Archives for : December2007

"Should God Continue to Bless America?"

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as patriotic as they come. I’m an ex-Marine (if there is such a thing), and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. And, having traveled the world, I believe the United States of America is the greatest country in the world. Unquestionably, this nation became great because it was built on Biblical principles. Therefore, God has greatly blessed it.
A political leader recently ended his speech with the usual, “…and may God continue to bless America.” I’m wondering why God would want to do that. This nation has become the world leader in violent crime, divorce, teenage pregnancy, voluntary abortion, illegal drug use, and we even lead the Western World in illiteracy!
This nation has murdered nearly 30 million babies since the passage of Roe vs. Wade. We are legalizing homosexuality to the point of marriage and even adoption. 52% of Americans think premarital sex is a morally gray issue. And, we’ve outlawed the public teaching of Creationism, while promoting Evolution! Denominationalism has ripped to shreds Jesus’ prayer for unity among His believers (John 17:20-21). Jesus did not build a denomination, He built His church (Matthew 16:18). And in the midst of all these things, we still have the nerve to ask God to “continue to bless America.”
Is there a cure? Oh yes! “Seek ye the old paths wherein ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). Let’s put on the brakes. Let’s go back to the Bible and Bible only (1Peter 4:11).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"Have you ever wondered why…?

Why is it that Christianity is “taking it on the chin,” and not other religions? Why do retail outlets like Best Buy refuse using “Merry Christmas” in their stores and advertisements, saying that it is disrespectful? Why must we take the Ten Commandments out of our schools, yet build foot baths for the Moslems at taxpayers expense? Why is it that teaching the historicity of Jesus Christ gives people a bellyache, but they say nothing of teaching about Mohammed? Why does the ACLU cry and pout when our local State Senator uses the name of Jesus Christ in public prayer? Why is the Bible under constant attack, but not the book of Islam? What scares people about the teaching of Creationism? Why do atheists spend their lives striving to disprove something they claim doesn’t even exist?!

I’ll tell you why, because the Book won’t let them alone! It haunts them at every turn and they cannot get away from it. They are afraid of the Bible!

The Truth has always been persecuted, and always will be. Jesus said, “If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you” (John 15:18 & 20). Paul writes, “all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution … and these things will grow worse and worse” (2Timothy 3:12-13). What we are seeing in the continuing persecution of the TRUTH, whether it be in liberal churches, or organizations like the ACLU, is prophecy being fulfilled. We are understanding more and more what Jesus meant when He said only a few would find the narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:14). Let’s keep in mind the encouragement of the Apostle Paul, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1Corinthians 16:13). — Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

"WHERE ARE THE NINE? Luke 17:11-19

Jesus asked the above question in Luke 17:11-19 after healing ten lepers, with only one of them returning to say “thanks.” It exposes a sin so prevalent in our society — ingratitude.

Though Jesus did not specifically command any of the ten to return and give thanks, still, He did expect it from each one.

In verse 19, Jesus said, “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” This statement was made to the one who returned to say “thanks,” and did not include the others. That is, out of the ten that received Jesus’ blessing, only one was saved.

There are those who recognize their need for healing, but once they receive it, they go their own way. They are ready, willing, and anxious to receive a blessing, but only about 10% return to give thanks and praise to the Giver of the blessing.

Are you thankful for the cleansing of your deadly disease of sin? Sure you are! But if “attitude only” is enough, why did Jesus ask, “Where are the nine?” That is, Jesus expects more.

Our actions reveal not only our faith, but also our gratitude. Our actions reveal our gratitude just like obedience reveals our faith and love for God (1John 5:3).

By leaving the demonstration of true gratitude up to the individual, Jesus easily exposes the reality of one’s heart. When it comes time for the next worship assembly, will you be with the “nine,” or with those “whose faith has made them whole?”

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

Jesus will return as a thief in the night!

Have you ever wondered about the “end of the world”? Will the world end because of nuclear war? Will it end because of “global warming”? Does the Bible say anything about the end of the world?

God’s word not only says much about the end of the world, it actually illustrates the point with different images. For instance, in 1 Thess 5:2-3 the scripture says, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.”

Jesus will return as a “thief in the night.” To appreciate this thought we simply need to ask what thieves are like. Thieves often plan their robberies and Jesus’ second and final coming will be planned. Thieves usually want something important, and Jesus will be coming after something important: all people who have ever lived. He will gather everyone together for a final day of judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). Thieves generally come “in-person,” and the New Testament says Jesus will also come personally. Thieves count on people being unprepared; Jesus does not want that, but He warned (Mt. 7) that most will be unprepared to meet Him.
Jesus is coming as a thief in the night. Are you prepared to meet Him?

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Material possessions and success

In Joshua 1:7, we learn that after the death of Moses, the new leader of Israel was instructed by the Lord’s angel about how to lead the people. After telling Joshua what he was to do, the angel said, “Then you shall have good success.” That is, God wanted Joshua to be successful. He told him so! However, like everything else, Satan has perverted God’s definition of success by making money and material possessions the standard by which our society measures success.

In Luke 16:19-31, we learn of a rich man who had great material possessions, and a poor man who had almost nothing. The rich man died, was buried, and was immediately in tormenting flames so severe that he begged for the relief that one drop of water would provide. All his riches and material possessions were gone.

The poor man died, but the Bible doesn’t say he was buried, it just says he “was carried by the angels” to Abraham’s side where he was comforted.

For the rich man, all his riches were gone. For the poor man, all his miseries were gone. Now who was the most successful?!

The reason Jesus gives us the account of these two men is so we can learn that genuine success in this life does not reside in the wealth one has, or doesn’t have. It resides in one’s relationship to God.

We will spend four years in college preparing to be successful in this life for about 50 years. But how much time are we spending in preparation to be successful in eternity?

Under the NT Law, we would interpret Joshua 1:7, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the Law of Christ; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have success wherever you go.” –Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Parable of the sower: a sermon and Bible study on the parable of the sower

We are sowers:

1. Jesus spoke about a “sower” going forth to “sow.”
2. 54 times in the New Testament we find the word translated “sow” in this parable.
3. The first time sow occurs in the Bible is Mt. 6:26.
4. Birds to not “gather into barns.” Neither do they “sow.” God takes care of their food needs.
5. It is man that has been given the responsibility to sow.
6. The second time “sow” occurs in the New Testament is Mt. 13:3.
7. He had the “sower” went forth to “sow” (he pictured a farmer planting seeds).
8. Jesus knew some of the seeds that farmers so do not produce a crop die (Mt. 13:4).
9. In verses 18-23 of Mt. 13 Jesus used the word “sow” many times.
10. He showed that His people are to be “sowers.”
11. Instead of planting seeds that will yield physical food, the seed Christians plant is for spiritual fruit.
12. God wants His people to plant the seeds of evangelism in every place they can.
13. There will be times when God’s people sow seed on the “wayside” (Mt. 13:19).
14. Other seed we sow will fall on “rocky places” (Mt. 13:20).
15. We will plant seed in places that have thorns (verse 22).
16. Once again, the seed will take root, but it will not last.
17. Other seed will be sown in “good ground.”
18. An especially strong incentive to do that is found in Mt. 13.
19. If on the average 75% of the seed dies, we need to plant a lot of it.
20. Imagine an employer saying we would not get paid for 75% of the work we do.
21. What would we think of an appliance that would work only 75% of the time?
22. In our day and time we have method upon method available to us to be a sower.
23. We need to accept God’s invitation to be sowers because someone else is working the field.
24. After the sower parable Jesus gave another parable in verses 24-25 of Mt. 13.
25. Here is another place where we find the word “sower.”
26. Satan and His helpers are sowing seed.
27. Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), but he is not content to sit on his hands.
28. He wants to sow error and lies. Our job is to sow the truth.
29. Many may not listen to what we have to say. People may take what we offer and toss it in the trash can.
30. We are not responsible for the germination of the seed.
31. Our job is to sow. We need to put down the seed of the gospel at every opportunity.
32. Someone may say, “I can’t believe that sowing the seed will make that much difference.”
33. Verses 31-32 – our word for “sower” occurs again – READ
34. Jesus said this is the “least” of all seeds (verse 32).
35. Yet, when this seed grows, it is the “greatest among herbs.” It “becomes a tree.”
36. The seed of the gospel can bring some very significant results.
37. A similar thing is true of the seed; we plant it and when it takes root in a person’s life it offers refuge.
38. People find spiritual refuge from sin.
39. Mt. 13:37 – READ The one who “sows the good seed” is the “Son of Man.”
40. We know the devil is the one who sows error and falsehood (verse 39).
41. The seed we sow is very, very important. Verse 39 says – a time will come when the seeds of the gospel are harvested.
42. Our job is to sow and God will sort things out at the end of time.
43. We have a big field—the entire world.
44. We have plenty of seed. Will we take it to those who need it each and everyday?
45. We need to be sowers, but we cannot sower before we the word has been sown in our heart.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

The popularity of the Bible

Is the Bible very popular? It is, and its popularity is well proven by the Internet.

