Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 7 Page 8 July 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

A Stiff Swallowing Tube

By Mark McWhorter

The word “stiffnecked” is used in Acts 7:51. In the physical world, it may have referred to a stiff breathing tube. It may also refer to a stiff swallowing tube.

The tube that goes from your mouth to your stomach is the esophagus. Sometimes this tube may be too narrow for the individual to swallow food. The esophagus may be like this from birth or it may become scarred. This scarring may be from injury or from a disease.

When the tube becomes scarred, it becomes stiff and narrow. The individual will have a very hard time swallowing food. Unless the tube can be stretched so that the person can eat and swallow, the person may die.

Stephen told the Jews that they were stiffnecked. He was referring to their spiritual life. He may have been saying that they had a stiff swallowing tube. In 1 Corinthians 5:12, the Word of God is referred to as “milk” and as “meat.” Stephen may have been telling them that their spiritual esophagus was too narrow and stiff to swallow the food of God’s Word.

Do not be like the Jews to whom Stephen was speaking. Willingly eat and swallow the Word of God. Let it nourish your spiritual life.

Remain Qualified for Office

By Mark McWhorter

The heretic forces himself out of joint. He is also referred to as “subverted” in Titus 3:11. This word in the Greek means to be twisted or turned inside out. The heretic is a person who has twisted himself into a bad position. He has taken himself from being a true child of God to being a twisted ugly person.

He turned himself from a beautiful child of God into an ugly servant of the devil. Instead of spreading the Word of God, he is spreading the foolishness of Satan. Instead of spending his time filling his mind with the Truth, he is busy involving himself in strivings and contentions.

We are told to “reject” this person in verse 10. This word was used by the Greeks for rejecting a person for office. Spiritually, the Christian is the elected by God (Titus 1:1). The heretic has made himself unqualified to be one of God’s elected. He has not made his election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

We cannot accept someone who God will not accept. We must reject those God rejects. God only accepts those who remain qualified to be his children. Make sure you remain qualified to always be God’s child. Do what God wants you to do. And do not cause strife and problems in the church.

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