The Relevant BIBLE pt1

For generations, antagonists of God and theologians have claimed that God is not real, and the Bible has no relevance today.

A former mega church pastor once said, “if the church follows the instructions from the Bible… it will become irrelevant.”1

It’s clear that many have disregarded the Bible and it’s truths. To support today’s religious and cultural practices requires a complete disregard of God’s truth and a tearing down of His word.

While it is true that the Old Law of Moses has been taken out of the way, nailing it to his cross, (Col 2:14), it still has much to teach us and along with the New Testament, is very much relevant to people today.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Here are 5 reasons the BIBLE is still relevant to us today.

the BIBLE is relevant today because… because of the lessons we glean from the BIOGRAPHIES of its heroes as well as from its antagonists. Bios gives us insight into how people lived their lived, how they felt about the people around them, and how they responded to God. Bios can help us answer some of the same questions we face today. Bios show us how people handled crisis, successes, and show us that people aren’t much different today from those in the past.

1 Corinthians 10:6 KJV

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Read the BIBLE to learn life lessons from the Biographical Examples.

the BIBLE is relevant today because… It contains INSPIRED Wisdom.

One of the reasons we know it’s INSPIRED of God is it revealed scientific knowledge about the world long before human discovery and before technology could discover it.

A path for lightening…

Job 28:26 KJV

When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:

Ocean currents…

Psalm 8:8 KJV

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Many other scientific observations have been confirmed in biblical passages, including Leviticus 17:11; Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Job 36:27-29.

Since these things be so, we can trust the Bible for its INSPIRED Wisdom on how to live in this life and how to live to gain the next.

2 Peter 1:3-4 KJV

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Read the BIBLE to learn life lessons from INSPIRED Wisdom.

the BIBLE is relevant today because… It contains insight into human BEHAVIOR.

Do you ever wonder why people act, & react in certain ways? Much of the bible contains insight into BEHAVIOR through the stories. You’ll see stories of envy, jealousy, anger, kindness, love, and every other kind of emotion. Today’s humans aren’t much different, except for the technology.

The Proverbs is wisdom that includes insight into BEHAVIOR, both about others and ourselves; for example;

Prov 17:14

The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Prov 23:6

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Read the BIBLE to learn life lessons about human BEHAVIOR.

(to be continued)

Spencer

Let’s read the bible through in 2023

Here’s a link to some printable Bible reading Bookmarks.

If you live in the Borger area and would like to study the bible better, we invite you to one of our services with the church of Christ on Franklin and Juniper.

ENDNOTES.

1 Rob Bell, https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/48383-rob-bell-trashes-the-bible-on-oprah, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, 2015

Teach them to WALK

After we give them food and needs, what do we teach our children. We teach them to WALK.

Teach them WISDOM, from your wins, losses, and the Word. Jas 3:17

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Teach them how to ACT toward others, in the workplace, and in the community. Eph 4:28; 6:5-6

Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Teach them and give them LOVE. Rom 5:8-10

Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Most importantly, teach them to KNOW the Lord. Eph 6:4

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

2Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ on Franklin & Juniper in Borger Texas.

8 Reasons to be GRATEFUL

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

(1Thess 5:18)

People talk a lot about what God wants for them, usually inaccurately. Paul wrote the above passage clearly stating at least one thing God wants for us to do, be GRATEFUL.

In these tumultuous times it’s sometimes difficult to find some reasons to be GRATEFUL. However, when we have a specific command, we need to figure out how to complete it.

If GRATEFUL we should, then GRATEFUL we could.

What follows in this article are just a few things from scripture for which we can give thanks. It need not be very hard, for God says, “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalm 40:3)

Since every good gift comes from above, these are just a sampling of the perfect gifts from God. We could expand upon this list every day for the rest of our lives. (cf. James 1:17)

8 things for which I am GRATEFUL.

I’m grateful for God’s Grace. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11). “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:4-5).

I’m grateful for God’s Revealed word. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 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 20:30-31). “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” 2Peter 1:3-4).

I’m grateful for Adoption. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal 4:4-6).

I’m grateful for Trying times. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4).

I’m grateful for Everything that Everyone gets. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45).

