Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reach Out!

Welcome again to my blog. I am glad you can visit.

Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to see how biblical truth may improve wellbeing.

We are discussing currently the practice of Christianity based in Acts 2:42-47. These wonderful verses describe the practice of the Christian walk within the early church. They are repeated throughout the Epistles and so are vital to us today.  I call them the ‘5 tools to maturity’: prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and Bible study.

Last week we discussed Bible study. Today’s tool is outreach.

Problem – Unfortunately, teaching others or sharing the gospel appears to rank right below ‘going to the dentist’ among desired activities. Teleios’ research has shown that people who fear sharing the gospel specifically report being afraid of: social rejection, offending the other person, not knowing what to say, or how to answer others’ questions.

What teaching is not - Teleios has examined people's habits in mentioning the gospel (a part of what we teach others). In a well-taught Evangelical Church, attendees indicated they conveyed the gospel to others most commonly by:

·       Sharing their lives - 78%

·       Praying for others - 71%

·       Encouraging others - 70%

·       Loving others - 68%

·       Explicitly mentioning how to accept Jesus Christ as Savior - 30%

Although sharing our lives is important, it does not replace actually telling someone the gospel or directly teaching the Bible. People cannot guess what we are thinking. Scripture recognizes that we do not have visual support to our faith until Christ comes again (Hebrews 2:8) so others need to hear what to believe and someone must explicitly tell them (Romans10:14-17).

It is a command - We are told to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2, 15, 24-26, 1 Timothy 4:6, 16, Hebrews 5:12) which involves instructing others in the Word of God. However, teaching also may include admonishing others to correct action or thinking (Colossians3:17, Ephesians 5:19).

Benefits of teaching

·       Better wellbeing - Teleios has found that people who teach and share the Gospel actually enjoy better wellbeing than those who do not. What initially seems fearful -is actually enriching after a person has shared the Gospel or taught God’s Word.

·       Good judgment – The ability to teach appears associated with accurate and efficient judgment and avoiding nasty pitfalls in life (Hebrews 5:14).

·       Maturity - Being able to teach is associated with maturity, especially the attributes of an elder (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Hebrews 5:12).

·       Uplifting the church - Further, the benefit of teaching others Scripture or the Gospel is not just for the individual but to the church itself. Teaching the Bible and the Gospel is the primary way that we can grow the church and influence our culture generally (Colossians 1:5-10). Without Christians passing down the precious words of our Father to the next generation, the church certainly can suffer from lack of support as opposed to influencing and benefiting our society.

So, let us get to work! What we possess in the Bible is true and good for our family and acquaintances as well as for our society!

That's all for today. Thank you for joining me. Come back next week when we continue to talk about the benefit of our Bible

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don’t Forget to Study

Welcome again to my blog. I am so happy you can visit.

Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to see if we can uncover in the Bible some of the underlying causes of the improved wellbeing.

We are discussing currently the practice of Christianity for which we are using Acts 2:42-47 as a basis. These dynamic verses describe the activities involved in the Christian lifestyle within the early church. These descriptions are repeated throughout the Epistles and so are vital to us today.  I call them the ‘5 tools to maturity’ and can be summarized conveniently as: prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and Bible study. Last week we discussed fellowship. Today’s tool for overview is Bible study.

We need to know the Bible! Why? Can we just not memorize the most important verses and follow the style of Christianity we learned in our college group or Sunday school and live a good Christian social life? Social Christianity brings some good things to us and our culture, no doubt. However, it is like settling for crackers when you could be enjoying steak. Let's examine what the Bible says.

The Bible is an authoritative source as it comes from God through the Holy Spirit by way of the apostles (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, 3:16).

We are told to know and understand God's word (Ephesians 1:15). There are several reasons for this:

·       It is a command (Colossians 1:9)

·       We cannot bear fruit or know what to do without first knowing and understanding the Bible (Colossians 1:10). Accordingly, to function as a Christian, like anything in life, we need to follow the manual.

·       When we know the manual and know what to do, then the process bears much fruit in our lives. We have better wellbeing from a confident relationship with God. Teleios research has actually shown that those who have more knowledge have better well-being and less guilt than those who don't (1)!

It takes a little work and time but the benefits are huge. We can have the joy of:

·       Bearing fruit in our lives such as: joy and peace, etc. (Galatians 5:22).

·       Seeing God work through us in others’ lives (Colossians 1:10).

·       Proving His Word and knowing Him better (Romans12:1-2, Colossians 1:10).

·       Loving others in a more accurate and useful fashion (Philippians 1:9, 1 John 5:1-3).

