The Gospel Observer (June 30, 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).
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Contents:

1) No Sign of Health (Bob Crawley)
2) Job’s Redeemer (Taylor Pickup)
3) News & Notes
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jam4_17b

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No Sign of Health
Bob Crawley

A medical student was on his first day of work in the hospital in which he had occasion to make examination of the patients. It was his assignment to examine certain patients and write up a report on any significant symptoms which could aid in diagnosis. He hurried down the hall and into the room of what he thought was the correct patient. Nervously (for this was his first patient examination) he made his observations and wrote the following report:

“The patient did not complain of any pain or discomfort of any kind. There was no unnatural breathing and no irregularity of pulse. When pressed in various vital spots, the patient did not complain of soreness or tenderness. There was no indication that the patient had any fever.”

The student was optimistic. There were no signs of any of the symptoms which would indicate that his patient had any of the diseases which the student expected. He concluded that the patient must be in excellent health. When he made his report to his supervisor, the supervisor was astonished. After some further investigation the supervisor told him, “While all that you have said about the patient is correct as far as it goes, your conclusion is grossly in error. You correctly observed that your subject lacked a number of conditions which you would have found pathological, but you failed to note that the subject you examined was dead. You went to the wrong room. All the facts you reported were true of a lifeless corpse in the morgue.

Sound, or Dead?

The above reported incident is entirely imaginary. If any such medical student ever existed, we have not heard of it. We cannot believe that any student ever so lacked in intelligence that he could examine a person and not detect the difference between one in excellent health and one that was dead. Yet in many spiritual matters, too many of us use the “reasoning” of this imaginary medical student. In judging the soundness and healthy condition of a church, we all too often evaluate it upon the basis of what it is not doing. In making an evaluation of a man, we too often consider him spiritually healthy if he shows none of the alarming symptoms for which we are accustomed to look. In fact he may be spiritually dead.

In the tenth chapter of Mark, we read of Jesus’ encounter with a man who felt himself to be in pretty good spiritual health. When Jesus cited a number of the commandments of the law, he could reply, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” This man, then, did not commit adultery, did not kill, did not steal, did not bear false witness, did not defraud, and did not dishonor his father and mother. On the other hand, what did he DO? Apparently he did nothing by which he could lay up treasures in heaven.

In the Revelation, chapters two and three, there are letters written from the Lord to seven churches in Asia. It is astonishing how many times these churches are praised for not doing certain things, but were also censured for not doing things which it was their duty to do. The church at Ephesus (chap. 2) could not bear them “which are evil” (vs. 2) nor did they consent to the deeds of the Nicolaitans (vs. 6), but they were subject to the Lord’s warning for not remaining true to their “first love.” The church at Pergamos had not given up the name of Christ nor denied his faith (2:13), but neither had they purged themselves of those who held the doctrine of Balaam or those who had the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans.”

In some quarters, today, the question of a man’s soundness is settled to everyone’s satisfaction on the ground that he does not teach or urge any outstanding false doctrines.

As a preacher he is considered acceptable provided he has not been known to promote any of the trends which have become divisive issues in the church. It may be that he has not, been awake enough or alive enough to teach the truth on the matters, either. Such a preacher may not be sound; he may only be dead.

Churches, too often, are given the reputation for being in sound spiritual health on the basis of the symptoms which they do not have. It is not enough to say that they have not digressed to the point of adding instrumental music to the worship. A further question needs to be raised, do they wholeheartedly engage in worship in “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your (their) heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). It is not enough to know that a church does not participate in such digressions as the missionary society arrangement or the benevolent society arrangement, or even that it does not subject itself to another church in a “sponsoring church” arrangement. In contrast to these unscriptural devices of men, is this church actually doing the work which God wants his churches to do? If not, its lack of “fever, pain, vomiting, convulsions, etc.” may not be a sign of good health. That church may be dead.

— Via Truth Magazine, XV: 20, pp. 6-7, March 25, 1971
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Job13_15c

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Job’s Redeemer
Taylor Pickup

The book of Job contains an enormous amount of wisdom and comfort. It deals with very personal and sensitive subjects that make a strong impact on the reader. Much of the book focuses on the innermost feelings of man. In particular, chapter 19 gives us an amazing look into the heart of a man of faith.

By the time we reach chapter 19, Job had already lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants, and worst of all, his children. His wife gave him no comfort, and his skin was covered with painful sores. Also, the high standing and respect that he once had in society had completely vanished, leaving him a pitiful outcast in the eyes of his countrymen. On top of that, his own friends had become a painful burden to him because they were insisting that his situation was the result of some flagrant sin.

Some of Job’s deepest pain came from the fact that he just didn’t understand why. He didn’t know why all of this had happened to him. He didn’t know why God was treating him that way. Job had asked God, “Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you?” (7:20). And Job had said to his friends, “Who will say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’” (9:12). Job didn’t understand God’s actions and was frustrated because he couldn’t even fathom asking God to explain.

But in chapter 19 we read that, in spite of all of this, Job’s heart was committed to the Lord. In utter despair he cried out, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (19:25-27).

As miserable and utterly confused as Job was, he still proclaimed his belief that one day he would see God and be rescued by Him. This ran contrary to everything Job could see at the time, but that didn’t change his conviction that the Lord was alive and would bring redemption. What an incredible example of commitment to God.

Like Job, people of faith have felt pain and despair. Death, disease, and heartache are all around. Like Job, people of faith don’t always understand God’s actions. They wonder why specific painful events have happened to them. Like Job, people of faith struggle for answers, yet they can’t even fathom asking God for an explanation.

Like Job, we must be able to see past our present circumstances and be committed to our Redeemer. Often when we look around, it appears like peace and glory and joy are nowhere to be found, and God’s providential decisions only bring about more heart-wrenching questions. But God intentionally preserved the story of Job for us. Like so many other stories in the Bible, Job teaches us to be a people who are faithfully obedient no matter what the circumstances. And one day our Redeemer will bring our redemption. Paul told the Christians in Rome, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).

If there is anyone who understood suffering, especially undeserved suffering, it is the Lord Himself. Death and pain were experienced by Jesus, something that should connect us to Him. Our God personally knows what pain is, and He will redeem us from it.

No matter how much death we are surrounded by, no matter how much suffering we endure, no matter how much heartache comes our way, may we still have the faith to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives,” and “I shall see God.”

— Via articles of the University church of Christ (Tampa, FL), June 26, 2016
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News & Notes

Folks to remember in prayer:

We are glad that things went well for Jan Bartlett in her recent surgery. The tumor was removed and the area around it had no signs of cancer, as well as the two lymph nodes that were also removed.

Danielle Bartlett  had been at the Mayo, too, for a kidney problem that is now being treated with medication.

Ronnie Davis has had back-trouble for many years, which acts up even more at times. About three months ago, he also started having pain in his knees from arthritis.

Mildred Hagan has not been well and is now undergoing hospice care.

Let us also continue to keep the following in our prayers: Melotine Davis, Shirley Davis, A.J. and Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Bud Montero, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Nancy Pinckard, Mary Martin, Waylon Murray, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Roger Montgomery
——————–

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 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) 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 (June 23, 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) Examples of How Jesus Prayed (R.J. Evans)
2) A Really “Big” Word (E.R. Hall, Jr.)
3) Why Care About Anything 2000 Years Old (Robert Hines)
4) News & Notes
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praying hands

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Examples of How Jesus Prayed
R.J. Evans

While Jesus lived on earth, prayer was such an integral part of His life. His disciples observed Him praying in a certain place, and when He had concluded His prayer, they made the following request: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Lk. 11:1). Jesus responded by giving them a model prayer (Lk. 11:2-4—some incorrectly refer to this as the Lord’s prayer). But not only did He give them a model prayer, He also gave them many examples throughout His life on how to pray.

One of Jesus’ most well-known prayers is the one in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-46). This occurred just hours before He was crucified and died on the cross. As in every area of life, Jesus teaches us today about when and how to pray. In this article, let’s observe some of the examples of how Jesus prayed in Gethsemane.

1. Jesus got away from other people to pray. He told Peter, James, and John to “Sit here while I go and pray over there” (Matt. 26:36). There were times when Jesus withdrew to deserted places to pray (Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5:16). It is important that we take the time to get away from everyone, go into our room, shut the door, and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6:6).

