Category Archives: Bible

Sin, Sinners, Sinning

What is sin? Why is there sin? Is sin a problem? If a problem, is there a solution?

These are questions that many have pondered and wrestled with over the years. For example, why do children hurt each other? Why do parents fight? Why is it so hard to keep society from crumbling? Those who believe the Bible is true find the answer “all have sinned.”

Sin is “to miss the mark.” This can only be helpful if one knows what the mark is that we are missing. Biblically, the mark is holiness (purity and not committing sin), righteousness (just, right, acting with integrity), and perfection (not erring or failing). The Apostle Peter wrote commanding holiness citing the Old Testament book of Leviticus, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”” (1 Peter 1:16).

Sin entered the world, according to the Bible, through disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Genesis 3, and then spread to all mankind. We are born as sinners, who sin, and keep on sinning.

Sin is a problem because it separates us from God. Ephesians 2:1-3 describes the state of those who are in their sin, who are not removed or separated from sin. There, we discover sinners are

  • “dead,”
  • following the prince of the power of the air (Satan),”
  • “sons of disobedience,” living “in the passions of our flesh,”
  • “carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,”
  • and “children of wrath.”

This bleak picture describes the continual struggle of those who seek their own desires, live apart from the biblical instructions, and ultimately will end up separated from God for eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).

There is a remedy! Sin has a solution. Sin can be removed through One who has taken our sin. Jesus took the sin of the world to the cross. He died, not for our sin only, but also the sin of the whole world. Thus, “all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

That is the kicker. Many know of Jesus, have heard of Him, and even claim to follow Him. But only those who believe in Him will be saved. John tells us how we can know if we are saved, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.”

If you are unsure if you are saved from sin or not, there is a simple test:

  1. Do you recognize you are a sinner, that is you have sinned (Romans 3:10, 23)? And that because of sin you are separated from God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3)?
  2. Do you believe Jesus is Immanuel, God become flesh, who died on the cross for your sin and rose again?
  3. Do you love believers in Jesus?

These are 3 descriptions of those who are saved. Only those who believe in Jesus are those saved. There are 3 books in the Bible that are specifically written so those who believe might know they are saved and are have eternal life. They are The Gospel of John, Galatians, and 1 John. If you are unsure, read them, and evaluate if you believe in Jesus. If so, the problem of sin has been dealt with, you are viewed by God as a sinner no longer but as a saint (one set apart), and sinning should not be the lifestyle that defines you.

How God Has Worked!

Preparing for CBC’s first service 3.11.2012.

Psalm 105:2

Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

Gathering together and sharing how God has worked in our lives is a great way to encourage one another and build one another up. This Sunday, Pastor Frank is going to be preaching Acts 11. In Acts 11, Peter shares with the church in Jerusalem how God has worked.

This is a great opportunity for you to invite friends to sing together, to hear from the Bible, and to share with them the great work of God. We will see you Sunday at 10 am.

Define the Win

Football season is here! For many this is a win, because now they will watch 22 sweaty men aggressively push each other around a specially designed field on a large TV in their home while sitting in the most comfortable spot they can afford. In football, the aim is to be the team who gets the highest points scored by the time the clock counts down to 0:00 at the end of the 4th quarter. The winner is whichever team manages to accumulate the highest score. Should the winning National Football League team be the winningest in their division, they might go to be the conference champions, if they defeat the most teams, and if they can survive the playoffs, they can attend the Super Bowl and have the chance to become the NFL champions.

In football, the win is clearly defined.

As you are reading the blog at a church, you probably have guessed that we are not going to keep writing about football. How does a church define the win? What constitutes a church victory?

At Cornerstone, we count wins in terms of people coming to know Jesus as their Savior, the level at which they follow Him, and leading others to follow Him. While we track our service attendance, the treasurer tracks giving, and we enjoy the increasing website hits, they are only metrics that help us to understand what we need to do to better equip the congregation in living biblically. We state this as our purpose:

Cornerstone Bible Church exists to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ, to aid in the maturity and development of the followers of Jesus Christ, and to train leaders who will guide the church as they follow Christ Jesus.

As men, women, and children come to know Jesus as their Savior through the preaching of the Bible, our hope is to lead them to follow Jesus daily. Currently, we see a winning streak. The gospel has been steadily going out through the preaching, teaching, and opportunities to share Christ. We see believers responding to what the Bible says in positive movements towards the truth of God’s Word. Also, we are excited to have men and women who are taking ownership to lead others in walking in light of God’s Word.

Ultimately, we are guaranteed the victory, as Jesus is our Head Coach. Paul encouraged the Corinthians by writing, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

We might not running through the tunnel to battle on the gridiron Sunday afternoon (or in the evenings on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Monday), but we do wake up everyday to embrace the victory already given. If you don’t have a church helping you in that endeavor, join us Sunday at 10 am.

P.S. Go Blue (University of Michigan Wolverines for those unaware)! Go Detroit Lions!

How long does marriage last?

Perhaps you have wondered, “how long does marriage last?” Well, you wouldn’t be the first, and you certainly won’t be the last.

American societies’ views on marriage were initially shaped by the Bible and the practice of marriage in Europe. From then until the 1800s, it was typically recognized that marriage was between one man and one woman, which was binding until death (with a few rare groups or churches teaching marriage was plural, eternal, or both).

What does the Bible teach in regards to the lasting nature of marriage? We see three main passages which are relevant to the discussion are Matthew 19:1-12, Matthew 22:23-33, and Romans 7:1-3 (all quoted below). The Bible teaches that a man and woman bound in marriage are to remain so until death. Upon death, the marriage is no longer binding. Paul, writing to those called “saints,” that is true believers in Christ, who have been redeemed by God’s grace through their faith, are not given a law of eternal marriage. There is no textual evidence that this has been changed, as some claim of the Bible.

Therefore, if you are married, enjoy marriage during this life!  God’s intention for marriage is procreation, enjoyment, and protection from sin (Genesis 1:28; Proverbs 5:18, 19; Ecclesiastes 9:9; 1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Ultimately, our satisfaction should be in Jesus, for “For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:11).

Matthew 19:1-12, which is often quoted without context, reads:

Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Matthew 22:23-33 reads:

The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. Mat  In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

Romans 7:1-3, written to those called saints (Romans 1:7):

Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Can the Bible mean anything?

You text your wife, “Going to store need anything?” You have communicated a message, namely that you are going to be making a stop before seeing her and you are willing to purchase items she might need. She replied,

“Just this necklace.” You asked if she needed ANYTHING, so you were offering to pick up anything she felt she needed, right? Even a $6,700.00 Tiffany Soleste necklace. 

Such a ridiculous example helps illustrate that messages have meaning. The meaning of any given message is determined by the author. The Bible is ultimately written by God, as He inspired authors to pen His exact word for His audience. It turns out the audience is mankind at a given time and place, with application for all people, at all times, and in all places. If we fail to remember that there is a context and meaning of God’s Word we might start to think it can mean anything, but it cannot. It means what God intended to communicate.

Going back to the texts with your wife, she replied, “two dozen eggs and chocolate bar.” Because you knew it was for a birthday cake, you don’t pick up 24 Easter eggs on clearance and Snickers bars, you pick up 24 farm fresh eggs and baking squares. She communicated clearly, in just 24 letters.

God has written us a single volume consisting of 66 books of the Bible. Context is the key to help you unleash His Word in your life.