October 2015 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points. Please be mindful that there are often circumstances and details to every question that could potentially change the answer. Rightly divide the truth (II Timothy 2:15).
1. “Brian I was studying your article *I Don’t Want To Talk About It*. Great work. Never thought of the main point. I am troubled though in a way. How can we get brethren to be honest enough to know when they don’t want to talk about something they are not just brushing us off?”
Š The article that spurred this question can be found here: http://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol16/wotbulletin10042015.html
Š Your question speaks to many implied problems. I am unaware of whom you assemble with. Thus, I am pretty much incapable of specifically answering your question. What I can do is provide some Scriptural thoughts to consider.
Š Since faithful Christians are always honest (Romans 12:17, II Corinthians 8:21, and Ephesians 4:25; cf. Proverbs 8:7), if you are questioning the honesty of your brethren there is a problem.
o If I felt the way you have expressed about the brethren I am in fellowship with I would examine myself to make sure I am not the problem (Galatians 6:3-4). Make sure you are not evil surmising concerning your brethren (I Timothy 6:3-5). If you are, you are the problem.
o If I am the problem, I am going to start the work to fix it immediately (Psalms 119:59-60).
o After my careful, honest conclusions from self-examination, I would discuss it openly with my brethren to either help them or have them help me (Galatians 6:1-2, Hebrews 3:12-14, and Hebrews 10:24-25).
o If their fruit or lack thereof causes you concern about the honesty of your brethren you must address that with them (Proverbs 27:5-6 and James 5:19-20).
Š Faithful Christians will never “brush off” faithful brethren (Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:12-14, I Peter 1:22, and I Peter 3:8).
Š Consider this, if brethren are not communicating the work of the Lord, that greatly benefits each brother and sister in Christ, is failing (i.e. I Thessalonians 5:11-14).
2. “Does Romans 8:28 mean everything always is good for Christians in a way such as jobs, or health, or finances, or is it about salvation and our spirit? I ask because it is often quoted as a verse when someone is going through hard times like to say everything is going to be okay don’t worry God will handle it. I am not sure I agree because the verses around this verse seem to be about our soul and not our bodies in this life.”
Š For one, if you read the context of the verse in question (Romans 8:28-39) it is abundantly clear that the life of a Christian is NOT always carnally okay.
Š You are correct to question the “normal” view of this verse. Romans 8:28 is NOT teaching that everything is always carnally good for Christians. The Scriptures plainly teach otherwise (Matthew 5:10-12, Matthew 10:34-37, Matthew 16:21, Luke 9:22, Luke 9:57-58, Luke 18:31-34, John 16:33, Acts 5:40-42, Acts 8:1-4, Acts 12:1-2, Acts 14:22, I Thessalonians 3:1-4, II Timothy 3:12, and I Peter 4:12-14).
Š Remember, God’s definition of “good” is not the same as carnal definitions of good (Isaiah 55:7-9 and Matthew 7:21-23; cf. II Timothy 3:16-17).
Š The point is, as this context will conclude with (Romans 8:28-39), that SPIRITUAL things ULTIMATELY work out for good for the faithful (Psalms 94:14 and II Corinthians 4:9-5:1). Howbeit, that may not be until death (Luke 16:19-31).
Š Using verses such as Romans 8:28 to get people to think about God as a carnal bank account, job placement deity, etc.; is the opposite of the thinking God wants us to have (Romans 8:12-13, Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:16-17, Galatians 5:24, I Peter 2:11, and I John 2:15-17).
3. “It is the time of year when there are three or four days that cause Christians problems. Days like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. What is the right way to deal with these days with a congregation or people who differ on them and some who are very different on extreme sides?”
Š First, we have to make something clear if this discussion occurs. That is, if you are talking about observing any day as a “religious day” (so to speak) there is a problem (Galatians 4:9-10 and Colossians 2:12-23).
Š If this discussion is being had as one that involves observing days as customs of the land and family traditions, the discussion is resolved by honest application of (Romans 14:1-15:7).
Š Within the framework of understanding liberties and the cautious exercising of such, we can practice certain liberties within our society (i.e. I Corinthians 9:19-23) that may even have certain ties to something otherwise seen as evil (I Corinthians 10:23-33).
4. “I have never submitted a question here before but have been reading the answers for a few years and even listened to the recorded ones of the past. I missed them for a few months and am grateful you guys are doing them again. Thank you and the church there for doing these. It is helpful to many. My question, what is meant in 2 Corinthians 3:5 with our sufficiency is of God?”
Š Thank you for your kind remarks. On behalf of the brethren here in El Paso, I can tell you we enjoy studying these questions and discussing them locally to better prepare ourselves to answer questions and help people understand the Scriptures better.
Š In the context of II Corinthians 3:5, Paul is establishing that their sufficiency [abilities] came from God as teachers (II Corinthians 3:1-9; cf. I Corinthians 2:9-3:8).
Š In a sense, it applies today (I Peter 4:11). However, specifically, it does not. We are not Apostles or inspired men and women of God as was Paul and those working with him. The Apostles certainly had a different task than any of us today (Acts 2:42 and Ephesians 6:19-20).
Š God worked directly with them [those holding the office of an Apostle] to fulfill that task (John 14:26, John 16:13, and Galatians 1:10-12).
Š Remember, the Apostles of Jesus Christ did not need to study, prepare, etc. to teach or answer before men (Matthew 10:16-20).
5. “Please help me understand a verse. In Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you is Jesus saying don’t share the word with some people here?”
Š Yes, He is saying not to try and teach some people (Proverbs 9:7-8, Proverbs 23:9, Proverbs 29:1, Matthew 10:14, Matthew 13:53-58, Acts 13:45-51, II Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-11).
6. “What should we think of Christians that do not pay their debts?”
Š We should not think of them as followers of our Lord (Psalms 37:21; cf. Hebrews 13:18 and I Peter 2:12).
© 2015 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager