The Gospel Observer (April 23, 2017)

Contents:

1) The Greatest Reason for Our Being (Tom Edwards)
2) Offended By the Truth (Frank Himmel)
3) Consequences (Bill Crews)
4) News & Notes
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The Greatest Reason for Our Being
Tom Edwards

Though not recognized by all, nor acted upon by everyone who does know, the greatest reason for our existence is seen in 1 Corinthians 8:6.  Here, after pointing out that God is the One “from whom are all things,” the apostle Paul then declares that “we exist for Him” (NAS77)!  Or as the Weymouth New Testament expresses it, “and for whose service we exist.”

That we are here to serve the Lord is also what Solomon expresses in Ecclesiastes 12:13, where he speaks of “the conclusion of the whole matter,” and defines it as, to “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (KJV).

We each, therefore, regardless of who we are, certainly do have a great purpose for our being here, and which we need to be aware of and not shirk our responsibilities therein.

That we can even enter into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, should be quite humbling to each of us!  To think that we who are mortal, sinful creatures can become a part of God’s forever family — and have that connection with Him who is our perfect, sinless, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-surpassing, omnipresent, eternal Creator, and loving Father — is truly amazing!

Even for those of us who feel like nothing in God’s sight, or terribly ashamed for being such wretched sinners and so unworthy, yet our existence does mean something to the LORD!  For did not Jesus die for every transgressor – and regardless of how sinful?  When the scribes and Pharisees were trying to find fault with the Lord for eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners, Jesus responded by saying, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31,32).  And at Calvary, Jesus went to the cross to make an atonement for every transgressor – not just a certain few.  Hebrews 2:9 shows that the Lord became a man in order that He would be able to “taste death FOR EVERYONE” by His suffering on the cross.  For “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the WHOLE WORLD” (1 Jn. 2:2).  Yes, God truly did make salvation possible for every lost soul and does want all to be saved and none to perish (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4).

God also wants us to have a relationship with Him, to belong to Him, and to not only be blessed forevermore in heaven’s glory, but also to be blessed in the here and now while we await that world to come!

To live for God truly is the greatest of all reasons for our being here; and Jesus Christ suffered a most terrible death so that not only could our sins be forgiven, but also so we could live that new life unto Him.  For “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).  Yes, Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).

We begin that new life after having been baptized in water for the remission of sins (cf. Acts 2:38), which must be preceded by our faith in Jesus (Jn. 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:5), and an acknowledgement of our faith in Christ (cf. Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).  For Paul shows that baptism is “in order that…we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4, NAS77).

What great concern God has shown to the world by going to such an extreme of sending the best of heaven, His only begotten Son, so that we who have fallen away from God can be brought back into a meaningful relationship with Him.  May we each, therefore, certainly make the Lord a top priority in our lives by carrying out — and continuing to do so — what should always be our most important reason for being here!

***

(All emphases mine; and all Bible verses from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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Acts 20_27__Gal4_16

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Offended By the Truth
Frank Himmel

These days it seems that someone is always being offended by what another person says or does. Offended groups call for apologies, resignations, boycotts, and the like. The mere fact that someone may be offended has become a major concern, so much so that people are increasingly unwilling to declare anything wrong or unacceptable.

This growing concern about offending has affected churches and preachers. Some won’t preach the truth about Christianity’s uniqueness lest they offend Jews, Muslims, or other groups. Some won’t talk about the identity of the New Testament church lest they antagonize those who belong to some other group. Some won’t plainly preach the conditions of salvation lest they hurt the feelings of those who haven’t complied. Increasing numbers won’t take a stand on moral issues lest they upset those who are acting immorally and perhaps “drive them away.”

Matthew 15 records an incident we need to consider.  Some Pharisees came to Jesus and complained that His disciples did not keep the tradition of the elders by washing their hands. Jesus’ response was pointed. He indicted the Pharisees with breaking God’s commandments in order to keep their own rules, in practicality nullifying God’s word. He called them hypocrites. He said their commitment to God was mere lip service and was in vain (vv. 3-9). He then called together the crowd who had overheard this exchange and explained the error in the Pharisee’s view of the value of washing hands (vv. 10-11).

