Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26, HCSB
Essay Copyright 2015 by Bob Rogers
The Bible says that human beings are made in the image of God. Scholars debate the theological significance of this– that humans resemble God as spiritual beings, rule with God as stewards of His creation, and have a relationship with God by faith. But let’s come down to earth and think about the practical significance of this:
If we are made in the image of God, then abortion is wrong, and murder is wrong, euthanasia is wrong and war is wrong unless it can be shown to be justified by saving more lives than it takes, because these things kill a soul that is made to be with Jesus.
If we are made in the image of God, then racism is wrong, sexism is wrong, pornography is wrong, kidnapping is wrong, and slavery is wrong, because it devalues somebody who is made in the likeness of the king of kings.
If we are made in the image of God, then it is wrong to abuse a child, or abuse a wife or husband, or abuse an elderly person; and it is wrong to neglect and mistreat people because they are poor or mentally unstable or mentally handicapped, physically disabled, or unable to care for themselves due to illness. For each human life is a spiritual life, capable of spending eternity with Christ, so how we treat them down here on earth will be remembered forever up there in heaven.
Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, you probably already know that Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been sent to jail by a judge for refusing to issue any marriage license since the Supreme Court imposed same-sex marriage on all 50 states, causing an eruption of opinions on both sides of this issue.
On one side are those who would make her into a martyr for the faith. While I believe the judge could have been far less harsh (a gay couple in Kentucky who acted in civil disobedience in 2013 against the law were only fined one penny), we should remember that Mrs. Davis is not a private citizen; she is a government official who has sworn to uphold the law, and she could have resigned her position and advocated for change as a private citizen.
On the other side are those who mock her as hypocrite, especially since she has been divorced multiple times. This ignores the fact that Mrs. Davis only recently became a Christian in 2011, and her multiple divorces happened before she had a life-changing conversion to Christ. Now she openly acknowledges her sinful past, says that Jesus has changed her life, and she sincerely wants to obey Him now, no matter how hard that may be. That is not hypocrisy; that is honesty and courage.
Much more could be said about it, but Russell Moore has written by far the best blog that I have read on this subject. Please read this link to his blog before making any comments here.
Yet I submit that we need the church. (I’m talking about the people, not a building. The early church met in houses, and many meet in homes today.) In fact, we cannot be biblical Christians apart from the church. Why do I say that?
1. We can’t use our spiritual gifts without the church. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers, but it is always in the context of the church. Romans 12:5-6 talks about how we are all part of the body of Christ as we have different gifts. It says in 1 Corinthians 12:7-12 that every believer is given a spiritual gift for the common good, because we are all part of the body of Christ. Prophesying, teaching, serving, giving, leading, showing mercy, and so many other spiritual gifts are either done among members of the church or together with members of the church.
2. We can’t show we are disciples without the church. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). We are told to serve each other, teach each other, feed each other, pray for each other, encourage each other. I may know I’m a disciple but I can’t show I’m a disciple if I sit at home alone and don’t show love for fellow believers. No wonder Hebrews 10:25 commands believers not to forsake gathering ourselves together, but instead to encourage each other.
4. We can’t take communion without the church. By definition, the Lord’s Supper is meal of Christians gathered together to remember the body and blood of Christ given for us upon the cross. In 1 Corinthians 11:17-26, the apostle Paul continually uses the phrase “come together” to describe observance of the Lord’s Supper. It says in 1 Corinthians 10:17 observes that by sharing the bread of communion, Christians are expressing their unity: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” Since we cannot take communion without expressing unity with the church, it follows that refusal to express communion with the church is a refusal to express communion with Christ.
Christ is the builder of the church.
Christ is the head of the church.
Christ is the shepherd of the church.
Christ is the groom for His bride, the church.
Christ is coming again for the church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against His church!
