Month: July 2021

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) “Garage-Sale Christianity” (Jim Lee)
2) Faith, Yes, But Not By Faith Alone (Bill Crews)
3) The Qualities of 1 Peter 3:8 (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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“Garage-Sale Christianity”

Jim Lee

Springtime is just around the corner, and many of us are eagerly anticipating its arrival. The springtime offers much for us to do. Depending on where we live, during the winter, many of us are restricted from activities, i.e., planting flowers, cutting grass, etc., we enjoy during the warmer months. (In fact, as I write this article, it’s snowing here in southern Ohio).

But another springtime event to which many of us look forward is the garage sale, and the excitement of going. Isn’t it amazing what good deals we can find at garage sales? For the most part, folks wish to clear out and be rid of things for which they no longer have use. In fact, some things, which at one time cost a good amount of money, are now being sold for pocket change.

I was just thinking about the resemblance between some Christians and garage-sale items. Here’s a person whose sins “the Lamb of God” has taken away (John 1:29); whose soul the Son of God has purchased (1 Corinthians 6:20); whose name is written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Philippians 4:3). Yet, because he has no “root system,” he falls away into temptation’s snare (Luke 8:13), and he treats his soul as though it is nothing more than a “garage-sale item.”

Do you know any folks like that? Who, at the “drop of a hat,” are willing to give up on everything that God has provided for them. Why can’t these folks see the big picture? Have they forgotten what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26? Brothers and sisters, has the soul’s value been reduced to pocket change? Has Christ’s blood become something to “trample underfoot,” and has it become an “unholy thing” (Hebrews 10:29).

Brethren, it is absolutely essential that we stress to those we teach, and ensure that they understand, the cost involved in following our Savior. And we would do well to remind those, even among our immediate families, of the price paid for our spiritual freedom (John 3:16; 8:32). There is a real purpose for saying what I’ve just said. Within the past year, I have personally witnessed the destruction of three “Christian homes,” due to sexual immorality (John 10:10).

These were homes where the husbands and wives were in their early-to-mid 30s; husbands and wives who, as children, were raised and trained to become Christians. The husbands in two of the homes have fathers who are gospel preachers. Thus, brethren, we see the need to re-emphasize the costs involved with following Jesus. Jesus, Himself, made this point clear on more than one occasion (Luke 9:57-62; 14:26-35).

My brethren, of a truth, we are at war! Ephesians 6:10-18, as is all scripture, is there for a purpose. The Holy Spirit knew of the coming conflicts that God’s children would have to encounter; thus, He stressed the need to obey the “Captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10). The devil has already taken too many “POWs,” due to their lack of loyalty and commitment; and sadly, a large number of those who once were soldiers of Christ are now “MIA!” Where do you find yourself spiritually? Are you working, laboring for the Master, bringing in the sheaves, or do you stand idle all the day long (Matthew 20:6).

Again, I would urge us all to “count the cost.” We all sing: “What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” He shed His blood and died for your sins and mine (Romans 5:8); and in return, He asks nothing but that we live for Him daily (1 Corinthians 15:58).

So when spring arrives, and you begin going to garage sales, looking at price tags, and thinking what a great deal you’re making, don’t forget about the price tag for your soul! For how little are you willing to “sell it.”

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2003
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Faith, Yes, But Not By Faith Alone

Bill Crews

The religious conceptions and convictions of most people are formed more by their own environment — their upbringing and their surroundings — than by any personal study of the Bible. Such influence is usually a powerful teacher — whether in the right direction or in the wrong. Even what most people think (in their own minds, they can be “so sure”) the Bible teaches comes more from what their parents said to them, from what they heard various preachers say, from what friends and others have said, from what they gleaned from newspapers, magazines, books, movies, TV programs, than from their own reading of the Bible.

The most wide-spread and popular religious conclusion that people entertain is the idea that the Bible teaches that men are saved or justified by “faith only.” It may be expressed in many different ways — “only believe,” “all you need is faith,” ‘”just receive Jesus in your heart as your personal Savior,” “faith alone is God’s plan,” “all you have to do is to accept Christ” — but it still comes out the same, that is, that a sinner is  saved solely, only, wholly, entirely by his faith in Christ, and, therefore, no other condition must be met or commandment must be obeyed to receive salvation.

