As a child, I was frequently taught what was termed the "Golden Rule" when referring to how to treat others. I was not aware until I was older that the idea of "treat others as you would want to be treated" is from the Bible. Matthew 7:12 states "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this for this is the law and the prophets." This week's Weekly Bible Study topic is on the subject of being a servant!
The picture I remember so well as a child is of an old man bowing his head in prayer over his food which consists of a loaf of bread and a bowl. This picture is a very popular one, and many of you may have seen it in people’s homes or it may even be in your home. The picture is called “Grace” by a photographer named Enstrom, and it was taken in 1918 and sold as black and white photographs or in sepia tones. As the picture’s popularity grew, the photographer’s daughter began hand painting the picture for sale.
The reason this picture holds such sentimental value for me is because the first time I ever laid eyes on this picture was at the home of my paternal great grandparents. My grandfather’s parents lived in a small house in the country, and I would go there almost every week and visit with them while my mother fixed my great grandmother’s hair. When my great grandfather was alive, I would talk with him when he was able to sit up out of bed, and after he passed away when I was 10 year old, I enjoyed talking with my great grandmother about various things.
One day, after years of admiring the picture of the old man which sat in a frame atop a small hutch in my great grandmother’s kitchen, I decided to ask her about it. She, my mother, and I were standing in the kitchen talking as we normally did just before we ended each week’s visit. I causally brought the subject of the picture up after I noticed that my great grandmother just happened to be standing beside it as she talked. Little did I realize that the answer she gave would instill within me a life lesson that I still carry with me to this very day.
My great grandmother said that the picture was given in memory of my great-great-great grandfather, Charles Irving Lafayette Barnes, to each of his children just after his passing in 1935. One of his children was my great-great grandfather, who passed the picture along to my great grandfather in whose house I was standing at the time of this conversation. My great grandmother stated that the reason that this particular picture was given to the children of my great-great-great grandfather, Charles Irving Lafayette Barnes, was because the old man in the picture was considered almost identical in looks to him. As a side note, my great grandmother also said that the picture reminded her husband of his grandfather the most because whenever my great greatgreat grandfather was not working on his farm or some other task, he could be seen reading his Bible and praying over meals and at other times. She said that is what her husband remembered the most about his grandfather was that he prayed so very often and read his Bible several times a day. She also made the statement that the world would be such a better place if everyone could be remembered in the same way after they have left the earth.
What my great grandmother had to say about her husband’s grandfather is so very true and applicable today. Although her words were uttered very casually in response to a question regarding a very well-circulated picture, I still think about this moment in my life, and how I, as a Christian, should follow the example that my great greatgreat grandfather set so many years ago, as well as the example of other faithful Christians who have gone on to their reward in Paradise. I know that my great-great-great grandfather was a member of the church of Christ, as he is buried in the cemetery located outside of the church of Christ building I attended as a child. I also know that he set the example of making prayer and Bible study a priority in his life, to the point that his actions are talked about decades after his death. I am reminded of Matthew 5:16 which says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Wouldn’t it indeed be a wonderful place if everyone followed the example of faithful Christians who spend their lives serving the Lord, and who are not afraid to set this example before others? We, as Christians, are to be in the world, yet not of the world. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). We should never let anything get in the way of serving God and keeping His commandments! “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
The picture of the old man still holds a lot of sentimental value to me whenever I see it in a store or in someone’s home because it reminds me of the joyful visits I had at my great grandparents’ home, and it also reminds me of that inspirational talk I had with my great grandmother about that picture. It also holds sentimental value to me because it gives me an idea of what my great-great-great grandfather looked like. Most importantly, it is a reminder of a very important lesson I learned about being a faithful Christian that I still apply in my life today. May we all strive to be better Christian examples to others so that stories of how we set the proper Christian example will be passed on from generation to generation!
