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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works
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Thoughts To Ponder

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’
(Matthew 4:4)

 


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Hear David Maxson in a Series on the Book of Daniel Held at the University church of Christ
For Audio and PowerPoint click here!



A Study of the Holy Spirit
Adult Bible Class

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Hear Mark Broyles on "Marriage as God Designed It"

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A Study of Evangelism
(Studies in the Cross of Christ)
College Bible Class by Larry Rouse

 


Studies by David Tant at the University church of Christ

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Building a Biblical Home Bible Class Series

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The Christian and Money

Sunday Morning College Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30
Download the current outlines:

Lesson 1 - Money and the Revealing of Our Hearts
Lesson 2 - Earning Money
Lesson 3 - Spending Money and Debt
Lesson 4 - Money and the Family

Lesson 5 - Money and the Local Church
Click Here for Audio

When Jesus Does Nothing

by Larry Rouse

 

We would be wise to carefully listen to our Savior who came from heaven to show us the way to God. Throughout His ministry Jesus emphasized His relationship with the Father along with the kind of heart required to know God.

It would take great humility for the Jews that heard Jesus to understand that they really did not know God and that they needed to hear the One who actually had come from God. Jesus stated the obvious to the unbelieving Jews when He said: “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” (Jn 5:37) Why would they resist listening to the One who came from Heaven and accurately testified of things that these men had never seen? They were blinded by their own relationships and religious pride so that they would not hear. “But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:42-44)  

Jesus Taught us how to Handle the Revealed Will of God

Jesus often told others what His relationship with God was like so that men could learn how to have that kind of relationship for themselves. Over and over Jesus described how He handled God’s will. His underlying attitude towards the will of God was exactly the attitude He had towards God Himself, one of a deep reverence for all that God spoke. “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Mt 4:4)

(click here for the entire article...)


When Tragedy Strikes

by Doy Moyer

 

What exactly does one say to another when tragedy strikes? We all wish that we had the perfect words that will appropriately capture what everyone is feeling, words that will comfort and encourage even the most downtrodden. We want to come up with deep statements about how “this is life” and “here is what you should be thinking at this time.” The reality is that we feel at a loss, unable to speak what we are feeling deep inside, unable to communicate what we think those who are suffering need to hear when likely they don’t want to hear anything at all. Bumper sticker philosophy and theology hardly provides much comfort when our hearts have been torn by real tragedy. Likely, the silence before we speak is going to be the most profound and appropriate response, at least initially. 

Job’s friends understood this at first. When Job suffered his astounding tragedies, one after the other and no break between, his three friends came to comfort him. For a full week they sat there with him in silence, unable to capture in words what they were witnessing and unwilling to say what they were thinking. Yet it was during this time that they were their wisest and the most comforting to Job, for after they began speaking, Job could only say that they were miserable comforters. 

Silence is sometimes the best response. Once we have had time to reflect, however, we usually can find important lessons that will be embedded in our minds from then on. If we can learn those lessons, then we can be the better for it. 

When the Twin Towers in New York City were taken down by terrorists, people were in shock. It was an unbelievable event. Nearly three thousands lives were taken in one day, and the heart of the United States country was struck hard. What were we going to demonstrate that we were made of? For a time, there was a pulling together of the citizens. More importantly, there was a general recognition of the need to turn to God. Sadly, much of that faded over the years, but this is why we need to be reminded of difficult events and the lessons that come out of them. 

When tragedy strikes, we are forced to consider several important issues: 

1. Why? It is not trite to say that sin has caused the tragic problems of this world. Once sin came into this world, everything changed. Everything became subject to futility (Rom 8:20). The mark left by sin is tragic and ugly. This is the reason the gospel is such an important part of our understanding. 

(click here for the entire article...)


Pride's Connection to Envy

by Ken Mars

 

A neighbor comes over to your house to show you their new car. Your boss wants to tell you about his vacation in Hawaii. A friend tells you their daughter just received a full scholarship from three different universities. Are you happy for them? Can you "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Rom. 12:15)? Some can ... and some cannot.

Why is it that some of us find it difficult to genuinely feel glad for our friends and brethren when some good fortune comes to them? Could it possibly be that when we see our neighbor's new car we are really saying to ourselves: "Why can't I have a new car too?" "I deserve it just as much as they do!" or, try this one on for size: "What a shameless waste of money. Don't they have anything better to spend their money on than some fancy car/house/vacation? Why couldn't they have bought something cheaper and given the difference to the poor?" Shades of Judas.

You see, when we find ourselves criticizing someone's good fortune, it may be that we are not really critical of what has been done, but that someone else has prospered rather than us. We may even find it easier to say "I'm so sorry" to one who has experienced some misfortune, because we are in fact quietly content that someone else is suffering and not us.

The real problem here is not just a weak spirit, but a dominating sense of the flesh ... our flesh ... our welfare ... our own exclusive world of "me." When someone else prospers, it's not fair if we don't prosper also, and when another suffers, at least we are not suffering!

(click here for the entire article...)


How to Form a Good Character

by Dee Bowman

 

Character is the accumulation of qualities that distinguishes one person from another. Character is not just one single trait, but the accumulation of all a person is, the sum total of all his traits.

Someone has suggested that reputation is what others think us to be, character is what God knows us to be.

How does a person develop and maintain a good character?

By getting in touch with yourself. Aristotle was not far off the mark when he suggested that one should “know thyself.” Personal integrity is the key to developing a good character. We have to ascertain and admit to what we need in order to form a good character. In order to know where you’re going, you must first realize where you are. “He that speaketh truth in his heart”–that’s necessary to the development of a good character (see Psalm 15:1-2).

By a constant contact with God. It is He who defines what is a good character, for it is He who has defined what is good in the first place. His word is not only an expression of Who and What He is, but a revelation of how we can become like Him, or be a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). His word tells us which way to go. A man of character does not walk just anywhere, but “his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law doth he meditate both day and night” (Psalm 1:2). “Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word” (Psalm 119:9). A man’s character is developed by paying due attention to where he is going, to his path of pursuit, and that means a constant contact with the Father.

(click here for the entire article...)


 

Be Thankful for God's Authority

by Doy Moyer

 

God is Creator. Because of Who He is, He has the inherent right to command and expect obedience. He has the right to tell us what to do, how to think, how to live, how to talk, and how to dress. Name it. God has the power to back it up. We, as His creatures have no right to kick back or demand answers from Him. Like it or not, we are under His authority. But now, why wouldn’t we like it?

Rather than looking at this as some sort of drudgery, why not be thankful for God’s authority? After all, if we wish to glorify God, we can only do so by recognizing the power that only belongs to Him.

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth;

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

Tell of His glory among the nations,

His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

He also is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols,

But the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before Him,

Strength and joy are in His place.” (1 Chron. 16:23-27)

If we “seek the Lord and His strength” (vs. 11), then we are necessarily seeking Him in all His authority and power. Shall we love the Lord and despise His authority as if it is a burden to us? May it never be!

Here, then, are some reasons we can be thankful for God’s authority:

1. Because God’s authority means He is the Judge, not me, or you, or anyone else. I don’t have to worry about untangling all the sticky questions about eternity. I don’t need to worry about pleasing other people, especially those in the world. I just need to concern myself with pleasing and glorifying Him based on what He has revealed (2 Cor. 5:8-9; John 12:48). Consequently, we may say with Paul, “to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord” (1 Cor. 4:3-4). In the final analysis, each of us as individuals will stand before God. What others think at that point will be irrelevant.

(click here for the entire article...)


Cause and Effect of the Doctrine of Balaam

by Gerald E. Evans

Christianity, in its purity, is the same now that it was almost 1900 years ago. That which God approved then he will approve now; and just what he condemned then he will condemn now. So, if we would be approved of God we must stand where we know God approves and avoid all else. All who accept the Bible as the final rule of con-duct recognize that.

In Revelation 2:12-14 the Lord commended the church at Pergamos for some things and censured them for others. They were commended for holding fast his name, and for not denying the faith once delivered to the saints, and all this "where Satan's throne is." That is no small commendation! Those who take such a stand give courage and strength to all who know Christ's appreciation for such a stand. But more, it involves showing honor to Christ. To hold his system of faith in all its essential elements will secure the divine blessing.

