PUT ON

Ruth's Gleanings

 

Many of us are sheltering in place and avoiding going out except for those things that are necessary due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

For those who are shut in, they may be lounging around, not knowing what to do with the abundance of time. Let me first warn us all, let’s not waste time. It’s one thing we can never get back.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” [Eph 5:16]

The next thing we all ought to do is PUT ON some things. Of course, get out of your PJ’s and put on some clothes. There are some other things we can PUT ON that may help us during this time of confinement.

First, PUT ON Prayer. First thing in the morning pause and pray. If you make a list for everything and everyone you could pray for you’ll understand better how to fulfill 1Thess 5:17; “Pray without ceasing.”

Next let us UNDERTAKE A ROUTINE. A routine will help you to ward off cabin fever. Undertaking a routine will help you make the best use of your time, not allowing it to escape from you. Time passes way too quickly to allow it to be wasted.

Then, Take Time each day to talk & teach your family about God, His word and His Son. “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Deut 6:7]

ORGANIZE your day and your week. If you’re working or schooling from home, an ORGANIZED plan will keep you on track.

This plan will be NEEDFUL for your success at work, your sanity and your salvation. It’s when we don’t walk circumspectly [Eph 5:15] that we fall into sin.

That’s the physical plan, now let’s look at the Spiritual things we should PUT ON.

The best was to describe this is just by reading from God’s word.

COLOSSIANS 3:12-15

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, PUT ON tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

14 But above all these things PUT ON love, which is the bond of perfection.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

ROMANS 13:11-14

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us PUT ON the armor of light.

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

14 But PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

If you’re not a Christian, what are you waiting for? The day is far spent. Put on Christ through obedience to the Gospel and be baptized for the remission of sins.

If you’re a Christian, what are you waiting for? Put on the armor of light and let the world know you are a Hopeful, Happy child of God.

 

–Spencer

4 Keys to an Exciting Worship

 

You’ve heard it before, people saying, ‘church is boring.’ Some have even said, ‘I didn’t get anything out of the worship.’ This is one of the main criticisms of the church of Christ is that it’s too boring.

One visitor said, “this isn’t for me.” Another person said, “I’m not drawn to God by the bands, the food and the entertainment, but I would never go to church without them.” More frequently you’ll find folks comparing amenities between ‘churches’ like they choose options when buying a car.

Perhaps you’ve had similar thoughts. There are a variety of reasons people give as to why

their attendance drops off. The preacher is boring, the singing is flat, the building is ugly, the people are cold & unfriendly.

Allow me to make a bold statement, none of these are the reason. You and you alone are the reason worship is boring!

I’ll prove it to you by showing you the 4 keys to VAIN worship and the remedies for making worship exciting.

The 1st reason some find worship boring is they don’t like the old ways. It’s not in VOGUE with today’s music & styles. They’ll also be critical of the building, the pews & any number of things that appear old fashioned.

REMEDY #1; Remember that worship is ordered by God our creator. [John 4:24]. When we stylize worship to our taste buds, we become guilty of worshiping our bellies or our own selves.

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” [Phil 3:19; cr Col 2:23]

We must do all in the name of Jesus, that means by His permission. We worship the way we do by the scriptural authority of Jesus, the one who purchased the church with His own blood. Remember that, and you’ll instantly see a boost in your excitement.

Reason #2 some find worship cold & boring is that they impugn others motives. They act as mind readers which is impossible. Communication is difficult under the best of circumstances and nearly impossible when you make up thoughts others are having and ATTACK them mentally. Are you not being judgmental yourself?

REMEDY #2; Leave the mind & heart reading to God. We’re not good at it. All we can do is go by their actions & words. Instead of thinking poorly about one another, we’re allowed to think loving thoughts.

“(Love)…thinks no evil;” [1Cor 13:5b]

Reason #3 that folks give is that the people are unfriendly. Really? Let’s see how the typical person enters the building. They come in and walk IMMEDIATELY to a rear pew, on the outside edge speaking to no one as they enter. Then they hold court as if on a “throne” expecting the rest of the congregation to come to them for a greeting. And you’re calling the rest of us cold?! It reminds me of the Pharisees; “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.” [Luke 11:43]

REMEDY #3; Here are 5 simple tricks you can do to instantly feel welcome while making others feel welcome also; SMILE.

  • Stand up, don’t race to sit down.
  • Make eye contact with us. You’re allowed to say hello.
  • Interest in others is a gift you give another.
  • Listen to them & they will listen to you.
  • Expect that others will like you instead of assuming otherwise.

Reason #4 some dislike worship, is that they’re NEEDY.  Needy people sound like this, “I didn’t get anything out of the worship.” What if everybody thought that way, where would the giving be?

REMEDY #4; We need to be NEEDY to give. Jesus said it’s more blessed to give. Worship is designed for givers.

  • Give teaching in song. Eph 5:19, Col 3:16
  • Give of means for spreading gospel. 1Cor 16:1-2
  • Give edification. Eph 4:29-32
  • Give heart to God. Mat 22:37-39, Mark 7:7
  • Give attention to scripture & doctrine. 1Tim 4:13

If you take this in the heart it is given, you will INSTANTLY find more joy in the worship that God has designed.

I love you all.

—Spencer

I Don’t Keep Any Of The Ten Commandments

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I Don’t Keep Any Of The Ten Commandments
William J. Stewart | Odessa, Ontario, Canada
 
When speaking with folks about the distinction between the Old and New Testaments, I will, to make a vivid point, often declare, “I don’t keep any of the Ten Commandments.” You ought to see the look such a statement elicits on the face of some people. Now, what do |I mean by that statement? I acknowledge the God of heaven and worship Him alone. I do not serve false gods. I do not misuse the name of God. I worship on the day which God has prescribed. I render the appropriate respect to my parents. I do not murder. I do not commit fornication. I do not steal. I do not lie. I do not covet other people’s goods. And yet, I earnestly say, “I don’t keep any of the Ten Commandments.”
 
The Ten Commandments (and indeed, the whole Law of Moses) were not given for me to keep, but for the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 4:44-45; 5:1-3). As we consider the testimony of Scripture, it ought to become evident that we are not under the Law of Christ, not the Law of Moses. Consider:
 
MATTHEW 5:17-18
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
 
Many will use this text to affirm that the Law would never cease, but the careful Bible student will realize that Jesus is saying just the opposite. In verse 17, the Lord states unequivocally that He came to fulfill the Law. In the next verse, He plainly indicates what would take place once it was fulfilled – it would pass away.
 
A parent may tell a child not to get off a chair until his “time out” is over. A union leader may tell management that the workers will not return until all their demands are met. There are countless statements where a given result will occur once a condition has been met. Shall we leave the child on the chair even after the “time out” is completed? Shall the workers forsake their jobs even after their demands have been satisfied? Of course not. Neither should we affirm the perpetuation of the Law, for the Lord has fulfilled it.
 
ACTS 15:1, 5
Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. … It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
 
These two statements were made by some first century Jewish Christians with regard to the Gentile converts to Christ. They, like some today, were proponents of the Law, and sought to bind it upon believers. Notice what the apostles had to say of them and their position:
  • Peter asked, “…why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither you nor your fathers were able to bear?” (15:10)
  • James, considering the coming of the Gentiles to Christ, in view of prophecy, stated, “…we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God…” (15:19)
  • The apostles distinguished themselves from the Law proponents, declaring, “…we gave no such commandment…” (15:24)
  • The apostles, inspired of God, wrote to the Gentiles, saying, “…it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” (15:28-29)
Those who affirm that we are still subject to the Law of Moses today set themselves against the apostles of Christ and the Holy Spirit himself.
 
GALATIANS 3:23-26
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
 
Paul revealed the purpose of the Law of Moses. It guarded the hearts of the Jews until faith came. Not personal faith, for personal faith has existed since creation began. The faith spoke of is the law of faith, which would be revealed in Christ. But notice, when the faith came (ie. the New Testament Law, the Gospel), then “…we are no longer under a tutor.” The purpose of the law had been served. Now, we are God’s people, not by the Law of Moses, but “…through faith in Christ Jesus.” (NOTE, it was only the Jews who had been kept under guard by the law, the Gentiles were never under the law)
 
HEBREWS 8:7-13
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the days when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
 
Two covenants are under consideration here, the first being established through Moses, the second, through the Christ. In bringing forth a new covenant, what did God plan for the former? Was it to remain, and be kept in conjunction with the second? The Hebrew writer uses words such as “obsolete,” “growing old,” and “ready to vanish away” to describe the Law of Moses. We are not subject to the covenant established by God with Israel at Mount Sinai. We are subject to the law established with the entire world through the Christ at Calvary.
 
GALATIANS 5:1-4
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed, I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 
 
Those who contend that we are still subject to Moses’ law today fail to be consistent with their own claim. Paul indicated that if one presumes to keep part of the law, they are indebted to keep the whole law (v 3). Do those who claim to keep the law today continue in the sacrifices prescribed? Do they observe the feasts in the way they are commanded? Do they hold to the penalties instructed for crimes and offences under Moses’ law? Some who claim we should keep Moses’ Law even fail to keep the Sabbath day as instructed in the Law. Their claim fails support through their actions.
 
