Was Jesus a Nazirite?
Was Jesus a Nazirite?
A question from Matt, over Instagram:
Hello David, a question arose that I thought I’d ask you for direction. The question is, “Was Jesus a Nazarite?” May I ask you to direct me to the research? I’m sure you had this question asked if you before me.
The quick answer is, “No – Jesus was not a Nazirite.” But there really is more to explain than just that quick answer. Matthew 2:23 is the relevant passage:
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Of all of Matthew’s references to the Old Testament and the prophets, this is one of the most interesting. There is no specific passage found in the Old Testament that says in the given words, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Some think that Matthew meant, the Messiah would be a Nazirite. To be a Nazirite was to commit oneself to a special vow of consecration, as described in Numbers 6:1-21. When under the vow, people regarded themselves as especially devoted to God in these ways:
- Leaving their hair uncut.
- Drinking no wine and eating no grape products.
- Avoiding any kind of contact with anything dead.
Doing these things would be for a certain period – for example, maybe 30 or 60 or 90 days, or even a year. Samson was a special case in the Old Testament, someone who was dedicated to a Nazirite vow from his birth and all through his life, though he wasn’t always faithful to that vow.
Acts 18:18 tells of a vow that Paul made that involved the cutting of the hair – which would be done at the conclusion of a Nazirite vow. It’s interesting to think that Paul, as a believer, a servant, an apostle of Jesus, a missionary, a church planter – still thought it was ok for him to make and fulfill a Nazirite vow.
So, what about Jesus? Was he a Nazirite? Does Matthew 2:23, where it says He shall be called a Nazarene mean that Jesus was a Nazirite?
Certainly, Jesus was a remarkably consecrated man, but it seems that Matthew only hints at the idea of a Nazirite from a distance and instead focuses on the connection to the town of Nazareth.
From what we know about the life of Jesus, it doesn’t seem that He followed or fulfilled the vow of a Nazirite as described in Numbers 6.
- We don’t know anything about the hair of Jesus.
- We do know that Jesus did drink wine and/or grape products (and even made wine).
- Jesus came in contact with the dead (but they came back to life)
Yet what specific prophecy from the Old Testament tells us that the Messiah would come from Nazareth?
There is something peculiar in the way Matthew worded this reference. He doesn’t mention any specific prophet, or any one prophet – but just a very generalized, the prophets. Matthew didn’t quote any specific passage, but rather the general expectation of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures that the Messiah would be humble and rejected – just the kind to come from a place like Nazareth.
If there was any specific passage in Matthew’s mind, it was likely Isaiah 11:1:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Hebrew word translated Branch sounds like “Nazir” (neser).
But my guess is that Matthew did not have Isaiah 11:1 in mind; he just was pointing to the general messianic expectation of the Old Testament. I like how Charles Spurgeon phrased this:
“He meant that the prophets have described the Messiah as one that would be despised and rejected of men. They spoke of him as a great prince and conqueror when they described his second coming, but they set forth his first coming when they spoke of him as a root out of a dry ground without form or comeliness, who when he should be seen would have no beauty that men should desire him. The prophets said that he would be called by a despicable title, and it was so, for his countrymen called him a Nazarene.” (Spurgeon)
So, Jesus was certainly a Nazarene – from Nazareth, and associated with a lowly and even despised place. But He was not a Nazirite.
Paul’s example in Acts 18 shows that these kinds of vows can have a place in a healthy Christian life, as long as they aren’t seen as the ground of someone’s right standing with God, or they are not treated in a legalistic manner.
If a genuine believer later rejects Christ, does the Holy Spirit leave them?
If a person believed in Jesus, received the Holy Spirit, but then went back to the world, does the Holy Spirit leave that person?
