Douglas Foster (Abilene Christian University) and
the Disciples of Christ Historical society are calling upon all
members of the churches of Christ (the Lords church), the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Christian
Church/Churches of Christ (instrumental) to share in a special
communion on October 4, 2009. They call this special celebration,
CONTRARY TO THE APPEAL OF THOMAS CAMPBELL
1) Why October 4th? Its because this is
the date for World Communion Sunday. A day first
established by the Presbyterians in 1939 and practiced among some
denominations since then.
2) Why 2009? Because this year marks the
200th anniversary of important events in the restoration movement
(also referred to as the Stone/Campbell movement).
3) What exactly would be involved in the
celebration of Great Communion? A joint service with
denominations who have historical ties to the restoration
movement during which the Lords supper would be eaten.
4) What is the purpose of Great
Communion? Specifically, Great Communion is an
effort to memorialize the Declaration and Address set
forth by Thomas Campbell in 1809. Organizers say, This,
we thought, was the perfect opportunity to remember Thomas
Campbell and his contribution, as well as live out the unity that
we all hold so dear
One of the things (there are many) separating
us (the Lords church) from the Disciples of Christ and the
Christian Church is the use of mechanical instruments of music in
worship to God. This idea of Great Communion is an
appeal for the Lords church to demonstrate a unity with
those who are doing evil in Gods sight.
Lets make no mistake about it. This call
to Great Communion is evil.
1) It is divisive and sectarian,
2) It shows a lack of respect for scripture,
3) It is wholly without authority from the
Douglas Foster informs us that Great
Communion is to celebrate the Declaration and Address
of Thomas Campbell. In fact he goes on to say that the
Declaration and Address is the constitution of
the restoration movement (www.greatcommunion.org/about.htm).
DIVISIVE AND SECTARIAN
How unfortunate is the choice of the word
constitution! According to Funk & Wagnalls it is
The fundamental laws and principles that normally govern the
operation of a state or association. Isnt the
Lords church supposed to be governed by the Bible? Isnt
this the appeal of the restoration movement? Is the Bible
our constitution, or is the Declaration and Address
I claim no worldly scholarship of any kind,
but I know enough Bible to see the difficulty and trouble here.
When Thomas Campbell set forth the Declaration, he
plainly did not want to make a creed. Just before he set out his
13 propositions, read what he said: Let none imagine that
the subjoined propositions are at all intended as an overture
towards a new creed, or standard, for the church....
But what is the difference if we call this
document a constitution instead of a creed? A
constitution is the same as a creed. Viewing the Declaration
and Address as a constitution or a creed is not in keeping
with the call of Barton Stone, or the Campbells.
Can you imagine holding a communion service to
celebrate a creed written by a man? How sectarian can you get?
What would we say if someone took communion to celebrate the
writings of Martin Luther or John Calvin?
LACK OF RESPECT FOR SCRIPTURE
Is it not true that the religious world has
been divided by the creeds of men? What makes a Baptist a Baptist
apart and distinct from a Methodist if it is not his church
manual? To take the Declaration and Address of Thomas
Campbell and turn it into our constitution is the same
kind of sectarianism. And then to celebrate that
constitution in a communion service is so twisted and
unscriptural that it defies imagination, as well as logic.
If we are going to use the Declaration
and Address as our constitution, we might as well simply
denominate ourselves as Campbellites and give up any
argument against sectarianism. Right, wrong, or some mixture of
the two, the words of Thomas Campbell must not be made the
calling card of the Lords Way. The Bible is sufficient for
that. It furnishes us completely (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3).
The whole concept of this Great
Communion service violates Scripture, and it does so in a
number of ways.
1) Great Communion is a violation
of what the Bible teaches about the Lords supper. It is not
to celebrate what some man has done or written. Communion is
about Christ, his suffering and his death. His admonition to us
is to do this in remembrance of me (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor.
11:24-25). If you are partaking of the Lords supper to
celebrate the words of some man, you are not remembering the
Lord, youre remembering man! In remembering man, you are not
reverently discerning the Lords body and blood. And,
consequently, you are eating and drinking damnation to your soul
(1 Cor. 11:24-29)?
