Author: Tom Edwards (Page 1 of 33)

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.)


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) A Clear View of Him Who Is Invisible (Jason Hardin)
2) What Are the “Husks” of Luke 15:16? (Tom Edwards)
3) Comparing the Passover With Jesus, the Christian’s Passover (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

A Clear View of Him Who Is Invisible

Jason Hardin

When we live with full eyes and empty hearts, assurance runs low and conviction wears thin. It’s hard to hope from an empty heart.

When we simply go with the flow of the world — walking and talking and acting and feeling by sight — there will always be plenty to keep our eyes full, but it’s hard to build conviction for things that are never granted my undivided attention. So prayer takes a backseat to the next Netflix episode, Bible reading gets pushed to the back burner of tomorrow, I’ll find the margin to worship on the weekend (as long as my eyes aren’t too full of other, more pressing things)… and I wonder in those dark nights of the soul why I’m struggling to hope with assurance and trust with conviction.

Hebrews 11 reminds us in the form of some powerful examples to look up from the cares and riches and pleasures of life to what cannot be seen with our physical eyes. Consider:

“Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise” (11:8-9).

Why? Why do such a thing? “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (11:10).

Example after example is offered in Hebrews 11 of men and women who hoped with assurance and trusted with conviction. They lived by and died with faith in God’s promises, “having seen them and greeted them from afar” (11:13).

“By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones” (11:22). Joseph could “see” something that wouldn’t happen in space and time for centuries.

“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (11:24-26).

“He was looking.” In an era where most eyes were full of the gold and glitter of the Pharaohs, Moses lifted his eyes from the fleeting to focus on the eternal. And what came as a result? His heart wasn’t empty. His hope was sure. His conviction was strong. By faith, he was equipped to endure “as seeing him who is invisible” (11:27).

A clear view of him who is invisible. Think about that today. What could possibly be worth more?

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2021
——————–

-2-

What are the “Husks” in Luke 15:16?

Tom Edwards

In the parable of the prodigal son, this younger son took his share of the estate and went to a distant country.  There he lived a wild, riotous life of debauchery and excess, thus wasting all he had to live on, and then longing for even the “husks” (KJV) that the unclean swine were feeding upon.

In thinking of “husk,” one might mistakenly visualize the leafy outer covering of an ear of corn — for that is what the English word especially means. But it also denotes, “the dry external covering of certain fruits or seeds…” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary).  

The Greek word for “husks” in that verse is “keration” (ker-at’-ee-on), which is defined as “the pod of the carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua of Linnaeus [which is the scientific name of the carob tree, given by Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778], a common tree in the East and the south of Europe, growing to a considerable size [40’ to 50’ in height], and producing long slender pods, with a pulp of sweetish taste, and several brown shining seeds like beans, sometimes eaten by the poorer people in Syria and Palestine, and commonly used for fattening swine, Luke 15:16″ (Mounce’s Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, emphasis mine).

In looking this up in 12 sources,*  consisting of lexicons, Bible Dictionaries, and a Bible Encyclopedia, they all refer to the “husks” of Luke 15:16 as being the pods of the carob tree.

The English word “carob” is defined as: “1. a Mediterranean tree, Ceratonia siliqua, of the legume family, bearing long leathery pods containing hard seeds and sweet edible pulp. 2. the pod of this tree.  3. the pulp of the pods, often ground into a powder and used esp. as a substitute for chocolate(Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, emphasis mine).

Perhaps you have had carob before, which is sold in various forms, such as powder, chips, syrup, etc.  It has a nutty flavor and not the same taste as chocolate, but is a healthier alternative and naturally sweet, while chocolate from cocoa beans is naturally bitter.  So, it would be better to appreciate carob for how it is — rather than comparing the two and being disappointed that it doesn’t have the chocolate flavor you are familiar with.

Looking up Luke 15:16 in 70 different Bibles, 25 of them translate “keration” as “pods,”  20 as “husks,” 10 as “carob pods,” and also as “the food the pigs were eating” (4), “what the pigs were eating” (3), “slop” (2), “what the pigs ate” (1), “bean pods” (1), “the food the pigs ate” (1), “pigs’ food” (1).  And one translation must have been thinking more of the English word “husks,” rather than the meaning of the Greek word, when rendering it as “the outside part of the ears of the corn” (1), and another as “corn-cobs in the pig slop” (1).

But even if one did not know what these “husks” or pods are, it would not detract from the main idea of the passage in seeing how pathetic this person’s life had become. For feeding the swine, which was an “unclean” animal to the Jew at that time (Deut. 14:8), indicates he was having to stoop mighty low. For “This was, to the Jew, the bottom of degradation’s pit. They so abhorred swine that they refused to name them. They spoke of a pig as . . . ‘the other thing'” (Fourfold Gospel, McGarvey/Pendleton). And from Vincent’s Word Studies, feeding swine was “An ignominious occupation, especially in Jewish eyes. The keeping of swine was prohibited to Israelites under a curse.” 

So even if one wrongly assumed that the prodigal was so hungry that he longed to eat corn husks (which are not for human consumption) that would not eclipse the main point of the parable. 

