• Jerry Starling

  • Search by Category

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 555 other followers

  • Pages

  • Blog Stats

    • 428,998 hits
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Kevin on QUESTION: Who Was Pharaoh Duri…
    Jerry Starling on QUESTION: Where Does the Bible…
    Lenin Dorsey on QUESTION: Where Does the Bible…
    Matthews Bantsijang on SERMON: How to Stand Firm
    Abraham Uke on QUESTION: What Sin Does Not Le…
  • Top Posts

  • September 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Jan    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
  • Archives

Musing About Baptism


As a life-long member of the Church of Christ, I have had a keen interest in the subject of baptism as long as I can remember. In 1976, I wrote my Master’s Thesis on the subject The Use of Baptism in Exhorting Christians in which I demonstrate that the apostolic use of baptism when addressing Christians (i.e., in the epistles) was to encourage them to unity in Christ, purity in life, and surety in their hope. More recently, I have been tossing another idea around in my head about baptism for the remission of sins, an idea that deepens my understanding of Acts 2:38 considerably. Continue reading

Advertisements

9/11 – Some Thoughts A Dozen Years Later


9 11 2001Yesterday’s remembrance of the 9/11/2001 tragedy was an emotional experience for me. Though not as intense as living through it, it did revive memories of that memorable day. I remembered stopping by my wife’s office that afternoon just to see that she was safe, though I had no reason to think otherwise. I remember the horror I felt at images from New York: airliners flying into the towers, people jumping to certain death because of the fires, people covered in ashes running for their lives, the heroism of police and firemen – and more.

I remembered the blood-lust of the American people seeking vengeance on those responsible – and the almost universal view it was inconceivable we could have inspired such hatred. Continue reading

Lord, Teach Us To Be United (2)


In Part One of this study, we began with Jesus’ prayer for His disciples as He was on the road to Gethsemane. In that prayer he prayed, not only for the Twelve, but for all believers:

…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21, NIV)

I noted that it is easy to see that Jesus wants unity among His followers, but actually being united is not so easy. The reason is that all of us seem to want others to yield to our beliefs and practices while simultaneously declining to yield to the beliefs and practices of other believers in Jesus.

It seems as if we may have taken a wrong road in our search for unity. It’s as if we believe Unity among Christians is something WE must achieve, forgetting God’s role in it.

Indeed, even in His dominical prayer, Jesus said,

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:22-23)

What is this “glory” that the Father gave His Son, which the Son has also given to His disciples? Whatever it is, the purpose of the gift is “that they may be one” as the Father and the Son are one. And, this unity of the believers is “to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Thus, the unity of believers has an apologetic and an evangelistic result. The world will know that Jesus comes from the Father; they will also know that the Father loves them with an infinite love. This will have to have a positive effect on the world among whom we live.

What Is “the Glory” the Father Gave His Son?

Throughout the Bible, “Glory” is associated with Continue reading

Matthew 18:10-35 – Seeking the Lost


There are three sections or stories in Matthew 18:10-35. Taken together, they speak of how God desires His people to do as the Good Shepherd does, and seek those who are lost.

Seeking Straying Sheep (18:10-14)

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.

Jesus told a similar parable in Luke 15:3-7. There, He told it because the Pharisees were scornful of the tax collectors and sinners who gathered around Jesus (15:1-2). The motivation for this parable in Matthew 18 is similar. The purpose is that disciples of Jesus not “look down on” any other person, especially not on any other disciple. Continue reading

What Do You Write in Sand & What in Stone?


I received this today from a friend – and I think it is worth sharing! Thank you Rick.

This is really special.

STONE

TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING
THROUGH THE DESERT
.
DURING SOME POINT OF THE
JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN
ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND
SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE
IN THE FACE

THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED
WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT
SAYING ANYTHING,
WROTE IN THE SAND
,

TODAY MY BEST FRIEND

SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE
.

THEY KEPT ON WALKING,
UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
WHERE THEY DECIDED
TO TAKE A BATH
.


THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN
SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE
MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING,
BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.

AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM
THE NEAR DROWNING,
HE WROTE ON A
STONE:

‘TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SAVED MY LIFE’

THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED
AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND
ASKED HIM, ‘AFTER I HURT YOU,
YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,
YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?’

THE FRIEND REPLIED
‘WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US
WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN
IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF
FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.


BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES
SOMETHING GOOD FOR US,
WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE
WHERE NO WIND
CAN EVER ERASE IT’

LEARN TO WRITE
YOUR HURTS IN
THE SAND AND TO
CARVE YOUR
BENEFITS IN STONE.

THEY SAY IT TAKES A
MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL
PERSON,

AN HOUR TO
APPRECIATE THEM
,

A DAY
TO LOVE THEM,

BUT THEN ,

AN ENTIRE LIFE
TO FORGET THEM.

SEND THIS TO
THE PEOPLE YOU’LL NEVER
FORGET.

I JUST DID.

TAKE THE TIME TO LIVE!

DO NOT VALUE THE THINGS
YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE, BUT VALUE
WHO
YOU HAVE IN
YOUR LIFE!

AND IF I HAPPEN TO GET IT BACK,
THEN I KNOW MY PLACE IN YOUR LIFE

‘Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

PS. I sent it back to him!

Jerry

QUESTION: What Do Righteousness, Justified, and Sanctification Mean?


One of the readers of this blog asked the following question in a comment elsewhere. I have moved his question to this post and offer my reply below it.

Jerry,

I have another request to ask of you. I’ve come to an understanding that I have absolutely NO comprehension of the terms righteousness, justified, and sanctified.

These are obviously common “church” words that we hear often (and read in the scripture), and after a cursory study today, I’m all-the-more convinced that I completely lack understanding.

Honestly, the words make my head spin!

I began studying the words earlier as I was reading Romans 1:16-17, where Paul speaks of God’s righteousness. My bible had a footnote that Martin Luther claimed that scripture to be one of the most meaningful in his walk with Christ…but it took him most of his life to grasp the full meaning of the verse.

So I come to you asking for a basic analysis of these three terms. Continue reading

The Prodigal God: Book Review (1)


The God Whose Gifts of Grace Are Prodigal

My daughter gave me several books from my “wish list” for my recent birthday. One of them is one of the most delightful little books I have read in quite a while. It is Timothy Keller’s THE PRODIGAL GOD: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (New York: Dutton, a member of the Penguin Group, USA, copyright 2008), 139 pages inc. notes.

Keller points out that prodigal does not mean “wayward.” Instead, it means “recklessly extravagant” or “having spent everything.” While the younger son in Jesus Parable was certainly “recklessly extravagant” and “spent everything,” Keller’s focus is on God’s extravagant grace as revealed in the parable (Luke 15:11-32).

Mr. Keller prefers to call this parable, Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: