SAFE AND RELIABLE TRANSLATIONS
FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.
I will mention two the KJV (King James Version) and
the ASV (American Standard Version) in that order. Late in
his illustrious life, brother Gus Nichols, the walking Bible of his
generation who died in 1975, told a lectureship audience at
Freed-Hardeman College, now University, that we would be better off
if we would stay with these two versions. I heard him say it and
said an Amen to myself. Yet, the very college where he urged this
sage counsel has not stayed with his prudent advice. Many of the
preachers and professors who heard him say that have not stayed
with his veteran wisdom on translational matters. When we stay with
these two, we will not be rewriting Genesis 1-2 as some modern
versions have done either in the text or in a footnote. We will not
be rewriting Genesis 12:1-3 and 22:18 as some versions have done.
When we stay with these two versions, we will not have a
difficulty between Psalm 45:6 and its precise counterpart in
Hebrews 1:8-9. Both the KJV and the ASV have the
Second Person called God in Psalm 45:6 and in Hebrews 1:8-9. This
cannot be said for how the RSV massacred these two passages.
Being modernists, as manifestly they were, it did not bother them
in the least to have the two testaments out of harmony with each
other. The RSV in Psalm 45:6 left Him with a divine throne
but minus His Deity or being God. But recall that Solomon sat upon
the throne of David or the throne of the Lord (1 Kings 2:12;
1 Chron. 29:23). David and Solomon were not God as was the Eternal
Word who became Jesus in the unfolding of the scheme of human
When we stay with these two versions, we will not have to
deal with the Calvinism injected into Psalm 51:5 by the NIV (New
International Version), the LBP (Living Bible
Paraphrase) and other Calvinistic Bibles. David was not
conceived a sinner, nor was he a sinner at birth. In this chapter
he is confessing sins committed as an adult adultery and
cold-blooded murder. For a surety he was not an adulterer or a
murderer while in his mothers womb or at the moment of his
birth. Like Adam and Eve he did not sin until he was responsible
for his actions. He became a sinner, just like we do, when he
sinned. Translators should know better than to inject original or
Adamic sin into any passage and especially into Psalm 51:5. Did
they pay no attention to Psalm 58:3 that makes crystal clear that
people go astray speaking lies not born astray or
spewing out lies five seconds subsequent to birth? Psalm 119:176
also makes such clear by saying, I have gone astray like a
lost sheep... (Ezek. 18:20), if believed by such translators,
would have refuted the concept of sin inherited from an ancestor,
be it the immediate father or even Adam at the head of the race.
If we stay with these versions, the KJV and
ASV, we have no problems between Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew
1:22-23. Both the prophecy and the fulfillment have virgin
not young woman. Young woman does not translate
accurately or reverently ha almah, the Hebrew term for
virgin. Neither will parthenos (Greek word for virgin) in
Matthew 1:22-23 allow any other rendering except a virginal one.
If we stay with these two versions, we will have no problem
with another 7:14 citation Amos 7:14 which has Amos to say,
I was no prophet, neither was I a prophets son... as
the NASB (New American Standard Bible) does in having Amos
to say, I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a
prophet.... The NASB had trouble with past and present
here. The NASB had about as much trouble here as it did with
Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15 in the New Testament. There was a
time when Amos was not a prophet. However, he surely was a prophet
when he was PROPHESYING in Israel. Why do not translators use some
common sense in matters like this? Surely, if a man is prophesying,
he ought not be projected as no present prophet. This was
inexcusable on the part of the Lockman translators in Amos 7:14 as
well as the poor job they did with Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15!
When we stay with these two versions we have the genealogies
of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 intact. This cannot be said for The
Readers Digest Bible which axed both of these sections of
Scripture omitting some thirty-three verses. This was par for the
course in view of what they did with the genealogy section in the
early chapters of First Chronicles. Subtraction was the infamous
game they played in giving us a very incomplete Bible. They left
out 50% of the Old Testament and about 25% of the New Testament.
