The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) This Man You Nailed to a Cross (Chris Simmons)
2) There is no Substitute for God (Jon W. Quinn)
——————–

-1-

This Man You Nailed to a Cross

Chris Simmons

Following Christ’s ascension to the right hand of God’s throne, Peter, having received the Holy Spirit, which Christ had promised His apostles, took his stand with the other eleven and responded to the accusation that they were drunk because they were speaking in tongues. In Acts 2:15, Peter pointed out that devout Jews such as the apostles would not be so intoxicated at the third hour of the day, which is the hour of prayer (9 a.m. as we know it). Then, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, Peter established that they were all witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Joel; Peter stated, “This is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32). Having defended the twelve and establishing what they were all witnessing, Peter then took the offensive and began to teach and convict the multitude. He began by teaching them about Jesus of Nazareth, convicting them of what they had done to Him, and then in contrast, establishing what God had done for Him.

In Acts 2:22, Peter began by establishing that Jesus’ works proved that He was from God. “Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs.” The word attested, in the Greek, means that Jesus was demonstrated, exhibited, or accredited to be the Divine Son of God.

During His ministry, a multitude came to Jesus and asked, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?” (John 6:30). Just prior to that incident, in John 5, in addition to citing the witness of John the Baptist (verse 33), the Father (verse 7) and the Scriptures (verse 39), Jesus also spoke to the witness of His works when He said, “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36). At least some recognized this about Jesus, as Nicodemus in John 3:2 said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Not only did Peter point out Jesus’ works, which attested to His Divine status, but in Acts 2:22, he also pointed out that they were “performed … in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” There was no need for Peter to argue his point regarding the miracles, and wonders, and signs. Jesus had not performed His works in secret. The fact that He performed them was irrefutable. They could not be denied. The only thing His enemies could do was attempt to ascribe them to the power of the “ruler of the demons” (Matthew 12:24). Jesus proved that argument to be fallacious when He stated, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?”. (verses 25-29).

Likewise irrefutable were the mighty works performed by Jesus’ apostles. The Jewish council noted this fact when, regarding the healing of the lame man that had taken place in Acts chapter 3, they said, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it”  (Acts 4:16).

Next, in Acts 2, Peter taught that Jesus’ deliverance to “godless men” was not because of Divine inability to rescue Him or establish Him as a physical King; rather, it was part of God’s eternal plan. “This Man (was) delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Jesus’ crucifixion was not an accident. It was part of God’s “predetermined plan and foreknowledge.”

  • The word “predetermined” means “what is defined, marked out, or bounded; as, to mark out or define the boundary of a field” (Barnes’ Notes, Electronic Database by Bible Soft).
  • The word “plan” carries with it the idea of one’s purpose, decree, or will.

Thus, it was God’s will or purpose, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:3-12) to mark out or define that man’s salvation would come through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the blood He shed. Jesus “laid down His life” (John 10:14-18). Christ’s life was not taken from Him against His will; He offered it according to God’s will.

However, although it was God’s will for Christ to bear the sins of the world, Peter made sure the multitude understood that they were guilty of sin because of what they had done. He stated, in verse 23, regarding this Jesus of Nazareth, “You nailed (Him) to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Peter made it clear that all who participated, as well as those who simply shouted their encouragement and support — “crucify Him”(Mark 15:13-14) were guilty of murdering God’s Son.

To the Jews, condemning a person to die by nailing him to a cross (crucifixion) was condemning him to die as the worst of criminals. “To the Jewish people, crucifixion represented the most disgusting form of death: ‘He who is hanged is accursed of God’ (Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13). Yet, the Jewish Sanhedrin sought and obtained Roman authorization to have Jesus crucified (Mark 15:13-15)” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary).

The fact that the one who claimed to be the “King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:11) was put to death in such a horrible, demeaning way presented to many Jews a most imposing stumbling block to claiming Him as the “Lord and Christ” and accepting Him as the true Messiah. Paul summed up the crucifixion in this way, “We preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).

In Acts 2:24, Peter emphatically established that the efforts of those godless men who nailed Jesus to the cross to thwart God’s predetermined plan failed because God raised Him up. We see the contrast between men’s feeble will (they put Christ to death) and God’s immutable, sovereign, and predetermined will (God raised Him up). Jesus’ resurrection is the foundation for our hope and salvation, and the culminating declaration of His Divinity and victory.

We read in 1 Corinthians 15:14-19, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

Also, in Romans 1:1-5, we read, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In Acts 2:36, Peter concluded his sermon regarding this Jesus whom they had nailed to a cross, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified.” Those Jews then asked, What shall we do?  We, too, must give attention to the question, “What shall we do with the crucified Christ?”

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2009
——————–

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

— NASB

——————–

-2-

There is no Substitute for God

Jon W. Quinn

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2).

I read the following statement some time ago. I thought about it. “God may well be taken as a substitute for everything; but nothing can be taken as a substitute for God.”

That’s true. It took me a bit to see the truth in it, but finally the light came on.

With God there is always hope for the faithful. There is always prospect and assurance and peace. There is confidence that, at last, all will be well… more than well… perfect. We can suffer the loss of anything, even life itself, and still have this assurance. As long as we have God, then ultimately all will become as it ought to be because God is more powerful than death. That is why nothing can be a substitute for God. Nothing else does that.

But, on the other hand, without God we are destined to lose everything worthwhile and there is no hope of even a glimmer of good. This is why we ought not spend our lives chasing after futile things and neglect God. Nothing can take the place of God. Not really. We can put other things in God’s place, but they will fail to do what God does. Nothing can take His place in our lives.

The Lord told His people, “You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile” (1 Samuel 12:21).

Jesus once asked His apostles if they were giving up and going away. The answer came back, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Jesus identifies Himself as “The Bread of Life” because He sustains us through our deepest needs. Just as candy can spoil our appetite and cause us to pass up needed nourishment, the love of things of the world can rob us of our hunger for righteousness and leave us growing ever sicker and ultimately dying a spiritual death. Things of this creation can never do for us what God can do. There is no substitute. People need to stop looking for one.

— Via the Facebook site for the Bradley church of Christ, June 22, 2022
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Love — The More Excellent Way (Heath Rogers)
2) Leave the Solution to God (Frank Himmel)
——————–

-1-

Love — The More Excellent Way

Heath Rogers

First Corinthians thirteen is a favorite chapter of the Bible to many people. Perhaps its appeal lies in the fact that, in just a few verses, the Holy Spirit is able to do what no poet, professor, or philosopher has been able to do throughout all of human history — give man an accurate and complete understanding of what it means to love.

Verses 4-7 provide a list of fifteen characteristics of love. As one progresses through this list, he gains a better understanding of love and can come to understand why it is the greatest gift that man can possess. Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from the New King James version.

Love suffers long: This characteristic emphasizes patience with others. It is translated from the Greek word makrothumeo. This is actually a compound word: makros meaning “long,” and thumos which means “temper.” Thus, the person who is longsuffering is literally the individual who has a long-burning fuse. It describes the man who has the power to retaliate when he is wronged, but has the presence of mind and strength of character to hold his anger in check.

and is kind: The term in the original language literally means to show oneself “useful”; the carrying out of useful deeds to help others. Love is considerate and always provides what is of value or worth to others.

Kindness is the perfect compliment to longsuffering. While longsuffering is willing to take anything from anyone, kindness is willing to give anything to meet the needs of others.

love does not envy: The New American Standard renders this characteristic as “not jealous.” This phrase is translated from a Greek word meaning “to be heated or to boil.” This term can have a positive meaning, “to desire earnestly,” and a negative meaning, “to envy another.” Here, it is used in the negative sense. Love does not cause one to “boil” over the success or advantages of another.

love does not parade itself, is not puffed up: Various versions have translated this phrase differently. For instance, the King James reads “charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” while the New American Standard reads “love does not brag and is not arrogant” (NASV).

