Page 2 of 37

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) Faithfulness (Kyle Pope)
2) A Prepared Heart (Glenn Melton)
3) Growing Strong in the Lord (video sermon, Tom Edwards)   
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Faithfulness

Kyle Pope

In the message conveyed to the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 the Lord proclaimed — “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (NKJV). This admonition to faithfulness is one that all believers would do well to heed. Let’s consider what the New Testament says about faithfulness.

Faithfulness is described as part of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22,23. The text reads — “…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” If we are to be spiritually mind; if we are to be filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit we should strive towards faithfulness.

To understand what faithfulness is we must see ourselves as servants (obeying a master) and stewards (given a trust). First Corinthians 4:2 teaches — “…It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” If we hope for eternal life we must be faithful stewards. The “faithful and wise steward” is one who is said to be waiting when his Master comes, faithfully doing his Master’s will (Matthew 24:45-46; Luke 12:42-43).

In several parables Jesus teaches the importance of faithfulness. In the Parable of the Talents He describes the servant who had successfully used his master’s goods. The master says to him — “…Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23). In the Parable of the Unjust Steward the Lord states — “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12). We must see our lives as a trust from God. We are called to faithfully use our lives for God’s purposes.

Members of the Lord’s church are to be faithful. An elder is to be one who has — “Faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination” (Titus 1:6).

As an example to the flock, their home-life must be an example of how to raise children in faithfulness to the Lord. The wives of elders and deacons are to be — “Faithful in all things” (1 Timothy 3:11). Paul tells Timothy — “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 Timothy 2:2).

It would be a mistake to imagine that such faithfulness is only demanded of the leadership. Paul’s epistle to the church in Ephesus is addressed to — “…The saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In a similar way the letter to the Colossians was addressed — “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse…” (Colossians 1:2). In describing those who are with the Lamb in purpose and commitment, Revelation 17:14 declares — “…He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” If we consider ourselves on the Lord’s side we must ask ourselves if we are truly faithful.

There are many ways we can demonstrate faithfulness. We do so through faithfully assembling with God’s people in study and worship. We do so through faithful care of the sick and downhearted. We do so through faithfully teaching others when we have opportunity. We do so through faithfully giving ourselves to personal prayer and Bible study. We do so through faithfully resisting temptation, and faithfully imitating the life and character of Christ. Do these demonstrations of faithfulness characterize our lives?

A number of individuals in Scripture are referred to as faithful. When Lydia obeyed the gospel she said to Paul — “…If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay…” (Acts 16:15). Timothy was called Paul’s “faithful son in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Epaphras was described as — “A faithful minister of Christ” (Colossians 1:7). Tychicus was called a — “Faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” (Colossians 4:7). Onesimus, the slave whom Paul converted, is referred to as — “A faithful and beloved brother” (Colossians 4:9). Moses was said to have been — “Faithful in all His house as a servant” (Hebrews 3:5). Each of these individuals were those who fulfilled the tasks of service and obedience to the Lord that had been given to them. As a result they are said to have been “faithful” to their commission and to their Master (the Lord). Could someone look at us and describe us in this way?

May each of us always work to be faithful to what God commands us through Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament. This doesn’t mean we never stumble, but let us always strive to do what God says. We must obey as quickly as possible. We may struggle, but when we do let us get up quickly and start over again in faithful service to the Lord.

— Via Faithful Sayings, Issue 17.8, February 22, 2015
——————–

-2-

A Prepared Heart

Glenn Melton

“Ezra the son of Seraiah . . . the son of Aaron the chief priest . . . went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses . . . for Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:1-10).

“So king Rehoboam . . . did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 12:13,14).

What a contrast between Ezra and Rehoboam. Ezra was helpful in teaching Israel the law; Rehoboam was instrumental in the cause of division among the tribes. What a difference preparation of the heart made. May we suggest some things that may have contributed to the preparation of Ezra’s heart?

(1) The influence of godly parents. Ezra’s father was a priest and possibly one who taught the law. The influence of such a man could tend to lead his children to God. Blessed are the children of the righteous.

(2) Seeing the consequences of disobedience. Ezra had been in captivity and saw firsthand the results of disobedience. This could well have had a part in helping him to see how much better it is to please God.

(3) Moral uprightness. Consider what it did for Joseph, David, and Esther. “Remember thy creator in… thy youth” (Eccl. 12:1).

(4) Purity of mind. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

(5) Ezra’s knowledge of the law, Israel’s history, and the promises made to Abraham, Moses, and David could motivate him to please God. Also, Ezra may have known of Daniel, who would have been a good role model.

How well have we prepared our heart to seek the law of God, to do it, and teach it to others?

— Via The Beacon, March 20, 2022
——————–

Psalm 18:2-3

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.”

– NASB
——————–

-3-

Growing Strong in the Lord

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Growing_Stronger_060522.mp4

——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Sunny Nichols recently had sinus surgery.  While at home recuperating, she then had a stroke, which she is now hospitalized for.

Friday’s heart cath for Kim Rowell went well. Her previous bypasses are clear, and she will soon be receiving a new aortic valve.

Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Kayla Williams, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, and Danielle Bartlett.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes

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

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



The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Jesus is the Bread of Life (Kyle Pope)
2) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Jesus is the Bread of Life

Kyle Pope

Since the beginning of man’s life outside the Garden of Eden bread has been the food God has set forth to sustain man’s life. In Adam’s punishment for sin he was told, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground” (Gen. 3:19a, NKJV). The word translated “bread” in this verse is the Hebrew word lechem, which refers to both bread in a specific sense and food generally. When Israel was in the wilderness God fed them with a substance they named “manna,” meaning literally, “What is it?” Moses explained to them, “This is the bread (lechem) which the Lord has given you to eat” (Exod. 16:15). It was not a typical grain used to make bread, but it was ground into flour and baked into cakes (Num. 11:7-8). While it sustained them in the desert they were told later that it served another purpose. In Deuteronomy the people were told that God had given them this unusual bread, “that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3b). Jesus appealed to this very text in His own temptation in the wilderness when Satan challenged Him to make bread from stones (Matt. 4:3-4). There is great irony here. The God who sentenced man to live by “bread,” while providing physical sustenance in the wilderness used it to demonstrate man’s need for the spiritual sustenance that comes from His word.

Sometime after Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, but in terrain the gospel of Matthew calls “a deserted place” (Matt. 14:15) Jesus did exactly the same thing Deity had done to Israel centuries before. From five barley loaves and two small fish Jesus fed 5000 men (John 6:1-13). In this miracle, God in the flesh provided for man’s physical sustenance. This miracle, like no other Jesus did, led the people to seek to make Him a king by force (John 6:14-15). Even when He withdrew by Himself then crossed over the Sea of Galilee they still sought Him—because they “ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:22-26). In this context, Jesus called them to seek something different. They found Him as He taught in the synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:59). First, Jesus told them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27a). This moved them to recall God’s feeding of the Israelites in the wilderness, and they asked if He would provide a sign similar to that (John 6:30-31). Jesus then subtly introduced one of the most radical doctrines of His entire ministry. He told them, “the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). The heavenly bread He would provide was a person! What could He mean by that? The people seem to have missed that He called a person “the bread of God,” and they first beg Him, “Lord, give us this bread always” (John 6:34). Jesus then clarified, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Even though He immediately explained that it is the one who believes in Him that will attain resurrection unto everlasting life (John 6:40), the people complained against Him because He said He was “the bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:41).

In spite of their confusion (and the confusion that still persists among some in the religious world today) we can see from Scriptures that follow that Jesus was really teaching the same point God made to the Israelites about the true source of spiritual sustenance. Notice one of the first indications of this. As He explained His heavenly origin He first paraphrases the prophets who foretold, “they shall all be taught by God” (John 6:45a)—a reference in part to Isaiah 54:13, which said, “your children shall be taught by the Lord.” He then explained how they would be taught—“everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45b). Jesus would later teach His disciples, “the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24). Jesus was not promising personal and individual revelation. To learn from the teaching of Jesus was to hear and learn from the Father. He was talking about spiritual sustenance. He was talking about Himself as the source of spiritual life.

