Roger D. Campbell
Without any fanfare, the apostle Paul by inspiration wrote about
a brother named Epaphras (pronounced with the accent on the first
syllable) in both the Book of Colossians and the Book of Philemon.
Paul was a prisoner in Rome when he wrote both of these epistles.
Epaphras was his fellowprisoner at the time (Philemon 23). We learn
a number of truths about brother Epaphras in the only three Bible
passages in which he is mentioned (Col. 1:7; 4:12,13; Philemon 23).
Let us take a look at the Bibles record of his activities.
First, Epaphras was a teacher of the word. Colossians
1:5,6 states that the Gospel had come to Colosse, helping the
people there to know the grace of God in truth. How had
they learned the Gospel message? The next verse says, As ye
also learned of Epaphras. We know little about Epaphras
personal life, but we know that he taught the Gospel in Colosse. In
one way or another, all of us ought to be teachers of the
word (Heb. 5:12). Each of us needs to seek out opportunities to sow
the seed. Jesus said, the sower soweth the word (Mark
4:14). Let us all be more diligent in teaching the Gospel in the
time that we have remaining on the earth!
Second, Epaphras was Pauls dear
fellowservant (Col. 1:7). This expression has a ring of
close camaraderie to it. Paul and Epaphras served together in the
same Cause a Cause which is too big for any single person to
carry out by him/herself. What a thrill it is to know that we have
devoted fellowservants in the church on whom we can count! They are
indeed dear to us as Epaphras was to Paul.
Third, Epaphras was a faithful servant of the Christ.
He was not simply a servant: he was a faithful minister of
Christ (Col. 1:7). Colossians 4:12 simply says he was a
servant of Christ. Is that not what we are all striving to be,
a faithful servant of the Lord? We either faithfully serve Jesus or
we do not. We are either with Jesus or against Him (Matt. 12:30).
We are either obedient to Him or we are not. Know ye not, that
to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are
to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
righteousness (Rom. 6:16)? If we are in a situation where we
are told, Tell us a little bit about yourself, would it
not be appropriate to say, I am a servant of the Christ?
Epaphras could honestly make such a claim. Can we?
Fourth, Epaphras was a greeter of the brethren.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth
[greets, NKJV] you... (Col. 4:12). It may not sound like much,
but to make the effort to greet someone, whether in person, by
telephone, or by sending a written message, can really be a boost
to that person. It can make that person feel noticed, remembered,
and appreciated. Most of us have been in situations where the
thoughtful greetings of other saints were a source of encouragement
to us. If I have counted correctly, Strongs Exhaustive
Concordance lists verses from thirteen New Testament books in which
greetings were passed on between Christians, or else the
instruction was given for saints to greet one another. That sounds
like greeting our fellow saints is important, does it not?
Fifth, Epaphras prayed for the spiritual welfare of his
brethren. Epaphras...always labouring fervently for you in
prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of
God (Col. 4:12). It is so easy to get caught up in our own
little world and forget about the needs of our fellowservants. And,
it is also possible for us to think and pray only about their
physical needs. Epaphras prayed diligently. He prayed diligently
for other saints. And, he prayed for their spiritual well-being. It
would not take much effort for us to do the same. When brothers and
sisters in the Lord are truly in our hearts, then they will also be
on our lips when we come before our Father in prayer.
Sixth, Epaphras was a brother with notable zeal.
Speaking of him, Paul wrote, For I bear him record, that he
hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them
in Hierapolis (Col. 4:13). Do you and I have such a
reputation? Are we known for our zeal in the Lords work? The
Lord instructs us to be fervent in spirit (Rom. 12:11).
Yes, the Christ wants His people to be zealous of good
works (Titus 2:14). In modern language, we call it being on
fire for the Lord. Does that describe us?
As we noted earlier, Epaphras was Pauls
fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus (Philemon 23). More
than once Paul referred to himself as the Lords prisoner,
meaning that he was imprisoned because of his loyal service to the
Christ (Eph. 3:1; 4:1). We know that Epaphras also faithfully
served the Lord. It may well be the case that he, too, was
imprisoned because of his unwavering commitment to righteousness.
I have watched documentaries about the horrible environment that
exists in many modern prisons. I have visited and taught the Gospel
in prisons in three different nations, seeing first hand some of
the deplorable circumstances in which the inmates live. You and I
would not find it pleasant to live in such a place. I cannot
imagine what the prisons of Epaphras and Pauls day must
have been like. Beloved, if there someday comes a time when you and
I must do time because our steadfast devotion to our Lord
puts us in conflict with and in violation of civil law, then we
need to be mentally prepared to be a prisoner for our Lord.
