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).
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Contents:

1) Jesus’ Resurrection (Frank Himmel)
2) Did Anyone Mentioned by Name in Genesis Die in the Flood? (Tom Edwards)
3) Looking For Jesus (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Jesus’ Resurrection

Frank Himmel

When the Jews asked Jesus for a sign after He drove out the moneychangers from the temple, He replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). He was speaking of His resurrection (vv. 21-22).

When some scribes and Pharisees insisted on a sign in addition to the many miracles Jesus had already done, He told them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:29-40).

Jesus depicted His love for our souls as a good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18).

In these and many other references Jesus spoke of His resurrection from the dead. It was the ultimate proof that He was who He claimed to be (Romans 1:4). It was the ultimate proof of the Father’s approval of Him (Acts 3:13-15). It is our assurance that His atonement for us was accepted (1 Peter 3:18-22). It is the very basis of our hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). It is the proof that He will one day judge us (Acts 17:31). Indeed, Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity.

Salvation in a crucified and resurrected Christ was the message the apostles preached. They were eyewitnesses (Acts 1:8). They did not see Him emerge from the tomb, but they did see Him frequently afterward (Acts 1:3-8). In fact, apostleship required that one could give eyewitness testimony of the risen Lord (Acts 1:22).

How can we know that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead? First, there is the empty tomb. Resurrection is the only explanation of it that fits all the facts. Theories about mistaken identity, a moved or stolen body, or a planned resurrection hoax are not supported by the evidence.

The inability of Jesus’ enemies to produce any counterevidence also testifies to the reality of the resurrection. They bribed the tomb guards to lie about what happened (Matthew 28:11-15). Yet they could do nothing to stop the story that Jesus had risen. It is interesting that some time after the event, Gamaliel, a leader among the opponents of Christianity, had to admit the possibility that it was genuine (Acts 5:38-39).

Jesus’ bodily appearances following His resurrection prove its reality (1 Corinthians 15:3-11). Many people saw Him—on one occasion He appeared to a crowd of over 500! He ate and drank with the disciples to prove that it was no spirit they were seeing. He invited Thomas to examine His body to verify that it was He (John 20:26-29).

The changed character of the apostles evidences the resurrection. Prior to it, Peter was cowardly (Luke 22:54-62). He and the others met behind locked doors out of fear (John 20:19). But afterward they boldly defied the Sanhedrin’s order that they not preach the resurrection (Acts 4:18-21; 5:27-32). The apostles suffered because of their testimony, yet none ever recanted it.

The events of Pentecost proved Jesus’ resurrection. The apostles spoke in tongues when the Spirit was poured out (Acts 2:1-4). That fulfilled Joel’s prophecy, which meant it was the last days. That, in turn, meant Jesus had taken His place on the throne. “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

The Lord’s church, the Lord’s day, the Lord’s Supper, baptism—these by their very existence and significance testify in their own way of the resurrection of the Christ.

Salvation is available only in the risen Christ (Acts 4:10-12). It requires that we believe that God raised Him from the dead and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). The believer is then immersed into Jesus’ death and raised with Him to a new life (Romans 6:3-4). Are you alive with Christ?

— Via Pathlights, November 28, 2021
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Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25, NASB).

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Did Anyone Mentioned by Name in Genesis Die in the Flood?

Tom Edwards

Some folks might wonder if any of the individuals listed by name in the Bible, who were born prior to the flood — such as Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech (Noah’s father) — had also died in that flood.

We can solve that by using the genealogy in Genesis 5. 

NOTE: The year a person was born, in the following chart, is neither B.C. nor A.D.  Rather, it is from the time when the Lord first created Adam on that 6th day of creation (Gen. 1:26-31) to the number of years to each person’s birth. 

PersonBorn
Died
Years Lived
Seth
130
1042
912
Enosh
235
1140
905
Kenan
325
1235
910
Mahalalel
395
1290
895
Jared
460
1422
962
Enoch
622
987
365
Methuselah
687
1656
969
Lamech
874
1651
777
Noah
1056
2006
950

Though the number of years that Noah lived is not seen in Genesis 5, yet it is shown in Genesis 9:29 as 950 years.

As we see on the chart, Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, was born 687 years after the Lord had formed Adam from the dust of the earth.  And since Methuselah lived 969 years, he passed away in the year 1656.

With that in mind, the Bible shows that it was in the 600th year of Noah’s life when the flood came (Gen. 7:11).  So adding that to 1056 (the year of Noah’s birth), we see that the year of the flood was 1656 — the same year that Methuselah died!

The Bible, however, does not tell us if Methuselah died before the flood or in it.

But, surely, there must have been many of Noah’s relatives that had perished in that great deluge.  For it says of his father Lamech, who died about 5 years before the flood, that “he had other sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:30).

And what about the “other sons and daughters” of Methuselah (Gen. 5:26) — Noah’s uncles and aunts.  And, therefore, probably also many cousins and other relatives as well who drowned.

So we do not find anyone specifically named who had died in the flood, but all who were in the world at that time had perished — except for Noah, his 3 sons, and their wives.

And from those 8, the lineage of Seth lived on.

Let us now continue up to the time of Abraham’s birth:

Two years after the flood, Shem was 100 years old and became the father of Arpachshad (Gen. 11:10). And though the rain had been for 40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:12), yet the flood itself lasted for slightly more than a year. So we will add that to the 2 years after the flood when Arpachshad was born and continue with our figuring with Genesis 11 for the year each of the following was born:

1659 – Arpachshad
1694 – Shelah (v. 12)
1724 – Eber (v. 14)
1758 – Peleg (v. 16)
1788 – Reu (v. 18)
1820 – Serug (v. 20)
1850 – Nahor (v. 22)
1879 – Terah (v. 24)
2009 – Abram (based on 205 when Terah died in Haran, Gen. 11:32; and the age of Abram [75] when that happened, Gen. 12:4.  So 205-75 = 130.  130+1879 = 2009)

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Looking For Jesus

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Looking_For_Jesus.mp4
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-4-

News & Notes

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Kathy Todd (Bob Waldron’s sister) who passed away January 4.

Lois Fletcher (the wife of Jim Lively’s nephew Mike) has been diagnosed with bone cancer in her chest wall and is receiving homeopathic treatment, since she is severely allergic to chemical medications.

Rebekah Rittenhouse has tested positive for the coronavirus and is having some bad symptoms. Her son also has it, but milder. And while her husband Michael tested negative, yet he has been sick with double pneumonia and strep throat. 

Tammy Griffey is doing better, but still not completely over the virus.  She is now back home, quarantined with her husband Richard.

Though feeling a loss of energy, Danielle Bartlett was released from the hospital Wednesday and will be able to continue her dialysis at home. 

Marie Pennock, taking longer to recover than the others, is still having some difficulty from the coronavirus. 

Deborah Medlock is also improving from the coronavirus and will be tested again this week. Her niece, and her nieces two children also have it.

All others that had previously been mentioned with it are doing well: Danny & Jan Bartlett, Doug Pennock, Richard Griffey, and Mikaela Jones.

Ronnie Davis is still having to be on oxygen.  The cause has not yet been determined, but he will be seeing his doctor again on the 19th.

Let us also be remembering in prayer:  the family and friends of Ron Montero; and Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
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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).
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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.

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).
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Contents:

1) Raising Lazarus (Frank Himmel)
2) Numbers, Life and Death (Bill Crews)
3) New Year’s Resolutions (Johnie Edwards)
4) Saved Like Noah (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
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-1-

Raising Lazarus

Frank Himmel

Jesus’ miracles were signs, indicators of who He was. He said to skeptics, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38). No miracle better made the point than the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-53).

