Month: October 2020

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) “Comfort One Another With These Words” (Jeff Himmel)
2) A Short Lesson about Grace (Frank Himmel)
3) Phariseeism (Frank Jamerson)
4) News & Notes
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“Comfort One Another With These Words”

Jeff Himmel

The apostle Paul once wrote to some Christians at Thessalonica who were concerned about what happened after death. After allaying their fears with a beautiful description of the final resurrection, he instructed them, “Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). It is easy for the pressures and problems of life to get us down and make us worry. But God’s word is full of truths that bring great comfort to the soul of every Christian. Jesus spoke many words of consolation to his distressed disciples. His apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, brought messages of hope and courage to the struggling saints of the early church. The truths of his life, death, and resurrection, as well as his promises to us, are a source of comfort and joy like no other.

1. In Christ we have forgiveness of sins. No greater human problem exists than that of separation from God by sin. Every one of us has fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:9,23). But the wall placed between man and God has been broken down by Jesus’ death. “And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world …” (Eph. 2:1-2). “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us . . .And not only that, but we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Rom. 5:8,11).

2. In Christ we have joy and peace in life. Many people spend their whole lives searching for something to give them happiness and peace of mind. The writer of Ecclesiastes tried in vain to find satisfaction in the things of this world. He finally realized that serving the Lord is the only thing that brings any real reward: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). Christians should be the happiest people in the world! Instead of worry and anxiety, Christ offers the peace of bringing our requests before God Almighty (Phil. 4:6-7). Rather than sinfulness, hatred, and conflict, the Spirit of God yields love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us (Gal. 5:22-23).

3. In Christ we have hope even in death. People tend to fear death because they don’t know what lies beyond. But the Christian can face life’s end with the knowledge that resurrection to eternal life will follow. The Thessalonians were evidently worried about their brethren who had died. Paul reassures them that because Christ overcame death, those who die in him die in hope: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14). In 1 Corinthians 15, a most glorious picture of the resurrection is painted, one that allows the Christian to face even death with confidence in his Lord: “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory … But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:54,57).

4. In Christ we have the promise of a heavenly reward. Perhaps the greatest comfort that God’s word provides is knowing the reward that awaits us when the difficulties of this life have ceased. In Revelation 21-22, John describes (as ably as possible in human terms) the glory of heaven as he beheld it. I can never read this passage without feeling a stirring in my soul. I am sure it had the same effect on the downtrodden saints to whom John wrote. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). We can withstand all the storms of life, no matter how severe, with the certain hope that we will one day dwell with God for eternity. “And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light . . . And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 21:23; 22:5).

— Via Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 1 p. 5, January 5, 1995
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A Short Lesson About Grace

Frank Himmel

“Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’?  He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?  So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done’” (Luke 17:7-10).

In Luke 12:37, God is depicted as a master doing precisely what Jesus says here a master normally would not do: serving dinner to his slaves. God is indeed gracious! This illustration is a counterbalance to that one, cautioning us not to lose our perspective. It reminds us of two vital points.

First, grace does not do away with obedience. Jesus said we are to “do all the things which are commanded you.” Of course, no one obeys perfectly (Romans 3:23), but we are to try our best. Grace does not give us license to “serve” the Lord however we please, to selectively choose which of His instructions we will obey, or to modify His plans according to our reasoning. We need the servant’s heart. Our wisdom and pleasure must always yield to God’s.

Second, obedience does not do away with grace. Perfect obedience might make something due us (Romans 4:4); but since no one achieves that, whatever we receive is always a matter of grace. After we have done all that we are commanded, we still are unworthy of the blessings God showers upon us. (Some passages, emphasizing faithfulness, do speak of divine blessings as a reward [e.g., Colossians 3:24; 2 John 8], yet even then it is a gracious one.) Surely this fact negates the quibble that says if we must obey God’s conditions (e.g., baptism) in order to be saved, that would make salvation merited. Let’s not lose our balance!

