Excerpts from the Greatest Sermon
THE MISSION OF JESUS AND
THE LAW OF MOSES
Matthew 5:17-19, Think not that I am come
to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but
to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all
be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least
commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least
in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them],
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The question that every person needs to have
truthfully answered is where does authority in true religion
reside? It most certainly does not reside in men. It resides
in God. This means one must not put their trust in the creeds and
doctrines of men or in humanly established institutions. Men are
incapable of infallibility, whereas God is infallible.
The Lord established but one kingdom over which
He reigns supreme as Lord of lords and King of kings (I Tim. 6:15).
The kingdom and the church are one and the same institution and
there is but one head (authority) of the Lords church (Eph.
As a Gospel preacher, I do not claim to have any
authority, nor should any other human or institution claim to have
any authority in matters of religious faith or practice. Those who
put their trust in men or in humanly established institutions are
deceived. It is only the truth that can set one free from their
sins (John 8:31-32). That truth today resides in Jesus Christ as it
is revealed to us in His last Will and Testament (II Tim. 3:16-17;
Hear the words of Jesus. All power
(authority) has been given to me in heaven and in
earth (Matt. 28:18). Jesus saith unto him, I
am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father
but by me (John 14:6). As a Christian, I believe the
words of Jesus Christ.
The book of Matthew was written primarily to Jews
who had the Old Testament. The Jews had a misconception of the
nature of the promised kingdom. They looked for and expected a
materialistic worldly kingdom. The book of Matthew was written to
help the Jews see the true nature of the kingdom and to correct
their misconception of it. We too should be able to understand the
true nature of the kingdom as revealed in the New Testament. At the
time the book of Matthew was written, the kingdom was a future
promise, but today it is a promise fulfilled (Col. 1:13).
Jesus taught the Jews that He came not to destroy
the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. Our Lord did this after he had
prepared the way for the establishment of the spiritual kingdom,
the church, and paid for it in full when He shed His blood on
Colossians 2:14 says, Blotting out the
handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary
to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
The handwriting of ordinances was the Law of Moses. It ended
at the cross. Today, there is but one law, one Savior, for all of
mankind. No man comes to the Father but by Christ (John 14:6).
Under the days of the Old Testament, there was
one law for the Gentiles and one law for the Jews. The Patriarchal
Law was for the Gentiles and the Law of Moses was for the
Israelites (Jews). The two laws created a wall of separation
between Jews and Gentiles and resulted in enmity.
Read Ephesians 2:11-22. Paul teaches there is but
one law for both Jew and Gentile today.
When Jesus gave the great commission
to His ambassadors, the apostles, he instructed them to go into all
the world and preach THE gospel to every person (Matt. 28:19-20).
When Jesus issued the great invitation, hear His words.
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I
am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light (Matt.
You will notice that no one is excluded. There
is one Gospel as there is but one Savior who came and established
but one church. When any person comes to Christ according to His
instructions, they are forgiven of all past sins. When they obey
the Lords commands to believe, repent of their
sins, confess Him as Lord and Savior and are united with
Him by being baptized, He adds them to His church (Acts
2:41,47; Eph. 4:4). All the saved were added to the
church and not a church.
The false notion that there are many ways, many
religions, that one may believe and follow to reunion with the true
and living God, is just as false as it was when men and women
formed and fashioned their own gods and fell down and worshiped
them. There is no doubt but that the concept of many religions is
politically correct today, but it was also true in days gone by
when men and women fell down before their wood and stone images. It
was not true then, and it is not true now. However, Satan has done
a good job of confusing the multitudes who do not seek and find the
true and living God. They look in all the wrong places and not in
the word of God.
The reason that God sent His Only Begotten Son
to this world was to provide the way of redemption. Since
the scriptures teach that God is no respecter of persons (Rom.
2:11), the idea that He has numerous religions to suit the desires
of various groups is ridiculous.
True religion is not about God finding out what
mankind desires by way of reconciliation. It is man who has
deserted God and man must find forgiveness on Gods terms.
