The Auburn Beacon
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works
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Thoughts To Ponder

“Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
(Acts 19:4-5)

 

 

 


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Click Here to Hear:

A Friendly Discussion on Mormonism

Held at the University church of Christ -
February 17, 2011

A Review of the Movie: "Hell and Mr. Fudge"



A Study of the Holy Spirit
Adult Bible Class

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Hear Mark Broyles on "Marriage as God Designed It"

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A Study of Evangelism
(Studies in the Cross of Christ)
College Bible Class by Larry Rouse

 


Studies by David Tant at the University church of Christ

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Building a Biblical Home Bible Class Series

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The Right Baptism
 

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

 

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:1-5).

One thing should be clear from this text -- just any baptism will not do. The Ephesians had been baptized, but they needed to be baptized again. They had been baptized unto John's baptism -- a baptism that was no longer in effect. It was not the baptism of the great commission. It was a baptism preparing the Jews for the coming of the Christ. By the time the Ephesians were baptized the Christ had come, died, was buried, and had risen from the dead. He had given the baptism of the great commission. The Ephesians needed to submit to that baptism -- baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus." One must be baptized to be saved (1 Pet. 3:21), but he needs to be sure that he is rightly baptized.

The Right Authority

The second baptism that the Ephesians received was "in the name of the Lord Jesus" or by His authority. "In the name of" suggests authority. If a policeman says, "I arrest you in the name of the law," he is invoking the authority of the law. When Jesus gave the great commission he declared that he had all authority and commanded that people be baptized in order to saved (Matt. 28:18-28; Mark 16:15-16)

(click here for the entire article...)


The Simple Power of the Lord's Supper
 

by Cled E. Wallace

 

The Lord's Supper is a striking example of "the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ." (2 Cor. 11:3.) It fits admirably into the simplicity of the whole New Testament order of things. The humblest disciple, even though he be illiterate, can refresh himself in its simple power. Its richest meaning is easily accessible to him. A group of lovers of the Lord gather quietly and reverently about the table of the Lord. On the table are the things, and only those, which the Lord directed should be there. "This is my body which is given for you." "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins." There is the giving of thanks, the eating of bread, the drinking of the fruit of the vine; there is the self-examination of the participants, and the proper discernment self-examination the part of all of the body and blood of the Lord, and hearts are animated anew with the hope of his return "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believe in that day." (2 Thes. 1:10.) This simplicity should be guarded by the use of "sound words." Such terms as "sacrament" and "eucharist" have no place here. And the beauty of the simplicity of the Lord's Supper has been marred by speculations which are both foolish and unreasonable. Imagine some wiseacre arising at the table, puffed up with dignity, and pompously giving expressions to such words as these: "The validity of the service does not lie in the quality of its eternal signs or sacramental representation, but in its essential properties and substantial realities." The bread which Jesus took was literal bread, and so was the fruit of the vine. It was literal through the process of both eating and drinking. A mystic interpretation which would change bread and wine into literal flesh and blood was never in the mind of the Lord or his apostles, and is an outrage to all reason. The well-known rules that govern the use of figurative language were employed by Jesus and the New Testament writers. There is a very simple way in which the bread can be the body of the Lord, and the fruit of the vine his blood, without being literally so. When Jesus called Herod "that fox," nobody imagined that Jesus thought Herod was a four-legged animal who prowled around in the night in search of chicken roosts. When Jesus claimed to be the bread and water of life, his figurative language is clear. Spiritual communion with the body and blood of the Lord is made easy through the literal eating of bread and the literal drinking of wine, according to the simple instruction of the New Testament. The simplest observation of the gospel seem to challenge a certain type of mind to foolish and hurtful speculations which mystify and confuse. Allow the Lord's Supper to retain the simple power and beauty of its original observance. The Lord's Supper and the Lord's day, when properly observed, go a long way in holding the church to the faith of the gospel. Corruption of these is bound to corrupt the church.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Profitable Word
 

by Irven Lee

 

It certainly makes sense for one to suggest that man should study the Bible. The Bible is a revelation of the will of God. This revelation includes His authoritative commandments which man must obey if he would please his Creator, and it includes the exceeding great and precious promises concerning the good things laid up in heaven for the faithful. (2 Peter 1:3-4.) We may observe that every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward. (Heb. 2:2-3.) He chastens every son whom He receives that strength of character may be developed. (Heb. 12:6.) How could one carefully examine the profitable word and not be impressed by the goodness of God? God is love (1 John 4:8), and those who would know of His mercy and of His plan for man may learn from His revealed will.