Reader friend, did you know that the Bible does not teach this at all? Surely it teaches that men are saved, justified, purified, made righteous by faith (John 8:24; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 15:9; Mark 16:15-16; Galatians 3:23- 27; Romans 3:21-28), but it nowhere teaches that such a blessing comes by “faith only.” James 2:24 (read verses 14-26) plainly states that we are not justified by faith only, and other passages clearly teach that other conditions are required (Acts 3:19 — “be converted” or “turn again”; Acts 17:30 — repent; Romans 10:9-10 — confess Jesus as Lord; Acts 2:38 — repent and be baptized; etc).

The great and courageous Martin Luther (of the 16th century), in his 1518 German translation of the New Testament, was so convinced that salvation was by faith only that he added the word “only” (the German word “solo”) to Romans 3:28 to get salvation by “faith only” into the Bible. Disgusted by his own church’s (Roman Catholic) doctrine and practice of salvation by works of merit, he went to the opposite extreme of denying the necessity of any works at all. At the time he had decided that James (because of James 2:14-26) did not even belong in the Bible because it contradicted what he honestly thought Paul taught in Romans 4. What Luther failed to see is this: Every passage that he regarded as teaching that salvation is not by works of any sort is a passage teaching that men are not justified by the works of the Law of Moses or any such law (this would be works of merit and, therefore merited salvation). These passages were designed to answer the “Judaizers” who were binding the law of Moses and the old covenant of fleshly circumcision on the disciples of Christ, Jews and Gentiles (read Acts 15:1, 5; Galatians 2:3-5, 11-16; 5:2-8 for information on this). Romans 3 and 4 and Galatians 2 and 3 deal with this problem of the Judaizers, but so many today, like Luther, think that they were written to deny the necessity of any works and to lead us to conclude that salvation is by faith only.

But Martin Luther was by no means the last to add the word “only” or “alone” to Bible passages teaching the great doctrine of salvation by faith (a faith that works, an obedient faith). The widely distributed Good New For Modern Man, the New Testament in Today’s English Version (TEV), sponsored and promoted by the American Bible Society, does it in Romans 1:17; 3:28 and Galatians 2:16. The more popular Living Bible Paraphrased (not a translation, but only a paraphrase), which takes great liberties on many matters, adds the word “only” in Romans 4:9, 12 (also compare John 1:12; Romans 1:17 and 3:21-22). Newer versions and paraphrases have taken even more liberties.

To say that man cannot be justified by the works of the Law of Moses (Galatians 2:16), to say that man cannot be justified by any works of merit or by his own righteousness (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9) is not to say that man is justified by faith alone. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything. nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) “You see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 30, Issue 29, Page 02, July 18, 2021
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The Qualities of 1 Peter 3:8

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/1_Peter_3_8.mp4


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News & Notes

Tori McCarthy had not been feeling well for a few days last week, but began feeling better yesterday.  She was tested for the coronavirus  earlier in the week and the results came back negative.  She also mentioned that everyone from the party eight days ago that had also been tested had results that came back negative.  But she does request prayer that everyone will stay well. The woman who had been at the party with COVID-19, but did not know until later, is now doing better.

Rex Hadley is now back home from rehab and will continue with that at home.  

Also to keep in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, Jeff Nuss, Michael Rittenhouse, Nell Teague, Andrew Wright, and Deborah Medlock

Let us also continue to remember our shut-ins.

Next Sunday (August 1), we will resume our 9 a.m. Bible class.  Danny Bartlett will be teaching on the book of Ephesians.

We will also have a “song service” next Sunday at 5 p.m. , and will continue with that on the first Sunday of every month. 
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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; 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

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/ (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) Joshua (Colby Junkin)
2) Signs, Wonders, and Miracles (Bill Moseley)
3) Seven Aspects of the Christian’s Hope (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Joshua

Colby Junkin

The entire camp of Israel had never experienced a greater depression than for those thirty days after Moses’ death. Their leader, Moses, had ascended Mount Nebo and then never returned to the camp. Moses was gone! He was dead! One can only imagine the thoughts racing through the minds and hearts of the Israelites. What were they going to do now without Moses?