Overall, they omitted about 300,000 words from the Bible. Yet, its
main translator or guiding force, Bruce Metzger, said they had not
tampered with any of the doctrinal nature of the Bible! But it is
all doctrinal or teaching. What they omitted was/is doctrinal or
When we stay with these two versions, we will not have a
contradiction between Jesus in Matthew 5:17 and Paul in Ephesians
2:15. Numerous of the new versions, including the RSV, NASB
and the NIV, will have Christ deny any intention of
abolishing the Mosaic System only to have Paul affirm that He did
abolish such. The KJV and ASV are in holy harmony
with these two passages. They do not have Christ and Paul in
hopeless, hapless and helpless conflict relative to the end of
Sinaitic statutes. Christ knew what He would do. Paul knew He had
done it at Calvary (cf. Col. 2:14-17). Both the KJV and
ASV knew what He did, and did not tamper with either
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have a
tamed-down account of Matthew 19:9 as the modern versions do who
wish to cushion the precise usage of fornication. This is the way
porneia should be translated fornication not
marital unfaithfulness which can include other sins beside sexual
actions. A man beats his wife and her children. He is unfaithful to
her and to them. He deprives her and his children of lifes
essentials. He is unfaithful to her and them though he may never
seek out another woman for sexual habitation.
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have to
account for the omission of twelve verses in Mark 16:9-20.
Initially, the RSV of 1946 and 1952 left out more verses in
Mark 16 than they allowed to be included. Later, they added it back
but these modernistic men were in grievous error. In its initial
omission and then seeking to justify such with arguments that
contained NO validity at all! They were filled with silly sophistry
which is perhaps the kindest thing I could say and write.
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have profane
language in Acts 8:20 as Phillips put into his one-man
translation making Peter say what the text will not allow at all.
The Living Bible Paraphrase introduced profane language into
its product. Concerned Baptist people in Nashville, Tennessee,
objected to their big Baptist book store selling such because of
its coarse and profane language.
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have
faith only placed into Romans 1 and 3 as some of the
modern versions, including the NIV, do.
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have
mechanical music injected into Ephesians 5:19 as do the
Amplified, the version by Beck and the NIV. The
Amplified has instruments linked with singing; Becks work has
play music in the Ephesian passage; the NIV has
make music. All three are favorable to mechanical music
added to Christian worship.
When we stay with these two versions, we do not have to deal
with sinful nature renderings as found in the NIV
both in Romans and in Galatians. The Greek word sarx was
tampered with by the NIV. This was more of their Calvinism
spewing forth! The term should have been rendered flesh.
The Gospel plan of salvation is safe in these two versions.
It is not garbled up as we see in the NIV. The NIV
has people included in Christ at the point of hearing in
Ephesians 1:13. Then the NIV has people justified at
the point of belief in Romans 10:9-10. Then people are saved
at the point of confession (Rom. 10:10). Then the NIV has
people baptized into Christ and His body in Romans 6:3-4, 1
Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:27. Let us linger awhile on some
of these created problems. Since the NIV has people
included in Christ when they hear, I suppose these people
would have to be excluded between hearing and the formation of
faith in order that they may be justified when faith is
formed. But since the NIV has people saved at the
point of confession, I suppose people would have to exit the realm
of the redeemed, as they view it, between faith and the confession
in order to be saved when confession is made. But again, the
NIV has people coming into Christ at the point of
baptism. Therefore, people would have to be lost again between
confession and immersion in order that they may come into Christ
when immersed. What utter confusion all this is! Yet, this is what
multitudes of our brethren have accepted relegating the KJV
and the ASV into permanently retired Bibles allowing the
dust to collect! For double shame one in rejecting the true
and tested and two in accepting a very bad translation one
shot through with error as brother Guy N. Woods assessed it in
The general acceptance of modern perversions has infused the
bloodstream of churches of Christ with many errors of a fatal
Choose this day what you are going to use as a Bible but
choose one that is good, safe and reliable. As for me, I will be
staying with the majestic KJV. In sixty-one years of
preaching, I have not changed Bibles nor changed what is in the
All quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted in
refuting modern versions with their perversions.
Part 2 of 2
Garfield Heights Lectures, 2008
PO Box 464, Ripley, TN 38063
Table of Contents
THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSS
Garland M. Robinson
Many care very little for the cross of Christ. This was true in
the first century as well. By inspiration, Paul wrote to the church
at Corinth, For the preaching of the cross is to them that
perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of
God (1 Cor. 1:18). But, without the cross of Jesus the
Christ, there would be no hope for any of us. It was on the cross
that Christ shed his atoning blood, and without shedding of
blood is no remission (Heb. 9:22).
WHY DID CHRIST DIE ON THE CROSS?
Christ died on the cross to fulfill Old Testament
prophecy. Contrary to the false doctrine of premillennialism
(the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth), Christ was rejected of
men and died on the cross just as the Old Testament Scriptures said
he would. Isaiah 53:3-5 says, He is despised and rejected
of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as
it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him
not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet
we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he
[was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with
his stripes we are healed.