Epaphras is not a well-known figure in history. But, he was
faithful to the Lord, and that is the one thing in any persons
life that really matters. May the clear Bible statements that we
read about the life of Epaphras be an encouragement to all of us
that want to go to heaven.
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Cleveland, TN 37323
Table of Contents
THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT
ARE BOTH ALIKE #2
Garland M. Robinson
GOD KNOWS THE HEART
We know others by their appearance: how they dress, comb their
hair, their size and physical features. We can know those things
they reveal unto us through communication: audio, video or in
writing. With a little time and experience, we can learn
anothers traits and characteristics. We can learn how one may
react in various situations. But, we cannot know ones heart
(unless they reveal it to us). We cannot know what someone is
thinking. We cannot know how one feels on the inside. Such
knowledge is kept secret by Gods design. What chaos would
result if we could read each others mind!
GOD KNOWS US
The Lord, on the other hand, knows the intents and thoughts
of the heart flawlessly. Such presents no difficulty for Him
whatsoever. He knows mans heart as easily as He knows Himself.
Job understood this quite well for he said, Doth not he see my
ways, and count all my steps (Job 31:4)? For his eyes
[are] upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. [There is]
no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may
hide themselves (Job 34:21-22). Hell [is] naked before
him, and destruction hath no covering (Job 26:6). I know
that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be
withholden from thee (Job 42:2).
Solomon acknowledged that mans ways are known unto God
and that He knows mans heart as He does all the children of
men (1 Kings 8:39). The Psalmist said, ...Thou understandest
my thought afar off ... art acquainted with all my ways (Psa.
139:2-3). The Lord is able to search our heart (Jer. 17:10).
We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, ...the eyes of the
LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself
strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward
him.... The Psalmist wrote, ...God...knoweth the
secrets of the heart (Psa. 44:21). Proverbs 15:11 informs
us that Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much
more then the hearts of the children of men.
King David addresses Israel and informs them that his son
Solomon would reign as king over the land. He advises Solomon
saying: And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy
father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind:
for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the
imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be
found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for
ever (1 Chron. 28:9).
For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and
sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is]
a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is
there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all
things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we
have to do (Heb. 4:12-13).
The Lord knows every event of our lives þ whether past, present
or future. He knows us to the very marrow of our bones. He knows
the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Lord knew Abraham and how he would
...command his children and his household after him, and they
shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment...
(Gen. 18:19). He knew him when he gave him the charge to offer
Isaac as a sacrifice upon one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen. 22).
The Lord knew Moses when he was but a babe. In His
providence He saw to it that he was saved from death. Moses became
the great leader and law-giver of Gods chosen people. His life
and influence affected multiplied generations that followed. His
name is still revered unto this day.
The Lord knew young David and chose him to be king
over Israel. Jesses sons were brought before Samuel one by one
and Samuel thought each time, this surely is the Lords
anointed. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his
countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have
refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh
on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the
heart (1 Sam. 16:7). The Lord knew David, what he was made
of, what his judgments would be and that he would exhibit the
character of being one after Gods own heart (1 Sam. 13:14;
The Lord knew Jeremiah even before he was born. The
Lord said, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and
before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and]
I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jer. 1:5). We
cherish Jeremiah as the weeping prophet because of his great love
for Israel. Man cannot know these things!
The Lord knew the life of the woman at Jacobs
well and spoke of her five husbands and yet told her that the
man she was with now was not her husband. The woman left her
waterpot, went into the city and told the men, Come, see a
man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the
Christ (John 4:28-29).
Jesus knew Nathanael before Philip brought him to see
the Christ. Nathanael was amazed that Jesus spoke of him as if He
knew him and asked the Lord, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus
answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when
thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and
saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King
of Israel (John 1:47-49).
There is not even a sparrow that falls to the ground that
escapes the notice of our Lord. He even knows the number of hairs
on our head (Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 12:6-7; cf. Psa. 50:11). The Lord
said, Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither
do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father
feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they (Mt. 6:26)?
Such power and knowledge is too wonderful for us to fathom.
Seeing all these things, shall not the Lord know us as well?
Yes He does! We cannot escape His notice. Nothing about us is
hidden from Him.
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PRESENT-DAY REVELATION FROM GOD
Basically, all modern-day religious beliefs and practices are
based upon claims for present-day revelations from God.
