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)  “A Man After God’s Own Heart” (Jarrod Jacobs)
2)  Be Holy (Jesse A. Flowers)

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“A Man After God’s Own Heart”

Jarrod Jacobs

The statement above is well-known to most people. This statement, while not the exact Bible quotation, is based on the words of Scripture found in I Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22. In both passages, we see reference made to David, the second king of Israel. He was the one God describes as being “after His own heart.” In fact, God makes it clear that David “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (I Kings 15:5). What made David a man after God’s own heart? What characteristics stand out when we think of this wonderful Bible character? Can we possess those characteristics today? Let us answer these questions.

What Made David A Man After God’s Own Heart?

The answer to this question is not hard to find. In I Samuel 13:14, after Saul had sinned in offering the sacrifice before the battle with the Philistines (vv. 9-10), God inspired Samuel to condemn the action and then pronounce this judgment: “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you” (vv. 13-14).

I Samuel 16 records God’s selection of David as the next king of Israel. By simply reading I Samuel 13, we see that David was “a man after God’s own heart” because he was obedient to the Lord! Evidently, God saw in David a characteristic not found in Saul, and that was his consistency and fortitude to continue to obey God even when it was hard to do! Those who read of the life of David have to be impressed with his consistency and faithfulness to the Lord through his life.

Another attribute that makes David “a man after God’s own heart” would be his willingness to repent of sins. At no time should we equate “a man after God’s own heart” with sinlessness. This is not the case with David because he sinned at times. Some recorded occasions of sin include the time he sinned with Bathsheba and murdered Uriah (II Sam. 11-12). Also, the time he allowed the ark to be brought back on the new cart; (resulting in the death of Uzzah) rather than looking for the Levites who could correctly transport the ark back to Jerusalem (II Sam. 6). On another occasion, David committed the sin of acting when God had been silent when he numbered the people (II Sam. 24). This resulted in the deaths of 70,000 men. In each case, David repented and determined to do better in the future. He relied upon God and went to God for forgiveness. His attitude is probably best summed up in his words, “Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man” (II Sam. 24:14). With his godly attitude, it is not surprising that we read the following words of advice to Solomon: “Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn” (I Kings 2:2-3).

In connection with the above, we also see David as a humble man. He humbly repented before God when he sinned. Notice also that though he was king of Israel, and the victor in many battles, he still remembered, “The Lord is my shepherd …” (Ps. 23:1). He freely confessed, “I am poor and needy” (Ps. 86:1). He was truly a humble man.

David was a man of faith as well. Remember that when he went out to meet Goliath in battle, he said, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand” (I Sam. 17:45-47). This is but one of many examples we could cite that shows David’s great faith. He believed in God, and believed God! Doesn’t God expect the same of us today (Heb. 11:6)?

We can also say David was a patient man. Though chosen to be king over Israel (I Sam. 16), he did not lead some kind of coup, or rebellion against Saul. In fact, he would not lift a hand to harm “the Lord’s anointed” in any way, nor did he encourage others to do harm to him (I Sam. 24:4-7)! He was patient and waited until the time was right to serve as king of Israel. Only after Saul’s death, and the time of mourning was passed did he ask God if he ought to go to the cities of Judah (II Sam. 2:1). Even at that time, he did not just “assume the throne”! In addition to this, David’s patience is seen when he wanted to build the Temple, but God would not let him do it (II Sam. 7). He was satisfied to gather the materials and wait for his son to build the Temple (I Chron. 22:2-4, 14-16, 29:2-7). He did not overrule God’s decision and start building the Temple, but was patient and did as God wanted. What wonderful examples of patience by David.

Could It Be Said That You Are One After God’s Own Heart?

Notice David is not called “the” man after God’s own heart, but he is “a” man who fit this description. Evidently, God acknowledges that there are others who could also be described in this way. Friend, be honest and examine yourself (II Cor. 13:5). Could God describe us as a man/woman “after His own heart”? If not, why not? What part of our lives have we decided do not belong to the God of Heaven? Have we decided that we can’t be a “person after God’s own heart” because we’re not “good enough”? I hope that through this study, it is made clear that it is not a matter of someone being “sinless,” for this is impossible (Rom. 3:23). It is a matter of self-sacrifice for the Lord and the willingness to be corrected and repent to God when we see that we are in error. We need to learn to be that “living sacrifice” for the Lord (Rom. 12:1-2) and give Him our all. Let us stand as David and be someone “after God’s own heart.” When we determine we will show humility, faith, patience, and obedience to God in our spiritual lives, we will be someone “after God’s heart” won’t we? Let us learn a lesson from the life of David, and let us apply the attributes of his life to our own (Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 10: 11). When we do this, we will grow closer to God and do much to prepare ourselves for an eternity in Heaven. 

— Via The Old Paths, Volume 21, Issue 13, May 25, 2014

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Colossians 3:17

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

— NASB

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Be Holy

Jesse A. Flowers

“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

Perhaps no attribute of God is emphasized more to us in the Scriptures than His holiness (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). God is holy in that He is absolutely pure. He is unstained by sin and evil. He is perfect in every way. As the apostle John expressed it, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And based upon God being holy, we His children are called upon to be holy too (1 Thess. 4:7).

The root idea of holiness is that of separation from a life of habitual sin and all worldly defilement. Holiness entails dedication (consecration) to the service of God. A life of holiness has always been required of God’s covenant people (cf. Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:26), and such a requirement has always been based upon God’s own holiness – “be holy, for I am holy.”

The apostle Peter makes it abundantly clear to his Christian readers that we are not to simply be holy in certain areas of our life, but we are to be holy in ALL of our conduct (behavior). Our thoughts are to be pure and holy (Phil. 4:8). Our words (our speech) are to be completely holy (Eph. 4:29). Our lives are to be without spot and blameless (2 Peter 3:14). The clothing we wear is to profess our godliness (1 Tim. 2:9-10). The things that we watch, the audio that we listen to, and the places that we go must be rooted in our holiness.

In fact, a life of holiness ought to be our daily pursuit, knowing that we will not see the Lord or be with the Lord if it is absent from our life (Heb. 12:14). As Paul penned: “Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). May we earnestly strive to “be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4).

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, January 2024 

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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 Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.   Congregational Song Service: 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

1) Things to Bring to Worship (Mike Wilson)  
2) Jesus, the Amen and the Beginning (Terry Wane Benton)
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Things to Bring to Worship

Mike Wilson

It’s another Sunday morning, and you are fighting to get everything and everyone ready on time. The kids are screaming, and someone is honking the horn. Most families know the feeling. As you come staggering to the car at the last second, did you forget anything? Do you have a checklist of things you must bring to church?

Most of us would do well to ponder every day, and especially every Lord’s Day, what it means to worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. If we listen to the word of the Lord reverently, we will find many reasons to be humbled at the very thought of the awesome grandeur of the One who is the object of our adoration. We will not approach Him lightly or frivolously. And when time for worship approaches, whether it is collective or private, we must take certain attitudes with us to His heavenly throne.

A Willing Spirit

King David wrote, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1). The psalmist’s attitude stands in stark contrast to that of the begrudging priests addressed in the book of Malachi. God charges them with despising His name, offering blemished animals, and saying to themselves, “My, how tiresome it is!” (Malachi 1:6, 13-14). Amos rebukes the Israelites of the mid-7th century BC because of a similar disdain for worship. They couldn’t wait for their religious obligations to be satisfied so that they could get on with business: “When will the new moon be over so that we may buy grain, and the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, to make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, and to buy with dishonest scales…?” (Amos 8:5). If you have any inclination to be spiritually minded, read Psalm 63 and make this prayer your own. With these words alive in your heart, you will never be able to permit the service of God to degenerate into a burdensome chore again. Worship time should invoke a spiritual adventure: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law” (Psalm 119:18). Going through the motions without heart involvement produces worship that is “vain” (Matthew 15:8-9).

A Reconciled Heart

Jesus says, “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24). If there is hatred and strife in your heart as you look horizontally down the pew, how can there be love in your heart as you look vertically up toward God? (I John 4:20-21). Dietrich Bonhoeffer comments, “If we despise our brother, our worship is unreal, and it forfeits every divine promise. When we come before God with hearts full of contempt and unreconciled with our neighbors, we are, both individually and as a congregation, worshipping an idol” (The Cost of Discipleship, p. 144).

