Understanding what the Bible teaches about marriage is a crucial matter. Pastor Minnick’s recent message, “Marriage of God’s Making,” provides eminently biblical instruction about this vital subject.
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“Created Male and Female” is an excellent sermon by my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick that is worth listening to and will profit you.
My ministry this year was greatly blessed by my beginning this year by reading the entire Bible in 59 days! I also made it through the NT this year a second time and read much of the Bible in Spanish.
This year was an especially fruitful year for me in ministering the Bible because I had two new teaching opportunities. I also had many other opportunities to minister, especially in teaching, music ministry, and writing on my blog.
Preaching, Teaching, and Scripture Reading
I had two preaching opportunities this year: prayer meeting at my church, Mount Calvary Baptist in Greenville, SC, and a Sunday morning service in a church in Georgia. Although I had already preached both these messages before elsewhere, preaching them again allowed me to improve both messages substantially.
Two new opportunities to minister were given to me this year in teaching at my church: teaching a combined adult Sunday school class and teaching a 16-week adult Sunday school class in the fall. In addition, I taught Sunday school once at a church in Georgia.
I did the Scripture reading for two morning services at my church. For the first time, I also read Scripture for a morning service in my church’s Spanish ministry.
I ministered with other instrumentalists in one opener for a service and in two offertories. I accompanied various people singing specials in our Spanish ministry four times this year.
Online, I was able to teach guitar to a developing guitarist overseas who has made encouraging progress in preparing himself for using the guitar for ministry. My teaching guitar this year also included instructing a few students personally.
I also sang with a group of men for a special in our Spanish ministry. I wrote one new Spanish hymn for children this year, “Dios es siempre bueno!”
Regular participation in neighborhood evangelism this summer and in Spanish evangelism at various times throughout the year afforded me many opportunities to minister Scripture to both believers and unbelievers. I also worked in registration for our annual Neighborhood Bible School.
Tutoring a Seminary student in New Testament Greek for several months this summer provided me with a good opportunity to teach elementary Greek again. By regular participation in two discussion groups on Facebook, I was able to give God’s truths numerous times to lost people and saved people.
I gave a brief devotional at the beginning of the workday nearly every Tuesday this year. I also frequently shared Scriptural truths with my coworkers.
I posted on my blog 77 times in 2016, counting this post. The majority of my posts shared biblical truths that God has given me over the years in my own study of Scripture, which has been the major focus of my blog from the beginning.
I praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to me in allowing me to minister so abundantly in 2016!
I praise God for the encouraging feedback that I received last night about how God ministered through me as I preached my message, “Faithful Spiritual Leadership,” from 1 Samuel 12! May He see fit to continue to use it to advance His kingdom and righteousness.
Here is the audio of my message:
My message was enhanced through the use of two graphics that I made that bring out key features of this passage. This first graphic shows how 1 Samuel 12 records the extensive dialogue between Samuel (in green) and the people of Israel (in blue).
This second graphic shows how profoundly Samuel emphasized God as the Lord (Heb. Yahweh) to these people as he ministered to them (31x, highlighted in yellow; the people spoke of God as the Lord once, which is highlighted in blue).
For the main points of this message, see this previous post.
Pastor Minnick preached last night on 1 Corinthians 12:28a and dealt with a key question: “Who are the Apostles in the Body of Christ?” This post provides some of the key thoughts (as I understood them) that he shared in the message.1
- Some people that are called apostles in Scripture were people that various local churches commissioned as their delegates, but these men were not among those who were officially the apostles of Christ.
- Those who were the apostles of Christ possessed two cardinal qualifications: (1) they were chosen by Christ Himself; (2) they were eyewitnesses of the risen Christ.
- The apostles of Christ performed the signs of a true apostle that demonstrated divine confirmation of their being true apostles of Christ.
- The apostles of Christ performed two unique functions in the body of Christ: (1) they (along with the NT prophets) laid the foundation of the Church when they witnessed to the Resurrection of Christ; (2) they were recipients of new and inscripturated revelation for the Church.
- There were only 12 apostles of Christ whose names are written on the 12 foundation stones of the holy city, New Jerusalem, and the identity of the twelfth apostle is a disputed matter that the Scripture does not seem to make clear with absolute certainty.
To profit fully from this vital message, you should listen to it fully2 because undoubtedly my notes and this listing of some key ideas from the message provide an inadequate presentation of the truths brought out in it.
1 These five statements are based on my notes from the message; for the most part, they are largely either direct quotes from the message or statements that I derived closely from direct statements made my Pastor Minnick.
Many people think that as long as they are not hurting anyone else with what they are doing, they should be able to do whatever they want. At a funeral service this past Saturday, I heard a great illustration by my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick that explains in an excellent way why such reasoning is flawed.
Here is my version* of that illustration that so clearly explained why such a belief is false:
On a long, straight 40-mile stretch of highway in the middle of a desolate part of a Western state of the US, a lone vehicle speeds along at 25 miles above the speed limit with the driver completely oblivious for quite some time to the fact that he is going far faster than is legal. Given that there is no one else anywhere on the road on the entire stretch of the highway, the lone driver of this vehicle “innocently” exceeds the speed limit without even knowing it for a long time because he is caught up in his thoughts about many other things.
When the driver realizes that he is going way too fast, he thinks to himself that what he is doing is not wrong because there is no one else on the road that he is hurting by what he is doing. He decides to keep going at 80 mph instead of the posted 55 mph maximum speed.
About 25 miles down the highway, the driver notices flashing lights coming up behind him and realizes that a state trooper is coming after him. He pulls over and tries to tell the officer that what he was doing was not wrong because he was not hurting anyone else by what he was doing.
After all, there was no one else on the road with him at all. Of course, the office does not buy his argument and tickets him heavily for going way above the speed limit.
Just as the trooper in this illustration did not buy that what this driver was doing was right to do just because the driver thought that he was not hurting anyone, so God is not going to excuse anyone who breaks one of His laws simply because he thought that what he was doing was right to do because he thought that he was not hurting anyone else by what he did. Whatever God says is wrong to do is wrong to do whether we think otherwise because we think we are not hurting anyone by what we are doing.
To read the good news of what God offers to all of us because we have done wrong before Him, please read this post.
* My version maintains the key points of the illustration as it was told by Pastor Minnick. I wrote this version because I wanted to share this great illustration with others and do not have the time to listen to the illustration over and over again and transcribe it exactly as he told it.
Have you ever heard that Paul taught the Corinthians that it was shameful for women to cut their hair short or shave their heads because that was what the prostitutes in Corinth did? Pastor Minnick recently pointed out that Gordon Fee, who is a highly devoted egalitarian, wrote in his standard commentary on First Corinthians that there is zero historical evidence for that idea!
Here is what Fee has written about this very widespread false explanation for why Paul wrote what he did:
“It was commonly suggested that short hair or a shaved head was the mark of Corinthian prostitutes . . . But there is no contemporary evidence to support this view (it seems to be a case of one scholar’s guess becoming a second scholar’s footnote and a third scholar’s assumption).”1
The apostle Paul did not teach what he did in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 because Corinthian prostitutes cut their hair short or shaved their heads. For a superb treatment of why Paul did teach what he did about head coverings and much more, I encourage you to listen closely to this recent message by Pastor Minnick: Harmonizing 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14.2
1 Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians in NICNT, 511
2 For clear biblical evidence that shows that Paul is speaking about an external head covering, see my post Haman, Head Coverings, and First Corinthians 11:1-16.
In his message tonight, Pastor Mark Minnick first rehearsed six principles that 1 Corinthians 8-10 provides us with for deciding Christian liberty issues.
1. Christian liberty issues concern matters that are not actually stipulated or specified in Scripture.
2. Nevertheless, they are Scriptural issues because there are Scriptural considerations that apply to these matters about which there is not explicit teaching.
3. These issues, therefore, are significant—they are not inconsequential.
4. The answers to these issues are not always short.
5. The answers to these issues are not always simple.
6. The answers to these issues are not always the same.
He then exposited 1 Corinthians 10:28-30 at some length to explain how the answers to these issues are not always the same. I highly commend his message Abstaining to you.
In his first message about music and public worship, Pastor Mark Minnick this morning addressed the key question, “What is the role of music in public worship?” He based his treatment of this crucial question on two key New Testament passages: Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16.
In treating these passages, he remarked,
Both passages direct us to sing psalms, which directs us back to the Old Testament. We must be careful of thinking about our subject not to make a great distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
He then took us through First Chronicles 25:1-7 to establish that those who directed the worship in the Temple prophesied through the music. Based on this data, he developed six key aspects that this passage teaches us about the role of music in public worship:
1. They were prophesying instrumentally
2. They were prophesying chorally, that is, through singing with musical accompaniment
3. Those who prophesied had a high level of musicianship
4. The prophesying was done in large numbers
5. All of the prophesying was done under the direction of mature spiritual leadership
6. Giving thanks and praising the Lord comprised the content of this prophesying
I highly commend this message to you as one of the finest treatments of this subject that I have ever heard. By listening to this message here, you will avail yourself with profoundly valuable biblical truth about the role of music in public worship!
In several recent messages on Wednesday nights, Pastor Mark Minnick has instructed us to pray six prayer requests for persecuted believers:
1. Deliverance from Persecutors
2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
—Sometimes believers wonder whether they should pray for deliverance for persecuted brethren. This passage makes clear that it is right to pray for them to be delivered.
2. Unfailing Faith in the Midst of Sufferings
Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
—Satan is the ultimate source of all persecution that believers experience. Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail when he would be tried; we should pray for unfailing faith for persecuted believers.
3. Boldness to Give the Gospel to Persecutors
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
—Although Paul was in prison when he wrote these words, Paul asked that believers would pray for him to have boldness in his bonds so that he would continue to be a faithful witness in spite of his sufferings for the faith. We need to hold up persecuted brethren in prayer that they would be bold to give the gospel to their persecutors in spite of their suffering.
4. Patient Endurance of Suffering for Doing Well
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
—Peter teaches us that God desires that believers would patiently endure the sufferings that they experience for doing what is right, even as Jesus did. Through praying that persecuted brethren would be like Christ in suffering (without reviling or threatening), we can help suffering brethren endure persecution in a way that is acceptable to God (see also 2 Thess. 1:4-5).
5. Joy in the Midst of Suffering
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
—Jesus taught that believers must rejoice and be exceedingly glad when they suffer persecution for His sake. We can help them do so by praying for them to have the joy of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of much affliction (cf. 1 Thess. 1:6).
6. Love for Enemies Who Persecute Us
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
—Jesus proclaimed that we must love our enemies and relate to them in loving ways in keeping with our being true children of our Heavenly Father. We should pray that suffering brethren would have a proper love in the Spirit for those who afflict them.