The Gospel Observer (February 24, 2019)

“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 Gall of Bitterness (Doy Moyer)
2) “Your Reasonable Service” (Greg Gwin)
3) News & Notes
——————–

Acts8_21-23

-1-

The Gall of Bitterness
Doy Moyer

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears” (Heb. 12:15-17).

Bitterness is a problem of the heart. It essentially comes from telling ourselves a story about how badly we have been treated, how much we have been hurt, and how unfair others are toward us. It works together with a heart of hatred, anger, and malice, often wishing ill will on those we think have offended us. Think about what bitterness does:

1. Bitterness causes us to come short of God’s grace. A heart of bitterness is not a heart for grace. If we are seeking after the grace of God, we must cut away bitterness, for it cannot coexist with grace.

2. The root of bitterness will spring up and cause trouble. It is a poison that infects and kills, and through which many become defiled. All it takes is one bitter, angry person to wreak so much havoc that many will be destroyed. One bitter person can turn away many souls from Christ, leaving in its wake division and heartache, wherein is found “disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).

3. Bitterness stands contrary to repentance. While bitterness resides in the heart, there will be anger, excuses, complaining, and failure to repent. Shortly after Simon was baptized, he jealously desired the ability of the apostles to lay hands on others to bestow the Spirit. Peter told him that his heart was not right with God, that he needed to repent and pray for forgiveness, “for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity”  (Acts 8:21-23). Bitterness puts us in the bondage of sin; it is a horrible master that only pays the wages of death (cf. Rom. 6:23).

4. Bitterness stands between people. Grudges cause division. Where there is bitterness, there can be no forgiving one another. When unwarranted divisions occur among churches and Christians, mark it down: bitterness will almost certainly be a factor! It is a wedge that destroys peace and unity.

5. Bitterness goes hand in hand with jealousy and selfish ambition. “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth” (James 3:14). Bitterness coupled with pride makes for liars who will invariably speak against truth. It destroys good, sound thinking and warps our perspective.

Recall that when Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, Esau became bitter and bore a grudge (Gen. 27:41). This consumed Esau so much that he wanted to kill Jacob. He found no place for repentance in his anger and bitterness. How much quality of life and happiness did he give up in order to remain angry and hateful toward his brother? Bitterness will rip out our hearts and cause us to hate one another. There can be no place for this in the heart of a child of God. “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:26).

Paul spoke of “spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another” (Titus 3:3). John was clear about the problem of those who hate their brothers:

1. They are in darkness and blinded (1 John 2:9, 11).

2. Their attitude is such that it renders them as murderers (1 John 3:15).

3. Those who say they love God but hate a brother are liars (1 John 4:20).

Hatred, anger, bitterness are all cut from the same cloth. These are works of the flesh that will keep people out of God’s kingdom. Therefore:

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

It matters not how much we think another has wronged us. There is no place for bitterness. Let’s meditate, therefore, on what it means to be wise:

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:13-18).

— Via Bulletin Articles of the Vestavia church of Christ, January 31, 2016
——————–

rom12_1

-2-

“Your Reasonable Service”
Greg Gwin

Do you believe that there is a God? Are you convinced that He is the Creator of the entire universe? Have you examined the evidence and become persuaded that He not only has made everything, but also sustains all things that we see and know (Col. 1:16,17)? There is ample proof, and believing in these things requires no ‘blind leap of faith.’ Rather, it is a logical conclusion based upon the evidence. The apostle Paul said: “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever” (Rom. 11:36). Those who will honestly study the matter must surely agree.

Having made this point, Paul proceeds in the next verse to make a plea based upon the truth that God is the Creator and sustainer of the universe: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (12:1) Do you see it? The emphasis here is upon what is “reasonable.” If God made all things, and continues to provide the necessary support to keep all things functioning, then it is simply the “reasonable” thing for us to serve Him. Think about it: we are His; we belong to Him; He made us; He upholds us. It only makes sense for us, therefore, to do what He wants us to do.

In this text, the phrase “present your bodies a living sacrifice” indicates the degree of this “reasonable service.” We are not being called upon to offer ourselves to Him on a part-time basis — maybe a few hours per week, or a couple of days each year. Instead, we are to give ourselves completely over to Him.

