The Gospel Observer (February 16, 2020)

“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) Why So Many Superlatives? (Wayne Goff)
2) Where Diligence is Needed (John Edwards)
3) News & Notes
——————–

star gazing

-1-

Why So Many Superlatives?
Wayne Goff

The New Testament seemingly is full of superlatives. For example, Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Really? “Exceedingly abundantly”? Isn’t that a little much? Well, that all depends on your concept of God. If your concept of God is rooted in the Bible’s revelation of Him, then no, that’s not a little much! In fact, even that superlative only scratches the surface of God’s power, might and ability. Friend, what is your concept of God?

God revealed His desire to help us beyond our wildest expectations in order that we might develop the deepest trust and confidence in Him, which in turn would lead to our eternal salvation. Absolute trust and confidence in God is essential to our faith. After all, didn’t Jesus, the Good Shepherd, promise in John 10:10 that “. . . I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (“Abundantly” comes from the same Greek word in both references.) The kind of life Jesus promises to those who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength is a life that far exceeds anything they could have otherwise. Isn’t that what you want? If so, then trust and obey Jesus!

While on earth, Jesus calmed the winds and waves on a tempestuous Galilee, which caused those who saw it to be “greatly amazed . . . beyond measure,” (Mk. 6:51, same word). God is a God of immeasurable wisdom, power and ability, so superlatives are the best way to describe Him.

“Awesome” is a word that often describes God in the Bible. Unfortunately the word has been marginalized from being over used to describe things that are not actually awesome. When God appeared to Jacob in a dream, he awoke and exclaimed, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” (Gen. 28:17). The place was awesome because God was there! Israel was told to put their trust in God because “. . . the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you” (Deuteronomy 7:21; see also Deut. 10:17; 28:58; Nehemiah 1:5; Ps. 47:2; etc.).  “Awesome” means “to fear, to revere; to cause to be afraid or full of dread.” This describes Jacob’s thoughts perfectly. One does not come into the presence of God and think anything else! “Holy and Reverend (Awesome) is His Name!” (Psalm 111:9).

The salvation procured for us through His mercy, by “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” has been “poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5-6). God saves us in a way that exceeds the need, but He desires to leave no doubt!

God determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18). God leaves no room for doubt in the work that He does to us and for us. If there is any doubt, it resides solely in our inability to believe in an Awesome God!  What should be the reaction of sinful man? “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7). You cannot ask for more than that!

— Via The Roanridge Reader, Volume 35, Issue 5, Page 2, February 2, 2020
——————–

2pe1_10

-2-

Where Diligence is Needed
John Edwards

The Scriptures stress the need for diligence, careful and persistent work or effort.

IN TEACHING OUR CHILDREN. Israel was instructed, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children . . .” (Dt. 6:7). How much effort do we put into teaching our children the words of the Lord, and to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and might?

IN COMMANDMENT KEEPING. Deuteronomy 6:17 says, “Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God . . . ”  Joshua exhorted, “But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law . . .”. (Josh. 22:5). King Artaxerxes decreed, “Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done . . .” (Ezra 7:23). We need that same fervor for doing what God commands today! The Psalmist said, “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently” (Ps. 119:4).

IN KEEPING THE HEART. Wisdom literature teaches, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). Moses appealed to the nation of Israel, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently . . .” (Dt. 4:9). It is the persistent effort of every individual to keep his heart!

IN SEEKING THE LOST. Remember the lost piece of silver? “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?” (Lk. 15:8). No doubt, there will be more rejoicing when there is more seeking!

IN SPEAKING AND TEACHING THE THINGS OF THE LORD. It is said of Apollos, “. . . he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord . . .” (Acts 18:25). Think how many would come to know the Lord if each of us would do this today!

IN FOLLOWING GOOD WORKS. Among “widow taken into number” requirements is the condition: “. . . if she have diligently followed every good work” (1 Tim. 5:10). The Christian is “. . . created in Christ Jesus unto good works . . .” (Eph. 2:10), to be “. . . zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

IN SEEKING GOD. God “. . . is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). It is true that, “if thou shalt seek the Lord, thou shalt find him” (Dt. 4:29). Paul preached, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him . . .” (Acts 17:27). Some may never find the Lord for lack of diligence in seeking! Will you?

IN LOOKING. The Hebrew writer admonished, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God . . .” (Heb. 12:15). If the notion of  “once in grace, always in grace” is true, why the admonition to look diligently? We do not want to “fail of the grace of God” for “by grace ye are saved” (Eph. 2:5)!

IN ADDING TO FAITH. Peter reminded disciples, “. . . giving all diligence, add to your faith . . .” (2 Pet. 1:5-7). Virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity are seven additions that require careful work. Diligent faith-adding is a must “. . . to make your calling and election sure” (v. 10)!

IN BEING FOUND BLAMELESS. Looking for new heavens and a new earth,   “. . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Pet. 3:14). How will we be found in the day of the Lord?

How about dedicating yourself to “abounding in all diligence” in this new decade (2 Cor. 8:7)?

— Via The Terre Haute Speaker, Volume 9, Number 1, January 5, 2020
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ann Vandevander (Melotine Davis’ sister-in-law) had another fall recently that required major, emergency surgery. She will be in the hospital for up to 60 days.

Emma Thomas (Bennie Medlock’s sister) had a stroke recently that has affected her speech. She has been transferred to a hospital in Savannah.

Jan Bartlett has started her 4 weeks of radiation treatments, 5 days a week.