A communion service cannot wipe sins away.
For an alien sinner, sins are washed away in water baptism by the
blood of Christ (Acts 22:16). For an erring child of God, sins
are wiped away when he/she confesses and turns from those sins in
repentance and prayer (Acts 8:18-24; 1 John 1:9). Sins are not
forgiven in the partaking of communion. Since worshiping God with
a mechanical instrument is sinful (Col. 3:17; John 4:24), then
having a joint communion service will not take that sin away.
2) Participation in Great Communion
is a violation of the Bible doctrine of fellowship. Since
worshiping God with mechanical instruments is sinful, we cannot
extend fellowship to those who use them (Eph. 5:11; 2 John 9-11;
Rom. 16:17-18). Joint participation in this Great
Communion violates the lines of fellowship that God has
drawn. We must not overlook those lines in accordance with the
modern trend of agreeing to disagree, for that violates
the command that we all speak the same thing (1 Cor. 1:10).
Instead of joining in a communion service with them, Ephesians
5:11 says, And have no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
3) Great Communion is an effort to
demonstrate a unity that is contrary to Scripture. Not all unity
is acceptable before God. Purity, which comes by doing Gods
will, comes before peace (James 3:17). Peace is therefore
subservient to purity. Peace is not to be desired or obtained at
any and every cost. Why would we want to demonstrate a unity with
those who defy God in their teaching, practice and worship?
Instrumental music and fellowship of denominations is in complete
defiance to Gods Word (John 4:24; Col. 3:17).
4) Participation in Great Communion
sets us up as unrighteous judges. We are to judge righteous
judgment (John 7:24), but there are some judgments we simply
dont have the right to make. We have no right to make a
judgment that violates Gods Word. When we judge it is all
right to join in fellowship with those in error, then we have
stepped out of fellowship with God.
Who are we to judge that the unauthorized
practice of worshiping with the instrument doesnt matter?
Violating Colossians 3:16-17 and worshiping in our own way,
devised in our own hearts, is sinful. Joint participation in this
event would be giving the impression that these things do not
matter. Ask Nadab and Abihu if worshiping in an unauthorized
manner makes a difference (Lev. 10:1-2).
Who are we to judge that it is alright to
compromise truth and accept error? Consider the prophets of old.
They knew their responsibility was to speak the truth and stand
against error regardless of any external considerations (Isa.
8:20; 2 Tim. 4:2).
If our judgment is that God will overlook
error, therefore we should overlook it too (in the name of
unity), then we are wrong, dead wrong (Nahum 1:3; Matt. 7:21-23).
Joining hands in fellowship with those who
are wrong will not make them right or wipe away their sins. We
can offer all the endorsement and praise we wish, but God will
not accept them just because we endorse them. We are not the
judges in these things, Gods Word is (John 12:48). We are
committing sin ourselves (along with them) when we participate in
joint services such as Great Communion.
5) A celebration of the writings of Thomas
Campbell as our constitution is an insult to the all sufficiency
of the Scriptures. Isnt it strange that we need the
Declaration and Address of Thomas Campbell as a
constitution when Peter claimed that God had already given all
things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)? Paul
never mentioned Thomas Campbell when he declared that the
Scriptures equip us to all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
6) Great Communion is contrary to
Scripture because it is a lie. It is an effort to demonstrate
unity with those who have divided the church with their man-made
practices. We refuse to be cowed or shamed by those who tell us
that if we condemn their use of instruments that we somehow are
sectarian. History simply does not bear this out.