The first of these expressions represents the speech or action that is produced by pride, while the second represents the attitude of pride itself. The root word for the first expression in the Greek means “wind bag,” while the root for the second means “bellows.” Bragging is fed by an arrogant attitude. Love has neither quality. Love is humble, seeking to perform its work without desire for recognition or reward.

does not behave rudely: This phrase is also rendered differently by various translations: “doth not behave itself unseemly” (KJV), “does not act unbecomingly” (NASV). William Barclay translates the phrase as “Love does not behave gracelessly.”

The phrase is translated from the Greek word aschemoneo, which literally means to go against the scheme. It refers to the act of going against what is accepted as the norm, to “stick out” or to be inappropriate. An arrogant man, in an effort to promote himself, will forget to treat others with respect and consideration. However, love is mannerly in that it never conducts itself in a way that is contrary to accepted standards of decency.

does not seek its own: This characteristic describes the person who is more concerned with his duties than his rights. Love does not make “self” the center of the universe. Jesus manifested this characteristic of love to the world in that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

is not provoked: This characteristic is translated from the Greek work paroxuno which means to spur on, to stimulate, or to stir to anger. This describes the person who has control over his temper. Love does not go around with a chip on its shoulder looking for reasons to become upset or irritated at personal offences.

thinks no evil: The New American Standard renders this phrase as “does not take into account a wrong suffered.” This is translated from the Greek word logizomai. This was a bookkeeping term that was used for the act of entering a debt on a ledger so that it would not be forgotten. Love does not keep a running account of offenses against itself with a view towards revenge. With a less technical understanding, love does not dwell upon personal offenses or evil deeds that it has been called upon to endure. Love does not harbor bitterness and resentment. It knows how to forget.

does not rejoice in iniquity: Many people rejoice in sin, either their own sin or the sins of others (Rom. 1:32). Love is active goodwill towards others; sin brings harm and loss to others. As such, the two are opposed to each other. Love is free from the malice that takes pleasure in sin and finds satisfaction in discussing the sins of others.

but rejoices in the truth: Love has the courage to face the truth and to rejoice when the cause of truth, justice, and righteousness is upheld. Love takes pleasure in the truth being taught, defended, and lived (2 John 4; 3 John 3-4).

bears all things: In one sense, love has the strength to bear whatever afflictions or persecutions may personally come upon an individual. However, the meaning of this term in the original language indicates that this quality is shown outwardly as opposed to inwardly. The Greek word means “to protect or preserve by covering.” Love will do everything it can to cover the sin and shame of the person who is the object of its affection. “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins'” (1 Peter 4:8). Love does not ignore sin. It will warn, rebuke, and chasten as needed, but its first impulse will be to protect the object of love.

believes all things: Love is not gullible or naive, but neither is it cynical. Love’s first impulse is to give others the benefit of the doubt, believing in them and expecting the best from them.

hopes all things: When things do look bad, love hopes for the best. Instead of putting the worst interpretation on another’s actions or motives, love compels us to put the best interpretation upon them.

endures all things: Even when it has been proven wrong, love does not give up. It stands up and continues onward against all odds.

The New International Version renders verse seven as “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” These four statements form a progression. Love bears or protects the one who it believes in. When the evidence suggests otherwise, love will continue to hope for the best. Even if love is brought to the point of personal injury, it will continue to endure.

Love never fails: This phrase is found at the beginning of verse eight, which begins another section in chapter thirteen. However, I personally like to join it to the fifteen characteristic found in verses 4-7. Love is the greatest gift because it is permanent. It will never fail.

This great chapter can be studied for a lifetime and yet it will never cease to challenge those who desire to be like their Master. May we turn our attention to it more often and take the time to consider the standard that it sets for our lives. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2012
——————–

-2-

Leave the Solution to God

Frank Himmel

Paul observed that we do not know how to pray as we should (Romans 8:26). That being true, we can learn a valuable lesson from the apostles.

When Peter healed a lame man at the temple, it provided occasion for the second recorded gospel sermon (Acts 3). That sermon ended when the temple guards arrived to arrest Peter and John. A night in jail was followed by a day in court. But filled with the Holy Spirit, the accused became the prosecutors. Peter charged the court with having crucified Jesus, and in so doing rejecting the very cornerstone of God’s building. He added that Jesus is the only means of salvation.

The judges were taken aback. They marveled at Peter and John’s boldness. They doubtless were tempted to respond severely, but the presence in court of the man who had been healed and public interest in the case left them few options. The court decided on a “cease and desist” order: the apostles were not to speak at all in the name of Jesus. After further threatening, they were released.

Peter and John went to their brethren. Together they prayed about the situation (Acts 4:24-30). The prayer first addressed God the creator, who has all power. It then recognized His foreknowledge and rule. When this same court, along with Herod and Pilate, had done their worst—when they crucified Jesus—they had done nothing more than what God’s hand and purpose predestined to occur.

Now it was time for the apostles’ request. “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence” (v. 29). Rather than telling God what to do about the problem, they simply prayed that He would take note of it. They left it to Him as to how best to deal with it. And they asked for strength.

One of the benefits of praying to an all-wise God is knowing that He will do what is best. We don’t need to tell Him how to solve our problems. Just bring them before Him and pray for strength. Then leave His throne, confident that He will do what is best.

— Via Pathlights, January 2, 2022
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe
 in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classesand 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Abounding Through Many Thanksgivings to God (R.J. Evans)
2) The Weightier Matters (Ethan R. Longhenry)
——————–

-1-

Abounding Through Many Thanksgivings to God

R.J. Evans

We are so fortunate to live in a country that realizes the need to set aside a special day of “Thanksgiving.” Our nation celebrates this holiday on the fourth Thursday in November — this coming Thursday. However, as Christians, every day should be a day of “thanksgiving” because we have innumerable blessings that come from God each day of our lives.

The Apostle Paul gave much encouragement to the Corinthians concerning the matter of their giving to the needy saints in Jerusalem. He used the churches of Macedonia as an example of some who gave with joy, liberality, willingness, and beyond their ability — despite the fact they were in deep poverty (II Corinthians 8:1-7). After instructing them to give purposefully and cheerfully (II Corinthians 9:7), he went on to assure them that “For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God” (II Corinthians 9:12). Take note of the last phrase of this text where he said, “abounding through many thanksgivings to God.”

In order to truly receive God’s bountiful blessings, we must be thankful to God. The matter of giving thanks unto God should come first and foremost in everything we receive. The Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ for you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Paul instructed the Philippians to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). The more we are thankful, the greater the abundance of the blessings that will be received.

The parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son demonstrates an attitude of ingratitude. He desired to get all that was his, get as far away from his family as he could, and then go out and enjoy himself in “prodigal living.” However, it became his road to disaster. Finally, while in the pigpen, when he came to himself, he became thankful and appreciative for what he had back home, and determined with all his heart to go back with the intention of simply becoming one of his father’s hired servants. We know the joyous ending of this return to his loving father (Luke 15:11-24). This story is a good illustration of how prosperity and wastefulness can produce ingratitude — a failure to be thankful and recognize God as the source of all blessings. See the warnings against this kind of failure in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 and I Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19.

Thankfulness was an attribute of Jesus while here on earth. When He prayed to His Father, He would thank Him for a number of blessings. Before He fed the multitudes, He gave thanks for the food. “Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes” (Matthew 14:19); “And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude” (15:36).

When he raised Lazarus from the dead, He thanked His Father for hearing His prayer: “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me” (John 11:41-42).