I’m grateful for Faithful Brethren. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Phil 1:3-6)

I’m grateful for the ability to Understand God’s word, and to know wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

I’m grateful for the Love of God for me, you, and all. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:8-10). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1John 4:9-11).

Spencer

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper in Borger Texas.

4 Wise Little Creatures pt4/4 Spiders are BOLD

God uses nature to teach spiritual lessons. “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” (Job 12:7).

This article looks at another wise creature, the Spider (or perhaps a “lizard” ASV?); “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.” (Prov 30:28)

The wording can either mean, the creature can grab, or it means that it can be caught easily in your two hands. In either case, the wisdom of the spider is about being BOLD & cunning. Even though it is small, it is found in the King’s own palace!

The need for bravery cannot be overstated. The scriptures teach that vocal Christians (and even non-vocal) shall face persecutions from their preaching. Consider the words of our Lord; “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15 18); and “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2Tim 3:12). From these passages we can see the need for boldness.

How do we become BOLD? Here are four keys we can use to become BOLD.

The first key is to repent and be BLAMELESS before God. Knowledge is power, and through the knowledge of God we can know how to be BLAMELESS before him. Consider these passages…

Fear is an indication that some action must be taken. When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then we can be BOLD.

The second Key, going along with the first, is we must OBEY GOD even when we’re afraid. When you recognize that God’s commands are for our good, then any fears we may have in doing them will evaporate. His commandments are not burdensome. Look at the command to have no fear…

When God commands us, we can have confidence & boldness.

FEAR of loss demotivated the one talent man – Matt. 25:24-31.

FEAR of doing difficult things makes us useless in the service of God: “fearful and afraid” (Judges 7:3) – 22,000 departed.

The third key is LOVE, perfect love casts out fear. (1John 4:18.) We are to Love God, Mat 22:37; Love others, Mat 22:39; Love enemies, Luke 6:27; and it’s love that spreads the Gospel.

The fourth key is to place your trust in God by DRAWING NEAR to Him, (James 4:8). We try to become bold through wealth, but those are uncertain. (1Tim 6:17) We trust only our own selves, but that will end in disaster, (Prov 3:5) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” We sometimes replace God with Gov, but that’s no help. (Daniel 4:17; Acts 5:29). And certainly, the world is not to be trusted: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” (Prov 29:25)

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Phil 1:20).

Ad Hominem & other Attacks p7, You’re not SMART enough

The Bible’s Marvelous Unity

We’re addressing how to answer Ad Hominem ATTACKS; Ad Hominem means; in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

Christians are to expect ATTACKS both personally & physically. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” [Mark 13:13]

Today’s attack is arrogant and full of pride. “You’re not SMART enough to understand.” We know what God says about pride; “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” [Proverbs 16:18]

The SEVENTH ATTACK sounds like this: “Religion is a crutch for the weak minded.” Another way this attack is framed; “You’re not SMART enough to understand.”

This attack is used by both unbelievers and denominational believers alike. Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura said this, “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.” (If you believe Jesse, please ignore the part about the golden rule, which is from Matthew 7:11-12)

Another fellow said to me, ‘you need to be reading more difficult books.’ He is a denominational believer (2Cor 11:4) and was being critical of a group of us that were studying just the Bible.

“You’re a SPIRITLESS church” is another way this attack is stated. Supposedly, according to the attacker, if the worship is without instrumental music, hand clapping or other bodily gyrations & speaking in tongues, then the Holy Spirit is not with you and is proof that you’re wrong. This line of reasoning ignores the Scriptures about the operation of the Holy Spirit, and substitutes bible study for emotionalism. [cr. 1Cor 12, 12, 14 for a more complete understanding of the operation of the Holy Spirit]

Atheists are prone to say that we ignore the MATERIAL evidence supporting evolution. This is a presumption on their part. Many of us have looked at the same MATERIAL evidence and are compelled to believe in a Creator. [Romans 1:18-20]

Others will frame this attack by saying we’re heartless ANTI’S, because we don’t help people with their physical needs the way that they do. Once again, this is a presumption on their part because they don’t know the scriptures nor the power of God. [Matt 22:29; cr Matt 7:21-23]. We in the church of Christ are very benevolent. The difference is we follow the doctrine of Christ about HOW & WHO is responsible for it. They have shifted the work of benevolence from the shoulders of those responsible, according to the scriptures, to the ‘NEW CART’ of institutionalism. [cr. 2Samuel 6:1-9]

Still others accuses us of being irrational or having a ‘blind faith.’ I’ll readily admit that many denominational errors are completely irrational and foolish. Paul stated this in 1Corinthians 14 verse 23, “will they not say that ye are mad?”

