Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Christian's Growth in the Lord

Once an individual puts on Christ in baptism, they should be determined to please God in all aspects of their life. But before one can begin to grow, one must first possess an attitude that says; “I want to grow as a Christian in order to be pleasing to God.” We are going to be discussing several areas in which a Christian is to grow in the Lord, but before one can grow, one must have a good attitude, WANTING to do God’s will in all things. We all must understand that it is not so much what a person knows or is able to do or possess, but rather the question is what kind of person am I. Perhaps all of us have witnessed only too often an ugly spirit or attitude that has brought great harm. A bad attitude can spoil almost any situation. On the other hand, a good attitude can enhance, or make right almost any adverse condition that may exist. Therefore, in order for a Christian to grow in the Lord, one must first have a good attitude, wanting to be a faithful child of God in ALL things.

In What Are We to Grow?
The apostle Peter writes that Christians are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...” (2 Peter 3:18). Many Christians are not grounded in Christ mainly because they simply have not gained knowledge of our Lord. There is only one way in which we can gain knowledge and that is through study (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15). If Christians would devote time to study and meditation of God’s Word, then they will be able to grow so as to be pleasing to God. We are also instructed in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 10:15 to grow in faith. The more faith that we have the stronger our love and devotion to God is. A Christian must strive to grow in knowledge and faith.

How Can We Grow?
Before we can grow in order to be pleasing to God, we must FIRST put away worldliness. We must truly be transformed from our old ways to a life of service and devotion to Christ (Romans 12:1-2). Wickedness, guile, hypocrisies, envies, evil speakings, etc. must be done away with (1 Peter 2:1). We cannot begin to grow while holding on to worldly appetites! We can only grow when we are determined (right attitude) to learn of God. We must “desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). The Christian that desires to please God wants to know everything they possibly can about what God expects of them (1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:13-14). It is through the knowledge of His Word that we also learn to speak the truth concerning His Word. The apostle Paul writes; “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ” (Ephesians 4:15-16). The more we know then the more confidence we gain in teaching others the TRUTH of His Word.

Unto What Shall We Grow?
Every Christian should desire to grow in the Lord in order to obtain salvation. Although we will never be perfect, we can certainly strive to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Eternal salvation will only be realized by those individuals who are devoted to serving and obeying God. The Christian knows that their body is a holy temple. Paul writes “in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:21-22). Therefore Christians know that they will treat their body in a way which is pleasing to God. The body (the temple), grows into subjection to God’s will as the Christian with a good attitude understands that their body is the temple and that the body and the spirit is God’s. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To glorify God in our body we must grow to understand that we cannot do anything to our body that would be displeasing to God (Matthew 5:16). 

Why Should We Grow?
We must possess an attitude of growth in the Lord because it is commanded (2 Peter 3:18). Our growth in faith and love causes thanksgiving. Paul wrote: “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). When we grow in the Lord we become strong. The more we learn, the more we are able to receive the solid food of the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:2). May we all possess an attitude that says “I want to be pleasing to God in all things.” I want to encourage all of us to constantly examine ourselves to ensure that we are doing all things according to the will of God (2 Corinthians 13:5). If so, then we are continuing to grow in the Lord.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How Many Shopping Days Are Left?

During this holiday season we are constantly reminded each day by those on the radio and on television of how many shopping days are left until Christmas. The reminders are there so we will continue to remember to get those presents before Christmas day sneaks up on us and we find ourselves unprepared.

This got me to thinking about how many shopping days are left in our life? How many days do we have to be ready for death or the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? In reality, this is our final shopping day. Why? Because we don’t know that we will have another day. The apostle Paul wrote: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Peter wrote: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:10-11). Since we do not know when the Lord will appear again, we better make sure that we are making the appropriate purchases on our last shopping day.

What kind of purchases?
We should be investing in the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We should also be adding to our shopping list and giving all diligence to do as Peter said: “...add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). He goes on to tell us why we should add these things; “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:8-10).

We don’t know how many shopping days we have left until our life is over. Therefore, let’s make sure we are perfecting our life toward God and storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 5:48; 6:20).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving - More Than a Holiday

This coming Thursday the nation will celebrate together a time of "Thanksgiving" for this country that we live in. The word "thanksgiving" is mentioned several times in the New Testament. We would not get a chance to celebrate the upcoming "Thanksgiving" holiday if God had not created earth and man to begin with. Paul writes to the Corinthians and says "you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God" (1 Corinthians 9:11). Paul was stressing to the Corinthians that the true reason why wealth was bestowed was not for self gratification but in such a way as to cause thanksgiving to God. Yes, we should always want to have a spirit of thankfulness in our hearts to our God. We are told in Philippians that we are to be "anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6). We are also told to have " attitude of thanksgiving;" (Colossians 4:2). The true attitude of thanksgiving is an attitude from our heart that says "I am truly thankful to God for everything that He has given me to enjoy and use while on this earth". Yes, "Thanksgiving" is more than just a holiday, it's an attitude. An attitude Christians should always have on their heart year round, realizing that all that one has is from God. We can truly be thankful for that!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Religious Books for Sale