Pat Joyner was recently in the hospital to intravenously receive an iron infusion. She might also have to have a bone marrow biopsy to check on her blood cell production.  With the iron deficiency and still recovering from her recent surgery, she had been physically weak.

Also: Rick Cuthbertson, A.J. Joyner, Rex & Frankie Hadley, John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (February 9, 2020)

“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 Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (David McClister)
2) News & Notes
——————–

Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III_2

-1-

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
David McClister

One of the most fascinating archaeological finds relating to the Bible is the Black Obelisk of Shalmanesser III. It is a four-sided column of black limestone inscribed with words (in the cuneiform alphabet) and pictures. The Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (who reigned 858-824 B.C.) had it made to record his achievements through the first 31 years of his reign. Austen Layard unearthed it in 1846 during his now-famous discovery of Nimrud (Calah), just south of the capital city of Nineveh. Shalmaneser’s monument was probably set up in a public place where people passing by could see it and take note of the king’s accomplishments. It was, in effect, the ancient Assyrian equivalent of a billboard. The obelisk stands about six feet tall and is now kept in the British Museum. Copies can be seen in other museums, such as the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

What is so amazing about this ancient monument is that it both mentions and depicts a person from the Bible. In the picture accompanying this article, which is a detail from one of the panels on the obelisk, the person bowing down is none other than Jehu, king of Israel, and the person before whom Jehu is bowing is the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. We are sure that this is indeed Jehu because of the inscription underneath the picture panel, which reads “tribute of Jehu son of Omri” (Jehu was not Omri’s physical son, but the word “son” is here used in the sense of “successor”). This is the only artifact from biblical times that contains a representation of a biblical character. While the picture is stylized and therefore probably not intended to be an accurate depiction of Jehu’s appearance, it is nonetheless striking.

A little background knowledge may help us understand the significance of this artifact. First, you may recall that Jehu was the man God chose to replace the wicked family of Ahab of the house of Omri. Elisha the prophet was commanded to anoint Jehu to be king over Israel in 1 Kings 19, and the command was carried out in 2 Kings 9 (841 B.C.). With the appointment as king came a command from God that Jehu destroy the house of Ahab. In this connection, Jehu is perhaps most remembered for killing the wicked queen Jezebel, the wife of Ahab and a Baal worshiper from Phoenicia. He also killed Joram, Ahab’s son who had taken the throne of Israel. Jehu was far from done, however. He killed Ahaziah, the king of Judah, and his relatives, and he killed the 70 sons of Ahab who lived in Samaria and put their heads in two piles at the city gate. Then, using trickery, he killed all the worshipers of Baal. This killing spree is sometimes called “the purge of Jehu.”

While we may be repulsed by all this bloodshed, it was God’s judgment upon the wicked house of Ahab, and it was just. God was pleased that Jehu carried out his orders (2 Kings 10:30). However, Jehu did not please God in everything. Jehu allowed the golden calves, set up by Jeroboam, to remain. He did much to bring Israel back to God, but he did not finish the job. Apparently Jehu did only enough to secure his position on the throne of the northern kingdom. For his failure to cleanse the kingdom of idolatry God allowed Israel’s enemy, the Syrians, to rise up against Israel. It is probably in the context of Jehu’s military problems that we should interpret Shalmaneser’s monument.

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III records an event that is not mentioned in the Bible. Nowhere does the Bible mention Jehu going before the king of Assyria and bowing down before him. However, there is every good reason to believe that Jehu did exactly this. When Jehu was anointed he was encamped at Ramoth-gilead (2 Kings 9:1-6), indicating that control of this border town between Israel and Syria was still being contested. The Syrians had another problem, however, and that was the rising military strength of Assyria directly to their east. In the same year that Jehu came to the throne in Israel (841 B.C.) the Assyrians marched westward into Syria. According to Shalmaneser’s records the Syrians suffered heavy losses, but we also know that Shalmaneser was not able to take Damascus. In this context there are at least three scenarios that would have prompted Jehu to bow down before the Assyrian monarch: (1) Jehu saw that Syria (which was a buffer between himself and Assyria) was losing the war with Assyria and that he would not be able to withstand the coming Assyrian advance, so he submitted to their superior military might in order to avoid conflict (which also left his enemy, the Syrians, alone to face the Assyrians), or (2) Jehu may have submitted to the Assyrians in return for help against the Syrians (cf. a somewhat similar tactic by king Asa in 1 Kings 15:17-22; but this is the least likely scenario), or (3) Jehu submitted when the Assyrian army finally pushed into northern Palestine (Shalmaneser says that he took tribute not only from Jehu, but from Tyre and Sidon as well). Either way, it seems that Jehu (wisely) never entered into any anti-Assyrian alliance with Syria and that he probably submitted to Assyria to keep his throne. This is what is being depicted on the obelisk — Jehu bowing before the king of Assyria, recognizing his power, and presenting his nation’s tribute payment.

The political effect of Jehu’s action would have been that while Jehu may have saved his kingdom from destruction (for the moment), he weakened his kingdom by obligating Israel to hefty annual tribute payments to Assyria. His capitulation to Assyria also increased Syria’s animosity toward Israel and the king of Syria, Hazael, apparently after the Assyrians withdrew, vented his anger against Jehu and captured all of Israel’s transjordan territory (2 Kings 9:32f). These negative effects only compounded the political crisis Jehu already faced. When he killed off the house of Ahab (including Jezebel), he lost favorable relations with the Phoenicians (Jezebel was a Phoenician), and the Moabites had already successfully rebelled from Israelite subjugation under Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:1) about ten years earlier, which meant that Moab’s tribute payments, which once boosted Israel’s economy, had ceased. So Jehu created enemies to his north, he lost his territories to the east, and had lost control of the Moabites to the south. It would not be until the reign of Jeroboam II that Israel would recover.