To use the words of Thomas Campbell in his
Declaration and Address, Nothing ought to be
received into the faith or worship of the church; or be made a
term of communion amongst christians, that is not as old as the
New Testament (proposition 5). Instruments are not as old as
the New Testament. Any scholar worthy of the name knows they were
never used in New Testament worship. And, Campbells
Declaration and Address is certainly not as old as the New
Notice this quote from the Declaration
and Address: That, (in some instances,) a partial
neglect of the expressly revealed will of God; and, (in others,)
an assumed authority for making the approbation of human
opinions, and human inventions, a term of communion, by
introducing them into the constitution, faith, or worship, of the
church; are, and have been, the immediate, obvious, and
universally acknowledged causes, of all the corruptions and
divisions that ever have taken place in the church of God
(proposition 11). Those who use the instrument have made it a
term of communion. When you bring this human invention
into the worship, you say to all present, Worship in this
way, or be quiet, or leave. How can this possibly be
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace (Eph. 4:3)?
In their insistence on using this innovation
of man, this appeal to the sensuality of man, advocates of the
instrument have divided the church and now wish to camouflage
themselves under the sheeps clothing of soft words (Matt.
7:15; Rom. 16:17-18).
Let those who wish for unity do as Thomas
Campbell insisted: But this we do sincerely declare, that
there is nothing we have hitherto received as matter of
faith or practice, which is not expressly taught and enjoined in
the word of God, either in express terms, or approved precedent,
that we would not heartily relinquish, that so we might
return to the original constitutional unity of the christian
church; and, in this happy unity, enjoy full communion with all
our brethren, in peace and charity (D & A,
emphasis mine, RS). Those who use instruments must relinquish
their instruments, otherwise their calls for unity are but
sounding brass and tinkling silver.
Lying is sinful (Eph. 4:25). And, it is a lie
to call for unity while practicing that which has no New
Testament authority and has divided brethren.
We applaud all calls for the kind of unity
the Scripture demands, a unity where we all speak the same thing
(1 Cor. 1:10). But we cannot applaud, approve, endorse, nor
participate in this Great Communion celebration. It is
sad that some are taking the great memorial of the Lords
supper and using it to advance a sectarian and divisive agenda,
and then claiming that it is a way to demonstrate unity.
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Table of Contents
CAN A CHILD OF GOD BE LOST? #2
Garland M. Robinson
There is grave danger and warning of falling away
throughout Scripture. Consider these verses. (Refer also to the
August issue of #1 in this 4 part series)
1 Timothy 3:6, Not a
novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the
condemnation of the devil. The Bible is clear as
to the consequences of the sin of pride. The wicked, through
the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not
in all his thoughts (Psalm 10:4). The fear of the LORD
is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the
froward mouth, do I hate (Prov. 8:13). Pride goeth
before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall
(Prov. 16:18). For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of
the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).
Pride has been, and is, the downfall of
everyone who embraces it. It caused the devil to be condemned by
God and the warning of 1 Timothy 3:6 shows that men can fall into
the same condemnation. Who will believe that God condemned the
devil for his pride, but will not condemn men who do the same
thing as the devil?
2 Peter 3:17, Ye
therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware
lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
fall from your own stedfastness. This passage
says a Christian can be led away from God that a Christian
can FALL. If this is not so, then someone needs to inform God
that He is mistaken and that Christians cant fall.
Verse 16 tells about those who
wrest (pervert, twist, wrench, torture, misuse) the
Scriptures unto their own destruction. Does the word
destruction not mean what we know it means? Its
definition is: ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or
eternal), damnable, perdition, perish, waste. So, let me get
this straight. Is this verse saying that those who pervert the
Scriptures to make them say something different than what they
were intended, will be lost? Yes. Such persons will perish
spiritually, eternally? Yes. If you run across someone who tells
you that God does not mean what He says, then run away from them
immediately and hold to the Bible, not false doctrine.
Verse 17 tells us to beware (be on
guard). Beware of what? Be on guard about what? We are to beware
of those who would lead us away from the Truth and into error.
When we follow error, we fall from our stedfastness in the Truth.
And, if we dont follow the Truth, we cannot be saved because
Jesus said it is the Truth that makes us free from sin (John
8:32). Its only when we obey the Truth that our souls are
purified and cleansed from sin (1 Peter 1:22).
