What is faith?
The bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God, so we know by this that faith is of supreme importance. Faith is a non-meritorious, positive mental response to everything God says and does. Faith is the Bible word for believing God who can do the impossible.
What is grace?
Grace is God's attitude of love which expresses itself by freely giving all good things to under serving sinners. Man has given every reason to God to abandon the human race, But God has not done that. Instead, He has originated a plan to save lost sinners by freely offering them salvation for simply believing in the risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is mercy?
Mercy is God's attitude of love that expresses itself by doing for mankind what mankind could not do for itself. Man is totally helpless and unable to bring himself into a right relationship with God. To restore the relationship which was broken by the fall of Adam and Eve, God has done everything that is necessary and man becomes the recipient of the works of God.
What is a dispensation?
A dispensation is a revelation from God to man in which he reveals His holy and perfect will for man, and the consequences if man does not do God's will. There are several distinct revelations in the Bible, each one making a difference in how man lives. God's will changes in some respects from time to time, so His will is not always the same from one time to the next. Dispensations are often referred to as ages. Since the Bible refers to ages, plural, there must be more than one age. No specific number is given but at least seven are clearly distinguishable.
What does II Timothy 2:15 mean when it says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."?
"Study" means to pursue and research the truths that are in the Bible. "To show thyself approved" means that God may approve the results of honest and diligent study of the Scriptures. "Rightly dividing" means to separate the things that differ from each other by making same divisions God makes. "The word of truth" is a reference to the inspired scriptures that God has given to us.
Can the Bible be understood?
It has often been said that the Bible is the mind of God which is on a level so much higher than man can think that the Bible is impossible to understand. This is a mistaken idea that needs to be corrected. We agree that the mind of God is higher than the mind of man. But why is it thought impossible for God to speak to man on man's level of understanding? God wants us to know and to know that we know. If God can create a universe, a world and everything in the world, including man, why would it be so hard for God to speak to man on man's level? That would be the easy part. God is a perfect communicator. He knows how to do everything and does not major in foolishness like giving something to man he cannot grasp. The Bible is understandable.
What is sanctification?
To sanctify means to set apart. God sets things apart. Though many people in the world would object, Christians are a set apart people. It is not because we are better than other people. We are basically the same. It is not because God loves some people more than others. God has always "so loved the world". God sanctifies believers by giving them His Holy Spirit which indwells every believer and is God's seal upon that person, signifying that the believer belongs to God. Nothing can remove God's Spirit from us. Every believer is secure in Christ. God has sanctified us. The word has a wider meaning than what has just been mentioned. It would be a good Bible study for believers to study the word "sanctify", rightly divide it and see what the Bible has to say about this interesting subject.
What does verbal inspiration mean?
Verbal inspiration of the scriptures is not a popular subject today. At the beginning of the twentieth century it was a widely accepted doctrine, but in recent years has been called into question. This need not be. The Bible says it is inspired in II Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." The Bible says often that God put His words into the minds or th mouths of the writers. That is what verbal inspiration is. Zechariah 7:12 says "Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant (hard) stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in His Spirit by the former prophets, therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts." God inspired every word that was originally written. He also has guarded and protected His inspired Word so that today, in our own language we have a version of what was originally written that is so remarkably accurate that we can still call the Scriptures the Word of God.
How do Paul and James differ?
They do differ. The explanation is simple. They lived in different ages. James lived under the Mosaic law. Paul said that we are not under the law. They were both right. To James, works were of the highest importance because the law called for them. Paul says we are saved by grace, through faith, not by works of the law.
What does I Corinthians 4:16 mean? "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." Does Paul really mean we are to follow him?
Precisely. These are the very words that God inspired Paul to write. It is not Paul's idea that people should follow him, but God's . Why does God want people to follow Paul? It is because God has raised up Paul and made him the apostle to the Gentiles. Before Paul, the Gentiles did not have an apostle. God's attention was directed to Israel ever since God called Abraham out of Chaldea. Not only did God raise up Paul, but he gave him a brand new gospel for the whole world, for Jew and Gentile alike. The instructions for believers in the church, the Body of Christ are found only in the Pauline epistles. The church can learn many truths and important lessons from any part of the Bible, but Paul's epistles are for the Church, the Body.