The Auburn Beacon
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

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Thoughts To Ponder

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
(1 Timothy 6:10)   

 

 


University church of Christ

 

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 Wednesday

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Elders

Larry Rouse
1174 Terrace Acres Drive
Auburn, AL 36830

Cell:    (334) 734-2133
Home:
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Walker Davis
1653 Millbranch Drive,
Auburn, AL 36832

Cell:    (334) 703-0050
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(334) 826-3690


Contact Us

 University
church of Christ

449 North Gay Street

Auburn, AL 36830

 

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Do You Have a Student or
Are a Student that is Planning to Attend Auburn?

We would like to to be aware of the resources that we make available to the students that attend with us!

Click Here to Visit our Parent Student Resource Page and make Contact with Us!

 

Hear David Maxson in a Series on the Book of Daniel Held at the University church of Christ
For Audio and PowerPoint click here!



A Study of the Holy Spirit
Adult Bible Class

Click For Outlines and Audio
 


Hear Mark Broyles on "Marriage as God Designed It"

Click Here for Audio and PowerPoint Files

 

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

Click Here for Audio and PowerPoint Files

 

Building a Biblical Home Bible Class Series

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Improving Our Marriages

Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Adult 2 Classroom

Sunday Mornings at 9:30

Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Things I Give My Mate Because I Am A Christian
Lesson 2 - Communicating With Our Mates Because We Seek To Serve

Lesson 3 - Guarding Your Heart (Part 1)
Lesson 4- Guarding Your Heart (Part 2)
Lesson 5 - Making Wise Decisions (Part 1)
Click Here for Audio

A Study of Angels and Demons
(Wednesday Night Auditorium Class)
Bible Class by Larry Rouse

Download the current outlines:
Lesson1 - The Need and Scope of Our Study
Lesson 2 - The Nature and Similarity of Angels to Men
Lesson 3 - The Providence of God and Spiritual Beings
Lesson 4 -
How God Uses and Then Defeats Satan
Lesson 5 -
A Study of the Angel of the Lord
Lesson 6 - Demons and Demon Possession

Click Here for Audio and PowerPoint

The Northern Virginia Bible Study
Feb 25, 28 and March 1

The Apostles and the Local Church

Studies led by Larry Rouse

Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Words
Lesson 1 - Words (With Full Scriptures Printed)

Lesson 2 - The Local Church and the Words of the Apostles
Lesson 2 - The Local Church and the Words of the Apostles (With Full Scriptures Printed)

Lesson 3 - What Is the Place and Purpose of the Contribution

Lesson 3 - What Is the Place and Purpose of the Contribution (With Full Scriptures Printed)

Lesson 4 - How Do the Apostles Words Instruct Us Concerning Doctrinal Differences?
Lesson 4 - How do the Apostles Words Instruct Us Concerning Doctrinal Differences? (With Full Scriptures Printed)

Click Here for Audio and Additional Resources

 

 

Problems Concerning Material Prosperity

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

 

The Scriptures teach us that the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). At the same time, we are taught that we must work in order to have money to buy the things we need and to have to give to those less fortunate that ourselves (Eph. 4:28; Acts 20:33-35; 2 Thess. 3:10). It is also clear from the Scriptures that there have been godly rich people. The rich among Christians are addressed and warned against the pitfalls of wealth with no indication that their prosperity was wrong of itself (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Instead they are told that God has richly given them their wealth to be enjoyed (v. 17). John wished for Gaius, "that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 Jn. 2). Local churches depend on the prosperity of their members' in order to do their work (1 Cor. 16:2). With all of this, why would Jesus say that it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God (Mt. 19:24)?

The reason it is difficult to the point of near impossible is that "... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1 Tim. 6:9). Very few can handle the pressure. The danger is not so much that they will become like the miser sitting in his vault room running his fingers through his piles of money. The danger is in the things that having money, or the perception of having it, can bring them, i.e., Pride, Popularity, Prestige, and Power.

These tend to blend together in the minds many who desire wealth. While we cannot read the hearts and minds of such people, over time we can see enough to reasonably discern their motives by their demeanor. At any rate, God knows.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Convertibles - The Nonconvertibles

by Bill Hall

 

There are people in this world who are convertible to Christ; others who are nonconvertible. Jesus was not able to convert everyone, nor were the apostles, and, in fact, the Bible clearly teaches that while many will be saved (Heb. 2:10), the majority will be lost (Mt. 7:13, 14).

There are major differences between the convertibles of this world and the nonconvertibles. The nonconvertibles consider the message of the cross foolishness. They see no need for a Savior, a cross, blood, atonement, or a message of salvation. As one young man said after hearing the message of the cross, "I'm sorry; it makes no sense to me."

The nonconvertibles have hearts closed to the gospel. The convertibles have hearts open to the gospel. They are willing to listen, to consider the evidences, to reason.

The nonconvertibles glory in human wisdom. They are impressed with the intellectuals of the day who take on airs of superiority and infallibility.

The convertibles bow in humble submission to God's wisdom. They recognize that in Christ "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). They withstand those who would rob them "through philosophy and empty deceit" (Col. 2:8). They believe anything God says and are willing to obey anything He tells them to do. They see the foolishness of injecting their own subjective thinking into anything clearly taught in God's word. For them, a "Thus says the Lord" is the end of all controversy. Just show them the scripture.

(click here for the entire article...)


Have You Ever Been a Seeker?

by J. R. Bronger

 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). What does this passage mean to YOU? In all your life, have you ever had to really seek, or is your spiritual commitment something passed down to you? Is your "faith" something you grew up with or are you where you are because you spent time seeking?

Jesus said: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). Have you ever had a ravenous craving to know the meaning of righteousness and to experience it in your life? If you have, you know it. Those spiritual hunger pangs will keep you awake at night.

In my teenage years, the only time I went to a church service of any kind was when I was asked by a girl I was interested in. Having a love of the world (1 John 2:15-17) would have described me. Growing up as I did left no room for God. My wife, on the other hand, had been raised attending the Church of the Nazarene; her grandfather was a Nazarene preacher. Religiously, this was all she knew. Upon our marriage, the world conquered religion as we both engaged in carnal pursuits resulting in marital strain. My wife decided to return to her spiritual moorings and again started attending the Nazarene Church. After several Sundays I went just to be with her at first, but this changed as I listened.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Awesome Power of God

by Jon W. Quinn

 

The universe continues to function according to design. We know upon what day the shortest day of the year will occur, and the longest. We know when the next solar eclipse will take place, how complete it will be, and from where it will be visible. And we expect to see both rain and sunshine in the coming days; seasons giving way to years.

What causes the world to be as it is? Many explanations have been offered by mankind; and many discarded. Some of these explanations are found in the myth and superstition of man. Ancient civilizations of both hemispheres; the Babylonians, Egyptians, Aztecs and Mayans.

More recently, some have sought the answer by purely natural means. The shortcoming of these explanations is that, while they work reasonably well up to a point, they can never really explain how things began from nothing.

Then, there is the supernatural/natural explanation. This view holds that God created matter and the natural laws by which it is governed. The universe continues to operate according to His grand design in a natural way (Ps 104:10-14, 18,19,24,25,30).

(click here for the entire article...)


The Power of a Relationship

by Larry Rouse

 

God created man to be a social creature. Because of this everyone has a God-given need to form relationships with others. And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. (Gen 2:18)” God let Adam first see his need for companionship and then responded by creating Eve (Gen 2:19-23). Today there are many, because of their immaturity or because of their past hurts, that have tried to deny this need and live apart from others. All who take this path will live a lonely and painful life.

Our need for a relationship is also central in God’s drawing us to Him. God’s care, His understanding, His wanting to listen and communicate with us and His willingness to know and meet our real needs are revealed in the scriptures. “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings” (Psa 36:7).

The real focus of our faith is found in coming to “know God.” ”And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn 17:3). When we do this, we will slowly be changed to be like Him. Those who “walk with God” will find their lives transformed and filled.

(click here for the entire article...)


Five Smooth Stones of Parenting

by Sewell Hall

 

In Goliath, David faced what seemed an indomitable foe. David’s goal was not so much to kill the giant as to protect the children and honor of God. He took five smooth stones from the brook to achieve his purpose.

In the pervasive humanism of our society, parents face what appears to be an equally unconquerable giant who is determined to destroy their children. They have five stones with which to protect them.