1 Corinthians 9:27, But I
keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by
any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be
a castaway. The word castaway means:
unapproved, rejected, worthless, reprobate. This verse
clearly says that Christians are to continually take heed to
themselves. We are to make sure we do the Lords will and not
depart from it. We must continually yield our will to the will of
the Lord (cf. Rom. 6:12-18). And, if we dont, we cant
expect to go to heaven when we die.
If one cant fall away and be lost, then
a very pertinent question needs to be asked. Paul, if one
cant so sin as to be eternally lost, then why bother with
watching out for your own soul? Why would you be concerned
regarding your own self? Did the Holy Spirit not lead you to
believe in the doctrine of Calvinism that says you cant be
lost? This is a strange passage indeed if it is the case that one
cannot fall away and lose his soul.
Hebrews 12:15, Looking
diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest
any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby
many be defiled. Why must we take such pains to
do the Lords will? Because if we dont, we will fail in
the grace of God. Since Gods grace saves us (Eph. 2:8), then
we want to make sure we dont fail in regards to it. If we
fail when it comes to grace, we are of all men most miserable. If
we fail in grace, theres no hope for us. If we cant
fail, then why the warning?
Galatians 5:4, Christ is
become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by
the law; ye are fallen from grace. There are
not any unclear verses in the Bible on the subject of a Christian
falling away from God and being eternally lost. This passage,
like all the rest, is quite obvious. What more would God have to
say to convince men that Christians can fall?
Grace is Gods favor the benefit He
bestows toward all mankind (cf. Titus 2:11-12). But, the benefits
of His grace is only enjoyed by those who OBEY Him (Matt. 7:21-
23; Heb. 5:8-9). On mans part, salvation (the receiving of
Gods grace) involves FAITH (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24),
REPENTANCE (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38), CONFESSION of faith in Jesus
(Matt. 10:32,33; Rom. 10:9,10), and WATER BAPTISM for the
forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-18; 1 Peter
3:21). When one has met the conditions God lays down in order to
receive His saving grace, that one is saved from their past and
alien sins. For one to continue to be blessed with the benefits
of Gods grace, he/she must continue faithful to God and obey
The book of Galatians describes a situation
where those who believed the Lord and obeyed His will and thereby
became Christians, wanted to go back to the Old Testament (the
law of Moses, the ten commandments). They wanted to go back to
the old law concerning circumcision and demand that the Gentiles
who became Christians keep that part of the Law. The Holy Spirit
tells them that if they do, they have cut themselves off from
Christ. They have FALLEN FROM Gods saving grace.
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised,
Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man
that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are
justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Gal.
The definition of fallen is: drop
away; specially, be driven out of ones course; figuratively,
to lose, become inefficient: be cast, fail, fall (away,
off), take none effect. Since grace is what saves us, then
to FALL FROM grace means that we no longer benefit from it. It is
no longer effective for us. One cant fall from a place he
has never been. I cant fall from the roof of my house if
Ive never been on the roof.
Excuse me, but when God says we can fall from
His grace and men tell me we cant fall from His grace, then
Ill believe God every time. It is our goal to please God,
not man (cf. Gal. 1:10). I dont want to be severed (cut off)
from Gods saving grace.
Luke 8:11-15. These verses
illustrate so clearly that men can and do fall away from God.
Jesus taught, Now the parable is this: The seed is the word
of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the
devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they
should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which,
when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no
root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation
fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which,
when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and
riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to
perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in
an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and
bring forth fruit with patience.
These verses tell us of four kinds of hearts
into which the word of God is sown. 1) There are those who hear
the Gospel, but as we say, it goes in one ear and out the other.
They dont consider it, even for a moment. 2) There are those
who hear it, receive it with joy and believe it for a while, but
when temptation confronts them, they FALL AWAY from the Christian
life. 3) Others hear the Word and obey it but later become choked
with cares, riches and pleasures of life. They never grow in
Christ. They fail to add the Christian graces in their lives.
They may still attend church services, but are not involved in
faithful living. They too have fallen away. 4) Some hear the
Word, obey it and grow in Christ all of their lives. They are
fruit-bearing servants of the Lord.