Before He gave His disciples the bread and the cup in the memorial of His death (the Lord’s Supper), He gave thanks for the bread and for the cup (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 11:24-25).

Being thankful is not an option in the life of a Christian if he wants to be spiritually strong — it is a must! David expressed it this way: “Surely the righteous shall give thanks in Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence” (Psalms 40:13).

The Apostle Paul said: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).

The giving of thanks is the will of God in our lives. We will enjoy even greater blessings by being thankful for those we have already received. It must be so heartbreaking to God when we are ungrateful for the things that He has provided for us. This is very evident when Jesus healed the ten lepers, but only one of them came back to give thanks for what He had done for him. Jesus responded by asking — “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:11-19). We can just sense the sadness on His part when He asked these questions.

Let us genuinely practice being thankful; it will truly enrich our lives. “I will praise the name of God with a song, and magnify Him with thanksgiving” (Psalms 69:30).

– Via Articles from the La Vista church of Christ, November 25, 2020
——————–

-2-

The Weightier Matters

Ethan R. Longhenry

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone”(Matthew 23:23).

Human beings tend to maintain a narrow focus on various matters. It is easy for some people to allow a select criteria set to guide them; they decide to view everything through a certain set of lenses.

The Pharisees and scribes were not much different. The New Testament reveals that they focused —  down to the last detail — on preserving the law of Moses and the traditions that developed around that law. Their hyper-vigilance about the law led them to overemphasize the more minor actions while neglecting those that were more significant. Because they focused on, and perfectly accomplished, the minor actions, they felt a sense of pride that led to a false sense of security and satisfaction. They behaved as though being vigilant about not working on the Sabbath, washing their hands before eating, and tithing down to the level of spices would be sufficient to merit God’s commendation.

Jesus condemned their myopia. Even if they are more quantifiable and objective, performing these minor acts of obedience is not sufficient to obtain God’s commendation. Believers must not neglect the law’s weightier matters — justice, mercy, and faith.

The scribes and Pharisees were certainly guilty of such neglect. The Pharisees in particular considered themselves morally superior to their fellow men. This is evidenced by the Pharisee’s prayer in Luke 18:11-12 and the attitudes of the Pharisees in John 9. They deemed themselves to be righteous and everyone else to be sinners, despite the fact that they had also sinned and certainly were not maintaining a Godly sense of faith, justice, or mercy. Their condemnation was just.

Nevertheless, this passage also exposes a major fault line within the thoughts of many religious people. They are adamant about performing the weightier matters of the law, concluding that since we are under grace, we need to get the big things right and allow the little things to slide. Others protest the very idea that some matters are weightier than others and stress the need to do all things as God has charged us.

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. Jesus taught that some matters are weightier than others. This means that some attitudes/actions have more significance than others. This is evident in the examples given; justice, faith, and mercy are of greater significance than tithing spices. Tithing spices benefited God and His Temple; but practicing justice, mercy, and faith benefits God, His Temple, and all men. Furthermore, faith, justice, and mercy deal with every aspect of a person — his mind, his attitude, and his actions. One cannot easily have faith or show justice and mercy while internally despising God or his brethren. Tithing should flow from a heart full of faith, but a person could tithe without having proper attitudes.

Some matters are more significant than others, but that does not mean that we can let the less significant matters slide and still be pleasing to God. Notice that Jesus did not condemn the scribes or Pharisees for tithing the spices; in fact, He said, “..but these ye ought to have done.” The problem was not that the scribes and Pharisees were tithing spices; the problem was that they were tithing spices and neglecting faith, justice, and mercy. It would be a gross perversion of this text to insinuate that if they had performed the weightier matters of the law but had not tithed the spices, Jesus would have justified them. There is no basis for such a claim.

This is not an either-or proposition. The scribes and Pharisees should have accomplished both the weightier matters of the law and the spice tithing. If we serve God as we ought to serve Him, the less weighty matters flow from the weightier. Because we are dedicated to love, humility, faith, and service — the weightier matters of the new covenant (cf. Romans 1:16-17; Romans 6:16-21; Romans 13:8-11; Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 2:1-11; Hebrews 11:1, 6; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 5:6-7) — we will make sure we accomplish God’s will in simple, quantifiable, and objective matters, as well as in more substantive and difficult ones. We will assemble to encourage one another (1 Corinthians 14:23; Hebrews 10:25), give as we have prospered, both to the church and to those in need (1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15; Galatians 2:10; 6:10), and do other such things. We will also love our neighbors as ourselves and seek their welfare (Romans 13:8-10; Philippians 2:1-4), and offer ourselves to God as living and holy sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Jesus’ message to the scribes and Pharisees represents a necessary warning against spiritual myopia — focusing on accomplishing certain elements of God’s purposes and neglecting others. We cannot be justified by taking care of less significant, detailed matters while neglecting those that are weightier. Likewise, we cannot be justified in thinking that if we accomplish the weightier matters of God’s will, we can ignore those that are less significant. If God commanded it, there’s value in doing it. Let us seek to accomplish the whole will of God, and not neglect any aspect of it.

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2010
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe i
n the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) God of Wonders (Tony Mauck)
2) Murphy’s Law and Eternity (Greg Gwin)
3) God’s Love for Us (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
——————–

-1-

God of Wonders

Tony Mauck

Habakkuk decries the evil running amuck among the Lord’s people and asks God to act. He could not have anticipated God’s reply, “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—you would not believe if you were told” (Hab. 1:5). God further reveals that the Babylonians would serve as God’s instrument to judge His wayward people. Habakkuk was not particularly excited about the news and it only raised more questions in his mind.

The last statement of verse 5 is worthy of much meditation as it summarizes the ways and activity of God. Our God is a God of Wonders! “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways” (Rom. 11:33). While we may greatly struggle to fully process the depths of this statement about God, such lofty thoughts of Him should be often frequented in our minds.

Three important thoughts flow out of God’s words to Habakkuk: 1) God’s activity astonishes; 2) God’s activity is not thwarted by powerful men; 3) This same God is still active today.

The whole Bible story continually reveals the grandiose nature of God’s doings. Anticipating the role of a suffering Savior in man’s redemption, the inspired psalmist writes, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa. 118:22-24).

Extraordinary signs demonstrate God’s limitless ability. He makes an axe head float. Jesus walks on water. He feeds thousands with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread while the leftover fragments exceed the original amount of food. While astonishing, such acts are easily consistent with a God whose “understanding is infinite” and One who is “abundant in strength.” After all, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them” (Psa. 147:4-5).

Particularly impressive to me is the day of which it is said, “And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel” (Josh. 10:14). Following the dramatic victory at Jericho and ultimate victory at Ai, the Amorite kings and a quite formidable army unite to attack Gibeon, who had made a life-saving alliance with Israel. God informs Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands, not one of them shall stand before you” (Josh. 10:8). Joshua and his army march all night and suddenly fall upon their foes. The Lord confounds the Amorites and pummels them with hailstones as they flee. Joshua needs more daylight to finish them off and pleads, “O, sun stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon” (Josh. 10:12). Both the sun and moon stop, “And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” (Josh. 10:13).

Some claim, “Impossible!” We know what Joshua did not. It’s not the sun moving around the earth but the earth’s rotation that gives the appearance of the sun moving from the east to west. We are told by skeptics, if the sun stood still for “about a whole day,” the effects would be cataclysmic. But remember, this is the Creator we’re talking about. Nothing is too difficult for Him.

When God speaks to Habakkuk of His wonder He is about to perform, nothing miraculous is under consideration. Assyria, the present world power, is going to eventually relinquish world dominance to the Babylonians and God is going to use them to judge and teach His people in Judah as He had used the Assyrians— “the rod of My anger”—to punish Israel (Isa. 10:5).