If anyone is interested, I am selling several books in my personal library that I no longer need. These include commentary sets, Bibles, and individual religious books. If you are interested in seeing the items that are being sold, go to the following link: These are available on a first come, first serve basis. If you know of others who may be interested, please let them know. NOTE: This book sale closed out on December 2, 2013. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking in the Counsel of God

 Do you want to be happy? Do you want a peaceable, stress free life? Do you want to be free of worry? Surely every single one of us would answer a resounding “YES” to everyone of these questions. Believe it or not, this is possible. When we are determined to walk in the counsel of God then we will become happy, peaceable, living a stress free, worry free life! The counsel of God was given to man for the very purpose of making our life easier, not more complicated while we live here on earth. When we allow God’s counsel to guide our life, then we will understand peace. The Psalmist wrote: “You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalms 73:24). It is only when we let God’s counsel guide us that we can gain true happiness because only God can provide this avenue for us. After all, He created us didn’t He? Therefore, He should know what we (His creation) need to sustain our life and to live it more abundantly (John 10:10). In addition, the counsel of God encourages us. The Hebrew writer says: “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18). God wants each one of us to be with Him in glory forever. In order for us to obtain this glory we must want to do only those things that God’s counsel directs of us. If we have the right heart, truly seeking to be pleasing to God, then we will WANT TO follow God’s counsel. Do you really want peace, happiness, and a stress free, worry free life? If so, then listen to God.

What Should We Do With God’s Counsel?
Don’t reject the counsel of God. We’ll never be any better off than we are today when we continue to reject God’s message to us. To reject God’s counsel is to be no better than the Pharisees and lawyers of Jesus’ day. “And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (Luke 7:30). Instead of rejecting God’s counsel and continuing in our stress and worry of life, why not try to understand the message? Micah 4:12 says: “But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, nor do they understand His counsel; for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.” When we fail to try to understand God’s message to us then we can know our eternal fate. Understand now before it is everlastingly too late! When we open our hearts to learn and understand God’s will for us then we can declare the whole counsel of God to all as the apostle Paul did (Acts 20:27).

God’s Counsel to Us
God simply asks us to BELIEVE Him and OBEY Him (Luke 7:30; Acts 20:20-21, 27)! Listening to God’s counsel is likened to the buying of fine gold. Jesus said: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:18-19). What does this mean? This passage means that we should invest in those things that will store up treasure for us in heaven, not on earth. It means that we should strive to be pure in every area of our life! It means that we should keep our eyes constantly looking, aware of the evil one, lest we be consumed. It means that each day of our life we should be determined to allow God’s law to counsel us and be willing to repent of any wrong that we are guilty of.

Why Follow God’s Counsel?
The only way we can stand guiltless before God’s judgment seat is to follow His will. Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). To be God’s people, we must follow His commands (Acts 13:22, 26). Of course the only way to enter into heaven is to be well pleasing to God, and that only occurs when we obey God, listening to His counsel. Are you happy? Are you at peace? Are you free of stress and worry? If not, you are not letting God truly guide your life. Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Role of the Church

What is the role of the church? This is a very good question. In the society in which we are living today many have become confused about what the role of the church really is. But this is certainly not a new issue, for the Lord’s church has become divided over the past several years because of man trying to redefine what the role of the church is to be. When we look in God’s Word to find the answer to the question then it becomes very clear. Let’s look at some scripture that shows very clearly, what God has instructed as regard to the role of the church.

We can learn from 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 that the church has the responsibility to preach the gospel. Paul writes: “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.” In addition, the church is to edify each other through working and worshiping together (Ephesians 4:11-16). Hebrews 10:24-25 says: “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.” The church is also to give benevolent assistance to needy saints (Acts 11:27-30). That is what the Bible clearly teaches. If we would stick to what God has instructed for us to do then we would not be divided over the issues that have crept in over the years (Revelation 22:18-19; 2 John 9).

Where Is SCRIPTURAL Authority For Recreation?
I have never understood why Christians on one hand claim to be striving for heaven, but on the other hand will not ensure that they look to God’s Word for guidance on all that they do, say, or teach on a matter. Because of this serious error, many Christians have allowed themselves to be drawn away from practicing true righteousness and into doing things that seem good and right in their own eyes. That is why recreation has crept into the local church and has split the Lord’s people.

We can NOT find anywhere in the Bible, authority for the local church to engage in recreation. Can you find where there is established Bible authority for building recreational facilities such as gymnasiums, “fellowship halls”, or the like? Can you find anywhere in the Bible that the early church sponsored sporting teams, or used camels (buses) and donkeys (vans) to transport their teenagers to Jerusalem World (Astro World) or to snow activities at Mt Ararat (Copper Mountain). It is alright for families to do these things, but I’m talking about the work or role of the church to do these things.

Just because the Bible may be silent on these things does not give us permission to do these things as a church. But you know what, we do have more than silence to go on for some of these recreational things. The Lord, through Paul told us what He thinks about the local church making these activities a part of the church’s work. “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you” (1 Corinthians 11:22). Then later in verse 34 Paul says: “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment...” Here we see that the Corinthian congregation (the local church) had perverted the Lord’s Supper and to keep this from happening again Paul wrote to them to keep the family activities (such as the common meal) at home, separate from the work or role of the church.