2. Jesus “fell on His face” while He prayed (Matt. 26:39). Throughout the scriptures, we find examples of different postures when God’s people prayed; examples such as standing or kneeling (Mk. 11:25; Lk. 22:41; Acts 11:25; 9:40; 21:5). While I do not believe it is a requirement to kneel when we pray, there have been times when I have found myself naturally doing this when engaging in deep prayer—such as praying for someone publicly confessing sin, asking God’s forgiveness, so that they might be restored to a right relationship with Him.

3. Jesus prayed for His Father’s will to be done. In fact, He prayed three times “not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). This should be the criteria of all our prayers—”Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14).

4. Jesus told His disciples to pray. He specifically told them to “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing; but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). The devil tempts us to sin on a daily basis. James tells us what happens when we give in to our own desires—”it gives birth to sin, when sin is full-grown, brings death” (Jas. 1:13-15). But our Lord provides us “the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Thus, it is understandable why Jesus, in the model prayer, teaches us to pray for God to “deliver us from the evil one” (Lk. 11:4).

There are many other occasions, examples, and lessons Jesus taught concerning prayer, besides the one He prayed in Gethsemane. For example, He taught: don’t pray to impress others (Matt. 6:5-8); the Father already knows what we need, but He wants us to ask in faith (Matt. 6:8; Jas. 1:5-8); we don’t need to use a lot of “fancy” words when we pray (Matt. 6:7). We are told that when Jesus gave the parable of the persistent widow, “He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Lk. 18:1). The Apostle Paul expressed the same sentiment when he said “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17).

May the examples of Jesus help and encourage us in the blessed privilege of prayer in our lives as His children. Let us pray…

— Via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, June 16, 2019
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1john1_7

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A Really “Big” Word
E.R. Hall, Jr.

We are saved, “IF” we keep in memory God’s Word. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain“ (1 Corinthians 15:1, 2).

We are the house of God, “IF” we hold fast to the end. “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; who house we are, IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:5,6).

We are holy, “IF” we continue in the faith. “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:21-23).

We are cleansed by His blood, “IF” we walk in the light. “But IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

We will never fall, “IF” we do these things. “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For IF these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for IF ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:5-10).

— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 16, Number 9, May 2019
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1pet1_24-25b

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Why Care About Anything 2000 Years Old?
Robert Hines

The Bible teaches that the message of Jesus is for all people and all time. Since the very first day it was preached, some 2000 years ago, it was “the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). It is tempting to dismiss something this old, but there are good reasons to be interested in it. Let us look at some reasons why the gospel of Jesus Christ is never out of date, and why we should consider it carefully.

1. The nature of truth does not change. Rather than being non-existent or relative it is absolute. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32).

2. The nature of evidence does not change. When witnesses are credible, and these gave their lives for their testimony, regardless of its age, we have “many unmistakable proofs” (Acts 1:3) of the accounts. “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you” (1 John 1:3).

3. Man’s real problem does not change. “Your sins have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). When we feel loneliness or anger or despair, it is because we are incomplete without the reconciliation to God that comes through the gospel of His Son.

4. God’s unchanging plan is our only real hope. “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:37-39).

If we live for our family, our work, our stuff, for learning, for travel, for fun…it’s too little. It’s not enough. When Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), He pointed us beyond all these things to God Himself.

— Via The Beacon, March 17, 2019
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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Melotine Davis has been having some pain, while she continues to heal from her recent back surgery.

Jan Bartlett is now recovering from a recent surgery.

Danielle Bartlett is also back home after some hospital stays and a stent procedure.

Nancy Pinckard is healing from surgery that replaced her shattered shoulder and socket and humerus bone, which had been broken in four places, down to her elbow.

Others to also be praying for: Shirley Davis, A.J. and Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Bud Montero, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Mary Martin, Waylon Murray, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Roger Montgomery
——————–

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: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (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 (June 16, 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) We Must Die to Live (Doy Moyer)
2) Possible or Impossible? (Bill Crews)
3) To Whom Were They Speaking? (Carrol R. Sutton)
4) News & Notes
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1pet2_24

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We Must Die to Live
Doy Moyer

“I have to die to get better.” Have you felt that way? You feel so sick that you about wish you would go ahead and die so that you can feel better? We say that as a bit of a joke (or maybe not). Of course, at the time that we feel so badly, we do wish for about anything to happen that would improve our condition. Being sick is no fun and we will do whatever it takes to feel better. Of course, as Christians, doing “whatever it takes” still needs to be within what is moral and right. The world doesn’t always follow that path.