In Galatians 5, Paul wrote to Gentile Christians whom Judaizing teachers pressured to receive circumcision in obedience to the Law of Moses (the same issue which existed in Acts 15), Paul’s message was clear – don’t do it! You have been made free in Christ, why would you turn to a law of bondage (cf. Galatians 2:4)? To seek to be justified by Moses’ law is to separate oneself from Christ.
 
COLOSSIANS 2:14-17
…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
 
What was the handwriting of requirements that was against and contrary to us? It is the law of Moses. Recall Peter’s statement in Acts 15 – the law was a yoke “…which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.” It was “taken out of the way … nailed to the cross.” The Law of Moses had “become obsolete” and was “ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8). That being the case, Paul urged the disciples not to allow people to judge them in matters related to the Law – food, drink, festivals, new moons, sabbaths. The disciples of Christ are not subject to these laws or any laws from Moses. He identifies the Law as a shadow – the reality, the true, is found in Christ and His law, the gospel.
 
Well, hang on. I said earlier that I acknowledge the one true God, worship Him alone, I don’t misuse His name and I worship on the day He prescribed. I have respect for my parents, I do not murder, commit fornication, steal, lie or covet my neighbour’s goods. By definition, am I not keeping the Ten Commandments? Nope, not a one. All of the commandments (except the Sabbath law) are repeated in the New Testament (Matthew 4:10; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:1; Colossians 3:20; Romans 13:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:9; Hebrews 13:5). The Sabbath is not repeated, for the prescribed day of worship in the New Testament is the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1-2; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
Friend, we are not subject to Moses’ law. It was not and is not our law, not even the Ten Commandments. We are subject to Christ, to the message of the gospel as revealed through the New Testament.

Names of Jesus

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Jesus the Christ is the central theme of the whole bible. He is the most important figure in the entirety of Scripture. It ought to be so, for He is the only way for man to reach God.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” [1Tim 2:5]

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” [Col 1:18]

With this in mind, this author thought it interesting to list for you all the Titles & Names of Jesus. [list from Naves Topical Bile.]