— Via Pathlights, October 11, 2020
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Phariseeism

Frank Jamerson

The Pharisees were probably condemned more severely than any other group of people by the Lord during His life on earth. The label of “Pharisee” has come to us as an extremely uncomplimentary label. Often it is misused by false teachers and those in sympathy with them. Let us notice some of the characteristics in Pharisees that Jesus condemned.

They were critical of Jesus for teaching sinners, but would not listen to Him themselves. The great chapter on God’s attitude toward the lost and what ours should be, Luke 15, was spoken to Pharisees who murmured because Jesus associated with sinners. Their attitude was demonstrated in the elder son who stayed home, but said to his father basically what the Pharisees had said to Jesus, “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.” They objected to Jesus receiving sinners, “but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him [John]” (Lk. 7:30). The Pharisaical attitude is shown by those who criticize faithful teachers for teaching the truth, while refusing to listen or teach it themselves.

The Pharisees were hypocritical because they claimed to be interested in the details of the law, but ignored it when it suited their purposes. Jesus said, “But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe unto you Pharisees! for you love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces” (Lk. 11:42,43). They liked to appear “righteous,” but justice and love were not part of their armor. When men today profess to be interested in God’s law, but lie, refuse to pay their debts, etc., they are demonstrating Pharisaical hypocrisy.

Pharisees were long on talk and short on practice. Jesus said: “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matt. 23:3). This spirit of finding things for others to do, but not for self did not die with the first century Pharisees! “Do as I say, not as I do” may be good advice; Jesus gave it; but He did not commend the conduct of those who lived that philosophy.

They were bound by traditions. In fact, the Pharisees were very strict when it came to observing their customs, even if they contradicted the teaching of God’s word (Matt. 15:1-6). Though there is nothing wrong with a practice because it has been done for a long time, there is something wrong with elevating custom to a “thus saith the Lord.” There was nothing wrong with washing hands before eating food, but to make this a law of God was to elevate man’s traditions to an equality with God’s word. Whether we have two songs and a prayer, or two prayers and a song are matters of judgment. Whether we have the Lord’s supper before the sermon or after it; close with a song or with a prayer, are all matters of liberty, but when men elevate traditions to a “thus saith the Lord” they disrespect God’s word. Likewise, when men substitute sprinkling for immersion, or add instrumental music to singing, they are demonstrating the Pharisaical spirit.

Jesus told a parable to those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought in Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee who had not been an “extortioner, unjust or an adulterer” and had given “tithes of all” that he got was not condemned because of those characteristics, but because of his attitude toward others. This was not the only condemnation of this bad trait. Earlier, Luke had said: “And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath; that they might find how to accuse him” (Lk. 6:7). They had set their minds on finding fault, and faultfinders usually find fault!

Pharisees majored on minors. Jesus said that they “left undone the weightier matters” and “strained out the gnat, and swallowed the camel” (Matt. 23:23-25). Many misrepresent what Jesus said in this passage by saying that the little things are not important. Jesus did not say to “swallow the gnats,” but He did say that those who are careful to strain out gnats and then swallow camels are inconsistent. All of God’s word is important.

Not everything about Pharisees was bad. Paul said, “after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee” (Acts 26:5), and “as touching the law (he lived) a Pharisee” (Phil. 3:5). We need to strictly obey God’s law, but we must avoid the bad characteristics that God condemned in the Pharisees.

— via Guardian of Truth XXX: 13, p. 390, July 3, 1986
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of James William “Billy” Savage who departed from this life on October 20, 2020. Let us be keeping all his loved ones in prayer.

The results of Rick Cuthbertson‘s scan Wednesday show that the spots on his lung have increased 30% since the previous scan.  He will soon begin a new treatment and will be seeing a cancer specialist.

Vivian Foster’s gall bladder surgery went well last week, which she is now healing from.  (She is Shirley Davis’ sister.)

