Welcome to Inspirational Discussions

It is a pleasure to have you visit and share with me in my discussions, blogs and Christian studies.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Reflections

As we celebrate this weekend with family and friends join me in remembering our love ones in prayer and all who have sacrificed so much for Democracy and freedom as well as our fellow countryman who are currently away from their love ones serving for the same cause. Let’s celebrate in love, peace and joy in our activities.

Willie B White

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Loving Community

Philemon 1:7

Our scripture text is taken from Paul’s personal letter to the man named Philemon during his time of imprisonment at Rome. Philemon was a slave owner and church member of the Colossian church. Philemon’s slave was Onesimus who escaped Rome for his freedom and through divine intervention made contact with Paul and the two became father and son in the ministry as Onesimus was a faithful and loyal servant to Paul and Christ. When the time came for Onesimus to be returned to Philemon Paul made several appeals on Onesimus’ behalf, one of which was to receive him back as a brother in Christ (vv 15-16) and stated that Onesimus was useful/profitable to him and could have the same profitability to Philemon if treated as a brother in Christ.

This story has some appealing love affects in that through Christ love supersedes all boundaries; all humanity owes a debt of gratitude to Christ for his immeasurable love. In regards to the Christian Community it displays immeasurable love for all while recognizing there is no respect of persons in God’s eye sight. Verse 16 solidifies this fact when Paul states that Onesimus is no longer a slave but a beloved brother in Christ.

This question comes to mind, being a loving Christian community how do we receive and treat one who is less in social status? There is a saying that one must be careful how we treat others because we may be entertaining angels unaware?
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Called Ministerial Leaders of Christ’s Church

Ephesians 4:11

Today’s discussion is the last component of our study on called leaders in Christ’s Church; our focus today will be evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

Let’s begin by asking the question; who are evangelists and what is their ministry? According to the New Testament evangelist were those persons called by God as they were gifted, anointed and commissioned to proclaim the gospel of Christ-the Good News. Evangelist were to carry the message of Christ and His kingdom to cities and all unsaved persons (individuals) to stir up their faith (Acts 8:4-40). There is salvation in the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit by which all men can be saved (Romans 1:16-17). Today, evangelists are to serve the same purpose as they are called by God.

In Acts 21:8, we see the ministry of Philip, the powerhouse evangelist, and his ministry paints a clear picture of the work, ministry and importance of evangelists. From the evangelistic ministry of Philip we have the following (a) he preached the gospel of Christ (Acts 8:4-5.35). (b) Many were saved and baptized with water from Philip’s preaching (Acts 8:6, 12). (c) “Signs, miracles, healing and deliverance from evil spirits accompanied Philips preaching” (Acts 8:6-7, 13). (d) Philips desired that all new converts be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts8:12-17; 2:38; 19:1-6).
If the question were raise, what happens to those churches who fail to support evangelistic ministry? Will they experience church growth by gaining new converts? According to Acts 2:14-41 churches who value the ministerial gifts of evangelists and have a sincere love for saving the lost through proclaiming the gospel message of Christ and its convicting work will witness growth.

From this segment of our discussion, we will segway to pastors and their ministry. Pastors are those persons/individuals whose calling and ministry gifts cause them to devote themselves to shepherding, overseeing and caring for the spiritual need of a local congregation. Acts 20:17 pastors they are called “elders” and in 1 Timothy 3:1; Titus 1:7 they are called “bishops”. Regardless of their title they are the overseers of Christ’s Church called by Him. Pastors have two main functions as overseers of Christ’s Church; they are to promote faith and guard the faith. This is accomplished through teaching God’s Word (Ephesians 4:15-16) and exercising spiritual leadership in the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy3:1-5). According to Titus 2:7-8 pastors are to be an example of purity and sound doctrine, and they are to see that all believers remain in God’s grace (Hebrews 12:15; 13:17; 1 Peter 5:2). Also, pastors are to safeguard apostolic truth and they are to watch for false teachers and doctrines within the church as they guard God’s flock (Acts 20-28-31). More importantly, pastors are to function/serve as shepherds as Jesus Christ is their perfect example as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16; 1 Peter 2:5; 5:2-4). With that be said, pastors are essential to Christ’s Church and it behooves every church to call godly and faithful pastors who will govern/oversee the church as God designed through the leading of the Holy Spirit (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Any church that is not being led by godly and faithful pastors is ripe for the destructive forces of Satan and the world (Acts 20:28-31). This is because God’s Word will become distorted and the standards of the gospel will be lost (2 Timothy 1:13-14). Church members and their families will not be cared for according to God’s plan, and then the church ceases to be the light of the community or a spiritual healing station for sinners. While on the other hand churches that are being led by godly and faithful pastors will persevere in the teaching of Christ and the apostles as this ensure salvation for self and all who hear (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:2).

