Proverbs Reflections

These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!

Know God’s Wisdom

I was so touched by Prov 1-5 that God’s wisdom is knowable. It’s not too far off. In fact, it, “cries aloud in the street” (even in noisy places) – see Prov. 1:20-21. Just waiting for someone to seek her out and cherish her.

When I left for college the only piece of advice my dad gave me was to “pray for wisdom each day.” It seemed a little weird to me at the time, but of course now I know it was from Proverbs. May we pray and seek wisdom daily- the Lord knows we need it!

The Wise Love Rebuke

“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.”
Prov. 9:8

Notice that wise people still need rebuke! The difference is they welcome and love being rebuked (because they care more about following God’s way than their pride). Whereas fools hate rebuke and those who give it. Like the pig who crushes pearls and attacks the one who gives it. Matt. 7:6

I think one of the biggest “tells” of whether someone is truly wise is how they respond when they are corrected. That and what their children (including spiritual children) are like.

This is actually what has struck me the most this time around reading Proverbs. I used to pretty faithfully read a proverb a day (I love the wisdom literature), but I am not sure it really ever caught my attention just how much the wise man is to love rebuke/correction and to respond well when it occurs.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” 12:1

Work Hard

One thing that spoke to me throughout Proverbs is how consistently God says to work hard and don’t love sleep so much, and that is what brings you gain. We look for the get-rich-quick-fix a lot, but that is really unbiblical (and actually is warned against – see Scriptures on inheritances quickly gained). God wants us to faithfully work hard and gain little-by-little.

Slow Fade

I know this isn’t part of the journey through proverbs, but today in Act 19:8-10, the Lord revealed something to me. Paul is teaching about Jesus in the OT the Jews Hardened their hearts and they “Became Obstinate.” This didn’t happen instantly, but a gradual process. These were God fearing Jews, ones who showed up to synagogue week after week and over time they came obstinate/hardened. My heart is asking where I am saying, “No” to God, or have I been hardened to God?

I actually do think it relates to Proverbs 26:30-34~

I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

In other words, it’s generally a “slow fade”. Just “a little sleep, a little slumber”. But all of that adds up.
At the same time, how do we return when we realized we’ve slowly faded? God showed me once that the opposite is also true: a little faithfulness, a little diligence, bit-by-bit, and we will be restore

Timeless Wisdom

I agree with a lot of what is said above about the book of Proverbs. Every time I read Proverbs I can’t help but think of my workplace, and I can see that God’s simple wisdom in Proverbs is something that is still so relevant today.

There are so many times at work that I am confronted with the option of making small, morally questionable decisions that by themselves would not be a hugely impactful, but over time would lead down a path of destruction.

Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
I love that proverbs shows us that God rewards honest work as well.

Proverbs 11:1 “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.”

God sees everything, and he knows the intent I have behind the decisions I make. I’ve found that holding on to integrity is always harder than following the crowd, but it is also more rewarding and pleasing to God.

Proverbs is a great reminder of staying on track with our routine holy habits. Nothing fancy here, just hard honest work and holy fear of the LORD.

Lastly, I love Proverbs 31 and it makes me grateful for my wife. God has blessed us with good women in our lives!

Power in Your Words

So much practical wisdom but this time around the many verses on finances and also being thoughtful with our words really captured me.

Prov. 18:21- “death and life are in the power of the toungue.”

And even a foolish man is considered wise if he stays silent…

29:20 “do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Finances

In regards to the finances, I was really encouraged toward daily faithfulness. 23:4 “do not toil to acquire wealth, be discerning enough to desist.” Of course, this is all a heart issue and I just want to make sure I’m not chasing $ or wealth or what the world worships and Proverbs sure does help to stay on track.

Bold as a Lion

Lastly, from 28:1 “the righteous are as bold as a lion!”

That never hit me before but I’m going to try to hold onto that verse!

And what does a lion look like? “a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing” (Prov. 30:30)

Now consider this? Where does your righteousness come from? 100% from Jesus

So where does your boldness come from? 100% from Jesus

The more we realize we’ve been made righteous and don’t deserve it, the more I believe boldness grows supernaturally–all a work of the Spirit.