Ronnie & Melotine Davis are both seeing doctors for their conditions.

Myrna Jordan has been under the weather lately.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Evelyn Elizabeth “Betty” Durden Potter who passed away October 13, Elaine Abbott, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Joanne Ray, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Larry & Janice Hood, Judy Daugherty, Deborah Medlock, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman,   Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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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 (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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:27). And 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. 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

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


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

https://thomastedwards.com/go (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) Transformation (Frank Himmel)
2) Miracles: The Power of Satan or the Finger of God (Clarence R. Johnson)
3) Biblical Correctness (Rob Harbison)
4) News & Notes
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Transformation

Frank Himmel

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

“And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

These two verses from the same letter present an unmistakable contrast: conformity to Christ vs. conformity to the world. Paul’s word translated world literally means an age; it therefore emphasizes prevailing thought.

Dismissing worldly thinking and becoming like Christ is a challenging transformation. The world constantly preaches to us through education, entertainment, news/commentary (there is often little distinction between those two these days!), advertising, and social media, as well as just ordinary conversation. That’s a lot of input! We have to work hard at countering all that by listening to the truth of God’s word. From a time perspective, three or four hours a week at church pales in comparison, and some don’t even get that much. Daily Bible reading is a must!

This transformation applies to every area of life. It applies first of all to our view of Jesus. A balanced biblical view of Him is much different than the world’s skewed view. It applies to the church. Worldly standards or expectations for churches are irrelevant. What is God’s will? It applies to morals and ethics. Worldly thinking here is sometimes exactly opposite God’s: “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). It applies in every relationship: family, work, community, etc. It governs our thinking, our speech, our actions, and our reactions.

Notice that Paul calls on us to prove what God’s will is. The world may be content to merely assert based on scant evidence or even in defiance of the obvious, but Christians must never do that. Don’t just say, “I know God would [would not] want me to . . .”; turn in your Bible and read what He said about it. The gospel’s mission is to destroy speculation and take every thought obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul wrote of inspired teaching, “Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22).

Becoming a Christian is an act of conformity to Christ as we are buried with Him in baptism, a likeness of His death, burial, and resurrection for us (Romans 6:1ff). The conformity of Romans 12:2 is an ongoing process. Let’s give it our best effort.

— Via Pathlights, October 18, 2020
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Miracles: The Power of Satan or the Finger of God?

Clarence R. Johnson

In Matthew 9:32-34, Matthew records, “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘It was never seen like this in Israel!’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.’”

Glancing back over the last few chapters, Matthew has told us of the cleansing of a leper, the healing of the paralyzed servant of a Roman centurion, the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law who was sick with a high fever, the calming of a storm at sea, the freeing of two demon-possessed men who had been extremely wild and dangerous before Jesus freed them from demon-possession, the raising of a girl from the dead, the healing of the woman who had had a flow of blood for 12 years, the healing of two blind men, and numerous others who came to Him — and now this freeing of the mute who had been demon-possessed. No wonder the multitudes marveled “It was never seen like this in Israel!”

But even in the light of Jesus’ marvelous accomplishments, He always had His detractors. “The Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.’”

Luke 11:14-23 shows that still others came, asking for a sign from heaven. Indeed, after all the miracles He had worked in the immediate setting, what else could He have done to prove He came from heaven?

In fact, as He defended Himself against the charge of using Satanic powers He reasoned that Satan certainly would not cast out demons. To do so would be to work against himself. Not only that, but the sons of the Pharisees — perhaps a reference to their disciples — also cast out demons, or at least claimed to do so. By whose power did they seek to overcome Satan? The only logical conclusion — the necessary inference — was that Jesus was operating by the power of God, and the logical application of that realization was that the very reign of God Himself was evident in Jesus’ ministry: “If I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20).

