Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Central Figure of the Church

Acts 2:38-47
Consider the Church.  Spiritually, the church is the entire Body of Christ.  It is comprised of those who have put their faith in Christ and been born again into the family of God.  The church is made up of ALL believers.   Practically, the local church is a physical manifestation of the Body of Christ - a literal “called-out assembly” of believers working together to fulfill the Lord’s instructions.
The early “infancy period” of the church is fascinating to read about in the book of Acts.  The record is that in just a few years local churches of baptized believers are established in dozens of cities in the Mediterranean region.
They have no steeples or stained glass, no buildings, no busses, no organized Sunday School, no media advertising, no Youth Groups, or Kids Clubs.  At this point they don’t have church officers.  Apostles are “pastoring” – but there are no deacons, yet.  No gospel tracts, no Bible-study books are available.  Their only written Bible is the Old Testament.
INSPITE of their lack of many things that we would ascribe to any church today, notice what is happening in verse 47.  We see something magnificent is happening for cause of Christ.  The assembly of believers did not have all of the “stuff” a church is supposed to have.  BUT, what they did have was the power of God at work in their individual lives – through the indwelling Holy Spirit – channeled through their local church.
First and foremost we begin with the consideration of:  The Central Figure of the Church.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter’s message (v.14-36) articulates that Jesus Christ is the central figure, the primary thrust, the key person of all that is happening.  Today, Jesus Christ MUST be the central figure, the primary thrust, and the key person of all that is happening here at Maranatha Baptist Church if we are to be what the Bible teaches us that a church ought to be.  Sadly, much of what is done in the name of religion, today, has little or nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
Let us be clear:  Jesus Christ is the central figure of THE Church … of our church.

1.  Jesus is the FOUNDER of the Church

Matthew 16:18  …I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus speaks of His identification with the church when He says, “my church.  He is not talking about just any group.  Rather He is identifying with His assembly, His “called-out” ones.
Jesus is speaks of His relationship.  He says, “I will build  We are energized by His activity, by His power.  He is engaged with His people and He propels them to progress.

Jesus is speaking of His victory – “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  The church will victoriously endure - NOT because of those who are IN the church.  It will victoriously endure because of He who founded it!

2.  Jesus is the FOUNDATION of the Church

Ephesians 2.19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (20)  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
The church is not only founded BY Jesus Christ.  It is founded UPON Jesus Christ.  It is specifically on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the church is based.  Without Jesus work of redemption there would be NO need for a church.  NO humans could serve God through a church because no humans would have ANY relationship with God.  If there were no Jesus Christ (the Son of God coming to earth to redeem mankind) then there would be NO church.

3.  Jesus is the FRAMEWORK of the Church

Ephesians 2:21-22  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  [22]  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Your life is work-in-progress.  God is building you IN Christ.  Our church is a work-in-progress.  God is building us together IN Christ.  Just like the simple song says, “He’s Still Workin’ on Me.”  We can sing as a church family here at Maranatha “He’s Still Workin’ on Us.”
Who we are - is all about Jesus.  So, what we do should be all about Jesus.
Titus 2:13-14 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

4.  Jesus is the FIRST OFFICER of the Church

Ephesians 1:20-22 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
The founder of the church is not dead.  He is not in a grave with a memorial monument to Him and to His vision.  We serve a LIVING Savior!  Our founder is ALIVE and still leading as the First Officer, the CEO, the HEAD of the church.

Colossians 1:17-18 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18]  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.    
It may come as “news” to some people, but get it clear.  The Head of the church is not the membership.  The Head of the church is not the Deacon Board.  The Head of the church is not the Pastor.  The Head of the church is JESUS CHRIST!
Any and ALL human leadership within the church is under submission to the authoritative Head – the First Officer: our Lord Jesus Christ!
1Corinthians 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

5.  Jesus is the FASHION of the Church

Romans 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  
A great pastor from a generation ago, Dr. Jack Hudson, used to say, “You make much of Jesus; He will make much of you.”  If our Church will make much of Jesus, He will make much of our church
2Thessalonians 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The disturbing trends (we see) in many churches today seem to indicate that they want to present themselves less and less like Jesus but, more and more like the world and the culture.  (The same world and culture that Jesus came to save people out of.)   You can certainly draw a crowd by putting on a show and making people feel good about themselves.  But, THAT is not a New Testament church.
The measurement of a church is not in its size, or its buildings, or its offerings.  The  true measurement of a church is in its likeness to Christ.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Conclusion:   Maranatha Baptist Church will be successful IF and only if we are united to keep Jesus Christ as the Central Figure in all that we are and all that we do.


