A PETITION REGARDING
ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
To the honorable members of the Board of Trustees for Abilene
Christian University: Greetings. We hope this finds you in good
health. We pray that the Lord will bless you and endow you with
wisdom and good judgment in all things.
We approach you in respect of your positions, fully
understanding the burden you bear regarding the salvation and
instruction of students at Abilene Christian University (ACU). We
also approach you in confidence that you will hear our petition,
that you will evaluate its contents, and that you will take
Our concern is that the present Board of Trustees of ACU have
allowed or in some cases encouraged ACU to depart from the purposes
and values of its founders. As stated in the 1906 charter, the
composition and expectations of the Board of Directors are as
...each of whom shall be a member of a congregation
of the church of Christ, which takes the New
Testament as its only and sufficient rule of faith,
worship and practice, and rejects from its faith,
worship and practice everything not required by
either precept or example, and which does not
introduce into the faith, worship or practice, as a
part of the same or as adjuncts thereto any
supplemental organization or anything else not
clearly and directly authorized in the New Testament
either by precept or example.
EVIDENCES FOR OUR CONCERN:
There are numerous examples of departures from the
charter and from the precept and example of the New Testament: ACU
has changed to allow dancing and a recognized dance
club. A Bible professor was shown in the Abilene Reporter News
drinking wine. Instrumental music in worship has been
made a non-fellowship issue by many faculty members. Students who
are members of denominations have been allowed to
organize religious activities on campus. The use of ACU facilities
for denominational activities has been authorized by the
administration. There has been the encouragement in chapel that
students attend denominational worship activities. There
has been the advocating and encouragement of women to take on
roles in worship and ministry of the church not permitted by
The following examples describe briefly some particularly
1. The 2004 ACU Lectureship organizers sought speakers who
taught matters contrary to Scripture. Simultaneously ACU announced
their choice of the Outstanding Alumnus of the year, choosing
Max Lucado for that honor, a man who has abandoned the use of
the name Church of Christ, and has abandoned the belief
baptism is necessary and essential for salvation.
2. ACU invited Katie Hays, a radical feminist who
is the preacher for the West Islip Church of Christ in
Islip, NY, and whose church has female shepherds, to critique the
ACU advanced preaching students sermons, and to deliver a
at the Chapel.
3. ACU has invited Tony Campolo, a Northern
Baptist (the liberal wing of the Baptist church), to speak at ACU
in Chapel, where he recruited students to work in his evangelistic
ministry. Several denominations were allowed to use Moody Coliseum
for an inter-denominational joint revival with Campolo as
evangelist. Letters were sent out to churches by Habitat for
Humanity encouraging people to attend and how glorious it was
going to be when Christians of all the denominations
voices in fellowship and worship.
4. At least some ACU Bible professors have a functionally
different belief regarding baptism. One professor is in print
advocating fellowship between those who believe that baptism is
for the remission of sins and because of the
remission of sins
and thus treating as brothers and sisters in Christ, those of the
various denominations who have not been scripturally immersed for
the forgiveness of sins. Such teaching compromises the clear New
Testament teaching that baptism is essential for salvation.
5. ACU exhibits examples of conflicts of interests with
denominations, at the financial level, and at the level of
preaching regarding the Gospel and the Kingdom (church).
6. ACU gives unclear and misleading teachings about the
nature of the New Testament church.
7. These teachings and practices have led some ACU
students to abandon sound doctrine as well as the churches of
Christ, and attend denominations instead, or return home to foment
rebellion and division in unsuspecting churches.
In summary of the above, the ACU Board of Trustees have
thus encouraged or allowed ACU to contradict and leave the
founders clear intentions and instructions in the 1906
Charter, and have drifted away from Biblical, sound doctrine and
1. Evaluate carefully and demand that both members of the
Board of Trustees and the school administration of ACU be committed
to the clear intention of the universitys founding fathers and
that they oversee and administrate in a much more responsible
manner, and that they resolve these aforementioned deficiencies.
2. If current ACU leadership is unwilling or unable to
comply with this, that you will take appropriate personnel action
to relieve these people of their duties.
3. Address those imbalances in the ACU Board of Trustees
and the Bible Department that are currently heavily weighted toward
those holding a less exclusive, vague, or unclear view of
fellowship and doctrine.