Spiritually, the concept of dying in order to get better is a truth to which we must conform. In order to get better, in order to be free from sin, in order to experience forgiveness and true freedom, we must die. This is an important idea in Scripture. For example, Paul put it this way:

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col 3:1-4).

Paul follows up by saying, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you…,” then speaks of some of the sins that characterize the one who has not yet died to self. We put to death what is worldly, put off the sins of the flesh, and put on Christ and the new self (vv. 5-15). To be new, the old must go. We must die to live. Paul also wrote to the Romans:

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:1-4).

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11).

Again, before receiving forgiveness from God, we were considered to be dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). That death came as a result of sin (Rom 6:23). However, we must experience another kind of death. This death is a death to self and sin in order to be brought to life by God spiritually. In other words, we must die to live.

This is another way of speaking about self-denial. Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25)

Self-denial is a way of putting self to death in order to live for God. If we try to save our lives by refusing self-denial, we will suffer a death no one ultimately wants. If we will deny self, losing our lives for His sake, then we will be saved. It’s paradoxical, but if we can see the kinds of death involved, we can see that the point is simply this: we cannot put ourselves first over God and others and expect to receive the blessings God offers. If we want to live, we must die. If we want to be saved, we must lose our lives for His sake.

This is what Jesus did for us. He is the ultimate example of one who emptied (denied) self and died (Phil 2:6-8). Yet, He lives. The resurrection is what makes eternal life possible now, as Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

By God’s grace, we can die so that we will live. This goes beyond our spiritual death and new life here. This points to an ultimate life that comes from Christ conquering death through His resurrection. We die to live now. Then, because death has been conquered, our physical death is not something to fear because we, too, shall take part in the resurrection of life (Heb 2:14-15).

We don’t want to die; we want to live. Yet as physical death is necessary to resurrection, so also is death to self and sin necessary to the new life in Christ. By God’s grace we can experience both.

In order to get better and live, we must die. Have you?

— Via the bulletin of the Vestavia church of Christ, March 24, 2019
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eph3_4_and_others

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Possible or Impossible?
Bill Crews

Can an accountable person who so desires become just a Christian? And can a group of such people constitute a congregation (such as those we read about in the New Testament) that is nondenominational and that belongs to Christ? The religious world in general says that it is impossible; we say that it is possible. Christians in the first century were neither Catholics nor Protestants. All of the Lord’s churches were non-denominational and neither Catholic nor Protestant. Our plea is for people to lay aside human names and designations, human creeds and doctrines, human organizations and systems and become only Christians, and constitute only churches of the Lord.

Can any accountable person, as a result of his own sincere desire and effort, understand the Bible so that he can know what it teaches and so that he can see clearly what it is that God wants him to know, to believe, to do and to be? The religious world in general says that this is impossible; we say that it is both possible and necessary. We know that God is unlimited in power, wisdom and knowledge; that He is capable of giving a revelation that can be understood by men; and that He certainly wants men to understand this revelation of His will. To maintain that people cannot understand the Bible, or that they cannot  “under-stand it alike,” is more of a reflection upon God and His Book than it is upon men.

Editor’s Note [of the Roanridge Reader]: To the degree that we understand the Bible, we will understand it alike. There are not different meanings to God’s Word. It is not subject to a variety of interpretations. Either we understand it, believe it and obey it, or we do not. Read again Bill Crews’ fine article. It is brief but full of meaning.

— Via  the Roanridge Reader, Volume 34, Issue 22, page 4, June 2, 2019
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psalm119_160

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To Whom Were They Speaking
Carrol R. Sutton

In Acts 16:31 when Paul and Silas said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” they were speaking to an unbeliever, the jailor at Philippi (Acts 16:12). In Acts 2:38 when Peter said: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, … “ he was speaking to believers in Jerusalem” (Acts 2:36-37).

In Acts 22:16 when Ananias said: “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord,” he was talking to a penitent believer, Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:4-18; 22:3-16).