For that prodigal is representing any sinner, and his father is representing God.  So what we see is that regardless of how low a person has sunk into sin, there is a loving God in heaven who will forgive and joyfully accept any lost soul, when that sinner repents and turns to the Lord by meeting His conditions for pardon.

And those conditions involve believing in Jesus (John 8:24) with a faith that comes from the gospel (Rom. 10:17), repenting of sins (Acts 17:30; for all have sinned – Rom. 3:23), confessing faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38), and being baptized in water so that sins will be forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Salvation will then be obtained (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21), and one will have a new life in Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27) as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

There is no greater need one could  have than to be forgiven of sin.  So if you have not yet become a Christian, why not do so this very day?  It will make God glad — and all the angels in heaven will rejoice! (cf. Luke 15:10).  

References: 

* E.W. Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament; Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament; New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries; People’s Dictionary of the Bible; Smith’s Bible Dictionary; James Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon; W.E. Vine’s New Testament Words; and Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament Words (All refer to the “husks” of Luke 15:16 as being the pods of the carob tree.)
——————–

-3-

Comparing the Passover With Jesus, the Christian’s Passover

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/Passover.mp4
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Our condolences go out to all the family and friends of Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) who passed away Friday.  The following will all take place at the Hardage-Giddens, Riverside Memorial Park & Funeral Home (7242 Normandy Blvd) in Jacksonville on July 2: visitation: 1 p.m., funeral service: 2 p.m., and graveside service: 3 p.m.

Rex Hadley was in the hospital last week for mainly his heart and kidneys.  The procedure went well in receiving a pacemaker, and he is now in rehab.

Jim Lively had fallen three times recently in one week, which resulted in the sloughing off of more skin on his arm.

Danielle Bartlett has a blockage in her kidney, which her doctors believe has been causing her recent problems.  She is not worried, since she has had this before, but does solicit the prayers of others.

Bennie Medlock has cataracts and glaucoma, and will soon be receiving lens implants.

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 is for 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) “Finally, Brethren…” (Don Wright)
2) Growing in Littleness (Dan S. Shipley)
3) Psalm 139:16-18
4) Fathers Learning from the Father Above (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“Finally, Brethren…”

Don Wright

Often times when Paul would conclude a series of points in an epistle, he would end the closing section with the words, “Finally, brethren…”  That would follow with a final point that he wanted to convey to the brethren to whom he wrote.  Let us look at a few places where he did this.

“Finally, brethren…be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace…” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

This was certainly an appropriate way of wrapping up this epistle to the saints at Corinth. It has to do with their relationship with each other. To be perfect does not mean to be sinless, rather it points to being complete. Vine says it denotes the idea of making progress. To be perfect is to be heading in the right direction, becoming more mature in Christ and His Word. To be a complete Christian one must have a proper relationship with brethren. We should live in agreement with one another. If we have sinned against a brother in Christ, let us go to him and get it right (Matthew 5:23-24). If a brother has sinned against us, let us go to him and talk about it (Matthew 18:15). Being able to handle sin in this way is a sign of maturity or perfection in Christ.  This is what Paul exhorted the saints at Corinth to do.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

This should be our battle cry every day we go out into the world. The devil is always waiting for us. He is always in attack mode. We must be strong every day if we are to be victorious in this spiritual war in which we are engaged. Being strong means allowing our Lord’s strength to become our own. Paul said we should be strong “in the power of his might.” We must, as Paul goes on to say, put on the whole armor of God, shield ourselves with truth, righteousness, peace, and faith, and arm ourselves with thoughts of heaven and with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. This is what it takes to be strong. It does not happen by accident. We are strong only when we purposely do those things that strengthen us as Christians.

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord…” (Philippians 3:1).

We have so much to be thankful for as Christians that rejoicing should not be that difficult. The problem is, we too easily take our minds off of what is truly important and get bogged down with the affairs of this world. When we think about what Christ has done for us, we should rejoice. When we think about what we have in Christ we should rejoice (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 8:1; 2 Timothy 2:10; Revelation 14:13; 1 Peter 1:3-9). When we think about the special privileges we have in Christ (prayer, fellowship, the Lord’s supper, proper worship, etc.), we should rejoice. With these things in view, it should be clear that if a Christian is not rejoicing in the Lord, it is because he has taken his eye off the goal.

“Finally, brethren…think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

If there is any doubt about the importance of the things we think about, this verse removes it. We can either fill our minds with worldly things that are unhealthy for our souls, or we can fill our minds with things that are pleasing to God. Which will it be? The devil wants to win the battle for our minds. He knows that if he can fill our minds with sinful things, he can win our souls. On the other hand, if we think about things that are true, honest, and just, we can defeat that old red dragon. We need to fill our minds with the Word of God (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16).

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Is there anything more powerful in our possession than prayer? Through prayer, we have direct access to God and His power (Hebrews 4:16). In times of weakness, we should pray to our Father for help (Matthew 26:41). In times of prosperity, we should pray, giving thanks to God for the blessings He has given us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We should thank God every day for the sending of His Son, and the sacrifice they both were so willing to make (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9).