Jesus said, ...all things must be fulfilled, which
were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the
psalms, concerning me (Luke 24:44). O fools, and
slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought
not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his
glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded
unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning
himself (Luke 24:25-27). Mark 8:31 says, And he
began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things,
and be rejected of the elders, and [of] the chief priests, and
scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Paul reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening
and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again
from the dead... (Acts 17:2-3). The Old Testament reveals
as many as 300 prophecies of Jesus. He fulfilled every one.
Christ died on the cross to take away the Old
Testament. Second Corinthians 3:14 speaks of the Old Testament
as a vail (covering, curtain) and then says,
which vail is done away in Christ. Jesus
death on the cross was a Blotting out the handwriting of
ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took
it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Col. 2:14).
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh
away the first, that he may establish the second (Heb.
10:9). For where a testament [is], there must also of
necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [is] of
force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all
while the testator liveth (Heb. 9:15-17). Hebrews 8:13
says, In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the
first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to
Christ died on the cross to establish the New
Testament. The law and the prophets were until John:
since that time the kingdom of God is preached... (Luke
16:16). And for this cause he is the mediator of the new
testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the
transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which
are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For
where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of
the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead:
otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator
liveth (Heb. 9:16-17). He taketh away the first
that he may establish the second (Heb. 10:9). In
that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old
(Heb. 8:13). All men who have lived this side of the cross will be
judged by the New Testament. Jesus said, He that rejecteth
me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word
that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last
day (John 12:48). And the times of this ignorance
God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the
world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained;
[whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath
raised him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).
Christ died on the cross to reconcile Jew and
Gentile. Before Jesus went to the cross, the Israelites were
Gods chosen people through whom the promised Messiah would
come to make redemption possible. Since the Lord came and died, the
Jews are no longer Gods chosen people. Today, Christians are
Gods chosen people. There is now no respect of persons or
nationality with God. People from all nations serve God equally in
the church. ...Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a
truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every
nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted
with him (Acts 10:34-35). God has made both Jews and
Gentiles one. For he is our peace, who hath made both one,
and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between
us. And that he might reconcile both unto God in
one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby
(Eph. 2:14-16). And, having made peace through the blood of
his cross (Col. 1:20).
Christ died on the cross to purchase the church with his
blood. The church of the New Testament is the kingdom that was
promised in the Old Testament. The price paid for the church was
Jesus death on the cross. The apostle Paul told the elders of
the church of Ephesus that Jesus bled and died for the church,
purchasing it with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Christ also
loved the church, and gave himself for it (Eph. 5:25).
Without the church, there is no salvation! Those who are IN the
Lords body, his church, the kingdom, will be saved, for Christ
is the savior of his body, the church (Eph. 5:23; 1:22-23; Col.
1:18). Since Jesus thought enough of the church to die for it, we
must hold it supreme in our hearts and lives. We must seek it first
above all else (Matt. 6:33).
Christ died on the cross to redeem man from his sins.
To redeem means to buy back. Jesus paid the price (his
lifes precious blood) to buy sinners back from sin and death.
For ye are bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20).
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by
whose stripes ye were healed (1 Peter 2:24).
...The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matt.
28:20). Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things; [as] silver and gold, from your vain
conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with
the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Christ died on the cross to give us an example.
...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that
ye should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21). His devotion to
the heavenly Fathers cause was to do His will whatever the
cost. Our devotion should be the same. The Lords whole life
was to show us the Father (cf. John 14:8-12). His act of humility
and service is vividly portrayed in John 13:2-17 when he washed the
disciples feet. Our lives must be filled with labor, help and
service. This world and our existence in it is about bringing
praise and glory to the heavenly Father. Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16). For
ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and
in your spirit, which are Gods (1 Cor. 6:20).
The purpose and accomplishment of the cross of Christ was
for the benefit of all mankind. The Lords sacrifice was not
limited to only those who believe and obey the Lord as the doctrine
of Calvinism claims. Jesus died for all men. But we see
Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the
suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the
grace of God should taste death for every man (Heb.
2:9). The Lamb of God was slain to take away the sin of the whole
world (John 1:29). For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Jesus said his death was to draw all men unto Him (John
12:32). Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came]
upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one
[the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of
life (Rom. 5:18). Jesus died for all men (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared
to all men (Titus 2:11). The Lords death on
the cross ...is the propitiation for our sins: and not for
ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole
world (1 John 2:2).