A second indication of this comes as He further explained His original statement, but did so in a way that tested the hearts of His hearers. They were quick to follow Him when they thought He would give them physical food—how would they respond when He offered them something challenging? He first affirmed His unity with the Father, telling them, “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 6:46), then He restated that belief in Him leads to eternal life, since He is “the bread of life” (John 6:47-48). Yet rather than softening His message to draw as many disciples as possible—the strategy employed by much of the religious world today—Jesus sharpened His words and challenged them even further. He told them, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). This was too much for some of them. They complained, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52). Jesus had returned to the point they had first raised about manna (John 6:49) and He would go on to compare His teaching with it again (John 6:58). They should have remembered that manna was given to teach them that “man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3b). Some missed the point.

Jesus then shocked them even further by saying, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53) adding “My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55). Since at least the Middle Ages some have argued that in these words Jesus was teaching about the Lord’s Supper. It has been argued that in the prayer for the bread and the fruit of the vine a transformation takes place in these elements that transforms them into the literal body and blood of Jesus. We should notice, however, that nothing in the context makes any reference to the memorial meal, which would not even be instituted until long after this on the Passover night before Jesus’ betrayal (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-23). In fact, the gospel of John is the one gospel that does not record its institution! It is highly unlikely that the Holy Spirit would intend this teaching completely out of the context of discussing the memorial to explain the purpose and nature of it without even recording its institution. Further, both the Law of Moses (Lev. 17:12) and the Law of Christ (Acts 21:25) explicitly prohibited the eating of blood. If the Lord’s Supper involves the literal eating of blood and human flesh it violates this prohibition.

Jesus was not talking about literally eating His flesh and blood. As one who had just fed the people physically, He was calling them to see in His life, His sacrifice, and ultimately in His words the true source of spiritual life. Just as manna was to make the Israelites see God’s word as the true source of life, Jesus was teaching the same thing on this occasion. Some said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:60). The Holy Spirit records, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). To those who did not turn away, Jesus asked, “Does this offend you?” (John 6:61). He then made it absolutely clear, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). We feed on Jesus’ flesh and blood by ingesting the words that He teaches. It is the message of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf that brings life (cf. Rom. 1:16). Faith in Jesus as this sacrifice and obedience to Jesus’ teaching leads ultimately to resurrection unto eternal life on the “last day” (John 6:39, 44, 54). Although some missed His point those who stayed with Him understood. When Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67a), Peter gave an answer that summarized the entire focus of this discourse. He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:67b). Peter realized what God wanted Israel to recognize in the wilderness. Peter realized what the feeding of the 5000 should have taught these people. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). That is how we feed upon Jesus’ flesh and blood. That is how Jesus is for us, “the bread of life.” Upon what will you feed? To whom will you go?

— Via Faithful Sayings, Issue 17.41, October 15, 2015
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams had been in the ICU recently with diabetic ketoacidosis, but is now doing better.

Others to also keep in prayer: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday:

9 a.m. Bible Class

10 a.m. Worship Service

5 p.m. Song Service every first Sunday of the month

Wednesday:

7 p.m. Bible class

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

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



The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “By What Authority Do You Do These Things?” (Kyle Pope)
2) How We Are Not to Walk (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“By What Authority Do You Do These Things?”

Kyle Pope

When Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount, Scripture tells us that the people were amazed, “for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29, NKJV). Joseph Henry Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament tells us that the word exousia, translated “authority” here, means “…the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)…” (225). When Jesus taught He was giving commands that the people were to obey. This was different from the approach that the scribes and Pharisees used.

This demonstration of authority was not always well received. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell us of an occasion when the chief priests, scribes and elders asked Jesus “…By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Matt. 21:23, cf. Mark 11:28 and Luke 20:2). On this occasion, because of the hardness of their hearts in rejecting John the Baptist, Jesus did not answer their question directly. However, on other occasions, He directly addressed this issue. John tells us in three passages how explicitly Jesus answered this matter. In John 7:16 Jesus said, “…My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” In John 12:49 He said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” And finally, in John 14:24 He said, “…the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Jesus, declared with these words that He Himself, God the Son, was acting under the authority of God the Father.

After Jesus’ resurrection, the extent of Jesus’ authority was broadened. As He gave His apostles the charge to teach all the nations, He began with the words, “…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). This tells us that God the Father gave to Jesus the right to command all the universe. As a result, all the universe is obligated to obey Jesus’ teachings and to submit to His authority. This was promised in Deuteronomy 18:18-19, when God told Moses, “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”

When the apostles went out to preach they acknowledged divine authority, and held themselves under such authority. In the first sermon they preached, they taught the Jews on the day of Pentecost to, “…Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Acts 2:38). The apostle Paul taught the Christians in Colosse, “And whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). To act in the name of Jesus is to act with and under the authority of Jesus. This meant that the apostles’ message, like that of Jesus, was not their own but from the One who sent them. Paul praised the church in Thessalonica saying, “…when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). The writings of the apostles held the same authority. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).

Just as God had promised to give authority to Jesus, Jesus promised to give authority to His apostles. Jesus encouraged His disciples saying, “…when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10:19-20). If people rejected the message of the apostles, Jesus taught that it was the same as rejecting Him and rejecting God the Father. Luke tells us that Jesus told His apostles, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).

When we look to the Bible we have the written teachings of Jesus. Whether we look at the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ words while on the earth or the records of what the apostles taught, we have before us the teachings (or doctrine) of Jesus. This is the standard of authority that must be obeyed. This is the source from which we must derive the authority for all that we say and do in service to God.

How can we establish from Scripture authority for what we do in service to God? First we must understand what the Bible is. Quite simply, it is the written will of God. It was given to the apostles and prophets of the first century in order to communicate understandable information to ordinary human beings. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he claimed that the things which he wrote explained the plan of God which had previously been a mystery. He told them, “…when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Eph. 3:4-5). When Paul tells them,“ when you read, you may understand” it shows us that Scripture is not some dark enigma that can not be unraveled, but written communication that can be understood just as we do any other type of written communication.

When we read a letter, a story, an article, or some type of instructional literature we use the same basic methods to discern the meaning of the material. We consider what the document states directly, what it describes and what it infers about the subject in question. All of this information is taken into account in order to ascertain the content of the piece. The Bible is no different. There are direct statements which explicitly command or direct behavior. There are descriptions of behavior that is approved or condemned. There are, in the context of some broader discussion, details inferred that may further clarify the meaning of a particular issue.

If we are going to act under the authority of Jesus in what we do in service to God what will determine whether or not we have authority for the things we do? There are many direct statements that are in the Bible. Some are given to specific individuals and not to anyone else (e.g. Abraham’s charge to sacrifice Isaac – Gen. 22:2). Other commands fall under a distinct period of jurisdiction, and do not apply to those under Christ (e.g. animal sacrifice under the Law of Moses no longer applies to man today). If Jesus Christ now has all authority, and He gave His instructions to His apostles, it would follow that the first source we should look to in order to establish authority would be the direct commands of Jesus and His apostles.

Next, we look to the descriptions of things in the Bible. Again, if we are interested in acting under the authority of Christ our pattern cannot be drawn from descriptions of behavior that was not subject to the authority of Christ (e.g. Israel under the Law of Moses or Gentiles when they were without God). That brings us to what is described in the New Testament. Here we find descriptions of things that were approved and things that were not approved. If Jesus taught that rejection of the apostles was rejection of Him (Luke 10:16), it follows that those descriptions that serve as binding examples for us today are the approved examples of behavior carried out under Christ and the apostles.