A careful reading of the last several chapters in Daniel causes one to marvel at the activity in the spiritual realm that is behind what is playing out in the kingdoms of men. Government leaders rarely see themselves for what they really are, nothing more than God’s pawns to accomplish His purposes (cf. Isaiah 40:12-25). Even the Babylonians did not see it, “…they whose strength is their god” (Hab. 1:11).

No elected official or government in this whole world is capable of overthrowing what God has done or is planning to do. Certain freedoms might be restricted that we might presently enjoy, but God’s salvation will still be provided to those who seek it. His spiritual kingdom will continue on (cf. Dan. 2:44). History will culminate the way God intends and at the time He decides. Only due to God’s patience does the world still exist to this time (2 Pet. 3:9, 15).

The appropriate reaction to the God of wonders is to fully submit to His purposes. Find your purpose in His great purposes. No greater purpose for our lives can be pursued. If you think about it, how do most people spend their days? They work, accumulate things, improve their circumstances, enjoy family, seek fun and then ultimately someone else ends up with all of their stuff and their position. Eventually, they become just a footnote in history and most are forgotten. How much do you know about your great-great-grandparents?

While our deeds in human history may not be remembered by future generations, involvement in God’s things contains far-reaching and eternal implications…the destiny of souls! Can anything in this world exceed being “a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21)? People get excited about a lot of different things that have a temporal purpose and a temporal reward. We stack those things back to back to back and they become the stuff of life. But those things must be secondary to our greater spiritual purpose and pursued in light of it or they become a snare to our souls. Ultimately, only one thing matters, “…rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 17:20). And God will not forget the things we have done to promote His cause in the world (Heb. 6:10).

Christians find liberation from the anxieties that plague so many. God equips us to face and endure the crippling pain and troubles associated with life in this world. We trust in the God of wonders! We know “Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 20, Issue 35 (September 2, 2018)
——————–

-2-

Murphy’s Law and Eternity

Greg Gwin

Have you heard of Murphy’s Law? There are many versions, but the basic notion of Murphy’s Law is this: “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.” Any Saturday mechanic, weekend repairman, or home owning handyman will have to admit that this Murphy, whoever he was, had pretty good insight. Skinned knuckles, stripped threads, broken parts, missing pieces, and malfunctioning equipment are a continuing testimony to the apparent accuracy of Murphy’s pessimistic view.

However, there’s one realm where this ‘law’ is clearly not true. Paul wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). This is a wonderful promise, and a great blessing. But note; it is only for “them that love God,” and we know that love for God must be demonstrated by humble obedience. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). Those who will not fully surrender to Him need not expect this outcome in their lives.

But wait! Are we to believe that the life of a faithful Christian will be all roses; no troubles? No. Paul writes again, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Persecution is never a pleasant thing, but those who serve God are told to expect it. So, how can we reconcile these two statements from Paul?

The answer lies in our perspective; whether we view things temporally or eternally. Only when we are able to see the events of this life in relation to death, judgment, and eternity will we be ready to agree that “all things work together for good.” Ultimately, anything that makes us more like God wants us to be – anything that prepares us for a home in heaven – is a good thing. Think!

— Via The Beacon, June 19, 2022
——————–

-3-

God’s Love for Us

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/God’s_Love_062622.mp4

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins. 
For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “Jesus Christ is the Same” (Kyle Pope)
2) “Do To Others…” (Robert F. Turner)
3) The Importance of Good Fathers (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“Jesus Christ is the Same”

Kyle Pope

Last month I turned a year older. This happens to all of us every year. Behind us are memories of joys, new beginnings, and achievements; but also losses, times of sadness and heartbreak. We cannot turn back the clock, nor should we waste our time wishing that we could. The wise man said it is foolish to ask, “Why were the former days better than these?” (Eccl. 7:10, NKJV). All the good things that have passed came with their own share of pain and hardship. As long as the Lord allows the world to stand, in the time that lies ahead there will be more of both good and bad in varying degrees. It is impossible to take the good and cause time to stand still so that it may endure longer. Every passing moment brings a new assortment of circumstances and situations that have never existed before, nor can ever be repeated. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus compared this to a river. Just as we can never step into the same river twice, because the water that fills it at the moment we take each step flows on and never returns, so time is an ever-flowing and ever-changing stream. As he put it, “everything changes, and nothing stands still” (Plato, Cratylus 402a).

Heraclitus was right as it pertains to earthly things. Change is constant. The phone you buy today will be outdated before the year is over. The skill you learn to earn a living today will be modified and refined tomorrow and you will likely have to receive ongoing training. People whom you love and trust today will change and your role in their lives tomorrow will also change. Those who cared for you today may come to need your care tomorrow. Those who fill your life with joys today may no longer be there tomorrow. Relationships that shaped your view of your own life and family today may leave you empty tomorrow. Even the places and surroundings you consider constant today will change tomorrow. That restaurant you like today may close tomorrow. The park where your child plays today may become a parking lot tomorrow. Even the values and attitudes of the culture around us will change, until one day you may look around and feel like a stranger in your own hometown. This can be quite unsettling.

Heraclitus was a pagan. He did not know the god of the Bible. He lived 500 years before Jesus was even born. He could not know what we are now privileged to understand. The Hebrew writer made the simple and profound revelation, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). This does not mean that Jesus always does the same thing. In the beginning Jesus “was with God” and “was God” (John 1:1). It was not until He came to this world that He “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). As God in the flesh He was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28a). Now as our High Priest, He is “at the right hand of God” and “makes intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34). One day for “those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28b). Even so, His Deity, His constituent nature, and His character have not changed.

The fact that Jesus is “the same” does not mean that His law for man has never changed. Before the Law of Moses was given God did not expect man to follow the laws it would reveal. That “law was given through Moses” (John 1:17). In it God “made known to them” all of the “precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses” (Neh. 9:14). But the Law of Moses foretold the coming of Christ as a “lawgiver” from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10). Now, “in these last days” God “has spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:2). Now, all are accountable to “the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) and all will be judged by His word (John 12:48).

While the revelation that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” doesn’t mean His deeds or laws have not changed, it does offer us great comfort in the midst of this ever-changing world. It means. . .

1. No Matter How Much Everything Else Changes Around Us, God Remains the Same. A prayer written by Moses and included in the book of Psalms reads, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa. 90:2). The changes that go on around us can easily make us forget the eternal nature of God. We can’t allow ourselves to think that advancing technology, modern tolerance of immorality, or increased knowledge of science, philosophy, or medicine has the power to change God. These tiny ripples in the flow of the stream of time that carries our brief lives is nothing to a God that has always been and will always be. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

2. No Matter How Much People Around Us Change, We Can Count on Jesus.
People will let us down! Either because we unfairly place expectations on their behavior that we should not, or because by their own freewill people can and do choose to do things that are wrong. Sometimes we allow this to shake our faith, but the truth is if every human soul who has ever lived chose to reject the will of God and act with falsehood, sin, and rebellion it would not change in the slightest anything about God or the covenant He makes with His people. Jesus promised His disciples, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Even in a faithless world “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

3. No Matter How the World Changes, His Word Remains the Same.
Peter declared centuries ago, “The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:24b-25a). Centuries before Peter wrote, the Psalmist proclaimed, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89). Why do we imagine that changes in our thinking somehow changes what God has commanded? Why do we suppose that because His word was first revealed to people with no cars, computers, or airplanes it is somehow less relevant? The same eternal God who sent Jesus to die for our sins thousands of years ago, still offers salvation through the message of Christ’s coming. Nothing that changes around us can remove the demands that His word places upon our lives. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 18, May 1, 2022
——————–

-2-

“Do To Others…”

Robert F. Turner

The Lord gave me a yardstick by which to measure every relationship in my life. It is easy to understand, and easy to apply if I have the will to do so. It involves no complicated formula; it is with me every wakeful hour. Its strength is in direct proportion to my weakness; binding me with cords of my own weaving, or freeing me as I free my own heart. It comprehends my whole duty to man.