Finally, brethren, let’s take the exhortations set forth by Paul in these passages and apply them to our lives. We will be better Christians if we do.

— Via Brown Street Beacon, November 1, 2020
——————–

-2-

Growing in Littleness

Dan S. Shipley

There was a time when king Saul was useful to God’s purposes. At that time he was anointed king of Israel; at a time, as Samuel tells him, “When thou wast little in thine own sight” (1 Sam. 15:17). The sense of littleness that helped qualify Saul for his crown is no less essential for those who seek a better crown (2 Tim. 4:8).

In fact, nothing is more needful in the quest for godliness (acquiring a right attitude toward God). Man’s view of self determines his view of God, and vice versa. When Saul was little in his own sight, God was big. When Saul came to be big in his own sight, God became smaller. That is, God and God’s will became of less importance to him. Nebuchadnezzar had the same problem. After being made to live as a beast of the field and to eat grass as the oxen for a time, his sense of littleness and understanding returned. When humbled, he could see God’s bigness; that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will” (Dan. 4:32). Then, he blessed and praised and honored “Him that liveth forever” (v. 34) — as do all “little” men.

Only the man with a sense of littleness acknowledges his inability to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23) and willingly submits to God’s leading. Others, like king Saul, presumptuously set aside God’s will when it conflicts with their own — not in all things, mind you, nor even in most. Many are willing to do much of what God says; but, as with Saul, we learn that partial obedience is not submission at all. In fact, God calls it “rebellion” (1 Sam. 15:23). Sound harsh? It shouldn’t. Not when you realize that man arrays himself against God in every act of deliberate disobedience and says, in effect, “NO, I will not submit!” Perhaps this is what prompted someone to observe that the first lesson to be learned in serving God is humility. Whenever men conclude (by any process of reasoning or rationalizing) that their ways are as good as God’s, they prove themselves too big to work in God’s harness.

But, not only does man change his attitude toward God in losing his sense of littleness, he also changes his attitude toward men. As men acquire those things that make them “somewhat” (whether thrones, money, position, success or education), they are apt to see their peers as somewhat less. The kind of pride that kept Saul from appreciating David is still a threat to the unity of God’s people — and not only in others, for all can forget their littleness at times (like the man who became proud of his humility). God’s way is “doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). When every brother looks up to all other brethren and looks down on none, we are growing in the kind of littleness that makes us strong (2 Cor. 12:10). May God help us to cultivate this sense of littleness; the kind that truly appreciates God and brethren; the kind that confesses weakness and wrongdoing and says, “God, be thou merciful…”

— Via The Oak Grove Messenger (Walnut Hill, FL), November 17, 2019
——————–

-3-

Psalm 139:16-18

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You” (NASB).
——————–

-4-

Fathers Learning from the Father Above

Tom Edwards

To play this video sermon on “Fathers Learning from the Father Above,” just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

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

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to keep in prayer:

Rex Hadley is back in the hospital, mainly for his heart and kidneys, and might need to receive a pacemaker.

Marie Pennock has been under the weather lately, but is gradually getting better. 

Bennie Medlock has been having some eye trouble with cataracts and glaucoma, which he saw an eye doctor for and will soon be receiving lens transplants.

We are sad to hear that Marde Sweezy and her husband Charles will soon be moving to California, but we wish them well in their new life there. 

Also for prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), Ginger Ann Montero (healing from a pacemaker procedure), Deborah Medlock (non-malignant nodules near voice box, and nerves in her spine are giving trouble), Jim Lively (physical weakness and often falling over the last couple years), Ronnie Davis (back trouble), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), and Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain)

Also 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 is for 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) “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Heath Rogers)
2) The Weapons of Our Warfare (Gilbert Alexander)
3) All Notions (Irvin Himmel)
4) Judas Iscariot (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“I Know That My Redeemer Lives”

Heath Rogers

Job suffered terribly, but never surrendered his faith. He did more than just maintain a belief in God. Job believed that God was personally interested in his situation and would eventually come to his defense.

In his sixth speech, Job said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25). Notice three things regarding Job’s declaration:

First, Job did not say “I think,” or “I hope,” but “I know.” In the Hebrew text, the verb know is stated in the perfect tense, which expresses certainty. There were a lot of things that Job did not know or understand. He did not know why he lost his belongings and his children. He was disappointed by his wife and his friends. Job expressed numerous speculations throughout his sufferings, but his faith in God remained a firm and decisive conviction. Job knew his God was real.

Second, Job referred to God as his Redeemer. In the Old Testament, the word redeemer always has the primary meaning of deliverer. This Hebrew term used in this text meant to do the part of a kinsman in redeeming or delivering his relative from difficulty or danger. The same Hebrew word was used when the Law of Moses called upon a relative to redeem a kinsman from slavery (Lev. 25:48) or to regain family property (Lev. 25:25). This word also referred to the relative who would avenge the blood of one who was murdered (Deut. 19:6-12). Job was convinced that, regardless of what was happening to him, God was the One who would deliver him and make things right again.