Because God is a God of grace and mercy, He offered His Son in our
place for our sins.
Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers (John
17:20-21). He did not pray for the impossible. But if God did in
fact provide many religions with many and various beliefs, then the
unity of all true believers would be an impossibility.
Later, the apostle Paul actually commanded the
unity of all believers as he was guided by the Holy Spirit.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no
divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in
the same mind and in the same judgment (I Cor. 1:10).
There is no question about Gods love for us.
The question is, do we love Him. Jesus taught if you love
me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). There is no
salvation for those who do not love God, therefore it is essential
that we seek to know and keep His commandments. There is but one
place where we will find his commandments. Jesus said,
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him
not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He
that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that
judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him
in the last day (John 12:47-48).
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Table of Contents
DENOMINATIONS ARE SINFUL #2
Garland M. Robinson
DENOMINATIONALISM IS SINFUL
BECAUSE OF ITS ORIGIN
The New Testament tells plainly about a departure
from the Faith, the Truth, the Gospel. Within the church at
Thessalonica, some were saying the Lords return would be soon.
However, by inspiration, Paul wrote to them to say it would not be
soon. There would be a departure from the Faith (the church, the
truth) that would come first. Now we beseech you, brethren, by
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together
unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that
the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away
first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition
(II Thess. 2:1-3). Paul revealed the same thing to Timothy.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in
hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which
God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which
believe and know the truth (I Tim. 4:1-3).
The departure from the true and tested Gospel
(presented by the apostles and other inspired men) had already
begun by the time the second letter had been written to
Thessalonica (2:7). It continued gradually until the church had
gone into a full-blown apostasy. By 606 A.D., the system of
Catholicism prevailed with a pope as its head. They continued to
stifle the truth and dominate Christianity for centuries.
When the religious world was coming out of the
Dark Ages, men began to protest against the apostate
church. They sought to reform Catholicism. In so doing, they began
to create religious sects of every kind. Such competitive
denominational spirit has greatly hindered the preaching of the
Truth and the salvation of the lost.
In the early sixteenth century, Martin Luther,
a Catholic priest, became vocal in protesting some of the
corruptions he observed in the Catholic Church. In 1517, he posted
a list of 95 problems he saw in Catholicism on a church-house door
in Wittenberg, Germany. Against his own advice, his followers began
the Lutheran Church in 1521 and thus began what the world now calls
the Protestant Reformation. Since then, hundreds and
hundreds of denominations have begun as an offshoot of the false
system of Catholicism. Each and every one of them are of men, not
God. Jesus prayed for unity. Men pray for division.
The last book of the New Testament was written
before the close of the first century. The revelation of Gods
will was complete, yet there is not a single denominational church
mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
Any church which began at some place other than
Jerusalem, or was built by some person other than
Christ or at some time other than 33 A.D., cannot
be the church of Christ. Denominational churches cannot trace their
origin back to the right place, the right person or the right time.
A sample listing of some denominations are given
in the chart. Some of the dates are approximate. The main thing to
note is that they wear the wrong name, were started at the
wrong time, by the wrong founder, and at the
|Church of England
||King Henry VIII
||John & Charles Wesley
|7th Day Adventist
||William Miller & Ellen G.
||Charles Taze Russel
||Mary Baker Eddy
|Church of God
||D. S. Warner
||P. F. Bresee
|Assembly of God
|World Wide Church of God
||Herbert W. Armstrong
|Disciples of Christ
||(from Christian Church)
Christ only promised to build ONE church (Matt.
16:18). He purchased His ONE church by his own blood (Acts 20:28;
Eph. 5:25). The Bible teaches there is only ONE body and that ONE
body is the church (Eph. 4:4; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18).
Jesus said there would be ONE fold, which is His church (John
The oldest church in the world is the church
of Christ of which we are members. It was founded by
Christ in Jerusalem in 33 A.D. The church of
Christ today is governed by the same law and practices the same
doctrine as the church of Christ in the first century.