There are two brief lessons to consider. The first is about the historical trustworthiness of the Bible. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III proves that there really was a man named Jehu who was the king of Israel, just as the Bible says there was, and that he lived in the time period which the Bible reports. The name of Hazael, the king of Syria at that time — who is also mentioned in the Bible — also appears on the Assyrian king’s monument. The Bible’s stories are true, they really happened, and the biblical record is accurate.

The second lesson is a moral one, and has to do with our influence on the world around us, how others see us. I have always thought it regrettable that here we have an actual picture of a person in the Bible — and what is he doing? He is making a fool of himself! Here was the king of Israel. With God behind him, there was nothing he could not have accomplished. God would have fought for Israel, and Israel could have risen to great power and blessing. But Jehu took advantage of none of this. In times of trouble Jehu looked for human help rather than looking to God for help. This scene, carved in rock and preserved for all the world to see, makes me think about the influence that we, as God’s people today, should have. How do others see us? Do they see us like they saw Jehu — catering to the world and bowing down (figuratively) before worldly people, surrendering ourselves to them and their lifestyle? If all that ever remained of our lives in the records of the world was that we served the world instead of God, what kind of legacy have we left?

Whenever I see this panel from Shalmaneser’s monument, I am both happy and sad. I am happy to know that the biblical record has been proven to be true and accurate, but I am sad to see that it shows one of God’s people acting in a faithless way. Let us live so that we are not remembered like Jehu was.

– Via Truth Magazine, Volume XLV: 1, p10, January 4, 2001.
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Olivia McCarthy had strep throat last week, but is now doing better.

Natalie Mackey (Cheryl Corbitt’s granddaughter) had the flu recently, but is also now better.

Cheryl’s daughter Ashlee had her baby last Tuesday. His name is Khiree Isaiah. He and Ashlee are both doing fine.

Jan Bartlett is now having radiation treatments 5 days a week that will continue for four weeks.

Let us also keep the following in prayer: Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, A.J. and Pat Joyner, Rex & Frankie Hadley, John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, Ann Vandevander, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Brook & Kaydance Richardson, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (February 2, 2020)

“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) “Forgiving One Another” (R.J. Evans)
2) Translating the Bible into Life (Dennis Abernathy)
3) A Faith That Works (David Maxson)
4) Acts 1:1-3 (NASB)
5) News & Notes
——————–

Eph4_32b

-1-

“Forgiving One Another”
R.J. Evans

Forgiveness of sins is a central theme that runs throughout the entire Bible.  In fact, this is why Jesus came to earth and shed His blood for the whole world (1 Jn. 2:2).  This is why we read of all the bloody animal sacrifices in the Old Testament—”for without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).  But it was “not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:4).  Thus, Jesus, the Son of God, the perfect sacrifice, offered His body on the cross “once for all” (Heb. 10:10).  His ultimate sacrifice provided forgiveness for all those who lived faithfully before His death, and also for all of us who now live after the cross, who have obeyed His gospel for the forgiveness of our sins (Heb. 9:14-18).  No one can ignore or neglect gospel obedience, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).  Even after we have been baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), we still sin and need forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:8-10).  Therefore, if we continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).  And when He forgives us of our sins and lawless deeds, He assures us they are forgiven and forgotten forever—”I will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12).

Just as God, through His Son, has forgiven us, we must be willing to forgive those who sin against us.  Jesus taught that if we fail to forgive others, “neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).  Jesus went so far as to teach us that if someone sins against us “seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Lk. 17:4).

Indeed, forgiving others is often difficult.  How do we handle forgiving those who come to us in repentance?  Unfortunately, some Christians, unlike God, never forget.  They will continually dwell on it and make reference to what happened by making disparaging remarks about the offender.  Much like the old illustration: “They bury the hatchet, but leave the handle sticking out of the ground so they can go get it at any time and beat us over the head with it.”  Let us observe some practical suggestions that will help us after we have forgiven someone.

1. Pray for them (Matt. 5:44).  Ask God to help you love and pray for the offender.

2. Love and do good to the offender (Rom. 12:9).  Express love sincerely and genuinely, always seeking their welfare.

3. Don’t speak poorly of the offender (Rom. 12:14).  As the old adage goes, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.

4. Release them from your punishment (Rom. 12:17-19).  Stop giving them the silent treatment and keeping them at arm’s length.

5. Don’t celebrate their failures (Prov. 24:17).  Refrain from gloating, saying “I told you so” or having a mindset of “That’s what you get.”

6. Treat them the way you want to be treated (Matt. 7:12).  When you do wrong and repent, you want grace and another chance.  Be willing to offer it to others when you get hurt.

7. Stop dwelling on the past (Isa. 43:18).  Hit the “delete” button of your heart—stop dwelling on old hurts.  Choose to replace them with focusing on good thoughts (Phil. 4:8, 13-14).

Yes, we are to forgive because God has forgiven us.  We close with this important and clear command: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

— via the Bulletin of the Southside church of Christ (Gonzales, Louisiana), January 19, 2020
——————–

2Cor3_2-3

-2-

Translating the Bible into Life
Dennis Abernathy

I read a story about four preachers who were discussing their favorite translations of the Bible. One preacher preferred the King James Version because of its beautiful language. The second preacher liked the American Standard Version best because it translates more literally the original Hebrew and Greek. The third preacher said that he preferred the New King James Version because of its up-to-date vocabulary. Finally, they asked the fourth preacher which translation of the Bible he liked best. He said, “I like my mother’s translation best.”