The Catholic Church Catholics believe the Pope
is the voice of God. His word supersedes the Bible. If
what he says is in conflict with scripture, Catholics would choose
to follow the Pope. If they followed the Bible, they would not be
Catholics (1 Tim. 4:1-5).
Modern Protestant Denominationalism All
mainline Protestant groups believe in a direct operation
of the Holy Spirit. Just listen to their preachers carefully. They
all have the Holy Spirit working apart from the scriptures upon the
minds and hearts of people. A rejection of the final authority, via
the so-called inner leadings of the Holy spirit, has
produced modern denominationalism.
The Jehovahs Witnesses This cult believes
that their Watch Tower Society is the medium through
which God leads people today.
The Mormons They claim to believe the Bible.
However, they also believe the writings of Joseph Smith are
authoritative. They maintain present-day apostles are
necessary. Extra-biblical revelation is the foundation of this
Pentecostalism For decades Pentecostal
preachers have claimed the Holy Spirit is guiding them directly.
These groups advocate continually that spiritual gifts and
miraculous powers are yet available today.
The Bible The New Testament affirms that it is
the final and complete revelation from God. The following three
passages strike down the claims of the above false religions:
Jude 3, Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write
unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write
unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
The faith (the Gospel) is a once and for all
delivered unit of truth.
John 16:13, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is
come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not
speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he
speak: and he will shew you things to come. Jesus promised
His apostles that all truth would be revealed to them. If
this promise is true, no truth was given after the first century
Galatians 1:6-9, I marvel that ye are so soon
removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto
another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that
trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though
we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As
we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be
accursed. Anything this side or outside of the first
century New Testament Gospel brings a double curse from God.
The New Testament is the final revelation from God and bears
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CHANGING GODS WORD AND CASTING
ASIDE CHRISTS CHURCH
Marvin L. Weir
Man is such a capable creature! The reason man is so capable is
because God is his Creator (Gen. 1:26-27). How wonderful it would
be if people were as anxious to believe in the true and
living God as they were to achieve worldly success! An
intelligent and capable human being should quickly discern between
this sin-blighted world and the things that are
above (Col. 3:2).
The Herculean efforts that many gladly put forth to gain
that which has no guarantee and cannot be carried into eternity
boggles the mind. Why does man exhaust every opportunity to
disbelieve the Word of God? Why forego reason to reject what God
says is true and right?
The Bible says, the word of the cross is to them
that perish foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18). What about people
who are so wise and capable of dispute? Gods Word asks,
hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world
(1 Cor. 1:20)? Yes, but most folks want to think they are smarter
than God. For this very reason God warns, For ye see your
calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not
many mighty, not many noble, [are called] (1 Cor. 1:26).
A great number of our own brethren today have become so
mighty and noble (at least in their own eyes)
that they no longer need nor desire a thus saith the Lord
for what they do in religious matters. They have their degrees in
Biblical matters from Christian(?) Universities and their diplomas
on the wall make it official. These brethren have been enlightened
and now understand what they never could understand from studying
Gods Word. In their mind, they now understand that cultures
change through the years and such necessitates that Gods Word
be changed and adapted to compliment the culture in which they
live. Brethren, such reasoning does not come from having the mind
of God! One does not need a degree from a university or preaching
school that no longer believes in the authority of Gods Word
to understand that Gods Word does not change to accommodate
the cultural needs of human beings. Malachi 3:6 will forever
affirm, For I [am] the LORD, I change not. The
Psalmist writes, For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in
heaven (Psa. 119:89). Paul warns the brethren not to be
conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2) and instructs
Timothy to continue...in the things which thou hast learned
and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned
[them] (2 Tim. 3:14).
Paul, an apostle teaching under the direction of the Holy
Spirit, was the one from whom Timothy learned. And, from a babe,
Timothys mother and grandmother had emphasized the sacred
writings (2 Tim. 3:15). Folks need to quit listening to modern day
Jehoiakims who dispense with Gods Word every time they desire
change to occur (cf. Jer. 36:23). Philosophers and humanists
declare that man is quite capable of directing his steps. The Bible
says not so (Jer. 10:23)!
Some now have reached the point where they understand that
the name church of Christ is detrimental to saving souls.
They are removing the name church of Christ so such a
name will not be an obstacle to those desiring to obey the Gospel.
Think about it! We are not the church of Christ but we want
to reach you with the Gospel of Christ! If these apostate brethren
were truthful they would say, We are not the church of Christ
and we do not want to reach you with the Gospel of Christ. What we
offer you is a manmade church and a perversion of the Gospel
Did not Christ promise to build His church (Matt. 16:18)?