4. Sever all financial interests with denominations.
5. Assure the brotherhood and demand of faculty that the
Biblical pattern of conversion is and will be unapologetically
taught. Such statements as, I will not judge anyones
faith -- God knows who are His, leaves the implication that
baptism is optional, not necessary and essential.
6. Assure that the Biblical pattern of the New Testament
church of Christ is unapologetically taught. This includes a
thorough discussion of the following points:
a. The NT church worships according to the New Testament
pattern in spirit and truth (John 4:20-24).
b. The NT church searches the Scriptures for sole
authority in belief and practice rather than the
teachings of men (Acts 17:10).
c. The NT church observes the Lords Supper every
Sunday (Acts 20:6,7; 1 Cor. 11:18-30; 16:1,2).
d. The NT church gives both the bread and the fruit of
the vine to those who participate in communion, and
we practice open, not closed communion (Luke
22:14-20; Mark 14:22-26).
e. The NT church worships by singing songs, hymns and
spiritual songs, and without instrumental
accompaniment since there is no authority for the use
of instrumental music in the NT practice of the
church (Eph. 5:15-21; 1 Cor. 14:15; Col. 3:15-17).
f. The NT church exalts Christ as the only begotten Son
of God and her only head and strives to be like him
in word and deed as a living pattern for our lives
g. The NT church teaches that the Lord adds only the
saved to his church and that there are no saved
outside the church (Acts 2:36-38,47; Eph.
h. The NT church selects only men to serve as shepherds
(elders) who meet scriptural qualifications (Titus
1:5-9; Acts 20:17, 28-30).
i. The NT church is committed to male church leadership
and selects only men to serve as preachers in her
pulpits (1 Tim. 2:8-12; 1 Cor. 14:34-36).
j. The NT church does not teach the use of special
titles such as Reverend, Pastor or Father or make
provisions for special vestments to be worn by
preachers, and that there is no division in the New
Testament church between clergy and laity (Matt.
23:5-11; Matt. 20:25-28).
k. The NT church accepts all believers who have been
immersed for the remission of sins into fellowship,
regardless of religious, social or ethnic backgrounds
(Rom. 6:17; Gal. 3:26-28).
7. Assure that all freshmen are introduced to the Biblical
patterns of conversion and the New Testament church of Christ in
their first semester at ACU, and assure such exposure for all
transferring students as well.
8. Investigate all undergraduate Bible teachers and
curricula and assure these are committed to the restoration of New
Testament Christianity according to the New Testament pattern and
are doctrinally sound in the faith. This should include a
questionnaire about basic beliefs of the teacher.
9. Investigate all graduate Bible teachers and curricula
and assure these are committed to the restoration of New Testament
Christianity according to the New Testament pattern and are
doctrinally sound. This should include a questionnaire about basic
beliefs of the teacher.
Students understandably are asked to read materials written
by those who are not members of the churches of Christ; however,
brethren, it is one thing to ask that people read material
containing false doctrine in order to learn how to refute it. It is
quite another to require readings by radical feminists and liberal
theologians with no repudiation of their false teachings.
We have love and respect for Christ, His church, ACU, and
the ACU Board of Trustees. We do not hate you, and we do not hate
ACU. Many of us have had several generations of our families
graduate from ACU. Many of us have received great benefit from
attending ACU. Many of us met our mates at ACU. We are deeply
thankful for the many years of positive influence at ACU.
ACU was built with the sacrifices of common men and women
who desired Biblical instruction for their children. We now beg you
to regard the uncountable sacrifices of men and women whose money
built and sustained ACU over nearly a century. Please do not betray
their trust, or the values of the founders of ACU.
We thank you that you have allowed us to present this
petition, that you will consider it, and that you will take
appropriate action. We have confidence that you can, and will, do
We have added our signatures to this petition.
This petition is being circulated throughout the brotherhood
in an attempt to inform brethren of some things that are going on
at ACU and to seek others who may wish to add their name to it. If
you would like to add your name to the list, you may send it to:
1440 Key Lane
Abilene, TX 79602
The apostasy at ACU has been going on for many many years
and is the same as many other like institutions and schools all
across the brotherhood. There is no apparent concern for Biblical
authority or soundness. They feel as though they cannot be touched.
Lets make sure we do not touch them with our money or other
support of any kind.