A FIRM BASIS

Man is capable of having many similarities to a vicious wild animal, but he is also capable of being a lively stone in the temple in which God dwells among men. (1 Peter 2:5.) Man can so follow the example of Christ that purity, unselfishness, and strength of character can remind us that he was created in the image of God. There is an indescribable difference in the man most like the wild beast and the man who best exemplifies the image of his Maker. What is the difference? One is taught of God. The other follows the leadings of his carnal animal nature.

(click here for the entire article...)


"Bound to Give Thanks .... For You"
 

by Steve Klein

Teaching little children to pray can be a wonderful and sometimes amusing challenge. I recently read about a little three year old girl named Kelli who, when saying her nightly prayers with her mother, would thank God for every family member, every friend, and every pet animal (current and past).   For several weeks, as she finished her prayer, Kelli would add, "And all girls." Finally her mother asked her, "Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?"  Her response: "Because we always finish our prayers by saying 'All Men!'"   You have to admit, "all men" and "amen" do sound alike.  Kelli wanted to make sure the girls were included too!

I wonder if the Lord thinks that teaching adult disciples to pray is also a challenge.  In 1 Timothy 2:1, the apostle Paul exhorts that "giving of thanks be made for all men" (and yes the word "men" here includes girls).  Have we learned this lesson?  Do we thank God for all men?  Do we even thank Him for any men? 

Writing to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul asserted twice that he was "bound" to thank God for the Thessalonians.

"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other" (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

(click here for the entire article...)


Build, Keeping Emotions in Balance
 

by Ferrell Jenkins

   

How large is your church?" "What is one of the more common questions that I am asked by outsiders who learn that I am a preacher. We hear of phenomenal growth among certain denominational churches, especially those which put undue emphasis on emotionalism. Examples of unusual and rapid growth are also cited among churches of Christ from time to time.

Don't misunderstand! This writer is opposed to neither growth among the Lord's people nor the proper use of emotions. Growth based on the truth of God is an ideal for which we should long (Eph 4:14-16). We are concerned, however, about growth which is accomplished by maintaining a high peak of excitement or through techniques which are more appropriate to sales promotions than to the gospel of Christ.

Keeping churches small is certainly not our goal. Every person in attendance represents a soul destined for eternity. Churches need to grow, and they will as souls are saved by the gospel of Christ (Rom 1:16-17). The method by which the desired growth is achieved is extremely important. Simply preaching and teaching the word of God often seems to yield slim results. In an effort to grow, we are sometimes tempted to use methods which, if not unscriptural, are at best questionable. Here we wish to look at a few of these. questionable methods which involve the improper use of emotion.

1. Super Salesmanship Techniques. The church which uses such methods must be highly organized into groups with leaders who are responsible for keeping each group motivated. The group must make so many "sales." Everyone must remain excited about the work. Excitement, or enthusiasm, becomes addictive… the group must constantly be "high." The assembly can become a "pep rally" with the elders, the preacher, the announcer, and perhaps even the song leader taking part.

(click here for the entire article...)


Devilish Discombobulations
 

by Dee Bowman

   

Confusion is one of the cleverest tools of the Devil. If he can get us confused on a matter he quickly gains an advantage. First of all, confusion breeds discouragement. We get quickly discouraged when we don’t understand things. Second, confusion brings controversy, mainly because misunderstandings grow out of it. And thirdly, confusion breeds disunity. It’s hard to be united on something when everybody’s all mixed up.