In our selfish, self-centered age there are many who are totally unfamiliar with the notion of “sacrifice.” They are the center of their own universe. They think constantly of what can be gained for self. They completely ignore the duty that is due to the One who made them and constantly blesses them with the things that maintain their existence. Such conduct is absolutely ‘unreasonable.’

If you believe in God, logic and reason demand that you humbly serve Him. Are you doing so? Think!

— Via The Beacon, February 3, 2019
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

Folks to be remembering in prayer:

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Gene Kaplan who recently passed away.   Let us be keeping his loved ones in prayer.

Jim Lively continues to have frequent falls and had been feeling dizzy Friday.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Arthur Laverne Robertson, and also those of Eddie Fullard; A.J. & Pat Joyner, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, Marilyn Roberts, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer,  Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Linn
——————–

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)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
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 sermon)

Advertisements

The Gospel Observer (February 17, 2019)

“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) Kindness (John Thompson)
2) What is “The Septuagint”? (Bill Crews)
3) News & Notes
——————–

eph4_32

-1-

Kindness
John Thompson

A commodity lacking in the world today is kindness. While it is impossible to prove that there is less kindness practiced now than previously, one must admit that we could use much more of it. A universal recognition of the need for more kindness is evident by the speed with which certain phrases have caught on and developed lives of their own. For example, in 1988 George W. Bush used the expression “a kinder and gentler nation” during his presidential campaign. Not long after, the phrase was seen throughout the world in advertisements and company slogans. It quickly became part of everyday speech. It caught on because kindness was more the exception than the rule.

Another expression, “random acts of kindness,” has become so popular that it now refers to a social movement. It originated with the phrase “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982. The phrase, or some variation of it, soon began to appear on bumper stickers. In 1993 Herbert’s book with the same title was published. In it she recounted stories of people who had either provided or received such kindness. This was her attempt to steer people away from what has been described as random violence and acts of senseless cruelty.

An internet search of “random acts of kindness” shows how far the phrase has come. For instance, the website randomactsofkindness.org offers several options: one can become inspired by accessing the latest kindness ideas, quotes, videos and more; educators can download free K-8 kindness lesson plans and projects; one can take on a more direct role by becoming a Raktivist (a Random Acts of Kindness activist); and, of course one can sign up for the Kind blog. Too numerous to list are additional internet resources for those interested in learning more about kindness, how to employ it in their own lives, and how to encourage it in the lives of others.

The very definition of random acts of kindness exposes the belief that kindness is rare. “A random act of kindness is a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.” Non-premeditated means that kindness happens as the result of a spur-of-the-moment thought rather than as the result of careful planning and intention. One acts kindly when the thought just pops into one’s head, or when it seems like a good idea at the time. Inconsistent means that given the same or similar set of circumstances, there is no guarantee that one will act kindly the next time. Either way, non-premeditated or inconsistent, the implication is that kindness is not the norm, and when it happens it is such an unusual event that it ought to be publicized and honored.

Anne Herbert, were she still living, and all of her followers might be shocked to learn that she neither invented kindness nor began a movement to heighten people’s awareness of it. Those honors belong to God. God is a kind and loving God. His kindness and love are so great and work so well together to the eternal benefit of mankind that they are frequently designated by one word in the Bible. The Psalmist said in Psalm 63:3, “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.” Just as God is love, so God is kind. Consequently, His kindness is as eternal as His love. It is not just kindness, but lovingkindness, kindness permeated with love; a kindness not given for God’s benefit, but for man’s benefit.

Since man was created in the image of God, humans have a built-in capacity for kindness. God intended kindness to be man’s way of life. There was no hint of unkindness between Adam and Eve in the garden until the serpent deceived Eve into sinning. Ever since, virtually everyone has believed, to some degree, the lie that unkindness has its proper place in human behavior. I don’t believe there is anything about which humans are more ambivalent than they are about kindness. On the one hand we desperately long for more of it in the world, yet we do not want to give up the “right” to be just as unkind as we think we need to be at certain times. We fully subscribe to the principle of doing unto others what we want done to us yet seek revenge with great zeal.