The Scriptures are clear when it tells us to not support
error. Notice these passages:
Eph. 5:11, And have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
II John 1:9-11, Whosoever transgresseth, and
abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the
Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he
that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Rom. 16:17-18, Now I beseech you, brethren, mark
them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve
not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words
and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
I John 4:1, Beloved, believe not every spirit,
but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false
prophets are gone out into the world.
John 3:19-21, And this is the condemnation, that
light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than
light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds
should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in
If these Scriptures do not apply in this situation, then
Table of Contents
Gods Will Concerning
False Teachers in the Church
Consider the following scenario:
A young Gospel preacher was invited to speak at a
neighboring congregation. Upon his arrival his attention was drawn
to an apostate preacher in the audience. He had been marked (Rom.
16:17) some years earlier by the young Gospel preachers home
congregation for teaching false doctrine. Letters of his marking
was sent to all local congregations. During the song service the
song leader called upon the apostate preacher to lead in prayer.
This young Gospel preacher refused to partake in the prayer of the
false teacher. Concerned not only with this apostate preachers
presence but also his partaking in the service, the young preacher
considers this as an opportunity and exercises his responsibilities
as a preacher of the Gospel. Stepping behind the pulpit, he singles
out the apostate and addresses the congregation, concerning the
error of allowing the apostate preacher to participate in the
service. He then continued with his sermon.
Did he err in his handling of the situation or did he
follow Gods will?
In Titus 1:11, the will of God is revealed to us
concerning false teachers in the church. God made it clear he wants
their mouths to be stopped! Their teaching must be exposed and
refuted in order to preserve the doctrinal purity of the Lords
church and to save the innocent in Christ. False teachers mouths
must be stopped in order to obey God who commanded it to be done
(Titus 1:11; John 14:15). It must be done lovingly and courageously
so that false teachers become aware of their sin, repent and be
sound in the faith (Titus 1:13).
Contrary to the irrationality and ignorance of the Bible
by some, it is Scriptural to mark (name) false teachers. How else
would we know of Hymenaeus and Alexander if Paul had not written of
them (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17)? Paul not only named them but also
named their sin (blasphemy). In 2 Tim. 2:18, the false teaching of
Hymenaeus and Philetus is described to be as deadly as gangrene.
Paul defines false teachers as those who err from the
truth, and will overthrow the faith of
some (2 Tim. 2:18; Titus 1:11). Once the cancerous
nature of false teaching is planted, it influences and afflicts
others by slowly eating away at the faith of Christians just as
gangrene cuts off the blood supply and destroys the tissue of the
human body. False teaching strangles the blood supply of truth that
flows to the hearts of Christians. Because it is so deadly and so
insidious in nature, the faithful should be stirred up to expose
it, denounce it, and refuse to tolerate it being motivated by love
and concern for the souls that have been afflicted by it.
The primary responsibility to shut the mouths of false
teachers lies with the elders in local congregations (Titus 1:9).
Yet, preachers by the very nature of their work will also be
directly involved. Pauls charge to Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:1-4 was
to Preach the word; be instant in season and out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and
All Christians, likewise, have a responsibility to reject
false teachers by marking, exposing, and withdrawing fellowship
from them that they, as well as others, will not be partners of
their evil deeds (Rom. 16:17; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2 John
9-11). Christians serving under faithful elders must uphold the
efforts of the elders and their preacher to correct or reject false
teachers (Titus 3:10; 2 Thess. 3:6; Heb. 13:7,17). When Christians
in local congregations are notified of false teachers being marked,
they are responsible for establishing the validity of the claims (1
Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1). They must then heed the Scriptural
commands of Ephesians 5:11 and Romans 16:17 to not fellowship them
and avoid them. According to Isaiah, the responsibility of the
watchman upon the walls of Jerusalem was to never hold their
peace day or night, so that the inhabitants could be warned
when necessary (Isa. 62:6). The analogy for elders, preachers,
and all Christians (in context with Isaiah 62) is that we have been
set as watchmen to uphold, speak, and defend the truth.
Some brethren become upset when false teachers are
publicly marked. The mind-set of such brethren is that any dealings
with marked false teachers is to be done privately (behind the
scenes) according to Matthew 18:15-17. This is a flagrant abuse of
Scripture. This passage, in context, tells how to handle private
conflicts between individuals. It does not address public false
teaching. Misrepresenting this passage is an attempt by false
teachers and their supporters to undermine the Scriptures and to
argue against any attempt at exposing their false positions as well
as those with whom they associate.