Purpose

“A child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). Consequently, Wisdom says, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6). This requires first determining “the way he should go,” then pointing the child in that direction. For Christians one direction supersedes all others: eternal life in heaven via Christlikeness on earth. Scores of agencies with different goals challenge us for control of our children. My father used to say, “I will not let the schools take my children away from me.” Today there are many additional threats: TV, internet, video games, ipods, scouts, sports, neighbors, etc. These must be constantly monitored and controlled.

Parents of good children are often told, “You are just lucky.” No, good children are not the product of luck, but of purpose—relentlessly, sacrificially and pro-actively pursued.

(click here for the entire article...)


What is the Difference?

by Irven Lee

 

An instrument of music was introduced into the worship at Midway, Kentucky about 1858. This innovation moved slowly among churches in the North and finally came to the South about 1900. Of course, the church support of the missionary society and other central collecting and disbursing organizations came with the instrument. The intra church organizations also came along about the same time, as well as church sponsored entertainment and fraternization with the Protestant denominations who taught that one is saved at the point of faith before obedience.

If a stranger had come to some little town in the early part of this century and had inquired as to the location of the meeting place of the church, some local man might have asked, "Which one?" The stranger might then have asked; "What is the difference?" He would have been told that one used instruments of music and the other did not. Division usually came when the instrument was added. Actually, the social gospel and the church support of manmade institutions also marked the difference, but these facts were not so conspicuous to the neighbors at first. Even the churches themselves gave almost nothing but lip service to the societies with an occasional small token gift of money.

(click here for the entire article...)


Tolerance in Religion

by Barney Keith

 

The idea of "tolerance in religion" is often extolled by men who have no Bible concept of the exclusive authority of Jesus Christ. There seems to be an almost universal yearning for an "ecumenical" broadmindedness. Some churches pride themselves on the fact that people of any religious faith can have fellowship with them without giving up any cherished position. Much publicity is given in our day to mergers and compromises among denominational bodies. The so-called "Community" churches and the "Interdenominational" churches are of the type claiming to allow great liberty of conflicting beliefs on the part of members. It seems that men are determined to believe whatever THEY wish and have lost sight of God’s will as set forth in His word.

Ordinarily our friends who talk so freely about tolerance simply mean that we should have "love" that is big enough to embrace all of men's beliefs as being equally acceptable. It may be that some will even remark, "Well, we are all children of God; therefore, we should just overlook all differences among us and love each other. " Or it may be the old worn-out slogan, "Let us minimize our differences and emphasize our likenesses." Generally this notion is expressed, "It doesn't make any difference what one believes as long as he is honest and sincere." Surely there is a great need to study this matter of "tolerance" to determine what the will of God is.

Tolerance Misunderstood

In order to have a proper understanding of the issue before us, I suggest two basic factors. These are supported by Scripture.

1. Tolerance does not mean approval of everything that goes on. No one is under the obligation as a "tolerant" person to be a "yes-man" to everything paraded under the name of "religion." Many doctrines labeled as the Word of Christ are in reality the "doctrines of devils," according to Paul. (1 Tim. 4:1-3.)

(click here for the entire article...)


The Problem of Private Lust

by Connie Adams

 

Lust has gone public in America. No subject is too delicate for a television or movie script. Pornography is big business. Absolutely nothing is left to the imagination. Yet, this business would utterly fail were it not for the fact that it feeds the private yearnings of corrupted hearts. It is from this private cesspool of defilement that this flowing well of licentiousness comes. Polluted minds demand a diet of contamination to gratify illicit hunger. This creates a climate in which the problem only feeds itself.

No man ever rises above the quality of his own mind. One cannot be more perverse than his heart allows him to be. Conversely, pure and noble words and deeds first proceed from hearts that are pure and noble. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).

The potentiality of private lust was recognized by Jesus when He said, "Whoso looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). In this context Jesus not only condemned the act of adultery, but also the progressions of thought which culminate in this forbidden act. It is not wrong to recognize beauty. Some have a charm and grace which is at once attractive and appealing. But it is a far different thing to allow the mind to descend to the level of fantasizing about sexual relations with one we have found to be appealing. So then, the heart must keep a distinction between admiration and lust. It is in the heart that reserves are broken down and that schemes are devised to gain attention, then seduce the one who become the object of our obsession. Adultery committed in the heart, but which proceeds no farther, may not have the frightful consequences which the overt act does -- but it is still an affront to God and destructive to the character of the one who entertains it. Recognition of the wrong and repentance are surely required.