Friday, March 28, 2014


Our theme at Maranatha for 2014 is “Amazing Transformations.”  The key scripture for the them is Romans 12:2, 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.

God is all about CHANGE. - Jeremiah 18:4

Creation is an expanse of order in the midst of change and change in the midst of order.

Jesus Christ was a great change agent. - (“new” things in Gospel of John)

Holy Spirit is a person who causes great change. - Titus 3:5

The record of the Bible begins and ends with the acknowledgement that God changes things. - Genesis 1:1-3, Revelation 21:5

The Bible is the catalyst for change within us.  D. L. Moody said, “The Scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation.”

Note the two words of contrast in the key text (Romans 12:2).  The imperative is to be NOT comformed BUT, rather BE transformed.
            conformed = outward image shaped to look like another
            transformed = totally changed from inside out
1.  The Amazing Transformation God Has Done IN THE PAST
The believers’ testimony.  2Corinthians 5:17, Isaiah 1:18, John 3:3

2.  The Amazing Transformation God Will Do IN THE FUTURE

One day everything we know about – will be changed. - Revelation 21:1 
Our environment will change. - 1Corinthians 15:51-52 
Our body will change. - Philippians 3:21 
Our understanding of everything will change. - 1John 3:2

3.  The Amazing Transformation God Wants To Do TODAY

The Lord wants to make a change in you today, right now!  2Corinthians 3:18 
It is perpetual - 2Corinthians 4:16 
It is personal - Philippians 1:6 
It is proactive - Philippians 2:12-13  
It is progressive - Philippians 3:12-14 
It is purposeful - John 5:8 


God causes great changes but He NEVER changes. - Malachi 3:6 


God is never content to leave us as we are.  He is perpetually initiating changes in us to amazingly transform us to be like Jesus. Are you willing to let God change you?  The amazing transformations and the adventure of new life in Christ will begin when the comfortable patterns of the old life are left behind.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Irony of Christmas                           

I’ve always liked hearing oxymoron, or self-contradicting phrases.  They are often ironically humorous.  The word “oxymoron” itself comes from “oxus” which means sharp and “moros” which means dull.

Here are some of my favorites: jumbo shrimp, freezer burn, white chocolate, plastic silverware, airline food, sanitary landfill, and professional wrestling.

The beautiful Christmas story is loaded with power ironies that illustrate to us the amazing lengths that God went so that He could bring salvation to sinful mankind.

1.  The Irony of the INCARNATION
The Creator God becomes as one of the creatures - one of the created beings.  He who is All Power comes in the helpless form of a new born.

2.  The Irony of the SETTING
The arrival of the Bright and Morning Star – the Light of the World is presented in the darkness of night time.

3.  The Irony of the ANGELS’ MESSAGE
“Peace on earth, good-will toward men” will lead to much evil and heart-ache as sinful man chooses to reject the Savior.  Thousands of Jewish babies will be slaughtered by order of Herod the jealous king.  The prophetic forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist will be beheaded.  Several times in Jesus ministry – the Jewish leaders “sought to kill” Him.  Ultimately He is put to death in the manner of a violent criminal.

4.  The Irony of the GIFTS brought by the wise men
Myrrh, a precious spice most often used in preparation for burial and associated with death is presented to a newborn baby.

5.  The Irony of the ACCOMODATION
There was no room at the inn for the King of the Earth and Heaven.  Yet, He comes to extend an open invitation to all earth dwellers into the Mansions of Heaven.

6.  The Irony of the PURPOSE – Jesus was “born - to die.”
The Baby Jesus is God in human flesh.  His birth is not the prelude to a Kingdom – but the prelude to His death and burial – then His resurrection.  Of course, He is the King – later He will exercise that authority on earth.

7.  The Irony of the NAME – Emanuel “God with us”
Light with darkness.  Holiness with sinfulness.  Life with the dead.  Righteousness with wickedness.   Perfect Deity with depraved humanity.

What an amazing way (even a little ironic) our Redeemer came to earth.  Hallelujah, what a Savior is Jesus, my Lord!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Everyone Has Something to Be Thankful For

On Thanksgiving Day millions of us will enjoy and be thankful for a delicious meal. (Deep fry my turkey, please.) As we prepare to dig in to the turkey, dressing and gravy, we may express our gratitude for the family and friends. Perhaps we will go around the table and share specific things that we are thankful for. Truly, we are a blessed people living in a blessed land.

However, there are many hurting people living in sorrowful circumstances. For them it may be difficult to see and list things that are easily appreciated. At times, life can be hard. We all have burdens, hardships, problems and disappointments. It is the stark reality of living in a sin-cursed world. But, there are some very precious truths for which we can always be thankful.