In the area of food and fun, it is good for Christians to get together and have a good time while enjoying a meal. But it is NOT the work of the local church to sponsor these type of activities. Before the church can ever engage in something it must have Bible authority. Church division occurs when we do things which God has not previously authorized. We can all agree what the work of the church is because we can see it in the Bible. We have become divided because many have added things to the work of the church that was never authorized or intended to be part of the local church work. Sadly, many search for a congregation in which to worship with  that provides the most fun and entertainment. All Christians striving to enter heaven and “doing the will of the Father” (Matthew 7:21), should seek out a congregation of the Lord’s people that are sincerely standing for what is right, honest, and authorized by the Word of God.  Are you making sure that you are serving God the same way He has instructed the first century Christians to do. If you are, then you understand what the real “Role of the Church” is.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Progressing Toward Spiritual Maturity

We read in Isaiah 44:4 that God’s people will “spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.” Our Christian walk should be a walk that desires to be pleasing to God first and foremost. When this happens, then we will see growth and maturity take hold in our life here on earth. Every one of us should have a constant desire to progress toward spiritual maturity in all aspects of our life. There are several areas in our life that God wants to see us mature and develop in. These are:

1)  Fruitfulness: “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10). God asks that we share his word with others. This is something that should be on all of our hearts. We should look for opportunities to share the good news to those we come in contact with. 

2)  In Christ: “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-- Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).  “that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). In order for us to mature in Christ we must learn what a good work is (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). When we speak “the truth in love,” we are growing in Christ because we are speaking His truth and we are doing it in love, caring for the soul of another. 

3)  In Love: “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). “But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10). The true Christian test of life is whether one can show a genuine love for the brethren. For us to be able to mature in the sight of God, this is something that all of us must possess. As Paul stated, it is also an area in which we need to continue to increase. There is nothing that takes the place of loving and caring brethren who genuinely look forward to seeing and being with each other at every opportunity. May we all grow in our love for one another!

4)  Unto Perfection: “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1). The word “perfection” means “completeness.” Once we have learned the truth of God’s word and have been obedient to the gospel, we should then progress onward to maturity, not returning to the basic elements again. We need to learn to be teachers (Hebrews 5:12-14), and the only way to do this is through the word, having a desire for God’s word in order to grow to completeness. Peter writes, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). When we are “perfect” or “complete,” then we will never stumble (2 Peter 1:10). In order to progress to this point we must strive to put all the characteristics mentioned by Peter to use in our life. We must add “ virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

5)  Grace and Knowledge: “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). When we learn and understand the great gift that God gave us in His Son, then we should be motivated to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. The more we know, the better we can defend the gospel and spread the gospel. Jesus wants us to know Him as He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). We need to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord.

In conclusion, our spiritual maturity will be realized when we put away childish things from our life (1 Corinthians 13:11) and begin to cultivate an understanding of the word (1 Corinthians 14:20). If we will follow the example of Jesus (Ephesians 4:13, 15; Philippians 3:15), and partake of the deeper truths of the gospel (Hebrews 5:14), then we will be able to overcome any temptation that is cast our way (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 2:14). When this happens, then it will be obvious that we are pressing toward maturity in our Christian life. It may then be said of us: “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

Churches Looking for Preachers

Non-institutional churches of Christ are welcome to post an ad on my web site if you are looking for a preacher. To post an ad for "Churches Looking for Preachers"  and also "Preachers Looking for Churches" please go to the two pages of the web site designed especially for this purpose. Churches who are looking for preachers can now go to and click on the "Churches Looking for Preachers" link and fill out the easy form to submit your information. The listing will be updated on the web site within 48 hours (usually the same day). This information will be kept current so that churches and preachers can have confidence that these listings are accurate and up to date. I would appreciate it if you would let any churches who are looking for a preacher know that this site is available for them to place their posting. Thank you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Personal Responsibility

Christians have a serious responsibility to ensure that we continue to do only those things in which God has authorized. The apostle Paul said: “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). Knowing that we will stand before God in judgment, we better make sure that we are doing ALL of the Lord’s will. Fathers today need to have the same kind of attitude that Joshua had when he said “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). When we first decide to do the Lord’s will (Matthew 7:21; 6:33), then we are on our way to being the kind of responsible individuals that God would want us to be.

For What Are We Responsible?
We are responsible for several things and these include but are not limited to knowledge, faith, words, teaching, conduct, influence, and stewardship. God may have overlooked the ignorance of long ago but He now commands that all men repent and be determined to follow Him (Acts 17:30). We are also responsible to gaining faith and the only way to do that is by “hearing” the word of God (Romans 10:17). James 2:14 says: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” One that has a genuine Bible faith is one that will prove his faith by his actions (works). Since we will give an account for the things we say (Matthew 12:36-37), it would behoove us to ensure that we say only those things that would be pleasing to God. We show that we are responsible when we become obedient to those who have rule over us (Hebrews 13:17). Our conduct is another area in which we can show how responsible we are. If we do those things in which we know are good and pleasing to God, then we are practicing our responsibility toward Him (James 4:17). Then of course our influence shows whether or not we have learned our personal responsibility (Romans 14:12-13). May we all strive to learn individual responsibility so we can be pleasing to God in all aspects of our life.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Greatest Example of All

As a child growing up I recall my mother reminding me that I should be a "good example" because others are watching me and what I do may have a direct influence on their lives. As I look back, I remember looking to others as examples to follow, especially those in the church that were always consistent in their teaching, attendance, and love for the Lord. One never knows when someone else is watching us and in some respects patterning their lives after some of the things that we do. Therefore, we must strive to be the best example that we can possibly be.

