ARE THERE CHRISTIANS IN DENOMINATIONS?
Roger D. Campbell
This is a question that deserves our
attention. It is one that is frequently asked. Young people ask it.
Some of those that have been members of the church for a long time
also ask it. Those outside of the Lords church ask it. We are
convinced that when such an inquiry comes from a sincere heart that
is searching for truth, then it deserves a Bible answer.
Are there Christians in denominations? The
correct standard by which we should answer such a question is not
our personal feelings, what we have always believed, what we hope
is true, or what the majority of people believe on the matter. Like
any other question that pertains to spiritual matters, we ought to
speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11)
when answering it.
Fact: There were no Christians in
denominations in the first century. There were no
denominations that existed at that time, so it was impossible for
Christians to be members of them. That means, of course, that there
is no such thing in the Bible as a denominational
Christian. Humans may use such terminology, but those that do
so need to realize they are not using Bible language when they do.
Fact: All saved people in the Christian
era are in Christ. The Bible speaks of the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24) and the salvation
which is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 2:10). Only those who have
obeyed the Gospel by being baptized into the Christ have been set
free from sin and enjoy newness of life (Rom. 6:3,4,17,18). Yes,
the saved are in the Christ.
Fact: All saved people are in the kingdom
or church of our Lord. But, wait a minute. Did we not just
show that saved people are in the Christ? If that be true, then how
can it be that saved people are in the kingdom or church? First of
all, the Bible says that after the establishment of the church,
...the Lord added to the church daily those who were being
saved (Acts 2:47). Make no mistake about it, God added saved
people to His church, and nothing else. There is not a person alive
that can prove from the Bible that the Lord under any circumstances
ever added a saved person to a man-made denomination!
Second, the Bible teaches that Jesus is
the savior of the body (Eph. 5:23). What is the body?
Colossians 1:18 identifies it for us: And he [Jesus, rdc] is
the head of the body, the church. Since the body is
the same as the church, when the Bible declares that Jesus is the
Savior of the body, that is the same as saying that Jesus is the
Savior of the church. Thus, saved people are in His church.
Third, biblically speaking, to be in the
Christ and to be in His kingdom/church are one and the same. We
learn this from Colossians 1:13,14. Verse 13 speaks of the saints
in Colosse having been translated into the kingdom of the Christ.
The next verse speaks of them being in the Christ and enjoying the
forgiveness of sins through Jesus blood. Where were those
Colossian Christians? According to verse 13, they were in the
kingdom or church. According to verse 14, they were in the Son of
God. Therefore, to be in the church is the same as being in the
Christ. No one can be in the Christ without being in the church
(and vice versa).
Fact: In the New Testament, the word
Christian refers to one that is a member of the
Lords church. That word Christian, which is
used a total of three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26;
26:28; I Peter 4:16), literally means a follower of
Christ [Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament, page 672, word no. 5546]. When the word
Christian appears in the Bible, the immediate and general
contexts clearly show that those identified as Christians
were members of the body of the Christ. Let us see.
Look closely at the message of I Peter
4:16:2 and notice the different words or expressions that refer
to the same group of people (all emphasis is mine, rdc). Yet
if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be
ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is
come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and
if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that
obey not the gospel of God? And if the
righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the
sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will
of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as
unto a faithful Creator. The elders ... Feed the flock of God
which is among you....
In this passage, we see that a
Christian is one that is in the house of God. The
house of God is the church of the living God (I Tim.
3:15). Our text in I Peter also shows that Christians are those
that have obeyed the Gospel, are righteous, and constitute the
flock of God, which is His church (Acts 20:28). Clearly, in
the Bible Christian was applied to those that were in the
family of God, meaning that they were members of the Lords
Look further at Acts 11:26, where it is
written, ...And it came to pass, that a whole year they
assembled themselves with the church, and taught much
people. And the disciples were called Christians
first in Antioch (emphasis mine, rdc). Which people were
called Christians? The disciples. But the word disciples
in this passage refers to the church. Consider also the fact that
Saul of Tarsus had made havoc of the church (Acts 8:3).
