Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth

God intends that we learn spiritual lessons from his commanded festivals. What does keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:8) teach us about how our corrupt fleshly nature may be replaced by a new and different nature — the Divine nature of God?

The Path To Salvation—Part 3

The Bible teaches that God has a plan of salvation for mankind. What does that mean, and why is a plan of salvation necessary? What is it that human beings need to be saved from? If there is a “plan of salvation,” what is it? Are there specific steps to be followed on the path to salvation?

In previous articles, parts one and two of a series, I addressed the first seven of the following questions relating to salvation for human beings:

(1) What is “salvation”?; (2) Are “good” people saved even if they don’t know about Christ, or are unbelievers?; (3) Are infants and babies saved, even though they know nothing of Christ and lack the capacity to choose good or evil?; (4) Does the Bible teach “Universal Salvation”?; (5) Who qualifies you for salvation?; (6) Can one, after making a profession of faith in Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit, be disqualified from salvation?; (7) Are those who do not attain salvation in this age eternally condemned?; (8) What is the path to salvation?

In this article, part three of this series, we conclude the final question: “What is the path to salvation?”

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The Two Covenants — Part 5

In previous articles in our Two Covenants series we’ve discussed the relationship between the Old and New Covenants, and reasons why the Old Covenant was given.

To review, we’ve discussed the concept that the Old Covenant was a type of the New Covenant. It was given as an introduction to living spiritual principles. But as it was a shadow, or type or figure of the New, it was not the full reality of what the New Covenant encompasses. For example, the sacrifices under the Old Covenant were among other things a type of Christ’s sacrifice, but they were not the reality of the sacrifice itself.

Reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant that we discussed included:

(1) The Separation and preservation of a people for God.

(2) A tutor or schoolmaster pointing to Christ.

(3) A form of knowledge and truth.

(4) To teach the nature and effect of sin.

(5) To reveal the need for the Holy Spirit.

Later in this article our focus shifts to the New Covenant.

But first, we will briefly list some other important reasons for the giving of the Old Covenant in addition to the five already discussed. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but will furnish food for thought.

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The Path to Salvation — Part 1

The Bible teaches that God has a plan of salvation for mankind. What does that mean, and why is a plan of salvation necessary? What is it that human beings need to be saved from? If there is a “plan of salvation,” what is it? Are there specific steps to be followed on the path to salvation?

In this article, I want to begin the process of answering these questions, and others, relating to the path leading to salvation for human beings. This article, part one of a series, will address the first two of the following questions relating to salvation:

(1) What is “salvation”?; (2) Are “good” people saved even if they don’t know about Christ, or are unbelievers?; (3) Are infants and babies saved, even though they know nothing of Christ and lack the capacity to choose good or evil?; (4) Does the Bible teach “Universal Salvation”?; (5) Who qualifies you for salvation?; (6) Can one, after making a profession of faith in Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit, be disqualified from salvation?; (7) Are those who do not attain salvation in this age eternally condemned?; (8) What is the path to salvation?

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God Condemns Abuse

A woman who grew up in a Church of God family reports that her mother was severely beaten during those years. Her father claimed he beat her mother to “get her under submission,” and that the beatings were necessary for her salvation and to beat “Satan out of her.”

He beat her with various objects, including a Bible. He was careful to leave bruises only where they could be covered up, so it wouldn’t be obvious to others what was happening.

He not only administered frequent beatings, but also abused her verbally and mentally. He berated her, calling her filthy names, and used various tactics to keep her in a state of cowering fear, uncertainty, and mental anguish.

The man’s “church face,” however, was quite the opposite of his behavior at home. In public he was kind and courteous, complimenting his wife, doing acts of service for others in the Church. For years, few knew or suspected that he was an abuser, although some later admitted they knew “something bad” was going on, but did not know what to do about it.

Unfortunately, this story is only one of who knows how many examples of abuse that have occurred among families in the Church of God over the years. I know personally of several similar examples.

It’s important that we understand what abuse is and what God’s word really teaches about it. We need to understand clearly that there is never a justification for abusive conduct, and that God condemns abuse.

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