Those who teach that a Christian cant
fall away from God would tell us that those in the stony soil and
those among thorns never were Christians in the first place. But
verse 13 says they FELL AWAY. You cant fall from somewhere
youve never been. These people embraced the Gospel, became
Christians, but fell away from the Lord. This is consistent with
every verse in the whole Bible.
James 5:19-20, Brethren,
if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert
him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the
error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide
a multitude of sins.
Could it be any plainer? The Holy Spirit said
that men and women err from the truth. That is, they
violate the Truth, the Gospel. Such persons need
converting. And, when such a person is converted,
he/she has been saved from death. This cannot be physical death
because all men die (Heb. 9:27). It has to be eternal death,
eternal separation from God.
Converting one from the error of their way
covers a multitude of sins. Why would ones sins need to be
covered or hidden if they cant cause one to be lost? Why
worry about it? Why seek to have your sins forgiven anyway? The
conclusion is, erring from the truth causes one to be eternally
lost in the devils hell unless one repents and turns back to
Part 2 of 4
Table of Contents
HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT WITNESS TODAY?
Roger D. Campbell
Many people are convinced that the Holy Spirit
speaks to them and testifies to them. Count me in, because I am
one of those folks. Yes, the Spirit of God speaks to me and bears
witness to me. That the Spirit talks and testifies is an
undeniable biblical fact. The question which we must address,
though, is how does He do it?
On the night before Jesus death when He
was gathered with His apostles in an upper room in Jerusalem, He
told them, But when the Comforter is come, whom I will
send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which
proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And ye also
shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the
beginning (John 15:26,27). Jesus went on to tell the
apostles, 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. He shall glorify me: for he
shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you
We would make these observations from the
above statements about the Holy Spirit. First, the Christ
promised that the Comforter would testify of Him (Jesus). Second,
according to Jesus, the Holy Spirit would not glorify Himself,
but would glorify Jesus. Third, the promise of the Comforter
miraculously guiding someone into all truth was not given to
every person in the world, nor was it even made to every follower
of the Christ. Rather, it was a special promise made to a
specific group of people the apostles of Jesus.
When the apostles testified in the first
century, of what were they witnessing? On the Day of Pentecost
they witnessed of the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:32). At the
temple, John and Peter testified of Jesus resurrection (Acts
3:15). In Jerusalem, the apostles gave witness of our Lords
resurrection (Acts 4:33). In Acts 5 we read that both the
apostles and Holy Spirit bore witness in Jerusalem of Jesus
death and resurrection (5:30-32). The apostles were simply
telling of what they had seen and heard. They were eyewitnesses
to Jesus death, then later saw and heard Him after He rose
from the dead.
How was the Holy Spirit testifying in the
first century? He was not going to and fro and whispering in the
ears of lost people, Jesus is Lord. Make no mistake
about it, the Holy Spirit got the message out about Jesus
death, Jesus victorious exit from the tomb, and Jesus
instructions about what to do in order to be saved. But, the Holy
Spirit did not give witness of such matters by speaking directly
to lost people.
The Holy Spirit gave witness to Jesus and
glorified Jesus through the message that He (the Spirit)
inspired. At first, that witnessing was done orally. The Holy
Spirit revealed the mystery of the Lord to apostles and prophets
and inspired them to preach it mistake-free to others (Eph.
3:4,5). The Holy Spirit thus testified through them.
At the same time, the Godhead gave witness or
testified to the authenticity and authority of the Gospel by
providing the preachers and teachers with the power to do
miracles. Those miracles served to confirm the word, that is,
show to all that heard it and observed the accompanying miracles
that the message came from God and thus must be true (Mark
16:19,20). Hebrews 2:3,4 also records that God bore witness to
the truthfulness of the Gospel message by means of signs and
wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,
according to His own will.
Those miraculous signs from the Spirit were
temporary (1 Cor. 13:8). Once all truth was revealed to
mankind (John 16:13), there was no further need for such
miracles. When Gods revelation was given in its fullness,
there were no more miracles needed since there would be
no more new revelations.