Acts 9:1,2 shows that Saul was persecuting the disciples of
the Lord. Thus, since Saul was only persecuting one group of
people, then the disciples of the Lord and the
church are one and the same. It follows then, because the
disciples were in the church, and disciples are called Christians,
that Christians were members of the church. Put another way,
disciples of the Lord were the same ones that were
calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 9:1,13,14). Those that call
on the name of the Lord are saved (Acts 2:21). So, disciples are
saved. But, again, to what does the Lord add the saved? Answer: to
His church (Acts 2:47; Col. 1:13,14). Since disciples are those
that have been saved by calling on the name of the Lord, and since
disciples are also called Christians, then it follows that
Christians are those that have been saved by calling on the
Lords name. God adds them to His church. Yes, biblically
speaking, Christian applies to a member of the Lords
church and no one else.
Fact: If it is possible for a person to
be pleasing to God while being a member of any man-made group,
i.e., a denomination, then devastating consequences follow:
1. A denomination would be just as good in
Gods sight as the church which Jesus bought with His blood.
There is no way that any man-made group can be as precious as the
church for which the Master shed His blood! (Acts 20:28)
2. It is acceptable to the Almighty to be a
part of something that He has not authorized. Denominations are
unauthorized by the God of heaven (Matt. 21:25), and thus
shall be rooted up (Matt. 15:13). How could it be
acceptable in the Lords sight to be a part of, endorse,
financially support, and work to build up, something that the Lord
Himself will eventually root up?
3. It is acceptable to God to be a part of
something that is in competition with the Lords church. Mark
it down. Whether they realize it or not, and whether they
intentionally do it or not, denominations are in competition with
the Lords church. They would love to see every
non-believer join them, and they would love to have our
members join them as well. Those that oppose the Lords church
are, in actuality, opposing the Lord (Acts 9:4,5).
It is time for some closing thoughts. First,
is it possible that there are members of the church in
denominations? Yes. It is possible that some have truly obeyed the
Gospel and been added by the Lord to His church, then at a later
time, either through ignorance or weakness, joined a denomination.
They were members of Christs church before ever becoming
members of a denomination, or, it may be the case that one was a
member of a denomination, came out of it when learning the truth,
obeyed the Gospel, but later returned to that same denomination or
a different one. It is not possible, however, for one to remain in
a denomination and be pleasing in the Lords sight.
Some say, But denominational members have
been baptized. Doesnt that make them Christians?
According to the Bible, when a person obeys the Gospel, which
includes being baptized for the remission of sins, the Lord adds
that person to His church. Afterwards, if a person becomes a member
of a man-made denomination, the Lord has nothing to do with it!
Biblically speaking, there is no way one can be baptized and have
that baptism make him both a member of a denomination and the
Lords church at the same time.
If I ask a person the question, When you
were baptized, what church did that make you a member of? If
the answer is Brand X denomination, then it is obvious
their baptism was not a scriptural baptism. Scriptural baptism
makes one a member of Gods church and no other!
Let me emphasize one final truth. One does not
become a member of Jesus church by being baptized into a
denominational body, then at some later point praying into the
Lords church. People do not enter the Lords church via
prayer: never have, and never will.
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Table of Contents
BAPTISM AND SALVATION #1
Garland M. Robinson
Water baptism is one of the most prominent doctrines of
the New Testament. Yet at the same time, it is one of the most
despised and rejected doctrines of the Bible. Men for centuries
have gone to great lengths to circumvent, bypass, explain away,
dismiss, contradict, and reject everything the Bible says about
THE MODE OF BAPTISM IMMERSION
Man has tried his utmost to separate water baptism from
salvation, but his efforts have proved fruitless. The God of heaven
joined water baptism with salvation and as hard as man may try, he
cannot separate them. His efforts will always fail! It remains a
mystery why men fight it so. They have set their life-long
endeavors to disprove the essentiality of water baptism, but to no
avail. Man is powerless against the wisdom of God.
