Tag Archives: paul noble

Who get’s to play?

Question: Who get’s to play?

Video Summary.

The word church

Did you know that the word church is not in the original Bible. The greek work is  ecclesia (assembly)

If you want to know the true meaning of a word see how it’s been used throughout the Bible.

The problem with words is that they mean different things to different people. For some church is the building. Other’s its a particular meeting on a Sunday.

The word means to gather: political meetings. A coming together of believers.

Acts 19:32

“Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly (church or ecclesia) was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.”

What do you do at church? What did they do in Acts and the Epsitles?

Come together!

1 Corinthians 14: Whenever you come together –   each of you. Not a few. ALL.

1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”

This is very much the American Supper idea in the previous post. Everyone get’s to play not a select and anointed few.

The common objection to this is that result is chaos? Paul gives guidelines: Prophecy someone else wants to say something –  shut up!  In mots churches today the only one who gets to speak is the pastor!

Just because everyone is involved doesn’t mean that everything has to be spontaneous. There is room for preparation. It’s unlikely that every one will bring potatoes.  

What we missing out? Missing out on variety!

Often today its all about the teaching gift.

Romans 12:6

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecylet us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministrylet us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that givethlet him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 12:10 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Allot more variety than we experience!

How would God assemble the church?  – assemble a bit of furniture.

Is seeker friendly church God’s plan?

Church is not a place where you bring people to evangelise. We should be equipped to go to people.

Evangelism isn’t a gift.  An evangelist is a person.

Pastoring isn’t a gift. A pastor is a person.

Stuck on the ground

If the church was an airfield most of the planes are either stuck in the hangars or on the ground.

 

Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

The priesthood of all believers

Why do we meet together?

New Piano music

My new Kindle Book!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
Buy Amazon Kindle Book (US)

Facebook page

38 total views, 11 views today

What or who is the church?

Question: What is the church?

Ephesians 2:19

Now, therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. In whom the whole building grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit

1 Peter 2:4

Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Summary?

Its not the building?

The church is not the building. Its not the physical bricks an mortar. Believers are ‘living’ stones. Its the people of God. The household or family of God.

As a side note: there were no church building projects in the early church!

We need a ‘habitation’ mentality not a visitation one. In other words, God doesn’t visit is when we meet and then leave. He permanently indwells us individually and collectively by his Holy Spirit.

Therefore, a believer who is imprisoned for their faith in solitary confinement is just as much part of the church as any believer even though they suffer.

Definition?

Church or ‘ecclesia’ is defined as: “citizens called out from their homes to a public place”.

In the early church they didn’t define themselves as being part of a church organisation or churchdenomination. Their identity wasn’t based on a name. They were addressed, for practical reasons, only as the christians meeting at Ephesus or at a persons home.

Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is not the church.  The Pentecostal church of the Spirit of Prophecy is not the church either. What we do is not our identity! That doesn’t make us church. No, its who we are in the spirit as members of the body of Christ. That is the only membership me need!

Yes, we meet, pray, worship and drink coffee in Costa but that is an outflow of who we are!

The church being a body is good analogy. Every cell in my body has my DNA. Each individual in the body of Christ has the DNA of Christ Jesus.

Therefore, the church isn’t what we do; its who we are as children of God! A family eats together, holidays and does all the things families do. Those things however don’t make us a family!

Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Why do we meet together?

New Piano music

My new Kindle Book!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
Buy Amazon Kindle Book (US)

Facebook page

81 total views, no views today

Avoiding Hell

Avoiding Hell and going to Heaven?

The average Evangelical Christian thinks that avoiding Hell and going to Heaven is the Gospel or Good News. Well, I suppose avoiding being tortured for ever and ever would be something that you would want to avoid – if it were true.

Therefore, according to the traditional Evangelical, the Gospel is not really something you experience much in this life but what you experience way in the future. The bonus, is that you may even get to escape a sort of ‘hell on earth’ (the tribulation)- if of course you are fortunate enough to be raptured!

Is it Good news?

lostTherefore, is what we are proclaiming Good News to the average person around us? To a single mother depressed and struggling to look after her young kids, does the Gospel of Hell avoidance seem at all attractive? Likewise, to the young man with a drug addiction; the man who has recently been made redundant or the housewife facing cancer? No, some people are already in a kind of hell – they really don’t need to be told its going to be even worse!

