Archives for : March2008

How to be saved. How is a person saved from sin?

Baptism does save people 3.30.07

a) Throughout the Bible we have words like “save” and “saved.”
b) These words are generally associated with being saved from sin and becoming right with God.
c) A number of people have tried to take a few verses speaking about salvation and isolate them.
d) Mt. 1:21.
2) Does that mean we just sit back and do nothing? Does this mean the Lord will save all people?
3) Our next key text involving the word “save” is Mt. 16:25.
4) Mt. 18:11 is next – Jesus came to “seek and save the lost.”
5) Acts 2:40 says Peter told people to “save” themselves from a perverse generation.
6) Peter recognized that man must take some part in getting right with God.
a) There are religious groups that say “God does it all; man can do nothing.”
b) It is certainly true that we do not earn salvation; it is impossible to merit eternal life.
c) We can obey what God says, and this is what Peter had in mind in Acts 2:40.
d) If we want to be saved, the Bible says we must do certain things.
7) 1 Cor. 1:21 – a person is saved “by preaching.”
8) 1 Cor. 7:16 refers to a marriage where one spouse is a Christian and the other is not.
9) Paul said that through a good influence the Christian mate, that spouse may “save” their mate.
a) Preachers have a similar responsibility – 1 Tim. 4:16.
10) We need the right faith, but faith alone does not save (Jas. 2:26).
11) Faith must be accompanied by works (Jas. 2:14).
12) Acts 2:47.
13) Acts 4:12 says there is no other name under heaven under which we can be “saved.”
14) If we want to be among the saved, we must come to Christ and no one else.
15) If we come to Christ in obedience, He will put us in the church (Acts 2:47).
16) If we have not been put by Christ in the church, we have not come to Christ.
17) We learn about Jesus by “words” (Acts 11:14).
a) Cornelius was told Peter would “speak to him words” so he could be saved.
b) Angels know we cannot be saved without turning to the Bible.
18) Acts 16:30 has a man asking, “What must I do to be saved?”
19) Rom.5 :9 gives a partial answer to that question: we are saved (justified) by His blood.
20) Rom. 10:13 says a person is “saved” by calling upon Jesus (the context describes a confession).
21) 1 Cor. 15:2 says we cannot be “saved” unless we “hold fast the word.”
22) Eph. 2:5 says we are saved by the “grace of God.” We do not earn our merit our salvation.
23) 2 Thess. 2:10 says a person cannot be saved unless they “love the truth.”
24) 1 Tim. 2:4 says God wants all men to be saved (He does not want anyone left behind).
25) Along with God’s grace, Tit. 3:5 says God’s “mercy” is also involved in saving us.
a) We must be taught the gospel; as an angel said to Corneilus, there are “words to save us.”
b) Notice also how in Tit. 3:5 the writer refers to the “washing of water.”
26) Water is what we find associated with baptism in the New Testament.
27) Since the word “saved” is joined with water and baptism in Tit. 3:5, it seems baptism is essential.
28) “Saved” also occurs in 1 Pet. 3; this text will also be read.
29) We want 1 Pet. 3:20-21 – READ
a) Water “saved” people in the time of Noah.
b) Peter said there is a like thing today – baptism still “saves” people.
c) We need Christ, we need His blood, we need preaching, we need to cling to God’s word.
d) We need grace, we need mercy…there is a long list of things necessary for salvation.
e) On God’s list to for us to gain entrance to His church and heaven is baptism.
f) Acts 2:38 says this is baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

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).

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<p>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 <a href=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).

God will not save everyone – universalism is a false belief

Because Jesus willingly became obedient unto God, the Father, even unto death on the cross (Philippians 2:8), God gave “all authority in Heaven and Earth” to Him (Matthew 28:18). God went on to say, “Cursed is he that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 16:22). In other words, whether we are saved or lost is up to Jesus. God will not even consider saving one apart from Jesus. It was Jesus who shed His blood, it is therefore Jesus who acquits or indicts.

In Mathew 7:21-23, we have very religious people who had done many wonderful works, cast out demons, and even prophesied all in the “name of Jesus!” However, they were lost. How do I know that? Because Jesus said, “Depart from me…I never knew you.”

In Revelation 5, we see God the Father setting on His throne in Heaven. He was holding the Book of Life, and it was still sealed. God would not open it! Only Jesus could take the Book and open it. If it were not for Jesus, the Book would have remained forever sealed!

Moving a little deeper, Jesus Himself cannot save you apart from His Blood. Paul, writing to Christians, said we have forgiveness of sins through His blood (Ephesians 1:7).

Many have convinced themselves that because Jesus died on the cross, everyone will be saved. Wrong. If that is true, why did God destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Why did He strike Annaias and Sapphira dead for lying? (Acts 5:1-11).