Finally, Job said that God “lives.” This conviction is in contrast to the fact that Job knew he would die (Job 19:26). After all was said and done, God would be the last One standing, and He would have the final word. This was Job’s hope. He did not have the answers, but He knew God did.

James uses Job’s experiences as a means of encouraging suffering Christians. “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11). Job persevered until the end. God had the final say. Job’s health and possessions were restored. He was vindicated, while his accusing friends had to make atonement for their sins (Job 42:7-10).

When we are suffering in this life, we need to do more than maintain a faith in the existence of God. Like Job, we need to see God as our Redeemer. He is our loved One who is looking out for our best interest. God will vindicate, deliver, and rescue us. Even after we are dead and gone, God will still be here, and He will have the final word. Put your confidence in your Redeemer who lives.

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

-2-

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Gilbert Alexander

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:4-6).

Ours is a spiritual war. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Our weapons are aptly suited to the battle before us and around us. Superior weaponry is one key to victory in battle. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 Jno. 4:4); therefore, victory can be ours. Not all opponents will be won to the side of truth, for some will not hear and accept truth; but the doctrine of Christ can put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (Titus 1:9-11). By our embracing the righteousness of the gospel and abstaining from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, and by lives of submission to authority and doing good according to the gospel we can silence the false accusers (1 Pet. 2:11-17).

The superiority of our weapons is not based on sophistication and complexity. David’s sling and smooth stones might seem primitive, but they were effectual for the purpose. Truth may appear to many people to be ineffectual against treachery and deceit, yet it is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Faith in God no doubt seems to be helpless before the onslaught of error; yet, properly lifted up and ably wielded, it can quench every fiery dart of the wicked (Eph. 6:16). Humility and submission to properly exercised authority may be cast aside by the unbelieving as weak and powerless, but these attitudes are part of the armament of God (1 Pet. 2:13-17).

Superiority of weaponry, one key to victory, by itself does not win the war. The finest sword, sheathed, does not defeat any enemies. We must apply ourselves to the mastery of our weapons and become skilled in the use of them all in order to overcome evil. Many of us have been far too busy learning the ways and tactics of the world, and far too lacking in diligence in learning how to use God’s superior weapons. As a result, we are not sufficiently prepared in an opportune moment to defend the truth and to deliver a blow against error and falsehood. We need to be thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures, conversant in their thought and wisdom, “increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10), giving ourselves to the learning of the truth by meditating upon the Scriptures so that our progress may be evident to all (1 Tim. 4:15), not that we can boast, but that we can stand in the battle for truth and be victorious. Victory in this battle means eternal life, but surrender to the present evil world means eternal destruction from the presence of God and from the glory of His power (2 Thes. 1:6-10). “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:7).

— Via The Oak Grove Messenger (Walnut Hill, Florida), February 23, 2020
——————–

-3-

All Notions

Irvin Himmel

Christ gave commandment to the apostles, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them . . .” (Matt. 28:19).

The teacher in a class of children wanted to impress this lesson on her pupils. She handed each of them a sheet of paper and told them to print the words, “Go, ye, teach all nations.” One little girl printed it this way: “Go, ye, teach all notions.”

It would seem that some religious people have misread the great commission just as that little girl wrote it, “Go, ye, teach all notions.”

All manner of ideas, concepts, doctrines, and beliefs are being taught. Religious people who claim to follow Jesus Christ teach such notions as theistic evolution, reincarnation, premillennialism, salvation by faith only, impossibility of apostasy, infant baptism, papal infallibility, situation ethics, hereditary depravity, unconditional election, direct operation of the Holy Spirit, exorcism, and numerous other concepts foreign to the New Testament.

Everything imaginable is taught rather than the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we need to reread the commission given by our Master to the apostles and note more carefully what it says. Mark’s account is unmistakably plain in saying “preach the gospel to every creature.”

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2020
——————–

-4-

Judas Iscariot

Tom Edwards

To play this video sermon on Judas Iscariot, just click the following link while on the Internet: 

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

-5-

News & Notes

Ginger Ann Montero’s procedure to receive a pacemaker went well.

Rick Cuthbertson’s new cancer specialist at Duke has been impressed with the treatment he has been receiving. His cancer is very slow, having taken 6 years to move to his lungs.  And those tumors have not grown any bigger since they were last checked.  Some have even decreased in size.  So he will continue with the same treatment, plus begin an intravenous treatment that he will receive once every 3 weeks.

The test results for Danielle Bartlett showed that her high blood pressure over the years has caused her heart muscle to stiffen somewhat. This will, therefore, be treated with a change in her blood pressure medicine, and her doctor will continue to monitor her condition.

Ronnie Davis has been having severe back pain.

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Deborah Medlock (non-malignant nodules near voice box, and nerves in her spine are giving trouble), Jim Lively (recent fall), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), and Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain)

Also 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 is for 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) Running from Opportunity (Mike Pittman)
2) Recommend This Church Twice A Week (Greg Gwin)
3) “If Any Man Wills . . .” (Dan S. Shipley)
4) Various Bible-Based Thoughts (improvised audio sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Running from Opportunity

Mike Pittman

“But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor. 16:8-9).