Kindness can indeed be abundant and universally practiced, not by going to a web site and signing up for access to a kindness blog, but by becoming well-schooled by the lessons on kindness contained in God’s Word. The Law of Moses was so much more than a law of “eye for eye and tooth for tooth.” It was a law of fairness and kindness. Those who extended kindness expected kindness in return. Those in positions of authority were to be kind to those subject to them. In 1 Samuel 20 David fled from an enraged King Saul. The friendship of he and Jonathan is sorely tested at this time. David feared for his life from Saul, and Jonathan feared for his life should David become more powerful. He says to David, “But if my father intends to harm you, may the LORD deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father, But show me kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, unfailing kindness like the LORD’s and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” Kindness that is unfailing is constant and reliable, dependable, steadfast, steady, and sure, just like the Lord’s. It is neither unpremeditated or inconsistent.

Kindness is to permeate every action and thought of God’s people from loving your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31), to loving your enemies and doing good to those who persecute you (Matthew 5:34-38); from looking to the interests of others and considering others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3-4), to living quietly minding your own affairs (1 Thessalonians 4:11). The last half of Ephesians 4 is a treatise on all of the evil things one lets go of by putting on a new life in Christ, things like falsehood, anger, violence, theft, corrupting talk, bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander, and malice. The last verse of chapter 4 summarizes that new life by stating “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). The world can use random acts of kindness, but what it really needs are more Christians who are kind like the Lord is kind.

— Via University Heights Messenger,  June 24, 2018, Volume 10, Number 26
——————–

Septuagint

-2-

What is “The Septuagint”?
Bill Crews

The word “Septuagint” is from a Greek word meaning “seventy.” It is sometimes referred to as the “LXX,” the Roman numerals that mean  “seventy.”  The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament books. It was made by a number of Jewish scholars (supposedly, seventy of them) in Alexandria, Egypt (a very Greek city founded by Alexander the Great, and in which many Jews lived). And it was made in the third century B.C. The arrangement of the Old Testament books in present-day translations, and even their titles, were influenced far more by the Septuagint translation than by the original Hebrew books as kept and arranged by the Jews. The words, “Genesis,” “Exodus,” “Deuteronomy,” and “Ecclesiastes” are from Greek, not Hebrew. New Testament quotations in the Greek are usually from the Septuagint translation.

— Via The Roanridge Reader, February 10, 2019, Volume 34, Issue 06, Page 03
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Arthur Laverne Robertson who passed away last Monday, February 11, at just 71 years of age.

The stitches have been removed from Pat Joyner’s surgery; but she had to return to the hospital every week, due to not healing properly.  She also had extensive repair on her right leg, and is now waiting on an appointment to surgically remove a cyst that has been giving trouble.  Due to having to sit with her legs elevated has also been painful for her; but she hopes to be back with us in two weeks if she can walk well enough.  She thanks every one “for the uplifting cards & great food” and also writes, “It has done my heart good. It helped me crawl out of that deep hole I was in.” Pat continues to want our prayers.

Others to also be praying for: the family and friends of Eddie Fullard; A.J. Joyner, Jim Lively, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, Marilyn Roberts, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer,  Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin

There will be a fifth annual congregational singing at the Hoboken church of Christ this Saturday (February 23), beginning at 5 p.m.  The church meets at 5101 Main Street, Hoboken, Georgia.  All are invited.
——————–

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11, NASB).
——————–

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)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
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 sermon)

The Gospel Observer (February 10, 2019)

“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).
——————–
February 10, 2019
——————–

Contents:

1) Thanksgiving and Singing (David Maravilla)
2) A Greased Pole (Ken Green)
3) News & Notes
——————–

col3_16

-1-

Thanksgiving and Singing
David Maravilla

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations (Psa. 100:4-5).

As God’s people, we have many reasons to be thankful. What is the correct way for us to voice our thanks to God? Prayer is usually the answer, but the Bible reveals that thanksgiving through song is just as valid as giving thanks through prayer.

Thanksgiving Through Song

The two most famous New Testament passages about singing discuss thanksgiving. Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). Singing “with grace” means to sing with “gratitude” (N.I.V) or “thankfulness” (N.A.S.B). Therefore, singing is obviously a way to give thanks.

Likewise, singing and thanksgiving are connected by this passage: “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19-20).

