Effective Fervent Prayer (2 of 2)

by William J. Stewart

Last week, we considered Elijah, the wonderful example which James uses to demonstrate effective fervent prayer. This week, I want us to look at the context of James 5, and see this inspired man’s musings on prayer.

That it is a text on prayer is evident. Notice:

  • v 13, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him PRAY.”
  • v 14, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them PRAY over him…”
  • v 15 “…the PRAYER of faith will save the sick…”
  • v 16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and PRAY for one another… The effective fervent PRAYER of a righteous man avails much.”
  • v 17, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he PRAYED…”
  • v 18 “…he PRAYED again…”

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Effective Fervent Prayer (1 of 2)

by William J. Stewart

There are several occasions when events which took place in the Old Testament are used as lessons in faith for us in the New Testament. Consider the faith of Abraham, as he was willing to give his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God (Genesis 22). It is not until we come to the book of Hebrews that we are told the patriarch concluded “…God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (11:19).

Another case where an Old Testament character and circumstance is used as a faith lesson in the New Testament is found in the prophet Elijah. 1 Kings 17:1 tells us that Elijah foretold a drought which would come; but when we come to the writing of James, we find that he in fact prayed for the drought (James 5:17). Why pray for a drought? Continue reading

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Can we understand the Bible alike?

Unknown

Recently a preacher raised the question: Can we all understand the Bible alike? He declared that we cannot, and asserted that those who believe that we can are simply entertaining an ignorant viewpoint.

Your understanding, my understanding
The claim is frequently made: You understand the Bible one way, and I understand it another. Neither of us should condemn the other. Another variation of the same tune is this: Well, that is your interpretation of the Scriptures. I have mind as well. Perhaps both of us are right.

These statements contain a logical contradiction. Continue reading

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Spectator or Participant

by Wayne Greeson

The “Urban Dictionary” gives a satirical definition to the basketball term “sixth man” as:

“A superfan who believes that his fervent support of a team will have a direct influence on the outcome of a game said team may be involved in.”

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Some Scriptures About Mothers

by William J. Stewart

Happy mother’s day! Below, I’ve included several texts which speak about mothers, in no particular order. What I hope we will see is the exceptionally important role a mother has, and the honour God wants us to give to them. Continue reading

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Buy Up Your Opportunities

by William J. Stewart

The above phrase appears in the 1912 Weymouth New Testament rendering of Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5. To the people of Ephesus, Paul wrote, “Therefore be very careful how you live and act. Let it not be as unwise men, but as wise. Buy up your opportunities, for these are evil times.” The Colossians were told, “Behave wisely in relation to the outside world, buying up your opportunities.”

In the financial market, opportunities are always coming and going, and those who are prudent in business take advantage of such occasions and will profit. In the above texts, the apostle calls upon the child of God to be a wise investor in afar greater arena—our labour for the Lord. Continue reading

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A New Creation

by William J. Stewart

There are two texts in the Bible which specifically use the phrase “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). That said, the concept is found in multiple places in the Scriptures. Other texts speak of the “new man” or being “renewed” (Ephesians 2:15; 4:23-24; Colossians 3:10), walking in “newness of life” (Romans 6:4), etc.. These images serve to contrast the religious from the irreligious, the righteous from the unrighteous, the good from the evil; but on the most basic level, it contrasts those who are in Christ from those who are outside of Christ. Continue reading

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Brethren And Business Meetings

by William J. Stewart

Each local congregation of God’s people is charged with the responsibility of engaging in the work of the Lord. There is a need for edifying teaching, effective outreach, dedicated benevolence, appropriate discipline, etc.. There needs to be an adequate avenue to discuss and make decisions on these and other items. Continue reading

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I’m Going To Heaven, And I’m Taking You With Me

by William J. Stewart

Several years ago, we had a visiting preacher with us for a weekend meeting. Following the Saturday evening study, while driving one of our visitors home, our enthusiastic evangelist asked how long she had been a member of the church. She confessed that she was not a member, but had been attending occasional Bible studies with us.

“That’s the river down there, isn’t it? he asked of the over occupants in the vehicle. Having received an affirmative answer, we veered off the main street we’d been travelling, down a dark, bumpy side street. As we sped toward the river, our anxious guest gingerly inquired, “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to heaven, and I’m taking you with me!” was the quick reply. It sounded more like an ominous threat than an invitation to obey the gospel. Continue reading

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Do You Know God’s Word?

by William J. Stewart

Hear the word of the Lord, you children of Israel for
the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the
land: ‘There is no truth or mercy or knowledge
of God in the land.’
(Hosea 4:1)

The inspired prophet reveals for those who claimed to be the followers of God a severe charge which the Almighty had against them. Such a charge had gone out throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, revealing that the people of God sadly lacked knowledge of Him and His ways. Isaiah brings the same charge against His people (Isaiah 1:3; 5:13). Jeremiah also said knowledge of God was lacking among His people (Jeremiah 4:22; 5:4). From old time, it would seem that some of the people of God in one way or another, for some reason or another, lacked the knowledge they so desperately needed. Continue reading

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