May those who read this lesson learn what the Bible
teaches about baptism and appreciate its significance in Gods
scheme of redemption. May those who are outside of Christ obey the
Gospel and live a faithful Christian life that they might be saved.
The denominations are many who substitute sprinkling
and/or pouring for baptism. They claim that either of these modes
is acceptable and often give the recipient a choice. Many years
ago, an Episcopal priest became very upset with me saying that
those who had water sprinkled or poured on them had never been
baptized. More than a thousand years stands between what the
apostles taught and practiced in the New Testament and the
acceptance of sprinkling and pouring. It therefore did not come
from God! It came from the mind of man. Every plant,
which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up
The mode, manner or method of baptism is clearly
explained in the Scriptures. This is done both by the definition of
the word itself and by observing the examples of those who were
baptized. There should never be any confusion on this matter. But,
when men inject their think so into religious matters,
you can count on it always contradicting the Way of the Lord.
The word baptism (baptisma) or
baptize (baptidzo) is defined as: ֿ) to
dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk), 2) to
cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with
water, to wash ones self, bathe, 3) to overwhelm
(Thayers). Baptism, consisting of the processes of
immersion, submersion and emergence, to dip, was used among the
Greeks to signify the dyeing of a garment, or the drawing of water
by dipping a vessel into another, etc. (Vines).
Therefore, sprinkling and pouring ARE NOT baptism! Immersion is
Even if the definition of the word was unclear, there
is ample evidence in the New Testament of its practice to show the
manner in which it was and is to be done. Without exception, every
time one was baptized in the New Testament, it was by immersion.
Notice these clear facts:
The baptism of the New Testament requires WATER.
Can any man forbid water, that these should
not be baptized... (Acts 10:47). ...They came
unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is
water; what doth hinder me to be baptized (Acts
8:36; cf. Mark 1:5).
The baptism of the New Testament requires MUCH
WATER. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to
Salim, because there was much water there: and they came,
and were baptized (John 3:23).
The baptism of the New Testament requires GOING
INTO WATER. And he commanded the chariot to stand
still: and they went down both into the water,
both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him (Acts
The baptism of the New Testament requires a BURIAL
IN WATER. Therefore we are buried with him
by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life. For if we have been planted together in
the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
resurrection (Rom. 6:4-5). Buried
with him in baptism... (Col. 2:12).
The baptism of the New Testament requires COMING
UP OUT OF THE WATER. And when they were come up
out of the water... (Acts 8:39). Buried
with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him
through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from
the dead (Col. 2:12). And Jesus, when he was
baptized, went up straightway out of the water...
(Matt. 3:16; cf. Mark 1:9-10).
The baptism of the New Testament requires A BIRTH.
...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Baptism is a likeness or form of Christs death,
burial and resurrection. There is no burial and resurrection in the
practice of sprinkling or pouring. On the other hand, there is a
burial and resurrection in immersion. Notice this chart and in each
verse, ask yourself, does it take _____ to sprinkle, pour,
|Water, Acts 2:38
|Much water, John 3:23
|Going into Water, Acts 8:38
|A Burial, Rom. 6:4
|Coming Up Out of Water, Acts 8:39
|A Birth, John 3:5
Can a person actually be sprinkled? Not unless he
is first cremated and his ashes sprinkled!
Can a person be poured? Not unless he is first
liquefied and then poured!
Can a person be immersed? YES! An individual can
be submerged under water in the action of baptidzo. This
is not true of sprinkling and pouring.
Sprinkling and pouring are never commanded. There are
no examples of them. They are never implied. They were never
practiced until hundreds of years after the first century. They
were clearly added by man; and, being from man, will perish along
with all the doctrines of man (Matt. 15:8-9,13).
Have you been baptized; or, have you been sprinkled or
poured? Sprinkling or pouring is NOT baptism! Without baptism,
there is no salvation. It is the point at which one turns from
damnation to salvation. Read these verses that clearly show this is
the case: John 3:3-5; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; I Peter
3:21; Rom. 6:3-6,17-18; Col. 2:12.