NAMES, APPELLATIONS, AND TITLES OF

  • Adam 1Co 15:45
  • Advocate 1Jo 2:1
  • Almighty Re 1:8
  • Alpha and Omega Re 1:8
  • Amen Re 3:14
  • Angel Ge 48:16; Ex 23:20-21
  • Angel of his presence Isa 63:9
  • Anointed Ps 2:2
  • Apostle Heb 3:1
  • Arm of the Lord Isa 51:9-10
  • Author and Finisher of our faith Heb 12:2
  • Beginning and end of the creation of God Re 3:14; 22:13
  • Beloved Eph 1:6
  • Blessed and only Potentate 1Ti 6:15
  • Branch Jer 23:5; Zec 3:8
  • Bread of life Joh 6:48
  • Bridegroom Mt 9:15
  • Bright and Morning Star Re 22:16
  • Brightness of the Father’s glory Heb 1:3
  • Captain of the Lord’s host (army) Jos 5:14
  • Captain of Salvation Heb 2:10
  • Carpenter Mr 6:3
  • Carpenter’s son Mt 13:55
  • Chief Shepherd 1Pe 5:4
  • Chief Cornerstone 1Pe 2:6
  • Chiefest among ten thousand Song 5:10
  • Child Isa 9:6; Lu 2:27,43
  • Chosen of God 1Pe 2:4
  • Christ Mt 1:16; Lu 9:20
  • The Christ (Messiah) Mt 16:20; Mr 14:61
  • Christ, a King Lu 23:2
  • Christ Jesus Ac 19:4; Ro 3:24; 8:1; 1Co 1:2,30; Heb 3:1; 1Pe 5:10,14
  • Christ Jesus our Lord 1Ti 1:12; Ro 8:39
  • Christ of God Lu 9:20
  • Christ, the chosen of God Lu 23:35
  • Christ the Lord Lu 2:11
  • Christ, the power of God 1Co 1:24
  • Christ the wisdom of God 1Co 1:24
  • Christ, the Son of God Ac 9:20
  • Christ, Son of the Blessed Mr 14:61
  • Commander Isa 55:4
  • Consolation of Israel Lu 2:25
  • Cornerstone Eph 2:20
  • Counselor Isa 9:6
  • Covenant of the people Isa 42:6
  • David Jer 30:9
  • Daysman Job 9:33
  • Dayspring Lu 1:78
  • Day Star 2Pe 1:19
  • Deliverer Ro 11:26
  • Desire of all nations Hag 2:7
  • Door, the Joh 10:7
  • Elect Isa 42:1
  • Emmanuel Isa 7:14
  • Ensign Isa 11:10
  • Eternal Life 1Jo 5:20
  • Everlasting Father Isa 9:6
  • Faithful and True Re 19:11
  • Faithful Witness, the Re 1:5
  • Faithful and true witness, the Re 3:1
  • Finisher of faith Heb 12:2
  • First and last Re 1:17; 2:8; 22:13
  • First begotten Heb 1:6
  • First begotten of the dead Re 1:5
  • Firstborn Ps 89:27
  • Foundation Isa 28:16
  • Fountain Zec 13:1
  • Forerunner Heb 6:20
  • Friend of sinners Mt 11:19
  • Gift of God Joh 4:10
  • Glory of Israel Lu 2:32
  • God (deity) Joh 1:1
  • God blessed forever Ro 9:5
  • God manifest in the flesh 1Ti 3:16
  • God of Israel, the Saviour Isa 45:15
  • God of the whole earth Isa 54:5
  • God our Saviour 1Ti 2:3
  • God’s dear Son Col 1:13
  • God with us Mt 1:23
  • Good Master Mt 19:16
  • Governor Mt 2:6
  • Great Shepherd of the sheep Heb 13:20
  • Head of the ekklesia (body) Eph 1:22-23; 5:23; Col 1:18,24
  • Heir of all things Heb 1:2
  • High priest Heb 4:14
  • Head of every man 1Co 11:3
  • Head of the corner Mt 21:42
  • Holy child Jesus Ac 4:30
  • Holy one Ps 16:10; Ac 3:14
  • Holy one of God Mr 1:24
  • Holy one of Israel Isa 41:14; 54:5
  • Holy thing Lu 1:35
  • Hope (our) 1Ti 1:1
  • Horn of salvation Lu 1:69
  • I AM Joh 8:58
  • Image of God Heb 1:3
  • Israel Isa 49:3
  • Jehovah Isa 40:3
  • Jehovah’s fellow Zec 13:7
  • Jesus Mt 1:21
  • Jesus Christ Mt 1:1; Joh 1:17; 17:3; Ac 2:38; 4:10; 9:34; 10:36; 16:18; Ro 1:1,3,6; 2:16; 5:15,17; 6:3; 1Co 1:1,4; 2:2; 2Co 1:19; 4:6; 13:5; Ga 2:16; Php 1:8; 2:11; 1Ti 1:15; Heb 13:8; 1Jo 1:7; 2:1
  • Jesus Christ our Lord Ro 1:3; 6:11,23; 1Co 1:9; 7:25
  • Jesus Christ our Saviour Tit 3:6
  • Jesus of Nazareth Mr 1:24; Lu 24:19
  • Jesus (of Nazareth), King of the Jews Joh 19:19; Mt 27:37
  • Jesus, the Son of God Heb 4:14
  • Jesus, the Son of Joseph Joh 6:42
  • Judge Ac 10:42
  • Just man, Just person, Just One Mt 27:19,24; Ac 3:14; 7:52; 22:14
  • King Mt 21:5
  • King of Israel Joh 1:49
  • King of the Jews Mt 2:2
  • King of Saints Re 15:3
  • King of Kings 1Ti 6:15; Re 17:14
  • King of Glory Ps 24:7-10
  • King of Zion Mt 21:5
  • King over all the earth Zec 14:9
  • Lamb Re 5:6,8; 6:16; 7:9-10,17; 12:11; 13:8,11; 14:1,4; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7,9; 21:9,14,22-23,27
  • Lamb of God Joh 1:29
  • Lawgiver Isa 33:22
  • Leader Isa 55:4
  • Life Joh 14:6
  • Light Joh 8:12
  • Light, everlasting Isa 60:20
