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That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:11 )

 

 


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Hear David Maxson in a Series on the Book of Daniel Held at the University church of Christ
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A Study of the Holy Spirit
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Hear Mark Broyles on "Marriage as God Designed It"

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A Study of Evangelism
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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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Sunday Night Student Bible Study and Singing 2017

Preparing for Marriage by Scott Smelser
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Mind Your Own Business
 

by Donnie V. Rader

 

One of the commands of God that we sometimes act as if we haven't read is the one that tells us to mind our own business. The text says, "that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you" (1 Thess. 4:11, emphasis mine DVR, NKJV).

Yes, the Bible actually tells us to mind our own business! Thus, we need to consider some ways we sometimes violate this instruction and just how serious that is.

It Is a Sin

Remember that sin is a violation of the law of God (1 Jn. 3:4). Since the law of God tells us to mind our own business and not another's (1 Thess. 4:11), then it would be a sin to behave contrary.

In the second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul stated that there were some in the church who were "busybodies" (2 Thess. 3:11). A busybody is one who is not busied in his own business, but over busied in that of others' (Vines). If he did not cease his practice, he was to be disfellowshiped (2 Thess. 3:6-15). That tells how serious being a busybody (minding the business of other people) can be. God said such a one is "disorderly."

In 1 Timothy 5:13 Paul rebukes those who are idle, wandering from house to house telling things that they should not. He calls them "gossips and busybodies."

Peter wrote that we should not suffer as a "busybody in other people's matters" (1 Pet. 4:15).

How We Are Sometimes Guilty

1. In our conversation. Quite often we find ourselves talking about other people, their money, the things they do, what they buy and what we think about all of that. It may be that the things we talk about are personal which should not be of any concern to us.

(click here for the entire article...)


"Let Love of the Brethren Continue"
 

by Jefferson Davis Tant

 

The most enduring quality in this world is that of love. The great apostle who suffered so much at the hands of false brethren, who was repeatedly imperiled by the elements, who was savagely persecuted by misguided zealots, who was forsaken by fellow-workers, who languished in prison for the crime of preaching the gospel of Christ in an effort to save souls, could still write the moving words "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing... but now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
(1 Cor.13)

The Jews had wantonly crucified his Lord. The Jews had hunted Paul as a criminal, with vows and plots to take his life. The Jews had devastated the redeemed body of Christ. And what did Paul, in turn, feel for them? "Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved." (Rom. 10:1)

What does God have in store for those of us who violate the greatest command of all — the command of love? How is it that some of us "Christians" can harbor ill-will, bitterness, hatred, animosity, or any such attitude toward brethren in Christ and claim to be followers of the one who is love personified? Are we greater than the one who pleads for mercy to be shown to the very ones who drove spikes through his hands and feet? To be sure, we preach and listen to many sermons on first principles, the "Issues," giving, attendance, etc. , but I am afraid we sometimes "have left undone the weightier matters of the law."

(click here for the entire article...)


Mastering Self - God Demands Self-Denial
 

by Donnie V. Rader

 

Jesus said, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mark 8:34). Self-denial is one of the most basic attributes of Christianity. Yet, it is one of the most difficult to attain. One reason for that is that it requires great strength of will.

Man has a great problem mastering himself. Those who willfully engage in sin have not learned to control themselves. Those who are overcome in a moment of temptation have a problem (at least for the moment) with self-control. When we get angry and let our tempers flare and our words fly, our character is then flawed due to not practicing self-discipline. We exhibit a lack of will power when we overeat, are lazy, or are addicted to alcohol, tobacco or some other drug. Thus, mastering self requires constant work for all of us. The difference in us is that we may need to work on it in different areas of our lives.

Shakespeare wrote, "Brave Conquerors! for so you are, that war against your own affections and the huge army of the world's desires." John Sterling said, "The worst education which teaches self-denial is better than the best which teaches everything else, and not that."

There are more passages that imply the principle of self-denial than we may think at first. To learn and grow in self-denial is to grow in heart, in soul, and in character. This is one quality that we can use every moment of every day in every place.

With this article we begin a series of five articles on mastering self.

Defining Self-Denial

1. Different words used in the New Testament. There are three different words or phrases used in the Bible that point to the same concept of denying or controlling self. (a) Jesus used the phrase "deny himself " (Mark 8:34). (b) The NKJV uses the words "self-control" in 2 Peter 1:6, Titus 1:8. (c) The word "temperance" or "temperate" is used in the KJV in 2 Peter 1:6, 1 Corinthians 9:25, and Titus 2:2.

(click here for the entire article...)


Another Form of Worldliness
 

by Lloyd Moyer

 

Worldliness in any form is fatal to the child of God and the church of the Lord. The above statement simply means that any time a child of God or a church of the Lord engages in worldliness in any form their acceptability to God is forfeited. This being true, we need to study the subject of worldliness. I fear that when most people talk and think about worldliness, they have in mind such sins as drunkenness, adultery, lasciviousness and immorality in general.

However, there is another form of worldliness I wish to discuss in this article. It has to do with the idea of "peaceful co-existence." This term is used in reference to the existence of two (or more) opposite ideologies. To have this "peaceful co-existence" both sides are urged to "make concessions," "to be tolerant" and to avoid "absolutism," "radicalism," "extreme views" in either direction. By employing such terms and preaching such ideas the Communists have taken captive millions of people since 1917. By this example we can see the effectiveness of this course in world events. It seems that there is something terribly wrong with one taking a firm stand on anything today. It is the "middle-of-the-roader" who is most popular. My definition of this type person is one who talks out of both sides of his mouth at the same time; makes concessions so as to lead others to believe that he is for both sides and yet, against both sides The "middle-of-the-roader" is one who has no strong convictions either way. Therefore, he is very popular. This makes a good politician but a very poor Christian.

(click here for the entire article...)


Reaction to Heresy

by Irven Lee

 

"Heresy must needs come." (I Corinthians 11: 19.) Paul said, "I know this," when he warned the elders that wolves would enter the flock. (Acts 20:29-32.) Peter said, "There shall be false teachers among you." (2 Peter 2:1-3.) John Said, "Many false prophets are gone out into the world." (I John 4: 1.) What are we to do?

Prevalence of Heretics

It is not so easy to detect the false, to distinguish from the true. It is very easy to be deceived. The Lord knows this, so He has warned more often in the New Testament concerning the sin and danger of heresy than He has of the sine of lying, drunkenness, murders and stealing combined. It must be serious! Are we awake to the danger?

"Many shall follow their pernicious ways." (2 Peter 2:1-3.) Will the time ever come when you will stand with a factious man in his evil way? Are you sure? Maybe you have stood there already! Paul knew that good people (disciples) might be led away by these grievous wolves, so he warned night and day with tears at Ephesus. (Acts 20:29-32.) He commended them to the word and warned them, but later he was leaving Timothy at this very place (Ephesus) to "charge some that they teach no other doctrine." (I Timothy 1:3.) The grievous wolves would speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them, he said. The perverse things may not have been believed by these heretics. They would speak them to get a following "to draw away disciples after them." Believe this! Men may be found who will "speak things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake." (Titus 1:11.) They will make merchandise of the souls of men. This is true but many follow their pernicious ways. Diotrephes had a following.

Skill of Heretics

Do not minimize the skill of some heretics. Paul marveled at how soon the churches of Galatia were disturbed and how seriously by the perverters. They ran well for a time, and had treated Paul is if he were an angel, but the time soon came when those who "desired to make a fair shew in the flesh" and to avoid persecution were turning them back to the weak and beggarly elements. (Galatians 6:12.) Watch for the ulterior motives in heretics. If it happened to the churches of Galatia, it can happen to us. "Beware of false prophets."

(click here for the entire article...)


Divine Authority and Human Relations

By Connie W. Adams

 

When Satan tempted Jesus to make stones into bread, Jesus responded by saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). This was a reference to the incident recorded in Deuteronomy 8 when God gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness. He gave specific instructions as to how much to gather for a day's supply. Any more than that would breed worms and stink and they could not use it. They were to look beyond the actual manna to the source of their very existence. God was their provider and they were answerable to him. So it is in all human relations. The God who made the world and who made us has the right to command, to direct, and to enforce obedience. He also has the right to enact punishment upon the disobedient.

Order in the Family

Concerning the family Jesus said, "Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:4-6). Marriage was created by God, even as he created the universe and set in motion the laws by which it is ordered. As God made man and determined the bounds of his habitation, even so God made marriage and set in motion the laws by which it functions. Notice that "at the beginning" he made them male and female. That denies evolution, even the theistic brand. Both male and female were distinctly formed by God and that was done "at the beginning."

Notice further that in marriage male and female become one. There is a perfect and intimate union of mind, soul, and body. They function not as adversaries, or competitors, but with one heart and soul. This union is a divine creation and it is just as damaging to disregard that as it is to reject God's authority in the natural creation. For man to "put asunder" what "God hath joined together" is to invite great harm upon this relationship. The balance of moral behavior is poised upon the permanence and stability of God's divine order for the family. To "put asunder" what God has joined together is to tear down the basic unit of all orderly human society. No wonder such violation of divine authority results in broken hearts, devastated children, rebellious behavior, hatred, and every evil work. Malice, bitterness, jealousy, envy, hatred, lying, cheating, stealing, and murder often follow in the wake of man's presumption in tearing apart what God joined together.

(click here for the entire article...)


How Far Will You Follow Another Person?

By Larry Rouse

 

How are you building your personal faith? Jesus exhorted us to be like the man to “who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” because every foundation will be tested in the floods of life! (Lk 6:48-49) Every person has a foundation upon which they make their decisions and live their lives. Unfortunately some have not seriously looked at what is the real basis of their lives.

Satan has many “alternatives” to what he mockingly would call a “radical ultra-legalistic religion” (There are also many other labels you might insert here). Satan seeks to keep the words of God from the hearts of men. Jesus simply pointed out that the foundation that is built on Him involves serving Him as an absolute Lord and that means handling His delivered words as the only source of direction in our lives. (Lk 6:46; Jn 17:8, 20) Any approach that does not involve a principled, careful approach to the words of Christ is a rejection of Jesus as Lord. The approach you take towards the words of Christ is the very attitude you take towards the Lordship of Christ. "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (Jn 12:48) The influence of Satan urges people to avoid what he calls “legalism” which is in fact a direct attack upon Jesus as Lord.

How Satan Uses Relationships

One of the most powerful weapons Satan has is human relationships. Jesus plainly warned any who would seek to be His disciple that he must put God first. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Lk 14:26) I cannot think of a more difficult test than this. Abraham’s faith was great because he was willing to sacrifice his only son. This was a “flood” that tested the foundation of faith Abraham had built. The words of Jesus will lead each of us to similar conflicts. Have we built a faith that will cost us something? Is it a faith that follows God and not men? (Gal 1:10)

The Challenge of Choosing a Mate

Outside of the decision to become a Christian, the decision as to who you marry is one of the most important choices you will make. Do you want to go to heaven? If you are serious about that then your choice will produce a relationship where both husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life.” (1 Pt 3:7) You will find one who is a Christian and will help you go to heaven.

When one foolishly allows their hearts to become attached to one who is not a Christian, there will be a great test of faith. On one hand there is the desire to please to one you love but then there is also the direction that Jesus gives to His followers. Most who choose to marry a non-Christian fall away from the Lord.

(click here for the entire article...)


Beware of the Leaven of Politics

by Larry Rouse

 

The lure of the political spirit is a genuine danger to the cause of Christ. There is a legitimate realm where the Christian can seek to exercise influence for good in the community and country where he lives. Working for proper causes through the government or other organizations can be a good choice when proper considerations and priorities are in place. We need to be reminded, however, that the political realm remains firmly in the hands of “the ruler of this world.”

Jesus gave a grave warning concerning His disciples partaking of the spirit (a condition of heart that comes through shared ideals) of influential groups of His day. “…He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known"” (Luke 12:1). The spirit of this world seeks to obtain its objective at any cost. The worldly man may show concern for a given issue, be it serving God, helping the poor, etc., when the real goal is the obtaining of personal power. This is hypocrisy. The ruler of this world has no concern for principles, people and especially of God’s way.

The political way of creating crisis

It is far easier to stir emotions that shut down the mind rather than build a reasonable case for a cause. H.L. Mencken said this over 50 years ago:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

(click here for the entire article...)


Bearing Fruit and Winning Souls

By Irvin Himmel

 

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise (Prov. 11:30).

Every life is like some kind of tree. A righteous life is like a good tree bearing good fruit. A wicked life is like a bad tree bearing bad fruit. Jesus said, "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Mt. 7:17,18).

Fruit of a Righteous Life

A righteous person produces fruit that may be considered "a tree of life." This includes the following:

(1) Good Influence In Word and Deed. The faithful child of God, "by his good deeds, is as a tree of life to those whose lives he sustains" (Whiteside). Many around us can be uplifted by the power of a good example. The Christian wields a wholesome influence as the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" (Matt. 5:13-16). Good words have added weight when backed by good deeds.

(2) Food For Souls Through Teaching. The truly righteous man is more than a "Good Samaritan." He feeds hungry souls the bread of life. While people of the world often perform humanitarian acts that aid the temporal man, the Christian sees his main task as helping the spiritually destitute.

(click here for the entire article...)


"Every Scripture Inspired of God"

By Clinton D. Hamilton

 

The Bible is a supernatural revelation. The word revelation means an uncovering. Since the Bible is an expression of the mind of God, it is a revelation, an uncovering. The New Testament is "God's wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory" (I Cor. 2.7). None of this world's rulers knew about this wisdom before it was revealed for "Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him" these "God revealed ... through the Spirit for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God" (I Cor. 2:8-10).

The word mystery means something previously hidden or covered that is now made known or uncovered. Human eyes, ears, and minds did not know this covered wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit did for He searches the deep (the hidden) things of God. The New Testament then is a revelation to man's mind and not a discovery of man. In fact, its words are those of the Spirit for Paul so affirms: "Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words" (I Cor. 2:13).

The title of this article comes from 2 Timothy 3:16,17; "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."

The God-Breathed Word

The word scripture means writing and in this connection means a sacred writing. The word inspired has been misunderstood in this connection. It comes f rom two words: God and breathed. Literally then, it means God breathed. Every God-breathed writing is the idea. The heavens and the earth are the product of God (Psa. 33:6). Likewise the sacred scriptures are God's product. He spoke them into existence. The scriptures are God-breathed, the result of God's speaking. Man is the instrumentality used by God in giving the scriptures to the world. The Holy Spirit searched the mind of God and communicated the things of His mind to man who wrote them in words chosen by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13). The men moved by the Spirit spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance (2 Pet. 1: 21; Acts 2:4).

(click here for the entire article...)


Can a Woman Serve as an Elder or a Deacon?
 

by H. E. Phillips

 

Forty years ago there was no serious thought of women being appointed to be elders and deacons in the Lord's church. With the birth of the Feminist Movement, conceived in the "civil rights" legislation under the influence of radical humanism among political activists, came the demand for women's "equal rights" and power in every area of life. It was inevitable that this movement would invade the home, school and church, with painful social, economic and political punishment for any opposition. The militant voice of the National Organization of Women is demanding that women be elevated to equal rank with men in every area of life, including the church. Out of this influence comes the demand for leadership roles for women in churches of Christ.

This feminist movement is riding the high wave of liberal political influence and crying for the abolition of "the yoke of male domination" in religion and allow women to claim their rightful role of authority in churches. This organization promotes and supports abortion; it also supports lesbian and homosexual activity and has ridiculed traditional family relationships and the role of mother-hood.

The innovations in denominationalism will eventually be embraced in some form by some churches of church, and some of these have included women preachers and church leaders for several years. Now some churches of Christ are trying to imitate the practice. They reject those passages that speak of the woman being in subjection to man as the prejudice of Jewish religious leaders against women, such as the apostle Paul.

(click here for the entire article...)


Text, Context and Secondhand Coats

by Scott Smelser

 

John the Baptist would not fit in well with the custom made suit industry. In addition to his general appearance, he seemed to have little concern for the need of a tailor-made single person fit: “He that hath two coats, let him give to him that has none.” Horrors.

Yet as anyone knows who has benefited from hand-me-downs or second hand shops, a good coat that once warmed person A can generally keep person B just as warm. There are some obvious exceptions; attention should be paid to whether you’re shopping in the boys section or the girls section, and a coat from Goliath is clearly not going to fit Zacchaeus.

So it is with texts and contexts. Some texts are obviously one-size-fits-all, like the two greatest commandments (Mt.22.37-39). Some texts fit one context, but not another;  “Israel… remember that you were a slave in the land of  Egypt … therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath” (Dt 5; but cf. Col. 2.17). Some texts appear in a specific context, but certainly fit elsewhere just as well. When Paul warned the Corinthians that “bad companions corrupt good morals,” the context was an anti-resurrection influence; yet the applications fit far beyond that. Indeed, this simple statement of truth was already borrowed when Paul employed it here (it was a well known maxim among the Greeks).

Consider then please, some common mistakes regarding text & context.

Ignorance of Context

A man walks into the middle of a conversation. Everyone else understands what’s being said, while the man coming in partway is confused. People get confused by the Bible in the same way. Reading random verses from the middle of Romans or Hebrews will not give good Bible knowledge just as sampling random sentences from a stack of history books would not give good history. Context helps the text make sense. 

Misapplication of Context

Another man steps up to a conversation, hears a name, and jumps to a premature conclusion. He thinks he understands, but may discover he does not after offering congratulations or condolences to the wrong person. Likewise with the biblical texts, when attention is not paid to context people jump to flawed conclusions and end up misinterpreting the text. Consider some examples:1Cor.3.15 “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved”

(click here for the entire article...)


Grace and Permissiveness

by Dale Smelser

 

There is cause for concern in some current ideas premised upon the grace of God. What persons with such ideas are saying of grace per se is often fine, but their projected applications are unjustified, especially when they suppose that the fellowship of false teachers and errant brethren is necessitated because such by grace still possess righteousness in Christ. As we examine the subject of grace relative to these problems, we are not alluding to any one person's conclusions, to our knowledge, but considering numerous ideas drifting about in various quarters that do appear to our understanding to be ultimately of one fabric.

The fact of God's favor extended out of love and for his own glory to undeserving sinners is exceedingly precious, and one can only thrill at its exposition in Paul's treatise on justification by faith, the epistle to Rome. The Jew gloried in the law, circumcision, and his Abrahamic parentage. To show that none of these established righteousness, Paul argued that to sinners, which all are, the law is an instrument of condemnation rather than justification. He argued that God's real concern is the cutting away of sin from the heart rather then flesh from the body, and that instead of lineal descendants he wanted spiritual sons of Abraham who imitate his faith.

Instead of futilely glorying in a legalism that could never save because of man's inability to perfectly keep law, Paul declares that we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). A synonym for faith in this sense is trust. We place our trust in God and rely upon his scheme in Christ. It is a scheme relying not merely on conduct, but having the provision of perfect atonement for imperfect conduct, if we qualify.

(click here for the entire article...)


Saved and Sure of Heaven

by Cled Wallace

 

There is immeasurable satisfaction in the personal conviction that one is saved and sure of heaven. Many think they are saved who are not, and the disappointment of a multitude who regard themselves as sure of heaven must be viewed as appalling. Jesus expresses a warning along this line. "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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23) Human speculation cannot point the way to heaven, nor can human feeling or opinion carry reliable assurance that one is saved. Divine assurance is based on the promises of God and a man should heed the divine admonition to "be not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:17)

 

It is important that the information revealed to guide an honest man into a state of blessed assurance should be both simple and clear. The New Testament is not disappointing in this respect. The Lord's will is expressly stated in words that are immediately understandable by all who have any appetite for assurance. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." (Mark 16:15, 16) "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:37, 38) There is nothing in this that all should not easily understand, and he who obeys has the promise of God that his sins are pardoned. He is saved. "Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19) It must be clear that a sinner thus forgiven is saved only from his past sins. It is both unscriptural and unthinkable that this pardon absolves him from the guilt and the consequences of sins he may commit subsequent to his baptism into Christ. Provisions, both ample and divine, are made to insure the Christian's entry into heaven but these provisions are conditional and call for cooperation on his part. The apostle John has something to say about this. "If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with "another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (I John 1:6, 7) "My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." (I John 2:1-3) The Christian must walk in the blood-sealed commandments of the Lord or else sin will conquer him and keep him out of heaven. As an aid, he has constant and instant access to a throne of grace through Jesus our Advocate. It was to Christians Paul wrote: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof." (Romans 6:12) "So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Romans 8:12, 13)

(click here for the entire article...)


Selfishness and Marriage

by J. R. Bronger

 

Divorce! This word used to call to mind “breaking up a home,” and with it trauma, unhappiness and all manner of problems. Today, however, it is so commonplace that it rarely raises and eyebrow. There is no need to overwhelm you with statistics in order to prove that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Personal evidence may be sufficient. It is probably safe to assume that you have in some manner been touched by divorce, whether friends, family or perhaps yourself.

Despite the Lord’s teaching that marriage is permanent and man is NOT to separate what God has joined together (Matthew 19:6) divorce continues unabated. The only exception to the Lord’s no divorce policy is sexual immorality (fornication) according to Matthew 19:9. But, did you know that adultery is NOT the reason most couples divorce? Surveys indicate that incompatibility, financial problems, sexual inadequacy, mental and/or physical abuse, no longer in-love, or loving someone else are the leading factors resulting in divorce. Regardless of the name put on the reason for seeking a divorce, the real incentive is selfishness. People divorce for selfish reasons.

A 40-year-old school administrator walked out of her 19-year marriage because she felt her husband was “boring, uneducated, and unmotivated.” Now she wanted someone who was “an intellectual dynamo, and successful in his career.” Her divorce was about her, not her husband. She acted out of selfishness!

(click here for the entire article...)


Divine Authority and Christ

by Connie W. Adams

God, as creator, has ultimate authority over everything created. Paul said on Mars Hill that "God made heaven and earth and all things therein": and then concluded by saying "he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world" (Acts 17:24-31). When we say "God created" we must include Jesus Christ in that. "Let us make man" (Gen. 1:26) is in the plural. Elohim (God) is plural is form. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1-3). "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Col. 1:16).

That "word" which was with God and was God, "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). "Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3:16). The greatest evidence for the existence of God is the fact that God came in the person of Jesus Christ. The historical Jesus can be explained on no other basis than the fact that he was divine, as he claimed to be. While he took upon himself the form of a servant, he did not give up the qualities which made him deity. He was "Immanuel, God with us" (Matt 1:22-23). Two things are of note in that statement. (1) He was "with us." He dwelt, or tabernacled among men and they beheld his glory (John 1:14). In the flesh he was subjected to the experiences common to flesh. He "suffered in the flesh." But (2) he was God in the flesh. He did not cease being deity. He was at once the "Son of man" and the "Son of God."