Moses had led the Israelites for the past forty years and left an indelible mark on the entire nation. Moses was the chosen instrument of God who brought Israel out of their Egyptian bondage. He had led Israel not only through the divided waters of the Red Sea, but had been their leader throughout the forty years of wilderness wandering. Moses was their great intercessor who stood the gap between their God and their rebellion. When God had chosen to destroy the nation at Mount Sinai, Moses pleaded his case, and the Lord changed His mind. There simply was no way to replace such a great leader, but Israel was still in need of one to take his place. Who would ever want to be the one to succeed Moses? How could you replace such a courageous and humble guardian/leader like Moses?

This tremendous task of transferred leadership was laid at the feet of a man named Joshua. Joshua was first introduced to the narrative as Israel was making their way to Mount Sinai. The Amalekites were attacking the rear of the Israelite caravan, and Moses instructed Joshua to choose out men who would go and fight (Exodus 17:8-13). Moses stationed himself on the hill during the battle and raised his staff. After Aaron and Hur assisted Moses by helping keep his arms up — “Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” Joshua is reintroduced to the narrative at Mount Sinai. Joshua is noted to be a servant of Moses and it appears that he stayed at the bottom of the mountain for the period of the first forty days (Exodus 24:13; 32:15-18). Joshua was not engaged with the idolatrous rebellion of the people, but rather he waited for the return of Moses with the Law of God.

Joshua was one of the twelve spies chosen by Moses to enter the land and bring a report concerning the people, land, and cities (Numbers 12:16-22). Joshua, along with Caleb, encouraged the people not to run away in disbelief, but rather to rise up and take the land with God’s might and strength. Joshua was a faithful man of God. When the time of Moses’ departure had arrived, Joshua had already been chosen by God to replace him. Moses brought Joshua before the camp of Israel and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance” (Deuteronomy 31:7). Joshua was taken to the tent of meeting and commissioned by God to be the successor of Moses and leader of Israel. What a tremendous blessing and frightening prospective this must have been for Joshua who was given charge of the nation of Israel.

The Lord recognized Joshua’s apprehension and did not leave him alone, but validated him as Israel’s next leader. The Lord told Joshua – “…Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you” (1:5b). The Lord did not stop with His encouragement, but said –

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (1:6-9).

There was no room left for doubt or unbelief. Joshua faithfully took on the charge given to him by the Lord and became the leader of the Israelite nation. By the time Joshua’s life had ended, Israel had victoriously taken the Promised Land and divided it among the tribes as promised by God.

In the annals of Bible history, Joshua stands resolutely as an example of courageous faith. Joshua was a leader in every aspect of his life. He led the army of Israel against Amalek. He led the nation of Israel in the conquest of the Land. Finally, He was a leader in his home – “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15; emphasis mine, bcj). May God bless us with hearts like Joshua which are faithful and receptive to His Word and courageous in its application!

— Via Articles of the River Bend church of Christ, October 20, 2019
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Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Bill Moseley

A theme of many Bible studies has been the miracles of Jesus. This ought to be done periodically, since His miracles were a great part of His work. Lessons are taught, and hopefully learned, from those great moments in the life of the Savior. Yet, often neglected is a study of the terms which are used to describe those great works. Our purpose here is to briefly set forth the meaning behind the words that are commonly used to describe those mighty acts; i.e., “signs, wonders, miracles.” The only place where they are found in a common verse is Hebrews 2:4, and yet they are found individually in many places in the New Testament. Too often we have improperly generalized all of them under the most common of the terms (miracles), and have sort of “lumped them all together.” But let us look at them individually, referring you, in the interest of space, to your concordance for locations of the words.

First, we consider the word “sign” (semeion), defined as “a sign, mark, indication, token…” (W. E. Vine). Signs were usually intended to demonstrate to the observer something more than the sign itself. Their value was in displaying and confirming the power of the one who would do the sign as evidence that he was something out of the ordinary. For example, the Jews came asking Jesus for a “sign” (Matt. 12:38). They would take such a sign to mean that Jesus was indeed extraordinary, with the emphasis being upon Jesus and not the sign itself. He then said they would receive but one sign, that of “the prophet Jonah.” When they saw that, they would know that He, indeed, was who He claimed to be. So signs were sort of a “pointer” looking to demonstrate something outside of themselves.