Jesus was in Perea when He received word that Lazarus was sick. He responded, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God; that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (vs. 4). Lazarus would indeed die, but his death would not be the primary result of this sickness; Jesus’ glorification would be. How so? First, raising Lazarus would be a dramatic proof of Jesus’ deity. Second, this incident would trigger the official plotting of His own death. That, along with His subsequent resurrection and ascension, was Jesus’ crowning glory (cf. 7:39; 12:23).

Jesus delayed two days before leaving to go to Bethany where Lazarus lived. That had the effect of ensuring Lazarus’s death (he had been dead four days by the time Jesus arrived).

Lazarus’s sister Martha went out to meet Jesus, opining that had the Lord been there Lazarus would not have died. Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again. Martha believed that but thought only of the final resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 24). Earlier He affirmed that the Father had entrusted to Him life and judgment (John 5:21-29), prerogatives He possessed because of who He was. Martha readily confessed her faith in Him as the Son of God, yet she was slow to see these implications of His identity.

Lazarus’s other sister, Mary, then came out to meet Jesus, accompanied by a crowd of mourners. Together they all made their way to the tomb. Jesus ordered, “Remove the stone.” Martha, evidently thinking Jesus only wished to see the body, objected. The Lord reassured her. He then prayed aloud. He wanted all present to know that what was about to happen was done in conjunction with the Father, “so that they may believe that You sent Me” (v. 42). And with that He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He did, still bound in his burial wrappings.

Many who saw the miracle believed. Some reported it to the Pharisees. In their own words the Jewish rulers’ dilemma was, “This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him” (v. 47), and the rulers would lose their place. Something had to be done. Never mind the reality of Jesus’ signs. Never mind that they unmistakably verified His identity. Caiaphas, the high priest, put it bluntly: Jesus had to die. Ironically, these enemies of Jesus were setting the stage for His greatest miracle. Additionally, by their behavior they were bringing on themselves the very destruction they sought to avert. No one can escape the truth about Jesus.

— Via Pathlights, November 14, 2021
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Numbers, Life and Death

Bill Crews

43, 54, 85, 50, 63, 57, 71, 65, 65, 68, 25, 93, 37, 47, 49, 58, 64, 16, 19, 91 and 81. Can you guess the source or significance of this collection of numbers? Each one is very much the number of a person. Each one represents the number of birthdays celebrated by an individual. Each one describes in years the life span of a real human being. They came from the obituary section of a Monday morning paper. These were the ages of the deceased. From 16 to 93! An average of 57!  I grant that that average is below the life expectancies of both men and women, then and now, but they demonstrate well the fact that anyone can die at any age.

In view of the brevity and uncertainty of life, the certainty and finality of death, and the duration and nature of eternity (one heaven and one hell, forever), shouldn’t you start thinking about the condition and destiny of your soul — NOW? You are concerned about your mortal body; shouldn’t you be even more concerned about your immortal soul? You are concerned about your physical life; shouldn’t you be more concerned about your spiritual life? Your are concerned about material things; shouldn’t you be more concerned about spiritual things? You are concerned about time; shouldn’t you be more concerned about eternity?

Every day that we live among men, we are asked, “How are you?” or “How are you feeling?” Hardly anyone asks, “How’s your soul?” We are body-conscious; we have physical health-awareness. But we are being foolish and careless if we are not primarily concerned about the spiritual condition of our never-ending souls. Have you been saved from your sins? Are you a Christian? Are you faithful to God? Do you have the approval of God? Do you enjoy the life and peace and hope that are in Christ? In the words of a grand old song:

“A charge to keep I have,   
A God to glorify;
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36, Issue 52, Page 1, December 26, 2021
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-3-

New Year’s Resolutions

Johnie Edwards

With the coming of a new year comes those new year’s resolutions! Many are made only soon to be broken. This time of year does serve a good purpose of considering some spiritual resolutions which would be good for all of us to make and keep.

No Longer to Linger. The song, I Am Resolved serves as a reminder of some good resolutions. If you have not become a Christian, it is a good time to resolve to become one and quit lingering. Don’t be charmed by the world’s delight. Be aware there are things that are nobler. So a good question is: “What wait I for?” (Ps. 9:7).

To Go To The Savior. All of us would do well to go to the Lord at this time of the year as well as rest of the year. One reason for going to Him is because He “has the words of eternal life…” (Jn. 6:68). As one goes to Christ, he leaves his sins as they are remitted at baptism (Acts 2:38). As Jesus is the “saviour of the body, the church…” (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:24); you will be “added to the church” (Acts 2:47).

To Follow Jesus. Since Jesus is the living way, we are instructed to follow Him. Peter declared, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).

To Enter The Kingdom. There is no greater resolution than that of being a citizen in the kingdom of God. The kingdom often has reference to the Lord’s church (Mt. 16:18-19). We enter the kingdom by being “born of water and the Spirit” (Jn. 3:3-5). This takes place when one is “baptized into Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

To Be More Faithful. The Lord’s people are described as “stewards,” and they must “be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:1). A lot of church members choose not to be counted faithful. If we expect the Lord to say, “Well done,” we must “be faithful” (Mt. 25:21). Do you need to make a resolution on this count?

To Be The Best Example. There is a great demand for some good example setting! Fellow workers need it, our children need it, and other church members need it. After all, we must “shine as lights in the world” (Mt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15). May each of us plan to be the best example as folks “read our epistle” (2 Cor. 3:2).

Don’t forget to keep your resolutions!

— Via Back To Basics, Volume 6, Number 1, January 2008
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-4-

Saved Like Noah

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, which has been adapted from a sermon outline made by Johnie Edwards many years ago, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

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

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-5-

News & Notes

Folks who are ill with the coronavirus: Danny, Jan, and Danielle Bartlett; Doug and Marie Pennock; Richard and Tammy Griffey; Deborah Medlock; and Mikaela Jones.  

The worst of the virus is over for Doug and Marie. They are getting better.

For Richard, the virus has been like a cold; and similar for Danny.  So the symptoms have not been too severe for any of these.

Ronnie and Melotine Davis have also been ill, but “hanging in there,” as Melotine told me.

Danielle is still in the hospital with pneumonia, and her coronavirus is also mild.    

Let us also be remembering in prayer:  the family and friends of Ron Montero; and Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, 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 Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service. 
We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

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) Conquering Temptation (Bob Dodson)
2) Christ’s Birth (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Conquering Temptation

Bob Dodson

How can we overcome temptation? We do not sin by being tempted — we sin when we yield to the temptation. God’s word provides some guidelines to help us.

Remember God’s word. Use God’s word as a weapon in your spiritual battles with Satan and temptation. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Each time Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He replied, “IT IS WRITTEN” (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). David said he hid God’s word in his heart that he might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). In the midst of persecution, holding to God’s word sustains us (Psalm 119:153, 157, 176). When tempted to do wrong, reflect on the word and what it says regarding the matter. In order to be able to use the word effectively, we must know what it says.

Avoid temptation. Rather than seeing how close to sin we can get, without going over the proverbial line, we need to run in the opposite direction. “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Joseph ran from the temptation Potiphar’s wife placed before him (Genesis 39:12). We are obligated to “watch” where we are going (Matthew 26:41). The Proverbs writer warned the young man not to go near the harlot’s door (Proverbs 5:8; 7:25).

