Index by Subject

Are Institutional Orphan Homes Expedient?

One of the most useful helps in a study of the Bible is an accurate understanding of its teaching concerning expediency. Through the centuries a misunderstanding of such has dealt the church untold misery. Under the guise of expediency every form of innovation has been promoted, and wholesale apostasies developed in the work and worship of the church. Missionary societies and instrumental music were both defended as expedient methods of executing God’s commands. Again today from the camps of the innovators the cry of expediency is heard under the same guise in an all out effort to promote organizations and operations of the same nature as those of yesteryear.

What is Expediency?

Webster says expediency means, “Cultivation of, or adherence to, expedient means and methods.” Expediency, then, has to do “means and methods ” that is, the manner or way in which a given work is accomplished. In short, then, an expedient in religion is the best means or method of executing a divine command when the way to do it is not specified.

Continue reading » Are Institutional Orphan Homes Expedient?

Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

“Longsuffering” is one of the fruits the Spirit creates in our lives as we live by His divine directions received through the written word.

Definition:

    Vine: “MAKROTHUMIA, “Forbearance, patience, longsuffering. MAKROS, ‘long,’ THUMOS, ‘temper,’ is usually rendered ‘longsuffering,’ Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 2 Cor. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 4:2; Col. 1:1; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:15; ‘patience’ in Heb. 6;12, and Jas. 5:10.”

Vine’s notes: “Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish, it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy 1 Pet. 3:20. Patience is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency, and is associated with hope, 1 Thes, 1:3…”

In defining “longsuffering,” the following words are used, “forbearance,” “patience,” “self-restraint,” “not hastily retaliate or promptly punish,” “opposite of anger,” “does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under pressure,” “opposite of despondency,” “long tempered.” Continue reading » Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

Works of the Flesh: Selfish Ambitions

(Strife, Factions)

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21, New King James).

The works of the flesh in this passage can be categorized as follows:

  1. Sins of fleshly lust: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lasciviousness.
  2. Sins of irreligion: Idolatry, witchcraft, seditions (divisions, Marshall), heresies (sects. Marshall).
  3. Sins of personal disposition: variance, emulations, wrath, strife, Envyings, murders, (not found here in the better manuscripts and later versions. JPN), drunkenness, revellings and such like.

This article will discuss a sin of personal disposition, namely, strife (Greek, erithia). Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Selfish Ambitions

Some Old Saws — Same Old Saws

A saw is not always a tool with which to cut something. Webster says it is a proverb, or a trite saying. We are being treated to several old saws today. Lets have a look at some of them.

These are perilous times for conservative brethren. Unless some changes in attitude occur, division is inevitable among the conservative churches. It will likely take a while for it to occur, but all the elements of division are now present: misrepresentation, accusation, polarization and separation. This all started with the publication of erroneous views on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. It has moved from that to widespread discussion of what is generally called “fellowship.” Romans 14 is being misused in an effort to foist upon the brethren generally an attitude of tolerance known as “unity in diversity,” You believe it your way and I’ll believe it mine, and we’ll get along just fine. A brother recently described the situation in the congregation where he worships. He said, “We have people here who are institutional, some who are anti-institutional, and some who are liberal on the marriage issue. We have agreed not to do anything that violates anyone’s conscience, and we will not preach on these things or try to convert each other.” I will guarantee you that we could get along with the devil with that philosophy! What ever happened to “earnestly contending for the faith”(Jude 3), and preaching the whole counsel of God? (Acts 20:27). Continue reading » Some Old Saws — Same Old Saws

Christ: The Divine Depository of All Religious Authority

IntroductionNo subject is more important than that of religious authority. This is made clear by Jesus’ presentation of the judgment scene when some will say, “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” (Matthew 7:22-23). Iniquity is working without law, or violating existing law. These persons had done “many wonderful works,” but by the wrong authority. They claimed to have done them in the name of Christ, that is, by His authority, but Jesus denied it. Jesus did not question their sincerity, or their morals, but their authority. Sincerity, good morals, nor anything else can substitute for the proper authority in religion.All people understand the necessity of having a singular standard of authority in every realm but religion. We all are happy that we have a singular standard of authority in money, weights, measures, time, etc. What if you went to the bank to cash a check and the teller said, “Come on back and help yourself, we have no standard here.” You might think that would be great, but it wouldn’t be if your creditor used the standard of 500 or a thousand cents to the dollar. What if everyone could set his own standard in weights and measures? One merchant uses 16 ounces to the pound and another 26? What if you go to the airport to catch a plane to Chicago scheduled to leave at 12 noon, and the clerk tells you that plane left early this morning. You say, “but my ticket says it was to leave at noon.” The clerk says, “Oh, well, we don’t use those standards here, we just fly whenever we decide to.” Without standards of authority the world would be in hopeless chaos. That is precisely what we have in religion. Every man is a law unto himself, as in ancient Israel, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). Sincerity, good morals, majority view, good feelings, emotion, etc. are all substitutes men use for the authority of Christ. Continue reading » Christ: The Divine Depository of All Religious Authority