Holy Hands

“Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (I Timothy 2:8). Although Paul’s words might have implications for a common posture of prayer for early Christians, they say more about the posture of the heart. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). There will always be hypocrites in God’s church, but their prayers are not heard. How can any child of God devote himself to filth on Saturday night and then sing “Purer in Heart, O God” on the Lord’s Day morning? It is an abomination! We are all sinners, but God has graciously given us the opportunity to repent and confess our sins (I John 1:8-9) rather than continue in the lie (I John 1:6).

Absolute Submission

True worship must be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). It not only must express the genuine intents of the heart, but it must accord with “reality, which men grasp on the basis of revelation” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, p. 891). God will look “to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). Every true worshiper experiences inexpressible joy when he praises God for the marvelous blessings He has so graciously given to us. However, this joy does not rely on artificial stimulation or anything external that is intended to induce a certain mood. It comes from trust in God and hope in His precious promises. These promises are made only to those who are willing to humbly follow His word, as laid down in the New Testament (John 8:31-32). This is why we do not burn incense, dance, clap, or blow trumpets in our church assemblies, even if all these things were done in the Old Testament period. The Old Law was only a shadow of what we now have in Christ (Hebrews 10:1; John 1:17). We are now obligated to remain within the parameters of the New Testament, as mediated through the apostles and prophets of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2; Acts 15:24).

When you worship God, do you bring these things with you?

— Via  Articles from the La Vista church of Christ, January 6, 2024

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Jesus, the Amen and the Beginning

Terry Wane Benton

“These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14).

The Amen

Jesus is the Amen, the One who validates us. When we say “amen” at the end of a prayer, we are validating our support for that prayer. Jesus validates us. He is our amen when the world will affirm how wrong they think we are. Jesus is the only amen we need. Jesus also validates our prayers. We can pray in His name, and the prayer now has validation in His name. Jesus does not validate the unbelieving until they repent and believe obediently in Him. The Jews who denied Jesus were adversaries, enemies, and persecutors of the early disciples of Jesus, but Jesus’ miracles, teaching, and resurrection proved them wrong and gave amen to the side of the disciples. The Romans were often involved in appeasing the Jews (Acts 12:1-3) and attacking, killing, and harassing the Christians. The government might not validate, honor, and protect the Christians, but Jesus is the Highest validation we can have. He is the amen that trumps all our opponents. We don’t need any higher validation than Him.

The Faithful and True Witness

He is also the “Faithful and True Witness.” He is God and has seen God the Father in all His reality and glory. So, His testimony is true, and cannot be trumped by any unbeliever’s efforts to cast doubt in His reality. How can a non-witness trump a witness? Jesus was there, and they were not. He also is a true witness of the reality of resurrection and the reality of heaven. He was “demonstrated” to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection (Romans 1:4), and of course, He came from heaven and was seen ascending back to heaven. So, heaven is real! Who has greater testimony about such realities than Jesus? His testimony as a true and faithful witness trumps all words of doubt and unbelief.

The Beginning of the Creation of God

Jesus is also “the beginning of the creation of God” which means He was the One who began the physical creation (Genesis 1:1ff; John 1:1-4). Nothing was made without Him. But Jesus is also the author of the greater creation, the antitype of the physical creation, the spiritual creation, the church (II Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 2:10; 4:24). To “begin” a creation means that He has a plan that will carry it to its intended climactic purpose. He did not abandon His creation and will not abandon His spiritual creation.

The Beginning and the Amen

He is the “author” and “finisher” of our faith, which means He is with us to help us finish our mission (Hebrews 12:2). Thus, He is the “beginning” and “the Amen.” The implication is that creations that are important enough to “begin” are important enough to sustain and see to the objective end. This is very satisfying to know that this is the One that is for us, so “who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Who are such enemies in comparison?

—  Via Articles from the Lavista church of Christ, January 10, 2024

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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 Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.   Congregational Song Service: 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

1) The Preservation of God’s Word (Kyle Pope)  
2) Sword Tips #8 (Joe R. Price)
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The Preservation of God’s Word

Kyle Pope

How can we know the Bible is complete? Is something missing? Was something left out? Does Scripture offer any answers?
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My grandchildren have some puzzles we keep in a box of toys in the room where they stay whenever they visit. They are simple puzzles with only about 20 pieces but occasionally one or two of the pieces gets misplaced. When that happens, even if all the other pieces are in place, it’s not a complete picture—something is missing. We learned in our first lesson that the writers who wrote the Bible claim to have done so by the direct guidance of God. If we accept their claim, a question that immediately arises is how can we know that the Holy Spirit did not also inspire other authors to write other books not found in the Bible? Does the Bible have all of God’s revealed word or is something missing?

Three Facts About God and His Word

If we accept that God has revealed Himself through the written word we must notice some things God has revealed about Himself and His word.

1. God is All-Powerful.

Unlike gods of mythology and false religion, the God revealed in the Bible is omnipotent, a word that means “all-powerful.” Solomon declared, “our God is greater than all gods” (2 Chron. 7:5). Jeremiah wrote, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (Jer. 33:17). God is “the Maker of all things” (Jer. 10:16; 51:19); and Jesus, God in the flesh, said, “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). So that means while humans may try to resist God’s will, they cannot overpower Him.

2. God’s Word Accomplishes Its Purpose.

When God spoke to Isaiah, He compared His word to rain and snow that water the earth and cause growth. He declared, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). So if God sends forth His word and God is all-powerful, man cannot prevent God’s word from accomplishing its intended purpose. As a result…

3. God’s Word Endures Forever.

All throughout the Bible, it is taught that God’s word cannot pass away. David proclaimed, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (Ps. 119:160). Isaiah was told to, “Cry out!” the truth that “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades… but the word of our God stands forever” (Isa. 40:6-8). Jesus, God in the flesh, declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32). Finally, Peter described the word of the gospel of Christ as an “incorruptible” seed that is “the word of God which lives and abides forever” going on to quote Isaiah 40:6-8 (1 Pet. 1:22-25).

So if God is all-powerful, and His word endures forever, what does that tell us about whether the Bible is missing something? If man could successfully remove, destroy, erase, or delete something from the divine revelation God intended to preserve, wouldn’t that mean human beings had overcome God? Yes. So along with the claim that the Bible is from God, we must also understand that it teaches the principle that God will preserve His word.

Free Will and Providence

How can that be true if we all have the freedom to choose right or wrong? I could make the decision right now to take a Bible and cut out all the pages that teach things I don’t like. I could burn every bookstore that sells Bibles and force everyone I could to give up their Bibles to be burned. Wouldn’t that succeed in destroying God’s word? No. We’ll see in future lessons that there actually have been times when people tried to do these very things, but even though human beings have free will (the right to choose right or wrong), an all-powerful God always exercises providence.

The word “providence” comes from a Latin word that means “to foresee.” It refers to the ways God provides things to His people. The Bible makes it clear that God knows everything that will happen long before it occurs. James declared, “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18). Isaiah taught that God is One, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…”. (Isa. 46:10). Imagine that you knew someone was about to hit you in the face—would you move your head to prevent him from hitting you? Would you take steps to try and make him change his mind about taking that swing? If you let him hit you would you put some ice nearby to soothe the pain? God is so far above us! God knows everything we will ever do, and can act in ways to make certain that even if people try to destroy His word, it will be preserved for those who need it or for the time when people will follow it.

Examples of God’s Preservation of His Word

Let’s notice two examples of this recorded in the Bible. Near the final days of the southern kingdom of Judah, the Israelites had become so wicked they had given themselves to the most extreme forms of idolatry ever practiced in ancient times including child sacrifice and temple prostitution (cf. 2 Kings 23:7-10). Any remnants of true worship according to the Law of Moses came only from traditions held in the memory of the people. This happened because God’s word fell into such disuse that the book of the Law had actually been lost! On one occasion when the temple was being cleared, Scripture records, “Now when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord, given by Moses. Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.’ And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan” (2 Chron. 34:14). When the law was read to king Josiah, he committed himself to lead the nation in restoration of true worship of God according to His word.

Unfortunately Josiah’s son, Jehoiakim, did not have the same respect for God’s word. When the Lord led Jeremiah to send a message from Him to the king, the Bible records, “And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth” (Jer. 36:23). Because he didn’t like what God said, Jehoiakim tried to destroy it! Did he succeed? No. God commanded Jeremiah, “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned” (Jer. 36:28).

Even though people disregarded God’s word so much that it was lost, God preserved it for the time when good hearts would obey its commands. Even though people tried to silence and destroy God’s word, God preserved it for those who would respect it. Today we can trust that God has preserved His word just as He intended. Nothing is lost. Nothing is missing. It exists just as God intended. In future lessons we will see historical examples of this in God’s providential preservation of His word through the ages.

— Via Truth Magazine, Volume 62, No. 2, February 2017

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume61/2017-02-Feb-Truth-Magazine.pdf

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“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

Sword Tips #8

Joe R. Price

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

When people of the world define what is “good” they often do so by saying, “let your conscience be your guide.” But, people of faith know what is good accomplishes the will of God (Heb. 13:21).

Micah reminds us it is God who tells us what is good. He does that through the inspired Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Good things require that we “do” the will of God. Here, the prophet sets God’s requirements of goodness as practicing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.

Today, concentrate on the good things God wants you to do – things like being fair in your treatment of others. Things like showing compassion and mercy to those who hurt.

Be humble before God and let him tell you through his word what is good – and then do it.                 

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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).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Greet, but Don’t Greet (Kyle Pope)  
2) Remember Your Own Forgiveness (Joe R. Price)
——————–

-1-

Greet, but Don’t Greet

Kyle Pope

It was recently pointed out to me that two commands found in the New Testament might easily be misunderstood as contradictory. Let’s take a look at these and consider what the Holy Spirit is teaching in each passage.

The first, comes in the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus elaborates on His command to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). As He urges His disciples to exemplify the Father’s willingness to do good to both “the just and the unjust” (5:45), He asks parallel questions—“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?” (5:46a) and “if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?”(5:47a). He explains that “even the tax collectors” (the personification of wickedness) do these things (5:46b, 47b). The clear charge here is that if one is a follower of Christ he must not merely “greet” his brethren, but even his enemies.

The second command comes in the brief second epistle of the apostle John. After warning that a failure to abide in the “doctrine of Christ” puts one in a position in which he or she does “not have God” (2 John 9), the apostle then addresses how the Christian must treat those who have transgressed the “doctrine of Christ.” He commands,

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (10-11)

How is it that we must “greet” even our enemies, but we share in the “evil deeds” of another person if we “greet” the one who transgresses the “doctrine of Christ”?

To understand this we must first consider what is meant by the term “greet.” Although most translations simply put this “greets him” (NKJV, ESV) or “gives him a greeting” (NASB), there is a little more that can be gleaned from the Greek text. The Holy Spirit led John to use the Greek word chairō (χαίρω). Thayer defines it, “1) to rejoice, be glad; 2) to rejoice exceedingly; 3) to be well, thrive; 4) in salutations, hail!” The key concept is joy. 42 times the King James Version translates it “rejoice.” So why is it translated “greet”? In ancient Greek it was quite common to use the imperative form of this word as an initial greeting or when saying goodbye to someone. It would be like saying, “rejoice!” New Testament writers show examples of this in both the beginnings (Jas. 1:1) and endings of epistles (2 Cor. 13:11).

In 2 John there are actually three words that make up the phrase. The pronoun for “him,” the verb meaning “to speak,” and the word chairō. In verse 10 and 11 it literally describes “saying to him ‘rejoice.’” John is not teaching that Christians are forbidden from saying “hello” to someone. He is teaching that we must never communicate to someone who has stepped outside of the teaching of Christ that they can “rejoice” in such a condition. Alexander Campbell in his Living Oracles translation put this “wishes him success” (LO).

We can compare this to the similar Hebrew custom that continues to the present. To say “hello” or “goodbye” one might say shalom (שָׁלוֹם) that literally means “peace.” Jesus likely alludes to this when He sends out the Twelve to spread the gospel. He tells them, “If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you” (Matt. 10:13). These Jewish disciples quite likely went out teaching with the greeting “shalōm!” —“peace!” If their message was received, this appeal for the well-being of those who were taught would remain. If the people rejected it, Jesus says to “let your peace return to you”—in other words, do not wish them “peace” when they are not in a condition in which they can be at peace. That would actually encourage them in their rebellion to God’s word. In the time of Jeremiah the Lord rebuked those who said to His rebellious people “‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14; 8:11).

This is the key to understanding how Jesus’ command to “greet” even our enemies and John’s command not to “greet” the transgressor of the “doctrine of Christ” harmonize. In the example of Jesus’ instructions to the Twelve we just considered, just before this He said, “And when you go into a household, greet it” (Matt. 10:12). The word He uses here is not the same word John used, but it is the same word used in the Sermon on the Mount. It is the Greek word aspazomai (ἀσπάζομαι), meaning, “1) to draw to one’s self; 1a) to salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to; 1b) to receive joyfully, welcome” (Thayer). Oddly enough, the King James Version translates this word “salute” 42 times. This is what we are to do even to our enemies. Like the Twelve, Christians are to welcome, receive, and attempt to draw to ourselves all people in the name of Christ. This is not a matter of wishing them “joy” or “peace” in their rebellion to God. It is kindness and courtesy, like God shows to “the just and the unjust.” We, like God are to do good to others whether they have done good to us or not (cf. Matt. 5:48). But also like the Twelve, if those whom we have tried to influence reject God’s word—or having received it do not “abide in the doctrine of Christ,” we must never in any way express to them that they can “rejoice” or be at “peace” in such a condition. If we do that we become complicit in their rebellion—we share in their “evil deeds.” Instead, like the Twelve, we must let “our peace” return back to us. We want the best for them. We are not rude or unkind to them. We hope for their change of heart and some future opportunity to correct the error of their ways, but we must never allow them to think that we sanction, approve, and encourage them to remain in rebellion.

This is the distinction in the two commands. There is no contradiction. The Holy Spirit is addressing two different conditions and two responses brought on by these differences.

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 25, Issue 18, November 26, 2023

——————–

-2-

Remember Your Own Forgiveness

Joe R. Price

If you have ever paid off a debt you know how liberating it is. To be out from under the pressure of making that monthly payment is a relief, no question about it.

Have you ever been freed from a financial obligation without having to pay off the debt? If so, I suspect you were very thankful for the kindness, generosity and mercy you were shown. At least, you should have been.

This is what happens in a spiritual sense when one is saved from his sins by Christ. By the mercy of God one is released from his debt of sin – a debt beyond his ability to repay. Divine compassion is extended to all through the death of Christ and obtained when the sinner will, in faith, obey the gospel instructions to repent of his sins and be baptized into Christ (Titus 2:11; Acts 2:37-41).

Jesus taught the motive and extent of forgiving those who sin against us in the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matt. 18:21-35). Is there any more tragic view of unmerciful selfishness than the one depicted by the Lord in this parable? The servant who was freed from an enormous debt to his master falls upon his fellow servant and demands payment of a paltry sum by comparison. Unwilling to show the same mercy and forgiveness he had been shown, the man reaped what he had sown. His master placed him under a torment which would last forever.

What is the point? “So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matt. 18:35).

Why are we unwilling to forgive each other when we have been forgiven a much greater debt? Perhaps because we do not appreciate the value and depth of the forgiveness we have received. Perhaps because we do not love each other as much as we love ourselves. Clearly, one reason is because we fail to love each other the way the Lord loves us (1 Jno. 4:7-11).

Brethren, these things ought not to be so. Forgiveness may not always be easy. But it is always right (Col. 3:12-14). If we forgive we will be forgiven. If not, our sin remains. (Matt. 6:14-15)

— Via The Spirit’s Sword, XII, Number 4, December 28, 2008

——————–

Romans 4:7-8

“BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT” (NASB).