Staying clear means not placing ourselves in situations where we will be tempted to violate God’s will. Many times, we sin because we position ourselves to provide opportunities for Satan to tempt us. If you play in Satan’s backyard, according to his rules, you will lose every time.

Pray. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that they would not be led into temptation. “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…” (Matthew 6:13). We should pray for strength to overcome life’s trials. Again, Jesus told His disciples, who were sometimes weak, “pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). It is interesting that in the context where Paul discussed putting on the whole armor of God to fight against the wiles of the devil, he added: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Make an honest self-examination. We must consider ourselves, lest we also be tempted. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted… But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load” (Galatians 6:1,4). We must constantly examine where we are, and where we are heading. Am I walking in the paths of God or of the world? “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Do I flee temptation, or run right in its face? Could I be guilty of creating my own tempting situations? Each of us must be honest enough to examine our actions to see if we are taking the proper precautions, or blindly heading into danger by using human, rather than divine, wisdom. “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). This takes self-discipline and the willingness to look at things as they really are–not how we wish to believe they are. Each of us must take personal examination seriously and perform it daily.

Understand how the tempter works. Any military leader can tell you that knowing how your enemy operates helps with your effort to defeat him. Satan has three avenues through which he appeals to us. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). Satan attacks us at what he knows to be our weakest points. Don’t underestimate this adversary! He is sly, cunning, crafty, and has in mind only one goal–to destroy our souls.

Choose your companions wisely. Obviously, our friends have a great deal of influence–either good or bad–on us. Godly, moral companions are a good influence because they encourage us to do good things. On the other hand, evil and ungodly friends are a bad influence, because they seek to lead us away from God. In the Scriptures, Paul gave a stern warning about this very truth. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). None of us is so strong that associating with sin cannot affect us. Many young people are lost to the world simply because they got with the wrong crowd. Influence is a powerful force, when it is used for good. The reverse is also true.

Remember sin’s consequences. It seems that Joseph was thinking about this very fact when he resisted sin in his life. “But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’” (Genesis 39:8,9). Sadly, many learn too late that the pleasures of sin last only for a season–they do not endure. “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). Sin’s wages never change. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If we die in sin, we’ve earned eternal separation from God (Revelation 21:8). Is it worth the risk?

Look for a way of escape. Temptation is like being in a room that has more than one door–there is a way to escape. God has promised a means of escape for every temptation known to man. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sometimes we ignore the escape route and yield to the temptation. Sometimes the way to escape is by not putting yourself in a susceptible position. Look for the way to do the right thing–then do it!

Conquering makes us better. If we overcome enticement and bear our trials, we become stronger and are better prepared for the next trial Satan places in our way. Each trial or temptation can be either a stumbling block or a stepping stone toward Christ-like maturity. Each time we yield, we become weaker. Each time we resist, we grow stronger. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9). (edited–KMG)

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, December 2001
——————–

It is said of Jesus: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, NASB).
——————–

-2-

Christ’s Birth

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Christ’s_Birth.mp4

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Let us be praying that God will bring comfort to all the family and friends of Ron Montero (Bud’s oldest brother) who passed away Wednesday evening.

Danielle Bartlett is now in the hospital with Covid-19 and pneumonia, but she says it is a very mild case. So she might soon be going home.

Danny & Jan Barlett, along with Doug and Marie Pennock and Mikaela, all have the virus. Danny & Jan have many symptoms, but nothing serious right now. Doug and Marie are over the worst of it and getting better, and Mikaela has it only slightly and with a cough.

Though confined to rehab, Tammy Griffey appears to be in good spirits.  She still has a few more weeks to go and 5 times a week for therapy.  UPDATE: Richard & Tammy Griffey both now have the coronavirus. So far, it is like just a cold for Richard, but worse for Tammy. She can now no longer have visitors.

Due to a recent fall, Jim Lively is again having therapists come to his home a couple times a week. 

After having now received her referrals, Kayla  Williams is scheduled for a doctor’s appointment the second week of January, to be followed by another appointment that she has not yet been given the date for.

I’m glad to say that the fusion Ronnie Davis had in his back about 3 weeks ago is doing some good!  But, lately, he and his wife Melotine have both been ill.

Let us also be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Deborah Medlock, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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.

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) Healing a Blind Man (Frank Himmel)
2) Those “Strange People” (Robert F. Turner)
3) Live Peaceably (Frank Berthold)
4) Gifts from God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)    
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Healing a Blind Man

Frank Himmel

“But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him” (John 12:37). So begins John’s conclusion to Jesus’ public ministry. The problem was not lack of evidence; it was how people approached the evidence. Nowhere is that better illustrated than when Jesus healed a man born blind (John 9).

Jesus worked this miracle by rather unusual means. He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, applied it to the man’s eyes, then told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Why do it this way? We do not know. Jesus frequently varied His procedure, perhaps to emphasize that the power was in Him, not in formulas or rituals. In this case, it tested the man’s faith. He obeyed and received his sight.

Initially, public discussion about this incident was whether a miracle had occurred or this was a case of mistaken identity. The blind man’s testimony settled that. When He attributed the miracle to Jesus, the neighbors brought the case to the Pharisees.

As was often the case, Jesus healed this man on a Sabbath. The Pharisees, therefore, quickly divided. Some said Jesus could not be from God because He violated the Sabbath. Others countered that He must be from God because He could make the blind see.

The blind man could clearly see that Jesus was a prophet. Wishing to avoid that obvious conclusion, the Pharisees questioned the man’s parents, hoping to find some reason to deny the miracle. The parents were too afraid to confess Jesus and so deferred to their son’s testimony.

Further interrogation of the blind man only proved embarrassing for the Pharisees. The witness became the prosecutor. With wit and sarcasm he asked if they, too, wanted to become Jesus’ disciples, and expressed amazement at what these experts did not know. They ended the matter by putting him out, evidently putting him out of the synagogue (note v. 22).

This incident illustrates four reactions to Jesus and the truth He revealed.

Some, like the neighbors, are curious and ask questions, but they then blindly accept whatever religious leaders tell them.

Some, like the Pharisees, already have their minds made up. They spend their time trying to deny the obvious. Old beliefs are indeed hard to abandon. Nevertheless, no one in this account looks more foolish than these hard-headed enemies of truth.

Some, like the parents, know the truth but are too afraid to acknowledge it. No one can remain neutral; you are either for Jesus or against Him (Matthew 12:30).

Some, like the blind man, simply accept facts, objectively examine the evidence, and draw the only realistic conclusion: “Lord, I believe” (v. 38). Which group are you in?

— Via Pathlights, November 7, 2021
——————–

-2-

Those “Strange People”

Robert F. Turner

Years ago I shared a seat on the train with a “missionary” returning from work in Alaska. He told me he met some “strange people” up there who thought they could work out their own salvation.

I said, “With fear and trembling; Phil. 2:12.”

“No, No!” he said. “I mean they thought they could save themselves.”

And I said, “From this untoward generation; Acts 2:40.”

This was just too much for the old gentleman; and he sighed, and said he guessed I must be one of those folk. Well, I never did discover whether I was or was not; but I did try to make my point that there was nothing wrong in a faith that could be “spelled out” by the word of God.

It is common to hear preachers boldly assert that “the gospel of Christ must be believed — it can not be obeyed!!!” I just recall that Paul said the Lord was coming “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:8). When I hear someone say, “A child of God cannot fall from grace,” I remember that Paul told the Galatians who sought justification by the law, “ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Reminds me of the fellow in the jail cell who shouts at the jailer, “You can’t do this to me!”

