1) Genealogies (Derek Long)
2) The Law of Moses (Tom Edwards)
As we read the Bible, we encounter lists of genealogies of various individuals or groups of individuals. Oftentimes these lists contain many names we are unfamiliar with and are difficult for us to pronounce. Why are these lists of genealogies recorded for us in the Bible? Why are they important?
When Paul writes to Timothy and Titus, he speaks about the attitude they should have toward certain genealogies. In 1 Timothy 1:4 we read, “nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.” In Titus 3:9, Titus was commanded, “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.” Do these verses teach us we should ignore the genealogies we find recorded in scripture and treat them as unimportant? Obviously Paul is not speaking of what is recorded for us in the lists of genealogies throughout the Bible. Paul plainly taught, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness …” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). All scripture, including the lists of genealogies, is profitable to be taught and studied. Therefore, Paul must have been talking either about uninspired genealogies or elaborations of the genealogies we find in the Bible. Such genealogies are not a part of God’s revealed truth and are to be avoided.
Why are the lists of genealogies recorded in the Bible important? Below are some of the thoughts I have on why these lists are helpful and recorded for us:
• The genealogies allow us to see the events in the Bible are historical events. The genealogies show we are not dealing with fables or legends. The Bible contains records of real people who lived in real history.
• The genealogies allow us to see where certain nations came from. The book of Obadiah is essentially a book pronouncing judgment upon the nation of Edom for their treatment of the nation of Israel. The book speaks of Edom’s “violence against your brother Jacob” (Obadiah 10). If we know Jacob and Esau were brothers and Israel descended from Jacob and Edom descended from Esau, we can understand what Obadiah 10 is talking about. Many other examples like this could be produced with regards to other nations throughout scripture.
• The genealogies allow us to see important things regarding various tribes of Israel. There are several lists of genealogies showing who was part of which tribe of Israel and how many people were a part of each tribe. The initial censuses of Israel were conducted as a way of determining how many men twenty years old and above were in each tribe of Israel (Numbers 1:2-3; 26:2-4). The second census would serve the purpose of verifying God’s promise for all the preceding generation to pass away was carried out (Numbers 26:63-65) and also served as a basis to determine how much land each tribe would receive (Numbers 33:54). There are also several lists of people from the tribe of Levi and priests. These genealogies were important to verify those who served as priests were from the proper tribe. Those who could not verify their genealogy after returning from captivity were excluded from serving as priests (Ezra 2:62; Nehemiah 7:64).
• The genealogies allow us to see God keeping His promises with certain individuals. God promised through Abraham’s seed all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Therefore, keeping up with the descendants of Abraham allows us to see this promise being fulfilled. God promised David would never lack a man to sit upon His throne (2 Samuel 7:11-14). If we have a list of David’s descendants, we are able to see the fulfillment of this promise. God promises to leave no descendants of certain individuals alive in scripture. If we know who their descendants are, we can tell how these promises are fulfilled at times.
• The genealogies serve as a record of the individuals through whom the Christ came into the world. Perhaps some of the most important genealogies recorded in the Bible have to deal with the people through whom Jesus was born. The New Testament begins with a listing of Jesus’ genealogy going back to Abraham (Matthew 1:1-17) and Luke records Jesus’ genealogy going back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). We can see Jesus fulfills God’s promises to Abraham, Judah, and David by examining these genealogical lists.
Other purposes for the genealogies may exist but these are just some I thought of. I hope this helps us as we attempt to study these oft-neglected portions of inspired Scripture.
— Via Understanding the Bible, January 20, 2018
The Law of Moses
What do we know about the Law of Moses?
A. It was given to reveal what sin is (Rom. 3:19-22; 7:7).
B. It served as a tutor to lead men to Christ (Gal. 3:24-25).
C. It was given exclusively to the Jews — and not to the world at large (Exo. 31:12-17).
D. It was abolished by the sacrifice of Christ (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:13-16).
E. To go back to the Old Law today would be to fall from grace and cut oneself off from Christ (Gal. 5:4).
F. Though some today make a distinction between the law of Moses and the Law of God during the Old Testament times, saying one is a “ceremonial law and done away with in Christ while the other remains for our time,” this is not what the Bible shows. For example, Nehemiah 8:1, 8 use the phrases “law of God” and “law of Moses” interchangeably to refer to the same thing.