A very interesting web site is http://www.findlawyer-1.com/BIBLE.htm. At the top of this page is this simple message: “Domains with the word BIBLE in them.” Then comes this short but powerful statement: “Next 5,000” (readers can go to another page that lists more domain names containing the word “Bible.”

Men have criticized the Bible and tried to destroy it. In spite of great opposition, the Bible lives on, even to the point where thousands of people have created web domains with BIBLE somewhere in the name. Not only are there literally thousands of web sites that have “Bible” as part of their address, millions of other web pages contain information about the Bible.

No other book is like the Bible. It is literally “God’s power to salvation” (Rom. 1:16).

If you do not own a copy, please get one. If you have a copy but rarely read it, please make that a priority in 2008. If you have a copy, know what it says but are not abiding by it, there is no better time to start than now. If you know the book, are following it, try to communicate the value of its contents to others.

May 2008 be a time when all draw closer to the word of God.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

A future judgment day: be prepared for heaven and hell are real!

I lost my 24 year old son to a car accident five years ago. While visiting his grave sight last week, I began reading some of the inscriptions on other grave stones. I read some pretty impressive words on the markers and wondered if God will say the same thing about the person on Judgment Day. Then I began to wonder what I would want written on my grave stone, and what am I doing with my life right now to make the inscription true.

What I am doing right now proves what I believe about the afterlife. If I believe in Heaven and Hell (which I do), that belief will adjust my living in this life here and now. Such is true of everyone.

However, in the last few years, various polls show that the majority of people in America either believe there is no Hell, or they just aren’t sure what to believe.

If people do not believe in Hell anymore, it is because churches are not teaching and preaching it anymore. Why would churches ignore the subject of Hell? Has it gone away? If so, where did it go? Actually, many churches refuse to talk about sin and the consequences of sin anymore because it upsets their congregations. Little thought is given to the fact that ignoring the subject upsets God (cf. Deuteronomy 32:29).

There are many jokes about heaven and hell, but there will come a day when all the jokes will cease. No matter how much we try to push the thoughts about hell to the other side of the universe; no matter how hard we try to ignore thoughts about the coming judgment, the truth remains. Heaven and Hell are real places (Matthew 25:46). And that day will be the most serious day of our existence. Think about it. — Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Who is Jesus? Jesus, the Everlasting Father

” Is Jesus the Everlasting Father?”

In a prophecy of the Messiah, Isaiah writes, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus, the Messiah, has a Father (Luke 23:46). How then can He Himself be “Everlasting Father?”

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible sheds light on this by literally translating, “Father of Eternity.”

We often say that Henry Ford is the “father” of the automobile, or that Albert Einstein is the “father” of nuclear physics, in the sense that they began or made possible the very thing for which they are noted. Jesus called Satan, the “father” of liars (John 8:44).

God is the “Everlasting Father.” However, Since it was Jesus who died and rose from the dead making eternal life possible for you and me, He is, therefore, called the “Father of Eternity.” — Toby

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Are we “called by God”? Who is called by God?

Are we “called by God”?

One of the interesting ideas in scripture, and especially the New Testament, is being “called of God.” Today a person will often claim “God called them.” Others do not believe they were “called by God.”

What is the truth about being called by God?

The Bible does associated a “calling” with Christianity, but it is not quite what many allege. Paul spoke of Christians being called in places like 1 Cor. 7:20. In this context “called” is a metonymy for “conversion” (becoming a Christian). If the text is carefully studied, readers will notice from verse 22 that this “calling” occurs in Christ!

According to the Bible, a person is “called by the gospel” (2 Thess. 2:14). When a person obeys the information in the New Testament (Heb. 5:8-9), they are then “one of the called” (1 Cor. 7:22). Rather than use special dreams, messages, visions, etc., the Bible says the gospel is God’s power to salvation (Rom. 1:16). God’s word calls people because the word of God is the Spirit’s power (Eph. 6:17).

Do not be fooled by the false claims made by people who say “God called them.”