A True Jehovah’s Witness is a False Christian

True Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians. Here are 3 reasons:

  1. They teach a counterfeit Jesus, that He is Michael the Archangel (2 Corinthians 11:4; John 1:1).
  2. They teach a counterfeit Holy Spirit, that He is simply God’s active force (2 Corinthians 11:4; Acts 5:3-4).
  3. They teach a counterfeit Gospel, that one need not be born again to enter the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 11:4; John 3:3-5).

-Bill Fisher (with minor editing from Brian Holda)

2 Peter And God’s Patience

In 2 Peter you have these false preachers who seem like they were endorsing a certain form of sensuality and getting others to follow them in this. These false teachers were so intricately part of the fellowship of the church that they were joining in their “love feasts” (time of eating and communion together).

While reading 2 Peter this week, I found myself waiting to hear Peter say “kick them out!!”. Maybe he did and I missed it (or Jude will–which is a sister book to 2 Peter?). And clearly other Scriptures do address confronting and disciplining false teachers (so hear me out on this).

But here, Peter appeals to the patience of God and saints of old who had to bear up with things for a while, but then God confronted them by direct judgment later.

In the same way, we sometimes want to immediately address things that may be really bad… but sometimes God might be working something out that is much greater than we could ever have imagined.

I think of Judas Iscariot. How many of us would have tolerated him for 3.5 years (let alone share the Holy Spirit with him, washed his feet, or made him the treasurer!)? Think of all the damage he could do if he wasn’t ejected? So then the worst case scenario happened: Judas killed Jesus.

But God used this to bring ALL of us unto Him.

I’m telling you–God’s ways are always better than our ways!

Honoring Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

I was recently asked about how much Christians should focus or proclaim Jesus versus the other Persons within the Trinity: Father and Holy Spirit.

In other words, does an emphasis on Jesus properly reflect the Biblical teaching that we serve a God who is 3-in-1: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? See Jesus & God.

The following is a response worked out between Jesse Higgins and me.

New Testament Stats

This prompted me to look up how often the New Testament itself references the 3 persons of the Trinity. I found the following:

  • God (Greek: “Theos”) + Father (Greek: “Pater”) = About 1,500 references (removing a portion of references to ‘Father’ that speak to a father other than God).
  • Jesus (Greek: “Iesous”) + Christ (Greek: “Christos”) = About 1,400 references (removing a portion of references to ‘Jesus’ that speak to a different person named Jesus)
  • Spirit (Greek: “Pneuma”) = About 300 references (removing a portion of references to ‘Spirit’ that refer to a spirit other than the Holy Spirit)

Please note that these are ballpark numbers. I did a quick estimate of how many references to remove to make sure it only is talking about THE Father/Jesus/Spirit, but would love if someone wanted to take the time to count the exact.

Considerations

Glorifying Son and Father

Look now at John 16:13-24:

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you…

Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

John 16:13-24

This passage shows that the Spirit is here to glorify the Son (and the Son, in turn, glorifies the Father).

Examples of Glorifying Son and Father

An example of this is found in Luke 7:11-17. There Jesus resurrects a boy. The response?

There were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us…God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Luke 7:16-17

Note that the Holy Spirit opened their eyes to perceive the Truth of this sign, yet they gave honor to the Prophet (Jesus) and glorified God who had visited his people.

Another example is John 6:28-40:

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”…

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

Even if the number of times each Person of the Godhead is mentioned was not a crescendo of instances magnifying the Father, we have clear explanations from the Son that the Holy Spirit comes to glorify the Son and in fact, does nothing on His own. The Son, who Himself does nothing on His own, in turn glorifies the Father.

Furthermore, we see the example of the Holy Spirit moving in Power through the signs and wonders of Jesus and in opening their spiritual eyes to perceive the Truth and their reaction is to honor the Son, the Good Teacher, the Prophet and to magnify and glorify God the Father.

The Holy Spirit comes to

  • convict of sin, because the people do not believe in the Son,
  • convict of Righteousness, because the Son has gone to the Father on our behalf
  • convict of Judgment, because the ruler of this world is condemned.

Twice the Holy Spirit’s purpose on earth is listed in connection with everyone’s relationship to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living GOD, either as unbelievers or believers, and once in connection to ruler of this world.

Even the authority we are given to ask anything in His name is as the Son. No precedent was set for telling the Holy Spirit to do anything, nor asking in His name. The Holy Spirit is not bereaved by our perceived lack of egalitarianism in the Godhead.