The Bible teaches “without blood, there is no forgiveness” (e.g. Hebrews 9:22). Many believe we are saved by “faith only,” but that is not what God has said (James 2:24). We must apply the blood of Christ to our sins, or there will be no forgiveness. We do that by “obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:26). — 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).

Ordain and ordination – what do these words mean?

A common word within religious groups is “ordain.” What does this word mean? Who is “ordained”? What is an “ordained minister?” Who can become an “ordained minister”? What are the qualifications for an “ordained minister”?

As with any other Bible question, we must go back to the Bible for answers. The word “ordain” does occur in the scriptures. In the Greek New Testament a verb translated “ordain” is (diatasso), a term that occurs sixteen times. Readers may find this term in Mt. 11:1; Lk. 3:13; 8:55; 17:9, 10; Acts 7:44; 18:2; 20:13; 23:31; 24:33; 1 Cor. 7:17; 9:14; 11:34; 16:1; Gal. 3:19; Tit. 1:5.

When the previous references are studied, readers find that “ordain” means things like “give orders,” “command,” “direct,” or “prescribe.” Jesus “commanded” the twelve disciples (Mt. 11:1). An “order was given to the churches of Galatia” (1 Cor. 16:1).

By studying these Bible verses readers instantly see that the scriptures use “ordain” to describe commands and instructions. The term does not describe a “special person” who is “set aside” or “license” for religious purposes. In the Bible there is no such thing as “licensing a preacher.” Ordination is a false idea created by men (Mt. 15:8-9); it has no Biblical basis. Men may wear special clothing to indicate they are “religious.” They may have clerical collars and call themselves “Reverend,” “Pope,” “Cardinal,” or some other title, but they cannot get these kinds of things from the Bible. Men often seek to exalt themselves in a religious group, but this is precisely the type of behavior Jesus said is wrong (Mt. 23:12).

The next time someone says they are “ordained,” ask them who did the ordaining. Was it “God or man” (Mt. 21:25). If a person is honest, they will say their ordination came from a school or their own religious group. They will not be able to say it came from God or from the word of God.

When people use Biblical words like “ordain” and “ordination,” be sure those words are being used in a way like the Bible describes.

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).

Is a church building a “holy place”?

Many have the idea that a church building or a “church sanctuary” is a holy place. Such views are not supported by the New Testament, but by the “doctrines and traditions of men” (Mt. 15:8-9).

It is true that under the Old Testament system the nation of Israel had a physical temple. This was a special place for God’s people to commune with God. Much of the Old Testament system was an “earthly” system (people were able to see and touch different aspects of the Mosaic law). In the New Testament (and this point is made repeatedly throughout the book of Hebrews), there has been a change in the law. Notice how the Hebrew writer expressed this change in the eighth chapter of Hebrews:

But now hath he obtained a ministry the more excellent, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises. 7 For if that first (covenant) had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, And on their heart also will I write them: And I will be to them a God, And they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new (covenant) he hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing
Jesus dealt with this same subject in Jn. 4: 23-24: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

After Paul became a Christian and started preaching the gospel he said God does not “dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24).

Not only does the Bible tell us there are no “special places for God” (and this proves church buildings are not “holy places”), the New Testament establishes this point in another way. A common New Testament word for “temple” is “hieron” (this is a Greek adjective). This term is used several times in the book of Matthew, several times in the book of Mark, several times in Luke, John and Acts. In the remaining books of the New Testament this term is found only once (1 Cor. 9:13). This indicates that Christians had changed their attitude towards where God was located. Instead of looking for God in a physical place, they realized that God is not bound by some type of structure (Acts 17:24). Today, when people assemble, a “church building” is not any more “holy” than a public park or a private home. When people realize that “church” means the people and not a building, then and only then will they begin to realize just how different the Old Testament is from the New Testament.

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).

Visiting the sick – how to make a hospital and nursing home visit

1. Whether you are a preacher, church member, or just a kind hearted person who wants to visit someone who is ill, there are tips to know and use for successful visitation. Maybe of the following things are commonly observed by preachers, but non-ministers may also profit from them.

2. See if the person really wants visitors. A person may be too ill to have visitors, or may be in a “critical care unit” where few visitors are allowed. Perhaps check with the extended family to see if visits are appropriate.

3. When making visits, try to be brief. Sick people are usually tired. If they have more than one visitor a day, it can drain them of strength. In a hospital setting, try to limit visits to 5-10 minutes, 15 minutes at the most. For nursing home visits, try to stay for at least 30 minutes.

4. Make your visits “upbeat.” Speak about positive things. Encourage the person who is ill. Treat the person as you would want to be treated.

5. Follow the rules. Remember that you are a visitor. As a guest you do not make the rules. If you have questions about something, find a person who can answer them and ask what is right. Rather than assume, get the facts so your visit goes well.