While yet a child I learned it as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you;” but later I found it is properly stated: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12, see Luke 6:31).

“All things” is very broad. This includes my driving on the highway, selling a rifle, working for an employer, living with my wife, writing to my brethren, or about them.

“Whatsoever ye would” — is not “whatsoever they do.” This rule does not depend on the other fellow — it is determined in my own heart. How would I like to be treated? The rule is so reasonable, so unquestionably just, that it defies objection. It asks no pound of flesh, because its regulator would give none. It prescribes fair, honest treatment, because the party of the first part desires such. Self-interest, which so often blinds me to my duty to others, becomes the very indicator of those duties. God made the rule, but I am left to apply it — with the intensity gendered by man’s most powerful inner force, self-love. “No man ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it…” (Eph. 5:29)

“Do ye even so –” Lenski comments: “what we would like to have men do to us, whether they do that to us or not, we are to keep doing (poieite, durative) to them.” Till seven times? Nay, but until seventy times seven. This regulates conduct, but it is far more than a law of “doing” — it is a basic principle of attitude, of underlying motive, which demonstrates itself in what we do.

“The law and the prophets” Jesus said; making it clear that this is no new rule, but one inherent in God’s will for man in all times. Further, this clearly relates the rule to the giver of law, emphasizing the external authority of God. Those who seek to limit the “whole duty of man” to humanitarian obligations seem to miss this all-important point. I Jn.3:14-f clearly relates our love for our fellow man with our prior love for God. Because He laid down His life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (Vs. 16) “And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (Vs. 23).

Christians are in a position to understand and apply the “Golden Rule,” as are none others. But the sad fact is that many so-called Christians make little practical application of this rule in their life, and seem a bit embarrassed if the preacher uses it as a text. Until we learn well the “second table of the law” (Matt.22: 39) we preach the “gospel” (?) in vain.

— Via The Beacon, June 12, 2022
——————–

-3-

The Importance of Good Fathers

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Importance_of_Good_Fathers.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

The treatment for June Peters’ brain cancer has been discontinued. Please remember her and her husband Wayne in your prayers.

Sunny Nichols is now in rehab, following her recent stroke.

Danielle Bartlett, who is awaiting a kidney donor, also began having some heart complications recently.

Melotine Davis had a recent procedure that she has now healed from, but is also awaiting another that she has not yet been scheduled for.

Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley,  Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent
 of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)



The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Seeking God (Tim Jennings)
2) “Hellenist” Christians? (Wayne Goff)
3) Developing as a Christian (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Seeking God

Tim Jennings

Knowing God is the essential pursuit of life. Now is time for the Lord to take his rightful place in our affections and be the object of our investigations. Now is time for God’s people to be captivated by the Lord’s infinite character and glorious works. “I want to know Him,” needs to be the ambition which makes all other pursuits insignificant (Phil. 3:8-10).

It may seem strange to suggest that Christians need to consider Christ. Yet, religion has always been a respectable place to ignore God. We are constantly tempted to enthrone our own feelings and pursue our own pleasures. We end up with Christless churches filled to the brim with disciples of religious celebrities.

Is that off the mark? Just look what happens when a little “crisis” arises. We splinter in a hundred directions! Why? Because we are more acquainted with our rights than God’s ways. A pursuit of the knowledge of God vaccinates us against the sickness of self-worship which lies under a thin veneer of religious justification.

I wonder, could our faith survive the transition the early church made from popularity to persecution (Acts 2-8)? Do we have the courage to share the gospel and start a church in a new city (Acts 8:4; 11:19-26)? Do we have the love to yield our rights to live in fellowship with others (1 Cor. 8:1-13)? Do we have the humility to serve someone vastly different from ourselves (Acts 6:1-7)? Or do we simply find a place we feel comfortable?

The solution to this Christless Christianity is to know the Lord. This is much more than knowing doctrines, traditions, and institutions. It is to launch into the inexhaustible journey to discover the nature of God.

This is possible because God made himself known to us. He placed his signature on Creation. He recorded his deeds and values in the Scripture. Ultimately, he modeled his ways in Jesus, “the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb. 1:3). God wants us to know Him!  So, he says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

To do this requires a reorientation of our reading of Scripture. The primary purpose of revelation is not human happiness or church policy, it is to know God (Ex. 20:1; John 1:18; 5:39; et al.)! His glory engulfs each story. His power is to be praised. His character is to be embraced.

This focus spills over into our hymns, prayers and preaching where we speak more of God than self! We do this until we recognize God is on his throne and we are on our knees. Only then will we be rightly directed by what he says and reflect who he is.

Jesus prayed, “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Human movements often devolve from noble ideals into an arrogant struggle between personalities. The history of religion is no different. But rescue comes when we turn our eyes upward with a singular passion to know the Lord. This is the time to know Him!

Extra Bit:

At the base of Mount Sinai Israel thought they knew God. To them, God looked like a golden calf who was worshipped with bodily comfort, pleasure, and riches (Exodus 32). By the end of the day 3,000 died because their knowledge of God was corrupted. We laugh at their foolishness and sneer at their rebellion, but do we also mix our knowledge of God with tradition and cultural expectations?

Israel made their “god” out of gold and fashioned him with the glory of their talent and worshipped him with the pleasures of their flesh.

But Moses took a different approach. He asked the Lord, “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). What Moses wanted more than personal charisma and admiration from his peers was to know God.  He was richly rewarded.

5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation (Exodus 34:5-7).

Moses saw something more glorious than gold. He came to know God! The result: “Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped” (Exodus 34:8).  Israel worshiped the god of their own making and “rose up to play” (Exodus 32:6). Moses learned about the God of glory, and he “bowed down to worship.” The knowledge of God was so enlivening he continued to serve the stubborn people of God with a face that shined like the God he came to know.

— Via Focus Online, December 14, 2020

——————–

-2-

“Hellenist” Christians?

Wayne Goff

“Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution” (Acts 6:1).

The church at Jerusalem was comprised of “Hebrew” Christians and “Hellenist” Christians. Both were Jewish people, but there was a difference between the two. For whatever reason, the widows of the Hellenists were being ignored in the first church at Jerusalem, and that caused a conflict which was biblically resolved.

“Hellenist” Jews were those who were caught up in the cultural revolution of Alexander the Great and his Greek Empire when Greeks dominated the world. This Greek (Hellenist) influence continued through his Generals after his death, and even when Rome became the world power they continued the process of Hellenization.

So Hellenist Jews were those who began to speak the Greek language over the Hebrew language and worshiped God and read the Law of Moses in Greek. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, called “the Septuagint,” was made in Alexandria, Egypt around 250 B.C., so that shows you how wide-spread and lengthy this cultural transition was to the world at that time.

The “Hebrew” was the one who continued to speak the Hebrew language, worshiped God in the Hebrew tongue, and considered himself more loyal to God and the Law than the “Hellenists.” Paul references this in Philippians 3:5 when he lists his own Jewish “RESUME” —  “… a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee.” Again you see this in 2 Corinthians 11:22 — “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.” So you can see how this could cause problems in the Jerusalem church when Hebrew Christians and Hellenist Christians are joined together. But even a “Hebrew” like Paul could learn and speak the Greek language so long as he worshiped in Hebrew. Read also Acts 21:40—22:1-2 where Paul speaks to an angry mob in the Hebrew tongue.