Finally, Jesus further illustrates this principle with a parable. The only one who can throw a strong man out of his palace is an even stronger man than the first. Likewise, the only one who could cast demons out of their dwelling place would be someone who possesses a power greater than even the prince of the demons. Only the power of God would suffice. Jesus did it with “the finger of God.”

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 25, Issue 5, Page 2, January 31, 2010
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Biblical Correctness

Rob Harbison

There is a popular term being tossed around a lot these days — “political correctness.”

A person who is “politically correct” is blown along by the winds of popular opinion. He is influenced by the thinking of those who are outspoken about moral and social issues, who sway our thinking in a way that is consistent with the way they think we ought to think!

Even without a certified list of politically correct or incorrect stands on issues, the  influence and pressure is there nonetheless.

Our challenge is to take the proper stand on each of these issues, regardless of the way the political winds blow. Oftentimes, being politically correct will require that we be biblically incorrect. Which is more important? “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

When it comes to the politics of right and wrong, we need to be on the side of that which is right. Which is more important? To be politically correct, or biblically correct?

It does not matter what our society believes and accepts in this or any other generation. What matters is that we rise above these issues and be what our heavenly Father wants us to be, “that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:2-4).

People may think it bigoted or narrow-minded to say what the Bible says about these moral issues. They can choose to go along with the crowd if they want, but we have to teach what God said, “politically correct” or not! “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).

My friend, it is time to take a stand for what is right! Where do you stand? Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).

— Via Collegevue church of Christ, September 20, 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Evelyn Elizabeth “Betty” Durden Potter, who passed away October 13.  She was 94.  Her funeral service will be at 3 p.m. on October 20 at the Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home in Brunswick.  It will be preceded by a visitation that begins at 2 p.m. Keith Crews, her son-in-law, will be presenting the eulogy.

Shirley Davis’ sisterVivian will be having gall bladder surgery Monday.

Joanne Ray is now out of ICU covid-19 and has also been taken off the ventilator.  They did have to install a stent, but her recovery is looking very good.

Though he has overcome his recent covid-19, Rex Hadley still has some “after effects in his lungs,” which we hope he will soon heal of.  The pain epidural he received Thursday helped only somewhat.  His wife Frankie is still “very weak.”

Anita Young is now having some back trouble which she is seeing a chiropractor for, and also began using an ankle brace a week ago for a problem with her foot.

Jim Lively
had another fall last week.  The side of his face collided with a clothes hamper, which resulted in much black and blueness; but, thankfully, nothing more serious.

Judy Daugherty, after spending several weeks in rehab, will be returning home Monday, where she will then continue with in-home rehab.

Others to also be praying for: Elaine Abbott, Rick Cuthbertson, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Rick Cuthbertson, Larry & Janice Hood, Deborah Medlock, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Martha Lively, Ronnie and Melotine Davis, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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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 (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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
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

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


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

https://thomastedwards.com/go (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 Old Testament Points Us to Christ (Tommy Peeler)
2) News & Notes
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The Old Testament Points Us to Christ

Tommy Peeler

The Old Testament is valuable because it points us to Christ.

Jesus Emphasized That the Old Testament Pointed to Him

Jesus said, “You search in the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that bear witness of Me” (John 5:39). When the audience failed to believe Jesus, He said that Moses would accuse them to the Father. “For if you believed Moses you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you did not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:45-47). As Jesus was talking to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus He emphasized that the things that had taken place in His cross and resurrection were a fulfillment of the prophets. Then beginning with Moses and the prophets He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all of Scripture (Luke 24:25-27). He gives the apostles the same lesson later that evening saying “that all the things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44-47).

The Gospel Writers Stress Jesus’ Fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures

Matthew tells the story of Jesus by emphasizing how He fulfilled the Old Testament. Matthew’s quotation formula, “this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the LORD through the prophets” or something similar is used repeatedly in Matthew.