The word “door” is frequently used for “opportunity.” Paul would not leave Ephesus because the opportunities for teaching the gospel were too great.

In addition to the door opened unto Paul in Ephesus, there were “many adversaries.” One might have expected Paul to say, “I must leave Ephesus because of my many adversaries.” Instead he said, “I must stay in Ephesus in spite of my many adversaries. The opportunities for accomplishing good are too great.”

I’m afraid that while Paul stayed, we often run from our opportunities. Paul allowed his opportunities for good to outweigh his adversaries, so he stayed put. We sometimes get discouraged by looking at our adversaries, so we flee opportunities to teach the gospel. We may never be subjected to mob violence for teaching the lost, as Paul was while in Ephesus (Acts 19:21-34), but we have our adversaries.

One of our adversaries is our lack of confidence in our ability to teach. It is not our ability to teach that is going to convert people. The gospel does that. Besides, we can surely teach others what we did in order to be saved. We can also bring the lost to some teacher in whom we do have confidence. If you do not have confidence in your own ability to teach the lost, what are you doing in order that you may improve your ability?

Another adversary is fear of rejection. Folks, the Lord was rejected! That didn’t keep Him from teaching as many as He could. When your teaching is rejected, don’t take it personally. Israel told their old prophet and judge, Samuel, that they wanted a king to rule over them. The Lord told Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7). When people despise the doctrine that you bring unto them, this is not a rejection of you but of the Lord. While you are fearing the adversary of rejection, consider this: how will our friends ever enjoy acceptance of the truth if no one offers it unto them?

A third adversary some face is not enough confidence in the gospel. When we say, “people just won’t listen to the truth anymore,” we need more confidence in people and in the gospel. Do you have reason to disbelieve Paul when he said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Rom. 1:16)? The gospel works! It has worked, it is working, and it will always work when sown in good and honest hearts.

Are you praying for open doors? Are you looking for them? What would you do if you found one? Would you run away or stay?

— Via Articles of the Knollwood church of Christ, June 2020
——————–

-2-

Recommend This Church Twice A Week

Greg Gwin

Those who study “church growth” tell us that our best opportunity for increase arises out of every member recommending their own congregation to people they know or with whom they have contact. Such recommendations should be brief, to-the-point statements that are designed to appeal to the specific individual. Here are some examples:

To a new family that has recently moved into your neighborhood: “It’s great to meet you. If you ever think about looking for a new church here in our area, I’d like to recommend the Church of Christ. We’ve got some good families there, and we’ve got great classes for the kids. We’d love to have you visit.”

To someone you work with who may be going through a difficult time: “I know it’s tough right now, but in times like this I’ve always gained a lot of strength from the people at church. Why don’t you come to church with me this Sunday?”

To someone you meet at the grocery who gives you an “opening” by something that is said: “I attend the Church of Christ, and I really love it there. If there’s ever a time when you’re looking for a church, I’d like to recommend this one.”

See how easy it is! You can do this! We ALL can do this! And, it should be emphasized that we’re all obligated to do this. Revelation 22:17 says: “…the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Let’s get busy recommending this church — simply telling folks to “come.” If each of us will make this recommendation twice each week, every one of us will have invited over 100 people in a year. Just do it!!!

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 36, Issue 23, Page 1
——————–

-3-

“If Any Man Wills …”

Dan S. Shipley

Rest assured that when Felix heard Paul “concerning the faith in Christ Jesus” (Acts 24:24), he heard exactly what he needed to hear and he heard it from one of the most competent and informed teachers of that time. In his case it was not a question, as when we teach, as to whether the most appropriate things were taught or whether enough was said or whether it was spoken in the proper spirit. And, judging from his response to what was heard concerning “righteousness, and self control, and the judgment to come” (v. 25), a terrified Felix got the point. But, regretfully, he dismisses God’s servant and, with him, God’s truth with the pitiful answer, “Go thy way for this time; and when I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me (v. 25). So far as we know, that convenient season and salvation never came to Felix. Felix was lost! But why?

Certainly not because God wanted it that way! When the apostle Peter wrote that God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Pet. 3:9), that surely included Felix. When Jesus said that “God so loved the world” (Jn. 3:16), that too included Felix. Felix was no less the object of God’s great love and concern than was the apostle Paul. Jesus teaches us that the soul of Felix was worth more than the whole world (Matt. 16:26). Then He proved it by dying on the cross for all men — for Felix. Through the Holy Spirit, men like Paul were divinely directed into all the truth (Jn. 16: 13) and were told to preach it unto all the world (Matt. 28:20) so that sinners like Felix may learn words whereby they might be saved (Ac. 11:14). Yet, in spite of God’s will, His love and His every provision; in spite of the efforts of an inspired apostle, Felix was lost! — and he was lost by choice! He chose to sow to flesh rather than the spirit; to serve self rather than God. And, even though God regrets such a decision, He nevertheless respects it. He allows man to do as he pleases, even when he chooses to spurn God’s grace and reject His salvation, as did Felix. This is, as some have termed it, God’s “permissive will.” Jn. 7:17 clearly shows the two wills involved in salvation: “If any man wills to do His will…” While it is true that environment and circumstances may and do influence one’s character, in the final analysis every man is what he chooses to be. As someone has well said, “Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.” Spiritually, Felix was what he chose to be — and so are we.

