Friday, May 18, 2007


It is easy to get caught up in accumulating wealth and possessions in this life. Many around us are prosperous and have lots of things we would like to have. So we are tempted to pursue those things. While there is nothing wrong with possessing some of this world's goods, if those things are our aim, we will be as unfruitful as the thorny ground in the parable of the sower. The "worries and riches and pleasures of this life" (Lk. 8:13) will choke out the word and leave us in a sad condition before the Lord.

So what is the solution? Instead of the endless pursuit of physical things, we must learn to be content with what we have. Paul said, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am" (Phil. 4:11). The next verse states that this meant at times getting along with humble means and at other times living in prosperity. There is nothing wrong with being prosperous. But whether we have abundance or suffer need (Phil. 4:12), we must be content.

Paul told Timothy, "if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content" (1 Tim. 6:8). Paul goes on to warn, "But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Tim. 6:9-10).

Notice Paul does not say that those who are rich fall into temptation, but those who want to get rich. One may be poor and still have the love of money that will destroy his soul. Let us not be led away from our devotion to Christ by the things of this world. Rather, let us be content and serve God regardless of our circumstances.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Free Gift of God

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

Many use this verse to show that we are saved by the grace of God and that there is nothing we can do to affect our salvation. That is, works (acts of obedience) are not necessary for salvation. We all recognize the fact that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," so it is true that all are deserving of spiritual death. But those who say grace is unconditional try and say that those who believe it is conditional believe they can earn their salvation.

Let's assume for a moment that it is possible for one to live his entire life without sinning. Has that person earned heaven? Since he has not sinned, he is not due the wages of sin; therefore he does not deserve to go to Hell. But that is all. He has not earned eternal life. That is still a "free gift of God."

We must realize that we will never earn a home in heaven. But that does not mean God's grace is unconditional. He expects us to be obedient to him (yes, that means "works") in order to be saved. Jesus is "to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Heb. 5:9).

Let us obey God faithfully in order to receive the free gift of eternal life. But when we obey him, let us not think we've earned anything. Instead, let us have the servant's attitude commended to us by the Lord. "So you too, when you do all that things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done'" (Lk. 17:10).

Sunday, May 6, 2007

BOTC - May 2007

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following article:

Why the School Shootings? by Tim Haile

Banner of the Cross

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

PBT - May 2007

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

Why The School Shootings? by Tim Haile
Romans 14 by Andy Sochor
Fellowship Questions and MDR by Andy Sochor
Is Gambling Wrong? by Andy Sochor

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

Plain Bible Teaching
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