To receive the benefits of the cross, one must OBEY THE
GOSPEL. Condemnation is pronounced upon those who do not. The Lord
will one day come ...in flaming fire taking vengeance on
them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:8; cf. 1 Peter 4:17).
To obey the Gospel, one MUST:
BELIEVE the Gospel and what is says of Jesus the
Christ. Jesus said, ...if ye believe not that I am [he], ye
shall die in your sins (John 8:24). He that
believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth
not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on
him (John 3:36). If one believes Jesus, he will do what He
says. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things
which I say (Luke 6:46)? Without faith, it is impossible
to please God (Heb. 11:6).
REPENT OF SINS. Jesus said, ...except ye
repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3,5).
...God...commandeth all men every where to repent
(Acts 17:30). Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
Ghost (Acts 2:38).
CONFESS FAITH IN CHRIST. That if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the
mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).
When the man from Ethiopia wanted to be baptized, ..Philip
said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he
answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God (Acts 8:37).
BE BAPTIZED. Perhaps the easiest verse in all the
Bible to understand is found in Mark 16:16 where Jesus said,
He that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Masses of people hate the Lord for making water baptism essential
for being saved. But, it cant be refuted!
The remainder of the New Testament is consistent with the
Lords simple statement in Mark 16:16. In the very first Gospel
sermon ever preached, when people heard the Gospel and were
convicted of their sins, they asked what they should do. They were
told to repent and be baptized FOR the forgiveness of
sins (Acts 2:38). Then they that gladly received his word
were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about
three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). They did not fuss and
quibble about baptism. They did not tell the apostles that water
baptism had nothing to do with forgiveness of sins and going to
heaven. They gladly received the word of Peter and were baptized
FOR the remission of sins.
When Saul of Tarsus wanted to be saved, he was not told to
accept the Lord into his heart as his personal saviour to be saved.
He was told the same thing the thousands were told on the day of
Pentecost: Arise and be baptized, and wash away
thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts
22:16). He was calling on the name of the Lord by doing what he was
told to do.
Years later (by inspiration), Paul the apostle wrote that
Salvation is IN Christ (2 Tim. 2:10). He also wrote that water
baptism puts one INTO Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27). The conclusion
is clear and certain, water baptism saves because it puts one into
Christ where salvation is. Those who are baptized are saved because
they are now IN Christ. This is exactly what 1 Peter 3:21 says,
baptism doth also now save us. Baptism is not the
only thing that one has to do to be saved, but it is the final step
that transforms a person from the state of being lost to the state
of being saved.
Table of Contents
NO WONDER HEARTS ARE SO HARD!
John D. Cotham
George Barna is founder and president of the Barna Research
Group. Just a few years ago this research group took an annual
survey of American values and religious views across the United
States. From the data, Barna put out a book by the title, What
Americans Believe. If you have ever doubted the effect that
Satan has on our country, then pay close attention to the
statistics quoted from his survey. There were two survey questions
that revealed startling information concerning the beliefs of most
(and I emphasize most) Americans.
First, Barnas survey showed that two-thirds (67% to be
exact) of all Americans deny that absolute truth exists. It is
interesting that 72% (approximately 3 out of 4) of all Americans
between ages 18 and 25 agreed that one could not know absolute
truth. No wonder we cant convert the younger generation. These
young people agreed with the statement: different people can
define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct.
Brethren, this is one of the most erroneous doctrines that can be
taught among men. Notice that this doctrine is not applied to
anything other than religion. For example: in math, 2+2=4 and
2x6=12. This is absolute truth that no one can change. In science,
earth revolves around the sun. This is absolute truth that cannot
be denied. It is only in religion that Satan has managed to confuse
men into thinking they cant know absolute truth.
Second, Barnas survey showed that 60% of all adult
Americans do not believe that Satan is a real being, but is simply
a symbol of evil. The scripture warns us to beware of Satan and his
ploys to overcome mankind (Matt. 13:39; Eph. 4:26-27; 6:12; 1 Peter
5:8). Other scripture tells us to resist Satan (James 4:7; 1 Peter
5:8-9). It is impossible to resist someone if we deny him to be
real. Those people who are disposed to deny that Satan exists have
been blinded by him. He owns them. How well the scripture speaks of
these people. And with all deceivableness of
unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the
love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for this cause God
shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Do you believe the truth, all the truth? Gods word is
truth (John 17:17). Obedience to the truth and continuing in it
saves. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; And
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
(John 8:31-32). Jesus said, 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 (Matt.
Are YOU obeying the truth?