Finally, as a piece of written material, the Bible is filled with numerous topics and discussions of issues. The inferences within these discourses to things that have been commanded or described further clarify the application of what is authorized under Christ. As with any literature, inferences are often more subjective (i.e. subject to personal opinion and perspective) than direct statements or descriptions. One person might draw an inference from some nuance of wording that totally eludes another person. Or, there might be inferential references to things that are incidental to the matter under consideration. Because of these dangers when we look to the inferences of Scripture we must look to those necessary inferences that clarify approved examples or direct commands. When such inferences offer inescapable conclusions about a matter under consideration, they establish authority for action in service to God.

Many in the world conduct themselves as if there is no need to establish divine authority in religion. The question posed to Jesus remains particularly applicable today, “by what authority are you doing these things?” Jesus and the apostles acted under divine authority. What about us?

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 19, Issue 53, December 31, 2017

——————–

-2-

How We Are Not to Walk

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams
had been in the ICU recently, due to a diabetic ketoacidosis, but is now doing better.

Others to also continue praying for: Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m. 
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “For Those Who Love Him” (Kyle Pope)
2) Words of Encouragement (Greg Gwin)
3) Considering the Greek Word “Charis” (which is often translated as “grace” in the Scriptures) (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

“For Those Who Love Him”

Kyle Pope

First Corinthians 2:9 reads: “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’” (1 Cor. 2:9, NKJV). This text is actually a paraphrase of a passage from Isaiah 64:4-5 which reads: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned–In these ways we continue; and we need to be saved.” In the context of First Corinthians Paul applies this text to show the glorious nature of the gospel. In it are revealed things that had not been seen, heard or imagined.

Paul does not quote directly from the passage in Isaiah but paraphrases (i.e. summarizes the meaning of) the text to illustrate the point he is addressing in this section of First Corinthians. We are generally critical of modern paraphrases when they are put forward as “translations” rather than human summaries of the Biblical text. Works like Good News For Modern Man or the Living Bible are not literal translations, but paraphrases that express an author’s understanding of the gist of a passage. This is not to say that it is wrong to paraphrase. No preacher of the gospel can teach without summarizing a text in their own words at some point. What may be wrong is an incorrect paraphrase, that misses (or distorts) the truth of a text. In cases when Paul or other inspired writers paraphrase a text, we can be sure that the summary which they put forth is sound, accurate and reliable because it is given by the direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

In the example found above, the Apostle’s paraphrase, when examined closely, reveals some important things about our service to God. The first part of the passage, in Isaiah and in First Corinthians, are very similar. Both speak of what the “ear” and the “eye” have not experienced. Where the text diverges is in the phrase “which God has prepared for those who love Him.” The text in Isaiah does not speak of God’s preparations, but rather man’s need (in the last part of the passage) to be saved. When Isaiah declares, “we need to be saved”—Paul through the Holy Spirit sees in this declaration God’s preparation for our salvation.

What is also different in the two passages is the phrase “for those who love Him.” The Holy Spirit does not lead Isaiah to use the term “love.” Is this an addition on Paul’s part? Quite the contrary, just as Paul sees man’s need for salvation as a foreshadowing of God’s preparations for a way to be reconciled to God, Paul sees what the prophet says about those who are pleasing to God as the demonstration of what it really means to love God. Notice these elements:

I. “The One Who Waits For Him.” There are a number of ways in our relationship with God that we are called upon to “wait” for Him. As Christians we understand that one day Jesus will return in judgment. The one who loves God keeps this fact before their mind and strives to be prepared for it. In addition to this we are sometimes called to wait upon the Lord in faithfulness to Him as we endure trial, temptation and suffering. The ungodly, in their impatience, turn away from God, thinking that their own ways are best, and that by pursuing sin they can achieve their needs. The child of God recognizes man’s inability to direct his own way and waits in obedience upon God, trusting that God’s ways are best. Paul shows us that this is not passive and inactive. Rather, waiting on God is a way that we show our love for Him.

II. “Him Who Rejoices.” An old song from the 70’s portrayed a confused lover crying out to the one he loved, “That’s a strange way to tell me you love me, when your sorrow is all I can see.” As Christians we sometimes carry-on much the same way. We grumble and moan about the things that the Lord asks of us. We see opportunities to worship Him as interruptions to our schedule. We view meditation upon His word like an unpleasant homework assignment in school. We want to go to heaven, but we spend most of our time unhappy because of doubts that He will see us through hardships or envy of the sins of the ungodly. Yet, then we turn around and try to say to the Lord with our mouth that we “love Him.” Paul shows us here that to love the Lord means that we live a life that “rejoices.”

III. “And Does Righteousness.” What a fallacy the religious world has perpetrated in convincing so many within its ranks that it is even possible to “love God” and yet do what is wrong! Millions have been convinced that they are secure in a loving relationship with God, while they are first unconcerned with even learning what is right and wrong and second told that even though they may give themselves to do what is wrong it doesn’t alter their “love” for Him. In the time of Malachi, the people (much like today) had become spiritually lazy. The very animal sacrifices that they offered were not the best of their flocks and herds, but the sickly and unhealthy. In response the Lord, through Malachi asks, “Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you?” (Mal. 1:8c). None of us would imagine that we can do what is displeasing to our mate, our teacher, our employer, or our friend and hope to convince them of our love and fidelity to them. Paul shows us in this text that God is no different. If we love Him we will do what He tells us is right.

IV. “Who Remembers You in Your Ways.” The memorial which Christians observe each Sunday is kept “in remembrance” of Jesus’ body and blood which was shed for our sin. It is important and necessary that Christians keep this observance in order for us to be pleasing unto God, remember the cost that Jesus paid for our sin and as a deterrent from future sins. At the same time, the Lord’s Supper is not the only way in which we are called upon to “remember” the Lord in His ways. Sometimes we must remember Him and His ways when we are totally alone. At such times we must call to mind how God would have us to direct our thoughts, occupy our time and maintain a watchful, temperate disposition. Sometimes we must remember Him and His ways when we are around those in the world. When we are tempted by them to deny Jesus, to be silent when we ought to speak, to speak in ways that we should not, or to do things that we should not. We must not forget who we are and what Jesus is to us. Paul suggests to us in this text that loving God means that we will remember Him and His ways. Paul characterizes all of these traits as true of those who love God. Are these traits true of your life?

— Via Faithful Sayings, June 12, 2016
——————–

-2-

Words of Encouragement

Greg Gwin

Occasionally we all need to hear a word of encouragement. There is no better source for this sort of help than God’s inspired word. If you need a spiritual boost, meditate on some of these passages:

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice … Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).

“I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37-39).

” … We may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me'” (Heb. 13:6).

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25).

You can, no doubt, think of many other passages that offer similar encouragement. The point is, that God cares for us as His children. We should rejoice in that fact!

— Via The Beacon, March 22, 2022
——————–

-3-

Considering the Greek Word “Charis”

(which is often translated as “grace” in the Scriptures)

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Charis_051522.mp4


——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Kayla Williams
is now in ICU, due to a diabetic ketoacidosis.

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.

Due to there being 5 Sundays in May, Danny Bartlett will be preaching for us on the 29th of this month.

We will resume our Wednesday evening Bible class June 1 at our regular time of 7 p.m. 
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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

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




The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “My Grace is Sufficient” (Jon Quinn)
2) Motherhood (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

My Grace is Sufficient

Jon Quinn

Pride is a dangerous thing. It causes us to belittle God and His will. It causes us to think we are self-sufficient in this universe when we are not. It causes us to think that we are better than others. And when  pride is a motive, even the good deeds we do are only done because they make our ego trips last longer.  For this reason, the Lord “is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” and urges us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6).

Anyone can be adversely affected by pride. I think it takes a prideful person to deny that pride is a danger to him, so if someone claims immunity from pride, it’s probably their pride doing the talking.  Those somewhat familiar with Paul’s life might find it surprising, but he readily admitted he needed help in resisting pride, and he got it from the Lord.  Interestingly, the help did not come in the form Paul necessarily desired, but he was still happy to have it because he knew that in the long run, when he entered heaven, it will  have all been worth it. But it gives us pause to think; if Paul needed the Lord’s help in this, then we probably do as well.

