring glory and honor to Jesus by doing the good that He has called for us to do. He has something for each of us to do that will build His kingdom and bring the lost to Him for salvation!

Verse 15  - These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Here in verse 15, Paul says to Titus that he must teach these things and encourage the believers to obey these teachings of our Lord. The Bible is the true Word of God. If you want to hear from God, then open your Bible and He will speak to you. Read the Bible every day, pray and obey the word of the Lord.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bible Study for the Workplace - Titus 2:9 -10

We have been studying through the book of Titus. We have studied exhortations on becoming sound in our faith, exhortations to younger men, older men, women and now today we come to a study on the workplace. What is our attitude supposed to be toward our employer? God's Word has the answers to all areas of our lives. We will go through two verses only in this study. So let's begin by going to Titus chapter 2 verses 9 and 10.

Titus 2:9-10 - Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
picture thanks to

picture thanks to 

This portion of Scripture is addressed to servants. Some translations use the word slave. At the time when this was written, many people served in this role. They were treated as members of the household in which they served. They were usually paid and were given the opportunity to earn their freedom after a given period of time had passed. So we see that there are differences but also similarities to the workplace environment today. You probably see yourself as part of the business you work at and it is your "work family" so to speak.
First of all, beginning in verse 9 - servants are encouraged to be obedient to their masters. This is pretty straight forward, you need to do what the boss tells you. Your boss or employer has authority over those working for him, and the employees need to do what they are instructed to do. Next we see that the servant is to please the master in all things, not answering again. This is saying that you to do your job well, with integrity when your boss is not looking. You do your work well regardless of whether anyone is watching or not.  And not answering back is that you will not bad mouth your employer nor talk back to him, you will show him or her respect.

Verse 10 begins with the words - not purloining, but showing good fidelity.  This means that as an employee you must not steal, but you must show yourself to be completely trustworthy. This would include taking the right length of coffee breaks and lunch time. It is so easy to take a few extra minutes but we must not give in to this temptation, it is a form of stealing. Also another way that purloining happens at the workplace is if you take supplies home with you, perhaps it is paper or a pen, or whatever is available at your particular job site.  We are encouraged to never take that which does not belong to us. As Christians we need to be entirely trustworthy. We serve the Lord Jesus Christ and not ourselves. Whatever we do is to be glorifying to the Lord Jesus as we read in 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Now we come to the final part of verse 10 - we are to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. What does it mean to "adorn the doctrine of God"? It is to behave in such a way that others will be drawn to the Lord Jesus. They will see your positive attitude, your patience and perseverance even on the days that are hard or extra busy. You will be kind, thoughtful and helpful, listen to others and share in their joys and sadness. Lend a helping hand where you can. Share your faith with others in your workplace and point them to Jesus every day.

Galatians 5:22-23
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Bible Study for Young Men from Titus 2:6-8

We are doing a Bible Study that will take us through the book of Titus. Most recently we have studied Biblical instructions to younger and older women and also to older men. I would encourage you to read these study posts as well. Here are the links: Bible Teaching for Younger and Older Women 

Bible Teaching for Older Men

But today the focus of our study is young men. At first thought you might think that it will be a teaching on how to treat a young woman or girlfriend or on remaining sexually pure. These are very important issues and you may be surprised to find a variety of instructions to young men in three short verses. So let's begin and see what these verses from Titus 2:6-8 will teach us. We will go through each verse in the study.

A Teaching to Young men - ( picture )

Titus 2: 6-8

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

 Verse 6Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

Here again we see the word sober minded. We have seen similar words of exhortation to women and to older men in previous studies. Young men are encouraged to live with a sober mind. This means to live intentionally and to make right choices with purpose. Sometimes a young man does not take the time to think through the choices he is making and he seems surprised when he must face the consequences of his actions. Here in Titus young men are strongly encouraged to be careful to be of sober mind.  Living sober mindedly first of all includes submitting your life to the Lord Jesus Christ in complete surrender. To do this is the most important thing you can ever do and then as you make Jesus Lord of your life and your first love, everything else in life will fall into place. With Jesus as your Savior, the Holy Spirit then indwells you and living according to Biblical teaching becomes clearer every day. So secondly, living sobermindedly would include living a life of integrity, being careful of the friends you choose, careful in entertainment choices and abstaining from alcohol, abstaining from drugs and smoking, and other addictions. Viewing and participating in pornography has no place in the Christian life. It is very dangerous to view and participate in pornography and lustful living and will have lifelong consequences in friendhips and it makes it almost impossible to have a good marriage. So please, please young men do not set yourself up for failure by viewing and participating in pornography, it is a terrible addiction. The Bible has very harsh words for anyone who is living in immorality. Please do not take this lightly. ( For a more complete look at what the Bible says about pornography/immorality, please read my blog post on this topic - link here Sexual Immorality

