Tag Archives: worship

Immigrants Not Taught Freedom Of Religion

Immigrants Not Taught Freedom Of Religion


Liberals keep trying to sneak political correctness into America any way they can. We should not be surprised that they have targeted the study materials for the civics portion of the naturalization exam. Study materials have now changed references to our First Amendment Freedom of Religion with the weaker and more politically correct expression Freedom of Worship. While the difference may seem small, the implications are huge.

Even foreign dictatorships have no problem with offering their citizens Freedom of Worship. This is because Freedom of Worship implies only the freedom to express personal religious beliefs when your are inside your church after you have closed the door, or are within the confines of government-approved places of worship for government-approved meetings and events. This inaccurate and very limited view of religious liberty teaches that faith should be a private affair confined to designated areas. They want people to think that their freedom ends whenever they leave the four walls of their church. This certainly is not how our Founders envisioned the intrinsic constitutional rights of all Americans. Our American right to the Free Expression of Religion allows real freedom in choosing where and how we express our faith. Our First Amendment does not allow excessive government regulation about Freedom of Religion.

Unfortunately, the official study materials for the naturalization exam do not reflect this right as it is given in the Constitution. It is especially important that those preparing for and taking the U.S. naturalization exam have an accurate understanding of the foundational freedoms that they will enjoy as citizens of the United States. Many public schools are also starting to embrace this watered-down version of our most basic right, in order to indoctrinate the next generation with a distorted view of American government. It’s time to stand up to these attacks and make sure that our children know that our U.S. Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of Freedom of Religion.


We recommend Who Killed the American Family?

Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.

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First Session of Continental Congress was opened with prayer

Continental Congress painting 01American Minute with Bill Federer

SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, the First Session of the Continental Congress was opened with prayer in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia.

Threatened by the most powerful monarch in the world, Britain’s King George III, America’s founding fathers heard Rev. Jacob Duche’ begin by reading Psalm 35, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer’s “Psalter” for that day:

“Plead my cause, Oh, Lord, with them that strive with me, fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield, and rise up for my help.

Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’ Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.”

Then Rev. Jacob Duche’ prayed:

“Be Thou present, O God of Wisdom, and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;

that Order, Harmony and Peace may be effectually restored, and that Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people…

Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.

All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen.”

That same day, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, describing the prayer:

“When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with Prayer.

It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York, and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in the same act of worship.

Samuel Adams

Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his Country.

He was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche’ deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche’, an Episcopal clergyman might be desired to read Prayers to Congress tomorrow morning.

The motion was seconded, and passed in the affirmative. Mr. Randolph, our president, vailed on Mr. Duche’, and received for answer, that if his health would permit, he certainly would…”

Adams continued:

“Accordingly, next morning Reverend Mr. Duche’ appeared with his clerk and in his pontificals, and read several prayers in the established form, and read the collect for the seventh day of September, which was the thirty-fifth Psalm.

You must remember, this was the next morning after we heard the horrible rumor of the cannonade of Boston.

I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning.

After this, Mr. Duche’, unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced.

Episcopalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, such ardor, such earnestness and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime, for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially the town of Boston. It has had an excellent effect upon everybody here. I must beg you to read that Psalm.”

The Library of Congress printed on an historical placard of Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia:

“Washington was kneeling there with Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood, bowed in reverence the Puritan Patriots of New England…

‘It was enough’ says Mr. Adams, ‘to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave, Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia.’”

The Journals of Congress then recorded their appreciation to Rev. Mr. Duche’:

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m. Agreeable to the resolve of yesterday, the meeting was opened with prayers by the Rev. Mr. Duche’.

Voted, That the thanks of Congress be given to Mr. Duche’…for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer, which he composed and delivered on the occasion.”

Rev. Jacob Duche’ exhorted Philadelphia’s soldiers, July 7, 1775:

“Considering myself under the twofold character of a minister of Jesus Christ, and a fellow-citizen…involved in the same public calamity with yourselves…

addressing myself to you as freemen…’Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free’ (Galatians, ch. 5).”

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Benjamin Franklin – an American Icon

Benjamin_Franklin_engravingAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

On JULY 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General of the United States, a position he held under the British Crown before the Revolution.

Franklin’s public career began when he organized Pennsylvania’s first volunteer militia during threaten attacks from Spanish and French ships.

He then proposed a General Fast, which was approved by the Colony’s Council and printed in his Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:

“As the calamities of a bloody War…seem every year more nearly to approach us…there is just reason to fear that unless we humble ourselves before the Lord & amend our Ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier Judgments,

We have, therefore, thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People, to observe the same with becoming seriousness & attention, & to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent Supplications;

That Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the Rage of War among the Nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian Blood.”

