Ten Lists Bible Plan 2020

Build Your House on the Rock

Wish I could be as articulate as you Mike. I do like the parallel text in Mat 7:13-8:1, adds a lot of context to Jesus’ words. but Luke captures the hard work required, at least in my KJV version. Luke 6:48  He is like a man which: built, digged deep, laid the foundation on a rock….

If one has ever dug near a stream bed, or in other hard rocky soil, (I remember my dad, who was and underground contractor, describing some of the worse of these) especially to dig deep enough to reach bedrock, you know this takes work and hard work.

No wonder many go a different way.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46 (NASB) 

There is much controversy in the Church these days over some teaching from those who have made it a point to move their doctrine away from the Orthodox into a what used to be called liberalism. However, instead of rejecting everything spiritual as the liberals do, these new teachers claim that they are moving back to the origins of the Church with methods and doctrine that are more indicative of the early church rather than what is called Orthodox now. The followers of these teachers have, for the most part, rejected “church” with any hint orthodoxy in it.

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Ten Lists Bible Plan 2020

It is Finished!

Great answer on the 10 Commandments. Jesus never eliminated the law, in fact he went far in explaining it, not only in the passage below but the whole teaching on the Sermon on the Mount.

Mat 22:34  But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
Mat 22:35  Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Mat 22:36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:28-30 (NASB) 

Sometimes God brings things into our lives that seem devastating. Others may also see these things in our lives and question that God even exists. They cannot conceive of a loving God who would cause or allow debilitating diseases that are always fatal into the fragile bodies of those who profess faith in the Saviour. However, I am always amazed at the deep, rock hard faith displayed by…

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Ten Lists Bible Plan 2020

Is Christianity a Life or Is it a Doctrine?

Well worth reading, maybe it’s just obvious to the readers. But I know of only one church where the pastor regularly teaches through creeds and confessions. It’s more popular to focus on feelings and emotions, and “our better lives now” applications. Perhaps we miss something.

Mike, you are one of my favorite writers, over the years I’ve come to appreciate your writing and generally agree with what you say and how you express it. better than I can say it. Much like you experienced, my last 20+ years has been a journey into more reading and understanding of the Bible, and creeds and confessions, that express Biblical truth, and doctrine.

Along the way we both encountered J Gresham Machen, I read his book years ago, in which he writes, almost 100 years ago, on the changes taking place in the church. One can only imagine what he would say about the multitude changes that have taken place since then.

Mike’s article below is simple and to the point. The place of doctrine (which just means teaching) is so foundational. In fact so foundational, Jesus explains the whole OT teaches about him and his life. The resurrection is the cornerstone on which these truths are witnessed and confirmed.

Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luk 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Mike’s ending quote from Machen says this very thing….

“They came forward, not merely with an exhortation or with a program, but with a message,–with an account of something that had happened a short time before. “Christ died for our sins,” they said, “according to the Scriptures; he was buffed; he has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” – J. Gresham Machen”

I suggest everyone read the full Machen article, Mike posted last year.(see the link). And pick up a copy of the book.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 1 Timothy 4:6 (NASB) 

From January 1986 until the late fall of 2005 I probably would have, if asked, responded to the question in the title that Christianity is a life or at least a relationship while doctrine, though unnecessary, helps us understand that. I didn’t really believe during that time that doctrine was of any real value. Why? My whole understanding of Christianity is that it is based on my experience. For some odd reason I didn’t think much past that in an attempt to understand why my experience would be so radically different than other Christians’ experience.

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