  • Light of the world Joh 8:12
  • Light to the Gentiles Isa 42:6
  • Light, true Joh 1:9
  • Living Bread, the Joh 6:51
  • Living Stone 1Pe 2:4
  • Lion of the tribe of Judah Re 5:5
  • Lord Ro 1:3
  • Lord of Lords Re 17:14; 19:16
  • Lord of all Ac 10:36
  • Lord our righteousness Jer 23:6
  • Lord God Almighty Re 15:3
  • Lord from heaven 1Co 15:47
  • Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 2Pe 1:11; 3:18
  • Lord Christ Col 3:24
  • Lord Jesus Ac 7:59; Col 3:17; 1Th 4:12
  • Lord Jesus Christ Ac 11:17; 16:31; 20:21; Ro 5:1,11; 13:14
  • Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour Tit 1:4
  • Lord of glory Jas 2:1
  • Lord of Hosts (armies) Isa 44:6
  • Lord, mighty in battle Ps 24:8
  • Lord of the dead and living Ro 14:9
  • Lord of the sabbath Mr 2:28
  • Lord over all Ro 10:12
  • Lord’s Christ Lu 2:26
  • Lord, strong and mighty Ps 24:8
  • Lord, the, our righteousness Jer 23:6
  • Lord, your holy one Isa 43:15
  • Lord, your redeemer Isa 43:14
  • Man Christ Jesus 1Ti 2:5
  • Man of sorrows Isa 53:3
  • Master Mt 23:8
  • Mediator, the only 1Ti 2:5
  • Cf Joh 14:6
  • Messenger of the covenant Mal 3:1
  • Messiah Joh 1:41
  • Messiah the Prince Da 9:25
  • Mighty God Isa 9:6
  • Mighty one of Israel Isa 30:29
  • Mighty one of Jacob Isa 49:26
  • Mighty to save Isa 63:1
  • Minister of the sanctuary Heb 8:2
  • Morning Star Re 22:16
  • Most holy Da 9:24
  • Most mighty Ps 45:3
  • Nazarene Mt 2:23
  • Offspring of David Re 22:16
  • Only begotten (Greek monogenes: one and only, unique) Joh 3:16
  • Only begotten (Greek monogenes: one and only, unique) of the Father Joh 1:14
  • Only begotten (Greek monogenes: one and only, unique) Son (the best mss. have “God” instead of “Son” here) Joh 1:18
  • Only wise God, our Saviour Jude 1:25
  • Overseer 1Pe 2:25
  • Passover, our 1Co 5:7
  • Plant of renown Eze 34:29
  • Potentate 1Ti 6:15
  • Power of God 1Co 1:24
  • Physician Mt 9:12
  • Precious Cornerstone Isa 28:16
  • Priest Heb 7:17
  • Prince Ac 5:31
  • Prince of Life Ac 3:15
  • Prince of Peace Isa 9:6
  • Prince of the kings of the earth Re 1:5
  • Prophet De 18:15,18; Mt 21:11; Lu 24:19
  • Propitiation (expiation, our Sin-offering) 1Jo 2:2
  • Rabbi, Rabboni Joh 1:49; 20:16
  • Ransom 1Ti 2:6
  • Redeemer Isa 59:20
  • Resurrection and the Life, the Joh 11:25
  • Redemption 1Co 1:30
  • Righteous Branch Jer 23:5
  • Righteous Judge 2Ti 4:8
  • Righteous Servant Isa 53:11
  • Righteousness 1Co 1:30
  • Rock 1Co 10:4
  • Rock of Offence 1Pe 2:8
  • Root of David Re 5:5; 22:16
  • Root of Jesse Isa 11:10
  • Rose of Sharon Song 2:1
  • Ruler in Israel Mic 5:2
  • Salvation Lu 2:30
  • Sanctification 1Co 1:30
  • Sanctuary Isa 8:14
  • Saviour Lu 2:11
  • Saviour, Jesus Christ 2Ti 1:10; Tit 2:13; 2Pe 1:1
  • Saviour of the body (ekklesia) Eph 5:23
  • Saviour of the world 1Jo 4:14
  • Sceptre Nu 24:17
  • Second Man, the 1Co 15:47
  • Seed of David 2Ti 2:8
  • Seed of the woman Ge 3:15
  • Servant Isa 42:1
  • Servant of rulers Isa 49:7
  • Shepherd Mr 14:27
  • Shepherd and Overseer of souls 1Pe 2:25
  • Shepherd, Chief 1Pe 5:4
  • Shepherd, Good Joh 10:11
  • Shepherd, Great Heb 13:20
  • Shepherd of Israel Ps 80:1
  • Shiloh Ge 49:10
  • Son of the Father 2Jo 1:3
  • Son of God
  • See JESUS, SON OF GOD
  • Son of Man
  • See JESUS, SON OF MAN
  • Son of the Blessed One (God) Mr 14:61
  • Son of the Highest One (God) Lu 1:32
  • Son of David Mt 9:27
  • Star Nu 24:17
  • Sun of Righteousness Mal 4:2
  • Surety (Guarantee) Heb 7:22
  • Stone Mt 21:42
  • Stone of Stumbling 1Pe 2:8
  • Sure Foundation Isa 28:16
  • Teacher Joh 3:2
  • True God 1Jo 5:20
  • True Vine Joh 15:1
  • Truth Joh 14:6
  • Unspeakable Gift 2Co 9:15
  • Very Christ Ac 9:22
  • Vine, the Joh 15:1
  • Way, the Joh 14:6
  • Which is, which was, which is to come (equivalent to the tetragrammaton (YHWH), the Eternal One, I AM THAT I AM Re 1:4
  • Wisdom Pr 8:12
  • Wisdom of God, the 1Co 1:24
  • Witness Isa 55:4; Re 1:5
  • Wonderful Isa 9:6
  • Word Joh 1:1
  • Word of God Re 19:13
  • Word of Life 1Jo 1:1