  • Matthew 1:23/ Isaiah 7:14
  • Matthew 2:15/Hosea 11:1
  • Matthew 2:17-18/Jeremiah 31:15
  • Matthew 2:23/??
  • Matthew 4:14-16/Isaiah 9:1-2
  • Matthew 8:16-17/Isaiah 53:4
  • Matthew 13:34-35/Psalm 78:2
  • Matthew 21:4-5/Zechariah 9:9
  • Matthew 27:9-10/Zechariah 11:12-13 with concepts from Jeremiah 19 and 32.

Matthew’s emphasis on how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament is not limited to this quotation formula. From the first verse of Matthew, he is stressing Jesus’ fulfillment of the Old Testament. Matthew 1:1 demonstrates Jesus’ fulfillment of the promises to Abraham (Genesis 12) and David (II Samuel 7). Matthew 2:5-6 the chief priests and scribes paraphrase Micah 5:2 to describe the Messiah being born in Bethlehem. John the Baptist and his preparation for Christ is interpreted in light of Isaiah 40:3 in Matthew 3:3. The suffering of Jesus fulfills the Scripture according to Matthew 26:54, 56, and from the cross. He quotes Psalm 22:1 in Matthew 27:46. This is not limited to the gospel of Matthew. It is true of each of the gospels. Look at just a few examples in the gospel of John 12:13, 15; 19:24, 28, 36, 37 as just a few examples. These passages and examples barely begin to show all the times the gospel writers appeal to the Old Testament to teach Jesus.

The Apostle’s Preaching in Acts Emphasized Jesus’ Fulfillment of the Old Testament

On the day of Pentecost Peter quotes Psalm 16:8-11 (Acts 2:25-28, 31), Psalm 132:11 (Acts 2:30) and Psalm 110:1 (Acts 2:34-35) to emphasize that God’s promises to David were fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Acts 3 states that Jesus fulfilled all the prophets (Acts 3:18, 21, 24). In Acts 4 Peter emphasizes Jesus’ fulfillment of Psalm 118:22 (Acts 4:11) and Psalm 2:1-2 (Acts 4:25-27). Stephen points out that the rejection of Joseph by his brothers (Acts 7:9), Moses by Israel (Acts 7:27-28, 39-41), and the prophets (Acts 7:52) foreshadowed the rejection of Jesus (Acts 7:51-53). Philip points to Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s suffering servant from Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:32-35). Even to the Gentile Cornelius, Peter showed all the prophets pointed to Jesus (Acts 10:43). In Paul’s journeys, he usually went first to the Jewish synagogue. In the synagogues, Paul teaches from the Old Testament showing that Jesus was the expected Messiah. Paul explains who Jesus is in light of Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 16:10 (Acts 13:33-37). See Acts 17:2-3 and Paul’s reasoning from the Scriptures that Jesus was the promised Savior. Acts 28:23 Paul was “testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.” In Paul’s trial which led him to Rome, he stated that He taught Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:14; 26:22-23). Since Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and prophets, Paul asks Agrippa if he wants to be a Christian by saying, “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets”? (Acts 26:27).

The Epistles and Revelation show the Old Testament points to Jesus. Galatians 3:24 says the “law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith.” The context of Galatians 3 points to the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham in Christ (Galatians 3:16) and His followers (Galatians 3:26-29). In discussing Israel’s adventures in the wilderness, Paul says the rock which followed them was Christ (I Corinthians 10:4). Paul said Christ is the end of the law (either this means termination point or goal or both) in Romans 10:4.

This emphasis continues in epistles not written by Paul. Almost every sentence of Hebrews is built upon Jesus as the fulfillment of specific passages and types from the Old Testament. I Peter 2:18-25 repeatedly uses words and ideas from Isaiah 53 to Jesus and to show we behave as His followers.

Often the New Testament Says the Old Testament Was Written For Us.

Romans 15:3 quotes from Psalm 69:9 and then says, “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” (Romans 15:4). Paul goes on to tie Old Testament passages together in Romans 15:9-12 which show Jews and Gentiles in “one accord” and with “one voice” glorifying God (that wording is from Romans 15:6). Paul is constantly constructing his arguments on the Old Testament.