True, we don’t always like to take credit for what we may have become. Some blame God; others blame God’s people; still others find countless excuses with which to salve their consciences, but none of this changes anything. We are still just about what we want to be in our relationship with God. Facing up to this fact would help put things in perspective for a lot of the unfaithful. Felix and all like him will find that their choices are not without consequences. He who chooses to sow to the flesh will reap accordingly, Gal. 6:8. God’s sovereignty is vindicated in judgment. He wants you saved. The question is…

— Via Plain Talk, Vol. XVII, No. IV, page 3, June 1980
——————–

-4-

Various Bible-Based Thoughts

Tom Edwards

About 10 minutes prior to Sunday morning’s worship service, I wasn’t able to access my notes and slides for that morning’s sermon presentation that was all on my laptop.  So, instead, I improvised the following sermon, which I later entitled, “Various Bible-Based Thoughts”:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Various_Bible-Based_Thoughts.mp3

——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ginger Ann Montero’s procedure to receive a pacemaker went well.

Rick Cuthbertson’s new cancer specialist at Duke has been impressed with the treatment he has been receiving. His cancer is very slow, having taken 6 years to move to his lungs.  And those tumors have not grown any bigger since they were last checked.  Some have even decreased in size.  So he will continue with the same treatment, plus begin an intravenous treatment that he will receive once every 3 weeks.

The test results for Danielle Bartlett showed that her high blood pressure over the years has caused her heart muscle to stiffen somewhat. This will, therefore, be treated with a change in her blood pressure medicine, and her doctor will continue to monitor her condition.

Jim Lively had a bad fall Monday that resulted in skin being sloughed from his arm and a bruise about 5 inches in diameter on his lower back.

Ronnie Davis has been having some terrible pain in his back again.

Deborah Medlock received a good report from her doctor concerning the breast cancer surgery she had a while back.  She also began vocal therapy a couple weeks ago, due to the non-malignant nodules in her throat.  And will probably be hearing this week about a device to eliminate pain that she has been having from her spine and which has also affected her walking.

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), and Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee).

Also 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 is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) The Ascension of Jesus (Heath Rogers)
2) Another Look at Acts 20:7 (Bob Myhan)
3) “I will Guard My Ways, Lest I Sin With My Tongue” (Joe R. Price)
4) God’s Demonstrations (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

The Ascension of Jesus

Heath Rogers

Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus took the eleven disciples to the Mount of Olives, blessed them, and was lifted out of their sight into the clouds of the air. Two angels appeared to them and announced that Jesus would come in the same manner as they had just seen him depart (Acts 1:9-11).

The ascension of Jesus is not discussed as much as His death, burial, and resurrection. However, this amazing event should not be overlooked or reduced to a footnote in the life and ministry of Jesus. It was very important.

1. It provided evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. The Jews were always asking Jesus for a sign that would prove His identity. The day after Jesus fed the 5,000, the people wanted Him to feed them again. They hinted at this by asking for a sign and speaking of Moses feeding the fathers with bread from heaven (John 6:30-31). Jesus identified Himself as the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world (v. 33). The multitude had a difficult time understanding Jesus, and He further frustrated their understanding when He said, “What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?” (v. 62).

Our Lord’s ascension was one of many pieces of evidence that proved He was the Son of God. If He had failed to ascend back to “where He was before” He would have failed to complete His work and confirm His identity.

Jesus made several predictions about the things He would experience (Matt. 16:21). If any of these had failed to come to pass, Jesus would have been exposed as a false prophet (Deut. 18:18-22). The fact that He ascended into heaven is just as significant as the fact that he was rejected by the Jews, delivered to the Gentiles, put to death, and raised on the third day. Jesus was proven to be a true prophet of God.

2. It enabled Jesus to serve as our High Priest. The High Priest of Israel would enter the Holy of Holies (representing the presence of God) on behalf of the people once a year. It was there that he would make atonement for the sins of the people, but the fact that these sacrifices had to be repeated proved they did not fully remove sins.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He entered the presence of God to serve as our High Priest, making intercession on our behalf. “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). Jesus is a better High Priest because He has entered the actual presence of God with a better sacrifice – His own blood. This gives us confidence that our prayers are being heard and answered (Heb. 4:14-16).

3. It was necessary for Jesus to become King. When did Jesus actually become King? In Psalm 110:1-2, the Messiah was promised to be given a place at God’s right hand from which he would rule. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God when He ascended into Heaven (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-36). This is when Jesus began His reign as King.

The coronation of Jesus as King took place in heaven immediately after His ascension. Daniel received a vision of this wonderful event. “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Jesus is not going to return to earth to be made King to reign 1,000 years. He was made King when He ascended into Heaven. It was then that He was given dominion, glory, and an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed. Jesus is now reigning as King over His kingdom.