I know that sinners cannot “save themselves” apart from the Lord; but there must be some way in which this admonition properly applies, or it would not be in God’s word. The facts of the gospel can only be believed, but there must be commands of the gospel, which must be obeyed, or this responsibility would not be placed upon us. It is foolish to contend that Christians cannot fall from grace, when Paul says some had done so. By the same token, there must be some sense in which we are saved by faith — for in various ways the Bible says this is so (Rom. 5:1). But it doesn’t say “faith ONLY” — and so we have no right to say so. If there were not some sense in which baptism washes away sins, the Bible would not tell us that it does (Acts 22:16). Ignoring God’s word won’t change it.

How wonderful it would be if we all had enough confidence in the word of God to accept it just as God gave it; neither “explaining away” the statements we do not like, nor acting as though they didn’t exist. The New Testament relates salvation to 18 or 20 different things. We are saved by grace, faith, works, baptism, hope, — and so, on and on. There is no ONLY attached to either of these things. It would seem that common “horse” sense would tell us that they are ALL necessary ingredients — fitting perfectly into the divine pattern, each in its place. No “doctrine” that denies any of these matters, or places emphasis upon one to the hurt of another, could possibly be God’s truth.

Folk who respect the word of God just “face up” to its statements and accept them. If this makes “strange people” — then so be it.

— Via Plain Talk, August 1967
——————–

-3-

Live Peaceably

Frank Berthold

When God led the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery. He gave them moral laws to live by. If they were to be a community of people, they had to learn how to live in harmony together. God has also given us laws to live by that we may live in harmony together in the church, and with those around us, as a community of people. “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrew 2:14, NRSV). Paul tells us, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18, NRSV). God tells us how to treat one another, things to do and not do. Of course, we will make mistakes (James 3:2) and not follow His advice as meticulously as we should. That’s where our forgiving one another comes in. And, when we ask for forgiveness, we acknowledge that we know we have done wrong and should strive not to repeat the offense. We must realize that our brothers and sisters are human as much as we are.

Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends” (NASB).

— Via The Exhorter, April 18, 1998
——————–

-4-

Gifts from God

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Gifts_121921.mp4

——————–

Psalm 63:3

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.”

NASB
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Let us pray that God will bring comfort to the family and friends of Ron Montero (Bud’s oldest brother) who recently passed away.

We are glad that the surgery went well for Tammy Griffey.  Let us now pray that all will also go well in her 6 weeks of rehab, in which she will be having therapy 5 days a week.

Danielle Bartlett will continue to have dialysis 3 times a week until she receives a donor kidney, which she is back on the list for.  Let us pray that will be soon.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Shirley Davis who recently passed away.

And also to be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, Deborah Medlock, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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.

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) Casting Out Demons (Frank Himmel)
2) Garbage (Jason Moore)
3) The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate! (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Casting Out Demons

Frank Himmel

Superstition and mystery surround the subject of demons. The Bible contains no discourses about them. All we can know must be discerned from the handful of incidents in which they were involved.

The New Testament word rendered demon was used by Greeks to denote an inferior deity. The Bible depicts them as members of the spirit world who are evil, operating in conjunction with Satan.

Jesus cast out demons on numerous occasions. Notice a few cases from Mark’s gospel.

Early during His ministry, a man with an “unclean spirit” came to the synagogue at Nazareth where the Lord was teaching. He cried out, “What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus cast out the spirit to the amazement of the crowd (Mark 1:21-18).

Later in the same chapter, Mark records that Jesus cast out demons, not permitting them to speak, “because they knew who He was” (v. 34). Their knowledge was correct (see James 2:19), but theirs was an endorsement He could certainly do without!

Mark 5 records the case of Legion. This man was possessed by many spirits, hence his name. They made him unusually strong and given to self-abuse, out of his right mind. These, too, confessed Jesus. This case illustrates demons having emotions, desires, and reasoning power. They asked and received permission to leave the man and enter a herd of swine, resulting in the death of the herd.

Mark 9 records the case of a possessed boy. The spirit that tormented him made him mute. It threw him into convulsions and often threw him into fire or water to destroy him. The boy’s father brought him to Jesus’ disciples. The Lord had given them power over unclean spirits (6:7), but they were unable to cast this one out. Evidently, it was particularly strong or strong-willed. Jesus said the problem was the apostles’ lack of faith (Matthew 17:20).

Despite the varied physical effects produced by demon-possession, it is noteworthy that in no case did it cause one to be a sinner.

The prophet Zechariah foretold the day when prophecy and unclean spirits would be removed from the land (Zechariah 13:2). That day was in the era when the fountain for sin was opened for the house of David (v. 1).

Demon-possession corresponded to the time of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven. God allowed it because it provided one more proof of Jesus’ identity. Even critics knew that expulsion required miraculous power. Thus Jesus told them, “If I cast out  demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28).

— Via Pathlights, October 31, 2021
——————–

-2-

Garbage

Jason Moore

Some of the most significant finds of archaeology are not temples and palaces and treasures, but garbage pits. It is in the trash pits of ancient civilizations that archaeologists learn about the diet of a people. They find pieces of broken pottery and can tell such things as the time period in which a people lived, their economic status, their contact with other peoples and cultures. They may find samples of their writing, furniture, weapons, tools, and evidences of their daily habitudes. Yes, you can tell much about a people from what they throw away.

The sorts of things we toss in the garbage pit in our country will tell future generations some things about us. They may think us wasteful. With all the push being made toward recyclable goods and packaging, they may think us primitive that we could not find uses or reuses for discarded materials.

The more perceptive and morally conscious may be appalled by other trends witnessed in America’s dump sites. Isn’t it a telling mark that we live in a nation that discards the unborn? It says something about the value placed on human life. It tells a tale about a people obsessed with personal liberty. It exposes a people without natural affection.

To bring the matter a little closer to home, you can tell a lot about yourself by what you throw away. Paul said of himself, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

Paul’s statement tells the tale of a man who had discarded inferior things for things superior. He gave up reputation among men that he might know and be known by Christ. He gave up a degree of political power that he might find a higher one, the “power of his resurrection” (verse 10). He threw away a life of material gain and relative ease that he might know the “fellowship of his sufferings” (verse 11).

But Paul acknowledged that he wasn’t “threw” yet. “I count not myself to have apprehended … forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).

Conversion as Paul illustrates is largely a matter of knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. When a believer is baptized God performs a surgery in which He removes the pollution of sin: “In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12f.).

Once we by faith have submitted ourselves to this operation of God, it becomes our responsibility to keep sin in the pile of discarded items. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth . . . seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:5,9,10).

So what do you find in your trash pile? Have you yet put off the old man of sin? Please note that the only way to discard sin is by the means that God has prescribed. A man would be a fool to tell his doctor that he trusted him and then not follow his doctor’s orders. What of the man who says that he believes in Christ and then ignores the procedure that He prescribes for sin’s removal?

Baptism is not contradictory to faith; it is an indication of faith for one is “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God….” (Colossians 2:12).

It is possible for a man who has been baptized to have never really discarded sin. What about you? Did your conversion involve any putting off, any regarding of this world’s gain as dung, any circumcision of the old body of sin? Surgery is always accompanied with some degree of pain. If there was no discomfort in our conversion or if we are not familiar with the uneasiness of change, then it is likely that there has been no change.