Take time to read each line. My hope is that you find it just as powerful as I do.

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” [Eph 3:18-19]

7 MYTHS about Prayer

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The misunderstanding of prayer is hurting people. It’s leading them astray into frustration and faithlessness. It’s not uncommon to hear of people’s exasperation at ‘unanswered’ prayer. Still others are ‘on the outs with God’ because their prayers are unfulfilled.

Not only that, but mockers are using it against the faithful when they see evil in the world. They say things like, “your thoughts and prayers are meaningless.” In one sense they’re right because they’re attacking the MYTHS about prayer that many believers are telling!

We must understand prayer. We need to teach it to people. To this end, here are the top 5 MYTHS about prayer.

 

The first MYTH is that MONEY & prosperity shows up without effort. I’ve heard people say, “if God had meant for me to be rich, I would be rich.”

He does want us to be financially secure and has given us laws about money that we can follow to become financially secure. Laws like…

Debt: “…borrower is servant to the lender.” [Prov 22:7]

Work: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” [Eph 4:28]

People pray for financial prosperity while simultaneously break the rules of God about finances.

The 2nd MYTH is that God will say YES to every petition. Experience should show them this is wrong and scripture says it directly.

If you doubt, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” [Jas 1:7]

And, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” [Jas 4:3]

God gives no guarantee when we ask amiss.

A 3rd MYTH is that God will TAKE away all pain & evil. Where did you get that? This is the one the MOCKERS cite in their criticism of God. “Since there’s so much evil in the world God is either powerless, unkind or non-existent.”

This myth assumes that heaven is on earth. It’s never taught that way in scripture. Heaven is a place prepared for the obedient faithful (but I repeat myself) after the destruction of the world & it’s evil. [2Pet 39-10; Rev 21:4]

The 4th MYTH about prayer is that God will HEAL everyone everywhere of everything. That’s absurd. This myth misses the teaching about the purpose of miraculous healing done by Christ and the Apostles in the first century.

Miraculous healing (1 of 9 spiritual gifts) were for the express purpose of showing God’s confirmation of those who were teaching the Gospel and the New Covenant of Christ. In one instance, Jesus said, “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” [Mark 2:9-11, emph mine seb]

This is just one of many proofs to show that the miraculous healing of that day was for the purpose of confirming the word of God.

Does God want good health for us today? I believe so because the bible teaches it, but not in the way MYTH tellers say. We need to learn about this and teach it accurately.

The last MYTH about prayer is that God will just beam SCRIPTURE into their mind without study. It’s true that God gave inspiration to some for the purpose of revealing His will and they wrote it down for us today [Eph 3:3-4]. It IS NOT TRUE that you should expect that same inspiration today. When you read what is written you can;

BELIEVE, UNDERSTAND, PROFIT, PLEASE GOD, & KNOW GOD’S WILL.

[John 20:30-31; 2Tim 2:15; 3:16-17; 2Pet 3:15-16]

Misunderstanding prayer is making spiritually weak and lazy believers. God wants us to pray to Him, but He also commands it be done “according to His will” [1John 5:14] which means we must know what He wants and be obedient to His will.

This morning’s sermon will cover this and more about Godly prayer.

—Spencer

4 Consequences if you don’t believe hell is REAL

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Hell is a serious subject, that is if you believe it’s a REAL place. If, however, you’re one of those who don’t believe hell is REAL, then everything in this article will be ignored.

I HOPE YOU DON’T IGNORE THIS TOPIC. If you do, there are serious consequences to YOU if you don’t believe that hell is a real place.

It matters what one believes as our beliefs drive our actions and attitudes.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” [Prov 23:7a]

WHAT ARE THE FOUR CONSEQUENCES if you don’t believe that hell is REAL?

First, you will have little to no REGARD for the gravity of sin. You have a lowered view about sin and you underestimate the purity of God.

Sin is a direct disregard for God and His sovereignty. There is no sin in God, not one drop.

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:” [Num 23:19a; cr Titus 1:2]

From the very beginning this lesson is taught. In the garden, when Adam & Eve took of the fruit of the KOGAE tree, they had to be separated from God.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” [Isaiah 59:2]

Sin is that bad.

The next thing that begins to change in you is that you will lessen your EVANGELISM.

The magician Penn Jillette, an atheist, said it this way;

How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

When we fail to realize the reality of HELL, we fail to take it seriously and fail to warn others about it.