Franklin published evangelist George Whitefield’s sermons, thereby spreading The Great Awakening Revival.

He established a volunteer fire department, a circulating public library, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and a hospital.

He set up the lighting of city streets and was the first to suggest Daylight Savings Time. He invented bifocal glasses, the Franklin Stove, swim fins, the lightning rod, and coined the electrical terms “positive” and “negative.”

In 1754, Franklin wrote a pamphlet, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” for Europeans interested in sending their youth to this land:

“Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised.

Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which he has been pleased to favor the whole country.”

On September 28, 1776, as President of Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin signed the State’s first Constitution, “the most radically democratic Frame of Government the world had ever seen.

It stated:

“Government ought to be instituted…to enable the individuals…to enjoy their natural rights…which the Author of Existence has bestowed upon man; and whenever these great ends…are not obtained, the people have a right…to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness…”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution continued:

“All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences…

Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right…

No authority…shall in any case interfere with…the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution added:

“And each member…shall make…the following declaration, viz: I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration. And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required.”

Pennsylvania’s Constitution had in Section 45:

“Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be…constantly kept in force…Religious societies…incorporated for the advancement of religion…shall be encouraged.”

At the end of the Revolutionary War, Franklin signed the Treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, which began: “In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity…”

As Pennsylvania’s President (Governor), Ben Franklin hosted the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where on June 28, 1787, he moved:

“That henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning.”

Franklin composed his epitaph:

Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will (as he believed) appear once more,
In a new, and more beautiful edition,
Corrected and amended By The AUTHOR.”

Franklin wrote April 17, 1787:

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.

As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Walk Worthy of God  



Colossians 1:9-14

“Walk worthy of the Lord . . . Who hath delivered us . . . into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood,” Colossians 1:10-14.


The word worship comes from worthyship. God expects us to walk in such a way that He would not be ashamed to receive our worship (Mark 8:38).

In Paul’s ministry, there is an undertow of urgency and excitement in spite of reverses and persecution. He had reversed his priorities from the temporary pleasures of this world to focus on the things God has promised ahead. That attitude change affected his walk of life. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

Jesus was Paul’s example of projecting the pain of life forward and walking on. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Heb. 12:1-3).




Keep your eyes on Jesus at the finish line. Keep on walking, even if you have to walk hurt. Better days are coming.

Robert Brock

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HEBREW – Tremble (1)

In our study of the tabernacle, we referred to Isa_66:1-2 in passing, but there is a truth there that deeply affects this writer and that is well worth our serious consideration in light of our modern day: “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
Does God demand magnificent structures, such as the breathtaking St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, to worship Him? Not according to Isaiah, who in this chapter continues his prophecy concerning the glorious future. He begins, however, by contrasting the attitude of the true and faithful servant of God with the apostate and worldly character of most of the nation. He declares that there are only two places where God dwells: first in heaven and second in the contrite heart of the person who trembles at His Word. God is not looking for a temple made of stone or sacrifices made without thought. He is concerned rather with what is in the heart, specifically, our attitude toward His Word.
Paul declared the same truth: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Php_2:12). To our shame, we see little, if any, fear and trembling in our churches. Oh, we see much excitement, activity, and other user-oriented attitudes, but where is the trembling before God’s Word?
Trembleth is a translation of chārēḏ (H2730), “to shake,” from which are derived the ideas of trembling and fear. God told Gideon, for example, to limit the number of soldiers by observing who was afraid, which sent 22,000 back home (Jdg_7:3). In 1Sa_4:13, Eli sat “by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God,” because the Ark of the Covenant was in danger of being captured by the Philistines.
As we continue these thoughts in coming days, let us each ask ourselves, “Do I tremble before God’s Word? Do I have a deep reverence for God’s revelation and a fear in my heart of disobeying it?”
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting the emphasis on trembling at God’s Word: Ezr_9:4; Ezr_10:3; Psa_119:120.