If you deny the truth because of the abuses and errors of denominationalism, that’s on you. Don’t call good evil because someone is doing it wrong. We’re as much against irrational faith as the next. Irrational faith is more common among denominational believers and atheists than it is in the Lord’s church.

God’s word is very RATIONAL. The internal evidence of the Bible is very compelling and the faith we hold is not without evidence. [Hebrews 11:1]. The evidence of UNITY is very compelling. Written over 1600 years, by about forty men in separate intervals of time and place, under varying circumstances and without contradiction, yet one crimson thread (the theme of human redemption) runs throughout the entire 66 books. The other evidence from prophecy, scientific accuracy before scientific discovery and its indestructability just add to a RATIONAL faith.

Lastly, we hold the rational position that there is one TRUTH. The attacker often claims many truths (ie; your truth, my truth) much of which is contradictory. The TRUTH of God’s word has stood the test of time. “Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.” [John 17:17]

The TRUTH of God’s word is transparent and available to all. Unlike those bodies that keep secrets [Jude 1:3]. It is researchable by all [Acts 17:11]. It has universal application to all men, for all time, in all places [Mark 16:15]. The bible is expansive to all levels of thinkers. From the least to the greatest of minds, the wisdom is undeniable [Proverbs 1:4-6]. Lastly, the words of scripture are heaven sent, they come from God.

Never believe it when someone says you’re not SMART enough to understand. Becoming a Christian is the SMARTEST thing anyone can do.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.”

[James 3:17]

–Spencer

7 steps for a better faith

In Lu 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. What a great desire, to have an increased faith. But….

How do you increase your faith?

If we study our Bibles, we can find a scripture that could help us;(2Pet 1:1-11; 5 And beside this, giving all diligence,) What is diligence? The definition is; constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything.

The biblical definition of the Greek word is quite similar;  spoo-day’  “speed”, i.e. (by implication) despatch, eagerness, earnestness:–business, (earnest) care(-fulness), diligence, forwardness, haste.

As we continue to study (2Pet 1:1-11), we find this list……

ADD TO YOUR FAITH…..

***note*** I will include the Greek word after the English word along with it’s definition from WE Vines.

  1. virtue; <arete> “whatever obtains superior evaluation for a person or thing.” What do others think about you? Do you have a good report? (Phil 4:8) 1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: How do others see us?

  2. knowledge; <gnosis> a seeking to know, investigation. Lu 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, ( Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: 2Chron 1:10 Solomon’s request for wisdom.)

  3. temperance; <egkrateia> self control. Ac 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, (Self Control follows righteousness which is God’s claim, so self control is our response) Gal 5:23 against such is no law. Following knowledge, the point is to put our learning into action.

  4. patience;< hupomone> perseverance. Patience which grows only in trials.  “By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:19) ” And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; We can learn from the trials of others” (Rom 5:3); “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Ro 15:4 ); “Abraham endured. 1Th 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,”(Heb 6:15 ); “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (Jas 5:11 )

  5. Godliness; <eusebeia> Holiness. Contrast – “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”(1Ti 4:7 ); “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1Ti 4:8 ); “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.”(1Ti 6:5 ); “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” (2Pe 3:11)

  6. Brotherly kindness; <philadelphia> fraternal affection: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”(Ro 12:10 ); “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”(1Th 4:9 );  “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”(1Pe 1:22)

  7. Charity / Love. <agape> A Sacrificial affection. Love can only be described by the action it prompts. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”(1Jo 4:7-9-13 ); “If you love me.…”(Joh 14:15)

2Pe 1:8 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.

Imagine how your faith would grow as you diligently add these to your existing faith! Take them one at a time, or work on them in a group, but whatever you do….

…..grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2Pe 3:18 )

Let’s go out and have a good day, for we know, only God can make our day!