Donald Norbie

The Passion of the Christ

EMBELLISH AND MARKET Paul long ago wrote, ‘For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ’, 2 Cor. 2. 17. The Greek word, kapeleuo, is ‘to make a trade,’ or ‘to peddle’. The noun form is translated a ‘huckster’. Paul warned of those who make merchandise of the gospel. If that warning was needed 2, 000 years ago it is doubly needed today! Time magazine recently had a column headed

A Perverted Gospel

‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’ and it is generally used of the Christian message concerning Jesus Christ. Even in very early days there were some who tried to change the message the apostles were giving. Paul wrote, ‘There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ’, Gal. 1. 7 NKJ. This upset Paul very much and he wrote strongly condemning such teaching. What was this perversion concerning which Paul warned his readers? Were they denying the deity of Chris...

Schooled in the Assembly

Many times young people wonder, 'Where is the best school for me to attend that I may grow and develop my gift as a Christian?' They may get catalogues from various Bible schools and seminaries and are perplexed as to which school to attend. For some, a year or so at a Bible school may prove helpful and for those seriously interested in learning Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the scripture, it may be necessary to attend a school offering such subjects. One may, of course, atte...

Too Hard

When Jeroboam led the ten tribes in rebellion against Rehoboam, he decided to set up his own religion in the north. He said to the people, ' It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem', 1 Kgs. 12. 28. God had commanded His people to go up to Jerusalem several times a year to worship. But Jeroboam was concerned that this practice would weaken his hold on the people. He would make a religion more convenient for them with local shrines. A friend was recently visiting some families who ...

Is There Truth?

Recently, in discussing a scriptural matter with a y o u n g e r man, he heatedly stated, ‘You think you are right and others are wrong’. He was correct in believing that I thought I was right on this matter because of what the Bible teaches. But the implication was that truth is relative, a very common assumption in our culture. What is true for you may not be true for someone else; it is said especially in moral and spiritual realms. Many would say, ‘You have no right to clai...

The Early Church - Chapter 10 - Functioning as a Body

Chapter 10 - Functioning as a Body The great concern of I Corinthians 12 is to teach believers to recognize the sovereignty of God in distributing spiritual gifts to His people ("as He will" v. 11). Each needs to learn to appreciate the others and to exercise his own particular gift. In chapter 13 the spirit of love is stressed as absolutely vital to the functioning of the body of Christians. Without this all activity is futile and without the blessing of God. Unless there is love t...

The Early Church - Chapter 9 - Do You Need a Chapel

Chapter 9 - Do You Need a Chapel In many lands where Christianity is nearly extinct as a vital force, beautiful cathedrals tower. Vast sums were spent erecting monuments of stone while spiritual life flickered and died. It often seems that the more magnificent the building, the less vibrant life one may find. Can an elaborate building often be a compensation for an unwillingness to live zealously for God? We give money rather than life? What did the early church do? There are ...

The Early Church - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - The Early Church Many Christians today feel a little nostalgic as they read the New Testament. Things then seemed so simple. Today there are vast, competing, religious organizations. They are powerful movements, dipping their fingers into political and social reform. Is the simplicity and spirituality of the early church forever gone? Down through the years there have been individual congregations which have turned aside from the main current of Christendom and have...

The Early Church - Chapter 2 - "According to This Word"

Chapter 2 - According To This Word In the days of Isaiah there was much religion and little reading of the Word of God. The days in which we find ourselves are very similar. There are a multitude of voices, all crying, "This is the way, walk ye in it." There is little turning to the Bible to hear the Voice of the Living God. Even among Christians, it is remarkable how little stress there is placed upon a study of God's Word and obedience to it. We have lost the spirit of Isaiah...

The Early Church - Chapter 3 - The Name

Chapter 3 - The Name In a day when there is loyalty to a host of organizations and names, it is refreshing to review the simplicity of the New Testament Christianity. A name, Webster states, is "the title by which any person or thing is known or designated."  Hence, when a name is mentioned one thinks of the person so designated. To the early believers there was only one name of vital importance, This was the Name of Jesus. His Name is priceless because of the unique Pe...
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