Have you ever been interested in what Mormons believe, but didn’t know any good resources to reference? In this two-part series, Bible Teacher Cory Wiggington explains the core beliefs of Mormon theology. The audio recording of this study is accompanied by an easy to follow study guide. The written material contains documentation on the sources used, making it easy for the inquisitive listener to continue their studies. While this is not an exhaustive study, it is a good starting point for understanding how Mormonism differs from Christianity. I hope you will be encouraged.
Approximately seven weeks ago, our church started something new…a Men’s Ministry. When I began hearing the whispers about the recreation of this ministry, I was very excited. Evidently, the church tried to do this same thing back in 2006/2007 (before my wife and I began attending), but the interest was so minimal at the time that it slowly waned into non-existence. Thankfully, the church has grown both in size and commitment to service since then. We have had three meetings thus far, and at each meeting, we have averaged around twenty men. It is such a blessing to get good, Godly men together and hear ideas on how we can help further the Kingdom. This Sunday, the men of the church will be signing a covenant to show our commitment to our families, God, and to service. I was blessed to be part of the group of men that designed the wording for that document.
Our plan is to have each man that wishes to make this commitment sign an 8 1/2 x 11 document that they will be able to keep for themselves. This will be printed on quality paper and be suitable for framing and display. This will act as a reminder of their service and the guidelines that the Bible lays out for Christian men. Secondly, there will be another document that will be blown up to “Constitution” size. This document will have an additional sheet page (equally as large) that all the participating men will sign. This document will be on display in the church, acting as a public announcement that those men have committed themselves to service and can be called upon to lead, teach, or just help out as their abilities permit.
I believe that the men’s ministry has a great goal. The training and development of the men of the church is sometimes overlooked, but this new initiative aims to address that. Below I have included the text from the covenant that was created. Please read it and be encouraged!
Men’s Ministry Covenant
I believe that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God. I believe Him to be the Lord of all Creation and the only means of Salvation and Reconciliation with the Father. I am a sinner, but through Christ and His Grace I have been redeemed. I am a servant of the Most High God and will strive to do as He commands.
I affirm the Bible teaches that:
• I have been saved by grace through faith. This is a gift from God and not the result of any works that I perform. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
• True faith will produce good works. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-26)
• Jesus commanded His Disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 15:16). As His servant, this is my responsibility.
• A servant of God should live a blameless life and serve as an example to both nonbelievers and fellow believers. (1 Timothy 3:1-1)
• A man should act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
As a member of the South Union Men’s Ministry:
• I will strive to have a personal relationship with God, loving Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.
• I will strive to love my neighbor as myself.
• I will strive to engage fully with and be supportive of my spouse, children, and church family.
• I will strive to lead, motivate, and teach the Word of God to my family, fellow believers, and non-believers.
• I will strive to confront evil, pursue justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
• I will strive to forgive those who have wronged me and make amends with those I have wronged.
• I will strive to be honest with my time, words, and actions.
• I will strive to stand accountable for my behavior before God, my family, fellow believers, and non-believers.
• I will strive to attain the standard for Christian living as described by the Word of God.
I pledge my service to the Lord. I pray that He would help me serve and witness to my family, fellow believers, and non-believers. In unity, the South Union Men’s Ministry will win and commit people to Jesus Christ, training them for service in His Kingdom. As a member of this ministry, I will commit my time and energy to further the Kingdom of God for His glory alone.
Name:___________ Date: ________________
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This is the passage that begins our Holy Scripture. This single verse establishes the framework for every other concept and command in the Bible. Because God created all things, He is the ultimate authority over Creation. He established the laws by which believers and non-believers alike are to abide. Therefore it should be the upmost desire of mankind to learn as much about Him as possible so we can uphold His standard. Thankfully, the Bible describes to us, repeatedly, the nature of God’s unending goodness.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
The Bible is very clear when it speaks on Creation. God was in the beginning and He made everything! At no point does the Bible describe an evolutionary process by which the universe came into existence ~20 billion years ago. The Bible speaks of and consistently reaffirms a 6 day process of Creation that occurred 6000 years ago.
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.” (Isaiah 40: 12-15)
The Old and New Testament alike speak of God as the Creator. No one counseled the Lord in His task. He alone possesses the infinite knowledge and wisdom to bring everything into existence and sustain all things (Colossians 1:17). How can God, so awesome in power, be limited by anything? The Bible says that God has to humble Himself just to look down at things in the earth (Psalm 113:6). There is no way to contain God. If we disregard God’s role in the Creation, then we ignore His omnipotence which is proclaimed throughout Scripture.
