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We are Christ’s body, and individually members of it
As part of our ABF, “Life in the Body of Christ,” we read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and made observations about the passage. The observations help us understand how we are to interact with one another as members of the body of Christ. In the same way we can look at the human body and marvel at God’s wisdom in design, we can look at the church, Christ’s Body, and marvel at God’s handiwork.
The main teaching of the passage is, “We are Christ’s Body, and individually members of it.” All the observations stem from this truth. I thought it encouraging to list the observations here.
May our fellowship in the Spirit be pleasing in every way as we seek to incorporate these truths into our fellowship.
In the “Life in the Body of Christ” book we are reading for ABF, there is a section discussing how it is helpful for us as Christians to build a private library. The following is a list of book recommendations from members of the body here at CCC. Everyone was asked to send one or two books they believe every Christian should have as part of their library.
Contact us if you would like a PDF copy of the current list.
|Paul Biebel||All things for Good, Thomas Watson||“These two books (All Things for Good & God’s Joy in Your Heart) are packed with timeless truths which for every ounce of conviction offer pounds of encouragement, comfort, and hope in return.” Paul|
|Steve Moxleyand Patti Moxley||Believers Bible Commentary, William MacDonald
|AMAZON – Make Bible study a part of your daily life with the thorough yet easy-to-use Believer’s Bible Commentary. MacDonald tackles the controversial issues head-on, taking a theologically conservative stand, yet presenting alternate views with fairness. The Believer’s Bible Commentary is a friendly guide to exploring the deeper meanings of every biblical book.|
|Patti Moxley||Bible Dictionary, William Smith||CBD – It describes the more important people and places of the Bible and the major teachings of Scripture, and includes Smith’s famous 4,000 questions & answers.|
|Allen Burns||Desiring God, John Piper||“No book has shaped my theology more than this one. This book helps me understand God must be the object of my affections. When this happens, I will find my ultimate joy and satisfaction in life. This book stirs my passions for God and awakens me to look at Scripture from God’s perspective instead of from my own. (FYI-John MacArthur reads this book yearly!)” Allen|
|Sammy Williams||Doctrine of Repentance, Thomas Watson
|ONLINE DESCRIPTION: This book teaches on the nature of repentance and how it is more than feeling sorry but ultimately turns us from sin.|
|Zane Burke||God is the Gospel, John Piper||“An excellent read that touches us to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Zane|
|Paul Biebel||God’s Joy in Your Heart, C. H. Spurgeon||“These two books (All Things for Good & God’s Joy in Your Heart) are packed with timeless truths which for every ounce of conviction offer pounds of encouragement, comfort, and hope in return.” Paul|
|Neil Petersen||How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, Derek W. H. Thomas||AMAZON: In these pages, Dr. Thomas leads his readers step by step through this remarkable chapter of Scripture, unfolding the waystations along the Christian journey and uncovering profound exhortations and reassurances for God’s people.|
|Kim Fillian and Sammy Williams||Knowing God, J.I. Packer||“Just really good!!!!!” – Kim FillianNOTE: This book is considered a modern classic by leading theologians. It is practical, yet deep. Paul’s prayer to the church of Colossae was that they increase in the knowledge of God and this book will help do that.|
|Toby Bartlett||Lengthen Your Stride, John B. Aker||ONLINE DESCRIPTION: The key ingredients to a deeper walk with God. — A closer communion with God – isn’t that what every Christian thirsts for? — Through his own life, and it’s diverse avenues, the author shows how he pursued God and learned that “closeness with God begins with His acceptance and love of us, but it takes something on our part too. We must have the right attitude and appropriate that intimacy.|
|Kathie Powers||My Utmost for His Higheest, Oswald Chambers||“This devotional really stirs my heart when I spend time dwelling on the message being told.”|
|Steph Baker||Stepping Heavenward, Elizabeth Prentiss||It’s a very intimate book that shows how to apply God’s word and how to live it out in loving Him and others more through all phases of life Here’s a review by Elizabeth Elliot that articulates it perfectly for me :) “This book is a treasure of both godly and womanly wisdom told with disarming candor and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God. We need such intimate accounts, need them desperately when the word “commitment” is so little understood and so seldom practiced. I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to better understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.”|