The real problem existed when Jews began to imitate not only the manners and customs of the Greeks, but then began to worship the gods of the Greeks! That was taboo to both Jews and Christians in the first century, but it is typical of those who are more influenced by “society” than by “God and religion.”

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 37, Issue 21, Page 4, May 22, 2022

——————–

Psalm 138:6-8

“For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

— NASB

——————–

Developing as a Christian

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Developing_as_a_Christian.mp4

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Lois Fletcher, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Danielle Bartlett, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Vivian Foster, and Kim Rowell.

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Faithfulness (Kyle Pope)
2) A Prepared Heart (Glenn Melton)
3) Growing Strong in the Lord (video sermon, Tom Edwards)   
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Faithfulness

Kyle Pope

In the message conveyed to the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 the Lord proclaimed — “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (NKJV). This admonition to faithfulness is one that all believers would do well to heed. Let’s consider what the New Testament says about faithfulness.

Faithfulness is described as part of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22,23. The text reads — “…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” If we are to be spiritually mind; if we are to be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit we should strive towards faithfulness.

To understand what faithfulness is we must see ourselves as servants (obeying a master) and stewards (given a trust). First Corinthians 4:2 teaches — “…It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” If we hope for eternal life we must be faithful stewards. The “faithful and wise steward” is one who is said to be waiting when his Master comes, faithfully doing his Master’s will (Matthew 24:45-46; Luke 12:42-43).

In several parables Jesus teaches the importance of faithfulness. In the Parable of the Talents He describes the servant who had successfully used his master’s goods. The master says to him — “…Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23). In the Parable of the Unjust Steward the Lord states — “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12). We must see our lives as a trust from God. We are called to faithfully use our lives for God’s purposes.

Members of the Lord’s church are to be faithful. An elder is to be one who has — “Faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination” (Titus 1:6).

As an example to the flock, their home-life must be an example of how to raise children in faithfulness to the Lord. The wives of elders and deacons are to be — “Faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11). Paul tells Timothy — “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

It would be a mistake to imagine that such faithfulness is only demanded of the leadership. Paul’s epistle to the church in Ephesus is addressed to — “…The saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In a similar way the letter to the Colossians was addressed — “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse…” (Colossians 1:2). In describing those who are with the Lamb in purpose and commitment, Revelation 17:14 declares — “…He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” If we consider ourselves on the Lord’s side we must ask ourselves if we are truly faithful.

There are many ways we can demonstrate faithfulness. We do so through faithfully assembling with God’s people in study and worship. We do so through faithful care of the sick and downhearted. We do so through faithfully teaching others when we have opportunity. We do so through faithfully giving ourselves to personal prayer and Bible study. We do so through faithfully resisting temptation, and faithfully imitating the life and character of Christ. Do these demonstrations of faithfulness characterize our lives?

A number of individuals in Scripture are referred to as faithful. When Lydia obeyed the gospel she said to Paul — “…If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay…” (Acts 16:15). Timothy was called Paul’s “faithful son in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Epaphras was described as — “A faithful minister of Christ” (Colossians 1:7). Tychicus was called a — “Faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” (Colossians 4:7). Onesimus, the slave whom Paul converted, is referred to as — “A faithful and beloved brother” (Colossians 4:9). Moses was said to have been — “Faithful in all His house as a servant” (Hebrews 3:5). Each of these individuals were those who fulfilled the tasks of service and obedience to the Lord that had been given to them. As a result they are said to have been “faithful” to their commission and to their Master (the Lord). Could someone look at us and describe us in this way?

May each of us always work to be faithful to what God commands us through Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament. This doesn’t mean we never stumble, but let us always strive to do what God says. We must obey as quickly as possible. We may struggle, but when we do let us get up quickly and start over again in faithful service to the Lord.

— Via Faithful Sayings, Issue 17.8, February 22, 2015
——————–

-2-

A Prepared Heart

Glenn Melton

“Ezra the son of Seraiah . . . the son of Aaron the chief priest . . . went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses . . . for Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:1-10).

“So king Rehoboam . . . did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 12:13,14).

What a contrast between Ezra and Rehoboam. Ezra was helpful in teaching Israel the law; Rehoboam was instrumental in the cause of division among the tribes. What a difference preparation of the heart made. May we suggest some things that may have contributed to the preparation of Ezra’s heart?

(1) The influence of godly parents. Ezra’s father was a priest and possibly one who taught the law. The influence of such a man could tend to lead his children to God. Blessed are the children of the righteous.

(2) Seeing the consequences of disobedience. Ezra had been in captivity and saw firsthand the results of disobedience. This could well have had a part in helping him to see how much better it is to please God.

(3) Moral uprightness. Consider what it did for Joseph, David, and Esther. “Remember thy creator in… thy youth” (Eccl. 12:1).

(4) Purity of mind. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

(5) Ezra’s knowledge of the law, Israel’s history, and the promises made to Abraham, Moses, and David could motivate him to please God. Also, Ezra may have known of Daniel, who would have been a good role model.

How well have we prepared our heart to seek the law of God, to do it, and teach it to others?

— Via The Beacon, March 20, 2022
——————–

Psalm 18:2-3

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.”

– NASB
——————–

-3-

Growing Strong in the Lord

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Growing_Stronger_060522.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Sunny Nichols recently had sinus surgery.  While at home recuperating, she then had a stroke, which she is now hospitalized for.

Friday’s heart cath for Kim Rowell went well. Her previous bypasses are clear, and she will soon be receiving a new aortic valve.

Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, and Danielle Bartlett.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)



The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) Jesus is the Bread of Life (Kyle Pope)
2) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Jesus is the Bread of Life

Kyle Pope

Since the beginning of man’s life outside the Garden of Eden bread has been the food God has set forth to sustain man’s life. In Adam’s punishment for sin he was told, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground” (Gen. 3:19a, NKJV). The word translated “bread” in this verse is the Hebrew word lechem, which refers to both bread in a specific sense and food generally. When Israel was in the wilderness God fed them with a substance they named “manna,” meaning literally, “What is it?” Moses explained to them, “This is the bread (lechem) which the Lord has given you to eat” (Exod. 16:15). It was not a typical grain used to make bread, but it was ground into flour and baked into cakes (Num. 11:7-8). While it sustained them in the desert they were told later that it served another purpose. In Deuteronomy the people were told that God had given them this unusual bread, “that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3b). Jesus appealed to this very text in His own temptation in the wilderness when Satan challenged Him to make bread from stones (Matt. 4:3-4). There is great irony here. The God who sentenced man to live by “bread,” while providing physical sustenance in the wilderness used it to demonstrate man’s need for the spiritual sustenance that comes from His word.

Sometime after Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, but in terrain the gospel of Matthew calls “a deserted place” (Matt. 14:15) Jesus did exactly the same thing Deity had done to Israel centuries before. From five barley loaves and two small fish Jesus fed 5000 men (John 6:1-13). In this miracle, God in the flesh provided for man’s physical sustenance. This miracle, like no other Jesus did, led the people to seek to make Him a king by force (John 6:14-15). Even when He withdrew by Himself then crossed over the Sea of Galilee they still sought Him—because they “ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:22-26). In this context, Jesus called them to seek something different. They found Him as He taught in the synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:59). First, Jesus told them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27a). This moved them to recall God’s feeding of the Israelites in the wilderness, and they asked if He would provide a sign similar to that (John 6:30-31). Jesus then subtly introduced one of the most radical doctrines of His entire ministry. He told them, “the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). The heavenly bread He would provide was a person! What could He mean by that? The people seem to have missed that He called a person “the bread of God,” and they first beg Him, “Lord, give us this bread always” (John 6:34). Jesus then clarified, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Even though He immediately explained that it is the one who believes in Him that will attain resurrection unto everlasting life (John 6:40), the people complained against Him because He said He was “the bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:41).