——————–  

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Fill Your Speech With Grace (Josh Coles)   
2) My Attitude Toward God’s Word (Bryan Gibson)
——————–

 

-1-

Fill Your Speech With Grace

Josh Coles

Have you ever been on the receiving end of grace? Here’s a good definition for the word grace: “the acceptance of and goodness toward those who cannot earn or do not deserve such gain” (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old/New Testament Words).

 So, again, have you ever been on the receiving end of grace? If so, how did it make you feel or how did it change you? Wasn’t your heart immediately filled with thanksgiving, joy, and even humility? As a result, didn’t you respond by expressing that thankfulness, joy, and humility? Grace affects not only our actions, but our speech as well. So if you’ve been on the receiving end of grace, then your speech should be different afterwards –it should be filled with grace. Well, all Christians have been on the receiving end of God’s grace and He expects for us to speak gracious words. But how is this done? 

Giving Grace to Those Who Hear

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Eph. 4:29, ESV).

Before we study Ephesians 4:29, let’s set up the context so we understand more fully what’s going on. In 4:17-23, it’s taught that once we become a Christian our lives should be radically different, so Paul discusses what this radical change should look like and in 4:29 he focuses on our speech.

First, “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths….” This “talk” is rotten (i.e., in the sense of rotten fruit), worthless, unwholesome, or putrid. These words destroy and tear down quickly (James 3:5-6). This type of speech is the complete opposite of gracious; for no kindness, favor, or mercy would be included in it. How many times we say something only to realize the damage we did afterwards. Words are powerful. If used incorrectly and ungraciously they can do a lifetime of damage. So, as Christians who are attempting to fill their speech with grace, we don’t allow any corrupting talk to come out of our mouths.

Secondly, “… but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion.” You could use the word “edification” here as it means “to build up.” In order to be gracious with your words, you need to stop using worthless, harmful words and replace them with words that “only” help and encourage. You need to use words that make a person better once he hears them; however, this takes skill, wisdom, effort, and even courage to accomplish. Think of it in this sense: if you were constructing a building from the ground up, you would need to build it piece by piece and scrutinize which pieces to use in order to make sure it will be strong for years. In the same vein, when it comes to our words, we need to scrutinize which ones we’ll use in order to be as effective as possible in helping others grow and become better. This scrutiny is what Paul meant when he said, “… as fits the occasion.” Please note that this type of encouragement goes beyond just normal chit-chat. So, as Christians who are attempting to fill their speech with grace, we need to replace “corrupting words” with words that “build up.”

Giving Grace to Unbelievers

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Col. 4:3-6, NIV).

In Colossians 4:3-6, it seems the command to “give grace to those who hear” becomes much more target specific, with the emphasis placed on giving grace to unbelievers. By Paul requesting prayers from the Colossians for opportunities to speak with unbelievers, we learn that these occasions are incredibly valuable; thus, they should always be taken seriously and not dealt with haphazardly.  

Paul begins by instructing that their speech be full of grace and seasoned with salt. Well, we already know what it means to fill our speech with grace, but what does he mean to “season with salt”? Let’s consider the uses for salt: it preserves, purifies, cleans, and enhances. Salt preserves, purifies, and enhances; therefore, our speech should preserve, purify, and enhance those around us and the conversations we’re involved in. Meaning, our speech should clean up the conversations at work, school, parties, etc. Yet, there is salt that will clean and purify a wound, but it may not be a pleasant process due to stinging. Likewise, there may be speech we use that will sting. Nevertheless, it’s still gracious speech because it’s building up. Sometimes we need to hear those tough words in order to grow and become better. For example, Jesus used tough words, especially with the Pharisees, but they were gracious because they were said in order to build them up.

This passage also clearly teaches that we must speak in this way so we’ll know how to respond to unbelievers and take advantage of these opportunities. Along these same lines, the Holy Spirit said, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Pet. 3:15, NIV). You see, these opportunities may be limited and what is said may affect the unbeliever for years to come – whether positively (grace) or negatively (corruption). So we cannot approach these situations thoughtlessly. In these delicate situations, too many believers confuse boldness with condescension, rudeness, and hostility. These characteristics are corrupting and certainly no grace, gentleness, or respect is involved with them. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying we shouldn’t staunchly defend the gospel, but this passage, among others (2 Tim. 2:24-26), states we must do so with grace-filled speech. Some believers may have good intentions, but a lack of preparation caused them to miss the moment and cause harm in the process. So play these situations out in your mind and plan what you’ll say so you can impart grace and not corruption.

Well, the verdict is in: we need to fill our speech with grace and this is the only appropriate reaction in light of the grace God has extended to us. As Christians, we are testimony to the power of God’s grace and if we don’t allow it to fully transform us, then the world will learn that God’s grace is insufficient and inadequate— which is blasphemy. Therefore, please examine your speech and pray for God’s help to cultivate gracious speech instead of corrupting speech.

God’s tremendous grace should transform us to the point we use speech that ONLY builds up and refrain from speech that corrupts— especially when it comes to our conversations with unbelievers.

—– Via Truth Magazine, Volume 58, Number 5, May 2014

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume58/2014_05_May_Truth_Magazine.pdf?fb

——————–  

-2-

My Attitude Toward God’s Word

Bryan Gibson

Psalms 119 is a long tribute to God’s word. 176 verses, and all but two (122, 132) use some term to describe God’s word (testimonies, law, judgments, statutes, precepts, etc.). This ought to be a good place, then, to see exactly what my attitude toward God’s word should be.

I should regard it as the truth. “All Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right” (128). “Your law is truth” (142). “All Your commandments are truth” (151). “The entirety of Your word is truth” (160). See also 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

I should be in awe of it. “Princes persecute me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your word” (161). One “who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2)–that’s exactly what God wants me to be.

I should delight in it. “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (16).

I should love it. “My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love” (48). “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (97). “I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!” (127).

I should hate anything contrary to it. “All Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way” (128). “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (104).

— Via Plain Words from God’s Word, October 30, 2023

——————–

Jeremiah 15:16

“Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts” (NASB).

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Luke and the Birth of Jesus (Doy Moyer)   
2) The Ugliness of Selfishness (Bryan Gibson)
3) Sword Tips #25 (Joe R. Price)
——————–  

-1-

Luke and the Birth of Jesus

Doy Moyer

Luke’s intent to “compile an account of the things accomplished among us” as handed down by eyewitnesses begins with the birth of John the Immerser. John’s role would be to “turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God” by going “as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17). When his father, Zachariah, prophesied, he associated John’s work with redemption and salvation (Luke 1:67-79). How? He would be the one who would “go on before the Lord to prepare His ways.” Prophecies were being fulfilled, and John would level out the rough places and make a path for the Messiah to do His work.

Luke reveals the announcement about the birth of Jesus to Mary, prior to John’s birth. Gabriel came to Mary to tell her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” She did not yet understand what that would mean. She was told, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:30-33). Luke stresses the fact that Jesus would be the one who sits and rules on David’s throne with a kingdom that would never end (cf. 2 Sam 7:12-13). Mary’s response was one of acceptance, but far more than this. John’s mother, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, called her blessed.

Luke then records what is often called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Mary exalts God, rejoiced in “God my Savior,” and praises Him for His mighty deeds. She recognizes that she would be forever called “blessed” because of God’s favor upon her “humble state.” She praises God for His enduring mercy toward those who fear Him. What a glorious song of praise! God does indeed scatter the proud and exalt the humble. His mercy is from generation to generation, and this is best seen in the purposes of the coming of Jesus.

After John’s birth (highlighting that he is the forerunner), Luke moves to the birth of Jesus as the One who brings the redemption and salvation. Joseph and Mary had gone to Bethlehem where a full house lent itself to Jesus being placed in a feeding trough (note: mangers would be found in houses connected to a room for animals). These are humble beginnings for the Savior and Redeemer of humanity, but it fits His purposes in coming into this world to suffer, die, and rise again.