Romans 4 deals with God’s justification of Abraham. The chapter quotes Genesis 15:6 and uses it to teach a lesson in how we are justified (Romans 4:3). Paul shows that this statement was made before Abraham was circumcised so the justification is the same whether one is circumcised or not (Romans 4:9-12). “Therefore it was credited to him as righteousness. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:22-24). This passage is a good example of how the Old Testament is able “to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 3:15).

In I Corinthians 9, Paul is dealing with the right of preachers to be supported in their work. He describes how he foregoes that right to help others. He quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 and its command to not muzzle the ox to defend his right to support. He says, “God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written…” (I Corinthians 9:9-10). While saying it was written for our sake, Paul is mainly saying the point of the law was not just about oxen. If God shows such concern for oxen, then how much more concern will He show for those speaking His word? However, it must also be written for us in a chronological sense or how could Paul use it to defend the right of preachers to receive support?

I Corinthians 10:1-13 reviews Israel’s history in the wilderness. As Paul tells the story of Israel’s wilderness journey, that story has similarities to some problems the Corinthian church was experiencing. As Paul warns the church against idolatry (I Corinthians 10:7), fornication (I Corinthians 10:8), testing the LORD, and grumbling, he appeals to Israel’s wilderness experience. Twice Paul says that these events were for our benefit. Paul says, “Now these things happened as examples for us” (I Corinthians 10:6) and “they were written for our instruction” (I Corinthians 10:11).

— Via La Vista church of Christ, June 12, 2020
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Joanne Ray
is now in the Jacksonville ICU COVID wing.  Her friend Anita Young, who requests prayer for her, informed me that at least 16 people from the church Joanne attends also have COVID-19, and one who has passed away because of it.  

Rex Hadley has not yet heard of the results from his recent chest ct scan, but will be seeing his doctor this Tuesday.  Then on Wednesday he has an appointment with his pulmonologist, and will be given another epidural for pain on Thursday. 

The shots Ronnie Davis received for his back pain have helped somewhat, but not totally.  

Deborah Medlock has completed her first week of radiation treatments and is doing well.  She now has 3 more weeks to go with 5 days a week.

Martha Lively still has her sciatica problem, but it is slowly getting better.  She is now seeing her chiropractor just once every two weeks.

Judy Daugherty is doing well and might be coming home this week to continue with her therapy treatments there.

Rick Cuthbertson, who has been receiving chemo treatments in pill form, will be scanned on the 23rd to see the progress.

Others to also be praying for: Elaine Abbott, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
——————–

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 (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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
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

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


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

https://thomastedwards.com/go (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) Do We Really Believe? (Bill Crews)
2) The Mighty Hand of God (Wayne Goff)
3) Timothy and the Gospel (Heath Rogers)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Do We Really Believe?

Bill Crews

1. That there is a God, everlasting, possessing all power and all wisdom? Romans 1:20; Job 42:2; Romans 11:33-36

2. That He made the universe, the earth, man, and all other material things? Acts 17:24-25; Genesis 1-2

3. That Jesus of Nazareth is His only begotten Son, divine and human, who gave Himself in sacrifice for our sins? John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:3-4

4. That the gospel revealed through the apostles and prophets is God’s power to save our souls and must be accepted and obeyed? Romans 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8

5. That the kingdom of God, the church of our Lord, cost the blood of Jesus Christ, and that men and women must enter therein and serve God therein to be saved? Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:16; 5:23-25

6. That life, at the most, is brief and will soon be gone, and that after death men must face the resurrection, the judgment and eternity? James 4:14; Hebrews 9:27; John 5:28-29

7. That those who die in their sins, whether out of Christ or unfaithful to Christ, will dwell forever in hell? John 8:21, 24; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Matthew 18:8-9; Philippians 3:18-19

8. That those who die in innocence (not accountable) and those who die in Christ or faithful to Christ, will dwell forever in heaven? Luke 18:15-17; Revelation 14:13; Matthew 25:31-46

9. That our primary purpose for existing is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13), to “glorify God in our bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:20), to use our time, possessions and abilities as God wants us to?