·       Judging (i.e., assessing) what's good and bad in situations and people very quickly (Hebrews 5:14) thus keeping ourselves out of life’s difficult situations.

·       Not having to rely on our emotions so our life becomes more stable and predictable (Hebrews 5:9-14). The Bible does not state that we have a religion based in emotions and actually warns against it (Ephesians 4:12-16, James 1:5-8).

You may be thinking ‘But isn't listening to my pastor’s great sermons and watching an effective video enough?’ As good as these learning experiences may be, we need to study the Bible itself in some detail to fully understand and receive its benefits.

How then do we effectively study Scripture? There are plenty of Bible study resources on Amazon.com or on line that might be effective. Make sure they are Bible and Christian based. In addition, someone in your church also may be able to help you.

You can start with these basic steps:

·       Download a web-based Bible study tool such as eSword. It's free and has multiple exciting resources to help understand Scripture (www.e-sword.net).

·       Start with a power-packed epistle such as Ephesians or Colossians that will give you essential information about Christ and our Christian life in a concise manner.

·       Slow down! Take your time and follow these four basic study steps:

o   Observation - Ask questions about the verse.

o   Interpretation - Use resources on eSword to answer your questions.

o   Application - How should the first specifically change your life?

o   Integration - What are other verses that support your interpretation so you can confidently build what you know about the topic discussed in the verse (e.g. salvation, the Spirit, etc.)?

That's all for today. The Bible is so rich and exciting! If you need help, contact us teleiosresearch@outlook.com and we will do what we can to assist you. Join us next week as we talk about outreach.

1.      MacIlvaine, W.R., Nelson, L.A., Stewart, J.A., Stewart, W.C. (2013). Association of strength of religious adherence to quality of life measures. Complement Ther Clin Pract, 19:251-255.

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Find Your Community

Welcome again to my blog. I am delighted you have come to visit.

Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief actually can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to see if we can uncover in the Bible some of the underlying causes of the improved wellbeing.

We are now discussing the practice of Christianity for which we are using Acts 2:42-47 as a basis. These interesting verses describe the activities involved in the Christian walk within the early church. They are repeated throughout the Epistles.  I call them the ‘5 tools to maturity’ and can most easily be summarized as: prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and Bible study.

Last week we discussed prayer. Today’s tool for consideration is fellowship.

Definition - The biblical word ‘fellowship’ is most closely expressed in the Greek by the word koinōnia (κοινωνία), and its derivatives, which mean basically ‘communion’ as well as the word metochē (μετοχή) which means ‘participation.’

What does the Bible say about fellowship? – The Bible describes fellowship in the most general ways:

·       It occurs only between Christians - This is because we cannot be encouraged or learn from those who do not have the Spirit or who do not understand the Christian faith (1 John 1:6-10, 2 Corinthians6:14)

·       Do not neglect - We are not to avoid fellowship. This is because it is good for us. It is also good for other people to see God working in us. Please see below (Hebrews 10:15-18, 13:15)

·       Functional definition - In reality, the Bible does not give a lot of detail, or a singular text, defining ‘fellowship’. However, functionally any interaction between Christians that is spiritually based, as described in the Bible, is fellowship (Colossians 3:12-17, Ephesians5:15-20).

Why do we need fellowship? - The benefits of fellowship are assumed in Scripture. As Christians, we need the example, as well as the verbal encouragement and reminders of God's word from others, to help promote our own walk with God (1 Timothy4:12-16). Likewise, our actions and speech provide this to other believers.

It is our fellowship with the Holy Spirit that provides the strength of character, understanding and knowledge to encourage other believers (Philippians 2:1, 2 Corinthians 13:14)

What fellowship is not - One benefit we derive from church is social fellowship around food, games, sports, parties, etc. However, these events may not include true fellowship which should have a spiritual basis.

Think about it! - Careful in your own life that you provide not only a lifestyle that is encouraging (1 Thessalonians 2:10), but speech that helps others (Ephesians 4:29). How do we do this? Here are some ideas:

Know God's word – This is important so you are speaking to others correct biblical truth and not church based jargon such as ‘That is not my gift’ or ‘God will open a door.’

Plan ahead - Consider before meeting with a person how you might encourage them specifically with: gratitude, commendation, thought provoking questions, sharing God's word or recounting what God has done in your own life (Colossians 1:3-7, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7, 1 Timothy4:16). If you don't know what to ask them go to their social media accounts and learn about them. If you are attending a gathering, then choose one person to target with whom to fellowship.

Listen - Be sure and listen when conversing so you can learn and discover how you can even better encourage them (James 1:19).