Ever throw away something on accident only to have to return later to dig it out of the trash? Unfortunately we can sometimes discard habits and sins only to dig them up later. Do you not see the ugliness of that picture? How odious a sight to see a man wearing garments he has dug from the bottom of the dung heap. How much more sickening it must be in the sight of God when we who are to be clothed in His holiness put on the sin-stained, decay-ridden garments of our past.

Yes, you can tell a lot about a person by what they throw away. Be careful then what you throw away. And watch what you keep.

— Via The Beacon, November 28, 2021
——————-

-3-

The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate!

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Jesus’_Body.mp4


——————-

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We are glad that the surgery went well for Tammy Griffey.  She is now in rehab, where she will be having therapy for 6 weeks.

Ron Montero is still undergoing cancer treatments and not doing very well.

Danielle Bartlett will continue to have dialysis 3 times a week until she receives a donor kidney, which she is back on the list for.

Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Shirley Davis who recently passed away.

Let us also be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, Deborah Medlock, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
——————–

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.
Every First Sunday of the Month: 5 p.m. Song Service 

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) Walking on Water (Frank Himmel)
2) The Needle’s Eye (Irvin Himmel)
3) The Body — and Some of Its Members (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Walking on Water

Frank Himmel

Modern “miracle workers” focus on two effects: speaking in tongues and healing. Neither accords with the Bible models. Speaking in tongues was speaking in other languages (Acts 2:4-11), not the characteristic gibberish of our day. Bible healings were bonafide cases that even enemies had to acknowledge, not unverifiable headaches, backaches, and the like.

If men today can work miracles, where are the others, the physical effects such as turning water into wine or miraculously multiplying food? And who can walk on water, as the gospel writers say Jesus did? (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21).

The Sign

After feeding the 5,000, Jesus not only sent away the multitude, He also made the disciples get into a boat and leave. While He prayed alone on the mountain, they fought their way across a contrary sea. Somewhere between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. They were frightened, thinking it was a ghost. Jesus reassured them it was He. When He got into the boat with them, the wind stopped. John says immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

The Extension

Matthew records a unique aspect of this miracle. Jesus shared the effect by allowing Peter to also walk on water. “Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:28-31).

Extending the miracle in this way had several benefits. It verified to the apostles the reality of what was taking place. It illustrated the Savior’s favorable disposition toward them. And it taught them the valuable lesson that even in the exercise of supernatural gifts, one must act from personal faith if he is to be successful.

The Purpose

Peter’s success when walking by faith is a great illustration. So is his failure when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on his circumstances. So is his simple, fervent prayer, “Lord, save me.” So is the Lord’s response.

As with all Jesus’ miracles, however, the main purpose was to show who He is. Mark’s analysis is interesting: “they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened” (6:51-52). It was not hard for them to envision how the creator and ruler of the universe could so easily set aside the “laws of nature.” It was just difficult to see Jesus as that one. Yet that is precisely who He is.

What do you see in Jesus? Have you submitted to His rule?

— Via Pathlights, October 17, 2021
——————–

-2-

The Needle’s Eye

Irvin Himmel

A rich young ruler came running to Jesus and, kneeling before the Master, posed the question, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus called attention to some of the basic commands of the law. The young man answered, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” Jesus, knowing that he lacked one important thing, told him to sell whatever he had, give it to the poor, and he would have treasure in heaven, “and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

The young ruler reacted by a display of sadness. He went away grieved, for he had great possessions. Looking on the disciples, Jesus remarked, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

The disciples reacted with astonishment. Jesus explained, “Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:23-25).

A Gate or Sewing Needle?

In my youthful years, I heard some preacher say that in ancient times there was a small gate in the wall around Jerusalem; and this tiny gate was called “the Needle’s Eye.” According to the preacher, the little gate was used when the big, regular-size gates were closed. It was so small, declared the preacher, that a camel could go through it only by getting down on his knees and squeezing through. The lesson then, according to said preacher, is that a rich man can be saved only by squeezing through — getting on his knees, so to speak, by the proper and sacrificial use of his wealth.

That story impressed me, and in ignorance I repeated it. A more objective study of the passage in which Jesus spoke of the needle’s eye led me in time to reject that story about the gate, and to come to the conclusion that the Lord was speaking of an ordinary kind of needle. First, I noticed that Jesus spoke of a rich man in the sense of one who trusts in riches, not merely one who possesses wealth. Read carefully Mark’s account and notice the following:

“. . . they that have riches” (10:23).
“. . . them that trust in riches” (10:24).
“. . . a rich man” (10:25).

Now, is it possible for people who trust in riches to be saved? Not at all! One must put his trust in the Lord to be saved. They that have riches, that is, they who trust in riches, can no more be saved than a camel can go through the eye of a needle. To a Jew the camel was the largest domestic animal, and the eye of the needle the smallest of openings visible to the eye. Such a large animal passing through such a small hole clearly conveyed an impossibility.

The disciples took Jesus’ illustration to have that meaning. They asked, “Who then can be saved?” Obviously, something would have to change before a camel could go through the eye of a sewing needle. Therefore, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (v. 27).

It is impossible for one who trusts in riches to be saved, whether he has five dollars or five million dollars. But with God all things are possible. Working through the power of the gospel, God can change a man so that he ceases to trust in himself, his riches, his own wisdom, etc., and puts his trust in Jesus Christ.

Also, it is worthy of note that the Greek word “needle” (rhaphis) used in Mark’s account comes from rhapto, meaning “to sew.” Vine says, “The idea of applying ‘the needle’s eye’ to small gates seems to be a modern one; there is no ancient trace of it. The Lord’s object in the statement is to express human impossibility and there is no need to endeavor to soften the difficulty by taking the needle to mean anything more than the ordinary instrument.” The word for “needle” in Luke’s account is belone, which according to Vincent, “is the peculiar word for the surgical needle.” A.T. Robertson says it “means originally the point of a spear and then a surgeon’s needle.”

McGarvey sums the matter up by saying, “The conceit, which originated I know not where, that ‘the eye of a needle’ here means a low and narrow gate through which the camel could not go except on his knees and after his burden had been removed, is not only without historical foundation, but is inconsistent with the context, which contemplates something impossible with men” (comments on Matt. 19:24).

This article is not designed to needle anyone, but to point out that we need to carefully study the language used before eyeing conclusions.

— Via The Beacon, October 3, 2021
——————–

-3-

The Body — and Some of Its Members

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Body_120521.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Tammy Griffey will be having her surgery on her foot this Wednesday (December 8).  It will also require her remaining off her feet for 6 weeks, followed by 6 months of having to take it easy. Update: Tammy’s surgery went well, and she is doing fine.

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Shirley Davis who passed away November 22.

Kim Rowell (Ashley Law’s mother) was transferred to a Savannah hospital Friday evening, due to an infection and an ulcer in her dialysis graft, which she will be having surgery for December 5.  Update: Her surgery went well. She is now healing and will eventually receive a permanent catheter for dialysis.

Danielle Bartlett is back on the list for a donor kidney. In the meanwhile, she has resumed dialysis 3 times a week.

Ron Montero (Bud’s brother) is continuing with his treatments for cancer.

Rick Cuthbertson‘s treatments have been keeping some of his cancer from progressing. 

Vivian Foster has an intestinal blockage that has been giving her some trouble.

Congratulations to Danny and Jan Bartlett in the birth of their 8th grandchild!  Their daughter Andra and her newborn both did well.

Let us also be remembering the following in prayer: Ronnie Davis, Doyle Rittenhouse, Deborah Medlock, Kayla Williams, Jim Lively, and Rex Hadley.
——————–

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.

