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When is a Person Ready to be Baptized?

The title reflects a question that people often have, both those who are studying and contemplating being baptized and those who have already been baptized and now are studying with others. Biblical concepts give us direction, along with common sense based on the...

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The Problem of Pain

One of the most popular Christian writers of last century was C.S. Lewis. He wrote a book with the title that I’m using for this article. Pain is a problem. It is a problem physically to be sure, but it is a bigger problem emotionally and spiritually. It can fill up...

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ICOC 3.00 by Jim McCartney

The energy and enthusiasm around the recent ICOC 3.0 initiative are impressive, and I respect and appreciate all the work that is going into it. As a local church Board member, I was able to participate in the New England/New York meeting in Hartford CT and was...

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New Testament Teaching on Women’s Role

(From the Appendix of Prepared To Answer, by Gordon Ferguson) NOTE: This article was originally written long before the newest version of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible was published. I have substituted the 2011 version for the older version that...

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How Important Are Doctrinal Differences?

 Introduction Let us begin by making it clear that doctrine is very important to God. The basic Greek term for doctrine is didaskalia, and is translated in the more modern versions simply as “teaching.” With either translation, the word most often refers to God’s...

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The Mystery Solved!

The Mystery Solved! I first met the group of churches in 1981 that was later to be called the ICOC movement (International Churches of Christ). I was highly impressed with their evangelistic effectiveness and level of commitment, and figured out almost immediately...

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Was Apollos Re-Baptized?

Most Bible readers assume that Apollos was re-baptized as a part of being taught the way of God more adequately by Priscilla and Aquila.  Let’s begin by reading the end of Acts 18 and the beginning of Acts 19. 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,...

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The Young Saul: Zeal or Anger?

Introductory Note: This article is actually an excerpt of the first few pages of my book, "The Apostle Paul: Master Imitator of Christ." The book is one of my longest (272 pages) and also one of my most in-depth. Greater spirituality must include greater knowledge,...

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Facebook, Politics and the Bible

Like many readers of Facebook, I have tired of reading about politics long after the last election was held. Each of us has a right to our political views and preferences, and each of has the choice to vote or not vote as American citizens. We are never going to agree...

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The Holy Spirit and Man’s Salvation

The Indwelling Spirit of Promise Ezekiel 36:26-27, in an apparent Messianic prophecy, gives a wonderful promise of the Spirit’s presence in our hearts and lives as Christians.  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart...

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The Big Black Brother’s Club

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28). Spiritual...

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What About Watchman Nee’s Teaching on Soul and Spirit?

My Introduction To Watchman Nee and Witness Lee In my first ministry job, I was one of several ministers on the staff of a local church. The main pulpit preacher was using terminology and concepts that were strange to my ears, which was significant, since I had just...

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Paradigm Shift Evaluation

Based on Lessons by Jamie Robbins and Douglas Jacoby Evaluation by Gordon Ferguson: a Series of Articles   The Genesis of This Evaluation At a fairly recent staff meeting of the DFW Church, our congregational evangelist, Todd Asaad, asked if I had watched the Paradigm...

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Are We Saved By Faith Alone

Introduction The doctrine of salvation by “faith alone” (Sola fide in Latin, a historically popular usage) has its roots in the Reformation Movement, with men like Martin Luther emphasizing this concept in reaction to certain teachings in the Catholic Church. The...

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Biblical Baptism Explained

BIBLICAL BAPTISM EXPLAINED  The Commonly Accepted Viewpoint The standard approach of Protestant churches (including those who immerse adults) is that a person is saved at the point of faith (their definition of faith) and then baptized at some later point.  Baptism is...

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The Unnatural Leader

At first glance, that is an unusual title, isn’t it? It could bring to mind someone who was pressed into leadership out of pure necessity, although leadership wasn’t his or her gift (Romans 12:8). Sometimes the need does in fact call for such a decision and those who...

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Second Chance Gospel — After Death?

SECOND CHANCE GOSPEL – AFTER DEATH? Will people get a second chance to be saved after they die? Certainly no one contemplates the idea of anyone being lost in eternity with anything but emotional pain. What could be worse than being separated from God and all that’s...