Conclusion: The ascension of Jesus is an important part of the gospel (1 Tim. 3:16). It was necessary to make Him a Prophet, Priest, and King. Because our Lord has ascended into heaven, where He is ministering to our needs and reigning as our King, we can have confidence that He will come back and receive us into His glory.

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, January 2021
——————–


-2-

Another Look at Acts 20:7

Bob Myhan

When He instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29, KJV).

The first occurrence of the word “drink” is in the aorist tense, which implies “I will not drink at all, not even one time.” The second occurrence of the word is in the present tense, implying a repeated drinking, rather than a one-time drinking.

The phrase “drink it new” means “drink it in a new way.” No longer having a physical body, Jesus does not physically drink the fruit of the vine but that He drinks it spiritually.

The phrase “until that day,” does not mean “until the kingdom age” for He identified the kingdom age by the phrase “in my Father’s kingdom.” Therefore, “until that day” refers to a particular, regular day, during the Kingdom age, on which He would drink of the “fruit of the vine” with His disciples. This implies an unstated frequency of drinking.

We know the day and frequency by the “account of action” in Acts 20:7. Thus, this example is a pattern to be followed. We are to “show the Lord’s death” by eating the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week because that is the day when He drinks the fruit of the vine “new” with us.

— Via The Susquehanna Sentinel, August 27, 2006
——————–


-3-

“I Will Guard My Ways, Lest I Sin With My Tongue”

Joe R. Price

“I said, ‘I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.’ I was mute with silence, I held my peace even from good; And my sorrow was stirred up. My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue…” (Psalm 39:1–3).

Measuring our words with heavenly wisdom guided by God’s truth will keep us from sinning with our tongues (James 3:1-18). The irreverent words and ungodly deeds of the wicked can influence us to speak rashly. Even Moses fell before this temptation when Israel strove against God: “They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips” (Ps. 106:32-33). James said to be “slow to speak, slow to wrath” as a hedge against unrighteousness (James 1:19-20). Doing this does not mean we are unaffected when confronted by wicked people. Sorrow stirred within David, and his heart was enflamed as he meditated on the evil before him. Like Jeremiah, God’s truth burned within David, and he would speak (Jer. 20:9; Ps. 39:3). But he measured his response with prayerful words of praise and prayer (Ps. 39:3-13). Instead of being provoked to sin with your tongue when evil people press upon you, hold your peace until you can respond with words of truth and the meekness of wisdom that honors God and pursues peace (James 3:2, 8-13, 18; Heb. 12:14).

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2021
——————–

-4-

God’s Demonstrations

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/God’s_Demonstrations.mp4

——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ginger Ann Montero is tentatively scheduled for a pacemaker June 4.

Rick Cuthbertson will be seeing a cancer specialist at Duke on June 3.

Deborah Medlock has 2 non-malignant nodules affecting her vocal cords.  She also has a slipped disc in her back that has been affecting her walking and causing pain.

Bennie Medlock, in addition to his back pain, also has cataracts that he is scheduled to soon see a doctor about. 

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Danielle Bartlett (heart palpitations and swelling in legs), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), and Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee).

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Jesse Welch who recently passed away.

Also 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 is for 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) You Have Become Dull of Hearing (Andy Sochor)
2) The Lord’s Day (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

You Have Become Dull of Hearing

Andy Sochor

In making a point about the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over the priesthood of Aaron, the Hebrew writer cited the priesthood of Melchizedek. Since Jesus was “a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10; cf. Psalm 110:4), His priesthood was superior. He would go on to explain why this proved the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood later in the epistle (Hebrews 7:1-10).

However, he paused the discussion about comparing the priesthoods because it was “hard to be uttered” (Hebrews 5:11), even though it was certainly not impossible. The problem was not that the facts were difficult. Instead, the problem was that these brethren were “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). As the Hebrew writer would explain, this problem affected more than just their understanding of Jesus’ priesthood – it had the potential of costing them their souls.

We need to understand what it means to be “dull of hearing,” what the result is of being in that condition, and how to fix it.

What It Means To Be Dull Of Hearing

First, let us consider what it does not mean when one is “dull of hearing.”

It Does Not Mean That One Is Unintelligent or Incapable of Understanding. The Hebrew brethren were capable of understanding this subject that was “hard to be uttered (explained)” (Hebrews 5:11). We know this because the Hebrew writer returned to it just two chapters later rather than waiting a few years and writing a second letter to them when they might have matured to the point in which they were ready to consider the issue.

It Does Not Mean That One Has Abandoned the Faith. The recipients of this letter were Christians (Hebrews 6:9-10) who had been described as “holy brethren” (Hebrews 3:1). Of course, there was a danger that “an evil heart of unbelief” could develop within them (Hebrews 3:12); but they had not yet reached that point of unfaithfulness.

It Does Not Mean That One is a New Christian Who Has Not Learned the Word of God Well Enough Yet. New Christians need the “milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2; cf. Hebrews 5:13) – the fundamental teachings and principles of the gospel in order to lay a foundation for continued spiritual growth. This is perfectly normal. Yet enough time had passed for these Hebrew brethren to have matured (Hebrews 5:12). They simply had not grown as they should have.