In each of the above cases, each person was told what he needed to know at that particular time. To have the proper concept, we must accept the sum of God’s Word.

— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 16, Number 9, May 2019
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-4-

News & Notes

Folks to be keeping in prayer:

The back surgery for Melotine Davis last Thursday went well.  She returned home the same day and is now healing from it.

Jan Bartlett will be having a lumpectomy June 27, followed by radiation treatments a few weeks later.

Mary Martin had a stroke a couple weeks ago that she is now recuperating from.

Others to also be praying for: Shirley Davis, A.J. and Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, Bud Montero, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, the family and friends of Tommy Lindsey and Kayleigh Tanner, Waylon Murray, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Roger Montgomery
——————–

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:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (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 (June 9, 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) “Christ Will Be Magnified’ (R.J. Evans)
2) Don’t Leave Home Without It (Joe R. Price)
3) Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
4) News & Notes
——————–

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“Christ Will Be Magnified”
R.J. Evans

“According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20).

The above text is taken from the letter Paul wrote to “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1).  Though Paul was being held as a prisoner in Rome at the time of the writing of this epistle, he made several expressions concerning the joy of being a child of God throughout the letter. In fact, the book of Philippians has been referred to as “the epistle of joy.”

In reviewing the words of our text, we see that Paul expressed some noble desires—that in nothing he would be ashamed and with boldness Christ would be magnified in his body whether by life or by death. If any ever questioned Paul’s dedication and faithfulness to the Lord, reading this letter, along with his other letters, should completely remove any questions or doubts. In this article, let us observe some of Paul’s desires for himself, for others, and for the Lord.

What Paul Desired Concerning Christ

He wanted to make sure that Christ was magnified in his body “whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20). He was willing to faithfully serve and glorify God, even if it meant dying for that purpose.  On one occasion, when some of his brethren pleaded with him not to go to Jerusalem, Paul answered— “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).

Thus, whatever it took, Paul wanted others to learn of Christ, to recognize Him as the Savior of the world, and to come to Him in gospel obedience. He was willing to be “defamed” and viewed as “the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13). Do we have the same desire that Paul had concerning Jesus? What have we done that Christ might be magnified in the world?

What Paul Desired For Others

What he desired for others is expressed in a number of scriptures. Notice Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” But not just for Israel— “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Consider how devoted and dedicated Paul was to the work of converting others to Christ— “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (1 Cor. 9:3).

Paul had a tremendous desire for men and women to come to Christ in gospel obedience. I feel confident that he wanted to see others do well materially and physically, but above all else, he was concerned for their spiritual welfare. He expressed such a desire in his words to his brethren at Colosse in Colossians 1:9-10. How strong is our desire to see sinners obey the gospel and be saved? How strong is our desire to see Christians continue to grow in the Lord?

What Paul Desired For Himself

Most of Paul’s desires concerned his Lord and others. But there is one desire that he had for himself that stands out above all others. He had a tremendous desire to be with the Lord. Notice Philippians 1:23: “For I am hard pressed between the two having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Paul had already had a glimpse of the life beyond the grave as he described having seen “Paradise and heard inexpressible words” (2 Cor. 12:4). Since he understood so much about it, and since he was not too attached to this world, he had a burning desire to be “with Christ.” How much and how strong is our desire and longing to be with Him?

May we all learn from Paul’s desire that—“Christ will be magnified.” By so doing, may it help us realize that we have plenty of room to grow “with the increase which is from God” (Col. 2:19).

— via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, September 30, 2018
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Don’t Leave Home Without It
Joe R. Price

You remember the old American Express catch phrase at the end of their commercials: “American Express, don’t leave home without it.”  Well, this morning as I arrived at the office I realized I had left home without my Bible and the documents I intended to be working on today (and hence, the seed of this article).

There is any number of things we should not leave home without, including:

1. Faith in Christ. Each day as Christians go to school or work it is vital that their faith be solidly in place: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Faithless teachers challenge the faith of our children by teaching them such things as organic evolution and the social values (I use that word accommodatively) of humanism. Unbelieving classmates will often disagree with Biblical standards of purity and decency and tempt young Christians to compromise their faith and “have some fun.” Immoral co-workers will test your allegiance to Christ  by their vulgar language and lack of godly values. The normal tasks of the day put trials before every child of God. Faith must be maintained as we live in a faithless world. Without faith we will not please God (Heb. 11:6). Faith: “Don’t leave home without it.”