6. Avoid being loud and boisterous—this is for the sake of the one you are visiting plus the sake of others.

7. Do not ask personal questions about the ill person’s sickness. Do not ask what type of surgery they are having, the “odds of their not making it,” etc. Avoid telling them that you “Went through the same thing,” or “You know someone who had the same problem and they died from the operation.”

8. Ask the person if he would like a prayer. Try to think in advance of what you will say in the prayer. Perhaps hold the person’s hand as you pray. Avoid giving false hope in a prayer; do not pray for things that are clearly contrary to God’s revealed will.

9. Exit graciously. If appropriate, promise to come back and do make a follow-up visit. Treat the person as you would want to be treated, and you can become a great encourager of those who are ill!

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).

Discerning the Scriptures

One might think that while Jesus was on earth, being the Son of God, He would have very little use for the Scriptures. But a simple glimpse at His life and ministry reveals just the opposite. On every hand we find Him quoting Scripture or alluding to its content in His teaching, and personally submitting His life to the authority of the Scriptures. Whether He was struggling with Satan in temptation (Luke 4:1-13), teaching crowds by the sea shore (Luke 5:1-11), or instructing His disciples on a hillside (Matthew chapters 5-7), Jesus’ words were always punctuated with citations from the Scriptures.

They were on His lips in prayer, and even in His sufferings, His mind was so saturated with the words of Scripture that He used them to express His own feelings. The anguish of David centuries earlier became the expression of His own agony as He cried from the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). Even His last words while on the cross was a quote from Psalm 31:5, “Into Thy hands, I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Furthermore, Jesus totally submitted His life to the authority of the Scriptures. Why didn’t He ask to be rescued from the cross? “How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled?” (Matthew 26:53-54). He said He “must go to Jerusalem and be classed among criminals because that which is written must be fulfilled” (Luke 18:31-33; 22:37).

Jesus’ view of the Scriptures is very different than that of the majority of the present world. As Jesus became obedient unto His Heavenly Father’s will, even unto death on the cross (Philippians 2:8), we at the Tenth & Jackson Street church of Christ are striving to “walk in His footsteps” (1Peter 2:21), by studying, learning, and obeying only the Heavenly Father’s will revealed in the Scriptures (2Timothy 3:16-17). Nothing is taught without being underscored by Book, chapter and verse. Our creed book (the Bible only), will never need to be updated or revised (Mark 13:31). –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).

A simple sermon on baptism

1) In the book of Acts we have a lot of information concerning the way Christianity works.
2) We see how Christians worshipped, acted in the world, served one another, and preached the gospel.
3) We also find several examples involving people who were baptized.
a) God put these examples in the Bible to tell us how to do things in our day and time.
b) Did people wait for a specific day or time to be baptized
c) Did they go to a particular (special location) for baptism?
4) Let’s see when people were baptized; our study begins in the second chapter of Acts.
a) Acts 2:1 gives us a time frame; it was the “Day of Pentecost.”
b) This was a couple of months after Jesus’ resurrection.
c) It was not “Easter” as many are celebrating today. Neither was it another “Christian holiday.”
d) Passover was a Jewish holiday. We will read from verse 29 to verse 36 – READ
e) When those in this audience heard these words they were frightened – verse 37 – READ
f) In verse 38 Peter told these men and women to “repent and be baptized.”
5) He could have told them, “wait until a special day and time comes and be baptized.”
6) “You do not need to baptized until the right time comes along.”
7) Peter said nothing of the kind. He realized that baptism is “for the forgiveness of sins.”
8) Without proper baptism, God will not forgive a person of their sins.
9) A little later we find that these people did not delay – verse 41 – READ
10) Luke says “in that day” these people were baptized.
11) This single example stands in contrast to many teachers in our modern religious world.
a) Our next text comes from Acts 8. Simon “believed and was baptized” (Acts 8:13).
b) There was no believing at one time and then waiting for a special day to be baptized.
c) Such was also true for many others at Samaria – Acts 8:12 – READ
12) Notice how verse 12 is constructed: When they believed, then they were baptized.
13) When and then go together. Acts 16:25-33 we find a man who heard the gospel late at night.
14) Luke specifically says this man was baptized about midnight.
15) Rather than wait for a special day, baptism was done immediately after a person believed.
16) In Mk. 16:16 Jesus said, “he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.”
17) There is not much of a time gap in Mk. 16:16; 2 actions are described in this single verse.
18) In the book of Acts we find that these 2 actions did follow one right after the other.
19) If we have been thinking about being baptized, God tells us not to wait.

