Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Where's the Bible?

Have you ever found yourself asking at the conclusion of a church service “where’s the Bible?” Have you gone to church services, taken your Bible with you, and then realized after leaving that you never were asked to open it? In many churches today, sermons are given with little to no scripture included. Many times lessons are developed and presented around the events of the day. This can help us to learn to deal with life, but it does not teach us, from the Bible, how to live our life.


In our society, many churches have tried all kinds of things in an effort to bring people to church services. The one thing that is usually missing in most of these efforts is an appeal for people to come and learn more about the Bible. You may have even felt that churches seem to emphasize how the Bible should be made to fit our lives, rather than how our lives should be made to fit the Bible. Many churches today practice various doctrines and traditions that are not found anywhere in the Bible (Matthew 15:8-9). It would seem that if one is trying to please God in all aspects of their life, then one would want to make sure that everything that they are doing religiously is in accordance with the Bible — the Word of God (Matthew 7:21).

If you are interested in knowing this wonderful book of God, the Bible, we encourage you to visit the Poudre Valley church of Christ where only the Bible is preached, taught, and practiced. Many people today are interested in church sponsored entertainment to fulfill their needs. We, however, emphasize the necessity of learning and knowing the Bible; we emphasize the need for Christ in our life based upon His Word. We teach only the Bible because we understand the importance of what Jesus said in John 12:48: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

The Poudre Valley church of Christ is a place where you can attend and learn the Bible. In our Bible classes, we study the words of Jesus and the inspired apostles. In this way, we can learn what individuals had to do back in the first century in order to be saved and then make those same applications to our lives. Today, most denominations trace the establishment of their church to a specific person on a specific date: anywhere from 600 A.D. to present time. However, Christ promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), and we learn from the Bible that His church was established on the first Pentecost after His resurrection (Acts 2). The church of Christ is the church in which we belong; therefore, we strive diligently to practice only that which is authorized by God in His Holy inspired Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We want to encourage you to come and visit the Poudre Valley church of Christ where you will quickly realize that the Bible is emphasized above all else. You will leave feeling loved and appreciated, not having to ask yourself “where’s the Bible? 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Purpose of the Law

"What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Galatians 3:19-25). We can see in this text that the law was simply a tutor to bring us to Christ and that we are now justified by faith. The word "justified" means that we are free from sin or guilt. It is through faith then that we are sons of God (Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:26-27).

True faith is demonstrated by our obedience to God’s Word. Notice if you will what is stated in the book of James: "But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:18-24). The Word of God further says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

We must be determined to put our faith in God, being obedient to Jesus each and every day that we live. Study daily in order to gain faith in Him, and then put your faith to work each day by living for Him in all that you say and do.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Opportunities That Felix Had

Felix’s problem was sin; thus, his greatest need was the forgiveness of sin. Yet, he neglected God’s offer. When Felix died I am sure that he wished that he had taken his conversations with the Apostle Paul more seriously and did what was necessary in order for him to be saved. There are several things in which Felix neglected that caused him to be in a lost condition. Let's look at some.

Felix was in the right place at the right time, yet he still was not obedient to the word of God presented by Paul (Acts 24:24a).

Felix heard the Apostle Paul preach, yet he did not respond to the words that could have saved him if he would have truly listened and obeyed them (Acts 24:24b).

Felix heard a sermon adapted specifically to him, yet he did not give it the urgent need that was needed for him to gain salvation (Acts 24:25).

Felix had an emotional response to the gospel, yet as he heard Paul reason about about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, he became emotional (he was afraid). He then told Paul to "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." We don't have any indication that his "convenient time" ever came (Acts 24:25).

Felix had a second chance, yet still he did not obey the gospel message. Felix sent for Paul numerous times and conversed with him and did not become a Christian (Acts 24:26).

Felix neglected so many wonderful opportunities to be saved; he neglected them to remain lost. Dear friends, let that NEVER be said of us! "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him (Hebrews 2:3).

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Defense of our Faith

In Acts 26:18, we find the Apostle Paul before Agrippa, defending his faith. He explains to Agrippa what happened to him on his journey to Damascus. He then explains the words of Jesus and that he is to tell others about Jesus so that others can be saved through Him. “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).