Singing or Praying?

Some think Paul changed the focus from singing to prayer in these passages when he mentioned thanksgiving in Jesus’ name. Indeed, without the preceding verse, Colossians 3:17 sounds like a reference to prayer: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Likewise, Ephesians 5:20, apart from verse 19, could be mistaken for a description of prayer: “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

However, these passages are about singing, not prayer. Even in passages about singing, we tend to think of prayer when we see “giving thanks” in connection with “in the name of the Lord” because we have not fully considered that singing is as legitimate a way of giving thanks to God in Jesus’ name as prayer is. We have developed a tradition of stating aloud that our public prayers are “in Jesus’ name.” However, as Paul wrote here, singing, and everything else we do, must be “in the name of the Lord,” regardless of whether we state it every time.

Similar Actions

Though we distinguish between “acts of worship,” it is clear that various actions can serve the same purpose. In this case, thanksgiving in Jesus’ name can be done through song as well as prayer. Though prayers and songs are, by definition, not the same thing, similarities exist. The difference is simply music—remove the melody, harmony, and timing from many hymns and what remains is a prayer. We can give thanks through song or prayer, and God takes one as seriously as he does the other.

Similar Seriousness

We take prayer seriously. Those who arrive late to services do not usually come down the aisle to find a seat during a prayer. People do not habitually walk to the bathroom in the middle of a prayer, nor do deacons leave their seats to adjust the thermostat. We wait until the prayer is over to do some necessary things because we do not want to distract others. If thanksgiving through song is just as valid as thanksgiving through prayer, should we not show the same courtesy when singing? Whether our heads are bowed in prayer while the leader says, “Lord, we thank you for this day and all of its blessings,” or we joyfully sing “Lord of all to Thee we raise, This our hymn of grateful praise,” we are voicing our thanks to God in the way he prescribed. We must be reverent, regardless of the method used to give thanks.

— Via Truth Magazine,  November 2007, Vol. LI, No. 11, p. 10
——————–

phil3_12

-2-

A Greased Pole
Ken Green

Ever tried to climb a greased pole? Even if you haven’t, you know that it’s almost impossible, even for an excellent climber in tip-top shape. For the rest of us it’s just downright impossible.

Well some have put salvation at the top of a greased pole and are constantly exhorting folks to climb right up and enjoy the benefits.

This extreme has probably been occupied as a reaction to the idea of escalator salvation. Once one steps onto the escalator, no effort is necessary whatever. One might expedite matters by taking a few steps, but one does not need to do so to reach the destination. Such is the view of those who hold to the doctrine of unconditional security. The doctrine is certainly contrary to many simple and clear passages in God’s word. Heb. 4:11 exhorts us to “be diligent to enter that rest.” Rev. 2:10 demands that we “be faithful unto death.” Escalator religion is contrary to sound doctrine.

Equally erroneous, however, is the concept of conditional insecurity. Perhaps such a doctrine has not been actively taught. But it has been accepted by way of default. I would think that the great assurance that is constantly given the faithful, striving, child of God should be administered in equal doses, at least, in our teaching as the warnings
against falling or drifting away from so great a salvation.

Even before the plan of salvation was consummated at the cross, the people of God expressed great assurance: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Prov. 29:25); “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forever” (Ps. 121:7-8); “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

Do we who are privileged to live under a better covenant, established upon better promises, possess less confidence than the people of a darker age? May it never be!

Paul lived in the security of God’s love. Because life to him was Christ, he could declare confidently that to die was gain and to depart was to be with the Lord (Phil. 1:21-23; 2 Cor. 5:6-8). He could say this in spite of the fact that he had not reached perfection in this life (Phil. 3:12-16).

He exulted in the knowledge that a crown of life awaited him and all who love His appearing (2 Tim. 4: 8). Jude commends us all to the God who is able to keep us from falling (verse 24). Peter declares that “if” (that’s conditional, folks), “you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).

Let us examine ourselves. Are we preaching a greased pole salvation? Are we guilty of binding “heavy burdens, hard to bear” when we ourselves will not move them with one of (our) fingers” (Mt. 29:3)? Let us balance warning with consolation that the committed and submissive Christian might be motivated to sing with rejoicing and praise: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation, purchase of God; Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

— Via Searching the Scriptures, June 1991, Volume XXXII, Number 6
——————–

-3-

News & Notes

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of  Eddie Fullard who passed away February 2 at just 53 years of age.