“And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for  power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Surpassing Greatness

“And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,…” (2 Corinthians 12:7).  Today there is much talk of the need for a proper amount of self-esteem in order for a person to maintain their emotional and mental health. Certainly this is so, but the question is what will be the source of one’s sense of self worth? Will it be their good looks? The car they drive? How far they can hit a baseball? Good grades? Their popularity?  If this is where our sense of self-worth comes from, then we are getting it from the wrong place. All these things are bound to fail us one day. The basis for high self esteem ought to be centered on God; that we are creatures that bear His image (Genesis 1:26); that His Son loves us and died to save us (John 3:16; Galatians 6:14).

Paul considered it a great privilege to have been called as an apostle of Christ Jesus. He was most certainly correct. He was entrusted with the oracles of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and granted visions and revelations of heavenly things.  Just as a person’s wealth or beauty could become the source of ungodly pride, so could Paul’s special gifts and blessings.

To Keep Me From Exalting Myself

“… to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-to keep me from exalting myself!” (2 Corinthians 12:7b). What was Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”? I am not sure because he does not say. I think it was probably his failing health or eyesight. He had suffered much physical abuse from enemies; stonings, beatings, imprisonments and exposure to the elements. They were taking their toll, and we know this is so whether it is specifically what Paul is referring to as his “thorn” or not (Galatians 4:12-15; 6:17).

It is interesting to see how Paul deals with this “messenger of Satan.” Of course, Satan had sent this evil to discourage and hinder Paul; to weaken him and the effect he was having. But by God’s grace and Paul’s faith, Satan’s own weapon had been turned against him! He made Paul spiritually stronger by rendering him physically weaker. Now, it doesn’t always work out that way, because some of us may not trust in the Lord as absolutely as Paul did. Some have even used adversity as an excuse to abandon the Lord. One’s faith needs to grow if that be the case.

Paul’s Request is Denied

“Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me” ( 2 Corinthians 12:8).

Next time one of your prayers is not answered the way you wanted it to be, understand that though you may not perceive it, there is a reason. There always is. And remember, if the Lord responded in the negative three times to someone like Paul, then we must not expect any different if the Lord determines that it will be best to deny our request. It is with the attitude of Eli that we should approach such disappointments; “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him” (1 Samuel 3:18). The Lord sees the end of a matter from the beginning. We trust Him to do right by us, and refuse to make our faith conditional on what answer He gives when we pray.

Why Grace is Sufficient

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for  power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).  The Lord Jesus explained to His apostle that “My grace is sufficient” because “power is perfected in weakness.”  God’s power is made perfect, or complete, in Paul’s weakness in the sense that Paul was forced to depend fully on God. He had explained to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This teaches us an important lesson about God’s power. We are not fully depending on God’s power if we add the doctrines and creeds of men to the gospel, for it is the gospel that is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). We are not fully trusting in God’s power, if we use as an excuse for our neglect that we are not talented enough to serve in His kingdom, or that we are too sinful to enter it in the first place. We must never deny the sufficiency of God’s grace by either our words or our actions.

Paul says that since his weakness kept his pride in check, then he will “gladly boast about his weakness” because, in helping him to defeat his pride, it made way in ”the power of Christ” to dwell in him. His weakness, or “thorn in the flesh” was necessary to bear now for a little while, that Paul might enter into eternity prepared for glory, and help others to go with him (cf. 2 Corinthian 4:16-18).

Equipped in such a way; mentally, emotionally and spiritually secure, Paul was able to overcome life’s difficulties. They could not rob him of his joy in Christ, nor his confidence. The weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties he had endured “for Christ’s sake” only served to make him stronger, not by his own power, but through Jesus. This, friends, is the answer. The question is: will you accept the fact that the Lord’s grace “is sufficient” for you?

— Via Expository Files 23.5; May 2016

——————–

-2-

Motherhood

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Motherhood_050822.mp4

——————–

Psalm 130:3-7

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the LORD;

“For with the LORD there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption” (NASB).

Psalm 125:1-2

“Those who trust in the LORD
Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever” (NASB).

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

We will resume our Wednesday services on June 1 at 7 p.m. 
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday services on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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

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




The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Melchizedek and Christ (Warren E. Berkley)
2) Prayer (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Melchizedek and Christ

Warren E. Berkley

Synopsis: Warren describes Melchizedek’s encounter with Abraham and demonstrates how this king/priest of Salem foreshadows One even greater (who serves as our Prophet, Priest, and King).

It is hard for me to imagine a day in the life of Abraham. Yet, as I read the Genesis account, accompanied by all other biblical references to the patriarch, I can gain insights into his unique role in God’s plan. However, the account given by Moses in Genesis 14:17-24 is at first a mystery; a mystery solved by the writer of Hebrews. That “solution,” or meaning, relates directly to my assurance of access to God. In the course of studying this mysterious man, the Holy Spirit takes us to two simple words which express what we should do about all this. I will take us to those two words.

One day, Abraham led 318 trained men in pursuit of adversaries who had taken Lot captive. After his defeat of the rebel forces, he returned home and “Melchizedek, king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.).” This man is not mentioned before this account, thus the reader’s immediate puzzle: no family connection is documented, nor any genealogy or history.

He spoke to Abraham: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” His favorable words to Abraham still leave the reader with a blank. Who is this man? What is this all about?

Abraham’s response does not really answer our questions: “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” If we had nothing but this brief narrative in Genesis, we would know nothing more of this today.

Much later in the literary sequence of the Old Testament, a hint that only adds to our curiosity: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek'” (Ps. 110:4). The context of the 110th Psalm is Messianic, having to do with the Christ, but our questions are not fully answered. What is the connection between “the order of Melchizedek” and Christ? No clarity emerges from the psalm, leaving us with no resolution.

Our curiosity remains into the New Testament. No answers come from the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Finally, in Hebrews, the writer says he wants to speak to this mystery, but is concerned that his readers are “dull of hearing” (Heb. 5:5-11). The opening verses of Hebrews 6 take off in a different direction, having to do with the urgency of spiritual growth.

Our patience begins to pay off at the end of Hebrews 6. The affirmation is that Jesus Christ “became a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

But What Does that Mean?

Hebrews chapter seven reveals the meaning of this. After a brief review of the Genesis 14 event, it is said of Melchizedek, “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues a priest forever” (Heb. 7:3).

Factoring in context has great value here. The historical premise of Judaism was: the Levitical priesthood was the supreme and final priestly system that afforded access to God for Jews. The Hebrew epistle upholds that “we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,” and Christians “hold fast” to this confession (Heb. 4:14).

The inspired writer in Hebrews 7 is asking his readers to consider that God had a priest-king before the Levitical system was instituted. The order of Melchizedek was a higher priesthood than the Levitical system. That is implied in that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.

“Giving a tithe was a gesture that honored the recipient, and it thus implied that the recipient was of a higher status or position in some sense. This surely signals that Abraham believed he was in the presence of a great person who deserved to be honored with treasures” (McClister, 238).

We have now taken a step toward understanding this mysterious person and event. God set up something prior to the Levitical system that held higher status. Christ was High Priest after that order, or “like Melchizedek.”

To Whom Did Melchizedek Belong?

There is no record of his mother, father, or a documented genealogy with a date of birth and death. Melchizedek is portrayed as belonging to God, the “Most High,” and is associated with peace and righteousness. Jesus is High Priest like Melchizedek, not of the tribe of Levi, but superior to that system.

This means Christ was not a High Priest, as in Aaron and the Levitical order (according to the law of Moses). The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ—the writer is affirming—is of a higher order! Christ was and is a High Priest like Melchizedek; not like Aaron or Levi.

