“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).
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
Do We Really Believe?
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
The Mighty Hand of God
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
Timothy and the Gospel
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
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).
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
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)