(Part 1 of 3)
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Trouble in Paradise
In the beginning of time, everything God created was
perfect. After each division of His creation, God ...saw that
it was good (cf. Gen. 1). Adam and Eve formed the first home,
the oldest of Gods divine institutions (Gen. 2:21-25). It
wasnt long before there was trouble in paradise; sin entered
into this world (Gen. 3:1-6). Mankind has suffered the consequences
of sin ever since that tragic day in Eden. Solomon wrote,
There is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and
sinneth not (Eccl. 7:20).
In the New Testament, Christ created another divine
institution, His church (Acts 2:1-47). The book of Acts is a
history of the establishment and growth (about 30 years) of the
church of Christ. The church, as Christ planned it, is like
heaven on earth. She truly was a spiritual paradise until
sin raised its ugly head, and the church became corrupted;
consequently, again, there was trouble in paradise.
Many years ago, I was privileged to be a student in one
of the late brother G. K. Wallaces Bible classes. In one class
session, a student asked brother Wallace, What does the church
of Christ teach..., and before he could complete his question,
brother Wallace replied, Just about anything! We all
laughed! But, now, its no laughing matter. The church,
Gods spiritual paradise is in deep trouble.
In the late 40s and throughout the 50s, the church
faced the problem of brethren denying the right of the church to
financially support, from her treasury, a home for orphans operated
by brethren; along with congregations cooperating with each other
in the field of evangelism. Our great brotherhood was torn asunder.
Indeed, there was trouble in paradise.
In the 60s and 70s the church faced the problem of
Pentecostalism. During the early 80s until now, there has been a
steady drift into liberalism. The ultra-conservative brethren
sought to bind upon the brotherhood what God had not bound. Now,
our liberal brethren are seeking to loose what God has bound. To do
this, they have come up with a cry for a new hermeneutic in
Biblical interpretation and a denial of any New Testament pattern
for the church to follow. Who among us would have ever dreamed the
beautiful bride of Christ would experience so many departures from
the faith? The apostle Paul wrote of those who would give
...heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils
(I Tim. 4:1). These seducing spirits and doctrines of
devils are running rampant in the church, and its later
than most seem to think. What, then, has destroyed this paradise?
We have allowed at least two generations to come
up in the church who have little, if any, concept of what is
meant when we speak of scriptural authority. We have far too many
preachers who either: 1) do not believe in the necessity of having
scriptural authority for our beliefs and practices, or 2) they are
afraid to preach sermons that teach the necessity of having
scriptural authority for all we do (cf. Col. 3:17). Our pulpits, in
many cases, have become weak and inefficient in preaching the
Gospel of Christ. When the sermons we hear Sunday after Sunday
could be preached in most any denominational church, without any
disapproval, its no wonder the church is in such serious
The old pioneer preachers often referred to the church
as the ship of Zion. Brethren, we can turn this
ship around. How? By getting back to the basics by
teaching Gods word in its completeness. Lets return to
demanding a thus saith the Lord for what we preach and
practice. Lets let the denominational world know there is a
vast difference between them and us. The true church of Christ is
militant and distinctive in doctrine and practice. If we will
speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11), the true
church will be restored in all its pristine glory. Then, like
Joshua of old, we will have good success (Josh. 1:8). Think about
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Table of Contents
Majoring In Minors
Some years ago, a common phrase was heard with great
regularity in the classroom and from the pulpit, Majoring in
Minors and Minoring in Majors. The thrust of the statement
seemed to imply that Christians and/or the local church were
prioritizing those things that were less important, while the
important things were being diminished. All to frequently
Christians have a tendency to become distracted when it comes to
the affairs of life, especially as it relates to God and His will.
From the shadows of paradise we see the first couple,
Adam and Eve, Majoring in Minors as they partook of the
forbidden fruit in violation of the divine mandate. A strict
prohibition was given by the Creator not to eat, or even touch the
tree in the midst of the garden (Gen. 2:16-17). Being cast out of
the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had two sons named Cain and Abel.