(click here for the entire article...)


Protecting Churches From Error

by Connie Adams

 

Recent events at the Richland Hills church in Fort Worth, Texas (said to be the largest church of Christ in the country) have focused attention on the question as to how congregations can protect themselves from digression. This congregation, which has been aligned with the institutional movement, has recently begun serving the Lord's supper on Saturday night and using mechanical instruments of music in some of their services. Rich Atchley, the "senior minister," has defended these changes and claimed that ten years earlier he received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that this should be done. His arguments in defense of mechanical instruments of music are the same ones which gospel preachers have refuted again and again for many years. They may appear new to a younger generation of preachers. The April issue of The Spiritual Sword has a thorough expose of this whole episode with a complete refutation of the arguments made in defense of mechanical instruments of music.

Alan E. Highers, editor of The Spiritual Sword, detailed the change from the restrictive clauses in the deed in 1967 to an amended deed in l994 which still prohibited the use of any mechanical instruments of music on the premises, to the most recent change on November 16, 2006 when another amendment was filed which deleted the prohibition against mechanical instruments of music. Within three days of this new amendment, it was announced that there would be a service with the Lord's supper and mechanical instruments of music on Saturday nights.

(click here for the entire article...)


Troubled Over Immorality

by Connie Adams

 

Nothing can create more havoc in a home or a congregation than immoral behavior on the part of Christians or their children. Webster defines immoral as "Inconsistent with purity or good morals." Immorality is defined by Webster as "the quality or state of being immoral: wickedness, esp. unchastity." It is immoral to steal, lie, cheat and a host of other things opposed to righteousness. But the term is often used of illicit sexual intercourse, including incest (1 Cor. 5:1), adultery (Matt. 5:32; 19:9), homosexuality (Jude 7), and cohabitation of the unmarried (1 Cor. 7:2).

Immorality was a common problem in the first century, especially among Gentiles. "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 Pet. 4:3). This had been a pattern of life among some of the Corinthians be fore their conversion. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Our bodies belong to God who made us, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19,20). Paul said that sin is not to rule over us. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Rom. 6:12,13).

(click here for the entire article...)


Affair-Proofing Your Marriage

by Mark Broyles

 

The prevalence of infidelity in marriage is staggering. If it was only a problem in the lives of those apart from God it would still be discouraging, but the truth is that the amount of marriages among our brethren that have been rocked by this sin is just as staggering.

Much the same as a medical doctor would use a pathology report to determine the root cause of a physical sickness; God's word gives the pathology of adultery. There is a four step destructive process involved in most adulterous relationships.

Step #1 - The Position of Vulnerability

Things such as stress, boredom, insecurity, rejection, unfulfilled expectations, and over confidence (I Corinthians 10:12) all make us more vulnerable to temptation. Dave Carder wrote in Torn Asunder, "When we are vulnerable, we are emotionally run down, our defenses are down, our perspective on things is clouded, we are not able to make judgment based on truth, and everything is seen through an emotional filter. Pain is intensified. Therefore, the pursuit of relief from pain is also intensified. When you are vulnerable, a situation that might otherwise be safe may now be unsafe."

Step #2 - Emotional, Non-Physical Involvement

This is the gray area where the "game playing" occurs. "Don't worry, we are just doing work together." Because people tend to say that nothing is going on when there is no physical contact, they feel safe because they think they are still walking within the boundaries—when they are really crossing the line. This innocent "playing around" increases the threat level of the temptation. The boundaries are crossed when-ever a couple shares emotional intimacy (sharing intimate information about your marriage, family, etc), experiences sexual tension (flirtation has begun), or practices secrecy.

(click here for the entire article...)


Life in the Lion's Den

by Bubba Garner

 

The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is often thought of as a lesson for young people. It is usually grouped in a set of children’s books alongside Jonah and the Big Fish or David and Goliath. That’s because we picture Daniel as the same young man who distinguished himself in the first chapter with his fellow “youths” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.


But by the time you get to Daniel 6, over sixty years have passed. Babylon was no longer the ruling power. A new king was on the throne. And Daniel was probably past eighty years old.


All of us—young and old, men and women alike—live in the lion’s den. Our world is shrouded in darkness with dangers seemingly around every corner. Our great adversary, the devil, “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We are in this lair together.