James 2:8 states: "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:." The Royal Law, and as we sometimes refer to it, the Golden Rule, should be looked to as an example to follow in all aspects of our lives. One way that we should treat others as we would want to be treated is in how we choose to forgive. This week's Bible study schedule is focused on verses about forgiving others, forgiving ourselves, and God's forgiveness of our sins.
Beginning this week, I will be posting a suggested Bible Study schedule each week over a particular topic in hopes that this will help my blog readers (and others) to make a habit of reading the Bible each day. It is also my hope that this Bible Study schedule will help others become closer to God and learn more about God’s Word.
This week’s Bible Study topic is on Prayer. The apostle Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” This certainly does not mean that we have to pray every second of every day, but this verse does mean that we are to have a prayerful mindset at all times. We should also grow spiritually to the point that we say so many prayers that we lose count of how many prayers we have said in one day. Below are some verses about prayer, and a suggested schedule to read these verses during this week. May we all strive to grow closer to God each and every day that we live!
If anyone is interested on beginning a Bible Correspondence Course on Studies In the Bible purchased from the Gospel Advocate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to send one lesson to you per month, for a total of 30 lessons. Any questions that are included in each lesson may be answered and sent back to me via mail, for grading. If you are interested in receiving this Bible Correspondence course, I will begin sending one lesson per month starting in May. Please private message or email me with your name and mailing address. I will also give you the address to send completed work for grading. Learning about the Bible is so important, and this Bible Correspondence course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the Bible. I hope that you, or someone you know, will choose to participate! “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
Are Spiritual Songs Accompanied with Mechanical Instrumental Music Inside and Outside of the Worship Service Acceptable to God?
The act of singing has always been used as an effective way to convey a message. Songs have a way of getting “stuck” in our heads and our emotions can be affected by the way a song sounds or a phrase that is used in a particular song. Everyone, for the most part, enjoys listening to music, and many of us make music a part of our daily lives. Singing spiritual songs is also an important part of worshipping God. In the worship service, a cappella singing is a wonderful and enjoyable way to show God our appreciation and love. There are obviously certain criteria that a song must meet in order to be considered a spiritual song, and spiritual songs are to be sung in certain ways in order to be pleasing unto God. There are also several purposes that a spiritual song fulfills inside and outside of the worship service.
What type of song is considered “spiritual”? A spiritual song is any song that gives praise unto God. In the worship service, there are many songs that are sung to glorify God. These songs praise God for creating us, for allowing us to have salvation, and also for Jesus dying for us on the cross. Many spiritual songs that are commonly sung in the worship services of the church of Christ were written by mortal people who wished to show their appreciation unto God. True spiritual songs are based on Biblical principles. There are some songs in the Bible and all of the Bible is inspired of God, therefore we can find inspired songs there (II Timothy 3:16-17). Those who sing spiritual songs are showing their appreciation.
What are the purposes of a spiritual song? As previously mentioned, the main purpose of a spiritual song is to praise God. “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:” (Psalm 68:32). “Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant” (Psalm 135:3). Any song that gives praise unto God in any way is a spiritual song just as the songs that we sing during the worship services of the church of Christ are spiritual songs.
The next purpose of the spiritual song is to teach others. By singing praises unto God, we are not only teaching others to do the same, but we are also teaching others about God and His Glory. We are commanded to teach others about God. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19). We are can use various means to teach others, and spiritual songs are one of the ways in which to teach. Paul taught the Gentiles to glorify God through singing. “And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name” (Romans 15:9). Colossians 3:16 expressly states, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Clearly, a purpose of a spiritual song is to teach and admonish.
Finally, another purpose of singing a spiritual song is to edify others. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, to “edify” means to “construct, build up, or establish.” By singing praises unto God and of all of the wonderful things God has done for us, we are helping others praise and worship God as well. We are also helping others keep a positive outlook on life and to learn to trust God no matter what happens in this life. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
Now that the definition and purposes of spiritual songs have been discussed, how, then, should a spiritual song be conducted in order to be pleasing unto God? God is pleased with singing that is done by the human voice, only! After all, what other kind of singing is there? This means that no mechanical musical instrument should accompany a spiritual song when it is being sung. It is true, that in the Old Testament, many Jews sang spiritual songs using mechanical musical instruments, however, the Old Law under which they lived during the Mosaical Dispensation is no longer in effect, and has been nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14).