With the passing of time the sons of Adam and Eve were instructed
to worship the Lord God. The Hebrew writer states, By
faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous...
(Heb. 11:4). Faith is produced when one hears the Word of God and
subsequently yields in full obedience. Abel illustrates such when
he offered of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat
thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his
offering (Gen. 4:4). The Lords respect for Abel was
predicated upon his full compliance to Gods will, by faith.
Cain in sharp contrast Majored in Minors, and the Lord
had not respect for his sacrifice (Gen. 4:5). Such
disrespect was due to Cains failure to major in the important
things. Instead of following his brothers faithful example,
Cain pursued the dictates of his own will. Calamity will most
certainly follow those that fail to put a priority upon the
important things, notwithstanding a compliance to Gods holy
will (Col. 3:17). Note the following things in which man should
major to be pleasing to God:
1. Man must Major in a fundamental Belief in
Gods existence. The Bible does not set out to prove the
existence of God. It is naturally assumed that the reader of the
Sacred Oracles accepts that proposition. The very first verse
affirms, In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth (Gen. 1:1).
Herbert Spencer in the nineteenth century stated that
there were five components that make up the universe: time, force,
energy, space and matter. Each of these principles may be found in
the first verse of the Bible. In the beginning time;
God force; created energy; the
heaven space; and the earth matter. How did
Moses, the writer of Genesis, know these five components existed
when it would not be discovered until the nineteenth century? It
underscores the inspiration of the Bible as a
The internal evidences of Scripture as well as the
external evidences of nature and other corroborating data confirms
a belief in an eternal God. The Hebrew writer sets forth the
principle, For every house is builded by some man; but he
that built all things is God (Heb. 3:4). Who would deny
the existence of a builder after seeing the object of his
construction? This rhetorical question is self-evident to any
reader. Paul writes, For the invisible things of him from
the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the
things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that
they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20). The Gentiles were
without excuse when they refused to accept with their own eyes
Gods existence by rejecting the works of creation.
2. Man must Major in a fundamental Obedience to
Gods will. Humbling ourselves before almighty God in full
compliance to His will is the ultimate and supreme duty we have to
our Creator. This fundamental duty is clearly depicted on the pages
of Holy Writ. The Hebrew writer affirmed of Jesus, ...who
was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should
taste death for every man (Heb. 2:9). Jesus, the central
character of the Bible, was given as a sacrifice for mans sin
(Isa. 53:5; Acts 2:23). Little wonder the inspired writer declared,
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the
things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the
author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him
Appropriating the blood of Christ to the cleansing of
our souls was highlighted by Peter when he wrote concerning,
...the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish
and without spot and then he said, seeing ye
have purified your souls in obeying the truth... (I
Peter 1:19-22). This essential act of obedience is clearly
illustrated with the response to the first Gospel sermon. Three
thousand souls were added to the Lords church when the
penitent believers met the conditions of obedience and were
immersed in water baptism (Acts 2:38,41,47).
If we Major in this fundamental matter of obedience we
will live a happy and hopeful life (II Peter 1:4; Titus 3:7). Paul
gives blessed assurance to all believers when he writes,
For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is
able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that
day (II Tim. 1:12).
3. Majoring in Gods word requires Living a
Faithful life. The natural fruit of accepting the existence of
God is living faithfully for Him in our daily lives. From the very
beginning of time the Creator has not only expected, but demanded
our faithfulness (Rev. 2:10).
Solomon, the wise man, said, Remember now thy
Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor
the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in
them (Eccl. 12:1). A faithful life to our eternal God
should begin early in life so the most possible good may be
Peaks and valleys are the norm for all of us as we
travel the difficult road of life, yet a faithful life anchored to
the solid rock is mandatory (I Cor. 10:4).
