Pastor's Pen
Faithful Husbands - Ephesians 5:25-33
The scriptural duty of a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). This is impossible to achieve without Christ’s love in your heart. A marriage must be based on Christ and His Word. There are four qualities of divine love that a husband needs to exemplify for his wife.

A husband must have a sacrificial love for his wife (Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”) Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was planned before the foundation of the world. Philippians 2:6-8 points out that Christ is God. Verse 8 says, “He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Christ loved us so much, that even though we are unrighteous and do not seek Him, He died for us (Romans 3:10-11). Christ’s sacrifice for us was a supreme act of love (Romans 5:6-12). Husbands should follow His example and love their wives sacrificially. This requires a willingness to die to self.

A husband must have a purifying love (Ephesians 5:26-27). Husbands must not allow sin or anything that causes moral impurity into their homes. They must be pure to have pure marriages. 1 Peter 1:15: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (or conduct).” The way to ensure purity in the home is to follow God’s Word. Psalm 119:9: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

A husband must have a caring love (Ephesians 5:28-30). Husbands are to meet the needs of their wives and families by following the example of Christ found in Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” They are to care for their wives by cherishing them and giving them love, protection, security, and spiritual guidance.

A husband must have an unbreakable love (Ephesians 5:31: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”) Malachi 2:14-16 shows how serious God is about marriage and his hatred of divorce. A husband must determine to cleave to his wife and maintain his marriage until death.

Husbands are like the rudder on a ship, they provide the direction for their home.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.6/14/2019 1:36:17 PM

An Attitude of Gratitude
We are commanded by God to give thanks. Psalm 50:14: “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.”
We are told in the Bible that giving thanks is a good thing. Psalm 92:1: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.”
We are directed to give thanks in every situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
We are instructed to pray with an attitude of thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
We are compelled to do all things with an attitude of gratitude. Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

How can we maintain an attitude of gratitude in our day? 2 Corinthians 4:6-18
—By focusing on God instead of self (Verse 6). John the Baptist focused on Christ rather than himself (John 1:27). In John 3:30 he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Are you focused on God or yourself?
—By thanking God for what we have (Verse 7). We have a treasure in the Word of God. What better treasure could we have?
—By learning how to forgive (Verses 8-12). The Apostle Paul was threatened with the loss of his life and he faced many trials, yet he never gave up and chose not to become bitter. Beware of bitterness in your heart. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us to put away bitterness, wrath, and anger and to forgive one another. Keep your focus on God.
—By ministering to those less fortunate (Verse 13). Paul tells believers that they are to follow his example. People need to hear the Gospel of salvation, and believers need encouragement in the Lord.
—By maintaining a proper Christian worldview (Verses 14-16). These verses tell us that our life on earth is only temporary, but heaven is eternal. 1 John 2:15-17 exhorts us not to love the world or the things that are in the world. They will pass away, but God abides forever.
—By knowing Who holds the future (Verses 17-18). Whatever we go through here on earth is a light affliction in light of eternity. Paul said this even with all the difficulties he endured for the Gospel’s sake.

Apart from God, an attitude of gratitude is impossible to maintain.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.5/31/2019 12:23:13 PM

Why Do I Love Jesus?
I love Jesus because He first loved me. 1 John 4:19 says: “We love him, because he first loved us.” God loved me before the foundation of the world. He has “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:3-5) He loved me when I was His enemy. We were lost in our sins, “but God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Roman 5:8). We are reconciled to God by Christ’s death on the cross.

I love Jesus because He took away my sins. We cannot be redeemed with money, church membership, baptism, or good works. I Peter 1:18-19: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Salvation from sin is free to all. (Ephesians 2:4-10) God’s grace (unmerited favor) sets us free from sin and allows us to know we are His children.

I love Jesus because He is always with me. He will never leave me. Hebrews 13:5: “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” He is in heaven now preparing a place for me. John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” These verses also assure us that Jesus will come again for those who have put their faith and trust in Christ as their Savior.

God is worthy of our praise for all He has done for us. Psalm 34:1-3: “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.5/31/2019 12:17:07 PM

Why Should I Live for Christ Today? - Part 2
Here are two more reasons why I should live for Christ today.

2. Joy Requires It.

Joy - Nothing else brings joy like living for Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 is the testimony of Timothy. It was a comfort to Paul to hear of those who had suffered much and were still following the Lord.

Joy - Knowing our purpose. Philippians 4:4-9: “Let your moderation (life) be known unto all men.” Keep in mind that God is in control. As we do the things we should, we are to be focused on “whatsoever things are true, . . . honest, . . . just, . . . pure, . . . lovely, . . . of good report; . . . virtue, . . praise, think on these things.”

Joy - Making a difference as a believer. Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” May we purpose to make a difference in the lives of others. Jude 22-23: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Forty or fifty years from now, what will be remembered about you?

3. Love Encourages It.

Constrained because of Christ’s love for us. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” He died for all.