The Example of Jesus Christ
The greatest example of all is Jesus Christ. We have been called to "follow in His steps" as stated in 1 Peter 2:21. If we truly want to pattern our lives after someone that was perfect, without any sin (1 Peter 2:22), then Jesus is the one that we need to have as our example. When things happen in our lives that upset us we may try to think of various ways to get back at those that caused us to be upset. Jesus is the one that we need to turn to when things are not going as we would like, because we can trust in Him and learn some good things from His example.  Peter wrote: "and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed" (1 Peter 2:23-24). Yes, Jesus was and is the greatest example of all!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

In Acts 16:16-34 we can read about what led to and the conversion of the Philippian Jailer. Paul and Silas were cast into prison for preaching the truth and for casting out a "spirit of divination" from a fortune telling slave girl. It is interesting to note in verse 18 after Paul had commanded the spirit to come out of her, that her masters only saw that their way of making money had disappeared instead of seeing the work of God. In a rage, they brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates and falsely accused them. As a result they were stripped of their clothes, beaten, and cast into prison where this jailer was charged to keep them safely.

The Earthquake
While in prison, Paul and Silas stayed true to God and were singing and praying to Him. When the earthquake hit, the record says that the doors were opened, and their bands were loosed. The jailer being awakened by the earthquake thought that all the prisoners had escaped and was getting ready to kill himself when Paul exclaimed "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here" (Acts 16:28). Quite opposite of the slave-girl's masters reaction, the jailer realized this was an act of God and fell down before Paul and Silas and said Sirs, "what must I do to be saved?" This is incredible when you think about it. Here is a pagan soldier, who just moments before was unaware of his need to be saved, and now was eager to know the truth and how he could be saved. How good it would be if everyone had the heart of this jailer, who was ready and willing to do whatever it took to be saved.

The Jailer and You
Do you realize that you and I are in the very same situation? We live perched on the edge of forever everyday (James 4:14; Hebrews 9:27). Do you continue to conduct your life as though you will never have to stand before God and answer for your deeds? You will (2 Corinthians 5:10). Do you think God will overlook your rebellion to obey Him? He won't (Revelation 1:8). Our life is short and therefore we should strive to do whatever we can to ensure that we are saved. We should ask "What must I do to be saved?"

Paul's Answer
Paul spoke the word of the Lord to the jailer (Acts 16:31-32). It is only God's word that can take away guilt and remove the barrier of sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 1:16). The word of the Lord told the jailer that he had to believe (Hebrews 11:6), but that is not all because belief alone will not save us (James 2:19-24). Paul's answer to the jailer led the jailer to DO what was necessary unto salvation. In verses 33-34, we can see that the jailer's faith in God was not a dead faith, but an active, living, obeying, saving faith. As a result he was baptized for the forgiveness of sins. The burden of guilt was removed and he received God's gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8). This very same gift is available to you today!

The Jailer Did Not Wait
Unlike many people today, the jailer did not wait to be saved. Once he knew what he needed to do, "the same hour" he was baptized. Are you waiting? If your life is not right with God, why are you waiting? It is a terrible thing to put off a chance for eternal salvation. Won't you make your life right with God, who loves you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you (John 3:16)? Have you heard the WORD OF THE LORD? If so, what are you WAITING for?

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Am On the Lord's Side

In our song books we sing a song entitled "Who Will Follow Jesus?"  The chorus of that song says: "Who will follow Jesus? Who will make reply, I am on the Lord's side; Master, here am I"?  Those words no doubt are taken from the book of Matthew, chapter 12, verse 30, where Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Jesus plainly taught that we are either for Him or we're against Him. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We're either on the Lord's side or we're not.

Why Be On The Lord's Side?
We must strive to be on the Lord's side because if we aren't then there is no hope of eternal salvation!  In Matthew 1:21 it says: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”  It is only through Jesus Christ that we can have forgiveness of sins and therefore we all should want to be on His side and follow His commandments.  When we are on the Lord's side we are profited. In 1 Corinthians 15:58 the apostle Paul said: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  When we are on the Lord's side then we will want to abound in all the work of the Lord.  Isn't it true that when we love doing something that we do it to the best of our ability, knowing that our work is not in vain because we are enjoying it.

All of us should look to our service for Christ the same way. We should enjoy being on the Lord's side and therefore do everything we do with fervent zeal, knowing that our eternal peace will someday be realized, because we were always determined to do ALL the will of Jesus (Matthew 7:21).  In addition, when we're on the Lord's side, then we will be happy in all things that we do (Ephesians 1:3).  We also want to be on the Lord's side because it is honorable (John 12:26).  We will be glorified (Romans 8:17), will have peace (John 16:33), and will reign with Christ forever (2 Timothy 2:12) when we make it known that we are on the Lord's side!

Who Is On His Side?
Individuals show that they are on the Lord's side by believing in Jesus to the point of doing His will. In Hebrews 11:6, the Hebrew writer said: “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.”  When we have faith in God, then others will see our faith and be able to see that we are on His side, not Satan's. When we truly believe in God, knowing that we will be rewarded by our life's service to Him (2 Timothy 4:8), then we can be effective teachers in His kingdom. 