What happened next? The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” (v. 12). Perhaps the disciples could see it on their faces. Perhaps some of the Pharisees said something to the disciples.

Jesus was unmoved. He responded, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (vv. 13-14).

In summary, the Lord pointed out three things: 1) the Pharisees were wrong; 2) it mattered that they were wrong; 3) they were going to be lost because they were wrong, despite their claims of rightness with God. Why did Jesus say these things? Because they were true, because the Pharisees needed to hear the truth while they had opportunity to repent, and because the crowds and the disciples needed to be warned that if they followed the Pharisees, they, too, would be lost.

The Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and, to the extent we rightly can, to accommodate those we are trying to reach (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). But if people are offended by the truth, so be it. It is nothing new. Jesus did not compromise the truth to appease the disobedient, and neither should His followers.

— Via Pathlights, July 3, 2016
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Consequences
Bill Crews

Thoughts entertained, words uttered, and deeds done have consequences.  Like seed that is sown, they bear fruit — pleasant or bitter, good or evil.  Decisions made, choices selected, steps taken, courses begun bring us, in time, to the goals, the destinies to which they inevitably lead.

Many are traveling toward goals and destinies of which they seem absolutely unaware or foolishly unconcerned — goals and destinies that will prove tragic and painful.  Only God can see the end from the beginning; in His revealed word He tries to tell us.

— via bulletin articles from the Collegevue church of Christ, August 14, 2016
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“Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day (Psalm 25:4,5, NAS77).
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News & Notes

The heart surgery for Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) went well last Thursday.  Not only did they replace her mitral valve, but also repaired a hole in her heart that was discovered during the operation.

The surgery for Don Swain (Myrna Jordan’s brother) also went well.

Shirley Davis has 5 different appointments next month, involving 5 different doctors. Then on June 1, she will be seeing another doctor to have stents put in her feet, due to poor circulation. Her legs have been swollen, and she has been having some back pain. Her eye, following her cornea surgery, is still a little blurry, but should clear up in 6 to 8 weeks.

James Medlock was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but was able to return home the same day.

Others who also need prayer are Lexi Crawford, Kay Byars,  Jim Lively,  Melotine Davis, Mary Vandevander, La Donna Andrews, Michelle Rittenhouse, Brianna Mackey,  Billy Lowe, and Tom Haney.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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)

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The Gospel Observer (April 16, 2017)

Contents:

1) If It Had Been an Angel Instead… (Tom Edwards)
2) Repentance Only (Frank Himmel)
3) Raised Before Burial? (Ronnie E. Hinds)
4) News & Notes
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If It Had Been an Angel Instead…
Tom Edwards

What if God would have sent a heavenly angel to become a man who would live among humanity for 33 years and then terribly suffer and die on that torturous cross in order to willingly make an atonement for every sinner?! If God would have done it that way, I imagine every believer would be truly thankful and would recognize God’s love and concern for each one of us.

But how much more, therefore, should we appreciate and be grateful for what God actually did?! For He did not send an angel, a created being that is much inferior to God; but, instead, He sent His only begotten Son who is the Creator of all (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16), who is just as much God as the Father Himself (Phil. 2:6; Jn. 1:1-3,14) and has existed throughout all eternity (cf. Micah 5:2; Jn. 8:58; Isa. 9:6; Heb. 7:3). For Jesus is “the radiance” of His Father’s glory and “the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus is “the Word” that was “in the beginning with God,” “and the Word was God” (Jn. 1:1,2; cf. Heb. 1:8).  And that “Word” also “became flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). So in Christ, “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9). And this is why Jesus was able to say, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him and have seen Him” (Jn. 14:7).  For “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (v. 9).

How much more superior is God to a heavenly angel? Would it not be a greatness beyond all we have ever known or could even imagine? And, yet, it was the eternal Son of God — not one of the creation, not a lesser being, but the Creator Himself — who was and is as much Deity as the Father, who suffered and died on a cruel cross for every one of us sinners!

But what of those who say they believe in Jesus, but do not see Him as who He truly is? That to them, Jesus was just a created being, less than God, and not the same as the eternal God. Can they be as impressed of the Lord’s sacrifice, or find it as meaningful, as do those of us who truly do see Jesus as having been in heaven in an equality with God the Father, prior to coming to our world?