20) God says that unless we die we cannot live.
21) This is a paradox; a statement that seems contradictory but expresses a great truth.
22) When the Bible says “die to live” it does not mean a literal death.
a) It means death to a particular way of life.
23) We must make a conscious decision to choose God’s will over the devil’s will.
a) Col. 2:13 says sins (trespasses) make us dead (they rob a person of spiritual life with God).
b) Gal. 2:20 speaks of being “crucified with Christ.” This means we say “no” to sin.
c) Paul picks up on this same theme in Rom. 6:1-7. In both places he described repentance.

d) This is not my opinion; it is what God tells us – listen to Gal. 5:24; 6:14; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:5. 3:5.
e) There he said, “put away your former manner of life” and then he listed several sins.
24) A person cannot be properly baptized until they repent (turn their back on sin).
25) Paul said in Rom. 6:4 we are “buried with Christ.”
26) This same verse says we are “raised with Christ.”
a) Baptism is a burial. Sprinkling is not a burial. Pouring is not a burial.
b) Immersion is a burial, and this is the way God requires baptism to be done.
c) When we go down into the water and are raised up, Rom. 6 says there is a parallel.
d) Our being “raised up” is like Jesus being “raised up” in His resurrection.

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).

Sowing the seed of the kingdom

There is a well known hymn that reads, “are you sowing the seed of the kingdom brother.” Sowing the seed is Biblical terminology for telling people about Jesus (evangelism). Several times in the New Testament we see this imagery as well as specific terminology.

A key word in sowing the seed is “sow” (speiro). This is a verb and it occurs about 50 times in the New Testament. If readers study the places where they occur, they will be amazed to see that about half of the word occurs about half the time in just two places (Mt. 13 and Mk. 14).

Sow (speiro) is also found in the Corinthian letter; Paul used it in 1 Cor. 9:11. He said those who “sow spiritual things” should “reap carnal things” (i.e. be paid). His argument reminds readers of 1 Cor. 3:6-7 (he planted, another watered, and God gave the increase).

We can “sow the seed of the gospel” or “sow something else. Readers should contrast the “sowing” in 1 Cor. 9 with the waste described by Jesus in Lk. 15:11-32. Jesus said a younger son went and “wasted” his substance. “Wasted” (diaskorpizo) meant dispersing, scattering, wasting. This son took his material goods and essentially scattered them to the wind.

All people are “sowing” something. It may be fast, slow, sporadic, or something else. God will one day call us to account for what we sowed in our lives (there will be a harvest). When we stand before him on the day of judgment, what will our record be? What will He say we sowed? Was it the gospel? Did we sow to the flesh? Sow to the Spirit? Sow to Satan? Paul said, “in due season we will reap.” This is God’s promise. Believe it, sow what is righteous, and expect a great harvest.

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).

"The Inconvenience of Commitment"

The above statement could play out in many arenas, but I’m especially concerned of its role in spiritual matters. By the inconvenience of commitment, I’m referring to those who are hesitant, or just flat-out refuse to make a commitment to Jesus Christ out of fear that such a commitment may inconvenience them in some way. One man told a preacher that he wanted to place membership with his church, but not to ask him to do anything because he was involved with so many other things. He would not make a commitment because it might inconvenience him with other things he wanted to do. Does this sound like “seeking first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33)?

People wonder why Christianity doesn’t live up to the promises of the Bible. They ask, “Where is the inner strength and peace?” These characteristics of genuine Christianity are only promised to the truly committed. Not only that, but salvation itself is only promised to the truly committed. No where in the Bible has God promised salvation to those who are only half-hearted in their dedication to Christ. The mind-set of our society has drifted so far from the Word of God that people wonder what I mean by the foregoing statement!

Most people are “nice” and somewhat moral. But if we could be saved simply by being nice, and moral, then why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? There is more to being saved than what most realize. They don’t realize it because they don’t study the Bible and therefore remain in ignorance. God said, “My people are destroyed for their lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Peter writes, “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear. (1Peter 4:18).

We need to pull our religion out of the closet and prioritize it in our lives, even if it inconveniences us. (cf Luke 14:33).

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).

"Beware" (Luke 12:1-34)

A sermon by Mike Gors

Introduction:
1. Many gathered to hear Jesus preach (Luke 11). In this they heard a strong rebuke:
a. He called them a wicked generation looking of a sign (Lk.11:29)
b. The Queen of Sheba would rise up and judge that current generation because she sought wisdom from Solomon
and one wiser than Solomon stood in their presence.(Luke 11:31)
c. The people of Niniveh would condemn the current generation because they repented at the preaching of Jonah
and a greater preacher than Jonah had arrived (Luke 11:31)
d. He pronounced “woe” to the legalism of the Pharisee (Luke 11:46)

2. Even though it was a strong rebuke that left no one untouched they came back for more (Luke 12)
a. There gathered together an inumerable multitude of people”
b. “Myriads” – thousands upon thousands.
c. This was perhaps the height of Jesus popularity.

3. The afternoon sermon/ discourse was one of warning and trusting.
a. Strong warnings of things that would clearly hinder them from receiving the reward of heaven.
b. These warnings are signified explicitly with “beware” twice and once implied “beware”.