In the New Testament, singing spiritual songs is mentioned, however, there is no authority by God to sing spiritual songs with mechanical instrumental accompaniment. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:19-20). In order for our worship to be pleasing unto God, we must have His authority in everything that we do! “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” (Colossians 3:17). Even if the Bible does not specifically say that we cannot sing spiritual songs with mechanical musical instruments, it also does not tell us to sing spiritual songs with musical instruments, so therefore, we have no authority to do so. Remember that God gives us authority for what we are to do by Jesus Christ.
We are to neither add to nor take away from the Bible. If the Bible tells us to do something, then we are to do it. If the Bible tells us to not do something, then we should not do that thing. If the Bible does not tell us to do something then we are not to do it. If the Bible does not tell us to not do something, we still do not do it, because we have to do all things “in the name of Jesus Christ,” which means “by the authority of Jesus Christ” in accordance with Colossians 3:17.
By binding where the Bible does not bind and loosing where the Bible is binding is sin. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19). The Holy Scriptures equip us for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” We cannot improve upon the Bible. We must not add to it, nor take from it. Christ says in John 12:48, “ He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” We live under the Law of Christ today (Galatians 6:2). Anything not authorized for us to do in the New Testament, we must not do. We must do only that which is authorized for us to do in the New Testament.
Also, those who participate in worship to God must take an active part in singing spiritual songs, rather than to sit back and have others “perform” spiritual songs for them. This involves the congregation as a whole singing praises unto God, rather than having one person, a choir, or a “praise team” stand before the congregation and “perform” the spiritual songs for them. Notice, they were commanded to speak to themselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in Ephesians 5:19. This commandment was given to the church (Ephesians 1:1-2). If a spiritual song is being performed, then it is merely a form of entertainment for the enjoyment of those in the audience rather than a form of praise unto God. Remember in our worship, God is the Audience, not us.
Is a spiritual song still a spiritual song outside of the worship service? If the actions that take place in a worship service (i.e. praying, singing praises unto God, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, giving, preaching the Gospel), are considered acts of worship inside the church building, then they are also considered acts of worship outside of the church building. Remember that of these acts, partaking of the Lord’s Supper can only be done on the first day of the week in accordance with Acts 20:7. Worship services are commanded to take place on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7). The church building itself is not the church that Christ began. The people who congregate to worship God together are the church. “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
Worship can also be offered by congregations in devotionals prior or after Bible Studies. There are many who offer worship to God by singing songs, praying, and listening to preaching in home devotionals. Singing is a part of worship in public and private devotionals, as you see. Sometimes, one might even sing a spiritual song with no one else around, but God, Who Is Everywhere. This would be offering praise and worship to God. James 5:13 says, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” Although we may offer worship unto God at various times, we are still commanded to worship with the church on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7). Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The Elders may also deem other important times for worship and Bible study to take place, also. We must submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:17).
Since the church building is just a building, and the actual church is made up of Christians, then the singing of spiritual songs in any setting is considered an act of worship to God. In other words, for God to be pleased, a song that praises God outside of the church building has to follow the same rules of having no mechanical instruments accompanying it as is given to spiritual songs sang in a church building. Also, a spiritual song must not be enjoyed as entertainment, but sung without mechanical instruments of music in praise to God.