This surprised his fellow preachers, who asked if he was saying his mother translated the Bible into English. “No,” he said, “but she translated the Bible into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw.”

This little story reminds me of something else I read: “We are the only Bible the careless world will read. We are the sinner’s gospel, we are the scoffer’s creed. We are the Lord’s last message given in deed and word, what if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?”

People who claim to be Christians may be the only translation of the Bible some people ever see. Unfortunately, too many who claim to be Christians have very poorly translated the Bible into life. My friend, what kind of translation of the Bible are those around you seeing? Think on these things.

— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 17, Number 3, November 2019
——————–

1pet3_21

-3-

A Faith That Works
David Maxson

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it… And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:7, 13).
The argument is made that baptism is not necessary for salvation because it is a work, and we’re not saved by works. The scriptures clearly say we are saved by faith and not by works (Eph 2:8-10; Gal 2:16; Rom 4:4-5).

So, if this is true, what are we to do with passages which say that baptism saves us (1 Pet 3:20-21; Mark 16: 16; Acts 2:38; 22:16)? Can we not take these passages at face value? Are we missing something? Is the Bible contradicting itself?

I believe the answer is simple. Baptism is not the kind of work under consideration in the passages that contrast faith and works. On the contrary, baptism is considered in scripture to be an act of faith (Gal 3:26-27; Col 2:12; Mk 16:16; Rom 1:5). So, there is no contradiction at all between scriptures that say we are saved by faith, and scriptures that say we are saved through baptism. The inspired writers did not see faith and baptism as mutually exclusive. Baptism is an expression of our faith.

Just like the children of Israel sprinkled the blood of the lamb on their doorposts by faith (Heb 11:28), so we are “buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him THROUGH FAITH IN THE POWERFUL WORKING OF GOD, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).

Father God, help us to trust in you enough that we obey all of your commandments.

— via Daily Devotions, January 19, 2020
——————–

-4-

Acts 1:1-3

“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (NASB).
——————–

-5-
News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Rick Cuthbertson who has cancer of the liver and lung.

James Medlock who recently had a tube placed in his leg to improve circulation, which it does.  He also had a heart attack a few weeks ago.

A.J. and Pat Joyner who are both healing from procedures.

Rex & Frankie Hadley have been physically weak lately — and more so than they had been.

Jan Bartlett will begin her radiation treatments tomorrow.

Let us also continue to pray for the following: John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, Ann Vandevander, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Brook & Kaydance Richardson, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (January 26, 2020)

“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) Tradition and God’s Word (Doy Moyer)
2) Frequency of the Lord’s Supper (Billy Moore)
3) Mark 6:53-56 (NASB)
4) News & Notes
——————–

matt15_1-3

-1-

Tradition and God’s Word
Doy Moyer

Mark 7 tells one of the more well-known accounts of Jesus’ confrontations with the Pharisees. The Pharisees and some scribes had seen Jesus’ disciples eating with “impure” or unwashed hands. The tradition of the elders was that they were to wash their hands very carefully before eating, and then when they return from the market place they would not eat unless carefully cleaning themselves. Additionally, “there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.” So these Pharisees confronted Jesus about his disciples not doing this: “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” (v. 5)

Before considering Jesus’ answer, let’s note a few items. First, there is something good about keeping yourself clean. Washing hands before you eat is good practice; there was nothing inherently wrong here, and most of us would promote this as healthy practice. Second, tradition, in itself, is not the problem. It is simply something that is passed down to others. Tradition is unavoidable in many ways. Coupled with being clean in this context, tradition can be noteworthy and good. It is something we might all like to pass down to our children. Third, notice that the appeal of the Pharisees is the tradition. They did not ask about the disciples breaking the Law of God.

The essence of Jesus’ response is: first, He called these Pharisees hypocrites; second, He quoted Isaiah 29; third, He showed how they were placing their traditions above God’s commandments.

Isaiah 29 comes in the middle of a context in which Isaiah is rebuking God’s people for the sins of idolatry and apathy toward His covenant. The first chapter of Isaiah rebukes Israel for merely going through the motions without really desiring to please God. They were offering their sacrifices, but then they were going out and committing all kinds of evil. Ironically, Isaiah does tell the people to wash themselves and make themselves clean (Isa 1:16). However, his emphasis was not physical, but spiritual: “Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.” This was the way they were to clean themselves, and it is a far more important kind of washing than we can ever do with the hands.

In Isaiah 29, one of the phrases is this: “their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote” (v. 13). That is, the extent of their respect for God was, at best, learned tradition. That tradition was not in itself the Law. They appeared to care little for the Law itself, but were concerned about keeping a tradition in place even though it was not Law.

When Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, He was noting how they were neglecting the commandments of God for the sake of their traditions. Now here they were chastising others for failing to keep a tradition while they themselves were guilty of the violation of God’s commands. The beam in their eye was much larger than any speck in the eyes of the disciples of Jesus, who were not breaking God’s Law on this occasion.

Traditions are a part of life. We really cannot do without them. To one degree or another, all that we know is passed down. Railing against tradition just because something is a tradition is rather naive. Even the commands of God are traditions handed down to us (2 Thess 2:15).