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Integrally attached to the OT offerings was the altar, the raised structure on which blood was sprinkled and the fat of animals was burned. The Hebrew mizbēach (H4196) is derived from zāḇach (H2076), the word for sacrifice. Mizbēach appears about 400 times, about half of which are in the Pentateuch.
Early altars were made of earth and stone (Exo_20:25), but God later commanded the people to build altars of better materials, such as wood and metal (Exo_27:1-8; Exo_30:1-10). This impressed upon the people that they must worship in God’s prescribed way and that such worship demanded quality. It’s noteworthy that mizbēach is also used to refer to pagan altars, which must be torn down and destroyed (Exo_34:13).
One of the most vivid examples of an altar is the one on which Abraham placed his only son Isaac in readiness to sacrifice him according to God’s command. (Isaac’s place was taken by the ram that God provided [Gen_22:1-19]). Here is, of course, the clearest OT picture of the future substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat_20:28; Joh_1:29; 2Co_5:21).
So is there an altar today? Not in the strict sense, for the “final altar” was the cross (Heb_13:10-13). Our sin was laid there and paid for once by Christ (Heb_10:10). First, we don’t lay ourselves on an altar for salvation, for Christ was the Lamb on that final altar.
Second, neither must we daily place ourselves on some supposed altar for sanctification, that is, “crucify ourselves daily” for holiness, as some misinterpret Rom_6:6 : “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” In fact, every verb tense in Romans 6 that refers to our identification with Christ in His death refers to that identification as having been completed in the past. Our “old man,” therefore, “[was] crucified with [Christ]” so that now “we should not serve sin.” That is sanctification. We can now live holy because Christ died on that final altar.
Scriptures for Study: Read Romans 6 and rejoice that you have been freed from the bondage, the control, of sin.


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Mercy [and] Grace

cheseḏ [and] chānan
While not interchangeable, cheseḏ (mercy) and chānan (grace) are closely related. While mercy is the withholding of what is deserved (e.g., death and hell), grace is the bestowing of what is not deserved (e.g., life and heaven). 2 Samuel 9 gives one of the most graphic pictures in all the Bible of both mercy and grace, with ten startling parallels to the Savior and sinner:
First, Mephibosheth, the son of King David’s friend Jonathan, was crippled by a fall (2Sa_4:4), just as each of us was crippled by Adam’s fall, even rendered “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph_2:1-3).

Second, as David wanted to show Mephibosheth “kindness [cheseḏ] for Jonathan’s sake” (2Sa_9:1), God has shown us mercy and grace for the sake of the Lord Jesus (Eph_4:32).

Third, that kindness was neither deserved nor earned by Mephibosheth, who could do little for himself, much less do anything for the king of Judah and Israel. We in turn deserved nothing but death, and there are not enough works in the universe to save a single soul (Eph_2:8-9; Tit_3:5).

Fourth, Mephibosheth was sought by the king (Tit_3:1; Tit_3:5), again picturing unmerited favor. Likewise, not a single person has ever “[sought] after God” by his own power (Rom_3:11). “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” Jesus declared (Joh_15:16). A dead man can do nothing, so “no man can come to [Christ], except the Father which hath sent [Him] draw him” (Joh_6:44; cf. Joh_6:65; Act_16:13-14).

Fifth, David ordered and empowered servants to fetch Mephibosheth (Act_16:5), a graphic picture of evangelism. God has likewise called and empowered each of us as witnesses (Act_1:8; Mat_28:19-20).

Sixth, a result of all this was that Mephibosheth reverenced the king (2Sa_9:6), a challenge to us to worship Jesus.

Seventh, he became a servant of the king (2Sa_9:6), as are we of Christ (e.g., Rom_6:16).

Eighth, he was given riches and security (Rom_6:7), just as we have spiritual riches (Ephesians 1) and security in Christ (Joh_10:28-29; Rom_8:29-39).

Ninth, he was made a king’s son (Rom_8:11), as we are God’s children (Joh_1:12-13). And tenth, his physical condition was hidden from view when he sat at the king’s table (Joh_1:13). We, too, have been sanctified by Christ (Heb_9:12-15) and “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph_2:6).
Scriptures for Study: If you haven’t already done so, read this wonderful account and rejoice in God’s mercy and grace.


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HEBREW – Mercy

Mercy is a translation of the Hebrew cheseḏ (H2617), which is “one of the most important [words] in the vocabulary of OT theology and ethics,” appearing some 240 times, most frequently in the Psalms. It speaks of kindness, loving-kindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, loyal love, and acts of kindness. While the word is used for kindness one person might show another, such as David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the son of David’s dear friend Jonathan (2Sa_9:7), it is God’s mercy to man that stands out.
If there is a single word, in fact, that could summarize God’s dealing with His people, it would be the word mercy. One example, and by far the most notable appearance of cheseḏ, is in Psalms 136, where the psalmist declares twenty-six times of God, “His mercy endureth for ever.” This psalm is a study in worship, with God’s mercy at the forefront, displaying what wondrous works He has done. Mercy is at the foundation of His character (Psa_136:1-3), the function of His creative work (Psa_136:4-9), the fountain from which all His blessings flow to His people (Psa_136:10-25), and the force behind His Rulership in heaven (Psa_136:26).
The greatest manifestation of God’s mercy, of course, is that of redemption, His saving men from sin (Psa_51:1, “lovingkindness”, Psa_86:13). We are always struck by Jonah’s opposition to going to the unimaginably wicked Assyrians at Nineveh. Because he knew that God was a God of “kindness” (loyal love, committed to the objects of His love) and would save those pagans when they didn’t (in Jonah’s thinking) deserve it (Jon_4:2).
It is also noteworthy that with few exceptions, the Septuagint translates cheseḏ with the common Greek word eleos (G1656), which speaks of “kindness or good will towards the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them.” The whole point of mercy, therefore, is to relieve the affliction that man suffers because he cannot relieve it himself. Mercy is always to the helpless.
With God’s mercy as our model, we are to show mercy to others. “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy [i.e., covenant loyalty manifested in love] and compassions every man to his brother” (Zec_7:9; Jas_2:13-17). Judgment, in fact, is reserved for those who do not show mercy and kindness (Psa_109:16).
Scriptures for Study: What does Psa_103:8 say about God and mercy? What is the prerequisite for God’s mercy in Psa_32:10?


