1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1: Teach ONLY the Doctrine

                Paul writes a letter to his son Timothy, and asks him to command that local church leaders in Ephesus and Macedonia (among others) to “…teach no other doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:3) During this time it was probably common practice for local leaders to stray slightly from the real doctrine and perhaps teach their own views, or tell stories that are more tradition than fact. Paul encourages his son to not “…give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith…” (1 Timothy 1:4) Essentially Paul is explaining that it is not important to know every detail about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because often times this intense studying of the gospel only leads to questions that may or may not edify someone in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to explain that all we need to know/have (as followers of Christ) is charity and a pure heart. Paul explains that many, who desire to be teachers of the law (and gospel); teach things that are not necessarily correct or true. Because of this, they do not understand; “…what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:7)

                Paul teaches us that no one is perfect, and for this purpose; “…Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) However, we need to strive to be perfect and strive to be like Jesus; “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” (1 Timothy 1:19) In other words, we are not perfect. However, we should strive to be perfect and hold our faith so that we aren’t led away by the devil.

2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11: Satan sends forth False Prophets

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians with his concern that just as Eve was beguiled by the Devil in the Garden of Eden, so will the Members be fooled into believing a different Gospel than the one he preaches.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have no preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4) In other words, if someone preaches a different gospel than what is the truth, you should not listen to them! Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel has no price, and asks the Corinthians if he has done something wrong by offering them the Gospel free of charge; “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 111:7) It seems that the Corinthians were confused as to how the gospel could be free, and were somehow offended that they were not being taken advantage of. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE, and no one preaching the gospel should be paid for doing so! That means that ministers, reverends, fathers, pastors, etc. should not be paid!

Paul explains that many will come and deceive them, Paul describes such people as; “…false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ… for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Paul knows that the Corinthians are being fooled and because of this, Paul decides to “…glory after the flesh…for ye suffer fools gladly…” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19) Because the Corinthians are not so accepting of his speaking without having divulged into his credentials and boast of himself… Paul caters to them and boasts of himself;

“(I speak as a fool) … Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:23; 25-26) Essentially Paul is saying that he has no need to boast of his credentials, as to why they should listen to him. He should have no need to explain all of his acts, but he does so anyways. Why? Because they wouldn’t listen to him if he didn’t.

Romans 1

Romans 1: The Power of the Gospel unto the Salvation of God’s Children

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ and called as an Apostle and being separated unto the Gospel of God; writes to the Romans. Paul testifies of Jesus Christ, being the Son of God and that through the faith on His name [Jesus Christ] the Saints can overcome. Paul explains that he is in debt with not only God, but the Greeks, Barbarians and the Romans themselves. Paul explains that he is “…not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Paul explains his desires to come to Rome. He exhorts the Saints in Rome to live their lives by Faith. He reminds them to not boast in their abilities, for their fathers of old; “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22) They became fools, by changing the glory of God. They turned the simple truths of God into something more corrupt, like men. Because of this corruption, God sent sufferings to all men who despised His name.

Paul warns of those who change the natural order of the role of men and women (homosexuality). He warns of those who participate in “…all unrighteousness, fornication [Sex outside of Marriage], wickedness, covetousness [eagerness to possess something, not belonging to yourself], maliciousness [the need to see others suffer]… envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity [wishing evil to others]; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…” (Romans 1:29-30)

Ecclesiastes 9-10

Ecclesiastes 9-10

Chapter 9: Time and Choice Happens to All Men

Solomon believed in enjoying life as a gift from God. The world is finite, and sin has twisted life, making it something other than what God intended. Society honors many things above wisdom such as attractiveness, wealth, popularity, and success. Solomon believed that wisdom is the greatest asset even though it often goes unrecognized.

                “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity [prideful, meaningless life]…” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) – (See Proverbs 5:18-20)

                Life is about getting married and having children… it is about spending your short life with someone that can enlighten you and make you a better person.

                “…Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.” (Ecclesiastes 9:16)

                You don’t need money or fame to make you powerful and wise… even the simplest man can be filled with knowledge. This means that we need to listen to everyone and value their input.

Chapter 10: Fools Are Full of Words

By describing circumstances that are unfair or don’t make sense, Solomon is saying that wisdom alone can’t bring justice. Everything we have is nothing without God. But when he uses what little we have, it becomes all we could ever want or need. If you lack skills, you should sharpen them through training and practice. This will make you more effective for God’s work.

One particular verse really caught my eye… “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2) I am not going to say it, but there is something political about this verse.

 

Proverbs 25-26

Proverbs 25-26

Chapter 25: Don’t Boast

                It is important to note that this Proverb was written by Solomon, “…which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.” (Proverbs 25:1)

                Solomon gives some really good advice…

                “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.” (Proverbs 25:14)

                What is this verse telling us? It basically says that a person who promises a gift, but doesn’t give it is like clouds that  fool you into thinking it will rain, when it never does. Don’t try to fool people!

                “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:” (Proverbs 25:21)

                This is a very simple principle, “Love thy neighbor” and “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. We should always do the right thing, even if the right thing is not popular or if it is not in our favor.

                “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” (Proverbs 25:25)

                This one I loved as a missionary… it is always good to hear from people, especially when you are far away. Make sure you keep in contact with friends and family.

                “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)

                We need to have self-control, if not we are vulnerable for anyone or anything to come into our lives and reek havoc!

Chapter 26: Honor not the Fools

                “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

                If we return to our sin, we will be as the dogs and the fools.

                “When he [a fool] speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart” (Proverbs 26:25) (For the seven abominations see: Proverbs 6:17-19)

                When someone seems to be saying something that is a lie, it probably is! That person is probably not looking out for your own interests, but that of HIS interests. I hate to say it, but used car salesman comes to mind.

                “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone it will return upon him.” (Proverbs 26:27)

                If we get ourselves into trouble, by lying or by doing something we shouldn’t… eventually we will dig ourselves into a hole or we won’t have enough strength to hold the stone and it will come tumbling down on us.

 

Psalms 53-54

Psalms 53-54

Chapter 53: The Fools Say there is NO GOD!

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

                David’s main point in this Psalm is to tell the reader that the only people who do not believe in God, and will openly say that there is NO God are FOOLS! Most of these fools are also corrupt and work iniquity and evil.

This reminds me of the same people who discredit and attack the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon) because we believe;

  • God is our loving Heavenly Father.
  • Jesus Christ is his Son, our Brother and Savior
  • God spoke to Prophets of old and continues to speak to prophets TODAY.
  • God’s “Word” is NOT limited to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

As many of you who are reading this now, know that the “Mormons” or Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS for short) believe in the Book of Mormon. Many people in Christianity say that we cannot possibly be Christians because we believe in something more than the Bible. Does that mean we don’t credit the Bible as Word of God? Absolutely not, this blog should prove that! We love the Bible, but we know that God has spoken to His children throughout the world, not just to the children of the Middle East (The Bible), but the children of the Americas too (The Book of Mormon). To those people who believe that there cannot be more than just the Bible… Remember what the Book of Mormon says;

“And because my words [meaning the Book of Mormon] shall hiss forth–many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

“But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?…

“Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

“Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?” (2 Nephi 29:3-4, 6-7)

Chapter 54: David Pleads to God

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?

                This is a Psalm that was written while David was hiding from Saul in (1 Samuel 23). The Ziphites came to Saul in Gebeah asking if David was hiding in the hills of Hachilach. David prays to the Lord and asks for His help to overcome his enemies.