So in God sending not an angel, but Jesus to make an atonement by His own death for every lost soul, we see the greatest of all expressions of love for all of us who are unworthy sinners who could never earn nor deserve such infinite favor!

God’s love for us, as seen at the cross of Christ, is overwhelming and impelling. In 1707, Isaac Watts wrote the following hymn about it, entitled, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”:

“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

“Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

“See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Thanks be to God for sending the best and greatest so that even we who are the worst and least can escape the wrath to come and be eternally blessed in heaven’s bliss!

Jesus truly did His part in making the atonement and the way of salvation possible. Now we must each do our part in humbly submitting our lives to Him by our faith, repentance, confession of faith in Christ, and being baptized in water so that we may also benefit from that sacrifice that can cleanse of every sin – and then strive to maintain that faithful relationship with God, as we await the coming of our Lord! (cf. 1 Jn. 1:6,7; Rev. 2:10).
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psalm119_160

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Repentance Only
Frank Himmel

If the Bible teaches anything, it is that we are justified or saved by faith. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Some take this a step farther, however. They assert that we are justified by faith only, apart from anything else we may do. Thus, one is right with God at the point in time at which he believes in Jesus. As one creed puts it, “Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort” (25 Articles of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Article IX).

Faith-only advocates often try to build their case on verses that talk about faith as a condition of salvation but do not mention any other requirement. John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 are favorites. The argument is, because these say nothing about confession, baptism, etc., those things are not essential to salvation.

Using this approach, one could just as easily build a good case for salvation by repentance only. Consider the following passages:

“Now on the same occasion there were some present who  reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’” (Luke 13:1-5).

In the great commission, Jesus ordered “that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).

Thus, in his second gospel sermon, Peter preached, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). And Paul concluded his great sermon at Athens with these words: “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

None of these passages mention faith (see also Acts 11:18; 26:20; 2 Peter 3:9; etc.). Shall we therefore conclude that faith is not essential? Of course not. In these references, repent is used to summarize man’s response to the gospel, just the terms believe and faith are used in others.

Instead of pitting one verse against another, take into account all the Bible says on the subject. “The sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160).

— Via Pathlights, August 14, 2016
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Raised Before Buried?
Ronnie E. Hinds

I have asked this question before, but I want to ask it again. Did Jesus’ resurrection occur before He was buried? Before you think I have completely lost all sense of sanity, you need to understand that millions of people, maybe even you, appear to believe that is what happened. Let me explain.

Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Note the comparison between Christ and us. “That just as Christ…even so we also.” What happened to Christ? “Raised from the dead.” What parallels that for us? “Walk in newness of life.” What events preceded those? For Christ, His burial. For us, baptism. Now if we can have “newness of life” BEFORE baptism, as many teach and believe, then, to maintain the parallel, you must believe Christ was raised before He was buried.  “Absurd,” you say.  I know! That is why I teach baptism is essential to be saved, to become a Christian.

— Via Bulletin Articles from the Collegevue church of Christ, December 20, 2015
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“Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34, NASB).
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News & Notes

Don Swain is having surgery April 17.

The heart surgery for Judy Daugherty (Jim Lively’s sister) to receive a mitral valve has been moved up to April 20.

Melotine Davis has been having trouble with her back for the last couple weeks.

After the hospital alleviated her pain, Lexi Crawford was able to return home last Thursday on hospice.

Let us also remember in prayer: Kay Byars,  Jim Lively, Mary Vandevander, La Donna Andrews, Shirley Davis, Michelle Rittenhouse, Brianna Mackey,  Billy Lowe, and Tom Haney

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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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 (April 9, 2017)

Contents:

1) The Chief of Sinners (Frank Himmel)
2) Where is Your Hope? (Stephen Rouse)
3) Distractions on the Road (Greg Gwin)
4) News & Notes
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1tim1_16

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The Chief of Sinners
Frank Himmel

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15, NKJV). Paul considered himself the chief of sinners prior to his conversion. Have you ever thought about the world’s number-one sinner?