Next we look at the term “wonders” (teras). Here is “something strange, causing the beholder to marvel” (W. E. Vine). In the New Testament this word is always in the plural, and is used almost exclusively in connection with “signs.” In “wonders,” the supernatural act itself is looked upon as something that startles and produces amazement. The “wonder” itself is the center of attention, and not necessarily that to which it points. Herein is the fundamental difference between a “sign” and a “wonder.” The thought conveyed by this word is often blended with the idea of “to marvel,” from the verb thaumazo. This is the word Paul used in Galatians 1:6 in speaking of his amazement at the rapid departure of the Galatians from the gospel. Teras “denotes terrible appearances which elicit fright and horror, and which contradict the ordered unity of nature” (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Brown, p. 633).

Finally, we consider “miracles” (dunamis). Here is “power, inherent ability, used of works of a supernatural origin and character, such as could not be produced by natural agents and means” (W. E. Vine). The idea of power predominates in this term. In fact, the noun “power” (Matt. 26:64), or “ability” (Matt. 25:15) are both derived from this same word, as is the word “might” or “mighty.” Without this power, such great works could not be done. In 1 Corinthians 1:24, Christ is called the “power (dunamin) of God.” Hence, when we use the word “miracle,” the thought should have to do with the power behind the act itself.

“But,” one may ask, “do not all these refer to the same thing?” We might answer affirmatively, if we do so in a broad sense. Yet we must also understand that they never refer to different kinds of miracles, but miracles as they are viewed from various perspectives. They all stress a different viewpoint of the great supernatural works done by Jesus and His apostles. A proper understanding of these things will help us when dealing with the miracles of Jesus, or even those of the Old Testament period. Consider each miracle done by the Lord along with the thoughts here presented; perhaps they will then mean more to us.

— via Christianity Magazine, October 1990
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“And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them” (Matthew 15:30, NASB).
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Seven Aspects of the Christian’s Hope

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Seven_Aspects_of_the_Christian’s_Hope.mp4

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News & Notes

Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of Addison Harris Hines, Jr., of Waycross, who passed away Tuesday.

Andrew Wright has now begun chemo for his stage 2 lung cancer. .

Michael Rittenhouse was recently hospitalized for chest pains, numbness of arm, and nausea; but it turned out not to be a heart attack.  He passed the stress test, but is not “out of the woods” yet with his two arterial blockages — and will see his doctor Thursday.   

Deborah Medlock’s procedure of the neurostimulator implant went well.  If the test of it also goes well, it will be replaced with a permanent one. 

Also for prayer: Jeff Nuss (with serious injuries); the family and friends of Judy Daugherty; Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Rex Hadley (rehab)

On August 1 (Sunday), we will start having our Sunday A.M. Bible class again.  It will begin at 9 a. m. and end at 9:45 a.m.  Morning worship will continue to begin at 10 a.m. 

Also for August 1, we will be starting back with our singing service every first Sunday of the month.  It will begin at 5 p.m. 

Also for prayer, our shut-ins: Jim Lively and Shirley Davis
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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/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) Complaining (George Slover)
2) A Father’s Greatest Sermon (Anonymous)
3) What Is A Brother In Christ? (Bill Crews)
4) Prejudice Against the Bible (Bob Buchanon)
5) What Is Jesus to You? (Anonymous)
6) Developing Moral Excellence (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
7) News & Notes
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Complaining

George Slover

“Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Numbers 11:4-6)

Scenes of this chapter provide a glimpse of the pathetic character of Israel. Their constant grumbling is a source of extreme irritation for Moses, their leader. (Vs.11) “Manna, manna, all we have is a manna!” Could this same kind of dissatisfaction be found in our hearts?

It is first worth noting just where the sin began. A “mixed multitude“ or foreigners were living among the people of God. A cry among these aliens seems to incite a rebellion among the Israelites. Thus, the danger of listening to the counsel of friends of the world, especially when one’s faith and commitment are challenged.