But where error exists, Truth demands censure of the error. Some in the church at Pergamos held to the doctrine of Balaam and also to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The Lord emphatically declared of such teaching, "Which thing I hate" (vv. 14-15). Recognizing the Lord's strong disapproval, it should be obvious that we need to determine the underlying cause of men embracing such doctrine. The effect is obvious in verse 14: idolatry and immorality! The basic doctrine of Balaam just could be a sin all too common among Christians: elders, deacons, preachers and other saints!

(click here for the entire article...)


Reaping the Whirlwind

by Fanning Yater Tant

 

One of the truly frightening things about denominationalism, and one that is often overlooked, in the insidious way in which it lays the basis for complete moral anarchy in human affairs. It destroys and undermines the very standard, the authoritative guide, by which men can tell "right" from "wrong" —good from evil. This is the very same spirit which has produced such chaos within our own ranks in recent years. Indeed, the present horrendous wave of lawlessness in the land, with crime soaring at a terrifying rate, is due in no small measure to the preaching that has been done in American pulpits for the last one hundred years!

Preaching the cause of lawlessness? Incredible! you say. But the kind of preaching that has been done in our nation, and sometimes in pulpits of the churches of Christ, weakens and vitiates the actual foundation for all moral judgments and all moral standards,

We look at a certain action and say, "That is right;" we see another act and say, "That is wrong." Now, what do we mean by "right" and "wrong"? By what standard are we reaching our verdict? On what basis do we judge? Why is it "wrong" for a human being to kill and eat a fellow human being, and yet not "wrong" for a beast of the jungle to kill and eat another beast of the jungle? Why can we not say that murder is a noble act, that the murderer is a hero, deserving of praise for his action? Why do we not put a premium on dishonesty? And on cowardice? By what standard, or for what reason, do we declare that theft and falsehood and cruelty are "wrong", but that virtue and honesty and courage are "right"?

Traditional Teaching?

"Well," one replies, "we have been taught that standard. This is that which comes from the scriptures. The Bible teaches that it is 'right' for a man to act a certain way but 'wrong' for him to act in another way." This is certainly true. We have LEARNED to judge between right and wrong, between what is good and what is evil. We have been taught by a long and arduous process of education through many generations as to what is "right" and what is "wrong." Thus moral truth has been embedded in the conscience, and in the consciousness of the race. The world feels the influence of this even in lands where the Bible is not known. The whole human race has learned that lust and greed and dishonesty are "wrong" and that virtues and honesty and love are "right."

(click here for the entire article...)


The Struggles and Advantages of Being Single

by Stephen Rouse

 

God has been teaching me some powerful lessons lately, though many of them have been painful. We live in a society, even among Christians, where the prevailing thought is often “I cannot and will not be happy unless I am in a dating (or whatever you call it) relationship with someone.” This is not right, and this must not be a mindset adopted by children of God.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t hurt on some level because I am single. It’s lonely sometimes… but not all the time. God has helped me recently to start focusing on some of the advantages I have right now that I may not have later if, by His grace, I am to be married.

I’ll first acknowledge the struggles that have been particularly deep for me, and then look at some advantages that have helped me overcome these struggles.

The Struggles of Being Single

1. Loneliness. This one is obvious. After proclaiming everything to be good in His creation, God Himself observed that “it is not good that the man should be alone…” (Gen 3:18). God created us with a need for relationship, not only with Himself, but with other humans. And God didn’t just leave man alone; in the rest of the verse He said, “…I will make him a helper fit for him.” God gave us a sense of emptiness, and gave us the opportunity to fill that emptiness with something other than ourselves. Personally, I believe God intentionally delayed in creating woman to show man how much he needed her. We are not here for ourselves.

But the child of God, even a single one, should not be characterized by loneliness. Jesus certainly felt this when He was abandoned at the cross as He cried, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) In a real sense, He had been left completely alone to bear the immeasurable burden at Calvary. But Jesus also understood that in the midst of feeling abandoned, He was not alone. In John 16:32 He affirmed, “Behold the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” David reminds us that “the LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps 34:18). We are never truly alone if the Lord is with us.

(click here for the entire article...)


Praying With the Confidence of Christ

by Steve Klein

 

In so many ways I stand in awe of my Lord Jesus Christ. What a challenge it is to attempt to pattern one's life after Him. As a person who overcame every temptation He faced (Hebrews 4:15), who always did the will of His Father (John 8:29) and who loved unworthy humans to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice for them (Romans 5:6-8), Jesus stands without peer. Equally remarkable and unparalleled is the way Jesus communicated with His Father in prayer.

Jesus' prayer life is notable on several counts. First, it was a persistent prayer life. Luke 5:16 says that He “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” The gospels record a number of examples of this (Matthew 14:23; 26:36-46; Mark 1:35; Luke 9:18); they also reveal that, at times, Jesus would “continue all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). It is impressive that the only begotten Son of God felt the need to devote so much of His time and energy to prayer.  From our perspective we might wonder, “Why would the all-powerful Son of God need to pray at all?” From His perspective there must have been little question that, as God's Son come to earth, reliance upon the Father was imperative.

Second, Jesus prayed passionately. In Hebrews 5:7 the inspired writer indicates that “in the days of His flesh,” Jesus “offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears....” His prayers were not memorized speeches, rattled off unthinkingly when it was “time to pray.” They were impassioned pleadings from a heart aflame with righteous needs and desires.

(click here for the entire article...)


Humble Enough to be Thankful

by Larry Rouse

 

The key to finding an abundant and meaningful life is in the grasp of every man. Jesus plainly promised, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). The first step in finding that kind of life is to recognize God and be thankful.

The Gentile world rejected the simplicity and power of God’s plan for one that required a greater “knowledge,” and a greater effort, only to find that it resulted in terrible pain and anguish.  They looked at the obvious evidence for the existence of God and chose not to “glorify Him as God, nor were thankful.” Their new “world view” caused them to become “futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:20-21). Later, in their modern “guilt-free” lifestyle, they found their lives descending into misery as they “received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Rom 1:27 NIV).

The Gentile world was not alone in such a path. The Jews, even though they outwardly acknowledged God and even mouthed words of thankfulness, had failed to truly be thankful in their hearts. What was the result? ”Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom 2:4-5).

Why is Thankfulness Difficult?

In order to be thankful you must first get “out of yourself” and recognize the unseen God. Many angrily refuse to do that. Why? Because they rightly know that acknowledging God also means acknowledging His moral standard, and they simply refuse to do that.  ”And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn 3:19-21).

(click here for the entire article...)


Does the Bible Encourage Bigotry?

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

 

In the current furor over "gay rights," there seems to be a concerted effort to brand anyone opposed to homosexual behavior as bigots still living in the Dark Ages. We are constantly bombarded with calls to wipe out bigotry and to be more tolerant of people different from us, regardless of the source or nature of that difference.

It is becoming ever more politically expedient to cater to the "gay rights" cause. Our new president-elect promises swift action to overturn the ban on homosexuals in the military. This will force all military personnel to consider all the gays to be just one of the guys. To do otherwise will be to condone bigotry.

Efforts are also underway to ban discrimination against homosexuals in housing, jobs, and other areas. The goal is to force the American public to grant to "gays" all the rights and protection that are rightfully granted to racial and ethnic minorities. The propaganda mills and the liberal news media are working overtime to depict the opposition to this movement as bigotry. Our educational system, in many in-stances, is conditioning our children to accept anyone regardless of his "race, color, or "sexual preference."'

(click here for the entire article...)


Divine Authority and the Creation

by Connie W. Adams

 

One in authority has the right to command, direct, and enforce obedience. He also has the right to administer punishment to the disobedient. When the one having ultimate authority empowers others to act upon his will, then in that manner he authorizes action. One who assumes authority not granted by the one who has the right to empower acts with presumption and flaunts all authority.

