Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 29)

The Gospel Observer

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

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

Jeff Himmel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Himmel

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

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

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

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

— Via Pathlights, October 11, 2020
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Phariseeism

Frank Jamerson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

Myrna Jordan has been under the weather lately.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Evelyn Elizabeth “Betty” Durden Potter who passed away October 13, Elaine Abbott, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Joanne Ray, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Larry & Janice Hood, Judy Daugherty, Deborah Medlock, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman,   Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:27). And from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian. For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to …
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

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

Frank Himmel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clarence R. Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rob Harbison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others to also be praying for: Elaine Abbott, Rick Cuthbertson, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Rick Cuthbertson, Larry & Janice Hood, Deborah Medlock, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Martha Lively, Ronnie and Melotine Davis, Tim Kirkland, and Cameron Haney.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

1) The Old Testament Points Us to Christ (Tommy Peeler)
2) News & Notes
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The Old Testament Points Us to Christ

Tommy Peeler

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

Jesus Emphasized That the Old Testament Pointed to Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 15:3 quotes from Psalm 69:9 and then says, “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Paul goes on to tie Old Testament passages together in Romans 15:9-12 which show Jews and Gentiles in “one accord” and with “one voice” glorifying God (that wording is from Romans 15:6). Paul is constantly constructing his arguments on the Old Testament.

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

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

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

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

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Do We Really Believe? (Bill Crews)
2) The Mighty Hand of God (Wayne Goff)
3) Timothy and the Gospel (Heath Rogers)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Do We Really Believe?

Bill Crews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-2-

The Mighty Hand of God

Wayne Goff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-3-

Timothy and the Gospel

Heath Rogers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

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) Be Sure You Finish (Bill Crews)
2) A Tale of Two Rich Men (Frank Himmel)
3) Things That Promote Peace (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Be Sure You Finish

Bill Crews

It is not enough to become a Christian; one must then be a Christian — to the very end. It is not enough to enter into Christ; one must abide in Christ, yes, and even die in Christ (Revelation 14:13).

Who knows how many (I have encountered or learned of several in every city where I have lived) have become Christians, have been saved from their past sins, have entered the Lord’s church, and then fallen away? Most of them fall away soon after being saved (see Matthew 13:20-21), but some of them endure almost all of the way and then fall away.

God knew this would occur; therefore, He warns against it (Hebrews 3:1, 12; 4:1; Matthew 25:13; I Corinthians 10:12), describes those who have become guilty of it (2 Peter 2:20-22; Hebrews 6:4-6; Revelation 3:15-17), tells how to prevent it (2 Peter 1:5-7; 3:17; James 5:12; Revelation 3:5, 11), and supplies the remedy for it (Acts 8:13-24; Revelation 2:4-5; 3:18-19). Each one of these proves that a child of God can fall away. Of course, it need not happen at all — a Christian can fall, but no Christian has to fall.

No greater tragedy, and none fraught with more serious consequences, can be named than for a Christian to forsake the right way (2 Peter 2:15), become entangled again in the defilements of the world (2 Peter 2:20-22), make shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Timothy 1:19), become an enemy of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18-19), crucify afresh the Son of God and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6), and tum aside after Satan (1 Timothy 5:15).

We are told to endure unto the end, and on this basis we are promised eternal salvation (Matthew 10:22). We are called upon to not be weary in well-doing and are promised that we shall reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9). We are to be faithful, even if such should cost us our very lives, but we are promised “the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). One lesson we are taught in the parable of the sower is this: It is not enough to hear the word of God and receive it ( even with joy); we must also hold it fast and bring forth fruit with patience (steadfastness) (Luke 8:11-15).

In becoming Christians, we have enlisted in the army of Christ — we need to fight the good fight of the faith, to war the good warfare unto the end (1 Timothy 6:12; 1:18). We have begun a voyage or started on a journey — we need to pursue it to its final destination (1 Peter 1:17; 2:11; Hebrews 11:10, 13-16; 13:14). We have entered a race — we need to run it with patience (endurance), to press on toward the goal (Hebrews 12:1; Philippians 3:13-14; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

If we have become children of God, let us be certain that when the curtain of death brings to an end the final act in our drama of this life, we can say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 32, Page 2, August 9, 2020
——————– 

-2-

A Tale of Two Rich Men

Frank Himmel

Luke presents an interesting contrast of two rich men who came to Jesus.

In Luke 18, a rich ruler came asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Luke does not say what kind of ruler he was. Elsewhere he uses this same word to refer to a ruler of a synagogue (8:41), a judge (12:58), and members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court (23:13, 35).

Some rulers are self-serving tyrants. Not this man. He assured Jesus that he kept God’s commandments, including those that prohibited lying and stealing. This was a man in an influential position who lived honorably. Doubtless he was well respected.

In Luke 19, a rich tax collector named Zaccheus came to Jesus. The crowds viewed him quite differently. When Jesus invited himself to Zaccheus’s house, “they all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner’” (v. 7).

These two interviews with Jesus ended quite differently. The ruler refused to do what Jesus required of him: sell what you have, distribute it to the poor, and come follow Me (18:22). He left “very sad.” Zaccheus, on the other hand, committed to giving half of what he had to the poor and paying back four times as much to anyone he may have defrauded (19:8). He received Jesus “gladly.”

Jesus said of Zaccheus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (19:9-10). With regard to the ruler, the Lord could only caution, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (18:24).

In the end, the man whom society respected was lost and the man whom society rejected was saved. God said centuries earlier, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).

The point of this contrast is that our hearts, not our circumstances, determine our response to Jesus, and that determines our salvation. Jesus’ caution, of course, must be heeded. Wealth does indeed tend to fill our hearts and lead them away from God. That being the case, it is another illustration of something that society often wrongly values.

What is your response to Jesus?

— Via Pathlights, July 19, 2020
——————– 

-3-

Things That Promote Peace

Greg Gwin

In Romans 14:19, we are instructed to ”pursue the things which make for peace” (NASV). Ephesians 4:3 teaches that we should be “endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” What are some of the things that are necessary so that we can obey these commands and enjoy peace among brethren?

The Scriptures teach us that all of these things are important for peace:

1) Humility. Pride is a great hindrance to peace. It provides an “explosive atmosphere” for strife and turmoil. Those who are proud can be easily provoked into a fight. God’s Word urges us to “be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5).

2) Love. Instead of following the many instructions concerning love (1 Jn. 4:20,21; Jn. 13:34,35) we are often too ready to engage in harsh, presumptuous judging. This, of course, is plainly condemned by God (Matt. 7:3-5).

3) Carefully chosen words. We are warned that our words have the power to “stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1). For this reason, “let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer every man” (Col. 4:6).

4) Putting others first. We live in a selfish, self-centered society. This selfishness is a root cause of much fighting and bitterness. To combat this we must “look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:4).

5) Forgiveness. It is inevitable that problems will arise; wrongs and offenses will occur. When this happens we have to be ready to “forgive one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).