Historically, Jesus was the most significant
personality who ever lived. His greatness was illustrated not only
by his teaching, but how He lived what He taught. Luke writes,
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that
Jesus began both to do and to teach (Acts 1:1). Seeing
the perfect harmony of His life and what He taught is clearly seen
in the Gospel record of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Christians
must likewise practice pure and undefiled religion by how we
conduct our daily lives (cf. James 1:27).
If we would please the God of all creation, let us
Major in these three fundamental things.
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Table of Contents
Some Thoughts On Romans 8:28
I know of no passage of scripture which is mishandled more
than the text under consideration. There are many things which we
cannot know. But there are things which we can and should know. Our
serious problem which seems to be continually among us is to hear
the guesswork the opinions expressed by brethren when different
texts are considered.
The passage of Romans 8:28 begins with, And
we know.... Such denotes a continuation of some things
mentioned before! I cannot know what I should know about the
all things unless I revert back and learn to know
what I can and must know. After I learn these essentials mentioned
prior to 8:28, then I am ready to consider a study of verse 28.
When I go all the way back to Romans 1:16, I learn a
principle of truth which stands as the foundation of the entire
book. The inspired apostle continues to point out that Jews and
Gentiles were all under sin and were subject to the Gospel of
Christ. Justification for all was through the blood of Christ. God
is not just the God of the Jews alone, which false teachers were
saying, but He was also the God of the Gentiles who loved the Lord.
Paul would remind the Romans that all mankind was justified by the
blood of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:9). Man was/is reconciled unto God by
the death of Christ (5:10).
The Jews had been subservient to the Law of Moses but
the Law had been superceded by the New Testament will of Christ
(7:4). We are delivered from the Law (v.6). Deliverance comes by
and through Christ (7:24-25).
In view of all that the Holy Spirit has stated with
respect to the good things provided by our blessed Lord, the
Christian should be filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for all
the wonderful blessings which have been prepared by our loving
Too much study cannot be made of the great Roman
letter. The superficial glimpses made by some brethren does not
make them great experts in interpreting the letter. One can make a
daily study of the book for a lifetime and still there will be more
good lessons which need to be learned. Paul discusses the weakness
and inadequacy of the old Law. Now, if men will walk by the Spirit,
they will not be condemned (Rom. 8:1).
We need to consider so very carefully all that God has
done for us through Christ and the Gospel. This must be our
attitude of deep love and appreciation for all that God has done
for us. All that God has done for us from all eternity has been for
Paul would declare, And we know that all
things work together for good to them that love God, to them
who are the called according to his purpose (8:28).
I can understand and appreciate the statement of the
apostle when I study the verse within its context. One does not
need to take the passage away from its context and relate it to
some horrible tragedy which occurs in our time. Such is the manner
of exegesis used by some of the brethren, which is as wrong as it
The passage begins with the conjunction and,
which of course is a coupling word and attaches the verse to
something previously given. As a result of that which God has done
for us, we can now know that all that has been done by
Jehovah God, has been done for our good. Does this not make sense?
Paul uses what amounts to eight chapters in which he
discusses the fulfillment of the great mystery of God which was
unfolded in and through Christ. As I meditate upon the goodness of
God (11:22), I can know the mind of God in the interest of His
children who love Him and who accept His call.
I have heard, times without number, such exegetical and
fanciful explanations that whatever horrible circumstances might
occur in our lives, such things, horrible beyond explanation, work
together for our good.
I do not know this and neither do you. How can the
murder of a wife and children work for the good of a Christian?
Someone asserts, We know it does. How do we know this? I
worship with a few people who are desperately trying to rebuild a
small congregation after some rabble-rousers and sowers of discord
completely destroyed the church. I have not known that such was for
my good or for the good of the cause of my Lord. Someone prattles,
you are supposed to know. What I may be supposed to know
according to the guessing of others, and what I know is totally
I know of no Bible verse which is taken completely away
from its context as frequently and arbitrarily as Romans 8:28. Each
time a tragic death occurred during the last thirty years I was
serving as the Funeral Director, some ignorant preacher would
officiate at the funeral and he had everything worked out
perfectly. He could not know the circumstances but he had a good
guessing technique. Ignorant preachers will blubber, The good
Lord, God, Almighty above reached down and took the beloved away
and all things work for our good. The idea is, if God did it,
then why grieve?