How we act about these traditions may be another matter. Again, we must distinguish between traditions that are commandments of God and traditions that are handed down otherwise. If we put man-made traditions on par with, or even over, God’s word, then we are guilty of something very insidious. This is the point made in Isaiah 29:15-16. By putting their own traditions on par with God’s commands, they were essentially saying that they were God’s equal. They were guilty of pulling God down to their level and acting as though He did not have sufficient understanding of what they needed. They were smarter than God. If we think that breaking our own human traditions is on par with breaking God’s word, then we are guilty of bringing God down to our level. That’s serious business for which we need to repent.

Jesus illustrated how they had disrespected God by showing their neglect of the command to honor father and mother. They were more concerned about washing their hands than they were about caring for their parents. Talk about upside down! Yet, if we are not careful, we can fall into the same trap. Human traditions change, but what we receive from God’s word will never change. Let us be careful to make that distinction. Even more, let us always be careful to engage in God’s will over our own.

— Via Mind Your King
——————–

1cor11_25-26

-2-

Frequency of the Lord’s Supper
Billy Moore

As to the frequency of eating the Lord’s Supper, many have wrestled with this question. Since Acts 20:7 is the only reference of disciples coming together to eat the Lord’s Supper, it is the only reference to which we can appeal to establish frequency. We learn “what to eat” and “what to drink” from the words of Christ when he instituted it (Matt. 26:26-28) and in Paul’s reference to it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. The Acts 20:7 reference does, in fact, teach “how often” they came together to “break bread,” and it does so by a necessary inference, one of the three ways of teaching. I reach this conclusion based upon the following reasoning:

1. A thing that is to be observed annually must have both the month and day of the month for its observance. Example: your birthday. Or a Bible example would be Pentecost, the day following the seventh Sabbath after the Passover, which was an annual occurrence.

2. Anything that is to be done monthly must have a day of the month. Example: a house payment, or rent, due on the first day of the month.

3. That which is to be observed weekly need only have the day of the week. Example: the Sabbath day. The command was simply, “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” And since every week had a Sabbath day the people knew that it was a weekly observance. The local Lions’ Club has a sign in front of a restaurant which says: “Lions’ Club meets here, Friday at Noon.” It does not say “every Friday,” but all who read it will certainly reach that conclusion. Other clubs may meet twice a month and their sign may read: “Second and Fourth Friday at 12:00.”

If the Lord ’s Supper were not to be eaten each week, then who is to decide which “first day” of which week? Incidentally, everyone seems to understand that “upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store” (1 Corinthians 16:1,2) authorizes a weekly collection. The identical expression is used regarding the breaking of bread and it also necessarily infers a weekly observance.

— Via The Beacon, January 19, 2020
——————–

touched hem of garment

-3-

Mark 6:53-56

“When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured” (NASB).
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

On May 27, 2018, Rick Cuthbertson had surgery to remove cancer from his liver. It is now back. He still also continues to receive treatment for cancer in his lung.

James Medlock had a tube placed in his leg Friday in order to improve circulation to his foot, which it has. It was also detected that he had a heart attack — probably a couple weeks ago.  His first one.

A.J. Joyner also had a procedure performed last week and is now back home from that, but weak.  His wife Pat is still going through the healing process from her recent surgery and appreciates the thoughtfulness of folks who have brought food to them.

Let us also continue to pray for the following: John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, Ann Vandevander, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Melotine Davis, Jan Bartlett, Baxter Cribbs, Doyle and Joyce Rittenhouse, Brook & Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (January 19, 2020)

“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) An Introduction to Israel (Irvin Himmel)
2) Matthew 4:23-24 (NASB)
3) News & Notes
——————–

gen35_10-12
-1-

An Introduction to Israel
Irvin Himmel

There is much misunderstanding of what the Scriptures teach about Israel. This is due largely to two factors: (1) failure to read and study the Bible carefully; and (2) listening to preachers who speculate endlessly about prophecy and the role of Israel in the fulfillment of prophecy. This essay centers on some plain points that are set forth in the Bible.

The Man Israel

Jacob, a son of Isaac and a grandson of Abraham, was given the name Israel, and its first appearance in the Bible is in this connection. It was divinely revealed to Jacob, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Gen. 32:28). Later, God again said to Jacob,   “. . . Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel” (Gen. 35:10).

The name appears to signify “prince who prevails with God” or “he who strives with God.” Strong gives its meaning as “he will rule as God”; Gesenius as “warrior of God.” Jacob continued to be identified by his old name as well as by the name Israel. Some passages use both names. For example, “And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. And the time drew nigh that Israel must die . . .” (Gen. 47:28-29). “And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed” (Gen. 48:2).

The Family of Israel

Jacob had twelve sons, sometimes referred to as “the twelve patriarchs” (Acts 7:8). These men and their children collectively were called Israel or the children of Israel. “And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt . . . and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly” (Gen. 47:27). “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them” (Exod. 1:7). The twelve branches of Jacob’s family were known as “the twelve tribes of Israel” (Gen. 49:28; Exod. 24:4). The names of the members of Jacob’s family who came into Egypt from Canaan are listed in Genesis 46. They are said to be the names of the “children of Israel.”

Many years later, when Moses was sent to deliver the much-enlarged family of Jacob from Egyptian bondage, God told him to say to Pharaoh, “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn . . . Let my son go” (Exod. 4:22-23).

The Nation of Israel

Jehovah brought the descendants of Jacob out of the land of Egypt and formed them into a nation. They were promised and given the land of Canaan as their inheritance. God took “a nation from the midst of another nation” (Deut. 4:34) and used it to “eat up the nations” that were his enemies (Num. 24:8). The name Israel became a synonym for God’s nation. This is the nation that was foreseen when God promised Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation” (Gen. 12:2). David said to the Lord on one occasion, “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel?” (2 Sam. 7:23).