6) Truth. There can be no real peace if we are not firmly established together in God’s truth (2 Jn. 9-11). When we speak the truth we demonstrate our love (Eph. 4:15) for both God and our fellow man.

— Via The Beacon, September 20, 2020
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ronnie Davis
will be given shots Wednesday (October 1) for his many back problems that he is having much trouble with.  He and Melotine have been doing “virtual church” while not able to be with us.

Deborah Medlock  will begin a 1-week trial with the radiation machine this Wednesday.  For 4 weeks, she will be receiving 5 treatments a week and booster treatments during the 4th week.  All is looking good.  Since her arm can be painful in certain positions, she is now having to work on that to prepare for the 20-to-30-minute treatments.     

Anita Young mentioned recently that her father Rex Hadley is over the covid-19, but now “has a pleural effusion around part of his lung…fluid buildup.”  Anita has been taking care of her elderly parents while they are both in poor health.  They have also been doing church services electronically.  

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Shirley Griffin Crews who passed away recently, Max Beach, Elaine Abbott, Judy Daugherty, Rick Cuthbertson, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, James Medlock, Jim & Martha Lively, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Harris Lefort, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Deborah Medlock, Tim Kirkland, Frankie Hadley, and Cameron Haney.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — even for telling a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

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) Theft, Cheating, Lying, and Other Dishonest Behaviors (Kyle Pope)
2) “I Am Offended” (Frank Himmel)
3) When Did Men Begin to Believe in the Inspiration of the New Testament? (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Theft, Cheating, Lying, and Other Dishonest Behaviors

Kyle Pope

The Holy Spirit led Paul to pen these words to the saints in Ephesus: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25, NKJV). Paul’s wording in the middle of this verse is drawn from Zechariah. To people who had returned from the Babylonian exile and were working to rebuild the temple and their relationship with God, the Lord told Zechariah:

“For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Just as I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I would not relent, so again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. These are the things you shall do: speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ says the LORD” (Zech. 8:14-17).

To restore or maintain a good relationship with the Lord, Zechariah and the people were told, (in Paul’s wording), “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.” God sees our treatment of others and holds us accountable for it. That means not only that honest, fair, and just treatment of others will allow things to go smoother for us in our relationships with one another but our very relationship with God depends upon it. We cannot love God and do things He hates.

A Message for Today

This is an important lesson for us today! In many areas of life, we may imagine we can claim to have a saved relationship with God while practicing the behavior Paul and Zechariah rebuked.

Stealing. No one is looking and you slip that candy bar into your pocket at the convenience store. Someone has wronged you, so you “get even” by taking something that belongs to her. A man drops his wallet. You turn it in—but first you help yourself to some of the money inside it. You borrow money then forget (or refuse) to pay it back. Your neighbor’s newspaper was thrown just outside his driveway. That makes it “fair game,” right? No!

All of these things might seem minor, but Scripture condemns them! God hates “robbery” (Isa. 61:8), and the partner of a thief is said to hate his own life (Prov. 29:24). The thief deserves shame (Jer. 2:26) and to act in this way is to follow the example of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus (John 12:6)! Any hopes one places in joys that come from theft are “vain” because “power belongs to God” (Psa. 62:10-11). The Holy Spirit says, “The wicked borrows and does not repay” (Psa. 37:21a). So, even when society may sympathize with some types of stealing, the thief will be called to account for his actions (Prov. 6:30-31). Ultimately, taking what doesn’t belong to us does not bring satisfaction. The wise man wrote, “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel” (Prov. 20:17).

Cheating. The test is hard, so you glance over at your friend’s paper. An essay is due at school so you find (or buy) one someone else wrote and put your name on it. You’re weighing produce at the grocery store and you lift the scale just a little to lower the price. You notice that the salesmen forgot to charge you for that extra feature on your bill, but you remain silent. Your employees are entitled to some special benefit, but you don’t mention it to them. It’s time to figure your taxes but you don’t declare some income, or take deductions that aren’t allowed—then smile, sing, pray, and worship God acting as if everything is fine!

God has always condemned cheating. In the Law of Moses, He commanded:

“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deut. 25:13-16).

We should note this behavior is considered unrighteous and the Lord views it as “an abomination.” The wise man echoes this, writing, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight” (Prov. 11:1). Do we truly want to please the Lord? Then we must do things that delight Him. In the days of Amos, the Lord rebuked those who looked forward to the conclusion of times of worship so they could make profit “by deceit.” The Lord told them—and any who would act this way—“I will never forget any of their works” (Amos 8:4-7).

Lying. A politician says one thing when speaking to a particular audience, but the exact opposite when speaking to another. Someone needs our help and we quickly say, “Sure, I can help,” but we never follow through. A man and woman stand up before God and witnesses and promise to be faithful to each other “until death do us part.” Then, as the years and common interests grow further apart, they go their separate ways forsaking their word, their families, and their covenant before God.

A “false witness” is among those things the Lord “hates” (Prov. 6:16-19). “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight” (Prov 12:22). The deceitful tongue is “a deadly arrow” as it speaks “peace” to one’s neighbor while plotting to do him harm (Jer. 9:8).  Jesus called His disciples to a level of honesty that did not consider some statements binding and others not. He prohibited swearing (Jas. 5:12) and taught them to let their “‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’” and their “‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matt. 5:37). The Christian must recognize, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10, ESV).

Called to Better Things

In the text we noted earlier, Zechariah told the exiles who were striving to restore their relationship with the Lord to, “speak each man the truth to his neighbor,” not to “think evil in your heart against your neighbor” and not to “love a false oath” (Zech. 8:14-17, NKJV). Disciples of Christ, in a similar light, are told to recognize the high standard of conduct to which children of the King of Heaven are called. Paul wrote, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col. 3:9-10).

The heart that lies and practices deceit does not imitate the behavior of its Creator—it seeks to take advantage of its neighbor. The wise man prayed, “Keep falsehood and lies far from me” (Prov. 30:8a). This should be the prayer of the Christian! The heart that would cheat and steal to gain profit cares nothing for the loss it imposes upon its neighbor. It ignores the command of its God and shows ingratitude for all He has already provided. The wise man continues, “give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Prov. 30:8b-9).

The Israelite who had stolen from his neighbor was commanded to make restitution greater than the value of the item taken. An ox was to be restored fivefold and the sheep fourfold (Exod. 22:1). This recognized the harm inflicted upon the one who suffered the loss and the value it would have brought to him during its absence. In Christ, we are taught, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Eph. 4:28). Honest work must replace dishonest gain, and a concern for the needs of others must replace a desire to gain advantage over them. The one who “loves and practices a lie” will be excluded from eternal life with God (Rev. 22:15). That tells us the  importance of maintaining honest behavior. We are not talking about things that have only temporary consequences—“The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Prov. 12:19).