Yes! Do the Scriptures declare that God gave Christ to be
head over all things to the church, which is his body
(Eph. 1:22-23)? Yes! Speaking of different congregations of the
Lords people, does the apostle Paul say, the churches
of Christ salute you (Rom. 16:16)? Yes! Folks, one can
boast from now until his life on this earth is over about knowing
and loving God, but to do so and reject Gods Word makes such
a one a liar. The Scriptures say, And hereby we do know
that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is
the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He
that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as
he walked (1 John 2:3-6).
Do you want to be a member of those churches who take pride
in saying, We are not the church of Christ?
1272 Bonham St.
Paris, TX 75460
[EDITORS NOTE: The number of congregations is growing
who are ashamed of the Christ and His all-inspired Gospel. They
refuse to be known as the church of Christ (cf. Rom. 16:16) and
instead call themselves by all kinds of names: Community
Church, Tri-county Church, Quad-county
Church, Christs Family, on and one
anything but a scriptural designation. May they either repent and
return to their first love or cease to be. At present, they stand
to avert precious souls from learning the truth, obeying the Gospel
and being saved. They are a hindrance to the cause and unity of
Christ (cf. John 17:20-21). Paul made clear that he was not ashamed
of the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). What about you? Are you
Table of Contents
HOW SHOULD WE WORSHIP GOD?
The opportunity to worship God is one of the greatest privileges
afforded to man. The apostle John wrote, Thou art worthy O
Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created
all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created
(Rev. 4:11). God is the supreme Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1),
and because of that fact He deserves the worship of His creation.
King David declared, I was glad when they said unto me, Let
us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122:1). One should
possess the same attitude as David, an attitude of desiring to
worship God and looking forward to every opportunity.
As one prepares to worship God, there are some important
facts that must be considered.
First, one must realize that God is a Spirit. As
Jesus was speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar,
He proclaimed, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Since
God is a Spirit, the supreme Creator, then His wants and
expectations in worship are going to be different than mans.
There is a sad comment about the Israelites found in the book of
Judges, In those days there was no king in Israel: every
man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges
21:25). Many people today fall into the same category. They feel
like what they want should be pleasing to God. Man needs to look to
God for instructions for worship. Jeremiah tells us, O
Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in
man that walketh to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23). Also,
the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, For my thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9).
From these passages we come to the understanding that it is God who
dictates what is to be done in worship. His wants and expectations
are far different from mans (Prov. 14:12).
A second fact one must realize is that man must worship
God in spirit (John 4:24). To worship in spirit demands that
one worship with a proper attitude. Simply being in an auditorium
does not make ones worship worthy. When one fails to
sing or consider the words he is singing, then he is simply
going through the motions. If one pays no attention to the
prayer to Almighty God, then he has not prayed. If one fails
to discern the body and blood of Christ during the Lords
supper, he is eating and drinking damnation to his soul (1 Cor.
11:29). If one gives with an improper attitude, grudgingly,
or simply because he feels he has to (2 Cor. 9:7), then his
contribution is given in vain (1 Cor. 13:3). If one makes no
attempt to listen to the message from the Bible, then his
worship is not in spirit. How can one hope to grow spiritually if
he refuses to desire the sincere milk of Gods word (1 Peter
2:2). Yes, one must attend the worship assembling (Heb. 10:25), but
simply being in the building does not mean one is worshipping. He
must be mentally involved in the avenues of worship.
A third fact from Jesus statement of John 4:24 is that
worship must be in truth. To worship in truth means
according to Gods instructions. As Jesus prayed to the Father,
He requested, sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is
truth (John 17:17). Since Gods word is truth, to
worship in truth means to worship as God has specified in His word.
God determines how He is to be worshipped. When one examines the
New Testament, he will see there are only five acts involved in
worshipping God. These five were mentioned in the previous
paragraph: singing, praying, observing the Lords supper,
giving, and teaching. If one desires to worship God in
truth, he will only do these five and will do them in the way God
has commanded. For example, God said sing. He did not say play a
It is a tremendous privilege and opportunity to be able to
worship God. He has created all things (Rev. 4:11). He has extended
His grace to man, making salvation available. He is worthy of
worship. Man often has an inflated opinion of himself, but he is
just the creation. The Creator is far superior. Let us have the
attitude of King David as was expressed in Psalm 122:1, I
was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the
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G. K. Wallace, deceased
Words are signs of ideas. It is important then that we ask,
What is the idea conveyed by the words that are being
used? We constantly hear such expressions as accepting
Christ, total commitment, a full
surrender, and receiving Christ as your personal
Saviour. What do men mean by these terms?