Baptizing in Jesus’ Name

I’d also add an interesting point that Acts mentions baptism in Jesus’ name though Matt 28:19 mentions the Trinity for baptism.

I think it does point that for the Christian, in some way, truly referencing Jesus as Lord-God carries with it Trinitarian implications, if that makes sense.

The Preciousness of God

Finally, if we consider that a goal of God is uniting us with Him through the gospel, think about the fellowship we have with the different Members of the Godhead:

  • The Father only fellowshipped face-to-face with 2 humans: Adam and Eve.
  • The Son came down to fellowship kind of in that way, though ultimately to bring to fellowship with God via the work of the cross. I think it was also his time of “not finding a helper suitable for him” (like Adam before Eve), so then He’s put to death and side is pierced and a bride is formed from Him (like Adam with Eve). This anticipates the intimate fellowship of Husband-Wife to come with Jesus/God, that no one experienced with Jesus while He was on the earth.
  • Then the Spirit lives with us now, as a proxy (if I can say that) for the full fellowship yet to come.

In all this, each Person of the Godhead takes us into greater fellowship with the next. The Spirit unto the marriage banquet. Jesus unto the Father (since He came face-to-face with humans and they lived in a way that didn’t happen with the Father, and his sacrifice made reconciliation unto fellowship with the Father).

There is also something pointing to how rare the fellowship is.

  • Fellowship with Father-humans = most rare.
  • Fellowship with Jesus-humans confined to 33 years.
  • Fellowship with Spirit-humans the least rare.

If you think of rarity corresponding with preciousness, they are pointing toward the ultimate, precious fellowship of humans with Father (alongside Son and Spirit).

Just something I was pondering…

Brian (with sections written by Jesse Higgins).

Was John 7:53-8:11 in the Bible?

This follows up well with Is Mark 16:9-20 in the Bible?

Another one of those passages that is disputed is John 7:53-8:11 (the woman caught in adultery). Undoubtedly it is a favorite story of many, but a wide swath of Bible scholars would say it was text that was inserted later by someone, and wasn’t in the original version of the gospel of John. At first blush, this might seem enough to dismiss it. However…

I was recently introduced to another article by John Tors that gives a very able defense of this story being in the original gospel of John, and therefore part of God’s authoritative Scripture: A CALL FOR SERIOUS EVANGELICAL APOLOGETICS: The Authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 as a Case Study.

Not only does he persuasively argue for it’s inclusion, but there is a bit of a detective-type mystery that is uncovered at the end. I’ll leave it to you to find out what it says.

But, to also introduce you to a fair argument against John 7:53-8:11, I encourage you to read Daniel Wallace’s Note 140 on John 7 (from NET Bible).

I’d love to hear these 2 debate this. But for now, I’m just reporting, and you can decide.

Brian

Elizabeth Elliott – Is Divorce the Only Way?

Note: this is for EVERYONE on EVERY facet of kingdom living. Not just marriage-divorce situations, though that’s what it is hitting on, firstly.

A friend sent me this excerpt. So this is a transcription by Shannon Maloney of an excerpt from Elisabeth Elliott on an essay entitled, “Is Divorce the Only Way?”:

Remember the martyr Stephen. It was witness that mattered, not self-preservation. Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It was witness that mattered, not self-preservation. I am not referring here to the popular use of the word witness—talking to somebody about his soul’s salvation. I am speaking of a life laid down in obedience, whatever that obedience may entail. Such a life witnesses to love for God.

One who loves him does what he says, cost what it may. Not a hair lost? No, not in terms of the Kingdom. But yes, in this world’s terms, more than a hair—the life itself—may be lost. If it is the Kingdom of Heaven you really want, then you can do only what fits the terms of that Kingdom. You will not be asking, ‘What are my rights?’ Or ‘Will this solve my problem?’ Or ‘What will I gain by this?’ You will be on your knees instead, saying ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ which means ‘My Kingdom go.’

It is very likely that the first task assigned to you will be repentance… After you have done that, you must forgive. You must forgive the other one even if he/she does not forgive you, and cares not at all to be forgiven.

As with the healing of a physical wound, there may need to be both cutting and cleansing before there can be healing. The Word cuts. Taking heed to the Word cleanses. Then God (and only God) does the healing. He creates new life and new flesh.

Does it seem impossible? Then perhaps you’re still thinking in the context of this world. Try the other context, the one in which all things become new and even the dead are raised.