23466 Highway 49
Saucier, MS 39574
Table of Contents
This Time Of Year We Get Calls Almost Daily About
Helping For Thanksgiving Or Christmas.
What Is The Church To Do?
The members here give can goods and other grocery items.
This pantry of goods is set up to help individuals; the idea being
to help them get over a rough spot in the road. We have people who
call and ask for help during the holidays like for a ham or
something similar. When we tell them no, for the most
part they just say, good-bye. Some, however, have a very
different attitude. They believe the church (any church) owes them
something during the holiday season. I informed one lady we help
people twelve months out of the year with food. She was interested
in a good ham.
Table of Contents
Caring for those who have run into hard times is much the
character of any Christian. As with much of the Christian life,
there are limitations placed on all of us. Paul wrote, For
even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any
would not work, neither should he eat (2 Thess. 3:10). Notice
the word commanded. What was the command? If a person
would not work, then they do not eat. We should also look at the
words, would not work. They have the physical ability to
get out and work and yet they choose not to so do. Paul says, if a
Christian does not work, then he should not eat. The limitation
would be that we cannot subsidize or help those who refuse to help
For some at least, their thought is that the church should
give them money when they want it. Under such conditions the church
could not give enough money to help those with that attitude. The
people of the world will come asking the church for money for one
kind of crisis or another. They do not go to the local bar or
saloon soliciting help. Why is that the case? Folks in the bar or
saloon are not apt to help at all while those in the church may
help. If our help is just giving out money and there is no attempt
to do better, we are not helping that person.
Holidays are a special time for families and friends to get
together. It is also a time when many people call on the church.
With many, there is no time for God or worshipping God until they
need something. We should help those who are in need to a better
life in Christ.
2842 Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46237
DUTY OF THE CHURCH TO THE PREACHER
James W. Boyd
There are many reciprocal duties among Christians. There are
duties between members, between elders, between deacons, between
elders and deacons, elders and preachers, preachers to members, on
and on. This lesson is concerned with the duty that a congregation
has toward one who preaches, especially at the local congregation
regularly. Just as a preacher must know his duty toward those who
hear him preach, the hearers have duties to him and need to be
aware of the them.
Congregations owe the preacher personal courtesy. Should this
even have to be mentioned? Yes! The preacher is usually the one who
has been invited to be where he is, and has accepted the
invitation. He has made necessary arrangements to accommodate the
congregation, so the congregation should make accommodations for
him and his family. It is nothing but Christian to be courteous to
everybody. You might be surprised how some evidently think that
courtesy afforded them is not applicable to preachers. With some it
is always open season to shoot at preachers over
anything. Preachers should receive as much personal consideration
as any other member.
Congregations must realize the preacher has a tremendous
four-fold accountability: to himself, to his family, to the
congregation, but most of all to God. He does not mount the pulpit
to just please, entertain, or display personal wisdom or talents,
but to proclaim Gods Word. Paul wrote in Galatians 1:10,
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please
men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of
Christ. First Corinthians 2:1-5 reads, And I,
brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or
of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I
determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and
him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in
much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with
enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom
of men, but in the power of God. Acts 10:29b,33b says,
I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? ...
Now therefore we are all here present before God, to hear all
things that are commanded thee of God.
Preachers preach with the souls of men in mind, the
realization that those out of Christ are lost, and the gospel is
Gods power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Without obedience to
the gospel, one cannot be saved (I Thess. 1:8,9). He has the right
to expect the congregation to want him to preach the word
(II Tim. 4:2). No faithful preacher will allow himself to be like
those described in 2 Timothy 4:3,4, who are teachers who simply
appeal to their hearers, even with error if need be. He must preach
salvation for the lost, preservation of the saved, being true to
his convictions that have been drawn from the revealed Word of God.
Congregations owe preachers a courteous hearing. Preachers
are warned, But speak thou the things which become sound
doctrine (Titus 2:1). Hearers are also warned,
Take heed therefore how ye hear... (Luke 8:18).
Hearers ought never do anything to detract from learning. They have
a duty to consider what they hear and measure it in the light of
the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). To create disturbance while one is
preaching is very rude when done deliberately.
The message deserves consideration. Sometimes lessons have a
number of points and we lose attention at times. Possibly attention
falls on just one or two things we do not like and we totally
dismiss everything else that was said. Sometimes we may hear
something with which at first we disagree and it disturbs us. But
we need to hear him out. Some are inclined to brand lessons and
preachers as negative or positive on the basis of one presentation,
refusing to really listen to all that is being taught. That is
unfair to both the preacher and yourself to listen in such fashion.