Not only the believers, but the whole-hearted (Matthew 12:30), and those that overcome the world (Revelation 17:14), will be counted as being on His side.  When one chooses to come out from the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17) then they are making a statement by letting others know that they are choosing to be on the Lord's side.  Only the faithful, and those that endure to the very end will be on His side forever (2 Timothy 2:12).

In What Should We Be With Him?
When one chooses to be on the Lord's side then one has chosen to be with the Lord in death (Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:11), in burial (Colossians 2:12), and in the resurrection (Romans 6:5; Colossians 2:12). When one is baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), they have chosen to be with the Lord in the likeness of His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).  Afterwards, one will serve Him in his manner of life (2 Timothy 2:12) and that includes any suffering that may come our way in our physical life (Romans 8:17).  Don't leave the Lord and return to the ways of the world (Galatians 5:4).  Are you on the Lord's side? Are you determined right now to serve Him daily so that you can spend an eternity with Him in heaven?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Showing Partiality

It is in our nature to be partial to certain things. None of us have the exact likes and dislikes for things of this life. Showing partiality for certain material things is not bad and adds to variety. If everyone liked the same things, there would be no need to ask someone what they liked or didn't like. But there is a sin of partiality spoken of in James 2:1-13. When we exhibit an attitude of personal favoritism to one individual over another, then we are sinning. 

Every Soul is Important
We must keep in mind that every human being has a soul and everyone is special in the sight of God. Verses 2-3 is talking about an individual that attends the assembly that is dressed very well and another one that is poor. In the case of the well dressed man special treatment is given to ensure that he receives only the best. The other man (the poor man) is not given the best. Partiality has been used in this case and it is pointed out by James that this is wrong. When we show partiality over people then we are in fact saying that "one soul is more important than the other" based solely upon the outward appearance of an individual. So, how do we work at overcoming this problem that we might have? Look at verse 8. If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. If we really do look out for others as we love ourselves then we will not ever have this problem of showing partiality.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Exhortation to Live Faithful

We can read in the second book of Timothy where the apostle Paul exhorted young Timothy to live a faithful life unto the Lord. The instructions that he gave him are inspired instructions for us today. Let’s look at this passage of scripture and then I’ll make some comments regarding some of the things that Paul points out. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:1-7, 22-26).

Endure Hardship
When we are determined to study God’s Word and to apply His teaching in our life, then we will be able to endure hardship. No matter what Satan throws our way, we will be able to overcome. We can never walk in the steps of the Savior if we don’t learn what it is that we must do to walk in His steps. Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). He has promised us that if we will take up His yoke, and learn about Him, then we will find rest for our souls. The faithful man of God is the one that really trusts in the Lord and counts on Him to deliver the faithful from the Devil.

Paul explains to Timothy (and to us), that we must endure hardship if we are to be counted worthy of Christ. A soldier of Christ is one that will do whatever it takes to please Him. If we are honestly, sincerely striving to please Jesus, then we WILL NOT get involved with the various affairs of this life which do not promote good, honest, Christian living. We should be busy pleasing our Lord!

Pursue Righteousness
We are encouraged to “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace”. I just don’t understand why it is that individuals become Christians, and yet never really want to live as a Christian. I used to play baseball and I loved to play baseball from the time I was ten until my mid-thirties. When I put on that uniform and took the field, I was determined to do the very best I could for the team and myself. I practiced hard and played hard as I tried to become the best player I possibly could be. Here’s my point; If I was not determined to do the best I could in baseball, why play? Why should I pretend to want to play baseball if my heart was not really into it? When I became a Christian, I decided to live my life the very best I could for the Lord. In order to do that, to pursue righteousness, and the love of God, it meant that there were some things in this life that I could not do. Being a disciple of Christ means that I have to be careful where I go, what I watch, what I do, what I wear, what I say, and what I think. Paul said in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-- meditate on these things.” 

Correct Those Who Are In Opposition
A faithful Christian who cares about the souls of others will do what they can to correct those who are in opposition to the truth. Sometimes this is not pleasant but must be done so that they may see their error, repent, and escape the snare of the Devil. Remember, if you are ever corrected by a loving saint, count it a blessing, because they care for your soul.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"But As For Me And My House..."

Joshua told the children of Israel exactly where he and his house stood in their relationship to the almighty God in Joshua 24:15. In a time where man was “doing their own thing” in their worship, Joshua told them to choose whom they would serve, the god’s of men, or the God of heaven. He encouraged them to put away the foreign gods and to incline their hearts to serve the Lord God of Israel. This man of God, Joshua, was a faithful and trustworthy servant of God. This man that we have grown to love by reading of him in the pages of the Old Testament was doing the work of the Lord, encouraging all who would listen to him to turn from the ways of the world and serve the one true God.

Sound familiar? Each Lord’’s Day across this great country of ours preacher after preacher stands before a congregation of people encouraging them to turn from the ways of the world and serve the true and living God of heaven. Many who hear the words of the preacher say to themselves that they will try to do better in their personal life and become more devoted to the Lord’s work. Yet, for many, this is only idle thought because they soon return to their homes and continue doing their own thing. However, there are a few that will listen to the preaching of the gospel of Christ and strive to do what they can to become obedient to our Lord. Every preacher should be as convicted as Joshua in their service to the Lord and are earnestly trying to encourage and help others serve the Lord.