The chief of sinners was a religious man. That might surprise some. We would more likely expect him to be an atheist, or at least one who, if he believed in God, couldn’t have cared less about Him. No, Saul (as he was known in those days) was a well-trained Jew (Acts 22:3).

The chief of sinners was a fervent religious man. He wasn’t the half-hearted kind, whose affections are really elsewhere. He wasn’t the hypocritical kind, one who goes to church on Sundays but the rest of the week is arrogant, foul-mouthed, a drunkard, a womanizer, or a scoundrel. No, Saul was a stickler for moral uprightness and more zealous for what he believed than most (Galatians 1:14).

The chief of sinners was ignorant. He later admitted it: “I was formerly a blasphemer and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). That should forever destroy the notion that it doesn’t matter what we believe as long as we are sincere.

The chief of sinners was presumptuous. This often goes hand-in-hand with ignorance. Saul just decided for himself what he ought to do in God’s service instead of following God’s revelation. “So then, I thought I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did…” (Acts 26:9-10). As is often the case, his assumptions proved to be dead wrong.

The chief of sinners was teachable. To Saul’s credit, despite his misguided religious zeal he was not too entrenched or too stubborn to be taught. Jesus’ appearance to him on the road to Damascus made him realize he had been wrong about the Lord. And when Ananias came and instructed him to be baptized in the name of Jesus to wash away his sins (Acts 22:16), he did so immediately (Acts 9:18).

The chief of sinners was saved. This was his point in our opening text. Despite Saul’s atrocities, the Lord’s mercy was sufficient to forgive him once he abandoned his sinful ways. Saul could only think of one reason why: “However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:16, NKJV). If the Lord could save the chief, He could save anyone!

Whether we profit from studying the chief of sinners depends on whether we respond to the gospel as he did.

— Via Pathlights, December 25, 2016
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“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13, NASB).
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Psalm31_24

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Where is Your Hope?
Stephen Rouse

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” — David (Psalm 20:7)

We live in an increasingly unstable world. Locally, nationally, internationally — there has been much in the news lately to show us just how quickly our stability can crumble.

When the things that we lean on begin to crumble, we quickly find out where we are really putting our trust, our hope. As David wrote, “some trust in chariots and some in horses…” There are a host of different things we might put our trust in, or hope for:

— Some hope for a place where all people are accepted and treated equally.

— Some hope for protection from outside terror for themselves and their families.

— Some hope for a place to flee when their home becomes a place of hostility.

— Some hope for leaders who will bring justice and peace to their people and the world.

The fact is, if our hope is in any of these things happening in this world, we will often be disappointed, even disillusioned. Jesus Himself said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We should pray for our communities, our families, our nations, and the world (1 Timothy 2:1). We should pray for our leaders, and those who would become our leaders (1 Timothy 2:2). But we should not put our hope in any of these things (Psalm 118:8-9).

The amazing thing is, God offers all of these things that we might hope for, but in a spiritual way:

— In God’s kingdom, all people are accepted and treated equally as they turn from their ways to God’s ways (Isa 2:2-4).

— In God’s kingdom, we find protection from our great enemy, Satan, who seeks to destroy us eternally (John 17:15; 1 Peter 5:8-9).

— In God’s kingdom, we can find refuge when the whole world might turn against us (John 16:33).

— In God’s kingdom, we have the Creator of the Universe as our leader, who will ultimately bring justice and peace to the world (Luke 18:7; Rom 16:20).

Lord, help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, for in You we have all we need and all we long for. Help us to put our hope completely in You, not in the things of this world, whatever they may be. You alone must be our strength, our shield, and our unshakable hope.

— Via The Auburn Beacon, January 1, 2016
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1tim4_16

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Distractions on the Road
Greg Gwin

Surely you’ve seen them — those drivers who are so busy talking on their cellular phones that they sit through a green light or ignore some other important traffic situation. The ‘topper’ to this is when you see a driver talking on the cell phone AND eating a sandwich — all while driving a car.

Driving is a serious activity that demands our devoted attention. Things like cell phones and sandwiches tend to distract us, making driving even more dangerous. When two or more such distractions are added together watch out! The likelihood of an accident is significantly multiplied.

Now, make a spiritual application. Living life in this world is a very serious activity. It demands our undivided attention. The problem is that we too often allow ourselves to be distracted by the things of this world. When that happens, a spiritual accident is sure to follow.