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 22, Issue 36 (September 6, 2020).
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“I Am Offended”

Frank Himmel

It is common these days to hear someone say he is offended. Dictionary.com lists as the first meaning of offend, “to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in.” In other words, “I am offended” means “I don’t like it!”

It seems timely to remind us all that when the Bible speaks of someone being offended it means something far more serious than displeasure, even severe displeasure. The New Testament word translated offend or offence refers to causing another to sin. It is the word for the stick in a trap, hence it means to ensnare. It is often rendered stumble.

Christians are not to be offensive, either to the world or to each other (1 Corinthians 10:32). Of course, simply being a Christian is irritating to some, as is preaching the gospel! We can’t do much about that. But we can live in such a way as to be lights in the world, careful enough about our example that we avoid even questionable conduct—conduct which might encourage another to do what is wrong.

— Via Pathlights, June 28, 2020
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When Did Men Begin to Believe in the Inspiration of the New Testament?

Greg Gwin

Some skeptics claim that there was a gradual evolving of thought concerning the Scripture – that only after a long period did these writings come to be regarded as an authoritative source. That simply is not true.

When the inspired men of the first century wrote, the product of their work was immediately acknowledged and accepted by those in the church. They “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42) and they received those teachings “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). These writings were “Scripture” before the ink had dried. (The word “Scripture” is used about 50 times in the New Testament and always refers to the written record of the will of God. Thus, the word “Scripture” can be accurately applied to the things found in both the Old and New Testaments.)

Certainly there was a gradual process of spreading and distributing these writings around the world (Colossians 4:16). Ultimately there was a compiling of these works into one book. (There is some evidence that compilations of the various books that make up our New Testament began as early as 115 A.D. – perhaps only a few years after the death of the last apostle). But the actual writings were regarded as Scripture immediately. Paul (writing in about 65 A.D.) quotes Luke’s gospel and refers to it as Scripture (see 1 Timothy 5:18 and Luke 10:7). Peter (in 66 A.D.) mentions Paul’s writings and calls them Scripture (2 Peter 3:16).

We know that the inspired writings of the first century were widely circulated among Christians of that time (see Col. 4:16 and 1 Thess. 5:27). It is clear that those earliest Christians held the sacred writings in highest esteem and regarded them as the basis of their religious authority.

– Via The Beacon, June 21, 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Shirley Griffin Crews (the mother of Rebecca Rittenhouse) who passed away Monday.  Let us be keeping in prayer all of her loved ones.

Harris Lefort had fallen from his roof a couple weeks ago that resulted in a concussion and a broken heel.  Fortunately, his neighbor saw him fall that Saturday morning and called for help that soon had him in the hospital.  He woke up the following afternoon and had surgery on his heel several days later.  He now sounds very well and is in no pain, but will have to stay off his feet for 6 to 8 weeks and is using a wheelchair in the meanwhile. 

Deborah Medlock received a good report from her doctor last week. She will not need chemo; and her bones are strong, though she is now taking a Vitamin D supplement and will find out this week when her recommended radiation treatments will begin.

James Medlock, in the nursing home, has been having trouble for some time with one of his toes, due to poor circulation; which they began looking into recently.

Others to also be praying for: Max Beach, Elaine Abbott, Judy Daugherty, Rick Cuthbertson, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother, Doyle Rittenhouse, Jim & Martha Lively, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman, Ronnie & Melotine Davis, Tim Kirkland, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Cameron Haney, and Ginger Ann Montero.
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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). (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

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


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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) The Role of Faith (Bill Crews)
2) The People of God (Mike Richardson)
3) Our Duty Toward Truth (Dan Richardson)
4) News & Notes
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The Role of Faith

Bill Crews

Heaven’s recipe for eternal life demands the ingredient, faith — a faith that comes from hearing God’s revelation (Romans 10:17); a faith that is living, active, growing, abiding, unfeigned, unwavering and obedient. “Faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) In fact, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Jesus said to Thomas, who was unwilling to accept the reliable testimony of the other apostles that they had seen the risen Jesus and who had to be convinced by the Lord Himself, “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Ours is not a groundless faith. It is built upon testimony and other evidence of the highest sort. At the same time, ours must not be a halfhearted or half-way faith. It must not be adulterated by human doubts, wisdom or reservations.

We believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). “By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear” (Hebrews 11:3). We believe that God is the Creator of man, that the Bible is the word of God, and that Jesus is the Son of God — we believe that He was miraculously born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, taught His Father’s words and did His Father’s works, died for our redemption, was raised from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God, and will come again to raise the dead and to judge all the living and the dead. We believe that we have a God to glorify, a Christ to serve, a never-ending soul to save, a hell to avoid and a heaven to seek though we have seen none of these. It is faith — unfeigned, great, rich and perfected; not weak, little, barren or dead — that leads us into Christ and directs us on to heaven’s gates.

Before one can enter Christ in baptism, he must believe with all his heart (Acts 8:36-37). To draw near unto God, he must have a true heart in fulness of faith (Hebrews 10:22). Like Abraham, he must not “waver through unbelief, but wax(ed) strong through faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:20). He will not be “of them that shrink back unto perdition, but of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39). His faith will grow exceedingly (2 Thessalonians 1:3); it will serve as a shield to quench all the fiery darts of Satan (Ephesians 6:16); it is the victory that will overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5). His faith will serve to resist transgressions and to guide in the pathway of righteousness. Will you please take time to read 2 Corinthians 4:16 — 5:1 and see if it describes your faith?

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 36, page 2, September 6, 2020
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The People of God

Mike Richardson

There are many great lessons that we can learn from the pen of the apostle Peter.  When one examines the writing of this man we find many truths in regard to the people of God. For just a moment of your time notice I Peter 2:10 where Peter wrote “who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” Observe that Peter speaks about the people of God in these few words.  There are some things for us to observe from this passage.

Observe first, they were at one time not the people of God.

As we look at their past history we see that at one time they were not the people of God. This was indeed a sad position for them to be in. They were separated from God and not in fellowship with God.  The apostle believes it is good for them to remember what they were in order to really appreciate what they are now.  The writers of God’s word often bring to the minds of the people what they had been in days gone by.  Many of us need to stop and recall what we used to be in order that we might really appreciate what we are now.

Observe secondly, their present position.

They are now the people of God. That is they belong to the family of God, they have been adopted into the spiritual family of God. They make up what Peter described in verse 9 as a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.  What a contrast to what they were to what they are now in Christ.  They were not the people of God, now they are the people of God; and in this there are many blessings.  We should all be grateful that we are the children of God.  Let us not forget that it is God that made this possible.  Let us also remember that when we were baptized into Christ we had the view of being the people of God.  We should never neglect to be thankful that by the amazing grace of God we can become the people of God.

Observe thirdly, their purpose as the people of God.

Just what is their purpose in this life as they are now identified as the people of God? Has their purpose changed from when they were not the people of God?   Yes, for now they are to show forth the praises of Him that called them out of darkness (I Pet. 2:9).  They are to offer spiritual sacrifices unto God as is revealed in I Peter 2:5.   I wonder in our day do we realize our purpose in life as the people of God.   I am convinced that if more Christians did realize their true purpose as the people of God then more people would be brought to the Lord.