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

News year resolution and resolutions for the new year

My New Year’s Resolution: “Keep Striving!”

Jesus said, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).

“Strive” is from the Greek word “ahg-oh-nidz-oh-my.” It is from this word that we get our English word “agony / agonize.” The same word describes the fervency with which Jesus prayed in the garden that resulted His sweat dropping to the ground as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). The Greeks also used this word to describe the energy needed for a wrestler to hold his opponent to the mat for the three-count. The Greek / English Lexicon says this word means: “strain every nerve.”
According to Jesus, no accountable human being will accidentally go to Heaven. There is a deliberate effort (called “striving”), to be put forth on the part of each soul that will be saved.

Next, Jesus warns of those who will “seek” to enter into Heaven, but will not be able to do so. The Lexicon defines the word “seek” as: “to investigate, to examine, consider, or to deliberate.

Jesus is saying that many will investigate going to Heaven, they will examine, consider, deliberate, desire and even wish to go there, but will not be able. Why? Because they did not “strive” to enter in. Perhaps after their inquiry they decided the gate was too narrow. Or, they just figured that everyone would be saved and all they needed was to sit back and wait.

Matthew 25:31-46 teaches there will be many surprises on Judgment Day. Many religious people will be surprised to discover that it took more than wearing a wwjd bracelet, or a cross around their neck, or periodically going to church.
As we close out this year, it is good that we “examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith” (2Corinthians 13:5). Are we striving in the narrow way, or walking with the majority in the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). — Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

The miraculous gifts of tongues – speaking in tongues

You probably suspected it, but the Internet is not limited to English.

There are Hispanic search engines, German search engines, Asian search engines, etc. There is a Japanese Google, a German Yahoo, AOL in Spanish, and MSN in Chinese.

Computers help break down and overcome language barriers, but such technology did not exist when Christianity began. This is why God gave the miraculous gift of “tongues” (the ability to speak in known languages). Giving people the ability to speak in languages they had never studied allowed the gospel to more rapidly spread throughout the ancient world.

Notice how the gift of tongues was directly associated with evangelism (Mk. 16:17-20): “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.”

Tongues, like the ability to handle snakes without harm, were a sign to “confirm the word.” Since the word has now been confirmed (we know it as the New Testament), the gift of tongues and the other abilities listed by Jesus are gone.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

In Jesus Christ, all are equal

In Jesus Christ, all are equal. Paul affirmed this simple but profound truth in 1 Cor. 7:21:

Wast thou called being a bondservant? Care not for it: nay, even if thou canst become free, use (it) rather. For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord’s freedman: likewise he that was called being free, is Christ’s bondservant.

Consider, too Galatians 3:28: There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one (man) in Christ Jesus.

Far too often some Christians have been regarded as “second class citizens.” Such thinking is completely foreign to the New Testament.

Hear what Paul told the Colossians in Col. 3:11:

where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

When was Jesus born? Is it right to celebrate Christmas?

Christmas: Was Jesus born on December 25th? Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

The Bible mentions nothing about the specific date Jesus was born, nor the setting aside of one day per year when Christians should celebrate His birth. The most knowledgeable guesstimates are that Jesus was born in late September.

Is it wrong to celebrate Christmas? No, as long as the celebration does not cause one to violate any command or principle in God’s word. Cheerful and unselfish giving is certainly a Biblical principle (2Corinthians 8:1-7; 9:7). Remembering the poor, family gatherings, and even esteeming one day above another for spiritual purposes, does not violate Biblical principles (Romans 14:5).

But is that really the picture our society portrays at Christmas? We love to contemplate God coming to us (Matthew 1:23) in the form of a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and being laid in a manger. But when we see Jesus hanging on the Cross, well, many would just prefer to keep their distance. The Cross was more important than the manger. Jesus came to bear His Cross, in order that we may bear our cross (Luke 9:23), in hope of salvation (1Peter 1:4-5).

Let’s not allow all the bright lights and glitter take our focus off the fact that Jesus came to earth with a mission to make it possible for us to have a mission of going to Heaven. We should not only remember His coming, but remember where we are going (Matthew 25:46)– Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Is it wrong to call a minister "Father"?

Question: “Why doesn’t the church of Christ use the title: ‘Reverend?'”