Note the following:

1. Melchizedek’s position as High Priest was not dependent on ancestry… neither was Christ’s (7:14).

2. Melchizedek was not in a succession of many priests . . . neither is Christ (7:3). 

3. Melchizedek’s priesthood was higher than, and separate from, the Levitical order . . . so is Christ’s (7:4-7). 

4. Melchizedek was priest and king . . . so is Christ! (See Zech. 6:9-10).

Christ’s Character

Another element in the Melchizedek narrative is a foreshadowing of Christ’s character. These words are associated with Melchizedek: “Righteous,” “Priest,” “Peace” and “King.” Our High Priest is perfectly righteous, brings peace to those who respond to the gospel, and is the ultimate “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Melchizedek was a priest-king. This was impossible under the Levitical standards. As to Jesus, the prophet said: “…it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices” (Zech. 6:13, NASB).

Robert Turner provides an excellent summary of how the Hebrew passage solves the puzzle and makes the Melchizedek narrative practical:

The Hebrew writer’s applications are: (1) this superiority calls for a change of priests (v. 11); and (2) that necessitates a change of law (v. 12). Jesus was of the tribe of Judah and could not be an Aaronic priest (vv. 13-14); but like Melchizedek; (3) His position does not depend on a temporary covenant, but on an “endless life” (vv. 15-17); (4) He offers better hope of drawing nigh to God (vv. 18-19); (5) He was made Priest with an oath of God (vv. 20-21); hence is, (6) surety of a better testament (v. 22); (7) Aaronic priests died and had to be replaced, but Christ “ever liveth to make intercession” (vv. 23-25); (8) Unlike sinful priests who must offer for their own sins, this High Priest is holy and undefiled (vv. 26-27); (9) He offered the perfect sacrifice (v. 27), and (10) is consecrated for evermore (v. 28).

There are broader effects of Christ as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. If we claim Him as our present High Priest, we must recognize His present Kingship (Zech. 6:12-13). This demands a spiritual, not an earthly, kingdom (Col. 1:13). All saints compose His “holy” and “royal” priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9) with direct access to the throne of God through Him (Heb. 4:14-16) (Turner, 20).

Now, having the facts above well-discovered, what am I to do with this? How do we take this data, this argument, and make it practical in our lives? There are two words in the course of the Hebrew exposition of Melchizedek. These two words express what all of this means to us, found in Hebrews 5:9. Jesus, our great High Priest, “being made perfect… became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Two words: Obey Him!

Sources:

McClister, David. A Commentary on Hebrews. Temple Terrace, FL: Florida College Press, 2010.

Turner, R. F. “Christ’s ‘Melchizedek’ Priesthood.” Christianity Magazine 8.12 (Dec. 1991) 20.

Author Bio: Warren has worked with the Laurel Heights church of Christ in McAllen, Texas for 28 years. He and his wife, Paula, have three children, and eight grandchildren. His website is warrenberkley.com. He can be reached at warren@warrenberkley.com.

— Via Truth Magazine, No. 4, Volume 62, April 2018

https://truthmagazine.com/kindle/2018/2018-04-apr/08_Monthly_Theme_Lesson_04.htm

——————–

-2-

Prayer

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Prayer_050122.mp4

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

Today at 5 p.m. we will be having our first-Sunday-of-the-month song service. Let us each be there to make a joyful noise unto the Lord and build one another up with spiritual songs!  (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.


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

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


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Four Anchors of Life (Gordon J. Pennock)
2) Cultivating the Soil (Heath Rogers)
3) An Acrostic from the Word “Messiah” (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Four Anchors of Life

Gordon J. Pennock

The shipwreck of Paul and his company as they were enroute to Rome is recorded in the 27th chapter of Acts. This was but one of the many harrowing experiences he suffered in his service to Christ. Of course, the sailors did all in their power to prevent a disaster, but without avail. When doom seemed inevitable they finally “let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for the day” (Acts 27:29).

Apparently this ship was well prepared for trouble. Four trusty anchors weighed at the stern. These were needless and useless when the weather was fair and the going was good. But what a blessing they proved to be when the tempests blew and the vessel was threatened upon the rocks of the Melita coast.

Human souls, like ships, are riding upon the “sea of life.” Our course is set and we are making our way toward the distant shore. For most of us the weather is fair, the sea is calm and the sailing is smooth. But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it will always thus be. Somewhere upon the sea of life there is always a storm raging and a tempest blowing. In every tempest and in every storm, ships are rolling and tossing. Some will outride the storm and finally drop anchor in “The haven of rest,” while others will break up upon the waves and the rocks and go down to despair and ruin.

Surely, for us the question is not, shall we sail the sea of life? Sail it we must. Neither is it a question of whether or not we will encounter storms. They are inescapable. The urgent question is this: Do we, like the ship upon which Paul sailed, have trusty anchors waiting and ready to do their work when the need arises.

There are four anchors with which every human vessel needs to be equipped. The first one is an unfaltering

Faith in God and In The Bible As His Word

Without faith in God, “it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Heb. 11:6). The remainder of this chapter gives example after example of men who lived and triumphed by unfaltering faith in God. And where there is real faith in God, there is faith, trust and confidence in His word. Such will believe and obey everything that the Bible records or enjoins upon them. They will abide in its teaching and refuse to go forward upon the wisdom of men, regardless of how celebrated they may be. Although our feeble minds may stagger at the profundity of His teaching, or even its simplicity, let us believe it and be governed by it. Where faith is as it should be, there will be complete obedience to God. “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:26).

Prayer

Prayer is another anchor which may well stay us in the hour of trial. “Prayer is the power that moves the hand that moves the universe.” In prayer, the Christian speaks to God. No day should begin or close without it. His we are and Him we serve. Nothing short of presumption would allow us to live without prayer. Jesus, our example, taught that we “ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Read Luke 18:1-8. Truly, “more things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreams of.”

A Good Conscience

Paul exhorted young Timothy to hold “a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith” (I Tim. 1:19). Certainly, to discard or overlook this anchor is disastrous. Honesty of heart and sincerity of purpose are indispensable. The one who knows the truth, but holds it not with a good conscience is condemned in the sight of God. Neither, of course, can sincerity and conscientiousness approve one before God if it is not related and devoted to the truth of God. Let us continually rely upon God’s word to teach us the truth, and having learned it, let us hold to it with a good conscience.

Hope

Another anchor is that of hope — a hope that is confident that God will keep his promises. We have “strong encouragement” in that God’s counsel is unchangeable and that it is impossible for Him to lie. His promises concerning the future can be entertained with the same certainty with which we believe the happenings of the past. This blessed hope is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19). The winds and the waves may roar; our frail vessels may toss and tumble in the tempest, but if “we have our hope set on the living God,” then we will outride the storm and finally land in the “glory land.”

My fellow voyager, how are your anchors? You had better check them and be sure that they are in place and ready for a time of trouble. You will need them before the voyage is ended.

— Via Truth Magazine I:11, pp. 1, 20, August 1957, https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume1/TM001098.htm
——————-

-2-

Cultivating the Soil

Heath Rogers

The Parable of the Sower presents us with four different kinds of soils – the wayside soil, stony ground, thorny soil, and good soil (Matt. 13:3-9). These soils represent four different kinds of hearts into which the word of God can fall (vs. 18-23). This parable is a good explanation for why some people don’t respond to the gospel, or why some respond but don’t remain faithful. We see people walk away from the gospel call or fall away from the Lord and know the truths shown in this parable apply to them.

I want us to consider the fact that both soils and hearts can be changed.

The wayside heart is the hardened heart that is not ready to receive the word of God. Hearts can be broken and made receptive to the word. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12, emphasis mine – HR). Plowing and tilling slices and beats the ground apart. It is a harsh process. Often it takes a traumatic event to break apart a wayside heart, but it can be done.