Observe fourthly, their destination.

The fourth and final thing to remember about the people of God is their final destination.  Turn to the writing of Paul in the Philippian letter chapter 1:21-25.  Paul said it is better to be with Christ.  The people of God long to live with their Father in heaven and to live for  Him now.  This is the hope we now have as Paul stated in Titus 1:2.  Now observe this great truth from I John 3:1-2: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  As the people of God we long for the day we shall see Christ and be with Him forever, but don’t miss the blessing we have now.  John said NOW we are the children of God.  That is why when we pray we can address God as our Father.  Are you now a child of God?

— Via Lakeview church of Christ, October 30, 2016
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Our Duty Toward Truth

Dan Richardson

WE MUST LOVE THE TRUTH (2 Thess. 2:10). Before truth can have a positive effect upon one’s life, he must have a love for the truth that he might be saved. This will insure that our motives in approaching God our pure and that we are able to discern truth from error (John 7:17). Those who do not have a love for the truth will be deceived by Satan’s lies and perish (2 Thess. 2:10).

WE MUST KNOW THE TRUTH (Jn. 8:32; 1 Tim. 2:4). God’s word is truth (Psa. 119:142; Jn. 17:17), and He has revealed His truth for man’s good (Deut. 29:29). Therefore, unless one would believe God to be cruel and malicious, we must accept that God’s word can be understood and known by all who desire such knowledge (Eph. 3:3-4; 5:17). Jesus said “ye shall know the truth” (Jn. 8:32). God desires that “all men … come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).

WE MUST BELIEVE THE TRUTH (2 Thess. 2:12-13). Believing God is not a blind leap in the dark. His truth is a presentation of evidence designed to bring men to belief (Jn. 20:30-31). Each individual is responsible to weigh the evidence, determine it credible and conclude it believable. Those who disbelieve do so because they do not choose to consider the evidence properly (if at all). Instead, they have pleasure in unrighteousness.

WE MUST OBEY THE TRUTH (Gal. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:22). Because God has given commands, His truth demands an obedient response on our part. Truth is not a spiritual smorgasbord of options for us to pick and choose from. The sum of God’s word is truth (Psa. 119:151, 160). Everything He has revealed on a subject constitutes the pattern to be obeyed (Rom. 6:17). Therefore, we are responsible to “handle aright the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). To neglect just one part of it constitutes sin by which one will perish eternally (James 2:10).

WE MUST WALK IN TRUTH (2 John 4; 3 John 3-4). This Bible reference to “walk” has reference to one’s manner of life. The righteous will incorporate God’s truth into his life and walk therein.  Whatever the circumstance, he will not compromise it (Prov. 23:23). It will be a “shield and a buckler” for he who takes refuge in God (Psa. 91:4). And, it will be the standard by which he worships God (John 4:23-24).

– Via The Beacon, August 9, 2020
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Shirley Crews
remains in critical condition.  Her family was allowed to stay with her in the hospital all day Saturday until late that night.  Earlier, she was going to be transferred to Savannah, but that was cancelled after her condition worsened.

Max Beach
had his quadruple bypass Tuesday. Though he had been having trouble with his oxygen level, it improved yesterday.

Judy Daugherty is doing well in physical therapy for her shoulder.  She will be in rehab for a total of 6 weeks.

Rick Cuthbertson has been able to continue with his radiation treatments and has just one more week of it — taking 2 pills a day.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother has been having elevated blood pressure for about a week. So he had to resume some medication and will be seeing his doctor Friday.

Doyle Rittenhouse continues to be in much pain in his lower back and legs. On Wednesday he received an anti-inflammatory shot from his primary doctor, but to no avail.  Doyle then saw his spine and pain doctor on Thursday who told him that his back is all inflamed from the shots.  So he was put on Mobic and will see his doctors again in 2 weeks.   

Martha Lively is still seeing a chiropractor every week for her sciatic pain, but she does continue to improve.

Jim Lively has not had any additional falls lately, but he is still unsteady on his feet.

Deborah Medlock will be seeing her doctor this week to find out the treatment she will soon begin.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of William Martin Connor Sr. and John Henry Cole, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Elaine Abbott, Allen & Darlene Tanner, Shirley Davis, Pat Brigman,  Ronnie & Melotine Davis, James Medlock, Tim Kirkland, Rex & Frankie Hadley,Cameron Haney, and Ginger Ann Montero.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Romans 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).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord. For, if not, salvation can be lost (Matthew 24:13; Hebrews 10:36-39; Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 2:20-22; James 5:19-20).
——————–

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
http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “Delivered Up By the Determined Counsel of God” (Kyle Pope)
2) The Good Shepherd and His Sheep (R.J. Evans)
3) News & Notes
——————–

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“Delivered Up By the Determined Counsel of God”

Kyle Pope

In Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, a profound declaration of the providence and predetermination of God is set forth. The death of Jesus was not a victory of darkness over light. It did not take Deity by surprise nor thwart Divine intentions. It had, in fact, taken place “by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23, NKJV). The word horizo in Greek, translated “determined” (NKJV), “determinate” (KJV, ASV) or “predetermined” (NASB), came from a word meaning “boundary.” In the Greek Old Testament (LXX) horizo often referred to the literal marking off of boundaries (Num 34:6; Jos 13:27; 15:12; 18:20). When used of time, as it often is in the New Testament, it refers to the marking off of a boundary of time that might be set for a person or thing. The event or duty thus marked off did not occur by chance, but in the realization of the purpose of the one who set the boundaries of time to begin with.

Jesus was “ordained (horizo) by God to be judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). God has “appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained (horizo) (Acts 17:31). Jesus stated that the manner of His death would occur “as it has been determined (horizo)(Luke 22:22). The resurrection of Christ “declared (horizo) the Son of  God with power” (Rom. 1:4, NASB).*

Peter asserts that Jesus’ death was something that God in eternity past, looked down the path of time and established the boundary point at which it would occur. Long before we ever started, in our own lives to think about our accountability to God, He was thinking about the horrible and yet wonderful plan whereby He could redeem us from our sins by the Lamb without spot and blemish. John speaks of Jesus as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). This is hard for us to fathom. Our entire existence occurs within the finite limits of our short lives. We see our lives, or Jesus’ death, as something that occurs at one point on the timeline. “The Lord does not see as man sees” (1 Sam 16:7). Even before our creation, before our sin, before our alienation from God, He determined how we could be reconciled back to Him by Jesus’ death. No action of man, nor angel, nor demon could have altered this.

The word rendered “foreknowledge” in Peter’s assertion has come directly into English with a different application: prognosis. A doctor, upon examination of a patient, will give his best prediction regarding how an illness will progress or diminish with the prescribed treatment. Unlike the limited abilities of a human physician, God can in all things issue an infallible prognosis. God is He whom Isaiah speaks of as “declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:10).