In spite of their confusion (and the confusion that still persists among some in the religious world today) we can see from Scriptures that follow that Jesus was really teaching the same point God made to the Israelites about the true source of spiritual sustenance. Notice one of the first indications of this. As He explained His heavenly origin He first paraphrases the prophets who foretold, “they shall all be taught by God” (John 6:45a)—a reference in part to Isaiah 54:13, which said, “your children shall be taught by the Lord.” He then explained how they would be taught—“everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45b). Jesus would later teach His disciples, “the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24). Jesus was not promising personal and individual revelation. To learn from the teaching of Jesus was to hear and learn from the Father. He was talking about spiritual sustenance. He was talking about Himself as the source of spiritual life.

A second indication of this comes as He further explained His original statement, but did so in a way that tested the hearts of His hearers. They were quick to follow Him when they thought He would give them physical food—how would they respond when He offered them something challenging? He first affirmed His unity with the Father, telling them, “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 6:46), then He restated that belief in Him leads to eternal life, since He is “the bread of life” (John 6:47-48). Yet rather than softening His message to draw as many disciples as possible—the strategy employed by much of the religious world today—Jesus sharpened His words and challenged them even further. He told them, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). This was too much for some of them. They complained, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52). Jesus had returned to the point they had first raised about manna (John 6:49) and He would go on to compare His teaching with it again (John 6:58). They should have remembered that manna was given to teach them that “man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3b). Some missed the point.

Jesus then shocked them even further by saying, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53) adding “My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). Since at least the Middle Ages some have argued that in these words Jesus was teaching about the Lord’s Supper. It has been argued that in the prayer for the bread and the fruit of the vine a transformation takes place in these elements that transforms them into the literal body and blood of Jesus. We should notice, however, that nothing in the context makes any reference to the memorial meal, which would not even be instituted until long after this on the Passover night before Jesus’ betrayal (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23). In fact, the gospel of John is the one gospel that does not record its institution! It is highly unlikely that the Holy Spirit would intend this teaching completely out of the context of discussing the memorial to explain the purpose and nature of it without even recording its institution. Further, both the Law of Moses (Lev. 17:12) and the Law of Christ (Acts 21:25) explicitly prohibited the eating of blood. If the Lord’s Supper involves the literal eating of blood and human flesh it violates this prohibition.

Jesus was not talking about literally eating His flesh and blood. As one who had just fed the people physically, He was calling them to see in His life, His sacrifice, and ultimately in His words the true source of spiritual life. Just as manna was to make the Israelites see God’s word as the true source of life, Jesus was teaching the same thing on this occasion. Some said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:60). The Holy Spirit records, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). To those who did not turn away, Jesus asked, “Does this offend you?” (John 6:61). He then made it absolutely clear, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). We feed on Jesus’ flesh and blood by ingesting the words that He teaches. It is the message of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf that brings life (cf. Rom. 1:16). Faith in Jesus as this sacrifice and obedience to Jesus’ teaching leads ultimately to resurrection unto eternal life on the “last day” (John 6:39, 44, 54). Although some missed His point those who stayed with Him understood. When Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67a), Peter gave an answer that summarized the entire focus of this discourse. He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:67b). Peter realized what God wanted Israel to recognize in the wilderness. Peter realized what the feeding of the 5000 should have taught these people. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). That is how we feed upon Jesus’ flesh and blood. That is how Jesus is for us, “the bread of life.” Upon what will you feed? To whom will you go?

— Via Faithful Sayings, Issue 17.41, October 15, 2015
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams had been in the ICU recently with diabetic ketoacidosis, but is now doing better.

Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday:

9 a.m. Bible Class

10 a.m. Worship Service

5 p.m. Song Service every first Sunday of the month

Wednesday:

7 p.m. Bible class

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)



The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “By What Authority Do You Do These Things?” (Kyle Pope)
2) How We Are Not to Walk (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“By What Authority Do You Do These Things?”

Kyle Pope

When Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount, Scripture tells us that the people were amazed, “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29, NKJV). Joseph Henry Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament tells us that the word exousia, translated “authority” here, means “…the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)…” (225). When Jesus taught He was giving commands that the people were to obey. This was different from the approach that the scribes and Pharisees used.

This demonstration of authority was not always well received. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell us of an occasion when the chief priests, scribes and elders asked Jesus “…By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Matt. 21:23, cf. Mark 11:28 and Luke 20:2). On this occasion, because of the hardness of their hearts in rejecting John the Baptist, Jesus did not answer their question directly. However, on other occasions, He directly addressed this issue. John tells us in three passages how explicitly Jesus answered this matter. In John 7:16 Jesus said, “…My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” In John 12:49 He said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” And finally, in John 14:24 He said, “…the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Jesus, declared with these words that He Himself, God the Son, was acting under the authority of God the Father.

After Jesus’ resurrection, the extent of Jesus’ authority was broadened. As He gave His apostles the charge to teach all the nations, He began with the words, “…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). This tells us that God the Father gave to Jesus the right to command all the universe. As a result, all the universe is obligated to obey Jesus’ teachings and to submit to His authority. This was promised in Deuteronomy 18:18-19, when God told Moses, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”

When the apostles went out to preach they acknowledged divine authority, and held themselves under such authority. In the first sermon they preached, they taught the Jews on the day of Pentecost to, “…Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Acts 2:38). The apostle Paul taught the Christians in Colosse, “And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). To act in the name of Jesus is to act with and under the authority of Jesus. This meant that the apostles’ message, like that of Jesus, was not their own but from the One who sent them. Paul praised the church in Thessalonica saying, “…when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). The writings of the apostles held the same authority. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

Just as God had promised to give authority to Jesus, Jesus promised to give authority to His apostles. Jesus encouraged His disciples saying, “…when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10:19-20). If people rejected the message of the apostles, Jesus taught that it was the same as rejecting Him and rejecting God the Father. Luke tells us that Jesus told His apostles, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).

When we look to the Bible we have the written teachings of Jesus. Whether we look at the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ words while on the earth or the records of what the apostles taught, we have before us the teachings (or doctrine) of Jesus. This is the standard of authority that must be obeyed. This is the source from which we must derive the authority for all that we say and do in service to God.

How can we establish from Scripture authority for what we do in service to God? First we must understand what the Bible is. Quite simply, it is the written will of God. It was given to the apostles and prophets of the first century in order to communicate understandable information to ordinary human beings. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he claimed that the things which he wrote explained the plan of God which had previously been a mystery. He told them, “…when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Eph. 3:4-5). When Paul tells them,“ when you read, you may understand” it shows us that Scripture is not some dark enigma that can not be unraveled, but written communication that can be understood just as we do any other type of written communication.

When we read a letter, a story, an article, or some type of instructional literature we use the same basic methods to discern the meaning of the material. We consider what the document states directly, what it describes and what it infers about the subject in question. All of this information is taken into account in order to ascertain the content of the piece. The Bible is no different. There are direct statements which explicitly command or direct behavior. There are descriptions of behavior that is approved or condemned. There are, in the context of some broader discussion, details inferred that may further clarify the meaning of a particular issue.

If we are going to act under the authority of Jesus in what we do in service to God what will determine whether or not we have authority for the things we do? There are many direct statements that are in the Bible. Some are given to specific individuals and not to anyone else (e.g. Abraham’s charge to sacrifice Isaac – Gen. 22:2). Other commands fall under a distinct period of jurisdiction, and do not apply to those under Christ (e.g. animal sacrifice under the Law of Moses no longer applies to man today). If Jesus Christ now has all authority, and He gave His instructions to His apostles, it would follow that the first source we should look to in order to establish authority would be the direct commands of Jesus and His apostles.