The Devil has used confusion to retard and restrict people’s understanding about a multitude of things. I want to discuss just a few to illustrate that fact.

Confusion about sin. Sin has been softened in this generation. In fact, you seldom see the word used. You’ll search several issues of your local paper without even seeing the word. Actually, there’s no such thing as sin to most people. Oh, they might say murder’s a sin or perhaps child abuse or something like that. But pornography? Naa. How about homosexuality? Naa. Cheating? Depends on who’s doing it and why. Lying? Well, sometimes it’s a little wrong, but sin? Naa. Sin is called sin only in the most extreme conditions. What about God’s definition of sin? He says it’s “transgression of the law” (I Jn. 3:4-5). You mean even the “little” transgressions? Yes, sir, sin is any transgression of the law. “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin,” God said (Jas. 4:17). You mean if I know something is good and I don’t do it, God holds that against me? Yes, sir. Omission of known good is just as much a sin as murder or child abuse. And Romans 14:23 says that wilfully ignoring what you believe to be right or wrong is a sin, too: “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Sin is sin. And just because you ignore it doesn’t mean it goes away. Don’t be confused. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20).

(click here for the entire article...)


Blessed Among Women
 

by Bubba Garner

   

Anyone who thinks that the Bible is chauvinistic or prejudiced against women has just not been reading it. Some of the highest marks of praise in the book of God are ascribed to women. Esther is said to have “found favor in the eyes of all who saw her” (Esther 2:15). Ruth is called “a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:11). And what better commendation could be given than what is attributed to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, thought to have been twin sisters in the church at Rome: “workers in the Lord” (Rom. 16:12). Women were not just footnotes along the path of history; they left footprints to be followed.

One woman who certainly fits that description is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She, too, is paid a flattering compliment when Elizabeth, her cousin, calls her “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42). This is not an endorsement to worship Mary, to elevate her to a position that people in her own generation did not place her. But neither is it a prohibition to neglect studying her at all or to pretend she is not mentioned alongside other great women of the Bible. We should want to know what it is that makes Mary so blessed.

She was chosen to deliver the Deliverer. God had already brought forth a nation from the womb of a barren woman, Sarah. Isaiah prophesied that He would also bring forth a Son from the womb of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). Because Mary kept herself pure and had not given in to sexual temptation even once, she was a fit candidate to fulfill the promise. Her innocence is further seen in her words spoken to the angel after learning of the task God had chosen for her. “Behold the bond slave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).Who knows what plans the Lord has in mind for your life? When you make righteous decisions, you place yourself in a better position to be used. Not only that, you will be more equipped to serve when the time comes. Mary was chosen for a special purpose. But she was chosen because she had made up her mind to make good choices. Be it done to me and you.

(click here for the entire article...)


Seeking the Truth
 

by Barney Keith

   

As tragic as it is, "Many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) One of the most discouraging things to people through the ages has been the prevalence of all sorts of religious doctrines. Every sincere person needs to recognize the existence of error, but at the same time realize that truth can be sought and known. Jesus promised that "the truth will make you free." (John 8:32) Truth is the only antidote for error.

Truth is accessible to all men alike. God is no respector of persons, and "would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:4) Yet there are certain basic considerations which are essential for the sincere truth seeker. Let us notice some of them.

1. The initial battle is with your own will. If you really want truth you can find it. (John 7:17) The desire of the Holy Spirit is that you "be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:17) But you must make up your mind that you DESIRE to know. Then you will be ready to begin the search. A "good and honest heart" must come first.

2. You must have a wholesome, respectful attitude toward the truth. To search for truth will be a waste of your time if you do not plan to accept it—whatever it may be. Paul declared to the Thessalonian brethren that certain people perish "because they received not the love of the truth." (2 Thess. 2:10) He stated also that they all will be "judged who believed not the truth." (2 Thess. 2:12) Hence, one must love the truth and believe the truth to avoid God's condemnation.

(click here for the entire article...)


