Circular Reasoning

2 Ti 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:     KJV

This verse is normally used to prove the inspiration of the Bible. Of course, that is circular reasoning and will never persuade an intelligent person.

That is basically the same as saying, “Of course I am right. I said it, didn’t I?” Just won’t wash.

(Some people, who are not able to follow simple logic, but feel they must ‘read between the lines,’ will arrive at the conclusion that I do not believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth!! If that is true for you, then please read again the statement that you find objectionable.)

The Bible is the inspired word of God. It contains one of the aspects I wrote about yeterday–Every Word of God. And we need to have every word of God in order to live (Matt. 4:4).

Notice the value of the Word: it is profitable, or advantageous.

It is profitable for use in four areas: doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction.

When you spend your daily time in the Word, (you do spend daily time, don’t you?) you should be looking to have at least one of these experiences from your reading/study:

  • You should come away with an “Aha!” or
  • You should come away with an “Ouch!” or
  • You should come away with an “Uh-oh” or
  • You should come away with an “Ahh.”

Same thing said another way:

  • doctrine–reveals the path
  • reproof–for getting off the path
  • correction–help in aligning on the path
  • instruction–how to stay on the path

Now, many think this passage refers to preachers as they try to prepare their sermons. Let’s look just a little deeper into this.

Verse 16 is certainly joined by verse 17–

2 Ti 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.   KJV

We have made the mistake and joined the error that accepts “man of God” as preacher, thereby excluding others.

Why such a limitation? If you are following the Lord, is it not your desire to be a man or woman of God? Don’t you desire to be perfect? Don’t you desire to have what you need for every good work?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 is a great Bible passage for ALL believers.

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Faith Is a Gift

Eph 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:   KJV

Salvation is the gift of God through Jeus Christ. There is absolutely nothing that we, as human beings, can do to appease the wrath of God for our sin. That is, there is no kind of good work, no kind of service, no amount of money, no kind of penance that we can do to avoid the just reward of our sin.

But…

I can accept the work of Christ on my behalf. I can receive Jesus as my Savior by a simple confession of words through my mouth. (Rom. 10:9)

It is God’s grace that He has bestowed on mankind. It is God’s grace that He has permitted this method of atoning for our sin.

Grace has been defined as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe. That is love. That is grace. That is God’s unmerited favor toward me.

Yes, it is a gift given free, without charge, and undeservedly.

But look more closely at the verse under consideration.

What is it that is “not of ourselves?”

What is the gift of God? What is it that is not of (y)ourselves?

We’ve always been told that it is our salvation, our being saved, that is the gift of God. While that is absolutely true, we have missed one important aspect and have been shortchanged in our walk with God.

Faith is also the gift of God, according to this verse. Read it again with that thought in mind.

Faith is not something I must drum up, or exert effort to obtain.

How does faith come? By hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

God has given us His Word. He gives us more than ample opportunity to hear His Word. When we hear His Word, faith is the result. It is free for the taking. It has been given to everyone and only remains for us to use it (Rom. 12:?3).

Can you see how great is our God?!? He has left nothing to our imagination or our own feeble efforts. Everything we need has been provided (2Pet. 1:3).

Glory to God!

Speak Softly

Pr 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.      KJV

The Bible has much to say about our speech–the way we talk, the words we use, and how we use them.

This verse has much to say about the responses we engender with our words. If we would be conscious with our speaking, we could notice how people respond to us and gain insight into our own hearts. However, many of God’s people have bought into the New Age philosophy that says, “It’s their problem.”

“If they get angry, it’s their problem I didn’t do anything.” Isn’t that a cute way to once again avoid responsibility for our actions? Seems to work well for the ‘no-fault’ society in which we live.

This verse points out something different, though. It claims that if our words are grievous, then anger gets stirred up.

If your experience is that many get angry when you talk, then maybe you should look to yourself, and not to them. Maybe it is your ‘grievous’ words.

Grievous means: OT:6089
an earthen vessel; usually (painful) toil; also a pang (whether of body or mind)
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

The first thing to notice is that the base meaning of the word is ‘earthen vessel.’ When we speak from ourselves and not from the spirit, then we are likely to stir up something unpleasant in the listener.