Ephesians 5: 1-7

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Verse 7In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Here in verse 7, a young man is encouraged to be an good example to those he come in contact with. Let your peers, friends, family and fellow employees see you doing good. A Christian should be the most loving, kind and helpful person anyone meets. When you feel that  prompting from the Holy Spirit, urging you to help someone and to show kindness, then do not hesitate to follow the Lord. 
Make it your habit to read and study your Bible every day. Set aside a time of day and a place where you meet with the Lord, and pray about everything - and just thank the Lord for things, what He has done for you, for His presence in your life and how He is guiding you, He has your best in mind and He will not disappoint you when you give your whole mind, soul, and body to the Lord Jesus.
The Lord would have men to be leaders, so be willing to follow the Lord in this. Study the Bible and be ready to teach others the pure Word of Scriptures.
Let everything you do be done with integrity, serving the Lord with intentionality.

Verse 8- 
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you

Here in verse 8, young men are encouraged be be careful in speech. As quoted in the earlier passage from Ephesians, in verse 4 we read these strong words, as to what is not to be a part of our speech - so  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks

So we see that foolish talking, or dirty jokes, are not to be a part of our conversations. Another translation reads -  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

 It is important to always be a man of truth. Satan is the father of lies and every lie you or I tell is pleasing to satan but entirely a sin and an offense to the Lord Jesus. 

Be encouraged young men - live your life with integrity, intentionality, truth, decency, purity, and love the Lord Jesus with all your heart. Put Him first in your every thought and decision and may the Lord richly bless you as you seek Him!!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Household Faith

In this post I want to explore "household faith".  It is something that I feel I would like to understand more fully. If anyone reading this post has some understanding or further insights of this topic I invite you to leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Recently I wrote a post about my Dad's final message to our family where he quoted Joshua 24:15 where it says .. choose you this day whom ye will serve; ...and.... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Link to that post here  Dad's Final Message to the Family   I believe coming to faith is an individual personal experience but I am also wondering if it is possible for a father or the parents of the household to claim the family for the Lord and that somehow it would put a hedge of protection around the family that Satan then would not be able to easily penetrate? Another way of saying it, would be to have a "roof" of protection over the entire family. I think it is very possible that this is true but perhaps many times not something that we see happening in our families today. God has placed responsibility on the shoulders of the parents and even more solidly on the shoulder of the father in the home as to what happens in a household. God has given each of us responsibility and requires us to do our part in the family unit.
As I look in my Bible and ponder what it says, I think there must be something there - the idea of "household" faith. Please allow me to quote some passages :

(1)  The first one is in Genesis 48: 5-6 where Jacob claims the two sons of Joseph namely Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons to be in the clan of 12. -Genesis 48: 5-6 says :
 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
  And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

(2)  In John 4 Jesus heals a nobleman's son and after the healing it says in verse 53:  So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

(3)  Acts 10 describes a man by the name of Cornelius, a centurian of the Italian band and it says in verse 2 that he was  "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."

(4)  Acts 16 tells of a woman named Lydia whose heart the Lord touched and in verse 15 it says : And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

(5)  In the latter part of Acts 16, Paul and Silas land up in prison. There in prison they pray and sing praises to God and the other prisoners hear them. Then when the prison doors are opened up by an earthquake, the jailor is frightened and about to kill himself, but Paul and Silas lead him to the Lord to salvation and in verses 33 and 34 it says:
 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

(6)  And one final example would be in Acts 18:8 where a man named Crispus is saved: And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

What a wonderful blessing indeed to have an entire household saved and living for the LORD!
Again I would invite comments if anyone out there has some insights into the topic of "household faith".

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Bible Teaching for Women Titus 2:3-5 - younger women and older women

Titus 2:3-5
 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

The portion of Scripture that we want to study today speaks to how a woman should conduct herself, and some character traits that God expects of women. The passage first speaks to older women and then follows with clear teaching for young women. As you read this portion from the book of Titus, you may feel like it is old fashioned, maybe it was good for our mothers and you may question if it applies to your life today. May I remind you that God does not change, He is the same yesterday and today and forever, His values do not change with the changing culture and His truth and Word do not change. Therefore we know that this applies to each of us today. So with that in mind, let's take these verses one at a time and see what God is calling us to do.