There is a difference between what we can see and what we can’t see in a person. If a person is truly born again by God’s Spirit, truly made a new creature in Christ Jesus, truly adopted into the family of God, truly made a king and a priest with Jesus Christ, truly made an heir of eternal life, it’s very difficult to see how a person can lose all those things, as if God strips them from that person. But we can’t see that status in another person.
If a person receives the Holy Spirit, how can we actually see it or know it by looking on from the outside? Now, I do believe that it’s possible to see it or know it from the inside. In other words, the Bible does tell us that the Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are the children of God. I do believe it’s possible to experience that kind of true assurance in your own Christian life. But looking at somebody’s else’s life from the outside, how would we know?
Someone might say, “Well, the Holy Spirit used that person in a specific way. The Holy Spirit used them to preach, or to heal, or to evangelize; surely, they have the Holy Spirit.” No, stop just a minute. Don’t you remember that Jesus warned that there would be many people who will come to Him on the day of judgment and say, “Lord, Lord, did we not do these things in Your name?” He talked about amazing things, including miraculous things, which people claim to do in the name of Jesus. Yet Jesus’ words to those particular individuals was, “Depart from Me, I never knew you. I never had relationship with you.”
While we could say that if a person is truly indwelt by the Holy Spirit, they certainly can’t lose that. But we can’t tell from the outside looking in whether a person truly is indwelt by the Holy Spirit or not.
So how do we know if a person is truly filled with the Holy Spirit? How do we know if a person truly is born again? One of the ways we’ll know is that they endure to the end. I don’t believe that once the Holy Spirit is given to a person, in the sense of being born again by God’s Spirit, He is later taken away. But again, we can’t judge these things with any kind of perfection, looking from the outside.
Is it a sin to not keep the Sabbath?
We have liberty in Christ to choose to observe the Sabbath. Why have generations of saints made this a sin issue instead? My pastor said, “God is not going to help you if you work on the Sabbath.” Thoughts?
I’ll give you my thoughts on this. First, concerning the person who’s saying, “God is not going to help you if you work on the Sabbath,” I think that person is wrong. I think the New Testament is very clear and specific with us that the Sabbath is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. That’s where we find the fulfillment of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not something fundamentally that we perform to please God. It’s something that Jesus fulfilled.
We understand that there are aspects of the Old Testament law which are fulfilled by Jesus and are no longer binding upon a Christian under the New Covenant. For example, we believe that the law regarding animal sacrifice was fulfilled by Jesus, and no longer has to be fulfilled by us. We believe that all the institutions of the priesthood were fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and no longer must be observed by believers. We believe that all the feasts of Israel were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and we include the Sabbath under that. It’s not just because we’re dreaming it, but because the New Testament clearly tells us that we should let no man judging us regarding the Sabbath. The Sabbath is an aspect of the law of God that God gave to Israel, which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and is therefore no longer binding upon the believer today.
We have absolute liberty in Jesus Christ to observe the Sabbath. If people want to observe the Sabbath, they are perfectly free to do so. But they are not required to do so by the New Testament given to us. I think it’s very important for us to keep that firmly in mind. While a person has the liberty to keep and observe the Sabbath, if they so choose, they have perfect liberty to do so. But they are not required to do so under the Law of Moses or under the New Covenant.
In Heaven, does Jesus actively worship God the Father?
Jesus worshiped God the Father during His earthly ministry. Does Jesus still actively worship God the Father now that He is in Heaven with the Father?
We are not really told that. We could say that Jesus Christ still has a relationship of reverence and honor towards His God and Father. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. But we don’t see the specific terminology of worship being used in the Scriptures concerning them.
I think it’s important for us not to go beyond what the Scriptures say. There is certainly a relationship of love and honor and fellowship between the members of the Trinity. But we’re not given the specific wording that Jesus worships God the Father there in Heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
What kind of evil does God create (Isaiah 45:7)?
What kind of evil does God create? Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
Isaiah 45:7 – “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”
I don’t know if I can specifically answer that. God brings things upon the earth that are regarded as evil. Now, since they further God’s plan, then we could certainly say that in another measure they are good.