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) Giving Thanks in Everything (Jerry Fite)
2) God Has His Own Clock (Don Wright)
3) Matthew 8:23-27 (NASB)
4) From Darkness to Light (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Giving Thanks in Everything

Jerry Fite

Paul exhorts all Christians to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). Parents, raising children in the Lord, have witnessed the thanksgiving coming from hearts of young children in prayer. Before leaving the bedside, parents have heard their child thank God for everything important to them: their house, their room, their bed and yes, their pet fish, dog or cat. Parents should leave the child’s prayerful bedside gratified with the child’s thankful heart toward God, knowing God pays attention to gratitude and the lack thereof in His people. Did not Jesus say, “Were not the ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17)? when only a Samaritan returned to give thanks when ten men were miraculously healed of leprosy?

A closer look at Paul’s exhortation reminds us that Paul is not imploring God’s people to be thankful “for everything,” but “in everything.” We are to “give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV; NIV). As the child and the pets mature, the child should not be forced to thank God for the sudden death of their pet dog or cat. But the tearful maturing child could thank God for allowing him or her to enjoy such a great pet. Even a closer investigation of the Thessalonian text directs us to view all circumstances as they relate to being “in Christ.” Being thankful in everything, or in all circumstances, is connected with our relationship to our Lord. It is God’s will that we view the things that occur in our life through this Scriptural lens.

Paul gives us a great example of being thankful in all circumstances. He could rejoice and be thankful in Christ regarding the uncomfortable circumstances of imprisonment. Yes, he was suffering “hardship unto bonds,” which is never pleasant, but especially difficult to endure in a first century Roman prison. Yes, he was considered a “malefactor” or a criminal. So, how could he be thankful in such circumstances?  In the same breath he could say, “…but the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2: 8-10). Eternal salvation in Christ through the good news of the Gospel cannot be shackled from the hearts of man when preached, even in prison.

During a separate imprisonment, Paul could rejoice and be thankful because his “bonds became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard, and to all the rest” (Philippians 1:13). Knowing Paul’s work in defending the Truth, “…most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear” (Philippians 1:14).

Paul could rejoice with a thankful heart when a factious spirit in others was causing him personal harm. Some were proclaiming Christ “of faction, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds” (Philippians 1:17). Paul was not rejoicing that some were proclaiming Christ out of sinful motives but “whether in pretense or truth, Christ is proclaimed; and therein I rejoice, yea and will rejoice” (Philippians 1:18).

Paul is not thankful for the restraint of chains, or the shame of being labeled a criminal. He is not even thankful for being in prison. He thanks God in such circumstances through the lens of being “in Christ.” Regardless of Paul’s circumstances, the saving Gospel is still reaching the lost and strengthening the saved! We too should give thanks in every circumstance, understanding how such allows us to exalt Christ in all things.

— Via Glad Tidings, Volume XXIX, No. 48, December 1, 2019
——————–

-2-

God Has His Own Clock

Don Wright

One of the challenges that we face as children of God is to learn to wait on the Lord.  Waiting for anything is hard.  Most of us want what we want on our schedule, which usually means we want it sooner rather than later.  This mentality sometimes creeps into our dealings with God.  When we are anticipating a particular blessing from God, perhaps something for which we have recently prayed, it is easy to lose patience when the blessing does not arrive when we think it should.  Once in a  while, we forget that God operates on His own schedule. When we find this happening to us, we should remember the words of Isaiah.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

31  But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Waiting on the Lord is important.  Learning to do so can save us from self-induced problems.  Abraham and Sarah could have used this lesson while they were waiting for God to bless them with a son.

Their story begins in Genesis 12 when God called Abraham to go to a land that He was going to give to his descendants (Genesis 12:1-7).  In Genesis 12:7, we have the first hint that Abraham was going to have a lot of offspring, even though, at the time, he was seventy-five years old, and his wife was barren.  Ten years later, Abraham still did not have any children, and Sarai was growing very impatient.  In the sixteenth chapter of Genesis, we find Abraham and Sarah, (with the help of Sarai’s Egyptian maid), failing to wait on God.  Notice the plan that Sarah concocted, a plan that leaves God out of the picture.

Genesis 16:1-2 (ESV)

1  Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. 2  And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Clearly, this entire scheme was thought up by Sarai and approved by Abraham, but was not what God had in mind.  It is very important that we keep God in all of our decisions. Putting God’s will and His glorification before our own is the essence of discipleship.  When we forget that, we tend to put ourselves before God and, it usually ends up being a disaster.

Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)

5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Jeremiah 10:23 (ESV)

23  I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

Sarai simply lost patience while waiting to bear Abraham a son.  Humanly speaking, we can sympathize with her.  Being barren was considered a dishonor in those days, and children were considered a blessing from God (Genesis 30:1; Psalms 127:3).  Still, this high-powered couple, both of whom are listed in the hall of fame of faith (Hebrews 11:8, 11), simply lost patience as they grew older and thought they could somehow help God out, or hurry Him up.

The story transpires in typical fashion. In following their humanly devised plan, it looks at first as if it was the right decision because Hagar indeed conceives a child for Abraham (16:4).  In the end, however, things fall apart.  Eventually, Sarai experiences humiliation, Abraham experiences misery, and Hagar experiences oppression. The ultimate consequence of Sarai and Abraham’s actions is the producing of a people, the Arabs, who became a problem for the people of God throughout history. Why did it happen?  Because they forgot, God has His own clock. Let us all learn to wait on the Lord.

— Via Brown Street Beacon, May 16, 2021
——————–

-3-

Matthew 8:23-27

“When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, ‘What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”

— NASB
——————–

-4-

From Darkness to Light

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Darkness.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be keeping in prayer: Tammy Griffey, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex Hadley, Jim Lively, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, and Shirley Davis 
——————–

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.

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) Pleasing God (Jerry Fite)
2) Jesus and Miracles (Frank Himmel)
3) An Important Key in Solving Marriage Problems (Tom Roberts)
4) Mark 12:28-31 (NASB)
5) Fighting the Good Fight of Faith (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
6) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Pleasing God

Jerry Fite

God created the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that in them is in six days (Exodus 20:11)! Under these four headings, one could spend many lifetimes writing about the numberless stars in the heavens, the variety of fish in the sea, the divergence of living creatures on earth and the complexity of man, whom God created in His own image. The Bible describes the experience in “Nature” as the handiwork of God (Psalm 19:1-2, 139:13-15). The eternal God is so wise and powerful, and so far above us. How could we ever do something so extraordinary that would grab His attention and please Him?

Maybe in the presence of our majestic God, we are thinking of a one-time-memorable-act to attract His attention, when we should be looking at an every-day-something which glorifies God and pleases Him. God reminds us, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah; but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (Proverbs 15:8). The eternal and self-existent “I Am” is pleased with the petition that comes from the upright person. Instead of thinking loftily of pleasing God by doing a great work for Him, we should remind ourselves that our God is pleased when we humbly express our need for Him.

 The upright offers up prayers expressing one’s trust in God. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in Jehovah” (Psalm 4:5). Reverential fear and confident hope connect the heart with the verbal petitions of the righteous, bringing joy to God. “Jehovah taketh pleasure in them that fear Him; in those that hope in His lovingkindness” (Psalm 147:11).

 While prayer from the righteous pleases God, the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Him. Isaiah was sent to a people who were shedding innocent blood while offering up sacrifices to be accepted by God. The holy God makes it clear that He wants nothing of this incongruity. “Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:13-14).