|Susie CrossSteve Moxley||Strong’s Concordance||A concordance is an alphabetical list of words present in the Bible and shows where the word occurs within a verse.|
|Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem||This book has proven to be a great resource. It uses clear writing with understandable and logical explanations. This book is helpful to use when you want to understand how different doctrinal differences occur (who believes what, and why).|
|Sandy Moxley||The Faithful Parent, Martha Peace & Stuart W.Scott||FROM AMAZON: The most important relationship in your family is your relationship with him. That’s the relationship this book emphasizes. Martha Peace, bestselling author of The Excellent Wife, and Stuart Scott, author of its counterpart, The Exemplary Husband, join forces to challenge you to become a faithful parent — one who perseveres and leaves the results to God.|
|Neil Petersen||The God Who Loves, John Macarthur||AMAZON: “God is love.” It’s the most basic definition of God in Scriptures, but so profound that it’s often misunderstood. MacArthur answers such questions as: If God is love, how could He send anyone to hell? What’s the difference between the loving God of the New Testament and the angry God of the Old Testament? If God is love, why did He require His Son to die on the Cross? How can God be both loving and jealous?|
|Allen Burns and Brian Sayers||The Gospel According to Jesus, John MacArthur||“When I first started in ministry at Camp Good News, I had an “easy-believism” Gospel and didn’t even know it. A friend recommended this book to me in the middle of the camp season. As soon as camp ended that summer, I started reading. Wow. The truth of how the Gospel should be shared jumped off the page and resonated in my heart. After reading this book I decided I wanted to be an expert on the Gospel.” Allen|
|Fred Thompson and Neil Petersen||The Gospel for Real Life, Jerry Bridges||“I enjoyed this book very much. Jerry Bridges has a very practical way of explaining the Gospel, our need for Christ and how to live it our daily. It brought me great encouragement, conviction and hope in Jesus Christ.” – Fred|
|Chris Burns||The Reason for God, Tim Keller||FROM AMAZON: One by one, the arguments for unbelief fall before Keller’s unrelenting logic. The claim that science has disproved religion comes in for particular scrutiny, as Keller deflects the antireligious syllogism that converts evolutionary theory into an obituary for orthodoxy.|
|Terri Burns||Thompson Chain Reference Bible, Nelson Publishers||ONLINE DESCRIPTION: Thompson® Chain-Reference® Bibles are made for those who use their Bibles every day. The Chain-Reference System allows you to follow any subject, person, place or idea, from the beginning of the Bible to the end. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible has over 100,000 links covering over 7,000 topics.|
|Sandy Moxley||Tortured for Christ, Richard Wurmbrand||ONLINE DESCRIPTION: This is a story of amazing faith in shocking circumstances. Richard Wurmbrand endured months of solitary confinement, years of periodic physical torture, constant suffering from hunger and cold, the anguish of brainwashing and mental cruelty. His captors lied to his wife, saying he was dead. Yet he went on to tell the West the truth about Christianity behind the Iron Curtain. Millions of people have been touched by this story.|
|Brian Sayers||Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts, Jerry Bridges||AMAZON: In Trusting God, Bridges shares the scope of God’s power to help you come to know Him better, have a relationship with Him, and trust Him more–even when unjust things happen. Tragedy, grief, loss, and death are part of life. Discover how Trusting God can reveal biblical truths about God.|
|Danielle Bokinala||What is the Gospel, Greg Gilbert||“It’s a very clear and direct explanation of core gospel truths – an excellent resource for explaining the gospel to myself and practicing to explain to others.”|
|Zane Burke||Who am I? Identity in Christ, Jerry Bridges||“A great exposition of what it means to be ‘in Christ.’” Zane|
|Carl Hall||Worship, the ultimate priority, John Macarthur||“The book by MacArther, as he says in the begining of the book, His study on worship transformed his walk, as well as the heart of his flock. As I have been reading it, I am in agreement. I feel every believer would be greatly encouraged in their walks by digging into True Worship.”|
During ABF, I mentioned that I like to read the Bible every day. In talking about this, I said my personal policy is, “No read, no feed.” This means, unless I have read the Bible, I don’t put food in my mouth. Let me share a bit about why I read the Bible every day and a little bit about my “no read, no feed” policy.
