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Thoughts To Ponder

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps
(1 Peter 2:21)

 

 


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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

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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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Healing A Wounded Spirit

 Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - God is in Control
Lesson 2 - Choose to Make God's Thoughts Your Own
Lesson 3 - Do Not Flee From What is True
Lesson 4 - Put God in the Center of Your Life
Lesson 5 - Allow God's Wisdom to Heal Your Wound
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 To Be Like Thee 

by Dee Bowman

“O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer; this is my constant longing and prayer.”  It should be the prayer of every disciple of Christ.

It takes only a casual reading of Scripture to realize the genuineness, the greatness of our Blessed Redeemer.  He was so good!  Oh, to be like Him.

Jesus Christ was a man with no prejudice.   He was certainly tempted toward such inclinations, I know, for the divine directive says, “He was tempted in all points like as are we, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He never treated one person in some special way, while neglecting another.  No matter his station in life, every acquaintance of Jesus was accorded the same respect as any other. The Lord praised Peter when he made the confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” saying,  "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” But when Peter was rebuking Him for His statement about His mission to die for the sins of mankind, He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men”
(Mt. 16:18-23). There was no prejudice in Jesus.  What a joy it would be if we could rid ourselves of our pre-conceived notions, our biases, and our party partialities.  Prejudice is the springboard to sin; and open mind is a fit dwelling place for truth.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Christian and His Responsibility to Government 

by Les Maydell

Man has always had a problem in fulfilling his responsibilities to the government, especially when he disagrees with its policies. Many Christians in South Africa were upset with the last government because they were treated unfairly. Lately I have noticed that many Christians are upset with our present government because of its corruption, failure to keep promises, and inability to reduce crime. The government has also passed many ungodly laws such as the removing of the death penalty, the legalizing of gambling, and abortion on demand. I believe that South Africa was also the first country in the world to legalize homosexual marriages. Just about every Christian I know has been affected by crime in some way. This has led to feelings of anger and bitterness towards our government and towards our fellow men. What must we Christians do in this situation?

First of all I think we should not expect our government to be a good government. Our government was elected by majority rule. Are the majority of people in this country true Christians? Matthew 7:13-14 says that few go down the narrow way that leads to life.

(click here for the entire article...)


I Know My Redeemer Lives 

by Wayne Jackson

 

Centuries before the birth of Christ, Job, the suffering patriarch of Uz, exclaimed, “I know that my redeemer lives…” (19:25).

Job could not possibly have appreciated the magnitude of his statement, nor how his confident hope would be fulfilled. He was suffering terribly — both physically and emotionally. But he sincerely believed that his pain and anguish were out of proportion to any evil he unintentionally might have done. Though he spoke of God irreverently at times (like a pet that bites when its master is attempting to treat a wound), underneath it all he maintained a confidence that eventually “justice” would issue from his righteous Maker (cf. Job 13:15 KJV; ESV).

There is a wonderful song with the lyrics, “I know that my Redeemer lives….” We should sing it with zest. Another song, however, asks this question, with answer supplied: “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.”

I am not so sure this phraseology, as commonly interpreted, is prudent. If a person has these thoughts in his mind, “He lives in my heart [mind] because of the credible, historical facts I have learned,” that is one thing. But to use the term “heart,” as such frequently is employed by the religious community at large, is quite another thing.

(click here for the entire article...)


Good Relationships Among Brethren 

by R. J. Evans

 

The Scripture provides much information concerning good relationships among those who are children of God.  There are many positive teachings concerning how to get along—especially all the commands to love one another.  There are a number of warnings against gossip, tale bearing, backbiting, slander, and sowing discord among brethren.  The book of Proverbs is filled with wise instruction concerning relationships with others. 