In divine matters, as they relate to man, authority springs from the creation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Gen. 1:27). If there is no divine creator, then there is no creation, the universe is the product of chance, man himself is an accident of nature and there is no basis for moral or spiritual authority. This is the very premise from which the secular humanist works. He boldly proclaims "There is no God" and "Man is the measure of himself."

Order in the Universe

But if God created the universe, then order flows from his power to make whatever exists. In God's speech to Job he asked, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; to cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; to satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? (Job 38:4, 22-31).

(click here for the entire article...)


Membership Has Its Responsibilities

by Bubba Garner

 

“Membership has its rewards.” That’s how many companies advertise their special offer of the month.  And truthfully, I like those kind of programs, because they make you feel like you’re getting something for nothing. You receive benefits – either frequent flyer miles or hotel points–  when nothing extra is required of you. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee, you don’t have to recruit other people to join the group.  

Membership itself just has its rewards. What about membership in the local church? Certainly it has its rewards. From a family of fellow believers to those who will help us bear our burdens, we are benefitted greatly by this relationship.  But membership also has its responsibilities. We cannot expect to obtain something for nothing.  There is a requirement that accompanies our commitment. When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, he mentioned three words that he had elsewhere famously linked together: “constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father” (2 Thess. 1:3). Faith, hope, and love. We recognize this trio from 1 Cor. 13:13 as well as Col. 1:4-5. But notice the words which precede them in this context: work, labor, and steadfastness. Together, they testify to the responsibilities that come with membership.

In consideration of all that God has done to make us members of the body of Christ, what response is required on the part of every member? 

“Work of faith.”   

Paul commended the Thessalonians because “in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything” (1 Thess. 1:8). They had a faith, but not a faith that stood still. In fact, their faith had a reputation in other parts of the world. But how would the world have known about their belief unless it was something that they had put into practice and worked out?

(click here for the entire article...)


For Times Out of Joint

by Fanning Yater Tant

There is a seething unrest going on in the denominational world today. G. Aiken Taylor, editor of The Presbyterian Journal, says, "Many churchmen believe it is inevitable that denominations, as we have known them, shall pass from the scene. They expect them to be replaced, if the Lord delays his return, by something new - perhaps something as radically different as denominations were when they first appeared." Denominations, of course, are relatively new. Excluding the Catholic denominations (Greek, Roman, and Old) the others have been around only a few hundred years; the oldest of the, Lutheran, this very year will observe the 450th anniversary of Luther's nailing his historic 95 thesis to the door of the old castle church in Wittenberg.

The dedicated Christian has only a passing interest in these vast upheavals in the denominational world. Whatever the "form" of the new churches may be; whether they group around some "mission", or social reform, or world project matters little. As of right now there are a whole covey of emerging "forms" — Campus Crusade for Christ, Christian's Business Men' s Committee International, Inter -Varsity , the Gideons, the Full Gospel Movement, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, International Christian Leadership, and perhaps a dozen others of lesser note. These emerging movements have one thing in common ---they stress social action rather than doctrinal belief; they put the emphasis on this world rather than on the world to come; and they stress fellowship and unitedness by minimizing doctrinal beliefs and convictions. "Coffee house" ministries and "inner city" projects (among the slums and ghettoes) loom large in their thinking. Personal salvation from the power and consequences of sin is important only as it motivates a man to get off his booze and earn a decent living for his wife and children.

(click here for the entire article...)


Behold, The Lamb and the Lion

by Edward O. Bragwell, Sr.

"Behold, the Lamb of God!"
(Jn. 1:36)

"Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah . . ." (Rev. 5:5).

Preachers and other teachers constantly urge us to be more Christ-like. "The spirit of Christ," "the mind of Christ," "Christ-like," and "Christ-like spirit" are terms used to express the same idea.

We can find no fault with these expressions, but rather applaud them, when taken at face value. A Christian should be able to sing "more like Jesus would I be" and mean it.

However, when one hears these terms, he would do well to stay turned for the details. The speaker's Jesus may not be the biblical Jesus. His Jesus may be of the modern imagination a passive, ever-smiling, back-patting, soft-spoken, all-embracing Jesus who would never be critical of people much less become upset enough with them to raise his voice to them.