The Israelites had forgotten all that God had done for them. They do remember the manna, only to grumble about it. They are mindful of the delicacies of Egypt, but have they forgotten how they were treated in bondage? Their exaggerated language: “our whole being is dried up“; “we have nothing,” reveals much about their ungrateful heart. Jesus has conquered sin and death, yet how easy it is for us to complain about matters far less important.

And so the people demanded flesh, and God gave them flesh beyond their request. They get their desire, but not God‘s blessing. One must be careful to become impatient with our real or imagined hardships. What we receive may not offer the pleasure that we are looking for.

To avoid the dangers of such thanklessness, we must take our eyes off the pleasures offered by the world. We must flee these harmful lusts, and turn our hearts to pursue heavenly objects. We must make the Father’s business the main thing, and pray: “Father, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”   

— Via The Burnet Bulletin, March 28, 2021
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A Father’s Greatest Sermon

The farmer and his family, after a hard year of typical farm work, were rewarded with an unusually fine crop of grain.  There were happy days ahead.

Just a few days before harvest came a terrible wind and hail storm. The entire crop was destroyed! After the storm was over, the farmer, with his wife and little boy at his side, went out to the back porch to view the field and the damage.

The little boy looked at what was formerly a beautiful field of wheat, and tearfully looked up at his dad expecting to hear words of despair.

All at once his father started to sing softly, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…”  Years later, the little boy now grown said, “That was the greatest sermon I have ever heard.”

The farmer had lost a grain crop, but because of his faith, manifested in great trial, he had gained forever for the Lord the soul of his son.  The son saw the faith of a godly man in practice!

— Anonymous, via Seeking Things Above, August 9, 2017
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What Is A Brother In Christ?

Bill Crews   

1. Another child of your Father in heaven. In nearly all of his epistles Paul spoke of “God, our Father” (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; Philemon 3), and thus acknowledged these brethren as children of his Father in heaven.

2. A brother to your Lord. “And say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father” (John 20:17). “For both he that sanctifieth (Christ, BC) and they that are sanctified (the saved, BC) are all of one (the Father); for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Hebrews 2:11).

3. A brother for whom Christ died. “For through thy knowledge he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake Christ died” (1 Corinthians 8:11).

4. Someone who is so related to Christ that if you assist in time of need, you will be also ministering to Christ. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

5. Someone who is so related to Christ that if you sin against him or her, you also sin against Christ. “And thus, sinning against the brethren, and wounding their conscience when it is weak, ye sin against Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:12).

6. Someone you love and who loves you to the extent that men are convinced that you are disciples of Christ. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another” (John 13:35).

7. Someone you love with a love that is abounding. “We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

8. Someone you are willing to lay down your life for. “Hereby know ye love, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

9. Someone for whom you would forego any personal liberty lest you cause him or her to violate his or her conscience and sin. “Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:13).

10. One you should rejoice with when he is honored and suffer with when he suffers. “And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36 Issue 27, Page 2
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Prejudiced Against the Bible

While serving as our ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin joined a literary society. Such societies were common and numerous in France, but they were filled with infidels. Urged on by his quaint sense of humor, Mr. Franklin joined the most prominent of these societies. It was the custom of this group to have each member write an original story to be read to the society and then have the members criticize the story. Mr. Franklin copied by hand the French translation of the entire book of Ruth from the Bible.

He met with the society at the appointed time and anxiously awaited the time for him to read his story. In warm and sympathetic tones he read this great love story.

For a few minutes there was absolute silence, as the audience sat under the spell of the beautiful love story. Then some member began to applaud. When the chairman of the meeting said that it was the only perfect love story the world had ever heard, the society requested permission to print it.

Mr. Franklin then said: “This story has already been printed and given to the world. You will find it in the Bible: the book you profess to despise, but about whose contents you apparently know so little.”

— Bob Buchanon, via The Beacon, July 4, 2021
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What Is Jesus to You?