In the church, many problems have occurred because someone failed to abide by the teachings of God’s Word.  Brethren are told to put “away lying, each speaking truth with  a neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25); we are warned against causing “dissensions, contentions and heresies” (Gal. 5:20); those who are factious, causing “divisions and offenses” are to be marked (Rom. 16:17); a divisive person is to be rejected “after the first and second admonition” (Titus 3:10); also, there are warnings against being “idle, wandering from house to house, not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not” (1 Tim. 5:13)

But what about those occasions when we believe someone has sinned against us?  Are we told what to do? Are we supposed to go around telling everyone, except the person himself, that he has sinned against us?  Indeed, the Bible does give clear instructions on what to do in this situation—see Matthew 18:15-17.  Notice the very first step: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.  If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (V. 15).  How many do this?  It seems to be so much easier to go to someone else first, and gain a sympathetic ear, rather than following what the Bible teaches.  Quite often, those who operate like this, have not even been sinned against.  It’s often pettiness, hurt feelings, jealousy, an “ax to grind”, etc., and not actually a sin, to begin with.  Also, the other person may be totally unaware of any wrong they  might have done.  The passage goes on and gives further instructions: "But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.  But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Vv. 16-17)

(click here for the entire article...)


Praying Like David 

by Al Diestelkamp

 

If like me you sometimes find yourself becoming dissatisfied with your personal prayers to God and want to do something about it, it would be good to go to some of the psalms of David. Many of the psalms are actually prayers that can be adapted to fit our own life situations. Such is the case with Psalm 143.

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.

There are at least twelve New Testament passages which assure us that God hears and answers prayer (i.e., 1 Jn. 5:14-15). Why then do we ask God for what He has already promised? It’s not because we don’t believe God will keep His promise. It’s like a child asking his parents to protect him even though they have assured him time and again that they are there for him. Or it’s like a wife asking her husband if he still loves her even though he vowed to do so  “till death do they part.”

2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant. For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

This is a confession of fault from “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). Like David, we must acknowledge that none of us is able to prevail in front of a just judge. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). It is true that one day we will all have to stand before God in judgment (Heb. 9:27); but like David, I don’t seek justice; I seek mercy.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Problem of Moral Insensitivity 

by Dee Bowman

 

Even as small children we are taught to respond to what has been determined to be right.  As a result, we develop a certain sensitivity concerning whatever has been determined to be wrong.  This discipline in regard to what is right and what is wrong trains us and gives us our moral inclination and our mental sensitivity or conscience.  As we learn and develop toward maturity we formulate our own route of moral pursuit and begin to mold our own moral character.  The ideal character is one which has been trained to be affected–pained, actually, even annoyed–by sin.  The Christian is taught to “avoid all forms of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22), and the person who has developed the moral sensitivity he ought to have will not only respond to that enjoinder, but will actually come to “abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).

I greatly fear that far too many Christians are becoming desensitized to sin.  The devil, realizing that when the Christian has his sensitiveness to sin lessened he is more apt to ignore it, has used several very effective methods to do away with the sentient conscience so needful for a strong  moral character.  I cite three for your consideration.  Take careful note, if you please.

Pornography.  By a process of slowly exposing us to more and more lascivious and lewd scenes in pictures, movies, writing, and the social media outlets, the devil has taken away what ought to be a sensitized repugnancy to such things.  Even the billboards today are covered with what would have been considered base and vulgar even in the generation just past. There was a story on the news just this week about a group of well-knows female stars who where lamenting the fact that their computers had been hacked so that scenes of their nude bodies were being ferried around the various social media. (Did anyone dare to wonder why they were taking nude pictures in the first place?)  Reading materials, the contents of which have degenerated to the lowest possible depth of late, and which could only be seen in the most horrible places, is now not only available, but to some minds, routine.  Where is our moral acuteness, our sense of moral acuity?  Pornography comes gradually, but ends up clogging our minds and even making us think that sexual fantasies–with us as the star of the show–is nobody’s business.  Sin is sin, folks, no matter if we choose to excuse it! (Read Matthew 5:28; I Corinthians 6:18; James 1:13-16)

(click here for the entire article...)


Postfixed Divorces

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

 

In grammar, a postfix (or suffix) is "a sound, syllable, or syllables added at the end of a word or word base to change its meaning, give it grammatical function, or form a new word" (Webster's New World Dictionary).

