VIDEO Debate: Does Paul Give Us the Truth about Jesus?

Debate: Does Paul Give Us the Truth about Jesus? David Wood (Christian) vs. Shabir Ally (Muslim)

Christians believe that the Apostle Paul was one of history’s most faithful men of God. Muslims, however, often claim that Paul was a deceiver who corrupted Christianity. Can an examination of the evidence help us decide who’s right? In this debate, David Wood and Shabir Ally debate the question, “Does Paul give us the truth about Jesus?”

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 God our Saviour… wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4

You’ve probably read or heard about the recent flap over Huawei’s National Day promotional offer of a mobile phone for $54, which was made available to Singaporeans aged 50 years and above.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, it drew long queues to Huawei’s outlets across Singapore—which turned a little ugly when would-be customers discovered that each store had less than 30 phones in stock. It meant that many in the queues—some of whom had been there since 4am—couldn’t buy the phones. The police had to be called in to manage some of the angry crowds that turned rowdy.

Reading the news, I couldn’t help but wonder why the company had not anticipated the huge demand, given the attractiveness of the offer and the large number of older Singaporeans. Of course, the reactions of some among the crowd leave much to be desired. After all, we can accept that there will always be limited stocks of any product out there, especially when it’s a new model that’s just been rolled out.

I couldn’t help but think of God’s gift of salvation. Unlike manmade products that will run out, His offer of salvation is available to all who seek Him:

“God our Saviour… wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)

If people earnestly seek Him, God will not go back on His word. His offer of salvation is available to us, whoever and wherever we are. No matter how old we are or what we have done, forgiveness and salvation is available to us, if we believe in Him.

Will you take up that offer? And if you already have, will you tell a loved one or friend about this wonderful offer? —C. H. Tan

 

Lord, thank You for this offer of salvation
that You have made available to me
through Your Son Jesus Christ.

 

God’s grace is available to alI at all times.

Essential Truths of the Faith

Ephesians 4:11-16

It’s fairly easy to coast through the Christian life without thinking too deeply about the essentials of our faith. Every child of God knows the basics of the gospel, since they are necessary for salvation. But once we are saved, we need to grow in our understanding of the doctrines that are foundational for Christianity.

We must believe that the Bible is true. Scripture is the heavenly Father’s self-revelation about His nature, plan of salvation, and dealings with mankind. It’s the final authority on life, faith, salvation, and conduct (2 Peter 1:3), and we can trust that it’s without error because God inspired its writers and protected its transmission throughout history (2 Timothy 3:16).

There is only one God who expresses Himself in three persons—Father, Son, and Spirit. The concept of the Trinity is supported in numerous Scriptures, including Jesus’ baptism when all three were present and the Great Commission in which we are told to make disciples and baptize them in one name—that of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 28:19).

The Lord is the Creator of all things. As His creatures, we exist for Him and through Him, and He has authority and power over us (1 Corinthians 8:6). God is not simply a greater version of us; He is in a totally different category because He is self-existent and the source of life. We, on the other hand, are dependent upon Him for our next breath.

These three essentials keep us grounded in the truth. If we doubt them, we will find ourselves deceived by other doctrines (Eph. 4:14).

Stick To Sound Doctrine

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13)

When Paul wrote to his two young disciples, Timothy and Titus, he stressed again and again the vital importance of maintaining sound doctrine in their churches.

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome [same word as ‘sound’] words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3; see also 1:10). “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). “That he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1; also 2:8).

If the great apostle was so concerned that his pastoral disciples guard the doctrinal integrity of their first-century churches, he would surely be even more exercised today. These are times when false doctrines are rampant, and when sound (that is “healthy” or “whole”) doctrines are often the object of compromise and distortion, or (even more commonly) simply ignored, even in evangelical churches.

Paul’s command was to “hold fast the form” of sound words. Not only the so-called “spirit” of the words in Scripture, but the words themselves.

Such strict guarding of doctrine is vital for the spiritual health of the churches. Furthermore, such doctrinal integrity does not lead to cold orthodoxy, as some would allege, but is centered in the “faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” It is “the doctrine which is according to godliness.” It is doctrine that is not only sound in the faith, but also “in charity, in patience” (Titus 2:2).

After all, it is the doctrine of Christ Himself, who is not only “the truth,” but also “the way” and “the life” (John 14:6). HMM

100 Pianos

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

—John 17:21

Someone may fear that we are magnifying private religion out of all proportion, that the “us” of the New Testament is being displaced by a selfish “I.” Has it ever occurred to you that 100 pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So 100 worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life.   POG090

Lord, let this start with me. Give me a closer walk with You today. Then as a leader enable me to encourage others as well, individually, so that all to whom I minister might be in harmony as we individually are close to You. Amen.

 

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.—Colossians 1:13.

 

It is right that we should have an aim of our own, determined by our individuality and our surroundings; but this may readily degenerate into exclusive narrowness, unless it has for a background the great thought that there is a Kingdom of God within us, around us, and above us, in which we, with all our powers and aims, are called to be conscious workers. Toward the forwarding of this silent, ever-advancing Kingdom, our little work, whatever it be, if good and true, may contribute something. And this thought lends to any calling, however lowly, a consecration which is wanting even to the loftiest self-chosen ideals. But even if our aim should be frustrated and our work come to naught, yet the failure of our most cherished plans may be more than compensated. In the thought that we are members of this Kingdom, already begun, here and now, yet reaching forward through all time, we shall have a reserve of consolation better than any which success without this could give.

John Campbell Sharp.

 

Promise of A Future Meeting

“I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice.” John 16:22

Surely He will come a second time, and then, when He sees us, and we see Him, there will be rejoicings indeed. Oh for that joyous return!

But this promise is being daily fulfilled in another sense. Our gracious Lord has many “agains” in His dealings with us. He gave us pardon, and He sees us again, and repeats the absolving word as fresh sins cause us grief. He has revealed to us our acceptance before God, and when our faith in that blessing grows a little dim, He comes to us again and again, and says, “Peace be unto you”; and our hearts are glad.

Beloved, all our past mercies are tokens of future mercies. If Jesus has been with us, He will see us again. Look upon no former favor as a dead and buried thing, to be mourned over; but regard it as a seed sown, which will grow, and push its head up from the dust, and cry, “I will see you again.” Are the times dark because Jesus is not with us as he used to be? Let us pluck up courage; for He will not be long away. His feet are as those of a roe or young hart, and they will soon bring Him to us. Wherefore let us begin to be joyous, since He saith to us even now, “I will see you again.”