The nation of Israel is sometimes spoken of as the kingdom of Israel. When the people demanded a king to be like all the nations around them (1 Sam. 8), God instructed Samuel to anoint Saul to rule over them. After Saul became stubborn and rebellious, God rejected him. Samuel said to Saul, ‘The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day . . .” (1 Sam. 15:28). David was the next king. Following the death of David, “Solomon was king over all Israel” (1 Kings 4:1). At the time of the dedication of the temple, Solomon remarked, “I am risen up in the room of my father, and sit on the throne of Israel” (1 Kings 8:20). Solomon was chosen of God “to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel” (1 Chron. 28:5). “Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years” (2 Chron. 9:30).

Northern Kingdom of Israel

The nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms following the death of Solomon. Ten tribes were included in the northern kingdom, and two tribes made up the southern kingdom. The name Israel took on a narrower meaning, being the common designation for the northern kingdom as distinguished from the southern kingdom (Judah). To illustrate, 1 Kings 15:9 says, “And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.” Ahab was one of the worst kings to rule in the northern kingdom. Jezebel asked him, “Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel?” (1 Kings 21:7).

The prophet Amos wrote about the “transgressions of Judah” and the “transgressions of Israel” (Amos 2:4, 6). Jeremiah charged that “backsliding Israel” played the harlot, and her “treacherous sister Judah” did likewise (Jer. 3:6-11). During the period when the name Israel was applied in a more restricted sense, it sometimes referred to people of either the northern kingdom or the southern kingdom (Ezek. 13:4; Lam. 2:1-3).

Restored Israel

When a remnant of the Jews returned from exile to their homeland in the days of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, they had no king. Although commonly known as Jews, the name Israel was still used to designate the people collectively. The people who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem and kept the Passover are described as “the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity” (Ezra 6:21). When Ezra prayed and made confession on behalf of the people, there assembled unto him “out of Israel” a very great congregation (Ezra 10:1). Nehemiah 12:47 tells of some things done by “all Israel” in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah.

In the restoration period of their history, their land was popularly called Judah or Judea, and the people were known as Jews; nevertheless, they were still children or descendants of Israel. At the time of the birth of Jesus, Palestine still was called “the land of Israel” (Matt. 2:20-21).

Spiritual Israel

The New Testament applies the name Israel to the heirs of the spiritual promise made to Abraham and fulfilled in Christ. Paul reasoned, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children. . . . They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rom. 9:6-8). The children of the flesh are the physical descendants of Abraham; the children of the promise are the people who believe and obey Christ. Fleshly Israel, for the most part, rejected the promised Messiah. The true children of God are Abraham’s spiritual offspring.

Blood descent means nothing today, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart” (Rom. 2:28-29). The promise to Abraham reaches to Christ and spiritual heirs. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). The faithful in Christ are the true Israel of God (Gal. 6:16).

Some of the restoration prophecies of the Old Testament look beyond the return of a remnant to their homeland. They point to a more complete spiritual restoration through Christ and the gospel. Examples of such are found in Amos 9:11-15; Zech. 9:9-17; and Jer. 31:27-34. To skip over the historical fulfillment of the prophecies relating to the restoration of physical Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and to ignore the ultimate and more complete fulfillment of prophecies pertaining to the restoration of a spiritual remnant through the gospel of Christ, projecting all such prophecies to an imagined future grand, glamorous, and glorious kingdom of Israel on earth, ruled by Christ from David’s throne in Jerusalem, is a gross error. It is wrong to treat fulfilled prophecies as if unfulfilled. Care must be exercised to distinguish between physical Israel and spiritual Israel.

— Via Truth Magazine Vol. XLV: 8  p6  April 19, 2001
——————–

-2-

Matthew 4:23-24

“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them” (Matthew 4:23-24, NASB).
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Pat Joyner is now back home, following her surgery procedure and then about 10 days at the rehab hospital for physical therapy.

On May 27, 2018, Rick Cuthbertson had surgery to remove cancer from his liver.  It is now back.  He has also been continuing to receive chemo treatments for lung cancer.

Let us also continue to pray for the following: John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, Ann Vandevander, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Melotine Davis, Jan Bartlett, Baxter Cribbs, Doyle and Joyce Davis, Brook & Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation</big>

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (January 12, 2020)

“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) Proclaim His Excellence (Colby Junkin)
2) Right Attitudes for Faithfulness (Warren Berkley)
3) News & Notes
——————–

Eph3_20-21

-1-

Proclaim His Excellence
Colby Junkin

The greatest blessing ever bestowed upon mankind was salvation from the dreadful sickness of sin. It was sin that drove man away from the precious and intimate relationship that they had with God (Genesis 3:6-8). It was sin that took the greatest characters of the Bible and humiliated them for their weaknesses (2 Samuel 12:13; 16:5-14). It was sin, man’s complete abandonment of God’s will, that led entire nations into utter ruin and captivity (2 Kings 17:7-19; 21:10-15). It was sin and its selfish pride that motivated the Pharisees to hate a lowly Nazarene (John 11:57; Philippians 2:7). It was sin that placed the Son of God upon the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). It was sin that I have committed that caused my Jesus to die.

When we think about these things and the consequences of our sins, we should be motivated to better worship, praise, and honor of our King. The forgiveness that we obtain through God’s grace and the blood of Christ should move us to greater service and devotion to God. Our entire lives should be surrounded with constant reminders of the blessings that God has freely bestowed. We should be eternally thankful to our Creator.