2. Responsibility and integrity. You will be exposed every day to people and situations that test your commitment to truth, honesty, and dependability. At work, the Christian should serve his employer “not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bond-servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Eph. 6:6-8). Trustworthiness, dependability, and honesty: “Don’t leave home without them.”

3. Love for God and man. The attitudes, decisions and actions of every Christian are to be the result of love for God and others. “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”.(Matt. 22:37-39). Love “does no harm to a neighbor” – even when that “neighbor” harms it (Rom. 13:10, 8-9; Matt. 5:38-45; 1 Cor. 13). We do not know God nor have His approval if we do not love others: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jno. 4:8). Love: “Don’t leave home without it.”

— Via the Elon Challenger, vol. 15, No., 11, July 2018
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Philippians 2:5-8

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (NASB).
——————–

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News & Notes

Folks to be keeping in prayer:

Danny Bartlett writes that his wife “Jan was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, breast cancer.  She has a surgeon consultation scheduled for June 12th and probably a Lumpectomy followed with radiation for about six weeks. Prognosis is good, but it is cancer. Prayers would be welcome.”

On June 4, Nancy Pickerd had a terrible fall that resulted in shattering her shoulder and socket and breaking her humerus bone in four places.  She will be having surgery for titanium replacements on June 12.

The back surgery for Melotine Davis will be this Thursday (June 13).

On May 30, Pat Joyner began cardio therapy, which she will continue 4 times a week (Monday through Thursday) for 9 weeks .

The family and friends of Tommy Lindsey and Kayleigh Tanner who both recently passed away.

Others to also be praying for: Shirley Davis, A.J. Joyner, Jim Lively, Bud Montero, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Waylon Murray, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, Jon Newman, and Roger Montgomery
   ——————–

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:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (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 (June 2, 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) Delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) (Mike Johnson)
2) Must A Thing Be Prohibited (C.R. Nichol)
3) News & Notes
——————–

psa119_16

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Delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)
Mike Johnson

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Do you delight in the Lord?  The Psalmist, thought to be David, said this is what we are to do. The word found in the original (anag) carries with it the idea of something delicate or soft that someone would take pleasure in (The Complete Word Study Dictionary). Here it involves the idea of taking pleasure and delight in God.  The verse says, “delight yourself,” so there is a choice involved and the concept of effort and commitment.

What does it mean today to take delight in something or someone?  It involves the idea of being excited (thrilled, energized) when people are doing what they really want to do or when they are with someone they really love.  What do you take great delight in today?  Many take great delight in sports.  They cannot wait for the season to start, and they eagerly anticipate the start of the big game.  When the game is over, they talk about it with others.  Truly, they delight in sports.  Others may delight in television, wealth, shopping, eating, or their computer. It is good to have various hobbies and endeavors we enjoy.  Primarily, however, as the text says, we should delight in the Lord!  For us, God produces delight, pleasure, and happiness.  If we delight in the Lord, the result should be a joyful interest in things of a spiritual nature.

Consider as an example King David. He was truly a person who delighted in the Lord for much of his life. Consider the various ways he showed this delight.

1.  BY DOING GOD’S WILL – David wrote in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” (Note also Psa. 16:8-9.)  It would be very difficult for a person to delight in the Lord if he were not actively involved in obeying Him.  A person in sin and rebellion often does not even feel comfortable having a conversation about God.  Sin puts a “cloud” over his relationship with God.  If we are going to delight in the Lord, we must have an earnest desire to obey Him and be willing to turn away from sin.

2.  BY MEDITATING ON THE SCRIPTURES – He wrote in Psalm 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” How much do we think about the Scriptures? Are our thoughts about the Scriptures just confined to church services?  When we “delight in the Lord,” we will think about God’s Law often.

3.  BY BEING ABSORBED IN HIS WORD – David also wrote Psalm 119, which focuses very much on the Word of God.  In verse 16, he stated, “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”  In verse 47, he said, “And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.” (Please also note verses 24, 35, and 77.)  Are our minds more absorbed with politics, sports, and entertainment than with God’s Word?  If people delight in the Lord, they should be, as we say today, “all about” the Scriptures.