For example, if the song “Amazing Grace” is supposed to be sung without mechanical musical instruments in the worship service held inside of a church buidling, then it stands to reason that the same requirements would apply outside of the church building. Remember, “Amazing Grace” is a spiritual song. Also, spiritual songs are designed to praise God and to teach each other. Praising is worshipping. Spiritual songs are designed for worship. As I have already established, they must be sung in the way that God has authorized. So, listening to the song “’Amazing Grace” at say, a bluegrass concert, accompanied by mechanical instruments of music as it is performed to an audience for entertainment, is not authorized in ScriptureI can find no place in Scripture where we are authorized to sing a spiritual song with mechanical instruments of music whether inside the worship service on Sunday or outside of the worship service on Sunday.
This applies to listening to spiritual songs that are traditional hymns as well as those that are considered “Christian” Rock, Country, Pop, Rap, etc. A song of praise unto God is an act of worship whether inside or outside of the worship service just as praying unto God are still considered acts of worship whether inside or outside of the worship services. “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (I Corinthians 14:15).
God does not make a distinction based on where an act of worship is conducted. An act of worship must be conducted in the exact same manner no matter the setting in order to be pleasing unto God. At any time that we sing spiritual songs, we must not do so by adding to God’s Word by adding mechanical instruments of music to those songs. To do so is no different than doing the same thing in the worship service. Since singing spiritual songs with mechanical instruments of music is not authorized by God, then should we seek to be entertained by listening to these songs accompanied with mechanical instruments of music when those are not pleasing to God? Of course, not!
I have wanted to write an article on this topic for awhile now, and thanks be to God, I have finally been able to do so! I hope that this article has helped to shed some light into the topic of spiritual songs and the appropriate way to sing and listen to these songs. I know that this is a topic that is not covered very often, and I hope that this article has allowed you to think more about this subject. As always, I write these articles in hope of teaching and edifying others. May we all strive to work to grow to be more like Christ and less like the world every day!
In order to be a faithful Christian, it is our duty to not only be hearers of the Word but doers also (James 1:22). This means that we not only have to make sure that we ourselves are faithful servants of God but we also have to take the time to teach others to be the same. Teaching others the errors of their ways has its risks, however, and one of these risks is facing persecution from those who are spiritually weak.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28, he gave Christians the command to teach anyone and everyone they come into contact with about God. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (v.19-20). Likewise, 2 Timothy 4:2 states, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” All of these verses teach us to not give up on those who we are trying to bring to Christ. So, what do we do when we face opposition from others?
I am reminded of a situation I was in recently where I had been trying to teach someone who was not a member of Christ’s church about the importance of becoming baptized and a faithful servant of God. I had been writing and sending cards to this person in which I talked about the steps to the Plan of Salvation, the importance of baptism and church attendance, and the consequences of not obeying the Word of God. I wrote these cards out with great care, and approached the subject with love and kindness in my heart toward this person. Hoping that my efforts would be appreciated and most importantly, helpful to this person, I was extremely saddened and disappointed to be told by a family member of this person that my efforts were not only unhelpful, but my cards were causing this man to become angry, and has thus “made things worse.” I was also told to stop sending cards to this man and to not mention anything about the cards I had previously sent to him if I came into contact with this person. Even though I had taken great care to make sure that I expressed myself in the kindest way I knew how, I was hit with these very discouraging words regarding my efforts to save a lost soul.
So, how do you handle a situation such as this? It is obvious that the devil was at work in this case because who besides the devil would tell you to stop teaching someone the Word of God? We can see in the Scriptures that I quoted earlier in this article that Jesus wants us to keep reaching out to lost souls and to never give up! The devil wants to silence the voices of faithful Christians and uses excuses such as “that person gets angry” or “your efforts are making matters worse” to discourage us to the point of backing down and giving up!
Ezekiel tells us what to do in a situation where a person we are teaching does not listen to us. “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 3:17-19).
If a person is willing to listen to some teaching, then do not give up on that person. I am never giving up on the person that I have been trying to teach, and I hope that he will decide to make the right choice and become a faithful Christian. I know that teaching the Word of God can never make things worse. All Scripture is designed to be used for teaching and admonishing others to do live rightly. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). As Ezekiel said, I have no control over anything that those I teach choose to do in their lives, I only have control over what I do, and God will only judge me based on how much I have tried to bring others to Christ, rather than how successful I have been in doing so. I believe that if a person works every day to bring others to Christ either by their words or their example, then everyone can help convert at least one person during the course of their lifetime.