Verse 3- The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
This verse is speaking to the older women among us.
God is calling older women to live holy lives. This means to be completely dedicated to the Lord in mind, body and soul. Some translations use the word "sacred", so it is my understanding that the Lord would have the older women to demonstrate what it looks like to be completely surrendered to the Lord, in words and in actions. 
The verse goes on with the instructions for older women to not falsely accuse others, to not indulge in wine. God does not want anyone to be enslaved to alcohol or other addictive substances and He is calling on older women to set the example here. Older women are teach others, able to give counsel and answer questions. As we grow older, we have already experienced many life situations, many disappointments have come our way, and we have grown closer to our Lord through these hard times. Therefore we can encourage others who are going through tough times now. God our heavenly Father is faithful, He will never forsake His own, He loves us dearly.

Verse 4- That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Now in verse 4, the older women are instructed to teach the young women. It begin with the teaching to be sober. An explanation for this word sober is to be sober minded, this would include abstaining from alcohol and other mind altering drug addictions and substances. After all how can one manage a household if one is not clear minded. Young women are to be disciplined in mind and body. One example of this is in how we dress. You are not honoring the Lord Jesus when you expose your breasts with the low cut clothing that is so modern today, or when you wear figure revealing jeans etc.  God is honored when we dress modestly and discreetly and keep ourselves for our husband. It is not right to dress provocatively to be sexy, or to be flirtatious. Your body belongs to the Lord and to your own husband and is not for every man on the planet to gaze upon.

Next we read that the young woman is to love her husband. A good practical definition of love is "you before me, your needs before mine". This is pretty self explanitory. You put your husband and his needs before your own. This does include being a loving and willing partner with your husband in the bedroom. You keep yourself for him alone, he is the one you love, the one God has brought into your life. Do not go outside of your marriage for affirmation or any thing you think you should be getting from your husband but are not. God will fill the gap and meet your needs. You speak well of your husband,you encourage him in the good he does for you and the family. Let him know that you are proud of him and appreciate him. The husband is to be the spiritual leader in the family, God expects the husband to lead the family. The husband must always remember that his wife is a gift to him from the Lord and he needs to show her love and appreciation as a gift from the Lord.
The young woman is to love her children - As mothers we know this to be so true. A young woman will spend countless hours and energy with the children, loving them and meeting so many needs. Many times a mother is so tired from being on duty as mom 24 hours every day, 7 days a week. The needs of the children are never ending and yet being a mom is one of the greatest joys on earth. God will surely bless each mother who so diligently cares for the children that God has given. Each child is a special gift from the Lord above and must always be treated kindly and lovingly and as a true gift.

Verse 5 -To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

To be discreet, chaste - we have already touched on the topic of being discreet and chaste. This certainly does refer to how a woman dresses. As I wrote earlier, God is not honored by low cut revealing and tight clothing. This also refers to good decision making in other areas as well. We should not be extravagant and spend money unnecessarily. It is so very easy to spend more than we should, so we must always be on guard in our spirits to not allow the devil to mess us up in this area. We must be careful what we watch on TV, or the internet and we must be careful what we allow our children to watch. We must be careful of our friendships including those on Facebook and guard against gossip, we must be careful of who are children are spending time with. There is much to be cautious about and we must give ourselves to prayer and the study of the Bible in order to hear the Holy Spirit whisper words of guidance into our hearts throughout the day.

Now we come to "keepers at home" - some translations say " keepers of [their own] houses",  some say "homemakers" or "good housekeepers." The woman's first place is in the home, caring for the family and taking care of the home. These are her main responsibilities. God has created the husband and the wife with roles that compliment each other and that bring blessing and peace to the family unit. We need to trust the Lord to provide the strength needed to carry out the role that He has ordained even if it is not glamorous.

Now we come to the word "good" - this means good and kindhearted, tenderhearted - doing good from within your heart, not because it is expected of you but because in your heart you want to do that which pleases our loving heavenly Father.

Next we come to "obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" , now you probably have questions! What does this mean? This is written as a protection for the family unit. Someone has to be the person to make the final decision in a matter, and God says it is the husband's job. This does not mean that a woman in under the authority of every man on the planet, only her own husband has authority. This type of authority is not demeaning or like a ruler, or a "do as I say or else type of authority". Not at all!!  This is a loving response on the part of both husband and wife to accomplish that which is in best for the family in the eyes of the Lord. The husband will someday give account before the Lord as to how he has lived and how he has lead the family in the role of lover, provider, spiritual leader, guide and the one who has the final word in the bigger decisions of life. There must be respect and the husband must allow his wife to give input and her perspective in these bigger family life decisions. A man and woman will see things differently and both perspectives are important, so there needs to be good constructive conversations. God wants each of us to live so as to bring glory to His Name. It will build the family life and those around us will be drawn to seek the Lord.