In the second chapter of first Peter, Peter opened with similar ideas (2:1-3). If we have tasted the kindness of the Lord and understood the richness of His Word, then we should be stimulated to put off the life of this world by putting on Jesus Christ. Our lives on earth are temporary and but a vapor, but those who do the will of the Father will live forever (James 4:14; 1 John 2:17). Our weaknesses and sins that once controlled our hearts and minds should be repented of and driven completely out of our lives. We should not only raise our children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” but we ourselves should be trained by the glories revealed in the Bible.

Peter continued to strengthen his readers by compelling them to see the greater glories revealed in the church of our Lord. Peter instructed the Christians to remember that they “are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (2:4). These tasks, as spiritual priests, take us from the realm of this earth and exalt us to a greater and higher plane. Paul spoke of this place in the book of Ephesians and called it “the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). It is as if our entire lives are elevated from the physical pressures of this life, and we are given the opportunity to see heaven in the distance as we press onward to making our goal. We must learn to imitate the faith and heart of Abraham who confessed to be a stranger and pilgrim on this earth and by faith searched for the better country above (Hebrews 11:13-16).

Peter would ultimately conclude his thoughts with giving Old Testament descriptions to the New Testament Christian. Every individual Christian has been called to be a part of “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (2:9a). A Christian has been called by the gospel to live a life pleasing to God (2 Thessalonians 2:14; Ephesians 5:10). A calling that went forth from Jerusalem and can now be found in every part of the earth. This calling is not limited to nationality, race, sex, or culture, but rather it is open to all who will listen and obey. As Peter continued to say, “for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (2:10). Is there any greater blessing extended to mankind?

Finally, it is when we understand all of these great blessings that our hearts cannot contain our joy, but rather in praise we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out darkness into His marvelous light” (2:9b). We pour out our hearts in praise and exaltation to our Lord. As Peter said, “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1:8). Our lives have completely evolved from living day-to-day and being filled with selfish desires, to living for eternity and giving all praise to our God. Is your life given to proclaiming the excellencies of God, or are you still living in the darkness of sin?

— Via articles from the River Bend church of Christ, May 12, 2019
——————–

phil2_5b

-2-

Right Attitudes for Faithfulness
Warren Berkley

It is clear to every Bible student, you cannot be faithful to the Lord if your attitude is not in keeping with the teachings of Christ (Phil. 2:5; Col. 3:17). Attitude has to do with the content of your mind, your disposition and the control you exercise over your emotions.

The simple truth is, the New Testament is loaded with teaching, examples, prohibitions and warnings about attitude. This spiritually healthy instruction should be the basis of our discipline over our mind. Your attitude toward God is basic. All other phases of attitude are rooted in your attitude toward God. We must hold Him in the highest esteem, revere Him, worship Him and obey Him with wholehearted love and trust (Eccl. 5:1,2; Matt. 22:37; Rom. 12:1,2; Prov. 1:7).

Once your attitude toward God begins to weaken, all other phases of attitude will likely deteriorate. Let us be aware of this and constantly monitor our attitude toward God, seeking to enrich our relationship with Him. Your attitude toward Christ is a component of your attitude toward God. If God is your father, you will love His Son (Jno. 8:42). If you love God and want to obey Him, you will have a favorable and grateful acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ. You will regard Him as the perfect expression of Deity and humanity, the spotless Son of God who died in order for you to be free from sin and enjoy eternal life. Likewise, you will read and study about His attitude with the highest esteem, seeking to imitate Him in all your behavior.

Your attitude toward others develops out of your reverence for Deity. If you believe in God and follow His Son, your behavior toward others will be based on that. You will seek to do all God has said about how to treat people. You will study and follow the compassion of Christ, as well as His boldness in seeking to save the lost. His relationship to others becomes your pattern (see 1 Pet. 2:18-25).

Your attitude toward other members of God’s family will be suitable, in keeping with all that is written about such relationships. Peter teaches God’s people to “love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:22), and John taught extensively that “we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

Our attitude must endeavor to follow the pattern of unselfish humility demonstrated by our Lord (Phil. 2:1-5). Your attitude toward sin will be fitting. To remain right with God, it is necessary to maintain an abhorrence of sin (Rom. 12:9). If you court the favor of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God (Jas. 4:4). It is essential to arm yourself with “the same mind” or attitude Jesus had against sin and error (1 Pet. 4:10).

Your attitude toward life should be realistic and godly, not bitter and angry. If you murmur and complain about your life, and this becomes your habitual attitude – you cannot be what you should be! And when you get to this low state, you need to stop and recognize that the devil has seduced and maneuvered you into this state of constant anger and resentment. While you remain in this mood you cannot develop the love described in 1 Cor. 13:4-7, and you cannot grow and taste the kindness of the Lord (1 Pet. 2:1-3).

In the “beatitudes” (Matt. 5:3-12), the Lord addresses every phase or direction of attitude: Your attitude toward God (poor in spirit & hungering and thirsting after righteousness), your attitude toward yourself (meek), your attitude toward others (merciful), your attitude toward those who oppose you (vss. 10-13), and your attitude toward sin (mourn and purity in heart). Growth and faithfulness depends upon the constant development of these qualities.

— Via The Beacon, January 5, 2020
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Pat Joyner is feeling and sounding better. Tomorrow she will be transferred to the Rehab hospital near the airport.

Baxter Cribbs is healing from the hernia surgery he had last week and doing well.  On the 24th, he will be seeing his surgeon for a follow-up.