Psalm 100 is a favorite passage of scripture for the Thanksgiving holiday. Consider the last two verses of this short but powerful chapter.

Psalm 100: 4-5 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

We can perform the instructions of thankfulness in verse four because of the attributes of God given in verse five. We can be thankful, praise and bless the Lord because He is eternally good, merciful, and true. With that in mind consider these four basic yet profound facts that you can be thankful for today.

1. You can be thankful that “GOD LOVES ME”

1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God has expressed and demonstrated His boundless love for you by sending His Son, Jesus, to earth so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. 

2. You can be thankful that “JESUS DIED FOR ME”

1John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sin of every person who has ever lived. That means He died on the cross for you and for me.

3. You can be thankful that “SALVATION IS OFFERED TO ME”

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Salvation means that my sins are forgiven and that I am redeemed from the debt of sin I owed.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Salvation means that I have a relationship with Holy God. I am no longer His enemy; I am His child.

Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

To receive the OFFER of salvation I am told by the Bible to sincerely believe and simply receive that Jesus is God’s Son and that He alone can save me. I cannot save myself.

4. You can be thankful that “HEAVEN IS WAITING FOR ME”

Jesus said in John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Jesus went on to say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

You can KNOW right now that you are saved – that you are born again. You can know that your sins are forgiven and that you have peace with God the Father. You can know that you are a child of God and that you have an eternal home in Heaven. But, the ONLY way to know you are saved is to KNOW Jesus as your Savior.

Now, THAT is something to be thankful for!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How To See Great and Mighty Things

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

What are these “great and mighty things”? In Jeremiah’s day it was the miraculous prophecy that God would one day return Israel in great glory to Jerusalem. At the time they were being overtaken by the most power nation (Babylon) under the threat of the most powerful King (Nebuchadnezzar) on earth.

For us the great and mighty things are the blessings that God wants to give us if we will simply yield ourselves to Him. Our Heavenly Father knows what is absolutely best for us. He wants to give His best to us. Some of it, we cannot even comprehend. The great and mighty things are the priceless, awesome, indescribable blessings of living a life that is dedicated to God.

This famous scripture verse tells us how to see them in our lives.


It starts with a request. God does not force Himself on us. Just as He offers salvation; it is then up to us to receive it. He has wonderful blessings for us; but He waits for us to ask. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: [8] For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

We do not ask hoping “somebody” will hear. We call on the Lord for He is able. Our prayers are singularly directed to God. Jesus gave us a model prayer which begins by addressing the Father.   Luke 11:2 … Our Father which art in heaven, hollowed by thy name. …

We are to ask the One who can deliver in full faith that He WILL answer! Our prayer should reflect our confidence and our trust in Him. The book of James instructs us to “ask in faith, nothing wavering.”

God is always looking for people who will exercise and demonstrate faith in Him - not just talk about it.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Remember the priests at the Jordan River were told to carry the Ark of the Covenant across Jordan. They had to step into the water with the heavy ark on their shoulders. Then God parted waters. Jesus, walking on the water, called on Peter to act in faith when He said “come.” Peter had to step out of the boat before he walked on the water.

Are you exercising or demonstrating your faith in God? What step of faith have you taken for the Lord recently? 

We KNOW that God is at work on our behalf. So, we can LIVE in light of that precious truth. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Confidence in God’s ability is also confidence in God’s timing. Believe God and let God set the time table. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

This wonderful scripture is not only for the preacher, the missionary, the out-going person, or the talented. Don’t limit God about the “great and mighty” things in your life. He wants YOU to experience the amazing works of grace and glory that He knows is best for you. Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God:
With God – it’s all about Him - in YOU. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

His best in our lives are the “great and mighty things.” He is ready, willing and able to display them in our lives for His glory. We can live confidently and victoriously as God put on an amazing display through us. 2Timothy 1:12 … I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Work of the Word

The Bible is the most powerful book ever written. It is the very voice of God for us to hear; the very words of God for us to learn. Consider the magnificent description of the Bible in Hebrews 4:12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Unlike all other books (authored by humans) the Holy book of the Bible (authored by God) is an active entity. It “does things.” It accomplishes certain aims that God has directed.