It occurs to me that postfixing (to fix after) is what some are do accounts of their divorces. Often there is the account given at the time of the divorce and then a postfixed one given at the time of remarriage. The story is now fixed, after the fact, to include scriptural grounds for divorce. Why? Because the scriptural reason is now far more important than it was at the time of the divorce.

A person is in a difficult marriage. Things have gotten so bad that divorce seems to be the only way out. The person is so disgusted and hurt by this marriage that he or she just wants out. To find another mate? Never! He has had it with this marriage. He has had it with marriage —period. The quicker he can end this misery the better. So, he gets the divorce, using the easiest provable grounds he can find that the state will accept (which is almost any reason or no reason) to get the divorce over with. He is fed up with this intolerable situation.

Had the person's spouse committed fornication? He says he (or she) really doesn't know and moreover it really doesn't matter —because he is going to get the divorce anyway. But, what if he should change his mind later and decide to remarry? He assures us that this is not going to happen. But it does!

(click here for the entire article...)


The Desecration of God's Marriage Law

by Dee Bowman

 

God’s marriage law, it seems to me, is based on three principles.  The three are: 1) the law of origins; 2) the law of harmony; and 3) the law of order. 

Disregard for these three basic marriage regulations has ramified in many different directions wreaking havoc on the home and family as God has defined it in His word.  Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, child abuse--all are related to a disrespect for these three basic principles. Many other deviations which are more subtle, but just as dangerous--things like feminism, the uni-sex movement, gang violence--may well be related to a disregard for these three basic parts of God’s marriage law.

The law of origins

“In the beginning” as Jesus used it in Matthew 19 is significant. It is at the heart of the law of origins.  “Have you not read,” he said, “that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh?”  This is further amplified in the ninth verse when he said, after having been questioned about Moses’ allowance of divorce, “Moses, because of the harness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”  I have denominated this as the law of origins.

(click here for the entire article...)


Coping With Our Mistakes

by David Diestelkamp

Nobody knew Jim was the one who did it, so he just shrugged and turned away. He didn’t get far before there was a hard tap on his shoulder and, in an accusatory tone, some- one said, “But I saw you do it!” While still walking away, he mumbled, “It’s no big deal,” and when someone voiced an insistent, “What?!” he said, “It didn’t hurt anyone… everyone does it—in fact you’ve done it yourself!” Jim managed to avoid them for a while, and he hoped it was over.

Wait, wait, wait. Is that how we handle our mistakes? Do we deny them? Are we skilled at making excuses for what we do wrong? Is it our goal to escape facing problems we have caused and wish they will somehow go away? When we make a mistake - whether spiritual or physical, sin or just a slip-up - we need to stop and notice how we are dealing with it.

Denial Isn’t Resolution

“When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). It’s sleepless nights. It’s fear of being dis- covered. You can’t get it out of your head. You feel like something is dying on the inside; your strength is gone, and life has lost a sense of joy, peace, and meaning.

When David tried to keep silent about his sin, when he hid and denied it, his life was eaten up by it – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. To make matters worse, living a lie sears the conscience (1 Tim 4:2). Hearts are dulled, and spiritual ears and eyes aren’t open to pure truth anymore (Mt 13:15).

(click here for the entire article...)


Horns of Destruction

by Connie W. Adams

God often revealed His will to prophets through visions. Such was the case in Zechariah 1:18-21 when the prophet saw four horns. In answer to his question "What be these?" the Lord replied: "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." The word `horn' was used in the Old Testament as a symbol of power and often of destruction. Obviously, the horns of the prophet's vision referred to the nations that had perplexed and scattered God's people, Israel. In the same vision, the prophet is assured that these powers shall be justly punished for their havoc and destruction, for he is told that the four carpenters or smiths "are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it." (Zech. 1:21) These horns had reference to nations, thus designating evil and harm to Israel from external forces. However, many of Israel's troubles came from within. There were several "horns" or powers of destruction which ultimately led God's family down the trail of sorrow and ruin.