So, in the first century the Holy Spirit
testified through the oral propagation of the Gospel. Gods
Spirit also witnessed or gave confirmation through the
signs that He empowered the disciples of Jesus to
perform. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit testified through the
written Word. That the Spirit spoke through the written Word is a
matter of indisputable fact. When quoting from Psalm 95, the
writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote, Wherefore (as the
Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not
your hearts ... They shall not enter into my rest)
(Heb. 3:7,8,11). Thus, it is clear that the Holy Spirit spoke
through the written message of the Book of Psalms.
Lets turn our thoughts to a statement
that is recorded a few chapters later in the Book of Hebrews. In
a context in which the subject is the once-for-all-time-saving
sacrifice of the Christ, the writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote,
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them
that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to
us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that
I will make with them, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into
their hearts, and in their minds will I write them
(Heb. 10:14-16). Note what verse 15 says: ...the Holy
Ghost also is a witness to us. In this instance, to
whom was the Spirit witnessing? To the Christians. How did the
Spirit witness to them in the first century? He witnessed through
the written Word, which in this case was the inspired Book of
Hebrews coupled with a quotation from Jeremiah 31.
What about Romans 8:16? There it is written,
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that
we are the children of God. According to this verse,
there are two spirits that bear witness of the truth that we are
Gods sons and daughters: the Holy Spirit and our personal
spirit. If we have obeyed the Gospel, then we are children of God
by faith and through the faith (Gal.
3:26,27). When we have complied with the conditions set forth in
the Gospel about how to become a child of God, then our
mind/spirit knows that and can say, I have done what God
said to do to become a Christian, and since He keeps His
promises, then I know that I am His child.
But what about the Holy Spirits witness?
How does He give witness that we are the children of God? He does
so through His sword, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). The
Holy Spirit revealed the Gospel by which we are born again (1
Peter 1:23-25). When we comply with the conditions of salvation
that the Spirit of God set forth in the Gospel, then we are born
of water (baptism) and of the Spirit (John 3:5). The Holy
Spirits testimony is that anyone who complies with Gods
terms of salvation is Gods child. That is His witness.
The correct conclusion is that the Holy
Spirit speaks today and testifies today, but He does so through,
and only through, the message of the Bible (the Word of God). The
Holy Spirits witness is not a feeling, it is not
a hunch, and it is not a direct message
from Him. Anyone that thinks the Holy Spirit has directly
witnessed to him that he is a child of God either misunderstands
the Bible or has been deceived. Anyone who claims to others that
the Holy Spirit has miraculously revealed to him that he is a
child of God is a deceiver. Beware of the deceived and deceivers.
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Table of Contents
THE REMEDY FOR FAILURE IN CHRISTIAN LIVING
Marvin L. Weir
Thanks be to God there is a remedy for the sins we
commit as Christians. One only fails when he refuses to apply the
only remedy God gives to correct our failings of
continuing to walk in the light of Gods Holy Word (1 John
Surrendering of the will. The
apostle Paul sums up best what must occur in ones life in
saying, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I
live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). The
human will must yield to Gods will if one is going to turn
from the error of his way. Pride, stubbornness, and a haughty
spirit will prevent one from surrendering to the will of God. It
is always possible to know Gods will regarding any
spiritual matter. The Ephesian brethren were admonished,
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will
of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17). There is a big difference
in knowing and doing. One who will not
surrender his own human will is never going to make needed
corrections in his life.
Laying aside our sins. One must
desire to give up sin. So many living in sin give lip-service
about going to Heaven, but have no desire to cease their
sin. That which is unholy will never become holy, and that which
is wrong will never become right! God requires those traveling
the strait and narrow road to Heaven (Matt. 7:13-14) to
...lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily
beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set
before us (Heb. 12:1). Living like the
world, dressing like the world, and acting
like the world is not laying aside worldly sins. Are you
willing to lay aside the sins which if practiced will prevent you
from entering into Heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev.