God does not only look at the deeds of man, but He sees our heart. “…Jehovah looketh not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance but Jehovah looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). The outward deeds are the extension of the heart in the inward man. The heart must be upright if God is to be pleased with our sacrifices and prayers. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

 If the heart is not upright, God will not hear our prayers. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18). The perverse heart issuing the perverse way is an abomination before the eyes of the Lord. “They that are perverse in heart are an abomination to Jehovah…” (Proverbs 11:20).

 Getting to the “heart” of the matter, the upright heart is the essential characteristic in our prayers being a delight before God. Even when we sin, we can change inwardly and come before God with a humble contrite heart knowing God will hear and forgive. “Be glad in Jehovah, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11).

— Via Glad Tidings, Volume XXIX, No. 52, December 29, 2019
——————–

-2-

Jesus and Miracles

Frank Himmel

In his first sermon, Peter introduced Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your presence, just as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22). Let’s begin a study of Jesus’ miracles with three observations from this verse.

One, Jesus performed miracles. Too many in our day try to dismiss the accounts of Jesus’ miracles as the exaggerations of over-zealous disciples. No, the New Testament is eyewitness testimony. “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16; cf. 1 John 1:1-3).

Jesus did many different kinds of miracles: various physical effects, such as walking on water; instant healing of numerous afflictions, including severed body parts; casting out demons; and in at least three instances He raised the dead. Unlike His disciples (e.g., Matthew 17:14-21), He never failed anything He attempted. Even His enemies acknowledged His miracles. The thousands gathered on Pentecost were well aware of Jesus’ deeds—“just as you yourselves know.”

Two, Jesus’ miracles manifested divine power. The word miracle is used rather loosely in modern times, often to denote merely outstanding or unusual events; for example, a team making a “miraculous” comeback in a game. Such things are not miracles at all. Genuine miracles require supernatural involvement. In Jesus’ activities, “God performed through Him.”

Peter used three terms: miracles, wonders, and signs.Miracle emphasizes the cause, divine power. It is from the same word as dynamite. Wonder points to the effect on witnesses. Sign states the purpose. Miracles say something. They have implications beyond the event, which brings us to. . .

Three, Jesus’ miracles proved who He was. He was “attested by God.” That means accredited or proved. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh (John 5:18; 10:30). His miracles verified it. Jesus’ miracles are as critical to His identity as His teaching is.

When John the Baptist wanted to know if Jesus was the Expected One, Jesus pointed to His miracles (Matthew 11:2-6). The Lord told audiences who stumbled over His words, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38). The written record of Jesus’ miracles enables us to believe as surely as those who saw them firsthand (John 20:30-31).

— Via Pathlights, August 29, 2021
——————–

-3-

An Important Key in Solving Marriage Problems

Tom Roberts

There have been times when I have been called in to ‘referee’ a marital dispute only to realize after hours of discussion that the real solution to the marriage problems was contained in The Golden Rule. If husbands and wives would really absorb what Jesus said and apply it to their situations, many problems would vanish immediately. Is there any husband so bold as to deny that he often acts selfishly, thinking only of his own wants and needs, with little attention to those of his wife? Can any wife deny that a similar blindness on her part is more than a little to blame in many disputes? If each of the marriage partners would ‘wear the shoes’ of their mates, they would see the need of ‘doing unto others as we would have them do unto us’ (as it is commonly paraphrased). No marriage counselor on earth could give better advice than to press home the meaning of these words to feuding husbands and wives.

— Via The Beacon, July 25, 2021
——————–

-4-

Mark 12:28-31

“One of the scribes…asked Him, ‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, “HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.” The second is this, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” (NASB).

“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40, NASB).
——————–

-5-

Fighting the Good Fight of Faith

Tom Edwards

To hear the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Fight_the_Good_Fight.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Let us continue to remember Tammy Griffey in our prayers who had not been feeling well, had some tests run, and is to hear the results November 1.

Also, Shirley Davis as she is undergoing rehab for her injured foot.

Bennie Medlock had his second cataract surgery, and all went well.

Also keep Rex Hadley, Rick Cuthbertson, Deborah Medlock, and Jim Lively in prayer.
——————–

-5-

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.

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) Is Everything We Do “Worship”? (Frank Jamerson)
2) “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”
(Psalm 33:12) (John Gibson)
3) Matthew 17:1-3, 5 (NASB)
4) Lessons from 2 Timothy 4 (video sermon, Tom Edwards)   
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Is Everything We Do “Worship”?

Frank Jamerson

Several years ago, a preacher in the Christian church made the argument to me that if we cannot play an instrument in worship, we cannot play one anywhere, because everything we do is worship. In the May, 1990 issue of The Examiner, one of the anonymous writers said: “Is it wrong to play a piano and sing to God? If it is, then it is equally wrong to use a piano for any reason. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, ‘Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’ If you can’t use mechanical instruments to praise God then how can you justify their use at all?” (p. 8)

It may be difficult to distinguish between “service” and “worship” in some passages, but the fact that not everything we do is “worship” should be obvious from the meaning of the words as well as the way they are used in Scripture.

Let us notice the context of the quote from 1 Corinthians 10:31. Beginning with verse 14, Paul warns against idolatry. He then said that when Israel ate the sacrifices they were “partakers of the altar,” even so if the Corinthians ate the sacrifices of the Gentiles, they were having “fellowship with demons” (v. 20). They were admonished not to have fellowship with idolatry, but they could “eat whatever is sold in the meat market” (v. 25), if they understood that such action was not worship to the idol. However, if a weak brother said, “This was offered to idols, do not eat it for the sake of” his conscience (v. 28). If the action of eating meat was intended as worship to an idol, it was wrong. If the same action was done for a different purpose, there was nothing inherently wrong with it. Likewise, they did not “commune with Christ” every time they drank grape juice. Eating meat, or drinking grape juice may be worship or not worship, depending on your purpose. Verse 31 does not say “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you are worshiping.” It says that in eating and drinking, we should consider the consciences of our brethren, and thereby “glorify God.”

Jesus cleansed the temple twice, because men had failed to distinguish between “service” and “worship” (John 2:14-16; Matt. 21:12-13). The services of selling doves and making change were good works, but Jesus said that they were in the wrong place. The “house of prayer” had become a “den of thieves.” Maybe they thought that if they could not sell doves and make change in the temple, they could not do those things anywhere! Jesus did not buy their excuses, whatever they may have been!

W.E. Vine summarizes the definition of worship as: “Broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment.” Thayer comments: “Among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence… hence in the New Testament by kneeling or prostration, to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication.” Regardless of how obedient subjects may have been to the kings, they had not “worshiped” until they performed acts of reverence that were required by the kings. An example of that is found in Daniel 3. Though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faithful servants of Nebuchadnezzar, when the order was given: “at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up,” they refused to obey. In this we see a clear distinction between service and worship. If they mean the same, then the Hebrews had already “worshiped” Nebuchadnezzar, so why not bow to the image and avoid the fiery furnace?

In the first century those who refused to worship the Emperor were not permitted to “buy or sell” because they did not have the “mark of the beast” on their forehead or hand (Rev. 13:17; 14:9). Those Christians knew the difference between serving the Emperor and worshiping him, and it cost them dearly! There was, and is, nothing wrong with being obedient to the “decrees of Caesar,” but there is something wrong with worshiping him!