This is the Jesus that we are urged to become like by a few brethren who are specializing in freeing the church of the pharisaic spirit and restoring "the spirit of Christ." This is a noble work, if this is what they are really doing. Again, one needs to stay turned for the details. If one listens carefully he may sense that these students of the pharisaic spirit have caught the disease through the back door. They thank God that they are not as other brethren are: proud, boastful, negative and condemning but are humble, sweet, positive and up-lifting as they represent their brand of the "spirit of Christ" in the world.

Their distorted portrayal of Jesus, not only weakens the gospel and the church, it undermines the efforts and undercuts the moral support of good brethren who are trying their best to obey the divine charge to "preach the word! ... convince (reprove KJV), rebuke and exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Tim. 4:2). They despise those who "rebuke with all authority" (Tit. 2:15), especially those who "rebuke them sharply" (Tit. 1:13). They often suggest to audiences that such preaching may well be the main obstacle hindering our taking the world for Christ. Oh, yes, they can occasionally be stirred to break out of their version of the spirit of Jesus long enough to rebuke sharply those who rebuke sharply.

(click here for the entire article...)


The Flock of God

by Sewell Hall

Few animals are as helpless as sheep. With very little defense against natural enemies, little sense of direction and no ability to find their own food, they are largely dependent on man to provide their needs. In the days before fences, owners of sheep had to stay with them in the wilderness, sometimes for months at a time.

The shepherd had to provide for the sheep all that they could not provide for themselves. He searched out green pastures where they could find food (1 Chronicles 4:39-40) and gently led them there, mindful always of those "with young" (Isaiah 40:11). He even protected them with his life. Young David recounted to King Saul how he had snatched a lamb from the mouth of a lion and killed both lions and bears (1 Samuel 17).

Giving so much of himself to the care of the sheep and being so often without human companionship, the shepherd developed a close relationship with the sheep. He had a name for each one; the sheep knew his voice and came when he called (John 10:3-4). He counted the sheep each night to be sure that all were safely in the fold (Jeremiah 33:13). If even one was missing, he scoured the countryside to find it (Luke 15:4).

(click here for the entire article...)


Doctoring the Bible

by Cled E. Wallace

There is no short cut to a knowledge of the Bible. Publishers of and agents for specially edited Bibles with fancy trimmings and helps of various kinds have reaped a considerable profit for themselves by raising false hopes in the minds of the gullible, who would like to have, and imagine they can get, a knowledge of the Book without much hard work. The price tags attached to such wares are far from modest and in some instances so ridiculous they reflect on the intelligence of the customer. When the Bible with "helps" costs considerably more than twice as much as the same Bible without the "helps," it ought to occur to somebody that too high a value has been placed on human help. Some books of the sort are helpful after a fashion but they contain no magic that will cause one to absorb knowledge from sleeping with one of them under his pillow. This is true even of the best ones.

A lot of sectarian and speculative propaganda is spread about with the help of these doctored, high-priced Bibles. Sales resistance is entirely too low among the brethren, and especially the sisters, when some of these talkative vendors ring the doorbell. When one is let in, he should be viewed with enough suspicion to give a healthy curiosity a chance to determine what he is and what he has. A very intelligent sister asked me to inspect a book she had bought from an agent for a financial consideration of several good American dollars. The agent got the money and she was laboring under the impression that she was getting just what the doctor ordered to help her and her household to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. What she got was "Bible Readings For the Home Circle." Sounds good, doesn't it? And it was mechanically very pleasing to the eye and had pictures in it. The agent of course did not tell the sister that he was a Seventh Day Adventist and the book was arranged for the spread of Adventist doctrine. When she found that out, was she mad!

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Let All the Earth Keep Silence

by Sewell Hall

 

But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20). How often have we heard these words read or sung at the beginning of a service? The silence enjoined by Habakkuk is not a literal silence but the silence of submission and acceptance which would not dare to voice any question or complaint against God.

