Show Me Your Faith

by William J. Stewart | James 2:18

The doctrine of salvation by faith alone is exceptionally common in today’s religious world. One modern day proponent of the doctrine has admitted James 2:14-26 “…definitely seems to cause serious problems for the ‘salvation by faith alone’ concept.” Undeterred, he tries to explain away James 2 by redefining the word “justified,” citing marginal translations, and then falsely claiming, “…any verse that ascribes salvation to faith/belief, with no other requirement mentioned, is a declaration that salvation is by faith alone.”1 Two things to note: 1) the only way this works is for the Bible student to ignore every verse ascribing salvation to something other than faith; but wait, 2) the writer just acknowledged in his statement that there are verses which ascribe salvation to faith, but also mention other requirements. The sad fact is, many today simply do not believe what James wrote. Continue reading

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The Process Of Revival

by William J. Stewart

Last week, looking at the words of Isaiah the prophet as recorded in Isaiah 1:10-15, we saw through the example of Israel that wickedness among God’s people will:

  • Remind the Lord of Sodom and Gomorrah (v 10);
  • Cause the Lord to not want our sacrifices (v 11);
  • Render the assemblies of God’s people without glory to God (v 12);
  • Make our worship wearisome to the Lord (v 13-14), &
  • Result in the disdain and disregard of God toward our prayers (v 15).

When such things are the case with God’s people, then it ought to be evident that revival is needed. Thus, let us consider the Lord’s plan to bring those who are dead back to life as revealed in Isaiah’s prophesy. Continue reading

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The Need For Revival

by William J. Stewart

The apostle Paul, after using Israel as an example, wrote to the Corinthians, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12). Sadly, sometimes we get too comfortable with the idea that we are God’s people, and thus fail to give due diligence to our conduct. We do not have sufficient time or space to consider the numerous occasions where this was the case among God’s people of old, however, it would do us well to consider the word of the Lord as revealed through Isaiah against His people, lest we forget the manner of conduct and sincere devotion which we must give our great God.

Notice the accusation against Israel: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; the ox knows its owner and the donkey it’s master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider” (v 2-3). They are described as “…a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters!” (v 4). They are a nation of sickness and disease, a barren land with cities afire, with only a remnant left by the Lord. Continue reading

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“Shine before men,” but “not to be seen by them”

by William J. Stewart

In His teaching from the sermon on the mount, among other things, Jesus addressed our conduct before men. At first glance, the two statements which are in our article title today might appear to be opposed to one another. The Lord expects that we “shine” before men, but at the same time warns us “not to be seen” by them. Huh?? We will use our time today to look at these words carefully, and to see how we are to accomplish this in our lives day by day.

In Matthew 5:14-16, we find the words of Jesus: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” There is no doubt, we are called to be a visible example before the world. Solomon penned, “…the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). The apostle Paul spoke of Christians as “…blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:15). Continue reading

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A God of Patterns

by William J. Stewart

When we consider the work of God, we can see time and again He uses and loves patterns. In every age it can be seen through the Scriptures that God supplied a blueprint for His people to follow.

THE DESIGN OF CREATION
In the creation sequence (Genesis 1:1-31), we can see a distinct pattern and intended design. God created in an order which was logical, both for the plant life which was made and for mankind. Continue reading

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Jesus’ Use of Humour

by William J. Stewart

Studying God’s word is a wonderful endeavour, which if undertaken honestly results in wondrous eternal benefit. Students of the word must approach it with a sober attitude, a diligent focus, and a determined volition. With these, there will be much profit, both in the present life and that which is to come.

The Lord conveyed the plan to redeem man through several means. He at times spoke in parables, revealing great spiritual truths through simple earthly stories. Other times, He was as blunt as could be, for example, the list of woes against the Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 23). Among other oratory skills, Jesus would occasionally use humour to teach His audience. Continue reading

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Following The Directions

by William J. Stewart

Advancements in technology have always impressed me. My first computer was an 80-88 made by Tandy. Suffice it to say, it is obsolete, a dinosaur compared to anything that anyone is using today.

I am equally astounded at how we get driving directions now compared to just a few years ago. At one time, we had a huge stack of road maps from various places in our car. That was replaced by the convenient and compact Rand McNally map book. Eventually a map program on my laptop was helpful in getting us from A to B. Digital maps! Then, an offline map sitting on Shelly’s lap was replaced with a 5-inch screen sitting on dash with vocal directions, real-time location, traffic updates, etc.. And now, with Google Maps on a cell phone, you have access to even more (construction zone info, gas prices, etc.). Continue reading

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The Order of Melchizedek

by William J. Stewart

In Genesis 14 this man appeared to Abram, blessed him, received a tithe in return, and then disappeared again. Though he made just a brief appearance, we shall find that he is an important individual in the Bible narrative. He is only mentioned in the Old Testament twice, but nine times in the New Testament.

Who Is Melchizedek?
Hebrews 7:1-3 identifies Melchizedek as the “king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, meaning king of peace.” Continue reading

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Guardian Angels

by William J. Stewart

Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

Jerome, in his commentary on Matthew 18:10, stated, “how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it.” Is this so? Do we all have an angel assigned to us, who is watchful over us in this life? Continue reading

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One Face In Every Place

by William J. Stewart

There are a number of different circles which the Christian’s life intersects. In each setting, we are involved in relationships, whether it be with our brethren in the local church, as an employee or employer in the workplace, as a citizen in a community, as a friend or acquaintance in social circles, or as a husband (father), wife (mother), son or daughter in the family unit. Regardless which setting we are in, it ought to be our determined desire to show the same manner and conduct, walking upright as a child of God. Continue reading

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