Marilyn Roberts’ surgery went well, and she is now in the healing process.

Jim Lively has been experiencing some swelling of the lower legs.

Shirley Davis had been a week in the hospital, due to pneumonia; but is now back home.  She will soon be resuming her physical therapy for her knee replacement.

Pat Joyner also had to return to the hospital recently following her heart valve replacement surgery, but is also now back home.

Others to also be praying for:  A.J. Joyner, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Mary Vandevander,  Michelle Rittenhouse, Rick Cuthbertson, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer,  Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin
——————–

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)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
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 sermon)

The Gospel Observer (February 3, 2019)

“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) “What Then Shall I Do With Jesus Who Is Called Christ?” (Bill Crews)
2) “Evidence of Things Not Seen” (Greg Gwin)
3) You Don’t Deserve Mercy (Doy Moyer)
4) News & Notes
——————–

Jesus before Pilate_2

-1-

“What Then Shall I Do With Jesus Who Is Called Christ?”
Bill Crews

When this question was asked by Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Judea, Jesus was on trial in Jerusalem at the official residence there of Pilate. Pilate was addressing the chief priests, scribes and elders, the ones who had orchestrated this whole nefarious affair.

Prior to this, Jesus had been illegally arrested in the garden of Gethsemane — illegal because it was night, illegal because it was during Passover week, illegal because it was without any criminal charges. He had been arrested and bound and brought before Annas, ex-high priest and father-in-law to Caiphas. There, without any charges against Him, Jesus had been asked to tell Annas about His teaching and His disciples — an illegal “fishing expedition.” He was unlawfully struck in the face and taken to the house of Caiphas, the acting high priest, where were gathered chief priests, scribes and elders of the Sanhedrin (enough for a quorum).

There, hired false witnesses had been gathered to testify against Jesus — to no avail. That failing, Jesus was placed under oath and illegally asked if He were the Christ, the Son of God. When He answered in the affirmative, He was falsely charged with blasphemy and sentenced to die. The elders all agreed and then abused Him without mercy. At break of day a quorum of Sanhedrin judges (the elders) convened and quickly repeated what Caiphas had done — the meeting and the procedure were both illegal. From there Jesus was hurriedly taken to the residence of Pilate for two reasons: they could not kill Jesus without Roman permission, and they wanted Jesus slain by the Roman method of crucifixion.

After finally extracting from the Jewish leaders their capital charges against Jesus, manifold lies because they were not their charge of blasphemy, because they were all false, and because they had not been “found” in a judicial sense (such a trial had not taken place). But Pilate, based on their false charges, took Jesus inside, examined Him (Jesus made clear that His was not a secular kingdom and how He went about reigning as a king). Based upon His examination, Pilate came out and pronounced Jesus innocent and not worthy of death. From the protests of the mob he learned that Jesus was from Galilee, and immediately sent Him away to Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee and Perea and in Jerusalem for Passover. There Jesus would say nothing at all, was shamefully arrayed and mocked, then sent back to Pilate.

Pilate did not want to condemn Jesus to death and again declared His innocence. A disturbing message from his wife did not make the situation any easier. Some from the crowd reminded Pilate of his Passover practice of releasing a prisoner of their choosing. Rather than allow them to choose just anyone, he selected Barabbas, now in prison and bound with several others who had robbed and murdered in an attempted insurrection. Pilate then gave them a choice between Jesus and Barabbas (surely they would never want a man like Barabbas set free). He was wrong; leaders of the Jews had moved among the crowd ordering them to shout for the release of Barabbas. As stunned as he must have been, Pilate ordered the release of Barabbas and then uttered the words that serve as the heading of this article. It was Pilate’s and Pilate’s alone to make that decision, but he had not a clue as to the true identity of the man whose physical life was in his hands.