Thank you for joining me today. Enjoy your opportunities for Christian fellowship! Come back next week and we'll discuss Bible study, the fourth of the 5 tools to maturity.

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What the Bible says about prayer in the church age!

Welcome again to my blog. I am delighted you have come to visit.

Teleios Research, along with other authors, has shown Christian belief actually can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to see how to uncover some of the potential underlying causes of the improved wellbeing. In the last few weeks we have covered salvation, eternal security and accepting God’s Word as truth.

We are now discussing the practice of Christianity based on Acts 2:42 and 47. These fascinating verses describe the activities involved in the Christian walk within the early church. They are repeated throughout the Epistles.  I call them the ‘5 tools to maturity’.  These activities most easily can be summarized as: praise, prayer, fellowship, outreach and Bible study.

Last week we discussed praise. Today’s tool for consideration is prayer. We do indeed have a great God who to whom we are privileged to pray.

How do we pray? Here are the basic concepts:

Access - As a forgiven Christian God views us as sinless which allows us the privilege of direct, unimpeded access to Him so we can pray. We can come before God with courage (Hebrews10:20-23)! The only limitation is ourselves from lack of obedience, guilt or fear, that would limit or damage the content of our prayers (1 Peter 3:7).

Attitude in prayer

Faith - James tells us not to doubt when we pray and we can accomplish much (James 1:6-7, 5:16).

Glorify Christ - We are to pray in such a way that is consistent with the goals of Christ as established in the Bible (John 14:13-14).

Continual - Our prayers are to be persistent and frequent (Romans 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Everywhere - Pray in all places (1 Timothy 2:8).

Attitude adjustment - Allow prayer itself to correct our attitudes and requests (1 Timothy 4:5).

Unhindered by sin - 1 Peter 3:7

Sober and watchful - 1 Peter 4:7

According to the Spirit - Our prayer should be consistent with God’s revealed Word (i.e., scripture) which the Holy Spirit uses to provide us power (Ephesians 6:17, Jude 1:20).

Content of Prayer

Thankfulness - We should express gratitude for what God has done in in our and other people's lives (Philemon 1:4)

Praise - We should acknowledge God’s holy character and actions

Note: The first two aspects of the content of our prayer adds to the proper attitude of prayer mentioned above but are also important content.  

Our requests - We may petition God with anything that worries us or concerns us. We should remember that we are praying to the great God of the universe in our attitude as mentioned above (Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter4:12).

·       Specific requests - They should be consistent with God’s desires and example prayers (John 14:13-14, Ephesians 1:15-19, 3:15-18; Colossians 1:9-14).

·       Pray for others – Examples of prayer for other people are frequent in Scripture  (James 5:16)

·       Request prayer from others - It is not a numbers game but allow others to share in God’s answers to your prayers by asking them to pray for you (Colossians 4:3).

What about confession of our sins? This is a controversial point. We are free to confess but it is not necessary for the following reasons:

The Epistles do not instruct us to confess our sins to God.

We are already forgiven.

The common injunction in the Epistles for our attitude with respect to sin is simply to obey. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us obey and defeat our sins. Therefore, our prayers can be more forward-looking, service-oriented and filled with praise and thankfulness.

Thank you for joining me today. Come back next week and we'll discuss fellowship, the third of the 5 tools to maturity.

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why we praise?

Welcome again to my blog. I am delighted you have come to visit.

Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief actually can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to see if we can uncover some of the potential underlying causes for improved wellbeing.

Last week we began studying the Christian lifestyle by examining the 2nd half of 1 Thessalonians 1:6, the importance of accepting God's word in our lives. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”

This week let’s consider mimicking Paul. For this part of discussion of the practice of Christianity we will use Acts 2:42 and 47 specifically to provide more detail to 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7, our primary passage.

These fascinating verses in Acts describe the Christian walk and its measures are repeated throughout the Epistles.  I call them the ‘5 tools to maturity.’  These activities most easily can be summarized as: prayer, praise, fellowship, outreach and Bible study.

Let's examine each of these in detail starting with PRAISE.

Definition of ‘praise’ – Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘praise’ as:

To express a favorable judgment of: commend

To glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections

Content of praise – Therefore, as a Christian what should be the content of biblical praise? The Bible gives some hints:

Acknowledgement of God's perfect character (Ephesians1:6)

Acknowledgement of God’s righteous actions (Psalm 139:14, Psalm 148)

Thankfulness (Hebrews 13:15)

Reason we praise – Why do we praise God? The reasons are vital to our Christian life and are listed below:

The Bible commands us to praise - It is our duty to praise God. However, God does not give us commands without reason, so several potential explanations follow below (Psalm 150, Romans 15:11, Hebrews 13:15).