You Must Go to War to Find Peace
 

by Larry Rouse

   

The simplest description of a Christian is one who is an imitator of God. This transformation of the spirit of a Christian into “the image of His Son” is God’s eternal plan for every man that comes to Him (Rom 8:29-30). When we honestly look at the nature of man and then that of God, we must marvel at the great power that God has used to bring about that transformation. 

Just as a blacksmith hammers out the lump of metal into a useful instrument, our God uses the fires of conflict, guided by His written word and providential care to mold us into His image (James 1:2-4; Rom 5:3-5). Without this process there can be no change.

God Demands that We Know His Character

Jesus plainly showed His followers that all motives and actions on our part must be based on our understanding of how God Himself thinks and acts. How do we deal with an enemy, an angry, bitter man who has hurt us? “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt 5:43-45).

(click here for the entire article...)


Thank God for Godly Women
 

by Bubba Garner

   

A few weeks ago our own brother George Bittner was talking with me and reflecting on the beginnings of this congregation. The main point that he stressed was the role that godly women had played in the early days of this church. He said that probably very few people in the congregation today realized what a vital role those women had played, godly women who stood firm and committed, often without their husbands, to allow this congregation to "get off the ground" and succeed. I would add to that not only in the beginning but throughout the history of this congregation even to its present, godly women have continued to play a significant role in seeing this congregation continue and experience success. Shamefully we fail to acknowledge this as often and rightfully as we should. Perhaps it is just such failure to rightfully acknowledge the church has perhaps become role of godly women that has helped fuel the fire of controversy over the role of women in the church. I realize that there are radical feminists who cry for change and want to break down all barriers of distinction between women in the church. men and women. But there may also be those women who perhaps have been swayed to listen to these cries at least in part by the unfulfilled expressions of appreciation for their contributions to the cause of Christ in the local congregation. Certainly, no Christian serves God rightfully if he does so to receive the praise of men (John 12:42-43; Matt. 6:1-8; Gal. 1:10; 2 Cor. 5:9).

But no one should be taken for granted. No one likes to have his efforts and labors ignored. The lack of recognition and honor that has been given to godly women in the church has perhaps become a fertile soil for the seeds of change being sown in an effort to alter the divinely authorized role of women in the church. The call for women to be held up in leader-ship positions within the church and to lead in public assemblies is no longer merely being heard in denominations, but is now being heard among many of those wearing the name church of Christ. While no abuse or failure in the past could ever be pointed to as cause for rejecting the divine pattern for the present, we need to recognize and acknowledge the rightful role that godly women have and do play in the Lord's church.

(click here for the entire article...)


Press Along to the Goal
 

by Bubba Garner

   

She fled from the rising waters of the tsunami. Visions of her family, a husband and five children, flashed through her mind. She had to live—not just for her, for them. As she climbed a tree, she was bitten by a snake. Then came the fire ants. They stung her legs, arms, face, even her eyes. Still, she climbed. This woman had one goal, survival; it was her only option. The reunion with her family would be worth it.

Setting goals is a part of life. Achieving them, however, is not quite as common. And many times, the difference between setting marks and reaching them is the reward that waits at the end. When two teams battle and fight their way through a close championship game, what do we usually say about the one that finally finishes on top? “They were just hungrier; they wanted it more.” At the beginning of the season, they didn’t just set their minds on winning. Their goal was to win it all. They knew that the reward at the end would be worth it.

The apostle Paul likened Christianity to running a race when he said, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). That suggests some things about the determination and vision necessary as we make our journey to our own reward.

(click here for the entire article...)


Let's Get on With It, or Forget it!
 

by Dee Bowman

   

In a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, George F. Will says, “The challenge confronting the church can be expressed in one word: modernity.” He is exactly right—even though his concept of what is the church is not biblical, his perception of what constitutes the church’s challenge is entirely correct. What we face as the people of God today is what he terms modernity.

His definition of that term is likewise perceptive and very accurate. Listen to it: “Modernity teaches that freedom is the sovereignty of the individual’s will—personal volition that is spontaneous, unconditioned, inviolable and self- legitimizing.”