Elizabeth Elliott – “Is Divorce the Only Way?”

Of course this is just an excerpt. I haven’t read the whole thing myself. There are certainly other things to consider on all this (and I’m not sure how much Elliott covers other facets in the essay).

But let’s let this sit with us thoroughly first.

If we don’t start at this place–of setting His kingdom desires over ours, of setting His glory over self-preservation–nothing else said on the topic is worth discussing.

Brian

God on Prayer

God through Luke tells us:

  • Luke’s gospel begins with prayer at the temple (Luke 1:10) and Acts (1:14) begins similarly.
  • Mary prays/sings: “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:53) – prayer that touches God’s heart is coming to Him hungry. Prayer that goes through the motions is coming rich. You can see the results of each.
  • Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s kingdom to come (Luke 11:2 = God’s will to be done, Matthew 6:10). Shows that our prayers pave a path for God’s will to come.
  • Jesus gives the example of prayer being like a friend who doesn’t possess something, yet begs of someone who had what he needed (Luke 11:5-8). Again, do we come to God in prayer “hungry” and “in need” or filled? You can tell the difference based on how God responds.
  • Luke 11:9-13 – we are told to “Ask…seek…knock.” You ask when someone is there with you. You seek when there is effort to find someone/something. You knock when there is a barrier between you and what you need. Consider this as a progression. When you’re younger with the Lord, it might be a simple ask. But later He might be exercising those muscles by having you seek and knock a bit before it comes. Don’t stop. He sees you and hears you.
  • Luke 18:1-8 – again, Jesus pictures prayer as a person in need going to the one who can match that need. In this case it’s a widow (who has no earthly helper) who needs deliverance against her adversary. She pleads relentlessly with a corrupt judge. Why? Because she knew he was her only hope for a change. God is saying that we are that widow, and He is a good judge. Will we pray like we know He really is the ONLY answer to what we need?
  • Acts 1:14 and 2:42 shows the earliest group of Jesus followers were devoted to prayer.
  • Acts 6:4 shows that prayer was one of 2 chief things that leaders had to ensure they had time to for.
  • Acts 9:11 shows that Ananias could recognize the transformed Paul because, “he is praying.”
  • Acts 10:9 and 10:30 show that the Gentiles were brought into the kingdom of grace through prayer– Peter’s prayer matched with Cornelius’s.
  • Acts 12 – Peter was miraculously delivered from prison when “many were gathered together and were praying,” (12:12).
  • Acts 13:3 – the church spread through prayer
  • Acts 14:23 – the church was established through prayer

I hope this is sufficient to see that God via Luke has said much on prayer. This alone should be sufficient to start a revival of prayer among Jesus’ people everywhere. I know it has been used much to kindle prayer in my own heart. But God knows how cold and stubborn we can be. So He anointed other Bible writers to hit the same theme from different angles.

Lately, God has been speaking to me through Paul, specifically, to revive my heart more toward a prayer revival. Here is a sampling of that.

God through Paul tells us:

  • “Be constant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12) – if we can’t do it out of zeal, let’s consider doing it out of duty
  • “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:8) – IN EVERYTHING
  • “Epaphras… [is] always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God…he has worked hard for you…” (Col. 4:12-13). Consider that. The prayers of one man are directly related to an entire church standing mature and fully assured in God’s will. How much have churches suffered because not even one man has labored in this way on their behalf?
  • “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17)
  • 1 Tim. 1:12 – God gave Paul strength through Christ for the service he called him to. Have you been called to a service? Consider where God wants you to get strength from…
  • 1 Tim. 2 shows prayer as the thing Paul calls them to “first of all” (1 Tim. 2:1). And he calls out men (presumably as leaders, see context) to this duty especially: 1 Tim. 2:8
  • Philemon 1:22 – here Paul is so confident he’ll be staying with Philemon soon that he tells him to prepare a guest room for him. Why? “I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.” That’s how confident God is in our prayers.

I could add to this list all of the autobiographical notes Paul makes about prayer (especially at the beginning of many of his letters, but also throughout). Things like:

  • without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers” (Rom. 1:9-10)
  • “I give thanks to my God always for you” (1 Cor. 1:4)
  • “I thank God…as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Tim. 1:3)

And this is truly just a sampling. I don’t think there is a single letter of Paul’s that doesn’t contain these kinds of notes.