This, of course, is not to say that God no longer sees lying, stealing, adultery, murder, etc., as sins in our time; but that is because the Lord will always see these iniquities as sinful; and are, therefore, seen as prohibitions in the New Testament for our Gospel Age as well, though not all of them with the same severe earthly penalties for violating, as in the Old Testament times. In 1 Corinthians 5, for example, the one guilty of incest (with his father’s wife) was disfellowshiped rather than put to death; and that led to his coming to his senses, repenting, and being restored, as indicated in 2 Corinthians 2:6-11.
G. And, lastly, Hebrews 8:7 indicates that the Law of Moses had fault. But that “fault,” however, does not mean there were mistakes in the Law of Moses; but, rather, that it could not provide forgiveness of sins. For, as the Hebrew writer declares in Heb. 10:4, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
So though everything in the Law of Moses was true, the fault was in its inability to provide an atonement that could blot out sin. And the fact that its Laws were correct can also be inferred from what Jesus states in Matthew 5:18, that “…Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (KJV). The “jot” and the “tittle” have been described as the dot on the letter “i” and the horizontal line on the “t” — just small parts of letters. The NASB translates this passage as, “…until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” So the implication is that the Law was without error in being all that God wanted it to be, but it just did not have the ability to atone for sin.
Going along with that, you might recall Galatians 2:21, in which Paul points out that “if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
And by that death, Jesus not only did away with the Old Covenant, but also established the New and Better Covenant, as the Hebrew writer points out: “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second” (Heb. 8:6-7).
Hebrews 9 speaks more of this: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (vv. 11-12). “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant…” (v. 15). And that this required His death is also seen in the next verse: “For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it” (v. 16); and that is what Jesus was willing to undergo for us — and, thus, made it possible that sins can be blotted out.
(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
News & Notes
We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of Cedell Fletcher (Jim Lively’s brother-in-law) who passed away peacefully last Thursday. His obituary referred to him as “one of those rare individuals that felt blessed by everyone he met, and everyone fortunate enough to have known him felt blessed in return. He was a man of integrity and strength of character, who loved and was devoted to his wife and family” (The Gainesville Sun). Let us be remembering all his loved ones in prayer.
Easton Cox has had a fever for the last several days, though it has come down some. He has also had a couple Rocephin shots (for bacterial infections) and will be starting on another antibiotic today.
Rex Hadley was in the hospital last week for what he initially thought might be a kidney stone, but the pain turned out to be disc related.
Charles Crosby will be seeing his doctor April 24, to find out if he is now ready to have his new knee put back in. Due to infection, it was removed February 2. He then underwent several weeks of receiving antibiotics intravenously, twice a day. We are hoping and praying for a good report for him, that the infection will be gone so he can have the needed surgery, and that his knee will no longer cause him trouble.
Jon Curto, a facebook friend I went to school with many years ago, was in a serious car accident January 20, 2017, which he is still recovering from. It initially had him in a coma for almost a week. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, along with various other injuries, and had to undergo therapy to be able to swallow, eat, speak, stand, and walk again; and is still having some difficulty with standing, walking, dizziness, and speaking. He had been a professional photography with his own business; but for now is not able to drive nor work, due to his brain injury. So he is without income and without medical insurance. He is trying a new treatment that his doctor said has helped many others — Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which he will need about 15 to 20 treatments of (at $250 a treatment). He can use our prayers. If you would like to also donate toward his treatments, there has been a Go Fund Me set up for him at the following website: https://www.gofundme.com/jon-curto039s-healthcare-assistance
Others to also continue to remember in prayer: Jim Lively, Shirley Davis, Deborah Medlock, Frankie Hadley, A.J. & Pat Joyner, Misty & Jason Thornton, Michelle Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
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).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class) (New Time)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)