4.  BY PRAYING – In Psalm 55:16-17 he said, “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” David prayed regularly. It would seem reasonable that if we take delight in the Lord, we would pray a lot, i.e. we would want to communicate with our Creator.  In the New Testament, we are told to “pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17), and to “continue steadfastly in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).

5.  BY ASSEMBLING – In Psalm 122:1, David said, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’”  In Psalm 16:11, he said, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Note also Isa. 58:13-14 where the writer called the Sabbath Day a “delight.”)  A person who delights in the Lord will assemble for worship.

  6.  BY SINGING PRAISES – In Psalm 59:16, he points out, “But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.” Singing is a command (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16), but it is a great opportunity for worship, and we should be “delighted” to sing praises to God.

Going back to verse 4b, we see a blessing attached to delighting in the Lord.  It says if we trust in the Lord, He will give us the “desires of our heart.”  Some interpret this to mean if we trust in the Lord, He will give us anything we want such as luxuries, wealth, and power. However, this is not talking about superficial earthly desires to have more.  I Timothy 6:6 says, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”  I John 2:15-17 points out we are not to love the world or the things in the world. The passage in our text is consistent with the New Testament teaching on prayer. In the New Testament, we are given assurances regarding prayer (Mt. 7:7-11), but we also learn there are conditions of acceptable prayer (I Pet. 3:12, James 5:16-18). It is not saying if we delight in the Lord, He will give us any luxury we ask for.  Instead, as in the New Testament, God knows our needs, we pray to Him, and His response will be in keeping with what is best for us.

We have a tendency to get discouraged. We see moral decay with little interest in spirituality.  Perhaps the stock market is down, the economy is bad, and we see war and violence throughout the world. This bleakness can result in despair, but regardless of what is happening around us, we should always delight in the Lord.  Corrie ten Boom put it like this.

Look around, you’ll be distressed.
Look within, you’ll be depressed,
Look to the Lord, you’ll be at rest.

Thus, do not get angry and envious because of the prosperity of evil people; instead, rejoice in the Lord. Delighting in the Lord is not just something we say we do.  If we delight in Him, it will be seen by our attitude and by our lives.

— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 16, Number 9, May 2019
——————–

Deut4_2

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Must A Thing Be Prohibited?
C.R. Nichol

Some think they are at liberty to introduce anything into God’s worship, providing God has not, in so many words, prohibited it. This is evidently a mistake. Such a plan of procedure would open the flood gates for innumerable innovations. On this principle every kind of food and drink might be brought into the Lord’s supper, and burning incense might be added to the worship. We must remember that law is inclusive and exclusive, including the things commanded and excluding all things else. This principle is too well known to need argument. Besides, in religious matters God alone has the right to guide men, and when man undertakes to add forms of service or worship not authorized by God’s law, he assumes prerogatives which belong exclusively to God. He is presuming to take the office of God; one who has proper reverence for God so regards him.

– via The Beacon, April 21, 2019
——————–

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News & Notes

Folks to be keeping in prayer:

We extend our condolences to all the family and friends of Tommy Lindsey (Tory McCarthy’s grandfather) who passed away yesterday at 5:30 p.m.

Our sympathies also go out to the family of 3-year-old Kayleigh Tanner, and all the bereaved.  Since April 7, she had been in the children’s hospital in Atlanta, battling cancer, and of which she already had previous surgeries for.  But on last Thursday, her spirit left her little body; and we can be assured that she is now in a much better place! For Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me…for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14, ESV).

The spinal surgery for three-year-old Waylon Murray went well.  He will soon begin physical therapy to see if the operation will now allow him to walk.

Melotine Davis’ back surgery is less than 2 weeks away —  June 13.

Bud Montero recently had an MRI, but probably won’t hear of the result until his next appointment in July, unless something shows up of a serious nature.

Others to also be praying for: Shirley Davis, Pat & A.J. Joyner, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, James Medlock, Deborah Medlock, Mary Vandevander, Michelle Rittenhouse, John Stoval, Amris Bedford, Danny Hutcheson, Rex & Frankie Hadley, and Roger Montgomery
——————–

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:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (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)