He deserves praise - Our Father in Heaven is the almighty God who has provided for us salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ, as a free gift through faith that we could have eternal life. This salvation is a sure hope and anchor for our souls. Surely, He deserves glory, thanks, and praise (1 Peter 4:11, Hebrews6:19).

It is good for us to praise - God made us! Therefore, He knows what is good for us. It is good for us to praise at least for the following reasons:

·       God ordained order – Praise reminds us of the order of the universe. We are not the most important thing in creation. God’s goals and priorities are above, and better than, ours.

·       Humility - Realizing that God’s plans are more important than ours might limit our complaining and remind us that we are here to serve our great God.

·       Attitude – Praise teaches us thankfulness in realizing God’s gifts to us in creation, in Christ and His benefits in this life as our Father. These should promote an attitude of thankfulness and reduce expectations (Philippians 4:8).

We do indeed have a great God who is worthy of all praise! Thank you for joining me today. Come back next week and we'll discuss prayer as the second of the 5 tools to maturity.

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Walk the Walk

Welcome again to my blog. I am delighted you have taken the time to visit.

Teleios and other authors have shown Christian belief actually can improve personal wellbeing! Therefore, we are examining the Christian life in more detail to uncover some of the potential underlying causes of the improved wellbeing. We have spent the past few weeks discussing the convincing biblical truths which explain why your salvation is forever secure. Today we begin to discuss what scripture teaches about our Christian lifestyle.

As a biblical basis for the Christian life we are using 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7.

Let’s now consider verse 6:

1Th 1:6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

Let’s take the 2nd half of the verse first, the importance of accepting God's word in our lives.

In Paul's informative prayer in Colossians1:9-14, he indicates the importance of approaching our Christian walk in a knowledgeable way (verse 9). Accordingly, to act correctly (verse 10) we first must know how to think. We do this first by knowing God's Word, especially the Epistles in the New Testament (Romans to Revelation 3). This is the section meant specifically to provide directions for the church age.

How do we come to understand the importance of the New Testament epistles in our lives? There is a process by which it develops:

·       Jesus Christ - He came and spoke to us in the Gospels so people would believe in Him as Messiah. Upon the rejection of His message (Matthew 12), He taught the disciples about the coming age (Matthew 13-18, Matthew24-25, John 14-17) and later the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

·       The Apostles – To the apostles it was given to teach God's truth to the church (Matthew 28:19-20, apostolic authority). It was the listener's duty to obey what they heard from the apostles, not yet having the written Scriptures. Importantly, the authority of the Scriptures themselves are established not by just direct statements that they are Scripture (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:16, 2Timothy 3:16) but also by verses that indicate the authority of the apostles (2Thessalonians 3:4-6Colossians 1:25).  To them God gave the charge to teach His truth and later to write the epistles, because they were taught by Christ Himself.

·       Second generation Christians - These received the Word from the apostles and taught new believers under their authority (e.g., Timothy in the Pastoral Epistles).

·       The Biblical canon - The true Word of God was written down as Epistles with guidance by the Holy Spirit. These letters were circulated probably in the early church period when apparently an informal canon of Scriptures was formed. A generally accepted canon existed in the 2nd century. The New Testament in its current form was finalized at the Synod of Hippo in 393 AD. The late finalization occurred probably due to Christians could not openly meet until Constantine legalized Christianity after he became the Roman emperor in 313 AD.

·       Biblical authority for the Christian walk - The Bible speaks of accepting God's Word and using it as a basis for how we live our lives. Consequently, we receive not only the will of God and the benefits of the Spirit but also a healthy mind and good wellbeing through the Christian life as outlined in the Bible.

Far from being restrictive, the Bible liberates us by teaching us wisdom and what is true … with very few commands! It allows us to live a life of faith without being deceived by damaging practices in the world.

That's all for today; thank you for joining me. Next week we'll begin a series of blogs on how to apply this Word to our lives to receive its benefits.

The following site contributed to this blog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christianity

WC Stewart


Response policy - The purpose of the comment section is to promote discussion that is encouraging, propels the further search of Scripture and raises interesting and thought provoking Biblically related questions. You may feel free to disagree with me in a constructive manner using appropriate language. I reserve the right to remove your comments if they are profane, pornographic, libelous or I do not consider them constructive or consistent with the policy stated above. By posting you no longer own your comments and you are granting me an unrestricted worldwide license to use your comments.

Copyright © 2016 Teleios, Inc. All rights reserved.