There is, however, great value in literal silence—a value our generation may well have forgotten. In these days of roaring traffic, noisy factories, humming household appliances and megawatt stereos, an unexpected moment of silence can be almost frightening. The first option we demand for our automobiles is a radio/cassette player; and people going to the mountains or the seashore for a picnic seem more concerned about getting their ghetto blasters or portable TVs than they are about the sandwiches. One thing to be said for many of these people is that they are generous enough to share their sound with everyone within a mile’s radius. With all due respect, however, I think I prefer the selfish kind who, while walking, running or cycling, get their necessary sound from those little earphones that allow the rest of us to make our own selfish choices of what we want to hear—or not hear.

(click here for the entire article...)


Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

by Hiram Hutto

 

That Christians are to engage in "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" is obvious (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). But what are "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" and what is the difference, if any, between them?

It is generally agreed that a hymn is a song of praise to God, while a song is a more comprehensive term embracing not only praise but additional subjects as well, limited by the term "spiritual." What controversy there is centers around the question: What is a psalm?

The Catholic Encyclopedia has this intriguing note, "PSALMOS in classical Greek means the twang of the strings of a musical instrument; its Hebrew equivalent (from ZAMAR 'to trim') means a poem of 'trimmed' and measured form." Some claim that a psalm always retained its etymological meaning, i.e., a song sung to musical accompaniment. In this they are mistaken, for based strictly on etymology, the word psalm meant the sound produced by the twanging or plucking of a string, and only later acquired the idea of accompanied singing (and finally singing, without the instrument inhering in the word).

Relying on such scholars as Trench and Lightfoot, some claim that the "ecclesiastical definitions" of early "church fathers" include the instrument. A more careful reading of the original contexts of these "definitions" has led some later researchers to state that such are not ecclesiastical definitions of a practice contemporary with these leaders, but their effort to explain the superscriptions of many of the Old Testament psalms. These leaders were actually using this, not literally for church music, but allegorically for godly conduct by Christians. Most lexicons define a psalm in the New Testament by such terms as a song or a sacred song without mentioning an instrument.

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Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

Our God He Is Alive! (Evidences From DNA by Buddy Payne)
PowerPoint
Audio of Lesson

 

Making God Real to Us by Joshua Carter - Nov. 27, 2011
Outline
Audio of Lesson
Audio of Singing

The College Christian by Harold Carswell - Nov. 6, 2011
Outline
Audio of Lesson (Part 1)
Audio of Lesson (Part 2)
Audio of Singing

My Struggle as a College Student by Kyle Gibson- Oct. 23, 2011
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Audio of Singing

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Does God Care What I Wear?
(Sermons and Articles on Modesty)

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How to Study the Bible
College Class

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The Place and Work of the Apostles

Wednesday Night College Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Learning How God Works
Lesson 2 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 1)
Lesson 3 - God's Authentication of the Apostles (Part 2)

Lesson 4 - The Words Delivered to the Apostles
Lesson 5 - Local Churches and the Apostles
Lesson 6 - Defending the Place of the Apostles

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Hear Bob Buchanon in a Series of Bible Lectures at
the University church of Christ
Jan 13-16, 2013

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Messianic Prophecies in the Book of Isaiah
Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30
Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - The Time and Reign of the Messiah
Lesson 2 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 42)
Lesson 3 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 49)
Lesson 4 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 50)
Lesson 5 - The Servant Songs (Isaiah 52-53)
Lesson 6 - The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7)

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Sermon Series on the Book of 1 John
by Robert Harkrider

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The Christian and Money

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Class by Larry Rouse
Sunday Mornings at 9:30

Download the current outlines:
Lesson 1 - Money and the Revealing of Our Hearts
Lesson 2 - Earning Money

Lesson 3 - Spending Money and Debt

 

A Study of Religious Beliefs

Wednesday Night College Bible Class

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Lesson 1 - Introduction and Approach
Lesson 2 - The Roman Catholic Church
Lesson 3 - An Overview of Islam
Lesson 4 - An Overview of Mormonism
Lesson 5 - An Overview of Pentecostalism
Lesson 6 - An Overview of Calvinism

 


Student Sunday Night Home Study and Singing

 

 

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