Let me give you an example. When God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, every person in Sodom and Gomorrah felt that that was an evil thing. It was a terrible thing. It was a calamity for their whole existence. However, we could say at the same time that it was a good and righteous judgment of God.
So here we have this difference between how things actually are and how things are perceived by mankind. And sometimes God speaks to us in the form of human perception, how we would perceive things.
God speaks to us as people, as flesh and blood human beings, who can understand, as people who can gain a knowledge of what He’s doing. He speaks to us according to our perception. God definitely performs things on earth that are perceived to be evil by us human beings. Again, for an example, I would just point to any work of God’s great judgment, such as Sodom and Gomorrah.
In what sense is the Lord not yet King (Isaiah 24:23)?
Isaiah 24:23 – “Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.”
I think that’s a very important question for us to deal with in our own day and age. People want to know, “In what way is God King?” There are some people who think that every aspect of Jesus’ Kingship is fulfilled or active right now, in the present day. I would disagree with that approach. I would say instead that the kingship of Jesus Christ is expressed in a definite way now. Jesus is reigning. He is reigning in the sense that He’s guiding human history to its glorious, predetermined purpose. Jesus is reigning among His people, and in the lives of everyone who would name His name. Jesus reigns definitely in the present day.
However, I would also say that there is an aspect of the reign of Jesus that is not yet fulfilled. In the realm of theology, we call this eschatology, concerning the things having to do with the End Times, the last days, and the ultimate fulfillment of all things. In my own understanding of the End Times, I believe that this time of Jesus’ ultimate reign over the earth has yet to happen. And I do not believe that it is the Church that will create that reign. Some people like to argue that technically it will be God who does it through the Church. But no, I disagree. I’m of the opinion that Jesus Christ will return in glory to the earth, and then establish a glorious kingdom. That’s how I understand it.
In the sense of an active reign over all human existence on this earth, where Jesus rules and reigns in a way that He immediately governs over the affairs of men, and the governments of this world are under direct submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in that sense, the reign of Jesus Christ as King has not yet happened. I believe it will happen. I believe it will be glorious when it happens. But it has not yet happened. And we earnestly await it: the fulfillment of all things. Jesus Christ is not yet reigning as King in the sense of an active submission of all the governments of the world unto Himself.
Can God be in the presence of sin? Or is it that sin cannot be in the presence of God?
That’s a great question. It exposes that we as pastors and preachers often speak in a very sloppy way. We often speak in inexact terms. Pastors, including myself at times, will say things like, “God can tolerate no sin in His presence. And that’s why you have to be made right with God through the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Because God cannot tolerate sin in His presence, and you can’t go to Heaven with your sin. It has to be cleansed from you before that.”
Now, I think that’s a well-meaning idea. But the Scriptures tell us that there are sinful beings in the presence of God. For example, Satan himself has audience in the presence of God. We see this in the book of Job. We see this in the lines from the New Testament that speak about Satan being in the presence of God accusing God’s children. He’s the accuser of the brethren, accusing them before God day and night.
God can allow sinful beings in His presence. But at the resolution of all things, as is illustrated for us in Revelation 21-22, God chooses to reject sin from His presence. It’s not that God can’t stand to have sin in His presence. To use a silly illustration, in comic book stories, you see Superman and kryptonite. And kryptonite is the one substance in the universe that can afflict Superman and make him weak. Well, it’s not like sin is God’s kryptonite, and He said, “Well, I can’t have it in My presence.” No, it’s no, it’s not like that at all. Of course not.
No, God can allow sin in His presence. But He has chosen to have a day when all sin will be put away from Him eternally. It’ll be consigned to the Lake of Fire. Satan himself will be consigned there to the Lake of Fire. So, it’s not that God cannot bear to have sin in His presence. It’s just that God has determined that He will have a judgment that excludes all sin from His presence at the end of all things.
