Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PBT - February 2007

The February issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

Training Our Senses by Andy Sochor
Reverend by Tim Haile
Rebaptism by Andy Sochor
Nation's Largest Church of Christ Adds Instrumental Music and Saturday Night Communion by Larry R. DeVore

You can read these articles by clicking on the link below. I hope you find the material helpful.

Plain Bible Teaching

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Glorifying God

In John 17:4, Jesus prayed to the Father, "I have glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." Likewise, since Christians "have been bought with a price", they must therefore, "glorify God in [their] body." (1 Cor. 6:20)

How do we glorify God? People may invent many different ways to try and glorify God. But instead of doing what we think will glorify God, let's look to Jesus, our perfect example (1 Pet. 2:21). How did Jesus glorify God? He "accomplished the work" which was "given [Him] to do." (Jn. 17:4)

We glorify God by doing what He intends for us to do. The wise man summed up God's intention for us in the statement: "fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." (Eccl. 12:13)

God's intention for Christians is that "whatever [we] do in word or deed," we must "do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17). This does not mean we invent our own ways to glorify God and claim that we're doing them in the name of Christ. Those who do this will be condemned (Mt. 7:22-23). Jesus said that by doing this, they are not glorifying God, but rather are practicing lawlessness.

We glorify God by doing His will. His will has been revealed in Scripture (1 Cor. 2:10-13). Doing these things not only brings glory to God (Mt. 5:16), but will also result in our eternal reward from Him (Mt. 7:21).

Monday, January 15, 2007

“A Good Work” - Really?

Religious people often attempt to authorize their religious practices and programs by labeling them "good works." This label is too often attached, not upon the basis of Bible authority, but upon the basis of human preference, and of the end justifying the means. These folks reason that if some good is accomplished by their action, then God must be pleased with it. Of course, this is human reasoning, and it arrogantly assumes that man’s approval of a thing makes it approved also by God! Jesus taught the danger of this reasoning in Matthew 7:22, 23. He said that "many" will stand before Him in the day of judgment and claim justification on the basis that they had performed "many wonderful works." The modern day my-work-is-a-"good-work" crowd might assume that such people will most certainly be admitted into Heaven, but not so! Jesus said that He is going to tell these people to "depart from" Him, for He "never knew" them! What had they done that was so wrong that they will be barred from Heaven? They had worked "iniquity" (lawlessness) (vs. 23). Though their works were esteemed as "wonderful" by them, they were not so esteemed by God. Jesus classified these so-called "wonderful works" as acts of rebellion against God. It is sinful to invent "good works" and perform them "in the name of" Christ.

The Bible teaches that the "good works" that saints are to practice have been "prepared beforehand" by God (Ephesians 2:10). They are not human inventions, but divine inventions. They were not designed by men, but by God. They reflect, not man’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom. But, where do we learn of these works? Paul answers this question in his words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. After describing the Scriptures as being inspired and all-sufficient, Paul says that the Scriptures "thoroughly furnish us unto every good work." If one wishes to know what works are "good works" he must consult the "Scriptures." He does not consult other humans (Matthew 15:9), nor does he turn to the desires of his own heart (Prov. 14:12; Jeremiah 10:23). Men work "iniquity" when, in the name of Jesus, they produce and practice their own "religious" works and activities.

- Tim Haile

[This article appeared in the Bowling Green Daily News on January 5, 2007 courtesy of the Parkway church of Christ.]

Friday, January 5, 2007

Looking at the Big Picture

"The sum of Your word is truth" (Ps. 119:160)

Considering only one verse to prove a point can be dangerous. Many verses, when taken out of context, have several plausible interpretations. But if we conclude on one interpretation without considering the sum of God’s word, we can easily find ourselves with an improper understanding of God’s will. Consider the following example in reference to salvation.

Ephesians 2:8 – "For by grace you have been saved through faith"

A plausible explanation of that verse is that we are saved at the point of belief in Jesus Christ. But notice another verse.

1 Peter 3:21 – "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you"

A plausible explanation of that verse is that baptism is the only thing that is necessary for us to be saved. While these are both plausible explanations for these two verses, neither one is correct.

We must look at the sum of God’s word. Is faith necessary for salvation? Yes! Is baptism necessary for salvation? Yes! These passages do not contradict each other. Rather, they compliment each other.

When studying the Bible, let us be careful that our interpretation of a passage does not conflict with another passage. If it does, we need to reexamine our conclusion. The word of God is truth. Truth harmonizes with truth. As Jesus said, "the Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn. 10:35).

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Lamp - December 2006

The December issue of "The Lamp" has now been posted. This issue deals with the subject of worship.

Why on the First Day of the Week? by Matt Nevins

You can read this article by clicking on the link below.

The Lamp

PBT - January 2007

Happy new year!

The January issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

- Constants in a Changing World by Andy Sochor
- We Can Understand the Bible by Andy Sochor
- Do You Believe in CENI? by Larry R. DeVore
- The Priesthood of Christ by Andy Sochor

I hope you find these to be helpful. You can read them by clicking on the link below.

Plain Bible Teaching
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