The stony heart is shallow. It receives the word with joy but has no room for it to grow and develop. We can avoid and overcome emotional impulsiveness by counting the cost (Luke 14:25-33). A contractor knows that not every day is going to be a ribbon cutting ceremony. Many days involve backbreaking work.

People who fail to read the fine print and hurriedly sign a contract are often the ones who want out of it when things go bad. The ones who take their time and find out what they were getting into are more likely to stick with it. We need the emotion of the stony heart, but we also need the depth of character to honor our commitments.

The thorny heart is crowded and preoccupied. It receives the word but has no room or resources to spare for needed growth and development. The “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word” (Matt. 13:22).

There is nothing wrong with having cares, riches, pleasures, and desires. The problem is when we allow them to take over our hearts. When we put first things first (Matt. 6:33), we become better listeners and are more willing to make application of the things we hear.

The good heart is one that is receptive, deep, and uncrowded. Such a person “hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matt. 13:23). We all want to have the good and honest heart.

However, good hearts can change for the worse. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:12-13).

What kind of heart do you have? The hard heart can be softened, the shallow heart can be deepened, and the crowded heart can be cleared. Do some soil inspecting and make the changes you find are needed. If you have a good heart, don’t grow weary in doing good. Keep your heart with all diligence and continue to bear fruit with patience.

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, April 2022
——————–

-3-

An Acrostic from the Word “Messiah”

Tom Edwards

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

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Messiah_042422.mp4


——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Jim Lively had another bad fall on his right leg Sunday morning. It is the same leg that much skin had sloughed off from a fall a few weeks prior and had not healed up yet. So he has been having some pain with that.

Donald Sears recently saw his doctor. Though the blood work shows no sign of cancer, yet he does have a spot near the surgery site in his neck that could possibly develop into cancer. So that will be treated with radiation to eliminate it. Now that his nerves are working better than right after the surgery, he has been feeling much pain.

June Peters will soon begin radiation treatments for her cancer.

Alex Cornelius has completed his rehab, but is still having pain, following his accident.

Rick Cuthbertson’s recent scans show that he has not developed any more tumors. Plus there has been a shrinkage with the ones he does have. Also, the last 3 weeks of treatment has him feeling much better than the 3 previous weeks that had him on a higher dosage.

Though Ronnie Davis has to continue on oxygen 24 hours a day, yet he is also making some improvement!

Let us also continue to remember the following in prayer: Rex Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.

Next Sunday at 5 p.m., we will have our first-Sunday-of-the-month song service.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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

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


 


The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) Verdict of the Resurrection (Ray Madrigal)
2) The Importance of the Lord’s Resurrection (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Verdict of the Resurrection

Ray Madrigal

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict? In these closing statements, I will briefly summarize the evidence that you are asked to weigh. Since this case is one of history, I shall appeal the Verdict on the Resurrection to the primary historical documents. We shall hear the testimony of competent, reliable witnesses of the highest moral character — individuals who would rather die than lie. The case before us: The people [of God] vs. Mr. Cynic concerns the reality of the resurrection of Jesus and demands your most diligent attention.

Four Core Facts

In formulating this case for the defense (Phil. 1:7,17), I am, above all, overwhelmed. Evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus is more than sufficient to convince any unbiased jury. I trust that you will examine the evidence in an objective manner. For the sake of clarity as well as brevity, I shall not appeal to the great bulk of evidence which supports the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Rather, I will focus on four undeniable facts. Let me remind the court that these four facts are verified and confirmed by virtually all authorities in the fields of history, archaeology, and biblical research. While these scholars do not agree as to the meaning and significance of these facts, the facts themselves are indisputable. It remains up to you, good men and women of the jury, to reach a verdict.

Just as there are four indisputable facts surrounding the events of the case before us, there are also four theories of interpretation. I will discuss each of these, in turn, as we examine the four facts (see Chart).

Fact One: Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion

Although several prejudiced naturalists have proposed theories suggesting that Jesus did not actually die on the cross (The Swoon Theory), but only faked death, such an hypothesis does not hold up under a careful examination of the evidence. The record indicates that Jesus did, in fact, die from the effects of crucifixion (Jn. 19:31-34). According to David Strauss (A New Life of Jesus, 1879) and a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Society, Jesus probably died of asphyxiation long before his body was pierced by the Roman soldier.

Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear thrust between his right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge (JAMS, March 21, 1986).

Are we to believe that Jesus merely faked death in light of this evidence? Yet for the sake of argument, let us suppose that Jesus was able to convince his disciples, Pilate, the soldiers and the Jews that he was dead. Could he, in such a weakened condition, untie over one hundred pounds of linen cloth and burial ointments (Jn. 19:39)? Could he roll away the huge stone from this newly cut tomb (Matt. 27:60-61) and escape past the Roman guards? If so, what condition would he be in? Would his battered, tattered, and weary body convince his disciples of a victory over death? Lest you remain undecided, kind jury, let us examine the second fact.

Fact Two: Experiences of the Disciples

It is precisely here at this second point that we have an abundance of testimony. Post-resurrection appearances are documented in no less than twelve separate occasions. Below is a list of these appearances in chronological order:

(1) To Mary Magdalene (Jn. 20:14; Mk. 16:9)
(2) To several women (Matt. 28:9-10)
(3) To Peter (Lk. 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)
 + (4) To the two on Emmaus Road (Lk. 24:13-33, 43)
(5) To ten apostles [without Thomas] (Lk. 24:36 43; Jn. 20:19-24)
(6) To eleven apostles (Jn. 20:26-29)
+ (7) To seven at Tiberias Lake (Jn. 21:1-23)
 + (8) To eleven at Great Commission (Matt. 28; Mk. 16)
(9) To over 500 brethren (1 Cor. 16:6)
+ (10) To James (1 Cor. 15:7)
 (11) To the apostles at the Ascension (Acts 1:3-12)
(12) To Paul (Acts 9;22;26; 1 Cor. 15:8)

The court should also acknowledge the following summary statements about these appearances (Acts 1:8,22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:22). Another naturalistic theory postulates that these witnesses were merely suffering from hallucinations. Yet this, too, goes against modern psychiatric research which concludes that two or more people cannot share a common hallucination. Eight of these twelve post-resurrection appearances were witnesses by more than one party. Also, the psychological preconditions for hallucinations are lacking. Another important point to notice, ladies and gentlemen, is the nature of these appearances. The record will show that these witnesses made use of three empirical faculties in witnessing to these appearances: sight, sound and touch. Both Mary and Thomas touched Jesus’ resuscitated body (see 1 John 1:1-2). Not to mention the fact that Jesus ate and digested food with his disciples on at least four difference occasions (see + above)! Let me ask you once again, have you reached a verdict?

Fact Three: Disciples’ Remarkable Transformation

Perhaps the very first theory proposed attempting to refute the reality of the resurrection is the Conspiracy Theory (or Fraud Theory). This theory maintains that the disciples allegedly stole the body, hid it and subsequently conspired to lie about it. Yet this hypothesis, as all the others, does not stand the test of even the most simple examination. Given the facts of the case, it is highly unlikely that anybody stole the body. In the first place, the Jews made careful precautions to prevent the success of possible body-snatchers (Matt. 27:62-66). Secondly, the Roman guard assigned to secure the tomb also witnessed the events of that resurrection morning (Matt. 28:11-15). Notice that the chief priests of the Jews bribed the soldiers to lie and guaranteed their safety should the Roman governor hear about it (Matt. 28:14).

In light of these historical facts, the fraud theory falls flat! The burden of proof rests upon the prosecution: those who would defame the character of these outstanding witnesses and deny the gospel claim of Jesus’ resurrection. Would liars become martyrs? The New Testament records the subsequent suffering and death of many of these early witnesses (Acts 4:13,19-20; 5:28-32,40-2; 7:57f; 8:1-3; 12:2; Jn. 21:19; Rev. 1:9). No naturalistic theory accounts for the utter and remarkable transformation of these whiny, wimpy disciples into bold proclaimers of the risen Christ. The only reasonable explanation of this fact is that these men and women actually had seen, heard and touched the risen Jesus (see 1 Jn. 1:1-2). Suffering, shame or even death did not matter to them.