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Neh_8:4-5 provides us with one other aspect of preaching, namely, that a pulpit was built for that purpose. The Hebrew migdāl (H4026), which has forms in other Semitic languages, actually means “a tower.” It’s used for the Tower of Babel (Gen_11:4), a tower built into a city wall (2Ch_14:7), and the watchtower in a vineyard (Isa_5:2).
Many old churches had high pulpits accessed only by a spiral staircase, which is the idea in the Hebrew. Scotsman Alistair Begg recounts a vivid memory from his childhood when he sat in St. George’s Tron Church in Glasgow waiting for morning worship to begin. He writes: “At about three minutes to eleven the beadle [parish official] would climb the pulpit stairs and place a large Bible on the lectern. Having opened it to the appropriate passage, he would descend, and the minister would in turn ascend the stairs and sit in the cone-shaped pulpit. The beadle would complete his duties by climbing the stairs the second time to close the pulpit door and leave the pastor to his task. There was no doubt in my young mind that each part of that procedure was marked with significance. There was clearly no reason for the pastor to be in the pulpit apart from the Bible upon which he looked down as he read. I understood that, in contrast to his physical posture, the pastor was standing under Scripture, not over it. Similarly, we were listening not so much for his message but for its message.”
So central was preaching to John Calvin, that he ordered all altars (which for centuries had been the focal point of the pagan mass) removed from the churches and a pulpit with a Bible on it placed in the center of the building. Everything pointed to that as the center of worship. Similarly, Martin Lloyd-Jones ordered the pulpit to be bolted to the floor at Westminster Chapel in London.
How different it is in many churches today! If the speaker must have a lectern, it is on the same level with the congregation so as not to imply that he is “above them.” Is the preacher better than the people? Should he be elevated above them? Of course not. We do, however, elevate the Word of God and its proclamation as absolute truth.
Dear Christian Friend, I pray that you will seek a church where the Word of God is elevated and its exposition is primary.
Scriptures for Study: 2Ti_4:1-4 are among the last words Paul wrote. What do they say about preaching?


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Preaching [and] Preach (3)

Before leaving this pivotal theme, we should note how preaching relates to worship . It is extremely significant that the people’s response to Ezra’s reading and exposition of Scripture (Neh_8:8; cf. Neh_6:7) was worship (Neh_9:3). This is the climax; everything points to this and has prepared for it. There is nothing of equal importance to the exposition of God’s Word. Take the time now to read Jon_3:2 again, as well as Psa_80:18; Psa_105:1, where call is qārā’, signifying proclamation.
While lost in most churches today, preaching was central to the early church (note the primacy of “doctrine” in Act_2:42) and its immediate descendants. Writing in the middle of the second century, apologist Justin Martyr described a typical worship service of his day: “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen.”
Mark it down—the reading and explanation of the Word of God was the absolute center of the worship service. (Note that this statement also refutes the accusation made by modern “Sabbath keepers” that Sunday did not become the day of worship until the fourth century.)
Sadly, this is not the case today. Central today is music, drama, comedy, discussion, anecdotes, or anything else we can think of except preaching. But nothing praises God as does the proclaiming of His Word as absolute Truth.
We should be challenged by these comments by the late pastor and great expositor James Boice: “There is nothing more important for Christian growth and the health of the church than sound Bible teaching. Yet sadly, serious Bible teaching is being widely neglected in our day, even in so-called evangelical churches. Instead of Bible teaching, people are being fed a diet of superficial pop psychology, self-help therapy, feel-good stimulants, and entertainment, and the ignorance of the Bible in churches is appalling.”
Scriptures for Study: Note the centrality of preaching in the following texts: Isa_1:2-31; Matthew 5-7 (Jesus’ sermon is the greatest model of exposition); Act_2:14-36; Act_7:2-60; Act_15:14-21; Act_17:16-31.


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