Are we really trying to serve the Lord or ourselves? It would be so good to have a congregation full of Joshua’s that are proud to say “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”

Saturday, July 6, 2013

That's Impossible

We have all heard someone say “that’s impossible” when responding to something that someone had just told them that they could do, knowing that it could not be done. Webster defines impossible as “not capable of being, being done, or happening.” Certainly there are many things which are impossible for man to do here on this earth.

In the religious realm there are also some impossible things to consider. God has told man that unless one has faith it is impossible to please Him. “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). If we are not determined to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:18), gaining faith by reading His word (Romans 10:17), then we are not going to be pleasing to God. Do you think that individuals who are not pleasing to God will enter heaven? Think about it.

In Hebrews 6:18 we read “ which it is impossible for God to lie...” Now if it is impossible for God to lie and he has told us that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him, then if we do not seek Him (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:2), then it is certain that we will not see Him in heaven. Again, the Hebrew writer penned, “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). We see that it is impossible to neglect salvation and be saved. If we want to be saved then we will strive to do whatever God asks of us (Matthew 7:21).

Let’s consider some other impossibilities. It is impossible to be saved without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). It took Christ’s death on the cross, the sacrifice for our sins in order for us to be saved. Therefore, it is impossible to believe in Christ and obey Him and not be saved (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20). It is impossible to enter into heaven without a birth of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5), and it is impossible to enter into the Kingdom (heaven or church), except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Galatians 3:27). If you think that you can and will be saved in eternity AFTER this life is over, without being obedient to Christ while living on this earth, that’s impossible (Luke 16:19-31)! We must all seriously think about these truths from the Bible, the inspired Word of God.

Monday, June 17, 2013

To Live Is Christ

Paul wrote in the Philippian letter: “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:19-21). This beloved apostle taught us what living unto Christ is really all about. He is not ashamed but rather eager to tell and show these brethren that Christ was being “magnified” in his body. He was living a life for Christ, knowing that when he died that he would spend an eternity with Him.

Can it be said of each one of us “to live is Christ?” This is not a statement that just any Christian can make. Only those who are truly living their life for Christ can make such a statement. Can others see in each of us Christ being magnified as we walk our daily walk in this world? Can it be seen by others that we are not ashamed of Jesus and that our longing for the great expectation and hope is evident by the way that we live? Paul writes to Titus saying: “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:12-13).

When we are determined to serve Jesus in our life then it will show to others. We won’t have to tell others that we are a Christian, because they will KNOW it by the example of our life. Considering this, can it be said of us that “to live is Christ?”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Divine Authority

Matthew wrote: “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority” (Matthew 21:23)? Here we find two questions that these chief priests and elders asked Jesus concerning all the wonderful things that He did. They wanted to know by what authority He was able to do the things He did and who gave Him the authority in the first place. We know that God is the one who has all authority. The apostle Paul said "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1). God later gave this authority to His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus said: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). God told all men to listen to His Son (Matthew 17:5). 

Why Must We Receive Instruction From Jesus?
First of all we MUST listen to the words of Jesus and obey Him because it is He that has all authority to instruct us in righteousness today (Matthew 28:18). We learn from the Word of God that Jesus is the head of man and therefore we must obey Him. Paul writes in Colossians 1:18: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." See also Colossians 2:19.

In addition, we are commanded to do everything as Jesus has instructed us. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17). If we do not receive our instruction from Jesus or change it to suit our own needs or wants then we WILL be destroyed. "And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:23). See also Matthew 7:21-23; Galatians 1:7-9; and 2 John 9-11)). The prophet referenced here is in fact the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

What Has Jesus Authorized Us To Do?
There are several things that Jesus has authorized us to do by His authority, given to Him by God, and passed on to the Holy Spirit, who instructed the apostles what to record in God's book, the Bible. Jesus has authorized us to preach the word to all creation. In Mark 16:15, Jesus told His disciples to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." See also Luke 24:47. We also need to lead people to believe (Acts 10:43), and to repent. In Luke 24:47, Jesus told His disciples "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." We know this was done when Peter preached His first sermon on the day of Pentecost and many responded to the gospel by repenting and being baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). It is also necessary for us to confess Jesus (Philippians 2:11), and to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 10:48). 

But that is not all, Jesus has authorized us to worship Him (Mark 7:7; Hebrews 1:6), and to do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Those that do not obey Jesus and insist on doing their own thing, contrary to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, must be disciplined. The inspired apostle Paul addressed the Corinthian brethren that were having fellowship with a brother who was committing fornication. He instructed the church in Corinth to discipline that brother so he will be shamed into repenting and doing what is right before God (1 Corinthians 5:4-5). Let us ensure that whatever we do and whatever we say, that we are doing and saying those things to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). Are we truly acting by Divine Authority in everything that we do in the name of religion? If not, we need to repent and follow Jesus Christ, the one who has ALL AUTHORITY!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Living In Godliness

In 1 Timothy 4:8 it says: “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” From this verse we can learn that it is godliness that is the most profitable for us because it is through godliness that we have the promise of eternal life. Therefore knowing this, we should strive diligently to ensure that we are doing everything we can to live our lives in a godly manner which is formal (2 Timothy 3:5) and true (1 Timothy 6:3,11). 