That is about as fine a definition of our subjective-thinking society as you will find. I have said on numerous occasions, “in this country we’re more interested in our ‘rights’ than we are our ‘wrongs.” We have lost contact with the word of God and have made contact with ourselves. It’s as simple as that. We have become the authority, not the Bible.

This subjective theology, promoted and practiced, by the denominational world in general, and particularly by the so-called “community church” concept, is what religion is all about in our age. In today’s religion, our choices are so specially our own that no “one has the right to tell me what to do.” Our decisions are based not on objective, definitive truth, but on what and how we “feel” about a matter. There is, in this doctrine of modernity, no such thing as a truth that is for all; there is only truth for me.

(click here for the entire article...)


Beware of False Teachers
 

by Gary Henry

   

Few things, if any, contribute to lifelong faithfulness more than the combination of discernment (the ability to distinguish truth from untruth, based on a study of God's word) and conviction (the willingness to take a stand for the truth once it has been discerned). Stability in the truthful teaching of God's word is not only a mark of Christian maturity, the lack of it makes new converts vulnerable to the loss of their salvation. Paul wasn't wasting words when he said that "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ" (Eph. 4:14,15).

Many modern thinkers hold to the concept that "truth" is totally subjective, and that the more mature a person is, the less dogmatic he will be about anything. But the New Testament view of maturity is different. Solid, stable truth is held up as a worthy goal, and Christians are urged to get past the stage as quickly as possible where they're apt to be blown back and forth by "every wind of doctrine." We're not to be stubborn, of course. But neither are we to be gullible. Although we're to hold our convictions gently and humbly, the fact remains that we are to hold them. And as time goes by, we're to become more skilled at seeing through deception. We can't acquire perfect knowledge, but we certainly can grow to "full age" and be among those "who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). In short, we can learn to discern -- and we're in danger if we don't.

(click here for the entire article...)


Does Jesus Care?
 

by Dee Bowman

   

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly at heart and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and by burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Are you ever weary? Are you ever heavy laden?

Do you get tired of the battle, tired of fighting it, tired of having to get up again after a fall, tired of making so little gain, tired of knowing somebody knows what you did, tired of trying to be a good example only to slip and fall?

Do you get weary of the road with all its bumps, with all its sudden turns, with all its chug holes and its detours? Do you get tired of a road that seems to wind around and go nowhere?

Do you get tired of the sameness of stuff, tired of the same old routine, tired of the dullness of doing the same things over and over again, day after day, tired of the drudgery of knowing you have to do it all over again tomorrow? Do you get tired of the same old cliches, the same stale language, the same monotonous memos, the same grumbling gripes and coarse complaints, the same old boring job?

(click here for the entire article...)


He That is Without Sin Among You
 

by Bob Waldron

   

One time the Pharisees brought a woman who had been taken in adultery to Jesus and asked Him what to do about her. Should she be stoned as the law said? They were not really interested in the law, nor right and wrong, nor the woman. They were trying Jesus "that they may have whereof to accuse him" (Jn. 8:6). After a pause and further questioning Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (Jn. 8:7). The statement Jesus uttered on this occasion has often been violently and blatantly misapplied. His reply was strictly in keeping with the law which said, "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So thou shall put away the evil from the midst of thee" (Deut. 17:2-7).

(click here for the entire article...)


When I Was Baptized
 

by Larry Rouse

   

We do not forget great turning points in their lives. It may be the memory of meeting and falling in love with the one that eventually would become our mate. It could be the loss of a parent whose memory continues to inspire us to serve God and never quit. These and other critical points in our lives should both humble us and inspire us to draw more closely to the God that provides for us beyond what we could ever know (Rom 8:28).

The greatest turning point for any of us is the day that we entered into fellowship with the God of heaven. This was a point of our turning from our sins and finding the forgiveness that makes a relationship with God possible (Acts 3:19, 26). 