He did not know that this was indeed the promised Jewish messiah (John 1:41; 4:25-26), deity that had become flesh (John 1:1,14), the very one who created the heavens and the earth and all therein (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-16), the one who sustains that creation (Colossians 1:17); the Christ, the Son of the only living God (Matthew 16:15-16), the one sent by the Father in heaven to speak His words and to do His works (John 5:36; 6:38; 14:24), the only one on earth to live a sinless life (1 Peter 2:11-12), the one who was soon to die as a sacrifice for all the sins of all mankind (Romans 5:8; 1 John 2:2), the one who will one day return, raise and change all the dead, and judge the living and the dead (John 5:28-29; 2 Timothy 4:1); and the one who will receive the righteous into heaven and send the wicked into hell (Matthew 25:1-46). No, Pilate did not know these things. But he did declare His innocence, tried to absolve himself of any guilt, and yet delivered Jesus up to scourging, mocking, and execution by crucifixion.

This same Jesus, during His ministry on earth, chose, trained, and equipped His twelve apostles and sent them forth to preach the gospel (the good news of salvation and service — Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). They offered all the opportunity to believe in and to follow Jesus with the reward of salvation and eternal life. They laid out all the evidence to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be (e.g., see Acts 2:22-36). Then and now, every person who comes in contact with the gospel of Christ is faced with the same question asked by Pilate: “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” And He will either be ignored, rejected or believed and obeyed (Hebrews 5:8-9). Kind reader of this article, what will you do with Jesus; yes, what will you do with Jesus, now that you know who He is?

— Via Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 04, Pages 02-03, January 27, 2019
——————–

Naaman's_slave_girl

-2-

“Evidence of Things Not Seen”
Greg Gwin

Picture her — a young girl taken captive in a war — an innocent victim in a dispute between powerful countries. Now, her freedom gone, she is obligated to perform slave duties in the house of the conquering army commander.

Who is this girl? She is a minor player in a well-known Bible account that centers on her slave master. And, who is her master? Naaman is his name, and his story is found in 2 Kings 5. Naaman, as you recall, was a successful army captain — but he was also a leper.

The lesson from this slave girl is found in verse 3 of the text. Without any hint of the hatred or bitterness that could have easily filled her heart, she suggests a positive cure for her master’s affliction. “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”

From this minimal information we can classify the young girl as a person of great faith. Why? It is because of her one simple statement. The prophet she had reference to was Elisha. How did she know he could heal leprosy? Someone might suggest that she had seen him do it many times. No! In fact, he had never done it before! Jesus said, “many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian” (Lk. 4:27). She knew he could do because she had FAITH IN GOD!

Faith is the “evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). The Bible speaks of many things that we have not personally observed. Do you believe them anyway? There are many things that God has said, including eternal promises He has made to us. Do you trust Him? Are you confident that He has the power to do all things? Judgment and your eternal destiny will be determined by your reaction to things you have not seen.

How strong is your faith? Will you obey Him (Jas. 2:26)?

— Via The Beacon, January 27, 2019
——————–

Romans5_8

-3-

You Don’t Deserve Mercy
Doy Moyer

Have you seen these scenes where someone is taking vengeance on another, and at the point at which the one is about to drop the hammer, the other cries out for some form of mercy? Then, the avenger says something like, “You don’t deserve mercy!” Boom.

You don’t deserve mercy. Let that sink in a moment. That’s why it’s called mercy. Mercy cannot be deserved. If you deserved it, it wouldn’t be mercy. And the same goes for grace.

God offers us mercy and grace. We don’t deserve it. Yet, while we cry out for God’s mercy, He won’t just say, “You don’t deserve it” only to condemn us. Through Christ, it’s, “You don’t deserve it, but here it is. You are forgiven.”

Thank the Lord today for His mercy. We don’t deserve what He offers in abundance.

Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 5:6-11; 8:1-2

— Via Articles from the La Vista church of Christ
——————–

-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

The family and friends of Larry Welch; Pat & A.J. Joyner, Anita Young, Doyle Rittenhouse, Bennie & Deborah Medlock, James Medlock, Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, Jim Lively,  Mary Vandevander,  Gene Kaplan, Michelle Rittenhouse, Rick Cuthbertson, John Stoval, Everleigh and Hazel Greer, Marilyn Roberts, Danny Hutcheson, Roger Montgomery, Mary Aldrich, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Tommy Lin
——————–

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)
Tuesday: 2 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
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 sermon