The Lord announced, ...Every plant,
which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up
(Matt. 15:13). Except the Lord build the house,
they labour in vain that build it (Psa. 127:1). Why be
a member of a religious body that did not originate with the Lord
and cannot be found in the New Testament?
In the time of the apostles, Christians did not
belong to different denominations. There was only THE CHURCH. They
were not members of this denomination or that
denomination. NONE EXISTED! When one obeyed the Gospel they were
added by God to the church of Christ the only one that
existed. They did not join the church of their choice.
If denominations exist with Gods approval,
can you imagine the apostles being members of them? Can we accept
Peter being a Methodist, James a Baptist, John a Presbyterian,
Andrew a Jehovahs Witness, Philip a Mennonite, Thomas a
Catholic, Bartholomew a Mormon, Matthew a Seventh Day Adventist,
James the son of Alphaeus a Pentecostal, Simon Zelotes an
Episcopal, Judas the brother of James a Nazarene, Matthias a
Lutheran or Paul a member of the Community Church?
The apostles, nor any other Christian in the New
Testament, were not members of denominational churches. They were
simply Christians &151 nothing more and nothing less. They were not
sectarian. They were not a certain kind of Christian.
Denominations were unheard of. Such division was condemned from
start to finish.
If denominations existed in the first century,
then why dont we read of them in the New Testament? Or, why
dont we read of them in the non-inspired documents of those
early years of church history? The reason is simple. None existed!
The church of Christ of which we are members
began in Jerusalem, in 33 A.D., Jesus the Christ being its founder.
Friend, where did the church of which
you are a member begin? When did it begin? Who
was its founder? Unless it has the same marks of identity as
the New Testament church, it is not the church of Christ.
When Jesus comes again, he will save His
body (church) and no other (Eph. 5:23). Only those who are
faithful members of it will be saved (cf. Matt. 10:22; Rev. 2:10).
All others will be treated as thieves and robbers (cf.
John 10:1) who of course, will not go to heaven.
Part 2 of 4
Table of Contents
A FAITHFUL MINISTER
In Ephesians 6:21, Paul refers to Tychicus as a
beloved brother and faithful minister in the
Lord. He then said of him that he shall make known unto
you all things. What do we learn when we look to Gods
Word concerning faithful ministers?
First, faithful ministers see the need to
study and prepare themselves to preach. In 2 Timothy 2:15,
Paul told Timothy to study. To study means much more than
just read. It means to read in great detail with the intention of
learning. When we read over and over to the point of retention, we
can know we have put proper time into study and preparation. Peter
likewise said to be ready to give an answer (I Peter
Second, faithful ministers will preach the
word (II Tim. 4:2). To preach the word means just that &151
proclaim faithfully the inspired Word of God. When God says to do
it, that leaves out anything else! No minister (or any other
Christian) can add to the Word of God or take away from the Word of
God (Rev. 22:18-19). To preach anything other than the Word is to
be guilty of preaching a perverted Gospel (Gal. 1:8-9).
Third, faithful ministers will make no
apology for preaching the Word (Truth). After Jesus taught
that he is the bread of life, John 6:66 tells us that
many of his disciples went back and walked no more with
him. But under no circumstance did Jesus go after them and
apologize for things he taught; and, neither can we! Matthew 15:12
tells us that some Pharisees were offended by the Lords
teaching. But, instead of apologizing, Jesus said, Every
plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted
up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the
blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch
(15:13-14). We must work so our attitude, conduct and manner will
not offend, but when truth offends, then so be it.
Fourth, faithful ministers will stand alone
if need be. Remember this is how it was with Elijah. In 1
Kings 18:21-22 we read, And Elijah came unto all the people
and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God
follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered
him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only,
remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baals prophets are four
hundred and fifty men. The American Standard version records
Elijahs question this way, How long go ye limping between
the two sides? Elijah stood alone against so many. When people
around us abandon the word of God, we may very well find ourselves
standing alone. So be it.