Now that we have discussed evangelists and pastors; let us look at teachers and their importance in Christ’s Church. Teachers are gifted spiritual leaders alongside apostles, and prophets who has a special gift given by God to clarify, expound and proclaim His Word with effectiveness and power to build up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:12).

The question now becomes what are some of the tasks/duties of teachers? 2 Timothy 1:11-14 states in part that teachers are to guard the gospel that has been entrusted to them with the help of the Holy Spirit. Teachers are to remain faithful and point the church to Biblical revelation and the original message of Christ and the apostles. Teachers help equip “the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).

More importantly, teachers are vital to God’s purpose for His church as their principal purpose is Biblical teaching to preserve truth and produce holiness in God’s people. This is accomplished by leading Christ’s body—the church into an uncompromising commitment to the godly lifestyle set forth in God’s Word. The evidence of Christian learning manifests itself in ones life because ones life shows love, purity, faith and godliness. I Timothy 1:5 describes the attributes of true Christian teachers by what they teach out of the purity of their hearts, genuine love for God and His message, as well as their call to teach, their faith in their ministry and the godliness of their lives.

The question now becomes, what happens to the church that rejects or refuses to hear God’s called teacher and theologians who remain faithful to scripture? The church that rejects and or refuses to hear the “Word” runs the risk of being swept away by any and every new wind of doctrine as these teachings will be uncritically accepted as well as religious experiences and human ideas rather than the revealed truth that God Himself ordained. It is noteworthy to say the “church” that listens to godly teachers and theologians will have its teachings and practices measured by the testimony of the gospel that was handed by Jesus Christ Himself. Lastly, God’s Word is the ultimate measure and authority of all teaching and the church that stands on God’s Word will prevail over other churches and institutions that operate in name only.

Concluding this discussion, the ministerial gifts discussed is essential to Christ’s Church in that He set forth these leaders to carry on His church. Therefore, answer the call when called.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


Mothers you are the epitome of proverbs 31:10-31, a virtuous woman, priceless in your value, having immeasurable strength, and possessing godly character in all that you do in your home, church and community.

Mothers, today is your day of recognition for all that you do daily.

Willie White
Author, Publisher, Christian Educator
Good Shepherd Writing and Publishing LLC

Apostles and Prophets

We will begin our discussion on the five leadership positions in Christ’s church. Tod day we will discuss Apostles and prophets.