‘Soft answer’ is both tone and content. We can turn away wrath in ourselves and others with a soft answer. Learning to speak softly in this way will require practice over a long period of time for most of us. But, if you would like to see a shift in the way people respond to you, then it will be well worth the effort to put these concepts into practice.

Good Works Not Enough

John 5:28-29   Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

This passage, of course, speaks directly to the future judgment of all people. There will indeed be a resurrection at the end of the age. This Bible doctrine is plain enough for everyone to understand. The fact that I will be resurrected into one realm or the other should be motivation enough to learn what it means to live a good life.

However, many are trusting in only their good works. Let us remember that without a living relationship with the Living One, our good works are meaningless:

Isa.64:6a But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;..KJV

Mt 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.             KJV

A life of doing good works, of being a good person, means absolutely nothing if those works are not born from the Spirit. They cannot be born of the Spirit if you are not born again.

Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.                                                                     KJV

If you are not sure whether you are born again, write me at dale@practicalbibleteaching.com and let me help you to know for sure.

www.PracticalBibleTeaching.com

~Learning to Speak the Word

Practicing the Presence of God
THE E-ZINE OF PRACTICAL BIBLE TEACHING
Part of the world-wide-web ministry of Dale Hill Ministries
Learning to Speak the Word
By
Gracie Hill

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!

As you can see, there have been some changes in the way we are doing things. Take time to read Gracie’s article and then browse around the new Blog.

Hill’s Happenings is no longer a part of the newsletter, but is posted on this site under its own category. Whenever something worthwhile happens, we post it to that area. That way we don’t have to wait until something occurs; and neither do we have to struggle to find something to put into the newsletter. Besides, I don’t imagine everyone on this list cares about what is going on. (grin) For those who do want to keep up, you can subscribe to this blog and be notified when something is posted.

There is also the Prayer & Praise tab at the top of the page. Put your prayer requests here. Those who are subscribed to the blog will get your request in their inbox and will be praying on your behalf.

There are more changes coming, but, for now, enjoy and learn from Gracie as she writes about

Learning to Speak the Word.

Speaking the Word must begin with learning the word. That begins with reading the Word and placing it in our minds continually, until it filters down into our hearts as we continually repeat it. This process works so well that the advertising business has used it for their products. It changes the way we think.

James is a good place to start the renewing of your mind, with the goal of placing God’s word in your mouth.


Picture a teapot. God’s word, living water, is poured into the pot. It filters through the tea of your mind into the body of the pot, your heart, and is poured out the spout, your mouth, to refresh those around you.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (KJV)


The words of the song come to mind: “Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts, let us not lift our soul to another, O Lord let us be a generation that seeks your face, O God of Jacob.”

Matthew Henry wrote the following for James 4:1-10:

“Draw nigh to God, in his worship and institutions, and in every duty he requires of you.” 2. Cleanse your hands. He who comes unto God must have clean hands. Paul therefore directs to lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting (1 Tim 2:8), hands free from blood, and bribes, and every thing that is unjust or cruel, and free from every defilement of sin: he is not subject to God who is a servant of sin. The hands must be cleansed by faith, repentance, and reformation, or it will be in vain for us to draw nigh to God in prayer, or in any of the exercises of devotion. 3. The hearts of the double-minded must be purified. Those who halt between God and the world are here meant by the double-minded. To purify the heart is to be sincere, and to act upon this single aim and principle, rather to please God than to seek after any thing in this world: hypocrisy is heart-impurity; but those who submit themselves to God aright will purify their hearts as well as cleanse their hands. (Emphasis added)

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

Drawing near to God requires faith, repentance, and reformation. It requires clean hands, free from wrath and doubting. It requires a pure heart, free from double-mindedness. It requires a single purpose, aim and principle. We believe, we turn from the present way of thinking, we change to a new way of thinking as we converse with God, we accept his way of thinking. We put it into action, denying doubts and WRATH {The Bible declares that all people are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph 2:3) (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)}. Sin is a translation of wrath. We keep a single purpose that has one aim, to please God, and one principle to be what he wants.

To summarize,

we believe,

we turn from the present way of thinking,

we change to a new way of thinking, [the renewing of our mind] as

we converse with God,

we accept his way of thinking,

we act by denying doubts and wrath (sin), and

we focus on a single purpose that has one aim—to please God,

and one principle—to

be what he wants.

Read the Word, learn the Word, speak the Word, share the Word.

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