The third consequence is we begin to believe that the lost are simply ANNIHILATED from existence. While this may be palatable to our senses, this too is a mistake.

If we believe in annihilation of the lost, we belittle the justice of God. He has said,

Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” [Romans 12:19]

Where is the justice for the rape, murder and every manner of wickedness that man has done to other men?

We have no problem with the idea of Hell for the Hitlers, the rapists and the pedophiles, but we have a problem when it comes to those who sin against God. (I refer you back to the first point.)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” [Jude 7; cf Heb 2:1-3]

Which brings us to the final point. We start to rationalize by saying, “a LOVING God would never send anyone to hell.”

This last point encompasses the previous three. Many denominational preachers have said that they won’t speak about sin or hell as it’s too negative. One said, “”No, I really don’t, because it’s a different approach.” This is a direct contradiction of how Paul preached;

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” [Acts 20:27; cr v20]

We ought not project what we want onto our Creator; “”For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” [Is 58:8]

HELL IS REAL. As these scriptures describe.

Lake of fire (Rev. 20:10)

Furnace of fire (Matt. 13:42)

Flaming fire (2Thess. 1:7-9)

Baptism of fire (Matt. 3:11-12)

Unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43)

Brimstone (Rev. 21:8)

Wailing & Gnashing (Matt. 8:12; 13:50)

Prepared for Devil (Matt. 25:41)

Outer darkness (Matt. 25:30)

Torment (Rev. 14:10-11)

Friends, Hell is real and we don’t want anyone, even our worst enemy to go there.

—Spencer

Whats An Expedient?

 

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:” [1Corinthians 6:12]

A challenge that the church faces is regarding the concept of expedients. What are they? Why do we care? How are we to decide?

First, we need to define the concept. An expedient is the tactics or actions we take to fulfill a generic command. It only applies with a generic command. A specific command is limited to that which is specified.

Let’s look at a familiar example;

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood;” [Genesis 6:14]

The SPECIFIC COMMAND is an Ark of gopher wood. That’s it. The details are laid out when God commands what to build. Noah couldn’t change or modify the command. He was limited to an “ark” not a dingy, nor a house, nor a barn.

The GENERIC COMMAND is ‘make.’ This is generic as God doesn’t go into the details of the building process. He gives the size and number of floors, but He doesn’t tell Noah HOW to build it.

God left those details up to Noah to work out.

  • How was he to gather the wood?
  • How was he to mill the wood?
  • How was he to attach the wood together?
  • Could he use a hammer & saw? They aren’t mentioned, does this mean he couldn’t use them?

Noah is given the freedom to choose HOW to accomplish the GENERIC command while completing the SPECIFIC command.

Here’s where the EXPEDIENT comes in. He was commanded to build an ark, so he needed to find the necessary means to fulfill this command. Could he have built the ark out of gopher wood twigs, sure, but that wouldn’t EXPEDITE the command. It would take far too long. He needed to fulfill the command in the most efficient & effective way. That’s an EXPEDIENT.

Here are 6 rules about expedients:

  • Expedients must first be LAWFUL. The phrase, ‘the end justifies the means’ is wrong. We cannot do anything as long as the desired outcome is accomplished. For example, to help a hungry brother, theft is not allowed. That’s one thing we learn in 1Sam 15:22. The expedient must first be LAWFUL.

 

  • Expedients do not make a DOCTRINE. Denominations must create rules and organizations to regulate their expedients. That’s the tail wagging the dog. The expedient aides in accomplishing a SPECIFIC command when the method how is not given. For example, we are commanded to give on the first day of the week [1Cor 16:1-2]. The church cannot start a bank to fulfill that command. We can open a bank account to hold the funds until they are needed, but to open a Bank goes beyond the command.

 

  • Expedients do not require a SUBSTITUTION of the command. We are told to baptize (immerse in water). Sometimes a person is sick or infirmed making the command seem difficult. Some have then substituted sprinkling or pouring to make the command easier. Doing this modifies the specific part of the command to   IMMERSE in water. Therefore, it is not an expedient. We cannot do things to expedite a generic command when it violates the specific command.

 

  • Expedients don’t cause others to STUMBLE. Sometimes we find a lawful expedient, but for another it violates their conscience. Maybe because of their background. This is what we learn from 1Corinthians 8. It was lawful to eat meat that was sold in the marketplace despite the fact that it had been previously offered at the temple to a false god. Because some had converted out of that mess, they didn’t feel it was right to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Paul said,

“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

[1Cor 8:13; cr. 10:23]

  • Saying, “I don’t like change” is not a reason to stop an expedient. There are changes in technology that makes fulfilling a command more efficient. For example, the disciples didn’t have PowerPoint. We do, and it’s an efficient and effective tool when presenting a lesson or leading singing.