All of those Bible references are not just tacked on for appearance; each passage has something to do with the point made and each is filled with something God wants us to know. For your Bible study today, why not look each one up in your Bible and read it.

— Via Roanridge Reader Volume 35 Issue 38 Page 3, September 20, 2020
——————–

-2-

The Mighty Hand of God

Wayne Goff

As a lifetime Bible student, I am amazed when certain words JUMP OFF the page at me. You would think after studying the Bible for so many years that nothing would surprise you. But every good Bible student knows that is far from the truth. In fact, the exact opposite is true — the more you study, the more you learn, and the more you learn, the more you realize there is so much you don’t know.

I am reminded of a college student who was preparing for life as a gospel preacher. He commented to someone in the library that he had studied the entire Bible and all of its questions, had prepared a year’s worth of lessons (104) on the Bible, and was now finished. He wondered aloud what he would do now!

When I heard the story, I laughed and remembered how little I knew when I was a college student. So my reply was simple: “Wait till he learns what the questions are!” And there is plenty yet to be learned from God’s Word.

The phrase mighty hand of God” jumped off the page at me as I read 1 Peter 5:6 this past week. I have emphasized repeatedly that verse and its teaching to humble yourself before God so that He might lift you up. And I’ve emphasized in my preaching that we should all cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Perhaps that is why my mind might have skipped over the word “mighty.” Peter doesn’t say that we should humble ourselves under the hand of God! He says that we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God! It is so much easier to submit to one who is greater and more powerful than we. God’s knowledge, wisdom and superiority are so much greater than ours that it defies description and comprehension! If you doubt that, then read again Job 38! In that chapter, God asked Job, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” I’m sure Job’s mind immediately thought something like “Oops! I messed up!” I can’t even answer the questions on the Jeopardy television show. I certainly don’t want to match wits with God!!!

Now the Greek word translated here “mighty” appears only here in the New Testament. But in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, it is used at least twenty times. “The word can be used of human strength (Deut. 8:17), or the strength of the bow (Ps. 76:3), or even the sea (Ps. 89:9), but mostly it is to God’s strength (Ps. 62:11)” [Theological Dictionary of the NT, abridged]. So when Peter says “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,” you should read this as “MIGHTY hand of God.” Or as President Trump might say, “HUGE!” After all, can one overemphasize the power of God?

The lesson should not be lost on us. God’s power is so vast, mighty and overwhelming that we, His children, should confidently rest ourselves under His wing and let His will be done, and not ours. How often are we all worked up about things that matter so little? How often do we think things are up to us to fix, when God is there to take care of them with little effort or thought?

Yes, we are admonished to “be sober, be vigilant” (v. 8) against the devil. We have been given the power to “resist him, [be] steadfast in the faith” (v. 9). But do not forget what Peter has said already: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” In the context of our lives, please remember that God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. That should relieve some of your anxiety. The apostle Paul reminded the Philippians that “The Lord is at hand” (4:5). He is near. He is here. And to the idolatrous Athenians Paul said, “for in Him we live and move and have our being,…” (Acts 17:28). After all, while man is supposed to “seek the Lord, in the hope that he might grope for Him and find Him, … He is not far from each one of us (v. 27). Whew! And I thought it was all up to me…

— Via Roanridge Reader Volume 35 Issue 04 page 02, January 26, 2020
——————–

-3-

Timothy and the Gospel

Heath Rogers

Second Timothy is likely the last epistle Paul wrote before his death at the hands of the Roman Empire. In this letter the apostle passes the torch from his worn hand to that of his trusted “son in the faith.” Paul had fought the good fight of faith and finished his leg of the race. He would soon be receiving his victory crown. However, his concern was not so much in what was awaiting him as what he was leaving behind. What would happen to the work after his departure? This is the concern he sets before Timothy.