Also fitting is the fact that shepherds were told about Jesus’ birth. We might wonder why shepherds are an important part of the story, but we should not be surprised by this. Recall that God is the greatest Shepherd of all (cf. Gen 49:24), the One who led His people from slavery to the Promised Land. David was a shepherd, called to be a shepherd of the people as a king. All of this points to the “Good Shepherd,” Jesus Christ, who would lead the stray sheep from their sins into the abundant life (John 10). Since “all of us like sheep have gone astray” (Isa 53:6), we need the “Chief Shepherd,” the Guardian of our souls, to bring us back home (1 Pet 2:25; 5:4). The shepherds of the field foreshadow the work of Jesus, and they came to glorify the Shepherd of our souls.

The angelic message to the shepherds was about glory and peace: “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased’” (Luke 2:13-14). The Lord’s coming into the world would be about the manifestation of God’s glory and the bringing of peace.

When Jesus was taken to the temple, he was put into the arms of Simeon who recognized Jesus as the salvation promised by God, “a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). The Light of the world had come, and this was to the glory of God and His people. At the temple was also Anna, the prophetess, who came and began “giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (v. 38). Glory, peace, light, revelation, consolation, redemption, salvation — these are the terms Luke is associating with the birth of Jesus Christ. He is King, Savior, and Redeemer, fully deserving our worship and praise. Thank God for the incarnation!

— Via Doy Moyer’s Facebook site, December 15, 2023

——————–

-2-

The Ugliness of Selfishness

Bryan Gibson

Here is God’s case against selfishness, at least in outline form: 1) He specifically condemns it (Romans 2:7-8; Galatians 5:20; James 3:14-16). 2) He shows us its ugly fruits, through men like King Saul (1 Samuel 18:8-9), and the rich fool in the parable (Luke 12:13-21). 3) He specifically commends (and commands) the opposite virtue of unselfishness (Mark 8:34; 1 Corinthians 10:23-24; 13:5; Philippians 2:3-4). 4) And He provides us great examples of unselfishness, of Christ Himself (Philippians 2:5-8), and men like Timothy (Philippians 2:19-24), and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30).

It’s time then, with God’s help, we rid ourselves of selfishness, and all its ugly fruits. But for now, let’s focus especially on our children. They too need to learn the ugliness of selfishness. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)—Jesus said it, and He lived it. And we need to help our children live it, too.

And it will get ugly if we don’t—if we let our children grow up with a self-centered approach to life. 1) They won’t give liberally (2 Corinthians 9:6-7), which means the needs of others will go unmet. 2) They’ll have a difficult time enduring the hardships of life (2 Timothy 2:3; 3:12). 3) They’ll likely develop some other ugly fruits of selfishness, like envy and revenge (James 3:14-16; Romans 12:17-21). 4) They may have trouble holding down a job (1 Timothy 5:8), unless, of course, the conditions are just right. 5) And they may not give enough time to their families. Can we see just how ugly this business of selfishness can get?

So how do we teach our children to be unselfish?

Point them to a cause much greater than themselves—the cause of Christ, a cause dedicated to the welfare of others, and especially the salvation of their souls (Luke 19:10).

Set a good example of love, a love that “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

Point out other good examples—from the Bible (e.g., Dorcas—Acts 9:36-39), and from people they know personally. Let these be the kind of people they truly admire.

Teach them to share possessions, time, money, etc. (Hebrews 13:16). Make sure they know who really owns these things, and that we are accountable to Him for how we use them.

Point out specific acts of unselfishness they can do (e.g., Matthew 25:34-40). Willingness is not always the problem; sometimes they just don’t know what to do.

Don’t always take their side, with teachers, coaches, administrators, etc. “The other person is always wrong” is a dangerous (and sinful) attitude for them to develop.

Don’t give them too much too soon, lest they become entitled like the leech’s two daughters, “Give and Give” (Proverbs 30:15-16).

Teach them everything the Bible says about unselfishness, in addition to those cited above. A couple good ones:

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

— Via Plain Words from God’s Word, December 6, 2023
——————–

-3-

“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).

Sword Tips #25     

Joe R. Price

“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17).

Godly examples are a great blessing.

They embolden our faith by showing us people of faith do exist. And, they show us that being faithful to God makes a difference in this world.

The example set by the apostle Paul (who wrote this passage) continues to help Christians be strong and courageous in their faith.

Make it your goal to follow the pattern of the apostles.

Then, you too will be a worthy example for others to follow.   

——————–   

 The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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) Law, Grace, and Truth (Doy Moyer)
2) Hebrews 11: A Postscript (Bryan Gibson)
——————–

-1-

Law, Grace, and Truth

Doy Moyer

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him (John 1:14-18).

Sometimes law, grace, and truth are represented to be at odds with each other. When John says that the Law was given through Moses, and grace and truth were given through Jesus, was he suggesting that law contains no grace, or that grace contains no law? Neither option can be sustained. What, then, is the point John is making?

First, we should not take John’s point to mean that there was no grace or truth in the Law. Multiple Old Testament Scriptures speak of the lovingkindness (chesed) of God, and it would be unreasonable to suggest there was no truth, for “The sum of Your word is truth” (Psa. 119:160). Note how the psalmist brings together God’s lovingkindness and compassion in according with the Torah: “O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your word to Your servant. May Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight” (119:76-77). Passages can be multiplied to show that the people under the Law were still able to see God’s mercy extended to them. For this reason, it is incorrect to think that the Jews automatically equated being under the Law as “legalism” (if by that is meant trying to earn salvation through perfect law-keeping). They were well aware of their need for God’s mercy and compassion, and they knew the Torah was God’s truth. David could plead for God’s mercy, delight in the law (Psa. 1), and rejoice in the truth without thinking that he was flawless or merited anything. The Psalms are a strong testimony to the proper attitude and balance between law, grace, and truth. Even so, the law was incomplete. Something was missing that only God Himself could ultimately supply.

In giving the commandments, God warned the people that He would punish iniquity, but that also He would show “lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Deut. 5:10). “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (7:9; cf. v. 12). There was no rift between law and lovingkindness. God gave both.

Further, some passages explicitly put together lovingkindness and truth. For example, when Moses met the Lord on the mountain, the Lord passed in front and said, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished…”. (Exod. 34:6-7). See also 2 Samuel 2:6 where David ties “lovingkindness and truth” together. God’s lovingkindness and truth are both found in the Law, but it was going to take more. It was going to take the incarnation of God Himself.

Jesus became flesh in order to finalize God’s plan. He stated, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). He did not come in opposition to the Law or to destroy the Law. He came to complete and fulfill it, to bring about the full realization of what God intended all along. Grace and truth weren’t completely missing in the Law; they were just incomplete. Jesus, therefore, came to complete it.

Being under the Law did not mean being under a system of earning and merit by itself as a result of it lacking God’s grace and truth. Rather, it meant being under a system that was incomplete and unfulfilled. John’s point is about fulfillment. How was this lovingkindness and truth to be fully realized? How was it to be demonstrated and find its fruition? The answer is Jesus, the word who became flesh. Jesus was the perfect embodiment of grace and truth even as He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. Through Christ is found “grace upon grace” – God lavishing His grace upon His people through Jesus in the forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 1:7-8). Truly, of His fullness we have received. If the “sum of Your word is truth,” then surely Jesus, the incarnate word, is the apex of God’s truth — a truth that demonstrates lovingkindness and grace in the greatest of ways. Everything that law, grace, and truth could point to is fulfilled in the Son of God. This is the truth that expresses, in broad terms, what the Gospel is all about. Jesus Christ has shown us the true way of God.

Since grace and truth are fully realized through Jesus Christ, this means “grace upon grace” if we partake of His fullness. The purpose of the Law was finally realized in the full expression of grace and truth brought about by the work of Jesus. Only Jesus could fulfill and complete what the Law anticipated. While the Law showed God’s lovingkindness and truth, even as it exposed sin, it was still only a partially drawn picture of what God fully intended to do through Jesus Christ. Now we are able to see that picture completed, and what a beautiful one it is!

Given that Jesus fulfilled the law, brought the fullness of grace and truth, and offers to lavish this grace upon us, should this not be the consistent theme in our preaching today? The King of Kings is pouring out the riches of His grace. He died and rose again to secure these blessings for us, and His truth frees us from sin. His glory has been seen in His love. Grace and truth have been fully expressed in the flesh. Let this message ring out loud and clear!