If God determined from the beginning that Jesus would die, does that mean that God killed Jesus? The control of Deity over His creation is two-fold. In a broad sense anything that happens only happens because He allows it to. Not a bird falls to the ground (Matt 10:29), not a single soul lives on for a moment (James 4:15) apart from the permissive will of God. Yet allowing something is not the same as carrying it out of one’s self. In Acts 2:23, God “delivered up” (ASV, NASB) Jesus, yet “the hands of godless [or “lawless” NKJV, ASV] men…put Him to death” (NASB). God was obviously neither “godless” nor “lawless.” On the contrary, in this act of predetermination, God used the “godless” for His own purposes. The infinite mind of God, knowing the freewill choices of men, used the deeds of the godly and the godless to accomplish His purposes. So although He determined that it would happen, He does not bear the guilt of carrying it out. He is “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26).

When Peter spoke these words, his motive was clear. Those who perhaps only days before shouted “crucify Him, crucify Him!” had to recognize their error. They had killed God’s anointed! Many recognizing this were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) and obeyed the gospel. Yet Peter was also calling on them to recognize how this fulfilled the eternal purpose of God to offer redemption to man and purchase a people unto Himself. This people, the church, Paul says was also a part of God’s “eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:11). We, like those on Pentecost, can choose to be a part of God’s eternal purpose.

_______________

* Here horizo might be thought of as setting the boundary markers that identified to the world that Jesus was the Son of God. The resurrection did not make Jesus something He wasn’t before (i.e. the Son of God). Rather it indicated this truth to man.

— Via Faithful Sayings, July 4, 2010, Issue 12.27
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The Good Shepherd and His  Sheep

R.J. Evans

In reflecting back over my life, about the closest association I have ever had with sheep is that we owned two sheep dogs—Border Collies (smile!).  However, in studying the Bible, we learn much about shepherds and sheep.  It was a way of life for the people in Bible times.  Immediately, we think of King David, who spent his time as a young man caring for sheep.  He wrote that wonderful, meaningful twenty-third Psalm.

Being a shepherd and making reference to sheep was a vital part of Jesus’ teachings while here on earth.  He depicts Himself as the Good Shepherd, elders as shepherds, and His followers as sheep.  Do you ever wonder why the Lord compares us to sheep?  There must be reasons why He did so.  Not that I speak from experience or as an authority, by any means, but there are sound and obvious reasons why we find this analogy in Scripture.  In fact, research concerning their characteristics should cause us to give some serious thought about the direction of our lives.  Please consider the following:

1.  Sheep have no sense of direction.  Some will say sheep are “dumb,” but let’s just say—no sense of direction.  They will follow whoever is leading them, even if it leads to their falling off a cliff.  (And there are cases where this has actually happened.)  This reminds us of Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way.”

2.  Sheep are defenseless.  They don’t know how to defend themselves well, but they have been known to kick when protecting their young.  They don’t bark, growl, bite, or show their teeth.  They usually just run away. That’s why, as sheep, we need God’s protection.  We need the Good Shepherd because our “adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”  (1 Pet. 5:8).

3.  Sheep can’t get up without help when they are lying flat on their back.  They will be on their backs with their legs in the air flailing.  There is an old English shepherd’s term for this— “cast down.”  This is when the shepherd must come in and lift up the sheep and put it back on its feet.  God “will gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young” (Isa. 40:11).

 4.  Sheep will recognize the shepherd’s voice.  This is where stupidity ends for sheep—they have a remarkable instinct for knowing the voice of the shepherd.  Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27; 10:1-5).

5.  Sheep are not meant to carry heavy burdens.  You will never see a sheep carrying a pack on its back.  They are not meant to carry heavy loads.  This is part of the reason God compares us to sheep.  He will carry our burdens.  “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you….Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”  (1 Pet. 5:7; Psa. 55:22).

 6.  Sheep are valuable.  They provide meat, milk, and wool.  Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, is precious and of great value, beyond comparison.  When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, “Behold!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29).

 7.  Sheep cannot care for themselves when wounded.  They need the shepherd to tend to their injuries.  We need the blood of the Lamb to take away our sins.  “By His stripes we are healed….He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”  (Isa. 53:5; Psa. 147:3).

 8.  There is a sense of innocence with sheep.  We sometimes use the expression— “Innocent as a lamb.”  In the Bible, sheep often represent purity and innocence. Think of all the Old Testament sheep sacrifices which were a type of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who would be sacrificed to take away our sins (Heb. 10:1-10).  There is a sense in which we are to be innocent as sheep—pure and righteous, made possible by the blood of the Lamb in our gospel obedience and by walking in the light of the truth of His Word (Rom. 6:3; 1 Jn. 1:7-9).  When Jesus returns to judge the individuals of all nations, “He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” The goats “…will go away into everlasting punishment” but the sheep or “righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:31-46).

 Just like sheep, we cannot make it alone without the Good Shepherd.  Let us run to Him in gospel obedience, and let Him lead us to the spring of living water and take care of us forever.  “For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17).

 — Via the bulletin for the Southside church of Christ (Gonzales, Louisiana), September 15, 2019
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Our condolences to, and prayers for, the family and friends of William Martin Connor, Sr. (Darlene Tanner’s father) who passed away Thursday (Sept. 3). He was 86.

Shirley Crews has now been three weeks on life support at the hospital. She is also in an induced coma and has received about 4 fusions for her covid-19, but there has been no improvement. 

Max Beach (Jim Lively’s brother-in-law) had a heart attack Friday and is now in the hospital where he will have a quadruple bypass in which each artery has almost 100% blockage.  The surgery might be tomorrow.

Judy Daugherty was admitted to the rehab facility the middle of last week and has begun her 6 weeks of treatment. Though it is painful, she is getting better. 

Alan and Darlene Tanner have both tested positive for covid-19.

Shirley Davis was given wrappings on her legs last week to help eliminate the fluid buildup. They extend from her knees to her toes and are changed every week by an in-home nurse.  One of the wrappings for this 3-week treatment is medicated. Shirley says that she is already noticing an improvement.  The swelling has gone down some, and her coughing is not as frequent as before.  She will also be having a checkup with her doctor on the 10th of this month.

Cameron Haney is going through illness and some difficult times.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother‘s blood pressure has been on the high side the last couple days, which with his recent heart surgery and still a future surgery to do on it, is higher than his doctors want. 

Though Doyle Rittenhouse had 8 nerve endings of the spine deadened recently, he is still with continual pain.  In 2 weeks, he will again see his doctor to find out his next step, which might finally be the spinal procedure that uses spacers to take care of the spur on his spine that has been causing the pain.

Susanne Rittenhouse, is now healed from her covid-19.

Martha Lively continues to improve from her sciatica.  Though she is still aware of it, yet she is now “much better.”  Her husband Jim is about the same with his condition.