What do we need, like Daniel, to survive in the lion’s den?


A Constant Character


What distinguished Daniel from his contemporaries was his “extraordinary spirit” (6:3). When his fellow officials tried to discredit him by uncovering some scandal or skeleton in his closet, “they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption” (6:4). In fact, they concluded that the only way they were going to remove him from power was to find a ground of accusation “with regard to the law of his God” (6:5). Daniel was outnumbered 122 to 1. But his constant character was unmatched.


(click here for the entire article...)


Following the Crowd

by James R. Cope

 

"Mobocracy" is disorderly rule. It seldom reflects the will of an entire nation, state, or community. It may well reflect the unbridled emotions of a portion of a community or state, however. People will sometimes do things if they think their identity is being lost in a crowd which they will not do if their individuality is recognizable. In a multitude of "don't cares" one may do and say things of which he is neither ashamed nor afraid yet apart from such company he would be both ashamed and afraid to do and say the same things.

The ethical standards of a crowd an often lower than the individuals who compose the crowd when such persons are considered as individuals. The good names of otherwise good and law-abiding citizens are sometimes forgotten under the frenzy of lynching a Negro. The same white man who would hesitate to take the law in his own hands under normal conditions may become either a Nader or follower in a mob. By himself, no; with the crowd, yes.

Many young men, returning from the thick of battle, have testified concerning the hatred for the enemy they felt on the field yet alone with their thoughts they condemned their own emotions. Many otherwise decent people who would condemn as conduct unworthy and unbecoming a saint of God will curse, drink, gamble, and dance in a crowd given to such sins but they dare not thus act in the presence of even one person whose respect they esteem. There is a tendency within some of us to play to the gallery for sympathy or support yet we will refuse to meet face to face the individual we accuse. Is this not sometimes true of preachers?

(click here for the entire article...)


Without Hope

by Matt Adams

 

Every life you meet today is going through some trial. Everyone you see has issues that they must confront on a daily basis, some great and some small; yet even the smallest of issues in our lives can seem insurmountable and make us feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Everyone has the opportunity to be freed from that weight, but not everyone takes advantage of that opportunity (Matt.11:28-30).

Think about your own struggles; it can be seriously difficult some days to just make it through, can't it? However, if you're a Christian, think of the joy and peace you have because you can take it all to the Lord in prayer with the confidence He will hear you (Jms.5:16; Phil.4:4-7). Recognize how you're even able to make it through each day, and who gives you the strength to face and overcome the issues of life. Think of the hope you have, that hope of eternal life, if you will but persevere faithfully to the end (Rev.2:10; Phil.3:12-14). Hold on to that and recognize how blessed you are if you're truly being faithful to God. Let that lift your spirits and help you to press on serving Him the rest of your days, let come what may. Through our Lord, we can not only face the issues of life; no, more than that, we can conquer them (Rom.8:37-39)! What a tremendous blessing!

(click here for the entire article...)


Does God Care What I Wear?

by Larry Rouse

 

It is an exciting time in this part of the country as football season begins. The large crowds gathered for a game reminds us of the unique culture in this part of the country. I still have memories of my father taking me to games and explaining what was taking place on the field. These family memories and school ties run deep with many and can be a source of clean entertainment.

As with any large gathering in our culture, the values of that culture will be displayed. On a warm day the world has no standards concerning clothing, alcohol and the use of their tongues. How should a Christian react to the standards of the world when the world scoffs at those who dare try to live a standard that differs from theirs? “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.” (1 Peter 4:3-4)

Christians and the Dress of our Culture

Many young are naive concerning the message that their attire communicates in this culture. There are some truths that transcend culture. One such universal truth is that God made woman’s body to be sexually attractive to men. God has also ordained that the fulfillment of that attraction be only fulfilled in marriage. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)  

(click here for the entire article...)


Sins of Ignorance
 

by David Smitherman

 

 

The Text: Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (NIV) 

The Meaning Given To It: There are some who deny the possibility of "sins of ignorance," (i.e., engaging in that which is sinful without knowing that the conduct is improper) and say that, in vs. 12, David is not asking forgiveness for such sins. We believe it is possible to commit such sins and that these verses teach, by David's example there, that such are possible and should be prayed for. Some think, and we believe erroneously so, that the "hidden faults" David refers to are those he is either keeping hidden from others or trying to hide from God. We believe either of these interpretations of David's words to misunderstand what he is really saying.