Again, that’s very good question. As believers and especially as preachers, I think we need to be better about how we speak of these things. Sometimes it’s easy for us to be a little bit sloppy in the way that we explain things, and despite our good intentions we can say things that aren’t exactly true.
What age did David Guzik decide to enter ministry? How did he come to choose Bible teaching for a profession?
I decided to enter ministry when I was 19 years old. Now, I started in ministry when I was 16 years old. When I was 16 years old, the pastor of the small church I was attending asked me if I would like to start teaching a home Bible study in a neighboring town. And I was certainly willing to do it. So, from that point forward, I did. I started teaching this home Bible study. Nothing spectacular happened with that home Bible study; it started with six or seven people. And I taught it for probably about a year and a half until I went off to a school. And in that time, it expanded to probably seven or eight people. There was nothing really dramatic going on with it.
Yet in myself, and among the few people that attended that home Bible study, there was a sense that God was pleased with it, and that God was doing something in that group. That was my introduction to teaching and doing ministry. I would say by the time I was 19 years old, as I was teaching those home Bible studies, I really came to the understanding that this was God’s calling upon my life, and that this is what I would be doing with my life.
Now, I did not know that that was how I would make my living. When I first became a pastor of some sort at age 19, I was working at a grocery store, stocking shelves at night. I thought that maybe I would just be working at a grocery store the rest of my life, and doing that to pay the bills, while being able to teach home Bible studies and love and serve God’s people.
But over time, God enabled me to be able to have ministry not only as my calling, but also as my vocation, the way that I made my living. Now, there have been times when I did bi-vocational ministry again. When I was almost 30 years old, planting another church from which I did not draw an income, I worked as a substitute teacher in a school district near me. So, I don’t think somebody’s calling is dependent on making the ministry their vocation or source of income, but certainly the two can be related.
At what age is a person qualified to be senior pastor?
I started being a pastor at age 19. And through God’s grace, by His providence – listen, this was God’s goodness to me – it worked out fine for me. I’m of the general opinion that many people can begin young in ministry of some kind. As far as being a senior pastor, I wouldn’t put an age on it. But I think that if people will step out and be humble, God an use them. That’s a great failing in many young people, especially young people who find success in their young years.
Listen, if you ever see a servant of God who is enjoying great success at a young age, you need to pray for that person. Not because there’s anything dishonest or sinful about that person, no. But it is a special trap to come to early success in ministry. There’s a lot of danger in that. Many people survive those dangers just fine, and we praise God for it. But not everybody does.
Overall, I wouldn’t put an age on it. But for many people, I think it can be younger than we think.
What are the most distinct “calls to action” for Christians in living out our faith?
What are the most distinct “calls to action” that we as born-again Christian should take as an example of our own faith as it being projected out in our lives?
When thinking about a call to action, look the fruit of the Spirit as the New Testament describes it. The first Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, etc. How can we live out the fruit of the Spirit in daily life? How can we show, in daily life, that we live lives of faith in God? How can we show in daily life that we have joy and peace? I would recommend going to that list of the fruit of the Spirit, and simply asking yourself, “How do these things look very practically in somebody’s life? How does it look to show love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, all these Christian virtues that are spoken about in the New Testament? What does it actually look like to show them in everyday life?” I think those are important questions for us to have a call to action.
For example, how do you love your community where you live? If you live in a democratic community, nation, or state, participate in the democratic political process in a way that would promote goodness and blessing in your community. That’s a way that you can do that. When you live your life and make your decisions, you can show, “I trust in God.” Those are just a few examples of calls to action, in a positive sense.
But there are also negative calls to action. There are things that we avoid doing. We very consciously say, “No, we do not want to practice those particular things.” We avoid things having to do with drunkenness and sexual immorality; we avoid lying and cheating others; we avoid the things of hatred and partiality. These are all things that we very consciously avoid as believers in Jesus Christ.