So far, Rick Cuthbertson is doing well in resuming his cancer treatments in pill form, which is 2 a day for 2 more weeks.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis are both improving in their health, but not totally better yet.

Deborah Medlock has another week to go before seeing her doctor again to find out what treatment she will begin as a precautionary measure, following her recent surgery.

We are glad to say that Marie Pennock is now over her illness and feeling much better.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of John Henry Cole, Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates (healing from a double lung transplant), A.J. & Pat Joyner, Elaine Abbott, Pat Brigman,  Ronnie & Melotine Davis, James Medlock, Tim Kirkland, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Ginger Ann Montero.
——————–

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 (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, 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
http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Love Your Neighbor (Frank Himmel)
2) “Ready For Every Good Deed” (Heath Rogers)
3) Just As Christ Loved The Church (Al Diestelkamp)
4) News & Notes
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Love Your Neighbor

Frank Himmel

What does it mean to love your neighbor? Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) points to helping the needy, yet that is only the beginning. romans 13:9 says that all the commandments relating to how we treat others are summed up in the saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Galatians 5:14 concurs.

Drawing just one entry from most of the New Testament letters, here is a sampling of what loving our neighbor requires.

► “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:17-18).

► “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. . . .just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:24,33)

► “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

► “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

► “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

► “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

► “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).

► “. . . Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

► “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

► “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and for all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

► “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

► “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

► “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).

► “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. . . .But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:9).

► “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

► “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:17-18).

► “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh” (Jude 22-23).

Doubtless you are thinking of other verses not included in this brief survey.

Luke 6:31 sums it all up well: “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”

— Via PathLights, August 23, 2020
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“Ready For Every Good Deed”

Heath Rogers

The apostle Paul told Titus to “remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed” (Titus 3:1). There are several reasons why you and I need to be ready for every good deed.

1. There is a shortage both of good works and of people who do them. There are plenty of people doing bad things. This world has been characterized by sin and evil since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. There is always a need for good people who will do good deeds. If we do not perform the good works God has prepared for us to do (Eph. 2:10), who will?

2. If we aren’t ready, we won’t see the opportunities to do good works. How many times have opportunities passed us by because we weren’t prepared? Some people excuse their lack of involvement by saying, “I don’t know how,” or, “I never have the opportunity.” The opportunities exist, we just have to find them. Paul asked the Colossians to pray “for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned” (Col. 4:3).

3. Readiness is a state of mind. Christians are to live in a watchful, alert state. Jesus said, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (Matt. 24:42-44). We are to be on the alert always, not only for the Lord’s return, but also for opportunities to do good.

Are you and I ready for every good deed? 

— Via Knollwood church of Christ, April 2019
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Just As Christ Loved The Church

Al Diestelkamp

For men who are married, I doubt that there is any greater challenge than the one posed by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (5:25). Loving our wives is easy, but loving them “just as Christ loved the church” sets a very high standard. Therefore, it is important that we see just how Christ loved the church so that we might act accordingly toward our wives.

Christ Loved the Church Sacrificially

He “gave Himself for it.” To succeed at loving our wives “as Christ does the church,” we must have an attitude of sacrificial service toward them. It’s not likely that we will have to die for our wives, but we must be willing to serve their needs. As husbands, we need to understand that our wives’ needs differ from our own. True love “does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5). It is our responsibility to meet the needs of our wives. A great “fringe benefit” of doing this well is that our wives will respond in kind by making sure that our needs are met. While not all wives have identical needs, a survey of Christians attending a ladies’ Bible class showed that their number one need is for their husbands to provide spiritual leadership. Other expressed needs (in order of their importance) were family commitment, communication, affection, and financial security.

Christ Loved the Church Exclusively

The apostle says that Christ’s gift of Himself was “that He might sanctify and cleanse it” (v. 26). Though Jesus loves the whole world, He has “set apart” His church from the world. He has only one bride. The marriage relationship requires sanctification—a setting apart from other relationships. In marriage, the husband is “set apart” to belong to the wife, and the wife is “set apart’ to belong to the husband—he for her; her for him. Any interference with this God-given arrangement is sin.

Christ Loved the Church Caringly

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church” (vs. 28-29). The word nourish means “to feed,” and the word cherish means “to soften by heat” [Vine].  I think we know what we do for someone or something we cherish—“protect and care for lovingly; hold something dear” [American Dictionary].

Christ Loved the Church Enduringly

As the church is joined to Christ, so “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (v. 31). This is a reference to the intimate sexual relationship between a husband and wife. However, Jesus used this same quote to teach the inseparability of marriage (Matt. 19:5-6). As Christ and His bride are “one body” which nothing can separate (Rom. 8:35-39), so the husband and wife are “one flesh” which man must not separate.

From the beginning, God said, “it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). As men, we should have a great appreciation for our wives. We should view them as highly-prized (and nicely packaged) gifts from our Creator. He knows just what we need to help us go to Heaven.

— Via Think On These Things, April-May-June 2019
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News & Notes


Folks to be praying for:

We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of John Henry Cole (of Vernon, Alabama, and the biological father of Tina Allen).

Alan and Darlene Tanner have both tested positive for covid-19.

Michael Rittenhouse
, who had covid-19, is now doing 100% better!  He will be going back to work Monday.  “Little Michael,” who tested negative, will be going back to school Monday; and his mother Rebecca (who has recovered from covid-19) will also be going back to work Monday.

Taylor Wright and his pregnant wife Sarah have also both recovered from covid-19, and their unborn baby is doing fine as well.

Susanne Rittenhouse, who tested positive for covid-19 on Monday, is at home getting better.

Shirley Crews is still on life support at the hospital.  They have put her in an induced coma and also began doing fusions for her covid-19.

Martha Lively mentioned that she had a couple bad days last week with her sciatica — but for the most part, she is doing better.  Her chiropractor, whom she will see again this Tuesday, has been helping.

Judy Daugherty’s broken shoulder turned out to be worst than what was first thought.  So surgery was performed on it Thursday, which went well.  She will be moved to a rehab facility today, where she will be for 6 weeks.

Cameron Haney is going through illness and some difficult times.

Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother will not be seeing his doctor until the first week in November to determine what the next step for him will be.  In the meanwhile, they continue to keep his blood pressure low.

Doyle Rittenhouse had 4 ablations of nerve endings on the other side of his spine Thursday, for a total of 8 in two weeks.  The Toradol shot (anti-inflammatory) gave him some relief, but sciatic pain began bothering him Friday evening, due to a spur on the spine he has had for some time.  He will be seeing a doctor this Wednesday to find out what his next treatment will be.   

Rick Cuthbertson has now resumed his cancer treatments in pill form, after having to temporarily discontinue them (due to adverse reactions).  He is now taking 2 pills a day and will continue to do so for 21 days. 

Marie Pennock started not feeling well yesterday.

Ronnie & Melotine Davis are both improving in their health, but not totally better yet.