I have been listening to denominational preachers for 40 or
50 years and I think I know what they are saying. There was a time
when sectarian preachers were constantly making fun of what Jesus
said in Mark 16:16 and what Peter said in Acts 2:38. They would
refer to my brethren as water ducks and
mossbacks. They would laugh at John 3:5 and say only
three things are born of water. They are mosquitoes, tadpoles and
Campbellites. Of course, Jesus did not say be born of water.
He said be born of water and the Spirit. I am neither a
mosquito, tadpole nor a Campbellite, and I was not born of water.
I was born of water and the Spirit.
In generations past and present, denominational preachers
have used special terms to deny that a person is to be born of
water and the Spirit and that baptism is for the remission of sins.
Their approach to this is by saying you must accept
Christ. By this they mean you are to skip baptism because they
say baptism is not part of the grace of God....
When they talk about preaching Christ, they mean
you are to disregard the words of Christ. When they talk
about a total commitment, they skip the commandments of
Jesus Christ and let your conscience be your guide. When
sectarian preachers talk about surrendering to Christ,
they mean avoid obedience to the Gospel of Christ. When
sectarian preachers talk about receiving a personal Saviour,
they mean, Christ comes into the life of the alien sinner
separate and apart from obeying the gospel of Christ.
When the evangelist Philip preached Christ, the eunuch asked
to be baptized (Acts 8:35-36). How can one preach Christ and not
tell a man to be baptized? How can one accept Christ and at the
same time refuse to be baptized? Accepting Christ has always meant
accepting what Christ taught. When Peter concluded his great sermon
on Pentecost, the record says, Then they that gladly
received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41). The people on
Pentecost received Christ by receiving His word. All who rejected
Peters words rejected Christ.
Only those who accepted the teaching of Christ while he was here
in person accepted Christ. Likewise, all who come to Christ today
must do so by the teaching and instruction by Him given. Christ
draws all men through teaching (John 6:44-45). When the apostles
went out to preach the great commission they were thereby preaching
Christ. This was the burden of all their discourses. The prophet
said, They shall all be taught of God (Isa.
54:13). Therefore all who have been properly taught through the
living oracles concerning Jesus of Nazareth and have obeyed those
words have come to Him.
Christianity has never changed. Its laws and ordinances are
still the same as they were in the first century. It is ridiculous,
absurd and sectarian to talk to people about coming to Christ, and
leave the impression that they can do so without doing what Jesus
taught. To deny that baptism is a part of the grace of God is to
deny the Bible. If baptism does not belong to the grace of God, it
belongs to the grace of the devil. If you have been baptized, your
baptism is either of the grace of God or the grace of the devil.
Suppose you are sick and nigh unto death. Your beloved
doctor calls to see you, diagnoses your case and tells you that he
is positive he can be of assistance and effect a cure. You rejoice
at hearing his words and then he picks up his pen and begins to
write. You turn to him and ask, What is that youre doing,
doctor? The physician replies, Im writing a
prescription suited to your case which you should carefully take
according to my instructions. Then suppose you say,
Doctor, I can have nothing to do with your pills and powders.
I believe in you! I want you personally, but your pills and powders
can have no place in my life and cannot be a part nor a means of
healing. My confidence is in you. The physician would likely reply,
He that rejects my remedy, rejects me, and he that has no
confidence in what I prescribe as a means of healing, has no
confidence in me (cf. John 12:48).
The book of Acts was written to illustrate the laws of the
kingdom of God and particularly those that relate to primary
obedience. Such examples as the conversion of Saul and of the
eunuch (Acts 22:16; 8:35-37) make the way of obedience so plain
that no one but the most prejudiced can fail to understand what to
do to be saved.
It should be our custom today to preach with the same vigor
and force that was characteristic of pioneer preachers of previous
generations. Human nature has not changed and it will ever remain
the same. The needs of man are the same and the answer to those
needs were revealed in the word of God 2,000 years ago.
As it did for the eunuch and Paul, the blood of Christ still
cleanses men today who believe in Christ (John 8:24),
repent of their sins (Luke 13:3), confess that faith
(Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:10), and are baptized into Christ for
the remission of sins (Mark 16:16: Acts 2:38).
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THEY THINK IT STRANGE
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the
flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath
suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer
should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of
men, but to the will of God. For the time past of [our] life may
suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked
in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings,
and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye
run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of
[you] (1 Peter 4:1-4).