To the artist He is the One Altogether Lovely.
To the architect He is the chief cornerstone,
To the baker He is the Living Bread.
To the banker He is the Hidden Treasure.
To the biologist He is the Life.
To the builder He is the Sure Foundation,
To the doctor He is the Great Physician.
To the educator He is the Great Teacher.
To the farmer He is the Lord of the Harvest.
To the florist He is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley.
To the geologist He is the Rock of Ages.
To the jurist He is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of all men.
To the jeweler He is the Pearl of Great Price.
To the lawyer He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
To the horticulturist He is the True Vine.
To the newspaper man He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
To the oculist He is the Light of the World.
To the philanthropist He is the unspeakable Gift.
To the philosopher He is the Wisdom of God.
To the preacher He is the Word of God.
To the sculptor He is the Living Stone,
To the servant He is the Good Master.
To the statesman He is the Desire of All Nations.
To the student He is the Incarnate Truth.
To the theologian He is the Author and Finisher of Our Faith.
To the traveler He is the New and Living Way.
To the toiler He is the Giver of Rest.
To the sinner He is the Lamb of God that takes sin away.
To the Christian He is the Son of the Living God, Savior, and Redeemer.

— Via Bulletin Fodder
——————–

-6-

Developing Moral Excellence

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-7-

News & Notes

Michael Rittenhouse began having chest pains, nausea, and numbness down his left arm on Monday. 

Andrew Wright, with stage 2 lung cancer, will begin chemo this week.

Deborah Medlock
will have a procedure this Thursday (July 15) for the implant of a neurostimulator to alleviate pain she has been having. It will be a temporary one; but if it works, they will then replace it permanently.

Bennie Medlock will have cataract surgery for his left eye August 16, and September 20 for the right.

Also for prayer: Jeff Nuss (with serious injuries); the family and friends of Judy Daugherty; Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Rex Hadley (rehab); And our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (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

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


evangelist/editor: T
om 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) Calvinism and the Old Testament (Don Wright)
2) Perish the Thought! (Dan S. Shipley)
3) Caring for Our Souls (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Calvinism and the Old Testament

Don Wright

Most Bible believing people are familiar with Calvinism. If you are not, it is a doctrine that suggests that all human beings are born sinners because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Calvinists believe that the fall of Adam was the fall of all of mankind. It is interesting that they claim that we inherit Adam’s sin even though it was Eve who sinned first. Nevertheless, Calvinism teaches that man, as a result of the sin of Adam, is born totally depraved, unable to do anything good from a spiritual standpoint.

Total depravity is the T of the acronym TULIP, which sums up Calvinism. The rest of the TULIP is as follows: unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. Calvinism is taught by most churches that came out of the 16th century reformation movement, which makes up a large percentage of denominational churches today.

There are many scriptural problems with Calvinism, beginning with the fact that none of its tenets are taught in the New Testament. My personal observation is that, while the New Testament is a problem for Calvinism, the Old Testament might be an even bigger problem. To see this, we have to keep the first tenet of Calvinism in mind, which, as I stated above, is total depravity.

The doctrine of total depravity demands the conclusion that man is unable to hear the Word of God and believe it. In order for man to be saved, he must first receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, something that only God can provide, so that his heart is capable of believing in Jesus, or anything that is spiritually good.

First, let me say that this teaching of Calvinism is as anti-God as any doctrine an atheist could ever teach. It makes God an unloving, cruel, respecter of persons, Who purposely creates man in sin, and then condemns him to hell for not doing what he is incapable of doing in the first place. But, why is this a problem with the Old Testament? It is a problem because there are many Old Testament stories where individuals did good, even accomplishing the will of God, without any kind of outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Let us just take the story of Jonah for an example. Jonah was commissioned by God to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach to them (Jonah 1:2). Jonah did not want to do this; instead, he attempted to flee to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). This is when the trouble for Jonah began because man cannot hide from God (Psalms 139:1-12). God caused a great wind upon the sea and a mighty tempest overtook the ship that was carrying Jonah to Tarshish (ver. 4). This ultimately led to Jonah being hurled into the sea and swallowed by a great fish (vers. 7-17). Inside the belly of this fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord and was delivered. The fish vomited him upon dry land (Jonah 2). Finally, Jonah goes to Nineveh to preach the word of the Lord to them (Jonah 3:1-3). It is how they responded to that preaching that is a refutation of Calvinism.

Jonah 3:4-5 (ESV)

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The Ninevites heard the Word of the Lord and believed it. There was no outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God did not work on their hearts miraculously. They were led to repentance by the simple preaching of the Word, the same way the people had their hearts pricked on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36-37). Read the rest of the text in Jonah three, and it will be clear to you that these people believed God without divine help, except from the power of God’s Word. Ver. 10 is particularly damning to Calvinism.