James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
It is an integral part of God’s plan that the Word of God is the “birthing” agent in salvation. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” – that is done WITH the Word of God. We received NEW birth and became new creatures in Christ Jesus.
1Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

1Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
When we do what the Word says, the first thing it will lead us to - is salvation. The conditions for salvation are repentance and faith. It is the Bible that brings us to both of those affirmations.
It tells us that we are sinners and that we cannot save ourselves. It tells us that our sin keeps us from a relationship with Holy God and that our sin will ultimately condemn us to eternity in Hell. We must turn from our sin – repentance.
Then, the Word of God clarifies that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” It is the grand message of the Bible that God sent a redeemer to bring us back to God. We must accept the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ – by faith.
The Bible leads us to the truth of the gospel that brings salvation.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Reading, hearing and obeying the Word leads to a daily CONFESSION of sin. The repeated application of the Word on believers (and on the church) is a cleaning (purifying) agent to keep us clean from the blemishes of sinful behavior.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
The Word is more to us than just INSTRUCTIONS it is the very nutrition that fuel our life in Christ. It brings us the “joy and rejoicing” of living more and more like Jesus. Growing in the Lord develops within us an appetite for the Word. This appetite will grow to a CRAVING for the Word.
1Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1Timothy 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Sanctified means “set apart for God’s use.” That is what every believer is supposed to be. We are not our own we are purchased by the blood of Jesus. Sanctification expressed in our life is an on-going process. It is “progressive growth in righteousness.” We are to be perpetually becoming more like Christ. This is accomplished by the Word of God – changing us from what we are to what He wants us to be. Jesus prayed for us in John 17:17 saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
We are living in dark days. There is a palpable darkness looming around us morally, ethically, and spiritually. The darkness eminates from the deception and errors propogated by the devil and consumed by a sin cursed human race. God’s Word (in its divine purity) provides spiritual light and clarity of understanding. It is the holy beacon of absolute truth. Our pathway is illuminated by the wisdom of God found in the pages of the Bible. Truth shines brightest in the darkness of lies and deception.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

7. WE ARE KEPT BY THE WORD (protected, secured)
Psalm 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
God’s Word gives WARNINGS for the paths of sin. We make choices everyday between right and wrong – what the Bible calls righteousness and UN-righteousness. The scripture also sharpens the contrast as being a choice between obedience to God or sin. Satan is always luring us to the wrong things, the sinful things. By immersing ourselves in the Word of God we are equipped to identify the lies of Satan and make the right choices. Following the principles and examples in Scripture will help protect us from Satan’s temptations.
1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The Bible is a “productive” entity; it executes desired objectives. It accomplishes good things in our lives when we read it, learn it, and commit to heeding it. The Scripture should never be viewed as a book to outline our religion. No! It is the book to nourish, equip and guide us through every aspect of our lives.
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We live in a culture that has been, for a couple generations, openly rejecting and rebelling against proper authority. The latest manifestation of this trend is the “occupy” demonstrations. More accurate would be to refer to them as the “occupy” squatters. These spoiled vagrants throw their violent temper-tantrums in an illogical protest of … uh, what? Well, that depends on who you ask.

Some don’t like the fact that they are expected to pay back money loaned to them for their college education so they rebel against tax-payers who funded the program that loaned them the money. Some don’t like capitalism so they reject the authority of business owners and investors to make decisions that are best for their own companies. Some don’t like to be told they can’t camp-out in a public space and smoke marijuana all day, so they rebel against the police who patiently attempt to enforce the law. Some don’t like representative government so they rebel against the idea of participating in the election process. The bottom line is they don’t recognize or respect authority.

The timeless Word of God is the supreme authority for all of humanity. Whether recognized as such or not, the fact remains that God has given mankind absolute truth in the Bible. Certainly, believers should recognize, respect, and regard the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

There are several evidences of the authority of the Word of God.

The authority is in its authorship. God gave the Bible word for word through human writers that we might know Him. As we read it we learn the mind and the heart of God. 2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God … 2Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. [21] For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The authority is in its power. The message of the Bible has formed nations and restored individual lives. It gives direction for humanity to aspire and simple truths for a child to grasp. The Bible affects all who receive it – in profound ways. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The authority is in its perfection. The Word of God is without error. It is totally accurate; completely true in all its statements. It is absolute truth. The Bible makes declarative statements about the perfection of the itself. So, it is either totally true or a complete scam. Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect,… Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

The authority is in its endurance. For centuries many have tried to dismantle it, destroy it, deride it and dilute it. But, the Bible remains the best-seller every year. Governments have seized it. Dictators have burned it. Scoffers have ridiculed it. Yet, still today, millions of people read it for comfort, guidance, and hope. 2Peter 1:24-25 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: [25] But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The authority is in its impact. No other writing as impacted humanity as the Bible has. No other book as the personal impact on one who reads and studies it as the Bible has. What a staggering thought, when you open the Bible you are opening the voice of God. Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life: