5 things you can do for the church today

One of the problems the Apostle Paul had to deal with was that folks in the church wanted the same job, that is, they wanted the best ones. [1Corinthians 12] He pointed out that every person was important in the church regardless of their abilities. He wanted all the members of the Lord’s church to learn……

  • We are more than individuals; 1Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
  • We are members one of another; Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    • Ephesians 4:25b for we are members one of another.
What can you do?

Some of you may be asking the question, what can I do for the church? Instead of looking for the jobs that seem to be the best ones, or the ones that garner the most attention, look for the work that you can do well. But what is that? How do you find what that is?

If this is you, here are 5 things you can do for the church today as you do your own “one another ministry”.

You can …..

1 – KINDLY affectioned one another —

You can, TODAY, be kind. You can be kind to the visitors by welcoming them in and introducing them to others in the congregation. You can be kind to those leading the public worship and the classes. You can be kind by assisting the mom with the “antsy” child. You can be kind to that ill member that has been unable to attend for some time.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [Romans 12:10]

2 – ENCOURAGE one another –

So many folks are under such stress and pressure these days and need some encouragement. The Bible uses the words comfort, exhort and beseech. You can encourage that young person that is learning how to serve the Lord. You can encourage that single person looking for a way to fit in. You can be that person that encourages folks to continue to build their faith in the Lord.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. [Jude 1:3]

3 – STIR UP one another –

In the King James text, Hebrews 10:24 uses the word “provoke”. Usually used negatively by us, in this text it is an urgent command to “stir up” members of the church to increase in LOVE and GOOD WORKS. Every church needs a lot more of both of these things. Sometimes it requires a person or group of people to get the ball rolling. Of course when the Bible says “good works” it is referring to the works “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” [Ephesians 2:10]

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: [Hebrews 10:24]

4 – COMFORT one another –

Here’s something that you can do that is very much needed by everyone from time to time, comfort. Folks need comfort when they’re grieving, when they’re sick, when they’re facing a challenge at home or work. People get sad, discouraged or down from time to time and need a shoulder to cry on. They need to know that their brothers and sisters in Christ care. Do you?

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. [1Co 12:25]

5 – SERVE one another –

We can all do a better job at serving one another. People need help, physical help. Sometimes they need financial help. The rest of us can be there to provide the service that our brother or sister in Christ needs. I know a man that came to me expressing his fear of leading of public prayer or speaking in public. “But, I can fix cars, put up drywall or do just about any home repair.” WOW! That’s fantastic, this brother wanted to serve is fellow church member. And he did. Every time someone needed help with a car repair or home repair, he was there.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. [Galatians 5:13]

Bonus – PRAY FOR one another –

Before we finish this article, we need to add just one more thing that every member of the Lord’s church can do for the others, PRAY. People often request prayers from the church. DO IT, actually do it. Pray for your brethren. Be specific in your prayers. If a sister is asking for prayers for an upcoming surgery, pray about that surgery. Pray for the protection of the children as they go off to college or off to war, that they be both physically safe, but also psychologically safe. Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.” [1Thessalonians 5:17]

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. [James 5:16]

If I had to summarize all of these things you can do into one word, that word would be LOVE. Love in the scriptures is an action word. It’s much more than an acknowledgement in your mind. It’s an attitude that compels you to do something.

spencer is the evangelist for the Franklin Street Church of Christ in Borger Texas.

Where does bible say ask Jesus into your heart?

Other ways of asking this question are;

Is “ask Jesus into your heart” biblical? What are the verses supporting ask Jesus into your heart.

I’ve believed all of my believing life that in order to be saved a person needed was to “ask Jesus into their hearts.” That all a person had to do to be saved was believe. I believed in salvation by faith alone until I met Spencer. He asked a simple question, “Where do you find that in the scriptures?” [This is just a summary of the many hours we spent together in Bible reading.]

He and I looked and looked through the scriptures. We’ve never found that phrase or ones similar. We have found verses, if cherry picked, that may lead people to that belief. When you examine those scriptures you’ll find that the entirety of the passage teaches the opposite.

For example, in Acts 16:25-34 we read of the Philippian Jailor. In verse 30 & 31 he asks, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Then Paul answers, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

The rest of the story is that during the night, the prison bars were open and in fear he was about to take his own life. Paul tells him to do himself no harm, for we are all here. Then the jailor asks his questions and receives Paul’s answer, but note the REST OF THE STORY…..

Ac 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

When we read “….all the counsel of God.” Ac 20:27, we are able to learn the whole truth. The Jailor didn’t know anything about Jesus, therefore, he needed to believe. Before you can or will do anything, you first must believe. Then they “spake unto him the word of the Lord”. A person needs to hear about that which he is required to believe.

Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Based on this story, what did the jailor do upon hearing the “word of the Lord”? He repented, washing their stripes, and was baptized. These actions show that he was convinced, a believer.

Does the Bible teach that we ask Jesus into our hearts?

Yeah, sort of. Turn and look at John 14:23-24.

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

This is the closest passage to having Jesus come into your heart, but when you look carefully, you’ll see that there’s no ASKING, there’s OBEYING!!!

This message is consistent with the teaching of Jesus,

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

This message is also consistent with the teaching of the Apostles,

Ro 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Ro 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Ga 3:1 ¶ O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

The scriptures go on and on talking about obedience, to do works. Not works of man, rather the works of God…

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Daniel Surges

If you want to ask me more about this, I’m usually at Braum’s in Borger Texas most days.

What about the thief on the cross?

How Would You Answer?

Imagine you’re speaking to someone about Jesus and you bring up the subject of baptism. Just as Philip did in Acts 8. You say something like, “The Bible says that one must be baptized in order to be saved.” They immediately shake their head and say, “What about the thief on the cross?” [Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.]

It’s not really that hard to imagine. This exchange occurs nearly every single time I speak with a person about Jesus, salvation or the bible. I’m sure you’ve had the same experience.

Before you respond, let me remind you of a proper attitude you must maintain while giving an answer; Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

This verse needs to be memorized by every Christian.

We need to give an answer with love and compassion. If they get upset let it be with God’s word rather than your attitude.

So, HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THEM? In order to provide the answer, I need to point out a few things that are wrong with their questions.

FIRST, their question is steeped in a misunderstanding on how to determine scriptural authority. [Invite them to the “Are you certain?” Classes.]

Most denominations have no concept of how to determine God’s will. They think that if it’s in the Bible, that makes it scriptural. They misunderstand that in order for something to be scriptural, it must be determined by context, audience and speaker. There are some clear “rules” for determining scriptural authority. Not difficult ones, nor are they unique to Bible interpretation only. These rules are shown to us in scripture, but we use them automatically in our secular lives. One answer I use is to introduce them to this concept and invite them to study with me about How to determine Scriptural Authority [Permissions].

SECOND, your prospect is giving a proof text without context. One way to correct their error is by asking them, “Under what system of Law were Jesus and the thief living?”

Now that you understand where their error lies, we can look at several answers, all of which are united with each other in Truth…

ONE – While on earth, Jesus had the authority to forgive sins. We see this with the paralytic Luke 5:18-26, and the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50. With the thief, Jesus clearly offered him salvation.

TWO – This thief was saved BEFORE the command to be baptized was given. Matthew 28:18-20 shows the command to be baptized was given AFTER Christ had risen from the dead. Additionally, we are baptized into His death, Romans 6:3-4.

The thief was never subject to baptism for it was commanded after his death. Just like Abraham, Noah, Moses etc. The thief never had a baptism command to obey. There was John’s baptism, but we can read the answer to that in Acts 19:4-5.

THREE – The thief lived, died and was saved BEFORE the new covenant began. Deuteronomy 5:2-3 shows the Old Covenant, which came to an end when Jesus died on the cross. [Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 2:14] Then in Hebrews 8:6-7, 13 we see that the first covenant was done away, and we now live under a New Covenant.

I hope this helps you as you to give answer for the hope that is in you. 1Peter 3:15

Spencer

6 Spiritual Questions

1. WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life. (John 5.24).

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved. (Acts 16.31).

Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2.38).

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Romans 10.9).

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (Mark 16.15-16).

 

2. WHAT MUST WE HEAR?

This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him! (Matthew 17.5).

Moses said, THE LORD GOD SHALL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED in everything He says to you. (Acts 3.22).

If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3.20).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1.16).

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10.17).

God… in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things. (Hebrews 1.1-2).

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28.18).

 

3. WHAT MUST WE BELIEVE?

See Acts 16.31 and Romans 10.17 above.

If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8.37).

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3.16).

 

4. WHAT MUST WE CONFESS?

See Romans 10.9, Question 1.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4.15).

That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.11).

Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10.32).

 

5. WHY MUST ONE BE BAPTIZED?

Repent, and let each of you be baptized… for the forgiveness of your sins. (Acts 2.38).

Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins. (Acts 22.16).

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3.27). Read also Romans 6.3.

In which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water (Noah’s salvation in the ark). And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you. (1 Peter 3.20-21).

See also Mark 16.15-16 above.

 

6. WHAT CONSTITUTES BAPTISM?

And they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. (Acts 8.38-39).

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6.4).

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6.5).

Buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2.12).

Under the Influence

As the New Year fast approaches, I know that many will be celebrating the new year, often while drinking adult alcoholic beverages. You’ve heard about driving under the influence? That is when a person decides to drink alcohol unto intoxication, or imbibing in some other mind altering drug, and then decides to get behind the wheel of their vehicle. In a recent news story, a woman driving while under the influence, ran a red light plowing through a crosswalk, killing 3 people including a child and his mother.

Here in Borger, Texas, it’s listed as DWI; Driving While Intoxicated. According to the Texas DoT website, a first offense DWI charge can get you; “A fine of up to $2,000, Three days to 180 days in jail, Loss of driver license up to a year and an Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license.”

Just the first offense penalty would be enough for me to avoid DWI. When you consider the human costs with the possibility of causing someone’s death or even my own, then without a doubt I would never drive under the influence of alcohol.

But that is the secular human side of me. As a Christian, I abstain from alcohol use. I don’t drink. As I pondered this thing called DUI or being under the influence, I was reminded of a passage I had recently studied in Ephesians;

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” — Eph 5:18

            This verse instructs us to NOT get drunk, but rather to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Some would suppose that we should be under the control of the Holy Spirit, losing our own control and free will. But this just doesn’t fit with the rest of the scriptures. Paul had just written in Chapter 3 of the same book:

“…if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,  4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),”– Eph 3:2-4

            When you consider these verses from the same letter together, what you will see is that we need to read and to study our Bibles, allowing those teachings to influence us. To “BE FILLED” with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the Helper promised by Christ;

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”– Joh 16:13

We have the Bible, the scriptures, because holy men of God were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down the things of God. [2Pet 1:20-21] It’s through the study of the scriptures that we can know the will of God for our lives, to know how to live on this earth and how to get to heaven.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”– 2Ti 3:16

            Jesus charged the Apostles to teach the people “all things that I have commanded you,” and this they did as they traveled, speaking to people, and also as they, with others, wrote these commands down for us today.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. — Mt 28:19

Knowing all of this, let us not be drunk with alcohol or drugs, rather, let us be filled with the Holy Spirit by studying our Bibles, learning what is the will of the Lord.

8 things that happen when you read the Bible

One of the things we as evangelists work hard to do, is to get our members to READ their Bibles. I’m reminded of the great commandment that our Lord quoted from De 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Mr 12:30) The rest of the passage in Deuteronomy goes on to teach, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” (De 6:6 ) It appears that the continued study of God’s word is connected with the very Love of God.

There is much emphasis in the Bible for all Christians to study it. With that in mind, I would like to share with you

8 things the Bible says will happen to you when you read….

…you will….

1- Gain Understanding – The Apostle Paul wrote that we could understand what he knew by revelation, “when we read”. (Eph 3:4). Luke also wrote so that we, “may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (Lu 1:1-4) With the instruction you will gain Instruction in Righteousness – By reading the Bible, we will have godly instruction and become “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Tim 3:16, 17). In Romans, Paul tells us that even the Old Testament was “written for our learning.” (Ro 15:4) When you read, you will read better, be better at business, life and Godliness.

2- Gain Utterance – “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” (Eph 6:19)
You will become clearer about your faith.

3- Gain confidence / boldness – When the Apostles were preaching the gospel, the prayed for boldness, “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,” (Ac 4:29 ). We can have boldness, not only through prayer, but through our continued study. (1Ti 4:13)
You will have more confidence to share your faith.

4- Know the Truth – “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (Joh 17:17) The Lord promised to send a Helper, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:” (Joh 16:12-13) We will also recognize error.
If you know the truth, the error will become evident.

5- Be Ready – Peter tells us to “be ready always to give an answer..” (1Pe 3:15) And Paul writes, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Col 4:6) If we read, we can be prepared to share our faith.

6. Apt to Teach – The writer of Hebrews rebuked the brethren, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,” (Heb 5:12) There are plenty of passages about us becoming teachers, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Mt 5:14) as well as, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,” (Eph 4:11) – Ro 12:7; Eph 4:1Co 12:28;
You will be able to, and perhaps desire to teach.

7. Believe – Our Lord and Savior said that the written word served the purpose of helping folks believe, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…..” (Joh 20:31)
You will become more firm in your faith.

8. Have Salvation – In the same passage He also said, “…and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (Joh 20:31) When questioned whether he would stay or go, Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Joh 6:68) By reading, we keep His word, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” (Joh 8:51) By reading, we are showing that we are receiving His word, “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.” (Joh 12:48) By reading the Bible, you will learn what it means to “…obey the Gospel.” (1Pe 4:17)
You can be certain of your salvation.

As I wrote this, I was reminded of the quote from Mark Twain, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” But his words pale in comparison to the words of God spoken through the prophet Hosea,

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Ho 4:6)

Why do we need instrumental music?

……we’ve god God’s instruments?

It has been said that Mozart considered the human voice to more nearly approach perfection in music than any instrument. As a man, unable to carry a tune in a bucket, I agree.

The arguments for using instrumental music in worship go like this………

  • It enhances the worship
  • the Bible doesn’t say we can’t (note all the “not”ty words)
  • We enjoy worship better
  • We will attract more people if we have a band (the hip hop church http://bit.ly/1mjEhLp)
  • They used instruments in the Old Testament

What is the problem with these arguments? Can you see it? Non of them appeal to the New Testament for their reasoning. Without boring you in this post with the entire study of how to determine scriptural authority, I will appeal to just one.

That which God specifies, automatically negates all other options.

This is a very common explanation for all of us. We use this reasoning every day. If you say to your kid, “Bring me a cup of coffee”, and he brings you a cup of coffee AND a coke, has he obeyed you? If you use the reasoning above, then yes. You must drink both beverages.

  • The coke enhances the drinking of coffee (opinion)
  • You didn’t tell him NOT to bring you a coke
  • You enjoy coke don’t you?

Obviously we would disagree with that. Then why do we fail to see the same line of logic is flawed when looking into the scriptures? Let me prove this point using the Bible. In 2King 5, Naaman was told by Elisha to go and dip seven times in the Jordan river. Look at his response…..

2Ki 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. KJV

What did Naaman suggest he do instead of obeying the words of the man of God?

  • I thought…..come out….stand….call on the name of the Lord…..stike his hand.
  • Are not the rivers of Damascus BETTER?
  • May I not wash in them?

We see the very same reasoning today. “I think”, “Wouldn’t this be better than that?” Would the instrument be better? Sure, if we were appealing to the authority of man, but using the instrument fails in one regard. It disobeys God.

God said………..

  • Ac 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
  • Ro 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
  • 1Co 14:15 ¶ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
  • Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
  • Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
  • Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
  • Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

All would agree that when we worship, we must all sing. The basic command of “singing” is unchangeable. The disagreement and division enters in when we want to include a particular style of instrument. We divide, even within a denomination when the instrument is added. Some desire a “contemporary” worship, others desire a more “modern” worship and still others want a “hip hop” church. What about a cowboy worship singing just country songs? How about blue grass? What about Beatles music? If not, why not?

Your next question will be this, “So, Spencer, you just want worship to be dry and boring right?”

I’ll answer that question when you answer this one…..Will you become angry at the message of God when it contradicts with the way YOU think?

Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

 

spencer

Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10