Answer: First, neither Jesus nor his apostles used such titles. In fact, the Bible warns against using “flattering titles” (Job 32:21-22 – KJV). Secondly, Jesus said, “be ye not called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, and ye are all brethren. And call no man your father on the earth, for one is your Father, even He who is in Heaven” (Matthew 23:8-12). Thirdly, such titles imply that preachers are in a class different from other Christians. The Bible makes no such distinction. All Christians are described as members of the “royal priesthood” (1Peter 2:9).

In view of the above, we refer to our preachers as “ministers” (1Timothy 4:6), and “evangelists” (2Timothy 4:5).

We do not refer to our preachers as “pastor” because that term is used in Scripture to refer to men who are selected to be elders or overseers of the congregation, an office different from that of a preacher. This is demonstrated where Paul speaks to the elders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:17) observing that the Holy Spirit had made them bishops (overseers) and describes their work as “feeding and protecting the flock of God” which is the duty of a pastor or shepherd (verses 28-29). When men today meet the strict qualifications given in 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 by the Holy Spirit, it can be said of them that they are “appointed by the Holy Spirit.” If they don’t meet those qualifications, the Holy Spirit did not appoint them.

Since our commitment is to follow the New Testament pattern, we observe these things regarding our preachers.—Toby Miller

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

adulterer and adultery – moichos

Kittel’s entry on “adulterer” (moichos, 4:733-734) includes these interesting comments: “The right of a man to sexual freedom is denied. Like the wife, the husband is under an obligation of fidelity” (4:733). “From the religious standpoint adultery does not consist merely in physical intercourse with a strange woman; it is present already in the desire which negates fidelity (Mt. 5:28).”

Sowing the seed – the parable of the sower

Have you ever carefully studied Mt. 13? This is one of the three places where we read about the “parable of the sower.” We know the story. Jesus spoke about a farmer who sowed some seed, and the seed landed in four types of places. There was the hard, beaten earth. Some seed went into rock places. Other seed found its way into thorny ground and the remaining seed fell upon good soil.

Jesus then gave another parable related to “sowing the seed” (verse 24 of Mt. 13). He showed that while good seed can be sown, bad seed will also be sown in the same places. Satan (verse 39) wants to sow “tares” (verse 25). If we combine all the information in Mt. 13, we find that Satan is not content with 75% of the world’s population. He wants to keep the people he has in his kingdom and also destroy the seed in the “good soil” of Jesus’ parable.

How can a person defend against Satan? The answer is in Mt. 13:31-32. A small seed (the “mustard seed”) turned into a great tree. Birds came to live (nest) in this tree. There have been attempts to misapply this passage. One silly explanation is that it describes denominations. Such cannot be right because there were denominations for many years after the church was established. Too, if the mustard seed parable teaches denominationalism, the image is a single tree that has multiple branches with various kinds of fruit. Imagine a single tree with a branch for applies, another branch for oranges, another branch for pears, another for cherries, etc.! Such an explanation makes a mockery of Jesus’ words.

As birds find safety in the branches of a tree, so the “gospel seed” provides safety to man. God’s power is in the gospel (Rom. 1:16), though not all believe it (1 Cor. 1:18).

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Must we keep the commandments of God?

Lots of people say no. preachers tell people “commandment keeping is not required.” We are also told God “is a God of love” and “obedience does not matter.

Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe God has told us the truth?

Listen to what God has said (1 Cor. 7:19): Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God.

God says YES! There are commandments to keep! Jesus will only save those who obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). Saying it is not necessary to keep God’s commandments is a “false gospel” and will condemn people. Such people are “blind guides” (Mt. 15:14). Do NOT follow them!

In order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Proper baptism in water puts a person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3) and results in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

For more helpful Bible study information, please visit www.abiblecommentary.com

The Bible book of Romans – information about the book of romans

Romans was written from Corinth while Paul was on his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23f). Paul’s third journey took him to Ephesus for two years and three months (Acts 19:1, 8-9). He left Ephesus and entered into Macedonia (Acts 20:1). Then, he visited Greece (i.e. Achaia, Acts 20:2). Corinth was located in Achaia. Paul remained at Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3), and during this time he wrote this letter. We know this because of the information in Rom. 16:23. Gaius was Paul’s host when this letter was written, and since Gaius lived in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14), this letter was written from Corinth. Someone had to take this letter and the likely messenger was Phoebe (Rom. 16:1), a Christian who lived in Cenchrea (a seaport of Corinth).

Want to learn more about the book of Romans? Visit www.abiblecommentary.com for help!

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