The Power of the Parable

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24 KJV). Using a simile, Jesus, the son of God, began to tell an engaging story to the crowds in simple yet profound language they could all understand. Without a seminary degree or specialized speech training, the Anointed One engaged multitudes of people with stories of common life that enlightened the listeners with spiritual truths. These stories evoked thought and stirred the spirit, emotions, and intellect. As Jesus ended the story of the wise man and foolish man, “the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (28-29).

Many of the simple and memorable stories which Jesus told are called parables. A parable is a similitude, or a narrative, of common life that conveys a lesson, moral, or duty. The Greek word for parable “literally denotes a placing beside…. It signifies a placing of one thing beside another with a view to comparison” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). As Thayer’s Greek Definitions states: “A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” It is a comparison or analogy drawn from nature or human circumstances to teach a spiritual lesson. Jesus used metaphors and stories that were pertinent to the culture. Jesus taught the truth about an unfamiliar subject by comparing it to things that were familiar to the people. He explained and illustrated deep truths with well-known imagery such as the lessons of the farmer sowing seed or the traveler on the way to Jericho (Good Samaritan). These illustrations were relatable to the time and generation to which He spoke and had great relevance in understanding and meaning to the hearer.

Parables comprised more than one third of Christ’s teachings. Many of the stories were simple and easy to understand. Often, His parables, while detailed and interesting, were told to convey a singular truth or message. Christ, a master teacher, is an example to be emulated still today. His illustrative teachings and application of life lessons under the power of the Holy Spirit are not easily forgotten.

The parables of Christ, which are much easier to understand and to remember than a dry, theological discourse, reveal details about God, His character, the kingdom of God, etc. Much doctrinal truth is found in the simplicity of the parables. The deceptiveness of sin and the forgiveness of the Father are immortalized in the powerful story of the prodigal son. The importance of prayer is seared into the memory with the parable of the importunate widow. A tale of the ten virgins forever reminds us of the importance of living ready for the unexpected return of the bridegroom. The story of the lost sheep reveals the loving nature of the seeking Savior for the lost.  The beautiful parables of Christ are gems of truth and are worthy of continual study and sharing with others. ■

God Is Our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. —Psalm 46:1
Why is there a need for a refuge? Does not salvation through Christ exempt God’s children from the trouble, pain, and sorrow of life? The answer is clearly “no.” Salvation is a wonderful experience where there is freedom from sin and condemnation. There is inward peace, joy in the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal life. However, because we live in a sinful world and are creatures of emotion and feeling, we will all face difficulties. There are times when the sun will seem not to shine, and the inward and outward sorrows of life will try to encompass our souls. When the heart is overwhelmed, it is truly then that there is a need of a refuge.Read more

Called Out of Darkness

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. —1 Peter 2:9

The message echoing down through the ages of time from the throne of God is still applicable and resonates in this generation. It is the divine call of God to leave the darkness of this sinful world and to walk in the marvelous light of truth and righteousness. People’s lives are consumed with the lusts of the flesh: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, uncleanness, idolatry, hatred, competition, strife, envy, murder, drunkenness, partying, and the list goes on. Spiritual darkness is spreading across the land as God is rejected and people follow their own lustful designs. Let it be firmly established in every heart and mind that “They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).Read more

Called to Serve

There is a great need today for individuals who will be faithful servants of the church. Many temporal and spiritual needs exist with which a congregation must deal. There are offerings to collect and distribute, cleaning and chapel maintenance projects, events to organize, the sick to visit, and the poor to help. It is a great blessing to the body of Christ for there to be faithful, consistent servants who quietly and yet diligently attend to these duties.

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Ministerial Ordination

Ordaining ministers was a practice of the early morning church and it is scriptural and right to follow the example and precepts set down in the New Testament. Ordination throughout history has been political at times—misused and abused; however, this does not mean the church should forgo the true doctrine and practice of ordination.Read more