Here are a few reasons why I do this.
1) First, I am not dogmatic about my policy. I want to be sure I don’t cause any confusion or lay out a personal preference as a prescription for others. Of course there are days where I have eaten and not read my Bible first. It is a policy, not a law. I can say that the vast majority of the time I adhere to “no read, no feed,” but again, it is not an “absolute must do” rule in my life. I look at it more as a really good idea. I also don’t think somebody has to read the Bible first thing in the morning. Some people prefer the afternoons or evenings. Mornings just happen to work best for me.
2) I like how in Psalm 103, David instructs his body to praise the Lord. He says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” I want my flesh, all that is within me, my body, to know the importance of blessing the Lord. My spiritual food for my soul is infinitely more important than food for my physical body. So, it is a daily reminder for me to have the right priorities. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
3) Psalm 1 instructs us a man will be blessed when he meditates on the law of the Lord. Why would I not want to be blessed? I find joy in having “fresh meditation material” to dwell on throughout the day.
4) I don’t believe my reading the Bible every day makes me any more spiritual than anybody else
nor do I believe it is gaining me any favor at all with God. I read the Bible every day because I truly believe it is good for me to do so, just like eating food is for my good.
5) God has called me (all of us, actually) to know and study His word. “Study to show thyself approved unto God.” It is a command, not a suggestion. The Apostle Paul prays that the churches would grow in knowledge of God’s will. There is only one place I can find the knowledge of God’s will and that is the Bible.
6) Having an ever increasing understanding and knowledge of God’s word helps me to “not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.” I know throughout the day I am going to be bombarded by the media. The radio, newspaper, internet, and the very presence of this world’s culture in the marketplace is vying to influence me. Whether it is politics, products, or philosophy, the continual message of the world is contrary to God’s worldview. By choosing to read the Bible daily, I am counteracting the continual effect this world has on my thinking, my worldview.
7) God has divinely chosen a “book” to communicate to His specific revelation to mankind. In the Bible I find truth, comfort, peace, joy, life, understanding, and so on. It is the only place I find satisfactory answers to life’s most difficult questions. Why wouldn’t I want to read the Bible consistently?
8) We all are engaged in a battle against sin. Psalm 119 verse 11 says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” The Apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ …” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The primary battle against sin is battling the sin of unbelief. I fight unbelief by filling my mind with the knowledge of God (His mighty works, His character, His love, His goodness). The more I know and learn about God the more I will love Him. The more I love Him the more I will hate my sin that separates me from Him. There is a direct correlation between sin and knowledge of God. Reading the Bible is very helpful in my fight against sin. When reading the Bible, my faith is strengthened. Faith comes by the Word of God. Faith is the opposite of unbelief.
9) Last year was the first year I followed a “through the Bible in one year program.” I enjoyed it very
much, so much, that I really look forward to completing it again this year. I ask myself, “why haven’t I done this sooner!” This is a link to the program I use: www.youversion.com. This year, I am reading the Bible chronologically and am really enjoying it. I am using the Blue Letter Bible “Chronological” plan. It is compiled according to recent historical research, taking into account the order in which the recorded events actually occurred.
10) Where else may I turn? As Peter told Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” My reading of the Bible is beneficial, I believe they hold the words to eternal life; the very pathway to God.
I hope this encourages you to continue reading the Bible daily or perhaps to start doing so right away.