21:8; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-32 22:19; Prov. 6:16-19)?
Repentance and Confession of sins.
The Bible is straightforward and simple in saying,
...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
(Luke 13:3). The Lord is clear in teaching, Take heed
to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him;
and if he repent, forgive him (Luke 17:3). Notice the
conditional if in this verse. One who does not repent
cannot be forgiven! Repentance of sin is a prerequisite to one
being baptized for the remission of his sins. This is made clear
in Peters answer to the question ask of him at Pentecost:
...Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...
(Acts 2:38). The church at Ephesus was told: Remember
therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the
first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will
remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent
One cannot attempt to hide his sins
and expect to enjoy Gods favor. James admonishes,
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for
another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much... (James 5:16). John
boldly declares, ...if we walk in the light, as he is
in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1
John 1:7). Ones confession of guilt and repentance needs to
be as public as the committed sin.
Setting your sights on things above.
To the brethren at Colosse, Paul said: If ye then be
risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-2).
The things that are above are things of greater
importance and spiritual rather than carnal or worldly.
Jesus commands the child of God to seek...first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matt. 6:33). If
ones desire is greater to follow the world than to follow
the Lord, then that one cannot correct his drift away from the
Lord and His church. Without the proper mindset, you cannot save
Walking humbly in the light. The
Bible clearly states, If we say that we have fellowship
with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his
Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:6-7). The word
walk, in the sense we are using it, stands for the
totality of human conduct. One cannot walk according to
the ways of the world and be a follower of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Scriptures remind us: ...Christ also suffered
for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his
steps (1 Peter 2:22).
May our desire be to go to Heaven, and to
influence others to do likewise! We cannot accomplish this goal
unless we recognize and apply Gods remedy for our failures
in Christian living.
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Paris, TX 75460
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THE GOSPEL IN FIVE POINTS
In Romans 1:16, the apostle Paul wrote,
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the
power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the
Jew first, and also to the Greek. The Gospel of Christ
is good news for man. It is good news because it reveals
Gods love for mankind. So great is that love, that he sent
his Son into this world to save man from his sins (John 3:16;
Luke 19:10). The simplicity of the Gospel makes it possible for
all to understand. In our text, there are five points, worthy of
The apostle Paul wrote, For I am not
ashamed of the Gospel... (Rom. 1:16a). Here is the PRIDE
of the Gospel. Paul was proud of the Gospel of Christ.
Perhaps this is one reason for his tireless work in preaching the
message of salvation. We need the same attitude today. How proud
of the Gospel are we when were reluctant to mention it to
our friends? Can you imagine the apostle Paul or any apostle
being reluctant to tell the story of the cross of
Christ? No doubt their being proud of the Gospel is one
reason for it being preached to every creature under heaven by
the time Paul wrote his letter to the church at Colosse (cf. Col.
Another reason why Paul was not ashamed
of the Gospel is because of its POWER. Concerning
the Gospel, Paul wrote, ...for it is the power of
God... (Rom. 1:16b). The word power is translated from the
Greek dunamis. It is from this word that we derive
several of our English words, e.g., dynamic, dynamo, and
dynamite. The Gospel is not Gods only power, but it is the
only power he uses to save man from his sins. The Gospel is
Gods dynamite which he uses to blast away our
sins! The greatest spiritual power the world will every
experience is the Gospel of Christ.
The salvation of mans soul is the
PURPOSE of the Gospel. Paul wrote, ...for it is the
power of God unto salvation... (Rom. 1:16c). Jesus came to
save man from his sins (Luke 19:10). The message of Christ, the
Gospel, has but one purpose to save our souls. Jesus asked,
For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul... (Matt. 16:26a).
Friend, your soul is worth more than the whole world. If we lose
our soul, we will have lost everything. This is why Jesus gave us
the Gospel plan for our salvation (Mark 16:15,16).
The Gospel is ...to everyone that
believeth... (Rom. 1:16d). Here is the PLAN for
mans redemption. Yes, the Lord has a plan for our salvation.