Fifth, faithful ministers will defend the
faith and the church of Christ. Jude verse three says,
earnestly contend for the faith. In Philippians 1:17 Paul
says, I am set for the defense of the gospel. He was
always ready to do so and when the occasion presented itself, he
did it. Its not easy in the face of opposition, but a faithful
minister will stand having the sword of the Spirit, in his mouth
and in his pen.
Sixth, faithful ministers will preach so
everyone can understand. In 2 Corinthians 3:12, Paul said,
we use great plainness of speech. Matthew tells us
concerning Jesus that the common people heard him gladly
(12:37). No preacher needs to use big long fancy sounding words.
Those who do so are doing it just for show! If you have to use a
dictionary to look up definitions to words the preacher uses, he is
not preaching so you can understand. Faithful ministers will preach
so that no one is left wondering what he said or what he meant.
Seventh, faithful ministers will live a pure
life. Paul writes to Timothy saying, be thou an example
of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit,
in faith, in purity (I Tim. 4:12). He was to keep himself pure
(I Tim. 5:22). Paul tells the brethren at Ephesus to let no corrupt
communication proceed out of their mouth (Eph. 4:29). Jesus left us
such an example and we must follow his steps (I Peter 2:21-22). Far
too many have been unfaithful and have not lived a pure, upright
Eighth, faithful ministers cannot force the
truth upon anyone. He will reprove, rebuke, exhort (II Tim.
4:2). He will persuade, plead, warn. But when truth is rejected and
denied instead of being accepted and acknowledged, it is out of his
hands. Felix told Paul, go thy way (Acts 24:24-25) and
Agrippa said almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian
(Acts 26:28). Paul made it clear that he was pure from the
blood of all men (Acts 20:26). A faithful minister will
proclaim the truth, its then up to people to heed and obey.
Ninth, faithful ministers will not seek to
be the most popular preacher in the brotherhood. Too many, I
fear, have the move up the ladder of success mentality.
Goals of men like this is to preach for larger congregations until
they can preach for the largest congregation in the brotherhood.
Bigger is not always better. Such an attitude comes from greed and
lust. In Philippians 2:2 Paul said, For all seek their own,
not the things which are Jesus Christs. It is enough to
be faithful to God, His service, and to spend and be
spent. A preacher must constantly ask himself, Where can
I best serve the Lord? Where can I be of most use and profit for
His names honor and glory? In 1 Corinthians 10:33 Paul
said, Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine
own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Tenth, faithful ministers will not try to
plan every activity of the congregation. He is not the center
of attention. He does not have his finger on every thing. He is not
an entertainment director, youth minister, and party planner. He is
simply willing to work in any capacity that is useful in the
Eleventh, faithful ministers do not flaunt
their education. He does not remind you that he has an
education. He should conduct himself in such a manner that you
would be surprised to find out he has a degree(s). And if he does,
do not address him as Dr. so and so. He is a brother in the Lord.
There are no doctors in the Lords service (Matt. 23:8-12).
Peter and John were without academic degrees, but they had
something far more important. Even though they were perceived as
ignorant and unlearned men, their message was powerful
and heart piercing. It made the difference between souls being
saved or lost. Acts 4:13 says, they had been with Jesus.
They did not attend the schools of the Rabbis, but they did sit at
the feet of the Master Teacher and were taught to preach the old
Jerusalem Gospel! May we always do the same.
Obey the Gospel today. Repent and be baptized if
you are not a member of the church of Christ. If you are a wayward
member, repent and be restored (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts
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Table of Contents
GOD WANTS HIS PREACHERS
TO REBUKE PEOPLE
Roger D. Campbell
Titus was a man in whom the apostle Paul had great
confidence. Paul left him on the island of Crete to set in order
things that were not yet finished there (Titus 1:4,5). Part of
Titus work as a gospel preacher was to rebuke those who needed
it. Two pointed instructions to Titus from the Holy Spirit made
this plain. First, Titus was directly charged, Wherefore
rebuke them sharply... (Titus 1:13). Second, Titus was
commanded, These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke
with all authority (Titus 2:15).