4. There was in front of these followers of Jesus certain dangers that could cause them to fall away.
a. Things that are beyond physical persecution and are far more dangerous…attitudes that lie deep
within the human heart [mind] and are very difficult to remove from ones life.
b. This sermon/ discourse Jesus uses to exhort the followers to be on guard, vigilant, and sober minded
in order to indentify and overcome the various hurdles in life.

5. Lets look at these three difficulties that are within the human heart.

I. Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisee…Hypocrisy (Luke 12:1-12)

A. Beware of the Leaven:
1. Leaven, by and large, refers to corruption, sin, or evil. (i.e. 1 Corinthians 5:6)
2. In modern language we may use “cancer” to convey the message of that which is to be avoided
corrupt and unwanted.
B. Hypocrisy- by definition “An actor on a stage; to act; to wear a mask and pretend.
1. A term often misused and abused.
2. A Christian who stumbles and commits a sin is not automatically a hypocrite, it makes them human.
C. A hypocrite actively pursues putting on a show. He/She pretends to be something they are not. He/she wants to
make people think they are one thype of person when the reality is within they are the opposite of what they pretend to be!
1. The Pharisee say the love God but hate Jesus…they are pretenders!
2. The Pharisee say they glorify God but the want and love the praise of men…they are pretenders!
3. Many today say the love Jesus, even call him Lord but refuse to be baptized…they are pretenders!
(Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15,16; John 3:3-5; Ax 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians3:26,27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21)
D. Who they really were could not be hidden for ever (Luke 12:3,4). A time would come when difficult decisions would have to be
made (Luke 12:4-12)
1. Where would they stand in the moment of truth? Would they pretenders when persecution came?
2. Where do we stand in the moment of truth?
3. In that moment of truth: Judas betrayed the Lord! Peter denied the Lord! Thomas doubted! Stephen died ! Under
which name will we fall in that moment of truth.
4. Will we be pretenders of faith or contenders for the faith!
Beware of hypocrisy!!

II. Beware of covetousness (Luke 12:13-21)
A. By definition covetousness is “To fix a desire upon”
1. Luke uses “epithumeo”: “epi” – upon; “thumeo” – passion
2. To be consumed or passionate from the inside out about someone or something.
(food, clothes, sports, entertainment, etc.)
3. Within the text it is clearly about material things / money.

B. It almost seems to be our nature to never be satisified with what we have. We always want a bigger paycheck,
a bigger house, better/newer cars, the latest elctronic gadget etc.
1. Haggai told Israel they had “money bags with holes”. As quickly as money came in, it went out to maintain their
lifestyles of ease while God’s house and all things eternal were largely ignored. (Hmmmm, sound familar!)
2. Many today are simply slaves to a lifestyle. Two incomes in a home and yet no happiness nor contentment.
C. Covetousness is at the heart and soul of the gambling issue.
1. Some call it harmless entertainment
2. Others say it is similar to investing in the stock market. (To any that claim this argument begin today redirecting the same
money from your 401k or equivalent to buying lottery tickets..probably doesn’t sound like sound investing now)
3. Gambling is the epitome covetousness – Turning one dollar into millions overnight in dreams of a life of ease.

D. Life does not consist in “THINGS”. (Luke 12:16-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-12 Read these verses carefully).
Beware of Covetousness!!

III. Beware of anxiety/doubt/worry (Luke 12:22-34)
A. Fear is very effective.
1. Fear can paralyze us from taking action. (We don’t take the lead in a noble deed for fear of mockery)
2. Fear can enslave us to a lifestyle.
(fear losing a home we can’t afford so we get a second and third job to the neglect of our souls and family obligations)

B. There are many things beyond our control so why do we bear the burden rather than trust God (Luke 12:25-28)

C. God clearly provides for the animals he created and he clothes the plants he created.
1. Look around the great state of Indiana, do the deer endure and live through some very cold winter nights? Did
they go hungry during any of the many winter storms we have had this year?
2. Have you ever taken time to watch God feed his birds, on any given day while driving down an Indiana highway
stop and watch a hawk fall on its prey. That is God providing food, food for a soulless bird.
3. Human beings are of much greater value than the deer or hawks etc. yet for some reason we don’t believe that in
his care for us nor his providence to fulfill his promis of care (Matt.6:33) .
(No, He does not give hand outs: The deer have to get up and find food, the hawks have to hunt and to fly and go get the food God provides.)