Myrna Jordan and Melotine Davis have not been feeling well lately.

Doyle Rittenhouse’s back is somewhat better, but he now has the virus that his wife Joyce still has.  She also has a bad cough along with her bronchitis.  They have been seeing the doctors and will do so again this Wednesday.

Let us also continue to pray for the following: John Bladen, Kelly Stoneheart, Ann Vandevander, the Medlock family, Jim Lively, Jan Bartlett, Rick Cuthbertson, Brook & Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services:9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (January 5, 2020)

“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) Written Revelation (Irvin Himmel)
2) Start the New Year with Daily Bible Reading!
3) News & Notes
——————-

Psalm19_7-8

-1-

Written Revelation
Irvin Himmel

God revealed Himself to man in the age of the patriarchs. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not left without a disclosure of the divine will. However, there was no written revelation in those days. With the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai, God began the utilization of writing to make known and preserve His revelation. The Ten Commandments were given on tables of stone, “written with the finger of God” (Ex. 31:18; 34:1). Moses wrote the words of the law in a book (Deut. 31:24). He wrote “all the words of the Lord” (Ex. 24:4). He wrote Israel’s journeys “by the commandment of the Lord” (Num. 33:2).

The Book of Moses

The writings of Moses have been copied, translated, and read through the centuries. Nehemiah lived about a thousand years after Moses. In the time of Nehemiah, “the book of Moses” was read in the ears of the people (Neh. 3:1). More than four hundred years later, the book of Moses was still being used. Jesus asked the Sadducees if they had not read certain things “in the book of Moses” (Mk. 12:26). On another occasion, Jesus said to some of the unbelieving Jews, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46, 47). After the Law of Moses was fulfilled and therefore no longer in force, some continued to read the writings of Moses and were trying to follow the Old Law. Several years after the establishment of the church, the apostles acknowledged in Acts 15:21, “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” Today we have the writings of Moses in the first five books of the Old Testament.

The Writing Prophets

God used many other servants to write His words during the Mosaic age. Samuel the prophet told the people the manner of the kingdom and “wrote it in a book” (1 Sam. 10:25). Isaiah was charged, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isa. 30:8). Jehovah said to Jeremiah, “Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book” (Jer. 30:2). Habakkuk was told, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it” (Hab. 2:2). Jesus Christ respected the Old Testament writings. He said to the disciples following His resurrection, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Lk. 24:44). The apostles honored the Old Testament writings. For example, Paul said, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

Apostolic Writings

God used the New Testament writers to reveal the Messiahship of Jesus, the plan of redemption, and the blessings of the kingdom. John said, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30, 31). John wrote to produce saving faith in the hearts of honest readers. Through the study of the apostolic writings we learn our duties to God. Paul said, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). New Testament writings give assurance to the faithful in Christ Jesus. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4).

These sacred writings can be understood. Paul told the Ephesians that he wrote, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3,4). He said to the church at Corinth, “For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end” (2 Cor. 1:13, New American Standard Bible). The Lord told John on the island of Patmos, “What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia” (Rev. 1:11). “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter” (Rev. 1:19). John did write those things, and he warned that we are not to add to, nor to take from, “the words of the book” (Rev. 22:18, 19).

Advantages

Written revelation has distinct advantages over oral communication. That which is put in written form is conducive to preservation. Written words can be read, studied, re-read, copied, translated, and analyzed with ease. No communication is more important than that which comes from God. Wisely, God has made known through the Scriptures all that we need for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). We thank God that He has unveiled His will in a manner that will stand the test of time, and a form that makes it readily accessible.

— Via Truth Magazine XIX: 32, p. 498, June 19, 1975
——————-

-2-

Start the New Year with Daily Bible Reading!

A good way to start the new year is with daily Bible reading!  And various schedules are made available on the Internet, which can help you to also keep track of your progress.

Pick out the schedule of your choosing: Read from Genesis through Revelation, or from the Old and the New Testaments each day, or read through the Bible chronologically, or how about reading from four different books of the Bible daily with the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan?  This is the one I have chosen for 2020, and here is a sample of the readings:

January 1: Genesis 1, Matthew 1, Ezra 1, and Acts 1
January 2: Genesis 2, Matthew 2, Ezra 2, and Acts 2
January 3: Genesis 3, Matthew 3, Ezra 3, and Acts 3
January 4: Genesis 4, Matthew 4, Ezra 4, and Acts 4

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32, NASB).

— Tom
——————-

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Pat Joyner will be having major surgery tomorrow in our local hospital and will remain there 2 to 5 days recuperating.  She would appreciate our prayers.

Ann Vandevander (Melotine Davis’ sister-in-law) had a bad fall a few weeks ago that involved severely hitting her head and requiring 18 days in ICU.

Joyce Rittenhouse has been ill since last Monday, and her husband Doyle is having trouble with his back again.

Jim Lively had another fall last week. He broke no bones, but had badly scraped his arm.

It has been good to have Jan Bartlett back with us.  She will be returning to Alabama this afternoon and will soon begin radiation treatments there.

Let us also be remembering in prayer John Bladen (who had a heart attack December 20), Kelly Stoneheart (who had a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery), Bennie Medlock (who has been having much pain due to loss of cartilage in his knee), and Shirley Davis (who has been having trouble with an arthritic knee and back pain).

Also: Melotine Davis, Bud Monterro, the Medlocks, Rick Cuthbertson, Brook and Kaydance Richardson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Kerry Williams.
——————–

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 Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)