We need to live out the fruit of the Spirit. That is our call to action in some way. Now, we can only live the fruit of the Spirit out as we are filled with the Spirit and abiding in the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit won’t live that life for us. He wants to live it through us, in our daily life.
Kind what of world philosophies did Paul encounter during his missionary trips? Is there such a thing as diabolic philosophy?
What kind of world philosophies did Paul encounter during his missionary trips? Is there such a thing as diabolic philosophy?
Paul would deal with the Greek philosophies, such as Stoicism, Platonism, and many different and various influences that come from the different Greek philosophies. There was also some kind of philosophy that came through different mystery religions. The New Testament time didn’t properly deal with Gnosticism as it developed later, but it certainly dealt with what you might call sort of an early or a proto-Gnosticism. And those had their own philosophy of things that were dealt with.
In one simple sense, a philosophy is just a way of thinking. How do you think? How do you process? How do you understand things? Paul encountered philosophies that gave an overly fatalistic view; that could be stoicism in some of its forms. Paul encountered philosophies that made a great divide between the spiritual and the material; this led to some of these Gnostic core beliefs. And these Gnostic beliefs really had the idea that the spiritual and material were forever separated. But that’s not how God thinks. God joins together the spiritual and the material, and most certainly He did that in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.
Concerning false philosophies, philosophies that rise up against the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I would say they are of the devil. They are diabolical. And of course, we always want to be a little bit careful or reserved in saying things like, “This is from the devil; that’s from the devil.” But there’s very little doubt that there are things that are satanically-inspired, even if the people who further those messages aren’t really aware of that satanic connection.
What role do biblical characters play in the book of Revelation? Should we interpret the Book of Revelation figuratively or literally?
What role do biblical characters play in the book of Revelation? Are we to interpret the Book of Revelation more figuratively or literally?
If you’re talking about biblical characters, I don’t know exactly what you mean by that. Are you talking about Abraham? Are you talking about Samuel? Are you talking about Moses? Are you talking about Enoch? Do you mean these kinds of biblical characters? Well, they have little to do with the book of Revelation.
There is a mention of two witnesses in Revelation 11. Many people have tied those two witnesses to either Moses and Enoch or Moses and Elijah. If I were to tie those two witnesses to any individuals, I would tie them to Moses and Elijah. So, there’s that connection. But biblical characters, such as Abraham aren’t really mentioned in the book of Revelation. David is mentioned in the book of Revelation, but only in relation to something else, not himself as a person.
So, there’s really not much of a role of characters in the book of Revelation. But the book of Revelation is a book that is deeply tied to the Old Testament. You could look in my commentary for the exact figures on this. But there is no book of the New Testament which is more connected to the Old Testament than the book of Revelation. Almost every verse has some kind of connection to the Old Testament, be it a quotation, an illusion, or a connection. I think that the key to understanding the book of Revelation is an understanding “666,” or the Antichrist, or the last world government. Those things have their place, of course.
But the most important thing with understanding the book of Revelation is understanding how it connects to the Old Testament. If we are to understand that the book of Revelation is vitally connected to the Old Testament, we are to interpret it in light of those connections. Not more figuratively, not more literally, but we are to interpret the Book of Revelation more connected to the Old Testament.
Sometimes the book of Revelation very consciously speaks to us in metaphors, in word pictures. It says, “This is a sign. This is a great sign.” Well then, in those places, you know it’s speaking metaphorically. It’s speaking of something that is a great sign which points to something else. But we shouldn’t read the book of Revelation as if it were a fairy tale. The signs point to real things. We need to keep that in mind.
Does David Guzik have a favorite prophet from the Bible?
That’s like asking me to choose between my children. How can you choose between your children? You just do the best you can. And you say, “Listen, I love all my children.” I love all God’s prophets.