And, we’re not just talking about the sinful things that can distract us. Certainly, there are plenty of those. Wickedness abounds in our society, and we are confronted with multiple temptations every day. Constant vigilance is necessary. But, more than this, there is the danger that we will get so busy with our day-to-day affairs that we might forget what our main pursuit is supposed to be. Our jobs, our families, our recreation and a host of other things — not sinful in and of themselves — can crowd God out of our lives.

Add two or three such distractions together and you are simply a spiritual accident looking for a place to happen. Be careful! Stay focused. “Reach forth unto those things which are before” and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13, 14).

— Via Bulletin Articles from the Collegevue church of Christ, March 19, 2017
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News & Notes

Don Swain will be having surgery April 17.

We are glad that Jim Lively is now back home from the hospital.

Judy Daugherty (Jim’s sister) will be having heart surgery May 4 to have a mitral valve installed. She also has various other health problems.

It has also been good to see Charles Crosby back with us and doing better, following his knee replacement.

Michelle Rittenhouse continues to be in need of our prayers, due to heart-related problems and other health issues.

Last Friday’s update on Lexi Crawford mentioned that “her pain has gotten terribly worse over just a few days”; so her pain meds have been increased, and prayer has been requested for her comfort and strength.

Others in need of prayer: Kay Byars, Tanya Terrones, Mary Vandevander, La Donna Andrews, Shirley Davis, Brianna Mackey, Billy Lowe, and Tom Haney
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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 (April 2, 2017)

Contents:

1) Remember Jesus (Frank Himmel)
2) “Who Went About Doing Good” (Billy Norris)
3) News & Notes
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2tim2_8

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Remember Jesus
Frank Himmel

Three times the New Testament specifically tells us to remember Jesus. Do you recall what there is about Him we are to remember? (Hint: His birth is not one of the three!)

Jesus’ Death

Jesus Himself encouraged us to remember His death. It is the central event of history. It was the atonement for our sins. The Lord helped us remember His death by establishing an ongoing memorial.

“…The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

Jesus’ Resurrection

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8). Jesus said His resurrection would be the sign, the proof of who He was (Matthew 12:38-40). It is our assurance that the Father accepted Jesus’ atonement. It enabled Jesus to overcome death, to ascend back to heaven and take His place as our King and Lord (Acts 2:24-36). That is why His resurrection, along with His crucifixion, was the constant theme of the apostles’ sermons. That is why it is so often used to comfort and encourage. That is why Peter could say “baptism now save you… through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

Jesus’ Teaching

Paul told the Ephesian elders they must “remember the words of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:35). Jesus’ teaching is as much an expression of God’s grace as His atonement was (Titus 2:11-12). It is the truth that makes us free if we abide in it (John 8:32-33); when we do not, we do not have God (2 John 9). Jesus’ words provide instruction, warning, hope, comfort, assurance, and wisdom. They are the standard by which He will judge us (John 12:48). One more thing: the Bible emphasizes that we need to remember the words Jesus spoke through His apostles (Jude 17) as well as those He spoke personally.

Conclusion

Remembering Jesus includes remembering all we know of Him. Obviously, it goes far beyond simply recalling facts.  We remember Jesus by reflecting Him in our lives every day, each step of the way.

— Via Pathlights, December 25, 2016
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“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND TO THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT HAS DAWNED” (Matt. 4:6, NASB).
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“WHO WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD”
Billy Norris

This is what Peter told Cornelius about Jesus: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

1. Jesus did good when he was a child. It is evident that as a child he spent time learning the word of God, to the extent that he was able to astonish the doctors of the law with his understanding and his answers, even at the age of twelve years. The profound knowledge which Jesus possessed of the word of God proved to be a blessing when Satan came with his temptations and when Jesus had the responsibility of teaching the people. Jesus overcame every temptation with a proper application  of the word of God (Matt. 4), and was able to answer every captious question of his enemies because of his understanding of God’s will (Matt. 22). It is a joy to see a young person who is interested in learning the word of God, and who spends time day by day reading and studying and ever accumulating knowledge of God’s will. With that knowledge that youngster will be able to put down the temptations of Satan and well serve his Master as a citizen of the kingdom.