— Via Truth Magazine, Volume 58, Number 5, May 2014

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume58/2014_05_May_Truth_Magazine.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3qV8OGTepcbNqSLEMA3k4LUaO59sj9pFJ65N-a-NgHx1v0zYUSk9CVqHA

——————–

-2-

Hebrews 11: A Postscript

Bryan Gibson

Often called the roll call of faith, Hebrews 11 details what different Old Testament men and women accomplished by faith in God. Let’s put a little postscript on the end of that chapter to include some New Testament men and women.

By faith Crispus obeyed the gospel of Christ, despite the fact it cost him his “job” (Acts 18:8).

By faith the Ethiopian eunuch insisted he be baptized immediately (Acts 8:35-39).

By faith the Christians in Ephesus made a clean break from the past, when they burned the books they used in their sinful practices, books worth 50,000 pieces of silver (Acts 19:18-20).

By faith many of the Corinthians also repented, when they turned to the Lord and stopped practicing things like fornication, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, stealing, covetousness, drunkenness, reviling, and extortion (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

By faith, Eunice, without the help of a believing husband, raised her child in the training and admonition of the Lord (Acts 16:1; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; 3:14-15).

By faith, Priscilla, working side by side with her believing husband, did much to promote the kingdom of God (Acts 18:2-3, 18, 24-26; Romans 16:3-4; 1 Corinthians 16:19).

By faith Peter and John withstood threats against them and continued to boldly preach the gospel of Christ (Acts 4:13-22).

By faith, Antipas, a member of the church at Pergamos, gave his life for the Lord (Revelation 2:12-13).

By faith Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God—in prison, with their feet in stocks, and still suffering from the beating received earlier in the day (Acts 16:22-25).

By faith Barnabas sold his land, not to benefit himself, but to meet the urgent needs of others (Acts 4:32-37).

By faith Dorcas did many good works, especially for widows (Acts 9:36-39).

By faith Gaius showed hospitality to those who preached the truth, and in so doing became a fellow-worker for the truth (3 John 1:5-8).

By faith the church at Philippi sent material aid to Paul time and again (Philippians 1:3-5; 4:10, 14-18), thankful they could join with him in preaching the gospel.

By faith Paul walked through the door God opened for the gospel in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:5-9).

By faith, Philemon, a member of the church at Colosse, showed love for all the saints, and in so doing brought joy and consolation to the hearts of many (Philemon 1:4-7).

By faith Epaphras prayed fervently for all his brethren (Colossians 4:12-13).

By faith Titus rejoiced in the obedience of his fellow-Christians (2 Corinthians 7:13-15).

By faith a few in the church at Sardis continued to faithfully serve the Lord, even when most in the church did not (Revelation 3:1-6).

“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Demetrius (3 John 1:12) and Stephanas (1 Corinthians 16:15) and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), also of Onesiphorous (2 Timothy 1:16-18) and a host of other faithful Christians: who through faith walked in the way of truth, withdrew from those who didn’t, devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints, refreshed the hearts of their brethren, confronted and rebuked false teaching, and were beheaded for the gospel.

— Via Plain Words from God’s Word, December 1, 2023

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “The Lord Gives Grace and Glory”: Was There No Grace in the Old Testament? (Kyle Pope)
——————–  

-1-

“The Lord Gives Grace and Glory”:

Was There No Grace in the Old Testament?

Kyle Pope

The Holy Spirit led the apostle John to write, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17, NKJV). 

Through the centuries this beautiful contrast between the Old Covenant and the gospel has led some to imagine that God’s grace played no part in His relationship to man under Mosaic Law. John Calvin, for example, in commenting on this verse claimed of grace and truth “the law had neither the one nor the other” (Commentary on John 1:17). Was grace only introduced with the proclamation of the gospel? Was there no grace extended by God prior to Christ?

Did God Show Grace in the Old Testament?

The simple answer is yes, God clearly extended grace to His people in the Old Testament. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8) and was spared from the flood. Jacob declared, “God has dealt graciously with me” (Gen. 33:11). God tells Jeremiah that Israel “found grace in the wilderness” (Jer. 31:2). The blessing Mosaic priests were to offer over the people proclaimed, “The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you” (Num. 6:25). During the days of Jehoahaz, “the Lord was gracious” unto Israel (2 Kings 13:23) protecting her from utter destruction. Jonah resisted preaching to Nineveh knowing that God was “a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness” (Jon. 4:2). In sparing a remnant after the exile, Ezra recognized “grace has been shown from the Lord our God” (Ezra 9:8). The wise man proclaimed that God “gives grace to the humble” (Prov. 3:34), a text that both Peter and James quote in the New Testament (Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5). The psalmist declared, “The Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psa. 84:11, NASB). In the face of Israel’s rebellion, “the Lord was gracious” to the people “because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (2 Kings 13:23, NKJV). There can be no question that Old Testament covenants were covenants of grace.

The Tutor and Shadow

Far from being a concept absent from the Old Testament it is because of what we learn about grace under the Old Law that its significance may be understood in Christ. Paul taught the Galatians that “the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24). The Hebrew writer described it as “a shadow of the good things to come” (Heb. 10:1). The Law taught the responsibility of obedience. The Law commanded, “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord” (Lev. 18:5). All too often, however, Israel failed to meet this responsibility leading this principle to become a point of emphasis throughout the Old Testament Period. To a rebellious people during the exile, for example, the Lord repeated these words through the prophet Ezekiel reminding them of His judgments “which, if a man does, he shall live by them” (Ezek. 20:11, 13, 21). During the restoration following the exile, Nehemiah called upon the people to keep the Lord’s judgments, repeating the same words – “which, if a man does, he shall live by them” (Neh. 9:29). Paul calls this principle “the righteousness which is of the law,” quoting these same words, “The man who does those things shall live by them” (Rom. 10:5). God never revoked this responsibility under Moses nor under Christ. Concerning the two greatest commandments, Jesus told a teacher of the Law “do this and you will live” (Luke 10:28). 

In spite of the emphasis on this principle, man’s repeated failures to fulfill this “righteousness which is of the law” demonstrated (by Israel’s own history) mankind’s need for “a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness” (Jon. 4:2). The Law revealed man’s need for mercy. Its own sacrificial system showed that man could not remove his own sin when he failed to “do” the things of the law. Since the beginning of man’s history it has always been “blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11). Christians have often made it sound as if there was no forgiveness that was granted in the offering of animal sacrifices. That is not so! We can see this in the many times we find the phrase “shall be forgiven” in connection with various offerings under Mosaic Law (e.g. Lev. 4:20, 26, 30, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num. 15:26, 28). When the Israelites made the proscribed sacrifices, had they merited their forgiveness? No! Nothing in their action or in the intrinsic value of animal sacrifices earned forgiveness. In obedience to Mosaic Law the Israelites accepted the terms under which God promised to grant forgiveness. This very provision was God’s grace. We see this in a powerful command concerning honesty. The Lord commanded, “Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked” (Exod. 23:7). In specifying whom He would not “justify” the Lord made the clear inference that He is the one who holds the power to justify! When Paul told the Romans, “It is God who justifies” (Rom. 8:33b), he was not stating something that was purely a New Covenant principle. Whenever man has received forgiveness from God, it has been by an act of God’s grace.