But if you were to back me into a corner, my favorite prophet would be the prophet David. You know, the Bible describes King David, the son of Jesse, as a prophet. And certainly he was, because he prophesied mightily, especially of his greater Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was given that glorious title, the son of David. For example, as David writes Psalm 22, he is a prophet proclaiming forth, in a predictive sense, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His victory in the empty tomb. That’s flat-out glorious. Okay, so David was a prophet. If I had to boil down any one prophet, he would be a favorite. I’d pick David.
But listen, there is so much glory and meaning in each one of God’s prophets. Look, I have a written commentary on the entire Bible. And my time spent in books like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, have been extremely deep and rewarding for me. I find great blessing and comfort from those particular prophets, and all that they write for us.
Is there a connection between the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10 and the Sabbath?
Virtually all commentators agree that the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10 is not a reference to the Sabbath, which would be Saturday. Technically speaking, the Jewish Sabbath begins on Friday evening, and ends Saturday afternoon or evening. But we normally consider Saturday to be the Sabbath day.
So, the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10 is not a reference to the Sabbath or to Saturday; it’s a reference to Sunday. That’s what the early Christians called the Lord’s Day. They called that Sunday. And there’s really no doubt about it, the earliest Christians met together on Sunday. We could discuss the reasons why they did that, but they did not feel bound to have their meetings on the same day as the Jewish Sabbath.
Now, I don’t think that there’s any command from God as to which day Christians meet. We just know what the pattern was from biblical times in the early church. Christians have freedom. If you want to meet on Saturday, praise the Lord. If you want meet to on Sunday, praise the Lord. If you want to meet on Wednesday, praise the Lord, and no problem with that. But we shouldn’t judge others who meet on a different day.
Can you suggest some good inductive Bible study reading materials?
A friend of mine named Dan Finfrock has a great inductive Bible study resource. He and some associates present his work in seminars all over the world. I think that’s an important resource. His website is icmbible.com.
Another resource I love is a book called 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders. It’s a great introduction to having an inductive understanding of the Bible and gives a good survey of the Bible. We understand the Bible so much better when we have an idea where the different books of the Bible go, and how it all fits together. This book does that, and I recommend it to a lot of people.
How do I discern if worship music is theologically sound?
How do I discern theologically within the different worship music options?
This is a little bit of a tough question because the basic answer is simple: You’ve got to know what’s biblical and what’s not. If a song says something that’s not quite biblical, you’ve got to know about it.
Now, I will say this. It’s true that we need to judge worship songs by their biblical content. If a song is teaching something that’s not scriptural, then we should understand that, and I would say don’t sing that song. But there is some measure of poetic license in songs. How much? I’ll leave it up to your individual conscience to decide.
Sometimes with poetic license, we sing songs because they reflect how things seem by appearance, not necessarily how they objectively are. I’ll give you an example. There was a song that was popular a few years ago called Reckless God. Its core idea was the “reckless” love of God. I know some Christians who were very offended by that. They said, “God’s love isn’t reckless. You’re defaming God’s name. How dare you say that God’s love is reckless? God doesn’t do anything that’s reckless. You shouldn’t sing that song.” Now, again, if that’s their conscience, I wouldn’t oppose it. I don’t think anybody should be forced to sing a song they believe is not biblical.
But by the same token, I would say this. I understand that God’s love is not reckless. But it certainly sometimes seems to be reckless. It certainly sometimes seems to be extravagant in a way that can seem reckless. When God loves a wretched sinner, it sometimes seems reckless of Him to do so. “God, why would You love that person? Look at what a loser they are, look at how offensive they are,” and so on. Now, in God’s ultimate purpose, we see that that’s not reckless. But it can certainly appear to be so.
So, you have to personally determine how much poetic license you will allow. And then you’ve got to know the Scriptures. You’ve got to be wise enough in the truth of God’s word to be able to know when something matches or doesn’t match with Scripture.