Further, these are just 2 human authors God spoke through in the Bible on this. We really are just scratching the surface here…

But at least in what you’ve read here, can you hear God’s voice on this?

Any church that thinks prayer is a “nice to have” has completely departed from biblical Christianity.

God help our prayerlessness. Forgive our self-sufficiency. Give us repentance to come back to biblical Christianity on the matter of prayer.

Brian

Is Mark 16:9-20 in the Bible?

In many (all?) modern English translations of the Bible, if you flip to Mark 16, you’ll see some kind of note saying that Mark 16:9-20 may not be in the original version of Mark.

This note is driven by the study of Biblical manuscripts.

There are a lot of biblical manuscripts (handwritten copies of the Bible) out there, and they don’t always agree. This is actually a good thing, because it provides a wealth of material with checks and balances that help us more accurately determine what was in the original Bible text.

Most of the differences in copies are fairly easy to discern or completely inconsequential to the meaning of the text (e.g. “Christ Jesus” versus “Jesus Christ”). And I believe all of the differences (or at least the more major ones) are catalogued at the NET Bible, if anyone wants to see it for themselves.

Further, which brings us full circle, most modern translations of the Bible will include footnotes where there is a possible difference in some manuscripts. That’s what we see in Mark 16:9-20, as mentioned above.

Now, a nice assurance we have in studying Mark 16:9-20, is that the gist of everything there can be found elsewhere in the Bible. So no doctrine is hanging on whether Mark 16:9-20 was in the original or not.

For my part, I see fair evidence to support it being in the original, or at the very least inserted very early by the church (as a sort of true addendum, if you will, not as fabricating material or falsely attributing things to Mark). And along those lines, I recently read a 2011 article by John Tors that argues this very forcefully: Mark 16:9-20: A Response to CMI.

However, to be even-handed, I’d also recommend the reader checks out The NET Bible footnote on Mark 16:9-20. There he argues that it wasn’t in the original.

So, what do you think? Was Mark 16:9-10 in the original? Does it matter?

Brian

Christian Giving

You Aren’t Made Righteous by Giving

  • Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:1-9: the core of the gospel is NOT giving to the poor
  • Galatians 2:10: “All they asked [after ensuring we all believed the same gospel] was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” This shows that giving to the poor is NOT part of the gospel message, yet was a high priority for God’s early church.

You Give Because You Are Righteous In Christ

  • Matthew 25:31-46: A mark of God’s people is ministering physical needs, especially to those within the church (25:40). We do this by instinct–a sign God’s new life is in us–and we don’t even realize it at times (25:37-40).
  • 2 Corinthians 8-9: The gospel is the foundation of our giving (8:9). Giving now becomes something we do by His grace, joy, and love in us through His Spirit (and demonstrated through the gospel).

Who Should Receive?

  • 1 Timothy 5:4, 8, 16: Provide for your family’s needs first.
  • Deut. 15:3-4; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 2:44; John 13:34-35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 5:9-10; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17: Tending the needs of God’s church precedes tending the needs of the world.
    • Matthew 5:16; Luke 10:25-37; Galatians 6:10: The church should still generously help the world, too, as God enables us.
    • 1 Timothy 5:11-16; 2 Thes. 3:10-12: Providing for the needy aims at character and community development in Christ, which sometimes will deny giving handouts.
  • Deuteronomy 15:11; 26:12-15; Luke 8:1-3; 14:12-24; 2 Cor. 8:13-14; James 1:27; 1 Tim. 5:3, 17; 1 John 3:17-18; 3 John 1:5-8: Help those who have needs and can’t provide for themselves
    • Some specific groups listed in the Bible include orphans, widows, sojourners, faithful ministers, the sick, prisoners
    • 1 Tim. 6:8: needs = food and covering (clothing and shelter)
  • Luke 10:33; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17: you will largely give according to what you encounter, especially within your church community (as well as local community)

Who Should Give?

  • Luke 10:25-37: Individuals 
  • Genesis 18:1-8 (cf. Hebrews 13:2): Families collectively
  • Acts 4:37; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2: Church collectively

Give What?