Being dull of hearing indicates laziness. Thayer’s definition of this Greek word suggests the idea of sluggishness and indolence. One who is “dull of hearing” is not necessarily lazy in every area of life. One may be a very hard worker at his job or at home, but is still “dull of hearing” as the Hebrew writer described. This is a laziness about learning the word of God.

Learning the word of God requires diligence on our part. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that neededth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We can learn how to accurately handle the Bible by coming to a proper understanding of it if we are willing to put in the effort of studying the Scriptures. Many people in the world are hard-working at their jobs but lazy when it comes to the Bible. If we are not careful, we can become the same way – just like the Hebrew brethren.

The Result of Being In This Condition

In rebuking these brethren for being “dull of hearing,” the Hebrew writer explained why this was such a serious issue by showing the results of being in that condition.

One Who Is “Dull of Hearing” Cannot Discuss Difficult Bible Topics. The gospel message is simple enough that one can learn and obey it in the same hour of the night (Acts 16:31-34). However, there are also passages of Scripture that are “hard to understand” which one could “distort” to his “own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Diligence is needed in order to accurately (or rightly) “divide the word of truth” contained in these difficult passages (2 Timothy 2:15). Yet when one is “dull of hearing,” there are certain passages that he will not be able to discuss and come to a proper understanding.

One Who Is “Dull of Hearing” Needs To Be Taught the Elementary Principles Again. The rebuke of these Hebrew brethren was that they needed someone to teach them elementary principles of the oracles of God again (Hebrews 5:12). These “elementary principles” are certainly important and necessary, but we need to make spiritual progress in our understanding of the word of God. Paul told Timothy to “give attention to the public reading of Scripture” and to “be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:13, 15). One who is “dull of hearing” never makes sufficient progress to move past the “elementary principles.”

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” is Incapable of Teaching Others. Everyone needs to be developing the ability to teach. The future health and effectiveness of local churches depends upon it (2 Timothy 2:2). A church cannot function without teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). Therefore, the more members in a congregation who are “dull of hearing” and unable to teach, the weaker that local church is.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Will Remain in a State of Spiritual Infancy. This state is natural and normal when one first obeys the gospel (1 Peter 2:2). However, staying in that state is a sign of spiritual sickness. One is spiritually healthy when he is “walking in truth” (3 John 2-3). One who is “dull of hearing” cannot properly walk in the truth because he is “not accustomed to the word” (Hebrews 5:13).

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Puts His Salvation in Jeopardy. Diligence is needed in order to realize our hope (Hebrews 6:11). The Hebrew writer said that Christians are not to be “slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). The word translated sluggish is the same Greek word as the one used to describe being dull of hearing. If unchecked, this laziness toward the word of God will extend to the rest of our spiritual lives as well.

How To Fix The Problem

After identifying the problem and warning of the results of it, the Hebrew writer’s instructions also contain some things that can be done to correct the problem.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must First Recognize the Problem.  It is not possible to correct a problem if we do not know that it exists. This requires honest self-evaluation on our part. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). We have to be willing to look at ourselves critically to see if we are “dull of hearing.”

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Quit partaking of Only “Milk.” The Hebrew writer said, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:13). The word “only” is key. We will always need reminders of what we have previously learned (2 Peter 1:12-13; 1 Timothy 4:6), but we cannot only pay attention to what we already think we know.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Make a Habit of Studying the Bible.  The Hebrew writer said, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use (or by habit) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). We have already seen that diligence is necessary in our study of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), but we must invest time as well. Paul wrote, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:16-17). Making wise use of our time will, among other things, lead us to understand God’s will that has been revealed in His word because we will be making time to study the Scriptures.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must “Go On to Perfection” (or “Press On to Maturity”). The need to “press on to maturity” is contrasted with the idea of “laying again a foundation” of the elementary principles (Hebrews 6:1). We must recognize that we are expected to grow (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 4:13, 15). We must develop the ability to teach and to study through and understand difficult passages.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Build Upon the Foundation of Elementary Principles. The Hebrew writer said that the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” were the “foundation” (Hebrews 6:1). We cannot abandon that foundation. Instead, we need to build upon it. We can do this by continuing to add to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-8) and perfecting our faith through works (James 2:22).

Conclusion

We cannot afford to be lazy with the Bible. We need to be diligent with it as with everything else. It is certainly true that Bible study can be challenging, but we need to apply ourselves to it so we can be pleasing to the Lord.

— Via Daily Exhortation, May 21, 2021
——————–

-2-

The Lord’s Day

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/The_Lord’s_Day.mp4
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Ginger Ann Montero is tentatively scheduled for a pacemaker June 4.

Rick Cuthbertson will be seeing a cancer specialist at Duke on June 3.

Deborah Medlock has 2 non-malignant nodules affecting her vocal cords.  She also has a slipped disc in her back that has been affecting her walking and causing pain.

Bennie Medlock, in addition to his back pain, also has cataracts that he is scheduled to soon see a doctor about. 

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Danielle Bartlett (heart palpitations and swelling in legs), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck which causes trouble).

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Jesse Welch who recently passed away.

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

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