Compelled by His death for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Captivated by the love of Christ through our trials. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 tells of Paul’s thorn in the flesh given to him as a messenger of Satan. He prayed three times to be relieved of it, but God chose to show Paul that His “grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” This should remind us that sometimes we have to live with the problems of life, that we may learn to glorify God. Follow Paul’s example: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . . For when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for your justification? Make sure you genuinely know Christ as your Savior. 2 Corinthians 13:5 exhorts us to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Are you prepared for Christ’s return? The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-10 reminds us that some were not ready. When the Lord returns to earth not everyone will be ready for His return.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.4/5/2019 1:52:22 PM

Why Should I Live for Christ Today? - Part 1
The parable of the ten virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-10. It is a model and incentive for why we should live for Christ today. Five of the virgins were unprepared for the bridegroom to come, while the other five were prepared with their lamps and oil. (Jesus is the Bridegroom of the church.) This parable continues the theme of Matthew 24 when the disciples asked, “When shall these things be?” “What will be the sign?” “When will the end of the world come?” When the Lord returns to earth not everyone will be ready for His return. Some will not be prepared to meet God, and then it is too late. Matthew 7:21-23 is a warning for those who trust in their religious acts, but will hear Jesus say, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Being religious is not a guarantee of heaven. Only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for their justification will enter heaven. Remember, Jesus told Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). God will call us to account for the talents and abilities He given us and for what we have done for Him. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness (hell) where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. There are three reasons why I should live for Christ today.

1. Duty Demands It. Our responsibility as believers demands we live for Christ, no matter how we feel.

As Soldiers of the Cross - 2 Timothy 2:3-4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

As Servants of the King - Ephesians 6:5-8: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” These verses encourage us to be consistently faithful in our service for Christ. We are to be faithful with enthusiasm, even when it is not easy or whether we feel like it or not.

As Stewards of Truth - 1 Peter 3:15 reminds us that we are accountable: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Love also demands this of us. Luke 1:48: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

(To be continued)
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/10/2019 3:56:10 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 3
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

6. Holds forth the Word of Life. Philippians 2:16: “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” How are believers different from the world? We have the Word of Life. Apart from the Word of Life, we are spiritually dead. Christians are to continually shine the light of the Word in this dark world.

Psalm 126:6: “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

7. Sacrifice and service for the cause of Christ. Philippians 2:17: “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” Sacrifice is worth it if other people are transformed. God must do the transforming, but our actions may pull some from the fires of hell. Jude 1:21-23: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

8. Joy. Philippians 2:18: “For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” The devil wants you to be miserable as a believer. When you take your eyes off of Christ, Satan is able to rob you of your joy. Joy is something that the world cannot take away. Joy comes only from God. He is the source of peace when all is falling apart. God is the source of our strength when we cannot take another step or handle another piece of bad news. God is the source of our hope when we take our last breath on earth and stand on the threshold of heaven.

If you do not know Christ personally, any attempt you make to portray the marks of spirituality will fail. Do you personally know Christ? Have you come to Him for salvation? If not, call on Him today. See Romans 10:9-13.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/10/2019 4:39:35 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 2
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

3. Perseverance of the saints. Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” God is the source of spiritual life and growth. He doesn’t give up on us. His power draws us, enables us, and convicts us for His good pleasure and according to His sovereign will.

Luke 9:62: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

One of the greatest attributes a Christian can exhibit is faithfulness. Christians may start out strong and falter later. These people often do great harm to the cause of Christ.

4. An attitude of gratitude. Philippians 2:14: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Murmuring is an attitude of discontent that seeps from the heart to the lips. Disputing is inward and outward questions where one becomes the devil’s advocate. The devil does not need our help. Paul emphasizes the importance of submission by believers to the sovereign will of God. God does not want us to be inundated by murmurings and disputes. Once we allow these negative influences in our life, they are difficult to remove.

5. Genuine conduct and character. Philippians 2:15: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

The character of believers should be blameless (without defect, faultless, moral integrity - outward conduct), harmless (sincere, pure genuine - inward attitude), and without rebuke (without blemish). Christians are not perfect, but they are growing in the Lord. The Christian life is a process that takes place over time. The character of the world (crooked, perverse) is the exact opposite of Christian character.

Christians are called to shine as lights in the world. We should be recognized as God’s children by the way we live, and we should shine the light of the truth upon the world.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/27/2019 3:50:20 PM

Marks of Spirituality - Part 1
Having the example of Christ’s humility to guide us and the exaltation of Christ to encourage us, Paul provides words of encouragement for believers in Philippians 2:12-18. He urges us to faithfully follow Christ even through the challenges of life. He gives us eight marks of spirituality.

1. Obedience to the Word of God. Philippians 2:12-13: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

In verses 12 and 13, the cooperation of God’s sovereignty (His work in us) and man’s responsibility are illustrated. The end result relates to the spiritual growth and mature conduct of a believer. Verse 12: “always obeyed” - There is a tendency to relax obedience when the spiritual leader is away. The Philippian believers were a model of faithfulness even when the Apostle Paul was away. A mark of spirituality is obedience to the Word of God. Two concerns that hinder obedience are: Believers ignore passages they do not like, and believers add to passages.

2. Manifestation of the character of Christ. Philippians 2:12b: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Work = keep on working out through your own effort to achieve the end results. What does this mean?

Negative: This does NOT mean that believers work FOR salvation. Salvation is a work of God’s grace. (Ephesians 2:8-10) The Philippian believers were already saved.

Positive: If “work out your own salvation” does not refer to earning salvation, what does it mean? Since salvation relates to a personal relationship accomplished through God at Calvary, the passage refers to working out Christlikeness in our life. As believers, we are to manifest the transmutable attributes of God (the character of Christ) “with fear and trembling”. It is necessary to recognize the weaknesses of our heart and our tendency to fall short of our spiritual goals. We are to be continually learning and applying God’s Word to our lives. We must not give Satan a foothold in our thoughts and actions. If we fail, we must confess our sins and begin again. 1 John 1:19: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/13/2019 5:04:06 PM