For this to happen, Christians must view the lost state that their fellow man or woman is in as an emergency situation. I find that many Christians are focused on their own salvation and what they must do to keep themselves and their families faithful, that they lose sight of those who are headed in the wrong direction and who are destined to suffer and burn for all eternity. Other Christians may see that many sins are considered “the norm” according to the sinful world in which we live, and they, too, choose to turn a blind eye to those who are committing various sinful acts. Still, others may avoid reaching out to those who are spiritually lost out of fear of the reaction they may get in return.
We, as Christians, sometimes have to get out of our “comfort zone” and reach out to others. Those who are lost will rarely reach out to us, so we must be sure to take the initiative to help them. Christians should not fear persecution. If one is standing up for the Truth at all times, then he or she is going to face persecution. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Whatever opposition or persecution we may face in the process will help us to gain wisdom, patience, and a Home in Heaven! Our focus should be on what we have to gain in the next life rather than what we may lose in this one. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
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"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:19).
Sin is a prevalent problem that is in the world, and has been in the world since the time of Adam and Eve. Sin has been and is a part of the world, and it will be until the Day of Judgment comes. Sin comes about through the giving in to temptation, and it is no wonder why James chooses to put the topic of temptation in the forefront of his letter to the various disciples of the Lord who lived in various places throughout the world. He saw temptation as a precursor to sin, and he describes the punishment of giving in to temptations and the reward of overcoming temptation.
Sin comes in three forms of lust according to I John 2:16; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In order for a person to succumb to one of these sins, they must first undergo the test of being tempted by one of these sins. James speaks against giving into temptation to commit sin, and he even tells his readers to rejoice when being faced with temptation. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” (James 1:2). James is referring here to the various types of temptations that a Christian may be faced with throughout his or her life. If a Christian is faced with a temptation, he or she should rejoice that they are being tested in order to show obedience unto God. This verse speaks against feeling sorry for oneself or becoming angry about undergoing hardships and temptation. Feeling this way leads a person to be more likely to succumb to that temptation out of frustration or spiritual weakness.
When telling his brethren to rejoice in being faced with temptation, he is referring only to those trials that come from an outward source that the Christian being tested cannot control. All who live faithful to God will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). A Christian should not rejoice if they are facing hardships that they brought upon themselves for living an unrighteous way of life. For example, a person who lives in a careless manner should not rejoice if they face negative consequences for their actions. On the other hand, if a person is trying to remain a faithful Christian, and faces opposition or persecution from others, then that person should rejoice to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Overcoming temptation has many benefits for the faithful Christian. First of all, the faithful Christian who overcomes temptations receives a “crown of life” (James 1:12). God has promised a crown of life upon the Day of Judgment to those faithful few who live obediently to His Word. Until that time, however, there are other benefits to overcoming temptation to sin. According to James 1:3, avoiding sin and suffering temptation allows a person to cultivate patience, which in and of itself has benefits. The apostle Paul speaks of the benefits of having patience in Romans 5:3-5; “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Some examples of temptations to sin that James gives in his letter comes from verse 19; “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” All three of these actions can lead a person to commit sin. James goes onto to say in verses 20 and 21; “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James also goes onto say that if a person portrays himself to be religious but cannot control what he says, then his religion is in vain (v. 26). Indeed, the unbridling of the tongue is a major sin that many Christians today are tempted to partake in. It must have been just as prevalent of an issue in James’ time as well.
In conclusion, the first chapter of the book of James deals with the importance of keeping oneself pure and not succumbing to the temptation to commit sin. No sin can enter into Heaven (Revelation 21:27), so all Christians must make sure that they do not give into being tempted by the devil. All Christians must also be sure to keep themselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27) as faithful servants of God. If everyone strived to live as James encouraged his readers to conduct their lives in Chapter 1, then the world would definitely be a much better place than it is today. May we all strive to live in obedience unto God every day! “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).
