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The Church - The Church's Leaders

There are a number of passages in the New Testament that teach about the who and the why of local church leadership. The New Testament speaks of only two leadership offices for local New Testament churches, one of which has a couple of designations.
Elders In the New Testament we find that the office of the elder is identified by two basic terms: (1) elder (presbyter, GR presbuteros), as a church leader (Acts 14:23; 15:2, 2, 4) and, (2) overseer (bishop, GR episkopos), one who “watches over.” When it comes to the office of “Elder,” the term presbuteros stresses its dignity and the term episkopos its work. An important point to make is that the terms “elder” and “overseer” are used interchangeably in the New Testament, clearly indicating that both terms refer to the same office (cf. Acts 20:17, 28 and Titus 1:5, 7). There are many passages of which only a few will be listed here, that teach us what the duties and responsibilities of an elder are (Acts 11:30; 15:2-6; 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:2; 5:1…
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The Church - The Formation of the Church

The word translated church in the New Testament (ekklesia), means a “called out group” or “assembly.” It is most frequently used of those who are believers in Jesus Christ. In this sense, it is used in three ways: (1) Of all who have, do, and will believe in Christ during the Church age, the time between Pentecost and the Rapture. This is the Body of Christ. (2) Its also used of believers who lived during a particular time during the Church age, and (3) of believers in a particular locality during the Church age. 
A question often asked by individuals is, when did the church begin? While there are some who have suggested that the church existed in the Old Testament, the New Testament evidence clearly points to the contrary. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus stated, “I will build my church,” clearly pointing to a yet future event. His statement clearly indicated that the Church was not in existence when He made that statement.
We also find Jesus stating in Acts 1:5 that believer’s would be baptized “…

Salvation - Eternal Security

As with salvation, the eternal security of a believer does not rest on the individual but rather it is entirely a work of God. Just like we cannot save ourselves or even contribute to our own salvation, neither can we do anything in and of ourselves to stay saved. It is God who saves us and keeps us. Eternal security is a work of all three Persons in the Godhead. The Father’s work can be seen in passages like John 10:28-29; Eph. 1:4-5; Rom. 5:7-10; 8:28-30; Jude 24. The work of the Son can be seen in passages like John 6:39-40; 17:24; Rom. 8:33-34; Heb. 7:25 1 John 2:1. The work of the Spirit can be seen in passages like John 14:17; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; Titus 3:5.

Salvation - The Death of Christ (Part 2)

In the New Testament, the word “regeneration” appears only twice. In Matthew 19:28 it is used eschatologically, “at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne,” and in Titus 3:5, where it is speaking of the rebirth of the redeemed person, “…He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Norman Geisler defines regeneration as “the impartation of spiritual life by God, to the souls of those who were ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ (Eph. 2:1 KJV) and who were ‘saved’ made alive by God ‘through faith’ in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8 NKJV).”[1] Wayne Grudem, as “…a secret act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life to us. This is sometimes called ‘being born again’ (using the language from John 3:3-8).[2] Millard Erickson states, Conversion refers to the response of the human being to God’s offer of salvation and approach to man. Regeneration is the other side of conversion. It is God’s doing. It is God’s transformation of…

Salvation - The Death of Christ (Part 1)

Cairns defines atonement as “The satisfaction of divine justice by the Lord Jesus Christ in His active and passive obedience (i.e., His life and death), which procures for His people a perfect salvation.”[1] Merrill Unger states, “…the atonement is the covering over of sin, the reconciliation between God and man, accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the special result of Christ’s sacrificial sufferings and death by virtue of which all who exercise proper penitence and faith receive forgiveness of their sins and obtain peace.”[2] Paul Enns writes, “The foundational meaning of the death of Christ is its substitutionary character. He died in place of sinners that He might purchase their freedom, reconcile them to God, and thereby satisfy the righteous demands of a holy God.”[3]
In Scripture, we find other words that help us gain a better understanding of atonement, words that cast light upon its meaning. We will look at these words more closely in order to come to a better …

Salvation - Repentance

Repentance is a prominent doctrine in the Bible. The importance of this doctrine cannot be overstated and the New Testament provides us with the reasons for why repentance should be central in the preaching of the Gospel: (1) John the Baptist and Jesus both began their ministries with a call to repentance (Matt. 3:1, 2; 4:17). (2) When Christ dispatched the twelve, as well as the seventy messengers to proclaim the Gospel, He commanded them to preach repentance (Mark 6:12; Luke 24:47). (3) When it came to apostolic preaching, repentance was central (Acts 2:38; 20:21). (4) God’s desire and command to all men is that they repent (Acts 17:30; 2 Pet. 3:9). Failure to do so will guarantee man’s condemnation (Luke 13:3).
True repentance touches man’s: (1) Intellect. By this we mean that repentance causes man to change his mind, views, and/or attitude towards a matter, be it, the Person of Christ, sin, etc. (Luke 15; 18; Acts 2:14-40). (2) Emotions. (Ps. 38:18; 2 Cor. 7:7-11). (3) Will. The idea here…

Salvation - Faith

Cairns defines faith “as the work of the Holy Spirit, His gift to God’s elect, enabling them to believe as true whatever God has revealed in His Word and to accept, receive, and rest upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life. It is never alone, being always accompanied by repentance and producing good works.”[1] Charles Ryrie states, “Faith means ‘confidence, trust, holding something as true.’ Certainly, faith must have some content. There must be confidence about something or in someone. To believe in Christ for salvation means to have confidence that He can remove the guilt of sin and give eternal life. It means to believe that He can solve the problem of sin which is what keeps a person out of heaven.”[2] When writing about faith in relation to salvation, Charles Hodge states, “That faith, therefore, which is connected with salvation, includes knowledge, that is a perception of the truth and its qualities; assent, or the persuasion of the truth of the obje…