D. Why should we not be filled with anxiety, worry and doubt, Luke 12:32 really says it all. Do not be afraid because the
imagery Luke provides to tell us about our relationship God has with his people:
1. God is a Shepherd over the “His flock”- guiding, feeding, nuturing and caring for his sheep.
2. God is a Father who takes pleasure in giving His children care, instruction,guidance, wise advice through His word.
3. God is a King sitting upon His throne! As a benevolent King he reigns with all authority and will protect and vindicate His
subjects.
E. In the mean time diligently demonstrate your faith by immersing yourself in service to Him in His kingdom trusting He will provide for all the things you need (Luke 12:33)

Conclusion:
1. Beware of hypocrisy – don’t be a pretender be a genuine sincere follower of Jesus!

2. Beware of covetousness – life is not about having stuff for the sake of
having stuff!

3. Beware of worry/ doubt- God is aware of what you need and is willing to give it. The real problem is we don’t really believe it.

4. Jesus has warned us. IF you have ears open them up and listen! If you have eyes open them up and see what Jesus says!
otherwise consider Luke 6:46!

4. Your words and deeds will display for the world and for God where your “heart” and “treasure” really belong! (Luke 12:34)

5. Is your heart and treasure with Jesus or with self ? You know and God knows! Where will you go from here?

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).

"Fast Food?"

A recent radio news story explained that a poll indicated 75% of Americans claimed to be a Christian, but less than 50% attended any kind of church. 33% said that church was a “poor place to be spiritually nourished.” Blame for the poor rating of churches was said to be the teaching of “experienced-based religion.”

Experienced-based religion is preachers and others bragging about how much God and the Holy Spirit has done for them, trying to make themselves out to be God’s “pet,” or make themselves appear to have an inside connection with God. God has no “pets” (Romans 2:11).

The only connection one can have with God is through Jesus Christ (1Timothy 2:5), and it is not for the purpose of God serving us, but for the purpose of us serving God. The only way that one can be spiritually nourished is by “eating, digesting, and absorbing” the pure, Spirit-inspired word of God. The pure word of God is the Bible, rightly divided and rightly applied (2 Timothy 2:15).

Tens of thousands of people are sincerely seeking spiritual nourishment, but they’re only being fed “fast food.” As a result, they are developing a spiritual flabbiness that satisfies nothing, and brings no glory to God (cf. Ephesians 3:21). — 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).

How to come "into Christ" and "out of sin"

“INTO CHRIST”
1) This lesson is about the power of three small, but very powerful words.
2) Word # 1 is “into.” After we discuss “into” we will comment on two more words: “out of.”
3) Our first text comes from Mt. 2; Jesus was being visited by the “wise-men.”
a) Mt. 2:11 says these men came “into” the house.
b) The wisemen did not pass by this house. Neither did they walk around the house.
c) They did not stand at the door, look in the windows, and then finally leave.
d) “Into” means they “entered the residence. They went inside.”
4) Jesus’ earthly family was not able to stay in this house for very long – verse 13.
5) When Joseph took his family “into” Egypt, he left the land of Israel.
6) Later, when he left Egypt, he went back “into” the land of Israel.
7) “Into” describes a definite change in location. Mt. 3:10 is next – READ. Mt. 3:12 – READ.
a) “Into” plus the word “barn” leaves no doubt about what is to be done.
b) It would be wrong to take the hay outside the barn, or in front of the barn. Into means “into.”
8) From Mt. 2:11 to Rev. 22:14 I find 604 occurrences of “into” in the ASV.
9) Into is repeatedly used to describe either a location or some type of relationship.
10) Let’s leave “into” and move on to our next two words (“out of”). Mt. 2:15 – READ.
11) Verse 14 has Jesus, Mary and Joseph going “into” Egypt.
12) We learn from verse 15 that Jesus and His family finally came “out of” that land.
a) Just as “into” describes a location or relationship, so “out of” describes the same things.
b) In Mt. 3:17 we have a voice coming “out of” the heavens. Mt. 8:28 – “out of the tombs.”
c) A person speaks “out of” what is in their heart, Mt. 12:34. We speak what was put “into” us.
13) Mt. 13:41 says that at the end of time angels will gather evil people “out of the kingdom.”
14) We cannot be taken “out of the kingdom” unless were once entered “into” the kingdom.
a) Three words have a terrific amount of significance when it comes to salvation.
b) If the words “out of” are not part of our lives, we are not right with God.
15) Gal. 1:4 says the word is “evil.” Paul speaks of being delivered “out of” this evil world.
16) How do we get out of the evil world and receive deliverance from our sins?
17) Col. 1:13 continues with this subject and develops it in a little more detail.
a) Paul said the world is a place of “darkness.” Notice two key words: “out of.”
b) We need to get “out of the power of darkness.” Do we also not see the preposition “into”?
c) OUT OF one place and INTO another place. This other place is the kingdom.
18) How do we get out of evil, sin, condemnation and “into” the kingdom?
19) In the next chapter we are told how this process does NOT work. Col. 2:14, 23.
20) Heb. 3:16 – Israel did come “out of Egypt,” but it was “by Moses.”
21) There was only one plan to make it out of Egypt and all Israel had to obey that single plan.
22) Had this one plan not been obeyed, the people would not have been delivered.
23) Today all accountable people are guilty of sin and need to “come out” of the condemnation they deserve.
24) How they are going to do that? Gal. 3:27 says a person is “baptized into Christ.”
25) Rom. 6:3 says a person is baptized “into Christ Jesus.”
26) Saying a prayer will not take us “out of sin and put us into Christ.”
27) Confessing Jesus as savior will not take us “out of sin and put us into Christ.”
28) Faith alone will not take us “out of sin and put us into Christ.”
29) Faith plus repentance will not take us “out of sin and put us into Christ.”
Faith plus repentance plus confession will not take us “out of sin and put us into Christ.”
30) Baptism is the final step required to put us “into Christ.”
31) How odd it is for a religious group to say a person is saved and then can be baptized later.
32) If a person is saved without baptism, what does baptism then do at a later time?
33) If a person is saved without it, what does baptism take them from and put them into?
34) There is no meaningful answer to that question.
35) OUT OF and INTO show the essentially of baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
36) Have we come out of sin, darkness, eternity without God and into the kingdom by baptism?