 The Context: This psalm seems to fall naturally into three divisions: vss. 1-6, God's revelation of Himself in nature; vss. 7-11, God's revelation of himself in His word; vss. 12-14, David's prayer. It is also enlightening to examine some of the key words in this disputed passage: 

Discern (understand) means "to regard a thing understood, to know, to be acquainted with;...." Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament Scriptures, p. 114.

(click here for the entire article...)


How Do You View Others?
 

by John R. Gibson

 

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm  133:1).

The fourteenth chapter of Romans was written to produce unity, yet it has often been a source of division and conflict. It is a chapter that presents difficulties to most (and this writer is no exception), but we may find it easier to unravel some of its difficulties if we first learn to view one another as Paul suggests?

Consider the five views of others presented in Romans 14:1—15:7. They are: (1) “another’s servant”, 14:4; (2) “your brother”, 14:10,13,15,21; (3) “the one for whom Christ died”, 14:15; (4) “the work of God”, 14:20; and (5) “his neighbor”, 15:2.

Matters relating to unity are important, for not only did the Psalmist commend unity as good and pleasant, but our Lord prayed that His disciples would be one (John 17:20-21). Christians should deplore division, desire unity and, in doing so, realize that we would be spared much of the feuding and fussing that goes on in local churches if we viewed one another as this section of Scripture directs. We are more likely to understand the passage better when we learn to understand one another better.

(click here for the entire article...)


Confusion and Transgression
 

by Sewell Hall

 

Have you ever heard anyone say, as an explanation for some sinful action, "I have become so confused I don't know what is right anymore"? As a rule, the person who says such a thing is one who has had clear convictions but has acted, or is about to act, contrary to them.

This must be what the Holy Spirit was saying about Eve in 1 Timothy 2:14. "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. "

To say that she was deceived is not to say that she was ignorant. She quoted perfectly what God had said: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die" (Genesis 3:2-3). She was deceived when she thought there could be any valid reason for disobeying God.

We cannot know how long Adam and Eve avoided the forbidden tree. With so many other trees from which to eat, there was no need to eat of it. There is no evidence of confusion regarding the right and wrong of eating or the wisdom of abstaining. They were happy ignoring it.

(click here for the entire article...)


What is "Sectarian Baptism?"
 

by Robert Turner

 

In the early days of what is now the Oaks-West church in Burnet, a young man answered the gospel invitation by declaring his faith in Christ, and his desire to be baptized into Christ. We had no baptistery at that time, so we asked leaders of another church in Burnt, if we might use their baptistery. We were refused. The preacher said, "You will baptize him into a sect; bring him to me and I will baptize him into Christ." I replied, "You mean the one baptizing him makes the difference?" No reply! We took the boy to a lake and baptized him "into Christ" - not because we did the baptizing, or because we uttered the right words, but because that is what takes place when one obeys Jesus Christ.

I doubt the boy had any "views" on institutionalism. He had learned that he was a sinner, that Christ had died for sinners, and wanted each of us to trust and obey Him. By repenting of his sins and obeying the Lord in baptism the young man came into an acceptable relationship with Christ, his sins being forgiven. My baptizing him, even if I espoused a "sect," would not make this act "sectarian baptism." Nor was his baptism valid or invalid on the basis of "church authority" to baptize. Baptism is not a "church" ordinance, it is the Lord's ordinance, depending upon the subject's compliance with the Lord's teaching for its validity. The "sectarianism" of the church who heard his confession, if it had any, would not invalidate his baptism. Scriptural baptism is a covenant, direct and immediate, between the subject and his Lord.

(click here for the entire article...)


Why Do "Churches of Christ" Differ so Widely?
 

by Sewell Hall

 

A sign reading "Church of Christ" in front of a building tells you very little these days. Most any doctrine or practice may be found inside. This is frustrating to many people.

Outsiders make fun of the situation, saying, "You preach unity but you are the most divided people we know." They may add, "This just proves you are not the true church." This last statement shows a total misunderstanding of what the true church is, but it is a misunderstanding shared by far too many "members of the church."

(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)

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How to Study the Bible
College Class

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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)

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Sermon Series on the Book of 1 John
by Robert Harkrider

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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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