If the Gospel is nothing except an escape from future punishment then it’s not good news at all by any stretch of the imagination. Good news is when you win the lottery or get a tax refund – not the avoidance of certain death in a car crash because your remembered to wear a seat belt! When Noah preached to his generation, warning them of the coming flood – that wasn’t good news! It was bad news! Yes, it was the truth but it wasn’t the Gospel!

Its about Jesus

No, the Good News is about Jesus Christ! It’s that God so loved the world that he gave his only son that we might not perish but have eternal life – not escape from hell. Without Jesus in our lives, we are indeed perishing! Some of us maybe do better in life for a while but all of us eventually die!

However, the true Gospel is a Gospel of hope because its the good news of how God intervenes and intervened in human history through the person of the son Jesus Christ. At the cross Jesus overcame death and brought the possibility of immortality and life after death through physical resurrection!

2 Timothy 1:10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

The Gospel therefore, is great news when you realise that it proclaims an end to the the blood shed and the hatred in the world at the moment: a coming kingdom and age in which will righteousness will dwell but a kingdom that can be tasted now!

 

FREE book: Christ in You!

Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

Previous related post on the topic of Hell:

The first person to preach Hell?

Love never fails (Part 1)

Gods brilliant plan (Part 2)

How big are God’s plans? (Part 3)

God is a universalist (Part 4)

Jesus is God’s plan (Part 5)

My new Kindle Book!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
Buy Amazon Kindle Book (US)

Facebook page

135 total views, no views today

A lost sheep – ‘Lost’ Chapter 2

If you want to get to sleep counting sheep can help. But most of us don’t lose sleep over a wandering sheep! In Jesus’ day, though, a story about lost sheep resonated with those listening and certainly they clearly understood the metaphor.

The metaphor of a lost sheep

sheepIn Matthew 12:11 Jesus used the lost sheep metaphor to make the point that saving human life is more important than keeping to rules:

Matthew 12:11 “And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”

Later on in Matthew 18 he repeats the analogy with the story of another rescue – if we didn’t know better, we might have thought the Jesus was a shepherd (well, he was, of course) – the Good Shepherd!

Matthew 18:12 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?”

We go astray – just like sheep

The point of all this is that as fallen, sinful human beings we are just like sheep in our behaviour: we constantly stray and do stupid things!

Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:25 “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

We do the same sinful things over and over again even when we get the same negative results – insane!

Example: crazy tortoise!

This reminds me of when I was young and had a pet tortoise. It had nice enclosure with a chicken wire fence, plenty of grass, and even a little wooden house to live in. Every day the tortoise did three things: it ate, it slept and every other waking moment it spent climbing the fence trying to escape!

Surprisingly, tortoises are very good climbers but unfortunately they have no common-sense. In fact they have no sense at all, so that, when this one arrived at the top of the wire he just kept going and inevitably fell off onto his back. Ingeniously, he would then put his back legs up against the fence to push himself upright and get out of this scrape. Amazingly, he never learned the lesson – give up – but would begin the whole process again. He didn’t live long and I do wonder whether he died of concussion!

What’s the point?

So, what’s the point of this story? What can we learn? How does my crazy tortoise relate to us? If there hadn’t been sheep in biblical times, might the Bible have used the tortoise as an example?

“All we like tortoises have gone astray (very slowly!).”

Jesus, therefore, is the ultimate pastor or shepherd and his mission is to rescue dumb sheep – or tortoises – out of the mess they get themselves into! Our designation is lost – resistance is futile!

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Parable of the lost sheep of – Luke 15

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.

2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable:

4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders

6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Who are the lost sheep?

As we see in the above passage Jesus further expands and clarifies the parable of lost sheep as told in Matthew 18, intimating clearly, that he views the listening tax-gathers and sinners as the lost sheep! I don’t expect they were hearing this message in their local synagogue – if they attended at all!

This parable is basically saying that Jesus isn’t interested in faithful church-goers -the religious. No, he’s after the black-sheep of the family: the guy who sells crack cocaine; the prostitute; the pervert. It’s these people he’s prepared to risk life and limb for. This shepherd is scouring the outback in search of just one sheep because even sinners, broken and lost have value!