These verses make it clear that the Lord wanted
Titus to rebuke people. Titus could not please Him unless he did
so. The same is true for Gods preachers in our generation. The
message of the first two chapters of the Book of Titus helps us
understand a number of matters connected to rebuking others. Let us
What It Means to Rebuke. Again,
the Holy Spirits message to Titus was, Wherefore
rebuke them sharply... (Titus 1:13). In this passage,
the word rebuke is from the Greek word elengcho
which means to convict, refute, confute, generally with
a suggestion of the shame of the person convicted ... to find fault
with, correct; a. by word; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish,
reprove ... b. by deed; to chasten, punish [Thayers
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, pp. 202,203].
Does not the charge to rebuke people contradict
the instruction to love them? Not at all. In fact, Jesus said,
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (Rev.
Whom Titus Was to Rebuke. Was
Titus supposed to just open up and fire away
indiscriminately at every single person? The Bible says that he was
to rebuke them (Titus 1:13). Whom might that be? In the
context, it refers to those that were liars, evil beasts, lazy
gluttons (1:12, NKJV). He was to rebuke those that violated
the will of God.
The Standard upon Which Titus Was to
Rebuke. Rebuke is for those that are acting in violation
of the faith, which is the gospel (Titus 1:13). The
command to Titus was for him to speak, exhort, and rebuke
these things (Titus 2:14). These things refers
to the matters that pertain to sound doctrine (Titus
2:1). When human traditions are not followed, or personal
preferences are not carried out, neither of these calls for a
rebuke. That which justifies a rebuke is a violation of Gods
standard, which is His word.
The Manner in Which Titus Was to Rebuke.
The Bible says that he was to rebuke wrongdoers
sharply (Titus 1:13) and with all authority
(Titus 2:14). Since that is what God Himself prescribed, then
rebuking in such a manner, when a situation merits such, is the
right thing to do.
The Motive/Purpose Titus Was to Have for
Rebuking. What was God hoping to accomplish by
instructing His preacher to rebuke people? Wherefore rebuke
them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith
(Titus 1:13; emphasis mine, rdc). God wanted the rebuked ones to
see their error, turn from it, and be sound or healthy in the
faith. If that was Gods desire, then that should have been
Titus motive or purpose in rebuking as well. The rebuking that
Titus was to do was not to rub peoples faces in
their mistakes, nor was it to show that Titus was somehow superior.
Preachers ought to rebuke wrongdoers, but not just to show that
they can do it, and not just to show that they are not afraid to do
it. Rather, preachers ought to rebuke people with those
peoples souls and well-being in mind: that they may be
sound in the faith.
The Conduct That Titus Was to Have As He
Rebuked. It was essential that Titus conduct himself
properly, not causing others to despise him (Titus 2:15). At all
times he was to show in himself a pattern of good works: in
doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity (Titus
2:7). Titus rebuke of others who did wrong would have no
effect if he himself were living as a hypocrite, failing to live up
to the standard by which he pointed out the mistakes of others.
What Else Was Titus Supposed to Do in
Addition to Rebuking? There was more to Titus role
as a preacher than just rebuking people. He had the task of setting
in order unfinished business of the church (Titus 1:5). He was also
instructed to teach and exhort (Titus 2:15).
Gods faithful prophets of the Old Testament
era rebuked willful sinners. Gods Son did the same, as did His
apostles and other preachers of the first century. Does the brother
who preaches where you attend ever rebuke anyone? If not, his soul
is in jeopardy. Why? Because he is failing to do what the Lord
requires of him. If he does rebuke sinners, and he does it
scripturally, do you support him in it? If he does rebuke people
properly, do your elders support him in it? If so, then count
yourself as blessed.
Yes, the Lord wants His preachers to rebuke those
who need it. In fact, He wants all Christians to rebuke people:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them (Eph. 5:11).
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Table of Contents
WHY IS THE PLAN OF SALVATION SPREAD
THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT?