Herbert Spencer was not a Christian man. In fact, he was a strong believer in evolution and was known for coining the phrase “survival of the fittest”. Yet this man put forth an interesting system of categorization. He said, “Everything fits into one of these categories, time, force, action, space, matter,” Bible teacher, John MacArthur, points out, “In the beginning,” that’s time, “God,” that’s force, “created,” that’s action, “the heavens,” that’s space, “the earth,” that’s matter. Everything that Herbert Spencer discovered in 1903, or before that, was in the first verse of Scripture”. It’s amazing that as much as mankind tries to ignore the existence of God, they only prove their own ignorance as God is clearly seen through His Creation (Romans 1:20).
If we are to know why or from what we need to be saved, we must first understand that the Creator has infinite authority over His Creation. In breaking His law, we have corrupted the perfection of His work. As such, we are not worthy to enter the presence of our Holy Creator. Thankfully, the Bible tells us that there is a mediator between God and men who was able to ransom Himself for all (1 Timothy 2:5). That mediator is Jesus Christ, our Messiah. Do you know Him today? God Bless you.
Who is God? That is a question that has been asked by mankind since the dawn of Creation. It is a question that no one can fully answer. Throughout the Bible’s sixty-six books, the character and attributes of God revealed in part. Yet, despite of this revelation, there are things we don’t know and cannot understand about Him. God knows this and tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Even though God’s thoughts, actions, and His very existence are far beyond our complete understanding, the Bible gives us enough understanding for us to know Him.
- God is the Creator of All Things. (Genesis 1:1)
- God is the Lord and God of All (Jeremiah 32:27)
- God alone is Holy . (Leviticus 11:44)
- God is the Provider (Philippians 4:19)
- God is the Healer (Exodus 15:26)
- God is Triune (Multiple Verses)
Christians believe in One, Almighty God. Isaiah 44:6-8 tells us that God is the first and the last and there is no other god besides Him. The idea of one God (monotheism) was a new concept for the people in the Old and New Testament alike. Many civilizations had many gods (polytheism), each one with varying responsibilities for the cosmos. All of which, however, were merely manifestations of the mankind’s imagination. In 1st Kings 18:27, the prophet Elijah even mocked the followers of Baal because he understood that no matter how much they cried out for a response, Baal didn’t even exist and so no response was forthcoming.
Today, the major disputes are not between monotheism and polytheism, they are “Who is the true god?” and “Is there a god?” While proving the Bible is true is a discussion for apologetics, the Bible has never been disproven through science, archeology, or history. H.L. Hastings once said, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.’ So the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this Book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this Book had not been the Book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the Book still lives.” (Evidence that Demands A Verdict p. 21) The Bible is very clear that God is God and there is no other God besides Him. As such, the Bible answers the question of the existence and identity of the true God.
The Bible describes the above truths in exhaustive detail. When the Bible speaks authoritatively on an issue, it is referenced time and again. Many of the false beliefs, ideas, and doctrines of the past would have never been developed had people not taken passages out of context, but sought to reinforce their stances through multiple, confirmations from Scripture.
We will spend some time looking through the Scriptures and letting God reveal Himself to us. While I understand that this set of blog entries will by no means cover the entirety of what the Bible says on the above issues, I hope that it will be enough to demonstrate that the above statements are true. In the words of a song by the Christian artist, Carman, “He told us He was God. He proved that He was God. He taught us He was GOD, GOD, GOD. And that’s just the way it is!”
Last night, my wife and I joined with 20~ people in prayer on the courthouse lawn. We began our meeting by singing a couple of hymns…sadly, I only knew one of them. The singing was followed by Dan Deckard, Sr. reading multiple passages from the Old Testament concerning prayer. The most relevant being:
2nd Chronicles 7:14 – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
After the reading of Scripture, we spent the next hour taking turns praying. All manner of things were prayed for: Leaders, Government, Community, Incoming students to the University, etc. It was a great experience.
I think it occurred to everyone present how rarely we as Christians gather together in prayer. It is not enough that we just meet on every Lord’s Day to sing songs of worship and listen to a 30 minute sermon. The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:14 that we are “the light of the world”. We are not suppose to hide that light in our churches, but we are to be out in the world letting everyone see our light; a light that is only available through the Grace of God. If Christians are not willing to risk a little bit of embarrassment to demonstrate their faith and spread the Good News of Christ, how then is the world going to hear the message? When you consider that all but one of the Apostles and a great majority of the early church leaders were all martyrs for their love of Christ, a little embarrassment doesn’t seem like that bad of thing. Perspective is an amazing…don’t you think?