Deborah Medlock will be seeing her doctor in a couple weeks, after the results of her biopsy-reassessment will be in, to better determine the next step for precautionary treatments. She will also be seeing her surgeon this Tuesday to have her surgical strips removed.

James Medlock is now a permanent resident at the nursing home where he receives continual therapy.

Penny Medlock is doing well in the group home.

Others to also be praying for: Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates (healing from a double lung transplant), A.J. & Pat Joyner, Elaine Abbott, Pat Brigman,  Shirley Davis, Tim Kirkland, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Ginger Ann Montero.
——————–

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 (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, 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
http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Jesus Is My Lord and My God (Kyle Pope)
2) Why So Few Study the Bible (Bill Crews)
3) News & Notes
——————–

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Jesus is My Lord and My God

Kyle Pope

There is perhaps no other biblical book that places more emphasis on the picture of Jesus as God in the flesh than the gospel of John. In its opening words John affirms boldly what he calls “the Word” that was “in the beginning”—“with God” and “was God” (John 1:1). We are not left to wonder for long the identity of that which is called “the Word.” Only a few verses into the text John explains through the Holy Spirit, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NKJV). The rest of the gospel tells the story of this personified “Word” of God—Jesus Christ.

 Before we leave the opening chapter we have already learned a number of things about Jesus as the “Word of God.” First, He is the Creator: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). The Bible begins with the declaration, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). If Jesus (as the “Word of God”) is said to have made “all things,” the clear assertion is that Jesus is God. Next, Jesus is described as existing within “the bosom” of God the Father. John explains, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). Some translations have taken this figuratively in just the sense “at the Father’s side” (NIV, ESV, HCSB), but that may miss the point. In Scripture to speak of something in the bosom of another person is a way of describing something as belonging to the person or sharing a unique intimacy with him or her (cf. Gen. 16:5; Exod. 4:6; Deut. 13:6; 28:56; Ruth 4:16; 2 Sam. 12:3; Job 31:33; Psa. 35:13; Prov. 6:27; Luke 6:38). While it can refer to those maintaining separate identity (cf. Luke 16:22; John 13:23), in the context this is likely an affirmation of Jesus’ unity with God the Father. Jesus would say later, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (John 14:10). While Jesus may be described as “standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55-56), the Bible also clearly describes the Deity of Christ.

This is clear in other statements Jesus makes throughout the gospel. He affirmed to Nicodemus while on the earth that although He “came down from heaven,” He was also “in heaven” (John 3:13). On a separate occasion when speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem He declared, “I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me” (John 8:16; cf. 16:32). Only God may be said to “fill heaven and earth” (Jer. 23:24). 

When Jesus was criticized for healing on the Sabbath He declared, “My Father has been working until now and I have been working” (John 5:17). The clear inference of this statement was that Jesus had been working from the beginning, just as God the Father had. John explains that the Jews understood that by saying God was His Father they considered Him to be “making Himself equal to God” (John 5:18). How interesting that John felt no compulsion to explain that Jesus was not equal to God! Why? Because John understood their conclusion to be correct!

In the same context Jesus affirmed His power to call forth the resurrection on the last day (John 5:21, 25-26) and proclaim judgment (John 5:22). Later, Jesus would declare that His words would judge all people on the “last day” (John 12:48). In fact in this gospel, Jesus was said to “know what was in man” (John 2:25). Only God knows the thoughts of man (Acts 15:8), and the Bible teaches that only God is the “judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25). If Jesus is the Judge, Jesus is God!

Jesus claimed to be “from above” (John 8:23) and on another occasion “from the Father” as One who had “seen the Father”—yet in the same verse He declared that no one else had “seen the Father” (John 6:46). In this He claimed a status for Himself different from all other human beings.

Perhaps one of the most striking declarations Jesus made came in a discussion with the Jews about Abraham. As Jesus affirmed that they did not display the character and attitude of Abraham, they questioned His claim to know Abraham’s attributes. Jesus declared, “before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). With this statement, Jesus used the very words by which God had told Moses to identify Him to the children of Israel—“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you”’” (Exod. 3:14). By identifying Himself as “I AM” Jesus deliberately demonstrated His Deity. This was clear to the Jewish leaders. They picked up stones to stone Him (John 8:59).

Jesus declared His power to resurrect Himself after His death (John 10:17-18), and yet the Bible teaches it is “God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9) and even concerning Jesus that “God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30). Clearly, Jesus and New Testament writers are affirming Christ’s Deity.

Jesus said it quite simply in His declaration, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). The Bible doesn’t teach three Gods, but Jesus is a part (or person) of the One God of the Bible. While He possesses distinct will (cf. Matt. 26:39), as do all persons of the godhead (cf. John 16:13), He is One God with the Father, and Holy Spirit. When Jesus said this, once again they tried to stone Him, “because You, being a Man make Yourself God” (John 10:33). Isn’t it interesting that once again, nether John (nor Jesus) feel compelled to explain—No, Jesus isn’t God! What Jesus did was refer them to the scriptural use of the word for God in application to human judges (John 10:34-35; cf. Psa. 82:6). Why wouldn’t Jesus rebuke them for accusing Him of something that He was not claiming? Because He was affirming His Deity! In asserting that He was “one” with the Father He was declaring Himself to be God manifested in the flesh.

During the final Passover meal Jesus ate with His disciples, He taught them that reception of Him is equal to reception of God the Father (John 13:20) and hatred of Him is equal to hatred of God the Father (John 15:24). During the same lesson, when Philip asked Him “Lord, show us the Father” (John 14:8), Jesus declared plainly, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Think of it—how arrogant this would have been, how blasphemous this would have been if Jesus was not God in the flesh! Can you imagine Moses, Elijah, Peter, or Paul saying such words—“If you have seen Me you have seen the Father”? Jesus’ Deity is the only explanation by which these words are not an act of sin. Because Jesus is God could it be true that one who had seen Him could be said to have seen God the Father—not in the fullness of His glory (cf. 1 John 4:12), but in the Divine image of Jesus as God in the flesh.

Jesus asserted Himself as the only way to a relationship with God the Father (John 14:6). Jesus claimed that knowledge of Him is equivalent to knowledge of God the Father (John 14:7). Jesus claimed that in loving Jesus and keeping His commands both He and God the Father would make their “home with” such a person (John 14:23). While Jesus did declare, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), this probably referred to Jesus’ fleshly state, or was said as a demonstration of Jesus’ submission toward God the Father (cf. John 8:29).