In the Bible, God has revealed how he will save man
from the condemnation of sin. There are certain things man must do
to be forgiven. Each action is a step in Gods plan
to bring salvation to man (Rom. 4:12). It is eminently scriptural
to call the sum of these steps the plan of salvation
since the Lord planned it before the world was even formed (Eph.
1:4,5; cf. I Peter 1:18-20). The discerning student of the
scriptures soon discovers that all the steps in the plan are not
found in one place. Some have wondered why this is so.
Clearly, God desires everyone to be saved.
Various scriptures such as 1 Timothy 2:3,4 and 2 Peter 3:9 attest
to this fact. Since he does not want any to perish, why is the plan
of salvation scattered throughout the New Testament? God would not
reveal his desire to have everyone saved yet purposely make it hard
to determine how to do so. Why not have the plan easily found in
one passage? God in his wisdom had a reason or reasons why he
revealed the plan of salvation as he did.
Man must obey the Gospel to be saved (Rom. 1:16;
10:16; II Thess. 1:6-9). This means first learning what is
required. What is necessary to obey the Gospel? First, one must
hear the message of salvation (Luke 8:12; Rom.
10:17; Eph. 1:13). Second, the lost soul must believe
the gospel (Mark 16:15,16; Rom. 10:9,10). Third, the person
must repent of his sins (Luke 13:3,5; Acts
2:38). Fourth, one must confess his belief that Jesus
is the Son of God (Matt. 10:32,33; Rom. 10:10). Fifth, for
sins to be washed away and the soul saved, one must be baptized
(Acts 22:16; I Peter 3:21).
No doubt some would prefer that all these
commands were contained in one convenient passage. However, that is
not the way God did it and our desires will not change the
situation. We must accept that God knows what is best. Since the
various commands are not found in one central place, man must
search the scriptures to ascertain the truth (John 5:39). Though he
did not explain why it is so, we may be sure his wisdom is
justified (Luke 7:35). We are told Gods word brings about his
desired results: So shall my word be that goeth forth out
of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall
accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing
whereto I sent it (Isa. 55:11). So, why should a person
have to struggle and search to learn the saving truth? We cannot be
dogmatic since God does not specify his reason(s). Nevertheless,
here are some possible reasons why the plan of salvation is not
found in one place:
1) It may be Gods design to keep those not
spiritually minded and disinterested out of the kingdom (Matt.
13:10-17). When Judgment Day comes, there will be a separation
between the saints and sinners. However, the unfaithful will also
be taken out of the midst of the saved in that day (Matt.
13:41,42,47-50). If a person isnt even interested enough in
searching for the way to be saved, it is doubtful they would make
good servants. If one passage contained the entire plan of
salvation, people with a check list mentality could soothe their
consciences by saying, Ive done all thats
needed and then go back to their own affairs much like the one
talent man did (Matt. 25:14-30).
2) It may be Gods purpose to show the need
to study all of the Bible. The sum of thy word is truth;
And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever
(Psa. 119:160; ASV). By keeping the plan of salvation
dispersed, perhaps it reinforces the need to study everything in
Gods word. God wants us to grow and prepare for eternity (II
Peter 3:18). This requires a hungering and thirsting soul that will
be satisfied only by every word that proceeds from Gods mouth
(Matt. 5:6; cf. 4:4).
3) The Bible is not a textbook on salvation. As
such, we should not expect a table or chart listing the five steps
in the plan of salvation. The literary style of Gods word does
not lend itself to a convenient listing of the plan. Much of the
Bible is written in the historical narrative style. For example,
the four accounts of the Gospel deal with people, places and
events. This is not the place to artificially list the plan of
salvation. Even the book of Acts, which is often called the book of
conversions, would not be the proper place to find a convenient
listing of all five steps. Different circumstances resulted in
different responses to the question, What must I do to be
4) God chose to reveal things little by little
as man was able to accept it. This can be seen as one studies the
Old Testament and how it anticipates the coming Messiah. Jesus
often taught in parables and Mark recorded this was done as
they were able to hear it (Mark 4:33). Paul also found his
audience was not always able to handle the deep things: I have
fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able
to bear it, neither yet now are ye able (I Cor. 3:2). See also
5) Searching for truth rewards the diligent
seeker when he finds the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:44-46).