I am borrowing the expression from the prophet to use accommodatively, in order to bring out three points that show the reasons for Israel's decline, and to show that these same features can produce harm and possible ruin in spiritual Israel, the church. It is in this sense that the expression "horns of destruction" is herein used.

Horns Of Destruction For Fleshly Israel

1. Israel succumbed to a common weakness, that of a desire to be popular. They had not enjoyed the blessings of the land of promise long, before there arose a clamor for a king. God had arranged for them to be governed and that in His own appointed way. But that did not please them. They said ".. . we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations." (1 Sam. 8:19, 20) A consciousness that they were different from other nations seemed to disturb them. They were not concerned about having a king in order to please God, but wanted one in order to be like other nations. Their motive in this was certainly faulty. They were warned of the consequences of their choice, but to no avail. A king they wanted, a king they would have. That was the beginning of innumerable sorrows for Israel.

(click here for the entire article...)


What My Parents Taught Me

by Jefferson David Tant

All parents teach their children — consciously, subconsciously, positively, negatively, by example, by word. Children are even taught be what their parents FAIL to teach. In our generation, many parents have abdicated their teaching roles to TV, schools, their children's peers, and other influences. I am thankful to have had parents who cared enough to teach me right from wrong and how to live. May I share with you some of the things they taught me:

1. Righteous Living. This was more by example than by word. My parents did not set the example of smoking. I never saw a can of beer in their hands, nor was any kind of alcohol kept in the house. I never heard a word of profanity fall from their lips, nor did I ever see them go about in shorts, swimsuits, or other forms of immodest dress. This has had its influence upon me, and I am thankful that I do not even know what beer tastes like, nor have I ever owned a pair of shorts, etc.

2. Discipline. Discipline takes many forms, both positive and negative. My parents loved me enough to apply the hand, the belt, and the switch when necessary. They loved me enough to teach me the discipline of responsibility in making my own bed, mowing the lawn, washing the car, and I learned early how to operate a vacuum cleaner. My first job was a paper route somewhere along about the sixth grade.

(click here for the entire article...)


There Arose a Generation

by Irven Lee

Moses found a people who were not well informed about God when he went back to Egypt to lead Israel out of bondage. The Lord sent him for this task. It was not a strong faith in Israel that sent out an invitation to Moses to help them escape bondage and find freedom in a land flowing with milk and honey.

During the forty years in the wilderness these descendants of Jacob had a great opportunity to learn much about God and his righteousness. There was a great revelation made. These former slaves were taught by Moses who was given power to confirm his message by miracles, wonders, and signs. Food and water were provided by the power of God in the sight of all. The Lord blessed, punished, and protected a people who needed to learn of him.

After the death of Moses, Joshua continued this leading and teaching process. There may never have been a generation of Jews that knew more about God than those who were given the land by Joshua. Millions of people had grown from childhood to maturity in intimate and personal contact with God in all his power, love, and righteousness.

(click here for the entire article...)


Those Who Have No Right to Speak God's Word

by Andy Sochor

We sometimes hear celebrities, politicians, and other godless people quoting (or misquoting) the Bible. They often do so in an attempt to defend an unscriptural position (e.g. support for same-sex “marriage,” opposition to the death penalty, etc.). When we hear them, we might think, “What business do they have in speaking about the Bible?” God asked the same type of question in the following text.

“But to the wicked God says, ‘What right have you to tell of My statutes and to take My covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, and you cast My words behind you. When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you associate with adulterers. You let your mouth loose in evil and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done and I kept silence; you thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes” (Psalm 50:16-21).

There are certain ones who have no right to speak God’s word. Let us notice who was identified in the text.

Those Who Are Wicked

“The wicked” (Psalm 50:16) have no right to speak God’s word. This does not mean that God intended for His word to be taught only by those who are sinlessly perfect. Only Jesus would fit this qualification (1 Peter 2:22; Romans 3:23). In speaking of the knowledge revealed by God through the gospel, Paul said, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7). The “earthen vessels” to which Paul referred are those who would proclaim the gospel. God’s design is for fallible human beings to proclaim God’s infallible word.