The Gospel of Christ is Gods plan for mans
righteousness. It is the theme of the book of Romans. When we
obey the Gospel, our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ
(Acts 22:16; Rev. 1:5). The word believeth is a figure
of speech where a part is put for the whole.
It encompasses the commands to believe in Christ (John 8:24), to
repent of our sins (Acts 17:30), to confess the sonship of Christ
(Acts 8:36,37), and to be baptized in water for the remission
(forgiveness) of our sins (Acts 2:38; 10:47,48).
The Gospel was preached, ...to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16e). Here we have the
PEOPLE to whom the Gospel is preached. The Gospel is for
all! Through the Gospel we can see Gods love for man, and
mans opportunity to be saved and enjoy a home in Heaven, one
Friend, if you havent obeyed the Gospel,
why not do so today? Tomorrow may be too late. Please contact the
nearest church of Christ and allow them to assist you in your
obedience. You will be glad you did!
1336 Spring Lake Road
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Table of Contents
WHY DOES TERRORISM EXIST TODAY?
SIN. Sin is the cause of evil and wickedness. Any
sin, all sin, is committed when one violates Gods will.
First John 3:4 says, Whosoever committeth sin
transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the
law. Sin began among men in the garden of Eden with
Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:6,7) and continues to this today.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ...
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one
(Rom. 3:23,10). The devil delights and revels in sin. He uses his
influence to entice people to sin and is behind every vice of
Pain, misery, suffering, heartache and death
exist because of sin entering the world. People often bring hurt
and misery upon themselves as a direct result of their own
immoral behavior such as drunkenness, drugs, adultery, lying,
etc. Many times the innocent get hurt, suffer and die as the
result of others who sin. All disease and tragedies of the world
exist because of sin. Acts of terrorism exist because of corrupt
minds who cannot cease from sin (cf. 2 Peter 2:14). God does not
cause suffering as punishment for sin; it is simply the natural
consequence of wickedness. Sin brought wickedness into the world
and opened the flood gates for suffering. It shows that life on
earth is temporary and that we must prepare for the life to come
after this world.
God does not cause or tempt people to sin.
This is made clear in James 1:13-15: Let no man say
when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be
tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is
tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then
when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it
is finished, bringeth forth death.
The Lord God of heaven is a merciful and
loving God. He warned Adam and Eve about sin just as He has
warned all men through the generations and warns us today in the
Scriptures. He is not willing that any should perish but that all
should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God desires to forgive
men of their sin if they will comply with His divine Will. We are
not left hopeless, but we must turn to the Lord in humble
obedience. We must obey Him (Matt. 7:21-23).
To obey, one must: believe the Word of
God and what it teaches concerning Jesus the Christ
(John 8:24; 3:16), repent of sins (Acts 17:30; 2:38),
confess faith in Christ that he is the Son of God (Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:37), and be baptized for the forgiveness of
sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). This makes one a
child of God. The child of God must continue living a faithful
life to the Lord to be saved eternally (Matt. 10:22; 1 Cor.
15:58; Rev. 2:10).
Are YOU willing to believe and obey?
--editor, Garland M. Robinson
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We very much enjoy, and share, all copies of STOP.
Theyre ALL GREAT. But in our congregation, we are in great
need of more copies of this particular one, especially Bro.
McDades, Bro. Adams, Bro. Campbells, and your
articles. Unfortunately, because some of the leaders in
our congregation are delusional, they see nothing wrong with
fellowshipping denominations, or with bringing in family members
from APOSTATE churches, to help us! Please also keep
our congregation in your prayers that plans for bringing in grown
children of some of our leaders will not materialize! Those
children have been duped by false-teaching wolves in
sheeps clothing the Bible warns us about. But all those
trips, parties, new ideas, denominational-style
singing, etc., are drawing young people away from the church, and
to the apostate congregations by the droves. Its downright
frightening, especially with our nations
government going down the tubes, as well!
Many thanks ...Name Withheld. I would like to
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Table of Contents
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