“Service” is a more general word and may be used to describe worship, but not all service is worship. Abraham told the young men with him that “the lad and I will go yonder and worship” (Gen. 22:5). After David’s son died, he “went into the house of the Lord and worshiped,” then he went to his own house and ate food (2 Sam. 12:20). The Ethiopian eunuch had gone to Jerusalem “to worship” (Acts 8:27). True worship has both an inward dimension and an outward dimension. It involves the attitude (“in spirit”) and the acts performed (“in truth”). If the worship was to the Emperor, it involved reverence expressed in whatever actions he required. If the worship is to God, it must be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

It is not true that if you can serve the emperor, you can worship him. Neither is it true that if you can play an instrument anywhere you can play it in worship, nor if you can wash feet anywhere you can wash them in worship, nor if you can eat meat anywhere you can eat it in worship! Worship is special acts offered reverently to a special Being. Men who made “the washing of hands” a religious requirement were “worshiping in vain” because such was not authorized of God (Matt. 15:9).

We need to be content in doing the things God authorized as “worship,” and “serve” him in all things. Those who make everything we do “worship” are on dangerous ground.

— via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2012
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-2-

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”
(Psalm 33:12)

John Gibson

“When America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great,” said Alexis de Tocqueville. In this statement we are reminded that the greatness of a nation does not rest in its military power, social advancements, political acumen or its national wealth. A nation’s greatness is found in the quotient of its righteousness. Righteousness is the determining factor in a country’s future. Solomon, the wisest of men, said “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Theodore Roosevelt warned, “The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.” Is it possible that this day is drawing near? To a great extent our objectives have become: success, status, and security. These are followed closely by self-indulgence, pleasure, and comfort. Our permissive society turns freedom into license, rights into riots, and pornography into profit.

Concerned about a higher standard of living, we often fail to live by a standard. Riches are elevated above righteousness; power over piety; and science above the Savior. We abandon the moral law then shake our heads in disbelief as crime increases. Look out, America! Remember the words of Will Durant: “No great nation has ever been overcome until it has destroyed itself.”

If you really desire to be a patriot; if you are truly concerned about America; if you earnestly want God to bless her – Then live a life in harmony with the will of God.

— Via The Beacon, September 19, 2021
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-3-

Matthew 17:1-3,5

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. . . . While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’”  

— New American Standard Bible
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-4-

Lessons from 2 Timothy 4

To hear the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/2Tim4_1-7.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Congratulations to Ronnie & Melotine Davis in the birth of their new great granddaughter, Addison Brooke Carines!

Let us continue to pray for Tammy Griffey who has not been feeling well and has not yet heard the results of her recent tests.

Lee & Vivian Foster are now healed from the Covid-19, and Vivian never did have any really bad symptoms from it.

Shirley Davis is now also healed from Covid-19 and was moved into a rehab clinic a couple weeks ago where she has begun treatment for her foot.

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Rex Hadley, Rick Cuthbertson, Deborah Medlock, and Jim Lively.
——————–

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.

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) Singing with Grace (Ron Halbrook)
2) Refinement (Terry Wane Benton)
3) Six Dangers for the Christian to Avoid (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Singing with Grace

Ron Halbrook

Two of the passages which point to the importance of congregational singing are Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:19

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Colossians 3:16

Two aspects of worship in song are clearly taught in these passages. The first aspect is singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord — singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. All true obedience to God presses the faith and submission of the heart of man toward God. All true worship is the outpouring of our hearts unto God. Our hearts should be full of grace, love, and truth of God as we sing praises to him.

The second aspect is speaking to yourselves — teaching and admonishing one another. We teach and encourage one another by the words we sing. Daily, private singing is appropriate and expresses the thanksgiving of the heart to God. “Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13). But public, congregational singing adds the dimension of each one who worships God edifying others as they worship God.

These two passages, like every other passage on music in worship during the gospel age, authorize vocal rather than instrumental music. The thanksgiving and melody of the heart are to be expressed by speaking, teaching, and admonishing by means of singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Instruments of music such as harps, horns, guitars, banjoes, drums, clarinets, organs, and cymbals cannot speak the truths of God’s Word. The word of Christ cannot dwell in the heart of a mechanical instrument — no such instrument can teach and admonish people with the divine word. Both passages urge God’s people to sing from the heart, but neither authorizes them to play upon a harp.

“By his prophets” the Lord commanded the use of cymbals, psalteries, and harps in the temple worship under the law of Moses (2 Chron. 29:25). While trumpets and other instruments were being played, animals sacrifices were burned (v. 28). The Psalms speak of worshiping God with various musical instruments and with “burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats” (Ps. 150; 66:15). Noah was commanded to build an ark — Israel to march around the walls of Jericho — Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan River (Gen. 6; Josh. 6; 2 Kings. 5).

We do not serve God today under the covenants and commandments of the Old Testament fathers, but under the new covenant of Jesus Christ. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2).

Jesus Christ in the New Testament does not command us to dip seven times in Jordan, to march around Jericho, to build an ark, to offer animal sacrifices, or to play musical instruments in worship!  We read his command in the New Covenant to sing in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, but where do we read any command to play?

Christ teaches us to glorify God in our worship rather than man — singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Christ commands personal participation by all saints in worship rather than professional performances by a few — yourselves, one another. Christ commanded our worship to be edifying rather than entertaining — teaching and admonishing.

The modem use of solo, quartet, and choir singing violates the design of New Testament worship. Men are touted and glorified for making a display of their musical “talents.” Not all who make up “yourselves” and “one another” can qualify for the solo or choir, so the participation of all the saints is sacrificed on the altar of professional performance. The “program” is sure to be entertaining, but spiritual edification is lost. Tryouts, contests, and competitions are held — performances presented, entertainment exalted, and men glorified — in the name of worship. It is all carnality and a vain display of religion “after the commandments and doctrines of men,” “which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship” (Col. 2:22-23). In other words, in the name of doing God’s will men are doing their own will.

True worship glorifies God and edifies saints. As the heart overflows with the word of Christ and the praise of God, we sing with grace. True Christians worship according to the commands of Christ and not according to their own will. New Testament churches find their pattern for worship in the New Testament, not in the Old Testament, not in the vain traditions of men, and certainly not in the carnality of this modern age!

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, August 2021
——————–

-2-

Refinement

Terry Wane Benton

All that happens to us in this life is part of refining us. Like gold is purified through the harsh fires of testing, and as testing refines and strengthens our quality of faith and character, we come out in the end with a glory that looks more like the glory of Jesus. That depends on how genuine our faith is in Jesus!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). Think about how Job was tested, yet he believed he would come out somewhere as gold.

David went through many heartaches and difficulties, and yet, this is the refining process in him, and here is how he looked at it all:

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance”(Psalm 66:10-12 ESV).

We are either refined or we get burnt up. If we are refined, the end product will be beautiful in God’s hands! Be sure you have gold quality faith in the Lord!

— Via La Vista church of Christ, August 13, 2021
——————–

-3-

Six Dangers for the Christian to Avoid

Tom Edwards

To hear the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/6_Dangers.mp4

——————–

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

— NASB
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Rich and Tammy Griffey
have not yet heard the results of Tammy’s recent testing.  She is still not feeling well.

I’m glad to report that A.J. & Pat Joyner, and their daughter Pam, are all healed from the Covid-19.

Also Philip Hickox is now healed from Covid-19.

Shirley Davis, Lee & Vivian Foster, and their family have also been healing from Covid-19.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis have had only the one injection for their back pains, so far. They will also be having a couple more for the completion of it.

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Frank & Ossie Andrews, Joshua Harvey, Nell Teague, Rex Hadley, Deborah Medlock, and Jim Lively.
——————–

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.

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.)

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