Finding the truth becomes more important when one invests his time
and effort. As such, he is more likely to value what was found
(Matt. 6:19-21). God values the disposition that will fight to
defend the truth (Jude 3).
6) Repetition helps ensure one will learn the
truth. If the plan of salvation were limited to one centralized
passage, would there be the oft needed repetition (I Cor. 4:17; II
Peter 1:12; Jude 5)? God thought it necessary to preserve four
accounts of the gospel. Why? Some people might be more receptive
when the story is presented in different ways. So it is with study
of the scriptures. Perhaps a person will get the point in one book
but miss it in another.
Is it difficult to find the plan of salvation?
Not for one who is looking. Jesus promised that one who seeks will
find (Matt. 7:7,8). What does it take to learn? Some time, a desire
to learn, an open mind, an open Bible and some effort.
24735 Huron River Dr.
Rockwood, MI 48173
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ARE WE LIKE THE JEWS?
John D. Cotham
A charge being made against many of Gods
faithful people today is that we are Pharisees, meaning
we are like the hypocritical and tradition-bound Jewish leaders of
Christs day. Are we like those Jews? I categorically deny that
adhering to the tenants of the law of Christ, and standing against
false doctrine, is Phariseeism.
On the other hand, are we in some ways like the
Jewish leaders of Christs day? In some ways we probably are.
If some of us are guilty, then we need to recognize the problem and
fix it so the charges are no longer true.
Many Jews in Christs day were arrogant about
their salvation. Most thought they were saved simply because they
were sons of Abraham. When Jesus tried to teach them
about their bondage to sin (John 8:32-39), they misunderstood and
remarked, ...We be Abrahams seed, and were never in
bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free
How might we be like these arrogant Jews? Many
of the Jews thought they were saved by bloodline. Do we think we
are saved for similar reasons? Some third-generation Christians
seem to think they are saved because their parents and grandparents
were saved. They have missed the fact that no one is saved by the
goodness of his/her parents or grandparents. Notice Gods
instructions in Ezekiel 18:20, The soul that sinneth, it
shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the
righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. No one is
saved because their parents were devout, hard working Christians.
The Jews had developed a very arrogant attitude
toward the Gentiles, believing they were better because they were
children of God. This caused Paul to say in Romans 3:9,
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we
have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under
sin; Some Christians today wear their salvation like a
badge as if it makes them better than everyone else. This
kind of Christian looks down on those of the world. They constantly
judge and ridicule the neighbor for his ungodly acts, but they have
never gone to that neighbor to see if he would be receptive to
Bible study. This kind of attitude is foreign to scripture. In
fact, Paul says we are to have the very opposite attitude about
ourselves and others, Let nothing be done through strife
or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better
than themselves (Phil. 2:3). Jesus said,
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to
you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
prophets (Matt. 7:12). A Christian should remember that
the only difference between himself and his lost neighbor is that
he as a Christian has taken advantage of the saving power of the
blood of Jesus and is striving to overcome his sins.
The Jew seemed to have the idea that salvation
was only for them. Some Christians today wear their salvation like
a chip on their shoulder implying, Ive got it,
and you cant have it. They forget that salvation is for
ALL men, But we see 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).
When we become a child of God, we accept the
responsibility to teach others, And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Amen (Matt. 28:18-20).
God forbid that we should really be like the
Pharisees in Jesus day. If we are, then pray to God to help us
repent so that the charges are no longer valid. We need to change
so that no one can use us to propagate false doctrine.