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Protecting Relationships

Through my many years of preaching, I have often asked and answered this question: “What is life really all about?” The answer, of course, is relationships – not surprisingly the very focus of the Bible. God’s Word makes this focus clear as relationships in four key...

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FACEBOOK FEED

I just posted a new article on my teaching website (gordonferguson.org) entitled, "When is a Person Ready to be Baptized?" In it I examine all of the conversion accounts in Acts (or nearly so), and also address the question whether we need to use a series of studies, and if yes, when? Here is a paragraph from the article to hopefully prick your interest:
I have found that using a series is helpful in most cases, since many of those with whom we study are fairly illiterate biblically and often confused with the myriad of false teachings in our American society. Along with this, many are reluctant to make Jesus the Lord of their lives quickly, once they understand what this actually means in their lives. Thus, the answer to this question depends on the person with whom we are studying, their understanding and their heart openness. As we deal more and more with the younger generations, we will discover that their questions, concerns and possible obstacles are going to be different than those we dealt with in the past. We need to continue to re-examine our approaches and adapt to sharing the gospel in ways that will be most effective.
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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I just posted the 3rd article in a series of 4 on my blogsite (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com). The series is entitled, "Some White Church Leaders Are Listening." In this one, we are dealing with what listening really should include, along with some exciting news about an upcoming Diversity Workshop in my home church. It too will be the third in a series. Please not only read the article, but re-post it to your FB Friends list. Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
"Being a loving listener not only means that you are willing to listen when approached; it also means that you approach others first because you are interested in knowing them and their story. Church leaders, of all people, should exemplify the fine art of listening -- listening to their members and listening for their members. The idea of listening to them is easy to understand, but listening for them is a broader topic. This concept means that we listen to anything that might be of help to them. In other words, how can we serve them better? Leaders are, after all, to be the greatest servants of all according to Jesus (Matthew 20:20-28)."
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2 weeks ago  ·  

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I just updated the Introduction to the Home Page of my teaching ministry website (gordonferguson.org). I tried to include some personal facts that many people who know me might not be aware of -- just to keep it interesting! Here is the first paragraph of the updated introduction -- check it out!
The idea of being a teacher of one kind or another is now a very old idea for me. Shortly after entering my seventh grade year in junior high school, I decided (at my musical mother’s urging) to start taking band as a subject. By the next year, I had decided to become a band director, a teacher of music. I never wavered from that decision once I made it, at least until the “preaching bug” bit me after I was married and started seeking God in a serious way. I recall taking the Kuder Occupational Interest Survey in the eighth grade and testing very high in music. (It’s odd that I remember the name of a test I took 60 years ago!) I already knew what my interests were, so the test results offered no surprises.
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4 weeks ago  ·  

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I just posted another article on my blog (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com), entitled: "Some White Church Leaders Are Listening (Part 2) Blog 26" Please post to your FB friends and let others know of the blogsite and the article. Thanks so much! Here's the first paragraph from this post:
As promised in the last blog post, I am continuing a series about white church leaders who are listening to the issues faced by our racially diverse membership. This series will likely consist of at least three articles, and perhaps more. As with the first one in the series, some backstory information will help us understand the needs more fully and show us how to listen and then act upon listening. These lessons are not just about getting more in touch with our members of color about racial issues; they fit other important subjects as well. We will discuss how leaders can really hear what their members are thinking in different areas, even if they are not saying it initially. We must give them an opportunity to speak, within an atmosphere that encourages it.
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1 month ago  ·  

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As you may have noticed, I've been writing a lot more lately -- articles for my website (gordonferguson.org) and for my blogsite (blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com). What I have written has increased the communication others have been prompted to have with me. Some of the communication has been in person; some on the phone; and some via email. Many of these communications coming my way are accompanied with rather strong emotions. Some responses have produced empathy in me; some have produced sympathy; others have produced concerns. I try to address all three types in my writing, but the concerns I am feeling right now are the most burdensome to me. These concerns are theological in one sense and yet extremely practical in another. For that reason, I have just written an article entitled, "The Problem of Pain." You can find it on my web site. I urge you to read it. I have the sense from the communications sent my way that it involves a rather urgent matter in the lives of many. Thank you. ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago  ·  

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