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).

"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth" (Lamentations 3:27)

When Jeremiah wrote these words, he was weeping over the great destruction that God had allowed to happen to the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah is trying to think back at what went wrong and how the people drifted so far from their Creator. He may be thinking of how the great apostasy first took root when a single generation of children was raised who “knew not the Lord” (Judges 2:10-11). His inspired conclusion is: “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”

In our modern, supposedly enlightened society, it is nearly unlawful to put any kind of yoke on our youth. As parents, it seems that we must allow them to be totally irresponsible and without any fear of effective discipline. God says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).

Our youth often desire things that we, as parents, know are not good for them. They often complain when any kind of yoke is placed upon their shoulders. Furthermore, society encourages children to sue their parents, or turn them in as being “abusive” when they don’t get their way. One begins to wonder why God gave children parents in the first place.

With a flooded juvenile court system, overflowing juvenile detention centers, and gangs forming in the 5th grade, one is forced to wonder, “Could we be doing something wrong?” Granted, I still believe that such young people are in the minority, but how long before the minority becomes the majority.

No society has ever become more ideal by drifting away from the timeless, inspired principles laid out in God’s Book. Jeremiah himself said it like this: “Seek the old paths…and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). – 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).

The “reward” for Christians – what is a Christian's reward?

1. The word for reward is “misthos” (a noun).
2. The reward for God’s people will be __________________ (Mt. 5:12).
3. What does Lk. 6:23 say? ___________________________________________________
4. It is possible to have ______ reward from God (Mt. 6:1).
5. Why must we avoid “showing off” with our faith (Mt. 6:2)? _________________
6. Do only the righteous receive a “reward” (Acts 1:18)? ______________________
7. If we “earned” salvation, eternal life would be God ______________ Rom. 4:4).
8. From this verse we find that ______________ and _____________ go together.
9. What is promised in 1 Cor. 3:8? ___________________________________________
10. Are all rewards “monetary” (1 Cor. 9:18)? _____________ Discuss – ________
11. Can people “love the reward that comes from sin” (2 Pet. 2:15)? ___________
12. Rewards from God will be _____________________ (2 Jn. 8).
13. Will God be “slow” in rewarding His people (Rev. 22:12)? __________________
14. Rewards come for various reasons.
15. What is the reason in Jas. 1:12? __________________________________________
16. What is the reason in Heb. 11:6? __________________________________________
What is the reason in Rev. 2:10? ________________________________________________
17. What is the reason in 1 Pet. 5:4? _________________________________________
18. What is the reason in 2 Tim. 4:8? _________________________________________
What is the reason in 1 Cor. 4:2, 5? ______________________________________________
19. What is the reason in Gal. 6:9-10? ________________________________________
20. What will completely destroy our hope of reward (Rom. 8:8)? ________________

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).

"Because HE Is God"

Man does not set the standard for salvation, God does. Man does not set the standard for how we worship, God does. Man does not set the standard for holy living, God does. Man does not tell God that He will accept women preachers and Elders, He tells us whether He will accept them.

Man does not tell God that He will accept mechanical music in His church, He tells whether us whether or not He will accept it. Man does not tell God that He will accept “alternate life styles,” He tells us whether He will accept such.

Man does not tell God what constitutes an adulterous marriage, He tells us. Man does not tell God who will be save and who will be eternally lost. God tells us who will be saved and who will be lost.

Does God have the right to demand certain things of us and place certain restriction on us in order to save us? Yes. Because He is God!

There are many self-appointed “theological sheriffs” in the religious world today who say man can be saved in ways that God has never said; that they can worship in ways that God has never said; that they can live a life that God does not condone, and still be saved. They are wrong. “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21) — 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).

