Ask Your Preacher
Does the last psalm have any practical value today?
Dear Sing It,
Most of the Psalms don’t have practical value; they have emotional value and provide moral strength. Psalm 150 is a call to praise the Lord, a reminder of God’s glory and how we ought to place Him first in all we do. Ps 150 doesn’t tell us how to praise God today, but it does tell us the importance of praising God and exalting His unending glory. If we want to know how to praise God, we must look to the New Testament.
How do the gospel writers reapply the Law of Moses for the New Testaments communities of faith? Also, what aspects of the Law, if any, are still in operation, and what aspects are no longer binding over God’s people? Thanks.
Dear Law Learner,
Jesus was born a Jew (Matt 1:17), lived under the Jewish law (Lk 2:41-42), and even taught His fellow Jews to obey the Old Testament law (Matt 23:1-3). Judaism was the right religion, until Jesus died on the cross and replaced Judaism with Christianity. The Old Testament, the law the Jews followed, was a tutor to lead people to Christ, but after Jesus came, mankind was supposed to follow Him instead (Gal 3:24-25). The Jewish law said that someday there would come a Messiah who would save them from their sins – Jesus was that Messiah (Jhn 1:45). The Jewish law taught mankind that they needed a Savior, and that they should prepare for His coming. Jesus came providing the grace and truth that wasn’t possible under Jewish law (Jhn 1:17). Jesus’ death made a permanent sacrifice for sins that none of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever could (Heb 10:1-4).
The Old Testament was a tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24), but now that Christ is here, He has fulfilled the law, and we are no longer bound by its laws (Gal 3:25). The Old Testament still provides many wonderful examples and lessons of morality (1 Cor 10:11), but its specific laws no longer apply.
Do you know why the medium freaked out after seeing the ghostly Samuel (1 Sam 28:12)?
Dear Surprise Me,
One reason she was so scared was because once she realized that the man who had hired her to conjure up a ghost was King Saul, she feared for her life. Saul had previously cast out all the mediums from the land (1 Sam 28:3). The other likely reason was that she had never actually seen a ghost! Mediums and sorcerors were charlatans back then just as much as they are today.
Why does Joseph run out without his coat when his master’s wife seduced him?
Dear Feeling Chilly,
He left his coat because it was more important to avoid sin than to keep his jacket. When Potiphar’s wife tried to force Joseph to commit adultery with her, he fled as fast as he could from her… even though that meant leaving his coat behind because she was holding on so tightly (Gen 39:10-12). God tells us to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), and it is better to lose things and have clean hands than to let sin drag us down to hell (Matt 16:26). Joseph did the right thing.
(This post is in response to “Only The Best”.)
Does your local congregation use incense in your worship service? If the "pure offering" referred to in Mal 1:11 is the lives of the people of the New Testament Church (as you say), then when does your congregation "offer incense" in God's name? Remember, you have previously stated, "If you avoid or ignore verses, that is just as bad as adding to the Bible (Rev 22:18-19). We have to take every Bible teaching, no matter how unpopular, and accept it in order to truly call ourselves a ‘Bible-only’ congregation."
Burning To Know
Dear Burning To Know,
Just like the offerings mentioned in the previous post aren’t literal animal sacrifices, the “incense” that the church sends up to God isn’t literally on fire. Mal 1:11 is a verse dealing with general principles of the church’s behavior in the way that an Old Testament Jew acquainted with Old Testament worship could understand. The Bible says that the lives of the righteous are like the sweet smell of incense before those that are perishing (2 Cor 2:14-16). Rev 8:3-4 also compares our prayers to burning incense. In either case, nowhere is the church asked to burn incense as a part of worship. Mal 1:11 would have to be taken out of context to use it as a proof text for incense as an act of New Testament worship.