In the last pages of John’s gospel, the Holy Spirit continues to assert plainly the Deity of Christ. In the extended prayer Jesus offers just before going into Gethsemane He claims to have shared glory with God the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5). In His prayer for the unity of His disciples He repeatedly appeals to His own oneness with the Father as the pattern He desires His disciples to follow (John 17:11, 21-22). In this, once again Jesus proclaims, “You, Father, are in Me, and I in You” (John 17:21). After the horror of His trial and crucifixion, Jesus demonstrated His Deity in His resurrection (John 20:1-8) and in His ability to appear in the midst of the disciples inside a locked house (John 20:19). When Thomas, one of the disciples who did not see this appearance, saw Him and believed in His resurrection, he proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). If Jesus was not God in the flesh, this would have been the perfect occasion for Him to clarify a false perception. That’s what Paul and Barnabas did—they said, “We also are men with the same nature as you” (Acts 14:14-15). Jesus didn’t say that, even though one of His disciples called Him “my God.” In the verses that follow this, Jesus praised Thomas’ belief (John 20:29); and John affirmed that his gospel was written to motivate this same kind of belief (John 20:30-31). What is this belief that was praised and the gospel was intended to motivate? The firm belief that can move one to speak of Jesus Christ of Nazareth as “My Lord” and “My God.”

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 22, Issue 33 (August 16, 2020)
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Why So Few Study the Bible

Bill Crews

The Bible says, “Whatsoever things were written aforetime [in the Old Testament] were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4).

And, “From a babe thou hast known the sacred writings [the Old Testament] which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

And, “Whoso readeth [here it refers to something written in the book of Daniel — BC] let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

And, “And He called to Him the multitude, and said unto them, Hear and understand” (Matthew 15:10).

And, “And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the word [Luke 8:15 says that the good ground represents one who has an “honest and good heart” — BC], and understandeth it; who verilybeareth  fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:23).

Philip asked the Ethiopian, “Understandeth thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30 — he was reading in the book of Isaiah; the passage shows that God wants us to understand what is written in His word — BC).

And, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

And, “Howthat by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby, whenye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3 :3-4 ).

And, finally, “Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

What Men Say in Contrast

The Bible contains all of the will of God for men (read John 16:13 — the apostles by the Holy Spirit were guided into all the truth; 2 Peter 1:3 — the apostles were given all things pertaining to life and godliness;  2 Timothy 3:16-17 — the Scriptures are able to make the man of God complete and to furnish him completely unto every good work). But some men say the Bible contains only part of God’s will for men. They thus destroy confidence in the Bible.

The Bible claims to be verbally inspired, inspired in its very expression or wording (2 Timothy 3:16-17 — see the same reference above; 2 Peter 1:20-21 — no  prophecy of Scripture came by the will of man, but the prophets spoke as they were moved by the Holy  Spirit; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 — the hidden wisdom of  God was made known unto men like Paul by the Holy  Spirit, and those men spoke those things, not in words taught by man’s wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit; Matthew 10:19-20 and Mark 13:11 —  Jesus promised the apostles that when they were  arrested and brought to trial, the Holy Spirit would give them the words to speak). But some men say that the Bible is inspired only in thought or substance.  They thus erode faith in the inerrancy of the Bible.

The Bible was given to be understood (see the passages quoted in the beginning of this article), but some men say it was not given to be understood. They thus discourage men from even reading it.

The Bible shows that men as they are can understand the Scriptures as they are to the salvation of their souls ( according to the book of Acts, a book that records the conversions of various individuals, this is exactly what happened over and over in response to the preaching of the apostles and others), but some men say that only with the help of qualified and  authorized clergymen (the position of the Roman Catholic Church), or the help of the Book of Mormon  (the position of the “Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints”), or the help of the writings of Ellen G. White (the position of the Seventh-Day  Adventist Church), or the help of the staff of anonymous writers at Watchtower headquarters (the position of the so-called “Jehovah’s Witnesses”), can anyone understand the Bible. They thus discourage men so they will not even try to read and understand for themselves.

God obviously wants men to understand His word and is perfectly capable of giving it to men in language that can be understood, but so many denominations have been saying for so long (a) that it isn’t necessary for men to understand the things written in the Bible,  and (b) that different people can never understand the things written in the Bible alike. The unfortunate result is that few people are ever encouraged to engage in a personal, individual study of the Bible.

Some Questions

1. Was God able to make known His will to man? Was He able to make His will known in words or language that men could understand? Did He do this?

2. Did God give His word (the Bible) to man, thinking that man would be able to understand it — but not realizing till later that man would be unable to understand it?

3. Did God give His word (the Bible) to man and deliberately couch it in such language or with such words that He knew man would be unable to  understand it?

4. Does God want man to understand His word (the Bible)? Can man understand that word (the Bible)?

5. Should you set aside time to read and study and even meditate upon the Bible? Will you?

Why not become a daily student of the Bible, the revelation of God and God’s will to man,the only book Divine in origin.

— Via Roanridge Reader Volume 32 Issue 47 Page 2, November 19, 2017
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Let us continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Pamela Arnold and Patricia Gill Lariscy who both recently passed away.

Alan and Darlene Tanner have both tested positive for covid-19.

Michael Rittenhouse,
who has covid-19 and also pneumonia in his lower right lung, was running a fever of 102.9 yesterday and is to go to the ER if he develops any pain in his stomach.  He will be seeing his doctor Monday for a reassessment.   Michael’s son Michael will have to be tested again for covid-19, and Rebecca who had tested positive for it last week is now experiencing symptoms. Shirley Crews (Rebecca’s mother), who also tested positive for covid-19, had to be readmitted to the hospital where she is now on life support.  Also with covid-19: Sarah Rittenhouse Wright and Susanne Rittenhouse.

Doyle Rittenhouse ended up having 4 nerve ablations Monday on one side of his spine.  The pain continued until Friday.  This Wednesday, he will have 4 more nerve ablations on the other side.  

Martha Lively has found some relief from pain through chiropractic treatment.  Though the pain is still there in the early morning and evening, at least it is not all the time as it had been.  So, for a while, she will continue on a weekly basis with these treatments.

Cameron Haney is going through illness and some difficult times.

James Medlock is now over his congestive heart failure, but hasn’t been able to receive therapy, due to being quarantined in the nursing home.  He has not had covid-19, but there are others there who do have it.  An appeal has been made to see if James can stay another 21 days.

Penny Medlock is now in a group home in Augusta, Georgia. 

Deborah Medlock received a good report last week. The lymph nodes that were removed tested negative for cancer. Everything else that was removed also tested negative, except for that small nodule (1 cm), which was also removed. It had not grown nor moved since previously examined. She will be seeing her doctor this Thursday and will soon begin radiation treatments as a precautionary measure.

Rick Cuthbertson had to temporarily discontinue his cancer treatments, due to some adverse reactions he began having.  He is to remain off the medication for a week and then resume with only 2 pills a day for 21 days straight.

Others to also be praying for: Larry & Janice Hood, Jamie Cates (healing from a double lung transplant), A.J. & Pat Joyner, Elaine Abbott, Pat Brigman,  Shirley Davis, Tim Kirkland, Ronnie & Melotine Davis, Jim Lively, Judy Daugherty, Joyce Rittenhouse’s brother,Rex & Frankie Hadley,Mark Owen Mixon, and Ginger Ann Montero.
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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 (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, 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
http://thomastedwards.com/go (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

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