It’s that time of year again, when millions make New Year’s resolutions — with many breaking them within the first week of the New Year. Resolutions are not bad. Making goals is a helpful way to achieve the improvements we wish to make in our lives. They need to be realistic and possible. Here are a few suggestions to be in 2005 that are within the reach of every Christian.
Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: What to be in 2005
The expressions “non-institutional” and “conservative” are commonly used by brethren today to describe an assembly of brethren who do not support the sponsoring church or human institutions, and who are not liberal-minded in their spiritual thought. But we need to be aware that these terms are also now being used among a great many brethren to describe congregations where brethren gladly advocate and practice the false teachings of “unity in diversity”, and where the endorsement and fellowship of brethren who teach and/or practice soul destructive error is a common occurrence.
So, it had better become obvious to faithful brethren that “soundness” in teaching and practice involves a great deal more than simply describing an assembly of brethren as being non-institutional or conservative. I am confident that we could all profit from a full examination of what constitutes the acceptance and practice of “sound doctrine” among our brethren, but for our purposes in this particular article we must recognize that a sound and faithful group of brethren will be those who abide in the doctrine of Christ, John 8:31-32, and who will not receive anyone who does not bring this teaching, 2 John 9-11. These are brethren who have fellowship with God and one another because they walk in the light, 1 John 1:5-7, and they are very concerned and careful that they have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, Ephesians 5: 6-14.
Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: In a Sound Church, Yet Without a Clue
In Hebrews 10:24-25, the Hebrew writer expounds upon one of the primary purposes for the worship assemblies, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” When we come together, it is for edification.
Edification is accomplished by several means. As we speak to one another in song (cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16); pray (cf. Colossians 3;16); declare the Lord’s Death in his supper; (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:26), etc.; we are built up in Christ.
Continue reading » Preaching/Teaching
In many homes the Bible is a forgotten book. If children learn anything at all about God, it must be in bible classes. Many children grow up without hearing the wonderful stories of the Bible. This is both a sin and a shame. Ephesians 6:4 clearly puts the responsibility of teaching children about God in the home with parents as the teachers. So we need parents who will be teachers at home.
Yet, 1 Timothy 3:15 also reveals that the church is the “pillar and ground of truth.” It has the responsibility also to see that the truth is taught. The manner in which the church has to teach is through the medium of dedicated men and women who will study and prepare themselves to teach. So we need teachers in the church today.
There is no conflict between the roles of the home and the church. Rather, they should complement one another and add to what the other is doing. When the Bible is taught in the home by the parents and in the congregation by Christians, the result is multiplied knowledge instead of ignorance. Too often, not enough is done in either place and children grow up without the knowledge of God in their lives. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The Crying Need for Teachers
(Questions at the end of each lesson are borrowed from Jeff Asher)
The Parables of the Lost Ones
A. Read Text – ALWAYS Read the Text FROM THE BIBLE
- Luke 15: 1-7; Parable of the Lost Sheep
- Luke 15:8-10; Parable of the Lost Coin
- Luke 15:11-32; Parable of the Prodigal Son
B. Memory Verse – Luke 15:6 – “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
C. Other BIBLE readings – Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 17:32-37; Isaiah 40:11; 2 Corinthians 7:6-12; John 3:16-21; Romans 5:1-12; 1 Peter 1:12; Matthew 18:10; Matthew 3:1-12; James 4:1-10
D. Retell each Parable in your own words Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Five Outlines on the Parables from a Recent Vacation Bible School
The Church Must TeachA congregation that is effective in carrying out its Scriptural mission will place much emphasis upon teaching the Word of God. Paul said to Timothy: “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14-15). Please note that the context demands that the word “church” as used here refers to the local church. We can say this without fear of contradiction since Paul has just concluded his instructions to Timothy concerning the qualifications of “bishops” and “deacons.” Such men only serve in a local congregation. But you will note that our passage plainly says that “the church . . . is the pillar and ground of the truth.” The word “ground” translates the Gr. HEDRAIOMA, meaning “a support, bulwark, stay (from hedraios, stedfast, firm; from hedra, a seat), is translated ‘ground’ in 1 Tim. 3:15 (said of a local church); the R.V. marg., ‘stay’ is preferable” (Vine). Therefore, brethren, it is of paramount importance for a local congregation to accept the responsibility of teaching God’s Word and equip itself fully for this necessary function, not sparing any expense as long as it is within the guidelines of Scriptural authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Continue reading » The Work of Bible Class Teachers
Often enough I hear the words of older brethren who reflect upon their younger years in the Lord and wished they had someone to teach and guide them not only during their youthful single days but also during their pioneering days of parenthood. While this is not true of all, there are many in the body of Christ who are following the same path today. While I’m no prophet it is easy to foresee the same words being echoed by yet another generation who will have wished for the very same thing. Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: To My Fathers and Mothers in the Faith