I was recently given a DNA test kit from Ancestry.com as a Christmas gift and decided to use it. I spit (quite a lot) of saliva into a small test tube, carefully packaged the contents in a pre-stamped, pre-addressed box, and sent it away to the Ancestry lab to be tested. About 3 weeks later, I received my results via email which included the following results concerning the ethnic origins of my ancestors
England,Wales&Northwestern Europe 75%
Ireland and Scotland 18%
Cameroon, Congo, and Southern Bantu Peoples 1%
Another interesting feature of this test is that it links you with others who have taken the test, and shows how you are related to them. Some of my cousins have taken this test as well, and by processing my DNA, the scientists who work for Ancestry were able to tell me who was my relative and exactly how we were related. I could verify many of my “cousin matches” myself, as I know them personally. Of course, we all are related because we all come from one man and one woman, Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-2, I Corinthians 15:45, Genesis 3:20).
Ancestry states on their website that they use their technology to test all 23 chromosomes that make up our DNA. They determined the ethnic regions that my ancestors came from by testing my DNA with that of people who live in those countries now. Although the world was different centuries ago as far as who lived in each country goes, Ancestry evidently has determined that groups of people who live in specific areas today have certain DNA markers that match one another. Evidently, some of my DNA markers match those of people currently living in Great Britain, Southern Europe, Ireland, Scotland, and other parts of Western Europe.
It was interesting to see what ethnic regions my ancestors came from as well as seeing who among the group that has taken the DNA test were related to me. What was most amazing was seeing God’s handiwork being displayed before my eyes! God created us in such great detail that a mere drop of saliva has all of the information necessary to tell us about those who came before us as well as those who are closely related to us. Our bodies are so intricately made that even the smallest part has an important function. As Christians, each of our bodies is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19). God took time to make sure that we were made in His Image (Genesis 1:27). Seeing how complex and detailed a small amount of my own saliva was, made me even more thankful that God loved me even before I was born and allowed me to be born upon this earth to return His love and follow his commands (Jeremiah 1:5; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 22:37)!
It was interesting to see the results of my DNA test. I would have been pleased with any ethnic origin that this test would have presented for my ancestral background as all races and nationalities are equally important in the sight of God (Acts 17:26). What this test did not tell me, is something that I already knew; that I am more than just this body that serves as a temporary shelter for my soul and spirit as I navigate this wonderful life that has its challenges at times. The most important part of me is my soul, and that cannot be shown in my DNA because it is in my body but not of my body. And that is how our lives as Christians must be. Like the soul is in our bodies but not of our bodies, we, as Christians must be in this world in order to teach and save the lost, but not of the world, meaning that we should not give into the worldly temptations of sin (John 15:19).
My DNA test results gave me a good indication of what my earthly body is composed of as it relates to DNA information, and that is amazing! What amazes me even more is that after this body wears out and withers away, my spirit will return to God Who made it, and my soul will live for all eternity in the presence of the One Who made it! Praise be to God Almighty!
I have published a book entitled "Facing Life's Challenges With God's Help." This book discusses various cases that I had with clients while I was a practicing mental health counselor. I give examples of how I used the Bible to help others work through the various challenges that they faced in life, such as depression, anger, anxiety, substance abuse, and other issues that one may face in life. If you would like a copy of this book, you can contact the Gospel Advocate Bookstore in Nashville, TN or Yeomen Press for a copy. If you have any questions concerning the book, you can contact me via email which is listed under the "Contact Me" tab in the lower right hand corner of this website.
How to Be Saved
God's Plan of Salvation:
Hear: Romans 10:17
Believe: Mark 16:16
Repent: Acts 2:38
Confess Matthew 10:32
Be Baptized: Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:17-22
Remain Faithful: Revelation 2:10