The Promised Lawgiver

Peter said, "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:22-23).

Peter was quoting Deuteronomy 18:18-19. No wonder on the mount of transfiguration the voice of the Father sounded and said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matt 17:5). And no wonder that when the three apostles with him heard this "they fell on their face, and were sore afraid" (v. 6). In Christ, the lawgiver had come and the challenge went forth, "Hear him."

(click here for the entire article...)


Freedom Under God

by Robert F. Turner

Freedom ... The word is almost sacred to the American people, and over the world today it stirs great hope and aspirations. Our Declaration of Independence calls it an "inalienable" right and a truth "self-evident." What is the source of this freedom, and what does it mean to us?

Free agency, the right to choose, is a gift from God. He elevated man above the beasts of the field: making man in his image (Gen. 1:26), sharing with man the power of choice. Man need not be slave to instinct or norm. He may rise above self, pursue ideals, seek truth, and embrace it.

But with power there is responsibility. The ability to choose the right exposes us to the danger of choosing the wrong. The same justice that rewards the righteous, must also condemn the wicked. Freedom, then, cannot be free. Even in the moral realm it imposes obligations, and there are none more bound than those who foolishly demand unbridled liberty and become slaves of their own folly.

In free government a man can vote as he chooses, but he may not vote correctly. He may, by neglect or party politics, fail the responsibilities of this truth and encourage corruption.

In business, free enterprise allows a man to invest as he sees fit. But this is no guarantee of profit. He may invest unwisely, and "loose his shirt," the price paid for untrammeled opportunity.

(click here for the entire article...)


All That Glitters is not Gold

by Dee Bowman

 

Many years ago, my brothers and I went to New York City. We arrived very early in the morning. We could not wait to get our bags into our room and get our first look at Times Square. I shan't soon forget the sight. It was as if we were immersed in a sea of lights. There were lights that cascaded like water falls, lights that sparkled like Christmas, lights that wrote messages, lights that twinkled.

There were pulsating lights, performing lights, lights that made little paths around huge pictures of people. The scene seemed to take you along with it, whether you wanted to go or not. It was as if you were in a current the strength of which was so overpowering you had no resistance.

Society is like those lights. It has a strong attraction. It pulls people with great subtlety. You're caught up in the flow of it before you know it; and when you're in the flow, it takes great power--more than most of us have--to dislodge yourself.

With its various methods of seduction, society invites us into the slime pit of sin. It accomplishes this by making sin attractive. If sin were left to its own, nobody would get involved in it. It promises things; it holds out a certain satisfaction. Sin is never presented to you in its bare form. It's always dressed up in something. And the trappings are well thought out. The Devil is a master of disguises.  He conjures up all manner of packages in which to place this most deadly enemy of mankind. When he has it just right he presents it with deadly skill. You can be in it before you know it.

How do we fight this kind of attraction? What can we do?

(click here for the entire article...)


The Dispersion

by Alan Jones

 

“Has Ezekiel gone mad?” This may have been the reaction of some after they watched Ezekiel shave his head and beard, weigh the hair, divide it into thirds, and then burn a third, strike a third with a sword, and scatter the remaining third to the wind. However, Ezekiel was not mad, but he was signifying the punishment soon to fall on Jerusalem, a punishment which would pave the way for the salvation of the world (Ezek. 5:1-12).

(click here for the entire article...)


 

Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing 2017

 

Preparing for Marriage by Scott Smelser
Audio of Lesson
Audio of Singing

 

 

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 College 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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The Christian and Money

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30

Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Money and the Revealing of Our Hearts
Lesson 2 - Earning Money

Lesson 3 - Spending Money and Debt

 

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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