Faith is a lifestyle to live, not just a word to define.
The New Testament portrays the early church with stark realism, and the picture isn't always pretty. The 12 apostles quarreled over which of them was the greatest. Ananias and Sapphira were greedy and dishonest. Immature, divisive members of the Corinthian church misunderstood key doctrines and engaged in appalling immorality. Barnabas and Paul disagreed sharply about Mark's role as a missionary.
Many today see Christians in a negative light. Skeptics consider us hypocrites-weak-minded phonies who use God for a crutch. Politicians see us as a voting bloc. Movie-makers cast us as villains. Culture-watchers point out the church's waning influence on society.
The Best Cleansing Agen
A picture of the Old Testament sacrificial system isn’t pretty. Scripture says blood from the sacrificed animals was to be sprinkled on the altar, on the utensils used for the sacrifice, on the priestly garments, on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant, even on the people. This symbolized the necessity of blood to cleanse them of their sins.
Not many of us would use blood as a cleaning agent, and we certainly would not use it as laundry detergent. In fact, when we get blood on our clothes, we struggle to find something that will get the blood out. We even say we do not want the blood to stain our clothes. So why does God use blood as an illustration for a cleanser?
The Trinity In The Bible
The New Testament does bring God (Father), the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit together in such a way as to strongly imply the Trinitarian nature of God. Three Scriptures are quoted below as a summary of the many other biblical passages that bring together the three Persons of the Godhead. One Scripture is from the Gospels, another is from the apostle Paul and a third is from the apostle Peter. The words in each passage referring to each of the three Persons are italicized to emphasize their Trinitarian implication:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit [Matthew 28:19].
When Christmas is not Happy?
Recently I was talking with someone who openly admit they dread the holidays. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas isn't the favorite for a lot of people. I've read there is more alcohol consumption, more domestic fights, more arrests, more suicides and more people battling depression during the holidays than any other time of year. .
Why is that? Why does the "hap, hap happiest time of the year" become the gloomiest time of the year for so many? If I were going to list the top 5 reasons that holidays are difficult for a lot of people it would be as follows:
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