Tag: Church

Pursuing Peace Among Brethren (Phil. 4:2-3)

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. (Phil. 4:2-3)

Throughout Paul’s epistle to the Philippians there are a number of references concerning the need for, and importance of, unity. In the opening chapter he charged them to strive together for the faith of the Gospel (1:27), and in the opening verses of the following chapter he called them to make his joy complete by being of the same mind (2:2), and to do nothing out selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind to esteem one another better than themselves (vs.3-4). So, although the Philippians were in many ways a model church, between the exhortations for unity and humility, one could ‘read between the lines’ and suppose that there was some issue that Paul was confronting. Well, such a supposition is confirmed in the second verse of chapter four. There we see what was, at least, the primary interpersonal issue that Paul had on his heart. He wrote, “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”

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Would You Give Thanks for the Corinthian Church? (1 Corinthians 1:4-7)

Would you regularly give thanks for the church at Corinth? I don’t think that many Christians who are familiar with the problems mentioned in 1 Corinthians would. Granted, I may be wrong. But don’t forget – there were a lot of problems in Corinth! Division, lawsuits among brethren, the toleration of sexual immorality, the abuse of Christian liberty, the mistreatment of the Lord’s table, and the misuse of spiritual gifts, are just some of the problems found among them. Yet despite that abbreviated list of infamy Paul could speak honestly under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and say,

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Collectively Relying upon God and Teamwork (Jdg. 1:1-5)

As the Book of Judges opens there are two things that are immediately noticeable to the reader: (1) Joshua has died and so life without Joshua begins for the children of Israel, and (2), the children of Israel get off to a good start.

Joshua had led the people into the Promised Land and to many wonderful victories but now the nation was in a position where they needed to collectively rely upon God because the presence of an intercessor like a Moses or Joshua wasn’t there.

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Learning from Eli (1 Samuel 2:29)

In the opening chapters of 1 Samuel we are introduced to Israel’s negligent High Priest, Eli. He is an interesting and enigmatic character – at least in some ways. He misidentified Hannah’s prayer for drunken speech (1 Sam 1:14), but then he prophetically blessed her (vs.17). He raised Samuel and appears to have treated him kindly; yet, he didn’t care enough about his sons to discipline them as he should have. He humbly acknowledged God’s sovereignty when God spoke to him through “a man of God” (2:27) and through Samuel (3:18); yet, He didn’t repent of the sin that caused the confrontation.

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