Monday 6 November 2017

Concordances, computers and the church

This may seem like an odd blog post title. Well, if you are thinking that, then at least I have got your attention. My involvement in writing this blog a few years ago, began with a desire to simply encourage Christians to move along a more doctrinal and reformed understanding of Christian things. Quite often, people do not know where to turn to get answers to their spiritual questions. Interestingly, there is a search engine on this blog and if you want to get answers on something specific, such as the Trinity or whatever, just use the search engine for your profit.

However, back to our subject; one of the blessings, but also dangers today for Christians can be computers and the internet. Through the internet you can gain access to resources that are simply amazing. Many people move along a biblical, reformed and doctrinal pathway with the help of computers. However, many people come to a reformed understanding of things through self-study and then they think, either consciously or sub-consciously, that they do not need the church or that the church simply supplements their pursuit for self-study.

Here lies an ever-present danger. Self-study is often without people and the challenge of living in relationship with people in the church. Books and blog posts do not argue back, or you can close them if you get fed up. You cannot do that with the church and people in the church, or at least you should not if you are a genuine Christian.

On a different note, I would like to commend something for personal Bible study for everyone. This is a concordance, hard bound copies are the best. I was given a Young's Concordance as a newly converted Christian many years ago and going through key topical themes was a source of huge delight and spiritual growth for me personally. Do you have a concordance? Strong's is another popular one. It may seem slightly antiquated, but one of these would be a great present for someone at Christmas or a birthday. With an open Bible and the concordance, along with a sheet of paper or a laptop, you could spend an evening researching a given topic such as the fear of the LORD, waiting on the LORD, or the imagery of the lamp stand in the Bible for example, and have a wonderful evening of spiritual profit.

Personal study of the Scripture is invaluable, especially in an age of distractions. However, in all of your personal study, do not neglect the church. Do not neglect praying with the saints in prayer meetings, do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together and in sitting under biblical preaching. Preaching is intended primarily to be a "face to face" dynamic. Be encouraged and keep running the Christian race!

Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near".

"The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord" (Acts 13:44).

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