Although by now the truth must be most apparent to you, let us proceed to the fourth fact (which readily expands on the third fact).

Fact Four: The Experience of Paul

You have been most kind to listen to three lines of evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. I will but mention one more. The conversion of Saul of Tarsus began with a well-documented appearance of Jesus on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus (Acts 9, 22 and 26). Here we find a most zealous Pharisee engaging in an expanding persecution of the Christian movement when he, too, encounters Christ. Paul first relates this experience to the Galatians (1:16-18) and later testifies to the Corinthians (15:3-8).

You will remember, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that Paul suffered terrible things for this cause (2 Cor. 11, cf. extra-biblical sources report that he was beheaded for his testimony; see also 2 Tim. 4:6-8). Why did this man change? What motivated this remarkable transformation of life? Only a literal resurrection can account for the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul.

Conclusion

While we could explore the evidences of the Christian community [the church], the monuments of the Lord’s day, the Lord’s supper, baptism and the Bible itself, we have focused our attention on only four facts. These four historical realities are conclusive evidences for the resurrection. Nevertheless, the decision is yours, ladies and gentlemen. Have you reached a verdict?

— Via Guardian of Truth XXXV: 7, pp. 208-209, April 4, 1991 

https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume35/GOT035105.html
——————-

-2-

The Importance of the Lord’s Resurrection

Tom Edwards

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

http://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Resurrection_041722.mp4
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

The Oakgrove church of Christ in Jennings, Florida, is having a gospel meeting this week (April 17-22) with Emerson Brown as the guest speaker.  The church meets at 2922 NW 76th Terrace, Jennings, FL 32053.

Folks to remember in prayer, due to their health:

Rex Hadley, June Peters, Alex Cornelius, Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Donald Sears, Ronnie Davis, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Classand 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) The Apostles on the Stand (L.A. Mott, Jr.)
2) Being a Church Alive Unto God (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

The Apostles on the Stand

L.A. Mott, Jr.

After reviewing the case for the resurrection of Christ which had been set forth in Corinth and received by the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 15:1-11), Paul’s next step was to show the Corinthians what their faith in the resurrection of Christ forces them also to accept: “Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (v. 12). This question contains the first reference to this “some” in Corinth who denied the resurrection and shows what Paul has been aiming at in the first eleven verses of the chapter. Now he is ready to use the resurrection of Christ as the foundation of his argument for a general resurrection. How can one say there is no resurrection if Christ has been raised?

In the second paragraph of First Corinthians, chapter 15, Paul enumerates the consequences that necessarily and logically follow from the position of those who say there is no resurrection. If there is no resurrection then Christ has not been raised, and two sets of logical deductions inevitably follow. The first series of deductions is set forth in verses 13-15 and may be summed up in a brief statement: The apostles are lying witnesses. Second set of deductions is set forth in verses 16-19 and amounts to this: Salvation in Christ is a delusion. These are the inevitable consequences of the denial of either the resurrection in general or the resurrection of Christ in particular. The denier should be prepared to swallow all the consequences of his denial or else he must give it up. He has no other choice.

In a former article an elaboration of the various elements in Paul’s case for the resurrection of Christ was offered. The case is mainly built upon the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and others who claimed to have seen Jesus alive “after his passion” (Acts 1:3, ASV). That case was convincing to many thousands of people in the ancient world, even in the city of Jesus’s death and burial where the best possible opportunity for examining the evidence was present. Otherwise the church would never have come to birth.

The case also seemed strong to many in the modern world when they have considered the alternative to admitting the resurrection of Christ. The logical consequences of denying the resurrection of Christ are the same now as they were in the first century. And one who denies the resurrection should understand the consequences which he is logically bound to accept. He must start by calling the apostles liars and branding the apostolic testimony as perjury. Unless he is prepared to swallow this pill he cannot deny the resurrection of Christ. Paul put it this way:

“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised. and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised” (1 Cor. 15:13-15).

When one reads the Acts of the Apostles he sees them declaring from the beginning in Jerusalem and then wherever they went thereafter that Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead and that they were witnesses to the fact (cf. Acts 2:22-24,32; 3:14-15; 4:10, 19:20; 10:39-41). Now either Jesus really was raised from the dead, or the apostles were liars and the whole Christian movement was a hoax.

It will not do to say that the apostles were themselves deluded or mistaken. A close examination of their testimony will clearly reveal the impossibility of this explanation. Consider what they were saying:

We ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. We examined His body. We saw His hands and His feet where the nails had been driven. We saw His side which had been pierced by the spear (Luke 24:36-43; John 20: 19-29; Acts 10:39-41).*

Someone may doubt the fact to which the apostles testified. But surely it is impossible to doubt that they knew whether their testimony was true. There is no escape from the conclusion: If Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead the apostles were deliberate liars. Are you ready for that conclusion? Let me show you what a bitter pill that will be to get down.

The person who charges the apostles with perjury must ask himself what motive they had for such a hoax. That becomes an exceedingly difficult inquiry when it is realized that every selfish motive and every worldly advantage lay on the side of the denial rather than the affirmation of the resurrection. Consider the trouble and hardship the apostles brought upon themselves by their insistence upon the resurrection. “We are made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things, even until now,” wrote Paul (1 Cor. 4:13). “Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour? I protest by that glorying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:30- 31). “For whom I suffered the loss of all things” (Phil. 3:8).

These are statements from Paul. But the same was true of the other apostles. One should especially weigh the fact that the prime movers in the earliest persecutions were the Sadducees, who “say there is no resurrection” (Acts 23:8), and that the reason for their opposition was the insistence of the apostles upon the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 4:1-2). The apostles were threatened; they were imprisoned like common criminals; they were whipped; they “hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26), in fact they finally gave their lives. James the brother of John was killed with the sword. Then one by one all the others, with the exception of John, went to a martyr’s death for the Lord. They would give their lives for Christ. But one thing they would never do. Not one of them would ever recant his testimony.

So, here is the situation. The person who denies the resurrection of Christ is logically forced to believe that the apostles to a man were ready to suffer all the abuse and persecution that a hostile world could heap upon them, even unto death—all for a lie that they knew all the while to be a lie.

If you think you can get that pill down without suffering intellectual indigestion, then go ahead and swallow it. But I must say that your position seems irrational to me. I believe the apostles told the truth. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is living now. Christianity is not founded upon fable but upon fact—fact historically attested by evidence that is strong indeed.

Christ is alive! You better believe He is alive. He is coming again to judge the world. One day He will be your judge. But He wants to be your Savior now. Will you let Him?

Vanguard 1.22 (Nov. 27, 1975): 16-18 (electronic version)

Footnote by Kyle Pope:

* I am aware of an assumption here—namely, that this testimony is not something invented by the authors of these books but is a true record of the actual testimony of the apostles. But that assumption will be readily granted by the reader when he realizes that the author of the Gospel of John was himself one of the apostles and that all the scholarly investigations of Luke and Acts have shown that the author was at great pains to get his facts right. I believe most all the classical scholars who have investigated the latter will agree with their colleague Sir William Ramsay who wrote early in the Twentieth Century: “The present writer takes the view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness” (The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, Hodder and Stoughton: New York, 1915, p. 81). And: “Luke is a historian of the first rank. . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians” (ibid., p. 222).

— via Faithful Sayings, Volume 23, Issue 52 (December 26, 2021)
——————–

-2-

Being a Church Alive Unto God

Tom Edwards

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

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

——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Rex Hadley seems in good spirits, but is very weak.  Though he is on oxygen continually, he still has shortness of breath.  He has lost his appetite, along with some weight; and eating some certain foods makes him feel sick.  About a week ago, he began hospice care at his home.