History of baptism

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).

What is a Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament?

Are Christians to believe the Old Testament? Are Christians to follow the Old Testament? What relationship does Christianity have with the Old Testament?

God’s word is very clear on how the Old Testament relates to Christianity. According to 1 Cor. 10:6 and Rom. 15:4, Christians are to “learn” from the Old Testament. They do not follow the Old Testament instructions for worship because the Old Testament is no longer in force (2 Cor. 3:14). Rather than “build an ark like Noah did worship according to the Old Testament law, or even “keep the Ten Commandments,” we live under the New Testament. We can, however, learn from the Old Testament. We learn from Noah’s life the consequences of obedience and disobedience. From Moses’ life and the Mosaic law we see that God regulates man’s worship. From the lives of Abraham we learn the need for faith.

We can learn from many Old Testament examples and the Hebrew writer lists many of them in Heb. 11. Follow the New Testament, but do not fail to learn from the Old Testament!

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).

Is it right to pay preachers? How much should preachers be paid?

For many, paying ministers is an accepted practice. In the past, especially at the Corinthian congregation, there were questions about paying ministers. Even now there are congregation that oppose paying a preacher.

Paul addressed the question of paying preachers in 1 Cor. 9. In 1 Cor. 9:7 he offered three arguments on paying preachers. Christians are “soldiers” in the “army of God.” Since secular soldiers are paid when they engage in “warfare” (1 Cor. 9:7), Christians “soldiers” deserve compensation. When a man is a minister he is often on the “front lines” of the battle and he deserves compensation.

A second argument for paying is found in the middle of 1 Cor. 9:7. If a man “plants a vineyard,” does he “not eat the fruit from it”? Yes. The Corinthians would have also recognized this principle and this was a second argument to compensate evangelists.

Paul’s third argument for paying preachers is found at the end of verse 7. If a man “cared for a flock,” he had a right to share in the “milk” that came from these animals. In a similar way ministers work and they deserve to be paid.

How much should evangelists be paid? The Bible does not give a specific amount. However, we can learn from the “golden rule” in Mt. 7:12. If we were a minister, how much would we want to be paid? If we would want a livable salary and our income consistent with that of other members of the congregation, then we should use that guideline when paying preachers today.

Salary of ministers, how much should ministers be paid, salary of evangelists, how much do preachers make, a preacher’s income, preaching job, pay increase for ministers, golden rule Mt. 7:12

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).

Errors of Catholicism, including Peter not being the first pope

Was Peter the first pope? Catholic doctrine says so, but saying something does not mean it is true.

Catholicism has spent a lot of time and effort trying to defend the idea that Peter was the first pope. All such attempts, however, are “wresting” the scriptures (2 Pet. 3:16).

This blog entry is not designed to address all the elements of why Peter was not the first pope or all the errors of the Catholic faith. It will briefly three issues, all of which are based on 1 Cor. 9:5.

In 1 Cor. 9 Paul was defending his apostleship. He argued that he had certain “rights” (privileges), one of which was marriage. He also said the “rest of the apostles” had these same rights. Of course, Peter was an apostle. In 1 Cor. 9:5 Paul asked he could not lead about a wife like “Cephas” (Peter) did. Paul affirmed Peter was married. This point is also established in Mt. 8:14. When the Catholic church claims Peter was the “first pope,” how often do you hear them say “Peter was the first married pope”? If Peter is the example of the first pope, then the example to follow is for popes to be married! Furthermore, the Bible says that forbidding someone to marry is a sign of “falling away from the faith” and “giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Men who promote such a doctrine are “branded in their own conscience, as with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2).

According to Catholic doctrine, Mary and Joseph never had any “natural children” (this is referred to as the “perpetual virginity of Mary”). Paul denies this in 1 Cor. 9:5. He refers to the “brethren of the Lord,” a statement consistent with information in the gospels saying Mary and Joseph had other children (Mary never had sexual intercourse with Joseph after the Lord’s birth). Mary gave birth to children other than Jesus (Mt. 12:46-47; 13:55; Lk. 8:19; Jn. 2:12; 7:3, 5; Acts 1:14). Not only did Joseph and Mary have a normal marital relationship, the half-brothers of Jesus became involved in evangelism and received support for their “church work” (1 Cor. 9:5).

In 1 Cor. 9:5 we also see that Peter (“Cephas”) is listed last. Were the Peter the “first pope,” he should have been in “last place.” If Peter were the first pope, Jesus could have easily said so on an occasion such as is described in Lk. 9. The disciples were asking “who was the greatest among them.” Jesus could have said “Peter is the greatest.” Rather than do this, He “called a little child” and set that young person “in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:2).

Follow the Bible and only the Bible. Catholic doctrine does not match up with the information Jesus and the apostles provided in the New Testament scriptures.

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).