For Scriptural examples of the need and responsibility to
rebuke sharply false teachers (Titus 1:13), consider the following:
John the Baptist rebuked Herod for living in
adultery (Matt. 4:1-12).
Christ rebuked the Pharisees by telling them
to their face that Satan was their father (John 8:12-59).
Peter rebuked Simon for desiring to buy the
ability of laying on of hands to impart miraculous gifts
of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:13-23).
Pauls rebuke to the Judaizers (whose
intent was to bind circumcision on the Gentiles) was that he would
not tolerate such men and their false teachings for even an hour
Paul rebuked Peter to the face before
them all (Gal. 2:11-14). When Peter and others separated
themselves from the Gentiles and refused to eat with them upon the
arrival of the Jews sent from James, Paul knew they failed in
living up to the truth of the Gospel. Their actions made them
guilty of supporting false teachers (2 John 9-11) and was sinful (1
John 3:4). It gave credence to the false doctrine of the Judaizers.
The others are not specifically named in this rebuke (except for
Barnabas), but since they were partakers in this error, their
actions are likewise rebuked. Peter is singled out as the chief
offender because he knew better (Acts 10:34-35) and had the most
influence, being an apostle. If it was right for Paul to take such
action, it is right for Christians today to take similar actions in
Did the young Gospel preacher err in his rebuke? The
Answer is: NO! Let us not become weary in well doing but continue
to contend for the faith once delivered (Jude 3).
NOTE: Some excerpts were taken from the pamphlet,
Stopping Their Mouths by Gary Grizzell and used by
permission. This pamphlet can be ordered by contacting Gary
Grizzell at (931) 432-6984 or by email at email@example.com.
249 County Road 464
Englewood, TN 37329
Table of Contents
THE ONE BODY
Marvin L. Weir
People often make amazing decisions based purely upon biased
or prejudiced feelings. The Bible clearly reveals that the church
of the Lord is one body (Eph. 4:4). A human body with two
or more heads would be considered an abnormality. The same would be
true of a human head having two or more bodies. The human body is
used in the Scriptures as a metaphor of the church or the body of
The church of our Lord is one body. The apostle
Paul says, Now ye are the body of Christ, and
members in particular (1 Cor. 12:27). It is not a
body, some body, or any body! There is only
one body, but many members of the one body. Paul likewise
taught, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and
every one members one of another (Rom. 12:5).
In the world, there are many different religious bodies
all claiming Christ as the one head. Such surely is the wistful
thinking of man because such a concept cannot be found in the word
of God! Christ promised to build only His church (Matt. 16:18). He
never claimed to build one belonging to someone else. The apostle
Paul did not die for the Lords church and neither did Peter or
Apollos (1 Cor. 1:10-13). The church and the body are terms that
refer to the same thing. The Bible, in speaking of what
God purposed for Christ says, he [God] put all
things in subjection under his [Christ] feet, and gave
him to be head over all things to the
church, which is his body, the fulness of him that
filleth all in all (Eph. 1:22-23). There is only one
body for which Christ died (Eph. 4:4; Acts 20:28) and there is
only one body He has promised to save (Eph. 5:23).
The act of baptism puts one into the one body of
Christ. Paul proclaims, For by one Spirit are we all
baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one
Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). The same apostle taught the
Galatians, For as many of you as were baptized into
Christ did put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). Peter commanded
those on Pentecost to Repent ye, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your
sins (Acts 2:38). In giving the Great Commission Jesus
says, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).
Bible baptism is a burial and not a sprinkling as
is evidenced by studying the fourth verse of the sixth chapter of
All people are to be members of the same body.
It matters not whether one is young or old, rich or poor, educated
or uneducated -- all who obey Gods word are members of the
same body. To the Galatians Paul said, There is neither
Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither
male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be
Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according
to the promise (Gal. 3:28-29).
Each member of the one body is important.
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you (1
Cor. 12:21). All members of the body are to work together for the
glory of God. What one member does or does not do can have an
effect on the rest of the body. It is also easy for folks to see
that one leg does not travel in one direction while the other leg
travels in the opposite direction and yet both legs end up at the
same destination. Such is the claim of many religious groups who
contend that although they take different routes (in doctrine and
worship) they will all arrive at the same destination (Heaven).