Next, we look to the descriptions of things in the Bible. Again, if we are interested in acting under the authority of Christ our pattern cannot be drawn from descriptions of behavior that was not subject to the authority of Christ (e.g. Israel under the Law of Moses or Gentiles when they were without God). That brings us to what is described in the New Testament. Here we find descriptions of things that were approved and things that were not approved. If Jesus taught that rejection of the apostles was rejection of Him (Luke 10:16), it follows that those descriptions that serve as binding examples for us today are the approved examples of behavior carried out under Christ and the apostles.

Finally, as a piece of written material, the Bible is filled with numerous topics and discussions of issues. The inferences within these discourses to things that have been commanded or described further clarify the application of what is authorized under Christ. As with any literature, inferences are often more subjective (i.e. subject to personal opinion and perspective) than direct statements or descriptions. One person might draw an inference from some nuance of wording that totally eludes another person. Or, there might be inferential references to things that are incidental to the matter under consideration. Because of these dangers when we look to the inferences of Scripture we must look to those necessary inferences that clarify approved examples or direct commands. When such inferences offer inescapable conclusions about a matter under consideration, they establish authority for action in service to God.

Many in the world conduct themselves as if there is no need to establish divine authority in religion. The question posed to Jesus remains particularly applicable today, “by what authority are you doing these things?” Jesus and the apostles acted under divine authority. What about us?

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 19, Issue 53, December 31, 2017

——————–

-2-

How We Are Not to Walk

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/How_not_to_walk.mp4

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams
had been in the ICU recently, due to a diabetic ketoacidosis, but is now doing better.

Others to also continue praying for: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m. 
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) “For Those Who Love Him” (Kyle Pope)
2) Words of Encouragement (Greg Gwin)
3) Considering the Greek Word “Charis” (which is often translated as “grace” in the Scriptures) (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“For Those Who Love Him”

Kyle Pope

First Corinthians 2:9 reads: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’” (1 Cor. 2:9, NKJV). This text is actually a paraphrase of a passage from Isaiah 64:4-5 which reads: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned–In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved.” In the context of First Corinthians Paul applies this text to show the glorious nature of the gospel. In it are revealed things that had not been seen, heard or imagined.

Paul does not quote directly from the passage in Isaiah but paraphrases (i.e. summarizes the meaning of) the text to illustrate the point he is addressing in this section of First Corinthians. We are generally critical of modern paraphrases when they are put forward as “translations” rather than human summaries of the Biblical text. Works like Good News For Modern Man or the Living Bible are not literal translations, but paraphrases that express an author’s understanding of the gist of a passage. This is not to say that it is wrong to paraphrase. No preacher of the gospel can teach without summarizing a text in their own words at some point. What may be wrong is an incorrect paraphrase, that misses (or distorts) the truth of a text. In cases when Paul or other inspired writers paraphrase a text, we can be sure that the summary which they put forth is sound, accurate and reliable because it is given by the direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

In the example found above, the Apostle’s paraphrase, when examined closely, reveals some important things about our service to God. The first part of the passage, in Isaiah and in First Corinthians, are very similar. Both speak of what the “ear” and the “eye” have not experienced. Where the text diverges is in the phrase “which God has prepared for those who love Him.” The text in Isaiah does not speak of God’s preparations, but rather man’s need (in the last part of the passage) to be saved. When Isaiah declares, “we need to be saved”—Paul through the Holy Spirit sees in this declaration God’s preparation for our salvation.

What is also different in the two passages is the phrase “for those who love Him.” The Holy Spirit does not lead Isaiah to use the term “love.” Is this an addition on Paul’s part? Quite the contrary, just as Paul sees man’s need for salvation as a foreshadowing of God’s preparations for a way to be reconciled to God, Paul sees what the prophet says about those who are pleasing to God as the demonstration of what it really means to love God. Notice these elements:

I. “The One Who Waits For Him.” There are a number of ways in our relationship with God that we are called upon to “wait” for Him. As Christians we understand that one day Jesus will return in judgment. The one who loves God keeps this fact before their mind and strives to be prepared for it. In addition to this we are sometimes called to wait upon the Lord in faithfulness to Him as we endure trial, temptation and suffering. The ungodly, in their impatience, turn away from God, thinking that their own ways are best, and that by pursuing sin they can achieve their needs. The child of God recognizes man’s inability to direct his own way and waits in obedience upon God, trusting that God’s ways are best. Paul shows us that this is not passive and inactive. Rather, waiting on God is a way that we show our love for Him.

II. “Him Who Rejoices.” An old song from the 70’s portrayed a confused lover crying out to the one he loved, “That’s a strange way to tell me you love me, when your sorrow is all I can see.” As Christians we sometimes carry-on much the same way. We grumble and moan about the things that the Lord asks of us. We see opportunities to worship Him as interruptions to our schedule. We view meditation upon His word like an unpleasant homework assignment in school. We want to go to heaven, but we spend most of our time unhappy because of doubts that He will see us through hardships or envy of the sins of the ungodly. Yet, then we turn around and try to say to the Lord with our mouth that we “love Him.” Paul shows us here that to love the Lord means that we live a life that “rejoices.”

III. “And Does Righteousness.” What a fallacy the religious world has perpetrated in convincing so many within its ranks that it is even possible to “love God” and yet do what is wrong! Millions have been convinced that they are secure in a loving relationship with God, while they are first unconcerned with even learning what is right and wrong and second told that even though they may give themselves to do what is wrong it doesn’t alter their “love” for Him. In the time of Malachi, the people (much like today) had become spiritually lazy. The very animal sacrifices that they offered were not the best of their flocks and herds, but the sickly and unhealthy. In response the Lord, through Malachi asks, “Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you?” (Mal. 1:8c). None of us would imagine that we can do what is displeasing to our mate, our teacher, our employer, or our friend and hope to convince them of our love and fidelity to them. Paul shows us in this text that God is no different. If we love Him we will do what He tells us is right.

IV. “Who Remembers You in Your Ways.” The memorial which Christians observe each Sunday is kept “in remembrance” of Jesus’ body and blood which was shed for our sin. It is important and necessary that Christians keep this observance in order for us to be pleasing unto God, remember the cost that Jesus paid for our sin and as a deterrent from future sins. At the same time, the Lord’s Supper is not the only way in which we are called upon to “remember” the Lord in His ways. Sometimes we must remember Him and His ways when we are totally alone. At such times we must call to mind how God would have us to direct our thoughts, occupy our time and maintain a watchful, temperate disposition. Sometimes we must remember Him and His ways when we are around those in the world. When we are tempted by them to deny Jesus, to be silent when we ought to speak, to speak in ways that we should not, or to do things that we should not. We must not forget who we are and what Jesus is to us. Paul suggests to us in this text that loving God means that we will remember Him and His ways. Paul characterizes all of these traits as true of those who love God. Are these traits true of your life?

— Via Faithful Sayings, June 12, 2016
——————–

-2-

Words of Encouragement

Greg Gwin

Occasionally we all need to hear a word of encouragement. There is no better source for this sort of help than God’s inspired word. If you need a spiritual boost, meditate on some of these passages:

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice … Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).

“I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).

” … We may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me'” (Heb. 13:6).

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25).

You can, no doubt, think of many other passages that offer similar encouragement. The point is, that God cares for us as His children. We should rejoice in that fact!

— Via The Beacon, March 22, 2022
——————–

-3-

Considering the Greek Word “Charis”

(which is often translated as “grace” in the Scriptures)

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Charis_051522.mp4


——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams
is now in ICU, due to a diabetic ketoacidosis.

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th of this month.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m. 
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)




« Older posts

© 2022

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