Originally posted on Bob Rogers:
In Genesis, Jesus is the Ram at Abraham’s altar
In Exodus, He’s the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus He’s the High Priest
In Numbers He’s the Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night
In Deuteronomy He’s the City of our refuge
In Joshua He’s the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window
In Judges He is our Judge
In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer
In 1st and 2nd Samuel He’s our Trusted Prophet
And in Kings and Chronicles He’s our Reigning King
In Ezra He’s our Faithful Scribe
In Nehemiah He’s the Rebuilder of everything that is broken
And in Esther He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate
In Job He’s our Redeemer that ever lives
In Psalms He is my Shepherd and I shall not want
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He’s our Wisdom
And in the Song of Solomon He’s the Beautiful Bridegroom
In Isaiah He’s the…
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Article copyright 2015 by Jan Moore
(The following guest post is from my friend, Jan Moore. She ministers as a volunteer chaplain at the same hospital where I work, and is a very involved in other ministry in her own church and community. She and her husband recently experienced the loss of their son. Below she shares 20 things not to say to someone who has just lost a loved one. I’m reminded that Job’s three friends actually comforted Job when they sat with him and wept with him in silence ( Job 2:11-13). It was when they opened their mouths that they caused Job pain. May Jan’s list below be a caution to each of us before we open our mouths.)
My son Jeffrey died three months ago at age 24. His death was unexpected and tragic and left his family shocked and devastated. Our lives have been changed forever.
I have been blessed by the comforting presence of my priest, fellow chaplains, good friends. They have known that there are no words that can truly help so they show their love by hugs, touches, and smiles. They do not need details and do not expect me to ‘get over this and move on’ any time soon.
The comments I have listed below were made by people who I also consider friends: fellow churchgoers, neighbors, relatives. I do believe they thought they were being of comfort, but they were not. I do not believe they meant to cause me even more pain, but they did.
I know some bother me because of my own theology but still I think we need to be sensitive to everyone’s beliefs. Here is the list:
- You don’t seem to be yourself anymore. What’s wrong?
- You aren’t smiling as much as you used to. What’s wrong?
- God wanted another angel in heaven.
- Jeffrey was too good for this world.
- God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.
- God will lead you to it and then He’ll get you through it.
- Jeffrey would not want you to be sad (or grieving or angry).
- God is testing your faith.
- God is testing your call to ministry.
- I wonder why God took Jeffrey and not (fill in the blank).
- Now you have your own guardian angel looking after you.
- Now what exactly caused his death?
- I understand exactly how you feel. My grandma died when she was 96 and it just killed me.
- Stay busy and you’ll feel better quicker.
- Well, at least you have one child left.
- How’s your marriage doing? A lot of times, people divorce after the death of a child.
- Well, it won’t be that long before you join Jeffrey in heaven.
- Was Jeffrey baptized?
- Where’s God when you need Him?
- Why did God let this happen?
Originally posted on Bob Rogers:
Copyright 2014 by Bob Rogers
Things from nothing
Man from dust
Sin from perfection
Evil from innocence
Promise from faith
Hope from belief
Laws from above
Commands from Him
Failure from obedience
Despair from hope
Love for hate
Blood for anyone
Light in darkness
Peace in war
Crying to joy
Death to life
(If you see a video ad below this post, please understand that I have no control over these ads, and that I do not necessarily endorse the product.)
Originally posted on Bob Rogers:
Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers
Your child is wronged by another child, and when you try to talk to her parents, they tell you off.
A fellow church member gets angry with you and refuses to talk to you.
A friend always interrupts you, and you want to be friends but you always get frustrated with the conversation.
A fellow worker never shows you respect, always going over your head.
How do you deal with difficult people?
Whenever there was a disagreement in church business meetings or family squabbles, my Grandfather Rogers loved to quote Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
This verse is the pivotal verse in the passage, Romans 12:14-21. It recognizes two important facts about dealing with difficult people: 1) we should live at peace with people, and 2) it’s not always possible. In fact…
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