Saturday, March 8, 2014
“Q & A Saturday!”
Submit Questions for Q & A Saturday!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Voicemail: 903-26-LIGHT (903-265-4448)
It’s Saturday, March 8, 2014. I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is the weekend edition of THE NEW YOU!
You have questions? Well the Bible has the answers! That’s what Saturdays are all about here on The New You. I don’t have all of the answers, and I certainly don’t claim to be a scholar of any type. But I have the book that has the answers, and that book is the Bible.
I have some great questions here! Before we get to them, let me remind you that you can email or call in your very own questions for a future Q & A Saturday! Email me at email@example.com. Call our voicemail line at 903-265-4448.
Here’s question #1: “Studying: how do you go about it? What topics should I consider?”
I love this question. You can study the Bible several ways. Here are two that might work for you:
- Pick a book of the Bible. It might be a good idea to start with a smaller book, like James or 1 John. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can read through five or six chapters!
- Pick a topic and research it in the Bible. Do you have an interest in a certain topic? Want to know what the Bible says about this issue or that one? Studying the Bible topically will help you find the answers. Any time we’re studying the Bible about a topic or issue, it’s important that we do the research to find all of God’s teachings on the matter. They’re not always grouped together in one paragraph in the middle of Matthew. Listen to Psalm 119:160: “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” The ESV says “The sum of your word is truth.”
Good tools will assist you in your study. Let me offer a few suggestions:
- Have some paper and a pen. Jot down interesting phrases, verses, etc.
- Have a dictionary.
- Another great tool is Ready Reference for Growing Christians by Paul Sain (www.sainpublications.com).
- Use Blue Letter Bible (www.blueletterbible.org).
Always block off a specific amount of time for you to study. Schedule time when you can really concentrate on the word. Write it on your calendar or in your planner so you are sure to keep this important appointment. Put a time limit on it so you’re not tempted to irreverently fly through a few verses, close the book, and check off your obligation. Let God talk to you through His Word! You need it! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mat. 4:4).
Include prayer in your personal study time. Thank God for His Word and for the guidance it gives you. Pray for strength of mind to retain what you’ve read, and for strength of will to apply it.
Question #2: “Is it possible for a person to speak in tongues now like they did on the day of Pentecost?”
Great question! The answer is no. Now let me tell you why.
I love to study Acts 2. We’re preparing to dive into Acts 2 and camp there for a while on The Church on Trial podcast (also available at TheLightNetwork.tv). This was the day of Pentecost following Christ’s death. The year was around A. D. 33. Jesus had promised His apostles that, when they went to Jerusalem, they would be endued with power from on high. Acts 2:1-4 records that the apostles were all filled with the Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
We don’t have to guess what those words “other tongues” mean. Acts 2:6 tells us that the people were able to hear them speak in their own language. In other words, the apostles were given the miraculous ability from the Holy Spirit to speak languages they had never studied. What an incredible miracle!
We learn from passages like Acts 19:6 that the apostles could lay hands on men and empower them to do powerful signs. In book of 1 Corinthians, Paul discusses spiritual gifts (that is, miraculous gifts) in length. 1 Corinthians 12-14 are all about this very topic. I want to turn your attention now to that passage.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul identifies nine spiritual gifts:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
Note that the context of this list deals with the fact that these gifts, though they differ in ability, come from the same Spirit. He’s teaching them unity! The rest of 1 Corinthians 12 bears that out.
Drop down to 1 Corinthians 12:29-31 and see what he says:
Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
There’s something greater than these great, powerful, and miraculous gifts of the Spirit! What is it? That’s 1 Corinthians 13: love! In the great love chapter, Paul says: “ Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
When did they vanish away? When the Word of God was fully revealed. Listen to the the next two verses: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Over in Ephesians 4, Paul said that the miraculous events evidenced through the apostles and prophets would last “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
So, can someone speak in tongues today like the apostles did on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2? No. Let me also mention this: no one has that ability today. We have the complete revelation of the Word of God, and we have the recorded miracles in the written Word to help us build our faith (John 20:30-31).
Question #3: “If a friend asks me why we don’t have musical instruments in the worship, how do I respond? They reference that the angels play the harps.”
The issue of authority for music in worship is an important issue, which makes this question an important question.
First, to specifically address the question in the way that it has been asked, I have picked through every passage of the Bible that mentions a harp (there are 52 of them in the NKJV), and I haven’t found one passage that specifically says that angels play harps in heaven. If I’ve overlooked something, then please let me know.
Second, and most importantly, whether angels play harps in heaven or whether they don’t, that is not of concern to us as New Testament Christians. The New Testament is clear regarding the type of music that we have in worship. Only vocal music is authorized in the New Testament.
I’m specifying the New Testament so much because it is the law under which we live today. That there were instruments employed in Old Testament worship is unquestioned. Passage after passage proves that they were! But that was the Old Law. That Law was taken out of the way when Christ died on the cross (Eph. 2:14-18; Col. 2:14). So we cannot use the Old Testament Law to answer a question about New Testament worship.
As I said, the New Testament is clear regarding our singing in worship. Here are a few of the passages:
“[B]e filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:18-19).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:16-17).
- What is the SOURCE of our singing? “In your hearts”
- What is the PURPOSE of our singing? “Teaching and admonishing”
- What is the MANNER of our singing? “With grace in your hearts”
- What is the AIM of our singing? “To the Lord”
- What is the BACKGROUND of our singing? “Let the Word of Christ dwell in your richly”
- What TYPE OF SONGS are we to sing? “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs”
That does it for Q & A Saturday. I’m grateful to those who submitted these great questions to me, and I’m looking forward to doing this again next Saturday, the Lord willing.
Memory Verse: Now that we’ve been going over this verse all week, I have a feeling that you have Psalm 119:11 down pat. Here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll say the verse with some pauses. I want to see if you can fill in the blanks! I’ll give the answers at the end. Ready?
Psalm ___:__: “Your _____ I have hidden in my ______, That I might not _____ against _____.”
Did you get it? Let’s see. Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
Over the weekend: Tomorrow is the Lord’s day! Can I help you find a place to worship on Sunday? I’d love to help any way that I can. I’ve put a link in our show notes again today (http://www.searchtv.org/mapchurch.html) that has a map of congregations. Search for your area and I’m sure you’ll find a nearby congregation with which to worship.
Part of preparing to worship is ensuring that you’ll get to the assembly building on time! Don’t forget to set your clock forward one hour tonight as you go to bed.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 903-265-4448. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I’ll meet you on Monday as we begin another week together right here on The New You!