Old Testament Grace Anticipated Christ

If animal sacrifices did not possess any intrinsic value that merited forgiveness, why were they offered? The New Testament reveals to us that they brought forgiveness looking forward to the sacrifice of Christ. The Hebrew writer tells us that, “by means of death,” Christ brought “redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant” (Heb. 9:15). Paul told the Romans that Christ offers “propitiation by His blood,” because “in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Rom. 3:25). Christ’s sacrifice did possess the intrinsic value necessary to merit forgiveness. Old Testament sacrifices brought forgiveness, but only because they prefigured what Christ’s sacrifice would actually provide. Let’s notice how the Hebrew writer explains this after referring to the Law as a “shadow of the good things to come” (Heb. 10:1a). When we see a shadow of a person on the ground, we can infer that it was cast by the body of the man or woman who caused the shadow. The Hebrew writer says first that the offerings that constituted this “shadow” could not make those who offered them “perfect” (Heb. 10:1c). We have noted above, this doesn’t mean they didn’t receive forgiveness, but it did not make them perfect or complete, or else they would not need to be offered “continually year by year” (Heb. 10:1b). Instead, these offerings served as a “reminder of sins” (Heb. 10:3), because the “blood of bulls and goats” could not “take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). What could take away sins? The Hebrew writer quotes from the Greek Old Testament of Psalm 40:6 to answer this – “sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body [Gr. soma] You have prepared for Me” (Heb. 10:5b).2  This is very similar to a statement Paul makes in his letter to the Colossians. After telling them no one can judge them any longer concerning elements of the Old Law, he speaks of these as “a shadow of things to come; but the body [Gr. soma] is of Christ” (Col. 2:17, KJV). Jesus is the body that casts the shadow. All Old Testament sacrifices were a shadow of what He would accomplish. The grace of God that sent Jesus to die offers forgiveness of sins to the righteous in the Old Testament just as it does to Christians in the New Testament. God’s grace has been given to His people all along.

Conclusion

We have seen that grace has always characterized God’s relationship with His people. How then are we to understand texts such as the one with which we began – “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17)? We might note that this is not the only place we see such contrasts. Paul told the Romans “you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14-15). Paul does not mean that in Christ there is no law that governs behavior. He told the Corinthians he was not “without law toward God, but under law toward Christ” (1 Cor. 9:21). Paul and John contrast law and grace to emphasize the distinctive nature of the Mosaic system of faith, and the gospel system of faith. Both involved law, both involved faith, and both were dependent upon the grace of God. Yet, in the sacrifice of Jesus as the ultimate atonement for our sins God’s grace was poured out as it had never been. This was part of what was promised in connection with the coming of the Messiah – a time when God would pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem “the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10). Jesus was the Divine one whom “they pierced,” He was the “firstborn” who was God’s “only Son.” Only those who look to Christ in obedience and faith can know a measure of grace and mercy unknown to the world before the coming of Jesus.

1 This is the literal translation of Calvin’s French wording (“la Loy n’a eu ne l’un ne l’autre”). Calvin’s words may sound more harsh than he actually believed. He explains in the context his belief that the grace and truth that were brought by Christ gave life to a lifeless system of law without Christ. Even so, his words illustrate the concept many have held regarding grace under the Old Covenant.

2 The Hebrew text of Psalm 40:6 reads “my ears you have opened” (NKJV), but the text of the Greek Old Testament done before the time of Christ, quoted by the Hebrew writer, and preserved in the Sinai, Vatican, and Alexandrian manuscripts all read “a body you have prepared for Me.” This is likely either evidence of a Hebrew variant or a paraphrase taking preparation of the ears as a part of the body standing for the whole. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea Scroll that would have contained this passage (11QPsad, frag. 6) is missing all of this Psalm after the first word.

— Via Truth Magazine, Volume 58, Number 5, May 2014 

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume58/2014_05_May_Truth_Magazine.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1z05ss-7P9S3sgH9S4YxYnhraiWy-lG6dMDrOc94SLXbbZ5pLc6Uf2RGQ

——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


 

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Thank You, God (Bryan Gibson)   
2) “With All Your Heart” (Kyle Pope)
——————–  

-1-

Thank You, God

Bryan Gibson

Thank you, God, for the gift of Your Son, a gift best described as “indescribable” (2 Corinthians 9:15). He loved ME and gave Himself for Me” (Galatians 2:20)–what more can I say?

Thank you, God, for Your grace, which “has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11), which is greater than all my sin (Romans 5:20-21), which is “manifold” (1 Peter 4:10), which is “exceedingly abundant” (1 Timothy 1:14), and which is “multiplied” to me (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2).

Thank you, God, for Your “tender mercy” (Luke 1:78); and for Your “much patience” or “much longsuffering” (Romans 9:22). You keep giving me opportunities to repent and I sincerely thank You for that (2 Timothy 2:24-26; 2 Peter 3:9-10).

Thank you, God, for the spiritual blessings you lavish upon me “in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), blessings like redemption and forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7), adoption as a child of God (Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 3:1), fellowship with both the Father and Son (1 John 1:3, 7), peace unlike anything the world can give (John 14:27), the privilege of prayer (Hebrews 2:16-18; 4:14-16; James 5:16), victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 2 Timothy 1:10); and an heir to the most wonderful inheritance I can imagine (Romans 8:16-17; 1 Peter 1:3-4).

Thank you, God, for revealing the gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:1-5; Acts 13:48), something I can clearly understand if I have the heart of a child (Matthew 11:25).

Thank you, God, for the wonderful plan of salvation revealed in the gospel–for choosing me in Christ, for calling me with your gospel, for saving and sanctifying me, and for promising me the best is yet to come (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).

Thank you, God, for those with good and honest hearts (Luke 8:15), who welcome Your gospel as the truth (1 Thessalonians 2:13), and who then gladly obey that same gospel (“God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered”–Romans 6:17). (In other words, my family in Christ).

Thank you, God, for my brothers and sisters in Christ…

1. For the grace given to them (1 Corinthians 1:4).

2. For the gifts/talents/abilities given to them by Your grace (1 Peter 4:10-11).

3. For the way their gifts better equip me to serve You (Ephesians 4:11-13).

4. For how they look out for my well being (1 Corinthians 10:24).

5. For their faith and love (Romans 1:8; 2 Corinthians 8:16; Ephesians 1:15-16; Colossians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Philemon 1:4-5).

6. For their fellowship with me in the gospel (Philippians 1:3-5).

7. For the encouragement, comfort, and joy they continually give me (Acts 28:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10; Philemon 1:7).

8. For their generosity (2 Corinthians 9:10-14; Philippians 4:10).

9. For the many sacrifices they make (Romans 16:3-4).

Thank you, God, for the many doors You have opened for me and others to teach the gospel (1 Corinthians 16:8-9; 2 Corinthians 2:12-16).

Thank you, God, for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4)–put there by You “for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7). Thank You, God, that at least in some instances their policies have contributed to peace and prosperity for me and my fellow man (Acts 24:2-3).

Thank you, God, for all my trials, tribulations, sufferings, distresses, infirmities, etc., because they help keep me humble; they make me more dependent on You (2 Corinthians 1:8-9; 12:7-10); and they help to produce in me some things that are lacking (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-4).

Thank you, God, for giving me food, clothing, shelter, good health, safe travel, and many other things I too often take for granted (Matthew 6:25-33; 15:36; Acts 27:35; Romans 14:6; Philippians 4:18-19; Philemon 1:22; 1 Timothy 4:3-5; 6:8; 3 John 1:1-2).

Thank you, God, for really every good thing in my life (Ephesians 5:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18), because I know “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).

Thank you, God, for promising to always be with me (Hebrews 13:5-6), even when I “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalms 23:4).

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).

“Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

— Via Plain Words from God’s Word  (This article was originally posted in 3 parts on November 20, 22, 24 for 2023 at Brian’s Facebook site.)
——————–  

 

-2-

“With All Your Heart”

Kyle Pope

Mark 12:30 reads—“‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (NKJV).  Our world often speaks of acting with “heart,” but unless we are talking health, this usually doesn’t mean the vessel that pumps blood through our body.  Instead, it refers to the seat of our emotion and sensation. We refer to those who pursue their interests as “following their heart.”  The stomach of a hungry man is playfully said to be, “the key to a man’s heart.” This use of the concept of the “heart” is often set in contrast to pure thought and reason. The foolish lover may be said to “follow his heart, but not his head.” The older woman may counsel the young woman to “listen to her head, and not her heart.”

The heart as it is portrayed in Scripture is not independent of thought and reason. Consider a number of passages that illustrate this. As Jesus taught He explained to His disciples why He used parables and why they were not understood. He said—“the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). Here Jesus speaks of the heart being able to “understand” but failing to do so.  The heart as Jesus portrays it can grow dull.  When Jesus spoke of defilement, He helped the people understand that defilement is internal. He taught—“out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” In this text it is the “heart” that thinks. Jesus shows that the heart is the birthplace of defilement, in that it produces the types of behavior that defile the body and mind. In the same way, Scripture elsewhere teaches that it is the heart that can become hardened (Matt. 19:8), thus rejecting the rational influence of God’s word.  It is the heart that can doubt (Mark 11:23), thus minimizing the comfort that faith should offer to our thoughts and anxieties.