Jesus taught the truth, saying, Not every one
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied
in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name
done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I
never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity
There is to be no division in the one body of the
Lord. The plea of the inspired Scriptures is that members of
the body are to give diligence to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). Please note that
this is not some man-made, man-agreed upon unity, but rather the
unity of the Spirit. One who desires
to go to Heaven will listen to the Spirit speak through the Word
instead of listening to men speak through their creed books!
Religious division is sinful and contrary to the will
of Christ. It is not the church of mans choice but rather
the church which Christ built (Matt. 16:18) that people should give
their allegiance to.
Pride will stand between many people and their obedience
to the Gospel. Bias and prejudice will cause multitudes to reject
the simple truth found in Gods word. How horrible it will be
for those who had every opportunity to see and understand, yet
chose to remain blind to Gods truth!
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Table of Contents
MIRACLES HAPPENED AND
The Bible teaches that miracles both happened and ceased.
Men in our city and across our nation claim to be miracle workers
today. I believe what the Bible teaches about miracles. Therefore
I believe these men are frauds.
DOES THE LORD PERFORM MIRACLES TODAY?
They do not teach the Gospel plan of salvation. Gods
plan of salvation is for a penitent believer to confess faith in
Jesus and be baptized for salvation (Acts 2:36-41). Most of those
who claim miracles today teach salvation through the sinners
prayer and accepting Jesus. Would God give miracles to such
They do not teach New Testament worship. Most of the
so-called Miracle Working churches have women in
leadership roles, instruments of all kinds, do not observe
communion weekly and participate in other acts of worship foreign
to the New Testament (Read I Cor. 14:34, Acts 20:7, Eph. 5:19).
Will God give real miracles to those who teach and practice false
They do not practice Bible miracles. These religious
racketeers bleed as much money as they can from the poor,
unsuspecting and helpless. They make a mockery out of Christianity.
They do no real miracles. Jesus performed great miracles, real
miracles! Nicodemus said, Rabbi, we know that thou art a
teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou
doest, except God be with him (John 3:2). Matthew 15:30
says, And great multitudes came unto him, having with
them [those that were] lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others,
and cast them down at Jesus feet; and he healed them.
Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and caused the great
calm (Matt. 8:26). No one is doing these miracles today!
Miracles ceased when the perfect or complete revelation
was received. Charity never faileth: but whether [there
be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they
shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which
is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I
thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish
things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to
face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am
known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these [is] charity (I Cor. 13:8-13).
When the last words of the New Testament were written in
about 96 A.D. miracles had ceased. The only miracles we have or
need today are those written in the Bible.
There was a time when miracles happened. When Jesus was upon
earth he performed many signs and miracles (Matt. 8:16; 9:34;
14:14-36; John 11). Jesus even gave others the power to perform
miracles. But not one miracle is being performed today.
What was the purpose of miracles? Miracles were performed
by Jesus, the apostles and those on whom they laid hands, to
confirm the word (Mark 16:17-20.) Miracles confirmed that the
message preached was divine. And many other signs truly
did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written
in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might
have life through his name (John 20:30-31). Jesus
performed miracles to prove His claim of being the Son of God and
to confirm that what He taught was Gods message.
Are miracles needed today? Everything originated by
miracle, but it continues by divine law. Adam is the only man God
created by miracle (Gen. 1:27-28). We were not created by miracle
like Adam. God originated things by miracle but continues them
through natural law.
Both Old Testament and New Testament were ushered in by
miracles (Exodus 18-20; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). When the
New Testament was completed, the need for miracles ended. Paul
described the purpose and duration of miracles in these words,
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we
[henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and]
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive
Are miracles being performed today? No person living on
earth today has been baptized with the Holy Ghost (Eph. 4:5). There
are no people living today who have had the hands of the apostles
laid on them to impart miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts
8:14-18). These were the only two ways miraculous powers were
received. Therefore, the Lord does not perform miracles through any
Miracles ceased when the perfect came. Miracles were both
in part and temporary. Miracles ceased when the perfect
or complete will of God -- the New Testament -- was completely
revealed (1 Cor. 13:8-10).
Do Christians speak in unknown tongues today? There is no
doubt that the gift of speaking in unknown tongues was a reality in
the early church (Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Cor. 12-14).
These unknown tongues were languages (Acts 2:4-6). These languages
could be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:26). Tongue speaking was the
ability to speak intelligently a language you had not studied. The
purpose of this miraculous gift was as a sign to unbelievers (1
Cor. 14:22). The gift of tongue speaking ceased near the close of
the first century (1 Cor. 13:8-10).