Finding True Godliness
We can find true godliness only in the gospel. In 2 Peter 1:4, Peter writes: “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” When we open the pages of the New Testament we find what God expects of each of us as we journey through this life. He fully expects that we live our life in accordance with His will (Matthew 7:21). When we are determined to live godly then it will show in our daily walk, which everyone in the world will be able to see (Titus 2:12). 

Why Live Godly?
There are several reasons why we must strive to live a godly life. The Bible teaches that ungodliness is condemned (Jude 4:15). When we live an ungodly life, we will NOT get the opportunity to live forever with God. We need to live a righteous life because it is profitable (1 Timothy 4:8), and commanded (2 Peter 1:6). We can live godly by denying sin (Titus 2:12), professing our faith before others (1 Timothy 2:10), and by practicing living a Christian life daily (1 Timothy 4:7)

The Results of Living Godly
First of all, when we live a godly life, doing all of God’s will, be ready to suffer some persecution. Paul told Timothy: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). Understanding that this will happen, we should gain strength through His Word because godliness will result in great gain (1 Timothy 6:6), and the promise of eternal life (1 Timothy 4:8). Are you living your life in such a way that it “professes godliness?”

Friday, May 10, 2013

Our Duty to Ourselves

In Galatians 6:4-5 the apostle Paul writes: “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. or each one shall bear his own load.” The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to make sure that we are doing everything that we need to do to be pleasing to God. In order to do that, we must examine our own work, making sure that it is being done in accordance with God’s directions. Through the pages of the New Testament individuals are instructed on how to live their lives according to righteousness. One thing that gets many people in hot water is thinking “too highly of themselves”. Yet in Romans 12:3 we can read where it says: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” God’s Word says it, now we have to listen and obey. That is our Christian duty in this life. The Christian that reads the Bible and then practices those things that are contained therein, will gain respect from the brethren because they can see in that Christian that they are truly living their life in accordance with the Bible. But isn’t that every Christian’s responsibility? Sure it is. We are told in Jude 21 to keep ourselves in “God’s love”, and to remain “unspotted” (James 1:27). In 1 John 5:18 we are told to “keep ourselves from the evil one”. Other duties include “denying ourselves” (Matthew 16:24), “controlling ourselves” (2 Peter 1:6), “humbling ourselves” (Matthew 18:4; 23:12), and to “guard ourselves” (1 John 5:21). If we would read and understand what the Bible tells us to do in Galatians 6:4-5 then we will be able to “glorify God”. Are we doing our duty for God?

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Christian Life

Every Christian should strive to live the life that they have been raised to live. The apostle Paul said in the latter part of Romans 6:4 that “even so we also should walk in newness of life.” The Christian life is a life of faith (Romans 1:17). Our old life was buried and now we serve the Lord in “newness of life.” Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” The “true” Christian realizes that the “old man” was crucified with Christ and now lives a “new”, pure life before God. John wrote: “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).

The Christian life is also a life of self-denial. Jesus said that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Some have trouble living the Christian life because they have NOT determined to really let Jesus rule their life, denying anything that would stand between them and their service to the Savior.

Peter writes: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8). The Christian realizes that Satan is active and working to destroy all those that try to do good. The Christian life is not an easy life. The apostle Paul told Timothy: “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we feel that we are suffering some type of persecution as we live our Christian life, then we must be doing something right. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials and tribulations” (James 1:2). 

The Christian life is also a life of prayer. Every Christian should be spending time talking to God every day (Matthew 26:41). God wants and expects us to pray to Him (1 Timothy 2:8). Are you spending time talking to God? When we talk to God it shows Him that we are trying to do His will and we are seeking his help and guidance, along with praising Him for all that He has done for us. The Christian life is a life of obedience to God, knowing that Jesus is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).

In addition to all these things, the Christian life is a life of growth (1 Peter 2:2), and a life of abiding in Christ (John 15:5-6). May we all strive to live the Christian life because after all, we are wearing Christ’s name aren’t we? Are we really living the kind of life that our Savior Jesus Christ would be proud of? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

The True Church

Everywhere you look these days there seems to be another church. There are many thousands of so called churches in the world today. So one should be asking "what is the true church?" The true church was built by Jesus Christ - not man. Christ said: “...and on this rock I will build My church...” (Matthew 16:18).

So we know the true church is the one that Christ established and built Himself and the church is called two names in the New Testament, the church of God (1 Timothy 3:15) and the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). The true church is comprised as Christ as the head “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22), and Elders (Bishops) (Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5-9), Deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13), and Christians (Acts 11:26; Philippians 1:1). When one attends a church that does not have Christ as its head but rather man and man made headquarters, then it can in no way be the church that Christ built. Christ established the terms of membership into His church. These are faith (Acts 16:31; 2:47; Hebrews 11:6), repentance (Acts 2:38; 17:30), confession (Romans 10:10; Acts 8:37), and baptism (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). Jesus Himself was baptized to show total obedience to God's Word (Matthew 3:16). Yet there are still those who say that baptism is not necessary for salvation. These have not found the true church. The mission of Christ’s church is to teach the gospel (Mark 16:15; Ephesians 3:10), to worship God (John 4:23,24), and to save people (Acts 2:47). Are you a member of the true church, the only church found in the New Testament?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

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?”