23466 Highway 49
Saucier, MS 39574
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After reading Feb/09, my heart rejoices with the news brother
Robinson is going to expand into a broader teaching field. Yes, I
am interested in seeing the word of God go forth in this world. I
will pray for this work to grow and I will help support it
financially, if the Lord wills. This work must go on. Enclosed is
a check for the work brother Garland has started. We have started
a church in DeBary, Florida. All of us are sound faithful
Christians. Please, if you have any sound reading material you can
send our congregation of about twelve, we would appreciate it so
much. Now that we have a full time preacher, we should start to
grow. Please pray for us. DeBary, Florida, has no place of worship
and also Orange City has no church there either, so you see we have
a lot of work to be done. The other close town is Deltona. It has
one church and it has gone out in left field with their teaching.
Really bad. Brother V.P. Black went there one time several years
ago to preach in a meeting. He said he had preached for many years
and at lots of congregations, but that was the worse one he had
preached at. Thank you for all you do. I am almost 80 years old and
I sure want to see this church grow and good sound Gospel men here
to be our preacher and leaders. Maybe if you could mention our
little church in STOP it would help. Please keep us in your
prayers. The church address is 10 Colomba Rd., PO Box 530325,
DeBary, FL 32753 (behind DeBary Fire Station) ...Bettye
Zumbrun, Deltona, FL. Could you please put our names back
on the mailing list to receive STOP? We moved and want to get it
again. I sure do miss it. I love to hear Gods word and love
the articles. They are so uplifting. Thanks so much ...Jim
& Fawn Lockwood, Hillsdale, MI. I enjoy receiving your
bulletin and would like to continue to receive it. I need to give
you my change of address. Thank you ...Mrs. D. W. Simpson,
Hillsboro, TN. I continue to be blessed by STOP. It helps
me in my continued study of Gods word. I use it as a tool to
share the Gospel with others. Due to my diabetes, Ive
experienced vision problems. Its hard to read small print
Bible. Looking for someone to donate large print NIV or NASB Bible
and any other study material. Here at this prison, it is hard to
get truthful study material. God bless you. Keep me in your
prayers ...Keith Player 416707, Jim Hamilton Correctional
Center, 53468 Mineral Springs Rd., Box 334, Hodgen, OK 74939-3064.
[NOTE from the Editor: Dear brother Keith, We will do what we
can to get you a large print Bible. However, it will be a KJV. The
NIV (New International Version) and NASB (New American Standard
Version) are not reliable translations. Both are filled with error.
They may be easier to read and sound good (on the surface), but
theres so much error in them, they will lead you down the
wrong path if you follow what they say. An excellent review of the
NIV can be found on the internet at: www.seektheoldpaths.com/NIV.pdf].
Table of Contents
A PERSONAL NOTE
FROM THE EDITOR
Garland M. Robinson
February issue, I announced a new emphasis in my work of
Gospel. I appreciate so much the positive response Iíve
far. Thank you very much. With the help of faithful
brethren like you,
this new endeavor will become a reality. As announced in
is being done with the full cooperation and endorsement of
the elders of
the East End church of Christ. If you have not yet read the
issue, we encourage you do so. If you need a copy, weíll be
mail you one or you can read it online at
and preaching Godís Holy Word by use of the radio,
the printed page through Seek The Old Paths
study materials. Godís word will not return unto him void
55:11). It is our task to proclaim it from the house tops
and in every
corner of the earth (cf. Matt. 28:18-20). This is done
through the use
of our mouths and also through the use of our
and lasting good can be done in proclaiming Godís Word. His
judge us in the last day (John 12:48).
To do this work,
necessary for me to raise my personal financial support. I
your assistance to do this most important and needed ďlabor
love.Ē Any amount will help and will be greatly
you consider putting me in your budget for monthly
financial support? If
you cannot help monthly, one time contributions would also
be of great
support for me
is separate from the financial support for Seek The Old
itself. Be sure to indicate on your check whether your
for Garland or STOP (Seek The Old Paths). All
contributions are handled and overseen by the elders at
You may contact
me or the
elders at 102 Edison St., McMinnville, TN 37110 or by sending
We would like to
new endeavor as soon as possible. Please let us hear from
Table of Contents
Bound Volumes can be ordered from:
Old Paths Publishing
2007 Francis Ferry Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
$5 postage paid
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