Jonah 3:10 (ESV)

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Do you see that? “God saw what they did.” God did not miraculously turn these people, they turned themselves from their evil ways. Clearly, they were not born totally depraved as Calvinism teaches. This is just one of many examples found in the Old Testament, showing people repenting without some special outpouring of the Spirit. If all of mankind fell with Adam, why is it only when we get to the New Testament era that people cannot believe in God without His miraculous help? The truth is, the story of Jonah and the response of the Ninevites to the preaching of the Word proves forever that Calvinism is untenable, for if man is not born totally depraved, the rest of the TULIP crumbles.

— Via Brown Street Beacon, June 6, 2020
——————–

-2-

Perish the Thought!

Dan S. Shipley

While visiting a local area hospital recently, I was amused at their curb-side signs which read: “Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here!” Such novel wording reveals an insight into human nature. When the motorist begins to contemplate leaving his car in a no parking zone, he is apt to think, “It’ll only be for a little while,” or “I’m in a hurry,” or “well, everyone else does it, why shouldn’t I?” Those who think thusly are likely to be found parked at the red curb. So, the admonition not to even think about it is appropriate — and not only for those tempted to park illegally.

Indeed, the Bible teaches of a serious correlation between our thinking and our temptations. “For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, railings…” (Matthew 15:19). It is “from within” that all these evil things proceed and defile the man (Mark 7:21). As someone has observed, “What we sow in thought, we reap in deed.” How true! Thinking about it is the prelude to practically every sin committed. Like the motorist rationalizing about the no-parking zone, most find it easy to mentally “sell” themselves on their temptations — especially, after many weakening thought-rehearsals. What sinner has ever failed to find his own “extenuating circumstances” to minimize or excuse his sin? “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 21:2) — even when he does that which he knows to be wrong. Maybe he didn’t plan to be wrong, but then he didn’t plan NOT to either! This is not to say, of course, that all who have evil thoughts will necessarily involve themselves in evil deeds. It largely depends on what is done with the evil thought. If it is dismissed at once (“don’t even THINK about it”), it may do no harm. However, if it is nurtured, savored, and rehearsed, it is likely to find expression. As someone has said, “We can’t help it if birds fly overhead, but we need not let them build nests in our hair.” If we fail to control our thoughts, it is not likely that we will control our actions.

For this reason we need more teaching and preaching aimed at the HEART of ungodly conduct. True, evil deeds must be condemned, but we must not overlook the heart from which they are launched. If we can eliminate the hate we can eliminate the murder and countless lesser conflicts (1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21-24). Handling lust at the beginning will prove an effective deterrent to fornication and adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). When we are able to remove envy, jealousy, and anxiety from the heart, we will have spared the world their troublesome manifestations — not to mention all the misery and heartache associated therewith. How much better off we would all be if we could just remember to not even think about such things! “Can’t help it” you say?

Peter evidently thought men could control their thinking. He encourages “girding up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:13). Paul likewise admonishes “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to “think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Can’t help it? Perish the thought!

Editor’s Note [Wayne Goff]: Dan Shipley was a gospel preacher from Texas who also was an avid golfer. Dan played football for SMU, and later became a gospel preacher associated with Robert F. Turner in the paper they published entitled “Plain Talk.”  Dan was a humble man with many wonderful traits. He passed away in 2011 at the age of  82. He was also a personal friend of mine as we worshiped together in gospel meetings and played golf in East Texas. This article was published in July, 1981, but it is still perfectly appropriate today.

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36 Issue 26, Page 3
——————–

-3-

Caring for Our Souls

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Jeff Nuss has recently sustained serious injuries after being struck by a tractor-trailer that ran a red light. He has been hospitalized with broken ribs, brain bleed, bleeding of the spine, and is now also on a ventilator.   

Let us continue to remember in prayer all the family and friends of Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) who recently passed away.

Rex Hadley will probably continue in rehab for a total of 21 days.

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Deborah Medlock (soon to have a device implanted to eliminate pain) 

And our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

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

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (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

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/ (This link takes you to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)


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