You know the great song, Amazing Grace? I think people could object to that as well. Think of the first few lines of that song: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” Okay, stop right there. Grace is a sound? Grace isn’t a sound. It’s the act of love of God towards us. How can you say grace is a sound? And then you could say, “That saved a wretch like me…” I could see somebody object, “Wretch? What do you mean? I’m not a wretch. I’m a child of God. I’m adopted into God’s family and filled with God’s Spirit. I’m no longer a wretch.”
You see, if you don’t want to remove every hint of poetic license, there’s a lot that people could criticize. But we need to give some poetic license, and some people will be more comfortable granting it than others. We have to know the Scriptures and know when things go against it.
What would we do with songs that don’t match up to what the Scriptures say? Do we know the Scriptures well enough to discern that? I think that it’s absolutely fine for a pastor or the elders of a church to say, “We think that these songs aren’t theologically sharp, and we’re not going to sing them as a congregation.” That’s absolutely fine. And that may differ from church to church, as people have different levels of discernment or different thresholds concerning poetic license. But I think it’s important to talk about that and to understand it.
So, you look at the song, and you compare it to biblical truth. And that requires you to have a good understanding of biblical truth.
What advice would you give to a musician in serving the Lord with their musical gifts?
Take the principles that you would use in the application of any gift. First of all, play skillfully unto the Lord. Be dedicated about your craft. Work hard on it. Try to do it well. Don’t be sloppy or careless. Serve the Lord with excellence.
Secondly, I think it would be important to say this. You need to have integrity in your character as a believer. And hopefully, you’re growing in integrity. I wouldn’t say that the requirements for being a musician in the church are exactly the same as the requirements for an elder in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. But I would say that they are generally the same. We don’t want to automatically say that because a person can play an instrument and honor the Lord in that service, they are necessarily a leader or a ruler among God’s people. But we can say that there is a general sense in which all that’s true.
So, I would say give attention to character and integrity. Those things are always important, no matter how we’re serving the Lord. If you’re serving God out in the parking lot, helping to park cars; if you’re serving God by changing diapers in the nursery ministry; if you’re serving God on the platform, playing the drums or guitar, you need to give attention to your character.
You need to give attention to integrity. This especially applies to musicians who sometimes can be put in a position where they get more praise and attention than perhaps is helpful or good for them to receive. And just like with anything in our modern world, you always want to keep a view out for pride. That’s true of anybody who serves the Lord in any way, not uniquely to musicians. We need to always keep an eye out for pride.
So, integrity, character, keep a watch out for pride, and make sure that you serve the Lord first. There are a lot of different ways we can serve people, and that’s great. But ultimately, our service is for the Lord.
Ministry Update from Enduring Word
We’ve got wonderful things going on here at Enduring Word. We continue the work of getting the Bible Commentary onto a lot of different platforms, as well as translating it into other languages. Enduring Word is a nonprofit, and we are so grateful to be supported by gifts that people donate to our ministry. We spend more money on the work of translation than we do on any other single category. By a significant margin, the translation of the commentary is where we put our greatest investment. And it is wonderful to see how God continues to provide for more and more translation work.
I won’t be shy about this, folks, I’m telling you, we’ve got a lot more translation work in front of us to do. In the big picture, our goal we really want to accomplish is translating the commentary into the ten most widely spoken languages in the world, plus some strategic languages. In that total process, I would say we’re probably 20-30% finished. So, there’s a lot more to be done, and it’s going to take a long time.
We are very blessed by the people who pray for our work, and for those who financially support it. I think you’re giving to a good thing. Your gifts provide free Bible resources at enduringword.com – and not just free, but without any paid advertisements.
In addition to our main English website, enduringword.com, we have created 7 different subdomains of our website in other languages. Check out Enduring Word in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and Farsi. Like I mentioned, none of our website feature paid ads. We want to provide a great experience for our readers, so it’s presented free of charge and ad-free. It’s something good. We thank you for your partnership with our work.