Pastor Cosand: July 2017
CIVIL OBEDIENCE (and disobedience)
meditation on Romans 13:1
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God,
and those that exist have been instituted by God.
In many passages of the New Testament, Christians are called on to be advertisements, if you will, for Christ. In a manner of speaking, we are to be walking, talking, living advertisements for Christianity, inviting others, by the way we live, to be Christians. In Titus 2:10, Paul says that we adorn the doctrine of God by our good works. We make it look good, attractive, inviting. In Romans 13, Paul draws out, in very practical terms, some of the implications of Christianity. In the first seven verses of Romans 13, Paul writes about the obligation Christians have to be subservient to and obedient to their government. The principle would apply to all legitimate authorities … parents, husbands, policemen, teachers, judges, church leaders … but the specific focus of these verses is on government.
Christians in the first century might have reasoned that the Roman government was idolatrous through and through and therefore a Christian is under no obligation to obey its laws. Christians in 21st century America might reason in the same manner. Our country is covered with a great, and increasing, spiritual darkness, from Washington D.C. to Minot, North Dakota, and therefore some might say that we are at liberty to dismiss the laws of such a spiritually bankrupt system.
Joe Teisan: July 2017
WHY DO THE PROPHETS OF ISRAEL STAND ALONE, ARE UNIQUE, AND WITHOUT PARALLEL IN WORLD HISTORY?
Unknown Hebrew prophets proclaiming the Lord’s will, direct and ordain the rise and fall of kings and empires. Not only have they foredetermined the course of history, but the power of their prophecies are still being felt today. These messengers of the Lord declare that the Holy, Sovereign and Unchangeable God, is the Master Planner and Controller of all human events, and of all Creation. The prophets are so Messiah-centered that Jesus has already fulfilled over 300 prophecies and 400 more are waiting to be fulfilled upon His return. “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whoever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
Without official appointment, and totally independent, God’s spokesmen boldly appeared uninvited in king’s palaces and warned, advised, denounced, or instructed monarch and people, alike, voicing the Lord’s decrees. We learn courage watching Nathan, bravely standing before David; Elijah, going face to face with King Ahab, and Ahijah condemning King Solomon (2 Sam. 12:1-5, 1 Kings 17:1, 18:17-19, 1 Kings 11:31-33).
Odds & Ends: July 2017
One or the other
Either we trust in God, and in that case we neither trust in ourselves, nor in our fellow-men, nor in circumstances, nor in anything besides; or we do trust in one or more of these, and in that case do not trust in God.
After being a team for six years, minimally sighted Graham Waspe and his guide dog Edward suffered the loss of Edward’s vision. Very soon, Graham received a new guide dog, Opal, but he didn’t give Edward away. Instead, Opal now leads them both — and they all share strong bonds of love.
Pastor Cosand: June 2017
The Glory of the Name of God
mediation on the third commandment
The Westminster Shorter Catechism (1648) abides as a helpful guide in understanding the great doctrines of the Christian faith. There is a section in the Catechism regarding the Ten Commandments. The third command is "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain" (Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11). Questions 54 and 55 in the Shorter Catechism summarize this third commandment.
Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works.
Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbids all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God makes himself known.
The names and titles for God are not simply words. They express His character, His nature. It is important to study the meaning of the names and titles of God because in them we understand what kind of God we serve. God's names refer to His office, His position, His nature. God names Himself what He is. YHWH (translated 'LORD') refers to God's eternal existence …"I AM who I AM" (Exod 3:14). YHWH Sabaoth (translated 'LORD of hosts') refers to the God who is always victorious in battle (1 Sam 17:45). Martin Luther included this name in "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" …"LORD Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same; and He must win the battle." Elohim (translated 'God') refers to God being a strong and exalted one (Gen 1:1). El Shaddai (translated 'God Almighty') refers to God being omnipotent (Gen 17:1). Adonai (translated 'Lord') refers to God's being a ruler or judge (Psa 90:1).
New Tribes Mission has a New Name
We have changed our name to Ethnos360 from New Tribes Mission USA.
Our founders had a vision for reaching the world: “By unflinching determination we hazard our lives and gamble all for Christ until we have reached the last tribe regardless of where that tribe might be.” (1943)
That’s a far-reaching vision. A vision that represents God’s heart for the world. A vision that’s worth you and me getting passionate about and working together to make a reality.
Ethnos360 is the name that anchors us to our foundations and points us to our vision.
Ethnos is the “nations” that Christ referred to when He commanded His followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and “…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations…” (Luke 24:47).
360 represents the entirety of the globe – all 360 degrees. Our goal is to go wherever in the world is necessary to see a thriving church for every people, not only to focus on one particular type of people group.
Our vision is the same today as it was 75 years ago. As we move forward, we’ll draw from those lessons God has taught us in our 75 years of ministry to pursue new opportunities opening to us – opportunities to reach a changing world.
Larry M. Brown