(click here for the entire article...)


Learning to Trust God

by Larry Rouse

What is the purpose of the body of Christ, the church of our Lord? Are we building in a wise way or are we pursuing things that are not in the Lord’s will? It is important to know the foundation that God gave His people so that we can be sure to build upon it. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 3:10-11).

We must build on the foundation of Jesus Christ. In the work of conversion and in the work of helping a Christian to grow, we must help others to build a personal faith in the Lord. To truly bring one to “see the unseen” and then to “know the Lord” is not an easy process. When you see the reality of the spiritual realm, then you will make decisions that will be very much “out of step” with this world. When Moses rejected the riches and esteem that was offered to him as a prince of Egypt so that he could “suffer affliction with the people of God,” he did this because he could “see Him who is invisible” (Heb 11:24-27). Are we helping people to “see the unseen” or are we making people comfortable in their worldliness?

My Personal Struggle to Find a Biblical Faith

How did you come to trust in the Lord? I can remember many years ago, when I was in High School, an occasion in my life where I saw the emptiness of the path I was following and desired to find something more. On a clear, cold night I went outside and looked up at the stars and prayed a simple prayer for God to let me find Him. It was a humble prayer for light and truth that I followed up with my first attempt to read the Bible for myself.

(click here for the entire article...)


Like-Mindedness: A Neglected Duty

by Earl Kimbrough

The Philippian Christians aroused such joy in Paul that he continually thanked God for them (Phil. 1:3). They comprised a model church, except for a hint of discord that gave the apostle concern. The trouble was nothing like that at Corinth. But even a healthy church can become unraveled if small snags are unattended. Paul wisely treated the problem as a danger, but not as an emergency. He did not issue rebukes or thunder threats. He gently urged the Philippians to follow principles that promote like-mindedness in a congregation (Phil. 2:14).

The Basis of Like-Mindedness

"Therefore" ties the like-mindedness to the preceding exhortation (Phil. 1:27). Their standing "fast in one spirit, with one mind striving for the faith of the gospel" was what Paul wanted most to hear about them. The motives on which he based his appeal to this end are introduced by four "if's" (Phil. 2:1). The conjunction here does not express doubt but assured certainty. Anchoring his plea in facts they knew to be true, he poured out his heart in fervent eloquence, urging on them the highest possible duty. The facts are fundamental. "Consolation in Christ" is the comfort one receives by assurance of union with him. Christians breathe the atmosphere of Christ, and none can do this without genuine affection for the Lord and his people. "Comfort of love" is the encouragement love brings and which we share with all who are in Christ. The "fellowship of the Holy Spirit" is our participation in the Spirit's influence through his word dwelling in and guiding us to fruitful lives (Gal. 5:22, 23). "Affection and mercy" are also valued blessings the Philippians knew.

(click here for the entire article...)


Dressing Our Daughters Like Prostitutes

by Jonathan Perz

Shocking title, isn't it? I offer no apology. There comes a time when you have to call it like you see it, and it has reached the point where you don't have to look far to find a little girl dressed in "the attire of a harlot" (Prov. 7:10). As a matter of fact, you don't have to look outside the assembling of Christians! If this is how they dress inside, when meeting with the saints, how are they dressing when they are going to school, playing outside with their friends, or in any other public place?

The attire I speak of is something you might see Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera wear in their latest scintillating video (that is, if you watch MTV---a problem in and of itself). This "clothing" consists of skirts that barely cover the loins, let alone the thigh, blouses that show the midriff and barely cover the chest - all painted on so tight you wonder if the sizing on the apparel is wrong. Such clothing is expected if you see a prostitute on the street, but is not expected when you see our little girls in the church - girls who are supposedly being raised in Christian homes.

This problem is not isolated to our teenage daughters. Immodesty in teenagers does not happen by accident. It is the result of parents who encourage immodesty in their little girls twelve and under. While encourage might seem like a strong word, how else do you describe a situation where parents actually buy this immodest attire for them. It takes purpose to instill modesty and it takes purpose to instill immodesty. We reap what we sow.

(click here for the entire article...)


"By What Authority?"

by Lowell Blasingame

Authority is defined as legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; dominion; jurisdiction. When one acts with authority, he does so under jurisdiction or at the authorization of one who has legal or rightful power. When he acts without authority, he lacks these to authorize his acts.

While Jesus was in the temple the chief priests and elders came to him wanting to know by what authority he did his things and who had given this authority. Apparently, they thought they could silence him or destroy his influence by showing that he lacked jurisdiction or legal and rightful power. He responded to their questions with a question and promised an answer when he received one from them. In considering his question they saw that either answer that they might give involved them in an embarrassing situation, so they replied that they could not answer. Jesus then told them that he would not, not that he could not, answer their questions that related to his authority (Matt. 21:23-27.)

The need for authority has long been recognized. Along with its need, there must be the means for establishing it and there must be respect for it. This is true in the home, the school, the state and the church. Failure to respect authority in any of these will result in lawlessness, disaster and ruin.

(click here for the entire article...)


Good Success at Home

by Irven Lee

In the very first part of the book of Joshua the Lord gave this capable leader of Israel counsel on how he could have "good success" in his work in bringing the Israelites into their promised land. The Lord promised that He would not fail or forsake him, but He would see to it that Joshua would divide the land unto the people. That was the divine side of the plan. Joshua was to be strong and of good courage; he was to obey the law of God, turning not to the right hand or to the left; and he was to meditate on the law constantly. Joshua did his part, and God kept His promise. There was "good success" (Josh. 1:8, 21:45; 23:14).

That kind of reverence for God and respect for His law today will make it possible for a happy young couple to have "good success" in the task of home making. Happiness is a by-product of humble obedience to the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2). Open violation of this law brings failure in all precious spiritual endeavors.

(click here for the entire article...)


Doing the Will of God

by Robert H. Farish

 

The kingdom of heaven is reserved for those who do the will of God. Christ said that "not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21) It is not enough to assert that we are doing many mighty works in the name of Christ, this is shown by Christ's statement in the next two verses — we must actually do the will of the Father. Some people are confused — they are claiming to be doing the will of God while actually they are doing their own will — following the course dictated by their own wishes. It is difficult to select any one unworthy motive as the one which prompts that particular process of rationalization by which people identify their ideas, plans or even whims as the will of God; perhaps pride is the chief offender. We need to be impressed that it is the will of God; not the will of man, which we are to do.

This passage clearly demands doing the will of the Father. Conscious human effort is involved, no rational being does the will of God accidentally. Hence it follows that knowledge of the will of God is a necessary precedent to doing the will of God. One must know where to go to learn the will of God and he must then come to a knowledge of that will.

(click here for the entire article...)


Who Started The Argument From Silence?

by Paul Earnhart

 

The students of John L. Girardeau, professor at Columbia Seminary, South Carolina in the 1880’s, asked him to explain to them why he opposed the use of instrumental music in the worship of the Presbyterian churches. In response, he wrote a book which was published in Richmond, Virginia in 1888. It was titled, “Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church.” Girardeau’s expanded discussion of this subject gives some valuable insights into how men of the Reformed tradition in late 19th century America decided the question of whether or not a practice was pleasing to God.

Girardeau began his discussion with a statement of principle which guided his arguments throughout the book: “A divine warrant is necessary for every element of doctrine, government, and worship in the church; that is, whatsoever in these spheres is not commanded in the Scriptures, either expressly or by good and necessary consequence from their statements is forbidden.”

It may surprise us that a 19th century Presbyterian seminary professor not only understood the “argument from silence,” but used it and felt confident that others would be persuaded by it. I suspect that there has been the feeling on the part of some that those who labored so earnestly in the last century to turn men back to simple New Testament Christianity were the originators of the idea that God’s silence on a matter was equal to a divine prohibition. Clearly, that was not true.

The arguments Professor Girardeau makes will sound very familiar to those of us who have been concerned to “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent.”

He first says that the prohibitory significance of God’s silence is deducible from 2 Tim. 3:16-17, which affirms that God’s man is fully equipped for “every good work” by the “holy scripture.” Everything therefore not mentioned in the Scripture would not be a “good work.” Sound familiar?

(click here for the entire article...)


A People of Principle

by Tim Nichols

 

Christians, above all others, are to be a people governed by principles. The world may not yield to an obvious code of conduct, but God's children recognize that the distinct teachings of God's Word give us higher and better rules than our own to guide us through life. Just as Luke wrote of "those things which are most surely believed among us" (Luke 1:1), we can speak of our common commitment to settled principles that have been revealed from Heaven. Those precepts are the standards held high by the pillar and ground of the Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). They are honorable, virtuous, and noble (Phi. 4:8-9). Only to the degree that our scruples are shaped by untainted Truth can we live uprightly.

Divine precepts are to be kept diligently (Psa. 119:4). We are to long for, love, and meditate upon them (vv. 15, 40, 159). We can understand them and talk of them (v. 27). They give us comfort and hope when men hold us in derision (vv. 49-56).

Divine principles come as a package (Psa.119:128, 168). We either trust God and obey Him concerning all of our ways, or we do not trust Him at all. He Who inspired the living, powerful Scriptures that are able to discern the thoughts and intents of our hearts knows everything about us and everything about every situation that we will encounter (Heb. 4:12-13).

(click here for the entire article...)


Pearls From Proverbs: A Seemingly Right Course

by Irvin Himmel

 

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prov. 14:12).

So important is the thought of this verse that it is repeated in Proverbs 16:25.

Things are not Always What They Seem

To an infant, a pair of scissors may seem desirable, for the child does not realize the danger in playing with a sharp cutting instrument.

It seemed proper to Saul of Tarsus in his earlier years to persecute the disciples of Jesus. Looking back on that part of his life, he acknowledged, "I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities" (Acts 26:9-11). It seemed to Saul at the time that he was rendering God a service by persecuting the followers of Jesus, but he was actually fighting against God.

When Paul clashed with the Greek philosophers at Athens, some of them said, "He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods" (Acts 17:18). They made this judgment because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection. But in this case, as in many others, things were not what they seemed.

(click here for the entire article...)


Intentions Won't Get It!

by Dee Bowman

 

Some of the proverbial expressions not found in the Bible are nonetheless true. Truth will always plumb with all other truth; it cannot contradict itself. Take the expression “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” That’s not found in the Scriptures, but it’s nonetheless true. Nobody really wants to go to hell; and everybody I know of intends to do something to preclude making that trip. But when? Ah, that’s the question.

Intention without follow-through is profitless. No matter how firm they are, they are still just intentions and serve no useful purpose until they are actuated.

Intentions won’t get it.

I intend to be more diligent.” When? Right away?

Diligence is necessary to progress in spiritual living. You can’t sit around and become spiritual. Furthermore, diligence doesn’t come by some process of osmosis–just because you are in close proximity to a Bible or to those who believe it and are involved in it. Diligence is personal–a personal, willful action. You decide to be diligent.

(click here for the entire article...)


2 John 9 - An Abused Passage

by Wayne Jackson

 

Towards the conclusion of his second epistle, the apostle John wrote: "Whoever goes onward, and abides not in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. . . " (v. 9).

In recent years, this passage has become the focus of stormy controversy. The significance of the passage has been distorted seriously — both by those on the liberal “left,” and others on the radical “right.”

(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

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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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The Place and Work of the Apostles

Wednesday Night Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Learning How God Works
Lesson 2 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 1)
Lesson 3 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 2)

Lesson 4 - The Words Delivered to the Apostles
Lesson 5 - Local Churches and the Apostles
Lesson 6 - Defending the Place of the Apostles

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

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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

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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

 

 

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