We too can have life if we live up to what Jesus told Paul. We must first turn from darkness (sin) to the light (walking with God). “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). We must then set our sights on having our domain with God and not with Satan. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Through our obedience to the Word of God we will be moved to turn around so that our sins can be forgiven. Only those who determine to follow God, not Satan, can have forgiveness of sins. “and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). The Apostle Peter wrote, “....repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Once we have been forgiven of our sins and continue to follow God, then we will receive an inheritance! “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build {you} up and to give {you} the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). That inheritance is everlasting life with God our Father to those who are sanctified (which is set apart from sin and drawn near to Jesus)! Paul understood that for someone to do those things, they would have to have faith in Jesus. We will not put aside the world and draw near to Christ unless we have a true faith in Him. “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). Thomas would not believe in Jesus until he felt the scars of His wounds and realized that he really was looking at Jesus! We must believe in Jesus with a true faith - even though we have not personally seen Him. “Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed {are} they who did not see, and {yet} believed. Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:29-31). Are we really defending Jesus to others as Paul did in his day? If so, we can proudly praise God.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Preparing for Eternity

There are many people who only live for today and never make any plans for their future. Spiritually, every one of us should be concerned about our future and as a result should be busy preparing ourselves for the eternity that awaits us after our earthly life comes to an end. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson about looking ahead – making sure that we are focused on what really matters. “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Then He said to another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house. But Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” We should be making a commitment to follow the Lord and being obedient to His teaching so that we can gain an entrance into the eternal kingdom of God.

This Earth Will Be Dissolved
One of two things will happen during our lifetime. We will die a physical death, or the Lord will return before we do. The scriptures teach us that this earth will be dissolved when the Lord returns (2 Peter 3:9-10). Since these things will be dissolved, Peter goes on to ask a very important question, “what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11)? Once we die, or if Jesus returns before, we do not have a chance of changing our life’s thoughts and actions. The Christian has made preparations for death or the second coming of Christ and is looking forward to God’s promise of “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). The child of God does not want to fall short of the grace of God, therefore the Christian looks carefully into God’s word to ensure that they are living a life that is pleasing to Him (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Motivated to Look Ahead
God’s dedicated saints stay motivated in our daily walk because we understand that we must be ready at all times for the coming of the Lord. “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40). It is a true blessing to live a Christian life because we know that heaven awaits us. Therefore we continue to stay “fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62) understanding that when one “looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). Our motivation is easy if we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). May we all strive to run the race assuming that each day may be the last day we live upon this earth. The Hebrew writer said, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). We must stay focused on the great crown of righteousness that awaits every Christian who doesn’t look back, but rather remains faithful (Revelation 2:10), and prepares daily for the eternity that awaits us with the Lord!


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Fellowship


The book of 1 John, chapter one has some valuable information that is important to us. Sometimes we use the term "fellowship with one another" too lightly. We can only have fellowship with one another if we are walking in the light as Jesus "Himself is in the light" (v. 7). We know from verse 5 that "God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." Therefore, how can we say "we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness?" If we do "we lie and do not practice the truth" (v 6). Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). Most everyone that is a Christian realizes that Jesus is the light and that He is without sin. The emphasis in this chapter is that God does not associate with evil and darkness is not in Him -- He is only light. Therefore, if we are following Christ we must do so on His terms and that is to not associate with darkness but to walk in the light as "He is the light".

If we walk in the light we are told that "the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (v. 7). Aren't we all striving to do the best we can so that we can someday be with our savior in heaven? We need to be free of pride so that we can "confess our sins" (v. 9) so that we can be "cleansed from all unrighteousness." Yes, we all sin (Romans 3:23), but what we have as Christians is the avenue of prayer to ask God for forgiveness, knowing that He will "forgive our sins" (v. 9) if we are walking in the light. In the right relationship with God, we have "fellowship with one another!"

Monday, March 1, 2021

When Nobody Notices

Perhaps you’ve seen the sign that reads, “Housework is something you do that nobody notices unless you don’t do it.” The truth behind that statement applies to more than just housework. People seem to have no trouble noticing our failures -- anger, impatience, criticism, or imperfections. Who notices when we “sometimes” get it right? Sometimes we feel that nobody sees or appreciates what we may do. This may be true except for one reassuring reality: God sees and He appreciates.

There are many great and beautiful things in this world that may go unnoticed: A beautiful sunrise that we are not awake to see, the many beauties that lie underwater, etc. These magnificent things are there and those immense things happen, whether we see them or not. God sees. That reality can also be a source of security or comfort for us.

According to the apostle Paul, we are ultimately serving Jesus Christ. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).

We are to serve Him with an attitude of thanksgiving and from the heart. The Lord not only sees and values what we do, but He also will reward us. “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).

Written By: Shane Williams