No one living today can walk on water, raise the dead or
perform any other real miracle. This cannot be done because the
Bible teaches miracles have ceased. Have you ever wondered why the
so-called modern day miracle worker: 1) Only selects healing and
tongues from I Corinthians 12, 2) Cannot raise the dead or stop a
tornado, 3) Refuses to drink deadly poison, 4) Believes the Bible
is incomplete and still needs confirmation, 5) Does not possess the
signs of an apostle?
Let us be content with being New Testament Christians
today. To become a Christian a believer must repent and be baptized
for remission of sins (Acts 2:38). True miracles caused faith (John
20:30-31). The so-called miracles of today cause doubt and
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Table of Contents
John D. Cotham
It is of great importance that a Christian continue to grow
spiritually in Christ. It is evident from scripture that spiritual
growth is a God given responsibility. Notice these verses:
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye
may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2); and But grow
in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ... (2 Peter 3:18).
WE NEED PROPER FOOD
Peter gave a list of areas where each individual Christian
must grow. According as his divine power hath given unto
us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby
are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by
these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this,
giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue
knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience;
and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and
to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and
abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor
unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that
lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath
forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the
rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election
sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (2
Notice that the apostle Peter says to ADD these things
into our lives. Not only must we add them to our spiritual lives,
but it is important that we continue to strengthen each of these
areas in our lives.
Growth is the normal expected thing. We would be very
concerned if our new born child did not begin to show evidence of
proper growth. Cant we understand that God is just as
concerned if one of His newborn children never grows?
Another interesting point concerning growth is that our
physical bodies begin, after a while, to regress, then finally die.
On the other hand, our spiritual growth continues to progress even
when our physical bodies are decaying and passing away,
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man
perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor.
Good parents try to see their children are fed a proper
diet. Some children want to eat only when they want to eat, and
only what they want to eat. In order to grow, bodies need the
proper food. Good sense tells us that the same is true with our
WE NEED PROPER EXERCISE
Peter said we need the proper spiritual food, As
newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may
grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2). The writer Hebrews said,
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have
need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the
oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not
of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the
word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth
to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have
their senses exercised to discern both good and evil
(Heb. 5:12-14). The writer speaks of some who refused to grow and
were still babes in Christ. They were still on the bottle. It is
obvious from the language that the writer was rebuking these
Christians for refusing to grow to a point where they could eat
meat from the table.
If one goes to bed and just lies there, the body will wither
away to nothing. It is deadly to refuse exercise. Doctors and other
experts tell us that much of the heart problems of today are partly
because of a lack of exercise. Exercise is essential to proper
GROWTH NEEDS A PROPER CLIMATE
In like manner, spiritual exercise is suggested for the
Christian, ...and exercise thyself rather unto
godliness (1 Tim. 4:7). The way to exercise spiritually
is by DOING what we can. We learn to study by studying. We learn to
sing by singing. We learn to pray by praying. We learn to win souls
by winning souls. These (and others) are the areas where we need to
Life is sustained in a proper climate. Not many want to
spend their lives in the Arctic nor the Sahara Desert. These areas
are not supportive of life. It makes just as much sense to conduct
our Christian lives in a proper climate or atmosphere.
GROWTH TAKES TIME
Paul warned, Be not deceived: evil
communications corrupt good manners (1 Cor. 15:33); and,
also, Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old
leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even
Christ our passover is sacrificed for us (1 Cor. 5:6-7).
Paul wrote: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I
will receive you (2 Cor. 6:17). The wrong friends can
destroy our spiritual growth. On the other hand, strong Christian
friends are most helpful to our growth in Christ.
Nowhere is this more evident that in the example of our
children. Neither a human baby nor a new babe in Christ is born
full grown. Growth takes time. We understand this in physical life,
but sometimes fail to see this in the spiritual lives of others.
We must be patient with new babes in Christ and to give
them time to grow. However, their growth is necessary and others
have a right to be concerned if they see that a newborn child of
God is NOT growing at all.
God requires that we grow spiritually. Spiritual growth
is to be expected of each other. The Christian that refuses to grow
is already dying spiritually if he is not already dead.
2632 Highway 133
Shady Valley, TN
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Gospel preaching and congregational singing (24 hours a day,
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