Zaccheus gets found!

This parable is played out in real-life later on in Luke 19 when a real ‘live’ wandering sheep by the name of Zaccheus is ‘found’ hiding in the branches of a tree!

Luke 19:1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.

2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.

3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,I will pay back four times the amount.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

A party!

Therefore, just as Zaccheus cannot believe his luck on being asked by Jesus to put on a party; the shepherd in the parable is so delirious with the success of his mission, that he invites his neighbours around for a knees up – over a sheep! A little crazy perhaps ? Might God be a little more into partying than we thought was decent?

Luke 15:7 “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance”

What about repentance, though? – I hear the religious intone. If repentance means saying sorry for your sins – how does a sheep do that? I mean all it does is bleat, right! Of course, Zaccheus showed the fruits of repentance in the over-the-top restitution he made – but how could a sheep?

What is repentance?

I think the answer might lie in understanding that the sinful human condition separates us from God – in other words, we are lost! The moment that sin entered the world, Adam and Eve became wandering sheep and their first instinct was to hide amongst the trees and ‘cover up’ with fig leaves.

Indeed, religion is really an exercise in covering up nakedness and making us feel comfortable with our alienation and separation from God.

Colossians 1:21 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”

Separated from God?

This separation, though, is a virtual one. What do I mean? Well, it’s all in the mind; all in our thinking. God isn’t avoiding us. We are avoiding him!

Romans 1:25 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

Ephesians 4:17 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,”

Ephesians 2:3 “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

As you can see from these scriptures, sinful thinking leads to sinful behaviour. Might repentance, be not so much about what we do – but rather about a change of mindset? Is it that, when we encounter the pure love of God as we are laid on the good shepherd’s shoulders, we change our minds (repent) and a whole load of sinful thinking that has alienated us from the life of God falls away? Hopefully, the poor sheep learned the lesson: that wandering off equals a night in the dark and a near-death experience!

Chapter 1 – Lost

www.paulnoblecomposer.com

Like what you’ve read? Why not download the complete Kindle Book from Amazon!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
Buy Amazon Kindle Book (US)

Facebook page

455 total views, no views today

Inspired NOW available for download and streaming!

Inspired is available for download and streaming!

www.paulnoblecomposer.com

streamingI’m really excited to announce, that the full and expanded version of my very first Piano album of neo-classical music compositions are now available on all the major digital music download platforms like: Spotify, Amazon, iTunes etc.

Ten tracks of pure and original Piano tunes – a total of 48 minutes of music performed by yours truly!

Please help me!

So how can you help? Please, please listen to the music, buy and download and – above all enjoy it!

Please, like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/paulnoblecomposer.
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: You Tube Channel 

Write a review

Please, write a great review on Amazon or iTunes; I would love to hear what the music makes you feel and think because certainly – I believe that the creator of the universe ‘Inspired’ me to write these tracks to inspire and encourage you!

How do you find me?

To find me, search with: ‘Inspired Paul Noble’  on all the digital download platforms. If your an Amazon Prime member then you can listen to me for FREE.

If your not sure you like my music? Well it is only for those with good taste – only joking! Below, are a couple of videos I’ve put together of a flavour of the music. More on the YouTube  channel.

Prelude in G:

Sonata in F Minor Spring

1,390 total views, no views today

Winter – Piano Sonata

winterPiano Sonata in C minor Winter

I’ve re-recorded this piano piece. Have a listen.

This was the first complete classical Piano piece I ever wrote; started writing this in 2009 – its taken a while!

New Piano music – Meditation in C minor

Here is a piano piece I’ve written recently. This will probably the last piece on my expanded version of my Inspired Piano Album – coming soon!

Please, if you like music and would like to receive updates on all my new music then why not join my Facebook page Paul Noble Composer. Even better write me a review!

Additionally, please visit my You Tube Channel and comment. Thank you.

Sonata in F Minor Spring

Minuet in F Major

382 total views, no views today

Just do it!

just do itFaith – “Just do it?”

“Just do it” is a popular slogan you will see emblazoned across many a teenagers T-shirt. Is it really sensible advice however?