All four chapters of this book contain charges to Timothy about the gospel that has been entrusted to his care. Consider the specific responsibilities given to this evangelist regarding the word of God.

1. Do not be ashamed of the testimony. “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8). Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16). How can a Christian be ashamed of the power of God? Yet, this world exerts a great amount of influence in marginalizing Christianity and ridiculing people of faith. We must never be ashamed to own our Lord, live our faith, sound forth the message, and persuade the lost to be saved.

2. Hold fast to the pattern. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1:13). The Scriptures are not a collection of subjective suggestions. They set forth a divine pattern to be followed. It is the same pattern for everyone. Timothy is not to question this pattern. He is not to discard it for an updated version to accommodate the ever-changing whims of society. He is to hold fast to it; cling tenaciously to it and never let it go.

3. Commit these things to faithful men. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2:2). The gospel has been passed down from Paul to Timothy. For the gospel to survive, it must be passed along to the next generation of workers who will themselves pass it down to another generation. Timothy would one day find himself where Paul is now — at the end of his earthly journey. He would be able to depart this world in peace knowing he had passed the torch to faithful men. Are we preparing the next generation to faithfully follow the pattern?

4. Rightly divide the word of truth. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2:15). A preacher must know how to handle God’s word. “Rightly dividing” is translated from a Greek word meaning “to cut straight.” God’s word is a pattern. The teaching done by a man of God must line up with this pattern. If it doesn’t, his teaching will be in error, and those who follow his teaching will be in error. He will have misrepresented God and will have a reason to be ashamed when he stands before God in judgment. We must work diligently in our study to make sure we are accurately understanding God’s word.

5. Continue in the Scriptures. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (3:14). Timothy’s response to perilous times (v. 1) would be to continue in the Gospel. He is to have confidence in the things he has “been assured of.” There is nothing wrong with having an open mind and showing a willingness to study issues. However, there are basics to our faith that do not require second guessing (Heb. 6:1-3). We fight the good fight of faith and finish our race by holding fast and continuing in the things we have learned.

6. Preach the word. “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (4:1-2). Timothy had a charge to proclaim the word of God and make it known to others. He had to be urgent in his proclamation, knowing that God has chosen to save men through the preaching of the gospel. He had to make it relevant; convincing, reproving, and exhorting when necessary. He had to show patience in his efforts. While not everyone is cut out to be a preacher, we can sound forth the word to others, and we can support the preaching of the gospel.

The work of a faithful evangelist is tied to the Word of God. He has a responsibility to hold fast and continue in it, to study so he can rightly divide it, to unashamedly preach it with urgency, and to prepare others to do the same.

— Via the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2020
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Elaine Abbott
(Jonathan’s mother) has resumed her chemo every week and is continuing with her dialysis three days a week.  This Friday she will be given an AV fistula to help out with her treatments.

Here is Anita Young’s update on her father, Rex Hadley:  “We are waiting to hear results from chest ct scan he had last week. The heart echo did not show what they thought may be causing the pleural effusion. They ordered the ct chest scan then to see if something showed there. Still fairly weak and short of breath.”  Rex will be seeing his doctor again on the 13th, but hopes to hear of the scan results before then.

Ronnie Davis was given shots last week for his back pain, but it will be a few days before its effect will be fully known.

Jim Lively had another fall last week.  It scuffed some skin off his arm and back.  It was the first he had fallen in several weeks.

Deborah Medlock saw her doctor Thursday to have the radiation markers placed and will begin her treatments tomorrow, which will continue 5 days a week for 4 weeks.

Others to also be praying for: Max Beach, Judy Daugherty, Rick Cuthbertson, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Tim Kirkland, Frankie Hadley, and Cameron Haney.
——————–

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 (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; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
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

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

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