I often think back to the situations that led me to that decision to turn to Jesus Christ. It is good for me to remember the rejoicing and the new direction that I found in my life. It was like I myself had died and come back to life (Rom 6:2-5). This turning point transformed my life and led me down paths that I never thought I would take. To this very day my life is filed with newness and an awareness that my future paths are determined by a living faith which looks for doors of opportunity that the Lord may place before me.

Why our memory is important

Over time we can drift from our relationship with God to the point that we are caught up in a mindless and heartless “going through the motions.” A living faith must continually be growing, adding, and fighting or it is dead. Peter points out why some fail to add to their faith. “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins (2 Peter 1:9). What do you remember about your forgiveness?

(click here for the entire article...)


The Origin of the Sinner's Prayer
 

by Ryan Hasty

   

No method of conversion has gained such popularity amongst mainstream denominations in the last century than that of the “Sinner’s Prayer”. It has been said that thousands of people utter this prayer daily in response to alter calls and one-on-one conversations between friends, relatives, co-workers, and school mates. To find the origin of this method of conversion, one must rely on extra-biblical evidence as neither the term “sinner’s prayer” nor the concept can be found in God’s holy word.

The beginning of this conversion method has its foundation in the middle 18th century as the First Great Awakening was underway. It was in 1741 that a preacher named Eleazar Wheelock devised a technique called the “Mourner’s Seat” by which to draw the penitent believer. Wheelock would target sinners by having them sit in the front pew while pronouncing from the pulpit “salvation is looming over your heads.” Not only were these individuals susceptible to further counsel, they were vulnerable to whatever method of conversion Wheelock prescribed. False conversions from his revivals were numerous though it took almost a hundred years for other preachers to begin mimicking his process.

(click here for the entire article...)


Caring for the "Unstable" in the Flock
 

by Larry Rouse

   

A crucial work of a shepherd is to protect the flock. Knowing both the strengths and weaknesses of each member is important in order to know how to help each one. Because of his experience, a capable shepherd can see danger coming before the actual time of crisis. The ability to be alert, to warn, and to have a plan of action when danger comes will often make the difference between spiritual life and death to vulnerable sheep. (Heb 13:17)

A new Christian, by his very nature, has not yet learned the doctrine of Christ to the point where he is grounded in it and – as a result – he can be, “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” This back and forth instability makes one especially vulnerable to those who have an agenda of whom the Holy Spirit describes as influencing others in “cunning craftiness” and “deceitful plotting.” (Eph 3:14-15)

Identifying the Unstable

One may be unstable for many reasons. In addition to a lack of knowledge and experience, one may be very prone to being overwhelmed by his emotions. Consider some of the fruits of instability.

 

1. He is undependable. Just like a ship without an anchor, those who lack consistent direction will often let others down. Children who lack maturity often “forget” the assigned task to do something fun. Unstable people can be full of excitement and sincerity but have a difficult time seeing things through to the end. The parable of the sower illustrates the fruits of the one who, “has no root in himself, and so endure only for a time.” (Mark 4:16-17)

(click here for the entire article...)


Invisible Me
 

by Steven Harper

   

Throughout the writings of the apostle Paul, we see his efforts to exalt Christ while simultaneously diminishing himself. He did so because he understood as well as anyone that the salvation of the hearer/reader would not be dependent upon some power in Paul, or some superior ability he had to persuade others to follow Christ. He knew, as he stated to the Romans, the gospel of Jesus Christ is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16); the power was not in him [the messenger], but in the message itself - more specifically, the one at the center of that message, Jesus Christ.

But even early in the history of the church, men were divided and made distinctions based on who taught them. The Corinthians had done so (cf. 1 Cor. 1:11-12) and Paul wrote to eliminate such unworthy divisions. Paul pointed them back to Christ and remind them it was Christ they followed, and not any man (1 Cor. 1:30-31). He would later write to make sure the brethren there understood that his part in even their salvation was not to be celebrated, saying of himself, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor. 3:5-7). Let us emphasize Paul’s statement that the one doing the teaching is nothing because it is God who gives the increase.