Driving analogy

As a professional driving instructor, I don’t think I’ll be advising pupils approaching a roundabout to ‘just do it’! Indeed, that would be incredibly stupid! No, I teach them to use their brains and think through what they are doing. A good decision, a safe decision, is one in which the pupil uses the well worn driving acronym: LOOK, ASSESS, DECIDE, ACT. A good decision therefore, is based on having all the information available and giving yourself time. A rushed decision is often a dangerous one!

Hesitation

Of course, a pupil can go to the opposite extreme: taking too long to make the decision whether to go or not – which becomes hesitation and this can cause problems also – not the least irritating other drivers! If though, we mean by: “just do it” not to procrastinate, then I whole-heartedly agree with that. Get a move on!

For example: as a teenager I remember spending all afternoon working up the courage to dive off the top diving board at the swimming pool. No amount of peering over the edge and worrying what it would feel like if i hit the water with a stupendous belly flop helped! All it did was increase the fear! In the end, I did just do it: I closed my eyes and dived –  successfully I might add! After that it was easy.

Faith = Risk

In the spiritual realm, many equate faith with acting without thought or without thinking things through. Indeed, I believe the term: “blind faith” is an oxymoron. Yes, faith does involve risk but it is not reckless or blind! In fact, I believe that faith is the clearest form of seeing there is. Faith sees into the unseen realm; as these two scriptures articulate:

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:13 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off

Walking on water.

In Matthew 14, the disciples of Jesus are having a bad day, or more accurately – a sleepless night in a storm tossed boat in the middle of the lake! To further compound their distress, they see a strange distant man walking on the water and logically come to the conclusion – it’s a ghost!

Often, in life we find ourselves in these ‘out of control’ situations’ where like the disciples we are crying out in fear because we don’t understand what’s going on. Often It seems, that Jesus isn’t in our boat ( circumstances) but is out there on the water (very remote); his presence doesn’t seem that real (like a ghost).

The fact is, life, like driving (or diving), cannot be lived without danger or risk. Jesus though, this ghostlike man on the water, basically says: be happy and don’t be afraid. Today that’s what he would say to you and I in any difficult situation that we face.

Is it a ghost?

What is interesting though, is that Peter goes one step further. He basically issues Jesus a test. If it’s really you Lord then ask me to do something impossible and walk on the water like you are doing. I’m not sure I understand the logic of this: if Jesus is a ghost then he’s going to drown! Maybe, he’s pretty certain it’s Jesus and as they are already half-drowned, why not push the boat out a little further – excuse the pun!

Look/assess

Was he one hundred percent sure it was Jesus out there skipping on the waves? No. But, that’s often how faith feels. It’s an inner knowing; a strong hunch. The first step of faith therefore, is to look before you leap! Ask yourself, can you imagine Jesus in these future different circumstances that you think God is calling you to walk into? If you can, in other words you can only succeed through faith and the supernatural ability of Jesus- then it’s probably God!

All through the bible you have these crisis of faith. The Israelites trapped by the Red Sea. A country threatened by a giant. A man thrown in a den of lions. And a messiah who was put to death on a cross to the bewilderment of his disciples.

Decide

At some point however, you have to make a decision. Faith is a decision. You have to make a decision to trust. Maybe your driving on the way to the airport and an hour into the journey you can’t remember whether you shut the front door properly. What do you do? Maybe you decide to trust God and carry on? Of course this doesn’t mean you ignore the natural. You might ring your neighbour to make sure for example. Unbelief however, is a decision not to trust God.

Act

Faith without works is dead. In other words, faith that doesn’t result in action is not faith. Peter didn’t talk about it he actually stepped out of the boat onto the water. He was the only man other than Jesus who accomplished this feat! The other disciples, looking on, may have envied Peter, maybe even believed that they could do it too. However, the difference was: they didn’t act. Therefore they didn’t have faith to walk on water.

Just to finish, I wonder if maybe a large proportion of Christians today are sitting in the boat rather than walking out to Jesus on the waves?

FREE book: Christ in You!

Download my FREE PDF book: “Christ in You.”

New Piano music

My new Kindle Book!

bookBuy Amazon Kindle Book (UK) 
Buy Amazon Kindle Book (US)

Facebook page

347 total views, no views today