This is not to suggest that the heart is divorced from emotion.  It is the heart that forgives a person.  At the end of the parable of the unmerciful servant who refused to forgive although he had been forgiven, in speaking of the servant’s punishment Jesus said—“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matt. 18:35). “Heartfelt” forgiveness is not ritual with no substance.  It is genuine.  It is meaningful.  Although it may be “heart-wrenching” it must be sincere.  When Jesus spoke to the scribe about the “first and greatest commandment,” the man  said of the text above—“to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” (Mark 12:33). Jesus said that this man was not far from the kingdom.

Unlike the modern concept of the heart that is separate from reason and thought, the heart as the Bible portrays it “thinks.” When Jesus perceived the disciples arguing about who was the greatest, He was said to know the “thought of their heart” (Luke 9:47).  How the heart focuses its thoughts, affects how the things of God are received.  This, in turn, affects the deeds that one does. The sinner “out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil” (Luke 6:45). The word grows when it is planted in the “noble and good” heart (Luke 8:15). This is what explains conversion.  The proud heart who hears the gospel doubts because his dull, hardened heart will not let it grow.  Yet, humble hearts, which hear the truth, just as those hearts on the day of Pentecost, will be “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) and moved to obey the gospel. Paul told the Romans that it is the heart that “believes unto righteousness” (Rom. 10:10). From a Biblical standpoint the rational acceptance of the word of God produces faith.  This is not a faith that comes from imagination or wishful thinking.  While faith is not based upon sight (2 Cor. 5:7), it is wrong to hold that it is based upon nothing. God’s word is its source.  Paul also told the Romans that—“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Our love for God must be “with all of our heart.”  So many in our world claim wholehearted love for God, yet walk in sin, harbor ungodly thoughts and attitudes, and allow themselves to maintain ignorance of God’s word.  Let’s never make the mistake of thinking that giving our “heart” to God just means that we have strong emotions for Him.  The “heart” God wants is much more than just our feelings, passions, and emotions. It is that part of us which thinks, believes, forgives, is cut, and is able to motivate us to good works. That is what God demands from us and He will be satisfied with no less.

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 25, Issue 44, October 29, 2023
——————–   

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) The Need for Exhortation (David McClister)   
2) “Strong” Christians? (Bryan Gibson)
——————–  

-1-

The Need for Exhortation

David McClister

Synopsis: Exhortation is strong encouragement to obey the gospel and be faithful to its inspired message.
——————–

According to the Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich lexicon, the various occurrences of the Greek word that is translated “exhort” in our Bibles can be put into five groups. Our concern here is with one of them, the one that is operative in 2 Timothy 4:2, namely the meaning “to appeal to, to urge, to encourage.” One way to understand a word is to note other terms that are used roughly synonymously with it. So, in 1 Thessalonians 2:11, Paul said “just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you.” The idea of exhorting is to promote or press an idea or action. (In the following quotations from the Bible, I have italicized the English word that represents the Greek term under discussion. Quotations are from the NASB.)

Given the basic meaning of the word, perhaps the first question that arises is “Encourage, urge, or appeal—to do what?” Again, the context reveals the answer. The basic charge to Timothy is “preach the word,” that is the gospel, the word of God. In that context, exhortation is part of, or a way to accomplish, what Paul charged Timothy to do in fulfilling his work as an evangelist. To exhort is to urge someone to follow the gospel, to encourage them to follow the example and teachings of Christ.

As someone once said, exhortation marks the transition from the indicative of the gospel (what the gospel is) to the imperative of the gospel (how we should live). Acts 2:40 captures the essence of it. After Peter preached the gospel, he “kept on exhorting them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation!'” That is, Peter encouraged them to obey the gospel they had just heard. Paul did the same thing in 1 Thessalonians 4:1: “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.” Ephesians 4:1 has the same idea: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” In fact, preaching to Christians may consist mainly of exhortation (as the need arises). This is how Paul’s words to the Ephesian and Macedonian Christians are characterized in Acts 20:1-2: “After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he left to go to Macedonia. When he had gone through those districts and had given them much exhortation, he came to Greece.” That is, Paul encouraged them to faithfulness.

The need for exhortation arises from two fundamental considerations. First, living a Christ-like life, and following His teachings, is easier said than done. We all come short of it in many ways. Living the Christian life is difficult enough, but it would be even more difficult to try to do it alone. This is one reason the Lord has put Christians together in the local church, because we benefit from the strength, examples, and encouragement of each other. Thus the well-known verse: “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Heb. 10:25). It may take the form of encouraging the fainthearted and helping the weak (1 Thess. 5:14). Exhorting can be of a positive nature, as in 1 Timothy 1:3, where Paul said, “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines.” Even stronger, in 2 Thessalonians 3:12, Paul couples exhorting with commanding. It can also have a negative sense, as in Titus 2:15, which says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires. . . These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority.” In this sense, exhortation is similar to warning and reproof. Either way, the idea is to urge fellow-Christians to stand in the faith, excel in it, and to persevere. By such encouragement, we help each other be strong in our commitment to the Lord.

This brings us to an important point: Exhorting or encouraging in the New Testament is not simply speaking kind or motivating words to another person, or like giving someone a secular “pep talk.” In the New Testament, exhorting is always on the basis of the word, the gospel, and the relationship with Christ that it creates. God’s word is the source of our encouragement: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). Paul also speaks of “encouragement in Christ” (Phil. 2:1). Biblical exhortation is specifically rooted in, and aimed at, the believer’s relationship with God through the gospel. We have not exhorted someone in the biblical sense if we have not mentioned God’s word or their relationship with the Lord Jesus.

The second reason exhortation is needed involves the “big picture” of things. Jesus has come and dealt the death blow to Satan and his kingdom of sin and death. By His death, He has liberated us from our imprisonment to sin (2 Tim. 2:26), and by His resurrection, He has broken the power of death (Heb. 2:14). The outcome for Satan and those who follow him has been determined. There is no way the enemy can win. All that remains is for Jesus to bring us into the final aspect of this great victory when He raises His saints from the dead in the end (1 Cor. 15:50-58). In Paul’s words, the time in which the world lay in darkness has begun to end. The light has now dawned with the victory of Jesus. It will culminate in the full shining of His glory, when the darkness will be fully destroyed. He calls all people now to join Him in His kingdom of light, life, and righteousness.

. . . it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Rom. 13:11-14).

The reason exhortation is needed is because our hope of eternal life with God and Christ is at stake. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to be faithful and strong. To fall from faithfulness is to miss out on the impending, eternal salvation, joy, and heavenly glory that is coming for God’s people. Thus Paul said, “We urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1).

We exhort each other because we love each other. We do not want anyone to fall short of the heavenly rest that God has promised to the faithful (Heb. 4:1). We must always exhort after the example of the meekness and gentleness of Christ Himself (2 Cor. 10:1), but always with a sense of the magnitude, seriousness, and urgency of our situation.

— Via Truth Magazine, August 2021, Volume 65, Number 8
 https://truthmagazine.com/kindle/2021/2021-08-aug/08_Monthly_Theme_Lesson_04.htm
——————–

-2-

“Strong” Christians?

Bryan Gibson

We may look at two Christians and judge one to be strong, the other struggling and weak. God’s assessment may be just the opposite, because in this case the “struggling Christian” has a poor and contrite heart, whereas the “strong” one does not. The “struggling Christian” may not be doing as much good as the “strong” one, and presently may even have a greater struggle with sin, but he knows his condition; he takes correction well; he’s always willing to repent; he humbly seeks forgiveness; and he strives diligently to get better every day. And that’s more than can be said for some “strong” Christians.

“But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).

“I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit…”. (Isaiah 57:15).

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalms 34:18).

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).   

— Via Plain Words from God’s Word, November 13, 2023
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
 
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

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

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

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

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

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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

Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes

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

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

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