I. Apostle- an apostle referrers to those persons or individuals called, commissioned and given special authority by Jesus Christ to be His representative in proclaiming His gospel and establishing His church (Ephesians 2:20;3:5). In Hebrews 3:1, Jesus refers to Himself as an apostle and the 12 disciples in Matthew 10:2, Paul is a notable apostle (Roman 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; I Corinthians15:9 and there are others, Barnabas and James Jesus’ half brother, Andronicus and Junias (Acts 14:4, 14, Romans 16:7; Galatians 1:19; 2:8-9; 1Thesalonains 2:6-7). Also, the term apostle means being used in a special way to identify those qualified to bear Spirit-inspired witness to Christ. The twelve disciples fit this category. The first century apostles lay in their calling to write Scripture and having the same authority as those in the OT. The apostles who wrote scripture are distinguished from all Christian leaders who followed them. However all apostles and Christians leaders are spirit-filled. What is the apostolic deposit? It is the safeguards the integrity of Christian teaching in all ages. To reject the inspired revelation of NT apostolic truths is to cease being a church according to the Biblical patterns and is essentially rejecting the Lord Himself (John 16:13-15; I Corinthians 14:36-38; Galatians 1;9-11). What are we to do? We are to believe in the NT apostolic message, obey it and guard it against all distortions and remain true to the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28; II Timothy 1;14), as this guaranteed God’s continues blessing and presence within the church (Ephesians 2:20). It is noteworthy to say that certain aspects of the apostolic leadership were intended to continue throughout the church history (Ephesians 4;11-13), but to encourage the recognition of apostolic ministries in the church today it is helpful to use terms like “apostolic” leaders or functions rather than the office of apostle as this point in history. However, to discourage the misuse of the title “apostle” is to place the importance on apostolic functions and Biblical services associated with pioneer ministries.

II. Prophets - in the NT were those gifted spiritual leaders who were uniquely gifted in receiving and communicating direct revelation from God by the Holy Spirit to the people. One of their main concerns or functions of the church was its purity and spiritual life. Under the NT they were raised up and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring the message from God to His people (Acts 2:17; 4:8; 21:4).
a. The OT prophets are the foundation for understanding the prophetic ministry in the early church. They spoke the Word of God by the Holy Spirit to encourage His people to remain faithful to Him in their covenant relationship. They sometimes predicted the future as the Spirit revealed it. Christ and the apostles serve as examples of the OT ideal (Acts 3: 22-23; 13:1-21).
b. How do prophets function in the NT church? In the NT church they have a five-fold ministry, which are (a) they are Spirit-filled proclaimers, called by God to warn, exhort, comfort and edify (Acts 2:14-36; 3:12-26; I Corinthians 12:10; 14:3). (b) They exercised the gift of prophecy. (c) At times seers who foretold the future (Acts 11:28; 21:10-11). (d) like the OT prophets they were called to expose sin, proclaim righteousness, warn of judgment to come, and combat worldliness and Luke warmness among god’s people (Luke 1:14-17).
c. What are the character, burdens and desires of the Prophets? Prophets’ character, burden, desires and abilities include (a) a zeal for church purity (John 17: 15-17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:22-25). (b) A deep sensitivity to evil and the capacity to identify unrighteousness (Romans 12; 9; Hebrews 1:9). (c) A keen understanding of the danger of false teachings (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15; Galatians 1:9). (d) An inherent dependence on God’s Word to validate the prophet’s message (Luke 4:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15; 3-4; 2 Timothy 3:16). (e) A concern for the spiritual success of God’s kingdom and a sharing in God’s feelings (Matthew 21; 11-13; 23:37; Luke 13:34; John 2:14-17; Acts 20:27-31).
d. How are the prophets’ message validated? The prophets messages were validated through the church, other prophets, and God’s Words to test whether their witness was from God (1 Corinthians 14:29-33; 1 John 4:1).
e. Prophets remain essential to the church and God’s purpose. The church that rejects God’s prophets will decline in their spiritual discernment and begin to drift toward worldliness and comprise Biblical truth (1 Corinthians 14:3; Matthew 23:31-37; Luke 11:49; Acts 7:51-52). If the church with its leaders hears the voice of the prophets, it will be moved to a renewed life and fellowship with Christ, because sin will be forsaken, and the presence of the Spirit will be evidenced among the faithful believers (1 Corinthian 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21; Revelation 3:20-22). Lastly, if prophets are not allowed to rebuke sin, and unrighteousness (John 16:8-11) as well as bring words of encouragement, then the church will become a place where the voice of the Spirit is stifled or muted (II Timothy3:1-9; 4:3-5; II Peter 2:1-3, 12-22). If the voices of the prophets are muted, then Ecclesiastical politics and worldly powers will replace the Spirit III Timothy 3:1-9; 4:3-5; II Peter 2:1-3, 12-22). The question now become, do we want the voices of the prophets silenced?