Ask Your Preacher
I'm trusting in God to help me out of a difficult financial situation, but since faith without works is dead, how can I materialize my faith? Thanks.
You need to do your best to be faithful with what you have. God tells us to be good stewards of whatever we have been given, and this includes our money (Matt 25:21). Since you are in a difficult financial situation, there is a lot that is out of your control, but what money you do have, show yourself to be faithful with it. There is a tendency to “go off the deep end” when things begin to unravel financially. Remember that he who is faithful in little is also faithful in much (Lk 16:10). God doesn’t care about the dollar amount; He cares about your attitude toward it. With what you have, be a faithful and good steward. After that, prayerfully leave the rest in the hands of the Lord.
What is the difference between good pride and bad pride? Or is there even such thing as good pride?
The type of pride we are warned against is arrogance. God loves a humble man, and He finds no pleasure in those that think too highly of themselves (Jas 4:6). Whenever your Bible talks about pride, this is the type of pride that is being discussed. The proud man that thinks he is something when he isn’t is trouble waiting to happen (1 Cor 10:12).
On the other hand, in the English language, we talk about taking pride in your work or being proud of your accomplishments. Most often when people say things like that, they mean they take seriously their responsibilities or are rejoicing over a success… this isn’t wrong at all. The Bible tells us that whatever we do, we should do with all our might (Eccl 9:10). We are told to rejoice in the work of our hands and the blessings that come along with hard work (Eccl 5:18). Taking joy in your work and in your accomplishments is fine… but don’t get a big head and turn to conceit and arrogance.
[This question is in response to “Necessary Inference”]
Your recent discussion on necessary inference talked about Acts 15. Did these apostles convene to figure out the answer, or were they inspired and knew the answer? Many have used this example to approve of conventions to reach conclusions. The argument against has been that the answer in Acts 15 was from God, not men, and thus, this type of meeting wouldn't be approved today. Please explain.
Bored Of Meetings
Dear Bored Of Meetings,
The Bible tells us that the meeting in Acts 15 was a discussion, not a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit. Acts 15:6 says that the apostles and the elders of the church in Jerusalem were gathered together to “consider” this matter. People asked questions (Acts 15:7) and gave testimony (Acts 15:12). The final judgment wasn’t even made by an apostle; it was made by James, one of the elders (Acts 15:13). This James wasn’t an apostle because the apostle James had died in Acts 12:2.
Overall, what we see described in Acts 15 is a normal circumstance where faithful people considered the situation and the Scriptures, so they could make a faithful decision.
God says to do the will of my Father to enter the gates. How do we do the will of God?
In Jhn 6:40, Jesus says that God’s will is that everyone would behold His Son and believe upon Him. The most important thing in life is to believe in Jesus Christ and faithfully follow Him. God wants nothing more than for us to love His Son. Jesus says in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Again in Jhn 14:23, Jesus says that if we love Him, we will keep His Word, and if we do that, the Father will love us. We do God’s will by following His Word, the Bible.
(This question is in response to “Something To Do”)
Is prophecy not one of the spiritual gifts in 1 Cor 12? When we feel that Jesus is calling us to do something or leading us in a direction, is that not communicating with us? Why would Paul need to say in Gal 1:8 that if someone "should preach a gospel *other* than the one we preached to you", why not just say all preaching henceforth is false?
I am honestly asking these questions and not trying to be sarcastic; thank you for the time spent looking into this.
And by the way, thank you for posting the "Faith Over Feelings" post – not enough Christians seem to see this, and this was the best and simplest way I've seen it done. I am thinking of sharing it with our youth group. God bless.
Dear Pondering Prophecy,
We don't take your question as sarcastic – it is a very valid concern. So let's see if we can break the subject down verse by verse.
Prophecy is a spiritual gift, and all spiritual gifts are no longer around. In fact, one of the primary purposes of 1st Corinthians chapters 12-14 was to explain to the Corinthian church that they shouldn’t get too excited about spiritual gifts because the gifts wouldn’t be around forever, and what was truly important was a life of faith, hope, and love (1 Cor 13:13).
Prophecy, speaking in tongues, miraculous healings, etc. were all gifts from the Holy Spirit. The way that people received those gifts was through an apostle laying his hands on them (Acts 8:17-18). Since it took an apostle to convey the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gifts would cease with the death of the last person that the last living apostle laid his hands on. In fact, God promised that this would happen. Paul says that spiritual gifts would eventually perish once God had given us the complete and perfect Bible (1 Cor 13:8-9 – read more on this subject in “Gifts That Stop Giving”).
In Gal 1:8, Paul said not to preach another gospel because the Bible is meant to be our only guide. Whatever we preach must be exactly what God says, no more, no less. We are warned to never add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19) and that we should never go beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6).
The problem with trusting in a feeling or that “voice in our heart” is that everyone has feelings, and feelings are very subjective. God even warns that every man does what is right in his own eyes (Pr 21:2). Even an atheist believes that what he is doing is correct. Though intuition and our own personal feelings can often be right, they must always be in subjection to the Bible, which is how God speaks to us.