(click here for the entire article...)


Make Sunday Special
 

by Dee Bowman

   

Sunday is special. It’s the day of His resurrection. It’s the day of devotion to God, a day for spiritual service and rejoicing. It’s the day God ordained for worship and service. It’s the day when we keep the memorial of Jesus’ death, the Lord’s Supper. It’s a day for singing and praying and being together. It’s a day for spiritual feasting.

Sometimes I think we take the Lord’s Day for granted. We become so familiar with it that we fail to give it the thought and emphasis it deserves. If we’re not careful, it can become plain, ordinary.

Please allow me a few observations on how you can make Sunday even more special. These are suggestions, not rules; but they are worth consideration, methinks.

Dress appropriately. If Sunday is a special day, it deserves some special things. Appropriate dress is one of them. Now, please be advised that no one here is demanding that a dress code be observed, but it just makes sense that the importance and significance of the Lord’s day is not made special by excessive casualness. We should not be casual in our observance of the various blessings of the Lord’s day and it just makes good sense that, if things are to be done, “decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40), that proper attire is one of them. Incidentally, it might interest you to know that the Greek word translated with our word “decently” is defined a “denoting gracefully, becomingly, in a seemly manner” (Vine). Sometimes it even means “honorable.”

(click here for the entire article...)


Is Social Drinking Condemned?
 

by Thomas G. O'Neal

   

Many understand that drunkenness is condemned by both the Old and New Testaments. However, there are some that feel "social drinking" is not.  Some make arguments in favor of "social drinking," not because they drink, but because they do not know any better.  Others defend "social drinking" because they practice such. Yes, there are those claiming to be members of the Lord's body that try to defend such. Some otherwise good churches have had their influence hindered because of those that were regarded as being somewhat known "social drinkers" if not outright drunkards.

Peter said, "For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings and abomi­nable idolatries" (1 Peter 4:3). Peter uses three expressions I want to notice in this article.

 

(click here for the entire article...)


 

Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

Our God He Is Alive! (Evidences From DNA by Buddy Payne)
PowerPoint
Audio of Lesson

 

Making God Real to Us by Joshua Carter - Nov. 27, 2011
Outline
Audio of Lesson
Audio of Singing

The College Christian by Harold Carswell - Nov. 6, 2011
Outline
Audio of Lesson (Part 1)
Audio of Lesson (Part 2)
Audio of Singing

My Struggle as a College Student by Kyle Gibson- Oct. 23, 2011
Audio of Lesson
Audio of Singing

Click Here for The Weekend Philippians Study
 

 

Does God Care What I Wear?
(Sermons and Articles on Modesty)

Click Here for Audio and Other Files
 


How to Study the Bible
College Class

Click Here for Audio and PowerPoint Files

 

Third Annual Weekend Student Bible Study - January 11-12 on
 The Book of Colossians
Studies led by Kyle Gibson, Joshua Carter, Ben Hall, Caleb George and Bob Buchanon
Click Here For More Details

Hear Bob Buchanon in a Series of Bible Lectures at
the University church of Christ
Jan 13-16, 2013

Click Here For More Details

 


Messianic Prophecies in the Book of Isaiah
Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - The Time and Reign of the Messiah
Lesson 2 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 42)
Lesson 3 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 49)
Lesson 4 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 50)
Lesson 5 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 52-53)
Lesson 6 - The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7)

Click Here for Audio and Other Files

 


Sermon Series on the Book of 1 John
by Robert Harkrider

Click Here for Audio and Other Files

 

Themes From the Life of David
Wednesday Night Bible Class by Larry Rouse

 

A Study of Religious Beliefs

Wednesday Night College Bible Class

Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Introduction and Approach
Lesson 2 - The Roman Catholic Church
Lesson 3 - An Overview of Islam
Lesson 4 - An Overview of Mormonism
Lesson 5 - An Overview of Pentecostalism
Lesson 6 - An Overview of Calvinism

 


Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

 

For Additional Information and Past Audio and Outlines Click Here
 

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