Jesus also did good as a child by wanting to worship, to be in his Father’s house and about his Father’s business, and by being obedient to his parents. To his parents he said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). The scripture further says that he was subject to his parents and that he “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:51,52).

2. Jesus did good when he was baptized. He did God’s will. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him” (Matt. 3:13-15). It is God’s will for man today that he be baptized, for in giving the great commission Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15,16). The apostles commanded men to believe in Christ (1 John 3:23), to repent (Acts 17:30), to be baptized (Acts 10:48).

3. Jesus did good when he overcame the devil. He kept himself free from sin and proved himself indeed to be the pure lamb of God qualified to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). In his victory over Satan (Matt. 4:1-11), he showed us that by proper use of God’s word as “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17), we have a power greater than any temptation which Satan can place before us.

4. He did good when he taught his disciples the great principles of life. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:21,22). “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her  already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27,28). These are only some  of the great principles of moral conduct which Jesus taught his disciples that would lift them up to a high and noble plane in life.

5. Jesus did good when he helped the sick and afflicted, when he fed the hungry, when he comforted the bereaved. When he was called to the sick, his answer was, “I will come” (Matt. 8:7). His disciples today can be of help by ministering to the sick, or by visits, or by cards or calls to let them know that they are not forgotten. Christ fed the hungry (Matt. 14:15-21; 15:32-38), and let us know that in part we will be judged according to the service that we render to fellow man. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in …” (Matt. 25:31-34, 35-46). Though Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, he wept with the bereaved sisters and helped to comfort them (John 11:35). We cannot raise the dead, but we can help the bereaved bear their burden of sorrow by showing compassion and sympathy in their time of need.

6. Jesus did good when he rebuked the wayward. He was doing what was best for the scribes and Pharisees when he pointed out to them their hypocrisy, and their need of true cleanliness from within rather than a mere ceremonial cleansing from without that was of no benefit to their spiritual well-being (Matt. 23). He was doing what was best for Peter by showing him that in following human wisdom he was serving Satan rather than God (Mark 8:31-33). He was doing good for James and John when he rebuked them for wanting to destroy certain Samaritans by telling them that he had not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them (Luke 9:51-56). Christ’s disciples today can do good by rebuking, with a proper spirit, the wayward to bring them to repentance and a restoration in the service of the Lord.

7. Jesus did good when he prayed for his enemies. He taught his disciples to pray for their enemies: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Jesus set the example when he prayed for those who were crucifying him, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). His prayer was answered some days later, on the day of Pentecost, when people who were guilty of crucifying Christ repented of their sins and were baptized in the name of Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:36-42).

8. Jesus did good when he died on the cross. The shedding of his precious blood provided the means by which sinful man might be redeemed from his sins and the terrible consequences of his sins: “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7).

9. Jesus is doing good now. He is with his disciples as they in turn go about doing good, as they take the gospel to a world lost in sin (Matt. 28:20). He is serving as mediator and high priest at the right hand of God (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14-16). He is preparing mansions for his own and will return to receive them unto himself (John 14:1-3).

— Via The Old Hickory Bulletin, October 18, 2015, Volume 35, #43
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News & Notes

The prayers of the saints will be appreciated for the following:

Jim Lively will probably be at least another week in the hospital.  They are still trying to regulate his medication.

Mary Vandevander is now in a private room (113) on the first floor of the Pierce County Nursing Home.  She had not been feeling well Thursday, but is now doing better.

Here is a paraphrased extract from Misty Thornton’s update: started seizure medication (for probably 6-month minimum), cannot drive for 6 months, now seeing a group of doctors in Savannah, back on heart medicine, energy level is nonexistent, have many follow-up appointments and tests in April.  She appreciates the prayers of the brethren.

Lexi Crawford is having some increased pain from her cancer.

Kenny McCarthy has also been diagnosed with cancer.

Let us also remember in prayer: Kay Byars, Tanya Terrones, Penny Medlock, La Donna Andrews, Charles Crosby, Shirley Davis, Brianna Mackey,  Billy Lowe, Tom Haney, and Shirley Arnold
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of 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).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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)