Jesus suffered for us while He was in the flesh the
mental suffering of the rejection of his people and the Garden of
Gethsemane; as well as the physical and mental suffering of his
trials and crucifixion. He suffered as our Passover (Paschal) Lamb
that by his blood, God might passover us in judgment. He gave
everything for us: his position in heaven, and his life (Phil.
We are to follow his example suffering for others and
for Christ. Realizing what Jesus has done for us, we ought to cease
from sin: QUIT IT. Our lives are not to be lived to fulfill the
will of the flesh, but to fulfill the will of God. The purpose of
our lives is simple: Let us hear the conclusion of the
whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is]
the whole [duty] of man. For God shall bring every work into
judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether
[it be] evil (Eccl. 12:13-14).
We have wasted enough time saving ourselves and our lusts.
That is what we did before we became Christians, in our past life.
Lasciviousness (lewdness) actions and/or dress
which is designed to elicit or can elicit a sexual reaction from
someone other than your spouse. Flirtatious behavior, exposing
yourself (whether flashing or titillating dress which
overemphasizes certain erotic portions of the body by its tightness
or skimpiness such as bikinis, low cut blouses or dresses, bare
midriffs, skin tight pants, etc. by either a male or female),
and rude and crude gestures are all in this category.
Lusts the desire to do something regardless of
whether it is right or wrong. Forget the consequences; it
doesnt matter who it effects or harms; all that matters is
that you want it. This is selfishness at its worst.
Excess of wine (drunkenness) the state of
intoxication usually with alcohol, but would equally apply to being
high from any narcotic or hallucinogen, etc. At what point do you
become drunk or high? At the point the toxin is taken into the
system. Why do people drink alcoholic beverages, whether it is
whiskey, wine or beer? They drink for the effect. Whether they
think it relaxes them, or takes the edge off, or gives them a buzz,
without the effect they would not drink it. Non-alcoholic beer and
wine are available, but do not sell without the alcohol. People
will not drink it. This would include the misuse of prescription
drugs as well.
Revellings (revelries) wild celebrations,
usually characterized by raucous behavior, drunkenness and lewd
behavior, basically everything that has been listed above by Peter.
This would include many celebrations after championship sports
games, or rivalry games, and even some wakes and weddings. Whether
it is done in private or as a public celebration, your actions are
Banquetings (drinking parties) getting together
to drink. Wine tasting, bar socializing, keg parties, beer parties,
etc. This can include some revelry, but also includes less wild
situations which include drinking.
Abominable idolatries participation in any
service to a god other than the true and living God or the use of
icons. This would include things like a statute of Buddha, but
would also include statutes, crucifixes and pictures of God and/or
Jesus. Any graven, molded or drawn image that is worshipped (there
are times this would also include the wearing of crosses, fishes
and other religious paraphernalia). When these images are used in
religious service and/or bowed before, these icons are idols. This
includes Roman Catholicism, but also a great number of Protestants.
Your friends, your acquaintances, the public at large, think
it is strange that you stay away from these things because
everybody does it, everybody cant be
wrong. Do you think you are the only one who is
right? Who made you so high and holy? Quit
being a prude. These are the type of statements you may hear.
They think you are weird, old fashioned, holier-than-thou and a
myriad of epitaphs.
They operate under a different mindset and by different
rules. As a Christian, you are concerned with the will of God and
serving others. You are concerned with right and wrong. They are
concerned with the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and
the pride of life.
What mindset do you operate under?
4345 Lawrence Rd.
Baltimore, OH 43105
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THE DEVILS BEATITUDES
1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted
to spend a few hours a week with their fellow Christians. They are
my best workers.
2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and
expect to be thanked. I can use them.
3. Blessed are the touchy who stop going to
church. They are my missionaries.
4. Blessed are the trouble makers. They shall be called my
5. Blessed are the complainers. Im all ears to them.
6. Blessed are those who are bored with the ministers
mannerisms and mistakes, for they get nothing out of the sermons.
7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to
his own congregation, for he is part of the problem instead of the
8. Blessed are those who gossip, for they shall cause strife
and divisions that please me.
9. Blessed are those who are easily offended, for they will
soon get angry and quit.
10. Blessed are those who do not give their offering to
carry on Gods work, for they are my helpers.
11. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his
brother and sister, for he shall be with me forever.
12. Blessed are you who, when you read this, think it is
about other people and not yourself. Ive got you too!
must have been a preacher
Table of Contents
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