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Christian Charge

In 1 Timothy 1:5 we read "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith". That one verse pretty much sums up what the Christian charge is all about. If we would all learn to love with a pure heart accompanied with a good conscience before God with an unwaiverable faith, we would possess some fine Christian virtues. The Lord has given us this charge and it was given to preachers (2 Tim 4:1-2), Elders (1 Pet 5:1-4), the rich (1 Tim 6:17) and to all (1 Tim 1:5). The Christian has a big responsibility to God. Among the things we are charged with is "not to teach strange doctrines" (1 Tim 1:3). However, today we can see man making up new religious rules and changing the doctrine that God has given us in scripture to fit into their individual needs and wants. This is wrong and we are going to be held personally responsible for changing God's word!

We are also told not to trust in riches of this world. Paul told Timothy to "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy" (1 Tim 6:17). There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but when one lets the wealth rule their life instead of allowing God to have that place, then it is wrong and we will be held responsible for it. Those are two things we are charged not to do. But what are we charged "to do" as Christians?

The apostle Paul sent his letter to the Thessalonians and in 1 Thessalonians 5:27 we can read where the Lord was willing for the letter to be read to "all the brethren". Likewise, we are to read the scriptures and put into practice the things that God tells us to do in our own lives. We can further learn from our opening scripture of 1 Timothy 1:5 that we are to have faith in God. This is further stressed in verse 19 where it says "keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith". It is such a wonderful thing to see Christians that possess a deep and abiding faith! No matter what happens they realize that God is with them and they will stay faithful to God to the very end of their days on this earth. But we are not done yet.

The Christian charge continues in that we are to do good (1 Tim 6:17-18), to love (1 Tim 1:5), tell others about Christ as Paul instructed young Timothy to do in 2 Tim 4:1-2, to war a good warfare (1 Tim 1:18), and to give of our means (1 Tim 6:17-18). Some Christians have an even deeper responsibility if they hold the position of Elder. Peter said to "shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Pet 5:2-4). Men who serve in the position of an Elder of their local congregation have a responsibility to ensure that all Christians that meet together in that local work are instructed in righteousness and must ensure that no false doctrines are preached or taught within the local congregation.

We need to understand how important our Christian charge is to serve God. It is essential to heed the commands of God in order for us to lay a good foundation in which to build upon as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 6:19 when he said "storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed". Material things of this life will pass away. We brought nothing into the world and can't take anything out of it either (1 Tim 6:7). We must strive to live a life with God eternally (1 Tim 6:17-19), and to receive the crown of righteousness that is reserved for us (1 Pet 5:2-4). Won't you keep your Christian charge?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The ONE Church

We only have to open the telephone directory and look at all the different churches that are listed to wonder "what church is the right church?" There are books that are written about various churches, most claiming to be spiritually and doctrinally correct. We can read where all kinds of things are taught such as praying to Mary, baptizing babies, some priests can marry, others can't, the social work of the church, no life after death or there is life after death! How can we know which church is the church that Jesus built?

I Will Build MY Church
Jesus said: "...I will build my church..." (Matthew 16:18). Jesus said this way back in 30 A.D. Therefore, the church that Christ built was built long ago. Every denomination that is in existence today was built long after Jesus said "I will build my church". Most are proud to tell you the exact date that their church was established and the creed in which it was established on. Since Jesus said "I will build my church", that must mean that the church in which Jesus built belongs to Him. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:22-23: "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Here we can clearly see that HIS BODY = HIS CHURCH. In Colossians 1:18 it is pointed out that Christ is "the head of the body, the church". Since Christ is the head, He decides, controls, and guides His church.

There Is ONE
The word ONE is mentioned several times in the New Testament. Let's look at a few references to this. In Ephesians 4:4-6 we can read where "there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Here we can plainly read where there is just ONE of each. Yet while most will acknowledge there is ONE God, they recognize several churches! Paul said that we should be unified (1 Corinthians 1:10). Only when we're doing all things exactly as God has stipulated can we truly be ONE, which is to be unified.

Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" (John 10:27). In John 10:16 we can read where there is ONE fold and ONE shepherd. Therefore, in the New Testament (the testament we are under today), we see that there was only ONE CHURCH!

Doctrines Of Men
The Bible is very plain on Christ's teaching about His church. Yet many still want to preach and teach more than ONE church and various other ways of doing things that are in direct violation of God's teaching in His Word! Jesus condemned man for teaching his own ideas and doctrines (Mark 7:7-9). Because man did change the teachings of Jesus, we now have denominations. Some denominationalists teach that denominations are simply branches of Jesus' church. This cannot be so, for in the Bible we read "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:5-6). Disciples are the branches, not churches! 

In Mark 16:16, Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Some say "He that believeth and is not baptized shall be saved." Who shall we believe, Jesus, or the doctrines of men? We cannot pollute the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9-11). When Christ's doctrine is polluted with the doctrine of men, it makes man's worship of God empty of any value, it is vain! 

Could it be that you are following the traditions and doctrines of men? Or, are you really striving to abide in the doctrine of Jesus Christ?