 

  • Expedients aren’t BINDING. It’s authorized to baptize in a river, but to require it is a violation. We can baptize in a baptistery, the ocean, lake or puddle. As long as the command to IMMERSE is met. [cf. Acts 8:36]

Our desire here is to serve God with all our hearts, soul & mind without violating God’s commands nor anyone’s conscience. With patience, prayer & study, we can learn how to fulfill all of God’s commands as EFFICIENTLY & EFFECTIVELY for the edifying of the body.

—Spencer

4 Signs of a DEAD church

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A previous post noted 4 shortcuts we THINK are Bible study but really are not, they are…

  • LOOKING over the text but not studying it.
  • Reading AUTHORS other than God.
  • CLASS attendance without studying at home. I
  • KNOWLEDGE in Social media memes which sound right but are very wrong.

Are our Study Habits Killing the Church? God warned the LACK of knowledge was destroying His people. [Hosea 4:6] It was true then and remains true now.

John was told to write the church at Sardis about this very thing. “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” [Rev 3:1]

Taking Bible study shortcuts may leave us also spiritually DEAD. Malnutrition of the bread of life will weaken us spiritually, making us unable to discern between good & evil.

 

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” [Heb 5:14]

 

Is it any wonder that many congregations claiming to be the Lord’s church are ‘progressing’ into many strange activities? When the church becomes spiritually malnourished, they’ll begin to die, or worse be called DEAD.

What Is A Dead Church? A church isn’t dead only when it no longer has any members. Nor is it dead when the young people are no longer present. A DEAD church is one that is no longer faithful to its Founder, Christ Jesus [Rev 3:1]. A church can be growing numerically, having lots of fun, have plenty of money and doing all types of works, but still be dead spiritually because they’re no longer following their Leader [Rev 3:17]. Our country is full of spiritually dead mega-churches.

Appearances can be deceiving. What matters is when every part of the body does its share, “causing growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” [Eph 4:16b] Note 4 signs that a church might be DEAD:

4 SIGNS a church is DEAD:

DOCTRINE gets replaced by TRADITIONS. “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” [Mark 7:7]. Paul warned Timothy that the time would come when they would not endure ‘SOUND DOCTRINE’ [2Tim 4:3]. When tradition becomes doctrine, then the church of Christ becomes a denomination rather than the church built by Christ at Pentecost [Mat 16:18, Acts 2].

EDIFICATION replaced by ENTERTAINMENT. Paul asked, “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” [1Cor 11:22] So many churches are moving from biblical Edification, which is based on education [Eph 4:11-12], toward FOOD, FUN & FROLIC. The church is not in the entertainment business, it’s the ‘GROUND & PILLAR of the TRUTH.’ [1Tim 3:15, cr. Eph 3:10]

AUTHORITY of the word is replaced with FEELINGS. These feelings come from their own belly, not from the word of God. [Phil 3:19, 2King 5:11]. Children do what ‘FEELS GOOD,’ whereas the mature do what IS GOOD. [Eph 4:14]

DISCIPLINE is replaced with TOLERANCE. Toleration of sin is sweeping across this country like the whirlwind that destroyed Job’s family. We are told, ‘to just love,’ ‘to not judge,’ and ‘let people live as they are.’ These are false teachings from confusion about the love of God. God does love us, but He also requires us to repent. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [2Peter 3:9]

Paul commanded the church at Corinth to DISCIPLINE an adulterous man [1Cor 5:1-2]. When they obeyed the Lord, they rescued the one in sin, for he repented (the whole church did) and was restored [2Cor 2:6-11; 7:9-10].

Let us be on our guard with the sword of God [Eph 6:17] to fight the good fight of faith [1Tim 6:12] so that our lampstand remains and shines bright in this dark world [Rev 2:5].

—spencer

2020 BIBLE READING PLAN

 

The new year is upon us and so too a new time to renew our efforts to read the Bible. Here are a few reasons why we ought to have a plan for reading the Bible:

 

We are commanded:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. [2Timothy 2:15-16]

 

It gives us faith:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. [John 20:31]

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. [Romans 10:17]

 

It gives us understanding:

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [Ephesians 3:4]

 

It gives us confirmation of what is preached:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [Acts 17:11]

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [1Thessalonians 5:21]

 

It thoroughly equips us for every good work:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. [2Timothy 3:16-17]

 

It helps us to defend the gospel:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: [1Peter 3:15]

 

It will prevent our stumbling and provide an entrance into the kingdom:

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [2Peter 1:8-11; cf vs 5-7]

With all of these reasons, why wouldn’t we read?       –Spencer