Some will only comment with disapproval when they are not pleased
with a lesson, but seldom express approval at anything that is ever
said or done by the preacher. Is that proper or consistent?
Every preacher will likely provoke mixed reactions regarding
his manner, tone of voice, language, etc. What appeals to one may
repel another. This is a matter of human opinion and personal
preference. While method and manner are important, the message is
that which we should weigh carefully. The first question to be
asked upon hearing a sermon, is, Is it the truth? Error
is often accepted or overlooked because the hearer likes the
preacher. Truth is sometimes rejected because the hearer
doesnt like the preacher. It is not uncommon for attempts to
be made to discredit the message by discrediting the messenger.
Those who do that are the losers, as well as the preacher.
Particularly is this common when one opposes the message, but
cannot muster sufficient Biblical evidence against the message, and
the only alternative is to undermine confidence in the messenger.
The truthfulness of a sermon is determined by the Word of
God. Thy word is truth, said Jesus (John 17:17).
We are duty bound to measure the lesson by the truth (I John 4:1).
No Gospel preacher ought object being questioned and tried by the
Word. It is a healthy practice for hearers to do that. A faithful
preacher wants people to follow Christ, not him or error. Preachers
are not infallible and may not always be correct. This was true in
New Testament times, even of good men (Gal. 2; Acts 8). Paul did
not mind having his words checked (Acts 17:11). Christ urged this
measuring (John 5:39).
When one finds a preacher in error, like Priscilla and Acquila
did Apollos, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, who
spoke boldly and fervently, they taught him the way of the
Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:26). He accepted their teaching.
They did not shy away from him, nor try to talk against him behind
his back. They loved him and the truth, as well as those who might
later hear him. They showed him the truth.
It is certainly not a Christian act to condemn the message,
reject the message, and just blast the messenger. The message ought
to be inspected under the light of truth. Rejection ought not be
based on preference of preachers. Preachers have the right to have
their errors pointed out and truth explained. They also have the
right to expect those who say they love the truth to conform to the
truth once it has been preached.
No hearer ought to be offended when a sermon transgresses
what they presently believe or practice. Why is it that two people
can hear the same sermon, one will repent, and the other get mad?
Is it not because the seed the preacher has sown falls on two kinds
of soil? One is determined to do what he wants to do, while the
other is determined to do what God wants, rejoicing in the truth.
Faithful brethren will support and endorse sound doctrine. They are
hungry for it. Many were offended at the preaching of Jesus, Paul,
Peter, etc. Just because somebody gets ruffled is no reason to
discount the sermon and get mad at the preacher.
Preachers have a right to expect congregations to support the
truth with words of endorsement, and with material support for the
one who proclaims it. First Corinthians 9:14, Even so hath
the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of
the gospel. First Timothy 5:18, For the Scripture
saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.
And, the laborer is worthy of his hire. Galatians 6:6,
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him
that teacheth in all good things.
HE SOWS THE SEED
Preachers have the right to expect more than mere words of
endorsement and material support from the congregation. How
disappointing it is to work hard preparing a lesson of truth, and
then half or more of the brethren do not care enough to even attend
and hear it.
Hearers, after checking the message against the revealed
Word of God, have the duty to believe it, live it, stand for it,
defend it, oppose its enemies, and teach it to others. Nothing is
more reprehensible than a hearer declaring war against the truth,
ignoring it, belittling it, scoffing at it, or giving ground and
encouragement to those who oppose it, attacking the preacher while
doing it. What the preacher has a right to expect along this line
is what God expects of every Christian concerning the truth.
Congregations must realize that each time the preacher preaches,
his message offers an opportunity that may never come again. These
opportunities may be of greater magnitude than we realize.
Preaching is sowing the seed of the kingdom. It may just be what
you need at the time. It may answer some question, provide the
Biblical solution to some problem, fortify against some temptation,
bring recognition to some duty to God or man. It is a dangerous
omission to deliberately be absent from the sermons the preacher
Usually following a sermon, everyone is given opportunity to
get right with God. The invitation of the Lord is extended. Can we
afford to ignore this? The one who preaches deserves your support,
respect, consideration, not because of him, but because of the
glory of what he preaches, the Gospel of Christ.
Someone has coined the phrase, God had but one Son and
He was a preacher. How should we treat that preacher? Romans
10:15 says, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach
the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things?
A Burning Fire, Vol. XII, Num. 12, page 20
2720 S Chancery St., McMinnville, TN 37110
Table of Contents
Could you send me a few copies of the next issue to lay on the
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