  • Mark 8:36: Sharing the gospel is by far the most important thing to share
  • Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12: Train Christians to labor well to produce their own income (and surplus)
    • Provide the needy with jobs
  • Leviticus 25:35; Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 10:25-37; Acts 2:44; 6:1; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17: Provide things–food, clothing, housing, medical help
  • Matt. 25:31-46; Heb. 13:3: share time
  • Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 6:13; Acts 3:6; James 5:13-14: pray for/with them
  • Luke 12:33; Acts 2:45; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2: share money

How Do You Give

  • Exodus 25:1-2; 35:5; 2 Cor. 8:6-15; 9:5-15: with joyful willingness prompted by grace and the gospel (not an obligation)
  • Leviticus 19:9-10; Proverbs 3:9-10; 1 Corinthians 16:2: from what God has given you
  • 1 Kings 17:13; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:3, 14: According to your means (and even beyond, as the Lord leads)
  • Genesis 47:26; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2: Save by putting aside excess for future needs
  • John 13:29; Acts 4:34-35; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2: Pool money to reach further
  • Acts 4:34-35; 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3-5: Overseen by elders and deacons
  • Genesis 14:20; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23: The concept of tithing (giving 1/10) can be a helpful starting point to gauge how much to give. But this should not be treated as a ceiling or a mandate the same way it was in the Old Covenant. See Tithing, Yes or No?

Statement of Faith

This is a statement of faith we adopted in the Holland House Church Network. See it also at Church in Holland – Doctrine.

We affirm:

To expand and clarify these, we affirm that:

The Bible is: 

  • The 66 books of the Protestant Canon – no more and no less,
    • God’s Word, 
    • truth without error,
    • sufficient revelation for the essentials of life and godliness,
    • the ultimate authority on everything it proclaims.

Scriptures: Matthew 5:17-18; 19:4-5; Mark 7:9-13; Luke 11:51; 24:44; John 10:34-35; 12:47-48; 17:17; Acts 17:11; Romans 3:4; 9:17, 25; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Titus 1:2; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; Rev. 19:15

There was, is, and always will be only 1 God who:

Simultaneously was, is, and always will exist as 3 Persons:

  1. God the Father
  2. God the Son, Jesus Christ
  3. God the Holy Spirit

Scriptures: Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 9:6-7; 45:22-23; Psalm 18:31; 45:6-7; 110:1; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 1:21-23; 3:16-17; 28:19; Mark 12:28-34; 14:61-64; John 1:1,14-18; 8:24, 56-59; 10:30-39; 14:15-24; 17:1-5; Acts 5:1-5; 13:2; Romans 1:7; 3:30; 8:9-11; 9:5; 1 Corinthians 8:4-8; 2 Cor. 13:14; Galatians 3:20; Philippians 2:3-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:8, 10; James 1:1; 2:19; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:23; 2 John 1:3; Jude 1:1, 5-6

Jesus Christ was and is:

  • fully God, and
  • fully man

Scriptures: Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 9:6-7; 45:22-23; Psalm 45:6-7; 110:1; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 1:21-23; 4:2; 8:10; 26:38-39; Mark 14:61-64; Luke 2:7, 52; 24:39; John 1:1, 14; 4:6; 14-18; 6:38; 8:24, 40, 56-59; 10:30-39; 11:35; 19:28; Acts 2:22; Romans 8:3, 9; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:3-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:8, 10; 2:14-18; 4:15; 1 John 1:1-3; 4:1-3; 2 John 7; Jude 1:5-6

The only way for humanity to be saved from God’s judgement and wrath is by receiving that:

  • Jesus lived perfectly righteous, the only human to do so
  • Jesus’ death by crucifixion fully satisfied God’s wrath owed for our sins
  • Jesus bodily resurrected 3 days later
  • You receive the merits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection only by repenting (i.e. turning toward Jesus/God as your new Boss/King/Lord) and trusting these things.
    • Upon doing this, God the Holy Spirit indwells you, which leads to a transformed life and character that more resembles God/Christ over time

Scriptures: Isaiah 53:4-5, 9; Matt. 12:40; Mark 1:15; 8:31; 9:31; 16:15; Luke 3:22; 13:5; 15:11-32; 24:7, 21, 46-47; John 3:16; Acts 2:37-38; 13:39; 16:30-31; 20:30-31; Romans 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:8-10; 8:9, 16-17, 23; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 15:1-6; 2 Corinthians 1:21; 5:5, 17-21; Galatians 2:16; 3:13; 5:22-24; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Col. 1:22; Hebrew 4:15; 6:1; 7:26; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22, 24; 3:18; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:29; 3:3-10, 14-15; 4:10