I recently sustained the loss of a precious son who was
killed in a tragic accident. I cannot conceive that the death of my
precious son was good for anyone. We do not know that the departure
of our loved one was for the good of the two precious children who
were left without a daddy. But someone garbles, we know!
I do not know, and I cannot know and no amount of babbling will
cause me to know.
All the plans and purposes of God down through the ages
from the eternal dawn, have been fulfilled in Christ and the church
except those final things which are kept in store.
Paul would write, There is therefore now....
What does the therefore signify? The word is very strong
and denotes a contrast, a difference in something which was a rule
What is the significance of the word NOW? The word
denotes a difference in conditions which existed THEN, contrasted
with the past.
Under the law of Christ we are free from the law of sin
and death (8:2). Under the old Law, no man could be justified
(3:20). We are now justified by faith (5:1). We are justified by
the death of Christ (5:8). We are freed from sin by obedience
(6:17-18). We are delivered from the Law by the death of Christ
(7:4,6). With such expressions of truth, Paul could discuss that
which obtains NOW (8:1).
It might help some of our exegetical and theological
commentators to do a bit of study relative to the purposes of God
(II Tim. 1:9; Eph. 3:10-11; Rom. 9:23-24).
There is so much that I do not know, but I do know that
intense Bible study will be of great help in dispensing with the
doctrines and commandments of men. We now live under the law of
Christ. Under that marvelous law which was planned, purposed and
perfected in the mind of God, with the unfolding of that great
scheme of redemption through Christ, we know that all the things
God purposed for His children work together for our good. We know
that the eternal purpose of God included the church which
manifested the multi-faceted wisdom of God. We need to appreciate
the purpose of God as demonstrated in giving the church.
705 Hillview Dr.
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
Table of Contents
Respect The Bible In Answering Questions
Franklin Camp, Deceased
A preacher that I know received a call one night about
1:00a.m. A lady said, Would you mind coming over to my house
to discuss the Bible? The preacher dressed and drove over, not
knowing just what to expect when he arrived. When he got there, he
found the womans pastor sitting in the living room.
The lady said, I have been listening to you on the
radio and your preaching has me disturbed. I invited my preacher
over and we have been discussing the Bible all night. He has agreed
for me to invite you over. Here is what I want to do. I will ask
the questions and then each of you can answer.
The gospel preacher said, That is fine with me.
Here is the way it went.
Lady: What is baptism for?
The Methodist preacher: I think, I feel, talk, talk,
Lady: Are you through?
Methodist preacher: Yes.
Lady: All right, now it is your turn.
Gospel preacher: You have your Bible. Please turn and
read Acts 2:38. The lady reads. Then there is silence.
Lady: Is that all you have to say?
Gospel preacher: Is that not enough? Does that not
answer your question?
Lady to her preacher: That is just what I told you.
I asked you a question and you talked ten minutes without one verse
of scripture. I asked him and he made no comment. He just had me to
read what the Bible said.
The outcome of the study led to the lady being baptized.
The reason was that a Bible answer was given to a Bible question.
The moral of this is RESPECT THE BIBLE WHEN ANSWERING QUESTIONS.
A doctor that gave answers to medical questions out of a
math book would not be considered much of a doctor and most
patients would be looking for another doctor. What kind of a
preacher is it that gives answers to spiritual questions out of the
newspapers or his own wisdom? The type of answers that is being
given today indicates too many preachers are looking in the wrong
books and coming up with the wrong answers.
[Old Truths in New Robes,
Vol. II, pp. 133,134]
Table of Contents
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through the entries of the February STOP, I read with great sadness
another example of what is happening to our Lords church in so
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[EDITORS NOTE: Thanks for your words of encouragement. It
is amazing how so many do not love the truth. It is even so much
more sad when they think they love the truth, when in fact, they do
not they serve themselves by their own doctrines and opinions.
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