June Peters will soon begin radiation treatments for the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Alex Cornelius has been in Savannah, due to an ATV accident. He is making some improvement.

Rick Cuthbertson will be having scans next week to find out the latest on his cancer.

Pat Joyner’s leg is in a temporary brace, but she continues with rehab to help toward her mobility. 

Initially, Donald Sears was told that he would be in the  hospital 3 to 4 days after his surgery on Wednesday. But he did so well, he was back home in about 24 hours! The biopsy indicated that all the cancer (which turned out to be stage 1) was eliminated.

Let us also be remembering in prayer Ronnie Davis, A.J. Joyner, Myrna Jordan, Jim Lively, Doyle Rittenhouse, Tammy Griffey, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

We will resume our Wednesday class on June 1 at 7 p.m.

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

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

The Gospel Observer

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

Contents:

1) “Since There Was a Nation” (Kyle Pope)
2) The A.D. 70 Doctrine (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
 ——————–

-1-

“Since There Was a Nation”

Kyle Pope

In Daniel chapter 11, God revealed to Daniel conditions that would exist in the period between the Old and New Testaments. It addresses the rise of “the realm of Greece” (Dan. 11:2). Prophetically, Daniel was told about the rise of Alexander the Great and the division of his kingdom among his generals following his death. In great detail, this prophecy shows how Israel would become caught in the power struggles between the Seleucids in Syria (to the north) and the Ptolemies in Egypt (to the south). It is so detailed that it has led some liberal scholars to argue it must have been written during the time of the events described and then added to the older sections of Daniel. We reject that conclusion and consider it to be inspired revelation and powerful evidence of Divine foreknowledge.

Part of this prophecy addresses the brutal persecution of the Jews that occurred when the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, surnamed Epiphanes, controlled Palestine (175–164 BC). This persecution is addressed immediately before chapter 12, where Daniel is told: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1b, NKJV). This is followed by one of the most explicit descriptions of the future resurrection in the Old Testament. It reads: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2). This echoes the future post-death deliverance promised to those faithful to the “holy covenant” (11:30) during the persecution in chapter 11: “those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end” (Dan. 11:35). Daniel himself is promised that he will arise to his inheritance at “the end of the days” (12:13).

What is it about this persecution that would lead the Holy Spirit to describe it as “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation”? Let’s consider what we know about this horrible time.

The Jewish Persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes

The persecution prophesied in Daniel 11 and fulfilled in the period between the Testaments was of a much different nature than anything Israelites had experienced prior to that time. The temple was not destroyed, nor were the walls of Jerusalem torn down, but it was an attempt to exterminate the Jewish religion in a way never seen “since there was a nation.” Early on, the influence of the Greeks had led to the building of a gymnasium in Jerusalem causing many Jewish men to forsake “the holy covenant” and live as Gentiles. Some literally made themselves “uncircumcised” in some way to participate naked in these athletic contests (1 Macc. 1:14-15). When Antiochus IV took the throne, he was given the surname, Epiphanes, meaning “illustrious” but his extreme behavior led some of his own people to change his surname to Epimanes “madman” (Livy, History of Rome 41.19). That was certainly an apt description of him in his treatment of the Jews. Following a failed effort to conquer Egypt, falsely believing there was a revolt among the Jews, he assaulted Jerusalem:

“Then there were massacres of young and old, destruction of women and children, slayings of virgins and infants. Within the total of three days eighty thousand were destroyed, forty thousand in hand-to-hand fighting, and as many were sold into slavery as were killed” (2 Macc. 5:13-14, NETS).

This toll of death and deportation is much higher than the biblical record reveals to us even during the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC. But that was only the beginning! Antiochus himself went into the temple, took away the altar, the lampstand, the table of shewbread, the veil, and the “crown” with the gold and silver vessels, and 1,800 talents (1 Macc. 1:21-24; 2 Macc. 5:15-16, 21). His slaughter was not isolated to Jerusalem:

“Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were; So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed.  Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness, the land also was moved for the inhabitants thereof, and all the house of Jacob was covered with confusion” (1 Macc. 1:25-28, KJV).

Antiochus commanded one of his officers, Apollonius, with a force of 22,000 to kill those “in their best age” and to sell the young and women (2 Macc. 5:24). During later incursions, Jerusalem was further plundered and set on fire with houses and walls pulled down “on every side” (1 Macc. 1:31). The oldest portion of Jerusalem, known as the City of David, was seized and made a citadel for the forces of Antiochus.

In addition to this spoil and slaughter, the focus soon shifted to a direct attack on the faith of the Jews. Daily sacrifice at the temple was stopped for three and a half years (Josephus, Wars of the Jews 1.1). The temple was dedicated to Jupiter with unclean sacrifices and sexual immorality practiced within its courts (2 Macc. 6:2-5). Observance of the Sabbath and Jewish festivals were prohibited with those who disobeyed being put to death (2 Macc. 6:6, 9). Some who hid in caves to observe the Sabbath were found and burned to death all together (2 Macc. 6:11). Circumcision was forbidden and women who let their children be circumcised were publicly killed with their babies hanging around their necks (2 Macc. 6:10; 1 Macc. 1:60-61). All Hebrew Scriptures that could be found were burned and anyone found with any portion of the Scriptures was put to death (1 Macc. 1:56-58). Pagan shrines were erected all throughout Palestine and Jews were compelled to practice pagan worship. The historical books of 1 and 2 Maccabees record the details of this horrific time. Chapters 5-7 of 2 Maccabees read like a portion of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs describing those tortured and killed for refusal to eat pig’s flesh and obey these ungodly commands.

The reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes was brief, and the Jews were eventually delivered from those trials by the rise of a Jewish resistance led by Judas Maccabeus. Yet this time was so traumatic in Jewish history it came to be commemorated annually by the Jews (including Jesus) as the “Feast of Dedication” (John 10:22) or Hanukkah. It involved a level of persecution of the Jewish faith unequalled “since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1b). It is worth noting that Josephus in his Wars of the Jews, the primary source for what we know about the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, does not begin with an account of the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC but with an account of the persecution of Antiochus IV Epiphanes that had been prophesied by Daniel.

Conclusion

Paul told Timothy, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Thanks be to God that Christians living today in this country do not have to suffer the type of persecution these faithful souls faced centuries ago. While we pray that this time of peace and freedom of worship will continue, may God grant us the courage, faith, and strength of conviction that if conditions should ever change, we too could remain faithful to the “holy covenant” we enjoy in Christ. If so, we like them can have the same kind of assurance the Lord gave to the saints in Smyrna: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10b, KJV).  

— Via Faithful Sayings, Volume 24, Issue 5 (January 30, 2022)
 ——————–

-2-

The A.D. 70 Doctrine

Tom Edwards

Just click on the following link for the video sermon with the above title:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/AD_70_Doctrine.mp4
 ——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Donald Sears had his PET Scan Tuesday and saw another doctor Friday.  He will meet with two of his doctors Monday to determine what procedures and treatments will be best for him.  So far, only two of the tumors are malignant; and the cancer has not spread elsewhere. 

Rick Cuthbertson had been feeling so bad since his last chemo treatment that after calling his doctor about it, he told him to come in for an unscheduled visit. Rick has also had trouble before with some of his cancer treatments.

Rex Hadley is now back home from rehab, after having a slight stroke.  He is doing better, but still a little weak.

Ronnie Davis is still having to use oxygen continually. His next scheduled doctor’s appointment is not until July.

Doyle Rittenhouse is scheduled to have more nerve blocks April 14, but will first be seeing his doctor March 30.

Let us also be remembering in prayer the following: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Tammy Griffey, Jim & Martha Lively, Deborah Medlock, Lois Fletcher, Vivian Foster, Danielle Bartlett, and Kim Rowell.
——————–

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, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

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

Sunday: 9 a.m.
Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.  We also have a Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

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

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

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2022

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